Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Writing and Research

People often ask where I get my ideas as a writer. My answer is always, from the world around me. Well, the other day a member of a group I was presenting to said, "You may be able to get  to Nubia, but how do you know about ancient time? You're not that old?" Yes, the comment came from a 'Tween and their emphasis was on the word 'that'. Once everyone stopped laughing, me included, my response was 'research'.

I research just about everything. When writing about ancient Nubia, it's pretty clear that I need to delve deeply into history. I have archaeological and anthropological texts that I get information from as well as graduate papers from universities.

If you've read any of my work, you know that I'm an action writer. All of my stories have some type of action scenes or battle scenes in them. So how do I research that? I've had to become a huge fan of the history and military channels on television and I stage battles in my home. My husband teaches me about holds, take-downs, and strikes. I have even watched the football team he coaches to gain an understanding of how people fall and escape.

Most recently my poor husband was the victim of one such session. We were working together so that I could write the climax in one of my books. I was performing a particular strike he had just taught me and was supposed to pull the punch before it made contact, but my foot slipped. He was supposed to dodge the punch by ducking to the right. Well, when my foot slipped he reached out to catch me and instead of moving to the right he went to the left. This is what he looked like when he fell. Yes we staged it for the photo. You didn't expect me to hit him again, did you?

This is what happened...my fist connected with his ear and plowed it into his head. Sheesh! now we both need ice packs. But here's the thing, every experience in a writer's life is grist for the story mill. Now I know what it feels like to really punch somebody.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Thoughts and Ideas

Something occurred to me today. I've been thinking about writing and marketing and why I do any of it. Then I wondered if other writers feel the same way. First let me tell you why I write.

I write for several reasons. The first is that I enjoy it. Yes, I'm selfish. I'm doing something that makes me feel good. The second reason I write is that there are a lot of books with great stories, but several of them are not appropriate for younger readers. Understand, I'm not talking about picture books, or chapter books, or even books for the middle grade reader. I'm talking about that reader that's caught somewhere between middle grade and young adult, the ones I refer to as 'Tweens.

These are the readers that are not quite ready for the more steamy side of things. These are the readers that enjoy a good adventure, romance, or suspense tale without having to deal with graphic language, violence, or sexual content. So I craft stories that have the action and suspense without adding the extra my readers are not ready for--you know, the cleaner read.

Writing this way and for this audience leaves me in a bit of a quandary. How, and to whom. do I market? What I must do is develop two different types of marketing strategies--one strategy for the parents because they are often the ones shopping for this group and another strategy for my audience of 'Tweens. Without a doubt, this is as tough as it sounds.

Fortunately I was able to join a group of other writers that are doing the same thing--writing clean 'Tween tales and together we a working this thing out. We call ourselves Emblazoners. We
have our website up now. You should take a look.

We give each other support and ideas about marketing. We put together book giveaways, blog visits, and other things. I'm working on coming up with ways to connect more easily with my readers after they've read the books. What are you thinking about?

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Yes, writers procrastinate sometimes. Like I'm doing right now. I've checked my Facebook page a few times. Then I clicked over to check my email inbox just in case someone sent me an urgent message, and I even went to the kitchen a few times just to stare into the refrigerator. I need to be writing, but I can't seem to get myself into the rhythm of it all.

So I checked on a couple of YouTube channels of my writer friends and here's what I found. I guess I'm not the only one procrastinating tonight.


Thanks, Maria Cisneros Toth, for the distraction!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Making the Digital Real

Imagine if a book became real. I, for one, think that would be supercool! Well...I guess that would depend on the book. Tales of zombise, vampires, and other horror characters need to remain in print form only. But...

I've been thinking about how I could make my ebooks better. What if I could transport you to the world in which the stories take place? Or, what if I could bring an object from the story into your home? I think we aren't that far from this becoming a reality.

I love TED talks. If you haven't experienced them here's you first opportunity. In this 'talk', the presenter, Jinha Lee, speaks about pulling pixels from your computer into your reality. Take a look. I'm pretty sure that after watching, you'll be hooked on TEDtalks too.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

More Great Giveaways!

Yesterday I told you about the launch of a great new website Emblazoners.wordpress.com. It's created by 'Tween writers for 'Tween readers. Yes, we're using the title 'Tween instead of Middle Grade. It's just way cooler, don't you think?

Anyway here's whats going on. We're all about paying it forward. So we're asking you to help us get the word out. Tell the world about our new venture and you'll earn points to get some great books. Click the picture or use the link below to find out how:

Monday, July 08, 2013


I few weeks ago I told you about my joining a fantastic group of 'Tween writers. We are the Emblazoners!

Well, we're launching our new blog July 10th , along with our new website, and would love your help spreading the word.

Everyone knows when you pay things forward you benefit. So here's the deal...if you help us out you get a chance to when a $100 Amazon Gift Card on July 11th. There will also be a smaller second prize. This is how you do it.

To enter the drawing, you must post about Emblazon on your blog on Wednesday, July 10, our official launch day. Then tweet your Emblazoners post to @CassidyJonesAdv and include the hashtag #Emblazoners. (Note: You will not be entered into the drawing without your blog post tweet that includes @CassidyJonesAdv and #Emblazoners.)

 @CassidyJonesAdv will confirm you've been entered into the drawing by "favoriting" your tweet. If your tweet wasn't "favorited," tweet it again.

We appreciate your help getting the word out about our new website!
I'm so excited

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Celebrating Independence

fireworksToday is the day we celebrate the independence of this great nation. Being great doesn’t mean that the United States is free from problems or short comings, because there are both. Being great means that its citizens have the power to create new ideas and directions. It means that its citizens have the power to make substantive changes at its core.

It is this thought that brought me to the decision of becoming an independent author. I want to be more than just a content provider. Where my books are concerned, I am the creative director. The books I write have a particular feel to them. That requires more than just the cover and content to be in sync. Promotion and marketing must have that same atmosphere.

As an independent author I am deeply involved in every aspect of my books from concept to production. To carry off something like this I need to fan the flames of my control gene. I admit that I do have one, but that’s what keeps everything connected and moving in the right direction. I have also renamed the arena/genre I write for. Instead of middle grade, I write for 'Tweens!

And yes, I celebrate with fireworks. They take the form of flashes of brilliance (You may laugh, but I do get them from time to time.)

Celebrate your independence with me. Happy 4th of July!