Monday, January 30, 2012

Author Interview Fiasco #5

Good morning!!!  Today's awesome author is Tish Thawer author of The Rose Trilogy!!!!!

Welcome Tish!!!!  Sooooo cool to have you here!!!  Inquiring minds want to know, so I’m here to ask the questions. LOL 

1.  As a child, who was your favorite superhero and why?
Superman and he still is to this day. I just feel that his powers are genuine, where some of the others *ahem* Batman, weren't quite as legit. And others had to have something happen to them before developing their powers, (Spiderman). Now before anyone gets their panties in a wad - I am a lover of all superheros - but Superman will always be my fav.

2.  If you were going to take over the world, how would you do it?
From my video gaming days, I would have to say the best plan would be to secure a location that has a wide variety of resources and then systematically wipe out other low-key areas so that when there is a need of said resources - people are forced to come to you. (Obviously, my world consists of a very small bubble.) LOL

3.  Other than writing, what is your favorite thing to do?
First– reading. Second–watching TV and movies. Third–it starts with an "s" and involves a bed.

4.  Top 5 favorite bands/songs?
1. Everything by Lifehouse
2. Control by Puddle of Mud
3. Tonight, Tonight by Hot Chelle Rae
4. Crash by The Dave Matthew's Band
5. Black Betty by Ram Jam

5.  Top 5 favorite TV shows?
1. The Vampire Diaries
2. Secret Circle
3. Modern Family
4. Once Upon a Time
5. Dancing with the Stars

6.  If there was one statement you could make that the entire planet would hear and remember, what would it be?
Love your family with all your heart, strive to achieve all your dreams, and remember that your always surrounded by magic...all you have to do it look for it.

7.  Social issue nearest and dearest to your heart?
Stopping animal cruelty and the overpopulation of shelters. I've adopted the last six dogs that I've had, and have been rewarded with some of the best pets ever.

8.  In your opinion, what characteristics do the best bad guys have in common?
Sex appeal, confidence, that tender part that's buried deep within just waiting for someone like me to find it and make them see the error of their ways. :p

9.  What is most likely to put you in a creative mood?
A good night's sleep that has me waking up from a magical dream.

10.  Is there anything you’d like to tell us about your books?
Sure. You can find all the information about The Rose Trilogy on my blog at:
The first in the trilogy, Scent of a White Rose, is now available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble in eBook and paperback formats, as well as other eBook vendors.
And, you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Shelfari - just look for Tish Thawer.

Thanks so much for joining us!!!!!  We appreciate you sharing!!!!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Author Interview Fiasco #4

Today's victim is the king of terror... JH Glaze!!!!

Welcome JH!!!  Seriously awesome to have you here!!!  Inquiring minds want to know, so I’m here to ask the questions. LOL 

1.  As a child, who was your favorite superhero and why?
 I actually had more than one. They were the Fantastic Four. I think the reason I liked them was related to their abilities, and their stories contained more humor than other superhero comics at the time.

2.  If you were going to take over the world, how would you do it?
Through the development of a crisis that people could grasp with their imagination. Panic is a powerful tool and fear is a motivator. Most people believe that aliens could be real. Why not create some type of invasion? With the help of special effects, and the help of willing participants, it is feasible to create enough panic to get the masses to fall in line.
And what if it was an invisible invader, one that targeted and possessed only people with certain beliefs? Couldn’t a significant number of people be persuaded that these individuals need to be exterminated? It has happened before!

3.  Other than writing, what is your favorite thing to do?
 Hang out at the beach with Susan. It seems like every moment is packed with fun, even if we are just parked under an umbrella swilling Corona Light.

4.  Top 5 favorite bands/songs?
 I have to say that I have been a music collector all my life, I used to own a used record store when I lived in Ohio and for years I was a CD dealer at record shows. I had to go to iTunes for the answer

1. Pink Floyd – Wish you were here
2. Imogen Heap - Almost all of her music.  She plays all of the instruments, writes all of her songs, records in her home studio and makes incredible music. Reminds me of Making my books!
3. Depeche Mode – First heard them before they were famous like almost all of it
4. Nickelback - Savin Me – The music video for this song was one of the most awesome concepts I have ever seen.
5. Linkin Park - In the End  - At a point in my life when everything seemed to be falling apart all around me, I was in a CD shop in Jacksonville Florida when I heard this song, It gave me clarity in the moment and the answer I was seeking at the time.
But I really like a lot of different stuff, like the JAY-Z song - Empire State of mind, A song from the soundtrack of  “House of Flying Daggers” sung by an opera singer called “Lovers”
I truly like music that makes me feel something, not just as background noise, and one thing I really like is 80s and 90’s Goth bands like Sisters of Mercy!

5.  Top 5 favorite TV shows?
1. True Blood
2. Damages – some twisted stories and I love how they tell them
3. 24 – I loved how Jack Bauer would kill the bad guy and then use the defibrillator to bring them back to like so he could torture them some more.
4. Taken – one of the best alien miniseries ever
5. Lost

6.  If there was one statement you could make that the entire planet would hear and remember, what would it be?
Always question those who would lead you into destruction for their own benefit.

7.  Social issue nearest and dearest to your heart?
Preventing teen crime. Most criminals established their careers in their teen years. Teach them a different path for a better future.

8.  In your opinion, what characteristics do the best bad guys have in common?
Diabolical plots and hot women.

9.  What is most likely to put you in a creative mood?
 A few minutes in front of a computer. When I close my eyes to go to sleep and see shadows flashing through my eyelids. A conversation with Susan. Driving on the freeway on long roadtrips. Drinking margaritas on a hot summer day.  Just about any damn thing!

10.  Is there anything you’d like to tell us about your books?
 I like to write stories that contain a lot of action, a bit of humor, a different than anything I’ve ever read, and are as entertaining as hell. I also use the f**k word a lot, because it fits the situations my characters find themselves in. If you were about to be eaten by an alien would you say “Darn”?

Thanks so much for joining us!!!!!  We appreciate you sharing!!!!

You can connect with JH:

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Author Interview Fiasco #3

Today's guest is author extraordinaire Valerie Bowen!!!

Hello Valerie!!!!  Awesome to have you here!!!  Inquiring minds want to know, so I’m here to ask the questions. LOL 

1.  As a child, who was your favorite superhero and why?

My favorite hero was Aquaman. I loved to swim and always dreamed of talking to fish…I know it seems a little ridiculous seeing if you talk underwater you just end up with a lung full of water. I tried it wasn’t fun.

2.  If you were going to take over the world, how would you do it?

If I was going to take over the world I would hypnotize people through television programs. Most people watch television and I would be able to get hundreds of thousands of people during one half hour program.

3.  Other than writing, what is your favorite thing to do?

One of my favorite things to do is design covers for my novels. I have so many cover ideas I think it may take years to write the books for them.

4.  Top 5 favorite bands/songs?

There are so many bands/songs that I absolutely love. I would have to say they depend entirely on the mood I’m in.

5.  Top 5 favorite TV shows?

I rarely watch television, but when I do it is usually Gordon Ramsey’s kitchen nightmares. Some of the kitchens he transforms would be a great setting for a thriller.

6.  If there was one statement you could make that the entire planet would hear and remember, what would it be?

Be who you are and not who others want you to be. Self respect is worth far more than acceptance into any clique.

7.  Social issue nearest and dearest to your heart?

The nearest and dearest social issue I have is abuse of any kind. Child abuse of course comes first followed by spousal and animal abuse a tie for second.

8.  In your opinion, what characteristics do the best bad guys have in common?

I think the most common characteristic of all bad guys is the element of terror. To be a great bad guy he/she has to be able to terrify their victims in the most heinous ways possible. My madman takes terror to a whole different level.

9.  What is most likely to put you in a creative mood?

I have always been able to tell a story, but the most likely way I set myself in a creative mood is go to the local coffee shop and people watch. You would be surprised how many absolutely fantastic characters you can find in a coffee shop.

