Friday, March 25, 2011

Follow Friday For Writers

Elizabeth Sharp has started a new way for all of us to connect and network. If you have a blog then you are a writer and are welcome to join the fun. The rules are simple.

1) (Required) You must follow my blog
2) (Required) You must follow the guest poster featured in the blog hop post.
3) You must add you name to the link bar.
4) You must copy these rules, the hop link and the featured question with your answer on your own blog. This blog serves as a place for new followers to say hi.
5) Follow, follow, follow. This is about networking, people, making connections with people in your community. So talk to us. We don't bite!
6) If someone stops by, says hi and follows you, the polite thing to do is follow back.
7) Comment here and introduce yourself and you just might find a new follower or two.

So the question for the day is this:

What inspired you to start writing?

I've written since I was a little girl I think or at least learned my ABC's and how to project them into words.  I started out with a book called  "A Child's Dream" which I think was probably 42 pages long.  It was complete with pictures and about all the dreams of children for the big 'when they grow up' question.  I think because people used to ask me that question and I heard the 'already grown ups' ask that question I decided to write about it. Oh yes and I even interviewed other children at my daycare, the park and the neighborhood crew.  I still have that book and a few others but it was finding that book after years of it being packed away that really peaked my interest in novel writing.  It wasn't bad for a 2nd grader.

As time evolved when I was younger I always wrote poetry and small diddies as I call them about life, love, and anything I could think of then at 8 years old I learned to play the guitar.  Well really it was a violin but my brother caught me playing it in my bedroom several times like a guitar and so my parents bought me CBAG. What is CBAG ?  Well it's what I fondly now refer to as Crappy Black Acoustic Guitar because you see I really really really wanted a black guitar with a butterfly on it.  Well at least it was black and now its scratched and a bit worn from use but still playable.  So again I was writing song lyrics and ideas for songs along with the teenage angst of living life, love and the pursuit of who knows what. So I began my first book "The World Of ATortured Rock Star".  I know I was a teenager but that book is now on my computer and someday just someday it may come to complete fruition.

The inspiration for my first completed and self-published novel came from my parents and some of their life incidents and experiences especially with reference to the Island of Cyprus.  I'm a Greek Cypriot and in 1974 way before my time there was an invasion of the island of Cyprus or some call it a war.  During that time people were separated, some in terrible ways, from one another. That's what I wrote about death, love and honor are what my protagonist Zoe learns about and experiences in this book.  And, that death is not always the winner or is it?  So yes that inspired me to write this particular book and though I don't say too much about it here I enjoyed writing the book and yes when I read it, it still makes me laugh and cry. And no I don't look at my books as my babies but a work of joy and more joy when they are completed. By the way the incident with Cyprus has never seen resolved and the Turkish still occupy 40 percent of the island to this day displacing and taking homes from those lands. Just saying.

So those are the things that drove me to write in answer to today's question.  I hope it will suffice and you don't find it too boring.

Have a beautiful day and Write ON!! *big smile*

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Better Safe Than Sorry Royalty Free Pictures and Videos For Book Covers & Trailers

Recently a lot of people have been making their own book covers and I must say doing a bang up job! There was recently an issue regarding the use of a copyrighted picture by one author.  For one thing you can go look up a legally filed copyright here    if you know the name of the artist.  Second of all, look for a copyright by the artist on their work as many inscribe their own copyright on the site you are looking at. Here's another site with information about Copyright and Fair Use Information .  Then, here is a site Understanding Copyright Free and Stock Photography at which may be helpful.
Oh, and here is another helpful site to check out :

Here are some Free Stock Photo sites to check out but it is clearly written - Some of the free stock photo sites offer copyright free stock photos for any use but please always check the image licence as you may have to provide a credit or link back to the photographer should you choose to download the free stock photos for your own use. 

Check out these sites perhaps they will help with not only book covers but trailers which I will talk about briefly in a minute:  

This is one of my favorite and many times you can write the artist and tell them what you would like to use their art for ex: book cover or trailer and tell them you will credit their art if they wish and many times they will let you use it.  So good luck  

In Renderosity you must join as with some of the sites above but it is free on this site and on most of the sites above I believe. It is full of many kinds of pictures and art genres under Galleries then click what ever kind of genre such as Fantasy, Horror, Portrait or just type what you're looking for in search.  I usually choose Poser in the select a gallery on the left.  There are various ways to search once you get used to it or just look at the galleries. It's an awesome place.

So good luck on making your book cover or finding the right art or having one of your friends or associates make it for you just make sure and give them the credit. :-)


I've found out that book trailers are important too though I didn't know that a while back.  So there are also royalty free videos out there and on You Tube also. Just search in your browser and read up on them before you attempt to use any for your trailer.  Here is also a good site I found that teaches you how to make a book trailer at least it looks knowledgeable and I will probably use it:    

There are plenty of other sites on this if you just type <How to make a video book trailer> in your browser.

Also there is a really awesome company out there that makes book trailers for Authors with publishing deals and though they are expensive $250.00 -  2,500.00 (yikes) they offer a good set of trailers they have done recently and in the past.  They are known as Circle Of Seven Productions and they do everything from soup to nuts meaning simple trailers to Marketing and distribution of said trailer. Their site can be found here:  

Now they also have a page of videos they have made by Genre, Publishers and Genres. I'll list the page for Genres here and you can choose as you wish.  

Well I hope this helps with a few things. I know there is a lot of information here but take your time and come back to check.  This blog isn't going anywhere. I wish you all good luck in your writing, publishing, book covers and book trailers. And as a final question from me how many of you have made book trailers yet or are going to? :-)

Now Write ON!! 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

How Do You Like Your Vampire? Fried, Poached, Boiled, Baked or Broiled?

Ha ha I've been researching about vampires for a really long time since an experience I had when I was 14 made me believe maybe JUST maybe there are such creatures.  It's a big world out there.  I've read everything I could get my hands on and watched movies to see what views others had of them.

When I was 14 it was the old adage of you're bitten, you change into one, you sleep in a dirt filed coffin.  Fire, holy water, sun, crucifix's and a stake through the heart killed the vampires I knew of.  Then of course there were Anne Rice's vampires which I had never really checked out before and a gamut of of other vampires leading up to the Twilight vampires. So I began to research really deep to see what made Bram Stoker make Dracula with the attributes that I mentioned above.  I thought surely there were vampires before the famed Dracula because as a child I heard my old yia yia (pronounced ya ya in Greek - for Grandmother) tell stories of vampires from old greek legends she had learned from her ancestors and had been passed down. Well anyway to get on with it.

I'm wondering now what everyone out there prefers as far as the vampire is concerned?  I know people love to read about them but are very particular about them.  Though the Twilight movies did well I'm wondering if the Anne Rice vampire movies and books did better? Do people like to read about violent vampires, do they like to see vampires who can walk in the sun.  Do people accept Dhampir's (the child who is the result of a vampire and human mating O.O) or what exactly do the majority of people believe in and wish to see?

I'm writing a vampire trilogy regarding the history of a few places where I live right now.  I know how I want the vampires of those books to be represented in my minds eye but what about the general public's eye? So thus I ask and would hope to get answers so I can surmise if what I am writing will be accepted among the general public.  I think vampires can be cunningly stunning and violent yet I like certain aspects of their abilities that are not always acceptable other than I just don't believe they can procreate in the way a human does.  But that's explained in my book too.

By the way there are many of you out there with vampire subject books and I've read a few so far and really like them a lot but not going to mention them here because if I've read one persons book and not the others I don't want to hurt someone's feelings.  It happens ya know.  So anyway I guess that's what this blog is about the question of vampires and what people like to see in their attributes.  Lots of great research out there too and as for my experience when I was 14 I'll just say this.

Yes Virginia there is a vampire!! No I'm not one lol.  Now go y'all and WRITE ON!! :-)  

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Formatting an Indie book for publishing Issues...

Hey y'all! I have my first book out now in Kindle and paperback.  When I received the paperback it looked good to me and I approved it. So far so good. I wrote it on Open Office and they have an automatic PDF exporter on there that is awesome because it also exports the fonts too. On top of that Open Office is free and I no longer have Microsoft Word, nor can I afford it. So I exported my book manuscript into PDF and thought it was all good because Kindle also accepts PDF format. Oh yay I was done...NOT!

Last night I downloaded my new book "For The Love Of Cyprus" for Kindle to my PC app for Kindle and it looks horrible!! :-( . I admit I have a few typos too but I'm not as concerned about that as the way it reads. I looks just awful. So I bought a book on Kindle called "Format Your Book On Kindle In One Hour" by Derek J Cannon for $2.99. I read through this and it looks pretty good. I know HTML and web design already but there are still things particular to book formating for the Kindle that I am not familiar with. I admit I have NOT begun to reformat yet as I need to see what it is I have to do to get it republished in the better looking form. As of yet I've not unpublished it. Still checking it all out. But anyway, this book could help your formatting issues.  I read that has a good format guide too but I haven't even checked out what Smashmouth is yet. DUH me lol!!

I hope this helps some of you and will make formatting a little easier.  I have to now go redo this and see how it looks. Bleh lol. AND I'm sorry to those of you who bought my book and it looks stupid on the Kindle. At least I think it does. *mutters*

Have a beautiful and prosperous day and Much Love to Y'all. xoxo

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Record it!!

First off I want to say thank you to all my new friends at the HP Book Club. Y'all have made me feel so welcome. Liz was right it is fun. So a big ol' THANK YOU to all you talented people. xo

With that said I wanted to share an idea with you. You know how we are always somewhere without a pen and a note pad of some kind when we have a great idea for our book? I mean I'm so guilty of this and I will admit when I'm on the computer I'm a bit lazy and totally hate to stop what I'm doing and drag out a notepad to type on it. My folder then becomes full of little notepads with sentences about this that and the other duh! So after owning a cell phone for I have NO idea how long, I've discovered it has a record option on it where I can record messages to self. Whoa!  So now I record my ideas, characters, scenes etc. on my cell phone. Granted if you're driving it's not a great idea but then neither is trying to write on a pad of paper and drive!! lol  So now no matter where I am I keep the phone close by not only to receive calls and texts but to record any ideas I may come up with or even books I want to read in the future.  I hope this helps as one more way to keep things straight and easy.

Have a beautiful and prosperous day y'all. Much Love xoxo

Monday, March 7, 2011

Research done - for the moment that is!

I've been reading and researching for the past few days again.  I think when one writes they should really research and read as much as they need in order to back up their writing.  By that, I'm not necessarily talking about validating history or even the existence of something nor the attributes of a being for example vampires or zombies or aliens. I just think that getting an idea of others perspectives on these things on what ever the subject of their story is can help one make a decision on how to write their characters and add to the storyline by allowing the writer to be more creative.

I'll use vampires for example. We have many perspectives of just what one is and their attributes. Bram Stoker has one outlook, Anne Rice another, and then we go into more varied attributes. Thus, there are quarrels and arguments among readers and writers about what a Vampire REALLY is. Well I say don't sweat the small stuff. Make what ever you are writing about your own thing and put it out there.  If you get positive feed back then great if not then it actually helps you to know what readers accept and what they don't thus a negative becomes a positive in further writings.

Lord knows I"m not telling you how to write but by the same token I've read a lot lately about how down others are about their writings regarding history, attributes and being bashed in posts by readers.  Just take the lemons and make lemonade. I know sounds cliche but by all token if you really love to write just keep at it and things will come together. I've watched others work for years and finally things are working out for them. No they aren't millionaires but if you're in writing for just money then maybe you're in it for the wrong reason.

Anyway y'all have a great day and keep on reading and writing. Love love xoxo

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

So I've had NO sleep in who knows how many hours. Just finished reading Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. I found the content to be quite interesting in that many of the pre-civil war and civil war people who had anything to do with government or the war itself were vampires. It also portrayed a good vampire group as helping to get Old Abe, as he was called, elected president. Is there such a thing as good vampires? Even John Wilkes Booth was a vampire. But it was a good read which I found very interesting. Seems they're making a movie out of it right now. The man who will play Abraham Lincoln is from right here in Georgia. I wonder how he would feel about that?

The storms have passed and today dawned bright and beautiful although the pollen has started which coats everything and I mean EVERYTHING here in Georgia a lovely SHREK green. Of course I'm allergic to pollen so sneezing becomes a part of my daily routine.

I also discovered an awesome blog this morning written by Alan Rinzler  called The Book Deal: An Inside View Of Publishing. Great blog for all you writers out there. He has lots of useful information too numerous to mention though here is a link to his last blog which I myself found very helpful. -for-authors/    

So I'm going to rest for a while with another book I've been meaning to read but won't mention here yet until I finish it then back up to write for a while. Y'all have a beautiful and prosperous day. XOXO