Leave a comment and I'll gift you one of my novels or a subscription to my Wellness Ezine.

Leave a comment and I'll gift you one of my novels or a subscription to my Wellness Ezine.
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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Love YA Fantasy, chivalry--this book's for you!




Title: GRUDGING
Author: Michelle Hauck
Pub. Date: November 17, 2015
Publisher: Harper Voyager Impulse
Format: eBook
Find it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Goodreads

A world of chivalry and witchcraft…and the invaders who would destroy everything.

The North has invaded, bringing a cruel religion and no mercy. The ciudades-estados who have stood in their way have been razed to nothing, and now the horde is before the gates of Colina Hermosa…demanding blood.

On a mission of desperation, a small group escapes the besieged city in search of the one thing that might stem the tide of Northerners: the witches of the southern swamps.

The Women of the Song.

But when tragedy strikes their negotiations, all that is left is a single untried knight and a witch who has never given voice to her power.  And time is running out.

A lyrical tale of honor and magic, Grudging is the opening salvo in the Book of Saints trilogy.


Excerpt:

Shortly after the combat, Ramiro made his excuses to the men at the wall and left, returning to the citadel and taking the stairs to the roof. Some alcalde’s wife from the past had turned this spot into an outdoor garden and dining room, making it a favorite retreat for many. A peaceful place when he felt anything but.
Other people’s blood spotted his white shirt. Had things gone differently, it could easily have been his own. He needed a bath and a rest, but his mind hummed from the conflict, leaving him unable to stop pacing. Cold chills claimed his limbs. His stomach was sourer than when alcohol had filled it. With no clear single-combat victory, he hadn’t earned his beard. The night reeked of disappointment.
How long? How long could they keep the Northerners out?
Stars spotted the night sky here, where the citadel met the top of the world. Or so it had always seemed to him as a child. Life was no longer so certain now that he was older.
He drew in the cool scent of creeping jasmine, carefully tended and watered by hand in pots across the rooftop. Colina Hermosa spread before him, a humbling sight. The city stretched away from the citadel on all sides, a jewel shining with lights. It spread down the hill, becoming wider and grander as it sprawled, with imposing avenues and white-clad stucco buildings whose thick walls and small windows kept out the noonday heat. There was squalor and dirt as well, fits of temper, rudeness, and often impatience. But the darkness hid all that, washing the city of its faults and giving it a fresh life until it tumbled like the sea against the immovable stone walls that now held out the Northerners.
His heart swelled with love. Something worth defending. Home.
Outside the high, white walls, well beyond arrow shot, was a sight not so welcoming. There, jammed between the city and a deep, old quarry used to build the city walls, campfires burned. A red swarm of rage and death, brimstone and smoke, offering a grim contrast with the peaceful firmament. Not by the hundreds did they burn, but by the thousands, mirroring the stars in the sky. How many peasants’ houses did they demolish to feed so much hungry fire? They must be down to burning cacti. How they kept it up night after night, he couldn’t begin to comprehend. Salvador had talked on about supply trains and quartermasters, but Ramiro had let his imagination dwell on his first ride instead. An indulgence he regretted now.
If only each fire meant a single enemy, but that was wishful thinking. Each fire contained tens of men. Tens and thousands. And behind them, the siege machines waited their turn. A lethal combination for Colina Hermosa.
He touched the spot above his spleen, and whispered, “Santiago, don’t let me give in to despair.”

About Michelle: 

https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-U-Lm7ZDaHL8/Vh1rr4uInYI/AAAAAAAAAao/K3bb7L0v4PE/s200/michelle_h.png 

Michelle Hauck lives in the bustling metropolis of northern Indiana with her hubby and two teenagers. Two papillons help balance out the teenage drama. Besides working with special needs children by day, she writes all sorts of fantasy, giving her imagination free range. A book worm, she passes up the darker vices in favor of chocolate and looks for any excuse to reward herself. Bio finished? Time for a sweet snack.

She is a co-host of the yearly contests Query Kombat and Nightmare on Query Street, and Sun versus Snow.

Her epic fantasy, Kindar's Cure, is published by Divertir Publishing. Her short story, Frost and Fog, is published by The Elephant's Bookshelf Press in their anthology, Summer's Double Edge. She's repped by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary.



Sunday, October 25, 2015

For YA Authors: 19th Free Dear Lucky Agent Contest

Welcome to information about the 19th (free!) “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest on the GLA blog. This is a FREE recurring online contest with agent judges and super-cool prizes. 

According to Chuck , here’s the deal: "With every contest, the details are essentially the same, but the niche itself changes—meaning each contest is focused around a specific category or two. So if you’re writing any kind of young adult fiction, this 19th contest is for you! (The contest is live through EOD, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015.)"

This contest will be judged by Agent Eric Smith, so you'll have a chance to have an agent see and review your work, and you might even win a critique!

Here's the place to go: http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/19th-free-dear-lucky-agent-contest-young-adult-fiction
Be sure to scroll down to the article, then submit per the instructions.
Good luck!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

How tennis teaches you patience, control, focus, how to have fun and keeps you healthy

I've been into tennis for decades...off and on. Now, I'm into it in a big way, playing 4-5 times a week, and loving it.

Yes, this is me, before I got off the hard courts, and now play only on clay.


Tennis, which contains not one normal movement, is a real challenge because most of us like to attack problems head on. Does tennis? NO. To execute every shot in tennis you have to turn your body either left or right, and that calls for focus and control. Of course, you also have to position yourself in the right spot, keep your eyes on the ball, have the right grip, right swing, and right follow through, but if you do all things, the ball will go where you want it to go with plenty of power to knock the socks off your opponent.

Okay, so tennis requires focus, patience, and control. Bigtime. It's said you have to hit a stroke thousands of times to make the mind-body imprint so the movements become a habit. It may even be millions of times. I'm not sure. I'm still working on consistency.

Tennis is also a lot of fun when you execute properly because you win the point. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and pure joy when that happens.

The most important thing tennis can do for you is keep you healthy. Sitting is the worst thing for the body. Moving it is the best. Our bodies are meant to move and tennis accomplishes that. Also, if you play on clay or grass court, you'll protect your joints while exercising. And it's a lot more fun to play a game than work out in a smelly gym...at least it is for me.

Also, we all need to get at least 15 minutes of exposure to the sun (the best source of vitamin D there is) 3-4 times a week; up to three times that if you have dark skin. Playing outdoors is a great way to get that exposure, but play before 10 a.m. and after 3 p.m.

So, if you haven't explored tennis, do so. And let me know how it goes.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Cover Reveal for GRUDGING

DO you like chivalry and witchcraft…and invaders from the North who would destroy everything and bring a cruel religion and no mercy? What about a single untried knight and a witch who has never given voice to her power? 

GRUDGING is the opening salvo in the Book of Saints trilogy. To see the cover and read more about book, which is coming next month, click on http://www.brenda-drake.com/2015/10/grudging-by-michelle-hauck-cover-reveal/

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Win a Free Copy of Katlyn Duncan's paranormal novel

Do you love paranormal novels?

Katlyn Duncan is offering a copy of one of her backlisted paranormal ebooks. Just click on over to https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/9a07ce2b321/
and sign up.

You could win!

P.S.
Her cover for her new book is awesome.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

18th Free “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest: Thriller / Mystery / Suspense

Do you write mystery, suspense, thrillers?

If you do, hop on over to the 18th Free "Dear Lucky Agent" Contest.

You could win an agent, a critique, or a delicious prize.

You only have until September 17th, so time's a-wasting!

See you there.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Free copies of 3 of THRONE OF GLASS fantasy series

Enter rafflecopter at https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2328/
to win copies of three of Sarah Maas, THRONE OF GLASS fantasy series.
This is a bestselling series, folks, so hurry on over the rafflecopter and enter. You might be the lucky winner!

Good luck!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

How A Mountain Bike Can Extend Your World and Save the Environment

Okay, I did it, I bought a mountain bike yesterday, the kind that has really strong tires so I'll probably never get a flat, the kind that can go and go on cement, or mountains, or whatever.

Why did I do this?

Because, we sold our second car a couple of months back. It was old, we'd sunk a lot of money into it recently, and with only using it once a week, the poor machine just didn't get enough of a workout to stay healthy.

But, this left me with no way to get to my tennis workout on Monday mornings. Now, after consulting with my tennis friends who have bikes, a mountain bike emerged as the safest, easiest to maintain, least costly transport for me on the days our car isn't available for me to use.

It's for sure better for the environment than spewing gas exhaust into the air.

Consider a bike for your transport and let me know how it works out.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

MY SISTER'S DATING A SERIAL KILLER

Okay, I'm posting my query letter and first 250 words for my novel, MY SISTER'S DATING A SERIAL KILLER.

If you're a reader or writer, please put your critique below. I love honest feedback, so rip away.

If you're a writer, post your query on your blog and sign up over on Michelle4Writes.com. The more, the merrier.

Here goes:

Dear Ms. ,

My Sister’s Dating a Serial Killer (62,000 words) is a fast-paced YA mystery/thriller with magical realism.

Bad things can happen when nobody listens. Especially Cammie’s sister, who’s being a lovesick jerk and denying anything’s wrong with her boyfriend. Cammie’s been watching way too much CSI to buy that. She claims there’s evidence he’s burned down the pastor’s barn and experimented with small animals in his basement lab—two things associated with serial killers, according to Dr. Phil. Cammie’s cried wolf too many times about suspects who turned out to be innocent, so not another soul in Sleepy Valley SC believes the sixteen-year-old’s claim her sister’s boyfriend is a serial killer. Except maybe the police chief’s nephew who takes a shine to Cammie and wants to help, but Cammie’s not sure she can trust him.

Lucky she has her flaky Nana and a spirit who calls herself Flannery O’Connor, but they may be more interference than help.

Cammie could be right this time, but if she doesn’t hurry and get enough evidence to send her sister’s boyfriend to the slammer, both girls could end up in pieces in his basement lab.

Even though I live in the South now, like my heroine, I grew up in a small town—only mine was in northern Wisconsin. The University of South Florida's Palm Prints published one of my short stories, Riverwalk published another online. I also took first place in a Virginia Romance Writers contest and second place for a YA novel in a Florida State Writing Competition. 

Thank you for considering My Sister’s Dating a Serial Killer.

Sincerely,



MY SISTER’S DATING A SERIAL KILLER
Chapter 1
Into the Deep
“Cameo! Don't jump,” Cort, my older sister, shouts to me from the woodsie Carolina path.
The sweet and succulent blackberries we’d been picking for Mom’s pie still melting in my mouth, I straighten from my diving position, yank off my sweaty T-shirt and hang it on a shrub. For dramatic effect, I step out of my cutoffs like a striper and pull up my one-piece swimsuit, which has lost some of the elasticity around the strapless top.
It’s Cort who needs protecting, not me. I kick off my flip-flops and the warm sand prickle my toes.
When I can’t come up with a way to tell her the truth about her new boyfriend, I plunge deep into the channel.
A luscious wetness covers me until something large swims in my direction. It’s impossible to see what’s hiding in the pitch black underwater. A knot grabs hold of my gut and twists to warn me. Whatever is down here is evil.
Before I can swing into a fast breast stroke in the other direction, something below my feet sends chills up my body. A rough current tumbles me along the river bottom into a sunken tree.
Something large bumps into my leg.  
I jolt back.
Which way to find Cort? My inner compass is off course.
Adrenaline rushes through my body and I battle up from the muddy bottom.
Something grabs my legs from behind.
Not a fish.
Not an alligator.
Those were hands.

Friday, July 10, 2015

MY ROMANCE WITH TWITTER

When I first got on Twitter, I was enamored with it totally. I spent hours reading other people's Tweets. They were so sexy, so interesting, so smart.

By comparison, mine paled. No doubt because I've been writing non-fiction, health-related books for so long, my sexiness, interestingness and smartness have faded to zero.

Still, I persisted. After all, it was the favored social media for people who held contests for people like me to be favorited by an agent, send them pages from my novel, and ultimately be represented by said agent. One is not sure exactly how long that takes because it's been ions since I started querying, and have not yet Gotten the Call, but that's another story...

Anyway, last week, I began getting messages that I could not post that message. At first, I thought maybe I'd put swear words in it, or been mean to another Twitterer, or some such. But no, I checked my Tweets and they were pristine.

Today, the low blow came.

I was told I could not Follow anyone.

Why not? I'd only followed less than 200 people. Was I on some kind of list I was unaware of for writing thrillers or young adult romance? Maybe my choice of people to follow was bad.Again, I found no problem with the people I'm following. They are all sterling Tweeters.

Then, by some amazing process I've totally forgotten, I discovered a way to send a message to Twitter.

Hurrah!

I filled in the form and pushed SUBMIT. I even received a thank you, but along with that were words something like: You will not receive a response to your question. We only collect this information to make Twitter a more pleasurable experience.

If it were anymore pleasurable, I'd probably die, or at the least, go into a hiccup spell.

Any advice out there? Have you, too, had this horrific experience, and if so, how did you get out of it? Are you still alive, or have you been turned into hot, melting taffy?

I'm holding my breath in anticipation of your sterling suggestions.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Are you a writer who's stumped? Find new inspiration...

Want to write more easily?

Mary Jaksch, Editor-in-Chief gathered the 10 best creative writing exercises for you!

Each one comes with an image which will stimulate your creativity.

Click here to check out these fun exercises.


Monday, April 27, 2015

What Makes You Cry? What would Wordsworth say?

“Fill your paper with the
breathings o f your heart.”
~William Wordsworth

Whether you're a writer or a reader--or both, emotion is what you're going for. As a writer, most of the time you want to make people smile or laugh, or be scared, but sometimes everyone needs to cry. It's a great release of tension, cleans out your eye channels, and just feels good to let it all out.

What makes me cry?

Animals, especially moms with their pups (or whatever) or sibling animals. I have a picture of baby elephants holding onto each other's trunks and strolling along in front of watchful Mom.

Romance. I'm a sucker for a lot of those romances on the Hallmark Movie Channel. At the end, when the two lovers kiss after being through the wringer, I always sigh and wipe away a tear or two.

Ballet. When I lived in NYC, I used to go to the ballet with my roommate. I will forever be indebted to Susan. She was the one who introduced me to Lincoln Center. The beauty. The precision, The emotion of the dance. It's so beautiful, I have to cry at that.

Puppies. All kinds, but especially cockers (because we had one when I was a kid), Swedish Elkhounds (because one lived with us thirty years ago and I still miss her), Maltese, and Terriers, and mixed breeds with sad faces.

Old boyfriends. I wonder what would have been if....

Regrets about scenes with my parents. There are a few I'd like to rewrite. Writing gives me the chance to do that.

That's pretty much my list. For today. What about you? What makes you cry?

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Free ARC of NOVA, a super sci fi thriller coming from DAW Books in June

Get your free ARC of NOVA, a super sci fi thriller by Margaret Fortune coming from DAW books in June. You can read an excerpt of the delicious story at http://michelle4laughs.blogspot.com/

So mosey on over to Michelle4laughs and sign up. Spread the word!









This cover is amazing! Dying to found out who/what the nova is...

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Biting my Fingernails, waiting to see what happens with #Nestpitch and #Pitchslam

Of course, I'm in. Who could not be pulled into #Pitchslam and #Nestpitch on Twitter?

Of course, I'm not too sure who or what gets slammed in #Pitchslam, but I do know that the nest has to do with eggs and Easter.

The excitement is overwhelming. Geez, I'm so excited, I typed in @Pitchslam the first time.

Anyways...Hop over there and see!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Live Your Desire

Do you like to read or write books--or both?
Here is a quote to help you achieve your desire:

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

5 Ways to Become a Fiction Writer if You've Only Written Non-Fiction

Is it easy to switch from nonfiction to fiction?

I can only speak from personal experience and say a resounding "NO!"

They require different skills--at least the kind of nonfiction I write does. My nonfiction books are health-related and many are textbooks. It's hard to be breezy and free when you're writing about menopause or bladder spasms. I try, but, like I said, it's not easy.

So, I've racked my brain to come up with 5 ways to become a fiction writer if you're used to writing technical or scientific stuff.

  1. Start reading poetry. It is filled with wonderful descriptions of things I never even thought about. It will give you great ideas for describing people, settings, and situations.
  2. Read more fiction in the genre you hope to write in. While you're reading, take notes in the book (if you own it or it's digital) or in a separate book. Look at things like: how much dialogue is there? How much action? How much internal dialogue? By whom? How often? This will give you a feel for how much to put in your book.
  3. Read more fiction bestsellers. Yes, I know, bestsellers aren't always the best written books, but they have things called hooks that you'll need to use to attract readers to your book. 
  4. Develop a genre of your own. Dan Brown is used all the time as an example of a writer who sells lots of books despite not being in say Ross Macdonald's or Mary Stewart's class. How does he do it? He invented a genre of his own and people who want to read religious thrillers flock to him. 
  5. Get a tough beta reader or join a critique group who will be honest with you about what needs to change. Besides reading, being critiqued by tough judges is the fastest way to jump from non-fiction to fiction. 
That's it for now. I've got to go and work on #4 above.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Post the Pitch and First 250 Words of Your Novel and Receive a Free Critique



Today's the day for a free critique of your novel.
Hurry on over to http://michelle4laughs.blogspot.com/ and enter post haste! Find my pitch and 250 for a novel I'm querying.

