The 2012 Freelance Writing Guide Blog Tour is here!

Hi, to all my readers!

I am happy to announce that the blog tour for my recently published book, Freelance Writing Guide: What to Expect in Your First Year as a Freelance Writer, has begun! Today (August 29th) is the first day of the blog tour! The first stop is at the “Writers and Readers” group on Goodreads, where I will be doing a live Q&A discussion for three days! The discussion will kick off at 7 am (EST) today.

Here is a list of the dates of the blog tour and the participating blogs:

August 29-31 – www.goodreads.com/group/show/37092
September 1 – www.literarylunespublications.com
September 2 – www.vanessakeccles.com
September 5 – www.teresamorrow.com
September 7 – www.shaynagier.com
September 8 – www.cmtruxler.wordpress.com
September 9 – www.ravensartshack.blogspot.com
September 10 – www.lgib-bookreview.blogspot.com
September 12 – www.frellathon.com
September 13 – www.fromthebootheelcottonpatch.blogspot.com
September 14 – www.rdmeyerwrites.blogspot.com
September 15 – www.honestyinwriting.blogspot.com
September 16 – www.karenelizabethbrown.blogspot.com
September 17 – www.theresaleschmannauthor.blogspot.com
September 18 – www.sageadderley.blogspot.com
September 19 – www.chriseboch.blogspot.com
September 20 – www.writingwithbothsidesofmybrain.wordpress.com
September 21 – www.yaminatoday.com
September 22 – www.bahbammymusings.wordpress.com
September 23 – www.jeanzbookreadnreview.blogspot.com
September 24 – www.thewritechris.blogspot.com
September 25 – www.christinerice-author.com

The types of blog posts on the tour will be: book reviews, interviews, live Q&A discussions, guest posts, book excerpts, and more! You will discover inside information about my book, readers opinions about my book, information about myself as an author, informative posts from yours truly, and more! Stay tuned for a special surprise at the end of the blog tour!

If you would like to get regular updates on the blog tour, join my Facebook event.

I hope to see you along the tour!

Christine

Interview with Andre Alan

Andre Alan

Hello folks,

I recently met and interviewed author Andre Alan. His recently published fantasy novel, Heaven’s Fate, sounds very interesting and entertaining, and I look forward reviewing it in the future. Today I’ll post the interview so that you can get to know him better and learn about his new book.

First, here is a little background information: Andre Alan is from Hartford, CT and attended college in New Haven, CT. After graduating with a degree in international business and a brief career as an IT data analyst, Andre Alan decided to follow his lifelong passion of creating fiction entertainment. With a small amount of artistic talent, some of his first memories are of drawing. After a brief stint at poetry and comics, the timing seemed ripe to pursue fantasy novel writing. An avid video gamer, when there is time, and an addict for cup noodles. Andre is a sports fanatic and a lifelong student of business.

Hi, Andre. Welcome to my blog. It’s a pleasure to have you with us today.

Thanks, Christine. It’s great to be here.

Where are you from?

I was born in Hartford, CT and lived there with my younger sister. We were raised by our mom, a single parent. I have spent most of my life in CT, and went to school in New Haven, CT.

Do you recall how your interest in writing started?

Basically by being inspired by R.A. Salvatore and Robert Jordan after college. Before that I was always creating things. I grew up drawing Ninja Turtles and GI Joe. Later in life, it was a comic strip in my college newspaper and now I use words to paint the pictures in my head. I figured that since I like to read so much, I am going to try and put out a book for one of the many ideas that I have come up with over the years for the plethora of characters that I have drawn and created.

When and why did you begin writing?

While working at a help desk right after college is when I first decided to start on this journey and pursue novel writing. Not that I want to date myself too much but that was around a decade ago.

Can you tell us about your book, Heaven’s Fate?

Thame Elliot, an expert Rietsu martial artist, is consumed with thoughts of avenging his father’s death and rebuilding the legendary Tundra Sword. Little does Thame know that his aunt, the first empress of the human continent, Eioda, Autumn Augustus, has set the nation on a course that can only lead to war with the Orcs. The mystical inhabitants on the planet, Threa, have been plunged into a struggle for the ancient artifacts buried in the mysterious “Consummate of the Trust.” Not only that but his aunt is hell bent on marrying him to a corrupt military admiral’s daughter while Thame’s spiritual guardian, Masaya from the Astral Plane, tries to manipulate him in order to keep the heavens from falling apart. The fate of mankind rests in Thame’s young hands, but does he even want the responsibility that goes along with being the chosen one? Or will Thame’s spiritual twin, imbued with dark powers granted by the evil one, assassinate him before he can fulfill his destiny?

What inspired you to write it?

The need to express myself in some form of entertainment. I read Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series and then I thought to myself that I wanted to do what he did.

How did you come up with the title?

Because the fate of the heavens ultimately ends up in the hands of my main character, Thame.

Did you learn anything from writing your book?

I learned a lot actually, but the major thing I learned was patience and following a process. No matter how fast I would like to go and get the book out and get a movie deal, it all starts with putting the words to paper and then following the “book-making process.”

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The editing is always the hardest part for me because it feels like I have to cut out everything I just spent months writing. But the editing process also makes the book better because I correct so many of my mistakes.

What are you working on now?

Right now I am working, mostly, on promoting Heaven’s Fate. But I always try to find time to write in my new book, Winter’s Legacy, which is part two of the Heaven Trilogy (I just now decided that I was going to start calling it that, hope everyone likes it). But in book two we pick up with Thame, married… I won’t say to who yet, gotta read it to find out 😉 and also he is the leader of the special ops search team sent to the other continent to find Miles Xavier, not to mention that now he can no longer enter the Oresme Sphere.

Is writing your sole career?

Yes, writing is now my career, besides also being the CEO of my own publishing company, EVapor Entertainment. If it was a perfect world I would hire someone else to manage the company so that way I could spend all of my time writing.

What book are you reading now?

Amped by Daniel H. Wilson.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I would choose R.A. Salvatore. I love the way he keeps his books action packed. He writes his fight scenes with such clarity and vigor that you can put yourself into the characters’ shoes and dodge punches along with the hero. He also manages to keep the global theme of story prevalent and bring through the emotion in his characters.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Being an avid reader gets you through a lot. Taking a step back from your own work to briefly enjoy someone else’s does make a difference. I think that it allows your mind to take a break and reset, in a way.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you very much and you are greatly appreciated from the bottom of my heart. The reason why I write is for the reader. So that they can be thoroughly entertained. So stick with me on this journey for a great ride.

You can pick up Andre’s book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. It is available in hardcover and ebook formats.

You can find out more about Andre and his book on Facebook, Twitter, and his website.

Review of “Anywhere but Here”

Anywhere but Here by Sherri Fulmer Moorer is an intriguing story about a sweet recent college graduate and her experiences after her application to a Master’s program is denied. She feels hopeless and empty, not knowing her life’s direction anymore. She goes to work and looks for friendship there, but nothing is what it seems. She tries to get promoted at work, because of her recent college degree, but it seems that everything is holding her back from what she is trying to accomplish. Will she ever move up in the corporate world? Will she find love again? Reading the story will tell you.

Anywhere but Here is an exciting story, because of the twists and turns in the plot. It speaks of the aggravating and drama-filled social politics that comes with working in a business office. The main character is in hell with what she is dealing with at work and in life. A small gift from her best friend allows her to visit another world in her dreams, which she enjoys more than her real life. In general, the story is realistic with a fantasy spin to it.

I recommend Anywhere but Here to all readers in favor of a quick, easy read that will take them to another time and place. Most people will be able to relate to the main character, especially young women trying to find their place in the world after college graduation and those experiencing heartache. This is an enjoyable read and the ending left me feeling satisfied.

You can pick up your Kindle copy here and your Nook copy here. Enjoy the read!

“Freelance Writing Guide” is Now Published!

Hi everyone,

I’ve been so busy with the publishing and release of Freelance Writing Guide that I haven’t had the chance to blog! Let me backtrack to the last few days, so that I can share with you my publishing experiences. Late at night on August 13th, I finished the final edits on my book. I planned on taking the next day off to relax and enjoy the fact that I had finished my book. During the night of the 14th, however, I got bored. So I started reading up in the Lulu community about how to format for self-publishing with Lulu (i.e. cover image size, interior pages, etc.). Then I decided I would make the adjustments on my documents as I read about them so that I wouldn’t forget the next day what I had learned that night. I ended up publishing an ebook with Lulu, and after that I was driven to continue publishing in the different book formats with the different companies I publish with. I stayed up all night and the next day publishing my book everywhere!

The only significant problem I had was trying to increase the resolution of my front and back cover images to be compatible with CreateSpace’s requirements. I almost couldn’t figure it out and almost gave up, but then I had an idea to try opening the images in the Paint.net program (I had recently downloaded it but had trouble with it, so I had forgotten about it), which was referred to me from a cover designer, so I thought that maybe I’d be able to adjust the resolution with that program. Success! I felt so relieved. If I couldn’t get the resolution right, I wouldn’t have been able to use the cover I created; I would have had to use one of CreateSpace’s cover designs, which I didn’t want to do, because I thought an original cover would be better. So now I have the cover and back cover exactly how I want it. Yay!

The interior pages were pretty easy to do; I just had to follow the publishers’ manuals. It was time-consuming and a bit repetitive, because I had to take my standard book interior and format it each time for each book type and company. Since I published three different book types with Lulu, one with Kindle Direct Publishing, and one with Smashwords, I ended up with five different versions of my book! It was strenuous at the end, because I did everything all at once and was tired from being overworked.

I am happy with how the interior came out, and the process went smoother than in January when I published second editions of my other books. Ebooks are especially difficult, because the companies have different formats for what will upload correctly. For example, some require an active table of contents (there are two different versions), some say no table of contents at all, some allow hyperlinks (must include the http:// to work), some don’t have the capability of functioning hyperlinks, some want page breaks and some do not, they all want the title and copyright page formatted differently, and so on. The interior is what I always say takes a long time, because all the companies want it differently, and I want my book to come out right for my readers. And as far as I know it has 🙂

Okay, so here is my book information. Freelance Writing Guide: What to Expect in Your First Year as a Freelance Writer is available in paperback (Lulu), ebook format (Lulu epub, Lulu pdf, and Smashwords ebook), and kindle format (Amazon). Have a look! Soon it will be available in paperback on CreateSpace and Amazon, as well as epub at Barnes & Noble, iBookstore, and more! There is now a page for Freelance Writing Guide on the right side of this blog. I hope you will check out my book and let me know what you think.

Have a great weekend!

Review of “A Graphic Guide for the Self-Published Author”

A Helpful Tool for DIY Authors and an Enjoyable Read – 5 Stars

A Graphic Guide for the Self-Published Author by Farah Evers is an instructional and informational book that shows the everyday person how to create their own book cover. You do not need to have any formal education in graphic design to understand the concepts; it is written in layman terms but also creatively written and edited well. It is amply supplied with pictures of book covers that demonstrate the messages Evers provides.

The book is full of all the knowledge you need to design a book cover, so you will literally be able to create a book cover after you read the book. There is additional information on how to design bookmarks, business cards, flyers, and websites. This book is a helpful tool and an easy-to-understand manual that is communicated with lighthearted language that makes it energized and a quick, enjoyable read. I recommend it to anyone who likes DIY and wants to create a book cover. You will save a lot of money by buying this book and creating your own cover than if you pay a designer to do it. Great book!

You can pick up your copy here!

Freelance Writing Guide Cover Reveal!

I designed my cover for Freelance Writing Guide today! Here is how it turned out:

So, what do you think? I was going for a simple design that reflected the technological aspect of freelance writing, since freelance writers spend a lot of time on the computer.

Honestly, I find it very hard to design a cover, because I’m not a graphic designer and because I have high expectations – I want the background image to be perfect and the overall design to look really great. I’m not a very good judge of my own work, so let me know if you think it’s okay.

