Affliction: Isn’t it Pretty? How I did it.

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Affliction is available online now! See below for details!

Hey.

Happy Summer! Where I am (Minnesota) we’re on the first full day of summer and almost all of us are happy about it. I hung up my spring jacket, bidding it a fond farewell until the temps are consistently below 55. Enough of that mess.

I’ve neglected to promote the release of my dearest, prize possession here on WordPress. The rerelease of my artistic baby, Affliction on all the larger book-buying sites. I may have mentioned it earlier but I want to be clear that you all, my writing friends have a chance to see it for yourselves and purchase it if you’re so willing to be entertained by me for a few hours of your life. My publication story is not all that complex though it took time in order for me to be satisfied. If you’re both immediately satisfied with my cover above and you’re interested in publishing, the next few paragraphs are going to be of extreme interest to you. Let me reiterate an idea for you: You can self-publish your own quality work and be an author…

I spent two years of my writing ‘career’ that amounted to nothing more than a waste. You can scroll back to earlier posts from me years ago and witness this yourself (if you wish to waste your time, but I hope not). There’s some good articles written by me no doubt but my promotion of a particular publisher who shall remain nameless from now on was a complete robbery of my time, in hindsight. For some reason, I felt that finding a ‘publisher’ was a natural step to prove to others that my writing, ultimately my time, was worthy of a higher platform. That somehow no other ‘higher’ platform existed. This perception is highly subjective and pretty much unwarranted in 2017.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bashing traditional publishing.

If you’re so inclined you can probably find my celebratory post claiming that I’d gotten umpteen rejection letters from agents but finally piqued the interest of a publisher who was willing to bring my precious work (and time) front and center, giving it its moment to shine. I’d been through so much and was going through so much that I turned to writing. Writing gave me freedom. After my work was finished I was encouraged by others to seek a higher level of existence for it. Enter the world of publishing…

I’ll skip the story of my frustrations- you can also go back in my archives if you wish to read that mess. Instead I’ll fast forward to the part where I found that anyone can use some of the same services your publisher would use and keep your royalties while experiencing great service and give your book an equal opportunity on the shelves along with some of the traditional publishing “greats.” Enter Bookfuel.

Bookfuel used their design artists to develop the cover for Affliction. Affliction is a great story but anyone will tell you a book is nothing without a decent cover. Wait until you hold this edition in your hand and you’ll see its quality, you’ll see their talent and most importantly, you’ll see it’s what I wanted in a design. Signing up for their services is easy. After going to their website you’ll know what to expect (and get it) from day one. Editing? Okay. Distribution? Okay. Promotion? Okay. It’s all there. They have it and authors are satisfied. It’s not free (they are a business) however they are reasonable and of quality. If you put effort into it you’ll begin to see some of the results of those in the big league. I invite you to take a look at what they do and what they can possibly do for your work.

As for me, I saw my finished product, Affliction and I’m impressed with my first novel. It took a second round of me finally taking control and from what I see, there will be more from me. You can purchase Affliction here on Amazon. I hope you act on my advice whether you choose services such as Bookfuel or not and chase your author dreams. You too, can produce marketable, quality work.

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Have a great day 🙂

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I’m a brain aneurysm survivor who went through many months of speech therapy to deal with issues including short-term memory loss as a subsequent side-effect. I wanted to write after I survived. I soon after pushed myself through a full-time day courses (including all the sciences: Biology, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry) at a local private college while working night shift 32 hours a week at a hospital. No wonder I ended up focusing on zombies. While remembering details was one thing, writing was something I felt I had the most control of under so many other variables- so I went with it… and I kept going. (Image courtesy of Google)

Finally, a Release.

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Here it is!

 

Hey.

A dream of mine finally came true (again). My novel Affliction is finally available for purchase on all the major outlets (Amazon, B&N, Apple Books, etc.). It still feels like an amazing, first time achievement! I liken it to the claim of one losing their virginity (again) only this time to a true love. That love for me goes by the name of independence. Ahh, sweet, self-ownership… Now the real work begins.

I’ve worked hard to have this baby consisting of 252 edited pages from which I spent months upon months of my free time often after 2am concocting, dreaming and theorizing plots- ultimately formulating sentences to bring forth the idea of a story involving a believable character and world under unbelievable circumstances. I’ve also suffered the hurdles of being a traditionally published author and the disappointments which ultimately makes one pull up their bootstraps and get even more serious about achieving their goal.

Enter the zombie (again).

Yes, those hideous, undead things that 10 years ago I would not have taken any more of a particular interest in than any other genre. Somehow though, things often not considered become center stage and become the catalyst for the completion of an amazing challenge. I get to present the sum total of this challenge I placed upon myself and I hope you get to enjoy it. Blood, sweat, tears…

Plus, I need reviews 🙂

I’ve read in many places that reviews are the lifeline to the survivability of any product from cars to shoes to vacuums.

The Kindle version of Affliction is only $1.99, I repeat less than the cost of Starbucks fancy drinks so believe me- I’m not planning any retirement. I just want the world to be able to enjoy the fictional world I’ve created involving a lead character by the name of Seanna Burges. I’ll hit the keys again soon to wrap up the sequel because believe me, you’ll want to know what happens next.

I must thank those who’ve always encouraged me: family, friends, co-workers, social media pals as well as other authors I’ve met and have not- who’ve day by day, graciously done their thing, publishing their best work for us all to see but have undertaken the same path as most all of us undiscovered authors and have built their platform successfully.

I’ve included a few links to view and purchase Affliction below, if you’re so inclined:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble (‘see all available formats’ for Nook $1.99 version)

There will be more to come on this project soon. I highly suggest signing up for my email list. Not often will you get them (4x a year, maybe?)- I like being generous and will do giveaways exclusively from there soon. I’ll be posting more about my own process of self publishing soon as I want others to be able to replicate any self-publishing efforts.

Author Spotlight: Yecheilyah Ysrayl

Hey.

Here’s another author (she’s a poet as well) who also has a page here on WordPress. I consider myself and anyone else aware of her to be pretty lucky already as this author has a pretty powerful perspective and is more than capable of articulating her experiences and thought processes as it relates to the cultural upbringing of the African American experience. Her name is Yecheilyah Ysrayl and I had the pleasure of doing a Q&A session with her a few weeks ago. Below is the interview along with her social media contact info.

 

  1. I’ve read you were born in the South side of Chicago (so was I!), what were some of your earliest memories?

Hi Dottie. First, I want to thank you for taking the time to meet with me today. Yes, I am from Chi-Town indeed. Since I’ve been in Chicago for the better part of my life my earliest memories go back to childhood. Some of the most profound ones, the exciting ones, are when our family moved to Paulina. Paulina, for those who are not from Chicago, is just the name of a street on Chicago’s south side but we had so much fun in that one community that we came to name it after the street itself, like it was a city or something lol. We were so content as children on that one block. It was our whole world.

  1. When did you decide to get into poetry?

Poetry isn’t something I can say that I made a conscious decision to be a part of. It wasn’t something I decided to make a part of my life in that way. I’ve always been in love with books and when I was twelve years old some of the stories I read, which I can’t remember now, inspired me to write short stories of my own and poetry followed. It, poetry, just seemed natural. When I was in High School I joined UMOJA Spoken Word and Drama so that’s when my poetry really took shape, became more mature if you will.

  1. What can readers expect from your works- specifically The Stella Trilogy?

My works, especially The Stella Trilogy, tends to hearken back to identity; specifically Black Identity. What does it mean to be Black in America? What is Black? Is it something that has culture? Is Black an actual identity or is it a color applied to a group of people? And how do we return to nationhood after being oppressed for so long? My works, across genres, will always attempt to answer these kinds of questions in some way. As well as a focus on Biblical Themes and Womanhood.

  1. You’re a full-time writer. What does a typical ‘writing’ schedule include?

My writing schedule will always depend on two major components: Living and Discipline. When I decided to work for myself I did it for the freedom of being able to manage my own time. So I told myself that I wouldn’t create such a 9-5 type schedule if I was given the privilege not to. For this reason I make sure to take the time to actually enjoy each day because this is where inspiration to my writing will come from—living. I am however big on discipline so aside from just living life in general, I have carved out several areas to running this business that are critical to the operation:

(a)   Response (b) Package  (c) Shipment (d) Inventory / Financial Management (e) Writing (f) Blogging (g) Reading (h) Research (i) Travel (j) Social Media / Email Marketing (k) Marketing

Not necessarily in that order, not everything in one day, and of course some of these things are far more important than others (obviously fulfilling orders is more important financially than blogging which I am not being paid to do). But these are the kinds of things I have come to dedicate myself to right now as critical components of being a Full Time Writer. Even if I’m not benefiting financially from one over the other, I believe they are all accommodating in some way. The process is all encompassing.

  1. What words of advice would you give to yourself if you could go back in time to visit yourself as a child?

“Be patient. The truth will set you free.”

  1. How much of you (or your habits) goes into any of the characters you’re writing about?

I would say that, like any writer or movie director, one can always find footprints of themselves somewhere in their writing and I’m no different. I wouldn’t say that you will find so much that a character is a carbon copy or so little that you can’t see me at all but there are footprints; little places here and there where the character experiences things or feel things similar to my own experiences and feelings. I think too that this is a natural thing that happens when you write whether that’s professionally or for personal reasons all the way down to the naming of characters who tend to be modeled after people we have known.

  1. What are your other hobbies outside of the writing world?

Nothing. No, I’m joking! LOL. I love to travel, reading never gets played out, and movie nights with my husband is a favorite past time.

  1. It says the last installment of Stella is due out in Feb 2016, are you doing any additional writing outside of The Stella Trilogy? Can readers expect more titles from you in the future?

Yes. I have quite a few projects in queue. For the most part I would like to stay within the Novella, Short Story genre if possible. I have found I really enjoy shorts. As far as long term projects are concerned, in 2012 I published my first novel, a Sci-Fi Thriller “The Aftermath” and I am in the process of revising it. I have already removed it from my electronic shelves and given it a new cover but I decided to wait until after Stella to finish it. So time permitting that’s my next project, the revised second edition of my novel. And then I’ll be back to shorts! I’ve already started on a few ideas.

        9. How can readers reach out to you?

Email:    ahouseofpoetry@gmail.com

Author Website:   www.literarykornerpublishing.com

Facebook:    www.facebook.com/literarykornerpublishing

Twitter:     www.twitter.com/ahouseofpoetry

Instagram:     www.instagram.com/yecheilyah

LinkedIn:     www.linkedin.com/in/yecheilyahysrayl

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Courtesy of Yecheilyah Ysrayl’s author website.

I would like to thank Yecheilyah for her time and I hope you find her work to be as interesting and worthy of your time as I do. You can purchase her works here through Amazon.

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Photo courtesy of Google images.

Introducing Author Shellie Blum (An Author Spotlight)

Hey.

Many moons ago you may recall my interest in doing book reviews and other related topics here on WordPress. Being an author myself, I want to always share what I’ve learned about ‘authorship’ and the good things I come across. Writers tend to be a cool bunch of people- we interact often and thus the chances of coming across fantastic individuals runs high. Here’s a fantastic lady I’d like you to be aware of.

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Courtesy of Shellieblum.com

 

Shellie Blum is her name and Waterski Girl Wonder is the memoir she’s pinned about her upbringing and life around the sport. I’ve been friends with her on Facebook for a few years now, having the privilege to view her throwback videos of when she and other ladies would perform years ago in the 80’s. Shellie is one of the most positive entities in my friends list- posting only the cutest of animal photos and clips. Unfortunately in 1989 Shellie suffered a career ending injury- a Hangman’s Fracture and a broken jaw during a practice run. Up until that point Shellie was living her successful dream. At the moment of injury though, she would spend years coping with what it means to truly survive. Below is a brief Q&A session I had the privilege of having with whom I can only describe as a humble and kind lady:

 Where were you born and where do you live now?

I was born in Jacksonville, North Carolina on the military base Camp Lejeune. I now live in Lake Wales, Florida.

When did you decide to write Waterski Girl Wonder? How long did it take to complete it?

I was being called crazy on the Judge Alex TV show facebook page and was banned from it. This was in January of 2012. Around January 19th if I remember correctly, I was so angry I started writing my book, and 25 days later I had my first draft completed and sent off to a proofreader February 15th, 2012.

What can readers expect from Waterski Girl Wonder?

I’m hoping readers will feel like they’re on a roller coaster ride of my life- and that they will have to metaphorically keep pinching themselves that, indeed this really did happen.

You’ve obviously overcome a tremendous injury- I’m glad you survived! Are you still dealing with any health issues from that incident today?

I have several health issue but feel extremely blessed that I’m still alive. And I realize how lucky I am compared to other people so I try not to complain too much.

What words of advice would you give to yourself if you could go back in time to visit yourself as a child?

Perhaps to be more patient. I’ve always been in a hurry about things, you know trying so hard, moving too fast. It’s something I’m still working on today.

Speaking of children, you have a lovely set of twins, are they fans of the waterski sport?

They are both very athletically inclined and are 2nd degree Black Belts in Tae Kwon Do. Yes, they are fans of all watersports but I don’t push them in any direction. I let them decide what they want to do, and mostly they like to see if their old mom can flip them off our inner tube from behind our Seadoo.

What are your other hobbies?

I really don’t have any hobbies, unless of course you consider my obsession with Social Media. Somewhere along the time line of me writing my book and trying to garner the attention of traditional agents and publishing houses, I was told I should build a book platform. I didn’t even know what that meant, but apparently Social Media is the ticket. I would go after building my Social Media presence and book platfrom like I’ve done everything else in my life… Balls to the Wall! Maybe it will pay off, maybe it won’t. Only time will time. The powers that be told me to build a book platform, so I built it. Still no help from traditional sources, so I’ll go it alone.

Are you doing any additional writing now? Can readers expect more titles from you in the future?

I am not. But I am being encouraged by some of my fellow writers who have read my memoir and think I should. Isn’t that great? I truly appreciate the camraderie of the Indie writing world. So, yes, I feel like I might have another book in me.

When/where can we buy Waterski Girl Wonder?

The official book launch date is December 16th, 2015, but you can get the hard cover book right now on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, you know, the regular outlets. I am fighting, er, uh haggling with Amazon to discount my book, so that process is happening just now. Hopefully, by December 16th, 2015 I will have gotten the price down where it’s a little more competitve. Just google my name Shellie Blum or Waterski Girl Wonder, my book and website should pop up.

If you’d like to pick up a copy through Amazon, I’ve included the link here.

Shellie is on Twitter.

She is also on Facebook.

Follow and/or friend her, you won’t regret it.

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Courtesy of ShellieBlum.com