Proud Member since 1998

Friday, July 25, 2014

@LeskoLori Takes Us Deep Into the Mind of an #Author - #Thriller #AmReading

Inside the Mind of the Author
Why do writers put themselves through such torture? We get an idea for a book and we’re off to the races with it! This is it! I know this one will be my breakthrough novel. I’ll win every award there is to win. Movie producers will call me endlessly to option my book and make it into a screenplay. Move over J. K. Rowling, there’s a new writer in town.
Yeah, right. The truth is, unless you’re a genius or have been writing since you were a child, that’s not going to happen. It takes a lot of time and effort to transform an idea into a novel. The idea is only the beginning of the journey.
“For a commercial airliner to even consider hiring you as a pilot, you’ll need to have logged approximately 3,000 hours of total flight time, including at least 1,500 hours in a multi-jet engine, and at least 1,000 hours as pilot in command of a turbine powered aircraft. These are just the minimum requirements, and anyone that’s ever been up in a single engine plane will tell you that an hour in the air takes much more effort (and money) than an hour at the keyboard.” ~ The Write Practice
I heard recently that writing anything, short-story, screenplay or novel can be compared to the letter U This made sense to me. You start at the top of the U with your incredible idea. Guns are blazing and your first couples of chapters fly off the keyboard. Yeah, this one will be great! Then, you hit the bottom of the U and you realize you should have done more planning.
The bottom of the U is where most beginning writers quit. I did in my novel COPYRIGHT. I didn’t quit because I ran out of steam, although that happened to me as well, no I simply wrote myself into a corner and found a flaw staring right at me. Mocking me, saying stupid woman, when are you ever going to learn? You can’t be a writer. You have neither the skills nor the time to follow this through. Give it all up! So I did. I told everyone I quit and wished them well. My Facebook lit up like crazy!!!!  Everyone demanded me to continue. Take a walk, take a break. They told me I was smart enough to find a way through.
Now, I’m on the other side of the U. I can see the light of the end of the tunnel. I know how it will end, and I owe it all to my friends and fellow writers. Here is my favorite quote from “A novel usually takes me about two years. A year to research and plan and dream. Then a year to write.” ~ Rose Tremain.  If that’s true, I have a bit more time and so do you! Keep calling out for your Muse and she will appear. If you’re really desperate and ready to quit, give me a shout and I’ll tell my Muse to drop in on you till you’re feeling better.

The Right Way and the Wrong Way to Promote Your Book Online
I’m not an expert in marketing or promoting. However, I’ve been on social media, especially Twitter for 2 years now. I’ve written and published a novella, a screenplay and soon will be promoting my first novel Copyright. So, yes, I have been planning certain things when the novel comes out. And I definitely have learned from watching other people, especially authors-so here it goes.
Should do: Engage, engage, engage, oh and then engage. Put yourself out there, on Google +, Facebook, Pinterest and yes, Twitter. You could be writing the world’s best novel, but if no one has ever heard of you, then how will your book sell? This is especially important when you are at the beginning-just starting to write your novel. Because, you can constantly tell people your progress. Ask them their advice in regards to the story (my friend in Barcelona asked how her novel should begin, with a party or a funeral), or have them help chose the book cover, brilliant! What if your novel is done and you’re just starting out? First, make sure you have a link to your book that is easily accessible, on your Twitter page, Google +, Facebook and Pinterest. People don’t want to have to go searching for your book, trust me. Use or
Should Not Do: Blast people on a daily basis about your book. “They love that!” she said, with tongue firmly planted in cheek. People have to get to know you. You need to get to know yourself. What is your platform? How do you share this with people? Well, for me, I started blogging. People can subscribe and receive an email of the post. This helped me in 2 areas, finding my own voice and building an audience. I have actual fans now-me. It’s an astonishing fact. I still shake my head at this notion. I get goose bumps whenever someone subscribes to read what I have to say. It took a while, but with the help of @MondayBlogs on Twitter.
Numbers don’t lie. I started blogging in July with @MondayBlogs, right around the time I started writing my novel. I went from 1365 hits (on the right) in May,  to 21488, as of this month. That was 147% increase! Plus you can add your blog feed to your Author Page on Amazon and Goodreads. You have an Author Page on Goodreads, right?
Should do: Goodreads. Get your butt on there and interact. How? Read and review books. Gather friends from Twitter or Facebook, I do this daily. This is a gold mine for Authors and most of them don’t take advantage of what it has to offer. I could write a whole blog on Goodreads itself. I have over 30 people who clicked on “Want to Read” my novel COPYRIGHT before it has even published. So I emailed a few of them and gave them the PDF for free. The result, I now have 5 reviews already smiling back at me. People like to see reviews when deciding on whether or not to buy a book. So plan a giveaway party for your novel. Freebees.
Should Not Do: Don’t suggest or bother your friends endlessly. Saying, “Hey buy my new book…you’ll just love it.” Goodreads frowns on that and could get you kicked off the program. Good Luck!

