Month: January 2020

How to Frame a Novel

By: Ginger | Posted on January 31, 2020

Whether you consider yourself a plotter or a pantser, starting a new novel can be daunting.  But before you even put pen to paper, it’s a good idea to think about the overall framework of your novel. The building blocks of your book are what give it an air of familiarity to readers of your genre, and making sure you’re meeting expectations is a great place to get started. I was recently having dinner with another writer, and she complained about how difficult she was finding writing her novel because she wasn’t sure how long the chapters should be. It was a comment that took me by surprise – because I have spent years writing chapters however-long-they-turn-out-to-be, with my only length criteria being the advice from Chris Fox that they should be ‘potato chip’ length, so that after one is finished the reader keeps promising themselves “just one more.” However,… Read More >

Five Favorite Fantasy Novels

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on January 28, 2020

Hidden Gems subscribers were in for a treat over the holidays, as we offered up the chance to read a plethora of fantastic fantasy novels, delivered to their inbox FOR FREE! It was hard to choose from the dozens we sent out over the last few months, but based on reviews and engagement, here are the hottest titles from the last quarter of 2019. A Company of Monsters by Shami Stovall Fellow history major Shami Stovall has already won over fans with her range of alternative history science fiction and fantasy novels, and A Company of Monsters is one that will instantly appeal to anybody who enjoyed Kim Newman’s Anno Dracula. Set in a twisted 1917 – with the Russian Empire on the verge of collapse – this World War I-set tale sees feisty female sorcerer Florence embark on an adventure behind enemy lines in order to prop up the Russian… Read More >

Why Your Back Matter Matters

By: Ginger | Posted on January 24, 2020

With any luck, the final page of your book has left your reader eager for more. But how do you make sure they find that next fix immediately, before their attention is pulled away to something else? This is why back matter – the material in the final pages of your book – is so important to the organic growth of your writing career. But you can’t, and shouldn’t, drop just anything back there.  The trick is including the most effective content needed to achieve your publishing goals without breaking any rules. There’s a long list of things I wish I’d known before I started trying to launch a self-publishing career, so even though I worry that I’m explaining the obvious when I make posts like this, I’m hoping somebody finds value in them – I know I would have, a few years ago. Today, I want to talk about… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Greg Holman

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on January 21, 2020

In today’s author interview, we chat with serial entrepreneur Greg Holman, who in the past has treated Hidden Gems subscribers to both his books – Bill Houston Rags to Riches and Billy Houston: Fall from Grace. Splitting his time between Noosa, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, and the idyllic beaches of Thailand, Greg has used his lifetime of experience in building businesses to create a vividly realistic and visceral tale with the ups and downs of Australian/American entrepreneur Billy.   HG: Hi Greg! So, in a nutshell for readers – how would YOU describe yourself? GH: I’m a serial entrepreneur full of imagination and ideas – and always looking for new challenges! I’ve lived an interesting and challenging life with ups and downs. After selling my last business in 2017 to a public-listed company I decided to retire from corporate life forever. I got sick of living a life of wearing… Read More >

Writing in the Third-Person Perspective: A Guide

By: Ginger | Posted on January 17, 2020

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve published a couple of articles on first-person perspective in writing – which can be a fun and productive exercise even if you ultimately choose not to pursue that style of writing in your work. But there is more than one way to tell a story, and many authors prefer writing in the third-person perspective.  So today, Ginger is giving the details on writing in that style, and some of the common issues to keep in mind while doing so. When I wrote my blog post Defending First-Person POV, I didn’t anticipate the number of people who disagreed with me – and while I might not share their opinion, they all made valid points – and I think it’s a point worth discussing. For a start – don’t listen to me! If you want to write your story in third-person, go right ahead. I… Read More >

The Hottest Romances of 2019

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on January 14, 2020

Romance is always one of the most popular genres of books for subscribers to Hidden Gems, and 2019 had literally hundreds of romance books offered to our readers. With 2019 wrapped up, we’ve gone through and identified 12 of the hottest romance novels our subscribers enjoyed. Now, there’s a little wiggle room behind the science of how these books were chosen – roughly one per month, based on overall Amazon review score – but I don’t think anybody will deny that they’re some of the best romance books on Amazon; and thanks to the author’s of these books working with us,  all of them were sent to Hidden Gems subscribers for free – sometimes ahead of their publication date! The Road to Solace by Samantha A. Cole  Author Samantha Cole has a legion of fans, but took a different direction with this story; which stands alone from her other popular series…. Read More >

Writing in the First Person Perspective – A Guide

By: Ginger | Posted on January 10, 2020

If you read last week’s post advocating for writing in the first person and have never attempted it before, you may be wondering what goes into it and where to start. In fact, a few authors contacted us about that specifically, which inspired us to dig a little bit deeper into the subject. This time, instead of just suggesting you give it a try, Ginger has put together a quick guide on writing in the first person perspective in the most compelling way possible. So, you read my blog post advocating for writing in the first person perspective – and you’ve bitten. But, how does one go about writing from the first person perspective? Especially in the most compelling way possible? Last week, I wrote about the often underappreciated value of writing in the first person perspective. Not everybody agreed with me, with talented author Edita A. Petrick making the… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Cora Foerstner

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on January 7, 2020

This week we speak with author Cora Foerstner, the creative talent behind the Fortinbras Files series. A self-proclaimed eccentric, Cora was crazy enough to sit down with us to chat about her inspirations, motivations, and what she’s working on next. HG: So, first question – who ARE you? How does Cora Foerstner describe herself? CF: That’s a complicated question. As with all people, the things I’ve done and been have shaped the person I am. I travel and lived in South America; I’ve owned and run businesses; I’ve taught English at the university level; I raised four children. The person I was when I was twenty probably wouldn’t recognize the current me. However, I’m basically the same person I’ve always been. I’m an introvert, who can sometimes act like an extrovert. Teaching probably has a lot to do with that. Speaking in public and teaching forced me to be more… Read More >

Defending First-Person POV

By: Ginger | Posted on January 3, 2020

Many authors are so used to writing from one particular point of view (POV) that they never give any consideration to switching things up. But while there is something to be said for writing in the style you’re most comfortable in, limiting yourself means limiting your ability to tell your story in the most effective way possible – so it’s worth understanding the merits of alternative styles. For example, if you always write stories in third-person POV, then you may not be aware of some of the benefits to writing in first-person.  Describing things through your character’s eyes can be an incredibly powerful narrative technique. The more time I’ve spent editing and reviewing other author’s books, the more I’ve come to differentiate the storytelling aspect of a novel, and the writing part of it. The story is what grabs people – hooks them into the lives and fortunes of your… Read More >