Thursday, October 29, 2009

The business side of being a writer

Some people might not view an author as a business person, but I have to tell you, there's far more to being a writer than cloistering oneself in a small room for months and typing out 80,000 words. In today's world, a successful writer must also take on the hats of publicist, marketer, event planner, advertising rep, accountant, stocker (not stalker) and more.

As a successful Edmonton author, I am right at home with the writing and marketing part. I even make a decent publicist and have done this for other writers. It's the accounting part I suck at. And the stocking of shelves.

I'd love to discuss this here with other writers. How do you manage the number side of writing? Do you hire someone else or just suck it up and do it? Are there other options you've discovered (other than having books published by a traditional publisher, which I've also had)?

For me writing is both an immense pleasure and a business. I can't really have one without the other--unless I want to be my only reader. With the economy being as it is and so many changes in the book industry, authors must take on more of the marketing role, no matter who publishes you.

Finally, a small bit of promo from the marketing side: I am one of only a handful of Canadians who are competing in a writing competition sponsored by Dorchester Publishing, a very respectable US publisher. I think I'm the only Edmonton contestant as well. I'd sincerely appreciate your support.

Please check out my debut romantic suspense Lancelot's Lady on and click on the blue thumb and blue phone circles. This gives me 2 points in the contest. There are 3 days to go until the semi-finalists are selected. I really want to win this! The prize is a publishing contract with Dorchester.

Sign up is fast and free and you'll have access to many novels and short stories you can read for free. Thank you, in advance, for your support of an Edmonton author.

Now I must go and procrastinate about doing my accounting. :-)

Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Why can't I be the Meryl Streep of fiction?

In the August issue of Novel Writing Magazine, Jane Friedman wrote something that put a bee in my bonnet:

“It’s likely you’ll be returning to the same themes or topics throughout your writing career. [e.g. – if you write about small-town life today, it’s likely you’ll still be writing about small-town life in a few years.] Becoming known as someone who explores certain themes or topics can make you interesting and visible to particular audiences.”

As a reader, I understand why writers write about similar themes. But like most people I know, I have an expansive curiosity – and so this advice puts me in a conundrum. Must I write about the same themes? The same landscape?

So I ask you: Why can’t I be the Meryl Streep of writing? Streep has an unquestionable range of talent. She can portray an inflexible nun (Doubt), a romantic hotelier (Mamma Mia) or a cold magazine editor (Devil Wears Prada) - and so many other roles in between! She may be virtually unrecognizable from one character to the next, but you still want to see her. You know you will be in good hands. Her brand is Meryl Streep – not any particular character or era or subject. If she can inhabit different worlds and still have fans, why shouldn’t a writer be able to do the same? Why can't I write about murder and suspense from a man's point of view and then write women's fiction that explores marital infidelity?

I suppose I know the answer. If you want to build a following or readership, that following must have a sense that they will get what they expect when they plunk down hard-earned money for an author’s latest work. I have purchased most of Elizabeth Berg’s novels because they explore the underbelly of women in suburbia. I love Elmore Leonard because I can experience the crime underworld and root for both good guys and bad guys – all while learning how to write dialogue.

Writers who’ve built a career in a certain genre are generally more successful. They have a style. They’ve created reader expectations and they meet them. They sell books.

I understand this on a business level, but didn't on an artistic level until I read this:

"A second novel must be like the second song on a CD. It may be different, but the listener must be able to recognize similarities in the different tracks, They must sound like they fit together, but also be unique."

(I'm paraphrasing this because I can't for the life of me remember where I read that. I remember I was standing in a bookstore, reading it from the acknowledgments. Somehow, that book didn't make it home with me.)

The musical analogy makes it clear: It's a good idea for a writer's SECOND novel to include the voice and style and possibly, the themes, that marked the first work. It might just need to sound like another track on the same CD.

I'll still keep my Meryl Streep dream alive and I hope my career is as diverse. In the meantime, there's plenty of time to create more stories that fall under the category of psychological suspense and family drama, which are themes I explored in my first novel....(wait for it...shameless plug ahead)....Janeology.

Write on!

Karen Harrington
author, Janeology
Visit my daily blog -

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

How to Turn Your Book Into A Movie

Have you ever wondered how you can turn your book into a movie? Well, to get a movie deal you first need a book that can easily translate into Hollywood. There are a few key elements your book needs. One important element is its genre. Hollywood often looks for romantic dramas, thrillers, and science fiction themed novels. Think the Bourne Identity or The Notebook. What usually doesn’t work? Romantic comedies. Not because Hollywood doesn’t love a romantic comedy but because romantic comedies do not work in the book business. If you want your book to become a movie, it must be a successful book first and foremost.

Reputable literary manager and producer, Ken Atchity also suggested that "Your book must also have a hero and heroine that are in the right Hollywood age range."

The ideal age range is 20-something to 40 – do not make your character over 40. After that it becomes difficult to cast. It’s also important for a different reason. The average age of moviegoers are teenagers to 30-somethings. Adults over 40 are more likely to watch their movies through Netflix rather than go to the theater. So, to keep attracting adults who do go to the theater, you want to have characters they can easily relate to – this means actors who are close in age to them.

Another important element is the story line. You want to make it clear your book contains three acts. Novels are not usually constructed this way – more often than not books have only two acts. You need to be sure your book has three, but it also can’t feel like third is tacked on. It needs to be incorporated with the first and second. A great way create a book with a successful three-act structure is by making sure there is a twist at the end of the book that makes the third act even more riveting than the second. is an online service that helps writers

Monday, October 26, 2009

Daughter Am I Blog Tour 2009 Update

Day nine of the Daughter Am I blog tour, and I am still going strong. I actually went to bed before midnight last night, and I’m a bit more rested. Good thing -- there is a lot going on today! First, check out “After the Writing Comes the Work.” Great discussion going on at that unscheduled tour stop, and a wonderful compliment about Daughter Am I.

Next, check out “How Best To Procrastinate” on Claire Collins’s blog. It was actually yesterday’s tour stop, but I kept finding other things to do and never got around to telling you about it. (Procrastination humor. Trite, but still amusing. I hope.)

Claire is a guest on my blog talking about “Welcome to the Business of Writing”, and the importance of a mission statement. Mine is: “It is my mission to become so well-known that a traditional publisher will offer me an obscenely large advance. I will turn down the advance because I’d like to show that there is value in being published by a small independent publisher, and because the resulting publicity could be worth more than the publishing contract.” Did you notice that it says nothing about writing? Hmmm.

One of these days I really do have to work on my poor stalled WIP. I’m thinking of doing WriMo -- my own slimmed down version of NaNoWriMo. Instead of National Novel Writing Month, I might do simply a Writing Month. Perhaps try to write a sentence or two each day in November to get back into the habit of writing. I did sign up for NaBloWriMo (National Blog Writing Month) and NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). Since I’ve already contracted to do a blog post every day for the first three weeks in November because of my blog tour, all I need to do is to finish out the month and I win. Win what? you might ask. Nothing, of course. It’s the challenge that counts.

But I am digressing.

Today I am again visiting Joylene Nowell Butler in Cluculz, this time for an interview. I am at Untreed Reads talking about my Rites of Passage as an author. And I am trick-or-treating at the Second Wind blog.

This is turning into an international tour. I’m in Canada today and Wednesday, in Florida tomorrow, and in Australia on Thursday. In the middle of November, I’ll be in South Africa. You gotta love the Internet!

Today’s schedule recapped:

After the Writing Comes the Work
How Best to Procrastinate
Welcome to the Business of Writing
Interview at Cluculz
Rites of Passage
Trick or Treat! Let the Game Begin!

Have fun. I intend to.


Click here to buy Daughter Am I from Second Wind Publishing, LLC.

Click here to buy Daughter Am I from Amazon.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ebooks Create More Sales and Eager Readers

Several weeks ago, I wrote about the growing popularity of ebooks among book buyers, particularly from the 50+ generation. Brad Stone of The New York Times also writes about ebook trends in his interesting article. Unquestionably, print versions of magazines and newspapers are way down and some are closing their doors for good. It seems that people aren’t using these mediums for quick reading in the bathroom or waiting rooms anymore, but instead are using their BlackBerries and iPods.

Kindles and Sony Readers have caused an increase in the number of books people are buying and reading. While the article's evidence is anecdotal, it does support my own findings that people love the convenience of being able to buy and read a book from wherever they happen to be. Amazon states that Kindle owners now buy 3.1 times as many books as they did before they owned the device. Readers claim that they spend more time reading than ever before.

However, there are still publishers who just don’t buy all the hype. One publisher in the article said “ you really believe that people are going to be reading more because they can get it on a screen?” Clearly, this publisher hasn’t been talking to Kindle owners.

Electronic readers are here to stay. They’re convenient and easily customized to suit individual needs. Books are cheaper, more accessible, and no one’s killing trees to create copies. If ebooks get more people buying, reading, and excited about books again, where’s the bad? To read the whole article go to

To read excerpts of Fatal Encryption and Taxed to Death, visit

Fatal Encryption is available through at and Taxed to Death can be found at

Goal Setting Tips for Writers

I know hundreds of writers who fall victim to the deadly P-syndrome. If you’re unfamiliar with it, you’re one of the lucky ones. This syndrome is not only a killer of words and inspiration, but it can also be contagious, claiming other areas of the victim’s life or spreading to others. Washing your hands won’t keep P-syndrome away―unless washing your hands is part of a new mindset, one where you set daily goals.

If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m talking about PROCRASTINATION. It can be extremely debilitating to an author.

Read more about setting goals and check out the easy tips at Market My Novel

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Friday, October 23, 2009

Haven't a Clue about Cluculz

My blog tour is really starting to heat up! Lots of activity, more than I'm used to, that's for sure. To start out, I am a guest at the blog of my good friend Joylene Nowell Butler author of Dead Witness. We first met when she submitted a character interview to my Pat Bertram Introduces . . . blog. Usually I have to twist people's arms to get them to send me an interview to post, but she voluntarily responded to a link I left on a discussion on Facebook -- which impressed the heck out of me -- and now here we are, a year later, virtually visiting in Cluculz.

Where is Cluculz? you might ask. Good question. It's 67 km west of Prince George and 32 km east of Vanderhoof, in central BC, Canada. I had to Google it, which was fun since it fit right into the theme of my guest post -- writing about places you have never been. So, come to Clucluz, listen to the loons, and don't forget the mosquito repellent. Click here to find the guest post at Cluculz Lake.

As if that weren't excitement enough, today is the debut of my writing column -- ASK PAT. Way cool! Since it's in an ezine, there's no place to leave questions and comments, so I've set up a special blog post for that purpose. You can find it here: questions and comments for ASK PAT. If you have a question you'd like me to include, be sure to let me know. If you have an answer you'd like me to include, let me know that, too. I certainly don't presume to have all the answers.

And there's more excitement! (I'm trying to sound like an info-mercial.) Tomorrow I am a guest at Reviewers Roundup on Facebook. Glenda Bixler, you, and I will be having a live chat about blog tours, my books, writing in general. So if you are a member of facebook, please pop in to the discussion between 3:00pm and 5:00pm ET tomorrow. It should be a lively chat. What's it called? What else: Blog Tour 2009.

Don’t forget, my books are available in all ebook formats at Smashwords. Even better, you can download the first 30% of each book free. And speaking of free downloads, stop by Second Wind Publishing for a free ebook sampler or two. One sampler includes the first chapters of all Second Wind’s romances, the other sampler includes the first chapters of all Second Wind’s mystery, adventure, maitstream novels. The first chapter of A Spark of Heavenly, More Deaths Than One, and Daughter Am I are in the Mystery Sampler.

If you'd like to do a character interview for my Pat Bertram Introduces . . . blog, you can find the instructions here: Character Questionnaire.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dialogue with Pat Bertram

The Internet is such a wonderful place. Today, day five of my blog tour, I am in Florida with author Nancy J. Cohen talking about dialogue. Virtually speaking, that is. Physically, I am in Colorado, listening to leaves falling like rain. In Florida, it's a sunny day at the beach. At least I hope it is. I sure would hate to get caught in a hurricane while I'm visiting!

Yesterday someone commented that a virtual book tour seemed like a lot of work and asked if I would do it again. My first inclination was to say, "No way!" It's too much work for such seemingly meager results, yet I am meeting people out of my normal circle of connections, which is always a good thing. I am getting to talk about my books, which is fun. And it's a challenge, not just setting up the book tour, writing the articles, and promoting the tour, but figuring out how to make the same basic comment a hundred times and yet make each time seem fresh and new. So, would I do it again? I don't know. Ask me in six months when my next novel Light Bringer comes out. My goal (silly me!) is to be so well known by then that the book will just fly out of Amazon's warehouse as soon as I announce its publication. It could happen. And oh, by the way, I just bought London bridge. :)

So, please join me in Florida to dialogue about dialogue at: Nancy J. Cohen's Notes from Florida

Don't forget, my books are available in all ebook formats at Smashwords. Even better, you can download the first 30% of each book free. And speaking of free downloads, stop by Second Wind Publishing for a free sampler or two. One sampler includes the first chapters of all Second Wind's romances, the other sampler includes the first chapters of all Second Wind's mystery, adventure, maitstream novels. The first chapter of A Spark of Heavenly, More Deaths Than One, and Daughter Am I are in the Mystery Sampler.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Snow White and the Seven Old Fogies

Mary stared open-mouthed into the hole in the wall. Instead of the dining room, which should have been on the other side of the wall, there was a windowless room not much bigger than a walk-in-closet.

"A secret room," she breathed. "It's like something out of Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys."

That brief excerpt from Daughter Am I has nothing to do with my blog today. It's a clue for a Halloween contest at the Second Wind Blog starting on October 26. I hope you will play. It should be an interesting game.

What I really wanted to talk about today is time. Or rather the lack of it.

In August, when Second Wind Publishing celebrated its first birthday, Mike Simpson wrote an article called: Ten Lessons I Learned (The Hard Way): A Publisher’s Reflections on the First Year. Number five on the list was: "Everything takes longer than you think." He was referring to publishing, but that line has stuck with me the past two months because everything takes longer than you think. Or at least, in my case, it takes longer than I think it should. I had hoped to be further along in my preparations for the Daughter Am I blog tour, but . . . yep, everything takes longer than the time I've allotted. I worked on an interview last night, which should have been easy. Ten questions about my books. That was it. Yet it took me three hours. (I'll let you know when it's posted. Try to stop me!)

Today's guest post took almost that long, which completely mystified me. It's simply a brief description of my characters -- my seven old fogies. I didn't go into depth about their character flaws, the dreams that drive them, the failures that created them. Nope -- just a simple description. I've been spending most of my words talking about my hero Mary Stuart, lumping her traveling companions into a group: crew of feisty octogenarians -- former gangsters and friends of her grandfather. They deserve better than that. So please click here to visit The Book Faery Reviews and meet Snow White and the Seven Old Fogies.


Click here to buy Daughter Am I from Second Wind Publishing, LLC.

Click here to buy Daughter Am I from Amazon.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Following the Quest in 'Daughter Am I'

Again I will be at Malcom's Round Table discussing Daughter Am I, but this time we will be focusing on the quest angle. The hero's path, the mythic journey, the quest -- these are all different names for a particular form of story, though the format is so infinitely changeable, that unless you search for all the elements, you might not see the similarities in such diverse stories as Star Wars, Tin Cup, and Daughter Am I. All, however, follow the hero's path.

This virtual book tour is, perhaps, a mythic journey in itself. I was called out of my ordinary world into the special world of blog touring by Malcolm R. Campbell (the herald) when he asked if I planned on doing a formal blog tour. My first inclination was to say no (refusal of the call) but then I decided it was worth a try -- I want to do whatever I can to let people know about Daughter Am I. So here I am (crossing the first threshold). There is much ahead of me in this cyber quest -- tests, meeting allies and enemies (enemies don't have to be human -- they can be missed deadlines, lack of energy, blank mind, all the various ways life has of thwarting us). This quest in itself will be a supreme ordeal -- 70 blog posts in 35 days? Yikes! But I'm sure there will be plenty of other ordeals before I can reap my reward. At the end, I will share what I learned with you, and this too is part of the journey. The hero never keeps the magic elixir of change for himself, but shares it with those back in the ordinary world.

So, please keep me company while I embark on my quest -- I can use all the allies I can get!

Our next stop is at Malcolm's Round Table: Following the quest of 'Daughter Am I.' It will be painless, I promise.


Click here to buy Daughter Am I from Second Wind Publishing, LLC.

Click here to buy Daughter Am I from Amazon.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pat Bertram, Gangsters, and 'Daughter Am I'

Day Two of my Virtual Book Tour, and I am still going strong. This is like saying: I've just run the second block of a marathon and am still going strong. Most of the tour is still ahead of me, but I'm looking forward to seeing what happens, to meeting new people, and visiting new blogs.

Today I am at Malcolm's Round Table for a discussion of gangsters and Daughter Am I. I'd hoped to include more of Malcolm's book, Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire, in the discussion, but he was kind enough to focus the talk around me and my gangsters. And do I have gangsters! My hero, Mary Stuart finds her grandfather's little black address book in a secret room of the farmhouse she inherited from him, and she goes on a whirlwind tour of Colorado, Arizona, and on into the midwest searching out the people who knew him. Though in their eighties, none of them are what you would call upstanding citizens, though they are all loveable in their own way. Even Iron Sam, aka Butcher Boy, seemed less lethal than I intended him to be. Of course, he is dying, so he is more concerned with his own death than others'.

See, I'm doing it, too -- focusing on my book. So, let's focus on Malcolm's novel for a moment. If you are a fan of humorous mysteries with outrageous (though incredibly realistic) characters, you will love Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire by Malcolm R. Campbell. I'm on my second read through. The first time was for the story. This time it's for Malcolm's wordsmithery.

So, please join me at Malcolm's Round Table for a discussion about: Pat Bertram, Gangsters, and Daughter Am I.


Click here to buy Daughter Am I from Second Wind Publishing, LLC.

Click here to buy Daughter Am I from Amazon.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Did You Know?

The other day, a friend forwarded the link to a fascinating clip featuring all sorts of statistics about the state of technology, reading, cellphone usage, and other things. For example, did you know that well over 1 million books are published worldwide every year? Or that print circulation has gone down by 7 million over the past 25 years while readers of online newspapers has risen over 30 million people in the past five years? Here’s a good one: every month more than 250 million people visit MySpace, YouTube, and Facebook collectively yet none of these sites existed 6 years ago. And here’s a scary thought: the average teen sends over 2,272 text messages per month. Yikes!

For more incredible data that will either amaze or horrify you, go to

To read excerpts of Fatal Encryption and Taxed to Death, visit

Fatal Encryption is available through at and Taxed to Death can be found at

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Guest Post: Book Candy Sandy dishes the dirt about contracts & more

Today's guest on The Write Type is "Book Candy Sandy" from Book Candy Studios, a company devoted to helping authors by managing tasks "so authors don't take time away from what they enjoy doing - creating books." Today, Sandy is going to share some tips about the paperwork side of being an author. ~Cheryl Kaye Tardif

With all the recent media attention on the pending Healthcare Bill and whether our elected representatives are actually "reading the bill" before signing it into law, I thought I'd take a moment to emphasize the importance of reading (and understanding) all the paperwork we as authors must contend with in our daily lives.

Earning a living in today's publishing arena is vastly different and greatly more complicated than the world our predecessors faced just 20 short years ago. Today's authors must track and wrangle agent agreements, publisher contracts, hosting agreements, domain registrations, marketing agency contracts, international publishing agreements, photographer copyrights, royalty-free licenses, social networking site terms and conditions, self-publishing contracts, and that's just to name a few. Whew!

Here's where a good (and contract-savvy) agent comes in handy. At least you're partially covered. Negotiating the finer points of your contract with your publisher definitely ranks as number one on your to-do list, and that can be handled by a smart agent – if you have one. But what about the mountain of clauses, declarations, restrictions, indemnifications and terms for termination you encounter from all the third-party services you've committed to with your signature to your bottom line?

Okay, fear not. I'm not here to scare you. Take a deep breath. First make a list of all the contracts you've signed with an actual pen (i.e., publisher contracts, self-publishing agreements, literary agent contracts, marketing agency and PR contracts, etc.) and all the service agreements you've clicked the "I agree" box with your mouse (i.e., AOL, FaceBook, MySpace, your website hosting company, Internet service provider, Google AdWords, GMAIL, etc.).

Now, rank them on a "gotcha" scale (something I created for myself):

1) High risk (i.e., you don't get paid, you lose copyrights, you lose other rights, etc.)

2) Medium risk (i.e., a big headache to fix, such as losing your domain name, your website goes down, privacy has been breached, etc.)

3) Low risk (i.e., social networking site terms and conditions, software licenses, conferences you signed up for, etc.)

Now, look at your list. If you don't understand something or if your gut tells you to look into something further because it doesn't FEEL RIGHT or LOOK RIGHT, ask for help (the legal type is best, unless you are a business attorney or contracts negotiator).

It is safe to say that we've all been burned at one time or another during our writing adventures, and most writers are willing to help their peers avoid some painful and costly mistakes. Read blogs, read articles, shoot emails to authors you know and respect. You will probably find answers. If not, at that point you might consider a lawyer.

We know a bit about contracts. We even field minor questions from time to time from worried authors. However, we are not a legal team. We don't know everything. But we are here for you if you need someone to put their heads together for you.

Book Candy Sandy

You Are Invited . . .

Daughter Am I has finally been released, and you are all invited to my cyber launch party on Thursday, October 15. I will be in and out all day to make sure everyone is having a good time, but I will be there live, virtually speaking, between 7:00pm ET and 9:00pm ET to answer questions, banter, or merely converse. Hope to see you! Until then, sample the games and giveaways I've assembled for you. It's a blog event and blogs are forever, so if you can't make it at that time, stop by whenever you get a moment.

Daughter Am I: When twenty-five-year-old Mary Stuart learns she inherited a farm from her recently murdered grandparents-grandparents her father claimed had died before she was born-she becomes obsessed with finding out who they were and why someone wanted them dead. Along the way she accumulates a crew of feisty octogenarians-former gangsters and friends of her grandfather. She meets and falls in love Tim Olson, whose grandfather shared a deadly secret with her great-grandfather. Now Mary and Tim need to stay one step ahead of the killer who is desperate to dig up that secret.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Daughter Am I, Pat Bertram's young woman/old gangster coming-of-age adventure will be released by Second Wind Publishing on October 15, 1009, and you are invited to the cyber book launch party! Please stop by Bertram’s Blog any time on Thursday for fun, puzzles, games, even a free download!

Daughter Am I: When twenty-five-year-old Mary Stuart learns she inherited a farm from her recently murdered grandparents -- grandparents her father claimed had died before she was born -- she becomes obsessed with finding out who they were and why someone wanted them dead. Along the way she accumulates a crew of feisty octogenarians -- former gangsters and friends of her grandfather. She meets and falls in love Tim Olson, whose grandfather shared a deadly secret with her great-grandfather. Now Mary and Tim must stay one step ahead of the killer who is desperate to dig up that secret.

“A delightful treasure hunting tale of finding one’s self in a most unlikely way.” --Publisher’s Weekly.

Click here to buy Daughter Am I from Second Wind Publishing, LLC

Sunday, October 11, 2009

From One Extreme To The Other

As you probably know, Dan Brown’s latest book, The Lost Symbol, recently hit the stands and let’s just say the reviews are mixed. Certainly, he has his fans, but not everyone is. Here’s a small sample from reviewers. From Robert Wiersema of The National Post “a heavy-handed, clumsy thriller.” And of The Da Vinci Code: from Salman Rushdie “...a novel so bad that it gives bad novels a bad name”. And From the BBC’s John Humphreys: “The literary equivalent of painting by numbers, by an artist who can’t even stay within the lines.”

There’s more, but you get the idea. Yet Dan Brown has sold an estimated 80 million copies of The Da Vinci Code in 40 languages and has made more money than most writers will see in a hundred lifetimes. I certainly don’t begrudge Mr. Brown fame or fortune, and since I’ve never read one of his novels I can’t comment on his writing.

