Beyond the Books

Home » Posts tagged 'book promotion'

Tag Archives: book promotion

Advertisements

Character Interview: Gabriel Diaz from Mayra Calvani’s supernatural thriller, Dark Lullaby

character interview

Dark  Lullaby 7We’re thrilled to have here today Gabriel Diaz from Mayra Calvani’s supernatural thriller, Dark Lullaby. Gabriel is a 26-year old astrophysicist living in Baltimore, MD.

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

—————————————

Thank you so for this interview, Gabriel.  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?

Mayra did a pretty good job, but just for the record, I think she could have made me a little less sensitive and a little more alpha. Women say they want a sensitive guy, but when we act sensitive, then they say we’re weak.

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

I’m happy with the way she described me physically—slender like a cheetah, with the hair of a rock star (hey, her words, not mine! I’m a pretty humble kind of guy). She also made a big deal about me “having angel.” In Latin countries, having angel means irradiating kindness, generosity. I guess that’s true, which is why I had such a hard time trying to do the right thing in the story. It was quite a dilemma, having to choose between murder and the higher good.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

Compassion, empathy.

Worse trait?

I can be quite temperamental. All the hot Spanish blood in my veins, I guess. I’ve also been told I’m argumentative. This I don’t deny. I love a good debate!

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!)?

A young Andy Garcia.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

More like a lust interest. I wish I had known then what Kamilah was doing to me, my mind, my body, my soul.

Let me give you one piece of advice: never go home with a beautiful girl you’ve just met at a Turkish tavern…you might end up regretting it. Big time.

My ex-girlfriend tried to warn me, several times, but I wouldn’t listen.

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

As soon as we left the US and headed to Rize, Turkey, on the Black Sea. I wasn’t in my territory anymore. But Kamilah was in hers. It’s as if she gained power. Once there, bizarre things began to happen and my health started deteriorating, not only physically but mentally as well. I fell into a kind of psychosis. At one point, I didn’t know any more if what was happening was real or the product of a disturbed mind.

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?

That would be Haydar, the nice translator who tried to help me in the village. He ended up dying from thousands of bee stings.

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

I’m sorry, I can’t talk about it. I just can’t. I still get chills about it. Nightmares haunt my nights.

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

How about a little less darkness, huh?

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

I think so! But probably I’ll be in a different story and with a different name. Or at least, that’s what I’m hoping for. I don’t want to live again the hell I lived in Dark Lullaby.

about the author

Mayra Calvani 7Mayra Calvani writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults and has authored over a dozen books, some of which have won awards. Her stories, reviews, interviews and articles have appeared on numerous publications like The Writer, Writer’s Journal, Multicultural Review, Bloomsbury Review, and others.

She lives in Belgium with her husband of 25+ years, two wonderful kids, and her two beloved pets. When she’s not writing, editing, reading or reviewing, she enjoys walking with her dog, traveling, and spending time with her family. She’s represented by Serendipity Literary.

Visit her website at www.MayraCalvani.com.

Connect & Socialize with Mayra!

TWITTER | FACEBOOK

about the book

At a tavern one Friday night, astrophysicist Gabriel Diaz meets a mysterious young woman. Captivated by her beauty as well as her views on good and evil, he spends the next several days with her. After a while, however, he begins to notice a strangeness in her…especially the way she seems to take pleasure in toying with his conscience.

The young woman, Kamilah, invites him to Rize, Turkey, where she claims her family owns a cottage in the woods. In spite of his heavy workload and the disturbing visions and nightmares about his sister’s baby that is due to be born soon, Gabriel agrees to go with her.

But nothing, not even the stunning beauty of the Black Sea, can disguise the horror of her nature…

In a place where death dwells and illusion and reality seem as one, Gabriel must now come to terms with his own demons in order to save his sister’s unborn child, and ultimately, his own soul.

Purchase your copy at AMAZON

 

 

Advertisements

Blog Tour: Interview with Selwyn Mills, author of ‘Confessions of a Color-Blind House Painter

Confessions of a Color-Blind House Painter

Today’s guest interview is with  Selwyn Mills, author of the autobiography, Confessions of a Color-Blind House Painter (CreateSpace).

About Selwyn Mills

Selwyn Mills 2Selwyn Mills served an apprenticeship in decorative painting before starting his own business in 1956, which lasted until his retirement in 1992. He worked as a craftsman painter, wrote for the National Paint Journal, served as President of the National Painting Contractor Association in Nassau County, New York, and taught faux painting. While painting professionally, Mills earned his doctorate in psychology and operated a successful private psychotherapy practice.

Dr. Mills practiced psychotherapy in Great Neck N.Y. for twenty-five year, specializing in couples therapy, family reconciliation and Men in Transition groups. His psychotherapy practice overlapped his forty year career as a decorative painting contractor. He painted in the mornings and counseled patients in the afternoon and evenings. His research into the left/right brain phenomenon, and its impact of personality development, led to a unique discovery of why opposites attract. Active in live theater, he wrote and produced a musical comedy called, “Love Torment and Lollipops”. An accomplished photographer, his black and white prints are part of the permanent collection of the Bibliotech Nationale in Paris, France. He currently works at the Sugden Theater in Naples, Florida as director of faux painting. Mills married in 1949 at the age of 19 and has four children and four grandchildren.

His latest book is the autobiography, Confessions of a Color-Blind House Painter.

You can visit his website at www.selwynmills.com.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon| Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble l Official Tour Page

About Confessions of a Color-Blind House Painter

Confessions of a Color-Blind House Painter“Confessions of a Color-Blind House Painter” (ISBN 1466342013), a collection of autobiographical writings by Selwyn Mills, offers an account of the author’s life as well as his ruminations on painting, psychotherapy, friendship, romantic love, poetry, prison, philosophy, relationships and cats, among other topics.

Mills split his professional life between two concurrent careers – he worked as a decorative painter in the mornings and led psychotherapy sessions in the afternoon. Although these types of work might appear quite different, Mills describes how each profession deals with depression and renewal. He offers an eclectic collection of musings on various topics, each one weaving personal narrative with opinion and insight. “Confessions of a Color-Blind House Painter” reveals a portrait of a life made up of equal portions of intellectual, creative and emotional elements.

The Interview

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

Multi-published

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?

Mainstream, then self-published

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

The mainstream route was long and unsatisfying could never talk to anyone about the work. (30 years ago) then I started my own small self- publishing

Company and successfully published a psychological book which took off and still selling

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

I held a big signing party.

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

Sent our mass mailings, canvass local bookshops, held workshops for social workers and councilors.

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

I have more confidence in myself…have taken writing courses; I am more critical of my work.

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

How it has lost readership to other media and that the many the mainstream press is no longer the main source of good writers.

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

How much control I have over my work and how my ability has grown.

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

Observe more of the real world, people and atmosphere and express the fine detail that brings the reader into your world.

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 Cheryl C. Malandrinos: ‘Set goals and work hard to achieve them.’

Cheryl Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. A regular contributor for Writer2Writer, her articles focus on increasing productivity through time management and organization. A founding member of Musing Our Children, Ms. Malandrinos is also Editor in Chief of the group’s quarterly newsletter, Pages & Pens.     

Cheryl is a Tour Coordinator for Pump Up Your Book, a book reviewer, and blogger. Little Shepherd is her first children’s book. Ms. Malandrinos lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two young daughters. She also has a son who is married. 

You can visit Cheryl online at http://ccmalandrinos.com or the Little Shepherd blog at http://littleshepherdchildrensbook.blogspot.com/

 

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

Thanks for hosting me today. Little Shepherd is my first published book, though I have had several time management articles published as a regular contributor for Writer2Writer.

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

The first completed manuscript I wrote was titled, The Sisterhood. It tells the story of three sisters who grew up as rivals, but who are forced to pull together when the youngest sister is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. I co-wrote it with my sister. We’re hoping to make time to edit it and see it published 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?

Little Shepherd was accepted by the first publishing house I submitted it to. I performed market research to help me know what kinds of books they were publishing, reading and reviewing several Guardian Angel Publishing titles, before submitting my manuscript to them. 

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

While Little Shepherd was not rejected, I did experience rejection as a writer of magazine articles. I put together articles on parenting, women’s health issues, and gardening, but national magazines weren’t biting.

I think the fastest rejection came within a week of me submitting my query. That one stung for a bit.

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

Little Shepherd was released by Guardian Angel Publishing (GAP). It is a small press owned and operated by Lynda S. Burch. I learned about GAP when one of their authors queried me for a book review. I was impressed by the total package: imaginative storytelling, stunning artwork, and a quality book that all these years later is still in one piece after many hands have flipped its pages. I began seeking out titles from other GAP authors to review and never found a bad apple in the basket.

While the idea for Little Shepherd came to me earlier than my introduction to GAP, when I sat down to write my story, I thought of everything I liked about GAP’s books and wrote it in that fashion. The polished version of the manuscript was accepted by Guardian Angel Publishing after some additional edits.

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

On top of the world, over the moon, you know the regular type of feelings I bet most first time authors experience. I had dreamed of being a writer since childhood and now my dream was coming true.

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

You mean other than emailing everyone I know, tweeting, and posting on Facebook about it? I feel so bad for my family and friends because I’m not a shy author. I work in the online world, so most of my promotional efforts have been online. I changed up my website, posted announcements on all my blogs, started a new blog just for the book, and began planning my two-and-a-half month virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book.

I also have local events planned in October and November.

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

The only thing I would change is that I would try to find a way to have done this ten years ago. My lifestyle didn’t really allow for that at the time. I was newly married, working fulltime, with a teenager at home and baby on the way.

Other than that, I’m happy with how things turned out.

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

I have a manuscript I am hoping to pitch to a publisher at this year’s Muse Online Writers Conference and I also have another work in progress about twelve chapters in. I’m waiting to hear back from a client on a ghostwriting project too, so I’ll be busy.

I’ve spent time honing my craft by participating in critique groups. Blogging regularly helps me to be a better self-editor, though I still edit others’ work better than my own. If this ghostwriting project comes to fruition it will be the first time I’ve tackled something of this nature, but I hope that will lead to additional work.

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?

I don’t know that I could have speed things up. I spent many years as a single parent and worked fulltime until 2004 when I quit to stay home with the children and tried to carve out a writing career. Perhaps I could have been a bit more persistent in those earlier years, but my girls were little and I had to focus on them. Now that they are in school during the day, I feel okay with spending that time writing and promoting my virtual book tour clients.

As for mistakes, when I began pitching to magazine markets I wasn’t as diligent in my market research as I am now.

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

I am sitting on two panels at the Write Angles Conference in October. Along with several others, I’ll be discussing how to launch your book into cyberspace and how to make time to write. 

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

I love my job as a virtual book tour coordinator for Pump Up Your Book. It has allowed me to find some fabulous authors I might never have heard of otherwise. Many of my clients have become good friends.

When I was a child I wanted to be a teacher or a writer. As a mom I’ll always be a teacher, and I’m also a writer, so I feel blessed.

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

Right now I have the best of both worlds, so I’m happy. 

Q: How do you see yourself in ten years?

Still promoting great books online and hopefully having several more books with my name on them available for sale.

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

If God has graced you with the gift of words, you should do your best to develop that gift and look for opportunities to use it. It requires discipline to carve out time for writing amongst your other responsibilities, but if you feel called to do it, don’t ignore it. Set goals and work hard to achieve them. If it’s meant to be, it will happen.

Interview with Ann Putnam, author of ‘Full Moon at Noontide’

Ann Putnam holds a PhD in literature from the University of Washington. She teaches creative writing and gender studies at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington.  She has published short fiction, personal essays, literary criticism and book reviews in various anthologies including Hemingway and Women: Female Critics and the Female Voice, and in journals, including the Hemingway Review, Western American Literature, and the South Dakota Review.  Her latest work is a memoir, Full Moon at Noontide:  A Daughter’s Last Goodbye. Information about her book and how to order it can be found on her website: www.annputnam.com, which includes reviews and radio interviews and bio.  Her book can be ordered at any bookstore, through Amazon, and directly from the distributor at www.tamupress.com or by phone: 1-800-826-8911. She has a Facebook page also, as well as a website through her University: www.ups.edu/faculty/aputnam.html.

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

I’m an academic, and so my writing life for a number of years revolved around scholarly works.  So I’ve published quite a number of such things—articles, reviews, and the like.  During this time I also published short fiction and personal essays.  I’ve written two novels, which I’m in the process of revising, but my memoir, Full Moon at Noontide:  A Daughter’s Last Goodbye is my first book-length publication.

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

Oh my.  This is a wrenching question.  My first book-length work is an autobiographical novel called Incantation.  It was agented for a period of months but my agent didn’t find a publisher and let it sort of languish.  So I took it back, where it lay in that proverbial drawer for a number of years while I wrote another novel.  Now I’ve pulled it out of the drawer, dusted it off, and am half-way through a deep revision.

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?

This is a lovely question to answer.  Unlike my trials with trying to publish literary fiction in this day and age, my memoir found a home very easily.  I submitted it one university press and they almost took it but finally declined, as it resembled too closely another memoir they had recently published.  So on a hunch and a great deal of luck, I called up the editor of Southern Methodist University Press, who had a Medical Humanities Series; they took it, and the rest is history, as they say.

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

Oh, I have had so many rejections of my literary fiction I cannot even count them.  Each time I’d put up my armor, feeling ready for it, but a day or two later it would pierce me to the quick.  I’d feel like never writing another word.  The world would turn gray in every aspect of my life.  This feeling, thankfully, was always short-lived, and I’d pick up the pen to live another day in the writer’s life.  But it has never ever been easy or something I could just let wash over me.

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

I think I talked a bit about this earlier.  The editor of the first press who turned me down recommended Southern Methodist University Press, and after a little research thought they would be a good fit.

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

Ah, doesn’t a writer during the writing of a work, especially one that evolves over a period of years imagine that phone call or letter in the mail or now, e-mail, and that moment of learning, yes yes yes!  We want you and only you!

My experience was more subdued than ever I imagined it to be.  It became just a slowly emerging sense of gratitude that the universe had blessed me in this way and that I was just very very lucky.  The final revision and then the book-in-my-very-own-hands moment came at a very dark time in my life, and so recent that I can’t help speaking of it.  Although my husband knew it would be published he died before the book came out, and so he did not have a chance to read it. That being said, he lived it, and walked those halls with me all the way.  He appears in the book as a sort of heroic presence, or that’s what a number of reviewers have said.  So the publication had its bittersweet aspects.

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

Since my book has a university press publisher, I received lots of back up and great advice but a lot was left up to me.  I began by getting book readings at the large bookstores in my hometown of Seattle, and reviews in the Seattle Times to coincide with the readings.  None of this was easy, to say the least.

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

Not at all.  I’m thrilled with the exquisite job my press did with my book. Everything about it is elegant and first-rate.  The cover is just extraordinarily beautiful.

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

I guess I’ve been mostly working on interviews such as this one for my virtual book tour.  Several of my short stories are going to be published in a collection called Nine by Three in the fall.  How have I grown as a writer?  That’s pretty hard to say looking from the outside in.  Maybe others might have a sense.  I think I am less self-conscious, less intimated by the blank page, more open to writing really badly, and with more confidence in my abilities to see redemption in what initially appears to me to be hopeless.

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?

Oh, I wish I knew the answer to this one!  If only there were a secret I would hold to it fast and go forth fearlessly.  I think the one thing I wish I had been able to do, yet may never be able to do, is to write through rejection and not let it slow me down and make me doubt myself.  That turns joy into fear. And of course a “writer is someone who writes,” not someone who is published. That’s line from a Marge Piercy poem I look to often.

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

Oh, this is an easy one. The answer to this one just comes off my fingertips onto the page.  The book readings.  I discovered how much this book is my work in the world right now and how much it has done already, how much it still needs to do. I discovered the ability to get inside the words I was reading and inhabit them in a kind of otherworldy way.  And then at the end when I took questions from the audience, I found the most amazing ability to open my heart to dark and fearful places and bring them into the light.

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

I’m a teacher and writer and can’t imagine what else I would be good at. I believe I am ill-equipped for much in life. And I’m so fortunate to have discovered a profession that is also a calling.

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

What I have found blessed and also very tricky is balancing the two halves of this world of words I inhabit.  So often the only writing I get done are my written comments on student papers.  Weeks and weeks go by when all my energies are taken up with my students and the works we are reading.  Combining the competing urgencies of the teacher and the writer is a continuing struggle.  But I would give up neither and have found oddly that they often nourish each other in strange and unexpected ways.

Q: How do you see yourself in ten years?

Very tired. Right now I am writing responses for this interview and a dozen others like it.  I have two conference papers to finish for a Hemingway conference in Switzerland where I’ll be, be God-willing, a week from today.  I don’t have a thought beyond that.  However, that being said, I hope to be happy and fully immersed in my writing life.

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

I think I do.  Anne Lamott in her book, Bird by Bird talks about this in her usual charming, disarming and hilarious way:  publication is not all it’s cracked up to be.  The joy—the spiritual, artistic, life-altering joy—is in the process, not in the outcome of that process, as that is so often out of the writer’s hands.

Book Spotlight: ‘Full Moon at Noontide’ by Ann Putnam

This is the story of my mother and father and my dashing, bachelor uncle, my father’s identical twin, and how they lived together with their courage and their stumblings, as they made their way into old age and then into death. And it’s the story of the journey from one twin’s death to the other, of what happened along the way, of what it means to lose the other who is also oneself.

My story takes the reader through the journey of the end of life: selling the family home, re-location at a retirement community, doctor’s visits, ER visits, specialists, hospitalizations, ICU, nursing homes, Hospice. It takes the reader through the gauntlet of the health care system with all the attendant comedy and sorrows, joys and terrors of such things. Finally it asks: what consolation is there in growing old, in such loss? What abides beyond the telling of my own tale? Wisdom carried from the end of the journey to readers who are perhaps only beginning theirs. Still, what interest in reading of this inevitable journey taken by such ordinary people? Turned to the light just so, the beauty and laughter of the telling transcend the darkness of the tale.

During the final revisions of this book, my husband was dying of cancer, and he died before I could finish it. What I know so far is this: how pure love becomes when it is distilled through such suffering and loss–a blue flame that flickers and pulses in the deepest heart.

As I finish this book he is gone three months.

These are the words of Ann Putnam, author of the heart-wrenching memoir, Full Moon at Noontide: A Daughter’s Last Goodbye (Southern Methodist University Press).

Here’s an excerpt:

Writing this now in a rainy light after loss upon loss, a memory comes to me. When I was a teenager, I took voice lessons from Ruth Havstad Almandinger, who gave me exercises and songs I hardly ever practiced. I have wondered why this memory has so suddenly come to me now, and why this, the only song I remember, comes back to me whole and complete:

“Oh! my lover is a fisherman/ and sails on the bright blue river
In his little boat with the crimson sail/ sets he out on the dawn each morning
With his net so strong/ he fishes all the day long
And many are the fish he gathers
Oh! My lover is a fisherman
And he’ll come for me very soon!”

If only I’d known then that my true love would be a fisherman, I might have practiced that song harder and sung it with more feeling, which was what Ruth Havstad Almandinger was always trying to get me to do. If only I’d had a grown up glimpse of my true love when I was sixteen, I would have sung that song so well. If only I’d known he would have cancer and go to the lake for healing the summer after the radiation treatments were done. If only I’d known that I would be his fishing partner that miracle summer of the sockeye come into the lake from the sea. If only I’d known that the cancer would return and that I would do everything I could to save him, knowing all along that he could not be saved, and that my heart would break beyond breaking, then break again. If only I’d seen the sun coming up over the mountains and the sky shift from gray to purple and the pale smudge of light against the mountains turn gold just above the crest. If only I’d seen the sun glinting off those sunslept waters as my love lets down the fishing lines, and off in the distance a salmon leaps—a silver flashing in the sky as if to split the heart of the sun—before it disappears into a soundless splash, in this all too brief and luminous season, to spawn and to die—oh, how I would have sung that song.

Ann teaches creative writing and women’s studies at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. She has published short fiction, personal essays, literary criticism, and book reviews in various anthologies such as Hemingway and Women: Female Critics and the Female Voice and in journals, including the Hemingway Review, Western American Literature, and the South Dakota Review. Her recent release is Full Moon at Noontide: A Daughter’s Last Goodbye. You can visit her website at http://www.annputnam.com.

Ann will be on virtual book tour June 1 – July 30 ’10. Visit her official tour page at Pump Up Your Book to find out more about her new memoir, Full Moon at Noontide: A Daughter’s Last Goodbye.

Amazon or Barnes & Noble are the best way to obtain your copies, although it will be available to order in most local bookstores.

Children’s fantasy picture book author Gina Browning talks promoting Moonbeam Dreams

Moonbeam Dreams is a children’s fantasy picture book written in an intricately rhyming format. It is 40 pages long and contains 22 bright and colorful full-page illustrations. It takes the reader and listener on a Dr. Seuss-like romp through a fantasy land, with strange and wonderful creatures amid entertaining imagery, which one might encounter in one’s dreams. It is a fun and up-lifting story that will delight readers of any age, and teaches that almost anything is possible if you can dream it.

What has been done to promote it?

Gina Browning is here today to talk about the steps she and her publisher took to promote her children’s book, Moonbeam Dreams.

“Since its publication, I’m told the publisher sent out press releases to over 40,000 media outlets,” she says. “I sent out copies of the same release to several hundred bookstores and additional media outlets in Australia. I have walked into several book stores, promoting it in person. I’ve featured it on Facebook and Twitter, and Book Tour and purchase info is included in my signature line of my emails.

“The local library featured my book at their contribution to the annual Desert Arts Festival in Alice Springs, Australia. I read the book at this event and signed copies afterwards.

My book was also featured at another “artist information night” associated with the same festival.

“I showed it and sold several copies at 3 Christmas markets that I recently attended.
I invested in “Pump up your book promotions”. We’re currently in the second month of my 2 month “book tour”.

“Also, I paid a little extra to have the publisher physically take my book to the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany this past October. There were “expressions of interest” from several publishers (to purchase the rights to publish it locally) from China, Thailand, Japan, Turkey, Poland, Greece, and the UK!! I’m hoping for GREAT things as a result of this little endeavor!! And YES! They’re also taking it to the book fairs in London, New York, and Beijing. I might try to attend one of these, but it depends on my daughter’s school schedule whether I can manage it or not.

“I have 3 copies on consignment at a Dymock’s bookstore in Glenelg, (South Australia) and I’m talking this week with a book store in Alice Springs about a book signing event in the very near future.

“I have had a few dozen copies on hand, at all times, and have sold some to family and friends personally.

“I was also invited to show my book (and illustrations) at a local week-long “Art teachers” gallery exhibit, where I sold several copies.

“The whole publishing and promoting business is a very long process and a lot of work, which eventually (and hopefully) will pay off in the long run. This book has been a LONG labor of love and I definitely feel that all of this promoting will eventually be worth it.”

You can visit Gina online at http://www.eloquentbooks.com/MoonbeamDreams.html.

%d bloggers like this: