Monday, July 27, 2020

Interview with P.E. Gilbert: Paul's Fantasy Writings

I met P.E. Gilbert through Instagram. After chatting we decided we would like to interview one
another and publish the interviews on our blogs. Paul published my interview on his blog last week, and now it is my turn! Paul's Fantasy Writings: Interview with Author Deanna Martinez-Bey.

  1. Please tell us your name and a little bit about yourself...
My name is P.E. Gilbert, and I am a blogger, YouTuber, writing consultant, and the author to the fantasy novella, The Sultan’s Daughter.

I studied history at Birmingham University, before spending the next ten years writing a fantasy series (not The Sultan’s Daughter, as it happens). Nowadays, I give writing tips on my blog and on YouTube, plus interview authors and lend advice where I can. I do these things to help writers/authors write more engaging stories.

  1. Tell us about your book: Title, genre, page count, blurb
My book is called The Sultan’s Daughter. It is a fantasy novella, targeted for fantasy lovers and women. It is a short book of 121 pages and it is fast-paced and full of suspense.

The story is from the sole POV of Princess Nalini, the Sultan’s daughter, who must do everything she can to save her father’s kingdom, despite having two older brothers and several advisors around her who are supposedly more competent than her. The blurb is as follows:

Victory means life and furthering everything that her father has built. Defeat means death, destruction, and ruin.

The choices could not be starker for Princess Nalini after a curse is placed upon her family. Untrained for rule and war, she must adapt quickly. For who else can stop the armies of frightening fanaticism marching toward the capital if not the Sultan’s daughter?

  1. What is your writing inspiration?
In general, my desire to write stories comes from my love for great books and films. I write in order to give back to the industries that have given me so much joy since childhood.

More specifically for The Sultan’s Daughter, my inspirations come from history, fiction, and historical fiction. I got the idea to write the story after I read a biography on Saladin by Professor John Man in 2019, around the time (coincidentally) that the new Aladdin film came out. Yes, Princess Jasmine is an inspiration for Nalini, but I would not say that they are alike in personality at all.

Other inspirations for this book include my general knowledge of Ancient Egypt and the Middle East; the deaths of the three French kings Louis X, Philip V, and Charles IV in the early-14th century (all of whom were brothers and died heirless, which in turn started the One Hundred Year’s War with England), and Margaret Beaufort as depicted by Philippa Gregory in The Red Queen.

  1. Are there more books in the works?
Yes! I am planning the sequel to The Sultan’s Daughter as we speak. I do not have a title for it yet, and it will be a while before I start it (let alone finish it). But I intend to start writing it in the autumn, and I am excited to continue the story.

(I must say that I have been overwhelmed that people, who have read The Sultan’s Daughter, have asked me if there is going to be a sequel. It is wonderful to know that people enjoyed my story so much that they want to read more. That is a dream come true, honestly.)

  1. What are some tips you can provide for other writers as far as networking their books?
Yes, I have a few tips on this front, all of which I do on a regular basis. First, I would advise writers/authors to use social media platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, so that they can: a) regularly post content to show their expertise, and b) make connections and promote other people’s works. 

Second, write a blog and interview authors or other forms of content creators. This second point links into my third tip, as I urge authors to focus on getting promotions rather than sales for their books. The more promotion you can get, and the better name you can get for yourself, the more sales will come your way.

Fourth, if you want to go to the next level, start a YouTube channel or TikTok account. Video content will give you a greater profile online. And the greater your profile online, the more chance people will have of coming across your books, which can mean more sales. (I will be setting up a TikTok account very shortly in order to give myself a greater profile online.)

  1. Can you please share your contact information with us? (Please include social media links)
For sure. I am on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, plus I have a WordPress blog (Paul’s Fantasy Writings) and a website. Here are my links, so that you can view my content and/or contact me:

Lastly, I would like to say thank you, Deanna, for this opportunity. I really appreciate it and I wish you only success and joy going forwards.

It was truly my pleasure to work with Paul. He is kind, professional, talented, and knowledgeable. I look forward to working with him again in the future. 

Wordy Writer: Workbook Review 

 Flannery O'Conner: How she impacted my life

My interview with POC magazine

Friday, July 24, 2020

Christmas in July: Christmas Organizing Book

Are you enjoying all of the Christmas in July posts? I have been! Let me introduce you to a book I have written, it's called, Christmas, Get It Organized. I wrote it several years ago and just updated it on Amazon.

It is now available on Kindle or soft-cover. Both are super affordable!

Christmas, Get It Organized: Kindle 

Christmas, Get It Organized: Soft Cover 

Let me share a description of my book:
Do you find yourself dreading the Holiday season? Does the word Christmas make you cringe? Christmas…Get It Organized by Deanna Martinez provides easy steps to be ready for the Holiday without all the stress, crowds, and expenses.
Learn easy ways to stay organized, spend less, and have more time to spend with the people you love, doing the things you love.
Deanna will show you how to make lists, shop ahead of time, have parties, bake treats, create drinks, add new family traditions, and much more.
Gifts do not have to be things we buy. They can be things we make or time we can give.
Put Deanna’s organizing ideas into practice this year and find yourself laughing instead of crying this Christmas.
Simply click to purchase and download your copy of Christmas…Get It Organized, now!

Christmas in July: Tips for writers

Christmas in July: Christmas folders

Monday, July 20, 2020

Christmas in July tips for writers

Happy Christmas in July, authors! I have come up with a July to-do list for writers. Here you will see things that we can do now to prepare for the upcoming Holidays.

1. Start writing your Holiday e-books now. These can be fiction or non-fiction books that pertain to the Holidays. Create, edit, design them, and get them uploaded into KDP (or platform of your choice) to release in time for the Holidays. (I am a copy editor, so please reach out for your editing needs.)

2. Develop a Holiday themed blog, Facebook group, or website. By creating these now, you will have time to grow your following for when you start posting Holiday related posts. These sights will help you share the Holiday e-books you have for sale.

3. For freelance writers, start sending queries to magazines and websites. It is time to send in your Holiday themed articles and material.

Christmas in July: Christmas Folders

COVID-19 Decluttering: Organize your books

Wordy Writer Workbook: Great Christmas gift

Friday, July 17, 2020

Christmas in July: Christmas folders

It is that time of the year again...Christmas in July! This craft idea is perfect for writers because it requires research and we all love research, right? In all fairness, I do! It is one of my favorite parts of the writing process.

You can make the folders by yourself or with your children. I made mine with my daughter and bought all our supplies from The Dollar Tree. I may have spent $8 on our supplies, but you can get more elaborate with your folders if you want to.

  • Pocket Folder
  • Stickers
  • Old magazines
  • Scissors
  • Computer and printer, optional
  • Markers, optional

Fortunately, I have a collection of Holiday magazines, ranging from Good Housekeeping to Women's Day and then some.

First, we decorated our folders with a Christmas theme.
Then, we flipped through the pages of the magazines and clipped Christmas ideas. We clipped recipes, decorating ideas, gift ideas, and anything else we wanted to try out this Christmas.

If you don't have magazines, you can search for ideas online and print them out.

Then, add all of your clippings to your folder. It's that simple. 

Fiction writing: Character living space

Fiction writing: Nature settings

Monday, July 13, 2020

Fiction writing: Character living space

Do you realize that the detailed living space of a character speaks volumes about the type of person they are? Allow me to explain:

Dynamic extrovert:
A character with this personality type will typically live in a vibrant space.

Your flighty or flaky character may have a messy, yet cozy living space.

Lonely introvert:
A loner will most likely live in a crisp, clean, non-cluttered environment.

I'm sure you can see where I am going with this. Your characters' personalities will determine the type of space where they live, work, or spend their time.
These spaces do not simply serve as a backdrop, they are scenes in your story and need to be treated as such.

Susan walked into her living room and dropped her keys and briefcase onto the couch, after scooting the flannel blanket aside. As she sat, she glanced around the room and realized it had been weeks since she picked up or cleaned the place. Dustbunnies were gathered at her feet and take-out boxes from last week still sat on the coffee table.

Does this scene make you think that Susan is a straight-laced professional who has her life together? Nope. It sounds like Susan falls in line with a scatterbrained character, right?

Houses, rooms, workspaces, and hangouts can show the reader into the life and personality of your character.

Fiction writing: Nature settings

What is the first draft?

Flannery O'Conner: How she impacted my life

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Set reasonable writing goals

Always remember to set reasonable goals for yourself. The keyword in that sentence is,
you guessed it: Reasonable!
Writing a two hundred and fifty to a three hundred page novel is going to take you more
than a week to write.

It is good to have goals, but make sure they are suitable for your life. If after looking at
your calendar you feel that you will be able to dedicate three hours a week to writing, set
your goals accordingly.

For some, writing every day is a reasonable goal. If this is a possibility for you, decide if
you are able to dedicate 30 minutes a day to writing your book or 3 hours a day. Always
remember that something is better than nothing. So, 20 minutes a day or every couple of
days is better than going 2 weeks without writing at all.

For others, every other day or twice a week may be attainable.
Sit down and take a few minutes to write out your daily schedule. Then, decide when you
can fit in time to write.

It is really that simple.
After you set your writing goals, strive to attain them. But, do not beat yourself up if
sometimes you do not reach the goals you have set for yourself. Just decide to start back
up tomorrow and try again.

To print off a free daily calendar that you can design yourself, click here

Fiction writing: Nature settings

COVI-19 Decluttering: Organizing your books

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Fiction writing: Nature settings

Think about the climate of where our story is going to be set. Do you have a clear image in your mind? Is it sweltering or frigid, do you see cactus or snow piled mountains? Is it raining cats and dogs or is the sun shining bright in the sky without a cloud in sight?

These facts are more important than you may think when writing your novel. Why? Because the reader has to be transformed to where your story is being told.

Before you begin describing the natural aspects of your setting, decide on the geographical location. By doing this, it will make the details of describing much easier.

If you have never been to the geographical location of your story, be sure you do plenty of research before you begin writing about it. You have to know enough about the climate and visuals in order to take the reader away to that place.

Questions to ask yourself about the climate of your story location:

  1. Is it hot or cold
  2. What will people wear (coats or bathing suits)
  3. Is everything green and lush or brown and barren
  4. Will there be high rises and apartments or white houses with picket fences
  5. Concrete patios or miles of grassy land
  6. Rain, snow, sunshine, tornadoes, hurricanes, avalanches 

I think I proposed enough questions to get you thinking about the natural details.

Tip: Be sure to transport your reader to the setting of your story.