10.  Is there anything you’d like to tell us about your books?

The for the Sake of Amelia series is a story of a woman who is trying to overcome the physical and emotional scars that have been inflicted on her by an abusive ex husband. This was a difficult series to write due to the fact I had to bring out many of my long forgotten feelings. This series shows the reader no matter how hard you try to help a person out of a difficult situation, in the end the strength has to come from within. I found many readers have literally begged me to publish the novels closer together because they had to find out what happens to their friends.

The Mind of a Madman series is what I am currently working on. This story is about a man (the madman) with a long undetected mental illness. His illness has transformed him into a heartless murderer with no shame or guilt. In reality the ‘madman’ does suffer from deep regret with every heinous murder he commits.

You can read the first chapter of all my novels on my website

Thanks so much for joining us!!!!!  We appreciate you sharing!!!!
You can connect with Valerie on facebook!!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Author Interview Fiasco #2

Today's author is the amazing A. Jacob Sweeny.

Welcome A.J.Sweeny !!!!  Awesome to have you here!!!  Inquiring minds want to know, so I’m here to ask the questions. LOL

1.  As a child, who was your favorite superhero and why?

Julius Caesar. I think it had to do a lot with my mother, who read to me historical books and even some of his own writings-and then translated them to child language so I could actually understand what she was reading to me. I remember feeling tremendous respect to the way he thought and all his inventions/innovations. I also respected the way he marched along with his foot soldiers as if he were no different them.

2.  If you were going to take over the world, how would you do it?

Very very sneakily....  ;) I might use some of Caesar's recommendations.

3.  Other than writing, what is your favorite thing to do?

I love to listen to music and I love the outdoors...oh and I love to cook.

4.  Top 5 favorite bands/songs?

That’s a hard one because I have a huge and eclectic collections of music.
I would still put The Beatles, and the Smashing Pumpkins high up there!

5.  Top 5 favorite TV shows?

I hardly watch TV but when I did these were my favorites:
Deadwood, (new)Battlestar Galactica, Supernatural, Sons Of Anarchy, and before it got repetitive, I really enjoyed Law and Order. Waiting for new shows to come on Netflix.

6.  If there was one statement you could make that the entire planet would hear and remember, what would it be? 

We are still sleepwalking our way through life. Listen, look, learn, and be patient before making your own judgements.

7.  Social issue nearest and dearest to your heart?

Women’s and Children’s welfare, and animal abuse.

8.  In your opinion, what characteristics do the best bad guys have in common?

They never know they are the bad guys ;)

9.  What is most likely to put you in a creative mood?

Music and a clean house :)

10.  Is there anything you’d like to tell us about your books?

Yes. They are complicates and are written on many different levels. If you’re looking for a quick in and out -please avoid reading my books! oh and they are pretty darn good...I put a lot of effort and research into them.

Thanks so much for joining us!!!!!  We appreciate you sharing!!!!

Thank you for having me here. Keep THE PULSE strong.

You can connect with A.J here 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Author Interview Fiasco #1

Good morning!!!  I decided to try this author interview fiasco mostly because it sounded fun.  But more importantly, you can learn a lot about a person just by the way they answer some of these questions. (The fact they agreed to do it says volumes too. LOL)  All the authors on my list are seriously great people as well as writers. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!!!

Our first victim, Ahem, I mean the Dark Overlord of writing---Nathan Squiers!!!!!!

Hey Nathan!!!  So cool to have you here!!!  Inquiring minds want to know and I'm here to ask those questions..... 

1.  As a child, who was your favorite superhero and why?

            I still consider myself a child, but that will come into play later in this response (lol). When I was younger (let's say between five-and-ten years of age) I was a big fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (specifically Raphael--the turtle with the twin sais and the red bandana in the cartoons [little known fact: in the original comics ALL the turtles wore red and their only distinguishing features were their facial expressions--Leo: serious/stern; Donny: goofy-yet-contemplative; Raph: rage; Mikey: goofy-and-playful--and the weapons they carried]). I was also a HUGE Batman fan and a follower of Spider-Man and the X-Men (especially Wolverine [*snickt*]).
            Now that I'm an "adult" and my tastes have changed, I find that my favorite superheroes are the darker characters (often ones that either start out as villains or are seen more as antiheroes in their stories). I am a DIE-HARD Deadpool fan (probably one of Marvel's best characters--completely out of his mind [often carrying on conversations with himself in the form of differently-colored thought-boxes], and insanely hilarious]). My love of Deadpool and the metaphor of his character (always staying positive and funny despite all the slings and arrows that life throws at you) has led me to get a tattoo of him on my left leg (the only tattoo I have that isn't directly associated to my art).

2.  If you were going to take over the world, how would you do it?

            While supreme dictatorship is an appealing concept, I have to imagine that going about it in a hostile manner would be detrimental not only to the longevity of my reign but to those that I rule over. Truth be told, I would do it the right way: by being put there by people who feel that it's where I belong. To convince the masses that I should be in charge, however, I would have to begin by entertaining them on a massive, potentially global level and capturing their interest with something adored on a near-universal level (something like bacon). With the support and admiration of the crowd growing, I would ascend in the public eye, continuing to entertain, enlighten, and befriend as many as possible. . .
            But how to begin such an endeavor. . . ?

3.  Other than writing, what is your favorite thing to do?

            Uhh. . .
            I guess if I'm not directly working on one of my writing projects (outlining/planning, writing, or editing) then I'm probably invested in a novel, comic/manga, movie/anime, or other such form of entertainment. I also enjoy roleplaying with my fiancĂ© (creating characters that we "play" as and then enacting a storyline with them. . . but that really just sounds like a playful version of a literary collaboration, doesn't it?). However, even when I'm doing one of these activities, I have a tendency to approach it with a "how can this element/style be utilized to better my own work". I don't believe a writer can ever technically "take a break" because the process of creating stories begins with observation and education, so as long as their brain is functioning it'd be impossible to stop the creative process. If I ever really wanted to STOP writing, I'd have to be comatose or dead (neither of which sound appealing).

4.  Top 5 favorite bands/songs?

            You're REALLY going to make me choose FIVE?!
            Uhhhh. . .
            Okay! So whenever I write I tend to put on a Japanese playlist (foreign lyrics don't distract me while I'm slinging words onto the page) so the first three will have to come from that playlist:
            ~Dir en Grey (Japanese Visual Kei/heavy metal group; imagine System of a Down-meets-KoRn with a touch of Tool).
            ~Girugamesh (Japanese Visual Kei/heavy metal group; hardcore growling with some symphonic elements.
            ~Aural Vampire (Japanese Visual Kei/techno-pop-punk group; techno-driven music with a female vocalist (often wears prosthetic vampire fangs for effect) and performs dark/playful songs with gothic themes in a poppy voice).
            Finally, since it can't be all foreign all the time, I'd have to include in this incredibly limited list Marilyn Manson (I, the "dark prince of the written word", would be lost in many ways without his Antichrist Superstar muse) as well as William Control (side project of William Francis--frontman of the punk/rock band Aiden).
            PS - you're very, very evil for making me choose by the way (lol)

5.  Top 5 favorite TV shows?

            (in no particular order):
            ~Family Guy
            ~American Dad
            ~American Horror Story
            ~Lost Girl
            ~Face Off

6.  If there was one statement you could make that the entire planet would hear and remember, what would it be?

            "There is no worse crime against yourself and others than a narrow mind that's driven by hate and clouded by ignorance."

