Watt Fun

The merits of being a Wattpadder.

Is Wattpad a viable selling tool for an aspiring/established writer?  Maybe yes, maybe no.  Depends on who you talk to.  Some love it; some see it as no value add.

Currently, I have weekly installments of “Odd Woman Out” going.  Not sure anyone reads them.  But then, I’m not promoting them, either.  I guess I’m hoping a Wattpad fairy will sprinkle magic pixie dust.  Et voilà!  Tyler, you’re a hit!

The truth is that I’ve got an hour or so of actual “me” time per day, so it’s a toss of the coin.  Heads, I write; tails, I promote.  But if I promote, I need to decide what the best course of action is.  The abundance of self-promotion/marketing info out there is overwhelming.  It definitely takes (me) lots of time to digest all that requires doing.  And it seems easy enough initially . . . but three hours later, there I am, still trying to figure it out.

I digress.  For those not yet familiar with Wattpad, it’s a site with an informative blog and community (and labs) where—among many other things—writers can post works or persons can reach out with causes.  More notably, you can read Wattpad writers’—or Wattpadders’—opuses.  There’s lots of great stuff to be found.

From a writer’s perspective (forgetting the fact an audience or fanbase is probably a very good thing), I do find it rather fun.  You can design your own cover if you wish (I did mine and it ain’t bad, if I do say so).  You can post as often as you like, but doing so regularly (frequently) would be best.  There’s something exciting about hitting “Create” and “Continue Writing”.  Maybe one day the commitment will pay off.  Maybe not.  It’s all good, whatever the outcome.

I hear Wattpad even has awards, though I confess I’ve not yet checked that out (I’ll add this to the 105 other must-dos).

Take a gander . . . and have some fun.

www.wattpad.com

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Burbling a Blurb – What’s in a Written Sales Pitch?

Remember: you want to create interest, if not excitement.  Suck in your reader.  Do that by revealing the dilemma or challenge facing your character(s) without disclosing how it’s resolved. 

Finding the right [amount of] words to sell your beloved work isn’t always easy.  No question, writing book blurbs—otherwise known as sales pitches or selling tools—can be challenging.  But, rest assured, it’s far from impossible.

Let’s consider what you shouldn’t do first:

  • go on incessantly, revealing all
  • reveal all (yeah, it’s a great story and you want to [enthusiastically] share every detail, but this really isn’t beneficial)
  • summarize all plot twists and/or characters
  • tell how the story ends
  • talk about how brilliant you and/or the story is
  • be overly effusive with descriptions (but not use effective descriptive words to entice us).

Now, let’s take into account what you should do:

  • tell us the genre of your book (we don’t want to have to guess, although mysteries do have their merit)
  • write a killer opening sentence; pull in your reader immediately
  • have us wanting to know/learn more
  • apply that old and familiar phrase: keep it short and sweet
  • introduce the protagonist and his/her quest, quandary, desire, journey (whatever the trial may be)
  • give a sense of setting.

My own process: write a synopsis (five to seven pages).  From that, whittle it to a one-page synopsis.  The blurb evolves from that.  Yeah, it can prove time-consuming.  But it helps capture the true essence of the book and, sometimes, it even reveals a snag.

Your process could be totally different.  Discover what works for you.  If you’re a first-time “blurber”, check out blurbs in your genre.  Get a feel for how they flow.  Adopt that rhythm.

Here’s a quick example (using my mystery series trio):

 The gals from the Triple Threat Investigation Agency stumble across a body in Ala Moana Park while waiting for a new client.  Could it be, this was he—Jake the Flake?  Why did someone of his notorious background want to hire them?  The assault he’d recently been arrested for?  Or the stalker he’d briefly mentioned on the phone?  As JJ, Rey and Linda search for clues across various Hawaiian Islands, it’s apparent a number of people hated the toady guy enough to want him dead.  And when their quest drags them into the dark and dangerous underground gambling world, they learn they’d better push out fast . . . before they add to the mounting body count.

Remember: you want to create interest, if not excitement.  Suck in your reader.  Do that by revealing the dilemma or challenge facing your character(s) without disclosing how it’s resolved.

It takes practice, like anything, but it does come—and when it does, your awesome blurbs will attract readers (and followers) and help you make sales.

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Writer’s Block can B a Bitch

For those easily offended, sorry for the “b” word . . . but, man, writer’s [and blogger’s] block can be just that.

Sometimes, it’s because ideas are bumping around in your brain like out-of-control bumper cars.  Other times, it’s because you’re experiencing a dry spell as arid as the Mojave Desert.  In both instances, focus is proving as clear as the Big Muddy.

