Winter Production

Let’s face it, it’s cold everywhere, even down here in the South!

Then what do you do—moan and groan? Do you cuddling up in blankets and wear thick socks to warm your feet? Or you do something about it?shutterstock_400520170
I’ll be honest, for the first day I was one of the moaners. I hate the cold and that’s why I moved to South Florida; to get away from it. Yet, how can I possibly complain about two or three days of wintry weather when you see what the rest of the country is going through? Throwing on a thicker sweater, I pick myself up by my bootstraps (make that my flip-flops) and decide to be productive.


Just because it was too cold to be outside, doesn’t mean that I couldn’t catch up on my reading. There were a couple of new authors I was dying to read, and this was the perfect opportunity. Even more importantly, this was a terrific opportunity to flush out some characters, write up outlines and continue working on my work in progress.

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So I sat down at my desk, a fake fire roaring on the TV, with my space heater blowing warm air on me and a cat (no make that two cats) hogging the heat. I look over my shoulder and there they are, enjoying the heat blowing directly on them. Wouldn’t you think with all that fur they’d be warm?


I’ve concluded; when it’s cold, your mind stays sharp. At least there is no dozing off, or daydreaming. I try to keep moving, even if it’s only mentally, to keep the juices flowing and keep warm. I’m happy to say I’ve accomplished some work. Trying a new program called StoryShop, I flushed out one or two awesome characters. I even got to know a few of my existing characters little better. A good outline for a whole new series is now ready to go. And I continued working on my newest Storm Voices book.


For all of you who put up with this weather on a day-to-day basis, month after month; my heart goes out to you. I can’t forget the years growing up in upstate New York. I know perfectly well what you’re going through. So, stay warm my friends; read a book, or even write one.

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Let this winter be for the creative minds to explore.

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www.VictoriaLKWilliams.com

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There are other Places…

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As a reader, and a writer, it’s easy go to Amazon and download a new book. And that’s a great thing. (Thank you Amazon!) What could be easier? It’s like giving a kid the keys to the toy store and telling them to have fun!

But as a writer, I want to reach as many readers as I can. And some do not use a Kindle device or download books from Amazon. That’s why I’m leaving the Kindle Select program and going “wide” with my books. I want everyone to be able to read my stories. You can still get my books on Amazon (Author Page), but…

Now you can also purchase my books through:
Kobo
Barnes & Noble
Ibooks
Playster
Inktera
Scribd
Tolino
24 Symbols
OverDrive
Googleplay (soon)

The easiest way to purchase is to go directly to my website, click on your preferred site and go directly to the book you want.

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www.VictoriaLKWilliams.com

www.SunSandStoriesPublishing.com

 

Did you know there are also other sites you can go to have access to not only my books, but many other “indie” books. Here are my two favorites:

Books2Read

OneStopFiction

 

No matter how you purchase your books-
keep reading and supporting the Indie Authors!

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A New Year…

Yes, it’s the start of another new year. Plans and goals are written and will be adhered to for, at least, January. Of course, after that, life will get in the way and some (or many) of those goals will be left behind. But the ones that are left? Those are the ones that mean the most to you and often will have the greatest impact on the upcoming year.

Rather than list a bunch of goals that will probably not make it to June, I want to tell you about the 3 writing goals I made, which will make the biggest impact on my writing…

1. Publishing a New Series.

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On January 1st, I hit the publish button for the first book in my new series Storm Voices. I plan on releasing 3 books in the series this year. This series is different for me because I wrote it in the 1st person’s voice, (boy did that take getting used too!). It’s also not the normal cozy mystery I write. Nope, this series has a bit of paranormal flair to it and a romance angle. I hope you’ll look at it and let me know what you think.

2. Breaking the Chains

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This is the year I take my books “wide”. Now they will not only be on Amazon, but also on other sites. This will give more readers the chance to read my books. They can now be found on: Ibooks, Barnes & Nobel, Kobo, Inktera, Playster, Scribd, Tolino, 24 Symbols and OverDrive.

 You can also go to Books2Read.com and OneStopFiction.com to download my books and find many other great Indy books!

3. Growing the Business

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Last year I started Sun, Sand & Stories Publishing. This year I plan to grow it. And the biggest advantage to having my publishing company, is you can go directly to the website (www.VictoriaLKWilliams.com) and purchase books from your preferred store with a simple link. Now you don’t need to hunt through large inventories of books to find mine.

Another way I will expand the business is to offer all my books in print format be the end of the year.

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Like I said, there are many other goals to work on, but these 3 are my big ones, the ones to stay focused on. I wish you luck and perseverance with any goals you set for yourself.

 

This Year, Next Year…

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Like most people, the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve can be a time of reflection and relaxation before the year-end. All the craziness of the holidays is pretty much in the past and it’s time to look forward to what the new year can bring. Whether you’ve decided to break a bad habit, lose weight, or chase a longed-for goal, the new year always seems to be the time to start.

 

Writer.

Remembering 2017

During this week between Christmas and New Year’s, I’ve been doing a lot of reflection on what happened over the last year. And I must admit, it’s been an exciting year!

