Friday, October 30, 2009

Slinging? Something my character does in my book.

I wanted my character, Kira in my book NOT AN ANGEL to have a special ability, but nothing of the paranormal kind. Her love interest has enough of that. So, with the help of ideas from my critique group, I came up with "Slinging". Kira had lots of time on her hands growing up, while she hid from her cruel-drunk step-father. The woods became her second home, along with her friend, Todd.

Todd taught Kira how to sling. He said it was in case she ever needed to protect herself. It took awhile to get the hang of it, but once she did, she was awesome. Slinging is bascially perjecting an object, such as a rock, stone, or whatever you can find, perfecting the shot at a target, and wham! She practiced with the tons of beer cans her step-dad threw all over the floor in her home. (ya, the guy was a filthy pig).

Kira and Todd made each of them a leather braided sling, and they each wore it around their necks for protection. Each sling had a loop that attached a beautiful sleek stone, which was large enough to knock someone on their arse, if the time ever came to do so. She never took the sling necklace off. It comes in very handy when she decides to use it in the story. (I'm not going to say who she uses it against, you'll have to read NOT AN ANGEL when it comes out next year from The Wild Rose Press.)

Anyway, I found a article, it is the history on slinging and thought I'd share it with you. (I'm not sure how much is true.) Hope you enjoy. This article was written by C. Harrison.

****A Brief History of The Sling****

The origin of the sling is unknown. It seems to have developed independently worldwide. The concept is simple enough. Once people started throwing rocks (or other simple projectiles) as weapons, the sling was introduced as an extension of the arm for greater mechanical advantage.

There are many references to slings in historical documents. Most people know the story of David and Goliath. The Romans were the first civilization to effectively use slingers in large formations in their armies, but they were used by the Sumerians , Assyrians, and Egyptians as well. As bows and arrows were expensive to supply to thousands of troops. Slings were used to give Roman reserve troops a cheap long-range weapon. They used (American) football shaped lead projectiles that could supposedly pierce armor.

In general, the sling is a hard weapon to master, and because of this, few armies used the sling to the same extent as the bow or crossbow (when the were developed). Slings were used outside of the military as hunting weapons as well. There are documents describing bands of hunters killing big game with slings. Often they would use rocks from riverbeds, as they were more spherical and smooth.

The slings' use as a weapon started to dwindle in the Middle Ages because of advances in bow and crossbow design. The longbow and crossbow became increasingly accurate, out-ranged the sling, and provided more accuracy for less training. With the advent of firearms, non-gunpowder weapons became obsolete.

As the memories of simpler times faded away, people started using these older weapons as hobbies, as you can see with the popularity of archery today. Slinging remains a popular pastime in many countries today, especially in Mediterranean and Pacific islands. The last official use of the sling in war was by the allies in World War I to lob grenades.

If you want to learn more about slinging check out Chris Harrison has several articles listed on that site.

Dawn Chartier
NOT AN ANGEL, coming soon from THE WILD ROSE PRESS (In 2010)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Great Marketing Tips for Aspiring Authors!!

This is a great tip from, Sara Megibow with the Nelson Agency....


This is more of a marketing tip than a query letter tip, per se. Still, I find this to be an important step for all writers who take the business of publishing seriously. Before starting your submissions (whether to agents or directly to editors), make sure your web presence is polished and up-to-date.

I know, I know — another thing to “polish” but believe me, it’s important. If I am reading sample pages that I like, the very first thing I do BEFORE asking for the full manuscript is a Google search for your website. Hopefully, you’ve included the url in your query letter but if not, I go on a hunt. No, it’s not a deal breaker if you’re not 100% web savvy, but I consider websites, blogs, etc., to be a part of the package, a part of the “resume,” so to speak. And, yes — I take it seriously.

1) If you don’t have an author website yet — get one. And get a professional one. Even if it’s a basic template, make sure it looks professional and has professional content on it.

2) If you don’t have an author blog, think seriously about starting one. Right now, blogging is a hot way to increase your own marketing. Next year maybe it will be something different, but for now, a great blog is #2 behind a great website. A few suggestions ... avoid blogging about how the book is going (i.e., avoid entries like this, “I wrote 80 pages today — yippee!” or “I am on chapter 10 and it’s giving me problems.”) The general masses aren’t going to read your blog and want to come back again and again to find out about your writing progress.

Instead, have a hook or a spin to your blog. Is your book a Scottish Highland romance? Then, maybe your blog hosts some really fabulous in-depth information about Scottish clans and their histories! Also, at all costs, avoid blogging anything negative about your submission process (i.e., "so-and-so agent was SOOO rude" = oops.) This business is too small and interrelated to risk a blog entry like this - even if it was true.

3) Consider other social networking sites, but if you do — make them professional! My husband is a musician and he has had tremendous success with marketing through Facebook, Twitter, Myspace and So, check them out and see if they are right for you and if you have time to keep them up-to-date. If you go this route though, remember that agents and editors will probably take a look — so nix the drunken bikini shots from your last beach vacation. It’s a bummer, I know, to lose that kind of privacy and freedom. And, it’s just my opinion, but if you treat all these things like your resume instead of like your personal photo album, it’s a stronger professional representation of who you are.

4) Check out what other successful authors are doing. If all this information feels overwhelming, spend a few afternoons seeing what other people do, what kinds of information they post, what kinds of pictures, what kinds of questions they answer and what kinds of “spins” or “hooks” they use. Two great places to start — and

Permission to post, by Sara Megibow
Nelson Agency

Thanks for stopping by,
Dawn Chartier

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

EPICon Conference in New Orleans March 2010

Welcome to eLiberation!

