Tag Archives: writing tips

Book Country Member D.J. Pizzarello on Publishing COLLECTED STORIES: Angel of Mercy and Seven Others

Posted by January 13th, 2015

Book Country Member D.J. Pizzarello on Publishing COLLECTED STORIES: Angel of Mercy and Seven Others

Congratulations to Book Country member D.J. Pizzarello on publishing COLLECTED STORIES: Angel of Mercy and Seven Others! D.J. workshopped several short stories on Book Country and received outstanding feedback. We recently featured D.J. on the Member Spotlight. In this Q&A, D.J. shares what surprised him most about the publishing process and advice he would give to other writers considering the self-publishing route. You can purchase COLLECTED STORIES: Angel of Mercy and Seven Others on Book CountryAmazon, and other major online book retailers. 

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Janet Umenta: After years of writing, what was the moment like when you decided you were ready to publish?

D.J. Pizzarello: I’d actually decided to publish some years before I finally took the plunge. I felt strongly that my stories should be told, that I had something to say others might find interesting, perhaps even thought-provoking. I’ve always loved language, loved trying to express myself in inventive ways. So I spent some years working on stories I’d already written, revising, and revising, and revising—and at times, creating new ones. At a point, fairly recently, I decided that my work was ready to be published. How did I feel at that point? Ready, eager, energized. Raring to go. Continue reading

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Member Spotlight: Meet Jean Marie Wiesen

Posted by December 15th, 2014

Jean Marie Wiesen, Book Country Member SpotlightWe are happy to introduce Book Country member Jean Marie Wiesen! Jean is currently workshopping CASE OF THE MISSING LOOK-ALIKES, which was a November Editor’s Pick. Jean shares how she discovered Book Country and tips for building suspense in novels. Connect with Jean on Book Country

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Janet Umenta: How did you discover Book Country?

Jean Marie Wiesen: There’s an interesting story behind how I discovered Book Country. The phrase, “There are no coincidences,” most assuredly comes into play. I have a mutual friend with one of your soon to be published members, Alex Rosa, whose book, TRYST, is being launched by Penguin in March 2015.  Oh dear, is that a shameless plug by moi!  It most definitely is because if it weren’t for Alex, I wouldn’t be here. Originally, I’d planned a trip to the San Diego area right around Labor Day, but due to a variety of reasons, it was postponed until mid-October.  Had I gone in September, our mutual friend Randy more than likely would have been too busy to have chatted with me to discover that I’d written a book, and in turn, not introduced me to Alex. In October, things were far less active, and Alex had the time to spend with me and told me about Book Country and all of her positive experiences here.

Within a few days of my arriving home, my book was up for peer review on Book Country.  Alex stayed in touch with me the entire time via email. Continue reading

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New Waiting to be Discovered Books on Book Country

Posted by December 11th, 2014

Waiting to Be Discovered books on Book Country

We’re excited to share with you ten new books featured in the Waiting to Be Discovered section! We’ve selected a great mix of genres, including Young Adult, Women’s Fiction, and War/Military Fiction. Check them out and join Book Country’s Give the Gift of Writing Feedback Review ChallengeContinue reading

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Doodling Prompts for Character and Story Development! By Lisa Currie

Posted by November 25th, 2014

Currie promptFinal week of NaNoWriMo 2014? Even if you aren’t participating with a new work, and are instead in some stage of editing your novel in progress, we can help! Today we offer the final installment of fun doodling prompts for character and story development, from author and master doodler Lisa Currie, whose new book ME, YOU, US is just out from Perigee Books. You can download and print these exclusive prompts by clicking on the hyperlinked words in the text below. Share yours with us on social media! Both books, ME, YOU, US and THE SCRIBBLE DIARY, are available widely online and in stores.

