Monday, March 31, 2014

The Stone of Valhalla!


Welcome to The Stone of Valhalla Blog Tour!
A middle-grade fantasy-adventure by Mikey Brooks.

Don’t forget to check out the GIVEAWAY at the bottom this post
for a chance to WIN a $25 Amazon Gift card and other great prizes!

 
Interview with Mikey Brooks

Mikey, first I want to start off by thanking you for taking the time to come on over to my blog and do a Q&A with me. It is a privilege to be able to pick you brain. Lol! Let’s get started, shall we?

Can you start by first telling us how you got started as an author? Was there anything instrumental that happened in your life to instigate your writing career?

When I was little I used to play a lot in the thick woods that surrounded our farm house in Missouri. Our nearest neighbor was about a mile away so it was just me, the trees, and my imagination. Those woods allowed me to create many stories and dream of faraway lands filled with magic and wonder. I believe it was then that I became a crafter of stories. Later when I grew up I decided to get my degree in Creative Writing. Ever since that’s what I do.

How long have you been writing for?

I have been writing since I was a young boy. I have been writing professionally for the past couple years.

How does your family feel about you being an Author?

My wife understands me. Or tries to understand me. I live half my life in my head. I am constantly dreaming up stories to tell and the characters in them. She has to be very patient. I do know she is proud to say her husband is an author. She is the first one ever to read my books and I think she likes that privilege. My sister is another great supporter of my work. She has always been there to push me along. My parents both say they’re proud but I’m not sure if they’ve actually read any of my books. They aren’t big readers. Around Christmas time I think my dad said he was up to chapter 2 or 3. He doesn’t know where I got my imagination—certainly not from him. J

Is it difficult for you to find time to write? Do you have a specific time you write each day?

It can be very difficult. I work as a freelance illustrator and cover designer and I am constantly trying to catch up on all the many projects that entails. I also work from home with a roost full of little girls. Thursdays are my writing days. My wife takes the girls to grandma’s house and it is quiet. It is then I get the majority of my writing done. Sometimes I write in the evening when my wife is watching her shows. I’d gladly give up TV to write.

What do you think about writing/critique groups? What advice would you give an author who is trying to pick a group or start one?

I have been in several writing/critique groups. Finding the right one IS the important key. If you write say MG, I believe it is very important to have a group geared toward MG writers. You’ll help see things expected for your genre. I also suggest finding members that take their craft seriously. If they are there for the same goal: make your story better, you’ll get more out of it. I suggest joining the Authors’ Think Tank group on Facebook. We are a family of writers of all genres but we all form little groups of our own. It is nice to have a large body of open minded people to discuss things with and help each other out.

How do you feel about Beta and Alpha readers?

I use mostly my wife, my sister, and my editor to help me in honing my story. I also use my critique group. I have a few beta readers that are actual kids (write MG so that why I use them). They help me see whether I am connecting with them as my target readers. I think everyone should have a trusted few that help them hone their craft. However, make sure those people have the same goal in mind: making your work better. Too many voices on how “they would write the story” is not what an author needs. That just leads to confusion later on.

What do think the most important advice is that you can give to aspiring Authors?

You need to believe in yourself. Believe that you have talent. Thant no one but you can write the story in your heart. There will be times along your journey when you will get discouraged—don’t. Never give up and never give. Only you can write your story. No one else! Believe you can do it and watch as your dreams come to life.

What is the biggest mistake you think Author’s make while trying to get published?

I think they rush things. I know because I have been there. When I finished my first book about 13 years ago I was thrilled. I knew it was going to be the world’s bestselling book and I was going to retire at the age of 25 and relax on my private island in the Caribbean. I sent that book to every publishing house out there. I was crushed when I got rejection after rejection. Somehow I got a few requests but they later declined saying it wasn’t ready. I was disappointed and shelved the book. That’s when I decided to go to school and learn to write. (Note: you don’t have to do that.) 12 years passed and I was then a better writer. I found that manuscript, rewrote it from the beginning to the end and now I’ll be releasing it. Yes, The Stone of Valhalla was the first book I’d ever written. In fact, I’d written four books before I ever published one. Take your time to make your book the best it can be. There is no rush.

What would you say is the most important thing Authors need to do/know when trying to get published?

