Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Guest Post - L. Diane Wolfe: How to Tie Together a Series

L. Diane Wolfe is stopping by today to discuss her new book with a guest post about tying series together.

How to Tie Together a Series 

Sometimes writers plan out a series. Sometimes one book turns into more. And sometimes a writer conceives of multiple, seemingly unrelated stories. How can one tie it all together? 

Here are some ways you can groups stories into a coherent series: 

Continuation of the characters: 

Take the main character and continue his/her adventures. Each story can stand on its own or each one can progress forward in time. There are a lot of examples in the literary world: Sherlock Holmes, Jack Reacher, Nancy Drew, etc. Readers who fall in love with the main character will enjoy more stories surrounding that person. 

It doesn’t have to be the same character, though. The main character’s best friend could become the main character in the next book, and so on and so on. Many of the secondary characters will cycle in and out of the stories, keeping readers grounded in the cast. I did this with my new adult series, The Circle of Friends. 

Set in the same universe: 

Think DC or Marvel comics. Many superheroes across one large universe. Sometimes they cross over, sometimes they are merely referenced in another story. The stories can also be set many years apart. The Imager series by L.E. Modessit is an example of a single universe series, as is Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series. 

Using a theme: 

If the characters don’t overlap and neither does the setting, then stories can be tied together by theme. The theme can be simple or complex. It can tie specifically to the stories’ genre. But some key element binds the stories to a series, a theme that readers will enjoy regardless of the exact setting or characters. Theme is what I used to tie my In Darkness series together—each main character(s) deal with a darkness in their lives, whether it’s due to their supernatural nature (vampire, shark, werewolf, alien) or human flaws and baggage dragging them down. 

If you have some stories written and would like to tie them together, consider one of those three options. If you’d like to plan a series or turn a single book into one, now you have some ideas. Series do well, so if you can get one going and it’s successful, you’ll gain dedicated readers for years. 

In Darkness: The Vampire 
By L. Diane Wolfe 

Souls shrouded in darkness… 

Stuck working as a barmaid for her demanding father, Anna dreams of adventure. When mysterious strangers enter the bar, she overhears they seek Zancrela, an ancient fortress filled with treasure and a magical library. Taking her chance, she offers to guide them. The conditions: deliver Zancrela or die. 

As they journey through the wilderness, she discovers their secret: they are vampires. And most view her as food. One takes interest in her and her heart dares to hope, but it might not be enough to change her fate. Will Anna find Zancrela or become a vampire morsel? 

Release date – February 7, 2023 
Romance / Paranormal / Vampires (FIC027320), Fantasy / Paranormal (FIC009050), Fantasy / Romance (FIC009090) 
eBook ISBN 9781939844903 
$3.99 eBook available in all formats 

Buy Links: 

A professional speaker and author, L. Diane Wolfe conducts seminars, offers book formatting, and author consultation. She’s the senior editor at Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. and contributes to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Submission Stats & Open Calls for March

Since I didn't have time last week to add the usual onto my IWSG post, I'm doing it this week. 

First, my submission stats for January. They're awful, BUT that's because I'm busy working on Happy Ghoulidays II, so I don't even feel bad about it. HGII releases March 17!! (I'm looking for folks interested in helping spread the word about HGII in March. You can sign up here. Thank you!)

In January:

3 submissions

3 rejections

12 currently on submission

So. many. needing. submission.

Okay, now for publications taking submissions with deadlines in March. Bear in mind I'm not endorsing these, merely passing them along. Always do your own due diligence before submitting.

Hexagon Magazine is seeking speculative fiction short stories. Up to 10,000 words. Pays $.01/word. Deadline March 7. (Note they are only open for submissions from the 1st to the 7th.)

Solarpunk Magazine is seeking stories by BIPOC authors only for a special themed issue. 1500 to 7500 words. Pays $.08/word. Deadline March 14. (Note they are only open for submissions from the 1st to the 14th.)

Eye to the Telescope is seeking speculative poetry with the theme of Fungi. 1-3 poems. Pays $.04/word. Deadline March 15. 

EvOke is seeking speculative fiction stories with the theme Gods and Goddesses of Witchcraft. Pays $5. Deadline March 15.

Nunum is seeking flash fiction. Up to 500 words. Pays $20CAD. Deadline March 15.

The Ex-Puritan is seeking a variety of works, including short fiction, poetry, and essays. Pay is between $35 and $200, depending upon type of submission. Deadline March 25, but deadlines roll, so they are continuously open for submissions. Deadline merely determines which issue you're being considered for.

Dragon Soul Press is seeking stories featuring East Asian warriors for the anthology Honor. 3000 to 20,000 words. Pays in royalties. Deadline March 25.

Munster Literature Center is seeking short fiction for Southword. Up to 5000 words. Pays 250 euros. Deadline March 31.

Cohesion Press is seeking military horror short stories for Snafu: Punk'd. 2000 to 7500 words. Pays $.05AUD/word. Deadline March 31.

The Woodward Review is seeking poetry and prose. Up to 5000 words. Pays $50. Deadline March 31.

Be sure to stop by on February 22 when L. Diane Wolfe stops by!

Have you been submitting? How's it going? Any of these of interest?

May you find your Muse.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

IWSG - Book Covers & Book Launch Help

Ack! I almost forgot to put together this post! Note: I will have to either post this month's submission calls in a separate post or add them to this one later. It's been a crazy (albeit good) day, and I just didn't have time to get it together.

It's the first Wednesday of February (I am never, ever ready for a new month, it seems), which means it's time for another round of the Insecure Writer's Support Group.

Created by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the IWSG serves to create an environment for writers to share their insecurities and support their fellow creatives. Anyone can join. Simply click on Alex's name and put your blog on the linky list.

The co-hosts this month are: Jacqui Murray, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Pat Garcia, and Gwen Gardner!

The optional question is: If you are an Indie author, do you make your own covers or purchase them? If you publish trad, how much input do you have about what goes on your cover?

I'm Indie, and my husband makes the covers for me. I find it amazing that I can tell him some events/items to focus on, and he comes up with these great covers. 

And he puts together marketing images. This question is oddly timely, because I should be sending my newsletter out within the next week featuring the cover reveal of Happy Ghoulidays II! My newsletter subscribers get to see it first. If you're curious, you can sign up for the newsletter over to the right. He's putting the finishing touches on it as we speak. Getting the official cover is one of my absolute favorite parts.

If you're willing to help with the book launch in March, between Monday, March 6 and Friday, March 17 (release day is the 17th), you can sign up by clicking HERE.

I will have to do my submission recap in a separate post with the submission links, because I have to get up really early for a work meeting, and it is way past when I should have gone to bed for it (not that I can sleep when I go to bed earlier than usual, anyway, but I can at least be in bed reading until sleep is a possibility.)

What are your insecurities? Who does your covers? How much say do you get? Which of your books has your favorite cover?

May you find your Muse.