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.

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Back in the Swing of Things

swinging

Do you think he hit it? Or was it a strike? Hmmm…(courtesy of Google images)

Hey.

I know it’s been awhile. A little over six months to be exact. I took a small (okay, semi annual in length) break from my blogging activities to hunker down and deal with some things- a storm of events both good and bad. I missed this favorite activity of mine. Trust me, I need to do some serious catching up with what’s been going on in your lives because life does go on and I depend on other bloggers’ perspective about many things. Writers are the best bunch of people.

My beloved pup, Oliver, of twelve and a half years passed away after a lengthy decline in kidney function and hemangiosarcoma (tumor of the spleen) that had evidence it spread to his liver. I’ll have to write more on this later but I’ll suffice to say for now- dealing with this was one of the more painful moments of my life (five weeks, actually). I lost a member of my pack and as you may or may not know, long standing habits take a very long time to adjust away from. He is sorely missed.

I also made the decision to become an independent author in December 2015 and cut my ties fully in January. If there are any other of you authors on the fence about going independent- let me tell you, YOU CAN DO IT. I was with a publisher who pretty much jacked me around for a few years and then basically half-assed a book release. Um yeah, I deserve better. Trust me I’ll be writing more about this in hopes of giving other authors in a similar situation the inspiration and resources they need to continue on their journey to authorship. Fortunately, we live in a post-traditional publishing world (yey!) and there are plenty of ways to get your work out there. Let me reiterate the last part of that statement:

There are plenty of legitimate companies that will help you produce, publish and market your quality work and make it available to the public for purchase and enjoyment.

So on an author note: my novel Affliction will be re-released this Fall in time for the zombie lovers to enjoy it. Affliction is a wonderful story and I dare not ever let any person discourage my writing passion and goals of having it along with the subsequent stories available to the public.

Folks, never let anyone stand in the way of what your God-given talents are. You’ll probably find that you’re in a somewhat miserable state until you’re doing what you’re truly supposed to. That is factual.

That is my theme for 2016 and pretty much the rest of my life.

So with this re-dedication of mine, of sorts, I’m here to raise my hand to say that I’m still present among you and hope that you all have been well. If that isn’t the case I hope that you are doing better. Life is a journey, not a destination. <— don’t quote me on that, I’ve always heard that statement and I want pass it along to you.

Stay tuned.  🙂

Feel free to check in by commenting below- let me know how you’ve been. I’ll be poking around a few pages, getting back in touch with you too.

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Courtesy of Google Images.

 

 

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.

Changing Perspectives

"Priorities" Road Sign with dramatic clouds and sky.

Image courtesy of Google.

Hey.

Like the title suggests, this Christmas Eve I’m acknowledging my changing attitudes and thoughts on many things… my God, does that mean I’m getting older (again)?

Recently I’ve been experiencing my own episodes of independence and maturation (moving in with the boyfriend can do that) as well as changing and owning up to the production of my own works (going from traditionally published to independent status) I feel more in control of my life now than ever before. I feel the potential to achieve success is mine to renew, rebuild, and refurbish- I am the captain. Part of me wants an official badge and hat or something while the other half wants to laugh at my former self for assuming I wasn’t capable in the first place.

indie publishing

Courtesy of Google images.

I’m in the mode of near-exclusive encouragement to others who are contemplating their next professional move, especially when it comes to authorship. Sure it will cost you a little money but piece-of-mind about the outcome is worth it, even at double the price. I’ll write more on the specifics of my journey later but I’ll suffice it to say that right now, I’m completely at peace about it all. My motto now is more closely aligned with the saying, “If you want something done right, do it yourself.”- “What are you waiting for?”

Well, as we close out the end of the year and look to set goals at the most popular and powerful time of the year in January: What are you waiting for?

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Courtesy of Google images.

Taking a Stance

Dreams.

Reality.

Capabilities.

Potential.

Generally I think it’s a great idea to invest your time and energies into entities where you’ll be able to grow and fashion yourself into becoming more knowledgeable, more professional, more- better at your endeavors.

