May 30, 2016

Twitter for Writers

I joined Twitter June of 2015. Sort of a late comer. I did that though because I was focused on building my blog and Facebook page. Once I got to a place I was happy with for those, I decided to make the Twitter plunge. Before I did, though, I read "The Tao of Twitter" by Mark W. Schaefer. This book really gave me a leg up so I highly recommend it if you’re new to Twitter. I will be mentioning what I learned in that book and on my own in this post.

1. Join! 

Use your name/pen name when you sign up and create an easy Twitter handle. Some people’s Twitter handles are complicated and I could never remember them, but if you can use your name as your handle (if it’s not already taken) then use it! If it is taken, add “author” or a dash (like this _ or like this -) between your first and last name or before “author). You can even add a number, but remember simpler is better.

I was lucky that my pen name is unique, so my Twitter handle is @ChrysFey
TIP 1: Add your Twitter link to all social media profiles, your email signature and to your business cards.
2. Upload your author photo and a short bio to say who you are.

This is mine: ~ Thrilling & Romantic with Heroines of Steel. ~  Disaster Crimes Series. Write with Fey. Newsletter Sign-Up: #SPARKS #HeroinesofSteel

3. Follow, follow, follow!

Twitter will find email contacts for you, follow all them who are on Twitter and you are acquainted with. Twitter will also recommend a bunch of people based off those contacts and the people you follow. (You can find the recommendations on the left. It’s always there.) You will find many people you know this way. Follow them! Then refresh this page and check again. Repeat.

4. Stalk lists and follow more!

Go to a few people you follow who know a lot of people. Check their “lists.” This is a page you can click on; every Twitter profile has one at the top. A list is an easy way to keep people grouped together. Explore their lists and follow the people you recognize.

5. Did I not say follow?

Go to your other social media profiles and hunt down the people you have connected with there. Who have you added to your circles on Google +? Who have you liked on Facebook? Who is in your blog feed? Follow them!
TIP 2: Aim to follow 200 then 500 followers. The more people you follow, the more followers you will get and the more often you’ll get noticed. 
TIP 3: After a while, people you don’t know will start following you. Follow back those who are interested in the same thing you are and have a lot of people in common with you. Don’t be stingy with your follows!
6. Make your own lists.

Go to the “lists” page on your own profile and click “Create a List.” Give it a name, decide if you want it public, and then go to your “Following” page to find the people you want to add to your list. Click the tool symbol next to the “Following” button and select “Add or Remove from Lists.” Then check the list you want to add that person to.

You can make as many lists as you want.
FYI: the people you add to a list will be notified if it’s public.
I have lists for Awesome Bloggers/Writers and TWRP (The Wild Rose Press) Authors.

7. Send out your first tweet. It can be a simple, “Hello, Twitter!”

This was mine: I wish I had something funny or witty to post as my first tweet, but this is it: Hello, Twitter! :D #myfirsttweet

8. Get to know the people you’re following by sending them tweets and retweeting them. You can do both when you see their tweet in your feed. To tweet, click the single arrow. To retweet, click the two arrows that are in a circle. You can also “Favorite” tweets by clicking the heart.
TIP 4: Try to do at least one tweet a day when you first join, and 1-3 retweets. After a while, when you get the hang of Twitter, you’ll tweet more often.
TIP 5: Check in on Twitter every day to see any tweets and followers you’ve received. If you click on “Followers” on your page, you’ll see all of the accounts for the people who have followed you. Do this every time so you can follow back as needed.
9. Unfollow

After you’ve been on Twitter for 1-2 months, it’s time to unfollow some of those people you followed who haven’t reciprocated. Use ManageFilter. This website will examine your Twitter profile and show you all the people who haven’t followed you. Do this periodically. 
TIP 6: Before you unfollow, go to their pages and check them out. If they’ve tweeted recently, they most likely won’t follow you back if you followed them weeks ago. If you know this person pretty well, try to tweet them and retweet them to go noticed. If they still ignore you while they are active on Twitter, it’s time to unfollow. Don’t feel guilty about this!
10. Tweet Trending Topics

Check out the trending topics, this is always located on the left. See something that interests you or is in your niche? Check out the activity under that topic and send out your own tweet with the hashtag.

11. #

That’s not called a pound symbol on Twitter. That is a hashtag. As in #WritingLife. Use one or two relevant hashtags when you tweet. As soon as you put the # symbol in a tweet and start typing, Twitter will offer suggestions. These suggestions are the most used hashtags. Use them!
Some hashtags you can use:
#FollowFriday or #FF (This is used only on Fridays to give shout outs to people you think are worthy of more followers.)
#MondayBlogs (Do you post a blog on Monday? Share a link on Twitter and add this hashtag.) 
#amblogging #amwriting #amediting
12. Join Twitter Chats.

There are chats that happen weekly and monthly on Twitter. Ask some people what chats they recommend you get involved in.

#1LineWed is a fun chat that happens every Wednesday. The purpose is to share one sentence from a WIP that fits the theme of that week. You can search #1LineWed to find out what the next theme will be.

#StoryDam is an online writing community that chats every Thursday at 8pm ET. Check out the StoryDam website for info on what the chat that Thursday will be about. There are questions you can answer about your own writing process and books.

#WedWrant occurs every Wednesday from 7:30pm EST - 8:30 EST. The moderator posts questions for writers to answer.

There's also #KidLitChat and #K8Chat.

QUESTION: What are you favorite hashtags and Twitter chats?

May 27, 2016

Blogger Interview with Penny's Alleged Human, Gary aka "klahanie"

After my blogging break and everyone had a break from the A to Z Challenge, I thought it would be interesting to have Gary from Klahine as a guest. If anyone knows him at all, you know that he doesn't like A to Z or blog hops. I wanted to bring a different opinion to my blog and rather enjoyed his answer. 

1. You let everyone know about your dislike for bloghops and the much-loved A to Z Challenge. What is it about these blogging activities that you don’t like?

Okay and I shall answer your question very delicately. I do understand that for a number of bloggers, blog hops, blog fests, or whatever you wish to call them, are embraced as being part of a sharing, caring blogging community. However, the cynic in me, which, of course, I try to keep under control, thinks that there are some bloggers who only get involved because their ego is obsessed with getting more followers. I realize that you might take exception to the preceding sentence. However, I know that the number of followers doesn't necessarily indicate a blog's popularity. It can be a rather superficial aspect of blogging that disillusions me.

The A to Z Challenge hijacks the month of April. Actually, if you take into account the reflection posts about the darned thing, it can pretty well take you up to April Fool's Day, 2017. At which point, you start all over again.

In the past, I've had distressed bloggers email about the A to Z. Told me they were struggling. Told me they felt guilty, stressed and anxious because they couldn't keep up with reciprocating comments on other sites. I tried to put them at ease. It's a sad commentary if a blog hop can cause such worries.

I look back to the early days of blogging when it was more of a free-for-all. During the month of April, I just want to hide away from blogging.

2. What was your very first blog post?

3. Can you tell us about your stance against the “unfair stigma attached to mental health issues”?

I've been an advocate for bringing about change in the public's and the media's perception of mental health concerns. I've been involved with the local media in Stoke on Trent, England, to get them to reduce their urge to sensationalize stories about those suffering with mental health conditions.

My goal, like so many, is to eradicate the unfair stigma attached to mental health issues. You have to understand that mental health problems can happen to anyone of us. It can be from an overwhelming negative situation, a named diagnosis, or a combination of both. This is all part of the nature/nurture debate.

Thus, we all have to show compassion to somebody who is struggling and not dismiss them as being weak. It takes great strength to admit you've got a problem. It takes great inner strength to admit you have a solution through the empathy of those who truly relate.

4. Your blog was featured on the B.B.C.'s radio station 'Radio 5 Live”. What was that like?

That was way back in July, 2007. I was interviewed, along with a friend of mine, Tony, who'd started up an innovative blogging "library" group named, "Mindbloggling." A number of bloggers, with various mental health issues, displayed their various talents, be it artwork, poetry or writing. We all met up in the office of a mental health charity named, "Media Action Group for Mental health", which was located in Stoke on Trent.

It was decided that my blog would be featured on the radio station. The host read out segments of one of my blogs. Being interviewed was a surreal, nerve-wracking experience. Being interviewed and having parts of a blog posting read out, filled me with irony. For there I was, a virtual recluse, being listened to by a worldwide audience.

It's a time I shall never forget. I know that Tony and myself were encouraged by the positive reaction we got. Worldwide attention that demonstrated that our mental health issues are only a small part of who we are.

5. What are the top 5 most-viewed posts on your blog? 

My 5 most-viewed posts are not necessarily what I would consider my 5 best posts. Anyway, here goes.

6. Introduce us to Penny the Jack Russell dog.

Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar has been an important, cherished part of my son's life, my life, for over 15 ½ years. She has taught us lessons about a dog's unconditional, non- judgmental love.

Penny has tried to teach me how to write better. Alas, she's had to be most patient with me.

7. Share your number one tip to bloggers just starting out.

Write to the one person on the other side of your screen and not to an audience. Try to make it an intimate style of blogging.

Hyper Round:

1. Favorite time to post blogs? Three in the morning.
2. Blogger or Wordpress? Blogger.
3. Do you host guests? Occasionally.
4. Where are you when you’re blogging? In the bedroom.


I'm a man challenging his "inner critic." I've come a remarkably long way since the time I nearly died in hospital from alcohol poisoning. That was way back in June, 1998. I left hospital a free man, free from the insidious illness that alcohol produces. Since then, despite a debilitating lack of self-confidence, I managed to raise my son as a single father. That speaks volumes for resilience, determination and the genuine desire to get better. My son, our dog, loving catalysts in my life.


May 23, 2016

Writing About: A Hostage

NOTE: This post describes things for a character whose perspective readers experience. Some of these things won't qualify for a character whose POV we aren’t in. For example: your MC is a detective and is searching for the kidnapped person.

When a person is taken hostage, they go through physical and mental welfare. Before we get into that, though, a few things need to be made clear such as who is being taken hostage (the MC or a major character whose perspective we can experience), and who the hostage taker is even if his/her name isn’t known. You can mention a few distinct facial features (crooked nose, bushy eyebrows) or body traits (wide shoulders).

You can hint at why your character was kidnapped before he/she is taken, such as signs of a stalker or threats. After your character is taken hostage, you can let him/her piece together the “why” on their own, or you can have the hostage taker reveal it to them.

The final thing you need to mention is where your character is when he/she is snatched. At home? Walking to school? In the park at sundown? Along with this is how he/she is grabbed. (Hit in the back of the head, thrown into the back of a vehicle.)

Now let’s go a little deeper:

1. Physical Pain

Usually when someone is a hostage they are tortured in some way and the level can range from punches to deformity. It can really get scary and morbid. Think: Criminal Minds. Of course you don’t have to go that far, but if your character tries to escape at all, he/she will get hurt in some fashion.

If your character does get a wound (stab/gunshot) or injury (broken bone) make sure to do your research so you can make it realistic. Your character will be disabled in some way from such a wound, and in pain. You have to describe that pain so your readers can feel it, too. You also need to keep all of their injuries in mind in whatever else he/she does. And you have to know what will happen to the wound as well as your character as time goes on. I cannot stress the importance of this. Research hard and research a lot!

2. Mental Pain

Someone who is held hostage goes through as much (or even more) mental trauma than physical trauma. Being locked in a cramped, dark space can really play on a person’s mind. They will be left alone most of the time with only their thoughts to keep them company. They will be terrified of the hostage taker and scared for their life. This fear can really do a number on a person’s mental state.

If he/she is losing blood or gets an infection, hallucinations can be possible. And if he/she escapes or is rescued, they will surely experience PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) that could include nightmares, anxiety, depression, and more. It could take months, even years, until he/she can live normally again. Most likely he/she would have to get medical and psychological help to get better.

Writing about a hostage situation takes a lot of research. You also have to be willing to put your mind into a dark place. What would you do if you were your character? How would you feel in this situation, and how do you think you’d heal?

QUESTION: What hostage movie(s)/book(s) do you like?

May 20, 2016

Other Names for Ordinary Colors

Sometimes using “yellow” to describe the color of something doesn’t cut it. I know there have been many times when I tried to come up with an alternative word for black, white, and red. Below I am sharing a list of other names/words to describe ordinary colors. Many of them I have used, such as "cotton-candy sky" to describe a blue sky with soft pink streaks. Or used "eggplant" to describe a hideous purple bruise.

What can you come up with for your writing with these alternatives?

Black olive

Baby powder
Glue/Elmer’s Glue

Peanut butter
Tree bark
Vanilla bean

Grey/Gray -
Smoky quartz

Clear - 

Red - 
Fire engine

Pink –
Cotton candy

Purple –

Blue –
Cotton candy

Green –
Granny Smith

Yellow –

Orange –

SHARE: More names I can add to the list!

May 18, 2016

K - Kissing Scenes

NOTE: My newsletter came out yesterday. I've noticed people with Hotmail emails are not receiving them. If you've signed up for my newsletter and have Hotmail, add my NEW newsletter email to your address book and check your spam. Chrys(at)ChrysFey(dot)com Yesterday, my Yahoo email was used by mistake, but bounces still happen with my new one.

There are quite a few kissing scenes in the Disaster Crimes Series, so for all of my romance readers out there I am sharing one of my favorite kissing scenes from Hurricane Crimes and Seismic Crimes!

“You’re amazing. I doubt any other woman could do what you did today.” She didn’t see his hand move because she was staring into his eyes, but she did feel his fingers slip up her neck to her jaw. “How could any man want to touch any woman’s skin but yours?” Her heart tripped as his thumb cruised over her jaw line and his fingers cupped her chin. “Why would any man not want to kiss your sweet lips?” He dipped his head and she stopped breathing. His mouth brushed over hers lightly, as if he were testing her. The soft contact electrified her lips and they quivered apart to admit him.

His hand framed the side of her face and his mouth molded around hers. She could taste the sweetness of the baby carrots on his lips and something else, something dangerous. Her brain was telling her to pull back, to stop him. You could be kissing a murderer, your potential murderer! But what he was doing felt too good. Her lips were melting into his, and he was drinking them like water. She sank into the kiss and let it take her away on its wings. Her right hand lifted and she combed her fingers through his rain-softened hair. A reluctant moan of surrender slithered up her throat as her mouth opened and her tongue slipped silkily against his. In the deepest recesses of his mouth, she tasted his distinct flavor and it was addicting. She couldn’t get enough of it. She was getting drunk. But like any alcoholic, she didn’t want to stop drinking.

To read more from Hurricane Crimes go to Amazon.


Seismic Crimes Excerpt:

She lifted the spoon from the bowl and fed him ice cream, chocolate syrup and whipped cream. The ice cream melted on his tongue. “Mm. That’s good.”

“It gets better,” she promised and smeared melted ice cream onto his lips with the back of the spoon. She kissed him hungrily. When she finished sucking away the coldness from his lips, she set the bowl aside, framed his face with her hands, and gazed into his eyes. “I love how protective you are of me,” she admitted. Heat radiated off her body and slammed into him like a solar flare. “It turns me on.”

“Oh, yeah?”


She drizzled ice cream and chocolate syrup onto his shoulder. As it slithered down his skin, it felt like cold fire that made him burn from the inside. His breathing quickened, his heart rate rose. When the tip of Beth’s tongue touched his heated skin, he sucked in a breath between his teeth.

*SCREEEEECH* All right, so I have to stop it there. 

QUESTIONS: What do you think of these kissing scenes? 
Do you like romance?

To read more from Seismic Crimes, go to Amazon.

May 16, 2016

Let Your Characters Get Mad / Character ER

Characters who are happy all the time would be boring. We’re certainly not happy all the time. Different life situations and daily happenings evoke different emotions. Not all of them bring smiles and love. Sometimes they bring tears or anger.

I like it when a character, especially a male character, shows their anger. I feel like they are showing who they are magnified. And of course it’s always exciting. When characters come to blows, I sit up straighter in my chair. I enjoy the intensity and the tension. The words passed, the body language, the heat. It’s all fun!

But your characters can’t just blow up for no reason. There are a couple of things you need to do first:

1. Build up to the anger. We don’t get mad at the snap of a finger. We build up to it, so make sure you do the same for your characters.

2. Make sure their anger is justified. There has to be a reason for it. If it’s not something you would get mad at then why is your character getting mad about it? Show this so it's realistic, relatable, and understandable. Reveal your character’s thoughts and show how their body language as anger settles in.

NOTE: Sometimes writers can make their characters mad at the drop of a dime, or angrier than they should be. This is what I mean by "if it's not something you would get mad at." I've had my character's anger pointed out to me as being extreme for the moment and then I had to dull it down because I wouldn't have gotten as mad if I were in my character's shoes.

See: Body Language / Character ER for tips on how to show anger.

My favorite types of fights in literature:

1. Between the protagonist and the antagonist. Oh, this is always good. Readers want the two to come face to face and when it happens, things get ugly fast.

2. Between the hero and heroine. I love seeing lovers have a battle and then later make up with an equal amount of heat.

3. Between family members. This one can get especially dirty because families know everything about each other.

See if you can add one of these opportunities for your characters to get mad into your book. But Remember to build up to it and make it real.

Anger makes a character three-dimensional, so LET YOUR CHARACTERS GET MAD!

QUESTION: Do you enjoy it when characters get mad?

May 13, 2016

What Would You Do...? (Part 3)

Every once in a while I’m doing something a little different. This is a "What Would You Do?" feature. I’m asking a question related to one of my books and I might do something with your answers. :)

You can give me realistic answers or silly answers.

First question click: What Would You Do...? (Part 1)
Second Question click: What Would You Do...? (Part 2)

The third question relates to Witch of Death.


Detective Reid Sanders doesn’t believe in the supernatural, but when he’s faced with a crime scene that defies the laws of nature, he has no other choice but to start believing. And solving a magical murder involves working with a witch.

Liberty Sawyer embodies the look of your classic evil witch, so, it’s no surprise when she uncovers the murderer is a witch that she becomes Reid’s number one suspect. If she can’t convince him otherwise, more people could lose their lives to dark magic, including her.

QUESTION: What would you do if you had a vision of a murder like Libby did in Witch of Death?

A few more questions to help you:
-       Would you keep it a secret or tell someone?
-       Would you investigate the vision?
-       Would you believe it or dismiss it?

Leave your answer and invite others to leave their answer. :)