Welcome Fellow Campaigners!!

I'm participating in the Platform Building Campaign. If you're a fellow campaigner stopping by, make sure to leave me a comment if you follow me so that I can find you. Sometimes there's not a link in your profile on the GFC so I don't have a way to figure out where you came from. I'm looking forward to meeting everyone and to reading your posts!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Food Fit for a King



Living overseas, I have learned that things don't always have the same meaning over here as they do back home. Sometimes it's the oddest things that will have a total opposite meaning here. This is what I learned just the other day when my husband came home and said, "Cook this for me. I want to see how it tastes." 

I looked at what he was holding, then back up at him and then back to his extended hand. "What?" he asked like I was the one that had suddenly lost my mind instead of him. "But you don't eat that food" was all I could manage to reply. 

"Yea I know but I am curious. Will you fix it?" 

So being the dutiful wife that I am I went off and fixed it. I brought him the bowl and he looked at it. Sniffed it. Took one teensy little bite and curled up his nose. "Take a bigger bite" I said while trying not to laugh and he did. Then promptly handed the bowl to me and said "Here you eat it". 

At that point I couldn't stop my laughter any longer and as I sat there eating what I knew he wasn't going to eat we had the strangest discussion. You see this food he was suddenly so curious about is food of the "wealthy" overseas. Only the rich and "well-to-do" families can actually afford to eat it on a regular basis. One package costs more than what we spend to make an entire meal for 5 so it's definitely not something we would be able to eat often. Except that I am actually the only person who likes it so it's not that big of  a deal. Occasionally I get a craving for it and will buy a package, but beyond that no one else likes it. However every time I eat it I can't help but laugh. If  those poor, starving college students and Wal-Mart shoppers only knew that somewhere in the world they would be considered "rich" because this food was the only thing they could afford to eat. You see this food fit for a king is nothing more than: 







Yep, that's right. Ramen Noodles. This is the food of the well-to-do. Who'd have thunk it?!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Zombies, Murder, & a Little Black Dress

June 22nd Indie Support Day


To find out more about Indie Support Day and how you can support an Indie author/musician/filmmaker visit Tamworth Grice's blog, Griceland.


In honor of  Indie Support Day  I am excited to share with you an amazingly talented Indie writer who not only can scare the socks off of you but make you laugh while he’s doing it, Jack Wallen. For the most part, Jack writes thriller and horror fiction. However he also has a chic-lit novel in the works. Yes you read that right although according to his Sample Sunday there is a BIG twist that will blow you away. Just to tease you a little bit, you can read the first chapter of his gender bending chic-lit novel, Shero, over at his blog, Get Jack'd.

Here's my Q & A with Jack: 

Indie author Jack Wallen

Where do you find inspiration for your characters? Do you find it difficult to get into the minds of serial killers and zombies?

The inspiration for my characters comes from many sources. One of the  primary sources is music. When I was writing Gothica, I had the skin of  the killer, Joshua Freeny, in my head, but not the meat and bones. It wasn't until I listened to the song "Pet" by A Perfect Circle. The lyrics:



"Lay your head down child
I won't let the boogeyman come
Countin' bodies like sheep
To the rhythm of the war drums
Pay no mind to the rabble
Pay no mind to the rabble
Head down, go to sleep
To the rhythm of the war drums"

Helped me to realize something fare more sinister with Freeny -- that he was, in some way, connected to some darker spirits that would aid his return from death.

When I set out to write "I Zombie I" I knew the thrust of the story was going to be a journalist chronicling his downward spiral into the zombie abyss. What I had to come up with was:

1) What that felt like
2) What drove the zombies to want to break open the skulls of the living and eat their gray matter.

What I discovered was quite fun to play with. I decided, one of the most maddening things for myself is when tinnitus overtakes my hearing (for whatever reason) and I have trouble hearing. What would happen if that sound was multiplied and never went away. That is where the core of the suffering Jacob Plummer experienced. This also lead me to discover a reason why the zombies hunger for brains (I'll let the readers find that out for themselves.)


What is the hardest part of the writing process for you and how do you overcome it?

The hardest part about writing is marketing. I find the whole of the actual creating process a joy. I love creating and story-telling and dialog. What I loathe is the pimping process. I would have made a horrible, horrible pimp. I want my work to speak for itself and don't want to come off as a car salesman doing everything they can to win a commission. I feel dirty when I post on Twitter or Facebook basically saying "Please buy my book!"

Which character was your favorite (and/or least favorite) to write and why?

My favorite character I have written so far is probably the title character in Shero. That book (due out in July) was simply a joy. There wasn't a single agonizing, stressful part of that character. Not only that, but I spent much of my Shero writing time laughing.

My next favorite character was probably Bethany Nitshimi from the "I Zombie" trilogy. She's a smart, sexy, strong woman that I think a lot of people will be able to relate to. That and she's might well be able to save the world.

I can't say I have a least favorite character. Even the bad guys have some redeeming qualities. But I will say the third book in the "I Zombie" trilogy has probably been the most challenging to write because it was the first in the series that introduced a totally new character as the "protagonist" (You'll have to read the book to know why I used the "".)

 Do you have any special quirks that you do  while writing?

I incant a magical spell and infuse the ink with the souls of a thousand clowns. ;-) The only "quirk" I have is that I always write the first draft out with pen and paper. I feel a much stronger connection to the work that way.

Do you have a current WIP?
How much time do I have? ;-) Here's what I have in the works:

Second book in the "I Zombie" trilogy in the hands of the beta readers. First draft of the final book in the "I Zombie" trilogy is fifty percent done.

Outline for my first YA Paranormal book done (NOTE: No sparkely vampires included in this novel).
Outline completed for two more Fringe Killer books (plus ideas for about five more).
Outline completed for "The Nails of Cavalry".

Sequel to Shero twenty-five percent complete.

I have ideas for quite a few other books in the works as well. I am always jotting down ideas for new stories.


What’s the one piece of advice every Indie writer should know before starting on the self publishing process?


Keep writing. As soon as you write the last word of that first book, take a breath and a moment to feel pride, and then immediately start writing the next book. Never, ever stop. The more you write the better your art, the better your art, the more you will sell.



Why do you think there is so much friction between the Indie world and the world of traditional publishing? Is there a way to bridge the gap?
Traditional publishers are scared the indie authors are going to severely cut into their bottom line. Not only that, but if we continue to be successfully what's holding all of the best selling authors back from joining our ranks? It's the same thing that happened in the music industry and the publishing industry is reacting in the same way the music industry did. If that's the case, we will win in the end.




Places you can connect with Jack:

Blog: Get Jack'd: http://www.monkeypantz.net
Twitter: jlwallen
Facebook: jlwallen




Places you can find Jack's books:

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Top 5 Blogfest



Teralyn over at A Writer's Journey is having a blogfest and I could not pass up the opportunity to play. The challenge for this blogfest was to pick your top five favorite books and write one line of what each book is about and one line about why you liked it. I don't know how well I will stick to the one line, but let's see what happens. The blogfest is from June 20th-22nd so you can still sign up for it, but you best hurry!!




Clan of the Cave Bear is a historical fiction novel set in prehistoric times about the life of a little girl who becomes lost from her family and is found by neanderthals.  I LOVED this series. I don't have words to express what I felt as I read through the entire Earth Children's series. I am not a fan of historical fiction but the writing, the characters, the story just drew me in and I was held hostage. I guess this is cheating because there are 3 books in this series and I loved them all but I am only counting this as one.




Animal Farm is a dystopian allegorical novella  and is about the events leading up to and during the Stalin era before World War II. I loved the rawness of this book. I originally read this when I was in highschool as part of my required reading, but I have read it several times since then. Every time I read it I see something I didn't see the first time which is what I love most about this book. 



The narrative tells the tale of the all-encompassing and passionate, yet thwarted, love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, and how this unresolved passion eventually destroys them and many around them. I am a big fan of the Bronte sisters. I love their flawed characters and how they showed the reality of the world that surrounded them instead of the pomp and circumstance that people pretended was reality.






The story begins in 1940 during World War II, when four siblings--Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie--are evacuated from London to escape the Blitz and are sent to live with Professor Digory Kirke, who lives in a country house in the English countryside. Believe it or not I have not ever seen these movies, but have read all of the books. I lost myself inside of these fantasies. I hid inside of my own closet and played pretend whatever chapter I had finished reading that day.  



A vampire named Louis tells his 200-year-long life story to reporter Daniel Molloy (who is only referred to as "the boy" in the novel). My very first book crush was over LeStat. I connected with him in such a way that made him so real to me. I felt as if I actually met him and lost him, but was able to reconnect with him through the book. And no I never saw this movie either. I am not one for watching the movies if I have read the book. That includes the LOTR as well. I am weird like that I know. 

