Author: Dana L Brown

Defining Your Target!

The 6 Things You Need to Know to Define Your Target Readers

  1.  Who is your target reader?

Age

Gender

Income

Education

2.  Where do they shop?

Work?

Associate?

Go to school?

3.  In what form do they prefer to receive your information?

4.  When do they want to buy your content?

5.   Why do they want to buy your content?

6.   How can you best reach them with your promotion?

Publicity

Media appearances

Social Media

Personal selling

Advertising

There’s a saying “Get your ducks in a row” and it’s especially true for authors.  It’s more than just putting words on paper, and to be successful, you need a plan!

Happy Writing to you all, and remember, it’s never too late to rewrite your personal story!

As Always,

Dana L.

 

 

 

A Love Affair With Words!

What are you currently reading and what book first made you fall in love with the written word?

Reader # 1

.I am currently reading The Witches by Stacy Schiff. It’s a nonfiction piece focusing on the hysteria that drove the Salem witch trials in 1692.

The first book book I remember reading that started my love affair with the written word was probably something by Dr. Seuss.  Why? His tales of made up worlds and far-away places, and the magic that can be conjured with words colored my world. My library card was a passport out of my ordinary life.

Reader # 2

I’m currently reading Orphan X by Greg Hurwitz.  It’s a Crime Thriller, not the genre I usually read. I’m an action adventure guy, but he’s an interesting writer, so I thought I would give it a try.

The first book I remember reading that helped me fall in love with books was Horacio Hornblower. It had adventure in exotic places, with lots of action and danger.

Reader # 3

I’m currently reading an ARC from Julia Wolf, Cut Free. It’s a Contemporary Romance that takes place in a small historical town, based on where the author and I live.

The first book I remember falling in love with was Charlotte’s Webb. My mom read it to me when I was about six, and I asked her to only read chapter books after that. Why Charlotte’s Webb? I loved animals and could relate to Fern.

Reader # 4

I haven’t started reading it yet, but I have The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry sitting on my bedside table. I’m always drawn to fiction, so I’m sure it won’t disappoint. It’s about a family of women from Salem, Massachusetts who have the ability to read the future in the patterns of lace.

I guess you could say that Nancy Drew mysteries helped me fall in love with books. I know that reflects my age, but you can’t beat a good teen mystery.

Reader # 5

I just bought the Bankers Wife by Cristina Alger, but haven’t started it yet.

I was a late bloomer to reading, but then I picked up The Pelican Brief, and then A Time to Kill and The Firm, and I was hooked! I love the side works of business and law.

Reader # 6

I am not currently reading a book, but the first book I fell in love with was Dear John, by Nicholas Sparks. I loved it so much that I went on to read several more of his books.  I also love the author Jody Picoult, especially the book, The Plain Truth.

Reader # 7

I am currently reading The Panther, by Nelson DeMille. It’s an international intrigue about a New York tough guy cop who goes to Yemen in search of terrorists who attacked the USS Cole-a true incident that killed 14 US Soilders. His character is an alpha male badass who, like all of DeMille’s lead characters, doesn’t cooperate with others and is politically incorrect.

I’ve been reading and enjoying books since I first figured out the alphabet (Hardy Boys Mysteries, Nancy Drew, Huck Finn, comics), but if I had to chose one that kept me awake at night and gave me a desire for adventure it would be a close call between Last of the Mohicans and Horatio Hornblower.

And me!

I’ve become infatuated with John Sandford novels this year.  His character, Lucas Davenport, is a little bit of a rogue cop, who also made millions by writing gaming programs.  There now is a spinoff character, Virgil Flowers, and he’s the lead in the book I’m reading Rough Country. Not really sure of the genre, but it’s a nice change after writing Women’s Fiction.

When I was in the fifth grade a friend loaned me her Trixie Beldon book, and I was hooked! Mysteries, but any type of series with a reoccurring character, is what I love.  I want to feel like I know the people I’m reading about, and a series helps me do just that.

Thank you so much to those of you who took the time to share your stories, and your love of books. We’ve been given lots  of good information, and new books to look for. I already have two of the ones written down for my next read.

I love the words From Reader #1. “My library card was a passport out of my ordinary life”  And isn’t that what books are meant to do? They take our ordinary life and make it exciting, and filled with adventure.

My wish for you this week is that you can read, at least a little bit each day, and that you can lose yourself in a world of make believe. I intend to!📚

As always,

Dana L.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Club Discussion

Book Club Discussion Questions…

  1.  Does the title of the book fit the storyline?

2.  How credible or believable did you find the narrator to be?  Did you feel like you got the true story?

3.  Any “If/Then” Questions? If the protagonist choose her other love interest, how might the book have been different?

4.  Was there enough tension or conflict throughout the book?

5.  Who was your favorite character and why?

6. How was the chemistry between the two main characters?

7. Was the book all about the characters, or the plot?

8.  Compare this book to your last Book Club read. Which did you enjoy more and why?

9. Was there a quote or a passage that really resonated with you?

10.  You’re the author…what changes, if any would you make and why?

Keep reading, keep writing and keep reaching!

As Always,

Dana L.

 

 

It’s Award Season!

On May 2nd of this year I shared with you three authors you should know, and I was spot on!  In the last week announcements have been made about all three of them, and the awards they are receiving for their work.  If you didn’t feel you had a good reason to read their books before, maybe this will convince you!

David EdmondsThe Girl in The Glyphs is a finalist in the 2018 Latino Books into Movies at the Latino International Fim Festival. And if that wasn’t enough, his latest novel, The Heretic of Granada is a Medalist in the Florida Authors and Publishers 2018 Presidential Awards.  Both books are Historical Fiction and exceptional reads.

K.I. Knight…Both of Kathryn Knight’s Fate & Freedom books have just been named International AAHGS Winners! I have read both books and highly recommended them. Kathryn is a master of genealogy, and while the books are novels, they are very accurate in their accounts.

Zelle Andrews…Remember you heard it here, first! In May I told you that Zelle was on her way to becoming an Award Winning Author, and now she is! The second book in her Paisley series, Dancing with Dandelions is also a Medalist in the Florida Authors and Publishers 2018 Presidential Awards, in both Women’s Fiction (chiclit) and Florida Fiction for Adults.  I know that several of you read Zelle’s Books after my share in May, but if you haven’t, now is the time.  They’re so good!

I’m sure most of you have seen on my social media sites that Call Me Charlotte has also been named a Medalist in three categories in the Florida Authors and Publishers 2018 Presidential Awards, and I feel so honored.  The FAPA Awards will be presented on August 4th in Orlando, and that’s where everyone finds out whether they will be awarded a Bronze, Silver or Gold Medal.

All of these books are available on Amazon and are definitely worth your time and investment.  And as always, please leave a review! It’s an author’s bread and butter!

Have a wonderful week and read a book! After all, books are the “other channel”!

Blessings…

Dana L.

Interview with Willie Handler, Author of The Road Ahead

Willie Handler interview
1. When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
I decided to take a stab at writing later in life. Although, I wrote for much of my work
career, it was nothing creative. I take that back. Come to think of it, I worked in public
policy for the Ontario government and there were times when I needed to be incredibly
creative. But that’s a story for another time. After retiring from the government, I took
some time to consider what I wanted to next in my life. Career-wise, I’ve reinvented
myself several times. Just over three years ago, I decided I would like to write a novel, so
here I am.
2. The Road Ahead is a political satire…where did your inspiration come from?
I’ve always had an interest in satire. Working in government with direct contact with
politicians, forces you to develop considerable political acuity. You need to read people
and anticipate issues before the blow up on you. I thought a political satire would be an
ideal first story and my previous career provided lots of inspiration. As it turned out,
writing the book was also very cathartic.
3. Rick is definitely “politically incorrect”. Is he based on a real person, a combination of people, or totally made up?
Yes. Yes. Yes.
There have been many Rick Tompkins in politics. And not just in Canada or the United
States. He is the opportunist or narcissist who goes into politics for all the wrong reasons.
Rick is a made-up person, but every reader swears they know who I’m writing about.
However, the book contains unforgettable lines I heard during my former career.
4. Do you have any experience in politics?
Unlike the U.S., the public service in Canada is nonpartisan. As a senior public servant, I
was restricted by law from participating in a number of political activities. I chose to
remain completely neutral politically and never even had a lawn sign. Since retiring, I’ve
volunteered for a number of political campaigns. Some of that experience is reflected in
the book.
5. How has your life changed since becoming an author?
Good question. My life is always evolving. Many things in my life have changed since I
took up writing that have nothing to do with writing. However, becoming an author has
​exposed me to new experiences, skills and opportunities. I’ve developed a new network
of peers. Yet, I don’t feel my life has changed much at all.
6. Tell us about your current WIP.
The story takes place 20 years in the future. It’s about Dixon Jenner, a chef, who is
selected by NASA to prepare meals on the first permanent colony on Mars. The colony is
destroyed in an explosion while Dix is exploring on his own in a rover. The explosion
gets the attention of two Martians, Bleeker and Seepa, who come to the surface to
investigate. They decide to provide him with shelter and in exchange he agrees to be
interviewed for a study on human anatomy and social structures. Dix attempts to fit into
Martian society with some funny results.
7. Where do your ideas come from?
A couple of years ago I took a course on writing humor. On the first day, I pretended that I was a sci-fi writer
who had inadvertently applied to the wrong course (yes, I may have gone overboard practicing my craft).
I carried this on for several weeks before finally
admitting I had made it all up. One week, I even submitted a sci-fi piece for an assignment.  But everyone in the class insisted I turn the short story into a novel. I thought
a genre I had never considered to write would be a great way to challenge my creativity.
So, I did it.
8. Do you have a writing process?
I have no process what so ever. I just sit down and write. I wasn’t even sure about my
ending until I was working on the last couple of chapters. I believe it’s referred to as pantsing.
9. What is the genre you most relate to?
The common thread in all my writing is humor and satire. I like to try different genres and incorporate my brand of humor.  One day, I would love to write a funny thriller or mystery.
10. If you were asked to give advice to a would be writer, what would it be?
Write like no one is reading.
What I mean by that is don’t write what you think will be a commercially successful book.  Instead, write for yourself.
If it there’s an audience for your book, that’s great.. If there isn’t a market for it, you’re still a success because you
wrote a book. That’s damn hard to do!

My elevator pitch for The Road Ahead
Rick Tompkins, a suburban Toronto insurance broker, never considered a political career
until a good friend, the leader of the Conservative party, asks him to run for office. He
accepts, knowing he cannot win, only to gain visibility for himself and his business. Jerry,
a veteran party worker, is sent to run Rick’s campaign in a riding that hasn’t elected a
Conservative in years.
Rick fumbles his way through the election and manages a surprise win but saddles his
party with an impossible commitment. Even worse, Rick is anything but politically
correct. He offends everyone and stumbles from one scandal to another.
Where you can find me: 
I’m active on Twitter – @WillieHandler
I have an author’s page on Facebook –
https://www.facebook.com/willietheauthor/notifications/
I have a blog. I initially used to post funny stuff. Then it evolved into writing advice.
Now, I think I’m going to return to posting some humor pieces. –
https://williehandler.com/
Thank you, Willie for being so welcoming to me on Twitter, and for your wit and words of wisdom, here today.
Wishing you all many roads ahead….
Blessings,
Dana L.

Paper or Plastic?

When I turned…, well let’s just say one year for my birthday, my mom bought me a Kindle, and I loved it! Being an avid reader it allowed me to never be without a book to read, whether I was riding in the car, or sitting by the pool. I joined Kindle Unlimited and some weeks read five books, but that all changed when I actually wrote one of my own.

I still enjoy my Kindle for traveling, but today nothing feels as good in my hands as a real book. There’s just something about curling up in a chair, or stretching out on the boat, whiling away the afternoon with one of my favorite authors that truly makes my heart happy.

So which do you prefer, paper or plastic? Or maybe like me, you like a little of both?

On this blog we have six published authors; Zelle Andrews, Patti Bassard Jefferson, David Edmonds, SE Rose, Sam Staley, and me! There are also two ladies with books still being written, Gay Barrett and Peta Monk. If I may speak for all of us, we appreciate when you buy our books, either in electronic or actual book form, and nothing makes us happier than to have someone say, “I bought your book and I loved it!”

Paper or Plastic is a personal choice, although for the first time in years more paper books are being sold than ebooks. Maybe people have found out like I have, the pleasure you get when you really turn a page!

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and you can send them by email, on in the contact box on the website.  And Oh yeah!  No matter what form of book you choose, PLEASE LEAVE A REVIEW!

Wishing you the Happy Endings that come from reading a good book!

Dana L.

 

 

 

 

 

The Power of a Word

Do you remember this children’s rhyme?  Sticks and stones  may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. It sounds nice, but in reality it’s the biggest crock of butter you’ve ever been told!

Words can hurt, and hurt badly. They ruin marriages, and families and friendships, all because they’re so easy to say, but impossible to take back.

Who in your life says the most negative things to you in a given day? You know, the person who says “you’ll never lose weight”, or “you’re not a very good athlete “. It’s you, right?

It doesn’t matter where words come from; your spouse, your parent, a friend, or your own thoughts and mouth, the wrong words can take away your joy, your motivation and sometimes even your life.

Today I’m challenging you to keep your words positive, whether you’re talking to yourself, or someone else. Words are a weapon and they can be spoken for us or against us.

Remember in Lottie Loser the first time Ashley Marshall called Lottie a “loser”? Those words helped define Charlotte’s life,  but thankfully they didn’t break her.

My goal is to think before I speak and to use my words to change my life! Because you know what? I’ve proven that I can lose weight, and I biked The Netherlands! But most importantly, I want to use my words for healing, and not for pain.

Wishing you a day filled with wonderful words, for others and especially for you…

Blessings..

Dana L.

 

Three Authors You Should Know!

It’s author week and it’s my pleasure to share with you Three Authors whose work you I hope you will love as much as I do.

 

Sam Staley (S.R. Staley) is a lover of pirates, and his series about them is lots of fun! I just completed the first book in the series, The Pirate of Panther Bay, and was especially fond of Isabella, The Pirate Ship Captain.  A woman Pirate? Yep! And I did my Amazon review, too!

Everyone has had their life touched by cancer. Whether by personal experience, or that of a friend or loved one, the next author, Angelina Assanti has a very poignant story to share.  Her #1 Best Seller, Thank God I Got Cancer Because Now I’m Not a Hypochondriac Anymore, is written in a way that will make you laugh and make you cry, and it will definitely make you think.

Jeri Hines is the author of several series set during the old south, or The Revolutionary War, and every book  I’ve read has melted my heart. Her Southern Legacy Series is one of my favorites. Belle of Charleston is Book I and if you like strong male characters, you’ll love both Cullen and Wade.

I hope you enjoy this month’s author share, and that you’ll read and appreciate their work. I’ve read the books listed above,I wouldn’t recommend them if I hadn’t.  And remember….leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads!

Books are my passion…what’s yours? 📚

As always,

Dana L.

 

 

Why Write a Review?

  • We’re all Readers here, right? So that means we always give a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads when we’re done with a book, because we know how important those reviews are to the author.  Right again?

If you’re hanging your head, it’s okay, because sometimes writing a review seems like a lot of work, so we just don’t do one. But have you ever thought how important that review is to the writer of the book you just read?

Yesterday I got my hair done and yes, I’m as blonde as a California girl, but while I was with my stylist the lady in the next chair told me how much she loved Lottie Loser! Awesome.  I asked her if she had done a review on Amazon and she said “no”, I’ll just give you your review here. I realized then that a lot of people don’t really understand the value of their posted review, so that’s why we’re talking about it now.

A posted review to Amazon or Goodreads is more than just validation for the author.  The real purpose is so that other readers can decide by the posted message whether or not it’s a book they want to read. Of course, it also helps the writer know if their work is being well received, or if they missed the boat!

A 5 Star review is what all authors are hoping for, but not all books are 5 Star worthy.  You need to review based on your experience with the book.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Means I loved it

⭐⭐⭐⭐      I liked it

⭐⭐⭐            It was okay

⭐⭐                I didn’t like it

⭐                     I hated it

A two or three sentence explanation needs to go with the review, along with a title.  I recently read and reviewed K.I. Knight’s, Fate & Freedom, The Middle Passage, and this was my 5 Star review.

”What a powerful and moving storyline! If you love history this is a great read.  My heart was pulled towards the main characters and I have to know what happens next”.

I’m currently reading The Pirate of Panther Bay, by S.R. Staley, and of course , I’ll leave a review!

So, the next time you read a book, whether it comes from your local library, Amazon, or another avenue, please remember this blog, and leave a review! The author and other perspective readers will thank you.

One more tidbit.  If you don’t regularly use Amazon they won’t post your review.  I believe  the rule now is you must have spent $50.00 with them, but that is always changing.

Goodreads allows reviews without a purchase, so be sure to utilize them.

I wish you all a wonderful Wednesday, and hope that as soon as you finish reading this you’ll post a review on the last book that you read! Unless of course, you already did!

Be a Rock Star for your favorite author!

As Always

Dana L.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Stars for Charlotte!!

I am so excited to share with you that Call Me Charlotte has received a 5 Star Review from Reader’s Favorite! The review will go out on Facebook and Twitter tomorrow, but I felt I owed it to you to let you read it first!

Be sure to look over the Gallery while you’re here to see pictures from Release Week!

Reviewed by Gail Kamer for Reader’s Favorite

What a fun read! Call Me Charlotte by Dana L. Brown follows Lottie (call me Charlotte) as she is fired from her job as president of the Old Florida Bank on Anna Maria Island in Florida.  She learns that one of her best friends from childhood and the love of her life, Nick, has been shot. Oh, Lord! Please let him live! Why has she been so stubborn? Nick’s brother confesses his love for Charlotte and she finds out something important.  How will this all work out?

Call Me Charlotte is one of those wonderful “feel good” books you want to take to the beach or curl up with at the pool or in front of a fireplace.  It’s full of love, wonder, and a few tears-happy ones.  While there is conflict, it’s the kind of conflict that most people encounter in their lives, not conflict where someone has a curse, an unknown killer disease, murder and mayhem, etc. It’s a down-to-earth, love of your life got away, make mistakes, get over them and smile kind of read. I loved the easy to read short chapters, the fast paced plot, and the fact that you could read the book in in just a day or two.

If you’re looking for a story to enjoy as you’re enjoying life, vacationing, or just need something to smile about, this is the book for you.

I wish you all a safe and special Memorial Day weekend, surrounded by the things that you love! Like books?!😉

As always,

Dana L.