One Reason to Blog

A Writer 3Many people within the writing industry insist that writers develop an online presence. One of the first things they suggest is to write a blog.

My question is why. Why blog when there are already millions if not billions of blogs on any given topic you dare to imagine. Here are some of the answers I’ve received.

  1. Blogging connects you with your readers and gives them opportunity to interact with you on a deeper level. Readers like that. And if they like you, they’ll buy your books.
  2. Blogging gives you an outlet to express your thoughts and ideas. It even gives you input from your readers. If they feel they’ve contributed to the content of your books, they’ll buy them.
  3. Blogging provides you with the opportunity to prove yourself as a well-crafted writer. If you write well with a clear message, they’ll buy your books.
  4. Blogging develops your brand. It tells the reader who you are and what you’re about, not only your next project, but you as an author … what you represent. If readers understand who you are and what you represent, they’ll buy your books.
  5. Blogging builds your audience. If you get people reading your blog on a regular basis, they’re more likely to purchase your books.
  6. Blogging creates interest in your cause/message. If you create interest in your cause/message, they’re more likely to purchase your books.
  7. Blogging reaches people around the world with your message. If you reach people world-wide, your books will sell world-wide.

 

At writers’ conferences, the blogging issue can come across with the mindset of selling books. But that’s not the reason why the majority of authors blog. At least I hope it isn’t. The vast majority of authors blog for the pleasure of connecting with their readers and the other part A of the aforementioned reasons above. If our readers buy our books, they have blessed us with more than we deserve. And we should be eternally grateful for their readership.

 

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

My Quotes of Encouragement

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New Kindle Book Launch

KINDLE BOOK LAUNCH

Tuesday, May 22

LOTS OF FREE E-GIFTS if purchased

on Tuesday, May 22

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The Map Quilt

by

Lisa Lickel

Just how high a price does a family secret command?

Death in rural Wisconsin is only the beginning to new chaos in Robertsville. What do a stolen piece of revolutionary agricultural equipment, a long-buried skeleton in the yard, and an old quilt with secrets have in common?

Hart and Judy Wingate, who met in The Gold Standard, are back to solve the mystery of The Map Quilt. Hart’s new battery design could forever change the farm implement industry. But after the death of Hart’s most confrontational colleague in a fire that destroys Hart’s workshop, the battery is missing.

Throw in a guest speaker invited to Judy’s elementary classroom who insists she owns the land under Hart’s chief competitor’s corporate headquarters, and a police chief who’s making eyes at Hart’s widowed mother, it’s no wonder Hart is under a ton of pressure to make sure his adventurous pregnant wife stays safe while trying to preserve his company and his reputation.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING!

Lisa J. Lickel weaves mystery, myths, black history, and the dynamics of family and community into a great read. The thread in the story is the legend of map quilts used in the Underground Railroad to help slaves, and freedmen alike, escape their pursuers using fabric maps designed as quilts. By adding corporate intrigue and spiritual questioning to the mix, Lickel blends the fabric of daily life with pieces of history for a wonderful reading adventure. -Peggy Bennitt

What could more intriguing than a contemporary mystery/romance about buried treasure that’s also filled with history? The Map Quilt by Lisa J. Lickel is a fun and satisfying read for the grownups that still long for an involving mystery that provides plenty of detail without overemphasizing the grittier aspects of a story involving bodies. -Elaine Marie Cooper, author of the Deer Run books.

Lisa Lickel’s The Map Quilt snags the reader with the first sentence and doesn’t let go until the last thread. As the sequel to her original Barbour cozy mystery, The Gold Standard, the tale continues with the lives of Hart and Judy Wingate. It seems that anticipation over the birth of their first child and the release of Hart’s latest “green” project for his employer, AdventiveAg, would be enough to keep the young Wisconsin couple busy. But so much more is going on. -Davalynn Spencer, author of Always Before Me

Lickel successfully weaves together history, mystery and likeable characters into a story that builds momentum and keeps me guessing until the very end. And she does it all without the gratuitous sex and violence that permeates this genre. Beyond providing a great read, this book introduced me to a great author. -Steve Miller, author of Social Media Frenzy

Learn More About Lisa and Her Family

Multi-published author, novelist Lisa J. Lickel also enjoys writing and performing radio theater, short story-writing, is an avid book reviewer and blogger.

She enjoys teaching writing workshops and working with new writers and freelance editing. She is the editor of both Wisconsin Writers Association’s Creative Wisconsin magazine.

She lives in a hundred and sixty-year-old house in Wisconsin filled with books and dragons. Married to a high school biology teacher, she enjoys travel and quilting. http://www.LisaLickel.com

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Taste and See

Lorilyn Roberts, editor

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HOW TO SUCCEED AS AN ILLUSTRATOR WITHOUT REALLY TRYING


(and Other Misperceptions)

by Martha Pineno-Hess

 
 
Choosing to be an artist was a decision, not a dream. I wasn’t born with drawing and painting ability. There’s NO talent here, just a decision based on interest and the guidance and support of my parents. My first interest in art came late in Junior High. Art classes in High School and summer art camps gave me the skills requisite for an art career.
 
I first trained to be an art teacher. Four years, two summers of art study in college gave me that opportunity. I’m a late blooming illustrator. But I believe my years as an elementary art instructor gave me insight into how young persons’ minds work and what would get the picture across. I needed to motivate children to learn new concepts with stimulating projects both in medium and idea.
 

When starting an illustration project

, where do I start? For accuracy, I ask the author what she prefers. Then do visual research. People have pre-conceived ideas about what something may be. For example, given the task to paint a dog one conjures up at least a dozen images of various breeds. So the image needs to be narrowed to one concept. Then elaboration can begin.
 
Doodle on scratch paper. Create thumbnail sketches. Ideas don’t just pop and picture themselves on paper. Read the text, letting an idea emerge into a cartoon type image. Then start sequencing. Put the ideas in order to match the script. If working with an author who is receptive to ideas, one might even suggest simpler text, easier to illustrate in a more active manner.
 

Inspiration?

Ideas are everywhere. Observe. Research online. I actually have to shut off my creative mind in order to get daily tasks completed. I constantly look forward to future projects, trying to find ways to fit illustrating into 24-hour days.
 

What keeps me motivated?

I’m self-motivated, but being paid for a project gives me extra energy. I’m also concerned about pleasing persons for whom I’m illustrating. I need verification they’re content with my work. I never assume all my work is great. Small suggestions for improvement are welcome but I become annoyed if something requires repainting mostly because of the additional time it will take to correct. However, being somewhat a perfectionist, getting things just right takes precedence over my feelings.
 

My favorite illustrated book?

Talented Tabby because it focused on one character, Leo. I had more time to complete it and fewer distractions.

Second favorite?

The Coffee Connection, a compilation of my designs and paintings created over a 25-year span. I find hand-done illustrating more satisfying than computer art.
 

Medium choice?

Watercolor, acrylics, oils, pen & ink, cut paper, photography. Sometimes the illustrating process is determined by the medium. In general watercolor has a soft, fluid, spontaneous look. For an Early Reader my first illustrated book (watercolor) appeared delicate. Adding ink enhanced detail. Varying medium makes subsequent books unique beyond just text.
 

What inspires my illustrations?

Characters. But story determines background. Photos help with characters and accuracy in motion. I often combine several photos to create one illustrated page.
 

Lifeless illustrations?

Not mine! Paint’s naturally intrinsic motion by the brush lends flowing attention to detail. My years of painting, particularly people and animals, serve me well.
 

Challenges and Suggestions?

Designing entire books. Planning page turns. Blocks around art? Word placement? Title and Signing pages? Page number to meet publishing/printing costs? To stimulate mind pictures early on, divide manuscript into sections. Then focus on one action or detail. Readers can picture the rest. Since each page must relate to previous and next page of story art, illustrating is probably harder than painting complex individual artworks. Working with someone else’s idea can be difficult when it isn’t something you’d choose to paint.

Key advice?

PRACTICE and PERSEVERE