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Tag: Advice to Myself as a Newbie Author

Home > ArchivesTag: Advice to Myself as a Newbie Author

Why I believe in time travel by Jina Bacarr

August 11, 2017 by in category Jina’s Book Chat tagged as , , , , , , , , ,


Here is the info about my latest KINDLE SCOUT book up for nomination!

What is Kindle Scout and how does it work?

Kindle Scout is where you, the reader, choose which books are published!

If the book(s) you nominate are chosen for publication, then you receive a FREE advance copy from Amazon.

My Kindle Scout book is called “The Magic Christmas Train

It’s a Holiday Time Travel romance:

Imagine if you could go back to a special Christmas, see family and friends you miss, and change the course of your life . . .

So hop aboard the Magic Christmas Train and meet the Arden Family doing their best to support the troops during that Christmas of 1943.


I first read Jack Finney’s time travel novel, TIME AND AGAIN, when I was in college.

That time in your life when you believe you can change the world. That you can build new things, create new art, set the world on a new course of diplomacy. I wanted to do all those things, but most of all, I wanted to time travel.

In Mr. Finney’s novel, he sets the stage for the time period where his hero wants to go–like a stage set–then teaches him how to use his mind to go back in time. Imagine my joy when I discovered I could do the same thing–travel back in time by using my mind.

How? you ask.

By writing my own time travel stories.

I first wrote about Naughty Paris in 1889 . . . then Love Me Forever during the Civil War in 1862 . . . and now the home front in 1943.

I’ve almost finished my novel–over 100,000 words–and I plan to enter it in the Kindle Scout program (my Civil War time travel romance LOVE ME FOREVER, is a 2015 Kindle Scout winner).

It’s a Christmas story about a woman who gets a second chance to save the man she loves from being killed in the war by going back to 1943.

I have the cover finished . . . and blurb written. I’ll update this page when I’m ready to upload the manuscript to Kindle Scout.

Till then, here’s some info about my Civil War TT romance:  

Family is the theme of LOVE ME FOREVER. Two very different women, Liberty Jordan and Pauletta Sue Buckingham, with different ideas are thrown together in a mad, crazy scheme of spying, lost love, and passionate desire for what they can’t have.

The men they love.

Do they get their men?

Well, it is a romance, but it’s also a wild dramatic journey based on actual events in the Civil War. Liberty and Pauletta Sue will make you cheer, then cry, then hold your breath when it looks like all is lost…

Civil War time traveler, belle…and spy: Love Me Forever from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

Go to Naughty Paris in 1889: erotic romance

Go to “Naughty Paris” this Halloween from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

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The Long Hot Summer . . . and writing by Jina Bacarr

July 11, 2017 by in category Jina’s Book Chat, Writing tagged as , , , , , , ,

Ninety degrees.

In the shade.

It’s been a hot beginning to summer here in SoCal. Perfect time to write . . . or maybe not. It’s hard to think when you’ve got a cold pack on your head, but it’s even harder when you’re writing about Christmas.

Oh, is it. I keep forgetting to put a coat on my heroine or remind her not to forget her gloves. One good thing. The year I’m writing about — 1943 — there was little if any snow in my heroine’s part of the world. Pennsylvania Dutch country. But it was cold. 17 degrees at night. So I fill her up with hot soup — and thank God, coffee wasn’t rationed as much by ’43, but there’ s no hot cocoa. Chocolate went to the servicemen in the form of a D Ration bar — chocolate and filled with vitamins.

The best part about writing this story about a second chance at love via time travel is the love scenes.

Plenty of hot kisses to go around.

So the morale of my little tale is: whether you’re writing about summer or winter, make sure the love scenes are hot!!


Speaking of hot, reenacting the Civil War during the summer months can raise the temps, too, especially if you’re thrust back in time to the Battle of Antietam in 1862.

Like my heroine in LOVE ME FOREVER.

Love Me Forever is a big family saga with lots of angst and sexy heroes…if you like Civil War time travel, two wild, feisty heroines and the men they love, it’s on sale through today, July 11th, for 99 cents!

I’ve worked on this book for a long time…in between other books, always hearing no publisher wants a Civil War book, but I didn’t want to give up on my two feisty heroines and the military men they love…a story that spotlights the women of the Civil War.

I didn’t give up and Love Me Forever was selected as a Kindle Scout Winner!

Family is the theme of LOVE ME FOREVER. Two very different women, Liberty Jordan and Pauletta Sue Buckingham, with different ideas are thrown together in a mad, crazy scheme of spying, lost love, and passionate desire for what they can’t have.

The men they love.

Do they get their men?

Well, it is a romance, but it’s also a wild dramatic journey based on actual events in the Civil War. Liberty and Pauletta Sue will make you cheer, then cry, then hold your breath when it looks like all is lost…

LOVE ME FOREVER is available on Kindle and KU and is 99 cents through July 11, 2017.

Ends at midnight!

