Site of Interest: Grammarly.com

This weeks site of interest is http://www.grammarly.com/

Grammarly is an automated proofreader and personal grammar coach. You can use it to check
your writing for grammar, punctuation, style and instantly enhance your texts. 
 

Grammarly offers paid subscriptions for their services but does give a free 7 day trial so you can try it out first and see if it's right for you.

Features and Benefits

150+ Grammar Checks Check your text for use of grammar rules you never knew existed. Get accurate error explanations and correct grammar.
Plagiarism Detection Find borrowed text before it gets you into trouble. Automatically generate references.
Vocabulary Enhancement Use words that make an impact. Liven up your sentences and improve readability with context-optimized word choice suggestions.
Contextual Spell Check Spot correctly spelled words used in the wrong context. No more embarrassing typos like then-than, to-two-too, lose-loose.

Grammarly vs. Other Products


Grammarly Other Products

100% Web-Based Solution
150+ Grammar Checks
Comprehensive Error Explanations
Plagiarism Checker
with Automated Reference Creator
Vocabulary Enhancement
 
Unique Grammar Checks:
Dangling Modifiers
Faulty Parallelism
Run-on Sentences and Comma Splices  
Subject –Verb Agreement  
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Interview with Tobin Crenshaw

Tell us a bit about your latest book?
 
My new book, The Life That Is Really Life, is about having authentic spirituality. I have combined sacred texts, success and leadership principles along with some of the best tools for emotional and spiritual growth to share how anyone can live a life of fulfillment. Socrates said that learning is remembering, and I believe we learn best by stories so I have included some of the most inspirational stories of change and growth I have come across.
 
Who did you publish with and why?
 
I chose Create Space, a sister company of Amazon. I found that their services were exceptional when it came to quality, online exposure and including author input throughout the process.
 
 
What is your typical writing schedule like?
 
I generally write one to two hours in the morning. Throughout the day I am always on the lookout for something that I might include in my writing, be it from another book or from something interesting I witnessed while walking in the park. I always have a pen and paper ready to jot down notes so I remember what I wanted to include in my articles later.
 
Do you have any tips for new writers just getting started in their careers?
 
My advice for new writers is to “ask.” If you don’t ask you never know what doors might open. For instance, I asked a local newspaper about doing a spirituality column, and at first the editor was resistant to the idea of receiving articles from someone not on staff. However, I was given a chance and the editor liked what I wrote and I was able to have several pieces of my work published.
 
How do you market your book?
 
I have my own website, www.twominutesermon.com, and I write two to three articles a week for Examiner which gives me good exposure. I have sent several review copies to various magazines and radio stations, but have had the best success by contacting local editors. I was also fortunate to do a television interview on Cornerstone.
 
Where can people find out more about you and your work?
 
My website has an extensive amount of material I have written, including a link to all my articles. My book is on Amazon, and there is more information about the book on my homepage as well.
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15 Places to post your video trailers

Video book trailers are becoming a popular way to promote books online.  You can easily create your own using a programme like Windows Media Player or a website like animoto.com. In alternative you can pay to have a professional video made for your book. Which ever route you choose, a video trailer is a great way to promote your book.

Here's a list of 15 places to post your video book trailers to:

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Video: Creating a Long-Term Writing Career

An aspiring writer wants to know if Stephen J. Cannell has any advice for those who want to establish a long-term writing career. If you've ever wanted to write a novel or a screenplay, you don't want to miss these words of wisdom.

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Interview with Dellani Oakes

Tell us a bit about your latest book? 

My current book, "Indian Summer", is an historical romance set in St. Augustine, Florida in 1739. Gabriella Deza, the daughter of the Spanish governor, accidentally exposes a spy who's working for British General Oglethorpe. His mission - to overthrow the Spanish government, take over the fortress and town and pave the way for the British. It's up to Gabriella and her fiance, Manuel, to stop the spy and save the town.


What is your typical writing schedule like?
 

My typical writing schedule is chopped up to fit around my other obligations. I write a lot at night and edit during the day. I print out copies of my work and take it with me to doctor's appointments, etc. I think a good word to describe it would be chaotic.


Do you have any tips for new writers just getting started in their careers?

A tip for beginning authors is one that an author friend of mine gave me years ago. "Don't let anything stop you from telling the story. Write."

How do you market your book? 

I use my blogs and my Blog Talk Radio shows to market my book. I have put other marketing plans on hold for the time being, as I've been dealing with some health issues. However, I plan to contact the historical societies in St. Augustine and New Smyrna Beach as the action is centered in both locations. I am also offering copies of the book to the libraries in my area.

Where can people find out more about you and your work?

My book is available at Amazon.com and through the publisher www.secondwindpublishing.com
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Site of Interest: Novel Help

This weeks site of interest is http://www.novelhelp.com/

Complete with free downloads and useful articles about various aspects of book publishing, Novel Help is a great resource for all authors. Here's what they have to say about themselves:
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W&A wins another award!


Writers and Authors is awarded as being a Versatile Blogger : 



I was very happy to discover this morning that http://consciousdiscussions.blogspot.com/ has awarded the Writers and Authors site the Versatile Blogger Award.

According to the rules, I'm required to:

1. Thank the person who loved me enough to bestow this gift.
2. Share seven things about myself.
3. Bestow this honor onto 10 newly discovered or followed bloggers–in no particular order–who are fantastic in some way.
4. Drop by and let my ten new friends know I admire them.
Thanks therefore to the Brummet's for this lovely award.

Now for the seven things about myself:
  1. I'm mum to a wonderful two year old boy who is the creation I've ever made and the one I'm most proud of.
  2. I celebrated my 4th Wedding Anniversary this week.
  3. I came to Rome for 3 days back in 2001 and ended up staying.
  4. I'm an addictive multi tasker and always working on a number of various projects all at once.
  5. I'm addicted to social media and currently working on a book about it.
  6. I'm also working on a novel (Twice) using the site http://www.textnovel.com and although in the early stages seems to be quite popular.
  7. I dream of one day opening my own publishing company. 
And now for the ten sites I think are worthy of this award:
  1. http://bookmarketingmaven.typepad.com/
  2. http://www.sharingwithwriters.blogspot.com/
  3. http://authorspromotingauthors.blogspot.com/
  4. http://www.barbaraehrentreu.blogspot.com/
  5. http://vrleavitt.com/
  6. http://jdswritersblog.blogspot.com/
  7. http://www.thebookconnectionccm.blogspot.com/
  8. http://janverhoeff.com/blog/
  9. http://pennylockwoodehrenkranz.blogspot.com/
  10. http://writersanctuary.blogspot.com/

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W&A Writing Contest 2010

The moment you've been waiting for has finally arrived. The W&A Writing Contest begins!



The deadline for submissions is 31st July.
Entries will then be posted to the website and the public will vote for their favourites.
The judges (members from different areas of the writing industry) will then pick the winners from the top 3 in each category. Winners will be announced on the website on 16th August.

The topic is 'A writers life'.

There will be two categories; short story (max 1500 words) and poetry. Pieces should be unpublished and in English language (Both American and British English are fine).
No age limit. The contest is open to all (except the judges and prize givers).

Prizes up for grabs include print copies of:














Plus another online prizes!

Submissions should be sent in the body of an email (no attachments please) to writersandauthors@yahoo.it with 'W&A writing contest' in the subject line.

Now get writing!
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Video: Facebook in Five Minutes a Day

http://whyfacebook.com ► Mari Smith's 7-step five-minutes a day Facebook visibility strategy. Facebook can be extremely time-consuming if you keep going down tons of rabbit holes and before you know it hours have passed by. Use this simple 5-minute strategy to keep your presence prominent without draining all your time.

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Site of Interest: Twitter How to

This weeks site of interest is http://www.twitter-howto.com/

This site covers pretty much anything and everything twitter related. Recent posts include to name a few:

Twitter How To – Get Your Own Custom Twitter Background

TweepSearch… The Best Twitter Search Yet?

How To Use Twitter Lists

How To Post Photos On Twitter

The sites simple layout makes it easy to navigate and posts often include images to help explain even more clearly how to do the point in discussion. If you use Twitter (and you should be) this is one site you definitely will want to visit.

 

 

 

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Interview with Jennifer Brown

You  were an editor for your high school newspaper and wrote for your college newspaper too. Do you think these experiences have helped your writing career?
 
   It has definitely helped not only in getting more experience but in teaching responsibility too. There were deadlines, and being entertainment editor meant being responsible for putting together the layout for the  entertainment section so I got some early computer experience too in that regard. Even though it was on an old Apple computer, 16 years ago.
 
·  What genre do you write and why?
 
    I grew up reading mysteries, and nothing else ever captivated me as much. I love writing suspense, because you have the mystery component as well as a little more edge. There’s always a plot twist that leaves you wanting to keep turning the page even though you just finished reading a chapter, and know you need to be getting up and letting the dog out, or taking out the trash.
 
·  Tell us a bit about your latest book 'In Jen's Words: Facing the Issues'.
 
     In Jen’s Words: Facing the Issues is the first of a series, about siblings Jacob, Justin, and Jennifer Barnes. After a car wreck claims their parent’s lives, Jacob takes custody of his younger brother and sister at only 22. Eventually as they grow older, Jen is raped and Justin takes the fall for paralyzing her accused rapist. Just as everything seems to be going well, Jacob takes a run for mayor as Jen gets a book contract and Justin is released from prison. Jacob’s election ends up bringing someone out of the woodwork who wants the past remembered though…and is willing to use his little sister to make them face the issues they never thought they'd have to...let alone want to. 
 
