Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Why is Phil Stern Full of Bull?

Phil Stern is the author of both Contemporary and Science Fiction.

His debut novel, The Bull Years, was published in 2011. A hard-hitting commentary on both the frustrations and ultimate validation of modern-day life, The Bull Years follows the lives of four people throughout the late 80′s, 90′s, and into the 21st century, directly addressing the gradual alienation and disconnection often experienced during young adulthood.

"I wanted to write about characters everyone could relate to," Stern says. "We've all had our ups and downs. I think people sometimes feel everyone else has experienced more success than they have, or are more firmly grounded in our world than they could ever be. My hope is that everyone will recognize a little part of themselves in Steve, Sophia, Dave, and Brooke."

1. What inspires you as a writer?

It’s something I’ve always been driven to do. I think it’s how I channel the fantasies and frustrations I experience in my own life.

2. When did you have that ah ha moment when you knew you were a writer?

I’ve always known I wanted to be a writer. That ah ha moment may have come, however, when I put The Bull Years up on Kindle.
3. What is your writing process?

I always write in the morning. If you don’t write first thing, you kind of lose it.

4. Tell us about your favorite character and why you chose to write about them?

I love all my characters in different ways. That having been said, Steve Levine, from The Bull Years, may closely reflect how I’ve felt at various times.

5. What are you currently working on?

I have some more science fiction that will be coming out soon, Escape and Reylar.

8. Do you have any advice for new writers and something that a seasoned vet can learn?

It takes time. You have to get your stuff out there, get reviews, spread the word. Fame and fortune don’t happen overnight, but they can happen.

9. Where can your followers find you?

My website at

Also Twitter at @philstern100

Thank you so much for stopping by! From the look inside feature on Amazon this is a great read!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Bookstores are Where Books go to Die

If you are a new author you are probably thinking “she doesn’t know what the heck she is talking about” but if you are the seasoned author you know better. Most people who buy books from bookstores already know what book they are going to buy prior to going there. If are one of the thousands who do have your book on the shelf and you aren’t John Grissom, J. K. Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, or any other big name you are almost guaranteed to get your books returned to the distributer some time during the year.

Case in point, I have written several books and most are available through Barnes and Noble or Books a Million. The books don’t move unless I have a book signing at the particular store. Oh and just a quick note: you must promote the signing. The bookstore will only place a small sign up and it may be right next to the huge poster of Twilight or whatever big name release is out. It will be practically invisible to the window-shopper. If I don’t move them then they go back on the shelves are absorbed back into the Book Matrix. They are sitting on the shelf and passersby can only see the spine sticking out and that is only if the reader goes to that particular section. 

While reading a blog I came across this by Seth Godin:

·  Bookstores, in general, are run by absolutely terrific people. Bookstores, in general, are really lousy businesses. They are often where books go to die. While some readers will discover your book in a store, it’s way more likely they will discover the book before they get to the store, and the store is just there hoping to have the right book for the right person at the time she wants it. If the match isn’t made, no sale.
See I am not the only one who feels this way. You as the author must get your name out there for people to know your book exists. I have had more sales doing book festivals than bookstores. Tweet about it, Facebook it, go on virtual book tours…whatever it takes! Just do it. But, make sure what you are asking people to buy is of some quality. Do not think you can do it yourself and simply slap your book together. You get what you pay for does come into play when working on your book. The worst thing you can do is make someone feel like they have been had if you fail to have your book edited or typeset by a professional. They will make sure you know about it in the not so lovely review they leave you. 

So if your dreams are to only have your book on the bookstore shelves then find another dream. But, if you passionate and want more then check out a few of the resources below and get to promoting yourself. 

