Why I Read Mostly Indie Authors

 

Eight or Ten years ago, as a reader,I read mostly best sellers, most of them published by the big publishing houses. Some of them were really good, others not so much. And over the years, as a writer, I submitted my work to publishing houses. And I had some success. My first mid-grade novel was accepted by the first editor who saw it, and I was feeling quite proud. Then my other fiction work collected rejection letters until I submitted an idea for a nonfiction book, got the contract, and and begin writing nonfiction for kids. I didn’t go without a contract unless I wanted to take a break for the next ten years. During that time, I published 20 books for kids, junior hi level and up.

After that, I was contacted about writing Dr. George Blue Spruce’s autobiography and shortly after that Helen Blanchard’s. I saw the Dr. Blue Spruce book though publication with Bison Books, University of Nebraska Press while Ms. Blanchard went the self publishing route. By this time, I had lost my contacts with my nonfiction editors. Some were promoted, and others retired or moved elsewhere. So, I decided to go back to my first love, Christian fiction.

I attended writers conferences and begin hearing the same old story I had heard while attending conferences in the earlier years of my career. “Don’t give give up,” they said as they ran through a list of authors who had been rejected and rejected and rejected. When these authors finally found a home for their work, it often made the best seller list… J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was rejected 12 times. That was the most current one to make the news at that time, but the list of best sellers that were rejected by agents and editors many, many times is very long. If you want to see the mind-blowing numbers, go here:  https://lithub.com/the-most-rejected-books-of-all-time/

In the beginning, I found this encouraging because I was a wanna-be author and looked for encouragement anywhere I could find it. If editors and agents said it, I believed it because I had a dream I wanted to follow. But later, with a few years experience after publishing twenty-two books plus hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles, my eyes suddenly opened! Agents and editors often reject books that readers love! And so, Reader me has found many, many books written and published by independent authors that I love! (And Writer Me has become an independent author publishing books I hope some of you will love!)

Do sa do, Circle to the Right, and Promenade Home

I just realized I haven’t posted to my blog in months. I have an excuse that has to do with 911 calls, ambulance rides, helicopter flights, stents, blood clots, and Cardiac Rehab… not me, hubby. But, all seems to be well now, so here I am. A little worn from worry, but we hope we’re done with all that. Now for today’s post:

I poured through hundreds of photos yesterday, looking for a special one when I ran across this…

…and a flood of memories filled my mind with joy. I think our square dance years were among our most enjoyable. Our kids were grown and married (one divorced but that’s another story), we were blessed with grandchildren, and had time to enjoy ourselves. So, we signed up for a square dance class. We loved it from the start.

The first night we learned to circle right and left, do sa do, and promenade. By the end of the six week course, we had mastered the beginner calls and were ready for the next session.

After we finished that class we were welcomed into the world of Mainstream dancing and signed up for a class in the next level, Plus. We graduated Plus and moved on into A1. Had a great time, but things change, Dan retired and we moved to a resort retirement in Arizona. Believe it or not, there was no square dance club! And our square dance years became a memory.

The grandchildren loved my square dance outfits. This is Stephanie giving this skirt and red petticoat a whirl.

We enjoyed the friendship, dancing, music, and all the rest. However, square dance attire was very near the top of my list, maybe number one. There were square dance shops where we bought some of our stuff. My petticoats, I had about a dozen and the grandchildren loved whirling around in them.

I also had sissy panties, and leather soled dancing shoes. Dan bought western shirts, boots, and pants. Needless to say, we were regular customers for the bought items. However, I made my outfits and a matching neck scarf for Dan, so the fabric store got that business.

It was so much fun. Sometimes, I think I might just sew a square dance dress for the pure pleasure of it. Not! I haven’t seen a fabric store in years. And where would I get all that lace today? Besides, it’s way too much work and that job needs to stay into the memory file.

Ten Small Nuggets to Make an Author’s Day Special

When you finish reading a good book, the curtain comes down but there’s no applause for the entertainer. The author doesn’t see your smile or hear your sigh. He or she will never know you appreciate the time, effort, and imagination that created the hours of reading pleasure… Unless you say so. The best way, to express your appreciation and encourage the author, is to leave a review or reader comment at an online book stores.

It looks a little scary when you glance at the other reviewer comments and see three paragraph book reports. Lengthy reports are appreciated and treasured by the author and readers (unless they give away too much of the plot). But, two sentence comments that tell other readers what you liked about the book are like gold nuggets. A few words of encouragement make any author’s day special.

Don’t save your review comments for the best book you ever read, that’s a once in a life-time experience. Comment on the ones you enjoy. Kindle Fire makes it easy to post your review comment when you finish the book, but you still have to think of the words to write. It’s not that hard, once you get started.  Here are ten phrases you might mix and match to make your own review comment about a book you’ve read and liked:

1.  Kept me up past my bedtime

2. Romance (mystery or suspense) with twists and turns

3. Very well written

4. Loved the characters

5. Hated the villain

6. Kept my interest from start to finish

7. The characters seemed so real I thought of them as friends

8. I just couldn’t quit reading until I found out what happened next

9. My kind of book; had it all —  romance, mystery, and suspense.

10. I highly recommend this book

Let these phrases start you thinking. Write a few kind words from your reader heart, we don’t expect perfection. 🙂

 

 

Gold Nuggets

Encouraging words are as precious as pure gold. Without the inspiration of encouragement, our emotional bank account is quickly depleted and  motivation disappears.

