Promote Yourself Saturday: Guest Author, P. H. Solomon @ph_solomon

Hello to all the readers here on the blog and thanks to Kim for hosting me today. As a way of introduction, I’m a fantasy author from Alabama with two novels published in The Bow of Hart Saga.

I started writing out of high school and really knew little about what I was doing at the IMG_4163-Edittime. As such, I wrote for years before I actually finished the first book of what would eventually become The Bow of Destiny. Along the way, I set the series aside several times and toyed with short stories before I really got serious about writing back around 2010. It still took several years but I finally published the first book in 2015.

Writing was a long journey, during which I learned quite a lot about books from marketing to development. In 2014, I stumbled upon the deep point of view writing technique which I think eventually made a big difference in what I’ve produced. I’m still learning about writing everyday but it’s been very rewarding to do so.

I chose to start with self-publishing and cut my teeth on my original work. The idea was that since I had actually received an offer on the original version in the mid-90s it was an idea worth developing to completion. The series had languished so I needed to re-write everything that amounted to about a book and a half of material. That was quite a chore but now I’m into new ground with the current series and a few new ones that I’m planning.

One thing I’ve learned along the way is that an idea may be slow to bear fruit but it can do so when the time is ripe. Such has been the case with The Bow of Hart Saga. I’ve also learned that marketing is a tough job that needs regular attention.

I would say that, if I had it to do over, I would have continued writing more over the intervening years instead of doing little to nothing. Life can be busy but writing could have been a bit more of a priority in even small way. I don’t know if writing more would have meant being published sooner but I would have been further along as a writer than I am today.

An Arrow Against the Wind:

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Haunted by his past. Hunted in the present. Buffeted like an arrow in the wind.

The hunt for the Bow of Hart continues for Athson and his companions. They have escaped the clutches of Magdronu and Corgren, but they are still pursued. In need of answers to deep mysteries revealed in Chokkra, Athson must gain possession of the mythic bow to face both his enemies and his tragic past. But Magdronu’s reach stretches among Athson’s companions, endangering Limbreth and even Hastra in schemes to entrap them all. With each turn of the search for the Bow of Hart, long hidden secrets surface that threaten to destroy Athson. Will he falter like an arrow against the wind?

Download An Arrow Against the Wind at:
Amazon – Kindle | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | Smashwords

Join my social circle at:
Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website | Pinterest | Google + | Wattpad | Amazon Author

Thanks again to Kim for hosting me today. Please ask me anything you wish to know about my books or being a self-published author in the comments section and I’ll be happy to reply.

What’s New! Kim’s Author Support Blog

writer at work, 3D rendering, rough street sign collection

 

I’ve updated the blog submissions for Kim’s Author Support Blog. Check them out. On this blog, my main mission is to support other authors and connect authors with readers. I reblog writing articles and showcase authors. If you have something you would like to share, let me know. I’ll share it with my over 7,000 followers. And best of all, it’s FREE.

Need help with a book launch, a book sale or giveaway, a kindle scout consideration, a contest, a blog tour, etc., or just want to showcase your book, just contact me.

 

Contact Us written on typewriter

The Writer’s Journey – Guest Author, Pamela Schloesser Canepa

Indie author finally realizes a life-long dream of sharing her writing habit with the world.
Pamela Schloesser Canepa, self-published author and Earth inhabitant.

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How and when you started writing: I recall writing my first short story at age 8, when we traveled from Florida to Tennessee to visit my uncle and his family. I had to entertain myself in the car, and this came in quite handy! It was shared with family, and they all encouraged me profusely. I continued writing, for class, for myself, to exercise strong emotions, etc., but much of it was shown to no one. Still, it was good for me! I was a quiet little girl, and this helped me channel my voice.

How and when you first published: I entered poetry contests and got into vanity published books. If nothing else, it felt good. In my thirties, I published stories on my Myspace blog. (Don’t laugh)! I recently started blogging on WordPress this year, and shared some stories in contests on Wattpad, which started ideas for my novellas that have been published just this year (2016), in the sci-fi romance genre. My second two are science-fiction, but not strictly romance, however, and they carry a stronger theme.

Are you published Traditionally, Small Online Press, Indie Author, or combination?
I am an indie author. I think of the poems I got published in vanity press as a build up to where I am now.

Tell us about your journey to where you are today.
In a nutshell, I had to change from the little girl whose family gushed over her cute little stories, to the solemn, confused teen who wrote dark poetry and hid it. Then, I grew from the young woman who journaled her way into self-esteem after processing and leaving a bad marriage, to the woman who wrote poetry expressing her parental fears/frustration and shared them with the world, to who I am today, putting my thoughts into fiction in an attempt to get a message across while entertaining my reader at the same time. My writing journey has been a growth, not just as a writer, but as a person. I recently had a reader call one of my novellas “thought-provoking.” That was such an honor! Yet, I realize it is out there for criticism as well as praise, and I need to be ready for both. Some will love my work, and some will not. It comes with the territory.

What have you learned along the way?
I’ve learned that self-publishing also means self-promoting. That it is a lot of work. I’ve learned that some days I will get the writing or promoting fever and cannot stop until I’ve beaten that fever into the ground. I have also learned that having a friend who is in the same position as an indie writer is so invaluable. So I have joined Rave Reviews Book Club, through which I met the wonderful owner of this blog that is allowing me to spread news of my writing! I have also joined other writing forums online and made many helpful friends. I see that you can’t just take others’ support, you need to give it as well. That is what builds a community of indie writers who can learn from each other, and it really gets these books out there for the world to see.

