Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Twas the night before shut down....

"Twas the night before shut down, and all through our house
  All the editors were sighing, and letting go of their mouse.
The cover models were hung (hee hee) on the covers with care,
  In hopes that the readers would drool and stare.
The great manuscripts were edited and all have been read,
  As visions of more submissions danced in our heads.
With RJ at her computer, and Rhonda in her pjs,
  The editors are poised for a few easy days.
When over in Crimson there arose such a clatter,
  A villain on the prowl was as mad as a hatter,
Away to the department the editors flew like a flash,
  But the bad man was caught and tied with a sash.
The hand on the breast of the heroine vampire,
  Her body parts tingled, as if on fire.
When what to our unbelieving eyes should appear,
   But one lonely cowboy with all the right gear.
With a mighty stud, so lively and thick,
   We knew in a moment it must be erotic.
More rapid than eagles the senior editors they came,
   And we whistled, and shouted, TWRP would never be the same.
Now Nicole!  Now Diana! Now Stacy, Amanda, and Leanne!
   On Callie Lynn! On Lori! On Roseann!
To the top of the porch!  To the top of the wall!
   To the fantasy department we went, to all have a ball!
As elves, ghosts, and other creatures fly,
    When we see these characters we look to the sky
So all around us in the air they flew,
    With a variety of costumes, and some dragons, too.
And then in a twinkling we heard in the hall,
    A Civil War soldier with a lilting southern drawl.
As we were turning our heads and looking around,
   A modern day hero was what we found.
He was dressed in his finest from head to his boot,
   His clothes were tight fitting, and we let out a hoot.
A bundle of manuscripts he had flung on his back,
   The host of good stories TWRP would not lack.
The manuscripts—so many!  The plots how they varied.
   Thank goodness, the hero and heroine were not married.
The older heroine is welcome her, too.
   Her experiences are old, but her love life is new.
Lords and ladies, and a man in a kilt,
   Oh we love how those Scottish heroes are built.
A sweetheart of a story can warm a reader’s heart,
   But unless behind closed doors the characters are apart.
Give me a cowboy who just rode into town.
   Or a vamp and a were, but please not a clown.
An erotic, oh dear, can make us so hot,
  But please make sure the manuscript has a plot
We looked in the pack for a manuscript to take,
   Saved the stories on our computers for after the break.
Putting our flash drives in a very safe spot,
   The Christmas cheer made us feel like a tiny tot.
We sprang to our computers for one last time.
    We needed to end our little rhyme.
So here us exclaim as we shut down and go out of sight,

   Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Allison Byers
TWRP Editor, Historical Department
~~American, ETR, Cactus, and Vintage Lines
~~"Making History Come Alive"

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Wild Rose Press on Holiday

Everyone at the Wild Rose Press wants to wish you the best this holiday season. 
Our offices will be closed from Dec 19 through Jan 5, 2015.

Enjoy, relax, and read a good book from The Wild Rose Press.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Why you shouldn’t give your book away

By Rhonda Penders

Why buy the cow when the milk is free?

We’ve all heard that saying. Basically, the meaning behind it is that someone isn’t going to pay for something that is offered for free. Whether it’s your virtue or your book, the issue is still the same.

When a writer devalues her work to the point of giving away her book, isn’t that what she is really doing? Just giving it away as if it were nothing?

I have to wonder if an author is so desperate to have someone, anyone, read her book, that she’s passing them out like pamphlets on the street corner.

Is it so bad that she doesn’t think anyone would or should pay for it? What about the months, maybe even the years, she spent pounding away at the keyboard creating that book? What about the lost hours spent editing and reworking it to perfection?

A promotional ploy

Most authors sacrifice a lot to write a book. They give up any and all free time in exchange for getting the story on paper. That has to be worth something; certainly more than a freebie.

Authors tell me it’s a promotional ploy. Promotion is great and today we have to constantly try new angles and ideas to draw in readers. I have no issue with giving away a chapter to entice a reader to purchase the rest of the book but give away the whole book? It doesn’t make any sense.

Authors hope that by giving away a book, readers will buy more of them or will buy the next book that comes out. Unfortunately, it doesn’t usually work that way. Readers are a very frugal bunch. If they can get free books, why would they pay for yours? They will simply pick up someone else’s free book tomorrow, and someone else’s the next day, and so forth.

The numbers don’t lie

You may disagree with me – maybe your experience is different – but as a publisher, I have to tell you that the sales numbers don’t lie. While a select small number of authors may have seen book giveaways as a clever promotion to boost the sales of their next book, it is rare. Giving books away isn’t making sales numbers climb. How could it? Free doesn’t equal bigger royalty checks.

Meanwhile, authors have devalued their craft to the point where even they don’t think it should cost anything. I’ve been to a lot of craft shows the past couple of months. I’m amazed at the price of the handmade pieces people are selling. But then I think about the hours and hours of hard work these artists put into each piece and I have to admit it’s probably a bargain. Aren’t authors the same as these other artists? Aren’t authors creators of their craft and shouldn’t they value their work just as much as a wood carver or a glass blower does?

Maybe this old adage has a point in today’s publishing world. Every writer has to do what he/she thinks is best for their career.

It’s a tough time in publishing for authors but the answer isn’t giving it away. To me, that’s the same as giving up.

- See more at:

Rhonda Penders, Editor-in-Chief

Monday, December 8, 2014

Monday Morning Tell and Show

Many know this, others don’t. Some find it easy, others difficult. No matter what the case, I would like to discuss characterization with you and how it comes about.
“What is characterization?” you ask.
Easy—it’s the art of giving your written characters their unique identity, that which sets them apart from other characters in your writing—or the characters in other people’s writing for that matter.
“But how do you give your characters their identities through characterization?”
Quite simply, in two different ways: directly and indirectly. Direct and indirect characterization are the two methods writers use to shape, mold, and form characters. Continue reading and you’ll find information on how to keep these two methods straight in your head as well as how they help to make your characters relatable, lively, and interesting. I’ll begin with direct characterization since it is the easiest method.
Direct characterization is what the author states about a particular character. The author makes explicit statements to the reader: statements like “He was this” or “She acted like that.” If you don’t want your reader to mistake some facet your character has, direct characterization will set the reader the straight. But there is a problem with using direct characterization that can drastically effect your writing and even your publishability (yes, I did just make up that word).
You see, direct characterization falls into the realm of telling. And I’m sure you’ve heard many times in the past—and you may be hearing it from your editor now—you need to show, not tell. Direct characterization does not lend itself to gracefully painting images and emotions; rather, it’s an abrupt statement (however eloquently written) that tells facts. Therefore, the use of direct characterization should be kept to a minimum.
But lucky for you, there’s a way to avoid this: use indirect characterization.
“But what is indirect characterization? And how do I use it?”
I’m so glad you asked.
There are a variety of ways to work indirect characterization into your writing—five to be exact. And to help you remember them, just think of the word STEAL (just as I’m stealing this section of information from one of my college writing classes…but it’s not academic dishonesty, this info is public domain and plastered all over the internet).
Speech: what is the character’s tone, word choice, and/or accent.
Thought: what do the character’s private thoughts/feelings reveal about the character?
Effect on others toward the character: how do people react/behave around the character?
Actions: what does the character do, how does the character do it?
Looks: what does the character look like, how does he/she look or carry him- or herself?
Indirect characterization really isn’t a hard concept. All that you are doing with indirect characterization is revealing your character’s personality without stating it outright.
Now that you know the difference between the two types of characterization, how will you work it into your writing? Or, perhaps, how will you change your writing style? That I cannot tell you because every author has their own process when it comes to writing. But what I can do is give you two tips):
Tip #1: After you finish writing, start from the beginning and search out those all-knowing author statements that give details instead of paint pictures. When you’re sleuthing through your pages, especially look for the telltale verb forms of “to be.” Besides being a weak verb, forms of “to be” can be a tip-off that there is a direct characterization statement. Once you find it, try and think of a way to subtly paint what you have brazenly stated.
Tip #2: While writing, if you find you have written a statement (eg She was shy.) Stop and fix it right then and there. And do this for three main reasons. First, it cuts down on your editor telling you that you’re telling and not showing—no one wants to sound like or listen to a broken record. Second, it cuts down on the time it takes to edit your manuscript. The less telling you do, the less rewriting you have to do! Third, this to establish the habit of critically eyeballing what you’re writing while you write. This kind on-the-job training hones your skills because practice doesn’t make perfect if you’re practicing incorrectly, so correct a stylistic mistake as soon as it’s made.
I hope this information was either a good refresher for your or that you found it helpful for either correcting a bad habit or looking at new ways to create and shape your characters. I want to leave you with this note from one very successful writer:

“Every human being has hundreds of separate people liing under his skin. The talent of a writer is his ability to give them their separate names, identities, personalities and have relate to other characters living with him.”

Mel Brooks

Colby Wolford
Historical Editor
The Wild Rose Press