Monday, August 29, 2011

Bon Voyage!

Hi everyone!

So it's finally here.  We are heading out on vacation for 2 weeks.  Can't wait to get back and continue posting author interviews, but I think this is a well deserved break from the internet!

Hope all is well with you while I'm gone. 


PS: don't forget to comment on the few questions I added.  I would love to get a discussion going among authors to help those we are tossing around the idea of pursuing a career as an author might get some insider info.  Thanks so much!

Author Interview: Brian Bianco

Self Published Authors would like you to meet Brian Bianco.  His interview is lengthy but full of fantastic advice!  Sit back and get ready for a good read.  Thanks so much for being willing to take the time to share your insight Brian!

Author Name:  Brian Bianco (website:
                                                   (FB fan page:

 Book Title:  Dressed for a Kill

Book Price:,, $12.99 (Paperback),  $7.99 Kindle eBook.  It's also available at in eBook form for the B&N Nook and the Sony Reader for $7.99.

Where can we find Dressed for a Kill? You can find it at, ( (                                                                                 (
and (

How would you describe your novel?  'Dressed for a Kill' is a fast moving murder mystery that will take the reader on a roller coaster ride from beginning to end. The best part of reading a murder mystery is trying to figure out who dunnit before the author actually tells us. In 'Dressed for a Kill', even though we find out who the killer is, I leave the reader still guessing as to what is what and who was really involved. Characters and their dialogue are what drive a story. In 'Dressed for a Kill', the characters are as real as every day life: internally bruised, quirky, at times sarcastic, at times moody, pig headed when they think they are right, passionate when the situation arises and yes, flawed liked all of us. The storyline could easily take place today because the motive behind it and the means that was used to carry it out is both plausible and real. There is no make-believe in this novel, not far-fetched ideas that will make the reader wince but real research and hard fact that went into developing this story.

I'm a huge fan of murder/mystery books.  How do you feel Dressed for a Kill stands out among the crowd? I think it's a real good novel otherwise I wouldn't have published it. I worked on this book for a long time in order to make sure I got it right the first time, because you only get one chance to present your best to the public. It's like first impressions when you go for that job interview. I took a year to write it, a couple more to edit (off and on because as the author, you can get pretty bored and tired from reading the same thing over and over to the point where you loose your objectiveity) before I sent it to an editor to do the final edit. This is what my editor had to say about my book:
"Overall I felt that the book has interesting and relatable characters, and there are some nice plot twists along the way. The overall structure is solid."

"I really like the newsman angle you're going with for the Miles character. You do a good job of putting the reader in the newsroom, and the character of Miles has good depth and texture. I particularly liked how you developed the
character of Bruno Carboni. He has real struggles and deep flaws, yet you do a great job of creating a sense of sympathy for him. He has a unique personality and is a very memorable character. I also thought that some of the minor
characters were particularly nicely done and add nice texture to the story, including Tammy and Jimbo at the Foxhole bar, Anthony Torricelli at the newspaper, old man Jenkins at the gas station, and Brooke Whitney. Though their
roles are brief, they are all unique, distinctive characters in their own right, and they definitely contribute a sense of depth to the story."

"Overall I felt that the dialogue is one of the strongest elements of the novel. In general, the dialogue is well paced, purposeful, serves to move the plotline forward (no problems with empty dialogue that just fills space), and sounds
like realistic, natural speech. In particular, I thought you did a great job with the snappy, fast-paced scenes that rely heavily on dialogue to advance the plot."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      . . . Jessica

The reviews that I have received are really positive. What follows are some excerpts of what they had to say.
". . . a gripping, suspense thriller, . . . a devious page turner, . . . the story is unique and instantly engages you. The characters are smart and well thought out, . . . I picked it up, turned the page and did not finish until the last word
was read. A must read, . . . the plot of this book is extremely well planned out. The ending is superb, . . . powerful, with a main character you love to hate, . . . I give it 5 stars, 6 if I could."

You can read the full reviews either from my website or from their actual posted page by clicking on the links. All the details are at my website. Summing it all up, I didn't write a book just for the sake of making money. I
wrote the book because I knew I could write and I could write a good book that would engage the reader. New writers I find always bring something fresh to read to those who love books, new twists, a storyline from a different
angle, a merging of ideas to offer a different take on something that has already been written because let's face it, everything that can be written has already been done. The thing is to find a new and different way to engage your
audience and to being it forward from a new and different perspective. That's the secret.  You can read the first 10 chapters of 'Dressed for a Kill' by downloading the PDF file from my website at and I hope you will read it when you are in the mood to read a good novel. I also have a book contest currently running. All one has to do is read the first 10 chapters, answer the 10 easy questions, one pertaining to each chapter, be one of the first 10 people to email me the answers and then receive a FREE EBOOK copy in the format of your choice.

Do you have any life experiences that helped you write your novel?  In the story, the main character, Miles Fischer, has some personal problems that are affecting his relationship with his wife. The problems he encounters were actually taken from my own experience, which to some may be hard to believe but pregnancy is not a mistake, especially in this day and age. The how and why was a good fit because the storyline is as real life as any story can be and this part made it even more so. As for the rest of the story I did a lot of research and took note from all the books that I have read as to what made a story flow and what made it interesting from the reader’s perspective.

Does Dressed for a Kill read more like an episode of CSI, a Sherlock Holmes novel or something entirely different? I've never watched CSI so I can't comment since I prefer comedies over everything else besides English Detective stories but I have read Sherlock Holmes but that was a long time ago. I never really thought of my book in this way but if I had to choose, I would say it reads more like a John Grisham novel. It's not overly descriptive with character description that can bore the reader other than what is important. No over use of metaphors (which have been so over used) or emphasis on the weather or what the scenes look like other than to give you a compact view so you don't get bogged down to where you want to skip pages because you forgot what the story was about, which has happened to me as a reader. I stuck to the story and made sure it flowed nicely and moved forward instead of moving laterally and boring the reader which can happen if we, as authors, don't watch what we're doing. I believe that as a writer we have to leave something for the reader to add in the way of their own imagination so that they can connect with the storyline and its characters. It makes them part of the story as creators. I believe it's what we all do in some form or another and that's how we connect even more to what we are watching or to what we are reading or what we have read. How many  times have we read a book and then watched the movie only to find the characters are different from what we imagined in the book and that we actually preferred our own interpretation of who and what they look like?
How did you go about creating Miles Fischer? I used some of my own traits to build his character, which I hope is a good reflection of me but I did have one person who read the book describe Miles as "as a main character you love to hate" and that was from a guy. It had me rethinking where I went wrong because that's not how I thought I was portraying that particular character. He's likeable but he also comes with flaws, like all of us. It would be nice to be perfect but then that would only make us boring.

What is one unique fact that you'd like your readers to know about you?  That I worked very hard on this novel to make sure it was something I would be proud of putting my name on and that I wrote what I believe is a good story that will keep the reader engaged until they have read the last page. Every writer starts out as an unknown to his or her audience but that is all they are, unknown. The one thing I hope they take from this interview is that they will give us a CHANCE like they did to those writers who are now household names. Everyone has to start at the beginning, at that point where nobody knows who they are and then go from there. What can be better than to sit down and begin reading a book that takes you away from everyday life into another world and experience what compels them to do what they do? It's the experience and the journey of discovering a new author and a new face with a fresh new story to tell in the world of literature and then to share that feeling of being able to tell your friends of this new author YOU just discovered that makes it all worthwhile and the experience satisfying. If nobody took a chance on say Nora Roberts, Margaret Atwood, J.K. Rowling or even Ernest Hemmingway, then nobody would have experienced what they wrote. It's all about the opportunity to experience something new and isn't that what life is all about?

Do you have any other books that you're currently working on?  I'm actually working on three others, not including a sequel to my first book. The three that I just mentioned are not in the murder mystery genre since I want to try my hand at some of the other genre's out there. One is titled, "Poof", which is about a guy who wants to make his life disappear so he can start over since he made such a mess of his first one. 'Journey to Destiny' is another. It's written in the first person, a first for me and harder to write I think. It's about an individual who suffers from depression and can't cope with life until something magical happens. I'm still debating over the title for the 3rd one, caught between 'Maggie's Teahouse' and 'Readings from the Teahouse'. It's set in the late fifties in Louisiana about a teahouse owned by Maggie and the author who is coming to do a book signing. Maggie is black and with the turmoil that is embroiling America, I don't know if I can pull it off since I don't want to write a story about segregation. I want it to be about Maggie but somehow it's hard to separate the two. I’m still working my way around it but I like the concept of what I have locked up in my mind.

How has your experience been with self-publishing?  The publishing part was pretty easy since I knew how I wanted the book to look on the inside, which had to be easy to read, so I used Times Roman as my font. As for the book cover itself, I told them exactly what I wanted as far as the colours that we were going to use, the pictures, and the finish and they put it together for me. I've been told that the cover is really eye catching because it really stands out. I guess I'm trying to be funny here because what's inside is just as good if not better. That's my plug for my book.

Do you have any advice to share with up and coming authors? In a nutshell: It's a tough grind. Nothing in life is easy and that is especially true for writing, pursuing an agent and landing one if you can and then the process of marketing your work, which is the hardest of all. The reason I say this is because there are over 5 million books for sale on Amazon alone. Over 4,000 books get published every week. I read a survey about 10 years ago that 80% of the American public wants to write a book. The internet and the publishing options that are available to anyone who wants to write a book are many and readily available but it definitely is not easy. Getting recognition, positive reviews are an ongoing process that requires both your time and patience. Let's take Amazon for example. Amazon is one big store. It's a store with a main window and behind it are millions other windows and the secret is have those that go to Amazon find the window that has your book in it. As a writer, how are you going to do that? It's starts with recognition and how does an unknown author get recognition? Good question. It starts with the product. A good story and a good cover are paramount because that is what will drive your success and your branding because without it, you're done. Then comes the press release which you can do yourself or you can have a professional do it after or before you publish. Great! My book is available on Amazon, now what? Go to where the readers are, which is a place like They have over 5 million subscribers made up of both authors and those that love to read books. Places like Facebook are good too but to me, as of the present, it's more of a numbers game that anything else, even if you have a fan page. And the reason I'm saying this is because unlike other businesses that are selling clothes, cars, and advice on how to market yourself on places like Facebook, which seems to be the rage right now, you are selling a book, not necessarily a necessity in today's life styles, unlike cars or clothes. Even those selling advice or books on how to market yourself have an advantage over your book, whether it be fiction or non-fiction because what they are selling is considered what you need or require as an author in order to be or to make a success of both yourself and your book(s) and herein lies the dilemma. How do you get noticed when just like being on Amazon, so is everyone else on Facebook with a fan page.? Like I said, it's not easy. Let's do a blog then. Okay but there are presently 60 million bloggers on the internet and again, it's population is growing. So again you ask yourself the question, how do I get noticed that will lead to recognition which will lead to success. Again, good question. And therein lies the same dilemma. As you can see, I don't have an answer. Indie author's I believe have a tough road ahead of them. They say we must have quality content for our website, our FB fan pages, our blogs, but how does an author go about doing that when all they have is what they write and to continually talk about what they write can be construed as spam or annoying or just downright boring to whoever follows them. One answer seems to produce more questions than direction. No matter what you use, a website, a fan page, a blog, it all boils down to traffic to your sites and what brings or drives that traffic? It's either content, brand, or product. Yes, I know, it's one vicious circle. You can advertise but that becomes expensive when you consider the return that you are going to get as far as people who buy your book. But if you do choose to advertise then my suggestion is to do so on because that is where the readers are and if your choose to advertise on Facebook, you can choose to only show your ad to those who have stated in their personal info that they like to read, that way you get more bang for your buck.

This is what you are looking for:   a  good product = creates awareness = brings recognition = creates a following = increases exposure = brings success = creates a solid brand

So this is my advice:
When you first publish as an Indie author and you have your book on Amazon for sale, set your selling price as low as you can afford. The reason being, by setting a low price, you may be able to draw more attention and more customers to buy your book, to take a chance on an unknown, especially if they don't have to invest a lot of money, not that what it costs to buy a book is a lot of money. If they like your book, hopefully they will post a good review.

As you get more reviews you can then consider raising your price to a more equitable amount that is more fairer to you, the author. Also, make sure you offer your book in eBook format with digital rights management. Advertise it from your website, your FB fan page, on  Join and make your book available there also. They offer eBook formatting for all readers, including PDF, which I don't advise since it is easier to pass around,
since on, they don't offer digital rights management. Just stick to the main eBook readers, like Kindle, Sony Reader, and B&N Nook. In the end, don't give up because you never know. When you least expect it . . .
Look, here I am on Amy's blog and your taking the time to read this, which means there is traffic here and why, because of the content. See, it all works out. Don't give up. Keep writing and make your writing better.

One last thought on this subject. If you are considering doing a blog, why not team up with another author. He or she does not necessarily have to be of the same genre since it is content that will drive your traffic. Most templates come with multiple columns which you divide between yourselves to promote your work and the work of others. Working with two or more means each brings their own list of supporters and followers which can only grow your following.
Something to consider if you think about it. It doesn't matter if you are promoting someone else at the same time because it's the traffic that you want.  With traffic comes exposure, which brings recognition, which brings validation
which brings followers which brings awareness, which brings success, which when translated, means sales, which means a brand. They now know who you are. And I for one, never forget a face. Personally, I'm still looking for
someone who would like to try such a project.

Author Bio:  I'll keep this short. I hail from the picturesque city of Vancouver, the city of mountains, Stanley Park (much bigger that Central Park in New York) and beaches and one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I also lived in Sidney on the island for 2 years where I built a house while I commuted to Victoria to work before moving back to the mainland. I love writing, being creative and hope in the future that people will come to read and enjoy what I have written. Corny heh. I'm Canadian so you get the 'heh' sometimes. I love hockey which shouldn't come as a surprise along with soccer since I coached it for 13 years and was involved in the administrative end also. I went on my first flight just this year and although I will never fly again because I don't like it, hanging there in mid air, I hope that I will be able to cruise again because that I really enjoyed. Travel is my quest since I want to see the world I live in. I invite everyone who has not been to Vancouver to set aside some time and take the transportation of your choice and come and visit. You just may want to stay.

In closing, I would like to thank Amy for making my appearance here a reality and to say what a great time I had answering her questions and I hope with regards to my advice to fellow authors that what I stated has or can help you in some way to achieve that success we all strive for. The best to all of you and your writing. Keep at it.

Author Interview: John D. Rhodes

Self Published Authors would like you to meet John D Rhodes.  His book Mr. Memory is now available and sounds like a fantastic read.  Check him out on Amazon!

Author Name:  John D Rhodes

Book Title:  Mr. Memory

Book Price:  £1.14 or $1.54

Where can we purchase your book? or 
How would you describe your novel, Mr. Memory?  In some way’s it a satirical comment on historical events, an explanation for how society has turned out the way it has, which is in no way scientific I may add but then again this is a Fantasy/Humour story! 

At its core is the tale of Dave, a man who awakens with a mind like porridge and his memories shredded.  He knows he should be somewhere and doing something important but what that is, is a complete mystery.  Luckily or perhaps unluckily he’s befriended by Lenny, a strange amalgam of every wizard you’ve ever seen or imagined, if more than a little on the worn side. 

Within the book we follow Lenny’s attempts to ‘guide’ Dave.  We also meet the meddling ‘beings’ who have existed for a very long time and, as with many people forced to share a long time together, they don’t necessarily get on or agree.  There is also a lovely lady, haunted by strange compulsions, an immortal man coming to terms with a very long life and two odd animal friends.  Altogether it’s a rollicking roller coaster ride (I might use that when Steven Spielberg comes calling… dream dream).

What genre fits Mr. Memory?  Well I don’t like genres Amy but I know they do serve a purpose; provide a hook to hang our hats on.  I always choose Fantasy/Humour Fiction but I also like Robert Rankin’s term, Far Fetched Fiction, though so far I’ve not seen that used by anyone other than the man himself.  I usually write stories that hover between genres, a mix of all my influences such as Rankin and Douglas Adams, a touch of the Bill Bryson here, a touch of Steven King there!

Who would be your perfect audience?  I’d like to think people of all ages, all sexes and all backgrounds.  Anyone who likes a touch of silliness but appreciates a bit of gravity mixed in – people who appreciate good writing but don’t want a heavy brain aching read.

Tell us something unique about yourself?  I love to get lost on roundabouts  - those on roads rather than those at fairgrounds – get me on one of those things and I can spend hours just going around and around (my wife thinks I do it by accident but don’t tell her!)

How has your experience been with self-publishing?  So far so good but it’s early days.  The actual process has been relatively straight forward but getting people to my book is hard work.  I’d love a personal assistant who could do all my promoting for me as I sat and wrote but alas I am poor and have to work to put bread on the table…  I’m actually enjoying the social side; I have my blog which has managed over 1000 hits in little over 2 months, which doesn’t sound brilliant but from nothing to that number in such a short space of time, well I’m happy with that.  But I would like a lot more of course:

Any words of advice for writers looking to get published?  Perseverance.  We are so lucky that we live in such a technological age where the means are there to get out and about in the cyber world and let people know who you are and what you do and let you publish for no or little cost.  I would like a traditional publishing contract but I have an inkling times are changing…

Author Bio:  I started with big ambitions, stardom as a rock star in the underground Indie Rock vein, all black gear and guitar drenched songs. Of course that didn't go so very well, so I eventually settled down (still playing and composing but realising I wasn’t going to be the next big thing music wise).

Writing proved easier to do, no need for a rehearsal room, no need to depend on other musicians. But equally as hard to break into!

I've now spent 30 years piecing together short stories, the odd early attempt at something a little longer, the painful process of sending my beloved work off only to get that familiar rejection letter (which I can add to my record company rejection letters).

Now thanks to the e-world I've decided that what ever happens I'll get one of my books published, even if it's self published, and I'll do it via Kindle e-books which is brilliant, all very professional and my book is now available all over the world and as long as people can find it, are interested and buy it, I'll be even happier.

I'm not like anyone else (though I doubt most people will admit they do) but my main influences are Douglas Adams, Tom Holt and Robert Rankin. My reading tastes have covered the odd Sci fi book and a lot of James Herbert and Stephen King but I prefer something with a little humour.
Who would I be if I could choose, author wise that is (music wise I'd be Paul McCartney - I would have chosen John Lennon but I wouldn't have got to 46) Bill Bryson, the only author who has managed to annoy my wife the most (by making me laugh out loud when I'm reading the most)
So if you’re reading this give one of my books a go, there really not very expensive and you may just like it!


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Author: Neal James

Self Published Authors is grateful to introduce to you, Neal James.  His book, Threads of Deceit, is full of twists and turns that will leave you begging for more.  Check out his new book for a real fast paced thriller!

Author Name:  Neal James        

Books:  ‘Threads of Deceit’  ISBN9781907728266  £8.99

WH Smith
Barnes & Noble (USA)
Description:  A tale of murder, fraud, embezzlement, drug trafficking and deceit.  It is a fast-paced thriller set against the background of the UK textile industry. A young man’s future is derailed when he sees something which he wasn’t supposed to have witnessed. Stitched up for a crime which he did not commit, he sets off on a trail of revenge against the man who betrayed his trust.

 Audience:  The style of the book is such that it is suitable for anyone from the age of 14 upwards. There is no bad language or overt sex. The story stands upon its own merits, and the plot twists are designed to hold the reader interest right to the very end. In setting the book out this way, I aim to reach as wide a readership as possible.

 Origin of the Idea:  A single factual event, which took place some 30 years ago, was the inspiring idea for the story. A crowded pub, a quiet voice, and an offer to import illegal substances amongst deliveries of yarn form the Far East. In fact, the offer was soundly rejected – in the book, the recipient of the offer had serious financial problems, and saw this as his way out of them.

 One Unique Idea About Me:  Thirty years spent in the accountancy trade have given me insights into a wide variety of industries and the people who run them. That kind of information is not widely available to everyone.

Self-Publishing:  I started, in 2006, with, and it is an excellent place to begin publishing your ideas. From there, I graduated to Pneuma Springs, a publisher more in the traditional role of handling the entire project from manuscript to finished article, including barcode and ISBN number. Pneuma are not Self-publishing, nor are they vanity press, and my four years with them have been very satisfying.
Other Books:

‘Two Little Dicky Birds’                                   ISBN9781905809936                        £8.99                     2008
‘Short Stories Volume One’                            ISBN9781905809608                        £7.99                     2009
‘A Ticket to Tewkesbury’                               ISBN9781905809349                         £7.99                     2010

Growth:  Moving from a short story writer to an author of full-length novels was a major step, but one which I could not have taken were it not for the fact that I had a ‘library’ of over  100 stories to use as raw material. ‘A Ticket to Tewkesbury’ began life as one of those stories. I have had to carry out much more, highly detailed, research in order to complete the novels which have been written, and that growth is going to stand me in good stead for the books which are currently in the pipeline:

‘Full Marks’                                                   A detective thriller
‘The Rings of Darelius’                                 A science fiction story of global catastrophe
‘Dreamer’                                                     A paranormal political thriller
‘Short Stories Volume Two’                         50 more stories in a second anthology
Advice:  Never stop believing in yourself. Do your research. Be highly self-critical. Never turn your back on a fresh perspective. Get your work independently edited and proof read. Do it for fun, because when the fun stops, all that is left is sheer hard work. Write what you know about, or what you can be reasonably sure is sound. Never be afraid of critique. Be prepared for knock-backs.
Bio:  I am the son of a Derbyshire miner. I was born in 1952 and came through the state education system. I am a qualified accountant with, apparently, an ability to turn a story out from practically any idea. I have been writing since one of my short stories finished in the top ten of an international writing competition. The entry field comprised 2,000 stories, and it all took off from there. I started posting my stories to a variety of writing sites and, after favourable reviews, decided to move one to a novel. That novel was ‘A Ticket to Tewkesbury’.

