Bestselling writing goals for 2018: Raine Thomas

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For the beginning of 2018, BestSelling Reads members will reveal member authors’ writing plans for the year ahead—so you know the great reading you can get excited about.

The past three or four years have seen some significant changes in the indie publishing world. With the market becoming increasingly saturated with new authors every day, readers have more choices than ever. This is both exciting as a reader myself and frustrating as an author. With this in mind—as well as the fact that I work full-time—I’ve set what I hope are reasonable writing goals for 2018.

In the sense of the bigger picture, I plan to publish at least two new novels this year. I’m halfway done with Driving Tempo, the third book in my New Adult rocker romance series, House of Archer. Also on my radar is For the Win, a third New Adult baseball romance featuring some of my readers’ favorite characters from my books For Everly and Meant for Her. As long as I stay on target, I don’t foresee having any issues reaching this goal.

Another writing goal I hope to accomplish in 2018 is completing a short story to accompany the publication of my New Adult Sci-Fi romances, the Ascendant series, as a three-book set. I intend to chat with my PR company, Red Coat PR, about some ideas to help promote this release. I’m sure a book sale of some kind will be involved!

One final goal of mine relates to the marketing side of indie publishing. I intend to identify at least one new and innovative way to market my books and then pursue implementing it. There are so many resources on the internet that I have no excuses. It’s time to try and solve the mystery of the best way to reach new readers.

While none of these goals is particularly revolutionary, I’m hoping they help swing the sales pendulum on its upwards arc. The past couple years have seen a disheartening dip, but I can’t allow that to stop me from pursuing my passion and writing the stories in my soul. Here’s to a fun-filled, successful new year!

About the author

Raine-Thomas-Headshot-small-233x300Raine Thomas is the multiple award-winning author of bestselling Young Adult and New Adult fiction. Known for character-driven stories that inspire the imagination, Raine has signed with multiple award-winning producer Chase Chenowith of Back Fence Productions to bring her popular Daughters of Saraqael trilogy to the big screen. She’s a proud indie author who is living the dream. When she isn’t writing or glued to e-mail or social networking sites, Raine can usually be found vacationing with her husband and daughter on one of Florida’s beautiful beaches or crossing the border to visit with her Canadian friends and relatives.

Where to find her

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Genre Wars by Frederick Lee Brooke and Scott Bury

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collateral damage hi res cover (2)

Fred:

You’re an author who has written in four or five different genres, isn’t that right?

Scott:

I don’t feel constrained by genre. While my first book, The Bones of the Earth, is often called “epic fantasy,” I wrote it to break a lot of the conventions of epic fantasy. My second book, One Shade of Red, is a spoof of 50 Shades of Grey and is unabashedly erotic. I have also published some short stories that could be called “urban paranormal,” but are ultimately love stories. And there’s the children’s story, Sam, the Strawb Part.  My work-in-progress is a novelization of my father-in-law’s time in the Red Army from 1941 to 1946.

Fred:

Do you feel as though you have a different set of readers for each of your books, or do your readers cross over right along with you?

Scott:

I don’t think that my readers cross with me. I don’t have a huge following, yet, and those who liked my first book, I don’t think have read the second. So from a marketing perspective, it’s probably not smart to hop across the genre boundaries that way.

Fred:

Yet you feel compelled to do it anyway? Why is that?

Scott:

Bones of the Earth   by Scott Bury

I just have ideas for stories and characters that I want to write down. Part of what drove The Bones of the Earth was my frustration with the repetitive fantasy genre, with the same tropes being invoked to the point of cliché. But most of the inspiration was a desire to write a story about dragons for my two boys and to incorporate both of them in it.

Sam, the Strawb Part was inspired by my younger son when he reached that stage where kids mumble and slur their words, and he also became very rough on things like bicycles.

Whether those stories fit into one genre or another just isn’t part of my writing process.

So Fred, what genre do you feel you write in, if any? When you’re asked “what kind of books do you write, in five words or less,” how do you respond?

Fred:

I have a lot of trouble with the whole concept of genres. Take some of those old classics you read in high school or college — like The Great Gatsby. Murder mystery? Why not? What makes it literary fiction? What about Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? It’s a mystery, it’s a thriller, it’s a love story, it’s a saga, it’s literary fiction.

As a reader, I’m looking for a good story, good writing, interesting characters. This can happen in a Stephen King horror novel like Insomnia just as well as it can happen in Christine Nolfi’s Treasure Me. That being said, it’s helpful to me as a reader to know from the book blurb (or the cover design) what the main genre of the book is. But I like to be surprised and discover hints of other genres within the main one.

Scott:

You didn’t answer the question.

Fred:

FrederickLeeBrooke_DoingMaxVinyl1-200x300Sorry! My three books – Doing Max Vinyl, Zombie Candy, and Collateral Damage are mysteries. A case gets solved in each of them, although they are unconventional stories, to say the least. People who are expecting a hard-boiled PI or a mirthless police procedural are not going to be satisfied with my books. I am going for humor as well, the kind that arises from absurd situations and people betraying each other. My new release, Collateral Damage, comes closest to a traditional mystery since there is a murder. But even in this book, the love triangle is more the essence of the book than the mystery.

Scott:

I also dislike genre definitions. Who came up with them, anyway? And then, it seems that if you choose to write within one, the conventions of the genre can be limiting to the writer — especially if you listen too closely to the “beta reader” critics. When I posted a sample of my first book to one reading circle online, I got responses like “This is very well written, but it doesn’t ‘feel’ like YA fantasy to me.” Well, it wasn’t supposed to — I consciously tried to break the boundaries of genres.

When it comes to crossing genres, I hope to bring readers with me — to expose people who read strictly in one field to ideas from others.

Fred:

Who are some authors who have changed genres and brought readers with them? Stephen King comes to mind, but I’m guessing he had lots more readers for his horror classics than for the more recent books.

Scott:

Ray Bradbury never stayed within the science fiction genre, but redefined it to fit his stories. And one of my favorite Bradbury books is Dandelion Wine, which is definitely NOT s/f.

Fred:

That’s interesting. Afraid the only Bradbury I’ve read is Fahrenheit 451. But for me the question is: would the same readers read his sci-fi books and then go and read Dandelion Wine as well?

ScottScott:

I think they did. Bradbury had a unique and strong style, and that, I think, was part of the appeal. His readers were loyal. So when they saw another Ray Bradbury book — back in the days when publishers promoted their authors — readers reached for it.

Fred:

I think we’ve hit on a core question for readers of the blog, Scott, namely: can they think of any author they love whom they have followed into a different genre? Carl Hiassen also writes children’s books, but I said to myself, why bother? I don’t want to read children’s books by Carl Hiassen.

Scott:

You might, though, read one to your kids. That may have been Hiassen’s strategy, but I suspect that he just felt like writing a children’s story. And writers who do things like that may be the key to breaking down those artificial barriers between genres.

Let’s turn this discussion over to the readers, particularly those who prefer one or two genres over others: what would tempt you to read outside your favorite genre?

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UseThisScott Bury is an editor, journalist and author based in Ottawa, Canada. His books include One Shade of Red and The Bones of the Earth — both of which break the rules of two very different genres.

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Cheeseburgers and Literary Fiction by Shannon Mayer

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ShannonMayer

Shannon Mayer

Here’s the thing. Books are a heck of a lot like food. Books feed the brain, food feeds the body. Simple, right?

Take literary fiction.

According to research literary fiction should have literary merit . . . “standing the test of time, realistic characters, emotional complexity, originality, and concern with truth”

This is the stuff that Oprah endorses, and professors rave about, the books you are required to read in school. In other words, the Salad of the book world. Healthy, good for your brain, but sometimes, a little hard to swallow. The kind of food you have to force yourself to eat; you’ll appreciate it when you’re done. Truly.

BUT there are days that to eat a salad in all it’s healthy glory; well, you might as well ram it down your throat with a fork. Really, not fun. BUT, good for you, and that’s what matters right? That people see you being HEALTHY. Your friends say things like “Wow, what you’re reading, that is so deep, wise, brilliant.” Which makes you smile and feel like “Yes, I am getting smarter reading this, even if it takes me six months to get through half the book.”

On the other hand, you have genre fiction. The cheeseburger of the reading world. Think of Stephen King as the Big Mac of this genre and you have a good idea of what I’m talking about. Fast, addictive, and damn, we know it’s probably not the best on the calorie count, but we down them anyway, usually in multiples along with a hefty dose of fries.

This is the kind of food we all secretly crave, but when our snooty friends see us eating it, and they frown and whisper behind their hands, guilt rushes over us.

We should be better than this, we should have control of ourselves, only eat salad, forgo the juicy drippings of burger, cheese and condiments. #droolworthy

Hold on to your hats, I’m about to throw you a curve ball.

Genre fiction can surprise you. A cheeseburger can be tweaked. You can add avocado, bacon, mushrooms and a host of other things to make it MORE than just a cheeseburger. Lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and hot peppers bring the flavour to life! This is the equivalent of reading genre fiction with pizzaz, a romance with a moral and a dash of mystery, a horror with a warning for the world of what could be if we aren’t careful, an urban fantasy that makes us believe in more than what our eyesDarkFae1600x2400 can see and opens our hearts to the truth around us. That is the beauty of genre fiction, it can be a blending of flavours not found anywhere else.

On the other hand literary fiction, our salad—well, I have to say, I’ve never seen a burger patty sitting on top of a bed of lettuce. Sure, you can throw in some feta cheese or toasted pecans, but it just isn’t as healthy then, is it? Which, in my mind, is the point of literary fiction; to be good for us, to help us think more deeply and be more wise. Yada, yada, yada.

Literary fiction vs. genre fiction, for some people, there is no comparison. They love one or the other, and will never look back. That’s a shame, because “Variety is the spice of life” and without spice, life can be pretty damn boring. Why not have your salad and a cheeseburger? That, to me is the perfect combo. And here are a few books that fit that bill, a blend of genre and literary fiction that will whet your appetite and leave you fully satisfied!

Christine NolfiThe Tree of Everlasting Knowledge 

Micheal RiversMoonlight on the Nantahala

Toby NealBlood Orchids

Scott BuryBones of the Earth

 

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Shannon Mayer is the author of the bestselling urban fantasy Priceless which has sold over 20,000 copies in its first two months. On her down time, she hangs out on the farm coming up with ideas for her next books, herds old people to the local cribbage club, and in general makes a nuisance of herself.

 

You can find Shannon on Amazon  Facebook  Twitter  or of course on her Blog

 

 

Stop in Saturday, February 2 and meet Dawn Torrens, bestselling author of the inspiring blockbuster, Amelia’s Story.

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