Wednesday’s Word: Diane McGyver presents “the Salvation of Mary Lola Barnes”

Diane McGyver

Introducing author Diane McGyver. Her first book, Shadows in the Stone, was released in 2012. Since then, she’s written seven books, including four more fantasy novels and two stand-alone books for her Romance Collection. In this interview, she shares a little about her most recent book, the Salvation of Mary Lola Barnes.

1) What is the title of your most recent book? Is it a series, what genre is it and is it suitable for all ages?

The title is the Salvation of Mary Lola Barnes. It’s a stand-alone book, and I’ve no intentions of writing a sequel. It fits squarely in women’s fiction but overlaps into small town romance and inspiration. The content and story is geared towards those over 16 years old. If I had to narrow the age group down to the ones who’d enjoy it most, it would be women between 45 and 65.

2) In a few short sentences, tell us about the book. Give us a glimpse of the plot without giving away any spoilers.

The book opens with Mary considering the last piece cake that celebrated her 50th birthday. She’s looking back on life and thinking about the future now that her kids have grown and are creating lives of their own. After almost 25 years of marriage, mostly dedicated to keeping house and raising kids, she wants to take advantage of life’s opportunities and rekindle the relationship with her husband.

When she starts to make subtle changes, she runs into opposition from her husband and friends. Once she sets change in motion though, her life transforms in areas she hadn’t expected or wanted, and it won’t stop even when she wishes it would.

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eBook Giveaway: “the Salvation of Mary Lola Barnes”

I’ve whoaed and hummed, thought a wee bit more about it, hummed and hawed, and wondered if it would work. I’ve never done it before, so I don’t know how smoothly or rocky the experience will be. In the end, I threw caution to the wind. The past year, I’m more of a ‘let the chips fall where they may’ kinda gal. So let’s do it.

To thank those who have followed and supported me over the years at this blog, I’m giving away five eBook copies of the Salvation of Mary Lola Barnes.

Given the restrictions Amazon presents to Canadians, I can’t gift a book to without a lot of hassle and hoop jumping. Maybe I can’t do it at all. I read the ‘rules’ more than a month ago, and they have become a jumbled mess in my head.

However, I’ve found an easy solution.

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Update on Marketing Blitz and Why it’s Not Here Yet

It’s been a busy two weeks, and this past week has been challenging and unpredictable. So, the update for my marketing campaign for Norther Survival will not appear today. Here’s why.

Pickiness and Thoroughness

Northern SurvivalI’ve been reviewing the details of the ads, the results and the ‘companies’ selling the ads. It’s taken longer than I thought because I’m being overly picky and thorough. If I take the time to do this right, I will have a good resource to refer to with future book launches.

The list of online ‘companies’ that provide ads will benefit me and you because I’m creating a page (Promotional Sites) on this website to help others find places to promote their books.

More Promotions for Northern Survival

To keep this book in motion and to get it in front of new readers, I’m planning a short marketing blitz between November 16th and 20th. At that time, the $4.99 price will drop to 99 cents. I’ve already had confirmation on five paid ad sites, and I’m working on a few places to get the book where it won’t cost a dime. So this week, I’ve spent about eight hours looking for new places to promote the book and submitting it for consideration.

During this 90-day stint at KDP Select, I can’t offer a Count-down Deal because I’ve already offered free days for the book, so I’ll manually change the price to 99 cents and claim only 35% of royalties instead of the preferred 70%. I won’t use the final three remaining free days. My free days for this book are done. However, when the next KDP Select stint begins, on November 22nd, I’ll wait the 30 days and execute a Count-down deal.

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Seeking ARC Readers for “the Salvation of Mary Lola Barnes”

I mentioned Booksprout in my Marketing Northern Survival Sunday Update #2. I stated I had never heard of or used the service before this date. Wanting to give this service an opportunity to see what it could do, I uploaded a copy of the Salvation of Mary Lola Barnes (PDF and Mobi formats).

Unlike Northern Survival, this is truly an ARC (advanced reading copy), and I’m sure when the paperback is reviewed when it arrives in two weeks, I’ll find things I need to correct and want to change. Keep this in mind if you decide to participate.

A few organic copies will be snatched up, but I’m interested in seeing if I can generate more interest by promoting the service and book. There are only 20 copies available.

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Completion of NaNoWriMo Novel

NOVELmberLast night I wrote the final words to The Salvation of Mary Lola Barnes. This was the novel I started for NaNoWriMo on November 1st. It took me 37 days to write and concluded with 64,092 words. That’s an average of 1,732 words a day.

So now what?

