Much like the Not Ready for Primetime Players, there is a group of amazingly talented authors on the cusp of stardom. They gather here at the Not so Famous Author's Blog to tell you all about writing and smashing your head on a desk. No just the writing part. .

Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Writers Block Article – Defining the Protagonist.

Writers Block Article – Defining the Protagonist.

There is one primary question we must ask and answer throughout every aspect of a story. Why do we care? (we, you. I, they, you get my drift.) This must be asked in parts. These parts are as follows.

1: Why do we care about these characters?
2: Why do we care about this story?
3: Why do we care about this chapter / paragraph / sentence / WORD?

If we don’t care, we don’t need it. If it’s useless babble that repeats and repeats and repeats the same thing over and over or is word filler that doesn’t ascertain to your terrain then CUT IT.

Today however we’re just going to discuss character building and defining.

Building your character to make people CARE. If they love or hate them they must CARE. Rule one to rule one, All rules that apply to your main characters apply to your sub characters.
If you’re unsure on building a specific character be it your first, millionth, main or sub, Put yourself in their shoes. Become them. When you become them you learn to think like them. Who are they and in turn who are you? Are you bad good or walk that fine middle line? Your actions or your characters actions define who they are in a story. Remember to be emotional. Be passionate. Feel everything intensely even if your character is laid back and mellow. If you know and feel what they do then you will not just understand how they react then you won’t get stuck near as often. If he’s real mellow and laid back, PROVE IT- FEEL IT – EXPLAIN IT or as we like to say in the show me state SHOW IT.

Make them special unto themselves. Make sure there is a reason for every action and reaction your character makes for them. Every single person is so different. Be careful not to make your characters all too similar where each would have the same response in a given situation. If everyone is afraid of spiders  (reacts the same to different events, loves the same, talks the same, eats the same, has the same smirk, the same blazing intense eyes) your readers won’t care about them as much because they’re all the same. If everyone is cut like Fabio what makes one guy look better than another?

Jill may run screaming from the spider, Jack may crush, Jane may pick up and let it crawl all over her. But if Jane isn’t freaked out by the spider, why does she freak out so easily over Jack jumping out of the corner and yelling boo? If your character has a strong personality you must not drastically change the characters personality unless your character is growing up and redefining their persona.  Jill may start out horrified of spiders. Then John comes along and sits her down and shows her his pet tarantula and how sweet the thing is. How it tickles so gently when it crawls, how affectionate it is and loves to be pet. Maybe the spider saves her life. Then by the end of the story she may just have a new respect for spiders and now due to a personal character growth and development, is no longer afraid of spiders. Not every character will change and develop but you want at the very least your main protagonist to grow and develop. Think of it as a coming of age journey. Good and bad happens, we live, we love, we hurt, we learn we change. If they do not change we risk our readers feeling jipped. They got so invested with this girl who was afraid of spiders, she was shown how wonderful they are, that they eat the mosquitos they hate so much, they saved her life and by the end of the book she still runs screaming from a daddy long legs. What was the point? Why did they get invested? Why do they care?

Teach our characters things. Have Jill teach Jack how to cook. Have her teach him how to kiss. This is a part of growth development. This attaches your readers to your characters because we all learn every day. Plus if your characters are too perfect, people will actually care much less than they would a flawed character, even one who can’t seem to get the hang of tying their shoes no matter how hard they try.
Now every character needs two things.

1: GOALS / WANTS If your character isn’t striving to achieve anything, be it to date the super model or to tie his shoes on his own one day, readers attention span tends to drift off. So ask, what do they WANT? Ask this many times. Ask this as the story whole, ask this as the chapter section, the paragraph, the sentence. Make your characters want. We all want so your characters should too. Even if they’re rich and have a perfect love life, they must want for something. Even if it’s a glass of water, they must want. WHAT IS THE GOAL?

“But Jace, how do I know if what the character wants is what my readers would want them to want?”
There is such a tricky line in writing for yourself and yet writing for your audience. I say this. Write for yourself but live for the readers. There are a billion stories in the world and that’s a low ball estimate. The shitty thing is all main plots have already been written. The difference is YOUR VOICE. (we’ll get to that more later) As long as the story speaks to you and you feel that character and you understand that character, their needs, desires, pet peeves and reason for being, so will your reader.

