Blog Tour GRAND GIVEAWAY

04_The Lady Bornekova_Blog Tour Banner_FINALHere we are…the end of the blog tour. Thanks for following along with me on this crazy ride! It’s been fun. I hope you have enjoyed getting a peek into the book through excerpts, learning more about me through interviews and guest posts, and having a chance to see what’s in store for you in the pages of “The Lady Bornekova” through reviews. All in all, it’s been a good tour and I’m glad you have joined me along the way.

I am pleased to announce that I am already well into writing the sequel to “The Lady Bornekova”! This next book will follow the characters we became acquainted with in the first book through the Hussite Wars. That is all I will say. I want to give everyone space and time to read “The Lady Bornekova” before we jump into more information. But stay tuned to my blog for bits here and there along the way as I do research and delve into this continuing story.

And so, I am also very happy to present the entry for the GRAND PRIZE for the blog tour. This giveaway will run from today, July 31st until August 14th. The package includes:

– A signed print of the cover

– “The Lady Bornekova” bookmark

– A free copy of the eBook

– A $25 Amazon Gift Card

Are you geared up to enter for this package? Here it is:

The Lady Bornekova Grand Prize Giveaway

The hardest thing about being an author

I thought writing a query letter was difficult. Then I thought the waiting game was hard. And then everyone told me the editing process would be killer. These things weren’t necessarily the most pleasant thing, but they weren’t nearly as hard as something that I would come to find to be the most difficult part of this whole gig: reading reviews.

reveiwWe as authors have put ourselves out there into the world, heart exposed in a lot of ways. At least that’s how I feel. I put so much of myself in each and every one of my creative works, so handling reviews is going to be a learning process.

The reviews I have received have not been bad. They’ve actually been really good. Phrases like “I could hardly put the book down”, “I hope there is a sequel”, “I highly recommend this for those that love historical fiction with a touch of romance involved” are just a few of the pieces I can pull out of reviews. For some reason, the perfectionist in me wants to see five stars every time. That’s just not possible. For some people, giving three stars is a good review. This puts me in a tough spot. I think You wrote such wonderful things and didn’t give me more stars!?!

thumbs upAt the end of the day, the advice I’ve been given is to not let the reviews be the end all of your day/week/life. They can, if you let them. I think it’s best to let them be what they are: someone’s opinion on what you’re doing well and maybe need to work on. Take that and let it spur you on to write a better book the next go around if you must, but do not let them drag you down. For newbie authors, just in case you haven’t heard this yet, let me say that you should NEVER respond to a negative review. Let someone have their opinion. There is nothing to be gained by getting into a word battle with them. It will only hurt you and your brand.

In the end, I’d like to say that I truly appreciate the time the reviewers put in to reading my work and putting their own thoughts down about it. Everything above is my own issue. I really am thankful for those who review books and the role they play in this process.

To Blog Tour, or Not to Blog Tour…

04_The Lady Bornekova_Blog Tour Banner_FINALThe Blog Tour…has been a wonderful monster. But, thankfully, the bulk of it has been managed by the capable team at Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. They have really made this tour a much smoother experience. I cannot honestly imagine the kind of work that must go into planning and arranging this kind of tour.

challengesThe Challenges. Even with someone doing the planning and arranging and coordinating, there is still work on my part. Getting the blog posts written, interviews done, excerpts selected, and manuscripts out for reviewers was the easiest part. There’s the waiting for the blog to post each day, posting on social media about it, and following the blog throughout the day to check comments in case I need to respond (on the blog and on social media posts). It doesn’t seem like much, but I do feel chained to my computer all day. There was a day my husband had a procedure done and I was away from internet for several hours in the waiting room (who doesn’t provide wifi in a waiting room when you know your patients’ family and friends will be waiting that long?) and I felt totally out of the loop on the tour that day.

positivesThe Positives. The fact that “The Lady Bornekova” has had exposure to people and markets that otherwise wouldn’t have known about it is HUGE! Numerous people have found me on social media that wouldn’t have known about me otherwise. Those things are priceless to me. And though this paragraph may be shorter than the “challenges” paragraph, the quality of it far outweighs anything found in the one above.

I cannot finish out this entry without thanking Amy and her team at Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. They have been amazing! I highly recommend this service for any authors out there considering a blog tour and wondering whether or not to go it on their own or use a service like this. I cannot say enough good things about my experience with them.

And now, some news. The blog tour will end here in early august, on my blog, with a GRAND giveaway. We’ll be giving away a signed book cover, a Lady Bornekova bookmark, a free e-copy of the book, and an amazon gift card. Stay tuned!!

Will I do another blog tour? Absolutely! For each and every book that gets published. And I hope that this blog tour service will be available for each and every tour I do. They are fantastic!

