Monday, September 30, 2019

Linda Charles & 5 Things That Transformed Her Writing Life

Please welcome Linda Charles to the blog today!!

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Five things that transformed my writing life – by Linda Charles

Writing is a solitary occupation. Characters and scenes become a huge part of our thinking lives and we live with them for quite some time before we even write about them. As such, we rarely share these characters and our plans for them with our family and friends. For years I plotted, planned, learned and wrote my stories on my own. I joined writing associations, read their monthly magazines, checked the stories on-line, but never met up with any groups or other writers. My writing life changed the moment I became social. 
Be social 
A problem shared is a problem halved – we’ve all heard that and it’s so true. Writers love to share their knowledge, gives you contacts to editors (different types of editors), make (gentle) suggestions, tips, recommend writing books, and mention any opportunities – being social means that you can dream big and someone will understand. You might hear a few war stories along the way, which again adds another layer of knowledge for you, and there will be plenty cheering you on when you publish your first book – all of your books really!
Ask for help – be prepared
Don’t ever be afraid ask for help, because people love to help. Most of us remember those early writing years and the publishing world is changing and ever-evolving and knowledge is the key. Getting it will save you time and a lot of angst. Think about what you really need help with and seek out the right person to ask. If you don’t know the right person, ASK and someone will know the right someone. Be prepared and have your question ready (much like a pitch) when you meet up with the right person. The right question can often make all the difference between a waste of time and a golden opportunity.
Find a critique partner and a beta reader you can trust 
There is nothing more satisfying than having a critique partner and/or a beta reader you can trust, enjoy their company and enjoy reading the same genre. It helps if they have an understanding of the genre or reader base your story is geared towards. Over time, they will grow to care about you and your work, and you shouldn’t have any fear in handing your work over to them to read. They too want to be able to critique without fear or favour – it’s a two way street and it’s a wonderful one. It’s a relationship based on trust and respect. 
Join a writing group 
I love my writing group. We have a lot of fun and are all at different stages in our writing career and it’s led to great friendships, and, for some of us, to write a series together, as we have with Bindarra Creek. A writing group is a safe place where we you can reveal the worst of our writing fears. It’s comforting to know that there is always someone on board who can offer some help and advice when you need it.
Attend conferences
Conferences are wonderful. You meet new people, learn plenty and make some great contacts. I met my critique partner at a conference and we still meet up for lunches and at other social events. The workshops are great, especially the Q&A sessions where you hear other people’s questions, which always make things interesting. 
Go out and be social, introduce yourself and make the first move.
Thank you for the invite to write this blog. I’ve been fortunate to be part of the https://bindarracreekromance.com/a-town-reborn/ and have just released the third book in the series – No Looking Back. It can be found on Amazon - https://amzn.to/303nrQW
About the book:
Sometimes it’s good to take a risk…
Hannah McKenna loves working with horses and is trying hard to keep it altogether after her first horse syndication deal turns sour. Since then she’s been careful and played life straight, and has had enough. She runs into trouble when she meets Blake Hudson – the man who put together the failed deal – who rescues her when she takes a nasty tumble from a horse. 
Blake Hudson is known as Mr Nice Guy, but there are dark shadows in his past. He’s the dealmaker, the perfect go-between who puts together horse syndications and once the deal is done he moves on. Problem is, Hannah is the exception and he can’t keep away, but fears she will walk if she knew the truth about his past. 
He hadn’t bargained on dealing with a mischievous third party called attraction.

When she discovers the truth, both realise they could lose everything, including each other.
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Linda Charles has been reading romance since high school. Her reading life started very early, but changed direction after she read Gone with the Wind. She was born in Sydney and spent her teenage years in drama classes, and then taught Speech & Drama for many years.  She still loves to go to the theatre, but her plan was always to write. Linda lives in Newcastle and when she's not writing, she can be found walking, browsing the bookshops or planning her next holiday.

Linda Charles on the web:
Website          Facebook         Twitter           

No Looking Back: Bindarra Creek: A Town Reborn
Hannah McKenna loves working with horses and is trying hard to keep it altogether after her
first horse deal turns sour. She runs into trouble when she meets Blake Hudson – the man who put together the failed deal – who rescues her when she takes a nasty tumble from a horse. She likes him, simple as, and finds plenty of reasons to make him want to stay. 


Blake Hudson feels like an imposter because he knows loved ones would walk if they knew the truth. He’s the dealmaker, the perfect go-between who puts together horse syndications and once the deal is done he moves on. His life takes a turn when he meets Hannah, the woman at the centre of his worst deal. Problem is he can’t keep away, but fears she will walk if she knew the truth about his past. 


He hadn’t bargained on dealing with a mischievous third party called attraction.
When she discovers the truth, both realise they could lose everything, including each other.
Buy on:
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Thanks Linda!

I met one of my writing buddies when she was travelling through town, but I haven't been brave enough to check into local writing groups. Thanks for the push - I might have to look into that.

How about you? Are you social with local writers or do you do most of your interacting online?




18 comments:

  1. While I've never joined a writing group, I do have great beta readers and critique partners, plus the entire IWSG available to help if I need it.
    It does make a difference!

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    1. Hi Alex,
      I agree - it makes a huge difference to have a second or third set of eyes check things out!

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  2. Nice to see Linda's book featured on a number of blogs.
    I am a classic introvert and am most comfortable interacting on line.

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    1. Thank you Elephant's Child. I find it easier on-line too, but I can't deny the social side. That's been a lovely surprise.

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  3. Writing can be super-isolating...these are great tips for reaching out and being part of a community. :)

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  4. Great guest post from Linda! There are definitely a lot of benefits to being social with other writers.

    And hope you're eventually able to check out some local writing groups, Jemi!

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    1. Thank you Heather. There's a lot of give and take in our meetings - both personally and professionally.

      I agree, I hope you find a local writing group, Jemi.

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  5. We do need to reach out to others. Even when I'm teaching my seminars, I still learn from the writers in attendance.

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    1. Hi L. Diane,
      I agree 100%. For me it took a while to reach out and sometimes you need a little prompting.

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  6. Thank you Jemi! I hope you find a writing group.

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    1. Thanks Linda - I'm hoping to head to the library this week - I'll work up my nerve to ask if there are any groups there!

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    2. You're welcome Jemi - put up a notice somewhere. You might be surprised at the response!

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    3. I'll have to put on my big girl panties for that! :)

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  7. Congratulations on the new book, Linda. Sounds like a good story!

    Hi Jemi!

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  8. Great tips, Linda. Congratulations on your new release and wishing you much success.

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