Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Thursday, May 30, 2013

It's Here! Just in Time for Dinner

I'm very excited to announce that Farm Girl Country Cooking: Hearty Meals for the Active Family (WiDo Publishing, June 2013) is now live on the Kindle!

And at the Friends & Family pre-release price of $1.99! If you enjoyed my recipes from A to Z in April, they're all included along with many more, here. (Print release will be June 18.)

Seriously, it was as difficult and time-consuming to write a cookbook as it ever was to write a novel, only in a different way. Revising involved testing recipes and tasting. Lots and lots of tasting. I gained 8 lbs LOL. (I can laugh about it now because I've since lost it. Ha!)

But it was fun, loads of fun and if it does well, I already have another one planned....

Enjoy!


Although preparing regular family meals can be difficult, it is worth every effort. Dinner provides an opportunity to gather and refresh while spending time together around the table enjoying a meal.

The author has collected and tested the book's 100 recipes of main dishes, sides and desserts from years of experience cooking for a large family. Whether you are feeding a family on a budget or need ideas on menu planning, this cookbook is the perfect companion for the busy, working cook.

Hearty home-cooking using basic ingredients, plenty of fresh vegetables (and don't forget the bacon) you will return to these recipes again and again when planning dinners for your family or entertaining for company.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Reading Reviews--aaurgh!



Welcome to Donna Hosie, author of Searching for Arthur, The Fire of Merlin and her latest of the trilogy, The Spirit of Nimue. Her post today addresses what every writer wonders the second they stumble across a negative review of their work.

Thank you for visiting Coming Down the Mountain today, Donna. Please share with us, what is your take on reader reviews of your books?

I don’t think it matters whether you are publishing with a small press, publishing as an indie, or have a seven figure deal from Random-Penguin-Harper-Thingy! At some point, you are going to get reviews.

So do you read them?

I know there are authors out there who say they don’t read reviews, but I wonder how honest they are being. It must take extraordinary willpower to not read what people are saying about your work. I remember feeling sick with nerves when SEARCHING FOR ARTHUR was first released last year. I was even worse when THE FIRE OF MERLIN came out in November. I honestly didn’t read the reviews for a week.

But eventually, curiosity got the better of me and I relented. And I’m so glad I did, because to see that readers were actually enjoying the books meant the world. Naturally there will always be people who don’t like your novels, or aspects of them. Remember the online mess that occurred last year when author Keira Cass and her agent, Elana Roth, reacted to bad reviews and got into a shit storm of an online backlash? Now I’m pretty fortunate in that I’ve never had a bad review, but the one that does stick in my head is someone who gave me three stars, and then ripped into the editing. I never had a go back - absolutely NEVER have a go back - but I thought the reviewer had a cheek. Firstly, the books are edited and several other reviewers had mentioned how good it was, and secondly, I knew that particular person had borrowed the ebook from a friend and didn’t even pay for the privilege of having a go!

But I stayed calm, and watched Sherlock...and drank some wine...and ate cake!

Seriously though, it is very hard putting yourself out there. I’ve written some harsh reviews in the past, and then gone back and edited or even deleted. My philosophy is that if someone has paid for the book, then they have earned the right to critique - just be constructive.

So with the release of THE SPIRIT OF NIMUE on the 31 May, I will be waiting for the reviews with bated breath. It is my absolute favourite in the trilogy, and I am very proud of it. I just hope others like it as much.

And yes, I will not hide from the reviews...but I will probably watch some Sherlock...and drink wine...and eat a lot of cake while I read!

Sherlock, wine and cake should definitely make reading any review more palatable. Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to visit my blog, Donna. I wish you much success with your trilogy, and especially with the release of The Spirit of Nimue.

 To find out more about Donna Hosie and her books:

Goodreads

Blog

Amazon.com

 
Amazon.co.uk
 


Monday, May 20, 2013

Welcome back, Giraffe

After gracing the home page of CeleryTree, the South African giraffe is mine once again. The CeleryTree site has been redesigned and refurbished, for its use as a site where writers can send people to purchase autographed copies of their books. It's still a bookstore, but there are no membership fees, no shipping within the U.S., and no requirements other than to be published with print books to sell. (Ebooks are no longer available on CeleryTree.)

To take a look at the updated website for authors (recently purchased by WiDo Publishing), you can go here to ooh and aah over the awesomeness of it.

And I am very glad to see Giraffe back on Coming Down the Mountain!

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Writer's Working Vacation

I'm a fourth of the way into the rough draft on my new novel. How I draft a novel is I take a huge stack of one-sided paper (my husband keeps me in supply, more than I can ever use), I get an idea and start writing. I figure once I fill 400 pages there's got to be a story in there somewhere. Outline shmoutline who needs an outline. Usually by the first 50 to 100 pages, I've found my story.


And I'm going on retreat, hoping to complete the draft -- when you figure boring freeway driving time (I'll be in the passenger seat writing.)



 And then there's the relaxation time by the lazy river, plenty of opportunity to write then.



 And what you have is what this writer calls "a working vacation."


Friday, May 3, 2013

The Easiest Book Marketing I've ever Done

At the last minute I decided to sign up for the Challenge. And not long after putting my name on the Linky List, I knew what my theme would be: Recipes from A to Z! Makes sense, right? I had just finished the final draft of my cookbook, had tested the recipes, and had no marketing plan in place.

Sharing my recipes from A to Z, along with my philosophy about family dinners, became my theme for the Challenge and my marketing plan. I'm not much of a book marketer. Most of what I do is online, to a fairly limited audience. The Challenge presented the ideal opportunity for me to talk about my upcoming cookbook.

And guess what! I've got a cover! All the recipes posted in April, along with many others-- 100 total-- will be included in my book, Farm Girl Country Cooking: Hearty Meals for the Active Family


To be released June 18 by WiDo Publishing

If you'd like to see the summary or add my cookbook to your to-read list, you can find it here on Goodreads.