Nuggets for February

How to market a sequel

I got very excited when I stumbled across National Geographic's style sheet. Not everything is suitable for novels, but it's extensive and a great standard for most things.

A brilliant post to help you get deeper into your character's head

The first ten pages

A good reminder about what's supposed to happen in the middle of your novel

How to set up an Amazon giveaway:
I'm going to add here that I tried this and wasn't pleased with the results. It was supposed to run for a week, but instead Amazon shut it down after less than 24 hours, saying the giveaway had been "claimed." Supposedly, they're investigating, but I haven't heard back yet. 

Thursday Writing Quote ~ Weiland

Getting readers to love an otherwise rough-around-the-edges personality can still be tricky—unless you know the secret. And lucky for us, it’s a really easy secret. All you have to do is have this potentially unlikable character love somebody else—and love them so ferociously, loyally, and surprisingly self-sacrificingly that this great love becomes a delicious juxtaposition with the rest of their personality. ~ K.M. Weiland

Research Odds and Ends

I thought it might be fun to share those odd little tidbits that one learns in the course of researching . . .  well, whatever. I probably won't be doing this on any regular schedule. Just now and then.

There is no "safest seat" on an airplane. At least not if the plane is involved in a midair collision. However, if the plane is on the ground and you need to evacuate, it's best to be seated within four rows of an exit.
People who commit suicide in a bathtub are invariably clothed.
Asking a witness (or suspect) to tell their story backwards can have an interesting effect according to The Scientific American: This strategy has a double effect: For truth tellers, it makes recall easier—in another HIG study, reverse telling produced twice as many details as did recounting chronologically. For liars, the task becomes harder when put in reverse; they become more likely to simplify the story or contradict themselves.
I can't see how I'll ever use this, but one never knows. Still it's interesting.
When neuroscientists want to wash the brain clean of emotions (as when they're doing a comparative study), they pick a large number (like 8,241) and ask the subject to count backward in increments of seven. Supposedly, this is something one could do to calm down when one is upset. Kind of like counting to ten, but way harder. Source: Why We Love by Helen Fisher
The hoof of the Arabian horse tends to be longer than other breeds. Hence, farriers aren't fond of shoeing Arabians because the shoes need to be modified.

Please feel free to share your interesting research in the comments.

Thursday Writing Quote ~ Chinese Rejection Slip

We have read your manuscript with boundless delight. If we were to publish your paper, it would be impossible for us to publish any work of lower standard. And as it is unthinkable that in the next thousand years we shall see its equal, we are, to our regret, compelled to return your divine composition, and to beg you a thousand times to overlook our short sight and timidity. ~ rejection slip from a Chinese economic journal

Liar, Liar, Heart's Desire snippet

Wednesday is release day for Liar, Liar, Heart's Desire, (the conclusion to Liar, Liar, Tabloid Writer) so I thought it would be a good time to give you a snippet.

A tiny bit of background and setting... Cleo and Alec are fixing themselves grilled cheese and tomato soup. Earlier Alec stated that perfect crimes were a rare occurrence.

  “If you wanted to murder someone, how would you do it?” Cleo asked.

  Alec smiled. Good. Her mind was working again. He topped half the bread slices with cheese. “I’d take them hunting.”
  She twisted to look at him. “Do you hunt?”
  He set the microwave for ten seconds to soften up the butter then plugged in the grill, so it would preheat. “Not since I was a kid, but I’d take it up again.”
  “So you’d take them hunting and then what? Just shoot them?”
  “Sure. Hunters shoot each other all the time.”
  “Not that often.”
  “Often enough.”
  She turned back to the stove but not before he caught the beginning of a smile. “Yes, your honor. I shot him. But it was an accident. All eight times.”
  Alec laughed. “Yeah, you gotta make sure the first one is fatal, or it kinda falls apart.” The microwave dinged. He got out the butter and went to work spreading it evenly on the bread.
She shook her head. “It wouldn’t work. If you hated someone bad enough to want them dead, they’d never agree to go hunting with you.”
  “I didn’t say there weren’t logistical problems to work out."

Hope you enjoyed it, and there's still time to get Liar, Liar, Heart's Desire for the pre-release price of 99 cents. 

If you're interested, here's the blurb:
Cleo Morgan is a liar.

And they’re not little, white liars but big, black whoppers. She’s lying to everyone in her hometown, letting them believe she still works for a reputable paper when, in reality, she’s sold her soul to The Inside Word, a tell-all supermarket tabloid no one wants to admit they read.

She’s lying to Alec Ramirez, the tabloid’s star reporter, who is training her to write their kind of story their way. He doesn’t know the woman who’s been arrested for murder in the story they’re covering is her mother. Or that Cleo is conspiring with her old boyfriend to steal that story out from under him and using it to buy her way back into her old life.

And she may be lying to herself that leaving Alec behind when she goes will be easy. Because she absolutely, unequivocally, beyond the shadow of any doubt does not want him in her life on a permanent basis.

Thursday Writing Quotes ~ Phillips

The fundamental fantasy of the romance novel isn't a sexual fantasy. These are novels of female empowerment—stories in which women emerge victorious from every obstacle that life throws their way ~ Susan Elizabeth Phillips