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August 2014

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Twisted Tuesday: Indie Author Tip #1

I’ve personally come a long way from the indie author who had no idea how to write a book summary. In fact, I recently sat down with the lovely miss Rachel Bindl and discussed the possibility of her becoming my official editor. As we sat down, one block from our original meeting place, she excited me with her knowledge of Twisted Illusions and suddenly, I realized just how far I’d come. So, I decided to share my biggest struggle with writing. So your first and possibly most important indie author tip is: Writing your book is only half the battle. Telling the story is the other. 

Know your Content!

The hardest part of my career is one that I’ve never been afraid to talk about. I can’t write a summary. I can’t count how many times someone has asked me what my book was about and I looked at them like “I don’t know. I just wrote the book.” I had the same problem when people would say something like “Tell me more about you.” People were completely confused and truthfully so was I. I knew what my book was about but how could I explain it without spoiling it?

So, I started reading the book, hoping this well-written summary would write itself but it didn’t. I hadn’t connected with the characters enough to be able to give them these nifty adjectives. You know what I’m talking about. The ones you read on the back of book jackets in the grocery store? even then, how do you accurately sum that–all these characters up so you could explain them to people. Well. Part of the first indie author tip is that… you don’t. 

Don’t Explain The Audience Your story… Tell Them.

“Explain the audience.” Sounds goofy right? No one explains anything to their audience. They talk to them. As an author, your job isn’t to write the words and “explain your reader.” Unless, you’re writing a self help book in which case your job is definitely to help the reader by explaining. Yet, it’s your job as an author to entice the reader.

I recently got a review that said, “this book is not for everyone but for those of you who like a real life story….” It’s true, but that’s not the way I’d tell anyone about my latest book. Twisted Illusions is a book that was meant for everyone to relate to because the fear each character faces is a universal reality. We’re all worried about our future and whether or not we’ll make it. It’s real…

If you tell your readers what they’re in for (with no spoilers), they’ll become intrigued and maybe even a little excited. I don’t explain to anyone what happens in chapter 19, but I do warn readers that it can get a little steamy. It’s enticing, it’s scary, it’s new, and it’s going to get your reader amped up to take that book to the checkout.

So pitch it!

I don’t care whether your novel has been out for two decades or hasn’t even been written yet. The next time someone asks you about what you’re writing or what your book is about, pitch them the story you’d tell someone holding that precious work of art in their hands. Don’t just tell them the words either. Tell them the story.

Example: One of my pitches for Twisted Illusions. 

Have you ever been afraid of failure? I know, I know. It’s a nightmare but it’s one we’ve all faced. Camille Harrison has to endure her fear head on. She’s facing everything from her past life, being surrounded by drug dealers and a possible spark with the one person she shouldn’t.. Yet, she’s enduring each trying moment for once change at her big dream… but for how long?  Find out… 

See what I mean? I didn’t spoil anything and you may or may not want to read it now! There are seven thousand ways to do it. Just choose one and tell them the story they’re never going to want to forget. After all… That’s why we started right?

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PJ| Toddler’s First Portrait Session

love the look on a person’s face when you it’s their first portrait session and you get to bring their vision and inner beauty to life. Yet, when Nitya reached out about her toddler’s first portrait session I leapt up with excitement! I love kids! I spent a whole year chasing them around Haunted Trails and singing to them. No one could ever tell me that shooting a toddler’s first portrait session was something I couldn’t do.

Arriving at the session, I didn’t know what to expect. The toddler, PJ, was blessed with a mother who was already making major headway in the modeling industry and I wanted her son’s first shoot to be a joyous one. I had even packed a special surprise for PJ in hopes to win over his favor. When we finally were “nearly face to face” (I’m 4’11.), he stood shyly beside his mom. Yet, I offered him grapes and complimented him on his classy little suit and it became history from that moment on.

A Tip For Any Photographer Shooting A Toddler’s First Portrait Session

Toddlers First Portrait Session

Patience is the way to go! PJ, or Phillip had no idea what he was in for when he stepped onto the grassy fields of our location. Surely a one year old is not going to understand you when you say “Okay, we’re going to do some poses in this ensemble before we make a sprint to down that hill.” PJ merely stared at me with his beady eyes and anticipated the moments when I said “Ready, set, go.” From that moment, he was off and I had one choice: RUN!

Toddler First Portrait Session II
PJ Harding Toddler Session
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After he frolicked around in his fancy clothes, we put him into his second outfit which was by far the most energetic part of this shoot. PJ ran up and down the hill, laughing, and chasing me around walls. Yet, that was the moment when his inner greatness became his outer goodness.

Childrens Portrait SessionFirst Portrait Session 4


First Portrait Session 3Family Portrait Session 5

PJ was insanely excited about everything for a little over an hour and a half. At one point, he wanted to be near the water so bad, he raced toward it and his amazing mother had to pause and hold his hand. She held his hand and chased him around like a devoted mother did and it put a smile on my face.

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How We Finished PJ’s First Portrait Session

We took him to the place he wanted to go the most during the entire session. To The water.
Family Portrait Sessionlast one