Weekly Update – Oops…

I’m in the final edits of Captain Patty and Veronica’s Vengeance, and I have to tell you…I’m regretting something major that I’ve done in this series.

(Incoming spoilers in case you haven’t read the first book in the Captain Patty series or are not wanting some small snippets from the upcoming book.)

So…Patrick.

Yes, Patrick.  The original Patrick Peterson and the second Captain Patty’s husband.  If you recall, there’s a small blurb about him in Book One that says he was shot and killed by Rudiger Bartleby during a pirate raid.  Patty (the wife) and baby Reuben escaped and went on to become who we know them as today- a chocolate-addicted cartographer and a sassy pre-teen with a love for all things stink pot.

But as I’ve been working on Book Three, and writing Patty’s backstory on how she met and fell in love with Patrick, I find myself saying, “Oops!”  Maybe I shouldn’t have offed Patrick so quickly before I developed his character to something more than a name.  He’s been too fun to explore and he’s brought a lot of comedy and life to the story.  Should I have really ended it so soon?

It’s one of the struggles of being an author: when do you write off a character?  Grant it, Patrick’s death leads Patty to get her own ship and keeps her and Reuben safe for a while from Bartleby, but still…when you grow to love a character so much, it’s hard to part with them.  (Believe it or not, character write-offs are sometimes just as hard for the writers as it is for the readers.)

So I guess this post serves as a giant “Oops” to my readers.  If you enjoy Patrick as much as I, I’m sorry to say he doesn’t come back (what happens in Book One can’t exactly be erased).  I do hope that, despite his appearance in only one book, you’ll enjoy his presence and contributions to the story, short as it might be.

And if people really, really, really enjoy his character, well…I guess there’s always a spin-off.  😉

Have a wonderful week!

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Weekly Update – Captain Patty Hashtag Game

Remember last week when we used the old Twitter hashtag #MovieSynopsisIn5Words to describe The Ripple Affair Series?  Today, we’re going to do the same with The Adventures of Captain Patty!  Once again, book characters will be talking about what they know best – their own series!
Listed below are what some of my book characters have written for their own hashtag game: #CaptainPattySynopsisIn5Words…

Charles on Captain Patty and the Nameless Navigator

Smelly coat leads to capture.

Hammy on Captain Patty and the Boston Buccaneer

Pirate fails at singing career.

Franky on Captain Patty and the Nameless Navigator

Hamster survives; is suspected immortal.

Luc on Captain Patty and the Boston Buccaneer

Asthma and smoke?  Bad combo.

Samantha on Captain Patty and the Nameless Navigator

Girl discovers love of pants.

Bartleby on Captain Patty and the Nameless Navigator

Unbeatable captain beat by whale.

Louis on Captain Patty and the Nameless Navigator

Businessman makes parrot mortal enemy.

Reuben on Captain Patty and the Boston Buccaneer

Boy friendzoned by first love.

Patty on Captain Patty and the Nameless Navigator

Chocolate addict obliterates unstoppable fleet.

Percy on Captain Patty and the Boston Buccaneer

Boy suffers sunburning without parasol.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian readers!

Weekly Update – The Ripple Affair Series Hashtag Game

Have you ever seen trending hashtags on Twitter?  They can be awfully fun to read sometimes.  Recently, a hashtag called #MovieSynopsisIn5Words had been trending, and many took to their phones to Tweet funny phrases describing movies using only five words.  

Well, book characters can do that too!  Only this time, they’ll be talking about what they know best – The Ripple Affair Series!

Listed below are what some of my book characters have written for their own hashtag game: #RippleAffairSynopsisIn5Words.

Edward, on The Ripple Affair…

Romance novel becomes soap opera.

Waffles on Reign of Change… 

Apples contain lots of fiber. 

Emmerich on When Dreams Break…

Nice guy finally gets girl.

Bernie on Heart of Deceit…

Bernie/Marcus becomes the new ship.

King Arden on Reign of Change…

Good king makes bad dad.

Queen Maria on When Dreams Break…

Dinner party fails despite plans.

Aldaric on When Dreams Break…

Ex holds grudge for decades.

Malum on Heart of Deceit…

Boss must do everything himself.

Bohden on When Dreams Break…

Mysterious prophet covers plot holes.

Sir Rikert on The Ripple Affair…

Wise guy ignored like always.

Stay tuned for next week where the characters for The Adventures of Captain Patty do the same!

Also, thoughts and prayers for everyone affected in Las Vegas today!

Weekly Update: Encouraging Words

Hi everyone!  Sorry again for the late update.  It was a very busy weekend, and I’ve finally had a moment to take time to post.

Yesterday, while teaching Sunday school to my early elementary kids, I finished a month long lesson on friendship.  We learned a lot about what it is good friends do – forgive one another, be there for each other, etc.,  but yesterday’s lesson was one I had been looking forward to since the unit began: friends encourage one another.

Anyone knows that words can make or break us.  Like the Scriptures relate, words can build us up or tear us down, and we need to be wise with the words we use, especially when those words are aimed at other people.  I can’t be the only one who has noticed that there’s been a lot of not-so-nice words being used lately (especially on social media), so with my Sunday school kids, I wanted to make sure they learned how they could use their words to encourage.

First, we learned about the story of Job and how his friends responded to all the bad things he went through.  If you know the story, you know that in the long run, Job’s friends weren’t the most encouraging.  They said some pretty mean things, even so far as blaming Job for not loving God enough or secretly sinning to cause so much heartache in his life.  Now we know, in the story, that Job was completely innocent and God blessed him double in the end after he had went through everything, but (as I asked the kids), could you imagine how Job felt hearing his friends’ discouragement?  How did those unkind words effect him, and what could’ve been said instead to make him feel more encouraged?

After our story, we went back to our tables and decided to do a special project.  This was going to exercise the kids’ abilities to think of kind words for their fellow classmates as well as give them some extra practice with using kind words to encourage.

First, they chose a piece of construction paper with their favorite color.

Next, they were given a cut out of a circle where they had to write their name on it.  After they wrote their name, they glued it on the center of the construction paper.

Next, we listed some kind words on the dry erase board that could be used to describe someone.  Examples include “kind”, “funny”, “loves God”, “loyal”, “true”, “honest”, “brave”, etc.  

After that, I handed out more blank circles, and then we went around the room.  I pointed to the child in the first seat and instructed the kids to write down a kind word that described that child.  They could use a word from the board or they could come up with their own (one of the kids wrote “cool” as an example.). 

When they were done writing their word, they were instructed to hold up their circle for me to collect. After I collected the circles, I gave them to the child we talked about.  That child would then glue the circles on their paper and decorate it.

We repeated those steps until we said encouraging words about everyone in the room.

You can see an example of the one I made for myself before class here in case you want to know what the project looks like:


What I enjoyed about this project wasn’t so much the fact that the kids got to practice using kind words (to be honest, they already knew a lot about kind words to begin with), but the reaction they had when seeing what kind things others had to say about them.  It was priceless!  There were smiles all around the room, and some even mentioned how glad they were to hear such kind things said about them as they had heard some mean comments from classmates at school.

The project was a huge reminder at the power of our words and just how important encouraging can be.   How can you be an encouragement to those in need today?

Weekly Update – You Mean Book Characters Aren’t Real???

Apologies for the late post, friends!  It was a busy weekend and I’m finally able to post!

A while back ago, I made the comment that I tended to know my book characters better than real people.  I meant it as a joke, of course, because as a writer, it’s part of my job creating, developing, and getting to know these characters from beginning to end.  But some of the reactions I got were quite comical, as some thought it meant I really, truly was being isolated from real people!

I had to explain that it was a writer joke, and we all had some good laughs over it, but the truth is there is a special bond that develops between a writer (or even a reader, in many cases) and a book character.  We see what’s inside their head, we learn what makes them happy or sad, we witness their proudest accomplishments and greatest defeats.  And though we know (deep down inside) that fiction book characters aren’t real (unless we’re dealing with historical fiction, lol), we still develop a great love, loyalty, and understanding between them, often similarly like we do with real people.

