From My Writing Playlist

I know… I know, I’m not supposed to like Episode 1… well I do, so deal with it.

When to Listen:  This is some of the best fight music I’ve ever heard. Seriously, use this when writing a climactic combat scene.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

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Character Interviews: Qira

Host: Hello everyone and welcome back to character interviews! Today we’ve got a very special guest with us! Straight out of Jefferson County, Idaho. Please give a warm welcome to the leading lady of her own recently-published story, Drakin: The Orphans of Haven. Qira, it is an absolute pleasure to have you with us.

Qira: Thanks for having me… it’s nice to have a break from the wastelands.

Host: Wastelands? In Idaho?

Qira: Yes… it’s all that remains of the civilization there now that the Red War is over.

Host: Yes, we actually had Raiya as a guest on here a while back. She was quite the fiery one. I heard she’s now considered the ‘Hero of the Red War’.

Qira: She may have ended the war… but I have a feeling that her actions may have only postponed the inevitable.

Host: Oh? What do you mean?

Qira: Don’t you see it? Haven’t you been outside recently?

Host: Well… that’s a little complicated. Let’s pretend I’ve been living on another planet. Humor me, okay?

Qira: (sigh) Dragons are hunted throughout the land. We’re taken from our homes, our caves, and where ever else we try to nest. We’re then sent to a barren wasteland set up for us on the Western Coast of what used to be known as the United States. Dragons are not allowed to be among regular people. It’s called the Exclusion Zone.

Host: Why not?

Qira: They say it’s for our own protection… that because of the bad feelings from the war, we’d likely have to deal with mob justice. I’m starting to wonder if it was a good idea for any of us to remain on Earth after the war ended.

Host: So why did you decide to stick around?

Qira: I was born here. I don’t know our old homeworld. However, many dragons asked to stay because they were weary of constant violence and war. We just wanted to live peacefully.

Host: So what is life like for you in the Exclusion Zone?

Qira: I’ve never actually been there, but I’ve heard stories. It’s a wasteland where very little grows. Dragons have a hard time feeding themselves and constantly find themselves at odds with the canbans that have made the area their home.

Host: Canbans?

Qira: Feral humans. People who have either lost their minds and turned wild. They’re often religious fanatics and have taken to engaging in cannibalism.

Host: Goodness… but you say you’ve never been there?

Qira: No, my family went far north to get away from the war. We were pacifists. We didn’t want to exterminate humanity. We thought we could share the planet, but Eutherys wanted nothing of it. After the war ended, we slowly made our way back down through Canada to the Western Coalition Territory. Within a few years, the Western Coalition expanded its territory and invaded my home. My father and I fled and… well… we got separated. I’ve spent the last year looking for him.

Host: The last year? What do you think happened to him?

Qira: I… I think he’s dead.

Host: Oh no, are you sure?

Qira: (Sobbing) He would have found me by now. If he was still out there, he would have found me.

Host: He may just be lost, or maybe he went to the Exclusion Zone?

Qira: No… he would have found a way to break out. I’ve heard rumors of what happens when dragons are captured outside of their designated areas. Often they’re just put back, but…

Host: What is it?

Qira: Let’s just say that a lot of the people working with the relocation division of internal security are Red War Veterans… and many of them are holding a grudge.

Host: I imagine that must be difficult.

Qira: I sleep in ruins,  try to stay in the shadows during the day… Nearly get caught about once a week… I’m lucky if I get to eat every day.

Host: That’s awful.

Qira: It’s not different than what my people suffer in the Exclusion Zone.

Host: So when you leave here, what are you going to do?

Qira: I don’t know… I’m getting sick… I’m running out of energy. I’m going to try to take refuge somewhere… anywhere. Hopefully, I can find someone that’s willing to help me or at least give me a place to rest for a while.

Host: Well for what it’s worth, I have a feeling you’re going to find exactly what you’re hoping for, but we’ll see. Thank you for joining us today, Qira.

Qira: Thanks… it’s nice to have someone to talk to.

Host: That’s it for us, check out Qira’s story in her new book, Drakin: The Orphans of Haven. Here’s hoping Qira finds someone that can help her.

 



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Cover Creation?

Hi Jim, 

I just started reading Drakin. I have to admit, your cover designs are what drew me in. The first cover on Raiya is badass! I’m just curious how you come up with yours and where you go to get yours done. I’m just about ready to publish my book, but all I have available is the generic covers on places like createspace. Do you think I should use those or pay one of their people to create a cover for me?

Thanks,
LaToya 


Hi LaToya

At the risk of sounding elitist, I would absolutely NEVER go with, what many in the industry refer to as ‘clip art covers’. Those generic covers have been used over and over again and are, IMHO very plain. You just stated that the cover of Drakin is what drew you in, so let me ask you this; would you have given the book a second glance if I’d gone with one of the covers you’re looking at? I highly doubt it.

The fact is, especially in this day and age, most people are visual learners. We take in more from what we see in pictures and video, and hear in audio, than what we read on paper. This is part of the reason why things like audio books are so popular now.

There is an old saying that goes ‘you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover’. To an extent, that’s true, but it’s also not true. The cover is the first thing someone is going to see. It’s going to be the first deciding factor as to whether or not they want to read further. If they don’t like what they see on the cover, chances are, they’re not going to read on.

