Author Interview: The Amazing Patrick Jones

sandy 3
Author Patrick Jones

We have a lot of terrific authors that follow the blog. Patrick Jones is not only a great friend of the blog but a pretty prolific author, and this weekend he’s got a lot going on.

Sure, it’s Halloween for him like everybody else, but he’s running some sales on his books. The details are below, but take a moment to learn a little more about this insightful man – a kind of  modern day Indiana Jones in his own right – as he answers a few questions with me.

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Dan: What is the working title of your next book?

1pj 11pj 2Patrick: My new book, “The River” (a short story) is now available on Amazon.

My last book, “The Wolf’s Moon” is also available on Amazon.

“The Wolf’s Moon” audiobook has also been newly released on the ACX Audible platform.

Dan: Where did the idea come from for the book?

Patrick: One day I went fishing on the Meramac River near the Campbell Bridge. A boy (who said he lived close by) asked if he could fish near me. I told him that he, of course, could.

The boy asked what type of fish I was fishing for. My response was, “Moby Dick.”1pj 1

He had no idea what or who “Moby Dick” was, so I explained it was a book about a white whale. I went on to tell him the story.

The boy did not stay long. The reason he left was a long sad story that he told me before leaving.

I sat for a while longer, only catching two fish (that I released). That is when I decided to write a story about fishing. The rest just happened.

Which is the more important of these two: write drunk, edit sober?

I never tried to write drunk. I know myself well enough that I’d quit writing, drink some more and then fall asleep. Never, ever edit your own stuff drunk or sober. Drunk you will cut the best parts and sober you won’t cut any!

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

The Wolf’s Moon” took about a year to write but “The River” only took a few weeks.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Hint: it includes Jennifer Aniston
Hint: it includes Jennifer Aniston

One day, my wife and I were dreaming out loud about who, if we had an unlimited budget, we would pick to play the characters in the movie of “The Wolf’s Moon”. Please see the link to this post about “If The Wolf’s Moon was a Movie”.

Maybe Sandy and I will play the same game for “The River” one cold, winter day…

Which living author or blogger would you buy drinks for?

Hardcore Rule: I only buy drinks for my wife. (She’s a cheap date when she drinks). 🙂

Besides writing, what are your favorite things to do?

Besides writing, I love woodworking. My favorite woods to work are walnut and cherry. The grains are so special.

How did you choose the genre you write in? Or did it choose you?

Photograph taken by Old Time Photos in Lake Ozarks, MO
Photograph taken by Old Time Photos in Lake Ozarks, MO

The genre that I write chose me. The stories I write flow from an unknown place. All I do is put the words on paper as they play out in my mind.

Can you wash light and dark clothes together?  Have you ever turned a bunch of stuff pink in the washer?

Yes, one can wash light and dark clothes together. That reminds me…I have a load to put in the dryer now…and no, no pinks!

How do you decide on a title for your book?

The title, “The Wolf’s Moon,” is what the January full moon is called. In the month of January, the food is sparse and the wolves howl at the moon.

Insofar as “The River,” that is where everything happens.

What do you do for cover art?  Do you do it yourself, hire an artist (you can name names if you liked them), or purchase premade?

My wife is the artist and does my book covers. After she reads the manuscript, her mind flows. She digs through her photos until she finds the one that fits the theme of the story.

How has your experience with editors been?

The author relaxing in his expansive garden.
The author relaxing in his expansive garden.

Editors? Research them! The one we used for “The Wolf’s Moon” was fair to adequate. My readers pointed out problems that they must have passed over or just did not see.

The editor for “The River” was great! This editor caught everything there was to catch.

Being an Indie author, I have to pay for everything. Editors know that if you want your manuscript edited, you will raise the money.

Never edit your own stuff. You are too close to the story and will never change anything. You have already done that in re-writes. Just check them out. Ask around and compare costs.

What do you think some of the greatest misconceptions are about Indie authors?

Many people think that one is an Indie author because the author is not a good writer. Maybe in some cases that may be true. More often than not, the stories are top notch.

What’s the most fun part of writing a novel or short story? What’s the least fun part?

1pj 1Writing is fun, especially when you see your book in print for the first time. One thinks back to all of the people that said you could never do it. Even better is the first sale. Still better is your first 5***** review!

The down side is your first 2 ** review. Read what they wrote and you can blow it off. Not everyone is going to like the story. It will show you why they did not care for it when you read their remarks on the review. Learn from it…writing is a continuous learning process that never ends!!

What inspires you?

People all have a story to tell…just listen.

Coffee addict? Name your poison.

Yeah, I drink my coffee in the morning while I write. Even the dogs know not to bother me until after the second cup. The rest of the day it’s unsweetened ice tea – no lemon.

What’s your favorite food?

My favorite food is my wife’s fried chicken, mashed potatoes and any veggie with a huge glass of milk.

Have you ever been recognized by a fan in public for your writing, or when was the first time a fan came up to you in public (not an author event or signing)?

1pj 2Whenever I go to the grocery store, someone asks when the next book is coming out. The gas station isn’t any better. One day at the sandwich shop, a woman came up to me as I waited in line, asking if my name was Lansdowne? Thinking more about my sandwich than her question, I simply said, “No ma’am,” and she walked off.

The young girl behind the counter, as she handed me the sandwich, said, “That may not be your name but your picture is on the back of that book.”

How do you develop characters?

Characters for my stories come from people in real life. I just change the names.

If writing suddenly made you rich and famous, what would you do?

I suppose it would depend on how rich I had become. I would like to pay off my house. I have never been rich, so I don’t know what I would do!

Do you hate cats?

I don’t hate cats. I have one that lives in my wood shop from time to time. I call her, “Cat.” She can stay out there in her condo but not in the house (I have four dogs).

What’s a quote from anyone besides you, and one from you?

“The only thing for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing.”   – Edmund Burke

“I’ve never had a bad day…some are just better than others.”          – Patrick Jones

“Oooo doggy!” – Jed Clampett

“The only easy day was yesterday.” – Sign at U.S. Navy Special Warfare Base Coronado Island, California

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Right now, Patrick and his lovely wife Sandy have scheduled

The River FREE only on Amazon on October 29, 30 & 31

AND

The Wolf’s Moon FREE on October 29, 30 & 31 as well.

So The River AND The Wolf’s Moon will are free RIGHT NOW

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Links to Patrick’s works.

sandy 3http://www.savvybookwriters.com/audiobook-creation-the-wolfs-moon/

http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2015/09/11/read-new-release-the-river-now-available-on-kindle-be-warned-theres-something-in-there/

http://kevs-domain.net/2015/09/14/the-river-by-patrick-jones/

https://olganm.wordpress.com/2015/09/25/newbook-the-river-by-patrick-jones-patrickjones56-youve-been-warned/

http://nicholasrossis.me/2015/09/29/an-audiobook-experience-the-wolfs-moon-by-patrick-jones/

Flash Fiction Challenge: Add A Line

Your humble host.
Your humble host.

I have always wanted to do a challenge like this.

While this may not technically be flash fiction, since there’s no real definition of flash fiction, well then this definitely is flash fiction.

Below is a chunk of my new story, The Water Castle.

I’ll set the stage and walk away.

You take over from there.

Each of you will start out adding a line onto the prior person’s line. Or a paragraph. A description, or action, or inner thoughts.

Or whatever.

You can add up to 250 words for your “line,” more or less. Because you may need some description or you may need dialogue, etc., we’re not going to be strict on that. If you get to 1000 words, dial it back, but otherwise go crazy.

Me! Me! Me!
Me! Me! Me!

The idea is to have 10 or 20 or 50 different people all contribute and then see where we went. It’s not important where my story went, and if you’ve been reading it, don’t try to get this one back on track. Go wherever the prior person’s paragraph sends you.

It’s like jazz music. It’s created right on the spot.

And some jazz really, really sucks.

Hopefully this won’t.

We will get back to regular flash fiction challenges that are more traditional next week. Maybe slightly longer. So look forward to writing 2500 words on something good and thought-provoking in a week!

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HERE IS THE “STARTER” STORY:

After all the years of riding by and wondering, so far the tower was much less interesting than the stories had let on. She wondered why she’d never entered it before now.

