Manuscript Monday: Word Power – Happy

It’s Manuscript Monday! How are you using your words?

One way to make your manuscript shine and take it from normal to exceptional is to push your word power. Here are some different ways to say happy.

In the comments, leave us a sentence with your favorite subsitution for happy and we will randomly select a winner for an ebook of your choice from either Pen Name Publishing or French Press Bookworks.

Manuscript Monday - How else can you write "Happy"? | Pen Name Publishing

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February Writing Prompts

Thank you to everyone who played along in January and wrote with us!

Our February prompts are just as delicious and almost chronological with love…or is it? It’s the month of love, lust, and all that’s red, pink, and sweet. Who knows, the way this prompt set is set up, you might have a new book by the end of February!

Cheers Friends!

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Tease Me, Tease Me!

It’s Teaser Tuesday!

We’re going to cut straight to the chase.

Enjoy another fantastic tidbit from Leigh Raines’s upcoming debut, We’re All Mad Here. 

The title releases on December 10th.  Have you signed up for release day blog events yet or scheduled Leigh for an interview?  Make sure to drop us a line and we will pencil you in.

In the mean time, go to your favorite bookseller and reserve your copy now!

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Writing Wednesday: A Short From David O’Sullivan

We love to write and we love to encourage our Authors to write.  Our Authors are an amazing bunch.  They’re constantly working with each other, uplifting each other, sharing ideas, and strategies.  When we came to them and said, “Hey, we want to start using Writing Wednesday to put short stories by you on the blog,” they jumped.

Each month, we give them one word.  Just one single, solitary, lonely word as their prompt.  For November, as it was the first month, we went predictable and pulled out thankful.  

The stories can be ficiton or nonfiction, we just want them to keep introducing their amazing writing skills to our audience.  We don’t edit their shorts, sometimes imperfections are signs of just being human.  We want the shorts to be raw, pure, and the true gems that represent our amazing team.

If you aren’t following David’s blog or hanging out with him on Twitter, make sure to start.  His blog can be found at http://www.davidgosullivan.com (which is actually David G. O’Sullivan, but we like to call it David Go Sullivan because it matches his fun and quirky personality).

Enjoy David’s story and make sure to leave a comment!  If you want to join in, send us a short on the topic of Thankful as well and you might be featured on a Funday Friday blog!

Thanksgiving for a friend.

By David O’Sullivan

I stopped my car in the driveway and looked at the old house. I knew that age would have been unkind to the home as the driveway was overgrown with weeds. No one had lived in the old place for a long time. The tall two story building was dark now, the paint had grown a sour color and the roof was covered in leaves that had blown across from the tall trees which grew on either side. I had not lived here for fifty years but everything was in the right place. I opened the car door and stepped out. The ground was covered in tiny stones and weeds pushed up among them. I stood for a moment and looked out across the lake, it was a beautiful view, I had the same feeling I had as a boy, that this was the most beautiful and peaceful place in the world.

A large black bird landed in a branch above me. It shook a yellow leaf loose which drifted slowly to the earth. I looked back at the bird who was watching me. It had a long black beak and its eyes were shining like polished coal.

These birds had swooped me when I was six years old, I lived in the house with my Aunty. I remember the event because it had been so terrifying that it burned into my memory. I was standing among these very trees, but they had been a lot taller then, I was watching the sun climb up over the lake and I was pulling long spears of stiff grass and throwing them about. The birds had settled into the trees around me silently, unnoticed, then I heard the whoosh of wings and the snap of the large heavy beaks, the birds flew down inches from my head and snapped at my ears. They screamed loudly just as they fell upon my head and although I do not remember them touching me I formed the idea that they would soon kill me. I screamed, tears running down my face. I ran around in circles, the birds, enjoying the terror they were causing began to swoop me with increasing regularity until I was hunched on the ground, my face buried in my arms.

Then they stopped and someone was standing beside me.

“Hey.” Came the voice, a soft sweet voice. “It’s OK, what’s wrong?”
“The birds are attacking me.” I said and wiped my shameful tears from my cheek.

“Come on stand up and I’ll show you a trick.” She said.

She looked older than me, she was tall and had long blonde hair that fell down around her shoulders and shone in the sun like golden silk. She was so beautiful and brave that had I been told later she was an angel, I would not have doubted it.

She helped me stand up.

“These old birds won’t swoop you if you watch them. Just make sure to keep your eye on them and they wont hurt you.”

She fixed her eyes on the birds, I tried to as well but I could not see them. I looked up into the trees but all I saw were the golden red leaves.

“Are you living in the house back here?” She asked.

“Yes.”

“I’ll take you home. Just walk with me and we’ll get back safely.”

“Thank you, thank you so much.” I said, holding her hand as she led me up the driveway. The birds did not swoop us at all as we went back.

She lived in the next house down, which was a ten minute walk along the lake shore through wooded fields. She was older than I was by a year but she was so grown up.

Five years later I took her out on the lake in a little timber row boat my Aunty’s friend had built. It was a small replica of a whaling boat.

She laughed at me all morning as I struggled to work the oars as we crossed the lake, which was enormous, lined on all sides by trees. It was not freezing, but the weather was cool and some of the houses on the shore had thin trails of smoke drifting out of the chimneys.

“Want to swim?” She said to me and scooped up a handful of water and put it to her lips. It was clear and shone in the light.

“No.” I said. “It’s too cold.”
She laughed and said, “Feel the water.”
I let go of an oar and put my hand in, it was like ice. “Too cold.” I said again.

“Look out!” She called but it was to late, the oar slipped the hoop and was in the water.

I leaned across to get it when I slipped and fell over the side. It felt like a hundred slaps from an angry crowd, the water bit at my body.

I began to go numb straight away.

I panicked and thrashed in the water. Then I felt her hands around me and she pulled me into the boat. Then she reached down and pulled the oar in, which had drifted back toward her.

“Hold on.” She said. I sat low in the boat shivering. The late autumn wind caught me and set my teeth chattering.

“It’s not that cold.” She laughed, “You won’t die.”

She rowed the boat back with expert precision and then walked me up to her house where her mother had the kitchen stove burning. They sat me in front of it and gave me a towel and a bathrobe.

I shook the memories from my mind and went to the back of the car and opened the trunk. I took the golden urn and carried it down to the lake and there I emptied her ashes into the water.

New Author Spotlight: Ambriehl Khalil

Meet Our New YA Author, Ambriehl Khalilambriehlheadshot

Apart from always spelling her name wrong, we are excited to have Ambriehl as part of our Young Adult Author family.  She joins us from down under, the wonderful continent of Australia.

Working with Ambriehl gives us a chance to bring YA straight from a young adult.

Ambriehl will be debuting her Young Adult debut, Coins In The Coffee Cup, in July, 2015.  It’s currently in the editing room and you can expect to start seeing teasers in Mid-November.

Ambriehl describes herself as a young writer with a passion for the written word, having had success writing fanfiction and building a strong reader base of over 100,000.

In her own words, “I wish to share my work with other people,
and inspire young teens and even adults to do what they love. I search for  ways to capture a serious issue and make it relatable to a wide audience through the my skills in writing. My dream is to pursue as a successful  writer and I won’t stop until I get there.”

We are going to tease you with one small piece from her opening chapter that we fell in love with and made us eager to read the full manuscript:

     I have had friends. I had like … one? His name was Jonathan Romonsky, I was thirteen, he was seventeen and he was not only the world’s gayest kid who wore rainbow suspenders, but he was also the world’s most miserable and depressed kid that I’ve ever heard of. I owe him a lot though, mainly because he helped me come to terms with a lot of things in my life, like:

  • What I was (human, obviously)
  • Who I was (Harrison Healy) and
  • Where I wanted to be (not dead in a ditch).

Which I guess is kind of a lot to come to terms with at the age of thirteen, I guess. I remember once Jonathan Romonsky told me that, “Sometimes you have to go outside, take a breath of fresh air and remind yourself of who you are, and who you want to be.”

We are currently taking blogger signups for reviews, cover reveals, interviews, and guest posts for Coins In The Coffee Cup.  You can sign up on our website, http://www.pennamepublishing.com

Teaser Tuesday: We’re All Mad Here

But one can only be pushed so far, which

Leigh Raines is the first author to join our new imprint, French Press Bookworks. (www.frenchpressbookworks.com)

We are so excited to have her on board and even more excited about her debut, We’re All Mad Here.

We’re All Mad Here is New Adult Fiction that follows the main character, Jade Thompson, through depression and back.  It is an unfiltered look at the stigma attached to depression, anxiety, prescriptions, and the sometimes shocking revelation that happens when people realize they aren’t alone and in fact, We’re All Mad Here.

Blogger signs up are now open for reviews, interviews, takeovers, and the cover reveal on 10-21.  Email earlyreaders@pennamepublishing.com to get on board.

While you’re at it, we have a new website!  Have you seen it yet?  Stop on over to http://www.pennamepublishing.com.

Happy Tuesday Friends!

We’re Writing Wednesday – Know Your Genre: Nonfiction

Did you know that an estimated 80% of all books published are Nonfiction?  That seems crazy to some of us because it seems that what we really talk about are the fiction titles.

What exactly is Nonfiction?

First and foremost, it is one of the two main categories that divides the written word (fiction and nonfiction).

To narrow it down further, nonfiction is typically considered an essay, memoir, and other narrative forms that are based in factual support, regardless of delivery (straight forward vs. artistic liberties).

Things get even more fuzzy when you’re going through the list to find the world of semi-fiction, nonfiction that places fictional characters into the leading and supporting roles.  

Where do you even start to understand these genres?

To start, if you are going to publish a book or self publish your own book, you’ll get initiated to BISAC codes REAL quick.  BISAC codes are created and adjusted by BISG, Book Industry Study Group.

To see a full grouping and try to figure this out for yourself, visit https://www.bisg.org/bisac-subject-codes

According to BISG, unless your book is a blank book and thus unclassifiable, it will have a subject identifier that it can be assigned.

The very first heading for BISAC falls into nonfiction and it is Antiques & Collectibles.

This is a great category to start with because it’s pretty self explanatory.  Your book is nonfiction, it’s written about the process of identifying, acquiring, and/or collecting the objects, and your book DOES NOT deal with the techniques needed to physically make these items (this would be CRAFTS/HOBBIES).  Your book will then fall in to one main category and 3-4 additional sub categories from one of the below:

ANT000000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / General
ANT001000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Americana
ANT002000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Art
ANT003000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Autographs
  ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Automobiles see Transportation
ANT005000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Books
ANT006000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Bottles
ANT007000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Buttons & Pins
ANT054000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Canadiana
ANT008000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Care & Restoration
  ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Cars see Transportation
  ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Ceramics see Pottery & Ceramics
  ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / China see Porcelain & China
ANT010000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Clocks & Watches
ANT011000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Coins, Currency & Medals
ANT012000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Comics
  ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Costume see Textiles & Costume
  ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Dance see Performing Arts
  ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Disneyana see Americana
ANT015000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Dolls
ANT053000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Figurines
ANT016000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Firearms & Weapons
ANT017000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Furniture
ANT018000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Glass & Glassware
  ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Gold see Silver, Gold & Other Metals
  ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Hummels see Figurines or Popular Culture
ANT021000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Jewelry
ANT022000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Kitchenware
ANT023000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Magazines & Newspapers
  ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Medals see Coins, Currency & Medals
ANT024000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Military
  ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Movies see Performing Arts
  ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Musical Instruments see Performing Arts
  ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Nautical see Transportation
  ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Newspapers see Magazines & Newspapers
ANT028000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Non-Sports Cards
ANT029000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Paper Ephemera
ANT025000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Performing Arts
  ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Pewter see Silver, Gold & Other Metals
ANT031000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Political
ANT052000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Popular Culture
ANT032000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Porcelain & China
ANT033000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Postcards
ANT034000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Posters
ANT035000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Pottery & Ceramics
ANT036000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Radios & Televisions (see alsoPerforming Arts)
ANT037000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Records
ANT038000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Reference
  ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Restoration see Care & Restoration
  ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Royalty see Popular Culture
ANT040000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Rugs
ANT041000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Silver, Gold & Other Metals
ANT043000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Sports (see also headings under Sports Cards)
ANT042000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Sports Cards / General
ANT042010 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Sports Cards / Baseball
ANT042020 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Sports Cards / Basketball
ANT042030 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Sports Cards / Football
ANT042040 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Sports Cards / Hockey
  ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Stained Glass see Glass & Glassware
ANT044000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Stamps
ANT045000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Teddy Bears
  ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Televisions & Television-Related seePerforming Arts or Radios & Televisions
ANT047000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Textiles & Costume
  ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Theater see Performing Arts
ANT055000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Tobacco-Related
ANT049000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Toy Animals
ANT050000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Toys
ANT009000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Transportation
  ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Watches see Clocks & Watches
  ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Weapons see Firearms & Weapons
ANT051000 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Wine

The next category is Architecture.

Like Antiques & Collectibles, it is very straight forward.  It is a category for professional related texts, or, texts aimed to advance the education of professionals.  This does not include texts created to talk about the actual construction and creation, these instead would be under Technology & Engineering, further subdivided into Construction.  Texts written for nonprofessionals would be moved to HOUSE & HOME.  

This category is a great example as we can look at home decorating.  Interior Designers would find industry specific texts under Architecture/Interior Design/General, whereas books written about how to decorate your home, such as those by Martha Stewart or Nate Berkus, would not as they are made for a more general audience.  These titles may use Architecture/Interior Design/General as a secondary code to seek placement in this category for search purposes in libraries, sales catelogues, or keyword searches, but it would not be the primary or recommended selection.

We aren’t putting the full list here for Architecture, but if you want to see it, click on the blue link above and check it out for yourself. 

See how specific this is?  This is pretty easy to understand.  It gets a little hairier as we move into other topics that aren’t quite as straight forward.  In some of the more iffy areas, we will look at each BISAC code individually and we’ll include some pop-quizzes of short synopsis and BISAC options for placement.

What are your big genre related questions?  Leave us a comment and we’ll address them in a future blog.

Cheers and happy Writing Wednesday!