Canadian Authors: Consider the Whistler Independent Book Award Contest!

by @AnnieDaylon

The Whistler Independent Book Award contest is jointly administered by the Whistler Writing Society and Vivalogue Publishing. It is a cutting edge contest in that it is the only juried novel contest for independent writers in Canada. (For more information click HERE.)


I entered this contest this year and, on May 31st,  learned that Of Sea and Seed, The Kerrigan Chronicles, Book I had made the short list. On July 17th, I was thrilled when my novel made it to the finals.

In addition to receiving a prize of $250, finalists receive opportunities outlined in a congratulatory letter, part of which, with permission from Tidewater Festivals, is reprinted below:

“Your nomination brings with it an invitation to attend the Whistler Writers Festival from October 12-15. Here are the events that I think will be of particular interest:

  • Thursday, October 12, 4:30 – 5: 30: Finalist Reception. This is a private event where finalists and their families will have an opportunity to meet each other, festival organizers and WIBA judges. There is no charge for this event but there will be a cash bar.

  • Thursday, October 12, 6:00 -7:00: WIBA Readings. This is a free, public event where you will have an opportunity to read from your book and answer questions from the audience.

  • Friday, October 13, 1:00-4:00: Speed-Dating for Authors. This is a chance to pitch your book to two publishers of your choice. One ticket to this event is included in your prize package.

  • Friday, October 13, 8:00 – 10:00: Literary Cabaret. This is one of the marquee events of the festival and will be where the WIBA winners are announced. One ticket to this event is included in your prize package.

  • The winners of both the fiction and non-fiction category will be invited to participate in a panel event on Saturday, October 14

  • Book sales will take place all day Saturday and Sunday morning.” 

In addition to the above, finalists (including family members) receive a special code that gets them a reduced rate at the Summit Lodge in Whistler. (Even my dog CoCo is welcome… a good thing since we rarely go anywhere without her!)

I have long been a proponent of writing contests. (See post: Why Enter Story Contests?) I have used writing contests to hone my craft, and have won or been short listed in many, both for stories and novels. I have done workshops on writing contests available in Canada and the United States and believe that contests are a viable choice for all independent authors who want knowledgeable eyes on their work. I highly recommend that Canadian independent authors consider entering the Whistler Independent Book Award Contest.

Thank you to The Whistler Writing Society, Vivalogue Publishing, and Tidewater Festivals. I am thrilled and grateful for the opportunity provided to me and am looking forward to attending the Whistler Writers Festival in October.

C

Click on above image to read a review by Lynne LeGrow, Amazon Top Reviewer and Award-Winning Blogger of  Fictionophile.

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

 

 

 

At the Heart of the Missing: Giveaway and Prologue!

Goodreads Giveaway has ended!
Many thanks to all who entered.
Congratulations to winners, Cheryl and Brigitte!


At the Heart of the Missing
 is a psychological thriller about a woman’s fierce struggle to flee her abductor and a PI’s frantic search to locate her. It is a heart-wrenching tale about the ties that bind and the tragedies that break families.

 (Scroll down for prologue.)


GOODREADS GIVEAWAY
!
April 5 – April 12, 2017.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

At the Heart of the Missing by Annie Daylon

At the Heart of the Missing

by Annie Daylon

Giveaway ends April 12, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Prologue

Friday, May 6

Rose stands in the center of the living room, staring at the opaque, indestructible glass of the window nearest the fire escape. She smirks. Escape. There is no escape: the window is painted shut. She fingers her breakout tools—a pair of manicure scissors and a jagged cuticle pusher: scrape paint, raise window, crawl through. But her legs are leaden. It is all she can do to raise an arm to wipe her brow. A whiff of sweat triggers a wave of nausea. Swallowing hard, she glances toward the door.

Time is limited. Yes, he is gone overnight, but at dawn, a jangle of keys will assault her eardrums. She has gotten away with a few tiny deviations from his set of rules, from his idea of perfectionism. But this? This will not go unnoticed. What if she fails? She flinches as she flashes on yesterday: the setting of the table, the misplacement of a water goblet, and the blow to her ribcage.

A sob explodes from Rose’s throat. How the hell did she end up here? In this situation? Anxious, she thrusts forward, first one foot, then the other. She is making headway now, inching toward the window, almost there. At the window, she stalls again. What the hell is she waiting for? There is no time for hesitation, no time to question how she got here. But she has to think things through. All her life, she’s been completely in control, spiraling upward. All her life, she’s maintained independence. Needing no one. Accessorizing with and then casting aside lovers and friends. Her only true allies were blood: her sister and her mother.

But three years ago, her sister Margo vanished. Not a word, not a trace. Gone.

Three months ago, Rose’s mother died. Her body battered by cancer, her heart shattered by grief, Violet Harrington just gave up.

The losses left Rose out of touch, alone. Just Rose. A solo, independent woman. Now, imprisoned in front of the opaque window with her makeshift tools in hand, reality knifes her. What she created was not independence; it was vulnerability. Without a support system, she was a target. She was prey. With her porthole of time eroding, with every nerve stretched taut, Rose stares at the window.

How long had he hunted her?

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

At the Heart of the Missing by Annie Daylon

At the Heart of the Missing

by Annie Daylon

Giveaway ends April 12, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

 

Reviews are Gifts. This One? Priceless!

by @AnnieDaylon

Tweet from Lynne Legrow_jpg-large

“Historical fiction should do two things. #1 Portray the time period, culture, and events with accuracy (i.e. be well researched); #2 Entertain. Annie Daylon’s “Of sea and seed” succeeds on both counts.” ~ Lynne LeGrow

It’s a struggle for indie authors to get recognition for their work. There is a constant push and pull between writing and marketing; often I bypass the latter because I fear that when I feed the marketing machine, I starve my first love which is writing.

For me, (I dare say for all authors) every review–good, bad, or indifferent–is a gift. Someone, somewhere has taken the time to read your book and to offer an opinion. When I received a review from Lynne LeGrow,  a trusted reviewer for many imprints including Simon & Schuster Canada, I was over the moon, not only because it was polished and positive, but also because it showed up at a time when I wondered if I should continue. 

Suffice to say, I am grateful to Lynne, as I am to all readers and reviewers. Colman Gratitude Readers and Reviewers

Without further ado, here’s Lynne’s review>>> CLICK HERE

Excuse me, but I have a novel to finish…

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

 

Storyboarding with the W Method

by @AnnieDaylon

sTORYBOARDING

Curious about how authors create their novels?

Some write freely, discovering the story as they go along. I do that, to a point. Then, with basic plot, key characters, and some scenes in mind, I create an outline.

I have experimented with different ways of outlining, including the use of note cards, step sheets, the Snowflake Method, and software, all of which are detailed by Robbie Blair in Eight Ways to Outline a Novel.  

The method that works best for me is the Storyboard. It is the most tangible, visual, and accessible way of plotting a story. Sometimes I have used a linear model, simply placing chronological plot points on a straight line.

In my Work-In-Progress, a three-act thriller set in Vancouver, BC, the story takes place over ten days. The details are tight. I want certain characters in a certain place at a certain time and I have to keep track of their every move. Enter: the W Storyboard.

Storyboarding by Mary Carroll Moore

Storyboarding by Mary Carroll Moore

My W Storyboard is based on Mary Carroll Moore’s model which lends itself well to the three-act structure common in the thriller.

The first line of the W—top to bottom—gives the story setup.

The first low mark represents the first portal or turning point. Once a character crosses that threshold, she must continue the journey. There’s no turning back. Either she can’t get back or there is nothing to go back to. (To quote fellow writer Brian Rodda, “The village is burned, the villagers are dead.”) 

Each successive point on the W, as shown in Mary Carroll Moore’s Youtube video, is another portal, another change in direction.

Because I usually know the turning points when I start my storyboard, it’s easy to fill in the portals on the W. After that, I have to get the characters to those portals and that means creating step-by-step details.

Using colorful sticky notes, I write plot points and place them along the lines of the W.  Wonderful things, those sticky notes: I frequently make changes and the notes can be pulled off and popped on easily. (Word of warning: if you plan to use sticky notes, buy the good ones; the cheaper versions tend to lose their stickiness and flit around like butterflies.)

My current storyboard has more than just plot. It includes:

  • Dates of Events, displayed on contrasting  sticky notes;

  • Images of actors who represent the visual type I’m trying to portray;

  • Character descriptions, detailing height, weight, hair, skin tone, eye color. (These are mere reference points which help avoid simple mistakes, such as a page 27 green-eyed character becoming brown-eyed on page 215.) 

  • Settings, sometimes written, sometimes images. (One setting in my thriller is a city loft, so I printed out a floor plan that suits my needs and pasted it on the board.)

