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Publishers…What’s in Your Wallet?

Traditional Publishers used to own the whole game. Indie authors, like you and me, spent most of our time chasing an agent so we could chase a publisher.  Back in the day, ‘self-publishing‘ was a dirty word. You were putting out a ‘vanity book’. You were looked down upon. 

This post is about three categories of Publishers in today’s writing world:

  1. Traditional Publisher: Who, for the most part do not accept ‘unsolicited manuscripts’. By that they mean that you have to have a literary agent representing your work and hawking it to the publishers. Don’t get me wrong, there is a small percentage of writers out there that are able to get an agent and ultimately a publisher. They pay on a royalty only basis. If you are very good and very lucky the publisher will pay you an advance to support you while your writing the book. 

2. The Publisher who asks the author to ‘invest’ in their own book : In my opinion (and it’s only my opinion), AVOID these. For the most part, these are internet publishers who expect you to pay them to publisher your book. You pay them at the front end and then if your book sells they get a percentage at the backend.  They don’t do much in the way of marketing your book, outside their own website, and it ends up still being a crapshoot for the author. There is no team of editors, publicists, and publisher that you can only get with a traditional publisher. 

3. You, the Publisher: Indie-publishing is, today, a respected and practical way for you to publish. There are many platforms out there that you can go on, for FREE, and build your book with the end result being that your book appears on all the major book store websites and can be ordered in a ‘stick and mortar’ bookstore. But as an indie-author you have to be your own team: marketing, editing, and publishing. You can hire out the first two services but it gets spendy. You get paid (usually) around 60% royalty for each book sold. 

  I know, through my interviews with best-selling authors (and friendships that have developed out of those), many best selling authors’ new books are rejected by their publisher, not because the writing is bad, but because the book doesn’t fit with their idea of what’s ‘hot’ right now. You see, it’s all about the $$$$. These best selling authors go right out and self-publish the rejected book. 

Get off the hamster wheel of trying to get a publisher to look at your book, trying to get an agent to sign you so a publisher will look at your work. Trying to get an agent to sign you…being rejected by the publisher because you don’t have an agent, trying to get an agent to sign you so a publisher will look at your work…well, you get the idea. Fine, chase the agent/publisher but while you’re doing that, publish your own work. Don’t let anyone stop you. Go for it!  Yes, you can self-publish while you are waiting around the for coveted agent/publisher gig!

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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   February: Rick Lenz, March: Patrick Canning, April: Poet, Joe Albanese and May: Boo Walker 
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In Honor of National Poetry Month

I’m a humble poet, a rambling rhymester, a free verse fanatic, a Haiku sycophant. I love other poets and their scribbles and I worship at the alter of Charles Bukowski. For the month of April I celebrate National Poetry month with some of my own scribbles. 

FOGGY NIGHT © Trisha Sugarek

The white orb, tidal
saturated with huge flows
pierces through the veil
a ghost ship shrouded
in fog slips up the channel
Night gulls sing and cry
day is gone, night creeps
fog seeps in, the tide rolls out
water glistens, gold

Night soft, edges blurred
trees in ebony, drift by
damp seeps into bones
Fog casts tents of light
Hunters of the sea own night
swoop, dive, attack, eat
Fishers, feathers stark
white against the night shadows
palm trees shape the gauze
brushes hard with paint
Pilings sway, waists cinched with rope
the craft finds its home

There isn’t anything lovelier than receiving reviews from my fellow poets as I celebrate Nat’l Poetry Month.  My free verse, “Dear John” was featured on the home page of Poetrysoup.com and recieved these: 

‘Trisha,this poem spoke to my heart. Very raw with emotions and beautifully written, Keep that fire burning,it will light up the pathway for your John.’ Chinwe Igbozurike

and

Trisha, I really enjoyed stepping behind your eyes for a brief eclipse with your heart! Wondrous writing!’  red barchettadrive
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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   February: Rick Lenz, March: Patrick Canning, April: Poet, Joe Albanese, and May: Boo Walker 
To receive my posts sign up for my   On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks! 

Interview with Poet, Author, Joe Albanese

Joe Albanese is a writer from South Jersey. his work can be found in publications across the U.S. and in ten other countries. Joe’s the author of For the Blood is the Life, Caina, Smash and Grab, and a poetry collection, Cocktails with a Dead Man. If you are frustrated with the brevity of this interview, don’t despair. He lets it all hang out in this wonderful book of poetry.

Q. Where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, special space for your writing?  Or tell us about your ‘dream’ work space.

JA. Most of my writing gets done at the dining room table. Although sometimes I write in front of the tv, just for the ambient noise. Poetry I’ve written all over, mostly on my phone, then transfer it so my computer later.

Q. Do you have any special rituals or quirks when you sit down to write? (a neat work space, sharpened #2 pencils, legal pad, cup of tea, glass of brandy, favorite pajamas, etc.)

JA. Yes, I try to avoid writing at all costs. So I clean up a lot beforehand, do any chores that need or don’t even need to be done before I can sit down and write.

Q. Could you tell us something about yourself that we might not already know?

JA. I’m probably done with my writing career. I have two more books I am trying to get published, but then I’ve finished. Or at least I’ll be taking a long break while I try to find a “real” job.

Q. Do you have a set time each day (or night) to write?

JA. Usually the middle of the night. There are the least amount of distractions.

Q. What’s your best advice to other writers for overcoming procrastination?

JA. Just sit your ass down and start typing. Something good will eventually come.

Q. Where/when do you first discover your characters?

JA. I try to see how they relate to me first. Are they similar, or completely different? Then I try to get into their mindset in terms of how they’d react in the story.

Q. What first inspired you to write?

JA. My friend was high and asked if I wanted to write a screenplay. I haven’t looked back.

Q. What comes first to you? The Characters or the Situation?

JA. Mostly situation. Then I try to figure out which characters would be most fun in that situation.

Q. Do you ‘get lost’ in your writing?

JA. Not really. When I’m writing, I think about it a lot, but I never really get lost in it.

Q. Do you have a new book coming out soon? If so tell us about it.

JA. My novella, For the Blood is the Life, just got published in March. It’s crime-horror.

Q. When did you begin to write seriously?

JA. A few years ago. After my friend stopped writing with me, I got more into it.

Q. How long after that were you published?

JA. A few years before my first short story was published in Sheepshead Review.

Q. Do you think we will see, in our lifetime, the total demise of paper books?

JA. I hope not. I can’t read on a tablet.

Q. What makes a writer great?

JA. Someone who can bring truth to untruthful situations.

Q. and the all-important: What does the process of going from “no book” to “finished book” look like for you?

JA. Well, I have a lot more grey hair now than when I started writing.

Q. How has your life experiences influenced your writing?

JA. Yes, my poetry collection is mostly personal, dealing with my anxiety and depression mostly.

Q. What’s your down time look like?

JA. Ass in a chair, watching bad tv and movies.

Q. Have you or do you want to write in another genre`?

JA. Most of my fiction is crime. I guess I could one day, but my brain loves coming up with criminal characters and situations.

Note to Self: (a life lesson you’ve learned.)

JA. It’s okay to be yourself.

 

Did you miss my review of Cocktails with a Dead Man? 

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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   February: Rick Lenz, March: Patrick Canning, April: Poet, Joe Albanese,  May: Boo Walker 
To receive my posts sign up for my   On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Honor of National Poetry Month

I’m a humble poet, a rambling rhymester, a free verse fanatic, a Haiku sycophant. I love other poets and their scribbles and I worship at the alter of Charles Bukowski. For the month of April I celebrate National Poetry month with some of my own scribbles. 

 

The Long Trail © by Trisha Sugarek

The Circle Heart brand on the wet rump rippled
the horse shivered with exhaustion
the sun lost its battle with night and
dropped behind the far desolate peak

Chaparejos, worn thin and soft fit his legs
As if they had grown there
dusty spurs jangled as he trotted down the main
street of the sleepy town
a saddle that had seen a thousand miles creaked
and complained as he stepped down
the crown of his hat stained with sweat
from the hard ride

Reins dangled in the dirt
the horse hung his head, relieved
to not be moving

A drink or two to wash the Santa Fe Trail dust
from the cowboy’s throat
he stepped up onto the boardwalk,
turned and gazed at the town
and the mountains beyond
the color of old blood as the sun lost its glory

He pulled a cigarillo out,
one smooth movement wiped a match on his pants,
the tiny flame ignited
he puffed and blew smoke into the night air
watched the town close up for the day

Across the street a cur scurried around a corner
a merchant keyed his shop closed and
lit the gas lantern beside his door

The work had been good at the Circle Heart ranch,the grub even better
But the trail was his siren, always calling him, luring him over the next hill, 
down the next wash,
up the next canyon
sleeping next to a small camp fire,
staring at a billion stars
wondering if someone, something out there
was staring back

He wanted to settle but he hadn’t found
the right place
the right woman
the right time

Flicking the smoke into the street, he turned
and sauntered into the saloon,
honky-tonk piano played
the doors behind him whispered back and forth

The patrons saw another dusty, tired cowpoke, looking
for a few hours of pleasure
some music, some whiskey, and if he could afford it
the soft arms of a woman

The cowboy saw weak town folk,
forever saddled to their days
the bit in their mouths dictating their lives
wary of any stranger, their gaze shied away

Set ‘em up and keep ‘em comin’, the cowboy barked

Show me your coin, the barkeep growled

His days were numbered,
the boys from the Circle Heart ranch
would find him and the horse
They would take their horse and probably string
him up to the nearest tree

There isn’t anything lovelier than receiving reviews from my fellow poets as I celebrate Nat’l Poetry Month.  My free verse, “Dear John” was featured on the home page of Poetrysoup.com and recieved these: 

‘Trisha, this poem spoke to my heart. Very raw with emotions and beautifully written, Keep that fire burning,it will light up the pathway for your John.’ Chinwe Igbozurike

and

Trisha, I really enjoyed stepping behind your eyes for a brief eclipse with your heart! Wondrous writing!’  red barchettadrive
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   December:  Jayne Ann Krentz (Amanda Quick)  January: Molly Gloss.  February: Rick Lenz, March: Patrick Canning and April: Poet, Joe Albanese
To receive my posts sign up for my   On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks! 

Haiku Poetry

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review ~~ The Cliff House, by RaeAnne Thayne

reviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writing

 

4 out of 5 quills    A Review

A charming story in a style that is all RaeAnne Thayne. The Cliff House takes the reader on a journey of discovery and healing (hearts) with four major characters, Daisy, Beatriz, Stella and Gabe. Each chapter is titled with a character’s name. A great study in POV (point of view), fellow writers. 

As you know by now, I am not a reviewer that includes cliff notes or spoilers. But I will say this story weaves through a rock star’s life, a single mom’s challenges, a buttoned up accountant’s fear of her wilder side, and a reluctant hero. With a surprising mystery artist thrown in. 

The characters are deep and well-developed and that leads to a satisfying read. The setting is northern California along the cliffs of the Pacific Ocean which is, for those few of you that have never visited this part of the world, a must see for anyone. 

There were a couple of under-developed sections of the story but the overall journey of these fine protagonists abundantly made up for it. I recommend this book to all my readers! 

 

Release date: March 26th
To Purchase, click here 
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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   December:  Jayne Ann Krentz (Amanda Quick)  January: Molly Gloss.  February: Rick Lenz, March: Patrick Canning and April: Poet, Joe Albanese
To receive my posts sign up for my   On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks! 

 

To Purchase

 

New Short Play: Drop the Phone

Newest in the collection of ten minute plays for teens and the classroom. 

                        What would happen if you put down your phone for a half an hour and had a real conversation with another human being? Now lets mix it up further; sit down and talk to someone in your class who you don’t really know that well or at all. Are they who you thought they were? Were they surprised about who you are? This one act play, styled for the classroom (no sets, no costumes, no props), has a group of teens who do not tweet, email, Facetime or chat on their mobile devices for one half hour. They must TALK to each other, face to (real) face.  What did you learn about the person? What did you learn about yourself? 

5f. 4m.

To Purchase

Click here to see all 40 short plays

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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   February: Film Maker, Rick Lenz, March: Patrick Canning and April: Poet, Joe Albanese
To receive my posts sign up for my   On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks! 

 

To Purchase

Best Seller

 

Author of The Colonel and the Bee Joins Us, (part 2)

Q. Tell us about writing The Colonel and the Bee. Not so much the cerebral process but more your ‘gut’ instincts, the fairytale (but not quite) fantasy idea of it.

PC: I definitely wanted to straddle the line between fantasy and reality, so that the most extraordinary events in the book are implausible but not impossible (though that’s definitely strained). The idea was to have a whimsical journey you could almost believe is true. I tried to portray a world worth exploring that conceals surprises and treasures for those willing to venture out into it. It is definitely a halcyon view of the time period (though not without its villains and pitfalls), eschewing any too-heavy issues/events because it’s meant to be an adventure viewed through the romantic eyes of explorers. I love historically accurate books and I love fantasy books, this one just happens to trend toward the latter.

Hot air ballooning over Africa

Q. Do you ‘get lost’ in your writing?

PC. If you mean ‘get lost’ in a total-immersion way, not as much as I’d like to. I’m working on that. I do sometimes ‘get lost’ in a plot sense, especially in the middle of stories. When that happens I try to look back to the most core elements of the story for direction. If those aren’t there, then something is really wrong. Never fun to get halfway through a first draft and have no access to your own story.

Q. Do you have a new book coming out soon? If so tell us about it.

PC. I recently finished a sort of cozy mystery set in a 1980’s Midwest neighborhood. It starts with a goat murder and gets weirder from there. I’ve been pitching it was a suburban thriller plot à la Liane Moriarty, set in Ray Bradbury’s halcyon Midwest, with a hint of Neil Gaiman fantasy thrown in for good measure.

Q. When did you begin to write seriously?

PC. Screenwriting in my early 20’s, novel writing in my mid/late-20’s.

Q. How long after that were you published?

PC. I was 32 (self-pub/indie-pub).

Q. Do you think we will see, in our lifetime, the total demise of paper books?

PC. Not a chance. Most articles I see these days are about them making a resurgence. I think everyone got a little uneasy when e-readers initially came out, but each format has its own virtues and limitations. I think they’ll continue to find their equilibrium with one another (at least until whatever’s next comes along…)

Q. What makes a writer great?

PC. The cliché of ‘a good story well told’ seems to hold true. For me its also clarity and mastery of craft, creativity in linking previously independent ideas, brave but intentioned prose, portraying simple things elegantly or elegant things simply, and telling the truth in a compelling and memorable way.

Q. and the all-important: What does the process of going from “no book” to “finished book” look like for you?

PC. I accumulate ideas for a long time, usually a few years, constantly adding to a document on my phone/computer (always write ideas down, you will 100% forget some of them otherwise). When the story is ready, I’ll do any required research and translate the document of random ideas into a semi-coherent, narratively chronological outline. Off that, I write a first draft in as short a time as possible (I think inertia is important with first drafts), then take as much time away from it as possible for objectivity before the first revisions. Last, I get feedback/outside editorial input and revise, revise, revise.

Q. How has your life experiences influenced your writing?

PC. Almost everything seems to find its way in somehow. I think more time lived equals more to draw from, so I’m always up for new experiences.

Q. What’s your down time look like?

PC. I think I’ve watched The Office (US version) about 50 times. I’m always trying to read more too (audiobooks are a godsend in LA traffic).

Q. Have you or do you want to write in another genre?

PC. So far each book has pretty much been a different genre. That’s not by design, it just kind of happens that way for me. Knowing the genre you’re writing in can be powerful/useful though, so I may be on my way to becoming a ‘master of none’ by switching so often. I think there are strengths/weakness with regard to sticking with one genre and of course it varies by the individual.

Note to Self: (a life lesson you’ve learned.)

PC. Living in the moment seems to be a nice idea. Try not to get too many parking tickets but pay them if you do. Garlic and cinnamon make just about any food better (just not together).

Did you miss part I of this wonderful Interview?

Purchase The Colonel and the Bee: click here
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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   December:  Jayne Ann Krentz (Amanda Quick)  January: Molly Gloss.  February: Rick Lenz, March: Patrick Canning and April: Poet, Joe Albanese
To receive my posts sign up for my   On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks! 

 

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Book Review ~~ Marry in Scandal by Anne Gracie

reviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writing5 out of 5 quills ~~ A Review           

 

 

Delicious from the first page to the last. Anne Gracie is one of my favorite authors and it’s always a pleasure to read and review her latest offering. Marry in Scandal was no exception. It’s always a hit for me when Gracie adds old people or young kids as characters in her stories. Lord Galbraith, grandfather to the hero,  is painted with subtlety and quiet humor. Edward has dark secrets from the war, that block him from enjoying his family. Lily has secrets of her own that she must divulge if she is to find and keep love.

The writing is superb as always. The ‘Marry in...’ is an entertaining series and should not be missed. 

Did you miss my Interview with Anne Gracie?

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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   December:  Jayne Ann Krentz (Amanda Quick)  January: Molly Gloss.  February: Rick Lenz, March: Patrick Canning and April: Poet, Joe Albanese
To receive my posts sign up for my   On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks! 

 

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Interview with Patrick Canning, Author of The Colonel and the Bee

TS. I first ‘met’ Patrick when I stumbled across The Colonel and the Bee. Something made me order it and read it. Then review it. I don’t generally read fantasy but this was different…and beautiful…and my favorite character in the book was actually the three-story basket attached to the hot-air balloon. I ask, as I do all of my interviewees, for a short bio to begin the interview. Here is Patrick’s answer. 

PC. I’ll try to do it all in one breath: born in Milwaukee, grew up in Chicago suburbs, came to LA for film school, worked in film/entertainment throughout my 20’s, now trying to spend increasing amounts of time writing because I love it and I think I could be good at it with enough sweat/luck/coffee.

Q. Where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, special space for your writing?  Or tell us about your ‘dream’ work space.

PC. I rotate between a shared workspace, coffee shops, libraries, and my own apartment (where I get the least amount done). I live alone so being around people part of the day is nice. My dream work space has electrical outlets, a chair comfy enough to be in for hours but not so comfy you can fall asleep in it, ample people watching, low music, a bathroom, and if we’re aiming high, free refills.

Q. Do you have any special rituals or quirks when you sit down to write? (a neat work space, sharpened #2 pencils, legal pad, cup of tea, glass of brandy, favorite pajamas, etc.)

PC. Coffee and tea are almost always involved, but other than that I try to keep it as un-exotic as possible. Recently I started making the background of my Word docs legal-pad yellow. I heartily recommend this to writers who get sick of staring at bright white all day.

Q. Could you tell us something about yourself that we might not already know?

PC. I’m exceptionally bad at foosball, but above average at ping-pong and pool.

Q. Do you have a set time each day (or night) to write?

PC. Morning session/afternoon session, both 3-4 hrs. I’m still working on a more solid process and seeing what works. I heard one writer’s schedule (Dan Brown maybe?) is 4 am-11 am. That sounds weirdly alluring to me but I have yet to wake up at 4 am to give it a try…

Q. What’s your best advice to other writers for overcoming procrastination?

PC. I think if you’re really procrastinating a lot, over and over again, it could be a case of wanting to be a writer more than actually wanting to write. I think a lot of people torture themselves over this when in reality they might just be chasing the wrong vocation. Some days are better than others to be sure, but if they’re all bad days, there’s no shame in career/hobby course correction.

Q. Where/when do you first discover your characters?

PC. Usually they’re a part of the initial idea but I love the revision stage when they start to crystallize and sound more like themselves in the dialogue. I try not to panic if elements like that are less than perfectly clear early on because they usually arrive by the time things wrap up.

Q. What first inspired you to write?

Ballooning over Africa

PC. I came to novel writing through screenwriting, which I came to through a love of movies. I’ve always loved any kind of creative storytelling and the more I write, the more I enjoy it (for the most part), so that’s reassuring to me. Beyond that, it can be a matter of ‘why isn’t anyone talking about this’, or ‘this could be a nice way for people to escape’, or the ol’ reliable: ‘what if’.

Q. What comes first to you? The Characters or the Situation?

PC. The situation, followed very closely by the characters, and they become inextricable almost immediately (though both bend and change as the story takes shape).

Q. Do you ‘get lost’ in your writing?

Join us March 22nd for the  conclusion of this interview with the talented Patrick Canning.

Did you miss my review of The Colonel and The Bee?

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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   December:  Jayne Ann Krentz (Amanda Quick)  January: Molly Gloss.  February: Rick Lenz. March: Patrick Canning and April: Poet, Joe Albanese

 

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Sometimes a post about something I thought was interesting…..But, ALWAYS to do with books, authors, writing, words, and live theatre.

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When I’m not busy with my blog, I am writing….every day. I practice what I preach! 
Short plays for the classroom, general fiction, children’s plays and fairy tales,  poetry and a true crime mystery series. Diversity is the
spice of life!  
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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   December:  Jayne Ann Krentz (Amanda Quick)  January: Molly Gloss.  February: Rick Lenz. March: Patrick Canning and April: Poet, Joe Albanese

 

To Purchase