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A Conversation with David Brown, author of “Fezariu’s Epiphany”

David M. Brown was born in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, and first conceived the idea of the Elencheran Chronicles at college in 1999. He spent ten years compiling the history of Elenchera, resulting in 47,000+ years of events, 500+ maps, 2000+ pages, several short stories and many much-needed acquaintances with Jack Daniels. David also has a blog, The World According to Dave, which features reviews, stories and dramatic tales of the horrors of owning cats.

About Fezariu’s Epiphany

Fezarius bigThe White Oak, Clarendon’s oldest brothel, lured and destroyed men by the thousands. Fezariu was different. He had never been drawn by the White Oak’s vices but the brothel had still ruined him when he was just a boy.

Salvation came in the form of the Merelax Mercenaries – Elenchera’s most prestigious hired hands. They gave Fezariu the chance to escape from his past. Immersed in the world of dangerous assignments in the colonies Fezariu longed to forget everything about his childhood but only in facing the past would he ever be free of it.

Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, David. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

Great to be here. I self-published my debut novel, Fezariu’s Epiphany, in May 2011.

Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?

My wife, Donna, and I chose the self-publishing route for Fezariu’s Epiphany as we wanted full control of the book. Donna had already been instrumental in being an editor and critic for the novel so it became a natural transition for her to become my agent and promoter as well.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

The feeling of publication didn’t really hit me until I held my first printed copy of Fezariu’s Epiphany. That was a special moment for us both. We must have celebrated with wine and a takeaway, so no fancy restaurants for us, we’re more than happy with the little things that life has to offer.

Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

We opted for a book trailer which you can find on http://www.elenchera.com and on YouTube. I did wonder initially how effective a trailer could be for a book but was really pleased with how the one for Fezariu’s Epiphany came out.

Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?

I feel more confident in my ability to write and the positive feedback I’ve had back from readers has been wonderful for me. The world of Elenchera as a whole is meant to be something different and to have readers tell me that this is new to them but that they have also enjoyed it means a great deal to me.

Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?

Going down the self-publishing route I don’t think Donna and I realised just how much work is involved in getting a book to print and then promoting it too. I certainly couldn’t have done any of this without the support of my wife and I’m pleased that she’s branching out and helping many other writers realise their dreams just as she has done mine.

Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?

A good review means more to me than the amount of sales. It’s not just that readers have enjoyed Fezariu’s Epiphany it’s that some people have understood what it is I am trying to achieve with the Elencheran Chronicles. As a writer you can take your book only so far before you put your faith in it to touch the hearts and souls of readers. Not everyone has enjoyed the novel and that’s fine, I would never expect that, but the important thing is many people have praised the book and they’re looking forward to more. What could be more rewarding than a reader turning round and asking when is your next book out?

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

While working on your novel why not have a regular blog? Not only does a blog keep your writing fresh and offer an alternative source of material, it’s a great way to connect with readers and writers alike, early promotion for yourself and your novel too. I would also tell writers to find themselves a trusted critic to help pinpoint the weaknesses in their writing. Donna has done wonders for me in locating areas she believes I need to improve on. It took six drafts to complete Fezariu’s Epiphany but it was worth every one.

Pump Up Your Book December 2011 Virtual Book Publicity Holiday Tour Special

1111Pump Up Your Book is happy to announce a very cost-saving special for December to help you promote your book during the holidays. Because we want to give back to the community and we know how everyone is strapped buying presents and getting ready for the holidays, we are offering a 2 week special only applicable during the month of December. If you are an author with a new release or a book that was published years ago and you want to give it new life, read on!

The December 2011 Virtual Book Publicity Holiday Tour Package includes:

  • Full publicity included but not restricted to daily postings about your book on social networks and other online media outlets before and during your tour.
  • You will receive one personalized reviewer’s page which will announce your book to our over 500 reviewers.
  • You will receive one personalized tour page which will include your book cover, author photo, book summary, book excerpt, purchase information, book trailer if applicable and other relevant information about your book. All of our tour pages implement SEO for more exposure to potential buyers looking for your kind of book in the search engines. This tour page will be your guide telling you and your readers where you are appearing on any given day.
  • You will receive one personalized tour banner used to advertise your tour and can be placed on your website, blog, even email signatures.
  • You will be included in our revolving book banner on the first page of our site as well as other blogs and media outlets.
  • You will be included in our December Tour Trailer which will be uploaded to YouTube and other video media outlets.

This special is only good for the month of December with a deadline of October 30. The tour will run December 5 – 16 and will consist of 10 “stops.” You will appear on blogs geared specifically for your book, with possibilities of appearing at Reuters, USA Today, Chicago Times, Washington Post and other high profile news sites.

No other discounts apply during this promotional special.

So what does all this book publicity cost?

We are offering the December 2011 Virtual Book Publicity Holiday Tour FOR THE LOW PRICE OF $149!

After October 30, the December tour will increase to $249 for the same amount of stops, so reserve your spot soon! Payments can be made via Paypal (Paypal accepts most major credit cards). Space is limited so sign up soon!

PLEASE NOTE THAT WE ARE ONLY OPEN DECEMBER 5 – 16 TO GIVE OUR WELL-DESERVED STAFF MEMBERS A LITTLE HOLIDAY BREAK BEFORE THE NEW YEAR STARTS. IF YOU ARE REQUESTING A GOLD TOUR FOR NOVEMBER & DECEMBER, THE PRICE WILL BE $549.

Christmas WreathHere’s what our past clients have to say about their Pump Up Your Book Tour:

“I invested in a three month virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Books promotions for my noir thriller, Moonlight Falls. Not only did the marketing campaign work wonders for spreading the word about the new novel, in the very last month, on the very last day of the tour, Moonlight Falls became an Amazon Kindle bestseller!”

–Vincent Zandri, author Moonlight Falls and The Remains

Dot, I just want to let you know that your book tour is the greatest I’ve ever imagined! You just do a most awesome job. I feel like I’m all over the internet! Thanks so much for all your care and brains! This is an author tour with heart!

- Lilian Duval, author of YOU NEVER KNOW: TALES OF TOBIAS AN ACCIDENTAL LOTTERY WINNER

“I finished a two week mini virtual tour with Pump Up Your Book that ended on the 14th. It was a very positive experience consisting of guest blog posts, interviews, and reviews. The reviews for Schooled In Lies have been excellent so far, although I still need some Amazon reviews…hint…hint! Click here for the links to my stops. I highly recommend Pump Up Your Book virtual tours. Dorothy Thompson is a sweetheart and made the entire process painless.”

–Angela Henry, Schooled in Lies

“…This has been an awesome experience!!!”

–Dolen Perkins-Valdez, author of WENCH

“…I’ve really enjoyed working with you these past 2 months. Your encouraging comments and always funny upbeat personality has been the highlight of each and every day we prepared for this tour. I’ll be sad when it’s all over. :( I highly recommend you to any author looking for an online publicist.”

–Victoria Simcox, author of THE MAGIC WARBLE

The “good press” about you is no lie! I’m very happy about the mention in the Chicago Sun Times! Yay!”

–Joanne Sundell, author of Meggie’s Remains

“The world of publishing has changed so dramatically that it’s imperative to go where people are reading and talking about books and buying them – which is online. Dorothy Thompson came highly recommended and she has been great!”

–Gary Morgenstein, author of Jesse’s Girl

“This tour has been wonderful as was the first – I hope you are booked solid for August. Your presentational data is so well done and professionally presented – you truly represent us so individually and in the best light. I hope all of your clients really understand and appreciate what you provide and what it takes to bring it all together. You personalize each person (client) and really extend yourself in every way. And you are so honest and basically very up-front in fulfilling all of your activities. As I always say, “You are such a sweetheart!””

–Angus Munro, author of Full House But Empty

I have absolutely loved touring with Pump Up Your Book because they have been a pleasure to collaborate with and I can´t imagine a way to make the process simpler than they have made it. I take off my hat to Dorothy Thompson and her staff!”

–Dr. David Gruder, The New IQ

“I’m so pleased every day when I look at Google Alerts and see our titles all around the blogosphere, so thanks for that!”

–World Ahead Media

“Dorothy Thompson is the Queen of the Virtual Tour. She knows her business. Dorothy has gotten me more publicity in a shorter time than all of the other pr people I have worked with put together. In addition, she has opened a new world of internet marketing to me. She has definitely moved me up the search engines. And that’s what we authors want, isn’t it?”

Judi Moreo, author of YOU ARE MORE THAN ENOUGH: EVERY WOMAN’S GUIDE TO PURPOSE, PASSION, AND POWER

“…thank you for such a wonderful job – can’t even begin to tell you how impressed I am…”

Jane Green, NY Times Bestselling author of SECOND CHANCE

“The Pump Up Your Book staff is a remarkable group of professional people who baby sit you through your entire tour. I highly recommend them. They treat your book like it’s their book.”

