Sunday, September 20, 2020

Welcome to the LIAWS Blog!

Welcome to the LIAWS Blog

Live Well ~ Read Often ~ Write Much

If you’re looking for:

Writing Tips
Editing & Grammar Techniques
Marketing Strategies
LIAWS New Releases
Information & Inspiration
You’ve clicked on the right blog

Whether you’re a newbie writing your first book, or a published author, get motivated with us. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Writer's Thanksgiving

Here in the United States, November is traditionally the month where most people spend some time reflecting on the good things in their lives: health, family, friends, etc. While I have all of those rewards in my daily life, I’m also grateful for all the advantages I have as a writer. I, therefore, proudly present my list of blessings to reflect upon--from a writer’s point of view.

           The internet. From companionship to research to purchase power, the internet is a writer’s best friend (sorry, spouses). Thanks to this marvelous system, we stay in touch with other writers, find out how to make a body decompose faster, and instantly buy a book based on the excerpt we just finished reading online. Can you imagine showing this technology to someone like Mark Twain, Jane Austen, or Charles Dickens? Do you think it would make them more prolific or less so? Because let’s face it. Although the Internet is a great tool, Facebook, email, and cat videos can also make it a bit of a time suck. Still, in my eyes, the instantaneous benefits far outweigh the vampire vibes. Thank you, internet, for just being you!

2       Office supply stores. Looking for paper, ink, electronics, Post-It notes, software, coffee, giant bags of chocolate (and those big square containers of individually wrapped Twizzlers)? Want a comfy new desk chair? Yeah…they got that. All that a writer needs to survive can be found in this glorious mecca for authors. When the apocalypse comes, I’ll be safely camped out in my local Staples. I figure I can live there comfortably for lots of years. Where are you going? A bomb shelter? Puh-leez. How are you going to get internet service underground?

3       E-publishing. Over the last ten years, while traditional houses were churning out the same old, same old, the electronic market allowed writers “on the fringe” the opportunity to become mainstream. Non-traditional stories and settings have become popular in the e-market. And traditional publishers have paid attention, widening their markets, as well. I see a great future for this venue, thanks to its convenience, ecological impact, and flexibility.

4       E-readers.  The hard truth? Readers are addicts. Sure, our habit is legal, but it’s also difficult to control. We need to constantly feed our need for great stories. So we’re the ones trolling Amazon at two in the morning or walking with eyes glazed more than a Krispy Kreme through our local bookstores. We don’t see the library scene in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast as a sweet moment of generosity between the hero and heroine. For us, it’s a goal! Unfortunately, palace residences with massive libraries are rare these days. Thus, the electronic book reader allows us to indulge our addiction without killing trees or moving the baby outside to a tent to make room for us to store our “keepers.” And thanks to instant downloading, we no longer have to leave home or camp out on the porch until the UPS man shows up with our latest fix. We can have instant gratification!

5       The home office. In the old days, writers had typewriters. And typewriter ribbons. Revisions were a nightmare of Wite-Out and retyping whole pages for one or two lousy words. Copies required pumping a roll of nickels into Xerox machines at libraries, or slipping the pages surreptitiously into work being done at the day job. Now we have the ability to change whole paragraphs (or pages!) with a few clicks of the mouse. We can email as many copies as we need, or print out entire manuscripts in minutes—all from our cozy homes.

6       Peapod delivery, the Roomba and Scooba, and the Keurig. Oh, be still my heart. With the touch of a few buttons, you can feed the family, get the floor cleaned, and have all the coffee your little heart desires. And you never have to leave the comfort of home (are you sensing a pattern here yet?). Even the K-cups for coffee are available online (my favorite site is and delivered right to your doorstep.

7       The storytellers who came before. Whether we’re discussing William Shakespeare or Nora Roberts, from the cave dwellers of prehistoric times to the top author on today’s NY Times bestseller list, those who’ve come before us have shaped the writing world. We write and believe we can succeed because they wrote and succeeded. My eternal gratitude goes out to all of them.

Your list may vary. Regardless, these are great times to be a writer. No matter how or when you celebrate your Thanksgiving, may your blessings be many and your rejections few!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Friday Five: 5 Things That Inspire Me to Write

by Melanie Weiss

1. A location I'd love to visit

2. When an idea just pops into my head

3. Quiet time for myself

4. Just a sudden urge to write

5. When I can't sleep

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Interview With Kim Rocha of Book Obsessed Chicks

By: Liz Ambrico 

How has promotion changed for authors in the past ten years?
Ten years ago, larger publishers were still putting their name behind their authors. It may not have been a lot of money they put into promotion, but they did some. Today, authors have to do most promo themselves. They have to stay on top of things and make sure the word is getting out. Authors are spending more time and money on self-promotion than ever.

How has the reader/author relationship changed?
Before social media, readers were content to hear from their authors on special occasion signings, but now with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, readers have an inside on what the author is up to and they crave more. Readers now have personal connections, no matter how small, with some of their favorites. It can be both a good and bad thing.

Why is social media an important tool for new and existing authors?
Authors must be on social media to gather followings now. The more unique, the more vocal (In a good way), the larger the following. Social media is now the primary way for readers to find out what’s new from authors and also to find new reads through their favorite author suggestions.

Why is it important for an author to connect with readers on a personal level?
Once a reader connects with an author on Social Media, they are a fan/follower forever. Just having an author “like” one of your posts or comment on something posted makes a world of difference to a reader. Just knowing that something the reader may say could be of interest or importance to the author gives the reader something to look forward to.

What are the best social media platforms for authors?
I am a huge fan of Facebook, it is my primary source… I also like Instagram immensely… Twitter used to be a wonderful platform, but now it’s more about the sell than the conversation. If it went back to the basics, I could stand behind it more.  Newsletters are also a platform that should be utilized. They are a fountain of information if used correctly.

Should writers, who are not yet published, have a presence on social media? If so, to what capacity?
I do think that a not-yet-published author should establish their persona early. If they are using their real name then we already have an inside as to who they are. When using a pen name, start a page as soon as you can. Have it geared to the genre you are going to be writing and post at least weekly. It can be memes or even something about your writing process. Sometimes this even helps with your writing, but at least the reader at large can begin to form a relationship.

What is the biggest mistake authors make when promoting themselves?
Self-promotion as a whole is not a bad thing, but when there is a constant barrage of “buy my book”, people get turned off. I personally think it’s a great idea to use memes and photos to keep it interesting and also, promote your friends, or what YOU love to read. That takes the edge off of the “buy my book” posts.

My greatest pet peeve is on Goodreads, when an author gives themselves 5 STARS for their own books. I really dislike that and sometimes even pass a book up due to that.

Can you give us 3 important social media tips?
Be positive
Start promoting early
Keep it real

Can you give us 3 important author/blogger relationship tips?
Find the bloggers in your genre, keep a list.
Establish a relationship with the blogger.
Once you have that relationship, nurture it. It must be a give and take on both sides.

Finally, how did you get involved in this arena and what is your advice about how new authors can get started?
My foray into the world of romance and authors began around the time I started my Book Obsessed Chicks Book Club. When I realized that so many local authors were looking to meet new readers, I decided that I would like to help. I am no shrinking violet and I think the semi-big personality helps. I have had many authors come into my home. One thing I have to admit is, when I love something, I really enjoy sharing it, which is where the social media part comes in. It’s been a little over 6 years now that I am doing this, in every level, from being a reviewer, to being a personal assistant.

Author, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. There is always someone willing to help.  Ask your fellow authors who their favorite bloggers are. It really can make a difference.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Duct Tape and Spackle



Ever hear of putting your green tomatoes in a brown paper bag to let them ripen? Works every time. Here’s one for your manuscript. Place it in a drawer for a few months and let it marinate. You might be surprised at what you read when you take it out of hibernation and look at it with fresh eyes.
Oh, how I’ve missed you, my intuitive protagonist. I’ve let you and your cohorts float around in the back of my head long enough. The time has come to let you all blossom. My YA novel, sitting dormant for nearly two years, is about to get a total makeover. Words of the day are duct tape and spackle. I’ve pulled them out to repair cracks and patch holes in a story I once thought was finished. A scissors is helpful too. Delete, delete, delete, I say. Trimming and rewriting is invigorating after such a long hiatus.

Shelve that “perfect” manuscript. Wrap it up in a cocoon to protect it.  When the time is right, open the insulation, get out the tape, and spackle, and let the games begin.


Friday, October 21, 2016

Friday Five: Things That Inspire Me to Write

by Harry Hauca

1. A deadline

2. A dream

3. An overwhelming experience

4. Reading something poorly written

5. Looking at something taken for granted and asking, "What if...?"

Friday, October 14, 2016

Friday Five: Five Things That Inspire Me to Write

by Gina Ardito

I've been writing a looooong time, and I've discovered, that as the years go by, what inspires me to keep putting my hands to the keyboard tends to change. Here's what works for me these days: 

1. Water. Whether it's sitting at home on a rainy day, proximity to a beach, or my own bathtub, something about being around water always seems to spark my creativity.

2. Conversations with Strangers. You never know when something overheard in a restaurant, on a crowded train, or in passing on a street will become *the* great idea for a new story or scene!

3. Music, Each book I write has a soundtrack full of songs meant to give me just the right atmosphere to bring my characters' story to life.

4. Sleep. I get a lot of ideas while I'm sleeping - so much so that I actually keep a lighted note pad next to my bed.

5. My reviews. Okay, this only works for those who've published before, but sometimes, when I read my reviews on sites like Amazon or Goodreads, whether good or bad, they can inspire me to come up with something better, or provide an idea for the next book in a series. So, keep those comments coming!