Thursday, November 30, 2017

Tips for Writing Dual POVs with Distinctive Voices

When writing a novel that flips between two (or more) character's POVs one of the biggest mistakes writers make is having the characters sound too much alike. In Unearthed After Sunset, the story alternates between two POV's, Greg and Caroline. When I was writing the book it was really important to me to make sure that Greg's chapters sounded different from Caroline's. Below are five tips for giving your characters distinctive voices.

1. Think about your character's interests and passions: The things your character cares about will shape how they see and describe the world. For example, an artist will use different words to describe a sunset than an athlete. An artist might describe the colors and beauty of the sunset. An athlete may take more notice of how the world around them darkens rather than the sunset itself, or maybe they notice the drop in temperature that sunset brings. In Unearthed Greg is a fan of horror movies, and in his chapters, he makes a number of references and comparisons to different horror movies. Caroline, however, is not a fan of scary movies so in her references and comparisons are more likely to be related to music.

2. Think about HOW your characters think: Does your character find themselves deep in thought often, or is there more brevity to their thoughts? Are they full of wonder, do they question things, or are they accepting of the world around them? In both Greg and Caroline's chapters, there are some beautiful descriptions, but Caroline's chapters are definitely flowier while Greg's are more to the point. Caroline notices more details than Greg does.

3. Consider your character's word choice: Does your character say soda or pop? Water fountain or bubbler? Do they refer to that piece of furniture in their living room as a couch or a sofa? Caroline is far more likely to be more specific and detailed in her descriptions. For example, if she points out the color of something she's more likely to say maroon or burgundy, where Greg is more likely to just say red. They also each have specific words they use that the other doesn't. When writing Unearthed I actually made a chart to remind me of their different phrases.

4. Edit your chapters out of order: If your chapters for each character alternate, do a read through where you read only character #1's chapters, then do a read through where you read only character #2's chapters. This can help you pay attention to their voice and character growth. With Unearthed, I would edit all of Caroline's chapters, skipping over Greg's, then go back and edit all of Greg's, skipping over Caroline's. This way I could focus on the voice of that character across the span of the book.

5. Take your character's gender into consideration: This is only really useful if the two characters you're alternating between are different genders, and it's important not to make your characters stereotypical. But, some gender stereotypes hold true and can help you form your characters. Maybe your female character shows more emotion. Maybe she's more social. Your male character might notice the physical attributes of your female character more than she notices his. Like I said, be careful of getting swept up in stereotypes, but remembering that men and women do sometimes see the world differently may help you differentiate your character's voices.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

IngramSpark VS Amazon

Last month I published Unearthed After Sunset. Usually, I only publish my paperbacks through Amazon and reach out to other distributors for the e-book copy of the book. But, this time I decided to use both Amazon and IngramSpark.

First, I want to talk about my reasons for wanting to use IngramSpark. In the past, I would set up multiple accounts to get my books available as many places as possible. I had a KDP account, a CreateSpace account, a B&N account and an account at Kobo. After some time I realized that checking in with all of these accounts was time-consuming and I still didn't have my book in as many places as I wanted. What's awesome about Ingram is that you set up one account and your book is available in both paperback and e-book basically everywhere.

Benefits of using Ingram Spark:

1. Availability to 70+ Major Online Retailers, including Amazon, Kobo, Nook, and iBooks
2. Ability to produce hardcovers (which I haven't done yet, but would love to!)
3. All your sales and data in one place
4.Better returns if you sell to bookstores, and you're more likely to get into bookstores (Amazon doesn't give bookstores as good of a discount to buy your book as IngramSpark does)

So, if Ingram is so awesome, then why not only use Ingram (they will make your book available on Amazon after all)? Here's the thing, Amazon is where I sell most of my books, and even with how awesome IngramSpark is, Amazon has some benefits of its own.

Benefits of using Amazon (KDP or CreateSpace):

1. KDP promotional deals like free days (You can only use these if you exclusively sell on Amazon)
2. Easier to use, publish, update books, check sales - The KDP and CreateSpace sites are waaay more user-friendly than IngramSpark
3.No set-up fees (IngramSpark has a $50 set-up fee)
4.Easier to create and upload inside files. Formatting your files for e-pub is a lot harder than formatting for Kindle (Formatting the PDF for your paperback is about the same)
5.Easier to create and upload the cover file. (Amazon's book cover creator makes everything so much simpler)
6.No worries about your book being "out of stock." If you use Amazon to print your book it will never be out of stock, but if you use IngramSpark to supply Amazon with your book, if you're not flying off the shelves, Amazon may mark you as "temporarily out of stock"

So, here's what I do. I use Amazon's KDP [which now allows for publishing paperbacks as well so I don't need to use CreateSpace] to make my book available on Amazon only. This makes it easy to upload my book to the place where I get the most sales. It also makes checking those sales easier as the KDP site is easier to navigate. This also means my print book will never be "temporarily out of stock on Amazon. Then I also have an IngramSpark account to get my book into B&N, Kobo, I-Books and more. That way I can reach a lot of retailers and have only one place to check the rest of my sales. This also means if I want to pull my book from all other retailers to take advantage of KDP select and free days, I only have one site to pull it from. So essentially, I'm trying to get the best of both worlds.

A Look At Quality:

When it comes to my e-books. They're basically the same whether you purchase them through Amazon, or say B&N where the file comes from IngramSpark. The same cannot be said for paperbacks.

Here's a side by side comparison of what my printed book looks like from each company. Both IngramSpark and Amazon offer various sizes and both gloss and matte finishes. I chose the matte finish, which had basically the same look on each book.

(Left: IngramSpark, Right: Amazon)
Looking at the books side by side it's clear there are a few differences.

1. The colors on the IngramSpark copy are brighter and more true to my design
2. The Amazon copy has a slight white line on the bottom right corner of the cover (This was my proof copy, I believe I've fixed this issue, though I'm not sure what caused it)
3. They are not the exact same size. - Both books were printed as 5x8, but it's important to know that they are NOT the exact same size. So, if you are writing a series be aware that if a reader buys book #1 from Amazon and book #2 in the series from an IngramSpark retailer, they will not match.

Ingram Spark


Top: Ingram
Bottom: Amazon

Left: Ingram, Right: Amazon
There were also some differences inside the book. In the photo below, you can see that my photo on my Author's Page is much better quality in my IngramSpark book than in the one from Amazon. The overall paper quality seemed nicer in my IngramSpark book as well. The IngramSpark book was noticeably thinner than my Amazon book.
(Left: Ingram, Right: Amazon)

(Left: Ingram, Right: Amazon)

Books printed through Ingram Spark are better quality. That said, my Amazon book certainly wasn't poor quality, and Amazon in general is a lot easier (and cheaper) to use. If you're a new-bie author looking to publish your first book, maybe start with just Amazon. If you want to try and get your books into more retailers and have a good understanding of formatting go with IngramSpark (or do both, like I did.)

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Free YA PNR Book

Hello lovely readers. I am working to grow my mailing list and for anyone that subscribes at I will be giving out a free mobi file of Into the Deep.

About My Mailing List: I don't send out a lot of e-mails, so don't worry about being spammed! At most I send a handful of e-mails a year with information on promotions and giveaways I'm running for my books.

About Into the Deep: Into the Deep was released in 2012, and revised in 2013. It was my debut novel and I'm still very proud of it. It's a BRAG medallion honoree and has a 4.2 star rating on Amazon.


Ivy Daniels is a high school junior still learning who she is. After an accident, Ivy finds herself with an ability she doesn’t want, an ability to uncover secrets which quickly begins to redefine what she thinks about the people around her as well as herself. Because of this ability, Ivy becomes the one thing that stands between an angry teen and the death of every student on campus. The only problem is she doesn’t know who wants everyone dead. Will she figure out who has this dark secret, or will she fail to find him in time?

Through her search to do the right thing, Ivy discovers that knowing the thoughts and secrets of those around her may just tear her apart.

Into the Deep is a paranormal romance for mature young adults, that looks at how we define who we are, and what it means to feel alone. It contains minimal use of strong language and mild sensuality.

So, if you haven't already, please join my mailing list by going to, and share this with all of your friends.

Thank you!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

October Reading and Writing Wrap Up

I hope everyone had a Happy Halloween and a scary Friday the 13th last month. I'm late once again gettng this post out, sorry for that. I had a busy month writing, wrapping up the blog tour for Unearthed, which as you all know was released on the 15th and is currently available on Amazon, Barnes, and Noble, Kobo and I-Books.


Books Reviewed in October:

I didn't review ANY books in October. Gasp. I did finally get around to writing my review for The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower #1)  last Thursday, so you can check out.

Books Read in October:

I finished The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware. I'll have my review of that up soon.

Books to read in November:

I'm currently reading Mind Hunter by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker which so far is AWESOME. It's definitely outside of my normal read being non-fiction, but the storytelling is really good.

I want to pick up an indie after this. It's been a while since I've read anything self-published or put out by a small press. So, I'm on the lookout for a good one.


Book #2 in the Cereus Vampire Chronicles is nearly ready for beta readers, but I've taken a break from it to poke at some other WIP's. I'm nearly done with the first draft of a fantasy novel I've been working on which will be Upper YA/NA and involve an entirely new world with castles and magic and all those classic fantasy elements -- with my own twist on them of course. I'm currently at 70,000 words and it will probably be about 80+ so I'm close to the end.


I've been a little behind blogging. Focusing on the Unearthed Blog Tour last month kept me busy. I do have some fun ideas for some new posts. I've also been spending a lot of time of Pinterest and been doing more with group boards. You can follow me on Pinterest here, and if you're interested in joining one of my group boards, just message me!

My Favorite Blog Posts in September:

Favorite Post Written: Taking Cliche Vampire Themes and Making Them Your Own: After writing a vampire novel this was a fun post as I was able to talk about some of the stereotypes I tweaked in Unearthed.

Favorite Post Read: 10 Annoying Questions Bookworms get asked that just Make No Sense on Paper Fury. In general, I love this blog for posting things that are just different and fun, and this post was just that.


I spend the first week of October in Rome for my Honeymoon and had an amazing time. Since getting back my husband and I have been back to working on building our new garage, which is nearly done, and I've been planning for a few weddings that are coming up soon.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Review for The Gunslinger (Dark Tower 1) by Stephen King

3 Stars. Slow Start to what I've Heard is a Great Series. I've been a Stephen King fan for a long time, and I went into reading The Gunslinger knowing (from other readers) that book one sets up the series and is a little bit lackluster in comparison to the rest of the books. But still, it fell a little short for me.

The Dark Tower moves a little slow at first, which didn't bother me too much as I'm used to the slow build that King's books often have. But, I was disappointed by the ending. I felt like that slow build didn't amount to a satisfying conclusion.

Roland himself isn't as fleshed out as King's other characters and I wasn't as drawn into his relationships with other characters as I wanted to be. I really liked Jake, and when he entered the story I got sucked in a lot more. Maybe that's because he reminded me of Jack from The Talisman. I found Jake made Roland a more interesting character, but I really felt like Roland let Jake down and because of that, I cared less about the ending.

Knowing what other people have said about the series, I might still pick up the next book down the road, but not right now.

Indie Book Goal 2018