Author: Troy Lambert

Readers, Do you Review?

I can’t count the number of times a reader as e-mailed, texted, messaged, called, or used another means of communication to say “Hey, your book was awesome!” Sometimes I ask them to post a review if they are a fellow author, or I know they have reviewed other things. If they’re not I just wait and see what happens. Most of the time, they don’t post a review anywhere. Why review? Reviewing is a great way to let your friends know what you are reading, and get them talking about what you are talking about. How do you think that Dan Brown’s DaVinci Code got to be all the water cooler talk? Reviews, and friends telling friends. (Besides Christians decrying its harmful effects on our culture, but that’s another story for another time). If you found something enjoyable, thought provoking, or just a read you couldn’t put down, share that with as many people as you can. An easy way to do that is to review: on Goodreads, Amazon, and elsewhere. Reviewing sells books. “I’m a reader and you are an author,” you say. “Why do I care about selling books?” Because if the author you like sells more books, it frees up their time from working as a waitress at a truck stop to write more books. Hopefully you will like (and review) those books too. So on...

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I Wrote a Book and No One’s Reading It!

I hear writers say it all the time. It starts with the release party, which they expect to be a huge success with a huge draw. I always cross my fingers hoping for their sake that it will be. Unfortunately when it isn’t, the author is usually shocked. “I built a platform,” they say. “I have followers and friends on Facebook. Why didn’t they all buy my book?” We’ve been talking about this in a few writers’ groups and here are some of the common mistakes authors make, and why their books don’t sell more. Most of your friends/followers are fellow authors. When I first started on Facebook I did the same thing. So while my friends list is well populated, there are a lot of authors’ names there. Those authors are struggling with the same thing I am: finding readers. Because they are connected to other authors. Who are connected to authors. On the cycle goes. What woke me up was after a media blitz I asked myself the simple question: “When is the last time you bought a book because it was in a promo from anther author?” Other that authors that I have already read their work (and thus become a reader or a fan if you will) I can’t remember. I find new fiction through publishers and friend recommendations, but rarely through a “cold” promo...

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Five Stars: Parallax View

Book Description: It’s spring, 1987, late in the Cold War, and CIA clandestine operations agent Tracie Tanner is tasked with what should be a relatively simple mission: deliver a secret communique from Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to U.S. President Ronald Reagan. After smuggling the document out of East Germany, Tracie believes she is in the clear. She’s wrong. A shadowy cabal is work, people who will stop at nothing to prevent the explosive information contained in the letter from reaching the White House. Soon, Tanner is knee-deep in airplane crashes and murder, paired up with a young Maine air traffic controller and on the run for their lives, unsure who she can trust at CIA, but committed to completing her mission, no matter the cost… My Review:  One thing you can always count on with an Allan Leverone thriller is that it will pull you in, and you won’t ba able to stop reading until you reach the last page. This thriller is no exception. You can’t help but care about the characters, and turn the next page to find out what happens next. For a little while you’re transported back in time and you believe that a lone air traffic controller dying of a brain tumor and a wounded CIA agent may just prevent World War Three. But until the very last moment, you have no idea the...

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Why Use the F-Bomb?

  It’s a fair question. A variety of people read your writing. Why would you alienate some by using certain words? What’s the purpose? It goes along with one of the ten cardinal rules for writing: Use Dialect Sparingly. What does that mean?   First, certain people use the f-word and others don’t. In Redemption Sam Johnson uses it with some frequency. He also has a certain dialect. However, Sam has just spent 17 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. If you had spent that much time in prison, you might say F**K too. As Kurt Vonnegut said, “My characters speak coarsely because people in real life speak coarsely.” However, if your character is a Harvard educated librarian, and she uses the f-bomb outside of extraordinary circumstances because you want to shock your reader, delete that scene and start over. Only use such words realistically.   Don’t overuse the salt. Dialect and cuss words are like salt in the pages of a book. Some adds flavor, and too much ruins the plot. Your characters don’t have to speak proper grammar all of the time in dialogue and it’s okay if they cuss. But don’t turn your reader off by overusing it to the point where they are tired of it. Foul language has gained more acceptance in modern fiction, however moderation is the key.   Suspend...

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