Here’s hoping you have a wonderful holiday filled with reading

Are you looking for additional books to read by the fire?  

I’ve found a new favorite book on writing. This is not a quick read, but it’s good information about the style of writing. Click on the image to read an excerpt from

A couple of favorites I’m going to revisit. These images will take you to Amazon where you can read more about the books. 



For entertainment, I’m gonna continue with the Outlander series.

Outlander Series (8 Book Series) by Diana Gabaldon

I’m ready for book #6

What books are you reading this holiday?

Have you finished a really good one recently?

I’m always looking for a great book, so share.





Do you know how to prepare a grand opening?

How to write a grand opening?

Come one come all, to the BIG GRAND OPENING!

Snagging your reader in the very first chapter is important. We’ve all heard about hooking the reader, but it’s more than a hook. A writer needs to entice the reader to do several things.

  • Pick up the book.
  • Read the covers.
  • Buy the book.
  • Read the first chapter, the second chapter and keep reading to the end.
  • Tell their friends!

How can we accomplish this?

By wowing the reader from page one! 

Think about the sample clerks at a grocery store.

They set up a nice station with decorations and signs to grab your attention. Lovely samples are arranged for tasting. However, if you want to gag at the smell or the first nibble, no way in hell are you going to invest in a purchase. But if it’s good, they’ll buy the package and share with friends.



Or, how about a new restaurant opening.

Big banners announce the opening. Fliers go out in your neighborhood. Pictures of beautiful dishes appear in social media. You’re excited to try the new place. Now if you get there and the restaurant doesn’t live up to the hype, you won’t be back. But if the staff is friendly and welcoming, if the food tastes as good as the pictures, and the price is as advertised, not only will you return but you’ll tell all your friends. 

Now, I don’t know about you but that is how I want readers to react to my stories.

Good presentation, a beautiful cover and tantalizing summary will only get us so far. We want our readers to not only invest in our books but to enjoy the journey. And recommend our books to friends!

Recently, I read a great article by Tina Ann Forkner on the Writers in the Storm Blog.

Ms. Forkner explains how a writer can prepare a grand opening in a story.   The past few weeks I’ve been working and reworking the first two chapters. So finding her post couldn’t have come at a better time for me.  Why? Because I want to grab the reader and tempt them to keep reading.

What I learned…

  • A sense of place involves the vibe, feeling, senses of the setting.
    • Can the reader see themselves there with your characters?
  • Make sure your characters are engaging.
    • Will the reader want to know meet them?
  • Life doesn’t happen in a vacuum.
    • Action, even the small ones will make the scene more enticing.
  • Organize the opening.
    • No one will want to eat samples all jumbled up in a big mess.
    • Give enough information, in the right order to light a pathway for the reader.
  • The all-important hook.
    • Leave a sign, a question, or desire to turn the pages. Like a billboard advertising next week specials that lure patrons back for another dinner.
    • Give your readers something to look forward to in the next chapter.

You really need to click the link below and read the entire post. 

Have you ever thought about a Grand Opening for your work in process?
Did you realize writers need more than a Hook?
Got any tips to help me write that Grand Opening?

Do share, inquiring minds want to know. Namely me. LOL

How to Make A Grand Opening By Tina Ann Forkner




What do you think are the most popular genres?

Is your genre one of the top percenters?

I hadn’t given this much thought, until reading a great article on Medium by Erica Verrillo from the Writing Cooperative. And boy howdy, the stats were eye-opening. Erica gives stats on most popular genres with readers, agents and includes which genres make the most money.

What surprised me most?

Most books sold by genre…

  • #1Children’s Fiction sells more than three times the number of adult books.

    #1 in sales – Children’s fiction
  • #2Adult General Fiction came is second in sales.

Agents most requested genre…

  • First Choice of Agents is NOT Children’s books, although these books are number one in sales.#1 – Request by agents is YA Fiction.

    YA Fiction #1 requested
  • #10Last on the lists for Agent request is Women’s Fiction. I’d expected this to be higher.
  • Agents work on commission of 15%.

The genre that makes the most money…

Romance #1 money-maker
  • #2Crime and Mystery novels
  • #3 – Inspirational and Religious books, (go figure.) This includes self-help books.
  • #4 – Fantasy and Science Fiction
 Click and read Erica’s article to discover all the nitty-gritty details.

What are the most popular literary genres? By Erica Verrillo

Where did your genre fall?
Any surprises?
Will any of these stats change your approach to writing?



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Writing and need help? Check out this terrific list

Thanks to   over at Publishing… and Other Forms of Insanity, for providing us with such an extensive list of websites.

There is something here for every writer. There is information on queries, marketing, publishing as well as how to write a good book. So get ready because if you’re like me,  down the rabbit hole, you’ll go, once you begin to click. 

Which of the 27 websites is new to me?

  1. Agent Query.  Although I’m nowhere ready to send out queries, this will definitely go on my “hope to need” list.
  2. Free Writing Events. Yay! Who doesn’t want to submit without the added cost of submission fees? Oh yeah, this one is a definite must-read.
  3. The Grinder. Like Erica, I once used Durotrope until they became a paid service.  I can’t wait to check out this one.
  4. Jae Writer. Now this one sounds like the perfect website to learn more about the craft of writing. Count me as a new follower.
  5. Manuscript Wish List (#MSWL). Whoa! What writer wouldn’t want to get inside the mind of agents and editors?
  6. The Passive Voice. Again, a great blog to learn what agents think. Plus, a bit of legalese from an attorney.
  7. Pub Crawl. Here you can find an insider’s perspective from authors and publishing professionals. Cool!
  8. Savvy Writers. Almost a million followers!  Doris-Maria Heilmann blogs cover everything you ever wanted to know about publishing your book.
  9. Susan Dennard. Her blog is filled with writing and publishing resources for aspiring authors. Everything from story-telling to the finished book.
  10. Women Writers, Women’s Books. All things about women authors. Well, I definitely qualify.
  11. Writing Career. Provides places that actually pay writers. Alright!

Not bad! I’m familiar with 16 of the 27! Now I can’t wait to dive into the other 11  websites. I just love learning new stuff! Gonna be a busy weekend of reading. See you on the other side of that rabbit hole. LOL

Want to know more!

Click and read about all of the great links on Erica’s website. 

27 Great Websites for Writers  by 

Did you discover a new website?
Are any of the 27 a favorite?
Do you use any of these websites? Which ones?

Leave me a comment. I can’t wait to read your thoughts or suggestions.

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