Nancy's Notes From Florida

Kennedy Space Center

August 8, 2022

Kennedy Space Center is a great place to visit if you’re a space program fan, like to observe space launches, or merely want to learn about our space-age achievements. We’d been there years ago and wanted to see the new attractions. Plus, all the recent launches had piqued our interest in the space program.

It took us an hour to get there from the Orlando area. We parked by the Visitor Complex and entered through the turnstiles. It wasn’t crowded in the morning, so we could stand in awe to see the rockets poised in the Rocket Garden beyond the entrance.

We skipped the Heroes & Legends pavilion to our left and walked briefly through the Nature & Technology building. This housed museum-type exhibits of the local environment. Up ahead was Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex. Inside the dark building were multiple space capsules and other displays. Upstairs was Spaceport, an immersive ride experience with four itineraries. We bypassed the line and headed instead for the Observation Port to view the films. It’s a good way to have the experience without the jostling motion. This building also has an IMAX theater.

 

 

 

We didn’t really want to watch any other movies, so we skipped the Universe Theater. I dipped into the Journey to Mars to view the different land rovers. Again, I passed by various interactive displays so we could move on.

Inside the Space Shuttle Atlantis building, we viewed a 12-minute movie before being allowed into the exhibit area. This film shows how the Space Shuttle came into being. There are several floors with displays and interactive exhibits plus a huge slide. If you like thrill rides, there’s also the Shuttle Launch Experience.

 

Another building called Planet Play is an indoor playground. It’s way cool for kids and has a seating area for adults to order drinks. A large globe circulating in a plaza with cascading water also attracted young children as did a Lego section.

Re dining, we ate at the Orbit Café that has a good selection of menu items. Other venues offer bistro bowls, hot dogs, ice cream and movie snacks.

It’s not possible to do everything in a day, especially if you want to sign up for any of the special experiences such as a bus tour of the complex or Chat with an Astronaut. But it was enough for us and re-inspired our awe of the space program. Now all we need are anti-gravity engines and warp drive.

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The First Draft of Your Novel is Finished – Now What?

July 29, 2022

Your book is not done just because you typed The End. Now begins the hard work of taking your raw material and honing it into a page-turning story. This will mean several rounds of revisions, intense reading sessions, and submitting to editors and beta readers for additional input.

This work happens before you prepare the book for publication, especially if you are self-publishing your novel. Regardless of the route you choose, you’ll still need to prepare a marketing plan.

What are the steps you’ll need to take next?

Here are some ideas from my list:

Complete Chapter Outline if you’re doing one.

Finish and/or Revise Synopsis.

Prepare a One-Page Synopsis (required by some writing contests).

Write tag lines and log lines.

Search Royalty-Free Photo Sites for pictures that illustrate your Suspects. Purchase these photos. Use them to embellish your character descriptions, to Start a Pinterest Story Board, or for a DIY book trailer.

Hire Cover Artist and look for visuals for cover art.

Hire Blurb Writer.

Make critique group spot corrections.

Begin full read-throughs at least twice.

Double check list of Loose Ends to make sure all are resolved.

Send to professional editor.

Create reader discussion guide.

Write launch party posts.

Compose book trailer text and match photos. OR hire someone to do a trailer if desired.

Do edits from editor.

Do another full read-through for continuity.

Send to beta readers.

Make more corrections.

Assign ISBNs and prepare copyright page if self-publishing.

Send to formatter.

Read through pdf for final corrections.

Set Pub Date.

Book a Launch Party (See https://www.facebook.com/NewReleaseParty/ for examples of posts).

Book a Blog Tour.

Prepare Metadata, Book Descriptions (Long & Short), Author Bio.

Upload to online distributors.

Book NetGalley co-op dates.

Query reviewers and send arcs via BookFunnel.

Write a page of Tweets and FB Posts.

This may simplify the Revision phase and the subsequent Marketing push, but it gives a general outline of what needs to be done. Obviously, if you are traditionally publishing your work, some of these steps may be omitted.

You've Finished the First Draft of Your Novel - Now What? #amwriting #writetip Click To Tweet

For more tips, read these previous posts:
12 Steps for Revising Your Novel
Preparing for a Book Launch

ON SALE

Pedicure Sale

July $0.99 Sale Ends Soon! Hairstylist and amateur sleuth Marla Shore solves a murder during a Fort Lauderdale beauty show. “If you want something lighthearted to pick up and just laugh, then this is great.” PERISH BY PEDICURE – Click Here to Get Your Copy 

 



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Transitions Can Be Tough

July 15, 2022

Transition scenes in a novel can be tough to write. These can serve your need to jump ahead in time, have your characters go from one place to another, or act as a bridge between action sequences.

