Blog Tour

August 3, 2010 at 5:30 am (September Blog Tour) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

This schedule might move a bit yet but here is the tour schedule for September. I’m asking the owners of the blogs I am visiting to check the links (I’ll have checked them but mistakes happen) before the tour and let me know if there is anything wrong (date, topic, link).

September 1: Guest post on Eric’s blog (Working my Muse) about character.

September 2: Guest post on Geoffrey’s blog (Misanthropology101) about the writing life.

September 4: Guest post on Lua Fowles blog (Like a Bowl of Oranges) about the need for quiet confidence.

September 7: interview on Sonia  Clark’s blog (Sonya Clark).

September 9: Guest post on Alex Willging’s blog (The Rhapsodist) about writing fantasy.

September 12: Guest post on Laura Diamond’s blog (Diamond – Yup, Like the Stone) about females in fantasy.

September 13: Guest post on Alex J Cavanugh’s blog (Alex J Cavanaugh) about visuals that help the writing process.

September 14: Guest post on Mason Canyon’s blog (Thoughts in Progress) about the origin of an idea.

September 15: Interview on Carol Kilgore’s blog (Under the Tiki Hut).

September 16: Interview on Susan Whitfield’s blog (Susan Whitfield’s blog).

September 18: Guest post on Jemi Faser’s blog (Jemi Fraser) about making fantasy unique.

September 20: Guest post on Nancy Allen’s blog (Nancy Kelly Allen – Writing Workshop) about reading.

September 22: Interview on Lee Robertson’s blog (Only Time Will Tell).

September 25: Guest post on Barb’s blog (The Creative Barbwire) about Death’s Daughter.

September 30: Guest post on Rosemary’s blog (Miss Rosemary’s Novel Ideas) about what happens after the manuscript is accepted.

And this one is not strictly in September but is definitely part of the tour:

October 3: Interview on Little Scribbler’s blog (Little Scribbler).

As you can see it is a busy month but there are still dates free if you would like to take part in the tour and host me for a day. Otherwise, I hope you come along on the tour.

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Twitter me this

July 26, 2010 at 5:35 am (Death's Daughter, Weekly Review) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Okay – so the links are coming thick and fast, but probably because there are so many brilliant bloggers out there sharing their stuff.  Here are the links I’ve found and posted on twitter over the last week.

My picks for the week – and there is a few of them because everyone has been writing awesome posts this week:

Talli Roland on blogging: http://talliroland.blogspot.com/2010/07/ten-for-tuesday-of-blogs-and-bloggery.html

Elspeth Antonelli – 10 lessons for writers: http://elspeth-itsamystery.blogspot.com/2010/07/10-lessons-for-writers.html

Words of advice from fantasy authors: http://io9.com/5579212/words-to-live-by-advice-from-34-science-fictionfantasy-authors

Just Jemi – printing out the MS: http://jemifraser.blogspot.com/2010/07/printing-epiphany.html

Lua shares her writing story: http://likeabowloforanges.wordpress.com/2010/07/22/getting-aligned-or-the-dilemma-of-being/

Check out Sybil’s collection of book trailers – yes, mine’s been added:

Trailer for Death’s Daughter been added to Sybil’s collection of book trailers: http://www.sybilnelson.com/

Other great links this week:

My top 5 songs to get me ready to write – what are yours? https://cassandrajade.wordpress.com/2010/07/22/top-5-writing-songs/

Miss Rosemary’s scattered thoughts on writing: http://disgruntledwriterscircle.wordpress.com/2010/07/22/scattered-thoughts/

Yona Wiseman – Rave rejections: http://daylightprocrastinator.wordpress.com/2010/07/22/rave-rejections/

Hema P – The writing bug: http://hemapen.wordpress.com/2010/07/19/the-writing-bug/

Cheryl Angst – Twitter chats for writers: http://cherylangst.wordpress.com/2010/07/20/twitter-chats/

To Conquer a Mountain – Creating a universe: http://shoutitfromamountain.wordpress.com/2010/07/20/creating-a-universe-and-a-reality/

Casey Lybrand – time management for writers: http://blog.caseylybrand.com/2010/07/19/writing-time-management-and-blogging/

Holly Ruggiero – Playing with Words: http://scribblessplashes.blogspot.com/2010/07/playing-with-words.html

New blog post – Bringing fantasy to life: https://cassandrajade.wordpress.com/2010/07/21/bringing-fantasy-to-life/

