Kris’ Korner ~ I’m feeling hot…Hot…HOT!

July 26th, 2016

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What? I am. It’s summer in the Northern Hemisphere and temps are a bit steamy…not Savannah steamy but quite hot for my part of the woods. Yes, I know my friends from Down Under are ready to smack me about now and everyone is wondering how my weather connects to writing.

Have you figured it out? Okay, I’ll be a bit more specific. A question that I’ve been asked and I’m sure most other editors (and publishers) have been asked during 99% of all interviews they’ve done relates to the weather. The question is “what do you see as the hot trend coming up?” I absolutely HATE this question.

Predicting this trend is like predicting the weather – I can make a guesstimate based on my experience and knowledge but it’s not a 100% guarantee that I’m going to be correct. If I was…whooo boy, I’d have all my authors writing those stories so we could all make bundles of money. But it’s not that simple, just like meteorology.

You see, when authors force themselves to write “what’s hot” if it’s not their forte? It shows. For example, a year or two ago there was that unbelievably popular series of books that thousands and thousands of readers went berserk over. I won’t name the series but I KNOW that there were hundreds and hundreds of people that live a certain lifestyle that were screaming about the series for vastly different reasons (ummm, Safe, Sane and Consensual anyone?). All of a sudden there was a mad dash for everyone to write a BDSM story. The problem with this (and with that popular series?) is that most didn’t understand what they were writing about so they got details and scenarios and facts completely wrong. The stories were forced and it showed in the details and the words.

So my advice when you’re looking to figure out “what’s hot” and take advantage of that? Don’t. Write what’s in your heart, your soul, your muse. Not everyone is cut out to write BDSM or military espionage or doctors or lawyers or vampires or…you get the picture. Find the stories that YOU are meant to tell and then tell them the best YOU can. Why? Because then you are going to connect with readers.

And hey, what says that by doing that you won’t start the next HOT trend?

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KJacen_2015_headshot_smKris Jacen is the Executive Editor and Formatting Director for ManLoveRomance Press and its imprints. She was invited to join the MLR staff in 2008 and has never looked back. Working with the amazing authors at MLR has allowed her to both hone her editorial skills and indulge her inner fangirl. She also acts as editor, mentor and sounding-board for newcomers which lets her “pay-it-forward” and help authors realize their dreams.

Kris can be found on Twitter at @KrisJacen or facebook.

Places to find me on the web…

July 14th, 2016

Besides here on website and my blog here are some other places to find me on the web. :)

Facebook Page

Twitter @taliacarmichael

Talia Carmichael Book Nook is my facebook group.

Join Talia Carmichael News to get info on my new releases, updates, appearances, press releases, reviews, contests and much more.

Ralston’s Way – Sneak Peek Excerpt

July 13th, 2016

Here is a sneak peek excerpt of a book from my backlist. Enjoy.

Ralston’s Way
By: Talia Carmichael
Total E Bound
Available Now
Total E Bound
ISBN: 978-0-85715-629-7
Genre: Contemporary
Series: Prentiss – Book 1
Format: E-Book
Buy here

“There’s a big truck in my yard that I wasn’t told about,” Morgan said mildly.

The narrowing of Blayne’s eyes let him know that he had heard the underlying rebuke. Blayne crossed his arms over his chest.

“If you would meet with me, as I have been asking you to do, you would know,” Blayne replied in the same mild tone.

“Tell me now.” Morgan refused to feel guilty.

“It’s the new computers for our system upgrade. They’re for in here, in the barns, and other places. Also for the breeding area,” Blayne replied.

Morgan nodded. He remembered Gibson saying something about Blayne upgrading their systems, and linking the computers that needed it to interface with the breeding operation. However, Morgan hadn’t known it would involve new computers. Blayne was shuffling papers on the desk.

“I need some place to put the equipment until I can get it all installed.”

“They’re not going to install it?”

Blayne glanced up and gave him a dirty look. “Like I would let them do that.” He went back to what he was doing.

“Fine. Put them in my office.”

Blayne paused, looking at him again. “Are you sure?”

“Go ahead. Shouldn’t be that bad,” Morgan said.

“Fine. I’m going to be swapping out the old systems for the new ones over the next few days.” Blayne picked up some papers and strode around the desk.

Morgan started after his retreating figure. Blayne paused in the office doorway.

“Is there anything else?” His tone was blatantly insolent.

“No.” Morgan bared his teeth.

Blayne leaned against the open doorway and studied him. After a few moments, he asked, “Is there a reason you’ve been avoiding me?”

Morgan stiffened. “I haven’t. I’ve been busy running my ranch.”

“Yeah, that’s what you’ve been doing. Keep telling yourself that.” Blayne made a flipping motion with his hand.

He turned and walked away. Morgan gritted his teeth. He wouldn’t admit it out loud, but Blayne’s words were very true. Gibson had filled him in on some of the things they had planned for the office, but had told him that he and Blayne needed to discuss some things. Morgan had waved it off, stating that he was too busy. Blayne could do what he wanted. He had ignored Gibson’s look and gone back to work. Blayne had been trying to get to talk to him for days, and he had been avoiding it. Morgan strode back outside. He glanced at Blayne, who was standing by the truck with the driver. Blayne glanced up, then away. A woof made him look down.

“Traitor,” he said to Dwayne.

Dwayne woofed again. Morgan patted his head. Dwayne ran to Blayne. Morgan frowned, then went to the barn. Drake waited for him by the door.

“Sure is a big truck,” Drake said.

“It’s computers. He’s upgrading them. He’s replacing the ones in various barns and places. He’ll probably need to get into your house to do the one in your office. He’s creating some sort of program to link them all.” Morgan frowned. ”He mentioned other places, too.”

“What other places?” Drake asked.

Morgan stared at him. Drake gave him a funny look.

“Morgan, you don’t know.”

Morgan pushed him out of his way. He ignored Drake’s bark of laughter.

Copyright © Talia Carmichael, 2011.
All Rights Reserved.

Buy here

Kris’ Korner ~ Tsssss… Feel the Burn!

July 12th, 2016

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No, I’m not encouraging you to work out (although it’s not bad to take care of your body so your mind is free). But I am encouraging you to brand yourself. Now, I’m betting you’re thinking “she wants me to pick a niche and only write that”. You’d be wrong. I’m more focused on helping you “brand” yourself so readers/publishers/editors/other authors can find you.

What exactly do I mean? Here’s an example that I think most can relate to. It’s JOB SEARCH time. Yup, you’ve graduated from college and it’s time to find THE JOB for you. You spend all this time learning and you’re now eager to share all this knowledge. You glue yourself to your computer for hours on end looking over all the possibilities and then… you find it! It’s your perfect job. You tweak and tweak your resume and it’s perfect; you’re guaranteed to get this job based on your resume; and you hit send. Now the wait begins. You wait and wait and wait and never hear from them. What could possibly gone wrong?

Oh wait, did you forget to “brand” yourself? In all that tweaking, did you take the time to put your name and contact information on the resume? You did? Was your email something professional? Like maybe your first initial and last name at wherever? Or did you use the email address you’ve had since high school – pookie213@imanidiot.com?

Think about it. You’d want to show your best to a possible employer why not do that for your writing career? When you’re starting out, and your picking your pen name (or you already have one), here are my suggestions:

• Pick something that is relatively easy to spell pronounce. Just like when you’re naming your children or characters, it’s harder for people to communicate with them if they’ve got a difficult name so why inflict that on your readership?

• Make it something that you’ll respond to. Eventually you will end up at a professional conference (RWA/RT/GRL/BEA/ALA/EPIC/etc.) and people will be using this name. It would be a shame if you’re walking across the lobby of the hotel and a reader is trying to get your attention and you just walk on by because you don’t realize they’re calling your name. You’ve probably just lost at least ten readers from that – why? The reader thinks you’re a snob and tells all their friends not to buy your books.
Establish accounts in that name.

•Email/Facebook/Twitter/website/whatever else. Make it easy on those that need to contact you to be able to. I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent trying to find the correct email address for an author to send them information (whether it’s their letter, galley, edits, etc.). AND don’t forget to have that email address on not only your manuscripts but your website and your social media accounts. Make it easy for readers to reach you and tell you how much they loved your book.

Once you’ve taken this all into consideration, have fun picking a name and then go forward. Eventually, you’ll need to think about things like a logo, your website design, promotional items and a slew of other things but there are professionals out there that can help you with that.

Now – pick your name, write that wonderful story inside you, remember to put your real name, pen name and email address on the manuscript and FOLLOWING SUBMISSION GUIDELINES, submit that puppy.

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KJacen_2015_headshot_smKris Jacen is the Executive Editor and Formatting Director for ManLoveRomance Press and its imprints. She was invited to join the MLR staff in 2008 and has never looked back. Working with the amazing authors at MLR has allowed her to both hone her editorial skills and indulge her inner fangirl. She also acts as editor, mentor and sounding-board for newcomers which lets her “pay-it-forward” and help authors realize their dreams.

Kris can be found on Twitter at @KrisJacen or facebook.

Talia Carmichael Book Nook…

June 30th, 2016

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This is posted on a monthly basis.

I have a group on facebook. Talia Carmichael Book Nook is my corner of the web and I want you to share it with me. I will be posting sneak peeks, we’ll have fun and create some mayhem. It’s a place for us to sit back, relax and have some fun…well also teasing. Ummm…I’ve been told by some I like to tease…Okay I admit I do. There will definitely be teasing. That’s the perk for myself and you can tease too. :) So come on in and join in the fun…and teasing!

facebook.com/groups/TaliaCarmichaelBookNook

Kris’ Korner ~ Feelings – in person and behind the keyboard

June 21st, 2016

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Unfortunately these days there are events all around the world that bring out strong feelings on every side. Whether it’s a mass shooting or a political campaign or something as innocent (okay, in comparison they’re innocent) as a conference. Hate, love, shame, confident, happy, sad, attracted, repulsed, inspired, discouraged. There are so many that come to us that it’s hard to sometimes see through them.

I’d like to offer a bit of advice (yes, when don’t I when I write these blogs?). Before you give in to whichever emotion you’re feeling, take a few deep breaths. Step away from the situation or keyboard and give yourself time to absorb what is actually happened and THINK about the other side of the equation. I know it’s one of the hardest things to do.

I know there are a lot of times when I’m scrolling through Facebook or looking at a news article or reading a blog that I don’t voice any opinion or comment on a thing. Why? My personal feelings. I’ve found that my feelings on different subjects run the gamut and might not exactly seem to agree with the “popular” view. And I’ve also figured out that there are times that I’m so much more sensitive to seeing a post about xxx or yyy and felt that I’m not good enough or not smart enough or enough whatever.

Same can go for at a conference. While we’d like to think that everyone gets along at every conference, I hate to break it to you but…nope, not possible. Quite a few of the conferences that occur each year have groups of friends that plan their vacations around attending so they can spend those valuable face-to-face moments with each other. The outcome of that? People’s feelings will get hurt as they see themselves “not fitting in” or “not part of the cool crowd”. Honestly? That’s really not it. It’s just a group that is so comfortable with each other that there’s a bond between them.

Now this doesn’t mean that you can’t approach them—do it! Walk up and say hi and ask them their favorite book or author or drink. I’d say there’s a 99% chance that you’ll be welcomed. You might feel a bit out of place at first, but give it time. You never know – the next con you could be part of that group from the get go.

I’ve seen a meme that phrased this perfectly – I can’t remember the image but it said “You know, it’s possible to read something on the internet that you don’t agree with and not respond.” Yes, it is possible to read something posted and walk away without saying or commenting a thing.

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KJacen_2015_headshot_smKris Jacen is the Executive Editor and Formatting Director for ManLoveRomance Press and its imprints. She was invited to join the MLR staff in 2008 and has never looked back. Working with the amazing authors at MLR has allowed her to both hone her editorial skills and indulge her inner fangirl. She also acts as editor, mentor and sounding-board for newcomers which lets her “pay-it-forward” and help authors realize their dreams.

Kris can be found on Twitter at @KrisJacen or facebook.

Friday Boogie– New Blog Post Series

June 10th, 2016

Friday Boggie is the day to celebrate Friday’s of course but also something that happened during your week. So get your boggie on.

It’s Friday Boggie time. So what happened this week that made me boggie?

Haven’t done much of these this year. But that is about to change. :) Also have some other things planned.

(in a serious monotone) We interrupt our regularly scheduled program for this announcement. ROFLMAO. I crack myself up. LOL.

This is no biggie. Just wanted to give a heads us sort of thing of some new things that is coming to my blog. I’m planning to blog more often and have been thinking on some things to blog about. I already had some ideas but was wanting one more. Then a conversation I had yesterday gave me a light bulb moment for the one more I wanted to include on my blog. Love when those moments happen. :) So in addition to what I blog about now (yeah I’ve not been blogging as I used to but going to be) I’ll be including a few blog post series starting and they will be:

Movie/TV/DVR/Mania – I love watching all of these things and will let you know what I’ve been watching :) It’ll be one of the mentioned things not all at once…maybe. :) Probably will post this on Saturdays.

On Sunday’s I’ll have a few things that I’ll choose from to blog about. They will be between one of the following or if I come up with anything else too. I have a fertile imagination so no idea if I’ll come up with anything else. :)

Talia’s Kitchen - love cooking and baking so bringing you along with me. Also may talk about other things related to cooking like tools I use and my love of gadgets.

Around the…
– House
– Neighborhood
– City
– Anything I come up with :)

This will be various topics above and so on.

#TeaserTuesday – will post short snippets or a few lines from whatever book I’m currently writing or working on to get ready for submission etc. Will post #TeaserTuesday every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month.

