Thursday, November 6, 2014

Straight from the Mouth of Barry Tutor, author of Never Giving Up and Never Wanting To



ABOUT NEVER GIVING UP & NEVER WANTING TO

Like most, I knew about Alzheimer’s disease. It causes old people to forget. When my relationship with this disease began, it highlighted how little I knew. Following my widowed mother’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis, I researched this disease to gain insight about my new role as her caregiver and decision maker. What I learned and experienced during her affliction still left me somewhat unprepared for what was yet to come. Sixteen months following my mother’s diagnosis, my dear wife and best friend was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. Though now I was familiar with this silent killer, my wife’s diagnosis set into motion many changes and challenges in our lives. Someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s every sixty-eight seconds. Currently, Alzheimer’s is the only disease in the top-ten causes of death that is on the increase and has no means of prevention and no possible cure. Given these facts, support for those afflicted relies on increasing levels of caregiving as the disease progresses. Let me explain something about this “old folk’s disease.” Alzheimer’s affects more than just parents and grandparents. It is also the disease of siblings, spouses, and children. Alzheimer’s forces many families to decide between home versus institutional care. An estimated fifteen million caregivers provide some level of care to the Alzheimer’s victims still living at home. No matter what level of care you are providing, the importance of preparation is paramount. Arming yourself with knowledge begins that preparation process. I was unprepared for the roller-coaster ride my life became as the sole caregiver for two Alzheimer’s victims. To meet their varied challenges, I adapted and developed multiple techniques for targeted personalized care. If only I knew then what I know now. By sharing my knowledge and experience, I hope to better prepare you for your caregiving journey.

Purchase your copy:

Trafford Publishing

Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?
Well here’s my go-for-the gut answer to why I wanted to be an author. I didn’t want to be an author, but rather a purveyor of accurate information for the general public facing the unknown world of Alzheimer’s disease. I took the mantle of author when I was thrown into the deep end of the pool when my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and I realized the how-to “manual” for her disease was a series of websites. My entry into Alzheimer’s care came when I was in my 50s and an above average user of the Internet and numerous computer apps. While I do represent the “average” caregiver, so many caregivers are in their 70s and 80s and have two real problems when it comes to receiving a diagnosis such as this. First they may not be computer savvy enough to find the disease-specific websites and may, in fact, Google their way into a sales pitch or misinformation in general. Second the older patient is very quick to accept the doctor’s brief diagnosis and heartfelt sorrow at the diagnosis but will not ask questions because they have been trained to take the doctor’s word as gospel and assume that the doctor will be there to help them as the situation goes from bad to worse. I didn’t want to be an author for the glory of writing the next bestseller. I did it because by my nature I’m a helper and the quickest way to help, especially people in their golden years, is to not depend on the computer to dispense information, but to put it in hard copy, written form.

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?
Perks? I didn’t know there were any! My perks are probably different from what you’re expecting. My perk is the happiness or relief that a reader of my book conveys when they find out they are not in this alone. I am truly not in this for the money (if there were any) but rather to resolve the problems or identify the potential problems that caregivers face when a terminal illness becomes a reality. The demands of being a published author are quite simple, and you are reviewing one of them. The never-ending questionnaires for marketing, publicity and interview preparation – I had no idea. My previous writing efforts were reviewed by few and were often required reading for naval personnel and business professionals.

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?
My small family was quite overjoyed at my writing effort and even more overjoyed when they saw the finished product. They changed their tunes slightly when they found out they were not the stars of the show but instead were part of the “what to watch out for” parts of the book. While I ruffled a few feathers, all has been forgiven. Their reactions could also be the subject of an entirely different book discussing the three versions of the truth – yours, mine and reality. While I did not beat them up as badly as they should have been I also did not pull too many punches. If you spend time with my book you will find that my “real” family is my wife whom I must schedule around because the Alzheimer’s disease has destroyed her sense of time, my 60 pound lab mix who is always of great benefit to my sanity and until recently my constant companion cat who passed away on October 9, 2013 after a long battle with renal failure. (Another example of Never Giving Up & Never Wanting To as he was in treatment for over 15 months.) This is my real family, and they are all quite understanding.

In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?
While penning my classic Never Giving Up & Never Wanting To the only issue I had to deal with that interrupted my writing efforts was the occasional telephone ring. But then there is always Caller ID  a true blessing for the busy writer/caregiver. 

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?
I believe the social networks can play a role in writing, publicizing and getting feedback on your work. That being said I feel that too much wasted time on Facebook and Twitter does nothing but irritate an already busy professional. That’s not to say I don’t participate in Facebook and Twitter – but my exposure is limited as my time is limited. And frankly there are too many people on Facebook that I think are still in high school even though the calendar says they’re 30, 40 or 50 years old. As with anything technological, you have users, abusers and people who don’t care or don’t want to care.

Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?
I am unsure I understand your question about how things have changed since I became a published author. In the area we live; publishing isn’t so unusual, so a new book is a lot like going to the grocery store – so many people have done it, so most respond with “that’s nice” or they stare at you blankly like they have never heard of books. So have things changed in my little world now that I am a published author? No ticker tape parades, no key to the city, no man of the year, no caregiver of the year, no author accolades of any description because of my foray into the world of authorship. In the grand scheme of things, it is fun having a copy of the first book off the press on my mantle. But, more importantly, the published work is another endorsement to my position as the subject matter expert on Alzheimer’s caregiving. Do I wish I had the aforementioned accolades? Who wouldn’t? I just hope, as I said before, that my message gets out concerning the necessity of preparation for caregiving especially where neurologic conditions are taking control over the victim so subtly that it sneaks up on you with virtually no warning except, in most cases, the calendar pages turning.

ABOUT BARRY TUTOR

As a lifetime problem-solver, I faced the challenges of caring for my two AD victims by researching the disease and developing caregiving skills to assure their comfort and care.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Straight from the Mouth of 'Wishes and Sorrows' Cindy Lynn Speer

Writing is like fencing.

One of the things that is the hardest, I think, for any writer is finding time.  I made it worse for myself, on top of being a full time secretary for a busy department, taking care of the house…I help run a branch of a medieval re-enactment society.  (The Society for Creative Anachronism) It’s a college branch, and so it’s filled with University students who are both amazing and exasperating, all at the same time.  All filled with drama and promise and good sense and craziness.

And one of the things I do is that I teach fencing every Thursday night, without fail. 

Or mostly without fail. 

Anyway.

I asked them a couple of weeks ago, what the most important key to being a successful fencer was.  I got a lot of good answers…but the one I was looking for, the one that I think is the most important, is discipline.  Talent is nothing if you do not make yourself work at your art.  Passion means nothing if you do not work to perfect your form. 

To become a great fencer or writer – from now on the terms are interchangeable --  you need to make yourself settle in.  Put aside distractions.  Do things you don’t really want to do.

I drill…I drill a lot.  I don’t even want to confess how many hours have been spent simply moving the tip of my sword around a door knob to improve my point control.

I write…I write a lot.  I know there are millions of words that have gone into the ether, because I was trying to get things write.  This article alone has a block of 463 words that are getting deleted once I know I am done with this post and I don’t need to steal something from it.

Fencers – and writers -- must practice constantly.  Must watch others doing our craft…for fencers we fence each other, we watch others fence, we mentally critique what we see, taking it apart to see how we can use what we see to make ourselves better.  For writers, that’s why we read, why we read broadly in genres we don’t write it.  Watching a story happen and watching a fencing match are very similar.

We also have to feed ourselves.  Read period manuals, (I do historical fencing) read books about things we care about like, if you happen to write about a main character who is a chocolate maker (Who would do a thing like that?) – read books about chocolate history and making.  That’s the obvious stuff.  But you should feed yourselves in other ways, by spending time with lots of people (not just fencers) and learning about the world.  Because the world is more than the sword, or a keyboard. 

As a writer I chose a couple of programs and a USB drive (Actually, two, backups are your friend) to create a take with me workspace.  Laptop at home, work desk at lunch break, I have a space where I can take up from where I left off and create.  (I use Scrivener, because I love the ability to have the book separated in chapters, Liquid Story Binder is my world book.) 

I shut down the web browser, because I lack the discipline to not sneak a glance at Facebook or Gmail, like, constantly.  It’s a sickness that I am trying to curtail.

I keep promotion time very separate from writing time because it feels like vindicated work.  (“I didn’t write a darned thing today, but that’s OK, I spent an hour networking on Good Reads and Librarything!  That’s a step towards my future success, right?”)  Also, I can’t write and watch TV…but I can write posts, email people, use Twitter and all that good stuff while watching Once Upon a Time

Yes, I am one of those people to whom an open browser window is a major time suck as I wander about the web, looking up this,  watching that, and, in short, pouring my time down a huge sink.

Don’t be like me.

I don’t even let myself look up a quick fact while writing…because I tend to get lost.  It’s the same way with books, and magically my time and my energy goes poof.

Set up either a time to write or a word count.  I don’t do well with the idea of a set time to write, but I do OK with a set word count.  Either works well because it gives you a goal…you have made a promise to yourself that you are going to sit down and write.  It takes a lot to keep that promise, but after a time it becomes easier.  I hated lunges – still do – but the more I do them, the less my knees complain, the easier they are to do, because practice makes it easier.  The muscles in your mind that do the writing stay strong and toned (Yes, I am being figurative) and they hurt less and take longer to get tired, and if you write nearly every day it is easier to keep track of where you are, to keep the feel of the setting, your understanding of the character, all those good things alive and ready to be written.

So, take your guard, keep your back straight and…I mean…sit down, create a space, get organized, and write.  

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Title:  Wishes and Sorrows
Genre:  Short Stories, Fantasy, Fairy Tales
Author:  Cindy Lynn Speer
Publisher:  Dragonwell Publishing
Purchase from Dragonwell and Amazon 
About Wishes and Sorrows:
“Richly ambitious” — Publishers Weekly
For every wish there is a sorrow…
Wishes are born from sorrows, blessings are sometimes curses, and even fairy godmothers cannot always get what they want. In this original collection, Cindy Lynn Speer, the author of “The Chocolatier’s Wife”, brings to life creatures of myths and tales, mixing them into a vibrant tapestry of stories, happy and sad, magical and real, each lovingly crafted and sure to touch the reader’s soul.
Step into the world where magic is real, and every mundane bit of reality is as magical as a true fairy tale.
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n603087527_2141Cindy Lynn Speer is the author of several novels, including The Chocolatier’s Wifeand the short story collection Wishes and Sorrows.  She loves mixing fantasy, mystery and romance and playing with the old stories.  When not writing she can be found reading, teaching people historical fencing, and costuming.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Straight From the Mouth of 'Deadly Dozen' Susan J. McLeod



Susan Jane McLeod has been writing since she was seven years old. At age eleven, she won a countywide essay contest, and her professional career was launched. By the time she was nineteen, her poetry had appeared in several magazines, including American Girl and Seventeen.

She also won an honorable mention in The Writer.

Susan grew up in Rochester, New York, with her three sisters and one brother. In her early thirties, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and given a 50/50 chance to live. She survived only to have the cancer recur, necessitating more surgery and an aggressive course of chemotherapy. Today she is cancer free.

The best job she's ever had was managing a bookstore, surrounded by her passion: literature.

Susan has published several short stories and two novels. The first, Soul and Shadow, is an award-winning paranormal historical romance. The second, Fire and Shadow, is classified as paranormal suspense. Both have garnered impressive reviews.

Susan believes strongly in several causes and has raised money for the American Cancer Society, Foodlink, and the House of Mercy homeless shelter.

She still resides in Rochester and will always call it home.

She can be contacted at  www.susanjmcleod.com and

About the Book:

The DEADLY DOZEN Book Bundle contains 12 complete mystery/thriller novels by award-winning and international bestselling authors: Cheryl Kaye Tardif, Catherine Astolfo, Alison Bruce, Melodie Campbell/Cynthia St-Pierre, Gloria Ferris, Donna Galanti, Kat Flannery, Jesse Giles Christiansen, Rosemary McCracken, Susan J. McLeod, C. S. Lakin and Linda Merlino.

THE BRIDGEMAN by Catherine Astolfo
DEADLY LEGACY by Alison Bruce
A PURSE TO DIE FOR by Melodie Campbell & Cynthia St-Pierre
CHEAT THE HANGMAN by Gloria Ferris
A HUMAN ELEMENT by Donna Galanti
LAKOTA HONOR by Kat Flannery
PELICAN BAY by Jesse Giles Christiansen
SAFE HARBOR by Rosemary McCracken
SOUL AND SHADOW by Susan J. McLeod
INNOCENT LITTLE CRIMES by C. S. Lakin
ROOM OF TEARS by Linda Merlino
DIVINE INTERVENTION by Cheryl Kaye Tardif

With an individual list price total of more than $45.00 and over 640 reviews collectively on Amazon.com, the DEADLY DOZEN Book Bundle is a value-packed, rollercoaster thrill ride that takes you from amateur sleuth to detective to paranormal to ancient mysteries set in intriguing worlds and so much more.

For More Information

  • Deadly Dozen is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Thanks for letting us interrogate interview you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

I was traumatized at the age of six by the story of the Gingerbread Man. I couldn’t deal with the fact that he got eaten by the fox at the end. So I crossed out his tragic fate in the book and changed it to “And the gingerbread man ran away.” Once I discovered that you could create your own reality there was no going back!

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

It’s true that most authors are cracked—oops, sorry, I read that question the wrong way. Yes, it’s definitely all that it’s cracked up to be! I love it, and the feeling of melting into your story is sublime. When I write, I feel I’m connected to every emotion humans have ever had. It’s the same sort of feeling I get during meditation, but stronger. And then when someone reads you and is moved by your work, and tells you how much they enjoyed it, it’s so fulfilling. 

I think most authors would agree that the worst demand is marketing. And having to pay your publisher “protection” money. They do all require that, don’t they?

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

I self-published the first edition of Soul and Shadow on Lulu. The only difficulty I had, being technologically impaired, was finding someone to do it for me. But it was all roses and sunshine after that. I didn’t have any great expectations and there was no pressure on me. I did have it professionally edited, which is especially essential for an Indie author.
When Imajin bought the work I was very excited. More doors opened up. I got a fantastic new cover and a book trailer and more editing that really made the story better. Imajin is a close-knit company with an extremely savvy owner and wonderful fellow authors. I’m lucky there.

What’s the snarkiest thing you can say about the publishing industry (e.g. rejections, the long wait, etc.)

The rules of the game are always changing. What is fine one day may be a criminal offense on another. You have to stay on top of things, because the industry is in a constant state of flux.

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

It annoys them. They think I can just stop and pick it up again at any point. 

They don’t understand the creative flow. And they all want their names in the books as characters. And their pets. Pesky family. (I love you guys!)

What was the craziest or most insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

I don’t like disappointing you, but nothing really insane has happened yet. I’m sure it will one day. Meanwhile I can make something up if you’d like. I’m good at that.

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

I think Twitter is the most effective. Facebook runs a close second. Those are the only two I use. If I started google-plussing or pinning things, I’d never get away from marketing and my head would explode.

Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)?  How are you making the sales happen for you?

Besides prayer? Advertising. I took a third job to get money for advertising, and it’s well-worth it. Engaging people on social media is important too.

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

Figuratively speaking, right? Because trying to get on the rooftop would kill me. I’d shout, “Get your copy of DEADLY DOZEN: 12 Mystery/Thriller Novels by Bestselling Imajin Books Authors! 12 amazing authors and 12 nifty novels for such a low price! How can you go wrong?”

Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above don’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?

You put it so well, what more can I say? I love entertaining people and I wouldn’t have it any other way! So long, and thanks for the tea!

MY LINKS:
http://on.fb.me/X6o1Hf : Facebook Writer’s Page
 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Straight from the Mouth of 'Jesus Jackson' James Ryan Daley

James Ryan Daley is a writer, editor, and digital designer. After earning an MFA in fiction at the Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2004, James has spent most of the years since then teaching writing to college students, creating websites, and editing anthologies of fiction and political rhetoric. He lives in Newport, RI with his wife and two daughters.

Purchase his book, Jesus Jackson, on Amazon

Questionnaire:

Thanks for letting us interrogate you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

Honestly, I’m still not sure that I even want to be an author. It sounds like a lot of work. Also, I hear that the pay is terrible. I do have this thing where I really like to write books, though. Maybe I’ll just be a guy who writes books.

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

Perks of being an author:
   1.        You get to write books.
   2.        People will read your books.

Demands of being an author:
   1.        You have to write books.
   2.        You have to make sure that people will actually want to read your books. 

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

I went with the traditional route, and I have to say, it’s been pretty damned awesome. Jesus Jackson is the third title out from The Poisoned Pencil, the new Young Adult imprint of Poisoned Pen Press, and I feel like I won the publisher lottery. Throughout the entire process, I’ve felt like I was part of a passionate, intelligent, motivated team of publishing super-ninjas who just wanted to make my book as great as it could be, and then get into the hands of as many people as possible. 

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

Well, they are all incredibly supportive, and quite proud, but I’m sure they wish that I would emerge from my office more during the weeks leading up to a deadline…

In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?

I put my phone in my underwear drawer so I can’t even hear it vibrate. Seriously.

What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

The first review Jesus Jackson received was a starred review from Kirkus. That was pretty insane.

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

I think they all help to some degree, but I’m a big fan of Twitter and Goodreads. Facebook is great for sharing news about the book with people I actually know, but I haven’t really used it for any public outreach. I pretty much only use Instagram to make sure my 14 year-old daughter is staying out of trouble, but for that purpose, it’s invaluable.

Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)?  How are you making the sales happen for you?

Well the book has only been out for a few days, so it’s a bit hard to say. My publisher has been awesome about really putting everything they can behind the book, though, so I’m feeling optimistic.

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

I SPENT LIKE A BILLION FREAKING HOURS MAKING A BOOK TRAILER SO EVERYONE NEEDS TO WATCH IT RIGHT NOW!!!!
(here’s a link: http://youtu.be/iD3nMqCzjxo)

Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?


Okay, here’s what I love: when people who I’ve never met get really excited about the book. Hearing about someone who just picked it up at a bookstore, read it in one feverish sitting, and then can’t wait to talk about it--that’s an awesome feeling. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Guest post: "Publish a Book and Ye Will Be Famous," by Beverly McClure, author of 'A Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat'

Once upon a time, a girl had a dream. 

Publish a book and she would be famous. So, she worked real hard, writing, editing, submitting and finally her dream came true. Her book was published. Then another book was published, and another. She blogged to tell people about her books. She gave books away and readers wrote wonderful reviews. Everyone said “Enter contests and people will hear about your books.” She entered contests. Some of her books won awards. She wrote more books and tweeted about them.

She waited for fame and fortune. She waited for Hollywood to call. She picked out the actors and actresses perfect to play her characters. Still, no one, except her writer friends who she adores, knew her name.  

And then one day, a child gave her the magic words, the words that made her remember why she wrote. “I love your book. It has a special place on my bookshelf.”

She knew then that she did not pen her stories for fortune or fame or Hollywood. She wrote her stories for the children and teens that wanted to escape from their everyday lives, to another world, a fantasy world where life was beautiful or fun or exciting, if only for a while. For the children that wanted to meet characters like themselves, characters that made them laugh and cry. Characters that were not perfect, but human, like them.

She writes for you, dear readers. In case you don’t know her name, she’s Beverly Stowe McClure. She thanks each of you who have enjoyed her books.

Find out more about A Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat on Amazon

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When Beverly Stowe McClure was in eighth grade, her teacher sent her poem “Stars” to the National High School Poetry Association, and she was soon a published writer in Young America Sings, an anthology of Texas high school poetry. Today, Beverly is a cum laude graduate of Midwestern State University with a BSEd degree. For twenty-two years, she taught children to read and write. They taught her patience. She is affectionately known as the “Bug Lady” because she rescues butterflies, moths, walking sticks, and praying mantis from her cats.
Most of the time, you’ll find Beverly in front of her computer, writing the stories little voices in her head tell her. When she’s not writing, she takes long walks and snaps photos of clouds, wild flowers, birds and deer. She also enjoys visiting with her family and teaching a women’s Sunday school class at her church. Her articles have been published in leading children’s magazines. Two of her stories are in CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL ANTHOLOGIES, and she has nine novels published, two of them award winning novels at Children’s Literary Classics and other competitions.


Connect with Beverly on the net:



Monday, September 15, 2014

Straight From the Mouth of 'Two Empty Thrones' C.H. MacLean



To young C. H. MacLean, books were everything: mind-food, friends, and fun. They gave the shy middle child’s life color and energy. Amazingly, not everyone saw them that way. Seeing a laundry hamper full of books approach her, the librarian scolded C. H. for trying to check them all out. “You’ll never read that many before they expire!” C. H. was surprised, having shown great restraint only by keeping a list of books to check out next time. Thoroughly abashed, C. H. waited three whole days after finishing that lot before going back for more.

With an internal world more vivid than the real one, C. H. was chastised for reading in the library instead of going to class. “Neurotic, needs medical help,” the teacher diagnosed. C. H.’s father, a psychologist, just laughed when he heard. “She’s just upset because those books are more challenging than her class.” C. H. realized making up stories was just as fun as reading, and harder to get caught doing. So for a while, C. H. crafted stories and characters out of wisps and trinkets, with every toy growing an elaborate personality.
But toys were not mature, and stories weren’t respectable for a family of doctors. So C. H. grew up and learned to read serious books and study hard, shelving foolish fantasies for serious work.

Years passed in a black and white blur. Then, unpredictably falling in love all the way to a magical marriage rattled C. H.’s orderly world. A crazy idea slipped in a resulting crack and wouldn’t leave. “Write the book you want to read,” it said. “Write? As in, a fantasy novel? But I’m not creative,” C. H. protested. The idea, and C. H.’s spouse, rolled their eyes.

So one day, C. H. started writing. Just to try it, not that it would go anywhere. Big mistake. Decades of pent-up passion started pouring out, making a mess of an orderly life. It only got worse. Soon, stories popped up everywhere- in dreams, while exercising, or out of spite, in the middle of a work meeting. “But it’s not important work,” C. H. pleaded weakly. “They are not food, or friends, or…” But it was too late. C. H. had re-discovered that, like books, life should be fun too. Now, writing is a compulsion, and a calling.

C. H. lives in a Pacific Northwest forest with five cats, two kids, one spouse, and absolutely no dragons or elves, faeries, or demons… that are willing to be named, at least.

His latest book is the YA fantasy, Two Empty Thrones.

For More Information


Thanks for letting us interrogate interview you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an
author?

I've always loved to read, and knew the power of a good book. When I finally realized I could write books like that, I wanted to give back, inspire and invigorate others like other authors had done for me.

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

The demands are strong: an almost overwhelming urge to write, but knowing to finish anything takes forever. You can always edit some more, tweak it here and there. And there is no guarantee that it will be liked. Unless readers know about your book, how can they enjoy it? And with the volume of books already out there, how can they know about yours?

Compared to my other job, though, I love being a writer. It really feels like a calling, like I'm doing something to make the world brighter and more fun.

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

My research on the publishing world led me to a bevy of information about self-publishing. The information challenged my previous biases against it. I decided to self-publish for several reasons, the two main being the amount of control I have over my work and the ability to keep my book in print for as long as I want.

But the work involved overwhelmed me! I had no idea how much effort went into it, such as formatting, cover art, and so on. It took about six months of heavy lifting.

What’s the snarkiest thing you can say about the publishing industry (e.g. rejections, the long wait, etc.)

I don't really have that much; after self-publishing, I think I have a lot more respect for the publishing industry. However, I can say with the explosion of quality alternatives to traditional publishing, I see we're on the verge of a Gutenberg-level revolution.

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

The love of my life is crucial in getting everything done, so I would have to say I feel nothing but gratitude for her. My two kids get pretty tired of hearing about it all but sometimes they really get into it. Lately they comment on everything, help me pick out covers and are even creating their own versions of covers and story lines. As far as the time I spend writing, they all seem to understand that writing is a part of who I am and something I just need to do.

What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

I can’t think of anything crazy or insane with this book. Publishing the first book in the series had a lot more hiccups. Like noticing that the book formatting somehow randomly deleted more than half of the italics in the book, and we had to go back through and find and change all those passages back into italics.

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

I don’t know if any of them help make direct sales. However, in terms of reaching a larger audience and making relationships, I like Twitter the best, Facebook the least. Facebook makes it painfully hard to get your posts to your fans, even if they’ve liked your page.

Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)?  How are you making the sales happen for you?

To be honest, so far my focus has mainly been on getting reviews so I’ve been giving the book away for free a lot. Besides the fact that reviews are so important, I feel that in a tough genre, like fantasy, it’s a great way to get your foot in the door and get word of mouth started.

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

While I love jumping on the roof, I'm not really a screamer. But I would yell about how much I appreciate my team and what a great book we produced.

Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above don’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?

Oh, well put. After all the work and worry, to hear how much readers enjoyed the book and to know life is a bit better for them, is a morning rainbow after a thunderous night.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Straight From the Mout of Natsuya Uesugi, author of grydscaen

ABOUT GRYDSCAEN

grydscaenTitle: grydscaen
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Author: Natsuya Uesugi
Publisher: Xlibris
EBook: 288 pages
Release Date: July 21, 2011

 Follow the lives of the main characters as they come together in the backstory to grydscaen:retribution, the first volume of the grydscaen saga. Faid is tired of life on the run in the Echelons, trying to keep his psychic power in check, he founds the Packrats establishing a safe haven for psychics. As a hacker he uses his jack to support his neurocyne habit. Lino is recruited by the Psi Faction and is sent on a mission to kidnap Faid. Riuho, Lino’s half brother becomes a prisoner of the Elite military and they experiment on him, train him and subject him to mind control, then send him out on a mission. On his return, Riuho is set on escaping and recruits Faid who hacks into the Psi Faction systems. They escape and return to the Packrats leading up to the start of grydscaen:retribution.

Xlibris

Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

I wanted to be an author because I have a message that needs to be heard. I wanted to provide role models for LGBT youth and give a voice to LGBT youth homelessness, mental illness, stopping bullying, and LGBT equality and equal rights. These were the messages that drive me to write.

Tell us (we won’t tell promise) is it all it’s cracked up to be? I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

I am a writer because I want to ensure the message gets heard. I want the message to get out there. That is the most important thing. If I can change one reader’s heart one person at a time then I will have accomplished my task on a small scale. I am shooting for the world.

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

I took the self-published route because I didn’t want to have to wait to get the message out. The message was too important to leave hidden in the recesses.

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

My parents think that I spend too much time on my books and that it is only a hobby that I should not devote all this time to. They think I need to just sit back and do nothing and stop writing. I will never do that, the message is important and if I can provide role models for LGBT youth then I will do that. That was the goal.

In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, our family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?

Turned off the phone. I am single, no family to support. And for my boss. I go to work at 5:00AM in the morning, and work in technology as a systems analyst I am at work way before my boss even wakes up. I should tell him that he is late. LoL.