Saturday, June 22, 2019

Conquering the Impossible in Your Life

June 22, 2019

First and foremost I know everyone wants to know how I am feeling. I am feeling fantastic considering I have spent the last five long days at the hospital after experiencing one of the most severe pain I have had in my abdomen. Wow! Who knew that a gallbladder, an organ you don't even need, could cause so much problems coupled with acute pancreatic. Ouch! The first thing they did was put be on NPO, meaning nothing my mouth. I couldn't eat or drink anything for five days. Nothing! I only had the I.V. fluids. Strange thing, I didn't care as I wasn't hungry. My pancreas was inflamed, my gallbladder slushy, and they found a cyst on my liver. Surgery was the answer, which scared me half to death. However, I felt so much better after they removed my gallbladder, it was a blessing in disguise. The pain that I had experienced for the last six months after I ate was gone. Praise God! The picture on the right is my granddaughter making sure I ate after waking up from surgery. She was by all accounts, my helper as she was at my side taking care of me. I think she will be a doctor. The picture below is of us as we shared a sprite.

Now that I don't have a gallbladder, I still have to confront the inflamed pancreatic. That means a change in diet that I'm not looking forward to, but I will adapt. My health is more important that fried chicken and dairy products. I can do this.

I want to thank everyone who lifted me up in prayers as they were answered. You can take that one to the bank. I also know that I will heal. In fact, tomorrow I leave for my condo in Orange Beach, Alabama where I will spend the next couple of days to heal. I will have my computer and continue to post, write, and edit as I look forward to sitting on my balcony or in my recliner which looks over the beach. When I return, I will be refreshed and ready to take on the publishing world again.

I will consider this last week as a wake up call, not only for my health, but also a lifestyle change as I must make many adjustments to my diet. I can do this because nothing is impossible when you have already conquered the impossible. I have already a faced life-threatening illness in my past and overcame it, so getting over gallbladder surgery is simple with a change in diet and prayers.


My next author that I want to introduce to my readers knows something about overcoming obstacles in life as he was born blind and has achieved so much that he is an inspiration to me and to others as he sets remarkable standards. I think you will enjoy meeting Matt K Elam, the author of THE FIRST IMMORTAL: A JOHNNY JO novel. which is available on Amazon. Here is his interview.

Matt K. Elam

Facebook Link https://www.facebook.com/mattelambooks/
Author website Link: https://mattkelam.com
Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.

I was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, but my family and I left when I was a toddler.  We moved around quite a bit (within the states) during my formative years: Washington, Oregon, California, Texas, etc.  I played high school in Texas and was offered a full-ride Division-IA football scholarship to play for the University of Hawaii.  I jumped at the chance to return home and have been back on the island of O’ahu ever since.    

You were born blind, how has that impacted your writing?

This might sound a bit strange to readers, but being legally blind has actually been a blessing, especially when it comes to writing.  When I was in grade school, there weren’t many effective devices available for the visually impaired.  I remember in the fourth grade, I had to cart around this monstrous closed circuit television during school.  I was permitted to leave five minutes early in order to prepare the beast for departure to the next classroom.  The next option was to use large print books that resembled the stone tablet that Moses penned the Ten Commandments on.  So, instead of being burdened with the aforementioned man-made resources, I began developing a formidable memory, where I could read a paragraph or two or even chapters from home and then use it to keep up with the class the next day. 

My writing process consists of using my long-term recall abilities to either give a story some depth or to assist me in pushing through a patch of writer’s block.   

Being blind, how do you write your books? How do you edit your books?

My iMac desktop computer is my writing medium.  I firmly believe that Apple caters more to the legally blind than does its competitors.  It’s “zoom” options gives me the ability to toggle between normal sized font and large print font, which allows me to check my spelling on my word document as well as click over to the search engines to conduct my research.  Damn it, Apple, where were you when I was in grade school in the 80s?  Even college in the 90s.  Okay, I’m dating myself a bit too much here.  Ha!   

Editing-wise, my wife is my primary editor.  We’ve all been given certain gifts in this world and proofreading is certainly one of her many talents.  Plus, she’s a voracious reader of fiction, and a great asset for my novels.  When she enjoys my work, I know I’m doing something right.

What inspired you to author this book?

I let this novel (just like every fictional piece I author) write itself.  This particular story idea began with just a few fractured pieces of the bigger puzzle.  For example, I was training quite a bit of kung fu at that time, which took up quite a bit of physical and mental energy.  Fighting techniques were constantly streaming in the background of my grey matter.  I was also reading and watching quite a bit of fictional police/detective content back then.  Bam.  That was stored for later use.  Next, my experience as a collegiate and professional athlete began to integrate with the other two themes. Finally, once I felt like I had the making of a decent story, I put my butt in a chair, and began to hash it out.  I’m a bit of a pantser, so that’s what works best for me.      

Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?

I wanted the cover to give the reader some insight into Johnny Jo (the protagonist) and the overall storyline.  I’ve never been all that great of an artist, however, so I’m fortunate that I had a wonderful graphic designer who could transform my vision for the novel into an appealing cover.

Who has been the most significant influence on you personally and as a writer?

My father has always been my superhero.  As a child, I watched him gut out a PhD while working over sixty hours per week in a Division-I weight room as the head strength and conditioning coach.  His life served as a template for my own, as I started out on both an athletic and academic journey. 

As far as writing influences go, The Hardy Boys series was the driving force behind my love for fiction.  I know.  You’re supposed to ramble off a few literary authors when asked this question.  Not me.  As a child, The Hardy Boys allowed me to escape my world for a bit, and help Frank and Joe Hardy solve their mystery.  I was hooked.  I didn’t need an adult author muse to inspire me to write novels.
  
What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?

Being that this is my second novel, the momentum was on my side as compared to the initial book.  As I’ve mentioned earlier, I was a scientist for most of my adult life, an academic.  In my 20s and 30s, the drive was there to write a work of fiction, but I honestly didn’t know if I had the chops to do it.  Prior to my first novel, everything that I had written was peer-reviewed and/or non-fiction type of stuff. 

I didn’t burn my ships and go all in until I was in my forties.  It just goes to show you that it truly is never too late!

Tell your readers about your book.

Johnny Jo grew up in the hard streets of Little Hong Kong.  With hard work, talent, and a little luck, he would be drafted into the coveted national football league (NFL).  After a very impressive rookie year with the San Francisco 49ers, Jo would mysteriously leave the NFL and disappear from the public eye, leaving both his closest friends and the media baffled. 

Fifteen years later, Jo reappears, when his childhood best friend, Detective Donald Jinx brings him onboard as a consultant in a bizarre murder case.  Jinx finds his old friend more mysterious than ever as the case begins to unfold.  Little does the detective know that Jo is racing against time, trying to save their city from the threat that lay beyond the realm of their own world.   
Who is your target audience, and why?

When I began writing novels, my goal was always to write books for guys who like action movies.  That was literally the tagline in my head.  Things have changed, however, and I find my books are for all adult readers who enjoy gritty urban thrillers.

If you were going to give one reason for anyone looking at your book to read, why should they buy it?

I remove the fluff from my novels.  Because I’m an independently published author, I’m not subject to mandatory word counts.  I don’t need, nor want to take up four pages here and there talking about things that have already been covered or describe the need for a specific pencil, gun, vehicle, etc., in painstaking detail.  You get a lean, mean novel when you read one of my books. 
What do you consider your greatest success in life?

My kids are the best things my wife and I have ever done.  Our children have the potential to do and to be so much more than we ever could.  It’s inspiring.

What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?

I include a workout routine that the protagonist uses himself – at the end of the book – for the reader to try.  I’m still an exercise physiologist, and passionate about fitness, so I infuse that love into my novels.

How do you overcome writer’s block?

Pantser it, all the way!  If I wrote a detailed outline with a concrete direction for the story, I’d feel like a robot tapping the keys.  I need the characters and environment to come alive, to jump off the page.  There have been many occasions during the writing of my first two novels where I sat back after writing a chapter and saying, “Damn, I can’t believe that just happened.”  When I sit down to write, the hay is in the barn, so to speak.  Everything I need to tell the story is in my frontal cortex, so I just put the thing on autopilot and enjoy the show.

When I write in this way, absolutely no writer’s block.

What one piece of advice do you have for new authors.

Start.  If you think there’s a novel or two inside of that beautiful dome of yours, then it’s time to go all in.  B.I.C.  This acronym stands for butt in chair.  Park it and start clamoring away at the keys.  It’s the only way you’re going to know if you’re cut out to do this or not.  I guess that’s two pieces of advice, eh?  Oh well, I’ll send the bill later.

