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Posted on 05.05.2011 at 14:42
I'm being interviewed today at: http://journalsintobooks.blogspot.com comment for a chance to win a free ebook!

Also, today's Q&A is being hosted over on my other blog! I know most of you found me there by now, but here's a nice reminder! lol jennafern.blogspot.com/

LB

Whatcha Doin' Wednesday?

Posted on 04.05.2011 at 14:09
Day two of my blog tour is underway! All you have to do is comment on any of the blogs to be entered to win a free E-Book! It only takes a minute!! Today's blog: http://pandorascardboardbox.blogspot.com


For those who don't know, I'm working with Your Event Solutions, LLC we're event planners and organizers for Non-Profit Organizations. We're doing awesome work and I would like to share some of our events with you! They are all great causes, maybe you will help out too!


June 4th E-Race Epilepsy 5K Run & Walk @ The Philadelphia Zoo: http://eraceepilepsy.com/ We have a bunch of great sponsors for this event including Target, Bally Total Fitness, 94WYSP and more!


July 30th Rainbow Ridge 5K Run & Walk @ The Philadelphia Zoo: http://rainbowridge.myevent.com/ Sponsors are: Philadelphia Runner, Philly Weekly, 94WYSP, Pennsylvania Equestrian


August 27th BeatCancer.org 5K Run & Walk @ The Philadelphia Zoo: http://beatcancer5k.com/ Sponsors: Target, 94WYPS, ReUse Your Shoes, 6ABC Philly.


I'll be there, hope to see you there too!

Author Jenn Nixon is pleased to announce her Virtual Blog Tour & E-Book Release Give-A-Way Contest!

Join Jenn Nixon for a blog hop Virtual Tour around the internet from the comfort of your home! The Blog Tour will feature interviews and blog posts from Jenn about her new Romantic Suspense E-Book Novella release, Wild & Wicked, coming May 15th from Tease Publishing LLC.

About Wild & Wicked: Veronica Chance’s sister has gone missing. In order to find Valerie, “Roni” takes a waitressing job at Foxxes Gentlemen’s Club, the last place her sister worked, to search for clues. First day on the job, the club owner makes her give a lap dance to his VIP guest, Mason Storm. Veronica’s instant attraction to the former detective means trouble and threatens to blow her cover.

At the conclusion of the blog tour, Jenn will give a copy of Wild & Wicked to two (2) randomly selected comment posters! You must comment on one of the blogs to qualify!

Virtual Blog Tour Dates & Locations:
May 3rd http://jaelynnedavies.blogspot.com/
May 4th http://pandorascardboardbox.blogspot.com/
May 5th http://journalsintobooks.blogspot.com/
May 6th http://tammyparks.wordpress.com/
May 9th http://www.judithleger.blogspot.com/
May 10th http://jaimesamms.blogspot.com
May 11th http://daunad1.blogspot.com/
May 12th http://chrisredddingauthor.blogspot.com/
May 13th http://jeannestjames.blogspot.com/

Author Jenn Nixon is a resident of New Jersey and a member of RWA and Liberty States Fiction Writers. Upcoming releases: Wild & Wicked: Tease Publishing LLC May 15th 2011. Chance of a Storm: Tease Publishing LLC, July 2011. Lucky's Charm: Wild Child Publishing, Fall 2011.

LB

New Interview!

Posted on 14.04.2011 at 08:15
Come to my other blog to check out today's Q&A! http://jennafern.blogspot.com/  

LB

Tips & Tricks to Market Yourself

Posted on 13.04.2011 at 08:14
Go on Google, type in my name. With the exception of some Country Radio Chick, I take up the entire first page, most of the second, all the way down to page 8. Same goes for Yahoo and Bing. Granted, I've had my own website before I really needed it...way back in 2006.


Now, almost six years later, I'm all over the freaking internet like a virus. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogger, Gather, Goodreads, Libarythings, yeah, even myspace...you get the idea.


I don't need all of them, nor do I use ALL of them regularly, but they've helped me connect with new readers and friends! The best part of it? The majority of them are free!


