Reviews needed and appreciated! Feedback valued!

January 20, 2012 at 7:47 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

So….

…….Reaper I: The Beginning has moved about 11000 free copies on Amazon and Reaper II: Neophyte has moved about 9400.

I am thrilled, amazed and humbled by the reader response!

Reaper: The Beginning currently sits at #1 position on Amazon.com Free->Occult listing! #76 overall for Free

Reaper II: Neophyte is sitting at — TAH DAH!!!! —- #2 position on Amazon.com for Free->Occult!!!! #88 overall for Free

Thank you thank you THANK YOU everyone who helped to make this possible!

One small request?

If you have read what you downloaded, please log in to your Amazon account and leave a review — whether “good” “bad” “positive” or “negative” — your feedback can/will only make me a better author in the long run, will likely serve to improve the quality of the novels/novellas I release and also serve to tell me what my readers love/hate most about my ideas and writing style.

It’s one of the ways i get to hear back!

So far, some of the themes reviewers are leaving are:

– stories are too short

– plot is great

– characters are believeable/likeable

-too much vulgar language

– not sure if target audience is teenagers or adults

– authentic thriller

– too much detail in description of flowers

And assorted other things.

Suffice to say, I am reading all reviews and carefully taking each one into consideration as I plod forth.

Once I finish releasing Reaper 1 – 5 as single titles, I am going to release Reaper 1 – 5 as a compilation at a discounted price, to try to alleviate some of the readers’ frustration with the novel length.  I will also work on making the series pieces longer, as this seems to be a frequent concern. However, for Reaper 1, 2 & 3 in particular, there is method to my madness — I wanted them to be DISTINCTLY seperate from the rest of the series…..I will try to adapt Reapers 4 & on to be longer. The thing is, where I see a naturally occuring break in the storyline, that is where I intend to seperate the tales….

I can’t please everyone, but if you leave me your reviews, I will try to make appropriate changes to my system of delivery….though not to my vision or my characters whims, such as they are.

Thank you so much for your continued interest in my projects!

Sincere regards and happy reading!

Amanda M. Holt

Amateur Authoress, Self-Proclaimed Work In Progress and Fairly Cooperative Human Being

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Dragon Naturally Speaking…Naturally, I am AMAZED, DELIGHTED and INSPIRED!!!

November 18, 2011 at 5:44 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

So…
…..I am dictating this blog post with Dragon naturally speaking and so far I am pleased with what I see.there will be some growing pains.but software keeps a fairly quickly with what I have said.and there seem to be minimal spelling and punctuation issues so far.however, now I am going to attempt to use some more punctuation, such as, this, and this, and this, and – this and “I wonder how long it will take before Dragon makes its first error or I make my first error.”

now as I look at what I have dictated I see that I haven’t been leaving spaces after my periods. and I haven’t been capitalizing words after the periods. So, this is a kind of tricky environments, you have to be very conscious of what you’re saying. And space I imagine that once I get dictating with the the wireless Bluetooth headset, there will be even more interesting situations.

That being said, Dragon naturally speaking his have really really space-space read that is really really cool piece of software.I just have to learn how to use it properly.

not bad for a first attempt out!

“I wonder how the software will do when I began preparing dialogue for my characters,” Amanda mused aloud. “I think it’s going to be tricky working out all the dialogue takes thought..although come to think of it, Jay by editor at ecstasy books always told me to avoid the use of dialogue tags wherever possible, as they can be annoying for a reader to navigate.”

wowsers! Pretty impressive so far!

I’ll leave you with this, because I have got some dictation I would like to make, and some serious writing to do!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Happy reading!

Sincere regards,

Amanda M.Holt
Awestruck Dragon NaturallySpeaking user, aspiring author and truly inspired Creatress

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Official Grand Re-Kindling of My Writing Career: TODAY!!!

November 14, 2011 at 4:36 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

So…
…..after reading some articles and links to articles on Charlotte Dillon’s website (which has a HUGE section devoted to aspiring and established authors), I found myself going: “Why has my writing career gone stagnant? Why haven’t I sent anything in for publication lately? Why haven’t I been producing those k’s and k’s of word count that i used to?”

There are a few simple statements that can answer the above questions in absolute truths:

– procrastination/laziness on my part.
– new “real” career as nurse.
– termination of 4-year fling.
– lack of organization in work-life balance, meaning sporatic poorly planned writing sessions, and rare ones at that!
– too many ideas, not enough sit-down time to develope them.

So what was my solution to my little problem?

Do.

Not think, but act – do.

And do in an organized, damned-near professional approach.

See, my theory is this: if I want to be a successful author, I need to treat my writing career as just that — a career. Which isn’t to say I’m going to quit my day job (which is really a night/day job 🙂 ), it just means that I am going to buckle down and use some of Charlotte’s strategies and Plain Jane common sense to take those bountiful ideas and turn them into fiery electrons on my laptop – treat my writing business like a business, and hopefully be rewarded with hundreds of thousands possibly millions of words worth of sellable, marketable, publish-worth tale-telling!

One of Charlotte’s strategies is to use a “Get It Done” chart…a simple 7-day a week log of your activities, i.e. word count writted, edits, research, promotional activities you’ve done. I have printed this out and am going to give it a test run — try it for a few months and see if my productivity increases.

I have also started a series of journals where I outline my expenses (i.e this morning’s purchase at Staples — 30% off of everything in store, guys and gals! Closing out sale! — and yesterday’s purchase of six licenses for cover art for six of my novels from Jimmy Thomas’ site romancenovelcovers.com); my writing income; my communications with i.e. publishers, agents, other writers, cover artists; my writing To Do list; all stories to date (gotta keep track of those possibly best-selling first chapters of works-in-progress somehow); and what/where/when of published works.

I am keeping track of all of my receipts, and soon applying for a US IRS tax number, and trying to navigate my way through an understanding of the US tax system and how it will affect my Canadian Income Tax return when/if I begin to accumulate more US sales (which is my hope when i self-publish my work to Kindle and Smashwords, for starters).

I am also soon going to be hitting the library to make inquiries as to whether or not there are any writer’s groups in my area (i.e. critiquing circles, reading circles, author’s lounge, etc) — and if there aren’t any, I am damned well going to start one, as i see a purpose and need for it! Just the other day, I was chatting with a restaurant server who at 10K words of her story expressed a similar concern about keeping on task, writing wise – and wondering how to break into the industry, potential markets, the processes, the formatting of manuscripts, etc. I really feel that she is not alone in this City — I know more about the publishing process than the average Amanda, but I have a lot of unanswered questions too. Plus, it’s nice to bounce ideas for stories off of a nice live person instead of emailing or blogging or posting… Which is why I was totally thrilled when one of my co-workers read and gave feedback on a first four pages I’d just gotten excited about (gypsies getting their tongues cut out and exacting revenge for it — thanks JPS for your input! “Suspense” wasn’t what I was shooting for, but damn — what a compliment, i always consider suspense a very difficult thing to write! Thanks!).

Long story made shorter — if an author’s group doesn’t already exist here, i am going to start one. Even if it’s just a group of a couple of us lone wolves….at least it’s some input/support to benefit the pack.

OK.

So that’s about it for now….my fourth night shift is beginning to catch up with me.

time to head to bed before I start dotting my t’s and crossing my i’s.

I’m crossing my eyes as it is…

🙂

Sincere regards,

Amanda M. Holt
Neophyte Author With Nebulous Talents and Improving Ambition

p.s. charlotte dillon’s website can be found at
http://www.charlottedillon.com

I found http://www.charlottedillon.com/ArticlesTwo.html to be of particular use.

The Get It Done log chart can be found at http://www.charlottedillon.com/GetItDoneChart.html

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*sigh*

October 21, 2011 at 8:23 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

*sigh*

Sadly, I haven’t worked on anything new (writing-wise) in a few weeks. I haven’t really worked on anything old either. Unless the ongoing cycle of editing counts! It doesn’t help that my desk had assorted clutter on it (cleared off now), that I was working additional shifts at work and that I left town for approximately a week to visit family and friends over the Thanksgiving holiday season (Canada). Thank God for my journalling (on Volume Seven at the moment), otherwise I may not have gotten any writing done at all!

You may or may not have noticed that this Blog has been untouched by yours truly for a while now, and is in TERRIBLE need of updating…

Snapshot of the last few months: left my job in Public Health for a far more gratifying job in Long Term Care, started dating again after a too-long hiatus, switched apartments – love the new one!, friend who knows me best moved back to Canada, looking forward to a trip to China in the spring (thank YOU Chamber of Commerce), ended intimate relationship with “M” to whom I can credit a lot of inspiration and also the hunger for more than what i was entitled to, recieving small reminders that I have a dozen-plus novels and novellas published (these take the form of $40 – $50 royalty checks every so often, not a lot, but a nice little reminder that someone SOMEWHERE is reading my stuff), lost approximately 25 pounds (probably from leaving a desk job for one where I do a lot of walking/pacing), and am looking forward to having a delightful Halloween party for some old friends & new ones!

Recent writing accomplishments: next to nil. Revisited a series I began writing circa 2005 about a young woman who is transported to a dimension where she begins to turn into a dragon and is expected to lead a resistance against the powers that be; revisited my tale of a father haunted by the ghost of his murdered daughter – probably going to focus on this tale for a while; revisited “Lucky” about a girl who is lucky in all things but love; revisited “Friends Who Come Over for Dinner…and other tales of adults misbehaving appropriately”, a collection of naughty adventures starring a fearless young woman with an insatiable appetite for all things tasty; revisited a series of shorts about people who win the lottery but lose the quality of their lives in the process; revisited a tale about an enchanted cookbook and the woman/women it chooses. Also trying to get a start on a nerve-wracking horror novel, but it just won’t get off the ground: every start seems like a false start.

As for romance novels? I’m kicking around some ideas. There’s the story i keep picking up and putting down about the comic book artist inspired by – and infatuated with – a supermodel with mommy/insecurity issues. May work on it soon, i feel the timing may be right to light a real spark between these two characters. There are a variety of others, but since they were written with “M” in mind, I feel somewhat uncomfortable with stirring that pot right now. There’s a new romance brewing in my life at the moment, and this has inspired me. However, I think I should do a little more research *lewd grin* before I begin breathing life into that particular Gollum. Some of the things I write seem more authentic when i am experiencing them first hand…and since art reflects life, and one should write what one knows, well frankly I need to know more before running with scissors down the hallway of love/lust/infatuation/pheremones.

That being said: in the last several months, nothing published, nothing submitted for publication, nothing finished, nothing noteworthy started.

Ye Gods! Time to get cracking!

Sincerely,

Amanda M. Holt
Amateur Author, Neophyte Nurse and Sometimes Productive Person

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Happy August!!!!!!!

August 2, 2010 at 10:07 pm (General News..., Grumble, Introduction to the Imagination of Amanda M. Holt, Literary blunders..., Possible directions..., Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

So…………………
……………………Happy August!!!!

Day One of my new lifestyle and dieting habits began yesterday….I am currently boiling baby carrots. As with all dieting fads/phases I have gone through, while I am EVER optimistic, I sense that this one too shall pass.

I will not be thwarted!!!! I want ever SOOOO badly to once again fit into my plaid pants from Le Chateau! It would be a God-awful shame if I never got to wear those pants again! I also have a FABULOUS floor length plaid wool skirt….assorted other goodies I discovered while unpacking and repacking my world for the move from Ste. Rose du Lac, MB to my current residence, and from my current residence to my upcoming residence in Northern Manitoba.

Adventure, adventure, I embrace you with enthusiasm, though I know not your name or the entirety of your nature!!!!

So yes, did the Fam-Dam-ily weekend thing, it went incredibly well — saw a lot of old familiar faces, met some new people (distant relatives) and was eventually tormented by polka music…..Don’t get me wrong, it looks like a lot of fun, but the shrieking of the fiddles are like a sawmill to my brains!!!! I have a great deal of difficulty enduring fiddles……they are a migraine waiting to happen.

Had some amazing beat-rolls (beat nicks?) at the Ukrainian themed supper at my grandparents’ 65th Wedding Anniversary, and the tenderest most sinfully perfect perogies you have ever had the opportunity to delight in! My Aunt Sherry’s sweet and sour meatballs were, as usual, perfect (my brother is going to be envious for a while, as they are his favorite and he was not able to attend the festivities), and my Aunt Donna’s pickles were perhaps the best batch she has ever made!!!!

Yesterday we had (phoentically doing this, as I know NOT the Ukrainian spelling) soo-kah-hree where we ate the leftovers, and ended the day with a fabulous boat ride. The younger and more courageous daredevils of our family wakeboarded and tubed behind a boat on Lake Winnipegosis. Exploration of the island we docked at was a must, and I must admit, I was moved by the beauty of the location —- perhaps it will inspire one of my stories in the near future. I am itching to write about a serial killer who moors his victims or something like that…..we shall see….

As for my writing, I have done little to none of it for the past week. Tonight’s writing will take the form of a letter in Deutsch to my dear friend Hauke, and perhaps I will finally make some progress on the Dark Field series that I have created???????

Once again, Happy August!!!!

Sincere regards,

Amanda M. Holt

p.s. my 31st birthday is on Friday the 13th of this month, and is also the day that I am SUPPOSED to be moving to my new residence. HOW COOL IS THAT?????

p.p.s. – haven’t heard back from NCP yet on whether or not they want to publish BOUND: A Post-Apocalyptic Lust Story, my tale of the jungle warrioress Ana, an excerpt of which you can find at http://www.amandamholt.com !!!!!!

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