Sunday, March 28, 2010

Women fiction author Mary Carter kicks off My Sister's Voice virtual book tour April & May '10

Women's fiction author Mary Carter will begin promoting her new book, My Sister's Voice, on April 5 to kick off her April & May 2010 virtual book tour.

Mary will begin her tour with an interview at The Writer's Life on April 5 and will be stopping off at 40 blogs before she winds it up with a book review at Book Reviews by Buuklvr81 on May 28. Some of her stops include Dear Author, Examiner, Blogcritics, and will include over 20 book review blogs. Readers will have a chance to win a free copy of her book during several of her stops just by stopping by and saying hello.

Mary's book focuses on Lacey Gears who, at twenty-eight, is exactly where she wants to be. An up-and-coming, proudly Deaf artist in Philadelphia, she’s in a relationship with a wonderful man and rarely thinks about her difficult childhood in a home for disabled orphans. That is, until Lacey receives a letter that begins, “You have a sister. A twin to be exact…”

Learning her identical, hearing twin, Monica, experienced the normal childhood she was denied resurrects all of Lacey’s grief, and she angrily sets out to find Monica and her biological parents. But the truth about Monica’s life, their brief shared past, and the reason for the twins’ separation is far from simple. And for every one of Lacey’s questions that’s answered, others are raised, more baffling and profound.

Complex, moving, and beautifully told, My Sister’s Voice is a novel about sisterhood, love of every shape, and the stories we cling to until real life comes crashing in…

Mary is a freelance writer and novelist. My Sister’s Voice is her fourth novel with Kensington. Her other works include: She’ll Take It, Accidentally Engaged, Sunnyside Blues, and The Honeymoon House in the best selling anthology Almost Home. She is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, which is part of the Rochester Institute of Technology. She has just completed A Very Maui Christmas, a new novella for Kensington that will be included in a Christmas of 2010 anthology. She is currently working on a new novel, The Pub Across the Pond, about an American woman who swears off all Irish men only to learn she’s won a pub in Ireland. Readers are welcome to visit her online at www.marycarterbooks.com.

If you would like to follow Mary's tour, click here.

Other books include:


Cherie Burbach's 21 Things You Can Do to Help Someone With Diabetes helps us learn how to give support

Why should non-diabetics get informed? Because as much as we know about diabetes treatment today, the support from our family and friends still plays a part in how healthy we are. An understanding approach from someone who cares means everything to us. Your diabetic friend or relative counts on you to be the person in their life that “gets it” when no one else does. This book will tell you what you can do to help. Things like what you should (and shouldn’t) say, what you should learn to truly be supportive, and even how you can help in the fight for a cure. 21 Things You Can Do To Help Someone With Diabetes by Cherie Burbach will point you in the right direction so you can truly support your diabetic friend. If you know someone diabetic, you'll love this informative book.

Here's an excerpt:

When I first became diabetic, I was amazed at how many times someone around me would hand me a sugar-free soda when my blood sugar was low, or investigate the food I had on my plate, or tell me I got the disease from eating too much sugar. Everyone, it seemed, had an opinion or thought they wanted to share. The trouble was, very few people had good information about diabetes.

Diabetics deal with the fear of complications, burden of maintenance costs, and wear and tear on our bodies from organs that are overworked. Some of us deal with multiple needle injections. We deal with so much more than you would think.

Diabetes isn’t just about “not eating sugar.” Our blood sugars can change with stress and exercise and illness.

Your diabetic friend or relative counts on you to be the person in their life that “gets it” when no one else does. This book will tell you what you can do to help. Things like what you should (and shouldn’t) say, what you should learn to truly be supportive, and even how you can help in the fight for a cure.

My hope with this book is to get you the information you need to be the very best friend to your diabetic pal.

This book is:
• a source of encouragement
• a prompt for education
• a starting guide to diabetic etiquette.

This book is not:
• a medical reference book
• a substitute for a nurse, doctor, or other medical professional.

In other words, this book won’t give you medical information. It will, however, give you a starting point so you can find out what you should. The rest is up to you.

21 Things You Can Do To Help Someone With Diabetes will point you in the right direction so you can truly support your diabetic friend.

Here's what critics have to say:

This little book packs an informative punch to those who know little to nothing about diabetes. I highly recommend it…

–Barbara Milbourn

If you know someone with diabetes, or have just been diagnosed yourself, this is a helpful primer that offers reassurance and hope…

–Feathered Quill

Its a great book I highly recommend it…

–Chow and Cheddar

Cherie Burbach is an author, blogger, poet, crocheter, and geek. She loves football and is obsessed with anything having to do with the Green Bay Packers or Tudor history.

A passionate diabetes advocate, Cherie has written the book, 21 Simple Things You Can Do To Help Someone With Diabetes.

Cherie used her experience with meeting her husband online to pen At the Coffee Shop, a humorous look at the world of Internet dating. Cherie went on over 60 coffee dates in just six months. She met lots of great people and one of those turned out to be the guy she would marry just one year later. Cherie’s new dating book, Internet Dating is Not Like Ordering a Pizza is available now.

She is a staff writer for b5media, and also the author of three poetry books, including A New Dish and The Difference Now. Her latest, Father’s Eyes, has received the 2008 Editor’s Choice Award by Allbooks Review.

Readers have resonated with Cherie’s honest and inspirational ”This I Believe” essay, which is the second-most popular out of over 40,000 entries on the NPR website. For more information, please visit Cherie’s website, www.cherieburbach.com, her personal blogs, or follow her on Twitter: http://twitter.com/brrbach.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Graham Parke's debut novel No Hope for Gomez! will leave you in cyber-stitches

It’s the age-old tale:
Boy meets girl.
Boy stalks girl.
Girl already has a stalker.
Boy becomes her stalker-stalker.

We’ve seen it all before, many times, but this time it’s different. If only slightly.

This is the exciting premise of a just released book by Graham Parke. No Hope for Gomez (Outskirts Press) is Graham’s fiction debut that I'm sure humor suspense lovers are going to enjoy.

No Hope for Gomez focuses on Gomez Porter who becomes a test subject in an experimental drug trial and is asked to keep track of any strange experiences through a blog. What Gomez isn’t ready for, is so many of his experiences suddenly seeming strange; the antiques dealer trying to buy his old tax papers, his neighbor boiling salamanders on his balcony at midnight, the super sexy lab assistant who falls for him but is unable to express herself in terms outside the realm of science.

But when one of the trial participants turns up dead and another goes missing, Gomez begins to fear for his life. No longer sure who he can trust and which of his experiences are real and which merely drug induced illusions, he decides it’s time to go underground and work out a devious plan.

Now, years later, his blogs have been recovered from a defunct server. For the first time we can find out firsthand what happened to Gomez as he takes us on a wild ride of discovery.

California Chronicle calls it "Extremely witty and clever writing that contains keen insights into human nature…"

Reader Views says, "No Hope for Gomez! by Graham Parke is a very funny book; a veritable page turner of nonstop laughs..."

Readers Favorite calls it "The antics in this book will leave the reader laughing. Graham Parke is a genius…"

If you'd like to find out more about Graham Parke and his new book, No Hope for Gomez, visit his website at www.grahamparke.com. If you'd like to purchase his book online, you can visit Amazon for purchasing information.