Talli Roland – chick lit is dead: http://talliroland.blogspot.com/2010/07/chick-lit-is-dead-long-live-er-womens.html

Elizabeth Spann Craig – About being a writer: http://midnightwriters.blogspot.com/2010/07/8-things-no-one-told-me-about-being.html

Jemi Fraser looks at getting an e-reader: http://jemifraser.blogspot.com/2010/07/e-reader-help.html

Carol Kilgore – using your sixth sense as a writer: http://underthetikihut.blogspot.com/2010/07/that-tickle-on-back-of-your-neck.html

New blog post – My writing goals: https://cassandrajade.wordpress.com/2010/07/20/writing-goal/

Mason Canyon reviews Nowhere to Hide: http://masoncanyon.blogspot.com/2010/07/nowhere-to-hide-by-terry-odell.html

RT @bubblecow A Four Parargraph Approach To Cover Letters http://bit.ly/b17YA0

Cat Woods – Seven deadly sins for writers: Pride – http://catwoods.wordpress.com/2010/07/19/seven-writing-sins-pride/

Terry Odell guest posts on Mystery Writing Is Murder: http://mysterywritingismurder.blogspot.com/2010/07/homework-time-by-terry-odell.html

Criminal Brief – why writers need an editor: http://criminalbrief.com/

Margot Kinberg – Straight Shooters http://margotkinberg.blogspot.com/2010/07/straight-shooters.html

Terry Spear – The closet muse: http://casablancaauthors.blogspot.com/2010/07/my-closet-muse.html

Stephen Tremp – the 30 second blurb: http://stephentremp.blogspot.com/2010/07/30-second-elevator-blurb.html

New blog post – Query Letter: https://cassandrajade.wordpress.com/2010/07/18/query/

Novel Journey – on dialogue: http://www.noveljourney.blogspot.com/

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More From Twitter

July 19, 2010 at 5:29 am (Death's Daughter, Weekly Review) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Another round up of exciting links that I have found in the last little bit. I do post these on twitter as I find them and I hope that people are finding them useful. Yes, my links are scattered through them.

My must-read recommendations go to the following:

Very cool book trailer for CassaStar – check it out: http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com/2010/07/book-trailer-for-cassastar.html

Cat Woods sharing seven deadly sins for writers: http://catwoods.wordpress.com/

If you have the time check out this review of Death’s Daughter:

The Rhapsodist reviews Death’s Daughter: http://alexwillging.wordpress.com/2010/07/08/cassandra_jade/

Here are the other great reads I’ve found recently:

Sybil Nelson – 8 steps to a great book trailer: http://journeysinink.wordpress.com/2010/06/20/eight-steps-to-a-great-book-trailer/

Lua Fowles – writer in a mask: http://abrokenlaptop.wordpress.com/2010/07/16/be-mysterious-writers-in-masks-features-lua-fowles/

Helen Ginger – on using Networked Blogs: http://straightfromhel.blogspot.com/2010/07/giant-head.html

An award for my blog: https://cassandrajade.wordpress.com/2010/07/16/resolution/

Susan Whitfield – Interview with Tim Marquitz: http://susanwhitfield.blogspot.com/2010/07/tim-marquitz.html

Sylvia Dickey Smith – http://sylviadickeysmithbooks.wordpress.com/2010/07/13/guidelines-for-a-writers-critique-group/

Janice Hardy – trends in writing: http://storyflip.blogspot.com/2010/07/being-trendy.html

What women write – finding your writing rhythm: http://whatwomenwritetx.blogspot.com/2010/07/what-do-you-need.html

Eric – The importance of the little things (character) http://workingmymuse.blogspot.com/2010/07/little-things.html

Robert Liparulo: making fantasy feel real: http://noveljourney.blogspot.com/2010/06/5-elements-that-make-fantasy-fiction.html

Elspeth Antonelli – ten things to do before you write: http://elspeth-itsamystery.blogspot.com/2010/06/before-you-write.html

Madison Woods – getting answers from twitter: http://madisonwoods.wordpress.com/2010/07/16/another-reason-i-love-twitter/

Some interesting tips of spelling: http://manuscriptedit.wordpress.com/

Elizabeth Spann Craig – excellent list of links for writers: http://mysterywritingismurder.blogspot.com/2010/07/top-retweets.html

