What’s New on SLPerryman.com and What’s to Come


Over the last week I have been working on this site adding new content.

If you look in the menu section you will see a few new additions to the site. My goal is to continue adding new content to the site over the next month or so.

So what’s New?

Aspiring Authors– I was an aspiring author not too long ago. I understand the confusion and unbelievable amount of information you have to learn when first starting out. I created this page to compile all of the information and resources I have found useful into one easily accessible place for anybody who aspires to someday become a published author.

Downloads– This page is a sub-page for aspiring authors. Here you will find handy printables to help you on your journey to publication. You will find everything from fill-in-the-blank Outline Sheets for your next project to help make your ideas flow smoothly, to checklists, and even printable Book Promotion Site Lists. I will continue adding new printables to the page as time goes on so check back regularly or sign up to my email list to be notified when there are updates made.

Winners Circle– This page is dedicated to my giveaways and the winners of the giveaways. Each time I host a giveaway I will post an announcement on the welcome page, blog, as well as in the Winners Circle. If I have multiple giveaways going at the same time they will all be listed in the Winners Circle together.

Store- You will notice that the store tab has moved but is still live so if you want to make purchases you still can.*

*More things to come.

What’s to come?

Realms Merchandise-Very soon you will be able to purchase The Realms Series apparel. I am working on getting some Realms Creature Plushies made as well as some surprises. More on that at a later date.

Free Book when you sign up to my mailing list offer– Very soon I will be offering a Free eBook when you subscribe to my mailing list. If you are already subscribed you will automatically receive the free book when it goes live.

Print and Audio book availability– In the next few months Sapphire’s Destiny will be available to purchase in audio book and paperback formats through the Store. Keep your eye out for the announcement.

Book Promotion Newsletter– Soon you will be able to sign up to receive special emails with Free or Discounted Book Deals. These emails will be sent out once DAILY with new deals every day. Current Newsletter Subscribers keep and eye on your mailbox for the Launch Announcement.

If you have any questions please leave them in the comments below.

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Bad Reviews Suck! How to deal with Negative Nancy’s.


Dear Aspiring Authors, This post is for you.

You see, when you are first starting out writing you are struck with this idea which you think is amazeballs!

You spend hundreds of hours thinking about this idea and hundreds more creating this imaginary world and it’s characters. Then, after slaving away for months or even years, you release this beast unto the world expecting it to be nothing  less than a New York Times Best Seller.

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You’ve edited your manuscript to perfection and you’ve enlisted dozens of beta readers and reviewers who have all raved about your story.  You spent hundreds or thousands of dollars on a beautiful cover, amazing blurb, and done a ton of research before you set your masterpiece free. 

The book goes live and you ride the waves of ecstasy as the sales and Amazon Ranking climb. You may throw a release party or you may invest in promotions; either way you’re looking at a decent first paycheck. You’re thinking “Wow, if this continues I’ll be able to quit my day job and take up writing full time within the month!”

And then your first review comes in.

You’re shocked because it’s not a raving 5 star review like all of those beta readers and reviewers said your book was. You become angry as you read this person’s scathing words about your baby. You gasp in shock as this person you don’t know tears your baby to shreds and throws away the pieces. They point out every flaw that was missed, every plot hole that slipped through the cracks, and then go on to insult your writing ability.

“How dare they!”

Then you become angry for a whole different reason. You send a nasty emails to your editor, betas, and reviewers berating them for missing things. You consider removing your book from sale, throwing the hard copy in the grill, and lighting it on fire. Finally, you consider giving up writing all together.

Right now your probably thinking “Wow, talk about melodramatic!”

The sad thing is, this has actually happened before. There have been author who completely gave up on their dream because of a couple bad reviews.

I’m here to tell you that you need bad reviews!

That’s right, I said it! You need bad reviews. Lift your jaw off the floor and listen up.

Bad reviews are essential to your career. A good, bad review will point out all of the flaws in your writing and tell you what the readers want more of. These types of reviews are critical to making your stories everything that the readers want.

You may have written the story for yourself but let’s be honest, the readers are the ones that are going to pay your bills. You need to give them what they want or you will be writing your next novel from a cardboard box under a bridge somewhere.

Every great book has at least one bad review!

Don’t believe me? Go onto amazon and look up the Harry Potter books. Rowling sold millions of copies or the book and millions more copies of the movies. Yet each one of the books in the series has multiple bad reviews.

