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Welcome To SORMAG's Blog

Saturday, October 30, 2010

BOOK SPOTLIGHT: Covenant of Lies: the Revealed Truth

Covenant of Lies the Revealed Truth


By Holly Spence


Monarch Publications


ISBN-10: 0578065819


ISBN-13: 978-0578065816


Click to purchase book


The drama, lies, deceit, and hidden secrets are revealed in this second release of the Covenant of Lies trilogy. Continue to follow the lives of the McFinley, Richardson and Taylor families. What will become of Jill and Shane's budding relationship? Will the long time relationship between Henry and Carl survive the years of deceit and lies? Will Marcie's relationship with her father be the final straw for Selma? "Covenant of Lies The Revealed Truth" is the second book in the "Covenant of Lies" series of self created web of lies by Author Holly Spence.


EXCERPT:


Courtney wakes up, her head is pounding and blood is all over her lab coat. She does not know how long she has been out, but she remembers being knocked out by Calvin Taylor. She looks at Selma's bed and she is still sleep. Selma was administered a heavy dose of Percocet to help her sleep through the night as comfortable as possible. Courtney then began to look around for Marcie, calling her by name, but unable to move swiftly. Water in the bathroom is running. Courtney managed to get to her knees and use the couch to get to her feet. When Courtney opened the bathroom door, Marcie was in the shallow shower with water running, bruises on her arms and legs. Her shirt was around her neck; her bra ripped off, her pants and underwear, all at her ankles.


"Oh God!!! Marcie!" Marcie doesn't reply nor does she move. Courtney turns off the water, runs outside for help. The officer was getting up off the floor the same time Courtney was coming out of Selma's hospital room. "Sir, are you ok? I will have someone come by to look at you, don't get up stay seated."


Courtney made her way to the nurse's station, the nurse looked up, "Oh Courtney, what in the world happened?" said the nurse.


"I was attacked by Calvin Taylor, Selma Taylor's husband, please call hospital security and have them dispatch the police. I need to call down regarding my shift, I was supposed to report to work, what time is it?" Courtney sees the clock, "Oh no, I have been out for over 30 minutes? I also need someone to look at the officer outside Mrs. Taylor's room and I need help getting Marcie Taylor to emergency for examination."


The sixth floor nurse scrambles to meet the request and makes the necessary calls. A second nurse joins Courtney to check out the officer. Courtney heads back down to Marcie with a gown and blankets in hand to cover Marcie. When Courtney gets back to the room, the nurse behind her tends to the officer to identify his injuries. Courtney opens the door. Marcie is still in the bathroom lying in the shower.


"Marcie, I am going to take you to emergency to have you examined." Marcie was still unresponsive. "Marcie, let me help you up, I have a gown for you to put on." Marcie allowed Courtney to help her up, remove her clothing and put the gown and blanket around her.


Just then, John Cartwright arrived from emergency, "Hey Court, I have a wheelchair."


"Thanks John, can you get me a plastic bag? I will need that for her clothes. Come on Marcie, let's get you into the wheelchair, we will get you cleaned up."


John comes back with the plastic bag, as Courtney is lifting Marcie; John places the plastic bag over the back of the wheel chair and proceeds to help Courtney get Marcie into the wheelchair. Just as John reaches out to Marcie, Marcie is like a wild boar, kicking and screaming. Marcie kicks John in his groin; she punches Courtney in her face. Courtney makes every effort to get Marcie to calm down, "John go out," shouted Courtney. When John left the bathroom, Marcie calmed down and Courtney was able to get her into the wheelchair.


During all of this commotion, Selma never woke up. Courtney wheeled Marcie to emergency and called ahead, "Hello this is Nurse Courtney Thomas, I am coming down from the sixth floor and I have a possible rape victim."


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Friday, October 29, 2010

FEATURED AUTHOR: Evelyn (Eve) Cogdell

Evelyn (Eve) Cogdell is a Poet/Writer, and the self-published Author of 5 books: a Cookbook, “Auntie Eve’s Favorite Dishes”; a Prose/Poetry collection, “5th Story Reflections”; a Short Story collection, “Matters of the Heart”; a Novel, “Cashmere & Silk, A Love Story”; and her latest book, “Cashmere & Silk---Two, A Tapestry” (the sequel to “A Love Story”). Like “A Love Story”, “A Tapestry” is a work of Romantic Fiction.