On Monday’s – The last blog series I have came from my conversation yesterday. I could tell you the conversation but…well let’s just say I admit nothing. Lol. Yep mayhem was involved. *snicker* Anyway the series will feature one of the favorite places. It’s my sanctuary, get away place or as my friends and family call it “don’t dare bother Talia or she will bite your head off or make you listen to her read a sex scene really loudly in punishment” place. Hmmm…for some of my friends and family I think they interrupt me because they like hearing me read the sex scenes :). The place I’m referring to is:

Talia’s Office Space

That will also be the name of the blog post series. My office is as I mentioned above. And I love it. I’ve decorated it with…well…things that stimulate me. I love organization and being stimulated  visual, mentally as well as physically (ummm…my mind went dirty lol.). Anyway I have various things in my office that does those things. I’ll be bringing you into one of the most important places in my home. :) I’ll even share my office supply cabinet with you. Yes I have a cabinet for my office supplies. Doesn’t everyone. :) I’m an office supply junkie which goes along with my gadget love. :) Let me loose in a place with either and I can be there for hours and spend a whole lot of money.

Well that’s what I have planned.

(in a deep voice) Now back to our program. ROFLMO. (wiping tears from my eyes) Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Have a very happy Friday! Well that was all for me this week.

What made you boggie this week?

Places to find me on the web…

June 9th, 2016

Besides here on website and my blog here are some other places to find me on the web. :)

Facebook Page

Twitter @taliacarmichael

Talia Carmichael Book Nook is my facebook group.

Join Talia Carmichael News to get info on my new releases, updates, appearances, press releases, reviews, contests and much more.

Kris’ Korner ~ More Pretties!

June 7th, 2016

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I love pretties! Doesn’t everyone? What pretties am I rambling about this week? Why those pretty pictures (or should be) on the covers. Yes, cover art! The ultimate pretty right?

You’ve spent months on your manuscript, polishing it up before submitting it then going through umpteen rounds of content, copy, line, proof edits. The characters have lived and breathed in your mind FOREVER! Now it’s time to fill out the cover art form. You know exactly how your characters look; you know what they wear/eat/drink/do. So being the good author that you are (and you are), you list EVERYTHING!

Main character #1 has blue eyes, but not too blue, more aqua, well maybe they’re more teal-ish but not too green either. And his hair is brown with a little bit of red and blond and black running through it with hints of silver (because he’s not a spring chicken but he’s not old either). Loves to wear flannel shirts because he works outdoors and has a slight tan… wait, his flannel isn’t red plaid, it’s more of a maroon with brown, not black. He has a bit of a beard but not like stubble and laugh lines near his eyes.

Main character #2 has really long hair but it’s not too…and…and…no not like that it’s more…

Are you getting my point? Being detailed is good BUT there is a limit. Ask any graphic artist worth their salt and they’ll tell you that you can’t have every single thing you want perfectly on your cover. A cover should give hints of: the genre – paranormal, historical, sci-fi; something identifying for the main character – cop, doctor, soldier, baker, etc.; the combination of the main characters – male/male, male/female, male/male/male, male/female/male, etc.; or a trend these days is something that is more graphically interpretive of the story.

A few things you should take into consideration when filling out your cover art form: 1) simple is better; 2) the cover will 99% of the time be only viewed in a thumbnail on a site; 3) if you are self-pubbing and decide to do your own cover (which I recommend against because just because you have photopaint/photoshop on your computer doesn’t mean you know how to use it), remember to PAY for your images or make sure that they are not copyrighted images; 4) LISTEN to your cover artist – they have done hundreds of covers and while they want to please the author, ultimately they want the product to look good and not look like it’s been thrown together by a two year old with attention deficit.

A pretty cover can draw in new readers just as a not so pretty cover (no I’m not giving you any examples) can deter readers from picking up your book.

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KJacen_2015_headshot_smKris Jacen is the Executive Editor and Formatting Director for ManLoveRomance Press and its imprints. She was invited to join the MLR staff in 2008 and has never looked back. Working with the amazing authors at MLR has allowed her to both hone her editorial skills and indulge her inner fangirl. She also acts as editor, mentor and sounding-board for newcomers which lets her “pay-it-forward” and help authors realize their dreams.

Kris can be found on Twitter at @KrisJacen or facebook.

Talia Carmichael Book Nook…

May 31st, 2016

tcbooknook-fb

This is posted on a monthly basis.

I have a group on facebook. Talia Carmichael Book Nook is my corner of the web and I want you to share it with me. I will be posting sneak peeks, we’ll have fun and create some mayhem. It’s a place for us to sit back, relax and have some fun…well also teasing. Ummm…I’ve been told by some I like to tease…Okay I admit I do. There will definitely be teasing. That’s the perk for myself and you can tease too. :) So come on in and join in the fun…and teasing!

facebook.com/groups/TaliaCarmichaelBookNook