Monday, April 14, 2014
If you’re just getting on board, welcome to my first “Blog Hop” and many thanks to Cindy Eastman for welcoming me along for the ride. I’ve re-posted this with my picture to avoid confusion. everyone else’s picture in the blog was showing up with the title.
In a Blog Hop, each participant receives the invitation from a fellow author / blogger, shares a little about that person, posts answers to a standard set of questions, and then invites other author / bloggers to follow. It’s kind of like a chain letter for bloggers and it’s forced me to master several new blogging skills (like inserting the pictures). In keeping with the plan, here is a little about Cindy.
Cindy Eastman is a writer and an educator raised in Louisville, Kentucky. She attended undergraduate schools in Austin, Texas and graduate school in Springfield, Massachusetts and holds a Master’s degree in Education. She has taught students from ages 5 to 85 in subjects like poetry, English writing and computer skills.
Cindy’s writing is informed by her ability to be an observer as well as a participant in her life. With her dry sense of humor, she is able to address a variety of topical subjects and deliver an insightful analysis that’s both provocative and amusing.
Cindy’s first book, a collection of essays entitled, Flip-Flops After 50: And Other Thoughts On Aging I Remembered To Write Down will be published by She Writes Press in April 2014.You can find her online at www.cindyeastman.com or follow her on Twitter @CLEastman
Thank you for the invitation, Cindy. It’s always great to connect with readers and other writers and I appreciate the opportunity this has given me to do both. Please visit the three writers’ blogs following the Q&A and Cindy’s blog cited above. I suspect that you would also enjoy her book. She has a wonderful sense of humor and great insights on life and living.
My Answers To The Q & A Portion Of This Hop:
1. What am I working on?
I would love to say that I am working full time on writing my next book, but that’s not how the craft works, at least not for me. As Cindy noted in her blog, much of my time is also spent building and maintaining my “platform”: my presence in the literary world. No matter how well written a book may be, it is not going to sell unless people know it exists and that takes building a platform. Therefore, much of my time is spent doing book readings and signings, participating in radio, press and television interviews, garnishing reviews, working the social media, and participating in things like this Blog Hop. (Check out my “Up and Coming” posts to see the list.) Believe me, I love doing all of these things, but I also have a constant, gnawing feeling that I should be doing more writing.
To force myself to work on my next novel, I have been spending one day, and more recently, two days each week at the Bristol Senior Center. That location is one of the key settings for, Injured Angels, and whenever I am there, I try to avoid doing any other work than writing the book. For the most part, it’s working, and I am making substantial progress toward my goal of the new book being ready for debut by late summer or early fall.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
When I wrote my current novel, Amanda’s Room, I wanted to create a new story line in the paranormal genre. While I appreciate books that feature ghosts, werewolves and vampires, I wanted to write about something totally different. From the reader reactions, I am gratified that it seems I succeeded in that regard. In the book, the reader never sees or hears directly from Amanda. In fact, like one of my main characters, Bert Myers, says, we could argue that everything that happened was coincidental and Amanda never really existed at all. But thanks to the insights of my main protagonist, Katie Jarvis, we get to know Amanda as intimately as anyone else in the story. The weather also plays a central role in the story and linking the weather to a spirit’s intentional act of will creates a story as big as the weather itself, and there isn’t much bigger then that.
Beyond Amanda’s Room, thanks to my reader’s feedback, the entire Katie Jarvis series will also be genre unique. My next book is a straight literary novel, without a hint of the supernatural. Because Amanda’s Room readers have pushed to hear more about Katie, I have rewritten the next book to once again feature her. In Injured Angels, Katie, now an investigative reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, narrates the story of her aunt’s experience after loosing her husband of more than 50 years. Then, in the final book of the Katie Jarvis series, (working title: The Atlantis Crossing) Katie returns in an action / adventure story: three completely different genres, all featuring the same lead character. If I can pull this off, it should be a noteworthy literary feat.
3. Why do I write what I do?
I never intended to write a paranormal story as my first novel. My father was a coal miner who died of the “black lung.” Inspired by his life, the first book I tried to write was a multi-generational historical novel based upon life and death in the anthracite mines of northeast Pennsylvania. After writing several hundred pages, I realized I was not ready to write that book, technically or emotionally. I started several others, including a children’s book, before I revisited a short story I had written in 2005 and developed that into the full-length novel that became Amanda’s Room.
Part of me needs to write. Many of the messages I received from my early life and education emphasized things I was not able to do, including writing, but something deep inside of me disagreed with those judgments. Each time I succeed in writing something that moves, surprises or excites people, I feel somehow vindicated. The more I delight readers, the more fulfilling I find this profession and the more complex the task the more it satisfies me, which is perhaps why I am attracted to long-form writing like novels.
4. How does my writing process work?
Messy. My life is full, with many competing priorities that often impact my writing. I wrote the initial draft of this while sitting in a coffee shop with my wife, children and grandchildren. As I wrote, I tried to keep up with the conversation, partly present and partly absent at the same time. I finished this in my living room, with grandchildren coming and going every few minutes. In between editing snippets, I fixed two bicycles, located the bike helmets, put the second youngest in for a nap, and answered myriad questions.
When I have the energy I try to get up very early, while it’s still dark, and write in my home office. I also do well when I am on my own in places like restaurants and libraries where I can be “alone with people.” No matter where or when it is, I always do better while sipping coffee.
For shorter pieces, I just start writing and keep going till I’m finished. Then, I review and edit. At least for me, writing is rewriting. On longer works, like my novels, I’ve started using a writing tool called Scrivener. This software combines a word processor with a database, which makes outlining the book and keeping track of various elements like characters, scenes and timelines much easier.
And Now For The Next Stops On The Blog Hop:
Allow me to introduce the three author / bloggers who graciously accepted my invitation to join in this Blog Hop. Please visit their blogs and web-sites and spread the word. And thank you for allowing all of us to share a little about ourselves.
As a MindBody Coach, Certified Hypnotherapist, Reiki Master and award-winning Author, June Hyjek offers extensive experience in helping clients manage their pain and stress, working with them to move through life’s transitions with grace and peace. She is the author of “Unexpected Grace: A Discovery of Healing through Surrender” and a meditation CD, “Moving Into Grace.” Her book and CD offer hope, comfort and insights to help us move through the difficult times we all face in life.
Personally, June deals with debilitating complications from Scoliosis and has moved through the physical and emotional pain of seven spine surgeries, finding healing through mindbody approaches and the loving support of others. Her personal experience provides the passion for her work and her speeches, which offer inspiration and hope for achieving and maintaining wellness.
June is a graduate of the Advanced Training Program with the Center for MindBody Medicine, and is certified with the American Alliance of Hypnotists. She also holds certifications in traditional fitness and Pilates with the Aerobics & Fitness Association of America and Body Balance University, with specializations in chronic disease, spinal stabilization and orthopedic disabilities.
More information on June can be found on:
-Award winning author-Catherine Czerwinski Gibson is a Connecticut native. Author of “Through Sophie’s Eyes”, “Coach Bob & Me”,
“Sophie Discovers Synchronized Swimming” and soon to be released May 1, 2014- “What’s Your Something Special?”
Children’s books with a positive message.
All books have been inspired by people in her life. Cathy conveys that message in her thoughtful stories about children with special gifts who are accepted for their individual strengths and winning personalities.
A portion of the proceeds from each book sold is donated to the For Children With Love Foundation, which go to children’s causes.
Brian Jud is an author, book-marketing consultant, speaker, seminar leader, television host and president of Premium Book Company that sells books to non-bookstore buyers on a non-returnable, commission basis. Brian is also the Executive Director of the Association of Publishers for Special Sales (formerly SPAN).
Brian is the author of How to Make Real Money Selling Books (Without Worrying About Returns) This is the ultimate do-it-yourself guide to selling your books to non-bookstore buyers in large quantities, with no returns. He also wrote Beyond the Bookstore (a Publishers Weekly® book), a primer on non-bookstore marketing.
Brian has also written and published five titles on career transition that are distributed internationally. He is a prolific writer of articles about book publishing and marketing. He is the author of the eight e-booklets with Proven Tips for Publishing Success and the editor of the bi-weekly newsletter, Book Marketing Matters. He was the host of the television show, The Book Authority that aired for 13 years.
Brian was an adjunct lecturer of sales and marketing courses for graduate and undergraduate students at the University of Hartford and the University of Connecticut. Brian is a regular speaker on marketing topics at IBPA’s Publishing University and for publishing groups around the country. Brian has a BS degree in Marketing from the University of Cincinnati and an MBA in Marketing from Xavier University.