LA MCGINNIS 2018 CONFERENCE BLOG POST

Setting Up A LinkTree on Instagram

If you have been wishing there was some clickable way to allow your followers to click over to more than just your website, this is an easy and free way to accomplish this!

First, let me say, I’m not affiliated with this company, a fellow author was using them, and recommended them to me.

I signed up for the free version to start.

The free version includes walking you through the LinkTree set up, tracking of link clicks, and a couple of themes.

How it works: This site puts a link in your bio page, which then one-click links to a “tree” of your social media links- I have 4 right now, but you can add unlimited links. The template is somewhat customizable- you can drag the social media links into the order you want, and there are a couple of background choices.  Nothing fancy, but it does the trick.

It took me a total of about 10 minutes to set this up, including the time to cut and paste all the shortcuts into the fields and name the tabs to my liking- these will probably get some tweaking, once I look at them for a week or two.

I’ll report back when I have used it for a month or two and see if it streamlines usage.  With a big release coming up next year, I’m trying to position myself better, and people seeing my books on ig and then being able to access my other social media platforms, including this website, with 2 clicks, should make it easier.

Happy writing!  LA

LA MCGINNIS 2018 CONFERENCE BLOG POST

2018 NEORWA Writers Conference

Where to even start with this past weekend?  Every year the NEORWA conference seems to come at the best and worst of times. I’m overly busy, I can’t squeeze in enough time to write, yet alone hold down my day job (the one paying the bills right now).  But I also know when I walk out of there, I’m going to have accomplished a couple of things.

First, my love of writing is going to be reignited. Somehow, someway, listening to everyone TALK about writing, TALK about craft, AND deadlines AND plotting AND character, AND even all of their problems and hangups, is going to make me so damn ready to get back to my manuscript.  Secondly, I’m going to leave there with at least one or two new writing connections (this year, I left with three). Yay me! Introvert masquerading as an extrovert.

We were incredibly fortunate to have Sonali Dev as our featured speaker this year, and the speech she gave…oh the speech she gave, I didn’t have any mascara left by the end of it, and I say that in a good way.  Perfect start to a wonderful conference, where I learned a bit about pitching, query letters, what an agent is (and is definitely not)looking for right now, a little about contracts, and discovered a wonderful new author, who I sat up until three in the morning reading, because I couldn’t put her book down! Throw in a stellar presentation on outlining (my greatest weakness) by Julie Anne Lindsey, and I came home with a folder full of notes and a head full of ideas.

This is a business we get into because we love to write, plain and simple.

It is also a lonely business, one that cuts us off from our colleagues, our friends, and sometimes our families. Deadlines keep us from doing the fun stuff, ideas keep us up at night. But when you get a chance to attend a conference, do it. You’ll find your tribe. You’ll talk to people just like you, doing the same thing, facing the same struggles, fighting the same battles.

And when you get back home, you’ll find yourself ready do dive in and do it all over again.

As always, happy writing!  LA

LA MCGINNIS 2018 CONFERENCE BLOG POST

2018 RONE Voting!

I am so excited!!!  My book, Shadows of Ghosts, is up for a 2018 RONE Award in the fantasy category!!!!  Tomorrow is the last day to vote- May 27th.

This is the final round of voting, so if you have a moment, I’d really appreciate it if you could cast a vote for Shadows!

Here is the link to the site:  www.indtale.com

On the homepage, the link to the contest is at the top right- IND’SCRIBE/RONES, 2018 RONE Awards, go to week 6.

Direct link (hoping this works): http://indtale.com/2018-rone-awards-week-six

Also, you have to subscribe on the website at www.indtale.com in order to vote. Once you subscribe, if you haven’t already, you’ll be required to click the verification link sent to you via email. If you do not verify your registration with this link, you will be unable to vote. This is very important to help insure that the voting is fair and maintains the high quality standards required for this top-tier award.

Thank you and goodluck to all the other nominees!!  -LA

 

High voltage Book Cover LA McGinnis Blog Post

Fan Girling!!!!!

kmm signing pic la mcginnis

I’ve spent way more time than I’d like to admit obsessing over what to do this year.  Trying to fit in solid, productive writing time, plus working full time (gotta pay those bills) leaves little time for the fun stuff associated with writing- aka, the reading part of it.  My plan this year was to attend some author events, just to see how the big girls do it, and had several on my schedule.  My two favorite authors- Karen Marie Moning and J. R. Ward both had big books coming out this spring, and both (somehow) managed to have signings close enough to me that I could work in a day trip for each.