Stephen Tremp – moving along on his writer’s journey: http://stephentremp.blogspot.com/

Mason Canyon – A question for authors and soon to be authors: http://masoncanyon.blogspot.com/2010/07/do-i-ask-or-not.html

Jeaniene Frost – Why women find vampires hot: http://edition.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/06/30/why.women.love.vampires/index.html?fbid=oF8F5aXpTib

Bibliophile Stalker – Some great links for writers: http://charles-tan.blogspot.com/2010/07/july-14-2010-links-and-plugs.html

Cat Woods – Sentence variation http://catwoods.wordpress.com/2010/07/13/improve-flow-with-sentence-variation/

Carol Kilgore – Try something new: http://underthetikihut.blogspot.com/2010/07/lab-experiment.html Must read for #writers.

Lee Robertson – Murky Middles: http://writerleerobertson.wordpress.com/2010/07/12/murky-middles/ Got lost in the middle of your story?

Vivienne Tuffnell – Would you write full time? http://creativebarbwire.wordpress.com/2010/07/13/guest-post-vivienne-tuffnell/

Lua shares her thoughts on World Building: http://likeabowloforanges.wordpress.com/

Fantasy e-book Death’s Daughter: http://www.lyricalpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1_19&products_id=227

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Query, Query, Query

July 18, 2010 at 5:31 am (Thoughts on Writing) (, , , , , , , , , )

I’m going to admit right up front that I am terrible at writing query letters.

A query letter is kind of like writing a cover letter of a resume when applying for a job and I was never any good at that either. For one fairly important reason. I can’t talk myself (or my work) up.

Even when I say something nice about myself or my work I have this niggling need to qualify it or use low modality to devalue the statement. This makes it really hard to write a half decent letter at the best of times. Add in a dab of anxiety about the possible outcome and a smattering of anticipation and what you have is a perfect recipe for word muck and nothing good is ever going to come out of that.

I know I am not alone in the being bad at writing query letter’s department. I’m quite certain there are a lot of people also blundering around in here with me. So how do you write a better query letter? Clearly I haven’t figured out how to write a brilliant letter yet but I’m going to share some advice with you and it is the advice you will find nearly everywhere online if you look for ways to improve your query letter.

1.  Read the guidelines every time you submit. Don’t read the guidelines for one agent/publisher and assume the guidelines will be the same on the next one.

2.  Even if like me you can’t write a brilliant query letter, you can at least check the basic spelling and grammar of the letter.

3.  Visit lots of author blogs. Lots of authors out there have written their list of tricks and guides for writing queries and a lot of that information is really helpful as to what to include and what to leave out.

4.  Be professional. As I said at the beginning, writing a query letter is kind of like writing a cover letter for a job and you always need to put your best foot forward. Set the letter out properly and be relatively formal and professional.

5.  When in doubt, ask or search. Don’t guess. If you don’t know what they actually want in your query letter, read the submission guidelines again, the frequently asked questions and anything else that may tell you what you are and are not to include.

The reason I’m remembering how bad I am at writing query letters is that I’ve finally decided to try to get a manuscript I shelved last year published. I’ve been dusting it off and cleaning up the rough edges but it was more or less ‘complete’ when I shelved it and decided to focus on other things. A friend of mine recently asked what was happening with it and was shocked when I told her I’d put it aside and that was enough to make me want to revisit the project. So here I am, writing another query letter and hoping I don’t stuff it up too badly.

Best of luck to everyone out there writing query letters.

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Tweets for Writers

June 24, 2010 at 5:49 am (Death's Daughter, Thoughts on Writing) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

I’ve been tweeting them as fast as I can find them and now here is the full list of links that I’ve collected in the last week or so.

Apologies if some of the links are faulty.

I definitely recommend checking out Alex’s blog and clicking on some of the links from the Dirty Dozen blogfest. Some great reads here.