7.  Social issue nearest and dearest to your heart?

            As of lately, I'd have to answer that with bullying. Each and every week, without fail, there's some new story on the news about some poor youth that is suffering or even brought to kill themselves as a means of escape. Bullying has always--ALWAYS!--been an issue, but, with the ability to torture one-another via the internet, it's been taken to a whole new plane of existence. Where a kid might've been able to stay strong while at school because they knew they'd be free of the hell their peers put them through as soon as the bell rang at the end of the day, today's youth have the added dread of going home and experiencing further torment and/or ridicule on their computer.
            I truly feel that, despite humans' ongoing belief of supremacy in the animal kingdom, we're mentally de-evolving to a state-of-mind that, if change is not sought, will destroy us all. People need to stop putting as much effort as they do into finding ways to torture their fellow man and, instead, focus on how to better both themselves and the species as a whole.

8.  In your opinion, what characteristics do the best villains have in common?

            The concept of villainy and heroism is really a matter of perspective, unfortunately. While the love-to-hate antagonists of comic books and Saturday-morning cartoons are fun, it's hard to ignore the fact that, if the story were presented from the other direction, it would not be too difficult to paint the heroes as the villains and vice-versa. James Bond's exploits are always exciting and we give our little celebratory fist pumps when he emerges victorious, but was his enemy--more-often-than-not a patriot to their own country trying to somehow restore their homeland or create some new utopia--really in the wrong? Very rarely does an individual go about a course of events because they WANT to be the villain--don't get me wrong, there ARE those out there that revel in the pain in suffering of others, no question there--but most are doing what they do for some noble purpose or another. In popular fiction the vampire is easily panted as the villain because they kill humans to stay alive, but we, in turn, kill animals and destroy forests for our own sustenance and shelters, so at what point can one truly draw the line between survival and villainy?
            These conflicts are, in my opinion, more compelling as a story-telling device, because it's no longer about everybody being on board with "well that monster had it coming", but, rather, guiding the audience from the protagonist's view as to WHY they're justified in being labeled as a hero.
            However, to put some sort of answer on this question, I'd say the best villains are the ones who DON'T have a purpose to their actions other than raw, excessive amusement at the expense of many.

9.  What is most likely to put you in a creative mood?

            I really can't say, with all certainty, where creativity may strike. Anybody who's been inspired can testify that it didn't work as a "I'm going to throw on some Mozart and be motivated to. . .". For me, I simply know better than to shut out the potential for a creative burst; if I go to the fridge for a drink and the milk carton sparks my next big novel, I'm not about to question it (lol).
            I will say, however, that visuals--movies, comics, etc. . .--are a MAJOR source of inspiration, so anytime I go to the theater or crack open a graphic novel or manga, I'm probably going to feel more driven to write than if I stub my toe on the end table.

10.  Is there anything you’d like to tell us about your books?

            99.9% of the time, when I approach a writing project, there's a greater message than just "the vampire died". I believe strongly in trying to motivate, inspire, educate, or possibly even heal a reader with my work. In a lot of ways my writing has kept me alive through some hard times, and if I can pass on even one iota of hope for a better tomorrow in the mind of a reader who has been dealt a bad hand then I can feel fulfilled in my lot in this life.
            If all you need in a book is some gnarly creatures and a fun story, then I certainly won't disappoint, but my work is as much a way to reach out as it is a means of entertaining.

Thanks so much for joining us!!!!!  We appreciate you sharing!!!!

You can connect with Nathan on Facebook or on his website

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Realism in Modern Society? Seriously?

Realism in Modern Society?

I’m going to warn you up front, this is probably going to turn into a rant.  (I’m just in that sort of mood. LoL)  This is my two cents, I’m not looking for a fight or argument with anyone.  I’m just voicing my opinion. ;)

I’m a big fan of reality TV.  I absolutely love Ghost Hunters, The Gator Boys, Finding Bigfoot, American Pickers, American Restoration, and Pawn Stars.  (There’s a few more, but that gives you an idea.)   Now I don’t watch these shows all the time.  (Except for Finding Bigfoot and Gator Boys at the moment.)  But I do enjoy them frequently. 

Television programming has transformed into a virtual cornucopia of ‘real’ life shows.  Some of it is fantastic.  Some of it...well let’s just say I really hope many of the popular reality shows are contrived and people don’t actually behave that way.  Which brings me to my original topic.  Realism in Modern Society.