Why Blogging is Important?
I’ll be the first one to admit it. I never wanted to blog when I started writing. Neither did I like to read other people’s blogs. I thought it was a complete waste of my time, time I could use to write or read a book instead. Or, maybe see what all the fuss was about on Facebook’s Candy Crush…don’t even get me started. I haven’t tried it yet. Then, I realized as I mentioned several weeks ago on learning how to use twitter to your advantage Part I and Part II and marketing yourself. How could I not blog if I wanted to get noticed?
It’s simple, you can talk about anything. If you’re a writer, you should be able to write about anything. So I began to blog seriously around that very fact. It doesn’t have to be long. It just has to let people get to know you. Since I’ve begun seriously blogging, the hits on my web site have gone from nothing to over 200 a week! I use #MondayBlogs and @MondayBlogs when I post on Mondays. The only rule if you do that is, you have to RT other people’s MondayBlogs. It’s a great way to start the week off and find new followers.
Secondly, I now have to admit, I like doing them. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment to publish something every week. And when other people on twitter or Facebook leave comments saying they enjoyed what I wrote or it helped them, that makes my day! I’ve started posting them on Google + and now when someone types in my name on google, you get to see my blog posts. Hence, more exposure. For a writer, that’s a goldmine! You can also post them on Goodreads   and your Author page on
Finally, writing a blog makes me feel like I’m part of a community. It helps me think and focus on writing as a structured piece of work. What I mean, is when I blog, I’m not working on my novel COPYRIGH . But, you know what happens when you put something down for a moment and work on something else, more ideas come forward. That happens for me anyway.
So blog away!!! Take the plunge. Remember also to re-post your blogs on twitter and Facebook many many many times! WHY? Because not everyone gets to see your post the week you post it. And, of course you’re going to get new followers every week (Aren’t you?) They haven’t read your previous post either. So re-tweet them!  Now, on to Candy Crush…
Why Writing is a Form of Personal Therapy
About a week ago, I shared on twitter my family’s reaction when I told them my novel is almost finished. Family members said, “Good, now you can finally get back to your regular day job.” Needless to say, that crushed me to hear that. I don’t know why I mentioned it, but I’m glad I did. My twitter feed went nuts. Apparently, this hit a nerve. I was inundated with comments such as, “been there,” or “that sucks, they just don’t understand,” and “I love your writing and tweets.”
They all made me cry (yes, I’m a big baby and overly sensitive), but the feeling I got after reading what people said, validated what I’ve been doing. I could understand my family’s reaction because they think I only have this expensive ‘hobby’ during my spare time. Also, I work with my father on his web site, publishing reports, bookkeeping, customer service stuff, so he needs me focused on the business. It was not the time to be careless and spend money on editors and proofreaders. Point taken.
What really hurts though, is they’ve never even read anything I wrote, not a single blog, or my novella Our Daughters. And I can say with a certain amount of confidence, they will not read Copyright. I’ve accepted that. I realized from my twitter followers that I’m not the only one in this situation.
My editor told me to prepare the Acknowledgement and Dedication sections in my novel Copyright for publishing. Normally, people write thanking all of their family members for support and encouragement. But, I won’t be doing that because it would be a lie. Instead, I wish to thank everyone on Twitter and Facebook. You were the ones who supported me, nudged me to keep going and even as thrilled as I was when I finished writing the book. So, thank you for that, I am truly grateful to all of you.
How to write without giving too much away
One of the main tricks to writing is to know when to reveal things and when to keep them hidden. Otherwise, all books would be about two pages. Masking and unveiling is an art form in of itself. A character’s background can be hidden while the action of the story takes place or vice versa. On the other hand, there may be certain little clues for you to follow left by the author, but you have to be paying attention to the foreshadowing. It’s a literary device by which an author explains certain plot developments that may come later in the story. Also, you must not forget we writers like to lead you off course as well. All of the above is what I attempted to do with my novel COPYRIGHT. Whether I was successful or not, will be determined in April.
Character: I never like knowing everything about a character right away in a book. I want to see the way they move into the story first. I want them to slowly reveal themselves as the story progresses. For me personally, I don’t even need to like the character. I’ve never stopped reading a book because I didn’t like the character, case in point Gone Girl. Many people didn’t like it because the characters were not likable, or they didn’t like the ending of the story. That wasn’t the case for me. I loved how blatantly unlovable they were. Why? Because, it went right along with the story.
Story: The job of a writer is to build tension. How? We do this by keeping things hidden to the very last excruciating moment. Think of it as a ‘reader’s need to know basis’. When you’re about to reveal something important, consider does the reader really need to know it right then and there? Or can they wait until later? If the answer is No, they don’t need to know it, then hold off.  Remember the TV show LOST?  They were geniuses at doing this, almost to the point of driving their fans nuts. Waiting, anticipating, trying to guess what’s going to happen next-that’s my favorite part of reading. It doesn’t matter the genre. Always leave a little misty fog until the very end, your readers will thank you for it.

