Friday, December 14, 2012

Digitus 233 – Available Dec. 21st on Amazon


 
 
 
 
 
 Digitus 233 – Available Dec. 21st on Amazon
Digitus, the world’s dominant corporation, has studied human nature for centuries. They are experts who expand on a human’s natural gifts and talents to create supreme world leaders in all major areas of science, art, religion, and leadership. A select few are handpicked each year to join the elite.

This year, fifteen-year-old Zeph fights to uncover the truth with the help of an old man and a monkey, while as a final test of induction into Digitus, five teens are dropped from a specially designed Learjet and land on a barren arctic island. They are forced to come together in an effort to survive and escape. Unfortunately, escape is short lived when a Russian ballistic submarine rescues them and a computer malfunction threatens an all-out nuclear attack on North America. Time is running out and the sub’s programmer cannot stop the computer failure. It is up to the teens to convince the Russians they should be allowed to give it a try.



Tick tock.

K.D. Emerson Bio
Author, K.D. Emerson was born (or is that hatched) several years ago. We won’t go into how long it has been because she has this fantasy that she is still a teenager off to conquer the world. Her first novel was written in pencil, stapled together and placed in the school library. At age 6, she didn’t have a clue an author needed a publisher. She has a passion for the written word and assisting other writers in becoming the best they can be. She also loves to promote others and cheer them on to victory. Follow her on twitter @MstrKoda or you can find her at www.masterkoda.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kimmutch.emerson
99 cent sale:


#Ebooks Make Great Gifts! 20 authors, 38 books- 99 cents each, 12/13-12/15. Stuff your virtual stocking! bit.ly/W0FvDT #sale #kindle

 

This place isn’t what it seems. They are grooming you and the others for dangerous things.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:
 Mr. Danny Kemp and his book, The Desolate Garden.

The Desolate Garden


What is the working title of your book?
The Desolate Garden

Where did the idea come from for the book?
Where I would, if I had the chance, spend more time; in bed.

What genre does your book fall under?
No one genre. It is a murder mystery, a spy thriller, a historical tale and a romantic novel. Set in contemporary times but with its roots firmly planted in the past.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I have been asked this question many times as I have been paid for the option to turn my story into a film. Nichole Kidman could be Judith Meadows and Brad Pitt ‘could’ be me, I mean Lord Harry Paterson.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
It is an explosive read with deft touches of comedy with a gentle inference to sex and romance.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It was self-published but now I have a traditional deal with my publisher.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
About six months.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
It has been likened, by both the film producer and reviewers to The 39 Steps and The Constant Gardener.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
I have always been fascinated by espionage, with the double life that entails, and the romantic connections between a woman and man that can occur when you least expect it to.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
My writing has been compared by Waterstones, the largest book retailer in the UK as being akin to Graham Greene. He was notable for his ability to combine serious literary acclaim with widespread popularity. His works of The Third Man, Our Man in Havana and The End of The Affair are considered classics in English literature.
Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:

The Desolate Garden

What is the working title of your book?
The Desolate Garden

Where did the idea come from for the book?
Where I would, if I had the chance, spend more time; in bed.

What genre does your book fall under?
No one genre. It is a murder mystery, a spy thriller, a historical tale and a romantic novel. Set in contemporary times but with its roots firmly planted in the past.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I have been asked this question many times as I have been paid for the option to turn my story into a film. Nichole Kidman could be Judith Meadows and Brad Pitt ‘could’ be me, I mean Lord Harry Paterson.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
It is an explosive read with deft touches of comedy with a gentle inference to sex and romance.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It was self-published but now I have a traditional deal with my publisher.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
About six months.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
It has been likened, by both the film producer and reviewers to The 39 Steps and The Constant Gardener.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
I have always been fascinated by espionage, with the double life that entails, and the romantic connections between a woman and man that can occur when you least expect it to.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
My writing has been compared by Waterstones, the largest book retailer in the UK as being akin to Graham Greene. He was notable for his ability to combine serious literary acclaim with widespread popularity. His works of The Third Man, Our Man in Havana and The End of The Affair are considered classics in English literature.

Friday, November 23, 2012

America's Next Author contest



Well week 7 is just about done and we are rolling around to the last week of the 8 week contest. Its been a long, grueling roller coaster ride of ups and downs. for the last few weeks mostly downs. But its also been a learning experience as well.  I have learned that sometimes no matter how much you ask, bug, beg and plead you can only get so far in the likes and reviews. I have some really great friends who have stuck with me through the whole contest and have helped spread the word for me week after week. I was posting 3 to 4 times a day every day for the first several weeks. steadily going down each week. The last couple of weeks due to getting a new job, I haven't been able to do it as much. I have learned people on-line will help total strangers get a few more votes or a new review.

I have learned that its not such a scary thing to submit to a contest and possibly not win too. I have always been afraid to submit because I never felt like I had talent enough to do it. There are some really amazing writers out there. I never felt in their league. Too many years of being told you will never be good enough for anything let alone a writer. My son is who got me started on the path and to think, that maybe, just maybe I might be good enough to tell a story or two and actually have people like it. My son had a dream of becoming a published author. I have had people tell us we are uneducated, that we aren't teachers, or professors or someone with an alphabet behind our names. We couldnt possibly think of ever being published. We aren't professional editors, writers, journalists or even have an associates on arts.