Mary Carroll Moore states that her W formula is based on a book The Writer’s Time by Kenneth Atchity. The revised version, one which I am about to download, is on Kindle. The new title? Write Time: Guide to the Creative Process, from Vision through Revision-and Beyond

If you are an outliner, do you have any outlining tips? 

If you are a pantser, what are your thoughts about outlining?eNovel-Round-Logo

I invite you to join my author journey: subscribe to blog or newsletter or both! The newsletter contains news about books, links to some blogs, and occasional fun facts about my beloved island of Newfoundland. To sign up, simply place the required information in the spaces provided on the right. Rest assured your email address will not be shared for any reason. 

My best to you,
Annie Signature Light Blue

 

 

 

 

Canadian Author? Save a Few Bucks!

by @AnnieDaylon 

shutterstock_110397353Are you a busy Canadian author looking to save a few dollars? Read on…

Recently, I came across a post about additional sources of income for Canadian Authors.*** It occurred to me that, with the loonie at a thirteen year low, Canadian authors might be not only seeking more revenue but also searching for ways to keep that revenue in their pockets. Here’s one possibility:

My husband, who teaches business strategies at BCIT, informed me that Canada Post has a Solutions for Small Business Program. Upon consulting the Google gods, I discovered that this program was free to join. Without knowing exactly how it could benefit me, I signed up and printed out my paper membership ID card.

The next day I set off for the post office to mail books (ten picture books and five novels) to winners of my two Goodreads Giveaways. I pulled my paper Solutions for Small Business ID from my wallet and asked if it would be of benefit.  Much to my delight, the clerk nodded and smiled.

How did the membership help? On the picture books, it did not help at all: they fit snugly into 8 X 10 manila envelopes and slid easily through the two centimetre wide mail slot. However, my ‘fat’ novels did not fit through that mail slot and had to be shipped as parcels. On those, I saved between two and three dollars… per book!

As promised, Canada Post delivered my ‘real’ card a few weeks later. I was surprised to discover that they sent me not just one copy, but five. I assume the reason behind that is that most small businesses have a few employees. (I’m sure I will use all five cards once I rocket to the top of Amazon lists and hire myself some staff. 🙂 )

I don’t know what other gems the Solutions for Small Business Program has in store for me, but it will be fun learning. Right now, I know that this program saves money on the cost of shipping.

A dollar saved is a dollar earned!

*** Additional $ources of Revenue for Canadian Authors  via  Indies Unlimited  written by Martin Crosbie, author of the amazing ” How I Sold 30 000 E-books on Amazon’s Kindle.”

I invite you to join my author journey: subscribe to blog or newsletter or both! The newsletter contains news about books, links to some blogs, and occasional fun facts about my beloved island of Newfoundland. To sign up, simply place the required information in the spaces provided on the right. Rest assured your email address will not be shared for any reason. 

My best to youeNovel-Round-Logo

Annie Signature Light Blue

Brenda-Louise: From Imagination to Reality

by @AnnieDaylon

Invisible-Hats

The idea for THE MANY-COLORED INVISIBLE HATS OF BRENDA-LOUISE appeared long, long ago and far, far away, sparked by a friend whom I thought could express emotions as easily as one could don a hat. The completed rhyme stayed in a file for years.

Then, one day, at a meetup of the Fraser Valley Branch of the Federation of British Columbia Writers, I met up with author and artist, Loreena M. Lee, who showed a picture book that she had illustrated. I was intrigued. At home later, I visited her website gallery and was enchanted by a portrait she had painted, that of a little girl. I knew then that Loreena was the illustrator for my picture book.

I emailed the rhyme to Loreena and, when she expressed interest, we set up a meeting… and several more. At the first couple of get-togethers, we hammered out a contract; Loreena promised that she could have the work done in four months. With the contract out of the way, Loreena asked questions, telling me that she had to get into my head. Then, she did pencil drawings and awaited my approval before moving on. Sometimes we communicated by e-mail; often I visited. I think it took about ten meetings total.

A TIP FOR WRITERS: Collaborating with an Illustrator?  Own your words, but be flexible.
EXAMPLE 1: Before the illustration was created, in order to facilitate the illustration, I changed “Each box is the shape of its very own hat” to “Some touch the ceiling while others lie flat.”                                                         EXAMPLE 2: After the illustration was created, because the illustrations were wonderfully specific, I changed “rubber hats for rain, straw hats for sun, and party hats for parties…” to “A sou’wester for rain, a straw hat for sun, a cone hat for parties…” 

Near the end of the process, I walked into her home as usual one morning. In preparation for my arrival, Loreena had set out her original watercolor paintings on a love seat. The sight stopped me in my tracks.

