As we celebrate Memorial Day Monday, May 30th, 2022 across the nation, let us remember to take a moment to honor those who have given their lives in service to our country. No matter what we do this Memorial Day weekend and on Memorial Day itself, the holiday offers a chance for the solemn remembrance of those who served our country and are no longer here with us, but who are in our hearts forever. To the brave men and women who have fought valiantly to keep our country free:
Thank you! May God Bless You!
– John F. Kennedy
“Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it. it flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it.”
Since 1949, the month of May has been designated throughout the nation as mental health month. Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. During May, NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Health) joins the national movement to raise awareness. Their site provides support for those who deal with this everyday, along with their families.
After the last two years of pandemic living, many people are realizing that stress, isolation, job loss, and uncertainty have taken a toll on their well-being. To help slow the spread of coronavirus, many schools and childcare centers across the U.S. closed and transitioned to virtual instruction for at least some time. With these closures, children and their parents were experiencing ongoing disruption and changes to their daily routines. Throughout the pandemic, anxiety, depression, sleep disruptions, and thoughts of suicide have increased for many young adults. It has hit just about everyone in some form or fashion.
Personality may also influence how we manage in difficult times. How we endure uncertainty and our ability to tolerate distress are related behaviors that appear to make a difference. Some people are less comfortable with struggle or the unknown than others. Feeling afraid, depressed, or anxiety ridden has seemed to hit an all time high in our world right now.
We can’t always self-improve our way out of pain and difficulty. Facing it is the only answer, and there are ways that we can get help and help ourselves. This is one of those times when life really is harder by a little bit or a lot, depending on your situation. We need to work to feel better, stay connected, and help others however we can.
All the hustle and bustle of Christmas is well underway and a lot of us are still out there getting our last minute gifts for family and friends. I’m very close to being ready for the big day. The next few days will be very busy ones for most of us. I’m still occupying my time writing while all the festivities are going on around me and hope to finish my current book in the Spring of 2022. It’s called The Atrium, and you can find a a short summary of it’s contents on my website at www.solitaireparke.com.
In the meantime, listen to all the beautiful Christmas music, watch all the great Christmas movies and check out all the books to read as well. Here’s wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas and hoping that in spite of everything crazy that’s happening in the world right now, that you and your family have a wonderful and blessed holiday time together!
Holiday Cheer to everyone!
Perusing the web this week I discovered a guest post that I found to be particularly outstanding and possibly very helpful to other writers. It was a recent post from author and guru of all things writing and publishing, Jane Friedman. I regularly get her newsletter, Electric Speed, which contains a myriad of information for writers. (I highly recommend subscribing to it, by the way.) https://janefriedman.com/.
The post is about a secret ingredient that can keep readers riveted to your book down to the very last line, rather than lose interest and have it fall to the floor. The guest was C. S. Lakin, a writing coach, workshop instructor, blogger and award-winning author of 30+ books.
So, check out this post at the following link –
Forthcoming book – The Atrium
Tags: C.S.Lakin, comercially successful novel, Electric Speed, guest post, jane friedman, newsletter, secret ingredient, solitaire parke, solitaireparke.com, successful novel, the atrium, writing, writing and publishing
July 1, 2021 – July 31, 2021
Why is it called “Summer/Winter”? Here in the Northern hemisphere, it’s mid-summer. Readers are loading their e-reading devices for summer beach reading and long-awaited vacations. South of the equator they are now in the middle of winter. They’re ready to curl up in front of the fireplace and enjoy a great read too!
Hello to all the readers and authors out there! All my eBooks will be on sale for 50% off, so take advantage and stock up on plenty of books to read over the summer/winter. You will find every type of genre with books from terrific authors all over the world. It’s an opportunity to find exclusive discounts from your favorite indie authors and discover new future favorites. So, check it out at SMASHWORDS.COM.
I’m currently working on a new book called The Atrium and a possible cover reveal will be up on my website soon. In the meantime, I am continuing to do some Spring Cleaning on my digital content to make improvements and move forward into 2021. Can you believe it’s half over already? This year seems to be flying by. Enjoy your Summer!
See you soon!
“Comps” are other book titles that might be comparable to your book. The main purpose for comps is to show who your readers are likely to be and to show where your book might be shelved in a bookstore. Often agents, publishing sales people or booksellers need this information to understand more about your book. It gives them a better idea for categorizing your title. If you are self-publishing, comps are a guide to the readers you want to reach. So how do you find comps for your book? Here are a few ideas –
- Look up the Best Sellers in the last few years for your genre
- Check out more recent books with similar themes or point of view
- Utilize your local library to locate books you can read or listen to without having to purchase them. See if your library uses Novelist Plus which allows you to search for books by theme, genre and appeal. You can also ask your librarian.
- Use social media sites to find out what is popular in that genre
- If you are in any writing groups, ask other writers or readers what they would recommend
- Film and TV can be used as comps as well as books. If it gives a reliable comparison of what you are writing, then use it. Sometimes a visual is the best explanation. (If you use media, be sure to clarify your source)
- Describe what part of a plot or characterization might be like your book.
- Try not to compare your book to one that is too far out of date unless it is very well known and liked. Let people know that you are keeping up with the marketplace.
Barnes & Noble and Amazon show a lot of sales data that can be beneficial for comps. People often buy items that are similar. Especially when it comes to books, you can enter a title on their sites and then look for books that are recommended that appear under these headers:
“Customers who bought this also bought . . .” (Amazon and Barnes & Noble) “Frequently bought together” (Amazon)
“What customers bought after viewing this” (Amazon)
- You can also ask people who have read your book for some suggestions.
TIP – Avoid saying that your book is better than someone’s title or classic. It might be better, but you don’t want to be the one to say it. Attacking another author only puts a negative spotlight on you. Reading is subjective, and what you hated, others might love. So, compare your book to others that you admire or respect.
Are you influenced by other comparable titles? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
“Game of Thrones” is back for the final season. Who hasn’t watched or at least heard of the TV show, “Game of Thrones?” The author, George R. R. Martin, has been writing Fantasy books for years before this series came out. I have been a fan of his for a long time. Since I write Science Fiction/ Urban Fantasy myself, I was curious what his thoughts were on the subject. This article on the site, Lifehacker.com, peaked my curiosity. Here are his top 10 writing tips for Fantasy:
- Don’t limit your imagination
- Choose your point-of-view characters to broaden the narrative’s scope
- It’s okay to borrow from history
- Talk to real people for a believable point of view
- Grief is a powerful tool but don’t overdo it
- Violence should have consequences _ so spare nothing
- Avoid fantasy clichés
- The world is full of “grey” characters to draw from
- Juggling lots of characters takes skill and luck
- All men must die, but we don’t have to give way to despair
To get the details of each of these tips, click on the link below and enjoy!
“The best fantasy is written in the language of dreams. It is alive as dreams are alive, more real than real … for a moment at least … that long magic moment before we wake.”
George R.R. Martin
If you have any tips that have been helpful to you, I’d love to hear about them! Have a great day!
Check out my Dragomeir Series and Prequel books at my website –
Tags: Daughter of the Dark Lord, Dragomeir Series, dragon books, dragon riders, fantasy, fantasy writing tips, fiction, Game of Thrones TV Show, George RR Martin, lifehacker.com, solitaire parke, solitaireparke.com, urban fantasy