Wattpad · Writers

Wattpad | Frights, Camera, Action: Turner Joins Forces with Wattpad for First-of-Its-Kind Collaboration

Apparently, I’m so behind with my Wattpad news because this news is from June, but still…this is great news! So if you write horror, why not check Wattpad out? And while you’re there, say hello!  I’m Morrighansmuse on there.

The initial focus of the partnership will be The Tales from the Crypt, the eagerly anticipated horror programming from Turner’s TNT and executive producer M. Night Shyamalan.  TNT and Wattpad will invite writers around the world to bring their story ideas forward through contests and other opportunities that will be announced on the official Turner profile on Wattpad and on social media.

“Our partnership with Wattpad is a perfect intersection of content and fan engagement, where fans actually have the chance to directly influence and, in some cases even have their material optioned and developed by our networks,” said Justin Williams, senior vice president of digital ventures for TNT and TBS. “We’re especially excited to kick off our collaboration with a focus on TNT’s Tales from the Crypt horror block, which will tap into Wattpad’s strength in the horror genre”

In addition, Turner will also tap into Wattpad’s sophisticated, data-driven models to help identify fresh new talent and ideas from the Wattpad community.  TBS and TNT’s development teams will review stories with an eye toward finding great ideas for television, digital and/or mobile platforms. The networks will also work with Wattpad to share story ideas and other material with the Wattpad community in order to receive immediate feedback from audiences around the world.

via Frights, Camera, Action: Turner Joins Forces with Wattpad for First-of-Its-Kind Collaboration – Wattpad

I’m also part of a Halloween anthology called Tenebris Somnia (Dark Dreams) that premieres on October 1st, and my short story, Guilty, will be featured on October 16.

Featured Author · Writers · Writing

So #Reid2Write Featured A Romance Writer… Me!

So I just got featured over on Aidan J. Reid’s blog and I’m afraid I was a bit wacky in my answers!  I even managed to spill the beans about where to find my latest novel, In Love With A Young Man!

I had the pleasure this week to interview someone I’ve admired from afar since discovering her blog earlier in the year.

Author of romance and ‘chick-lit’ novels, the next guest of my #Reid2Write series is very open about her own writing process and the lovely task that us indie authors struggle with – carving out […]

via Episode 8 of #Reid2Write – Romance Author Liz Durano — Aidan J. Reid

Writers · Writing

August 2016 is Write An Amazon Review Month! #AugustReviews

On Monday 25th July, book blogger Rosie Amber wrote this post encouraging readers and writers alike to post a short review on Amazon for any book they’ve read and enjoyed ~ following this up, Terry Tyler is starting this initiative along with other writer-bloggers including Rosie, Cathy from Between The Lines, Barb Taub, Shelley Wilson and Alison Williams.

The idea is that, from August 1st, everyone who reads this uses their Amazon account to post just one review on one book that they’ve read (but feel free to carry on if you get in the swing!).  You don’t even have to have read it recently, it can be any book you’ve read, any time.  The book does not have to have been purchased from Amazon, though if it is you get the ‘Verified Purchase’ tag on it; however, if you download all your books via Kindle Unlimited, as many do these days, they don’t show the VP tag, anyway.

Remember, this isn’t the Times Literary Supplement, it’s Amazon, where ordinary people go to choose their next £1.99 Kindle book.  No one expects you to write a thousand word, in-depth critique; I don’t know about you, but I’m more likely to read one short paragraph or a couple of lines saying what an average reader thought of a book, than a long-winded essay about the pros and cons of the various literary techniques used.  Yes, those are welcome too (!), but no more so than a few words saying “I loved this book, I was up reading it until 3am”, or “I loved Jim and Vivien and the dialogue was so realistic”, or whatever!

Why should you write a review?

They help book buyers make decisions.  Don’t you read the reviews on Trip Advisor before deciding on a hotel, or any site from which you might buy an item for practical use?  Book reviews are no different.

If the book is by a self-published author, or published by an independent press, the writers have to do all their promotion and marketing themselves ~ reviews from the reading public is their one free helping hand.

The amount of reviews on Amazon helps a book’s visibility (allegedly).  If you love a writer’s work and want others to do so, too, this is the best possible way of making this happen.

It’s your good deed for the day, and will only take five minutes!

