Fowl Summer Nights by Diane Lynn McGyver

See what happens when empty nest syndrome and retirement are taken to their “Nth degree.” The exchanges between the main character and her neighbors make this work into a light-hearted romp. Diane spins a great humorous tale filled with comic believability laced and with a healthy dose of outlandish circumstances.

FSN

Despite the humorous, I think McGyver is also giving us a lesson about aging, family, and society in general without a heavy hand.

…to read more, visit San Giacomo’s Corner blog.

Goodreads Giveaway Ends Today

If you haven’t entered the Goodreads Giveaway for Fowl Summer Nights, today is your last chance. The giveaway ends tonight at midnight (not sure which time zone). So far 491 people have entered.

UPDATE (7:00 pm, Nova Scotia time): With just nine hours to go, there are now 632 names entered in the giveaway.

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Fowl Summer Nights by Diane Lynn McGyver

Fowl Summer Nights

by Diane Lynn McGyver

Giveaway ends April 11, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Virtual Book Launch Winners

Book LaunchYesterday I launched Fowl Summer Nights on Quarter Castle Publishing’s Facebook Page. Anyone who shared the event, Liked the Quarter Castle Publishing page, Liked a comment or left a comment had their name entered into a draw.

The first name drawn won a paperback copy of Fowl Summer Nights.* The winner was Cathy MacKenzie.

The second name drawn won an eBook copy of Fowl Summer Nights. The winner was Pat D’Entremont.

Congratulations Cathy and Pat. I’ll be in touch.

If you were not a winner and would like another chance to get a free copy, check out the Goodreads Giveaway. The deadline is April 11, 2014.

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Fowl Summer Nights Virtual Book Launch

Book LaunchThe virtual book launch for my novella Fowl Summer Nights is taking place today at Quarter Castle Publishing’s Facebook page.

Pop over to see what’s going on. You might win a book!

If you Share the event and either Like a status or leave a comment, your name is entered into a draw to win an eBook copy or paperback copy of Fowl Summer Nights.

During the virtual launch, I’ll post the following news:

Goodreads Giveaway: Enter to win a paperback copy of Fowl Summer Nights through Goodreads. Deadline: April 11, 2014.

Free Promotion on Kindle: To celebrate the launch of Fowl Summer Nights, the short stories The Man Who Reads Obituaries, Mutated Blood Lines and Dancing in the Shine are available for free at Amazon (Kindle). The links to these promotions are found at the launch.

A short time ago, I posted a video of me reading from Fowl Summer Nights. I’ll talk about the making of the video in a future blog post. For someone who’d rather be behind the camera instead of in front of it, this video was a real challenge. I learned a lot, however, so I’ll be able to apply the knowledge to future projects.

To participate in the book launch visit Quarter Castle Publishing.

Fowl Summer Nights Banner

Publishing 101: Book Trailer

Publishing 101This is one in a series of posts entitled Publishing 101: Draft to Book in 30 Days. To learn more about this challenge, visit the Publishing 101 page, where all links regarding this topic will be listed as they become available.

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Book trailers are interesting, they’re fun to watch and can be fun to make. In the past few years they’ve become all the rage with publishers and authors. It’s as if your book has hit the big screen even though it’s still on paper.

How important are book trailers to book sales? I can’t answer that. The only information I’ve read is ‘unknown’. Like many marketing ideas, it’s difficult to say which one entices readers to buy a book.

Still, book trailers are an asset, and if you can make one, they certainly shouldn’t hurt sales.

I create my trailers in Windows Live Movie Maker that came with MS Word 2010. Here are the basic steps:

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Publishing 101: Cover Design

Publishing 101This is one in a series of posts entitled Publishing 101: Draft to Book in 30 Days. To learn more about this challenge, visit the Publishing 101 page, where all links regarding this topic will be listed as they become available.

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Writers who self-publish have several options for cover design. They can

  • hire someone to design it for them
  • purchase a premade cover
  • use a CreateSpace template
  • design it themselves

I’ll go through three of these four steps quickly and then focus on what I do.

Hire Someone to Design a Book Cover

A quick google search will turn up a long list of graphic designers who will create amazing covers for your book. CreateSpace also offers the service. You can have a cover created specifically for your paperback and one for your eBook. Prices start at around $50 and go up quickly from there. Remember: quality often matches the dollar value.

Elance is a well-used site where anyone can post a job and receive bids for it. The eLance system protects buyers and sellers to certain degree. Like all business, this is a business and it’s your job to do the homework to see you get the best value for your buck. I know two authors who found excellent illustrators on eLance.