So that is my list. I almost played by the rules which is a lot for me. I can't wait to read what books everyone has listed. I know my list is a bit eclectic but what can I say? I have never been known for being "normal".


Monday, June 20, 2011

Shameless Self Promotion

http://indiedesignz.blogspot.com/


I am so totally pimping myself out today which is not something I am good at. I always feel a little dirty and cheezy whenever I do stuff like this especially considering how lazy and off topic I have been about posting this month. Usually Lizzy does this for me. She is a good pimp and an even better writer. So here goes nothing, you may or may not know that in my life outside the blogsphere I am a freelance graphic designer.  I along with my husband own a little graphic design company. We mainly design for companies, billboard ads, storefront signage, business cards, logos, letterheads, etc. Then when I began blogging a few months ago one of the very first people I met was Lizzy She is an amazingly talented new author and I instantly became addicted to the crack she was selling in the form of books. (on a side note her books are free at the moment so if you're looking for some awesome reading then check her out)

How she and I came upon the subject of cover designs, I am not sure, but we did and so I started designing her book covers. She has stroked my ego so much not only did it cause my head to swell but she was the support behind me starting my little side business called Indie Designz. 

I created a separate blog for Indie Designz which you can check out if you want. I don't really plan on posting there. I made it so that I could have pricing pages, service pages, and as a way of keeping my designs in one place without them getting lost in the mess, but if someone took pity on it and wanted to follow it just so it isn't lonely I would be ever so grateful.

I have been doing this for awhile now but haven't actually mentioned it openly on this blog. Although I do have the little blurb at the top, but I thought I would throw myself out there. Even if you're not looking for a cover artist, but just a regular follower of this blog, then I hope you will at least check out the designs, feedback is always welcomed on my work. I love getting feedback because it helps me to improve.

Here is a sample of my latest work for Lizzy. For more samples and pricing check out my Indie Designz blog:

Mind Cafe is scheduled for re-release at the end of June. Join Lizzy's mailing list to receive updates regarding Mind Cafe as well as Lizzy's other books.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Culture Shock

no this is not me


I often wonder about what it will be like that first moment. So many years have passed and living overseas has changed me so much. I wonder if there will be that connection between us. If the things I taught to them when they were little will still be buried away somewhere within theirselves or if it has simply disappeared. 

Days like today make me very contemplative in regards to my children. So much time has passed and there is so much that I wish for them to know, but they have been raised in that backwoods redneck small town mindset. I know because that is how I was raised, but the fact that I was able to see beyond that gives me hope that maybe some day they will too. 

Days like today make me regretful for the time that I have lost with them but also thankful for the lessons that I learned during my journey. I have gained so much understanding not only about the world and its people, but more importantly about myself. However that brings about extreme guilt. How can I feel any happiness about the journey that has taken me far from my children? Yet the journey is what has made me a better person. A person that I hope they will one day be proud of. A person that someday they will at least consider a friend if nothing else. 

Days like today are bittersweet. They should be joyous, but they are tainted with the sourness of knowing that it is a sweetness my children have yet to taste. I hope someday I will be able to share it with them.


13th Rajab

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Sable City





These are my absolute favorite posts to write. I feel like a big time journalist who is getting the insider info on the writing world's up and coming new writers. I have met some absolutely fabulous writers since starting this weekly post and I hope you all have enjoyed them as much as I have. This week is a bit different though. My guest doesn't have a blog (yet ahem hint hint ahem). He has just recently published his first novel, The Sable City, and is new to the whole blogsphere/facebook/social network scene. See don't I sound like I know what I am talking about lol. His name is Michael Edward McNally and he has written an amazing guest post regarding his journey in "indie publishing". If you're wanting to be transported to far off mythological lands, then you must check out his book. Welcome Michael!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thanks to Dafeenah for allowing a still-finding-my-way-around Indie writer to post a few thoughts. Here are a few of mine.

My whole life I’ve been reading or seeing interviews with authors, and 99% of the time one of the first questions asked is, of course, “Where do you get your ideas for your stories?”  So you would think I’d have had a witty answer ready for when I myself was inevitably asked (particularly as I’ve had my Grammy and Oscar acceptance speeches good-to-go since age 14 or so).  But not so much.  The question came up not long ago, and I just stared at it, wondering, as it had never really occurred to me to ask myself.

I think I said something about hearing voices in my head, seeing a character as though through a glass darkly, little joke, little aw-shucks, something like that.  Because of course the only honest answer for me was, “Heck if I know.”  Stuff is just rolling around the brain-pan, be it serotonin or pixie dust, and once in while something sort of globs together.  As a writer, all I do is take a rolling pan to it, and see what it looks like after it’s flat on a page.  Maybe not a good answer, but what it may lack in quality, it makes up for in sincerity.  If I knew I would say so, but Heck if I know.