·  The book is released with Shadowline Press. How did you find them and would you recommend them to other writers?
 
     I came across Shadowline Press on Facebook. I researched their site and they sounded perfect for what I had written. I would encourage other writers to not only submit to them, but many publishers and thoroughly do research before you make a decision on who to sign with. I am honored to be a part of Shadowline, they did wonderful cover art for me and I am looking forward to a great publishing future with them.
 
·  You are part of a group called Authors for Humanity. Please tell us a bit about it and what you do?
 
     Authors for Humanity is a group I started in hopes to compile different books of short stories submitted by various authors of various genres. We compiled a book for Haiti and raised over 25 dollars in royalty money to be donated to them. We are now working to put together a book for helping with the oil spill clean up. I think it’s a great way to help different causes doing something I love. There is a site on Facebook  for  Authors for Humanity, as well as a twitter you can follow www.twitter.com/authrs4humanity. You can also see the official site at www.freewebs.com/authorsforhumanity.
 
 
·  Where can people find out more about you and your work?
 
     I am on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jenniferbrownauthor, myspace @ www.myspace.com/jenniferbrownauthor, twitter @ www.twitter.com@jenbrownauthor, and of course my official site www.jenniferbrownauthor.weebly.com. I also have a page on Facebook you can like, www.facebook.com/jenniferbrownsuspensereaders.
 
 
·  Anything else you'd like to add? 
   I hope everyone gets a chance to check out my new book. I've already over halfway completed the second book and hope to submit it within the next year. I'd also like to thank Jo Linsdell-Feliciani for the chance to be interviewed on Writers and Authors.
 
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Which social media tools are your best bet?

Social Media is big news and new sites are being added at an incredible rate. You've heard the names (facebook, twitter, Myspace, Digg, YouTube etc...) and probably recieved invites to join more than one. But with so many options available, how do you know which one you should be using?

CMO's Guide to the social landscape offers a little help:


Visit the CMO website to download your free pdf of the chart for earlier reading.
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Review: The Heart Mender


Title:  The Heart Mender
Author: Andy Andrews
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 978-0-7852-3103-5


Reviewed by Jo Linsdell.


When author Andy Andrews unearthed a rusted metal container filled with Nazi artefacts he began an investigation into the past that lead to a moving story about the power of forgiveness and being able to let go.

Josef Landermann’s uniform leaves Helen Mason with no doubt that his near lifeless body is that of a German sailor. Given that the country is in full scale commitment to WWII and as a recent widow of the war, Helen’s first instinct is to leave him there to die until something changes her mind.
A true story filled with many emotions including; depression, anger, fear, friendship and love. They must both deal with their pasts in order to create a future.

The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews is simply excellence in word form. A wonderful blend of storytelling combined with real historical facts this book will appeal to many and would also make a great additional tool for history students studying WWII. It even includes a great readers guide divided into specific topics of interest with lots of ideas to spark discussions.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Site of Interest: Live to Write - Write to Live

This weeks site of interest is http://nhwn.wordpress.com/ entitled Live to Write-Write to Live, this is the home of the New Hampshire Writers Network.  

Although the site is still fairly new it's already packed full of great posts that both inspire and educate. 

Categories on site include:

Who/What

Who We Are
We are writers. Most of us live in or near New Hampshire.
We are not a critique group. We are a networking group focusing on the business of writing. Our key goal is to help ourselves and each other plan better, market better and sell our work.
We are passionate about writing; we live to write.
We write to live; writing is not just a hobby for us. We are professionals; making part or all of our living as writers. We warmly welcome newcomers who are trying to break into the business.  We are here to support anyone who makes all or part of their living as a writer or aspires publication. 
The group is open to men and women. While we meet in Concord NH, we welcome writers from other states and countries. We are rapidly developing a robust blog  and filling it with information, resources and advice.
What We Do
We meet monthly (except in the summer). Our meetings are informal, offer opportunities to learn and share ideas. Most of our meetings feature guest speakers.
A variety of editors present their publications and share information, tips and trends. Coaches and consultants lead workshops on a variety of topics from personal branding and selling to goal setting, planning and getting organized.
We are currently building out our blog  and loading it with resources, tips and information for writers.  Members are invited to guest post on the blog. In the future we hope to put together a showcase our members. For now we’re running just as fast as we can!

