Author Archives: solitaireparke

Writers/Authors – 7 Tips to Help You Identify Your Target Market/Audience

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A target audience is the person or group of people a piece of writing is intended to reach. This seems to be one of the most difficult questions to figure out for a writer/author.  I, for one, have struggled with this one.  So I’ve been doing some research and have uncovered some tips from multiple sources that have been helpful to me.  Although we as authors would like to believe that the books we spend hours poring over are going to be loved by everyone, rarely is that the case.  We all have our preferences as to what interests us, which accounts for the racks upon racks of books and genres that are found in bookstores and on the internet everywhere.  In order to maximize the promotion of your books and put them in front of those who would most likely be your audience, you need to know which categories and genres they fall under so that readers can easily find the specific books that interest them.  If you find and narrow your niche it will enable you to appeal to and reach more of the readers that will ultimately buy your book.  What group/groups of readers are you targeting and how do you accomplish that tricky, but very important feat?  Well, here are some tips I found that might be helpful:

  • Try to isolate what types or groups of people the content of your book would interest. Is it about something historical? – history buffs, or elements of the future? – sci-fi, does it have elves or fairies? – fantasy, is it technical or educational? – educators and/or   computer buffs, etc. If it has elements of several different topics it could appeal to a number of types of people. The groups of readers may overlap. (You may have multiple target audiences.)
  • Pinpoint what is special about your book – what words would you use to describe it specifically to someone if they asked what it was about. (What is the hook?) Is your story scary, comedic, fantastic and/or futuristic, educational, technical, mysterious?
  • Determine what age your book would most likely appeal to. (Demographic) Is it something kids, teens, young adults, adults, or a combination of readers would enjoy?
  • Look at other books that are comparable to your book and applicable to the topic or subtopic in your book. identify who are their main readers/buyers. (Check at Amazon or Barnes & Noble to see what books are in their categories.)
  • You can Google the reader demographics for magazines, publications or newsletters that are applicable to the topic or subtopic in your book.
  • Investigate compatible author websites. See who is making comments and check out their profiles. They might be your target audiences.
  • Examine the type of vocabulary you have used or are going to use in your book. How would it change depending on whether you were addressing children, teens, or adults? Who would relate to the way your characters are speaking.

Once you have identified your target audience, look at the users of the social media sites, publications, or blogs to see where those readers hang out. Start heading in those directions to find the people that are compatible with your writing, and connect with them to grow a fan base. Be where they are.

I hope this helps you to determine your target audience and better connect with your readers.

Solitaire

 

 

In what Point of View do you write?

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When writing a novel there’s a universal question that most writers grapple with – how do you choose which Point of View to use? Point of view is the way the author allows you to “see” and “hear” what’s going on. There are several different points of view available to you and each one has several pros and cons. You must consider how the point of view you choose will impact the story you are trying to tell.

FIRST PERSON POV: When you tell a story through a viewpoint character using I or we. First person POV refers to the I, we, me, my, mine, us narrator, and is often the voice of the heroic character or a constant companion of the heroic character. Every detail of your story must be filtered through the storyteller. It is usually your main character. If your main character cannot see, hear, touch, smell, taste, think, know or feel it, you can’t include it. So, if you want to introduce something outside the range of your main character, you must use the words or observed actions of some other character who is in a position to see or know the events in order to convey the information you want the reader to have. Remember that the POV character cannot know the thoughts or unspoken feelings of another character.

Advantages –

  • It’s Easier to feel empathy for the character since you are spending so much time in their brain
  • It can give logic and motivations to characters that would seem otherwise evil, immoral, or otherwise not relatable.
  • It more easily fleshes a character on the page by allowing the audience to listen to their voice for long periods of time.

Disadvantages –

  • You are limited to writing about what the narrator can see or sense.
  • The narrator must constantly be on stage or observing the stage.
  • You can’t go into the minds of other characters.