So I decided to trade a big event – the 2018 RAGT (Reader Author Get Together) – for two smaller, more intimate signings.  I’d been to the last 4 or 5 J. R. Ward signings, but had never met Karen, and was really looking forward to it.  So last weekend we headed to Cincinnati.

Wow, was I impressed.  Both with the event itself and with Karen.  What a class act.  She’d had her big Dublin signing the weekend before and even though she’d picked up a bug, she was incredibly gracious and sweet.  Interacting with people for six or seven hours is not easy, especially when you’re not feeling your best, and it ended up turning into a long day.  So here are my takeaways:

Hands down the best book cover of the past 12 months

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I’m about halfway through (trying to finish 3 other books for book club meetings this week and it’s actually killing me to know its there and I don’t have time to read it) and so far I am, as always, blown away.  Both by her writing style and her story structure.  Incredibly complex and character driven.  She talked a lot about emotional currency, and this book has it in spades.

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She held the event at Newport on the Levee (KY), which is across the river from Cinci, I snapped a sweet shot of the city:IMG_7368

As some kind of bonus, it was 56 degrees that afternoon and we sat in the sun for about a half an hour while we waited, first sun I’ve seen in almost three months.  Ohio is a cruel state in the winter, I kid you not.

All that being said, this was more what I expected when I think of a traditional book signing.  Interaction with your readers, a long, detailed Q&A, focusing on the current book, past books and future WIP’s.  It was refreshing to hear that she struggles with so many of the same writer problems, time management issues and general issues with plotting and character development we all do.  I wanted to scream “YES” several times during her talk.  I resisted the temptation.   Plus, I think I must buy a hat.  -LA

 

If you have never read Karen’s work, she had two distinct lines,  one is the Highlander series (paranormal romance), the other is the Fever Series (urban fantasy).  I’d recommend both!!

the learned owl shadows of ghosts book signing 2018

Final SoG Book Signing!!!

the learned owl shadows of ghosts book signing 2018

I’ll be having my final book signing for Shadows of Ghosts this coming Saturday, January 27th from 1:00-3:00 at the Learned Owl Bookstore in Hudson, Ohio.  These last couple months have flown by so fast- I know when I scheduled this it seemed so far away!  A big thanks to all of my readers and supporters who have made this journey the wonderful trip that it’s been!  I couldn’t have done any of this without you!!!

I just sent in the MS for Reflections of Your Heart, book 2, to my editor at the beginning of this month, and finished the first draft of book 3 last week, tentatively titled Echoes of Time (although that will most likely change).  But maybe not, I kind of like it.  That will sit for a month while I work on another project, and then I’ll pick it up again in March and edit with fresh eyes.

If you are in the area this Saturday afternoon, and have a minute, stop by and check out this sweet bookstore, one of the few independent book stores left in our area. Here are a few pics and a link:

the learned owl shadows of ghosts signing 2018  learned owl bookstore shadows of ghosts book signing 2018

The Learned Owl Bookstore

 

 

Continue reading “Final SoG Book Signing!!!”

LA MCGINNIS 2018 CONFERENCE BLOG POST

Insecurities, Successes and Coffee

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So it’s always the same thing whenever I sit down to start a new project.  Am I all written out?  Are the ideas going to come? And if they don’t, what am I going to do?  I’ve spent the past month finishing up (my) final edits on Book 2 and getting ready to send it over to my awesome editor at TWRP, but before I did that, I felt like I had to  get Book 3 at least partly finished.

Honestly, there’s just something about knowing where the story is headed next that gives me a sense of security, because turning it in without knowing what’s going to happen to the characters leaves me anxious.

So I sat down to start Book 3 with a cup of coffee, no plot, no outline, and just a vague notion that Ian and Logan should be in Scotland, maybe finally having that big, fancy wedding they’ve been waiting for.  At least, that’s what Logan would have wanted.

Writing, however, is a sketchy business.  I never quite know how things are going to go.  And therein lies the anxiety.

But last night, hitting about 83,000 words, a decent plotline, a new villian who I couldn’t wait to kill, an ending that didn’t totally suck, and a new romance heading into Book 4, I must say I’m feeling a lot better about this whole writing thing.

For today, at least.

Happy writing!  – L

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LA MCGINNIS 2018 CONFERENCE BLOG POST

What Happened to 2017?

This morning I realized, a little bit too late, that 2017 is almost over.  I can’t even begin to tell you half of what happened this year, because it’s pretty much a blur of missed doctor’s appointments and deadlines barely met, and I’m pretty sure that next year will be more of the same.  For someone who on January 1st was damn confident they were the Queen of Multitasking, this year has sure been the great equalizer.

On one hand, I feel like I have accomplished nothing.  Zero. Nada.

On the other hand, I feel like I haven’t had so much as an hour off in the past six months.

“So which is it?” I ask myself.  Expecting, I guess, an answer.  Haha, not surprising, I don’t get one, probably because I’m already busy doing something else.

Still, for the past two years, I’ve been incredibly lucky to be able to make a living doing the two things I love the most- writing and art.  It’s just I thought I’d be so much better at this work/life balance thing!  Overall, the year’s been a great, albeit in a blurry kind of way.  Not in the way that my sophomore year of college was.  More like when I had two little kids and don’t even remember that day trip to Sea World.  (still kind of baffling).

We got the tree up:

L A MCGINNIS SHADOWS XMAS TREE 2017

 

 

We had some snow:

L A MCGINNIS WHITE CHRISTMAS

Which meant the outside Charlie Brown tree looked awesome:

SHADOWS OF GHOSTS CHRISTMAS 2017

And the dog looked like this:

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I’ve got to remind myself, here I sit, working on edits on book two of the Shadows series, and getting ready to plot out book five in my urban fantasy series, so there’s that.  Still, why is it that progress feels so slow and time goes by so fast?  Here’s hoping that I’m not sitting here in a year wondering the same thing!  Happy writing to all of my author friends, and hope you find a book that moves you, for all of my reading friends- with much love, L. A.

 

Here is my next stop:

L A MCGINNIS SHADOWS OF GHOSTS SANIBEL TRIP

 

 

 

LA MCGINNIS 2018 CONFERENCE BLOG POST

Writing Under Glass

 

Shadows of Ghosts L A McGinnis 1

So I had this brilliant idea to volunteer for something that sounds kind of like a cool science experiment- writing in a store-front window at a bookstore up in Cleveland- AppleTree Books.   The basic concept: sit in the window, write, maybe talk to some people about writing, get work done, have fun.  Win-win.

As a bonus?  The whole month of November was NaNoWriMo, so I absolutely needed to get at least 50,000 words written last month. (I was actually shooting for 65,000-70,000.)  But let’s keep it real.  I’d have settled for 50,000- that’s solid first draft territory.    I’m currently working on a new series that I’m super-excited about, so every day of last month was spent stealing writing time from real life. You know, my house was pretty much a disaster  (I finally cleaned it up today), we ate tons of take out food, (still ate take out today) and I have a huge pile of laundry that I still need to get to, but wonder of wonders, I managed to end up with 71,644 words!  That’s right- not only a solid first draft, but one that’s actually divided into (gasp!) chapters, and even has cool stuff like plot twists and some complicated character layering that worked out pretty well in the end.  I still need an ending, but that will come with the first round of editing.

But back to the subject….writing in that window. I’d been advised to dress in layers, so that I did, ready to strip down, hopefully not to Amsterdam red-light standards, and there’s not a lot of room, so I only brought a laptop and myself, and a big to go cup of coffee.  See?  I was totally prepared.  Like a boss.

Shadows of Ghosts L A McGinnis

Problem was, the day I volunteered to write in the window it was about 68 degrees out, even though they were decorating for Christmas, which meant it was about 101 degrees up there under glass.  I decided I was tough.  Hell, I’d had kids.  I LOVED the sun!  I could do it.  I stripped down to a t-shirt.  Let’s do this people!

I lasted all of twenty minutes and ended up writing for two hours at a table in the shade in the back of the bookstore in relative comfort. Such a wuss.

If you’re ever in cleveland Heights, check out Appletree Books, it’s the most charming, eclectic bookstore I’ve ever been to, and Jane is so helpful and knowledgable!

Here’s the link: Appletree Books

Happy writing!  -L

Appletree Books L A McGinnis

LA MCGINNIS 2018 CONFERENCE BLOG POST

Check It Out!!!!

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If you have a second today, head on over and check out this interview I did with Kay about Shadows of Ghosts on Sorchia’s Universe (plus, there’s a never before seen excerpt from book 2 (about half of Chapter 1) “Reflections of Your Heart”!!!:

Here’s the link:

https://www.sorchiadubois.com/novel-magic-shadows-of-ghosts-by-l-a-mcginnis/