 

Before I go any further, I’d like to thank all of those who follow my blogs, read my books, and supported me in my writing journey. The notes I get from readers asking when the next book will come out, or pointing out something that caught them at the heartstrings makes it all worthwhile. It makes me want to write the next book.

So, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

 

Over the past year I’ve continued the Citrus Beach Mystery series, and I admit I like where it’s going. There will be a new book coming out in February. I also started a new series in a slightly different category of cozy mysteries. Storm Voices, is a paranormal romantic cozy mystery. (Did you get all that?) I’ve also continued with the Sister Station series. I’m working outlines for new books and series I want to tackle in 2018.

 

The most exciting things that this happened for me personally? My husband has decided that my writing is something to be taken seriously and promised to give his full support. What more could you ask for!

 

Now, as I look forward to the new year, one of the biggest steps I’ll be taking is to leave the comfort zone of the Amazon Kindle Select program and put my books out to be distributed widely amongst other distributors. Now you can buy my books on Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Ibooks, Inktera, Playster, Scribed, Tolino, 24Symbols, and Overdrive.

 

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This is a big step, but I think it will benefit my goals. I’ve also incorporated my writing under the company name of Sun, Sand & Stories Publishing. My hobby has grown into a legitimate business, and in 2018, I will expand on it.

 

I plan on taking part in the NaNo projects and other challenges amongst other writers.

 

I’m pleased to be the creator of a new Facebook group called Writers of the South (I encourage any writers out there from the South join). I will also take some online courses in writing I downloaded – it’s exciting to continue learning new things about the writing craft.

 

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Okay, I must admit, looking at this list I’m feeling exhausted and overwhelmed and it’s not even January 1st. But baby steps; one page at a time, one paragraph, one sentence, one word at a time! That’s the only way my goals will be achieved.

 

I wish you and your family the best for the New Year’s, and hope that all your dreams and wishes will come true. Stay happy and safe in 2018!

 

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Get in the Spirit!

via For Readers – Books & Giveaways

 

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Preparing for winter? Don’t forget the books!

Get ready to curl up inside with a mug of tea and leave the winter stress behind as you travel to different cities or worlds. Have adventures. Laugh. Fall in love.

We have 30 Christmas book specials to help you on your way. Whether you fancy losing yourself in a paranormal, fantasy, romance, or contemporary story, the Christmas Book Fair won’t disappoint.

And we can’t forget the $10 Amazon card!

Join us and make this Christmas one for the storybooks.

 

https://theindieacademy.com.au/for-readers-books-giveaways/

 

Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and find some time to curl up with a book-make it a holiday one!

.99 Cent Book Deals

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” .99 Cent Books – November 11-12, 2017
How about trying some new authors?
The books listed on this page are 99c on November 11-12 2017 (US time), and often at other times as well (please verify the price before you buy).
This site is run by Renée Pawlish, author of mysteries, YA action/adventure, and other stories. Sign up for Renée’s mailing list to receive more free books, and to receive news about contests, special offers, and more.
If you’re not in the US or UK, note that some authors have used Kindle Countdowns to discount their books, and that the lower price may not apply.
If you don’t have a subscription to Kindle Unlimited, you can get it here. With Kindle Unlimited, you can get over 1 million titles and thousands of audiobooks on any device for only $9.99 a month.”

http://www.reneepawlish.com/promo

The nights are longer, so why not curl up with a new book, a new author or even a new genre??

At .$99 per book, it’s a great time to stock up on books for the evenings ahead.

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I’m pleased that Murder at the Geo Cache is included in this line up. So hurry and get your books, the sale is on for the 11th and 12th of November.

What to do on a long night?

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Well, thanks to day-light-savings, it’s getting darker a lot earlier. And if you’re like me, that means your time outdoors is getting cut short. So what are you going to do with the extra indoor time? Clean?

Not me! This is the time of year when I catch up with my writing goals. And my reading list! All summer I promise myself I will read from the pile of books I have waiting for me. But the call of warm sultry nights and  outside adventures call me away from my books.

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Now I can explore the works of my favorite authors and discover new authors. I look forward to the next book in a series I started earlier in the year, wondering what the characters have been up to since I last visited their pages. Every day, new books are being published by first time authors, and it’s exciting to become familiar with their work.

My own writing can get the attention it wants as well. This is the time to get my books ready for publication and continue towards my goals. Many writers spend the month of November participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and there is a sense of purpose in the writing community to meet the goal of writing a 50,000 word novel by the end of the month. Or at least the first draft.

I am thrilled that I have a new book out this month. It’s the box set of my first three Citrus Beach Mysteries. It’s perfect for a reader who missed these books the first time around, or a new reader who would like to save a little money and buy a bundle of books.

 

So, no matter what you decide to do in the darkening evening hours,
save some time to read!

Our Writing Community

 

I’ve owned my own business for 18 years and been in sales for well over 30 years. I can honestly say the competition can get fierce. Most businesses protect their products and services like they were protecting Fort Knox.
But, as you know, over the last few years I began writing books. I learned very quickly that other writers are not my competition. They’re mentors, cheerleaders, councilors and friends. I’ve never been in an industry where others are so willing to give advice, help, and encouragement.

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A perfect example is when I went to release my last book. I had created a huge snafu that could have resulted in major problems. But writers on forums where I am active on quickly and helpfully pointed out my mistake. They offered advice on how to correct my snafu, and ended up guiding me through the process. To say they save my behind is an understatement.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, like every industry there are those who are out for the Golden Buck. Yet, I’ve found these authors rarely stick around the different online chat rooms and forums because they are out for themselves.

I have learned so much from other authors and developed some great friendships. Yes, the Internet can be a wonderful place. You can exchange ideas and thoughts with other writers and not fearing riddicule. Wouldn’t it be nice if more industries and businesses took this point of view and attitude of caring?
I learned early in my business career to give back to my community. I hope that I’ve been able to get back to my writing community in small ways that will encourage other writers to sit down at the keyboard and put your thoughts to words.

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Think it’s a waste of time just sit and exchange ideas with others? Why?

You’re sharing a part of yourself and getting a the other authors view point. Between the two of you, something interesting might be created. I had one idea for a future book that came from a random statement from another writer.  Together we bounced off ideas until an outline was formed. How fun is that?
So, if you’re reading this and have questions about writing, feel free to email me. If I don’t know the answer, I can at least point you in the direction somebody that might. There are two forums online that I am an avid member of. One is Kboards, and the other is One Stop Fiction. I belong to many others, but these are the two that have guided me the most. They’re both open to new members, and I encourage you to join.

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Time to Say Farewell…

This past week I had to say goodbye to an old friend.

The one my son commonly called the toaster. My business was a mere five years old we bought this car, and it lasted for 12 years taking me to and from my customers homes, nursery shopping, and running around town. Sometimes she overflowed with flowers and herbs, giving me a full day’s work and an everlasting supply of different scents. It was a well-known car in town, between the shape and the logo ( a white Scion), and I often heard people saying they had seen me driving around from job to job in my unique car.

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It’s funny how you form an attachment too an animate object. I knew every nook and cranny of my car and the sounds she made, so I realized she was in trouble. And I had to make the decision to let her go, the time was here for her retirement.
After a fond goodbye, I now I have something new, “does happy dance”! It’s bigger and bluer, and I’m hoping it will last me another 12 years.

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As a writer, I look back and I see I’ve given my characters unique cars setting them apart (Megan has an open jeep, Aiden has a cherry red ’65 cutlass, Jake has a red motor scooter), or gave them their own attachments with another item (Megan has a special bracelet, Makenzie wears a lightning rock). It’s easy to transfer your own emotions into your writing, your own likes and dislikes (Megan love chocolate, Mackenzie loves gardens, Paige and Rebecca love cats). Sometimes you might transfer the likes of somebody else into your characters; a comment a good friend may have made about loving a specific brand of handbags suddenly becomes your main character prized possession.
It’s not just inanimate objects we share with our characters, often we bring them in to our favorite place, too. Whether these places are from our past or from our present sometimes or even places we want to go to in the future, they find their way into the story. Some authors are talented enough to create their own places and bring the characters to that imaginary location. But each of those places, just like each of the inanimate objects we so love, means something to us as authors. We may not be aware that with our words we share this love with our characters, and in turn share with our readers.

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As a reader, this helps you identify with the characters in the story, creating a bond. As a writer, it is our job to find a way to bond with our readers. So authors, share a little of your personality with your readers. Help them make the connection to you and your books.

Everyone loves a Gift

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Surprise!

We all love to receive a gift, especially a thoughtful gift that was picked up just for us. The more thought put into the gift the more it affects us and the more we treasure it. Unusual gifts tend to target the heartstrings little bit more.
For example, I’ve a customer who ever year his wife goes out-of-town to visit relatives. As soon as she leaves, he has me design a different section of her garden. One year was a butterfly garden, another year  the front flower garden, another year a herb garden. each year she comes back delighted and surprised with his gift that will last for years.

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This got me thinking about our characters in our books.
Do you give your characters a special or unusual gift during your story? Does this gift play an important part of the story’s progression? Did your character receive their gift either by some magical way or possibly by a loved one or maybe even a mysterious gift left by the doorstop?

I hadn’t thought about it, but my characters have all received gifts. For example, in book number five of the Citrus Beach Series (A Tank Full of Trouble) Aiden surprised Megan as he keeps sending making mysterious while he was out-of-town. Each gift leads up to a grand conclusion.

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In my upcoming series Storm Voices, my main character, McKenzie, is given a beautiful little gray kitten help her as she recovers from… well you’ll just have to read it and find out. These are gifts that are beyond the normal birthday, Christmas, or anniversary gift, they’re something special that our characters are not expecting and play a major role in the plot line of story.
What books have you read where the characters have been given special gift? Was it a gift of love, magic or surprise? As a writer, you have the ability to give your character something unusual that can be used in ongoing story lines.

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And authors, remember as much as we enjoyed getting gifts ourselves, our characters enjoy it to.

Use this to push your story forward and draw the reader into the life of your characters.

 

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