July 17, 2013

What I did during #MFRWorg Summer Camp @AuthorTinaGayle #RLFblog #MFRWcamp

MFRW Summer Camp 
Today Tina Gayle shares her take on Marketing for Romance Writers Summer Camp, held last weekend on the Coffee Time Romance forum.
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I can't tell you how excited I was for MFRW summer camp to start. Not only had I signed up to give a class, but there were so many wonderful classes to take. I love learning new things so I've been biting at the bit to get started.
I was blown away with the pre-camp class by Kristyn Phipps. She explained how to use Buffer, had pictures and diagrams and cyber popcorn...oh, my. Best of all, I was able to read it a day later. I couldn't attend the class on the day she posted it, but managed to learn it a day late. Man, how I love internet classes.
Now with the stage set for camp to begin, I had to get my stuff up and going. My class of "Cut the Crap" (on editing) needed to be ready to run with the rest of the classes by Friday. I had the handout ready and then sat down to fill in all the things that weren't in the outline. It is amazing how a one page outline can morph into pages of explanation. I broke the class up into several parts so as not to overwhelm my students and to concentrate on one point at a time.
I posted the new thread and watched as the number of views when up. Silly, I know, but I was surprised by the number of people who could relate to the points I was making. While I waited for comments or questions, I ventured into the other classes.
Wow, talk about finding useful information. From discovering how to form a Street Team group to understanding POV, there were classes on so many topics I struggled to read all the information in the time I had allotted for camp.
The best part is that even though camp is officially over. I can still go back and read through the parts that I missed. Check it out at http://coffeetimeromance.com/board/forumdisplay.php?f=1977&page=4&order=desc
I can also download all the handouts so I can review them later. Check them out at http://marketingforromancewriters.org/camp.htm
Coffee Time Romance did a wonderful job of making this appear seamless. I know it wasn't, but as an attendee, I had no problems with viewing classes or leaving comments.
Also, there were fun games on Pinterest. I didn't play, not because I didn't want to, time became a factor for me. My husband decided a round of golf was needed to round out his weekend so what can I say, I indulged.
For those of you who didn't attend the camp, I strongly recommend that you check out the above sites and gain what you can from some excellent information. RWA is having their national convention this week. I have to say summer camp was better. One, it isn't as expensive (Free for the camp.) Two, no crowds. Three, great information, and four, all while living in the comfort of your home. What more could you ask for?
Man, summer camp so rocks, I can't wait till next year.
Thanks to everyone who made this happen. You guys are the best.

About the Author
Tina Gayle

After years of working in the business world doing a variety of jobs, she decided to try her hand at writing and hope to incorporate the joy of being a mother into her books.
Currently working on a series about four executive wives, she is excited about combining elements of women fiction with the passion of romance. The first three books have been released and the last one is coming out in 2014.
Married twenty-five years, she and her husband love to travel and play golf. She can't wait for Mike to retire so they can do more of both.
Read the first chapter of any of her books by visiting her website.

Find Me Here

July 15, 2013

Character Interview: Sean from The Final Line @kendallmckenna #RLFblog #GLBT

The Final Line 
Kendall McKenna, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. We're excited to interview your character, Sean Chandler from the book, The Final Line (Book 3 The Recon Diaries).
Genre: M/M, military, mystery/suspense
Publisher: MLR Press
Cover artist: Jared Rackler
Length: 108,000 words
Heat rating: 4 Flames
Tagline: Love and Dog Tags
Staff Sergeant Corey Yarwood is an instructor at the Basic Reconnaissance Course. His last deployment ended in horror, but he can't remember those events. Battling severe PTSD, Corey's drinking is growing out of control.
Sean Chandler walks into a dive bar, and into Corey's life. An actor and a musician, Sean has the empathy and compassion to sooth Corey's pain, and the strength to support him as he struggles to heal.
Corey's lost memories are pivotal to a civilian murder, and a military investigation. Remembering could mean salvation, or destruction. Will the truth be too much for Sean to handle?
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Corey Yarwood, 27 years old, Staff Sergeant, US Marine Corps
Sean Chandler, 30 years old, actor/musician

Interview with Sean Chandler

Tell us about yourself.
Well, okay. My name is Sean Chandler. I'm thirty years old. I'm an actor, a singer, and a song writer. I graduated from USC as a musical theater major. I've had several roles on Broadway as part of ensemble casts. Recently, I've been getting some high profile supporting roles in movies. Mostly, though, I've had a lot of guest roles on popular and genre television shows, and I voice a lead character in a very successful animated film franchise. Most of my success has been in acting, so far, but I would really like to work in music a little more.
Tell us about Corey.
Corey. Oh, excuse me. That would be Staff Sergeant Corey Yarwood, USMC Force Recon. He's a big, blond, blue-eyed, tattooed Marine. He's so strong and so capable, he doesn't feel the need to prove any of it. He's really sexy, and really funny, and has no idea. He's also the strongest person, emotionally, I've ever met, but he doesn't know that about himself, either. He puts up with my crazy job and my unpredictable hours, like it's nothing.
Fire for Effect 
What do you think is your strongest point?
My creativity or my sensitivity. They're probably intertwined.
What would Corey say is your strongest point?
My patience. He thinks I'm more patient than I really am, though. For some reason, he thinks it's a burden to talk to him about the things going on in his life and his career. But it's not. He's interesting and enjoyable to be around, so no patience is involved. He just refuses to believe me.
What do you wish was different about your life?
I love my job and I wouldn't want to do anything else. But it requires a lot more travel than I wish it did. If there was anything about my life I wish was different, it would be that I didn't have to travel quite as much. Corey's job doesn't let him travel with me very much, and it even takes him away for days or weeks at a time. I guess it's not the travel that I'd change, it's the being away from Corey so much. I don't want to think about him getting deployed again.
If you were given your fondest wish, what would it be?
I've already been given my fondest wish.

About the Author

Kendall McKenna's first work of fiction was written at the worldly age of nine, and was a transformative work that expanded on the story told in a popular song of the time.
She tried her hand at vampire and cowboy fiction, winning high school poetry and short story contests along the way. It wasn't until she discovered the world of m/m erotic fiction and found her stride with cops, Marines and muscle cars, that she felt inspired to share her stories with readers who enjoy the same things.
Putting herself through college by working in a newly-created HIV testing clinic in her local Department of Health, introduced Kendall to the gay and lesbian community. Understanding and empathy has made her a lifetime advocate of GLBT issues.
A brief bout of unemployment gave Kendall the time and focus she needed to finally produce a novel worth submitting for publication. Her first novel, Brothers In Arms, introduced the world to her authentic military stories and characters.

Kendall was born and raised in Southern California, where she still lives and works. A non-conventional relationship has kept her happy for the last decade. Her four dogs enjoy it when she writes, as she sits still long enough for them to curl up around her.

Brothers in Arms

Previous Books

Brothers In Arms (The Recon Diaries)
Fire For Effect (The Recon Diaries)
Strength of the Pack (Tameness of the Wolf)
Nights In Canaan

Books Coming Soon

Strength of the Wolf (Tameness of the Wolf)


Leave a comment with your email to be eligible to win an e-book copy of The Final Line (Book 3 of The Recon Diaries).

Find Me Here

July 13, 2013

MFRW Summer Camp: A Deleted Lesson on Twitter @MFRW_ORG #RLFblog #MFRWcamp

Marketing for Romance Writers -- Summer Camp

Marketing for Romance Writers Summer Camp 2013

Join our workshops here:
Sign in, or join. You must also join the MFRW group. We are listed at the top of every page. Full instructions for joining are here: http://marketingforromancewriters.org/media/CTRforuminstructions.pdf

What kinds of things do we teach at camp? See yesterday's post for a full listing of the schedule. Everything from writing tips to blogging, making the most of Triberr, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media. We have podcasting, using Paper.li, and how to handle queries and pitches.