Garasamo Maccagnone , St. John of the Midfield

I’m so thrilled—Why God Matters: How to Recognize Him in Daily Life won the CSPA Book of the year! This is a popular award, so publicity played as big a role as quality of the book. I want to thank you for all the hard work you did arranging this book tour back in June. It helped immensely to get the word out, and to get reviews and interested readers.”

Karina Fabian, author of Why God Matters

“I don’t think people realize how much work it is to promote your book. Jeez, writing the book is the easy part!!! I really thank Dorothy for putting my virtual tour together. I’ve had a few other writers ask me if I did this. My writing mentor was very impressed. But I told them I wouldn’t have even known where to start. Sure you can ask a few friends to host you, but how do get the schedule together without going crazy? There’s no way I could have done the tour by myself.”

Kim Baccellia, author of EARRINGS OF IXTUMEA

“When I began promoting the release of “Only Moments” I contracted a very high image Public Relations company. I got a few radio interviews but not one review, and no web exposure whatsoever. I only wish that I had met Dorothy Thompson and her “Pump Up Your Book Promotion” a few months earlier. Her tireless commitment gave me exposure beyond my expectations and at a tenth of what I paid one of the best Public Relations firms in the country.”

Nick Oliva, author of ONLY MOMENTS

“Dorothy is a wonderful resource for promoting your book. I highly recommend her blog tour for authors who want to get the most out their publicity dollars.”

Yvonne Perry, author of RIGHT TO RECOVER Winning the Political and Religious Wars over Stem Cell Research in America

“Dorothy is amazing! She’s taught me so much about promoting books on the internet and she’s got a heart of gold.”

–Kathy Holmes, author of REAL WOMEN WEAR RED

“Get in touch with the Pump Up Your Book people…they are the best!”

–Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein

“It’s been great working with you! You’ve made the book marketing process fun. I’d recommend your service to any newly published author.”

Deborah Woehr, Prosperity: A Ghost Story

 

“I have shared your site and services with all of the authors at Bella Books and Spinsters Ink, and I hope some of them take advantage of your services. so far, I am really pleased, and I have had nothing but rave reviews about my trailer. I love it!”

Linda Kay Silva, Across Time

“First of all, the virtual world is entirely new to me, and discovering it has been a great adventure. And then Dorothy Thompson has been wonderful, working so hard on my behalf, getting me reviews, and interviews like this one, giving me an opportunity not just to talk about my book, but to meet a world of new and interesting people. And I’ve been so touched by how welcoming and kind and interested you (Rebecca Camarena) and other hosts have all been.”

 

Camille Marchetta, author of The River, By Moonlight (as quoted on Rebecca Camarena’s blog at Paperback Writer)

“This has been a wonderful experience. Dorothy Thompson and her whole team are very committed to each author, take each author’s tour very seriously, and work towards maximum exposure in the right places. This is the best book promotion expenditure I’ve made in terms of return on investment. I highly recommend Pump Up Your Book Promotion.

Phyllis Zimbler Miller, author of MRS: LIEUTENANT

“This past month has been just amazing. Thank you so much for all you did to get the word out there…I loved your emails, always sprinkled with good humor and good sense…I look forward to VBTing with you again in October for Breast Cancer Awareness month.”

My best,
Linda Merlino, author of BELLY OF THE WHALE

“The tour’s going really well – my amazon book sales are up and the blog postings are storming up the google search pages…”

Gabriella Goddard, author of GULP!

“I have found my virtual book tour experience to be thought provoking and illuminating. It has made me think my book and my writing in much more thoughtful manner. I truly believe that virtual book tours help writers and inform readers, and I know that I will be doing one for all of my future novels.”

Bernadette Steele, author of THE POETRY OF MURDER

“(The tour)…was 10 times harder than writing the book. Would I do it again? Sure. It was challenging but it was fun.”

Tony Robles, author of JOEY GONZALEZ, GREAT AMERICAN

“My publisher just told me that JANEOLOGY is going back for a second printing. That means sales are going strong! I’m sure much of this has to do with my blog tour. Woo hoo! I’m having fun and I guess you can’t ask for more than that!”

Karen Harrington, author of JANEOLOGY

“I want to thank you for all the great work you did for my first virtual tour. You were a delight to work with!”

