Giveaway at end of post.
by Michele Lynn Seigfried
(Jersey Shore Mystery Series Book 3)
File Size: 2293 KB
Print Length: 217 pages
A tale of kidnapping, murder, and neighbors you’d like to kidnap and murder…
Bonnie Fattori is a sexy, sassy, Italian Princess living in New Jersey. She’s loving life with a rich husband, beachfront living, and a promotion at work—until a new neighbor, Lyla Spratt, is determined to destroy her happiness.
After several run-ins with the unstable woman next door, Bonnie starts to suspect a connection between her new neighbor and the untimely death of a local resident, Polly Pitcher. She recruits her good friend Chelsey to help figure out if her suspicions are correct.
As the neighbors go head-to-head in a hilarious battle, Lyla is pushed to the brink of insanity. The more unhinged Lyla becomes, the more Bonnie’s life and the safety of her family are at risk. Can Bonnie find out what really happened to Polly Pitcher before it’s too late? A perfect read for those who like laugh-out-loud humor in their mysteries!
About This Author
Michele Lynn Seigfried is an award-winning novelist, children’s book author/illustrator and public speaker who was born and raised in New Jersey. In her mystery novels, she draws from her personal expertise in the area of municipal government, in which she has served for over 16 years in two different municipalities. She holds a B.A. in communication from the College of New Jersey with a minor in art. She obtained the Master Municipal Clerk certification from the International Institute of Municipal Clerks in 2010. She also holds the Registered Municipal Clerk certification and Certified Municipal Registrar Certifications from the State of New Jersey. In combining her love of writing with art, Michele began writing and illustrating children’s picture books in 2013.
Michele is a member of Sisters in Crime, Sisters in Crime – Central Jersey, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, New Jersey Author’s Network, International Institute of Municipal Clerks, Central Jersey Registrar’s Association, Municipal Clerk’s Association of New Jersey, and the Municipal Clerk’s Association of Mercer County, where she is currently President. She also serves on the New Jersey League of Municipalities’ Legislative Committee.
Michele is available for public speaking engagements such as book talks, seminars, readings, panel discussions, and other author events. Contact her for more information.
The Best Advice I Was Given
By Michele Lynn Seigfried
Since I published my first mystery novel, I’ve been offered a ton of advice—both solicited and unsolicited. Some good, some not so good. Weeding through all the suggestions to figure out what really works for a writer is a daunting task. So, I’ve compiled a list of the five best pieces of advice that I’ve been given.
- Do not worry about negative reviews.
For writers and non-writers alike, it is so hard for many of us to take criticism. It’s hurtful when we feel others are “attacking” us. It makes us feel disappointed, unworthy, and even embarrassed, depending on what was said. Don’t take it personal. Don’t dwell on it. Don’t give others that much power over you. Realize that everyone has different likes, different tastes, and different ideas of what is good and bad. Give yourself the appropriate credit for the monumental task you’ve accomplished. Even the most successful people are criticized, scrutinized, and given unfavorable reviews. Use it as an opportunity to learn something. Some critiques are helpful—they can point out things we may not have realized before and we can use those points to improve.
- Get involved in writers’ groups.
Searching and finding the right writers’ groups for yourself isn’t always easy. Meeting locations are not always convenient. Personalities don’t always mesh. But, if you can indeed find the right group of people that are in the same career as you, you will be presented with countless opportunities to market yourself and improve your craft.
The learning experience from the writing groups that I have joined is priceless. The members are full of knowledge and wisdom. They keep you apprised of upcoming book shows. Their newsletters are full of useful tips. Some groups offer expert guest speakers at their meetings. One has a library of books for borrowing relating to the craft of mystery writing. There are opportunities to attend conferences, enter your books for awards, and speaking opportunities. Networking with others in your field is always beneficial.
- Don’t underprice your books.
If you ask a hundred people where you should price your books, you’ll get a hundred different answers. Amazon Kindle has a service in beta called “Kindle Pricing Support,” which suggests a book price based upon historical sales data for similar Kindle books whereby authors can maximize their earnings.
One book show organizer had approached me at a book show, worried that my books were priced too low. Worried that I wasn’t giving myself enough credit. Worried that I was lowering the bar for other writers. While I understood these points of view, there were other factors that I had considered when setting the price. The fact that I was new to the writing world and felt I was using the book show as more of a promotional opportunity for myself rather than a way to make money was top on my list.
After many test runs, I realized that what the organizer was trying to tell me was true. People will pay a higher price for quality. I shouldn’t sell at a price that is less than my own cost to just get my name out there. I feel that I wasn’t giving myself enough credit at the time. I also felt like buyers may not have faith that your book is any good if you are charging less for it. Don’t get me wrong, shoppers are always looking for a deal. But if you start out at rock-bottom prices, that doesn’t leave any room to give someone a deal.
- Work hard.
Writing is hard work. The harder you work, the better you will become at your craft. Writing, learning, doing research, asking questions, networking, and marketing all take a considerable amount of time. I will dare to guess that most writers out there are also holding a full-time job in addition to writing. Working hard sometimes means giving up time with your loved ones, missing out on sleep, and writing during what should be a vacation. I find the harder I work, the more I sell.
- Do the things you enjoy doing.
Life’s too short to not do the things you love. I always loved being creative and I always loved art. Two things I hadn’t realized I had gotten so far away from. Work, responsibilities, bills, marriage, and a child—I let life get in the way. The good news is that my favorite things are back in my life and I’m happy about that. Write what you love, not what you think you’ll sell. It will make you happier. It will make you feel more satisfied. It will make you feel accomplished. If you don’t enjoy what you are doing, then you shouldn’t be doing it. By the same token – if you do enjoy doing something, then go for it! Stop letting things hold you back.