Self-publishing and the snobbery issue

I work with all different types of authors, those who are hoping to secure a publishing deal, those who are chasing the self-publishing dream and even a couple who have gone on to secure a deal with one of the big five (or six, or whatever it is). Some of these writers are brilliant, some are really talented, some are steady, dependable story tellers who can spin a good yarn, some aren’t that great, some have accepted help and advice and have improved in leaps and bounds, a few I have advised to go right back to the drawing board and there have been a handful who I have had to advise that writing is perhaps not the path for them (this is at the sample edit stage – I never take a penny from authors in this situation).

You might be surprised to know that most of the authors that I’d put in the first three categories are self-published…

Source: Self-publishing and the snobbery issue

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Friday Featured Author: Elle Bee

Experience God’s love through the EYES of a child!

Elle Bee’s very first published work is FREE on Amazon! Based on true events, this children’s short story promotes discussion about Christian persecution. Grab your download here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00F58LQVE/


Safe: Cara and Hao’s Tale

elle-beeCara was picking flowers when the fire men came. Hao was fiddling with sticks. In the blink of an eye, their home was destroyed and their lives turned upside down. Their brother was arrested and their father was beaten within an inch of his life. Neither of them knew that being a Christian had such a cost. Words like “refugee” and “persecution” became part of, not only their vocabulary, but also their everyday life.

Soon, all their family had to cling to was the reason everything was taken away: Jesus. Thankfully, they placed their eggs in the best basket and the miracles they begin to witness…we can’t even imagine.

Join Cara and Hao on their miraculous journey as they flee to a new world, seeking to avoid the perils of religious persecution.


About the Author:

elle-bee-author-photoWorld traveler and follower of Jesus Christ, Elle Bee has taken hard truths of this world and Christianity and turned them into stories for families to read and discuss together. Her SAFE series focuses on true stories of Christians faced with persecution for their faith. Whereas, her Missions with Miss Bee series takes a fictional, normal, child and introduces him to Christianity in a way never seen before.

Elle Bee is currently completing her mini series, the Charlie 2015 Holiday Series, as well as putting together a new series for adults to enjoy.

Would You Rather… Author Tag

Joshua Robertson once again posted a video covering a fun little set of questions for authors. Like I did with the previous one, I will be answering these with no added explanation (but feel free to ask in the comments or via Facebook/Twitter if you want to). Also, if you wish to do a video or post answering these, post a link in the comments and I will check your answers out! (Check David Wiley’s answers on his blog, Literature and Lamp Posts)

Source: Would You Rather… Author Tag


Here are my answers to this week’s Author Tag!

Keep in mind, these all begin with “Would you rather”

1)…have a Male main character or a Female main character? Female.
2)…wake up before dawn every day to write or stay up into the early morning hours to write? Stay up…I’m a night owl. Early mornings are not my friend.
3)…write a book that is torturous to write but which is very popular or write a book that is fun to write but which is only known by a small audience? Fun, definitely. Otherwise the quality suffers.
4)…write a SciFi story or a Fantasy story?  Absolutely fantasy.
5)…use first person or third person? I enjoy both, so it depends on what I’m writing. But usually third is my default.
6)…meet any character of any book/short-story in real life for one day or personally know any author you wish? I’d give anything to meet C.S. Lewis. When I was in grade school we were supposed to write a letter to an author as an assignment, and I was heartbroken to discover that Lewis had died before I was even born. Still nursing that wound a little I guess, even into adulthood.
7)…only be able to write your book in scenes from end to beginning or only be able to write it in scenes that jump around in the timeline randomly?  End to beginning–at least that is linear. Jumping around would make me nuts.
8)…only be able to write dialog if you act out the voices out loud or only be able to write action if you act it out in real life? I’ll take the dialogue option…which means I’d probably write the whole piece with no dialogue at all to get out of the acting part of it. It could be done. 🙂
9)…publish with the most successful publishing house in your genre but have to wait 2 years to see your book in print or self publish with no expense or marketing assistance but see your book in print within 3 months?  I’m surprising myself with this answer, but I think I would rather self-publish.
10)…write a goofy story or write a serious story? Serious story, only because I’m not great at writing humor.
11)…have an authorial “voice” that always sounds like the narrator from Planet Earth or have an authorial “voice” that always sounds like Captain Kirk? Not sure I know the voice from Planet Earth, but I think I’ll take a chance and go with it anyway.  How could anyone take the Captain Kirk voice seriously?
12)…write a story knowing that you will have to kill off the main character eventually or write a story knowing that everyone the main character is close to you will eventually have to kill off? Left with this choice, I’d rather not write the story at all. So I guess I refuse to answer this one. Next!
13)…leave your ending somewhat open and bittersweet or leave your ending on a cliffhanger? A mild cliffhanger that can lead into the next story. I am a series writer after all.
14)…have your cover art designed by Tim Burton or have your cover designed by Stan Lee? Neither would fit my style, but Tm Burton’s stuff can be fun, if a bit twisted. (I still watch Nightmare Before Christmas every Halloween.)
15)…write in many different genres or write only in one genre? I’m happy sticking to one genre.
16)…have all of your characters have some physical deformity or have all of your characters have some internal twisted nature?  Physical deformity.
17)…have an orphaned main character with good friends or a main character with a good-sized family and family problems? I’ll take the orphan.
18)…write the sex scene or not write the sex scene? For sure NOT.
19)…write about uncertain dangers and intrigue or write about direct confrontation and violence? Uncertain dangers and intrigue can be far more interesting, and require more skill to write well. Violence is just too common in everything now.
20)…have to answer any question put to you by your fans or have no fans asking you questions? I’d take questions any day over radio silence. Ask away!

 

Renee Scattergood Interviews Alaric from Into the Shadow Wood

Thanks to Renee Scattergood for featuring me in her Friday Author Spotlight this week! As part of the spotlight, there is a never-before-seen interview with my character Alaric from Into the Shadow Wood. Be sure to check it out!


Author Spotlight: Into the Shadow Wood by Allison D. Reid

ISW Cover MedWelcome to this week’s Friday Author Spotlight! This week I have Allison D. Reid returning with her new novella, Into the Shadow Wood. I was lucky enough to be able to read an early copy and it’s an amazing story. It had me on the edge of my seat. I couldn’t put it down!

Alaric, where were you born, and what was it like growing up there?

I was born in Tyroc Castle. Though I was not the son of the Sovereign, or even one of his lords, I was born into a nobility of sorts. I am the seventh generation of my family to serve as one of the Sovereign’s elite personal guard, called the Circle. I am also the last generation to bear that honor.

My childhood was spent preparing me for my entrance into the Circle, even when I wasn’t aware of it. Every activity was meant to build up my strength, endurance, skills, or character. All of my needs and desires were taken care of; I never went hungry, lacked clothing, or endured the labors of the field. I received a better education than most of the boys in Tyroc, too. But my purpose was also made very clear. My life belonged to the Sovereign, and my first duty was to defend him and his family. Their lives were valued above mine, and if necessary, I was to die protecting them. This was not a sacrifice, but an honor passed down from my father to me…

Read the rest of the interview on Renee Writes.

Sneak Peek Friday: Author Gigi Sedlmayer

This week I’d like to welcome author Gigi Sedlmayer, author of the TALON series.
You can find her books on Amazon along with author updates.


TALON, COME FLY WITH ME (Book 1)

Talon Fly With Me CoverBack in her bedroom, she thought the world was wonderful. And what adventures would she have with Talon? she wondered. In the last seconds before she fell asleep, she murmured, ‘I always thought there must be more to life than to only eat, play, learn, sleep and work … and to grow – or not grow, as it is with me.’

Aikon was listening. ‘Yes, there is,’ he whispered, nodding. ‘You
forgot fun – to have fun as you will have now with Talon. That is life.’

Yes, that is life, and also another story.

 


Matica describes herself, speaking of her own experience:

My name is Matica and I am a special needs child with a growth disability. I am stuck in the body of a two-year-old, even though I am ten years old when my story begins in the first book of the Talon series, TALON, COME FLY WITH ME. Because of that disability, (I am saying ‘that’ disability, not ‘my’ disability because it’s a thing that happened to me, nothing more and because I am not accepting it as something bad. I can say that now after I learned to cope with it.) I was rejected by the local Indians as they couldn’t understand that that condition is not a sickness and so it can’t be really cured. It’s just a disorder of my body. But I never gave up on life and so I had lots of adventures roaming around the plateau where we live, with my mother’s blessings. But after I made friends with my condors I named Tamo and Tima, everything changed. It changed for the good. I was finally loved. And I am the hero and I embrace my problem. In better words: I had embraced my problem before I made friends with my condors Tamo and Tima. I held onto it and I felt sorry for myself and cried a lot, wanting to run away or something worse. But did it help me? Did it become better? Did I grow taller? No, nothing of that helped me. I didn’t have those questions when I was still in my sorrow, but all these questions came to me later, after I was loved and was cherished. One day I looked up into the sky and saw the majestic condors flying in the air. Here and now, I made up my mind. I wanted to become friends with them. I believed if I could achieve that, all my sorrow and rejection would be over. And true enough, it was over. I was loved. I even became famous. And so, if you are in a situation, with whatever your problem is, find something you could rely on and stick to it, love that and do with that what you were meant to do. And I never run from conflicts.


Other books in the series:

Talon, On the Wing (Book 2)
With near disasters, challenged Matica’s journey and adventure begins. Will she be accepted by the local Indians? Will love come to her too?

Talon, Flight for Life (Book 3)
Walking to a nearby city, disaster strikes with near death experience. Will the condors come and rescue them? Will her love grow?

Talon, Connected (Book 4)
Revelation strikes Matica. Will she be able to cope with these life-changing disclosures? And in the midst of this revelation, the poachers are coming back. They want to kill the condors, Talon.

Talon, Encounter (Book 5)
It is war. The poachers have guns and shoot at the condors. Will they survive? Will the poachers succeed and kill the condors or will the condors and the Indian with Matica succeed?


Author Bio: JGisela (Gigi) Sedlmayer was born on 19 May 1944 in Potsdam, a suburb of Berlin in Germany.
Her family escaped to the West just before the infamous wall went up. They moved around in Germany until finally settling in Munich where Gigi studied architectural drafting and met Albert in 1965, marrying in December 1967. She worked as a civil draftsperson in various private consultancies in Munich.
Since her uncle was a writer, she tried to write short animal stories herself. Nothing further came of it, but she developed a love for the written word and started to consume books.
In May 1975, Gigi and her husband moved to New Zealand. Because of language challenges, she started a handicraft business. As a specialty, she made colourful parrots of which she sold thousands in a few years.

In 1988, they decided to adopt and became adoptive parents of twin girls the year after. They lived in New Zealand for eighteen years and moved to Australia in September 1992.
Two years later Gigi was diagnosed with cancer. After operations and radiation, she withdrew, thinking that she would probably soon be dead, like her friend who died of cancer, but her two little girls gave her the courage to keep going. After a few years, still among the living, her brain started to work again, so she thought, ‘Get a grip on yourself and do something good with your life’.

She remembered the time she wrote short stories and got inspired again, seeing her husband Albert writing the story of their adoption. Her English became increasingly better so she pressed on to develop her creative writing.

Albert taught her how to use a computer and she wrote many short stories. She entered them in competitions and often got very good reports back, which gave her confidence to go on writing. One day the idea for the TALON series came to her and she spent the next several years bringing the story and the characters to life.

She now loves writing and spends most of her time at the computer, developing new story lines. She also loves traveling, 4×4 touring, swimming, gardening, handcrafting, reading, fossicking and enjoys good adventure DVD’s or going to the movies.

 

 

Sneak Peek Friday: Author Andrea Lundgren

This week I’d like to welcome author and book coach Andrea Lundgren, who is sharing with us an excerpt from her wonderfully funny book, But Kisses Never Hurt Me: A Retelling of Sleeping Beauty. (I just read this book recently, and can personally recommend it as a summer reading list must-have!)


sleeping-beauty-cover-designWhat if Briar Rose and Aurora were two different people, one the princess, the other her decoy…
And what if the prince loved no one but himself…

In this retelling of the tale of Sleeping Beauty, a kingdom is on the verge of a coup, and it will take a journalist and the son of a con-man to save them from the evil treachery of the princess’ aunt…and to save the princess from the curse of a swift and memorable death.

All they have to do is make sure the real princess never pricks her finger on a spindle…how hard could that be?

The book is currently available for free at Goodreads, Google Books, and Google Play.


Enjoy this excerpt from But Kisses Never Hurt Me:

“How shall I start?” he asked, taking a seat in one of the best chairs in the office—my boss had sent it over especially for him.

“Well, you could start with your name and occupation, and then just state the major events of your life.” I wasn’t sure why this fellow had been sent in. Usually, historical documentation interviewees were older men and women who reminisced their way through their lives…and usually, they were already significant, historically speaking: leaders in industry or agriculture, notable nobles, that sort of thing.

“Right,” Mr. Collier said, leaning back in his chair. He stared out the window at the busy marketplace below us and began. “Let’s see. Well, you know my name already, and my occupation is…well, I’m not sure what you’d call it. I kind of do whatever happens to come my way.”

