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Sunday, March 31, 2013

I have been NOMINATED!!

First off:  Happy Easter Everyone!!!

Next I want to thank K. Nowinsky for nominating me for the Liebster Blog Award!  It's very exciting to be nominated being such a new blogger!  Now I have some things I have to do:

11 Random Facts about myself:

1. I am a Mom of a 19 year old Man boy.

2. I love dogs.

3. I drive a Honda CRV.

4. I am a writer.

5.  I am my worst critic in everything I do.

6.  My favorite fruit is banana. 

7.  My biggest pet peeve is people who don't take care of their children.

8.  My favorite way to relax is to read.

9.  What is my idea of a perfect day is to ride out to the middle of nowhere on my horse (when I had one) and spend the day just riding and not thinking.

10. If I could talk to my future self I would ask when does Justin Beiber's voice finally change?

11. If I could ask one thing of my readers it is what makes a good book for you?

11 Questions from my Nominator:

11.What is your all time favorite movie?  My all time favorite movie is P.S. I love you.  I love the complexity and uniqueness of the movie.  It ranks right up there with Steele Magnolias and Notebook. (I know, I am a such a girl! LOL)

10.  If you could go anywhere where would it be?  I would go to Louisiana.   I love the accent, the people, and I want to explore.  I love new places.  I want to go hunt down the Swamp People and hang out with Troy!!  "CHOOOT 'EM!!" 

9.How often are you online and for how long?  The better question is how often am I offline?  That would be only when sleeping.  I wake up, turn on comp, do the morning thing then I am on here working, researching, antagonizing, whatever works. :)

8.What is your favorite sport to play or watch (or both)? That would FOOTBALL!!  GO BEARS!! (Even if they did let Eurlacher slip thru their fingers (IDIOTS!))

7.  If you could change one thing about your life what would it be and why?  I would change NOTHING...I have no regrets.  Life is a learning experience, and you learn from your mistakes.  I have learned ALOT! but I would do it all over again.

6.  What was the last song you listened to?  The Walk of Life by Dire Straits!  One of my most favorite bands!

5. When was the last time you donated to Charity? I am charity, I donate time when I can.

4.Have you ever ridden in the subway or mass transit?  Where and why?   I have never done subway or mass transit.  I live in the country and would probably be lost for years if I had to figure out the bus or subway system.

3.Are you happy with how you look?  Why or why not?  Is anybody happy with how they look?  Nope.  I would drop some weight but other than that no worries.

2.Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? The last person I talked to on the phone was my sister +Kathie Johnson !  LOL  

1.What was the last book you read and would you recommend it?  Shreds of Humanity by MJ Hangge and YES!  LOVE me some Zombies and I love how he went a different direction than the norm!!

11 Questions for my Nominee's

1.   If you were a cupcake what kind would you be and why?
2.  What was your first car?  
3.  What would your dream car be?
4.  If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
5.  If you could cure one disease which would it be and why?
6.  Are you a dog or cat person?  Why?
7.  What is your favorite genre of book? Why?
8.  Who is your favorite artist?  Why?
9.  Where did you place in birth order?  Oldest, middle, baby?
10.  If you were to meet with anyone you wanted to either dead or alive who would that be and why?
11.  If you had to give advice on rebuilding civilization what would it be the first thing you would have built and why?

My Nominees are:
3.Vandervaart Family
4.The Weavers
6.Elaine Bittencourt
9.Matt Goss

Thank you, K Nowinsky for Nominating me.  I will be checking you out next time, or the next time....LOL  And thank you to all of my nominee's that participate!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

I took the Plunge!

You are not going to believe this!  I finally took the plunge!  No, no, I haven't gotten married!  I finally am on twitter.  No! Really.  Quit laughing already!

I am the first to say when it comes to the electronic media I am a chicken and get extremely confused!  Seriously confused.  Look, if it wasn't for the fact I found an extremely excellent writer who self publishes and was willing to teach I would have never published my first book.  I had NO clue except for a smattering of html that I knew from when I was younger and wanted to build web pages...Oh, no worries that phase has come and gone.  I LOVE to write, therefore, you are stuck with me for now! LOL

I have been after my child (he is 19 so he knows this stuff since he uses the thing!) to teach me.  We never got around to it.  Since I am taking my time going to my next work in progress, I decided to take yet another stab at this twitter thing.  

For those who have yet to brave it, go to the FAQ page, hit the tour button and VOILA! you wouldn't believe how easy it is after you read the directions (For the record, yes sometimes I skip that step!)

So far so good, right?  Right.  So now that I have lined up some folks I want to follow I come to find out I already have 3 followers!  Imagine that!  I am so tickled I had to blog about it!  LOL  If you want to find me here is what you click: Nan Carder on Twitter!

Oh, and just thought I would let you know.  Within the next 2 weeks I will be releasing "The House".  My first suspense.  *crosses fingers*  I think it's outstanding.  I love the ending (I am sure it will be unexpected by many!).  I can't wait for YOU to read it!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Google Docs

I love Google Docs.  It makes it easy for me to share what I want to share with my editor, with friends, and I have recently found a few lovely little add's that works for me.

My new novel coming out is "The House".  I have some concerns about the "Hill/Mountain Speak" of a couple of my characters.  I wanted some feedback, so I have found a way to set up a form in Google Docs that I can link to my website to get that feedback.  I strongly encourage new writers to use the tools that is available to you.  

I have begun using Freemind.  That too has been extremely helpful, if you like what my old English Profs would call clusters.  There is a You Tube tutorial for it, however, its pretty simple.  I used to use outlines, and on occasion I do use it if I need to get more to the bare bones of what I am doing.

However, my newest implement is a "Street Team".  I am sure you have heard of it before, but this is all new to me.  I have put together so far a team of 20, and we are still growing, to spread the word about my books.  Not only the ones that are out, but also the ones that are available on Nook, Amazon, and Kobo, but also the one that is coming out in April.

There job is to simply tell everyone on every social network about my books by posting links and spreading the word far and wide as it goes. I ask that they do this twice a day. In return they not only get a free download for their work, but I also give them a free copy of the new books the day before I publish.  

Putting together a Street Team isn't easy.  I have enlisted the friends I have on FB as well as G+ to help me out.  So far so good.  I made one person the "lead".  And this is for both of us a learning process.  She is doing a great job so far, I think.

I have also found that Goodreads is also a great place to visit.  Not only do I get to learn about new books out there and what others think of them, but I am crazy happy over the fact I can post my own books to get the word out.

So I am wondering, what other places do you visit to hear about new books?  Have you been to visit Only The Indies to see what they think of some of the books out there?  

Well, I am off to work on the edit for "The House" , when the cover is finished I will share on here.  

Saturday, March 16, 2013

I find it interesting....

I was reading today about Andrew Sullivan.  I, by the way, am not one of those always in the know type people even though I watch the evening news, and have no clue who the man is.  I did find it interesting that he is charging $19.99 for people to follow/read his blog for a year.  Here is the link if you want to read more about it:  Andrew Sullivan Article.  By the way, did I mention that he has already made over a half million in about two months from this?  Oh yhea, interesting stuff this is.

So that started me thinking about blogs in general.  What is a blog?

Well, in my opinion, blogs are online columns like Dear Abby or something of that sort, that people come to be entertained or informed at concerning one individuals view on a certain topic or idea.  It may have helpful tips or ideas, or it might just be a rant or spout off.  

So I ran off to wiki and looked it up.  Yep, that is basically what they said.  

Now I am thinking about this further and wondering what is it this man has to say that is worth that kind of money?  I did notice that someone commented that he criticized Israel.   Well, folks, I couldn't tell you.  I am not bothering to pay the cash to find out.  If anybody knows, please feel free to comment at the bottom and let me know. Regardless of what he has to say, I find it interesting that he is charging and people are paying about the same as what a newspaper subscription is for a year to see just what he has to say. 

Now, I personally don't think anyone needs to pay me anything to read my ramblings, as infrequent as they are, but hey, if you want to contribute to cause, please feel free to let me know and I can set up something. Just kidding, ya know?

I just thought I would mention this because....well, honestly it was just interesting.  

Now I am off to finish up "The House"...I see an end in sight and I can't wait to see how it happens!   If you want a sneak peek and haven't found my webpage yet, here is the address:  Nan Carder Sneak Peeks.  There is a short 5 question survey you can answer anonymously or you can hit the contact me link and email me.  I would love to hear your feedback! 

Have a great day and happy reading.

Friday, March 8, 2013

How I am getting the word out!

So I had another Aha! moment yesterday after much headache and frustration.  And some heartbreak as well.

I have just recently added two of my books to Barnes & Noble for sale, and I want to get the word out.  So I jump over to my website and add the buttons.  I make sure they work and they do!  So far so good, right? Ok, that was good I will give that much.

So then I also add a survey at the bottom of sneak peeks and the first 7 chapters of "The House"  the new one I am currently working on.  I am so excited about it...I just can't stand it.  I just want to hear what people think about it...will it be a wash or will it be a rave?  

So now I am sure that I have it done, how to get the word out?  WHAM! It hits me, go post it all on Facebook and let my friends help me spread the word.  I get all kinds of excited and that is what I do, but that isn't quite the end result.

I envisioned copious amounts of shares going on, that worst case scenario I would only have a dozen or so people sharing, but that is start, right?  Sure, right...

I posted to my Facebook page and waited for my friends to share the posts...I waited all day.  I had two shares.   One from my bestie and one from my fiance (because I asked him to on my way walking past him!), that was it.  I heard crickets literally from my laptop.  *deep sigh*  It appears  the way FB is set up,  unless your peeps on online at the moment or go check your wall, there is a good chance they won't see it.

So today, I was determined to find a way to get the word out.  My bread and butter (and my dogs food) depends on me making just a little extra money a month, so I need to make sure I get the word out!  I am proud of my work, I want to show it off as well!! SOoooooooooooooo, this morning I post again on Facebroke (not at all happy with that right now!), and low and behold I had some shares!  Now I am tickled but not quite satisfied.  

What to do, what to do?  BOOK CLUBS!  So onto G+ I go to spread the word.  I am waiting for a response, but maybe, just maybe this might be a way to go.

Oh, and if anybody stumbles upon this, check out my website at Nan Carder Sneak Peeks...I know I am just shameless...LOL

Sunday, March 3, 2013

A Time To Write....

I think one of the hardest part of writing is the actual writing.  I spend a great deal of time mentally putting together my story.  I want to know who my characters are before I begin actually writing.

I then have to put a face to my characters.  In my process I use an outline. I outline all my main characters.  What do they look like, where do they come from, etc...most importantly in those notes it tells me what kind of person my character is.  Most of mine lead characters have my quirky sense of humor, quick with a response and are often sarcastic, which actually reflects me. 

Then I want to know the place I am writing about.  Often I wish I sold so many books I could afford to go to these places, like Mexico, Louisiana, etc... I love learning the history and meeting new people, alas I am merely a poor struggling writer so I have to do research.  I want to know history, the people, the food, all the stuff that makes it authentic and real.  I like to include smells, taste, and the flavor of the surroundings my characters are going to be in.  I want to share what I think it would be like with my readers so that is where I have to let my imagination go nuts and really try to get that feel.  

One of the hardest part of the characters is figuring out what makes mine unique.  I want them to stand out.  Just because Author A's dragon is green and spits fire doesn't mean mine has to.  Mine can be chartreuse and spit green peas.  It's in my imagination, it's my story to tell so I can make it whatever I want, right?  Right!  I always have the hardest time with that, believe it or not.   So many times I have caught myself following the "norm"  or the mainstream....I think that is where writing is the hardest.  Find your uniqueness and go with it.  

My next outline is what will happen.  What is my start and what is my end result.  The middle writes itself for me, once I begin I just go where my mind and fingers take me.   I have to remember that my readers want to be taken down an unpredictable road.  What will the end result be?  Ok, so now that I know that time to put in motion the fact that my characters have to not only do it the hard way, figure it all out, and then they have to end with the result I want it to go with.  

As I write I find that ideas occur to me as I get to certain places.  How can I make this ghost fighting different from everybody else?  How can I make this dragon different?  What makes my  unicorn/centaur/witch unique to everybody else's?  Is it the look, what they do, or how they speak?  

I think my point is, you have to let your imagination fly away with you.  I think to be successful you have to work hard at making your book different from everyone else, because frankly, I think readers are tired of predictable  they are tired of the same old stuff.  Now is the time to let your imagination take off and tell you what you want to share.   

In my new book "The House"  I have to find a new way to fight ghosts, ghoulies, and all the ooglie booglies that are after my characters.  I think those who read it will be pleasantly surprised with what I have come up with!

Until next time, I wish you happy reading and productive writing! 

Friday, March 1, 2013


So I know I have disappeared for a bit, however, I have a really good explanation.

I have been working on "The House".  So far it's coming along nicely.  I have some interesting twists in there, I believe.  I have spooked myself a couple of times and everything seems to be flowing smoothly. Either I am a big chicken, or this stuff might be good!  We will see what you have to say about it soon enough! 

Regardless, I know I have one of two that are following my posts and I figured I better send out an update.  I have no words of advice today, since this alone is a small break in my writing time (in which I am still writing of sorts) and I am I am itching to get back to the story.  Later I might not have remembered to stop by and make a few comments so I figured now was as good a time as any.

I'm off to work some more.  Have a great day and Happy Reading!! :)