I also started working on the blog tour banner, but because it is not complete yet – I’m still figuring out the final details of the tour – I cannot show it to you yet. But it is awesome and matches the cover design.

The publication date for Freelance Writing Guide will be on August 22nd or before. If you want to read it when it comes out but won’t be able to afford it, if you can write a review for it I can give you a free ebook copy. Just email me: christine@christinerice-author.com. Have a great day!

A Very Busy Time

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m not reading a book right now! Actually, I’m taking a reading hiatus until Freelance Writing Guide is published and maybe until after my blog tour. I have a lot of work to do (edit the last five chapters, design a cover, format for the different epublishers, submit my book and author information, upload correctly, write a press release, create a blog tour banner) and I want to meet my goals of having the book finished by August 16th and ready to send to my blog tour participants on August 22nd.

Then there is the blog tour (September 1-22) in which I need to have the interviews and guest posts done before each of the participants’ scheduled post dates (I’m going to get most of that done between August 23rd and the 31st when the participants will be reading my book and before the tour starts). So I’ll be answering a lot of interview questions, writing guest posts, and keeping the blog tour running smoothly. It’s a very busy time for me, but I’m enjoying it! It’s really exciting and fun to be part of the publishing process and blog tour. At least right now, since everything is under control 😉

I will continue to keep you all posted on the publication of Freelance Writing Guide and my blog tour.

Review of “The Zul Enigma”

Fast-paced, action-packed adventure – Five stars

The Zul Enigma by J M Leitch is a refreshing story, as it is not like any other. It doesn’t fit into a certain genre and has lots of twists and turns in the plot. I can tell Leitch put her heart and soul into this book, as it is a high-quality read. The plot is solid, the characters are memorable, and the storyline will keep you guessing.

The multifaceted story covers politics, religion, relationships, secret service, government, and outer space. It goes into the depths of betrayal and lies. It takes place during a time when the end of the world is near and it is evident with all the conflicts and problems occurring.

Because the plot is solid, it is clear that the details were thoroughly researched to make it so believable. The characters are distinct and vivid, and some of them held my heart. The optimist in me wanted everything and everyone to be okay, but in actuality, it was quite the opposite.

This is a very long book, and I would have liked to see the author make it into two books. And there is a lot of alcohol drinking and alcoholic behaviors in this book, which I’m not fond of. However, those two minor setbacks did not keep me from enjoying the story or change my feelings about the book, because I give it five stars.

I highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy conspiracy, science-fiction, action, and thought-provoking storytelling. This book will take you to another world, and the action will keep you turning the pages.

Pick up your own copy here. Note that it is available in both paperback and kindle edition. Enjoy the read!

Interview with Yamina Collins

Right now I’ll be hosting my first interview on this blog. Our guest is Yamina Collins. She is a self-published author and a blogger. There is a lot we can learn from her experiences. Without further ado, we will begin the interview.

Thanks for joining us today, Yamina. Your new book, The Blueberry Miller Files, is out now and it’s a short story collection. Why write short stories? Do they sell well?

You know, I am so grateful that the indie writer no longer has to worry about sales. Don’t get me wrong. I know authors want to make a living just as much as the next person; and if you’re an indie author who is being published by a small press other than the company you yourself created, well, ok, that could prove to be a concern.

But, for the indie and self-published author who is truly their own boss, like I am, you’re no longer in danger of being “dropped” just because your groovy little story collection only sold 50 copies.

Besides, there is no doubt in my mind that there’s an audience for shorter works. Yes, it’s true that we live in a post-MTV twitter generation. And, yes, people have short attention spans. But I say, a good, short read should be just up their alley!

So what are the stories in your book about?

Oh, there is no one theme that runs through the book, except to say that it’s a look at the human condition in all of its humor, awkwardness and tragedy. I think maybe I’m fascinated by sin, and how it affects us and those around us.

I had a blast writing it, though, because I got to play with different styles, ideas and subject matters, all in the same book, without fear of what some publisher might think.

So publishing via your own company gave you a lot of room for creative expression?

Oh, yes. Publishing my book through my own company gave me the freedom to be a black writer who writes about white characters (sometimes), a Christian author who refuses to use cursing in any of my stories, even though it might not “sound realistic” to some people (ah, well…), a humor writer who gets to explore the mind of a black Anglophile that adores Shakespeare a little too much, and a “southern” observer who does something I never saw done in Gone with the Wind: let the slave holders speak with as much of a jacked-up dialect as the slaves themselves spoke with. Ha ha.

Does running your own book blog help you with your marketing platform?

Oh, absolutely! My book was released three weeks ago, while my blog, Yaminatoday.com, has been around for about a year and a half. I already have a built-in-audience of 12,000 readers to my site per month and around 130,000 hits per month.

And yet, I haven’t sold that many books. Marketing takes time. My goal is to now hire a PR firm to help me get my name out there. But the blog definitely helps.

So back to the book – any favorite characters in the collection?

I love this character named Madam Adams. She’s a loony doll; an African-American Anglophile with a Shakespeare complex. Her parents raised her in Harlem, but she tells people she was raised in England by a group of thespians. She is a loveable nutcase with a fondness for bad writing, wine, and crumpets. I think she would make a great movie character, but I can’t think of any famous actresses who would play her. She’s rather unique, in my opinion. Then again, that’s what actresses do, don’t they? They inhabit people who are nothing like them!

Who are some of your favorite short story authors?

Edgar Allan Poe, Jessie Redmon Fauset, Henry James and Washington Irving, though not all of these people wrote only short stories. And, in fact, Henry James was known for the nouvelle rather than the typical short story, but ultimately, these guys were masters. Of course, few people have ever heard of Jessie Redmon Fauset.

Who was she?

Mrs. Fauset has been credited with being the midwife of the Harlem Renaissance, giving “birth” to such formidable writers as Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen. Most everyone has heard of great black female writers like Toni Morrison, Alice Walker and Zora Neale Hurston, of course, but few people are familiar with Jessie.

Any advice to would-be writers out there?

Yes. If you’re an indie author, treat your book with some respect. Give it the same treatment you would want a publishing house to give it. Hire an editor; get your book cover done professionally. Write and re-write, and then re-write some more. You want to compete with the big boys, don’t you? Of course you do! So don’t think sloppy editing and generic book covers will cut it when there are literally hundreds of thousands of books out there vying for the public’s attention.

With that in mind, remember that your book or e-book now has the potential to live a very long “shelf” life. The days are ending (and for the e-book have already ended), when you have a limited time to see your book displayed on a shelf in a book store somewhere. Your book now lives forever on the internet.

So the money you invest in it now has the potential to reap rewards years and years down the line. That being said, make it the best book you can.

Thanks for joining us, Yamina.

It’s been my pleasure!

Checking in for the Week

It’s been almost a week since my last post. The blog tour is currently being assembled. I spent a lot of time on Book Blogs trying to gain tour participants. Thanks to everyone who is participating! I really appreciate your generosity. I’ll be writing at least a couple of guest posts, there are eleven book reviews and seven interviews set up so far, plus one author bio and one excerpt for good measure. It’s going to be exciting! I can’t wait! If you’re scheduled to be on my blog tour, please email me with the date you want to reserve during the first three weeks of September (if you haven’t already). I will also be sending out a reminder email at the end of this week.

Freelance Writing Guide is coming along great! I am impressed by how it is turning out with the edits. I have finalized 7 out of 22 chapters, and I’m almost halfway through page-wise. I’m working on getting it all finalized by mid-month (middle of next week!).

I’ve also been reading a lot! I’m trying to keep up with my 3 books a month review schedule, while also editing and publishing my book. I have not overwhelmed myself too much this month. I had to decline some opportunities so that I will not have a nervous breakdown from it all 😉

I’m reading The Zul Enigma. I will be posting a review, probably sooner than later, since it is such a great book and I’m flying through the 500+ pages. I find it hard not to talk about the books I’m reading when they are really good. I love this one, because it is science-fiction and has a positive message and an adventuresome plot. It is definitely a page-turner!

Well, that’s about it. I hope you all have a great week!