Friday, June 28, 2013

Review of HireWriters Article Writing Service

It's a proven fact that all writers need to eat in order to survive, but how can a writer do what they love and still manage to pay a few of those food bills? Like most writers, I have often asked myself the same question. The answer is simple, article writing.

Article writing actually covers a broad range of services. This can mean anything from writing blurbs and blogs to writing reviews or copywriting. Most articles can be written from your own home and delivered electronically. There are even websites that will connect you to clients at no charge to you. These websites provide a list of articles that clients need to be written with directions given by the clients, such as word count and what SEO keywords to use.

Once such article writing service I have found is  HireWriters functions like a job board for writers that connects them to  anonymous clients who have articles they need to be given. The writer is given the topic of the article with instructions for creating it, such as word length and keywords. Each article is listed by category and industry so its easy to find a job with a subject matter you are familiar with.

Unlike sites like Textbroker and Content Authority, HireWriters allows all writers to start right away. Everyone starts as a beginning writer, no matter their experience level. After writing an article for a client he or she can either accept it, ask for changes or decline it. Once you receive a certain number of accepted articles with positive reviews, you move up a level, and so on.

The higher your level is, the more you get paid. Beginner level articles pay anywhere from $1.18 to $3, but experts can earn up to 210 per article. Most articles can be written in three hours or less, especially once you get more experienced with the craft, so it should be easy to create three or more a day.

HireWriters pays you through Paypal so you should have an account ready. HireWriters pays every Friday so if you are diligent you can expect a nice little cash flow every week. HireWriters is not a get rich quick scheme.  You won't be able to quite your day job from the get go, but it is a nice residual income and great way to build your writing skills.

Overall, as article writing services go, this is probably the easiest site to work with. You can start writing right away and the staff is always ready to answer your questions. The site is very user friendly and everything is easy to find.

So, if you think article writing may be for you, join HireWriters' article writing service and start earning a residual income today.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Smashwords- The Emerging Writer's Best Friend

Tired of getting rejection letter after rejection letter? Do you want to reach readers across all devices? Then is for you. I first discovered this website when looking for something different to read. Most books sell for $2.99 or less, though some can be sold in the $10 range. Smashwords has books in every genre, written for every age and reading level. As a a reader, I love being able to purchase eBooks that will work on all my devices without breaking the bank. As a writer, I love the easy publishing format. Simply upload your eBook in a Microsoft Word document, a format guide is provided for you, and wait for Smashwords to do the transition for you. Initial publication is free and you keep eighty percent of the profits. Once your book is selected for the premium catalog, a free process, it can be shipped to all the major eBook retailers. You will keep roughly sixty percent of the profit from these stores, but you can set the price per retailer. Books purchased in the Smashwords store, however, can be used in any format, a plus for your readers.

The only downside is that you have to do your own marketing. It is not an impossible feat. Author Amanda Hocking made her million through self-publishing and did her own marketing. The best advice I can give is to find a niche. Plug your book every chance you get.What is your book about? Does it appeal to a certain audience? Post on websites and Facebook  groups that pertain to that audience. Do not underestimate the power of your own blog.  If you have a blog, set your self up as an expert on he subject, or genre you are working with. Maybe, use your blog and social networking sites to offer your book for free for a short period of time. Smashwords does let you generate coupons. This is a good way to get your work out there. Then, when your book goes back to its original price you will have generated more readers and reviewers to direct others to your work. So rather you a reader loo king for some books that  don't break the bank or an author struggling to get your work out into the world, Smashwords is the website for you. So check it out here:

I do suggest paying for an editor through sites like Elance, Fiverer and Fourrer. As the author of the piece, no matter how much editing you have done on your own, you will miss things. This is a great, inexpensive way to make your book perfect for press.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Fan Fiction is Not the Devil

With famous authors, such as the esteemed fantasy guru George RR Martian, barring their work from fan-fiction, and referring to it as "the lazy way out."  it's easy to see why so  many would be authors, scholars and fans would be discouraged from the art form.

Martian's biggest argument against fan fiction, is possibly the most relevant and valid one I have ever heard: “My characters are my children, " He says, "I don’t want people making off with them, thank you. Even people who say they love my children. I’m sure that’s true, I don’t doubt the sincerity of the affection, but still… No one gets to abuse the people of Westeros but me.” 1

Let's face it, dear readers, there is quite a lot of fan fiction out there that (to put it plainly) SUCKS. The writer borrows chunks from the world,  and then takes characters and totally revamps them. A lemon between brothers who never engaged in incest (while sometimes well written) can be constructed as abusive to the author. I am sure if he allowed his work to be used in fan fiction, George would find many Mary-Sues running rapid through Westburros, wielding long swords and having threesomes with a pair of shirtless Starks. With that in mind, one cannot really blame George for his choice.

That being said, fan fiction does not have to be the devil. For many authors, it is a beginning, a way to hone their craft with "the training wheels on", so to speak. By using already developed characters and worlds, a young author can learn to work with in the constraints of world and character, focusing on consistency, style and voice.

Many fan fiction sites, such as the ever popular, offer a review feature, which can be both constructive and deconstructive to the budding author. There is no better confidence buster than to be told you are wonderful, or to be compared to your favorite author. Such praise keeps the young author motivated.

On the other hand, it can overinflate the author and cause them not to try and grow and hone their craft. When they try to publish their own work, it can lead to a major breakdown.
Flames can also be detrimental to the author. If a work is criticized without any word of it being constructive, then the author can either become completely discouraged or fail to take the review seriously. I have seen many authors reply to such reviews within an author's note and refer them to trolling and bullying)

A well balanced review, however, can be the best thing in the world for a young author. Most college writing workshops encourage their students to review their peers works with both positive and negative comments. There are many fan fiction readers who do the same. The upside to having this happen in a fan fiction setting is that there is an air of anonymity. Authors and readers are known by user or pen name. An author is not judged by who they are, their age or gender. A serious author also does not have to worry about being associated with an art that, while useful, is so frowned upon.

Not all famous authors are so against fan fiction. Many authors started writing using fan fiction as a medium; some even write it still today. Some of these authors include: Neil Gaimen, SE Hinton, Meg Cabot and Cassandra Clare...” 2

So how do I know so much about fan fiction?  I have been writing fan fiction for roughly nine years. I read the book "The Outsiders" 3 by SE Hinton and  found out that I could right stories about it. I started going on and writing.

I had always loved storytelling but it was not until I discovered fan fiction, that I really took the time to write. I began writing all day, every day. At school, I was always carrying a notebook (writing fan fiction when I should have been taking notes) and coming home and clicking away at the computer keys. I read reviews and took them to heart. I became a reader and read and reviewed other works. Soon, I found myself improving as a writer. Today, I am a graduate of UCF's Creative Writing program and am writing my own stuff. Fan fiction allowed me to discover my love and talent for writing.

In future posts, I will give some advice on writing fan fiction that will not send the original author running for the hills and give some advice to those who want to make their fiction their own. Who knows, I might even give out my non de plum

1 Check More Out at
2 Check More out at
3 Get your own copy here

Monday, June 17, 2013

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Gatekeeper Sneak Peak

Every writer has to start somewhere. For me, it starts first with an idea and then a rough draft. A rough draft is like an artists's sketch. It is the first time an author puts the scene to paper. Little to no editing has been done. For me, this includes copy-editing, checking for correct spelling, grammera and punctatiion.  As promised, here is a rough draft of a scene from my working novel, the
first in my Gatekeeper series.

If you like this excerpt, be sure to check out my latest short story, available at: Be Sure to use this coupon code, good until Sat: JY42K

The Creature

The area outside of the armory  was in chaos. The smell of smoke no longer came merrily from chimneys rising with the smell of warm lunches over the fire. An overpowering smell of burning timber and hay now filled the air in its stead. Sara wrinkled her nose. The village was on fire. A throng of people ran past her and her friends. Sara found herself nearly run over.

  "Holy..." Sara looked in the direction of Brody's voice. She gulped. An obscenely large creature with spikes and blood red slime dripping down its scaly back, was heading their way. It raked a thirty foot club across the ground. Huts and gardens wee demolished wherever it landed. It  reminded Sara far too much of the nightmares she had been having. She had never been so frightened. 

"What the heck is that thing?" Brody asked. Sara wasn't  so sure if she wanted to know. Ogre, giant, troll; it didn't matter what i was if it was going to kill them. 

"How should I know," Lexi said, "All that matters is it's coming toward us."

The creature lunged forward and swatted at another hut. Debris flew forward and landed just inches from the them The creature picked up a dog from the ruble and swallowed it whole.It really was just like Sara's dream. 

"On second thought, I don't think it matters. You're right Lexi. If that thing gets any closer we're dead no matter what it is," Brody said. Sara gulped. 

"Dead?" She whispered aloud, horrified. she didn't want to die, not then, not like that dog, or like the math teacher  had on the beach. Sara groaned and her knees begin to shake. She falls to the ground and crawls a few feet backward.

She pulled her legs to her chest and wrapping her arms around herself, rocked back and forth. "This isn't real," she mumbled, "please don't let it be real." Brody turned his head toward Tristan, who flexed, his fingers and stares at the creature. Another wave of derbies fell forward. Brody and Tristan jumped right and left. They stood over the derbies, panting. Lexi dropped her sword and rushed back to Sara. 

She wrapped her hands around Sara's  shoulders and gave them a shake. Sara barley acknowledged her. "Snap out of it Sara. We could really use your help right about now." 
Sara only stared straight ahead and the horrible creature. From beside her, Triston, reached behind his back for an arrow and stung it against his bow. " I do not believe she can aid us at the moment." He said.

"Than what do you suggest we do?" Brody asked, holding tight to his  halberd. Triston arched his arm and sends the arrow flying toward the creature. He turned to Brody and gave him a grim smile.

"We fight,"he said. 
Brody rolled his eyes."He's got to be kidding me." He said and Sara could not agree more.

 Triston let another arrow fly. "Somehow, I don't think so."Lexi said, standing up. 
She picked her sword from off the ground,and  held it like a baseball bat. She lifted it until it was just slightly away from her chest.

The creature moved forward, crying out as an arrow hit him. He swipped his club at Triston and Triston leapt through the air and shot another arrow. Lexi rushes forward.Brody looked at them, and back to Sara. He gripped  the halberd tightly in his hands. His shoulders tensed.

Sara  wondered if he would fight too. Surely not,Brody didn't seem like a  fool.  He could see it was futile,that they were all going to die anyway. there was no reason to prolong the inevitable.
"Are you completely insane?" Brody shouted. "You don't even know the first thing about using a sword. That thing is going to make lunch meat out of you." Sara sighed in relief. Maybe Brody would be able to talk sense into Lexi and Triston. Maybe they could run, somewhere, anywhere. 

The creature moved forward once more. He swung at Lexi and Tristan, sending them flying through the air. They landed with a hard thud on the ground."Lexi", Sara  thought. Lexi was her best friend. What was she going to do? Sara gulped. 

The creature, whatever it was, moved toward her. Sara froze, all thoughts of Lexi disappeared. That thing was coming closer. She was going to die, Sara just knew it, she was going to die. 

From behind her, Brody grunted. The creature moved forward. "Are you going to move?" Sara couldn't. It seemed every time she thought she had never been more terrified in her life she was proved wrong. She was frozen in fear. 

