Friday, March 29, 2013

Amazon and Goodreads, Sitting in a Tree...

K-I-S-S-I-N-G.

Okay, so if you haven't heard already, Amazon and Goodreads have decided to play well together in the playground, or more like Amazon scoops up Goodreads social network (CNET).

Do I have any speculations on what this will mean, especially for authors?

Nope. Not a one.

However, I am curious to hear your thoughts. So hit the comments section and SHOOT!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

From a Child's Perspective - Christine's Odessey

Today we'll make a special visit with a wonderful young girl from author JL Campbell's Christine's Odyssey.

Hey, Christine :-)


Howdy. I’m glad you’ve stopped in. My name is Christine and although I’m only eleven, I’m what some adults might call precocious. A lot has happened in my life, some of it bad, but like my dad used to say, good things can result from the bad stuff that happens to us.

To help me celebrate overcoming my challenges, a great gang of authors have teamed up and will be giving away copies of their books. Sweet, yes?
 
For a chance to win a pair of the books listed, you can do anything included on the Rafflecopter below or on Facebook. However, for those who’d like to win a $10.00 Amazon Gift Voucher, hop on over to the Jamaican Kid Lit Blog to enter for that.
*Note: each winner will also get a copy of Christine's Odyssey!!!
 Anyway, I tend to talk a lot, so before I carried away, here’s my story:


Raised in a hotbed of arguments and fights, eleven-year-old Christine Simms is the victim of her mother's cruelty. A domestic dispute ends in tragedy, sending the family into a tailspin.

A shocking discovery sends Christine on a quest to find the stranger who left her behind in Jamaica. Determined to unravel the mystery of her birth, Christine uses every tool at her disposal and treads with courage where no child should.


Thanks so much for dropping in! I hope you win the novels of your choice. I should tell you that you get to choose books based on how the Rafflecopter does the drawing of the winners. So, if your name comes up first, you get to say which pack you want.

Available in ebook format at AmazonUS

J.L. Campbell is a proud Jamaican, who is always on the hunt for story-making material.
She writes romantic suspense, women's fiction and young adult novels. She is the also the author of Contraband, Dissolution, Distraction, Don't Get Mad...Get Even, Giving up the Dream, Retribution and Hardware (written under the pen name Jayda McTyson).
Visit her on the web at http://www.joylcampbell.com
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 25, 2013

Each End, A New Beginning

I have a Post It note of story ideas just for the NEO Chronicles. Some may see the light of day. Others, well, maybe not. Releasing Frailties of the Bond has been a wonderful experience and I hope each and every person who buys it and reads it can find something worthwhile.

Here's what two wonderful folks have already shared:

Amazon review (Thank you, Gwen!!): "I don't want to give away any spoilers, so I won't go into any more detail. I will say that I loved this book and I can't wait for the sequel. I can totally see the NEO Chronicles being turned into a movie or television series. If you want action and compassion combined with kick-butt teens in an original plotline, you'll love Frailties of the Bond."

Cecilia Roberts shared this on her blogFrailities of the Bond is a wonderfully written book. We enter Luca's world, see him suffer after losing a friend. Leaving school he comes home to find his mom being sucked dry by a vampire. Revenge and anger rule Luca's emotions. It was really great to follow him on his journey of finding out who he really is. Was great fun meeting the other characters as well.

I can truly say I know what was meant in this quote:
"Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don't feel I should be doing something else." ~ Gloria Steinem

So when I reach the end of one story, it's pretty much a done deal that the keys are being worked for a new beginning.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Fun & Sunshine

Frailties of the Bond is officially shared with the world. A quick-paced novella with elements of urban fantasy, action and some sweet romance. I'd like to think that this story, like Neverlove or any other story I share with the world - no matter how dark or gritty - will be like the following quote:

"Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves." ~ James E. Barrie

It's part of the wonder and addiction of writing. if writing were for sales alone, I must admit I wouldn't still be doing it. But it isn't just about sales - though more of them would be AWESOME SO KEEP SPREADING THE WORD! I love being the venue through which the characters share their stories. And I love sharing them with you, my friends, followers and readers.

I love bringing the sunshine of a great read.

How about you? What do writing or reading do for you?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Frailties of the Bond, Where You At?

Frailties of the Bond is ready and waiting for you to claim for your own. As Angela Orlowski-Peart mentioned on Facebook yesterday, Frailties makes for a great read for lunch time entertainment.

It's a YA novella. It's 99 cents. And it's available at Amazon US, Kobo,B&N

If you've gotten it for yourself, feel free to send copies to a few friends who enjoy a quick-paced read packed with elements of urban fantasy, action and hints of romance.

In Frailties of the Bond, it only takes one bite to change a life.
Two teens...
Two lies...
Their paths collide...
When one bite changes a life.
Except from Aimee's POV:

“That’s not the way to really drink, beautiful.” He pulled down his collar, tilted his neck and exposed his jugular to me. The vein throbbed to the steady beat of his heart. Thump-thump. Thump-thump. Thump-thump.

Bloodlust slapped me like a cornered beast. Ignored for far too long.

I sprang at Trevor, my bared lips a hair’s breadth from his neck, the pulse teasing and inviting. My lips trembled. They grazed his smooth skin. The very idea of sucking his blood sent fire coursing from my core, splintering throughout my body. My fangs drew forth.

I closed my eyes, resisting long enough to stutter out a squeaky breath.

“Do it,” he rasped.

I sank in my fangs. Hot blood splashed against the roof of my mouth and soaked my tongue. Like the B-shop anty pouches, I sucked it down my throat like melted chocolate. I suctioned my lips to keep every delicious drop within the circle surrounding my puncture marks.

Quivers wracked my body. I dropped my Bloody Joey and held to Trevor for dear life.

He gasped, then started moaning. But not from pain. No. Something else was going on with Trevor.

My heartbeat quickened and I felt…ALIVE. Complete bliss crested like a crescendo where his heart and mine beat as one. This was the wonderful thing my parents kept from me my whole life. For one heartbeat, I despised my parents for keeping me from experiencing such a high. When I opened my eyes, the moment crashed.

***So Frailties of the Bond, where you at? Are you sitting on a Kindle, Nook or iPad right now? Have you, wonderful readers and blog friends, gotten a copy or intend to get a copy. Perhaps you like urban fantasy in general. Sound off in the comments below!***

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Drum Roll Please - Get your FOTB On!!!

I've mentioned it.

Been blogging about it.

Excited about this for some time because, well, just because lol!!

Today is the OFFICIAL launch day for my novella, Frailties of the Bond!


~Frailties of the Bond is the first in a series of novellas and short stories introducing heroes and heroines of the secret organization, NEO – Network of Extraordinaires and Otherwordlies.~


WOOT!!!

*Cue loud party noise makers and the vigorous tossing of confetti*

Buy your ebook at one of these e-retailers: Amazon US, Kobo,B&N

In Frailties of the Bond, it only takes one bite to change a life
After a hiking trip gone wrong, sixteen-year-old Luca should have been dead. Since then, he’s drifted from one school day to the next, annoyed by the looks of suspicion. When a vampire attack claimed his mother and forced his first shift into animal form, Luca set out for Texas, vengeance bound, only to discover so much more when Aimee crossed his path.
Flesh-born of vampire parents sixteen years ago, Aimee shouldn’t exist. Magic, though, made dreams come true for an undead couple desperate for a child all their own. But this magic came with a price, a cost Aimee discovered after one forbidden bite.

To add a bit of intrigue or oddity (I'll let you decide lol!!), I want to share a few random things about MOI :-)


Five Things You May or May not Know About me:
1.       I stole a box of Chiclets gum when I was five. Guilt tore me apart. I haven’t had the stomach for stealing anything since.
2.       My then fiancé couldn’t attend my senior prom due to distance, so I had his name drawn on my left ring fingernail in white to match my all white dress.
3.       I’m addicted to chocolate and Wild Cherry Pepsi (lol!! Most of you probably already know that.)
4.       I’m a middle child (who may or may not suffer from that silly middle kid syndrome lol!!)
5.       I’m an Aquarius J

Did someone happen to check my horoscope today? If it’s bad news, I’d rather remain blissfully ignorant lol!

Please feel free to spread the word of FOTB's availability with a few tweetables:

Fill your  fix w/Frailties of the Bond, YA novella @ 99 cents ~     

Two teens... Two lies... Their paths collide... When one bite changes a life...Frailties of the Bond YA novella 

Frailties of the Bond, YA  novella available at Amazon, Kobo and B&N    Plz 

Luca + Aimee  = paths colliding in Frailties of the Bond, YA novella for only 99cents    Plz 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Writers4Writers - Mission: Shout it Out Loud!

Name: Angela Brown
Power(s): Word contortion and suspected of laughing out loud at random things for no apparent reason
Power level: Apprentice, master status will take several thousand more hours of training
Linked to: Neverlove - upper YA novel with elements of paranormal, romance and action interwoven throughout. Yes, it is a dark read worth taking a chance. For all that may be dark, hope resides and light is near at hand...
also Frailties of the Bond (release blitz this March 20th) where one bite changes a life.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it dear Writers4Writers friends, is to fan the flames regarding this author and her projects, to spread the word via social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter. You're even welcome to pin the book covers to your Pinterest or make something neat on Tumblr. Here are the covers:

NEO – Network of Extraordinaires and Otherworldlies:

Those who answer the call from NEO play their part in maintaining balance in our ever-changing times. With power-hungry malcontents, jealous gods, and even those with misguided good intentions, the fate of our world has oft been held in the hands of unsung heroes such as those that are members of NEO.

But before NEO, these heroes and heroines had lives, loves, issues and interests that didn’t involve saving mankind.

In Frailties of the Bond, it only takes one bite to change a life…

After a hiking trip gone wrong, sixteen-year-old Luca should have been dead. Since then, he’s drifted from one school day to the next, annoyed by the looks of suspicion. When a vampire attack claimed his mother and forced his first shift into animal form, Luca set out for Texas, vengeance bound, only to discover so much more when Aimee crossed his path.

Flesh-born of vampire parents sixteen years ago, Aimee shouldn’t exist. Magic, though, made dreams come true for an undead couple desperate for a child all their own. But this magic came with a price, a cost Aimee discovered after one forbidden bite.



Providence, Rhode Island

Six. Whole. Months.
The longest time her mother stayed home in the last few years.
Enough time that a sense of security snuck into Abigail’s heart, lulled her mind into forgetfulness.
But the monster hadn’t forgotten.
~~~
So starts Abigail Bishop's descent to the final low in her life. Seventeen doesn't seem such a bad age to die.

For Basil Hines, perfection is the key to earning his parents' love, especially his mother. He never suspected sharing this thought with a friend would bring hellish results.

Abigail's rash decision, and failure to take her own life, leads her to V'Salicus Academy, a place to start anew, become a Cleanser, a guide to show lost souls the way to The Gates for Judgment. Basil ends up duty bound to hell, his soul gambled and lost to the Devourer, all for the price of a few words. As the devil's newest Harvestor, Basil must steal lost souls to feed his new master's constant craving.

In their new roles in life, love is forbidden, but when their paths cross, true love is what Abigail and Basil finally discover in each other. Can they hold tight to their love, or will duty trump all, leaving them both to a fate of Neverlove?


You can share the book trailer - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GE2g5HlKWTw
Buy links - Amazon.com, Amazon.fr, Amazon.de, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon paperback, (tiny url for paperback - http://tiny.cc/9enfnw), Kobo, B&N

Facebook shares like: #W4WS supporting authors! Author Angela Brown self-published Neverlove, an upper YA novel with elements of paranormal, romance and action infused throughout. Only 99cents!! http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009IPQVHO

Show your support to an Indie author with #W4WS! Neverlove, a story of love never-known, love desired and love found. Can Abby and Basil hold on to their fragile discovery? Only 99 cents.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009IPQVHO

Tweets:
"But the monster hadn’t forgotten."~ Awaken to the start of Abby's dark and twisted journey in Neverlove amazon.com/dp/B009IPQVHO #W4WS

"Wow. Just wow. There wasn't a dull moment to this page-turner." Amazon reviewer. Neverlove amazon.com/dp/B009IPQVHO #W4WS, #mustread #YA

Neverlove, an upper YA PNR w/action to fill your need for the dark side. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009IPQVHO Only 99cents! #W4WS Plz #RT! #mustread

Don't deny yourself the pleasure of a Goodread at a price that sweet-talks your wallet. Get Neverlove http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009IPQVHO #W4WS Plz #RT!

Gritty. Fast-paced. Couldn't put it down. Neverlove - calling all bookworms! Claim a 99cent Goodread http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009IPQVHO #W4WS Plz #RT

Saturday, March 16, 2013

What Inspired Me to Pen and Direct, Abyss

Nicole comes back to visit because I was curious and she let me hassle harass engage her for a second post about her inspiration for Abyss. She's such a sweetie!!

Take it away, Nicole~~~

In the winter of 2011, I wrote an outline for a short film screenplay intended to be produced into an entry for “Philadelphia Stories” – a television series that aired on WYBE (now MiND TV) for years. Writing articles had become my new profession for some time and I just wanted to recharge my creative batteries and find out if the TV station would acquire one of my films. The series was only open to projects that are set primarily in the Greater Philadelphia, PA region – with special consideration given to local independent filmmakers.

These basic guidelines aren't difficult to follow, except, there wasn't anything particularly special about the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection that stood out to me. So, I went in the opposite direction and decided to find a subject that would be relatable while also adhering to the hometown roots of WYBE/MiND TV’s television contest – SEPTA. I loathe this public transportation system that services Philadelphia and surrounding counties, which became the perfect focal point of my outline. I didn't want to make a documentary, so I added a relationship element to it for a dramatic effect that people could relate to regardless of whether they were car owners, taxi-cab hoppers or bus riders.

R&B singer The Dream’s “Love King” album was in heavy rotation on my iPod around this time – including one track that became the force behind the title and relationship drama in my movie – “Abyss.” It plays like a scorned-lover song and the hook makes me think about someone drowning in tears as an Ex-person of interest renders her heart as being practically non-existent. The TV station’s January 31st deadline was less than 30 days away and I knew it would be insane to try and write an entire script, get actors and produce this project within that short time-frame  Procrastination set in and I sat on that outline for a year. In those 12 months that rolled by, the “Philadelphia Stories” series ceased operation and I started to ask myself if this movie was worth making anymore.

The script suddenly wasn't that exciting but neither was life, on many levels. I worked on a few pages -- writing scenes here and there based on that outline, but I had no sense of direction where the movie was concerned, my career goals or the next waking moment, for that matter. That’s when a friend made me realize that I needed to stop hoping, wondering, second-guessing myself and most importantly – talking – and just go ahead and make a movie, already! The story didn't even have to be about public transportation or relationships – so long as I was taking actions as a filmmaker rather than talking about being one. I didn't want to go back to square one, given that I already had an outline and a good idea of how the first few scenes in the screenplay were going to unfold.

Plus, I think many people – no matter where they live – can relate to the frustrations of being stranded, whether that be on a sidewalk, at an airport, on the highway or at sea. I was also still not fond of SEPTA and by now, they were being cited as the #1 public transportation system in North America – a title that is mind-boggling  given their frequent delays, limited customer service, detours without notifications, greed and overall disregard for the treatment of their passengers. In the Spring of 2012, I started working on the script again and had several major bouts of writer’s block that were often met with an internal urgency to just get it done and over with so that I could move into production. When I thought the story was good enough to be made into an ok movie, the same friend who challenged me to get the ball rolling before suggested that changing my outlook and approach would bring better results. I’m glad that I listened and applied these points to writing a more improved script for this particular story.

The writing process took much longer than I preferred but what followed, after multiple drafts, is a screenplay that I could be proud to direct. Thanks to feedback from less than a handful of select people whom I trusted to read the first drafts, I now had a completed script to work from. The story is no longer just about a bus and relationships – it’s about friendship, loyalty, trust and what happens when the very things and/or people you depend show surprising sides of themselves. Most of the action is specifically written to be seen from the viewpoint of a camera operator because 16mm film stock is expensive. I built the story in a way that could work to the advantage of my shooting with HD video. Pre-production began in August of 2012 and I mapped out my master movie-making plan in baby steps, using post-it notes that I put up on a wall. (Post It Notes! I love it!!! Oops, sorry for the intrusion, back to you, Nicole.)

Checking off each “step” as I completed it was the only way that I could foresee accomplishing one big goal and also the only practice that probably kept me from losing my mind in the process. These mini-goals also kept my multitasking habits at bay and prevented me from putting the cart before the horse – they were easy reminders that I had no business looking at film festival submission dates if the casting call wasn't even done, and so forth. I didn't hire an editor until I finished shooting and I didn't audition actors until I had an idea of when and where I was going to shoot. After months of writing and planning the next stages of what seemed like a never-ending screenplay, I finally found some actors who work well together and production began in November 2012. I involved more people than I’m used to and delegated more departments and jobs than I’m used to but as “Abyss” currently moves through the post-production stage, I believe it wouldn't have been better any other way.

At the time of this writing for Pursuit of Publishness, I am just starting to realize an irony in my own pursuits with regards to how the story behind “Abyss” unfolds. Here is a movie -- about a guy trying to win a contest -- written by a filmmaker who was also, at one point, trying to win a contest. After reading lines at a casting call in October 2012, one of the actresses who auditioned for a role in “Abyss” asked me if the bus was a metaphor for the protagonist’s relationship woes. I didn't have an answer for her that day because there weren’t any metaphors deliberately placed in the script.

Maybe she’s onto something that can be likened to this whole experience of pursuing our dreams and making them a reality. If the bus you’re waiting for to move toward your destination hasn't arrived, you can continue to wait -- or you can call a taxi-cab, hitch a ride, take the train, walk – or catch another route! Either way, don’t let anyone’s failure to deliver on their end of the service deal stay in the way of getting to wherever it is you need to go.

What detours or delays have YOU encountered on the way to YOUR destination?

*** In honor of my film campaign’s “Secret Saturdays” special, I’m giving away a copy of the Abyss script to any Pursuit of Publishness reader who donates to the movie. As the script contains explicit language, you can alternatively, opt for a different item – “My Journey to Bare Bones,” a letter chronicling my very first film festival experience. ***

Nicole Ayers is a writer and director whose latest work includes “Abyss,” a short film about an Army Officer who gets stranded at a bus stop in Philadelphia after his marriage proposal goes awry. Abyss is currently raising funds on IndieGoGo for the film festival and television premieres…your contribution will make this happen!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Villains You Care About, w/Nazarea Andrews


Nazarea Andrews, author of Edge of the Falls, is stopping by today to share her thoughts on villains. Take it away, Nazarea :-)

Villains you care about.

When I sat down to write Edge of the Falls I knew nothing about the world I was creating. I didn’t know how the story would play out, or even what fairy tale I was retelling (I tried about five before I conceded that this was supposed to be a Beauty and the Best retelling.)

I didn’t know I needed a villain.

This, you guys, is the problem with not going in with a plot.

So I started telling my story. And I realized that I needed an antagonist. Crafting an antagonist was a lot harder than I anticipated—especially when I had no clue who the antagonist was supposed to be.

And I think that’s the only way I could make it work. I wrote the first draft without an antagonist. It was only when I went back for edit that I created a villain. Which is why I like them so much. They’re people, flawed and manipulative and not always nice. They do things that make me and Sabah want to hit them. But they are human. With flaws and twisted motivations, and emotions that I care about.

All the best villains (and mine do not rank in this list) are multifaceted. Yes—they’re bad. But they need to be defined by something, the thing that drives them and all of their bad decisions.

If you can do that—well, hell. You might just have your hands on the next Voldermort.
Click to Add to Goodreads

Author Bio: 
Nazarea Andrews is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. She loves chocolate and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, and overgrown dog. Her first book, Edge of the Falls, is available March 12.

Edge of the Falls synopsis:
Sabah always knew where she belonged—with Berg—and what was expected of her—to care for the other children the Mistress took in.

But when a ban-wolf saves her life, things begin to change.

Arjun isn’t like the other ban-wolves, the savage creatures that are barely human. He’s gentle and furious and as Sabah spends time with him, she can’t seem to get him out of her mind. But in a world of darkness, control, and danger, is there a place for two outcasts?

A romantic retelling of Beauty and the Beast in a dark dystopia.

Thanks so much Nazarea. Now this post brings to mind a question. Who is your favorite villain to love, uh, hate, oh, you know what I mean lol!! Comment below and you're entered in a giveaway to receive an ebook copy of Edge of the Falls. So I'm dying to know: Who? and Why?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

What an Award-Winning Filmmaker Can Teach Writers about Going Indie

***Today we welcome Writer and Director Nicole Ayers to shed a bit of her own personal light on the Indie path.

Take it away, Nicole :-) ***

Upon receiving my first camcorder in high school, it would be fair to predict that I might become an investigative reporter or documentary filmmaker. Having completed writing a feature length screenplay long before my 16th birthday, however, there were more commercial aspirations in store for me. I had my sights set on golden statues and seven-figure paychecks for directing summer blockbusters like “Jurassic Park.” There was just one problem: I didn't exactly know how to get from point A -- being a high school senior with big (albeit, somewhat naïve) dreams of making movies to point B -- being one of Hollywood’s top directors.

Making films independently outside of Hollywood has become the solution to this problem, giving me the satisfaction of bringing a script to life without being stuck in years of development hell and corporate red tape – an option that aspiring writers may want to consider for novels or works of non-fiction. Here are some benefits I've found in choosing an indie film route that can work to a writer’s advantage when pursuing your dream of being published.

We Don’t Have to ask for Permission
As an indie filmmaker, I don’t have to wait in line, cross my fingers and hope that somebody gives me the green-light and a chance to direct movies. Plus, I believe it would be silly of me to call myself a “director” without having actually directed something. While finding projects to work on has come fairly easy since I write my own screenplays, I've also directed a short film for a fellow writer. None of these opportunities required me to seek permission from a large studio.

Similarly, as a writer, you already have the material needed to create books or magazines that people are willing to read. The indie route puts all the power in your hands, where making it available to these audiences is concerned. You can either decide to watch from the sidelines, as indie writers release their books while you wait for the publishing company of your dreams to grant you permission to do the same. Or, you can take charge of the direction in which your dreams will come true and challenge the publishers to catch up to speed.

The Cost of Entry is Low
I realized that it would cost me a lot of time and money trying to be a carbon copy of Steven Spielberg. However, if I could make something that people want to watch -- the way Robert Rodriguez did with “El Mariachi” or the way Joe Swanberg did with “Kissing on the Mouth” -- then I don’t need to depend on a studio to go into production. I am not limited to hustling in California, nor the pressures of accepting unsavory distribution deals just to pay back millions of dollars to investors. Indie budgets are usually small, offering a chance to turn a profit sooner than later. The VOD, streaming and print-on-demand markets also make it easier to reduce marketing and distribution expenses.

You can use the low cost of entry that an indie route offers, to release your first book in a small press run and build an audience. This opens up options for your subsequent works because you can weigh potential results of any future publishing offers against the response that you've received so far, from a built-in reader base. Becoming an indie publisher gives you the option of going direct to your audience or giving it up to a larger company. In either scenario, you must have something to release!

There are no Hard Set Rules….Just Innovation, Adaptation and Inspiration
Studying the success of other indie filmmakers helps me realize that I can carve out my own path with a bit of creativity and hard work. Short film director Fritz Donnelly sold thousands of DVDs featuring several of his works and he even released a sequel that did very well. His films were also exhibited at many venues in New York. Filmmakers Todd Sklar and Jay Craven took their films on tour, the way musicians do, which led to them gaining press in local markets. Both Craven and Sklar were able to keep all of the profits while also building an email list of fans that are eager to learn about the release of their next projects. Skylar’s success has also enabled him to get distribution deals for his films.

Look at success stories within and beyond the literary world to find useful tips for trying to market your own work. Inspiration can be had by paying attention to trends in music, art and the creative book release strategies of self-published artists. A few years ago, I interviewed an author named Lakeshia Rivers Ekeigwe whose self-published book, “The Truth about Being Single” was launched through intimate ladies night themed parties. In addition to giving her a growing fan-base, this book has become a launch pad for her personal development coaching business. Her strides in book sales as well as in the coaching business is a testament to the fact that an indie route can move you closer to living your writing dreams, on your own terms – so long as you’re open to new ideas and opportunities.

In school, filmmakers are taught that the path to directing movies is getting a job as an assistant and then working our way up to eventually getting the chance to helm one of the large Hollywood studio pictures. Studying independent filmmakers such as The Duplass Brothers and Maggie Hadleigh-West, however, has helped me realize that the path to making movies is – making them – which sometimes mean bucking the mainstream system! So, that is just what I've ended up doing and it has led me to winning a golden statue, of sorts, at the very first film festival that I ever attended as a director. It has also helped me receive movie writing assignments from large media outlets, learn about great films that are not playing at a theater near you, and develop projects about topics that I care about – on my own terms!

Who are the indie authors inspiring YOU these days?

Nicole Ayers is the writer and director of "Abyss," a dramatic narrative about the troubles surrounding a marriage proposal that leaves an Army Officer stranded at a bus stop in Philadelphia. "Abyss" is currently raising funds for the film festival and television premieres…your contribution will make this happen!

She is also available @MadlabPost on Twitter

Monday, March 11, 2013

Readers & Reviewers: You Are Appreciated

Readers and reviewers are the lifeblood of any author, no matter what path taken to publish their work. Whether the author Tweets dozens of times a day or barely has a presence on Facebook, no readers spreading the word about their work boils down to no one buying or reading an author's book.

Readers and reviewers, YOU ARE THE BEST!! To show my appreciation, I'd like to offer a chance for one of you that read and reviewed Neverlove to win a $25 Amazon e-gift card. The giveaway is a month long, so that means if you have Neverlove in your pretty little hands and you'd like to enter, you've got plenty of time to do so.

For those yet to purchase Neverlove, it is $0.99 at BN.com, Amazon and Kobo. Grab your copy and make sure to put your review at all these places (along with Goodreads which is a great site where other readers are interested in your thoughts about books).

Make sure to enter the Rafflecopter below. Of course, because this is a Reviewer giveaway, please bear in mind the mandatory option for this giveaway is that you share the link of one of your reviews so you can enter to win.Those who've already reviewed are ahead of the game. Go and grab your permalink so you can enter to win.

*****To make this even more enjoyable, let's add a challenge. If the number of reviews at Amazon reaches 35 before the end of the giveaway, I'll add $15 to the gift card. If it reaches 50 reviews, I'll make the gift card $50. You read that right. If we reach 50 reviews for Neverlove, the $25 gift card will double to $50.*******


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, March 8, 2013

A Day in the Spotlight: C. Lee McKenzie

Fridays are always great! Nothing says, "Have a #bepositive day!" like having the weekend eyeball-to-eyeball with you, cheese-eating grin spread ear to ear :-)

So to add to the joy, I have C. Lee McKenzie in the spotlight. Check out her smile:
Her smile had to tickle one out of you, too. Being positive can be a good kind of viral.

Now, let's get to know her better :-)


Please share how you got started with writing?

I've always scribbled: notes, journals, poems, stories. I'm not sure how I started my first novel--a really terrible, rambling, cathartic beast--but then I read an article in the newspaper about "cutting," and that brought me up short. I knew I'd have to write about it, but I really thought I'd write an article. Instead, it wound up being Sliding on the Edge.
Amazon

Got to love it! Start with one intention and end up with something far more than expected :-)

What is the title of your latest work(s) soon-to-come.

I have three manuscripts right now. One is a middle grade adventure fantasy that I've titled Josh Moody Meets The Aliens Of Murrg. (I should add that I'm not the best at titles.) The other two are YA's. Sudden Secrets and The Double Negative Kid. I'm still deciding how I'll handle publishing these books. I do a lot of procrastinating at this stage of a book. It's sort of my rest period.
 
 Ah, Sir Procrastination...I know that fella all to well lol!!

If you could sit down and share a glass of your favorite beverage with one of your characters, who would it be and why?

I'd love to sit down to talk to Kenny Fargo. And, if I'm drinking with Kenny, I'll probably have to sip whisky. That's all he'll pour. He's one character I know has a lot left to reveal. Here's how he sounds when he talks to Kay, the grandmother in Sliding on the Edge. He's telling her what he thinks about Shawna, the newly arrived and very troubled granddaughter:

"That's gonna be a tough filly to break in." Kenny leaned against the kitchen door.
"How long have you been eavesdropping?" Kay asked as she turned up the heat under the potatoes.
He pushed away from the door and went to the sink. "She can do the work. That ain't the problem. It's the charming attitude that's gonna be fun to handle."
"If you've got any ideas on what to do, don't sit on you backside and keep it to yourself, okay?"
"I see she's brought your crabby side out," he said, drying his hands and pushing his boots off.

Kenny sounds like he'd make for interesting conversation...of course, after a little bit of whiskey, it won't really matter lol!

Would you consider yourself a plotter or a pantser?

I've called myself a semi-pantser, but I'm more pantser than plotter, that's for sure. I write a summary sentence when I have an idea for a book. I put that sentence into the header of my document and refer back to it or change it as needed while I write. Sometimes the sentence is almost the same when I've finished. Sometimes it's very different, but it does serve to guide me.

Were there any darling characters/scenes that didnt make the final cut? If so, what?

In The Princess of Las Pulgas I had to re-write one scene a dozen times until I liked it. It's a pivotal scene when Carlie will either come to accept the new people in her life, or continue to be miserable and angry about what's happened to her.  It's very different in the book than it was in all of those drafts. I haven't dumped any characters yet. They're very determined to stay once they're in a story.
Amazon

Hard and fast with the rules of writing or more like guidelines?

I love to know all the rules because once I've got them in my head, they're easy to break--effectively.

What advice would you tell an aspiring author?

What I'd say to anyone who really wants to do something. Just do it. Enjoy it. Be prepared for a wild ride.

Hot button round:
Favorite snack? I'm kind of partial to peanuts, but pizza is right up at the top of my favorites.
Least favorite food? Anything sweet that's not a dessert.
Favorite color? Green? No, blue. Maybe red. Of course, purple is so yummy. Sorry. Could ask easier questions, please? LOL! I thought that was the easy question :-)
E-book or paperback/hardcover? I'm kind of whimpy on this answer because I love both. E-book when I travel. Paperback/hardcover when I'm in a comfy chair.
Shop-a-holic or work-a-holic or a different kind of a-holic? I'm definitely a work-a-holic. It's in my genes. Once I want to do something, I pretty much am on task until I wear out and collapse


Amazon
YAY to C. Lee! So glad to have you stop by. And for extra entertainment, click here for a book trailer for Alligators Overhead.

Make sure to stop her blog and tell her I said "Hey! Howdy! And Yay for Friday!"
The Write Game.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Prepare to get Crazed! Boomtown Craze by M Pax


A Grand New Age of Boom or Dust?

Boomtown Craze, Book 3 in the Backworlds series is here!

In the far future, humanity settles the stars, bioengineering its descendents to survive in a harsh universe.

To secure his future, Craze must propel his world into a more prosperous era. Only days away from the grand opening of his new and improved tavern, he is confronted by a loony Backworlder intent on mucking up his plans. Gaunt and trembling, she claims her spaceship is possessed. She also has a connection to the underworld that shakes loose the dark past of one of Craze’s closest friends. It all threatens to end Craze’s prosperity before it begins.

Meanwhile off world, Captain Talos works desperately to outwit the mercenary Jixes and lure them away from his and Craze’s budding prospects. The mind-control weapon Talos uses against them is wearing thin, and his next move may be his last.

Will Craze and Talos’s efforts bring about a grand new age of boom or damn them to forever struggle in the dust?

Available in ebook at:
Other Outlets can be found at http://mpaxauthor.com
*It will also be available in paperback from Amazon shortly.*

MPAX bio:
M. Pax is a Browncoat and SG fan, she’s also slightly obsessed with Jane Austen. In the summers she docents as a star guide at Pine Mountain Observatory where the other astronomers now believe she has the most extensive collection of moon photos in existence. No fear, there will be more next summer. She lives in stunning Central Oregon with the Husband Unit and two lovely, spoiled cats.

You can also find M. Pax on LinkedIN, Pinterest, YouTube, and Wattpad

From March 4 to March 22, folks can enter to win the following:

1 set of signed Backworlds paperbacks, including The Backworlds, Stopover at the Backworlds’ Edge, and Boomtown Craze. Will only ship to US residents. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway One of five free ebooks. All countries eligible. Enter the rafflecopter for a chance. a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tweets: 

The new frontier #scifi Boom or dust? Boomtown Craze - Book 3 in the Bacworlds series #kindle #nook all ereaders http://mpaxauthor.com/boomtown-craze-launch-party/

Miss Firefly? #scifi Try the Backworlds. Boomtown Craze - Book 3 - Book 1 is #FREE #kindle #nook all ereaders http://mpaxauthor.com/boomtown-craze-launch-party/

Facebook:

Miss Firefly? Try the Backworlds. Book 1 is FREE for all ereaders. Life on the galactic frontier. Will it be boom or dust? Boomtown Craze, Book 3, is now out. WIN books. Paperbacks and ebooks up for giveaway http://mpaxauthor.com/boomtown-craze-launch-party/

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Risky Business - IWSG

Click here for deets and linky list
It's that time again, first Wednesday of the month. For those not familiar with it, Ninja Captain Alex Cavanaugh started a humble group that has exploded from all the sincere support generated and honestly, quite needed and very helpful. In more ways than one, publishing an IWSG post has been a great source of venting and realizing I AM NOT ALONE in feeling disgruntled, lost, confused, turned tospy-turvey and sometimes floating in the abyss of What Tha Frankenstein???

So, today I mention some risky business. Publishing involves risk. Self-publishing is riskier since it all falls back on YOU

It's taking a chance on your passion, your desire, your talent.
It's taking a chance that some group of folks out in the wide, wide world will love your work, all while knowing some folks will scream to the hilltop how they HATE you and your writing too.
It's taking a chance that an idea - even if not new under the sun - has a unique enough twist to intrigue others to tell others and those others tell more people.
It's marketing until your fingers fall off with sales softer than a plush teddy bear while the Jack or Jill next door plops a novel out, sits back to crochet and rolls in the dough after their trendy story becomes all the rage (How did that happen? Heck if I know.)
It's taking a chance by moving your established characters from sweethearts that just met and have just learned to love each other to...something more. How detailed should I go before I accidentally turn my paranormal, action and romance novel into an NA erotica???

It's a risky business. But somebody's got to do it.

What are your thoughts when it comes to taking big risks in life?


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Overcoming Adversity - Nick Wilford

Yesterday, March 4th, was the official launch day for Nick Wilford's Overcoming Adversity anthology. It's my pleasure to continue spreading the word today :-)
Designed by D.R. Cartwright (DRC) and concept by Ella Wilson
Overcoming Adversity is a collection of seventy moving and uplifting original pieces - real life, flash fiction, and poetry - about battling against the odds and the ultimate triumph of the human spirit. The contributors include Amazon bestselling authors Alex J. Cavanaugh and Kyra Lennon, and the cream of upcoming talent.

The anthology is part of a fundraising effort to send the editor's stepson, Andrew McNaughton, to a specialist college in England. Andrew has cerebral palsy, and is a remarkable young man with a promising future. However, the free further education options offered in his own country of Scotland will not challenge him and allow him to progress. In order to access the education he deserves, Andrew will have to pay exorbitant fees, thus creating a situation of discrimination.

Help us get Andrew to college by buying a book that runs the full gamut of human emotions, ultimately leaving you inspired and glad to be alive. Whatever struggles you are going through, our sincere hope is that this book will help.

Add to Goodreads here.

Editor bio:
Nick Wilford is a writer and stay-at-home dad. Once a journalist, he now makes use of those rare times when the house is quiet to explore the realms of fiction. When not writing he can usually be found spending time with his family or cleaning something. He has four short stories published in Writer’s Muse magazine. Nick is also co-running a campaign to get a dedicated specialist college built in Scotland. Visit him at http://nickwilford.blogspot.co.uk/.

Perhaps you know of someone who could use a copy so they can enjoy great writing and encouragement from stories of overcoming adversity. Or, perhaps you could use a good dose for yourself :-)

Having purchased a copy of my own, I'm ready embark on the reading journey and enjoy the life-words shared within.