Alex J Cavenaugh – Dirty Dozen movie blogfest – some great entries: http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com/2010/06/movie-dirty-dozen.html

The rest of the links (yes – some of these are mine):

Carol Kilgore – Organised desk? http://underthetikihut.blogspot.com/2010/06/i-know-its-here-somewhere.html

Lua Fowles – Creativity’s Evil Sister: http://likeabowloforanges.wordpress.com/

Little Scribbler shares some great news: http://littlescribbler.wordpress.com/2010/06/20/now-that-im-finished/

Talli Roland shares what’s in her bag: http://talliroland.blogspot.com/2010/06/ten-for-tuesday-bag-lady.html

Thoughts in Progess – interview with Ann Summerville: http://masoncanyon.blogspot.com/2010/06/guest-blogger-ann-summerville.html

Alan Orloff – A really, really, really great idea: http://alanorloff.blogspot.com/2010/06/really-really-really-great-idea.html

Blog Post for #writers – Fear and Avoidance: https://cassandrajade.wordpress.com/2010/06/17/fear-and-avoidance/

Julie Dao – Forget chivalry, it’s grammar that’s dead: http://juleswrites.blogspot.com/2010/06/forget-chivalry-its-grammar-thats-dead.html

About Death’s Daughter by Cassandra Jade-fReado: http://bit.ly/93RQY9 via @addthis View excerpt and book trailer.

Talli Roland – Sleepyitis: http://talliroland.blogspot.com/2010/06/sleepyitis-sufferer-speaks.html

Writing tired: https://cassandrajade.wordpress.com/

Glynis Smy – When a video makes you want to buy the book: http://www.glynissmy.com/2010/06/when-video-makes-you-want-book-daughter.html

Clarissa Draper – First person and some grammar: http://clarissadraper.blogspot.com/2010/06/problems-with-writing-in-first-person.html

  1. Elizabeth Spann Craig – Stretching oursleves as writers: http://mysterywritingismurder.blogspot.com/2010/06/stretching-ourselves.html

AdMan: How to write a book synopsis that sells: http://actionad.wordpress.com/2010/06/18/how-to-write-a-book-synopsis-that-sells-2/

From the Basement – Trust your characters: http://girldownstairs.wordpress.com/2010/06/18/trust-your-characters/

Blog post – 5 Reasons you shouldn’t write when tired: https://cassandrajade.wordpress.com/2010/06/18/5-reasons-tired/

Madison Woods – A writing question: http://madisonwoods.wordpress.com/

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Twitter Links

June 14, 2010 at 5:53 am (Death's Daughter, Weekly Review) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I haven’t done a review of writer links in awhile – I used to do them weekly but now find myself just not having the time to put them all together. Here is a recap of some of the links I’ve been sharing on Twitter recently. Sorry if some of the links don’t work – I tried to test most of them and they seem to be up and functioning.

My Links:

Excellent and interesting writing links:

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5 Reasons I’ll Read Your Blog

June 10, 2010 at 5:42 am (Author Info) (, , , , , , , , , )

You hear it all the time. There are so many good blogs out there (and just so many blogs period) that you just don’t have time to read them all. I love reading blogs and adding comments and going back to find out if someone has replied to my comment. I find it far more satisfying than Facebook though it is a toss-up whether I prefer twitter or blogs as my online social media of choice.

I love blogs. They share so much fantastic information and there are so many writers (published or not) that are sending out so much good advice and sharing their thoughts. It really is a case of so much to choose from, how do I decide?

That said, how do I find the blogs I read and how do I decide which ones to read. Here are my top 5 reasons for landing on someone’s blog.

1.  You commented on my blog. Yes, I visit every blog of every person who comments here. Even if only for a moment before moving on. Usually I find something really interesting to read. Sometimes I realise I’ve already been to your blog (and you were in point of fact returning the favour from my comment) but then I see you have a new post and I have something new to read. I’ve been playing blog tag with a few people for awhile now. The only time I can’t do this is if the person who has commented hasn’t left a blog address for me to go to.

2.  I follow you on twitter. Usually this means you’ve just tweeted about your latest blog post and I’ve hit the link.  Interestingly, most the people I elect to follow on twitter are people who have blogs that I’ve visited that have a follow me on twitter badge. This is all getting very linky.

3.  You’re listed on a blog that I visit regularly. Yes, I read blog rolls on blogs that I really enjoy and I occasionally randomly click on names on the list. I like blog rolls that tell you when the blog was last updated because then I know if there is something recent to read.

4.  I was searching for something on google and somehow the key words I was searching for have found your blog. This one doesn’t happen so often and I don’t tend to stick around these blogs for as long, though occasionally I find a gem.

5.  The readomattic feature from WordPress.  Anyone who has posted onto a WordPress blog using the tags I use will come up in this list (when it is functioning) and I can read the first part of their post to see if I’m interested. I’ve found some very good blogs this way.