 SECRETS Pitch:

If seventeen-year-old Raz Rinaldi  stops lying  and finds the courage to tell the truth, she could get the scholarship she so badly needs and the boy she most desperately wants.


First 250 words:

           Running is my medicine.In the dark, foggy morning, I'm on automatic pilot. Endorphins kick in, surge through my bloodstream, make me believe everything’s going to be okay.

My feet thump across the wet sidewalk. Rain, shine, snow, sleet—I run.
It’s the only thing that makes me feel in control.
A car drives by and splashes water at me, but I speed across the street, out of range.
Before Mom died, my life was laid out: graduate, go to college, break track records. I breath faster, feel the familiar tightening in my leg muscles.
The old Raz, the one I was with Mom, was confident. Now, I’m secretive Raz who never shows anyone what’s deep inside me.
I have to keep my secrets hidden. Especially from my stepmother who thinks running is silly and that I should get a better haircut and wear a skirt and heels to class. I don’t tell her she’s crazy, but that’s what I’m thinking.
My feet take me up a slight incline and I try not to think about Dad. He’s my biggest worry. Without Mom here, he’s my responsibility.
I’m not sure I’m up to it.
***
The sun comes up two hours later on my first day of senior year. Logan Spenser, the best-looking guy in my class, pulls his convertible alongside Chelsea’s VW Bug in the line of drivers waiting for parking spots in the school lot. I try not to stare, but I can’t stop myself from peering at him.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Why KINDAR'S CURE Deserves a Read: Fresh Insights

Hi Everybody!

Today, I'm interviewing Michelle Hauck,

splendorous author of KINDAR'S CURE, a YA fantasy.




Hi, Michelle, nice to have you here. I just know your answers will provide enticing details about your story. My first question is, how did you get the idea for your book, Kindar's Cure? Did it come like a bolt of lightening or slowly creep up, or in some other way?

MICHELLE: Thanks, it's nice to be here. I must say, most of the plot crept up on me, but the start came with a lingering cold. I was sitting all propped up in bed with a bad cough keeping me awake and wondered what it would be like to write about a sick character. Only instead of a cold, Kindar has a lifetime of fighting for her life against her weakness.
ME: What is the significance of that title?
MICHELLE: I liked the alliteration and the fact that cure could be taken in more than one way. A cure for Kindar’s health crisis and also a cure for the isolation and distrust of her life.
ME: That's really interesting. Who are the main characters and what real life or fantasy creatures did you use to develop them?
MICHELLE: I usually put bits of myself in the characters. But for Kindar’s Cure I also used the real life drama of Henry the VIII. Henry had a very distrustful relationship with his three children. So what would that be like if my world had a matriarchal ruler? I changed Henry and his son to women, put Kindar in Princess Elizabeth’s spot, murdered the older sister representing Princess Mary, and let the suspicion build from there.
ME:  Which one of your characters is your favorite and why?
MICHELLE: Kindar has a nursemaid that has supported her through her health crisis. Lindy is a bit of a character. For one thing she mumbles under her breath exactly what’s on her mind, when she isn’t shouting it out loud for everyone to hear. She wades into a fight like she’s a warrior instead of an old lady in skirts. She’s the loyal dog who always gets her point across and she was just fun to write.
ME: What's the first line of your novel and why did you pick those words to begin your novel?
MICHELLE: “Kindar held herself motionless in the platform bed and willed clenched muscles to contain her ever-present cough.” That line sums up the determination of Kindar. There’s no doubt, she’s been a fighter all her life and isn’t one to quit on anything. She’s a pretty stubborn woman and it’s that quality that gets her through what’s to come.
ME:  What does your first line mean to the rest of your novel?
MICHELLE: It’s certainly a theme about will-power and believing in yourself to conquer the troubles that come your way in life. Stand firm on what you believe to be true.
ME: Why did you pick fantasy as your way to express your ideas?
MICHELLE: Fantasy has always spoken to me. It’s the genre I prefer to read. I guess I seek escapism and something that is different from the world we live in. You have more freedom in fantasy than in contemporary.
ME:  How many years have you been writing?
MICHELLE: Kindar was the second book I’d ever written. So at that point I’d been writing about two years. Now I’ve been writing about five years. I hope to one day get to a sequel for Kindar.
ME:.  About how many rejections did you get before you found an agent?
MICHELLE: I queried four manuscripts before finding an agent. There’s a story of persistence if there ever was one. I guess I’m pretty stubborn too. I placed Kindar’s Cure with a small press without the help of an agent.
ME: Besides persevering, what advice do you have for unpublished writers?
MICHELLE: Find other writers to become your support system. Whether you find them on social media or in a critique group, you’ll need the comradeship only other writers can give.
ME: What’s the easiest and hardest part about being a writer?

MICHELLE: The easiest part is actually writing the book and spending the time editing it into shape. The hardest part for me is putting myself out there to promote the finished product. I think many writers are introverts and marketing is scary for them. In this day and age there’s no escape from it. Even writers with big publishing houses have to learn how to connect with readers and get away from their writing hole and out into the world.

ME: Thanks for all your insights, Michelle.

MICHELLE: Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog, Carolyn. It is much appreciated!

ME: You're so welcome and all best wishes with KINDAR'S CURE and your future books.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Do You Have to be Productive to be a Best-Selling Author?

Production is the number of books you write per year. 

All other things being equal, the more books you write, the more success you’ll have.

Dan Brown writes a book every few years and each one is a sky-rocket.

James Patterson writes a book every few weeks and each one is a sky-rocket.

That’s why James is the #1 selling author in the world in this century. Production matters.

In recent years, I’ve seen a trend among indie authors to focus on Production. It’s good to be productive, and it’s something I’m trying to improve on, but in my opinion, this comes last, after you’ve clearly identified your Target Audience, got your Quality up to snuff, and found a way to make Discoverability happen. 

Once those are all in your pocket, then you’ll be earning some money and you can cut back from the day job to focus on ramping up Production.

This article is reprinted by permission of the author.
Award-winning novelist Randy Ingermanson, "the Snowflake Guy," publishes the free monthly Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine, with more than 10,000 readers. If you want to learn the craft and marketing of fiction, AND make your writing more valuable to editors, AND have FUN doing it, visit www.AdvancedFictionWriting.com.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Life, The Universe and Everything

David Farland's Kick in the Pants, encouraged me to share this from his latest newsletter: 

"LIfe, In 2011, LTUE, a science-fiction and fantasy symposium, became independently funded. In the years since, they've allowed over 500 each year to come for free, making up about 50% of their attendance. In order for them to continue to allow students to attend for free, they are seeking donations. They could really use your help to spread the word about their donation drive (and to donate)."

Because The Universe and Everything 2015 is approaching fast, hurry on over to http://ltue.net/donations/

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Delighting the Audience: James Patterson and Dan Brown

Quality

Everybody seems to have a different definition of quality. 

For example, if you Google around, you’ll discover that a number of reviewers believe that Dan Brown, the author of The DaVinci Code, is a low-quality writer.

Reviewers will tell you that Brown uses words poorly, has an agenda, and is a terrible researcher. And on and on.

So why is Dan Brown so successful?

Quality is in the eye of the beholder. And that, I think, is the key to understanding Brown’s success. If you’re a writer, your Target Audience’s definition of quality is the one that matters.

I define “quality” to mean “how well do you delight your Target Audience?”

It’s a simple fact that Dan Brown has a large Target Audience and his books delight them. He punches the set of emotive hot buttons that they want punched.

That is high quality writing. Readers don’t read mainly for beautiful writing. They don’t read mainly for an authorial agenda (although if they like the agenda, then it’s actually a plus.) They don’t read mainly for great research. 

Readers read for a Powerful Emotional Experience. The more powerful it is, the higher the perceived quality of the writing.

For the record, I’m not in Dan Brown’s Target Audience. But it’s obvious that he’s making that audience happy. Dan is a high-quality writer. Ditto for James Patterson, who knows exactly what his readers want and delivers it.

This article is reprinted by permission of the author.
Award-winning novelist Randy Ingermanson, "the Snowflake Guy," publishes the free monthly Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine, with more than 10,000 readers. If you want to learn the craft and marketing of fiction, AND make your writing more valuable to editors, AND have FUN doing it, visit www.AdvancedFictionWriting.com.