SECOND PERSON POV: Where the author uses you and your – it is rare. Authors seldom speak directly to the reader. When you encounter this point of view you should pay attention. The author has made a daring choice, probably with a specific purpose in mind. Most times, second person point of view draws the reader into the story, almost making the reader a participant in the action.
Advantages –

  • The reader can feel more intimately connected and involved with the story.
  • It gives you the power to be different, even eccentric in the way you can speak to the reader so directly.
  • It gives life to the characters in a way that other viewpoints don’t.

Disadvantages –

  • It begins to feel quirky, whether you’re reading it or writing it.
  • Novels solely written in second person make it more of a possibility that the reader may feel disconnected from the story.

THIRD PERSON POV: The he, she, it, they, them narrator, third person is the most common POV in fiction. It offers a variety of possibilities for limiting omniscience: information that the narrator and reader are privy to in the telling of the story.

Advantages –

  • In omniscient mode, the narrator is all knowing and can move to anywhere in the story world.
  • The narrator can also tell the reader things the main character doesn’t know, creating dramatic irony.
  • Provides a broad perspective on the story, which is useful for epics involving many plotlines.

Disadvantages –

  • Far less intimacy between reader and main character. The reader feels as though he is looking at characters rather than being a character.
  • Narrator is reliable (this could also be seen as a pro).
  • You can confuse yourself and the reader unless every voice is distinctive.

My urban fantasy books from The Dragomeir Series were written in first person. They are all from the main character Tanis’s point of view. Not knowing any more than Tanis did from moment to moment was used as a means by which to increase the potential bond between him and the reader. The reader goes where Tanis goes, sees what he sees, and has to catch up on events when he returns to a person or place. I wanted the reader to use Tanis’s ability to understand people and to figure out friend or foe, good and bad, but to ultimately do it together. I felt the books needed to be a more personal, casual account of what was happening to have a better shot at complete immersion with the story as it unfolds. I hope you enjoy reading the Dragomeir Series as much as I did writing it.

THE DRAGOMEIR SERIES –

  • “The Emerald Dragon”
  • “Flight of the Aguiva”
  • And coming soon – “Egg of the Amphitere”

 

Solitaire . . .

What Point of View do you use and why?

 

 

 

Top 10 Fantasy Writing Tips From “Game Of Thrones” Author George R.R. Martin!

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Just about everyone, including me, has watched or at least heard of the TV show, “Game of Thrones.” The author, George R. R. Martin, has been writing Fantasy books for many years before this series came out. I have been a fan of his for a long time. Since I write Urban Fantasy myself, I was curious what his thoughts were on the subject. So I thought this article on the site, Lifehacker.com, was rather interesting. His top 10 writing tips for Fantasy are as follows:

  • Don’t limit your imagination
  • Choose your point-of-view characters to broaden the narrative’s scope
  • It’s okay to borrow from history
  • Talk to real people for a believable point of view
  • Grief is a powerful tool_but don’t overdo it
  • Violence should have consequences _ so spare nothing
  • Avoid fantasy clichés
  • The world is full of “grey” characters to draw from
  • Juggling lots of characters takes skill and luck
  • All men must die, but we don’t have to give way to despair

To read the details of each of these tips, click on the link below and enjoy!

http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2013/11/ten-tips-on-writing-a-fantasy-saga-from-game-of-thrones-author-george-r-r-martin/

Any tips you’d like to share?  I’m always open to new ideas for improving my writing.  See you soon.

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

Urban Fantasy? – Part Two: 28 TV Shows & Movies

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Urban fantasy is not just a literary genre; it is also a Television and Movie genre, even if it isn’t necessarily referred to as such by many people in TV Land or Hollywood. Urban fantasy shows have been around for quite a while, starting with the likes of the Twilight Zone and Outer Limits, both of which were more sci-fi than anything else but still had some urban fantasy elements to them. The urban fantasy genre didn’t really take off though until about ten years ago, when a slew of new shows came along that featured supernatural characters and goings on in a largely urban setting. There’s a good chance you’ve seen some of them.

Television –

  • Once Upon a Time A woman with a troubled past is drawn to a town in Maine where fairy tales are to be believed.
  • Gargoyles A clan of heroic night creatures pledge to protect modern New York City as they did in Scotland long ago.
  • Grimm A homicide detective discovers he is a descendant of hunters who fight supernatural forces.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer A young girl, destined to slay vampires, demons and other infernal creatures, deals with her life fighting evil, with the help of her friends.
  • The Vampire Diaries A teenage girl is torn between two vampire brothers.
  • Sleepy Hollow Ichabod Crane is resurrected and pulled two and a half centuries through time to unravel a mystery that dates all the way back to the founding fathers.
  • True Blood – This show features every Urban Fantasy trope you can think of, from vampires to werewolves to fairies and everything in between.
  • Supernatural – Two brothers follow their father’s footsteps as “hunters” fighting evil supernatural beings of many kinds, including monsters, demons, and gods that roam the earth.
  • Hemlock Grove A teenage girl is brutally murdered, sparking a hunt for her killer. But in a town where everyone hides a secret, will they find the monster among them?
  • Penny Dreadful Explorer Sir Malcolm Murray, American gunslinger Ethan Chandler, and medium Vanessa Ives unite to combat supernatural threats in Victorian London.
  • Angel – The vampire, Angel, cursed with a soul, moves to Los Angeles and aids people with supernatural-related problems while questing for his own redemption.
  • Lost Girl – Lost Girl focuses on the gorgeous and charismatic Bo, a supernatural being called a succubus who feeds on the energy of humans, sometimes with fatal results. Refusing to embrace her supernatural clan system and its rigid hierarchy, Bo is a renegade who takes up the fight for the underdog while searching for the truth about her own mysterious origins.
  • Dead Like Me – A college dropout, Georgia “George” Lass is killed by a toilet seat that falls from the MIR space station on her first day at a temp agency. Upon death, she is recruited for a team of grim reapers – undead who mix among the living and take people’s souls just before they die. Along with fellow team members Mason, Roxy, Betty, and leader Rube, George discovers life after life.
  • Being Human – A werewolf, a vampire, and a ghost try to live together and get along.

Movies –

  • The Harry Potter Movies – Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
  • Ghostbusters – Three unemployed parapsychology professors set up shop as a unique ghost removal service.
  • Hellboy A demon, raised from infancy after being conjured by and rescued from the Nazis, grows up to become a defender against the forces of darkness.
  • Hellboy II – The mythical world starts a rebellion against humanity in order to rule the Earth, so Hellboy and his team must save the world from the rebellious creatures.
  • Big Trouble in Little China – An All-American trucker gets dragged into a centuries-old mystical battle in Chinatown.
  • Underworld – Selene is a beautiful vampire warrior entrenched in a war between the vampire and werewolf races. Although she is aligned with the vampires, she falls in love with Michael, a human who is sought by werewolves for unknown reasons.
  • Underworld Evolution – Picking up directly from the previous film, vampire warrior Selene and the half werewolf Michael, hunt for clues to reveal the history of their races and the war between them.
  • The Covenant – Four young men who belong to a supernatural legacy are forced to battle a fifth power long thought to have died out. Another great force they must contend with is the jealousy and suspicion that threatens to tear them apart.
  • Groundhog Day – A weatherman finds himself living the same day over and over again.
  • Blood & Chocolate – A young teenage werewolf is torn between honoring her family’s secret and her love for a man.
  • Blade – A half-vampire, half-mortal man becomes a protector of the mortal race, while slaying evil vampires.
  • Interview with the Vampire – A vampire tells his epic life story: love, betrayal, loneliness, and hunger.
  • Highlander An immortal Scottish swordsman must confront the last of his immortal opponent, a murderously brutal barbarian who lusts for the fabled “Prize”.
  • Constantine – A man struggling with his faith is haunted by the sins of his past, but is suddenly thrust into the role of defending humanity from the gathering forces of darkness.

 What are some of your favorites?

