Beyond the Books

Home » Posts tagged 'book marketing'

Tag Archives: book marketing

PUYB Blog Tour: The Sexiest Drink on Earth by Mark Spivak

The Sexiest Drink on Earth

By Mark Spivak

How did a something that tastes like castor oil flavored with tree bark become the sexiest drink on earth?

Iconic SpiritsGaspare Campari invented his famous potion in 1860 by infusing sixty herbs, spices, barks and fruit peels in a mixture of alcohol and distilled water. It became a sensation, and Campari turned into an entrepreneur. There’s only one problem: Campari is bitter, and human beings have taste receptors for bitterness that function as an early warning system, alerting us that we are about to consume something that might be toxic or poisonous.

Imagine the dilemma for your brain as you take a sip of cold, refreshing Campari and soda. Part of your mind is saying, “Don’t drink this—it might kill you!” In another sector of your cranium, though, the drink is perceived to be sophisticated and desirable. Given that more than 27 million bottles of Campari are sold each year, the brain has obviously found a way to disregard the potential dangers of bitterness. In researching my book, Iconic spirits: An Intoxicating History, I spoke to scientists doing research on the physiology of taste, and they all had a theory on how this conflict was resolved.

More importantly, though, how did Campari come to be regarded as the sexiest drink on earth?

The shimmering red potion may be infused with dozens of herbs and spices, but the advertising images have always contained a strong dose of forbidden fruit. In its marketing materials, the company describes Campari as a “symbol of passion” and goes on to say that this passion “expresses itself in terms of seduction, seduction and transgression…”

The famous 1920 poster by Marcello Dudovich is a good example. Two lovers are locked in an embrace that can only be described as smoldering, balanced precariously on the edge of a sofa and enhanced by a background of soft crimson light. Two glasses, one half-filled with Campari, sit on a nearby table. The woman’s hand rests on the man’s cheek in a classic gesture, pushing him away and embracing him at the same time.

In 1998 Campari began working with the celebrated Indian director Tarsem, who created the series of “Red Passion” ads. The campaign was the first in Italy to present female homosexuality in a straightforward yet compelling way; from there it went on to target other social norms. In a 2005 commercial, a man stands at the bar during a reception when he spots a tall, beautiful woman on the other side of the room. They exchange looks. The man obtains a Campari on the rocks from the bartender and follows the woman to a secludedpart of the building. His hand slips as he approaches her, and hesplashes Campari on her dress and cleavage. Slowly and tantalizingly, the woman removes her top and reveals herself to be a man. The man then takes off his shirt to display his bra and the fact that he’s actually a woman. The ad blends mystery and intrigue, explores repressed desires, and blurs the lines of gender identity—all in sixty seconds.

So relax and enjoy a cocktail made with Campari, whether it’s a Negroni, Americano, Garibaldi (Campari and orange juice) or a classic Campari and soda—but make sure that someone you care about is there to enjoy it with you.

Mark Spivak smMark Spivak is an award-winning writer specializing in wine, spirits, food, restaurants and culinary travel. He was the wine writer for the Palm Beach Post from 1994-1999, and since 2001 has been the Wine and Spirits Editor for the Palm Beach Media Group, as well as the restaurant critic for Palm Beach Illustrated. His work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Robb Report, Ritz-Carlton, Continental, Art & Antiques, Newsmax, Dream of Italy and Arizona Highways. From 1999-2011 he hosted Uncorked! Radio, a highly successful wine talk show on the Palm Beach affiliate of National Public Radio.

Mark began writing Iconic Spirits after becoming fascinated with the untold stories behind the world’s greatest liquors. As a writer, he’s always searching for the unknown details that make his subjects compelling and unique.His latest book is Iconic Spirits: An Intoxicating History.

Visit Mark’s website at http://www.iconicspirits.net.

Become a fan of Mark Spivak at Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mark.spivak.3

Pick up your copy of Iconic Spirits at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Iconic-Spirits-Intoxicating-Mark-Spivak/dp/0762779268/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1344434224&sr=1-1&keywords=iconic+spirits

Interview with Deb Elkink, author of ‘The Third Grace’

When author and city-slicker Deb Elkink fell in love and married an introverted cowboy, she moved from her bright lights to his isolated cattle ranch far off in the prairie grasslands. Still—between learning to pilot a light aircraft, sewing for a costume rental store, and cooking for branding crews of a hundred—Deb graduated with a B.A. in Communications from Bethel University in St. Paul, MN; she also holds an M.A. in Theology (both summa cum laude).

Her award-winning debut novel, THE THIRD GRACE, is set in the contrasting locales of Parisian street and Nebraskan farmyard, and incorporates Greek mythology and aesthetics with the personal search for self. Her writing has been described as “layered and sumptuous,” “compelling,” and “satisfying.”

Visit her website at www.DebElkink.com.

Friend her at Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/deb.elkink.

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

Thanks for your invitation. The Third Grace is my debut novel and, like the mommy of a first baby, I love talking about her!

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?

Greenbrier Books is a fairly new and small press out of North Carolina, introduced to me by my agent. It’s a royalty-paying house but not traditional in that it doesn’t stock store shelves, instead distributing high-quality print and eBook versions through most online booksellers. I’ve been satisfied with my inauguration into the publishing world, as Greenbrier has maintained a good and personal relationship with me, “holding my hand” through the whole scary process.

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

I signed the publishing contract in early July and the book was released five months later, on December 1, 2011.

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

I vividly recall holding the advance reader copy of The Third Grace in my hand for the first time. I’d been driving alone in my car after visiting my rural post office, with the package from the publisher still sealed shut on the seat next to me. I was thinking I’d wait till I got to town to fondle the book, but I was trembling with anticipation, and decided I’d better stop speeding and just pull over to open the box. When I caught sight of the glossy cover art and flipped the pages, while sitting there on the side of the highway, with semi-trailers screaming by and shaking the wind out of me, I couldn’t hold back—I jumped out of the car and whooped and danced with pure, unmitigated delight at seeing that novel in print. It was glorious! On a wintry evening a few months after that, with stacks of the official novel ready to sign, I celebrated with a proper book launch party at the finest arts venue in our small city. I invited the whole world to it, and allmost a hundred friends showed up (not bad, I thought). I wore very high heels and a clever little “fascinator” hat of black feathers and netting to set the tone.

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

Of course, I contacted local news outlets as well as announcing the publication on my social media sites. I began to promote The Third Grace through speaking engagements and signings. I also entered the novel in a contest and was delighted to receive a prestigious prize (the Grace Irwin Award of $5,000 for the “top pick” of entered books published in 2011), which has given me some exposure and also funds to hire a publicist.

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

My confidence has grown. I was raised under a prolific artist—my mom still paints almost every day, and her work is visually beautiful, able to be fully appreciated the moment the viewer sets eyes on it. But with a novel, it’s different. The reader needs to invest significant time in analysis, and this means the writer, breath held, must be patient in learning how the work will be received. The publication of The Third Grace—and especially the win of a significant literary award—has given me the gift of validation by my peers. I’m much more secure in my wiring abilities as I work on my second novel, believing in the likelihood of its publication. I expect the first novel to act as a stepping-stone for my next one.

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

Before I was a published author, I didn’t realize how rigidly the industry observed genre; that is, I thought that if I just wrote a “good” story, an editor somewhere would find it engaging and put it into print. You know—I believed that if I worked hard, I’d be rewarded. Not so! Many excellent books by fantastic writers remain unpublished. I now see the necessity of an agent to ensure that the manuscript—clearly labeled as to category and target market—is put into the hands of the correct publisher, in the proper format, at just the right time. Writing a good story is only the beginning of success!

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

At first blush, it’s the accomplishment of meeting a goal and the encouragement to keep on writing. And then, I admit to being a little surprised at the notoriety I suddenly have; starry-eyed strangers are asking for my signature! This means I have the new responsibility of properly representing myself and what I’m all about, because I now have a growing readership that will hold me accountable for my words and actions—an obligation I hold seriously.

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

I say: Go to a writers’ conference! Becoming connected with other “real” writers and agents and editors was instrumental in pushing me to complete the novel to industry standards and meet the practitioners who could get the book into print. I’ve found acquisition editors and agents and publicists to be eager and friendly—they’re honestly just looking for the next new author, and it might be you! But you need to go where they congregate.

Interview with Mark Spivak, author of ‘Iconic Spirits’

Mark Spivak is an award-winning writer specializing in wine, spirits, food, restaurants and culinary travel. He was the wine writer for the Palm Beach Post from 1994-1999, and since 2001 has been the Wine and Spirits Editor for the Palm Beach Media Group, as well as the restaurant critic for Palm Beach Illustrated. His work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Robb Report, Ritz-Carlton, Continental, Art & Antiques, Newsmax, Dream of Italy and Arizona Highways. From 1999-2011 he hosted Uncorked! Radio, a highly successful wine talk show on the Palm Beach affiliate of National Public Radio.

Mark began writing Iconic Spirits after becoming fascinated with the untold stories behind the world’s greatest liquors. As a writer, he’s always searching for the unknown details that make his subjects compelling and unique.His latest book is Iconic Spirits: An Intoxicating History.

Visit Mark’s website at http://www.iconicspirits.net.

Become a fan of Mark Spivak at Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mark.spivak.3

Pick up your copy of Iconic Spirits at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Iconic-Spirits-Intoxicating-Mark-Spivak/dp/0762779268/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1344434224&sr=1-1&keywords=iconic+spirits

Find out how you can win a Kindle Fire HD by clicking here!

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

This is my first book to be handled by a mainstream publisher.

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?

In this case (Iconic Spirits: An Intoxicating History), I had a terrific agent who sold the book in record time. My previous experiences didn’t go quite so smoothly. I think every writer probably wants his or her book to be handled by a mainstream publisher, and that’s the first path we take.

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

I signed the contract in June 2011, and the book will be published in November 2012.

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

It’s a feeling you can’t put into words, even if you’re a writer. I celebrated by sharing a special bottle of wine with my wife.

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

For this book, I’m focusing most of my efforts on publicity that will be effective and not cost too much to generate. I’ll be doing a great deal of radio, and I have three separate blog tours planned (the publisher is doing one, I’m doing a second and paying for a third).

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

I’ve become more self-confident

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

I’ve done a lot of newspaper and magazine work, and the first thing I noticed was that the book editors were on a totally different level in terms of professionalism and competence.

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

The feeling of knowing that you’ve created something that will last—not forever, perhaps, but hopefully long enough to have an impact on a number of people.

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

Don’t give up. You need to be focused, driven and have a high level of belief in your own destiny. You may go through years or even decades or rejection, but it’s more than worth it if you persevere.

Character Interviews: Jesmond from ‘The Miracle Inspector’ by Helen Smith

We’re thrilled to have here today Jesmond from Helen Smith’s new dystopian thriller, The Miracle Inspector. Jesmond is a 50-something poet from London, England.

It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Beyond the Books!

Thank you so for this interview, Jesmond.  Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

I think I was fairly portrayed but there just isn’t enough of me in the book. Other than one scene in an underground poetry venue, and some fragments of letters that are reprinted in the book, you only really get to see me through Lucas and Angela’s eyes. The boy thought I was dangerous to him and his family. He was very disparaging about the lyrics to my famous song, Rise Up, which I co-wrote with his father, Matthew.

Like most of the young people in London, Lucas hadn’t had the benefit of a good education because all the schools had been closed down. Before he married Angela he’d had very little contact with women as they’re kept indoors for their own safety. It meant that he was immature and socially inept. He wasn’t sophisticated enough to understand a man of my generation. Perhaps he felt threatened by my fame, too. Fortunately I think readers will be intelligent enough to read between the lines and get to understand what sort of person I am; they’ll know that I loved Lucas and I loved my country.

Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality?  If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?

In the scene in the poetry club I think you get a good insight into my feelings and how lonely it is to be on the run. I wouldn’t want to have been portrayed differently but I would have liked more scenes in the book so that readers could understand what happened to England when I was a younger man.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

My passion. I’m very good at inspiring people.

Worse trait?

I have lived a long time and that makes me cynical. The kids I meet seem so young. So few people survive past their thirties in London and it makes me feel old, even though I’m only in my fifties.

If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)?

I’d love to be played by Anthony Hopkins. He has the voice for it. I’d love to hear him read my poetry.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

Yes. I had been planning to leave England for Australia with my great love. We had kept in touch by letter – it was too dangerous to correspond by email, even before Internet communication was banned in our country. Air travel was impossible but I had tickets booked on the last ship from England to Australia. I was desperate for her to join me.

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?

As soon as Lucas went to visit Maureen and took his wife Angela with him, I knew he was in danger. Lucas had a good job and a Ministry car and a pass, but women aren’t allowed to visit other people unless they’re relatives, so of course he was taking a risk – especially as Maureen had reported a miracle. But, you know, I thought it might end badly from the first page of the book. Didn’t you?

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?

I wouldn’t be Lucas. The boy had hardly lived and yet it was likely he’d get hauled off by the authorities sooner or later, and thrown into prison. It happens to just about every man eventually. It’s heart-breaking. I loved the boy, though he couldn’t accept it.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?

Ah, it’s interesting. It’s a fairly ambiguous ending. Some people think it ends well and some people think it ends badly for everyone. I think you have to make up your own mind about it. I won’t spoil it and tell you what I think.

What words of wisdom would you give your author if she decided to write another book with you in it?

It would be interesting to write the prequel to this book, telling the story of Lucas’s father Matthew, his mother Anna and me. It would explain how England came to be partitioned and the part we played in the revolution. I’d be happy to give my permission for my poetry to be reprinted in the book. Helen, why don’t you write the book, or talk to me and let me write it?

Thank you for this interview, Jesmond.  Will we be seeing more of you in the future?

Alas, no. I doubt it. But my memory will live on in my poetry, I hope. Thank you for the questions. It has been a pleasure to answer them.

Helen Smith is a member of the Writers Guild of Great Britain and English PEN. She traveled the world when her daughter was small, doing all sorts of strange jobs to support them both – from cleaning motels to working as a magician’s assistant – before returning to live in London where she wrote her first novel which was published by Gollancz (part of the Hachette Group). She is the author of bestselling cult novel Alison Wonderland. She writes novels, poetry, plays and screenplays and is the recipient of an Arts Council of England Award. She’s a long-term supporter of the Medical Foundation for the Victims of Torture and mentors members of an exiled writers group to help them tell their stories.

Her latest book is the dystopian thriller The Miracle Inspector.

Visit her website at http://www.emperorsclothes.co.uk.

Friend her on Twitter:  www.twitter.com/ emperorsclothes

Become a fan at Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/authorhelensmith

Friend her at Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2833648.Helen_Smith

Pick up a copy of The Miracle Inspector at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Miracle-Inspector-Helen-Smith/dp/0956517056

The Miracle Inspector is a dystopian thriller set in the near future. England has been partitioned and London is an oppressive place where poetry has been forced underground, theatres and schools are shut, and women are not allowed to work outside the home. A young couple, Lucas and Angela, try to escape from London – with disastrous consequences.

“…this is an absolutely exceptional piece of fiction, a work of art befitting the best in socially-conscious literature.”

– Journal of Always Reviews “.

“..Only occasionally does a piece of fiction leap out and demand immediate cult status. Alison Wonderland is one.”

– The Times

“…Smith is gin-and-tonic funny.”

– Booklist

“Smith has a keen eye for material details, but her prose is lucid and uncluttered by heavy description. Imagine a satire on Cool Britannia made by the Coen Brothers.”

– Times Literary Supplement

 

Interview with Dystopian Thriller Author Helen Smith

Helen Smith is a member of the Writers Guild of Great Britain and English PEN. She traveled the world when her daughter was small, doing all sorts of strange jobs to support them both – from cleaning motels to working as a magician’s assistant – before returning to live in London where she wrote her first novel which was published by Gollancz (part of the Hachette Group).

She is the author of bestselling cult novel Alison Wonderland. She writes novels, poetry, plays and screenplays and is the recipient of an Arts Council of England Award. She’s a long-term supporter of the Medical Foundation for the Victims of Torture and mentors members of an exiled writers group to help them tell their stories.

Her latest book is the dystopian thriller The Miracle Inspector.

Visit her website at http://www.emperorsclothes.co.uk.

Friend her on Twitter:  www.twitter.com/ emperorsclothes

Become a fan at Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/authorhelensmith

Friend her at Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2833648.Helen_Smith

Pick up a copy of The Miracle Inspector at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Miracle-Inspector-Helen-Smith/dp/0956517056

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

Hello, thank you for inviting me here. I’m multi-published: I have had seven books published, including this one.

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?

I was traditionally published by a mainstream publisher in the UK (Gollancz, part of the Hachette Group.) I chose that route because it was one of the few options available at the time, and the best of those options.

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

It was about a year, which is standard in mainstream publishing.

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

I was really excited to be published. When my agent called me to tell me she had sold my book, she said, ‘Do you have any champagne at home?’ I did, as it happened – two bottles of very good champagne. So I celebrated by drinking that. I can’t remember exactly what I did on publication day but I think I must have gone out for dinner with friends and family.

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

I didn’t do anything. My publisher sent my books out to the newspaper critics and that was about it. I was very lucky as I had some excellent reviews in the national press.

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

I think you get better at the craft of writing the more you write, and I feel that each novel I have written has been better than the last. I’m not sure that it gets any easier, though.

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

Ereaders are amazing. It seems extraordinary to hold a whole library in your land – like something out of a Borges short story. I didn’t think I would enjoy switching from print books to an ereader but my eyesight is failing and I need reading glasses, so I love being able to read a book without wearing them. What is surprising about the publishing industry is that it is changing and adapting, but that books are still at the heart of everything: people are buying books and reading them, and that’s what’s important.

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

I have always loved reading. It’s wonderful to know that I’m now one of the people who writes the books that people read.

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

Keep going. You’ll get there.

 

 

 

 

Top 5 Ways to Kill by Author Duane Harden

Duane Harden just doesn’t teach you theory but rather you learn through his very own life hands-on experiences that come along with building a strong portfolio of successful businesses, including residential and commercial real estate, a restaurant, a music company, and many more. He began with no financial education, but he was determined and inspired. Today he leads a Cash Flow Club where he mentors entrepreneurs on how to start and grow their business so they, too, can become financially free.

His latest book is 5 Easy Steps to Financial Freedom: Do What You Love & Get Rich Doing It.

Visit Duane Harden’s website at http://www.duaneharden.com/.

To enter $10,000 Prize Giveaway:https://www.facebook.com/5EasyStepsToFinancialFreedom/app_208195102528120

To get your paperback copy of  5 EASY STEPS TO FINANCIAL FREEDOM by Duane Harden at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Easy-Steps-Financial-Freedom-Doing/dp/0984822704/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1335047035&sr=8-1?books0df4-20

To get your ebook copy of 5 EASY STEPS TO FINANCIAL FREEDOM by Duane Harden for your Kindle:

To purchase a copy of 5 EASY STEPS TO FINANCIAL FREEDOM by Duane Harden at Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/5-easy-steps-to-financial-freedom-duane-harden/1110871992?ean=9780984822706

Pick up your copy of 5 EASY STEPS TO FINANCIAL FREEDOM by Duane Harden on iTunes:http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/5-easy-steps-to-financial/id519796307?mt=11

Like Duane Harden on Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/5EasyStepsToFinancialFreedom

Follow Duane Harden on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/CEOeBooks

Top 5 Ways To Kill!

You and your friends have become experts at committing murder

Ideas take on a life of their own and you’ve come up with some really great ones especially on how to make money and get out of debt.  However, you and your accomplices are so use to committing murder you don’t realize when you’re doing it.  As soon as an idea starts to take shape in your mind like an embryo in it’s mother’s womb, you use your ninja style tactics to kill it rather than putting your talents to better use.

Here are the top 5 ways you’ve been trained as a “lethal weapon”:

#5 – Other peoples failures.  When I was opening my restaurant, I asked a fellow restaurateur who had just filed bankruptcy if I could take her out to lunch to discuss her experience.  She replied “of course” as long as I was willing to pay her a consultant fee.  Obviously, she thought I considered her an expert at opening and running a restaurant so much so that I would pay her for her advice.  I was only interested in learning what not to do.  Needless to say, that lunch date never happened as her response totally let me know why she was out of business.   I then thought about other people in my network who were restaurant owners.  When I asked them about their experience the biggest piece of advice they could give me was “don’t go into the restaurant business”.  Just because they were not successful in running their business doesn’t mean that I would suffer the same fate.  If I had listened to them I would have never opened.  Take advice from mentors who have been successful in the business you want to open as well as listen to mentors who have failed miserably so you can learn from their mistakes.

#4 – Co-workers.  You’re co-workers are probably just as miserable at their job as you are.  They don’t see a way out and how dare you think you can come up with the answer to creating a better life.  So remember this when you’re sharing your idea with them around the office water cooler.  Don’t let your enthusiasm wither way with their negative comments after you’ve shared with them how you’re going to escape from Alcatraz.  Their reactions are coming from the fact that you’re getting out and leaving them behind. Let their bad advice go in one ear and out the other.

#3 – Friends.  Who needs enemies when you have friends like these?  Seriously, the friends who don’t support you in your ideas are still your friends.  It’s just that they love you so much they don’t want to see you get hurt.  Let them know that you really do appreciate their concern and just want a listening ear.  They don’t have to understand what it is you want to do. Just be there for you. When I first started in real estate investing, I had some friends who were skeptical when I would say I was buying a house with 100% financing.  They just didn’t understand the concept.  I then realized that I had friends who were great for hanging out with and partying and another set of friends whom I could have intellectual conversations with or discuss business ideas.  They were all great friends I just had to figure out which bucket they fit into and tailor my conversations accordingly.

