SPA Girls Podcast – EP212 – Writing Great Characters

We all love it when we’re reading and we fall in love with a character.

Not just in the book boyfriend way – although that’s cool too – but in a isn’t-she-so-great-I-wish-I-could-be-just-like-her-or-maybe-just-her-best-friend way. 

As an author, how do you make that happen for your readers? 

That’s what we’re talking about this week in the SPA. What makes a great character? How do we make them so memorable that our readers keep coming back for more? What do you need to know about them before you start? And how do you bring them to life on the page?  

Join us as we dissect everything you might ever need to know about writing great characters! 

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP211 – Self Care Isn’t Selfish

If you don’t take care of yourself, odds are no one else will. So what does it take to make sure you’re firing on all cylinders?

We’ve all got our own take on self-care and yet there are plenty of similarities.

-Remember you are a work in progress, allow room to grow. (no one is perfect)
-Call yourself a writer
-Stop worrying about what everyone else is thinking.
-Limit social media
-Make goals achievable
-Find your tribe
-Take breaks.
-Exercise and stretch. Find a stretching routine.

– Writing/working yourself to the bone makes you less productive, not more.
– Take breaks to refresh your mind. You will come back thinking clearer and able to do things better.
– Look at your negative self talk. What are you saying to yourself? This can be totally sub conscious, and really damaging.
– Look after your health, both mental and physical – exercise, eat well, try not to give in to compulsive behaviours.
– Schedule and plan, then stick to it. Give yourself breaks in the schedule and stick to them.
– Rest is just as important to creative process as working hard. Down time is vital.

There’s a very fine line between creativity and mental health and a lot of us at times struggle with depression and anxiety (and a host of other fun things). The reality is, that’s super common in this community and while we all want to lift each other up and be supportive, it also isn’t an excuse for shitty behaviour or letting other people down like service providers, fellow authors and readers. So own it, get help, but don’t use it as a “get out of jail free card” cos tbh, that just makes it harder for everyone else to be understood.

I’m crap at self-care personally, but that’s on me and it’s no-one else’s fault – or responsibility – than mine. So I’m trying to walk the talk and walk regularly, get better sleep and practice mindfulness.

– Be a good community member. Contribute to discussions and you’ll have that reciprocated when you need it.
– Get out of the space you’re in and go somewhere else to write or simply recharge. You have the ability and power to work anywhere!
– Listen to most things and only hold onto the things that matter to you or can make a difference.
– Stretch yourself but not to the point of snapping.
– Celebrate your successes and don’t blame your failures on others.
– Every mistake is an opportunity to learn so don’t dwell on them.
– Think positively. You finished a chapter/wrote a book/published a book. That’s pretty darn clever in anyone’s book!

It’s not an easy career, but you certainly don’t need to make it harder for yourself.

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP210 – Slow & Steady to Six Figures with Serenity Woods

Serenity Woods is a New Zealand self-publishing superstar with more than 70 books published (both traditionally and indie). She’s a USA Today bestselling author of sexy contemporary romances, most of which are set in the sub-tropical Northland of New Zealand, where she lives.
Serenity joins the SPA Girls again this week to discuss her publishing strategy and the road to six figures – hint, it’s a marathon, not a sprint!

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SPA Girls Podcast  – EP209 – Editing with Anne Victory

Confused about the editing process? Today we talk with talented editor Anne Victory, founder of Victory Editing.

Anne has always been a stickler for grammar, and at every job she was “volunteered” (or volun-told) to either write or proofread everything from menus to game manuals to advertising copy. That business writing and editing experience came in handy when she started to work in fiction.

She enjoys reading, and polishing the written word. Common wisdom says do what you love and you’ll live a long and happy life. With her background in English literature, grammar, and library science, it was a fairly easy decision to work with authors.

We discuss what it takes to work with an editor. What you need to think about when you are editing your manuscript and much more.

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP208 – Writing to Market Versus Writing To Trend

What does ‘writing to trend’ mean?

Isn’t it just the same as ‘writing to market’? 

In the SPA, we say NO, they’re not the same…and here’s why: basically, Shar told us so.  🙂 

In this episode we explore the two terms, look at the differences between them, what they both mean for you as an author, and how you can use writing to market and writing to trend to help your writing career. 

If you’ve ever wondered if writing to market was for you, or thought you’d spotted a trend early, this is the episode for you! 

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP207 – Reader Expectations

Ah, readers…

They’re elusive. Magical. Confusing. 

But we all want them. 

This episode, we break down the topic of reader expectations, discussing what they are, what it means for you the author, and how to make sure you are fulfilling your readers’ expectations.  
Why do readers love certain books? What makes them pick one book over another? And more importantly, how do you make sure your book is the one that readers gravitate towards…? 
It’s all covered in this week’s episode of the SPA Girls Podcast! 

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP206 – Interview with Chris Fox: Ads For Authors Who Hate Maths

This week we have the pleasure of talking with Chris Fox, author of 20+ SFF novels and very popular non-fiction books for writers including his latest, Ads For Authors Who Hate Math.

In this episode we talk about how to run your ads in 30 minutes a day; how to run profitable advertising campaigns using a simple aggregate sales model; and how not to stress out over figuring out your read-through and cost per click numbers.

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP205 – Why Is My Series Not Selling?

Are your sales getting you down? 

Do you wish your series was selling better? 

Can you resuscitate it or is it DOA?

This episode we talk through some of the possible reasons that your book or series might not be selling. 

From cover, editing and blurb writing, to content, tropes, meeting reader expectations, and much, much more. 

We attempt to help you troubleshoot what might be wrong, and what you can do to amp it up, make it work, and sell more books! 

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP204 – Snappy Beginnings With Amy Andrews

Ever been in a bookstore and opened a book to read the first couple of pages? (or clicked the look inside on Amazon?)

Ever put the book back, deciding that it wasn’t that interesting? 

Yep, we have too. 

And that’s exactly what we talk to Australian romantic comedy author Amy Andrews about this week. She takes us through the concept of first pages, and how to make sure readers not only pick up your book, but find they can’t put it down again (until they’ve reached the end!). 

Should you start with dialogue? What words should you cull? Exactly what are readers looking for? Find out the answers to these questions and many more in this episode of the SPA Girls Podcast! 

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