The Creative Process

Hey, all! I’m coming to you live from the midst of this craziness that is my life. Between the kids, the house, the blog tour, revising “Off to War”, working on my new writing project (to be announced), and my book becoming officially available, life is going non-stop! So, I thought I’d take a side-step from all of that and spend some time talking about the creative process.

inspirationInspiration. I’ve written about inspiration. That is a BIG part of the creative process for any writer. Certainly for me. Everything comes from that inspiration, that initial idea. And you need to continually revisit that idea/inspiration throughout the process of crafting your work to make sure everything fits into that idea/theme and that you stay on track (no bunny trails). Also, it can help stave off writer’s block or lulls in your creativity.

determinationDetermination. Determination to get words on the page whether you “feel” like it or not is something I’ve discussed on this blog, too. Journaling, or simply sitting down and trying to get something (no matter how bad you think it is) on paper is important to “prime the pump”, so to speak. I mean, you can rewrite or revise something you wrote that was bad, but you can’t rework something that doesn’t exist. And, in my (admittedly limited) experience the more you give in to the lulls/writer’s blocks, the longer they tend to drag on.

Word Counts. My life being the way it is, I’ve never been a fan of the idea of getting in a certain amount of words every day. I’ve started to rethink that stand, however. As I feel so strongly about getting something down on paper each day, the word count thing seems like the next most logical step. I’ve always been more a fan of sitting down and getting out what you can each day. Some days that’s 500 words, some days that’s 5000 words. I have enough trouble with perfectionism without one more stipulation staring me in the face each day. And this is not income that my family relies on to survive. Most of these authors who preach about word counts per day are career authors. That just can’t be my situation right now with three small kiddos. On the other hand, I take my writing very seriously, as does my husband. And we do carve out several hours every day for me to dedicate to my craft. So, there’s really no reason I can’t get a goal word count in. So, that’s where I am on this.


tired-1024x577The Draining Effect.
Here’s the truth about word counts and me. I have found that when I get more than 2000 words in a day, I feel drained. Either that day or the next day. Completely drained. Perhaps this is how the creative process should be – that I’m putting a piece of me on the paper. If this is so, it should take something out of me. I love what I do. Writing makes me feel fulfilled in a way that nothing else has. From the moment of inspiration, there is a story inside of me that has to get out. And putting it on paper is so…cathartic. The fact that others enjoy my work is icing on the cake.

That’s about all I can say about my creative process. It’s unique to each person. Be inspired…get words on the paper…go back to your inspiration…put more words on paper…repeat.

 

 

The Lady Bornekova has arrived!!

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” ~ Walt Disney

TheLadyBornekova1400x2100The BIG day. Today is a big day…for me and for this blog. This blog began when I got the first “bite” at my manuscript “The Lady Bornekova“. And today a dream of mine is coming true…one that I almost never dared hope would come. For today, I become a published author. I am just sitting here at my keyboard and letting that soak in. It feels strange, it feels good…I feel the weight of the long journey lifted off of my shoulders. I cannot thank you enough for joining me on this journey, no matter where you came in. You have been a part of it!

celebrateCelebrate with me! Please feel free to interact with me via this blog or on Facebook (Sara R. Turnquist) or Twitter (@sarat1701). I would love to hear what you think as we get this book launched!!

The Blog Tour. The tour is still in full swing. In fact today, you can find me at Library Educated‘s blog in Interview about the book. Please stop by and check it out. The blog tour has been a wonderful opportunity to read excerpts from the book, get some feedback from reviewers, and read posts by me on other blog spots. To catch up on the tour and to keep following, click here.

thank youA Moment for Gratitude. I am so thankful for many people. God, Who has gifted and sustained me through so much. My husband who tirelessly supports me. My children, who (though they tirelessly tire me) love and inspire me. My parents and family who have shaped me into the person I am. My friends who encourage and carry me through it all. My publisher who believed it me and my book. My blog tour coordinator who has helped me tackle the marketing bear. My mentor and beta readers who have sharpened and honed my skills and so much more. And you, reader, who has taken this journey with me and cared to follow my story. So, to you, I say “happy reading” and let’s keep meeting…same time, same blog?

 

The Waiting Game

Patience is a virtue…I do not have. I’ll just tell you that straight out. But I have come to find that often in this writing gig that you have to “hurry up and wait”. More than I ever expected. I mean, I expected to wait for publication, to hear back from querying, and the like. But you never really know just how on the edge of your seat you’re going to be. But, right now, I’m in a season of waiting.

time concept, selective focus point, special toned photo f/x

The Lady Bornekova. The book comes out Tuesday! It’s been the product of MUCH waiting. And we’re almost there. Thank you for taking this journey with me. The finish line is in sight! And we’ll just have to wait a little longer.

Agents. I pitched to an agent at the last conference I went to a couple of weeks ago. She received my information very well and even asked for more to be sent to her. So, I’ve been waiting to hear back from her. Will she want sample chapters? The whole manuscript? Or have some good feedback for me? I just have to wait. This is the hardest kind of waiting…an undetermined amount of time. Unlike waiting for my book to come out, I don’t know how long I will be waiting. Could be today, could be another few weeks before I hear something.