Other excuses, uh, reasons include:

  • scheduling/timing, anxiety, dog walking, kitty litter changing, shopping, eating, vacuuming (pick one, any one).

There are several ways to defeat writer’s/blogger’s block and they’re painless, even enjoyable.

My fav: take a walk.  (Ideas come when I’m strolling with no destination in mind.)

Similarly, get out of the house/condo/apartment and enter a different space and head place, like a lounge or gym or park.

Do something creative or entertaining: play a game, color/draw, maybe watch a motivating or encouraging flick.  Music’s nice, too (Christian R&B works for me, but if Five Finger Death Punch does it for you, go for it).

Daydream—about the story and characters, your future, an ideal vacation, the upcoming long weekend, or that perfect world.  Engage the ol’ gray matter.

Jot down words, ideas, or character sketches.  Or record what you’re feeling and thinking (do some free-flow writing).

Talk to someone . . . or the dog, cat or parrot.  Chatting aloud, even with yourself, can take you places (and, no, they won’t be taking you away with a butterfly net).

Search for inspiration.  The folks I follow on Twitter tweet amazing sayings and stunning photos.  After viewing a few of those, I’m feelin’ uplifted and very fine.

Hopefully, one of these options will work.  If not, go looking for something that will . . . like I just did (writing about the writer’s/blogger’s block I was experiencing today).

Ending words: don’t give up.  Persevere.  You’ve got it within you.  Stick to it!  And, above all, keep the faith.

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The Nutty Case of Coco’s Nuts

There’s certainly no one nuttier than Coco Peterson, someone the Triple Threat Investigation Agency gals never have the [dis]pleasure of meeting.
Coco’s Nuts has our rookie private eyes attempting to prove socialite-turned-trucker Buddy Feuer didn’t shoot her boss, infamous entrepreneur (alleged mobster) Jimmy Picolo.   

There’s certainly no one nuttier than Coco Peterson, someone the Triple Threat Investigation Agency gals never have the [dis]pleasure of meeting.

Coco’s Nuts has our rookie private eyes attempting to prove socialite-turned-trucker Buddy Feuer didn’t shoot her boss, infamous entrepreneur (alleged mobster) Jimmy Picolo.

In a quest for answers, JJ, Rey and Linda contend with a slew of suspects.  Several persons certainly hated Picolo enough to kill him, but locating the one who actually pulled the trigger proves a challenge.

Detecting travels lead to the world of gambling and the “limb-breakers” that reside in it.  In fact, Picolo’s daughter owes thousands of dollars to collectors in Vegas and Oahu.  Might this have served as motivation to kill her father, so that she could collect on the will?

What about Picolo’s son?  Did Jimmy Junior yearn to take over the pater’s multiple businesses?  What of good ol’ nutty Coco?  The little pest, uh, fellow has been AWOL since his boss’ murder.

Lady Luck smiles their way and the Triple Threat trio discover “remnants” of Coco—his tattoo and jewelry—in Picolo’s million-dollar Haleiwa retreat.  It appears Coco’s another casualty.  Finding the rest of him, however, is as difficult as proving Buddy innocent.

Old friends and acquaintances reappear, but whether they have the trio’s best interests at heart remains to be seen.  And who can forget JJ’s dealer-agent “bad boy” boyfriend, Cash Layton Jones?  She certainly can’t—badly beaten, he arrives at her door one night.

Ever-enthusiastic Kent Winche is known as “The Source” because he has an ear (and mouth) for gossip.  As a Picolo employee, he has access to a sundry of potentially useful connections and eagerly offers to assist.

When the Triple Threat Investigation Agency gals get a case, it’s—in gumshoe vernacular—a humdinger of a lollapalooza.  When they’re not discovering another body, they’re dodging crazy characters or racing from a detonating bomb.

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If you’d like to read about the trio’s continuing mis-adventures, Coco’s Nuts, the ebook, can be found at:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/656164

https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1370281080

https://www.amazon.com/Cocos-Nuts-Triple-Threat-Mystery-ebook

Hanging the Shingle on the Triple Threat Investigation Agency Door

The aspiring detectives of the Triple Threat Investigation Agency take on their first official paying assignment: discover an elderly millionaire’s
young wife’s secret. It seems straightforward enough—until the wife is found dead in the sapphire Hawaiian oceanside. As Jill (JJ), Rey and Linda strive to
uncover the killer amid a cast of curious, unconventional characters,
they stumble across several secrets . . . and trip over a few bodies.

