Laurie Boris Wins Flash Fiction Challenge

Congratulations to Laurie, whose entry won this week’s Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge.

The voter-selected story is recognized with a special feature here today and wins a place in our 2014 Flash Fiction Anthology, which will be published as an e-book when this year’s challenges are completed.

Without further ado, here’s the winning story:

Continue reading “Laurie Boris Wins Flash Fiction Challenge”

Book Brief: A Fitting Place

A Fitting PlaceA Fitting Place
by Mary Gottschalk
Genre of this Book: Women’s Fiction
Word count: 86,071

In the wake of her husband’s desertion, Lindsey Chandler finds solace in a relationship that offers an intimacy Lindsey has never known.

Before long, she finds herself ensnared by the same destructive inter-personal dynamics that plagued her marriage. Because her new love is a woman, she is unable to blame her dilemma on traditional gender roles. Lindsey is forced to look in the mirror as she seeks to define what she wants from this—or any—relationship.

Freed from the straightjacket of societal notions of friend, wife, and mother, Lindsey calls on inner resources she never knew she had, as she sets out to build a new life for herself and her teenage daughter.

The premise of this psychological thriller is that opportunities for personal growth are greatest when you step outside your comfort zone. A Fitting Place is an uplifting story of the human potential we all have.

This book is available through Amazon. Continue reading “Book Brief: A Fitting Place”

After the Gold Rush

ProspectorI was talking with another author, DV Berkom, yesterday about indie publishing. Both of us wrote as staff of Indies Unlimited and both of us agreed on a major reality of self/indie publishing.

Namely, that there was a “Golden Age” when everything came together at once and it was a virgin New World ripe for the taking… but that’s changed.

A lot of the people whose advice we take on publishing–largely because we see their big successes as meaning they know what we should do–were very encouraging because of those successes, but it’s important to realize that the environment in which they achieved them is no longer the same. Some might even say, no longer exists. Continue reading “After the Gold Rush”

The Mean, the Bad, and the Ugly: Strategies for Dealing With Unfavorable Reviews

Fail-1Writers, being artsy types, require a certain level of emotional availability to render characters that seem real and relatable. That emotional availability can be difficult to turn on and off as we please or ought.

We invest a lot of ourselves into our books, and it can be hard to take when someone leaves a negative review. I know authors who fixate on a single one-star review out of fifty overwhelmingly positive reviews.

They over-analyze it, they dissect it, they obsess over it. Sometimes, it only takes that one dim little star to fill them with so much self-doubt and recrimination that they proclaim to the world that they give up. This is called a doubtburst. Okay, it’s not called a doubtburst. I just made that up, but I like it.

We’re supposed to draw from a deep emotional well so we can bring a tear to a reader’s eye when we write about the difficulties of being a sparkly werewolf, but we are supposed to be iron-skinned when a review calls our beloved sparkly werewolf stupid. That’s a tall order. But that’s real life. Writers need coping strategies for dealing with unfavorable reviews. Continue reading “The Mean, the Bad, and the Ugly: Strategies for Dealing With Unfavorable Reviews”