IMG_0008

Have you ever watched Extreme Home Makeover shows? If so, you’ll understand what I mean when I say this was a “Move that bus!” moment for me. Freeze-frame magic!

Loreena completed all the work prior to her four-month deadline. From there, I worked with another member of the Federation of BC Writers, Brian Rodda, who, when asked to design and format this book, said, ” I will do it with a song in my heart and a lilt in my step.” (Excellent price too, I must add.) And now, The Many-Colored Invisible Hats of Brenda-Louise is a reality.

Many thanks to Loreena M. Lee, to Brian Rodda, and, of course, to the original, one-and-only Brenda-Louise!

Free Short StoryI invite you to join my author journey: subscribe to my newsletter which contains news about books, links to blogs, and occasional fun facts about my beloved island of Newfoundland. Place your first name and email address in the space provided on the right. Rest assured your email address will not be shared for any reason. 

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

 

 

 

My Business Name? A Doggone Great One!

by @AnnieDaylon

logo4_300dpi_2.8inches_with_blacktext (2)

www.anniedaylon.com

I am an authorpreneur with a sole proprietorship, i.e. a type of business entity that is owned and run by one natural person. In a sole proprietorship, there is no legal distinction between the owner and the business. In order to acquire this kind of business, one must choose a business name and apply to register it.

So, how did I choose the name McRAC Books?

I remember being hurried and harried when I came up with that as I was on the cusp of publishing my first novel. Concurrently, I was trying to create time to write: we had recently adopted a canine rescue, CoCo, who required mega attention.

The first time I left CoCo –aka Her Highness– alone for twenty minutes so I could write, she chose to chew one of the corners off the couch. (I know you’re laughing! I wasn’t!)

CoCo smiling

CoCo

However, it wasn’t long before that incident morphed from frustrating to funny. Then I experienced a round of nostalgia centered on the early antics of all the dogs we’ve had over the years:

Muffin, the first of three Pomeranians, ate half a box of tiny donuts and showed up looking guilty, his face covered in powdered sugar.

Cindy, our second Pom, was so miffed when we got a third dog that, for three whole months, she hid upstairs, barreling down only when she heard the sound of kibble hitting the bowl.

Rocky, the third Pom, another chewer, gnawed a chunk out of the headboard on our bed.

(Aside: All three Poms loved having their pictures taken and would pose upon request. The photo below was taken in a professional studio; we were in and out in twenty minutes.)

2015-10-17 07.39.59

L-R: Cindy, Muffin, Rocky

Angus, a sweet rescued boxer cross, ripped up a square metre of linoleum. (Okay, the lino needed replacement anyway… and no, he wasn’t too crazy about that raincoat in the picture below.)

Scan0002

All the memories brought smiles. Loved those little critters! The business name, an homage to Muffin, Cindy, Rocky, Angus, and CoCo, popped into my head:

McRAC 

Next up, I needed an image to complement the business name.

2015-10-17 07.28.03


Inspired by the picture on the left, a gift from my brother, I asked author/designer Michael Hiebert to create a simple logo that 
reflected my love of books and dogs.

logo4_300dpi_.65inches (2)

www.anniedaylon.com

 

 I was thrilled with the result. >>

 McRAC Books is definitely a keeper! 🙂

 

Free Short StoryI invite you to join my author journey: subscribe to my newsletter which contains news about books, links to blogs, and occasional fun facts about my beloved island of Newfoundland. Place your first name and email address in the space provided on the right. Rest assured your email address will not be shared for any reason. 

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

 

 

Adding a Map to a Novel? Here’s an Idea…

by @AnnieDaylon

If you are considering adding a map to the front or back matter of a novel, consider this idea …

My upcoming novel, OF SEA AND SEED, is set on the island of Newfoundland, located on the east coast of Canada.

Canada Map

Newfoundland and Labrador shutterstock.com

Newfoundland and Labrador  shutterstock.com

As an avid reader of books with varied geographic settings, I appreciate authors/publishers who include some kind of map to help anchor the story. In order to provide that visual for my readers, I hunted for the perfect image. None available.

I downloaded a map (right) of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. From there, I considered drawing, labeling, scanning, uploading… a lot of work.

A simpler solution came when I consulted a friend (author/graphic designer Brian Rodda ) who suggested doing it the way that National Geographic does. He did a pencil demo; I loved it.

