where I share my experiences with the art of writing, publishing, and book marketing

where I share my experiences with the art of writing, publishing, and book marketing

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Minstrels Save Mysterious Guardian


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Minstrels' Prize released to Kindle!

Available on Kindle beginning 3/1/2015
Minstrels' Prize is the third book in the Minstrels' Tale Mystery. It brings together all that happened in books 1 and 2 to an epic conclusion,  yet leaves the reader wanting for more.

Friday, January 30, 2015

A little preview of the soon to be released Minstrels' Prize, Book 3 of The Minstrels' Tale Mystery

   Mam had concocted a new formula to battle my seasickness and I was anxious to test its worth. I went to stand in the prow and took on the stance I had seen Andreas take so many times when we had sailed before. The feel of the wind against my face was a triumph. Joy came up in me and I threw wide my arms, tossed back my head and laughed. The wind played through my fingers and I felt like a bird in flight. I had often been jealous of Andreas as he stood reveling in the sensation of flight across the waters. I would not have to be jealous again. I blessed my mother for the gift she had given me. She did not know how great a gift it was.
   “Find your wings, Angel?” I heard Andreas ask as he came to put his arms around me.
   “It feels like that to me now. I used to hate that you could feel this and I could not. My mother’s brew works perfectly! This is awesome!”
   “Can I tear you away? I have something equally awesome to show you.”
   “I don’t know what that could be, but I’m curious.”
He took me to where several sailors were pointing at the water, laughing, and calling out in merriment. As we came to the rail I saw a school of large black and white fish. They were about twelve fotmal in length. They jumped in and out of the water, following along with us, just along our starboard side.
   “You have always been so taken with the sea sickness that you’ve missed this before. See how the pure white center and sides of their bodies look like wings? That and the legends about them saving drowning sailors have gotten them named Angelimare. In the ancient tongue it means angel of the sea.” Andreas told me this and I turned to meet his eyes.
   “Yes,” he said, “Angels seem to be coming at us from all sides, a synchronous situation. Everything happening seems to be connected.”
   “It is an odd series of coincidence that’s all,” I said as a way of dismissing what I felt but denied—synchronous.
   It was enough to start me questioning my beliefs. Perhaps God was greeting us; giving us welcome to a mission he had patiently waited for us to take up. I watched the Angelimare and asked one of the crew how often this sort of thing happened.
   “They like to play in the wake of swift ships. They stay mostly to the southern waters so it is not uncommon, but usually it is two or three. Here we have seven. That is the biggest flock I’ve ever seen.    We sailors are a superstitious bunch. A sea angel at the start of a voyage is good luck. We must have very good luck ahead to have such a big flock to escort us.”
   “Well they are angels and angels fly. Flock seems appropriate.”
   “Yes, so it does.”
We spent the entire day along that rail watching and laughing and wondering at the great creatures that they were. The Angelimare were with us even as we turned north toward the southern coast of Ahnges. Often they would chirp and dance on their tails through the water. They made the most eerie, yet beautiful sounds as they chattered. They seemed to have something to say. I only wish I could have known what that was. As the suns set, the wind died, and as suddenly, as if called home the Angelimare turned as one, dove into the sea, and swam away.
   The cook came to the deck and banged a wooden spoon against the deck bell to call us to dinner. We ate, then went to our cabin to gather a few instruments, then went up on deck to play for the crew.
   The ship moved through the water propelled more by current than wind, but we were still on our heading and the quiet seas allowed us a good audience. We played well into morning until the spotter called out,    “Land!”

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Represent with Good Editing 
Originally posted June 7th 2014 on ShadowPortal.blogspot.com

Editing—that tedious task that grinds on and on until it seems that it takes longer to edit than to write.  Over and over again through the same manuscript, until you are in danger of hating your own words.  Are you a struggling indie author who lacks the funds for such luxuries as a professional editor?  Me too.  So, let me share something that I learned the hard way.  Edit— edit until your eyes bleed and your fingers are numb.

My first book was well accepted.  Those who read it gave it good remarks and a passing grade.  All but one and that review was  scathing.  Why?  Because it was poorly edited  and the reviewer was sick and tired of indies not following through with editing.  I think I broke the camel’s back. She suggested I should have paid for a professional editor.  Believe me I wanted to, but as I said that is a luxury for me.  There were other factors in my life at the time too that caused me to rush the process, but those factors are now eliminated and we live and carry on.  In retrospect I should have waited for life to level off. I just wasn’t sure I’d ever see it in print if I waited, so I pushed it through.

 I found it interesting that most reviews spoke to the story saying it was a page turner with solid plot and good character development, but this woman ripped it apart.  Some reviewers  are kind and don’t want to say negative things about a book, unless it is pure garbage.  So I feel safe to say my story was good, but the editing left something to be desired.  Not pure garbage, but it didn’t smell quite right. I was surprised at first; I was feeling good about the book until that review, but she was right.  I had some spelling errors, and misplaced commas (what I affectionately call my identifying pen stroke), and a misused word.  In the overall picture of 296 pages that might not seem like much, but it bears on my reputation with editors, agents, and publishers. 

When I write I have a hard time extracting myself from the “fan” equation.  Do I write more for me or for them?   I write for the fans, including myself,  but I edit for the editors, agents, and publishers.  As an indie author the road is rough enough; I will take the road more slowly and carefully from now on.  I may never get the attention of a publishing insider, I am not sure I want to, but the payoff is that my fans get a better product, and I can feel  better about my reputation.

My second book is getting good reviews and it has been mentioned that it has solid editing.  I am proud of that because I worked hard at it.  Spelling may be the most important element in the editing process, but DO NOT rely on spell check. I have auto correct turned off now, so I am forced to look at each and every word without the boon of underlined words, or the bane of wrong spelling that is not underlined because spell check didn’t understand what I was trying to say.  After I go through once I turn spell check back on.  Then I go through again to be sure we understand each other .  After that I  go through and check the grammar.

Since I haven’t actually said it you should know—  I HATE editing.  I find grammar to be a bunch of arbitrary rules, but in the written form a misplaced comma can cause a reader to stumble, so I have made it a priority to learn more about it, of course I still have to write so I am learning on the fly.  I am far from a grammatical genius.  My degree is in Design, not English, so I have acquired The Norton Field Guide to Writing, and Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing. They have helped me through some rough spots.  I rely heavily on my thesaurus,  and  I have posted notes over my monitor about transitive verbs.  After that I’m on my own and rely upon my ear to tell me if the prose is flowing or rough.

These are just a few of the things I have done in an attempt to better my craft. I hope that I have encouraged those of you travelling along the indie publishing road without an editor to stop and really look at what you have written.  You will be better off for it in the long run.

Thanks for your consideration,

Nance Bulow Morgan

Thursday, April 24, 2014


As posted to Amazon:
By MissyDevoursDelishReads on April 18, 2014
Minstrels' Gambit: A Minstrels' Tale Mystery by author Nance Bulow Morgan is a delightful debut first in the series. I was kindly provided a complementary copy in exchange for review. With an enthralling and descriptive web of adventure and murder mystery, the author did quite a fine job of hooking my interest with an interesting and eventful journey, on both land and sea. We meet some crazy but loveable fearless main characters willing to partake in anything or nothing to complete their mission. They face dragons, beasts, dwarfs! This book has a lot of creativity, enveloped with magic, and I was constantly drawn in with a never ending adventure throughout the pages. I really enjoyed the depth the author had with the storyline, it not only had great editing, but excellent plot development leading up to book 2 and 3 in the series. I look forward to continue this amazing series and see what is next in store for characters I have grown to love. I would highly recommend for lovers of adventure fantasy with murder mystery.

This review comes from a very well read blog reviewer at http://missydevoursdelishreads.wordpress.com/ 
This woman must read just about everything on the planet!  I am honored to have such a great review from her.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Talk about questioning yourself-- check this out!

In a recent conversation with my husband he suggested that I reveal what is most important to me about my writing and my life. We thought of it as an opportunity to connect more with my readers.  I wasn't quite sure how I would approach that but I knew an article wasn't the thing.  An interview then?  How arrogant is that?! That format intrigued me though and seemed like a good vehicle for such a thing, almost like a conversation.  So here it goes: 

Where did I grow up, and how does this influence my writing?
I grew up in a post WWII development that grew and became a far suburb of Chicago, Carpentersville, Illinois. I had a very 1960's upbringing. We had old sensibilities in the face of a rapidly changing culture. It was the cause of some angst for sure, but the family survived it and became very close despite our differences.There was little worry about any danger to us, except what we could cause to ourselves. I was free to play outside until the street lights came on and was watched out for by the whole neighborhood. I had many great adventures in the quarry, woods, or farms that surrounded the community with my friends and even alone. Those early days gave me a sense for adventure. Many of the events I experienced then find themselves into my writing in snippets that build a character, scene, or event.
When did I first start writing? 
Around 8 years old. I fell in love with it the very first time I had to tell a story about a picture on the board in 3rd grade. Thanks Miss Rholof, and please forgive me if the spelling of your name is off a bit.
What is the greatest joy I get out of writing?
Exploration: I get to explore aspects of the human condition and put my own abstract spin on them.
What's the story behind my latest book?
In Minstrels' Gambit I wanted to have a musical element to the story so the main characters are minstrels. I didn't want to have a typical seek the powerful magic item story, so the items, musical scores in this case, are actually a puzzle to a greater dilemma. You'll have to read it to find out more.
What do my readers mean to me?
Everything! I want them to enjoy what they read and find something of themselves within the characters. I write for more than my own enjoyment, and hopefully a few bucks. My hope is that as I evolve as a writer that my writing can give perspectives that the reader may never have thought of, but I want to do it in an escapist environment so that the effect is almost subliminal. I say almost, because I still want the reader to realize their perspective came from the writing.
What motivated me to be an indie author?
I worked in the print industry most of my adult life, and I have a web design degree now too. I am reasonably adept at graphic design. I wanted to see what I could do if I put my writing together with that background. My first book, Legend Destiny was produced by an outside source. Minstrels' Gambit is all mine. My first cover could be a little better, but I am pleased with it.
How do I approach the cover design?
I try to convey a scene or a composite of scenes from the story, preferably something with some emotion behind it.
Since I find marketing difficult, what techniques have worked best for me?
Iinternet marketing, such as free offers, contests, free chapter samples and discount codes.
Who are your favorite authors?
Every interviewer seems to ask this so...There are many but here are those that come to me first Agatha Christie, Mary Stewart, David Eddings, Clive Cussler, Robert A. Heinlein, Morgan Llywelyn, Robin Hobb.
What do I read for pleasure?
Mysteries are my favorite. I especially like those with many suspects. I still love Agatha Christie. I also like a good action adventure story. It can have elements of fantasy in it, but that is not necessary. Clive Cussler is a good example of what I like to read in that genre.
What are my next projects?
I am finishing the second of the Minstrels' Tale Mysteries, Minstrels' Covenant and then I will go into the third book, Minstrels' Prize. I have several other projects in various stages, but I really enjoy writing the characters in the Minstrels' series, so I may continue with that for awhile. I'll see what moves me when I finish Minstrels' Prize.
What inspires me to continue writing?
I don't think I would be happy if I wasn't creating something.  Writing is my favorite and most comfortable medium. 
When I'm not writing, I'm...?
Working at creating a homestead in my backyard or hiking when I get the chance. I get a lot of scene inspiration from places I have hiked.

Comments on this experiment are more than welcome.  Too self serving, or a good tool to connect with?  I'd really like to hear what you think.  Thanks for your consideration.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The first Minstrels' Gambit Interview

Today Kyra Dune the host of The Shadow Portal blog site posted an interview that she conducted with me. The interview went well and was posted much earlier than expected. Kyra has put together a nice promotional piece for me and I am very grateful for her support.

If you are interested you can check it out here:

Kyra is also an author. In the interest of fair play, I encourage you to check out Kyra Dune herself at: http://kyradune.weebly.com/