Author Success—The Laws of Sowing & Reaping

Definitely a post that bears reblogging.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Life has many irrefutable truths. One? We get out of life what we put into it. We will get out of our writing what we invest. We cannot expect large returns from a social media platform if we rely on robots (automation) and connect randomly and half-heartedly. Social media is about relationships and being fair-weather friends has limited effectiveness.

Sure, there are flukes, people who run face-first into blind luck. But, one thing I’ve learned is the harder (and smarter) I work, the “luckier” I get ;).

When we take hold of a dream, we are assigned a sort of spiritual plot of land. Depending on the dream will depend on the plot. If we want to grow fresh peaches for our family, we don’t need a thousand acres. But, if we wish to make a living as a peach grower? We’ll have much more land and work ahead.


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Why haven’t I been posting lately?

The short answer? I hate my website. Funny how big an impact that can have, right? Oh, I have plenty of other excuses: how busy I am, how over-committed I am right now, how I’m madly prepping my other pen name for a big blog tour next month. But the real issue is when I signed up for this website/domain name, I didn’t notice the difference between Word Press dot org versus dot com. The dot org site, which I use under my other pen name, allows me to add all sorts of useful plug-ins–such as Facebook and Twitter ‘like’ and ‘share’ buttons, and the ability to customize my banner, add pictures to my sidebar, etc.

I find Word Press dot com much more limiting. Yes, I can follow other people and reblog their posts, much as I can from tumblr and other social media sites. If I wasn’t planning to make this my official website as a published author, that would be fine. But I prefer the flexibility that the plugins offer in the dot org version.

The other reason I haven’t been here much is because Madison Dean doesn’t have a lot to say right now. I’m busy working hard as my other writing persona to promote a new release–I have as yet to write anything under the Madison Dean name yet. But I have plans for 2015, just you wait and see. In the meantime, have a random cat picture. 🙂

Yes, there is more to me than just cats. (There are horses and dogs, too) And stories. Lots of stories. I just need more time to write.


Tired of me reblogging other people’s posts? Me too, actually. But this is a good one and I’m juggling a full plate right now. Stay tuned for more from me in the future though!

Kristen Lamb's Blog

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WANACon was a huge success, thanks to the tireless efforts of many amazing WANAs coupled with gutsy presenters and courageous attendees. Everyone was so brave trusting that WANA could really reinvent the conference experience, and I am immensely grateful for everyone’s work, faith and trust.

But I am always growing, learning, and reaching to go higher. Right now, I am slap-happy tired, but I wanted to take a moment to talk about something very important (before I fall asleep and forget, LOL).

How BADLY do you want the dream?

Since launching my business a year ago, I have grown so much. A lot of that growing, frankly, SUCKED. It hurt.

When we reach for bigger things, we are tested. We find out a lot about who we really are, and sometimes what we see is less than pretty. In fact, it can be downright embarrassing. Pressure reveals cracks, weaknesses, and…

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This post is definitely worth sharing! I often find myself surprised that reader expectations are not my own, something I need to work on!

Kristen Lamb's Blog

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As you know, we are ramping up for the very first Worldwide WANACon! Enjoy a conference experience that’s as close to the real thing as possible. Technology now gives us the ability to meet top tier publishing professionals face to face, real-time and from the comfort of home. Finally! A conference you can attend in your PJs. Learn from the best in the industry, pitch agents, and socialize. It’s now all here in one place.

I was fortunate to meet Joel at Thrillerfest this past summer, and I was just blown away by his knowledge, his energy and his personality. That was why he made my premium list of WANACon recruits. Not only does he have experience as an editor, but he’s also worn agent shoes and now is an author as well. Who else better to help us explore what great books really look like?

Today, we are highlighting…

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Hah. Something I’ve suspected all along… 🙂

Canadian Writer

"Facebook author pages (like this one of mine) are a waste of time" Mary W. WaltersWorse, it’s probably turning off many of your on-line friends.

After being told for several years by every guru in the business (most of them styled as “social media experts”) that as a writer I must focus my attention on self-promotion through social media, I now consider myself to have become a social media expert myself — at least when it comes to matters writerly.

And I am telling you that those other social-media experts (and the publishers that parrot them) are full of crap. When it comes to book promotion, your time is far better spent on other kinds of marketing activities, or even in writing your next novel, than it is being anywhere on social media.

For about five years I have read books, blog posts, articles and tweets on the subject of book marketing and networking, and I have Facebooked and Tweeted and LinkedIned until my smile…

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I have a good reason for reblogging this post today: this is something I struggle with A LOT. In the beginning, I wrote. I wrote by myself for my own enjoyment. Then I discovered fanfiction archives and I began posting to them. Before I knew it, I’d joined some online communities and had made friends, all while building an online following by accident.

The overwhelmingly positive feedback gave me the courage to submit my stories to a publisher (under another name at this time) and voila! I am an established writer with six or seven titles to my credit.

Slowly, however, due to the observations, recommendations, and advice of people in the know, I began to spend more time in social forums than writing. I’m on chat lists, and Facebook. Twitter, tumblr, and Pinterest. I have several blogs and multiple websites. And while I don’t discount the value of social media, I do think in some cases, it turns into a deadly distraction and a disabling crutch.Because it is *easy*. It’s easy to fritter away several hours of your precious free time in the name of ‘catching up’ and ‘getting your name out there.’ For social networking to work, you have to be social–you have to chit-chat, and comment on other people’s blogs, and like their Facebook posts. Which is all fine and well–I enjoy that most of the time. But it has become terribly easy to use this as an excuse not to do the harder job of writing. More and more I find myself generating posts that require dialog to the exclusion of finishing the next story. Blame it on the short attention span that the internet fosters, or the addictive nature of our smart phones, or the fact that anyone who works 50-60 hours a week is going to have a hard time mustering the energy to write when they get home at night. What is boils down to is that sometimes, we need to shut off the browser and just *write*. That is our biggest selling tactic after all.

Besides, I miss the days when I couldn’t wait to get home to work on the next chapter…

Argh. I’ve tried 3 times to correct the spacing issues on this post, but apparently you cannot do that when you post your thoughts at the tail end of someone else’s reblog. *sigh* My apologies for the wall of text.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Last week, we talked about some causes and fixes for being overwhelmed.  Unrealistic goals and overcommitment are two major offenders. Today, we talk about how to tackle what we have to do.

How Do You Eat An Elephant? One Bite At a Time

One major mistake we make when creating lists of goals or things to do is we frequently make the bite too big. What happens if we do that when eating a steak? We choke. Same with tasks. Look at your goals and then break them into the smallest pieces possible. This makes it far less daunting to tackle and will give you a greater sense of accomplishment.

Write AMAZING BLOG and get a BAZILLION followers!

Great goal, but needs to be broken down into about 50 parts..okay, maybe 100. A lot of what I do in my blogging class is help you gather content and building…

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Another great blog post I ran across today–how important covers are to the genre!

Theo Fenraven

Special Note: This cover has still not posted to Amazon as of this writing. I am told it is under review.

See what I mean about prudish Americans? There is no ass cleavage, there is no dick, there isn’t even any real physical detail (can’t see nipples!), yet the image is under review. I think they’re seeing shit that isn’t there.

However, ARe and Barnes & Noble posted it and I haven’t heard anything back from them about it being unacceptable. I have no further comment on the matter.

Update: Amazon posted the cover. 🙂


Nearly everyone who’s read Precog tells me they like/love it. But it’s not selling well. I would like to make sure it reaches as many people as possible, and not just because it makes me money. I write for myself first, but I write for you next. I love it when new people find me…

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I promise not to keep merely reblogging Kristen Lamb’s posts, but this one is a good one and it really resonated with me. 🙂 Well worth reading, and made me realize I needed to tweak a character’s too-early acceptance of his situation in the current WIP.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

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I grew up in a nightmare. Yes, we were that family. Drama, fights, threats, suicide attempts, break ups, make ups, then wash, rinse, repeat. I’m not that person anymore and we are no longer that family. We’re healthy. We love, laugh and there’s never a raised voice. We value peace, and peace is wonderful in life.

In fiction, it’s death.

As an artist, sometimes my domestication scares me.

I listen to all kinds of music. I have everything from Pavarotti to Coltrane to Ozzy to Eminem on my iPod. I think that’s because real music, great music is easy to recognize whether its in the form of an aria, a riff or a rap. When I was on Whitbey Island someone mentioned how poetry has really suffered in modern years, but I disagree. I think its changed forms if we are willing to be open-minded. I believe rap is a…

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I follow Kristen Lamb’s blog because I think she has a lot of great things to say about writing and using social media as your tool, not your excuse. I don’t agree with *everything* she says, but I’ve learned a lot. She made most of the same mistakes I made in the beginning, and as I set out this time in a new writing venture, I hope to learn from her advice and not repeat them!

Kristen Lamb's Blog

We have already discussed four enemies of the art–Approval Addiction, Psychic Vampires, F.E.A.R, and pride. What I find so fascinating is how all of these enemies seem to link together, forming a net that can ensnare us, trapping our muse and strangling her. When we are addicted to approval, we are far more likely to tolerate Psychic Vampires. Psychic Vampires feed off drama, conflict and misery and one of their favorite weapons is F.E.A.R. These types of people love using fear. Why? Because as humans we are wired to combat fear, and Psychic Vampires use this to their advantage.

When we are upset, our brains default to limbic mode—fight or flight. Unfortunately, we can’t operate in the primal brain and the higher thinking centers at the same time. This means that, in the reptile brain, we are prone to making dumb decisions. If a Psychic…

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Introducing Madison Dean!

Writer person

Hello! If you’re just stopping by for the first time, let me introduce myself! Madison Dean is the pen name of an established writing in another genre, who has decided to dip a toe into new waters.  As such, I felt it necessary to create a new platform, so that readers who chose to read only one genre or the other, can easily keep my total body of work separate.

Why did I decide to switch fields? Well, as much as l love my current genre, I’ve been itching to try my hand at writing romance stories with a strong heroine that would neither make me roll my eyes or want to slap her silly within the first 20 pages. You know the type: the one who is completely unconscious of her stunning beauty, never has to worry about what she eats or how much exercise she gets, and has the most amazing lavender eyes… She also repeatedly, out of a need to exert her independence and pluckiness, does very stupid things, which necessitates her rescue by a cookie-cutter personality, former Seal, ex-cop, motorcycle riding bad boy with permanent six-pack abs. Um, no.  If that’s what you’re looking for, you’re probably not going to find it in one of my stories.

Don’t get me wrong–I like smart, savvy, sophisticated, sexy women. You’re probably going to hear me talk about characters like Kate Beckett of Castle, Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson of The Closer, Peggy Carter of Captain America, and El Burke of White Collar. I’m going to post pictures of boots, and clothes that I like (OMG, I can just see my Pinterest account unfolding now…), and makeup tips I run across. I have dogs, cats, and horses–you will probably see a lot of pictures along these lines. I’m also going to whine about having to go Gluten-Free and rant about the erosion of women’s rights in the US at this time.

And I am going to write stories about heroines that I would like to emulate and heroes that I would respect in the morning. Because I’m all about the hot sex too. So if you like stories that are a spicy combination of sexual tension, personal conflict, passionate sex, layered plots, unexpected twists, a dash of humor, and a happily ever after ending, then you’ve come to the right place.