Personally, I would find yourself a good artist/illustrator/graphic designer. Usually, a cover will run you between $300-$700. Trust me, it’s worth it. For my covers, I go with three people…

A Photographer: Rick Chandler 

A model. (Multiple)

An artist: Brett Warniers

From there, I pick a character and/or a scene from my stories to have created into a cover and have the artist recreate it. Sometimes, I’ll even just tell the artist what my story is about and let them go nuts creating a cover that they think will work. I’ve actually gotten some really good results that way.

Long story short, a good cover is going to cost you a lot of time and money, but it’s worth it. I don’t think you’re ready to publish just yet, honestly. Find a good artist, and for the love of God, do not short change them. Be up front with whatever budgetary restrictions you have, most will work within a reasonable budget to create something great but pay them what they ask for.

Readers, what do you think? Would you ever go with a generic cover?



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

From My Writing Playlist

This is a nice low key song. I love the vocals and the harmony. Nothing else much to say about it… other than it’s somewhat unusual for Van Canto to use this much instrumentation.

When to Listen:  Use this song to wind down. When you’re finishing up your writing or at the end of your story, this is the song to listen to.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Linear Writing Rule?

Hi Jim, 

I was actually hoping you could help me out with a problem I was having. I’m currently writing a book that will be part of an established series. It’s been a pretty good run so far, but I’m worried because this next book actually takes place before the one I just published.  I got this idea fairly late in the game, but want to include it. I’m just worried about publishing my books out of order. What should I do?

Thanks,
Randy


Hi Randy

Prequels and bridging stories are always tough. The hardest thing about them is creating an engaging story, despite people already knowing the outcome. In many cases, unless you’re writing a series where each novel surrounds a different cast in the same universe, I’d recommend avoiding it altogether. However, if you can find a way to tell a story within a story, you may have something there. My advice to you is to look at your story outline and then go back and read the other book. Is too much already revealed? Is everyone going to know what’s going on the moment they open the cover? If your answer is yes, you may want to consider abandoning it or releasing it as sort of a free addendum to the book you already have out. That one is really up to you.

However, if you think that you can make a good story out of the in-between years, then by all means, go for it. The space between one story and the next could easily be a story of its own. Don’t worry about writing out of order. Though it may be slightly confusing for some readers, I think most will pick up on what’s going on. There’s no rule saying that series have to be written in order… look at Lucasfilms!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

From My Writing Playlist

The video is kind of… weird, but the song is awesome! I stumbled on this a few days ago and wanted to make sure to give it a shoutout as part of my playlist now!

When to Listen:  This is a relationship building song. Use this when creating a connection between two characters.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

The Ins and Outs of Publishing, A Directory of Advice.

Okay, so it looks like I’m still getting a lot of publishing questions. These are recurrent questions I get on a regular basis, and while I want to try to respond to everyone who reaches out to me, I don’t want my blog becoming redundant. So I think I’m going to repost this on a weekly basis from now on to help people navigate the publishing world. I don’t really see another way around it. I wish there was some way you could pin a post at the top of your blog!

So if you have questions regarding publishing, PLEASE check below to see if any of this helps you before reaching out. I’m always happy to help, but I may have already answered your question.

Publishing is a tough road to navigate. Please check out the links below. These are previous posts I’ve made about the ins and outs of publishing. They should be of assistance in your journey:

Am I Ready To Publish? This is a must read BEFORE even considering starting the process. I can’t tell you how many authors burned bridges by not being ready.

Editing… There is a Cost That Must be Paid… or is There? You can skip this one if you’ve already had your writing edited (by someone other than you!). However, I’d still recommend reading.

Getting Published… the basics… In this post, we explore traditional publishing vs. self-publishing. Here you’ll get the pros on cons of each and the steps you need to go through in order to be successful in either.

Finally…

Copyrighting my Writing. Am I Protected? This isn’t required reading… however, if you’re concerned about plagiarism, or in the future may need to file a copyright claim, I recommend giving it a read.

Feeling overwhelmed yet? I’d be surprised if you didn’t. The only sage advice I can offer you other than the documents above is simple…

  1. Do not give up. A million “No’s” suddenly become irrelevant if you get that one “yes”.
  2. People will tell you that everyone and their mother wants to publish a book. You’re up against insurmountable odds and a flooded market. This is false. You’re not up against everyone and their mother. Permit me the luxury and I’ll prove this mathematically: First of all, take the entire group of people who want to get published. Now take that number and reduce it by roughly 60%. You just eliminated all the people who want to get something published, but don’t have the time, ability, drive, or inspiration to write. Next, eliminate another 20%. You’ve now taken down all the people who can put pen to paper but can’t afford the time/money to put the work into advertising and getting published. Eliminate another 10% who can’t take criticism and thus aren’t going to be able to get their writing properly edited. Now eliminate another 5% either don’t have the patience for or get discouraged by receiving a series of “No’s” from publishers.
    Now take that last 5% and eliminate all of them, except you. Why? Because they’re irrelevant. You have your writing and they have there’s. Whether or not you get published and how successful you are isn’t about other people’s writing. Yes, in the end, it’s you against one person, you. Whether or not I’ll ever get to buy your book off the shelf depends on you; how much time, effort, and funds you’re willing to put into your writing. So make it good!

Let’s open it up to the floor. Readers, do you have any publishing advice for our friend here? Let her know in the comments!

 



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim