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1. The Pros and Cons about Newsletters for Authors by Lisa Fender...

First, I’d like to thank Sharon for asking me to post this article on her blog. I’ve always appreciated her support and kind words. Thank you, my Djen friend.

Sharon has asked me to talk about the pros and cons about newsletters for authors. Although there are both, the pros outweigh the cons three to one.

The first time I learned the importance of having an email list (newsletter) was probably seven or eight years ago when I was invited to attend a small writing conference near where I live in Denver. The speaker was Randy Ingermanson and he wrote “Writing Fiction for Dummies”.

He talked about building a “tribe” with your email list and the importance of building that list. I started out building my tribe, and since I was so far from actually publishing my book at the time, people lost interest. So did I.

As time went on, I became closer to finishing my first book and decided it was time to build my social media platform. I started a blog, and once the book was a few months from print, I began my presence on Facebook and Twitter. I completely forgot what I had been taught – an email list is the most imperative marketing tool.

Now, three years in, and my third book about to be published, I was slowly giving up. I didn’t think I would ever have a fan base. Facebook and twitter weren’t cutting it. I needed more exposure. So I did what I should have done a long time ago – I hired a private marketing guru. It is strictly through the Internet, but I am learning a lot. The most important of which, building an email list.

Yes, it is much harder to start an email list once you have several books out, but it can be done. You just need to utilize the program you’re working with for automatically generating the newsletters you write. In other words, you can set up several posts to go out when you want and to who you want. You also have to have two lists, or more depending. As you build your list you want to separate those who have previously joined and your new people because you won’t want to send your older list a newsletter that they’ve already received. Example: You sent out an intro to yourself and to your book to thirty people. Now twenty more have joined. You will want to send out the intro only to the new people.

Mail Chimp is who I use right now, but I’ve been told there are others with better programs – only you have to pay for them. Mail Chimp works fine for me and it’s free. And we all like free, right?!

Now, the pros and cons: The pros are building an email list will give you a more interactive relationship with your readers. You can probably count on quite a few of them to write reviews and become fans. You will get to know them, and they you, on a more personal level. This builds trust and loyalty. But one thing you need to keep in mind – you have to give them something for free right up front. My suggestion is a free download of your first book.

If your first book is not out yet, then cool swag, or maybe deleted scenes from your WIP, or just a few chapters are things you can give. Why do I say this? Because you want to get them interested in your books and hopefully take that next step – write a review. Reviews are everything to a self-published author. It pushes us up in the rankings with Amazon, which gives us more exposure.

As you build your email list, it is also important to give them a landing page. I suggest a website.

Now, cons: It can be a lot of work. But most good things are. If you set up your posts for automation, then it’s only one day a week or every other week of writing articles and setting them to post when you want. Just make sure to do your follow-ups.

The don’ts: Don’t only send out a newsletter a few times a year. People will forget who you are. I have done this myself and now I am starting over. I get the frustration and feelings of resignation. But it will all turn around if you put the effort into it.

Also, don’t only send out newsletters to announce your new books or covers. People won’t like it because to them you’re pushing a sale, nothing more. Yes, we are doing this to sell our books, but a more subtle approach is required and will help you to accomplish your goals of building a fan base and hopefully more reviews.

So that’s it. The pros of building an email list can make the difference in building your fan base and with reviews. You will interact more with your readers and hopefully gain friends along the way. The only con, it’s a lot of work initially. But well worth it in the long run.

Don’t give up on yourself or your books. You can use this tool successfully and eventually have a long list of people who love your work!

One more thing, I am giving away a digital download of my first book, Fable. It’s a series and book two will be out in a few months. If you would like to give it a read go to my website http://www.djenworld.com and get your copy today. I would love to have you read it and don’t forget to let me know if you liked it!

Thanks for everything Sharon, and if anyone has any questions I’ll be sure to answer back!

My Author Bio: I have wanted to write books since I was a child, but didn’t publish a book until I was much older. (Too old to put down my age) Before writing Fable I married my wonderful and very supportive husband, Rick. Had two kids, now two grandkids, and have lived most of my life in Colorado. No, I don’t have a degree in anything, but I am a licensed Aesthetician. I have, however, taken several classes about writing, and had a writing coach, then later, taught creative writing myself for two years. I’m still a WIP myself, but I’m always open and eager to learn.

You can find my books here:


And you can contact me here: https://www.facebook.com/FableBookI/

                                                 http://www.twitter.com/lisafender1


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2. Lynne North Interview

Thanks very much for the great interview provided by Paula Roscoe on her blog. Why not go on over and check it out? Paula welcomes all authors to appear on her fascinating blog.

Guest Author Blog

 

 

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3. Engineering Exciting Excerpts…

OMG, what's gonna happen next?
The task of engineering exciting excerpts is actually easy for a writer. You've already written it.  Now you just have to find it. An excerpt is typically 500 words, and for a short story about 200-250 words. The advice I have is general—pick an excerpt from the first third of your book. Told you it was easy! Although very rarely does that mean that you need to copy and paste the first five hundred words of your story and call it a day. For a short story? Yes—that's exactly what you do. But not a novel.

Why, you ask?  Well, that's inherent in the differences between long and short fiction. A successful short story begins with a strong hook. In order to sell a short story, you have to pull the reader in from the very first sentence. With a novel, the creation of the story comes along with a more deliberate pace. With a novel, you want to select a scene that sets up the story and above all makes the reader want to read MORE.

In other words—a cliff hanger.

Say you're writing a young adult romance novel. A good choice for any YA romance novel excerpt is a scene between the heroine and the hero. A first meeting, perhaps. A confrontation. The moment when the heroine first realizes that there's something different about this guy.
 
Say you're writing a middle grade fantasy novel. Pick a scene that jump starts the action. A fight. The moment when the hero realizes that he or she has a purpose to fulfill. The moment when everything changes.

Once you've decided on a scene, the real skill comes into play. You need to pick the moment of that scene where the reader absolutely has to know what happens next. And if the reader wants to know, what does he or she have to do? Buy the book. Which is, of course, the point.

So that's the kind of scene you want to choose for your excerpt.  And here's another little hint, too—if you DON'T have a moment like this in your book, then you have some work to do. Every good story should have a moment like this—several in fact. That's how you want to end a chapter, a POV section. That's a real cliffhanger—the excerpt, the paragraph, the SENTENCE that forces the reader to turn the page. The moment that the reader thinks, "Well, one more chapter won't hurt. I'll just read a little while longer." That moment is the holy grail for every story in existence. This is how writers should approach every excerpt they choose.