It’s easy when you’re jumping ahead in time. You can leave a space break between paragraphs or start a new chapter to indicate that time has passed. To make things run smoother, you can include phrasing or a snippet of information from the previous section into the new one. Ditto when hopping from one place to the next. You can use a space or chapter break or try one of the techniques below.

Getting your hero from one piece of action to another can be trickier. You need to vary the pacing without boring the reader. Too many exciting scenes running together will become wearying as well as unrealistic. Think about what purpose you want this shift to serve. If you have difficulty, consider your sleuth’s Life Space. I talk about this in my guide, Writing the Cozy Mystery, which can help you plan your story’s structure.

To get inside your sleuth’s head, draw her Life Space. Start with a circle and write her name in it. Then add cartoon-like bubbles around her head. Inside of these bubbles, put her concerns at any given moment in time. This will provide insight into your character’s interests.

Use your character’s concerns to fill in the transitional pages. Here are some suggestions for your sleuth:

  • Mentally review the suspects
  • Catch up on phone calls
  • Visit with a friend or relative
  • Discuss progress with sidekick
  • Have a romantic interlude
  • Deal with personal issues
  • Bring in subplots
  • Reflect on goals
  • Do research related to case

Make sure your passage isn’t filled with mindless chatter, mundane chores, or a laundry list of to-do items. If your heroine is making her favorite slow cooker recipe, for example, have her stew over the suspects or talk about them to her friend over the phone. What happens in these scenes should lead fluidly into whatever comes next.

Writing Tip: Transitions Can Be Tough #writingcommunity #amwriting Click To Tweet

How do you deal with transitional scenes in your work?

ON SALE

Perish by Pedicure is on sale for 99 cents during July only! Click Here to Order

July Mysteries on SaleClick Here for List


GIVEAWAY

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Perish by Pedicure On Sale

July 1, 2022

Looking for a fun Beach Read or a new book for the holiday weekend? Grab a copy of PERISH BY PEDICURE on sale for only 99 cents! Limited time offer.

Salon owner Marla Shore finds herself fixing more than just hair at a Fort Lauderdale beauty show. When the much‑disliked director of Luxor Beauty Products is murdered, Marla jumps into sleuth mode. Suspects include her former college roommate, a pompous celebrity stylist, an ambitious company sales rep, and an aspiring hairdresser to the stars.

“Find your favorite beach chair and a tall glass of lemonade to enjoy another Marla Shore mystery amidst the fashionistas! The perfect read for a beach chair.” Nancy Martin, author of the Blackbird Sisters mystery series

Perish by Pedicure is filled with hair-splitting humor, unexpected nail-biting twists, and a bad hair week caused by former in‑laws while Marla cuts to the roots of the case.” Midwest Book Review

“Nancy J. Cohen leads readers into the world of beauty shows, where salon owner and amateur sleuth Marla Shore finds things more tangled than a model’s tresses.” Miami Herald

Perish by Pedicure is a suspenseful and enjoyable read… the perfect gift for your hairdresser.” Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore

“If you want something lighthearted to pick up and just laugh, then this is great.” Fashionable Maven

Amazon Kindle
Apple Books
Nook
Kobo
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Books2Read

If you enjoy the story, please leave a review at your favorite online bookstore.

PERISH BY PEDICURE is on sale for 99 Cents. Get your copy now! #mystery #beachread Click To Tweet

More July Mysteries on Sale!

Check out the full list here: https://books.bookfunnel.com/endsjuly31st_mtssales/1wnh2p92ik

 

Booklover’s Bench Giveaway

Enter Here July 1-18 to win a free book from Booklovers Bench in our monthly giveaway



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Party with the Authors

June 28, 2022

Cross-promotion with other authors is one of the best ways to increase exposure to new readers for your books while supporting your fellow writers. This can occur via group blogs, websites, contests, social media shares, and special events.

Summer Book Blast

Tonight’s party is an example of a Facebook event featuring several of our Booklover’s Bench members. We’ve each prepared a couple of posts with giveaways for our readers. We hope you’ll come and bring your friends.

Winning a book can introduce you to a whole new series. Look for these opportunities and jump in to participate when you see a multi-author event pop up on your screen. They’re fun to attend not only because of the giveaways, but also because you can learn about new authors who might interest you.

Meanwhile, join us TONIGHT at 7:00-8:00 pm EDT for a Summer Book Blast party with fun posts, prizes and giveaways at https://www.facebook.com/NewReleaseParty



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