Tuesday, December 16, 2014

I need more followers and names for characters

Hello Everyone,

Thank you for following and reading my blog over the last several years.  I know I don't blog as much as others do, but I don't want to overload you with information or clog up your email account.  With that said, I am looking for additional followers for my blog.  Right now I have only 24 followers and would love to have 100 or more.  One hundred followers is my goal, but would love more.

This is what I am going to do.  Once I hit 100 followers, I will be holding a raffle.  What kind of raffle you ask?  Is it for a book, or a bookmark or some other fancy thing you may loose?  Nope! None of that.

Once I reach 100 followers I will hold two raffles.  One for the men and one for the women.  For each person who wins, I will use their name in my current WIP [work in progress].  It will be your first and last name for a character, and you can decide if you wish to be a bad character or a good character.  If you have an unusual name, that is fine.  You will just need to give me the definition and pronunciation for it.  I may incorporate that piece of information into the story line.  I won't know until someone wins.

So please, ask your friends and family members to follow my blog.  I write only clean romance stories.  I am working on a Christmas themed anthology.  There will be four or five stories for the anthology.  The first one I am working on is a Regency Romance.

Please help me get more followers and then I can have the raffle.

Thank you again for reading my blog and following me.

Friday, October 10, 2014

How To Improve One's Writing

Hello everyone.  To improve one's writing, one must learn new things.  It's as easy as joining a writing group to as time consuming as going back to school.

If your friends say you tell wonderful stories of your adventures or everyday life then you should write them down.  They may not be in perfect form, but you have started.  Maybe you have always told stories but only in your head, write them down.  It can be as detailed as you want.  Maybe you wake up in the middle of the night from either a wonderful dream or a nightmare.  Keep paper and pencil by your bed and write the dream down.  This is how you start to become a writer.

But, how do you improve your writing?  Maybe you were a natural in English class in high school and always did a great job.  But, if you are like most of us, you did okay, and could really use some improvement in the writing department.

The first thing you should do is join a writing league or writing group.  It all depends on the area you live in for what is available to you.  I am a member of the League of Utah Writers, the Oquirrh Chapter.  They have a meeting once a month.  Each meeting is different and provides valuable information.  Most meetings will have a speaker who will come in and talk about the craft of writing.  S/he will talk about grammar, syntax (the arrangement of words and phrases to create well-formed sentences in a language), character study and development and anything else related to writing.  Always take a note pad and something to write with.  Some people like pens other people prefer pencils.  Just don't forget to bring them with you.

The second thing you should do is to take a class.  Although the presenters at our league meetings are usually published authors, they are not teachers.  They are just passing along what they have learned.  Take a class.  Your local community college may offer a night class for several  weeks.  It could be specific or generic.  Specific it could be a class to learn how to write poetry, film/TV scripts or novels.  Generic, it could be just how to improve your writing.

Your other option for taking a class is to actually go back to school.  And that is my plan.  My plan is to return to school and earn a BA in English with a Concentration in Creative Writing and a Minor in Publishing Studies.  Now, going back to school may not be ideal for you.  But you can still take a class here and there to help improve your writing.

As your writing improves so will your chances of publication.  Always take the opportunity to learn something new.  If you're already a published author, take the opportunity to give some of your writing wisdom/knowledge to those who are wanting to learn the craft.  It will be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Write From Your Everyday Experiences and Knowledge

What makes the best writers?  Is it perfect grammar? Is it having a way with words? Is it being highly educated in the English language or whatever language you write in?  All of these things help, but the answer is NO.  What makes the best writers?  It is people who write what they know and experience.

A good example would be Clive Cussler who writes adventure stories surrounding History and water.  He is an underwater archaeologist.  Another example would be Jane Austen.  Some people believe she wrote romance stories.  She did not.  What she actually wrote was the shenanigans of what went on in her everyday life.  There just so happened to be some romance involved in the nonsense that went on in her circle of friends and family.   Hemingway wrote of his experiences around the world.  That’s what makes his stories so compelling.  Another example is Zane Gray who wrote about cowboys and the West.

Of course there are exceptions to this rule.  One would be the genre of science fiction.  This is stuff made up from someone’s imagination.  And boy, do some people have an imagination.  A good example would be Frank Herbert who wrote the Dune Trilogy.  The other genre would be fantasy.  Again, people writing in this genre write about things they have made up.  A good example for a fantasy writer would be Hans Christian Anderson.

So, what am I telling you?  It’s simple.  If you are writing a medical novel then you should know something about the medical field and then use your experiences while working in medicine.  You want to write novels set in the West and you’ve never been, then go visit.  Phyllis A. Whitney did just that.  She wanted to set a book in a certain city or country she would go and live there for six months.  She would get the feel of the place, get maps, and walk everywhere.  Her daughter would go with her and be her secretary.  She wrote at least one book a year from 1947 to 1994, totally more than 60 novels.  Her last novel was published when she was in her 90s.

But on the other hand, if you want to write a novel that involves murder, DO NOT become a murderer.  Read a lot on local murders in your area, talk with a detective and read books by others who write murder novels.  This is one area where I will tell you, you do not need experience in, in order to write about it.

The next thing you need to do is to buy a small notebook with lined paper and an elastic band that keeps it closed.  That way the pages don’t get mangled.  Keep it in your purse or your backpack or in your pocket.  When you see something or hear something or experience something, you can write it down.  You don’t have to write it down exactly how it happened, just the gist of it.  Sometimes when writing, you’re not sure of what your character is to do next.  That is when you can open your notebook and start reading about what you've seen, heard and done.  You may find exactly what you need.

Also, along with a journal in your purse or pocket, you should keep a notebook and pen/pencil next to your bed.  That way, when you wake from a dream, you can write it down before it disappears.  Keep that paper handy.

So, you now have experiences or you have done your research, what should you do?  You write your book of course.  I like to write down my character names and a bio on them.  Almost all of my characters will get both a first and last name.  Not all of the last names will appear in my story, but having a last name sort of completes my character.  Some people like to sit and just write whatever comes into their head.  Some people like to outline everything before they write.  That is completely up to you.  But write what you know or what you have done a good research job on and use your daily experiences in your writing.

Monday, September 15, 2014

3 star review for Christmas at the Mysterious Bookshop

Otto Penzler is a book publisher/editor who also runs a mystery book bookshop.  It is in New York City, although no longer at its original location.  From 1993 to 2009 he asked famous mystery writers to write a tale he could hand out to his customers at Christmas time.  There were just three requirements: must be set at Christmas time, must be a crime/mystery/suspense story and part of the action must take place in his bookshop.  These are very short stories and although the book said they were written by well known/famous mystery writers, I only recognize three of the names: Ed McBain, Anne Perry and Mary Higgins Clark.  With that said, I checked the book out of the library.  I know it's not Christmas and we haven't even had Halloween yet, but I was curious to see what these people wrote.

I did not read all of them.  They were okay, but really not impressive.  It was good light reading, but some of the stories have, what my mother would call, "salty" language.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

zero Star review for The Ghost and the Dead Deb

What?  A zero star you ask?  Correct.  A zero star.  I hate it when an author writes a wonderful and then dirties it up with vulgar words.

Cleo Coyle writing as Alice Kimberly wrote a great book.  The story was fantastic.  This is a second book in a series of six.  Unfortunately, this pair of writers decided the best thing to do was to drop the f-bomb when you were about 30 pages from the end.  How sad.  They completely made their story worthless. I did a Google search and found out this is a husband and wife writing team writing under two different fake names.  That doesn't make it any better.

Why do otherwise extremely talented people feel it necessary to add vulgarity to their stories?  I don't get it.  I don't use the f-bomb, I have never used the f-bomb and the same goes for using the Lord's name as a curse word.  It is only people who can't express themselves intelligently or want to go with the flow that use this kind of language.  What crap these two turned out to be.  Sad too, I wanted to read the other books.  Glad to know not to waste my time.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

One Star Review of Deadly Undertakings by Gregg Luke

I am not happy with this author.  I hate it when men have their lead female characters act stupid.  If he wanted a stupid character then he should have had the male MC be stupid.  Leave us women alone.

I liked the blurb on the back of the book.  It made the story sound great.  And it was great for the first 148 pages out of 288.  Then, his very smart character did a very stupid thing.  AT that point I didn't care if she survived or not.  Each choice has a consequence.

I read bits and pieces of the next few chapters and then jumped to the last ten pages.  I'm glad I didn't bother to read the whole thing.  I'm also glad I bought the book on a discount table.  That way I didn't waste too much money on it.  I won't be buying another one of his books.

The reason he got one star is because the first half of the book was really good.  But that's the only reason he got one star.

I can't suggest this book nor the author.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

New Indiegogo campaign

Hello Everyone.  I have a new indiegogo campaign.  It is shorter and the perks are better.  Stop by and help.  Thanks.


Brenda's Indiegogo campaign

Friday, June 27, 2014

Indiegogo campaign update

Hello everyone,

Today's update is I have 7% of what I am trying to raise and only 9 1/2 days left to get the other 93%.  I could really use some help from my followers and their friends.  Please stop by.  Every $5 or $10 will help me get closer to my goal.  Please repost on your blog to help get the word out.  I would really appreciate it.  You can donate from anywhere in the world; not just in the US.

