Welcome Donna!

12:00 AM Elizabeth Seckman 49 Comments

Donna Weaver is here to share some her thoughts on research, but before we get to that...we have our hops to update!

Thanks Misha & Beth for keeping us goal accountable.

Join the Goals Blog Hop Here! 

My big goals for this year were to publish two books and master marketing (whatever that is!)

1. Two books- on schedule. Just finished edits on Swept Away. Waiting for the next round of edits. This will be book 2.

2. Marketing. Trying to think outside the box. I had a good deal of success at the retirement home, so I booked a table at an artisan festival. Literature is an art and I figure if you appreciate one form of art, you have an understanding of all of them.


 Join this op weekly hop here!

Thanks to Lexa and her co-hosts, L.G., and Katie for reminding us to appreciate the small things.

    1. Met some wonderful people through the A-Z, so even though I dropped out, it was a positive experience.

    2. My oldest son turned 21 this week! Holy cow, how did that happen?

3. My youngest son turned 15. He's old enough to get his permit!




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Now, let's welcome to the lovely Donna Weaver. Donna has a new audio version of her book available. And both the eBook and audio book are being offered at a discount. 

Book Research
by Donna K. Weaver

Being a Navy Brat and an Army Vet, I’ve lived in a lot of places in the US, Europe, and Asia. Those experiences make my research easier because I’ve experienced cruises and lived through a Typhoon and sailed on a catamaran (but I’ve never had to deal with modern-day pirates). The old adage that we should “write what you know” is a true one.

But let’s be real. We can’t always write what we know.

My main character in Torn Canvas, Jori Virtanen, was born in Finland and immigrated to the US as a teen. In the book, he has a chance to go back to his family home. I’ve never been to Finland. I had the advantage of knowing someone online (from a Facebook game, Castle Age) who was from Helsinki, Finland. He was gracious enough to answer a bunch of questions for me.

I’m a visual person, though, and so I used Google Earth a lot in Torn Canvas, especially for the parts in American Samoa. It’s not perfect, but it can give you a good feel for roads and the surrounding areas, since I wasn’t able to afford a firsthand visit. Dang. Now, that would have been a treat.

I was able to visit Lewistown, Montana, which plays a role in Torn Canvas. Because of that visit, I changed a few things. Real life is always best if we can afford it. In fact, the Bed & Breakfast that Jori stays in is based upon a real one that my husband and I visited. Lovely place with gracious hosts.

So, we might not always be able to write what we personally know, but we can certainly draw upon the knowledge of friends and family. And the Internet. 

I’ll note that the audiobook has Whispersync. That means if you own the Kindle ebook, the audiobook is extremely discounted. Torn Canvas is on sale for $.99 during the tour, and the audiobook can be purchased for only $2.99 more.
About the Book
Modern-day pirates took more than Jori Virtanen’s friends; they stole his face. Not only does the twenty-four-year-old former model have to confront months of reconstructive surgery, he discovers his previous life was as superficial as his looks. Up-and-coming talk show host Olivia Howard wants an interview. She, like the rest of the press, expects a hero, but Jori knows the truth. His beauty masks a beast.

In seclusion and evading the press, Jori struggles to make a new life as an artist. But he can’t hide from himself; more than his face is damaged. How can Jori possibly make amends for all that he’s broken? When Olivia finally tracks him down, he must decide if he can trust her. Could this unlikely woman be a key to freeing his heart and healing the beast?
"A fantastic work of fiction... Jori is no longer the confident skirt-chasing model, but a man haunted by his scars. His journey of self-discovery ... helps him grow as a person and an artist... An absolute must read!"  Sarah E. Bradley, InD'Tale Magazine

About the Author
A wife, mother, grandmother, Harry Potter geek, Army veteran, and karate black belt. Author of the Safe Harbors series (A Change of Plans #1, Hope's Watch #1.5, Torn Canvas #2, and A Season of Change #2.5) and Second Chances 101, Book 5 in the Ripple Effect series.


49 comments:

  1. I'm guessing you made some cake for the guys? Miss you the A-Z, but you've writing some other good stuff!

    Safe Harbors #2 sounds very mysterious to me. Nice post, Liz.

    My best wishes to featured author, Donna K. Weaver. I enjoy her blog!!

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    1. Thanks, Dixie. #2 is very much a companion novel to #1 since they run almost concurrently. It was fun and challenging to write.

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    2. I cheated a bit, Dixie. I bought ice cream cakes!

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  2. All I can say...is who wouldn't want a grandmother who's a black belt. The book sounds interesting, even for this fantasy geek. Donna, if you want to visit my blog...give me a shout.

    (E- My kids are in their 30s...I can't imagine how that happened either)

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    1. Well, Mac, when people visit my blog and comment, I always make an effort to visit them back and comment. I've been to your blog many times.

      Yeah. I've got kids in their 30s too. *sigh*. It's when the grandkids start getting old enough to drive that I begin to feel ancient.

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    2. I think he's offering to host you Donna :)

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  3. Donna, I already commented on your blog, but congrats again!

    Elizabeth, My kids are still young (oldest is 6), but only because it took us so long to get them. Even so, I can't believe how fast it seems to be going.

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    1. Enjoy, SP! Sometimes I wish I had waited a bit longer, so I'd still have them at home.

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  4. Military life does expose you to many new things. What we don't know, we can Google or ask someone. Good stuff, Donna.
    Elizabeth, I think you are figuring out that marketing thing.

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    1. I'm trying, but as soon as I learn something, it all changes.

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    2. Yeah. I managed to experience the military both as a dependent growing up on military bases and later as a soldier.

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  5. That is true, sometimes we can't always write what we know. Especially when I go all aliens lol

    Time sure does fly.

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    1. I like to write what I like to dream about. And no, it's not all sex.

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    2. Cuz you really know all about those aliens, Pat. lol

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  6. I use Google Earth too, for researching areas I'm unfamiliar with. I also read a couple of local newspapers online - the internet is awesome for research.

    HI Elizabeth - I'm impressed with your marketing efforts. I feel like I should do something now too!

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    1. I've used google earth also. It's excellent for getting the lay of the land. It even beats a visit for seeing the big picture.

      You need to be sending your work to book clubs, Annalisa. They would love trying to decipher your meanings. Maybe give them bulk buy discounts on paperbacks.

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  7. I use images for research, too. it helps us visually oriented writers sooo much.

    Great post! :)

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    1. I'll even google outfits. I mean not everyone spends every day in sweats and tee shirts.

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    2. Definitely, Melissa. Even if we've visited a place, it helps to have a refresher.

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  8. Congrats on all those wonderful things to celebrate! If I only wrote what I know, I'd have two pages. :-)

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    1. LOL. I'd be writing about women with dirty houses and pot bellies. I'm sticking with the dreams.

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  9. First hand knowledge is great, but we all have had characters (at least I know I have) that stretch us beyond our comfort zones. Researching, soaking up some images and talking to people who do have first hand knowledge, always helps! Great advice and best of luck Donna.

    Elizabeth- I'm so missing you in the A-Z, especially your easy recipes. Happy B-day to your sons. Eat lots of cake- for me!

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    1. Ah, I'm so glad you miss my posts. If I think of easy things, I'll post them in regular posts. I do love not working.

      Writers can use empathy and imagine what it's like to be in a situation. That's the beauty of it...we don't necessarily have to know what it's like to take a punch to know how to write about it.

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    2. Yes, Jaybird, especially if we're doing fantasy or SciFi. Which I am. We have some latitude but we still have to get things "right" for the reader.

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  10. Great idea about having a table at an Arts Festival!

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  11. If you don't have personal experience with a topic, it pays to do some research. Good luck with your projects.

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    1. And who doesn't love research? It's a win, win no matter what!

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  12. I am not quite clear, is this a stand alone book or not?

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    1. I believe they are connected by characters, but stand alone in their plots. Like my Coulter Men series. the books share characters, but have their own plots.

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    2. Jo, it's a parallel novel. It runs almost concurrently with the first book in the series but the main character is different.

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  13. Doing good, Elizabeth! :-)

    Donna, I know what you mean. It is better to actually go to places we write about. Alas, it's not easy to do on our writing incomes.

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    1. Thanks Misha!

      If I traveled on my income, I'd do well to afford the gas to and from my dream destinations.

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    2. Misha, if we could apparate, it would be so much more doable!

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  14. Yay. Lots of accomplishments. Book research has become much easier thanks to the Internet. Can you imagine being a writer in the 80s or 90s? If you needed to know something, you had to call someone, go to the library, or travel.

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    1. One of the plus sides to writing in the 80's and 90's would have been people not being able to fact check you as easily either. Hehe.

      We can be double checked in a keystroke. A lot of pressure!

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    2. I know, Stephanie! It's crazy how much easier it is. AND how much more careful we have to be that our research is correct.

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  15. Good luck with your edits, and it sounds like you're doing well with thinking up some unusual marketing strategies too.

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    1. I'm trying to think outside the box Angeline!

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  16. Congrats to Donna on her new audio book!
    Elizabeth, it sounds like you're well on your way to making your goals. Sorry we won't get to read more of your A to Z, but life happens. My kids are 15 and 13, and I don't know how that happened, either. Have a great weekend!

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    1. Thanks Lori! I think I might use my quick and easy tips in regular blog posts. I think people get tired of writerly stuff anyhow.

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  17. Thinking outside the box with marketing is what it's all about. Every year we do a book signing at Free Comic Book Day at our local comic book shop, and it's a great way to meet new readers. However, I don't think we'd have nearly the same success you did at a retirement home. :)

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    1. I don't know. There were a few ornery men there, but I think the comic book day is a way smarter use of your time. We need to go where our readers go.

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  18. Hi Elizabeth, I'm belatedly catching up with other people on the 'Five Year Project'. Well done. Looks like you are on track with your goals! If you ever do manage to master marketing, you could write a book on that... :)

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    1. So far, I'm still no good at the marketing!

      (Playing catch up is my favorite game!)

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  19. Ever try to automate your free bitcoin claims by utilizing a BTC FAUCET ROTATOR?

    ReplyDelete

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