Category Archives: Authors Talk

How to Self-Promote Without Being A Jerk

Bruce Kasanoff: self-promotion for the Indie author made easy

Bruce Kasanoff

Bruce Kasanoff, author of How To Self-Promote Without Being A Jerk, did an awesome interview on self-promotion for We Eat Books.

Let’s face it authors, self-promotion is what will keep us alive in this Hunger Games-like publishing industry.

Having a strong business background, Kasanoff knows how to build relationships and grow businesses. In this interview, he held nothing back and shared the key to his success.

One of my favorite quotes of his gave some insight on how authors can market better on Twitter, a must-use for most authors. He said, “I’ve learned they are highly invested in their work and often have trouble reducing it to something of interest to others that fits in a tweet.”

Can I raise a hand and say, that’s me?

If you want to learn how to market yourself well and build relationships in this technologically-advanced, quickly changing world, then check out Bruce Kasanoff’s interview, and buy his book.

How to Self-Promote Without Being A Jerk
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5 Tips For Single Ladies on Valentine’s Day

livingrmwideAnyone can tell that author Nathan Brooken enjoys women. Just pick of one of his books.  For My Beautiful Black Sisters is February favorite month. Nothing is more exciting than a collection of poems dedicated to the love of women.

Valentine’s Day is a day dedicated to saying, I love . . . And who says that special “I love” has to be reserved for Mr. or Mrs. Right? Why can it not be said to a BFF or mom or yourself even? So for those dreading their Valentine’s Day why not have a Single Awareness Day?  Here are some ways to transform this day of couples only into a day of Love Thyself or Love Thy Friend or Love Thy neighbor.

  1. Love Thy Friends and Family – Spend your energy baking cute treats or getting gifts to show the great people in your life you really appreciate them. Giving always makes you feel better.
  2. Love Thy Neighbor – Reach out to other singles and invite them over for a celebration or a night out, even if you do not know them that well. That stranger in your office probably doesn’t want to spend the night alone any more than you do.
  3. Love Thyself – Pamper, pamper, pamper. Why not buy yourself a poem book such as My Beautiful Black Sisters to evoke good feelings? Purchase some roses while treating yourself to chocolates as you get your nails done. Show yourself some much-needed love, so when Mr. or Mrs. Right comes along, you can let the love inside you just bubble over.
  4. Anti-Valentine’s Day Cruises planned on Meet-up may inspire as well.

Totally not into spending Valentine’s Day alone, but not sure what to do? Take advantage of the online dating scene with these 5 easy tips for online dating:

  1. Make yourself stand out and be specific.
  2. Women can write to men.
  3. Keep your e-mail short and end with a question.
  4. Upload 4-7 pictures that show the real you.
  5. Move it off-line. Love @ First Click.

Watch this short from First Coast News video to learn more.

About Nathan B. Brooken

Nathan B. BrookenNathan B. Brooken is the author of My Beautiful Black Sisters, a collection of poems in memory of his mother, whom he lost at a young age. He has also written several fan fiction scripts. His work has been incorporated into two American Literature and Composition courses syllabi at local Jacksonville colleges and universities. Brooken’s appreciation for women breaks barriers. His poems have become the subject of debate. Brooken began writing while attending the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida. He continues to write about the women who assisted in his upbringing when he is working on assignment in the Duval County School System.

God's valentine

God’s Valentine to you: He will do for you exactly what he said.

God's valentine

Psalms 91:14-16: “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

Some people will face tragedy in February, while others will have the best time of their life. Some people will feel lonely. Some will have nothing special happen to them at all. Whatever happens, before the month ends, I want to remind you of God’s Valentine to you. 

February is one of my favorite months. As Justin Bieber said on SNL, it is the month of Blacks and love. Well, he didn’t quite say it like that.

It came to me this Valentine’s Day to spend time celebrating God’s love. He is love, stronger than any man or woman’s. Even when people failed me, I have found His love to be unfailing even in the toughest of times. When I need something, all I have to do is turn to Him. He gives me the deepest desires of my heart. He teaches me His way and draws me closer.

I grew up in the church, but here’s the funny thing about church. You can go everyday and not be much of a Christian. Sometimes I would step out in faith only to think things will not work out. God knew I was trying though. He always meets you where you’re at, so even in my doubt, God still moved for me. Now I have learned to trust in Him fully. He will be good to me just because I believe in Him.

Life can sometimes become so hard we forget God loves us. I know I have once or twice or three times. I’m not ashamed to admit it.

One thing I have learned is to seek God at all times. When He is telling you He is going to do big things for you, don’t doubt it one bit, just receive it. Keep it to yourself if it sounds too crazy. Your closest friends and family can instill some of the strongest doubt even when they do not always mean to do so. Unless God is using you as a vehicle to help someone else, what He has told you is meant for you, and only you need to believe it. God is going to do exactly what He said. Just remember Luke 1:45, a verse that talks about Mary, but can be applied to you: “Blessed is she who believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished.”

For those who are in need of more spiritual ministering I recommend both Your Best Life Now by Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer’s The Battlefield of the Mind.

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Fantasy novelist Eden Glenn: Turning the bad into great!

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What began as a mechanism to survive cancer flourished into a successful writing career.

Miss. Eden Glenn, author of the fantasy erotica Dar’kind Promises, turned a hobby into a source of profit. Landing a publishing contract with Rebel Ink Press, she glows with prospects of new releases and more book deals. Read the interview below. Maybe it will be the inspiration you need to finally throw out those novice shoes and become the writing professional you have always dreamed.

Straight from the author’s mouth: Turning the bad into great!

I could write a whole book just to discuss each of these questions. LOL! I’ll give it a try. The hardest part of being a writer is being concise, isn’t it? I will fail miserably, but perhaps I can be entertaining and insightful. Here goes.

1. Can you talk about your journey as a writer?

I started writing in 2005 while battling breast cancer. I had to have something to occupy my thoughts that were NOT the reality of what I was dealing with.

2011 started my career with Rebel Ink Press. I’ve published with them four times now. I have a short novelette coming out 2/3/13 and another 4/17/13. I’m under contract with them for several more shorts in 2013. I’m working toward building a readership. Late in 2013 or 2014 “Dragon’s Mark” will find a real title instead of this working title. It will get an overhaul of edits and become my debut novel with Rebel Ink if they accept it.

2. How long did it take to complete your novel? Can you talk about your writing process?

I write a novel a year. Three to five months to write the draft and the rest of the year to edit and polish.

3. Any editing tips?

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I could write a whole blog on editing tips. We’ll have to save that for another

day, or I’ll bore your readers to death. I will give you one writing tip. I learned

 this from an interview I read with Hemmingway. WRITE UNTIL YOU KNOW WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT.

4. Who are some of your favorite authors, and how have they

inspired your writing?

Everyone I read inspires me. I have an extensive library.

5. What do you love most about the writing industry? What do you dislike?

I love that the industry is wide open with the advent of e-readers. What was

foretold to be a passing fad–Snort–I hate that the industry is wide open with the advent of e-readers.

6. Do you have any other books or new releases that you would wish to talk about?

I have a busy year. 2/3/13 “Dar’kind Promises” the short novella I’m promoting today releases. Two more stories follow that one in 2013. The second, “Dragon’s Unbound” is in edits. It is something a bit like Goldilocks and the three dragons. It’s in draft stage. Not titled yet. On 4/17/13 “Beverly’s Secret” vol 2 in “The Amethyst Desire Collection” comes out. I have stories following in the collection throughout 2013 and 2014. Vol 3 “Phoenix Reborn” is in final edits with me. Vol 4 “Shifter’s (something or other)” Untitled is in the draft stage.

7. If you could share one tip you learned with self-published and traditionally published authors who share the same dream of being a successful author what would it be?

First, write a good story. Then, ruthlessly edit that story until it is well polished. Don’t put some self-published crap up there and use the reviews people post to polish it. Can you tell that is a pet peeve? LOL!

Connect with Eden Glenn:

Prepare to leave your safe world behind.

http://www.edenglenn.com my social networking links are here on my website for FB, Twitter, Amazon and more. Check out my book trailers, blog and news.

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International bestselling author Cheryl Kaye Tardif: Envisioning your success

International bestselling author Cheryl Kaye Tardif really knows how to look past obstacles and take advantage of opportunities. Her passion pushed her past hardships many authors never have to face while pursuing their literary careers. She did what many accomplished professionals do: predict her success. 2012 would be her year, and according to Miss. Tardif, it definitely is!

Straight from the author’s mouth: Envisioning your success

1. Can you tell us about your journey as a writer?

I started becoming interested in writing and creating stories in school, and at 16 I wrote my first novel, a supernatural horror titled BECKONING WRATH. But someone broke into my locker and stole it. I was devastated. I didn’t attempt another novel until I was 19. I spent a few years querying agents and publishers but became very despondent. No one seemed interested in publishing a young Canadian writer. So I collected rejection letter after rejection letter. I probably have enough to wallpaper my office—twice.

In early 2001, I became obsessed with a story plot. It wouldn’t leave me alone. I thought about it all the time, yet I hadn’t picked up a pen or keyboard. In 2003 I told a friend about the idea, one that had fermented for two years and had grown complete from beginning to end. She cried when I told her the ending. Then she (a non-writer) gave me the best advice ever. She told me I needed to write that story. She said, “Write it for you. Write it because you have to.” So I did. And that story became WHALE SONG, a #1 international bestselling novel about family, tragedy and forgiveness. It was self-published the summer of 2003 and has inspired and changed people’s lives.

In 2004, I self-published/indie published DIVINE INTERVENTION, book 1 of my Divine series. In 2005, THE RIVER was released, a techno-thriller set along the Nahanni River, a mysterious area of Canada’s northwest, an area nicknamed the “Bermuda Triangle of Canada.” In 2006 WHALE SONG was picked up by a traditional publisher who later went bankrupt. In 2010, I published a third edition. I followed this with a horror anthology, SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET & OTHER CREEPY STORIES, and a novelette, REMOTE CONTROL.

2011 was the year everything changed. For me and for the book world. With the popularity of ebooks, came more opportunities. I published ebooks editions of my titles, plus released LANCELOT’S LADY, a romantic suspense written under a pen name of Cherish D’Angelo. Then came CHILDREN OF THE FOG, which is my #1 international bestselling novel of all. DIVINE JUSTICE, book 2 in the Divine series followed shortly. And I released a school edition of WHALE SONG, complete with a discussion guide.

2012 was a year I had predicted would be “my year.” My lucky number is 12. And it has been my best year so far. In fact after huge success and sales of CHILDREN OF THE FOG in March 2012, I published a tell-all ebook, revealing my secret strategies and my personal journey into Amazon’s KDP Select program—one I had balked at, at first. My marketing book HOW I MADE OVER $42,000 IN 1 MONTH SELLING MY KINDLE EBOOKS should be retitled to: HOW I MADE OVER $150,000 IN 7 MONTHS SELLING MY KINDLE EBOOKS.

With this success came two offers for agent representation. I will be signing with Trident Media Group this week. I was also contacted by a senior editor at a major “big 6” publishing company; she’s interested in my work. As well, I’ve been approached by an audio publisher and Amazon personally invited me to participate in two back-to-back special promotions. Yeah, I’d say 2012 is shaping up to be “my year…and then some!”
2. How long did it take you to complete your novels? Can you talk about your writing process?

Whale Song – 3.5 months, edited by me and 2 others. I was driven!

Divine Intervention – 4.5 months, edited by me and 2 others.