I’m putting it in storage. I’ve sent it to my off-site back up system, and when I get to the store to buy an ink cartridge, I’ll print and store it in my first draft file. I print a copy of all my stories because I feel the need to have it. Just in case.

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NaNoWriMo Completed

NOVELmberThis was my first kick at the can for NaNoWriMo, and I kicked it far enough to meet the challenge of writing 50,000 words in 30 days. In fact, I wrote 54,247 words in that time frame. The Salvation of Mary Lola Barnes is not yet complete, but it will be by the end of the month. The novel will be between 60,000 and 70,000 words.

The story is about a middle aged woman who struggles to re-find herself after her kids are grown and moved out of the house.

Almost every day, I was able to write at least 1,667 words. Most days, I wrote slightly more. There were four or five days when I managed to write only a few hundred words, so the following day I had to play catch-up and get them down before I started on that day’s word count.

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Last Day of NaNoWriMo

NOVELmberThere’s less than eleven hours left of NOVELmber, the month many writers accept the challenge of writing a minimum of 50,000 words in 30 days.

I’ve learned a few things from participating in NaNoWriMo. I’ll do a wrap-up of my experience and why I won’t be doing it again any time soon in tomorrow’s post.

Until then, I’ll just say, “Yes, I met the challenge.”

I reached 50,000 words on Friday November 27th. It wasn’t because I wanted to be ahead of the game going into a busy market weekend. The reason why I reached the goal is because of the days I forced myself to plough forward regardless if I wanted to write or if the story excited me. Slogging through the mud got me to those peaks where the writing took off and sailed for a few thousand words.

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45,000-word Milestone with NaNoWriMo

NOVELmberYesterday I passed the 45,000-word milestone while writing for NaNoWriMo. With six days left to write until the November 30th deadline, I don’t believe I’ll have a problem reaching 50,000 within 30 days.

What I Learned Since My Last Post

Every adventure in writing has its ups and downs, its fast times and its slow times. It’s exactly like reading a novel: there are exciting, fast-paced scenes, and there are slow, plot and character-building and transition scenes.

I’ve rediscovered that I enjoy writing scenes of conflict. This could be a sword fight (which doesn’t happen in this particular story) or an interesting argument between husband and wife (which does happen). I find it very difficult to close the file for the day when I’m in the middle of a conflict. It’s like taking a commercial break in the middle of a fist fight, saying, “I’ll be back after I make popcorn, and we’ll pick up where we left off.”

Ideas for quick comebacks and quirky lines are filling my head, and I just have to get them down. These great ideas won’t return tomorrow when I sit down to continue writing.

This is the reason my word count is so high.

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Over Half Way in NaNoWriMo

NOVELmberIt’s been a long sixteen days in November, but I’m on schedule in the NaNoWriMo challenge. As of today, I’ve written 28,003 words. Although the intended day’s word count is supposed to be only 1,667, I’ve managed to write 1,750 words a day on average.

It hasn’t been easy.

There were days when I wrote those words in an hour. Then there were days I had to break up the writing into two or more sessions because I was forced to be involved in life outside of writing. There was one day I wrote only about 300 words.

So it’s been a challenge. But I’m a little over half way there. Yeah!

The story—The Salvation of Mary Lola Barnes—is progressing well. I’m on chapter twelve. My main character has had small growth spurts and a few minor setbacks. I’m setting her up for a horrible turn of events and a vacation. At the end of the book, she’ll still be standing. I can’t say that for all the characters.
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First Milestone in NaNoWriMo

NOVELmberAt 10:45 (Nova Scotia time) tonight, after six days of writing, I reached a 10,000-word marker in National November Writing Month. So far, the going has been fairly easy. There was only one night I had to stay up until midnight to get my 1,667 words down for the day.

Regardless of what happens during the day or what crazy schedule I have, I promised myself I would not go to bed until my word count was done. With 24 days left to write, only time will tell if I can keep my promise.

Currently I have 10,227 words written. That’s an average of 1,704.5 words a day. My word count is recorded each day on this page at the top of the right-hand margin.

The working title for the novel is The Salvation of Mary Lola Barnes. It’s about a woman who turns fifty and wonders what life holds for her in the second half of her century. She’s led an uneventful life up until this point, but things are about to change because she goes looking for change.

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The Salvation of Mary Lola Barnes

Ready. Set. Go…

Today writers around the world begin one of the biggest challenges of their writing career: write 50,000 words in 30 days.

This week I decided on the main character’s name. I also decided it would serve as the working title: The Salvation of Mary Lola Barnes.

The novel will open in a scene a few days after Mary’s birthday when she ponders over the last piece of her birthday cake.

I’ll post daily updates on my word count in the right margin. Each time I reach an increment of 10,000, I’ll make a blog post.

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