Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Beverly Stowe McClure stops by Penny's Tales






WRITING VS PROMO

All I want to do is write. Stories fill my head. Characters whisper in my ears. My computer screen glares at me, as though asking “What are you waiting for? You’ve stories to tell, books to write, places to visit, worlds to create. So what are you doing for hours every day?”

“I’m blogging, tweeting, and all the other promotion things I can think of,” I say. And the truth hits me, right between the eyeballs. I’m spending more time promoting my novels than I am writing new ones. This is not what I want to do. I’m a writer. I create books for children, teens, and the young at heart to read. Yes, it is important to promote them because everyone says “Beverly Who?” when they see my name on Amazon or other places that talk about books. Without promotion, no one will ever recognize me as an author. I don’t write for fame or for money. (Good thing there, huh?) I write because writing brings me joy, and I hope my novels encourage, inspire, and touch young readers’ lives in a positive way. So, to solve my dilemma, hopefully, I’ve given myself a schedule, and I plan to stick to it as closely as possible. Writing first, then promotion.

Mornings, from 9 to 11:30 AM, after I’ve answered a few emails, and my brain is alert and can think, I write. At the moment, I’m on the final revisions of a YA contemporary novel. Some days I switch to the rough draft of a YA historical novel, and it is coming along slowly. My critique partner is reading the sequel to one of my books to help me revise it. Also, another Chicken Soup for the Soul story is playing around in my mind. With this many manuscripts waiting for my attention, I must stay busy writing.   
Promoting my books that are published is also a necessity. The afternoons work good for me. I answer more emails, check out Facebook and my blogs (I usually pre-post them a few days ahead of time, in case my Internet service goes down, which it has been known to do). I also read other authors’ blogs and leave comments then trot back to Facebook again to see what’s happening with my friends there. I might post a few tweets and retweet others that I like. I review books for authors, too, and spend a couple hours each day reading their novels. I make my to-do list and check off each task as I accomplish it. Some items are always left for tomorrow. My promotion still takes up a greater chunk of my day than my writing does, so I’m searching for other ways to use my time wisely and do both, writing and promo.

For those writers of you that have children at home and/or work at a job outside the home, how do you do it? I’m retired from teaching. It’s just the cats and me, and my days are way too short. I’d love to write in the afternoons, too. What is your secret? How do you balance your creative side with your business side? I bet other readers would like to know. I sure would. 





About the book:

Thirteen-year-old Erik Burks’ life is falling apart. When he discovers a lace bra in the glove compartment of his dad’s car, his mom leaves his father and drags Erik from being king of the hill in Texas to the bottom of the pits in South Carolina. No Dad, no baseball, no friends, just Starry Knight (a girl who reads minds) and her equally weird brother, Stormy, the twins that live down the block.

Just when Erik thinks life can’t get any worse, while hanging out at the beach one evening, he and the twins notice lights radiating from the lighthouse. The only problem is the lighthouse was deactivated years ago. Stranger still, a ship materializes in the moonlit harbor. Curious, the twins and a reluctant Erik investigate and discover the ghost of a blockade runner, a phantom cat, and a pirate who prowls Charleston Harbor, all searching for rest.
A former nonbeliever in the existence of ghosts, Erik cannot deny the proof before him. And he has a revelation: The ghosts may be the answer to his desire to return home. Erik soon makes a deal with the ghosts. He’ll help them find what they’re looking for so their spirits can rest in peace. In return, the ghosts will scare Erik’s mother so she’ll be on the next flight back to Texas. Star thinks his plan stinks, but Erik wants his life back, even at the cost of his mother’s sanity.


Excerpt:

          “Have you seen the lights?” Star asked.
          On the day we met she told me to call her Star or Starry. Either way she was from outer space. I glanced over my shoulder at the football field length of tall grass separating the beach from the nearest houses.
          “You mean those?” I pointed at the hazy glow around a street lamp. “What’s the big deal?”
          “Not those. Over there.” Star tipped her head in the direction of the water. “Look.”
          “I’m looking. I’m looking.” Why was she so excited? All I saw was a faint beam of light floating across the inlet. “So? It’s a reflection of the moon.”
          Star shook her head. “No moon tonight.”
          She was right. Yet stars (the heavenly kind, not the girl) glittered between the layers of gathering clouds. “Okay, it’s only the starlight.”
          “The light comes from the lighthouse,” Star said.
          “You can see it blink on and off,” Storm added.
            Morris Island Lighthouse stood several hundred yards into the water. According to Mom, who was big on history, the water was land during the Civil War. Over the years the sea had eroded the shore and water now surrounded the lighthouse. I couldn’t deny the yellow glow flowing from the top of the building. I couldn’t explain it either.
“Impossible. Mom said the lighthouse has been out of commission for years. The lantern was removed. Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse across Charleston Harbor replaced it.”
          “Then tell us what it is, Erik,” Star said. “You see it. Storm and I see it. This isn’t the first time, either. On cloudy, rainy nights the light flashes on.”
          “It’s not raining,” I said.
          “It is raining.”
          Star had barely said the words when a gust of wind whipped across the beach. Sand spiraled like a Texas dust devil. Something wet slapped me on the nose. Several somethings wet—raindrops. The space girl predicted the weather. So what? Dark clouds usually brought rain. “Yeah, it’s raining.” Under my breath I mumbled, “And I’m getting wet.”
In a lame attempt to pep me up about my new home, Mom had promised many adventures waited for me in Charleston. Adventures? Yeah. If you called ocean waves slurping against the shore and neighbors with two grains of sand each for brains adventures, I was up to my wet nose in adventures.
          The twins stared into the gloomy night, watching the light fading into a dim sliver.
The rain seeped into my T-shirt, gluing it to my skin. Lightning raced across the sky. I shivered. I’d had enough. I shook Stormy’s shoulder. He kept his eyes focused across the inlet. Star didn’t budge. They could drown if they wanted. I was outta there. I jumped to my feet, turned, and took one step, before Star snagged my ankle.
          “Wait. Where are you going?”
          “Home, before I turn into a duck with webbed feet,” I yelled above the whistling wind and growling thunder.
          She freed my ankle and stood. Raindrops plastered her carrot-red hair against her face.
“Besides the light, we’ve seen a ship, Erik. It always comes during bad weather.”
          Stormy sprang up. “We think someone in the lighthouse is warning the ships.”
          “Who? How? They can’t.”

Purchase at MuseItUp Publishing or Amazon!




About the author:

Beverly Stowe McClure, a former teacher, is now enjoying a second career: writing. She never planned to be a writer, but in the classroom she and her students did such fun activities in art and science that she decided to write about some of them. Luckily, a few magazines liked what she sent them, and her articles have appeared in Humpty Dumpty, Jack and Jill, Ladybug, Focus on the Family Clubhouse, Jr., and others. Nine of her stories have been published as books, the latest one a MG/Tween eBook: A Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat. She also has two stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies.
Beverly enjoys discovering her ancestors in her genealogy research. She plays the piano. (Thank you, Mom, for making encouraging me to practice.) She takes long walks where she snaps pictures of wildlife and clouds, and of course she reads, usually two books at a time. She teaches a women’s Sunday school class. Watching baseball (Go Rangers) is another of her favorite activities. Retirement is fun.
 You can learn more about Beverly Stowe McClure at http://beverlystowemcclure.wordpress.com or her blog at http://beverlystowemcclure.blogspot.com.

Friend Beverly on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/beverlysmcclure

Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/beverlymcclure

Become one of Beverly’s fans on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/11462.Beverly_Stowe_McClure

A Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat VBT Schedule
October 7th
October 8th
Author interview at Blogcritics
October 9th
Author interview at As the Pages Turn
October 10th
Author interview at Between the Covers
October 11th
Author interview at The Dark Phantom Review
October 14th
Guest post at Authors and Appetizers
October 15th
Author interview at Broowaha
October 16th
October 17th
Author interview at Examiner
October 18th
Guest post at Literarily Speaking
October 21st
October 22nd
Book spotlight at The Writer’s Life
October 23rd
Guest post at Penny’s Tales
October 24th
Book spotlight at Cheryl’s Book Nook
October 25th
Book spotlight at Review from Here
October 28th
Book review at This Kid Reviews Books 
October 29th
Book review at Cheryl’s Book Nook
October 31st
Book tour highlights at The Book Rack





 

15 comments:

  1. Hi Penny. Thank you for hosting me on my tour today. If anyone has a comment or question, I'm happy to answer it. Have a great day.

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  2. Thanks for hosting Bev today. This is a wonderful book. I hope your readers check it out.

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    1. Thanks for setting up such a great tour, Cheryl. I'm enjoying meeting everyone.

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  3. My day is usually flopped. I do my promotion and blog reading in the morning. Exercise and then write until the kids start circling for dinner. I even did some critiquing last night after dinner. Being a writer is a lot like being a mom. When everyone gets President's Day off, you are still working!

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    1. Interesting, Kai. Just shows that we're all different in the way we do things. Yep. Holidays for writers are just another day. Having kids at home makes for good time scheduling too. My cats aren't particular, as long as food is in their dish.

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  4. My goodness. As a non writer I didn't realize all the work you have to do. Your book sounds wonderful Beverly and I am going to have my grandson take a look.
    Marilyn

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    1. Yes, it's work, Marilyn, enjoyable work. :) Great! I hope your grandson enjoys meeting the pirates and teens. Have a great day.

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  5. Hi guys and thanks for stopping by! Since being retired, I have actually started going out to our travel trailer to write so I'm not tempted to check email/FB/twitter...LOL Not to mention my hubby always wants to talk!!!!

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    1. Good idea. It's so easy to let other things distract a writer. Family just doesn't always understand.

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  6. Hi Beverly,

    Congratulations on your latest book! As a fellow author I know what you mean about all the marketing. I always write my first draft long hand, away from the distraction of the computer.

    Best wishes for your continued success!

    Warmly,
    Donna

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    1. Thanks, Donna. Writing in long hand would help prevent those impulses to just check the email which leads to more and more Internet. :) I may just try that sometimes.

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  7. This is a great book. Best wishes with the tour!

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    1. Thank you, Susanne. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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  8. I have discovered my "writing time" is right after lunch. Mornings are for emails, reading blogs, promos, blog writing, and FB. I also fit in housekeeping, and paying attention to my DH. I have discovered there is no use for me to try and work on my WIP after 3:30 pm. I can't put two words together that I like after that time. But these are not hard and fast "rules." I won't turn down any fun times together, writers meetings, shopping, and traveling, etc. Yes, we are all so different, just like our stories!

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  9. Sounds like a good schedule, J Q. By around 3 or 4 PM my brain quits working. I think it goes back to my teaching days where I let down and relaxed after the kids got out of school. Of course adjustments always have to be made. Thanks.

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