101 Best Websites for Writers

WDBestWebIconImagine my astonishment when I received an email a few days ago from the folks at Writers Digest saying that A Writer of History has been selected as a 101 Best Website for Writers. You can find the complete list in the May/June 2016 issue. A Writer of History is in the category of GENRES/NICHES.

A star-spangled moment.

Thanks to all of you wonderful readers for your encouragement and to all those who have written guest posts or been interviewed for the blog. Your contributions have truly enriched the content.

Nothing in life is free

A few months ago, I signed up for a ‘free’ subscription to Writer’s Digest. Well, guess what folks, I am now inundated with offers from Writer’s Digest and its partner organizations.

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 9.22.59 AM Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 9.23.20 AM Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 9.23.55 AM Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 9.24.27 AM Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 9.24.41 AM Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 9.24.57 AM

More than a dozen in the last two weeks! Hmm. Marketing run amok? A great way to get this writer – and probably many others – to hit the unsubscribe button.

FOR MORE ON READING & WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION follow A WRITER OF HISTORY (using the widget on the left sidebar)

M.K. Tod writes historical fiction and blogs about all aspects of the genre at A Writer of History. Her latest novel, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE is set in WWI France and is available from Amazon, NookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. Her debut novel, UNRAVELLED: Two wars. Two affairs. One marriage. is also available from these retailers.

Mary can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

How Do Prolific Authors Do It?

This post – taken from my earlier blog One Writer’s Voice – seems just as relevant to me now as it did two years ago. PS: the cover is for his latest book released this month.

two-by-two-nicholas-sparksDuring a writing course I took in 2012, four authors discussed their writing process. Not all four were prolific, but two were; one writing three books every year (adult, YA and young readers) and another writing one book every year. These two authors had different processes, but both involved ‘bum in seat’ discipline.

Last Sunday’s New York Times included a list of Nicholas Sparks’ sixteen novels [now twenty] and the number of weeks each novel remained on their hardcover fiction list. Regardless what you think of his stories, the results are interesting and, some might say, impressive. Sparks has not repeated the success he had with The Notebook (56 weeks), but each subsequent novel has earned between 12 and 29 weeks.

In an interview with Writers Digest, Sparks advises writers to ‘write what readers want to read, which isn’t necessarily what you want to write’. He goes on to say:

I think it’s important to understand that it [the publishing industry] is an industry in which the publisher has to sell your book, and if they don’t think there’s an audience for your book, you’re probably not going to get it published. I also think it’s important to realize that to get published, you’re not competing against me, or Stephen King, or John Grisham—we have spent years developing audiences that we bring to the table. So, you have to write better than we do, or more originally, or have more original stories, or work in a genre that has a need. I think it’s important to realize that readers are forgiving to a point, in that if you don’t put out your best possible work every time, your audience will begin to fall.

In an interview on ThinkTalk.com, Sparks discloses that he writes one book at a time, a minimum of 2000 words a day, 5 or 6 days a week with the first draft typically ready in four months. Apparently, he spends another two months on edits to get it to final completion.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Wish it were so. Comments on Sparks’s approach or anything else related to the topic are welcome.

FOR MORE ON READING & WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION follow A WRITER OF HISTORY (using the widget on the left sidebar)

M.K. Tod writes historical fiction and blogs about all aspects of the genre at A Writer of History. Her latest novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union on August 16, 2016. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from Amazon, NookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.