Graham Parke will be on virtual book tour throughout the months of April and May 2010. If you'd like to follow his tour, click here to find out where he'll be touring and to find out more about this talented and very funny author!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Friendships among women shines through for Sheila Roberts' 'Small Change'


Rachel, Jessica, and Tiffany all share a difficult secret: they’re all struggling with major financial problems. A sudden divorce has turned Rachel from a stay-at-home mom to a strapped-for-cash divorcee about to enter the workforce for the first time. Tiffany’s spending has been out of control for years, and her mounting credit card bills have put a major strain on her marriage. And Jessica just had the rug pulled out from under her. After struggling her entire life to make ends meet, she’s just gotten engaged to a man with a big bank account…and now he’s asked her to sign a pre-nup.

When the women share their problems at their weekly crafting group, they decide to band together to take control of their finances. As they struggle to bring balance back to their checkbooks and their lives, they learn that some things in life, like good friends, are truly priceless.

This is the exciting premise of Sheila Roberts’ new women’s fiction novel, Small Change (St. Martin's).

Sheila is no stranger to penning novels and books that speak of friendships among our fellow sisters are her specialty. Her other books include Love in Bloom, Angel Lane, On Strike for Christmas, and Bikini Season.

How many women in the Virginia Beach area know of a special woman friend they could lean on through thick and thin? Small Change gives all of us reasons to believe nothing is too hard to tackle as long as we have a little help from our friends.

Here's a little excerpt from Sheila Roberts' Small Change:

There it sat, a Cloud Nine queen-sized luxury gold comforter with red ribbon applique and metallic embroidery. Forty percent off. It was the last one left. Tiffany Turner had seen it, and so had the other woman.

The woman caught Tiffany looking at it and her eyes narrowed. Tiffany narrowed hers right back. Her competitor was somewhere in her fifties, dressed for comfort in jeans and a sweater, her feet shod in tennis shoes for quick movement – obviously a sale veteran, but Tiffany wasn’t intimidated. She was younger. She had the drive, the determination.

It took only one second to start the race. The other woman strode toward the comforter with the confidence that comes with age, her hand stretched toward the prize.

Tiffany chose that moment to look over her competitor’s shoulder. Her eyes went wide and she gasped. “Oh, my gosh.” Her hands flew to her face in horror.

The other woman turned to see the calamity happening in back of her.

And that was her undoing. In a superhuman leap, Tiffany bagged the comforter
just as her competitor turned back. Score.


Boy, if looks could kill.

It would be rude to gloat. Tiffany gave an apologetic shrug and murmured, “Sorry.”

The woman paid her homage with a reluctant nod. “You’re good.”

Yes, I am. “Thanks,” Tiffany murmured, and left the field of battle for the customer service counter.

As she walked away, she heard the other woman mutter, “Little beast.”

Okay, now she’d gloat.

She was still gloating as she drove home from the mall an hour later. She’d not only scored on the comforter, she’d gotten two sets of towels (buy one, get one free), a great top for work, a cute little jacket, a new shirt for Brian, and a pair of patent metallic purple shoes with 3 1/2 inch heels that were so hot she’d burn the pavement when she walked. With the new dress she’d snagged at thirty percent off (plus another ten percent off for using her department store card), she’d be a walking inferno. Brian would melt when he saw her.

Her husband would also melt if he saw how much she’d spent today, so she had to beat him home. And since he would be back from the office in half an hour, she was now in another race, one that she didn’t dare lose. That was the downside of hitting the mall after work. She always had to hurry home to hide her treasures before Brian walked in the door. But she could do it.

Tiffany followed the Abracadabra shopping method: get the bargain and then make it disappear for a while so you could later insist that said bargain had been sitting around the house for ages. She’d learned that one from her mother. Two years before, she had successfully used the Guessing Game method: bring home the bargains and lull husband into acceptance by having him guess how incredible little you’d paid for each one.

She’d pull a catch of the day from its bag and say, “Guess how much I paid for this sweater.”

He’d say, “Twenty dollars.”

“Too high,” she’d reply with a smirk.

“Okay. Fifteen.”

“Too high.

“Ten.”

“Nope. Eight ninety-nine. I’m good.”

If you'd like to find out more about Sheila and her books, visit her website at www.sheilasplace.com. If you'd like to order her book at Amazon, click here. The book will be available on March 30.

If you'd like to follow her virtual book tour in March and April, click here.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Writing Tips by the authors of Life Choices: Navigating Difficult Paths

If you feel “stuck” in a situation that appears to be beyond your control, these stories will show you how others have coped with crisis and uncertainty, made tough choices and positive changes in order to find deeper meaning and satisfaction in their relationships and learned to live with purpose every day. Rarely do we find a book that addresses so many different challenges. Life Choices does this in a powerful and inspiring way. This book is about experiences, the people who lived them, and how they created successful lives. From values and self-fulfillment to legacy, this book offers new resources for people who have tough choices to make every day.

Filled with wisdom and love, this book is a soothing companion for anyone searching for the courage to make a choice to change his or her circumstances. These authors and their stories prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that success belongs to everyone, no matter where they come from or what has happened to them. They are living proof that miracles can and do happen. You can be one of these people. You can navigate through difficult times and find your pathway to the life you choose to lead. Put the strength of others to work for you. Courage is not the absence of fear or pain. Courage is taking the steps to move through it.

The authors of Life Choices: Navigating Difficult Paths would like to share their writing tips:

I am one of those people that wakes up earlier….. early being about 4:00 am. My thoughts seem to be clearer at that time. The clutter of the day has not had time to intrude. I sit down at my computer and let my thoughts roll through my finger tips. Then later in the day, I come back and sort out my thoughts. If I try to make it all nice and tidy to begin with, I lose sight of what I really wanted to say. I also carry a notepad with me so if I have a great thoughts,,,, you know the kind that you just absolutely do not want to forget… I write it down!

-- Andrea Chestnut


The best tip I've ever gotten is to write. It doesn't matter what you write, just write. Three pages a day...every day. Not everything you write will be published. Most of what you write will never be used. If you have a specific project, some of what you write will fit, some won't. The more you write, the easier it becomes to write.


--Charlotte Foust


I find that meditation makes all the difference for me when I write. I take time to ‘tune-in” and center myself before beginning to write. Listening to my inner voice first lets my thoughts and feelings roll onto the page with more ease and clarity.


--Ginette Osier Bedsaul


The best writing tip is to set aside a certain amount of time, preferably at the same time each day, to focus on your writing. Early morning, when I am my freshest and everyone else is asleep, works best for me. I carry note cards with me to jot thoughts and ideas down through the day. The first thing I do the next morning is to incorporate the previous days thoughts into my work.


--Nancy Todd


I usually start out with several lines of random thought, just a lot of typed words. I read it out loud, and ask myself, "What I am trying to say?" I decide what the message will be. I take out anything that is not working, or just doesn't make any sense. I fill in with more complete sentences that will bring the message home.

--Deborah Clark

Create a diary of how long you write and what you write about. Visit your diary several times per week. This will help you monitor your commitment and keep your promise to yourself.


--Jesse Ferrell


When writing your non-fiction book tell a story to re-enforce every point. The story gives your reader a better understanding and serves as a memory device. Each story must be on-point. Remember that real life is boring! Fictionalize each story to make it interesting.


--Bob Walker


I write music reviews for an internet magazine as the event is happening. This gives me real time action right through the concert, allowing me to brush up the mistakes and fill in comments and "critiques" at a later time. Generally, I drive myself to get the whole thing done within a 24 hour period so the information is fresh and the key points still stand out in my mind. If I am working on "an assignment" basis, I get the job, let it bounce around the "little gray brain cells" for awhile then strangely, I enjoy listening to men singing in foreign languages in the background, the sound of the human voices blending without trying to figure out the words allows my mind to open up and find more creative phrasing possibilities for the writing.


--Susan Haller


There are two things I always try to remember whenever I write. The first is to make sure my subject is something about which I know or am passionate. If not, then I must do some research. The second thing is not to be afraid to edit. Less is usually better than more.


--Anne Abernathy


JUST DO IT! The greatest journey begins with the first step. I "wanted" to write for 27 years before finishing my first book. Find your own way, your own voice and your own style. Some advise that you write an hour a day, but it takes me a day to just warm up! I dive deep and set aside days or weeks to create a momentum to get into the "flow." Just write like a stream of consciousness and then do the fine tuning or analysis paralysis will stifle your creativity. Commit to a specific time and decide on the perfect space or place that is free of distractions. I choose the ocean.


--Edie Raether


When ideas come to me I try to capture them right away. I don't try to make the thoughts make sense or think of how they will work until later when I am under the right circumstances. The funny thing about my writing is that most thoughts come to me as I'm driving either to or from work so I often have to record them during stop lights!


--Vickie Lane


First I need a lot of quiet, no distractions. I need to THINK. Then I need to get in touch with the inner me - the one living deep inside that is completely honest. I read everything I write with a very critical eye. Am I being honest with myself first and then with my reader. I never want to insult my reader's intelligence and I want so much for them to come along for the ride.


--Sandra Gore Nielsen


Write….every day. Submit stories …wherever they are accepting stories…Be sure to tell the publisher why your book/story will sell….and then make sure it does.


--Judi Moreo

You can visit the book's website at www.lifechoicesbook.com.

Interview with Barry Pollack, author of Forty-Eight X: The Lemuria Project


About Barry Pollack

Barry Pollack, who still works in the frontline trenches of medicine as an ER doctor, has a creative life that spans a variety of venues. After a master’s degree in film from Stanford and a fellowship at the American Film Institute, he began as a documentary filmmaker and went on to write and direct two feature films — MGM’s Cool Breeze in 1972 and the Fanfare release This is a Hijack in 1973. In 1980, Pollack graduated from the University of Oklahoma Medical School and began a new career as an emergency physician. However, he never stopped writing. Pollack’s subsequent work includes several prime time television dramas, such as Trapper John, M.D. and Hotel, magazine short stories, several screenplays, and ten years of newspaper columns for the Ventura County STAR in California. Forty-Eight X, his debut novel, was published by Medallion Press in December 2009.

For more information visit www.barrypollack.net

The Interview

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Barry. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

A: After I attended the United States Air Force Academy and then Penn State University, I went on to get my master's degree in film from Stanford. There, I made several prize winning documentary films that led to my acceptance as a writing-directing fellow at the new American Film Institute in Los Angeles. I spent one summer traveling with carnivals preparing a documentary about carnival folk and the "politically incorrect" freak shows that were part of the venue in the 1970's. Because I personally came to know many of the "freaks" in the U.S., I was hired by Roger Corman as casting director for a remake of Todd Browning's 1932 classic Freaks. Corman never made that film but after showing Gene Corman, Roger's brother, one of my "spec" screenplays, I was hired to write the remake of John Huston's Asphalt Jungle and turn it into a black exploitation film. I went on to write and direct that film which became the MGM feature film release Cool Breeze in 1972. My next film venture, This is a Hijack, was less of a success, actually a debacle that ended my Hollywood career and turned me toward medicine. While a film student at Stanford, I financed my way through college by making scientific films for Stanford Hospital. There, I filmed some of the first heart transplants and laser eye surgeries and came to know many physicians. While I was impressed with their work, I didn't see their job as something I couldn't do. So, I went back to school for more science prerequisites and eventually got into medical school. In 1980, I graduated from the University of Oklahoma and began working as an emergency physician. However, I never stopped writing. While working as an ER doctor, I also wrote several prime time television dramas, such as Trapper John, M.D. and Hotel, then magazine short stories, several unproduced screenplays, and almost ten years of newspaper columns for the Ventura County STAR in California. Forty-Eight X is my debut novel, published by Medallion Press in December 2009.

Q: Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

A: FORTY-EIGHT X is the story of the Lemuria Project, a gathering of the world’s greatest scientists on a secret island to genetically engineer a new kind of American warrior -- lethal, near invincible, expendable. Pollack takes two fascinating romantically mismatched couples on an adventure around the world, challenging military and political roadblocks, until they uncover the secret of a chimera, a new species that might one day vie with the human race for dominance.
I began with the thought of combining a story about genetic engineering with the conundrum of our endless war against terrorism and the atavistic nature of war in general. We continue to live in a primitive world - for millennia societies have taken their greatest potential, their youth, and tossed them upon the rubbish heaps of one war after another; as we do today. Despite all our technology, we have moved barely an iota in our moral growth above our ancient forebears. It seemed an interesting concept to take animals - which we use for food, as pets, for entertainment, as beasts of burden - and consider manipulating their genome to create a chimera - an animal with human attributes - to fight our battles.

Q: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?

A: The challenge was to weave an adventure story that involves genetic engineering, eugenics and multitude of other scientific topics with intriguing characters, romance, history, mythology, battles against Islamic terrorists, US and Middle East politics, and season them all with a bit of humor.

Q: Do you have a press kit and what do you include in it? Does this press kit appear online and, if so, can you provide a link to where we can see it?

A. You may learn more about me and my writing at my website: www.barrypollack.net. A press kit may also be obtained from Charles Barrett Company, barcopr@earthlink.net.

Q: Have you either spoken to groups of people about your book or appeared on radio or TV? What are your upcoming plans for doing so?

A: I have been interviewed about my book on several radio shows. Links to some of those can be found on my website. My most recent signing and reading was at the Barnes and Noble store in Westlake Village, California. I will be reading and signing on May 8th at MYSTERIES TO DIE FOR bookstore in Thousand Oaks, California.

Q: Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

A: I do not have an agent. I have never had one. The one virtue of having an agent is that they are the gatekeepers to being able to have your book read by major publishers. However, there are many small presses that have the vision and verve to publish new authors and perhaps, with fewer writers, give their authors more personal attention.

I have been fortunate that Medallion Press has published my debut novel, FORTY-EIGHT X: The Lemuria Project and will be publishing my next book, OIL AND GOD, to be released in 2011.

Q: Did you, your agent or publisher prepare a media blitz before the book came out and would you like to tell us about it?

A: I don't know about blitz but I know that Medallion prepared a publicity campaign and that my book can be found at many "bricks and mortar" bookstores as well as the online stores.

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

A: My second novel, OIL AND GOD, will be published by Medallion Press in 2011. It's a suspense novel rife with history, religion, and timely political debates, that might best be described as a Jewish Da Vinci Code.

Q: Thank you for your interview, Barry. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

A: FORTY-EIGHT X : The Lemuria Project can be found at the online bookstores and in many storefront one. You can also order the book at www.Medallionpress.com. Please read more about me, my writing, and feel free to provide feedback at my website: www.barrypollack.net.