What would you do differently? I would do more promoting, pre-publication. I would also likely expand the ideas in my first few novellas. However, when all three are read, they tend to make my intended point. I may add to them in the future. But for now, I am working on a full-length novel and I am going through the entire process of editing, re-writing, and editing again. It is not for the faint of heart.

Published e-books:

Made for Me is a sci-fi romance, the first in a series of sci-fi novellas. Be sure to also check out the sequel, Seeing Through Sampson’s Eyes! The third, and latest, in this series is From Bedlam to Ben! All are available at Amazon.

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Thank you for reading, and I hope you will find time to read and enjoy my books!

The Writer’s Journey – Guest Author, Lori Soard

Today, I welcome a good friend. I’ve known her for about twenty years, when we first met at the Writer’s Club message boards on American Online. We’ve been in many clubs together, even started a few ourselves. Of course, she had the idea and would ask me if I’d like to help, and I’d say, “Sure.”

She is always breaking new ground in the publishing industry–example: the first RWA online chapter: From The Heart, another writer’s club: World Romance Writers, and the first author promotion site (to my knowledge): Word Museum. She is a wonderful person as well as author and entrepreneur. So, it is with great pleasure that I introduce to you, Lori Soard.

It All Started with a Giraffe Named Geraldine

My very first memories are of my dad telling me bedtime stories about a crazy giraffe named Geraldine. Geraldine was always getting into messes and had to be rescued. He would let me make choices in how the story would go. Does Geraldine go into the clearing or stay hidden? Does she follow the noise she heard or ignore it? These were the first stories I helped create and one of my favorite memories from my childhood.

I always loved books and stories. My parents bought me books as little gifts, played word games with me, and let my imagination have free reign. I truly believe that God gives us the parents he does for a reason and he couldn’t have chosen better with mine. I am thankful every day for their influence in my life and their love.

When my first grade teacher showed me how to string letters into words and words into sentences, I was thrilled. Now, I could read books for myself. And, I could write my own stories. I devoured every book I could get my hands on, started journaling and started writing stories. My early school years were all about finishing the busy work, because the teachers would let me read quietly if I finished early.

In high school, I would write stories and pass them to my friends between classes. They would add to them and we’d all swap stories again. I still have some of these silly stories, but they were so much fun. Some of them are about aliens taking over our friends’ bodies, but most are about romance. We had code names for our crushes in case anyone ever found one of our stories or a teacher tried to read it out loud.

It wasn’t until college when a journalism professor encouraged us to write an article and submit it to our local newspapers that I realized you could make money from your writing. The editor published my piece, put it on the front page, and gave me $25. At the time, I was more thrilled with that $25 than any amount I’ve ever been paid for my writing since. It was a light bulb moment for me and I knew I would always write from that point forward.

I’ve been published in multiple formats. Some of my first books were with ebook publishers, in the days when people said ebooks would never take off and they were basically a joke. I knew, even back then, that they were the wave of the future. I’ve always loved technology and I just felt in my gut that they would one day be a big deal. My very first book was titled Man of Means and was on a floppy disk. I recently republished that book, after extensive edits, for Kindle and in paperback.

Later, I was published by Thorndike for their Five Star line. I loved working with my editor, Russell, but they eventually moved away from contemporary romances and I felt a bit lost as I was another orphaned author. Eventually, I moved over to Amber Quill Press. In the last couple of years, I’ve moved to self-publishing. Just as I once thought that ebooks would be the wave of the future, I believe that being in control of my own books and how they are presented, packaged, and priced, is the next phase of my writing. I won’t say I’ll never again be with a traditional publisher. I enjoy the give and take of working with an editor and getting the intensive feedback that entails. I’m open to whatever direction the Lord wants to take my writing career.

One thing I’ve learned along the way is that you have to be open to writing different things. About 10 years ago, I began writing more non-fiction than I had. Although I’d always written a few articles here and there, I noticed the majority of my income was from articles and not from my fiction. The fiction income tends to come in spurts, but you never know just how big the spurt of income will be or when it will arrive. Writing non-fiction balances that for me. I also like to give my brain a break, as writing non-fiction requires different skills than writing fiction. I also edit for a couple of clients and do some web design. By varying tasks, I can stay busy most of the time and easily put in 40 hours a week or more. All the time, I’m loving every bit of it. I feel so blessed to do things I truly enjoy and make a living at it.

Marketing has changed a lot over the years. Today, you have to be active on social media, advertise, and stay in touch with your readers by blogging. However, I also believe you need to be vocal that you’re a writer and your books are available. I have a friend, and everywhere we go she is talking about her books to people. I’m trying to learn from her boldness, because I have a really hard time doing that for myself. I actually will hide out and never mention I’m a writer unless someone knows it already. I don’t know why, but this is definitely something I’m trying to overcome.

I have found it really hard to line up in-person book signings for this latest book. There used to be a lot of independent small booksellers out there. They’re all but gone. That makes it a bit more difficult to get out there and meet new readers. I’m going to be trying some festivals and different events instead in the coming year. I’m hoping that will allow me to get the word out more. I am also doing some online book tours and connecting with friends who are bloggers.

I actually wouldn’t change anything about my writing journey so far, even the mistakes. I believe that we learn from every mistake, every success, and every failure. These things all come together to make me who I am. I like who I am in Christ and the skills, knowledge and lessons along the way. I would do it all again.

I would encourage new writers to dig in their heels and never quit. Focus on why you are writing. It likely isn’t to get famous, because there are easier ways to achieve that. It is probably because you have something to say or a message to share. If you can share that with just a handful of people, then you’ve made a difference in someone’s life. Learn to focus on the reason and not the result and you’ll always be a success with your writing.

Lori’s Latest Book

cupidscrossingLori’s latest book is Cupid’s Quest, which is the first in her Cupid’s Crossing series. It is a contemporary inspirational romance available in paperback and ebook.

The only life Gracie has ever known has been the nursing home and the residents who are like family to her. Now, she risks losing it all and her friends scattering to different homes if she can’t come up with the money to save the business.

Between caring for his ailing mother and running the family farm, Brandt is stretched thin. Too thin. When his mother begs him to enter a local scavenger hunt, win the prize money, and convert the farm into an orchard, he knows he can’t refuse her anything, so he reluctantly agrees.

While seeking clues to the scavenger hunt, Gracie and Brandt keep bumping into each other. Gracie’s always had a crush on him that keeps her from stringing two coherent words together. Brandt doesn’t understand why she dislikes him so much she won’t even talk to him. If the nursing home residents would settle down and stop getting into crazy shenanigans long enough, the two might figure out that they have more than a little in common.

You can sign up for Lori’s newsletter by visiting her website at lori-soardjpghttp://www.LoriSoard.comand clicking on “Newsletter” at the top of the page. She regularly gives away prizes such as autographed copies of her books and gift cards to Starbucks and Amazon. Plus, you’ll stay updated on her latest news.

 

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The Writer’s Journey – Guest, Sarah Beth Williams

So, you want to be a writer: Sara Beth Williams.

If you’re reading this, maybe you made the same declaration that I did when I was a child – “I want to be a writer. I want to publish. I want to become the youngest writer.”– wait, that last bit was probably just me. I also declared I wanted to go to Harvard. You can laugh, it’s okay, I laughed, too.

I was in third grade, reading Heidi, and writing a book report, when I declared I wanted to become a writer. While I wrote a plethora of poems and bits and pieces of what could have been novel-length manuscripts, nothing came to fruition. I lacked experience, motivation, knowledge – many of the things that you gain while you age.

Mid-way through college, I wrote a YA action-adventure novel, submitted to a contest, and received it back with subpar scores. Disheartened, I spoke with a writer/editor friend who told me, “Just write the next one. Move on.”

That’s what I did.

Roughly two years ago, after setting aside my YA action-adventure, I ran across an old story I had partially written in my first year of college. It was a story that I had had no idea what to do with; a story that I couldn’t fit into a specific genre – I had no desire to write romance at age nineteen, nor did I have the desire to write Christian Romance.

The discovery of my old manuscript, along with having run across several well-written Christian romance stories in the preceding years, boosted my motivation to pick up writing again. The more Christian romance and Christian fiction I read, the more I thought, I can totally do this. I can write like this. My story ideas actually fit into this genre!

So, I re-crafted it, adding new characters. At the time, I was blessed to only have one daughter instead of two, and less family obligations. I would sit and write for hours, building upon this story, until it morphed from one book into a three-book series.

While I strived to finish this first manuscript, I scoured the internet and discovered a slew of information on what it takes to become a published author. They say knowledge is power – but only if you know how to handle it correctly and effectively. Too much knowledge is daunting, deterring to even the bravest of souls. Yet, I chose – and even now, choose – to persevere.

I’ve learned that writing in this genre takes maturity, and faith. If I want to succeed, then I must stand by what I believe and defend my written words with my actions. I’ve learned that writing in any genre, takes patience and tenacity.

I’ve learned that every experience in life builds upon itself and has purpose. I utilize many personal experiences in my novels. I used to ask my husband questions about what he felt in certain situations while we were dating. He would clam up, knowing that I was fishing for information. I still laugh about it. If I had a choice, I might go back and major in English; however, the lack of an English major doesn’t disqualify my capabilities as a writer. It may enhance – it might have given me an edge. In the grand scheme of things, every piece of life experience is valuable to you as a writer, regardless of your degree.

I’ve learned that I love to write. Writing is the fun part. It’s liberating, therapeutic; refreshing, like breathing in cool alpine air, with that faint scent of campfire smoke. Writing is what many people fall in love with. It’s the rest of the process that is complicated, time-consuming and a bit fussy.

I’ve learned that I also love to edit other writers’ works. Editing my own work is like trying to comb through my toddler’s wild curly hair.

After almost two years, a few beta readers, and a good twelve drafts, my first manuscript is complete and ready to hand off to publishers. I’ve two publishers in mind. One is more of the traditional publishing house. The other is more of a hybrid type.

I’ll leave you with one key piece of advice: if you want to become a writer, call yourself a writer and do it, even if you have to sludge through a swamp of trepidation. You are a writer when you write consistently. If you write consistently, you will discover one of two things: 1) You hate it. 2) You love it. If you love to write, then write. Regardless of how long it takes, or where it takes you.

sarahAbout the Writer

Sara Beth Williams resides in Sacramento, CA. She’s a wife and mother of two daughters and a follower of Christ. When she’s not writing, she loves to sing, read, and teach and play with children. You can find her on Twitter @williamsSaraB. You can find her blog at authorswilliams.wordpress.com

Second chances: Book 1

Fresh off his release from prison, Jacob Mathews is moving forward with his life. The last thing he needs is a girlfriend, especially one who harbors so much bitterness toward God. For Jay, his relationship with Christ has changed his life

But Lacey Bennett is irresistible, despite the risk. 

Lacey’s anger toward God stems from childhood. Fervent prayers for reconciliation between her divorced parents went unanswered. Her older sister tragically died at sixteen. How could God let these tragedies befall her family? After she discovers the reason for his past conviction, the anger she harbors within, and the refusal to forgive, threatens to destroy the relationship she has built with Jay.

Can she ever learn how to forgive?

