Archive for July, 2011
July 24, 2011
Presenting Anne K. Albert on the Mystery We Write Blog Tour 2011
Anne K. Albert (and yes, that is her AKA) has taught high school art, sold display advertising for a small town weekly newspaper, and worked for a national brand water company, but now writes full time.
A member of the Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and married to her high school sweetheart for more than a quarter of a century, it’s a given she’d write mystery and romantic suspense.
When not in her home office, she enjoys traveling, visiting friends and family, knitting, crocheting, and of course, reading.
FRANK, INCENSE AND MURIEL is the first book of her Muriel Reeves Mysteries series. It’s available in e-book format at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords and from Vanilla Heart Publishing. The print edition will be released July 2011.
If they drop by her Muriel Reeves Mysteries blog http://muriel-reeves-mysteries.blogspot.com and leave a comment mentioning this interview, she’ll enter their name in a draw to win a pdf copy of FRANK, INCENSE AND MURIEL. The winner will be announced at the conclusion of the tour, sometime during the week of August 22, 2011.
Anne, what was the most difficult experience you had on your journey to publication?
When Beth asked me the above question, it did not take long for me to figure out what I would share with you today. Self-confidence has always been my Achilles heel.
To be fair, I am getting better.
Last summer I was reading a book by a well known multi-published author who shall remain nameless. It was taking me forever to get into the story. I didn’t care about the protagonist. The author’s use of language continually pulled me out of the story. Reading the book was, well, to
put it bluntly, work. Hard work. Not my idea of a fun way to spend a few hours of my life I would never, ever get back. Finally, I gave up. I closed the book and refused to read another word.
“I can write better than that,” I said.
For the very first time in my life I realized it was true. I could write a better story. I had the ability and the desire. I was indeed a writer!
That’s when I came to understand that for far too many years it was not agents or editors who were holding me back from achieving my goal of publication (although they did to some extent). It was me. Deep in my heart I didn’t believe I was good enough. I didn’t appreciate what was truly unique about me as a writer. And for that reason I was not as focused on furthering my career.
In many ways, I realize now I was no different from the anorexic who stares into the mirror and sees a morbidly obese person’s reflection. I routinely undervalued my skill and ability as a writer. I sabotaged my career because I considered myself a fraud and a fake. Readers, contest judges, even editors would sing my praises, (by this time I had won a number of writing contests) but I’d focus on that one tiny criticism and blow it all out of proportion.
Is this lack of self-confidence a result of a childhood with too few supporters? Or is it more? Sometimes the answer will surprise you. It did me.
Shortly after I stated “I can write better than that” a good friend and I went for lunch. She asked how my writing was going and joked that one day she expected to see my name on a book cover. I replied that the very idea of being in the public eye terrified me to no end. She arched a brow, and insisted I think hard about what I’d just divulged.
By the end of the day I realized my lack of confidence was not the only thing holding me back.
Yes, I know it sounds weird, and it probably is, but I’m an intensely private person. I can’t imagine sharing anything personal with a stranger, and yet writing a book is about as personal as one can get! Once I assumed an AKA that obstacle disappeared.
My advice? Writer know thyself! What’s really keeping you from achieving your goal? Gatekeepers are one thing…but we all hold the key to our future in our own hands.
You can find Anne’s books here:
Vanilla Heart Publishing. http://www.vanillaheartbooksandauthors.com
Well, folks, Beth here. I’m working on a brand new keyboard which will drive me insane until my fingers adjust themselves to it, I figured out g-mail after messing it up twice, switched email addresses and will continue switching them until they all come to beth anderson 43 @ g mail dot com. Y’all know what I mean, right? Now that I have it all set up, I love it, so there I’ll stay. Copy it and adjust the spaces and you’ll have it if you want to email me for anything. Or, right here on my website I have a Contact button that will be adjusted to the new email address shortly by my website maven.
Want to join my email list, which is only issued every century or so?. No spamming there, I can tell you. I’m completely spam-free, so join up! You could win one of my books now and again. Check me out on Amazon.com. Just type in Beth Anderson, you’ll find me and pick out your heart’s desire so when I notify you that you’re a winner, you can tell me which one you want. I can either send an e-book anywhere in the world, or a print book anywhere here in the US.
This is the last week of my part of the eleven week blog tour with a whole bunch of great authors you’ve been reading about here for the past couple of months. I’ve really enjoyed reading all of them and learning more about these talented women. I hope you’ll drop back by every week when I and my motley crew of imaginary characters will be filling your lives with merriment and nonsense, so come on by and say hello! I’ll leave the porch light on for ya!
Meantime, I love y’all, you KNOW I do!
XOXOXO, Beth Anderson aka Hotclue herself
July 18, 2011
Mystery We Write Blog Tour 2011 Presents Vivian Zabel
This week we’re featuring Vivian Zabel, author of Stolen, a compelling real-life story that will definitely hold your attention.
The result of a broken heart – a novel, the writing of Stolen
Over 14 years ago, two of my grandchildren were taken by their father. We had no contact with them, didn’t know where they were, didn’t know if they were alive or not. The pain nearly destroyed us. We loved them so much, and they were such major parts of our lives, my husband and I felt as if a chunk of our hearts had been ripped out. I can only imagine the agony their mother, our daughter felt.
Something had to be done with that severe pain and despair. I turned to my therapy – writing. Stolen was born.
Every year for 12 years, around the time they were last seen by anyone in the family, I would blog a letter to them, giving my contact information. A friend asked if he could spread my latest blog, November 2007, through the blogs of his friends around the world. Of course I agreed.
Early 2008, I received an email, “I think you’re my grandmother.”
Finally, the novel is released and a sequel will be possible. God does answer prayer; He just sometimes takes much long than we want.
If you’re interested in reading more about the book please visit: http://www.stolen.yolasite.com.
My website is http://www.VivianZabel.com .
Not much time to chat this week, folks. We have a severe weather watch/warning here in Chicagoland, so I’ll just say come back next week and you’ll see the last of the Mystery We Write Blog Tour 2011 interviews. Then it’ll be up to Hotclue and me. I know you’re dying to see her again, just give us a couple more weeks and then She’ll Be Back!
Meantime, I’ll leave the porch light on for ya. I love you, you KNOW I do!
XOXOXOXO, Beth & Co.
July 13, 2011
Mystery We Write Blog Tour 2011 Presents Jennifer Di Camillo
We welcome Jennifer DiCamillo this week, a couple of days late and we apologize for that. Jennifer is here to tell us about her travails while she was writing her first books, and what kept her writing. Here are her two latest books:
And now, some words on keeping on, keeping on, JenniferDi Camillo style:
Like most writers, I struggle with my worthiness as a writer. I often think…maybe I should quit. A few years ago, I started entering writing contests because I needed to do exercises to improve my writing, and I hoped for some sort of reassurance that I was a good writer. I’ve since won over 180 awards, but I still struggle sometimes.
At one particular conference, a woman came up to me after I won several honorable mentions, and she told me that she thought it was time I quit entering contests. It absolutely broke my heart.
At the time, I was going through some pretty tough medical issues. I was facing a hysterectomy—and the removal of 26 lbs of tumors in my abdomen. They weren’t sure if it was cancer or not. It wasn’t. (Thank God.) Three of my four grandparents died of cancer, so I’m high risk. The fears were real.
I stopped writing for a couple of years. Every time I sat down at the computer to try, her words came back to haunt me. She didn’t understand that I am also suicidal and I needed something to look forward to. Contests provided that for me.
The funniest thing is…the woman who said the devastating words to me is an inspirational writer.
We’ve talked since and she says she thought she was complimenting me, telling me I had outgrown the small conferences. All I know is how much the words hurt at a time I really needed support. Of course, she didn’t know what I was going through medically.
I’ve forgiven her, of course, but it took some time. And it took a long time before I could make myself write anything, anything at all.
I have three books coming out this year, so I’ve bounced back and am on track again.
FOUR DEAD, a romantic suspense about a serial killer and the detectives chasing the murderer. MENTALLY UNSTABLE, a mystery anthology featuring short mystery stories of all kinds, from humorous and cozy to hard-boiled and science fiction. And PASSING PATRIOTS, a poetic tribute to veterans and their families.
Here are my websites:
You can find information on all of these websites. I hope you’ll visit me soon!
Hey, Folks, Beth here again. Jennifer DiCamillo really had a lot of battles to overcome, didn’t she. But that’s one of the major things that helps make a succesful published author. The will to move on and start all over again. I’ve had those troubles myself, we probably all have. But we move on and write again because we have to. Not because anyone else tells us we have to, but once a writer, always a writer, even IF we stop writing for publication. We’re still writers. It’s in our blood. So thank you, Jennifer, for telling us about your problems, and how you overcome them.
Here’s a little bit of fun news. My own book, RAVEN TALKS BACK, available in print and Kindle is really working hard to become a bestseller. In fact, it is one! On Tuesday I had an exciting few hours watching the Amazon numbers drop (which is the right way, the way you want them to drop) from 65th to 28th all the way to 6th place in the Metaphysical Mystery 100 Top Bestsellers category at Amazon’s Kindle section.
YAY for RAVEN! I knew she had it in her!!!
Of course, those numbers change daily (actually hourly) so the one time I looked today, it was (sob!) (just kiddingy) back up in the 70’s, but it was STILL in the Top 100. I’m happy. And heck, it might disappear completely from the top 100, but it was fun while it lasted! And I can still call it a Bestseller now, because it was, if only for a while. Unless y’all would like to keep it there…;-)
I’ll be back in a few days with another author interview, so don’t stay away too long! I’ll leave the porch light on for you. I love y’all, you KNOW I do!
XOXOXO, especially to whomever had those numbers moving like that yesterday afternoon! An extra XO to you! And how about leaving a comment or two for Jennifer, eh?
July 2, 2011
Mystery We Write Blog Tour 2011 Presents Marilyn Meredith
F.M. Meredith, also known as Marilyn Meredith, is the author of nearly thirty published novels. Her latest in the Rocky Bluff P.D. crime series, from Oak Tree Press, is Angel Lost. Marilyn is a member of EPIC, Four chapters of Sisters in Crime, including the Internet chapter, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. Visit her at http://fictionforyou.com and her blog at http://marilynmeredith.blogspot.com
ANGEL LOST: As plans for her perfect wedding fill her mind, Officer Stacey Wilbur is sent out to trap a flasher, the new hire realizes Rocky Bluff P.D. is not the answer to his problems, Abel Navarro’s can’t concentrate on the job because of worry about his mother, Officer Gordon Butler has his usual upsets, the sudden appearance of an angel in the window of a furniture store captures everyone’s imagination and causes problems for RBPD, and then the worst possible happens—will Stacey and Doug’s wedding take place?
Marilyn has some definite and true words for people who want to write, or who want to have written. Listen up, newbies, because Marilyn isn’t kidding. She speaks the truth.
DO YOU REALLY WANT TO BE A WRITER? by Marilyn Meredith
Writers don’t just sit around dreaming about being a writer.
Writers don’t tell everyone all about the book they are going to write one day, they put their fanny down in the chair and start writing.
Writers learn all they can about writing and the genre they are going to write in by:
Reading books in that genre.
Reading books on writing.
Taking writing classes on line or by going to writers conferences.
Participating in a writers critique group.
Writers write on a regular basis even if it’s only one hour a day.
Writers edit their work carefully and find another person who knows how to edit take another look at the manuscript. (To really edit properly, you need to print out the manuscript. It also helps to read the manuscript out loud.)
Writers study the market to find who would be most likely to publish their book. When submitting they follow the guidelines exactly.
Writers don’t let rejections get them down. Being rejected is another part of being a writers.
Writers don’t give up. Once one book is done, they begin the next one—and the next, and the next.
Writers learn that there are many barriers that arise in a writer’s life, but they move on anyway.
Writers love to write, which brings us full circle. Writers write.
I write under the name of F. M. Meredith and Marilyn Meredith. I feel qualified to give you the above advice because my first book was rejected nearly 30 times over a three or four year period of time. I rewrote each time it had been rejected five times. This was back in the day when a typewriter and carbon papers was all there was and the full manuscript was mailed in a box with another box inside with the proper postage on it so you’d get it back.
Over the years, I’ve had many manuscripts rejected.
I’ve had four different agents; none of them ever sold a book for me.
I’ve had two publishers who turned out to be crooks.
Two of my publishers died.
I’ve had publishers who didn’t bother to pay me my royalties.
No matter what, I kept on writing, attending writers’ conference, going to my critique group on the average of once a week, sending out queries, learning more and more, joining writing groups on the Internet, and a lot more.
No, I’m not with a New York publisher, but I’ve had nearly 30 books published. I’m with two small presses who do trade paperback and e-books. I’ve been an instructor at many writers’ conferences. And most importantly, I’m doing what I love. I’m a writer.
Folks, I’m being featured over at http://mysteriouspeople.blogspot.com/ this week, so pop on over there if you’d like to hear more about me than I’ve told you so far. 😉
Next week, in case I didn’t tell you before, HOTCLUE herself will be back to give me a hard time over just about everything, so be sure and tune in. I’m looking forward to her visit. (Or maybe not.) Actually, I’m just hoping she doesn’t get too much out of hand but you know Hotclue, or you do if you’ve been wondering where she’s been. Pop in, you don’t want to miss her; she does like to give me a hard time.
I can hardly wait to see what she’s wearing when she gets here.
Meantime, I hope all of you will have a safe and Happy Fourth of July. And always remember what this holiday is about. It’s about all of us here in America. Not just some of us. All of us.
Come on back next week, ya hear me? I’ll leave the porch light on for ya. I love you all, you KNOW I do! And so do DenaliDawg, who will be here as my guest in two weeks, and Sarge the Terrible, who has finally, this year, stopped jumping off of the garage roof, and BooBoo the Wonder Cat, who has multiple personalities so look out! 😉