Internet Marketing is still a growing concept. I am not a pro, but you should definitely sign up for the following three if you're a writer.


1. Facebook. I know, beating a dead horse right? SO CRUEL! Seriously though, you should have Facebook. 1 out of every 10 people has a Facebook profile already. The great thing about FB is you can have a page separate from your profile. This allows you to keep your family life and writer life apart if you choose.


2. Blog. The great thing about blogs right now is that you can use the platform to create a workable website as well. Using the blog platform also allows you to make quick updates that serve as the home page for your site! If you do have the cash to spend, you can purchase a domain (website) name and take out the blog name making your blog an actual website. You can also embed your blog into most websites, which is a great benefit to your readers!


3. Website. Often, this is the one that scares people the most. However, there are many services (ie Godaddy) out there which have web builders giving you the control to make your own site. Yes, there are free ones, but if you take your craft seriously, you should have your own domain (website) name.


Other great marketing ideas:


Sing up for Bookmark services like Digg, Stumbleupon, Tumblr, they allow you to easily share information with social media sites with the click of a button.


Learn about submitting free press releases! These are great for blog tours, new releases, book signings, etc.


Email Newsletters are a great way to keep in touch with people and create a database of people interested in your writing. I use a blog and Feedburner for mine right now because the list is still growing, but there are companies like Constant Contact which offer the services!


Hope these help you as much as they've helped me!


*Reminder: I still have spaces open for Teaser Tuesday! April 26th is open and most of May! Contact me for details!


LB

Mistakes Newbie Writers Make

Posted on 28.03.2011 at 18:39
 Well, I wasn't planning on blogging today, but after seeing this, (read it first if you want, but come back…please!) http://booksandpals.blogspot.com/2011/03/greek-seaman-jacqueline-howett.html I have to chime in.

When my first "novel" came out, I was as green as they come. I didn't know Jack about the publishing world. I thought it would be cool to go to some AOL groups and post a blurb about my book to different places and see what happened. I was not ready for the nasty backlash that came after.

First, I should say, the book wasn't very good. The plot was interesting, my characters and dialogue were decent, but the rest, well, just bad. Bad writing, bad editing, bad bad bad.

The people in those AOL groups didn't have any problem telling me I sucked. They didn't have a problem pointing out that just jumping into their group and putting a blurb up wasn't going to help me either.

Some people were harsh and nasty. One was actually very kind and emailed me to explain how my attempt at self-promotion was the wrong way to go about doing it. She was right.

The whole incident helped me to build a thick skin and quickly taught me what NOT to do to get reviews and how not to piss off people. I was schooled the hard way.

Avoid it at all costs.

Here’s some tips I’ve learned.

1. Build A Thick Skin! If someone doesn’t like your book, it’s okay. Really! Do you like every book, movie, TV show, or play out there? No, of course you don’t. So expecting everyone to love your baby, while a great positive affirmation, is highly unlikely. If you don’t like the review, don’t use it, but remember, this person took the time to read (sometimes buy) your book, that in itself is a major feat for any writer.

2. No Spamming! Don’t post your blurbs everywhere and anywhere. If you’re a part of a writer’s group, feed, chat, etc., that’s awesome. Make sure you’re keeping up with it at least monthly if not weekly. If you return to these groups and post your new release then leave, you’re not going to make any friends and they’ll just think of you as a spammer.

3. Don’t Bitch! Someone will always HATE what you’ve written. It’s rarely personal and all a matter of opinion and we all know that everyone has one. If you bite back at someone who has something negative to say about you, you’re just adding fuel to the fire and making yourself less likeable in the long run. Remember, negativity breeds negativity, misery loves company yada yada, you know. Take it with a grain of salt.

4. Be Gracious, Always! Remember, the internet is FOREVER! Whatever you post out there can be found years from now. Even if you hate the review or comments about your work, thank the person for their comments. You’ll come across as more professional and people will take you seriously. A prime example is my Dear Author first page blog thread for Lucky’s Charm: http://dearauthor.com/wordpress/2009/05/30/first-page-unnamed-suspense/

Many people didn’t like the first page. Many of them had really great comments that helped me tighten the story. I commented twice. Once with a revised version of the chapter (since it was posted six months after I’d written it and I revised it several more times). The second to thank everyone again for commenting. I never received any negative backlash for adding in the revised version, and even got a comment saying it was better. The great thing is that a few of those people said they would read the book, including a NYT Best Selling Author!

