You can check out our interview by following this link to Sarah’s website
It was a lovely day in Aurora. A breeze kept it from being unbearably warm. We had a nice crowd in the morning and another one after lunch. But then the rain came! It was fun while it lasted.
Sarah surprised us with a visit.
It was a wonderful day, we sold a few books and made some new friends and connections!
Don’t forget to join us in Washington at the Turnage Theater, Tuesday, September 26th, 7 pm. I’ll be talking about writing, my books and the community of writers who helped me get there.
Does the benefits outweigh the changes?
When the steam engine first appeared on the scene it was met with both excitement and trepidation. The steam engine opened up new places, new opportunities, offered new and different jobs, but it also took away from existing jobs. The mail, once delivered by Pony Express could now arrive more quickly and safely by the railroad. Packages, cargo and travelers could also arrive via steam powered trains opening up the need for more coal mines and miners. The sewing machine made it faster to create dresses and suits at home. It even allowed ready-made clothes to be more accessible. But the seamstress and tailors who sewed by hand either had to learn to use the new machines, if they could afford it or compete for the fancy, detail work only handwork could do. Each generation faces challenges in the name of progress from the invention of the automobile and electric lights, to talking films replacing the silent movies, to frozen foods making meat and produce available around the world all year long. Not all of the changes have been bad, some have created new jobs, allowed farmers to sell more product, opened new opportunities.
But with every change there have been challenges and naysayers. The most recent change in our world is AI, artificial intelligence. Now, I’m not a computer geek. I don’t have the latest gadgets, but just like the air fryer and microwave, I appreciate anything that makes my life easier. I believe AI such as Chat GBT has its place. For me, AI is a tool to help me with those things I have trouble doing myself, like marketing. I feed it my ideas and it spits out something usually not something I can use, so I give it more information. The more I tell it, the better it does in giving me what I’m looking for. After a few tries I usually get something that sounds close to what I want. I might take ten suggestions from Chat and kick out two or three to start with, combine two or three deleting anything over the top, and by editing and piecing together come up with something that will work for a blurb, description, or tagline. As far as writing a story, I can’t see using AI to write because that is what I love to do. To give my ideas to Chat and let it do the writing, takes all the fun out of it. But if I’m looking for something that happened at a certain point in history, or fashion information, or even foreign names, this would be a tool I think would save me some time.
How do you feel about AI? Have you tried it? While I still feel we need to be careful about using AI in an ethical manor, I believe it is here to stay. Like the SAG-AFRA strikes in Hollywood, I support the authors and artist who wish to get paid for the use of their works in the creating of AI. I also believe that any whose works were used who choose to not be a part of it should be allowed to have their works and influence pulled from AI’s learning. I am sure that is not easily done and if the bots can search the web on their own (I’m not sure if that’s possible), they can find it and learn it without our knowledge. We need a new way of copyrighting our work and protecting the original creators. It’s a conundrum progress versus ethics, but if history has taught us anything, it’s that the outcome doesn’t justify the means.
If you are interested in learning more about AI and Writing, check out the Heart of Carolina’s online program coming Saturday, August 12th from 1-3 pm via Zoom with author, Elizabeth Ann West.
About the Event
This workshop is designed to provide authors with a comprehensive understanding of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its potential applications in the realm of creative writing. Led by renowned indie author and AI enthusiast Elizabeth Ann West, this workshop will equip participants with basic knowledge and tools to leverage AI as a valuable assistant in their writing journey.During the workshop, participants will delve into the fundamental concepts of AI and explore its capabilities in aiding various aspects of the writing process. Through a combination of a presentation and an interactive Q&A discussion, attendees will gain practical insights into harnessing AI technologies to enhance their creativity, productivity, and storytelling prowess.General Topics Covered:
- Introduction to AI: Understanding the basic principles and terminology of Artificial Intelligence.
- AI in Writing: Exploring the intersection of AI and creative writing and how it can benefit authors.
- Natural Language Processing (NLP): Explaining the concept of NLP and its relevance to AI-based writing applications.
- Text Generation Models: Exploring state-of-the-art language models such as GPT-3 and its applications in generating story ideas, character development, and dialogue.
- Ethical Considerations: Discuss the ethical implications of using AI in writing and understand the limitations of AI-generated content.
