Book Tours: Guest Post for Double Blind

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I’m hosting a guest post today for the book tour for “Double Blind”. I’ll leave the word to the author now.

How be a better writer (and a better person) in Five Easy Steps

Step 1: Make Friends in the writing community. Do you struggle for conversation topics at parties? Do you find yourself talking about the weather in order to survive PTA meetings? Are haircuts painfully awkward and quiet because you just don’t know what to say? Try talking about writing! It’s dead easy. All you have to do is walk up to someone and say “Hey, I like to write stuff. Do you also like to write stuff?” If they blink several times and look as though they’ve been slightly concussed, you may have just found a fellow writer! You see, most writers do not expect their friends and acquaintances to enquire about their writing and are understandably surprised when a fellow scribe happens along. Be patient. They will come around. When they do, ask them what they write. Don’t be shy. They have lots of keen things to say. Now congratulate yourself on your new writer friend!

If they begin to move slowly backward while trying to memorize your features, that person is probably not a writer. It is okay to let them go and maybe don’t make any sudden movements.

Step 2: Don’t be pretentious. Sure, New York Times bestselling authors are Writers but so is the mailman. He’s spent the last year compiling the comprehensive works of Marvin K. Mooney as translated from the original Pig Latin in his spare time. And that lady who works part time at the pet store? She runs a daily blog on homeopathic cat laxatives. These people don’t make millions of dollars on their writing but they’re still writers because they write. Don’t be the pretentious jerk who assumes crazy cat-lady isn’t a serious writer. She’s blogging every damn day. Do you know how hard that is?

Step 3: Look for people who are actively trying to become better at writing and ask them to help you. The only way I know how to learn writing is through critique—also rejection, self-loathing, the Aha! Moment, more self-loathing, and finally surrender—but mostly critique. Your writing voice will tell you what to say and how to say it but it can’t get into other people’s heads. You need critique in order to see what is working and what isn’t. People who are actively trying to better their writing skills are open to critique because they know they need it. If you find someone you suspect is trying to get better at writing, ask. All you have to say is “I need another set of eyes to look at this piece I’m writing. Would you be willing to read it and give me feedback?” If they say yes, do a little jig. It will show your true commitment to the writing process.

Step 4: Learn to take (constructive) criticism well. If you’ve found people that are willing to listen to what you have to say, and then give you their opinion on your work—do the world a favor and don’t be a jackass. Don’t defend your work to the point where they will stop talking to you. Don’t tell them they’re wrong. It’s an opinion, there is no right or wrong. Don’t vindictively tear their writing apart because you’re mad. Just don’t. Karma is incredibly powerful and writers always remember details.

Step 5: Support your friends’ success. Everyone has that one friend who steps into the writing life and immediately finds success. Yes, it’s irritating as all get-out. No, it doesn’t seem fair. But there are no guarantees that any of this is going to be fair and if you let it bother you, not only will you be a piss-poor writer but you’ll be a crappy person as well. Their success is amazing and you should celebrate it with them, or at least refrain from being actively pissy about it in their company. You don’t have to fake it. You don’ t have to pretend their success is the only thing in the world that matters, that’s actually pretty horrible. But don’t diminish their success with your jealousy. That will eat into your writing time. Even NYT Best-selling authors have to explain who they are to people that don’t like to read.

So what do you do if your friend (or writing partner or auntie) gets a huge publishing contract and you don’t? First you give them a high-five. Then you go home and write. Later you can tell everyone you knew them before they were published. Although the cat-laxative lady probably did too. That lady knows everyone.

About the Author

Tiffany Pitts 7Tiffany Pitts grew up in the Seattle area in a time when the Super Sonics were huge and Starbucks was just a store at the end of the Market. Tragedy struck early in her life as her family moved to New Jersey mere months before Bon Jovi’s “Slippery When Wet” album hit record stores. It took nearly a decade to wean herself off the hairspray. But Seattle called her back, so she went; eventually earning a degree in Botany (pronounced “Bar tending”) at the University of Washington.

She made one more valiant attempt to leave the PNW after college by travelling around the country doing not much of value and making very stupid decisions. She is thankful every day that the internet was not a huge deal in those years. Then Seattle called again so she picked up and moved home where she spent many years being a scientist of middling talent in several labs that she absolutely did not blow up—except for that one time and everyone agreed not to talk about that any more.

Now she divides her time between writing fiction and raising two kids who are wonderful but, for some reason, will not stop licking things.

Her latest book is the action/adventure/humorous/scifi, Double Blind.

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About the Book

Double Blind 7Delilah Pelham’s brother, Paul, is missing. She should probably be worried about that but honestly, he’s been in trouble since the day he learned the words “trust me.” In fact, if it weren’t for his roommate, Carl, she would gladly leave him to his fate.

Carl is a good guy, even if he’s a bit of a dork. Okay, a large slice of a dork. Possibly the entire cake.But he wants to help, as do his gamer friends, which is how Deli finds herself in the middle of Hong Kong with the King of the Dorks, running from creepy guys with slicked-back hair and shiny black guns.

Back at home, Carl’s friends aren’t faring nearly as well. All they had to do was monitor the situation and feed Deli’s cat while she was gone. How could that possibly end in bloodshed?

There is an answer, of course, but no one ever thinks to ask the cat.

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