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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Interview With Bili The Pink Elephant

An Interview With Bili the Pink Elephant

I have been accomplishing a lot of first’s lately. First time blogging, first book review, first book published, and now another first, my first interview!
For those of you who don’t know, there is a teeny tiny elephant who just happens to be pink. His name is Bili, the Pink Elephant. “He is no larger than a rabbit, no taller than a squirrel.” And he has an amazing story to share with all of us. So far there are two books released in the series, Concrete Jungle Adventures, books 1 and 2 respectively. I thought it would be fun to interview Bili, the character of the stories.

Bili, I was reading your story from the excerpt available on your author’s website, http://www.bilithepink.com/Excerpts.html and I was wondering if you could tell us, how did you get to the village?

Well I was kidnapped from the African bush by some strange two-legged creatures and they send me to the concrete jungle (the village) 

In your book, you talk about the people , er, two-legged creatures. They seem to be living with a lot of secrets, do you have any secrets you would be willing to share with us?

  My secret is that despite being pink and small, I am still a real elephant.

 Do you believe what the villagers believe, especially "Everyone has a right to be private and to be left in private to do their private things in private!" How does that make you feel?

Well in the elephant kingdom we are all family and we care for each other. We do respect other's privacy but not at the expense of their wellbeing. We have UBUNTU (Humanity)

Without giving too much of your story away, can you tell us more of where you come from?

  From the elephant bush plains, near he mighty Zambezi river which empties into the majestic Victoria Falls.

I see there are two of your adventures released so far for us to enjoy learning of you, can we expect there will be more?

Yes, much more about 18 more series coming soon. So Bili's fans should brace themselves for more interesting adventures. 

5. Are there any other pink elephants that are about the size of a rabbit and no taller than a squirrel?  

Yes I am sure there are many and they know in their hearts they are pink elephants.  


Bili, thank you for sharing a little bit more about yourself with us, and for the coming to visit my blog. I hope to be able to read all of your adventures in the concrete jungle!




Friday, July 29, 2011

My Ups and Downs of Publishing My First Book

   My poor neglected blog! I have spent the past week on vacation from my day job. Which is great, I have been able to pretend for the last week that my job is that of a writer. I get up, make some coffee and after all the animals and children are fed, I get to sit at my computer and write. This week has been so much fun, and I have been able to use my mind (well part of it anyways, I don’t get full use of it with teenagers drivers in the house!) to focus on my characters and creating some new ones, delving into my plot for the second book.
But while I was “playing”’ writer, my blog was being neglected. (sorry blog) Not so much my entire blog, just where I try to come up with something witty and charming to say that makes my readers break out in song, and all of the problems of the world are solved…..I digress…..

But seriously this week has been a great time to let my mind wander. I have been searching blogs like crazy devouring as much information as I can about publishing and marketing. And even though I haven’t quite gotten all of the kinks out of it, I have been able to get my book published, and it is up on Amazon and Smashwords for now, and as soon as Smashwords goes over it with a fine tooth comb (again, but the third time’s the charm!) Then it should be available at Sony and Apple as well. I was able to learn a massive amount about formatting thanks to The Smashwords Style Guide.
I’m not sure if you remember, but back a month ago when I first started this little blog, I was so excited that I found BookBaby.com. It seemed great with them, they would walk me through the entire publishing process, acting as my “publisher.” They have so many bells and whistles that they offer, I thought this was the best choice for me. Mainly because I was intimidated by the concept of formatting, and didn’t think I would be able to do any of the submission stuff on my own. It has been over two weeks since I signed up with Bookbaby, and after I sent my book, and my money they sent me a generic e-mail letting me know it could take up to 10 days to get the book back to me, to make sure I approved it. I thought I could be patient, but I’m not. Plus, I am a HUGE fan of communication. I like to know what is going on, especially with something like this. This book is like a child to me. I would like to know how things are going, what they are thinking, blah, blah, blah, you get the idea.

I got nervous not hearing anything from Bookbaby, so I went to Smashwords to see if I could do it myself. And guess what, I did! I am not saying this to bash bookbaby, I guess I am just offering it as a public service announcement. Just because it wasn’t a right fit for me, doesn’t mean it won’t work well for you. However, if you are like me, and you are reading this blog because you would like a less expensive way to publish, or maybe to spend your money on something else, like your cover for example, go to Smashwords first. The style guide at Smashwords will help you with any formatting problem you may have. They can also get you an ISBN for your book for free. Believe me, if I can do it anyone can do it.

