Pure Magic!

I have been a little stumped lately with scenes in the novel I am currently writing.
The ideas are there but I must be able to visualize the surroundings or else the story will suffer … and I was having difficulty with that.
It doesn’t help that I run a small business and work has been demanding of late, so I was growing discouraged about my current project … until I had a brilliant idea.
I grabbed my notebook, got in my truck and started driving. I knew that I was looking for a rural area so I hit all those back roads I traveled as a teenager.
I stopped several times to take photos and before I knew it, I was parking in an old cemetery. I let down the tailgate of the truck, got out my notebook and pen and got comfortable. Two hours later, I had pages of notes and several good photos on my phone.
I returned home victorious. Not only did I clear the writer’s block by “gathering” inspiration, but I think the effect of an afternoon drive and lot’s of sunshine worked pure magic!
My time is still limited, work is still crazy, but the story is taking real shape!

C. Evenfall is the author of paranormal/suspense novel, “The Wraith of Carter’s Mill”

Balancing Writing Time: For Authors who work full-time

If you work a full-time job and still aspire to be an author, you will find that setting aside the time necessary to write your novel presents quite a challenge. After all, there’s still house chores to do, gardening, lawn work, dog baths and a bunch of other stuff that really rack up the minutes, and eat away at your spare time.

Notice, I said spare-time! When I first started writing, it was a hobby, something I did to relax and escape for a while. When I decided to seek out publishing options, I thought, ” Well, I’ll set half my weekend aside for writing”. Something miraculous happened and I actually completed the novel. Yay! I felt wonderful!

Until I realized how much “time” the marketing was going to take. Suddenly my “spare-time” was not enough time to do it all! I’m not twenty anymore and don’t multitask as smoothly as I used to. So, I decided that I would treat marketing for “The Wraith of Carter’s Mill” like a part-time job … second to my full time job of running a business. I quickly realized that my part-time job was absorbing my “spare-time” leaving me very little time for sleep.This was not working for me.

The bottom line is this, if you want to write and you want to promote your work, but you have a full-time job, you must make a schedule. Be realistic with what you expect from yourself and remember that you write because you love it! The following steps are how I am getting myself on track.

  •  Make a list of your marketing goals each week.
  •  Make a realistic schedule for yourself. Consider how much time you can set aside each day for marketing tasks and what time of day is best for you. Try to adhere to your schedule but if you have extra time one day and work ahead on your list, good for you!
  •  Take good notes. I have a notebook handy while I am working on marketing. On it I document what I did and where I stopped. It helps me to restart the next morning right where I left off.
  •  Keep a notebook handy throughout the day if possible. If you’re writing a story, ideas can come along at any time. Jot these down as they occur and when the weekend comes, you’re already halfway to writing a couple of chapters.

Because I run my own business, I have some flexibility in my work schedule … not much but some. So I decided that I would reclaim my weekends, creating “spare-time” in which I could get creative and start my next novel. Creativity does not flow on demand, but all week long I jot down notes, ideas and phrases that come to mind so that when the weekend arrives, I already have the bare bones.

I decided to set aside 2 hours each day for marketing my latest release and I chose early morning. Why did I chose 6am as my marketing time? Because at 6am my business phone is not ringing and I am fresh for the day. Our work day starts at 9am, so I have two hours for answering emails, making inquiries about reviews, posting to my books social media pages etc. with a one hour break in between.

For now, it is working for me. I feel a bit more empowered and less overwhelmed. I am experiencing the joys of writing again and the excitement of promoting my novel “The Wraith of Carter’s Mill”.

I realize that in time, I may have to rethink my writing and marketing schedule, but the important thing is that for the time being, I feel much more organized.

C. Evenfall is the author of “The Wraith of Carter’s Mill” available in paperback at http://www.amazon.com/dp/1503205096

and in e-book format at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VIU9YKS.

Reviews, Friendly Fire or Not!

As an author, I realize the importance of reviews. In today’s world, more than ever, it’s how we shop. Most of us, authors I mean, cringe when we see a new one as we are ever looking for those coveted 5 star reviews and dread anything less than a 3 star.

The fact is, literary tastes are as unique as DNA, and everyone is not going to like our books. By the same token, reviewers will like different things about our work and dislike different things, and this is valuable information to authors.

While book reviews are written for readers, as authors, we just would not be smart to overlook them … especially the poor ones. That’s right, I said the 1’s and 2’s are equally as important as the glowing, sought after 5 star review. Now notice I said reviews and not ratings!

Ratings alone without any comments can be misleading to other readers and disappointing to the author whether it’s a high rating or a low rating. When I am book shopping, I always rely on reviews to help me make my decision about purchasing a book. Any book with say, 50 reviews, and they are all 5 stars sends up a red flag. I will scan through them but when it becomes obvious that they are just book reports with a rating, I lose interest.

When I look at a book and it has for example ; 45 (5) star reviews, 23 (4) star reviews, 15 (3) star reviews and 6 or 8 (1’s and 2’s) I get interested, and guess what? I read the 1’s and 2’s FIRST. If this handful of readers felt it necessary to leave a poor rating without a comment, I assume they are just being mean and I disregard it, BUT if they actually left a review, I’m all in. I want to know why you didn’t like it.

Think about it, everybody likes ice cream! But if everyone liked the same flavor, how boring would that be?

Same thing applies to the glorious 5 star! If the reviewer only saw fit to rate the title and not leave a comment, I am very disappointed. I want to know WHY you liked it so much or WHY you hated it ! SHOUT it out, tell readers what you think because in truth, that’s who you are reaching with your rating and review. Reviewers, you are writers … and people are reading your work.

C. Evenfall is the author of The Wraith of Carter’s Mill, available now on Amazon in e-book and paperback formats.

To Kindle or Not to Kindle

I sometimes ask myself what came first, the chicken or the egg? Thanks to my publisher, I am no longer so confused about that … well maybe I am, but at least I understand why my book, “The Wraith of Carter’s Mill”, was published as paperback first.

I suppose it’s widely known among Indie authors that the task of formatting a book to Kindle can be quite a job, and according to my publisher, it is easier to format a book to Kindle after it has been formatted to paperback. It is also much easier to proof a paperback copy than it is a digital copy I have learned firsthand.

The fact of the matter is that in the age we live in, you just simply must make your book available in digital format. People read on the go today. They snatch a few minutes here and a few there and it is just more convenient for today’s reader to be able to read the books they love on a device of some sort. Can you imagine what it would have been like if Emerson, Twain, or Steinbeck had the same publishing venues available to them?

So, in keeping with the times and the tradition of authors to reach as many readers as possible, we have finally released the Kindle version of “The Wraith of Carter’s Mill,” and I could not be happier about it.

Follow the link below to get your Kindle copy:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VIU9YKS

Sensitives: The First Novella in “The Wraith of Carter’s Mill” Series

“Sensitives” was the start of it all. It was while I was writing it that I realized that the story was much bigger than a novella. The characters began speaking to me and complaining that there was just simply a lot more story to tell. So, the series was born.

Because “Sensitives” was the beginning, we decided that offering the first ebook at a reduced price was a great way to introduce the series to readers. For $.99, readers can read the first book…and get hooked on the series.

The link below will take you to a free preview of Sensitives, so that you can sample it before buying.

Happy Reading!

http:www.createspace.com/Preview/1166033

5 Star Review by Amanda Monell of Reader’s Favorite

5 STARS fRF-5 Staror THE WRAITH OF CARTER’S MILL

Reviewed By Amanda Monell for Readers’ Favorite

“The Wraith of Carter’s Mill” by C. Evenfall is a story filled with suspense, horror, and most importantly, family. Set in rural North Carolina, the book opens with young Julia who meets up with a wraith. Later, we find out that the same creature plagues her daughter Libby and her granddaughter Shyanne, as well the origins of the creature, which is told in the second half of the book. As a child, Shyanne discovered that she had inherited the family gift of seeing and talking to the dead and later uses this gift to help spirits find peace. The wraith remains ever present, lurking in the shadows. Will the wraith continue to haunt Shyanne?

Wow. Just wow. I can’t get over how amazing “The Wraith of Carter’s Mill” by C. Evenfall is as a read. This haunting tale is mixed with the warmth and charm of the south, along with moments of pure terror. The setting is so immersive that you feel as if you are there, walking with the characters. The storytelling is masterfully crafted, starting with the contemporary encounters of the wraith and finishing with those who summoned it, making the series come full circle. I am so grateful that this was a collection of novellas instead of just one of them, because I would be waiting anxiously for the next volume. I have absolutely no words to say how much I loved this book. I cannot wait to see what other literary journeys C. Evenfall has in store for us.

C. Evenfall Talks About Reviews

As an author, I am finally beginning to fully comprehend the importance of reviews…and not just any reviews, and not just positive reviews either. Readers shop by reviews, I know that because I am an avid reader and I rely upon reviews by other readers to help me select my next read. Bottom line is that reviews sell books!

But what about ratings ? Ratings appear next to titles and they can entice a reader into looking at the actual reviews or passing the book by. The sad thing is that a poor rating is NOT always accompanied by a review, an explanation from the reader why he or she did not like the work.

Good reviews are reviews that explain why a reader enjoyed or did not enjoy a book, and the rating coincides with the reader’s comments whether the review is positive or not! I am reminded by the reviews of a book by one of my favorite authors. Because her new work was different from what her fans had grown to expect from her, she received a mix of good and bad reviews, high and low ratings. I bought the book anyway, and enjoyed it very much because it is her story-telling style that makes me a fan of her work. Strangely enough, the “bad” reviews helped me to make the decision because the reviewers were conscientious enough to leave comments explaining their poor ratings.

Reviews are for readers, not authors, although we use them for various purposes and ALWAYS hope for good ones, and get excited when we receive them. After all, don’t we all enjoy a good pat on the back? Reviews are a reader’s opportunity to share their own personal and unique opinion with the world and help other readers make choices. Although reviews help sell books, that is not their purpose. A well written, conclusive review, whether your experience was positive or negative, is invaluable to your fellow readers.

So read on and by all means, tell the world what you think!

C. Evenfall is the author of The Wraith of Carter’s Mill series available now in paperback at http://www.amazon.com/dp/1503205096 and in Kindle edition at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VIU9YKS

Praise for The Wraith of Carter’s Mill

One of the members of the editing/proofreading team for The Wraith of Carter’s Mill, Kathleen B. sent us this wonderful evaluation. her comments were unprompted and unpaid…just a very nice surprise.

“Not being much of a ghost story fan, generally speaking, I was thoroughly intrigued with WCM. As a child I liked ghost stories, but I havn’t read one in I can’t remember how many years. This series of stories, compiled into one book, as it should be to maximize its punch, drew me into the Carter family, their connections and their lives, that surreptitiously unfold. I was definitely hooked by Book 2, The Guardians. This is a story that cannot be put down easily. I was extremely impressed with the way C. Evenfall slowly reveals the plot to her readers through glimpses of the conclusion, which is Book 4, Carter’s Mill, the actual beginning of the story, one scene at a time until the reader grasps the reality of the story yet still doesn’t have its entirety-and knows it! One must keep reading to glean the full story! It is an extremely engaging style with wonderful character development, which is also stealthily revealed, especially in the case of Julia, when we learn why she is a villain of a mother. What redemption! C. Evenfall is a true storyteller with great depth.”