Tag Archives: #ASMSG

We are what we eat…

A Diary of Writing Wisdom (and other nonsense)

#THREE

We are what we eat…

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The Latin proverb simulac hoc, ergo propter hoc, which may be translated, “everything is the product of its environment,” is the basis for this writing theory.

According to this idea authors are like rivers. Rivers do not create water; they receive it from springs and streams. In the same way authors receive their ideas from the streams of thought that are flowing in the corner of the world in which they live. A middle-class Eastern author will receive middle-class Eastern ideas. A working-class Western author will receive working-class Western ideas.

To say it another way, authors “are what they eat.” This idea applies to minds as well as to bodies. It assumes that, just as my body is the product of red curry or pulled-pork BBQ (depending on my background), so also my mind is the product of French ideas or American ideas, liberal ideas or conservative ideas (depending on my background).

Growing authors, however, will realize this about themselves and seek out ways to “alternate” what they eat (every once in a while).

As a step toward becoming more aware of the kind of writer you now are. As a step toward becoming the kind of writer you someday wish to be—take time to consider not only how what you eat may be contributing to your writing, but how what you only eat may also be limiting your writing.

Variety adds spice . . . to writing life.

Authors, be what authors need to be.

You’ll find hundreds of sites with advice about book promotion. We even have that advice here on Lit World Interviews. But what do you not find?

Ever heard of an actor named Haley Joel Osment? He saw dead people and was Murphy Brown’s and Forrest Gump’s. He was in a movie where Kevin Spacey played his teacher and had his Osment’s class come up with an idea to change the world. Osment took it seriously and went for it.

Ideas for publicity come from some strange places. I’ve tried here on LWI to get a ball rolling with no luck. It’s almost like having to write a query letter and getting the hook just right. Or making certain your first paragraph of the greatest novel ever written you spent ten years working on will pull in the reader and make them buy your book.

The hook, the bait, the paragraph wasn’t good enough, I suppose.

Big publishing companies have tons of authors. How much time do you think they put in for publicity for each author? Can you image how large a publicity department they would need? A great many of those authors end up doing their own publicity. They have as much clue as the average person when they start. And that book that took ten long years of love and sweat and divorce and celibacy to write ends up going nowhere.

Why? Because all those sites out there don’t tell you something. Don’t provide you something.

Do book blog tours. Have people review your book. Get online presence. Do this, do that. Great advice. Where do you start? How? How do you find these people?

Indie Authors, most Authors are broke, or closet to living check to check. We don’t even have the publicity person of a publishing house telling us we need to do something.

Authors Supporting Authors is what I call a Pay it Forward entity. The idea is hundreds of authors and author supporters end up involved. We become the publishing company publicity machine. How much does it take to click something, or post a prepared post by an author, or even at times read a free book given for a review?

But there is more to it than that. With authors actively being involved we can do things. We can build up lists of blogs with themes that are best for certain types of books. List what sites to go to for types of publicity ranging from free to OMOhNo-I-Ain’t-Paying-That. We can rate services. Put out warnings of scams.

A centralized hub for authors to go to and find what they need without the headache of having to search the internet for it all. Let’s put it all in one place.

I started the site last week. But I am not going to be the only one doing anything. You are as well. You will be providing the information more so than I will. You find something, comment about it. There will be threads to do things like that. You want to be an Author on the site? Email me at ronovanwrites@gmail.com. It doesn’t mean you will be given author access but you probably will if I know you or one of my friends does. Why the hesitancy? I have to trust because this is important.

I would like to have people who keep an eye on each type of promotional piece to make sure things are being found, comments are being taken care of and people requesting help with promotions are not overlooked.

That’s right. The most important part of ASA is you the author tells the community what you need and the idea is the community responds and helps with the idea of Paying it Forward. We all need help. Indie Authors and Authors in total are one of the largest companies out there. We need to start acting like it and doing something about it. There is room for all of us to have success.

By having one place to go to, we can organize and not conflict with each other if possible.

Will it take time to grow this? Only as much time as it takes each of you to get involved. Will it be perfect to begin with? No. But as soon as possible we will have something great in place we can ALL use. That includes me.

https://authorssupportingauthors.wordpress.com/

There’s the link. Click it. Follow. I’ll create a Suggestion Box Page where you can leave suggestions for promotion ideas, publicity, page ideas for the site.

There will be a Newsletter created.

Didn’t click the link yet?

Then click the image and get to work.

 

AuthorsSupportingAuthors

Let’s connect.

https://twitter.com/RonovanWrites

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ronovan-Writes/630347477034132

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+RonovanWrites/about

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9 Sites to promote for free your book and boost your sales From @bestbookstoread

Best Books to Read has a great post you should all read.

 

We all need every bit of exposure we can get. Even signing with an agent and having a big publisher doesn’t guarantee everything. You have to watch out for yourself as well. Best Books to Read has put the sites together for us.

9 Sites to promote for free your book and boost your sales

 

One of our Team, at least one, is checking out the sites and we hope to give you an opinion on them.

 

Ronovan

 

 

Q&A Sandi K Whipple Dancing with a Cowboy @whipsan

Dancing With A Cowboy

 

 

Reviews of previous work Loving Adonis

 

The happy ending is full of twists and surprises that I couldn’t foresee, and it made up for all the frustration.-Trish Jackson (Author) 4 out of 5 stars

 

I’ll tell you this was a very sweet but frustrating read but that is not a bad thing it this case. You have this amazing couple that fall in love with each other the minute they meet and yet they spend the entire book confusing each other because they are to stubborn to talk….Keep the tissues handy and enjoy a GREAT READ!-DD Gott 5 out of 5 stars

 

My guest today just kind of ended up being one of those finds. I liked what I saw so I asked her for an interview. It’s pretty much that simple. Okay, so I had to send the information and then received an okay. But now we have her and that’s what counts. So now it’s time to meet . . .

 

Sandi K. Whipple

 

 

RW:Where are you from?

SANDI: I was born in Waukegan, Illinois (Home of Jack Benny) but moved to California’s San Francisco Bay area as a teen. With the exception of time spent in the Military as an Air Traffic Controller, I spent most of my adult life there. I moved to North Dakota in June of 2000.

 

RW: Who are your favorite authors?

SANDI: Bari Wood, who wrote the Killing gift and Mrs. John R. Marsh, also known as Margaret Mitchell, author of one of the greatest love stories ever written, “Gone With the Wind”. A little trivia about her, the fame disrupted her way of living to a point that one day, in a fit of exasperation she said she was determined never to write another word as long as she lived.

 

RW:What is your favorite beverage to drink, any kind?

SANDI: I drink Vodka martinis or have a few beers when I go out (which is seldom), otherwise I like Cran-Rasberry juice or ice water.

 

RW: What is your favorite word?

SANDI: Are the honesty police nearby? I’m ashamed to admit it, “crap”.

 

RW: What is your background in writing, what makes you a writer?

SANDI: I guess I really don’t have a background in writing. In 2007, after major surgery, I was in a wheelchair for eleven weeks, and I was bored! I was reading two and sometimes three Romance novels a day. I shared my disappointment with a friend regarding a novel I read, and she suggested I write my own. So I did. And it kind of stuck.

 

RW: What is your escape from writing when you are at that about to explode point?

SANID: I watch one of my favorite movies on DVD. I have close to 1000, as well as 15 complete older TV series. (Kojak, Streets of San Francisco, FBI, Mannix, and more.)

 

RW: What is the title of your book and why did you choose that name?

SANDI: My current book is titled “Dancing With A Cowboy”. I was perusing stock book covers on the Internet one day, and I saw a cover that caught my attention. It had a make believe title on it, as most stock covers do, and I thought a book with that title would be great.

 

RW: What genre does your book fall into?

SANDI: Romance

 

RW: Why do you write in the genre that you do?

SANDI: I’ve been reading Romance stories and books since I was ten years old. (A very long time ago!) I’d steal my mother’s True Confession magazines, now owned since 2012 by True Renditions LLC. (After being sold several times since it started in 1922.)

 

RW: Tell us a little about your book.

SANDI: Lucy Baumgardner, working partner in a law firm in Philadelphia, works too hard. So says the senior partner, who just happens to be her father. When she’s forced to take a two week hiatus, she assumes two weeks of pedicures, massages, and poolside relaxation with a glass of wine won’t kill her. But things aren’t always what one expects.

To her horror, city girl Lucy ends up stuck on a working ranch with no phones, cell service, or WiFi. Her acute shock dictates she will NOT play cowgirl for two weeks.

Lucy’s a well educated, quick witted, observant young woman who, for the first time as an adult, finds herself in a position that she isn’t in control of. Stace, the ranch owner, whose carrying some heavy baggage after being hurt in the past, finds Lucy comical, and oh yeah, beautiful!

As a relationship develops, it comes to light that a few guests aren’t on the ranch to play wanna-be cowboys. Trouble is brewing, and they’re behind it.

As an attorney, Lucy jumps right in to find out what’s going on, and Stace let’s her take charge of the situation. When the problem is solved, for fear of getting hurt again, he foolishly shows his gratitude by sending her away!

I wrote this book, and I laughed out loud while writing some of the comical things Lucy does and says, and I even found myself looking for the Kleenex box.

 

RW: What inspired the book?

SANDI: A mixture of 2 pictures I saw on the Internet.

 

RW: Tell us about your main character(s) and what you think will them connect to readers.

SANDI: Lucy’s an educated and independent woman who above all is no quitter! No matter what! I think since the late sixties, and even still today, women who are strong and independent, yet still sweet and feminine, are the survivors of romance.

 

RW: Who would play your main character(s) in a movie?

SANDI: That’s a ‘tuff’ question. I’m thinking maybe a Sandra Bullock type?

 

RW: What message do you think your book delivers to the reader?

SANDI: If you truly love someone, a sad romance, doesn’t necessarily have to end sadly.

 

RW: What did you learn about yourself from writing this book?

SANDI: That I have a sense of humor. Or so a friend told me.

 

RW: Describe your book in one word.

SANDI: Entertaining!

 

RW: Where can we get your book now?

SANDI: After October 15th Smashwords for eBook, and Amazon, Createspace, and Barnes and Noble for paperback.

 

RW: What other books have you written?

SANDI: Loving Adonis and Twisted Engagement

Loving AdonisTwisted Engagement

RW: How do people connect with you through all forms of social media?

SANDI:

Reader and Writer of Romance

www.sandikwhipple.com

www.lovingadonis.com

www.twistedengagement.com

www.dancingwithacowboy.com

Facebook ~ Loving Adonis

Facebook ~ Twisted Engagement

 

GoodReads

Linkedin

 

RW: Do you currently have representation? If so who, and if not describe what qualities you would like in an agent and what you would bring to the relationship.

SANDI: NO! At this point, after so many depressing rejection letters, I’m not sure. I even received a response from an agent telling me, successful, willing agents, are few and far between, and unless I’m a Nora Roberts, not to hold my breath. But even if I could find and agent with tremendous connections, I might question what they would do for me that I can’t. I arranged an appearance on the local CBS affiliate for a live interview, and plugged two, not one book. I arranged and advertised a surprisingly successful book signing. I made certain both local newspapers ran articles about my books. Am I getting rich? No. Am I selling books? Yes, and more than I anticipated.

 

RW: What are you working on right now?

SANDI: A romantic suspense that takes place in Maine.

 

RW: What book are you reading at this time?

SANDI: The River Maiden by Meredith R. Stoddard.

 

RW: What is your biggest tip for someone to getting published?

SANDI: Do your homework. Unless you can afford to get ripped off for a lot of money, let the website “Preditors & Editors” become your bible. I speak from experience! And learn whatever you can about MARKETING! It’s a never ending process. Even if you’re fortunate enough to land an agent, you’ll still be expected to market, publicize, advertise, and sell your own books! It’s a never ending process.

 

RW: If you could have written any book that exists, other than your own, what would it be and why?

SANDI: Gone With The Wind, because it’s a real heartwarming love story that has you hating, loving, and pitying the hero! The romance and love stories of today are expected to have the HEA! (Happily Ever After)

Military Air Traffic Controller to romance writer. That one kind of blows my mind just a little. But in an awesome way. Who would think that I would ever write romance myself? (Hopefully no ex-girlfriends are reading this.) I want to thank Sandi for joining us for an interview. And I want encourage all of you to guy her books, follow her where you can online.

And one last thing: Whenever you read a book, write a review.

 

Much Respect

Ronovan

 

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Q&A Lisa Mason of The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series @lisaSmason

the_garden_of_abracadabra

 The Garden of Abracadabra

Lisa Mason

 “This is a very entertaining novel- sort of a down-to-earth Harry Potter with a modern adult woman in the lead. Even as Abby has to deal with mundane concerns like college and running the apartment complex she works at, she is surrounded by supernatural elements and mysteries that she is more than capable of taking on. Although this book is just the first in a series, it ties up the first “episode” while still leaving some story threads for upcoming books. I’m looking forward to finding out more. “-D. Pflaster about The Garden of Abracadabra

Author of numerous books spanning over a surprising amount of time, I was very excited to have our guest today. She accepted with such sincerity and kindness I was encouraged about the literary world. Meet . . .

Lisa Mason

lisa_mason 

 

 

RW: Where are you from?

LISA: The heart of the Midwest. But I’ve been living in the San Francisco Bay Area for so long, and love where I live so much, I consider myself a California native.

 

RW: Who are your favorite authors?

LISA: That has evolved over the years as my taste in fiction has evolved and broadened. While I was writing book reviews for Goodreads and skimming through works I’d previously read, I was struck at how some books and authors stand the test of time, while others aren’t as great as I’d remembered them.

E.B. White and P.L. Travers from my childhood reading remain fresh and delightful. Classical writers like Edith Wharton (domestic dramas), Margaret Mitchell (historical romance), and Raymond Chandler (hard-boiled 1940s detective mysteries) are always good for relaxation. In science fiction, Frank Herbert’s Dune still reads well, but Dan Simmons’ Hyperion isn’t quite as amazing as when I first read it.

In contemporary urban fantasy, I enjoy Jim Butcher and Charlaine Harris. In detective mysteries, I like the early Sue Graftons, not so much the later ones. In high fantasy, George R.R. Martin is of course the king, but I just don’t have time for 1,000 page books.

So there you have it. I like to read and write in different genres.

RW: What is your favorite beverage to drink, any kind?

LISA: Oh, like every red-blooded writer, coffee is essential in the morning. Later in the day, I enjoy chilled chardonnay. Throughout the day, I sip lots of cold spring water. I love water.

RW: What is your favorite word?

LISA: I like “murmur.” The word sounds just exactly like what it means. I like the symmetry of the spelling. “Susurrus” is a good one too, but not quite as usable as “murmur.”

RW: What is your background in writing, what makes you a writer?

LISA: My mother bought me lots of great books when I was a child. I loved reading and decided I wanted to be a writer. Stories and fantasies would pop into my head. I wrote my first book at age five. I’ve got it on my desk right now. It is 1¼ inches by 2 inches, hand-sewn, with two chapters lavishly illustrated by the author, and entitled, “Millie the Caterpillar.” Millie is despondent at being “a fat, green, hairy, little caterpillar.” Then spring comes, she breaks out of her cocoon, and “to her surprize, she found two beautiful red and black wings on her shoulders.” Happiness! The End.

I’ve thought ever since that surprise should be spelled with a z.

So you could say I got bit by the writing bug early on.

RW: What is the title of your book and why did you choose that name?

LISA: My latest novel-length work is The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series.

The title is a take on a classic memoir, The Garden of Allah, by Sheilah Graham, about a wild and crazy apartment complex in 1940s Hollywood (that no longer exists) where many famous actors lived before they hit big in the movies, as well as the “Round Table” New Yorker crowd of famous writers, who had come to Hollywood to write screenplays.

RW: What genre does your book fall into?

LISA: Urban fantasy.

RW: Why do you write in the genre that you do?

LISA: Urban fantasy is one of several genres I write in, and I like it for all the reasons I like to read and write in different genres.

I like the rich blend of fantasy tropes (magic and magicians, witches, wizards, vampires, shapeshifters, and demons) in a contemporary setting, often a city but not necessarily, and mystery tropes (detective work, murder and crime, police procedural), spiced up with dicey romance, troublesome relationship issues, and wit and whimsy interspersed with murder and mayhem.

RW: Tell us a little about your book.

LISA: At her mother’s urgent deathbed plea, Abby Teller enrolls at the Berkeley College of Magical Arts and Crafts to learn Real Magic. To support herself through school, she signs on as the superintendent of the Garden of Abracadabra, a mysterious, magical apartment building on campus.

She discovers that her tenants are witches, shapeshifters, vampires, and wizards and that each apartment is a fairyland or hell.

On her first day in Berkeley, she stumbles upon a supernatural multiple murder scene. One of the victims is a man she picked up hitchhiking the day before.

Compelled into a dangerous murder investigation, Abby will discover the first secrets of an ancient and ongoing war between humanity and demonic realms, uncover mysteries of her own troubled past, and learn that the lessons of Real Magic may spell the difference between her own life or death.

 RW: What inspired the book?

LISA: Often inspiration springs from something quotidian. You’re in the shower. Or shopping for groceries. Or, in this instance, searching for a parking place in Berkeley.

Berkeley is a small historic university town across the Bay from San Francisco. The town is so crowded these days, searching for a parking place on the street is something of a quixotic quest.

As my husband and I were cruising through unfamiliar neighborhoods looking for that elusive space, we passed by a spectacular 1920s Mediterranean apartment building and were both instantly struck by its beauty.

But more than that, the place had a powerful vibe. It was spooky!

The idea sprang instantly to my mind: what if you were the superintendent of a building and discovered that every tenant was some stripe of supernatural being and every apartment was a portal to a fantasy world? To a fairyland or a hell?

Setting the book and the Berkeley College of Magical Arts and Crafts in Berkeley itself was a natural fit. Berkeley is not only home to the University of California, but several other eminent colleges as well.

RW: Tell us about your main character(s) and what you think will them connect to readers.

LISA: Abby is an everywoman, but she’s got magical power, so she’s special. She’s chosen. She’s still discovering herself and her power as an adult. She’s still exploring with whom she wants to share her life and her love.

RW: Who would play your main character(s) in a movie?

LISA: That’s up to the casting director!

RW: What message do you think your book delivers to the reader?

LISA: That Magic exists all around us. The study of Real Magic is a powerful tool to help you in real life. And above all, Know Thyself! Think for yourself! We are bombarded from all sides by the media. It’s vital to keep your eyes, ears, and mind open to the truth.

RW: What did you learn about yourself from writing this book?

LISA: Life is an onward process of learning about yourself and the world. Never stop learning!

Describe your book in one word.

Magic!

RW: Where can we get your book now?

LISA: The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series,
is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Labyrinth of Illusions, Volume 2 of the Abracadabra Series, is forthcoming. With the publication of the second book, my publisher may produce print editions.

 

RW: What other books do you have to share with us and can you tell us a little about them?

LISA: My perennial bestseller is Summer of Love, originally published by Bantam, a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book. This is my Great American (Science Fiction) Novel, about a significant turning point in American history with both wonderful and terrible consequences. The book is also about a harrowing coming of age for a teenager, a friendship that ends in tragedy, and a love spanning centuries.

Summer Of Love on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. Summer of Love is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

I love reading short stories and have published two dozen in magazines and anthologies worldwide. In September 2014, I sold another story, “Tearsdrop” to the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. I’ll announce the publication date when I have it on my website.

I’ve long wanted a story collection and got one in 2013, Strange Ladies: 7 Stories, which has won five-star reviews from the San Francisco Review of Books, the Book Brothers Blog, and Amazon readers. As I mulled over my previously published short fiction, I found seven wildly different stories with one thing in common–a heroine totally unlike me. I’m the girl next door. I have no idea where these strange ladies came from.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo, and Sony. Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

RW: What are you working on right now?

LISA: Although I love urban fantasy—and authors who are fifteen books into their series are still selling well—my sense is that some readers, and certainly the publishers, are searching for fresh ground. Dystopian fiction, which interests me less, seems to have run its course, as well.

I’m continuing my urban fantasy, The Abracadabra Series, for at least two more books and will consider more after I’ve wrapped up that trilogy arc.

I’ve got several YA ideas in development, as well as a children’s series. Forthcoming also is an adaptation of my early cyberpunk novels, Arachne and Cyberweb, as a Young Adult or New Adult piece, The Quester Trilogy. I’ve got another backlist series published by Bantam, Pangaea I and II, on the slate sometime down the road.

My main focus now is on a science fantasy with—I hope!—a new fresh exciting concept. I can’t say more about it!

RW: What book are you reading at this time?

LISA: I’ve got a To-Read List a mile long, but since I’m really, really busy (see above!), I don’t know when I’ll get to it. I’d like to read Deborah Harkness’ All Souls Trilogy, The Night Circus, maybe Gone Girl (though I’m not sure after reading the mixed reviews). I love reading short stories, so any of the Year’s Best in F&SF are always a good bet.

RW: What is your biggest tip for someone to getting published?

LISA: Read works you admire, write constantly (even notes and random ideas that you’ll never develop), study the craft of writing, and persevere.

Figure out your entry point into the marketplace—and make no mistake, it’s a marketplace. If, for example, you want to write another Gone With The Wind, but you’re more likely to break in with a simple romance, start with a simple romance.

If you’re writing science fiction and fantasy, selling short stories is a terrific (and time-honored) way to break in. No other genre offers as many opportunities to publish short fiction as F&SF. Even writers who now publish mostly mainstream works (Jonathan Lethem, Karen Joy Fowler), started out with stories in F&SF magazines.

That said, if you’re prepared to devote ten years to a masterpiece as your first book, be all means give it your best shot!

RW: What is your escape from writing when you are at that about to explode point?

LISA: I power-walk three-and-a-half miles a day, usually seven days a week unless I need to travel out of town. That keeps me on track on a daily basis.

I also enjoy reading, watching movies, researching on the Internet, (usually the book business and what other writers are publishing), cooking for my family, a bit of gardening, and local field trips (usually research for a piece I’m working on).

I think it was Voltaire who said (I’m paraphrasing), “Live a quiet, ordinary life so you can be outrageous in your writing.”

Unless you’re writing a tell-all memoir about your road trip with Miley Cyrus, that’s sound advice!

RW: List links to all websites you have and social networks such as Twitter.

LISA: Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson and the galleries where he’s presently showing work, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

 

Now you know a few things about Lisa you may not have. I want to thank her again for this chance to learn more and for her allowing us to take up some of her time to answer our questions. Buy the books and follow her on her various sites. I am still excited she said yes.

 

 

summer_of_lovestrange_ladies_7_stories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MuchRespect

Ronovan

 

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