The River – 5 months, edited by me and 3 others.

Lancelot’s Lady – 2 months; I completed it for TextNovel and Dorchester Publishing’s Next Best Seller Contest and placed as a semi-finalist.

Divine Justice – 5 months, edited by me and 2 others.

Children of the Fog – 6.5 months, edited by me and 2 others.

3. Any editing tips?

Edit, edit, edit. Learn about editing; brush up on Chicago Manual of Style grammar and punctuation rules! Then find at least 2 people WHO KNOW HOW TO EDIT to edit your book. Drop the ego and take constructive criticism as what it is—a gift. Then edit it again.

4. Who are some of your favorite authors and how have they inspired your writing?

I have too many favorites to name them all, but the three that inspired me most, especially to write paranormal suspense, are Stephen King, Dean Koontz and John Saul.
5. What do you love most about the writing industry? What do you dislike?

I love how the industry is ever evolving. It’s exciting. This is the best and most exciting time to be in this industry! I LOVE being a writer. Never in my life, with all the JOBS I’ve had, have I felt so complete.

I dislike that major publishers still don’t get that readers want lower priced ebooks and they should be lowering the prices to under $8. I actually stopped buying books from my favorite authors because of the prices. I’ve found far too many other authors whose books sell for less—and they’re quite good.
6. Do you have any other books or new releases that you would wish to talk about?

Since I now have a new agent—thank you, Adrienne Lombardo and Trident Media—I am hoping we’ll have a book deal soon. I am currently working on a standalone thriller titled SUBMERGED and another thriller based on true events. I predict both of these will be huge hits.
7. If you could share one tip you learned with self-published and traditionally published authors who share the same dream of being a successful author what would it be?

Be bold. Take risks. Learn the business of writing. Learn the business of publishing. Learn how to market yourself and your work—even BEFORE you’re published. And never, ever give up. If you want this badly enough, it’s worth pursuing. Just write your heart out. Oops, sorry. That’s more than one tip, so pick your weakest one.

Cheryl Kaye Tardif is a Canadian author, whose is best known for Whale Song, which is now available in its third edition, the 2010 ebook edition.

Whale Song, an emotional mystery that explores controversial issues like assisted suicide, school bullies and racism, has captured the attention of numerous film companies. A screenplay, which Cheryl wrote with co-writer Alison Neuman, was completed in 2006, along with a movie treatment.

Cheryl is now in negotiations with a respected film producer/director.

The 2007 paperback edition of Whale Song went out of print as of February 1, 2009. All rights have been returned to the author.

In 2009, Cheryl branched off into romance with her debut romantic suspense Lancelot’s Lady, which will be released as an ebook in late September 2010. Since romance is a different genre from Cheryl’s usual suspense/thrillers and YA, she wrote Lancelot’s Lady under the pen name of Cherish D’Angelo. Lancelot’s Lady was a semi-finalist in the Dorchester Publishing Next Best Celler contest hosted by Textnovel. It also won an Editor’s Choice award from Textnovel in 2010.

A novelette of suspense titled Remote Control was released in ebook edition in July 2010; and a collection of stories titled Skeletons in the Closet & Other Creepy Stories is slated for release in August 2010.

In September 2005, Cheryl’s gripping action-packed techno-thriller The River was released. This carefully researched novel explores the mysterious Nahanni River area, nanotechnology and man’s obsession with longevity. The River has been compared to works by Michael Crichton, James Patterson, Dean Koontz and Dan Brown.

Cheryl is also the author of the 2004 “sizzling psychic suspense” Divine Intervention, a ‘psi-fi’ suspense thriller (or paranormal romance) that has been compared to works by authors such as Iris Johansen, Kay Hooper and Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb’s ‘In Death’ series.

All of these novels have made Amazon.com’s bestsellers list.

In 2006, Cheryl Kaye Tardif participated in a hilarious new TV series ‘A Total Write-Off’, hosted by comedian Barbara North. In 2004, Cheryl was nominated for the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Award. In 2003, she wrote a public service announcement for a racial harmony campaign. Her PSA script, One Voice ~ One World, placed third and was produced and aired on cable channels in Alberta.

Cheryl has not only held hundreds of book signings, she has organized multi-author signings, held a virtual book tour and taught others how to do their own, and she has presented at conferences in Canada and the US. Cheryl is known amongst her peers for her creativity and knowledge regarding book marketing, and in 2009 she embarked on a new venture as a Book Marketing Coach. She is a member of various social networks, including Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Goodreads, Shelfari, LibraryThing, AmazonConnect and Chapters Online Community.

Cheryl has been interviewed by numerous TV and radio stations in Canada and the US, and she has been featured in a variety of newspapers and magazines in both countries. According to photojournalist, Heather Andrews Miller, who interviewed the author for a Real Estate Weekly article, Cheryl is a “gem in the literary world”. And according to Graham Hicks of the Edmonton Sun, “Cheryl Kaye Tardif specializes in mile-a-minute pot-boiler mysteries, usually set in Western Canadian locales.”

As a teen, Cheryl was a journalist with a weekly newspaper column. Years later, she completed a course in Journalism and Short Story Writing and graduated with Highest Honors. She has worked as a motivational speaker for a respected international company, written material for a number of companies, and worked as a consultant in telemarketing, sales and promotion. But writing fiction with passion and vision is her dream.

Cheryl has completed her next novel, Children of the Fog, a terrifying suspense that asks, “how far are you willing to go for your child?” She has also completed Divine Justice, the second in the Divine mystery series, and has started another thriller, plus a YA novel, Finding Bliss, the first novel to be written on the iPhone 3G using the Notes application.

Born in Vancouver, BC, Cheryl Kaye Tardif was a “military brat” and a “military wife” who has lived all across Canada and in Bermuda. Now residing in Edmonton, AB, with her husband Marc, daughter Jessica and the family dog, she is an author that Booklist calls “a big hit in Canada…a name to reckon with south of the border”.

