Category Archives: Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight: Meet Andreé Robinson-Neal

Posted by December 3rd, 2014

Member Spotlight: Meet  Andreé Robinson-NealWelcome Andreé Robinson-Neal to the Book Country Member Spotlight! Andreé is currently workshopping FROM REALITY’S EDGE, which was featured in the Waiting to Be Discovered section in October. She recently published AFTER with Christine F. Anderson Publishing & MediaConnect with Andreé on Book Country.

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Janet Umenta: NaNoWriMo 2014 ended last week. When you finished NaNoWriMo 2013, what did you do afterwards?

Andreé Robinson-Neal: When November 2013 ended, I celebrated making my word count. By November 27th, I had passed the 50k word count and was thrilled. And then I panicked. After all, I was ‘finished’ — now what? I had a mess of words on a page that had made me bleary-eyed for the past month. I set them down and concentrated on a few other things before getting back to the business of editing it.

JU: How does being an editor influence your writing process?

AR: I know that editing has helped me in more ways than I can describe. I see things that make me think, Wow! That was a great image — I felt that character’s experience! and then there are things that make me think, Wow! I hope I never do that! Editing certainly keeps me on my mental toes because I have to research things to make sure I am offering the best advice to a writer. I don’t just write things like, ‘Consider revising this sentence — it is unclear.’ I like to offer support by saying why something is unclear or indicating what I think the writer meant so he or she can take that information into consideration during the after-edit review. Continue reading

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Audio and Video for Marketing? Why Not?

Posted by September 16th, 2014

Arnold Baruch

There are so many ways to market your book these days! Book Country member Arnold Baruch shares his experience producing audio and visual content for his book EXODUS, STAGE LEFT, Top Rated on Book Country. Connect with Arnold

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People all around the world listen to books these days. In fact, the number of audio books released each year is now approaching 10,000, having grown at a 12.7% clip from 2009 to 2013. It’s now a $2 billion industry!   But here we are at Book Country, most of us (like me!) struggling to perfect our work and get noticed in a tough industry: print and/or e-books. Continue reading

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5 Considerations for Sequel Writing by Hillary Jacques

Posted by September 10th, 2014

Hillary Jacques on sequel writing

Welcome Urban Fantasy author Hillary Jacques! Hillary has been a Book Country member since 2011, workshopping THIS IS DALTON and BROKEN IN. Her new book, CARNIEPUNK: RECESSION OF THE DIVINE, will be out in December and is published by Simon and Schuster. Hillary shares advice on sequel writing. 

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Writing a first novel is like going on a carnival ride in a foreign language. Even when you think you know what’s happening, there are these moments of pure discovery where you round a corner and find a ghost town or a nemesis long thought dead. It’s almost magical. And then comes the sequel.

Writing a sequel isn’t as simple as getting in line for the ride again. Nope. The author boards, ticket in hand, but instead of bumping along a familiar set of tracks, there are all these considerations to deal with. Details, development, and continuity. Half of them have been explained before, and the other half have changed. So what do you do? Continue reading

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Member Spotlight: Meet Mystery Writer Steve Yudewitz

Posted by August 20th, 2014

Steve YudewitzIt’s my pleasure to welcome Mystery writer Steve Yudewitz to the Member Spotlight this morning. Steve’s been a Book Country member since the early days of the site. He’s a generous reviewer, and his hard work giving feedback shows as he produces each new draft of his book DEAD MAN’S FLOAT.

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Lucy Silag: Tell us about yourself: who you are and how you see yourself as a writer.

Steve Yudewitz: People describe me as quiet, loyal, and frequently prompt. I’m a secret optimist, a sports fan, fond of technology, a lover of Science Fiction, and consider myself innovative. Like many creative types, I am cursed by being fascinated about a wide variety of topics and blessed with the curiosity to learn more about almost everything. I value the remarkable array of wise, strong, funny, compassionate, talented people that make up my family and circle of friends. They constantly inspire me. Continue reading

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Member Spotlight: Meet Cozy Mystery Writer Janice Peacock

Posted by August 13th, 2014

Member Spotlight: Janice Peacock

Welcome Janice Peacock to the Member Spotlight! Janice recently published her first cozy mystery novel, HIGH STRUNG, A GLASS BEAD MYSTERY, Volume One of the Glass Bead Mystery Series. Janice is an award-winning glass artist, whose work has been exhibited internationally. HIGH STRUNG has earned stellar reviews on Amazon. Janice talks about how she got started writing cozy mysteries and the revision process. Connect with Janice on Book Country

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Janet Umenta: How did you get started writing cozy mysteries?

Janice Peacock: As a teen in the 1970s, I shopped the groovy bead stores in Laguna Beach, California, looking for treasures to make my own jewelry. I continued working with beads and making jewelry, and in 1992 learned a process called lampworking so that I could make my own glass beads. The first time I lit a torch and started melting glass to create beads, I knew that I was hooked.  I’ve been making beads ever since, and designing jewelry with the glass components that I create. Continue reading

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Member Spotlight: Meet Writer Andrea Dunlop

Posted by August 8th, 2014

Andrea Dunlop on Book CountrySo excited to have my friend and fellow Book Country member Andrea Dunlop back on the blog this morning! I just read Andrea’s book, THE SOJOURN, and I was blown away by how good it was. Just as I was finishing the book, Andrea wrote to tell me that she’s signed with literary agent Carly Watters. If you haven’t yet checked out the excerpt of THE SOJOURN that is available to read on Book Country, I highly recommend that you do so ASAP!