Purchase a Premade Cover

I’ve seen several sites around that showcase covers on their pages. All you have to do is submit the title, author name and whatever other text you want on the cover and they insert it for you. Bang! Your cover is complete.

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Publishing 101: Interior Design

Publishing 101This is one in a series of posts entitled Publishing 101: Draft to Book in 30 Days. To learn more about this challenge, visit the Publishing 101 page, where all links regarding this topic will be listed as they become available.

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The interior design for a book is like the interior design for a bedroom or kitchen. For a room the designer must decide the colours of the walls, the material for the floor and the style of light fixtures and furniture.

When you design the interior of a book, you need to think about which font style and size to use for the front matter, the back matter, chapter titles, headers, footers and the body of the text (the actual story). You must also decide the layout of these items. Will the page numbers be at the top of the page or the bottom? Will they be centred, to the left or to the right? Will they be a number or will they have the word ‘page’ in front of them?

In general Interior Design focuses on…

  • book dimensions
  • paper colour
  • front and back matter font
  • novel text font
  • chapter titles font and style
  • headers font
  • page number font
  • drop caps for chapter starts
  • scene break design

Book Dimensions

I’ve chosen 5.5 inches wide by 8.5 inches tall for Fowl Summer Nights. It’s a good average size for a novel. If I were publishing a children’s picture book, I might go 8×10. I’ve also published books at 5×8 and 6×9.

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Publishing 101: Production Schedule

Publishing 101This is one in a series of posts entitled Publishing 101: Draft to Book in 30 Days. To learn more about this challenge, visit the Publishing 101 page, where all links regarding this topic will be listed as they become available.

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With my manuscript off to the editor, one might think I can sit back and take a break. Not so. There’s still plenty of work that needs to be completed before I publish my novella Fowl Summer Nights.

Let me introduce you to my Production Schedule. I create one for each book I plan to publish. It keeps me on track and doesn’t let me forget an important step. It also holds pertinent information for this book in one place, so I don’t have to open multiple files to access it.

Below is the production schedule for Fowl Summer Nights. As I complete each item I write DONE beside it. If a small piece of information was needed to complete this step (such as ISBN), I record it. I sometimes note what stage I’m at in the step.

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Publishing 101: Print and Edit

Publishing 101This is one in a series of posts entitled Publishing 101: Draft to Book in 30 days. To learn more about this challenge, visit the Publishing 101 page, where all links regarding this topic will be listed as they become available.

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I was born before computers became the gadgets of the day, so perhaps my brain wasn’t programed to see words on the screen like a child born into the world of computers, tablets and cell phones. Or maybe the human brain processes information on a paper differently than it does on a computer screen.

My brain reads text on a computerI don’t have the answer. I do however, recognise that my brain reads text differently on a computer screen, and mistakes I see easily on paper are dismissed on my lap top. I realised this more than a decade ago, so since then, I added the printing step to my editing process.

Today I printed the manuscript of Fowl Summer Nights. I didn’t print it the same as I have it on the screen. Instead, I used one font size larger (from 12 to 14) and increased the spacing between lines (1 to 1 1/2 spacing). Many suggest to use a different font to trick the brain into thinking it’s looking at a totally different story. I do this sometimes, but I didn’t do it this time around.

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When a Short Story Grows into a Novella

Halifax County Ex 23It started innocent enough. My story idea of a woman who takes up chicken husbandry to avoid the doldrums of retirement was fairly simple, a little silly and a bit laughable.

Here are the first few unedited paragraphs.

The accolades and celebration of forty-three years of service with Canada Post dissipated the first week of retirement. At the age of sixty-five years and seven days Mildred Fowler decided she had received the worst possible birthday gift: unemployment.

The smiles and hugs from coworkers still flashed before her eyes and the din of their congratulations hummed in her ears. Even the sweet smell of Sally’s breath as she toasted to long days of leisure lingered on her nose hairs. She now wondered if they truly believed being sent out to pasture was a happy occasion or if they simply wanted to give her a final hurrah before she entered obscurity. In reality, who really wanted to do nothing all day?

Her son Clyde told her to take up a hobby if she got bored, which he sincerely doubted she would. “You’re where everyone aims to be,” he had said. “You’ve earned this freedom. Take advantage of it while you still have your health.”

“You’ll be able to sleep in,” her youngest son Victor had said on the phone from his office in Summerside.

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