Author Resources:

Until Next Time,

Omegia Keeys
Rise and Fall of a Track Star
Publishing Liaison
Author Consultant 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Up Close with Andy Holloman

Author Bio: Writer Andy Holloman has been scribbling stories since a young age.
(According to reliable sources.) "Shades of Gray" is his first
published novel and grew out of his experiences as a travel agency
owner many moons ago. He was fascinated with the true story of a
client of the business that was murdered. Suspecting her line of work
was drug smuggling, a story sprouted in his over-active imagination -
How far would a desperate person go to save their child and their

He is the father of three and happily married for 20 years. A graduate
of UNC-CH, he lives in the Raleigh, NC area and is busy carpooling,
keeping his wife happy, and attending his kids sporting events. He
loves the great outdoors in NC, is an avid reader, and a social media
goofball. Most evenings, he can be found tapping on his well-worn
keyboard as he "births" his next novel.

What inspires you as a writer?
I feel inspired by the craft of storytelling.  I truly enjoy the process of laying down the “tracks” of the story.  I’m inspired by throwing my characters into difficult situations and  then finding creative solutions to their problems.  My inspiration comes from the “perspiration” that my characters feel in the story.  (smile)

When did you have that ah ha moment when you knew you were a writer?
I found it easy to consider myself a writer when I joined a writers group around 2004 in the Cary NC area.  I would STRONGLY recommend that anyone that wants to publish a novel to join a local writers group.

What are you currently working on?
I am in the very early stages of punching out a new novel that I would describe as an “Irving-esque romp through the 1990’s as seen through the eyes of two Irish twins who come of age in the US during the rise of the internet.”  Title is TBD.

Any upcoming events?   none at this time

If you could be anyone you like, who would you be?        
I would love to be Richard Branson.  I admire his gumption and his willingness to push boundaries and try new things.  Plus, I would love to be a billionaire.

Do you have any advice for new writers and something that a seasoned vet can learn?
Patience.  Re-write.  Then re-write some more.  Then add in a little more patience.  Plan on getting published to be at least a 5 year process from the start of your writing process until you can hold your book in your hand.  Join a writers group when you finish your draft.  For a veteran writer – check out Twitter.  I’ve been blown away at what a great place is Twitter is for connecting with prospective readers and other writers.

Where can your followers find you?   website    www.AndyHolloman
Twitter -   @AndyHolloman       Facebook -     AndyHollomanWriter

Any last words?
I truly, truly love readers.  Hands down the most delightful aspect of publishing my book has been the interactions with readers and prospective readers.  Getting a book published is a long, long road as is SELLING books.  Even though I’m just at the beginning of my publishing journey, I know that my long term success will be in the hands of my readers.  I delight in the way in which Social Media sites (Twitter and Facebook) allow me to interact with readers and I pledge to everyone that reads my book to do everything within my power to respond to your questions, comments, and suggestions.    THANKS SO MUCH !!!!!!!!     KEEP ON READING !!!!!

Thank you so much for stopping by Andy! Be sure to leave a comment below for Andy.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Lies Cinderella Told Me

With the release of Rise and Fall of a Track Star I have been fortunate to receive great praise for daring to tell my story. Along with it I have also been asked why no happy ending? No happy ending because my life wasn’t as such at that period of time. But, it got me to thinking about a lot of my other books. Only one in which the girl gets her man. 

I am not sure if it was a subconscious thing reflecting life as I saw it at the time or what? But, I have been a fan of not believing the hype of the Cinderella tale.  From a young age it is tossed in young girls face to wait around for the man to save the day. Well, by the time I was a teen the fantasy had fallen by the wayside. Why? Because it was not my reality. Back then all Disney characters were white and princesses. I was black and from the hood. To this day they haven’t gotten much better with their depiction. Oh you say what about Princess and the Frog? Did you watch the same movie I did? Princess Tiana wasn’t a real princess. She worked for a living—exact opposite of all the princesses and she was a frog majority of the movie. The prince didn’t save her. She saved him from himself. He lived the life of a self-centered jerk. 