I write fiction.  I LOVE writing fiction.  However, I do believe that Hollywood and I agree on one thing:  Within the fiction, you need a little realism.  It helps to ground the piece and lends credibility.  Here’s what we disagree on:  An audience would rather see a ‘normal’ person go through a tumultuous event and come out on top (for the most part) than to see said person at his worst doing deplorable things.  ‘They’ seem to believe  (at least TV programmers) we would rather watch cat fights, screaming fits from ridiculously spoiled young people, and random acts of violence.

I realize I don’t speak for everyone on the planet.  (Thank goodness!)  I know my teenagers enjoy many of the shows that turn me off.  But therein lies the problem.  The key word in that sentence is MY teenagers.  Now I’m not going to get into that whole “if you don’t like it, control what your children watch” thing.  I do agree with that.  However, I also know that many many families have two working parents, parents taking night classes, and so on.  I am also not advocating censorship.  Not in the slightest. 

Here’s my issue:  If the main audience for these shows is comprised of teens and young adults, as a Mother and Grandmother, I feel the entertainment industry has an obligation to put its money where its mouth is.  If you are billing something as a ‘reality’ show, then for Pete’s sake, make sure it’s real.  There is no doubt in my mind that much of the so-called drama that occurs within these shows is contrived at best.  (How do I know?)  Because I actually live in the real world.  (I do, I promise! Lol)  Many of the behaviors they so love to flaunt would have them in jail, rehab, expelled from school, etc....

Or how about this?  Last night I watched a show about young children and their mothers.  I was horrified!!!!  Absolutely horrified!!!!!  (I doubt even all of those exclamation points actually express how upset I was.)  Let me tell you something, and I’m being brutally honest here, I am a pacifist.  I believe violence should always be your very last resort.  Our brains took us to the top of the food chain.  Not our muscles.  However, if an instance occurred with my own children, as portrayed on that particular show, I would knock that woman out and happily be carted off to jail for battery.  (And I think I might actually get away with it.  Some things are justified in certain circumstances.)

Where did Hollywood get it wrong?  On any given day, television shows sport girls having cat fights over makeup and boyfriends.  We can watch millionaire’s children rampage over perceived slights and exotic birthday presents they wanted, but didn’t receive.  We can view numerous situations where people are at their absolute worst.  I watch what I want, and leave the rest to those who enjoy that sort of thing.  However, if you are a parent...would you seriously allow someone to berate your child to the point of tears on the grounds that it will make them a better athlete, cheerleader, whatever?  I’m not talking about teaching and constructive criticism.  You can’t grow and learn if you don’t know what you’re doing wrong.  And learning to take criticism is vital to becoming successful in every field.  I am talking about blatant, outright verbal (and sometimes even physical) abuse.

Now I’m not wealthy.  Not even close.  So I can’t claim to know the inner workings of the minds of the rich and famous.  I’ll tell you what I do know.  Moms.  Boy howdy do I know moms.  And ANY mother worth her salt, wouldn’t allow anyone to mistreat her children.  I don’t personally know one mother who would agree with that behavior.  (And I hope I NEVER meet one!) 

So reality?  Is it?  Whose reality?  If it’s supposed to be real, then make it so.  If it’s supposed to be drama based on reality, then advertise it as such.  I’m not entirely certain the television industry has slightest clue what’s real and what’s fiction.  I’m not talking about moral obligation here, I’m talking about outright lying...and trying to convince society that this is the way the world behaves.

And that’s my two cents.  Take it or leave it. LOL

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

There be sharks in them waters, Dearie!!!!

So you’ve finished your first novel and after several rounds of happy dances, you are ready to send your beloved out into the world for the masses to devour.  Then you run across this blog post by the ever so eloquent Emlyn Chand.  You read it and realize you need a little more work on your manuscript before you start looking for an agent.  But the time comes when your baby is as free of errors as you can possibly make it, and ready for its triumphant entrance.  Then what?