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Advice to Myself as a Newbie Author: Jennifer Lyon

December 22, 2009 by in category Advice to Myself as a Newbie Author tagged as ,

by Shauna Roberts

Today’s Guest: Jennifer Lyon

Jennifer Lyon always wanted to be a witch. When her witch powers didn’t materialize, she turned to creating magic in her books. Soul Magic (Ballantine Books) debuted in October, the second in an enchanting, passionate supernatural series. Jen also has a super secret alter ego known as Jennifer Apodaca, the author of the award-winning Samantha Shaw Mystery Series.

If you could travel back in time to before you were first published, what advice would you give yourself?

Once when I was a teenager and complaining about something or other, my mother stopped what she was doing and said, “Whoever told you life was fair? Quit whining and work harder.”

Boy, I had no idea back then how much that advice would end up shaping my career. I’ve had my share of setbacks, some which were my mistakes and others that were beyond my control. But each time, I heard my mother’s voice say, ‘Quit whining; work harder.’ And each time, working harder paid off–and sometimes not in the way I expected.

That’s my mom’s advice. Now here’s a few of the things I’ve learned so far, things that I wish I’d known or fully grasped before I published.

1. Write faster and learn to juggle. Everyone says this, but I have to stress it. Like it or not, it takes at least two books a year to really build a strong fan base. And once published, you must juggle other things along with the writing, such as revisions, line edits, copy edits, galleys, and promotion.

2. Build a team. This has two parts. Part one is your professional team, which consists of your editor, agent, research contacts, web designers, or designers for bookmarks, whatever you need. I try to keep a Rolodex of people I can rely on in a professional capacity. Part two is friends and critique partners. I have many, but there are about five core people I critique with and go to for advice or just to talk to. I can trust these people implicitly.

3. Be flexible. Few careers in publishing move in a straight line. There will be changes; editors leave, agents retire, lines close, the economy tanks, a genre suddenly stops selling–it happens. Every day. It’s taken me a while to learn to roll with these things. Canceling a series or rejecting a project is just part of the business. Stay flexible and move on.

4. Be professional, reliable, and self-confident. The first two I did from the start; the self-confident part has been harder. I have learned to project a bit more self-confidence in dealing with editors and agents. It makes everyone feel more secure if the author is reasonably sure she can do something.

Lack of self-confidence caused me to turn down an anthology I probably should have accepted. I wasn’t sure I could make the deadlines, which is really valid. However, it was with a New York Times bestseller, and that exposure may have been worth the risk.

5. Make decisions based on facts and research, not emotion. In the changing face of publishing, it’s a little harder to grasp all the facts. But the old adage still applies: ‘If it’s too good to be true, it’s probably false.’  Do your research, really listen to people with experience, and try to base your decision on facts, not emotion. Before I sold to a traditional publisher, I went with an electronic publisher that was less than reputable because I just wanted to believe and ignored some red flags.

6. Don’t give up. Ever. If one thing isn’t working, then you need to step back and evaluate the project. What’s not working? The idea or the execution? If it’s the idea, consider putting it away and working on something else. If it’s the execution, then roll up your sleeves and get to work. Abandoning a project that isn’t working is not giving up. It’s simply a risk that didn’t work. Take what you learned and then turn the next project into a success.

So that’s it. And for the record, I’ve done okay with the ‘work harder’ portion of my mom’s advice. But I still have a tendency to whine.

Thanks so much to Shauna Roberts for having me as a guest today!


You can learn more about Jennifer and Soul Magic at her Website and blog at You can find Soul Magic at your local bookstore as well as online from and other online stores.

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Karen White-Owens: Advice to Myself as a Newbie Author

November 22, 2009 by in category Advice to Myself as a Newbie Author tagged as ,

by Shauna Roberts

Today’s Guest: Karen White-Owens

Karen White-Owens was born in Detroit, Michigan, and resides in the Motor City with her husband of twenty years. She earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and master’s of Library and Information Science from Wayne State University (Detroit). In addition to writing, she is a reference librarian at the Mount Clemens Public Library and devotes her free time to teaching essay writing to incoming freshman at Wayne State University. Her newest book is I Can Make You Love Me (Dafina). She is also the author of The Way You Aren’t, Now Until Forever, Love Changes Everything, Circles of Love, As Long As There Is Love, and You Are Loved.

If you could travel back in time to before you were first published, what advice would you give yourself?

Most people who know me are aware that I am a “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” extreme fan. “Buffy” was the only show that I watched from the first to the last episode. I must admit that I still mourn the end of the program. In honor of the show and my new release, I Can Make You Love Me, I decided that I would become Karen the Bad Decision Slayer.


Karen the Bad Decision Slayer

Karen returned home from an evening of patrolling the streets in search of new authors and slaying all supernatural evidence of bad choices and mistakes. In order to not wake her husband, Gary, Karen eased through the open bedroom window. She tiptoed across the room, dropped into a swivel chair at her desk, and flipped the page on the calendar to reveal the next day. Staring at the date, she gasped.

“I Can Make You Love Me is due out tomorrow,” Karen muttered to no one in particular. She took a quick gaze at her husband, concerned that she disturbed him. Sighing with relief, she relaxed.