Sometimes you have to say screw it, as I have, and thus step out on your own to see what ‘blessings’ you may earn on your own.

This relates to almost anything.

For me right now- this equates to publishing, particularly my own woes. It’s taken longer than expected to produce my work- through no fault of my own. I thought, no, I believed- with feverish excitement at times that the path I was on would lead to my goals of seeing my work produced in physical, tangible form. I’ve learned that sometimes a path is really just an entrance ramp. From there you can see a view of where you’re trying to go and the actual path to the opportunity to complete your goals lies just ahead.

Sometimes, that entrance ramp has a toll booth in which a cost is involved. For me right now, that cost was time. I’ve spent more than two years on that entrance ramp. It’s not been without waste though. Surely the ‘traffic’ was interesting. I’ve developed and learned a lot about my abilities and I’ve grown to take charge and trust my instinct thus, I’ve prepared myself for the actual road ahead which I can see is quicker, smoother and I’ll get to control the wheel from now on.

I’m not here to rant about what was done wrong to me. I’m here at the recovery phase to encourage anyone else who feels stuck at any point in their lives to figure out where you can take the controls and steer yourself with your own good wisdom. I’ll admit, I almost felt defeated. Then I remembered myself from years ago when I nearly died and I made a promise to stay resilient and never let any individual or entity rob me of my desire to thrive.

More to come on this later, folks.

In the meantime, Happy Halloween!

Dying to Write

Hey.

I just realized that right now we’re more than halfway through September already.

I hate when that happens.

It’s out of our hands, the flowing of time. The only thing we can do is enjoy it while we have it. Some choose to enjoy it while others choose to wish it passes through quickly. Time will be time.

As time relates to me, I specifically am wishing I could just write with whatever I have left in my day. I feel like it’s a privilege whenever I’m able and allowed to just focus on that task. I can’t tell you how often I’m somewhere and I think of something neat for a short story or a longer story and can’t indulge because something else requires my attention. I then, am able to just jot notes down and hope that the quality can carry itself until I’m able to focus on it- the idea, in its entirety.

I’m the only one able to make a name for myself. I’ll always bring my true self to the table whenever its time…

Just give me the time.

🙂

Ever Felt Dumb and Motivated at the Same Time?

This cutie pie probably got more done in an hour than I did, ha! Image courtesy of Google images.

This cutie pie probably got more done in an hour than I did, ha! Image courtesy of Google images.

Hey.

If so, you can join the club. I’m not only the president, I’m also a member….

I was so ready to blog when I got home from work this evening. Yes, I was going to log on and tear the page up with some more happenings and commentary but I got distracted. See, I’ve never been extremely fond of any of the WP themes I’ve had. Once I was settled in, I logged on and in my feed was a blog that offered some advice about adding widgets for creating links on your sidebar (>>>>a very useful tool for authors such as myself- see my widget off to the side? It’s because of Ana! <<<<).

This post, while helpful- reminded me of my distaste for my current theme. I wanted to find a better theme before I pat myself on the back after successfully adding this feature.

Before I went about following this excellent advice, I wasted close to an hour scrolling through the different themes to try and see how well they match up with my material. This ending up making me feel dumber than ever. Note: this feeling occurs whenever my brain separates from my will and fires off a thousand questions (like it just did about the different themes- you know, those ‘I wonder if’ questions) that I cannot answer because my techie language/skills are probably just below those of a modern day 1st grader.

These kids are smart nowadays. I should probably go and consult one of them..

Anyways, so now that I’ve completely blown my allotted blog time for the evening, I’m feeling inspired and motivated to return to it at my earliest convenience because I was actually able complete the whole widget suggestion thing (thanks again, Ana!) and thus not suffering a total defeat.

You may also notice if you visit here frequently that I did manage to change my blog theme…. to the exact same one I’ve had previously….

Photo courtesy of Google images.

Photo courtesy of Google images.