The Scribble Mates

Saturday, May 7, 2016

NEWS

SO. MANY. AWESOME. THINGS.

  • The Dimension Thieves Episodes 7-9 PAPERBACK will be available this week!


  • I'm signing up for some photography classes so I can do some killer photos for my covers.
  • My contribution to the Love in the 80's Series, CARELESS WHISPER, will be published at the end of June (bonus content paperback available at UTOPiAcon UTOPiAcon 2016.
  • My contribution to the Love in the 80's Series, CARELESS WHISPER, will be published at the end of June (bonus content paperback available at UTOPiAcon UTOPiAcon 2016.

    AND  
    A SURPRISE IS COMING...

    it's literary
    it's fiction
    it's as honest as I can be while fabricating the truth
    and it's all about the tenacity and the tragedy of DETROIT.
    More, more, and more to come soon. 



Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Dimension Thieves Releases



The Dimension Thieves Series is finally here!  
Ten of the twelve episodes are already available on Amazon (#FREE on #KindleUnlimited #KU!).  The last two episodes will be available by the end of May.  
The books are available as singles or in bundled books that will save you a couple bucks.  Start the   mission now!

You can grab the first episode for FREE with newsletter sign-up too.  Visit www.mistyprovencherauthor.com for more information.






Friday, March 25, 2016

Maneater
Cambria Hebert
(A Love in the ‘80s Novella)
Publication date: March 25th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Watch out, girls. Here she comes.

There’s always that girl. She’s popular, beautiful, and has everything together. The one with the perfectly teased hair, arms full of colorful (but coordinated) bangles, and expertly painted bright-pink lips.

A teacher’s pet. Daddy’s girl.

Everyone loves her.

Because everyone is afraid to challenge her.

Kelly Ross is that girl. She uses her powers of popularity for good… her own good. She doesn’t care who she hurts.

She always gets what she wants.

Including your man.

When she walks down the hallway in her hot-pink heels and ruffled denim miniskirt, all the boys’ heads turn. And all the girls start whispering.

Man-eater.

There hasn’t been a single guy Kelly hasn’t been able to chew up and spit out.

Until now.

Kelly has finally met her match. He’s been there all along, and he’s the exact opposite of everything you’d expect.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks

**SPECIAL RELEASE PRICE of $0.99!**

EXCERPT:

Eric

Do people change?

Or do they always stay the same?

That’s more of a philosophy question. I’m more of a science guy.

I like tangible theories that can be measured, questions with answers that have irrefutable proof. I’m not much for matters of the mind with no exact equation, therefore without exact answer.

I’ve heard it said that the more people change, the more they stay the same.

That statement is confusing. Whatever “great” mind came up with the saying probably was a philosophy major and had no knowledge of scientific reasoning.

It’s a false notion.

A mathematical and scientific fact. In an equation, a + b = c. If even just one variable is changed, the entire equation changes, the answer does not remain the same.

If math and science don’t give enough irrefutable proof, the world I live in does. In the universe of high school and growing older, everyone changes. It’s a natural evolution of life.

I see her every day. Even without my glasses, my eyes would still make out her shape.

She’s one of those girls the eyes must look at, just like the lungs must breathe oxygen. Her presence is loud in the hallways of Edward Little High.
Yet her reputation is quiet… at least the real one anyway.

Whispers. I hear them. When you are invisible, or thought to only think about equations and charts, people think you don’t listen. But I hear.

I listen.

It’s how one learns.

The Choice thinks they know everything, but the people who know the most in this school are the ones who are known the least.

I’m practically a shadow, practically a ghost.

“Beat it, losers!” Tad yells from across the hall. My friends and I look up, surprised he’s talking to us.

Okay, maybe I’m not as invisible as I thought.

I glance at Kelly as we scurry off.

Or maybe, I’m only visible when my presence is useful.

I knew Kelly once, a long time ago. Practically in another life. We aren’t friends. She probably doesn’t even remember my name. I remember hers.

I remember the way she used to twist her Oreos in two and hand me the side with the most cream. The way she would grab my hand and pull me off to play before who we were got in the way.

I remember when she was nice.

As I walk to class, my two friends by my sides, I tune out their conversation and wonder. I saw the way Kelly was looking at Tad, her best friend’s boyfriend. It was a sign. Kelly was gearing up to take down another one. It was a pattern. Patterns always repeat themselves.

This time, I wondered if she would go too far.

Kelly was the reason I was spending my time on an internal philosophical debate. Do people change? The theory was no.

I was seeing evidence to the contrary.

The girl I knew all those years ago would never act the way she does now.

But she does.

The whispers follow her around the hall.

People do change.

MET2


Author Bio:

Cambria Hebert is an award winning, bestselling novelist of more than twenty books. She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major, and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair.

