Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Writing Contest That Fights Cancer

I received the email letter below from Margaret Turley who has been so pivotal in making this event a success. I know the deadline is close but if you have a short story or are in the mood to write one (page limit 4000 words), then here's a place to do that and also help out a very deserving charity.  Please support them if you can.

Monday, July 22, 2013

IGW Spotlight: Bestselling Medieval Historical Author Denise Doming

 Spotlighted by Connie Flynn

Denise Domning is the award-winning, best-selling author of eleven historical novels and the co-author with Monica Sarli of one gritty, hard-bitten memoir of addiction and recovery.  Of the two genres she frankly prefers the rats, grime and fleas of the Twelfth Century over the ghettos and drug use of modern Kansas City.  For Denise, writing means using words as her time machine and painting an accurate portrait of a past.  Open any of her novels, whether Twelfth, Thirteenth, Sixteenth or Nineteenth Century, and step into a bygone era.  As one reviewer put it “...you live the life and the language, smell the odors of unwashed humanity, and hear the sucking sounds as your flimsy shoes slog through mud and muck.”  Now doesn't that sound romantic?

Denise and her husband Ed live on a farm in Cornville (yes, Cornville), Arizona, where they plant veggies, milk cows and have an Easter egg hunt every day.

So, Denise, what one question has no one asked you about your writing that you wish they would?
Answer: Why have you written eleven books set in England? Why not France or Ancient Crete?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Three Reasons Why Internet Businesses Remind Me of Used Car Lots

Reason #1
This morning I received an email from a internet business I've used many times and it had a product that interested me. Thinking to buy it, I clicked through to check out the price, landed on a product information page, and scrolled down for the information I wanted where I was asked to click further. So, it seemed, there was not only a financial cost for this product, there was a time cost. I clicked out of the site and didn't buy.

Okay, you might say, it was a random occurrence and I was being maybe a tad petty. Possibly, but well, no. This happens with internet businesses more and more often these days. I guess the rationale is that first they want you to really want the product, then they tell you how much it costs. Which makes me think the product isn't all that good to begin with or is extravagantly overpriced.

I wish these were techniques practiced only by small start-up web companies, but they aren't. Similar techniques are used by two of our most influential internet platform providers.

I came smack up against this hard truth when I started looking into paid advertising for my novels. I began with front pages ads on some book blogs and websites. I have a background in advertising art and by proxy some knowledge of advertising principles so I know that random ads here and there are not particularly effective but I thought the influence of the sites would help. It didn't and the ads didn't generate sales. There had to be another way. Maybe Google.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Deadly Fire Kills 18 Hotshot Firefighters on the Hottest Day of the Year

I live in Arizona and, for my taste, my state's been in the news far too often for all the wrong reasons. Yesterday's reason was by far the worst. Nineteen firemen lost their lives fighting a fire on Yarnell Hill. Yarnell is a sleepy little ranching town in the Arizona mountains where people keep cabins so they can escape the summer heat.

A lightening burst, promising rainfall that never came, ignited the fire. It started out small, then suddenly exploded and killed eighteen highly skilled Granite Mountain Hotshots, plus a nineteenth man from a different unit. It's too early to know how these men got trapped and what caused the fire to explode almost instantaneously, so all we're left with now is the grief of losing so many of our bravest all at once. (Click here to read the full story ).