Author Guest Post
Practical Advise For Novice Writers
By: Wayne Zurl
Okay, here’s where I get to play coach. I’ve been given the opportunity to be didactic, pedantic, and if I’m clever, facetious. If Knute Rockne was a writer, here’s what he’d say about getting published and sharpening your work.
When you begin the process of selling your finished work, follow the accepted sequence. Start looking for representation by an accredited literary agent. Not an easy chore, but worth the effort. Should that fail, don’t take it personally. Rejections are part of a writer’s life.
If the agent search poops out, engage in some healthy catharsis. Go to a soundproof room or the middle of a national wilderness area and curse them out. Scream at the top of your lungs and get the anger out of your system. Call them megalomaniacal, self-styled power brokers, ineffectual, rude, unfeeling, egocentric, sluggards. Photocopy their facial likeness from their website, tack it to an unfinished garage wall or a wide tree trunk, and throw darts at him/her until the steam escapes from your ears and your blood pressure returns to 70 over 120. Then, fix your favorite seasonal alcoholic beverage, retreat to a comfortable chair and say, “Time for plan B.”
What’s that, you ask? Take the same copy of WRITER’S DIGEST where you found those miserable agent’s names and look for all the traditional publishers who will accept submissions directly from a writer and query them.
Still no luck? Look for eBook publishers. It’s a lot less expensive for a company to produce a book electronically than make an initial run of 2,500 hard copies. Getting published this way is no free ride, but these people seem to be more amenable to take a chance with a new, unproven author. And most eBook publishers may provide POD (print on demand) options should you want to market your book in paperback. Lastly, or maybe it’s your first choice, self-publish. But be careful choosing a company. Ask for war stories from those who have been there before you. Don’t get caught with a 1,000 prepaid copies of your book getting damp and smelly in your basement and a company that does nothing to assist you in promoting and marketing your books. If you don’t speak legalese, obtain help to read a contract.
No matter where your publishing journey ends, here’s the key—NEVER GIVE UP. If you believe in yourself and objectively think your novel is good enough to be read by others, one way or another you can see your manuscript in print. So, get out there and win one for the Gipper.
Now, here’s a little less inspirational (but still sound) suggestion on how to produce a world-class piece of work. When you think your story, novelette, novella, novel, or epic is finished, when you truly believe you’ve found and corrected all the typos and nits and it’s ready to sell, go back and read it aloud to yourself. Pretend you’re the star of your own audio book. Read it slowly and professionally as an actor would. Then, ask yourself, does it sound good? Do all the paragraphs smoothly transcend to the next? Does each sentence contain the right number of syllables? Does each word flow into the next without conflict? Does it have a pleasing rhythm? Basically, does it sing to you? For a guy who doesn’t dance very well, I have a great need for rhythm in my writing. If you notice any “bumps,” go back and rewrite it. Smooth everything out. If something bothers you now, it will annoy the dickens out of you in the future and someone else will probably notice it, too.
With that accomplished, you’re finished, right? No. Now you’re ready to hand it off to an editor or proofreader—whomever you can afford. A second pair of eyes is essential for ANY writer.
It is always a pleasure to feature you and your novels on my blog, Wayne. Thank you for the opportunity to host the virtual book tour event for Pigeon River Blues! :)
About The Author
Twenty (20) of his Sam Jenkins mysteries have been published as eBooks and many produced as audio books. Ten (10) of these novelettes are available in print under the titles: A Murder In Knoxville and Other Smoky Mountain Mountain Mysteries and Reenacting A Murder and Other Smoky Mountain Mysteries. Zurl has won Eric Hoffer and Indie Book Awards, and was named a finalist for a Montaigne Medal and First Horizon Book Award. His full length novels are available in print and as eBooks: A New Prospect, A Leprechaun's Lament, Heroes & Lovers, and Pigeon River Blues.
For more information on Wayne’s Sam Jenkins mystery series see www.waynezurlbooks.net. You may read excerpts, reviews and endorsements, interviews, coming events, and see photos of the area where the stories take place.
Pigeon River Blues by Wayne Zurl
Book Series: A Sam Jenkins Mystery Series
Publisher: Iconic Publishing
Publication Date: May 31, 2014
Format: Paperback - 258 pages
Kindle - 1377 KB
Nook - 3 MB
Genre: Mystery / Police Procedural
BUY THE BOOK: Pigeon River Blues
BUY THE SERIES: A Sam Jenkins Mystery Series
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Pump Up Your Book Tours.
Winter in the Smokies can be a tranquil time of year—unless Sam Jenkins sticks his thumb into the sweet potato pie.
The retired New York detective turned Tennessee police chief is minding his own business one quiet day in February when Mayor Ronnie Shields asks him to act as a bodyguard for a famous country and western star.
C.J. Profitt’s return to her hometown of Prospect receives lots of publicity . . . and threats from a rightwing group calling themselves The Coalition for American Family Values.
The beautiful, publicity seeking Ms. Proffit never fails to capitalize on her abrasive personality by flaunting her lifestyle—a way of living the Coalition hates.
Reluctantly, Jenkins accepts the assignment of keeping C.J. safe while she performs at a charity benefit. But Sam’s job becomes more difficult when the object of his protection refuses to cooperate.
During this misadventure, Sam hires a down-on-his-luck ex-New York detective and finds himself thrown back in time, meeting old Army acquaintances who factor into how he foils a complicated plot of attempted murder, the destruction of a Dollywood music hall, and other general insurrection on the “peaceful side of the Smokies.”
My Book Review:
After twenty years on the NYPD, Sam Jenkins and his wife Kate leave New York behind to retire in the Great Smoky Mountain small town of Prospect, Tennessee. But his retirement doesn't last long when he accepts the position of the town's new Chief of Police. One would think that this is a cushy position in a sleepy little Appalachian town, and normally it would be ... except for the occasional murders, criminal activities, and mischievious small town antics. And if that isn't enough, the mayor asks Sam to babysit C.J. Profitt, a hometown girl turned famous country music star, who returns home for a charity benefit, only to stoke the fiery ire of a radical rightwing group called The Coalition for American Family Values. The Coalition is against C.J.'s flamboyant flaunting of her "corrupt" lifestyle, it goes against their way of living. A sassy country music star, dangerous threats, numerous murder attempts, and protecting the Dollywood music hall from destruction keeps Sam on his toes, determined to restore peace, law, and order to his Great Smoky Mountain small town.
In the latest installment of the Sam Jenkins Mystery series, Pigeon River Blues, author Wayne Zurl weaves another intriguing tale of mystery and suspense that keeps the reader guessing as they follow Sam on his latest madcap adventure.
Author Wayne Zurl engages the reader with a story that has a mixture of humor, intrigue, drama and suspense. His use of the local southern dialect stays true to the setting in the story, the reader feels like they are transported to the town of Prospect. I loved the fun banter that makes up the dialogue in the story, you can't help but get drawn into the story as the characters come to life.
Sam is a sarcastic guy who has no problem saying exactly what he's thinking: his quick wit, sense of humor, friendly banter and sweet flirty side keeps the reader laughing out loud as the story unfolds. And when you add in the sassy and vibrant personality of country music star C.J. Profitt, mixed with the radical rightwing group's threats and crazy antics, the reader is in for a real treat with a storyline that is full of dramatic fireworks!
With a quirky cast of characters; a rich description of the setting and the local dialect; and a suspenseful storyline full of intriguing twists and turns, Pigeon River Blues is an exciting continuation of the thrilling adventures found in the Sam Jenkins Mystery series!
I would be remiss if I didn't mention that author Wayne Zurl utilizes his prior extensive knowledge and experience of police procedure to create a realistic story and series that diehard of mystery / detective fans will crave to read.
Pigeon River Blues and the Sam Jenkins Mystery series is simply an addicting whodunit mystery series that will turn mystery fans into Sam Jenkins fans!
RATING: 5 STARS
Virtual Book Tour
My Life, Loves and Passion – Author Guest Post / Book Review
Tuesday, September 16
Books, Reviews, Etc. – Book Review
Thursday, September 18
Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – Book Spotlight / Book Excerpt
Friday, September 19
Black Heart Magazine – Author Interview / Book Excerpt
Monday, September 22
Deal Sharing Aunt – Author Interview / Book Spotlight / Book Excerpt
Tuesday, September 23
Lilac Reviews – Author Guest Post / Book Review
Wednesday, September 24
Bless Their Hearts Mom – Book Excerpt / Book Review
Thursday, September 25
Readalot – Book Review
Monday, September 29
Bound 2 Escape – Book Spotlight
Wednesday, October 1
Gabina49′s Blog / Just Reviews – Book Review
Deal Sharing Aunt – Book Review
Thursday, October 2
FictionZeal – Author Guest Post / Book Spotlight / Book Excerpt
Friday, October 3
Melanie’s Muse – Book Review
Monday, October 6
The Writer’s Life – Author Interview / Book Spotlight
Wednesday, October 8
Book Readers: Mum’s Writings Mystery and More – Author Guest Post / Book Spotlight / Book Excerpt
Monday, October 13
The Story Behind The Book – Author Guest Post / Book Spotlight
Friday, October 17
As The Page Turns – Author Interview / Book Spotlight
Monday, October 20
Jane Reads – Book Spotlight / Book Excerpt
Friday, October 24
Read My First Chapter – Featured Book Excerpt
Wednesday, October 29
Brooke Blogs – Book Review
Friday, October 31
Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Author Guest Post / Book Spotlight / Book Review