Tuesday, March 31, 2009
I have been writing my entire life! When I was a child I would write poems and short stories all the time. I enjoyed writing during my education years and even liked writing papers, etc., for college courses. After several years of counseling, there was such a need for literature regarding letting go of childhood trauma and abuse I just decided to begin researching the subject. Using my own experience and those events of my patients, I found I had a book in progress! Since that time in the early 1990s, I have continued writing what I felt needed to be investigated and shared for others to heal and begin recovery from both childhood abuse and substance addiction.
You have been a Psychospiritual Therapist for over twenty-five years. How has this experience effected your writing?
While working with my patients, I have learned a lifetime of information about people and their relationships, their pain, and their dreams. I cherish all my patients and thank them for allowing me to share in their healing journeys. Without their bravery to delve into issues of pain, abuse, and addiction, none of my books would have been written.
Your work focuses mainly on Recovery and Self-Empowerment. What makes you qualified to write about such topics?
As I share in my book, Gifts From the Child Within, I experienced sexual molestation while a child. This experience shaped my life in many ways, some negative and some positive. One of the positive effects of my childhood abuse is my determination to help others who went through similar types of events. I believe self-awareness and self-empowerment can lead to self-recovery. Of course, along with my personal experience and my counseling experience, I have attained a higher education surrounding these fields, including a Doctorate Degree in Psychology.
Gifts From the Child Within was released January 2008. Tell us a little about it.
This book was originally released in 1994 and is the culmination of many years of working with my patients through their journey of recovery. I found most of the people I was seeing had issues from childhood which were at the root of their current presenting issues. Along with my love of writing, it was easy to bring the concepts of this important work into a book form. This recovery book is geared toward both professional and layperson. Its pages are filled with offerings from psychological, physiological, and spiritual perspectives which takes the reader on a journey into the soul. It is written with sensitivity and clarity inviting the reader to search within for healing.
Your new book ADDICTION: What's Really Going On? Inside a Heroin Treatment Program is due out in early summer 2009.
Yes, I am very excited about this book's release. It should be available sometime this summer if all goes well. This book is a brief look at ten years in the real life of a substance abuse counselor. My coauthor, Deborah McCloskey, took the time to write extensive notes pertaining to her personal struggles of working with drug addicted clients while employed in a methadone clinic located in Southern California from the late 1990s to her untimely death in 2006. We worked on this manuscript together over several years sharing our passion for client advocacy and discovering alternative ways to deal with those addicted to drugs and alcohol.
The manuscript progressed to a long narration of countless stories related through Deborah from her clients. I have woven these powerful stories, as well as, the immediate highs and lows of her own life crises to form a tapestry filled with pain, joy, defeat, and success. The entire manuscript is molded by Deborah’s heartfelt desire for her clients to be free of drugs. Her deep compassion for those she counseled guided them toward self-education, self-discovery, and self-recovery. These counseling methods both endeared her as “the counselor to get” and locked her into a decade of searching for better ways to help those she felt were stuck on the merry-go-round of a methadone system.
It is evident throughout the manuscript that Deborah’s passion for aiding those in addiction became her focus, as well as, to help redirect the way we as a society handle our drug addicted population. This passion led her to write the fascinating stories which pose the compelling question: What’s really going on? The manuscript addresses this question and others surrounding the need for changes in how those with drug addictions are treated in our society. One of Deborah’s goals was to manifest this vision and to bring the reality of addiction out-of-the-closet.
The stories are true, the people are real, the life threatening incidences and tales of pain. To balance the darkness, Deborah uses her candid sense of humor to reel in the reader until he can no longer resist. Once he enters, he will not leave until he finds justice. But is there justice? Throughout the manuscript the reader will search for illumination within the intriguing stories of depression and defeat, but find it rarely. Only in a few select brave souls who have struggled to become drug-free will the reader find the answers to the manuscript’s questioning title.
The target group for this manuscript is all with an interest in learning the factual reality of drug and alcohol addiction, including those addicted. Readership will include teachers, social workers, medical professionals, and counselors who wish to experience the eye-opening truth about their students, clients, and patients. It will be read by those incarcerated, working in hospitals, attending college, in our government, and our general adult population whether addicted, sober, or straight. The manuscript instructs us all to ask questions surrounding those we love and those we do not know--our addiction population.
How did you decide which publishing company to use for your books?
Well, being an unknown author my first two books were published by small independent houses which actually went out of business soon after the books were released! I then approached a non-profit spiritual group named Astara which I had been following for several years and they gladly published the second edition of Beyond Words and took on the first edition publication of An Inspirational Guide for the Recovering Soul in 2004. In 2007, as I was talking online to a fellow counselor, I asked him who had published his last book and he told me about Loving Healing Press. Subsequently, I contacted the publisher and asked if he was interested in printing a second edition of Gifts From the Child Within since it had gone out-of-print. He happily reported, "Yes!" and now I will have two books published by Loving Healing Press, and hopefully my next one also!
How important do you feel networking is for the sales of your books?
As a fairly unknown author, I feel it is very important to do all the networking possible to get my books into the public's eye. In today's market with the Kindle Reader, Amazon, and many other online booksellers it is imperative for an author to take the reins and book booksigning events, keep up a web site, and join as many online writers' sites as possible.
Where can people purchase your books?
All my books are available in bookstores and online through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Copperfields, etc., as well as, directly through each of the publishers. Just ask your local bookseller to order it if you cannot find it on the shelves.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Please visit my web site for more information including Interviews, Articles, and other healing avenues:
Monday, March 30, 2009
Virtual Tours are becoming more and more popular for spreading the word about new book releases. Requiring much less time and effort than in person tours, they reach an international market, cost less and better still, can be done from the comfort of your own home.
Want to let the world know about you and your book? Don't want to spend a fortune doing it? Writers on tour is made for you!
Email: email@example.com for full details about week long promotions and advertising on site.
Friday, March 27, 2009
This weekend workshop will give you everything you need to become a published author and show you step-by-step how to use your book to boost your income, sales and profits. This interactive forum will guide you through proven successful steps to writing your book. LifeSuccess Publishing has broken the daunting task of writing your own book into manageable bite size pieces. When you complete the program you will have your plan, and know all of the required steps to get you to the printers, and beyond. (Sat. 9 to 6 pm, Sun. 9 to 5pm.)
Best selling author and speaker to more than 1 million people, Gerry Robert would like to invite you and many other already published authors for an absolutely INSTANT boost-to-your-income weekend workshop. Join our senior instructors for a chance of a lifetime. Finally, you will get your book out and start making money from it. Gerry will also show you how to get others to pay for most, if not all, your costs!!!
This workshop is designed using experience taken from over 15 years on the front lines. It is the most amazing system available in the world. Using the latest techniques in education and publishing, you will be led through a series of exercises where you will ACTUALLY CONSTRUCT AND WRITE YOUR BOOK IN 5 MINUTE INCREMENTS. It might sound too good to be true, but we assure you that this will work. It's painless, fun and most of all, effective. The Exclusive Process ensures that by the end of the weekend, you will have most, or all, of your first draft actually completed.
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
You Were Created to Succeed!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Author: Linda A. LavidPublished by Aventine Press
Reviewed by Mark M. Owen, Ph.D.
Linda Lavid's Composition is a priceless gem of a book. In less than one hundred pages, it manages to cover the most important aspects of penning a great novel, and as a bonus it provides readers with detailed information to help them navigate the complex world of self-publishing. I actually read this book twice, just to make sure I'd properly digested the morsels of wisdom scattered throughout the text like chocolate chips embedded in an epicurean cookie.
The chapters in Lavid's self-help book should be run as a serial in Writer's Digest. They're incredibly succinct, explaining only the details readers need to know if they want to write a novel. I've read other writer's self-help books that explain in twenty windy pages what Lavid manages to do in a tight five. It's no small feat to be so concise. She explains scene, plot, and character development in a way only learned by experiential training. In other words the reader is not lectured, but rather invited into the den to listen to someone who's been there and done that.
There's even a solid index in the back for easy reference.
The only weak point in the book, and it was a small issue for me, is that many of the examples seem to come from a romance novel, where an emotional female-on-female encounter is used to illustrate a key writing concept. That type of dialog is not my personal cup of tea, but because the concepts are so easily understood, the attractiveness of the examples is secondary.
Make no mistake; this book is not just for women.
For any potential author who's in the market for a book to guide them through the nuances of writing and the minefield of self-publishing, Lavid's monograph is a great place to learn, review and refine the tools of the trade.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
As I became more involved with hospice volunteering in Detroit nursing homes, I started writing poetry and prose about my experiences. I shared these writings at several
readings and noticed how eager many people were to discuss terminally ill loved ones who impacted their lives. I could see there was a need for more information about hospice,
nursing homes, caregiving, and the death journey in general.
While researching death-related topics, I discovered that most books on the market did not include people dying in urban nursing homes or the perspectives of people of color.
I knew that over 70 million diverse baby boomers were starting to expand the ranks of senior citizens in need of end-of-life information for their elders and themselves. I decided to write a book that would be an inclusive guide for literally becoming dead right.
Tell us a bit more about the book.
“Becoming Dead Right” includes stories, poems, and general information about my experiences as an urban hospice volunteer. My shared insights give readers a better
understanding of the death journey and strategies for dealing with nursing homes, healthcare, death, and bereavement. A former school principal, I address intergenerational partnerships and similarities between schools and nursing homes. A bibliography, index, and many resources are also included.
The book cover is very powerful. Did you design it yourself?
I searched Internet stock photos for a long time before finding the cover photo. The odds of finding an image showcasing a person of color holding a butterfly were very slim. The butterfly often symbolizes the transition from this life to the next one. Victor Volkman, publisher of Loving Healing Press, created the text and color design.
Your writing has won awards from "Writer's Digest," the Poetry Society of Michigan, the Detroit Writer's Guild, Broadside Press, and the New Orleans
Public Library. Has winning these awards helped to get you more coverage for your book?
Winning awards and having poems and essays published have helped to establish my credibility as a serious writer. While they have promoted more coverage of the book, they
have also motivated me to write more. I worked on learning the craft of writing and building credibility long before I decided to write a book.
You've spoken at several events. How do you think this affects the sales of your book?
A national consultant for many years, I enjoy public speaking. Unfortunately, death is not a topic that some people embrace easily. I find that most people are attracted to my book after I have had an opportunity to talk to them in a group setting, read excerpts, and answer questions.
Generally, they will come up to me later, share their personal stories, and express an eagerness to learn more. I hope that my book encourages them to become more proactive
about healthcare and death preparations.
What made you choose Loving Healing Press to publish your book?
I chose Loving Healing Press because the publisher was open to my input. While flexibility is important, as an author and an African American, I have to be involved in maintaining the artistic integrity of my written works.
Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
I invite everyone to visit my website at http://www.francesshaniparker.com
and my blog at http://hospiceandnursinghomes.blogspot.com/
“Hospice and Nursing Homes Blog,” where research, pictures, and videos are used regularly.
Do you have any special tips or advice about how to be successful, especially on the Internet, with how to market books?
My advice to authors is to know your target audiences well and find ways to reach them. Eight months before my book was published, I started my blog, which focuses on hospice,
nursing homes, and senior citizens. Gradually, it has become an excellent tool for introducing my book to target audiences worldwide. In addition, it has kept me writing
regularly and increased my knowledge regarding research, trends and events related to my areas of interest. Blogging has also improved my expertise as a consultant.
Joining Internet social networks, particularly those related to topics covered in my book, has also been a good marketing strategy. Added bonuses have been opportunities to converse with like-minded people. I also do freelance writing for e-newsletters and e-zines.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Writing a book is a lot like going through labor and giving birth to a baby that continues to evolve with time. It is my hope that “Becoming Dead Right” will encourage more death conversations, empower the reluctant, and bring visions of overlooked death-related plans into reality. I want this offspring of mine to support caregivers, share perspectives of diverse people, and foster intergenerational partnerships. Most of all, I want my progeny to improve
healthcare and nursing homes for everyone, especially the elderly and terminally ill. I want a lot. A parent should.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Entries have to be made by publishers, so if you’re an author of a popular science book that was first published in 2008, you might want to check with your publisher that it will be entered for our Prize.
The 2009 Royal Society Prize for Science Books will celebrate the best of 2008's new popular science writing for a general adult readership. The Prize is open to science books written for a non-specialist audience. The winner will receive £10,000 and the authors of the short listed books £1000.
Books submitted for the prize must have been published for the first time in English (in any country) during 2008 and be available to buy in the UK. Full details of the prizes' regulations and eligibility criteria and the entry form are available on the Society's website.
An online entry form must be completed for each entry, and seven non-returnable copies of each entry submitted to the Royal Society by Thursday 2 April 2009.
In 2008 Six degrees: Our future on a hotter planet by Mark Lynas (Fourth Estate) was the overall winner. Other previous winners of Royal Society Books Prizes include Robert Winston, Daniel Gilbert, Matt Ridley, Bill Bryson, Frances Dipper, Stephen Hawking, Jared Diamond, Kate Petty and Fran Balkwill.
After being awarded the 2008 Royal Society Prize for Science books, Mark Lynas' Six degrees: Our future on a hotter planet enjoyed widespread media attention and saw sale figures more than double throughout the months following the award.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Chris Tusa’s Debut Novel, Dirty Little Angels, to be Released from the University of West Alabama Press.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Wednesday, February 4th) - A new novel by Chris Tusa (New Orleans-born writer and Instructor of English at Louisiana State University), is set to be released from the University of West Alabama Press March 1st.
Set in the slums of New Orleans, among clusters of crack houses and abandoned buildings, Dirty Little Angels is the story of sixteen year old Hailey Trosclair. When the Trosclair family suffers a string of financial hardships and a miscarriage, Hailey finds herself looking to God to save her family. When her prayers go unanswered, Hailey puts her faith in Moses Watkins, a failed preacher and ex-con. Fascinated by Moses's lopsided view of religion, Hailey, and her brother Cyrus, begin spending time down at an abandoned bank that Moses plans to convert into a drive-through church. Gradually, though, Moses's twisted religious beliefs become increasingly more violent, and Hailey and Cyrus soon find themselves trapped in a world of danger and fear from which there may be no escape.
In Tusa’s work, the traditional backwoods Southern Gothicism of Faulkner and O’Connor intersects with a more modernized, more contemporary depiction of the South. In his fiction, Tusa investigates the ways in which the contemporary, celebrity-driven American culture has managed to infiltrate and alter the poverty-stricken South. The result is a landscape populated with make-shift Meth labs, dilapidated apartment complexes, drive-through churches, and strip malls—a place where people finance cheap cosmetic surgeries with high-interest, cash-advance loans, and where teenagers idolize rappers and movie stars.
If I had a dollar for every sentence in Dirty Little Angels that blew my mind, I’d be able to buy a decent Chevy Nova outright. Christopher Tusa is a new and powerful voice in American fiction, and I truly believe that this raw and poetic first novel marks the beginning of a great and glorious career. -Donald Ray Pollock, author of Knockemstiff
Dirty Little Angels is a powerful novel - fast paced, riveting, and gritty. In this remarkable novel, Chris Tusa renders revelations about urban teens with startling honesty and deep compassion. Tusa is a gifted author and an amazing new talent. –Bev Marshall, author of Right as Rain and Walking through Shadows.
Chris Tusa was born and raised in New Orleans. His work has appeared in Connecticut Review, Texas Review, Prairie Schooner, The New Delta Review, South Dakota Review, Southeast Review, Passages North, Spoon River, New York Quarterly, Louisiana Literature, Tar River, StorySouth, and others. He has studied under a number of notable writers, including Tim Gautreaux, Sidney Wade, and Debora Gregor. With the help of a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, he was able to complete his first book of poetry, Haunted Bones, which was released by Louisiana Literature Press in 2006. Dirty Little Angels is his first novel. Tusa holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Florida. Aside from teaching in the English Department at LSU, he also acts as Managing Editor for Poetry Southeast.
To read samples of Chris Tusa’s work, visit his website: http://www.christophertusa.com
Department of English
Louisiana State University
As with all Office of Letters and Light events, Script Frenzy is free of cost. This isn’t a contest, so there are no valuable prizes awarded or "Best Of" categories. Each and every writer who attempts their goal is victorious and awe-inspiring and will get a Script Frenzy Young Writers Program Participant Certificate and web icon proclaiming this fact. Really, you have nothing to lose—except knowing that you could have written a better movie, play, or TV show than the one you just watched, but didn’t.
Who: You and everyone you know. No experience required.
What: Write a script in 30 days. (Screenplays, stage plays, TV shows, short films, comics and graphic novels are all welcome.)
When: April 1 - 30. Every year. Mark your calendars.
Where: Online and in person if you're participating with your class or with a group of friends!
Why: Because you have a story to tell. Because you want a creative challenge. Because you’ll be super bummed if you missed out on the adventure!
How: Sign up. Tell everyone that you are in the Frenzy. Clear your calendar. Start some wrist exercises. Have fun!
The 5 Basic Rules of Script Frenzy's Young Writers Program
1) To be crowned an official Script Frenzy Young Writers Program winner, you must set a page-count goal, achieve that page-count goal, and upload a version of your script on this site to verify your page count by the end of April.
2) You may write individually or with a partner.
3) Scriptwriting may begin no earlier than 12:00:01 AM on April 1 and must end no later than 11:59:59 PM on April 30, local time.
4) You may write screenplays, stage plays, TV shows, short films, comic book scripts, radio scripts, adaptations of novels, or any other type of script your heart desires. As long as you write a script and meet your page-count goal, you're golden!
5) You must, at some point, have ridiculous amounts of fun.
Check out our How Script Frenzy Works for Young Writers and How Script Frenzy Works for Educators to find out more about the event.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Title: Hard Times And Great Blessings
Author: Kenneth F. Worth
Review by C.A. Webb, President, Conversations Book Club
I think we have all had those days when we feel as though nothing is going right. From the moment we get up in the morning to the time we retire to bed, one would think the world has been against us the entire time. A little dramatic? I would say so, but it doesn’t stop us from looking for reasons to feel sorry for ourselves and try and get others to do the same. If you have been one of those who feels as though the sky is falling on top of you, then “Hard Times and Great Blessings” by Kenneth F. Worth is a book you need to not only read but memorize.
This autobiography reminds me much of the story of Job. He was a man who had been greatly blessed and was forced to suffer great loss, but remained true to his faith. Kenneth has done the same. In writing this book he opened his life up to us and revealed the real life of the man behind the smiles. Here was a man who lived a relatively simple life with his brother and parents, enjoying the simple pleasures of life, when one day that was destroyed forever. Imagine having to deal with the fact that your mother was found to have not only killed your father and then herself, but had been dealing with emotional difficulties for sometime.
Kenneth’s story is amazing in that he can be the man living next to us that we had no idea what he has gone through because he chooses not to focus on the negative. Instead he looks to the ways he has been blessed instead of the hard times that has befallen him. This holds true in his relationship with his wife as well. They have been together for decades and had to deal with health issues that have not divided them but managed to bring them closer together. It is the true definition of love and marriage. When they said “Til Death Do Us Part” they meant it with their whole being. Through cancer scares and other ailments Kenneth appreciated life enough to know that you can’t sweat the small stuff, and he knew that everything except death was the small stuff. He wasn’t going to live his life dwelling on the past. There was a future left to live.
His brother died a few years ago, yet instead of drowning himself in sorrow he chose to reflect on the fact that his brother had dedicated his life to God. Ken now suffers from Parkinson’s, and even through that Ken is looking for ways to educate the public about the effects of the disease and providing information about support groups for family members who are living with the affects.
Now after hearing just a snippet of what this man has had to endure, doesn’t it make a great deal of our problems seem quite trivial? “Hard Times and Great Blessings” is the story that movies are made of. Sure, it doesn’t have the ending that you may want for your hero, but it still gives you that feeling of hope in the end.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
I can remember wanting to be a writer since about third grade, but didn't start writing professionally until 1995, as a mother of toddlers.
You have several published books. Please tell us a bit about each
Infinite Space, Infinite God: Is that religion in my science fiction or science fiction in my religion? The writers of the Catholic SF anthology Infinite Space, Infinite God (available at www.twilighttimesbooks.com) have so seamlessly combined the two that it's hard to tell.
Infinite Space, Infinite God features fifteen stories about the future Catholic Church: its struggles evangelize aliens and lost human colonies and to determine the soul-status of genetically modified humans, genetically-designed chimeras, and clones made from the Martian sand; the adventures of religious orders devoted to protecting interstellar travelers or inner-city priests; and how technical advances allow monks to live in solitude on the Moon and help one criminal learn the true meaning of Confession. But it's more than just a great read. With introductions exploring the issues at hand and current Church thinking, Infinite Space, Infinite God is bound to spark discussion and make people think--just as good science fiction should.
Leaps Of Faith An Anthology of Christian Science Fiction: Tired of science fiction that ignores our spirituality, or religious fiction that's weak on science? Leaps of Faith is an answer to a prayer! Each of its stories examines the interrelationship of faith and science in the development of human kind:
· Can androids have souls--what is sentience?
· How can we evangelize on alien worlds?
· What role will the true Creator play when humans try to "play God" with time travel?
· Can we reach the stars without that leap of faith?
Critically acclaimed, a 2004 EPPIE Awards finalist, it received highest praise even from an atheist critic who usually hates SF!
Magic, Mensa and Mayhem: Vern is a cynical dragon living on the wrong side of the Interdimensional Gap and working off a geas by St. George as a professional problem solver and agent of the Faerie Catholic Church. In this case, he and his partner, Sister Grace, a High Mage of the Faerie Catholic Church, have been asked by the Church to chaperone a few dozen Faerie citizens at a Mensa convention. Should be a cushy job, right? Not when pixies start pranking, Valkyries start vamping and a dwarf goes to the equivalent of Disneyworld hoping to be "discovered." Environmentalists protest Vern's "disrupting the ecosystem," while clueless tourists think he's animatronic. When the elves get high on artificial flavorings and declare war on Florida, it turns into the toughest case they'd not get paid for. Magic, Mensa and Mayhem is based loosely on the award-winning serial "mystery" in the North Dakota Prairie Dawg.
All of them are available on Amazon, and you can learn more about each by visiting www.fabianspace.com and clicking on the cover. I am also in two anthologies (Twisted Fayrie Tales and Firestorm of Dragons) and will be in 2 more later this year.
Your latest book Magic, Mensa and Mayhem is a fantasy. What's the hardest thing about writing fantasy?
Tough questions, because I don't find writing fantasy hard. Sci-Fi is more of a challenge. I think in both, however, my biggest challenge is bringing the reader into my big, complex fabulous world quickly without resorting to a data dump. This is even harder with the DragonEye, PI, stories, of which Magic, Mensa and Mayhem is one. It's told first person by Vern, the dragon, and he loves to talk!
Who is your favourite character from the book? Why?
Obviously, Vern is my favorite. He's sarcastic and completely sure of himself (as a dragon should be), irritable, but with a heart of gold. He also loves alliterations and puns, which makes him fun to write. He says a lot of things I'd love to say in his situation but would never have the guts to do.
Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
www.fabianspace.com has all the books and my stories. Writers can also find some helpful information there, including some e-books on marketing, a list of my workshops, and tips.
Also, if you like Vern, check out www.dragoneyepi.net. If you join his website, you get a free bi-monthly newsletter, A Dragon's Eye View with articles from me and Vern, Faerie facts, and special offers. I also have a story for sale there and am giving away a story to anyone who registers before April 30.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Just grazie for the opportunity!
Infinite Space, Infinite God:
Leaps of Faith:
Firestorm of Dragons:
Magic, Mensa and Mayhem:
Monday, March 16, 2009
* Writer's block
* Writing Action Scenes
* World Building
* Career Management
* The Business of Writing
The Secrets gives you the need-to-know information that will start your career off racing, or propel your career into the stratosphere. If you are serious about writing and getting published, The Secrets is something you cannot do without.
The Secrets Podcasts are the audio companion to The Secrets newsletter. The Secrets is a serious tool for writers. It addresses problems writers have and provides solutions as well as inspiration. Though the podcasts only cover a fraction of the material available in the print version of The Secrets, they cover issues critical to writers at all levels of expertise and career.
For more information please visit http://www.stormwolf.com/thesecrets/podcasts/
Friday, March 13, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Author: Donald James Parker
Seventy year-old Tex Harris has just been "put out to pasture"; due to mandatory retirement laws, his longtime employer has officially relieved him of his duties, and he finds himself wondering just what he'll be doing with the rest of his life...fortuitously, he doesn't have to wait too long when an unexpected event quickly changes his life forever.
When he notices a young woman stranded on the side of the road, Tex - the Southern Gentleman that he is - pulls over to offer his assistance. Two young men are already on the scene, but something about them strikes Tex the wrong way, and his intuition is proven right when the situation quickly devolves into a tense standoff. Thankfully, the woman and her baby escape unharmed, but her would-be assailants manage to elude law enforcement and make a hasty getaway. Nonetheless, as a result of the breathtaking encounter, Tex is infused with a new reason for living: assisting those in need when no one else is around to do so.
So, he launches The Angels Of Interstate29, a vigilant group of civic-minded seniors, who, like Tex, are retired but yet unwilling to pass quietly into the twilight of their lives. Joined by his best friend, Parnelli, and the lovely Lizzy, a widow he meets during his initial recruitment stop, Tex and crew embark on their collective quest to save innocent lives. As times goes on, though, the natural complexities of humanity inevitably emerge, and, at the same time that Tex competes with Parnelli for Lizzy's attention and affections, he soon finds himself contending once again with unresolved dangers from the not-too-distant past...
Angels Of Interstate 29 is quite the enjoyable read. Donald James Parker is a veritable master at crafting unique, original characters whose lives and leanings lend the story an impressive authenticity. Moreover, the wit and candor of his narrative style give it a distinctive edge that moves the story along at a compelling pace.
Last but not least, Parker's ability to bring equal parts intrigue, mystery, and suspense together into a convincingly coalesced whole treats the reader to a well-balanced, carefully-crafted tale hard to put down. A sure treat for fans of a good old fashioned, well-told story.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
For many years I was a classroom teacher. But I was always a writer, too. About 10 years ago, I decided to make the leap from full time teaching to full time writing. However, my first book was written and published when I was still teaching. It's a children's travel guide called Kidding Around Kansas City. Since that book was published, I've written over 20 more published books. Most of my books are for the children's educational market. But I've written books for adults, too.
What is The Working Writers Coach?
Well, the Working Writer's Coach is me, actually. I help people become "working" writers. By that I mean, I coach them to learn how to make a living from freelance writing.
Why did you start doing this project?
When I decided to make the leap from full time teaching to full time writing, I did this over a 3-month period when I was out of school for the summer one year. By the end of the summer, I was making $6,000 a month as a freelance writer. Many people asked me how I was able to get contracts for so many well-paying assignments so quickly. I created the Working Writer's Coaching Program so my coaching clients could follow the same steps I used to create my own freelance writing career.
You offer some great tips in your 'morning nudge' to keep writers writing. Please share a tip with our readers and let them know how they can sign up for this useful service.
The Morning Nudge is an inspirational and motivational email that comes to subscribers every weekday morning for only $6.00 a YEAR. People can read more Nudges and subscribe at www.morningnudge.com
Here's a sample NUDGE:
FOCUS ON THE WRITING!
Somewhere along the way, anxious writers tend to lose focus of their writing.
Instead, they focus on publication or selling their work.
If you're wanting to make a living from your writing, then, of course, you must be concerned about publication and sales. But the odd thing is, if you focus on that MORE than the writing itself, you will publish less and sell less of your work.
Why is that?
Because writing is a competitive business. There is always someone out there who is a more skillful or more talented writer. And, if your writing is awkward or clunky, or not clear and to-the-point, readers, editors, and publishers will find someone else whose work is much better.
When you focus on ALWAYS striving to improve the writing - day after day after day - your writing keeps getting better and better. And YOU keep getting more and more attractive to readers, editors, and publishers.
And before you know it. You're selling your work and having your work published over and over again.
So keep your focus on the writing. Constantly strive to improve your skills. Let go of any anxiousness about publication or sales.
That will all come in a great flood once your writing is truly worthy of it.
You organise workshops in Italy each year. What's involved and why do you think writers will benefit from taking part?
Actually, I don't organize the workshops. They are organized through Toscana Americana - www.toscanaamericana.com. I simply create the workshops I want to offer through this organization.
The workshop I currently offer in Italy is called Have the Time of Your Life, Write the Book of Your Dreams. It's designed to help writers who've never written a book before learn how to outline, organize or plot (depending on whether they're writing fiction or nonfiction) and start writing the book they've always dreamed of writing. We do this during a week long workshop in Tuscany.
Writers benefit from this workshop in a number of ways. They get to enjoy being in the beautiful Italian countryside with other writers for a whole week. In addition to getting their books started during the week long workshop, I also offer the opportunity for additional help to get the book finished within one year of the workshop.
What other services do you offer?
I have a monthly coaching club for writers called Writers on Call. Club members get together once a week for a 55-minute group call where we discuss everyone's current projects and writing challenges. I also have the Children's Writers' Coaching Club through the http://www.writingforchildrencenter.com and I have affiliate programs so people can earn commissions by promoting and selling my products and services.
You also host a Radio show called Book bites for Kids. Tell us about the programme.
Book Bites for Kids airs every weekday afternoon at 2:00 central time on Blogtalkradio.com. During the show, I interview a published children's book author, illustrator, or editor to find out their "secrets for success."
Anyone who would like to be a guest on the show can email my program director, Tyler, at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will tell them what to do to get scheduled for the show.
Although you write different genres, you do a lot of writing for children and are also the founder and director of The National Writing for Children Center. What is it that you like most about writing for children?
I love kids for one thing. They're so much fun. I also love to take complicated subjects and make them easy to understand. That's what I enjoy most about children's nonfiction. But I also love writing historical fiction for children. My two latest books are historical novels for middle grade readers.
What is the most important piece of advice you'd give to someone wanting to get into childrens writing?
Learn the tricks of the trade for children's writing. Writing for kids is different from writing for adults in ways writers who have only written for adults might not realize.
Where can people find out more about you, The Working Writers Coach and your services?
People can find out about my books, my workshops, my coaching programs, and my school visits and presentations at any of the following websites:
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
What made you start writing (as a career)?
Actually it was quite accidential. I've always wanted to write, but felt I didn't have the talent. So I spent most of my time reading. As many as three books a week for many years.
It was a very frustrating and angry situation which developed at home that made the jump from reading to writing. Anyone who has twins or know a set of twins might be able to relate. This happened when the twins, my daughters, were teens, arrogant, self know it all and as it happened that day very disrespectful of parental conditions and control.
They (the twins) were arguing with their parents and being very rude and nasty (yes, nasty). However, knowing better than to add my two cents to what was happening - I retreated to my room (I lived with my daughter and her family), sat at my computer and turned it on. Shortly after, my first murder scene was developed and I contributed the beginning of "Detective Colter" to the "twins." Without that moment I would never have begun to write.
I found such gratification from writing that I am now writing full time. I prefer to write short stories because todays world is so hectic and short stories offer the reader an opportuntiy to read a full story in a short period of time. During lunch break, babys nap time and so forth.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Well like most writers of fiction, inspiration comes from lifes daily experiences. Friends, family (mostly family), remember the twins? I have an ex husband who was not the nicest of people (reason he's an ex.) and the subject of a mystery into his fictional demise. Inspiration can come during a walk in the park, the beach, even a drive through the country or the breakup of a love affair. There are no limitations to where inspiration can come from.
Tell us a bit about your book 'DETECTIVE COLTER – STALKER ANTHOLOGY'.
Detective Colter deals mostly with the stalker/serial killer.
A mystery suspence thriller. The seemingly unrelated disappearances of several young, beautiful women comes to the notice of Detective Colter. When a young woman, Veronica Banes, desperately in need of help gives the police their first lead. The investigation leads them from New York City to Oregon, New Jersey and New Mexico. A country wide manhunt for a cunning, sadistic killer. The police are aided by Martin Devlin, a psychic who falls in love with Veronica and vows to protect her.
Detective Colter continues with two more thrillers:
"Stalker" Columbia University students become the target of a deranged killer. One student in particular, Dana Norton, is the target. As each attempt on her fails others must pay the price, until the near-fatal attempt on her father's life.
"Murder on an Island." A mystery of the murder of Helena Carleton for no apparent reason. Only oneperson could possibly be the suspect. Her twin sister, Sophia, returns from Greece in time for the funeral, and aids the police in their search for the killer. What they find is not just a murder, but an international ring of thieves involved in the disappearance of a priceless gold Greek coin.
"The investigation leads them from New York City to Oregon, New Jersey and New Mexico; a countrywide manhunt for a cunning, sadistic killer". How did you research the places featured in your book?
These area's of the U.S. I have traveled to, with the exception of Oregon. I've lived in New York all my life and I have done quite a bit of traveling to New Jersey and New Mexico by car, plane and train. Each form of travel gives different views into each state visited. As for Oregon I researched on the internet to get information on Portland, a city I have always wanted to visit. Research is a necessity when you write.
What's the hardest thing about writing a thriller?
That's a question I get a lot and I've yet to find it difficult. I have researched stalkers and serial killers so that I have an understanding what drives them. I have always been facinated with mysteries, suspense and thrillers and have such a large collection of ideas stored and I would only find writing my books difficult if there was a lack of inspiration and ideas.
Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
I have a website that gives you information on my book and where you can get get it in different formats. It has been published in paperback and also in ebook form, a variety of formats are available. http://fictionbooks.bravehost.com/
Anything else you'd like to add?
Yes, there are many budding authors out there and I would like to offer my encouragement to them. I didn't start writing till very late in life and wish I had been able to start sooner. Don't wait to live your dreams.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Lexcycle, the company behind the award-winning Stanza electronic book reader for the iPhone and iPod Touch, has announced its support of the Read an E-Book Week (March 8 - 14th). As part of the week-long celebration that is sponsored by such e-book notables as E Ink Corporation, Sony, IDPF, Random House, Cory Doctorow, and Warren Adler, Lexcycle has created a catalog to highlight a bunch of the sponsors. Books in the Stanza Read an E-Book Week catalog include:
* All Romance eBooks
* M.D. Benoit
* Rae Lori
* Cory Doctorow
* Twilight Times Books
* Zumaya Publications
* Steve Jordan Books
* Rita Toews
Visit http://www.lexcycle .com/content/ read_an_e- book_week for more information.
Myspace is a great tool for networking and spreading the word about your writing, books and services.
It's free to open an account.
You get to set up your profile. Add your website links, post your bio and book blurbs.
You can post photo's. Let people know what you look like. Post your book cover art. You can even set up a photo slide show.
You can leave comments on our peoples pages. Add your weblink at the end for extra promotion.
Post you reviews, updates, press releases, announcements of author events etc... to you on site blog and bulletins (which goes out to everyone on your friends list).
Post your event listings. All your 'friends' will be notified of your event.
There are also numerous book related groups you can join.
As probably the best known social networking site on the internet, it's a tool all writers should be using.
Friday, March 6, 2009
13-18 March 2009
The Salon du Livre this year invites you to explore the literary shores and imaginary territories of Mexican writers: 40 authors for you to discover, read or reread before meeting and hearing them in person at the fair.
From Alfonso Reyes (1889 – 1959) to Octavio Paz (1914-1998), winner of the 1990 Nobel Prize for Literature, to Carlos Fuentes…the great names in Mexican literature have woven very close ties with France and its writers. The Salon du Livre is the occasion to discover new voices, more famous writers and young talents, all those men and women who today offer a look at contemporary Mexico, revisit their past and share their dreams—with passion, commitment, lucidity and humour.
In a pavilion covering 1,000 square metres of exhibition space, all the treasures of Mexican publishing will be laid out before you in a large bookshop presenting a very comprehensive overview of Mexican works in French and Spanish, a book exhibition, and a meeting area. Many translations are being prepared for press: more than 30 new titles by close to 15 publishers will be in bookshop windows between now and the time of the fair: novels, short stories and essays, all to be enjoyed to the full....
Bangkok International Book Fair, Bangkok, Thailand
26 March - 6 April 2009
The Bangkok International Book Fair 2009 offers you an excellent opportunity to meet publishers and the general public, to promote your business, to find new markets and to make new friends, all under the setting of one of the most cosmopolitan and dynamic cities in the world. Open a book, open the world is the annual theme of BKKIBF which we would like also ask you to open you eyes & mind to experience the dynamic Thai book market and to befriend with publishers from Thailand and overseas in March 2009.
Abu Dhabi Intenational Book Fair, Abu Dhabi, UAE
17-22 March 2009
* In 2008 Abu Dhabi International Book Fair achieved its objective to be more international, more professional and more exciting than ever before.
Now in 2009 with over 500 exhibitors from 51 countries, growth in space, new venues for events and a large range of services to exhibitors, visitors and the press, the ADIBF continues on its path of growth. Organised by KITAB, a joint venture between the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage and the Frankfurt Book Fair, the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair has made one more considerable step towards becoming the hub for the Arab book markets and for worldwide business. Our special commitment lies in the observation of copyright standards which is reflected in our professional programme as well as in the choice of our exhibitors. Thank you for making Abu Dhabi a place where trust in business partners will rule!
Bologna Children's Book Fair, Bologna, Italy
23-26 March 2009
The Bologna Children’s Book Fair is the most important international event dedicated to the children’s publishing and multimedia industry.
In its 46th edition, the Fair offers more than 20.000 square meters of exhibition space with a simple, easy-to-understand layout.
In Bologna, authors, illustrators, literary agents, TV & Film producers, licensors and licensees, packagers, distributors, printers, booksellers, and librarians meet to:
• sell & buy copyright
• find the very best of children’s publishing and multimedia production
• generate and gather new contacts while strengthening professional relationships
• discover new business opportunities
• discuss and debate the latest sector trends
About 1.300 exhibitors coming from 69 countries in 2008. The exhibitors are publishers, literary agents, packagers, printers, international organizations, TV and Film producers, licensor and licensees, and service companies linked to the publishing world.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Author: Carol Denbow
”A welcome and highly recommended addition to personal and professional Writing/Publishing reference shelves,”
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
LBP Enterprises was established in 1996 to market Children Personalized Books at craft shows, recreational centers, churches, and schools. After attending an African American Book Club Summit cruise in 2000 and meeting many authors, I decided after my continued interaction with them to design a literary site to increase their online presence. The Literary World website was created in 2002.
From 2000 to 2003, LBP Enterprises provided pro-bono marketing services to aspiring and established authors. The company officially became a Publicity/Marketing Agency and Website Development service in 2004.
What services do you provide for authors?
We provide authors with online promotions, we schedule book signings, we survey bookstores to see if they are carrying the author’s books, we inform the online community of authors’ upcoming events, we mail postcards and books to our subscribers, and for some authors we design their websites.
Where can people find out more about you and your services?
People can find more about me and LBP Enterprises’ services at lbp-enterprises.com
You've attended and/or participated in many conferences including Book Expo America (BEA), EPICon Award Conference and Romance Writers of American to name a few. How important do you think it is for writers to take part in these events?
The importance of taking part in any of the events depends upon a writer’s needs.
Book Expo of America (BEA) is an annual event where publishing companies around the world come together to host conferences and workshops. This is an ideal place for authors to meet agents and editors, to interact with people that read their books, and to meet other authors.
The Electronically Published Internet Connection (EPIC) is another annual event whose members consist of authors, publishers, and other professionals in the literary industry that come together to provide various workshops and conferences that center around the latest in e-book marketing. This event also hosts an outstanding EPPIE Awards Ceremony that rewards individuals for their outstanding works in various categories.
Romance Writers of America (RWA) is focused around published and aspiring romance writers. Its’ annual event hosts conferences and workshops. This event provides upcoming authors an opportunity to meet with various publishers, agents, and editor. The highlight of this event is their awards ceremonies.
Authors at Sea, which is hosted by Levy’s Publishing Company, is another outstanding event for avid readers to get up close and personal with New York Times and USA Best-selling Authors. Various events are hosted by the authors that include anything from exercise classes to knitting classes. The authors also host excursions and alternate tables nightly at dinner to interact with the readers.
What is the most important piece of advice that you give to your authors?
The most important advice that I can give to any author is to ask questions of their publisher, editor, agent, publicist, or whomever they are networking with. When it comes to their writing career, it is important that they do their homework and know every aspect of the business before they rush out and settle with anyone who talks a good game.
Anything else you'd like to add?
This is a new experience for me. I normally am the interviewer, not the interviewee. It has been an honor to be interviewed by you.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Tie-Fast Country is about a woman, Clarista, who was raised by her father to be the son he never had. She inherits his ranch and a loyal cowboy who has tied as hard and fast to the land as she has but who may be an undocumented worker. She hires a younger cowboy who has loved her since grade school. Rista, the name she requires others to call her, loves a newspaper man who is tied to nothing but glamor and sensation and dreams of a life somewhere else. A third man gives up his chance to be sheriff to marry her but he also dallies in romance off the ranch and away from its hard and demanding life. Her daughter also dallies where she shouldn't and flees the ranch with her son. Years later, Chance, who manages a small TV station receives a call that his grandmother is dying and he needs to return to the ranch and take care of her. He imagines that he can slide her from the ranch into a nursing home, sell the ranch and return to his career. But he knows that she has killed two men, one of whom may have been his father.
Have you always had such a strong interest in ranching?
I've been interested in the changes that occur in one's lifetime and whether one rides one wave after another or ties fast to something and refuses to let go regardless of the consequences to themselves or others. Ranching, like farming, has changed dramatically in my lifetime but a few men and women are tied fast to their roots and continue to live in a world that for most no longer exists.
The book covers the years 1910 to 1990, what makes this particular period so special?
To understand Rista, it's necessary to understand her father. The book begins when he has a roping accident because the rope was tied-fast to the saddlehorn and he couldn't let go of a wild bull on the other end. His horse is killed. He realizes he needs an heir. He looks for a wife the same way Rista will later look for a husband and chooses Rista's mother to provide him with young cowboys.
What made you write this book?
I met a woman many years ago who had killed two men. I didn't want to know anything else about her because I wanted to invent a woman character who would kill two men and to discover who they were, why she did it, and what happened to her because of it. Anything I knew about the woman I met would limit that. I didn't even want to know her name. I knew when someone told me about her that I would write that story.
How did you research for this book?
Television and the media in general required interviews and libraries. Much of the ranching part came from my experience and memories of my father and his friends. Like many young men in rural Texas I worked as a cowboy but I've never been a cowboy. That's a lifestyle and a skill. Cowboys are skilled at roping, fencing, plumbing, machine and windmill repair. They have to recognize the quality and quantity of grass, weakness or illness in livestock and what to do about it. I worked a few days or a few weeks at a time doing non-skilled jobs. I have a friend who is a cowboy and rancher. I've helped him with roundup, branding, marking, pregnancy-testing, shearing, marketing. He was the encyclopedia I used and I dedicated the book to him.
Anything else you'd like to add?
I wanted to contrast not just the lifestyles but the language, the imagery, of those who live a ranch life with those invested in the media and those who don't work in the media but whose lives are formed and informed by the media. Shelley wrote that you become what you behold. Studying grass, cows, horses every day is different from seeing the world through words and images.
Monday, March 2, 2009
The Prime Minister's Literary Awards celebrate the contribution of Australian literature to the nation's cultural and intellectual life.
The awards, held annually, recognise literature's importance to our national identity, community and economy. A tax free prize of $100,000 is awarded to the works judged to be of the highest literary merit in each of two categories: fiction and non-fiction.
Entries are due by 5.00pm, Friday 20 March 2009.
Visit http://www.arts.gov.au/books/pmliteraryawards for full details
Jane Austen Short Story Award 2009
…the competition that celebrates the bicentenary of Jane Austen’s arrival in the Hampshire village of Chawton – where she spent the most productive years of her literary life.
Our intention is to publish the very best short fiction inspired by Jane Austen or Chawton House – a place she knew well.
We are looking for short stories of 2,000-2,500 words in length. The inspiration for your story can be taken from any theme in Jane Austen’s novels: it might even be a character or a single sentence that sets your creative juices flowing. Or perhaps your imagination will be fired by the Elizabethan mansion, Chawton House, where Jane Austen and her family often gathered, and now houses a rare collection of early women’s writing.
Stories can have a historical or a contemporary setting – anything goes as long as it is well written and you state on the entry form exactly what inspired you to write it.
First prize: £1,000. Two runners up: £200 each. All three finalists will also win a week’s writers’ retreat at Chawton House. Fifteen other shortlisted authors will receive £40 plus publication in the winners’ anthology.
The closing date for entries is the 31st March 2009.
Visit http://www.chawton.org/news/competition.html for full details.
Bristol Short Story Prize
An annual competition, open to writers everywhere. Stories can be submitted online or by post. Maximum number of words is 3,000. Entry fee: £7.
20 stories will be shortlisted and published in the 2009 Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology. Cash prizes- 1st £500 plus £150 Waterstone's gift card; 2nd £350 plus £100 Waterstone's gift card; 3rd £200 plus £100 Waterstone's gift card. Closing date: 31 March 2009
For more information, visit www.bristolprize.co.uk/
Diversity House International Poetry Competition 2009
Poems may be on any subject, though there is a maximum 40 lines per poem
Entry Fees: £3.00 per poem or £12.00 for 5 poems. (£1.00 from every single entry and £4.00 from every multi-poem entry will be donated to Diversity House)
First Prize: £150.00, Second Prize: £75.00, Third Prize: £35.00
Highly Commended Entries: Subject to the quality of entries, if the judge finds 48 to 64 poems of high enough quality, then we shall publish them as an anthology edited by Geoff Stevens (Editor, Purple Patch magazine) and Nnorom Azuonye (Editor, Sentinel Literary Quarterly)
Entry deadline: 31st March 2009 (Results due: 5th May 2009)Website/Entry Details: www.easternlightepm.com/excelforcharity