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Harry potter and the Sorcerers Stone: 12, 061 reviews, 176 of them 1 star!
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Harry Potter and  the Order of the Phoenix: 7,783 reviews, 180 of them 1 star!

Fifty Shades Series? Same! Yet those were turned into movies too.

 

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50 Shades of Grey: 66,325 reviews, 10,158 of them 1 star!

Just because you get a bad review doesn’t mean that the book is bad, it just means that it wasn’t right for that reader.

My very first review was a 3 star and said the book was boring! (see image below) I took it in stride though and decided to use the criticism constructively and write a post for my writers group  on Facebook Authors Alley : Where Authors Come to Network.

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Sapphire’s Destiny Actual review. Though it got a 3 star review right away, my book went on to get multiple 5 star reviews after!

“So I got my first official amazon review today and I’m really happy with it 🙂 It was a 3 star review (before you ask why I would be happy with a 3 star review let me explain).

First, it’s a legitimate unbiased review of my book from someone I don’t know. Second 3 stars tells me that 1) the book was good enough to finish but 2) could use improvements. For my very first book, to me that is an excellent sign. It means that I’m doing well but have room to grow.

Next, they said the book didn’t have enough action and when there was action, it was short lived. This tells me that readers want more action and that they want the action scenes to be longer (totally doable I might add).

Then they said that a lot of things were left unexplained and that they will be reading the next book to see if they get explained. This tells me that the hook worked, that I need to answer some questions in book 2 (already planned to), and that I’ve pretty much already sold a book before it’s out.

I love these types of reviews, they tell you so much in so little words that help you become a better writer and make your writing more enticing.”

See what I did there?

I read the review, picked out the critical feedback, and turned it into information I can use for future books!

 

You can avoid getting bad reviews by targeting the specific audience your book would do well with. This is called Niche Targeting. Of course investing in a great editor, proofreader, and getting strangers to beta read your manuscript helps a lot but sometimes that’s not enough.

My advice to you?

Read each review but ignore the ones that are just trolling. If the review doesn’t contain anything useful then ignore it. The reviewer may have just been having a bad day or is just a negative person. If you are getting lots of 1 star reviews then step back and really take a good look at your book.

Use the bad reviews as a writers guide.

Take note of each of the issues that are pointed out and fix your manuscript. You can republish it with the new changes, unfortunately you won’t be able to remove those bad reviews unless you take the original down and republish the book as a second edition.

All in all, just enjoy the process! You can’t please everyone! If you are happy with the book then ignore the haters and write the next book. Maybe your first book wasn’t for everyone but maybe your next one will be!

What is the worst review you’ve gotten? Do you have any advice for new authors about dealing with bad reviews?

Post your responses in the comments below!

 

Samantha Warren-Author Interview


Today’s Featured Author Interview is  Samantha Warren; author of  the Jane Series, the Alaesha Legacy series, and the TRK series.Samantha Warren
Names and dates of published novels?

I have over 20 books available which is entirely too many to list here! You can find all of them on my website www.samantha-warren.com. Here are three as an example.

Vampire Assassin (Jane #1)

The Third Key (The Alaesha Legacy, #1)

The Iron Locket (TRK #1)

What genre and subgenres do you write in?

I write Speculative fiction. So far I have horror, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, fantasy, sci-fi steampunk, and now YA dystopian
How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing since 2010.
What made you want to be a writer and have you always wanted to write?

I found National Novel Writing Month and decided to give it a try. I was hooked.
Who are your favorite authors?

JK Rowling and Jonathan Maberry
What was the first piece of fiction that you fell in love with?

I’ve been reading since I was a kid. Some of the books I loved then were Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Ronia the Robber’s Daughter, Riddle at Pencroft Farm, and The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle.
What do you enjoy most about writing?

That varies depending on my mood, which is why I write such a wide range of things.
How long did it take to write your first/last novel?

I wrote my first novel in 3 months. My most recent one I wrote in about 3 weeks.
What are three words that you would choose to describe your writing style?

Fun, weird, easygoing
Are your characters inspired by real life people or do you make them up 100%?

I think all characters have a little piece of the author in them somewhere. They’re either who we want to be, or what we fear.
What sort of mood or feelings did you hope to convey to your readers with your latest work?

That it doesn’t matter where you came from. You can be who you want to be.
Can you tell us a little bit about the main character of your most recent novel.