Besides writing, Cambria loves a caramel latte, staying up late, sleeping in, and watching movies. She considers math human torture and has an irrational fear of chickens (yes, chickens). You can often find her running on the treadmill (she’d rather be eating a donut), painting her toenails (because she bites her fingernails), or walking her chorkie (the real boss of the house).

Cambria has written within the young adult and new adult genres, penning many paranormal and contemporary titles. Her favorite genre to read and write is romantic suspense. A few of her most recognized titles are: The Hashtag Series, Text, Torch, and Tattoo.

Cambria Hebert owns and operates Cambria Hebert Books, LLC.

You can find out more about Cambria and her titles by visiting her website: http://www.cambriahebert.com.

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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Thanks to Barnes & Noble, Lansing & So Many Others...

This past weekend, Barnes & Noble (Lansing) hosted a second book signing for me and the experience was spectacular.  If there is a bookseller you want to visit, it's Barnes & Noble at the Lansing Mall.

The staff is incredible.  I was able to observe them through out the day and I am so so so impressed with how efficient and helpful the employees are with their customers.  There was always a smile and  always an air of helpfulness.  They never stop moving, but they were always where they were needed.  The customers all seemed happy and it was very obvious to me why.  The employees at this store are bend-over-backwards helpful, kind, and knowledgeable in their recommendations.

They were equally as incredible to me.  They had a centrally-based table waiting when I walked in, stocked with my titles, and a sign announcing the event.  I suppose you might consider that to be pretty usual, but the employees went above and beyond to make me, and my dear friend, Sue Salah, (who agrees to play assistant for me every now and then) feel completely at home.  One employee offered to move around huge displays in order to give us more room and another offered to get us a drink from their in-house cafe.  One stopped in, on her day off, to say hello, and another brought customers who were looking for new books to my table and introduced me to them.  What amazing, considerate people.

Speaking of amazing and considerate, I must pause to mention my Sue Salah!  Whenever I was away from the table, there was my dear Sue--flooded with people, answering questions, and cool as a freaking cucumber through it all.  I couldn't have asked for better assistance and I believe the signing went so smoothly on my end, only because I had her help.  Guys--she even brought me water so I didn't turn into a raisin!  I wish you all friends like Sue, who will mama-bear you when you don't even know you need it and I hope that at one of my signings, you will all be so lucky to meet her.

I was also shocked to see my parents, and then my husband and kids, show up at the signing yesterday!  It's almost a two hour trip for them and none mentioned it to the others, but they showed up within an hour of each other.  Ever been surprised like that?  I didn't even recognize them when they walked up to the table!  What a blessing my family is to me.






And you might be curious as to how the signing went itself.  Well, beautiful weather brought readers out to the book store and I was able to meet so many budding writers, voracious readers, and even a few handfuls of adorable kids that made the day even more giggly and fun.


Among so many, I met a poet who could speak several languages; an aspiring writer who reminded me so much of myself when I first began this journey;  one of the sweetest families I've ever met; a kind nana; a spiritual sweetheart; a woman who didn't ask for a picture; but a hug; after buying Cornerstone; a thoughtful mama who bought a book for her son who hadn't come with her that day; a Warrior Cat enthusiast; a woman who came with a list of birthday wishes that included a copy of The Hobbit and To Kill a Mockingbird, and included my book in the list too...the list goes on and on.

The thing about book signings like this one is that every time I attend one, I realize signings are not about the author at all (which should put any anxious authors out there at ease).  It's about coming together with new minds and being able to chat about the thing that ties us together:  books.

Some people asked me questions about writing.  I asked everyone what books they've been enjoying.  Many, many people bought books and I even sold out of the second Dimension Thieves book.  But best of all, I met people who came from all kinds of situations and walks of life and I got to fall in love with them for a few hours.  What a pleasure and an honor.

So, I just had to share.  My heart is still floating on the fun of yesterday--spending time with my Sue Salah, the store staff, the customers.  I wish you all so many days as wonderful as the one I had yesterday.  :)

Happy Sunday!


Sunday, February 21, 2016

Concerning those How To Write books...

Ok. This will be excessively vent-y, but it needs to be done. Us folks- meaning you writers who are like me and love to buy books on craft and learn something new- you need to know about an emerging trend that came to my attention when I purchased a book yesterday from my local book store. It is this smarmy trend of writing books about writing books from writers who have the sense of turnips.
It has become this trend to write about how to write better, faster, fancier, etc, because writing about writing is more profitable than writing whatever you really want to write about. It's this shady gold rush in some cases, where every Fuck Whistle with a thought is trying to cash in. 
And, while every tradesman's nubby bits get a tickle from the new tricks and tips they find to improve their craft, it's frustrating to find book after book after book that delivers absolutely NOTHING of value between the covers. 
Please don't turn this into a specific bitch-fest, aimed against any particular book or author. I won't even tell you the name of this book of which I'm speaking (although you should consider that a travesty) or reveal the author here, because the political landscape of writing gets a little dicey on such things. And maybe this utter crap I bought really was this author's Magnum Opus. I'll tell you this much: it is a traditionally published book that proposes to help one identify and repair the problems with their writing, which shouldn't give much away, but actually sums up the entire book's lessons into one sentence that will help you far more than reading this waste of trees.
Beware of these kinds of books. This one in particular goes nearly 50 pages in, giving you nothing but blow-hard negativity about how your writing instincts (in choosing your core idea) are probably for shit and won't do you a bit of good, BUT, they're all you have. It's the same kind of battery acid as "don't ever expect to be anything in the writing world", because, you know...it didn't work for JK Rowling, Stephen King, Hemingway, EE Cummings...and um, EVERYBODY WHO PERSEVERED AND MADE IT.
Yes...so far, I have stuffed my precious brain cabinets with 50 some pages of that kind of crap logic, along with the promises that I am about to read, on page 51(nope), or 68 (doubtful), or 390 (sigh) what the hell the actual components of the Holy Grail story are, according to this author...
And 50 or so pages in, I finally get some insight into this writer's knowledge base and what that turns out to be is a pile of pea-brained, half-baked notions like: concepts are conceptual.
WTF?
I'm only to page 56 now, but I was so infuriated by this $16.99 waste of hard-earned that I felt myself forced to slam the book down and come tattle to all of you. There are less than 200 pages more of instruction and I will surely let you know if I stab myself in the eyes with a rusty fountain tip by the time I'm finished, or if this writer actually pulls some useful, thoroughly-digested nuggets from his posterior...but, in the meantime, I am telling you all of this so that you may proceed with due caution and keep your fingers on your purse strings while considering the purchase of books, or on-line classes, or any type of writing instruction that purports to make you a better writer. 
Here is some of what I've learned about buying materials aimed at improving your craft:
*Check out the success of the author first (though this is no guarantee). Be sure that his/her credibility stems from actual writing success--of writing what you wish to write yourself--rather than the success stemming in majority from a plethora of materials ABOUT how to be successful. 
*If the author is an established, successful writer...have you read them? I mean, Theodore Dreiser (Sister Carrie) ended up being a successful writer once upon a time, but I thought he sucked ass. Take tips from writers you admire.
*For the love of all things joyful...I'm begging me, you, and everyone we know...NOT to write a book about how to write, or encourage a friend to write a book about how to write, or help blast a book on how to write that doesn't have a damn thing to say about writing or the facets thereof, aside from, "concepts are conceptual" or "your concept must be compelling". 
For God's sake, a turnip has better wisdom than these things and can make a better soup.
Ok, I'll check in again with you soon, if I don't decide to burn this book by nightfall.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Care & Feeding of Your Beloved Beta Readers


A great question landed in my email today from a fellow author.  She was writing to me for advice on how to locate beta readers that would give her a useful critique.

All I can offer are my experiences with betas and how we work together to get that 'better book' in the end.  I hope this will help steer you toward your perfect betas too.

I think most of us go into an author/beta relationship like this:

Author invites loyal fan to beta for them.
Fan squees and author is ecstatic.
Fan reads and finds mistakes/plot holes/errors in flow/etc but doesn't want to hurt the feelings of the author.  Fan decides to spare the author's feelings and sends back the shining critique:  I LOVE IT! surrounded with hearts and stars.  Author appreciates the positivity, but knows the story could be made better and knows they need more.  Author is afraid to ask and Fan is disappointed with the book when it is published.
OR
 Fan reads and finds mistakes/plot holes/errors in flow/etc and feels really let down.  This is their favorite author- where is the polish, the beautiful metaphors, the bits of sheer brilliance?  This stuff is crap.  Fan sends back a tough critique, telling Author what must be changed in order for this book to be satisfactory.
Author reads the wire-brush critique and worries that the entire manuscript is garbage.  However, some suggestions don't ring true.  Author makes the revisions the author deems necessary and disregards the rest.  Upon publication, Fan sends author an angry message for not 'fixing' the story and for wasting their time. 
An important note: 
A wise author told me a long time ago, when you ask your most loyal fans to beta for you, you are doing yourself and them a disservice.  Fans love your work.  It's a beautiful thing.  They are sweet little snuggly kittens that adore your books and beg you to finish the next release early because they simply can't wait to read whatever comes out of your head...




and these are the fans that will also go absolutely cat-shit crazy if anyone insults your work.  They are your most amazing fans, who take on the trolls, whether you want them to or not.  They plaster your new releases on all their social media sites, talk you up to their friends, tattoo your quotes on their arms.  They defend your work because they love it so much and they'll demolish anyone who says otherwise.  God bless them.







It's an honor to have rabidly loyal fans...but it's really unfair to ask them to beta, when all they really want to do is love your work.  They don't want to pick it apart.  They don't want to give you criticism--that's what they defend you against!

Know who your most loyal fans are and let them be the beautiful, magical, amazing fans they are.  Just don't make them your betas.  You both deserve to continue your beautiful love affair the way it is now.

So what are you to do?  

1. Ask your author friends to exchange beta reading with you.  It's a great thing to find an author you jive with.  I wanted to find mutual appreciation (I loved their work and they loved mine).  I also wanted to be sure their feedback rang true with me.  Sometimes people suggested things that just didn't feel right to me and sometimes I could look at a suggestion and just reel...wow, that would make the story so much better!  They pulled an even better story out of me with their critique.

2. Form friendships with your fans and get a feel for them before approaching them about interest in beta'ing.  This is completely a gut thing, so don't be disappointed if you mistake a rabidly loyal fan for a beta possibility at first.  You'll get the hang of it.  Just be gracious and thankful for any and all critique you get (or don't) and keep on trying people out.  That's really the only way.  And if you're like me, I circle around and ask different readers most of the time, just so I can get different perspectives and find the various strengths in each beta.  Some are phenomenal at finding my inconsistencies (a blond is suddenly a brunette kind of thing), or they are great at pinpointing problems with flow or plot holes or sloppy dialogue...there are always a million ways to make a book better.

3. Try The Critique Circle online where you can post an excerpt, get crits, and then ask a critiquer whose crits resonate with you to critique the rest of your work in exchange for a crit of their work.  Absolute Write also had forums where you could be paired up with crit buddies and if you Google it, there are probably dozens of places to find crit partners online.

4.  Hire somebody.  If nobody's crits resonate, maybe you need to call in a professional.  Story coaches are an option and they are going to cost you, but it might be worth it to get the type of quality feedback you seek.   

5.  Don't ask your mother to beta.  Her job is not to destroy your dreams.  She's a rabid fan.

But what if you're still having trouble?  
Are you asking the right questions?  If you ask your betas only, "What did you think of it?" you're probably going to get a lot of "I loved it!" and you're probably going to be frustrated.

You just need better questions.  Ask your betas to tag the places in the manuscript where they began skimming.  Ask them to tag their favorite dialogue and their least favorite.  Pinpoint areas of the manuscript that you thought were weak and ask open-ended questions, like, "What did you think was happening there?" or "What did you think would happen next?"  You can figure out if your writing was leading them in the directions you meant it to with those questions.  

As you graciously accept their opinions, your betas will trust that they can give you more honest critique.  

But what if you're still having trouble?  What if your betas are still only saying "I love it" or if they aren't giving you critique that you can use?

Well, here's the God-awful truth:  it's not them, it's you.  

Every author I know has fessed up to this and I know I've been guilty of it too.  If you're not getting what you need from critique...chances are you're just not open to it and your betas feel it.  They don't want to hurt you or offend you, so they give you bland critique.  

If you think you suffer from not being open enough, take an honest look into your reaction to your critiques and see if the symptoms of this condition apply to you: 
  • you end up thinking everyone who critiqued your work is a dumb ass 
  • you feel down deep that your work really is perfect just the way it is and you just want others to acknowledge it.  
Don't be too tough on yourself if you suffer from ThinSkinitis.  We all have at one point or another.  Now that you've identified the problem, it's time to toughen up.

Accepting a critique is every bit as tough as giving an honest critique.  Nobody wakes up in the morning, pours a cup of go-juice and says, God, I hope they rip up my soul today.  But, if you are too vulnerable to get your work out there and let it take a bruising...you're going to be disappointed with any critique you get.  You're also going to miss out on making your story any better than what it is right now.

I had to find that space where I could look at critique as objectively as possible.  Critique always feels yucky, but I've learned, while reading critique, to focus less on how it makes me feel and more on whether or not it will make the story better.  If it doesn't change the story either way, it usually gets tossed.  If the criticism feels unjust or unfair, out it goes too.  But if I can plug it into the story and it makes the whole thing better...it's in!  

Something to remember is that your stories are not your babies.  They feel like they are extensions of your soul, but truthfully they are just thoughts that occurred to you, that had meaning at the moment you wrote them down.  You are not tethered to them forever just because you thought them.  They are meant to be mulled over and edited if they are not what you really meant to say.  Or, edited to be made more powerful or more complete or more clear.  

I hope this helps.  Have another thought?  Drop a comment down below and share your advice on betas too...we'd all like to hear it!  

Monday, June 1, 2015

Guess what's here?



Buy Now:
Kindle: http://amzn.to/1QkUdwq
Ibooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1000188716
Nook: http://bit.ly/1RGaNZX
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-dimension-thieves-5

Pre-order Episode Six, coming June 30th, now on Amazon:
http://amzn.to/1LYEzFK