Developing your Image

jackie stitched

As an author, your online presence brings your readers into your world. The images and verbiage you choose will either create a deeper interest or a divide that will be difficult to mend. This article is for those who have had some works printed and have already started to bring a voice to social media outlets. It will help you to focus on ways to create a stronger bond with your audience.

Great you have created a few books and some online interest in what it is your producing, but what do you do in the meantime to keep them glued into your creative life?  You make sure that they feel like they matter to you. How do you do that? By giving them clues into your author lifestyle.

How do you create? Where do you create? Why do you create? Why should they care?

You’re a writer do what writers do best WRITE! Create a blog about writing… not necessarily. There are many blogs on how to write content, or how to create a full manuscript, and honestly, we don’t really need another one.  What I mean by write is to invite the curious into your life.  Write about what you like, what you feel compelled to care about, what your motivations are, how you like to relax, who you are interested in, & even daily little life events. How can you decide what to write about and when?

Many times writers are persuaded by their passions. They feel strongly about a particular method, a genre, ideology, strength, weakness, a dream, a deep desire to write that will not quit till they complete the task. These are the things you write about on your blog. Things that matter to you. They don’t always have to be about the genre you write, but they do have to have substance to keep your audience engaged.

What is it that you want your audience to know about you? How can you bring your life into your writing career without compromising your personal life?  Once you start building your blog around the suggested ideas, your audience will begin to interact with you, and they will lead you towards what they would like to know about you. You simply need to open the dialogue get people talking about you. It is though important to keep your private life private. Create a blog that is author content only. This way you can still maintain contact with your family and or close friends with whom you have a more intimate relationship with.  Do NOT cross the two ever. Once you start to mix the two groups, you will loose your private identity.

Now here is substance for you:

How often do you come into the mind-space of your audience and/or potential reader?

When you have captured their view what feelings do you invoke in them?

Does that feeling make them want to know more?

The above questions surround one main idea, and that is RELATIONSHIP.

How relatable are you? Do you evoke someone who wants to include others? Or do you push them to the side as you create? If you want them to be 100% invested in you and buy what you create then you need to be invested in them too.

Some of the potential readers you will come across are writers too. You will have a light bond to them already simply because you are both creatives. They will relate to you through writing style, through genre choice, through common postings, through groups, and sometimes simply because of gender.

Does it matter initially how the common bonding happens? No, but will it keep them interested solely on this first reasoning? Probably not. Think about this new found person as you would a potential friend.  Communicate with them ask them what brought them to your page. Recognize them for the fact that they decided to engage in your content.

You will want to write on a regular basis perhaps in the beginning devote 10-15 mins a day with something new. If you find that you have walked into an idea that is just something that fascinates you, then write longer, but make sure that you write with the idea of engaging your potential reader.

Did you recently finish a book written by a favorite author? Hear something on radio that struck a cord? Hear a conversation at the coffee house that made you do a double-take? See something on the drive into work, or on an errand? Had something locally happen in your neighboorhood that you think would make a good story line?  If the idea is touching or poignant in any manner, then write. These are all ideas to help you create your online presence and engage your potential readers.

Also, there are not really simply ways of posting videos online just short few mins to talk about something you find interesting, or just to simply say hello. As you get comfortable with creating the videos, you will also start to find your niche and find lots of ways to engage your audience.  For example, Facebook has Facebook live I will post a link for you to learn now to use this very simple Facebook live  f0rmat.

ONTO SOCIAL MEDIA

You want your username to be your name for your author works. If you want something more cutesy or daring you can make another account for that. Remember you are representing YOU. Make sure you keep it that way when your talking about your writer works.  Make sure also for all your author related venues you keep things with your name. (i.e. @DonStover, DonStover.com, facebook.com/donstover, twitter.com/donstover etc.) If your exact name is not available, try something like @DonStoverauth.

Your profile picture is a huge big deal make sure it is YOU. Not something sorta like you, not a filtered funny photo, but YOU. If you do not take yourself serious as a professional author then why should anyone else? This photo should be used across the board so that people who see you in one venue will start to recognize you in others. Make sure this photo also reflects who you are as a creative. It does not have to be a professional picture, but it does have to have a quality look to it. It may not be a selfie. Get someone I don’t care if it is a total stranger to take your photo as long as it conveys a great image on film.

Tell me what you Think, Feel, and Hear! Entertain Me.

~Jackie Chin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting personal with David Owian Hughes

Today I had the pleasure of talking to David. He is charming, smart and has a wicked sense of humor that I just love. His accent will drive the girls wild. His stories are full of dark and evil things and for a mature audience (I know I’m not mature😁) and will get your blood pumping.

How old were you when you wrote your first story?
I would have been but a schoolboy. English was my favourite lesson, and the only one I did any work for, so I was constantly writing blood-thirsty tales about ghouls and terror! This was back in the 80s when I was hooked on sleazy b-movies, killers behind masks and the latest scream queen’s tits. Hey, I was only eleven or twelve – give a lad a break.Don’t get me wrong, these stories I wrote back in the day were shockingly bad, but they were fun and imaginative, much to my teachers’ disgust. Even though they were appalled, and gave me appalling grades, they often told me I had a good imagination, so it’s not hard to see why I’m still telling yarns.
And still practicing my skill.

2. How many books have you written?
Damn, I had to sit and think about this question – mathematics was never a strong point! The only figures I’m good with, are…Never mind. I’ve written eleven. That’s including books which haven’t found publishers yes and two that I co-wrote with the fantastic Alice J. Black and Sarah Dale. I also have two more planned to write this year, so that will take my tally up to unlucky thirteen…

3. Anything you won’t write about?
No, I don’t think so. If there is, I’ve not discovered it yet. I’m pretty numb to taboo subjects – I’ve written some shocking stuff up to this point, so I’ll continue to do so. At one time, I would have told you that I wouldn’t write about animal cruelty or the harm of children. I broke both those rules years ago! When the situation arises, I’ll pretty much put anything down on paper. Why? Because I’m a sick, perverted degenerate, who likes licking the rims of toilets; well, rims in general, to be fair.

Don’t look at me like that! I can’t help being proud of it.

4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job, etc…
Age: 604. My secret, you ask? Smearing the semen of my dead enemies over my face; as you can see, it works a charm. Not married, never have been. However, I am engaged. I have one son, Gethin, who’s seven-years-old. Nicola, my fiancée, is carrying my second child. We’re told it’s a girl, so we have decided on the name Ruby Storm Leigh Hughes.

Interesting fact (which you’ll hear here first): Ruby and Storm are the main characters in my upcoming novel Man-Eating Fucks. Some very bad things happen to these girls, which I won’t go into, but I’d just like to say that the novel was written well before Nicola fell pregnant. It just so happens we like the names.
I’m sick, but I’m not THAT sick.

Well…

I have a part-time job at my local Frankie and Benny’s – I’m the cleaner. And I don’t mean I work for the mob!

5. What’s your favorite book you have written?
It’s a toss up between Man-Eating Fucks and Wind-Up Toy – they are the latest novels I wrote, and so the writing, I feel, is pretty damn solid. My skill as an author has matured over time, and I think my writing is getting better by the book/short story. I still have a lot to learn, and I hope my readers stick by me as I continue to shape my talent. It’s a long road…

6. Who or what inspired you to write?
Well, I have to say that growing up around horror from a very young age helped lay a solid foundation. Filmmakers such as George A. Romero, Sam Raimi, Wes Craven and Sean S. Cunningham helped influence me – they created some great monsters/stories on screen, which fuelled my imagination. I may have been heavily influenced by film, and had a huge passion for it, but I wasn’t interested in making films. I wanted to tell stories – to write them. Whereas film and filmmakers played a hand in my love for horror/writing, two other people did – Richard Laymon and Alice Cooper. Laymon for his books and Cooper for his visual horror on stage; both of these men have inspired many of my stories.

7. What do you like to do for fun?
*Giggles like a schoolgirl as he whispers ‘Sex and Masturbating.’* When I’m not pulling my back out with sex or giving myself a wrist-ache, I do like to socialise – I may visit with a friend, have a few beers or just chill with Nicola in front of the TV. I also like to go to the beach on sunny days, take in a movie at the cinema or play retro games – I’m a big fun of old games such as Final Fight, Street Fighter, Streets of Rage, etc…I have quite the collection.

A collection of severed heads, that is!

8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?
We’re back to masturbating again!

9. Where do you write? Quite or music?
I have a spare room in my house that I use as an office. It doubles as my son’s room, but he only spends the weekends with us. Definitely music. I put my CD player on in the other room and set the volume to ear-bleed!

Hey, if it’s too loud, you’re too old, right?!

10. Anything you would change about your writing?
Not really, no. Obviously, I would love to be much better, but I hope that will come in time.
11. What is your dream? Famous writer?
To be mega famous and have to hire a hot PA! She would be kitted-out in a short skirt, stockings, and high-heels…Of course, I kid. *smirks like a naughty schoolboy.* In all honesty, I think I’m currently living my dream – I’m writing and drinking tea full-time. I may not be making any form of income off my writing, but that’s not the point. I do it out of love. To want to tell stories. I just hope my words reach lots of eyes, and that they like what they see. Make ‘em stick around and look at some more of my stuff. Who knows.
12. Where do you live?
South Wales, U.K. Wales is a small country that helps make up the rest of the U.K, along with England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
13. Pets?
Just the gimp.

14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?
It means I get to stay at home and sit around in nothing but my panties all day, every day!

David has recently signed with Matt Shaw to write his newest book.

So, your new book…dark?

Man-Eating Fucks is pretty fucked up, yes. Darker than the rest of my stuff? Possibly. Everything I write tends to lean towards splatterpunk/extreme – I love it. I always try to push the line that little bit further…So yes, rest assured, Man-Eating Fucks isn’t for the faint of heart – it has more nutters, perverts and blood and guts to keep the hardcore fans happy.

What made you decide to write this book?

This book has actually been rotting on my hard drive for about four years – it took someone like Matt Shaw to see its potential, and to have the balls to go with it, I suppose. As I said above, my writing is pretty close to the bone. No subject is taboo. I just write it as I want to write it – I’m not one for making changes, either – I stick to my guns on extreme content. Without giving too much away, this book was written as a love letter to Wes Craven and one of his films…It needed to be written, just like my first novel Walled In was written out of my love and respect of George A. Romero and his Dead films.

Is this book out of the norm for you?

Definitely not. It’s couldn’t be more in the norm if it tried! This story is the type of stuff I love doing – I find it easy, and it’s so much fun, and I think people that love this kind of extreme will eat-up Man-Eating Fucks. Get it, eat-up! Okay, never mind. I’m urging people to take a punt, as I know they will enjoy this off-the-wall tale. For £1.99, you can’t go wrong…So come on people, and have a bash…If you’re not too scared, that is!

What was it like to work with Shaw?

I didn’t really get to know Shaw until a few weeks back – poor bastard hadn’t heard of me until some lunatic suggested to him I should be in his up-and-coming Easter anthology, Easter Eggs, and Bunny Boilers. After accepting my story, Shaw and I got chatting, and I haven’t looked back since. I have to say; he’s a pretty great guy who knows his shit. He knows what works and what doesn’t. I’m really excited to see where Man-Eating Fucks could go…

Also, Shaw has a cute arse and dazzling eyes. He paid me to say that, by the way…

Will you write more like this book?

Most definitely! Extreme is the field I write in, so you can expect a lot more from me in the future. Having said that, I do plan to write a thriller at the end of this year; the plot will revolve around a down-and-out gumshoe, who has a love for jazz and Gin.

Tell me a little about it

I don’t want to give too much away, so I’ll leave the synopsis here. I know, I’m a bastard. I think Shaw likes that about me. X

Man-Eating Fucks: Matt Shaw Presents David Owain Hughes’ “Man-Eating F*cks”…

An average teenage girl and her father find themselves caught up in a brutal nightmare at their local recreational centre when an age-old enemy comes stumbling out of the woods to crash a heavy-metal gig; a gig that has all the promises of being killer.

This is one blood-soaked gig you won’t want to miss!

Endorsement: Man-Eating Fucks is old school horror, but with a new, blood-soaked twist! David Owain Hughes effectively creates enjoyable and lethal characters in this tale that is sure to keep you up at night. This is the type of tale that you need to read with a light on…I’m serious. You better put your seatbelt on ‘cause you’re in for one helluva ride. Look out; Hughes might very well be headed to the major leagues after this twisted tale! Highly recommended!”

~Ty Schwamberger, author of The Fields, Deep Dark Woods & The Death of a Horror Writer

Thank you for taking the time to let us all get to know you better David. It has been my pleasure getting to know you. I wish you best of luck with your books. Not that you will need it!

So You Have Been Stitched Now What?

Have you ensured your Amazon book page has a great book description, amazing cover and your book is competitively priced and has plenty of reviews?

Your answer:

Have you looked up similar books to yours on Amazon and noted their Amazon categories and possible keywords? If yes, please input categories & keywords.

Your answer:

Have you placed a back page in all book versions with a request for reviews and a link to the book on Amazon and a mention of other books you have available and a link?

Your answer:

Have you identified prizes to offer readers who sign up for your email list?

Your answer:

Have you imagined a series of blog posts you could write related to the book and started writing them? If yes, please write the subjects you will be covering.

Your answer:

Have you identified people who can share or post your blog posts https://stitchedsmilepublications.wordpress.com/ and asked them will they do so?

Your answer:

Have you identified book advertising sites such as https://twitter.com/ReadersGazette  &  http://www.readersintheknow.com/list-of-book-promotion-sites to advertise your book?

Your answer:

Have you identified controversial, emotional or helpful themes from your book for use in posts, graphics or Tweets https://twitter.com

Your answer:

Have you created animated GIFs for Twitter https://imgflip.com/images-to-gif  and a book trailer http://www.booktrailersforreaders.com/How+to+make+a+book+trailer? (Michael Freeman and Lisa Vasquez can also be a huge help in this department.

Your answer:

Have you sent out review copies far and wide?

Your answer:

Have you reviewed a book at the Stitched Smile Publications Facebook Review group and submitted your book for reviewing?

See: (Work In Progress)

Your answer:

Have you checked your website and blog and Facebook page and Twitter profile and any other sites you are on to ensure they are up to date?

Your answer

Have you added any new social site you might need?

Your answer

Have you created a list building page with an incentive to build your email list?

Your answer

Have you created a Nouncy http://nouncy.com/ or Thunderclap https://www.thunderclap.it/ campaign to get group promotions and have you promoted it?

Your answer:

Have you sought endorsements from anyone prominent?

Your answer:

Have you prepared a press release https://www.standoutbooks.com/book-press-release-template/ and sent it out to media contacts and newswire services?

Your answer:

Have you had a live book party and enjoyed your moment?

Your answer:

Have you put the first few pages of your book on your site and created a Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/upload audio recording?

Your answer:

Have you created #tags http://www.socialmediatoday.com/content/creating-twitter-hashtag-7-steps and used them?

Your answer:

Have you a SmartUrl http://authorbookpromotion.blogspot.com/2014/03/using-smarturl-to-promote-your-book.html for tracking hits to your Amazon book page?

Your answer:

Have you posted about your book to Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/user/sign_up?connect_prompt=true  & LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/ or Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/ or Instagram https://www.instagram.com/ , as appropriate?

Your answer:

Have you written anything provocative about your book?

Your answer:

Have you set up Google Alerts https://plus.google.com/  about your book’s themes and are you adding comments to posts about them?

Your answer:

Have you personally thanked ALL your supporters?

How to Build an Email List for Authors

What is list building?

You offer something of value for free in exchange for an email address. You can set up auto-responders which are automatic emails that go out directing the person to more useful information.

This is permission marketing. You have given something to the person and in exchange asked permission to send them more useful information.

List building is NOT list-buying. It’s the growth of your own list over time in exchange for something of value.

What is the point of having a list?

If you have people’s email addresses, and you are a trusted provider of useful information,  people will open and read your emails. This means you can use the email list to market your books (if the list has been set up for that purpose).

Imagine how powerful it is to have a list of 10,000 people and to send an email saying “My book is available now. Click here to buy”. This is the basis of all the Amazon bestseller campaigns which generally use other people’s lists. If you build one yourself, you have a much more targeted list, and you are a trusted provider to those people. Remember, if people know, like, and trust you,  they are more likely to buy your book.

How do you build a quality list? 

You need to have something to give away for free that is:

  • Valuable and useful to people
  • Related to your product/book

Once you have that, you set up an email signup box like the one designed by Mail Chimp People enter their email and then get the free product.

It is very important to use a reputable service that:

  • manages this all for you automatically and is scalable (yes, you could have 50,000+ subscribers within a few years!)
  • lets people to unsubscribe easily (mandated by anti-spam laws)
  • enables you to send out broadcasts when you like as well as setting up auto-responders
  • enables you to manage and download your list
  • allows you to set up multiple lists from one account

What free giveaway can you do?

As authors, we are uniquely placed to offer some great free giveaways as we produce quality information relatively easily. It is also very important that you giveaway something that is related to what you are selling. There’s no point in giving away an e-book on finance if you want to sell romantic fiction on your blog.

Here are some ideas for your free giveaway:

  • First 3 chapters of your book, or a short story, or the first novella in a series of 3
  • Top 10 tips for <insert your niche here> e.g. Top 10 tips for creating authentic characters / Top 10 tips for writing horror
  • Audio of you reading your work or talking about the subject you are writing about

The most important thing to remember:

You want to be a valuable resource to people, either for information or entertainment. You do not want to be seen as a spammer. So give away great information, offer quality on a regular basis for free, and people will be happy to buy from you when you have something they are interested in. Don’t send unrelated offers. Don’t abuse the list or they will unsubscribe. It’s all about respect.

If you are interested in housing your creative horror works with a publishing house that puts the author first contact us TODAY! Stitched Smile Publications

 

We’re Expanding!

Hello everyone!

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted and I apologize, there is so much going on and I’m here to tell you about it.

First, I’d like to welcome some new staff members:
Brandy Yassa — Editor
Deanna Cooley — Editor
Sylvia Stein — Editor
Mark Deloy –Aquisitions
Jeff Brown — Jack of all Trades (No official title but he’s ours, damnit)

Welcome to all of our new staff and I’m looking forward to working with you, creating new nightmares, and giving hope to new authors!

Now let’s get to releases. My goodness! We are rolling out nothing but gold (OK, so I’m biased). Below you can get a glimpse of our current catalog. We have several parties happening at the end of the month so keep reading for more details about that.

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Stalker (available now on Amazon.com)
5.0 out of 5 stars  “Lightness at the end of a dark tunnel”

Carl is a good man who was dealt a bad hand. He has a stressful job, and he struggles with his wife, Gloria, a successful woman who likes to play games that she may not know how to handle.
Gloria begs for attention from her male clients. She gives them what they desire, and they bury her in expensive gifts, dinners, and sex. They always used the same hotel. She even used her real name. A drunken one-night stand leads her to a stalker who has killed before, and he watches her on a daily basis from her shadows.
Most of the citizens of their small town have reported what Gloria gets up to while John is at work. He shrugs it off as he walks by them, but inside, his heart is black. She killed him and his spirit.
John is at a loss; he doesn’t want to divorce her, but he doesn’t want to have anything else to do with her. Separate rooms make them more distant. He has his life and friends. Then the stalker steps from the darkness, and John has to deal with a different kind of loss.

collisioncoursekindle

Collision Course (available now on Amazon.com!)
5.0 out of 5 stars  “Read this Thrill ride and be swept away into action, bloodshed and intesnsity”

Wylderness: A powerful, mysterious corporation with the desire to play God. Gerald: An unpredictable sociopath they thought they could keep chained, but who, by his very nature, is uncontrollable. Gwen: a dishonored cop craving redemption, beholden to the company for her recovery.

Gwen and Gerald are polar opposites. He’s Welsh, built like a Rugby player and wired like a lunatic. His interests? Fast cars, dirty hookers and sharp knives. She’s the all-American golden girl who loves hiking, educational TV and the perfect cup of coffee, but has fallen head-first into a bottle of vodka.

When Gwen’s drinking becomes an addiction, she makes a fatal mistake at work, costing innocent lives as well as her career. At the same time, Gerald has lost the ability and the desire to maintain any façade of obedience to his employer.

Be forewarned, Gerald’s exploits are not for the faint of heart, or stomach; even Gwen’s courage has its limits. If you’re ready for a barely controlled, action and horror-filled apocalyptic joyride, buckle up. You’re on a Collision Course. It’s not going to end well.

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Granville (available now on Amazon.com!)
5.0 out of 5 stars  “A worthy read filled with absolute horror and revenge on a level rarely read.”

Stanley is a typical high school student trying to find his way through the hierarchy of study and popularity. Nobody wants to spend time with him and even his crush turned him down nine times. He spends most of his time alone in the house, cursing his mother and blaming her for driving his father away. He has a preoccupation with all things horror and his love goes beyond just watching the movies; he wants to be the star of the show.

Making masks started as a hobby that soon becomes a practiced ritual and finally, when he has the right mask and slips it on over his head, he realizes that he is transformed. He is no longer Stanley but Granville, a masked warrior who intends to get payback for all the wrongs done to him and he will hold no punches.

The town is on lock down, the people terrified of this hideous killer, all the while he waits and plans his final masterpiece before taking off.

 

strigoi

Strigoi: The First Family (available March 30th)

Not all monsters are made. Some are born. And sometimes, history gets it wrong. A freelance writer is invited to an elderly man’s home to witness his telling of the family history to his sons. The patriarch’s reason for requesting a stranger into his home as he shares his tale is a simple one. He wants the young man to write the true history of Family Dracul, to trace the lineage back to the very first member of a family cursed. But, the old man has another agenda. He wants to warn humanity; what happened in the past was nothing compared to what is to come.

“The vampire legends died soon after [Elizabeth] Bathory’s demise only to reemerge in the early 1970s with book after book and movie after movie. If only those stupid humans knew the truth.”

 

 

strychnine

Strychnine (available March 30th)

What if the Zombie Apocalypse was man made, but not the way we think? It wasn’t some virus that started with patient zero resulting in an accidental outbreak. It is true, it was a bio-weapon that when released failed to accomplish what scientists created it to do, and it had an unintended side effect.

And, what if werewolves really did exist, but they haven’t been our enemy for years until one ruthless man bent on domination is turned?

Strychnine is the story of two brothers torn apart by an experiment forcing them fight against one another. It is also the name of a metal band made up of another set of brothers and their girlfriends.

Life for Thorne, his girlfriend, Blaze; his brother, Seminole; and Seminole’s girlfriend, Spaz, is about to be flipped on end as they find out zombies are real, werewolves have always been real, and certain werewolves are mankind’s saviors and its enemies at the same time. After being bitten by a werewolf fighting for mankind’s survival, Thorne unwittingly creates his own small pack to continue the fight over the worst kind of terrorist, one with large fangs and claws.

“Many years ago the Lycans roamed the earth. When they were discovered by your government, a deal was made.”


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Hell’s Guardian Chronicles (available March 23rd)
Zyra Falls, is a latent vampire known as a Stregoni Benefici, who is struggling to survive after. The Red system attacked her again. She has to learn to become a Hunter as well as learning to control her psychic powers. Will Queen Velika take her revenge out on Zyra and the innocent Lugat? Or will Zyra do what she has to save them from her grasp?

 


 

Wanna know more? Come visit us on Stitched Smile Publications Facebook. Release Parties, Swag, New Releases, Author Interviews, and more!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zombiepalooza Radio Live Presents: Bram Stoker Nominees 2015

Zombiepalooza Radio Live Presents: A Night with a few of the 2015 Bram Stoker Award Nominees
2-26-16 Starting at 8 pm EST
Your not gonna want to miss this set your clocks, and mark your calender’s
1. 8:-9 pm EST
JG Faherty for “The Cure” (Samhain Publishing)
IN: Superior Achievement in a Novel
http://tinyurl.com/z277x3g
2.9-10 pm EST
Patrick Freivald for “Black Tide” (JournalStone Publishing)
IN: Superior Achievement in a Novel
http://tinyurl.com/gptl2k4
3.10-11 pm EST
Mercedes Murdock Yardley for “Little Dead Red ” (Grimm Mistresses) (Ragnarok Publications)
IN: Superior Achievement in Long Fiction
http://tinyurl.com/grtvejd
4. 11-12 pm EST
Nicole Cushing for “Mr. Suicide” (Word Horde)
IN: Superior Achievement in a First Novel
http://tinyurl.com/z5fcv5
&
Nicole Cushing for “The Mirrors” (Cycatrix Press)
IN: Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection
http://tinyurl.com/znsyrxk
5. 12-1 am EST
John M. Mcllveen for “Hannahwhere” (Crossroad Press)
IN: Superior Achievement in a First Novel
http://tinyurl.com/hcdhknf
Listen Live on YOUTUBE: http://tinyurl.com/lgmnndo
or
Live on Google+: http://tinyurl.com/zt2hcof
To be continued…
Type a message…

Granville, A Q&A with David Owain Hughes and Alice J. Black

In the short time Stitched Smile Publications has been around, they have put out three separate works of fiction. One of those was released on February 17th. It is by David Owain Hughes and Alice J. Black. The novella is titled, Granville. Here is the synopsis for the book:

Stanley is a typical high school student trying to find his way through the hierarchy of study and popularity. Nobody wants to spend time with him and even his crush turned him down nine times. He spends most of his time alone in the house, cursing his mother and blaming her for driving his father away. He has a preoccupation with all things horror and his love goes beyond just watching the movies; he wants to be the star of the show.

Making masks started as a hobby that soon becomes a practiced ritual and finally, when he has the right mask and slips it on over his head, he realizes that he is transformed. He is no longer Stanley but Granville, a masked warrior who intends to get payback for all the wrongs done to him and he will hold no punches.

The town is on lock down, the people terrified of this hideous killer, all the while he waits and plans his final masterpiece before taking off.

On the day of the release, SSP threw an online Release Party. I was only able to attend the last half of the event, but in that time, I got to know Alice and David and we talked a little about Granville.

(Side Note: Being an online party, there were a few interjections into our conversation.)

AJ: Alice, David, tell me about Granville. I read the description for it, and it sounds right up my alley.

Alice: Stanley is a loner, a young boy who is pushed too far one day and snaps. He takes things into his own hands and as his degradations get worse, so do his masks…

AJ: Let’s talk concepts: David, Alice, where did the concept for this story come from?

David: I think it first started with myself – I had this idea about a hapless teen who wanted to be a serial killer. I was looking to co-write a second project with Alice.

AJ: So, then you two have worked together before?

David: Yes, this is actually our second novella.

Alice: Yeah we wrote a novella length creature feature…#

David: The first is currently in the hands of a publisher, but we can’t release details.

AJ: Nice. Tell me about Stanley?

David: He’s your typical horror geek, who has a crush on a girl at school he can’t get.

AJ: Is he somewhat of an outcast?

David: Oh, very much so. He’s pretty much tortured by his peers. He’s a ghost to the tutors. Faceless, nameless.

AJ: Bullied?

David: Yes, mentally and physically.

AJ: So, he is essentially there, but no one likes him or takes the time to get to know him? They just kind of push him around.

David: Yes, spot on. Nobody cares about Stanley – he’s a punch bag.

AJ: That’s sad.

AJ: So, Granville. That is WHO he becomes, correct?

David: Yes, that’s right.

Jennifer H: I read it and it was an excellent book. Very twisted and dark. Twists and turns you wouldn’t expect

AJ: If David had anything to do with it, I know it is dark and probably somewhat disturbing.

Jennifer H: Have you read any of his others and which ones?

AJ: I’ve read some of David’s work. Not a ton, but enough to know that his mind is a bit dark.

Jennifer H: Great I will have to look up his stuff.

AJ: Alice, when you two sat to write this, did you write one part and David write another one and you mashed it together in the end? How did the collaboration of this story go?

Alice: When we wrote, we wrote a section each, maybe 1-2k words and then emailed it across and the next person started from there until we hashed it all out. We did the same with editing.

AJ: Very nice. A true collaboration. Did either of you, at any point, not like something the other one had written and discuss it with each other to make sure it came out right?

Alice: I have to be honest and say no. It all flowed so well. We obviously changed a few bits during editing but that’s natural.

AJ: At any point during the writing of Granville, did either of you say, eh, maybe we should scale back on this scene? And did you scale back if that were the case?

Alice: I don’t think that ever came up! If anything it was pouring more on.

David: I always go out guns blazing! I don’t like holding anything back.

AJ: David, I expect nothing less from you.

David: Have you picked up something of mine prior to this?

AJ: David, I’ve read a few of your pieces online. Something for Horror Geeks I think was the last thing I read.

David: Cool. I’ve written a lot of dark, twisted stuff. I can’t get enough of it!

AJ: You also have a book with BWP, right?

David: Two, one novel and one collection of short stories.

AJ: Very nice

AJ: Of the two of you, which do you think has the darker side?

Alice: Um I think it’s hard to say. We both have dark sides. I think David is a little more explicit with his while I tend to stay a little more somber but in our own ways, we’re both very dark.

David: I think our difference in dark styles very much suit our co-writing team.

AJ: David, in what way? That intrigues me.

David: One will do something different to the other – subtly and brute force mix well.

Alice: I found I learned a lot from David. I often shy away from the more explicit side of horror, and working with him made me consider why and branch out in my own writing.

David: Alice, that’s nice of you to say.

AJ: So playing off of each other’s strengths also strengthened your own styles?

David: Oh, definitely.

AJ: Then your styles fit well together. That is good to hear. I have only done a couple of collaborations, and it has been a LONG time since I did my last one, but I loved trying to fit our styles together.

David: Alice and I get on so well – she’s like my little sister.

AJ: I’m jealous. I don’t have a writing partner like that.

David: I’m lucky in that respect. I think she only keeps me around for the laughs.

AJ: Most women keep men around for the laughs. They don’t need us.

Alice: That’s not true!

David: Which part?

Alice: We don’t just keep men around for the laughs.

AJ: You mean there are other reasons? I need to talk to my wife about this.

Alice: Haha. Maybe you should.

AJ: Alice, I think you and I are going to get along quite well.

Alice: Me too!

AJ: I know when I finish a particularly good story, I want to celebrate. When you finished Granville, did you smoke a cigarette or drink a beer?

Alice: I’m not sure I did! I was very excited about it but it wasn’t until we were accepted for publication that I really celebrated.

AJ: Tell me about the process of getting Granville published.

Alice: David could probably tell you more because he did a lot of leg work on this one

David: It was luck, I guess. I’d done some work for Lisa Vasquez and saw she was taking submissions.

AJ: So you subbed and she accepted, eh?

David: Yeah, she knew of me and my work.

AJ: Alice, tell me a little about YOU?

Alice: Um…I write mostly horror but I like to write other stuff to. I have a novel out which is a YA supernatural. That one is my baby! But I’ve got a lot of shorts out in anthologies and a novel series in the works

AJ: Tell me about the novel, if you don’t mind.

Alice: The novel is called The Doors. It’s about a young girl called Amanda who is made to move down the country when her dad gets a new job. They move into Godfrey Hall but from the get go, she doesn’t like it. There are a set of mosaic doors in the dining room that she can’t stop staring at and whenever her parents are out, the little man in the mosaic seems to move. Amanda has to figure out the mystery of the mosaic doors before it drives her insane.

AJ: Alice, you said YA? What is the age range?

Alice: I suppose for anyone who likes reading YA. I like YA but I know that some adults don’t so probably around 16-20

AJ: My daughter is almost 15. Would it be appropriate for her?

Alice: I would think so. There’s a little romance but it’s nothing heavy, more of an attraction really. Other than that it’s more than suitable. It’s available on kindle. Would you like the link?

AJ: Well, yes, I would.

Alice: The Doors on Amazon

Donelle: I think you will like this book.

AJ: I plan on getting it, Donelle. I like David’s work and Alice seems like my type of person.

Donelle: I am about halfway through.

AJ: Nice.

AJ: Is there anything else, Alice and David would like to say before I let you all go. I know it is late (or very early) where they are at.

Alice: Not that I can think of, except thank you for your support!

AJ: No problem.

If you would like to find out more about David and Alice, follow these links:

Alice J Black (Blog)

The Doors Facebook Page

Alice J Black Amazon Author Page

Granville

@DOHUGHES32

David Owain Hughes, Horror Writer (Website)

David Owain Hughes Amazon Author Page

David Owain Hughes Facebook Author Page

Zombiepalooza Radio Live Presents Authors On FIRE

Some great press for Stitched Smile Publications and its Founder/CEO Lisa Vasquez

Zombiepalooza Radio Live Presents 2-12-16
The Business Of Being An Author

8:00-9:00 pm EST Author Ed Cardillo
AUTHOR Page: http://tinyurl.com/hf3rsxr

9:00-10 pm EST Author & CEO Lisa Vasquez
AUTHOR Page: http://tinyurl.com/zhhzfdj
CEO Page: http://www.stitchedsmilepublications.com/

10:00-11 pm EST Author Nick Cole
AUTHOR Page: http://tinyurl.com/hhlwq3y

11:00-12 am EST Author Deno Sandz
AUTHOR Page: http://tinyurl.com/h2qng9o

12-1 am EST Author Forbes West
AUTHOR Page: http://tinyurl.com/hn8begs

LISTEN LIVE or on DEMAND
Zombiepalooza Radio LIVE http://tinyurl.com/lgmnndoProfile_Picture

Putting Your Best Face Forward

12669191_10208529163207659_937273983_oWhy is it important to put your best face forward as an author?

The image you choose will follow you for a long while. Making sure it is done properly to signify you as an author/genre specific will help you relate to your potential audience.

Things to be aware of that distract from a great author shot:

  • Desks cluttered with knick-knacks, stacks of paper, file folders
  • Busy, boldly-patterned clothing
  • Wrinkled sheets hung up as a backdrop
  • Bad lighting, harsh flash
  • Standing head-on, shoulders back, against a plain white wall, unless you’re going for a mug shot look
  • Improper background settings.

What should you do to prepare for a great quality author shoot?

Wear something you love. This is really important for anyone having a portrait done. You may think it is less-so for authors, as generally, pictures of authors in books tend to be headshots, and so who cares what you wear, right? Wrong. Having your photo taken is a somewhat unnatural and potentially daunting situation, often involving posing. Most people (including me!) don’t like getting it done. Anything you can do to make yourself feel more relaxed and at home (especially if you’re out on location with others around) is great. If you feel relaxed and good in what you’re wearing, it will show on your face. I also always recommend people bring a couple of clothing options, so we can have a play and see what works best – and if you’re working with me, stay away from busy patterns in clothing, they just distract from your face.

  1. Take multiple outfits with you so you have options.
  2. Plan for multiple locations, or backgrounds.
  3. Pay for the session rather than per photograph. It’s more up front, but better in the long term.
  4. Make sure that you negotiate the right to reproduce the photos so you don’t need to keep coming back to get permission every time you have a new book. Studios that cater to actors are used to this.
  5. Wear make-up. Yes, you too, gentlemen. It doesn’t have to be visible makeup, but it will help your features pop. In person, the animation of your face is enough, but a photograph is a static image.

Work somewhere with the photographer that has some special significance for what you like to write about – for example, if your books feature famous landmarks, discuss incorporating recognizable features into the background of your headshot. You do not want an overly busy background, but it is still nice to get a suggestion of place in any shot – it makes it instantly more interesting. In addition to the interest in your shot, it will get you in the mood for being photographed as an author, and remind you of why you are doing the shoot! I suggest chatting with the photographer about possible locations, and seeing what suggestions they have in response to information you give them about your work.

Once you have the photos

  1. Narrow it down to no more than a dozen that you like.
  2. Get second opinions before you make your choice.
  3. Ask your editor, agent, and the marketing department at your publisher for their opinion. This is a selling tool, remember.
  4.  Look at your photos and ask yourself, “Would I want to read a book written by this person?”

So you see there are multiple steps when working to place your best face forward in the author world.  The staff at Stitched Smile Publications will not only create the best looking book for you, but will also walk you through what it takes to put your best face forward.

 

 

 

 

The Art of the Pull (Client Building)

The Art of the Pull

Social media, when it first came to be, was the place to push a creatives work. Get it to the masses quickly, and efficiently. However, as with all things, the approach to new clients changes with the times. Sites like Facebook are taking the ability to get information regarding our works away to the point where they are forcing creatives to pay in order to get their message out. If you have tried this technique you know it is a waste of time and money.

So what is a creative to do?

It’s all in the approach.  From the very first minute you or your works are seen by a potential fan or buyer there must be an air of approach-ability.

Does your cover art have curb appeal?

Do you have an inviting creative photo of yourself?

Do you conduct interviews or are you being interviewed?

Do you have experience being on a panel of experts in your creative field?

Are you engaging your fan on social media/website within your creative field?

Are you in multiple venues to get the best coverage and reach for your creative work?

When you are engaging with your social media base its important to not just say, “Buy my book!”  One of the quickest ways to be ignored and/or deleted is to sound desperate.  One of the ways you can become more engaged in your potential base is to find sites that are interesting to you, move the work around that you have just created, and allow for conversations.

Yes, that very thing that many have forgotten how to do. Some things to think on:

Is your work thematic?

Does it have a strong genre base, and sites where potential buyers are already engaging?

Talk about things that are important to you as the creative.

Have you found something that makes creating easier for you?

Are there techniques which you have come across? Did you find it to be useful to others?

Being supportive of others creative works also shows that you are confident in your own work.

Do you know people who have their own radio show, blog site, book club, coffee house or business that may be Indie friendly?

Do you have business cards, or a virtual card where those with smart phones can simply click on it and find your internet presence?

When you are out and about do you seek out opportunities to chat with those who show an interest in things you like, too?

All of the above are potential openings to talk about what you love to do without sounding pushy. When you start to build a comfortable presence either on-line or in public settings you then open more doors to show them how you create. This is the Art of the Pull instead of the push.

You’re an entrepreneur. You have a brand to build, and works to sell.  No matter if you go at it alone in the publishing industry, or if you choose a publishing house, you still need to make sure you have the very best online presence. This is your chance to share how much you love to create and why you believe what you have produced is worth attention.

Stitched Smile Publications knows its difficult to get the message out, alone.  We are part of a new movement to aid each one of our authors to become the very best creative possible.  We will assess where you are currently, provide a great media plan, and amp up your accessibility to potential fans and buyers.