5. Listen And Learn! While you can’t please everyone all the time, you can learn by paying attention to what people say about your writing. Some of the bad comments I received about my early writing helped me grow. People pointed out my weaknesses early on, giving me the chance to hone my skills before I put another crappy book out there. Others pointed out my strengths, which I continue to use in my writing to this day. Your family, friends, and even some of your writer friends may only (and always) tell you that everything you write is magical and fantastic so they won’t hurt your feelings, but is that what you really want? Having a stranger tell you their opinion doesn’t mean it’s the truth, it’s just another point of view you should take into consideration. Some of those strangers may be your readers one day.

Have you had a bad review? What did you do? How do you deal with the negative feedback? I’d love to hear!

LB

Pre-Pub Blog Day! Paying it Forward!

Posted on 23.03.2011 at 13:34
As some of you may know, I have a novella coming out this April! I'm super excited and have lots and lots of plans for everyone out there!

The first thing I've learned being involved in such great writer's groups the last few years is that everyone pays it forward. I'm no exception. I've made great friends, some who are published, others who are still climbing that hill and they need love and support too!

I'm starting a Pre-Pub Blog Day to help some of my friends gain exposure and build their online presence.

A Pre-Pub Author is someone who is still working on finding the right house for their work. Yes, they are writers! But no contract in hand, yet.

If you're among this group and would like to participate, please let me know! Leave a comment or send me an email jenn@jennnixon.com

Happy Writing!

LB

Writers: Do you Plot or Wing it?

Posted on 22.02.2011 at 12:09
 Plotter or Pantser. I'm sure many of you have heard the terms before. But what does it mean?

Plotter: This is a person who outlines their story from beginning to end. Sometimes chapter by chapter, other times plotting out a timeline or writing a synopsis.
Panters: This is a person who writes and lets the "muse" tell them where to go next.

I would love to sit here and talk about plotting a novel, how to write a killer outline, and all the great technical aspects to pre-plotting a novel.

I can't.

I'm a pantser.

For NANOWRIMO a few years back, I actually wrote an outline. Okay, it wasn't a real outline, it was a Jenn outline of notes and plot points and character personalities & attributes, but it was the most pre-planning I've done with any book.

I never finished it.

I still go back and read it sometimes. Parts of it are great, others, not so much. I lost interest right when it was getting good and heading into the final climax. I have no idea why I lost interest, but I have a feeling it had to do with the pre-destined ending and forcing the book and characters to make it there.

Being a pantser doesn't mean I don't have an idea where I want to story to go, in fact, 90% of the time I know the beginning, middle, and end. I just don't know how the characters will get there. For me, that is the best part about writing.

I have the characters in my head, their look, personality, quirks and faults. I know the world they live in. I know the basic skeleton of the plot. I know how I want it to end. Mostly.

I give my characters a wide berth when writing, because even though I am the author, it's not my story. I don't like influencing my characters, I'd rather they drive the story forward.

I'll use my latest novella Wild & Wicked as an example.

When the idea first popped into my head, all I knew was this: Girl working at strip club was looking for something. Guy who visits the strip club (for some reason) ends up helping the girl. And the girl was going to have to give the guy a lap dance before the end of her first night working.

From here, I needed characters.

Veronica's name came to me easily. I'd been watching Veronica Mars for a while and loved the name. Only one character called her Roni, a nickname, to be honest, I never really associated with Veronica before because I don't know anyone personally with that name. I know right! How weird. But that was her name. I didn't want her to look or act like Kristen Bell's character from VM, so I made sure she didn't. Good, I have a character!

Mason's name came from the new Call of Duty game my brother was playing. It was the character's last name, and I liked it. So I used it as his first name and gave him a cool last name. I decided he was a former detective and that he went to the strip club to keep an eye on the owner--so he wasn't really interested in the strippers. I also knew that I wanted him to look similar to Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Yum.