Forty-eight X

Forty-eight X by Barry Pollack (click on cover to purchase)

About Forty-Eight X

On the tropical island of Diego Garcia in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the United States has gathered together its most talented geneticists to work on the top-secret Lemuria Project. These secret experiments create a revolutionary new warrior so strong and so valiant that the age of casualties of war would become only a sad and distant memory. Haunted by a dark and dangerous past, Colonel Link McGraw is the officer chosen to train these new soldiers. He understands the rules of engagement and agrees to serve his country, reestablish his professional reputation, and secure his freedom in the process. As a trained and commissioned officer in the United States Armed Forces, McGraw knows what constitutes the perfect soldier: following orders without question. When Egyptian beauty Fala al Shodaha and Israeli Joshua Krantz, scientists in their own right, stumble across the top-secret project, they are determined to uncover its true nature and pursue their quest to Diego Garcia. Tensions mount as Krantz and McGraw clash over the project—and vie for the affection of the lovely Fala. When they discover they aren’t the only ones on the island competing for her attention, shocking truths are revealed that beg the question, Is it too late to save themselves—and the entire human race—from almost certain annihilation?

Read the excerpt!

“The history of men at war is writ large with stories of heroes,” General Shell had said before sending him off, “stories of young men who fight and often die for noble, sometimes ignoble causes. Their actions sometimes elevate them to superhuman or biblical status. They become the legend of an overmatched David defeating a Goliath; a blind and bound Samson defeating the haughty Philistines. But remember glory is fleeting and the ends of war for survivors are most often filled with nightmares, with trinkets of ribbons and medals, and uniforms which will soon no longer fit.” The general then paused fitfully. “Put an end to it, Link,” he said, pressing on McGraw the firmest of handshakes.

That farewell speech reminded McGraw of his own heroes:

Sidney Coulter, Eagle scout, valedictorian, age 19, died in battle, Amsar, Afghanistan.
Jaime Garza, Mexican immigrant, father of two, age 24, died by RPG, Ramal.
Richard Neilson, car salesman, poker player extraordinaire, age 20, died by IED, Baghdad.

There were plenty, too many, more. Perhaps with this success, he thought, there would soon be no more.

McGraw had made one adjustment on the eve of battle that he knew his general would have frowned upon. He had given each of his troops a shot of brandy. Not enough to get drunk but enough to slightly dull the frontal cortex that controls executive functioning, that area of the brain that breeds doubt. A little alcohol, he believed, allowed one to think more simply, to dull the noises on the periphery. He took his own swig of the red from his canteen. He too needed to dull his doubts.

The village he was attacking was a terrorist camp and the men there were not novices and not innocent. They were well trained soldiers who had killed many times before. They not only professed that they were unafraid to die, but that they were eager to die for their cause.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Interview with Lindon King, Author of "The Wounds Have Healed...The Scars Are Bleeding!"


About Lindon King

Lindon J. King was born in Jamaica and is a former student of Fair Prospect Primary and Fair Prospect Junior High schools. Lindon is a graduate of Prospect College and in 1992 he migrated to Toronto Canada where he did further studies at Ryerson University.

Lindon and his beautiful wife Lorna and their adorable kids Loralin, Lindon Jr. and Lornella reside in Toronto Canada. Lindon is a proud father of four and loves The Lord. They are of the Apostolic Faith and are active members of their local church.

Lindon is currently employed as a Financial Services Manager and is also pursuing further studies in the field of commercial aviation. He is working on his next book titled: What’s In Your Barn? This book is expected to be in bookstores in the fall of 2010.

The Interview



Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Lindon. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

A: I was born in Portland Jamaica West Indies, and in 1992 I migrated to Canada. At present, I reside in Toronto with my beautiful wife Lorna and our adorable children. I enjoy being in the company of positive people and I am always looking for ways to assist others who are less fortunate.



Q: Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

A: the wounds have healed...the scars are bleeding! takes us back in time to the history of the Slave Trade in America and the West Indies, and then brings us back to the present, focusing our attention on the aftermath and the impact of slavery within our communities and around the world. A great deal of attention is focused on us coming together as a people to overcome the cycle of violence rather than tearing each other apart. I wrote this book because I have the confidence knowing that our lives can be better if we all work together to make that positive change. Our forefathers have paved the way and have left us with examples for us to follow and principles to live by. They did it, and so can we.


Q: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?

A: Fortunately, I was not faced with any major challenges when writing this book, but there were a few set backs due to errors in the production stage. Things got back on track and I am very pleased with the finished work.


Q: Do you have a press kit and what do you include in it? Does this press kit appear online and, if so, can you provide a link to where we can see it?


A: No. I do not have a press kit at this time, but I have been working with my publicist from CHRY 105.5 FM, to put a kit together. I will be more than happy to provide you with information when the project is compete.



Q: Have you either spoken to groups of people about your book or appeared on radio or TV? What are your upcoming plans for doing so?

A: Yes, I have spoken to a group of teachers and their students during the production stages of the book. The Principal at the school my kids attend invited me to come and speak with the grade eight students. The students and the teachers in attendance participated and they were very pleased with the presentation. I also did three radio interviews with CHRY 105.5 and received positive feedbacks.



Q: Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

A: No, I do not have an agent and have never had one. At this time I do not believe it is necessary to have one. I am trying to learn about the publishing industry and if an agent is required I will certainly do my research and call on one.


Q: Did you, your agent or publisher prepare a media blitz before the book came out and would you like to tell us about it?

A: No, we did not prepare a media blitz.


Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

A: Yes, I do plan subsequent books. I am in the final stages of writing my second book, titled; what’s in your barn?



Q: Thank you for your interview, LINDON. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

A: My information, sales and promotions of my book can be found on google.com by entering my name, Lindon King or Lindon J. King. The book can be purchased online at amazon.com, borders.com, barnesandnobles.com, selfari.com and also from the publisher rosedogbooks.com.



Thank you for the interview and thanks for having me.

The Wounds Have Healed

The Wounds Have Healed...The Scars Are Bleeding by Lindon King (click to purchase at Amazon)

About The Wounds Have Healed…The Scars Are Bleeding

“The Wounds Have Healed…The Scars Are Bleeding”! is an insightful work of non-fiction from author Lindon J. King. This work is designed to provoke thought as well as educate the reader about the aftermath of slavery in America and the West Indies. Set out as a tribute to the forefathers who had been able to survive the brutal Middle Passage only to be sold as slaves in America and the West Indies. Slavery not only physically affected the lives of those who were captured but also mentally affected them for generations to come.

“The Wounds Have Healed…The Scars Are Bleeding!” is a compelling work that blends history with social commentary. Given its timely message, Lindon J. King’s work may appeal to a wide variety of readers. Have you struggled with weight, wellness, addictions, relationships or work? This spiritually based book is set up with the idea that when you begin reading it, it will lull you comfortably into motivation and creating changes “now”. Essentially, when you open the book you are on a journey and as you read you have opportunities to “drive” or apply these ideas into your life. The book is set up as a no-excuses approach; if you say you believe in scripture you can’t pick and choose when to apply scripture to your life; it’s immediate connection which also, helps take immediate action. You may be comfortably motivated but it may bring upheaval and some hard truth to swallow, so be prepared for no-excuses scripture to change your life.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Interview with Stephanie Rose Bird: 'The Big Book of Soul'

Stephanie Rose Bird graduated with honors from Temple University, Tyler School of Art and received her MFA from the University of California at San Diego, where she was a San Diego Opportunity Fellow. She was Assistant Professor at the School of the Art Institute in painting and drawing; a Fulbright Senior Scholar to Australia in the field of anthropology,and she has taught at the Chicago Botanic Garden as well as the Garfield Conservatory. Bird is a professional member of the International Center for Traditional Childbearing (Black Midwives and Healers) and the Herb Research Society of the American Botanical Council. She is also a member of Author’s Guild. Bird is author of Sticks, Stones, Roots and Bones: Hoodoo, Mojo and Conjuring with Herbs, Four Seasons of Mojo: an Herbal Guide to Natural Living, and A Healing Grove: African Tree Remedies and Rituals for Body and Spirit. Bird is a practicing magical herbalist and aromatherapist who lives with her husband, family and animal friends in the Chicago area.
You can visit her website at www.stephanierosebird.com.

