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Month: October 2022

Use Tropes to Your Advantage

By: Ginger | Posted on October 28, 2022

What’s a James Bond movie without 007 using his high-tech gadgets? What’s the point of a western unless there’s a quick-draw showdown beneath the noonday sun? One highly overlooked attribute of successful books, shows, and movies is a reliance on tried-and-tested tropes that audiences like to eat up time after time. As Ginger points out below, learning and using the tropes of your genre can work in your favor by scoring an instant connection to your ideal readers. The word ‘trope’ is used a lot when people dissect popular culture, and its generally not in a flattering way. The dictionary defines a trope as “a figurative or metaphorical use of a word or expression” but fans of science fiction movies, horror films, or any other popular genre will more generally think of them as repeated scenarios that have become part of the furniture for their favorite books and TV shows…. Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Jacky Gray

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on October 25, 2022

Today’s interview is with prolific multi-genre author Jacky Gray. We learned a lot about her writing style, things that interest her and the obstacles she has faced in her publication journey. It was lovely getting to know more about Jacky’s novels, and life outside of writing! HG: How would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet? JAG: I write the kind of stories I enjoy reading, so they’re completely character-led with bags of (very British) humour, adventure and a dirty great dollop of romance. My prose takes few prisoners, assuming the reader is fully invested and paying attention. I always imagine my readers are way more intelligent than me and don’t like to be spoon-fed lots of unnecessary detail. Lee Child and Stephen King are my role models in this – every word has to earn its place on the page. HG: Excellent. You write… Read More >

Lee Child on the Flexibility of Point-of-View

By: Ginger | Posted on October 21, 2022

One of the first decisions you have to make before starting to write a novel is which perspective, or point-of-view (POV), will be most effective in telling your story. The most common ones are first person and third person, and while I think most authors prefer one perspective over another, there are occasions where you at least want to consider the alternative. Most readers have a preference as well, and traditionally authors tend to respect this when writing series by keeping the whole series in the same perspective. But that doesn’t mean switching it up can’t be done.  Lee Child is one example of an author that not only switches POV between books in his Jack Reacher series, but has even gone as far as to switch from first to third person within the same book!  This week, Ginger delves into POVs to try and explain not only which one… Read More >

Thrillers to Get You Ready for Halloween

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on October 18, 2022

The seasons are changing; as the leaves turn and the weather changes, it’s time to carve pumpkins, pick out costumes, or read scary stories. However you celebrate Halloween there are tales that will thrill you and keep you turning the pages. Today we’re focusing on hidden gems that our readers loved that do just that, and hope you will enjoy them just as much. The Sinister by David Putnam Currently marked as an Editor’s Pick on Amazon, with 60+ reviews and a 4.6 star average, The Sinister is book nine in the 10 book Bruno Johnson Crime Series, and can be read out of order. This book promises to be an unrelenting thriller, recommended for fans of Michael Connelly and James Lee Burke. In Lou J.’s five star Amazon review, he raves of this installment, “…David Putnam proves to be a masterful storyteller as he weaves an intricate and convoluted… Read More >

Is Your Freebie Lead Magnet Costing You Money?

By: Ginger | Posted on October 14, 2022

Generally when you advertise your book, you’re paying to show your ad to people in the hopes that they’ll be interested enough to click and buy it. That’s why you have to be very careful to show it to the right people, otherwise you’re simply throwing your ad dollars away. Ad platforms like Facebook let you build your audience from an existing list you provide, and many authors instinctively turn to their own mailing list of fans as the source for that. In some cases, that may very well be the best list to use, but depending on how you drew people to sign up in the first place, it may actually be just the opposite… Advertising your books on Amazon is a complex process. It might not seem like it, but there’s a veritable Rube Goldberg Machine going on behind the scenes that you can only hope will convert… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Jo de-Lancey

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on October 11, 2022

Today’s interview is with debut fantasy author Jo de-Lancey. She shared with us her journey to publication and the challenges she has overcome. It was a pleasure getting to know more about Jo’s writing style, and life outside of writing! HG: How would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet? JD: I write swashbuckling fantasy, littered with morally grey characters. With my books, I want to take my readers on an adventure to new and different lands, surrounded by characters they love (or hate) and feel for. I have strong female characters who don’t conform to the usual tropes, as well as male characters who I’m not afraid to show as kind and sensitive. I’m very character-driven and I have run the Myers-Briggs test on my main characters. My writing style is bold, vivid and sensory. Readers will be able to smell, touch and hear… Read More >

What can Stephen King teach us about writing?

By: Ginger | Posted on October 7, 2022

Many authors have probably already read Stephen King’s own words about writing from his book on the subject, but that doesn’t mean you’re done learning from him. King is a very prolific writer, and although he’s known for his horror, he’s actually written in a number of genres over the years. You can never know too much about any of the writing greats, and as Ginger points out, there are still things we can learn from King outside of what he put into his book on writing. There are common elements in his stories that draw readers in and make his novels so engaging, and those are the things that really deserve our attention. Recently, somebody mentioned to me that they enjoyed our blog series on what famous writers can teach us about the craft of storytelling. We’ve covered Agatha Christie, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Lee Child, Taika Waititi, and Ian… Read More >

Children’s Books for Back to School

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on October 4, 2022

Do you have a young reader in your life? With back to school in full swing, we have a list of books to add to your reading list! Our Hidden Gems ARC readers loved the following titles, and we bet your young reader will, as well. Gugulu, The Little Bear Dares by Srividhya Lakshmanan Gugulu is recommended for readers 4-8 years old, although some reviewers noted that they would consider it more for the younger end of that age group. In this story, readers follow Gugulu, as he tries to walk himself to school, and discovers the dangers of running away from his parents on his walk to school. Laura S. shares in her five star Amazon review, “…Gugulu The Little Bear Dares is an adorable book that teaches a lesson about listening to your parents while introducing readers to a group of unique animals that don’t usually appear in… Read More >