A great resource for writers! Well worth a visit
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Interview with Buffi Neal

Have you always wanted to be a writer?
No.  I never considered myself a writer until recently.  When I was young I used to write poems and I always kept a journal and diary.  In my twenties I became a good story teller and found that my life stories were unusual and entertaining.  In my thirties, after two divorces, I felt an indescribable need to write.  I just needed to learn how.  I’m still learning and often don’t call myself a writer at all.
What genre do you write and why?
I write narrative nonfiction because that’s what I like to read.  My books are memoirs, told as stories.  For me, it is much easier to write what I already know and not have to create anything.  The process of keeping the story true and making the reader care is the challenge that drives me.
Wonderfully Dysfunctional: A Series of Memoirs currently contains three books. Please tell us a bit about each.
The first book in the Wonderfully Dysfunctional™ series, It Must be Genetic, is an introduction to my quirky family.  It tells of a woman who laughs at funerals.  A gypsy mother who refuses to wear a bra and a father who has two wives.  A brother who sleeps under the coffee table and a sister who was kidnapped.  A homosexual minister, a missing uncle and a feisty, red-headed grandmother who was longing to leave it all.  I was on a journey to find normal, but found myself instead.  It’s about acceptance, forgiveness and the great capacity to love. 
It Must be Genetic courts the reader with stories of the past, leaving them satisfied, but wanting to know more.  They will fall in love with the characters of my family, like they fell in love with Tibby and Carmen in Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, like they fell in love with Idgie Threadgoode in Fried Green Tomatoes.  What was that lawsuit about and what did the family do with the money?  What was the real story behind my sister’s year long paralysis and how did the doctors heal her?  What does it feel like to have a father who is leading a double life and what happens when the two families accidentally meet?  Why did my mother leave her religion and country to live on a kibbutz in Israel?
With each book in the Wonderfully Dysfunctional™ series, the reader will become more fascinated by the life of my unusual family.  Future books will tell of my father’s struggle with alcohol and his raging temper (The Sound of Ice in a Glass).  Lighter stories will include my brother and me getting arrested as teenagers, sitting on the roof waiting to throw snowballs at cars, and our mother throwing the turkey and mashed potatoes across the kitchen (1982: Out Past Curfew).  Stories of our impoverished youth (Toilet Paper Optional) tell of my younger brother shaving off one eyebrow and the baby of the family chasing her best friend down the street with a dog chain.  The stories are abundant, unbelievable, heartwarming and most genuinely true.

You have a very nice website http://www.imbuffi.com/ Did you design it yourself?
Thank you.  I designed my own website and blog.  My formal background is in computer science and I’ve worked in the field for over twenty years.  I’m much more qualified to build large computer systems for the financial industry, but can manage some web design too.  I wish I’d taken less engineering courses and more graphical design and writing courses in college.
You also have a personal blog. Why did you decide to have both a website and personal blog?
The website is very static and the blog is interactive.  With the blog, I can talk to readers and get feedback.  When I started the blog I had no idea what a blog even was.  Every month the message of the blog evolves and I become a better writer.  The purpose remains to gather a list of potential readers for my book.
On your blog you currently have a poll connected with your book. How did you come up with the idea and how will you use the results?
The poll was an idea that I came up with.  I’m always making marketing plans for my book.  I needed a way to see if there really would be an interest in my memoir.  I didn’t want to blindly send my manuscript out to agents without knowing my demographic.  More people are signing up to be notified when my book is published every day.  These people help push me along when I feel like quitting.

As a mother, how do you find time to write?
I ran my own business from home for many years so I’m used to sitting in front of the computer all day long.  I keep a schedule and make writing and marketing my fulltime job.  Like many in America, I was laid off from work over a year ago, which was a blessing disguised in wolf’s clothing.  I’ve made great use of the time off to write the book and for the first time ever I’m here when my children come home from school.  Since my layoff we are living happier with less.

Where can people find out more about you and your work?
Email:  imbuffi@yahoo.com

Anything else you'd like to add?
Writing has made me free.  Letting other’s read what I’ve written has changed my life.  I learn more each day how to court a reader and I cringe at my old writing style.  I am on a journey of which perfection is unattainable. 
Thank you so much for allowing me to be a guest.  It is truly an honor.

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Over 12 Useful Myspace applications for writers

Once the leader of the social media pack, MySpace seems to have drifted it's way down the list and become forgotten by many. It has however about 125 million users, a lot of which in the writing industry.



If you are a frequent user, already have an account but don't use it or just want to conquer as much on the World Wide Web as possible, here's a few applications you might find useful:

 

As you can see from the list above, there are several options available to connect your myspace account with your other social media sites. Once you have those set up you won't need to log in daily to keep your profile up to date. 


 

  
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Video: Twitter Hashtags - What Are They, How To Create Your Own

This video explains exactly what "hash tags" are on Twitter and how you might create your own and interact with others! ;) Need help with your social media marketing? See this Quick Start program: http://QuickStartSocialMedia.com

 


Video by Mari Smith

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