Have You Thought About Kindle Scout? 

 Today I want to talk about a possible resource for writers (and readers) that I wasn’t previously aware of- Kindle Scout. 

 When a friend of mine told me this week that she was starting a Kindle Scout campaign I had no idea what she was talking about. Am I the only one? Perhaps everyone else in the world knows all about it. But then why is this the first time an author has told me they’re doing it? It seems like such a great idea. If, like me, you haven’t heard of it, or don’t know what it involves, read on… 

 Kindle Scout is a scheme in which you can upload details of a book you’ve written and start a campaign to have it published. The campaign lasts 30 days. During this time users of Kindle Scout can nominate your book for publication. The more nominations, the more likely your book will be selected for publication, though that isn’t the only criteria. And get this- if chosen, you’ll not only be published by kindle press, but receive a $1,500 advance, plus 50% royalties. And featured Amazon marketing! 

 This is a great thing for readers too. If a book you voted for gets a publishing deal, you will receive a free copy! And you’ll keep up to date with all the latest fiction, which is great if you’re a reviewer, or would like to be. 

 If you want more information, why not check out my friend Diana Tyler’s campaign to see how it’s done? While you’re there, please take a moment to nominate her book! All you need is an Amazon account. 

Diana’s book:

What if all the ancient myths are true? 


5 Ways To Get Yourself Writing

 I recently took a bit of a hiatus. An unplanned one that lasted about four months. I got snowed under with other things and I lost the habit of writing every day that I’d carefully cultivated for the past two years. Yes, it really can disappear that quickly. 

 But I knew it was time to start writing again. And I knew what to write. But I didn’t have the desire to write it. I even wondered how I’d ever managed to actually finish a book in the first place. 

 Well, I’m over that now. I think I’m loving writing more than I ever have before. Like with most things, the key’s getting started. Sometimes though, you really have to force yourself. Here’s five tips to do so that helped me. 

Limit reading/television time. 

 On my holiday last week I only read one book! Normally I can get through at least one a day. Why? For the same reason I’ve resisted the urge to buy a Netflix subscription. I know all too well that either of those things will stop me writing.    

 Some of you are probably gasping in horror at the thought of no Netflix, or only reading one book a week. Maybe you manage to write 2000 words a day and still fit those things in. I can’t. I can barely write 1000 words a day without doing them. But the point really is that to find the time to write you’ll likely have to sacrifice something else. 

Bribe yourself

This one is a bit easier! Tell yourself that if you do half an hour you can have that coffee or that chocolate chip cookie. Or both! 

Or how about if you get 1000 words a day in for a week you’ll take yourself to see a movie, or buy yourself a takeaway?

Trick your brain 

 Often we know we should write but we’d rather do something less taxing (like read or watch Netflix). Try setting a timer for ten minutes in which to write, and afterwards you can do that other thing. You’ll probably find you end up writing for much longer. Even if you don’t, you still did ten minutes, which is better than nothing! 

Start researching agents/publishers.

 This is a bit of a controversial one. Most writers will tell you not to start looking for an agent or a publisher until you’ve polished your manuscript to perfection. Well, I say don’t contact an agent or publisher until then. But I don’t see any harm in researching them and making a list of possibilities. If you do it properly then it’s a very time consuming process anyway. And many want different things from you. I find planning whom to send my novel to when it’s completed keeps me motivated. It reminds me of my goal in writing it. Just be careful it doesn’t tempt you to rush. 

 If you’re planning to self publish then I’ve heard making a start on the cover art can have a similar effect. 

Create a nice atmosphere. 

 Like most people at the moment, I’m a bit in to hygge. There’s no need to be a martyr to your writing. Make sure your desk/dining table/sofa is a nice place to sit with things like greenery and pictures. Make a pot of tea or coffee, light a scented candle, snuggle in a blanket! Or if it’s summer, grab a cocktail, go outside and put your feet up. Make sure you look forward to your writing time. 

What do you do to get yourself writing when you don’t feel like it?

Why Being a Published Author Makes it Harder to Write


 My first book was published earlier this year. When I wrote it, it was with the possibility of a sequel in mind. Everyone who’s reviewed it so far has said they want a sequel. I’m going to write one. I really am. Honest. 

 So why have I only got as far as half a chapter? I didn’t have this problem with my first book. And it’s not as if I don’t know what to do with it, it’s all plotted out. Why can I not just sit down and write it? 

 I’ve come up with a few reasons: 

I know it’s going to be published. 

 When I wrote my first book, publication was a distant possibility. A dream really. So I wasn’t worrying about what other people would think of my work as I wrote. Now publication is a reality and it’s hard not to take that into account when writing. 

 I’m afraid it won’t live up to expectations. 

 What if the sequel doesn’t go the way my fans want it to? What if they’re unhappy with the character development, or which of her romantic interests my heroine chooses? Or what if they just don’t like it as much?

I’m very busy marketing my first book. 

 This is the real killer. I’ve let myself become so busy with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, my newsletter, and this blog, that I have no time for my next masterpiece! 

 I know there is only ONE SOLUTION for all of these issues. SIT DOWN AND WRITE!!!! So I’m taking a holiday at a remote Scottish island. For a week. Starting today. I won’t be blogging. I won’t be on my social media (much). I’m going to break the back of this sequel. Hopefully you’ll thank me later! Don’t go anywhere, I’ll be back in a week. 
See you then! 

Afternoon Tea- A Brief History


 Afternoon tea is generally considered an old English tradition, but it actually only dates back to Victorian times. It was started by one of Queen Victoria’s ladies-in-waiting, who complained of a ‘sinking feeling’ at about four or five in the afternoon. Since the fashionable hour to eat dinner was at around half past eight, it’s easy to see why she felt there was room for some genteel snacking in the afternoon. She began inviting friends to join her and the tradition of afternoon tea in the upper classes was born, soon to be imitated by the middle classes. 

 For the lower class of people who had their main meal in the middle of the day, such as my main character Victoria and her family, afternoon tea was a luxury they couldn’t often indulge in. Though Victoria does once have friends to tea on a weekend as a special treat! Tea itself had a bit of a struggle for popularity with the established drink of the day- weak beer. However, alcohol began to get an increasingly bad press and temperance movements recommended replacing it with tea. After that it wasn’t long before tea took over as the drink of choice. And the rest is history! 

 Did you know? Tea replaced beer at about the same time as mills began refining flour to make white bread. As a result of these two things nutrition levels in Victorian Britain plummeted due to the lack of grain in people’s new diets. 

This article first appeared in my newsletter. Read some of the reactions to it below: 

I don’t have enough words to tell you how much I enjoy your newsletter each month. I love the little glimpses of Victorian life you give us. I’m learning so much, and it was your newsletter that sparked my new found love of historical fiction… Thank you for these little gems.”- Bren

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An Interview with Author Krysten Lindsay Hager 

Krysten Lindsay Hager writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values. She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends…Forever?, Next Door to a Star, Landry in Like, Competing with the Star (The Star Series: Book 2), and Dating the It Guy. Her debut novel, True Colors, won the Readers Favorite award. Krysten’s work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Beavercreek Current, the Bellbrook Times and on Living Dayton. In this interview she tells us about her inspirations, getting published and her advice to new writers. 

When did you start writing?

I’ve loved coming up with storylines since I was a little kid. I was always scribbling story ideas down and my fifth grade teacher told my parents she thought I’d be an author one day. I started writing more seriously in college and grad school. I was already writing for a newspaper during that time and I’d try to find time to work on book writing.

What was the first thing you ever had published?

I published short stories and essays and articles in magazines, newspapers, and online sites, but my first book was for preteens called, True Colors (Landry’s True Colors Series: Book One).

How did you end up with your current publisher?

I was in an online group for freelance writers. We motivated each other to find new places to publish articles and essays and a few of them were writing books as well. Two of them were with my first publisher and they were both happy there, so I filed that name in the back of my mind. Honestly, freelancing is such a great way to being as an author because you build a platform and learn how to handle things like having your work in public and dealing with reactions/criticism, etc.

What’s your writing fuel of choice? Tea, coffee, neat whisky?

Pepsi! And I do like a cup of tea at the end of the day.

Where do you write?

I moved a few months ago and now I have a new office—I just got bookshelves and was able to get my old books out of storage. I do a lot of my admin stuff and blog posts while watching the news in my living room.

What do you like to read?

I was just organizing my bookshelves and realized I own a lot of non-fiction! I have more fiction on my Kindle. I like biographies, YA, middle grade, new adult, contemporary novels, classics, mysteries, and I read all sorts of non-fiction like health books, self-help, Christian books, and current events.

Is there a particular author who has inspired you?

Several inspired me, but Paula Danziger, who wrote middle grade and YA, was the one who made me feel I was meant to make a career out of this. I read a bio on her and I saw some parallels with why she wanted to write for teens and my own feelings.

What advice would you like to pass on to new writers?

A lot of people ask me this and tell me their writing professors/teachers/mentors tell them they need to start publishing articles, etc. before they begin trying to get a book published and that’s a great idea. I was told to do this as well and not only do you build up your platform and get people to see what you can do, but you get experience in so many ways—exposure, clips for your bio, and experience dealing with public reactions.

Tell us about your latest book. What’s it about and what was the inspiration behind it?

Dating the It Guy is about a high school girl named Emme who winds up dating the son of a well-known senator. She goes through a lot of self-doubt as she watches his perfect ex-girlfriend trying to get him back and not feeling good enough for his new crowd. It’s a book about love, family, and learning to be yourself.

Where can we buy your book?


Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XBFRX47

Amazon paperback: http://a.co/hBydoYm

Amazon UK Kindle: http://amzn.eu/6hqvKVu

Amazon UK Paperback: http://amzn.eu/7j0F4Y7

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/2m5y9OC

Barnes and Noble Paperback: http://bit.ly/2n8vULZ

itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/dating-the-it-guy/id1208876011?mt=11

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/dating-the-it-guy

Smashwords: www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=Dating+the+It+Guy