Thinking about it as I finished up Single, Black, and Government Owned I came up with the root of my problem. How can one believe a fairytale or have a true relationship if they have never seen one? I come from a single parent household, my older brothers had extremely dysfunctional relationships, most of my friends’ parents were no longer together, Romance Novels didn’t feature woman like me, and then Disney had it out for me too. I was doomed until I learned how to make myself happy first. 

Until I learned to make me happy I would be in limbo. I would keep running into guys who weren’t about anything and try to make them something and wonder why the good ones didn’t act like them. The light bulb flicked on and the blinders were off. Relationships do not have to be about struggle and strife. You don’t have to be joined to the hip and he doesn’t have to be perfect, just perfect for me! Forget Cinderella and Disney, I will have my own happily ever after. 

Omegia Keeys

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Are You a Pretender?

Leave a comment and let the author know you stopped by. You never know you may be the chosen one to win an ebook!

M.D. Cliatt Bio
I'm a wife and a mother who loves to tell stories. I was born and raised in Georgia, but now I live in Central Pennsylvania.  I'm a staff attorney in a law school clinical program, and I'm an adjunct law professor who teaches juvenile justice and legal writing. I used to be a public defender specializing in representing children, and for the most part, loved the work. I thrived on the heat of courtroom battle, but the highs are very high and the lows are very low and I burned out. Now, I spend time grading papers, supervising law students as they represent indigent clients in court and reading with my sister in our long distance book club.

What inspires you as a writer? Number one, I love getting lost on the highways of my imagination and writing about what I discover.  I find writing to be almost magical in the way it transports you to other places and introduces you to characters without the aid of pictures, videos or soundtracks.  Number two, I’ve been an avid reader since I was a small child, and I noticed that bookstores lacked variety when it came to stories about members of my community--if they had any stories at all.  
When did you have that ah ha moment when you knew you were a writer? I’m still not sure, but as a kid, I would write stories in journals in an attempt to capture the magic authors seemed to possess, but I never finished--barely started really.   When I finished The Public Pretender, and a couple of people told me they liked it, I thought--Maybe, just maybe.  So, I’m trying my dream out for size to see if it fits.
What is your writing process? I wake up around 4:00 in the morning, turn on some instrumental music because lyrics can be distracting, make some tea and then park myself on the couch in front of my bow window.  Hopefully, I find my writing vibe and voice and get lost in my imagination with a particularly intriguing character and/or plot.
 Tell us about your favorite character and why you chose to write about them? Besides the main character, I enjoyed writing about three other characters:  Crow, Nathan and Jason.  Since you asked for one, I’ll pick Nathan, the main character’s husband.  His love, protection, patience and genuine concern for his family and others are at the core of his character.  When his love for and trust in his wife is pushed to its limits, his reaction to the challenge is pivotal to the plot.  I just love the way he loves.  I’m sorry, but I just have to add that I enjoyed her youngest son’s snarky humor and laughed out loud, cried over her oldest son’s scenes and found myself fascinated by Crow, her shady, but loveable former client. 
 What are you currently working on?  I have three projects swirling around in my brain right now.  With the help of my sons, I’m putting pen to paper--or fingers to keyboard--on a fantasy novel about a pregnant queen.  I’m developing the plot for a sequel to The Public Pretender and flirting with a romance novel about a teenage runaway.
Any upcoming events?  I’m looking forward to more touring, interviews and guest blogging.
 If you could be anyone you like, who would you be? Maya Angelou or Oprah Winfrey.  I admire the way they live their lives and pursue their dreams without apology.
 Do you have any advice for new writers and something that a seasoned vet can learn?  I really don’t know enough yet to give advice, and I’m afraid anything I might offer might seem obvious or trite.  The best advice I haven’t mastered is to write every day.
Where can your followers find you?
Any last words?  I’m looking forward to hearing what others thought of the characters in my book.  Drop a comment on my blog.  Thanks for hosting me!

