Tuesday, April 30, 2013

WRITING ABOUT BIGFOOT: A TRICKY PROPOSITION, a guest post by Patrick C. Greene


Back when I first conceived of my novel Progeny, I realized there were potential pitfalls. I had in fact, been warned away from the topic.  
As it happened the guy who issued the warning was less-than-knowledgeable on the subject of both mythical monsters and apparently, despite being a screenwriter, about writing in general. He asserted that no one cares about bigfoot. Seeing dozens of books and movies hitting the markets every month that featured the hairy monster, I was sure he was at least partially wrong.
In the early going, whenever people asked what the book was about, I tended to be furtive in telling them, preferring to emphasize the human elements, as I did in writing it. But after the first few conversations, I realized just how wrong my "friend" had been. These days, when people ask, I can just respond "Bigfoot" and the interest level is instant and palpable.
My point: writing is a very personal thing, and if you are interested in a topic that's all the reason you need to write about it. That's no guarantee of success of course—unless you measure success the way I do, which is first and foremost based on how much I enjoy writing about something. Friends and family members generally mean well when offering advice about writing. But even if they are writers, it doesn't mean their advice is good. In the famous words of William Goldman: "No one knows anything."

Author Bio
Some dark serendipity plopped a young Patrick Greene in front of a series of ever stranger films-and experiences-in his formative years, leading to a unique viewpoint. His odd interests have led to pursuits in film acting, paranormal investigation, martial arts, quantum physics, bizarre folklore and eastern philosophy. These elements flavor his screenplays and fiction works, often leading to strange and unexpected detours designed to keep viewers and readers on their toes.
Literary influences range from Poe to Clive Barker to John Keel to a certain best-selling Bangorian. Suspense, irony, and outrageously surreal circumstances test the characters who populate his work, taking them and the reader on a grandly bizarre journey into the furthest realms of darkness. The uneasy notion that reality itself is not only relative but indeed elastic- is the hallmark of Greene’s writing.
Living in the rural periphery of Asheville North Carolina with his wife, youngest son Gavin and an ever-growing army of cats, Greene still trains in martial arts when he’s not giving birth to demons via his pen and keyboard.

Links:
Amazon buy link: http://www.amazon.com/Progeny-ebook/dp/B009U6VFEK/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1366910642&sr=8-1&keywords=progeny

Friday, April 26, 2013

Pump Up Your Book Announces May '13 Authors on Virtual Book Tour

Pump Up Your Book is thrilled to announce their May 2013 authors on virtual book tour.  In May, Pump Up Your Book features 37 authors in a variety of genres.  From paranormal mysteries and romances to fantasy
novels, from children’s picture books to young adult novels, and from Christian memoirs to non-fiction crime books and more, you’re sure to find a book of interest. Follow our authors to see how you can enter for a chance to win fabulous prizes like Amazon or Starbucks gift cards or the Kindle Fire HD!

Look for Book Blasts from Rita Antoinette Borg and Milly Taiden this month. Book Blasts are just one of the ways you can win great prizes.

Christian fiction titles come to you from Sandra D. Bricker, Jim Kraus, Sherry Kyle, Cynthia Ruchti, and Linda White. Kraig Dafoe tours with his fantasy adventure novel, “Search for the Last Realm,” and Julie Flanders shares her suspense/urban fantasy novel, “Polar Night.” A variety of paranormal books come to you from Mark All, Christine Amsden, Ann Gimpel, Joshua Graham, and Joseph Spencer. Richard Stephenson talks about his dystopian thriller, “Collapse,” while Lindsey Fairleigh and Lindsey Pogue discuss their post-apocalyptic romance novel, “After the Ending,” the first book in a planned series.
For younger readers we have a middle grade fantasy novel by Yves Robichaud, and children’s picture books from Anne Sawyer-Aitch and Nancy Stewart.  And don’t miss Carlos Nicholas and his young adult paranormal, “The Sixth Power.”

Other novelists on tour in May are: Dilbruba Z. Ara, Michael Bigham, Veronica Frances, O.S. Gill, Harris Gray, Allan Leverone, Morrie Richfield, Scarlett Savage, Val Stasik, and Alana Terry.

Memoirs come to you from Emma Clay and Ash Hoden, while Tami Goldstein shares her autism awareness book, “Coming Through the Fog.” Mark Geragos and Pat Harris discuss their non-fiction crime book, “Mistrial,” and Robert Henry continues his tour for his health/fitness book, “Age-Redefined.”

Visit YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGI-MhH33r0 to view a video trailer introducing our clients on tour in May.

Visit their official tour pages below!

Mark All – The Spellcaster’s Grimoire
Christine Amsden – Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective
Dilbruba Z. Ara – A List of Offences
Michael Bigham – Harkness
Rita Antoinette Borg – Meg the Egg (BOOK BLAST)
Sandra D. Bricker – Always the Baker, Finally the Bride
Emma Clay – Revived by Grace
Kraig Dafoe – Search for the Last Realm
Lindsey Fairleigh and Lindsey Pogue – After the Ending
Julie Flanders – Polar Night
Veronica Frances – Tickling Daphne H.
Mark Geragos and Pat Harris – Mistrial
O.S. Gill – The Knights of Galaria: The Crystals of Power
Ann Gimpel – Dancing in the Flame & Magic’s Daughter
Tami Goldstein – Coming Through the Fog
Joshua Graham – Terminus
Harris Gray – Vampire Vic
Robert Henry – Age-ReDefined
Ash Hoden – The Idiot of Funkyville
Jim Kraus – The Cat That God Sent
Sherry Kyle – The Heart Stone
Allan Leverone – Parallax View
Carol Nicolas – The Sixth Power
Morrie Richfield – Revelation
Yves Robichaud – Tomes of Taria: Kaylen’s Rising
Cynthia Ruchti – When the Morning Glory Blooms
Scarlett Savage – Narcotic Nation
Anne Sawyer-Aitch – Nalah and the Pink Tiger
Joseph Spencer – Grim
Val Stasik – Incidental Daughter
Richard Stephenson – Collapse
Nancy Stewart – Bella Saves the Beach
Milly Taiden – Wolf Protector (BOOK BLAST)
Alana Terry – The Beloved Daughter
Linda White – Seeds of Evidence

If you would like to book a tour with us, email Dorothy Thompson at thewriterslife (at) gmail.com.  Please tell us what your book is about, which package you would like and which month you would like to tour.  Our earliest opening is July 2013.  Thank you and we look forward to pumping up your book!

Dorothy Thompson
Founder, Pump Up Your Book

Interview with Kraig Dafoe, author of 'Search for the Lost Realm'


Kraig Dafoe was born in Potsdam, New York and grew up in Canton. He played high school football and joined the United States Army Reserves at the age of seventeen.

Kraig married at the age of nineteen and moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia where he worked as a Private Security officer for The Christian Broadcasting Network and also attended the Tidewater Community College for business.

After five years as a security officer, he became a Deputy Sheriff for the city of Chesapeake Virginia.

Kraig left the Sheriff’s office after nine years of service and pursued a couple of different business opportunities before he went on to publishing his debut novel.

Kraig is the father of five children and he currently resides in Kansas, raising his youngest son.

His latest book is the fantasy/adventure, Search for the Lost Realm.

Visit his website at www.kraigdafoebooks.com

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Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

I came up with search for the lost realm while I was roll playing in the nineties. I spent a lot of time playing a game where I was immersed in a world of wonder and intrigue and I just wanted to share the excitement I felt with others.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

The most difficult thing about writing this story was making sure something I mentioned early in the book stayed true towards the end. I would get so engrossed in the story that I would often forget what I wrote weeks before and would constantly have to go back to make sure I was still on track.

The one tip I would give to other writers would be make side notes as you go pertaining to the important plot points. Keep them separate so you can glance at them as you write instead of having to go back into the file to look for them.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I spent a lot of time trying to find agents and publishers but as an unknown, I eventually decided to publish myself. I would still prefer a publishing house and will seek one for further works.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

When publishing on your own, there are surprises around every corner. I had to do a lot of research and the cost can be a little overwhelming but I learned a lot during the process and that can be beneficial in the future.

Q: Can you describe the feeling when you saw your published book for the first time?

I seriously thought it would be very exciting for me but I was a little underwhelmed. I had already read my work some hundred times or so and when I saw the finished product I was more relieved than anything.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

I am currently writing my second fantasy adventure which I hope to have finished soon. I am going to solicit publishers again so if I were to get lucky, I’m sure it would be out next year. If I hit a wall with mainstream publishing again, I could put it out by the end of 2013.

Q: Fun question: How does your book contribute to making this world a better place?

I’m sure my book will not be directly responsible for making this world a better place but I hope it will entertain those in this world that need entertainment. I have been entertained by many over the years and now I would just like to give back.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

The book itself has no mainstream message but the fact that it’s out there shows that dreams really can come true. If you work hard enough and never give up, you can accomplish your goals.
  
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Yes, please check out my site at www.kraigdafoebooks.com and follow my blog. Thank you.




Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Meg the Egg Book Blast and Giveaway - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card or Free EBooks



ABOUT THE BOOK: Little Meg finds the outside world a bit too loud and far too scary! So, she’s going to stay inside her safe white shell, thank you very much. But then the Howl breaks into the barn and steals Mother Hen! What is she supposed to do, still holed up in that egg of hers? She can’t run and she certainly can’t fly. Well, never get between a chick and her momma, cause this little bird’s got a can-do spirit and a whole lot of courage that she didn’t know she had before!

A tale of self discovery that speaks to all children’s fears of the unknown, Ms. Borg delivers a great read-aloud resource for parents and teachers alike. With an onomatopoeic construction that gives life to the story and encourages children to participate through repetition of words, noises, and actions, MEG THE EGG is the perfect story for beginning readers.


Rita Borg photo new Rita Antoinette Borg was educated in New York and now resides on the Mediterranean island of Malta. She performs storytelling and creative writing workshops in schools across the country and works as a freelance writer for local magazines and newspapers. Ms. Borg has published four picture books aimed at early readers as well as an anthology of short stories for older children. Her books have been recognized by the Malta National Annual Literary Awards. Her book “Don’t Cross the Road, Holly!” was chosen as the year’s best Children’s Book in English. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Writers & Illustrators.


Pump Up Your Book and Rita Antoinette Borg are teaming up to give you a chance to win fabulous prizes!


Here’s how it works: Each person will enter this giveaway by liking, following, subscribing and tweeting about this giveaway through the Rafflecopter form placed on blogs throughout the tour. This promotion will run from April 22 - May 17, 2013. The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, contacted by email and announced on May 20, 2013. Each blogger who participates is eligible to enter and win. Visit each blog stop below to gain more entries as the Rafflecopter widget will be placed on each blog for the duration of the tour. Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If the Rafflecopter form doesn’t load, you can visit the Meg the Egg tour page at
http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2013/04/01/pump-up-your-book-presents-rita-antoinette-borgs%E2%80%99s-meg-the-egg-book-blast-%E2%80%93-win-25-amazon-gift-card-and-free-books/ for your chance to enter and win!



MEG THE EGG TOUR SCHEDULE
Monday, April 22nd
Tuesday, April 23
Wednesday, April 24th
Thursday, April 25th
Friday, April 26th
Monday, April 29th
Tuesday, April 30th
Wednesday, May 1st
Thursday, May 2nd
Friday, May 3rd
Saturday, May 4th
Monday, May 6th
Tuesday, May 7th
Wednesday, May 8th
Thursday, May 9th
Friday, May 10th
Monday, May 13th
Tuesday, May 14th
Wednesday, May 15th
Thursday, May 16th
Friday, May 17th

Milly Taiden's Wolf Protector Book Blast! Win $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Wolf Protector banner

Pump Up Your Book and Milly Taiden will be giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card during Milly's Wolf Protector Book Blast today! This promotion starts April 15 and ends on May 17. To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below and good luck!
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Wolf ProtectorABOUT WOLF PROTECTOR

A woman with a secret… The Federal Paranormal Unit is an elite squad of supernaturals dedicated to solving missing persons cases. Erica’s gift allows her a special connection with the crime, but it comes at a deep personal cost… Until now, she’s kept her gift a secret, even from the other members of the team. But this case will throw her together with Agent Trent Buchanan. He’s the object of her secret desires, but he’s also a cocky womanizer. She’d rather swim in shark-infested waters with a paper cut than admit she has feelings for him. A man with one desire… Wolf Shifter Trent wants Erica more than he’s ever wanted any woman. He’s spent years patiently waiting for her to admit that she wants him too. Working one-on-one in a race to find a serial killer, Trent’s patience and Erica’s resolve wear thin. When Trent discovers the truth about Erica, will he accept her for who she is? And can he protect her from the horrors that her gift brings? A case that pushes them to the edge… Erica will have to risk it all if she wants to stop the killer, and when she does, Trent may have to put his own life on the line to make sure his mate is protected…

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS

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Milly TaidenABOUT MILLY TAIDEN

Want to know about this author? Milly Taiden (aka April Angel) was born in the prettiest part of the Caribbean known as the Dominican Republic. She grew up between New York, Florida and Massachusetts. Currently, she resides in New York City with her husband, bossy young son and their little dog Speedy. She’s addicted to shopping for shoes, chocolate (but who isn’t?) and Dunkin Donuts coffee. She loves hearing from readers so feel free to connect with her.
Her latest book is the paranormal romantic suspense, Wolf Protector.

Visit her website at www.millytaiden.com.


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Pump Up Your Book and Millie Taiden are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Blog Tour & Kindle Fire Giveaway: The Story Behind Princess April Morning-Glory by Letitia Fairbanks

My name is Kelley Smoot Garrett and I was Letitia Fairbanks’ stepdaughter.

My father, Harold (“Hal”) Nibley Smoot, grandson of Senator Reed Smoot (R. Utah, 1903-1933), first met Letitia in about 1938. Fate played a hand in having my father be the stand-in for his sick brother, resulting in his escorting Letitia to a ball in Salt Lake City, where she’d journeyed to be with her maternal grandparents.  My father in his Randolf-Macon Academy uniform cut a striking figure at 6’4” and charmed Letitia, seven years his senior.  This very pertinent age difference was unknown to me until the late 1980s, after my father died.  Only then was Letitia forced to reveal that information, and be traitor to the ingrained Hollywood maxim, “A woman who’d tell her age would tell anything!” due to the persistent inquiries of a hospital admitting nurse, who demanded answers to such impertinent questions. “If only Hal were still were alive! He’d have handled this quietly, and no one would ever have been the wiser, and certainly not the child,” (me.) But discover this, and many other pertinent facts about Letitia’s life, was to be my destiny: decoding the mystery creation of “Princess April Morning-Glory” these last 20 years, since Letitia’s death.

Following my parents’ divorce in Dallas in 1963, my father returned to Southern California where he’d previously worked as an oil & gas land man. It proved propitiously timed on several accounts: he was an originator and original participant in Union Oil’s dramatic 1966 discovery of the Whittier Field.  It also allowed him to meet back up with Letitia.

After a year+ long courtship, where my sister Carey and I were brought out to Southern California to meet Letitia during our summer holidays, my Dad proposed, an engagement ring selected, and they were married. Dad & Tish did end up eloping (due to Letitia’s mother’s continuing objection to anyone her daughter selected as a potential fiancé) and were married in a private ceremony in San Francisco on 25 November 1966. After their return to LA, a reception in their honor was hosted by Letitia’s sister Lucile Fairbanks Crump, attended by their cousin Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and dearly loved family friend and former actress Mary Brian, among others.

Once they were married, Carey and I stayed in their house in North Hollywood.  This was my introduction to the world that created “Princess April Morning-Glory.”  On Saturday afternoons the house filled with the sound of music – not much different when I was home with my mother, who primarily raised me and with whom I spent the majority of my childhood & adolescence – but the choice of music! No longer did Mozart & Beethoven fill the air, but the “modern” classical sounds of Erich Wolfgang Korngold and his sweeping orchestral scores were the background music to those holiday visits. Severely damaged in the LA earthquake of 1971, the house was sold and Dad & Tish moved to Dallas in 1972.  Letitia often said the day of the earthquake she decided to begin the habit of rising very early in the morning, so she could get more done, earlier in the day. She took the earthquake as personal assurance that sleeping in would be forgiven by the Almighty, as getting up early clearly hadn’t worked as anticipated.  She was never a morning person from that point onward.

After my father died, Letitia told me that the years she & my father lived in Dallas (1972 – 1982) were among the happiest of her life as she had finally escaped the confines of her family and the Hollywood social hierarchy into which she’d been born. Her description of it was akin to the saying, “A caged bird doesn’t know it’s caged, until it is set free.”

And once set free, did that formerly-caged bird sing!  The paintings, illustrations and needlework that Letitia created during her years in Dallas are exquisite in detail, and prodigious in quantity while rich in high-quality imagery.  Family & friends breathlessly awaited the year’s Christmas card from the Smoots: an 8” x 10” glossy photo print mounted on an even larger sized card, and signed by Hal & Letitia. A true Hollywood production, Letitia planned for these cards beginning in July, and as a child and then adolescent, this type of project was something I was always interested in, and would go with her to the photographer’s and listen as she discussed how the painting’s colors would be better captured if the light were adjusted thus, and the matting and presentation should be altered to a different width, etc.  Much of what I learned about art production, I absorbed without being fully conscious from participation in projects with Letitia.  My husband has been a marvelous second teacher, re-enforcing the same time-honored principles of classic design & styling, favored by Letitia.

In 1982, Dad & Tish moved to Salt Lake City, a place that had been important to both of their families historically, and to which they both had fond memories and family; in short, the perfect retirement setting.  And close to good hospitals, as my father had already been diagnosed and treated for lung cancer, although it was prostate cancer of which he would eventually die, in Salt Lake City, 2 November 1988.

On the night of the 1st November, Letitia had called me, the first time in our then 22 year shared history she had initiated a call to me; from that alone, I knew my father’s end was near.  The next morning I caught the 6am flight from Midland, TX to SLC; A taxi took me from the airport to their house on East 2nd Street.  The driver had already pulled away when I realized that no one was home, so I stowed my bag on the back porch, and ran till I was too tired, then walked as quickly as possible up the hill to the hospital.

The scene that greeted me was something out of a Hollywood movie: my stepmother was crying – marking the 2nd time in less than 24 hours, another event had occurred for the first time in my life. My father was not conscious but clearly not comfortable, and a nurse trying to figure out what to say or do next. Letitia looked up and exclaimed, “Oh, you are just like General Custer and his cavalry, riding to my rescue!”  I thought, “Where in the world did that image come from?” In 2009 when I watched “They Died With Their Boots On” I was reminded of this episode.  Another clue fell into place.

Letitia spent the next four years of her life in Salt Lake City, making a final visit to Southern California, to see her son Robert, his wife Judy, and her beloved grandchildren Bryan and Amanda one last time.
I was living and working in Singapore and received news there that Letitia had died the day before. I had spoken to her last about 2 weeks before her death.  She was lucid but tired, as always concerned for her son Robert, and her grandchildren. We talked at length about how things that cannot be changed must be accepted, and how she felt that always lead to growth – a requisite for life.
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About Kelley Smoot Garrett:

Kelley Smoot Garrett was born in Dallas, raised in Manhattan and has lived the life of a West Texas wildcatter as well that of an IT professional. At one time or another in her life she’s called places as diverse as Scourie, Scotland; Austin, Abilene and Midland, Texas; Singapore; Paris; and Auckland, New Zealand — home. She is proud to be the daughter of Sue Ashby and Harold Smoot and the step-daughter of Letitia Fairbanks Smoot. She currently lives with her husband Danny Garrett, three cats, and one happy only-dog, Moxie in the Texas Hill Country.


WIN A KINDLE FIRE HD!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Interview with Darlene Josaphe, author of The Self Help Solutions Series



Darlene-Josaphe-Picture-150x150ABOUT DARLENE JOSAPHE

Darlene Josaphe helps women manage stress successfully with resources that educate, combined with personal support. Her website, Natural Stress Relief Tips For Women, is an exclusive website for women that provides self-improvement articles, stress reduction resources, and transformational tools to women who want to improve their lives and achieve their life goals.
Natural stress relief tips for women is a site about turning your life from OK to extraordinary by reducing the stress, anxieties, and tensions that rob you of the peace of mind and happiness you deserve. If your life feels like a constant pressure cooker, you’re not alone. Women today are under a lot of pressure.
Knowledge is power, and our self-help ebooks for women will empower you to cope with the stresses in your life and achieve your life goals, whether it is happiness, good health, loving relationships, financial freedom, fulfillment … or all of the above.
To see all that Darlene offers, including a chance to learn more about natural stress relief techniques and tips you can use right now and high-performance strategies that you can use immediately to improve your life, simply take our FREE Stress-busting eCourse and learn how to turn your stress into success!
To find out more, please visit her at http://www.natural-stress-relief-tips-for-women.com

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

A:  I love helping women find practical, healthy, beneficial ways to cope with stress, and I also enjoy gardening, aromatherapy, watching re-runs of Golden Girls and Disney Classics such as Beauty & The beast, Princess and the Frog, and Lion King! I’ve been writing for about three years.

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

A: Women everywhere are experiencing severe amounts of stress in all aspects of their lives, on the job and at home.  I see it all around me every day and I know from personal experience that coping with stress is a difficult prospect. Unfortunately many turn to "solutions" that often do little to improve things and may even make their situation worse - drinking too much, using narcotics, giving in to fits of anger; these things only hurt you and those around you and rarely do anything to actually address the situation that is causing stress.
I discovered from my own personal experience that there are many positive and beneficial things that can be done to address stressful situations, naturally. First of all, facing the situation and doing what you can to change it is vitally important, even if it means making long-term plans, long-term goals, and long-term lifestyle changes.  That’s why I decided to write about natural methods of stress relief, identify and expose the core causes and detrimental effects of stress for women, and share the high-performance strategies and techniques that women can use immediately to improve their lives.  Natural methods that work to relieve stress effectively and naturally.


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

A: Finding the time to do it, from start to finish!  Life is busy and demanding, and we rush about from one obligation to the next, and some folks even rush from one crisis to the next.  Writing requires time and dedication, which are often in short supply and can be challenging, but not impossible.  Your passion and inspiration to reach out and help others with your message is a major driving force and motivation to stay focused, and helps you set priorities where necessary to get your writing done, from start to finish!  If the motivation is strong enough, you find a way to overcome any challenge.


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:  I do not have a press kit at the moment, but I will be developing one and adding it to my blog soon.  I do have a Stress Management Club where I offer exclusive tips, exclusive resources, as well as freebies and book discounts. The link to the stress management club is: http://www.natural-stress-relief-women.com/stressmanagementfanclub    
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 am scheduled to participate in a Time & Stress Management Workshop on February 19 and 20th, 2013.  The workshop is spread over two (2) morning sessions and is geared at helping working women improve work-life balance by exploring effective time and stress management techniques & strategies.

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, but I do have a social media manager who is in charge of managing my social medial promotions.  I feel that it is necessary to have a professional social media expert in charge of my social media promotions and have therefore retained Personalized Marketing, Inc (http://www.personalizedmarketingcorp.com) to manage my social media platforms. 

I also retained a virtual book tour manager, who is organizing virtual blog book tours for the books with a chance to win a FREE Kindle.  You can find the details of my virtual book tour here: 

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:  Yes.  I retained a marketing company to prepare and submit a series of press releases to show case the books.  This was done on carefully selected dates in November and December 2012. 
The media blitz included 2 separate campaigns –

1.     One for all 10 books in order to focus on promotion of the tangible series.
2.     The other involved offering the holiday stress book  and resolutions book as a freebie, and then use it to send a cascade of sales to the other books. 


Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

A: Additional books are planned for the future, but for now, the series is complete with 10 books in the Self-Help Stress Solutions Book Series.
  
Q: Thank you for your interview, Darlene.  Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

A:  Absolutely! 

My books are available for purchase via amazon.com. My Amazon author page contains all the relevant purchase details, just visit the link below:


I also have book trailers and helpful stress relief videos that can be found on my YouTube channel below:


In addition, I have a collection of book review lenses and other stress relief lenses on Squidoo.  You can find me on Squidoo at the link below:



Finally, I am on all the major social media networks; you can find me at the links below:
I invite all your readers to grab our FREE report on Self-Help Stress Solutions for Women here:
http://natural-stress-relief-women.com/stressmanagementfanclub/   


ABOUT SELF HELP STRESS SOLUTIONS

Now there’s a way to get rid of the harmful effects of stress on your body and spirit. Our Self-Help Stress Solution Series tells you how aromatherapy, walking, nutrition, time management, money management, gardening, camping, and many other natural self-help methods, can be the cure you’re looking for.
Imagine! No more anti-depressant pills that trigger weight gains and have you walking around like a zombie.
No more lying awake at night while stressful issues with family, job or relationships roll around in your head.
No more neck and body aches when you wake up in the morning from the stressful state you were in when you went to bed.
No more coping with the side-effects of depression that stress can cause.
How Can Our Self-Help Stress Relief Series Help Get Rid of Stress?
It’s not magic – nor is it a big secret! The calming effects of aromatherapy, when combined with other stress-relief techniques, can rejuvenate your mind, body and soul and literally lift away the stresses of the day. Eating healthy foods and engaging in a healthy lifestyle can fortify your body to fight off stress successfully. Developing the happy of taking a brisk walk a few times each week, strengthens your body as well as helps you sleep better at night, which are all essential factors in overcoming stress. Spending time outdoors gardening or camping works wonders for body, mind and spirit.
This Self-Help Stress Solutions Series will blow you away with information that you might not have known about relieving stress in your life.
Learn how to develop a life plan for stress relief.
The “Self Help Stress Solutions” Book Series will teach you how to systematically reduce or rid yourself of stress symptoms that permeate your life. This is imperative for your well-being. Health concerns are nothing new, and many develop a diet and exercise plan to deal with them.
Many don’t realize that developing a life plan for stress relief can also make your mind and body healthy. You may even lose weight when you learn how to manage stress because you’re not eating mindlessly or comforting yourself with food.
One Thing I Know For Sure…
…is that every woman wants to reduce stress in her life, but isn’t sure how.
Most are definitely not aware that there are techniques, including aromatherapy, proper nutrition, walking, gardening,, camping, time and money management, that can help in a purely delightful way.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Young Lovers Tormented by Forbidden Passion in Voices of the Locusts