Querying. Now that “The Lady Bornekova” is ready to hit the market, it’s time for me to turn my attention to querying the next novel. Which one? And how long after my book’s release should I query? Now? Or should I wait to hear back from this agent? The only thing I love as much as waiting is uncertainty. Another thing that just comes along with the job.

The Work. My Beta Readers are so good to me. They give me a lot of great feedback and things to bring back to the manuscript. And I have plenty to work on. But, with my limited time, the work progresses slower than I would like. As I’ve mentioned, I’m eager to get into the next work, but I’m caught up in rewriting and editing. More waiting.

And so, as you can see, I’m playing the waiting game left and right. Surely, I’m being stretched in this area. It’s never a good feeling when you’re in the stretching process, but in the end, you are a better person for it. So, I’ll wait and look forward to that.

News and Updates!

blog tourHey, everyone! The virtual tour officially kicks off TODAY! I am super excited! I hope you will hang with me for the tour. You can keep up with the tour schedule here: Historical Fiction Virtual Blog Tours or check my Twitter (@sarat1701) or Facebook Author page (Sara R. Turnquist) for daily updates on where I “am” in the virtual world. I will tell you that today’s posting will have a giveaway entry. So, you want to be a part of that for sure!

Pre-order your copy of the “The Lady Bornekova”! Also, you may have noticed that “The Lady Bornekova” is now available for pre-order! There is a buy link to amazon on the left side of this page for your convenience.

Where are the rest of the books? I was just working on that this morning, organizing and planning out where each of the books are in their processes. So, the information is as follows:

bookThe General’s Wife” – Pre-edits are done and it’s ready to be queried. This is an exciting thing for me as this was the first book I wrote. How long do I wait to query after “The Lady Bornekova” has been published? I don’t know. Is this even the next book to try to query? I don’t know. So, those are some questions that need answered before I make a next move.

“Off to War” – I am currently about a third of the way through the book with pre-edits and is with my last Beta Reader. So, I’ll gather her feedback and fold in those edits along with what I’m already doing and prepare to query this book. Also, I’m kind-of thinking this book may need a new title. Any suggestions? I am open to anyone who has suggestions after reading through the description of the book (just click on “Off to War” and you should be directed to the description).

“Hope in Cripple Creek” – Finally has a name! It, too is with Beta Readers. It will be the next book I go after for pre-edits.

“Trail of Fears” – Much the same as the previous book. It is with the first Beta Reader and is third on the list for me to get into editing. This one and “Hope in Cripple Creek” are a little “light” for Historical Fiction, so I need to think of adding some length to these two in particular. I do think it’s easier to add length than to cut though.

Backlogs. I’m thinking as you read this that you might think it’s normal for writers to have such a backlog. From my understanding, it’s not normal for newbies to have such an extensive backlog. I met with an agent a couple of weeks ago and pitched “Trail of Fears”. She responded positively to it and asked if I had anything else. Yes, yes I do. We spent the next several minutes going over my other unpublished works. She commented on how prolific I was (cue blushing and shy smile – I don’t do well with compliments). The agent seemed rather pleased with what she heard and wanted me to send her the synopses for these unpublished works. And so I did. A week ago. So, now I’m ever so patiently (or at least attempting patience) playing the waiting game.

question markWhat’s next? Oh my goodness. With the blog tour and the book coming out, plus kids and home, I barely have time to breathe. Add in there the occasional day I get some of those pre-edits in and then the days I make myself sit down and read (not because I don’t like it – I am an avid reader, I have to make myself because I’m so busy, but EVERY writer/author should continue to read as part of learning their craft). But I cannot not write. I cannot stop my brain from coming up with new ideas. So, I have ideas for not one, but two new books. So, the main character’s name (this is how all my books are titled until I come up with an actual title) is staring down at me with the words “research” and “outline” underneath for each of the two on the board above my desk. I don’t want to say too much in case the ideas fall through, but I will say that one is a sequel to one of the books I’ve already written. Yes, one of the stories just has more to tell. The characters have more to grow and develop.

So that, my friends, is that. This is what’s going on with me. How are you?

 

Virtual Book Tour for “The Lady Bornekova”

 

04_The Lady Bornekova_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL

Hey, all! These are exciting times, are they not? I gotta tell you, I’m up in the clouds and don’t know when I’ll be coming down. But I want to make sure I keep everyone in the loop. I’ll be going on a book tour…a virtual book tour (this is the digital age, after all, is it not?).

My blog tour has been arranged by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours (http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/) and my first “official” stop will be Monday, July 6th at www.whatisthatbookabout.com and I’ll end my tour here. There will be giveaways along the way and a GRAND prize blog tourhere at the end of the tour. You will definitely want to stay tuned for that!!! So, come July 6th, stay tuned into my blog or Facebook or Twitter (@sarat1701) where I will post where I “am” each day.

Now, I say “official” stop because one of my fellow authors through Clean Reads (my publisher) will be hosting me on her blog (https://authordanarlynn.wordpress.com/) TOMORROW, July 3rd. So, definitely check that out!

Thank you for going on this journey with me and for your continued support!!!