It’s All in the Pesky Details

Working Handprint Cover

Ah, formatting…

Self-publishing is not for the faint of heart or those who give up easily. Writing your book is stressful enough, but then you must FORMAT. Yes, the dreaded task rears its ugly head in the end. Ideally, you would be formatting properly as you create your masterpiece but even then, there is always some detail that was overlooked. Plus, formatting is different for ebook and paperback.

Nancy’s nemesis came in the form of editing to rid the manuscript of our beta reader’s wonderful comments and observations. Turns out, after hours of trying every command available on that Microsoft Word ribbon, it was an obscure little command that only needed to be turned off. Then she was able to upload the corrected manuscript easily onto KDP.

While KDP offers many instructions for how to format for publishing, you still must correct any odd formats you may have inadvertently made while cheerily writing your masterpiece. This can be frustrating but don’t be afraid to use the Help feature. Nancy wishes she would have done that much sooner.

Feel free to contact us with questions about our process and we’ll try our best to answer them. Best of luck on your writing and your formatting. It’s all worth it in the #end#.

Kind regards,

Anne, Nancy, and Eric

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Second Round of Oculars Edits – Done!

Blog Pic 18 DEC

Great news! We got quite a bit done last week, including finishing the second round of edits on our current paranormal work-in-progress, The Oculars. We also met for the first time in months to take care of some much needed Litzo business. We’ve been conducting most of our meetings via email and phone calls since Christmas but with some easing in our schedules, we hope to get together more often.

Now that Nancy and Eric have completed their edits, The Oculars is now sitting in Anne’s lap. She’ll be working on that, as well as compiling cover images for the finished book. After she’s done with her edits, it’s off to the beta reader for a fresh look before we send it out into the world.

Eric is trying to learn how to use Scrivener. The plan is that he’ll get as proficient as possible and then he’ll teach Anne and Nancy how to use it. We’ve heard good things about the software but also that it is a bear to learn how to use. Only one of us needs to suffer, right? Eric is also starting work on our Enoch Rising WIP, a serial killer thriller set in the Pacific Northwest.

Nancy is finally heading to the beach in the all-new mobile writer’s retreat. She’ll be reformatting the print version of Hunters of Gaia. She is also planning on co-writing with Eric on Enoch Rising.

The other big thing that came out of the meeting is that we all need to work on adding a few more short stories to our portfolio. They are a great marketing tool and we’d love to get a few more out there. It’s also good practice, keeping the old brain-pan sharp.

We hope to be sharing some new material with you all soon. Thanks for sticking with us.

Kind regards,

Anne, Nancy, and Eric

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First Round of Ocular Edits – Done!

The OcularWorking Cover for The Ocular

Finally, finally, we’re getting somewhere! This week, we managed to finish our first round of final edits/rewrites on our current paranormal thriller manuscript, The Ocular. Eric got the first hack and now our mom, Nancy, is almost through with her round of edits as well. She let Eric get about half-way through on his edits and rewrites before she jumped into hers. That sped up the process immensely. She’s also formatting as she goes along. By the time Anne gets her turn, we’ll be just about ready to hit the publish button…after we let our beta reader get a turn at it, we get our cover finished, and we take care of a gazillion more nitnoid details that go into self-publishing.

Meanwhile, now that Eric is gainfully unemployed with edits, he’s diving back into another project that fell by the wayside this past year. He reacquainting himself with Enoch (working title), our serial killer thriller. Nancy will help Anne get The Ocular out the door and then she’ll help Eric with Enoch. Anne’s going to bust her but to get her edits done and then she’s slated to get started on the third New Mother Earth novel, Servants of Gaia.

We’re planning on getting together sometime next week to finalize plans and make sure everyone is on the same page, writing-wise. We’re really grateful to everyone for sticking with us. It’s been a slow year (not George R.R. Martin slow but slow nonetheless).

Kind regards,

Anne, Nancy, and Eric

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The Oculars Back Cover Blurb

The OcularWorking Cover for The Oculars

This week, we finally got back to writing and got a bit done on The Oculars, our current horror work-in-progress. In addition to some editing and rewriting, we put our heads together and came up with a draft of the back cover blurb for the novel and the description we will post on Amazon on the sales page.

“What Ethan Owenby wants is a normal life. Years earlier, a misguided and alcohol-fueled decision to take his Uncle Jonno’s place as the driver in a car crash had terrible repercussions. Unbeknownst to Ethan, an innocent young woman lost her life in that same instant. 

Now, Ethan has served his time and come home to Riverside Oregon, but his newly discovered peace is shattered when he receives a mysterious package containing research and designs for a radical new optical technology. Amongst the nearly incomprehensible information is a rambling and confusing video from his reclusive yet brilliant, Uncle Wilson warning him – tell no one about the Oculars.

Little does Ethan know that there are dark forces that will stop at nothing, even murder, to get their hands on the Oculars. The Oculars allow the wearer to see the denizens and landscapes of the Dark Spectrum, the abode of spirits and ghosts, but not without a price. As old secrets are uncovered and strange enemies roam the small town of Riverside, Ethan must find a way to protect his friends, old and new, from those who will stop at nothing to possess the Oculars.”

Now that bit of housekeeping is complete, we’ll be mocking up a few covers and trying to get through the final edits. 

As always, thank you for sticking with us. We know we haven’t been the speediest writers lately.

Kind regards,

Anne, Nancy, and Eric

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A Blog about a Blog

Cup

Shameless self-promotion here! Anne has spent the past few days creating her own personal blog, Tea and Trifles, on WordPress, where she’ll be reviewing books and movies, conducting author interviews, and anything else that tickles her fancy. She’ll still be maintaining this blog for the Litzos, keeping everyone updated on what we’re up to in our writing lives. If you want to check it out, you can find it at:

http://teaandtrifles.com

As for the rest of us, Nancy has secured a new mobile writer’s retreat and she’s busy getting it ready for its maiden voyage. Editing on the Ocular has ground to a halt for the time being but once she gets on the road, we should be seeing forward progress again soon. We are so darn close to finishing!

Anne will be working on the third New Mother Earth book, Servants of Gaia. Excerpt to follow soon. Eric still has a bit of final editing to do on the Ocular, mainly tweaking the end. We’ll keep you posted.

Kind regards,

Anne, Nancy, and Eric

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The Mobile Writer’s Retreat is dead.

wyoming

Whew, what an April it has been so far, and not a good one. As many of our blog followers know, our mom, Nancy, likes to do a lot of her binge writing while she’s camping in her trailer. It helps her get away from distractions and she sleeps like a baby. Last week, she and her partner left on an epic cross-country trip that would have taken them several months. We were looking forward to tales of her travels and lots of new material. But sadly, it was not to be.

Four days into their trip, in Wyoming, they ran into a unexpected April snow storm and a freak gust of wind tipped over their trailer (or as we like to call it, the Mobile Writer’s Retreat). Thankfully, no one was hurt but the trailer is totaled. They gathered what belongings they could and limped their way back to Oregon. She is home now, taking stock and recovering. We are happy to have her back with us.

Hopefully, we’ll have better news next week. Things are slow here but as always, we have high hopes for future endeavors.

Kind regards,

Anne, Nancy, and Eric

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Book Review: Lake Silence by Anne Bishop

Lake Silence CoverLake Silence by Anne Bishop

3 out of 5 stars.

Today on the blog, Anne reviews Lake Silence by Anne Bishop.

I am a big fan of Anne Bishop and I have read every one of her ‘Others’ novels, so I was excited to get my hands on a copy of Lake Silence, her latest novel. For me, this book did not quite live up to the rest of the books in the series. Lake Silence introduces us to new characters and a new location in Anne Bishops universe. We are introduced to Vickie DeVine, an emotionally traumatized divorcee who takes over a resort on the outskirts of a remote town, Sproing, and its nearby lake. She also comes to know the area’s shape-shifting residents. Set against this backdrop, Vicki is drawn into a murder investigation and a plot to take away The Jumble.

My main problem with this story is that, apparently, none of the humans who live on this continent occupied by supernatural apex predators seems to have learned anything from a recent great purge of humans by these very same apex predators. They are always shocked and surprised to find out they are really interacting with supernatural beings. They have learned nothing of caution in the last year. My other problem with this book is that Vickie and the bad guys often come off as caricatures instead of real people.  It made them predictable and that did no favors for the plot.

Still, the book had some promise and so I stuck with it until the end. I also enjoyed a few of the supporting characters. I probably would not recommend this book to friends but I would direct them to the rest of the books in the Others world.

It is spring break in our neck of the woods. Hopefully, we can get back on the wagon and knock out a chapter or two in our current works-in-progress.

Happy Spring!

Anne, Nancy, and Eric

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