Sean McCartney, author of THE TREASURE HUNTERS CLUB: THE SECRETS OF THE MAGICAL MEDALLIONS

“That went really fast! I am so glad I signed up for this tour as it has really helped to spread the word about Fifo, and that helped to win the Mom’s Choice Award…so thank you very much, Dorothy!”

– Hayley Rose, author of FIFO ‘FIFTY STATES”

Click here to find out where to sign up!

Interview with ‘Dying Memories’ Dave Zeltserman

Dave Zeltserman won the 2010 Shamus Award for ‘Julius Katz’ and is the acclaimed author of the ‘man out of prison’ crime trilogy: Small Crimes, Pariah and Killer, where Small Crimes was picked by NPR as one of the five best crime and mystery novels of 2008, and Small Crimes and Pariah (2009) were both picked by the Washington Post as best books of the year. His recent The Caretaker of Lorne Field received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, calling it a ’superb mix of humor and horror’, and has been shortlisted by ALA for best horror novel of 2010. Outsourced (2011) has already been called ‘a small gem of crime fiction’ by Booklist and has been optioned by Impact Pictures and Constantin Film.

His latest book is Dying Memories (StoneGate Ink).

You can visit Dave’s website at www.davezeltserman.com. Connect with him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/people/Dave-Zeltserman/1434849193.

Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Dave.  Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

I’ve had a number of short stories published in magazines and anthologies, and 11 novels published. My books have also been translated so far into French, German, Italian, Dutch and Lithuanian.

Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?

The first piece of fiction of mine that was published was a short story in New Mystery Magazine back in 1992. I self-published my first novel in 2002, which was a crime noir novel titled In His Shadow. I did this because nobody would buy it, but I thought I’d get enough blurbs from it to help me sell my second book, Bad Thoughts. This led to an Italian deal for In His Shadow and selling the book to a small press with the new title, Fast Lane.

Q: How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?

I’ll talk about my third novel, Small Crimes, which I sold to Serpent’s Tail, who while an independent publisher still has enough push to get books visibility, and have published several Nobel Prize winners.

I agreed to the deal in January, 2006. We signed the contract in May of that year, the book was published in the UK in January 2008 and in the US in October 2008. Oh yeah, every US publisher rejected Small Crimes for being too dark or not formulaic enough, and the book ended up being picked by NPR as one of the 5 best crime and mystery novels of the year, and also by the Washington Post as one of the best books of the year.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

It was a great feeling selling my first story. I was paid $35 for it. Since then I’ve won awards, had my books picked as best of the year by prestigious organizations, been reviewed in major newspapers around the world, been translated in other languages, and have had my books optioned for film, but nothing has beaten the high that I felt when I sold that story.

Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

When I self-published In His Shadow, I was out beating the bushes trying to get reviews and blurbs. With Small Crimes, I mostly left everything to my publicist, but I did arrange some book events and also contacted some book reviewers, which led to Small Crimes being reviewed in The Boston Globe and The Sun-Sentinel.

Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?

When I look back at Fast Lane, there’s some very high energy writing in it, but also some very rough writing that makes me cringe a bit. My writing is smoother now. I know from the start what I need to do, and there’s almost no need for rewriting, although there’s always some polishing.  I feel confident now in writing in almost any genre—from dark crime noir to charming traditional mysteries to horror to thrillers.

Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?

When I first started writing, I looked at the major publishers as gatekeepers; that they’d be the ones to tell be whether my writing is good enough. Over the last few years I’ve learned it’s only a business—that the idea of the large publishers being any sort of gatekeeper is only a myth. There might have been a time when they cared about the books they published, but now it’s only business, and they’re looking to buy what they consider the lowest risk books they can without any interest as to  how good or bad they are. The independent publishers have a different attitude—with them they look at it as a matter of survival to publish the best books they can.

Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?

Spending my days doing what I love most, which is writing.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

Enjoy the journey. As a writer it’s easy to get sidetracked on all the things you haven’t accomplished yet instead of appreciating what you have.

 Click on banner to see Dave Zeltserman’s official tour page!

Interview with Kieran Kramer, author of “When Harry Met Molly”

Kieran Kramer, a former CIA employee, journalist, and English teacher, lives in the Lowcountry of South Carolina with her family. Game show veteran, karaoke enthusiast, and general adventurer, her motto is, “Life rewards action.” When Harry Met Molly, a lighthearted Regency-set historical, is her debut novel with St. Martin’s Press. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, and at www.kierankramerbooks.com.

Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Kieran.  Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

A: First time.