Ms. Cogdell’s poems and articles have been published in newspapers, magazines and ezines, as well as one anthology. In her writings, Ms. Cogdell seeks to enlighten and entertain her readers. It is her fondest wish that her audience will join her in her celebration of life’s triumphs and tribulations.


Cashmere & Silk --Two: A Tapestry


In “A Love Story”, we watched Connie & Stoney’s rocky relationship grow and blossom into something truly beautiful. Now as a married couple, Connie & Stoney face new challenges to their love.


Will the fire of the couple’s new found love for each other be extinguished by the flood of obstacles which threaten to pull them apart forever?


A blissfully happy relationship is what we all strive for. And, the relationship between a married couple can be thrilling. Come with me on the journey of love between Connie & Stoney as they struggle to maintain happiness amid chaotic conditions.


How did you start out your writing career?


I wrote my first poem when I was in elementary school. In high school I wrote two poems which were published in our school newspaper. Then in college I had two more poems published in our college newspaper. After college I took a 16 year sabbatical to focus on my administrative career. But in 1993, I was inspired to enter a Poetry Contest sponsored by a major Poetry publication. Although my poem was not a winning entry, I was forever bitten by the writing bug.


What did you learn while writing this book?


Basically, I learned more about the art of storytelling. I became more adept at getting inside my character’s heads and expressing myself through them. I also learned how to ensure the ‘cohesiveness’ of the general plot. In other words, my chapters relate to each other in such a way as to provide the most satisfaction and understanding for my audience.


What did you hope to accomplish with this book?


I hoped to finally establish myself as a ‘certified’ Romance novelist. I wanted to ‘put myself on the map’, so to speak. But most importantly I wanted to entertain couples, especially married couples. And, finally, I wanted to show how beautiful married life can be, if couples really strive to make it work.


Is the “writer’s life” what you thought it would be?


It is all that, and then some. I truly get a kick out of writing and would not trade it for anything else in the world. Of course, as with all careers, there is a down side. While the “writer’s life” brings me much joy, it is not always as lucrative as some other careers. However, as the old saying goes, you ‘get out of it, what you put into it’. Although I am committed, I feel I could apply myself even more.


Which five characters (can be from books, movies, or TV shows) would you invite over for dinner and why?


My desired five dinner guests would be: Diana Ross as Lady Day from “Lady Sings the Blues”; Halle Berry as Khalia Richards, the ‘crackhead’ mother who temporarily loses her son in “Losing Isaiah”; Samuel L. Jackson as, Carl Lee Hailey, the father who takes revenge on the two men who raped his 9-year old daughter in “A Time to Kill”; Jamie Foxx who did an excellent portrayal as Ray Charles in “Ray”; and Vin Diesel as Detective Sean Vetter, whose wife is killed because of his criminal ties in “A Man Apart”.


I selected these five actors and actresses because I admired their work. All five have excellent acting skills and I loved their character portrayals. I would love to discuss with them how they ‘got inside the heads’ of their characters, as well as how they felt while playing these very interesting roles. Both Diana Ross and Jamie Foxx played ‘against type’, which is always intriguing and one reason Mr. Foxx received an Oscar for his portrayal.


What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?


The first thing is: I would like to have known how much work and expense are involved in gaining the attention of a welcome audience; I also wish I had known how to better relate to my readers. And finally, I wish I had known how to establish a better marketing plan.


Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?


To aspiring writers I would suggest: hone your craft. Keep writing until you find your perfect niche; and then continue to expand upon it. Don’t listen to naysayers, because, as one writer friend advised me, if you do, you’ll never accomplish anything. You can’t let the negative opinions of others (including ‘well-meaning’ friends and family members) keep you from achieving your writing goals and subsequently reaping all the rewards the “writer’s life” has to offer.


What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?


I know this is ‘cliched’ but everyone has a story to tell. Most of us just don’t know how to tell it or where to start. Writing is a form of self-expression that brings pure satisfaction not only to us as writers, but also to our audience. And, pleasing our audience, just puts ‘icing on the cake’.


What was the best advice you’d ever gotten about the publishing industry? The worst?


The best and worst advice I’ve ever received about the publishing industry involves whether or not to self-publish or go through a traditional publisher: Self-publishing provides the Author with greater freedom of choice; we are free to use our own creativity regarding book covers and fliers. And we have greater flexibility regarding the sales and marketing of our books.


The worst: For Authors who are not well-known or don’t have a clue as to what they are doing, self-publishing may not be the best route to travel. These Authors might do better if they employ the services of a traditional publisher, as self-publishing can be very expensive.


What is something readers would be surprised you do?


Readers might be surprised to know that in addition to my books, poetry and articles I also write humorous short plays or skits.


If you could be a character from any book you’ve read, who would you be?


I’d love to be Mrs. Louise Clark from Author Carole Piller’s book titled, “From Avinger to Iroquois Street”. Louise Clark was an attractive, interesting, courageous woman who had the sincere love and loyalty of her husband Dennis. And, even though Louise was nice, she knew how to deal with adversity when it reared its ugly head in her adventure-filled life.


Our theme this month is The Business of Writing. Can you offer any advice about the business side of writing?


Whether an Author is self-published or has gone through a traditional publishing company, they should take advantage of as many marketing tools, resources and opportunities as possible. The Internet, local libraries, schools, churches, blogs, radio, TV, public transportation, and just about anywhere people congregate for information and entertainment, are great marketing avenues. Never pass up an opportunity to let readers know about your books. Of course Authors must be sure to budget themselves and stay within their individual means.


Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?


I am sure that I have written an excellent book that readers will enjoy. I literally poured my heart and soul into this book, and conveyed the resulting story to the best of my ability. It is my sincere belief that my audience will be thrilled with my achievement.


Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?


For my next book, I plan to switch venues again, and tap into my religious and poetic side. So, most likely I’ll write an anthology of religious poems. That’s a little ways down the road, so we’ll see what is happening in my life at that time.


How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)


I don’t currently have a website, however, readers can reach me through my email address: evecogdell@sbcglobal.net, or through my Publishing Company address: Evelyn (Eve) Cogdell, Green Apple Publications, PO Box 201982, Chicago, IL, 60620.



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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Reflections of Light for Daily Living Blog Tour



Dr. Tiffany Brown is a native Atlantan, a diva, mogul, and idealist with scars to prove it. She has a Bachelor’s degree from Spelman College in political science, a Master’s in public administration from Clark Atlanta University and a Doctorate in public policy from Walden University. She is an owner of the following companies:

• Your Luminosity, a nonprofit social networking site
• Brown Vending, snack vending service
• Ambition Talk Radio Network, a 24-hour Internet talk radio station
• Tiffany Brown LTD, a women’s clothing and accessory line
• Tiffany Brown LLC, a consulting firm

She was also a 2009 write-in Atlanta Mayoral Candidate. Tiffany admits to being an absolute sports fanatic and although trying her best, a below average golfer. A self-described “avid health enthusiast,” Dr. Brown encourages everyone to live and think healthy. Tiffany is also an active member of Cascade United Methodist Church where Rev. Marvin Moss is the Senior Pastor and she is an usher on the women’s usher board.
For more information on Tiffany, please go to her website www.tiffanycbrown.com or twitter page at www.twitter.com/drtiffanybrown
The Reflections of Light for Daily Living: A Book of Affirmations for the Ambitious

There are many times in life when you are overwhelmed and frustrated with life and need some inspiration. Now more than ever, as the world becomes increasingly complex, you need to find meaning in chaos, disappointment, difficult family relationships, and work stress. Reflections of Light for Daily Living: A Book of Affirmations for the Ambitious can provide encouraging and motivational words for contemporary Christians while on this race called life.

This book will provide daily tools to endure storms while dealing with haters and toxic friends all while grindin' to get to the next level of your life. Reflections of Light for Daily Living: A Book of Affirmations for the Ambitious consists of a series of 365 daily passages or "teachings" to help give you an inspirational boost to your day. While it is possible to read the passages straight through as you would a novel, think of the book as a collection of individual stories, each of which tells its own tale and can be approached one at a time. Some of stories have told as inspirational tweets on Dr. Brown twitter page www.twitter.com/drtiffanybrown
.
How did you start out your writing career?

I have always liked to write. But I really begin to write more through my Twitter page from my mayoral campaign. I started with leaving famous quotes and begin to gradually share my thoughts about life for the ambitious.

What did you learn while writing this book?

I learned not to take things so personally. Most decisions are based on individual personal ambition. Ambition is never right or wrong; it is the inner drive to have something more in your life. But sometimes your ambition can clash with others. You must not take it personally.

I also learned that having just me is enough because of God’s love. I now feel comfortable in my own skin; imperfections in all. I may not be perfect but I am attempting to be a best that I can. And that is enough as long as I try to stay aligned with God.

What did you hope to accomplish with this book?

Never give up on your goals in life but allow God to revise or tweak them into being aligned with his Will. Every failure is not a nightmare and every opportunity is not a blessing. Some failures can be blessings; some opportunities can be nightmares.

Allow God completely into your heart and watch your life begin to expand in the most amazing ways. I trust God in completely different way than before because I now have a testimony that I never had before. There is nothing like spectacular fall to truly give you a new relationship with God.

Is the “writer’s life” what you thought it would be?

No. It definitely a lot more business than I thought. You have to really hands on and have a strategy to encourage book sales.

Which five characters (can be from books, movies, or tv shows) would you invite over for dinner and why?

The five characters would be:

• Claire Huxtable (Cosby Show) because of her poise and thoughtfulness
• Mark Zuckerberg (Real person and Social Network Movie) for his passion and drive
Juror No. 8 (12 angry men the movie) for his tenacity and perseverance
• Bourne (The Bourne Ultimatum ) for his intelligence and ability to think fast on his feet
• Jesus (The Bible) for his unwavering faith

I love how you have included your life stories onto the pages and you are so relatable; what has been one of your biggest challenges in life and how did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge was bouncing back from my failed mayoral bid that was a disappointment on a professional and emotional level. It was completely humiliating because I was marginalized and misunderstood throughout the campaign. I felt like people didn’t get me; they just stereotyped me.

There were many people that I had supported in the past that didn’t return the favor added to the humiliation. I was very disappointed in people that I had respected and loved in every facet of my life. It definitely changed the way I see the world.

I was able to overcome it all through forgiveness. God forgives us for all our transgressions and I was forced to do the same. All the inspirational stories I wrote are from perspective of a reader; I wrote what I needed to hear at those desperate, heart wrenching times in my life. I wrote to encourage myself and now decided to share it with others.

What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?

The three things are business strategy, marketing and publicity. Each are incredibly important when you building yourself as a brand. I don’t think I really understood this component when I was younger.

Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?

One do is to be to be strategic about selling your books. Hiring your own publicist may be a good idea to ensure you get your desired response. Don’t assume you’re a major priority just because you have book deal.

One don’t is similar to the do. Do not wait on the publicity department for your publisher . Do not rely on your publisher for everything. You can miss out many additional revenue streams by waiting on your publisher to act.

What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?

That it is not as easy as it looks and it is a emotional experience. You are really putting yourself out there; good and bad. You are allow yourself to be complete transparent and it can be scary experience.

What was the best advice you’d ever gotten about the publishing industry? The worst?

The best advice was to hire my own publicist and the worst advice was not worry about digital rights. The digital rights are extremely important and you should try to retain them if you can.

What is something readers would be surprised you do?

That I listen to an appalling amount of rap. I listen to very little R &B. I am big fan of Young Jezzy, Jay Z, TI , Kayne and Drake.

If you could be a character from any book you've read, who would you be? 

It would be Nico or Victory in Lipstick Jungle by Candace Bushnell. They are such strong woman but are human as well.

Our theme this month is The Business Of Writing. Can you offer any advice about the business side of writing?

Make sure you set goals for yourself and do your homework to achieve them. If you want to be a on the New York best seller list, then create a strategy to get there. Do not leave your fate in someone else’s hands.

Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?

That as long that I have God in my life that I will be fine.

Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?

My next book will be a book of prayers. There are some prayers in this book and it was such overwhelming positive response to them via Twitter that the next book will be just prayers. I also may do a cookbook but that depends on my schedule during the holiday to do the legwork.

How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)

Readers can contact me by email at info@tiffanycbrown.com

EXCERPT
 DAY 1

Today is about being unstoppable.
I am a believer in positive thinking. You can manifest anything if you just believe.


We are living in some weird times. There are people who are experiencing the best times in their life and enjoying the fruits of their labor. For them, everything is great. Then there are people like me who are grindin. For us, every day is a different struggle.

Every time you go up one level, the problems become more complex and harder to solve. The hate goes up as well. There are things that we cannot discuss with everyone. The risk is greater for all involved.

I am no longer in the minor leagues; I am in the major leagues with a lot of danger lurking around every decision. This is when your faith is essential. You must transform yourself into being unstoppable.

An unstoppable person is someone who doesn’t falter in the face of adversity, a person who will get knocked down millions of times and continue to fight, a person who can change tactics in order to achieve his or her goals, a person who is willing to make sacrifices in order get to the next level, a person who has an uncompromising spirit and a general hunger to succeed.

The requirements to become unstoppable are faith in yourself and a direct lifeline to God.

The only person you can really depend on to constantly uplift you is God. Everyone else is human and bound to fail you at least once. Know inside that you are larger than the circumstances around you and that God will give you favor to help you reach the next level.

God is such an awesome God that He protects you from enemies you don’t even know about. These enemies, a.k.a. haters, are double agents. They have friend- or family-like characteristics but they don’t have your best interest at heart.

Be careful who you share your goals with; you never know their secret motives.

Some people have just one simple motive: to make sure you never reach your full potential. They can be friends and family. No one is immune. 

So on this day, believe in yourself and become unstoppable. Once you believe and have faith in yourself, you will have the ability to move mountains.

Be the catalyst for change. :)
DAY 2


 DAY 3

Today is about blessings in the midst of disappointments.
When I was in college, I started at Howard University and then transferred to Spelman due to homesickness. I am an Atlanta girl to my heart. :)

I had already dreamed of being Alpha Kappa Alpha, despite my father’s insistence on me being Delta, but I knew when I transferred that competition was stiff.

I was naturally disappointed when I didn’t make line at Spelman.

People always ask me now if I would pledge in Graduate Chapter. My answer is no.

It is not hate or being salty that makes me answer so. I think it would change me as a person.

Being a Spelman woman, I am already part of a rich legacy that has sustained me all these years.

During certain times in life you will experience disappointment. Sometimes there are things we want that are not aligned with God’s will.

I believe I am better person without making line. If I had gotten what I wanted, I would not have been strong enough to deal with some of the storms in my life. Not to mention that I would have been completely out of control and drunk with power. I would have been the type who wears some pink and green every day. :)

I had a lot of maturing to do and I did not have the right attitude. God kept me from making dumb mistakes by taking my ego down a notch. And I needed it. :)

Despite not making line, I made lifelong friends through the process. As a transfer student, I made a majority of my friends (seven of them) during that process. While none of us made line, the experience still binds us together for a lifetime. :)

It is not often that you get an opportunity to put on an asymmetrical wig and become Salt-N-Pepa for an hour. LOL! We have lifelong memories that we still giggle about. :)

Sometimes there is a blessing in a disappointment. I believed my blessing would be making line, but my blessing was the friendships that were created.

God knows what is best for you. Sometimes God will take away opportunities that you cannot handle or that may not be in your best interest. While it might be disappointing, after time passes you will realize how much those disappointments shape you into the person you are today.

Thank the Lord that we are all more than what we used to be. :)

So on this day, stay optimistic, even during your disappointment. You never know what blessing is wrapped into it.

Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of suffering.

Be the Catalyst for Change. :)

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Today is about having direction.
Even though I am girly-girly, I have some masculine tendencies. My dad raised me like the son he never had. LOL. :)

I absolutely hate asking for directions. I have been hours late for events because I was too stubborn to ask for directions. I always believe I am close to my destination and that I can figure it out. I also feel that actually asking for directions is giving up in a way.

I believe there are many believers who are stubborn with our relationship with God. We believe that we are intelligent enough to figure out life all by ourselves, that giving our situations to God is giving up in a way.

Faith has nothing to do with intelligence. If you allow your intelligence to get in the way you will never have the close relationship with God that we all crave.

God wants all the glory and wants you to be a testimony to others. If He allowed you to believe that you did it you would take all the credit for yourself and your abilities.

Faith is something that cannot be conceptualized with intelligence alone. Faith works in mysterious ways that cannot always be quantifiable by reason, the main component of intelligence.

Faith does require two items: belief and letting go of your control. You must believe that God can do all things, and you must step out of the way so God can do it.

This must be done in order to receive the blessings that God has for your life and to step into your destiny.

Allow your faith to be your GPS for God. Allow it to guide your path. It will never fail you. *Not like MapQuest LOL!*

Be the catalyst for change. :) 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Business Of Writing

When it comes to writing, most writers don’t realize you have to treat it like a business. You have to know about all the business side that comes with writing, from contracts, to rights.


I found a two sites that touches on a little of everything you might want to know about the business side of writing.




http://www.writing-world.com/rights/index.shtml

http://hollylisle.com/index.php/FAQs/questions-about-the-business-of-writing.html





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Monday, October 25, 2010

FEATURED AUTHOR: Dana Marton

Dana Marton writes fast-paced action-adventure romances that take her readers all over the globe. She is a Rita Award finalist and the winner of the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence. She loves writing stories of intrigue, filled with dangerous plots that try her tough-as-nails heroes and the special women they fall in love with. Her books have been published in seven languages in eleven countries around the world.

THE SPY WHO SAVED CHRISTMAS

CHRISTMAS IS COMING... and this year, it's going to hit hard... For the first time, undercover agent Reid Graham has something to lose--the sons he's never met and the woman he couldn't forget.


While on a mission, Reid had broken the rules to share a very passionate night with Lara. After that night, Lara learned he was dead, his shop and hers burned to the ground. Later, Lara learned she was pregnant with Reid's sons. Almost two years later Reid and Lara are thrown together again when a gunman kills Reid's witness, an event which drags Lara into the middle of things. Reid then learns of his two sons, and Lara learns that the man she had fallen in love with, the man who she thought had died in that fire, was still alive. When Lara first tells Reid the twins are his, he doesn't believe her. But after taking her and the twins to a safe house, he knows they belong to him. Now, he will do anything and everything in his power to save the woman he loves and his children.


How did you start out your writing career?


With a long detour! It took me 12 + years and 5 completed manuscripts (and a stack of unfinished work) to get published. I finally got published when I took massive action and got focused. By massive action, I mean going back to college and getting a Masters' Degree in Writing Popular Fiction. I wanted to improve my writing in a major way in a short time. I didn't want to spend another 12 years learning in dribbles and bits. And I started to write full time, giving 100% energy to writing. By focused, I mean analyzing my strengths and finding the publisher who was the best match for me--Harlequin Intrigue. Then I bought a stack of their books and analyzed them for level of violence, level of sensuality, plot, etc. etc. Once I felt that I knew the line inside out, I started a book for them. That book was snapped up, and I've sold 25 books to them in the last 7 years.


New writers might think, well, if someone can afford to go back to college and write 8 hours a day, that must be nice. But it wasn't like I was some great lady of leisure. I went to college on faith, pretty much. I figured I'm going to work so hard that something will happen. It will have no other choice. Energy doesn't disappear. My husband kept reminding me that I put so much energy into writing, it had to turn into something big. As part of the course work, we had to write a novel of publishable quality. I wrote four, and ended up selling three before I graduated. Those books paid my tuition in full. Halfway through college I lost my job. That allowed me time to write in between searching the job ads. As it turned out, I ended up not having to go back to an office. Losing that job was one of the best things that have ever happened to me.

What did you learn while writing this book?


That I need to learn to write faster!


What did you hope to accomplish with this book?


I would like to give my readers a break. When my reader comes home from work and then takes care of the house and the kids and has an hour or two to herself finally at the end of the day, I'd like to take her out of that house on a grand adventure where she can experience thrill but can't get hurt, where she can be washed away by a grand romance, where she can completely unplug, where a happy ending is guaranteed. My goal is to make her forget her to do list completely. I want to give women like me a break. I think we all need it.


Is the “writer’s life” what you thought it would be?


I have to admit, it's a lot more difficult. I thought things would get easier once I got published, but they only got harder. Instead of having to worry about pleasing 1 editor who might buy my book, I have to worry about pleasing 100,000 readers who will read it. Not to mention promotion, which now takes more time than the actual writing. Publishers expect writers to do more and more of their own promotion. I'm not crazy about this trend. As a manger, I was always told to put each person to a job that he or she does the best. I do writing the best. Hopefully, soon the industry will realize that promotion is best done by marketing specialists and not writers.


Which five characters (can be from books, movies, or tv shows) would you invite over for dinner and why?


Wow, right now all five that pop into my mind are either werewolves or vampires. Is that bad? I'm not sure how that dinner would go for me! LOL


What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?


1. To trust my own judgement more. 2. Not to settle for less than what I truly want. 3. Take more fun time and exercise time. I pretty much haven't left my chair in the last 7 years, which has not done wonders for my health.


Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?


Do keep improving your craft. Go to workshops, read how to books. Don't keep writing at the same skill level. When a book gets rejected, write a new one and make it better.


What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?


It's not about sitting around, eating bon bons and partying with male cover models! LOL I still get request to babysit the neighbor's kids or get together for shopping or things like that, right in the middle of my writing day. Since I work at home, people think I'm just hanging out. Truth is, I barely take time to grab a sandwich from the fridge for lunch. Writing is hard work. I need to be doing it several hours a day to have four books out a year. If you wouldn't like someone to drop off their kids at your office for you to watch them at work, please don't drop off your kids at a writer's house in the middle of the workday. :-)


What was the best advice you’d ever gotten about the publishing industry?


The worst? Best advice was to keep raising the bar for myself. Never give up, never surrender. Worst advice: If it's supposed to happen, it will happen. I'm not sure I believe in "supposed to happen" anymore. I think life is what you make it. Work hard, pray harder. Sitting back and waiting for fate to drop something wonderful on my lap tend not to work for me.


What is something readers would be surprised you do?


I worry about not being good enough. English is not my first language, I learned it fairly late. Sometimes I think of that as an obstacle and wonder if I can ever become a truly good writer. Then I snap myself out of it and tell myself that the only real obstacles are those that we create in our own minds, then I go and work twice as hard.


If you could be a character from any book you've read, who would you be?


This is difficult, because characters in books suffer so much. We need to make them suffer for the sake of sufficient drama in the book and also so the character can grow through the book. If I must be a character from a book, I'd like to be a character from a romantic comedy! LOL Maybe one of Jennifer Crusie's heroines?


Our theme this month is The Business Of Writing. Can you offer any advice about the business side of writing?


Treat you writing like a business. In fact, I've given a free online workshop on this subject recently. (http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/board/forumdisplay.php?f=1186) I've learned the hard way that while writing is an art, publishing is most definitely a business. I'd recommend to write 4 days a week, then take 1 day per week when you put on your business hat and think about things like a business plan for your writing, prepare a marketing plan, spend time on promotion, product development, networking, etc. I've seen absolutely superb writers disappear from the writing scene because they neglected the business side.

Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?


I know for sure Oprah is my favorite! :-) I also know for sure that it doesn't pay to pretend you're someone else than you are just to please others. We can only achieve true excellence when we are being true to ourselves.


Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?


I'm working on a number of projects I'm hoping to sell, so pls. keep your fingers crossed for me. One is a paranormal thriller and the other is a YA paranormal mystery.


How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)

http://www.danamarton.com/



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Friday, October 22, 2010

FEATURED AUTHOR: Calvin Walker

Calvin Walker is a talented young writer based in the Dallas/Fort Worth Region. Since 2007, he has been a contributing writer for a growing online Christian Magazine, The Path. Calvin completed his debut novel entitled The Gallery in 2009.


The Gallery


After narrowly escaping an encounter with a married man, Seth Burgess self proclaimed perfect world is shattered. Seeking refuge at a local bar, an unwanted stranger named Ruben strikes up a conversation. The two strangers end up having more in common than either could imagine. Seth is an amateur photographer. Ruben is a gallery owner in need of an artist. Ruben extends the offer to display Seth’s work and a drunken Seth accepts.


The night before the gallery’s opening Ruben invites Seth to walk through the completed set-up. Very sober and uncertain, Seth makes his way through a lifetime of memories. Hanging from the walls are vivid pictures of a mother who hated him, a father that neglected him and a failed suicide attempt. Each picture takes on a life of its own and demands resolution. As the night progresses, Seth discovers a profound understanding of God, love and the power of forgiveness.


Check out the book trailer, include link or html


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NcwQCEqwiY


How did you start out your writing career?


I've been writing since I was a kid. I wrote my first play in fourth grade. And, I started my first novel when I was fourteen. I have been a contributing writer for an online magazine, Pathmegazine.com, for the past three years.


What did you learn while writing this book?


I learned that I need patience, lots of it! Also, I learned a lot about commitment. A novel like this requires so much commitment. I am not referring to the commitment that it takes to actually finish writing the novel. I am referring to the commitment required to stand firm about the beliefs and truths that I live by.


What did you hope to accomplish with this book?


I really hoped to show people the importance of forgiveness. We live in a world with so many bitter people who never fully tap into the beauty and abundance of life. I wanted the book to reach out to those who are still stuck in their past. It is my desire that the book would shake them from their stupor and encourage them to live again.


Is the “writer’s life” what you thought it would be?


No, the writer’s life is not at all what I expected. I am self-published. There are some major challenges that come with that. Being self published means that I am in charge of purchasing and promoting my book. The work is grueling and can sometimes be very discouraging. The thing that keeps me when I want to give up is hearing how the book has impacted a reader’s life. That part of the writer’s life is much more than what I expected. Knowing that I have been able to positively impact someone is an amazing feeling.


Which five characters (can be from books, movies, or tv shows) would you invite over for dinner and why?


Montague from Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 457- I love this guy! He was someone who allowed himself to be liberated from the mundane.


Julia Sugarbaker from Designing Women- She was a pistol. She spoke her mind. I loved her sarcasm and drive.


Alicia Black from Kimberla Lawson Roby’s The Best of Everything – I want to invite her to my dinner table for one reason. I have got to ask her how she could go shopping at a time when her husband needed her so much.


John from James Baldwin’s Go Tell It On The Mountain- John was such a big inspiration for my own main character, Seth. I read this book in high school. I could totally identify with the main character’s identity crisis.


Leah, the wife of Jacob ( Israel ) – I’ve always said that when I get to heaven I plan to throw her a party. I can really relate to what she went through. She was in a relationship seeking a love that she was owed but not given.


What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?


If your synopsis is too long it can make your whole book sound boring.

Blogs are an aspiring writer’s best friend. (Build a fanbase via the web)

If you write short stories or poetry, do your best to get some of your smaller works into anthologies or lit journals.


Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?


Do- Research! Whatever genre, whatever time period, take some time to research. Small details like making sure that you can mention the name of a song in a scene because it was out during the year that your character is currently living in. Little things like that make for more believable reading.


Don't - Rush! Take the time that you need to develop your characters and your story line. You don't have a publishing house giving you a date when the book needs to be finished. So, you have all the time in the world to perfect your story. Remember...if your book does not make its intended impact, it won't matter that it is available to purchase.


What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?


Writing fiction is not easy. I think people believe that all you have to do is allow your imagination to run free. If writing a book was that easy, I would be on my fifth. There is so much that goes into writing a novel. You have to create and connect with the characters. You have got to think of a story line. Then, you have to go back and see how your characters would react to the situation that they just got themselves into.


What was the best advice you’d ever gotten about the publishing industry? The worst?


The best advice that I have ever received was to connect with bookclubs. The worst...hmm, actually I have never received any poor advice about the industry.


What is something readers would be surprised you do?


I am actually a pretty straightforward guy. I don't have much of an adventurous side to me. Sometimes, I eat butter and honey sandwiches, does that count?


If you could be a character from any book you've read, who would you be?


The Apostle John from the Bible. I love this guy! He is one of the most prolific writers of any time. He had such a pure heart and love.


Our theme this month is The Business Of Writing. Can you offer any advice about the business side of writing?


Get a good literary agent! If you are wanting to make this a career, I would suggest a very good agent. They will be able to help guide you through the potholes and pitfalls of the literary world. If you want to go the self-publishing route, I recommend Booklocker.com or Lulu, Both of these websites are great for self-publishers. For all those who want to go the self-publishing route, my best advice to you would be PROMOTE, PROMOTE, PROMOTE! Nobody is going to know that you are out there unless you make a little noise.


Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?


That God is real! That is the one thing that I know for sure. At the end of the day, God is real.

Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?


I would love to! The Gallery is the beginning of a three book series. I am currently working on the second book in the series which is called The Garden. The Garden is due out early next year. My beautiful wife, Rayanna Walker, will be co-authoring this time around. The Garden is all about relationships. It talks about the good, the bad and the brutal. That is all I can give you without giving away the surprise.


How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)


They can shoot me an email at calvinwalkerauthor@yahoo.com. They can also check out my blog at http://lifeaccordingtomypen.blogspot.com/. The blog will have updates on upcoming projects and engagements. People can also feel free to send me a friend request on Facebook.


Leave a comment or your name for a chance to win a copy of  The Gallery


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