Gina realized then that she’d still been holding her breath, sweating like she’d run a mile. The concrete floor around her was riddled with debris, mostly oak leaves and trash. There were puddles from the recent rains. She forced her inner germophobe to relax, taking deep breaths of the musky air. No one had been here in a while, and even if people slept there at night, nobody was there now.

She looked around. On the far side of the circular room, under the stone steps, in a wedge too small to walk under, she spied a set of black hinges. The weather hadn’t ruined them like it had everything else; the steps served as a makeshift roof. Leaves and dirt covered the rest of whatever the hinges held. She crept over to it.

The tower didn’t seem set high enough to have a lower level. Most things in Florida didn’t.

She pushed the leaves away with her foot. It appeared to be a door. Kneeling, she brushed away the moist black dirt. She clapped her hands to knock the mess off them. The sudden noise inside the small area was louder than she expected, echoing up the tower’s insides and nearly scaring her. She glanced at her hands, frowning. They were stained nearly black.

Whatever. The thick wooden door appeared relatively new, which is to say, it didn’t look hundreds of years old like the rest of the tower. It was square, with huge black hinges on one side and a big iron ring on the other. She worked to slide a finger under the rusted pull, forcing the aged metal to comply. It inched upwards, letting her grasp it with her whole hand – but not without leaving a few marks on her fingertips.

Gina pulled. The door did not move.

She placed one hand on the side of the little door and grasped the ring firmly with the other hand, taking a deep breath of the putrid air.

Nothing.

She sat back on her heels, staring at door. It didn’t appear heavy enough to withstand her pulling on it. Maybe it was stuck. She put her hands on the sides of the wooden frame, trying to jiggle it back and forth. It didn’t budge.

A drop of sweat fell from her forehead. She sat back again, wiping her shoulder across her brow.

She grasped the stubborn ring one last time, using both hands, putting her foot on the side of the door.

Her fingers crowded the iron ring. She strained her arms as the rough metal dug into her skin.

The door opened a fraction. The wood bent against the old hinges, slowly opening to a dark cavity below. She grabbed the edge of the door and pried it open.

The aroma of fresh water and the sounds of the spring emanated up from the dark space. Gina leaned forward carefully, trying to not catch a stray bat or spider in the face. Cool air flowed up from the cellar. She pushed the door open wider. Dirt and spider webs lined its edges. Inside, a set of stairs descended to another concrete floor.

She leaned back, reaching a foot out to touch the first stone step. It was free of debris, unlike everything else in the tower, and its edges were clean and straight, not worn down like the ones going up the tower wall. The only dirt on these steps was the dirt she had just allowed to fall in on them.

She put some weight on the step, testing it to make sure it wouldn’t crumble to dust and drop her the twelve or so feet onto the hard concrete below.

It held.

She crawled forward, putting both feet on the step, and climbed down into the cellar.

The bright daylight outside filtered in from above. She eased down the steps.

In the center of the room sat a round, framed pool, about three feet across. It was lined with bricks and rose only inches from the floor, but it was full to the surface and rippling with water. It was the only thing in the room besides the stairs. Light seemed to emanate up from it. Gina stepped up to it and knelt down.

Inside, the rim was dotted with glowing green and blue embers, like odd lightning bugs, out of focus under the surface. The water was clear, like a swimming pool. It was visible down to the bottom, however far that was. She guessed maybe ten feet, like the one at Stacie’s house. She hovered over the opening, letting her hair dangle over her shoulders.

Leaning on one arm, she reached out a cautious finger to touch the water’s surface. It was far too clear to harbor germs or dysentery, looking more pure than the stuff that came out of their faucets at home. It had a practically had a fragrance to it, like summer rain or a clear stream.

Her finger touched the water. It was cool. The springs’ temperature was about 72 degrees year ‘round, since they came from the underground aquifer. She’d experienced that at Weekie Watchee when they went swimming there on a class trip – nice on the hands but icy on the body.

She gazed into the opening. Was it a well? Why put a well inside the tower when the springs were twenty feet away?

She dipped her dirt-stained hand into the water, withdrawing it to rub the mud off. Black droplets fell into the well as she worked the bud from her fingers. She leaned over to rinse her hands, immersing them past the wrists.

The water seemed to cling to her, pulling her towards it. Invisible hands grasped her wrists and drew her downward.

Gina jerked backwards, falling onto the hard floor. She scrambled to her feet, ready to flee up the stairs. She pressed herself against the wall, heart pounding, rubbing her wrists, watching the well bubble and roil. A green light glowed from its core.

Her heart was in her throat. A fine mist drifted out from the pool and down across the floor. The smells of mildew now permeated the air. She stepped back, not wanting the fog to touch her.

As she pressed herself into the wall, the whole room began to glow. She held her breath. The noise of the cicadas and locusts was now buzzing in her ears, dizzying her. The stench of the mold wafted down the steps and permeated her lungs.

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That’s it! Whoever adds their line first, the next person has to read it and add to it in the comments below. I will periodically add them into the story as necessary, so you can comment like usual.

Ooh, what happens???

You tell me! Good luck, jazz musicians!

Here are the rules:

  1. As soon as you see this challenge, add to the story by posting your “line” in the comments section followed by a link to your blog IN THE SAME COMMENT.
  2. Don’t think, just do it. Do it now.
  3. On your blog, also post your line. Maybe explain why you have a random paragraph just sitting there, otherwise people may think you’ve had a stroke. You’re creative enough to handle that.
  4. Tell your blog readers and friends to come add a line.
  5. Have fun with it.
  6. Show off a little.
  7. You can add another line after 5 comments have been added between your prior comment.
  8. Feel free to make suggestions or cheer others on.
  9. There really can’t be nine rules for a challenge like this.

I’ll assemble the finished piece into one post and put it up next Friday.

That’s it! Get to it!

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Your humble host.
Your humble host.

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Dan Alatorre is the author of several bestsellers and the hilarious upcoming novel “Poggibonsi: an italian misadventure.” Click HERE to check out his other works.

The Sunshine Award

I got nominated for The Sunshine Award! Woo hoo…

What’s the Sunshine Award? Is there a cash prize? No?

You guys know I rarely do these (I’ve done three in three years) but since this will help some newer bloggers and say thank you to some friends, and we’re all about helping, I decided to go ahead.

The Rules:

  • Thank the person/people who nominated you
  • Answer the eleven questions from your nominator(s)
  • Nominate eleven other bloggers and give them eleven questions to answer

I have to answer 11 questions and nominate some other people to share about themselves, huh? Okay, let’s take this as the compliment it’s intended to be and forge ahead. Hopefully, you’ll find some good stuff.

Thank you, Kally at http://middleme.net/ for thinking enough of me to do this to me – I mean bestow this generous opportunity upon me.

The 11 questions I got are:

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to save cash?

  • I don’t think I’ve ever saved cash. Ever. I hate coupons and let spare change fall wherever in parking lots if it drops when I get my car keys out. But that doesn’t mean I waste money. I needed to get a water softener and the guy we liked was pretty expensive. I told him we wanted to go with him but the other quote was for the same equipment and was $500 less. He dropped his price to match the other quote. There was no other quote. Another time we got really slow service at a restaurant – I mean REALLY slow. So I called the waitress over and asked for the manager. No server wants to hear that. When the manager came I said it was my mother in law’s birthday (it was) and they the service was slow, the food was mediocre, and SHE didn’t get her dinner until way after everybody else, and then it was cold – all true statements. He asked what he could do to make it right. I said comp the whole table. There were 12 of us, with drinks and everything. I said, hey, you asked; now do it. He did it. I tipped the waitress 20% on what the tab would have been. So I guess those are things I save cash on.

What do you love most about blogging?

  • Putting something out that people benefit from. It’s a great feeling, to help others.

What is your favorite quote?

  • “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” That’s by U.S. President Calvin Coolidge and while I couldn’t tell you anything else about him, that quote strikes at my heart. I am a pretty smart guy with a high IQ and when I read that quote I feel like I haven’t done enough. I haven’t spent enough time with my kid or written enough books or achieved enough work goals or given enough for charity or helped my fellow man or made enough money. You name it, that quote, specifically about what won’t get you success, and how so many geniuses are expecting things to happen just because they’re smart, that gives me a complete inferiority complex every time. I am completely guilty of that. I think I blush in shame a little every time I read it.

