Linda G. Hill

Life in progress


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Qualification – #AtoZChallenge

Qualification, schmolification. I can drive that rocket! Jus’ let me behind the wheel.

When I finished writing my first novel in 2004, I was hesitant to call myself a novelist. The way I saw it, the only thing that qualified me was the fact that I’d written 50,000 on the same subject. That something had a beginning, a middle, and an end; it had characters and settings and a climax. But it wasn’t ready to be published, and that’s what I thought qualified a person to be a novelist.

Then I wrote another book in 2006, and I started warming up to the idea that maybe I was a novelist, even though nothing had seen print. But still, I hadn’t taken any writing courses. I didn’t know if what I’d written was any good.

It would take almost a decade before I took a writing course, just to find out that I actually already knew what I was doing, for the most part. By then I’d started yet another novel and I was well on my way to calling myself a novelist.

And now… I’m still on the fence. None of my novels have seen print yet. Not one of the five I’ve finished, nor the three I’ve begun writing. But that tells me something. I see a pattern here. Do you?

I can’t stop writing novels. It’s how I pass my time. It’s part of who I am. I’m miserable when I’m not writing something. It’s not an urge, it’s a compulsion.  And the more I think about it, the more I believe that that is what qualifies me to be a novelist. I’m a novelist because writing them is in my blood.

So the next time someone asks me if I’m a writer, I’ll say yes, in fact, I’m a novelist. I write novels. They may be good, they may be bad, they may be unpublishable, but that’s okay. Because I do it for me. I do it because I don’t have a choice.

***
Whether or not I’m a qualified novelist, I’m definitely a qualified novelettist!  I have an A to Z Challenge-inspired novelette called “All Good Stories,” available for only 99¢ on Kindle and Kobo. It’s a romantic comedy about two best friends who belong together – Xavier knows it, but Jupiter has her eye on another guy: a shady character named Bob.

“A delightful read!!” ~ Cheryl Lynn Roberts, 4 stars, Amazon Canada review

“A short funny tale of two friends” ~ Ritu, 4 stars, Amazon UK review

“Quirky and charming.” ~ Bobby Underwood, #11 top reviewers on Goodreads – 5 stars

Click the picture to find it on Kindle, or get it on Kobo here: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/all-good-stories

 

 

 


3 Things I Learned from Self-Publishing – A Guest Post by Linda G. Hill

I guest-posted over at Harsh Reality. Please come over and have a read! 😀 Thanks!

HarsH ReaLiTy

Have you ever been tempted to self-publish a book? According to a four-year-old Forbes article I found, at that time it was estimated between 300K and 500K books were being self-published a year, so if you haven’t thought about it … well, maybe you should at least consider jumping on the bandwagon.

Before I really start into this post, I have to say I can only comment on the experience of publishing an e-book. The learning curve required to create a physical book, when I get to it, is going to be a whole ‘nother kettle of fish, I’m sure.

Self-publishing an e-book on Kindle and Kobo is free. Anyone can do it. Slap a bunch of words together, send it off, and Bob’s your uncle. It’s a good idea to slap your words together in a way that makes sense if you want anyone to read it, but you…

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#SoCS – What I’d Do For Some Cash

I’m not going to lie – I published (and will publish again) my book for cash. Considering the only job I’ve had in the last fifteen years is a paper route, what else am I to do? But publishing, and to make cash isn’t why I write. I do that for me and because I can’t not write down the things that are constantly coming into my head. So much of the stuff I see and hear in life, the stuff I feel too, inspires me.

And, of course, the stuff I see other people feel. I’ve wondered why I write romance. I don’t read a lot of it. I’ll often read books about relationships, but I don’t devour Avon’s publications like many do. I think I’ve come up with why I write it though. Psychology and love. Feelings. For me, writing about love is a passion borne of countless fantasies, inspired by some of the greatest love stories ever told. I’ll never write a bodice-ripper, nor anything shallow. I could, but I won’t. Because for me there has to be something deep about a story. Something… something disturbing. Something that will pull on my heartstrings, or make me laugh or cry or cringe. And yeah, sometimes the things I write make me cringe. But I only write them if they are “true.”

In the meantime, there’s the other stuff I do not-for-cash. Being a mother. I think the only reason we stay-at-home moms don’t get paid is because not even the 1% could afford us. Take my today for instance: I’ve dealt with a behaviorally challenged teenager who has beat up the dog, pounded my cell phone on the kitchen table, broken one of his movies, hit me, and then sat on my lap for cuddles when he found out he couldn’t go for a ride on the city bus. I drove the other kid to a movie and back, played “Uno” ’til I was seeing double, and changed a bed because the dog peed on it. And how much money did I make for all this? Same as I have for the last fifteen years.

Nothing.

How much cash do I deserve?

All of it.

Ha!

But then I don’t ask for much.

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This humble post is brought to you by Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Click here to find out more: https://lindaghill.com/2016/08/12/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-august-1316/


41 Comments

Facing It

I had to face it eventually – the dreaded Facebook page. Not that I have anything against Facebook. It just goes a little against the grain of my personality to have anything dedicated specifically to draw attention to myself. Yes, I know you’re probably saying, why do you have a blog then? and you’re probably saying it in italics to boot.

My blog is a place to talk. When I write here I feel like I’m sitting at a table with a group of like-minded individuals, sharing a laugh, the occasional tear, and a big-assed pot of coffee, tea, wine, beer … You get the picture. But The Facebook Page is, well, it’s advertising. And at the moment I don’t have anything TO advertise, so it’s just me. Little ol’ me standing at the head of the class, waiting for a crowd of people who know more than I do to arrive. At least that’s how it feels.

So what’s the point of this then? I need some friends over there to keep me company, and to hold my hand when the crowd shows up.

Please, “Like” me on Facebook. Be a pal. 🙂

https://www.facebook.com/lindaghill.fiction

And I’ll get off my butt and get this book out. Then I’ll have something to hold up, to take the focus off little ol’ me.


60 Comments

G is for … Greatness

Ah, the dream. I write, I edit, I send my baby out to agents and publishers who will surely snap it up and make it an instant bestseller, and that’s when the fame and fortune starts rolling in.

Suddenly I can’t walk down the street without someone approaching me to ask for and autograph. Actors are calling me at my unlisted number to beg for a juicy part in the upcoming movie based on my book. Life is grand.

But wait. Is it? Is it really?

You want me to do what? Travel around the country doing book-store appearances? Living out of a hotel? Interviews on public television? And… public readings? I can’t read in front of an audience! I was happy sitting in my room behind my computer, half in the can with a bottle of wine! Quick! Somebody grab me my Haagen-Dazs and a spoon. I’m going to hide in the closet!

Is this you? Or is it just me? Because seriously, as much as the money would be nice, it’s not as though I can quit my job and go on the road. My kids are my job – they’re not quittable. I’ve never wanted fame. And I’m sure I’m not the most introverted person on the planet who chose to sit and write books. But does it necessarily have to be part of the package when a novel gets noticed?

I found this on Facebook this morning:

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and it really rings true.

It’s a lot to think about. Are you ready?

 

 
Admittedly, today’s fiction has nothing to do with today’s topic; it’s a day I wouldn’t have otherwise written anything over there. So here it is, the continuation of the A-Z Fiction Story: http://lindaghillfiction.wordpress.com/2014/04/08/g-is-for-great-balls/ Enjoy!


37 Comments

The future of publishing crap

This probably won’t be a very popular post but here I go with it anyway. With the invention of e-publishing new writers are coming out of the woodwork. These days anyone can publish their own work without having to pay money to do so. ANYONE. Who can be held accountable for what goes out there? It used to be that when you bought a book there was at least someone out there who believed in it. Sure, there was still a lot of crappy writing, but at least if you didn’t like a book you could sell it at a garage sale and get some of your money back.

I may not be in a position myself to say what I write is good, or that I won’t eventually go the route of self-publishing, but I’ve been reading long enough to distinguish what’s good and what is crap and I am appalled at how unbalanced it has become in the wrong direction. Up until last year I had never failed to finish reading a novel, no matter how bad it was. This year alone I have thrown up my hands in disgust at no less than three novels on my e-reader. Nowadays everyone thinks they can write. Many of the people self-publishing have long forgotten what they learned in Grade 3 grammar, and I hate to think what novels would look like without spellcheck.

For me it came to the forefront with ’50 Shades of Grey’. The author, E.L. James, actually said in an interview she understands that people who read her books are people who don’t normally read. I can easily believe it. When I read it I thought to myself, great! If this can get published anything can. By God was I right. Everybody and their sister said the same thing! I’m sure editorial slush piles have never been bigger, making it that much harder for talented writers to get noticed.

Will we get to the point eventually where there are more writers than there are readers? The way it’s going now I wouldn’t be surprised. I copied and pasted the following from Kindle’s website. I think I can keep my tongue firmly planted in cheek and let this speak for itself:

Do I need any special skills to publish with Kindle Direct Publishing?
Kindle Direct Publishing does the basic work for you, but if your content contains a lot of special formatting, a bit of knowledge in HTML may come in handy.

In closing, if you’re serious about writing a novel and you want to publish it, take a class or two. Brush up on your skills first. Make more than the effort to learn HTML and learn how to write! Hold yourself accountable for putting out a good product. Perhaps we can keep future of publishing out of the crapper after all.