Anyone 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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Nathan 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 writtenseveral 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.
“This was a very creative and well written story. The story itself deals with regular college life: roommates, classes, and social stuff; then there’s the fantasy side, dealing with a war, saving mankind, and uncertain what to do when dreams actually become reality. The story along with the characters was very entertaining. We read from different POVs, including Blissany’s, so we see this story from all sorts of sides. This was a good novel that had suspense, jealousy, romance, and destiny. It is definitely one that should not be missed, and I encourage you read it! :)”
Kashif Ross admits to having made mistakes in the publishing field. These same mistakes he helps authors to avoid by sharing writing tips on his blog, Animscition.
Read the interview below to learn preferred methods of editing, why SEO is important, and how to keep writing for your pleasure pleasurable for the masses.
1. Can you tell us about your journey as a writer? Why did you choose to write Legend of Apollo and Cavern of Youth ?
My journey…That’s an interesting question. You’re asking a person that loves writing lengthy projects to brag about himself. Dangerous.
I’ve always hated writing. I really have. When I was in high school, I hated being criticized for something that came from my brain. Fortunately, I grew up and didn’t have to write for other people with bad opinions. My master pieces could hide under shelves for an eternity.
Five years back, I wrote my first novel for my girlfriend (presently my wife). She loved it and I kept writing romances. However, since I was young, I always created my own super heroes. If I were to see something on television, I had to One Up the story. After watching anime, like Naruto and Bleach, I developed this awesome villain that deserved an entire universe and world dedicated to him. Legend of Apollo was born.
2. Give us a powerful line from your novel.
Time is limited by the bullet I deserve to swallow.
3. Please talk about your writing process.
Writing involves spilling my blood onto a page and watching it come to life. The process generally takes a few weeks. I’ve written a 75,000 word book in one week, but it needs too much editing to see the light of day. The longest I’ve taken to write a 100,000 word novel was one month. In other words writing is simple. I can crank out 5 chapters in 10 hours; it’s editing that kicks my butt.
Currently, I’m on my first pass of my next novel Barcode: New War Order. I’m editing one chapter per day. Ugh.
4. Any editing tips?
YES! I have brilliant editing tips that were discovered as I fell flat on my face. You can watch videos on them on my page. They’re titled: the Stupid Man’s Guide.
I’ll also give advice you won’t find there. There are two types of editors: Front to back and slugs (I made up these cool terms inside of my brain! Look mah!).
Front to back basically means you reread your document over and over again, editing from the first page to the last. DON’T DO THIS. It’s a really bad idea. You’ll miss something every time and you’re never paying enough attention to change things.
Slugs constantly comb over one page or one chapter. I work on one chapter at a time, reading it until my eyes burn or I feel sick enough to move on. I’m always cutting out unnecessary wording and looking for ways to improve dialogue. It’s really important to think, “Is this logical?” For example, currently, my main character is weak, but he’s a gladiator. At first, I had him kick a jammed door open, but that’s something I would have to do when I’m weak. Because he’s a gladiator, it didn’t matter how stuck the door was. He’s strong enough to push through.
Also, you need an editor. I improved so much with an editor. It’s just so they correct your grammar. They tell you what’s wrong with your ideas. They’ll find your common mistakes, like your explanations are too lengthy or you’re constantly using certain phrases/words/characteristics.
5. Have you learned anything new about marketing you would like to share?
If you use social media, stay social. Don’t just advertise.
Twitter is a great way to get the word out, but you have to do more than just advertise yourself. Advertise other authors that you’ve built relationships with. Read their books and tell your friends. They’re more likely to do the same.
If you have a website, own your SEO! For example, Google, “Kashif Ross,” “Barcode: Legend of Apollo,” or “Legend of Apollo.” Who do you get? Me. I work hard at my SEO. One way to destroy your SEO is to repeat information on your website. I often make updates on my books at www.kashifross.com, and I don’t put that information anywhere else. That way, when people search for something simple, they’ll find me. Every time you repeat information or use weak wording, Google puts you further down on the list. I always work hard to keep a strong web presence. It helps you sell.
6. I know you said these are two books out of five? Can you talk more about them? Does it get easier or harder as you get more immersed in the project?
Ugh! It gets harder.
Some people read my books and think, “He sucks. I could write something better in my sleep while breast feeding my child and saving Africa from starvation.” Though most critics are pleasant people, trying to please these arrogant know-it-alls made me realize my goal as a writer: to maintain readership.
I have a very twisted ending for the first book, Legend of Apollo (LOA). My ending hurts my ability to retain people, but that’s okay. I wrote the series to be very intertwined. In order to understand LOA, you have to read Cavern of Youth (COY).
But that’s a huge problem. With the wild ending, I can’t expect people to pick up COY. As a solution, I worked really hard to make sure COY was 10x better than LOA. Making the first better than the second is simple. However, as I write/edit the third book, New War Order (NWO), I’m thinking, how can I make it 20x better than COY?
Word of mouth is the best way to sell books. Trying to make a project that sells can weaken your writing. Sometimes I have to force myself to write for the pleasure and not think about “the project.” Each new book becomes more troublesome and frustrating. I’m constantly comparing myself to my previous work. Fortunately, the more positive reviews I receive from people I don’t know, the more motivated I feel.
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?
I have no freakin’ clue. I feel like I need to actually be “successful” in order to hand out that advice! Right now, I can only say, “Fight the good fight.”
8. Tell us about your innovative website.
That’s simple: I’m mentally unstable. I decided to create a website where I write whatever comes to my mind. Everything is related back to creativity and writing, but really it’s just an insight to my twisted mind.
9. Tell us about the protagonist of your novel?
He’s a jerk. Who wants to actually read about someone with a good personality? Not me.
I made this dude have a stupid amount of character flaws so he could grow up. After 33% of the book, you should be ready to kill him. Once that passes, he matures a little. It’s really not his fault though. The poor kid killed his mother when he was young and his father is really emotionally detached. So don’t judge Spencer!
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?
One of us would kill the other. Kode would love to slit my throat. He actually says it in one of the books. I think he’s a great guy, very snarky and evil. He, on the other hand, hates my guts. It’s such a glorious relationship.
Bonus (Answer if you desire)
11. Why should readers go out and get your novel today?
Readers shouldn’t buy my book. They should stay away and miss out on all the amazingness trapped inside of this stack of Kindle nom-nom. That’s what readers should do if they don’t want to have my novel make love to their mind.
Kashif Ross is a California grown writer. He’s obtained two degrees that most people have never heard of, a bachelor’s in Social Ecology and a master’s in Gerontology. Initially, he used writing as therapy to block out all of life’s stressors. Overtime his hobby evolved into a passion that made his spouse a writer’s widow. When he’s not devoting every spare minute to his Barcode series, Kashif can be found jamming out on Rock Band, embarking on adventures with manga characters, or outside playing hide-and-seek with the sun.
You can find posts about his random thoughts and adventures on his blog, www.kashifross.com.
Frankly this was not the book I had expected it to turn out to be at all, but I still enjoyed it very much!
I absolutely loved the title and cover, and the synopsis only helped me get more excited into reading the book. However, I was disappointed in realizing they almost have nothing to do with the book. It portrayed it in a completely different way than I had expected- not necessarily in a bad way, but still it was a bit misleading.
The book revolves around our world and how it’s about to embark on a war due to one of the higher powers being rejected and wanting revenge. They had warriors created with specific powers, prepared enough for such a war. The problem of the matter was, the warriors aren’t as supportive of the war and their role in it as the higher powers had expected. Don, believes in what he’s told, yet he has mixed feelings about being involved in the whole thing. Blissany on the other hand refuses to take part in the war in real life. So Gabriel tries to convince her in her dream world, yet when she still refuses, Gabriel erases her memories and decides to let her fight whilst sleepwalking, which is one of the reasons why Don has reservations with the whole thing. All Blissany has ever hoped for was a guy being interested enough with her to want to date her, not a war and magic and weird creatures. So when Don approaches her at a party, she’s excited for a few seconds before her psycho roommate comes over and captures his attention. Things go up and down, visitors come from different worlds, there’s art galleries and fraternity parties, and a whole lot of jealousy in the mix.
This story reminded me a bit of Dream Walkers and Dream Slayers (books I had reviewed a few weeks ago) but it was quite different at the same time. I know how this one is basing a new light on religious aspects like the higher powers and how one of them was rejected for disobeying the rules…etc. But I still liked this new dystopian world, with a surprise in the addition of vampires in the mix. Frankly this was not the book I had expected it to turn out to be at all, but I still enjoyed it very much! I also really liked the names Blissany and Wanikiya. The whole drama and love mess kept me on edge I had absolutely no idea how it was going to end up, so that was rather great.
“I really enjoyed this book and I am looking forward to reading more from Law Reigns.”
Superheroes Wear Faded Denim introduces us to two main characters Blissany Cherry and Don Shimada. Blissany is shy self-conscious art student and a sleepwalker who just happens to be the key to defeating one of the greatest evil this world has ever known. Don is outgoing, popular and basically has a bright and successful future ahead of him until that is he starts having hallucinations of war and destruction. Together they are bound by destiny to save the world.
All in all a great concept but I have to say that this book was difficult to get into. However, once all the characters are introduced and you have some sense of what the heck is going on it sucks you in. Normally I wouldn’t recommend a book that takes 100 pages to really get interesting, there are however a few exceptions and Superheroes Wear Faded Denim is now at the top of the list. Don’t get me wrong there are some very intriguing moments that keep you reading but it just takes a while to really take off.
I think one of my favorite things about this book is that it changes POV. Don was my favorite to read even though he was a bit of an ass at times. Blissany sometimes is frustrating to read, you really want her to snap out of her funk. Luckily that’s when Don’s chapters would come in and the story would advance making you excited to get back to Blissany to see what she was up to and how it would work its way back to the story. I really enjoyed this book and I am looking forward to reading more from Law Reigns.
Dear Reader: This list of websites, which we compiled in March 2012, grew in the meantime to almost 100. Please visit our two new blog posts with even more possibilities to announce your work for free:
Life, I tell you. I was supposed to have a wonderful review on the lovely book Wings of Hope for today, but I have fallen back on my reading. Check back Friday to get the scoop. In the meantime, connect with Miss. Hillary Peak online and read samples on Amazon.
Title: Wings of Hope
Author: Hillary Peak
Genre: Literary Fiction
The letter said he was dying, that’s all Jules Weinstein knows when she leaves her life in San Francisco and moves to New York City to be with her father. She goes for the remarkable opportunity to really know her father. She never dreamed he had liberated a concentration camp, dealt cards to Bugsy Siegel or saved the life of a Black Panther. Wings of Hope is a road trip through the memories of a man making peace with his life. Little does she know that by getting to know her father, she will find herself. While her father struggles with whether his life was meaningful, Jules discovers that her father’s last gift to her is the ability to reach for her dreams. Her journey teacher her that “the goodbye” is sometimes the most heartbreakingly beautiful part of life.
Hillary Peak is a recovering idealist. She became a lawyer to change the world and is still somewhat shocked that didn’t occur. Now, her goal is to retire from practicing law and write novels that people love. She is currently a practicing attorney in the District of Columbia. She lives with her family in Alexandria, VA.
Honestly, critiques help us grow. If you do not like critiques, then you do not like growth. After I begged Uzair for a critique, he watched my trailer and wrote:
Well its definitely not that bad. But I would say a uniform music theme and art would definitely create a strong msg. Like you have real life images and then paintings merged in between. Nobody wants to see a nuke bomb illustration. The music in the beginning was too dark and grave like a horror movie. Good thing, I liked the narratives they were precise and conveyed the msg.