Tell your readers anything else you want to share.

Bruce Lee once said that, “I fear not the man who practices ten thousand kicks one time, but I fear the man who practices one kick ten thousand times.”  Stay focused on one thing at a time.  See it through to its completion.  Or discard it entirely.  Only then, should you move on to your next venture.  I struggle with staying focused, too, but know it’s necessary to have both a fruitful writing career and life.  





Wednesday, June 19, 2019

June 19, 2019

Today isn't the best day of my life. I am in Ochsner hospital in Kenner, Lousiania. I was just informed that I will have to have surgery as soon as possible to remove my gallbladder and to remove a cyst on my liver. I am alright emotionally and I am centered. I have been meditting and sending healing energy. I will let everyone know the rsults of the surgery.

I also want to thank everyone for the prayers and uplifting. I know that I am surrounded by people who care about each other and support one another. I will get over this hurdle and be back to my normal self real soon.

Buy Now on Amazon
INTRODUCING THE MUST HAVE READ BY EMERALD WILSON-BEY: THE PERFECT CUSHION

The second book from Emerald Wilson-Bey, The Perfect Cushion promises a captivating read. Based on real-life events, the riveting tale follows four young adults as they embark on a journey to discover their real selves.

Tessa, is a beauty, lives up to her name, standing at 5"5, she is fit, long and lustrous curly hair along with intelligence and sparkling green eyes. Tessa was the apple of her father's eye and went on to graduate from high school and embark on a successful career. However, being a housewife and have a family was always her goal.

Tessa's brother Dennis is the mirror of his father, standing tall at 6"0, his chiselled features and bright green eyes would have set him up in the modelling world, however, all he has ever wanted was to fill his dad's notable shoes. Tessa's best friend Whitney, often mistaken for her sister, coming from a competitive family of tennis players, high flying executives and social royalty, Whitney has an artistic side and her sights are on Broadway. Lastly, there is Devin, Tessa's unforgettable on-off boyfriend, who can never seem to turn off his heart for Tessa. As the only child of computer software developers, Devin's goal in life is to make money, he doesn't care how, all he knows if he wants it. As they figure out their future, they also learn they have a lot more in common than they ever imagined. The trick is now to learn how to live and survive with this new knowledge.

Emerald Wilson-Bey was born in Washington, D.C and is a proud entrepreneur and business owner. A mom, a keen traveller and gives back to her community via a variety of charities. Staring her own business in 2012, The Wilson-Bey Group Multifaceted LLC, and in 2014 she published her first book, My Nights with the Shah: How Not to Date a Celebrity.

Taking on a different direction for her second book, The Perfect Cushion details real-life events of four young adults as they learn different facets of their lives.

Launching in stores and online on the 13th July, The Perfect Cushion is sure to become a hot read of the summer. Immerse yourself into the world of Tessa, Dennis, Whitney and Devin and discover what binds them together forever.




Monday, June 17, 2019

The Pitfalls When an Author Converts Their Book to an Ebook Kindle Format

June 17, 2019

Monday mornings are always busy for me as I catch up on emails and return phone calls. Unlike the song, Rainy Days and Mondays, it doesn't get me down. In fact, Mondays are a vibrant time for me as I set my goals for the week. Usually, these goals include writing, editing, marketing, and swimming. I'm always doing something. This week won't be any different as my grandson has a swimmeet, I just finished launching BECOMING MISS IZZY, I am finalizing NEURO CONFINEMENT, and I am starting a new path in my blog, called HERE WE GO.

HERE WE GO won't be a live podcast; however, I will be doing video interviews with authors, musicians, artists, and filmmakers. I love the trend and think it is time. I hope you enjoy the series as it progresses. My first interview was with Sue  Zook, co-author of BECOMING MISS IZZY. Take a look.


I have already slated my next two guests, C J Kruse, author of A GUIDE ON HOW TO CALM DOWN. QUICKLY. EFFECTIVELY. WITHOUT SAYING SOMETHING STUPID and Cheryl Long author.





The Pitfalls When an Author Converts Their Book to an eBook Kindle Format

by Dr. Melissa Caudle


Write. Edit. Publish. Distribute. The process every published author goes through. Sounds simple enough, but in reality, that four-step process could take months to years for an author to complete. There is one problem with this four-step formula -- authors are thinking as writers and not publishers. Nowadays, authors must think like publishers because there are so many books available on just about every topic in the world. For your book to sell, it must meet publishing standards. It isn’t enough for an author to only write, publish their paperback, and then publish their eBook by uploading straight to Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). There is so much that goes into formatting; so, why would you skimp when it comes to formatting your Kindle eBook? Don’t you want it perfect like your paperback? You hire editors, you hire cover designers, and sometimes you hire someone to market your paperback book. Why wouldn’t you hire a professional Kindle eBook company to format your manuscript? Don’t you want the best eBook possible?

    When an author attempts to format their eBook for Kindle Direct Publishing, several pitfalls happen to a manuscript -- you stand the chance of:

·         not embedding the proper chapter tags,

·         not creating a clickable table of contents,

·         not embedding sections,

·         not embedding proper page breaks,

·         not having your images equally proportioned,

·         not embedding links in the front and back matter, and

·         not having your eBook compatible with all eReaders.

Then, when the author uploads the file to KDP, they get error messages, and the formatting interior is jumbled. It becomes a vicious circle as you attempt on your own to fix the issue only to cause another. Frankly, it is a headache. Sometimes, the eBook gets approved, although it is a mess, and when your eBook goes on sale on Amazon, viewers can look inside of your book before they buy. If it is a jumbled mess, they pass on your book and move to another, which means you left money on the table. Why would an author risk so much when there is an affordable solution to the eBook Kindle Format sorrows?

   
Get Started wth Ebookifi
Luckily, there is help for authors who desire a perfect Kindle format eBook that will be compatible with all eReaders. So take a look at Ebookifi, a company that offers Kindle formatting for your eBook. They have converted hundreds of books and they guarantee their work. They want you happy with your eBook, and they bend over backward to make that happen. As a company that focuses on Kindle eBook formatting, they keep up to date on eBook publishing trends including being able to convert eBooks into multiple languages. Face it, readers are used to professional industry standards when they read an eBook, and that is what Ebookifi does. What I find particularly valuable is that every manuscript submitted to Ebookifi is reviewed by one of their professional eBook formatters who are trained. They never use any automation services that turn up junk codes for your readers, and because each manuscript is reviewed by a staff member, they take into consideration your book’s tone and platform. All the hassles go away for you in formatting your eBook, and you get a professionally formatted Kindle eBook.





Sunday, June 16, 2019

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY BOOK SALE

June 16, 2019

Happy Father's Day to all fathers. I hope everything goes perfect for you. For those of you who don't know what to get your father, how about a copy of  my novel THE KEYSTROKE KILLER or A.D.A.M. THE BEGINNING OF LIFE. for this day only, I have put them both on sale.  I must say, that didn't work for my husband. He wanted a not to cook and go out for a steak dinner.



Tomorrow is the big day for Sue Zook and Mary Lazsarski because BECOMING MISS IZZY goes on sale.



THE PERFECT FATHER'S DAY BOOK


BUY NOW ON AMAZON






THE SECRET OF THE SEED BY COSMIC THERAPY


Author website Link: www.transparency-tv.com


Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.

Forgive me; this part is always the most difficult for me. I set intentions to try and stay as anonymous as possible with my passion projects because it helps me stay focus on being of service and sharing my gifts and talents. So, I enjoy moving silence lol. However, I too must shine my light and have committed to my own cause in that way as well. So I humbly accept every opportunity to do that and am thankful to you for this one. Ok, let's see. I was born in Warren, Ohio. I moved around quite a bit as a child living in GA, VA, CA, and OH. I joined the ARMY right after high school. I have a B.A. in Early Childhood Development and an M.A. in Applied Behavioral Analysis. Ended up in CA for fourteen years and I currently have lived in Deltona, FL for the past two years. My wife and I have a beautiful two-year-old daughter who is almost three going on twenty-three.

What inspired you to author this book?

I wrote a cartoon series called Nahlas Universe about a little girl with TWO mommies who learns some of life's greatest lessons through singing, playing and just being herself. Based on New thought Ancient Wisdom and the "7 Spiritual Laws for Kids" by Deepak Chopra. I then thought bout how much my daughter and I enjoy reading together and the pricelessness of that quality time. So I decided to turn those episodes into books that can be quality time for other families.

Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?
The books cover was inspired by a mix of my families favorite things, like sunflowers, rainbows, beautiful sunny days, and of course the treasure of the hidden message.



