Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Thursday, December 15, 2011
I'm departing from my usual routine of posting author interviews to share with you some of what I've learned so far about publishing. I've got one book published. A coming of age story titled Invisible. Invisible only took four months to write. I was very lucky. I wrote it while on a break from writing my paranormal thriller, Dark Angel, which I am still working on (big sigh).
After finishing Invisible, I tried for a time to find an agent and though I came close, was ultimately unsuccessful. Lesson number one, it is extremely hard to land an agent. My advice to new authors is to skip the agent. Go directly to an indie publisher.
Invisible was rejected by only one indie publisher before finding a home. Now here comes lesson number two - don't expect to make a lot of money. I can hear hearts breaking from here, but the sooner you realize this, the better. Having that first book published by an actual publisher (indie or not) will bring you credibility and that is something you cannot buy.
Lesson number three - writing a book and having it published costs money. Not for the actual publication of the book. Never pay a publisher to publish your book. Editing, cover art, etc. should all be free. But be prepared to dish out the dollars for promotion - mailing your book to reviewers, blog tours, and in some limited instances review companies.
After having a published novel under my belt, I will try for that elusive agent in the hopes of finding a large publisher for my next novel. The bigger houses will get your book into bookstores (more credibility). This is something an indie publisher cannot do. And the reason is because most indies are print on demand publishers (POD) which means that when a book is ordered, it is printed. Lower print runs mean higher prices for the book and lower profit margins for the stores. So, large chain stores will not stock your book. Also, PODs cannot be returned. This is another reason a bookstore will not stock your book.
Last lesson - once your novel is released, the real work begins. Be prepared to spend countless hours on promotion. There will be no time to write and you will miss that. You will be sick of talking about yourself and your novel - promotion and marketing sucks! But it is a necessary evil. Publishers won't do this for you. It is entirely up to you to sell your book. The lesson here - don't be shy. Do what you have to do to get your name out there and to build a platform. You're going to need it for the next book.
Well, that's it for now. I hope my words of wisdom have helped and not discouraged. I'd love to hear from other published authors. Please leave a comment and let me know if your experiences in publishing are similar to mine.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Today, I'm pleased to host author, Vanessa Grillone on my blog. Vanessa has written a book comprised of poetry and prose that started as her journal and before she knew it, became a book that she hopes will inspire and help other young women coming of age.
A bit about My Pen, My Voice -
Every girl has secrets. Every girl experiences things she is afraid to talk about. And every girl has her own outlet. For Vanessa Grillone, that outlet is writing. My Pen, My Voice artfully records the trials and errors one girl endures in order to become an independent and strong young woman. Through a mixture of prose and poetry, Grillone digs into the heart of the often difficult teenage years, when emotions are high, changes are fast, and life is all-consuming. Grillone's entries encompass the turbulent range of teenage angst. From struggling to understand her need to go her own way to trying to come to terms with her frequent mood swings, her poems reveals with painful intimacy the confusion and heartbreak of growing up. Her vivid language and heartfelt words convey not only her honesty, but her fragility. With a keen eye for the human heart, My Pen, My Voice offers compelling compositions. Journey with Grillone on her path to self-discovery, one that ultimately offers insight into the female mind during its most fragile years.
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Aubrie Dionne is an author and flutist in New England. After reaching a high point in her flutist career Aubrie decided to pursue other creative passions.
She’d known the landing would destroy the pod, but that didn’t quell a feeling of vulnerability from washing through her. Aries had stranded herself in a foreign land with no way home. The thought of her parents and the ceremony she’d missed in order to escape flickered briefly in her mind. If her friends and family ever found out what she did, she hoped they would forgive her. To live her life for them would make her miserable; she had to invent her own destiny.
Laughter rumbled up from her gut, light at first, then deepening into triumph. She was free. Halfway stuck in a dune on Sahara 354 was exactly where she wanted to be.
A new light blinked beside her, distracting her from the condition of the pod. Aries brought up her arm to check out the locator. A light on the wide cuff flashed bright green, and she wished she could rip it off. Someone in the New Dawn had found a way to reactivate it.
Monday, November 28, 2011
The Mayan Mask of Death, set in Central America, is their thirty-ninth novel, and the first in the Arla Vaughn Pre-Columbian Treasure Series. A second Arla Vaughn novel, this one about Inca treasure, The Lost City of the Condor, will be available soon.
The Mayan Mask of Death
When Arla Vaughn accepts the role of temporary Dean of Archaeology, the museum’s purchase of an elaborate Mayan mask seems an evil portent. The dual face, one side a handsome Mayan nobleman, the other side a skull-like visage with a glimmering obsidian eye represents the good and evil of mankind.
Three years ago Jordan Lund’s wife was strangled on campus and he has devoted his life to finding her killer. When a second woman from Arla’s department is murdered in the same way, the police believe this is the work of a mysterious serial killer known as The Scarlet Strangler. But Arla soon links the brutal murders to the dig in Copan. Her investigation takes her to where the mystery has its roots, the Copan ruins in the jungles of Honduras. There, to uncover the truth, Arla must match wits with a killer as duplicitous as the Mayan Mask of Death.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Saturday, November 19, 2011
I'm happy to welcome Chris Stralyn to my blog today. Chris' novel This Time You Lose is nominated for best cover on Goodreads.
Stop by and vote if you have a chance http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/14472.Best_Cover_Fall_Winter_2011#12853426
A suspense thriller was my next undertaking, and in 2008 This Time You Lose was named a finalist in the TNBW Strongest Start Novel Competition. Four months later it earned the distinction of being a TNBW Readers Choice Top Ten Novel, and has remained on the Top Ten list ever since.