Please go to Brenda's Indiegogo campaign .  There are share buttons for Facebook, Twitter and google share.  Also, if you are on LinkedIn you could post it there too.  Please help me get the word out there.

Your help is greatly appreciated.  Thank you very much.

An Aspiring Writer

Monday, June 16, 2014

Indiegogo dot com funding

Hello followers,

I am doing a fund raising campaign on Indie gogo dot come.  I could use your help.  If you can't contribute, please go to the website and forward it on to your friends.  I think the perks as a thank you gift for funding are great.  Check it out.

Thank you,


Brenda Gallaher's Indie gogo dot com

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Review of "The Case of The Glamorous Ghost" by Erle Stanley Gardner

Okay, so you ask, who is Erle Stanley Gardner??  First off he was an attorney who turned to writing.  His most famous character is Perry Mason.  The original TV series was done from his books, with a lot of the episodes coming straight from the novels or short stories.  You can find more information on Gardner here, Erle Stanley Gardner.

The Case of The Glamorous Ghost was original published in 1955 and republished in 1992.  The story opens with a young woman, dressed only in a slip and raincoat, dancing in the dark where a young couple is sitting in a car.  It goes downhill from there for the young lady.

It's a typical Perry Mason novel.  His client is a trouble maker, a young wild girl.  She's motherless and just does as she pleases.  Her older half-sister is concerned for her and some of the problems she has caused.  The young lady states she has amnesia, but no one believes her.  Does she have amnesia?  The reader isn't quite sure until the end.

Mason's client lies to him, lies to her family and is keeping a secret.  And then there is the amnesia.  And the jewels?  Who do the jewels belong to?  Where did they come from?  Should Mason bring them out into the light?

And of course, what good is a Mason novel without the playful banter between him and his secretary, Della Street?  It's been a decade or so since I've read a Mason novel and forgot how well these two characters interact with each other.  She calls him Chief all of the time in story.  If you've watched the old TV series, 1957-1966, then you can see Raymond Burr, actor, as Perry Mason [Raymond Burr Vineyard] and Barbara Hale  as Della Street [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Della_Street].  Although in this particular story Paul Drake isn't in it much, there's more Della Street, you can still see William Hopper as the character.

The novel is one of the best one.  Some of the earlier ones are better, but from the 1950's this is one of the better ones.  If you want a light read, with some great character interaction, then this is the novel for you.  Give it a try.  Gardner's books are not like the gritty, in your face, gory books that are written today.  But they are fun to read and a lot of them keep you guessing.  I love the way this one ends.

Raymond William Stacy Burr
Barbara Hale

William Hopper

Monday, May 26, 2014

Welcome to the blog tour.  I was invited to participate by Tara.  Her website is: www.taramayoros.com  Stop by her site and browse around.  But for a teaser, here is her bio:

Tara Mayoros is an author, artist, baker, music teacher, gardener, and nature lover.  She sees the beauty in the process, and the miracle of creation.  The mountains are her home and they cal to her whenever she finds herself in need of inspiration.

Her debut Women's Romance Novel BROKEN SMILES is set for a fall release by Astraea Press.

Now, for a little more information on myself:

What am I working on?

I am working on a historical novel set in 1939 Louisiana.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

That's a good question and I'm not sure how to answer it.  Since I am in the beginning process of this new novel, I am not sure of its voice yet.  The story is told from the perspective of an 11 year old girl, but have not decided if it's for middle grade readers or adults.  I will know once the story takes more shape.

Why do I write what I do?

The story that I write at any given time is the one that won't leave me alone.  The characters talk in my head and plague my dreams until I open a Word document and start to write.  Then they really go to town until I write on a consistent basis.

How does my writing process work?

My first historical novel I plotted things on paper and then wrote from there.  I didn't care much for the process, but completed the book that way.  Now, when I write, I just sit down and type what goes from my mind to my fingers to the keys on the laptop.  Before hand though, I do figure out the main characters and give them each a bio.  That way, when I write about them, I already know them.  I know their likes and dislikes, what they look like, their age, their abilities or disabilities and whether or not if they are a good or bad person.

Thank you for joining the blog tour and I hope you have enjoyed it.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

What you can do while waiting to hear from the publisher

Hello Followers, I hope everyone is having a great Saturday evening.  Mine is going pretty well.

I am still waiting to hear if the publisher wants my book or not.  So I have been doing other things to keep me physically and mentally busy.  Otherwise I may just go crazy.  So you ask, what have I been doing?  I'll tell you.

This past Thursday night I went to my writing league meeting.  It was quite interesting.  Kim spoke about writing for children.  She spoke about infants all the way up to 16-17 year olds.  The publishing industry has a specific cut off for each age range, although your novel could fall in between two of the age limits.  It all depends on your story.  And where you think it should be.

The question was asked if racial slurs should be used.  Her answer was generally "no", but there are some circumstances when they could be used.  Such as in Historical Fiction.  It would almost be expected to be used.  But she warned that using the N word was very tricky.  A lot of publishers won't accept that word, even in a Historical Fiction novel.  One way to get around that would be to have the character start the word and never finish it because someone else stopped him/her or to have some big noise event happen that would cover up the rest of the word.  That way, it would convey to the reader what was intended without actually using such an awful word.

Another question asked on Thursday night, was about the use of curse words.  Should children be using them?  Should adults in the story be using them?  Kim explained that gratuitous cursing is just wrong.  If the scene called for it, it could be used.  But, a lot of publishers frown upon the use of the F-bomb.  I personally do not read books where any character, an adult or child, uses the F-bomb or takes the Lord's name and uses it as a curse word.  I have not finished books because of it.  There is never a reason that anyone should use those in literature.  I know that a lot of people will disagree with me, but this is my blog.

Kim spoke about picture books, chapter books and what worked well and what didn't.  She gave us some tips that she learned the hard way.  She didn't want us to go through the same pain and monetary problems she did.  She also talked about the difference between a vanity press and indie publishing.

I think it was a really productive way for me to spend my evening.  I learned something new, I was able to ask her questions afterwards regarding a story I have floating through my head, and got to see some old friends

Alara Harpell, Author
 My good friend and fellow author, Alara Harpell, could not be there in person, but she was there in spirit.    She is an author you will want to follow.  Click on her name above and it will take you to her blog.  We miss her in our league meetings.  She has moved from Utah to San Diego.  I was able to see my good friend for a little while when she came to visit family.  It was a good February.

There are plenty of other things I do to keep busy so as not to fuss over why I haven't heard from the publisher yet.  I volunteer.  I participate in retail therapy.  I bake. I start writing a new novel or edit what I've already written on the new novel.  I'm planning a garden.  And occasionally I throw children out of my yard on their way home from school.  Their parents should have taught them not to trespass.

If you have ever wanted to write, but didn't know where to start, I'll tell you.  Find a writing league.  I didn't know anyone the first time I went.  I was so scared that they would think I was too stupid or too dumb or that I asked too many questions.  But that didn't happen.  I was welcomed with open arms and I know have some friends.  And just because you've written a book doesn't mean it's ready for publication.  Join a critique group.  If you get into the right one, it will make a world of difference.  If on the other hand you just like to read, follow my blog, follow Alara's blog and enjoy our journey to be published authors.

Thank you for stopping by today.  If you have any questions or just want to say "HI", don't hesitate to leave a comment.  Thanks.


Friday, March 14, 2014

It's a Waiting Game

How I hate waiting to hear from the publisher.  Oh, I know it's a necessary evil, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.    But it is what I am doing.  I submitted my novel, An English Summer, about 6 weeks ago and now waiting for the publisher to decide if they like it or not.  I certainly hope so.  I think it's a great story.

So, while I wait, I read my favorite authors, watch a lot of TV and write on my next story.  One must remain busy.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

submitted again

Hello everyone.  I have been a little lazy, but did finally resubmit my novel An English Summer to another publisher.  I submitted it to Covenant Books here in Utah.  Wish me well that they like the story and will accept it for publication.

I am still working on Lily's story, but it's taking longer than anticipated.  Lily has been silent lately, and I don't know what she wants me to tell the readers.  She'll wake up soon, I'm sure of it.

Monday, February 3, 2014

3 Star review for Foul Play

Author Betsy Brannon Green
Let me start out by saying that I am a fan of Betsy Brannon Green.  I love her books set in Midway/Haggerty, Georgia.  I love the characters and the setting.  I have read all three books and hoping there will be another.

With that said, I am sure you are wondering why she only got three stars for her book Foul Play.  Well, it just really wasn't worth any more than that.  I was in Segull Books and found her book on CD.  I hadn't listened to a book before, but thought why not.  I'll give it a chance.  It said it was unabridged, which is good.  I would not want to miss anything.

But I felt like I did miss things.  It just felt so shortened and truncated.  A few other things I didn't like was the voice of the woman who read the book.  It was so sugary that I was afraid I may have gotten diabetes just from listening to it.  Also, it was the worse Southern accent I ever heard anyone fake.  Just sad all around.

There was nothing surprising in the story.  No twists or turns that I didn't see coming and just a bit too much LDS.  It was a little preachy.  The good thing was it was a clean read.  Maybe this is one of her first books before the Midway/Haggerty books and her writing has improved and that's why I like the other books better.

You may like the story and writing, but I just don't feel as if it was her best.  There was just too much lacking for my taste.  I will look for other books she has written, but will not worry about this one any more.  I wish her well and look forward to more Kennedy Killingsworth stories.