Kinley is a 15-year-old who has lived most of her live in the zombie apocalypse. She has a twin brother Kincaid and isn’t quite sure what she wants to do with her life.
How do you go about building an antagonist?

My antagonists tend to grow organically, as the story forms. I don’t always have one in mind when I’m starting.
Can you describe for us your writing process?

As much as I try to make a schedule, I’m definitely a binge writer. I’ll do nothing for a month, then bust out a novel in 3 weeks.
What kinds of activities do you enjoy besides writing?

I like to read, of course. And I’m a big fan of coloring books. I also volunteer for the local 4-H.
Do you ever need to escape from writing? What do you do to get away?

Not usually. Usually I need to escape TO writing.
What is the hardest part for you as an author and what would you say is the easiest?

The hardest parts for me are the first draft and the marketing. The easiest is the formatting. Formatting is a piece of cake.
Do you have any author pet peeves?

When someone thinks they know the ‘right’ way to do it. There is no right way. There is only your way.
Any authors that you feel directly inspired you, your works, or your style?

JK Rowling, Jonathan Maberry, Chuck Wendig. I’m sure there are many others that I can’t think of off the top of my head.
Would you say that you were good at english in highshcool?

If not, what were you good at? I was good, but I found it boring.
Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, what are some ways that you overcome it?

I don’t believe in writer’s block. To me, it’s just a lack of motivation. Sometimes I have a REALLY hard time working through it, but the only true solution is to just write.
Are there any current projects that we can look forward to?

Zombie Juice is heading to Kindle Scout very soon. I’ll let you know when it’s there.
What are your long-term goals as a writer?

I eventually want to be able to attend conferences and whatnot and speak and teach others.
Are you planning any spin-off novels?

I have some already, for the Jane series.
What advice would you give to your younger self?

Just do it and who cares what anyone thinks.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Also, just do it and who cares what anyone thinks.
Are there any other interesting things that you would like your readers to know?

I love you all! You’re the reason I write!
How can your readers find out more about you and your books?
FB: http://www.facebook.com/authorsamanthawarren
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/_samanthawarren
Website: http://www.samantha-warren.com

Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/Samantha-Warren

Martine Lewis-Author Interview


Today’s featured author interview :Martine Lewis; Author of Crossing the Barrier- a contemporary young adult romance.martine lewis

 

 

 

 

What are the names and dates of  your published novels?

Crossing the Barrier – The Gray Eyes Series – Book One was published on March crossing the barrier by martine lewis22, 2016

What genre/subgenres do you write in?

I write upper Young Adult Contemporary Coming-of-Age Romance with a touch of Paranormal.

How long have you been writing?

I began to write when I was 11 years old. I use to write ban-fiction and fan-fiction. I wrote one original story in high school, but it was my only original work before this series.

What made you want to be a writer and have you always wanted to write?

I have always considered myself a writer, but, I never thought I would publish anything. If anything, when my sister asked, I always told her that I did it for fun and was too lazy to create my own world. Well, not anymore… I think she’s the major reason why I finally ventured to create my own universe.

Who is your favorite author?

I have many but, I want to say Cambria Hebert is my favorite. I love her #hashtag series.

What was the first piece of fiction that you fell in love with?

It’s been too long… Maybe Mercedes Lackey, her first Valdemar trilogy… It’s been way too long…

What do you enjoy most about writing?

I enjoy talking about people who fascinate me, taking the time to get to know them, and telling their stories.

How long did it take to write your first and how long to write the last novel?

Usually, I can write a 95,000 words in a month. I use challenge months such as the National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo), Camp Nano, and Junowrimo to complete my first drafts, and off months to plan and edit. It works for me to have the pressure of a challenge in order to obtain a good word count by a certain date. I think my first draft is by far the easiest part to write. I once wrote a 100,000 words fan-fiction beginning to end in 10 days… But I was never able to repeat that feat!

What three words would you choose to describe your writing style? Energetic, fun, but also angsty.

Are your characters inspired by real life people, or do you make them up 100%?

Lily was made up. The idea of Malakai came from my looking at a particular player from the high school football games I attend. But Malakai’s character is completely different and he doesn’t play the same position so that’s where the similarity stops.

What sort of mood or feelings did you hope to convey to your readers with your latest work?

Things may be dark, but they won’t stay dark forever.

Can you tell us a little bit about the main character of your most recent novel?

Lily is a band member with a secret. Malakai is a football player who is rather lonely. Both have issues at home but very different ones. They fall in love and have to face their issues in order to grow and come into their own.

