Don’t just approach the hill, climb that f**ker and bail off the other side. Click on the graphic for the Spotify list. Go!
- Thunderkiss ’65 (White Zombie)
- Boogieman (Rob Zombie)
- More Human Than Human (White Zombie)
- Supercharger Heaven (Rob Zombie)
- The One (Danzig)
- Mother (Danzig)
- Iron Man (Black Sabbath)
- Crazy Train (Ozzy Osbourne)
- The Hand That Feeds (Nine Inch Nails)
- Ace of Spades (Motorhead)
When I was in the sixth grade, we had a substitute teacher for about three days. My regular teacher failed to leave any kind of lesson plan for the substitute, so she was left trying to do something to keep twenty-five eleven and twelve-year-olds busy. This smart lady brought Stephen King’s “It” to class and read it aloud.
It was both the beginning and the end. It was the beginning of a lifelong love of reading and writing and all things Stephen King. It was the end of my doing any reading assignments that involved anything less than what I considered to be the equivalent of that book.
I outright refused to waste my time reading articles or books in which I was not interested, to the dismay of my parents and teachers. I would spend my time reading the books that were considered fringe for my age and my grades could just suffer.
Until I was in the tenth grade and met Mr. Edward Rochester. Oh, how a few years can change things!
(Thanks to you, Mrs. Williams. Thanks to you.)
I am in no way a doctor or nutritionist or therapist of any kind. Just FYI up front. This information is from personal experience and I feel that I should share what I’ve learned for those of you who may be struggling with this issue.
I see that many of my fellow writers struggle with anxiety and depression. I wanted to share something and if it helps even one person to feel better, then I will have done the right thing in doing so.
A very close friend of mine has struggled with anxiety and depression for years. She has experienced severe panic attacks, stress induced hives, and severe acne. These symptoms were attributed to her anxiety, but there was never any underlying condition given as to what was causing the anxiety.
About two years ago, she developed facial swelling, digestive disturbances, and hives all over her body. Then one morning, she had a severe allergic reaction to cereal. She began to wonder if this was somehow connected to her anxiety because some people who are gluten intolerant also have similar symptoms.
My friend eliminated gluten and later, grain from her diet. She noticed that she had numbing of her mouth when eating nuts and sometimes with shrimp. She visited a specialist and turns out, she did have food allergies. She was also told that the sense of impending doom she always struggled with could be a symptom of an anaphylactic reaction. Scary stuff.
After going on a clean diet, and by that I mean no processed foods or allergens, she is feeling much better. Almost all of her digestive and skin issues subsided. After about a year of clean eating, she has much less anxiety. Changing her diet has been a very helpful way to manage her symptoms.
I’m not saying that this is an answer for everyone, but if you’ve tried other things and they haven’t worked, it could help to try changing your diet as a means to feeling better.
Here’s another one for you. This playlist is mainly southern blues rock, but there is one band that is from Australia thrown in there that just fits. There are about 80 songs in this list, so I’ll add the link and then post my 15 faves.
Southern Rock Playlist
- Can’t Help Yourself (The Blackwater Fever)
- Deep Alleyway Blues (Leopold and His Fiction)
- Red Wine (The Juke Joint Pimps)
- Set Me Down (Left Lane Cruiser)
- Southern Boy (John the Conqueror)
- Long Road (Cashman)
- The Walking Crawl (Henry’s Funeral Shoe)
- All I Think About (Beans & Fatback)
- Fine Line (Parker Millsap)
- In The Dark (Reignwolf)
- Thieves and Kings (The Peach Kings)
- Shine (Heavy Young Heathens)
- Low Lays The Devil (The Veils)
- Ain’t No Easy Way (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club)
- Beat The Devil’s Tattoo (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club)
Pinterest is often overlooked in the marketing scheme of things, but I recently decided to give it a try for the promotion of my latest book, Make Your Bones. ( shameless plug: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B07MN672G7 )
I have used Pinterest personally for many years, as I’m sure most of you have. It is a terrific place to find ideas, as well as connect with other artistically minded folks.
Having experimented with promoted posts on Instagram, Facebook, and Amazon, I found that while they do get your book in front of many eyes, most of the interaction is with likes or saves and not sales. When I tried promoted pins, however, I saw that my CTR (click through rate) was much higher on Pinterest than other outlets.
Why? Maybe it’s simply because the audience is right for the type of fiction I write. Maybe it’s because of the user interface.
What is great about Pinterest is that if anyone repins your promoted pin, it will be there long after the paid promotion has ended. Virtually forever.
Everything that has ever happened to you is a story. Everyone you’ve ever known is a character in that story. Every word you’ve ever heard is dialogue. Observe and use at your discretion!
Exaggerate, embellish, and tweak to perfection. You’d be surprised just how much material can be derived from simply jogging your memory. I know a lot of authors fear the retribution of friends and family who may recognize themselves in your characters and stories, but if you change things up enough, you can still draw rich detail that gives all important depth to your fiction.
Why romantic thrillers, you say? The two may not seem to be likely counterparts, but they can work together and play off one another to conjure up steamy conflict, adrenaline boosting danger, and complex relationships that build the story’s credibility to new heights.
The payoff is an emotional bond with the characters that brings the reader into the world you have created. The bonus is a satisfied reader who feels as if she has experienced a whirlwind journey or a daring escape herself, but barely lived to tell about it! A romantic thriller is escapism in its finest form, IMHO.
For those in need of a perfect romantic thriller, try this:
Ideas are everywhere, except when you need one. When I started writing romantic suspense, I found that I was not nearly so observant as I prided myself on being. Now that I am writing full time, I sometimes find that I have to force myself to slow down and appreciate the little things.
In romantic fiction, the tension is in the details. Lots and lots of details. If you find that you are having trouble coming up with ideas for plots, characters, or settings that can make your book stand out from the crowd, try some of the following.
Gleaning from personal experience is not always feasible, but occasionally we writers do need to put some actual clothes on and leave the house. Go do something you have never done. Go go kart racing, go fishing, go to a play. Anything you have never experienced before can get the ideas flowing.
Keep a journal. This is something that we often take for granted. We assume when we have a good idea that we will file it away and remember it when we need it. Then, as is always the case, life happens and clutters up our head and buries our idea. Write it down!
Go for a drive. I have some of my best ideas when I am driving. Keep a notebook handy on those scenic drives and pull over occasionally to take in the scenery and write them down.
Music. Making playlists for certain moods can really help you get in the head space you need to be in to get those words down. Sometimes, just organizing the songs can kick your creative brain into high gear.