Welcome to the final day of the Breakfield and Burkey #ShortStories Blog Tour! Drop by! @enigmaseries @RRBC_Org @4WillsPub @nonniejules #RRBC #4WillsPub

 

Hello, friends!

I’m so happy you dropped by today to help me close out the final day of  Authors, Breakfield and Burkey’s #ShortStories Blog Tour!  If you visited this post on another stop and your comment didn’t appear, we’re assuming there were technical issues, but I wanted to ensure everyone got the chance to chime in on their final post.  The co-authors have featured 7 titles in their short story collection along this tour, and today I’m turning my blog over to them so that they can share with you, OUT OF POLAND.

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For multiple generations, the R-Group focused on helping those impacted by oppressors and those who sought power and wealth at the expense of the average person. One of the group’s founding principles was the ethical high ground in choosing the path to take to solving problems. Jacob Michaels, a continuing character in the Enigma Series and one of the leaders of the R-Group, learned this from his grandfather Wolfgang.

In several of the stories in the Enigma Series, references to the original members fighting back tyranny from WWII determine the direction current-day members of the R-Group take with the challenges presented. Wolfgang was a founding father of the R-Group.

As authors, we get questions about our cyber heroes and how they take the battle to their enemies. Jacob and Wolfgang often spoke of the right choices to make on behalf of their private clients and the countries they’d helped. When Jacob learns more history of the R-Group, he mentally clarifies right from wrong at multiple levels.

When Jacob and his generation take full leadership roles, he worries about sharing enough information in meaningful examples with the next generation. In The Enigma Beyond, Jacob had a heartfelt conversation with Wolfgang.  Jacob wonders in his rhetorical conversation what more he can do to instill the value for the next generation of the R-Group to maintain their integrity. 

This conversation led us to create a short story and then release a complete novella in 2021 to learn about the original men who escaped Poland in 1939. These men risked their lives to stop the German military machine. Out of Poland – Novella is a gripping tale that vividly paints the picture of war, pride, hope, and death for a country without support from its allies.  Out of Poland is about how great things come out of extreme adversity.

Beneath the storm clouds of a deadly war, three men need to unlock the secrets to redeem the world.

The setting is Poland—1939. Germans are marching toward Warsaw, crushing everything in their path. The Polish people feel the crush of their defensives and their brave cavalry. Fighting against the Nazi military machine is a death wish realized all too clearly.

Death, destructions, pillage, and woman brutalized at the hands of soldiers with no honor marks the invaders’ path. As much as the citizens of Poland pray for a different outcome, everything they have known, loved, and grown up with is gone.

Three young men take on the task of finding and extracting the German military communications device, Baby, kept under heavy guard. Polish patriots die to aid the three in getting the information and then fleeing with the prize. The race is on as the Germans try to match wits with the clever patriots who risk detection at every turn.

Ambassador Ferdek Watcowski insists that his son Ferdek with Wolfgang and Tavius, flee with the families while there is still time to reach a border. Their goal—escape with Baby intact.

Hitler’s forces so outclass Poland’s military that survival is key to fighting another day. Facing great peril and odds against their survival, the men resolve to make a difference so those who died helping them would not have sacrificed in vain. They vow to undertake a lifetime of fighting tyranny.

Successful survivors must look ahead.

Out of Poland Novella by Breakfield & Burkey

The Authors

Breakfield is a technology expert specifically in security, networking, voice, and anything digital. He enjoys writing, studying World War II his­tory, travel, and cultural exchanges. Charles is also a fan of wine tastings, wine-making, Harley riding, cooking extravaganzas, and woodworking.

They’d love it if you’d follow them on social media…

Twitter 

Facebook

Breakfield LinkedIn

Burkey LinkedIn

Website

Blog #1 & Blog #2

YouTube

Friends, that’s it for my time along the tour!  Be sure to visit the #ShortStories Tour Page on the 4WillsPub site to catch up if you missed any of the days along the tour.  I know these authors would love your support, and “when” you pick up a copy of one of their books and complete the read, they would greatly appreciate your review!

Be sure to leave your comments below for a chance at winning a copy of their HOT CHOCOLATE!

Hot Chocolate by Breakfield and Burkey

 

 

Welcome to Day 1 of the Breakfield and Burkey #ShortStories Blog Tour! @EnigmaSeries @RRBC_Org @4WillsPub @4WP11 #RRBC #4WillsPub

Hello, friends!

I’m so happy you dropped by today to help me support Authors, Breakfield and Burkey on the first day of their #ShortStories Blog Tour!  Along this tour they are featuring 7 titles in their short story collection, and today I’m turning my blog over to them so that they can share with you, “REMEMBER THE FUTURE.”

Remember the Future banner

Take it away, guys!

In their own words:

Our first book in the Enigma Series introduces an unlikely hero, Jacob Michaels. He was raised in New York City by his mother, Julianne Michaels, and grandmother, Adriana Michaels. Julianne and Adriana are excellent programmers of the time working for large leading corporations. Tutored from the time he first spoke to be skilled in languages, mathematics, programming skills, and security. 

His youth is dedicated to education with no real social life, even while he attended MIT. Jacob’s best and only friend goes by the handle, Buzz. He is a rich, spoiled young man. Both young men were monitored closely by their parents. In the case of Jacob, it was a past his mother never shared. For Buzz, it was due to his wealthy family and position in society. Their friendship runs deep even when Buzz takes advantage of Jacob’s brilliance and good nature.

As a top honor graduate from MIT, he lands an intriguing job as a senior penetration tester with a high-end security firm in the city. For those who do not recognize the term, a penetration tester or pentester is essentially ethical hacking. This virtuous hacking activity is an authorized simulated cyberattack on a computer system or network to evaluate security. In the case of Jacob, he performed those activities and locates the root causes of security issues for client companies. He also creates various tools to automate the tasks.

Jacob’s rite of passage occurs in this novel, facing tough choices. His early education by his mother might not be enough. People this talented in the technology arena get targeted for job recruitment like Jacob. However, this could mean either the good guys or the bad guys. Who do you trust, and are you sure you avoided the bad guys? In the data security business, you can only know the right choice in hindsight.

During his journey, Jacob crosses paths with Wolfgang. Wolfgang has answers for Jacob and delivers a puzzle piece for Jacob to make an informed choice. This sample provides insight into the context of the information. 

People were curious and asked about Wolfgang’s knowledge. It sent us on a path to share that history in Remember the Future. This short story explains how honor-bound Wolfgang feels as he looks at his choices and the results that followed. We hope readers enjoy this historical fiction of family love, options, and survival.

Now, here’s a bit of background on the writing team, Breakfield and Burkey:

Roxanne Burkey

Rox Burkey and Charles Breakfield are co-authors for the Enigma Series. Our characters haunt us, demanding more of their stories get written. It began with a few heroes, then expanded to those with self-serving motives. We instigated this tour to provide insight and motivating factors on the shorts. We consider these fun standalone compliments to the series novels. Enjoy this tour, and please provide feedback.

Breakfield is a technology expert specifically in security, networking, voice, and anything digital. He enjoys writing, studying World War II his­tory, travel, and cultural exchanges. Charles is also a fan of wine tastings, wine-making, Harley riding, cooking extravaganzas, and woodworking.

Burkey is a 25+ year applied technology professional who optimizes technology and business investments for global customers. She focuses on optimized customer experiences. Rox loves interviewing authors, writing white papers, reviewing books, and loves creating fiction.

Together they create award-winning stories that resonate with men and women, young and experienced adults, and bring a fresh new view to technology possibilities today. They invite you to visit their newly revised website, look around and grab some free stuff.

They’d love it if you’d follow them on social media…

Twitter 

Facebook

Breakfield LinkedIn

Burkey LinkedIn

Website

Blog #1 & Blog #2

YouTube

Friends, that’s it for my time along the tour!  Be sure to visit the #ShortStories Tour Page on the 4WillsPub site to follow along each day.  I know these authors would love your support and “when” you pick up a copy of one of their books and complete the read, they would greatly appreciate your review!

Be sure to leave your comments below for a chance at winning a copy of their HOT CHOCOLATE!

Hot Chocolate by Breakfield and Burkey

I look forward to seeing you again soon, right here on WATCH NONNIE WRITE!

YOU COULD WIN $420 In Amazon Gift Cards! @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #WCBE21

Hello, Friends!

What’s going on in your world today?  Well, I’m spending my days perusing the 6th Annual Writers’ Conference & Book Expo!  Yes, this is the best place to be, this weekend and until it closes on Wednesday, August 25th… let me tell you why.

This virtual event offers so much fun and so many activities for the general public, that you’d be crazy to pass on visiting!  The first attraction that should get your attention is that there are $420 worth of Amazon gift cards up for grabs, and all you have to do for a chance at having your name selected for each booth’s door prize, is to drop by, check out the (virtual) author booths, and simply leave comments!   It’s that simple!  Winners are chosen at the end of the conference from the pool of comments left in each booth!

You’ll also find…

SCAVENGER HUNT GAME

2 TRUTHS AND A LIE GAME

AUTHOR READING ROOM

#RRBC TALENT – WANDA FISCHER (songstress)

If you’re an author, we have some awesome SESSIONS for you to check out – click HERE to register for the ones you’d like to attend.  And don’t forget to drop in on our VENDORS!  4WillsPub has an amazing door prize that you must register for!  (Just leave a comment!)

Do you feel that you’re in need of a bit of inspiration? Check out our KEYNOTE MESSAGE.  It will surely leave you in a much stronger place than you were in before you entered the forum!  #BREATHE

Drop by our BEST BOOK COVER Contest and cast a vote! C’mon, help these authors out!  With your help, someone’s going to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card!

Finally, get yourself a $5 raffle ticket for the chance to win one or more of our (7) $100 Amazon Gift Card Gift Baskets!  This is an even bigger highlight for us!  Did you hear what I said?  You could win ONE OR MORE!  So, go ahead and get yourself more than one ticket!  We are so close to the holidays… who couldn’t use that gift?

Are you ready?  Surely you’re not that busy.  C’mon!  Drop by!  You know you want to!  So, just do it!

Oh, and since I invited you, be sure to drop by my booth first to say Hello!

I’ll see you there!

You could win BIG!!!

Welcome to Day 11 of #NJ12DaysOfAuthors June Series! @MauraBeth2014 #TheEdgeOfFear @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #RRBC

12 Days of Authors Maura Beth Brennan

GIVEAWAY:

At the end of this series, 1 lucky visitor will win a (12) Kindle e-book pack which will include a copy of each book featured in this series + a $10 Amazon gift card + a book trailer, courtesy of 4WillsPublishing!  Simply leave a comment below to be entered into the drawing!

***

On the 11th day of the June “12 Days of Authors” Series… Nonnie’s gift to you…

AUTHOR, MAURA BETH BRENNAN!

Author bio:

I grew up in the 50’s in what, I think, would now be called an “exburb.” We were really far out from everything and from other kids, and so I learned early on to use my imagination. I went to an all-girls Catholic high school, married young, had a daughter, got a divorce, remarried and eventually got a job writing job descriptions and other materials for the Department of Defense. I had gone to classes at night to get a degree, and also took some creative writing courses along the way. After my early retirement, I decided to spend some time pursuing my dream of writing a novel. Okay, that’s it. I mean, how boring is that life story? Nothing too exciting there, although I did manage to get a short story out of one of my experiences. I won’t tell you which short story as I must protect the guilty.

NJ:  Hi, Maura Beth!  Thanks for joining me here today.  I know we’re behind schedule but, it’ll be fun all the same.  So, let’s dive right in so that we can learn more about you.  Is your author name a pen name or your birth name?

MB:  First, I must warn you, Nonnie, I am the most ordinary and boring person possible.  Maura Beth Brennan is a pen name.

NJ:  What made you decide to write under a pen name?

MB:  When I started writing and decided to publish, my husband was nervous about me using my own name. He imagined all sorts of nefarious things that could happen (in our family, we don’t lovingly call him “Mr. Doom and Gloom” for nothing. I could write a story just with some of the cautionary things he says that seem hilarious after the fact.) Anyway, I did it to make him feel better. Maura and Beth are really just shortened versions of my first and middle names. Brennan is my paternal Grandmother’s maiden name, and since both my father and she were great story tellers, I thought that would be a good name to use. I try to “channel” them when I write.

NJ:  OK.  How long have you been writing?

MB:  I started writing when I was pretty young, making little booklets up with illustrations and stories to give to my parents. I entered a  county-wide writing contest when I was in about fifth grade, won first prize, and was encouraged to keep writing stories that I sometimes sent away to magazines so I could begin collecting rejection notices at an early age. As I said, I took a number of creative writing courses as an adult and then signed up for National Novel Writing Month, I think in 2017, through which I wrote the first draft of my first novel, The Edge of Memory. The bug had bitten me pretty badly by then, and here we are.

NJ:  Are you indie-published or traditionally published?

MB:  My first book was published by what is called a “hybrid” publisher, because I was so new and couldn’t figure out how to do anything. I have nothing bad to say about them, they were very easy to work with, but what I didn’t like was that I couldn’t manipulate the price for sales and promotions. So I decided to go the total-indie route after that, and sort of practiced with my short stories. My second novel, The Edge of Fear, was done independently and I love the freedom that gives me.

NJ:  Which is your favorite books out of the ones you have published thus far and why?

MB:  Now, Nonnie, that is a Sophie’s Choice sort of thing you are asking! I love each piece while I am writing it, and constantly fall in love with my characters. But since you ask, I would have to say that although “The Edge of Memory” is especially dear to me, because it is my first full-length novel, “The Edge of Fear” is my current favorite because it my newest and all those characters are still fresh in my mind.

The Edge of Fear by Maura Beth Brennan

NJ:  OK.  Give us just a little background on that book. What is it about?

MB:  The Edge of Fear is the continuation of the story of Hattie, the heroine of my first novel. It is a stand-alone though, and can be read without reading the first one. It picks Hattie’s story up after she is married and is living the life of her dreams, with an adored husband and daughter, a beautiful home, and a job she loves. But she is troubled by premonitions of something bad about to happen. Her ex-husband has found out about her good fortune and wants to get some of her money for himself. He comes up with a devious plan, and novels being what they are, of course something very bad does happen and Hattie’s life is shattered.  Eventually, when all else fails, Hattie decides she must take matters into her own hands. She sets out on a journey with her best friend to reclaim her life. At its heart, this story is really an exploration of friendship, and a good part of the story centers on the interaction between Hattie and her best friend, Celine. I had a dear friend in mind when I wrote that aspect of the story, and I dedicated the book to her. We’ve gotten each other through quite a few bad times.

NJ:  Where can readers purchase your book and how much is it?

MB:  The book is available through all major on-line retailers, and is currently still $.99 on Amazon, although the price is scheduled to go back to $3.99. The universal link is:  https://books2read.com/u/m0Ko7Y

NJ:  Maura Beth, I must say, I am so pleased that you give answers to questions just as they are posed.  I mean, did you happen to sit in on Patty Perrin’s interview?  OMG!  I’m drinking now because of that interview!  No, seriously!  Geeez! I have been in this business long enough to know that quite a few readers have a purchase price point and will only spend so much on an e-book. How do you price your books and what is your logic behind the pricing? 

MB:  I try to stay within the norm for like products, whether a novel or short story. I price the items like those of other indie authors. No one will buy a book from someone who is not famous, if it is priced too high.

NJ:  You got that right, Maura Beth.  People are close to their dollars and some refuse to take a chance on a name they aren’t familiar with.  Best to price competitively and sell more books than to price high and sell no books at all.  Maura Beth, I got on Twitter many years ago because my social media manager at the time, told me that I needed to be on Twitter. He did not give me an actual reason as to why (I had to learn my “why” on my own), just that I needed to be there.  What was your main reason for getting on Twitter?  For support? For fun?

MB:  Twitter was basically something I started using when I got frustrated with Facebook. I tried following a few people and found it to be so much fun. I really enjoy it.

NJ:  I’ve never even put too much time into Facebook.  I didn’t like what I saw there coming from folks on a personal level so never ventured there long enough to find a real interest in it.  Twitter is fun for me and it serves a real purpose in book promotions.  What other social media platforms do you use to market your book(s), and have you found them to be beneficial?

MB:  The only other platform I am using now, with my pen name that is, is Facebook. But I find it difficult to get people to “like” my page, and the ads never seem to do much for me. It seems like such a cumbersome process somehow. I am on Pinterest and LinkedIn, but under my own name, so I don’t try to advertise or mention my books. I mostly seem to look at pictures of puppies and kittens. I am not very good a social media, and still have a lot to learn. (Note: advice welcome!!)

NJ:  I’m sure you’ll have some visitors in the audience to offer you that advice you’re seeking.  Supporting others is a huge part of my identity. I believe that when you invest your time and support in others, you find that your circle grows by leaps and bounds of others giving the same to you. When I first got involved heavily on Twitter, I was pushing others more than I was pushing myself – I continue to do so. Do you support others on social media?  If so, how?

MB:  Well, of course through RRBC I am a member of the Tweet Support Team, which I absolutely love. I was doing lots of retweeting of other authors before that, just not with any particular group. Now, I so enjoy tweeting about indie authors, because they do not have the advantage of a big publishing house behind them. So we fellow authors have to give them a helping hand. It is so much fun! And, I get so much support from others, it really makes me smile! That is all due to RRBC, really.

NJ:  That’s great to hear, Maura Beth!  RRBC is truly thebomb.com, isn’t it?  (I heard that from a teenager on television).   It is amazing!!!!  So, do you actually take the time to read tweets from others before you retweet them, or do you just hit “retweet” without ever engaging in the tweet?

MB:  I absolutely always read any tweet I retweet or blog I reblog.

NJ:  Wise woman.  Maura Beth, if you could map out the perfect way that you would want others to support you on social media, how would you ask your followers to support you? Just imagine that everyone who reads this interview will run out and follow you.  How could they best support you?  What would you have them do?

MB:  Well, of course, I would love them to race to buy my books, especially my latest, and then leave a review. And, if they could tell a friend or two, tweet on Twitter or post on Facebook to say they liked my story, that would be the icing on the cake.

NJ:  Did you hear that, audience? Support her!  Maura Beth, we all learn something new almost every day while on social media and I like sharing what I have learned with other authors, in hopes that it will benefit them in some way. Have you come across any writing resources that might benefit other authors?  If so, share 2 or 3 of them with us, please.

MB:  I must recommend a book that was very helpful to me, and that is Stephen King’s “On Writing.” I once read that another “must read” for writers is Dorothea Brande’s “Becoming a Writer.” Although it is very old, as a new writer I found that one helpful, too. Now, I am taking courses through Coursera, which has a writing program of five courses. They are excellent. And, not least by any means, RRBC and RWISA are helpful in establishing contacts, being part of a community, and continuing to improve writing skills.

NJ:  Authors are always seeking good formatting services. Who do you use to format your books, and would you recommend them?

MB:  The publishing platform I use makes it very easy to format. So, I do it myself. They give very broad guidelines that seem pretty straightforward. The platform is Draft2Digital. 

NJ:  Can you share with our audience 2 or 3 of the top methods you use to market your books?

MB:  Ugh. Marketing. My biggest bugaboo. I use Facebook (not very well, though) and Twitter. Also, I will be scheduling blogs soon and am hopeful that those will be useful. 4WillsPub created my trailer and WOW! Nonnie, I really love this trailer. The music is perfect and really conveys the feeling I was hoping to create in my story. Also, the hooded figure – I got chills, and I wrote the book!! The Hattie image at the end was great, and the vehicle driving into the distance – loved it. You nailed it! 

NJ:  Maura Beth, I’m flattered that you love your trailer!  The more I watched it, the more I loved it, too!  Thank you!  We’re happy if you’re happy.  4WillsPub aims to please!  Now, what is the one bit of writing advice you would give to any author, experienced or newbie?

MB:  The best advice I ever got was through NaNoWriMo, which is: just write every day and DO NOT STOP TO EDIT!!! Get to the end of the book. Let the book (and yourself) rest. After at least 2-3 weeks, then go back and let the fun begin! Have a shot of Scotch (okay, that wasn’t part of the advice. I added that).

NJ:  I sort of figured you added the Scotch advice.  Hahaha!  Is your reputation as a writer important to you, OR might we look up one day and find that you are in a Twitter brawl with someone?

MB:  I think a writer’s reputation is everything, so yes, reputation is very important to me. I would never take part in a Twitter brawl. I use the “block” function if I see someone who seems nasty and is looking for a fight.

NJ:  Good for you, MB.  In your opinion, what is the biggest difference between the writers you see today around social media, versus the writers of old? 

MB:  That is such an interesting question, but difficult to answer. I guess I would say that writers of old had less immediate distraction and didn’t have to contend with maintaining a social media presence. They did have to contend with reviewers, newspaper reporters, and fan letters and the like, but I doubt the distractions and worries were as constant. Now, it seems writers just can’t get away from it. Also, they weren’t under pressure to have some “big event” on the first page, or in the first chapter, so I find that the classics often have a slower pace, build the setting and characters more thoroughly, and delve into issues more deeply. I love that.

NJ:  Do you value professionalism in the literary arena and worry that the lack thereof makes it harder for those of us who wish to be taken seriously in this business? Or does the unprofessional behavior of some around social media not bother you at all?

MB:  I don’t like to see mean, nasty, or unprofessional behavior in this business. I prefer a “we’re all in this together” sort of attitude. Meanness is like a cancer, and tends to spread, so – stay away from it!!

NJ:  Well said.  If you have ever received any, how do you handle not-so-flattering reviews of your book(s)?

MB:  Ah ha! Bad reviews! I have received a few, and I will admit, they smart and the bad feeling stays with me for a few days. I try to take the comments to heart, though, and take a look at what they point out in order to learn from them. I got a two-star review of one of my short stories once, though, that made me scratch my head. It said that the story, which was clearly marked “a short story” on the cover, was too short! I admit it was tempting not to respond to that one with, “Well, duh.”

NJ:  Too funny!  Now here’s my most favorite question as I’ve found that some authors don’t appreciate you telling them the truth at all.  And if you do, you better run for cover!  That is, if you’re not like me.  I welcome those unprofessional attitudes, because someone needs to point out the unprofessionalism of tantrums being thrown, when you’re not feeding the egos of those who have allowed their heads to swell, due to all the nonsense and untruths they’ve been fed in the past. These unprofessional tantrums give us all a bad name, especially if we’re Indie.  Now, do you appreciate honesty regarding your writing because you know that only honest feedback allows you to grow as a writer, or are you one of those who would prefer that others lie to you and tell you only what they know you want to hear?

MB:  No, I prefer honesty. It doesn’t do any good to say things you don’t mean in a review, or to another writer. Honesty is how we learn and improve. Also, false or dishonest “great” reviews hurt the reader, because they will buy the book and be disappointed. That leads to distrust in the reading community, too. But, just as we certainly shouldn’t be afraid to leave a poor or critical review, I do think we shouldn’t be afraid to praise and give great reviews, or 5-star reviews, to books that we love and that seem to meet all the criteria – great plot and pacing, realistic dialog, good writing with few or no errors. We want those authors to be encouraged and rewarded for their hard work. So, honesty in all things, just like my Mama told me.

NJ:  Your Mama was right.  Maura Beth, we know that you have a blog.  Do you blog about any specific topics or are you a random-topic-blogger?

MB:  Well, Nonnie, I am a very naughty blogger, in that I hardly ever blog. I was dragged to having a blog kicking and screaming, by a couple of people in RRBC who shall remain nameless, like you, Nonnie.

NJ:   (Is it me, or did anyone else hear her say that folks were going to remain nameless?  Am I not a folk?)Untitled design (92)

MB:  I mostly reblog at this point but am planning to highlight some interesting people I know in the near future.  Life seems pretty funny to me sometimes, so maybe I’ll share that viewpoint.