How do you go about building an antagonist?

I don’t really “build” them. They actually come to me and tell me I need to write their stories. It’s unsettling sometimes. That’s how my second series was born. A minor character of my book (who didn’t make the cut!), jumped out of the page and screamed at me to write her story. She came fully developed and all… She hasn’t told me all of her story yet, just some of the background. I think she’s mad that I told her she would have to wait a few years before I can get to her.

What is your writing process?

Usually, a first draft is one month. Then I let the draft sit for at least one month before coming back to it for a first revision. If it’s good enough (which it rarely is), I send it to my legal reviewer and my betas. If it’s not good enough, it sits for another month then receives a second round of revision before going to legal review and betas. When I get it back, I take one month to review it then I send it to development editing. After development editing (usually 2 months – one for my editor, one for me), I send it to copyediting. Copyediting is two rounds of comments from my editor and takes about 2 months of back and forth. Then it’s proofreading with a second editor, and that is also two rounds and take about 45 days. During that time, my cover artist works on the cover. Once it’s all done, I create the the paper copy layout and then the eBooks.

What do you do when you aren’t writing?

Rollerskate. Yeah, even at my age, I still do.

Do you ever need to escape from writing, if so, what do you do to get away?

I drive… well, it’s not really an escape. It’s when I can figure out my plot issues. Real escape…. Mmmmhhh, rollerskating is one.

What is the hardest part for you as an author? What do you consider the easiest?

Grammar and finding the right word is the hardest part. English is my second language after all. I also struggle with show/tell. Characterization is probably the easiest part.

What is your biggest pet peeve as an author?

Pen color! Even on my white board… Everything needs to follow a certain order of color.

Are there any authors that you feel directly inspired you, your works, or your style?

Cambria Hebert is definitely one of them.

Would you say that you were good at English in high school? If not, what were you good at?

I was okay at everything; even English. I wasn’t the best student ever (I had stuff to write after all), but I was doing all right.

Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, what are some ways that you overcome it?

Yes, I do. They last for years. Before, I would just wait for it to go away. After all, I was writing fan-fiction so keeping a schedule wasn’t important. Now, I just hope I don’t get one! I don’t know how I would manage it.

Any current projects that we can look forward to?

The Gray Eyes Series is a series of six books; the first in the series is now available. I plan on releasing one book  every six months. After that series, there are two others planned.

What are your long-term goals as a writer?

After The Gray Eyes Series is over, I am planning on starting on my second six book series, The Blue Eyes Series, then move on to my third series, The Green Eyes Series. I currently have a five-year schedule that covers the first two series.

Are you planning any spin-off novels?

Not so much a spin-off novel as spin-off content which will be available for free on the website, to my newsletter subscribers.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Don’t give up. Don’t listen to mom. Keep on writing.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Don’t give up. And when you’re ready, seek help and advice. There are so many good writers groups on Facebook. Join a few and ask for help. Writers are generous people, they will help you if you ask.

Are there any other interesting things that you would like your readers to know?

I have all sorts of things coming up the pipeline. Please join my newsletter to keep informed.

How can your readers find out more about you and your books? 

Website: www.martinelewisauthor.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/martinelewisauthor

Twitter: www.twitter.com/authorMartine

Instagram: www.instagram.com/martinelewisauthor

Goodreads author page: www.goodreads.com/martinelewisauthor

Amazon author page: www.amazon.com/author/martinelewis

Kindle Unlimited- How it works and why you should finish the books you start.


So I don’t know how may of you guys have a Kindle Unlimited membership, but for thoseKU-retail-lp_KindleCards._CB292599245_ of you who do, Sapphire’s Destiny is free on Kindle Unlimited.

For those of you who don’t have a membership, I highly recommend it if you read a lot of books like I do. At $9.99 per month, it’s not that expensive and you can borrow quite a few books at the same time. As an added bonus, you can try Kindle Unlimited Free for 30 days. That way you can make sure you like it before you pay anything!

If you don’t know how Kindle Unlimited works for us authors, let me explain. When you borrow a book, the author gets paid for each page that you read. Right now I think it’s about half a cent per page, so if you don’t finish the whole book the author only gets paid for the pages you read and not the ones after you stop.

So let’s say you borrow a book that has 300 pages but stop reading it after 150 pages. The author would make roughly $0.75. If you finished the whole book, the author would get roughly $1.50.

You can say thank you to all authors, whether you liked the book or not, by skipping all the way through the book. It doesn’t cost you anything extra for finishing any of the books you borrow and the authors will be paid for their hard work.

If you didn’t like the book, you can always skip to the end and leave an honest review explaining what was wrong with it. We authors are notified of every review and most of us read them all. We use your reviews and critiques to make our writing better.

In conclusion, Kindle Unlimited is deffinately worth the money. Remember to show authors some appreciation by finishing the books you borrow in KU and leaving an honest review.

If you don’t have the Kindle App for your smart phone, tablet, or other smart device (android, iphone, or other device) you can get the Free Kindle App Here.

Book review: Breeder by Casey Hays


Up until a few weeks ago I had never heard of Author Casey Hays

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or her books, that is until a Facebook group I am a member of ran a HUGE celebration in which dozens of Dystopian authors joined in the fun and ran a bunch of giveaways.

I can’t say no to a giveaway of anything, so naturally, I entered into everyone of them I could not expecting to win anything. You can imagine how surprised I was to be tagged in multiple winners posts. It turns out I had won quite a few Ebooks; including Breeder by Casey Hays.

To say I was a bit skeptical about reading it is an understatement. The book was so far out of my normal realm that i had to give it some serious thought as to whether or not to read it. I normally stick to Adult fantasy novels, erotica, and supernatural books; all of which Breeder is not!

The books only saving grace was an intriguing description and the fact that it was free to me.

Arrows Flight book 1 : Breeder ♥♥♥♥♥

♦Nestled within the folds of a war-torn and ruined world, there lies a village. It has no name; it is full of secrets.
Its women survive because they seem to have found a remedy for war; its men survive because the women let them. They all survive because Fate allows it.
Kate never thought much about Fate until she decided not to believe in it anymore. Destined to become a breeder, she wakes up on her sixteenth birthday determined to defy this duty at all cost. It is a heavy price. For her open rebellion, Mona, the Village counsel leader, drags her to the Pit and forces her to confront her mate for the first time.
He is not what Kate expected.
Despite Mona’s fierce punishments for Kate’s disobedience, the tug of her heart grows stronger; it beckons her away from this life and lures her toward the truth about herself, about her village, and about the boy assigned to be her mate.
The questions bring her hope… but the answers?
They terrify her.

Now upon reading the books description I had flash backs of a book I once read in junior high called The Giver, which was also about a post-war world that was supposed to be a Utopia but had some extremely dark secrets, and I initially wondered if maybe Breeder was in fact a spin off of The Giver. It’s not but they do share many of the same elements and Breeder turned out to be so much more than just another YA Dystopian novel.

After reading Breeder, which is free on Amazon, I fell in love with the series and went on to read the second installment; The Archer, which continues the story and delves deeper into the mysterious Boys of Eden- a modernized city in a destroyed world.

Arrow’s Flight book 2 The Archer: ♥♥♥♥♥

The bridge between Kate’s primitive village and Ian’s contemporary world is long and wide. Due to a horrifying event that ends in her self-imposed banishment, Kate finds herself at the mercy of Ian and his friends–the boys of Eden with their unnatural abilities and dark secrets. Kate has no idea if life outside the Village exists, but Ian promises her she will have a future in Eden if she will trust him. With Diana by her side, she takes the first step in faith.

The journey is harsh, full of relentless rainstorms, illness, clandestine troublemakers . . . and no sign of another village. Kate begins to doubt her decision to leave everything she’s ever known behind. When Diana’s daughter, Tabitha, is struck with a sickness that forces Ian to leave them behind and go for help, Kate’s hopelessness soars. But quiet and confident Justin takes the reins in Ian’s absence, and Kate feels a subtle bend toward him. Only then do the secrets surface, leaving Kate in a miserable state of shock as her faith in Ian falters.

Meanwhile, inside the modernized walls of Eden, Ian must face horrific truths about the source of his superhuman qualities. Truths that will test whether Kate can ever trust him again.

As for Kate, will entrusting her heart to a boy from Eden place her in graver danger than ever before? Will Eden finally be enough? Or will her heart continue to ache for something greater?

After reading the first two books I must say I am hooked! I am twiddling my thumbs waiting to read the third book in the series Master because book two killed me with its enormous cliffhanger! I just have to wait until payday. Until then, no spoilers in the comments please!

Author Interview: Jennifer Larmar


 Jennifer Larmar – Australian Author

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Author Jennifer Larmar

Name?

I write using my pen name, Jennifer Larmar, which also happens to be my maiden name.
Names and dates of published novels?

I have written a series of novels entitled Til the End of Time, with Volume 1, Silken Images, being published on December 23, 2013 and Volume 2, Fractured Symphony on April 30, 2014. Since then I have published an extended version of Silken Images which was first made available for sale on Amazon shelves on August 14th, 2014. Both novels will soon be available at selected bookstores around Australia.
What genre or sub-genres do you write in?

The genre that best suits my story lines is contemporary fiction or contemporary romance, primarily geared towards a mature female audience, although I have had wonderful reviews from several mature male readers. The catchcry for my novels is “Blending the joy of words and music…” as I usually try to incorporate music of some form in each one – either as a major feature or as a form of solace during times of trouble for my characters.
How long have you been writing?

From when I was a teenager I dabbled in poetry – mainly for friends or work colleagues for special occasions. During the 1980’s, I wrote the lyrics for several songs which I used to sing in cafes and coffee shops as part of a song-writing duo. In 2001, I won a competition to write a public school anthem and the children still sing it on assembly every Friday morning. In 2012, I won an award for a review written for a musical theatre production. In addition, I write articles for a far-reaching Facebook community page, as well as book and movie reviews for three large publishing houses along with an Australian cinema chain. As far as penning novels, I first sat down to write Silken Images on August 9th, 2011 and haven’t really stopped writing since then.
What made you want to be a writer? Have you always wanted to write?

I have always enjoyed writing from when I was very young, but the catalyst for writing novels was in August 2011 after seeing the musical Doctor Zhivago – A New Musical when the show had its world premiere in Australia. As a teenager, I adored the love story in the novel, even though the actual story line was extremely heavy, so when the movie came out I was enthralled by Omar Sharif and Julie Christie’s portrayal of those poignant characters. To then be given the opportunity to see it on a musical theatre stage added another even more memorable layer; as that glorious music added a new dimension that stirred my senses and seemed to draw me into Yuri and Lara’s love story even further. For many years, I had been harbouring a desire to write a novel. After witnessing the musical for the first time, it was as though a door opened in my heart and soul and the words just flowed. I ended up seeing the musical four times in three weeks and eight months later, over 800 draft pages of my first two novels sat in a folder on my computer.
Who is your favorite author?

I have several for different reasons. I adore the poignancy and heartbreak of Nicholas Sparks’ stories; I enjoy a gentle novel by Irene Hunter Steiner entitled The Year Growing Ancient; Judy Nunn writes epic stories usually of my homeland, Australia; and Colleen McCulloch’s large tome, The Thorn Birds I managed to read in one sitting when I was about 22 years of age. Wilbur Smith’s, Eagle in the Sky, is a fabulously gruesome tale enfolding a tragic love story, while I also enjoy novels by Katherine Scholes for her wistful stories usually set in Africa or Australia.
What was the first piece of fiction that you fell in love with?

I was about six years old when I first picked up a book to read by myself and since then I haven’t stopped. In fact, I still can’t go to sleep without reading a few chapters before turning the light out. The first series I read over and over again was The Famous Five novels by Enid Blyton, interspersed with all the Heidi chronicles by Joanna Spry, Little Women and her sequels by Louisa May Alcott, Pollyanna, all the Anne of Green Gables tales, as well as several others. When I was in high school, I came across a novel in the school library by Catherine Gaskin entitled I Know My Love, which was about the Eureka Stockade during Australia’s Gold Rush back in the 1800s. It is beautifully written with compelling characters and had an unexpected ending. Since then, I have been captivated with the world of storytelling.

What do you enjoy most about writing?

As I always say, “To me, writing is like going on holidays every single day … without the expense. I can take my characters anywhere, to do anything – and all from the comfort of my study.” I find the way my characters talk to me continually is a compelling reason to get back to my computer as often as possible!
How long did it take to write your first/last novel?

Eight months to write the first draft – almost two years more to get it to a place where I felt it was worthy to be read by others.
What are three words that you would choose to describe your writing style?

jennifer larmar book pic 2
Silken Images

Descriptive, tender, and passionate.
Are your characters inspired by real life people, or do you make them up 100%?

Both. When it comes to my protagonists, I think it’s almost impossible to create them without adding some blending of characteristics or mannerisms of real people in my life, as well as a few experiences or careers I’ve had along the way. Minor characters usually just come out of the air, purely to fit the situation.