Thanks to the wonderful people at Smashwords and their no nonsense guide I was able to upload my book, and within 24 hours, it was up for sale. So far my book is available on Amazon and Smashwords. And even though I had it for free for about 24 hours, people downloaded it. Sure it would be great to be paid for it, but it’s my first book, and just knowing that my book is on someone’s kindle is one of the top 10 feelings. Pretty cool to know someone is reading my story, I sure hope they like it!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

PINELIGHT BOOK REVIEW

I have read many blogs, and have often seen the book reviews that other have written about stories they have read. And I can honestly say that I have never been compelled to write one, until now.

I am a really hard reader to capture. When I begin a book, it has to draw me in from the beginning lines. I have started many books, and get bored, or just can’t find the motivation to continue reading. So when I find something I like, it has to be able to not only capture my interest, but keep it throughout the story.

I found this in the novel PINELIGHT, by Jillian Peery.


I downloaded the sample first from Amazon, and was hooked. After I downloaded the complete book, I actually sat down, and read it from beginning to end. (I read very fast) This book sucked me in. The characters come to life, and jump off of the pages, leaving you (the reader…..) wanting more, to find out what happens to Clara, and her Aunt Alice, and Norma, and Finn, and Edmund..…… and the descriptions of the places offered in this book are incredible, I think I want to go to Ireland now……..I could go on and on, but I am afraid if I do I will offer spoilers to the story, which I don’t like to do. I think it is better for you to read, and grasp the story for yourself, so you are able to visualize what this very gifted story teller is able to create for your mind.

The imagery that is created in this book is what dreams are made of.  If you try the sample, you will be hooked on the story and will be downloading it, I promise!

This story is a great twist on what a paranormal romance should be (in my humble opinion) You have a strong heroin who doesn’t realize how strong she is. Clara is repeatedly facing unique situations that make her question her past, and her sanity at times. She faces unknown dangers realistically which makes this story believable and enjoyable.

I am afraid if I continue, I am going to give the book away and I really don’t want to do that. I think it is best for you to experience this story yourself, and it’s only .99 at Amazon, and it is well worth your time. You will be happy with this story, and I am really excited to read more from Jillian Peery.

Friday, July 22, 2011

IMPROVED BOOK TRAILER

Ok, so I think I got it now! The improved book trailer is done!

video

Thanks Wendy for the feedback, it is greatly appreciated!

As to when WITHIN DREAMS will be available for purchase? I am still waiting for bookbaby to format my manuscript, and I am getting really anxious for it to be ready to go. I feel like I am 8 years old again, and it is Christmas Eve, waiting on Santa! 
Come on bookbaby, the suspense is killing me!
On a good note, the anticipation is leading me to spending a lot of time writing the second of the series, DARK DREAMS, which I hope will be available for purchase some time in September. I will make sure that I anticipate an extra week or two for the formatting!

Again, any feedback is helpful, and wonderful!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

THIS IS ONLY A TEST

I have been playing all day long with creating a book trailer, and hopefully this will work, but as the title of the blog says, this is only a test (insert smile here)

video

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Teaser

With it being Saturday, I can sit and write. All of the work week is done. And now I am fortunate enough to be able to sit at home on my big comfy couch with my computer poised precariously in my lap and write.

With my first book now in the capable hands of the wonderful people at Bookbaby.com I can sit back and do what I love, write. The outline for the second book is completed, now its just a matter of putting all of those ideas down, and having my story pick up where the last one finished off. I love this feeling, it's like when your a kid in school, and you come back in the fall after a long summer vacation. You get to see all of your friends, and hear about what they did over the break. You get to search for new faces, and find out about the newcomers. this is what it feels like for me sitting down to create the next novel in my series. Exciting and challenging, all at the same time.

So with my creativity pulsing through my veins it is time to get to work. But before I go, I wanted to share with you the 'blurb' of the first book:


What would you do if your dreams really came true?

Ever since Kate Montgomery was a child she would have dreams of a boy. Whenever something scary was about to happen, this boy would find her through her dreams.

She would see his eyes, and know everything would be alright, she knew she would be safe. And as Kate grew older, the dreams of the boy continued. As she aged, so did the boy. She wished for her dreams of him to be real. And she soon feels as if she is losing her mind, she isn't sure if she is actually dreaming anymore. And she will have to decide how far she is willing to go, when love is at stake.

Is she strong enough to find out? Is she strong enough to survive?



A young nurse in a small suburban hospital, Kate Montgomery works hard just to be average. From the outside, everything appears normal. Kate has convinced the world that she is just an ordinary girl who is good at her job. But when she goes to sleep, all of the normal world disappears.

She hasn’t had an easy life. Both of her parents were killed, and she was forced to grow up too fast. Trying to avoid the pressures of reality, Kate fantasizes about a love so real. She can’t seem to relate to any real man. She finds herself torn between the desire of truly knowing love, and wishing to just be normal.

Unfortunately, Kate isn't normal. She has a gift that she is not willing to admit. On her way to acceptance, Kate is forced to make decisions that will change the world as she sees it. Although she doesn't want to accept the truth, she cannot deny the love she feels. But when she is able to just let go and accept it, Kate will have a whole new level of realism to deal with.

When unearthly visitors make their presence known, Kate must decide if she is able to accept the unknown as real. With strange things occurring more often, Kate has no choice but to accept her gift and face the challenges head on just in order to survive. She questions if she is strong enough to survive, but with love at stake she finds the strength within herself to believe in her abilities.

Through her personal trials, Kate is led on a path of self-discovery that will change everything she has ever believed in.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

It finally hit me today when I was sitting at work, I’m an author. I don’t know why the though decided to crash into the middle of my day, but it was all I could think about. Maybe because my book will be available for purchase in the next few weeks, (yeah!)  or maybe it was because I have been talking about it so much lately (which is really awkward to do when you are sitting on the floor while placing a dressing on a foot wound …..yes, I’m a nurse…..lol). Or maybe it was because as of last night everything is finally completed on my  first novel. *insert cartwheel here!*

I think a lot of it has to do with the people I have been able to connect with through reading blogs, and following twitter. I can relate to their posts, and I have gained a wealth of knowledge of the entire writing process.  I have been able to learn so much valuable information in such a short amount of time. I love the internet! (Kind of reminds me of being a fly on the wall...hmmmmmm......)

And I received my official WITHIN DREAMS cover from a very talented artist, Ronnell  D. Porter, who I have to say is amazing! I am beyond happy with how my cover turned out, and Ronnell delivered it fast. He is a great communicator who just happens to be a very gifted artist, as well as an author! And I wanted to publicly thank him for what he did! *applause*

The first book is completed, and working on the second of the series, and also having so many ideas for future stories, this has been an enlightening journey thus far.

So, for the first time ever……… here is the cover to my book!



Hopefully it will be available on July 25 via Amazon and Barnes and Noble *fingers crossed*

Sunday, July 10, 2011

CHARACTERS IN MY NOVEL

Ok, so my Friday was horrible, as I talked about at length on my last post. And putting all of that down to “paper” really did help get it off of my mind. But I didn’t want to leave such negativity in first place on my blog. That’s not me.  So I thought I would put some background information on my characters here for people to be able to have a little tease of the main characters in my novel. Enjoy!

Main Characters of the story:
 Heroine: Katherine Anne Montgomery (known as Kate )- a 23 year old inexperienced nurse who works on with those who are dying in a small hospital. She is quiet, works hard and is smart, but never speaks her mind. She is always worried that she did something wrong and always thinks carefully about her words before she says them.  She doesn’t ever want to hurt anyone’s feelings. She has a hard time standing up for herself, and can’t say no. She is about 5’4” tall, average build, not super skinny, but thin. She has reddish brown hair that is thick, wavy and unkempt curls that have a mind of their own. Pale skin, and sapphire blue eyes. She doesn’t have a lot of fashion sense and typically wears a t shirt and jeans, unless she is working, then blue scrubs. She lives in a tiny house with her animal family, Roscoe a gangly Rottweiler, and Frisby her horse.

Hero: Jackson Callum Hannerbe (known as Jack)- a  man who appears to be about 29 years old, but has a secret behind this. His personality is very old fashioned, proper perfect English, and he is very sure of himself, a risk taker, and a bit arrogant. He is always wearing a floor length dark brownish black coat with dark pants, a wide belt and a crisp, long sleeve, cream colored button down shirt. He wears tall boots that his pants are tucked into. He is about 6’ 0” tall. Athletic build (not body builder) with very chiseled, sharp features. His hair is dark, dark brown and tapered shorter to his neckline, and messy, tousled toward the top. His eyes are amber in color, and have a soft glow to them that is noticeable to Kate.

So, those are my two main characters, what do you think?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

MY DECISION TO SELF PUBLISH


I read an amazing e-book today, How I sold 1 million ebooks in 5 months! By John Locke.  And yes, I would love for one day to be able to say that. Who wouldn't? It will be a goal, one day. But what was truly great about this book is how John paints a clear picture for every hopeful writer that is out there. I just wanted to say thank you to John Locke for writing  this book!

I have tried to follow the rules with writing query letters, and trying to get an agent with no luck at all.I have received many form letters saying thanks, but no thanks. I was following the rules, and getting nowhere quickly. So instead of getting discouraged, ok I got discouraged, I decided to create my own rules, and self publish my book.

Thinking about my book, and why I wrote it isn’t for vanity, or to become wealthy.  I thought of a story and just started to write it. At first it was for fun, and then I just got into it.

Writing is my favorite addiction.

 I could feel my characters coming to life, and I want to share that story.

Is my book a masterpiece of great literature work that would make Jane Austen proud? Probably not, but it’s a fun story, and one that I wanted to share with others. Even just talking about it with friends and family, and watching their reactions to the story as I explained it, or having them read a chapter here or there, and want to see more was the biggest payoff for me.

So finishing the book was great, and starting the second book has been just as exciting as writing the first one, so I needed to find a publisher.

There are numerous companies that can help a new author, and if you are gifted you can even do it yourself. But I have decided to go with a company that can help me with a lot of hand holding along the way, on my path to self-discovery as an author. I have decided to  have my book self published through  bookbaby.com. 

They have a lot of helpful information on their website. I figure it is better to just provide the link rather than turn this into an advertisement for them, but wait I just did! But seriously, their website is easy to navigate and everything they offer is very easily accessible from their site. If you are an author looking to get your book published, they are definitely worth your time to look into. No matter what way you choose to go for publishing, it is better to educate yourself so you can be sure you made the best decision fr yourself.

 And do yourself a favor, go to John Locke’s website and buy this book, you will be happy you did.

Most importantly, believe in yourself and your dreams. The only one who can stop you from achieving them is you.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

MY HUSBAND, MY INSPIRATION

I have to say it I love my husband.  I actually have a coworker who kids around with me every time I see him who always asks me “How’s your husband?” And my response to him every time is…. “He’s perfect.” He smiles as he shakes his head and walks away.  We work in a very busy medical clinic, far too fast paced for me to explain to him why I feel my husband is perfect. A smile comes across my face as I think about why I feel he is perfect. And yes I am biased, but his radiating personality and the way about him is infectious to anyone who takes the time to really know him.
I can think about different instances every day that makes me feel wow, I love this man, and how lucky I am to have him in my life. But what is it that makes him perfect you ask? It is simply who he is. I can give all kinds of adjectives to describe him, funny, smart, caring, thoughtful, honest……..
But an example of him would be much better.
He wakes up every morning and goes to work, like many of us do. But the way his mind works is what makes him special. His job is no more demanding than that anyone else. But every day he focuses on his job and what he can do to improve his store. His actions are well calculated as he focuses on his goals. He has a monthly meeting with his district manager and as in many places through the world sales are dipping down, and the big bosses ask the managers what they can do to improve sales. Other managers talk about cutting costs, saving money by lowering their overhead, finding a less expensive trash collector. But not Dale, he thinks about what he can do to generate more customers, and to bring the customers to increase the sales of his store. He markets. He goes out door to door of other business. He prints out coupons and takes them to schools and hospitals. He creates mailings and sends them out. The list continues at his resourcefulness. The point is he never gives up. He takes each problem as a challenge, and finds a solution.
The hard work isn’t over in a matter of days, he doesn’t see instant success.  But because of his leg work, it pays of, big time. He is always working on increasing his numbers. Currently, he has been working on increasing his stores sales for over the past 6-7 months. At the last monthly managers meeting his store was up over 4% in sales from the beginning of the year, which may not seem like a lot, but his store brings in over $20,000 a week where the other stores in his market average about $14,000 per week. So being up 4% is a pretty good number, especially when the other stores seem to be stagnant in their growth.
And as I write this post, for this week his store is up over 20% in sales. And he isn’t complacent to just sit back and enjoy his success. He is already planning for next year when he has to go up against these numbers. He plans, and anticipates the future. But always when he is planning, he is thinking about his crew, the people who work for him, and how he can motivate his staff in order to keep the store numbers climbing. In short, he cares.
And he lives by this way of thinking, as every part of him is honest and genuine. He isn’t negative or blaming. He never asks why things happen to him, he is faced with a challenge and he deals with it. He accepts responsibility and accountability for his own actions.  He always puts other’s needs and wants before his own. And the most genuine thing about him, he never asks what’s in it for him. He achieves the goals he has placed for himself, and then he moves toward the next.
Sometimes I wonder what if 10% of the people in this world thought like that. Can you imagine what that would be like?  This is what drew me to him from the first time we met.  His passionate nature for just being himself is infectious as well. He motivates me to be a better person, and focus on what I can do to be the best person I can be. He is my motivator and he is above all else, my inspiration.
 As you read this I challenge you to find your motivator, who is your inspiration? I would love to know, e-mail me or post it here if you’re willing to share. You never know who’s life you may touch by posting.