This depends on what your long term goals are as a writer. If you are just happy to get your books out there for people to read then you might want to think about self-publishing. If you want to make this a career you might want to think about indie publishing or getting an agent. Ah did you see I said both self-publishing and then indie? They are both self-publishing titles but I think the word “indie” implies these authors are serious about their work. It’s not just a hobby or something to share…it’s their livelihood. I always tell an aspiring author to either go BIG (meaning the big publishers which requires agents) or go INDIE (which is becoming a self-published entrepreneur). Both take hard work and determination. So the most important thing: find out what your long term goals are.

So now tell us about your writing. What genre do you write?

I write middle-grade and picture books. I have always had a love for children’s literature and so that is what I have decided to focus my attention on.

How many books do you currently have published? What are they about?

I have several picture books including the Amazon bestselling ABC Adventures: Magical Creatures. It’s a concept book about mythical animals and the alphabet. I also have Bean’s Dragons and Trouble with Bernie, both explore imaginary friends and the consequences of our actions. In middle-grade genre I have two books out in The Dream Keeper Chronicles, a story about two teens that have to save the world from a nightmare trying to escape the world of Dreams. The final book comes out this summer. And I just released The Stone of Valhalla!

Did you go through a traditional publisher or self-publish? Why did you decide to pick this particular route?

I was on the fence for a long time exploring both options. I studied both routes for about two years. And I mean I studied. I read every report I could find to know the ins and outs before I did anything. I have to know how deep the water is before I jump. With my picture books I just self-published them. It was easy and I used them as a platform to get more clients for my freelance business. My middle-grade books I was more determined to traditionally publish. I queried for well over a year and got no request from agents. I then decided to try for a smaller press and got to offers. I declined one and accepted the other. However, I want happy with all the rights and restrictions with the contract. I am a huge audiobook fan and wanted one of my book. The publisher wanted my rights but never planned on using them ALWAYS exploit your rights! Use them! I ended up declining the contract (hardest thing so far) and I self-published. I now have my book in eBook, hardback, paperback, AND Audiobook! I couldn’t be happier with my choice. I still desire to be traditionally published. I want to be what is termed as a “hybrid author”. I am currently seeking an agent and I have one manuscript with an agent now.

Your current book The Stone of Valhalla promises to be quite a fun adventure. Tell us about it.

Yes! This is a fun fantasy-adventure about a boy named Aaron who stumbles across an amulet in an old lady’s basement. The amulet whisks him away to another world and he is immediately put on trial for witchcraft, having just appeared in the center of town. Aaron narrowly escapes the fire when goblins attack the village. He then learns this amulet holds great power the goblins will stop at nothing to get. He teams up with a not-so-magical-wizard and tries to find his way back home. However Aaron’s fate is tied to the amulet. He was chosen to save their world, but it might come at the price of losing his own. It really is a fun story!

I’m quite excited to read this book with my own children. Is it for all ages? Who would you say your target audience is?

This is appropriate for ages 9 and up. It is one of those Narnian tales that keeps you turning the pages to see what happens next. I think adults will love the book just as much as the kiddos. In fact it is already getting raving reviews from adults.

Is there anything else you would like us to know about? Book signings, release dates, ect . . .

Yes! The book is available now and at a discounted price for the length of the blog tour. Just $2.99 for the eBook and $9.99 for the paperback. I also have eBooks of The Dream Keeper Chronicles on sale during this time for just $0.99. That’s about $2 or more off the list price. There will be an online launch party hosted by LovingtheBookLaunchParty on Facebook on April 10th and a LIVE release party April 12th at the Viridian Center in West Jordan, Utah, from 6pm-9pm. We will be having giveaways including a $25 Amazon gift card AND at the LIVE event we’ll have several guest authors including Chad Morris, J. Scott Savage, Jenni James, Ali Cross, and Lisa Mangum. It should be a super fun event.

Thank you again for taking the time to speak with me. Good luck with your upcoming book! I’m so excited to read it.

Thank you so much it has been fun!

Synopsis:
Aaron was chosen to save their world, but it might come at the cost of losing his own.
Breaking into an old lady’s basement was supposed to reward 13-year-old Aaron with new friends. Instead he finds an enchanted amulet that transports him to another world—one at war with magic. Before he knows it, he is accused of witchcraft and invited to a bonfire—where he’s the main attraction. If that’s not bad enough, a goblin army shows up and toasts the town...literally. The good news: Aaron escapes being charbroiled. The bad news: the goblins are after him. They want his amulet and will stop at nothing to get it. Battling to find his way home, Aaron teams up with a not-so-magical-wizard and learns it’s his fate to destroy the amulet and save this new world. But is he willing to sacrifice his own?

Check out what these talented authors are saying about it:
The Stone of Valhalla is one of those books that only comes along once in a great while. Brooks doesn't just create a world, he puts you inside of it, allowing you to experience the wonder in a way that only he can. His characters are likable and fun. His twists leave you asking ‘Why?’ Treat yourself to an exciting adventure through a beautiful new land. Make new friends and be a part of the magic. This is a book that you will not be able to put down!”
—J.R. Simmons, author of Ragesong: Awakening.

 The Stone of Valhalla drew me in from the get-go. Aaron’s journey is reminiscent of Dorothy’s trek in The Wizard of Oz. Magic, sword fights, danger, and more danger, sprinkled with humor and unexpected twists. This is one of the ‘best’ fantasy adventures I’ve ever experienced!”
—BBH McChiller, author of The Monster Moon Series.

The Stone of Valhalla is a riveting mystery revealing true friendship, loyalty and sacrifice. Brooks engages the curiosity of middle graders and older sleuths alike, until the very end. Fantastic!”
—L.R.W. Lee, author of The Andy Smithson series.

 

Where to Find The Stone of Valhalla:
Exclusive price for the eBook release is just $2.99! (List Price: $4.99)
And only $9.99 for the paperback! (List Price: $12.99)
On April 12th 2014 the price will return to the List Price
 
Another special offer:
During The Stone of Valhalla Blog Tour
Mikey’s other great middle-grade eBooks will also be set to the low price of just $0.99!
The Dream Keeper:
Kindle | Nook  | Kobo

The Dreamstone:
Kindle | Nook | Kobo

 
You’re Invited to PARTY!!
The online launch party will take place on Thursday, April 10th at 4pm (MST). The party will run for 2 hours and you’re invited to drop by anytime. The longer you stay the more chances you have of winning prizes! We have slew of eBooks to giveaway, as well as a Stone of Valhalla necklace AND a $25 Amazon gift card! It is hosted by LovingtheBookLaunchParty on Facebook. Just follow this link to join the event: http://goo.gl/Q2Fd3r.

 
What’s that? Another Party!
That’s right! If you’re local to Utah you don’t want to miss this kickin’ party. We are having a launch party to celebrate the release of this awesome new book. Of course there will be plenty of giveaways there too, but what’s even better are the guest authors! Just check out these fabulous names: J. Scott Savage, Chad Morris, Lisa Mangum, Jenni James, Ali Cross, and many more. The Launch Party is: Friday, April 11th from 6-9pm at the Viridian Center in West Jordan, Utah. Follow this link for a map: http://goo.gl/dqVc0u

 
About Mikey Brooks:

Mikey is a small child masquerading as an adult. On occasion you’ll catch him dancing the funky chicken, singing like a banshee, and pretending to have never grown up. He is the author/illustrator of several books including the best-selling ABC Adventures: Magical Creatures and Bean’s Dragons as well as the middle-grade fantasy-adventure series The Dream Keeper Chronicles. The Dream Keeper Chronicles  His art can be seen in many forms from picture books to full room murals. He loves to daydream with his three daughters and explore the worlds that only the imagination of children can create. Mikey has a BS degree in English from Utah State University and works fulltime as a freelance illustrator, cover designer, and author. As a member of the Emblazoners, he is one of many authors devoted to ‘writing stories on the hearts of children’. He is also one of

the hosts of the Authors’ Think Tank Podcast. You can find more about him and his books at: http://www.insidemikeysworld.com/


 

The Giveaways!
Enter the giveaway below to be entered to win one of the following prizes:
$25 Amazon Gift Card
The Stone of Valhalla Necklace
Autographed Paperback of The Stone of Valhalla
Autographed 11x17 Poster
 
You can enter by clicking on the link below.

Monday, February 24, 2014

What I’ve learned this last year . . .


What I’ve learned this last year . . .

#1 Never underestimate the power of editing. Editing will make or break your book. And for most of you writers out there, you probably already know this. For me, this has been quite the process of learning and growing. I’m not great at editing but I bought a fantastic book by Annette Lyon that has helped tremendously. Not to mention the invaluableness of Beta Readers! I’m getting better as I go and I’m learning a lot. J

#2 Never give up! I gave my MS to 3 different Beta readers and did many, many long, agonizing revisions since last May. And let me tell you, there were times where I wanted to give up. I really did. I kept thinking. “Is it worth it?” The answer is YES! You’re a writer because you love to do it! You’re a writer because it is your passion. You’re a writer because it lives within you. Don’t ever give up on yourself. The road to writing a book is LONG and HARD but it is worth it. Even if it’s only for the self-satisfaction of knowing you completed it!

#3 Push aside your self-doubt aside! During this long process of getting my MS ready to submit, I began doubting myself. Saying things like: “I’m not sure if anyone is going to like this.” “Maybe I should go over it one more time.” “What if it is crap and I get rejected?” I’m shaking my head right now because those same doubts still linger within me. BUT I have learned to push them aside. How will I know if my book is any good if I don’t put it out there? How will I know if it is crap or not, if I don’t at least try to get it published? I’m a shy girl admittedly and I have a very hard time putting myself out there but writing is my passion. And passions are not something you give up on. Will I ever get the amazing chance to become a published author? Shrug. Who knows? But one thing is for certain, you can’t say that I didn’t try.

#4 Writing is a craft AND a constant learning process! Through my experiences, great advice from other Authors, and by reading my very first Stephen King book (Lol. I never thought I would say that. He is an amazing author. I just don’t care for horror stories, if you know what I mean?) I have learned that writing is something you have to work at. Learning and growing as you go. It requires a lot of hard work, dedications, and many hours reading books of others. Yes, reading other books! It is the single, most heard, piece of advice I have received this year. Reading helps you grow and transform as an Author. It helps teach you what works and what doesn’t. It helps you learn what to do in writing and what not to do. You get more ideas, and your own creativity grows. It pushes you and inspires you to grow as a writer. Writing Conferences and classes, Critique groups, and Reading are all things publishing companies will ask you if you are doing. They want an Author who is honing their craft and constantly working to make it better.

#5 You have to use Beta Readers! Do you know how many mistakes and plot holes/errors my Beta Readers found? Lol! It was incredible. But I loved seeing all the red. I helped me know what I could fix. What worked with my story and what didn’t. When I first started letting my Beta readers have my MS last summer I thought to myself. “I think it’s ready to submit. I just want to know if the Beta readers like it.” By the third Beta reader, I was thinking “I hope she catches anything I might have missed. AND I hope she likes the story.” Because from the first Beta Reader to the last, my perceptions of my story had changed drastically. It needed work. Undoubtedly it needed work. I am not a great editor, not in the least! And boy did it show. Thankfully my Beta readers took the time to point out things to me and mark up my MS. Thank goodness for Beta Readers!

#6 Read your story out loud! You will be so surprised at how many errors you will catch just by reading you book out loud. And sometimes when you are really into it, you will catch yourself re-wording things because it sounds better a different way. J Reading your book out loud can be fantastic fun and so very helpful. Lol!

Well I suppose those are some of the greatest thing I learned as a writer over this last year. Hopefully it helped some of you too.

Have a fantastic day! And Keep On Writing!
Nikki

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A weekend filled with lots of reading, sounds like Heaven to me . . .

So here’s the latest in my writing/ reading world! I have had the privilege of reading two amazing books this weekend and because of it, little writing got done. BUT I’m told by many a successful Authors, that reading is a very important tool in honing your craft of writing! Sounds like a good excuse to me J So what amazing books had me reading for 2 days straight, you ask? Glad you asked. Glad you asked my friends. These two books are written by two of my favorite authors, Annette Lyon and Sarah M. Eden.

Without spoiling the story for you, I will just share my quick review of them. And hopefully you will want to read them too! Okay here goes.

Lost Without You is an incredible story about love, faith and commitment. Once again Annette Lyon has woven a story that instantly pulls you in and keeps you hooked until the last page. Her characters reactions and emotions are so real, they grip at your heart strings, leaving you cheering for them until end. There were so many times while I was reading this book where I felt like I was actually there and when I was forced to put it down the story stuck with me until I could get back to it. What I love most, is the real life issues that are dealt with in the story. Things that stop and make you think “Wow. That would be really hard. I wonder what I would do?” I would definitely recommend this book to anyone, but especially those who love a faith inspiring story. You most certainly will not be disappointed! Well done Annette! Well done.

 
Longing for Home: Hope Springs is the amazing conclusion to Sarah M. Eden’s book Longing For Home. After waiting for nearly a year to read this sequel, I can tell you that I was not disappointed in the least. Woven with a deep history of the Irish and many of the hardships they endured, the tender love story grips at your heart and make you read page after page just to find out what will happen next. The characters inside the pages of this book come alive and you become so invested in the story that you will feel like you are actually there. For anyone who loves reading book set in a time when this country was still young, you will love this book! But seeing how it is a sequel, I highly recommend that you read the first book before reading this one. But if that is the case, be prepared to read this book immediately after because the first book as just as good as this one and it will leave you wanting more. Thank goodness Sarah wrote this one! Thanks for creating another amazing book Sarah! I enjoyed it thoroughly!


