Category Archives: writing

Food for thought 

Aim for failure and you’ll always hit it. 

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Happy Hump Day!!

Soooooo, I’ve been a way for awhile. Way longer than I should’ve been I will admit.

I do have a few things going on that I’m excited about!!

I’m finished up  with the follow up to BETWEEN FRIENDS. I can’t wait for you all to read it and hear what you think! All your favorites put in a lot of hard work to make this one come together, Phil, Trip, Idalis and even Lincoln!! Also, I’ve enrolled in Shonda Rhimes course on writing for T.V. and that has me over the moon! My dream has always been to be a part of a strong group of writers for a show or series! So I’ve been preparing myself to soak up all the knowledge and tips I possibly can during the course.

Stay tuned for snippets from my next book and I promise to keep in touch!!

My GPS was broken!

Okay so I’ve been gone for a minute……actually I’ve been gone for more like years. LOL! I’m sorry. Life sometimes just has a way of sending you on detours that you never expect or even see coming. I like to call it my life GPS and yes…..it was tripping! I have definitely been through a lot and experienced a lot but i’m hoping that it will enable me to bring something great to my writing. I love giving you guys the best of me and I truly believe everything happens for a reason and my GPS malfunction is definitely one! I look forward to bringing your the best that i have to give and learned. And I have learned a lot!!

Has It Really Been That Long??

Wow, I was looking at the date of my last post and it has been a minute since I’ve been here. 😦 I’m sorry. Sometimes life gets in the way and it’s harder to push aside than we think.

Well you’ll be happy to know I am 3/4th’s  of the way finished with the next installment in my “Friends” series. I’m really excited about the work that Trip, Idalis and the rest of the crew are putting in on this one. There are some new faces/names and of course all your favorites. This one is definitely a heavy hitter not just for me but for the characters as well. I am pushing all of us to our limits and then demanding just a little bit more. 🙂

Thank you all for the great reviews and emails I’ve received in relation to the book and I see that Trip, Phil, Idalis and Lincoln’s Facebook pages are steadily growing. LOL! You guys are awesome!

Well I gotta run but I promise to get back here more often.

Until next time!

D*

One of Atlanta’s Georgia Peach Authors Heads North!

Soul Pitt Media Presents

“MEET THE AUTHORS”

Saturday, April 28, 2012 @ Hill House Kaufmann Center

If you are a published author, editor, publisher or other literary professional and would like to participate or submit book promotional items email Bonita Penn at soulpitte2@gmail.com

Now in its 4th year, Soul Pitt’s

“Meet the Authors” event promises to be an intellectually stimulating networking affair!

Featuring authors, publishers and editors and to celebrate National Poetry Month there will be a group of talented Pittsburgh poets there to share their poetry. Light refreshments will be served.
Come and enjoy the readings and then stick around to meet authors and purchase their books.

Get Inspired to Write Your Book!

Get Tips from the Professionals!

Connect with local publishers & book coaches!

Learn ways to promote your book online

FEATURED AUTHOR:

D.L. SPARKS

Soul Pitt Media’s 4th “Meet the Authors” EventDate: Saturday, April 28, 2012 Time: 3:00 PM until 6:00 PM – Tickets $15.00

Hill House Kaufmann Center

1825 Centre Avenue | Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Reviews and Feedback for BETWEEN FRIENDS

12 Day Reader’s Event SHAMROCKS-N-SIRENS Welcomes Featured Author Carolyn Arnold

The very first Author to be interviewed on the
Shamrocks-N-Sirens 12 day Reader’s Event
is none other than the talented Author
Carolyn Arnold herself.

Carolyn Arnold is the author of several novels in various genres. Her mystery novels ‘Ties That Bind’ and ‘Justified’ have reached best seller status on Amazon United States for Kindle. Her FBI thriller Eleven released November 2011 made it on The Miami Books Examiner’s ‘Top 12 Fiction Books of 2011’ list.
She was born in 1976 in a rural town of Ontario, Canada. She currently lives with her husband, and two beagles in a city near the well-known Canadian center Toronto.
Today, Carolyn discusses her book, ‘ELEVEN’.

What is the main premise of this book?
Eleven Rooms. Ten Bodies. One Empty Grave.
Brandon Fisher never expected this when he signed up as a Special Agent for the FBI. Working in the shadow of Supervisory Special Agent Jack Harper of the Behavioral Analysis Unit his career seemed set. But when the team is called to a small rural town where the remains of ten victims are found in an underground bunker, buried in an unusual way, Brandon knows he’ll never return to his normal life.
With one empty grave, and the case touching close to home, he fears he’s become the target of a psychotic serial killer who wants to make him number eleven. Only thing is, everything Brandon thinks he knows is far from the truth.

Who’s your favorite character in it?

It is hard to pick.  Brandon is eager to please his new boss Special Agent Jack Harper.  He’s strong but possesses vulnerabilities – he wants to prove himself valuable to his team, and stand out.  He has fears, such as claustrophobia, which make him human.  He has a wife he loves, but from whom the years and career decisions have torn him from.
Jack Harper can be gruff around the edges.  He’s tough on his team, but it’s only because he wants to make them the best at their job.  He knows what they’re capable of even if they don’t.  And even though he can come across uncaring and stern at times, he would die for his team.  He’s almost like your grumpy grandfather.  You can be upset with him at times, but you can’t help but love him. What projects are you currently working on?
Currently, I’m writing the fourth in the Madison Knight series and I’m about to start edit rounds on the third in the series to get ready to send to an editor.
What one word describes how you feel when you write?
Liberated.

Do you ever write in your PJs?
All the time! Is there another way?
Who designed this cover? My husband did actually.  He’s a graphic designer by trade.  He took the concept of my book and made it visual.  He also offers this service to other indie and self-published authors.  For more information and how to contact him, click hereWhere and when do you prefer to do your writing?

I prefer to do my writing in the morning before the day job, and on weekends.  There’s no limitation on weekends and I just let the words flow, and the keys fly.
My office is a nightmare…it’s one of those rooms you toss stuff in and close the door LOL  So I do most of my writing at the dining table.  There are a lot of windows in the room so it’s nice and bright.
Your thoughts on receiving book reviews – the good and the bad – Oh, book reviews.  I think the author has to remember reviews are the expressed opinion of one individual.  A bad review doesn’t mean you’re a bad author just as a great review doesn’t mean you’re the next best thing.
I’ve found in life there’s always a balance – a good day, a bad day, a good review, a bad review.
Of course, I would be remiss not to say I love it when I hear from a reader who loved a book of mine!  It makes my day.  And on the flipside a review which isn’t as glowing, can bring me down.  But an author has to stop focusing on the reviews and focus on what they love to do – write.  Write for themselves and write for those who love their work.
Think of this way too: you don’t love every book you read so you can’t expect everyone will love yours.  If you can accept this, you’ll have a realistic view on reviews.
What’s your bucket vacation?

Has to be Australia!  I don’t know.  I hate planes and this would be the furthest point for me!
And I don’t want to go to live it up in a resort either (although I definitely loved being pampered so go figure and hate camping).  I want to be put to work on the outback, which is very ironic because I HATE spiders (they have HUGE ones there).  I tell my husband this would be the only place I’d ever consider facing this fear in the face.
Your favorite quote –
Dream big, or don’t bother.
If you were to attend a St. Patrick’s Day Party, which one thing would you never leave behind and why? A Leprechaun – he would bring me luck anywhere I went.   Where can your readers stalk you?

Carolyn Arnold Best Selling Author of TIES THAT BIND and JUSTIFIED, Madison Knight Novels
Author of FBI thriller ELEVEN, A Special Recommendation on The Miami Books Examiner’s “Top 12 Fiction Books of 2011”
All available on Amazon for Kindle and in Print

MARCH 5th DAY 1 OF A 12 DAY EVENT!

Which Team Are You On?

Well you asked and they are here. The #TeamTrip shirts are coming! I am so thrilled that you guys  have taken to him the way you have. If you haven’t noticed already he does have a Facebook page so feel free to friend him he does post every once in a while as well as Lincoln and Idalis. We are all hard at work on our next project as well. It appears that the back log over at Black Expression is being filled and they are starting to ship out orders so all of you that have been waiting shouldn’t have to wait much longer! My tour starts on my birthday (of all days) this month 3/24 and I am soooo excited. I am looking forward to getting out and meeting readers face to face. Without you guys there would be no me! Thank you all again!!

It’s Not Right….But It’s Okay….

On February 11, 2012  we lost one of the GREATEST voices of our time. Whitney Houston passed away in a hotel room in California and the emotion spread across the nation like a tsunami wave.

Whitney was more than just a person, she was an icon. Her talent could, and still can’t, be matched and she will be sorely missed. I personally grew up listening to Whitney and can remember dancing around to I Wanna Dance With Somebody in my living room while watching the video on Video Soul. From that to Where Do Broken Hearts Go, Whitney continued to take over our hearts and the airwaves and people wanted more. I will never forget the first time I heard The Greatest Love Of All that song to this day still gives me chills and a sense of the strength that I know I have inside and I have Whitney to thank for that. Whitney was the woman who gave The Star Spangled Banner a life that will NEVER die no matter how many times it is sang since her rendition. No autotune or a bunch of studio equipment needed only thing Clive required was that she showed up and turned out and that’s exactly what she always did.

Whitney’s tumultuous life has nothing to do with her untimely death. The fact of the matter is she’s gone way too soon. We all watched, sometime in awe, at the things she went through but more importantly we cheered her on when she made her comeback and when she did she pulled NO punches and I wouldn’t expect anything less from her. I pray for her family and especially her daughter. We may have lost one of our favorite singers but she has lost her mother, her rock and I can only imagine the pain she is feeling right now. The same way everyone is rallying around Whitney’s memory I hope they will do the same for her daugher because she’s gonna need it now more than ever. I hate that it has taken her demise for her to be appreciate and uplifted in the manner she is now, perhaps maybe if she had been all along maybe we wouldn’t be here. Maybe I wouldn’t be writing this blog fighting tears as I listen to her music but we will never know.

I titled this blog after one of her songs “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay” because no, it’s not right that she’s gone but it’s okay because she is in God’s arms right now and at peace. She’s in Heaven with Michael Jackson, James Brown, Dorothy Dandridge and Phyllis Hyman. I mean can you imagine the concerts going on right now in the clouds?

Whitney you will be missed and we all pray your soul is at rest but more importantly at peace. You are truly an angel now.

Is The Publisher Killing The Author Or Is It Authorcide?

Let me start this post off by saying this isn’t a cop out or a way to foster an excuse. It’s also not an attack on anyone, reviewer/reader, etc.  It’s simply my way of addressing an issue that I’ve noticed during my short time in the literary world.

Most who know me or of me know that my second mainstream novel recently came out and that I put a LOT of heart and soul into and by that I don’t just mean I sat there and tried hard to come up with a good storyline and some snappy characters. I mean I worked really hard going through it with a fine-tooth comb looking for errors, etc. the same as all authors do when they receive their manuscripts back during the editing process. In most cases the manuscript should go through no less than four editing cycles with the author touching it at least twice and once by hand. Now any author will tell you these hand edits can be and are extremely tedious but very necessary when reviewers and some readers are looking for any little thing wrong to point out about your book just to say “See! See!! There’s a typo!” or “See! That’s not right…” For a lot of authors that’s extremely disheartening, especially when they know they’ve done everything they can to prevent this from happening and have NO control over what gets done once the manuscript is shipped off to the publisher or gets in the hands of editors that they are trusting with their hearts.

So for instance, if I get to the point of red pen edits (hand edits) and I pull them out and Fedex them off to be changed before going to print and the publisher doesn’t change them or doesn’t change all of them, who’s to blame? The author? The Publisher? Fedex? We already know who suffers, the author and their reviews and sometimes their reputations. I can take it one step further and say that the information uploaded to Amazon is even out of the author’s control. *gasp* Yes….we have NO control over the who, what, when or how that happens. If it’s incorrect, riddled with errors all we can do is let someone know and pray they fix it….quickly. But again….the author is charged with the mess and their ability to write is then put in question and they are often belittled because of it. Is that fair? And what if the publisher doesn’t change it? Is it still the author’s fault?

In a nutshell, most traditionally published authors are not the last one’s to touch their manuscripts. When it comes to edits and if they go through them meticulously and send in the red pen edits as instructed 90-95% of errors should be caught and changed by the publisher before going to print. However, if that Fedex package is opened and ignored or only partially applied there really isn’t much we can do. For instance (and this is by NO MEANS AN EXCUSE OR A CRY FOR SYMPATHY) with my last novel I had no LESS than 20+ pages of red pen edits that were Fedex’ed back. I know for a FACT that not all of them were corrected but once a book is printed….what can we do? Run around the U.S. screaming and crying snatching all the books off the shelves? Apologizing relentlessly for something that we had no control over?

My point in writing this post isn’t to have readers and authors march on Washington or burn anyone at the stakes but to give a little bit of understanding of what exactly is going on. Authors don’t have as much control as you may think, especially if they are traditionally published (I can’t speak for self-published authors and won’t attempt to try). We pretty much have to roll with the punches and sometimes those punches land in places we’d rather them not. For me… I take it as a lesson learned and know to guard my next novel with my life and about three outside editors and proofers other than the ones the publisher provides. Problem solved. Right? Hopefully.

I mean, that’s my way of taking responsibility but at some point shouldn’t they also have to do the same or at least it would only be fair if they did.

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