Thursday, February 19, 2015

February Member News

Amy Hale Auker, The Story is the Thing "Uncle Bill" Morgan knew about love and loss. He had watched over the land and the people at the Benson Ranch for decades. Julia was a free spirit, quirky and fun, trapped in a marriage with hospital corners and traditional expectations. Charlie was trapped as well, but by something more sinister than tradition and, in the end, realized that it is okay to love more. Cody Jack needed more — more of everything that soothed and comforted and numbed — but he stood to lose the only good thing he'd ever known and he would hurt anyone to keep it. The old cowboy is gone, but he left his story behind. It is a story of love, loss and life lessons, of confession and absolution, a story of poetry and rescue, a story of loneliness and a story of coming together. And, after all, the story is the thing. 

J.D. Squires, Desperate Straits Hermit's Rest in the Arizona Territory is the meeting place of Irish immigrant, Sarah Ryan and veteran lawman, L.T. McAllister -- two people with nothing in common but loyalty to their newly orphaned nephew, Will. When that loyalty puts the reluctant partners squarely between Sheriff Grant Simpson and his quest for the Lost Adams Gold, L.T. and Sarah are forced into a battle for justice...and their lives. 

No good deed goes unpunished. In a place outside of time, the magic keeping a ghost town alive is beginning to alter. Bringing two newcomers in has caused a welcome renewal of life here. But every action has a reaction, and the consequences are far beyond what Conconully’s accidental magician ever expected. 

Sharman Russell, Teresa of the New World is a young adult novel about the fictional daughter of the Spanish conquistador Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca and a Capoque mother from the coastal tribes of Texas. Set in the dreamscape of the American Southwest in the sixteenth century, the story explores the turbulence of First Contact as Teresa struggles to find herself in the New World.

Articles and Podcasts
Susan Wittig Albert ,WILLA finalist for her book, A Wilder Rose, is featured in the February Writer's Digest. Susan shares interesting and helpful information in the article "Success Stories in Self-Promotion." 

C.M. Mayo's "Conversations with Other Writers" occasional podcast series features "Making Connectionswith Literature and Art: A Conversation with Rose Mary Salum." Based in Houston, Texas, Mexican writer Rose Mary Salum is founding editor of the bilingual magazine Literal: Latin American Voices. Also C.M. Mayo at the UCSD Center for US-Mexican Studies: Metaphysical Odyssey into the Mexican Revolution, FranciscoI. Madero's Secret Book.

 Jane Kirkpatrick’s article, "Writing - and reading - stories as soul medicine" about mental health in
the west, appears in WWA's February issue of Roundup Magazine.

Congratulations to you all! 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Cowboys and Cowgirls do Exist in Today’s World

By Natalie Bright
This was first posted on Natalie's blog.

Business associates from Pennsylvania were touring the Texas Panhandle with my husband. They asked, “Are there cowboys today that do what cowboys used to do. Are they real?” He explained that they exist and still carry on the age old traditions of working cattle ranches, just as they did a century ago.

One of those real cowboys was buried Saturday.

Even though he was only 54 years young, the impact he had was evidenced by the showing of family and neighbors (I heard over 500). The sanctuary and the fellowship hall were full, leaving some standing when the chairs were filled. He’d dedicated his whole life to ranch work, with outfits from Texas to Colorado to Arizona. He had a boundless work ethic, and he was a testament to the meaning of an unshakable faith in God.

Family and friends shared their stories of his quick wit and love for life, and I was surprised to learn that this rough and tough cowboy had penned several poems. I’m glad they were read at the service, and one man shared a poem written in memory of the deceased. I paraphrase; if you need a fence mended, if you need a horse rode that’s a little rank, if you need hay hauled – call Roy Don.

We don’t claim to be perfect in this part of the USA, and yet I studied the faces at this funeral and found my belief in mankind restored. No matter the mistakes, one humble, hard-working cowboy’s days were done, yet the influence of his life had brought hundreds of us together. The power of one person can—and did—make a difference.

Some parts of the world may find it hard to believe that men like Roy Don Creacy exist. There remain places where folks care deeply for the land and animals, where cowboys (and girls) give a day’s work with honesty, loyalty and integrity, and where a man’s word is his bond.

After a lifetime of effort on this planet, the most any one can hope is that our sendoff will involve an overflowing sanctuary and a fellowship hall with standing room only.

Natalie Bright is an author, blogger, and enjoys speaking about history and story craft. Her stories and articles have appeared in numerous publications. She holds a BBA from WTSU, her husband is a geologist and cattle rancher, and they have two teenaged boys. She’s on the web at Facebook/Natalie-Bright-Author, Twitter @natNKB, Amazon Author Pages, Pinterest/natbright, and she blogs every Monday at 

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Notes from Marketing Swap and Shop, WWW Conference

by Nancy Oswald
Following is a summary of the exchange of ideas from the Marketing Swap and Shop session at the 2014 WWW conference. Thanks so much for sharing and participating. 

   How do you manage your marketing time and balance it with your writing goals?

  • Set aside a day of the week a for marketing, for example every Thursday
  • Set a specific writing time and stick to it.  Set aside marketing time. Some felt the end of the day works best.
  • Join a peer supported marketing group.
  • Alternate large sections of time for writing with large sections of time for marketing.  (Keeping the focus on one thing at a time instead of trying to do everything every day.)
  • Create a marketing plan and stick to it.  (This contributor’s publisher required her to have one!)
      What things do you do to launch a new book?

  • BUILD IT UP AHEAD OF TIME:  lots of pre-publication hype
  • Social Media Blasts
  • Make it a WHOLE EXPERIENCE: themes, costumes, music, food…use imagination and creativity!
  • Send personal invites to signings and other events.
  • Media releases, not just press releases, but other related articles and tie-ins
  • Do book signings and readings interview-style.  (Make these events more interactive for attendees.)
    What online marketing strategies do you use?  Are you satisfied with the results?
  • Try the FB Target Audience Feature
Other things to think about: (Information from Brooke Warner, Huffington Post article: “Your Author Platform is Not Your Social Media Following”
  • social media: 10 percent
    previous media:10  percent
    previous books: 10 percent
    personality: 10 percent
    existing readership: 10 percent
    contacts: 10 percent
    expertise: 25 percent
    ability to execute: 15 percent

Other Websites that may help with various aspects of marketing:    $105 a year. (30 day money back trial period.)  (to find blogs on a certain topic or visit other blogs of same interest…another way to get your name out there.)   (association directory for matching your book to an organization)   (all writing topics, but marketing is one of them)
PLUS:  Take 5 minutes to watch this short video :

Do you have other tips to add?