Awesome! I have my characters. I knew the setting. So, I started writing.

As I wrote the novella, Mason's back story quickly filled my brain. I didn't know anything about Veronica, but that was okay, because I always have a mysterious/suspenseful vibe in everything I write, so it didn't concern me. When her back story was ready to come out, I'd be ready too.

I wasn't nervous when I neared the moment where she told Mason her little secret. To be honest, I was as surprised as Mason when she told him. One line filled in all the blanks!

When the second big reveal came from Veronica, I knew I had to pepper in some minor details throughout the story so that it seemed like I knew who she was from the beginning, without giving it away to the reader a head of time.

Once I knew Veronica's back story, it opened up a whole new side of her that I never had in my head, making her even more interesting than before. Total score! It also opened up a secondary plot that I turned into a sequel!

For this particular story, I had no notes, no written description, no idea where the story was even taking place, except for the club. Everything was in my head and it just flowed.

With my other, bigger projects, I normally write notes and descriptions, plot points, and other minor connecting details to make sure I stay on track with where I'd like the story to go. Of course it doesn't always happen as planned because we all know characters tend to do what they want, but having those notes and comments helps me stay focused on the plot portion.

I've gotten better at this pantser stuff the last few years. I chalk it up to my Star Trek role playing game. I've been playing this game for a while, with a group of creative people who keep me on my toes every single week. I learned that I have a knack for taking a plot from several months ago and tying it into something we're doing in the present, which in turn creates an even bigger plot with other side plots emerging in the background. I love it! It's one of the reason I still play because I never know what's going to happen, what the other people are going to do, and I love finding a way to connect everything together. At times, the people I play with ask if I planned to connect Plot A with Plot X and when I say no, they rarely believe me!

When I first started playing the ST game, I was a total plotter. I had things pre-written, I knew what everyone had to do, how they had to do it, and made sure they did it, even if they didn't want to. Those games were fun, but not as much fun as giving people free range with their own characters. Now, I never plot our games. Sometimes I'll set up a scenario and just go with it. Makes it much more interesting!

I've learned to do that with my novel characters too and I couldn't be happier. I love the way I write because it tends to surprise me, sometimes good, sometimes bad, but isn't that the life? You never know what will happen, so your characters shouldn't either. Unless they're psychic, but that's another blog post...

How about you? Plotter or Pantser or a little bit of both?

LB

TV Post...Yep, They're Baaaackkkk....

Posted on 15.02.2011 at 11:20
I know many of you have missed my keen observations into the TV world. :-) No, I haven't stopped watching or even lowered the number of shows I watch. It's grown, actually. It's insane, really, but I know I wouldn't watch this much if I didn't have my DVR.

Let's start with Sunday, my cartoon night. It still rocks. I'm not really into the Burger show, but American Dad is finally playing to its strengths, Roger and Steve. Whenever they are front and center, the show is great! I still dislike Stan, but he's growing on me. Simpsons has been funnier than normal recently, and that's good because it was getting kinda...eh. Cleveland show still has my interests and of course, Family Guy is tops!

Monday.
My guilty pleasure of Gossip Girl is still going strong. Mostly, I love the places they hold their parties and setting my eyes on Chuck and Nate. So cute.

I'm a couple episodes behind on The Cape. It's actually better than I thought it was going to be and helped give me a few ideas for one of my own characters.

Hawaii 5-0 is my favorite new cop show on TV. Doesn't hurt that Alex O'Laughlin is super hot. The whole cast is fantastic! Still love the fact that Grace Park is revamping all these guy roles! My dad would've loved this show. He watched the original. I'm sure it would have been our substitution for 24.

I've seen a few episodes of Harry's Law. It's funny!

Pawn Stars is awesome as always. If you haven't watched it and like History or Antiques, you should watch it. For real.

Tuesday
Glee can do no wrong in my eyes. Even when it does a Brittney Spears episode. Though, I am NOT looking forward to the Bieber episode.