#2 – Family – I lead a Rich Dad, Poor Dad Cash Flow Club in Manhattan.  I often hear members say that their family doesn’t support them in their ideas.  That’s because they’ve seen you try so many before and failed.  It’s not that they don’t support you but rather react like your friends do.  They love you so much they don’t want to see you hurt again.  Just remember when responding to their reactions that most successful people are successful because they’ve gotten pretty good at failing.

#1 – You – You are your #1 Killer of ideas.  You allow your negative thoughts as well as those of others persuade you that your idea just won’t work.  You quit before you can ever get started. The moment you realize that all things are possible you’ll stop committing murder and letting your ideas come alive.

In my book “5 Easy Steps To Financial Freedom: Do What You Love & Get Rich Doing It” I teach you how to identify your idea killers by taking you through my “crabs in a pot” exercise.  I also show you ways to turn every negative into a positive so instead of being stopped you are propelled to pursue your dreams.  Stop killing ideas as you’ve been doing it long enough.  It’s time to learn to live.

Character Interview: Amelia Ryan from Greg Messel’s new mystery romance novel ‘Last of the Seals’

We’re thrilled to have here today Amelia Ryan from Greg Messel’s new mystery/romance novel, Last of the Seals. Amelia is a 25-year-old TWA stewardess from San Fransisco, California. It is a pleasure to have her with us today at Beyond the Books!

Thank you so much for this interview, Amelia.  Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

I do like the story in “Last of the Seals.” It’s a fair depiction of how I met the love of my life, Sam Slater. I like how the book also touches on my long time passion for adventure and flying. In 1958, being a TWA stewardess was one of the only ways for a woman to have a glamorous job where she could see the world.  I had to put up with some grabby guys and older businessmen on my flights flirting with me, but the benefits far outweighed the challenges.

Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality?  If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?

I think he accurately portrays my personality. He knows that I love flying and Elvis and Sam–not necessarily in that order.  I didn’t realize how much I talk about Elvis and his music. I guess I do. It’s a little embarrassing to see that in the book.  One thing that makes me uncomfortable in the book is all of the detail about the things I do with Sam. I mean, we aren’t lovers yet but we are pretty passionate with one another. I am doing things with Sam that I’ve never done with any other guy. I have a key to Sam’s apartment and I like to come to his place on Saturday mornings. I crawl in bed with him…I’m fully clothed of course…and kiss him good morning and it gets pretty intense. It’s a nice way to start the day. Then I make him a nice breakfast. But what if my mother reads this book? She has no idea about all the things I do with Sam. My mother is still under the impression that I’m a good Catholic girl.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

Hmm, I think loyalty. Despite all of the passengers, pilots and other guys who hit on me when I’m traveling as a stewardess, I’m always true to Sam. He’s the only guy I want.  The pilots call me the “ice queen” behind my back. They say that they can’t get to first base with me. I told Sam about what they say. He was glad to hear that I have that reputation.

Worse trait?

Sometimes I can be awfully bossy and cranky with Sam when I get back from my long week of flying across the country. Sam says it’s because I’m tired but he’s being nice. I think I’m too hard on Sam sometimes and he’s always so good to me.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

Oh, yes. I met Sam Slater in the fall of 1957. I had just got home from a flight to Chicago and was wearing my stewardess uniform which always seems to attract attention. Two disgusting drunk guys started roughing me up and wanting me to kiss them. Sam came out of nowhere and rescued me. We’ve been together ever since.

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?

There were gangsters after us who threatened to kill me and Sam. I became very worried when we were hiding out in a motel room out of town, hoping the mobsters wouldn’t find us.

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?

I don’t think I would want to be anyone else. I love being Sam’s girlfriend, living in San Francisco and being a stewardess.  Some of the other people in this book have some serious problems.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?

I’m very happy with how the first book ends. Sam and I have fallen deeply in love but there is more trouble for us ahead in the next book. Sam kept me safe from harm in “Last of the Seals” but it wasn’t easy.

What words of wisdom would you give your author if he decided to write another book with you in it?

He is writing another book about me and Sam. There are more adventures ahead of us including a creepy kidnapper who becomes obsessed with me. Sam and I are now secretly engaged. My family knows. They love Sam and my mother, who was afraid I was going to be an old maid, is happy that I’m getting married. However, I have to keep my engagement and pending marriage a secret from TWA. They will force me to resign if I become engaged or married. I’m torn. I love my job and I love flying but I love Sam. I guess I love flying because…well, I guess you know  I was named after Amelia Earhart.  When I have to choose I will choose Sam of course.  I hope the author keeps Sam safe from harm. I worry about him so much when I’m out of town on flights, leaving Sam alone in San Francisco.

Thank you for this interview, Amelia.  Will we be seeing more of you in the future?

Oh yes. There are several books planned about my life with Sam.  I hope I’m ready for the things that are ahead of us. I do love a good mystery and I love helping Sam on his cases.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

The year is 1957 in San Francisco. Sam Slater is a lifetime minor league baseball player for the San Francisco Seals. The Seals have just one more season left as San Francisco is about to become a major league city. The Giants are coming to town in 1958 and the Seals will be displaced. Sam has come to the end of his baseball career and is going to join the private detective agency of his best friend. When his friend is brutally murdered, Sam must go it alone and try to find out why. Along the way he is swept off of his feet by a beautiful Elvis-obsessed TWA stewardess named Amelia Ryan. Sam and Amelia try to unravel the mystery together. Sam’s best friend, Jimmy inadvertently saw something he shouldn’t have. Sam and Amelia have pictures in their possession that have crime families in San Francisco and Chicago very worried. Then a young woman Sam has been searching for is found dead on the beach. Suddenly, Sam and Amelia find themselves in danger. On dark and foggy San Francisco nights, trouble is lurking just around the next corner.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Greg Messel has written four novels and three unpublished memoirs. He published his premiere novel “Sunbreaks” in 2009, followed by “Expiation” in 2010 and “The Illusion of Certainty” in 2011. “Last of the Seals” is the first in a series of mysteries which are set in 1957 San Francisco. The second book in the series “Deadly Plunge’ will be published around Christmas of 2012. Greg grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and has had a newspaper career as a columnist, sportswriter and news editor. He won a Wyoming Press Association Award as a columnist while working for a daily newspaper in Wyoming. Greg also spent many years in the corporate world as a Financial Manager. He now devotes his energies to writing at his home in Edmonds, Washington on the Puget Sound just north of Seattle, where he lives with his wife, Carol.

Character Interview: Rachel Lyons from ‘Severed Threads’ by Kaylin McFarren

We’re thrilled to have here today Rachel Lyons from Kaylin McFarren’s new romantic suspense novel, Severed Threads. Rachel is consultant for the Warren Nash Foundation from San Palo, California. It is a pleasure to have her with us today at Beyond the Books!

Thank you so for this interview, Rachel. Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

For some readers, I might seem crass, bitter and unstable, but I assure you I’m a much happier, stable and self-assured person than I used to be.

Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality?  If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?

For the most part, I would have to say yes. Although I’m not as foolish and cold-hearted as I might have come across.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

My ability to stay focused on a difficult task as well as my willingness to do anything to protect a member of my family.

Worse trait?

I guess I would have to say trust issues, which I honestly believe are justified, and how hard it is sometimes to open my heart and give love away freely.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

Yes. Chase Cohen an ex-lover who abandoned me when I needed him most and returned to San Palo four years later for personal reasons.

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?

When all of Chase’s secrets were revealed, I wasn’t sure how I would react. But I don’t want to give too much away.

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?

Most definitely Selena Pollero. As readers will find out, she has her own hidden agenda.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?

I’m actually rather pleased with how all the loose ends come together, although some readers might disagree.

What words of wisdom would you give your author if she decided to write another book with you in it?

I would love to go to exotic fun places, but make sure I’m protected against villains this time.

Thank you for this interview, Rachel.  Will we be seeing more of you in the future?

Definitely. In fact, I’ll be a major character in two forth-coming books!! J

About the Book:

Believing herself responsible for her father’s fatal diving accident, Rachel Lyons has withdrawn from the world and assumed a safe position at a foundation office. When called upon by a museum director to assist her former love interest with the recovery of a cursed relic from a sunken Chinese merchant ship, she has no intention of cooperating – until her brother is kidnapped by a drug-dealing gangster. In order to save him and gain control over her own life, Rachel must not only overcome her greatest fears, but also relive the circumstances that lead to her father’s death.

About the Author:

As many people know, Kaylin McFarren wasn’t born with a pen in hand like so many of her talented fellow authors. However, she has been involved with business and personal writing projects for many years. Her careers have taken her in all directions, ranging from fashion modeling and interior design to office manager and art gallery director. Yet her love of reading and interest in creative writing has remained ever present. As a result of her tapping into her imagination and utilizing her own life experiences, she has earned more than a dozen literary awards. Her first novel, Flaherty’s Crossing was a 2008 finalist in the prestigious RWA® Golden Heart contest and her second book, Severed Threads, has already garnered two first place awards.

Kaylin is a member of RWA, Rose City Romance Writers, and Willamette Writers. She received her AA in Literature at Highline Community College, which originally sparked her passion for writing. In her free time, she also enjoys giving back to the community through participation and support of various educational organizations in the Pacific Northwest, and is currently the president of the Soulful Giving Foundation – a non-profit she and her husband formed to fund expanded research, and the care and treatment of cancer patients and their families.

Her latest book is a romantic suspense titled Severed Threads.

You can visit Kaylin online at www.KaylinMcFarren.com.

Twitter: www.twitter.com/4kaylin

Facebook: www.facebook.com/kaylin.mcfarren

Blog: http://kaylinmcfarren.wordpress.com/

Interview with Victoria Pendragon, author of ‘Sleep Magic: Surrendering to Success’

Victoria PendragonABOUT VICTORIA PENDRAGON

Victoria Pendragon was born and raised in the vicinity of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is the oldest of eleven. Her life has been defined, as are most of ours perhaps, by conditions that would seem to have been beyond her control. Eighteen years of various sorts of abuse and two diseases that should have killed her rank among the most outstanding of those.

Her study of metaphysics began in early childhood as an attempt to validate the lessons she’d been learning from the earth and the trees whenever she left her body. She has been working as a professional in the field of spirituality since 1995, has read tarot since 1964 and created in 2007, Sacred Earth Seven Element Tarot, a tarot deck designed to bring the world community together.

Victoria began training in art when still a child, eventually acquiring a BFA from The Philadelphia College of Art. Her work hangs in numerous corporate and personal collections, among them The Children’s Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Moss Rehab and Bryn Mawr Hospital Rehab.

She has two children by her first marriage, a son and a daughter, both of whom amaze her. She is currently married to her third husband, a man whose kind soul has created for her an atmosphere of clarity and creativity in which she dances, writes, creates art and helps when asked.

Her latest book is Sleep Magic: Surrendering to Success.

The author may be contacted through her website: http://site.heavenisinyourheart.com.

Blog: http://blog.heavenisinyourheart.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/victoria.pendragon

Sleep MagicABOUT SLEEP MAGIC: SURRENDERING TO SUCCESS

This is a spiritual book that enables you to use your dreams to reprogram your brain to experience healing and to manifest your true self.

New Thought minister Victoria Pendragon developed this program after being diagnosed with progressive systemic sclerosis – a painful, debilitating, disfiguring, and fatal disease. In the course of her illness, she developed her “SleepWork” program that contributed to her healing and almost recovery from sclerosis.

Welcome to Beyond the Books, Victoria!  I’m so excited for you to be here.  Sleep is my favorite thing to do!  I’d like to have your opinion on just why do we need sleep in the first place?

Victoria:  Thank you for having me.

Sleep is still a kind of a mystery to science, although it’s been well documented by now that it’s critical to health – both mental and physical. If you study the ancient Asian tradition of energetic medicine – the one on which acupuncture is based – you’ll see that certain functions of the organs of the body take place only at night.

Can you tell us the story behind the writing of your book?  How did you come up with the idea?

Victoria:  (laughing) Well, I came up with the idea of the book because a book was the only way to share this technique with the world. Doing it one on one, as I had been, would have been impossible.

As for how I came up with the idea…”I” didn’t; my body did and it did it while I was sleeping, at a time when my body was dying from an incurable disease called progressive systemic sclerosis. My recovery from that disease mystified the physicians…and everyone else…except me. Something – and I couldn’t put my finger on it – had been happening while I was sleeping…something that made me feel that I was alive. (laughing again) I was alive, of course, but feeling alive when people are telling you that you are dying is actually unusual because prior to that time, for about a year, I had simply felt that I was dying…a very different feeling, I can tell you.

About 15 years passed before what had been going on inside me at that time came to my consciousness in a way that was understandable enough to begin to codify it.

Does everyone dream?

Victoria:  It is said that they do. Scientists have done enough research by now that seems to indicate that even though certain people do not remember that they dream, they actually do,

Sleep Magic, by the way, has nothing to do with remembering dreams.

What can your book teach us?

 What Sleep Magic does is allow you to change your relationship to life…and that really matters a lot. If life seems like a constant struggle, that’s not very rewarding. If you are constantly having one bad relationship after another or can’t seem to find a job you enjoy, then your relationship with life itself is compromised.

But there’s a reason for all those things and that reason is locked in what I call the cellular intelligence of the body. Your body – not you mind! – remembers everything that you have ever seen, heard, touched, felt or tasted. Everything! So there is, in the cells of your body, memory of everything that has ever gone on in your life – even when you were in utero! And a lot of those things – of which you are totally unconscious – are things that have given you information about how the world is.

For instance, perhaps, when you were 2 years old, your parents went bankrupt. You were around, they discussed their problems when you were there, thinking nothing of it; you were “too young to understand.” But your little body could feel the sense of dread and fear and shame and all of that and it felt all those things when money and survival were being discussed…more importantly, your body remembered all of that and so you, as an adult, carry in the very cells of your body – and your brain which affects the thoughts you think! – information that life is a dangerous business…you might lose everything and that affects your relationship to life, affects the kinds of events that happen to you because you – we all – attract to us whatever we are, in sense, made of.

In this case, you’d be made up, at least partially, of fear and anxiety around money.

Sleep Magic can help the body let go of those feelings, even if you don’t “know” that they’re there.

You are a “new thought minister.”  What exactly is that?

Victoria: I was ordained, in 2000 as an InterFaith Minister but my practice has always been more as an Inner Faith Minister. I don’t believe that anyone needs “a religion” to be in touch with the spark of the Divine that they carry. I consider myself a spiritual eclectic and I honor everyone’s right to his or her own concept of Divinity.

Were you the kind of child that was inquisitive?

Victoria:  I still am.

What kind of a background do you have?  Where are you from and where did you grow up?

Victoria:  I come from exceptional people, I’ll say that. My mother’s father was an entrepreneur who owned the first chain of movie theaters in the US. He was also a hideous person in his personal life. My father’s mother was an entrepreneur as well – as was her mother before her. She, my grandmother, built the first middle-class subdivision just outside of Havana, Cuba. My paternal grandfather was a physician. Both my parents were pathologists, my mother was world famous as an expert in Sudden Infant Death syndrome. So I came from money, and a sense of entitlement and got sent to really good schools and all the while was enduring some fairly awful sexual and emotional abuse. It made for a challenging life.

If you could wish for one thing, what would that be?

Victoria: That every person in the world would be able to embrace their own essential goodness.

Thank you for this interview, Victoria.  Do you have anything else you’d like to add?

Victoria: Thank you for the interview! It was exceptional. Great questions!

 

 

Interview with Laura Carroll, author of ‘The Baby Matrix’

Laura Carroll is the author of The Baby Matrix: Why Freeing Our Minds From Outmoded Thinking About Parenthood & Reproduction will Create a Better World, Families of Two: Interviews With Happily Married Couples Without Children by Choice, and Finding Fulfillment From the Inside Out.

In addition to writing nonfiction books, she has worked over the last 15 years as a business and litigation psychology consultant and used her expertise in behavioral sciences, psychology, and communications to advise business, legal, and nonprofit professionals on their communications strategies and goals.

Laura is a seasoned leader of personal and professional development seminars, and has appeared on a variety of television shows, including Good Morning America and The Early Show. She has been a guest on many radio talk shows to discuss social science topics.

You’ll also find her online at her nonfiction book site, LiveTrue Books, and her top blog, La Vie Childfree.

