Author: Ashley Barron

A Character Board Is An Asset To A Manuscript

Character boards can be a worthy time investment for an author planning a novel – especially the first one. Writer’s Digest says: “One effective way to create lively characters on the page is to create a character board first, enabling you to envision who your character really is.” Many writers use character boards when planning out the “people” in a novel. I did not include this resource wh...

Never Give Up On The Light Inside You

“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” – Winston Churchill

Winter Stillness in Snowy Washington, DC

“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” – Albert Camus    

International Mystery: When The World Visits Your Blog

When I speak of “International Mystery,” I’m not referring to MHz’s excellent line-up of detective shows featuring Montalbano, Van Veeteren, Wallander and Maigret. What’s more, this post completely ignores those case-cracking inspectors, Morse, Lewis, and Lynley, who hang out over at BBC Television. Instead, I am using the word international to refer to the list of countries from which my we...

Blog Posts Are Forever – Be Careful What You Write

Over the past few years, I’ve come across an increasing number of posts from people who share a lot of private stories on a blog.  I’m all grown up and I’ve (so far) lived a reasonably interesting life; it’s true. Yet I still find myself surprised when bloggers write personal, sensitive information that isn’t even about them — it’s about someone they know. Too much information, a.k.a., TMI, ...

Amazon’s Kindle Is Redefining The Future Of Publishing

How can a simple Kindle e-reader have been the driving force behind so much change and innovation, globally, over the past ten years? Unlike our ancestors, modern entrepreneurs are not trudging through endless fields, or scaling virgin peaks, or building houses from materials hewn entirely by their own hands. There is no wagon train filled with pioneer men and women, babes in arms, being jostled a...

Editing A Novel Is Essential For Success

Self-editing is hard to do 165, 000. That’s the total word count for my first draft of Ava, before editing. No kidding. I sweated over that draft, lost sleep over it, obsessed over it for months on end. It was my first-born work of fiction and I was so proud. I fed my manuscript constantly, convinced that the best way to nourish a growing book was to heap words—any words—onto the pages. No detail ...

The Dream of Becoming a Published Author

It’s 3 a.m. The dream wakes you, scaring you with its intensity, shaking you with its fever. By day it trails you, clings to you, seeps into your skin. At first, you tell no one. Then, little by little, the dream finds words, finds its way out of your mind and into your reality. You are forever changed. Your family and friends tell you they love you, but they’ve heard enough about your imagi...

There Is Money To be Made in Self-Publishing. So Make It.

Q: How would I define the self-published author? A: Four parts fearless, three parts writer, two parts entrepreneur, and one part dreamer — with a sprinkle of pioneer spirit thrown in for good measure. While self-publishing a novel does begin with the work of a writer, it is actually a business. A small business. A start-up business. A messy, complicated, time-absorbing business, located in unchar...

Single and Looking

Dating. Ah, yes, that powerful, ageless word. These days, friends, relatives, neighbors, even co-workers might send a link to a Facebook page, or a blog, or networking group, or dating site, with the wonderful goal of helping the unattached among us connect with others who are also single and looking. Imagine for a moment that eHarmony or JDate or Match offered singles the opportunity to post revi...

Risk and the Unpublished Writer

“Do you believe?” I’ve been asked that question over and over, in various forms, for two long years. Do I believe in what I’m doing? Do I believe the sacrifices are worth it? Do I believe people will want to read my books and short stories? The list goes on. All the while, I’ve been writing and re-writing stories and novels. I’ve been editing and re-editing them, often scra...