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Bestselling author Jennifer Estep: Listening to your instincts

Bestselling author Jennifer Estep has kindly shared some insight into her writing process. It is an inspiration for anyone pursuing the hard path of publishing, whether traditional or self-publishing.

As one reads Miss. Estep’s interview, they learn writing the book that catapults your career takes more than just patience and work.

Straight from the author’s mouth: Listen to your instincts.

  1. Can you talk about your career? What are some setbacks you had to overcome to fulfill your goals?

I write the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series for Pocket Books and the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series for Kensington. I wrote several books over the course of several years before I got an agent and sold my first book. I got a lot of rejections along the way, but I just kept on writing, and I eventually sold my first book.

  1. Your new release Widow’s Web has come out. Can you share with us a powerful excerpt from your novel?

WIDOW’S WEB EXCERPT:

Owen just sort of—sagged. His hands thudded down on the table, and his whole body pitched forward, as if the mere sight of her had caused his bones to turn to jelly. He continued to sit there, a stunned expression on his face, as though he couldn’t quite believe there was a woman standing in front of him—that this particular woman was standing in front of him. Whoever she was, he obviously knew her and was floored by her appearance—as floored as I’d been when I’d seen Donovan Caine, an old lover of mine, a few weeks ago. Hmm.

“Don’t you have anything to say?” she asked. “Or perhaps a hug for an old friend?”

Her voice was soft, sweet, and utterly feminine with the kind of faint dulcet chiming that made me think of water rushing down a mountainside. A soothing voice—one that could convince a man to do all sorts of things for her. Up close, I could see that her eyes were somewhere between blue and green—aquamarine, some folks might say. Their color seemed to constantly shift from one to the other and back again, churning like the sea.

“Owen?” the woman asked again.

“Of course,” he said in a faint voice, pushed his chair back, and got to his feet.

Owen hesitated, then held out his hand, but the woman ignored his gesture and stepped into his arms, molding herself to his body and pressing her breasts against his chest. He hesitated again, then awkwardly patted her on the back before stepping out of her embrace as fast as he could. The woman seemed amused by his attempts to disentangle himself from her and did everything she could to slow his getaway.

Her antics did not amuse me—not one little bit. Especially since the woman was staring at my lover like she’d very much like to have him for dessert. Like it was almost a forgone conclusion that she would, despite my presence at the table.

Finally, she tore her gaze away from Owen long enough to glance at me. “Aren’t you going to introduce me to your friend?”

“Of course,” he echoed again. “Salina Dubois, this is Gin Blanco. Gin, Salina.”

I discreetly tucked my knife back into my purse, closed the top, put it down on the table, and got to my feet. Salina held out her hand to me, the same remote expression on her face that she’d shown McAllister—the one that told me just how very far beneath her and unimportant she thought I was.

  1. Can you talk about your writing process?

When I start writing a rough draft, I try to write at least 2,000 words (or more) a day until I have a draft that’s about 50,000 or 60,000 words (or more). Then, I let that draft sit for a while before I go back, read through, and see how the characters, plot, story, and more hold together. Then, I start on my second draft and layer in more emotion, action, description, and dialogue. When I finish, I let that draft sit for a while before going back, reading through, and seeing what needs to be done to that draft. I keep repeating that process until I have a full-length book that’s the best that I can make it.

  1. Any editing tips?

I would just say listen to your instincts. If you think something in your book isn’t quite working, then it’s probably not. Also, I think one of the most important things is just getting the words and your story down. Your book doesn’t have to be perfect the first time. That’s what editing is for.

  1. What do you love most about the writing industry? What do you dislike?

One of the things I like about the writing community is just how nice and supportive everyone is. Whether we are authors, readers, reviewers, or bloggers, we all love books, and it’s just great to meet and interact with so many people who enjoy books and reading.

  1. Do you have any other books or new releases that you would wish to talk about?

Widow’s Web, the seventh book in my Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series, was released on Aug. 21. Deadly Sting, the eighth book, is set to be published in April 2013, and there will be at least two more books in the series after that one.

Crimson Frost, the fourth book in my Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series, will be out on Dec. 24, 2012, and there will be at least two more books in the series after that one.

Folks can visit my website at www.jenniferestep.com for more information about my books.

Thank you for reading this interview. Interested in seeing if you won a personally signed copy of Miss. Estep’s Widow’s Web, check out the giveaway on my fan page.

BIO INFO:

Jennifer Estep is a New York Times bestselling author. Jennifer writes the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series for Pocket Books. Widow’s Web, the seventh book, was released on Aug. 21. Visit www.jenniferestep.com for excerpts and more information about her books.

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Anna Patricio: How the Bible inspired her first novel

Anna Patricio is the author of Asenath, a historical romance that adds some more meat to the biblical story of Joseph. Yes we know much about the dreamer, but what about his wife?

The lack of knowledge led Miss. Patricio to write the novel with Joseph’s wife as the heroine. Read on to learn some more of what finally helped her to find who she truly was as a writer.

Straight from the Author’s mouth: How the bible helped her find her niche.

Can you tell us about your journey as a writer? Why Asenath?

I have been fascinated with the story of Joseph (the dreamer) for the longest time. Some years ago, I realized not much was known of his wife, the priest’s daughter who was given to him in marriage as his reward for interpreting Pharaoh’s dreams. I grew really curious about her. I looked her up, but found hardly anything on her. Thus, I decided to imagine what her life might have been like.

How long did it take you to complete this novel? Can you talk about your writing process?

It took me about 3 years to complete ‘Asenath’ – and then 8 months to seek publication. My writing process is pretty spontaneous. I don’t have any particular procedure. But I write and revise better at night than in the daytime. I guess that makes me a night person. Additionally, I need absolute silence to write. I once tried writing in an airport, but failed.

Any editing tips?

I’ll quote what I heard another writer say – rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. Also have another pair of eyes go over your manuscript. My friend and fellow writer did a thorough critique of one of the drafts. His help was priceless.

Who are some of your favorite authors and how have they inspired your writing?

Arthur Golden, who wrote ‘Memoirs of a Geisha.’ I really like his character and plot development. In fact, his novel was one of my chief influences for ‘Asenath.’ I also like Wilbur Smith’s Egyptian series. His novels were actually my foray into reading historical fiction, and I was inspired by how he breathed life into people who lived so far from our time, making them like human beings I could relate to.

Why writing at all? What motivates you?

I have actually always been inclined to writing, but never wrote “seriously” until after college. Until then, you see, I didn’t know my writing niche. I didn’t know my passion – what it was that I wanted to write about. I wished I could write, but I lacked motivation. After college, I was trying to figure out what it was that I wanted to do in life when the idea to imagine the life of Joseph’s wife appeared to me. And like I said, I have always been fascinated with the Joseph account, so this was motivating in more ways than one.

Do you have any other books or new releases that you would wish to talk about?

Not yet. Maybe in a few years’ time – hopefully – I will have another book to talk about.

If you could share one tip you learned with self-published and traditionally published authors who share the same dream of being a successful author what would it be?

Hmmmmmm.. “write what you know.” As cliche as this may sound, it’s true. You must be really enthusiastic about what you’re writing, otherwise the outcome may be pretty mechanical. As for those seeking traditional publication, I suggest you investigate publishers/agents before you submit to them. I nearly fell for some “gimmicks” myself. The last thing you would want is for your dream to be ripped to shreds.

In a humble fishing village on the shores of the Nile lives Asenath, a fisherman’s daughter who has everything she could want. Until her perfect world is shattered.

When a warring jungle tribe ransacks the village and kidnaps her, separating her from her parents, she is forced to live as a slave. And she begins a journey that will culminate in the meeting of a handsome and kind steward named Joseph.

Like her, Joseph was taken away from his home, and it is in him that Asenath comes to find solace…and love. But just as they are beginning to form a bond, Joseph is betrayed by his master’s wife and thrown into prison.

Is Asenath doomed to a lifetime of losing everything and everyone she loves?

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Straight from the author’s mouth: Writing Tangi’s Teardrops

When Tangi’s father dies, he leaves her nothing but three empty bottles. A kind uncle takes the poverty-stricken girl and her stepsisters in, and for a time life gets better on his farm. But Tangi remains a lonely outsider; her stepsisters tease her for her crippled leg, and the housekeepers use her like a servant.

Just before her thirteenth birthday, Tangi learns the truth about her father’s strange legacy: the three bottles aren’t empty any more. They’re filled with all the tears she’s cried since her father died, and her tears are enchanted. She must use them to travel to Rosevine, the world of her dead mother. Tangi not only belongs there but is necessary to keep Rosevine alive.

Tangi’s tears will save Rosevine, and Rosevine will save Tangi from a cruelty-filled life, except for one thing: Tangi’s lost the bottles.

Excerpt I

Two days after Uncle Thomas left, something blunt poked Tangi in the chest. She opened her eyes to see Lisa, standing beside her bed, an oil lamp in her hand. In the dim light, her double chin jutted out even more.

“Get up,” she hissed. “There’s a lot of work to be done.”

Tangi rubbed away the sleep from her eyes. She shook her head in confusion. “What do you mean?”

Lisa threw aside the blanket and goosebumps rose on Tangi’s legs as the cold morning air assailed her. “Your uncle is not here to spoil you. Get dressed and go fetch water. Be back in time to help with breakfast.” Lisa strode out of the hut.

Tangi stared after the trail of light from the lamp until it disappeared out of sight. Her head reeled with confusion. Was Lisa implying that she didn’t do anything around the house? Even though Uncle Thomas had two housekeepers that did the housework, she still did her share. She washed her own clothes, washed the dishes, swept their hut and carried out other chores that didn’t place too much strain on her leg. But never mind; one day couldn’t possibly do that much harm.

Her eyes adjusted to the darkness. Lisa hadn’t woken Nona and Maria. They continued sleeping, unaware of what had just happened. Not that they’d care.

Let them sleep, she thought, and heaved herself out of bed. Since Papa died, it hit her that people didn’t live forever. She had relied so much on her father’s love and care for her, like leaning on a strong, immovable tree trunk. Now she was afraid to depend on anyone, even Uncle Thomas. Being rejected at her new school also fueled her decision to learn to be strong for herself. She would prove to everyone she could do everything that they could. She wouldn’t let her disability be an excuse, wouldn’t give anyone reason to pity her. She’d get the water from the tap and learn to handle the pain in her leg.

Short Excerpt II

Tangi stopped midstride and turned. As she walked back to the ditch, a little laugh escaped her lips. She reminded herself of Sarah, the crazy woman of the village, talking to herself, hearing things no one else heard.

But what did she have to lose? She would take another look, and if she still saw nothing, she’d leave without turning back.

She bent lower at the waist and peered into the ditch.

All of a sudden, the ditch filled with crystal clear water.

She jumped away, her heart pounding wildly, and then moved closer again.

Then the rain stopped. Sunrays slanted through the dark clouds and the air was suddenly heavy with the scent of roses.

When the water reached the rim, the ditch transformed into a pond. The crystal water shimmered. The mud had disappeared and the green of the leaves seemed more vivid. No sign at all that it had rained just a few seconds ago.

The reflection of a handsome man’s face stared up at her—short, curly hair, big brown eyes, and the whitest teeth she had ever seen. He seemed to be somewhere in his twenties.

“Hi, Tangi, I’m Daryle, the prince of Rosevine. I didn’t mean to scare you. I came to show you a way out of this world.”

Some Goodreads Reviews

Kimberly rated it

Tangi’s Teardrops is a unique retelling of the classic Cinderella story with some interesting twists. It’s author Liz Davis’s first YA novel and her first novel period. For the purpose of not wanting to spoil this darling little book for other readers I’m going to refrain from posting any spoilers and just talk about my overall thoughts on the book.

First off, I really liked Tangi. Though she started off as a young girl I found her character easy to connect to. As a child with a limp Tangi is made fun of constantly by her classmates and has no friends but the teasing does not stop off school grounds. Instead she has to face more ridicule at home from her older half sisters. I personally hate any form of bullying so my heart broke with her because she was such a good, kind soul I could hardly bare to see her suffering at the hands of those who should care for her.

I really enjoyed the story because it was a quick, easy read that made me feel different emotions. Liz Davis is a very talented author. She gave Tangi heart, something that is getting a little harder to find in YA novels. I highly recommend this light hearted read to everyone! The writing is lovely and you can tell the author has a passion for her work.

Sheilagh Lee rated it

Tangi is a wonderful fairy tale based on a true story of strength of character and courage. When I read the book I had no idea of the true story behind it but I can see the writers own experiences gave her the ability to tell us in a way that we understood the suffering of this child.

Tangi’s life has been miserable while her father was alive she could put up with the teasing and the cruel taunts about her one leg being shorter than the other and even put up with having no friends but now him gone she has nothing. Her two older half-sisters have escalated their cruelness and are now getting servants to harm her and make her act as Cinderella. She must do all the chores all the work only to watch them eat as they don’t even feed her and if that’s not bad enough they beat her. Tangi doesn’t know who to turn to, she can’t tell her Uncle Thomas when he returns for fear of someone else being harmed. Tangi then dreams of the world of her mother. In this world she can escape the pain and the tears that are filling up in the three bottles her father left her. .She is told she is needed there and is the only one who can save Rosevine but to get there she needs her bottles of tears but she can’t find them they aren’t where she left them. This book made me see vividly the character of Tangi and weep for the child so cruelly treated and like any good fairy tale gave me goosebumps and made me smile. I won’t tell you anymore of this enchanting story other than to say read this book it’s charming. If you enjoy a good fairy tale or the show such as “Once Upon A Time” you will love Tangi’s Teardrops.

Delphina rated it
I am not even sure where to begin. This retelling of Cinderella was so unique and simply beautiful. I was immediately drawn into Tangi’s world and while it was a sad premise (as are all Cinderella tales), there always seemed a glimmer of hope that made the sadness not so sad. I am just so happy that this book found me. Yes, I believe books find us. Feel free to chuckle ;).

Here are some things I enjoyed about this book:

*The book took place in a culture completely unlike my own, yet I felt like I was there and not just observing.

*This story is one I consider a true YA. I would feel comfortable recommending it to any teen. There were hardships and she faced cruelty, but there was no violence I would want to shelter a younger teen from and absolutely no sex/sexual tension.

*I loved the author’s voice. I can not pinpoint exactly what it was about her writing that drew me in, but it was beautiful.

*I read a ton (too much if you use my Goodreads Book ticker as a guideline). Among those books, were many Cinderella based tales. This is the first one where I was not sure what was going to happen next. I knew would most likely have a “happily ever after” type ending, but I had no idea how it would get there.

*I enjoyed the characters, even the “bad guys”. It was great to see how even through all of the difficulties of her life, Tangi always had someone there who truly loved her and cared about her well being. Even though she felt “less” because of her disabled leg, they never did. The “bad guys”, that was a different story ;).

*I love the idea that good can come from your tears. It is something I wish more people truly believed, especially when hard times are upon them.

This is Liz’s first novel and I am so glad I read it. I read this after reading a string of really bad, poorly edited books. The timing was perfect! I can only imagine where Liz’s writing will go from here. I am looking forward to her adult novel, which is coming out next week. I hope it holds all of the magic Tangi’s Teardrops did.

Brianne rated it

Tangi’s Teardrops is a story about a poor young girl named Tangi, who’s father recently passed away, leaving her nothing but three small glass bottles. She and her mean step sisters go to live with her Uncle. While her Uncle is away for work, Tangi gets treated horribly not only by her sisters but the housekeeper. One night Tanji has a dream that changes her life forever…

Tangi’s Teardrops was such a beautifully written story. You are not just reading the story, you are shown it. I pictured every detail in my mind. Absolutely great writing. The only problem I have with Tangi’s Teardrops is that its too short. I would have love to see more adventures in Rosevine. Hopefully this means that there will be a second book.

Tangi’s Teardrops is a clean book and I highly recommend it to anyone young or old.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Liz Grace Davis grew up in Angola, Namibia, South Africa and Germany. She now lives with her husband in Vienna, Austria.

Growing up, Liz spent most her days in libraries, diving into the world of books. In her spare time she reads a lot, travels, creates jewelry and designs digital scrapbooks. That’s of course when she’s not weaving stories. She’s in her element whenever she is doing anything that requires creativity.

Liz is the author of a young adult fantasy novel, Tangi’s Teardrops, and a romantic women’s fiction novel, Chocolate Aftertaste.

Now your reward: The Interview

1. Can you tell us about Tangi’s Tears? Why did you choose to write this story?

Tangi’s Teardrops was inspired by my childhood. Tangi is actually my third first name (I know, I have way too many names on my passport). You can read about the story behind Tangi’s Teardrops here: http://bit.ly/wWAjj4

I wrote Tangi’s Teardrops as a way to make peace with my past and to create a happy ending for the little girl I used to be.

With Tangi’s Teardrops I’d like to remind readers that sometimes crying doesn’t have to be such a bad thing. It can be so freeing. For Tangi, they were, in a magical kind of way.

2. Give us a powerful line from your novel.

Let me give you two sentences.

She wouldn’t let her disability be an excuse, wouldn’t give anyone reason to pity her. She’d get the water from the tap and learn to handle the pain in her leg.

3. Can you talk about your writing process?

I really don’t have a set writing process. I try to write as much as I can, in between working, studying and designing. During the day I like to do things which don’t require me to be creative and at night I weave stories. Many times the creative part of my brain just doesn’t seem to function during the day. I have tried waking up early before work, in order to get some writing done. For a while it worked, but then I decided that the last few hours of sleep in the mornings were just too delicious to give up. I get a lot done at night but unfortunately, as a result, I end up going to bed very late.

I normally write up to three drafts and then I move on to the dreaded editing stage. I have a wonderful editor but I don’t dump all the work on him and relax. We work as a team, editing back and forth.

4. Any editing tips?

Read the manuscript out loud. I find I catch mistakes better that way.

5. What do you love most about the writing industry? What do you dislike?

I love that the industry overflows with creativity and is filled with people living their dreams.

What I don’t like is that sometimes people look down on self-published authors. I think that’s wrong. I’ve read some amazing books this year from self-published authors.

6. Do you have any other books or new releases that you would wish to talk about?

In April I published my second novel, Chocolate Aftertaste, a romantic women’s fiction.

Chocolate Aftertaste is the story of a woman, Nora, who has a very controlling father. He makes all the important decisions in her life, even when it comes to her love life. All her life she has done her very best to live up to his expectations, sacrificing her own happiness. Until she almost makes a major mistake and realizes it’s time to take back the control. She flees to another town looking for a new beginning and maybe love. She soon learns that starting over and falling in love brings along its own challenges. But what matters most is that she has made her own choices and is ready to enjoy the benefits of those choices and deal with the consequences.

My third novel, Honeysuckle & Jasmine (women’s fiction), will be published in late autumn.

The story is about two African Au-Pairs (from different backgrounds) who meet in Germany and embark on a journey that leads them to the true meaning of friendship. Together they laugh, they live, they grow. And then everything changes. Suddenly their carefree days are over and the struggles that come with living in a foreign country begin. The only thing that can hold them together, when everything falls apart, is their friendship.

You can get a sneak peek at the cover I designed for the novel here: http://bit.ly/Nku67x

7. If you could share one tip you learned with self-published and traditionally published authors who share the same dream of being a successful author what would it be?

Don’t just write because you want to be published, write because there’s something burning inside of you that wants to be released and shared with the world.

Also, make friends with Facebook, Twitter, and get a blog. Once published, your life as an author has just started. Marketing is a whole new ball game.

8. If you could describe your writing in three words what would you say?

Emotional, thought-provoking, original

9. Tell us about the protagonist of your novel?

Tangi is a twelve year old disabled girl who is surrounded by people who hurt her for no given reason. All she ever wants is for others to look at her and not see her imperfections. But they do and they use them to weaken her both physically and emotionally.

In a nutshell, Tangi’s Teardrops is about a little girl who dreams of becoming something bigger than herself, who craves acceptance and love. This is a story of suffering and pain, hope, love and dreams coming true.

10. If you had to live alone on an island with the antagonist of your novel for the rest of your life, how would you cope?

If I were stuck with the antagonist from Tangi’s Teardrops, Selma, I’d be nice to her until she’s nice back. I always find that kindness is less hard work than spite.

Bonus (Answer if you desire)

11. Why should readers go out and get your novel today?

Tangi’s Teardrops is an African fairytale with a twist. If you want to read a different kind of fantasy, it could be for you.

Thank you so very much for hosting me today. I enjoyed answering your questions. I hope your visitors will enjoy Tangi’s Teardrops as much I enjoyed writing it.

Denise Turney: How to land author interviews and increase sales

Author – Love Pour Over Me (Available at Amazon.com, B&N, iTunes, etc.)

http://www.chistell.com

Thanks to online radio directories and organizations like Blog Talk Radio, Shout Cast, Radio Tower, National Public Radio and Streema, locating a talk radio program that fits your book’s subject matter is relatively easy.  Before you reach out to radio hosts and station owners to schedule radio interviews visit and listen to the radio station you’re interested in landing one or more interviews with.  Many online radio stations have a Search box at the top of their homepage.  Type the genre of your book in the search box and examine what comes up.  You can also see if the online radio station has a drop down box that list radio programs by subject (i.e. self-help, business, sports, home improvement).  If the station doesn’t host programs that complement your book’s subject matter, move on. Interviewing on this station may not yield you many, if any, book sales.

Book Authors Landing Talk Radio Interviews

When it comes to scheduling offline radio stations, can contact the station director, a disc jockey or talk show hosts you want to interview on the station with. Write a cover letter to the radio station director, DJ or talk show host, being certain to list specific benefits listeners will gain from learning more about the book.

Include a brief (about one page) bio with a professional photo head shot, synopsis of your book and a list of other works your have published (e.g. poems, short stories) with the cover letter. Address the letter to the station director, disc jockey or talk show host by name. This shows that you have done your homework and are not simply sending interview requests to as many radio stations as you can.

Writer Resiliency and Success

For online radio stations send a professional email instead of a printed cover letter. Your cover letter, publishing credentials and book synopsis can help station directors, disc jockeys and talk show hosts to determine whether the book is a fit for their audience.  As a tip, if you create a spreadsheet that lists the radio stations you have contacted, you can easily follow up with a radio station regarding your initial interview request.

Stay encouraged throughout the radio interview scheduling process.  With effort, consistency and resilience you can and will land interviews.  In time, you might even have radio and television station hosts contacting you to request that you appear on air for an interview.

In addition to conducting interviews on other radio stations, as a book author you can access companies like Blog Talk Radio, National Public Radio and Voice of America to create and host your own radio program.  For example, the author of a home improvement book could create their own “Home Designs in Less Than an Hour” radio show.  The author of a recipe book could host a “Three Delicious Meals a Day” talk radio show. Current literary radio shows hosted by authors include Off The Shelf radio (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/denise-turney-) and Artist First (http://www.artistfirst.com).

Writing and publishing a book can be an incredibly rewarding experience.  With solid business skills, marketing efforts and grace, as a professional author, you can reach your target audience and increase your book sales.  Radio interviews are effective tools to use to accomplish this. Furthermore, as a business savvy writer you can also make good friends with book readers and other book authors as you continue to give and accept support to and from others.

Also read:

http://lawreigns.com/2012/06/18/new-release-denise-turneys-love-pour-over-me/

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Victoria Smith: Growing a market for New Adult fiction

New adult author and book blogger Victoria Smith gives us some insight on how she built a community of likeminded individuals over the internet, creating an impressive online presence.

Promoting new adult fiction through book reviews, networking, and promotions, she has helped many authors gain success and a voice in an underappreciated market.

Looking for a reviewer or someone to connect with? Check out Miss. Smith’s blogs and NA Alley, a resource for all interested in new adult fiction.

Having recently obtained a publishing contract for her science fiction romance novel, The Crimson Hunt, Miss. Smith offers some advice on creating a query package. She has provided links to submissions.

If you do nothing, click on the links below and check out her examples. Examples of synopses and queries helped me create a straight-to-the-point cover blurb, landing me review requests even though I am self-published author. So thank you Miss. Smith for sharing the love and knowledge.

Straight from the blogger’s mouth: Growing a market for New Adult Fiction

Can you tell me about your blog and the objective you hope to achieve?

Sure!  My blog is about my journey as a new writer as I write characters that fall between the categories of Adult and Young Adult fiction.  I write what’s called “New Adult” fiction, which features characters that are usually between the ages of 18 – 30.  “New Adult” displays these characters’ journey as they transition into adulthood.  They can be featured in college, starting their first jobs, or paying their first bills.  The publishing industry hasn’t really taken to this type of fiction yet, so my blog discusses my experience with writing this type of fiction despite the low market for it.  I also review books, which feature twenty-something aged characters, so others can read books about “New Adult” characters.  I try to spread awareness of this new category through my experiences writing it and the reviews I do.

 

As a book reviewer, what do you look for when you consider reviewing a book? 

 

First, I have to make sure that the books I review are perfect for the audience that reads my blog.  I try to feature books that are, what I like to call, “perfect for twenty-somethings.”  It can be Young Adult fiction or Adult fiction, but it has to be able to reach that audience.  A good example would be maybe a 17 or 18-year-old character that has become completely independent due to unique circumstances.  Say they are a single parent, or they have become the soul provider of their family because of an injured parent.  Maybe they grew up in hardships and have had to rely on themselves to survive.  These are mature experiences that could definitely relate to twenty-something readers and writers.

I also try to make sure that romance is one of the central themes of the writing.  I love reading Young Adult and Adult romances and find those stories compelling. I’m also a big fan of speculative fiction in contemporary settings.  Say a girl is a college student by day and a superhero at night or the local bartender down the street who took the job to pay for school is an undercover alien.  I love seeing stories like these!

 

How did you get your blog started and how long did it take before you saw results?

I started my blog November of 2011.  It took about a month and a half when I started gaining more followers.  I held contests and joined Twitter.  I also sought out other bloggers who reviewed books like I did, or were writers like me.  I commented and participated on their blogs then they would come to mine and do the same.  Before I knew it, I started to get a following and the rest is history as you say!

 

What are some tips?

The biggest tips I can give are to join Twitter and find other blogs like yourself. You have to network if you want people to come to your blog.  Make friends! Not only is it fun, but you also get to meet some cool people.

 

As a writer, I know you said you were undergoing the querying process. Can you talk about a bit about your book, the querying process and what you have learned?

I actually just started researching the querying process recently for my new adult science fiction romance, THE CRIMSON HUNT.  My book is about a college junior who falls for a mysterious collegiate on her campus.  But her involvement with him lands her at the heart of a murder, in which she has been named the prime suspect.  He is the only one who truly knows of her innocence, so she becomes completely reliant on him to survive.  But as the two become closer, she realizes that he may have had more involvement with the murder than he lets on. She has to determine who her true allies are before she loses more than just her rights as a free citizen.

 

With this project, I was editing and getting my packages together for publishers because I knew I would be submitting it by the end of the summer.  I created a standard package by making a two-page synopsis, blurb, and query letter, which included a blurb about the book and my writing credentials.  While getting the package together, I heard about a contest from an editor that was actively seeking new adult manuscripts.  I entered the contest about a month ago and won.  Here’s my entry here.  I submitted my full manuscript to them and they offered me a contract for publication about two weeks ago!  So, I am now officially a new adult author.  Here’s the announcement I made on my blog about it here.

I suppose I learned that you just have to make sure that you concentrate on your work first and foremost.  Really polish your manuscript to the best of your ability, so when opportunities like pitch contests and other things come around you are prepared.  Obtain a critique partner and beta readers to read your work.  They’ll catch things that you might not necessarily have seen yourself.

 

If you could share a bit of wisdom with aspiring authors who desire to create a successful blog, what would it be?

As writers we naturally want to show our work to the world, so it’s easy to only want to discuss your personal craft on your blog.  But what you have to make sure of is that there is a balance.  Research your reader and feature things that they would like to see on your blog then insert your own stuff into the mix.  You’ll build a following then you can feature more and more of your own work.  Make sure you network with other writers and readers via Facebook, blogging, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. to create friendships.  They will come to you if you come to them with the same awesome attitude and spirit!

Connect with Miss. Victoria Smith:

 

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