Month: August 2023

Author Spotlight Interview: Bethany Maines

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on August 29, 2023

Today’s interview is with author Bethany Maines. According to her official bio, Bethany is the author of romantic action-adventure and fantasy tales that focus on women who know when to apply lipstick and when to apply a foot to someone’s hind end. It was an pleasure getting to know more about her writing process and life outside of writing. HG: How would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet? BM: I generally say that I write Women’s Action-Adventure. It’s feminist, funny, romantic and action-packed. I’ve gotten a few eye rolls from industry “insiders” because that’s not a BISAC genre category. On the other hand, readers all know exactly what I mean and since readers are who I care about… 🤷‍♀️ I’ve tried out a fairly wide variety of genres – mystery, crime, paranormal romance, sci-fi, romantic suspense – but the through-line is that my heroines… Read More >

How to Create a Social Media Calendar

By: Ginger | Posted on August 25, 2023

Social media provides a HUGE opportunity for authors to connect with their readers – but where do you even begin using it to promote yourself? How often should you post, what should you write about, and how can you find the time to do it regularly? Those are questions we all struggle with, which is why Ginger has put together a quick guide to help. These tips are based on his own experience working with professionals and brands in developing their social media calendars and strategies. Our recent blog about how bestselling author Jack Carr connects with readers inspired several questions from authors wondering how to go about using their social media accounts more effectively. One of the most actionable strategies is to create a Social Media Calendar, which plans and prepares a whole bunch of posts which can go live automatically; removing the pressure of having to remember to… Read More >

Thrilling Suspense Books to Keep You Turning Pages

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on August 22, 2023

It can be almost impossible to put down a book filled with twists, turns, and adrenaline pumping action. Thrilling suspense books are very popular amongst Hidden Gems readers, so we’ve gathered a list of five favorites that will keep you turning pages all night long. Body Count by SM Thomas Taking place after the tribulations of The Diseased, Paige is finding herself in a situation that seems even more impossible than before. The President is dying, and she can save him. But she won’t. “This isn’t the end of [Paige’s] story, and the cliffhanger is brutal! You will feel an array of emotions as you read through this thriller. The twists and turns were phenomenal, and I really loved finding out some of my theories were correct!” writes Rae in their 5-star review. “Some of the plot twists still got me and I thoroughly enjoyed it. We have some LGBTQ+… Read More >

Tell Don’t Show – a surprising writing lesson from Shakespeare and Star Wars

By: Ginger | Posted on August 18, 2023

Most authors have heard the standard “show don’t tell” rule for writing, which essentially means that writers should have their story unfold through actions and descriptive detail rather than explicitly telling the reader what is going on. This tenet of writing is so important that it’s often referred to as the Golden Rule, yet there are also times where it’s okay to break it.  That’s why this week, Ginger is providing some examples of telling rather than showing from a couple  of very recognizable, but also very disparate, sources: William Shakespeare and George Lucas.  For years, writers have been advised to “show, don’t tell.” But can we learn a contradictory lesson in exposition from two truly surprising sources? Namely the acclaimed plays of William Shakespeare, and the not-so-acclaimed prequels to the Star Wars saga? In 2005, actors Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor clashed lightsabers for what they thought might be… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Deborah L. King

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on August 15, 2023

Today’s interview is with women’s fiction author Deborah L. King. Deborah shares with us her journey to publication and details about her writing process. We are thrilled that we got to learn more about her, and her life outside of writing. HG: How would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet? DK: Hi, I’m Deborah and I write women’s literary fiction. It’s also been called historical, but I refuse to believe that the 1980s are historical. I’ve been a writer and storyteller my whole life, and I published my first short story when I was seven years old. It was a melodrama about a church closing (spoiler: it didn’t close). For years, I wrote poetry, songs, and nonsensical adult stories for my own entertainment. It was only after attending a women’s writing class and reading my stories out loud that I started calling myself a… Read More >

How does Jack Carr connect so effectively with readers?

By: Ginger | Posted on August 11, 2023

Social media can be an incredibly useful way for authors to connect with their readers, but it’s an intimidating prospect for many self-published writers to even know where to get started. Many authors use social as an afterthought, simply as an (often unproductive) way to promote their latest project. Others, like Jack Carr, use social far more effectively, building an empire of loyal fans that are more than willing to happily buy whatever it is he promotes. How does Carr use social media to connect with hundreds of thousands of eager readers, and how has he quickly become one of the most impactful men’s fiction author of his generation? That’s exactly what Ginger is looking at in today’s blog, as he attempts to break it all down in a way that makes it easy for the rest of us to learn and improve on our own social game. Former Navy… Read More >

Self-Help Books to Add To Your Toolbox

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on August 8, 2023

Self-help books don’t need to be exclusively read for your New Year’s resolution. There is no time like the present to work on your goals, or take the next step towards a healthier you. Today we have put together a list of books highly rated by Hidden Gems ARC reviewers that can help you towards who you want to be. Life After Emotionally Immature Parents by Vanessa A.P. If you are determined to break the cycle of emotional abuse so that you do not repeat it with your own kids, then Vanessa A.P.’s book is for you. “It honestly and sensitively addresses the plight of people who have grown up with emotionally immature parents,” says Candelaria in their 5-star review. “The book not only describes how the lack of an emotionally competent parent can affect a child, but also offers clear and practical guidance for overcoming the negative consequences of… Read More >

Writing Therapy connects you with readers

By: Ginger | Posted on August 4, 2023

Throughout history, writers have found solace in expressing their pain and trauma through their work, as a type of writing therapy. However, the benefit isn’t just for the author. Writing about our deepest wounds can resonate deeply with others, validating their silent suffering and forging powerful connections through our shared struggles. That’s why finding the courage to write about our pain isn’t just about getting something off our chests. As Ginger explains in today’s blog, it’s also about adding a sense of honesty and authenticity to our work that will build stronger bonds with readers and be appreciated more than you might think. Expressionist painter Edvard Munch created the “Mona Lisa of modern art” when he painted The Scream in 1893. A truly haunting painting that depicted his panic attack after losing track of his friends during a walk, it served as a keyhole into the turmoil of trauma, depression,… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Densie Webb

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on August 1, 2023

Today’s interview is with author Densie Webb. According to her official bio, Densie (not Denise) Webb has spent a long career as a freelance nonfiction writer and editor, specializing in health and nutrition and has published several books and tons of articles on the topic over the years. She transitioned into fiction several years ago and is a member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. It was an honor getting to know more about her writing process and life outside of writing. HG: You’ve long had a career as a freelance nonfiction writer and editor. Tell us a bit about your fiction publishing journey. When did you know you were ready to take on the “fiction author” role? DW: I would venture a guess that no writer feels “ready” to take on fiction. I know I wasn’t, but a long-time friend encouraged me to “go for it.” For me, it… Read More >