Welcome to The Writer's Life, Stephanie. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

I started writing poetry and short stories in high school. I became very serious about artmaking and pretty much abandoned my writing for quite a while. I returned to writing seriously in 1999 and have been typing away ever since.


Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

The Big Book of Soul: the Ultimate Guide to the African American Spirit: Legend & Lore, Music and Mysticism, Recipes and Rituals, was released February 5, 2010 and it was published by Hampton Roads Publishers and distributed by Red Wheel Weiser Books. The Big Book of Soul, investigates the phenomena of soul and the development of soulful practices from ancient through contemporary times in the African diaspora. It is a complex book that combines folklore and mythology with alternative spirituality, healing and African American and well as continental African history. I wrote it because I saw a need for a book that explored the heart-felt spirit, so present in African societies, that we call soul.


What kind of research was involved in writing your book?

Many years of research went into The Big Book of Soul and I love research so that wasn’t a problem but more of a pleasure. I researched in books and read academic papers that were from specific countries to find out more about each countries indigenous use of herbs and use of holistic remedies. I had telephone interviews and email interviews with people across the world. I also traveled and I interviewed people from Africa living in the United States in person.


Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?

I first tried to get published in the year of 2000 and it took 4 years to find the right publisher after numerous submissions and rejections. I connected with a very caring literary agent and that made the road feel smoother. In the end though she and I were not able to place the work with a big publishing house and instead I went with a smaller, independent niche publisher.


For this particular book, how long did it take from the time you signed the contract to its release?

It took about a year and a half to two years.

Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

I work with Marie Brown of Marie Brown and Associates and I have also represented my own work to smaller publishing houses.


Do you plan subsequent books?

Absolutely! I love writing!!


Can you describe your most favorite place to write?

I like sitting in a chair in the front yard, overlooking my garden of herbs and flowers, listening to birds sing, on a bright, sunny, warm day.


If money was no object, what would be the first thing you would invest in to promote your book?

I would invest in advertising in magazines and on cable to specialty markets.


How important do you think self-promotion is and in what ways have you been promoting your book offline and online?

Self-promotion is a vital link in the success of the book in terms of visibility. I promote my books on my website, on authorsden and on my publisher’s websites. I promote through my yahoo groups and social networks that are both offline and online. I promote through niche groups that I identify with such as African American groups, groups related to women, mothers, Midwesterners, groups concerned with alternative spirituality, mysticism, folklore and holistic health, ectera. I have forged relationships with certain independent booksellers and I always let them know of upcoming titles.


What’s the most common reason you believe new writers give up their dream of becoming published and did you almost give up?

Writing is very solitary and that can be nerve-racking and very lonely. Rejection is a secondary reason—rejections come in buckets it seems—they rain and pour before anything is accepted in my experience.


Any final words of wisdom for those of us who would like to be published?

Stick with it; don’t take rejections personally; basically don’t give up. Networking with fellow artists and writers is also very important.


Thank you for your interview, Stephanie. I wish you much success!

You’re welcome. It’s been my pleasure.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Interview with Paul Stutzman, author of Hiking Through: Finding Peace and Freedom on the Appalachian Trail

Paul Stutzman spent 25 years building a career in food service, but he left that career after his wife died of breast cancer. At 58, he began a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, walking from Georgia to Maine, seeking healing and answers to questions about God’s relevance in his life. His book, Hiking Through: Finding Peace and Freedom on the Appalachian Trail, chronicles both his trail journey and his spiritual journey. You can visit his website at www.hikingthrough.com.

Welcome to The Writer's Life, Paul. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

I consider myself a very private person, and to open myself up as I did in Hiking Through was something foreign to my nature. I think, though, there are too many men going through life just as I was—too busy living to be living. It was very important to me to share a message with men to appreciate their spouses while they have the opportunity. This book was my first manuscript.


Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

The book is about my thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail while grieving the loss of my wife to breast cancer. I wrote it for two reasons. It’s an adventure story; we all need adventure. I also had a message I wanted to get out.


What kind of research was involved in writing (please italicize book title here – no caps or quote marks)?

Research? Living life for 58 years and walking 2,176 miles. The path I hiked on the AT paralleled my journey through life.


Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?
I had heard so much about the difficulty of getting manuscripts published, that the first decision had to be whether I would self-publish or go with a traditional publisher. There are now so many resources available to a writer, and researching and sifting through an information overload to try to find the company that was right for me was probably the most difficult part of the entire process.


For this particular book, how long did it take from the time you signed the contract to its release?

The official release date is April 6, 2010, but the book is selling well locally and through my website. It was seven months from the time I signed the contract to the time I held the book in my hands.

Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

I don’t have an agent. In the first place, it’s difficult for an unknown author to get his work noticed, even if he has a good story to tell. In my observation, traditional publishing houses will print anything if there’s a famous or notorious name on the cover. But as an unknown, I knew selling my manuscript to a publisher might take a while. I didn’t want to wait; I was in a hurry to get my message out.

Once I did the research, I realized the bulk of the work of marketing a book still falls on the author, no matter who publishes it. With many very professional companies to work with on book production, I believe writers can have a high-quality book and make more money if they self-publish.


Do you plan subsequent books?

That’s easy. I’ve already got three more projects I’m working on. The next will be a cross-country bicycle trip, and the resulting book, Front Porch America, will tell the stories of people I meet and talk with on their front porches.

Can you describe your most favorite place to write?

At the kitchen counter with a cup of coffee or a cold Coke and candy bar with the sun streaming in through the window.

If money was no object, what would be the first thing you would invest in to promote your book?

I’d hire a Washington lobbyist to run my marketing campaign.


How important do you think self-promotion is and in what ways have you been promoting your book offline and online?

Book signings, speaking appearances, my website, an online book tour. I’ll talk to one person or one hundred. It’s up to the author to promote his book, and—being a new author—I’ll take any chance I get to talk about Hiking Through. It’s an advantage to live in small-town America; word-of-mouth publicity is very effective.


What’s the most common reason you believe new writers give up their dream of becoming published and did you almost give up?

No. I hiked 2,176 miles only by sheer stubbornness and persistence. Writers may give up if they don’t believe in what they have to say. I know it’s extremely difficult, but I had a message that I had to get out and I never considered giving up.


Any final words of wisdom for those of us who would like to be published?

I walked from Georgia to Maine by getting up every morning and putting one foot in front of the other—five million times. Get up every morning and keep walking!


Thank you for your interview, Paul. I wish you much success!

Thank you. The book has been selling very well. I’d encourage everyone to go to my website and take a look at the photo tour of the Trail, find out more about what I did and why I did it. And then buy my book!


Paul Stutzman is on virtual book tour during March and April 2010. If you'd like to visit his official tour page, click here.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Interview with Cilla McCain - Author of Murder in Baker Company

Cilla McCain works within all genres of the literary field on a full time basis. Whether fiction or non-fiction, McCain strives to focus on stories and issues dealing with social justice and cultural bias in an attempt bring enlightenment and understanding to readers. “I want to write about people and events that have been unjustly ignored or stereotyped.” says McCain.

www.cillamccain.com



Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Cilla McCain, Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

A: I’ve been writing all of my life but I did not begin to do so professionally until 2003 when my first short story was published. It was a story about my Grandfather’s induction into the Army during WWII. He grew up on a small cotton farm in Georgia and at the age of 16, lied about his age to join the Army. He passed away in a Veteran’s Hospital in Alabama and as he lay dying and semi-conscious he was seemingly talking out of his mind. But anyone who knew him could recognize the memories that were flowing from his lips. He kept saying “Pickin cotton sure is hard work.” That ended up being the title of the short story.