The annual conference for members of EPIC, the Electronically Published Internet Connection, is the gathering place for authors, publishers and other industry professionals to celebrate the best of the best with the EPPIE Awards, to share newest information and ideas, to hone their writing skills and explore new markets. So put this wonderful event on your calendar next March 4-7th, 2010 at the beautiful Sheraton New Orleans in New Orleans, LA.

Workshops will address the business of writing for the electronic market, promotion strategies, existing and coming technology and related issues, and genre and publisher specific topics, among others. EPIC's annual Business Meeting and the Keynote Luncheon are Friday's highlights. On Saturday our luncheon will honor the finalists of the New Voices contest for young writers, and Saturday night is the Big Event—the EPIC Awards Banquet and Ceremony.

Want to know who's buying what in these tough economic times? Come to one of our Publisher and Promotion Panels. Want to network with friends, old and new? What to do in New Orleans? Arise to breakfast of Beignet and Café au lait, take a dip in the pool, then spend the afternoon shopping on Royal Street and the famous French Market. Would you like to test your luck at the casino? It's a mere two blocks to your right. Saint Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square is six blocks away. And the famous (or infamous?) Bourbon Street is just four blocks away. Or maybe you'd rather relax on the Creole Queen Paddlewheeler, Cajun Queen Riverboat, or the John James Audubon Riverboat waiting to take you to Audubon Zoo. And we can't forget St. Louis Cemetery #1. So many stories waiting to be told.

Not a member of EPIC? Interested only in certain topics? No problem. We're offering non-member rates, and single-day rates. Or join EPIC (if you're already working in the e-book industry) and get a bargain. Best of all, we're offering reduced rates for early registration. The EPICon 2010 hotel is the Sheraton New Orleans.The Sheraton New Orleans Hotel boasts a superb location, bordering the French Quarter and just steps away from the Mississippi River. The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, the Warehouse Arts District, the Aquarium of the Americas, Bourbon Street and the Superdome are all nearby, as are major malls - including Riverwalk Marketplace and Canal Place.

e-Books are the wave of the future. So whether you're an e-author or e-publisher, EPICon 2010 will help you catch the wave and solidify your commitment to the e-book world as we forge ahead in this emerging industry. Join us in New Orleans, next March.

I'll be there....
Dawn Chartier
Not An Angel, Coming in 2010 from The Wild Rose Press

K-Con 2009 was a great time, including the cute naked butt!

K-Con started on a Friday afternoon were I had lunch with Debbie, Cheryle and Jenn at Commanders Palace. Food, service and company were all awesome.

After that, I had to run back across the river to visit my mom in ICU. She was doing well, but they wanted to watch her for a few more hours just in case.

Then I went back to the hotel, signed up, and then hung out in the hospitality suite for a few hours. I volunteered with the ladies mentioned above to help with incoming fans, etc. After our deal was over, we were in the hall way and Debbie asked a very good looking man to pose with her for our treasure hunt picture. He did along with his friend who ended up taking his pants off and mooning us. Only in New Orleans!! (What is that you ask? Um, yeah it was a nice cute butt.) Deb has pictures to prove it.

The next morning I picked up Barbara Vey, Deb, Cheryle, and Jenn and we went to Cafe' Du Monde' in the Quarter. We had messy beignets, cafe' au lait, and I had hot chocolate. Yep, we made a mess. (go to Barbara Vey's blog at and you'll see us in her pictures pigging out - de-lish..). Not sure if you know it but Barbara Vey reviews books and such, and she shares tons of info on conferences too. Her site is a must.

Next we had to rush back for Diana Love's class, we made it just in time. Barbara then announced my new contract for my novel "Not An Angel". I need to get use to this, because I know my face must have turned red, purple, blue, and red again. It was sure hot as hell.

Then there was the League party. Everyone in costumes. Think, Terminator style... Lots of assassins and such... Next up was the dinner...they had so many people show up we ended up eating in the hall, but it didn't matter, we had a blast...Sherri's just a popular gal...and by the time desert came, we had more tables in the dining room.

Once we moved into the main room, Sherri was giving little gifts to all her helpers and she called me and Deb to go up there and get our gifts. I hugged Sherri, and then Diana Love tells her the news. So then Sherrilyn proceeds to announce to approx. 200 people my book news. I know, you want to know if I fainted right?? Actually, not that I can remember....(grin) I held it together, but after that, its all a blur. (grin)...

There was Q&A's with Sherri, and she gave away some top secrets to some future novels, but we were sworn to secrecy. Then my time ended after the Dark-Hunter tour. I had to visit my mom who was now moved into the regular hospital. I didn't go back on Sunday for the brunch, too much going on, but my mom sure got a kick out of my K-Con experience as did I.


Friday, October 2, 2009

Sitting down and freehand writing

I was on a blog the other day and I noticed how many authors say they sit down and write on a note pad before they actually start typing their story on the PC They say it helps free "their voice" and makes their writing more unique to them. Hmm... I wonder if that works?

Well, today I'm going to try that and see what happens. Maybe it will get me out of this "stuck" spot in my novel. My villain decided he didn't want to be the villain anymore, and then pointed me to someone else. I mean he's still a bad-ass! But, he was right, he's not the killer....((Rewind: I just deleted a entire sentence giving away who I'm talking about and realized. Oppss... I can't do that... I've got a big freakin' mouth! haha..))

Anyway, time to get off the blog, try a new exercise by writing on a tablet. Maybe I'll figure out why my bad guy isn't my baddy after all. Could it be maybe because he's my next heroine's hero? Yikes...Stop with the spoilers...

Now go write everyone!!! (that's meant for the writers out there.)

Have a wonderful weekend.
Hugs to you on a rainy New Orleans day.