I continue to put pen to paper in my endeavour to appease the Muse within. I live in Michigan with my husband and family.
But nothing prepared her for the nightmare she now faced. Lisa awakes one morning to find herself bound and gagged, four strange men in her home, and the daycare children being held hostage in the next room. Terrorized by her captors as the authorities work to meet the ransom deadline, she tries negotiating with the men for the release of the children, and soon realizes that at least one of them has no intention of letting anyone go. With the deadline quickly approaching, Lisa must do the unimaginable to protect the children and get everyone out alive.
This Time You Lose, published by Createspace
My road to publication began 4 years ago when a neighboring community was plagued with a series of home invasions. A childcare provider myself at the time, I wondered what would happen if one of these invasions occurred in a childcare home. A woman home alone, caring for up to a dozen children in a deserted, middle-class neighborhood made the perfect target for one of these invasions – and thus my story was born.
The first draft was completed in 6 months, but it took another year and a half of editing and rewriting to get it to the point where I felt confident sending it out. After many, many rejections I finally got an agent in New York. She sent it out to all the major publishers – who rejected it, but offered constructive comments. I then reworked the story based on their comments and my agent resubmitted it. This time most of the publishers really liked it, but still turned it down. My agent explained that it had more to do with the current economy than the writing....the big publishing houses just weren’t taking many chances on unknown authors right now. She suggested shelving it for a year or so, and trying it again later. So I put it away for awhile. Then after much thought and research, I decided not to wait, and went with a print-on-demand publishing company.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
I live in the shadows of the Wasatch mountains, and I come from a family that is very creative (we think anyway). This was probably the beginning for me. I remember writing a story for a middle school teacher about a creepy doll in a basement. I really had fun writing that story, and trying to create an atmosphere. I forgot about writing for many years, and then when the Harry Potter series came out, like so many others, I was reminded what it was to have a good storyteller cast a spell on you. Then, I remembered that I had wanted to write all those years ago. So, I did, despite at that very time I had just started an MBA program (which, yes, I did finish).
Tell us about your novel and where readers can purchase a copy.
The Crimson Pact is an anthology with some really great writers in it (I’m the “rookiest” of the bunch). There is even NY Times best selling author, Larry Correia, of the Monster Hunters International series included in the anthology.
I’ve also had another flash piece entitled, “Final Exam,” accepted for publication by Wicked East Press and a longer short story entitled, “Cigars for Sawyer,” by C.P. Anthologies. Both of these should be out by the end of the year, or beginning of 2012.
Tell us a little about your road to publication. Was it a long one?
Yes, and I think that’s normal. I think I started four or five years ago. I had an idea, and I just started writing.
What do you think makes a good story?
For me, too, I think things have to have a certain simplicity to them. Flowery description is just hard too wade through for me. And it’s a real balancing act.
How long does it take you to write a book?
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Now, I’ve broken the fiction ceiling and wonder of wonders, I have two novels currently on the market.
I visited old cemeteries, talked to Believers, read many books, consulted experts and had one special person allow me inside her world as an animals control expert for the sheriff’s office.
Barnes & Noble : http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hidden-evil-bob-stewart/1106504458?ean=2940013257948&itm=1&usri=hidden%2bevil
Thursday, October 27, 2011
I'd like to welcome, Geoff Gander to my blog today. Take it away, Geoff...
As Armstrong’s world falls apart, his recovering patient learns that he has not escaped the horrors he encountered underground, and that no place on earth is truly safe from the “Tunnelers.”
The Tunnelers, by Geoff Gander – available from Solstice Publishing!
Are YOU safe?
The following document, as well as a bundle of newspaper clippings, was found among the personal effects of Dr. Vincent Armstrong, a community psychiatrist in the Evaluation Unit at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Care Center, whose disappearance in Montreal is a matter of public record.
Although the police dismissed this package as being immaterial to their investigation, I believe that this information has a profound – almost sinister – significance when considered in relation to recent events of a more personal nature. I will let the reader decide.
Testimony of Vincent Armstrong, M.D.
My name is Vincent Armstrong. I have been practicing psychiatry at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Care Center for twelve years; the last five of which have been with the Evaluation Unit. Over this time I have treated mental conditions that many would find horrifying, but a recent case has forced me to confront something so terrifying and so far outside my experience, that the world is now a much, much darker place for me. Other people need to know, so I have compiled my notes in a format that I hope others might find useful.
June 14, 1992
Mr. Michael Kirkwood, an employee of Argus Minerals, was referred to my care from the Ottawa General Hospital Emergency Ward as an in-patient today at 6:22 p.m., under restraint and in a state of acute agitation. The accompanying report, written by a doctor posted at the site where Mr. Kirkwood had been working and amended by the referring physician from the emergency ward, indicated only that he had witnessed a particularly horrific industrial accident, and that his resulting psychological trauma was the basis for his referral to our facility for an assessment period.
When I first saw him, Mr. Kirkwood was pleading with a nurse to be kept high above ground. He calmed down after I assured him that we would do as he asked, and I took that opportunity to administer a heavy sedative. After he was brought to his room, I examined the patient and then ordered that he be placed under close observation.
Based on that preliminary examination and a review of Mr. Kirkwood's medical records that I had requested from his employer, the patient appeared to be a healthy man in his mid-forties, with no history of mental illness or substance abuse. His previous medical exam, conducted four months earlier, showed that he was in excellent physical and mental health. With no other information available, I called Argus Minerals to request all additional information regarding the accident, as well as copies of his performance assessments, because I wished to cover all possible causes of Mr. Kirkwood's breakdown. By that time, my shift had ended, but I left instructions that I was to be contacted should his condition change.