Q: Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

A: Although a true crime narrative about the murder of Army Specialist Richard Davis, Murder In Baker Company is ultimately about the difficulties, injustice and tragedy our soldier’s and their families face. These are issues that have not been talked about in the media or by our leaders as it should be. I wrote it out of respect for our soldier’s in the hope that it would somehow help improve their lives. Problems cannot be fixed if they are hidden or ignored and there is a lot more to patriotic responsibility than waving the flag. The Ft. Hood massacre is a good example of the type of disasters that can and will occur by doing so.



Q: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?

A: Exercising patience with the people who would rather this story not be told because they see it as a possible indictment of the military. I cannot stress strongly enough that that is not the case whatsoever. I know that we have the best military force in the world and I respect, no, I revere our troops. At the same time, I fully realize that the military is much like a machine; for the most part everything runs smoothly but with something this large there will be problems. A friend of mine, Hunter Glass, likes to compare ignoring the problems to putting bad gasoline in a car. “You may get away with it for a while, but if you keep doing it, eventually it’s going to destroy your engine.”

Q: Do you have a press kit and what do you include in it? Does this press kit appear online and, if so, can you provide a link to where we can see it?

A: The press kit can be found at www.cillamccain.com. Currently I am working on adding resource information to the kit directing people to veteran’s organizations that are in the best position to help with the issues discussed in Murder In Baker Company.

Q: Have you either spoken to groups of people about your book or appeared on radio or TV? What are your upcoming plans for doing so?

A: I have been speaking about the book and issues the entire time I’ve been writing it. I’ve created petitions calling for congressional investigations into the particular problems the book deals with and I publicly worked very hard to help Richard Davis’s family get his remains returned for a proper burial in April 2007. Typical literary events are difficult because this book’s subject matter is so real and raw. However, I just returned from an event in Savannah, GA and I have a book signing scheduled in Columbus, GA, near Ft. Benning later this month. I’m also scheduled to provide an interview for Sirius XM radio on February 22, 2010 on Mark Thompson’s “Make It Plain” show.

Q: Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

A: My agent is Frank Weimann of The Literary Group, New York. I do feel it is in a writer’s best interest to have an experienced agent if at all possible. But not being able to secure an agent should never stop a writer from exploring all publishing avenues available these days. A person who possesses a writer’s soul could not stop writing even if they tried. It’s like breathing, so never give up.

Q: Did you, your agent or publisher prepare a media blitz before the book came out and would you like to tell us about it?

A: The publisher does employ a publicist to help with advertising and press releases and it’s a been an invaluable support system. But nobody cares more about a book than its writer. Ultimately it’s up to the writer to convey the importance to other people. One of the latest tools for authors are “virtual tours.” I have one starting on March 1, 2010. Virtual tours are the fastest, most cost effective manner for author touring. What’s great about it is that you can reach your target audience directly.

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

A: Yes, I have two books in the planning stages right now. One is about Marine Colonel Michael Stahlman and the other is a historical novel set in the North Georgia mountains.

Q: Thank you for your interview, Cilla. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

A: Sure, the book can be found at all book outlets such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble and my web address is www.cillamccain.com.

Thank you so much for helping me to give our military families a voice.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Interview with Annette Fuson, author of "Straight Talk for Teenage Girls"





About Annette Fuson


Annette Fuson has been a teacher of teenage girls for many years. She has a BS and MA degree in Education and has also taught at the college level. She is married and has a daughter and granddaughter. The book, “Straight Talk for Teenage Girls” is about topics she taught, where she learned that the changes taking place in teen girls’ lives make them confused, afraid and frustrated. The information taught gave them realistic ideas to help them deal with this stage of life. The classes and discussions were lively and positive. The girls wanted ideas, encouragement and sensible answers to what was bothering them. She used this knowledge to write the book when she saw so many girls needed this kind of help. Girls need all the ideas and help they can get from school, parents, church and other adults to make good decisions that can help mold them with a minimum of problems along the way. Annette has a self-help test and case study at each chapter. Girls love these and adults who work with teens use them for discussion. It is in everyone’s interest for all teenage girls grow to be happy and confident adults. To that goal is her mission with the book. She speaks and has taught workshops for teens and parents of teens where she has information sheets and tests on parenting. Annette has a business helping people look and dress their best for themselves and their careers. She gives presentations to businesses. But Annette Fuson’s true purpose it helping teenage girls. She has been chosen Citizen of the Year and Queen of Sales many times. These accomplishments show she is a leader and a “people person” that can make a difference in many lives.

You can visit her at www.straighttalkforgirls.com

The Interview

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Annette. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

A:I am a former teacher of teenagers and adults. I have a business in my home and am a people person. I am married with a daughter and a granddaughter. I have been writing about 4 years.

Q: Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

A:Straight Talk for Teenage Girls gives information on making choices in life situations. It is sensible ideas on problems all girls face with suggested answers so they can deal with the pressures. Examples: self-esteem, emotions, decisions, friendships with girls/boys, getting out of bad situations, handling mistakes and reaching goals. Each chapter has a self-test and case study for disscussion. Adults who work with teens use it for this reason. The mistake chapter has things to do and say, as well as, 800 numbers and websites for more information that can help them and their friends. There are also 50 questions from real girls at the end of the book. The mission is for girls to make choices that will help them reach adulthood successfully. I wrote it because I realized ALL girls needed this help.

Q: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?

A:Marketing the book since I am not famous.

Q: Do you have a press kit and what do you include in it? Does this press kit appear online and, if so, can you provide a link to where we can see it?

A:Yes. Contact: afuson@vvm.com

Q: Have you either spoken to groups of people about your book or appeared on radio or TV? What are your upcoming plans for doing so?

A:I speak to teen and adult groups, have had workshops on Tips to Handling Teens, as well as, ones for teens on You are in charge of your life. I have had several TV and radio interviews in Central Texas. Last week I had a radio interview in Conn. I speak about twice a month.

Q: Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

A:I did contact an agent for nation wide speaking, but because of circumstances in my life then, I did not go ahead with her. I do think it is important, however it is too expensive now. I am trying the Pump up Your Book now. When you are not famous, you need an agent more.

Q: Did you, your agent or publisher prepare a media blitz before the book came out and would you like to tell us about it?

A:I had several local groups and businesses give me "book signings blitz's". They went very well. Now I do conferences with counselors and librarians because they are my big market to spread to many teens.

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

A:Not at this time.

Q: Thank you for your interview, Annette. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

A:www.straighttalkforgirls.com or book stores as well as Amazon.com or B & B.com

Straight Talk for Teenage GirlsStraight Talk for Teenage Girls by Annette Fuson (click on cover to purchase at Amazon)



About Straight Talk for Teenage Girls


Straight Talk for Teenage Girls is information to help teen girls make better choices about life situations so they will grow to adulthood successfully. Topics include: self-esteem, dealing with emotions, making decisions, friendships with girls/boys, getting out of bad situations, handling mistakes and reaching goals. Because of the self-tests, case studies at each chapter and the 50 questions from real girls, adults who work with teens use the book for discussions. The information comes from classes taught in school for over 20 years. The book is up-beat, positive and easy to understand. The mission is to help all girls make choices that will lead to a happier life.

