Please welcome author B.L. Mooney to the blog today! She is the author of novels that combine both romance, and suspense, and is currently working on the next book in her Striving Series. She has some great best practices here for editing and research that every author should read.
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Tell us your name, and a link to where we can find you (blog, Facebook, etc).
How many books have you written? This can include both published and unpublished works. Describe each of them in 1-2 sentences apiece (if published, feel free to include the links as well).
With the help of her adoptive parents, Rebecca sets out to find her birth parents and finds a whole lot more.
Striving for Normal
Drew’s past has made her feel unworthy of a normal life. It’s about her journey to try to find out what normal really means.
Liv’s Existence release date February 12th
It’s the story of how two women find each other and create a power friendship after being broken by the same man. It’s hard to get over your past, but sometimes friendships can see you through. It’s a two part series and does include a cliffhanger. The sequel will be released in May.
Tell me a little bit about your current WIP.
I’m currently writing the second in the Striving Series. Rachael’s story will be featured in Striving for Perfection. I really like this one. It was a little tricky getting into it at first because it will be my first book where there really isn’t a lot of suspense, danger or abuse as the others had. Now, I’m having fun with it. Rachael is a sassy, outspoken, strong woman who stands up to her controlling, overbearing, chest thumping love interest. Did I say I’m having fun with it?
What does writing preparation look like for you? Do you do full outlines and character profiles, or do you just start with a general idea and write?
For the most part, it’s just a general idea and I write. I know the basics about the story and characters, but I don’t follow a specific path or outline. I don’t even write beginning to ending. I’ll write scenes as they come to me and add them where they fit. I have separate folders for each book and save everything in there. Then, when the time is right, I’ll pull a scene and add it to the main book.
Editing is a challenge for many writers. Give us some of your tips for editing efficiently and well.
When I’m going through my own edits before the professional editor, I look for keywords that I know I have a problem with. For example, “off of” is something I do that you’re not supposed to. I’m not worried about it when I write. I just get everything down on paper. It can really mess with your creative flow if you concentrate on what you should/shouldn’t write. So when I’m finished writing, I search the term “off of” and take out all the “of” words I don’t need.
The other thing I do is to go back and re-read/edit when I’m blocked. It happens with every book. Your characters just aren’t talking to you for some reason or another. Use that time to edit. It cuts down on the edits after the book is written to re-read/edit when you’re stuck. I still always read it at least once (or more) when it’s completely finished before sending to the professional editor.
Research is another challenge writers face, but is an important part of the writing process. What are some of your research tips?
Keep it simple. Chances are most of the readers won’t know the small details of what you’re talking about if you needed to research it. Most likely, they’d need to research it, too. So keep it simple and don’t try to get fancy or complex. Having too many details can get you into trouble. That’s when those who do know what you’re talking about will call you out on it if you’re wrong. Those who don’t know the difference probably don’t care to read all the details, anyway. I mean, I know what football is, but I don’t need to read every detail of each player’s role. Definitely do fact checking and use google a lot to get the basics of something if you don’t know. If your characters are playing football, make sure they’re not fouled for traveling (basketball).
if you have been published (self or traditionally), what type of marketing did you find worked the best for you? What was the least helpful?
Honestly, it’s word of mouth. Get a bunch of blogs to read and write about your book. Get readers to write reviews and get their friends to like your page. Flash giveaways can get new exposure if done well. It’s trial and error for a lot of it. What worked for someone else may not work for you, but you’ve got to keep trying.
What genre do you write in? What are some of the challenges to writing this particular genre well?
My challenge is finding the right genre to place them in. They aren’t solidly romance or suspense. They’re a little of both. Romance readers may not think there’s enough romance and suspense readers may not think there’s enough suspense.
What advice would you give to a writer who is starting out?
Don’t stop writing. No matter how hard it may be to continue, don’t give up. Make friends. Bloggers and other authors who you connect with will help keep you going and give you advice when you need it.
What are your writing, editing, marketing, and research goals for 2014?
My plan is to publish three books before late summer and my hope is to have a forth in early winter.
Pretend I am from a publishing house and you are looking for me to take on one of your books. Pitch it to me in 1-2 paragraphs.
Drew’s been broken, hurt, and now she’s confused. Life has opened up possibilities she thought were long gone. She doesn’t feel she deserves them no matter how much she wants them. Striving for Normal is her journey to do just that—find her normal. Will she allow herself to open up to love or will she be stuck in a past she thinks she deserves?
Finally, is there anything else you would like your readers to know?
Supporting Indie Authors is as easy as a like, comment, or review. You don’t have to run a blog to get involved. When one of your favorite authors posts something, a simple like, comment, or share goes a long way. It gives them more exposure and who couldn’t use more of that?