Finally, a Release.

affliction-cover-photo

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.

blog photo 2

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.

Shellie 2

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.

shellie 4

Courtesy of ShellieBlum.com

 

 

Affliction: What Can I Expect?

It is reality! (2015, image by D. Daniels)

It is reality! (2015, image by D. Daniels)

Hey.

It’s almost here and available for pre-order! The picture above is the proof-copy I received in the mail a few days ago. I was beyond elated and ready to shoot for the moon when I finally held it in my hands. If you’ve read this far, you may be wondering what you’ll be reading about if you decide to buy it. Of course I’m not going to tell you what happens here, but I’ll certainly give you the scoop just like I described to my family, friends and co-workers.

It’s about ZOMBIES.

You know, those undead things that have currently been on cable (AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead and The Walking Dead which premiers in October). Those things whose make-up and special effects in addition to its storyline gives some of the die hard fans something to talk about on Monday. It’s therapeutic, really. For one, that’s what my book- Affliction is about: Those undead things.

I wrote Affliction as if I were trying to buy it or sell it to myself, therefore…

You won’t have to read 20 or 30 pages in order for it to grab your attention. I absolutely pass on most books that take up more than one night of reading before I’m likely to say, “okay, I like this.” My time is too precious and I would’ve ended up bored writing it and thus wouldn’t have made it to the point where it’s something you can purchase today.

You can also expect elements from a lot of different genres. When I was originally trying to classify what Affliction was genre-wise I was never truly impressed with any one official, or trusted definition to label it with. Sure there’s zombies so of course, it’s horror but there’s also strong elements of mystery, drama and adventure along with science fiction. There’s a tiny bit of romance that’s not overly-vulgar but it fits into the storyline. I felt it was unfair to categorize it into only one or two genres. I mean seriously, I feel it could be as exclusionary as women’s literature based on just viewpoint alone but enough of everything else I mentioned that male zombie-aficionados should not feel weird reading it. It’s a little bit of everything.

Read Affliction and you’ll see why.

Lastly, I definitely leave room for more. Yes, Affliction will be the first in a series. Perhaps it’ll be three or four books, maybe only two. I’m still in the process of figuring our how in-depth I’d like the story to be. I’m 70% done with the 2nd (untitled) book but I promise the same multi genred-ness as before.

Ultimately my goals for Affliction is to please both the reader who is already familiar with the genre as well as to grab the attentions of a few new readers who otherwise wouldn’t bother with zombie literature in the first place. The fact that my lead character is a bi-racial woman may be the first that has ever occurred with the zombie market. One zombie novel grabbed my attention and turned me into a happy fan. I’m hoping to do the same for someone else. At the least bit, I want readers who are already fans of the genre to say, “It wasn’t a waste of time.” If I can get that much. I’ll be a happy author.

Affliction is available for pre-order and soon to be released at both my publisher’s website and Amazon. The links are below:

DonnaInk Publications, L.L.C    <——- (40% OFF LIST PRICE IS THE CURRENT PROMO!)

Amazon Bookstore

Reading (Editing) Feverishly

Photo courtesy of Google images- but I still would like to review your title!

Photo courtesy of Google images.

Hey.

I haven’t dropped off the planet- although I feel I have. I’ve been busy playing the editor role for the upcoming release of my first novel, Affliction. It’s been edited already but that last read-over before it’s sent off to the printer is the most important. My publisher, DonnaInk Publications L.L.C has already inquired about when I’ll be ready to release it. I told her it’d be by today and I’m trying to get it done by day’s end.

I’ll say this though, never have I come to both love and hate a piece of writing such as I have at this moment. For the last five years when I started writing Affliction, completed it and nearly completed its sequel, I’ve lived, breathed and cherished all aspects of it along with writing in general. As an editor (with my figurative ‘editor’ hat on) I’m able to see things I love and hate about it, magnified 10x. The spelling and grammar is not so much an issue in my opinion as it is making sure the flow is perfect to a first time reader. I’ve asked people to read it and they approve but the feedback of, “I like it”, “It’s fine,” “I loved it” doesn’t satiate the appetite of the nearly-rabid editor I’ve become in the last two weeks or so- specifically in the last four days.

I’ve had to transform from that: rabidity into normalcy.

I’ve discovered however, the cure for literary rabies is positive self-talk and frequent breaks to read the news which will remind you in your state of insanity- just how sane you really are. If that doesn’t work- try social media where there are zero literacy and grammatical rules. If you’ve truly given your work your best. It will survive. You will survive.

That’s all folks, enjoy your weekend!

Photo courtesy of Google images.

Photo courtesy of Google images.

Missed Opportunities

Hey.

Just thought I’d check in and say hello to you all. I hope your blogs and internet lives have been well these past days. As for me, I’ve been working (hard) at my ‘day’ job and trying to muster whatever energy that’s left of the day to continue writing my 2nd novel- as well as prepare for Affliction. My publisher has assured me that within the next week the ARC (advance reader copy) should be ready. I’ve been using my free time to look up various book reviewers so that I might approach them about a review (more on that later because if you’d like to do a review- I’d be overjoyed to let you do so).

In other words: I’m trying not to freak out about my dreams of a book release finally becoming true.

I want the best for my Affliction (ha ha). I want everything to emerge ‘A-Okay’ so that when I do the inevitable and look back to reflect, the regret list will be superbly short. I have had friends in the past read it and tell me how nice of a book it is and it floors me that they think of it as such. I’m still truly humbled that I could possibly entertain someone with a book. Not that I’m saying my writing is horrible or anything- I’m just amazed by the kindness I’ve received thus far as a result of it.

Well, moving on…

The title of my blog indeed suggests the topic of something missed. Today as it relates to me, I passed up the opportunity for a job interview for what would be a lateral move to another hospital doing a similar job. This is just for now anyway because instead of moving to a new environment to do basically the same job duties- I’d rather stay where I am and put more focus on the possibilities of becoming an author, full-time (one can dream, right?). The spirit of entrepreneurship is on me in a way that’ll make a jockey at the Kentucky Derby a little jealous.  If I could put forth half of the energy I put forth in my paid work toward my own authorship- it’d make for an awesome experience for myself and any reading audience. I’m sure other writers that have day jobs feel the same way. In that subject, you guys are like my brothers and sisters. I say we keep moving forward to our dreams.

I ask you now. What opportunities have you missed out on that you’d like to tell me about? Do you feel better off or worse because of it?

I might as well be sitting across from you at coffee table having this discussion because I am curious. 🙂

The Jury (In My Mind) is In, I Will Now Do Book Reviews!

Photo courtesy of Google images- but I still would like to review your title!

Photo courtesy of Google images- but I still would like to review your title!

Hey.

After doing some thinking over the last few days (and a lot of Google searches on the subject) I have chosen to take on this lovely task. Why? Because as several prior comments have pointed out, the world could always use more book reviewers. 

I am a writer, though I work full time at a hospital- I enjoy reading too. I prefer this method of entertainment more so than I enjoy TV/movies. I believe I’m qualified through my reading experience (the audience another writer would want to appeal to the most) but I also have experience writing as I’ve completed my first novel, Affliction due out this fall (www.DonnaInk.org) and I’m currently working on the sequel (50% complete).

The kind of topics I’d like to review for content (not grammar editing) would vary. I’m not particular to any kind of reading- just as long as it’s good reading and I’m more enlightened or entertained on the subject than I was before I knew it existed. I would probably cover 1 book per week and I’d be willing to let you know the 3 following things:

      -What I like about the story you’re telling.

      -What I don’t like about the story you’re telling (is there room for improvement from a reader’s perspective).

      -Would I recommend this title to someone else (I have a big mouth when it comes this kind of stuff!)

My goal here is not to bash unnecessarily. I give great advice and I’m willing to take the time out of my life to do this for complete strangers for free.

I’d like to grow my audience so that’s the return I’m getting. Nothing more. I’ll be willing to post these reviews to my friends on Twitter, Facebook and here on WP on this blog- combined with over 2500 people and growing and to other formats as I develop them. I believe that books are not as competitive as cars and homes; people can buy more than one or two at a time!

The formats I’d be willing to accept?

I’d love an ARC (advanced reader copy) but I realize that’s not always possible so an Adobe Reader version may just work out. I’d prefer individuals who are currently signed with a publisher but for now I will keep self published folks in mind. Show me what you’ve got! 

If you’re interested in my opinion please email me at:     authordottiedaniels@gmail.com   

Any questions? Comments? Let me know here in the comments section. I’ll gladly revise this as I go along. I look forward to hearing from you!

Photo courtesy of Google images.

Photo courtesy of Google images.