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Five ways authors can use their Twitter header to build their platform

Your Twitter page header is prime Twitterverse real estate. Think of it as your own personal billboard. What do you want it to say?

A well crafted header can introduce you to potential readers, help create buzz about an upcoming book release, promote a new book or advertise a book tour.

1.Hello, Twitterverse

Let your header introduce you to the world. This is a great concept for authors working to build their platform or if you are new to Twitter. You don’t need to be an artist to create a professional looking header. Online tools like CanvaFotor or FotoJet let you include photos, logos, a website, other social media, quotes or a short description of your work. Ask yourself, what do you want your audience to know about you?

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How a meditation on Taking away suffering and Giving love helped me process the Orlando shooting

I was still in bed on Sunday when I received a message from a CNN colleague asking if I could come into work to help cover the breaking news. A mass shooting, the message said. I clicked on CNN’s homepage, the headline read: 20 dead, toll expected to rise. By the time I finished breakfast, the death toll was 50.

That Sunday, I’d promised my family we’d go on a wilderness hike, so I spent the day with them instead. Not out of duty, but because I wanted to be surrounded by the ones I loved. I wanted to laugh with them, walk next to them and listen to their beautiful voices. I didn’t want to take a second of the day for granted. Once again we were reminded, life was so precious. In an instant, it was gone.

On Monday, I joined into the collective sense of grief on social media. The loss was unimaginable. Forty-nine lives cut short by someone consumed by their own hatred. Later I learned, one of the victims had moved from Puerto Rico to Florida, like I did in 2002. I expect we had shared memories of the home we left behind, and shared hopes for the future.  Hi family, like mine, still lived on the Island.

In the afternoon, my grief turned into deep sadness as I watched a major party’s Presidential nominee call for a ban on all Muslims immigrants and then encouraged both hatred and fear.

My heart ached for my friends—LGBTQ, Muslims and immigrants—and for the dimness of our present circumstance.

How do we begin to process such a hellish reality?

Taking and Giving—a 2,500 year old practice

I needed to do something. But what could I do from my desk in Atlanta? Or stuck in traffic on the way home? My answer came in the form of an age-old Buddhist practice called Taking and Giving. It’s been said that this practice is like a powerful crystal able to purify even the most unthinkable of sufferings. And it can be done on the go.

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What to Ask a Prospective Literary Agent When They Offer You Representation

THE CALL has arrived! Congratulations.

Aside from the normal combination of elation and disbelief, you may experience some other side-effects, such as: pacing in circles until the carpet has wore off and keeping a bucket around because you just might puke any second now.

Tell yourself to get it together! THE CALL awaits and you have important questions to ask this prospective agent. This is after all, a business relationship. You must be clear as to what this relationship will entail before you sign the contract.
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Georgia YA & MG Writers Mixer Event Photos!

Thank you so much to everyone that participated in our Georgia YA & MG writers mixer! We had a terrific turnout and it was so much fun to catch up with old friend and make new ones.

And thank you to the amazing staff of Charis Books for lending us the space. Everything was perfect!

If you would like to receive updates about our Fall 2016 mixer register using the form at the bottom of this page. See ya’ll soon!

How to write accents in your dialogue

The best cure for the “manuscript on submission” anxiety, I’m told, is to start working on a new one. And so I have.

My new novel-in-progress is set in Europe with a troupe of international characters and multiple languages. Building this multi-cultural world presents a unique challenge: how to represent languages and accents on the page.  

I consulted with editor extraordinaire Deborah Halverson, author of Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies and founder of DearEditor.com.
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