I looked up in alarm. Her highness had sent a wandering vagabond in for an interview? I cleared my throat. “Well, what makes you different from other people? Where did you grow up? Who were your parents?”

“Oh, my father is actually a very notable citizen. You see, once upon a time…”

“This isn’t a fairy tale, Mr. Collier, this is a historical piece. Could you be a little more specific?”

“I’m sure you can add the pertinent historical details in an appendix or something. I’d have to look up the dates anyways…it would have been about twenty years ago or so? No, longer…the princess is twenty now. Anyways, once upon a time, in our fair kingdom, our king and queen were in need of an heir.”

“Technically, that isn’t true. There is always an heir to the throne.”

“Okay, they were in need of a direct heir to the throne. Better?”

I just sighed and dipped my quill in the ink again…and hoped I had enough patience to make it through this interview.

“Just pretend you are telling the story of your life to a group of children,” my gopher neighbor said, his head popping around the corner this time.

“Thank you, but I believe I have everything under control here,” I said.

Ignoring me, he added, “The beginning is always my trouble, too.”

“Thanks for the tip…”

“Digby, sir. Benjamin Digby.”

“Could we return to the interview?” I asked, wishing I had an office with soundproof walls and a door.

“Sure. Okay…tell it like I’m talking to a group of children.”

I didn’t appreciate the implication to me or to our readers, but he just closed his eyes in thought and said, “Once upon a time, the king and queen had no children. They tried everything to have a child, which is where my father comes in.” I noticed he was still facing Mr. Digby; apparently the sight of paper and quill were too much for him. Fine. As long as we got through this.

Mr. Collier continued. “My father was a brilliant salesman. My mother says he could find a way to sell a broken fence for a profit. Anyway, he saw this as a great opportunity to make some money and help his monarchs. When word got out that the king and queen were looking for means to help them have a child, he threw himself into it wholeheartedly. He researched the matter, working with apothecaries, and he came up with all kinds of potions, lotions, relics and other ‘fertility enhancers.’ However, he knew that if he came in with all of them at once, he’d be expected to recommend one, and if that recommendation produced no results, their majesties wouldn’t buy any more of them—not to mention the possibility of being imprisoned for false advertising. So he came up with an alternative marketing scheme. He would disguise himself, go to the court, persuade the king and queen that his product was infallible, and then sell it to them. If and when that particular product didn’t work, he’d come up with another disguise, go back to court, and extol the virtues of an entirely different product. The system worked beautifully, and, in the end, they both got what they wanted: he made a fortune, and they had a child—a fine, healthy baby girl.”

“You realize that, by your own statement, your father is guilty of extortion and fraud, not to mention operating at least one business under a false name?” I asked.

“No accusations were ever made, and their majesties were pleased with his services to the kingdom. They needed something to believe in, and my father provided it. Besides, this way they ended up supporting a local businessman instead of a bunch of international salesmen with imported products. As I said, everyone got what they wanted.”

“Technically, most royal families don’t want a baby girl, but after not having any children for so long, I’m sure they were happy with anything,” Digby said.

“Exactly. Besides, the king’s much younger sister, Malia the Magnificent…”

“As she styles herself…”

“Right, as she styles herself—I certainly don’t think she’s magnificent—was the next heir, and everyone was delighted to put some distance between her and the throne.”

“Ain’t that the truth,” the head of office inventory said as he walked into my cubicle, his arms full of paper. He plopped a stack on my desk, saying, “Thought you might need some more.”

“Thank you.” I held my quill suspended over the inkstand, waiting for him to leave.
He didn’t. Instead, he sat on the edge of my desk and said, “I remember when Malia was born. At the time, we didn’t know what we’d got, so everyone rejoiced. That was before she tried to poison her brother’s oatmeal at the age of seven. Of course, we never printed that story: we hushed it up as best we could. Did your father get to attend the royal christening ceremony?”

“He did, actually. As one of the guests, he was there when all the nobles came to present their gifts to the princess.”

“Actually, quite a few nobles didn’t come,” I said, hoping to get the man to be more accurate and also remember he was talking to me.

“Yes, but they sent presents in their stead, which, depending on the noble, was sometimes considered a double blessing…”

“Oh, so true,” said the head of inventory.

Mr. Collier continued. “The fairies of the kingdom came, along with the king’s council members, and King Roderigo, the ruler of…where’s he from again?”

“Hobarth?” Digby suggested.

“No, Rentaria.”

“Actually, it’s the Sovereign Nation of Southern Rentaria,” I muttered to myself. Northern Rentaria was a separate nation ever since King Paulo had divided the neighboring country between his two sons three generations back.

“Anyway, rumor has it that this was when he arranged for our new princess to marry his son and heir, young Alfred, and eventually unite the two kingdoms…once King Roderigo and our own king die.”

“What exactly did happened at the palace that day?” the head of inventory asked. “No news journalists were allowed there except for our editor. The king said journalists were as bad as paparazzi and made him nervous.”

Before Mr. Collier could answer him, I asked, “Does this really pertain to our interview? We’re supposed to record the events of your life…and unless I much mistake the matter, you aren’t that much older than the princess…”

“Eight years difference, actually. And, yes, this has to do with my life. It has a lot to do with my life…because it greatly affected the princess’ life.”

At this rate, he could argue that as a subject of the king and queen, everything about them and the Princess Aurora affected his life. “Really, Mr. Collier, I fail to see…”

“Bear with me, Briswold; I’ll come to me eventually.” Turning back to the other fellow, he said, “To answer your question, Mr. …”

“Connors, sir. Just Connors.”

“Alright. To answer your question, Connors, that day each guest came forward and presented the princess with a gift—thankfully, the child slept though the entire ordeal—I mean ceremony. Prince Alfred presented the child with a beautiful gold and jeweled ring, which had apparently been his mother’s. Never mind that the princess couldn’t wear it until recently, even if she wanted to…”

“It was the thought that counted,” Digby volunteered.

“Right. Finally, the fairyhood began to bestow their gifts upon the child. Now at that time, the kingdom had about thirteen resident fairies, but only four of them came. The other nine were unavailable.”

“Three were on a pilgrimage, four were engaged as guest lecturers at Great Fairy College, and the last two were otherwise occupied,” I said.

“I have it on good report that those last two were in the middle of a fairy-style argument,” Mr. Collier said. “And what with their wands and special powers, those can go on for days—and woe to the person who tries to speak to them when they are arguing. So the four fairies, after much deliberation over who should give what, came forward to present their gifts to the princess. The first fairy gave her beauty beyond that of her peers, the next gave her a lovely singing voice, and the third grace in movement and dance. The last one was just about to give her gift when Malia the Magnificent deigned to bestow—I should say inflict—her youthful presence upon the company.”

“And that was when the threat to the kingdom was pronounced,” I said, desperate to get some summarization going. My first quill was starting to crack, and he hadn’t even introduced himself in his story.


Andrea LundgrenI started writing books about eight years ago after failing to find a particular type of story on the shelves of my library—stories with adventure, romance, and humor, with a touch of a classical vocabulary. Since then, I have written historical fiction and science fiction/fantasy novels (I’m just beginning the search for a publisher). But Kisses Never Hurt Me is the first of my eBook novellas and my first published work.

I live in Washington State with my husband and our two sons, and I enjoy discussing all things writing, including its philosophy, creation, and editing, along with reading a good book and gardening. You can connect with me at my website www.andrealundgren.wordpress.com, or through my Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ accounts, or by using the Contact Me page.

NEWSFLASH – Story Reading Ape Publishes Book…

VibratingVertebrae“But…but…but…THAT”S not YOUR name as the Author!” I hear you declare indignantly…

That’s TRUE – I’M not the AUTHOR, my Mother is, but unfortunately she is not alive to publish it herself, (she died in 2000), so I’ve published it in her name.

Today would have been Mum’s 90th birthday if she’d still been alive, so my sister and I felt that this book would be a nice way to celebrate Mum’s life and memory.

What’s it about?

As stated in the book description:

Agnes Mae GrahamWe all have dreams, loves and hopes; but what if you are a girl growing up in 20th century Northern Ireland before, during and after the ‘Troubles’?
From the poetic thoughts of our Mother, we get a sense of what it was like, ranging from humour, sadness, wistful thinking and sometimes just downright nonsensical, these are the words of one such girl.

Each poem tells a story.

My sister Lorna had kept and compiled all Mum’s poems she could find and always dreamed of having them published so others could enjoy them as well.

Enter Big Brother from stage left – NO, not the Orwellian one, or the Governmental one – I mean ME…

Source: NEWSFLASH – Story Reading Ape Publishes Book…

Available from AMAZON:

UK  –  USA  –  CA  –  AUS