I’m in the process of writing my third urban fantasy book, called “Egg of the Amphitere.”  It’s from my Dragomeir Series which includes “The Emerald Dragon” and “Flight of the Aguiva.”  If you like dragon books, or creatures like vampires, hellhounds and sabers, come check them out at my website

 www.solitaireparke.com

Solitaire

 

 

 

 

 

What is Urban Fantasy? – Part 1

 

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Urban fantasy describes a work that is set primarily in the real world and contains aspects of fantasy. These matters may involve the arrivals of alien races, the discovery of earthbound mythological creatures, coexistence between humans and paranormal beings, conflicts between humans and malicious paranormals, and subsequent changes to city management.  Many urban fantasy novels geared toward adults are told via a first-person narrative, and often feature mythological beings.

The term “urban fantasy” has been in use in print from as far back as the early 20th century. However, when used then, the term described a characteristic of some object or place. It was not until the 1980s that the term began to describe a style of fiction, written, performed in theatre, or filmed for Hollywood and television. The following sites each have a description of Urban Fantasy –

 

Know of some other interesting sites?  Please Share!

Solitaire

 

7 Quotes That Will Make You Smile :)

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In the dragon books of the Dragomeir Series, the main character, Tanis, is a man of multiple talents. He is a Thaumaturgist and a skilled warrior, a mentor to others like him, and an amazing dragon rider with not one, but two dragons to manage on a day to day basis. Then there is his relationship to the Queen Mother, The Ariella, which has its ups and downs, making life very exciting, to say the least. So it’s a good thing he was blessed with a sense of humor. How could anyone survive without being able to laugh in the face of chaos and danger? So here are a few thoughts from the absurd but astute mind of Tanis Nickolai Theatra of “The Emerald Dragon” and “Flight of the Aguiva” –

 

  • “With my luck it’s probably radioactive and will cause my future children to be born bald, with an intense urge to play the banjo.”

 

  • “That would’ve been a herculean level of work for nothing. Although if it had, then I would be going back to bed to get a decent amount of sleep. And we all know that’s not going to happen. Jeans, Tanis shoes, and a T-shirt that states, “Tanis is Da Man” was as far as I wanted to go at the moment. Today’s forecast calls for “widely scattered labor, followed tonight by dried perspiration. Stay tuned for Sports.”

 

  • “If you say something with enough fervor and enough times . . . you begin to believe.”

 

  •  “I must admit, I’ve never seen anything like that before. I told you I’d talk to the engineers, but after seeing that, do you really think I need to warn them about anything concerning the river, its speed or inhabitants? I think what you need to do is put a sign at the beginning of the corridor that states, CAUTION! Excessively dangerous river that runs so fast it probably kills the fish. Proceed at your own risk!”

 

  • ” you know what they say . . . opinions are like navels, everyone has one.”

 

  • “So, tell me . . . what’s the last thing to go through an insect’s mind when it hits the windscreen of a speeding car? Its butt – and I didn’t want to be an insect.”

Smile, it takes less muscles!

Solitaire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dragomeir Series Continues. . .

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Dragomeir comes alive in a world of Urban Fantasy.  A world where Tanis Nickolai Theatra and Demios Reptillus Stag – dragon rider and his emerald dragon, along with a whole host of other dragon riders and their dragons, battle against the Demons and Dark Lords of the Provinces to keep control of Mt. Drago.  The Ariella – Mt. Drago’s Queen of the Dragons, is amassing an army including Hellhounds and The Chosen – creatures given asylum at Mt. Drago – to protect her extended family.  But Tanis is disturbed by secrets from The Ariella’s past.  How will this affect their future and is she really who she claims to be?  Find out in Book One of the Dragomeir Series – “The Emerald Dragon.”  It is available at the following link –

https://solitaireparke.wordpress.com/the-emerald-dragon/.

The saga continues with Tanis and the dragon riders as they uncover secrets that could either save or annihilate them.  In the process, they come upon new worlds and The Ariella establishes another mountain home to house  the newly acquired dragons.   The Second Book in the Dragomeir Series, “Flight of the Aguiva”, has just been released and is available in multiple formats here –

https://solitaireparke.wordpress.com/flight-of-the-aguiva/.