Here's a peek at one of the workshops that **did not** make it into this year's camp.

Top Ten Tips for Finding #Followers on Twitter

Whether you're a reader or a writer, or both (like me) you might have questions about Twitter. I have a few answers for you. These are basics, but they have helped me, and I hope they help you.

Do I need an avatar?

You betcha. Get yourself an avatar, and you'll start getting new followers. Folks without avatars (only the egg showing) are referred to as eggheads on Twitter. Spammers don't usually bother with avatars because they get kicked off so fast, so people are wary when they see one. Twitter will let you use almost any picture. If you have one for Facebook, you can usually use that.

Should I tell people I'm on Twitter?

Absolutely, and give the full URL. Don't do the @myname thing. Does @kayelleallen look cool? Yes. But can you click that? Nope. Always give people a clickable link. Want followers? Give people a link to follow and they will. Write it out this way: http://twitter.com/kayelleallen

Where do I put the link?

Start with your author signature in email. Definitely put it on your website and blog. Are you self published? Add it to your book in the "about the author" section. If you're on a forum or group, add it to your signature there. Put it in your profiles on other social media. List it in print flyers. Put it anywhere your name is going to be seen.

Is it necessary to be on Twitter?

Here's my opinion. Are you an author? Then yes, it's necessary. Can you survive without it? Of course. But it's like opening a store downtown and thinking that you don't need a phone. Why wouldn't you take advantage of one of the most popular tools for sharing information in the world? Do you watch TV? Ever notice those little words at the bottom of the screen that have a # mark in front? Those are Twitter hashtags. People can share info about the show live using those hashtags on Twitter. If Twitter is that popular and that much a part of our culture, can you afford not to be there?

How many followers do I need?

Your followers will talk about your book, help it go viral, and spread the word. Let's say you have 100 followers. To make this easy, let's say each of them has 100 followers. If ten of your followers each share a tweet you send out about your book, your one tweet just went to 1000 people. Twitter sharing is exponential. Imagine if you have more followers and a higher percentage shares a tweet? The reach could be huge. On Twitter, you want lots of followers. How many you get is up to you and how much you share that's of interest to your tweeps.

Where do I find followers?

Follow people who interest you. Here are some easy things that attract followers.
  • Look at the lists others make and consider following the people on them.
  • Retweet other people's info. They may follow you back.
  • Tweet 10 things about other people. Then one thing about you.
  • People love to be talked about. Say something complimentary. They will notice.
  • Spend 10 minutes a day reading and replying to random tweets.

Anything I shouldn't do on Twitter?

Yes, and please heed these.
Never send direct messages (DMs) unless you are getting in touch for a personal reason. People view automatic DMs to new followers as spammy. They don't like it.

What about those verification programs? Any good?

I don't recommend them. The systems require your would-be-followers to do an anti-spam thing. If you are an author you should want followers. Let them follow you.

Should I follow everyone back?

No. Follow people who interest you. You don't have to read every tweet everyone sends -- but it's fun to see new material and you'll get that if you have a lot of followers. I don't recommend using an auto-follow service. Sadly, if you do you'll inadvertently follow spammers.

What's a hashtag?

A hashtag is a search word on Twitter. It's a word embedded in the message and marked with a # symbol. When you click the word, it triggers a search for the word. You can make anything a hashtag. They cannot contain any type of punctuation. 

Bonus: Remember to have fun.

Twitter is social media. Social means hanging out, having fun, and being natural. Twitter is like sex. If you're not enjoying it, you're probably doing it wrong, or with the wrong people. Lighten up, relax, and do it from the heart. You'll enjoy it a lot more.

Find Me Here

Kayelle Allen is the owner of The Author's Secret. She's also a blogger, writer of immortal role-playing gamers, warriors who purr, and agents who find the unfindable--or hide it forever.