QuickJAB

Reader Magnet Short Story, Chapter 1

Fun Mysteries to Read In April that Are NOT Reader Magnets

What Amazon Readers say:

“Every town needs a Donut Shop like this.”

“Wonderful book. Laughs and a mystery.”

While we wait for that Reader Magnet, Read the DONUT LADY MYSTERY SERIES, BOOKS 1, 2, and 3.

What Is a Reader Magnet?

A year ago, I had no idea what a reader magnet was. In my literalness, I envisioned a nice refrigerator magnet with a picture of a book and a puppy. And maybe a kitten and a chicken for good measure. I don’t know about anybody else’s readers except mine – but we all like books, puppies, kittens, and chickens.

Then I stumbled across the idea of a “short story” that would give a reader a taste of the author’s brilliant writing. My first thought: That’s dreadful.

The Short Story that Wasn’t a Reader Magnet

Case in point: I wrote a short story called Barter and Bargains three years ago and submitted it to millions of contests. (I typed jillions, but autocorrect frowns on exaggeration.) The maximum word count allowed was 5,000, so I had to trim my 7,500-word story back with a hatchet.

I received two recurring criticisms:

  1. The story was too nice.
  2. The critic/judge wanted to know more about the characters.

I learned four things from the experience:

  1. I write nice characters that people want to know more about.
  2. I am a great storyteller.
  3. My writing craft skills needed work.
  4. I can’t write short.
  5. Wait, make it five: I’m not deflated by criticism.

What’s an Overgrown Short Story?

I expanded my short story to a longer story that I learned could be called a novella. Another unfamiliar bookish word for a reader becoming a writer who was learning about publishing.

I still didn’t have a reader magnet, but I had a nice short novel about a nice donut shop. I called my novella Sweet Deal until someone pointed out all the romance books that were titled, Sweet Deal.

Sidetrip: Genre

Then I learned another word. Genre. Whatever it meant exactly, I wasn’t sure, but I was definitely positive I was not a romance genre type of writer. Mystery? Yes. Science Fiction? Yes? Throw in a little Supernatural? Always.

Unwritten, Non-Negotiable Rules

After I published the novella, named Sweet Deal Sealed with the subtitle Novella, I marveled at the encouragement from readers for me to write another book about the Donut Lady. So I wrote Sweet Deal Concealed, Book 2, a longer book that is referred to as a novel, and the Donut Lady Mystery Series was born. Last summer, I published Sweet Deal Revealed, Book 3, another novel. Little did I know there is a magical rule in the Invisible Publishing Rule Book that says a series cannot have a novella as Book 1 if all the subsequent books in the series are novels.

Fighting an invisible rule is not healthy for one’s sanity. Take my word for it. It drove me crazy that “they” insisted on calling Book 1 Book 0.5 because it was a novella; and Book 2? “They” call it Book 1. Book 3? Book 2. “They” live by rules, not logic. Rant over.

If You Can’t Beat Them, Do Something Different

So I expanded Sweet Deal Sealed: A Novella to a second edition, full-length novel by adding a murder or two and called it Sweet Deal Sealed. Clever, no?

Side note: Amazon has been absolutely amazing in their support as I’m going through the process of replacing the novella with a novel and eventually retiring the novella. 

This is all well and good and an absolutely lengthy story that probably could use a murder right about now to help the plot move along. However, I still don’t have a reader magnet.

Where is Reader Magnet?

Do we leave our hero, Reader Magnet, lost in the maze of bookish words and invisible rules? Of course not! Reader Magnet hitches up her pants and begins her quest for her true identity.

The Cliffhanger Part

While we’re waiting for the next installment of Reader Magnet, feel free to check out all my books on Amazon. Note: None of them are short stories or novellas except the one we sent to retirement, but she’s away at the moment as far as Amazon is concerned.

Judith A. Barrett Author Page

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QuickJAB

CLOUDS – Same, But Different

      

What’s the same? Both books have the word “CLOUDS” in their titles, and the colors on the covers are very similar. Aimee Louise is on the cover of both books. What else is the same? The story of the US grid going down, and the farm becoming a refuge for neighbors and friends. And the villain? No change there either!

What’s different? THE GIRL WHO SAW CLOUDS is a Young Adult Novel, with a focus on Aimee Louise and the other children.

The focus of DANGER IN THE CLOUDS is on Major Elliott and the other adults.

Same story; different perspectives.

Which should you read? Depends on which perspective appeals to you.

THE GIRL WHO SAW CLOUDS

DANGER IN THE CLOUDS

psst. if you read both, let me know which one you prefer. And why, of course.

QuickJAB

I Always Wanted To Be A Spy

I Always Wanted to be a Spy 29 6x9 new girl with gun THRILLER 2

MAGGIE SLOAN’s lifelong dream to be a spy began when she was four years old and already a focused, self-trained spy. After college, Maggie’s job searches are futile despite her willingness to consider diverse employment opportunities, until the county library system hires her as a librarian.

When Maggie’s brilliant observational talents and her potential to expose complex criminal activity draw the attention of an international ring, she becomes their target. However, a senseless murder changes her life forever, and MAGGIE transforms from prey to predator.

Will the librarian with the soul of a spy and the unusual security team stop the desperate kingpins or will she become the latest victim? It all comes down to kill or be killed.

 

I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A SPY

 

REMEMBER!

If you love Maggie’s story, leave a review, especially if you are interested in reading another MAGGIE SLOAN adventure!

 

 

 

QuickJAB

Author, Subspecies Independent

Indie Author

I’m an Independent Author, a businesswoman, and an entrepreneur.  I’m surprised when I tell people, even other writers, that I’m an Indie Author their response is “What’s that?”

I want to say, “I write for Indiana Jones.” Wouldn’t that be the coolest answer ever? But instead, I stick with the mundane. “A free-agent author.” Then I worry I might appear on some fantasy football draft.

Their response, “Oh. Self-published.” Do they even realize how much disdain drips out of their mouths and onto their shirts? Ewwww.

My answer: I flip the book over and point at the publisher logo. And give them the dreaded Mom Stink Eye.

My publishers are indie businesses, not traditional publishers. More entrepreneurship. No advances, no agents, no on-staff editors, no hundreds of books published a month.  And I have complete control over the creative compositions, my novels, from start to finish.

My readers love what I write and read my books. And even review my books! I adore my readers.

Oh. If you see Indie, tell him I said Hi. Better yet, tell him to drop by the farm for a homemade brownie.

 

 

 

QuickJAB

The Beta Hero

beta-hero-antihero-hipster-358479_960_720-214x300

(Pic grabbed from the article in Indies Unlimited)

Yvonne Hertzberger wrote an outstanding article about the Beta Hero in Indies Unlimited. After reading her article, I realized I tend to write Beta Heroes too.  Beta guys have more depth, as far as I’m concerned.

I know a Beta Hero who learned to toss pizza when he was eight years old because he loved to cook. You’ll meet him in I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A SPY when it’s published in January 2019.

THE GIRL WHO SAW CLOUDS has a Beta Hero. Remember how upset Pops got over Vanessa staying in town after the grid went down?

Even SWEET DEAL COZY MYSTERIES has more than one Beta Hero you’ll meet in Book 2 in Late Spring 2019. Not to give anything away, but you’ll recognize Roger and Jack.

Click the link below to read Yvonne’s full article. What do you think about a Beta Hero? Or do you prefer the Alpha Male when you read?

The Beta Hero: A Non-Stereotypical Male Character – Indies Unlimited