Tag Archive | taylor anne

Things you learn at a writers’ conference

Yesterday I attended a writers’ conference hosted by Bayou Writers’ Group. The four speakers that presented were amazing. Not only in their presentations, but in their attitudes and personalities. It was a joy to see them interact with so many writers – from aspiring to published. Their presentations satisfied every writer that attended. It was my pleasure to attend this conference and learn from these women.

What I learned at BWG Writers’ Conference:

Johnnie Bernard – Developmental and Content Editing

You think you know all about editing? Let me tell you, Johnnie is a mastermind when it comes to this topic. What stuck out in my mind the most was her analogy of using the sitcom some of us remember (showing my age again). What do you think of when you remember Leave it to Beaver? More so, how does it apply to writing?

  • Landmarks – Just like the memorable landmarks of Mayfield, your story needs to have landmarks readers can identify with.
  • Strong Supporting Cast – Incorporate an Eddie Haskell into your story. Not only will he/she bring lots of laughter, but will resonate authenticity with your readers.
  • Teachable Moments – Beaver always had a life lesson intertwined in those thirty minutes. Make sure your story brings a lesson your readers can learn from.

Elizabeth Ludwig – Researching Historical Facts for Fiction

Elizabeth presented on the importance of historical facts. Your genre readers are looking for a great story, but keep in mind that some of them are also interested in history. What this means for an author is that you must research facts and portray them correctly in your story.

  • Locate Social Etiquette books for the time period you write.
  • It is okay for your character not to know all the social rules, but there must be repurcussions. This lets the reader know that the author knows the social rules.
  • Cliches are okay to use if they are appropriate for the time period of your story.
  • Colleges and universities are great resources for checking historical facts.
  • If at all possible, visit the location of the setting of your book.

S.M. Schmitz – Becoming Visible in an Invisible Marketing World

Every author wants their work to be seen by readers. S.M. has the knowledge and experience to show authors how to accomplish this feat. She walked us through Launching a New Book and Online Platforms. There was something for writers in every step of their journey.

  • Before launching a book, you need to understand Amazon Ranking. (see S.M.’s website for more info.)
  • Authors need an online presence through websites, newsletters, and social media.
  • Plan – Plan – Plan – Make a plan for each day of the month to learn something about marketing your book. (listen to podcasts or read books; research ads)
  • Send newsletters consistently, and keep the content fresh, brief, and relevant to your books.

Juliette Cross – Building a Realistic Fantasy World in Your Fiction Novel

Juliette touched on what is needed to bring your reader a believable and memorable story world. Not only did she present, but she worked with the writers through various writing prompts that pertained to her topics. The readings from the participants at the writers’ conference were amazing!

  • Sensual – The story must appeal to the five senses; evoke mood/emotion; and show a unique perspective of nature and surroundings.
  • Realistic Fiction / Fantasy Element – Have the story grounded in the familiar; embed realism in mythology, history, and storytelling.
  • Emotional Characterization – Engaging dialogue should reflect characters’ personalities; internal monologue adds depth and humor to your story; know the way your character walks, talks, eats, etc.
  • Take a journal with you into nature. Sit and feel your surroundings. Write through your emotions and senses.

Following the writers’ conference, these speakers joined twenty other authors for an author signing (Pelican Tales). It was a fabulous day full of learning, meeting new people, and mingling with authors and readers. Check out each of these authors / speakers. They offer a lot more than what they had time to present at the conference.

Till next time,

Love, hugs, and kisses – Taylor

Pelican Tales

Writers’ Conference – Taylor Anne, Juliette Cross, Elizabeth Ludwig, S.M. Schmitz, Johnnie Bernhard

Pelican Tales – Author Signing

Pelican Tales 2017

Author & Reader Event

Sponsored by Bayou Writers’ Group of Lake Charles

An author signing / reader event where readers meet and mingle with their favorite (and new) authors. Want to spend an afternoon in scenic Bayou Country at a multi-genre author / reader event? Mingle and make some new contacts. Help us grow – spread the word to other readers that you will attend. Bring a friend, or two!

Where:                 Central School, 809 Kirby St., Lake Charles, LA

When:                   October 14, 2017 3pm – 6pm

Reader Tickets:   Only $5.00 admission at the door for readers. Readers Facebook group to see which authors will appear.

Hope to see you there!!

A casino, a cop, and two women

I am a romance author. Surely I can overcome a struggle with tying up the details of a murder scene in a romantic suspense book.

During the writing of Smoke and Mirrors, I came to a question point. I had the murder / drug deal laid out for Abby to witness. The issue I was having was how to capture the villains’ actions so they could be pinned with the crime.

Jump to the below:

My bff and I were at a local casino deli shop. It was late and we were getting hungry. Our hubbies had left us to ourselves earlier in the day. We spent the afternoon working on our crafts – yes, with the casino calling us from down the hall. The thing is, when we get together for a girls’ weekend, we work. As in, I write and she works on her projects. In this case, the casino was just a convenience because the night before we and our hubbies went to a concert. We just needed a room to work, eat, and sleep.

Standing in line waiting to order our food, we continue our previous conversation about how tosmoke and mirrors cover photo catch these criminals in Smoke and Mirrors.

“But remember, he’s a dirty cop. So he knows how to set the scene,” Brandy said.

“Yeah, but he’s not thinking straight at this point. That’s not our problem. We need to figure out how the cops catch them. They’re in an alley in the streets of New Orleans.”

We both look at the man in front of us. He is glancing at us over his shoulder. And he is a cop. He’s probably wondering why the hell these two drunk women are discussing dirty cops, murder, and drug deals. (BTW – we were not drunk. Maybe a little tipsy.)

“Ask him,” Brandy whispers (loudly) to me.

I shake my head. “I don’t know.” Yes, she is the more outspoken of the two of us. So she turns to him, I turn red, and she digs in.

“Sir, my friend here is a romance author and we need a cop’s perspective. Not that you are a dirty cop or anything, but can you help?”

He smiles. There is no way he is believing this. But, he humors us anyway. “Sure.”

“No, really. I am an author. My son directed me to Lieutenant XXX, and I reached out to him, but he’s been very busy.” I said this hoping to convince him we are real.

“Your son?” I gave him my stepson’s name, who is on the local force. He laughed. I look at my friend and wonder what’s so funny. This cop shows me the name of whose dinner he is picking up at the deli. It just so happens to be my daughter-in-law. Yep, my stepson’s wife was working as a dispatcher at the same station as this cop.

We all had a good laugh, and then he asked what our dilemma was with the story. Brandy and I animatedly give him a very brief rundown of the story and the scene I’m struggling with. To know us is to know that when we discuss either one of our projects, we get very excited. So, again, I’m sure this cop thought we were nuts. But in the end, he gave us the solution we needed.

Then he went back to work, delivered my daughter-in-law her dinner, and asked her if I really was a romance author. (yikes) Although I never got his name, he is mentioned in the Dedication of Smoke and Mirrors.

It’s all about research and resources.

I enjoy sharing my behind-the-scenes with you. For more, be sure to FOLLOW THIS BLOG, and sign up for my newsletter, Taylor’s Tidbits. It is a fun and informative email about my books, writing, and life in general. It is also interactive as I bring you contests, prizes, and like to get to know you. Also join my Facebook group, Taylor’s Book Angels. This is the place I share fun stuff, but also ask that you help promote me and my books. Of course, there are contests and prizes there as well!

If you enjoyed this, please share it with friends.

Till next time,

Love, hugs, and kisses – Taylor

Cruises and proposals

Carnival Triumph

Cruises and proposals. What could be more romantic? As a writer, this was a great story opportunity. I love taking real life stories and intertwining them in my books. As a romantic, oh my, how sweet!

Every cruise we take, we always go to the Love and Marriage show. It’s a throwback of The Newlywed Game for those of us who remember that t.v. show. Laughter rolls as you listen to the contestants answer questions about each other. Watch out when they start asking about exes. Oh, and to add some extra fun, play along with your own spouse. Just keep it lighthearted – maybe skip the ex questions. lol.

This last cruise we went on, there was a twist to the Love and Marriage game. The cruise director, Jess, called up the three sets of contestants. Couples that had been married the least amount of time (3 days), the most amount of time (44 years), and somewhere in between. Before beginning with the shenanigans, the cruise director asked the audience who had been dating for the longest time. A couple in the front row had been together 17 years and never tied the knot. (This couple was from my state of Louisiana!)

Jess brought them up on stage. Yes, you guessed it – he got down on one knee and presented her with a ring, and asked her to marry him. Of course she said YES!! I mean, would any woman say no in front of hundreds of onlookers? AWWWW…. how sweet that was! A refreshing twist to an old game.

Confession time:

So tell me, where were you proposed to? Or if it was just too common to mention (like mine was), share with me your fantasy proposal. Not everyone has a cruises and proposals story, but each person’s is unique to them.

Share this post with your friends and get them in on the fantasy proposal.

Let’s hear those stories!!

Till next time,

Love, hugs, and kisses – Taylor

Seven steps to writing

Initiatives – Introductory acts or steps. Once you’ve decided on your reason for writing (see last week’s post) you need to take the initiative to get it rolling. There are many steps needed in the beginning of your journey, however, this week I’m focusing on just a few of those initial acts. They are geared to keep you on track and on fire. Below is a list of seven steps to writing your way to your goal.

No one except you can make your writing dreams a reality. Get in the right frame of mind and keep pushing forward. Remember, it’s totally up to you to make writing work for you.

Writers’ Initiatives – Your beginning

Seven steps to writing:

  • Have a deep desire to write your best book.
  • Keep a positive attitude in order to achieve your goals.
  • Define your personalized creative space. (Spare room, kitchen table, coffee shop)
  • Learn a basic knowledge of the craft.
  • Enlist a writing buddy to toss ideas around with.
  • Seek the support of family and friends.
  • Gain the confidence to go forth with your plans.

Take the initiative to advance your writing.

Next week I will discuss Writers’ Needs, followed by Writers’ Expertise the following week. Each step focuses on a different part of the journey, however, they all work together. In the end, you will have the basic knowledge to get started, push through, and end up with a great product. At the end of this blog series, I will have a special download offer for you. Follow this blog for updates.

Find me on Facebook for more writing tips on Writers’ Initiatives, Needs, & Expertise (W.I.N.E.).

Till next time,

Taylor