It’s an honor to be featured on author/blogger Peni Jo Renner’s site! She wrote the multi-award-winning Puritan Chronicles series and is penning yet another book, this one set in modern times. Not long ago, she shared her self-publishing journey here and here on this blog. Have you been a guest on someone else’s site? Here I am on hers…
1. Congratulations on winning an Emmy! When and how did you achieve such an honor?
It was for a documentary I co-produced with a friend about homelessness in Marina del Rey, Los Angeles. Winning it was a happy experience, but also disorienting, which caught me off guard. After the ceremony, as I stood in line for the dinner buffet, someone tapped my shoulder and said, “Hey, you’re one of the winners.” Flustered, I made some sort of excuse. The man said, “But you won.” I continued making excuses!
2. Tell me about “Flamenco & the Sitting Cat” and its sequel, “Tango & the Sitting Cat.” Why do you call them “anti-novels”? And where might someone purchase your works?
This week’s list are characters that remind us of ourselves. I had some trouble with this list! I decided to talk about characters that I think are easy to relate to in one way or another. Some of them do remind me of myself so perhaps I can get away with this topic change?
Miss Honey– Matilda– Roald Dahl– A lot of parents call me Miss Honey. It’s not been the first time a parent of a child in my class comes to me and either calls me it by mistake or tells me I’m like her. Not a bad thing. It could be The Trunchbull!
On sweltering days of summer — or for that matter, any other day of the year — one of my favorite ways to distract myself from whatever’s bothering me physically (like extremely hot or cold days) or mentally (like stressful situations) is reading good fiction.
With all the wonderful indy authors that self-publishing is making possible, the world of fiction has become more exuberantly varied than ever. Which independently published books do you enjoy?
The best thing about spending the last 2 months driving between Oregon and Washington, living out of a suitcase, and ignoring my bossy muse has been catching up on reading. Indie books were gifts from heaven!
It’s been a while since I’ve shared reviews of books I’ve enjoyed. These are in no particular order. And there are more to come!
A Thousand Yesteryears
by Mae Clair
Intriguing plot and believable characters. At the death of her aunt, Eve Parrish returns to Point Pleasant to sell off the family hotel. Not only is the town known for sightings of a fantastical creature, the mothman, it’s also the location of a bridge collapse that, fifteen years ago, claimed the life of Eve’s father and friend. That tragedy still hangs over the town, and Eve has no plans to stay.
But her old crush Caden Flynn still lives in town, a man haunted…
I arrive home at lunchtime with a 30-minute break from work. I am hassled and frazzled and tired. I dump some leftovers in a saucepan while washing the breakfast dishes, starting a load of laundry, and cleaning up the newspapers scattered on the dining room table.
That’s when I see the patch of sunlight, and the yogi.
He can’t cross his legs as human meditators do, but instead sits like a Sphinx, front legs straight ahead, beautiful gold and white furry chest held straight and proud. His neck rises a bit as he faces me and holds my green eyes into his chocolate brown ones. The expression is wise and all-knowing, and I can hear his thoughts immediately:
Why don’t you calm down, for heaven’s sake?
The sun is basking his body in heat and light, and his mouth opens to pant. But actually he is trying to say something to me…
Traditional publishing, the kind that engages literary agents and monolithic publishing companies, has always been a challenge for writers. In my quest to find either for my soon-to-be-released novels, “Flamenco & the Sitting Cat” and “Tango & the Sitting Cat,” it feels akin to winning the lottery. Fortunately, self-publishing is rapidly becoming a mainstream empowering alternative. What’s your experience with either buying or publishing self-published novels?
“The Winnowing Waves” and Self-Publishing by Nadira Cotticollan
I belong to aMuslim community from the coastal state of Kerala in South India. We are said to have been winnowed out from the rest of the Kerala populace by the inter-marriages that took place between the Arab traders and the local women. Most of the cultural aspects continued to be picked up from the customs prevalent in Kerala, with some changes to create a distinct identity.But there was a marked Arab influence as well.
During the years I grew up, there were many changes that were happening which were, in fact, slowly erasing the differences in dress and lingo and the social mores of confining women indoors, etc. A female like me, therefore, got the benefit of education, which was a rare thing during my mother’s generation and almost non-existent before that.
Then, there was aturn towards more strict observance of the religious customs although there was no going back on the education, fortunately.In part, this had to do with the political changes that saw an upsurge of right-wing sentiments and the political events that they ushered in, as also with the influx of the Wahabian influence brought in by those who had found a livelihood in the Gulf countries. These attempts at aggressively establishing religious, political, and cultural identities between the Hindus and the Muslims, is now gradually bringing in a subtle divide and disturbing the harmony that had existed for thousands of years.
My novel has been woven through this backdrop, but it is in no way discourse on any of those aspects. It creeps in through the different characters, of course, but not stridently so.
The story is told from a woman’s perspective for the most part.
I am sixty-two now, and I have always cherished the idea of getting something that I wrote published. After finishing this novel, I did tentatively explore the regular publishing route. I realized that it would take a very long time and that there was no certainty of any of the established publishers taking it up. So I decided to look for self-publishing platforms. My children offered to bear the cost.
Notionpress, who I approached, came across as very professional, with a good team who managed the different aspects of the publication process.I chose the minimum package which would take care of the formatting,the cover design, the copyrights, and the online listing on their online store as well as on Flipkart and Amazon India. The editing is a facility available with a higher package. So I did the editing myself. They did allow for post-publication correction of the grammatical and spelling errors and a couple of errors in the names, etc. The whole process was completed in two weeks.
They do not do any promotion with this package, nor will the books be available in the bookshops.
But I’m happy.
My friends were the ones who read the book first and gave me feedback. They have liked it and assure me that they can relate to it, that the flow is smooth, that it speaks to them of what I had wanted to convey and so on.
With the money I earned in the last two months, I decided to upgrade the package, which would make the book available outside India on Amazon.com
The pricing they suggested appeared to be almost the same as that of many well-established authors, and I expressed my doubts to them about that. I was told that my book would be printed only as per demand, which would hike up the production costs, as compared to the mass production of the books of established authors.
The royalty I get on the sale of one copy after they deduct the production costs and half of the profits (that was the agreement) is only about 2/5th of the MRP if purchased through the Notionpress store and much less (about 1/8th) if sold through Amazon and Flipkart.
But what’s more important to me is that more people get to read the book.
da-AL’s kind offer to let me put up a blog post here about it is therefore very much appreciated.
I do hope some of you will pick it up from Amazon.com and give me your feedback after you’ve read it. Go to Notionpress here. Go to Amazon here.
Thank you all very much for reading this ☺
Engage and share the joy: click buttons and comment. *** Note: WordPress insists ‘likers’ sign in. ‘Commenters,’ fortunately, need not. My email: ContactdaAL@gmail.com
Love, practice, and persistence go far with any endeavor — including when it comes to writing. For me, it helps if I can tap into something fun about a project (like with my soon-to-be self-published novel, “Flamenco & the Sitting Cat”). What works for you?
Novelist/marketer/copywriter M.L. Davis blogs from South West England. Here’s how Davis hones her craft…
Writing is a skill, and like all skills it cane be learned and honed. Some people have a natural talent and flare for certain things, others have to try a little harder. Wherever you stand, if you love writing you should write. And if you’d like to improve and grow there are plenty of ways to do so.
1. Write Let’s start with the simple and most effective answer. Write. You learn as you do, and you improve as you do. As with all skills, you will get better with practice and perseverance.
2. Read Fiction If you’re writing fiction, you’ll learn a great deal about what you like/don’t like by reading fiction. You’ll get a sense of what works and what doesn’t. And if you’re going to tell stories, it’s important to get used to the way stories are shaped. (This can also be done by…
Making beautiful, useful things out of stuff that would otherwise get tossed does everyone a favor! Birgit, originally from Germany, blogs in both English and German from Denmark about everything from nature and cooking to gardening and books. On her Youtube channel, she plays music with her husband and shows us beautiful outdoor sights like this one (watch to the end to get a glimpse of her lovely smile). Read on for how to turn old towels into new makeup removers — and even how to crochet a holder that can be used to machine-wash them…
Diese Idee habe ich von Youtube, ich weiss leider nicht mehr, von welchem Kanal. Es ging darum, dass man als Frau oft viel Watte benutzt zum Abschminken, Gesichtswasser auftragen etc.
… This idea I found on Youtube. I don’t remember on which channel, unfortunately. It was about all the little cotton-wool balls that women often use to remove makeup or to put on facial tonic.
Anstatt nun Watte zu benutzen, die man hinterher wegwirft, hatte jemand die grossartige Idee, runde Pads aus Baumwollgarn zu häkeln, die man waschen kann.
… Instead of using cotton-wool, which one throws away after use, somebody had the great idea, to crochet little dabbers of cotton-wool yarn.
Da ich aber welche hier und jetzt benötige, habe ich ein altes Handtuch, das ich nicht mehr benutze, von dem ich mich aber nicht trennen kann, weil es von so guter Qualität ist, auch wenn es jetzt einige…