What should aspiring indie writers know?
Indie writers have arrived and they are scarring the crap out of traditional publishers because try as they might, they can’t deny indie writers are taking a piece of the cake. And they weren’t even invited to the party. I’ve only been doing this for 2 years and it’s grown immensely during this time. So much so, that there appears to be another division occurring among the indie community itself. We’ve split into two parties. One: writers who know how to write great books and market themselves. Two: writers who know how to write good books and have not a clue on how to market themselves.
Many people are benefiting off of each party, the readers, the writers and the ones who pull the novel all together. The ones who are taking full advantage of this blooming industry, maybe just a little more advantage then they should. Yes, I’m talking about editors and proofreaders. I only bring this up to prepare you in case you are thinking all the hard work is done once you have your manuscript in hand. Unfortunately, that’s just step 1 of 5. And the last four steps can be very expensive and time consuming.
Editors. Which kind? Most editors charge by word count or page count instead of by hour. This is a good thing for authors, because it gives them more upfront pricing and fewer surprises if it takes the editor twice as long to complete. Also, there are three types of editors and their fees are different because skill set, time, and dedicated focus/complexity is much different for each level. Keep in mind, the price of an editor can also depend on level of education, skill set, experience level, or geographic location. Don’t always snag the cheapest just to save a buck. Sometimes another editor who may charge just a tad more may be worth the money where the other could be like throwing it out the window.
1) Content Editor (also called structural editor or developmental editor) – this is someone who looks at the story holistically and makes large scale (think macro level) changes to plot, content flow, character development, plot consistency/holes, believability, etc. This is the first editor you would go to, though most Indie authors can’t afford both this type of editing and copy editing, so they forego this and rely solely on beta readers or critique groups of other writers to give them this type of feedback. If you can afford one, these can be worth their weight in gold, because they will point things out that you never even thought of. But, they run anywhere from $1200-$1800 and up.
2) Copy editor – this is the person who goes through and does a deep LINE editing job. This is to look for grammar, punctuation, tense, character consistencies (ie, she has blond hair in chapter one and mysteriously has red in chapter four), readability/flow, style, etc. Expect to pay anywhere from between $350-$1,000. (All depends on book length and level needed)
Below are some ways to find editors of any price range. Most editors will agree to edit (for free) from a page or two, to a certain number of words, to a full first chapter. This lets the editor gauge the level of editing they might need to do on the book, and also gives you a chance to see if you think the editor is a good fit FOR YOU and your book. Because it works both ways and you want to make sure it’s a good fit before hiring someone on. After all, if they are missing basic stuff, it’s better to know now.
Finding editors is a tricky business. I suggest word of mouth. Look towards writers you like and see who they recommend. Vet them! Read novels they’ve edited for other people. Make sure they don’t have too much on their own plate, especially editors who are writing a novel as well as editing yours at the same time. This is a very expensive business guys and gals, so expect them to be committed to your baby and have a timeline set as to when it will be done.

Amber Tyler is living every author’s dream: her books are all best sellers and she writes full time. She has worked hard and is well-accomplished in her career, and she has the support and love of her beautiful children and girlfriend. 

But the dream soon turns into a terrible nightmare when her latest manuscript is stolen. She decides to fight for what is rightfully hers, only to find that the harder she tries, the easier it all slips through her fingers, putting her career, her family, and her life in jeopardy.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Thriller
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Lori Lesko on Facebook & Twitter


Thank you for the interview.

Hi Lori, great article.

I agree that readers "don’t want to have to go searching for your book".

However, you should check out for building your buy links. GeoRiot is a superior alternative to booklinker and smarturl. Their links send each click to the book in the reader's local Amazon storefront so international barriers to purchase are not a problem.

Just a tip.

Keep up the great work!

Post a Comment