Q: What was the name of your very first book regardless of whether it was published or not and, if not published, why?

A: Madeira, My Dear. It was a 60,000-word Regency I wrote when my two oldest kids (now 19 and 17) were toddlers. It wasn’t published probably because it contained a dog’s POV and lots of headhopping and an untraceable character arc for the main characters!

Q: For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it?

A: For When Harry Met Molly, I specifically targeted my agent—I knew she was exactly the right fit for me, so I didn’t go through a lot of rejections. We connected immediately.

Q: How did the rejections make you feel and what did you do to overcome the blows?

A: Well, I’d had rejections before When Harry Met Molly. And I overcame them at first by putting the manuscript in a drawer. I did that to Madeira, My Dear after one rejection. And then over a whole decade went by before I re-opened the idea that maybe I should send something out. I realize now I lost a lot of time, but the truth was, if I’d really wanted to make writing a career back then, I would have kept on submitting. I found myself more drawn to the rearing of my children and being a volunteer in the community. I wrote as stress relief and as a hobby. It wasn’t until my children began growing up that I felt this sweet daydream I’d always cherished—of being a published writer—blossom into a very deep craving that I felt I simply HAD to pursue. I realized I’d made that transition when it got to be painful for me to enter a Barnes and Noble or a Borders.  That never used to happen.

At that point, I realized, I want this. Badly.

So in that second phase of my development as a writer, when I experienced rejections, I tried to look very objectively at what I was doing wrong. I had a few manuscripts that weren’t very marketable, plain and simple, even though I knew in my gut that my voice was. So I decided to pay much more attention to finding a high concept in my next manuscript. That, along with dedication to my own voice, paid off.

Q: When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them?

A: I had always wanted to be a St. Martin’s Press author and work with Jennifer Enderlin. They’re such a classy publishing house, and I love how they have no guidelines. I grew up reading books published by them. Among my favorites were the James Herriot novels (he was the Yorkshire vet who began his writing career with All Creatures Great and Small).

I also love Janet Evanovich, Emily Giffin, Jennifer Crusie, and lots of other authors who have worked under the mentorship of Jennifer Enderlin. I had heard her speak at conferences, too. She has such a warm, energetic spirit, I was completely charmed by her. I determined that she was the editor I wanted to work with more than any editor on the planet!

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

A: It felt quite surreal to get The Call!! I was in a car driving down a country road when it came. I told my agent I needed to hang up because I was so excited, I might drive off into a corn field!! When I got home, I told all my family, who were ecstatic. I think the greatest part was being able to show my kids that persistence and sheer belief in the dream pay off. And then I ran down the street telling all my neighbors. It was such a memorable day.

Yet at the same time, I felt my life was still the same in a very basic way. My priorities hadn’t changed—family and friends were what mattered most. I guess I mean to say, I was extremely grateful for this new phase in my life, but I was still the same old person. I think sometimes we think we’ll change in fundamental ways when we hit new milestones, but that’s not necessarily so, at least in my case. I made a commitment to myself that no matter what happened with my writing life, I would be okay. I think we need to remind ourselves that it’s the trying that matters most. That shows courage and faith. We are at our very best when we try, so I would have been darned proud of myself whether or not I got published. And that’s not a load of hooey I’m throwing at you, either. I was very intentional about that.

Q: What was the first thing you did as far as promotion when you were published for the first time?

A: Build a website.

Q: If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?

A: No. This is the way that’s best for me. I like being affiliated with a tried-and-true publishing house and having an agent to rely on for her expertise on the business side of things.

Q: Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?

A: I’m still working on my first contract, which is for four books. I’ve completed three and am in the midst of the fourth. I think I’ve learned a lot already. It’s hard to put into one paragraph how much I’ve learned. Writing under deadline frees you up from the constant dithering I used to do, wondering if I should change this plot point to that plot point or change a character’s motivation, etc. When the clock is ticking, you have to learn to make decisions faster and imbue them with confidence. You have to learn to trust your gut. I recommend every writer without a contract write under strict deadline. What comes from your gut is better than anything else you’ll produce.

Q: Looking back since the early days when you were trying to get published, what do you think you could have done differently to speed things up?  What kind of mistakes could you have avoided?

A: Well, I don’t think I would have attempted to speed things up. I easily could have tried to by writing more and submitting more. But each of us develops at our own pace. I really believe there’s a season for all things, and those years when I was with my children (two of whom are still school-age) were a special time. I was nurturing the dream slowly, the way you put a bottle of wine away in the cellar and let it slowly reach its full potential. I think that a lot of the time, we feel very rushed in our lives, and we’re convinced our worth is measured simply by our outward achievements. But I firmly believe we’re totally fabulous inherently, every single one of us. And our fabulousness has nothing to do with our achievements.  That gives me a certain peace. I have nothing to prove to anyone. That peace of mind, ironically, makes it easier for me to be creative.

Q: What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?

A: I’ve been thrilled with getting starred reviews from various prestigious periodicals such as Booklist, Library Journal, and RT Book Reviews magazine. But I’d have to say my greatest achievement has been balancing my writing life with my personal life. Things are never dull, and I love that.

Q: If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?

A: Principal of a school or a doctor or lead singer in a great rock band.

Q: Would you give up being an author for that profession or have you combined the best of both worlds?

A:  No, I wouldn’t give up being an author for any of those professions—although it might be tempting to join a great rock band!! <G>. I’m very happy where I am.  I want to give back, though. I like being of service, so I hope as time goes on, I’ll figure out some ways to pay forward all the kindnesses shown me in my writing career.

Q: How do you see yourself in ten years?

A:  Still writing and hopefully, still publishing.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

A: Yes. Make sure you’re not wasting a single second of any day pining for what you don’t have. Find the good in what you have right now. Hold onto those writing dreams, but don’t suffocate them by being anxious. Be proud of yourself for recognizing the storytelling passion inside you. Be happy that you’re moving along that road toward publication. The best stories come from people who live in the present. So have fun. Write your stories. Send them out. Celebrate every writing accomplishment. Be sad about rejections if you want to be, but after 24 hours, move on.

Don’t let anyone tell you how you should feel about this writing goal of yours. Know yourself and why you want it. And then pursue it with gusto—without any fear. And if you do, you’ve already succeeded in my view.

I believe the true measure of a person’s success is whether you’re willing to step forward with no guarantees and do it with hope, with a twinkle in your eye, and a spring in your step. Success is having your glass half-full—no matter what happens to you that day.  A person with that kind of attitude will have a lot more energy to pursue her writing goals and an extra layer of perseverance if she runs into obstacles along the way. I also happen to believe a writer with that sort of worldview will attract a lot more readers. Joy can’t be faked, and especially in romance novels, I believe there has to be a sense of joy. Love is a wonderful thing. And romance novelists celebrate that fact. I’m proud to be among their number.

Wow, this has been a lot of fun! Thanks for having me here on Beyond the Books. I really enjoyed answering your questions. And I hope everyone who’s read this and has the yen to write will pick up a pen today—or get on their computers and tap away until that story’s on the page!

Hugs to all,

Kieran :>)

Beyond the Books Interview with Author Amanda Wolfe

Amanda Wolfe is a woman of extraordinary strength and courage. Living and enduring a horrific childhood to a tormented and abusive adulthood. She has learned the secrets of her past had to be brought into the light and also the secrets in surviving these torments. Now at age 45 she has found her way through the darkness and hopes to share her stories of Beneath the Silver Lining Trilogy. Stories that define a life, and are important and worthy of telling. The people in her life, the evil that controlled and abused her and to the love that set her free. Starting in a small community in Ottawa,Ontario,Canada and taking her across the country and then across the border into the United States, where she now happily resides in Texas.

Go to: beneaththesilverlining.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/wolfe76041

Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Amanda. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

A: This is my first time publishing.

Q: What was the name of your very first book regardless of whether it was published or not and, if not published, why?

A: The first book I wrote, was called the Haunted Houses We’ve Lived In. I didn’t published it. I never finished writing it because of circumstances that happened to me which prevented the completion. These circumstances are revealed in the third book, Learning To Fly, in the Trilogy

Q: For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it?

A: There were no rejections from publishers, I didn’t send it to any.

Q: How did the rejections make you feel and what did you do to overcome the blows?

A: The only rejections if you want to call them that, were from people in my past life,who tried to control and manipulate me by saying I was not good enough. I think that is the ultimate reason for me self publishing.

Q: When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them?

A:I had the book published by Xlibris Publishing. The reason was so I could be in control of it, the rights are still mine. I also really liked there marketing ideas.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

A: I really had mixed feelings about it. First, there I was in print for everyone to see, My deepest, ugly secrets in plain sight, it made me feel somewhat vulnerable again. On the other end it was very surreal and made me happy like I was somehow free of it at last.

Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

A:We did an email campaign along with news paper ads ie: New York Times and The New York Review of books. Then started using an additional marketing company called Pump Up Your Book.

Q: If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?

A:No, I don’t think I would have.This has worked out well so far, it was not hugely overwhelming. I needed to go slowly to get my head around the fact that I was actually going to publish.Besides all of that I have nothing to compare it to as of yet.

Q: Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?

A: No, as I am in the midst of completing my 2nd book and hope to be complete before the new year or shortly after . Yes I do think I’ve grown as an author.

Q: Looking back since the early days when you were trying to get published, what do you think you could have done differently to speed things up? What kind of mistakes could you have avoided?

A:Having no early days of attempting to be published, I would have to say I would have liked to have had the courage and the fabulous support system in my life to do this a lot sooner than now.

Q: What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?

A: Becoming respected as an author, the people who have read the book have liked it. There is also the tremendous relief of having let it go.That is a huge accomplishment, one I never believed I could have.

Q: If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?

A: I’ve always wanted to be a ranch owner, with lots of horses, cattle and chickens and any animal within my grasp that needed a great home, would have one at my ranch, even if it was a camel.

Q: Would you give up being an author for that profession or have you combined the best of both worlds?

A:I am starting to combine them slowly but certainly. We now have some horses.

Q: How do you see yourself in ten years?

A: Sitting on our big old porch swing with the Great grandchildren on our laps watching the animals while the children and grandchildren cook for us.And writing more stories to share with the world. Maybe write a children’s story or two along the way.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

A: Never, ever, let someone else change who you are or what you have to say or the way you say it. Grammar is one thing, changing your thought process is another. Stick to your guns and if you feel like writing something whether you think you can or not just do it. You will amaze yourself.

Beyond the Books: Interview with Author DCS

DCS is the author of Synarchy Book 1: The Awakening and Synarchy Book 2: The Ascension.  When not writing you can listen to her radio show, In The Mind of DCS every Saturday evening at 7pm CST on the Paranormal Soup Network.  Currently sucking up the creative energy of New Orleans, she hard at work at the next book in the Synarchy Series, and an upcoming webisode series called The Fallen.  Visit her website at www.themindofdcs.com to learn more.

Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, DCS.  Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

A: I am multi-published. That’s fun to say.

Q: What was the name of your very first book regardless of whether it was published or not and, if not published, why?

A: The very first full length novel that I wrote was called Charcot. It was about an ex FBI profiler that made a serial killer to see what could be learned from it. I never published it because I thought I could do better. I may come back to it one day.

Q: For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it?

A: I self-published it, so no rejection pile for me!

Q: When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them?

A: I started my own publishing company, SVT Publishing.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

A:  It was very surreal to hold my first published novel in my hands. There wasn’t a big celebration though, just a big smile on my face and then my brain started exploding with everything I needed to do next to tell the world about it.

Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

A: I’m pretty sure the first thing I did was put together a website for the book, and then wrote a few press releases.

Q: If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?

A: No. But I would have slowed down and learned more.

Q: Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?

A: I have, I’m on my second novel now, Synarchy Book 2: The Ascension. And I think I’ve grown by leaps and bounds. Not just with my writing, but also with learning about the business/marketing side of things.

Q: Looking back since the early days when you were trying to get published, what do you think you could have done differently to speed things up?  What kind of mistakes could you have avoided?

A: I don’t think I could have sped things up, more like slowed down a little. As authors we can be really, really excited to thrust our masterpieces out there, but especially if you’re self-published you really have to take the time to make sure your work is in the best condition it can possibly be.

Q: What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?

A: Just being published I think is an accomplishment. But I do have huge news on the horizon but I can’t share it with anyone just yet. Hopefully I’ll be able to let the cat out of the bag soon.

Q: If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?

A: Something in relation to the business world. I like business.

Q: Would you give up being an author for that profession or have you combined the best of both worlds?

A: I’ve combined the best of both worlds. Writing is very creative, but it still is a business.

Q: How do you see yourself in ten years?

A: Busy! Writing more books, running an entertainment company, all kinds of things. I’m pretty ambitious.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

A: Learn everything, and then do it your way.

Interview with James Livingston: ‘…be sure to enjoy what you do.’