And one last thing—wait to pick your excerpt until an editor has gone through it with you and cleaned it up. The absolute worst thing that can happen here is for spelling and grammar errors to make it through to publication. Your excerpt, like your blurbis part of your sales strategy. You can't sell a car if the engine doesn't work, right?  Well, technique—grammar, spelling, structure—is the writer's engine.  It doesn't matter how great your story is, it's not going to run unless those techniques are there and sharp.

If you’re an author, how do you go about choosing excerpts? If you’re a reader, what makes you purchase a book based on its excerpt? Would love to hear your comments! Cheers and thank you for reading my post!

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4. COVER REVEAL!

And here, for the first time, is the cover of my latest children’s humorous fantasy to be released during 2016 by Crimson Cloak Publishing!

 

BCarefulWhatUWish4-FINAL FRONT

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5. DIY Bookmarks

In need of a bookmark? It’s easy enough to make your own in word. Use the cover of your favourite book, and with some minor adjustment here’s what you can come up with!

 

Book mark

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6. 3 Ways for Authors to Connect at Comic Cons…

Getting to know Dr. Evil
Ever been to a Comic Con? I attended and worked at my first one recently, and I have to say it’s not what I expected. Diehard fans swim through the aisles, wearing costumes of their favorite super hero or from their favorite video game or movie. And it’s scary. These fans are true-blue, focused, and know what they’re looking for when they come to spend their hard-earned money. While I was working the aisle with my boss, Justine from Mirror World Publishing, I made some mental notes and came up with three ideal ways that may help authors connect better when showing their wares at a Comic Con.

Make your name (brand) known.This is part of your author brand, so have a banner along the table or a poster looming behind you that explains who you are, what you’re selling, and what you’re all about. Signage is so important at Comic Cons and any event you attend as an author. So show’em what you got!

Sharing my wares!
Work the floor. I bought a costume specifically for this! I dressed up as Robin Hood (one of the characters in Book #1 of The Last Timekeepers series) and handed out chocolate gold coins or wrapped red licorice to people passing by. When working the floor at any Comic Con or event, you should use the three ‘Ses’. Stand. Smile. Small talk. Be approachable (hence the costume) and for goodness sake, create a connection so that people will remember you!

Give away promotional material.This is a no-brainer. People LOVE freebies! That’s why I like giving candy away at author events. Stock up on postcards with your book covers on the front and info about the book and you on the back. Don’t forget to sign them either! Bookmarks are also a favorite among giveaways for authors, and my publisher had plenty on hand that offered 15% off if you buy directly from their website. What a deal! Be creative with your giveaways, you never know when you’ve made a fan for life!

Boss lady ready for business!
One last thing. It helps if you’re an active member of your graphic novel/comic community. Your networking is solid and your foot is already in the door. People buy from authors they know and trust. The fan base is the meat and potatoes of a Comic Con. Create your own fan base by connecting with people at events such as Comic Cons, continuing to build your author brand, and being authentic in the way you treat and help others. Trust me, this goes a long way with people, and may just get you noticed!


Have you attended any Comic Cons in the past? If so, which ones? Did you attend as a fan or vendor? Would love to read your comments! Cheers and thank you for reading my blog!


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7. Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all those of you who have supported me in so many different ways throughout the year. 2016 should be a new beginning for me with my new publisher Crimson Cloak Publishing, and I’m hoping for a happy and successful relationship with them! Several books to be released this year, new as well as re-releases. Exciting times.CCP LOGO

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8. A Christmas message!

Here’s a great way to share your Christmas message!

Click on the link below to find out how.

Solve the puzzle to read the Christmas message!

All the best for Christmas and 2016, everyone! (The message you can solve is not this one!)

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9. Author Page

Would you like to know more about my new publisher and my books? If so please check out my author page!

CCP LOGO

 

Lynne North at Crimson Cloak Publishing

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10. Dan Hanna – Illustrator Interview

I am changing up my Wednesday series just a little today to join in Debbie Diesen and Dan Hannah’s blog & book tour of THE NOT VERY MERRY POUT-POUT FISH, the latest hardcover children’s picture book from The New York … Continue reading

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11. New book trailer for Emily and the Enchanted Wood!

Check out the book trailer for this fantasy adventure for children!

When in the enchanted wood, Emily finds she has a surprising connection with her little dog and all of the other animals.  When she discovers she needs to help rid the wood of marauding goblins, she must work with the animals to bring peace back to the woodland realm.

Front cover

 

View on YouTube

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12. Crimson Cloak Publishing Author- Rosita Bird

Interview Rosita Bird

Hi all. Are you ready to meet another ‘Crimson Cloak Publishing’ author? Today, we meet Rosita Bird.

 1)    Do you write books as a career, or are you currently still juggling your author time with a full or part time job?

I am retired from Childminding and working at a nursery. I am hoping this will be a new career for me.

2)    Have you always wanted to be an author, or did some time or event in your life set you on the path?

No. I had a mental breakdown in 2005 and as part of the therapy I went to a writing group which was mainly poetry. I enjoyed this. I then wrote my first book ‘Vegetables Count.’

3)    Do you always write in the same genre, or do you sometimes like a change of theme? If you haven’t already, is there another genre you would like to write?

Yes. Most of my books are for young children aged between 3 – 7. I am hoping to write two in the future about my journey through mental health. Also a true story about my parents, how they met. This will need some research as it involves my grandfather who was taken to a camp by Nazi’s during the Second World War from occupied Holland.

4)    As a writer, what is the best thing that has happened to you, and what is that most exciting thing that could happen to you?

I think possibly meeting John L. D. Barnett was good as he helped me get in with his publisher. He was originally going to do illustrations for me but he had a lot on and we had different ideas on illustrations for children. I have been congratulated by Jamie Oliver’s team for my healthy eating books for children and on their Pinterest site. I have also been endorsed by Simon Weston OBE. I have done two books for charity one local Animal Rescue Centre and Care After Combat.

5)    How do you view the promotion, book signings etc. Is it something you enjoy, or do you prefer the writing stage?

I am quite shy and uncomfortable with that sort of thing. I have done it locally. Navigo (Mental Health in Lincolnshire) supported me on my first launch.

6)   Could you tell us something about your published books, and let us know what they are about and where they are available?

 The Rabbit Who Wore Glasses   Smashwords link

Emma Tate and The Magic Plate (series to follow)

Link to Smashwords

Vegetables Count

Link to Smashwords

Link to Amazon

Fruits Count

Link to Smashwords

Link to Amazon

Charlie the Crocodile Who Couldn’t Catch A Cold (The Ark Animal Rescue)

Mummy Still Loves Me (a gentle book for children on mental health)

All these are in process with Crimson Cloak and presently with North Wall Publishing.

 

Rosita’s books on Amazon.

Link to Rosita’s books on Amazon

Rosita’s Facebook page

Rosita on Facebook

Books in process of illustrations are:-

Bobby’s Magic Wheels (hopefully a series)

The Elf’s Secret

Witch Wobblyknees and the Wibbly Wobbly Wand

Emma Tate Learns to Skate

Emma Tate and the Wriggly Bait

Emma Tate Gets Up Late

Emma Tate Gets Lost at the Fete

Mummy Still Loves Me to be re-illustrated

 

Sounds like you never have a dull moment, Rosita! It’s wonderful to have a career that you love so much. Long may you continue to produce such a varied collection of books. Lynne North.

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13. Look, Ma! A Book Trailer! Tips on How to Make an Effective Book Trailer

What is a book trailer and how can I get one?

Book trailers have become a popular part of modern book marketing campaigns. Just like movie or television show trailers, they are a great way of creating buzz and excitement for your soon to be best-selling book. There are many approaches to creating a successful trailer and I’ll be sharing with you some of my ideas.

But do book trailers really work?

Heck Yes, they do! Readers just don’t read… they watch, listen and immerse themselves in the audio-visual nature of popular culture.We live in a multimedia engulfed society, and neglecting visual-audio presentation tool is a big disadvantage to anyone working towards a career in writing and the arts. You are after all a story teller… and creating trailers is just one way of enhancing your audiences experience and emotional connection with the story. In addition, book trailers are great tools for sharing via social media due to its “stickyness” factor.

So let’s get on with it.

First thing is coming up with a plan for your trailer. What kind of trailer are you thinking of creating? What is your budget?

In this post we’ll talk about the different kinds of book trailers. I’ve broken it down into three easy to digest categories.

Let’s take a look.


Live action book trailer

These are the type of trailers that we typically see in movies. You’ll be working with real actors, directors, and video editors to create this slick production. This trailer works great if you want to create a realistic portrayal of your story. Just like a movie, you will have to cast the right actor to portray your characters and find a production team who will transform your vision from paper to screen. Bad acting and sloppy filming can negatively impact your presentation. So you might want to stay away from your nephew with a camera phone (Unless you’re going for that gritty camera phone look).

Think of your costs when producing a live action trailer… you’ll need to budget for actors, make up, equipment, costumes, video editing & production time and even location.

Try reaching out to your publishing company first and see if this type of production is in the budget. The alternative is to reach out to freelance artists or smaller firms who can create your trailer without breaking the bank. This usually means you have to slim down on your visual effects and only film the main scenes that will create the best impact with your audience.

Some writers like to go this route because they can also use the trailer as a tool for pitching their books to movie studios or producers. Not a bad idea, if you ask me.


 

Graphical trailer

These trailers are primarily composed of typographic and graphic animations with music and voice overs. Think of a slideshow on steroids. You can still create a fantastic trailer without having to blow out your marketing budget. I see a lot of books opting this direction and have done it with great success.

Going this route doesn’t necessarily mean that your trailer has to be a canned production. You can still personalize the trailer by using your own images, photography, and music. And if you’re working with a really good video editor, he can add motion that will make your trailer come to life as good as a live action trailer.

Keep in mind that audio plays a large part in creating the atmosphere of your trailer. Using sound and music properly can “mask” certain elements that you don’t show on screen. For example, in movies they will often use the sound of airplanes to create a airport scene… without showing the airplane itself. Think creatively!


 

Animated trailers

Animated trailers are a little in between live action and graphic trailers. It’s a mix of motion and movement with the use of animated characters… yet it doesn’t necessarily mean that it takes less time or money to produce.

It is also specialized in a way that it will probably be more effective for certain types of books (for example, children’s books or graphic novels and comics). Instead of actors, you now have to animate drawn characters and background scenes.

If you’re trying to create this type of trailer for a book that doesn’t utilize existing artwork (such as comics), then you will need an artist who will translate your stories and characters into a visual medium. Artists varying styles can also affect the atmosphere of your trailer, make sure to find someone who can portray the emotions you want.

 

Another factor to consider is how much control you want over the direction of your trailer. If your publishing house is producing the book trailer, they might want to hire a professional team who will create a script that works best to sell your book.

If you’re doing it guerrilla style (that means indie), then you have more control over your production. But at the same time you take on more of the burden and the responsibility for the end result — good or bad. Not everyone can be a director, yet with enough studying and dissection of existing trailers, you’ll slowly see the formula on how it’s done.

In the next blog post, I’ll talk a little bit more about the process of creating book trailers!

 

 

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14. Crimson Cloak Publishing Author-Brian O’Hare

Hi all. Hope you’re enjoying the Crimson Cloak Publishing author interviews!

With the release of his great page turner, The Doom Murders, today we meet the author Brian O’Hare

1. Do you write books as a career, or are you currently still juggling your author time with a full or part time job?
No, I only started writing books after I retired from full-time employment as Assistant Director of the Southern Regional College in Northern Ireland. So, no juggling, no career. Oh, that’s not quite true. Some juggling. I have to fit in three days of golf per week around any writing I do.

2. Have you always wanted to be an author, or did some time of event in your life set you on the path?
I have never actually intended to be a writer. When I was writing articles and reports relating to my profession that were being professionally published, it never occurred to me that I could be deemed a writer. Even when, early in my retirement, I was commissioned by the Department of Education and The University of Ulster to write book length reports, I still didn’t think that I was being a writer. I thought of myself as a researcher. I suppose when I wrote an account of my liver transplant – A Spiritual Odyssey – Spiritual Odyssey and found a publisher in Dublin, I thought, “Well, I’ve written a book. Maybe I’m a writer.”
My writing, if it can be described as that, has followed a strangely circuitous path. From writing articles for academic journals, I progressed to writing book length academic reports. From there, after a serious illness, I wrote to two religious books, one an autobiographic memoir, (A Spiritual Odyssey, see above) the other, The Miracle Ship – The Miracle Ship … a strange and incredible biography of a most extraordinary man, a miracle worker. Retired by now, and fancying a move to writing fiction, I was prompted by the widely-reported shenanigans of corrupt clergy in Ireland to write a contemporary fiction novel, Fallen Men. Fallen Men
And then, because my favourite genre for reading over the past several years has been crime thrillers, I thought I’d have a go at writing one of my own, et voila, there appeared The Doom Murders.

And now, there’s something happening in my writing life. I have found a publisher who is willing to publish all my stuff. Crimson Cloak Publishers is owned by a lovely lady called Carly McCracken. Carly liked The Doom Murders with its introspective but perspicacious Detective Chief Inspector Sheehan. She suggested a series. A series? Yeah, a series, and my immediate reaction was, ‘No way that’s possible. I’ve only written one detective book in my life. Where would I start?’

But guess what? I have completed Book Two of the Inspector Sheehan series: The 11:05 Murders. I thought initially I might have enough of a plot for about 50000 words but the final tally was 104500 words. Go figure! I am not sure when Carly will be able to get it out but I am hoping it won’t be much longer than about six or seven months from now. Not a soul has read it, not my wife, not any family members, not even the beta readers who were reading and commenting upon The Doom Murders during the process of my writing it. This time I wanted to hug the new story to myself. Don’t ask me why. Was it because The Doom Murders won a couple of awards and garnered 38 very positive reviews on Amazon.com and I’m afraid to let anyone see the sequel in case it doesn’t measure up? Maybe. Or as it because the plot this time is much more complex and I just wanted to be able to drift back and forward making multiple changes without having to reference them to anyone? That would probably be true. Or did I just want the thing to be whole and complete before anyone came to it? Whatever the reason, I am now totally without feedback. Other writers will recognise that that’s a scary place. Do I want feedback? Of course I do…but I’ll deal simply with Veronica Castle, Crimson’s Cloak’s indefatigable editor, and go by what she says. Fingers dutifully crossed…but that doesn’t mean that I’m not panickin’!

3. Do you always write in the same genre, or do you sometimes like a change of theme? If you haven’t already, is there another genre you would like to write?
As you would have gleaned from the answer to the last question, I have been jumping all over the place in terms of genres. But now that Crimson Cloak have specifically requested that I write a series of mysteries featuring Inspector Sheehan, I would say that I am pretty much settled on the crime fiction genre.

4. As a writer, what is the best thing that has happened to you, and what is that most exciting thing that could happen to you?
I believe that I mentioned earlier that I write in retirement. In many ways, that is a time of life when excitement isn’t a major factor in life. Nonetheless, I find the whole process of writing exciting, the challenge of completing a book and trying to give it that little edge that will make my work palatable to any reader. I got the fist glimpse of the preliminary draft of the cover for The Doom Murders a couple of nights ago. I experienced more than a twinge of excitement from that. Perhaps the most exciting thing that happened in recent times was being taken on by Crimson Cloak and being asked to write a series around a character that I admit I find interesting (even if I still don’t know him all that well.) Oh, I almost forgot. Three of my books have won awards (I won’t go into detail about them here) and one, The Doom Murders, has won three awards. That was a wee bit exciting. Oh, another thing. (That’s what happens when you start approaching a certain age…you start forgetting things.) Carly McCracken of Crimson cloak has asked me to set up a little marketing campaign to coincide with the launch of The Doom Murders (probably within a month from now). Solve the Mystery; Win a Prize. This whole process is exciting and continues to be. I offer now a brief explanation of what it is.
I have sent Carly a scenario that sets up the scene, provides background information, introduces the characters/suspects, and, at the end of this introduction, a murder takes place. This information will be offered to the general public via FaceBook, twitter, and various blogs. Each day thereafter further clues will be provided through a series of interviews with each of the suspects conducted by Inspector Jim Sheehan, one interview per day for five days. At the end of the sixth day, readers will be asked to identify the murderer, explain what clues led them to this conclusion, and write in detail how they believe the murder was carried out. Answers will be sent to a specific email address rather than posted on FaceBook for others to see. The three best answers (along with a complete explanation of how Sheehan solved the crime) will be published a day or so after the competition ends, and winners will each receive a copy of the newly printed The Doom Murders.
I’m a writer now. The answer to the second part of the question is what you Americans call ‘a no brainer’. The most exciting thing that could happen to me is to see people buying my books in numbers. I have had a slight taste of that with one of my non-fiction books, The Miracle Ship. 3000 copies printed and sold in the year or so that it has been in print, and still selling steadily away. Not huge numbers, certainly, but round enough to be vaguely gratifying.

5. How do you view the promotion, book signings etc. Is it something you enjoy, or do you prefer the writing stage?
I have never actually done a book signing. I would be terrified that I’d be sitting there all day and no one would turn up. The stuff of nightmares. Marketing, promotion, and all that goes with it is a chore, often costly, and seldom produces the results that are hoped for. Entering competitions has turned but to be a better bargain than I thought. The books that I have entered have all won awards of some sort. Not Pulitzers by any means, but recognition of sorts. Tweeting (and I have paid for, or won, dozens and dozens of them each week for I don’t know how long now) seems to be much less effective in persuading people to buy books than the ‘professional tweeters’ would lead one to believe. Marketing is hard. I would just love only to write and leave the marketing to the publisher and have nothing to do with it. But that’s not how the game is played. And so we keep trying.

6. Could you tell us something about your published books, and let us know what they are about and where they are available?
I’ve probably jumped the gun a bit on this one in my answer to question two. There are two very detailed explanations that offer information about how I came to write Fallen Men and The Doom Murders. It would take too long to recount these stories here. If anyone is interested, they can read them at this link: Blog
Briefly, however, Fallen Men Fallen Men is the story of three priests, focusing on one in particular. He is a handsome young man whose life spirals out of control when long-submerged memories of childhood abuse begin to surface. He seeks solace in a friendship with a beautiful seventeen-year-old-choir girl but this leads to a doomed love affair that ends in disaster. Fallen Men is to be published by Crimson Cloak Publishing in paperback later in 2015. It can be read on kindle, however, right now.
In The Doom Murders The Doom Murders prominent figures in Belfast are being murdered. The bodies are left naked and posed in grotesquely distorted shapes. No clues are left at the forensically immaculate crime scenes except odd theatrical props and some random numbers and letters concealed at each scene by the killer. How are the victims linked? What is the connection between these killings, the bible, and a famous mediaeval painting of The Last Judgement? Chief Inspector Jim Sheehan is stretched to his limits in the quest to unmask and stop this killer. The Doom Murders is out now in paperback from Crimson Cloak for the run-up to Christmas, 2015.

Great answers, Brian! Thanks very much for taking the time to introduce us to your fantastic books. As the proud owner of a signed copy of The Doom Murders I am really enjoying reading it!   Lynne North.

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15. Crimson Cloak Publishing Author- Cynthia MacGregor

Interview Cynthia MacGregor

Hi all. Here we have another ‘Crimson Cloak Publishing’ author interview! Today, we meet Cynthia MacGregor.

1)    Do you write books as a career, or are you currently still juggling your author time with a full or part time job?

I have been a full-time freelance writer/editor for more years than I can count, but just this year I took on some pretty heavy if part-time responsibilities for a publisher of children’s books, including but not limited to editing, which led to my being named publisher of a new imprint of that company, which aims at an audience of adults.

That said, however, the writing portion of my freelance writing/editing was never just books. I have been hired by clients to write such diverse items as press releases, web copy, business letters, scripts for promotional videos, ads, a marriage proposal (!), poetry, and—logically enough—ghostwritten books. (Whew!) And that’s not a complete list, either.

My editing encompasses both books and other materials, and the book editing I do has been both for authors and for publishers. In spite of all this other work, though, I have managed to get over 100 books published (don’t ask me the exact number—I stopped counting at 100), and, like the Energizer Bunny (whom I’m often compared to), I’m still going.

2)    Have you always wanted to be an author, or did some time or event in your life set you on the path?

I have always loved writing, from the time I could spell C-A-T, but my childhood ambition, up through my junior year of high school, was to act on the Broadway stage. Unfortunately, I had Tourette Syndrome, which was totally misdiagnosed. It wasn’t till I was in my early 30s that I finally knew what my problem really was. So anyhow, in my junior year of high school, I tried out for the junior class play (the junior and senior classes put on plays for fund-raisers; the freshman and sophomore classes sold magazine subscriptions) and lost out on the lead (or any part at all) because of my mis-diagnosed medical problem. Tradition held that the morning the parts were announced, those selected would find a script on their homeroom desk. There was never, however, any recoourse if you were not selected, nor any explanation given. In a break with tradition, the faculty advisor to the play sought me out the morning the parts were given out and explained that although I had read best for the part, they were afraid to give me the part because of my “condition” and had instead awarded the lead to my arch-rival. I got no part at all.

It was a stunning blow. In that one instant I realized that if I couldn’t even get a part in the junior play in high school, I had no hope of making it on Broadway. I knew then that I had to re-think my career choice.

Writing had always been my second love, but resultant from the crush of being passed over for the play, and because I was made fun of by some of the kids in school, my self-confidence sagged. I wasn’t sure I had what it took to be a writer. It took a few years before I started to take my craft seriously and attempt to sell my work.

 3)    Do you always write in the same genre, or do you sometimes like a change of theme? If you haven’t already, is there another genre you would like to write?

Good grief—if you’ll check out my website at www.cynthiamacgregor.com, you’ll see that I’m all over the place in terms of genre. In the first place, I never wanted to be a one-trick pony. And in the second place, I can’t think of any subject on which I could have written over 100 books! I write for both adults and kids, and both nonfiction and fiction—and cookbooks, which are assuredly nonfiction but feel like they’re a separate category unto themselves.

Although my writing is diversified, I think that nonfiction for adults comprises the largest segment of my output.

There is a downside to such diversification, however: It’s harder to build a following when your work is all over the place like that. Just because someone likes my nonfiction for adults doesn’t mean they’re going to want to read my novels, or vice-versa, and just because a parent appreciates some of my books that his/her kids are enjoying doesn’t mean he or she is going to read my nonfic works for adults. Even strictly within adult nonfiction, someone inspired by one of my inspirational/motivational books (e.g. Don’t Quit While You’re Ahead or What’s Stopping You?!) isn’t necessarily going to want to read my humor (e.g. Life Behind the Office, Dust Bunnies Ate My Socks, or Betcha Didn’t Know). And so on.

4)    How do you view the promotion, book signings etc. Is it something you enjoy, or do you prefer the writing stage?

I enjoy meeting the reading public as well as fellow authors and emerging authors, but a lot of the aspects of promo, especially arranging for the promo, are a PITA. For example, I enjoy the book-signings, and public speaking, and talking to the attendees, but I loathe the endless hours spent trying to arrange the signings, readings, speaking engagements, radio/TV spots, and such, and the frequent turn-downs or simply no-responses.

I am on the board of an organization called 4 Authors by Authors (read the “4” as “For”), serving established, emerging, and hopeful authors in South Florida (my home territory), and I have been tapped as a speaker at both of the all-day events the organization has held so far. I enjoy addressing the attendees and giving them talks that are both informational and motivational. These appearances are more likely to land me ghosting gigs or editing gigs than to sell tons of books, but it’s all good.

I am comfortable doing public speaking. (Comfortable? Hell, I enjoy it!)

I guess I enjoy both the writing and the appearances, but not the time spent chasing all those people who might (but probably won’t, in most cases) give me a write-up, a broadcast interview, or a chance to promote my books in some other venue.

5)    Could you tell us something about your published books, and let us know what they are about and where they are available?

LOL—you really don’t want me to list ’em all, do you? Of course, some of my books are out of print by now, but some are in their second lives. Having gone out of print with the rights reverted to me, they have been repubbed in some cases. All the ones still in print or re-pubbed are available on Amazon.com, and you can read more about all of them on my website: www.cynthiamacgregor.com.

Three of my recently published books are:

Don’t Quit While You’re Ahead, motivational/inspirational. Crimson Cloak Publishing. Why stop just because you’re successful or have accomplished what you wanted to in life? There is more success to be had, more worlds to conquer, more satisfaction waiting for you. Grab it—it’s yours for the taking!

Don’t Quit While You’re Ahead

Everybody’s Little Book of Everyday Prayers, non-sectarian religious. MSI Press. Regardless of what your religious affiliation is, or if you have none at all, if you want to commune with your Creator and turn everyday occasions into special occasions and recognize special occasions through prayer, here are the words you are seeking—for both adults and their kids.

Everybody’s Little Book of Everyday Prayers

Heartfelt, the Special Reindeer, picturebook for kids who still believe in Santa. AcuteByDesign. Heartfelt is not only a “special” reindeer, with the power to see inside people’s hearts and know their most heartfelt wishes; she is also a “special needs” reindeer: Her rear legs are way shorter than her front legs, and her back slopes sharply downward. Heartfelt’s own most heartfelt wish is to be a regular member of Santa’s team and not just one of his “backup reindeer,” who join the team only if one of the regulars gets sick. Meanwhile, Santa is very troubled because of a sad little boy named James. Can Heartfelt solve Santa’s problem with her special talent? This heartwarming story introduces a new character, Heartfelt, to the Santa legend. Heartfelt is sure to win your heart.

Heartfelt, the Special Reindeer

 

All these books and many more are available on Amazon.com or through my website, www.cynthiamacgregor.com

 

Thanks so much for such an honest and interesting look into your life, Cynthia. You clearly have a great dedication to writing, and such a varied collection! Best of luck for continued success. Lynne North

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16. Book Cover Competition

My book cover has reached the semi-finals in a great competition run by the Authorsdb website. I would be very grateful if anyone would be willing to follow the link to the site and vote for my cover, if you think it deserves it! Thank you very much if you can.

Vote here please!

Caution - cover FINAL with quote from Piers

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17. Christmas Charity Anthology for Children!

Out today on Smashwords published by Crimson Cloak Publishing, soon to be released on Amazon Kindle then in paperback. Charity anthology of children’s stories, including two short tales of mine! ALL proceeds to charity. Makes a lovely stocking filler.

Santa's Little Helpers Anthology-Cover

Buy here on Smashwords

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18. Crimson Cloak Publishing Author- Peter Streitz

Hi all. Hope you’re enjoying the ‘Crimson Cloak Publishing’ author interviews! Today, we meet Peter Streitz.

Do you write books as a career, or are you currently still juggling your author time with a full or part time job?

 If you mean by career . . . is writing the only truly productive thing I do then the answer is yes. If you mean is writing what I do for a living and\or income—then the answer is no. HouseHusbandry is my formal occupation. My employer is a female business executive.

Have you always wanted to be an author, or did some time or event in your life set you on the path?

 The person I didn’t know always wanted to be a writer. But the person I did know became a corporate man in the computer industry. Then some thirty years ago the person I didn’t know viciously attacked the person I did know—in a life and death struggle—forcing the known into act of professional suicide . . . only to be saved and resurrected in the world of the unknown. i.e. authorship

Do you always write in the same genre, or do you sometimes like a change of theme? If you haven’t already, is there another genre you would like to write?

 When it’s literary fiction the theme is always me, you, and the other . . . meaning it’s always reality as fiction– which pretty much covers every genre, except cookbooks.

 As a writer, what is the best thing that has happened to you, and what is that most exciting thing that could happen to you?

 Best: that I married an insanely dedicated patron and the fates planted Carly McCracken along my path. Most exciting: make them both happy.

 How do you view the promotion, book signings etc. Is it something you enjoy, or do you prefer the writing stage?

 I’m extremely excited about taking any stage with my writing and signing anything that promotes my hellaciously written words.

 Could you tell us something about your published books, and let us know what they are about and where they are available?

 My book of poetry HELLFIRES SHAKE THE BLUES is verse that kills the poetic flies of fantasy with the cannonballs of the street.

Buy from Crimson Cloak Publishing

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Smashwords

They’re also at Barnes and Noble, Apple through Smashwords, and BooksAMillion and other places by being on Amazon, but there are too many places to list.

My novel PAST OZ is about—where we all end up in our lives—when we’ve had enough life experience to actually decide the direction we have always wanted (consciously or subconsciously) to go regardless of our inherited race, creed, color, coincidences and\or circumstances . . . both fortunate or unfortunate. PAST OZ is one man’s break from what he and those in his sphere, most solemnly, believe to be his lot in life. And going PAST OZ is that second, self-determined, shot at life regardless of all prevailing wisdoms within ones world.

Buy from Amazon

 

Thanks for your impressive and amusing answers, Peter. Here’s hoping your success not only continues, but grows too! Lynne North

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19. The Book Awards Kindle Winner July 2015

And the winner of The Book Awards top Kindle book for July 2015 is…

 

Kindle Winner July15

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20. Blurb Blinging 101…

NOTE: Originally posted on the Emblazon website.

Blurbs. Stop groaning. You know you need one to help promote and market your book. And if you do up a blurb correctly, have an eye-catching cover, and wrote a great story, then you’ve done your job. The blurb is one of the most important marketing tools in getting your book ready for publication. In fact, you've already got a version of your blurb done—the synopsis in your query letter is essentially the same thing as a blurb. Here again, though, there are some significant differences. With a query letter, you're relating the entire plot. With a blurb, you want to entice the reader—to get them engaged with your story so they can come along as you unravel the plot for them. So here again—while the forms look very similar, their purpose is quite different.

Here's a surefire method to develop a quick, cohesive blurb. THINK THREE PARAGRAPHS. In the FIRST paragraph, introduce your main character. Now in the SECOND paragraph, introduce your secondary character— a BFF, love interest or antagonist—and the conflict. Remember, the conflict is what drives your plot.

Then in the THIRD paragraph, you bring it all together. This is where you pose a question to the reader—maybe not a straight out QUESTION but a rhetorical one. You want to give the reader a sense of urgency regarding the plot—what will happen if the characters' attempt to resolve the plot fails. In other words, what the stakes are.

The blurb in its entirety tells its own little story—and that's what keeps people buying and reading this book. You want to set up the protagonist, the conflict, the obstacles to resolving that conflict and to give the reader a sense of the risks involved in failure. What you've done is to create a microcosm—a tiny example of what your book—the macrocosm—is.
 
Writing a successful blurb is a test of any writer's skills. It's darn hard to filter down sixty thousand words into five hundred. But this is a skill a successful writer must learn to do. Throughout your career, whether this is your lone book or the first of hundreds, whether you stay in independent publishing or whether you move on to the Big Six, you MUST LEARN to write effective taglines and blurbs that work. That sell. Your. Book.

Below is the blurb to the prequel of my time travel series, Legend of the Timekeepers, just re-released on August 1stthrough Mirror World Publishing. Although I didn’t use three paragraphs, I used all the information stated above. Let me know what you think:

Lilith was a young girl with dreams and a family before the final destruction of Atlantis shattered those dreams and tore her family apart. Now refugees, Lilith and her father make their home in the Black Land. This strange, new country has no place in Lilith’s heart until a beloved high priestess introduces Lilith to her life purpose—to be a Timekeeper and keep time safe.

Summoned through the seventh arch of Atlantis by the Children of the Law of One, Lilith and her newfound friends are sent into Atlantis’s past, and given a task that will ultimately test their courage and try their faith in each other. Can the Timekeepers stop the dark magus Belial before he changes the seers’ prophecy? If they fail, then their future and the earth’s fate will be altered forever.

Intriguing? I hope so! If you’re an author how do you go about creating blurbs? And if you’re a reader, what blurbs have caused you to make that book purchase? Love to hear your comments! Cheers! 

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21. 50-Word Stories

A very, very short story published on the 50-Word Stories website!

LYNNE NORTH: Progress

August 27, 2015 Artistic, Submissions civilization, Lynne North, nature, tree

‘People pass; most don’t notice my existence.

I lived through two world wars, bearing witness to horrors. I harmed no one.

Yet they want me gone.

They come to end my life. I hear the saws, suffer the cuts in my trunk. Soon I will fall.

They call it progress.’

 

Lynne North writes humorous fantasy novels for children. She decided it was time she tried something else…

 

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22. Giving a Little Love to NF


Sometimes, when we think of promoting or handselling books to kids in our reader's advisory work, we concentrate overwhelmingly on our fiction collections. But it's worth giving some attention to non-fiction as well as we help kids. It not only increases circulation in that collection area but also is eye-opening and interest-opening for kids.

There has been so much attractive non-fiction published over the past ten-twenty years, it's easy to put kids and information books together. Just looking at the bright, attractive wealth of independent non-fiction titles, there's alot to promote.

[[True confession: I am seriously addicted to non-fiction. It has long been my favorite collection development area as well as the type of reading I am most passionate about.]]

We have had success highlighting non-fiction over the years that has tempted kids into trying -and liking - these dewey-ed books. Here are just a few ways:

NF Book Bundles - 3 or 4 non-fiction books on a subject that includes a bright label (Big Teeth; Strong People: Heroes; Science; Let's Build) let's us mix and match attractive NF from different subject categories together. These mini-bundles are fun to create and popular with kids.

Booktalks - when we booktalk to groups or at schools we always mix nonfiction and fiction titles together, often looking for a common subject theme. It's a great spot to include poetry and biographies as well!

Face-out Displays - Lots of it! As staffers work their way through non-fiction, I always encourage them to bypass the formulaic, series non-fiction and instead look for interesting subjects; eye-candy covers and titles that might pique the interest of kids. The more we replace a book in empty spaces, the better it is - it means kids are grabbing the good stuff!

Class or Day Care Collection Packs - putting non-fiction with fiction selections in packs that go out to daycares or classrooms is a great way to promote information books. I always look for short books with easily digested info-bits to tempt readers to pick up a non-fiction.

Stealth/Passive Initiatives - we make sure non-fiction gets a space in these. Whether it's pick-a-stick, gnomes on both fiction AND non-fiction collections, or NF included in Mystery Read bags, we make sure we don't stay fiction-centric in our support of great books.

Reader's Advisory - when kids are looking for books, we also check with them on subjects they are interested in and head over to non-fiction as well as fiction. Kids who love fantasy books often gravitate to medieval history books; steampunkers see how inventions are linked to their genre love; etc. And when fiction and graphic novels can't satisfy a reluctant reader, delving into a non-fiction subject area of interest often does the trick to spark some reading enthusiasm.

What has worked for you to highlight your non-fiction? I'd love to hear about it in the comments!


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23. Crimson Cloak Publishing Author-Jane Finch

Today starts a series of interviews with fellow authors of Crimson Cloak Publishing. Hope you enjoy their interviews! First we meet Jane Finch.

1) Do you write books as a career, or are you currently still juggling your author time with a full or part time job?

After working for over thirty years and dreaming of the time I could retire and just write – I am now living the dream!

2) Have you always wanted to be an author, or did some time or event in your life set you on the path?

I’m not sure I always visualised it as being an author, but I have always needed to write. Even from a young age I would sit and write stories rather than go out to play with other kids my age. When I had my son I used to take him into the local forest to watch the squirrels. I would make up stories about what they were doing and then he asked me to write them down so he could read them and I decided to write my first book – which was about squirrels.

3) Do you always write in the same genre, or do you sometimes like a change of theme? If you haven’t already, is there another genre you would like to write?

I started out writing children’s books and then decided to try my hand at writing adult novels. I now have sixteen published books including crime thrillers, historical, children’s and a book of comical poems about chickens!

4) As a writer, what is the best thing that has happened to you, and what is that most exciting thing that could happen to you?

It has to be my first book, which was published by a traditional publisher back in 1998. The thrill of holding the book was incredible. It’s a children’s animal adventure and I’ve scripted it so the most exciting thing that could happen is that it would be made into an animated film.

 5) How do you view the promotion, book signings etc. Is it something you enjoy, or do you prefer the writing stage?

This is the hardest for me. I prefer to sit in a quiet room and just write and am not comfortable with self-promotion. I have done some radio promotion and I don’t mind writing some press releases when a new book comes out, but I struggle to put myself out there. I even cringe if I post my book on Facebook. I’m not an ideal candidate for a literary agent or a publisher who expects massive self-promotion.

6) Could you tell us something about your published books, and let us know what they are about and where they are available?

Well, as there are sixteen I don’t want to bore your readers with listing all of them, but they are all on my website http://www.finchlark.webs.com/ I teamed up with an illustrator and we produced a number of children’s picture books; then there are three crime thrillers one of which – The Black Widows – I am scripting. My most recent book is something I have always wanted to write – a Christmas special. Twelve Days to Save Christmas has a little bit of magic and a shape-shifting elf, a mean mayor, and lots of animals. It’s published through Crimson Cloak Publishing. All my books are on Amazon. Twelve Days to Save Christmas

Thank you, Jane. I had the pleasure of reading your Christmas book, and a lovely tale it is. What an accomplished writer you are! Wishing you continued success. Lynne North

 

 

 

 

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24. Crimson Cloak Publishing Author-Paula Roscoe

Hi all. Hope you’re enjoying the ‘Crimson Cloak Publishing’ author interviews! Today, we meet Paula Roscoe.

1) Do you write books as a career, or are you currently still juggling your author time with a full or part time job?

I write part time purely because I have a daughter with Autism and Dyspraxia so I can only write when she is in school. I also hold regular healing workshops so it takes time to organise and facilitate those. I consider myself as an author and it is a career I have decided upon, however everything else is important to me and so I try to focus fifty- fifty on my career as an author and workshop facilitator whilst being Mum, wife, goddess the rest of the time! For now I am happy and that’s what’s important.

 2) Have you always wanted to be an author, or did some time or event in your life set you on the path?

 As a fourteen year old I had been writing short stories for years but also enjoyed massaging and messing around with make-up. I couldn’t decide which path to take, so flipped a coin, beauty therapy won. I became a holistic therapist but writing never went away. It wasn’t until the death of our son eighteen years ago that I began to focus my life into writing. The peace and joy I get from it as I delve into my imagination cannot be described; however I am also glad I am a therapist and counsellor as it helps me with all aspects of my life. It’s wonderful having variety.

3) Do you always write in the same genre, or do you sometimes like a change of theme? If you haven’t already, is there another genre you would like to write?

My main theme is supernatural and historical. I love all things spooky as I am a medium, so it’s always been a part of my life. History is fascinating to me. Being adopted I don’t have any history past my 44 years so I love delving into other people’s!!

I do occasionally like to have a go at short stories that have nothing paranormal in them which always surprises my husband! I am also finishing a novella titled ‘Diary of Margery Blake’ which isn’t supernatural, but follows the life of a woman in the 19th century when women were mere pawns in rich family’s affairs.

4) As a writer, what is the best thing that has happened to you, and what is that most exciting thing that could happen to you?

Gosh, so many wonderful things happen, it’s hard to choose one! Possibly the day ‘Echoes’ won the Paris book awards for the best e-book – that was pretty wonderful. Being taken on by two American publishers is also brilliant, but every time a reader contacts me or comes to a book signing and tells me one of my books made them feel an emotion – that is probably the best.

I’m working on Echoes screenplay – to have it made into a film or two part drama would be a dream come true, so I keep sending out positive thoughts because so many people have said it would make a brilliant film – so Ron Howard, get in touch!

 5) How do you view the promotion, book signings etc. Is it something you enjoy, or do you prefer the writing stage.

I love the writing stage obviously. I could lose myself in my head all day if I didn’t have other responsibilities! I am terrible at marketing, but I love to contact other authors, swop reviews, be interviewed by kind people and somehow, it works. I’ve been on radio shows in America and have one coming up in my own county of Flintshire, North Wales on 25th. I’ve been in lots of magazines and blogs and met so many wonderful people. However, book signings and chatting to people is my favourite. I meet the readers who have honoured me by buying my book, it is humbling and I get emotional just thinking about it.

6) Could you tell us something about your published books, and let us know what they are about and where they are available?

Echoes is a supernatural thriller set in a fictional village outside of Shrewsbury, England. It moves between present day and 15th century when Henry Tudor claimed the throne. There were many casualties of war, but some refuse to be forgotten.

Bronwen Mortimer moves to a secluded cottage hoping to start a new life after suffering years of abuse, but the echoes of the land will not lie quietly and when she witnesses a horrific murder, she must face the past and win to have any chance of living in the present.

Link to Echoes

Freya’s Child is a paranormal, historical fiction set on the Wirral. England. What would a parent do to save their child? Fight the dead? Defy the gods?

Helen Gunn moves to Frankby, England with her estranged husband Robert and their young daughter Charlotte in an attempt to save their marriage. When Charlotte starts talking with invisible friends and dark shadows roam the house, Helen must face her worst nightmare and win.

Einaar had never questioned the old ways, but when his child is accused of bringing death to his village, he must face the wrath of his people to save his family.

An archaeological dig has unearthed a Viking village. The gods have woken.

Link to Freya’s Child

Adventures of Faerie folk – Volume one is a magical collection of four faerie stories for young children. Each story teaches morals and how to live in harmony with nature – or there will be consequences!

I wrote these stories plus many more for my daughter when she was younger. I wrote ‘The Rose Faerie’ for her to show her that being different is okay.

All books are available on Amazon. Echoes is also available on CFA website and will soon be available in various retail stores in America. Freya’s Child will also soon be available on Crimson Cloak Publishing.

Link to Adventures of Fairy folk

 

They sound fascinating books, Paula. I’m intrigued too by the fact that you are a medium! The supernatural is a great interest of mine. Best of luck with all your writing! Lynne North.

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25. Crimson Cloak Publishing Author-Barbara Weitzner

Hi all. Hope you’re still enjoying the ‘Crimson Cloak Publishing’ author interviews! Today, we meet Barbara Weitzner.

1)      Do you write books as a career, or are you currently still juggling your author time with a full or part time job?

I am retired and have started writing as a means to fill my time

2)      Have you always wanted to be an author, or did some time or event in your life set you on the path?

It took me eighty years to discover I wanted to write.

3)     Do you always write in the same genre, or do you sometimes like a change of theme? If you haven’t already, is there another genre you would like to write

I have written three novels, approx 15 short stories (some of which have been published, one which came in third in Writer’s Digest 2015 contest. Every story uses a different genre.

4)      As a writer, what is the best thing that has happened to you, and what is that most exciting thing that could happen to you?

As a writer, the best thing that has happened to me is joining a writing group and meeting some really wonderful, talented writers.

5)      How do you view the promotion, book signings etc. Is it something you enjoy, or do you prefer the writing stage?

The promotion is not enjoyable. I do not like to talk about myself, prefer creating interesting characters and unusual situations.

6)     Could you tell us something about your published books, and let us know what they are about?

My three published novels are available on Amazon, kindle, nook and e-book.

The Most Glorious Thing Ever-

Building a successful advertising agency has crowded out Jack’s sons and his feelings for them are more of exasperation and disappointment than of pride. Jack loves his wife, but has spent his cheerless life stumbling through sexual frustration and knows nothing of passion or deceit, until he embarks on a love affair with Lilly Lowery, canny, bawdy, thrice-divorced, and twenty-nine years his junior. Jack hires Lilly to represent a major new account at his advertising firm. Soon, Lilly has the office personnel sprinting back and forth to meet her demands. Jack finds himself being pulled further and further into Lilly’s world.

But all cheaters cause chaos. Jack learns there is no pleasure without a price. The longer his deception, the easier that deception becomes, until, in the end, it is his deception that forever alters his life.

The Most Glorious Thing Ever

A NEW START-

You plan your life, you look forward to retirement.

To those who have dreamed of this time—and who has not?—you will find all that is human unfolding in this portrait of three couples— each with their own irresistible appeal, dark and painful secrets, deceit and courage. Each struggles to recover lost happiness in a new setting.

Ben and Sara Horne have lived a life without gratifying sex.

Dominick and Valerie Califano suffered a crushing financial setback.

An incalculable weight has crippled the marriage of Neal and Isobel Storrie, the bitter knowledge that Neal failed to protect his son from harm.

What happens when they meet and become friends and to what extraordinary degree their dreams become matching ones, is the main subject of my, plot.

A New Start

THE PARRADINE ALLURE-

Angel Califano has planned her life, laid it out with precision. But what she doesn’t expect is every possible circumstance.

It is through her zeal for fame and wealth that Angel, Public Defender for the District of Colombia, attempts to define herself by marrying into a prominent Washington family. But the Parradine family does not accept her. Compounding her unhappiness, Angel realizes she is being stalked by a felon she has defended. Her marriage becomes a lie when she takes her only ally, her husband’s brother, as a lover, and learns that there is no illicit pleasure without a price paid, no protection from catastrophe.

The Parradine Allure

Wow! You have done so well after your late start as a writer. I admire your decision to follow your heart and make such a go of it! Hope you continue to love writing so much. Lynne North.

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