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Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

  1. A Change of Direction

    March 18, 2014 by Kiersi

    You may have noticed it’s been pretty quiet over here on The Prolific Novelista. Or maybe you haven’t noticed, because that’s the thing about blogs: they work so long as you continue to update them. Readers will come when they can expect regular content, when they refresh the home page and find something new.

    And I have not lived up to that expectation.

    There’s a couple reasons for that, and even more reasons why it’s led me to decide to change my direction.

    A few months ago, I started to struggle to come up with topics for both this blog and for Publishing Hub, where I post every other Wednesday. Every post I began writing for TPN felt tired and boring and totally uninspired. (more…)

  2. Querying Tips, Critiquing, and YA Stands!

    July 3, 2013 by Kiersi

    So, two weeks ago I started blogging with a great group of authors on a fabulous book blog called YA Stands. Today my second post with them goes up, so I figured my relationship there is cemented enough that I can announce it here!

    You can read my first post, 5 Query Tips You Would Never Have Guessed Actually Work, by clicking here.

    Determine the end point of your query. The “end point” of your query is very different from the end point of your novel. A common pitfall in a query is trying to tell the whole story in three short paragraphs (including the ending)–but the point of a query is not to tell the whole story. The point of the query is to capture the agent’s interest so they request a partial or a full portion of your manuscript.

    I also just put up a post today about critiquing: The Ten Commandments of Critique. I hope you’ll stop by and bookmark this great resource!

    Select a partner that respects you as a person and a writer. Be clear up front about the category, genre, length and style of your manuscript. Ask point blank if your potential partner enjoys similar work–I try to select comparable titles (published work that’s like mine) and see if my partner has read or enjoyed them.

    The next part is important, but hard to quantify: select a critique partner that understands your vision for your work, and is willing to help you achieve that vision.

  3. Interview with Kelly Hashway

    June 4, 2012 by Kiersi

    Young adult novelist Kelly Hashway (author of the upcoming Touch of Death, SpencerHill Press January 2013) let me interview her last week about a number of important, burning topics. Most importantly, we talked about why she is so awesome.

    Here is the interview, so you readers and writers out there can glean some of her wisdom, and turn it into prolificness! And, of course, get a sneak peek into the inner workings of a talented wordsmith. I didn’t edit a thing, just for you.

    Me: So, Kelly. You have a YA novel coming out with SpencerHill Press in January of next year, a sequel already slated to released six months later, and a triquel in the works (later she corrected me that, in fact, she had finished a first draft of the final book in the series and was just waiting to be contracted for it).

    Now I know that your first YA book, Touch of Death, is about necromancers. Why did you pick necromancers?

    Kelly: I came up with the idea when I was writing another novel that had to do with the thirteenth sign of the zodiac. He didn’t play a major part in the novel, but when I looked into his story I learned a lesser-known myth about him. It had to do with Medusa. His name is Ophiuchus (K note: I had to look up how to spell this), and he has the ability to bring the dead back to life. I thought that was pretty cool, but necromancer books have been done before—so I wanted to do something a little different. (more…)

  4. A Lesson for All Authors

    June 1, 2012 by Kiersi

    Kiera Cass's agent Elana Roth, calling a reviewer a "bitch"

    Kiera Cass's agent Elana Roth, calling a reviewer of Cass's book a "bitch" on Twitter

    As a reviewer, I’ve experienced an author’s wrath first-hand. In my particular case, my negative book review spectacle was more fueled by said author’s rabid pack of fans than by the author herself–later incendiary comments on Goodreads by someone named “Marilyn” even accused all of us who wrote negative reviews about the book of “colluding to ruin this good woman’s reputation.”

    Regardless of that hilariously absurd allegation, the whole situation got me to thinking in broader terms about the blogosphere and the ramifications of its naturally low barrier to entry. To set up a blog these days, all you need to do is visit a site like or Blogger and create an account. Pick a theme, add some content, and you’re up and ready to post some book reviews. Social media networks such as Goodreads lower the barrier even further, so anyone with a computer can sign on and review a book.

    By the same token, authors use these platforms to great success. Kiera Cass (who I will talk about more in a moment) keeps an online journal where she talks about book releases, signings, and more. I recently added a book to my Goodreads’ “to read” list after reading a fabulous blog post by that book’s author. I’ve built relationships with other debut YA authors on Twitter over things like cover reveals and critique partners. Social media–including my Twitter, my Facebook, and my blog–have all done a lot of my marketing for me, because I simply enjoy using these mediums to talk about my passion. (Which means I am always working, and by the same token, never working.)

    My friend Abi over at A Hunger to Learn pointed me to a much larger-scale debacle than my indie-pub incident. This controversy stars Kiera Cass, New York Times best-selling author of The Selection (to which I gave a panning review here), and a high-profile blogger-slash-book reviewer who goes by Wendy Darling. (more…)

  5. The Craft of Book Reviewing

    April 13, 2012 by Kiersi

    A couple of weeks ago, I signed up to review a new book as part of a blog tour. I did it for two reasons: 1) I love free books, and ARCs count (even if the ARC is distributed digitally), and 2) I’m always up for helping and promoting new and indie authors. There are some real gems out there and I’d like to help them get noticed.