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Lucy Silag: Tell us what compelled you to write THE SOJOURN.

Andrea Dunlop: It was inspired by the time I spent in France as a student. Traveling abroad for the first time is an incredibly heady experience, it has a way of blowing open your perspective on life.

LS: How long have you been working on it? What is your writing and revising process like?

AD: I’ve actually been working on the novel off and on for twelve years now, if you can believe it. There have been many, many versions of the story but it always came back to the friendship between [main characters] Brooke and Sophie. I’ve gotten lots of feedback from different sources over the years that have helped me shape the book: fellow writers, agents, professors, I ended up hiring a developmental editor and I can’t overstate the difference that made. After you’ve been working on something for a certain amount of time, you lose perspective on it. It really helped me to just let go and be willing to do whatever it took to make the story better. Continue reading

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Member Spotlight: Meet D.J. Pizzarello

Posted by July 7th, 2014

Member Spotlight Book CountryWe are happy to have D.J. Pizzarello with us today! D.J. has written several highly rated works on Book Country including ANGEL OF MERCY and SATAN’S LURE. He is the winner of the Editor’s Choice Prize from AuthorStand. D.J. is currently working on a collection of horror short stories. Connect with D.J. on Book Country

Janet Umenta: Your books have garnered a lot of positive feedback on Book Country! I especially enjoyed reading SATAN’S LURE. How do you use the feedback you receive to better your writing?

D.J. Pizzarello: I often find feedback provocative, giving me the chance to see my work through the eyes of readers.  I try to understand what prompts the suggestions and often find they lead to changes that strengthen my story.  I don’t always incorporate the suggestions as given, but they initiate a chain of thought that improves what I’m writing.  Criticism is, for me, valuable and welcome Continue reading

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Member Spotlight: Meet David Whitaker

Posted by July 3rd, 2014

David WhitakerToday our blog guest is David Whitaker (aka DWhit), whose book PARADOX was an Editor’s Pick in June.

Lucy Silag: Environmental thrillers–what a great genre! Have you always been a fan of them, and if so, how did you get into them? What environmental thriller writers have you enjoyed reading?

David Whitaker: Deciding to classify my book as an Environmental Thriller was one of the more difficult parts of writing the book. At first I thought it was Sci-Fi, but it was when I started reading the Book Country Genre Map, and started digging into sub-genres, and realized that Environmental Thriller was more accurate. But there’s still a Sci-Fi component to it that is only hinted at in the first five chapters. So I guess I’m not positive that it’s an Environmental Thriller.

Maybe I’ll end up re-catagorizing it down the road somewhere if I get feedback to that end. I don’t want to mislead potential readers.

That said, I think it’s hard to strictly categorize stories by the sub-genres. Continue reading

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Member Spotlight: Meet Middle Grade Writer Sherrie Petersen

Posted by June 17th, 2014

Member Spotlight: Sherrie PetersenToday we are talking to Book Country member Sherrie Petersen, whose book WISH YOU WEREN’T is a June Editor’s Pick. Connect with Sherrie on Book Country, and read on to find out more about her experience with beta readers, designing her own cover, and why she loves writing for middle graders. 

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Lucy Silag: Congrats on publishing your first book, WISH YOU WEREN’T. Tell us the story of how the book came to be, and how you brought it into the world.

Sherrie Petersen: I wrote the first page of this story several years back after watching stars with my kids one night. It was right before a writer’s conference where I had the chance to get feedback from an agent, an editor and an author. (Someone else read the page out loud, thankfully!) All three of them loved the voice, the setting, the mood that page evoked – they wanted to read more. That totally encouraged me to keep going. And despite many rewrites, the first page has stayed essentially the same. Continue reading

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Member Spotlight: Meet Military Thriller Writer John Franklin

Posted by June 13th, 2014

John Franklin on Book CountryToday we are talking to Book Country member John Franklin, whose book SIERRA OVERDRIVE is a June Editor’s Pick. Connect with John on Book Country, and read on to find out more about his book and how he’s using Book Country to write and revise a story that’s been thinking about for ten years.

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Lucy Silag: How did you find out about Book Country? What made you want to be a part of the community?

John Franklin: I first heard about Book Country on National Public Radio. I’d had an idea for a novel that had been rattling around in my head for probably ten years. I decided that if I could write some of it out I could put it up on Book Country so people could read it. If it got good reviews I would keep working on it. If it got bad reviews I would at least be taking on a new challenge. I didn’t know if I had enough talent to write a story that people would want to read but I really wanted to try. Sometimes I’m still surprised I had the courage to put it out where people could read it. People I don’t even know! Continue reading

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