No Ordinary Family is your answer to missing Heroes. It's fantastic! Autumn Reeser is AMAZINGLY FUNNY! She's every geek boys dream girl!

I'm still keeping up on Biggest Loser too. Keeps me grounded and stops me from eating a bag of chips during the show. LOL

Wednesday
SURVIVOR IS BACK THIS WEEK! YAY!

American Idol has kept my interest. I really dig the new panel and the talent is outrageous. I've already picked out about 7 people to make it to the finals. I even picked a top boy and girl. If they make it to the Semi-Round, I shall tell you who they are if you want to know. :-)

Criminal Minds has survived without JJ, but I still miss her character. I'm looking forward to the Spin-Off, but I don't have high expectations at this point. As long as Garcia is in it, I'll watch. For a little while at least. Of course if they brought Morgan with her, it'd be a no-brainer. *sigh* Shemar Moore is so freaking hot.

I started watching L&O SVU again. I missed it, glad to have Benson & Stabler back.

Thursday
Big Bang Theory. Fantastic. Love the addition of Bernadette (Summer from True Blood) she's hilarious!

Shit My Dad Says. I started watching it because, well, who doesn't love The Shat? I continued to watch it because parts of his personality reminds me of my father. It's finally found its legs and a nice comic rhythm between the characters. The brother and sister-in-law (I don't know their names, sorry), really hold the show together.

Since Weds and Friday are my new Thursdays, it's opened up CSI for me again. It's still not the same without Grissom, but he's coming back for an episode!

The Mentalist. Love it. 'Nuff said.

Friday
I'm not really sure how it happened, but I started watching a bunch of Lawyer shows again. Like the Defenders and L&O UK. One is serious, the other is more silly, but they are both awesome shows.

Fringe is OMG. It's my favorite Sci-Fi show on TV right now! I can't say ever, because there are so many good ones out there, but it's in the top ten, definitely. Every time you think the story line is corny or overdone, BAM!, they slap with a twist that you never saw coming. Fantastic.

I caught up on Smallville yesterday. Squee! What an awesome finale season they are having! Jonathan appeared in a flashback, Lionel came back from a different universe, Martha showed up again, Lex (the original actor) is coming back! Clark has the suit. He's almost ready to fly. He has the glasses for his "disguise". Superman is almost here! I'm actually very sad this show is ending. 10 Years! I really hope they do a Justice League spin off or something.

Supernatural has done well this season. It's got the early season vibe back again. I have a feeling it's building again to another huge plot and climax, I hope they can pull it off without the original creator on board.

Various other shows:

Spartacus: Gods of the Arena. I'm convinced this show is for chicks. Do any guys even watch it?

Chase: It's not bad. I like the supporting cast more than Annie, but after her kidnap episode, which helped me tremendously with a short story I was working on, I have to give props to her. She's growing on me.

Ancient Aliens: Got picked up for another season! So excited!! Giorgio A. Tsoukalos is super hilarious. I'm following him on FB and Twitter.

Decoded: I'm not thrilled with the show because they really don't give you much of a conclusion at the end, but that's the History Channel for you. It's not bad, some of the shows taught me things about History that I didn't know and that's always fun.

Undercover Boss (when time permits) All I will say: I love when men cry. LOVE IT!

Whew.

I think that's it.

Oh no, it's not, but I really can't tell you about the Nickelodeon show I've been watching. It's a super duper guilty pleasure. Shh. It's a secret. Sibuna!

What are you watching that you love? Tell me about it.

LB

Rolling with the good news...

Posted on 08.02.2011 at 12:26
 I'm super excited to say that two of my spicy novellas Wild & Wicked and Chance of a Storm have been picked up by Tease Publishing!

It seems I still can't write a short story without my brain over thinking and creating more plot then needed, but I'm happy they've both found a great home!

I enjoyed writing them, and enjoy re-reading them even more, and for me, it was a great learning experience. The urgency of writing something suspenseful and short seemed to work very well. Maybe there is some shorts in me somewhere.

I hope to post the book covers soon. I'm really excited to see them!

And who knows, maybe I'll have a print book to bring to NY Comic Con this year!


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