2: Adversaries and Nemesis. There must always be a challenge be it plot driven or character driven, meaning they could have an evil villainous enemy or maybe it’s a rival, someone they’re always competing against even if they’re friends. It could even be a non-character. Let’s say my character is conspiracy nut, well his enemy is gonna be the government. Let’s say he’s a rock climber, his adversary is Mount Everest and every time he tries to climb something goes terribly wrong. Maybe they just can’t pay the bills. They need something to challenge them, something to contradict their every move, to make things hard. They need fate to slap them down every time they get close to their goal. It’s difficult to actually torture your characters too much. Turn them into emotional wrecks, beat them down, abuse them, use them, you can even kill them. The more struggle a character goes through the more people grow attached. We all struggle and we all have hardships. If your character has no hardships then how can the reader relate to them?

Now there is a point where you can bore your readers by this. If you have a character with bad guys after him and he keeps getting the shit beat out of him every other day, they begin to expect it and get tired of it. So your character getting jumped every other page by a gang of thugs is going to get old. Mix it up. They get jumped, then the nurse in the hospital thinks he lives a bad life so he doesn’t deserve his pain meds, then he gets out and the cops are on his ass instead of the thugs. Bad things can happen around every corner but it shouldn’t be the same event rewritten in a hundred different ways. You can have the same type of incident multiple times but it must be changed up.

“But Jace, my story is about a boxer and going through different boxing matches. How do I keep from repeating the same event in different ways?”

I’m going to add something outside of bad guys enemies and challenges, let’s add sex to this. “My story is erotic. How do I keep it mixed up and interesting when I have fifteen sex scenes in one book?”

There are different methods. One way I’m going to discuss to me is the simplest and one of the most intriguing and effective. Teasers. One scene starts off with the first half of the match or sex scene where they’re getting really heavy into it, it’s getting real hot, then bam. CUT SCENE. Next try starting out your boxing match at the start of a scene already in the fight or already screwing each other’s brains out. You can do the last segment of the scene starting on the first line of the chap. “Chapter three: Jill moaned loudly as the orgasm ripped through her body and Jack collapsed on top of her.” “Chapter three: Pulling his fist back, John landed the blow to end it all square on Jack’s jaw, knocking him out cold.” I recommend always starting or ending, don’t just show the middle with no climax in any capacity. This tactic when done properly is very intense and instigates more questions from the reader, asking who what when how where and omfg did that just happen?! I have to read more so I know! An orgasm is great but done fifteen times in a row, meh how can each time be the best ever? The best part of a sex scene is the climax yes but not always an orgasmic climax.


If you liked this and would like to see more, check out the writer’s block at Ambrosia Arts



Friday, July 26, 2013

Dealing with Poor Reviews


I got my first bad review this week.  Worst part was having to apply to my life all the encouraging things I have said to writer friends in the past.  Eventually, all that sunk in and I thought:  someone was moved enough by my storytelling to write a review!  Yes, I was not ignored and that’s a great thing.  Although, for a writer, dealing with the negative is tough and you have to work through

The review was harsh, harsh enough to feel like a critique of me rather than just a critique of my writing.  The reviewer stated errors that she found and the slip she found in punctuation was probably accurate.  The two other “errors” she stated were a metaphor that didn’t work for her and a literary device she didn’t like.  She complained that my heroine did not behave as a well bred woman of the early 1900s would.  While this might be true, my heroine’s secret has to do with not having spent all of her life as a proper Victorian lady.  The reviewer also asserted that my research on Galveston was so flawed, that I should never have written about her island. 

She didn’t realize it is my island, too, and I have studied the history probably more than she did.  Part of that research showed that language people used was not terribly different than what we use today. 

I was okay after reading the review, but I then I woke in the night, worried that everyone would pay attention to that review and none of the good ones.  I calmed myself with the knowledge this was the only bad one, but then I thought how some of the good reviews were my friends and maybe people could tell that. 

To work through this, I looked up books I enjoyed and looked at the Amazon reviews.  My goodness!  There are some nasty people out there reviewing books.  I could almost see the point—almost--when people pay $25 for a hardcover book, but many of these reviews were people who got the book for free.  What kind of expectations do people have for a free book?  I think the answer to that is in another question:  What kind of people take the time to write something unpleasant?  People who are happy when complaining. 

So, by giving them something to complain about, the writer has made them happy. 

