Friday, June 27, 2014

Fake Items in a Story...

Recently, one of my writing groups posed a few questions that are interesting, to say the least.  They asked 'who uses real towns or makes up their own' for their books, and then someone asked how to indicate phone numbers and social security numbers, etc (identifying characteristics of a person) in a book.

So, as a writer, do you use fake items?  As a reader, do you even care?  Why would anyone ever indicate a social security number, unless it was an integral part of the story?

I sometimes use real places in a story, but much prefer to make up my own town.  My rules, my directions, my thoughts.  If I've never been to the area, a fake town is a lot easier to deal with.  But if I have been to the area, I might know a few things that'll be landmarks to the town.  For example, in San Antonio, Texas, did you know there's a mall right near the Alamo (down a ways and across a small alley)?  And there are shops across the street?  I never would've known that from a map, but since I've been there (and LOVED it), it's something I could include in a story.  It's also possible to walk from the mall to the strip of hotels using the RiverWalk and not have to walk on the streets.  Just go downstairs in the mall and outside, and you're at the RiverWalk.  It's also possible to swim or even walk through the water on the RiverWalk.  It's only about 4 feet deep in most places.

But I digress (can you tell I LOVE San Antonio?).  The point is, I love making up a town.  I usually try to place it in a vague area, like in a field or give directions that aren't exact on how to get there.

For phone numbers, I write 'she rattled off the digits for the number' and leave it at that.  Can you imagine what it'd be like to have your personal phone number in a book, just because someone made up numbers and it happened to be YOUR number?  That'd be rotten.  I know in TV shows, they start with '555' for the first three digits of the phone number because it used to not be used.  I'm not sure if it's used today or not, but don't want to chance that it might not be used in the future.

Now, as for social security number, I wouldn't touch that one.  First, there's a chance someone has that number.  If you publicize it, I would think a lawsuit might be in order from that person (think if it's a celebrity).  I would guess that a fake SS# would include zeros, but I'm not even sure of that one.  If it were an integral part of my story, though, I'd just say 'ending with' and make it four zeros.  Or they'd compare cards or something like that.  But no way would I create a fake SS#.

And, even if I did use a real town, I'd make up a street number and name, to protect anyone on the real street.  I know I wouldn't want to be singled out to a reader or multiple readers.

What about you?  Do you know if something's fake when you read it, and do you even care?

Have a great week!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Another Paperback Available!!!

YAY!  I finally put out 'A Heapin' Helping of Three Cross Faith' in paperback through Createspace!  I even changed out the cover!  WAHOO!

Here are the front and the back covers:

It's available here:

It's not out at the other sites yet, but will be eventually.

So come on and read a fun book about a Christian rock (praise) band from Texas.  It's the first of the series and just fun!

Here's the blurb:


Niki Daniels is hurt when a taxi hits her from behind. Little does she know, the customer is none other than her new client, Austin Cole. He's a Christian praise singer, and she's just been named his manager. 

Austin demands that his colleagues are Christian, so Niki makes a point to hide the fact that God abandoned her years ago, and she's turned away from Him. 

Austin used to be a neurosurgeon, but gave it up when his wife was killed. He is now a rancher in a tiny town south of Midland, Texas, where he lives with his young daughter. His goal is to change lives and turn souls toward God with his music. 

Since Niki is his client and patient, he negotiates bringing her to his home, questioning her lack of faith and secret past.


Markee (writing as Eryn)

Friday, June 13, 2014

New Cover Designer!!!

There's a new 'business' in town called  It's your creative friend, or 'create ally' for book covers, for starters.

This place is GREAT!  They did covers for me--lots of covers (check out their sold covers page: over the years.  I know the owner is a college student, trying to make it in a type of graphic design major.  She has years of Photoshop experience, with college coursework in the field.  This fall, she's taking a course on professional ways to take photographs, and will be using an expensive camera to learn how to do this.  So she'll have original pictures for the covers, eventually.  YAY!  That would be fantastic!  No longer do you have to worry that someone else will take the same pictures that you licensed from an online site, because these are originals.

Check out  Professional, classy, and creative is what they strive to be!

Have a great week!
Markee at SweetTale Books

Friday, June 6, 2014

How To Raise Your Novel

I just saw a trailer for 'How to Train Your Dragon 2' and it reminded me that your book is your baby.  You've spent weeks, months, and/or years writing the thing.  Then you edited, re-read for plot holes, had other people read it, had a book cover created, and finally created a final product (this happens whether you're an indie writer or a traditionally published writer).

So it comes to the release.  You have butterflies in your stomach, hoping you didn't miss something stupid, and have the world make fun of your book.  It goes out, you market the thing, and finally, you get your first review.  Your baby has been born and validated.

What happens next?  If you don't keep building sales and market, or have a new book coming out, your baby becomes 'average' or goes away in people's minds.

Yikes!  Your baby is no longer the genius you were sure it was.  It can't run a minute mile, and it isn't at the top of the class in any way.  You're stuck.

Some people are really great at marketing, able to take anything and convince the customer they HAVE to have the book.  Others hope and pray that another book will give that first book a boost.  And, if it's a series book, it should do just that.

Here's what I suggest to send your baby on its way to making lots of sales.  MARKET the thing like there's no tomorrow.  It IS the next best thing to come along.  Contact anyone who could help you get places or give you a great review for that book.  Build a following of fans through a newsletter, a Yahoo group, or even though social networking.  You're making your baby become independent this way, selling books through word of mouth.

For all you wannabe writers out there who think they can do better, beware.  It's not as easy as you think to raise a novel.  And to all you trolls, think before you bash.  These writers have taken a chance, putting their babies out there in raw emotion, because it's scary to publish a book.

Good luck!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

June Newsletter

Welcome to June!

Wow.  And it seems like just last week that we had snow up here in Wisconsin.  But now, we have flowers and sunshine, and warmth at last!  This is MY time of year.  I just LOVE the heat.  Even when we lived in the south (NC) and when we visited San Antonio, TX and walked on the Riverwalk in 105 degree temps, I just loved it.  I felt alive, unlike how I felt during the extreme negative temps this past winter.

This month, I want to tell you about a new release for an anthology that JUST published.  Other than that, I'm dealing with all the kids at home (well, the oldest has a job, which is good) and the daily grind of handling them during their college breaks.  At least now, the dogs can run in and out thanks to the Magic Mesh on the patio door.  That helps a lot.  I'm also proofreading 'A Heapin' Helping of Three Cross Faith' for CreateSpace (print/paperback).  The cover will change and I'm proofreading it for any errors, again, but otherwise, it's the same book as before.

Take care and happy June!
SweetTale Books

Check out this new anthology by Victory Tales Press!  It's the 2014 Summer Collection and I have a story in it!  YAY!!  My story is entitled, 'Meet Me In Seattle.'

Here's the blurb for my story:

Meet Me In Seattle by Markee Anderson 
Madysen Duke has been coerced to participate in a reality show with her teacher friends. But little does she know, her high school flame is also along for the ride, with intentions much different from hers. Even though she's out for the money, he's trying to thwart whatever crime is happening right before their eyes.

Great reads by great authors!



Have a wonderful month!
SweetTale Books