Sleuthing proved so much fun in The Connecticut Corpse Caper that JJ, Rey, and Linda have set up shop as private eyes on the lovely island of Oahu.  They’re the proud and excited owners of the Triple Threat Investigation Agency.

 Can You Hula like Hilo Hattie? is the first official [paying] case: discover the secret of WP Howell’s young pretty wife, Carmie.  Millions, and a much-desired divorce, rest on it.

What seems straightforward quickly becomes complicated when Carmie’s battered body is found in the Hawaiian Pacific.  It quickly becomes evident that she wasn’t the only one with a secret . . . nor the only one to die an untimely death.  Who among a cast of curious, unconventional characters is tenacious (or crazy) enough to eliminate all living liabilities?

In the quest for answers, JJ, Rey and Linda encounter a plethora of suspects on a winding road of many detours—where drug dealers and informants, treachery and blackmail, abound.

Brash young Benny Pohaku, working both sides of the drug-pushing fence, ticks off the wrong people.  Dealer Cash Layton Jones is as galling as he is attractive, and his habit of entering JJ’s condo uninvited results in a few heated encounters.

Carmie’s intriguing if not odd ‘tini friends serve as pieces to an expanding puzzle.  Down-and-out musician, Jon Jonson, had been blackballed by Carmie.  Being unceremoniously dumped could serve as a motive for murder for former lover and trainer Stacy Kapu.  And restaurant co-manager, Benoit Paillisson, had always had a hate-hate relationship with her.

There’s also Carmie’s twin, Gino Carpella, who’s been rumored to associate with questionable sorts.  Had the rift in the siblings’ once close-knit relationship played a part in Carmie’s death?  Or had one of Gino’s enemies retaliated by striking out at his closest family member?

No love is lost when it comes to hubby WP Howell.  Was Carmie’s “secret” damaging enough to prompt the man to kill?

The Triple Threat trio finds the case as clear as the contaminated waters of the Ala Wai Canal.  Fortunately, they have patience and perseverance . . . and occasional assistance from Detective Gerald Ives.

As the body count increases and the suspect list decreases, the women discover the murderer’s identity.  And while major incidents are explained, a few loose ends (and cannons) remain.  These will be addressed, but not necessarily [yet] tied up in the third novel, Coco’s Nuts.  JJ, Rey and Linda are budding detectives, after all, and they still have lessons to learn and skills to hone.

The ebook Can You Hula like Hilo Hattie! can be found at:

https://www.smashwords.com/book/view/598066

https://books.google.ca/books/about/Can_You_Hula_Like_Hilo_Hattie.html?id=i7c8DQAAQBAJ

https://www.amazon.ca/Hula-Hattie-Triple-Threat-Mystery-ebook

Aloha!

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The Connecticut Corpse Caper: A Precursor to the Triple Threat Investigation Agency

For those not familiar with the antics, uh, cases of the Triple Threat Investigation Agency trio, The Connecticut Corpse Caper won’t provide any.  What Caper will do is enlighten you re the gals’ pre-detective adventures.

It all begins when seven inheritance recipients gather for a week-long stay at the vast, creepy Connecticut mansion of Mathilda Moone.  As is befitting Aunt Mat’s “unique” (some claim dotty) character, her will stipulates that if one recipient leaves early, his or her share will be divided among those remaining.  As it happens, one does depart—not by choice.

Every character has a secret, as Jill Jocasta (JJ) and her two associates, Reynalda (Rey) and Linda, discover when they slip on amateur P.I. shoes.  Others soon join in the sleuthing, and the bumbling and stumbling—murder and mayhem—begin.

Enter dead bodies and legal sorts.  Enter Fred, the resident ghost, singing a favorite song.  Enter potential inheritance recipients through hidden passageways and corridors.  . . . Enter not-so-dead Aunt Mat.

Fingers point and tongues wag.  It appears any one of the visitors could be a diabolical murderer.  Even those six fatal Moone accidents that occurred during the last decade suddenly seem as if they may not have happened by chance.

Through trial and error, and just good old plain luck, the three women discover who is responsible for the killings.  Questions are asked and answered until a partner arrives on the scene and silences the killer’s voice.

Excitement reigns.  Paramedics and officers dash into the chaos.  Soon, all is explained and there are no loose ends.  . . . Well, maybe not quite.  Those Moone accidents?  They truly weren’t by chance.

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If you’re interested in reading Caper, the ebook can be found at:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/555494

https://books.google.ca/books/about/The_Connecticut_Corpse_Caper

Both ebook and hardcover of Caper are also available here:

https://www.amazon.ca/the+connecticut+corpse+caper