Don't be afraid to describe yourself as an author!
It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting your first or on your tenth book, you ARE an author. Referring to yourself as an author can open important doors for you, particularly in research. Don’t be afraid to say, “My name is John Doe. I’m writing a book about people that have names that are hard to remember. I need a little information that I think you can help me with.” I’ve done it successfully with Police departments, National parks, Cities, Morgues, etc.
It’s amazing! People will go out of their way to help authors.
One of many ideas and tips in “A Practical Guide to Writing & Publishing a Novel.”http://www.rlwren.com/
Shortly after WW2 and having recently been discharged from the Navy, I joined my Mother, Father, Sister and several friends for a Yosemite Vacation. If memory serves me correctly we were camping in Camp 16 between Camp Curry and Happy Isles. My father drove us up in the 1935 Dodge on a Friday night, spent the weekend with us and drove back to work on Sunday Eve, for 2 weeks.
On the first Monday I bumped into a friend of mine who was also camping with his family. We palled around, exploring the valley and flirting with lots of girls. In those days Camp Curry had a dance every Saturday night and the Fire Fall still existed. For those of you who don’t remember, the Fire Fall occurred every night shortly after dark. Park rangers would build a gigantic fire on top of Glacier Point, several thousand feet above the valley floor and after the fire burned down to a huge pile of glowing embers, they would gradually push them over the edge of the cliff resulting in a spectacular Fire Fall. A hush would fall over the whole valley, it was beautiful.
From the floor of the valley there was a very steep 4 mile switchback trail to Glacier Point. My friend and I, both recently discharged from service, were in top shape and we delighted in racing up and down that trail trying to break our own time records.
After doing that a number of times we grew bored and decided to go straight up ignoring the switchbacks, a huge mistake. At first it wasn’t too bad. Steep but negotiable. However it grew more and more steep and we started encountering huge boulders and loose shale. The shale was unstable and the boulders were haphazardly piled up. Several times we had to worm our way through small gaps between huge boulders and several times we slipped and slid on the loose shale.
At one point my buddy dislodged a small boulder and it started a fairly large boulder avalanche. It scared the hell out of us because it could have killed hikers on the switchback below us. Neither one of us admitted to the other how scared we were or how dumb our decision had been. The climbing became steeper and more terrifying but we were more afraid of retreating than advancing.
We finally reached the top, tired, scratched, bleeding, shaking and shaken, to be met by a group of very stern looking Yosemite Rangers who informed us that the last person that had tried what we did had been killed in a rock slide.
We were whisked by truck back down to the valley and taken to Park headquarters where we awaited our fate. Finally an older Ranger sat us down described in very colorful terms what had happened to the unfortunate guy that had been killed. We had already decided we’d never try that again but he cemented the decision. After that he suggested that we volunteer for a trail clearing crew to help repay the overtime the extra Rangers had incurred waiting for us. We accepted.
A variation of this story is in JOSHUA'S REVENGE. http://tinyurl.com/joshuasrevenge
If you like this anecdote there’re more on my website blog. http://www.rlwren.com/
At age 82 I started writing my first of 4 novels. At age 84 I had finished it and started on the laborious tasks of proofreading, editing and publishing. Like so many others I turned to my computer for help and found much available and advertised.
As a rank, extremely virginal author, I was totally unfamiliar with, for example, the difference between proofreading and editing. What I needed was expert proofreading plus editorial input. I paid for both and got neither at a cost of close to $2,000.
Next were ads by publishers. You’ve seen them. Mail us your book and we’ll judge if its quality is good enough for us to publish. I did it and a few days later I was thrilled to get a letter saying my book had been accepted. The offer was accompanied by a contract asking for, you guessed it, money. I almost bit, my first book? Accepted by a well-known publishing company? Fortunately, I checked their references and found they were infamous for having been put out of business numerous times by numerous district attorneys, only to re-organize and pop up again. At one time several authors ganged up to write the worst novel they could cobble together and submitted it. It was received with the same glowing praise mine was. By the way, this company is still at it.
LONG STORY SHORT: I finally convinced myself that I could do it myself mostly by myself using ingenuity, imagination and friends plus a lot of research. Finally, almost 3 years later, at a total cost of less than $100.00, CASEY’S SLIP was published and went on to garner an INDIE EXCELLENCE AWARD Finalist slot.
If I could do it, so can you. Using those same methods I published my 6 step plan in a booklet at virtually no cost to me.
No cost to me results in FREE to you on YouTube. youtube.com/richardlwren
One of the many places where we kept our sailboats over the years was at the 5th Avenue Marina in Oakland, for many reasons. It was handy, inexpensive and rather loosely run so we could work on our boats without being harassed. But none of those were the main reason for its choosing.
The main reason was for the collection of characters that either had boats there or hung out there. A single hander who had a copper bathtub for a cockpit. A married sailor who had sailed without his wife but with 4 barebreasted female crewmembers from Hawaii and proudly regaled us with tales and pictures. A young sailor whose job was on the lightship outside the Golden Gate. A widower with an ancient but usable tugboat. A totally unsafe fishing boat owned by 2 orientals that had been patched with auto body gunk. A retired airline pilot who was doing a magnificent job of rebuilding his boat, and more.
But perhaps the most compelling reason was 3 live-a-boards who had been active in a very well known and thought to be dangerous motorcycle gang that shall be nameless. Those gents were great neighbors and knew everything there was to know about boats. They had every tool imaginable and were free with lending and advice. On top of that and because of their reputation as “dangerous” live-a-boards, theft was nonexistent at that harbor. A very real plus.
One of them and his wife, to this day are good friends. And, he was the model for one of the chief characters in one of my books. Guess which book and who.
4 novels since age 82? I did it & so can you.
I’m a late bloomer, having started writing my first novel at the tender age of 82. Now I’m 89 and finishing my 4th novel plus I’ve authored a “How To” book in my spare time. People tell me that makes me a rarity and want to know how I re-invented myself at that late age.
The fact is, after having been retired for several years and made the requisite number of bird houses, one day I announced to my wife that I thought I’d start writing a novel about sailing. I had no previous writing experience, no schooling, no advisors, I was on my own, but we had accumulated a lot of experience sailing the West Coast, having owned 4 sailboats.
I was the greenest of greenhorns as far as writing, editing, publishing and anything else having to do with getting a book into print.
In my innocence I just wrote the damn thing, talked to hundreds of people, read lots of books, paid for some good advice and lots of bad advice, got ripped off a few times...but lo and behold, at age 85, after 3 years, book-labor and book-birth occurred and my book was published. THEN, it went on to become a finalist in National Indie Excellence Book Awards.
Visit my Author Page at http://amazon.com/author/ richardwren
Here’s a list of things you must do or get in order to get your book written and published.
Proof read------- edit------- cover picture-------- cover design-------- title page------ acknowledgement page-------- chapter summary-------- spine design------- format it-------- ISBN-------- ASIN------- Copyright-------- e-book design------- paperback design-----avoid publishing scams--- CreateSpace acceptance------- KDP (Kindle) acceptance------ priced accordingly---publish---and more...
Sounds formidable doesn't it?
Believe it or not, my booklet “A Guide to Writing & Publishing a Novel,” provides answers for FREE directions, addresses, websites, phone #’s to help you with all above. Save time, money, headaches and your hair.
Publish your book for $35.00 including US Copyright.
These are somewhat interchangeable terms in the industry. If you Google “Book Publishers,” you will get dozens and dozens of offers. Most of them are not worth a tinker’s damn. Many of them are outright crooks. They will lure you with “mail or e-mail your book, if we find it acceptable, we will mail you a contract.” Guess what, they’re all acceptable. A few years ago a group of authors cobbled together a horrible novel on purpose to test one of these companies. It was accepted. The next step? Mail money, no surprise. I was strung along twice (slow learner) by these outfits. It cost me money and time and was discouraging.
If you’re intrigued you can check out this site. (www.writerbeware.com), or e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org for a direct and specific answer. They list dangerous and dishonest publishers and are being sued for being so direct and honest. Another source is Predators & Editors (http://pred-ed.com) It lists many editors and agents and highlights the bad ones.
MARK TWAIN SAID IT, “loyalty to petrified opinion never broke a chain or freed a human soul.”
I’ve had his picture and quote hanging on my wall for years and years as a reminder to keep an open mind. Keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to admit you might have made a wrong decision in the past. It’s a shame that these days a politician can’t simply say, “After much reflection I’ve changed my mind” and be honored for that instead of being vilified.
I think Mark Twain’s quote is a sign of maturity, something sadly lacking in most of today’s politicians. I also think that most of the stalemate in congress today can be laid at the steps of “petrified opinion.” Think abortion and voting rights.
Buy a steno notebook?
In it you will FAITHFULLY, day by day, page by page, record the date, page numbers and a short summary of what that days writing includes. On the far right margin enter new names as they occur. Highlight in yellow.
On a separate page you will record each and every character’s name and short clue as to who he or she is as they appear.
These actions will save you time, money, frustration, heartache, headaches, editorial mistakes and maybe even lawsuits & I guarantee that you will be eternally grateful to the idiot that gave you the idea!
(Many more ideas like the above in “A Guide to Writing & Publishing a Novel)
Richard L. Wren
IN HIS NEW CAREER AS AN AUTHOR, RICHARD DESCRIBES HIMSELF AS TALL, DARK, HANDSOME AND A LIAR. A FOURTH GENERATION CALIFORNIAN, A SAILOR, FATHER OF FOUR BEAUTIFUL AND SUPPORTIVE DAUGHTERS, AND HUSBAND TO ONE OF THE BEST WIVES OF ALL TIME. [MORE]