The dedication for my novel reads simply: for love of Newfoundland. I decided the map could be placed below it.  The map is not greatly detailed; that is not required. The main areas in the story are shown: the community of Argentia and the city of St. John’s on the Avalon Peninsula, the Burin Peninsula (community not specified in novel,) and the tiny French island of St. Pierre

Print

Having just seen the interior proof of my novel, I can report that Brian successfully mapped out a solution to what was for me a dilemma. Maybe it is one that will work for you too.

Or maybe you have other ideas to share???

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

 

Pick of the Twitter: August, 2015

Pick of the Twitter 005

Looking for writing/marketing tips? Here are my Top Twitter picks for August, 2015:

  1. 7 Tips to Promote Your Book for FREE  via @111publishing

  2. An Updated Guide to the Marketing in the Big 6 Social Networks  via @socialmedia2day

  3. Book Launch Tips for Traditional and Self-Published Authors  @BookBaby

  4. Overwhelmed As An Author? How To Work With Virtual Assistants  @ChrisDucker via @thecreativepenn

  5. How Long Is A Novel? @MaeveMaddox

  6. How to Write Vivid Descriptions by @ChuckSambuchino via @JamesLeeSchmidt

  7. Protagonist and Main Character— Same Person? The Answer May Transform Your Story! @KMWeiland

  8.  “What Should a Novelist Blog About? Do’s and Don’ts for Author-Bloggers”  by @anneallen via @thecreativepenn

  9. How to Self-Publish Your Book on a Budget by @miralsattar

  10. Have you seen our FREE Author Marketing Checklist? Great guide for authors! @bkmkting

  11. Writing Your First Book: 5 Tasks to Focus on Besides Writing: @thewritelife

  12. Broken, Not Bitter. An Author’s Life with Repetitive Strain Injuries  @thecreativepenn

  1. It Only Gets Harder Once You’re Published  by Chuck Wendig

  2. 8 Tips for Writing a Synopsis:  @ceciliaedits via @elizabethscraig

  3. How to Find an Editor as a Self-Published Author via @janeFriedman

  4. Take Your Writing Outdoors: 9 Tips for Successfully Working Outside @thewritelife

  5. Making Bad Things Happen to Good Characters @aliventures

  6. Writing Your Book’s Back-Cover Copy  @JaneFriedman

  7. Basic Formatting of Your Manuscript (Formatting 101) by @JodieRennerEd

Many thanks to Tweeters and Bloggers alike!

A FREE SHORT STORY is yours when you subscribe to my Author Newsletter: simply your first name and email address in the space provided on the upper right. Rest assured that your email address will not be shared. 

My best to you,
Annie Signature Light Blue

Pick of the Twitter: July, 2015

Pick of the Twitter 005

Looking for writing/marketing tips? Here are my Top Twitter picks for July, 2015:

  1. Spicing Up a Story With Similes & Metaphors @JodyHedlund

  2. 2 Ways to Make the Most of Your Story’s Climactic Setting  @KMWeiland

  3. Omniscient Point of View– Craft at Write on the River  @Bob_Mayer

  4. Verb Mistakes #9: Past Tense forms of Lay and Lie @MaeveMaddox

  5. The Key to Writing Good Action Scenes (Hint: It’s Not Just the Action)  @KMWeiland

  6. Writing Advice from Joyce Carol Oates  @BuzzFeed via @GalleyCat

  7. Advice for Authors from a Bookseller’s Perspective   via @WriterUnboxed

  8.  Authors, confused about promoting your books on Twitter? Go day by day via @Bkmkting

  9.  TWITTER TIPS for AUTHORS  via @IndieAuthorNews

  10. How to Find an Editor for Your Book: 5 Crucial Questions to Ask  via @thewritelife

  11.  50 Simple Ways to Build Your Platform in 5 Minutes a Day via @WritersDigest

  12. Choosing One Brilliant Idea for Your Business Book  @BookBaby

  13. Top 10 Confused Words in English [G-H]  @MaeveMaddox

  14. Ask a Literary Agent: What Do You Look for in a Query Letter? @thewritelife

  15. Question: what constitutes a book series?  @Janet_Reid

  16. Book Publicity: The Top Ten Things Book Publicists Want Authors to Know by Cindy Ratzlaff @BrandYou

Many thanks to Tweeters and Bloggers alike!

Free Short Story

 

A FREE SHORT STORY! Simply subscribe to my Author Newsletter by placing your first name and email address in the space provided on the upper right. Rest assured that your email address will not be shared. Thank you.

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue