Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Author Photos! Wahoo!!!

It's nearly been a month since my last post, ladies and gents, but I needed to give my poor fingers a break from the A-Z Challenge.

In the meantime, I've been a busy little bee!  As you may know, I edit professionally as well as write my own manuscripts, and one of the books I edited is coming out in June.  I'll give more details when I have some...but definitely be on the lookout for it.  It's the second in a series, but the subject matter is very close to the very popular Fifty Shades of Grey.  If you enjoyed Fifty, or even if you didn't and are curious about other books in the genre, I think you'll enjoy this.

I've also been given my second book assignment to edit, and I'm very excited to start on it.

Thirdly, I had my author photos taken!

I was lucky enough to fine Rich Ellgen, of Richard Ellgen Photography.  If you're in eastern England, he'll be here for another month or so (I believe until June?), but then he'll be in the Phoenix, AZ area.  Check his website for examples of his work and his contact info.  Email seems to be easiest.  He's a great guy, and did an amazing job.

We shot at the Riverside House Hotel in Mildenhall, UK.  They have some lovely gardens and some fun, quirky rooms and furniture.  Their food is great too.

My friend Lisa did my hair and assisted with the shoot, and I found a makeup artist, Shannon Bennett, who did a great job at making me look presentable.

Rich took a lot of pics, some of which worked and some didn't, but he found about thirteen great ones that he retouched.  The ones posted here are a few of my favorites, but the rest of the photo set can be found on my FB author page, so stop by and give me a "like" and enjoy! I'd love to know what you think of them.

xoxo Sarah

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tips for the A-Z Challenge

Well, another A-Z Challenge has come and gone, and again, I've met some amazing people.  Let me start by saying that I've enjoyed both reading other's and writing my own entries, reading comments, and commenting on other's blogs.

And if you've survived the challenge, whether it's your first or not, give yourself a high five!

This is the second year I've done the challenge, and it was definitely easier the second time around.  I learned a lot of what to do and what not to do through my participation last year, and this year's went much more smoothly.

So, I'd like to share some tips to make your next A-Z Challenge easier.  Here they are in no particular order...

1)  Plan out your month's posts.  Settle on a theme, if you're going to do one, and write some ideas that interest you for each letter, maybe 3-5 each so you have something to work with.  If you can narrow it down to one for each letter, awesome, but it's good to have options.

2)  Write out your entries ahead of time, in order or out of order, whatever you want.  I did mine in one-week spurts.  I'd get the writing bug, crank out a few entries at a time, and schedule them to post on the appropriate day.  That's a BIG help...take advantage of the post scheduling feature.  That way you don't even have to be around to post them; they'll just automatically pop up.  Next time I'd even write them over a longer period, maybe getting the whole month done in advance.

3)  Clear your schedule.  I'm not joking...this thing is exhausting.  I had a super-busy April this year, what with preparing a contest entry, cranking out a synopsis, working on my other original work, traveling with some girlfriends out of the country, and, of course, doing this blogfest.  Next year I'll try to keep my extracurriculars to a minimum.

4)  Make time to read other entries and follow.  That's what this whole thing is about, after all...interaction with other bloggers and like-minded people!  For most people, that was what they did on the day off...Sundays.  There were close to 2,000 participants this year, and that's obviously hard to get through.  So, if you're looking for an efficient way to work your way through some interesting blogs, check out the blog titles on the A-Z Challenge sign-up sheet.  For example, I'm a writer, and I love to support other writers and their work, so I'd often search for ones related to writing.  Also, if I found an interesting-sounding title, I'd often just check that one out out of sheer curiosity.

5)  Don't be afraid to comment.  Even if it's just a quick something like, "Just saying hi from the A-Z Challenge!", it'll be appreciated.

Do you have any tips you've learned?  I know I've missed at least a few things...tell me!

xoxo Sarah