Yes, I’ve made people happy, so keep those bad reviews coming (but I sure hope the good ones keep coming, too).

So as a writer when you get a bad review:

·         Be objective—sort through the analysis and see if there are any grains you can glean to make your story better.  Anything else, disregard.

·         Know the reviewer wasn’t objective—someone who takes the time to snark about you to the public isn’t someone you should let have an effect on your life beyond punctuation

·         Realize the reviewer may just not like your writing—don’t try to win them over; people who don’t like your work just aren’t worth your time.  Work on finding all the people who will like your stuff because they are out there.    

·         Keep writing—while something like this is discouraging, don’t worry that people will

·         Remember why you write—chances are, you wanted to have an effect on people, maybe even help them.  Letting someone vent their spleen at your story rather than at their spouse, well, that feel awful, but is good. 

I’m the author of the Hurricane Mystery Series, ECHOES OF THE STORM and BRIDES OF THE STORM, set in Galveston, right after the 1900 Hurricane, as well as the military thriller, SHADOW OF TWILIGHT.  When I’m not writing, I’m working with my husband and daughters to restore our Victorian house in Galveston.  While some people have waiters in fine restaurants greet them by name, we are known to the guys at the Salvage Yards. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

To Gore or Not to Gore


So today, I was talking about what is really needed when working on movies, remakes, etc. This train of thought came about after I watched the remake of Evil Dead. So it turns out a movie that I used to love back in the day was rewritten as a gore fest and the story was no longer appealing. Not to mention the original story was no where to be found. I got to thinking that as a writer, do we really need all the gore?

I remember the good ole days of movies and books. The graphic depiction of what a character went through was good for the page, but not so for the big screen. In fact, horror in the early years made one use their imagination. Now, fast forward to today and what I considered graphic back then is in no way equal to the blood fest unleashed in movies and books. 

We as writers have the gift of telling a story and delivering the same emotions on the page that can be seen on the big screen. We don't have to dwell in gore, but if it's called for then so be it. It is my opinion that unnecessary gore is the evil. Do you want the book to sell because you shocked so many or do you want it sell because you told a good storyline and wowed the crowd with your play on words? In the end, that's what we as writers do. We paint with words and tell a story that hopefully traps the reader in our world and makes them stop until we are done and turn them loose. Doesn't take a lot of blood and guts to do it, just some good ole fashioned imagination, strength, and lots of coffee. That's for you late night candle burners. Yes, I write horror, suspense, and sometimes there is a need for a gore or two. However, I hope that when you read my work, the character and the situation that brings the characters to their suspense moments make sense so that the gore fits well with the story. I am not out to shock you, just to tell you a story and keep you until I am done.

Until next time, happy reading from yours truly.

L. Redd

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Barbie and Ken and INTERCOURSE?







How to write a great sex scene is being discussed in my writer's group at the moment. Fascinating, huh? Trust me, there were some GOOD suggestions there, and I'm going to share them with you later in this post, but first I wanted to talk about Barbie and Ken having, um, sex. Yeah, I typed that right.

You see, a couple of weeks ago, I was watching one of my favorite shows, CBS This Morning and caught one of their human interest segments. It was about Desiree Holt, a well-known, traditionally published romance and erotica writer for Ellora's Cave. She's a 76 year-old grandmother from Texas who's written more than 140 titles since 2007. That's like a book every two weeks!

I love Desiree, and she's my FB friend for whatever that's worth. We've chatted, and I've read several of her books because they have great plots, characters, and most importantly, they're HOT. Maybe you're not into erotica or "mommy porn" as CBS smartly called it. That's okay. STOP reading this now, please, because it gets slightly worse.

Anyway, Bill Geist (my fav reporter) asked Desiree how she comes up with all these different and graphic sex scenarios. I mean, you can't just copy and paste one love scene from one book to the other, right? I'm sure some do, but Ms. Holt does not. Read this hilarious snippet from the interview to see how she writes those hot scenes.



HOLT:  That's why I have the dolls. (for sexual positions)
GEIST (OFF-CAMERA): ...whom she employs to determine what carnal acts are humanly possible.
HOLT: Sometimes it gets complicated, especially if I’ve got Barbie and Tina and Ken.
GEIST: Beautiful. Do you have more of these dolls? I hesitate to ask. (Looking at Holt's dolls on her bed.)
HOLT: No, I only have three at the moment. I broke two of them I'm sorry to say. (Looking sadly at broken doll.)
GEIST: Oh you did?
HOLT: Yes.
GEIST: That tells you something, doesn’t it?
HOLT: It does tell me that I'm trying too hard. Something wrong. Either that or the dolls need to be more flexible.