NJ:  Maura Beth, thanks for allowing me the pleasure of highlighting you today!                

***

OTHER QUICK FACTS ABOUT MAURA BETH…

  • I think of what I write as Women’s Fiction, but I have also listed both novels as Thrillers, specifically Domestic Thrillers.

  • I have published two novels and four short stories two date, with two more short stories ready to go, one being for the Alpha and Omega competition through RRBC.

  • Writing is a hobby

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FOLLOW MAURA BETH ON…

Twitter:  @MauraBeth2014

Facebook

Website

Blog

***

Guests, thank you so much for dropping by to support Maura Beth on Day 11 of the June “12 DAYS OF AUTHORS” Series!  It would be awesome if you would pick up a copy of her book above, and after reading, share your review to Amazon.  Ensure that you leave her a comment below, and also LIKE her feature before you leave, for your chance to win the grand prize package listed above!  We’d both appreciate it if you would share this feature to Twitter and Facebook, as well.

To follow along with the rest of the features in this series, visit the “12 DAYS OF AUTHORS” home page!  There will be a new series in July!  I’d also love it if you would #follow my site, as well as following me on Twitter @NonnieJulesas my truest joy is in service to others.  I’d love to support you, too!

HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE FEATURED IN MY #NJ12DaysOfAuthors Series?  Click HERE to sign up!

***

DISCLAIMER:  Any guest material appearing at WATCH NONNIE WRITE! is not edited, proofed or changed in any manner by the the owner of this blog. Material is posted as it is written and submitted.  It is not my place to make changes to someone else’s writing, as what I view as needing correcting, just might be the way the author intended the material to read.

Welcome to Day 10 of #NJ12DaysOfAuthors June Series! @PTLPerrin #TerrasCall @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #RRBC

12 Days of Authors PTL Perrin

GIVEAWAY:

At the end of this series, 1 lucky visitor will win a (12) Kindle e-book pack which will include a copy of each book featured in this series + a $10 Amazon gift card + a book trailer, courtesy of 4WillsPublishing!  Simply leave a comment below to be entered into the drawing!

***

On the 10th day of the June “12 Days of Authors” Series… Nonnie’s gift to you…

AUTHOR, PTL PERRIN!

Author bio:

I grew up in a military family. We lived in Germany and Italy during my preteen and teen years, where books were my main source of alone-time entertainment. We had no TV, and electronics were the stuff of science fiction. I traveled a lot, attended German and Italian schools for a time, and developed a keen curiosity and active imagination. I’ve never lost my sense of wonder.

NJ:  Hi, Patty!  I’m so excited that I get to chat with you today!  So, let’s jump right into this interview.  Is your author name a pen name or your birth name?

Patty:  It’s a combination of both. Perrin is my last name, but for the pen name I use the initials P.T.L.

NJ:  If it is a pen name, what made you decide to write under a pen name?

Patty:  I wrote my first book, Reflections of a Misfit, as a gratitude project. I read portions of the Bible every day, and many of the scriptures brought out memories of my life as an Army brat and perpetual misfit. It turned into a bit of a memoir. In honor of the God I love and serve, I decided on P.T.L. for Praise the Lord. The fact that those are my actual initials doesn’t hurt, either.

NJ:  WOW!  Patty, how awesome is that?  I never knew that about your initials!  Well, Praise The Lord, PTL!  How long have you been writing?

Patty:  I’ve written newsletters for a couple of churches I attended over the years but didn’t seriously write to publish until I took a writing course about ten years ago. As a result of one of my assignments, I published several articles in a local newspaper. It wasn’t until 2014 that I published my first book. You could say I became serious about writing later in life. Much later.

NJ:  What genre or genres do you write under?

Patty:  The first book was a memoir/devotional, but since then, I write Teen/YA SciFi and Fantasy. It was my favorite genre growing up and I never lost my taste for it.

NJ:  Here’s my favorite question I love asking!  Are you indie-published or traditionally published?

Patty:  I’ve done both. Reflections of a Misfit was first published through a vanity press, mainly because I was completely clueless about the book publishing process. I learned a lot, and indie published my next three books. A legitimate small-press publisher picked up Reflections and my series. They were great, but after I finished my last book of the series, we had some differences of opinion, and they graciously released me from my contract. We parted ways amicably, I took all the books back, revised each of them, had new covers made for the series, and have indie published under the SeaQuill Press imprint ever since. I’m happier having full control over the books. It isn’t much different from having a publisher because no matter how you publish, you’re still responsible for your own marketing.

NJ:  If only every author understood that.  If you have to do the majority of all the work anyway, why would you hand over control of your baby to anyone?  I just can’t wrap my mind around it!  Since you did use a publisher in the past, can you give our audience a pointer or two as to how you found a publisher, in the event that someone reading this interview is attempting to go the traditionally published route. By the way, I am a strong advocate for Indie publishing and would not have it any other way.

Patty:  I would say to beware of vanity presses. They ask for a lot of money up front, deliver minimally, and then pester you to buy additional services. A legitimate publisher will not ask for money and will provide a number of services, such as editing and possibly cover design. They take a share of your royalties as payment. They also control the formatting and other aspects of your book. If you wanted to revise the book, they might not allow it. I found my publisher at a book signing event. For me, it was serendipity. Some authors query agents. I did not.

NJ:  Yes, I’ve never queried anything in my life.  Sorry, too busy and not at all interested.  I think I’m just as big as the next guy so why would I need them to tell me my work is good or not?  Hutspah!  Patty, how many books have you published to date?

Patty:  Five to date. I’ve just finished writing the first draft of the first book of another three-book series, and I hope to publish all three by early next year.

NJ:  Which is your favorite and why?

Patty:  My Tetrasphere series is my favorite because it explores the premise that alien races have not only been living on our planet for thousands of years, but that we can interact and get along with them when it matters – and not only with them, but with ancient earth dwelling races. Our planet has some amazing mysterious places, many of which are scenes in the books.

NJ:  Let’s focus on TERRA’S CALL since it’s book 1 and we’re only focusing on one book here.  Give us just a little background on that book. What is it about?

Terra's Call Book 1 by P. T. L. Perrin

Patty:  The four-book Tetrasphere series follows four enhanced teens as they grapple with the challenges of saving the world from self-destruction while battling alien enemies, discovering ancient peoples and species living on Terra (our Earth), and learning to accept and work with aliens who are also interested in saving our planet. In the first book, Terra’s Call, the teens meet, discover each other’s gifts, and find out that they are the ones an ancient Cherokee prophecy foretells will be called to save Terra. They face some life-threatening challenges and struggle to decide whether to take on this monumental task. As they get to know each other, they form deep friendships and even fall in love, but will they overcome their personal trials before the planet dies? Each book in the series builds to the next one, and although you can read them as stand-alone books, it’s best to start at the beginning and go from there.

Confused dog

NJ:  Seriously?  Did you not hear me say that we’re focusing on only ONE book here?   Where can readers purchase your book and how much is it?

Patty:  The books are available on Amazon. You can find Terra’s Call at getbook.at/TerrasCallThe E-books are $2.99 each.

Nonnie, I don't think Patty has grasped the concept of singular yet. Geeesh. She keeps coming back to the series.

NJ:  (whispering to her show producer so Patty can’t hear) Kirit, the interview is almost over.  I’m sorry. 

Uh, Ms. Patty, I have been in this business long enough to know that quite a few readers have a purchase price point and will only spend so much on an e-book. How do you price your books and what is your logic behind the pricing?

Patty:  I wanted my books to be affordable to my target audience – teens and young adults. They’re also available to read free on Kindle Unlimited, for those who use that service. Many of the books written for that age group are priced between $2.99 and $7.99. When I’m a NY Times best-selling author, I may raise the price, but I doubt I will. Raise the price, that is.

NJ:  I got on Twitter many years ago because my social media manager at the time, told me that I needed to be on Twitter. He did not give me an actual reason as to why (I had to learn my “why” on my own), just that I needed to be there.  What was your main reason for getting on Twitter?  For support? For fun?

Patty:  I learned about the power of Twitter as a member of RRBC. I volunteered for the Tweet Support Team, followed other members, and now enjoy the interaction on Twitter.

NJ:  Our TST is amazing, Patty!  Thank you for serving there!  Now, what other social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.) do you use to market your book(s), and have you found them to be beneficial?

Patty:  I post a lot on Facebook, not only about my books but about other authors and their works. I’ve boosted posts on Facebook and Amazon and haven’t noticed an increase in sales. However, the point is to get our names and titles in front of a lot of people for the name recognition. Most people won’t buy the first time they see or hear something, but if they see it often, they’re more likely to take a look.

NJ:  So true, Patty.  Many authors don’t understand the importance of name recognition.  They want that immediate sale, but, sometimes folks, it isn’t all about that almighty DOLLAR.  Supporting others is a huge part of my identity, Patty. I believe that when you invest your time and support in others, you find that your circle grows by leaps and bounds of others giving the same to you. When I first got involved heavily on Twitter, I was pushing others more than I was pushing myself – I continue to do so. Do you support others on social media?  If so, how?

Patty:  I do. I love supporting other authors. I firmly believe that generosity is life-enriching in many ways, and that it encourages others to be generous. The Tweet Support Team has been fun for me, and I’ve seen other members support each other and even me. I enjoy reblogging articles I find interesting, especially those that feature other authors. We have a super-supportive community in RRBC and RWISA, and I do all I can to participate in both. They’re also my source for great books!

NJ:  Patty, if you keep up with all this amazing praise for RRBC & RWISA, I’m not going to have to use these other weird faces I have waiting for you.  Now, do you actually take the time to read tweets from others before you retweet them, or do you just hit “retweet” without ever engaging in the tweet?

Patty:  I read the ones I retweet. I’ve found some wonderful articles that way, and love sharing them with my followers.

NJ:  Good for you!  If you could map out the perfect way that you would want others to support you on social media, how would you ask your followers to support you? Just imagine that everyone who reads this interview will run out and follow you.  How could they best support you?  What would you have them do?

Patty:  I’d love for them to share what I post about my books, but also what I post about others. You mentioned how your circle grows by leaps and bounds when you support others. It’s a great way to encourage others to do the same for you. I don’t write blog posts as often as I should, but when I do, it would be great if my followers would reblog or shoot out a tweet about it.

NJ:  That’s important, Patty!  We all learn something new almost every day while on social media and I like sharing what I have learned with other authors, in hopes that it will benefit them in some way. Have you come across any writing resources that might benefit other authors?  If so, share 2 or 3 of them with us, please.

Patty:  There are a few I regularly follow. Watch Nonnie Write! is one of my favorites because your articles are full of good advice. I also follow A Writer’s Path, Florida Writers Association, and Jane Friedman. Each has a different flavor, but there is a lot of great writing advice on all of them.

NJ:  Thanks, Patty!  That’s so sweet of you to say.  Now, authors are always seeking good formatting services. Who do you use to format your books, and would you recommend them?

Patty:  I format my own books using Vellum, which is for MAC users. I like the variety of templates and the fact that it formats for all the ways you might publish your books.

NJ:  Oh, so Apple really is good for more than just making and selling uber-expensive iPhones that I’m forced to buy for my daughters every 15 seconds when a new one comes out?  Breathe, Nonnie, breathe.  Oh, I’m sorry.  I got carried away.  Apple is a trigger for me. Yes, I’m an iPhone user but just because I love their phones doesn’t mean I love their phone prices!  Patty, can you share with our audience 2 or 3 of the top methods you use to market your books?

Patty:  I have an author page on Amazon and have used Amazon ads, Facebook boosts, author interviews, and online book fairs (like the ones sponsored by RRBC). My favorite method is participating in in-person book signing events. There is nothing like face-to-face interaction with people.

Untitled design (90)

NJ:  Yes, face to face is awesome, but in this day and time, we still need to be extra careful.  Mask up!  What is the one bit of writing advice you would give to any author, experienced or newbie?

Patty:  Only one?

NJ:  Here we go again…

Dog rolling eyes

Patty:  Here are two that go hand-in-hand. Write with your inner editor turned off, and when you’ve finished and done all you can to clean up your first draft, have your work professionally edited.

Untitled design (74)

NJ:  I can’t with you, Patty.  I just can’t.  Is writing only a hobby for you or do you write full time?

Patty:  Timewise, I’d have to call it a hobby, but if I could, I would write full-time. Retirement is a myth, at least for me. We have a large family that grows exponentially with each generation. That, added to my many interests and projects, limits my writing time. The story, however, is continually going on in my head.

NJ:  A growing family is a beautiful thing.  Patty, is your reputation as a writer important to you, OR might we look up one day and find that you are in a Twitter brawl with someone?

Patty:  My reputation is important to me, and a twitter brawl is not in my future…or past, for that matter. However, my reputation is based upon who I am and what I believe. It’s certainly conceivable that I won’t agree with everyone, and there are many who would disagree with me on different issues. Yet, I respect everyone’s right to their opinion. Brawl? No way.

NJ:  Good for you!  Sometimes folks let their feelings and hurt pride get the best of them and before you know it, they’ve made themselves look like the biggest you-know-what in public. Not I, said the cat!   In your opinion, what is the biggest difference between the writers you see today around social media, versus the writers of old? 

Patty:  Writers today are much more approachable. It’s easier for their readers to get to know them, which might encourage those who might like to publish their own work. The writers of old had their mystique, which I also liked. People judged them based only on the quality of their work. Good writers today should be just as concerned about the quality of their writing, but they’re also judged on what they reveal about themselves on social media.

NJ:  The mystery from the writers of old was the main thing that made me so want to be one of them.  I don’t like the fact that authors are just so approachable and only a DM away, so, I just pretend I’m a writer of old.  Patty, do you value professionalism in the literary arena and worry that the lack thereof makes it harder for those of us who wish to be taken seriously in this business? Or, does the unprofessional behavior of some around social media not bother you at all?

Patty:  I cannot control how others behave. I can only control my own behavior. If someone’s behavior bothers me, I have the option to ignore them or unfollow them on social media. Those who are unprofessional in the literary arena, whether by publishing unpolished, unedited, or badly written books or by acting in unprofessional ways, make those of us who wish to be taken seriously shine all that much brighter. I believe the diamonds will distinguish themselves. You have some brilliant diamonds right here in RRBC and RWISA.

NJ:  I could not have said it any better, even if I tried.  You’re spot on with that response, Patty!  And by the way, you’re one of our brilliant diamonds here at RRBC/RWISA!  Don’t you feel so blessed to be part of the RRBC/RWISA family?  I know I do and I created the darned organizations.  Let’s move along.  If you have ever received any, how do you handle not-so-flattering reviews of your book(s)?

Patty:  I appreciate the fact that someone took the time to read my books, or at least the one they’ve written the review on. I value their opinion, understanding that not everyone is going to love what I write. If they point out something I can fix and I agree with them, I’ll fix it. I assume you’re not speaking about trolls who don’t read the book and simply criticize for whatever pleasure they get out of it. Those, I ignore.

NJ:  No.  I was referencing genuine readers.  You know, the ones you know deep down are telling the truth about your book with no ill-intent meant towards it or you?  Those.  Patty, do you appreciate honesty regarding your writing because you know that only honest feedback allows you to grow as a writer, or are you one of those who would prefer that others lie to you and tell you only what they know you want to hear?

Patty:  I appreciate honesty. I belong to a RWISA critique group where the feedback is always honest, and my partners have helped me improve my work. It’s a priceless gift. In my opinion, it does not require thick skin, but a desire to be a better writer with the understanding that there is always room for improvement. For me, writing a review is different from critiquing someone’s ongoing work. When I have the time to review, I only review books I enjoyed reading, and the number of stars I give is based on how well I enjoyed what I read. A book does not have to be flawless to rate four or five stars, but it does have to leave me wanting to read more by that author. I don’t lie when I review a book. I would hope my reviewers are also not lying.

NJ:  Do you blog about any specific topics or are you a random-topic-blogger?

Patty:  I blog about whatever touches me, so that would be random. The subtitle of my blog is “Thoughts and Reflections and Treasures I’ve Found.” I find a lot of treasures on other people’s blogs and reblog them. I also write my own entries.

NJ:  Patty, from my heart, this has been one of my most favorite interviews ever.  Thank you!

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ANOTHER QUICK FACT ABOUT PATTY…

  • She welcomes visitors to her blog and website and hope for new followers

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FOLLOW PATTY ON…

Twitter:  @PTLPerrin

Facebook

LinkedIn

Blog

Website

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Guests, thank you so much for dropping by to support Patty on Day 10 of the June “12 DAYS OF AUTHORS” Series!  It would be awesome if you would pick up a copy of her book above, and after reading, share your review to Amazon.  Ensure that you leave her a comment below, and also LIKE her feature before you leave, for your chance to win the grand prize package listed above!  We’d both appreciate it if you would share this feature to Twitter and Facebook, as well.

To follow along with the rest of the features in this series, visit the “12 DAYS OF AUTHORS” home page!  There will be a new series in July!  I’d also love it if you would #follow my site, as well as following me on Twitter @NonnieJulesas my truest joy is in service to others.  I’d love to support you, too!

HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE FEATURED IN MY #NJ12DaysOfAuthors Series?  Click HERE to sign up!

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DISCLAIMER:  Any guest material appearing at WATCH NONNIE WRITE! is not edited, proofed or changed in any manner by the the owner of this blog. Material is posted as it is written and submitted.  It is not my place to make changes to someone else’s writing, as what I view as needing correcting, just might be the way the author intended the material to read.

Welcome to Day 9 of #NJ12DaysOfAuthors June Series! @KarlJMorgan #RiddleOfSatansCube @RRBC_Org #RRBC @NonnieJules

12 Days of Authors Karl Morgan

GIVEAWAY:

At the end of this series, 1 lucky visitor will win a (12) Kindle e-book pack which will include a copy of each book featured in this series + a $10 Amazon gift card + a book trailer, courtesy of 4WillsPublishing!  Simply leave a comment below to be entered into the drawing!

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On the 9th day of the June “12 Days of Authors” Series… Nonnie’s gift to you…

AUTHOR, KARL MORGAN!

Author bio:

I am an accountant by profession and have been writing since high school. With those experiences, I like to say that ‘words and numbers are my life.’ Outside of my day job, I try to focus on family, especially with grandchildren around. I try to save some time for writing, but that is often difficult.

NJ:  Hi, Karl!  My apologies for being so tardy for this interview.  I still have 3 more interviews to do after yours.  Ready? Here we go! Is your author name a pen name or your birth name?

Karl: It is my real name, although I considered using my mother’s maiden name (Soderberg). That sounds more literary than Morgan.

NJ:  Soderberg does sound more literary, Karl!  Well, here’s an idea – should you decide to one day go incognito under another name, K. J. Soderberg is it.  Although we’re having this conversation now, everyone reading it will know that it’s you, but with total strangers, you’re secret will be ultra-safe! How long have you been writing?

Karl: I have written for business at least forty years. My novel writing is limited to the last ten.

NJ:  Karl, you write a lot!  Which of your books is your favorite and why?

Karl: I tend to favor my most recent story, which in this case is Carl Prescott and the Riddle of Satan’s Cube. As to why, I believe my storytelling improves with each tale. Another long-time favorite is The Old House. Both speak to love surviving through multiple lifetimes.

Carl Prescott and the Riddle of Satan's Cube by Karl Morgan

NJ:  Please give us just a little background on that book. What is it about?

Karl: The Riddle of Satan’s Cube has two underlying themes. The basic plot is that Carl is spirited away to Limbo in the next instance of our universe. He must find a way to escape and get back to his family and friends but must also stop Satan from forever ending the cycle of universes. Like most of my books, it is action packed. The primary theme remains our personal relationship with God. That is the theme of many of my stories, and I consider that the core of my existence.

NJ:  Where can readers purchase your book and how much is it?

Karl: Paperback and e-book versions are available on Amazon. The Kindle version is $2.99. My older books can also be found at different online retailers through Smashwords. I am transitioning more of my books there to reach a broader audience.

NJ:  I have been in this business long enough to know that quite a few readers have a purchase price point and will only spend so much on an e-book. How do you price your books and what is your logic behind the pricing? 

Karl: Perhaps I am wrong, but Amazon has a tool that suggests the optimal price, which is what I charge for the e-book. Since the cost to make a paperback is much higher, I try to keep my share about the same. As we all know, Amazon makes most of the money.

NJ:  As far as I can tell, Amazon is making (and taking) all the money!  Am I right?  Ha!  I got on Twitter many years ago because my social media manager at the time, told me that I needed to be on Twitter. He did not give me an actual reason as to why (I had to learn my “why” on my own), just that I needed to be there.  What was your main reason for getting on Twitter?  For support? For fun?

Karl: I think I am like you. I read something that said writers, agents, and publishers were big on Twitter. That is why I joined, and of course that lead me to #RRBC, a true win-win scenario.

NJ:  Our awesome members love us, don’t they, Karl?  Let’s pat ourselves on the back for just belonging there!  What other social media platforms do you use to market your book(s), and have you found them to be beneficial?

Karl: I primarily post my literary things on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. I have a large following on LinkedIn, which I why it is included. As to my success, I would say mixed. I have never been outgoing, and that likely works against me.

NJ:  Karl, we love your reserved nature. You’re awesome just the way you are! Supporting others is a huge part of my identity. I believe that when you invest your time and support in others, you find that your circle grows by leaps and bounds of others giving the same to you. When I first got involved heavily on Twitter, I was pushing others more than I was pushing myself – I continue to do so. Do you support others on social media?  If so, how? Mind you, I know the answer to both these questions already, but, there may be some who don’t.

Karl: I am very proud to be a member of the RRBC Tweet Support Team. That keeps me busy. I also follow other writers, as we need to stick together.

NJ:  Yes, we do, and we do a great job of that within RRBC!  We are just wrapping up our short story writing contest and yesterday and today, members were on our Books Down Low WhatsApp channel announcing their new releases.  You should have seen the other members chiming in with “I just purchased mine!” and “Got my copy!”  This is the power of RRBC, for those of you who haven’t joined us yet!  We have a built-in reader base for our books!  Karl, do you actually take the time to read tweets from others before you retweet them, or do you just hit “retweet” without ever engaging in the tweet?

Karl: I generally read each tweet. Sometimes, a tweet I see is only a couple of words long, so reading is not an issue. Since tweets are limited in length, it only takes a moment to respond and retweet.

NJ:  You’re right, it only takes a moment to read, respond if necessary, and retweet a tweet.  If you could map out the perfect way that you would want others to support you on social media, Karl, how would you ask your followers to support you? Just imagine that everyone who reads this interview will run out and follow you.  How could they best support you?  What would you have them do?

Karl: Getting the word out about my stories is the best support. If someone has read and reviewed a book, a link to that review is also helpful. Overall, anything supportive is great.

NJ:  We all learn something new almost every day while on social media and I like sharing what I have learned with other authors, in hopes that it will benefit them in some way. Have you come across any writing resources that might benefit other authors?  If so, share 2 or 3 of them with us, please.

Karl: Probably the best resource I have found is RRBC. You cannot overstate the value of a group that supports each other and gives us kudos when we do good, and gentle advice when we fail. I belong to other online communities, but rarely get anything valuable from them.

Rave Reviews Book Club

NJ:  This bears repeating – support, that’s what we do at RRBC!  RRBC has helped SO MANY.  MANY authors, even those who are no longer on our roster, are where they are today and know what they know and who they know today because of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB!  I’m extremely proud of our contribution to the literary world.  They have been and are still, huge!  Authors are always seeking good formatting services. Who do you use to format your books, and would you recommend them?

Karl: My first publisher did the formatting of my early books. Since then, I do it myself. I always follow a standard format for paperback formatting. E-book formatting is not complicated since each reader can change the fonts to suit their devices.

NJ:  That was a very simple yet great advice to share, Karl.  Some people don’t know that.  Can you share with our audience 2 or 3 of the top methods you use to market your books?

Karl: Unfortunately, promotion is one of my weaknesses. I have always been shy and introverted, so it is difficult for me to say great things about my stories or myself. I hope to become better at that when my workaday job goes away.

NJ:  What is the one bit of writing advice you would give to any author, experienced or newbie?

Karl: For new authors, the most important lesson is to finish the book. Some people want to reread and edit as they go along. All that does is cause self-doubt and internal criticism, which is why many never finish their manuscript. When I start a story, I accept that I will do several edits and rewrites (not including comments and suggestions from my editor). Finishing the rough draft gives you confidence because you have successfully written a book. Finishing is very empowering and a source of pride. All writers know the rewrites and editing take much longer than the original draft. It is just part of the process.

NJ:  Karl, is writing only a hobby for you or do you write full time?

Karl: I still work fulltime, so I try to find time for writing. When I am in the mood, I can create very quickly. Again, the goal is to finish that draft. I have chosen writing as my job after leaving the rat race. I wish I had the courage to do that now. The soul is willing, but the flesh is weak.

NJ:  Is your reputation as a writer important to you, OR might we look up one day and find that you are in a Twitter brawl with someone?

Karl: No brawling for me. I realize some people will not like what I write. That is totally okay. If they are not jerks trying to attack me personally, I let it go. None of us can change another person’s mind. Sometimes, those readers are correct too. A poor but honest review is hard to take, but the medicine we need can be a bitter pill.

NJ:  Good, good.  In your opinion, what is the biggest difference between the writers you see today around social media, versus the writers of old?

Karl: There were great writers in the past as well as today. The advent of Indie publishing has enabled a lot more people to publish, which is a very good thing. In the past, publishing companies decided which stories they would tell. If you were rejected, you were out. The big publishing houses have become so bloated and corrupt, they mostly publish garbage by television talking heads. I doubt most would recognize a modern Ernest Hemingway unless he had a show on television. Since we cannot trust the publishing houses, it is up to readers to decide which stories are valuable. The law of supply and demand is a wonderful thing.

NJ:  Karl, do you value professionalism in the literary arena and worry that the lack thereof makes it harder for those of us who wish to be taken seriously in this business? Or, does the unprofessional behavior of some around social media not bother you at all?

Karl: I dislike any unprofessional behavior anywhere, having been a business professional all my working life. I think I am fortunate because I spend very little time on social media. I mostly interact with family and friends, and of course look for photos of the grandchildren. All the reckless blather in social media probably made me ignore it more. At some point, we must accept that haters are going to hate. Those are the folks to block out of your life.

NJ:  If you have ever received any, how do you handle not-so-flattering reviews of your book(s)?

Karl: Yes, and I did not like it, but people have their own opinions. A conversation about blasphemy comes to mind. Some negative reviews have helped me fix big mistakes in my earlier books. So, I was grateful, but still the rebuke stung. I am smart enough to know it was my fault, not the reader’s.

NJ:  Karl, would you please repeat that, and louder this time for the authors who haven’t learned to embody the full spectrum of what being a published author entails, and who also throws tantrums when someone points out (ISSUES with a huge “S”) with their books and with their writing?  THANK YOU!  Now, do you appreciate honesty regarding your writing because you know that only honest feedback allows you to grow as a writer, or are you one of those who would prefer that others lie to you and tell you only what they know you want to hear?

Karl: I prefer honesty, but reiterate that negative reviews do hurt, especially when the reader is correct. I generally do not read reviews and cannot recall any just mean nastiness in one. Still, if someone is nasty to my book, at least that makes them feel better for a little while. Imagine how miserable their lives must be.

NJ:  Appreciating the honesty is the only way for us to grow and the only way to go, Karl!  Thanks for joining me in this series!

 

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OTHER QUICK FACTS ABOUT KARL…

  • “I write science fiction and fantasy. I am especially fond of stories involving spiritual themes.”
  • Indie author
  • Has published 22 books so far with more on the way
  • Random blogger
  • “I do look at Instagram, but have not actively posted there.”

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FOLLOW KARL ON…

Twitter:  @KarlJMorgan

Facebook

LinkedIn

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Guests, thank you so much for dropping by to support Karl on Day 9 of the June “12 DAYS OF AUTHORS” Series!  It would be awesome if you would pick up a copy of his book above, and after reading, share your review to Amazon.  Ensure that you leave him a comment below, and also LIKE his feature before you leave, for your chance to win the grand prize package listed above!  We’d both appreciate it if you would share this feature to Twitter and Facebook, as well.

To follow along with the rest of the features in this series, visit the “12 DAYS OF AUTHORS” home page!  There will be a new series beginning in July!  I’d also love it if you would #follow my site, as well as following me on Twitter @NonnieJulesas my truest joy is in service to others.  I’d love to support you, too!

HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE FEATURED IN MY #NJ12DaysOfAuthors Series?  Click HERE to sign up!

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DISCLAIMER:  Any guest material appearing at WATCH NONNIE WRITE! is not edited, proofed or changed in any manner by the the owner of this blog. Material is posted as it is written and submitted.  It is not my place to make changes to someone else’s writing, as what I view as needing correcting, just might be the way the author intended the material to read.

Welcome to Day 8 of #NJ12DaysOfAuthors June Series! @EmptySeatsNovel #EmptySeats @RRBC_Org #RRBC @NonnieJules

12 Days of Authors Wanda Fischer

GIVEAWAY:

At the end of this series, 1 lucky visitor will win a (12) Kindle e-book pack which will include a copy of each book featured in this series + a $10 Amazon gift card + a book trailer, courtesy of 4WillsPublishing!  Simply leave a comment below to be entered into the drawing!

***

On the 8th day of the June “12 Days of Authors” Series… Nonnie’s gift to you…

AUTHOR, WANDA FISCHER!

Author bio:

Born in Kingsport, Tennessee yet raised in the Boston area (one parent from each area), I developed a love of folk and traditional music at an early age, making my singing debut at the age of four at a family reunion. Following a 40-year-plus career in public relations/marketing/media relations, as well as dabbling in broadcasting, I decided to do something I’d always aspired to: write novel. In the 1960s, I’d always wanted to be a sportswriter; however, during those days, that career was a difficult reach for women. After college, I became involved in social justice causes such as civil rights, womens’ rights and anti-Vietnam war activities and left sportswriting behind. I still loved sports, especially baseball, especially the Boston Red Sox. They’re still my team, even though I live in upstate New York (Yankee-land). While my husband was in medical school, I learned how to become a radio broadcaster and have have a folk music show on non-commerical and public radio for more than 45 years. Folk Alliance International inducted me into the Folk DJ Hall of Fame in 2019. I have also recorded a CD, “Singing Along with the Radio,” and do a fair amount of singing. I’ve also been a photographer for many years and have had my photos published in books and magazine.

NJ:  Hi, Wanda!  We’re running behind so we’ve no time to waste.  Let’s get to it!  Is your author name a pen name or your birth name?

Wanda:  It’s my maiden name and my married name combined.

NJ:  What genre or genres do you write under and are you Indie or traditionally published?

Wanda:  My first novel straddles a couple of fences: Young Adult and General Fiction. The one I’m working on now is a sequel to the first, and I’d say it’s more General Fiction than YA.  I’m an Indie. I tried to go the traditional publishing route.  One of my good friends in publishing introduced me to an agent, who–may I be frank here?–strung me along for a while. I decided that at my age, I didn’t have time to send out thousands of query letters and sit and wait. The indie route has worked well for me.

EMPTY SEATS

empty-seats-tour-banner

Inspired by some of the young men I’ve observed in minor-league baseball–especially those who will never fulfill their dreams of playing in the big leagues, Empty Seats follows three very different young men who think it will be an easy ride from their local stardom in their hometowns. Little do they know that they’ll be competing with every other talented kid who has the same dream. Set in 1972, this is not a happy-ending, everyone-wins book; rather, these three face serious challenges as they seek to find their photos on Major League baseball cards–not always on the baseball diamond.

NJ:  Where can readers purchase your book and how much is it?

Wanda:  It’s available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble, as well as directly from me (www.wandafischer.com) in hardcover form ($15.99). Amazon has the ebook as well for $2.99. It’s also available as an audiobook on Audible.com. Despite my background in broadcasting, I did not narrate the audiobook. I felt the audiobook required the services of a male voice, so I auditioned a number of actors and chose the one I thought was the most appropriate.

NJ:  Wanda, I have been in this business long enough to know that quite a few readers have a purchase price point and will only spend so much on an e-book. How do you price your books and what is your logic behind the pricing?

Wanda:  Well…This is tricky. Initially, I had a distributor who priced my ebook at $5.99! I fought and fought with them to reduce the price. Then I took over control of the price myself. It’s at $2.99 now and I think that’s fair. It also means that I can run specials or sales. I expect that when I finally get the sequel finished, I can run a sale or a free offer for the original book. I am in control now. When Empty Seats first came out, the distributor was in control. No more.

NJ:  Good for you!  Now, I got on Twitter many years ago because my social media manager at the time, told me that I needed to be on Twitter. He did not give me an actual reason as to why (I had to learn my “why” on my own), just that I needed to be there.  What was your main reason for getting on Twitter?  For support? For fun?

Wanda:  I was on Twitter prior to writing my book. I actually have three accounts–one for my social justice causes, one for my radio station and one for my novel. I have to be careful about my political views on the one for my radio show. It’s on public radio, and I don’t post that much on that Twitter feed. I usually save that for my main feed. For my Empty Seats Twitter feed, I concentrate on books and baseball. Every now and then, someone will sneak in a social justice issue. I try to steer them away from that unless it’s book-related, or unless it’s got something to do with social justice in sports (e.g., “Should LeBron James use his huge celebrity platform to speak out against [fill in the blank]…, or on Jackie Robinson Day, I might speak out about racism and why there aren’t more African-Americans in Major League Baseball as players or managers).  I also like to use the Empty Seats Twitter to make connections with other authors, especially to support the work of fellow authors and cheer them on if they’re experiencing writer’s block or otherwise discouraged.

NJ:  What other social media platforms do you use to market your book, and have you found them to be beneficial?

Wanda:  I use Facebook to market my book, but I haven’t found it to be particularly fruitful. It was when the book first came out but not now. I am trying to come up with new angles on FB. I have an Instagram account and am trying to discover ways to sneak in a word or two about the book. Instagram requires photos and specific tie-ins. I’m learning. I have a LinkedIn account, but since I retired from my “day” job, I rarely visit that page.

NJ:  Supporting others is a huge part of my identity. I believe that when you invest your time and support in others, you find that your circle grows by leaps and bounds of others giving the same to you. When I first got involved heavily on Twitter, I was pushing others more than I was pushing myself – I continue to do so. Do you support others on social media?  If so, how?

Wanda:  I do support others on social media. When I was working full-time, I did media relations. In order to interest a reporter in doing a story about something going on in my agency (I worked exclusively at not-for-profits and/or governmental agencies), I had to come up with new angles or new approaches to stories. It’s not enough, for example, to say, “It’s national [whatever] week, and I have an expert on that.” You have to say something to the effect of “My director’s available because [and come up with something no one else has that’s related to national whatever week].” It takes a lot of thought. I try to do the same for other authors when they’re writing about things appropriate to today’s news, even if it’s fiction. I think it’s crucial to stay current with news so that even if there’s just a paragraph in your fiction story that discusses, for example, the life of a butler in the White House and there’s a butler in the White House is retiring after serving 44 years, you can make a connection to someone’s book on Twitter to pique interest.

NJ:  Wanda, do you actually take the time to read tweets from others before you retweet them, or do you just hit “retweet” without ever engaging in the tweet?

Wanda:  No, I read them. You can get into trouble if you just hit the RT button. Your own name and reputation goes along with that RT. Don’t forget that.

NJ:  That’s the smart thing to do, Wanda, and you are correct! Your reputation is tied to every tweet and retweet you send out.   If you could map out the perfect way that you would want others to support you on social media, how would you ask your followers to support you? Just imagine that everyone who reads this interview will run out and follow you.  How could they best support you?  What would you have them do?

Wanda:  I think the best way to support me personally as a writer is to offer constructive criticism. I can take criticism as long as it’s done in a way in which I can learn something. I’m still a neophyte when it comes to writing fiction. I wrote for a living for 40-plus years in feature and news writing. I need honesty from my fellow writers, and I have received this from several of the RRBC people whom I’ve “met” since having joined. I want to meet some of these same people in person one day. That’s my goal. I hope that people feel the same way about me. I want support to be a two-way street. That’s the best way to support me.

NJ:  Of course, we all feel the very same way about you!  You are adored at RRBC!  Wanda, we all learn something new almost every day while on social media and I like sharing what I have learned with other authors, in hopes that it will benefit them in some way. Have you come across any writing resources that might benefit other authors?  If so, share 2 or 3 of them with us, please.

Wanda:  I subscribe to the Writers’ Center in Albany, NY. They do interviews of incredible writers (e.g., Margaret Atwood, Ta-na-hishi Coates, William Kennedy, etc.). The interviews are available online. Also, I would encourage people to listen to The Book Show on WAMC (the radio station where I work). The host, Joe Donahue, does superb author interviews. These are available at www.wamc.org. I have been reading James Baldwin’s novels over the past couple of weeks. The latest is “Go Tell It on The Mountain.” Reading great books helps me more than anything else.

NJ:  OK, now can you share with our audience 2 or 3 of the top methods you use to market your books?

Wanda:  I had success in getting newspaper articles and one national radio interview about my book. Again, I used the “find a different angle” to be successful to gain these pieces. I was on a now-defunct national show called “Only a Game” by telling them that in the 1960s I wanted to be a sportswriter, so instead, 50 years later, I wrote a book about baseball. I tapped into a local TV show focusing on women doing the same thing. I also did a lot of appearances at independent bookstores. I understand they’re going virtual now. I’m going to start tapping into that.  

NJ:  What is the one bit of writing advice you would give to any author, experienced or newbie?

Wanda:  READ. Read everything you can get your hands on. Read classics, read genres you would never thing you would like, read short stories, read poetry. But READ.

NJ:  Is your reputation as a writer important to you, OR might we look up one day and find that you are in a Twitter brawl with someone?

Wanda:  I don’t do Twitter brawls. I choose my words carefully because my reputation as a writer is crucial to me. I want people to regard me as honest and true to my mission as a writer, and still able to handle criticism.

NJ:  Those last four words, Wanda, tugged at my heart.  And my response to them… as every professional author should be able to do.  Kudos to you, Wanda!  In your opinion, what is the biggest difference between the writers you see today around social media, versus the writers of old? 

Wanda:  Sometimes the writers I see today don’t do enough research, especially when doing historical writing. Hemingway’s style was so specific to him and his stories. Some of the “classics” tend to be “flowery,” perhaps with too much over-the-top descriptive language. Each writer, however, has his/her own style. I don’t want to read someone who’s trying to imitate Faulkner or Toni Morrison. I want someone to find his/her own voice.

NJ:  I look for the same when I’m searching for a new favorite author.  I don’t want someone trying to do it like someone else;  I want someone with their own flair and style.  Wanda, do you value professionalism in the literary arena and worry that the lack thereof makes it harder for those of us who wish to be taken seriously in this business? Or, does the unprofessional behavior of some around social media not bother you at all?

Wanda:  Perhaps what bothers me the most about professionalism–or lack thereof–is that some of the lesser talented people gain more notoriety than their more talented counterparts. What is sometimes mistaken for professionalism turns out to be the squeaky wheel getting the grease. We’re also seeing a spate of celebrity writers who seem to get the spotlight when they use ghost writers or don’t admit to having used a ghost writer. Is this professionalism? Do we confuse commercialism with professionalism? This is one of the things that drives me crazy. Some of the books I’ve read by RRBC writers have impressed me so much more than some of the New York Times best sellers. Is that the result of commercialism just because those NYT best seller authors can afford big-time PR/media relations people (such as I was for so many years), or are they REALLY better writers than those of us who work so hard to be professional? I’d rather read a professionally written book by someone who takes his/her writing seriously than some of the slick things I see in some book stores. And yes, the unprofessional behavior of some around social media bothers me a great deal. I just haven’t figured out how to do anything about it.

NJ:  You haven’t?  Oh, I can help you with that, Wanda.  Block them and turn and walk the other way.  Run, if you have to – just get away from the lot of them – those whose behavior mimics that of children on a playground throwing tantrums.  If you have ever received any, how do you handle not-so-flattering reviews of your book(s)?

Wanda:  The worst review I ever received was “Not a compelling story.” That was it. I can handle criticism, but I’d like a little more than four words. If someone wants to give my book a not-so-flattering review, please leave me some constructive criticism so that when I’m working on my next book, I may have some words of wisdom I can take into account. I may be in my eighth decade on this earth, but I can still learn. The not-so-flattering reviews from other authors have said some things that have been helpful.

NJ:  I’ve learned that every review posted isn’t posted by someone who actually knows how to review.  Do you appreciate honesty regarding your writing because you know that only honest feedback allows you to grow as a writer, or are you one of those who would prefer that others lie to you and tell you only what they know you want to hear?

Wanda:  I expect some people I know personally (especially some of my baseball friends, who aren’t avide readers) to write flattering things. However, I would prefer that readers give me an honest opinion. You can give me an honest opinion without daggers, of course, but I still want to know what you think.

NJ:  Great answer! Great interview!  Thanks for joining me today, Wanda!

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OTHER QUICK FACTS ABOUT WANDA…

  • Retired
  • Writing since 2nd grade
  • Writes full-time
  • Random topic blogger
  • Does a radio show weekly and plays tennis competitively
  • One book published to date – EMPTY SEATS
  • “Empty Seats is my favorite because it’s finished. I have the sequel I’m working on, and I have ideas for two more, but so far, the first-born remains the favorite.”

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FOLLOW WANDA ON…

Twitter:  @EmptySeatsNovel

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Guests, thank you so much for dropping by to support Wanda on Day 8 of the June “12 DAYS OF AUTHORS” Series!  It would be awesome if you would pick up a copy of her book above, and after reading, share your review to Amazon.  Ensure that you leave her a comment below, and also LIKE her feature before you leave, for your chance to win the grand prize package listed above!  We’d both appreciate it if you would share this feature to Twitter and Facebook, as well.

To follow along with the rest of the features in this series, visit the “12 DAYS OF AUTHORS” home page!  There will be a new series beginning in July!  I’d also love it if you would #follow my site, as well as following me on Twitter @NonnieJulesas my truest joy is in service to others.  I’d love to support you, too!

HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE FEATURED IN MY #NJ12DaysOfAuthors Series?  Click HERE to sign up!

***

DISCLAIMER:  Any guest material appearing at WATCH NONNIE WRITE! is not edited, proofed or changed in any manner by the the owner of this blog. Material is posted as it is written and submitted.  It is not my place to make changes to someone else’s writing, as what I view as needing correcting, just might be the way the author intended the material to read.

Welcome to Day 7 of #NJ12DaysOfAuthors June Series! @RishiEdSharrow #TheLastBattle

12 Days of Authors Ed Sharrow

GIVEAWAY:

At the end of this series, 1 lucky visitor will win a (12) Kindle e-book pack which will include a copy of each book featured in this series + a $10 Amazon gift card + a book trailer, courtesy of 4WillsPublishing!  Simply leave a comment below to be entered into the drawing!

***

On the 7th day of the June “12 Days of Authors” Series… Nonnie’s gift to you…

AUTHOR, ED SHARROW!

Author bio:  

Question mark person

NJ:  Uh, Ed, where is your bio?  Oh, well, let’s move right along.  Is your author name a pen name or your birth name?

Ed:  I write using my birth name with first nickname, “Ed Sharrow”.

NJ:  How long have you been writing?

Ed:  I have been writing consistently for about four decades. However, I began by writing short plays and screenplays. Most of these were never produced. I began to write novel-length stories in 2005.

NJ:  What genre or genres do you write under?

Ed:  One of my decisions that has hurt my professional progress as a novelist has been not focusing on a single genre. I began with a fantasy, Atlantis Sinking, continued with a science fiction, Virtual Humans, then wrote a murder mystery for fun (and to try to appease the elements Hollywood producers were seeking), Murder in the Fifth. Finally, I wrote a fictionalized, but as fact-based as possible, biography, The Last Battle: The Life of William the Conqueror. Within a few months, I will publish another biography, The Tomb of Anthony.

NJ:  Ed, if you’re a good writer, I don’t feel that writing under more than one genre hurts you professionally.  I think it shows just how far your imagination can stretch and it also points to your wide-range of talents.  Now, are you indie-published or traditionally published?

Ed:  Self-published. I initially queried literary agents, but found that bouncing between genres is generally frowned upon. Now, that I am settling into Historical Fiction/Biographies, I may approach traditional publishers again.

NJ:  How many books have you published to date?

Ed:  Four novels published to date, with a fifth on the way. Only two are currently available on Amazon: the historical biography, The Last Battle: The Life of William the Conqueror and a murder mystery specifically written with the goal of developing a feature film or television series from the initial premise, Murder in the Fifth.

NJ:  Which is your favorite and why?

Ed:  Isn’t everyone’s first their favorite? One downside to indie-publishing is that I realized how I am improving my craft and my early books were really learning experiences. I removed the availability of two books. My favorite is the historical biography, The Last Battle: The Life of William the Conqueror.

NJ:  No, I don’t believe everyone’s first is necessarily their favorite.  Most often, the ones that show growth in our writing, generally the last one published, is the favorite of many.  Before I go any further, you mention above that one downside to indie-publishing is that you realized how I am improving my craft.  I don’t understand that sentence, but, let me say this.  One of the biggest perks of Indie publishing (and there are many) is that you’re able to take down those earlier works that weren’t as polished as they should have been when you first published, and re-do them – as opposed to being locked in with a publisher who has all the control over your work and you having to get permission to do such a thing.  I’ve been told that permission isn’t given too often in these cases, so, that’s one of the biggest positives to Indie publishing, FYI. Please give us just a little background on the book you mentioned above. What is it about?

Ed Sharrow William Cover_high

Ed:  The Last Battle: The Life of William the Conqueror follows the life of the man responsible for creating much of Western Civilization as we know it today. William united Normandy (Northern France) with the Anglo-Saxon isle (Britain) – the first version of the EU. His edict to create a language that all of his subjects could understand resulted in the creation of the English language. He also spearheaded other culture changing initiatives such as creating a judicial system that incorporated trials by a jury of one’s peers, a modern system of taxation, and he ended the sale of humans as slaves (unfortunately this didn’t last). He sought the endorsement and approval of Pope of the Roman Catholic Church and in the process expanded the reach of that church in North Europe.

NJ:  Interesting.  Where can readers purchase your book and how much is it?

Ed:  Amazon. Paperback $14.99, Kindle $8.99.

NJ:  WOW!  $8.99 for an e-book?  Ed, I have been in this business long enough to know that quite a few readers have a purchase price point and will only spend so much on an e-book. How do you price your books and what is your logic behind the pricing?

Ed:  My goal is to average $2 “royalty” per sale across all methods. Sometimes this means the Kindle price is slightly higher to keep the print price lower.

NJ:  Ed, it shows that you published this book in 2016, yet it only has 3 reviews.  My suggestion to you, my friend, would be to not worry so much about what you’re pocketing per book, but focus more on actually selling the book.  As I mentioned, many readers have a price point as to what they’re going to spend on an e-book and unless you’re a celebrity or an author with name recognition, then your book won’t move. Trying being competitive with the industry – notice what others are charging for their e-books and seriously consider adjusting your price.  Your book has been on the market for 5 years.  It should have way more reviews than 3.  Just a helpful (but tried and true) suggestion.  Ed, I got on social media many years ago because my social media manager at the time, told me that I needed to be on Twitter, specifically. He did not give me an actual reason as to why (I had to learn my “why” on my own), just that I needed to be there.  What was your main reason for getting on Twitter? For support? For fun?

Ed: I joined Twitter in 2012 because I liked the challenge of expressing thoughts within a limited number of characters. I believed this would help me to be more succinct in other writing as well.

NJ:  Oh, that’s a different concept but if it’s worked for you, that’s amazing!  What other social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.) do you use to market your book(s), and have you found them to be beneficial?

Ed:  While I am on several platforms, I most often promote my writing to “new friends who I have yet to meet” on Twitter. Since much of my current effort is directed at bring Eastern and Western thought together, specifically at the intersection of Yoga philosophy and Christianity, I have created a community on the Locals platform. It’s free to follow me there, and over time, I will put more content behind the pay wall in that community. I tend to limit Facebook and Instagram to friends developed in-person.

NJ:  Ed, supporting others is a huge part of my identity. I believe that when you invest your time and support in others, you find that your circle grows by leaps and bounds of others giving the same to you. When I first got involved heavily on Twitter, I was pushing others more than I was pushing myself – I continue to do so. Do you support others on social media?  If so, how?

Ed:  I support others, mostly through interactions, retweets and sometimes purchases.

NJ:  And do you actually take the time to read tweets from others before you retweet them, or do you just hit “retweet” without ever engaging in the tweet?

Ed: I read everything I share or post on any account before sharing it. Except for the occasional book promotion which I haven’t read but I support the author.

NJ:  Be careful there, Ed.  That book promo that you pass on reading but decide to share anyway, could be a porn promo.  You never know.  That’s why it’s SO extremely important to read before you retweet anything.  Now, if you could map out the perfect way that you would want others to support you on social media, how would you ask your followers to support you? Just imagine that everyone who reads this interview will run out and follow you.  How could they best support you?  What would you have them do?

Ed:  To support me more directly, become a paying member on the Locals community. The minimum is $5/month for access behind the paywall. As more people join there, it will “buy my time” to work on projects.

NJ:  We all learn something new almost every day while on social media and I like sharing what I have learned with other authors, in hopes that it will benefit them in some way. Have you come across any writing resources that might benefit other authors?  If so, share 2 or 3 of them with us, please.

Ed:  Writing resources vary depending upon my current projects. I use Microsoft Word to write and have not purchased a specialty writing application.

NJ:  Authors are always seeking good formatting services. Who do you use to format your books, and would you recommend them?

Ed:  A personal friend who does not want to format books for other people. I am planning to purchase cover and formatting services for the first time with my next book. I’ll watch on Twitter for suggestions.

NJ:  OK.  Can you share with our audience 2 or 3 of the top methods you use to market your books?

Ed:  I’m a poor marketer. I was developing a MailChimp list, but the length of time between novels made that unsustainable. I am open to low or no-cost suggestions.

NJ:  What is the one bit of writing advice you would give to any author, experienced or newbie?

Ed:  Write for yourself and your audience will find you. Writing to please others will never satisfy.

NJ:  Is your reputation as a writer important to you, OR might we look up one day and find that you are in a Twitter brawl with someone?

Ed:  I have used social media in a variety of ways. I have participated in brawls in order to understand social media better. For example, some people are actually paid to inflame conversations online. Others like to comment on issues which are not part of their own community. It’s easy for someone in Los Angeles to disparage someone who lives in a rural or remote location for example. I lean conservative and overall these platforms (Twitter and Medium especially) are promoting far liberal viewpoints.

NJ:  In your opinion, what is the biggest difference between the writers you see today around social media, versus the writers of old? (Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, even Stephen King)

Ed:  Pre-computers writers had to think about their stories before committing them to paper. Today writers may start writing with little forethought.

NJ:  Do you value professionalism in the literary arena and worry that the lack thereof makes it harder for those of us who wish to be taken seriously in this business? Or, does the unprofessional behavior of some around social media not bother you at all?

Ed:  No bother. Freedom of speech benefits society overall.

NJ:  Uh, Ed… I didn’t ask about your views on freedom of speech.  I asked if you valued professionalism.

Funny faced baby

Now, if you have ever received any, how do you handle not-so-flattering reviews of your book(s)?

Ed: All feedback is good feedback. Negative feedback helps me to better define who my audience should be. I’m not interested in pleasing everyone.

NJ:  Here goes another one of those questions that you seem to find tricky, Ed!  Do you appreciate honesty regarding your writing because you know that only honest feedback allows you to grow as a writer, or are you one of those who would prefer that others lie to you and tell you only what they know you want to hear?

Untitled design (89)

Ed: Who wastes time with dishonest feedback? Don’t waste my time if you can’t be honest about your perspective.

NJ:  Great response, Ed!  Whew!  Do you blog about any specific topics or are you a random-topic-blogger?

Ed:  Medium articles fall into three areas: 1) the intersection of yoga and Christianity; 2) personal, autobiographical stories; 3) educational subjects and ideas. The Locals community is currently focused on metaphysical insights into the Bible and behind the paywall I’m developing a course in the “Secret Language”.

NJ:  Ed, I’ll let you have the last word here.  

Ed:  Typically, I only “friend” those with whom I have established relationships on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. I may create “author” accounts in the future.

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OTHER QUICK FACTS ABOUT ED…

  • Full-time writer
  • I have a Medium account at edsharrow.medium.com and a growing community at unitedbylove.locals.com

***

FOLLOW ED ON…

Twitter:  @RishiEdSharrow

***

Guests, thank you so much for dropping by to support Ed on Day 7 of the June “12 DAYS OF AUTHORS” Series!  It would be awesome if you would pick up a copy of his book above, and after reading, share your review to Amazon.  Ensure that you leave him a comment below, and also LIKE his feature before you leave, for your chance to win the grand prize package listed above!  We’d both appreciate it if you would share this feature to Twitter and Facebook, as well.

To follow along with the rest of the features in this series, visit the “12 DAYS OF AUTHORS” home page!  There will be a new series beginning in July!  I’d also love it if you would #follow my site, as well as following me on Twitter @NonnieJulesas my truest joy is in service to others.  I’d love to support you, too!

HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE FEATURED IN MY #NJ12DaysOfAuthors Series?  Click HERE to sign up!

***

DISCLAIMER:  Any guest material appearing at WATCH NONNIE WRITE! is not edited, proofed or changed in any manner by the the owner of this blog. Material is posted as it is written and submitted.  It is not my place to make changes to someone else’s writing, as what I view as needing correcting, just might be the way the author intended the material to read.

Welcome to Day 6 of #NJ12DaysOfAuthors June Series! @TonyaWrites #ASecretGift @RRBC_Org #RRBC

_12 Days of Authors Tonya Penrose

GIVEAWAY:

At the end of this series, 1 lucky visitor will win a (12) Kindle e-book pack which will include a copy of each book featured in this series + a $10 Amazon gift card + a book trailer, courtesy of 4WillsPublishing!  Simply leave a comment below to be entered into the drawing!

***

On the 6th day of the June “12 Days of Authors” Series… Nonnie’s gift to you…

AUTHOR, TONYA PENROSE!

Author bio:

As an author, Tonya’s moved by the effect narratives have on readers. That observation illuminates why her stories often convey messages inviting personal exploration. She is enthusiastic about crafting stories with beguiling characters, adding dashes of snappy humor, and engaging dialogue that leaves her fingerprint on each page.

When Tonya relocated to the mountains, she found fresh writing ideas waiting. From her favorite porch chair gazing at a tranquil lake, the nudge to scribe her first novel came calling. From her beach chair, she got the idea for a cozy series, Shell Isle Mysteries. Tonya confesses new respect for a chair’s ability to motivate writers. She chases her writing joy from the mountains to the seashore.

NJ:  Hi, Tonya!  Let’s dive right in!  I’ve so many more interviews waiting but I have them on hold because I’m so excited about yours!  I’ll be excited about theirs, too, when it’s their turn, by the way!  So, is your author name a pen name or your birth name?

Tonya:  Tonya Penrose is a pen name.

NJ:  What made you decide to write under a pen name?

Tonya:  If my first novel turned out to flop with readers, family, and friends, the pen name provided cover. I figured I could choose another pen name for the next novel. I had one all picked out, too. Fortunately, I haven’t needed it.

NJ:  How long have you been writing?

Tonya:  I wrote my first book when I was six years old. I’d like to think my writing has improved over the years.

NJ:  What genre or genres do you write under?

Tonya:  I write in multi-genres. Romance, Mystery, Inspiration, Rom/Com, Magical Realism, and I added dashes of Science fiction in my 5th novel, CHARM. I’m actively seeking representation for it, so if any agents/publishers are reading this interview, don’t be shy about reaching out.

NJ:  Are you indie-published or traditionally published?

Tonya:  I am traditionally published with the last three books, and I used a hybrid publisher for the first.

NJ:  Can you give our audience a pointer or two as to how you found a publisher, in the event that someone reading this interview is attempting to go the traditionally published route?  By the way, I am a strong advocate for Indie publishing and would not have it any other way.

Tonya:  Chasing traditional publishing is full of challenges and frustrations. I researched publishers for my genres focusing on who accepted un-agented submissions. Then, I endeavored to write a query letter that would stay out of the trash cans. Warning: Nowadays, that is a daunting goal.

NJ:  How many books have you published to date?

Tonya:  I have four novels on the market. OLD MOUNTAIN CASSIE: THE THREE LESSONS, BAUBLES TO DIE FOR, RED, WHITE, AND BOOM, AND A SECRET GIFT.

NJ:  Which is your favorite and why?

Tonya:  Pick a favorite. Please don’t make me. They are like my children. I love each one but for different reasons. Alright, I choose A Secret Gift, but that’s only for today.

A Secret Gift by Tonya Penrose

NJ:  So glad you were able to choose just one or I would have had to throw this entire interview out.  The boss likes to live strictly by the rules and the rules want you to pick just one. Give us just a little background on that book, please. What is it about?

Tonya:  I wanted to write a rom/com and the idea for the story showed up while I was walking a trail. Here is your tease: An anonymous benefactor appears in corporate climber Halley Bowen’s life, bringing the chance to create her “dream life” in the seaside town of Port Royal and pen her first romance novel. However, Halley’s worry gene gets activated by one of the agreement’s stipulations. She must experience within a designated time something which has always alluded her, a grand romance.

NJ:  Where can readers purchase your book and how much is it?

Tonya:  You can find A Secret Gift on Amazon and with other booksellers. The eBook is $3.99, and the paperback is currently $11.65.

NJ:  I have been in this business long enough to know that quite a few readers have a purchase price point and will only spend so much on an e-book. How do you price your books and what is your logic behind the pricing?

Tonya:  Pricing is an important question. My publishers set the price, and the hybrid publisher recommends a price. Recently, I dropped Old Mountain Cassie: The Three Lessons eBook price to $3.99. Baubles to Die For is featured now at $.99. It’s the first book in the Shell Isle Mystery Series. I hope readers will jump to grab a copy and escape to the beach with my cousin sleuths.

NJ:  I got on Twitter many years ago because my social media manager at the time, told me that I needed to be on Twitter. He did not give me an actual reason as to why (I had to learn my “why” on my own), just that I needed to be there.  What was your main reason for getting on Twitter?  For support? For fun?

Tonya:  That’s a Twitter question after my own heart. Like you, I was told to join Twitter without any solid reasoning or what to expect from spending time and energy on social media. My goal hasn’t changed since I joined Twitter. It’s to build a following as an author for my books and drive sales. My Twitter time has surprised me with some super connections like you. The writing community is fantastic. Yep, surprise on me about the doors opening with Twitter.

NJ:  What other social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.) do you use to market your book(s), and have you found them to be beneficial?

Tonya:  Other social media? I have a Facebook page that my editor in London created for me since I’m tech challenged. Truthfully, social media and I aren’t great friends. I’m still learning the nuances. ASIDE: One of my publisher’s marketing people gave me some sound advice. He told me to choose 1-2 places to hang out and be consistent and not try and do them all, or I’d never have time to pen another book. Smart him.

NJ:  Do you actually take the time to read tweets from others before you retweet them, or do you just hit “retweet” without ever engaging in the tweet?

Tonya:  I try to read the tweets. I feel it’s important to be authentic and offer something of value/meaningful when I write a response. 

NJ:  Tonya, if you could map out the perfect way that you would want others to support you on social media, how would you ask your followers to support you? Just imagine that everyone who reads this interview will run out and follow you.  How could they best support you?  What would you have them do?

Tonya:  I would invite others to see me and the books as a kind of chain letter. What role would they play in the chain? I’d ask that they tell five people about my novels and ask those five to tell five people. In no time, the numbers would skyrocket and all by sharing my books. Of course, if they read the books and love the stories, that would be the cherry on top.

NJ:  What is the one bit of writing advice you would give to any author, experienced or newbie?

Tonya:  The best piece of advice I can offer a writer is to show up for your writing session. If the muses aren’t there and all you have is a blank screen staring back, take the day off. And, if you’re open to this suggestion, uninvite your mind to your writing chair. Write from a higher place.

NJ:  Is your reputation as a writer important to you, OR might we look up one day and find that you are in a Twitter brawl with someone?

Tonya:  The foundation for an author is built on reputation. I am most intentional about how I conduct myself. I feel respect must be earned. Writing a romp for readers to enjoy is but one piece of what I endeavor to do as an author. My books and I are a package deal. I strive to deliver on the worth.

NJ:  In your opinion, what is the biggest difference between the writers you see today around social media, versus the writers of old? (Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, even Stephen King)

Tonya:  Social media exacts an emotional and physical cost that writers of yore didn’t encounter. I am sure Jane Austen had her trials as a woman writing. The times they lived had hardships, but they weren’t based on AI and ever-changing social platforms asking your brain to keep shapeshifting to accommodate. I experience angst following many of my writing friends as they try to navigate social media. To end this on an up note, writers today have unlimited opportunities to publish their work. They can choose to self-publish and savor the fruits of that labor. No writer should feel stymied when it comes to getting their stories or poems out to hungry readers. That is a huge leap from the past right into success your way.

NJ:  Do you value professionalism in the literary arena and worry that the lack thereof makes it harder for those of us who wish to be taken seriously in this business? Or, does the unprofessional behavior of some around social media not bother you at all?

Tonya:  Hmm, I subscribe to the philosophy where I take what I like and leave the rest. I believe that like attracts like. I find judging others to be a waste of precious time. They’re on a path, and so am I. Being of service and helping to bring a smile, a sigh, or even an insight to someone wakes me each morning. My joy resides there.

NJ:  If you have ever received any, how do you handle not-so-flattering reviews of your book(s)?

Tonya:  If I got an unflattering review, I’d feel disappointed, but I would also ask myself, is there a lesson for improving my writing? I overheard a writer say to a reader, “If you liked my book, tell others. If you didn’t like it, tell me.” I agree.

NJ:  It would be wonderful if we lived in that world of readers, telling us about the issues they found in our books before posting reviews, but, that isn’t real life.  I come from a place of we’re all much too busy to stop and try to locate the contact info of an author, then send an email or DM, only to find that your kindness is met with an “How dare you say that there is something wrong with my book” attitude.  No thank you!  Nonnie is just going to post a review – whatever that review is, which in turn, will be whatever that book deserves.  I expect the same for my work. Time is a precious commodity and it’s so limited in my world – in many of our worlds, I would imagine.  I’m only looking to do easy at this point. Now, do you appreciate honesty regarding your writing because you know that only honest feedback allows you to grow as a writer, or are you one of those who would prefer that others lie to you and tell you only what they know you want to hear?

Tonya:  Open and honest feedback represents real value to me as a writer, but there is a hitch. The feedback’s source is critical to its value.

NJ:  Tonya, it’s been a pleasure to have you join me today!  Chat soon! (This is a private inside comment, guys)

***

OTHER QUICK FACTS ABOUT TONYA…

  • {Regarding supporting others} “I get more happy energy from giving than receiving.”
  • Relies on publishers for formatting
  • Not fluent in social media
  • “At the moment, I’m fortunate that I’m not juggling a career and writing. My writing takes first place.”
  • Blogs randomly

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FOLLOW TONYA ON…

Twitter:  @TonyaWrites

Blog

***

Guests, thank you so much for dropping by to support Tonya on Day 6 of the June “12 DAYS OF AUTHORS” Series!  It would be awesome if you would pick up a copy of her book above, and after reading, share your review to Amazon.  Ensure that you leave her a comment below, and also LIKE her feature before you leave, for your chance to win the grand prize package listed above!  We’d both appreciate it if you would share this feature to Twitter and Facebook, as well.

To follow along with the rest of the features in this series, visit the “12 DAYS OF AUTHORS” home page!  There will be a new series beginning in July!  I’d also love it if you would #follow my site, as well as following me on Twitter @NonnieJulesas my truest joy is in service to others.  I’d love to support you, too!

HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE FEATURED IN MY #NJ12DaysOfAuthors Series?  Click HERE to sign up!

***

DISCLAIMER:  Any guest material appearing at WATCH NONNIE WRITE! is not edited, proofed or changed in any manner by the the owner of this blog. Material is posted as it is written and submitted.  It is not my place to make changes to someone else’s writing, as what I view as needing correcting, just might be the way the author intended the material to read.

Welcome to Day 5 of #NJ12DaysOfAuthors June Series! @RidyardColin #EddieTheElephant

12 Days of Authors Colin Ridyard

GIVEAWAY:

At the end of this series, 1 lucky visitor will win a (12) Kindle e-book pack which will include a copy of each book featured in this series + a $10 Amazon gift card + a book trailer, courtesy of 4WillsPublishing!  Simply leave a comment below to be entered into the drawing!

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On the 5th day of the June “12 Days of Authors” Series… Nonnie’s gift to you…

AUTHOR, COLIN RIDYARD!

Author bio:

Lives in Wales with his family and writes children’s stories

NJ:

photography of three dogs looking up

Uh, Colin … when I said “brief” bio, I meant at least a paragraph or two.  But, let’s just move on.  Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to introduce you to my world.  Is your author name a pen name or your birth name?

Colin:  Birth Name

NJ:  OK.  How long have you been writing?

Colin:  20 years but only recently published

NJ:  20 years?  Really?  You look like a baby!  Good genes, my friend!  What genre or genres do you write under?

Colin:  Children’s stories

NJ:  Great!  And are you indie-published or traditionally published?

Colin:  Indie-published by an independent book company

NJ:  OK.  How many books have you published to date?

Colin:  Just the one, EDDIE THE ELEPHANT AND THE BIRTHDAY PARTY.

NJ:  OK, how about giving us just a little background on that book. What is it about?

Colin:  An elephant who turns up to a birthday party after a slight misunderstanding with an invitation.

BookCover (1)

NJ:  Cute.  Where can readers purchase your book and how much is it?

Colin:  All good online book retailers RRP £5.99

NJ:  I got on Twitter many years ago because my social media manager at the time, told me that I needed to be on Twitter. He did not give me an actual reason as to why (I had to learn my “why” on my own), just that I needed to be there.  What was your main reason for getting on Twitter?  For support? For fun?

Colin:  Same as you, the book publisher advised it

NJ:  Colin, you’re a man of very few words.  So, what other social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.) do you use to market your book(s), and have you found them to be beneficial?

Colin:  Instagram and Pinterest, Twitter is better

NJ: And you’re straight and to the point, aren’t you?

big eyed confused dog

Supporting others is a huge part of my identity. I believe that when you invest your time and support in others, you find that your circle grows by leaps and bounds of others giving the same to you. When I first got involved heavily on Twitter, I was pushing others more than I was pushing myself – I continue to do so. Do you support others on social media?  If so, how?

Colin:  Yes, by RTing and putting up reviews

NJ:  Colin, do you actually take the time to read tweets from others before you retweet them, or do you just hit “retweet” without ever engaging in the tweet?

Colin:  Always read

NJ: 

Shocked looking dog

Well, OK.  If you could map out the perfect way that you would want others to support you on social media, how would you ask your followers to support you? Just imagine that everyone who reads this interview will run out and follow you.  How could they best support you?  What would you have them do?

Colin:  Buy the book and leave a review

NJ:

What the funny face dog

WOW!  Colin, can you share with our audience 2 or 3 of the top methods you use to market your books?

Colin:  I try and put together appealing advertisements and arrange storytelling sessions

NJ:  You do?  Do you speak at these storytelling sessions, Colin?  OK, ignore that question.  What is the one bit of writing advice you would give to any author, experienced or newbie?

Colin:  Keep trying

NJ: 

Confused dog pic.jpg-

NJ:  That’s it?  Oooooooook then!  Colin, is writing only a hobby for you or do you write full time?

Colin:  More than a hobby but not full-time

NJ:  Is your reputation as a writer important to you, OR might we look up one day and find that you are in a Twitter brawl with someone?

Colin:  Reputation is important

NJ:

Dog rolling his eyes

Colin, you and I are going to find ourselves in a brawl if you don’t give me more than a 5 word response to my next question!

close up photography of adult black and white short coat dog

Photo by Alexandru Rotariu on Pexels.com

In your opinion, what is the biggest difference between the writers you see today around social media, versus the writers of old?

Colin:  Writers today have a bigger support network of like-minded people due to social media

NJ:  15 words – that wasn’t great but it was definitely improvement.  Do you value professionalism in the literary arena and worry that the lack thereof makes it harder for those of us who wish to be taken seriously in this business? Or, does the unprofessional behavior of some around social media not bother you at all?

Colin:  It’s a tough old world out there and the playing field is by no means a level one. All we can do is be the best possible version of ourselves we can possibly be.

NJ: 

Untitled design (88)

34 words!!!!  Oh my gosh!  Colin, you answered in 34 words!  I’m in shock!  Way to go, dude!  WOW!  OK, let’s see if we can keep this streak up!  If you have ever received any, how do you handle not-so-flattering reviews of your book(s)?

Colin:  Don’t take it personally

NJ:  OK, I’m dead.

Untitled design (74)

(I’m up again, regrouping) Colin, do you appreciate honesty regarding your writing because you know that only honest feedback allows you to grow as a writer, or are you one of those who would prefer that others lie to you and tell you only what they know you want to hear?

Colin:  I would rather they were honest

NJ:  Colin, it’s been interesting – and I do mean in-ter-est-ing!  Thanks for joining me!

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A QUICK FACT ABOUT COLIN…

  • I generally do book reviews and advertise my own book

***

FOLLOW COLIN ON…

Twitter:  @RidyardColin

Blog

***

Guests, thank you so much for dropping by to support Colin on Day 5 of the June “12 DAYS OF AUTHORS” Series!  It would be awesome if you would pick up a copy of his book above, and after reading, share your review to Amazon.  Ensure that you leave him a comment below, and also LIKE his feature before you leave, for your chance to win the grand prize package listed above!  We’d both appreciate it if you would share this feature to Twitter and Facebook, as well.

To follow along with the rest of the features in this series, visit the “12 DAYS OF AUTHORS” home page!  There will be a new series beginning in July!  I’d also love it if you would #follow my site, as well as following me on Twitter @NonnieJules, as my truest joy is in service to others.  I’d love to support you, too!

HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE FEATURED IN MY #NJ12DaysOfAuthors Series?  Click HERE to sign up!

***

DISCLAIMER:  Any guest material appearing at WATCH NONNIE WRITE! is not edited, proofed or changed in any manner by the the owner of this blog. Material is posted as it is written and submitted.  It is not my place to make changes to someone else’s writing, as what I view as needing correcting, just might be the way the author intended the material to read.

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