I’ve included the links to these book below. So go read them! I promise you will not be disappointed!



Until next time, keep writing and reading!

Nikki

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

There is some Exciting Writing Stuff going on right now . . .

So it has been quite a while since I've blogged, and honestly I am a big enough person to admit that I'm not the greatest blogger BUT I have some very exciting things to share with you all! So here we go with my first post! Keep checking back over the next few days OR weeks (Lol) to see what else I have going on in my writing life.

#1~ The LDStorymakers Conference is coming! I went to this last year and it was so fantastic. Not only did I rub shoulders with some of the greatest Authors of all time BUT I learned ALOT and made so many new friends!

So what's the LDStorymakers 2014 Contest? Here's a brief summary, but you can find out more details on their website. The 2014 LDStormaker writers conference will be in Layton, UT, on April 25-26, with Bootcamp and the Publication Primer on April 24. This is the writing conference you can't afford to miss.

Keynote: Orson Scott Card

Agents/Editor
Melissa Frain, editor at Tor
Eddie Schneider, VP of JABberwocky Literary Agency
Daniel Lazar, senior agent at Writer's House
Josh Adams of Adams Literary
Laurie McLean, Foreword Literary

Other noteable guests: Heather B. Moore, Sara M. Eden, Annette Lyon, Brandon Sanderson, Brodi Ashton, Carla Kelly, Janette Rallison, Matthew J. Kirby, Elana Johnson, J. Scott Savage, Sara B. Larson, Kristen Chandler, Renee Collins, Tess Hilmo, Peggy Eddleman, Kimberly Griffiths Little, Natalie Whipple, Julieanne Donaldson, Chad Morris, Robison Wells and more!
 
 
#2~ One of my all time favorite authors and a wonderful friend, that I had the privilege of meeting last year at Storymakers, Heather B. Moore, has one of her books in an incredible boxed set that is now available to by! And the kindle version is only .99 right now. So exciting! And let me just tell you, although I haven't had a chance to read all of the books in this set yet, I have just finished one of them and it was so good I couldn't put it down. I can't wait to read the others. So if you are in need of something fantastic to read, go get these books! I promise you won't be disappointed.
http://www.amazon.com/Romance-through-Ages-Book-Boxed-ebook/dp/B00HFD5OEM/ref=zg_bs_45_1
 
#3~  Also, Krista Lynn Jensen is doing another countdown contest for her new Novella that is coming out, With all my Heart. I tell you I can't wait to read this one. So go on over to her page and enter the contest. It's easy and fun. Who knows maybe you will win a free copy of her new book. :-)
http://kristalynnejensen.blogspot.com/2014/02/with-all-my-heart-is-out-triple-romance.html

#4~ Last but certainly not least, please hop on over to this page and help out an Amazing Author Robison Wells who is struggling with the horrible crippling effects of Mental Illness. Let's face it, at some point in our lives we have probably all dealt with this in some form or another and we know how hard it can be, especially when trying to provide for your family. To help Rob get through this, you can help contribute to his fundraiser right now by going to this site and either donating (even as little a $1, every little bit helps) or by buying one of his books, and then you will be entered into an raffle to receive some pretty amazing prizes. So go check it out!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Selectiveness When Choosing Alpha and Beta Readers is Essential


I’m sorry if my blog post today comes off as more of a rant but here’s what I’ve got on my mind concerning writing as of late. I can never tell you enough how grateful I am for Beta and Alpha readers. I think they are essential to good editing and it is a fantastic way to catch error and mistakes that we ourselves did not see. BUT and this is a huge BUT, Make sure as a writer that you are selective on whom you choose to be your Beta and Alpha readers. And make sure they have the time to do it.

For me personally, I want to get the editing finished up and get on with the process of submitting but I have been waiting for over 2 months for one of my readers to turn my MS back into me. Most of you would say move on without this reader. I have been tempted I must admit, but at the same time I really need the feedback and this person has some really good ideas. So here I sit waiting hoping that today will be the day I receive it back and can get on with my work.

So learn from my experience and make sure that the person you pick is really in it with their whole hearts. If not you may get stuck in a situation similar to mine.