Though I can’t speak for others, I find myself rejoicing in the fact that I have such a great “relationship” with my characters.  Like real people, I learn about myself and others through my interactions with them.  And though I can’t replace real people with them (as much as I’d love to get a hug from Marcus Peterson, it’s just not going to happen…*cries*), I can still be swept away on incredible journeys and exciting escapes with every page.

I have fun with my friends and I have fun with my book characters, and I’m happy to say that both have made me into who I am today.  Who are some characters that have made a big impact on your life?

Weekly Update – Book Shows!

I had a book signing today at an author showcase – the first in a long line of weekends full of selling books, signing books, and talking about books!  As you can see from the picture above, Ralph the parrot made a special appearance (thankfully not annoying customers like he does for Captain Patty), and the day was a lot of fun!
But what are book shows and what can you expect from them?  When I was a newer author, I wasn’t quite sure what to do or how to start.  Not all shows/signings are the same, and it’s important to learn about them to make the experience less stressful.  

Here are some things I’ve learned after doing a variety of in-person shows…

  • Not all shows are successful…

You’ll learn quickly that some shows will not help you earn money or exposure.   It may be weather, poor turnout, uninterested customers, or just plain bad luck.  Don’t fret – just because a show has poor turnout or sales one year doesn’t mean it will always be that way.

  • …But they aren’t all a flop, either.

Some shows may surprise you.  Even if turnout is low, you may find yourself getting a profit.  Do your best, pray for good weather, and stay positive.  Good shows do happen, and when they do, there’s no greater feeling.

  • It’s a great time to connect. 

I spent a good half hour talking with two readers who happen to be inspiring writers, and it was a blast!  Book shows are a great way to learn what your readers are looking for and what they’re wanting to read.  You also get a chance to share your experiences about writing and what makes your book(s) great!

But readers aren’t the only ones you can connect to.  There are plenty of other writers that you can get to know as well.  Not only can you make new friends, but you also create great connections and find ways to help fellow writers out (or they can help you!)

  • You learn how to market your book(s).

Being at book shows and connecting with others allows you great practice in perfecting your sales pitch.  You’ll learn quickly what hooks potential readers and be able to use that for future shows.

  • You can learn about how other books are doing in your field.

Let’s be honest – we authors are curious about how our peers are doing.  How are sales?  What genres seem to do well?  Is the market changing?  What are good strategies for marketing?  What are good shows to attend?  You can learn a lot through observation and speaking with your peers!

  • You gain increased exposure, even if a profit isn’t made right away.

Even though some shows have flopped, those same failed-signings occasionally brought me good things, such as connections with magazines and newspapers, invitations to other shows, and opportunities to speak at book clubs and schools.  You never know who you’ll meet at a book show!

  • You might improve your eBook sales.

Not everyone wants to spend the extra dollars in buying a paperback, so it’s important to have business cards at the ready for e-readers to take and remember you.  Though I haven’t seen a dramatic increase in my Kindle sales (yet) from shows, I’ve gained a handful of readers through people taking my card and buying the e-book version later.

Book shows can be a lot of fun (and sometimes a lot of work!). The profit isn’t always right away, and sometimes they may seem like a waste.  Weigh your options and see what works best for you, but if you’re willing to give book shows a try, don’t worry!  Just have fun.  🙂

Weekly Update – The Book Cover is Here!

Hi everyone!

In case you didn’t see the news earlier, the cover for Captain Patty and Veronica’s Vengeance has been released!  We’re well into the final edits and the book is almost ready to be published!  I’ll be sure to update you when it’s ready!

You can check out the cover here:

img_2664-1

Here’s the book description:

img_2665-2

If you haven’t read Captain Patty and the Nameless Navigatorbe sure to check it out here as the Kindle version is currently FREE through Tuesday, September 5!

That’s all I have for now.  I’m off to go back to writing in Heir of Vengeance!  Have a wonderful Labor Day!

Erin