    If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll probably notice I’m not a pushover when it comes to giving my honest opinion about a book, especially one that’s been mass-marketed or published by one of the Big Six. I don’t derive any gratification from giving a negative review to a popular book, and it certainly doesn’t endear me to my audience, as someone recently pointed out on Twitter. And yet, I gave Lisa McMann’s The Unwanteds a one-star review because it just really rubbed me the wrong way. I simply can’t help myself–when I don’t like a book, I really don’t like it. When I love it?

    I’ll be the best cheerleader an author could ask for. (more…)

  6. Brave Little Blogger Contest

    March 15, 2012 by Kiersi

    Brave Little Blogger Contest 2012

    Are you a blogger? Do you want to win stuff and get noticed? Well, this year I’ll be one of four judges looking at all the contest entries for the Brave Little Blogger Contest on Emily Seuss’s blog, Seuss’s Pieces, and I want to see your blog win!

    The rules are pretty simple:

    -Write a 750-word (or less) blog post about the contest theme CENSORSHIP. The theme is a springboard for ideas. Don’t let it limit your creativity.

    -Publish your response to the prompt on your blog or website. (Must be your original work.)

    -Include the “official entry” button somewhere in your post. Go to the official rules page to grab your badge.

    -Upload a link to your blog post to the contest page.  Make sure you grab the actual post URL, and not just the URL to your blog’s home page. Won’t do you any good.

    So get cracking! It’s totally free to enter. The final due date for your post is Saturday, March 31st. Check out the Brave Little Blogger Contest on Seuss’s Pieces for tips on generating ideas and writing your blog post.

    And don’t forget–I’ll be reading them, so make it good!

  7. Giraffes and WordPress Blogs

    March 6, 2012 by Kiersi

    To start this post off right, here is a cute picture of some giraffes I doodled in preparation for a new children’s book:

    Mother giraffe and baby I haven’t written the book yet, but giraffes are just so awesomely awkward that I had to draw them. P.S. – If you know any totally awesome and/or hilarious facts about giraffes, please post them in the comments!

    Second, I want to make a quick plug. After helping my mom set up a WordPress blog for her photography, she suggested I offer the same service to other people out there who want to get started with a blog, but aren’t sure how or where to start. I’ve always enjoyed teaching technology–I was a professional trainer of web services at my last job, and though I left to work as a writer, I’ll always miss it. (more…)

  8. Critique My Blog!

    February 1, 2012 by Kiersi

    Critique my blog!

    As most of you who have followed me for a while know, I’m a total blog novice–but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I had no idea what I was getting into before I started this thing; all I wanted was a place to post short stories, review books I love (and sometimes hate), and give other readers and writers an insight into the writing process. I hope I am still true to that spirit today of novicery. (Yeah, I just made that word up. But you can use it.)

    Long story short, today is the beginning of the “Critique My Blog” BLOGFEST. If this sounds cool, and you are thinking to yourself, “Shoot, I’d like my blog critiqued,” feel free to click here and add your blog to the list.

    The point of this post is to ply you, my wonderful readers and writers, for some feedback regarding my blog. Since I’m not able to change much about my blog in terms of appearance at this point, I’m going to ask that my wonderful reviewers focus mainly on content. If you have the time, please leave your feedback in the comments of this post.

    a. Frequency: Do I post too often? Not often enough?

    b. Content: Are the posts interesting? Unique? Are they focused, or all over the place?

    c. Quality: Are the individual posts too long, too short, too sloppy, or too generic?

    Thanks for your help making The Prolific Novelista the best source of entertainment, how-tos, and free reads possible!

  9. Advice to Bloggers: Categorizing

    January 16, 2012 by Kiersi

    This post brought to you by: our nifty rented apartment in Buenos Aires, Argentina!

    I decided to write an advice column today after seeing some articles pop up recently on She Writes about organizing and indexing a very large blog. Whether you’ve only been blogging a few months (like me), or you’ve been blogging since the internet was born from Al Gore’s strangely charming uterus, these tips will help readers find exactly what they’re looking for in your mass of content, as well as show them new things they didn’t know they wanted to read.

    Now, since I’m only a WordPress user and there are dozens of other blogging services out there, I want to clarify to you that “how to categorize and index your blog” bit is specifically regarding the use of WordPress. I could write ten whole blog posts about getting started using WordPress, which option is right for you ( or, how to set up your blog, how to find and install widgets, but I won’t go into all that here. Instead, I’m going to focus on making your past and future content discoverable and easy to navigate.

    1. What exactly is a “category”? (more…)

  10. How Do You Write? An Interview

    December 8, 2011 by Kiersi

    How Do You Write?

    An Interview

    Jen Fejta holds a BA in English and French Studies from Lewis & Clark College. She works at Literary Arts in Portland, Oregon, where she directs Delve: Readers’ Seminars, a program that engages readers with discussion-based seminars led by professional writers and scholars on classic and contemporary literature.

    She is also my friend and cohort in the writing and editing process.

    Jen: So let’s start with your day. What time do you wake up? Is writing the very first thing you do, or is it the last thing? Now that you’re working at home, how is your day structured?

    Kiersi: I’m freshest in the morning. A lot of my stories are based on dreams. I find that when I wake up in the morning, sometimes I am exhausted and lazy. Those times, I have to take a long shower and cook a big breakfast for myself to feel ready for the day. Most of the time, though, I wake up rejuvenated, with the energy that I need to write.

    I like to start early if I can. The other morning I woke up at 5 a.m. My neighbor was making some noise, and I’d gotten to bed early, so I just jumped out of bed and I was ready to rock and roll for about four hours until I stopped for breakfast. (more…)