Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Memories

When I was a child, and still believed in Santa Claus, my parents told me that Santa brought our Christmas tree and decorated it himself on Christmas Eve, at the same time he brought our presents.  Having started this story, my poor parents had to wait until my younger sister and I went to bed before they could bring in the secretly hidden tree and begin decorating it.  It took my sister and me a long time to fall asleep because we were so excited.  The longer we stayed awake, the later it became for my parents to do their job.  On Christmas morning we couldn't wait to see the beautifully decorated and lit tree with our presents underneath.  If our parents were extra tired, we didn't notice.  Years passed, we grew older, and Santa was just something you talked about but didn't believe in any more.  Needless to say, that was one period from our childhood that our parents were glad to see go.  I'll never forget how sweet it was of them to create this experience and the wonderful memories that followed.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

When Is Persistence Too .....Persistent?

Congratulations!  Your book is published.  Now you can relax, sit back, and wait for the royalty checks.  Right?  Wrong!  Unless you're REALLY well known, chances are your publisher expects you to do most, if not all, of your marketing.  So, if you want those all important book reviews, radio or TV interviews, or personal appearance/book signing opportunites, it's strictly "do it yourself."  Communicating with the right people to bring these opportunities about is critical, as is your manner of inquiry.  You research the guidelines and contacts, make your call or written request and wait.  And wait, and wait, and wait.  After an appropriate time of not receiving a response, you follow-up.  You craft a respectful message, acknowledging that you know this is a busy person, but you believe you have something their audience wants, and wait again.  Still no answer.  Remember, these are people who say on their websites that they want to hear from you!  Their voicemails always say that although they are not available at the moment, they will call you back as soon as possible.  But they don't.  Do you try a third time?  Do you just show up at their place of business (if geographically possible) where they can't avoid you?  I did it twice and it resulted in apologies for not returning my phone call or e-mail, and my obtaining two speaking engagements.  This can be tricky and probably the exception. I'd much prefer to have my initial query responded to.  Other authors have experienced this problem also.  I wish I had an answer.  Do you?  Any thoughts or experiences on how to circumvent being "ignored" would be welcome.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Goodreads Readers - This is For You

Many people on Goodreads also have blogs.  Why aren't more of us following each other?  We may enjoy different genres but we're united in our love of reading and writing.  I would love to have more followers on my blog: and I will gladly follow those who follow me, as well as those who have a blog I feel I could learn from and contribute to.  If you are on blogger it's very easy to do.  So many of us have good (and bad) experiences with writing, publishing, and promoting, so let's share them!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

My Posts Now on Amazon

When I post now, it will also appear on my Amazon Author Central site.  This is a new feature, so all of you who have books for sale on Amazon, make sure you have an author central site first, and then link your blog to it.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Writer's Digest Award

I learned today that my entry THE JOY OF WILDERNESS CAMPING (a fairy tale) took 81st place in the feature article category of the 79th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition.  Finishing in the top 100 is quite an honor as there are several thousand entrants each year.  Last year I entered in two categories, feature article and short story, and placed in the top 100 in both.  I'm currently working on my second novel and had terrible writer's block yesterday.  This news today spurs me on.  If you love writing, keep doing it.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Let's Write Right!

Most writers have pet peeves, and I have mine.  Long before texting made correct spelling and grammar a thing of the past, I had my own concerns about certain common mistakes.  During my working days I dictated many letters and reports, which various secretaries typed.  I carefully proofread them and seemed to always have a correction or two.  More than once I was asked if I had been an English teacher.  No, just someone who likes to see English used correctly.  For example, "your" shows possession, such as your house, your coat.  "You're" is a contraction of  "you are", such as, you're so nice.  How many times have I seen, "your so nice", or similar.  Too many.  I'm sure anyone reading this has not made that mistake, but just in case......    Anyway, I have more pet peeves, but I'll save them for later.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Serious Writers - This Will Amaze You

Simon and Schuster, a publishing company I've always respected, will be publishing a "novel" by Snooki of the Jersey Shore TV program.  I'm not a fan of the show, but I've read enough about Snooki to know she admitted to reading her first book only recently.  I think she's now read two.  Although it is an imprint of Simon and Schuster that is doing the publishing, I can no longer look at that publishing company in the same way.  Serious writers who have worked months or years on their novels, and would probably donate body parts to be published by Simon and Schuster, apparently need not apply.  Forget all those writing classes and critique groups.  Forget that we're told the publishers are having a hard time selling books.  Just do something stupid, repeatedly, on a TV show, then scribble something down, and call it a novel.  Publishers will be knocking on your door. Even though we try to aspire to something higher. I guess money is always the bottom line.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Beauty of England

I'm here in York, England, a large enough city to be busy, but small enough to be quaint.  This is a photo of the river Foss which ran near our hotel.  In spite of all the rain England has, this was a nice, sunny day.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Traveling in the U.K.

I just returned from a two week trip to England, Scotland, and Wales.  I managed to publicize my novel while there, especially since it is now available on  People seemed interested.  We'll see what my sales look like.  It was a beautiful trip and I'll post a picture or two once I've uploaded them to my computer.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Vacation in Italy

The Amalfi Coast has to be one of the most beautiful regions in Italy.  We viewed it from land along a narrow two-lane road that wound all around the coast, and from a boat, which gave us a completely different view from the water.  I used some of my time in Italy to publicize my novel as there were many readers with our group.  At least one has purchased the Kindle version of NO STONE UNTURNED.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Goodreads for Readers and Authors

I recently joined and it is a great website for those who love to read and write. Check it out. There are groups to join, book reviews, and much more. I'm still learning all about it.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I'm Home From Italy

Just returned from 17 days on the Amalfi Coast and Tuscany. What a wonderful experience! I managed to promote my book among the American travelers I encountered. They all seemed interested but whether it will result in sales remains to be seen. Still trying to deal with the 9 hour time difference. Hope to post some pictures soon, but am still struggling with my new digital camera, which seems to eat batteries weekly. If you see pictures eventually, you'll know I was successful. More later.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Laguna Woods Book Festival - May 8, 2010

This is me participating in the first annual Laguna Woods, California Book Festival. I, and several other authors, were provided a table for displaying and signing our books. There were many speakers at this all day event, many of whom had written memoirs. It was amazing to learn of the interesting lives some of these people had led, and took the time to write about. One lady had been a singing teacher in New York and had personal stories about James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, and other well known singers. It was a great day and I actually sold some books.

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Little About My Book

This is the cover of my novel. It's 467 pages long, but readers tell me that it went fast. I like to read books that keep me turning pages until the end. Sometimes I hate to see the book end if it's really good. Other times, when reading a book that's boring (which I have to finish because my book club selected it) I wish it was short.
What are your favorite books? I know that writers are readers. Reading is where it all starts for most of us.

Hello Everyone

Welcome to my blog! I'm a writer with my first published novel, NO STONE UNTURNED. It is a mystery/romance set in southern California, and if you like mysteries, you should like this one. I'd love to hear from the many writers out there - your publishing and promoting experiences, and anything else about writing you'd like to share. I'd like this blog to develop into a forum where we could support each other in our writing efforts. Your thoughts?

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