Thursday, January 10, 2019

Was and Were--They're Moody!

Whenever I try to explain the differences between this grammar rule and that one, authors and clients will say something like, "Will you please speak in English?’" so I began teaching such things with the technical label for a specific form of grammar, followed by a simple explanation of it.

Was and were, however, often suffer PMS. They have moods just like people do. So they’re a bit more difficult to explain, especially to young students.

Here’s an example of what I mean. Everyone I work with, whether kids doing homework or writers pounding out their next stories, struggle with was and were. There are to be forms of was and were, but there are also the subjunctive forms of was and were. Subjunctive verbs are the forms I see misused the most by writers.

To be verbs—was and were—are the forms we all recognize. He was a little boy. We were going to the theater when John slipped and fell.

Subjunctive is mood. I wish I were blond. I’m in a wishful mood and want to be blond, so the subjunctive were is correct.

Another hint that the verb is subjunctive is the word if often followed by would or could. If I were blonde, I could have everything I wanted in life. The if is imaginative and the could implies that it won’t happen or isn’t possible. If I were tall, I would pluck the moon from the sky. Again if followed by would shows that it’s imagination, a fantasy, and the would shows that plucking the moon out of the sky isn’t possible.

So when is it correct to use was? If it might be true, if you’re assuming or guessing something, then use was. The sale began early. If Jane was late, she probably missed some great deals. I don’t know that Jane was late. I’m only guessing, so was is correct.

Determining the context is how you decide whether to use was or were. Does the sentence use if to show a wishful statement? Does the sentence use could or would to imply something won’t happen or isn’t possible? Or does the sentence show something that might be true?

There are other mood verbs, which is something all writers and students should study and learn inside and out. Not knowing the correct verb form can give your sentence the wrong meaning. As an editor, I encounter this a lot.
Like I said, was and were are moody. Learn as much as you can about them. Don’t make your editor moody too (winks).

The Darkness of Sable

Now released in ebook and paperback! Grab your copies here for ebook and here for paperback

Friday, January 4, 2019

Stay Tuned!

I'm waiting on the release day for the book and print versions of my new novel! I hope you'll check this page, watch my twitter or my Facebook for updates and news about The Darkness of Sable!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

A Different Publishing Path

Since this is my first post for 2019, I want to wish all my readers and visitors a lovely year with bright blessings. Part of my family came in for New Year’s. We watched movies then finished the evening by watching the ball drop on TV and having some sparkling red grape juice. 

I do, however, have some news. I’ve decided I’m not pursuing NYC publishing or another agent. At least not until I either finish school or I finish my latest serious manuscript. When I say serious, I’m talking about a plot that means something to me, and that has a message for readers. No erotica. Except for the Luna Moonstone Stories, there will be no more NEW erotic romance from my keyboard unless the last manuscript I have submitted out there actually comes through this time for this particular publisher. But honestly, I really don’t have any high hopes that it will. I’m one chapter into this new novel and, since it requires research, it’s taking me time to gather the info I need. So, when I add being a full-time college student to the mix, managing a huge family and elderly parents, you can see my I-need-time dilemma.

Anyway, I believe I’m at a crossroads, too. Since I turned 50 in December, I’ve been struggling with the fact that I’ve been in publishing as both an author, as an editor, and have had 3 different literary agents over the span of 38 years. Nothing has happened. Nothing has changed. I have nothing to show for 38 years of hard work and dedication. Two of the three agents disappointed me so badly that I have little faith in that arena anymore. I’ve even submitted material directly to large publishers (those that take unsolicited submissions) only to get form rejection letters. The last publisher rejection I got right before New Year’s Eve. Although I normally have armor-plated skin, this time it broke my heart.

A reader who has become a friend has read all my releases. She was outraged when I told her about this last rejection for a new manuscript. Even my personal editor was surprised about this last rejection. I sound all woe is me, but I’m just being practical. I know I’m talented. I know grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, etc., etc., inside and out, but I guess nowadays it’s all about the fast buck that can also be turned into a movie, novelty items, and the like, and zero about quality fiction. I know, too, this business has jaded me.

Will I still write? Yes, it’s part of my DNA. For me, not writing is like not breathing. But I’m tired of seeing badly written material selling well. I’m tired of the tired excuses I get in submissions. I’m tired of pouring my soul into something just to be told “sorry, not for me/us”. I’m also tired of writing for e-publishers and finding numerous errors in the finished product the e-publishers refuse to fix, which makes not only the publishers look bad, but also me as a writer. Trust me, I’ve emailed about glaring errors only to be told “not enough money for another editor” or I’m simply ignored.

So what IS my plan? One is to finish college. I have 3 semesters left, the first of which I start in mid-January. I plan on revising & rewriting some very old material, material from 15 plus years ago. These are good stories, but they need updated, material added/cut or just rewritten, and some things corrected, because rules change, and then I will submit them somewhere. I plan to continue writing for FaiBana Books, because although new, I don’t have to worry about umpteen typos  throughout my prose left uncorrected. I don’t have to worry about terrible covers either.

And I already have 4 new releases due out the first of this year. The Darkness of Sable (interracial paranormal romance), Moone's Spell (paranormal romance), and one is Soul Ripper (supernatural with a romantic element). The fourth is a novella titled Red (erotic fantasy, a revision of one of those 15-year-old stories).
The Darkness of Sable will be available any day now. The other three will follow at appropriate times.

Part of me feels like I’m giving up on my dream. I’m not, really. I’m just embarking on a different path to achieve it than the path thousands upon thousands of other writers are pounding. Once I graduate, I may hang out my own shingle as a literary agent. Perhaps I’ll launch a reputable publisher. Who knows. For now, I just want to write for someone whom I know actually appreciates my work. That way my faithful readers still have access to my books. Maybe I can pay a bill or two with the royalties instead of wondering what the hell happened to the promotion and sales once I’m on the author roster of an e-publisher. I’m tired of the emotional and mental rollercoaster, so I’m taking my own road.

Watch for my new releases here on my site. Also, you can find me at and facebookcom/AnaLeeKennedyFLBicknell 

Happy 2019!