But I will say that if you’re already a rich and famous writer, do you really need as many reviews as Mr. Brown has had? How about giving some ink to the unknown writers who are working hard and excelling at their craft?

There’s a Canadian writer named Addena Sumter-Freitag whose poetry collection called back in the days I recently reviewed. No one knows who she is, except a few of us, and she deserves more. So, here’s my review:

The first time I heard Addena Sumter-Freitag read a couple of her poems I was hooked. There was something about the clarity, power, and passion of her words that got to me. So when a collection of her prose and poetry was published I had to buy back in the days and read every word.

This author writes intimately about people and topics many other authors would avoid or merely allude to through metaphor and vague references. Sumter-Freitag tells it straight up, exactly as it was in her world. And quite a world it was. Her collection, back in the days, is a story about growing up a seventh generation, black woman born and raised in Winnipeg.

This is the voice of a writer who knows herself; whose strength lies in her talent and candidness, her family, and her love. Is it any wonder her voice is so strong and memorable? Read back in the days. You won’t be disappointed. If you’re interested in purchasing a copy of Addena’s book go to

And to read Mr. Wiersema’s entire review go to

To read excerpts of Fatal Encryption and Taxed to Death, visit

Fatal Encryption is available through at and Taxed to Death can be found at

Thursday, October 08, 2009


I took an informal poll to find out how people discover new authors. I posted the following on discussion boards on both Goodreads and Facebook:

It seems as if there are as many ways of discovering books as there are readers, but I'm curious as to how you choose the books you want to read. Do you go by reviews? By recommendations from friends? Because you're familiar with other works by the author? Do you ever read a book because of an ad you saw? Because of a blog article? Because of a mention on a website such as Goodreads? Do you cruise book stores, libraries, or online sites like Amazon? Do you find them some way I haven't mentioned, such as gifts, perhaps?

Admittedly, the questions were loaded, but I still got an interesting and probably quite accurate overview:

Favorite authors/previously read authors: 36
Word of mouth: 26
Blog reviews/Book websites: 26Goodreads/Shelfari: 24
Local bookstores: 21
Amazon/B&N/other online stores: 15
Library: 13
Publisher sites/newsletters: 5
Social networking sites like Facebook: 5
Book Clubs: 5
Author appearances/writing conferences: 5
NY Times bestseller list: 5
Offline reviews: 5
Yard sales/second hand bookstores: 4
Advertising: 3Saw the movie: 3
Oprah: 1
Free downloads: 1
Gifts: 1

So, how do you discover the books you want to read? Or rather where. (A lot of people said they found books to read by the front cover or the blurb on the back, but I’m more curious as to where they saw the cover.)

Daughter Am I, a young woman/old gangsters coming of age adventure will be published next week by Second Wind Publishing.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Contest: Finish author Kelly Moran's sentence for a chance to win a signed copy of Divine Intervention

There's an exciting new contest over at author Kelly Moran's site. And it's very easy to enter. Simply finish the sentence she started there.

One winner will be selected and will win a signed copy of my paranormal thriller, Divine Intervention.

Prize: a signed copy of Divine Intervention by finishing her sentence.

Enter now at:

Sunday, October 04, 2009

My 100th Blog!

This week’s blog is a milestone for me: my 100th blog with the Writetype group. When Cheryl first invited me to join I wasn’t sure I’d have much to say. But once I started, a whole range of topics came to mind and I’ve been contributing weekly ever since. There’s always something interesting happening in the writing world. Sometimes it’s negative or controversial or just strange. Plenty of times it’s positive, entertaining, or informative.

It’s my privilege to be part of this group and I hope I’m doing my part to keep you informed or entertained, or perhaps a little interested. Meanwhile, I have a link to fantasy author Lorna Suzuki’s interview of me at She provided a lot of thoughtful questions to answer. Hope you enjoy it.

Until next week ....

To read excerpts of Fatal Encryption and Taxed to Death, visit

Fatal Encryption is available through at and Taxed to Death can be found at