Discovering Michael Shirley’s Land

When I began writing Defiance on Indian Creek, in 2008, all I found on Michael Shirley’s land came from a Google Book copy of Oren Morton’s book, A History of Monroe County West Virginia. Listed on page 82 under Surveys under Botetourt County in 1774, in the following format: Shirley, Michael–527–Indian—L—Mar 24.

However, I didn’t know how to find the deed online for the correct location. I printed a map of Indian Creek and learned the creek’s course into the New River. After locating the predominant frontier forts, I decided on a location for the fictional story.

Eight years later, I submitted my manuscript to White Bird Publications. While waiting for the book’s completion, I wondered about the accuracy of my character’s trek toward Cooks Fort.

I emailed the West Virginia Historical Society and contacted the Cook’s Old Mill historian Fred Ziegler. His reply to my inquiry shocked, thrilled, and caused panic at the same time. “…Mary could have walked to the fort in five minutes.”

I called my publisher. “Should I totally rewrite the story plot to fix my blunder?”

My publisher said, “No. It’s a great story, and it’s fictional.”

I’m happy to say book four, Palisades of the Heart, (Work in Progress) places the Shirley family in the correct location for the important romance between William McGuire and Mary Shirley.

I’m not making life easy on them, however. There are major issues to resolve.

Check out Fred Ziegler’s excellent non-fiction book: The Settlement of the Greater Greenbrier Valley, West Virginia. The People, Their Homeplaces, and Their Lives on the Frontier. Buy on Amazon

To sigh or not to sigh

I found this interesting article:

  Why Do We Sigh? | Psychology Today

My question: Should a first-person character tell us they sighed? 

Sighing is an audible and visual reaction. But maybe a first-person character would only observe this in others. Would a first-person character just express the frustration in dialogue (internal and audible) and in physical actions?

I’d love feedback on this from fiction writers and those who read fiction.

3 Reasons Authors Need Critiques

Have you ever been shocked and disappointed by a big-name author’s book and thought, I wish I could have critiqued that for them first?

If seasoned authors still need trusted critique partners to say, “this is boring”, I certainly do.

And I’m happy to say I have.

While working on my fourth book in the Dangerous Loyalties series, I asked for a first chapter critique from someone not familiar with my previous work. I received a great reality check on the arrogant thought, I’ve nailed it.

What went wrong?

  • I didn’t mention my POV character’s name until the second page.
  • I started with the character traveling and reflecting too long on backstory.
  • Because of the reflection, my character’s emotions became erratic.
  • My reader couldn’t distinguish the character’s goal.

Yes, I knew better. So why did I choose to ignore sound story structure advice from the beginning?

Because I love my darlings. Thankfully, the critique exposed the truth, “They’re evil and must die.”

Rather than stay bummed out and whine, “I’ll never write again” I reassessed the mess and develop an alternative plan. I embraced the opportunity to make corrections on my blueprint before continuing with faulty construction. I also repented from judging the famous author’s boring best seller.

3 Reasons Authors Need Tough Critiques

  1. Reader reviews will be brutal if you cause buyer’s remorse.
  2. Writers need their weaknesses revealed in order to improve.
  3. You’re not as great as you think you are.

Even after working with critique partners, beta readers, and editors, odds are, critical reviews will come, and fans will turn. Don’t let this truth be an excuse to quit or become cocky.

Stand up straight, pull the dagger from your heart, continue receiving help, and get back to creating.

Are the reasons I’ve missed?

5 Challenges to Guest Blogging

I’ve followed author, editor, and writing coach, C.S. Lakin for years. I’ve matured as a writer from her critiques, classes, and books. She loves helping writers at all levels.

When I emailed her on a personal matter, she responded with sweet understanding, then shocked the heck out of me. “Why don’t you write me a blog post sometime…the #1 way to get new fans and traction on your books is to guest blog on top sights…”

So, I did.

But first, I dealt with these 5 challenges:

1. Fear–What do I know?

2. Imposter Syndrome–People will know I’m lame.

3. Write–Okay, I’ll try.

4. Revise–See, I can’t do it, but I’ll try again.

5. Release–Yay me, I did it. Followed by #1 and #2.

Have you guest blogged? What were your challenges and results?

My post category is Novel Structure. The title: 5 Steps to Write Thrilling Historical Fiction for Teens.

Read on C.S. Lakin’s informative website:

https://www.livewritethrive.com/

 

Time to Write

How strong is your desire to write?

In a 1964 interview, Harper Lee said, “Writing is a process of self-discipline you must learn before you can call yourself a writer. There are people who write, but I think they’re quite different from people who must write.”

I’ve added this topic on my vlog.

Defiance on Indian Creek Audiobook-Angelina Kelly

defiance_on_indian_creek_audiobookAs the author of Defiance on Indian Creek, I’m thrilled that Angelina Kelly chose my book to launch her career as an Audiobook narrator. Her years of experience as a voice actor brings clear pronunciations and confident portrayals of my characters. Hearing the teen voice of Mary interacting with her family and clashing with her papa swells my heart with pride. I hope you enjoy this first Audible audiobook in the Dangerous Loyalties series as Angelina Kelly brings to life the struggles and triumphs Mary revealed to me.

Listen free for unbiased review? I have free codes for Audible.com upon request.

https://google-url.com/bMtj1

 

Fleeing the Shadows Audiobook-Angelina Kelly


fleeing_the_shadowsAs the author of Fleeing the Shadows, I’m once again honored by Angelina Kelly’s excellent portrayal of Mary and her family as they escape British Loyalist along the old hunters’ path toward Daniel Boones’ settlement in Kentucky territory.  Angelina keeps the pace moving and presents the story’s humor, tension, and characters’ personalities well, as the family encounters the harsh realities of frontier life. Danger lurks around every turn and the Cherokee Indians are watching.

Listen free for unbiased review? I have free codes for Audible.com upon request.

https://adbl.co/2rJLog8

 

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