Random Notes From A Debut Author

A Sunset Crosses All Boundaries

NOTE: I wrote this in May 2017 as a guest post for Casi McLeans’s Blog.

How many photographs have you taken on your holidays of golden sunset moments? Or if you are lucky enough to live in a place with magical sunsets every day, how often do you take a photograph of the sun setting in a golden ball against the backdrop of the sea, or a farm landscape or any beautiful natural setting? I’m one of the lucky ones and I rarely miss the precious few moments when day turns to night, and the sun lowers into the ocean horizon, and the sky explodes into more colors than an artist could dream of having on a palette.

Have you ever thought how the allure and romance of a sunset can cross all boundaries, from physical borders to cultural divides, from religious and political differences to the acceptance or rejection of sexual differences? Even age divides make no difference when we stand together in awe of a glorious setting sun.

Whether the world is at war or peace, whether we as individuals are happy or sad, alone or surrounded by those we love, each and every day, the sun will set. And for a precious moment, when the sky turns brilliant crimson splashed with golden yellows and oranges, and the sun dips below the horizon, we are the same—all of us enthralled by its beauty, entranced by its promise of romance, warmed by its dying rays, and filled with hope that it will return the following day.

Casi McLean has a section on her blog called Awesome Bewitching Authors. When we post there, she always asks authors to give their most successful promo tip, and their most useful author tip. Here are mine:

Most Successful Promo Tip

My best advice has to be to get on with writing your next book. Even with a publisher, an author has to do most of their marketing and publicity on their own. This takes up a chunk of time. You have to be careful to prioritize your writing as the social media & publicity demands can take over. NOTHING grows your readership more than releasing a new book.

Most Useful Author Tip

Don’t stint when it comes to developing your characters. The more you understand your characters, the richer and more authentic your story will be. Do the research and create a family tree. It will help you understand your character’s families, where and how they grew up, their fears, and their dreams. A lot of character development often does not make it into your novel, but it’s always in your head when you’re writing so instinctively you know whether the character’s dialogue and actions are authentic. If you learn their flaws and strengths, you can better motivate their actions and emotional developments.

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