What is the best way to create tension?
I think the best way to create tension is to have a character with conflicting emotions/goals or two characters with conflicting emotions/goals.
Do people judge a book by it’s cover?
Yes, a book cover is uber-important. You have a couple of seconds for someone browsing Amazon to decide. Who makes yours? I make my own book covers. I put up covers that attract me. I don't like dull and dark covers, so mine are always with bright colors and big letters. My husband ran a printing business for many years and advised me on these things. The covers of e-books are pretty small on Amazon, so you have to use a big enough and readable enough font to grab the reader's attention.
What are the best ways to ‘show’ and not ‘tell’?
Show means enveloping the character in the five senses, including smell, taste, vision, sound, and touch. The more that's done, the more the story comes alive. However, there has to be some telling else it's all action or emotion or thoughts. But, this has to be woven in, using dribs and drabs. Although, I notice that many bestselling authors use a lot of telling, especially in the beginning of their stories. I think this is to make the reader "fall in love" with the character.
How many books do you produce a year? Are you meeting your goal?
That's hard to say. When I'm also writing fiction for the academic market, fewer fiction books are produced, and my goals are reduced in the fiction arena.
How many words do you produce a day? Do you have a daily quota to fill?
No, I don't have a daily quota. Writing words isn't a problem for me. Getting the first sentence, paragraph, and page perfect is.
What is your greatest challenge as an author?
Patience. I have a brain that runs on several tracks at once and I'm always getting new ideas for books, both fiction and nonfiction. I have file folders full of book ideas, which I could never complete in a life time. It's hard for me to realize not everyone's brain works the way mine does.
Do you use a professional editor, critique partners, or beta readers? Briefly describe your process.
Have used a professional editor, but didn't find that as useful as experienced critique partners with high motivation to be helpful.
What is you favorite part of the whole process? (Besides receiving a check or 5 star review!)
Two favorite parts: getting the idea and starting to write a new book. That often flows and is no work at all.
What are three web sites or blogs that you can recommend? (related to writing etc.)
http://hollylisle.com/ (offers writing tips as well as a free newsletter for writers)
http://wordplay-kmweiland.blogspot.com/2010/01/why-word-count-goals-can-be-destructive.html (great info for writers)
http://www.thepassivevoice.com/ (sends out a daily tome for indie publishers/writers; terrific stuff! and he's a lawyer who likes to take apart book contracts)
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Yes, thanks for this opportunity to share my ideas and books.
For descriptions of these (and our other) books, sample chapters, and how to purchase,
go to http://www.freeandbargainebooks.blogspot.com and scroll down the red section until you click on BOOKSTORE.