Kind Regards, and thanks.

Philip Neale

Author Interview: Trish Dainton

Self Published Authors would like to introduce you to Trish Dainton, whose passion for helping others is simply amazing.  Her book Curse in Verse and Much More Worse is for a charity and awareness project.  Please help support her book!  She’s a real inspiration to us all.

Author:  Trish Dainton 

Book Title:
  Curse in Verse and Much More Worse

Book Price:
  RRP £6.95

Where will your book be available for purchase?
It is already on sites like Amazon and Waterstones but The Huntington's Disease Association (HDA) Bookshop are also going to feature it which is an amazing compliment.

Book Description: The sub-title of the book is 'Huntington's disease in poetry & prose. From frustration of a bearer, to the soul of a carer.' In essence it's a series of over 70 poems and several personal stories about coping with Huntington's disease (HD).

 Each poem has an introduction giving the background to the thoughts behind the poems and they serve as a snapshot of that particular issue. When I tell you that HD is an inherited neurological degenerative condition that typically strikes people in their forties; it affects cognitive thinking; being able to walk, talk, eat, drink and the risk of inheritance is 50/50. There is no cure for it and little by way of treatment. You are likely to have witnessed a parent with HD and know that you too may have it and may have passed it on to your children...  

Curse in Verse and Much More Worse doesn't sound like your average book.  What drove you to write it?
In 1988 I married a wonderful man called Steve. I knew he had a 50% chance of developing HD where his father was in mid to late stage of the illness. In 2005 my husband was formally diagnosed although he had been presenting symptoms of HD for some time. I became Steve's full time carer after giving up work in 2006.

I found writing was my own form of therapy and wrote various blogs and articles to help offload my feelings but also help others in similar positions; not just where HD comes into it but carers in general. The book covers HD from the perspective of hundreds of people where I sourced ideas and inspiration from the HDA Message Board alongside my own experiences

In among the poems and articles I also wanted to highlight how my husband might want to communicate to others if he still could. For example, I wrote a poem called 'The OCD Plea.' In it I basically hear him telling me off for getting frustrated with him where Obsessive Compulsion Disorder was something he couldn't help, and I myself needed to think more about how he was using it as a coping mechanism. You'll notice the use of past tense there... Sadly Steve died in January of this year. He was only 49.

I was halfway through writing the book before Steve died and I felt an urgency of need to get it finished and published in his memory and to help others. It's been part of my own grieving process. It's not perfect, I keep coming across things I'd like to change at some point where I was rushing it out and physically and emotionally tired but, in a way, that makes it all the more real. 

What one thing would you like your readers to know about your new book?
Please don't think this book is only about one disease which you may never have heard of or come across. You may recognise the same problems and traits by many other names in your daily lives and in those you love.

Why do you think Curse in Verse and Much More Worse stands out among other novels of the same genre?  I'm not sure there is a same genre for this book. It's poetry and prose Jim, but not as we know it!

What's one fun fact that your readers might want to know about you?
 I gave myself a 40th Birthday present by getting the word "Bitch" tattooed on my bottom!

Have you had a good experience so far with self-publishing?
Yes and no. The staff at Grosvenor House Publishing have been great but, had I given myself a better budget and more time  where I wanted to get it out for Carers Week/HDA Awareness Week in June so had to have it ready by mid March, I would have waited for professional proof reading before committing to press. Also, as soon as I have recouped publishing costs I am aiming to give all rights and profits to the HDA. Where I only get a royalty cheque every 6 months it's frustrating not knowing up-to-date sales figures etc.

Do you have any advice that you'd like to pass on to new authors?
When choosing your title, think about how it will fit on the book spine. My book is about Huntington's disease but the spine didn't allow for the sub-title which mentions it. When standing on a shop book shelf there is nothing to say it covers the subject matter. Luckily, anyone who is looking for stuff about Huntington's, generally knows it as HD. I managed to get that woven into my name on the spine 'TrisH Dainton'

Author Bio:  After leaving school in 1978, I worked in a number of roles in the Civil Service. After a while I opted to specialize in Procurement becoming a Member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply in 2004. In 2006 I left the conventional workplace to take on the role of full time carer to my husband who was suffering from Huntington's disease. A role that was to be my most challenging and yet rewarding role at the same time. We chose not to have children where we were scared they might inherit HD if my husband turned out to have it.

I live in London and am currently working on various projects to help raise awareness and funds towards helping those with Huntington's and their families and carers.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

One more for good measure...

What is your biggest fear about pursuing a career as an author? 

Question #3

Final Question:  How has criticism helped you improve as a writer?  What was said and how did you initially react to it?

Question #2

Question #2:  What forms of marketing have worked best for you?  What marketing techiniques fell flat?

Sharing your experience

Even though I will be gone for a couple weeks...this blog will still continue to be seen by people all over the globe.  Let's come together and share some experiences.  I will post 3 questions that I would love for you to answer, sharing your wisdom, trials and successes with those who are thinking of pursuing a career in writing.
Thanks in advance for your participation!

Question # 1:  How do you balance writing with your other responsibilities in life?

Heading out on Vacation

Hi Everyone!

It's been great hearing from so many people.  My inbox is bursting with new authors and fascinating interviews.  I'm so excited to share all of them with you but I will have to leave you in anticipation as I'm off on vacation with my family.

For those of you still waiting to see your interview, please check back in a couple weeks.  I will get through the list as quickly as I can. 

And those of you who are still wanting to send me an email...please feel free!  Contact me at and send me info about the book you would like to promote.  All are welcome and I look forward to hearing from you!

Bon Voyage!

We've reached 275!

We have reached 275 page views!  Amazing!  Thank you all for supporting my fellow authors.  I absolutely love to see so many people promoting, chatting and sharing advice.

Here's to another 100!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Author Interview: Terry White

Self Published Authors is proud to introduce you to Terry White.  She’s an experienced writer who has won several awards to back her unique writing style.  Welcome Terry!

Author Name: Terry L. White

Book Title: Drama Queen Rules

Book Price: $19.95 print, $7.99 kindle

I hear your book has received some great reviews.  Please share one with us.
"I can describe Drama Queen Rules in two words – seriously funny.  The trials and tribulations that Lainey finds herself going through would “seriously” put most of us under or at least make us give up.  Lainey, on the other hand, handles her kidnapping by Skip with tolerance and humor.  She has a determined mind that won’t give up its dream no matter how hard times become nor what hardships might come her way.  Author Terry L. White has a way of telling her story in a style that reminds me of one other writer – Louis Grizzard.  She turns a back woods life into a success.  I loved every page I turned and when the book ended, I wanted more!" 

What do you feel is the best aspect about Drama Queen Rules? I think the best thing about Drama Queen Rules is that it is a story about a woman a lot of us know. Lainey family always has some opinion about the things she wants to do. Her boyfriend Skip is borderline criminal and lazy as a pet coon. She works as a waitress and scratches her way through college to earn her a degree that fits her for an administrative job in a nursing home. She's pretty familiar to the folks I know. 

It sounds like you're book could be a big hit.  How do you go about promoting it? I tell everyone about Drama Queen and ask people who have read it to post interviews and reviews in their part of the web. I go out and show the book and talk about it at community events and schedule signings where I can.

I see you've written several other titles.  Tell us about a couple of them. Wow... My historical The Last Priestess was nominated for an Eppi. My biggest project is a historical series centered on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and follows a family of women descended from a young girl who comes to the colony as an indentured servant in Chesapeake Harvest, subsequent volumes deal with prejudice as her grandaughter is banished from the settlement because she has a Native American parent in Chesapeake Destiny. The third volume deals with domestic abuse in Chesapeake Legacy. 

In Chesapeake Visions the heroine is blind and must learn to cope with life without slaves. Vienna Pride is the story of a cannery girl in danger from a stalker. In process is First Waltz, the story of a young woman who meets a soldier who was sent here to guard German prisoners of war. Each of these women live on the same plantation during their lives and each story is pinned to a war that impacts the area.  I have two books of poetry - one embraces long tales such as the story of Harriet Tubman. I am currently working on a historical with photos concerning the waterman's culture on and near the Chesapeake Bay. All of these are available at Amazon, Kindle and Drama Queen rules is an Xlibris product as my publisher was very ill when it was ready and I felt it needed to be on offer because of its nature as a book about the sort of people we all know.

How do you feel you've grown as an author with each new book? I think each story makes me more sure of myself as a storyteller. I love the work and can't imagine doing anything else. When I read anything, I am more aware of the way an author uses words and all this input helps me make the stories richer and more real.

Do you have any wisdom you'd like to pass down to new authors? I would tell a new author to do their homework, to learn to produce pristine manuscripts and not to give up because of rejections. I collected a three-inch stack of rejection letters that ended up in a friend's bonfire. I also worked as a newspaper reporter and photographer, which helped me to understand that a writer's block is not necessary. My deadline was 9 a.m. and if I covered a meeting the night before, that meant I had to be at my desk by 6 a.m. in order to make that deadline. I highly recommend the experience and would tell any writer to work with the news at some point in his or her career.

Author Bio:

Terry L. White was raised in Appalachia, eldest of eight children. She always wanted to write and has spent many years in the craft. She has won a number of little and literary awards and was cited for the excellence of her work on special sections for Independant Newspapers, Inc. She has written nearly 20 books, including the Bride of the Condor series and the Chesapeake Heritage series. She is a veteran of several years as a news reporter and worked for non-profits as a fund-raiser on the Eastern Shore of Maryland where she makes her home. Her work is available at, Kindle books, and She writes a blog at (Author photo by Lisa Krentel.)

Autumn Stories

Hi, my name is Carol and I am a newspaper reporter, have been for years, which wasn’t always easy because I have always tried to walk for Spirit too. A person might not think the two jobs could go together, but I learned a lot of neat stuff and kept my fingers clean all the time I was with the Rapid City News. Ask anyone. I made my mark all over that paper. People know my byline all the way to Pierre and far into Montana. I always listened to people and wrote down what they said, and I got a reputation for being fair when it came to telling a story straight.
I remember one day my editor, a woman grossly overweight and sporting a full beard, adjusted her wedding photo on her desk and kept me waiting while she talked to someone on the phone.
I could not help but notice that her husband was quite good looking and fit. He was bearded as well, which I like – in a man. I wondered how she did it. I looked normal, but I didn’t even have a boyfriend.
You see a lot of strange things in Rapid.

I got to go out the first of the month to take a picture of the newest guy they made into a statue for the big Presidents Project. The city, hooked onto the Rushmore tourism thing, and was trying to put a statue of every single American president on the downtown street corners. Last month they installed Teddy Roosevelt, and the month before, it was the guy who played the fiddle. I never could recall his name – I think was it Andy Jackson. Was he a president, or was it somebody else?
Oh yeah, I was talking about my conversation with Cissy Tate.
I never could get past the nickname, so I always called my editor Mrs. Tate. I think she might have allowed me the diminutive Cissy, which implied she was somebody’s little sister but she was pushing three hundred pounds. It took her quite a while to show me two errors on the front page and asked what in the world was wrong with me. “It isn’t like you to be so sloppy,” she shook her head. Her hair, as usual, followed, sprayed to immobility. She swilled her diet cola and stared at me, willing me to be guilty so she could feel good about her having all the power.
I did the pee pee dance, wiggling in my chair, hoping she would notice my discomfort and let me go. But no, the woman had all the sensitivity of an armadillo. I said I thought Fiona Brant was still the copy editor – and ultimately responsible for the paper’s punctuation.

Fiona, like a lot of other employees at the paper, did the absolute minimum to get by. Apparently she passed my story without reading it, hence the errors Cissy found. I try to write right, but sometimes I make a mistake. I think the trouble with the world is that too many people are trying to pass the buck. I don’t mind being responsible for my own errors. But just show them to me and don’t make a federal case out of it.
“I need you to do a story for me.” Cissy banged the diet soda can on the desk and heaved herself up to stare out the window.

I hoped the editor had an assignment I could live with. If so, I could get home by two and I could nap an hour or so before I ate my supper and drove out to Pine Bluff for the monthly fireman’s meeting. Some of the guys out there were really concerned about the town’s safety. It gave me hope. Pine Bluff was having a hard time fitting into the modern world.
“I want you to find out who is pissing in the city fountain.” Cissy gripped the short drape with a wide and powerful fist. The last caller had her all stirred up. I figure some little old lady heard about the fountain being sullied and called the paper to lodge a citizen’s complaint. It sounded like a case for RCPD, but what did I know? An awful lot of justice gets carried out by the press if you ask me.
I didn’t get the problem. The city fountain only worked about an hour or so a year. I talked to Dave, over at Public Works, and told me the fountain wasn’t worth fixing, and that he couldn’t fix it. “You’d think the town would just replace the bitch,” he mumbled through a big cud of Red Man. “They don’t cost all that much, couple hundred bucks, maybe. It’s not like they don’t make the damned things any more.”
When I hung up, I tried to figure out what Cissy really wanted. I had the idea it was something other than this piddly little civic problem. She had a bee in her bonnet about something and it felt to me as if she was going to worry me to death about it until I either got it fixed or quit – one or the other.
I was the company’s award-winning reporter two years in a row, and I wasn’t about to hang around the city park to watch some wino take a wiz. “Give me a real story or let me get going.” I said. I had all I could do not to smack her ugly face. I also had all I could do not to tell her to get her hormones checked. Women just don’t have beards like that if there is nothing wrong with them.
The assignment stunk in more ways than one. I had an idea the poor old drunks who happened to see that old fountain as a urinal were doing the town a favor. What if they decided to use the water fountain the city put in for the kids to drink from instead? I mentioned that.
Cissy glared at me over her little drugstore glasses. “Get the story,” she said, teeth clenched, knuckles white. I guessed it must have been the Mayor on the phone and not just some old lady with a Joan of Ark complex.
I said I would look into it, but I didn’t say when. Days like that I just hated my job. I also hated to think of the homeless folks out there. It was summer, but winter would come. It always did, and winter was a big deal in Rapid. We had snow from September through June, and yes, often it was butt-deep to a tall Indian, as the locals would say. Last spring I had to laugh when a weathercaster happened to mention it had warmed up to ten below zero and that spring was definitely on the way.
I started talking about some other story leads I had thought about following, and after a while Cissy quit being a complete bitch and let me pick a couple of features to balance the sheer drudgery of reporting the government’s doings to the common man. What you had to do with civic meetings was to put the big issues in words a fifth grader could understand and retain.

An awful lot of people in Rapid couldn’t get the retain part, though. There were some stories I wrote over and over again, trying to help folks understand what was really happening and what they stood to lose.
That Wednesday, Cissy decided I could go out to Porcupine and do a story on an old Lakota grandmother who claimed she was over a hundred years old. Word was, the old lady still kept a store. I was delighted with the assignment and couldn’t wait to meet her. I loved to talk with the elders.
That night I had to sit through the School Board meeting, and put down what each of the board members said about each and every thing on the agenda, and how their decisions could affect the other guy’s children and the teachers’ vacation time. The meeting lasted for three hours. I had all I could do to stay awake. I was up again at five.
Did I mention deadline was 9 a.m.? If I hadn’t had my nap, I would have been up that old creek without a paddle because I would have to go in at 6 o’clock in the morning to file my piece on the School Board meeting.
To make a long story short, I got my second wind, and I filed my stories before I went to bed, and sent them in an email to Cissy and told her she wouldn’t see me until Monday.

I had Thursday for the story about the old woman at Porcupine, and then I had Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for my regular third-weekend-of-the-month off. I felt as if I had all the time in the world for the interview, and in the end I was glad for every minute of it.
I got to Porcupine early and wandered around the old woman’s store until a couple of customers left. The young woman stood behind the cash register and scowled at me. “What do you want?” she asked rudely. I said I was there to talk to the old woman who owned the store. The woman scowled and led me into an overheated room in the back.

Betty Running Deer was bowed by time. The flesh of her face had melted, exposing the elegant  angles of the cheekbones beneath the skin. Her store teeth were large and very white, and her long horny nails had never seen a manicure. She was dozing in her chair when the daughter led me through the narrow aisles of their store and into to the little room where her mother lived.

Betty wakened quietly, her eyes moved slowly from wall to wall. She entered the world gently, and she must have had a pleasant journey, because there was a half-smile on her face. Her eyes, white with cataracts, looked at me and grew small and hard. “Who are you?” she demanded. “I told Susie not to let you white-eyes in the house.”

“I am Abnaki, Grandmother, not white-eyes.” I inclined my head as my people did when they meet an elder. “How are you today?”
The old woman sucked on a cup of coffee thick with canned milk and plenty of sugar. “Don’t you have a name, woman of the Abnaki?”
“I am Carol... no.... I am Mockingbird... Mockingbird” I said firmly. Mockingbirds repeat everything they hear. It was the perfect name for me.
“Well, Mockingbird, what do you want?” The old woman squinted at my spandex pants and cashmere sweater. I made a good harvest at the thrift shops. Who knows if you buy a thing new or not? Good stuff is good stuff. She reached out to stroke the soft wool of my top and smiled.
“Will you tell me about the Old World?” I asked, and used the words for the time before the white man came to gobble up the continent.
“It was a long time ago.” Betty shook out her skirt, a bright affair, pieced from a rich woman’s scrap bag. I could see damask, velvet, and thick, raw silk. I wasn’t the only woman in the room who liked second hand stuff.
“I know,” I settled more comfortably on my chair. “I want to learn about it.” I looked back towards the store, where the shelves were stocked with the finest the big Food Mart chain could offer. I heard everyone in town who went to Rapid picked up an item or two for Miss Betty, and she marked everything up a little bit for her share when they bought it back.
And they think white people invented entrepreneurs.
“God made us,” Betty pulled a richly embroidered shawl around her shoulders. It must have been ninety in there, but old people get cold. I hoped if I held the camera she would get comfortable with the idea of being photographed and then I could catch a really good expression.

People said I made good pictures. It isn’t as easy as it looks. You have to be patient, to ask the right questions, to wake the subject’s passion for the matter at hand. You have to wait until they forget the camera and what they are wearing. You can make a good picture every time if you wait long enough.
“And then what happened?” I prompted, using the reporter’s most efficient tool.
“And then the walkers learned to walk, and the runners learned to run. The singers sang from morning to night, and the storyteller kept the villagers entranced while she spun her web of beautiful words that looked like butterflies in flight.”
I nodded, unwilling to break her spell. I closed my eyes and saw words rising from the ghost of a woman in a two-hide dress decorated with elk teeth.
“The builders made houses of wood and hide, and the fishers waded in the creeks until the leaves turned to gold in the fall. The weavers made blankets from dusk until dawn, and the cooks, mmmmmmmm– the cooks made the best cakes and soups you could ever imagine.” Betty smacked her gums at the thought of such heavenly food.

I said she had teeth. I didn’t say she was wearing them.

“If a person was confused, why then, being confused was their job,” she grinned. “My son was like that. He liked to dress in my clothing and braid my hair.”
My notes told me her son died from a drive-by. There was a lot of crime on the res. I felt sorry for her.
“You’re a storyteller?” She squinted at me with a raptor’s quizzical gaze.
“I nodded, and scribbled on my narrow reporter’s pad. I didn’t want to lose a word of what this wild old woman had to say.
“You are too early,” the old woman bit off her words as if she was scolding a wayward child.
“What do you mean?” I didn’t see a clock, but my watch was right about half the year. The clock in the car worked, though. I was almost always five minutes early. That was only polite, it showed respect for my elders. You can be a little early, but not late. Late wasn’t good at all.
“You are too young to tell stories.” The old woman set her jaw. Her fingers played with the silky ends of her scanty braids. “A storyteller should wait for autumn to tell her tales.”
I stared at the old woman. “What?”
“Don’t you know why?” Betty bumped her foot on the floor and the younger woman appeared with another cup of coffee. This time she banged a second white earthenware mug down in front me. It was filled it to within about a half inch from the top. The brew looked like hot tar.
I put in some evaporated milk and sugar. It wouldn’t have been polite not to share Betty’s offering. You have to understand how The People think about giving.

Giving is a job. Receiving is a job. You have to learn both.
“If you tell stories in the summer, the animals will sit down to listen and forget what they are supposed to be doing and starve. You have to tell your stories in the autumn, when the animals have time to listen before they fall into their winter sleep.” Betty looked at me as if I was touched by a lazy spirit. “A good storyteller is hard to find.” she sucked at her mug and stared at me. “Are you any good?”
I was getting confused. I was supposed to be interviewing a nonagenarian. Most often people that old fell asleep after trying to name all their children, but Old Betty just kept going like that slack-eared rabbit on TV with the big drum. It sure felt like I was the one being interviewed. I should have been getting the “facts about Betty” from her daughter by now, but here she was, getting the facts on me.

Not that time mattered. I didn’t have to produce even one story until Monday morning deadline at 9 a.m.


That was maybe ten, fifteen years ago. I came across that story I wrote about Betty Running Deer last night when I was cleaning out under the beds. You wouldn’t believe the junk I found: old manuscripts, boxes of tear sheets, three manuscripts for novels no one will ever read – a lifetime of writing, gathering dust.    

Betty Running Deer, bless her heart, was right. I have worked my way into my own autumn and it is time to tell my stories. I get calls to come to schools, and I bring the books I write to all the powwows. There aren’t that many Native American writers, you know.
So, autumn has come. Why don’t you sit down and rest a while? I have a story to tell you.