Funny, huh? It's even better if you watch it. The entire segment is only about 5 minutes long if you want to check out the link.


CBS Good Morning Show

And so, if you're having trouble getting your arms and legs and heated thoughts together, here's a list I complied from Mrs. Holt, of course, and from the wonderful writer's in my group. Read and, um, enjoy?


How To Write A Great Sex Scene:


1. Use dolls, such as Barbie and Ken. Only problem is the lack of flexibility.


2. Read all your favorite scenes from other books and think about what you like/dislike about them. Too much tongue, not enough? Think about what makes you blush or get flustered.


3. Write the technical stuff first...this arm goes here...those lips goes there. Then, go back and layer in the emotion.


4. Write about how you feel when you eat your favorite foods, only change it to sex. This would be dark chocolate for me. Or chocolate souffle. Or wine. Or fancy cheese. Or a grilled hamburger.


5. Get to know your characters, their quirks, their needs. Write. This one is hard for me because sometimes I don't KNOW the characters until the end of the story, which is not a good thing. But, if you fall in this category, see number 6.


6. Wait until you are done with your book and know your characters inside and out. Yes, this method is not productive and will probably having you rewriting and editing your book multiple times until you get it straight.


7. Watch HBO shows. Watch Rome, one of the best shows ever. Sex everywhere. Literally. Or if you want evocative emotion, Try True Blood the first season where Sookie and Bill consummate their vampire love. Sigh.


8. Remember your wedding night. Or the last time you got drunk.


9. Make a list of sexy words like: kiss, radiate, heave, shiver, length, dripping, plunge, core. Gah! I gotta stop!


10. Dial a friend. (Sorry, I'm so anal I had to have 10.)


NOW, to clean our palate of images of Barbie and Ken doing the nasty, I've found this sweet little pic for you to enjoy:



Later,
Ilsa Madden-Mills
Very Bad Things, a NA Romance Novel
September 2013
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Awesome Book Trailer

**Thanks to A. Carina Barry for her additions to the list. ♥

Writing Out of the Box (Or How I Learned to Give Complacency the Bird)



If you had told me a year ago to “write out of the box”, this is what it would have looked like.
Only with more hissing and spitting. Someone would lose an eye.

When I first started this little journey of writering, I was awfully quick to label myself. *insert snooty tone here* “I am a Paranormal Romance Author.” (Yes, those capitals are all deserved, thank you very much.) After all, that’s what I had written: a paranormal romance. All this time spent researching vampire lore - the heart of my paranormal undertaking, thinking up new and creative ways to build on said lore, and basically immersing myself in all things fangy for a good long while.

This was it: I had a plan. A series in the works. I will write vampires.
Okay, so not quite like this. But hey, Gary Oldman.

Until I didn’t.

*80’s record screech*
You took the words right out of my mouth, Tom.

Exactly. I found myself being prodded (in only good ways, mind you) to examine the wonders of other genres. Not just reading them, but WRITING them. Really. Before I knew it, I was looking at a handful of books which featured me doing something as insane as NOT writing vampires. A special thanks should go here to my publisher, Moon Rose Publishing, for not only steering me in this direction, but encouraging me the whole time.

And with that, I punched a hole in the box. My first venture didn’t take me too far out of my “paranormal” comfort zone. I penned a magically sexy little tale involving dreams, Shades, and the Sandman. It went well, and was fun to write. Now, back to the vampires.

On the second go-round my brain, I have to admit, went a little nuts. A Steampunk Snow White? It’s okay. Roll your eyes. You won’t be the first. However, this rip-roaring little beast lit a fire under me like you would not believe. I had no idea that I had a story like this dwelling anywhere inside my twisted little imagination.

“Miss Cavendish and the Spark of Salvation” was the eye-opener for me. I was no longer constrained by my own label. I could actually write whatever I wanted. *gasp* And it wasn’t too shabby. The tiny little pings to my ego when I read a really great book in another genre were no longer saying, “You couldn’t do that if you tried” to “You could totally rock this”.

With that little story, I moved on to the next hurdle, which brought me full circle with my romance reading past. The ubiquitous historical. I cut my teeth on bodice-ripping Vikings, and strapping, kilted Highland lairds, devastatingly rakish Victorian dukes, and drop-dead sexy Texas gunslingers.
I should be sorry for using this. But I'm so not. The mullet is truly eye-catching. I may swoon.

So, I set this one in medieval Ireland and sat back and let the brain have its wicked way with these people as the cardboard slowly crumbled around me. I tried very hard, I really did, but in the end that teeny little paranormal part of me couldn’t quite give up the ghost, so I added in a dash of sexy selkie to shut it up.

Hindbrain appeased, I moved on. Urban Fantasy. Hell to the motherlovin’ yeah. Bad ass fallen angels, demons, guns, gore, violence, and you guessed it, more sex. Sort of like my vampires, but not my vampires.

Which brings me to the final finishing move to judo-chop the snot out of this writing box. It’s something I’m working on now, probably to be released next year. This is so far out of my comfort zone, I had to set in the future. Dystopian with a bit of sci-fi. The romance (if you could call it that) is incidental and inevitable. If I were to describe this book to you in two sentences it would be this: Think The Hunger Games meets X-Men meets Gladiator meets Logan’s Run. With a splash of Brokeback Mountain.

Really. It's going to be amazing.
When I finished the six-page outline for this bad boy, I immediately knew I had given my box a jaunty view of my middle finger. This piece is so far out of my comfort zone sometimes I think I won’t ever find my way back. But then I sit down and immerse myself in the worlds and the lives I’ve created and think, “If I ever go back, I’ll be so bored.”
You and me both, Sherlock.

And boring is the last thing I want to be. So, whatever it takes….break out of your boxes. Throw off the lines and set sail for uncharted waters. Write new things. Take your stories new places.
“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” - Walt Disney

Tara S. Wood can be found lurking on the internet. Or in these fine establishments.
Amazon
 
Facebook 
Twitter 
Goodreads 
Moon Rose Publishing

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Jason Writes Again!

However you say it, it has been a strange few weeks.


Ups and downs, a roller-coaster ride, swings and roundabouts, rough with the smooth … I could carry on with all these phrases, but you get the idea. I've been working through one of those times that some of you will be familiar with, some won't. It's like working for nothing, or working and never getting anything right, or working and then hitting yourself around the head with a big self-criticism stick … again, I could carry on.
Don't get me wrong, it's not been horrendous and I have still grabbed my work every day, edited this, wrote that, posted about such and such, but there have been some 'WHY???' moments involved as well. Some have annoyed me more than others, some have been dismissed quite easily, some have lingered around, nagging at me.
I shall try and explain …

So, I suck at sales. It's fine, I freely admit it. It's never been one of my strong points and I remember a long time ago, actually arguing with someone about sales. I don't have that 'Push for the sale' element. If I do, it is asleep, or on holiday, or reading a book … but I know that if I was to ask somebody to buy X, and they said no, that would be it. No more hassling from me, they have made up their mind and I am not going to try to change it.
This can be an annoying quality to have when you are trying to sell books, especially your own books. It adds more pressure. Well, YOU add the pressure to yourself.
It just so happens that I am also being assisted by some friends at the moment, posting and tweeting about me and my books … yet still the sales are non-existent to low.
:( <~~~ I've added in Mr. Unhappy here but I'm smiling as I type this :) :D see?
I am in charge of everything when it concerns my writing/ books. Everything. One decision will lead to another, or this makes that better … I'll do this today and link with that tomorrow …
Having low sales is not unusual. Every author will have spells of this. I have and they don't bother me … usually. It's when I add the other factors in that my roller-coaster sets off.

'My books must be rubbish!'
'If I just had a bit more money to spend, I could afford that advertising, or buy those bookmarks, or run that event …'
'There has to be something wrong with the cover! My genre isn't popular!'

See? See what happened?
Yeah, everything adds together. Silly thoughts breed silly thoughts and then they marry sillier thoughts and have ridiculously silly offspring.

My last post on here was about swag. I had tons of ideas. More importantly, they were ideas that could be achieved without the bank hiring big and scary people to come after me(in other words, home-made and relatively free). I've still included that, though, in the mix of 'What shall I moan at myself about next?'
If I could just sell a bit more, push harder, get to the readers, then I wouldn't have to take time out from writing to make swag, or design swag to make later. I could just buy it with the money I receive from … SALES!!! ;)

This all sounds a bit erratic on my part. I agree … and I don't. I'm a professional at prioritising my thoughts, so can kick out the ones I don't want, much the same as I move a new book idea to a room inside my head when I'm too busy to develop it. I will always come back to a few important points/ thoughts in these times;
I have authored many books :)
I will author many new books :)
I have met some amazing authors/ friends(Emily, the blog boss being one of these:) )
You can't please everyone :)
Even if one reader enjoys my work, I have succeeded :)
I love tea :) (Okay, irrelevant but I'm being soulful)
There are people in the world born to sell, and they enjoy it. I write. I create worlds that didn't exist yesterday. I create characters that live inside these worlds … they live and breathe because I have made them do so. Their lives and adventures and tales of mystery are because I HAVE THOUGHT OF THEM :D
I can't be great at every aspect of the work I do, but I will never give up :)

Aww, look at all those smiley faces … awwww :)

I'm just about to start posting and tweeting about a new sales idea that I had last night. Nothing extreme or one-of-a-kind or spectacular. Who knows, it might work???

Jay Ellis.

P.S. New author logo that I created … like?




Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Books I Love....and you should, too!



Everyone has a few book titles that speak to their hearts and stay with them forever. I thought I would take a minute and share a couple of my favorites. I read across all genres. I love all kinds of books. Thrillers, romance, fantasy…I love it all.

The first book I can remember that affected me on a visceral level was Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird”. It is a bastion of modern fiction that has been heralded as one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century. The first time I read this book I was blown away. Lee masterfully pens a tale of innocence and love that transcended everything I thought I knew about literature. To this day, my well-loved copy holds a place of prominence among all my books.

“Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad is another one on my keeper shelf. Most people I know either haven’t read it or hated it. I love this novel. Love it with a passion. The complex play of emotions and a man’s struggle with his moral compass in an immoral world is haunting in its depth. The subtleties between Marlowe and Kurtz are characterizations that I strive to reach in my own work. It’s one of the reasons I love character studies so much. The inner conflict and turmoil will keep me turning pages long after the action is done. 
“Stuart: A Life Backwards” by Alexander Masters is a contemporary English novel that chronicles the tale of an abused, mentally-ill man and his unique and self-effacing view of the world. He knows who he is, why he is the way he is, and accepts it in a heartbreaking and terrifying way. Something inside me broke when I read this for the first time. Just shattered me. Masters’ recollections of his time with Stuart is funny, endearing, yet so gut-wrenchingly sad it is impossible to read this novel and not walk away changed in some way. 

I think everyone should have some Shakespeare on their shelf. For me, it’s “Othello”. This is my favorite Shakespeare play of all time. ALL. TIME. The tragic story of the mad Moor and his love that borders on obsession with his wife and the sinister machinations of betrayal and deceit never ceases to amaze me.  Every time I read it, I am awed by the sheer passion Othello has for Desdemona, and how crippling that much emotion can be. 

I could go on with several other examples, but I’ll leave it here for now. Go on, tell us about your favorite books!!!

Tara S. Wood can be found lurking on the internet. Or in these fine establishments.
Amazon
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Moon Rose Publishing

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

SWAG!!!

SWAG!!!

Short post today as I'm busy writing new books, and I'll start with this; I'm obsessed with swag. Well, not as in collecting it, but creating it and trying to think of new stuff to make.
I heard about an author friend of mine who recently attended a book convention. She took bracelets with her that were actually USB drives!!! Amazing!! :)
On the USB drive, she had put a free book, an author message, and other cool stuff. Great idea, right?? I mean GENIUS idea, right??

So, I may or may not have been searching the internet, trying to gain inspiration for ways to create my own swag.
It seems to have become an integral part of the modern author age. Bookmarks of all shapes and sizes, keyrings, tote bags, miniature books, badges … you name it, it's being made.
So, yesterday, I found myself in the local town, checking books, swag that shops sell … but … I also let the imagination kick in as well.
Since then, I have bought some DIY tools(yeah, I really have), contacted a friend of mine who's a carpenter, searched eBay for materials, and trying to keep all the ideas in my head organised.


I have already made lots of swag over the years, and it has been sent out with books, or handed out in competitions or events. Now for the next step, what will my new ideas create??? :D


Jason Ellis