Read the excerpt!


“Mistakes are normal. Everyone makes mistakes. Mistakes don’t have to pull you down. You can learn from your mistakes. It is never too late to fix a mistake! Mistakes come from making bad or wrong decisions. They come from being with the wrong person or being easily led by them. Mistakes come from not thinking ahead or mostly not thinking…”Is this what’s best for ME?” You have NO control over other people, you only have control over yourself! Your mistakes will affect others too. You’ve learned in “Getting Out of Bad Situations” chapter that you have to learn to cope or take action when it comes to other people. Other people can’t use you without your permission. So you have made a big mistake, let’s learn from it and go on. It is NEVER too late to change, you just have to want to change. Let’s look at some mistakes and what you can do to change or help a friend change: Choosing Wrong Friends, Being Promiscuous, Drugs and Alcohol, Getting Pregnant, Molestation, Self-Injury/Cutting and Controlling/Abusive Boyfriends.”

Read what critics have to say!


“Straight Talk for Teenage Girls” is exactly what the title tells us, as Annette Fuson discusses important issues facing all teen girls today. The teen years are a time of change, and this can be confusing, frustrating and even scary for teens. Annette has made a resource for young ladies to go to for answers, suggestions or just for reassurance. During these teen years, hormones are raging, and sometimes it may be easier for a teen to read a suggestion from a reliable source than take some verbal advice from a well-meaning parent.

I can highly recommend “Straight Talk” to all teen girls and their concerned parents.
Reader Views

Annette Fuson’s “Straight Talk for Teenage Girls” is a great guide for girl teens on everyday life struggles. I read this book in three days, and was amazed at what I realized about myself. A friend of mine asked to borrow the book and she gave it back the next day saying she absolutely loved the advice. Fuson offers advice on relationships, friendships, parents, and much more. She includes fun quizes and there are questions from real teens that she answers. I definitely give this book a thumbs up!
Andrea West

This was a great conversation starter for my daughter and I. We were able to talk about boys, sex, and other important topics that we did not feel comfortable talking about before. Great advice and simple to understand. Reminded me of Dr. Phil.
Susan Smith

Monday, March 08, 2010

Interview with Southern Magical Realism Novelist Sarah Addision Allen



Sarah Addison Allen lives in Asheville, North Carolina, where she serves up heaping helpings of the fantastic and the familiar in fiction she describes as "Southern-fried magical realism.” She is the New York Times Bestselling Author of Garden Spells and The Sugar Queen. Her new book, The Girl Who Chased the Moon, is on sale March 16, 2010.

Welcome to The Writer's Life, Sarah. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

Answer: I’m a foodie and a bookworm. My mother is a fabulous cook and my father is a journalist, so I come by it honestly. I’ve been writing most of my life, and finally made it to published writer with the publication of my first book, Garden Spells, a few years ago. It’s been a glorious whirlwind. My life hasn’t been the same since.

Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

Answer: The Girl Who Chased the Moon is about a girl who comes to the small town of Mullaby, North Carolina, hoping to solve at least some of the riddles surrounding her mother’s life.

But the moment she enters the house where her mother grew up and meets the grandfather she never knew, she realizes that mysteries aren’t solved in Mullaby, they’re a way of life: Here are rooms where the wallpaper changes to suit your mood. Unexplained lights skip across the yard at midnight. And a neighbor bakes hope in the form of cakes.

That’s just for starters.

The book is set in a barbecue town, and it ended up being my love letter to North Carolina barbecue -- an institution where I come from.

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?

Answer: Weight gain. I battle it with every book. Food plays a big role in my stories. Edible flowers in Garden Spells, Southern and rural candies in The Sugar Queen, and now North Carolina barbecue and Southern cakes in The Girl Who Chased the Moon. All that research is tough on the waistline.

Have you either spoken to groups of people about your book or appeared on radio or TV? What are your upcoming plans for doing so?

Answer: I speak at book signings when I’m on tour. I also give radio and TV interviews. It is equal parts exciting and terrifying for a person who spends most of her time in a ponytail and pajamas, talking to imaginary people. My upcoming tour for The Girl Who Chased the Moon will take me to bookstores across the South.



Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

Answer: My agent is Andrea Cirillo, at the Jane Rotrosen Agency. She’s genius, pure genius.

Did you, your agent or publisher prepare a media blitz before the book came out and would you like to tell us about it?

Answer: The marketing and publicity departments at Random House are the indomitable forces behind promoting my books. Book trailers, ARCs, appearances, interviews, reviews. They are such a creative and hard-working group. I’m very lucky to have them.

Do you plan subsequent books?

Answer: I’m finishing my fourth book right now, another book of love, magic and food. It will be out in 2011.

Thank you for your interview, Sarah. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

Answer: Thank you for having me. My website is www.sarahaddisonallen.com. There you’ll find a fabulous virtual tour of downtown Mullaby, the fictional town featured in The Girl Who Chased the Moon. There are also contests, recipes, book extras, and some great features for book clubs. The Girl Who Chased the Moon will be in bookstores everywhere starting March 16, 2010.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Interview with Michael Sansolo, Co-Author of The Big Picture



Countless studies and years of work with some of the world’s most innovative companies have given Michael Sansolo a unique and diverse view of the changing nature of trends impacting shoppers, employees, competition, economics, supply chains and management. A long-time senior vice president of the Food Marketing Institute and now a consultant, speaker and author, Sansolo has traveled the globe working with companies on adjusting to new market conditions.

Sansolo recently co-authored The Big Picture: Essential Business Lessons from the Movies, a book that identifies creative lessons in leadership, marketing and workplace dynamics gleaned from movies as varied as The Godfather and Young Frankenstein. Topics in the book include: ethics, brand building, crisis management, outside-the-box thinking, diversity and more. He is also a contributing author to Shopper Marketing, a collaborative book produced by writers from around the world that examines the dynamics of shopper choices. Sansolo also writes a weekly column on wide-ranging business trends for www.MorningNewsBeat.com, a daily blog with nearly 28,000 readers.

Sansolo is a frequent speaker and moderator at conferences and company meetings in the United States and around the globe, addressing crowds from 20 to 5,000; from college students to CEOs of Fortune 100 organizations. He conducts strategic planning retreats for companies and has designed conferences for a number of trade associations, including the widely acclaimed FMI Future Connect leadership conference.

Welcome to The Writer's Life, Michael. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

Answer: Right out of college I found work on a local daily newspaper, which even 30 years later I look back on as my favorite job. The pay was lousy and the hours were worse, but the chance to write so much and get decent editing and direction helped me grow as a writer.

Although newspapers are long in my past, the lessons have never been lost. I approach all projects with a reporter’s eyes, asking questions, listening for answers and looking for what’s new. My career working with the food industry has allowed me to travel the world, see how people shop, cook and eat in far away places and meet marvelous people. But those reporter skills are always with me and always serve me well.

Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

Answer: Individuals and businesses who can best tell their story or narratives have a huge advantage in the world of business. My co-author, Kevin Coupe, and I believe that story telling is an important art, but one that many people cannot easily handle.

The goal of the book is to help everyone find stories that can explain what they do, what they aspire to do and what they hope to encourage those around them to do. Good movies tell wonderful stories and they are an easy medium for folks to use.

The book offers 50-plus short chapters, highlighting the essential (and sometimes unexpected) lessons from popular movies. We think these stories can provide anyone in business or the workforce with easy metaphors to make a complex point that will help them build sales, profits, career opportunities and success.

Plus, it can help you find the words for important moral lessons that too often are ignored or unmentioned in business. That includes finding your passion, learning to listen to opposing views and, of course, finding the wisdom and courage to do the right thing.

We think people will find these to be important lessons talked about in an easy and approachable manner.

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?

Answer: Obviously we had to re-watch a lot of movies and we had to make sure we were always stretched beyond the obvious. For example, many people know the movie A League of Their Own and think the chapter is about the most famous line: “There’s no crying in baseball.” Instead, we went in a different direction with that movie and many others.

Beyond that, a book requires an incredible sense of collaboration, especially when two people share the task. Kevin and I had to make certain we were maintaining similar standards of insight, story telling and creativity. We talked constantly and worked hard to make sure a reader will not notice whose words they are actually reading at that moment. (Plus we had light-hearted battles over who got to write about specific movies we both loved.)

In addition, the coordination with the editor and publisher is essential. We were on the same page with them about 50% of the time, but business requires that you quickly fix the other 50% and make decisions without ego that benefit the overall project.

Writing a book requires far more effort and focus than I think most people believe. The quality and energy can never lag. The story telling, even in a book of short chapters like this, must be consistently strong.



Do you have a press kit and what do you include in it? Does this press kit appear online and, if so, can you provide a link to where we can see it?

Answer: We have an incredible amount of information through our publisher. Please check www.brigantinemedia.com/bigpicture. Because Kevin and I do lots of public speaking and media work you can also find articles about us, interviews and more.

Have you either spoken to groups of people about your book or appeared on radio or TV? What are your upcoming plans for doing so?

Answer: Kevin and I have both been on the public speaking circuit for years, although our topics in the past have been all business. Now, we talk about the lessons of the books. We are constantly booked for events ranging in size from 20 people to thousands, from college students to company CEOS. You can find loads of information about us on our personal websites: MichaelSansolo.com or KevinCoupe.com.

We both have extensive experience in radio and television.

Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

Answer: While many speakers’ bureaus work with us, our book representation is done mostly with Brigantine Media and the Cadence Group.

We’re both baseball fans so we’re certainly open to talking with Scott Boras about A-Rod type money!

Did you, your agent or publisher prepare a media blitz before the book came out and would you like to tell us about it?

Answer: We’ve tried to approach this on every front. Our publisher, working with the Cadence Group, has been working the world of publishing blogs and media to get Kevin and me exposure. In fact, that’s how we found your website and we’re delighted to have this opportunity.

Kevin and I are also working with local media or any other contacts we have to get attention for the book. It’s humbling in this experience, but you have to be willing (and able) to get out and sell your book. Even Sarah Palin and Dan Brown have to do book tours. They just get to do it in first class style.

In our case, we’re working the phones and the web as best as possible.

Do you plan subsequent books?

Answer: Having done one we both have a sense of what it takes and honestly, I’d be delighted to travel this route again. The first was such a learning experience and while I love the book I think I can work better and more effectively on subsequent efforts.

I’m hoping time and the market will allow me to write many additional books.

Thank you for your interview, Michael. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

Answer: Thanks for this opportunity. You can find the book at www.brigantinemedia.com/bigpicture or, of course, on Amazon.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Interview with Michele Wahlder, Author of the Self-help Book Alphatudes



Michele Wahlder is a certified life coach, career counselor, licensed psychotherapist, motivational speaker and gratitude enthusiast. She is the founder of Life Possibilities, LLC, a company that guides people to become the highest vision they hold for themselves in their lives, careers and relationships through the vehicles of coaching, seminars and books. Wahlder is devoted to helping her clients discover their strengths, passions and purpose so that their outer lives authentically reflect their hearts’ desires. She holds an MS in Counseling and Development from Texas Woman’s University and a BA in Communications from Tulane University. Wahlder has worked with numerous organizations, including Match.com, The Nielsen Company, Lucent Technologies and Girls, Inc., to improve individual performance and organizational effectiveness.

Honored as the Global Spokesperson for Bayer’s Global MS Campaign, Wahlder is an experienced and dynamic media guest who has appeared in numerous print, radio, and television outlets including WFAA-TV’s Good Morning Texas, KDAF-TV’s The 33 News, CBS and CNN Radio. She has served as a contributing expert for publications such as Fitness magazine, Dallas Morning News, Texas Jewish Post, and Dallas Child.

Wahlder lives in Dallas, Texas, with her fiancĂ© Michael, “bonus daughter” Zoe and Portuguese water dog Moses.

Welcome to The Writer's Life, Michele. Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

Answer: Alphatudes: The Alphabet of Gratitude, uses the structure of the alphabet, to provide 26 spiritual solutions to help individuals develop a perspective of gratitude to better cope with the challenges of life. It offers a rare combination of uplifting and beautiful illustrations, quotes, narratives, affirmations and prayers to give the reader an experience of gratitude rather than just a theoretical overview. Alphatudes will help readers:

• Heighten their awareness and appreciation of life’s daily gifts
• Attract opportunities with a positive mind-set
• Surmount life’s challenges with a healthy reservoir of gratitude
• Find the hidden blessings in difficult situations
• Free themselves from worry, negativity and resentment


My hope in creating Alphatudes: The Alphabet of Gratitude was to provide an easy-to-implement, effective means of helping others find the wellspring of optimism, serenity and prosperity that comes from the simple practice of gratitude. The ability to sustain a positive outlook on life is a beneficial by-product of the practice of gratitude.

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?

Answer: I wanted to write the book with spiritual terms that were accessible to people of all religious backgrounds and faiths. At times, it was difficult to try and find spiritual terms and wording that I thought everyone could relate to.

Do you have a press kit and what do you include in it? Does this press kit appear online and, if so, can you provide a link to where we can see it?

Answer: My website www.alphatudes.com has my photo, a list of interviews/appearances, my bio and media contacts. A full press kit is available upon request.

Have you either spoken to groups of people about your book or appeared on radio or TV? What are your upcoming plans for doing so?

Answer: Yes, I have been interviewed by numerous television programs and radio shows. I have more upcoming interviews scheduled. You can hear and see many of the interviews at www.lifepossibilities.com.

Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

Answer: I did not have an agent. However, I do have a fantastic book sales and marketing company – The Cadence Group.

Did you, your agent or publisher prepare a media blitz before the book came out and would you like to tell us about it?



Answer: We had the sales, marketing and publicity plan in place before Alphatudes ever went to the printer. To publish effectively, we had to take every aspect of the publishing process in to consideration and plan, and budget, accordingly. We were pitching long-lead magazines four months prior to publication and started online optimization, reviews, print media, and social media one month prior to publication. All of these will be ongoing for several months. We also started booking an author tour six weeks prior to publication and have five events in the Dallas area booked for March and April.

Do you plan subsequent books?

Answer: I am considering writing a series of Alphatudes: The Alphabet of Gratitude books in the future. I haven’t chosen the specific names of the books in the series yet.

Thank you for your interview, Michele. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

Answer:
Readers can find more information about me, my books, life coaching and speaking engagements on my websites:

www.alphatudes.com
www.lifepossibilities.com

Alphatudes: The Alphabet of Gratitude is available for purchase on my website www.alphatudes.com/store or directly through the following national outlets:

BARNES & NOBLE
AMAZON.COM
BORDERS
BUY DIRECT


Readers can also get connected with me through social sites:

Connect with me on Facebook
Become a fan of Alphatudes on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter
Let’s link up on LinkedIn
Connect with me on Plaxo
View my YouTube Channel