James D. Livingston’s professional career was in physics, first at GE and later at MIT, and most of his writings in the 20th century were in physics, including one popular-science book (Driving Force: The Natural Magic of Magnets, Harvard, 1996). As he gradually moved into retirement in the 21st century, he began to broaden his writing topics into American history, a long-time interest of his. His latest book in this genre is Arsenic and Clam Chowder: Murder in Gilded Age New York. This and his earlier books are described on his Author’s Guild website, www.jamesdlivingston.net.

Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Jim.  Can you start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

First, thanks to you for hosting me in this interview. I’ve had three other books published before the latest one, two in science and one in history.

Q: What was the name of your very first book regardless of whether it was published or not and, if not published, why?

My first published book was Driving Force: The Natural Magic of Magnets (Harvard, 1996), a popular-science book.

Q: For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it?

I first tried commercial presses, and received over a dozen rejections. But as soon as I decided to try university presses, Harvard expressed interest immediately, and I had a contract within a couple of weeks. 

Q: How did the rejections make you feel and what did you do to overcome the blows?

Each rejection was certainly a downer, but I persevered, reminding myself that many famous books first received many rejections. And all the rejections make you feel even better when you do finally land a contract. You realize you’ve really accomplished something.

Q: When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them? 

Harvard University Press published it. Once I decided to approach university presses, Harvard was my first choice, partly because I have a degree from Harvard and partly because they are in Cambridge and I was working in Cambridge at MIT. It was easy to meet with the editor, and I got a couple of free lunches that way! And the name Harvard on the book cover seems to carry some weight.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

It felt great, and my wife and I celebrated with a bottle of champagne. But I have to confess that we used to drink champagne once a week whether or not we had anything to celebrate.

Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

The book was a popular science book about magnets. I had previously helped a company that made refrigerator magnets, and they provided me with a few hundred fridge magnets carrying the cover of my book. I used those for direct mail to many people and many companies in the magnet business. Back in 1996, I concentrated on targeted direct mail and traditional media, but today it is equally if not more important to do web marketing. This on-line interview with you today is part of my web marketing for my latest book, Arsenic and Clam Chowder.

Q: If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?

No, that route eventually worked well. Driving Force ended up with about 30 reviews, including one in The New York Times that probably sold the most books. The book sold very well by university press standards, and now, 14 years later, is still selling a few hundred copies a year.

Q: Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?

Since Driving Force, I’ve published an undergraduate textbook and two books in history. My professional career was in physics, and for the first 40 years, I published a lot in science, writing mostly for other scientists. Driving Force was the first where I aimed for a general audience. That was good practice for my two history books, A Very Dangerous Woman (2004, with my wife as co-author) and my latest book, Arsenic and Clam Chowder: Murder in Gilded Age New York (2010). They’re both aimed at a general audience. So I’ve grown in the breadth of the topics of my books, and in the size of the audience I’m writing for.

Q: Looking back since the early days when you were trying to get published, what do you think you could have done differently to speed things up?  What kind of mistakes could you have avoided?

Fortunately, I never depended on my writing for the bulk of my income. So, I didn’t have to feel myself a failure if my books didn’t reach the bestseller lists and earn lots of money. I might have done better if I had hired a PR firm, but didn’t want to spend the money.

Q: What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?

I considered each of my books a major accomplishment at the time, but I am currently proudest of my latest, Arsenic and Clam Chowder: Murder in Gilded Age New York. It centers on a sensational murder trial of the 1890s, but also provides a window into the fascinating wider world of Gilded Age New York. It’s a great story in a great setting. 

Q: If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?

My professional career was in science, over 30 years in research with GE and about 20 years of teaching at MIT. Writing was an important part of both those jobs, but it is only in full retirement that my major activity has been writing. It’s fortunate that I now have pensions from both GE and MIT, and don’t have to rely on the royalties from book sales to survive. I couldn’t live on my book royalties, but they help cover my gas money.

Q: Would you give up being an author for that profession or have you combined the best of both worlds?

During my science career, I was an author of over 150 articles in scientific journals, book chapters, and encyclopedia entries, plus two books. So I was both an author and a scientist. Communication is important in all professions, including science. Now that I have retired from full-time science, I can focus more on writing, some in science and some in history, my two major interests.

Q: How do you see yourself in ten years?

I just turned 80, and life-expectancy statistics suggest that I probably won’t be here ten years from now. If I am, I probably won’t still be writing books. But I may still be busy trying to market the great book I published when I was 80, Arsenic and Clam Chowder.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

Until you are lucky and strike it rich with a blockbuster best seller, you should have another career that can provide you with sufficient income to allow you to have fun writing on the side. And be sure to enjoy what you do.

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