To get your copy of The Baby Matrix by Laura Carroll at Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Baby-Matrix-Parenthood-Reproduction/dp/0615642993/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1339007434&sr=8-2

Pick up your ebook copy at Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-baby-matrix-laura-carroll/1110625478

To get your e-copy of The Baby Matrix by Laura Carroll for your Kindle:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Baby-Matrix-Reproduction-ebook/dp/B0081HSF3S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339007434&sr=8-1

To learn more about Laura, go to her website: http://lauracarroll.com/

Visit Laura Carroll on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/LauraCarroll88

Like Laura Carroll on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheBabyMatrix

Find out all about The Baby Matrix at Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13641241-the-baby-matrix

Laura Carroll is giving away a free Kindle Fire!  Click here to enter!

____________________________________

About the Book:

In the movie The Matrix, the character Morpheus offers two pills to Neo—if he takes the blue pill, he will go on with life as he has before, believing what he has always believed. If he takes the red pill, he will find out what the “matrix” really is, and many of his earlier beliefs will be shattered. When it comes to taking a hard look at a specific set of beliefs about parenthood and reproduction that has driven our society for generations, The Baby Matrix is the red pill.

What is this set of beliefs? Pronatalism. At its core, it’s the belief that having children should be the central focus of every adult’s life. In this book, author Laura Carroll shows us how pronatalist beliefs have become so embedded that they have come to be seen as “true” and takes a critical look at their pervasiveness in our society.

Carroll examines the historical origins of pronatalism, the reasons why it has such a deep hold on societies even though most people remain unaware of it, and whether it makes sense – for individuals or for the world as a whole. She examines the ways in which pronatalism is perpetuated, scrutinizes seven major pronatalist assumptions that lead people to accept them without question, and offers alternative mindsets that reflect realities, true reproductive freedom and responsibility in today’s society. Whether you are already a parent, want to be a parent, or don’t want children, you will never think about parenthood in the same way.

Investigating what few have had the courage to discuss, The Baby Matrix examines the negative effects of pronatalist beliefs, including how they dictate the “normal path” to adulthood, put unwarranted pressure on people to have biological children, and fail to foster a society in which those who are best suited to become parents are the ones who have children.

Carroll also brings to light the impact that pronatalism has had on the world at large and will continue to have if its ubiquitous influence is not challenged. Citing compelling statistics, she shows how our belief that we can have as many children as we want is a serious threat in a world with finite resources. In the process, she brings into focus how every life brought into the world directly affects our survival.

This manifesto makes the case for why it’s time for all of us to understand why we can no longer afford to leave pronatalist assumptions unquestioned. Without compromise, The Baby Matrix is a reality check for us all. Are we willing to hold on to beliefs that aren’t necessarily true … even to our detriment? This book will make you examine your own intentions and beliefs, will rile you, and might just change your mind.

The Baby Matrix is a must-read for anyone interested in psychology, sociology, anthropology, parenting issues, environmentalism, and social justice. Those who revere the truth, want the best for themselves, their families and our world, and decide to take “the red pill” and read this book will find the truths that need to be told about pronatalism, and why it’s time to shift our thinking for the betterment of all.

____________________________________

Interview WITH LAURA CARROLL

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

In addition to my latest book, The Baby Matrix: Why Freeing Our Minds From Outmoded Thinking About Parenthood & Reproduction Will Create a Better World, I am also the author of Families of Two: Interviews With Happily Married Couples Without Children by Choice and Finding Fulfillment From the Inside Out.

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?

Finding Fulfillment From the Inside Out was initially picked up by a medium size house in California, but they ended up delaying the publication date. I ultimately decided to self-publish to get the work out there.

Families of Two was picked up by a pioneer in the digital publishing industry owned by Random House at the time. I went this route because like them, I believed digital publishing was the future.

Both books ended up coming out about the same time.

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

All three books took me about a year to write. Families of Two and The Baby Matrix were out shortly after, but Finding Fulfillment took a bit longer, as I had to decide whether to wait for the house to determine the pub date or to self-publish.

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

I felt like I had finally realized my calling in life. Celebrations have included everything from champagne to weekend splurges at a great hotel and spa!

Q: What was the first thing you did to promote your first book?

With Finding Fulfillment, I sought out print media, schools, and career counselors to tell them about the book. The word got out there, and it ended up being used in college Life Planning courses for awhile.

With Families of Two I hired my own publicist, who ended up being awesome and got me lots of syndicated radio and network TV media, including The Early Show and Good Morning America. I was also interviewed for articles in newspapers and magazines.

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

I would have to say I am much better now at trying to separate the creative writing time with the editing time, and not attempting to do both together. Trying to do both kills the creative flow. I also realize that half, if not more of what it takes to be a professional writer is being skilled at book promotion. On one hand, writing is so often an introverted endeavor. But to sell the book, one needs to be able to really put on an extraverted hat.

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

I have been surprised how long it took traditional publishing houses to go digital. The business model just makes more sense from a profit perspective, and allows them to take on more new authors with far less risk.

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

The most rewarding thing is know I have helped people live their best lives. Receiving emails from readers telling me how my work has made a difference in their lives means the world to me.

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

Pursue the questions that you are passionate about, and follow what you are called to create.  In today’s publishing climate, don’t be afraid to get your own editorial, interior and cover art help and self-publish. There are so many talented people in all of these roles outside traditional houses today. Find experts to help you promote your work in all realms of media, and stay on a learning curve of the ever changing art of digital media. But most of all, enjoy all phases of bringing what you want to say into the world.

%d bloggers like this: