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Monthly Archives: August 2013

Press Release: Bible Camp Mystery #2: Alone in the Woods Is Almost Here!

 
 

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An Interview with Jen Gentry — Bestselling Author of The Gifts Series, The Gift of Light and The Gift of Knowledge.

http://www.amazon.com/Gift-Light-Gifts-ebook/dp/B00AOV9JEI/

Jen Gentry is a sweet Oklahoman author who has shined a gracious light on me. I haven’t read her books yet but look forward to doing so in the near future.

Q: Tell us a little about your “real” (Non-writing) life — family, job, church life. Does it give you inspiration for your writing? Does it get in the way of your writing, or are there times when you get help, from people or circumstances?

I am first and foremost a Christian. To me that means I am a follower of Christ and a child of God. I am then a wife, mother, grandmother, writer, and nurse. God, family, work, that is the order that works for me. I have had a wealth of experiences in my life. Some painful but mostly I am blessed to have been given the opportunity to be a caregiver in the service of our Lord. It is from my own life experiences that I draw my inspiration for my writing as well as the fact that I am an avid reader.

When I was a young girl I started reading as a way to escape. I’ve had a hearing loss since I was a baby and I found it difficult to fit in with other children. I started writing when my very wise mother bought me a Holly Hobby diary. I was nine years old. I found that I loved writing as much as I loved reading.

Today I find more and more the Lord presents himself through opportunities to connect with others and he brings about situations that benefit me through his glory. So yes, there have been many times that I have gotten help from people and circumstances, praise God. And yes I do find that my full-time job can get in the way of my writing. I have to smile here. But the Lord always provides a way for me. I try to always remember that perfect balance of God, family, writing, nursing.

Q: Tell us about things you enjoy — what you do for fun or personal satisfaction?

For fun I write. It’s also serious work that makes for a full-time second job. I love to cook for my family and when I can these days for the pure enjoyment of it I read. I am a dog lover and my husband and I always have a rescue dog or two we are working with as well as our own.

Q: Tell us about your newest book. Make us want to read it.

The Gift of Knowledge is the second book in the Gifts Series. In this book our heroine, Emily Bell, is all grown up. When she meets Dr. Ethan McGowan sparks fly as together they race to find the lost burial sites of the Red-Haired Giant Kings in the Amazon rainforest before the demon-driven Dr. Carmine Lazar does. The adventure is an epic trek through Brazil and the Amazon as angels and demons clash and battle for the right to claim the highly sought after burial site and the hidden treasure inside. But the treasure is not what you would expect it to be. Join Emily as she ventures into the very last frontier with her ever watchful guardian angel, Liam.

Q: What is the “message” of your writing? (For example, is your purpose to encourage old-fashioned values, encourage romance, or do you have different purposes in different books?)

The message in all of my books boils down to one thing ‘COME TO JESUS’ the message does kind of scream out like that and that is just the way I want it.

Q: Tell us one place you visited or person you met, that made a big impression on you, and why. Tell us one place you want to visit, or person you want to meet, and why.

I wanted to answer these two questions together as they are related for me. I recently visited The Heavener Runestone Park with my family. This visit impacted me greatly. First the runestone itself is shrouded in mystery and intrigue. It is thought to be a boundary marker for an ancient Viking settlement. The mystery of it all is that it is in Oklahoma. Since coming back from that road trip I’ve learned that there are several such markers all over the United States. This revelation has been huge for me since I love all things Viking as I am descended from them. As far as places I want to visit I really want to go to Scotland. I have a deep need to connect to my roots and I want to start in Scotland.

Q: What’s your next project? Tell us so we can’t wait for it to come out!

I have started work on Glome’s Dal. It is the Viking tale that incorporates the Heavener Runestone. The markings on the stone are believed to say “Glomesdal” translated to ‘Valley owned by Glome.” The story will center around Glome as he sets out on an adventure to claim his own lands. Along the way he finds trouble as in his quest for more power and control he turns to dark magic. He has to find his way to the Christian God to get himself out of the mess he creates. I am hoping to have this book ready to go for a Christmas release.
Then in the spring of next year I will launch the third and final book in the Gifts series. For next summer I have a set of three fun novellas coming out centered around a teenage boy named Charlie. Charlie’s adventures begin when he and his siblings go to live with their Uncle Simon. Uncle Simon’s house is full of ancient artifacts and a time traveling relic is found there. I can’t wait to see where Charlie and his sisters and brother end up.

Image of Jen Gentry

Here’s her Amazon Author page. http://www.amazon.com/Jen-Gentry/e/B0097IZEMK

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2013 in author interviews

 

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Interview with DiVoran Lites — author of the Florida Springs Trilogy-Sacred Spring, Living Spring, and Clear Spring

Image of DiVoran Lites

http://www.amazon.com/Sacred-Florida-Springs-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00A3I00TK/

I don’t know DiVoran Lites personally, but her publicist, Onisha Ellis, has good taste in authors (after all, she faithfully retweets my stuff), and steered her my way. Welcome, DiVoran.

1. Many people say that authors can’t or don’t do well with more than one genre. You have contemporary mystery, some romance, historical, and western themes. What do you think prepared you or qualifies you to write these different types of books?

I’m ready to begin the publishing process for my first trilogy, called, “The Florida Springs Trilogy.” All three books, Sacred Spring, Living Spring, and Clear Spring, are contemporary Christian romances, the last two with a thread of suspense. They take place in Florida and are rich in description of the environment.

My next series is historical. The working title for the trilogy is, “Go West.” The three books are westerns because they take place in the west and historical because the stories happen from after World War 1 up until right after World War 2. Both trilogies come out of my life and the people and family members I have known. Both have a Christian, romantic theme, so in that way they are essentially the same genre. However because one trilogy is contemporary and environmental the other has western scenes, and life may be considered western they are different. Both trilogies have grown organically inside of me.

I am able to write contemporary novels because I have been young, and for the last many years have had close contact with young people. My love of history, especially American and Western history and the experiences from living in different places and through various decades have made me able to tap into sights and sounds that I carry in my subconscious memory. Maren Elwood’s title, Characters Make Your Story, states, people and their goals, loves, and hates are what make the story regardless of what genre it falls into once it is finished. Basic human nature doesn’t change, so we start from there and we have the ingredients for any kind of genre for which we have a calling, a talent, or a passion.

What do you say to the charge that men can’t write romances that women will like, and how will you tempt guys to read your books?
In general, it is true that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. But, male or female, every person is unique. It may be best to target a specific audience. We don’t need the whole world to read our book, it’s impossible for that to happen anyway, especially in genre writing. As to whether men can write romances that will interest women, it depends on the man writer, and the woman reader. My books target women from teens to golden agers, but men have read them and liked them too. I call that a fluke and an unexpected bonus and I rejoice when I hear that it is so.

Tell us a little about your “real” (Non-writing) life – family, job, church life. Does it give you inspiration for your writing? Does it get in the way of your writing, or are there times when you get help from people or circumstanced?

Everything I have ever written has come directly from either life or from the stories people tell me. Presently I live in Florida where my Florida Springs Trilogy is set. Our family has camped at many of the gorgeous fresh water springs; we have walked the jungle trails, felt the heat and humidity, and heard the night calls of chuck-will’s-widow and cicada. I have taught all ages of Sunday school, up to and including young married women. I like teaching children because they are usually curious and interested. All of us have different roles to play in life, and these roles prepare us to write fully formed characters. Thanks to the goodness of the Lord, I’ve had the blessing of being a character in nearly every spot a family has from child of parents, sister to a brother, a grandchild myself, I’ve had aunts, uncles, and cousins, and I am a wife. I’ve had in-laws and been an in-law. None of that is unusual, but it gives me a treasure of empathy for just about any character my imagination comes up with. I am the proverbial little girl with a curl, when she was good, she was very, very good, but when she was bad, she was horrid. So for me real life is the only grist for the mill. That’s why I believe in the suggestion to write what I know. Oh, yes, I can take all the flights of fancy and imagination I wish, and I can use the vast resources available to us, but still, I feel I have a strong foundation in the people I have known and in the real life stories that have come my way. In addition, my real life has a large part in my writing. Cooking, cleaning, gardening, having friends over, shopping and praying, all turn out to be material for fiction and non-fiction writing. I’ve recently been re-watching, “The Waltons,” and I identify so much with John Boy who seems to have written down most of what his siblings, parents, people of the community, and strangers have done and said.

Tell us about things you enjoy – what you do for fun or personal satisfaction.

Writing is the greatest enjoyment in my life. But, I love to read fiction and non-fiction as well. I like to swim, take long walks in the woods, paint, draw, and journal, both art journal, and writing journal. I enjoy good, clean movies. I like to cook for my husband and meet family and friends for dinner. I enjoy singing on the church praise team and I like to dance in my kitchen to lively music. The neighbor kids come over for short stretches of time and I like visiting with them. My husband loves to travel and I enjoy it when he goes away for a week to see an aviation museum or four, because it gives us a chance to miss each other and refresh our relationship when he comes home. Yes, I live a quiet life. I feel as if this time truly is, “the best of life for which the first was made.” Robert Browning.

Tell us about working with any people who help you create your books – Do you use Beta readers? Hire an editor or proofreader? How do you get your covers?

I like to paraphrase, “no man is an island,” and say, “no book is an island.” I suppose there are people who do everything for their books, but I don’t know any, and I can’t imagine going it alone. My husband is my helper in every way, he helps with the writing, and he goes out and sells the books. Also, my friends at Rebekah Lyn Books are as vital to my writing as air is to my breathing. I have Beta readers, who help me keep my face clean, helping with everything from inconsistencies to typos. Artist friends also help critique my cover paintings. Then I have an editing service and a graphic technician who do both the editing and the formatting for books and covers. One of the greatest joys I can think of it to work with like-minded people I trust for help and encouragement.

Since you have several books out, tell us what you think works for promotion. What are your thoughts on ebooks versus print books and different ways to let people know about you and your books?

Again, I wouldn’t have sold the number of books I have sold without help. My publicist-friend works as hard at marketing as I do at writing. We have successfully had a tea, gone to a bookstore on street-party night, and done online promotions. My publicist is on Twitter and other social media where she gets to know people and tells them about Rebekah Lyn books and me. I’m on face book and other sites, where I post frequently, and I write a fun and chatty blog post every week for oldthingsrnew.com.
I love doing that. It’s all a matter of being friendly and getting connected.

Have you done anything writing related, but besides your books, that seemed to get a lot of positive response? Something that encouraged you?

I love doing the blogs. There are several regular writers and sometimes we have guest writers. Our posts have been in many places all over the world and had favorable comments. That’s very gratifying. Also, I have poetry published in a couple of textbooks. I hope to publish a book of posts and a book of poems for the sheer joy of it. When I was more active in the art world, I sold many paintings and cards and that encouraged me to paint my own covers.

Clear Spring is my newest book. It’s about Mel Nicolaides, who is one of five children. She has lived a happy but sheltered life. When her parents and siblings go to Europe for the summer, Mel opts to stay home and take a job, at a remote North Florida spring. There she begins illustrating a botanical book while learning about Seminole Indian medicine and culinary herbs from its author. This is her opportunity to fulfill her deepest desire, which is to become an independent woman who needs no one. She throws herself into the experience with enthusiasm. But the sudden revelation of a family skeleton forces her to find the rhythms of a power within herself that will profoundly change her life.

Five Star Review Excerpts from Living Spring and Sacred Spring, the first two books in the, The Florida Springs Trilogy
By DiVoran Lites
J. Wills (Orlando, FL)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book – the second in Ms. Lites’ trilogy. Since I live in Florida, it is quite easy to picture the events as she describes them, around the swamps and springs. She is so very good at creating word pictures, that they come to life as I read. The story is well written, with just a touch of the characters I came to know and love in her first book. I eagerly await the final story in this trilogy- J. Wills

More than a good read-Mary H. Sayler, Poet, Writer, Poetry Editor
Sacred Spring, the first book in author DiVoran Lites’ Florida Springs trilogy, was a delight to read and enjoy. I grew up in Florida and enjoyed visiting the beautiful springs found throughout the state. Through Sacred Spring, I was there again, enjoying the beauty, imagining myself immersed in the cool water, and enjoying a meal at the Old Mill Restaurant. DiVoran’s descriptions come to life, like a water colored painting, in deep hues and colors….in the lightning flashes of a dangerous storm, and in the beauty of a soaring eagle-Pamela
I put aside all my library loans just to finish this one.-Julia

Raw emotions in verdant Florida-William
Great story-Susan E. Bowers
This story has a great plot and I love her characters.-J. Z.
A delight to read and enjoy-Pamela
A book I couldn’t put down-G. Reindl
The beauty of the language and excellent storyline far exceeded my expectations. Alliji
This is a lovely book filled with characters you can relate to.-Rebekah Lyn

What is the “message” of your writing? (For example, is your purpose to encourage old-fashioned values, encourage romance, or do you have different purposes in different books?

My basic intent is to write novels that grab a reader’s attention in the beginning and hold it until the end. Along the way, I’d love to convey something of the God’s love, Jesus’ Atonement, and the guidance of Holy Spirit. One editor compared them with Bach’s Two Point Invention by saying that they can be read on two different levels: one as great stories and the other as deep thinking, or both.

Tell us one place you visited or person you met, that made a big impression on you, and why.

The biggest, the best, and the most wonderful person I have met is Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
I’ve been getting to know Him for years now…Him, His Father, and Holy Spirit, and I have never tired of the excitement of my new life in them.

Tell us one place you want to visit, or person you want to meet, and why.
Someday I want to go to Heaven, but not quite yet.

Share something that makes you laugh, with just plain humor, or happiness, or because it’s so stupid.

I really enjoy animal videos from the Internet, especially the funny and silly ones. I like fractured English in instruction booklets, too, even though I admire people who can speak and write different languages, because I can not.

Share something that’s amazing, touching, or that makes you angry.

Nature is amazing to me. It astonishes me in one way or another every day. Just the sheer abundance of it and the plan and design thrill my soul.

What’s the worst trouble you ever had with getting a book written (plots, finding needed information, getting a cover done)?

Clear Spring, the new one just coming out kept getting more and more intricate and revealing and I had to keep re-writing to structure it correctly.

What’s your next project? Tell us so we can’t wait for it to come out!

Some time ago, I met Rebekah Lyn in a store and we were discussing novels, and we up and decided to get together once a week and write. Her novel turned out to be contemporary and about Florida and mine was historical and about Colorado. It’s my next project and I love it.
Go West takes place on a ranch in a Rocky Mountain valley run by a cowboy named Aldon, a World War 1 army pilot back from the front. In the interest of making enough money to keep the ranch in the family, he has had to open as a lodge. Two boarders and his Aunt/Housekeeper live there. A young woman, Ellie, a driver in the ambulance corps during the conflict, applied for a job on the ranch. Aldon meets her at the train-station in the first scene.
Ellie finds she must spread herself thin as Lia, the Italian wife wants her for a full time companion, and the housekeeper/cook needs her too. In addition, Aldon wants to teach her all he can about ranching and riding. The book is rich in historical detail and wonderful characters.

Here’s DiVoran’s Amazon author page. Give her a like, and check her works out!

http://www.amazon.com/DiVoran-Lites/e/B00A4DKQYI

 

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The Philosophy of Free and Cheap

free books I don’t like giving books away. For a long time, I said I wouldn’t do it, ever. Not even ebooks. But I’ve modified my thinking on that somewhat. If you take a look at Findley Family Video Publications offerings you will see more than 45 titles. You might say, “Wow, you have published a lot of books!” And if you follow the links to certain books, you will see that they are free. But you will also see that they are samples — usually just the first three chapters or so. A couple are the first in a series. Along with these, anyone who downloads will get links to our main blog, Elk Jerky for the Soul, and that has links to all our books. It seems to be a good marketing idea.

There’s another marketing idea many people promote. That’s the KDP select plan. You publish an ebook exclusively with Amazon for 90 days. During that time, you can offer the book free for five of those days. There are still many sites that have many followers where you can announce that free-ness. The plan is simple. Many who have done this say you WILL get (They don’t say might get) 20K+ people scarfing up your book for free, and easily get a hundred reviews posted on Amazon for your book. Honestly, people who use this plan insist these are undeniable facts. You WILL give away tens of thousands of books. You WILL get scores of reviews out of it. Yeah, well, not so much. I tried this with my book A Dodge, a Twist, and a Tobacconist. Granted, Steampunk Literary Tribute is not a well-known genre. Also, I didn’t have the stunning cover I have now. But I did post and tweet and inform people like crazy during the free days for the plain and illustrated versions. Altogether I got around 1500 downloads, not 15,000.

As of now I have fewer than 15 reviews, and that was after giving away another 100 copies to a review group on Library Thing. You need reviews to be able to promote your book on certain sites. Some require as few as 10, and that they be average 4 or 5 stars. It annoys me that they want to reward success rather than encourage achievement, but that’s the way it goes. So I’m not sure I will ever have a free promotion again. I do offer free copies from time to time to people who say they will review, but I don’t get many reviews even from those people. And some of our free samples, one in particular, has gotten a bunch of bad reviews because it’s a sample. Some have also said it doesn’t flow, seems disorganized, doesn’t make them want to continue with the full story. Many people have gotten “troll” reviews on free books that sink their rankings.

I do have one other marketing ploy to try. It’s the 99 cent reduction. I now have 3 books, Historical Romance types, that are on sale for 99 cents. I have never tried reducing the price on these books, one of which has already been in the Amazon top 100 bestsellers ranking several times at its original price. So we’ll see if any of them get a nudge in the rankings or the reviews from this experiment. This is my “Ad” for this sale, such as it is.  http://amzn.to/11GOtXs   http://dld.bz/c5rNR   http://dld.bz/c5r7g

3 romance sale

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2013 in publishing

 

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Righting Sew Reel Ayes Reed Passed Yore Tye Till

I will be gradually bringing the writing posts over from that other blog of ours. Here’s the first.

I started to “meet” many modern authors through the joys of Internet groups for authors, readers and writers. So I started to read their books. I am especially interested in Indie Christian Writers, and I wanted to help them by writing reviews to post on places like Amazon and Goodreads.

Please don’t think I’m joining the legion of critics accusing Indie writers of being incompetent. But I do believe we are insular. We do what we do without a lot of help. Authors who have experienced the slash and change technique of traditional publishers understand that their “I know what will sell” attitude can do great violence to a writer and his work. Some have told me they paid for proofreading and editing. They got robbed, in my opinion.

I’m going to hope that I’m right, that authors can do a few simple things to help us get out from under the stigma that Indie writers don’t care about correctness.

First, please throw away that auto-editor, if you have one. It introduces errors. Should I repeat that with all capital letters? Even if you hired and paid an editor, I would bet money some of them are using an auto-editor. Somehow writers are letting homophone errors into their works. The title of this post is an example of homophone errors.

You control your horse with reins. You also rein in your emotions. But a king reigns over you. A dictator has a reign of terror. I have seen shutter (window coverings) for shudder (shaking badly), wonder (uncertain or amazed) for wander (walking aimlessly), and many, many others.

Read up on homophones, and you’ll get a list of words commonly misspelled, commonly confused, and that spellcheckers or auto-editors really can’t handle. But some are not so obvious. The cure is to have some real person read the thing. Maybe several real persons, and underline or turn red everything that sounds strange or wrong. I’m not really talking about editing. Hardly even proofreading. Just real eyes to catch what you might miss.

“Lay” and “lie” are very confusing. Lay the book on the table. The path lies yonder. Lay up treasure in heaven. It’s a question of whether something does the action, or whether action is done to it.

Use “further” when it’s in your head, like “upon further examination.” Use “farther” when it’s on a map, like “We went farther today than yesterday.”

One rule of thumb is that almost all punctuation goes inside the end quotation mark in a conversation, unless you use British English rules. “I love you,” she said. “I love you!” he screamed. “I love you?” she asked. “I love you.” Hannah threw her arms around him. Only time it might not is something like this: “‘I love you’! Is that all you can say after what you did?” Somebody’s repeating what someone else said, but with his own inflection (emotional quality) and within his own sentence. The exclamation point means the speaker’s angry about what the person he’s quoting said. It doesn’t go with the original “I love you.”

Enough mushy stuff. One set of errors that is both a punctuation problem and a homophone problem is with “it’s” or “its.” “It’s” is a contraction meaning “it is.” It does not mean “belonging to it.” That’s what “its” means. Examples: “It’s a sad state of affairs when your car gets a mind of its own regarding fuel economy.” If you can’t make the words “it is” out of what you want to say, then don’t give it an apostrophe.

Here’s how to do “to, too and two”: “The two of us are going to the store and dad is going, too.” Two is a number. To is a destination. Too means also (or sometimes it’s a qualifier, as in “too much”). Here’s one more: “your” is possessive, as in “That’s your problem” and “you’re” is a contraction meaning “you are.”

Do not use apostrophes for mere plurals like “The Bushes invited us to Kennebunkport.” (Notice that the name Bush gets an “e” tacked on in both these examples.) Use them for plural possessives like “The Bushes’ estate on Kennebunkport was beautiful.” No it doesn’t get another “s.”

Briefly, here are my rules on hyphens, dashes and ellipses (a group of three periods). Hyphens connect two words that go together to modify a word. “Blood-red sand.” “Break-neck speed.” “Ellie-Mae Clampet.”(Well, maybe that last is not the best example.) “Dead-on throw.” A dash is two hyphens together, sometimes called an em-dash. If you are running, speaking in broken gasps, use that double-dash between words. “Wait — Can’t catch — breath.” If you are a poor speaker of the language and words might be left out, use that too. “No — understand — English.”

In other words, dashes are for speech that’s broken up but not drawn out. Quick breaks or sharply broken off, as when someone is interrupted or startled speechless. Ellipses are for drawn-out speech. “I … am … dying.” “You … can’t … be … serious.” Nothing missing, nothing uncertain, just drawn out for a certain effect. Leave a space after the word and before the em-dash or ellipses, but normally not when using a hyphen.

Here are some bad, wrong, naughty things I don’t want to see in your books. Please. Not ever. At least, not again.

“John looked into her eyes”.  (Unless you are British, get that period inside that quote, now!)

“Go over their and help him.” (Go over their what? — It should be there.) Their is a possessive, when something or things belong to more than one person. And by the way, stop saying “their” instead of him or her/ his or her to try to be politically correct/gender neutral.

“Those books are not her’s.” (No such thing. It’s hers and only hers. There are no hi’s, are there?)

“I’ll never except that from you.” (You say “accept” here. ‘Except” would be as in, “I like this, except I hated the ending.”)

“You cant come in here.” You must have an apostrophe in this, “can’t.” It’s a contraction for can not. “Cant” means putting something at an angle or a special vocabulary for a group of people.

“That wasn’t complementary to my intellect.” This word means something that goes with something or makes it better. Instead you want complimentary,meaning to express approval.

Verbs have a present tense, a past tense and a future tense. Plus there are a bunch of sub-tenses. Most authors write in the past tense. “He went to school.” Simple. However, if you add this it gets more complicated: “He went to school as he had gone every day that month.” You might also say, “He went to school as he did every day.”

Here’s where it gets very tricky. “John no longer went to school. At one time he had gone every day. He remembered having gone, but it had become only a faint recollection.” You have established a pattern of starting out in the past and then talking about times in the more distant past. “At one time he went every day. He remembered going, but it became only a faint recollection.” It really is okay to say it this second way. But you don’t want to end up with this. “He will have went back to that time when he hadn’t have thought through what leaded up to that dreadful sentence.”

 

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Interview With John A. Miller

This might seem like shameless self-promotion, but just because John Miller is my editing and cover design client doesn’t mean he’s not a great guy with an author journey worth hearing about. He’s a truck driver like hubby and we met through a facebook page for drivers and family members. He is a new author and he has great stories … short, so far, but he’s working on his first series and it’s very cool.

john miller author photo

https://www.facebook.com/JohnAMillerauthor

MF: Many people say that authors can’t or don’t do well with more than one genre. You have contemporary mystery, some romance, and now a western/speculative fiction series. What do you think prepared you or qualifies you to write these different types of books?

JM: I wouldn’t say I was qualified to write different genres. I write wherever my imagination is taking me when I sta.rt a story.

MF: What do you say to the charge that men can’t write romances that women will like, and how will you tempt guys to read your books?

JM: I’m a hopeless romantic at heart. I visualize what I want in romance and the way I wish I could have that in my life being single. As for tempting men to read my stories — I have some murder thrown in and some action that both men and woman would like.

MF: Tell us a little about your “real” (Non-writing) life — family, job, church life. Does it give you inspiration for your writing? Does it get in the way of your writing, or are there times when you get help, from people or circumstances?

JM: I’m self-employed and own an eighteen wheeler and travel the United States with my dogs. I do my best thinking and writing when I’m on the road. It gives me time to think of what I want to write about.

MF: Tell us about things you enjoy — what you do for fun or personal satisfaction.

I like old muscle cars and have two Trans Am’s that I incorporate into my stories’. I love animals and have two dogs’ that keep me company. I also like different types of music that help me relax.

MF: Tell us about working with any people who help you create your books — Do you use Beta readers? Hire an editor or proofreader? How do you get your covers?

JM: Well, If it wasn’t for Mary Campagna Findley, who does my editing and my covers, my stories would still be on my lap top sitting there not being published. She has also assisted me and educated me in certain phases to make my writing better.

MF: Since you have several books out, tell us what you think works for promotion. What are your thoughts on ebooks versus print books and different ways to let people know about you and your books?

JM: Since I am still new to the writing world I’m working on how to figure that part out. I think print books are nice. But with today’s technology, ebooks are the wave of the future and the ease of having a Kindle or Nook to get a book at any time of day or night will be here to stay.

MF: Have you done anything writing-related, but besides your books, that seemed to get a lot of positive response? Something that encouraged you?

JM: I wrote my first poem the other day and the response to it was overwhelming. What inspired to me write the poem was talking to my mom on how she missed my dad so much since his passing.

MF: Tell us about your newest book. Make us want to read it

JM: I’m real excited about my Gladstone book because of the characters I created for it. There is so much you can do with them and the story they tell makes it exciting. Everyone has secrets and the people of Gladstone have one for the ages.

MF: What is the “message” of your writing? (For example, is your purpose to encourage old-fashioned values, encourage romance, or do you have different purposes in different books?)

JM: I write Fiction. I just like to use my imagination and see where or how far I can go with it.

MF: Tell us one place you visited or person you met, that made a big impression on you, and why.

JM: I would say meeting Ensign George H. Gay who was the sole survivor of his torpedo squadron during the battle of Midway in world war two. I met him at an air show in 1988 and he told me stories from that day.

MF: Tell us one place you want to visit, or person you want to meet, and why.

JM: I want to go to the U.K. I have an author friend over there and I have all ways been fascinated with Europe.

MF: Share something that makes you laugh, with just plain humor, or happiness, or because it’s so stupid.

JM: Makes me laugh? I think going back to my childhood growing up with Randy and remembering the crazy things we did as kids. He passed away in 1985 from a car wreck. So I hold on to those memories closely.

MF: What’s the worst trouble you ever had with getting a book written (plots, finding needed information, getting a cover done)?

JM: I just need to sit down and write when the mood hits me.

MF: What’s your next project? Tell us so we can’t wait for it to come out!

JM: I am currently writing the sequel to Gladstone and hoping the characters will last to write three or maybe four stories with them.

Review by: Stewart Bint on June 22, 2013 : 5 stars for Gladstone

“In Gladstone, John A. Miller shows his skill at developing his characters and their relationship, while teasing the reader with the wider plot…all the while building to a great climax and totally unexpected revelation.

“This book posed a bit of a conundrum for me: I desperately wanted to get to the end to find out what the big secret was — John lays down some fascinating clues with conversations between the townsfolk — while on the other hand the story was so good I just didn’t want it to end.

I hope this is the first of a series of books about the wonderful town of Gladstone.”

http://www.amazon.com/Youll-be-Sorry-ebook/dp/B00ABS4ZIE

Lisa and Mark have known each other since they were eight. Bullies brought them together, and a stray dog might change their lives, their dreams, and their future….”I said you were not getting past us.” Sam began to laugh. Just as Mark stood up again he heard a voice come from behind him.
“Leave him alone!”
What now? He turned and noticed a small girl standing there.
She was about Mark’s age, eight or so, standing there pointing her finger at Sam and Bobby Jenkins. Sam just scowled at her and then they both laughed. “What are you going to do about it?”
What happened next was a shock even to an eight-year-old boy. She said, “You’ll be sorry.”

http://www.amazon.com/Friends-and-Strangers-ebook/dp/B00B50RNL8/

Roger Russell was just an average bachelor till he spilled coffee on a beautiful “uptown girl.” Then someone threw a little murder into the mix. Two of Roger’s best friends have suddenly become suspects and a big city detective obsessed with the “Silk Scarf Strangler” murders has either come to help, or to resurrect that killer in a new setting. Romance blossoms between Roger and Mary while small town dreams get mixed up with murder and friendship. Who can Roger trust?

http://www.amazon.com/Gladstone-ebook/dp/B00CYN76NU/

Jack Saunders just wants a new start after a messy divorce. He doesn’t bargain on a wrong turn and a breakdown in the Arizona desert. A beautiful girl coming to his rescue on a classic Indian motorcycle might mean things are looking up. Or, they might be turning really strange in a town that time forgot, with friendly people willing to die for a cause … to save a founder’s statue
….Haskell turned to John Smith. “Are we clear on this?”
“Yes sir. Crystal. I do have some questions, though.”
“You may ask your questions,” replied Haskell.
“How did you come up with this map and know what equipment is in what building? Second, what’s the name of this town?”
Haskell grinned and said, “it’s Gladstone, and I used to live there.”
“One last question. How are we supposed to wipe out a town and not worry about the consequences?”
“Don’t worry about that, Once we’re done, and before we leave, we will bury the town by blowing out the sides of the canyon cliffs. It will look like Mother Nature took care of them.”
John Smith nodded his head in approval. “You have this all figured out. So, any idea when we do this, so I can tell my men?”
“Soon,” replied Haskell with an evil grin.

 

Open Call to Authors and Service Providers

welcome mat

I put off starting this blog for a long time because we have another blog, Elk Jerky for the Soul, which largely deals with important issues like Biblical authority, current events, and historical and scientific topics hubby loves to write about when he has time. He gets a lot of traction on his posts, and I don’t seem to get a lot on mine most of the time. I wanted to host other authors and talk about writing, but that didn’t seem to be the right place.

I also thought, I am not a top-notch editor, book designer, or cover creator like some. I’m just kind of basic and a little creative and pretty cheap. Should I even bother to hang out a shingle?

Besides all that, there are many unknown authors and unsung or little-sung service providers who might want to share this forum. So I also want to open my doors to other authors for guest posts, and to other providers to want to let people know that they can serve your publishing needs, too.

So please let me know if you’d like to guest post about how you fit into the publishing picture. And no, you’re not a competitor. You’re a fellow-laborer. Welcome.

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2013 in publishing

 

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