Leaning back in her chair, Karen tossed her weapon, a pink Cross pen, on the desk and glared at the blank computer monitor. An image appeared on the dark screen: a figure creeping silently across the bedroom doorway, against the opposite wall. Despite the hooded black robe it wore, green, hanging skin and a long, upturned nose identified the creature as the demon of self-doubt. Sitting quietly, she watched the creature guardedly while slowly inching her hand to her weapon.

The entity drew closer at a stealthy, steady pace until it stood behind Karen.

She swiveled in her chair, grabbing the weapon as she kicked the demon in the gut. Grunting, it staggered backward, banged into the wall, and then righted itself. No more stealth. Now it rushed forward with a raised arm. The lamplight flashed bright on an eight-inch blade. A second kick to the stomach halted it. The creature collapsed on the floor.

With her pen posed high in the air, ready to strike, Karen hesitated. She lowered her arm to her side and gazed at the black-robed figure. That moment of indecision cost her. The demon’s claw-like nails swung at her legs, missing by inches. She jumped out of the way, gave the demon one final kick, and stabbed it with her weapon.

Bright, shiny aura shimmered over the creature. Self-doubt, eagerness to be published at all cost, and reviews oozed from its body and drifted into the air before slowly fading. Hissing and smoking, the demon dissolved into nothing, leaving behind the black robe. Karen kicked at the now-empty robe with her boot before tossing the garment into the hallway.

Weary from the battle, Karen dropped into her chair and swiveled around to face her desk. Her eye widened. “Whoa!”

Karen kicked away from the smooth desktop surface, putting space between her and the work station. Purple tentacles with pink suction cups cradled the computer CPU as if it were a new infant. The monitor popped on. She watched helplessly as Windows started and began a session of My Computer. A folder titled Promotions opened, and each file was highlighted in blue. One by one the files disappeared from the folder and, she feared, from the hard drive.

“No!” she shouted, pushing the off button on the CPU. When her actions had no effect, she looked around frantically for a way to stop the creature. She dropped her weapon and accidentally knocked over a can of soda. “No! No! No!” Karen cried, righting the can and mopping up the liquid with a tissue.

The tissue dripped soda on the purple skin and ate into it like acid, creating a large orange open wound. Karen grabbed the can and poured the remaining contents onto the creature. Burning and hissing, it roared, crying out in pain, waving its appendage in the air. The monitor went blank. Karen took a quick glance in her husband’s direction. Gary muttered in his sleep and pulled the blanket around his chin.

Karen tossed the empty can at the tentacle hovering in the window. She went to the window and watched the creature make a hasty retreat down the side of the brick of the house. Folding her arms across her chest, she stated softly. “Wow! People always said you could clear your house with cola.” She chuckled. “Now I know.”

Returning to the desk, she noticed Gary’s eyes were opened. The scorn on his face was evident. “Demon?”

Karen shrugged. “I’m not sure what it was.” She answered, returning to the desk and sank into the chair to examine her computer. “It had no place here.”

Nodding, Gary smiled. Oh man! Karen felt her insides melt as she watched him. She knew that look. He reached out his hand and Karen rushed into his embrace. She surrendered to the touch of his lips on hers, enjoying his taste and texture. The air in the room became heavy with sexual tension. He pulled her down on the bed and began to caress her body through her clothes.

“Come to bed,” he asked.

She moaned, loving the feel of him near her. “I can’t.”

Caressing her neck with his lips, he asked, “Why not?”

“I have to finish the edits. They need to go in the mail tomorrow,” Karen explained as she disengaged herself from his embrace and eased from the bed. She returned to her computer and pulled the edits from the desk drawer.

“You’re going to miss out on something really special,” he promised, rubbing the spot where she’d just left.

Karen sighed regretfully. “Mm-hmm.” She remembered the last time she allowed him to sweet talk her into forgetting her work. She paid for it by working nonstop for the next two nights. She gazed at the bed longingly and then shook her head. No. She learned that lesson the hard way. It was better to do a little each day than to let the work pile up until the deadline.


So, if you read my craziness the moral of the story is if I had it to do again, I’d fight down self-doubt and allow my creative juices to flow. I wouldn’t rush to sign a contract. I’d give myself time to think it through and learn all the facts before I made that decision.

The monster that ate the promotion files is one that I believe is very important. I did not realize how important promotion is to your book life. There are many online resources and places to ask for reviews so that your novel receives maximum exposure.

And lastly, don’t let your family cause you to lose sight of your goal. Yes, you must be attentive to their needs, but your goals are important to you. Learn to balance the two part of your life and you’ll be happier.

Here’s a piece of advice. Don’t lose the love of writing. We do this because we love to write. Always remember that.

Thank you for reading this silly, crazy blog. Check out my website at, read the excerpts from my novels, and e-mail me at

I’d love to hear from you. Remember, don’t be a stranger.


You can learn more about Karen and I Can Make You Love Me at her Website at and her blog at Her book is available at your local bookstore as well as online from, Barnes & Noble, and Borders.

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