We thrive on encouragement and suffer without it. We are dependent on each other for these precious nuggets of gold.

Everyone —  friends, aunts, uncles, grandparents, parents, and strangers like to encourage babies. It comes natural to offer soothing words to a crying baby (encouragement to be happy). And, who can resist baby’s first attempts to roll over, crawl… and oh, those first steps. We cheer from the sidelines, offer helping hands, and gentle nudges. It’s so much fun to feel a part of first accomplishments!

As the years roll by, the need for encouragement continues but it’s not as much fun to cheer an adult on… except sports figures and concert stars. But, what do you get from your efforts at a ballgame or concert? A couple hours of entertainment and participation in some after-the-game chatter including texts, tweets, and Facebook status-updates. After the excitement fades and life returns to normal. If you were down, you’re down; if you were up, you’re up.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you had an encouragement bank account somewhere? A place where you could deposit a dozen encouraging words and some happy spirit along with a smile or two… and withdraw as needed.

You can. When you encourage others and build them up, it’s like making deposits in your own encouragement account. You feel good when you make others feel good. It’s pure pleasure to cheer someone you love, friend or relative, and watch them strive for success.

Be generous with encouragement, scatter it among friends and family, and dish it out to strangers. And, when you’re feeling down maybe some encouraging words will come your way. But… the sure way to feel better is to remember how good it feels to make someone else feel good. Go do it! Sometimes the best encouragement comes from words of appreciation – nuggets of gold

Happy New Year!

Farewell 2012… Welcome 2013!

My wish for you in 2013 is that you enjoy your ordinary days and that those days made special will leave good memories.

As for me, I’m always glad when the Rose Bowl marks the end of the season. January 2 is a happy day for me, as I slip into the new year. I’m ready to go back to my normal routine and back to uninterrupted writing. (That’s a dream I probably don’t want to come true. I welcome interruption- need real people in my life to help me deal with the imaginary ones.)

January offers an opportunity to let some things slip into the past as we move on with a promise for a  new beginning and hope for the future.

For a writer, and many others, those are just words that sound good but have little meaning. I open a new planner but it’s just another day. Unfinished work doesn’t slip into the past. That novel that went on hold as Thanksgiving approached is waiting to be finished. The next blog calls and the business side of writing won’t wait.

But, there is an upside. In early January, we have about two months of winter ahead… but we’re rolling toward spring. The days are getting longer, more daylight hours give the sun a greater opportunity to peek through the clouds.

Best of all, when it’s cold and dreary outside, what could be better than curling up under a warm throw with a good book where you can escape to the place of your choice? How about a little romance in Myrtle Hill, Oklahoma where a reluctant heiress finds all sorts of circumstantial evidence indicating the charming attorney retained to settle the Rogue Trust is anything but… So, why does she find him so attractive? [amazon_link id=”B008VTNT2S” target=”_blank” ]The Rogue Trust (Ordinary Days in Myrtle Hill)[/amazon_link]

Where Were You on 9/11/2001

(Photo credit – JustASC/Bigstock.com)

One ordinary Tuesday morning in September, Dan was on the patio reading the paper when I turned on my computer. I didn’t go to Facebook, couldn’t get past the homepage news.

I stared at the screen. Impossible. The This can’t happen. A few seconds later reality kicked in. It was real.  Although it had happened earlier, the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center displayed on my monitor crumbled to the ground as I watched.

I called to Dan and turned on the TV. We stood stunned as we learned why the towers collapsed. We saw clips of the planes flying into the buildings, the upper levels bursting into flame, the towers collapsing… and the horror. People jumping from windows and falling to their death. Others on the ground running for their lives; bloody and bruised, covered with ash and soot.

This is one of those terrible events in American history that cannot be forgotten by those who witnessed it and must not be forgotten by generations to come.

This was an attack on the financial heart of the United States in New York City. Although the death toll has a number, I doubt that the full impact on American lives and economy will ever be known. Some companies disappeared in an instant, their people, records, and offices. The attack touched families from coast to coast and border to border, including our neighborhood and circle of friends.

One of our neighbors was a flight attendant for United. She knew members of the crews aboard those planes. And, she was scheduled for one of those doomed flights but something came up and she agreed to swap routes with another attendant. She will never forget that day. And for everyone who knows her, that attack on the Nation has become personal.

A friend’s husband’s first question when he heard the towers had collapsed was, “Where are my daughters?” They were enjoying a long awaited vacation with their mother and scheduled to be in the area of the towers that morning. News of their whereabouts didn’t come for hours because communication lines were down including cell service. When word came through, they were safe… but finding transportation out of New York would be a challenge.

Glaring headlines spread the news around the world. But the personal stories told by neighbors and friends touched our hearts in ways we won’t forget.

Want to share where you were and how did it touched your friends and family? Leave a comment below. I’d like to know.