Time for a cover reveal. Yes, I’ve chatted about SNOW IN LOVE, the sweet collection of holiday stories brought to you by #Readertainment available for pre-order on Amazon. (The woman to the left is how I envision myself. Darker hair, a far better red lip, but the caffeine is spot on! Glasses, too.)
But, now, here’s the tease for my story. Drum roll and wham:
ALL HE WANTS FOR CHRISTMAS…
A Greek god meets his match in his soon-to-be-ex unless a holiday hiccup that strands them both on a deserted Fijian Island provides them the chance to do more than talk!
What’s a love-starved mortal, hot for her husband but not the family demands better suited to Mt. Olympus, supposed to do?
So now, my question to you, is are you TEMPTED? Teased? Encouraged to click? Crafting ads is such a different beastie than writing stories. Try it and you’ll know exactly what I mean.
That said, please, if you’re a reader, I want to hear from you. What did I miss? What did I hit? And how HARD? (Inquiring minds do nothing but ask endless questions. Sorry. Kinda.) The idea here is to please YOU. So consider that open season on letting it all out. Claws, too.
Writers, props all around, please throw a fellow a bone. Preferably with a lot of juicy meat on it because I tend to be low on iron. What a wonderful flaw considering red meat is my favorite. But hey, we can’t be perfect. Took me long enough to give up that crazy train. (Props to Ozzie Osbourne!)
Thanks for being here every last one of you. You’re needed and APPRECIATED, whether you leave a comment or not. Silent types are often the very best of friends. ((HUGS)) I look forward to hearing from you!
I’m also flying high–and no, I’m not sampling any spiked eggnog in anticipation of #Christmas. The creative end of just about everything trips my triggers. Always has. But that’s likely why a gazillion snap boxes full of whatnot are preventing me from parking in my garage. (Must. TRY. Everything. ONCE!)
And now it’s time to celebrate…. or check out my latest creation.
What do you think? I’m digging the jazzy, James Bond music.
Filmora 9 is a fabulous video creation tool, but there’s a learning curve. This isn’t my first video and won’t be my last. God willing they’ll get BETTER. I’d love your thoughts!
Thanks for sharing my excitement. I hope you’ll pick up your set of Romancing the Billionaire today–if not for you, then for that friend, relative, or special someone who lives on luxury and the lifestyles of the rich and soon-to-be famous. LoL. Did you catch that shameless plug? I hope so.
It’s not #blackfriday yet, but this set can be yours for a cool $3.99. Whatta bargain?! I’m betting Filmora 9 has a promo running. If you’re a writer or someone who enjoys creating like me, you’re sure to have fun dabbling.
Check out the #BESTDEAL for #CLEAN #BILLIONAIRE romance to leave the dock. All ashore who’s going ashore, but for those who want to take a ride–GET READY–you’re going to #LOVE this trip!
Money, mystery, adventure, fantasy, #ROMANCE, and with #CHRISTMAS to boot. Consider gifting a friend!! ‘Tis the season! Available NOW on #Amazon for only $3.99.
That’s FIVE stories for less than a dollar each. #HELLO!!
ROMANCING THE BILLIONAIRE: 5 RICH ROMANCES is, without question, the #BESTCHRISTMASGIFTEVER for the sweet reader in your life! (If you’re not guilty-as-charged, you absolutely have at least one woman or man on your #Christmaslist who appreciates #adventure #romance #international #fantasy #mystery, and at the very least, a fabulous #DEAL!
Please, don’t dismiss the men in your life who, while not saying so, often appreciate the best in ALPHA heroes, STRONG heroines, FAMILY values, and an engrossing story. ROMANCING THE BILLIONAIRE is a GREAT read for men to get in touch with what women like. Talk about the gift that keeps on giving.
Who’s to say that fiction can’t be factual when it comes to learning what others find deeply satisfying?
So here’s what you get:
Read all 5 stories for FREE on #KindleUnlimited. (Can’t beat that!) Your passage into passion-filled mystery and romance and fantasy is just a click away at:
And for all you WRITERS out there, take a look at this lovely setup. It’s a win/win for writers to gather together with one’s family–OUR TRIBE–and work together in a set to bring readers the stories they love. The mystery they crave. And the romance that’s often what it takes to put that secret smile on our faces.
Share the love. Share the #BOOKS. Follow my blog. PLEASE. And always….
Okay. This great pic of Neil Diamond–the soulful enchanter who can still capture the masses–is floating around on Facebook.
Best thing? I’m now listening to “Sweet Caroline,” and feeling darned sweet. Hallelujah. Yes, there are personal issues that could translate into a crown-of-thorns, but thoughts matter.
Where do you want your thoughts to be?
It’s about free will. Taking charge instead of being dragged helpless to the dark side. Think positive may sound corny, but upbeat brainwaves are often the greatest act of charity. To ourselves and others. Music–that’s melody and lyrics–fuels imagination. It helps alleviate those tensions that bunch our shoulders, block creativity, foment hate–another baddie to be avoided at all cost–and give us premature wrinkles. The wrinkles that crease our character and need ironing out are better avoided.
Prevention is worth a pound of cure, right?
So think on that. Do you want to be positive? Create great BOOKS and an even better life? Tap into the soulful sounds of Neil Diamond or whatever artist takes you there. Wherever that happy place might be. FYI: Audio STAY-cations may be beneficial for your health. And the happiness of others!
Question: What makes you click a buy link? Seriously. What makes you pause – gasp for breath – and think, oh yeah, I’m so doing this?
We all have lines. Moral, financial, and fictional constructs that hem us in and keep us honest. At least until we’re tempted to go beyond.
The fantastic crew at Winged Publications works wonders with book covers. Cynthia Hickey is one talented individual. Creative expression is mine, however, when it comes to ads. So I ask you. What do you prefer?
Great copy–those killer lines? Contrasting pictures? Does a smoldering hero or a savvy-looking heroine catch your eye? Almost nightly, a blur of the above races through my brain as I struggle for sleep, and the answer.
How about video book trailers? Check out one I made last week using Wondershare Filmora 9. GREAT!!! STUFF. That’s the software. I’ll let you be the judge of the video. (I’m LOVING this aspect of marketing.)
Do GIFs do it for you? Static ads?
In between researching and writing my action romance series, DIAMOND DOGS, and visiting the sleepy town of WILD HORSE, MONTANA, home of my contemporary western romances, I’m busy figuring that out. Trying.
So throw me a bone if you’re so inclined. Let’s talk. I enjoy giving readers the experiences they crave. I’d also enjoy helping fellow authors who, like me, are scrambling to produce that secret something to put a yes on readers’ lips. That’s not mercenary, mind you, its fun to say yes. One reader to another.
The learning curve, however, has been a dark mountain. One that shall not be named. Can’t give power to the dark side. Veni,vidi, vici needs to be the order of this day – Friday the 13th with a full moon to boot – and every day. I came, I saw, I conquered!!! No chuckles. All things are possible with God and since I’m no Caesar, I’ll rely on Him to do the heavy lifting. That’s God, not Julius.)
Andrea Vahl – author, speaker, and consultant – recommends, “running
Live videos to talk about parts of your book, the book writing process, or
special tips around your book topic. What
this will do for you,” she assures readers in her blog, The 4 Best
Types of Facebook Ads for Authors, “is create a “warm” audience for you to
promote your book to in the future. You can use Engagement
retargeting when you promote your book to reach those who have engaged with
your content in the past.”
That sounds great and all–although being retargeted sounds somewhat off putting. Unless you’re on the receiving end of loving-it. But still. I’m not sure I have what it takes to live stream. LoL. How about you? Is that something you’d like to see? The bumbling? The false starts? Lipstick on my teeth? If so, say so. I’ll think about it and maybe get the nerve.
What I’d really like is to hear from you, readers. Writer’s too as we’re in the same arena, struggling to stay alive and be relevant. Ideally, we read, too. So whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Tumblr, Instagram, or Pinterest, stop on by. Let us know what you like to see. What you’d like to see more of. And always…
Hear, ye. Hear, ye. If you’re looking to publish your latest novel, read on. And feel free to spread the word. This summer is shaping up to be the best one ever.
TAKING FLIGHT ANNUAL CONTEST
Winged Publications presents its first annual contest–Taking Flight!! (Indie published okay to submit) Any genre! Only clean or inspirational, please. If fewer than five submitted in a category, your book will be placed in the next, closest genre.
Entry fee $45 for Taking Flight Writing Contest 2019
First prize winner receives a book contract
Second prize winner receives a critique of synopsis and first three chapters
Third prize is a critique of a synopsis *Book contract entails the publication of winning title under the standard contracts held by Winged Publications. Grand prize winner will be provided with details upon announcement.
Submissions will be received from June 1, 2019 until July 31, 2019. Finalists announced the end of August and winners announced mid-September. Judges will be multi-published authors.
Send your synopsis and first three chapters to firstname.lastname@example.org putting Taking Flight Contest 2019 in the subject line. You will then be emailed the link to pay the submission fee. Your entry will not be valid until fee is paid. Indie published authors welcome to submit.
There will be a winner for every category of more than five entries.
Summer is here and I’m so glad. The gentle breezes, the abundance of birds and squirrels, the SUN. I never believed I was dependent on the latter. Having grown up in San Jose, California, I took sunshine for granted. Truth is I longed as a child to move somewhere I could experience real weather. Storms, snow, tornado force winds.
what you wish for is my answer to that wanderlust now. The shift from bright
and shiny often leads to getting stuck. Not in snow, but the mire of our own
That’s how it’s been for me these past months. Yes, we’re grieving the loss of a dear friend. Any and all prayers for the repose of the soul of our sweet young Brandt – and the family whose sorrows far outstrip mine – are very much welcome. So too is the article in Psychology Today that is helping me overcome the frightful storm that has consumed me.
my take on the 7 steps outlined for mental health. The mental health of a
writer in particular, those of us who are, by nature, sensitive observers of
the world around us.
1. Let go of the past.
We need, as writers, to learn from
the past, not beat ourselves up with it. If you didn’t write yesterday, that
holds no bearing on your ability to write today. Unless you let it. The past
can be a great steam engine, pushing us forward in a manner wherein we avoid
landmines we’ve learned are out there. It can, if not properly managed, become
that ill-fated albatross, flapping desperately against the phantoms that will
only sap its energy until flying isn’t an option. (So let those portions of the
past go that prove detrimental. Shut the door. Toss the memory. Better still,
associate that memory with a new, positive action that will head you toward
your new goals!)
2. Change your perspective.
This one seems easy, but can be
tough if you haven’t cut ties with past demons. A change in perspective is more
than a change in scenery. Step number two involves looking at reality in a new
fashion. So you’re stalled. Great. It doesn’t feel good, but what if it did?
Changing your attitude about the change in productivity is often the way to get
back on track. Engines need fuel to run and so do writers. If you’re stalled,
it could be a sign that you need to fill the tank. But being gentle with
yourself – and taking that break from the routine – may be just what’s needed
to blow out what’s bothering you. Different people, places, and things give our
mind a much needed rest.
3. Start with small changes.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and
neither is a new perspective. A sign of just how stuck I am is that I’ve been
willfully cleaning the garage and breezeway. LoL. But you know what? It feels
good. The breezeway sure looks better and my mind isn’t bogged down with what I
think I “should” be doing when I go out there with my laptop. Same goes for
embracing my nightly yoga routine – a tiny one – outlined by my son who shakes
his head at his OCD mother’s lack of balance. But that’s part of the change,
too. My kiddos aren’t small anymore. They can see what might help me. So I’m listening.
Not a complete change as I’ve always tried to do that. But actually “doing”
what’s suggested is different. And that feels great.
4. Explore your purpose.
Seek meaning in your work. Dig deeper. If you’re out of touch, maybe it’s because your purpose has shifted. And that’s okay. Writers write. But they don’t have to write the same thing all the time. I’ve been woefully neglectful of my blog and perhaps that’s adding to my angst. Perhaps analysis is the way to go.
We writers embrace the premise of Goal, Motivation, Conflict when crafting our characters, but often fail to apply these faithful tools to ourselves. Want to create a great character? Dig into GMC. Find “your” purpose! To entertain? Teach? Share? Uplift? Intrigue. Rediscover what you want to do with your writing and then check out the obstacles with a dispassionate precision. You won’t be sorry.
5. Believe in yourself.
It’s been said that people are often
their own worst enemy. But we can also be our own best friend if we actively
engage in believing in ourselves. And the potential of every new day. So change
the toxic dialogue in your head. If you’re not making the progress you’d like
in your project, welcome to the club. Celebrate what progress you are making.
Lift the cloud of self-doubt and key on what you are accomplishing. Even a much
needed break is worth lauding if that respite keeps the proverbial cheese from
sliding off your cracker. We’re only human, but humans can achieve great things
if they believe they can. Otherwise we’d all be living in caves.
6. Practice being hopeful.
Treat pessimism like the pest it is. Would you let flies collect on your BBQ when you have hands to swat them away? I know I wouldn’t. (Another food reference, I know ;^) So don’t let your soul collect flies whose sole purpose is to sting and sully. Get back to basics. Do what’s needed to forestall the inevitable because the flies are out – in greater numbers during some seasons of our life. Pray, meditate, engage in those physical activities that will distract you from whatever poison threatens to dilute your hopes and hope on. We need to eat to stay alive, right? Well, we need to work on positivity — we need to pray — to stay positive. The alternative is is a very dark place.
7. Consider talking to a
In the Psych world, this means
seeking a therapist. In the writer’s world, this can mean seeking a
professional editor and mentor, or it can mean networking with fellow authors. We’re
not alone. We’re not the “first” to experience these realities of the writer’s
life. Far from it. Sometimes just getting the assurance that others have gone
before and conquered this nasty malaise is enough to nudge a writer back into
gear. Sometimes talking with friends is the break-thru we need to rediscover
ourselves, the core of whatever we write. So don’t miss the opportunity
presented by summer stall. It could be exactly what you need to…
Hey guys. I hope everyone is enjoying the shift in seasons and that nasty weather is on the decline. (We had a corker lightning storm Saturday night. Full on cracking, white light flashing in the wee hours. Lovely. But I’m weird that way.)
Meanwhile, I’m back with another author interview. Why do I do them? Because learning keeps us fresh. And the best way to learn is to glean wisdom from those who have gone before. Those who are doing what we want to do — keep writing. (Reading, too!)
So who is Lana Higginbotham? And why WRITING?
Firstly, I am Lana “Lynne” Higginbotham (Did you all catch that middle name? It’s important, but we’ll get there.) As a Speech-Language Pathologist and a writer/author, I wear two hats. My love of reading led me to writing early. During a terrible bout of scarlet fever at the age ten, my mother encouraged me to use her typewriter to decrease my boredom. It stirred stories, and I wrote, putting poems and stories in a drawer all the way through school. My high school Creative Writing teacher fanned the flames. I also participated in theater and started college in the theater department as a Communications major.
However, an unexpected college course touched my heart and led to a change in my major from Communications to Speech Pathology. I married, became a mother, graduated with three degrees: Associate of Arts, Bachelor of Science in Education with a Speech Pathology Major and a Special Education Minor, and a Master of Education in Speech-Language Pathology.
I live with my husband in East Texas. We are empty nesters and proud grandparents. (I’ll bet your granddaughter is pretty proud, too!)
You write romance, but what’s your message, Lana?
I have always loved
romance, but I believe the best ones must also involve God and family. My
characters all face challenging circumstances. None of my heroes and heroines
find each other on their own. I want my readers to look for God’s hand during
the everyday moments, as well as during the trials, recognizing how He walks us
all eternally home.
How does family/work/personal life play a role in your writing?
I treasure my family heritage. It is a legacy of faith and love. My readers can see how important family is to me. I gleaned inspiration for my post Civil War novels from the heritage of my great-grandfather who served as a 3rd lieutenant in the 4th Arkansas Infantry, CSA, but my fictional characters served in the 3rd Arkansas.
My advocacy for soldiers
draws from this lineage and also from growing up during the Vietnam war. I wore
an MIA bracelet until it fractured into two pieces. The soldier never returned
home and is still listed as missing.
Due to my years as a
Speech-Language Pathologist, I also support those who have developmental and
physical disabilities. One of my characters has suffered a spinal cord injury.
So what spurred that first book? And do tell about what’s out there for us to buy!
When my daughter entered middle school, I found my pen stirring again. I had continued to write poetry and learned to oil paint throughout my life. And after unearthing the last story I had started in high school, I headed to the library to start the historical research needed for the late 1866 period of my novel. But the winding road of writing prevailed. (Isn’t that always the way? That nagging have-to that isn’t satisfied until the words come out.)
And now. . .
These are my published historical fiction novels under my pen name, Lana Lynne:
Other writing credits include: A creative nonfiction novel, written with a coauthor: Life Between the Letters: The Chuck and Mary Felder Story (First Publication 2014) by Lana Lynne Higginbotham and Mary K. Felder. Unfortunately, this title is now unavailable due to the closing of my previous publisher. (Amazon, however, seems to have found copies. Pricey, but that’s a matter of perspective.)
Mary is now in her nineties. She is pleased with the people the story reached. The signings and public appearances/talks we made together following the book’s release satisfied her. The book received all five star reviews while available.
The characters come to me first. It’s like their names are whispered in my ears. The story premise soon follows and then the research process starts. I love going down that rabbit hole and the many tunnels of libraries, historical societies, newspaper archives, vintage bookstores, and internet searches. The last—internet research—is my least favorite. I’d rather visit the places and research the history of the cities, states, and surrounding areas in person. You don’t know the air, the smells, or people until you do. I’ve written from an outline and also without one, letting the story unfold on its own. Both have merits, but each story is different.
My current WIP is set in the late 1930s and 1940s. It is a fictional story based on some of a family member’s real childhood escapades.(The family member wishes to remain anonymous.) I love Mark Twain’s adventure stories. I hope to honor this story-style. Due to burning the candle at both ends, I’ve taken a short break to care for family and myself. So, finishing it has slowed a bit. My critique group members were enjoying it, but understood when I took a break.
My husband and I
continue to work. I am a SLP at an outpatient pediatric clinic. He teaches high
school speech/theater/radio and also acts in the professional Texas Shakespeare
Festival during the summers. We love time with our granddaughter and our second
grandchild is due in June.
What would you recommend to new writers/established writers?
Don’t try to write like everyone else. You do need the input from critique groups, writing groups, conferences, and editors to hone your craft, but keep your individual voice. No one else can write your story the way you do.
Where can reader’s best connect with you? Social media, etc.
I am on FB-personal page and an author’s page, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, Amazon Author page, and Pinterest. (Translated: Lana is EVERYWHERE ;^)
So there you have it. Another sit-down to tuck away and review whenever the writing journey gets you down. Thank YOU, Lana. And thank you readers. Don’t forget Lana’s sweet spirit-fused romances that will fuel your creative muse when she needs a rest. (What’s summer without a great books?)
No, seriously. If you want to write well, check out this must read by short story novelist and reading enthusiast Kayla Ann. Published and well on her way to holding a Masters in English/Creative writing, she gets the impulse to forge on.
What serious writer doesn’t?
The MUSE is demanding if nothing else. She can also hide a great many warts that we writers will not see if we rush to get our darlings out the door. Don’t believe me? Read on…and I hope you’ll join me in following Kayla Ann.
Check it out, peeps. The hedge is exploding. But careful tending is still required. I’m pruning deadheads to make room for new growth while exhausted blooms are put to good use.
Am I making compost?
Bath salts! I started making self-care products when my
kiddos were small. It was a great craft project and a reasonable alternative to
high cost purchases, especially when second-hand grinders etc. are readily
available. (Not that I don’t love me some LUSH products. Can’t beat their bath
But saving things is what I do. Maybe too much. I feel the same way about my manuscripts. Tossing things out – snippets of dialogue, description, colorful characters, etc. – gives me the willies. So the metaphorical hedge in my mind – and my file cabinet — is filled with future flowers.
This may seem to contrast with my earlier advice to prune extraneous projects, but a writer like any other human being needs to hold on to those things that feed the soul. Crafting is my catnip and often the delight of my eyes. Colors, textures, and patterns fuel my creative brain. I look at my tickle files the same, those safe places where I’ve tucked away old manuscripts. (Part of my future back list, set aside but not forgotten.) These beloved pages, sometimes frozen in stasis, sometimes left to age on purpose, will be repurposed.
All that’s needed is patience, tending, and a careful eye to pick through the trove. The best new book idea is often right there in your previous efforts, just waiting for you to bring new skills to the table.