A Call for Suggestions for This Year’s Blogoversary

Happy Blogoversary

Holy cow, this blog will be 8 years old on July 9th.

The big day may be two months away, but if I don’t start planning for it now, I’ll be scrambling to prepare something at the last minute. And do I ever dislike last-minute scrambling. So let’s avoid it entirely. ūüėČ

Since blogoversaries are equally about thanking readers and¬†celebrating this site’s achievements, I’d love to have your input again for what you’d like to see for this year’s “festivities.” Here are a few ideas I’ve thought of:

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What Do You Think?: Asking for Your Feedback on My Novel’s Blurb

tkc-blurb-feedback-banner

I’m in the middle of finishing new articles for DIY MFA and Writers Helping Writers. So I thought I’d do an “easy” post this week, and one I’ve been meaning to do for a while. Your feedback has been so helpful in the past with website changes, blogoversary celebrations, and excerpts on my YA fantasy novel The Keeper’s Curse. I’d like to ask for it again today, on a component of the novel-writing process that’s more important than we might think: the blurb.

Wondering what a blurb is? Or why it’s important for writers to start working on one before their novel is published? I’ll answer those questions briefly, then give you a chance to offer feedback on the latest blurb for TKC.

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What Do You Think?: E-Newsletters by Writers (Plus, A Quick Survey for You)

One of the most talked-about¬†outreach¬†tools for writers today is the email newsletter (or, e-newsletter). In fact, “start a newsletter” has been among the¬†most suggested advice I’ve heard at Writer’s Digest Conference for the past two years – from authors, publicists, and publishing professionals alike. It seems valuable, especially since other writers have found success with them. Yet despite all the positive buzz, I’ve hesitated to create¬†one.

Why? Well, up until now, it hasn’t been a priority. I’ve had enough going on that starting an¬†e-newsletter would have taken time away from blogging and (more importantly) novel-writing. But now, with a slower blogging schedule and edits on the¬†WIP’s third draft coming to a close,¬†I have time to give it serious thought.

So, what are the benefits of an e-newsletter? What cautions should we keep in mind? Plus, I’m offering readers – yes, YOU – a chance to help me decide whether I should start my own e-newsletter and what content I may want to include. More details on that shortly.

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Looking for Suggestions for This Year’s Blogoversary

Happy Blogoversary

Guess what? July 9th marks this site’s 7th birthday! ūüėģ

Monty Python Holy Grail tabledancing

Now that the blogoversary¬†is one month away, I’m starting to think about how to celebrate it. Yet I keep running into the same hurdle:¬†I don’t know what to¬†choose.

So, like with last year’s blogoversary, I’d like your feedback on how we should celebrate this year. I have a couple ideas, but I’m open to your suggestions, too.

Here’s what I’m thinking:

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What Is a “Kagende”? (A #TheKeepersCurse World-Building Post)

Kagende banner

When writing a fantasy novel, the story’s world-building is just as important as the characters you’re creating. I’ve shared¬†bits of the world for¬†my WIP¬†The Keeper’s Curse¬†before; and one detail that’s¬†piqued¬†readers’ interests is the kagende¬†(plural: kagenden),¬†the dwelling that TKC’s Fei race lives in. In fact, two readers in particular (and they know who they are *winks*) asked if I’d write a post about it.

Today, I’m excited (and stomach-turned-upside-down¬†terrified) to share with you¬†what a¬†kagende¬†is! I’ll discuss how I came up with the idea, how this dwelling is structured, and what kinds of rooms you’ll find. I’ve also created a couple collages to help you imagine what a¬†kagende¬†looks like. Ready?

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Submit Your Questions for Aurek’s Character Interview!

Last summer’s character interview of Eva, the¬†protagonist of my YA fantasy WIP¬†The Keeper’s Curse, was a huge success. I had so much fun¬†answering readers’¬†questions (and so did Eva¬†*wink*), and the overall response to the interview blew me away.¬†So… anyone game for a second one? ūüôā

Our next TKC character interview will be with Aurek Kolsteg, the second¬†most important character after Eva.¬†Like last time, you’ll have an opportunity to ask whatever questions you’d like, and Aurek¬†will answer them. (Of course, it will be me answering in his “voice,” but you get the idea. *lol*)

Instructions for submitting your questions will come¬†after the jump. First, here’s what you need to know about Aurek upfront. Continue reading

Submit Your Questions for Eva’s Character Interview!

Recently I asked for suggestions about how to celebrate the site’s upcoming 6th blogoversary. Since then, I’ve come up with not one, but TWO ideas that I’m going ahead with. One¬†will wait¬†until after the Writer’s Digest Conference in July / August. But we can get started on the other today!

Why “we”? Well, the “day-of” blogoversary post will be a character interview with Eva, the protagonist for my YA fantasy novel The Keeper’s Curse. This means¬†you¬†get to ask the questions, and Eva will answer them! (Or, rather, I’ll answer for her. *lol*)

Instructions will follow after the jump. First, for your convenience, here’s a summary about Eva from her updated¬†character profile: Continue reading

Looking for Advice: Upcoming Website Facelift

Pardon The Dust

Yes. It’s about time. This website has had the same layout since 2011 (or maybe earlier). Yet it has evolved drastically since then, especially in the past year; and even though I still think the theme and color palette are gorgeous, I’ve been daydreaming about what I could¬†do differently – and, after researching my customization options, I¬†realized how limited this theme, and a free WordPress account in general, really is.

The last straw in all this was¬†this recent article by Juliet Marillier at Writer Unboxed. It’s a wonderful piece about author websites evolving over time and the challenges of keeping pace with technology, social media, etc.¬†About one-third of the way through, Ms. Marillier wrote this about her website’s current format:

Lovely as it is, this website, too, has outlived its usefulness.

That line made me sit up straight. It perfectly captures how I feel about my own website – and I can’t ignore that feeling¬†any longer. Continue reading

What Do You Think?: Custom Tea Blends from Adagio Teas

Adagio Tea logo

I’d posed this question in my most recent Chronicling The Craft article, but it must have gotten lost in the shuffle. (Then again, that was a pretty substantive¬†article. *lol*) Since I’m interested in getting feedback on this idea, I thought I’d ask the question again in a new article.

A week or so before¬†Christmas, I discovered that¬†Adagio Teas¬†allows customers to create custom tea blends using a number of Adagio’s teas, then sell the blends for other tea lovers to brew at home. These custom tea lines even include fandom blends inspired by movies, books, TV shows, etc. How cool is that!

Many of you may already¬†know that I love tea and write tea reviews for A Bibliophile’s Reverie.¬†So, I wasn’t just excited¬†about finding Adagio’s create-your-own-blends section. In fact, I was so ecstatic that the creative wheels started turning in my head: What if I created a line of custom tea blends to compliment my WIP when it’s released? Maybe teas that represent characters or locations in my protagonist’s world? Oooooh, I like the idea so much, I want to start experimenting with Adagio’s teas ASAP.¬†But I also don’t want to get too far ahead of myself.

What¬†do you think about this idea? I know not everyone drinks tea, but do you think this could be a neat promotional tool when the WIP’s released (whenever that happens)? Would you also be interested in trying the teas? Let me know what you think by commenting below.