The then what can kill you.(Figuratively) It is imperative that you research every last agent and publisher you consider submitting your work to!!!!  Many times you will hear ‘people’ say personalize your query letters.  They aren’t kidding.  The fact is, by the time you actually send out that letter, you should know what kind of coffee they drink and what their favorite food is.  (Oh yes, I’m totally advocating stalking your perspective agent.  However, not in the weird, creepy, standing outside their house with a sign way, or sending mail to their home.)  Read their blog posts.  Find out what they enjoy reading, what they hate, and most importantly, what they are looking for.  And... research them.

Scamming new writers who are just getting their feet wet is a multimillion dollar business.  You should have heard this a million times by now if you are doing your job and putting in the research:  Money flows to the writer, not away from them.  Remember that.  If you are going the traditional publisher/agent route, you shouldn’t be spending money for their services.  Their income will come from a percentage of your book deal. (Should you acquire one.)

Now this becomes even stickier when you decide to skip traditional publishing and move on to self publishing.  You will find numerous companies who claim they can get you the quickest results in sales and quality product for the low cost of (a ridiculous amount of money.)  Some might actually be able to do what they claim.  Some. 

You wouldn’t believe the things I’ve been offered and what they wanted in return.  One ‘group’ (who I won’t name) claimed they could get my first novel (Birthright) not just ON Amazon’s top 100, but make it #1.  That’s right, they were going to make me a BEST SELLER!!!!!  And all they wanted in return was the distribution rights to my next 4 books.  Global distribution rights.  And because they were going to spend so much money on marketing, the royalty split would be 70/30.  (I got the 30.)  Well that doesn’t sound all that bad, does it?  I mean they’re doing all the work.  I’m just writing, paying an editor, and sending them books.  (Because they had full say so on cover art and pricing too.)  And then the catch comes in.  With these people there is ALWAYS  a catch.  Every dime spent for marketing would be taken out of my 30 percent.  (I know, I said the same thing.  Seriously????)  Doesn’t sound like I’ll be making much does it?  (And I forgot to mention it was a 10 year contract.  Fan-freaking-tastic, right?)

I had another offer from a group who has the audacity to bill themselves as a publisher.  They were going to give me 30 percent too.  In return for printing my books and taking 70 percent of the money I may or may not make, they offered: Book printing, cover design (for a small fee), editing (for a larger fee), and limited marketing.  (Which equates to them putting the book on their website and sending out a press release to the thousands of authors they’ve taken in.)  Oh, and let’s not forget!!!!  If I want copies of my books I have to purchase them, but I would get a 15 percent discount on the retail price. 

 I realize this probably sounds like a rant.  It’s not.  It is a warning!!!!  Pay attention to the fine print.  Whether you are traditionally or self publishing, there are sharks out there who will have you for a snack and NEVER feel a bit of regret for doing so.

When you are looking for editors, interview them.  Ask for a test edit. (Just a page or two.)  You are paying them for their services.  You NEED to know if they can deliver what you are paying them for.

The same goes for a cover designer.  Check out their work before you contract them.  Make sure they can give you what you want in a reasonable amount of time. 

I can honestly say I haven’t had any trouble with one of the ‘rogue’ agents.  I did my research and didn’t bother to submit to anyone who had a less than perfect reputation.  (Writer Beware, and Predators and Editors is the best place to start.)  But some of these so-called publishing companies, and dare I say marketing/PR companies...will run you through the ringer.  I’ve heard some horrendous stories from writers I know personally who’ve been sucked in.  I know how bad you want your book out there.  (Trust me, I totally get it.)  But in the long run, to have your baby kidnapped and held hostage by unscrupulous people is far worse than waiting, researching, and taking your time.

Good luck and be good to each other!!!!   ;)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Year End Recap

Year End Recap
            All in all I consider 2011 to be a successful year.  So many major things happened!  Not without hitches and setbacks here and there, but they happened nonetheless.  In March of 2011, I published my first book: The Dark Gifts: Birthright.  I was simultaneously deliriously happy and petrified. 

            Naive and deluded (because I can be very irrational at times), I believed that if it was any good at all, it would sell.  So I quickly got to work on Oceans of Red volume one and Inheritance.  Just before I’d completed Inheritance, I realized that A. Either Birthright wasn’t any good, OR, B. I didn’t quite ‘get’ the whole marketing thing.  (Consequently, I still don’t ‘get’ the whole marketing thing.) LOL

            Continuing to plug away, I kept busy writing Oceans 2.  In the fall of 2011 I had the extreme fortune of finding book club pages on facebook!  Who would have thought they’d have pages like that?  Not me!  I found Paranormal Reads, Paranormal Book Club, Paranormal Addicts, and Beneath the Cover.  Not only did I make some awesome friends through these pages, but many of them actually wanted to read my books!  Floored, humbled, ecstatic--were just a few of the wide range of emotions that flooded through me.

            When I started my fan page (which I didn’t want to do and was strong armed into doing), I had 38 fans.  All personal friends and family.  Chelsea from PA and Sabrina from PR put out a call for volunteer reviewers.  WOW!!!!  The number of volunteers shocked me.  I was dumbfounded that so many people were interested in reading something I wrote. 

            Within a month or so Inheritance was released.  We hosted a huge release party that went on for 2 days.  Many other authors I’d met over the past year joined in with numerous facebook pages and we had a blast! 

            As of December 31st, 2011, I’ve had 6 releases this year.  Birthright and Inheritance (full length novels), Oceans of Red 1&2 (mini novella series), Haunted (a compilation of short true ghost stories), and the short story A Christmas Miracle.  Birthright even managed to place #4 in Paranormal Reads 2011 Best Indie Author/Books poll!!!!  (Blew my mind and I’m still giddy about that one!!! LOL)

            I no longer run the page alone.  And that’s awesome because I don’t think I could handle it all by myself!  I’ve added Amanda Wimer, Amanda Sheffer, Brittany Carrigan, and Katie Seco as administrators.  However, these girls are more than just admins on the page.  They are my friends, my think-tank, my go-to girls when I need ideas for marketing, or just need to bounce my own ideas off of someone.  I consider myself very lucky to have found and enlisted them!!!

            And then of course, last but not least, are the people on the fan page.  I really don’t like the idea of calling them fans.  (Well, calling you fans.)  That word seems so distant and alien to how I feel about them.  Many of you I’ve grown to know fairly well and I enjoy each chance we get to interact with each other.  Not long ago someone made a comment to me pertaining to the number of ‘fans’ on the page. (At the time there were roughly 600 likes on the page.)  I don’t remember it word for word, but it was something to the effect of: “What number of fans on your page will make you feel successful?”  My answer was, “The number I have.  I would rather have a smaller group of people that are there because they like me enough to care about my work, than to have thousands who could care less if I take another breath or write another word.”  And I mean that!!!!  You guys amaze me and humble me every day with your generosity, kindness, and support!!!!!

            In November, thanks to an idea Amanda Wimer gave me, I contacted Arkansas Children’s Hospital to see if they had a Kindle or ebook program for the children staying there.  When they informed me they didn’t have one in place, the gears started spinning, and I put out a call for YA, Children’s, and Middle Grade authors who might be willing to donate their ebooks to the hospital.  Within a matter of weeks we had 90 participants and the ebook program had been set into motion.  These authors donated generously!!!!  Some of them with every book they had published!!!!  Now we’ve decided to do it again.  Many more times actually.  The end goal is to get an ebook program in every Children’s Hospital that doesn’t already have one.  Having a child and grandchild that have spent a large amount of time in ACH, the program is very near and dear to my heart.  Of all the things I hope to accomplish in the coming year, this particular item is very high on my to-do list.

            So as I said earlier, I feel this past year has been a terribly successful year.  I’m not famous, I most certainly am not rolling in the dough, but I don’t need to be.  I’m doing what I love, have made many new friends, and I’m moving forward.  Thank you for giving a year I will remember for the rest of my life!!!!