Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
"Their (small presses and literary magazines) offerings are not the books you find on the front tables of a Borders or Barnes & Noble. Yet these books offer some of the finest writing in the country. In fact, it has long been the case that the small press community discovers, publishes, and supports much of the finest literary talent in America. Were it not for these independent small presses, these university presses, these literary magazines, the voices of many excellent writers would never be heard."
Small press communities get a rather large, and well deserved, shout out for the amazing authors and writing they crank out. Read the entire article here. It's long, but it's worth the once-over.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
We take in the view, freshen up, grab a quick bite to eat at Hooters (what? I like their Western Cheeseburger!) and decide to hail a cab for the trip out to the Baltimore Museum of Art, which is where we planned to meet Michael and Jessica. As I slide into the taxi cab, I somehow manage to catch the back of my jeans on a sharp edge and simultaneously hear the tear and feel the cool breeze on my ass cheek. I immediately hop out of the cab, and we run back up to the room to change. Just my fucking luck! Those were my favorite pair of jeans!! Thank god I had a long tshirt on...
Monday, April 18, 2011
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
N= Nervous: Being an Indie author can be nerve wracking. Success is happening for Indie authors, especially with eReaders, but it's still a gamble. Being an Indie gives you control over the things that make you nervous like publicity and promotion. You then can get more involved with wonder
D = Dedication: To win in the Indie genre you have to be dedicated. You must know your work, the promotion, and the Indie publishing industry. But mostly you must dedicate yourself to writing. Wearing all the hats means dedicating time for all aspects that aid your success as an Indie author. Stay the course; don't give up if you don't make a million dollars with your first book. You need to build a platform of fans.
I = Innovative: This medium changes quickly so you have to pay attention to the trends. Be clued into sites that tell the scoop in the Indie world then get to know individuals that are forerunners of the concept. Sites are popping up every day giving advice to help keep your work out there, be noticed, and creating an Indie author community. The market sees the intelligence of this rapidly growing format. Even established authors with success at standard publishing houses are now self-publishing to reach those using the newest technology.
E= End Result: We Indie authors write because it lets others feel and experience. Creating a printed book, eBook, poetry, etc, you have something that someone centuries from now can pick up and read. That is a thrilling concept for us. We also like the idea that whatever profit is made from the hard work is ours to keep. This is a strong motivation!
Self-publishing is changing, but it can only continue to do this if the writing is strong and the package it arrives is professional. Editing and marketing take time, ingenuity, and some cash, too. Those that go Indie but don't take the time to create quality work make it more difficult for other authors to break into the mainstream.
Being released today, April 13th, my first novel is a trip to a neighborhood and a group of women that you may recognize. Released by Lorena B Books (www.LorenaBBooks.com) it is available in both print and as an eReader.
"In Vista Heights, the women of the neighborhood have started to look like their homes, varying shades of beige. Lost in this world of suburbia, Marissa Lyons learns her high school nemesis has bought the house right across the street from her. Afraid that her arch enemy, Beatrice Munson, will arrive with Marissa’s high school crush as her husband and cause Marissa to relive the insecurity of high school in her forties she decides to face the music and heads to Beatrice’s house with warm cupcakes. But what Marissa finds is something she never expected.
How will Marissa and the rest of the women of San Martino deal with someone like Beatrice Munson, whose defining moment in her life was to get a boob job or go on a trip to Egypt.
This story is about friendship, love, learning to look at things differently, and great parties."
Thank you to TNBBB for letting me stop by and share what I know about the world of Indie authors and publishing.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Sunday, April 10, 2011
5 Stars - Highly Recommended / The Next Best Book
Glen Duncan does good Werewolf. Man, oh man, does he do good Werewolf.
A huge fan of Glen Duncan's previous novels (I, Lucifer; Death of an Ordinary Man; Weathercock; A Day and a Night and a Day), I went ahead and took a shot at securing a review copy of his newest novel, The Last Werewolf. When it arrived, I broke every review policy I have and placed it on the top of the TBR pile... and I am so happy that I did.
Saturday, April 9, 2011
"Part science fiction fantasy, part action adventure and thriller, Gene Doucette creates the perfect balance of humor and edge-of-your-seat anticipation in this genre-defying story of an immortal man named Adam, who finds himself battling demons and bounty hunters in his eternal search for Eve, the red haired mystery woman of his dreams. Witty and wonderful, with a bite of sarcasm, Immortal is a five star read for any fiction lover. "
If you mean biologically, I don’t know the answer. My body just doesn’t age, and I can’t seem to get sick. I have had people go out of their way to make me sick, too. I don’t mean like sneezing on your hand and then shaking mine, I mean like injecting me with concentrated doses of lethal viruses. Nothing seems to take.
In every other sense, I guess I have a talent for figuring out what can get me killed and then not doing that, which is not as easy as it sounds. Every society has some sort of fundamental dysfunction, and most of them are difficult to guess. I remember a tribe—this was… well, it was a really long time ago—that thought a particular rock was sacred. In every other sense the people of this tribe were the happiest, friendliest bunch you could imagine just as long as you never touched the rock. So I never touched the rock.
It may seem stupid, but you’d be amazed how many cultures can be boiled down to that one rule: don’t touch the rock.
I was expecting alcohol to come up in that response.
So was I.
Alcohol didn’t enable me to survive, it just made portions of that survival more bearable. And I’ve gotten a lot of less-than-positive feedback about saying things like that, which I understand. I just don’t think my perspective has been fully appreciated. For one thing, it’s the only thing I’d call a “drug” that actually works on me. For the same reason I can’t be poisoned or infected, I also don’t enjoy the more beneficial aspects of other recreational drugs. (Also, and this is just karma, aspirin does nothing for my hangovers.) So if the question is why alcohol instead of some sort of opiate, that’s why.
Two other points: one, you have no idea how dull history has been. I mean it. Pick any point in history, and unless there is a volcanic eruption or something equally catastrophic going on at that exact moment there is a very good chance everyone is either mind-numbingly bored, or having sex. The second point is that alcohol has been more important to humankind than anyone from this age can imagine. Compared to most of humanity for most of history, I am a lightweight.
Speaking of sex…
…you’re not shy about your interest in young women. Some might even use words like “lecherous” or “misogynistic” to describe you.
Might they? I don’t know; I think I’m fairly advanced, all things considered. I grew up at a time when clubbing a woman until they were semi-conscious was foreplay. And I’m really not joking.
I will concede a degree of boorishness, but only because I’m in the United States, and this country is outrageously uptight. I have never seen a more advanced country that was more terrified of its own genitalia than this one. Seriously. I knew an Anglican bishop who kept regular company with a succubus. He’d spend a night with her and then six nights flagellating himself. Every week. America is like that bishop, except you all seem to enjoy the self-flagellation more than the succubus.
And you’ve had relationships. Do you keep in touch with Clara?
I have had plenty of relationships, and I suppose many of them were “long-term” by the standards of a normal human lifespan. And no, I’m not currently in touch with Clara, but I’m sure we’ll come across one another again eventually. The world is too small not to.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
"The more an author or publisher personalizes their pitch, the more interested I am going to be in working with them. If they not only address me (or my blog’s title), but also speak to specific authors or books I have discussed on the blog, that’s a win! They’ve got my attention now. If they share their website, book site, book trailer, twitter page, etc. in their email, that’s a win! I am not going to chase those things down on my own, but if you include it in the pitch, you can be sure I am going to take a peek at it... if you’ve read my review policy and you’ve seen the type of books I review, please don’t pitch me your YA Historical Romance Non-Fiction book with the disclaimer “ I know you usually don’t read this type of book but….”. That’s just a big fat hairy fail. I stop right there. You’ve just lost me.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
In the right hand column of my blog, you will see a section called "currently reading". I update this as I start each new novel. Today, I am currently spending time with Glen Duncan's The Last Werewolf.
"Falling in love makes the unknown known. Falling out of love reverses the process""The devil wants meaning just like the rest of us""Every now and then you look out at the world and know its gods have gone utterly elsewhere""Telling the truth is a beautiful act even if the truth itself is ugly"
Sunday, April 3, 2011
When a bird flies into a window in Spring Green, Wisconsin, sisters Milly and Twiss get a visit. Twiss listens to the birds' heartbeats, assessing what she can fix and what she can't, while Milly listens to the heartaches of the people who've brought them. These spinster sisters have spent their lives nursing people and birds back to health.
But back in the summer of 1947, Milly and Twiss knew nothing about trying to mend what had been accidentally broken. Milly was known as a great beauty with emerald eyes and Twiss was a brazen wild child who never wore a dress or did what she was told. That was the summer their golf pro father got into an accident that cost him both his swing and his charm, and their mother, the daughter of a wealthy jeweler, finally admitted their hardscrabble lives wouldn't change. It was the summer their priest, Father Rice, announced that God didn't exist and ran off to Mexico, and a boy named Asa finally caught Milly's eye. And, most unforgettably, it was the summer their cousin Bett came down from a town called Deadwater and changed the course of their lives forever.
Rebecca Rasmussen's masterfully written debut novel is full of hope and beauty, heartbreak and sacrifice, love and the power of sisterhood, and offers wonderful surprises at every turn.
1 - Post a comment here telling us what your favorite bird is and why, be a resident of the US or Canada, and leave me a way to contact you. If your comment is missing any of this information, it will be considered ineligible.
2- Agree to participate in a group read book discussion that will run during the month of May over at TNBBC on Goodreads. Rebecca Rasmussen has agreed to participate in the discussion and will be available to answer any questions you may have for her.
By commenting, you are agreeing to read the book and join the group discussion at TNBBC on Goodreads (the thread for the discussion will be emailed to you at the first of the month).
It's first come, first serve so the first 10 commenters who agree to the above term will secure a copy for themselves for the group read.
The contest ends when the last copy has been claimed.
So don't hesitate!
However, if you are not a winner, no worries. You can purchase a copy of the novel or simply join in on the discussion to ask Rebecca questions about the writing and publishing process... All are welcome!
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Visit this page of the L.A. Times to learn more about who, how, and why.
Friday, April 1, 2011
"When Louise Lambert receives a mysterious invitation to a traveling vintage fashion sale in the mail, her normal life in suburban Connecticut is magically transformed into a time traveling adventure.
After a brief encounter with two witchy salesladies and donning an evening gown that once belonged to a beautiful silent film star, Louise suddenly finds herself onboard a luxurious cruise ship in 1912. As Alice Baxter, the silent film star, Louise enjoys her access to an extensive closet of gorgeous vintage gowns and begins to get a feel for the challenges and the glamour of life during this decadent era. Until she realizes that she's not just on any ship-- she's on the Titanic!
Will Louise be able to save herself and change the course of history, or are she and her film star alter ego, destined to go down with a sinking ship in the most infamous sea disaster of the 20th century?"
Tell Me a Story is a monthly series that will feature previously unpublished short stories from debut and Indie authors. The request was simple: Stories can be any format, any genre, and any length. And many amazing writers signed up for the challenge.
It is a book reading. The intern is there. She isn't really your intern any more, hasn't been, but she will always be the intern to you. She was the first. She is your favorite. She was so young then, awkward, terrific. You were protective of her. Paternal. Careful too. Always appropriate. Had to be. Others would come and go. Many were fantastic, smart, and only one turned out to be a stalker of sorts. But she is the reference point, always will be, like your first girlfriend or first born. You learn with them and as time advances and memories fade they slowly hold a place in the firmament of your brain, their greatness exaggerated, their time with you filled with nostalgia. And now she is here, there, right in front of you, so mature, classy, like Claire Danes, or Natalie Portman, all grown-up before your eyes. You are reading from your new book, and in it you take a small swipe at the Peace Corps, or more accurately, people who join the Peace Corps, not at all people though, just an old boss actually, someone you could have never made fun of in person, too sensitive, too cognizant of how little your other boss thought of her. But here, in this book, here was a chance, cheap maybe, but funny, selfish, but well-matched to the moment. The thing is, she, the intern, the intern for life, she too has since served in the Peace Corps, and she too has the read the book, and she has let you know that maybe that Peace Corps dig is not so funny to her, even if she says it with a smile. And now she is here, at the reading in front of you, and you know that you will need to reference her reaction to the book, it's funny, cute, and will relax the crowd, but that's not all, because there is a new book, its nascent, not a line has been written, not one moment spent with pen on paper, but it is marinating, taking form, and you already know how it will start. The protagonist will be in bed, no strike that, the protagonist will be on top of an intern, and you will have to say something about that at the reading as well, how if she, the intern, isn't digging the Peace Corps reference, connection, how will she feel when, if, she is there as you read the next book. Not that she is the model for that character, not remotely, no one truly is, the character is what interns, young women frankly, represent to the aging male, possibility, youth, vigor, freshness, all that is slipping away day by day, moment by moment. And yet she is the intern, will always be the intern, and she is all grown-up, and she will be hanging out with you tonight, having drinks, running around, because she is not so young any more, and does not work for you, and it means something, or says something, and you know that, even if you refuse to acknowledge or explore it except for on paper. You also know, that maybe you shouldn't even joke about it with her in the room, but you do, because its not her, or you, and you will keep saying that like a mantra, and then you write the book, actually write it, and the opening scene unfolds as you always thought it would, and now, now, you will read it, here, there, everywhere, and maybe, just maybe she will be around when you do.
I want to thank Ben for participating in TNBBC's Tell Me a Story. If you like what you've read, please support Ben by checking out his website and book. Help spread the word by sharing this post through your blog, tumblr page, twitter and facebook accounts. Every link counts! And be sure to check back with us next month for the next installment....