March Giveaway with Mary Buckham and Dianna Love

March 8, 2008 at 4:05 pm | Posted in contests, Dianna Love Snell, Mary Buckham, writing | Leave a comment

We’ve had a great week here at the Purple Hearts, thanks to the visit from Mary Buckham and Dianna Love.  They have graciously donated two prizes for us to give away, so without further ado, here are the names of the winners, drawn at random — 

The winner of the set of 5 BREAK INTO FICTION™ templates from the highly successful Break Into Fiction™ Template Teaching Series is . . . Laurie Wood

And the winner of a critique of a query or cover letter is . . . Kat Jorgensen

Congratulations, Ladies!  And thank you all for stopping by to join us this week . . . especially Mary and Dianna for sharing so much of their time, encouragement, and expertise with us.  

We look forward to seeing you all again, soon!  

 

Writing Partners and The Business of Writing

March 3, 2008 at 7:26 am | Posted in career, Dianna Love Snell, friendship, Jessica, Mary Buckham, writing | 1 Comment
Tags:

A good businessperson will look to surround herself with people whose strengths complement her weaknesses – together, they make a stronger whole.

As Myretta Robens mentioned in her blog for us back in September, the friendships that writers strike with one another have professional, social, and restorative properties to them. That very idea was the main reason we Purple Hearts started this blog – to help each other through the ups and downs of learning, practicing, becoming better writers, and getting published.

And with Mary Buckham and Dianna Love Snell as our guests this month, the timing of today’s blog post is a little uncanny. As Dianna mentioned in their post, “If one of us finds something interesting we share it and the other will dig a little deeper for a new nugget of information.” . . . which speaks to the point of my post today.

Interesting enough, a whole other aspect of writing relationship has emerged as a result of this blog – how our strengths help one another out. With so much information available on so many different things, we Purple Hearts have inadvertently settled into different roles that we fill for one another. In that way, we have partnered to fill these important aspects in the business of writing. One of us may be the go-to plot doctor while another is the research maven and yet another friend in our online community is the marketing expert. We help fill gaps in each other’s knowledge and share with each other those interesting somethings that prompt us to dig deeper for the nuggets Dianna mentioned.

When brought together, the whole is much greater than the sum of our parts and I believe that this strong support – social and professional – will factor into our success as writers.

As Mary wrote in their post, “. . . the day you decide that nothing will stop you from being published is the day you’ll never turn back. You’ll make different choices as to how you spend your time, who you will associate with, how you will invest in your career.”

So if you choose to take on partners, pick good ones who will balance out your weaknesses and contribute to your success. No matter what, keep writing!

We thank Mary and Dianna for being here with us this week. As a bonus, they are giving away two generous prizes at the end of the week – a set of 5 BREAK INTO FICTION™ templates from their highly successful Break Into Fiction™ Template Teaching Series to one winner and a critique of a query or cover letter to another. Post a comment to their blog to be eligible. Winners will be chosen at random on Friday.

-Jessica

Honorary Heartlette(s) – Mary Buckham and Dianna Love

March 2, 2008 at 7:39 am | Posted in Dianna Love Snell, Honorary Heartlette, Mary Buckham, writing | 106 Comments
Tags:

BREAK INTO FICTION – WHAT IT TAKES TO GET PUBLISHED TODAY

Today we have double the pleasure. Dianna Love AND Mary Buckham are joining us, and they’re offering some fun giveaways, so stayed tuned for more on that in a minute. First, I’d like to tell you a little about our guests.

Dianna is a Rita-Award winning author (WORTH EVERY RISK) who also owns her own business (www.ArtProductionsInc.com) where she designs, fabricates and installs unusual outdoor marketing projects for Fortune 500 companies. She’s excited about her next project, PHANTOM IN THE NIGHT (Pocket/June 2008) — a romantic suspense collaboration with #1 NYT Best-selling Author Sherrilyn Kenyon.

Mary is a popular national speaker and writing instructor who has two award-winning books to her credit (INVISIBLE RECRUIT is her latest). She is also one of the driving forces behind www.WriterUniv.com — an on-line university by and for writers.

Their topic today? Breaking Into Fiction – What it takes to get published today!

As I mentioned, Dianna and Mary are offering door prizes! All you have to do is post to be entered in the drawing, both geared toward aspiring authors. The first is a drawing for a set of 5 BREAK INTO FICTION™ templates from the highly successful Break Into Fiction™ Template Teaching Series (www.BreakIntoFiction.com).

The second is a critique of your query or cover letter to get you one step closer to a dynamite proposal package.

And now for the blog…

We often wonder what it takes for writers today to break out of the pack of hopefuls to become a published author. As relatively new authors themselves, Mary and Dianna delved into this mystery and are here to share what they’ve observed while working with hundreds of aspiring writers. And they want to hear your views on what you feel it takes to get published too.

Dianna–If you’re a voracious reader like me, you have stacks of books by favorite authors who are multi-published. But what about the debut author whose first book hits the shelves and no one has heard of him/her? Prior to selling, I sought books by new authors to see what was selling. That was how I read Mary’s debut book MAKEOVER MISSION — a fast romantic suspense — before I ever met her in person. I enjoyed the surprises I found this way and think that’s why I’ve continued to seek out debut authors. When Brenda Novak told me about the Fog City Divas Blog, I found Monica McCarty, debut author of HIGHLANDER UNTAMED. Brenda knows I read suspense since I write it, but she might not have known that I enjoy historicals as well — so, bam, I’m introduced to a new author.

The month my first book — WORTH EVERY RISK — came out, I was approached at the Romantic Times Convention by a woman who said, “I bought your book and really enjoyed it.” I was blown away by anyone knowing who I was and told her I was flattered and thrilled. She said, “No, you don’t understand. I didn’t know who you were, but I saw your name and book everywhere I turned so I finally had to buy it.” That was a “wow” moment I’ll never forget, which made me feel better about the time and expense I had put into marketing the book, since we rarely have any idea if our marketing works.

Mary—After working with hundreds and hundreds of writers over the last few years whether in a classroom teaching environment, working one-on-one with synopsis or query help or through the Break Into Fiction™ PLOTTING weekends there are several elements that I’ve seen that sets some writers apart and gives them that extra edge needed to break out and into the ranks of the published. The first is attitude. There’s a mind set that is loud and clear dividing those who will be published from those who’d like to be published. The first group will do what it takes, regardless of the obstacles, work or time involved. When they receive rejections they mourn, but then get right back to sending out another query, another proposal, getting more feedback if needed as they continue to press forward. They do not start their conversations with phrases such as “But I have a job…young kids…school-age kids…aging parents…no support…little time…” You fill in the blanks. Those who will be published will offer no excuses.

The second issue is the willingness to take feedback and apply it. Not to say that all feedback is spot on, but those who will be published will keep pushing themselves to learn from others and apply what they learn so that their work and their process of working continues to improve. The ones who will be published continue to work at the craft of writing, whether it’s taking online classes or conference workshops, or analyzing other writers or improving what they already do well. The ones who will be published never give up, because that is a guarantee of non-publication.

Dianna – Once you’ve decided you’re “in” for the long haul, you can never, ever, ever stop learning or trying to improve your writing. I hope to still be learning something new the day I draw my last breath. I attack every story with gusto, wanting to drive my characters and plot to a new level. Mary and I often read for each other and I love the way she never fails to surprise me with the way she thinks. I want books that catch me off guard so that’s what I’m after when I write. We both analyze everything we come into contact with – novels, movies, short stories, characters, writing craft and style. If one of us finds something interesting we share it and the other will dig a little deeper for a new nugget of information. We love the time we’ve spent with all the thousands of students we’ve worked with on their stories while sharing our Break Into Fiction Template Teaching Series, but realized there was no way to reach everyone. That’s what led to the nonfiction book we’ve written that is coming out in 2009.

Mary – The great news for writers everywhere is they have the choices daily to commit and work toward their goal of publication or not. They have the power. Many times as unpublished writers we think all the power is in the hands of editors or agents, but it’s not. It’s in your hands and the day you decide that nothing will stop you from being published is the day you’ll never turn back. You’ll make different choices as to how you spend your time, who you will associate with, how you will invest in your career. The greatest power to break into fiction publication rests with you and we’re here today to let you know that.

Now what about you? What do you see as the greatest obstacles to publication and what sets those whom you know have published apart?

Honorary Heartlette(s) – Mary Buckham and Dianna Love Snell

February 24, 2008 at 7:53 am | Posted in Dianna Love Snell, Honorary Heartlette, Mary Buckham, writing | Leave a comment

We are so excited to announce our Honorary Heartlette(s) for the month of March! 

On Sunday, March 2, please join us when award winning authors Mary Buckham and Dianna Love Snell, founders of the Break Into Fiction – Power Plotting Workshop Weekends, stop by to share their time and expertise with us. 

Stay tuned!

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.