Thank you so much for stopping by.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Up Close With David Knight

1. What inspires you as a writer?

    Hi everyone. This may sound strange, but it was just an overwhelming feeling within me that I had to put words onto paper. In the beginning, it was as if a creative spark ignited inside as I felt I need to write some poems about what I was sensing and feeling during meditation and sitting in ‘circle’- (Spiritual groups)

2. When did you have that ah ha moment when you knew you were a writer?

     Mmmm, I guess this occurred to me, when what I had started to write seemed to grow and expand into lengthy passages of text. I seemed to be guided in collating information together… and I started to realize that it was a book being formed in front of my very eyes!  

3. What is your writing process?                                                                                                         

Ha ha (LOL) I really should have a structure like ‘famous’ authors I guess!  For me and lots of people it’s a case of juggling and fitting it in one’s busy lifestyle.  I would like to say I have a set time each day but I don’t. For me it’s like having a pull and tug of the heart strings…its like God saying to me…time to write now David - bizarre as it sounds or seems. Sometimes, if I hear / listen to soft music…or am in a quiet moment something triggers inside my heart…as if inspiring me to get the pen to paper. As this occurs…I tend to write for about 1 and half hours, then when time allows it takes me about 2 further hours to type up what has been transcribed through me.

4. Tell us about your favorite character and why you chose to write about them?

There’s not actually a so called ‘character’ within the book, but that said everything revolves around ‘Love’, which is the overriding ‘theme’ from, through and to all hearts and souls.  

5. What are you currently working on?

Actually, the sequel I am I: The In-Dweller of your Heart - Part 2 is about two thirds completed. It is going to be awesome and a revelation to the many.

6. Any upcoming events?

Obviously, first of all we have this wonderful Virtual Blog Tour organized through the team at Assisting Authors Online. I am hoping that through various forums and connections that I can do some radio interviews and some local book signings…. ‘From little acorns… eh’? 

7. If you could be anyone you like, who would you be?

Great question! I had to laugh recently when a friend/ his wife and I watched an action / sci fi movie together…and they asked a similar question about the actors in it. “Who would you be in this film Dave?”  Oh, probably him over there…I replied. Why’s that?  As he survives! LOL Ha ha 

It’s quite difficult really. Morally / spiritually and for karma I could say that it’s best to be myself as that’s who I am…but of the famous, mmmm….its too difficult…oh dear, I guess it would have to be someone who has left a legacy…helping humankind and society.

8. Do you have any advice for new writers and something that a seasoned vet can learn?

For new writers I would say never give up upon your dreams….through determination and trust in yourself you can make them come true. For vets…your never to old or set in your ways to learn…just look at the self –pub and e-book revolution!

9. Where can your followers find you?

It’s always great to connect to new hearts and minds and continuing to share spiritual guidance and education to young or old, and anyone who has an open heart!  I’m mainly on Twitter and Facebook   using @AscensionForYou and of course via my blog and website too which is

10. Any last words?

Just want to say thank you to everyone for their kindness and support with the blog tour and to God for making this book ‘happen’.  We never stop learning upon this road and journey we call life. Try to enjoy it…make things happen so that you never feel that you had any regrets. God Bless to all. Dave – AscensionForYou- Knight

Thank you for stopping by David. Check out what's below. It's something fun.

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Who Says it's Up to the Publisher?

Time and time again I peruse author forums and see the same ole comments, "My books aren't selling and it's my publishers fault." I was going to write a blog about it, but ran across an article stressing the same thing along with things we as authors can do. It comes from one of my favorite Newsletters, The Book Marketing Expert. Take notes.

What Authors Must Know About Platforms
The Book Deal blog by Alan Rinzler has a great piece on "The New Author Platform" - What You Need to Know. A must-read for authors navigating the online book world:

Reprinted from "The Book Marketing Expert newsletter," a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques.

Until Next Time,

Omegia Keeys