The creature came closer. Brody sighed. The creature was closer now. Brody ran faster. He swiped his halberd like a hockey stick into the monsters thigh. The monster growled and swiped Brody away with his arm.Brody flew through the air and landed into a pile of broken wood and stone. Sara had never heard a more sickening sound in her  whole life. They really were about to  die. The creature moved closer to Sara again. 

Tristan moved forward. Sara was amazed to see he was almost unhurt. He launched an arrow at the monster's back. The monster turned around and let out a horrendous cry. Lexi,laying on the ground pumped a fist into the air. "Bullseye!" she screamed. 

Brody crawled forward. His left arm was bent at an odd angle, bone and blood oozing out and his shirt is torn, soaked with blood.  Sara was not sure if it was his own or the creature's. He pulled up on his halberd and used it to rise to his feet. "Glad to see you'e so concerned about me, Lexi." He coughed. 

Lexi ignored him and stood up. She picked up her sword and with a shrug of her shoulders rushed towards the creature. Triston let off another arrow as Brody swiped at the creature, drawing blood. Lexi leapt through the air in a pivoting summer-sault and plunged the sword into the creature's thigh.The creature snarled sand swiped at them. All three went flying. Sara was sure this time they were dead.

"Sara," Lexi called. Sara shivered. Lexi was alive. Tears of relief fell down her face but she knew none of them could stay alive for long. "Do something Sara." Lexi called again.

Sara shivered. What could she do?  She looked  at the ocarina in her hand. She tried to stand up but found herself unable to move. "I...I can't." Karrivan came flying in from the armory. 

"You must play Sara. It is time. The gate must be opened. Play Sara, play" He said. But Sara didn't know how. She had seen youtube videos of people playing them, but sara had never held an ocarina before all this had  started. Was that even what she was supposed to be doing with it?

She paused and saw her friends rushing toward the beast. She shuts her eyes tight as they are sent flying once more. Karrivan left her and flew toward the creature. He used his talons to claw at the eyes. The creature smacked him to the ground.He did not move. Lexi rushes forward and Sara screamed. Tears rolled down her  face. She had to  do something, anything.

Lexi impaled the sword into the creatures leg, slicing it off and Sara stood on shaky legs. Tears rolled harder  down her face and, with shaky hands she lifts the ocarina to her mouth. Her eyes shut and she begins to play.

Sara had never played before but she founder her hands moving  along the holes, as if it was the most natural thing in the world. A beautiful, somber melody filled the  air. It was the  saddest thing Sara had ever heard.

A blue mist surrounded Sara and began to transform into an ethereal light. She began to float. The light spins around and around until it finally  spiraled out and reaches toward the creature. The creature swiped once more at Lexi as Tristan shot off am arrow. The arrow hit  the creature just as the light fully enveloped it.

The creature began to fade an in a moment all that was left of him were the blood stains on the ground. The light swirled back to Sara and faded

Sara floated back to the ground and collapsed. She was exhausted, but light,, peaceful haze filled her mind. Karrivan wings begin to twitch and he lifted from the ground and flew forward. Slowly the others joined him. He circled Sara as the others arrived.

Lexi fell to her knees and gave Sara a shake. "Sara,  Sara," she said. Tears ran 
down her face and Lexi shook Sara harder."Come,on Sara not again."

  Sara's eyes open slowly and she rolled over to face her friends. she blinked and looked at them. 

There was a gash in Brody's shirt and he held his limp left arm to his side. Tristan had a gash on his cheek and Lexi's forehead was bleeding.They looked a little worse for the ware but they were alive. She smiled wearily. They had lived and that was something.

Sara tries to push herself up but falls back to the ground. She laughed tiredly. Karrivan swooped up and landed on Lexi's shoulder. 

"You have all done well." Karrivan said.

Triston leaned down and bowed, "Thank You Master Karrivan, we are honored to have been of service."

Brody snorted."What are you smoking?" He asked, "We almost died and you call that honor?"

Sara bit her lip. Brody did have a point, what they had done was reckless beyond the point of all words but she wasn't so sure she didn't agree with Triston either.

Triston tilted his head to the side. "I have seen no smoke so I do not understand how my sight could be compromised or what this has to do with comprehension. Do you not know the meaning of the word honor?To die defending another, saving the world from evil, I can think of no better word for this than honor." He said. 

Sara smiled. It was almost kind of cute, the way he talked. she shook her head. What was the matter with her. She had never gone boy crazy before and then was not the time and place to get started. 

Brody let out another snort. "Call it honor if you want, I call it bullsh..." Lexi rushed to cover his mouth. 

"Shut up Brody, Tristan's right. That was kind of cool, like what a rush. Without this village would have been toast."She said.

Brody swatted her hand away. "A few more minutes and we would have been too." He replied. 

Triston scratched his chin. "I do not know what it is to be toast, unless of course you meant that thing might it us, a distinct possibility. It did not happen and  I have found to dwell on what could have been bad for one's temperament."

Sara frowned. She thought of the dog, of the visions she had. She shivered. "He's right Brody. I don't want to think about what could have happened. We'll all be having nightmares as it is." She said. "The monsters gone now and our job's done. I just want want to forget about this a go home."

Brody grabbed his bad arm. He winced. "I second that."

Karrivan preened his feathers. "I am afraid that will do little to remedy your situation. This is merely the beginning. There are more monsters to come and they will not go through Middle Ground. Or have you forgotten everything Mistress Lorraine has told you?" He asked.

Triston nodded. "Master Karrivan is right. Whoever opened the gate will get more powerful as time goes by. The monsters they call fourth will go to wherever the gate first 
opened." He said. 

Sara gulped. She did not like where  this was going. From beside her, Lexi asked, "And that would be?"

Sara's eyes glazed over. The rune marks on her arms glowed and flicked for a moment before dying out. She saw in a haze as if watching a video in fast foward, the newspaper clipping, her dreams, it all made since. She opened her eyes and screamed. 

Lexi rushed to her, grabbing her by the shoulders. Sara stood stif as a board. her face was white. She shivered. "Sara," Lexi shook her again "what is it?"

Sara licked her lips. "Miguel he paper, beach..." She stuttered, unable to get her lips to move correctly to form the right words. 

Brody winced, holding onto his arm, blood falling between his fingertips. "Please don't tell me she's saying what I think she's saying." 

"Perhaps, this is not the best place to have such a conversation. You could all use some rest and your wounds are in need of attention." He said looking at Brody. 
"Unless of course, you believe it would be wiser to  stand out here with a broken arm." 
Karrivaan advised. 
Brody held onto his arm and scowled. "No,,"he winced, "Not until Sara explains."

Sara didn't want to explain, it was the last thing she wanted to do. Saying it alloud 
would make it real. Brody alone, seemed to grasp the danger they had been in. If she said what she knew, he would blow a fuse. He looked ready to go at any moment. Sara nervously dug her nails into her arm and gritted her teeth. Blood began to ooze from tiny holes.

"Sara,"Lexi said softly.

Sara sighed. It seemed there was no alternative. She licked her lips and spoke. "Home, whoever opened the gate opened it in Richmark. The monsters won't be here, they'll be there." She said.

Brody grunted. "Gee, gives having monster's under your bed a whole new meaning, doesn't it?" He asked sarcastically.

Lexi shook her head, clearly ignoring him. She  tilted her gaze to look at Karrivan. "Is what Sara is saying true? Did the gate open in Richmark?"

Karrivan preened his feathers again. He was silent for a moment, as if searching for the right words. "I would like to think it a coincidence that the book washed ashore near your home, that it was called to you merely because you are a gatekeeper, but from what you have said,I cannot."

"Then what do you think?" Brody asked. Sara wasn't so sure she wanted to know.