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So, you’ve made it through a month of thinking creatively about your novel-in-progress, through the power of doodle prompts. Huzzah!  I hope it’s been as fun as it has beneficial. To recap: In the first doodle prompt installment post, we established the power and popularity of doodling. If you click on the link, you’ll be able to download four doodle prompts that you can use to start fleshing out your character(s). The second installment, was a more in-depth online profile prompt. The third doodle prompt focused on plot points and obstacles in the way of your protagonist’s goal(s). Our fourth installment helped prompt you to finding those nuggets of details that makes your character unique. Continue reading

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Read and Review Waiting to be Discovered Books

Posted by November 13th, 2014

Waiting to Be Discovered November 2014A new set of Waiting to Be Discovered books is featured on the Read and Review page!

Every time we update the Waiting to Be Discovered carousel, we are always blown away by the diverse array of books we feature. All thanks to you! Continue reading

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1 Weird Trick For Creativity by Adam J. Kurtz

Posted by October 28th, 2014

1 page at a time We’re happy to have Adam J. Kurtz on the Book Country blog! Adam is the author of 1 PAGE AT A TIME : A Daily Creative Companion, published by Perigee Books. With NaNoWriMo 2014 coming up, we all need a boost of creativity! You can download a free page from the book at adamjkurtz.com

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Many people struggle to be creative. We see creative people and their work around us and compare ourselves. We don’t know how to be creative, or worse, we did once, and now we’re feeling blocked, bored or unsure.  Tired of this happening to you? Continue reading

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New Waiting To Be Discovered Books on Book Country!

Posted by October 23rd, 2014

Waiting to Be Discovered

We’ve just updated our Waiting to Be Discovered section with new books for you to enjoy! Giving and receiving feedback are what make Book Country such a supportive online place for aspiring authors. Take a look at these titles below and start reviewing! Continue reading

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Phil Klay’s REDEPLOYMENT Shortlisted for National Book Award

Posted by October 15th, 2014

Congratulations to Phil Klay! His book, REDEPLOYMENT, is one of five finalists for the 2014 National Book Award for fiction. Phil Klay served in Iraq’s Anbar Province from January 2007 to February 2008 as a Public Affairs Officer. After being discharged, Phil earned an MFA from Hunter College in NYC.

REDEPLOYMENT, published by The Penguin Press, is a collection of short stories about soldiers fighting in the Iraq War. Read our Q&A with Phil on writing about war and military service Continue reading

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How to Use the Snowflake Method to Prepare for NaNoWriMo

Posted by October 1st, 2014

DJ Lutz

NaNoWriMo is only one month away! October is the perfect time to start outlining your novel before the mad rush of writing begins in November. Book Country member D.J. Lutz shares how using the Snowflake Method can help you make NaNoWriMo a success!

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Hi, my name is DJ, and I am a recovering pants’er.

What do I mean by pants’er? Well, in late October, 2008 I discovered NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and decided I could scribble out a 50,000 word first draft by the end of November. No prep, no editing, just flat out stream of consciousness clacking on the keyboard. Fueled by venti Americanos with extra shots of espresso, I would go on to write my first ever novel PECOS BILL AND THE CURSED GOLD by the seat of my pants.

I finished well over the requisite 50k word count. Of course, the novel had no discernable structure other than “ramble,” which I don’t think counts. It was, however, fun to write and the experience taught me about the time management and discipline professional writers need to be successful. But as a coherent novel it lacked. Everything. It was time to research the craft of writing. Continue reading

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Member Spotlight: Meet Writer Kelley Mork

Posted by September 24th, 2014

Book Country Member Spotlight: Kelley Mork

We are happy to have Kelley Mork on the Book Country Member Spotlight! Kelley’s New Adult book WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER was featured in the Top Rated section in August. Kelley shares why she favors free writing and her advice to writers starting out on social media. Connect with Kelley on Book Country. 

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Janet Umenta: The New Adult genre has really taken off in the past few years. What do you love about New Adult and what led you to write in this genre?

Kelley Mork: What led me to write New Adult?  It was a total fluke!  I had never heard of the term “New Adult” until I started exploring the best category to put my story into.  When I read the definition (New Adult focuses on characters that are around college age (18-25) tackling the everyday “being an adult” issues.) I realized that not only was it a fit, but I had been reading books like this for quite some time!  I’d always assumed the books were “general fiction” or “romance”, but just with younger characters.  Continue reading

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