 


Ron Hutchison began writing young adult novels after a long career in journalism and public relations. He graduated from the University of Missouri in 1967 with a degree in journalism. He has worked as a reporter, editor, and columnist for newspapers in Texas, California, and Missouri. His work has appeared in many national publications, including Time Magazine. Employed by Sun Oil Company as a Public Relations executive, and later operated his own PR agency.
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Christopher, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

A: I was an Army brat growing up and attended high school in Japan. I began my writing career as a 19-year-old sports writer for the El Paso Times. I didn’t begin writing fiction until I was in my 60s. 

Can you please tell us about Voices of the Locusts?

Author Ron Hutchison 
A: Sixteen-year old Jack O’Brien has never known the bittersweet stint of love, and romance is the farthest thing from his mind as he and his family arrives at a remote U.S. Air Force outpost in Japan where Jack’s father is base commander. The year is 1948. Jack’s life changes after a chance encounter with Fujiko Kobaysi, a beautiful and enchanting 17-year-old Japanese girl. Jack is immediately smitten.

Fujiko’s traditional parents are overly protective and monitor her every move, and Jack and Fujiko meet secretly at her garden, located some distance from her village. There is a good reason why Fujiko’s parents are so protective and Jack is devastated when Fujiko tells him that her parents have promised her in marriage to an older man, a practice common throughout Asia at the time. The marriage is only a months away. Jack devises a cunning plan, one that will overshadow her arranged marriage and bring Fujiko and him together.

Playing against a backdrop of swirling post-War social change, Voices of the Locusts tells the story of three families – one black, one white, one Asian. Told in Jack’s voice in vivid and sometimes haunting detail, Jack and Fujiko are frustrated in their romantic quest by story characters coming to terms (often violently) with the emotional scars of World War II.

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Will you share an excerpt from Voices of the Locusts?

A flutter of panic races through my body. It is instantly replaced by a sweep of joy, and a strange, unnatural lucidity overcomes me.
          Fujiko and I hesitate for what seems a small eternity, our eyes locked in a moment of mutual understanding. Finally, I lean in toward Fujiko and she leans in toward me. Our eyes close and our mouths touch in a whisper-soft kiss, a brief, gentle brush of lips.
          I pull back slowly, my heart racing, my head alive with all manner of strange, warm images. This must all be a dream. A wonderful, glorious dream. I don’t want to ever wake up.

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

A: Like most creative endeavors, there have been inspirational highs and mind-crushing lows. A Kid Called Duct Tape began life as a screenplay—Andy Sweet and the $20 Gold Piece—and in 2009 that screenplay was optioned by Antibody Films in L.A. My hopes of seeing the story on the big screen were dashed, however, when the option ran out and Antibody did not renew it. I then transitioned the story from screenplay to novel.

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 had an agent for three years. Her name is Leticia Gomez. Her advice and guidance were invaluable. We parted ways in late 2011 when I made the decision to self-publish A Kid Called Duct Tape. I can’t say enough good things about Leticia. She was a tireless champion of my work.

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

A: Hmmm…interesting question. A full-page ad in the Sunday Book Review section of The New York Times would be a good place to start.

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

A: Honestly, marketing a novel is as important as writing a novel. No promotion, no sales. I imagine that many literary masterpieces have had a short shelf life because the author failed to recognize the value of self-promotion. Shameless self-promotion is essential to the success of a novel.

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

A: My message to unpublished writers is this: Take as much solace in the telling of your story as you do in the selling your story. I have never thought about giving up because I take great joy in stringing words into sentences and sentences into paragraphs and paragraphs into chapters. If writers take no satisfaction in the creative process, then…well, they’re screwed. 

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

A: Find a genre you are comfortable with, and have a go at it. I honestly believe that a good story will always find a home.

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