"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Preparing for a Writing Conference

Recently, a new friend asked me about writer’s conferences. She has never been to one, and feels extremely intimidated about the whole process. After talking with her, I thought I would share some of my same thoughts about the whole process with you. Today, I want to focus on “Preparing for a Writing Conference.”

1)      What do you need? – Before you sign up for a conference, check to be sure they offer what meets your needs. If, like my friend, this will be your first conference you might want to start by attending a smaller conference or even one offered online. Crowds can be overwhelming to someone already feeling like they are out of their element. Also, price can be a concerning factor. If you’re on a limited budget, or are wary of unexpected fees, these smaller and online courses can be cheaper and clear cut on expenses. Curious? Check out the Jambalaya Writer’s Conference on March 4th: http://mytpl.org/jwc/  The price is only $35 to attend, and includes a lunch and snacks. A similar package is offered by the Bayou Writers Group at their October conference: http://bayouwritersgroup.com/
2)      Research the offerings – If you are trying to pitch a specific genre, be cetain the agents and editors attending are looking for that genre. Some of them may be kind enough to suggest the correct contact through their agency for your genre, but many of them will be aggravated that you’re wasting their time. If you’re looking to learn more about a specific genre or skill, be sure the conference you are considering has speakers and authors attending that will focus on what you need. Most conference pages will provide a complete list of speakers, lesson topics, and pitch sessions offered as the time draws near.
3)      Realistic Expectations – very seldom will anyone be offered a signing contract at a conference. If your goal in attending is education, you’ll walk away a lot happier. If you’re pitching an idea, be sure your work is as close to finished as you can get it.
4)      Ask Questions – this is a learning experience so don’t be afraid to prepare questions to ask authors, agents, and editors what they think. Most of them want to hear your ideas, and are willing to share and explore career goals with you.
5)      Be professional – If an agent or editor is interested in learning more about you or your work, they will want to see a business card, webpage, and social media following. While I’m not suggesting this is the only way to get a contract, it will show them you are serious about your work. And most importantly, don’t whine or become angry if they don’t seem interested in your creation. There are a million reasons why your manuscript or idea doesn’t work for them that may have nothing to do with the quality of your skill.

If you look nice, act relatively normal, and come prepared, you’ll leave a good impression. If you view attending the conference as a fun learning experience, you’ll seldom be disappointed.
For more tips on Working with Agents, Editors, and Publishers or Retreats, Conferences, and Classes:
When is Your Story Ready?
8 Ways to Annoy Literary Agents
7 Steps to Preparing Your One Sheet
Pad Your Resume and Wallets by Writing for Small Markets
6 Tests Before Publication
When and Where to Publish Short Stories
Then There Were Five
7 Tips for Pitching to an Agent or Editor
5 of the Worst Author Traits
Resume' for the Writer
Defining High Concept
Interview With an Agent
Speed Dating Pitch Session

Monday, February 13, 2017

For Love of Books

It's Valentine's week, and while I love flowers and chocolate my family and friends know my favorite gift is a good book.

Not sure what to get the writer in your life? Check out this list of suggested Valentines day gifts for writers or participate in Goodreads Six Ways to Participate in Romance Week.

So many of us enjoy reading and writing. We have favorites that we return to again and again. How about you? What is your favorite genre? Favorite author? Favorite book from childhood?

Happy Valentine's!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Remnant

The Remnant Asks - Are You a Theological Threat?

William Michael Davidson’s book poses the question - what if religious beliefs were eradicated? Set in the not too distant future, The Remnant proposes that a single gene is responsible for spiritual beliefs and its destruction eliminates the threat of religious wars and terrorism. What would a world be like without faith? And what would happen if those beliefs began to reemerge? Tapping into the fears of today’s religious and political unrest and acts of violence, Davidson’s story of a world without God is timely and thought-provoking.

One nation, without God...
Colton Pierce apprehends Abberants—those who display symptoms of faith—and quarantines them on a remote island to ensure public safety.  Years prior, the government released a genetically-engineered super flu that destroyed the genes believed to be the biological source of spiritual experience in an effort to rid the world of terrorism. As an extractor with the Center for Theological Control, Colton is dedicated to the cause.

But Colton's steadfast commitment is challenged when he learns his own son has been targeted for extraction. An underground militia, the Remnant, agrees to help Colton save his son in exchange for his assistance with their plan to free the Aberrants on the island.
Colton is faced with the most important decision of his life. Remain faithful to the CTC? Or give up everything to save his son?

An intriguing take on faith, religion, and conflict in a world attempting to abolish all three. The far-fetched becomes imaginable in this near-future cautionary tale. Left Behind meets Philip K. Dick. -- Milo James Fowler, author of Captain Bartholomew Quasar and the Space-Time Displacement Conundrum

William Michael Davidson lives in Long Beach, California with his wife and two daughters. A believer that "good living produces good writing," Davidson writes early in the morning so he can get outside, exercise, spend time with people, and experience as much as possible. A writer of speculative fiction, he enjoys stories that deal with humanity's inherent need for redemption.https://facebook.com/WilliamMichaelDavidsonhttps://twitter.com/realwmdavidson

The Remnant is now available online, retail, and in all eBook formats. Published by Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. Trade paperback $15.95 ISBN 978-1-939844-29-3, eBook $4.99 ISBN 978-1-939844-30-9, Science Fiction (FIC028000) / Christian Futuristic Fiction (FIC0402020) http://dancinglemurpress.com


Saturday, February 4, 2017

Hero Lost

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group anthology has a cover and a release date!

Hero Lost
Mysteries of  Death and Life

An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology

Can a lost hero find redemption? 

What if Death himself wanted to die? Can deliverance be found on a bloody battlefield? Could the gift of silvering become a prison for those who possessed it? Will an ancient warrior be forever the caretaker of a house of mystery? 

Delving into the depths of the tortured hero, twelve authors explore the realms of fantasy in this enthralling and thought-provoking collection. Featuring the talents of Jen Chandler, L. Nahay, Renee Cheung, Roland Yeomans, Elizabeth Seckman, Olga Godim, Yvonne Ventresca, Ellen Jacobson, Sean McLachlan, Erika Beebe, Tyrean Martinson, and Sarah Foster. 

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these twelve tales will take you into the heart of heroes who have fallen from grace. Join the journey and discover a hero’s redemption! 

Release date: May 2, 2017
Fantasy (FIC009000) Freedom Fox Press
Print ISBN 9781939844361 eBook ISBN 9781939844378

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

IWSG: Writing Changes the Reader

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs. You can also join us on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG, or on the Facebook page.

Now, IWSG hosts have changed up the format in an effort to make it more fun and interactive.Every month, they will announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Don’t forget to visit others that day to see their answers. Want to join, or learn more? Visit our - Sign-up List.

FEBRUARY QUESTION: How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?

MY ANSWER: As a writer, I know what mistakes I'm making, or HAVE made, in my own writing. Subsequently, I'll start noticing some of those same mistakes in published works I'm reading. For example, if a writer has a "go to" word that they seem to be using over and over again. Also, as I study craft, I start noticing some of the issues or strengths pointed out by other authors and teachers. Anyone who has read or studied Christopher Voglers "Hero's Journey" can spot the archetypes, and stages in most stories. It would be easy to say that becoming a better writer makes it harder to read lazy writing by others. However, it can also make a writer into a stronger teacher and mentor for others. What about you?

How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?

Friday, January 27, 2017


By Mark Wayne Allen

Imagine a world where the future is always uncertain. There have been many predictions about the future, but the one concept that still eludes us is time travel which could destabilize our entire world.

If we were able to do this, would we use the technology wisely? I wonder. The species that we call humanity seems bent on our own destruction through greed, lust, and envy.

Perhaps someday we will have the wisdom and rational sense of worth to not destroy but help. May we also have the morality of benevolent creation. Currently, our short sightedness and imperfections give way to errors and we seem destined to repeat the mistakes of the past. No matter how kind and lighthearted we may seem, we are still flawed.

The above is the way Melvin Travis of my new book thinks. He has a very bleak outlook on life and almost no past to draw reasonable morality from. In my recent book, "Introspection: From The Melvin Time Chronicles," Melvin is forced to learn that everyone isn't bad, even himself. This loner has to work with others and learn how to trust and depend on them.

For him, this is a very hard lesson, but given his background, it's understandable that he feels this way.

The book was a lot of fun to write and it's my fondest hope that all will enjoy it. A FREE prequel, "Force Of Life" is available for download on my website http://www.markwayneallen.com

You can also keep in touch with me through facebook.com/authormwa, or Twitter.com/authormwa.

Monday, January 23, 2017

If I Had a Parenting Do Over

I just finished reading this book and I can't recommend it enough! 

It takes an honest look at the power, privilege, pain, and panic of being a parent. The author offers a look at 7 changes he learned to make and included examples from his own parenting failures and successes. He also shares experiences from teaching seminars to both parents and teenagers. A truly wonderful set of lessons on raising kids, I wish this guide was handed out to every parent before they left the hospital with their newborn. No matter what age your kids are, this publication offers a glimpse at true-life applications on building a meaningful relationship with an individual you can not only love, but like and respect.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review. 

Available now as an e-boo, official release day for the paperback is set for February 1st so order your copy now!