So there you have it.  My top 5 reasons for visiting and reading your blog.  How do you find the blogs you read? How did you find this one?

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Critical, critical

June 2, 2010 at 10:14 am (Editing, Thoughts on Writing) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I’m going to admit it. I’m becoming very critical.

I’ve always been critical – particularly of myself – but lately I’ve been really critical of a lot of things.

Today I was given a short story to read. The purpose of the story was to demonstrate how to use descriptive language to create an emotional affect in the reader. Possibly it succeeded in that but the only emotional affect it had on me was the desire to grab a red pen and have at it – I managed to resist the urge but barely.

So what was wrong with the story?

Every single person or thing in the story was described by at least two adjectives in almost every single instance. Every single time. I’m sorry. The person is whistling. Sure, you can tell us how they are whistling and what it sounds like but the next time you feel the need to mention it you could just say whistling. You don’t then need to come up with two new adjectives (or an adverb and an adjective) to describe how the whistling is happening.

Objects were appearing ‘out of nowhere’. Umm, no. Unless they were tearing through interdimensional portals I’m pretty sure they came from somewhere. Maybe it wasn’t an important somewhere but to explicitly state they came from out of nowhere just leads the reader to wonder how that is even possible.

Characters were behaving out of character – which in a short story is really distracting because you don’t even have the benefit of later explaining the out of characterness (I know that isn’t a word).

I’ll admit it. I’m awful and I’m tearing this story to threads. And it lead me to realise some of the weaknesses I still have in my own writing. I like adjectives (not to this extent but I over use them to be sure). I may not have things appearing out of nowhere but I’m sure I suddenly have people in scenes where they shouldn’t be and have no logical reason to be and I’m sure I need to work on it. I need to turn this critical eye away from things I’m reading and apply it to things I’m writing and I need to look at what I could be doing instead.

Plenty of areas here for me to work on. What are you working on improving?

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Stuck In My Head

June 1, 2010 at 6:27 am (Author Info) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

So I’ve read pieces of more texts than I can remember today and one of them has gotten stuck in my head. I’ve read essays and reports and narratives and this and that and every other kind of text imaginable and do you know what got stuck in my head? An analytical exposition on the Raiders March (from Indiana Jones).

Okay, I’m at this conference learning about different text types and literacies and I’m actually finding it really interesting, when not being overwhelmed with content. What I need is a good month to sit down and digest everything because a lot of it is a rehash of stuff I already know but being told to me in new ways and mixed in there is new content and some of that is really, really important but is going to get lost somewhere inside my head if  I don’t have the time to sort it out. However at the moment my real problem is I’ve got this John Williams song bouncing around inside my head.

The problem being that I studied this particular song when I was at school and also wrote an analytical exposition on the text so even though I only read three paragraphs about it today in the midst of six hundred other things (slight use of hyperbole) it is just stuck there and I’m remembering watching the movie, making notes, replay the scene, make notes, replay the scene make notes, watch the whole movie, make notes. It is one of those songs that I could recognise from two notes I’ve heard it that many times.

Other than that – why is this song stuck in my head? Because it is brilliant. It is the perfect song to create character and mood and it is used brilliantly within the movie. Why do we remember things? Usually because they are really incredible, really terrible or really weird.

Anyway – just a quick post because  I really have a lot of reading to do for tomorrow and I do still want to do some writing this week (though I’m definitely not going to get much done as far as writing). I’m glad I’ve got some internet access and am able to check out some blogs this week because so far I’ve read some really interesting posts that I probably would have missed out on.

Hope everyone is having a great week. What songs are you getting stuck in your heads?

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Bit of Excitement

May 26, 2010 at 6:13 am (Death's Daughter) (, , , , , , , )

I posted this on Twitter when it happened but here I am sharing it on my blog.

Death’s Daughter made the top ten – BooksOnBoard announces this week’s bestselling eBooks and authors.

This was the list as released on May 19:

1. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson
2. The Secret of Excalibur – Andy McDermott
3. I am Nujood, Aged 10 and Divorced – Nujood Ali
4. Indemnity Only – Sara Paretsky
5. The Covenant of Genesis – Andy McDermott
6. The Summons – John Grisham
7. The Final Detail – Harlan Coben
8. Death’s Daughter – Cassandra Jade
9. The Killing Edge – Heather Graham
10. The Bone Conjurer – Alex Archer

I wonder if people who have published multiple books still feel the need to jump up and down with joy?

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