What sort of mood or feelings did you hope to convey to your readers with your latest work?

A feeling of connection with their situation, where a reader wishes they could actually meet the characters and then put the book down and feel as though they have made new friends. I once had a reader say she wanted to grab my lead male by the hand and fly him over to Italy to be with the woman he loved during a time of crisis in her life. I’ve also had others say they were moved to tears in several places – and for all the right reasons! – which to me is every writer’s dream. Who wouldn’t want their characters to touch a heart like that?

Tell us about the main character of your most recent novel.

Adam is an architect in a large city firm. He is married to a violent alcoholic who makes his life hell on earth. His integrity to his vows and the commitment he made means that when he meets a young single mother who has been through her own form of hell, his heart is torn in two very different and complex directions.

How do you go about building an antagonist?

They just seem to flow with the emotion behind the story. It begins with a mysterious introduction to their character and then building up to show them in their true colors.

Can you describe for us your writing process?

I usually begin with an idea that can come from anything at all – usually when I’m on holidays in some out of the way place and then the ideas just grow from there. All of my novels are fictional characters based around a true event of some form. While I am writing, I make a timeline from beginning to end so I don’t confuse ages or events as the story line continues. I also make a character list with pet names, hair/skin color, ages, distinctive features, relationship to others, etc, so that I have a point of reference for each one and can be consistent throughout the story line. After I finish each chapter, I write a short synopsis for each one so I can easily find something and ensure continuity as I go along. I write every morning for about five hours as that is when I’m the freshest. I then take a break in the afternoon to get on with my normal life, and usually write again for a few hours each night. I find I need to be completely isolated from everything to ensure the voices in my head aren’t interrupted over and over. I always ensure I finish a chapter before taking a break or else I lose the train of thought and it’s hard to pick up that particular passage again.

What kinds of activities do you enjoy besides writing?

Goodness, so many! They can often be where my ideas first come from. Travelling, especially to out of the way places, and mostly overseas; music of almost any genre; musical theatre; those gorgeous creatures with long manes and tails that send my heart beating loudly when I’m perched on their back during a long gallop; snorkeling and discovering the beauty below the sea; sharing a good meal in a quiet out of the way place with my husband, my daughter, or with my best friends; or, spending time with my only grandson who is five years old and the joy of my heart.

Do you ever need to escape from writing? What do you do to get away?

Not really – I take it everywhere I go and I’m always jotting things down that I want to include – especially in the middle of the night! If ever I do need an escape, it’s usually to a beach or the countryside, but only because I live in an apartment in the centre of a large city so sometimes it’s nice to be away from the hustle and bustle and just chill out – but then again, almost always an idea for either the novel I’m working on or one of many residing in my soul comes to me out of the blue.

What is the hardest part for you as an author? Easiest?

The hardest part is the final edit. You become so familiar with what you expect to read that you often miss a blaring error! The first edit is exciting – the fourth or fifth is just hard slog! The easiest is just bringing new characters to life – it’s a delicious feeling!

Any author pet peeves?

I’m not exactly sure what you mean. I do know when I’m reading someone else’s work, I find I don’t enjoy it as much as I used to because I can’t help thinking of the way I would phrase certain passages. I really have to learn to block out my author’s brain and just try to read it from a novice’s point of view.

Are there any authors that you feel directly inspired you, your works, or your style?

Nicholas Sparks, LaVyrle Spencer – her contemporary novels more than her historical ones, Irene Hunter Steiner, Judy Nunn, Colleen McCulloch, Katherine Scholes – most of my favourites!

Would you say that you were good at English in high school? If not, what were you good at?

I was above average but not in the top echelon for English, although I always received top marks for my penmanship. I loved German, although I wish I’d chosen French as my second language for its exquisite inflections and form. I actually received my highest marks for typing and shorthand, which now come in handy for writing long novels!

Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, what are some ways that you overcome it?

Not really. Maybe some days I’m not as motivated, but I find that usually happens when I’m editing. Writing itself is a breeze, as I love every part of it.

Any current projects that we can look forward to?

At the moment I’m about a third of the way through Broken Pieces, a love story set in Rwanda a few years after the genocide. It is the story of two Aussie medical personnel who volunteer their time in a remote village and the joys and heartbreaks they encounter along the way.

What are your long-term goals as a writer?

To keep writing until I have no more stories to tell and that won’t be for a very long time. As I often say to my husband, “We’re not going on holidays any more. No matter where we go another story comes to me and I’ll have to live until I’m 150 to tell them all!” Needless to say, we have several more holidays up our sleeve!