Is there anything you have “always wanted to do?” What is holding you back?

  • I wanted to run for political office. I think I have enough smarts and pragmatism and generosity of spirit to be a good political leader, and enough cutthroat attitude to stomp my opponent and get elected. What stops me? I have a small child, and running for a meaningful office and getting elected would mean spending time away from her. That’s what life’s about – family – and they’re only small once, so I pass.

If you had all the money in the world, what’s one item you’d most like to ‘splurge’ on yourself?

  • I would totally buy a castle. Absolutely 100% buy a castle and hold jousts and all kinds of stuff. Free drinks all the time, everybody’s invited, alligators in the moat and topless Victoria Secret models by the pool. I wouldn’t GO to the place, because I like where I live, but it’d be cool to have it.

If you have one piece of career advice to share with the readers here, what will it be?

  • You have more than one great story in you. By the time you get to book three or four, you see your growth and begin to understand stuff. So write several books and develop relationships with people who want to make you a better writer and who you can help, but above all else write more than one book.

Share a blog post you wrote that meant a lot to you and tell us why you picked that one.

  • I wrote a post – an essay, really – that was on Facebook, so I can’t post it here, but it was posted early in the morning one day and it was about my daughter. When I checked in around noon, there were a bunch of comments from my wife’s friends that said I made them all cry, the post was so touching. That’s when I knew I could be a writer. Before that, I knew, but after that, I KNEW. I was always able to make people laugh, and doing that in writing is much harder than doing it with a spoken story or joke or physical stunt, but when I saw words I’d put on paper arranged in a certain way could make people laugh and make people cry, I knew I could incorporate that into stories that people would love as much as I did. It was simply a matter of opening my heart and being honest about how I felt about something, and if it made me cry, I wrote the piece so open and honest and unguarded and open to humiliation that any reader would be right there in the moment with me. It was a big gamble and it paid off huge, but I didn’t know it at the time, and it was a big risk for me. I was scared. I debated about going that far emotionally and exposing myself, what people would think… The story is not hidden; it became part of chapter two of my first nonfiction book, and readers always tell me that is the part that grabbed them. After reading that, they were with me, and we went places. They were happy to go along, and I was happy to take them. It made all the difference.

What is the greatest challenge facing workplace today?

  • We need those flying cars. Weren’t we supposed to have flying cars by now?

What are you most looking forward to accomplishing before the year ends?

  • The Water Castle, an epic, amazing fantasy story I’m writing that is gonna blow people’s socks off. Even I can’t believe how good it is. It’s just a fun adventure that goes places nobody’s expecting and has you on the edge of your seat a lot, and after a while you aren’t sure who the bad guys are and who’s lying and who you can trust… it’s a fun book.

Name 3 things on your bucket list.

  • Most bucket lists are things people wish they could do but will probably never do. My list is things I am absolutely 100% going to do, and soon. First, we are going to go to Cabo San Lucas and ride or swim with whales. Look for that within 24 months. Second, I am going to dive a shipwreck where there’s treasure, like a lost Spanish galleon. That’s just the coolest thing ever. I even got invited to do that a few months ago by the owner of a house we rented in the Keys, but somehow I became convinced he was actually trying to murder me and I declined to go out on his boat with him and his shady-looking friend. Third, I have a friend – could be male, could be female – who seems to be unable to finish his/her amazing book AND I AM ABSOLUTELY GOING TO MAKE SURE THEY FINISH IT AND GET IT PUBLISHED!!

Name your current favorite song playing on your playlist right now.

  • Am I the only person who doesn’t have a playlist? Good music stopped being made a while ago, so it’d be an oldie, like from the 80’s. With very few exceptions, today’s music sucks – but it could be that I have a young daughter and I haven’t listened to any music except Radio Disney for five years. Same with TV. Disney and Nickelodean rule our home these days. Although Little Einsteins has a few good episodes and Gravity Falls may be the best show on TV.

Here are my nominees

  1. http://fourthgenerationfarmgirl.com/ (I know you have tons of free time on a farm)
  2. https://onehotflashinmama.wordpress.com/ (We don’t hear enough from NB)
  3. https://pisscoffeeandvinegar.wordpress.com/ (I know you don’t do them. Do this one!)
  4. https://cswilde.wordpress.com/ (for the truly literate out there)
  5. https://skinnyandsingle.wordpress.com/ (need the ‘tude!)
  6. https://scribblesoncocktailnapkins.wordpress.com/ (Must answer all questions in memes)
  7. http://authorcjandrews.com/ (don’t you have the day off?)
  8. https://disastersofathirtysomething.wordpress.com/ (this will be funny, I just know)
  9. https://mermaidspurse.wordpress.com/ (all watercolored answers, please. Please?)
  10. http://allisonmaruska.com/ (though you’d escaped, eh?)
  11. http://stanislavakohut.com/ (For the upscale view)

And here are the questions for my nominees. 11 is a lot so pace yourself.

  1. Where is the strangest place you even made whoopee? (Yes, that’s from the 1960’s classic TV show the newlywed game. I told you, we watch a lot of Nickelodean around here. I didn’t say I liked it. You can substitute this if you want, you coward: Plotter or pantser?)
  2. Share a blog post you wrote that meant a lot to you and tell us why you picked that one.
  3. Kiss a stranger eat a Scotch egg? (And you can’t look up Scotch eggs before answering! But it’s not a sex thing. Probably.)
  4. Rob a WalMart or wear a bikini at the beach?
  5. What is your deepest fear about your writing?
  6. What is your best book?
  7. Do you get manicures, and if so, when was your last one and what did it cost?
  8. Jacuzzi or dry sauna?
  9. Who is your favorite author ever and who is your favorite that you’ve read this year? (This year’s doesn’t have to be published)
  10. What author or blogger would you like to sit down and have drinks with?
  11. If you have one piece of career advice to share with the readers here, what would it be?

Nominees, you are under no obligation to repost this, but you’ll forever be known as a stick in the mud by me if you don’t. Come on, it takes ten minutes. Some of you might have an Award Free Blog, in which case you can consider this is just a little token of appreciation to let you know how much I enjoy reading your posts. Except Emily! YOU have to do it!

Have fun!

5 Reasons To Join NaNoWriMo

HERE are some reasons to consider NaNoWriMo, from our very own friend of the blog Rachel Poli.

In a few days, we’ll run the reasons NOT to do NaNoWriMo.

But for those of you on the fence, Rachel explains the benefits of such an (insane) endeavor!

Enjoy!

Rachel Poli

We’re halfway through October, believe it or not. November is going to start before we know it.

It seems like we have a good amount of time left. Two weeks is a good chunk of time, but that always seems to go by in a blink of an eye.

Yet, there are some people who are still unsure of whether they want to participate in NaNoWriMo or not.

So, with about two weeks left to decide, I thought I’d help those people out a little bit. Here are a few reasons as to why you should participate in NaNoWiMo.

NaNo 2015

1. It’s a great community.

NaNo isn’t just about the writing. It’s also about finding other writers who can help and support what you do. Find writers in your genre, in your age range, etc. There are so many people in the same boat as you and they’re there to help…

View original post 451 more words

Blog Advice 1: Increasing Your Traffic

Here at the blog, we’re all about you. Okay, sometimes me, and on occasion somebody else, but mostly you… okay mostly me. But it’s my blog!

Where was I?

Oh yeah. We like to offer helpful writer-type ideas here to improve your writing and, once done, improve your ability to show off that writing to others!

I recently found another great blog post full of helpful ideas to increase your platform! You’ll see a few things we’ve discussed here before, but I hope you’ll get a few new ideas, too.

I’m especially intrigued about blog parties. Have you ever done one of those? Maybe you’d like to talk about your experience doing it.  Let me know!

Meanwhile, enjoy Suzie Speaks’ post! Her numbers are good, so she’s doing a few things right!

Suzie Speaks

How to increase traffic to your blog

One of the most common questions I am asked by fellow bloggers is, in my opinion, one of the most difficult to provide a definitive answer to:

How do I increase the traffic that I receive to my blog?

Before I begin, I think that it is important to note three crucial points:

  • Building a following and, consequently increasing your traffic, takes lots of time and effort. You are extremely unlikely to receive thousands, or even hundreds of views simply by pressing the publish button.
  • Content is key. Well-written posts will draw new people in, and encourage them to visit again. Posting page after page of inspirational quotes looks pretty, but will leave your audience bored after a while. Be yourself, make no apologies and believe in what you are creating.
  • I am not an expert, nor have I ever claimed to be.

I know very little about SEO, so…

View original post 1,500 more words

Testing the lesson in today’s guest blog post

Earlier today we had R. Todd Henrichs do a guest blog post about How To Have Your WordPress Blog Automatically Post To Google+

As always, I had to test it out and ensure we’d gotten the goods! And it might ave been smarted to test it BEFORE Todd’s post. But I didn’t, and that’s on me.

However, I am happy to report IT WORKED! (If this appears in my Google+ account. I’ll know in a minute.) But the STEPS involved worked.

While I was in there, I had it link to LinkedIn and Tumblr, too. It was already connected to my Facebook author page.

So, it works, it’s simple, and it’s more ways for readers to find you, your blog, and your books!

Thanks again to Todd or helping out and THANK ALL OF YOU  for making our little blog so much fun to do every day.

Dan

Auto-Post YOUR Blog To Google+ (the biggest search engine in the world isn’t a bad place to be!)

Guest blog post by R. Todd Henrichs
Guest blog post by
R. Todd Henrichs

Here on the blog, we are all about helping writers become more efficient and more effective. Sometimes that means talking about how to write better dialogue and sometimes that means letting your blog posts be seen by as many people as possible.

If we can accomplish those things in a simple manner, there’s no reason to do it. I have my blog automatically post to a Facebook author page. I don’t do anything to make that happen. When I mentioned this, one of our very smart readers mentioned that you can do something very similar and have your blog post go to Google plus.

Considering that Google is the largest and strongest most popular and best search engine in the universe, why would you not want your stuff to go there, especially if it can go there with almost no effort from you?

And by almost no effort, I mean once you get this set up, there’s no effort.

So to explain that to us here is our good friend R. Todd Henrichs.

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r todd blog
R. Todd Henrich’s blog

Dan asked me to do a how-to on setting up your WordPress account with Google+. Let me start by saying thanks (insert tons of accolades here to how great Dan and his blog are and feigned humility for him asking me to do this) and this is my first how-to blog, so please, go easy on me.

To start, for those who use the native WordPress blogging platform, this is about as straight forward a process as you can get. There are several ways to go about doing this, but I’m going to show you the one that is easiest (considering the facelift that WordPress has recently gone through).

The Easy Way

The following assumes you only have one blog on WordPress.

First, start a new entry. Then stare at the blank page and let the fear seep into you because you think you are about to have to face the dreaded white-page. But… fear not, we are totally bypassing this monster for the moment. Instead, scroll down the right hand side of the page, past the Tags & Categories section, and just passed the Featured Image.

You should come to a portion of the side bar that is titled Sharing.

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Click to enlarge image

This is where WordPress allows you share with any of the connected social media sites that you have. If yours doesn’t have any of these boxes, make sure the arrow in the right hand corner of the Sharing box is in the open (pointing up) position. What we are looking for here is that little plus sign at the bottom. Go ahead and click on it.

Your screen should now look like this:

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Click to enlarge image, here, too.

At this point, it is super simple. Just click on the Connect button or Reconnect button if there is a problem (like my LinkedIn account, which I totally broke just for this example… totally).

At this point, you will get a pop-up window and it will ask you to log into your account. Once you have done that, your all set.

Just make sure that you check or uncheck the Google+ box to have your post show up there (it should go without saying that if it’s unchecked, you will not post it to Google+).

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10957568_783902161663446_2236527941432339218_nThanks to Todd for helping with that. Check out his blog HERE.

Maybe he’ll tell us where that picture of him in front of that scary castle was taken.

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Your humble host.
Your humble host.

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Got a QUESTION? ASK IT! Hit the Contact Me button and I’ll see what I can do. (I have lots of smart friends.)

Dan Alatorre is the author of several bestsellers and the hilarious upcoming novel “Poggibonsi: an italian misadventure.” Click HERE to check out his other works.