June 18, 2015
Writing "The End" to a 90,000-word novel is more than relief and celebration — there is a let-down too. After living with the characters and their dilemmas for anywhere from eight months to a year, an author can't help but find it hard to let go. Sure, once the story is done and published, the exhilaration lasts for several weeks. But then what?
Personally, I find it hard to plunge into another major project, even in a series. I need time to think about other things, but I also need to continue to write. The answer is short stories and freelance articles. These are short-term projects that keep the brain working like a finely-tuned machine and, interestingly enough, while the gray cells are focusing on the job at hand, they are also churning out deeper ideas for the next "big one."
A few years ago, I wrote several short stories for inclusion in women's magazines. One, in particular, was contracted immediately by a new romance publication; sadly, before the third issue could go to press, the magazine folded (underfunded and undersubscribed) and my story rights reverted back to me. I put it aside to await another opportunity. And forgot about it.
Cleaning up old files on the computer recently, I came across it. Read it. Still liked it. Did some fine-tuning and, as they say, the rest is history.
Second Chances debuted on Kindle this week and the process of setting the story free has recharged my batteries. I'm ready to begin work on the fifth book in my Kovak & Quaid series. Sometimes we authors just need a little break.
April 5, 2015
I never dreamed when I started that something that seemed so simple could be so challenging. I mean, how hard is it to write stories in the same setting with the same people? I discovered that keeping everything straight for myself and my readers, as well as keeping my readers engaged with the characters for the long-term was not that easy.
So, I offer you Book 4 of the series and hope that you will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Kovak & Quaid thank you!
~ Toni Leland
Risky Business releases April 20, 2015
October 6, 2014
All the experts tell me that I should blog frequently, tell the world what I know or think, or at least stay on the radar screen.
Frankly, I believe that if someone else can say it better, I'd rather share than try to reinvent the wheel!
So, my latest excitement is Anne R. Allen's blog post about the value of reviews and how they affect authors. Her insights are valuable and should be absorbed by anyone who writes for the public.
Additionally, the "review of the future" will be as it always has been: discoverability through word-of-mouth. I plan to keep this image where I can see it frequently, to remind me to share the wealth of wonderful reading I've experienced. Feel free to do the same for yourself.
September 15, 2014
April 17, 2014
by Toni Leland
Recently, a successful writing colleague of mine commented that she’d received a truly nasty Amazon review of her newest release. I really sympathized with her—been there, felt that. And as I’ve wondered so many times in the past, my thought was: why do readers feel the need to vent their opinions so viciously? Or at all? If they didn’t like the book, is it necessary to say hurtful things to someone they don’t even know? Have they ever tried to write a book? Do they have any clue to what goes into crafting a story? Never mind getting it published!
- Why or how the book relates to the reader’s interest;
- The reader’s perception of how well the author used his or her craft, vis a vis language, characters, plot, etc.;
- What audience would enjoy the book;
- A brief description of the plot, without giving away key points (spoilers) or the ending;
- Why the reader did or did not enjoy the book.
Where's the Value?
Reviews and Sales
So, authors—keeping working on developing lizard skin. Difficult, but our mental health and creative juices depend on it. Try not to let negative reviews sidetrack your love of the craft and determination to make each story a better one.