Book Beat Babes

Book Beat Babes

Friday, June 24, 2016

The MySpace Hack and Why You Should Care

If you haven’t heard yet, account information that was hacked from MySpace was recently put up for sale.

I know, you thought MySpace was dead, or you’re too young to remember just how big it was.
Well it isn’t dead and even if it was, the hack provided a plethora of login information.  Yes, that information was in many cases very old but that doesn’t mean it isn’t useful to the criminals who have obtained it.  This, as well as every hack, reveals just how vulnerable we all are online.  In the early days of the World Wide Web, security wasn’t in the forefront of most people’s minds.  Now, you can’t avoid it whether at work, home or at play.

So, why does this hack matter?  Well, many of us probably forgot that we even had these accounts let alone the login information we established at the site, and there may be other such accounts lurking out there that we haven’t accessed in some time.  Thing is, in our zeal to embrace the World Wide Web we probably have information posted at these sites, in addition to login credentials, that reveals enough about us to make us vulnerable to social engineering efforts.

Conversely, the login information may very well be the same as the credentials we setup at other sites that contain even more sensitive and valuable information, at least this is what the hackers are banking on, figuratively and literally.  People tend to use the same login credentials across accounts and this is an Achilles heel for all of us.

Over the years, we’ve been encouraged to create stronger and more unique passwords.  At work you’re most likely required to do so.  In fact, more and more commercial sites are requiring the same thing as well as requiring that you change your password frequently, at least more frequently than most of us like.  I do find some of the security questions interesting since many of the suggested ones are things that hackers find by way of social engineering to include mother’s maiden name, street where you lived, etc., which is why the forgotten sites that you may have used the same login credentials as MySpace can be lucrative for hackers and identify thieves.

So, if you’re a creature of habit and have used basically the same login credentials at multiple sites for years, you may want to consider changing your password at sites where you’re registered, especially those with access to financial, medical and other personal information.

For more info on the MySpace data up for sale and how to set a more secure password the following links will help:,2817,2368484,00.asp

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Tweeting for the First Time! by DL Larson

I've enrolled in a class for writers. I want to learn more about tweeting and twitter. Today I'm supposed to tweet 10 pitches. Up to 10 pitches of my sci-fi romance. I feel as if tweeting is something kin to playing scrabble. I have 140 characters to explain my book. In that 140 characters, I must include #SFFPIt - the hashtag regarding the pitching that is going on today in the sci-fi genre. In that 140 characters, I must include what type of Sci-fi, so I included SFR. That stands for Science fiction romance. That takes 12 characters out of my 140 character limit.

I angst over these pitches. I have a two-part book. Do I pitch the first part that leads into the second part? Or do I jump over the first part and attack the second part? I need a hook, a hero, a stake, and an inciting incident.
OR ...
I could have a hero, conflict, desire.
Or ...
I could have a hero, setup and a twist. You get the idea. The possibilities are numerous. But what is the best way to form the pieces together to entice an agent to want to see more? Only the writer can determine that. And that brings me right back to the angst part of my day.

Last night our small community was hit with three tornadoes. Everyone is fine. Our home still stands, a machine shed was damaged and we have fields of damaged crops and standing water. We have been without electricity for 24 hours. We cleaned debris and tree limbs out of my daughter's yard. It took hours and hours and hours. And all the while I'm dragging branches and raking sticks and leaves, I'm trying to conjure up the perfect tweets for my book.

I've only tweeted one so far today - because the electricity just came back on! I don't believe I have anything fantastic to offer. But for my first time at tweeting a pitch, I'm happy to have tried.

Here they are:
#SFFPIt Wolf works nights. Ancestral spirits help him kill a dragon. The Lord heard his plea. If only insanity could be cured so easily.
This is within the 140 characters, but I didn't mention it was a romance. A colleague was confused by the Lord part. So I continued on with a different approach. He suggested I introduce Part 1 rather than part 2 (the above one is about part 2.)

#SFFPIt #SFR Wade, a priest & killer, loves Rock 'n Roll. A snoopy reporter tip-toes into his life. How can he fall for a human? Part 1-2
 This one explains the beginning of my story, and hopefully the oddity of being a priest and a killer, and intrigued by a human. 

#SFFPIt #SFR Wade protects his werewolf prince. They are considered aliens on Earth. No one knows they exist, except the enticing reporter.
Does this one show a bit of intrigue? I don't know. I'm still not happy with my pitch. But does it say enough to want to read another pitch? 

#SFFPIt #SFR Wade forgets he loves the human, Tracy. She fears the werewolf will kill Wade because he's wounded from the dragon slaying. 
When a book has many layers, it's unclear to me which avenue will bring the most interest. But in this order, the pitches begin to form a story. Enough to attract an agent? I have no answer to that.

#SFFPIt #SFR Wade knows the wolf better than anyone. Priestly chanters protect Wade even though they can't stop Wolf from attacking him.
This will be my last pitch because I've run out of time. Maybe it will be enough to draw some interest. Either way, I've learned a great deal about twitter and tweeting. And I've learned pitching is intense and confining at the same time. Maybe that's the true purpose. How well can a writer tell her story?

'Til next time ~

DL Larson

visit me on twitter: DL_storyteller

Friday, June 10, 2016

Hacks for Writers

It’s interesting to think of hacks for writers since the words hack and writer have traditionally meant something rather unpleasant.  In fact, being called a hack in any profession has traditionally meant that the person in question was lacking.  So, it’s ironic that hacks have become so popular.

Hacks tend to cut corners so many of the hacks, or tips, basically seem to provide a shortened method of doing something or reaching a goal.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but sometimes when I read some of the hacks for whatever area is being discussed, I’m not always convinced that the shortcut is the best way to do things.

Most lists of hacks focus on 5-10 items but there is a website that lists 1000 hacks for a variety of categories.  My first thought was that I need a hack to get through the long list but I must admit that some of the hacks listed are quite useful.  It does help that they are organized by category, which in a way is a type of hack, and quite a useful one.

So, in the spirit of hacks as a way of helping writers doing something faster or to accomplish a goal here are a few hacks of that I use:

-Capitalize and/or change the font to bold for a particular word in your manuscript to make sure that it is being used appropriately.  The word very comes to mind as one example.  You will know very quickly if you overuse this word by changing the font to bold.
-Put markers in your work as you are writing or rewriting so that you don’t stop and take a side trip that takes you away from finishing the work in question.  I often tag paragraphs with the words research or verify so that I can come back to it after I’ve written a scene or chapter and not get bogged down in details that while important are minor compared to finishing the writing in question.
-Keep a cut file for all those gems that you have to eliminate in the rewrite.  You just might be able to use them in another work and if you change your mind later on and want to put it back in your work then you will know where to find it.
-Keep your research notes in a separate file so that you don’t inadvertently violate copyright laws.  Copy and paste can be both useful and detrimental depending on how they are used.
-Email a copy of your work to yourself periodically so that if you don’t remember to backup your computer, all is not lost.

There – that’s five hacks.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Five Things

1 - Crowdfunding for writers:

We’re seeing more references to successful crowdfunding by writers such as the ‘Rebel Girls’ effort by the founders of Timbuktu Labs:

But before you go down the crowdfunding road take a moment to consider if it’s the right journey for you as outlined by Jane Friedman one of her recent blog postings:

2 – An updated list of the top 30 websites for Indie Authors:

3 – An Indie success to admire:

4 – Something to think about:

5 – Indie Book Reviews: