Never Give Up

Guest Blog by Shay Stone

ShayStoneHey everyone!

My name is Shay Stone, and I should focus this post on telling you about my new contemporary romance The Rise to Fame. But I’m not going to. Okay, that’s not entirely true. I will share my book information at the end and ask that you buy a copy for yourself and everyone you know because I’m an author and I need to sell books. However, for this post, I’d like to discuss something a little more personal to help you understand why this release is such a big deal for me. I hope it will serve as an inspiration for you as well.

You wouldn’t know it to look at me, but several years ago I was involved in a bad car accident. I’m not going to tell you how many years ago, because, well I’m a woman and therefore telling my age goes against the woman’s code. Honestly, I usually end up telling people I’m a year older than I actually am. I don’t know why. I blame it on the head injury.mentallystrong

Yep, that’s right. I have a head injury. Technically, it is called a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). Among other things, the accident affected my occipital and sub-occipital nerves which affected my vision. My eyes couldn’t focus together. If I tried to read or look at a computer, the sentences would all converge and float off the page or would disappear because my peripheral vision was also affected. For years, I couldn’t read or look at a computer. If I did, I would have body leveling migraines or mini-seizures – which I can best describe by saying it makes you feel spacey and like everything is happening in slow motion.

And if that wasn’t enough, my ability to think also suffered. I confused words that sounded similar. In my head, I knew they weren’t the right ones, but my brain dubbed certain words as “close enough” and substituted them. I once had a conversation with an old boss where I kept saying “astronomical” instead of “astonishing.” It didn’t inspire his confidence in me.

It’s hell. It’s embarrassing. And it’s totally uncontrollable.

NeverSeeMeQuitThat’s why writing this series is such a big deal for me. After intense hours of vision therapy and brain training, or re-training techniques, I kicked my head injuries butt! To be fair, the retirement of CRTs and upgrade to LCD or plasma screens helped. I’m not saying I don’t still struggle or have issues – to this day I still can’t look at a CRT and sometimes I physically cannot make myself say the correct word– but I wouldn’t let myself give up.

And that’s the point of this post. I wanted to be a writer. So, against all odds, I became a writer. At first, it was tough. I typed with the computer screen off or with a notebook covering it and relied on my editor and publisher to fix any errors. But this series, I did everything. I still had an editor, of course, but I was able to go in and make changes and rework things to bring my readers the best story I could. I didn’t give up.

And I don’t want you to either. Whatever you are doing… whatever you want in life… don’t stop going until you get it. Make yourself mentally strong. And when you encounter obstacles, refuse to let them stop you. Go around them, plow through them or blow the damn things up if you have to, just whatever you do, don’t let that negative voice in your head beat you. This is your life.

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Make it whatever you want it to be no matter how crazy or daunting it might seem. Don’t settle. Be determined. You can do it. I believe in you. Now believe in yourself.

Please check out my steamy and suspenseful contemporary romance The Rise to Fame available now. It is the first book of a two book series. The second book, The Cost of Fame, is due out September 2018.

If you’d like to learn more and follow Shay Stone, you can find her on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and her website.

Timeless Pages of Greek Mythology

Guest Post by Diana Tyler

Diana Author PhotoI have had a lifelong love for, and fascination with, Greek mythology, so it only seems natural that much of my fiction is inspired by it. I love escaping into the ancient past, exploring the sacred Garden of the Hesperides, the wine-dark Aegean Sea, the silvery caves of the Nereids, the smoke-filled forge of Hephaestus… It seems every realm and creature conceivable exists in the timeless pages of Homer, Hesiod, Sophocles, Aeschylus and the like.

I wanted to share with you a few of the notable people and places that appear in book one of The Petros Chronicles, Age of the Ashers. From a heartbroken musician and a ruthless sea monster, to Circe’s bewitched island and the tear-soaked Vale of Mourning, the story is full of interesting – sometimes terrifying –  locales and characters that I’m sure will capture your imagination like they did mine.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at one of my favorite mythological characters, who pops up in Age of the Ashers!

Orpheus

Orpheus…Where do I begin!? A gifted musician, singer, songwriter, and poet, he’s the ancient Greek version of Leonard Cohen or Ed Sheeran.

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What sets him apart, however, is that his music was able to charm all living creatures, causing them to completely relax, or in Cerberus the three-headed hell hound’s case, fall asleep! Even trees would uproot themselves to move closer to his music.

Orpheus’ love story is regarded as one of the most tragic of all time. His beloved Eurydice was killed by a viper bite just after their wedding. Overcome with grief, the poet roamed the world, playing mournful, heartrending songs on his lyre. The ballads were so moving, so grippingly poignant, that even the gods of Olympus took notice.

The weeping nymphs advised Orpheus to go to the Underworld and beg its rulers, Hades and Persephone, to grant him his wife back. After singing to them, their steely hearts were softened, and they granted Orpheus his wish, though it came with one condition: he must not look back at Eurydice as they made their way to the upper realm.

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Fearing Eurydice wasn’t behind him when he reached earth’s surface, Orpheus looked over his shoulder. The second he did so, he watched in horror as Eurydice disappeared, pulled back into the Underworld, never to be seen by Orpheus again. He’d ruined his one and only opportunity to raise his love from the dead.

As I was planning Age of the Ashers, I asked myself the question: “How can I get Chloe [my protagonist] to the Underworld?” It’s not like she was going to volunteer to mosey down there herself!

I brainstormed a few different scenarios, and soon another question occurred to me: “Is there anybody in the Underworld who would have something to gain by kidnapping her and bringing her back with him/her?” Sure, lots of spirits could be talked into such a mission, especially if it meant possibly earning their life back, but who could possibly succeed? It would require someone suave, someone smooth, someone charming…

I thought of poor Orpheus, trapped in the Vale of Mourning (which I’ll go into detail about in a later post), pining for his Eurydice. He’d literally gone to hell and back trying to save her; I knew he’d do anything, including kidnapping a mortal girl, to try again.

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And that, in a nutshell, is how Orpheus became an antagonist in Age of the Ashers. If you want to find out whether or not he succeeds in reuniting with Eurydice, you’ll have to read the novel! 😉

I’ll be back soon to share more mythology from Age of the Ashers!

Who is your favorite character in Greek mythology? Send me an email at contact@dianaandersontyler.com or tweet me @dandersontyler and let me know!

“I guess darkness serves a purpose: to show us that there is redemption through chaos. I believe in that. I think that’s the basis of Greek mythology.” – Brendan Fraser

Want to learn more about Diana Tyler, you can find Diana on her websites dianaandersontyler.com and dianatylerbooks.com, as well as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Beautiful and Strong Women

Guest blog by Kimberly Hockaday

kimcolorpicI have been sitting at my desk trying to decide how to write about my new poetry book Beautiful,Strong Women:Poems of The Journey To Overcoming Domestic Violence. I decided to not focus on trying to sell my book. Instead, I want to use my opportunity as a Guest Blogger to discuss some very courageous women. These women I do not personally know and then again maybe I do know them. Just like you may know these women too. These women are young, old, and of different races. These women are all over the world. They live in Domestic Violence Shelters. These women were once victims of abuse until finally finding the courage and strength to escape. I want to talk about these women because even though they have escaped from a dangerous situation, they still need help from the community.

Most all of shelters housing women are kept up by donations. These women have been through a lot and still fighting to start a new life. Inside these shelters they receive every support and service needed to start a new life. But while they are living in these shelters, basic everyday supplies are needed. Most of these women escaped with just the clothes on their back and maybe a few things that they were able to grab before going on the run to safety.  If you would like to help these courageous women, you can donate money or items. You can simply call your local shelter and ask what is needed or you can go to their website and see what items  the shelters seek.

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National Hotline 1-800-799-7233

Not only do these shelters house women but these women also arrive with children. These children need items too. So anything that you know a child needs, you can also donate. I ask you to not forget about these women and the children. These women have been through a lot of  horrible things but found the strength to say no to another day of abuse.

One of the poems in my book is entitled “Sisters United.” It begins “We are sisters united/ Together we stand tall/Violence against one/Is Violence against us all.” Domestic Violence is a serious problem that we all should work together in fighting.

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Domestic Violence effects everyone especially the children who get caught up in it. This is why I decided to write my poetry book. I wanted to help shine a light on the issue, applaud the women who made it out, and to memorialize the women who were not able  to survive the abuse.

If you would like to purchase a copy of Beautiful,Strong Women:Poems of The Journey To Overcoming Domestic Violence, it is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble website. I thank you in advance for purchasing a copy and asked that once you have read it, that you donate your copy to a local Domestic Violence Shelter. I have donated a copy to my local Domestic Violence Shelter and I can personally tell you that these women will appreciate it.

 

If you’d like to follow or learn more about Kimberly, you can find her on Twitter.

Foreign Authors

Guest Post by Maria Vermisoglou

mariaToday I am going to talk about foreign authors. Some authors for various reasons write their books in English even if it’s not their first language. Being one of them I am going to try to help as much as I can. This blog post is for them.

After finishing the manuscript, you think, “I am done.” Not quite. Since I am a self-published author I am going to talk more about that process. I didn’t know anything about how things were in English talking countries so that involved a lot of research. I found out that Createspace, a self-publishing company was my best option. Everyone said it was free. But is it?

Not really. You need to hire an editor, an illustrator and sometimes a person to do the formatting.

  • Every author—even those who publish in their language—need an editor. An editor is more important than anything. No book is perfect but a good-looking book is the one with the fewest mistakes. Your book must be looking at its best. After editing the manuscript, yourself then you send it to the editor and while you wait, you can start on another novel.money-tree
  • Your manuscript can’t be looking like a draft.
  • A good cover makes a good book. The cover must draw your reader in. There are a lot of illustrators who can create covers for little money. Also, you can order a premade cover.
  • Beta readers. They are essential to every author. Some are getting paid and some do it for free. You should have at least three beta readers. Make sure you are picking people who read the genre you are writing or unfortunately you are going to get some bad critiques.

That’s it. You are done. You, have read your novel so many times that you know every line of it so that’s a sign you are in the last step.

  • Submit to the self-publishing company. Read the guidelines and after everything is done hit PUBLISH. Congratulations!

Are you done? No! now, comes the hard part: marketing. As a new author, nobody knows you so you have to make people know you. Participate in contests and awards. Ask reviewers, book tubers, and other authors to review your book.

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Make blog posts, author interviews and generally promote your book. Start a website and get on social media. Update regularly. Go to book fairs if you can. A lot of us live in our countries and English books are hard to be found so it’s not always an option but if you get the opportunity, don’t hesitate.

  • Get involved to get noticed. Help to get help. Help your fellow authors so they can help you. Offer to help for free. Make promos and giveaways. The public loves giveaways. Make one and you will gain followers. Every day, post something. It might be related to your writing, books or a joke. People respond.

I wish good luck to every author and don’t be scared. You might see a dark tunnel and you think you are not going to make it but you will. There are millions of self-published authors around you. They made it so why not you?

Adios!

If you’d like to learn more about Maria, you can follow her on Facebook, her website, Amazon and Goodreads.

Thank You for Social Media

Guest blog by Lucinda E. Clarke

91l7ti29K8L._UX250_It’s a nightmare being a writer. Why? You’re out of step with the rest of the world. For example, you join friends for coffee and as the general chatter swirls around you, you suddenly dive into your bag, grab a notebook and pen and start making notes. You weren’t really listening to anyone, you were miles and years away thinking about your main character when a single word floated past and set your latest WIP off on a whole new track. You had to get it down on paper quickly or you’d never remember by the time you got back to the car.

Writers only live half their time in the real world. The other half is spent pounding the keys, wrestling with new pc programmes and marketing stats or working out the next twist in the tale. Somewhere in between they grab some sleep and hold down a full-time job and bring up a family.

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I only started writing books after I retired (OK I was commissioned by the big 5 years ago but after the first two, I refused a contract, I was too busy scribbling for radio and TV. They paid faster).

Having written for broadcasting, the media, adverts, mayoral speeches, news, brochures – I wrote for anyone who paid me to write and it put food on the table for 2 children, a husband, the cats, St Bernard and the housekeeper and gardener plus families (in Africa, I’m not in the jet set) – I knew I could write, hey, almost 40 years of practice – easy right?

When my editor returned my first draft I couldn’t see the black for the red balloons, I was devastated. I was at kindergarten stage.

This was followed by my first 1 star review and the reviewer was quite rude about me too.

author-collaborationWhose shoulders did I cry on? None of my friends they just didn’t understand the agony, the depression, the hard work, long hours, outings missed as I laboured over the keyboard.

Social media saved me. Yes, it’s embarrassing to admit I sniffed at those pathetic people telling the world what they had for breakfast and showing off the latest advert/friend/acquisition/achievement – goodness no my life is private.

No, it’s not. A year after first publishing I heard the word marketing. Oh! I had to do that too? How? I live in Spain and I write in English. Social media – you mean Facebook and Twitter, and Link ‘din, and Pinterest and Snap Chat and Quora and … and … and …

I dipped my toes in the water and met other writers and made friends and they understood!

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I got chatting and swapped ideas, help, experiences. I had such a good time I almost forgot to market my books.

My husband says it’s sad I prefer time on social media than with the flesh and blood people in our town – but you see they are writers and they understand.

If you’d like to follow Lucinda you can follow her on Twitter, Amazon, her blog and website.

You can also find her FREE Reader magnet on Amazon.

Finding A Voice

Guest blog by Karen Ankers

KarenAnkersI write to give myself a voice.  As a child, and as a teenager, there were so many things I wanted to say.  But I knew people wouldn’t understand most of them, or approve of them.  So rather than be locked into silence, I started to write them down.  And now that I’m old enough to have stopped caring what people think of me, I still write them down, because now there are other people who need me to be their voice.  Like the homeless woman I met last year, whose apologetic request for money became the subject of a poem, Meeting At Euston.  Like Dorothy, in my one-act play Frogs, who loves her husband, but finds it hard to cope with his growing dementia.  And Jenny, in my play Still Life, whose life of abuse has driven her to commit a crime she doesn’t even understand. 

And then there is Sadie.  Sadie is not the protagonist of my novel, The Crossing Place, but she is one of its central characters.  

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The story is woven around her and unfolds as Laura and Paul’s relationship begins to develop.  Sadie is a character I developed a deep affection for.  Difficult as her life was, it is hard for me to think of her as just a victim. 

Writing enables me to be honest.  Brutally honest, sometimes, as I examine the world through my characters’ eyes and try and help them deal with their problems.  It’s a kind of therapy.  But who is the patient here?  My characters are part of me, aren’t they?  I gave a talk to a writing group last week, entitled “Are Your Characters Really Fictional”.  I don’t believe they can be.  Every character I create is an amalgam of voices I’ve heard, faces I’ve seen, stories I’ve observed, and, most of all, needs that I want to amend.  So, as a writer, I can give a voice to the silent.  The barefoot homeless man Laura falls over in the opening pages of The Crossing Place was a real person.  Janine, in my play Good Enough, is all the women who have ever been held back by what family and society expect of them.   Anna, in my play Dance Before Dark, has been imprisoned for her beliefs.  For believing, and insisting, that humankind has to change its behaviour if we are to save this planet, she has been locked up and silenced, like so many women before her.  It was a privilege to give her a voice and let her speak.

writingispowerWriting is power.  I learned that as a child.  I learned that I could write down the thoughts no one wanted to listen to.  I could hide them away until I found someone who did want to listen to them.  And not much has changed.  Now I write the words on a computer and submit them to publishers. When I find one who wants to hear my my characters’ voices, then we work together to find readers who want to listen. 

I write for the lonely ones.  The misunderstood, frightened people who would otherwise live their lives in silence.  Laura, in The Crossing Place, finds her self-doubt magnified by the events which unfold during the course of the novel.  But she also discovers her own strength, so that her reply, at the end of the novel, when asked how she is, is “Never better.”  And that’s good enough for me. 

The novel I’m currently writing, The Stone Dancers, is a new journey, with a new set of characters,  who each have their own story to tell.  And it’s them who tell the stories, not me.  I just operate the keyboard.  Every now and again, I politely suggest to them that three in the morning is not the best time to start telling me the next part of their story, but they don’t listen.  And why should they?  I gave them a voice.  I should let them use it.

To learn more about Karen Ankers you can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or her website.

Write What You Know

Guest Blog Post by David A. Lindsay

DavidI heard an urban legend, I don’t know how true it is, that Mark Twain advised a would be writer to “write what you know.”  And that writer did go on to become quite well-known.  I’ve written ten books so far, most of them on www.DavidALindsay.com.  My best selling book is so adult you almost can’t find it online, that’s on www.ForeverAndEverAndEver.net under a pen name – everyone who has read the first page of the free sample has bought the book.
“Star Trek: The Second Cube” is about the Borg invasion of the Klingon Empire and can’t be published due to trademark issues, so I give it away free with any proof of purchase.  My “Lost from Atlantis” series has the most universal appeal, about a 14 year old girl thrown back to 1197 A.D. Europe and she has to use her modern knowledge to carve out a niche for herself without being burned at the stake.  But I think the book that is most important, the one will endure the longest, is “Broken: What it’s Like to be Insane.”
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“Broken” is about someone I met a long time ago who was mildly psychotic.  She heard that I was both a writer and had a degree in psychology so she wanted me to tell her story.  I spoke to her at length and it took me three months to come up with a concept, something the general public could relate to, something that everyone could understand, a way to really know what it was like to be Her.

I wrote that “Microbook” – a term I coined which is basically a book that’s very short – all information, no fluff – why waste everyone’s time with a 500 page novel when you only need a few pages of information.  She read it, said it was perfect, and didn’t want to know anything about it ever again.  She found an exotic medicine, the first that actually works for her, and she has been stable for over a year now.  She prefers not to reflect on that part of her life and I don’t blame her.
Write what you know, write what you’re passionate about.  sculptorSculptors always say “The statue was always there, I just had to release it.”  I never understood that until I started writing.  It’s like mining – you mine until the vein runs out, sometimes you get gold, sometimes you get copper.  I Have to write, I couldn’t stop if I wanted to – the story Has to come out.  Sometimes the story comes so fast I can’t type it all out so I type out notes and fill in the details later when the stream stops, sometimes weeks later.
Good luck to you all.
If you’d like to learn more about David A. Lindsay, you can find him on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Amazon, and his website.

Leaving Your Comfort Zone

Guest blog by J.S. Frankel

130326_0906It’s easy to write what you know. As a guy, white and cisgender straight, that’s what I started writing roughly six years ago because it was what I knew best. I wrote about white dudes and dudettes, introduced outlandish (at times) situations, had fight scenes and romances and it was all very good.

After all, I had to go with what I knew and pen a story about it. That’s what the experts say, and who are we to question them?

But is it the best way to improve? It depends. It’s my contention that a writer can improve within the genre they’ve chosen, working on narrative, dialogue, action, and so on, without having to switch to another genre.

At the same time, though, some writers can become complacent, coasting along on the formula that got them noticed in the first place. So, it depends.

In my case, not only did I want to improve my narrative technique, I also wanted to grow as a writer. comfortzoneFor me, that meant stepping out of my comfort zone. It meant writing about the unfamiliar.

In the past, I’ve written lesfic as well as explored transgender issues. I did this because those two areas are unfamiliar to me, because there are people who are in the LGBT category, and because they have their own stories to tell, that is, the characters that I wanted to write.

If you are going to step outside your comfort zone, how you approach it is up to you, but this is what I’ve learned.

How-to-Improve-Your-Writing-Skills1. If you don’t know–ask. With the transgender crowd, I asked a few people to tell me their experiences. They were more than willing, and I incorporated their ideas.

2. Do your research. I cannot stress this enough. If you’re going to write about something unfamiliar to you, research it first and then research some more. Then ask if you are truly stumped. A wise person admits their ignorance; a fool does not, and thereby exposes everything.

3. Expect to be called on it. In fact, even if you’re writing about something you know, chances are at least one person will call you on it. When writing about a different orientation, the chances of messing up are doubly so, so expect criticism.

That’s what happened to me. Some of it was justified; much of it was not. It had nothing to do with the style or the narrative. Some people simply couldn’t accept a straight guy writing about lesbians. That’s how it goes.

4. Make the characters real. An excellent novel I read, Crimson Fire, had a black lesbian as the main character. CrimsonFireThe way the writer, Mirren Hogan, approached it, was nothing short of incredible, and yet it was so naturally and simply done, I had to keep reading.

Her main character said that she preferred women and that was that. No muss, no fuss, no much ado about anything; it was stated clearly and it is to Ms. Hogan’s credit that she not only created a very fine novel, it also showed her main character in a very positive light. The orientation of the character turned out to be unimportant. It was the character, what she did and how she conquered, that was the most compelling part of the story.

To me, that’s how you should portray someone who is different from the default, not dramatizing, but simply showing.

Even if you do everything right, see point #3. Sooner or later, someone will take offense at what you write. It doesn’t matter how good it is or how sympathetic the characters are or how well it’s written…at least one person will always find fault with what you do.

That’s the risk every writer must take. It is then up to the writer to either accept that criticism–if justified–or discard it. In any case, keep writing. That’s been my mantra from day one. To quote Captain Picard: “Make it so.”

 If you want to learn more about J.S. Frankel, you can find him on Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, and Goodreads.

A Seat at the Table

Guest Post by Jerry Knaak

0705037a69207db6237dbe7d3b885c8aI have always idolized writers. When I was growing up in Rochester, N.Y., as much as I admired professional athletes, my hero was my father – and my idols were writers. The first novel I read for pleasure was Moby Dick by Herman Melville, I adored The Black Stallion by Walter Farley, and I consumed Hardy Boys mysteries by Franklin W. Dixon. But it was Gothic Horror that affected me the most. I read Dracula by Bram Stoker when I was nine. I read Frankenstein by Mary Shelley shortly thereafter.

Throughout high school we’re made to read literary classics like To Kill a Mockingbird, The Catcher in the Rye, Of Mice and Men, et al. I hated the Charles Dickens and Shakespeare force feedings. I gravitated toward the darker things, the Gothic, the dystopian.

H.P. Lovecraft entered my life at some point in high school. h_p_lovecraft_quoteThe Call of Cthulhu and numerous movie adaptations of his stories – From Beyond, Re-Animator – and all the films and stories he influenced – the Evil Dead franchise, In the Mouth of Madness, Lord of Illusions, and countless others, had a profound effect on me.

Many people at my book signings have asked what inspired The Dark Passage Series. I point to Dracula and Gothic Horror. I always felt that if I were to write a book it would be a vampire tale and the main character would be a female vampire. Stoker created one of the most iconic villains of all-time and set the bar for the genre. I am privileged to walk around in it.

In my late teens I became aware of the Beat Generation, although I am ashamed to admit I did not read much of their work. I was enthralled by who they were not what they wrote. I finally read Jack Kerouac’s On the Road a few years ago and I fell in love with it. The seminal work also told me that I could write a book. His narrative style was similar to my own blogging style, albeit much more eloquent and descriptive. vampire_art_936I read The Dharma Bums and The Haunted Life and half of The Unknown Kerouac.

So, in early 2016, I decided to see if I could pen a novel. I had a premise and a character. It took off and I scored a publishing contract on my first and only query. Thirty-thousand words into the sequel I landed a deal for books two and three in The Dark Passage series. The first, The Dark Truth was published by Trifecta Publishing House out of Port Angeles, Wash., last November, and the sequel, The Dark Descent, dropped this past April. The third, The Dark Terror, is due out in October.

Several Barnes and Noble locations, and my local indie store, have hosted me for book signing events. One Barnes and Noble invited me to participate in a panel discussion. This weekend, I will be part of a panel at the San Francisco Comic Con at the Oakland Convention in downtown Oakland, Calif.IVFAF-300x135

Earlier this evening I learned that I am a finalist for the 2018 Golden Stake Award at the Vampire Arts Festival taking place in Transylvania as I write this.

All of this has happened as I manage working the day job and spending time with my family. Finding time to write can be daunting, but I have been deadline oriented professionally for 25 years. The pressure to meet deadlines has actually helped me achieve these dreams.

As a kid, I always relished creative writing assignments in school and I have been an avid reader since I was very young. I have been writing professionally in one form or another for more than 25 years.

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The Dark Passage series is my first real foray into fiction writing. When I was in the Navy and deployed for Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm aboard USS Saratoga (CV-60), I turned my letters home into prose. I detailed my adventures at sea and  in Turkey and Israel as memoirs instead of just notes. I’ve written some short stories over the years but they are lost to the ether.

A few years ago some issues cropped up in my professional career and I needed validation. My confidence was shaken. My abilities were doubted, even by me. My main character reflects my transformation. I am in a much better place and role now.

What does this all add up to?

When I received my author copies for The Dark Truth, I was floored. Here were my words in book form. It was a heady tonic. I collect books. I love Stephen King and Dean Koontz and Clive Barker. I never thought I would see my name on the spine of a book.

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I never thought I would see a book with my name on it on the shelf of a bookstore.

All of these things have come true.

I now have a seat at a table where I have always wanted to sit and I feel like I deserve that seat. I feel like I belong. I move in circles with published writers. I am a novelist, a storyteller, a word-slinger. I have my validation. I am an author. And nothing has ever felt more natural.

I belong. And nobody can ever tell me I don’t.

Want to learn more about Jerry Knaak?

You can find him on Twitter, Facebook, Podcast, Itunes, and Pinterest.

 

Hostile Takeover

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Ah!

Not my best scream, but it’ll do. I’m not really experiencing a hostile takeover, but I will be hosting a takeover. If that’s possible.

How do you host a takeover? Hmm, something to think about.

Anyway, if you haven’t seen me around the Florida area or you aren’t aware, I’m a member of the Florida Writers AssociationFWAlogo8-31 and our motto is “writers helping writers.” After all, who better to learn from than other writers.

So, over the next few months I’ll be hosting a slew of authors on my website. Authors from all over the world will be joining us to talk about their writing process, subjects that are close to them, and so on.AuthorsOnTapBLACK

Every week I’ll have two authors post a blog and if you want to learn more then you’ll have access to all of their social media links and website information.

I hope you’re in for a treat as the takeover begins this week.