Coming soon is the Third Book in the Dragomeir Series – “Egg of the Amphitere”, which will be out later this year. Will the inhabitants of Mt. Drago be able to survive the terrible times ahead and emerge victorious? I will be giving you updates and interesting facts about the books, so if you are a dragon lover like me, I’d love for you to follow the story of Tanis and Demios.  Have a great day!

http://www.solitaireparke.com/

Solitaire

Happy Father’s Day!

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“Father!–to God himself we cannot give a holier name.” – William Wordsworth

To all the Dads out there – have a terrific Father’s Day.  Mine are grown now and have children of their own – I have  some beautiful grandchildren. Yes, they make you crazy sometimes and can be quite a handful, but they also make you very proud and bring a special joy into your life that compares to nothing else. Your children are the best gift you will ever receive. Love and cherish them as long as you can.

Solitaire

Where Do Writers Write?

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I came across a very interesting site, The Next Best Book Blog, that not only gives you an idea of where writers come up with their creations, but shows pictures of these locations. (If you’re like me, you will love being able to visualize where the creativity originates.) It is a weekly series that features a different author every week. I have always loved books, and as an author I find it interesting to see where other writers are generating their masterpieces. So here’s the link – Enjoy!

http://thenextbestbookblog.blogspot.com/p/where-writers-write.html

Solitaire

P.S. Where do you write?  I’d love to hear from you!

Inspirational Writing Quotes from Famous Authors

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Here are a few favorite quotes about writing to help inspire writers everywhere. Whether you’re a fiction writer, nonfiction writer, or poet, these inspirational quotes on writing will put the pen back in your hand with renewed passion. So stop for a moment, step away from the keyboard, and soak in these eclectic author quotes on writing.

  • And as imagination bodies forth
    The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
    Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
    A local habitation and a name. – William Shakespeare (from A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

 

  • I knew nothing about writing and have merely tried to tell an interesting story entertainingly. I have been successful probably because I have always realized that . – Edgar Rice Burroughs

 

  • Prose is architecture, not interior decoration. – Ernest Hemingway

 

  • Why one writes is a question I can answer easily, having so often asked it of myself. I believe one writes because one has to create a world in which one can live. I could not live in any of the worlds offered to me — the world of my parents, the world of war, the world of politics. I had to create a world of my own, like a climate, a country, an atmosphere in which I could breathe, reign, and recreate myself when destroyed by living. That, I believe, is the reason for every work of art – Ansais Nin

 

  • A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling us how hard it is to be God. – Sidney Sheldon

 

  • Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he’ll eventually make some kind of career for himself as writer. – Ray Bradbury

 

  • Evil is always possible. Goodness is a difficulty – Anne Rice

 

  • If you have other things in your life—family, friends, good productive day work—these can interact with your writing and the sum will be all the richer. – David Brin

 

  • I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose. – Stephen King

 

  • Words are a lens to focus one’s mind. – Ayn Rand

 

  • Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short. – Henry David Thoreau

 

  • A writer without interest or sympathy for the foibles of his fellow man is not conceivable as a writer. – Joseph Conrad

 

  • Half my life is an act of revision. – John Irving

 

  • Poetry creates the myth, the prose writer draws its portrait. – Jean-Paul Sartre

 

  • It is the writer who might catch the imagination of young people, and plant a seed that will flower and come to fruition. – Isaac Asimov

 

  • The unread story is not a story; it is little black marks on wood pulp. The reader, reading it, makes it live: a live thing, a story. – Ursula K. Le Guin

 

  • Only in men’s imagination does every truth find an effective and undeniable existence. Imagination, not invention, is the supreme master of art as of life. – Joseph Conrad

 

  • There’s no such thing as writer’s block. That was invented by people in California who couldn’t write. – Terry Pratchett

 

  • Tell the readers a story! Because without a story, you are merely using words to prove you can string them together in logical sentences. – Anne McCaffrey

 

  • If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor.
    – Edgar Rice Burroughs

Heard any inspirational or funny quotes by your favorite authors?  Please leave me a comment!

Solitaire

 

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