When I joined the contest I thought, its a new contest, I am a new writer. What the heck. The worst that could happen is I could come in dead last. But I thought it was a really good way to test my mettle and see if I have what it takes. I guess in a couple of weeks when all the top 12 have been chosen we will see then if I am among them or not. I hope I am, but have severe doubts at this point in the game. I will submit next year if they have a second contest. I have really enjoyed the contest and the competition! it was something I won't soon forget. So if you think you aren't good enough to write, or don't have what it takes, submit to a contest and find out. Whats the worst that could happen?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Personal Pain

 
 
I found out today that a very good friend of my son's from high school passed away last Saturday. I knew this boy and he seemed the happiest kid with the most going for him. My heart breaks for my son and this boy's family who is mourning the  loss. They hadn't talked much since high school and now he feels guilty. Before the story we are trying to get republished seemed so important, the contest, the everyday things in life seemed so much bigger. And now, its like nothing. I hugged my son tight today and asked him to please never ever do this thing. No more wreckless living and thinking you are invincible. This child who died was 24 years old, but to me always a smiling young man with a bright future. I know life goes on and it must go on. But for this moment in time, I think it will pause for just a moment and remember this young man whose life was so very short. Hug your children, hug your mom and dad. You never know when will be the last time. I would like to say this was going to be a funny post about the struggles of writing, publishing and marketing, but right now, the pain is so strong and so great it must be dealt with before I can move on. So for now, I leave this with you. If you are prompted to contact an old friend out of the blue, please do so. Even if its been a long time since you have talked. Call them, go see them, text them. Let them know someone is out there that cares. That loves them just the way they are and accepts them, just the way they are. Take care of each other.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Our interview with Thomas Smith and James Darrell Williams

   

Their book can be found at the link below!
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0099GYC6O/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0099GYC6O&linkCode=as2&tag=indieunlim-20
It was with great pleasure that I received an email from Thomas asking if I would write a blog about his and Darrell’s story. I was thrilled to be asked and it is with great pleasure that I get to share their story here. I was intrigued by their story of self-discovery and how they had started their journey and what they discovered along the way. So without further delay, please give a very warm welcome to Thomas and Darrell!
Bio
After spending more than 20 years as a journalist, publicist and educator, something told me it was time for a change. Though I searched for something to keep me busy in my middle years, it seemed like doors in the professional world were closed to me. In 2008, when I met Darrell in a Long Beach bar, I immediately knew this kind and thoughtful man would have an effect on my personal life. There was no way of knowing that he would change my professional life as well. He wanted someone to tell his life story. Of course, I knew from dating him that he had multiple personalities. That didn’t faze me, having become used to people changing personalities immediately after they left the stage. As we came to better know each other, I knew what he had experienced growing up with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) was a story the rest of the world needed to hear.

1. What prompted you to write Darrell’s story?
As a journalist, I’m always looking to find out why something happened. Most if not all of the DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) literature tells what happened, but never why. I thought for sure there would be an interest in a memoir that went a step further than most. Of course, doing so also made it what some call a difficult read, though I prefer to think of it as interesting.
Darrell had his own reason. He wants parents to be aware that when their child is acting out, there is a reason behind these actions. The parent needs to investigate. His never did.
Over all we just wanted Darrell to get his story out. So did all the kids inside him. Obviously this turned into a bigger exploration than either of us planned for the minute we learned that the man he had always believed was his father was probably not.


2. Has the telling of this story changed you and Darrell? If so in what way?
Not much has changed in the telling of it, though I did learn quite a few things from Darrell and the people inside him that I hadn’t known before and suspect there’s even more the kids inside are keeping hidden away.
Though we were warned when we started that this journey might have an impact on our personal lives, that effect has been positive. We have always been a close couple, but we are even closer now that we have had this experience.
The biggest change has probably been with Darrell. All his life he was searching for his family and for answers about why he was treated so differently and why he felt so unloved. He now knows that those who love him are the family he has today.


3. Your search for answers took you from California to Covington, TN. Do you feel it helped you and Darrell or not?
Traveling to Tennessee really did help us quite a bit. Remember that this entire journey was a search for family. We did meet the Jacksons, his Aunt Bertha’s family, though they weren’t as welcoming as they might have been. You might say they weren’t the family we were expecting, but neither were we the people they expected to disembark from the plane at Memphis International.
The biggest plus for us was getting to meet his Aunt Betty Roland. She recognized Darrell immediately even though she had never seen him. Among other things, she gave us James Darrell (Monkey) Jackson’s original birth and death certificates as well as the photo take of him when he won the money to buy his beloved pickup truck. That photo of Monkey, reproduced in the book, certainly looks a whole lot like Darrell.
Being abandoned by Bertha Merriman in Memphis, nine or so days short of our return trip to California, also proved a blessing in disguise. We had no money, lodging, food or transportation. Desperate, I phoned Mary Barnick, who I had only spoken to once before. She and her husband Bo Kirgis drove three hours down to Memphis, giving us a place to stay, feeding us and generally acting like the family we had expected to find in the Jacksons.


4. You mentioned you prefer a book to the new e-books, what are Darrell and your favorite books to read?
Darrell tends to like romantic adventures set during the time of King Arthur. Since he was illiterate until his 20s, I think that it’s really good that he finds pleasure in whatever genre appeals to him.
I’m more of a history and sociology buff. I will tend to re-read my Joan Didion collection when I’m not going through the bookstores. I find any book that has received some sort of writing award is a good choice. Anything that has made the New York Times Bestseller list is best avoided. In order to be popular, a book has to be simple especially since most Americans only read an at 8th grade level.


5. Was there any part of the writing of this story that you didn’t like?
The parts about the functioning of the human brain were a challenge because science simply isn’t among my strengths. I had to do a lot of research comparing and contrasting the various findings before I finally realized that there was simply no research about what I was trying to explain.


6. Since the writing of this book, do you feel it has it changed your lives?
Not yet but we’re aiming at just that. Darrell has gotten lots better at the whole marketing aspect, something he’d never done before. On my side, everything remains the same. My family is still after me to find “something to fall back on” and a job where I can “work my way up.” Not bloody likely at age 55 but I just let them talk.

7. Was it hard to write the story about yourself or did you find it therapeutic and liberating?
Writing about me was among the most difficult things I’ve ever done. Because the book had required Darrell to dig so deeply into his own psyche, I felt I had to do the same. Imagine my surprise when it dawned on me there in the Arkansas studio with Bo Kirgis and Mary Barnick that I hadn’t been myself any more than Darrell had ever been himself. It wasn’t about how I was feeling or what I was seeing but rather who I was being. As a result after more than 30 years of portraying the Tom Kidd character who recorded albums, wrote for magazines and taught writing classes, I decided it was time to put him away. That’s not because I dislike him but because I no longer have either the energy or initiative to be him. Therefore “Which One Am I?” is written under my given name.


8. Your books have been published with Amazon, Does this mean you see the publishing industry headed this way?
The publishing world is absolutely headed to the Internet. There are fewer and fewer book stores out there and, even if they stock a writer’s work, the writer and his company have to deal with returns charged against profits. It’s a silly game but one that was set up long ago and which the powers-that-be will not change.


9. Do you have any online sites where others can read more of your writings?
We are on a rather extensive blog tour and there will be bits and pieces of the book up at various sites. Right now, the first part of the first chapter is up at http://www.indiesunlimited.com/2012/10/07/sneak-peek-which-one-am-i/. Readers can also get a taste of the book at our site www.WhichOneAmI.net


10. Do you have any plans for any more personal biographies or any other books?

“Which One Am I?” is about Darrell. The next book will be about me. I’ve found that while there are plenty of research publications available about gifted students, there are virtually no resources for gifted adults. My next book, tentatively titled “Whatever Happened to the Gifted Kids?” will use my own class as a starting point to find out how those with higher intellectual levels coped with life in the ordinary world. This one is in the very early stages of research so it will be awhile before I really get into writing it. Besides, promoting “Which One Am I?” has to come first.


11. If your book were to be turned into a movie, who would you like to play your part?
We have been talking with documentary film makers even before the book was written. As for a fictionalized account, neither one of us has really given much thought to who would play us. I can say that I think Leonardo DiCaprio is a natural choice to play Darrell. DiCaprio was supposed to play Billy Milligan in a big budget film based on the book about his case. I know the actor was already in training for the part so he’d likely have little problem tweaking that training to play Darrell.


12. If you could meet anyone from any time who would it be and what would be your first question?
To Jesus: “How do you feel towards all these people who call themselves Christians spreading so much hatred in your name?”

Our interview with Thomas Smith and James Darrell Williams







Their book can be found at the link below!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0099GYC6O/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0099GYC6O&linkCode=as2&tag=indieunlim-20
It was with great pleasure that I received an email from Thomas asking if I would write a blog about his and Darrell's story. I was thrilled to be asked and it is with great pleasure that I get to share their story here. I was intrigued by their story of self-discovery and how they had started their journey and what they discovered along the way. So without further delay, please give a very warm welcome to Thomas and Darrell!
Bio
After spending more than 20 years as a journalist, publicist and educator, something told me it was time for a change. Though I searched for something to keep me busy in my middle years, it seemed like doors in the professional world were closed to me. In 2008, when I met Darrell in a Long Beach bar, I immediately knew this kind and thoughtful man would have an effect on my personal life. There was no way of knowing that he would change my professional life as well. He wanted someone to tell his life story. Of course, I knew from dating him that he had multiple personalities. That didn’t faze me, having become used to people changing personalities immediately after they left the stage. As we came to better know each other, I knew what he had experienced growing up with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) was a story the rest of the world needed to hear.

1. What prompted you to write Darrell’s story?
As a journalist, I’m always looking to find out why something happened. Most if not all of the DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) literature tells what happened, but never why. I thought for sure there would be an interest in a memoir that went a step further than most. Of course, doing so also made it what some call a difficult read, though I prefer to think of it as interesting.
Darrell had his own reason. He wants parents to be aware that when their child is acting out, there is a reason behind these actions. The parent needs to investigate. His never did.
Over all we just wanted Darrell to get his story out. So did all the kids inside him. Obviously this turned into a bigger exploration than either of us planned for the minute we learned that the man he had always believed was his father was probably not.


2. Has the telling of this story changed you and Darrell? If so in what way?
Not much has changed in the telling of it, though I did learn quite a few things from Darrell and the people inside him that I hadn’t known before and suspect there’s even more the kids inside are keeping hidden away.
Though we were warned when we started that this journey might have an impact on our personal lives, that effect has been positive. We have always been a close couple, but we are even closer now that we have had this experience.
The biggest change has probably been with Darrell. All his life he was searching for his family and for answers about why he was treated so differently and why he felt so unloved. He now knows that those who love him are the family he has today.


3. Your search for answers took you from California to Covington, TN. Do you feel it helped you and Darrell or not?
Traveling to Tennessee really did help us quite a bit. Remember that this entire journey was a search for family. We did meet the Jacksons, his Aunt Bertha’s family, though they weren’t as welcoming as they might have been. You might say they weren’t the family we were expecting, but neither were we the people they expected to disembark from the plane at Memphis International.
The biggest plus for us was getting to meet his Aunt Betty Roland. She recognized Darrell immediately even though she had never seen him. Among other things, she gave us James Darrell (Monkey) Jackson’s original birth and death certificates as well as the photo take of him when he won the money to buy his beloved pickup truck. That photo of Monkey, reproduced in the book, certainly looks a whole lot like Darrell.
Being abandoned by Bertha Merriman in Memphis, nine or so days short of our return trip to California, also proved a blessing in disguise. We had no money, lodging, food or transportation. Desperate, I phoned Mary Barnick, who I had only spoken to once before. She and her husband Bo Kirgis drove three hours down to Memphis, giving us a place to stay, feeding us and generally acting like the family we had expected to find in the Jacksons.


4. You mentioned you prefer a book to the new e-books, what are Darrell and your favorite books to read?
Darrell tends to like romantic adventures set during the time of King Arthur. Since he was illiterate until his 20s, I think that it’s really good that he finds pleasure in whatever genre appeals to him.
I’m more of a history and sociology buff. I will tend to re-read my Joan Didion collection when I’m not going through the bookstores. I find any book that has received some sort of writing award is a good choice. Anything that has made the New York Times Bestseller list is best avoided. In order to be popular, a book has to be simple especially since most Americans only read an at 8th grade level.


5. Was there any part of the writing of this story that you didn’t like?
The parts about the functioning of the human brain were a challenge because science simply isn’t among my strengths. I had to do a lot of research comparing and contrasting the various findings before I finally realized that there was simply no research about what I was trying to explain.


6. Since the writing of this book, do you feel it has it changed your lives?
Not yet but we’re aiming at just that. Darrell has gotten lots better at the whole marketing aspect, something he’d never done before. On my side, everything remains the same. My family is still after me to find “something to fall back on” and a job where I can “work my way up.” Not bloody likely at age 55 but I just let them talk.

7. Was it hard to write the story about yourself or did you find it therapeutic and liberating?
Writing about me was among the most difficult things I’ve ever done. Because the book had required Darrell to dig so deeply into his own psyche, I felt I had to do the same. Imagine my surprise when it dawned on me there in the Arkansas studio with Bo Kirgis and Mary Barnick that I hadn’t been myself any more than Darrell had ever been himself. It wasn’t about how I was feeling or what I was seeing but rather who I was being. As a result after more than 30 years of portraying the Tom Kidd character who recorded albums, wrote for magazines and taught writing classes, I decided it was time to put him away. That’s not because I dislike him but because I no longer have either the energy or initiative to be him. Therefore “Which One Am I?” is written under my given name.


8. Your books have been published with Amazon, Does this mean you see the publishing industry headed this way?
The publishing world is absolutely headed to the Internet. There are fewer and fewer book stores out there and, even if they stock a writer’s work, the writer and his company have to deal with returns charged against profits. It’s a silly game but one that was set up long ago and which the powers-that-be will not change.


9. Do you have any online sites where others can read more of your writings?
We are on a rather extensive blog tour and there will be bits and pieces of the book up at various sites. Right now, the first part of the first chapter is up at
http://www.indiesunlimited.com/2012/10/07/sneak-peek-which-one-am-i/. Readers can also get a taste of the book at our site www.WhichOneAmI.net


10. Do you have any plans for any more personal biographies or any other books?

“Which One Am I?” is about Darrell. The next book will be about me. I’ve found that while there are plenty of research publications available about gifted students, there are virtually no resources for gifted adults. My next book, tentatively titled “Whatever Happened to the Gifted Kids?” will use my own class as a starting point to find out how those with higher intellectual levels coped with life in the ordinary world. This one is in the very early stages of research so it will be awhile before I really get into writing it. Besides, promoting “Which One Am I?” has to come first.


11. If your book were to be turned into a movie, who would you like to play your part?
We have been talking with documentary film makers even before the book was written. As for a fictionalized account, neither one of us has really given much thought to who would play us. I can say that I think Leonardo DiCaprio is a natural choice to play Darrell. DiCaprio was supposed to play Billy Milligan in a big budget film based on the book about his case. I know the actor was already in training for the part so he’d likely have little problem tweaking that training to play Darrell.


12. If you could meet anyone from any time who would it be and what would be your first question?
To Jesus: “How do you feel towards all these people who call themselves Christians spreading so much hatred in your name?”
 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

We have entered the America's Next Author contest!

America's Next Author


I have entered the contest with a story called "Hiding in Plain Sight." Its sort of a thriller mystery type story. I found out all you have to do to vote is share it in linkedIn, facebook or twitter. Read the story and write a review if you are so inclined. I was tickled pink when we were accepted into the contest. I don't know if I have a chance of winning or not, but I am trying. I feel like I have been spamming everyone for this trying to garner votes and shares. I kind of feel bad for doing it, but then again, if no one knows how will they find out about it?
Once again I am in the quandry of to promote or not to promote! that is the question! but I think I will be promoting because even though I wouldn't be crushed if I didn't win, I am getting that feeling, like I want to win. I want to be competitive. Keeping it at a normal level of course. I don't want to get all crazy or anything. ha ha ha. So I have entered and now I check it to see how its coming. How many tweets, shares and reviews. I work on Kai's Journey the edits that are coming in now. I rewrote Hiding in plain sight a bit to tighten it up and fix some errors I had found. I am going to work on a powerpoint to help someone learn how to take tags off her amazon page tomorrow. do edits, add some ideas we had for book 2 of Kai's Journey. Tomorrow will be a busy day! yay! like busy days. So I guess I had better get off of here and get to sleep so I can be bright eyed and bushy tailed for tomorrow. I have a lot to do and not a lot of time to get it done in. If you haven't voted for me yet, would you please give it a peruse and vote? thank you very much in advance! Hope everyone's day is a true blessing tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

We are with a publishing company!

This is just a side note blog for those who have written stories and are fighting change or the idea that they have "written" the perfect story as is. "It doesn't need changing, its perfect the way it is." Unless you happen to be the C.E.O. of a publishing company you will have to change your book to become published with the companies and further your writing career. If you are that stuck on your book that you won't even bend or be willing to change, then think of it this way. We are rewriting our book by keeping the original and making requested changes on a new document. This way, we are keeping the original intact so we can always refer back to it. But we are forwarding our career by making changes necessary to get our books and our names out there. What is more important, the book getting out to as many readers as possible? or you keeping it the same and not getting it out? Thats the way we had to look at it.
Books that sell                                                           Books that don't sell
            
It felt different going back in and making changes after we had thought we were done. It felt like we were visiting a house or place we hadn't been to in many years. We had changed, would our changes in us affect the story? We didn't know. Our book had been published. Was it perfect? No. but we had done the best we could with it. Now its time for professionals to do with it what we could never do.
I had made a promise to Charlie, my son, that we would get it published and we would do our best to get it to as many people as possible. I may not be able to do a lot of things, but I will give it my all to make sure that his books become the best they can be. So if it means making the story marketable then thats what we are going to do. We have the original for future use and to know what it looked like in the beginning. Now I had better get off of here and go work on the edits needed to make the book better! Have a great  day everyone and enjoy your day~

September 11th 2001

                                                                                            


September 11th will live on in my memory as the worst day of my life and many lives that day. It was a day of no longer feeling safe. No longer feeling like I can take on everything and help everyone. It was a day of loss, anger, shock and fear. Since then our world has changed. No longer can we take for granted our safety and freedoms. We as Americans had taken for granted that we would never be attacked. Things like that happened in other countries, not ours. Now its common place to hear of students who were to report to colleges from out of country to be trying to get to predestined cities to plot who knows what. People are trying to smuggle bombs in anyway they can.
What once was a safe place is no longer. Even here in the midwest where we always felt so safe it is no longer so.
              
Today we remember those who have fallen, those who fought back and those who survived their nightmare in hell that day. While we remember this let us never forget that this can and has happened in the past. When you hear the date December 7th, do you remember what happened on that day so many years ago? I was sitting in an office one day and staff was trying to figure out a day to have their Christmas party. One of the younger personel suggested December 7th. The Older Dr. said we can't have it on that day and explained why. She didn't understand. He finally said, lets put it this way, it would be like having a party on September 11th. In case you don't know what day December 7th 1941, it was the day Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. We have been attacked before and we can be attacked again. Not trying to start fear mongering just to get people to be aware and be observant and remember. Never forget September 11th, 2001 and never forget December 7th, 1941. Just because 60 years pass, we should never forget.

                          

Don't let us fall into complacency so that in another 60 years this happens again. Never let us forget!

Friday, August 3, 2012

our new video!




What do you think of this one? We are working on an actual video that I am shooting brought to you from Iowa. wish us luck!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

What makes an author an author?

                             
I have noticed an interesting trend on facebook and other topics of conversation. Some are of the mind that if we are an indie author, we aren't really an author. We are just striving to be one. We have written, edited, re-written, edited again and finally published a book. We then market, promote it, edit the story again, and advertise our book. A recognized author is one who has found an agent to do everything for them except write the book. The author writes and the agent markets the book.

 I have noticed that some indie authors who find themselves conversing with agented authors suddenly are above the rest of the indie people. Many more though, still work hard to hopefully some day be accepted as an author. We work on our craft, we strive to be better and do better. We look up how to format and how to space and indent. Which font to use, which format to save in. We do all this in hopes to someday be accepted as an author. The only thing I have to say to this is, "Wake up!" We are authors! We are Agents! We are Editor's and formaters and publishers! We do the work that a whole building of people normally do for one author! We work harder and longer for less money and a whole lot less respect.

What those of us as Indie authors need to realize is this, "We are Authors, We are Writers." We are also so much more because we have to do so much more. We have arrived. We are there. Our name is in print, our book can be bought online from a site. Our hopes and dreams are in those words that are bundled nicely in a book. The artwork that many have painstakingly worked on to get "just right". The cover, the introduction of the book, the brief outline that is needed to describe the book. All of our blood sweat and tears are in those pages.
Oh and just to set a record straight. One thing I have noticed about agented authors who have made it. (Not all) If you ask them how they made it and what steps they took to get there, its like a huge secret that can only be passed to another of their kind. While an Indie author will help each other out no matter who it is. So if someone wants to know who I would rather be? I would rather be an Indie author and help others out and give information freely about how to become a writer and help someone else acheive their dream then to become closed off and not help anyone but myself.
To sum it all up, If you have written a book and published it through Kindle Direct Publishing, Smashwords, Createspace, PubIt or the many other sites out there, then guess what? You are an AUTHOR! if you are working on a book, novella, novel, short story or even a book of poetry, then you are a WRITER! You are there you have arrived!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Diary of a Mad Woman (frustration at its finest!)

http://www.amazon.com/Kais-Journey-World-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B0067RJZS8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1341086647&sr=8-1&keywords=kai%27s+journey+by+charles+siefken
Kai's Journey (The New World Chronicles)
This is our book, this is the book that is causing a lot of strife and controversy amongst authors and indie authors a like. We have been trying to learn all the ways of marketing and promoting by following others and seeing if what they are doing will work for us. Some ideas I haven't taken to becuase it just didn't feel right. Now this latest venture I had done due to a book titled, "How to increase Sales without flooding networks!" Well, heck, I thought, why not try it! obviosly me being all over the facebook, twitter, blogspot and Wordpress amongst others hasn't done much of anything for us. I decided to give this a try. One plan in particular seemed promising. Some seemed far fetched and frankly not a very good idea. But I figured, "hey even a broken clock is right twice a day" So I gave it a shot. Now all this controversy of whether it was against the rules of Amazon or not. Whether its considered "tacky" or not. On and on and on!
I have sort of complained about this before, we are supposed to be indie authors and publish how works best for us. Well as of yet, I haven't figured out the secret to that golden ticket of author stardom. We are trying the best we can with what we have. This week has been especially trying in the book sales and trying to just keep up with everything and some of the hardships we are going through. I am getting stubborn and bull headed about this and will find a way to make all this work. I know I don't have a formal education in it or even much of a practical one yet. But I am working on it. I am learning what to do and what not to do. Some lessons are going to be hard, I accept that. But don't burn me due to an honest mistake.
I have helped a lot of people on my journey just as a lot of people have helped me too. Some don't understand why I help out so many for nothing in return. I have done author interviews and they couldn't understand why I did it for nothing. Because I am also trying to get our name out there too! silly! So anyway, that is our plan. Not much of one a this point. We keep getting told to put our books out where our customers will see it. well, yeah, but where is that exactly? what sites? Does it cost money? Can I do it for free? Am I going to get into trouble for posting our book on that site or that blog or that tweet? I have tried gorrilla marketing, nothing, I have tried getting us in the local paper, nothing, I have tried doing interviews with other authors, nothing, I have tried us doing interviews with bloggers and radio show hosts. again and still nothing. I have helped others with their marketing to other facebook sites and tweets. I have gone to Amazon and liked, shared, tweeted and downloaded books. I have written reviews. Mostly without a mention of our book, only the last few a mention of our book. still nothing. We are pretty steady at 4 to 6 a month. People say word of mouth, well, I am running my mouth about our book, and others. I have mentioned to friends of mine about people's books on facebook that I think they would like. V.A.M.P.S Atl, is one example. Raymond Frazee's book is another example. I have helped in ways I never thought I would be helping others out. But still, not there yet.
We were told by the brick and mortar places that our story wasn't to their type or fit. One agent told us it was due to having werewolves, zombies and dragons in the story, plus being unknowns on top of it. Is this blog a gripe? Yes, I am tired and I am weary of struggling and trying. There is so much, so much stuff, I'm just tired I guess. I will close this rant for now. But still not happy with being shoved at the brick and mortar ways when they rejected us flat out. I just want to do whats right and make my son proud of our accomplishments. Of what we did together. Is there a positive to this? I don't know yet, unless its keep moving, keep working at it. Don't give up.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Do this, don't do that!

We have been working on getting published since 2009. We didn't know squat about doing it or how to go about it. So we hit the libraries, asked people, read magazines and anything else we could think of. We were told, 'Get an agent to represent you then all your problems will be solved!" o.k..  so we start looking into it. Write this way, not that way, put this in but not that, 3 lines, 5 lines, 3 pages or 5 pages. Submit in this font or as an attachment. No put it in the body. Everyone wants it differently. Jump through all the magical rings and maybe if you are really lucky you can get published! Well, that didn't pan out for us so we decided to go the indie route. Everyone said, you can do what you want, post what you want and be your own boss! Finally the golden ticket!
"ahem, excuse me but you can't post that on this blog, site, facebook page or myspace! Post this here, not there, like this place but don't be a drive by. visit often and post often, but don't promote on this site. O.k you can post on this thread but not on that one.

Why are you promoting here? you need to find your audience!

How do I find my audience?

We don't know, we just know it isn't here! Go to other sites, where they visit, but its not here. 
Don't spam anyone, help others out, but don't help yourself very much,
Make sure your book is polished to the best it can be! Make sure you have the right cover art! Make sure all your i's are dotted and your t's are crossed.

Does any of this sound like the old school way of getting an agent?

Wait a minute! I thought we were supposed to be independent! I thought we could post where we wanted! Be free of restricting confines of the same old routine of the old school ways?! I thought thats why we decided to go the indie route. This way we didn't have to jump through hoops and train trick ponies and do all the circus rigamarole! Wrong! It might be the "new and improved way" but it still has an aweful lot of feel of the old school ways. We still crave an agent to represent us and help us get into the big leagues. the brick and mortar buildings may not be there any more the confines of the walls haven't come down yet. 
No I don't know if there is a point to this blog other than an observation. We want the new and improved and yet we still use some of the same old fashioned rules. Maybe Amanda Hocking had it right in doing it the way she did. She wrote how she wanted to and published how she wanted to. She didn't conform to any rules. She just did it. typo's and all. Did people get on her about it? heck yes! but you know what? she sold an aweful lot of books and made an even bigger amount of money doing it her way. Yes she did get an agent in the end. Like I said, we are all aiming for that golden ticket. Right? 

Amanda Hocking did it, Other's have done it. Millions of us strive to do it. We try to do it the way Amanda did it and the way others did it. We follow and use anything we can to try and crack the code for that golden ticket. I'm not saying crank out the garbage of stories. But if you have a good story, people will see that, mistakes and all. They will know you have written a good story. O.k enough of my griping, I just wanted to make an observation and ask if anyone else has noticed how we seem to be still following the old ways even though we are supposed to be doing it a new way. It feels like we just went from the old time manual printing press, to the modern printing press to online print. Another way of making a book, still the same old hoops to jump through. Just something to think about as Independence day approaches. We fought for our freedom just to confine ourselves some more. Just a thought.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Go Indie -- Discover Indie Authors: SUMMER of INDIE AHEAD

Go Indie -- Discover Indie Authors: SUMMER of INDIE AHEAD: Summer of Indie is ahead. I will promote it all summer long and the authors in it -- if everyone in turn promotes Summer of Indie. I've tent...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

What does it mean to you to sell?

  


Today I was faced with a real dilemma. A post showed up on facebook today telling us we should “Annoy the Pope and read our book.” Our book has werewolves, zombies and dragons in it. A couple of people have told us they won’t read it due to having un natural beings in it. They weren’t God made. I was told I should use that to my advantage. But at what price am I using it to my advantage by poking fun at Christians or more importantly God? This isn’t about whether you do or don’t believe in God, it’s about what I believe and what I feel is right. Maybe its because I am from the mid-west. Maybe it’s because I have been made fun of due to being from a single parent growing up in the 70’s in a small town. If I went to church I was made to feel different by others. I never wanted to do that to others.

A good friend told me I don’t have to jump on every band wagon that is a selling idea or marketing idea. I won’t hurt anyone or use anyone or cheat anyone. I guess I am what some might call an honest salesperson? Some would call a really bad salesperson. But I have to go with what I feel is right, whether it’s popular or not. I don’t claim to be self-righteous or a bible thumper, but then again, like Kim said, if it doesn’t feel right in your gut or heart. You don’t have to do it just to make a sale! Thumbing your nose at “the Man” or thumbing your nose at people in general, I have no problem with thumbing my nose at people in general but I do where religion is involved. Like the old saying goes, don’t discuss politics, religion or,, can’t remember the last one. I guess what I am trying to say, if I don’t think its the right thing to do as far as marketing goes, then I will not be doing it. Is there a possibility that I could miss the boat on potential hundreds of sales? Yeah, but at what cost?

My son and I made promises to each other when we began this journey back in 2009. He promised we would get it written and I promised we would get it published and get it out there. I had no idea how to do either at the time. I have worked continually since then on getting it published and now marketing it. But today when I came across that post, it made me think. “Am I doing the right thing?” Do I have what it takes to market no matter what?” I had to face the truth of, no. I don’t have what it takes to market no matter what. But I can market in ways that won’t leave me feeling bad or like I took advantage or hurt someone else in the process too. I am sure there are marketing guru’s everywhere laughing at people like me right now because I am not like a shark in chummed waters going for that sale. But I have to look at myself at the end of the day and I have to look at my son at the end of the day. Will he be proud of who I am and who we present ourselves to be? To sum it all up in this rambling of a post, Will I be the next Donald Trump or the next Mark Zuckerburg? I seriously doubt it. But will I be able to be proud of who we are and what we represent in a time and age of instant gratification and the all mighty dollar? The answer is, “Yes.” Does this mean we could potentially be sacrificing sales? Again, probably yes. But I am keeping the promise to my son and leaving a legacy for him to follow. One he can be proud of.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Advertising with each other!

On MasterKoda this morning Alivia Anders had a wonderful and compeling idea. I will post the thread and let you all read it and decide for yourselves. I think its a very doable project that we would just have to iron the details out. Let me know what you all think!


 I'd like to open the floor to a curious little debate amongst all of us, as I'm trying to garner some information.
A little idea hit me on the head this last week, and I wonder why I haven't seen this sooner. Easily half of the traditionally published books (paperbacks mostly...) on the market have a small cranny of ads in the back of the book, past everything else as to not interrupt reading and usually showcasing new upcoming authors and classic bestsellers under the same house as the book was published under. Out of all the books I've bought with ads in the back, over half of them got me to buy another book from those ads, and I've almost always been glad I had.
My thought was- why do indie/self-published authors not do this? We're all aiming for exposure and offering to help each other, and this is a huge way. I can't believe I haven't seen or met an indie/self pub author who was looking for authors in a similar category for ads in the back of the book, either free or for a small charge like $1.00-$5.00. Am I the only one who's pondered this?
 
Here have been the replies thus far!
 
Bruce Blake I agree, Alivia. I have excerpts in the back of my novel from my upcoming novels, and used to include a free short story. When I originally published, I posted on FB (in my pre-MK days) looking for authorswith whom to do exactly this kind of cross-promo but didn't get any response. Rather than ads, I was looking to swap excerpts -- no cost, just a trade. The nice thing with digital self-publishing is that you can change your content at any time, so if anyone is reading this and wants to get together...
35 minutes ago ·
  • Jane Carroll Cowart Very interesting...I've never thought about it...sounds like a good technique....
    31 minutes ago ·
  • Linda J Alexander Solid idea, Alivia. Many small press/traditional publishers (mine included) do this. If an indy author chose this--I see no legit reason why not--I'd suggest a chg would be based on # of ads which could logically be added in that book, & how many takers. I think an even lower scale might bring in more ads.
    29 minutes ago · · 1
  • Alivia Anders The reason I say ads more than excerpts, Bruce, is because a single page visual is much more memorable when trying to grab a potential first new reader than an excerpt that requires them to read. But, at the same time one can argue that the excerpt will be more memorable than the picture ad due to the words and cliffhanger that author has offered for the piece to entice with.
    This is one of those things that has had me scratching my head. Per example, using my end of the book market, I wonder why I don't have authors like Willow Cross, or even Natalie Star in the back of my books, both digital and print. Big 6 do it all the time- and the know it works, because they're literally advertising directly to their source of income- people who read! (Plus, they usually stick YA in the back of YA, crime in the back of crime, romance in romance, you get the idea)
    As an indie author, this would be something highly feasible for us financially if we did it on the low end of things. And not only do we lift ourselves, but we lift each other in the process.
    21 minutes ago via mobile ·
  • Richard Thomas Banegas As usual late to the party again. I usually list my novels at the front pages of my book. Not sure how a swap or ad would work, because release dates of ones book may not correspond with another unless there is a central place to go to get that done.But I am game if anyone has a workable idea.
    19 minutes ago ·
  • Wendy Siefken You know Alivia Anders, you may possibly be the only one who has thought of this, I can't think of anyone else who has mentioned this. Its a wonderful idea though! how can we get this started? I am in and I know others who would gladly join in just to get exposure. I will help spread the word
    15 minutes ago ·
  • Wendy Siefken I would love to do an add in the back of YA books, just to help get exposure! and would love to showcase others to help them get exposure too,
    15 minutes ago ·
  • Wendy Siefken in the ebook we could put links to other books, like we do with the createspace e-book store, I know we can put hyperlinks to chapters, why not hyperlink adds to showcase other books? a picture with a two line sentence to grab the reader? nothing big, just a small blurb.
    10 minutes ago ·
  • Wendy Siefken I think the reason no indie's have done it is because we aren't organized and the whole indie thing is still relatively new. I think its a wonderful idea and I am going to keep this on top so that others see it too. Thank you Alivia Anders!
  • Wednesday, June 6, 2012

    What would I do if we became rediculously rich!


     
    I saw a post on facebook in regards to what you would do if you became as rich as J.K. Rowling. What would you do with the money? I saw someone else say they were inspired to write about it too. I began to think, like most would I suppose, what would I do? I think the first thing would be is obviously, pay off all the bills. second thing would be the normal, house, not too big and not too small, I still have to clean it.
    I would do what I have always wanted to do,  would be able to afford to do. I would start my own publishing company and help new and indie authors who are in far flung places get published. Help with editing and book covers and everything. I know of quite a few people I would employ to help with it too. Create a company that employed people and helped others get there too. I would use Kim Mutch Emerson's motto of helping each other and promoting each other. Not just helping with the book aspects but with life in general. I have seen authors who went from unknowns to stars over night and didn't know how to handle it. No one was there to show them the way. The took her, used her for the book and then cast her aside. I would make sure that didn't happen. I would be sure to coach every person on the pitfalls and some of the things to watch out for. There is room for all writers, There are so many good stories out there that the general population just doesn't get exposed to. I guess it would be like walking into the worlds largest library and trying to find one book in particular but you don't know the title or the author.
    I see so many good writers, marketers, editors and people trying to get a break in the publishing world. I would put myself and my son through college to get the education we would need to be able to say, yes we have an education we aren't just wanna be's. We have a degree to back us. I don't know if this is what the other authors would have done, because I couldn't find the link back again! This is what I would do though. I would help others realize their dreams. One person at a time.

    Saturday, June 2, 2012

    changes



    This is a warning, So if you are squeemish in the least little bit, please click away now. this is your last chance, I have warned you.
    This year has been a year of many changes. My youngest graduated high school. With it has brought on lots of mixed emotions. Empty nest syndrome and things like that. I keep thinking, oh it will only last a day or two. But no. I feel very lost and of no use any more. For over 20 years I had a purpose. That purpose was to raise, feed, clothe and make sure the kids went to school. Now what do I do? We are working on publishing more books. I am desperately trying to find a job. I feel about as useful as a door buzzer that hasn't been used in years.


    I was at a building today and saw a buzzer on the side of the building and felt like that buzzer. It isn't used any more. but at one time it had a purpose. Now, its just there. Empty nest syndrome? probably, a bit of depression mixed in? More then likely. How will I get out of this mess? I am not really sure. I can very easily visualize myself trying to dig my way out of a pit and not getting anywhere.  This coming Tuesday I am to go to Fort Dodge and get my class A CDL. I didn't have the money. I was going to reschedule. My youngest, darn him anyway. Came up and gave me the money to go. It was his graduation money. I am emotional, empty and just don't have a clue as to how to get out of it. I have so much to be thankful and grateful for but all I feel is empty.
    I have great friends here on the net and in the world. I have wonderful kids,  a good husband, and my health.  But just not sure where I fit in any more. for the first 18 years I didn't have children. For the last 26 years I have been a mom. While I was going to school I felt like I had a purpose. It felt like a job. I felt good and like I was needed. Now that is gone, I graduated, Kids are out of school, not needed there any more. Just not sure where I fit in any more.
    This year has been full of change. I don't know if it is a good change or not.  A friend of Hubby's had asked us to go on a cruise with them to Hawaii a year and a half ago. We said we would save up the money for it. That didn't happen. Life happened but the money never got saved up. I feel as if I let hubby down too. I would love to say I have a positive spin to add on to this, but at this point I don't have one. I don't have an upbeat outlook on this. I am not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I just don't know what to do. I will keep plugging away and keep trying but I just don't know where this is going to go or what is at the end of it. Sorry for the downer blog and sorry that it doesn't have a cheerful end or even a positive spin on it. Its just me.