Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Desert Dreams Conference in Arizona

In my last post I gave some tips on how to have a successful conference, especially if you're a published author. I am happy to follow with a post of our Arizona Desert Dreams conference http://desertroserwa.org/desertdreams .

I had a wonderful time! We even had a bit of rain, which here in the desert is something to celebrate, as it cools off the weather and clears up to a cool day of sunshine. I have posted some pictures below. We had a nice turn-out for the book signing, and a dear friend of mine helped me set out all my books, so I have a few pictures of the signing below. I also included some pictures of baskets I made, which might help give you some ideas when you put together some of your own. It was a smaller conference this year, which made it more intimate, which I also enjoyed. And I couldn't resist a few pictures of the hotel grounds, it's a lovely place. So enjoy!








My Magical Best,
Kathryne
http://www.kathrynekennedy.com


Sunday, May 29, 2016

AZ Mystery Con



"DEATH & DECEPTION IN THE DESERT​"
Arizona's Mystery Con

Booksiging open to the public June 3rd  from 6:30-8:00PM.



If you are interested in Saturday's events, which include lunch, goody bags, prizes, and mystery authors telling all about their books, tickets are still available at azmysterycon.com

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Free on amazon until 5/13/16 a new historical romance from Linda Andrews

I’m happy to say A Kiss and a Dream is free on kindle until 5/13. I hope you will download the story and leave a review!
She escapes with a dead woman’s name and finds sanctuary with a widower reeling from his wife’s betrayal. Can a love built on lies survive the truth?
Gretchen Foltz honors her late father’s request and ends up locked in the workhouse by her greedy brother. Dreaming of a home and freedom, she embarks on a dangerous winter journey. She awakes in a stranger’s home. Hiding behind a lie, she discovers a man worthy of her trust.
Kian Bryne is struggling to feed his four children. The last thing he needs is to rescue a woman stranded on the ice and running from her own demons. With his rich in-laws threatening to take custody his children, he’ll make a desperate alliance to keep his family together. When a simple kiss shatters their agreement, he’s left yearning for more.
Can they untangle the lies before someone separates them forever?
“I loved this story! It is a very quick read because you won’t want to put it down!” Review, Christy’s Cozy Corners
“It’s a quick book, simple but very addictive. It is an entertaining and relaxing read. If you enjoy reading sweet romance, then definitely pick this up!”- Review, LibriAmoriMiei blog

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Conference Tips for Published Authors

I am finally able to attend a conference, and I am really looking forward to my chapter’s Desert Dreams http://desertroserwa.org/desertdreams event from April 7-10th in Scottsdale, Arizona. I miss seeing friends, and look forward to catching up doing my favorite thing: talking about writing with other writers. But there’s so much more to be gained from a conference, so I’d like to suggest a few tips for those of you attending any conference, but especially one held by your own chapter.

If you can, support your chapter with more than just your registration fee. Invest in some swag for the goodie bags. Bookmarks are great, but unfortunately, there’s so many of them that I often see them discarded. So try for something a little more substantial (I give out nail files with a plastic case that has my website address on it.) Get creative with something that attendees will actually keep, at least for a while. If you do a bookmark, why not have a ruler on the other side? At least you have a better chance of having someone pop it in his or her desk at work. I’ve seen pens, chapstick, even a lint brush! (And have looked up the author’s website long after the conference, when I have the time and I’m looking for a new read.)

My chapter also will make posters of our books and hang them in the conference rooms. I will have six around the place this year. Also, a ¼ page ad in the program, with yet another photo of another of my book covers (total cost, $100. If this is out of your budget, hook up with a friend to do an ad, or a two book poster, as I did below at my last conference with fellow author Erin Quinn.) I may not be able to meet everyone, but they will know I was there! (Is it seven times someone has to see your name to remember it? Something like that.) Regardless, I will also be supporting my chapter to make a profit, so we can do another conference in future.

I also donate a large basket for the literacy drawing, and another smaller one for a give-a-way to attendees. I love making baskets, and prepare for them all year long. The best time is to hit Michael’s after Christmas! I can pick up some lovely boxes and baskets, and many gifts for the out-of-towners that they may appreciate, all at a discount. And if one of my chapter mates wins one, they are always so grateful. It astounds me how many of our authors don’t read each other’s books. One year I did a basket give-a-way, and the winner blogged about it, and how wonderful my books were (almost as if it was surprising, lol.)

If you’re published or seeking to be published, this is an important tip for any conference: Be kind to everyone, even in the bathroom. I love to meet new people, so this isn’t hard for me. But if you’re the kind of person who gets overwhelmed sometimes, take a break. Go to your room and rest to get back your energy. Since I am still not quite 100% well, I may have to resort to plenty of breaks this year. And listen, if a mistake or two is made at the conference, please don’t take it personally. No one is targeting you. A conference is accomplished by volunteers who have a million details to juggle, and mistakes will happen. Take it graciously. Don’t scream and yell that you have been mistreated (yes, I’ve had this happen to me at the Editor/Agent appointment desk. Then the gal realized she had made the mistake, and well, you get the idea.) Keep it professional (including what you’re wearing. With that said, remember, the gal standing next to you in blue jeans and flip flops in the food line just might be the editor of your dreams.) For after all, the impression you make can enhance or damage your career.

I’m sure I’ve forgotten many tips, so feel free to share. Maybe something you learned from attending a conference? Please feel free to add to this!
As Always,
My Magical Best,
Kathryne


Thursday, March 10, 2016

New book review: The Art of Social Media

Authors need to learn  how to promote their brand/books like never before. And frankly, this is the part where I wander aimlessly trying to figure out what I'm supposed to do. I bought this book for my daughter for Christmas as she plans to design websites and needs to understand social media. She kindly lent it to me, and all I can say is wow. So much has become clearer.


And there are actual steps to follow to achieve your ends. Amazing. There are even links to aggregators to find and post content. Ways to streamline your connection with readers and reflect your own interests.

So cool.

Now, the bad part is that the book has underlined bits that in the ebook link to actual pages for new information and enlightenment. I highly recommend purchasing the ebook and skipping the print copy. The print copy is extremely irritating without those links and they're not anywhere else in the book that I've been able to find.

Even though the book is a little pricey at 12.99, I think it's worth it.

Until next month.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Book Review Corner

I'm starting up a new monthly post on books that focus on helping authors sell their books. Here's the first one. Enjoy!




Although a little dated, the basic information on promoting your book is sound and is a good basis to begin you marketing plan. The ideas are geared toward mass market or hard cover books through NY publishers. There is a dearth of information on electronic promotions, even the newsletter section is about printed and snail mailed items.

What it will help you with is:
What to include in your press kit.
Items to include in your newsletter.
Aggregators to get your website high in the rankings.
Hints for book signings (and etiquette, too).
Niche marketing.


I was disappointed that there wasn't more for indie writers and electronic marketing, but the above items are a solid foundation to begin your marketing plan.

Until next month!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Historical Research and World Building, By Kathryne Kennedy

It often surprises me how my historical research will add to or completely jell with the fantasy aspects of my novels. In THE ELVEN LORDS series, the stories are based in the eighteenth century, so I spent over a month researching the Georgian era, including the political environment, with special emphasis on daily life and--since my books are first and foremost romances--the clothing and housing of the aristocracy.
                       
When I read that white wigs were prevalent in the era, it made perfect sense that the true reasons for wearing the wigs were to imitate the ivory-haired elven lords of my fantasy world. All I needed to do was to add a crushed silver stone to the wigs, which the aristocracy uses to imitate the silver sparkle of my lords. For my readers to identify with the history of the era, I felt that it was important to keep a king on the throne, but since the elven broke through the barrier between worlds and conquered England, dividing it into seven sovereignties that each ruled, I couldn’t be sure of the role he would play.


Then I read that the true power behind the throne at that time lay with Sir Robert Walpole, the Prime Minister of England. So, with an apology to King George, I made him nothing more than a trophy for the elven lords to wage their wars--wars that used humans as chess pieces in games of entertainment similar to the Roman gladiatorial games, but on a much broader scale. Sir Robert (and following Prime Ministers) became the leaders of the Rebellion, the underground movement of humans and half-elven who fight for England’s freedom and the restoration of their king to true power. As with actual history, the court set the precedence for clothing and style, but since the king of my fantasy world held influence only in that limited aspect, it became an obsession with him and his court.


My seven mad elven lords each had possession of a scepter, and the master of a particular power. As I researched the landscape and the development of England’s resources, I used that knowledge to divide the sovereignties. Since Bath and its famous healing waters were located in the southwest, it fell naturally into place that the elven lord Breden, master of the blue scepter of sea and sky, controlled that area, becoming the sovereignty of Dewhame, revealed in the novel THE LADY OF THE STORM. South central England, where London is located, is a politically important part of England and became Firehame, the sovereignty of Lord Mor'ded and his black scepter over the mastery of fire, a powerful realm that is explored in THE FIRE LORD’S LOVER. Agricultural eastern England became Verdanthame, with Mi'cal ruling with the green scepter of forest and plant. Northeastern England, extending upward into York and known for its roadways, became the sovereignty of Terrahame, and the elven lady Annanor and her brown scepter of earth. North central England, dominated by mining and hilly country, became the sovereignty of Bladehame and the silver scepter of Lan'dor, who masters metal. The northwest became Stonehame, where the elven lady La'laylia called up quartz from the depths to enchant with her violet scepter. And the west became Dreamhame, butting up against the craggy mountains of Wales, the sovereignty of Roden of the golden scepter, with his spells of glamour and illusion, fully revealed in the novel THE LORD OF ILLUSION.


Arranged marriages were common in the era, often devised for political gain, and it fell naturally into place that the elven lords would use them to their own advantage. My hero in THE FIRE LORD’S LOVER, General Dominic Raikes, is a half-breed who has inherited his father’s magical gift of fire, and because of it, is a General of Firehame’s army. My heroine, Lady Cassandra Brydges, has the bloodlines to produce a new champion for the elven lord’s war games…and is secretly trained as an assassin by the Rebellion.


In my novelette, The ASSASSIN’S LOVER, we get a glimpse of the sovereignty of Stonehame, and the capital city that glows with jewel-fire even in starlight. We meet a lady of that city, Minerva Overon, whose home falls within the shadow of Stonehame Palace, which is crafted by the elven lady from one large piece of amethyst. But my heroine lives in one of the few mansions created of black jet, which aids the young assassin (another of history’s ruthless characters) sent to kill her…although he gets more than he bargained for.

And so did I, as I researched eighteen-century England, and found some surprising developments for my stories along the way.

My Magical Best,
Kathryne
http://www.KathryneKennedy.com