What I do know, and the question nobody asks, is “Where do you get your ideas for your setting?”  That one, oddly, I can answer perfectly well.

I was studying the Balkans back in the ’90s when much of the region was on fire, and I got very interested in exploring issues of nationalism, religion, ethnic identity, etc.  Writing about things myself is the way in which I explore them.  However, I really didn’t want to step on anybody’s toes, so I did the obvious thing: I created a world with its own peoples, gods, and nations.  Now, since I was big Tolkien/Eddings/Leiber fan from Back In The Day (and, yes, a total Dungeons and Dragons nerd for quite a while as a kid), my world was distinctly “Fantasy,” with magic, dragons, monsters, and what-not.  This made me more interested in exploring some other things, as for example how “magic” could fill the role of technology in establishing communications and logistics allowing for Imperial expansion.

After a while I had a stack of notebooks and crudely-drawn historical maps defining the history of some places that had never been.  I did it basically as a hobby, as it is too hot to go outside in AZ for much of the year, and there are snakes and scorpions out there.  Also, it was cheaper than cable.

Which, of course, is when the heretofore mentioned “globbing” started to occur.  Maybe the Hand of a Muse alighted on my brow, maybe I had a bad shrimp chimi for dinner, but something started to roil.  That something is now a series of books, set in an early gunpowder/Age of Sail fantasy world with a pathological amount of detail underpinning it.  Far more detail in fact than will ever be in any of the novels, because setting isn’t a story.  There are people living in my world now, and the story is theirs.  Specifically, it belongs to Tilda Lanai, the young Island Guilder trying to find the exiled heir of the Trade House she serves.  Tilda is what the glob turned into.

So that’s what I’ve got. Book I of the Norothian Cycle, The Sable City is available on Kindle and from Smashwords for other readers.  Volume II is slated for an end of June release.... 

If anything I’ve said here gives you hope that these books might be a good read, please do check out the free sample downloads, as owing to my verbosity they are plenty long to you give you a taste.

Thank you for your time, and for supporting Indie authors,

M. Edward McNally

 About Michael "Ed"'s book:



Product Description

The Trade Houses of the Miilark Islands control the shipping lanes linking four diverse continents across the blue vastness of the Interminable Ocean. The Houses are represented abroad by the Guilders; men and women skilled in business and burglary, salesmanship and swordplay, merchandising and musketry. Tilda Lanai has trained for years to take her place among them, but now the House she is to serve is imperiled by the sudden death of the House Lord.  Scenting blood in the water, rival Houses begin to circle.  The desperate search for an exiled heir takes Tilda across a war-torn continent and to the gates of the Sable City, where centuries ago dark magic almost destroyed the world. Along with a sinister sorceress, a broken-hearted samurai, and a miscreant mercenary long on charm but lousy with a crossbow, Tilda must brave the demon-infested ruins to find the heir who may yet save her House.


 

From the Author

The Sable City is the first volume of a fantasy/adventure series called The Norothian Cycle.  As such, it is the introduction not only to a cast of characters but to an entire world, though I have endeavored not to let laying-the-groundwork detract from Tilda's story.  Additional background materials (maps, glossary, short histories) may be found at The Sable City on Facebook.



More about the author:
M. Edward McNally is a North Carolinian of Irish/Mexican extraction. Grew up mostly in the Midwest along the I35 corridor (Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota), and now resides in the scrub brush surrounding Phoenix, AZ, where the scorpions and the javelinas play. Masters in English Lit from ISU and Russian/East European History from ASU, though both date from an earlier era when there was a lot of Grunge on the radio and Eddie wore entirely too much flannel, even in the summer.