"The creature you claim to have on your shore is not there without reason. It is only logical that whoever opened the gate has brought it there and it is only logical that he or she is in the area as well" Karrivan said, looking at Sara. It was as if his dark eyes could see right through her. Sara tensed.

"For better or for worse the two gatekeepers, for there can only ever be two, have been drawn to war with one another. I do not dare believe that this is by chance."He added.

War? Sara gulped. She couldn't even fight off bullies, like Courtney, how on earth was she supposed to do this?

Beside her, Lexi stiffened. " Are you saying whoever opened the gate  knows that Sara is the other gatekeeper and is trying to draw her out?" She asked. Then she put her hand back on  Sara's shoulder.Lexi had always been the protector in the relationship; assertive where Sara was shy, athletic where she was clumsy. It only made sense that she would do the same new. Lexi always  had  her back.

Karrivan tilted his beak back. "That, I can not say for certain. All I can say is this. For the gate to be opened with both gatekeepers near, bods ill. There is something dark about in your home."

Brody leaned against his halberd, bad arm now against his side.  He grinned sarcastically. "Gee," he barked,  "the Realtor must have left that one out. Says a lot about the neighborhood doesn't it?" Sara had forgotten that he had only just moved there. It made her feel sorry for him. Brody continued. "Great schools, beachfront property and supernatural warfare."

Sara almost laughed, in spite of her  self.It wasn't that what Brody had said was particularly funny, but it was true. From beside her, Triston tilted her head. He looked so confused. "I am afraid that once again I do not quite understand what you are saying." Bless him.

Lexi folded her arms. "Just ignore him, Triston, he's just complaining because he got caught up in all this."

"You mean Sara did." Brody said. He clinched his bad fist and winced. "Now look at me." Brody was right of course. Even though it had seemed little more than a silly replica, Sara had possessed a  feeling about the book. She had known she shouldn't have opened it, much less read the spell. Thanks to her, they were all hurt. She, Lexi and their new friends had almost died and expiration still seemed enament. She gulped. Wet tears forced their way down her face. She knew Brody was right,of course, but hearing it aloud hurt.

Lexi unfolded her arms and Karrivan flew from her shoulder. Lexi wrapped Sara in a hug. "Sara..."

Sara pushed her away. She shook her head, sniffling and wiped snot from her nose. No, Lexi," She whimpered, "Brody is right. I'm sorry I opened the book. I'm sorry I'm the gatekeeper and I'm sorry you got dragged into this."

Lexi shook her head and said cooly, "If anything it's Brody we should be mad at. He's the one who dared you to read that book."

Brody raised an eyebrow. "Hey listen babe," he said," I'm not the one who's some kind of witch or something."
Lexi clinched her fist. "She's not witch she's a gatekeeper, and if you say one more word I'll knock you down so fast you won't know what hi you, broken arm or not."She said.

Sara shook her head. She knew Lexi meant it too."It's okay Lexi. It is my fault. If it wasn't for me you wouldn't be in this mess," Sara reiterated,  "I was the one who opened the gate not Brody, I didn't mean for any of you to be dragged into this."

"There,"Brody growled," see she admits it."

Lexi shook her head."That's it." She lunged for Brody. In a flash, Triston grabbed her by the shoulders. "Don't think you won't be next pretty boy." She shouted. 

"Please" Triston begged calmly, "Please do not fight amongst one another.Sara may be the gatekeeper but we are all a part of this now. If we fight amongst one another we waste time. Divided we will fall."

"Well said Triston," Karrivan said, "Sara, did you ever stop to think that your friends wield their weapons not because they were with you this day when the book was found but that the book came to you because they were you, that they too are meant to be here? Brody, have you considered this as well?"He  asked.

Brody grumbled. He paled. His arm was still bleeding. "Yea, Yeha,"he replied.  His eyes rolled into the back off his head.

"We best get him inside." Karrrivan said and for once, Sara could not agree more.
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