Are you planning any spin-off novels?

jenifer lamar book pic 1
Fractured Symphony

Not for Broken Pieces – but then again, you never can tell. My first novel was supposed to be a standalone but it turned out to be a series, so I’ll just have to wait and see how long this one ends up!

What advice would you give to your younger self?

No matter what you think, Mum and Dad really do know what’s best for you in most things, and they want you to be successful and happy. Stay in school until twelfth grade, go to uni and study architecture; make wise choices when you go to New Zealand for a working holiday; be careful with the relationships you think will be good for you. First and foremost, enjoy life – God only gives you this today once, so smile and make the most of it – but think things through carefully before finally deciding on something. Remember, He only wants what’s best for you and even though people will let you down, He never will.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Write, write and write. Don’t worry what your first draft looks like – it’s purely for your indulgence. Then go through it again with the eyes of a reader and make the necessary changes so it reads well – and check for inconsistencies as you go. Make a timeline, character list and a short synopsis for every chapter to ensure you stay on track – and enjoy the ride! Oh, and keep a journal or something beside the bed so you can jot down all those thoughts that will come to you in the middle of the night!

Any other interesting things that you would like your readers to know?

Because of my love for the musical ‘Doctor Zhivago’ I was graciously given permission from the New York based composer, Lucy Simon, and the LA based co-lyricists, Amy Power and Michael Korie, to include the lyrics from one of their numbers, ‘On the Edge of Time’, at the conclusion of ‘Fractured Symphony’. When the musical opened on Broadway, I was presented with tickets to opening night and Amy Power’s private pre-show party as well as the after-show party at the Rockefeller Centre, which went into the early hours of the morning. Such an exciting night and one that was totally unexpected, as it meant I was able to meet the creative team in person to thank them for their generosity.

How can your readers find out more about you and your books?

Great question to finish with! I have a Facebook business page: ‘Jennifer Larmar – Australian Author’, I also have a Twitter account: ‘JemaLovesD’. My website has links to each of my novels as well as upcoming events/announcements, reviews for and excerpts from each of my novels, and a blog page which can all be found at: www.sbandta.wix.com/jenniferlarmar I am known on both Amazon and Goodreads as Jennifer Larmar and reviews for each of my novels can be found on both the amazon.com.au and amazon.com sites (for some reason Amazon doesn’t link them to each other).

Using monsterfunder.com to help promote your GoFundMe campaign, is it really worth the money?


Last month as I was finishing the manuscript for Sapphire’s Destiny and searching for an editor to polish the script I came to the conclusion that I was in no way going to have the money to pay for the services on my own. So like any sane person looking for help I turned to the #1  money raising site for personal expenses; Gofundme.com.

For a few days I saw very little traffic and no donations come from it. On day 4 one of my lovely sisters made the very first donation of $100.  After 2 weeks with no bites I turned to monsterfunder.com to share my campaign. with a $15 investment my campaign was shared 15 times and my visits went from right around 200 to close to 600, even though none of which donated. I believe that it is a good service to get your campaign out but don’t expect a return on investment unless your campaign really hits home. As of today I have had 698 visits to the page and a total of 4 donations to total $700 donated to my cause.

My overall rating for gofundme.com is ♥♥♥♥♥.

The service is easy to use and you can reach your goals as long as you build your campaign around a solid foundation that donors can relate to and want to help with.

My overall rating for monsterfunder.com is ♥♥♥♥♥.

Even though i didn’t see a return on my investment, using the service doubled my campaign views. I believe it was well worth the money. They tagged me in every share so I could make sure that I got what I paid for.

The deadline is approaching and I am still at least $200 away from my goal. I am blown away by how generous everybody has been. Sapphire’s Destiny has been so much fun to write and I really hope everyone enjoy it. May 1st is release day, if you swing by the  S.L. Perryman Book Club that day there will be a party going on with guest authors and prizes as well as lots of fun games. May 2nd and 3rd will be the free days on amazon so check either here, in the book club, or on my facebook page for the links to grab your copy. If you would like to donate to my gofundme account and help me afford the cost of editing it would be greatly appreciated here is the link to the campaign- gofund.me/55ms5kus.

If you would like to be part of an awesome community of fans you can join the S.L. Perryman book club at https://www.facebook.com/groups/s.l.perrymanfantasyauthor/