Hope you all have an excellent day! Keep on reading and writing!

~Nikki

Friday, August 16, 2013

"Finding Sheba" and Some Of My Favorite Authors...

For years now I have enjoyed scanning the shelves of my local bookstore looking for some of my favorite Authors. I own just about every book they have ever written and I have read those book multiple times because I enjoy the stories so much.

Who are these amazing Authors, you ask? Let me name some of my top Authors for you.

1.     Annette Lyon
2.     H. B. Moore
3.     Sarah M. Eden
4.     Jennifer Ann Holt
5.     Rachel Ann Nunes
6.     Anita Stansfield
7.     Julie Klassen
8.     Jean Holbrook Mathews
9.     Frank Holdaway
10.  Gerald N. Lund
11.  Janette Oke
12.  Michelle Paige Holmes
13.  Krista Lynne Jensen.

Of course I am such a huge reader that this in no way includes all of my favorite authors but these are definitely at the top of my list. (Smile)
 
Anyhow, I've decided that not only will I use my writing blog to record my WRITING journey but also my READING journey as well.

The Gem I just read was a Novel written by H.B. Moore called "Finding Sheba". I can not even begin to tell you what an amazing author Heather is! Truly! She is one of my favorites for a reason, it is also why she is at the top of my list when I'm looking for new book to read. Her newest book does not disappoint. The thing you need to know about Heathers books, or at least a good majority of them, is that they are based on scriptural characters from the past. She does an amazing amount of research getting her characters just right and it shows in her writing. These books are fascinating as well as addicting.

“Finding Sheba”  is no different.  It is a suspenseful romantic thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat while you flip page after to find out what will happen next. Although this book is written from multiple views, it is interesting to learn everyone’s stories and see them all come together in the end. I LOVED how you get so sucked in that it is very hard to put down, which is what killed me about this book because I was having a hard time finding the time to read it. The bible references and being able to learn about the Queen of Sheba just added to the intrigue of the book. Before this book I have to admit, I didn’t know much about her and now… I find her simply fascinating.
 
So if you haven't read this book already, I recommend you go pick it up as soon as possible and then set some time aside to read it. Trust me when I say you will not want to put it down!

Hope you are all being successful with your own writing Journeys as well as your reading ones.
Until the next time.

~Nikki
 


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Editing is HARD, plain and simple

Editing truly is one of the hardest things I have ever done. At times I doubt myself and get so frustrated I am near tears. At other times I wonder if all of this work is really worth it. But in the end my answer is always-- Yes, it is worth it! So I push through and keep trying to get something done everyday, even if it is just a little bit.

Today on Facebook an Author friend of mine posted about getting frustrated and discouraged over editing her book. There were so many fabulous responses to her post. I wanted to share my favorites  and also give a bit of my own advice on the subject.

1- Edit in layers. It's like taking baby steps. Make yourself a list of everything that needs done and then start working your way down the list. You may have to go through your MS several time but it eases some of the stress of having to make it perfect right off the bat. I currently have a list that looks something like this.
    Plot holes
    Pet words
    Punctuation

2- Persevere. Keep going. It's like all hard things in life. When you are stuck in the poring rain it is hard to see the sunshine behind all those clouds, but if you keep on walking you will eventually find it.  Writing a book is no different. At first it might need a lot of work but if you hang in there it will keep on getting better and better until finally it shines.

3- Sometimes you have to do some studying and learning to figure out all those grammar and punctuation errors and how to fix them. I had the amazing experience of attending the 2013 LDStorymakers Conference in Utah this year and all I can say is WOW! I learned so much! There were so many classes and helpful information taught by some of the most amazing authors ever.

So my first advice is find a writers guild or conference you can attend. I promise it will be worth it!

My second piece of advice; Buy Annette Lyons book "There, Their, They're: A No-Tears Guide to Grammar from the Word Nerd", Second Edition http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1484820665

 
I can not even begin to describe how helpful this book is. It breaks down the rules of editing in a way that is so easy to understand. I love how you can practically hear Annette talking to you through it, in a fun and cheerful way. It takes the boringness out of the "textbook" so to speak. It's laid out in a way that makes it easy to reference things and its the perfect size to keep beside your computer. In fact that is exactly where I keep mine so that I can reference it while I'm editing my MS. So if your struggling with editing go out and get this book. I promise you won't be disappointed. It truly is a 5 star book!
 
So there you have it! My advice on editing for the day. Hopefully it was helpful. Good luck with your work and remember to always keep writing!
~Nikki