Twitter, facebook, blogs etc. What else can we do as indie authors to get the word out our books are worthy of buying? It’s exhausting the amount of time I’m putting in marketing my current book, when I should be #writing my next. I don’t want to pay someone to do my marketing for me because my sales don’t justify the expense. Is anyone else out there feeling frustrated, or have any new ideas? Please…pass them on if you do!
What do you feel about the new KDP unlimited that Amazon is pushing? Good or Bad?
Well–I am a proud Indie author indeed! Published my first book, “Alzheimer’s Through My Mother’s Eyes” in December, 2013. My story is real. My story is raw.
The five year journey of taking care of my Mother as she descended into Alzheimer’s disease, is my story. As Mom’s caregiver, I learned about elder attorney’s, elder abuse, assisted living rules and regulations, convalescent center and their roles in the lives of the elderly, and compassionate and dedicated doctors.
I had no one to help or guide me. I am a caregiver survivor and honored to pass along the suggestions, facts, medical jargon and information I learned during this time - in the duties of being a caregiver for a loved one with Alzheimer’s.
Please feel free to leave any comments or suggestions ! I welcome any verbiage and feedback from any of my readers. I hope this accurate account of these years will resound to many who are in the same situation I was in many years ago.
My top goal, was to maintain respect and dignity for the glorious and beautiful woman who raised me to be a contributing and honest member of our society.
My husband and I will celebrate our 31st wedding anniversary in August, 2014 and we enjoy peace and quiet, going for walks, out with friends and spending time together.
I also am the “human” of a Therapy Dog International, by the name of FLOWER. She is an amazing TDI – and has now accomplished over 150 documented visits. The first place we visited when she was certified as a Therapy Dog, was the convalescent center that my Mother was in until she passed. I grew to love the canines that came to visit the patients and I was honored they welcomed me as my first official Therapy Dog International visit with FLOWER/TDIAOV.
This is my way of giving back the love that Mom and I shared. It is so very rewarding to bring smiles and compassion to bedbound and sick patients.
Unforgettable characters drive this offbeat, unpredictable tale of three flawed people.
In A Native’s Tongue, Michael Dennis writes of drugs, sex, love, and obsession among three broken people in Southern California. Dennis’s unique plot captivates from the first chapter. However, it is his characters that will be hard to forget.
The novel opens with Jennifer, a young natural blond in a world of fakes, who drives a 2005 Jaguar and pops Xanax like candy, visiting Violet, an angry, irrational older woman, in a correctional facility. When Jennifer meets Violet, the latter ominously rasps, “‘It was never you that he loved. You know that right?’” From there and through alternating narrators, Dennis slowly and masterfully reveals the strange story behind that statement.
Two aspects of this novel make it a pleasure to read. First, it has a plot that is remarkable for its originality. There is a surreal aspect to the story that is fun and fresh. For instance, when one character seriously overdoses, she does not go home to recuperate. Instead, while still dangerously weak and in her hospital gown, she leaves the hospital in a 1970s van with a character she barely knows to embark on a long road trip, stopping for lobster tails and a single strawberry from a roadside vendor. While this is a minor example, this offbeat tone permeates the novel and leads to a completely unpredictable ending. Dennis’s use of alternating narrators and nonchronological storytelling further enhances the tone.
Second, character development is exceptional. Dennis begins with three main characters who appear to have no redeeming qualities. The first words Jennifer utters in the novel, to a well-intentioned guard who broke her car window out of concern that she had passed out, are “You Fuck!” Violet, when not incarcerated, stalks her potential lover and attempts to buy love with a Rolex watch. Charlie, the third point in this doomed triangle, seems perfectly content to live off others’ largesse in a haze of easy sex, drugs, and questionable hygiene. Despite the motley nature of this cast, however, Dennis manages to engender at least a modicum of compassion for all three by the end of the novel by revealing the long-standing void each is trying desperately to fill.
Dennis’s writing style complements the plot and characters. On the one hand, the dialogue is often casual and laced with profanity. This befits these seemingly superficial characters who willingly go where fate takes them. At the same time, internal dialogue reveals their complexity. For example, Charlie describes Jennifer’s eyes at their first meeting by musing, “The green stripes in her eyes crisscrossed the indigo blue patchwork woven under cinder brown speckles. I was lost in those carriages of colored harmony. They straddled me and took me on an out of body experience to a farm in the mid-west outside of Wisconsin, where I had always desired to know the secret of a simpler life.”
Despite its evident strengths, this novel has one minor flaw: Dennis briefly mentions a possibly magical or supernatural event in the last two pages. This instance seems out of place because the novel ends before it is fleshed out. Nevertheless, the mention is brief, and the ending otherwise satisfies.
Dennis provides an entertaining read with a surprisingly original plot and flawed but ultimately sympathetic characters. For those seeking an edgy novel with an ending that defies prediction, A Native’s Tongue is not to be missed.
Penny Fletcher worked her way up from news reporter to staff writer, to columnist and editor, to Bureau Editor, in newspapers; was an editor for publishing companies, including Amazon’s former BookSurge (forerunner of Kindle); and in 2001 opened her own editing and coaching business.
Her recently published book, Trial by Fire, is a suspense thriller with a touch of political espionage and sexy romance.
She also has four published books in her own name and has ghost written under others. Her works until this point include: If I Should Die Before I Wake (1992); Where the Wild Rose Grows (2002) and An Editor’s Guide to Perfect Press Releases (2004).
In December 2013, she took the final step in the industry to found SOARING EAGLE BOOKS, taking on her best editing clients and her own work (which was represented by an agency) and is currently its publisher and CEO.
The story goes this way:
She began her writing career as a reporter for the Asbury Park Press in New Jersey and has continued writing through many genres since 1965. She has had approximately 14,000 news, features, fiction stories, and columns in both local and national magazines and newspapers. A true generalist, she has written and edited for several large news organizations as well as being published in Today’s Christian Woman, GulfCoast Fisherman, True Romance, True Story, and The Tampa Tribune.
She has accumulated more than fifty writing awards from the Florida Press Association, Community Papers of Florida, Writer’s Digest Magazine and others less well known.
She has worked as an on-line editor for Amazon- in its self-publishing division, BookSurge- produced their book marketing sheets and back jacket copy; ghosted several New York Times Reviews (while with BookSurge); and has mentored and taught new authors, both as a freelancer, and with the various companies where she was employed.
She has also worked online for Yahoo.com, Guru.com and produced copy for many websites.
Penny has been a resident of Tampa Bay, Florida, for more than 35 years and in business working with authors online in fiction and nonfiction for more than 15 of those years.
“As for myself, it has always been about story. Beyond the box office, the Nielsens, the best sellers and the endless jockeying for credits and money, to grasp the essence of storytelling is to unravel the mystery and the history of human consciousness.”
Michael Chase Walker is the author of Power Screenwriting: The 12 Stages of Story Development. He is a screenwriter with numerous credits to his name, including, Cupid for Steven Spielberg, After Man, The Court Jester, Galaxy High School, Catch a Fire, The Bob Marley Story, and The Poet and The Tsar: The Life and Times of Alexander Pushkin. He just sold his screenplays and Graphic Novel Circus Galacticus: Circus of the Beyond and Shrek author William Steig’s Rotten Island to Vanguard Animation. He is currently adapting Pulitzer prize, Academy Award winner Jules Feiffer’s Trapped in a Comic Book as a hybrid live-action animated major motion picture.
Hugh Howey is the author of the award-winning Molly Fyde Saga and the New York Times and USA Today bestselling WOOL series. The WOOL OMNIBUS won Kindle Book Review’s 2012 Indie Book of the Year Award — it has been as high as #1 in the Kindle store — and 17 countries have picked up the work for translation. Look for WOOL in hardback in 2013 from Random House UK and keep your fingers crossed that Ridley Scott and Steve Zaillian will do something exciting with the film rights!
Hugh lives in Jupiter, FL with his wife Amber and their dog Bella. When he isn’t writing, he’s reading or taking a photograph.
The author Beem Weeks has recently posted my commentary on my novel ‘Heronfield‘. I thought you might like to read it here: Heronfield – by Dorinda Balchin
Tony Kemshall is a young man excited by the prospect of adventure when war is declared in 1939. When the German war machine invades France in early 1940, Tony goes to St Nazaire to be with his French grandmother until things become settled. As the British Expeditionary Force retreats Tony puts his grandmother on board ship for England, then sets out to seek action and adventure. But the realities of war are very different to his earlier romantic notions, and as Tony gets caught up in the retreat to Dunkirk he develops a deep hatred of the Germans. After experiencing stuka attacks on civilians and the evacuation of the beaches he determines to fight to avenge the deaths he has seen.
Tony speaks fluent French which, coupled with his intimate knowledge of the St Nazaire area, makes him an ideal recruit for the Special Operations Executive who are looking for people to fight behind enemy lines. The SOE ask him to work for them, to be a spy, and he readily agrees. The problem is, the life of a spy is secret, and he can tell no-one about his work. Tony’s father constantly compares him with his brother David, a fighter pilot and hero of the Battle of Britain, and can only see Tony’s cover job with the Ministry of Economic Warfare as a sign of cowardice. Sarah, the woman he loves, compares him to the brave soldiers she treats in hospital, and finds him wanting. As the war drags on over six long years Tony finds himself alienated from those he loves, and realises that this war will cost him far more than he ever imagined. With his relationships in England at an all-time low Tony clings to his new family, the group he puts together working with the French Resistance.
This novel tells the story of the war in Europe from many different perspectives – spy, fighter pilot, VAD nurse, Civil Defence worker, civilian, the French Resistance, American GI. The one thing they all have in common is a link to Heronfield, the country home of Tony’s family in peacetime which has been turned into a convalescent hospital for the duration of the war. It is their link with this place which enabled me to create such a diverse group of characters whose lives could be woven together in a realistic way, just as so many diverse characters really did come together during the long years of the Second World War.
Heronfield grew out of the kernel of a thought I had when reading about a soldier shot as a coward. What if he wasn’t a coward at all? What if he had to hide his true self for the good of his country? From that small seed Heronfield grew.
I have always had a passion for history, and wanted Heronfield to be as historically accurate as possible within the confines of my story. I spent years researching the key points – Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain, the bombing of Coventry, the work of the SOE in France, civilian life, D Day and beyond. The more I learnt, the easier it was for me to weave the stories of my characters into the timeline. For me a story needs to be character driven – Who are these people? How do they react? Why? The Second World War was a time when ordinary people did extraordinary things. For me, as a historian, finding what is at the heart of these people, what makes them tick, is just as much what history is about as the politics and big battles.
In Heronfield, Tony is an idealist. He has great strength of character, is resourceful, intelligent and physically fit. He is immensely proud of the trust that his country places in him and shows great bravery under incredibly difficult circumstances, laying his life on the line in France to bring the war to an end as swiftly as possible. Yet, when in England, his life is full of frustration and anger as he watches another man with the woman he loves, unable to convince her that he is not the coward she thinks he is. Sarah wants to believe in him but finds it impossible when she sees men who are desperate to fight, and the injured from all parts of the globe. How can she love a man who sits behind a desk and does nothing? How can she care for him while he watches others die so that he can be safe? There is always a small voice inside Sarah telling her that she is wrong, that there is more to Tony than meets the eye, but after years of hurt she is faced with a choice between this man and a brave soldier who offers her love and honesty, something Tony seems incapable of. So, what should she do? As the war in Europe moves to its dramatic conclusion Sarah begins to realise that sometimes you should trust your heart, not your head. But sometimes that kind of knowledge comes to us too late.
I wrote the first draft of Heronfield when I was a ‘stay-at-home-Mum’ looking after my children. When they went to school and I returned to teaching there was no time to set aside for such a massive project, and so my manuscript sat on the shelf gathering dust until I gave up teaching and moved to India with my husband in 2008. We now live there, running a guesthouse, and I have found the time to write. Heronfield came back down from its shelf and was published in 2012. I have had some great feedback, a number of people have told me how they have learnt so much about the Second World War from reading Heronfield, which pleases the historian in me. But I also realise that people have only learnt a lot about the war in Western Europe. What about Eastern Europe? The Far East? North Africa? Over the last few months I have come to realise that Heronfield is only the first of a quartet of books which can give the same treatment to all the ‘Theatres of War’. When I have finished the novel I am currently working on I shall happily return to World War II, different characters, different stories, but still people to love and to hate and to journey with through one of the most destructive periods of man’s history.
I’m the author of 8 books for teens and young adults. Recently, I started writing New Adult and found that I love that genre more than YA. I’m hoping to make a name for myself by writing in it.
Right now I currently have 1 NA book released, 1 in editing and I’m working on several more.
On my blog, jasmineldenton.wordpress.com I blog about writing tips, TV shows, and books in general. If you want, take a look. I’d love to get a few guest bloggers. Right now there’s an excerpt from Another Life posted.
The Salty Dog is not your typical heart throb romance story. It’s about love, strength, faith, and encouragement, but it’s also about dedication and survival. The reviews have been wonderful. I don’t think you will be disappointed if you invest $1.99 to read what others are saying.
“This is a very well written tale of an independent woman and her road to romantic recovery. If you enjoy romance (especially the more literary type) you’ll enjoy this book by a writer who obviously loves words and melding them into a story. The characters are complex and engaging. The plot is interesting. And the quality of writing was top notch.”