Who has been the most significant influence on you personally and as a writer?

My wife and I have read a book to our daughter every day since she was born, and so many of them have influenced my writing today. The infamous Dr. Seuss, Lisa Mccourt, Marty Kelly but also many small self-published ones just like my own.

What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?

Life happens period, and I have had my more than fair share of adversity. I am a disabled vet suffering from PTSD and depression; normal obstacles can seem insurmountable. Through relationships, both personal and internal battles, to motherhood, to just life my biggest obstacles is always getting out of my own way. 
Tell your readers about your book. 
The Secret of the Seed is about a little girl names Nahla who is super excited to plant her try own seeds. On her journey, she prepares for the best day ever. Unknowingly, headed for one of the greatest lessons about self-discovery. Bright, vivid colors, beautiful illustrations, and a few Cathy songs offer automatic child-appeal, but the book packs a universal message for people EVERYWHERE!

How did you come up with the idea of cartoon TV? Tell me all about it.

My wife and I have a two-year-old daughter. As she began showing more interest in TV and talking last year, I just noticed that so many children videos, nursery rhymes, and stories showed only mommy and daddy. Then one day she asked what's daddy? We told her some kids have a mommy and daddy, and some have different families like hers. Soon she became more and more inquisitive. Especially when the baby shark song went viral and all of the finger family songs. It merely broke our heart that she was searching for something that seemed missing because that was all she saw on TV.

One day I said let's mix this up a bit and searched for cartoons or nursery rhymes with two moms and two dads. I entered lesbian cartoon mom in google and it yielding zero results. I thought OMG how many things yield zero on the World Wide Web!? I found maybe three total videos after lots of digging. So after being saddened, I just felt a fire go through my heart and I said this had to change. It is 2019 Same-sex marriage has been legal for four years yet we still act like it is something kids aren't supposed to see, and I don't agree because this is what my daughter sees every day. This is her “normal” she has two mommies. I began doing more digging and decide to be the change. My wife helps me set the youtube page up, and I started teaching myself how to animate by watching youtube videos. I then started doing research and found out the mental health risk associated with the lack of this representation. Being a suicide survivor myself; I do not want my child or any other child to become a statistic, so I just knew it was my purpose to bring this to light. I am now able to pay for some better quality videos will have the book published in a couple of weeks and am on the way to getting more exposure and spreading more awareness.



Who is your target audience, and why?

I truly believe that my messages are universal. Cosmically therapeutic message for the child in all of us. Every person is childlike in some stage of their life where you are learning something new or encountering a situation you have never faced, etc. It is important to connect with that part of ourselves and encourage and empathize and forgive and love the way we would any other child.


If you were going to give one reason for anyone looking at your book to read, why should they buy it?

Because it is driving a bigger cause, which is to reduce youth suicide rates, youth suicide rates dropped by fourteen percent when same-sex marriage became legalized nationally. This means when children see themselves reflected positively in the world they live in, then they feel more hope for their future. Thus, making material like mine imperative on a preventative level.

What do you consider your greatest success in life?

One of my greatest successes in life is longevity in relationships. It is an amazing blessing to know someone long enough to see them grow literally and figuratively. I value and cherish the few long them relationships I have with my closest friends, family, and loved ones. They take real time, care, attention, and effort to cultivate, and I am proud of that.

What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?

I believe wholeheartedly that I am the only person who can see the world through my perspective. So that is what sets me apart, my perspective, it is coming from the most real part of me. The part that is invisible.

How do you overcome writer’s block?

I overcome writer block by identifying certain shows, music, or books that inspire me and taking a moment to watch, listen, or read when I feel stuck. However, I always make my self touch it every day. Even if I sit and stare at the screen for an hour, or write one word. I do it consistently because the blocks will come and go and as long as you don’t give up you will make progress until you are finished.

What one piece of advice do you have for new authors.

My advice would be to be consistent and trust the process. One of my favorite sayings is the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. So remember to keep the bigger picture in mind but fall in love with the process, with the small daily things that add up because that is where most of your time is spent.

Tell your readers anything else you want to share.

I would like to spread the word about my #shineyourlight campaign to raise awareness on the influence social policy has on youth suicide rates and that LGBT youth are four times as likely to be a statistic. To encourage others to shine their own lights, live in their transparency to give others permission to do the same.