- Incorporating AI into Workflow: Practical tips and strategies for seamlessly integrating AI tools into an author’s writing process and workflow.
By the end of the workshop, participants will have an excellent beginner’s understanding of AI, its applications in the field of writing, and how to effectively utilize AI tools as assistants in their own creative endeavors. Join Elizabeth Ann West for this enlightening workshop and unlock the potential of AI in transforming your writing journey. This event is online only. A handout will be provided, and a recording will be available for one week. Chapter members: Free. No registration required. Nonmembers: $12.50. Register: https://hcrw-2023-08.eventbrite.com
Speaker bio: Elizabeth Ann West is an author of over 20 novels and novellas and CEO of Future Fiction Academy. She has used generative AI as part of her writing process since November of 2021, helped create the prompting structure for Sudo write’s Story Engine, and now works as an AI Author educator, advocate, prompt engineer, and consultant to AI software startups. Her chief concern is making sure AI is not only something big publishers have access to and understand how to harness, but that every writer has access to these incredible advancements on technologies we’ve been using for over a decade in other applications. Plus, it’s so much fun to play with, she loses sleep over it regularly. She holds a Bachelor’s in Political Science, Leadership Studies, of all things, so she is a firm believer that if she can figure out the technology, she can help others, too.
In order to write faster you must first turn off your inner critic. It is difficult to write and edit at the same time. Turn off your editor and just create. Enjoy the process. Be free! Write as if no one is going to read it. Pour everything you think and feel into it with no censor.
You might surprise yourself. You might even frighten yourself. It’s good to be a little bit afraid. Fear shows passion. If you are not a little afraid then what risk have you taken?
Writing in 10-15 minute increments is another way to write faster. Set a timer and write for 10 minutes. How many words did you write? Try it for fifteen or twenty minutes. Is your average word count better or worse? Some people write better for longer periods but others do more during the shorter times. I do a variety of times taking breaks in between to keep fresh.
Join writing sprints with fellow writers and enjoy the community of writing with others. There are online events and even in person ones. If you can’t find a group, start one.
Check out The Courtney Project https://www.youtube.com/live/DL2HvNRAwyQ?feature=share She hosts writing sprints every week.
To learn more about my own process, join me at The Next Chapter Books and Art in New Bern for my Fast Drafting presentation.
I have been selected as an Ambassador for ALLi (Alliance of Independent Authors)
Some of you may have noticed a new addition to my banners and cover photos. I am so proud and excited to announce that I have been selected as an ambassador for ALLi (Alliance of Independent Authors). ALLi is an advocate for the equitable treatment of the independent author. Their campaigns operate and advise globally creative industry professionals, literacy programs and cultural organizations, the strive to influence and inspire government bodies and decision makers in seven core territories: Australia, Canada and the Commonwealth, Europe, New Zealand, South Africa, United Kingdom and the United States.
As an ALLi ambassador the goal is to be a good local source of information about ALLi’s work: their campaigns, membership, efforts on behalf of the industry, and to let authors know about their great resources both free and paid. While ALLi wants to THINK and work globally, they wish to ACT locally. Using the knowledge, resources and experience of its members, ALLi can reach independent authors on their own turf and assist in their market.
While there is still much I do not know, I am constantly learning and seeking information. That is where ALLi comes in. I started following Michael LaRonn, JoAnna Penn and Orna Ross via YouTube and podcast before becoming a member of ALLi. If you have heard these names then you know they are large part of the ALLi family and their efforts on behalf of independent authors has made a big difference in our acceptance by readers and retailers, our education as entrepreneurs, and they given us an advocate for the protection of our rights. If you haven’t heard of them, check them out, and others.
The Creative Penn Podcast https://www.thecreativepenn.com/podcasts/
If you are an independent author or an organization that represents independent authors, then ALLi might be the options for you. Have you checked into being a member? I am a fairly new member to ALLi but I have been contemplating joining for several years. With my work with the Pamlico Writers’ Group and the Romance Writers of America especially, my local chapter, the Heart of Carolina, I felt that belonging to one more writers’ group might be too much. I am already the chairperson for the Pamlico Writers and VP of communications for HCRW, but I realized there are still things I need to know. As a leader, I need to be on top of what was happening in the industry and while I could read things after the fact, being part of the Alliance of Independent Authors allows me to have an inside view of what is happening. ALLi has a list of approved businesses who other authors have worked with and the have a watch dog desk to keep authors aware of predators.
Education is the key to any successful business. My husband is a mechanic and each year he has to learn about the new cars. It is important to have reliable resources. I hope to use ALLi to better help my local writers’ groups and to use my local writers’ organizations to help ALLi better serve authors in our community, to broaden their understanding of what is happening here, and to help them make the decisions that will affect changes that will allow more authors to support themselves with their craft.
If you are interested in being a member of ALLi, or are thinking about it, here are their four branches of work:
ALLi’s mission is to foster excellence and ethics in self-publishing.
We empower authors through community and collaboration—author forums, contract advice, sample agreements, contacts and networking, literary agency representation, and a member care desk.
We advise, through our Self-Publishing Advice Center—blog, podcasts, emails, magazine, guidebooks.
We monitor the self-publishing sector—watchdog desk and approved partner program.
We campaign and advocate for independent authors throughout the publishing and creative industries globally.
Discounts on self-publishing services
Approved partner directory and database of services e.g. editors
Free guidebooks, member magazine and resources
Sample contracts & agreements and a contract review service
Dedicated literary agent & rights services
Private member forums—ask questions and receive helpful advice
from ALLi team, advisors, ambassadors and members
If you are interested in joining ALLi you can use my affiliate link below or just go to https://www.allianceindependentauthors.org/
Back-To-School Promotional $300 Amazon Giveaway
Need help with school supplies or just need to treat yourself? How about get an early start on Christmas shopping? Who couldn’t use a $300 Amazon eCard. I know I could with 22 grandbabies to buy for.
From August 19, 2022 to September 9, 2022 you can enter every day, and if you love to read, check out these awesome book deals.
Check out Trent’s Melody on Sale for $1.99 eBook and if you’ve already got it, why not check out these other deals. Sign up for The Kindle Book Review Giveaway. We can all use a little extra cash. Just click on the links http://ow.ly/Lnlx50Ko8Gj
How much sex should there be in a romance novel? Are you a less is more or give me all the nitty gritty?
If you are a romance writer, you have heard the debate over the term “clean” romances. For those who aren’t familiar with the name, it’s about romances with no sex what-so-ever, usually Christian romances. Now I’m not knocking the Christian romance genre or even the choice to have no sex in the story, I love Hallmark movies and they barely even kiss. I like everything from chaste romances to the more erotic motorcycle club romances.
My biggest problem with clean romances, other than the name, is that they take out the sexual tension. Even the squeaky-clean movies of the 1950s had a little tension in them. I just don’t think it’s believable to have a romance with no sexual tension. Even Christians planning to abstain from sex until marriage should desire their person. To do honor to their vows of chastity, we should see their struggle. What do they do to ensure they remain celibate? Do they employ a chaperone to avoid temptation? Do the abstain from touching one another? What is their reaction when they do touch? Do they blush or jump apart when someone comes around? Innocent touches, holding hands, and longing glances show their desire. I believe you can honor the genre and give respect to the real people who are trying to remain chaste by showing honestly the effort to battle “the desires of the flesh.”
But romance isn’t just about sex, it’s about falling in love. While sexual tension is a big part of romance, it is also those tender scenes where the couple is getting to know each other. It’s that ah-ha moment when they realize this is their person, and learning their true heart. It is the emotional and well as the sensual that makes a believable romance.
So, whether you’re reading or writing a chaste romance or something a little dirtier showing the journey to falling in love is an important part of the process. For me, I like to see the couple becoming friends or learning to respect each other, and I definitely want to know their hot for each other. What is most important part of the romance story for you? Do you want sexy, sexually tense or chaste romances?
Guest Blogger: Sherri Lupton-Hollister
I was a guest blogger on Ashley Crookham’s blog. It was a lot of fun.
Make my book cover the most voted to win #CoverOfTheMonth contest. https://allauthor.com/cover-of-the-month/12386/
When her brother is killed at Pearl Harbor, nurse Lydia Davis leaves her lover, pilot/mechanic Jeremy Cross at the altar to join the Women’s Army Corp of Nurses.
Battling death and disease on the battlefields of Africa and Italy, Lydia faces many regrets but leaving Jeremy is the greatest. A holiday in England brings the two lovers together again but is it only for one night or will they risk everything to be together again?