Can Jay let her go long enough for her to heal, without knowing whether or not she’ll come back?

The Writer’s Journey – Guest, Markie Madden

The next author on The Writer’s Journey is Markie Madden. Markie is a very busy woman and author. I met her last year on a Facebook group she co-moderates with Claire Plaisted, Interview Exchange. Check them out. It’s a great group.

The Metamorphosis of a Writer

Hello everyone, I’m Markie Madden, author, and founder of Metamorph Publishing. My journey into writing has been a long one, and as I look back over the path that led me here, I’m amazed at how much I have accomplished!

Let me start at the beginning. The first time I remember writing on a regular basis was in 4th grade. I had an imaginative teacher at the time who would come around and draw a squiggle on our notebook paper. Our assignment was to finish that squiggle into a full drawing, and write a short story about our drawing. I don’t remember if we did this every day, or once a week, but I do remember how much fun it was to do it. After fourth grade, my family moved from New Mexico to Michigan, and I started 5th grade in a new school with new teachers.

By the time I was in high school, I’d been bitten by the writing bug. I wrote stories all the time, often passing pages around to all my classmates, because they were enthralled by the tales I was weaving on the paper. I began work on my first full-length novel, based on a game that my best friend and I would play out in the woods near our home. That book eventually became my dystopian novel Once Upon a Western Way, though at the time, I don’t think the “dystopian” genre really existed.

During my time in high school, I had an English teacher, Mr. David Harshfield, who was a huge inspiration to me. He was a self-published author, back when it wasn’t a “cool” thing, and he was responsible for purchasing X number of printed books on his own, and then trying to sell them to bookstores, libraries, and so on. He even brought in his book, Manchild for real: the Life and Lyrics of John Cougar Mellencamp, to show to our class. He also enrolled me in a Young Writers Conference held at the local community college, and went along with me. His words of encouragement and advice have always been in the back of my mind throughout my adult life.

So, I finished Once Upon a Western Way and began submitting it to publishers (back when a few of them still accepted unsolicited manuscripts). Mind you, these were typed pages, as computers and word processors were not a staple item in every home. Most of the publishers didn’t even bother to send rejection letters. But Mr. Harshfield’s advice spurred me on: “Whatever you do, never give up on the dream of being an author. What is not possible today may, in the future, become doable.” And those words have stuck with me through all these years.

So next, I took part of my family’s income tax return and hired a literary agent for a year. His contract stated that he would submit my manuscript to various publishers and send me quarterly reports on his results. This was a huge step for me, because my family was living paycheck to paycheck and we always relied on our tax refund to purchase large or expensive items that we couldn’t afford during the rest of the year, like a newer car if we needed one or a new washing machine. I’m not really sure how good this agent was, I looked around on the internet, then in its infancy, to find someone whose fees I could afford to pay. Throughout that year, I did get reports from him, usually with rejection letters from four or five publishers. Though I thought he could have done many more publishers in three months, I shrugged it off and assumed he knew what he was doing.

By the time that year was up, I decided that the work my agent was doing wasn’t worth the precious money, so I did not renew our contract. But I know had Once Upon a Western Way onto a computer now, as well as a complete printed manuscript. Even over numerous family moves, even all the way across the country to Texas, the story came with me. I never gave up searching for a way to publish, and I always made sure that my  manuscript was safely stored and would never get lost.

Fast-forward to the spring of 2012, when I bought my very first e-reader, a cheap knockoff of the Nook reader that I bought from Big Lots. It worked on the same software as the Nook, and I was able to purchase Nook books with it. I also put a lot of free books on it, and I saw that many of those free books came from a place called Smashwords. Eventually, I checked out the Smashwords website, and discovered them to be a platform for publishing e-books.

Once Upon a Western Way went live on April 27, 2012 and became my first published book. However, at the time, I knew nothing of marketing, and I had a growing family and a full time job, so aside from posting my book on Facebook and telling my friends and family members about it, I really did nothing to help sell the book. I mean, it’s published and available, people will buy it, right? How wrong I was! I think I sold 4 books in 2 years’ time.

In May of 2013, I fell ill with a virus that I couldn’t manage to shake, and by the end of June I was diagnosed with leukemia (blood cancer). I spent the next 8 months in the hospital, 3.5 hours from home, enduring chemotherapy. During this time, an old high school friend sent me a friend request on Facebook and we started chatting off and on. She, too, is a published author, but her book is available in print as well. I told her how I’d never figured out how to get Western Way into print, and she gave me the valuable information about Createspace and how they work. Her name is Denise Mercer, and her book, My Father’s Table, is a great inspirational read!

After spending over 6 months recovering from my final chemotherapy in 2014, I began looking into Createspace and getting Western Way set up for print. I also had half of a basic horse care guide written, Keeping a Backyard Horse, and my husband suggested writing a cancer book, My Butterfly Cancer, and talking about my experiences. All three of these books became available in print for the first time in September of 2014.

While I was getting these books ready for publishing, I thought about starting my own publishing company, and I thought about my friend Denise and how her small, random act of kindness got me started on the path of publishing. I also thought about My Butterfly Cancer, in which I use the ‘butterfly effect’ theory to explain how Denise’s friend request had blossomed into something so huge. You know the theory: a butterfly flaps its wings in Japan and causes a hurricaine in Florida. This was the perfect explanation for how Denise’s friendship had struck my life, and I wanted the name of my company to reflect that. She also told me how butterflies hold a special symbolic meaning for her and her family. So, I tried Metamorphosis Publishing (that name was already taken), Monarch Publishing (that name was already taken), and I couldn’t find any other common names for butterflies that I really liked. So, I settled on making up a word, Metamorph, and an author friend of mine commented on how that sounds like an unfinished word, like my metamorphosis is still incomplete and the company is still a work in progress. I liked the sound of that, for I’m constantly striving to perfect my writing and improve the way the public views independent authors. Thus, Metamorph Publishing was born just one year ago.

Today, we offer 5 books, four of them mine, and the last a pagan reference guide given to me by reclusive author Naddya Foxfire. They are all available in print and e-book, and three of mine are in audio book format as well (my newest release is still being produced in audio and should be available in November, 2015)! And there’s no end in sight! I’m working with two other aspiring indie authors and will eventually publish books for them (hopefully), and all the while I’m working on the second book in my new Undead Unit Series. Book 1, Fang and Claw, just released on October 4, and it’s been very popular!

So, what’s the point of this long story? The same advice my high school English teacher gave to me so many years ago. What might be impossible today might be doable tomorrow. So, if you haven’t managed to get published yet, stick around. Don’t give up! And no matter what, if you love to write, then write! Even if you never publish what you write, if you love doing it and it makes you happy, there’s no reason to give it up. And self-publishing gives everyone the opportunity to publish. If you’re not sure you can do it on your own, there are many small-press publishers available out there now as well. So don’t you quit!

Bio

Markie Madden was born August 19, 1975, in Midland, Texas. She grew up in the markiesmall town of Flushing, Michigan. While in high school, she took creative writing and was a photographer for the school newspaper. In 1993, she won the National Quill and Scroll Society award for best photo in a high school paper. She began writing her first novel, Once Upon a Western Way, while still attending school.

Markie is now married with two teenage daughters, three rescue dogs, and her horse, Athena, who is featured on the cover of her horse care guide, Keeping a Backyard Horse. She tried many times over the years to publish her novel, first on her own, and then hiring a literary agent, all without success. In early 2012, after getting her first smart phone and e-reader application, Nook, she discovered the world of self-publishing through a website called Smashwords. She finally published Once Upon a Western Way through this distributor in April, 2012.

In the late spring of 2013, Markie came down with a mysterious illness, which was ultimately diagnosed as leukemia (AML specifically). She underwent a rigorous treatment of chemotherapy, during which, at one point, her life was endangered. While she was hospitalized, an old high school friend who is also a published author reconnected with her. Since cancer and the treatment of cancer forced her out of the traditional workforce, Markie turned her attention back to the world of writing.

By December of 2014, Markie was the successful publisher of three books, her first published work, Once Upon a Western Way, now available in print as well as e-format, as well as a self-help guide to horse care, Keeping a Backyard Horse, available in print and e-format, and her cancer memoir, My Butterfly Cancer, available in print, e-format, and audiobook. Her other two will soon be available in audiobook format as well. Markie has founded Metamorph Publishing, in order to publish her own books, and she is now working with two other independent authors as well.

Currently, Markie lives in the small town of Fisk, Missouri, with her family, her dogs, and her horse. She is still writing and is working on a crime/paranormal series called The Undead Unit Series. Book one of the series, Fang and Claw, is now available. The second book of the series, Souls of the Reaper, is expected out in 2016, along with a thriller novel entitled Cured Delusions. You can find her at her website: https://metamorphpublishing.com.

fangAndClawLatest Book

Fang and Claw (Book 1 of the Undead Unit Series)

Lieutenant Lacey Anderson of the Dallas Police Department heads up a elite new squad dedicated to solving crimes involving Immortals like herself. Lacey, a Vampire left for dead when her family was slaughtered by Werewolves, still has nightmares about the attack.

Detective Colton Scarber is her unwilling partner and second-in-command. He’s a Werewolf, a descendant of those who killed Lacey’s coven. She’s unaware of this, but she doesn’t trust him from the start. When the fragile beginning of the team is threatened by the truth, can they learn to trust one another as partners must, or will the Undead Unit be doomed to failure?

A mysterious suspect and strange physical evidence leads them to solve a case spanning decades, and leaves Lacey with no other choice but to rely on her enemy when her very life is at stake!

Links

ITunes: http://geni.us/40i
Nook: http://geni.us/1GaL
Google Books: http://geni.us/40b
Google Play: http://geni.us/3XfW
Kobo Books: http://geni.us/48pJ
Smashwords: http://geni.us/h7H
Kindle: http://geni.us/4BBh
Createspace: http://geni.us/2sw6
Amazon: http://geni.us/34xl
Barnes and Noble: http://geni.us/3jra

Social Media Links

Amazon Author Page: http://geni.us/3ZSX
Google Play/Books: https://play.google.com/store/books/author?id=Markie+Madden
Official Website: https://metamorphpublishing.com
The Undead Unit Series Home Page: https://metamorphpublishing.com/the-undead-unit-series/
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The Writer’s Journey – Guest, Robin Leigh Morgan

My next guest for THE WRITER’S JOURNEY is ROBIN LEIGH MORGAN.
Welcome and Thank you, Robin, for sharing your journey with us.

CHANGING GENRES

Some of us who have chosen to write fiction come from a variety of places. And by “a variety of places,” I’m not referring to a physical location; I’m referring to our writing experiences.

There are some of us who have enjoyed writing since we were children, and each year, by writing something in school, it improved. For some of us, it continued until we graduated college and began working. Some of us entered the work force taking jobs, which required us to write, whether it was procedures, handbooks/manuals, or news stories. But all of these are non-fiction, and each one has a set of “rules” that need to be followed to write something well enough to be acceptable.

As for myself, while my regular job did not require me to write, for eleven years I wrote articles [commentaries/viewpoints] of what was happening in my community and my feelings about it. When I started to write these items, my writing skills were not honed. I didn’t have my ideas organized in a tight manner, although my writing had been informative. By the time I’d written my last item, I’d become quite adept at it.

When I started to write fiction, I somehow drifted to writing a contemporary romance story with a paranormal element running through the storyline, but after almost 9 years I still hadn’t completed it. That is, until someone suggested I should write for a much younger audience, which is what I did, cumulating in my first YA Paranormal/Time Travel/First Kiss romance novel entitled I Kissed a Ghost.

Anyway, making the transition from non-fiction to fiction, I’ve had to learn a new set of rules on how to write. Most of these involved dialogue, showing not telling, where before I just told. I now had to learn about the use of tags. I had to learn not to be overly descriptive of something, but allow my reader to create the image for themselves in their minds. In the beginning I found it hard to break my old writing habits. Now I’m finding myself with these habits essentially gone. The biggest issue I still have and am trying to get a good handle on, is POV [Point of View]. Regardless of what’s happening or being said it has to be in one character’s perspective, and you can’t flip-flop between two characters within a scene. There needs to be a transition from one character to another.

All these things have helped me mold myself into the author I’m today. I’ve also learned there are additional rules within a genre, depending on the sub-genre you’ve decided to write in. These rules apply to the dialogue spoken, which needs to be true to the time period you’re writing in, as well as how your characters are dressed, and their titles, if any, as is the case with the regencies sub-genre of romance novels.

So as you can see, writing is not merely a string of words you put together. There are rules that need to be followed if you’re to be well received by your readers. And not wanting to pegged to only one genre I decided to expanded my reach.

For about two years, starting in January 2013, I wrote a Five Sentence Flash Fiction in response to the prompt word given by Lillie McFerrin her website:  http://www.lilliemcferrin.com. And on December 2, 2014, I published my second book, “Micro Fiction – An Anthology,” which is a collection of 100 hundred of these flash fictions I’ve posted on my blogs and others which I responded to only in the book. In the editing process some of these items increased in the number of sentences they contain, and with the longest of these containing less than 390 words. The collection contains various genres.

Here’s the link to check out my two books:
http://www.amazon.com/Robin-Leigh-Morgan/e/B00BWXT4VU

kissedGhostWhile I’ve had quite a lot of personal and family distractions this year, I’m still in the midst of several writing endeavors. I’m writing an adult Contemporary romance, with a working title of “His Darkest Secret.” The story has a paranormal element running through parts of the storyline. I’m also writing a YA Urban Fantasy entitled “The Secret of the Well,” which is a stand-alone sequel to “I Kissed a Ghost.”

Wanting to increase my knowledge of writing I decided to become a serious Book Reviewer at the end of August/beginning of September so I can be exposed to different genres and styles of writing with each genre. As of October 6, 2015, I’ve read/reviewed a total of 189 books on Amazon. I apparently have become quite good at writing reviews since my Amazon approval rating is fluctuating between 95% and my Amazon Reviewer Ranking as of this date is 6,408. And I can’t tell you how much more about writing I’ve already learned about writing simply by reading other authors. I also post my reviews on GoodReads, LibraryThing, Shelfar, and my two blog sites.

PLEASE NOTE: I DO NOT accept requests to do reviews, all the reviews I do I’ve either won through the countless giveaways I enter for books I’m interested in reading, or those I choose myself to read.  If you looking for your next book to read, you’re invited to check out my Amazon profile where I’ve got over 190 reviews from a wide variety of genres: https://www.amazon.com/gp/profile/A19QLCLVPLZH0B.

The best place to go to learn more about me, my writing and my links is to go to: http://www.about.me/rlmorgan51 If you would like to interview me or have me post this on your blog, please contact me through one of my links listed here.

 

The Writer’s Journey – Guest, Shirley Harris-Slaughter

My next guest for THE WRITER’S JOURNEY is SHIRLEY HARRIS-SLAUGHTER. Photo2Welcome and Thank you, Shirley, for sharing your journey to publishing.

Kim it is a pleasure to be invited to your Writer’s Journey Blog. Thank you so much for your hospitality.

My Pen Name is Shirley Harris-Slaughter. My writing started in the year 2002 with a nagging dream of preserving our historical presence in the Catholic Church.  Here is my story.

I am the author of the book:  “Our Lady of Victory – The Saga of an African-American Catholic Community.”  This book evolved out of years of frustration at the total disregard and lack of respect for the contributions of Slaughter CoverImageBlack Catholics in the city of Detroit.  “We are not mentioned in the pages of history along with the other Catholic churches that sprung up during the World War II era, and that needed to be corrected.  You couldn’t even go on the web and find anything about this historic black Church.  So my mission began — fill this void!

My love of history and an interest in old buildings is what drives me on this mission.  My thesis in College was about saving the Michigan Central Depot, an old train station in downtown Detroit. An opportunity arose to attend a conference sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and while there I learned that I was a Preservationist.  Such a novel word. I never would have thought of it on my own.

The book was published in 2007 and launched with a book event held at my merged church: Presentation-Our Lady of Victory and was the most successful book event I would ever do. I published with iUniverse initially, but moved away from them in 2014 when I republished under Createspace and had a Facebook Re-Launch Party sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.

Iuniverse worked for me in the beginning but over time, they were not giving me much for the huge sums of money they were getting from me. And they showed little respect for me as an Indie Author. They were to my horror a “vanity press.” Had they revealed themselves as such early on, I never would have went with them. I have to admit they did do a very professional job of editing and publishing my book. I got plenty of compliments on so I was very pleased with their work. But it all went downhill after that.

Createspace doesn’t do too much better. You are basically on your own with them or be prepared to pay huge amounts of money if you allow them to do it. The only thing going for them is their sister arm Amazaon. That’s it!

What I’ve learned from the publishing experience is knowing how to do your own formatting preparation and graphics for paperbacks and ebooks. And learn to do it correctly. Then you can control every aspect of your book publishing and not have to pay huge amounts of money just to hire someone else to do it. Smashwords is a good place to start. You can hire a freelance if you can’t do it yourself.

My second book is a perfect example of doing things yourself. Book title is CRAZY! HOT! AND LIVING ON THE EDGE!!Crazy!_Hot!_And_Livi_Cover_for_Kindle I had to hire an editor because I needed one desperately. So I found someone locally who used to publish for a local magazine here in my town and it worked out well. She helped me to develop my story and she did editing. My only problem with her was that she was not using up to date technology for editing like what I got from iUniverse. She was doing it the old fashioned way (cut and paste literally). Thank Goodness she knew what she was doing, because I was sort of lost. By following her instructions to the letter, we got through it and I would recommend her again. Her company is called Esteem Multimedia. The proof was what my readers thought of the book.

I hired an artist friend to do my bookcover design and it turned out fabulously and at minimum cost. You have to get creative in getting your book published and that’s what I learned.

Lastly, I had to hire an old friend to help me format the manuscript and then I went to Createspace to publish.

WHERE TO BUY:

Our Lady of Victory – The Saga of an African-American Catholic Community
CRAZY! HOT! AND LIVING ON THE EDGE!!

The Writer’s Journey Articles – Requesting Articles

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You may have already seen a few of the articles that appear some Sundays on this blog. These articles are meant to inspire and help other writers as they begin their journey, and perhaps save them a headache or two. These posts may help readers see what it takes to write a story, publish, and market it from start to finish.

Submission are open for this category of my blog. The articles will stay on top of the blog for one full day. Right now, these are posted once a week. If I receive lots of articles at once, it could go to twice a week.

res_startup-stockThe guidelines are pretty open, and you may already have an article written that is appropriate. You may have an article sitting on your computer that requires updating so it will represent your current position. These are all fine.

If you have something like this or you’re willing to write something like this, check out the guidelines at http://www.kimcoxauthor.com/the-writers-journey-articles/. Note: These guidelines are not written in stone but are there just to give you an idea of what I’m thinking. At the same time, I would like for you to showcase your published works and yourself as an author.

If you’d like to giveaway prizes, you can do that, too. It’s up to you, but if you do, you will be responsible to add the rules to your post, the drawing, and delivering the prizes. You can leave your email to be contacted by the winner, or I can give you the email of the winner for contest contacting purposes only.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Thank you,
Kim Cox

Startup Stock Photos

The Writer’s Journey – Guest, Yvette M. Calleiro

I’d like to introduce to you author, Yvette M. Calleiro, and welcome her to tell us all about her writer’s journey. Feel free to ask Yvette any questions, or just leave her a bit of encouragement. We all need that, right?

Yvette’s Journey

I started writing in 7th grade when my English teacher, Mrs. Beverly Hoffman, encouraged us to explore our imagination and put our thoughts on paper.  I wrote my first short story then.  Throughout high school, I wrote poetry.  It was nothing to get excited about, but it kept writing in my life and made it an outlet of sorts for me.  After my divorce, reading became an escape for me, and I realized how much I missed writing.  I started writing again, and I’ve rediscovered my passion for writing and daydreaming. 🙂

I published my first novel, The One Discovered (Chronicles of the Diasodz, Book 1) in January 2014.  I had wanted to go the traditional route, but more literary agents told me that they were either only working with already published authors or that they were not looking for my kind of story.  That is when I discovered everything indie. 🙂  I realized that many of the authors that I love started off as indie authors before being picked up by a publishing company.  So, I researched how to format my novel so that it would look professional.  I learned how to use Smashwords and Amazon to upload my book.  I learned how to use CreateSpace to create a physical copy for readers who enjoy the feel of a print book.  I created a web site and then joined the social media world on Facebook and Twitter.  Once I had everything in place, I released my baby into the world.

I can proudly say that I am an Indie Author. 🙂

Well, I told you how I got started.  It’s been a whirlwind since then.  I’m a single mom of a very active boy.  I work full-time+ as a high school intensive reading teacher. I add the plus sign after full-time because most people think that teachers leave work when the bell rings at 2:20pm.  I don’t think I’ve left before 4pm on a single day, and usually I am there until 5:00 or 5:30 p.m.  It’s a rewarding job but an exhausting job if you do it correctly.

After work, I have to help my son with all of his homework and take him to his flag football practices and games.  Somewhere in there, I try to go to the gym at least three times a week.  And then I try to find time to write.  I am always saying there is not enough hours in the day to do everything that I want to do.

I have two published books: The One Discovered and The One Enlightened, both of the Chronicles of the Diasodz.  I just finished writing The One Betrayed and will be sending it off to beta readers very soon.  My weakest area is promoting.  I honestly just don’t have time to promote my books the way that they deserve to be promoted.  Whenever I have free time, I want to use that time for writing, so I barely get to promote.

I am grateful to organizations like the Rave Reviews Book Club (RRBC) where the members generously promote my novel for me. I enjoy promoting them as well, and I find that it doesn’t take as much time to retweet or tweet about their books.  🙂

Part of my issue is that I’ve always hated to have attention on me, so it’s hard for me to promote myself and put myself in the lime light.  I tell myself that once the entire series is written, I will spend time promoting it well.  I guess time will tell if I stick to that plan. 😉

Life is a learning experience, and those of us who embrace our mistakes will grow to overcome them.  I am SO happy that I self-published.  One of the things I feel I did correctly is joining RRBC. I have learned so much from the members there.  I just participated in my first blog tour, and I’m about to push myself into joining a book trailer tour, even though I have no idea what I’m doing. lol!  They challenge me to grow as an author, and I appreciate their support.

Another thing I did correctly was finding beta readers. I learned about those on Goodreads, and I have found a small group of beta readers whose support I truly value.  I also learned a lot on Smashwords about formatting my novel so that it looked professional.  It was a little frustrating for me at first because I was terrified of getting reviews that stated that the formatting was horrible.  Luckily, I haven’t had any of those. Smashwords also put me in touch with my cover designer, and I am beyond blessed to have her creating my covers!

What would I do differently??? Win the lotto. Stay at home and write all day. lol! Honestly, I don’t think I would have done anything differently.  That’s not to say that things are perfect.  My first novel needs more revision.  After reading the reviews, many people complained about the switching in views; they also said that once they got past that, they loved the story.  It’s been two years since I wrote that book, and I’m rereading it now to make sure that book three (which I just finished writing) and book four (which I will start writing soon) stay consistent with the story line.  I understand their reviews.  I was going for third-person omniscient, but there are parts that switch point of view so quickly that it’s a bit confusing. So, eventually, I want to go back and revise book one.

I don’t mind bad reviews as long as they are honest.  Not everyone will love my stories just like I don’t love every story that is out there.  That’s okay.  I am a huge believer in respecting others’ opinions and learning from those who think differently than I think.  I still would not have changed publishing it when I did.  Having the book out there is what motivated me to write book two, and it has kept me excited about seeing this whole series completed. Everything happens for a reason. 🙂

Yvette

About The Author

Yvette M. Calleiro is a heavily addicted reader of both young adult and adult novels.  She spends most of her time psuedo-living in paranormal worlds with her fictional friends (and boyfriends). She’s also been known to run on the elliptical machine or ride the stationary bike at her gym for hours while reading anything from paranormal to fantasy to suspenseful thrillers.

When she’s living amongst real people, Yvette M. Calleiro is a high school Reading teacher. She’s been sharing her love of literature with her students for over eighteen years. Besides writing about the various characters that whisper (and sometimes scream) in her head, she enjoys traveling, watching movies, spending quality time with family and friends, and enjoying the beauty of the ocean.

Yvette lives in Miami, Florida, with her beautiful son who allows her to enjoy children’s literature all over again. She also shares her space with an assortment of crazy saltwater animals in her 300-gallon tank.

My latest book:

I just finished writing The One Betrayed (Chronicles of the Diasodz, Book 3). I hope to have it published before Christmas.

My published books:

The One Discovered (Chronicles of the Diasodz, Book 1) 

TheOneDiscovered - Cover Design 10How do you choose when both options have dire consequences?

Sofia is a 17 year old who is quite content with her life. She has a caring boyfriend who also just happens to be her best friend since birth. She has a loving mother. She is successfully completing her last year of high school and enjoys her part-time job. She can’t imagine wanting more from her life…until Ar’ch (pronounced Ar-rick) enters her dreams, sparking a burning flame inside of her that she can’t seem to extinguish nor does she want to.

Ar’ch is a Diasodz (Die-ah-sodz), a species created by the Goddess back when God created humans. Diasodz were made to heal and protect humans, but when the Diasodz turned their backs on helping humans and left Earth to live in their own world, the Goddess abandoned them. Since then, their powers and their very lives have been fading. A prophecy foretold that a young girl born on Earth would be the Diasodz’s savior. Ar’ch and his brother, Angel, travel to Earth to retrieve her and bring her back to their world before her death day in order to save their kind. Ar’ch knows the drill: find the target, capture her, and safely bring her home. But what happens when the target captures his dormant heart?

Choices create action. Actions have consequences. When faced with the truth, what choice will Sofia make? Will she be able to accept the consequences that follow?

The One Enlightened (Chronicles of the Diasodz, Book 2)TheOneEnlightened - book cover 3

Sofia has lost everything that was important to her: her mother, her boyfriend, and her best friend. Even the belief that humans are the only beings in the world has been stripped away, but she has no time to dwell on her losses because she’s been transported to a new world to become the savior of the Diasodz. Sofia trusted Ar’ch and Angel to be there for her and to guide and protect her, but only Angel has held true to his word. Ar’ch has abandoned her, leaving her to feel tricked and betrayed.

Ar’ch brought Sofia home, fulfilling his mission to bring their savior safely to their world, but it didn’t come without a cost. Rafe, Sofia’s boyfriend, was killed, and Ar’ch believes Sofia blames him for it. Ar’ch’s sole focus becomes doing what is best for Sofia, and in his mind, that does not include him.

As Sofia deals with Ar’ch’s absence, she throws herself into learning about the Diasodz’s history. She grows stronger both emotionally and physically, and begins to accept her role in their world, but not everyone is convinced that she is the one whom the prophecy states will save them.

Beliefs will be challenged. Secrets will be revealed. Relationships will be shattered. And in the aftermath, evil will see its opportunity and strike. Will Sofia be able to handle it all? Or will the savior of the Diasodz lose her will to continue?

My covers were created by the talented Tatiana Vila of Vila Designs. http://www.viladesign.net/

My website is: http://yvettemcalleiro.com
My blog is: http://yvettemcalleiro.blogspot.com
My Facebook is: http://www.facebook.com/YvetteMCalleiro
My Twitter is: @YvetteMCalleiro