Tag Archives: Lady Gwendolyn

A Most Frustrating Vendor Experience

I paid for a table at an Octoberfest in a nearby Texas town, to sell my novels, especially my newest release “Lady Gwendolyn”.  Saturday (Sep 28) was the date of the festival.  Not only did I pay for the booth, I was required to donate items for a silent auction, plus sign a statement that I would stay there until 8 pm before breaking down my table (penalty for not staying was losing a $20 deposit).

I didn’t mind doing those things — until I got there.  A music area was set up for a live band, for a karaoke contest, and later for an auction.  The sound was too loud all day, so much so that people could barely hear me greet them as they walked by.  They could barely even hear each other.  Subsequently, sales were dismal.

At 6:30 the auction began, and they cranked up the volume to the point that it became physically painful.  I could not subject myself to the pain, with no chance of making any sales, so I asked if I could leave.  I was told by that person that I could.  When I asked to get my $20 back, someone else showed up.  They had to talk to whoever was in charge, who sent me the money with the message that since I’d broken my contract with them, I would not be allowed in as a vendor for the next year.  No problem.  I won’t be back next year — or ever.  How can they expect vendors to stay for over an hour of that kind of physical torture?  No one was coming by the booths.  They either were at the auction, or had left to escape the noise.

While I didn’t stay until 8, didn’t they also break the contract by not supplying vendors with an environment conducive to sales until 8?

What a strange, frustrating day.

The Impatient Reader

I’ve been writing novels for many years now.  My first books are much different than my latest because I work at perfecting the craft.  I really, truly care about creating a professionally written tome.  My first books are quick, fast paced and lack in description.  The narrator told the story more than the characters showed it.  I’ve been told by a lot of writers that it should be the other way around.  The characters should show the story.

Okay.  I got it.

I have a friend (I’ve known her for 25 years or so) who likes to read my books.  It was with great anticipation I waited for her response to my latest book, “Lady Gwendolyn”.  She called the other night and told me it wasn’t her favorite.  It was too slow.

What?  I mean…what??  This is my best work yet.  Once I quit pouting, I began to think about what she said.  And I began to think about her personality.  She is, as I’ve come to term it, an “impatient reader.”  She doesn’t want to be slowed down by description.  Give her the quick and dirty and don’t waste her time.

I’ve always said (and believed) that every book has its audience.  I just had no idea that it could mean the book I’ve been trying to avoid writing.  It also explains why my first book has gotten many five star reviews on Amazon.  I couldn’t figure it out for the longest time.  But, now I know.  I have an “impatient readership”.

Let me introduce myself

I thought perhaps I should introduce my ‘author’ self.  Here is something I sent to fellow blogger Chris Graham today.

The pen name “Magnolia Belle” came from a dream of one day owning a riverboat that offered dinner, sultry jazz and hot R&B while floating down the Mississippi. Realizing I didn’t have the millions it’d take to get that dream off the ground, I took the name to write under. I figured it’d be one hard to forget. Plus, it’s as southern as I am.

I grew up in a military family and have lived in several U.S. states as well as the Orient. I graduated in 1978 from Tarleton State University, where, as editor of the University paper, I won first place in the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association Editorial competition in 1977. I am also a member of “Who’s Who Among Colleges and Universities” in 1977-78. A singer/songwriter and guitarist, I played with a band in the 1980s that made three albums. I currently lives in Texas with my husband.

Since 2005, I have written and coauthored several books.

The coauthored books are “Miko and Lil Onda Bus” and “Miko and Lil Onda Bus Again”, inspired by the lives of the three brothers in the Grammy winning band, Los Lonely Boys.  On the first day of starting a new tour, the Garzas find they have a talking mouse, Miko, living on their tour bus.  Miko finds his girlfriend Lil, moves her onto the bus with him, and teaches her to speak human.  Mayhem and hilarity ensue when ‘mousenappers’ want those talking mice! It was with Henry, Jo Jo and Ringo Garzas’ permission that the books were published.  All sales go to a SIDs charity.

The first series I wrote, “Black Wolf” involves the story of four Lakota brothers living in Austin, TX.  They have a rock band and have just signed with a national label when the series beings.  Through the four novels, readers see how their world explodes and how they try to keep their equilibrium.  The novels are “Black Wolf: Lakota Man”, “Black Wolf at Rosebud,” “Black Wolf on Tour” and “Black Wolf: Loco Lobo”.

The second series, “T’on Ma”, is historical fiction set along the Texas/Oklahoma border in beginning in 1850.  The Cooper family homesteads land about an hour north of what is now Abilene, TX.  When a Kiowa warrior and an Army lieutenant both fall in love with Lana Cooper, a story unfolds that carries them through the Indian and Civil wars. The three novels are “T’on Ma”, “Kuy Syan Joshua” and “Little Wolf Ranch.”

The first stand alone novel, “Tascosa” is a western set in what is now a ghost town in the panhandle of Texas.  It describes the life and adventures of a young woman, Amanda Clark, who moves to the lawless town without knowing anyone.  She manages to carve a successful business for herself, but not without facing heartbreak.

The second stand alone  novel, “Lady Gwendolyn” has just been released.  It’s also historical fiction, but instead of Texas, it is placed in 12th century England and Scotland.  Bandits beset a caravan taking Lady Gwendolyn Hampton of England to marry Angus Dewar in Scotland.  In the confusion, she escapes, while the bandits think her maid, Madeleine, is her.  From one peril to another, Madeleine must keep the ruse in order to stay alive.

All books are available in paperback at major online stores such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  They are also available in all e-reader formats from Smashwords.com.  Autographed copies can be purchased through the author’s website, http://www.blackwolfbooks.com.

Here is the book trailer for “Lady Gwendolyn”…

Visualizing Characters

When I develop characters for a novel, it’s helpful if I can visualize them. Their habits and foibles become clearer, and mannerisms suggest themselves. To help with that, I go to sites such as iStock or Photo Xpress to find photos of my heroes and villains.  With my latest book, “Lady Gwendolyn”, I posted those pictures on my Pinterest page.  If you’d like to take a look at how I envision my medieval folks, here’s the link.


I’ve done this for most of my books.  It’s a lot of fun!

New blogger in da house

Years ago, I tried blogging.  Gave it up.  Couldn’t think of what to say.  I’ve seen many people who thrive on blogging and have developed a ton of followers.  I probably will too, if chirping crickets count.

Anyway – why blog now?  I’ve asked a professional promoter/marketer to help me out with my book sales.  One of her strong suggestions was — you guessed it — blogging.  *whimper*

So, I’m back and hope to do better at it.  I can use all the encouragement I can get, so if by some chance you’re reading this, click on ‘like’ or give me a shout out in the comment section.  Maybe that will help my right eye quit twitching!

In the meantime, here’s the book trailer for my latest novel, “Lady Gwendolyn”.