Off we go, then!  A few more pointers:

If you need any help with writing your review, do click on Rosie’s post, above.

A review can be as short as one word.  The shortest one I have is just two

You don’t have to put your name to the review, as your Amazon ‘handle’ can be anything you like.

No writer expects all their reviews to be 5* and say the book is the best thing ever written; there is a star rating guide on Rosie’s post.

Would you like to tell the Twittersphere about your review?  If so, tweet the link to it with the hashtag #AugustReviews ~ and thank you!  I will do one blog post a week featuring these links: The #AugustReviews Hall of Fame (thank you, Barb!).

If you have a blog and would like to spread the word about #AugustReviews, please feel free to copy and paste this blog post, provide the link to it, re-blog it, or whatever ~ many thanks, and I hope you will join in to make this idea a success

via August 2016 is Write An Amazon Review Month! By @TerryTyler4 #AugustReviews | Lit World Interviews

So, who’s in?

A Writer Musing · Writers

I Just Write What I Want To Write – JK Rowling

Today marks Harry Potter’s birthday.  It’s something that’s been ingrained in my body’s cells – that today is a special day, no matter what the year.  Today also marks the release of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, the so-called eighth book of the series.  Most likely I’ll get it like I bought all the other seven books for my oldest son, reserving the audiobook for myself because that’s how I was introduced to Harry Potter, via Jim Dale’s voice narrating the first book while driving from L.A. to San Francisco one night.  I still remember how enthralled I was that I kept driving around Petaluma past midnight because I didn’t want to get out of the car  until the chapter ended.

I love that Rowling wrote all her books for herself.  In doing so, she wrote for me and for millions of children, teens, and adults in search of a good story to read, a hero to root for even if he started out as a child – and when I was first introduced to the books, I did not read that genre at all.  But thank goodness for the audiobook rental store in my old neighborhood that’s now long gone out of business, Jim Dale’s narration transported me to Hogwarts, Diagon Alley, Gringotts, and so many other places.  I rented every single one of those books, first in cassette tapes, and then, bought the CDs and now that they’re available on Audible, I’m tempted to buy them all over again, this time as a digital download because my CD sets are now missing individual CDs for some reason (that’s what I get for loaning them).

By writing for herself, Rowling has encouraged me to do the same.  It’s hard when I see so many fellow authors hit the bestseller lists by writing to market and doing it down to the science, but I always remind myself why I write.  Sure, I would love to make a good living with my writing, but like what an editor said to me last year with my first novel, I need to find my voice and what better way to do that but to write for myself.

How about you?  Why do you write?


A Writer Musing · Writers · Writing

The Problem With Happily Ever After In Romance Fiction | Ravishly

“In the U.S., as far as regular readers of novels which are marketed as ‘romance novels’ are concerned, the definition of ‘a romance novel’ does include a happy ending,” Dr. Laura Vivanco, an independent scholar of popular romance fiction, told me. That seems confirmed by readers themselves; when All About Romance asked readers if a Happily Ever After (HEA) ending was required in a romance novel, almost everyone who offered an opinion agreed with author Deborah Simmons, when she said, ‘To me, a happy ending is part of the appeal of romance.’

….But even though happy endings are de rigeur in romance novels now, it does seem like, at least historically, romance hasn’t always had to end with such cheer. Some of the most famous romance stories, like Romeo and Juliet, are tragedies. Novels like Villette and Gone With the Wind end, at best, ambiguously—and GWTW is not infrequently listed as one of the all-time great romance novels by lovers of the genre.

In A Natural History of the Romance Novel, scholar Pamela Regis suggests that romance readers confusedly rewrite the ending of GWTW so that Scarlett actually ends up with Rhett—Regis feels that it is included as a romance novel by mistake. But that seems like it gives romance readers too little credit. Maybe, after all, readers see GWTW as a romance not because they’ve misread it, but because they think romance novels are broad enough to include unhappy or ambivalent endings, at least on occasion. As award-winning novelist Pamela Rosenthal told me, “I find it difficult to imagine a romance without a happy ending, but I suppose that if a story took place in the spring of life, and even if the end were in some way sacrificial, and the hero or heroine were ready to find love and have a life, it could be a romance.”

Contemporary romance novels do sometimes hedge on the happy endings as well—or at least, they complicate what a happy ending means. Cecilia Grant’s A Gentlemen Undone ends with the hero and heroine getting together . . . but they’re ostracized by his family (which is a painful, not good, thing), and end up living in very modest circumstances. Jennifer Crusie’s Bet Me has one main couple and two minor couples—and one of the minor heroines ends up with no permanent sweetie. She’s not unhappy, but still, cheerful singleness is not what you usually think of when you think “happily ever after.” And then, of course, there are the unintentional unhappy endings. E.L. James can tell me until her restraints wear through that Christian and Ana are happy together, but come on. They’re both loathsome, vacuous, selfish people, and they’re going to make each other miserable.

….Those who don’t regularly read romance novels may think that all that’s required to make something a ‘romance’ is a love story, so they might as well include love stories with unhappy endings as well as romantic fiction which includes a love story but doesn’t give it such a prominent place in the narrative,” Laura Vivanco told me. That’s interesting in part because, according to television critic Jason Mittell, genres are culturally defined not just by experts or fans, but by non-experts and passersby. A genre isn’t a hard-and-fast rule; it’s a general description based on how people (including experts and non-experts alike) use the term. So, while some people might say that only those things shelved under romance are romance novels, others might see a literary fiction novel like Atonement as one too, because it is about love even if that love ends in made-me-cry-repeatedly heartbreak. Happy endings are important, but not necessarily essential; love is the thing.

Again, many readers of romance novels don’t see things that way. But for me, I guess I prefer to leave the door open for unhappy endings in my romance novels for some of the same reasons I like and admire and respond to the happily ever after when it comes. The thing I love about romance novels is the way they insist that love and happiness are important and real and true. You can show that insistence by defiantly giving your audience the happy ending. But you can also do it by acknowledging that some stories don’t end that way, while still honoring the impulse to believe that they should.

via The Problem With Happily Ever After In Romance Fiction | Ravishly

Research:  Because I am wondering how to end my current WIP.

Happy ending or no happy ending?


A Writer Musing · Writers · Writing

Here’s To New Beginnings…

In case you’re wondering why it currently says Liz Durano instead of Liz Madrid on my page, the reason is (not so) simple: I’ve simply changed my author name – Durano being my maiden name.  It’s not exactly something planned, though, and even my six-year-old is very disappointed.  He loved the sound of Liz Madrid, mainly because Madrid is his last name, too.

But what can you do when your husband asks you to change your author name because he fears that should you say something stupid on social media, someone somewhere will come after the family in retaliation to a tweet taken wrong or an opinion posted on Facebook?  It’s so fear-based, but what can you do?

So, I had two options.  Keep using the name anyway, at the same time, cause some resentment to build – or make the change.  I also figured that if I needed to change my author name, then I might as well do it now while I only have three books published instead of later on when I’ll have ten or more.

I know I’m going to lose a lot of goodwill between myself and readers, but sometimes, you just gotta do what you got to do – even when you see unsubscribe notifications clutter your email.  One of the things in life is the practice of non-attachment, and I’m learning not to get too attached to Liz Madrid and the platform she built in the last two years. Change can be good, even if you have to start from scratch.

So here’s to a new beginning and I hope you’ll join me.

Website: http://lizdurano.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/lizduranobooks

Twitter: http://twitter.com/lizdurano

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Wattpad · Writers · Writing

So, I’m on Cosmo!

Cosmopolitan.com, the website, that is (which is still, technically, a magazine, right?), and not even me, Liz Madrid, but my blogging and original writer alter-ego, Morrighansmuse (I know, it’s confusing).  But it’s actually pretty exciting!

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If you want to read the excerpt click on the image, or this link which will take you to Cosmopolitan and from there, you can read the ongoing story on Wattpad where I still post some of my current WIP (works in progress) to my readers.

Some of you may wonder why I would post my ongoing stories on a free site like Wattpad and that’s an excellent question.  I honestly have no answer for you that will make sense, business-wise, for an author starting out but I also don’t want to talk about that in this post either and kill the buzz.  I did write about Wattpad a few months back here.

In Love With A Young Man is the story I’m writing to get back that feeling of joy I used to feel when writing something from the heart.  Hard to believe, but I lost it this year when I found myself immersed in the world of book marketing and promotions (and away from any blogging or poetry), and this is the story that has brought it back for me, word by word, line by line.

And this time, I’m not letting it slip me by.