Christmas Wish List for Writers

If you’re wondering what to get for your writing friends for Christmas, there are a few simple things we might all really enjoy. No sweaters, fruitcakes, or winter robes. Forget candles and do-dads.  Jewelry doesn’t make the list. Actually the items on my list don’t really cost anything at all, but possess a value beyond dollars and cents. If you want to make a writer happy, consider the simple things on this list:

dsc02137First. Take the time to read what we write. Nothing pleases me more than to know I have published something that you enjoy reading.

 

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Second. Tell me what you think, particularly if you have enjoyed the book. Though constructive criticism is welcome too, I treasure the collection of notes that have filtered in affirming that my efforts have been appreciated by readers. Among them:

Locally: “I started reading the evening I bought the book. I had to force myself to put it down after the first few chapters and pick up the comics to read so that I would be able to sleep. The next day, I let myself finish it. Wow, what a ride!”

From New Mexico: “I wanted you to know how much we enjoyed your books. Both were page-turners and I was sorry to finish them!”

From Wichita: “Sundrop Sonata kept me intrigued right up to the end. Glad I bought the book.”

From a friend at church: “Do not ever stop writing!”

From Facebook friends: “Finished reading Sundrop Sonata a few days ago. Ludlum and Clancy have nothing on you. It kept me engaged and intrigued to the end. Well done.”

Facebook: “I downloaded your book Sundrop Sonata this afternoon. I just finished it. Excellent!”

Facebook: “Loved your book! Lots of great plot twists, and of course I appreciated the solfege clue. ”

dsc02136Third. If you belong to a book club, submit my titles as featured books. Invite me to speak at your meetings. The actual writing is a solitary activity and I don’t get out much. Speaking engagements allow writers to meet possible readers, connect with new friends and share enthusiasm for literature.

dsc02135Fourth. Recommend the book to the rest of your circle of friends and family. Take it a step further and post reviews online, such as on amazon.com or goodreads.com. Times have changed since I was a young adult with the idealistic dream of writing novels. Today’s world is driven by online reviews. Writers greatly appreciate a short note about their books that anyone can see. Excerpts from my favorite reviews:

“Hold onto your seat. The story leaves the reader breathless and hopeful that Izzy has another heart-thumping adventure in the near future!”

“Isabel (Izzy) Woods is an engaging heroine with flaws and strengths wrapped in a core of determination. I loved her. More please…”

“Couldn’t put this one down! Exciting from the first page until the ending. A MUST read!”

“My test of a good read is looking up from the page and taking a second to figure out where I am and what I should be doing. It’s been a little while since I’ve been pulled in so thoroughly. Thank you for a great read.”

“I found this book a fun read. I am looking forward to Ann’s next book! The story engaged me from the first pages and I hardly had time to work until I finished the book!”

“Wow! What a story….packed with action, compassion and just enough of the technical workings of the piano to draw us in and keep us tied up to the very end. I look forward to another Izzy escapade!”

Sundrop Sonata  is a gripping, can’t-put-it-down novel. I must give a top rating to this thrilling adventure and look forward to Ann’s next work.”

“A whopper of a tale with plenty of twists and turns and suspense. Wheee! what a ride.”

“Excellent mystery story. Kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end.”

“This book was a fun and exciting mystery. I couldn’t put it down. I highly recommend Sundrop Sonata.

“Read it in one day. Just couldn’t put it down.”

“This was one of the most exciting and compelling mysteries I have ever read, and I have read a lot of good mystery books.”

“Best book I’ve read in a long, long time! I am totally sleep-deprived because I couldn’t put the book down. Just one more chapter…Ann, please write another book!”

“I looked forward to time to read more of it everyday, and now sorry it’s over! Look forward to more from this author.”

Okay. Let’s face it. I like all the reviews and I’m so grateful that folks enjoyed the book enough to write a note about it. It would be interesting now to see how many good reviews mentioning a movie it would take before—oh that’s just a bit over the top.

Still.

I do appreciate the feedback. For those who have requested another book, I want you to know I’m working on the next one, which brings me to the final item on my Christmas wish list.

dsc02138Fifth. Time. Oh how I wish I had more time to spend sorting words, knitting them together, and dreaming up the next adventure for Izzy and her family. If you know how to increase the available hours in any day, please send me a few.

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Ann’s books may be ordered here:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01AZUMTZS

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NUA5VVU

Ten Reasons to Write a Book

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Formatting complete, In the Shadow of the Wind is now available wherever electronic books are sold. I take a few moments to reflect on the many and varied rewards gleaned through the process of writing the book. If you’ve been tinkering with a story of your own, not quite sure you are ready to dedicate the time required to finish it, I assure you it’s well worth your efforts. Here are ten of the unexpected joys I’ve discovered in my own journey which you may enjoy as well.

ONE

You will find great satisfaction. If you spend time polishing your words, seek and listen to honest critiques, and complete all the steps required in the countless revisions, you’ll find you’ve created a quality product to present to readers. It is a good feeling.

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TWO

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFrom across the country, your family may reconnect with a celebration of your work. Your older sister may depart with a hearty hug and the words, “I am really proud of you.”

Your younger sister may call, laughing, to say, “I want to set the record straight. We do indeed wear underwear!”

Your sister-in-law may write, “I have read the whole book and it is wonderful.”

You may hear from cousins. “I enjoyed it very much. You did a wonderful job telling your story. I cried and I laughed.”

 

 

THREE

The book may open new conversations with your grown children. One daughter may brag about you on Facebook. “My mom is a published writer!! So proud of her.” Another daughter may announce, “I learned something, Mom. Now I understand.”OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

FOUR

Friends from your other career may endorse your book. From Missouri, “I’m at school tuning but I really want to be home reading your book! It’s good.”

From Illinois, “I enjoy every page. This is a real story and you tell it marvelously. What a gift.”

From Texas, “Your diversity is amazing. When a writer can move her readers to laughter, then tears, she has written a worthy story. It was a great read!”Colorado mining cabin

 

FIVE

Your collection of endorsements grows with each reader.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“It didn’t suck!  In fact, your book is excellent. I want another copy to give a friend.”

“I loved it! It was like you were here talking to me. Is there another book coming?”

“It’s a page-turner.”

“I began reading your book and could not put it down.”

“Buy Ann’s book. It’s well worth it.”

“I just finished reading In the Shadow of the Wind; thanks for sharing your life, heart and soul with readers.”

And perhaps my favorite, “Smiles. . .tears. . .and peace. Thank you, Ann.”

SIX
Readers begin to share their own stories, prompted by a scene in your book.

One friend may share how she is nursing two juvenile black squirrels right now.

Another friend may share how a dream of her deceased father woke her from a sound sleep to discover her infant son in respiratory distress.

Another friend may share how her departed mother sent a message of love through a random card sent by a friend in a correctional facility.

You may be invited to lead a discussion of spiritual experiences and healing stories at your church.Colorado suinset

SEVEN

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWatching your book bloom with a life of its own is as thrilling as it is terrifying. With a bit of awe, you ponder how its appeal spans generations with praise from readers your parents age, through your own generation, to young adults your children’s age.

EIGHT

Your community of friends expands exponentially.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA You re-connect with lost friends and make many new friends through your writing adventure. Each person in your list becomes a cherished gem in your life story.

NINE

Completing the book is an adventure in building confidence. It may open doors to a whole new world and a whole new you. You may ponder the unforeseen influence each of us has on others. The personality your friends perceive in you may have elements opposite the way you view yourself. Ultimately, you realize your impact on the world is a complex blending of both perceptions.

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TEN

With a project completed, you can turn to a new project, renewed and ready to tackle another story. Yes, there is another book coming.sun cover