Author Interviews

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This week marks the beginning of a series of interviews I’ll be doing with self-published authors on my podcast. If you’re interested in what the journey into self-publishing is like, feel free to tune in to Tee’s Talk Time on Spotify this Saturday. My podcast is visual on Spotify and audio only on all other major platforms such as Apple, Amazon, Audible, etc. This is a new dimension for me to be going in front of the camera, instead of behind it. So wish me luck.

The first author I’ll be interviewing is Mr. Stephen Murray. He hails from Nevada and he writes books in multiple genres. I highly recommend his book, Discovering the Christmas Spirit, after reading it last month myself. His development of the characters and subplots in this book is amazing. Check out his website, authorstephenmurray.com, when you have time.

In weeks to come, I’ll be interviewing a children’s book author, a mystery writer, and a self-help author. If you’re an avid reader or are interested in becoming an author, you’ll get some valuable tips and information from these episodes. I hope you give a listen, and leave a comment, or a rating. In addition, you can talk to me directly on the Wisdom app now. The Wisdom app is available in the App store.

Although I’m booking guests through a fairly new service called PodMatch right now, you can contact me through this blog’s comment section if you are an author who would like to be interviewed. So, take good care til next time and stay safe.

My New Novella

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Writing entails deep thought, mind travels, and lots of patience. You see, I’ve been on a mental journey for the last several months while deciding whether or not I should delve into a different genre as a self published author. My other choice was to give up writing books altogether and just concentrate on building my app developer skills. When I suddenly ran into a roadblock while trying to publish my most current game app on Google Play Store, I was approached by a company interested in me publishing my next book. I felt this was sign I should dust off my writing journal and complete a book I’d previously started. By the way, I published a podcast episode about my app developing delimma on my other new blog entitled, “Tee’s Talk Time” also on WordPress. There you can click the links and listen to my podcast on Spotify. My podcast can also be found on Anchor Podcasts, Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts and many other platforms. I digress.

Previously, I had only authored and published three childrens books. The titles of these books are: Corrie Cocker Spaniel, Blue, and Why Do Heroes Wear Masks? In case you’re interested, all of my books can be found on Amazon.com. I felt writing childrens books was my forte because I’m a retired elementary school teacher, who loved reading to my students and to my son when he was much younger. Writing for children just came naturally to me.

However, I’d aways wrote in other genres as a college student. Back then, I penned poems, plays, and short stories. And I was a hopeless romantic throuhout my adult life. I’d even started a romance novel back then. I wrote in a red leather bound journal trimmed in gold and black that I still keep to this day. I’d always planned to finish the romance novel and publish my poetry someday. Someday never came though. With this new opportunity, I knew I should complete the novel and establish myself as a romance novel writer. Only now, I would have to have a new pen name and a new author site for my new audience.

I decided to go for it! I completed the manuscript, copyrighted it, and self published the book. Afterwards, I created a new site with my second pen name. Now, I’m the proud author of books in two genres. The title of my new book is, Neighbor Needed: Only the Exceptional Need Apply, sold on Amazon.com. Check it out if you’re interested.

In addition to my new opportunity to complete my novel, I was approached by a publishing company interested in promoting my new book. I’m still on the fence about making that decision. I’m doing my research before signing any contracts. For right now, I’m just seeing if my new book will find an audience on its own. Wish me luck!

An Author’s Journey

When I reexamine my life’s journey, I realize that my path to becoming an author and illustrator began in my childhood. I’ve always been a very imaginative person. In fact, on the elementary school level I was given a book by my school as a creative writing award. The title of that book was The Planet of Junior Brown by Virginia Hamilton. The funny thing about that is I never read the book as I grew up, but I remember constantly reading the inscription to me placed inside the front cover. I also always remembered the cover of the book as well. The words were so powerful to me. I had been given the book because I was a good writer. That thought resonated with me.

Earlier this year, I borrowed the book from the public library online. What a story! It moved me to tears at times. Everyone should read that book. The message is as powerful today as it was when it was written. No spoiler alert here, but the concept of homelessness is a major part of the plot. I digress.

In my preteen years, I was reminded that I was a pretty good artist too. I attended a gifted school on the intermediate level, and I decided to take a specialized school test to get into a high school where artistic ability was a must. I remember drawing a beautiful bird. As you probably guessed, I got into the high school of my choice.

I would go on to become a teacher and use both skills constantly throughout my career. Today, I’m announcing the release of my first children’s picture book, Blue, where I get to showcase myself as both author and illustrator of my book. I hope you will give my book as a gift during this holiday season. I hope it lifts your spirit, makes you think, and turns you into a bird watcher. Happy holidays from my heart to yours!

Corrie Cocker Spaniel, my first children’s book is also available on Amazon and at Barnes and Nobles.

Click the book cover for more information.

I’m Back!

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I am glad to be back after a brief hiatus. Preparation for the school year took a little time since my child was attending a new school. Shopping for school supplies and new uniforms was necessary. Therefore, had to place my interests on hold again. My child comes first!

Anyway, I’m still awaiting the copyright for my second children’s book so I can finally publish it. In addition, I will release my simple game app associated with the book at the same time. So far, I have released three apps and one children’s book this year. That’s not so bad for someone who has retired for nearly two years.

Now I’ll get back to podcasting about preparing for retirement when you begin your career. This coming week, I’ll be discussing IRAs. If you want to chime in to the podcast, you can message me on Anchor. You can find my podcast on most platforms now. Here’s the link to my podcast on Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/anchor-podcasts/tees-talk-time You can rate me there or give me a clap.

I hope you have been following your dreams while I was away. Remember, “life is what you make it.” So make your dreams come true.

Published!

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I did it! I finally published the revised second edition of my children’s book. My Author Central page is up and running, too. If you’d like to look at it, click on the link below. Wish me luck!

Click this image of my book cover to see my Author Central page.

At of this moment I don’t have my copy in my hands. I’ll have it soon, though. I’ve learned so much more about writing and publishing a book this time around. I know my next book will be easier to publish because of the knowledge I’ve gained. Remember my goal was to publish at least two books in 2019, so I’m well on my way to achieving my goal.

Book Proof

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My proof arrived in the mail just two business days after I purchased it. I quickly opened the envelope to find my treasure, I thought, wrapped in bubble wrap. My first impression was, Wow! How professional this book looks! Then I looked inside the book and found the spacing was not right. So I quickly closed the cover and examined every inch. I took a photo of it and sent it to one of my friends who agreed the old cover was more appealing to children. However, I wanted the cover to look more professional than the first edition’s cover. I could easily fix these two items, I thought. Well, one day’s work quickly turned into 3-4 days of work.

About four days later after editing my spacing and reinserting new illustrations into the text, I searched for a photo that would bring my book cover to a new level. Ironically, I already had it in my photo files. So I uploaded the picture, changed the layout and Voila: I had the perfect professional looking cover I dreamed of. Next, I uploaded all the files I edited and previewed everything in the previewers before saving them. So I was ready to publish my book again. 

Days later, I created my author’s page and saw the icons for paperback and eBook on Amazon. I was so excited. Then I looked for a way to make an audible book. After much research I decided I’d rehearse and try narrating the book myself. After my first rehearsal, I flipped over my book and found a letter missing from a word in the book summary on the back of the book. So I went back to the book cover online and added the letter to the word. While doing this, I found I needed to edit my author’s photo. I quickly edited it and uploaded the edited photo to complete the cover. Now, the book is ready for the world to see. I sure hope it’s ready! Writing is hard work!

Eagerly Awaiting!

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I ordered the proof of the second edition of my first children’s book on Friday. Later, I received an email stating it will arrive on Monday, which is tomorrow. I can’t wait to hold it in my hands and leaf through its pages. There are great feelings of enjoyment and empowerment when holding your own book in your hands. When you create something, you feel more deeply for it. I’m just hoping I won’t have to redo the illustrations, but I’ve been working on sharpening my sketching skills just in case I need to.

Illustrating a children’s book can be difficult work, because you need to study the anatomy of the animal or people you intend to draw. You also need to capture each character’s expressions based on their emotions at a particular point in a story. Then you must decide how many illustrations to include in your book. You don’t want to make the book too long depending on the age range of your audience, so you are constantly counting and limiting everything in the book.

Finally, you must decide between using color illustrations or black and white illustrations. Color illustrations cost more to print, so your book price may be higher. The younger the reading audience is, the more they rely on pictures to comprehend the story, so illustrations become very important when doing this kind of book. So do I revamp all the illustrations, add more illustrations, or just leave the illustrations as they were? Seeing the proof will help me answer that question.

Below are some YouTube videos about illustrating children’s books:

This guy shows how difficult it is to illustrate a children’s book. He is quite talented!
Some people hire illustrators like this one, however, it can be very costly to hire a professional illustrator.

So You Want to Self-Publish a Book!

My first book was self-published on Createspace years ago. As of 2019, Createspace has merged with Kindle Direct Publishing. So I’ll revisit my first manuscript today and make a decision about whether or not I want to pay for editing, formatting, and a new privately owned ISBN number. I want to take my book to the next level this time. So it’s time to take the book out of the attic so to speak, dust it off, and make it ready for resale.

For those of you out there who are considering following suit, that is you are trying to publish a book through a free source you can watch the video below for a few tips.

Here’s to happy writing! I’ll be back with updates on how far I’ve gone in the process soon. Until then keep writing!

What’s Next?

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I was on a natural high after my mother’s event, but what was I going to do next? Well, I’d self-published a book a few month’s after my father passed away, however, I’d kept the release of the book pretty secretive and low key. I was a bit afraid of the criticism I might get from people who knew me directly. So I only disclosed this venture to a few of my closest friends and family members. My mom wanted to take a truckload of the books no matter what their condition to sell at a family reunion she was attending that May. You know how mothers are. Anything that their children create is considered a masterpiece no matter what other people think of it. Well, I was able to convince her not to take the books with her. I said I don’t think my book is ready to be released to a large audience yet. I just want to do a trial run on Amazon for now.” As you can imagine my book didn’t sell well. However, I didn’t take it personally. I was just beginning to focus on an old passion I’d had since my childhood. In addition, after losing my dad I just felt like giving birth to something. I knew I wasn’t going to have another child at that age, so why not give birth to a book. I digress.

So one of the things I intend to do now is really working on my writing. I want to rerelease my first book and also publish my second children’s book this year. Writing this blog will also help me to improve my writing by actually writing almost every day. I’m also planning to build a bigger network, audience, and readership so my coming publishing endeavors will be more impactful. I want to encourage people who are beginning new chapters in their lives like me to pursue their passions. Pun intended for the use of the word chapters.