Places you can find his books:

Amazon














Smashwords:  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/46661


Places you can connect with Michael:

Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/medwardmcnally
                    http://www.facebook.com/thesablecity





Monday, June 13, 2011

Under Appreciated Over Qualified

It's Monday so you know what that means. It's Indie Ink writing time. I suddenly feel like PeeWee Herman just said the word of the day and I should scream or something lol. When I first saw this week's challenge, I was a bit stumped. It was simple but yet not so I wasn't sure exactly what to do with it, but as soon as I sat down to write the words just wrote themselves. As always your feedback is most welcomed!! My challenge this week came from Jan. She challenged me to write about "a confrontation at work with your boss". I challenged Seeking Elevation. You'll be able to read the reply later this week HERE


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 "Doesn't she ever get tired of hearing herself talk?" I wondered as the sound of her voice drifted in from down the hall. It seems she never shuts up. She is always going on about something. Some days it is more than I can take. What was I thinking when I took this job. I must have been insane to think that I could do this. Why didn't I become a doctor like everyone expected me to? Oh no I knew better than all of them. I had to follow my dreams, follow my heart. How silly that seems now sitting here listening to my boss screaming for the umpteenth time today. I don't even know what it's about this time. Everything I do just seems to be wrong. No matter how hard I try she just never seems to be satisfied with my work. Now after only two years of being in this job, I am really starting to doubt my own abilities. I think it's time I did something else, but how?

 I could hear the sound of her voice getting louder as she grew closer to my door. Before I knew what was happening I flung the door open and just began screaming at her. Even as I heard the sound of my own voice ringing in my ears, I couldn't believe that it was me. Two years worth of frustration came pouring out of me and for the first time all day, she was silent. She just stood there.Staring at me with her eyes unblinking. 

When finally there were no more words left in me, I too stood there in silence. Not quite sure what had just happened. Not quite sure what I should do next. That is when she finally got up the courage to speak to me, "Mommy mad at me?" she whispered as the tears began to spill from her big brown eyes. 

I scooped her up in my arms and buried my face into her neck. Inhaling her innocence, "No sweetness, Mommy is so sorry for yelling at you. Can you forgive Mommy? How bout we have Italian today for lunch? Your favorite, what do you say?" 

"Sketti? Me eat sketti?" she asked, still not quite certain what had just taken place. "Yes, you eat sketti. Come on, you can help me make the sauce". As I buckled her into her booster seat and a big smile replaced her tears, I realized I might just be doing an ok job after all. 

"Wuv you mommy". 

"Mommy wuvs you too sweetness".




Sunday, June 12, 2011

Exhales in the Darkness



As his fingertips slide across my skin, I close my eyes. I should enjoy this, right? I mean this is a part of marriage. It’s what married people do, and they enjoy it. Then why do I find myself praying for it to be over with as quickly as possible every time his lips reach for mine? I try closing my eyes but that just makes it worse. Faces that I long to forget flash in front of me. 

My father.
My mother’s boyfriend.
Exes. 

Regrets and mistakes that I have deseparately tried to erase from my memory, and just when I think they are gone forever, he reaches for me and the dam breaks. It all comes flooding back in. The pain of touch. The hurt of closeness. I wonder if he knows. If he feels me trying not to pull away from him. If he feels the inner tormoil that rages inside of me every time his smile lands upon my soul. I pray he doesn't. I never want him to feel unloved. Unwanted.

Because I do love him. I love him much more than I ever imagined possible, but no matter how hard I try I cannot erase the images that flash before my eyes whenever his love washes over me. I am their unwillling slave. They are my captor. 

I have tried to replace them, but like a broken in pair of shoes, they refuse to be replaced. 

Sometimes when he sleeps, I close my eyes and just listen to his breath. The sound of his deep inhale and then the sudden release as he exhales. It is the most peaceful sound I have ever heard, and in those moments, when I am alone in the darkness. Just me and his breath. I long for his touch. I trace the contours of his body with my fingertips ever so slightly. I don’t want to wake him. I don’t want this closeness to end.  During these moments of darkness and exhales, there are no flashes. No forgotten ghosts that suddenly pop up out of nowhere. There is only me and his exhale. 

As I lay there I wonder if the ghosts will ever disappear. If there will ever come a time when there are no monsters hiding in my closet. A time when I can allow myself to fall into him without seeing images that should never be etched into anyone’s mind. Will I ever be able to just be in his arms? Will I ever be free? 

Suddenly a saltiness invades my tastebuds and brings me back to the present.  I don’t know when the tears began to fall but the wetness of my pillow tells me they had been falling for awhile. I allow them to take their freedom. One by one they escape into the darkness as I search for his exhale. If only I can catch it, then maybe sleep will come. Even if only for a moment.




This was for TRDC's weekly memoir prompt. The prompt was to write about how the show of affection has played a part in your memory. Choose a time when either the abundance or lack of affection (either by you or someone else) stands out, and show us.  Bring us to that time.  Help us feel what you felt. Your feedback is welcomed.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cheryl Shireman - Broken Resolutions



With the upcoming summer holidays, I thought I would rearrange my blogging schedule. So I have done away with Saturday Spotlight and it has been renamed Writer Spotlight so that I can move it to a different day. Most likely it will be every Wednesday of each week, but since my internet wasn't working at the beginning of the week I am a bit behind. Even so I still wanted to get this up so that hopefully by next week I could be on a schedule that is more suitable. At the moment I am not able to visit everyone as much as I would like so I thought by rearranging things that should help and with the summer ahead I will most likely be busy on the weekends as will most others so it just makes sense!! Now that that's out of the way let's meet this week's Indie Author, Cheryl Shireman. 

 I actually found Cheryl through another Indie author, Lizzy Ford. She introduced me to Cheryl's blog and I am so glad she did. Cheryl has some amazing information available on her blog especially for new writers who are just starting out. Her Indie Publishing page is filled with great tips and sites that I have found to be tremendously helpful. Not only does she provide some amazing info, but she writes the most amazing books. She has six published books. The two I liked most were Broken Resolutions which is about two ex lovers who are pretending to still be together for one last event except things don't go quite as planned and Character Profile for Fiction Writing which is very helpful for those writers wanting to combat writing block, improve your writing skills,  learn basic skills used by every writer,  and gather ideas for new stories.


You can visit her site for full synopsis of all her books and for links on where to purchase them. Now here's my Q & A with Cheryl:

1. What site(s) have provided you with the most help and support as an Indie author? 

One of the first sites that I found to be really informative is Kindleboards. I joined that site and “hung out” in the Writer’s CafĂ©. There are a great group of writers (and readers) there who are always willing to give advice and instruction. More recently, I joined a Facebook group called Indie Writers Unite. That group is just wonderful and consists of other Indie writers. We go there to get advice on such things as pricing, covers, and descriptions. We go there to complain when the writing is not going well. We also go there to celebrate those great sales days. Lots of camaraderie and support there. Love my writer’s group!

2. When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

I started writing in my early teens, but I never really considered the possibility of being a writer. That seemed like such a fantasy, such a dream occupation, that it was always out of reach. In fact, I never thought it was a possibility until after I submitted an article to a magazine and it was accepted for publication. I only received twelve dollars for that article, but more importantly, I learned that people would pay to read my writing. A career in writing suddenly became a possibility.


3. Is there more or less competition amongst Indie authors than amongst "traditionally published" authors? 

Well, since I have never been “traditionally published” it is difficult for me to answer that question. But – I can say this about the Indie writers I have had contact with, and there have been many. These are some of the kindest and most encouraging people I have ever met. We share our stories. We tell each other what works, and what doesn’t, and give ideas on what to try next. I don’t feel any competition among my fellow Indie writers, but instead, a sense of cooperation and unity. If one of us succeeds, all of us succeed. It has been an amazing experience.

4. Why do you think the work of Indie authors is somehow considered "less than" traditionally published authors and how can this attitude be changed?

I think that attitude is already changing. The stigma about self-publishing is well deserved because it started in the days of so-called “Vanity Presses” who “published” your book – as long as you paid them hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. For many people, this is what they think of when they hear about Indie or “self” publishing. 

Just five months ago, this was also my attitude. I had never heard of the Indie revolution – despite the fact that I am a writer and an avid reader! My husband bought me a Kindle for Christmas. While looking for a new book to add to my Kindle, I came across an article about Karen McQuestion. She is an author who self-published many of her best-selling novels as eBooks on Kindle. My first thought was, this seemed too good to be true. There had to be some sort of catch. 

There is not. A writer can now self-publish and partner with companies such as Amazon for no cost whatsoever. Within 24 hours of reading that article (in late January), I had uploaded my recently completed first novel, Life is But a Dream. Within 48 hours it was available on Amazon as a Kindle eBook. Within a couple of weeks it was also available as a paperback through Amazon and as an eBook on Barnes & Noble’s Nook. It is now mid-May and Life is But a Dream has been bought by thousands of readers. In less than four months! That is simply amazing.


5. Have you had more success with your eBooks or printed books?

While I am selling both paperbacks and eBooks, I am definitely selling more copies of the novels via eBooks. I have just released a gift book entitled You Don’t Need a Prince that is selling about the same number of copies in paperback and eBooks. I think it depends on the title. For novels, across the board, eBooks are now becoming the most popular format.


6. What is your current WIP?

I just published another novel, Broken Resolutions, and I am currently working on a sequel to Life is But a Dream. I had not planned to do so, but I heard from so many readers who requested a sequel that I thought – why not? And I love the opportunity to “hang out” with the characters again. Six months ago, if you had told me that Life is But a Dream would not only be published, but would also sell so well that readers would ask for a sequel, I would have never believed it. Dreams do come true!


Description:
Six long-time friends gather for their annual New Year’s Eve party. They are meeting at Craig and Hannah’s spectacular home in the country. Hannah is a best-selling romance novelist. Craig is her adoring husband. All seems perfect.

Except nothing is. No one knows that Craig left Hannah several months ago and is living across town with another woman. Tonight, Craig and Hannah will play the part one more time. Because tomorrow will be soon enough for broken dreams and reality. Tonight, they just have to get through the party.

But they didn’t plan on the snowstorm. A snowstorm that will keep them all snowed in together for the next three days. Which is plenty of time for secrets to be discovered, for illusions to be shattered, and for resolutions to be broken.

So, dab a little perfume behind your ear, put your party dress on, and slip into your favorite heels. You’re invited to the party!


(photo & description were taken from Cheryl's blog)


Places you can find Cheryl:



Where you can purchase Life is But a Dream:

Life is But a Dream Kindle 
Life is But a Dream  Nook   
Life is But a Dream Paperback   


I would like to thank Cheryl for taking the time to visit with me today and if you would like to be featured in my writer's spotlight, then drop me an email. I would love to have you.

To read past Writer Spotlight features, simply visit my Writer's Spotlight page.
Next week's featured writer is M. Edward McNally.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Teleporting Hindsight

Ordinarily I have my Indie Ink writing challenge up by Monday, but apparently the bloggy gods decided that I needed a bit of  bloggy break. On Monday I participated in Alex's blogfest, but before I could visit everyone my internet decided to go on sabbatical and stayed there for the next 24 hrs. Then when it finally decided it was rested and ready to work, the transformer blew in our area and the entire city was without electric for the next 24 hrs. Well it would come and go but never long enough for me to get online. So to all of my new followers I apologize for being such a poor hostess and to those who commented from the blogfest I promise I will get by to visit you in the next day or so. My challenge this week came from Heather. She challenged me to write a letter to myself 10 yrs ago. (ie if I am 26 now then write to my 16 yr old self). My challenge went to Trish. You'll be able to read her reply HERE


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Dear Me, 


I realize it must be a shock to read this. After all, it's from me. I mean you. I mean well the you that you will be ten years from now. Damn, this is harder than I thought it would be. Let me start again.

So much has changed in these ten years. They haven't yet been able to transport a human back in time but they have had success in transporting objects. I volunteered because I wanted to let you know that a lot of shit is about to happen. It's not going to be easy on you. I don't want to tell you what's coming because I don't want to alter the person you become, but I just want to let you know that you turn out pretty damn good if I do say so myself. Which I do btw. You make a lot of mistakes. You do a lot of things you will wish you could change, but you learn from those mistakes. You make your life better. You make you better, and the most remarkable thing of all is you survive. You build a life, and you become happy within yourself. You find that inner peace that you have been searching for. Things are still difficult, but yet that's ok. You're ok.

So I just wanted to let you know that there will come a day when things are "better". When things don't look so dark.So just hold on. Be patient, and most of all don't forget to breathe. I'll be here waiting for you. You're not alone.

You're not alone. 


Love always, 

The You that You Become

Monday, June 6, 2011

Wanna Play Doctor with Me



Today I am playing along with Alex. He is having a blogfest and asked that we list our 3 favorite games and why. So here are mine in descending order:


#3. Operation


I love this game as much as I hate it.  You either have to be a masochist or an extremely skillfull surgeon to play this game. I am not a surgeon and from how badly I was at this game that might be a good thing. I played this game as a child and being a bit OCD even then I became determined to remove all of this guy's body parts. I never could. The butterfly, the rib, and the funny bone were always my downfall. That freaking "zzzzzz" sound when you touched the sides made my skin crawl. I bet you're waiting for why I love this game. Yea I am not sure why exactly but I do. I even bought it for "my children" when they were little and forced them to play it with me. 


#2. Trouble


I might be telling my age with this game. I played this when I was little and yes I also forced my children to play this. I mean isn't that one of the little perks of having children, being able to buy things for yourself while pretending it's for them? Don't judge you know you do it too. This was also the game my grandmother and I spent hours playing so that is another reason it is one of my favorites. She would always have "trouble" getting the dice to pop so I would always have to do it for her. 




#1 all time favorite game drumroll please: 













I am definitely telling my age with this one. Do you guys even remember Atari? Do you even KNOW what an Atari is?

Atari game console


I was seven when I got this for Christmas. It came with DuckHunter, Astroids, and Pac Man, but the following year for my birthday I got Ms Pac-Man and my addiction truly began. Not only was I addicted, but I was damn good. I could get two juniors without ever losing a life. I could flip the board. TWICE. Without breaking a sweat. Ms Pac-Man was the center of my seven year old existence and I was her willing slave. Oh Ms. Pac-Man it's been so long. I have played you on my computer but it's just not the same as having that joystick in my hand. The Atari joystick. Get your minds out of the gutter people. 

So those are my top 3 favorite all time games. Or well at least the legal ones, but we won't go there. I can't wait to read everyone's responses and see what all they list as their favorite games. If you want to join in, then head on over to Alex's. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the linky thingy to see all those who have already signed up. Thanks Alex for the playdate!!!


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Saturday Spotlight- Rhian Williams




I hope everyone had a nice weekend last week. This week's spotlight feature is a bit different so I am super excited about sharing it with you. This week's Indie Author is Rhian Williams and she writes poetry. I was only 14 when my first poems were published so poetry has always held a special place in my heart. Rhi has a unique style of writing that comes straight from the heart. Here is a sample of one of her poems from her blog.  You can read more of Rhi's writing, photography, and poetry over at her blog, Bits and Bobs


She looked, sighed, dropped to her knees,
she waited, teased, kissing her hips,
the agony achieved in hesitation
from one woman to another
anticipation over skin and smiles.
Just wait, one more moment for her,
touching from heart to hips,
with swift, soft, fingertips,


Here's my Q & A with Rhi:

1. How long have you been writing poetry?

I wrote my first poem at 17, and I remember it pretty clearly, even if I don't actually have it. It was pretty awful, and after that, most of my poetry was cathartic, and out pouring of everything bad and terrible I felt, none of the good. I think this is something every poet has to go through, if not every writer, it's important to get everything out so you can grow and learn and find your style. I think I managed to get it all out by time I was 24, not that I don't write plenty of cathartic poetry, or poetry about the bad and terrible things in my life (or the world), but I can write in a way that is more accessible to the reader.

2. Do you feel promoting a collection of poetry is harder than a novel and do you have to do anything different from promoting a novel or is it the same?

It's definitely harder, but that's just the nature of poetry. Even if it were published by the big poetry publisher Farber and Farber it would be hard. Poetry is a niche market and then some, most bookshops here have one shelf for poetry and that's it. It's a bit like the forgotten sibling, overshadowed by Harry Potter and Dan Brown, even though it's older. More and more people may write it, but I see that as inevitable with the population increase of the world, and technology. So I've got a bit of a challenge ahead of me, and I'm not entirely sure of all the details to be honest, but it can't be any harder than therapy.

3. What types of poetry do you prefer to write?
 
I prefer to write freeverse poetry, poems with their own rhythm and rhyme scheme (if they rhyme at all), but I have experimented with different forms, difficult forms, like sonnets, sestinas and villanelles, but I always return to freeverse. As for subject, I tend to go through phases; I write about anything and everything, but I'll have periods of time where I will stick to a certain subject, a certain person or event.

4. What is your current WIP?

At the moment, I'm working on putting together another collection of poetry, as it turns out, over the years I've got a lot of poetry that's just sitting in a few disorganised folders on my computer. I'm also trying to finish my first novel, which I'm half way through or so, but it takes me a long time to do anything, so it'll be my work in progress for a while longer yet. Along with another four half started novels, a couple of half finished short stories, and some other bits and bobs, I always have something on the go, something to work on. To top it off, I will be going back to university in September to do a degree in English Lit. and Creative Writing.

 
You can purchase Rhi's book "I Love You like a Madman" in both print and ebook formats.
Paperback available at: https://www.createspace.com/3600315
 
 
 
Connect with Rhi:



You can find past Saturday Spotlight features on my Writer Spotlight Page. Next week's featured Indie author is Cheryl Shireman.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

See If You Can Find Me


Be our guest be our guest put our service to the test 


I am not here today. This is a recorded message to inform you that I am playing at Beverly's blog today. She was crazy nice enough to invite me as a guest over there. I talk about my success as a writer and the cha-ching I have got from it. So go check it out. She has nice pretty shiny playthings too. So go to Beverly's blog Writing in Flow I'll be waiting there for you.



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