I am joining other authors for a three-day COZY MYSTERY HOLIDAY TAKEOVER on Dec. 16-18. I’ll be hosting the event on Sunday, Dec. 18 from 3:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. EST! Stop by for some fun posts and a chance to win prizes! Here’s the entire line-up:
Silver Serenade On Sale
SILVER SERENADE, one of my earlier science fiction romances, is on sale in e-book format for $.99 for a limited time. I’m celebrating the upcoming Dec. 20 paperback release of my revised and updated edition.This title was originally published by Wild Rose Press and was named Best Book in Romantic SciFi/Fantasy at The Romance Reviews. Get your ebook copy on sale or pre-order the print version now.
Booklover’s Bench Giveaway
One More Day! Enter Now to win a free book at Booklover’s Bench
Join me TONIGHT for some fun posts & giveaways at 6:00 – 7:00 pm EST at https://www.facebook.com/groups/OrlandoReadsbooks Be sure to join this group ahead of time. I am being introduced tonight in an author takeover as a prelude to this conference next year.
Please join me for these exciting upcoming events. Be sure to stop by our Booklover’s Bench party tonight for fun and prizes. If you’d like to attend the writing workshop, register now!
Cozy up to Autumn Book Party TONIGHT online at 7:00 – 8:30pm Cozy Up to Autumn Book Party with Terry Ambrose, Nancy J. Cohen, Debra H. Goldstein, Cheryl Hollon, Diane A.S. Stuckart, Maggie Toussaint, and Lois Winston. Fun & Prizes!
Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm “Characters and Conflict” Writing Workshop with award-winning author Nancy J. Cohen via Zoom. Register Here.
How do you create memorable characters that readers will remember? In this workshop, award-winning author Nancy J. Cohen will discuss how to develop your protagonist and secondary characters, use dialogue, add conflict, and follow genre conventions in regard to plot. Examples of conflict as the engine that drives your story will be given. You will feel confident in being able to create your own main characters and devise subplots for the recurrent cast in a series.
Oct. 1 – 18 Booklover’s Bench Monthly Book Giveaway
Looking for some great new cozy mystery reads? Enter Now to Win 7 free books from Booklovers Bench in our 9th Anniversary Celebration Giveaway!
Here’s what you can win:
Lois Winston – Paperback (U.S. only) or ebook Revenge of the Crafty Corpse Nancy J. Cohen – Signed mass market paperback (U.S. only) Shear Murder Debra H. Goldstein – Paperback (U.S. only) or ebook Four Cuts Too Many Cheryl Hollon – Signed paperback (U.S. only) Draw and Order Diane A.S. Stuckart – Hardcover (U.S. only) Peachy Scream Maggie Toussaint – Paperback (U.S. only) or ebook Lindsey & Ike Mysteries, the Complete Novella Set Terry Ambrose – Paperback (U.S. only) or ebook Mystery of the Eight Islands
Dates to enter are Feb. 1-18 so get your entry in now. Bonus entries available! Check out our other features while on the site, such as our Let’s Talk weekly blog and On the Bench group posts.
When you’re writing a series, how do you know what comes next? Book One lays the groundwork, introducing the setting, characters, and premise for the entire series. How can the second book build on this beginning?
That depends on if your stories are more episodic or serial in nature. For whodunits, we’re more episodic with a different murder mystery to solve in each book. The crime is the focus of the plot, like exploring a new planet on each episode of Star Trek.
But this is only your main character’s external conflict. What about their internal angst? Here’s where you can introduce a serial element. By this, I mean an overarching thread that isn’t solved in book one. This thread deals with the protagonist’s struggle to overcome obstacles to achieve her ultimate personal goal. Each book should evolve from this core inner conflict.
In my Bad Hair Day series, hairstylist sleuth Marla Vail progresses in her dating life and matures to overcome past traumas and to embrace a happy future. But once your character fulfills her destiny, you’ll have to throw in another wrench to clog the wheels. This means that when one thread is tied up, you’ll need to introduce another source. Each story should evolve from the personal issues introduced in the previous story as well as any external problems that remain.
A romance series is more likely to feature spinoffs, or a new set of protagonists per book. These stories might take place in the same town or share a theme, thus adding a commonality. i.e. A missing object must be found or something bad will happen. Each book would then focus on the protagonists revealing a new facet to this mystery, perhaps leading to another clue. It would reflect on their inner journeys as well. This is in addition to whatever external conflict is affecting their relationship.
Or in a science fiction series, perhaps the evil galactic warlord must be stopped. The heroes have many adventures along the way, making friends and enemies as they seek to end the tyranny or to prevent a worse threat from emerging.
Think of Harry Potter. Readers know he’ll have to face Lord Voldemort someday. Meanwhile, he has other villains to defeat. Along the way, he has to find the courage and power to defeat his mortal enemy.
Your cast of secondary characters can provide plenty of opportunities for sequels based on their goals and conflicts and interaction with the protagonist. Give one a prominent role in the next story and focus on this person’s problems. Your hero gets involved because she cares about this character. She’s also grappling with some aspect of her own personal struggle to overcome.
It all goes back to the writing advice that your main characters must grow and change. What would normally happen next in this person’s life?
Enter Here June 23 – 29 to win up to 25+ Cozy Mystery eBooks and bonus paperbacks in this multi-author giveaway. My book, Shear Murder, is included!
Please join me at one of these upcoming online events. It would be great to see some friendly faces in the virtual crowd.
Monday, June 29, 4:00 pm – Chat with author Nancy J. Cohen
Nancy J. Cohen will discuss her cozy mysteries set in Florida with a touch of humor and a hint of romance via Zoom. Sponsored by National Council of Jewish Women Palm Beach as part of their “What’s in the Author’s Bag?” program. **Pre-registration and fee required. https://ncjwpalmbeach.org/whats-in-the-authors-bag/
Wednesday, July 8 at 3 p.m. Self-Publishing Made Simple with Nancy J. Cohen, a writing workshop sponsored by South Florida Book Festival Do you have a novel that doesn’t fit genre guidelines or a personal project you want to self-publish? Or perhaps you want to reissue backlist titles or become a hybrid author? In this workshop, award-winning author Nancy J. Cohen will discuss setting up your own imprint, buying and assigning ISBNs, preparing your manuscript, ebook and print distributors and marketing tips. Register here: https://broward.webex.com/broward/k2/j.php?MTID=t2837d4c885a368ab35e39866caaa2420
For more information about #SOFLOBOOKFEST go to www.sfloridabookfestival.com/2020
Wednesday, July 15 at 3 p.m.Blogging, Posting, & Tweeting Your Way to Success with Nancy J. Cohen, a writing workshop sponsored by South Florida Book Festival Blogging is a proven route to building followers. You can start even before you’re published by sharing your writing journey. Or perhaps you already have a blog but want to increase your subscriber list. How can you attract more followers? In this workshop, we’ll discuss how to get started blogging as well as useful techniques for Facebook and Twitter. Register here: https://broward.webex.com/broward/k2/j.php?MTID=t652b81d9202dca80961d83990b69b036
For more information about #SOFLOBOOKFEST go to www.sfloridabookfestival.com/2020
March is a busy month, so I’d like to acquaint you with where I will be and when so we can say hello if you’re attending any of these events. The library talks are free but advance reservations are requested. Saturday March 9, 12-12:45 pm, “Plotting Made Perfect” with Nancy J. Cohen, Room 235 at North Regional/BC Library, 1100 Coconut Creek Blvd, Coconut Creek, FL 33066. Are you stuck in the middle of your manuscript? A multi-published author will discuss character and conflict; plotting techniques; secrets, suspense and subplots; structure and pacing; and writing the smart synopsis. This workshop is part of “TELL YOUR STORY. IT’S YOUR WRITE!” on Saturday, March 9, 11:00 am to 5:00 pm at North Regional/BC Library, 1100 Coconut Creek Blvd, Coconut Creek, FL 33066. Panels, workshops, and onsite bookstore. The event features South FL residents James Grippando and Charles Todd. It’s free and open to the public. Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tell-your-story-its-your-write-tickets-54725085203 Wednesday, March 13th at 6:30 -7:30 pm, “Celebrate Women Authors: Local Authors Forum” with Marcia King-Gamble, Nancy J. Cohen, Debbie Reed Fischer, Traci Hall and Flora Doone at Lauderhill Central Park Library, 3810 Northwest 11th Place, Lauderhill, FL 33311.Come and join local women authors specializing in different genres as they discuss their experiences in writing and the publishing process. This event is in celebration of Women’s History Month. Sponsored by The Friends of the Lauderhill Central Park Library. Books will be available for purchase. Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/celebrate-women-authors-local-authors-forum-tickets-56650446009
Sleuthfest on March 14-17. Are you registered for this premier mystery writers’ conference in Boca Raton, FL? If not, there’s still time! Register Here: http://sleuthfest.com Friday, March 15, 9:50 – 11:00 am, “How-To Steps for Becoming a Hybrid Author” with Nancy J. Cohen. Introduction by David Wind. Martinique room. Saturday, March 16, 9:00 – 10:20 am, “Ending Your Book” with Susan Sussman, Charles Salzberg, and Nancy J. Cohen. Moderated by Lynette Austin. Bermuda room. Sunday, March 17, 9:00 am – 10:20 am, “Independent Publishing: Self-Publishing for the Professional” with David Wind, Nancy J. Cohen, and Tara L. Ames. Bermuda room. GIVEAWAYS Cozy Mystery Bonanza Choose from 40+ free cozy mysteries in a limited time giveaway, including a copy of my book HAIR RAISER. https://books.bookfunnel.com/cozymysterybonanza/b1nj1qfi4p Booklovers Bench Enter to win a free book from our Prize Vault at Booklovers Bench: https://bookloversbench.com/win-a-free-book-march-2019/