I’m very gratified that someone voted for my novel, “Tell a Thousand Lies” in the Opening Round of the 2012 #GoodreadsChoice Awards, then tweeted about it! Here’s the link: Click herefor the link, if you liked it enough to vote for it.
BLURB: Recai Osman: Muslim, philosopher, billionaire and Superhero?
Controversial and daring, Shadow on the Wall details the transformation of Recai Osman from complicated man to Superhero. Forced to witness the cruelty of the Morality Police in his home city of Elih, Turkey, Recai is called upon by the power of the desert to be the vehicle of change. Does he have the strength to answer Allah’s call or will his dark past and self doubt stand in his way?
Pulling on his faith in Allah, the friendship of a Jewish father-figure and a deeply held belief that his people deserve better, Recai Osman must become The SandStorm.
In the tradition of books by Margaret Atwood and Salman Rushdie, Shadow on the Wall tackles issues of religion, gender, corruption and the basic human condition. Beautiful and challenging, this is not a book to miss.
A man. A voice. Darkness tangled her thoughts with fear and childhood warnings.
Sabiha, you shouldn’t be walking alone, she’d heard it say.
Stupidity had made her rash; selfish concerns about her brother caused her to make the worst possible mistake—the kind of mistake that would make her wish she had died, if by any chance she managed to survive.
The low voice knew her name, knew her family name—it had come specifically for her.
She ignored its call, quickening her pace. A laugh broke out in the night, mocking her fear. Suddenly the owner of the voice grabbed her, turning her around to face him.
Refusing to meet the voice’s gaze, Sabiha fixed her eyes forward. Her gaze came to rest on his arm where she saw the outline of a tattoo, dark and menacing. A snake’s tail circled his bicep and disappeared behind his back, only to reveal itself on the other side of his neck with two onyx eyes staring at her, unblinking.
My blog is all ages: http://www,fightingmonkeypress.com
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My Fan Page needs your likes: https://www.facebook.com/#!/FMPress
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TRAILER FOR THIS BOOK: http://youtu.be/MeWoIv5osNc
Here are links to my books:
Two Moons of Sera: http://www.amazon.com/Two-Moons-of-Sera-ebook/dp/B005U81SCQ/ref=pd_rhf_cr_p_t_1
Shadow on the Wall (The SandStorm Chronicles #1): http://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Wall-SandStorm-Chronicles-1/dp/0983876908/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1326905139&sr=8-3
Consumed by Love (novella): http://www.amazon.com/Consumed-by-Love-ebook/dp/B004PYDQBC/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1
One randomly drawn host will win a $50 Amazon GC.
A lot of bloggers have been amazing kind to me by listing my book on their website. I’d like to return the favor, so I’m providing space on my page of authors to list their own books. Extra visibility can only help, right? Please follow the format on the page.
HOW TO WRITE A NOVEL BASED ON A TRUE STORY
Harlow Coban, Author of Life in Death
My story isn’t a warm and fuzzy one.
My father was murdered when I was 12 years of age.
A few years ago, at my uncle’s urging, I looked into what happened to him. The police had suspects, but no one was ever arrested and the case remains unsolved.
I learned a lot about police procedure when I looked into my father’s murder. It was then that I decided to write a novel.
While my murder mystery novella, Life in Death, is not entirely based on what happened to my father, it draws from real life experiences I had with him.
Writing the novel was a cathartic experience for me. What I liked most, and found particularly cleansing, about the experience was my power to spin the story as I saw fit.
We all love, hate, laugh, cry, and everything in between, so we’re never at a loss for stories to tell.
Here’s how you get started writing a novel based on a true story:
- Determine what kind of story you want to write. Talk to family and friends. Look at newspaper articles. I don’t want to be morose, but look at obituaries, too. Take notes. There are stories there.
- Determine the story’s theme: Good/evil, love/hate, birth/death, peace/war, etc. Again, take notes. This may be where the title of your book comes from or maybe not. The title of my book came to me in a dream.
- Construct a compelling plot. I suggest creating a plot outline to start with. I used the “what if” technique to determine what would happen in my chapters. Basically, you ask yourself “what if” this or that happened to your character and expand from there.
- Create dynamic scenes. My advice is something has to happen in “every” chapter or scene.
- Create multi-dimensional characters. Many writers, including yours truly, base their characters on real people and then add nuances to create more complexity and depth. This is one way to go.
- Read, read, read. The more you read, the better writer you’ll become.
- Lastly, start writing. “Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland.
Truth can be stranger than fiction, but maybe not as entertaining. The key to writing a novel based on a true story is in how you spin the story to make it enjoyable for readers.
Life in Death
by Harlow Coban
Blurb: When a girl that social worker Kari Marchant places in foster care is brutally murdered, she’s compelled to learn why. Her quest for the truth pits her against friends and coworkers. As Kari works to solve the horrific plot, more people die. She’s been targeted for death and she doesn’t even know it. How far should she go to learn the truth—even if it threatens her life?
When homicide detective Rance Nicolet meets Kari, his attraction to her is powerful—and the feeling is mutual. But things between them go terribly wrong when Kari’s old lover is found murdered with a letter from her in his pocket. The evidence against Kari is damning. Rance’s personal and professional lives collide. Does he blindly believe the woman he’s falling in love with or follow the evidence no matter where it leads?
“Frost. Call on line one.” The voice boomed overhead and interrupted Scott Frost mid-climb. He jumped off his truck, pushed up the sleeves on his dingy green work shirt and walked to the phone mounted on the wall, his face a scowl of irritation
He grabbed the receiver. “Hello.”
“They found Patience,” his wife, Andrea, whispered.
Mammoth garbage trucks rumbled and shook the walls as they rolled out into the street for the day’s work, their giant bellies hungry for trash. Scott strained to hear his wife over the noise.
“I told you never to call me here.”
“Do you know what they did to her?” Her voice rose an octave.
“Hold it together.” He clenched his fist and resisted the impulse to smash it through the wall. “She’s the one who ran off.”
“She didn’t deserve that. Nobody deserves that.”
The phone slipped a bit in his sweaty hand. Tolerance had never been one of Scott’s virtues, and what little he did have waned with each whiny word his wife uttered. “It’ll all be over soon, you know that.”
“They won’t let us out
He gnashed his teeth together until the noise in his head drowned out the roar of garbage trucks. The pumping of his heart escalated and Scott imagined he could feel his blood pressure rising.
“Damn it, Andrea, take a valium. These people are dangerous. They’ll kill us if we flake out.”
It’s interesting that people equate buying books with authors or publishing houses advertising them, but bookstores don’t sell.
Bookstores entice. Even online stores such as Amazon or Barnes and Noble Give us spaces to relax in and browse. They help us feel comfortable. Allow us to look around the shelves. Let us search for what interests us. They don’t wave books in our face and say, “Buy this book!” Yet, for some reason, Indie author book promotion seems to mean hawking our books like a peddler on the old prairie, begging for the mama on the farm to buy his newest gadgets.
A book store uses color and soothing environment to relax customers into remaining longer and looking at more and more. They know the longer a person remains in their store, the better chance they will buy something. Beyond that, if they stay even longer, they will likely buy more than one thing. But an Indie author promoting books seems to be expected to shout about their books in every forum, on every media outlet, with everyone they meet, and everywhere they go.
A bookstore is organized in such a way that popular books are easier to find than unpopular ones. Of course unknown books never make it to real bookshelves. An Indie author, though, is often expected to act as though their book is already a bestseller, even though no one has heard of it.
I suspect that, in this day and age, as we see a marked shift from paper to ebook, and from NYT bestseller list to Amazon top rank, the demand on authors to promote will only increase. The rise in ebooks will create masses of books, with easier accessibility than ever before. This naturally translates to more competition, or does it?
One of the benefits of being an Indie writer is the absolute lack of expense to write and publish a book. Aside from the normal expenses print authors spend on computers and coffee (or tea, or maybe beer and wine), Indie books can be written and published for next to nothing. The book can then be sold for significantly less than a print book, resulting in higher per-book royalties for the author, and pure profit for the digital store. Because of this, the Indie author generally has access to forums, discussion boards, and various social media that is offered by the book store itself. Amazon has hundreds, if not thousands of digital boards where members can discuss books, aspects of writing, publishing, and even buying and reviewing.
What does this have to do with promotion?
Everything. An Indie author does not need to hawk their book to sell it. They just need to make acquaintances. Share good information. Have fun and get to know other writers and readers. Forums, message boards, social media groups…all of these allow for this. A print author can also do this, and should. So instead of hawking a book, we share it. We share other authors’ books. We help other authors with the writing or proofreading process. We write objective reviews. We critique covers. In essence, we make friends. And friends help each other.
Eventually, as we get to know more and more people, writers and readers alike, we will create a snowball effect. People will start talking about us behind our backs (good or bad doesn’t really matter here since people tend to make up their own minds). If our writing is good, and people enjoy it, this will lead to sales.
How long will this take? I really think it’s just a matter of how active we are. No one would even know the name Stephen King, or Danielle Steele if people hadn’t started talking to each other about them. Since the old days of giant publisher advertising budgets and advances (that can be used to promote) are pretty much behind us, we need to get people talking about us. That means talking to other people.
Start in a few Facebook groups. Book Junkies and Indie Writers Unite are my two favorite writers groups. There are many others. Get on Twitter and share good info about books. The more you tweet, the more followers you’ll get. These people will start talking about you to others. Join forums and become part of the discussion. Review books and encourage discussions about the books and feedback on your reviews.
The more we step out and get to know people, the more people will get to know us. The end result is going to lead to more book sales and even better quality in our writing. People who talk about us will also often talk to us, and we should listen if more than a few say the same thing.
Look at your book marketing strategy as a meet and greet, as opposed to a full-time ad, This will be more effective in the long run, and a lot more fun.
David Cleinman is a writer, reviewer, and blogger who lives in Central Florida at present. A strong supporter of Indie writing and publishing, he reviews Indie books, offers interviews and guest posts to fellow Indie writers, and has published three Indie books and an Indie short story. Find out more about David and his fellow Indie writers on his blog at: http://www.davidcleinman.com/writings
If you’ve published a book between 1 July 2010 and 30 June 2011, you may submit your work (fiction/non-fiction) to The CAL Waverley Library Award for Literature. The prize is a whopping Aus $20,000!
Click here for details.