Saturday, May 30, 2009

Web Site Content

While I'm searching for a good place to call home on the Internet, I'm also looking to see what I might want to publish on my web site.

Some of the ideas I've been considering are:

1. A biography. It looks as though most authors include information about themselves. Some use a chatty approach, while others have a more professional take on it. Still, it does seem to be a way for your readers to get to know more about you.

2. Awards. Any awards which might have been earned including contest entries, etc.

3. List of your books. This is, of course, the most important for a novelist. What books have you written? Where can they be purchased? What can you tell your readers about those books.

4. A list of articles. This seems to vary according to the type of writing an author does. Since many of my articles are writing related, this might be a good tool for me and something people might come back to read. These could be excerpts or links to other sites where the work is still posted.

5. A list of short stories. Again, this could be links or excerpts.

6. Photos - people seem to like color on the web pages. Including author photos and cover art for books is always a good idea.

7. A blog. Rather than maintaining two blogs, apparently there is a way to link an existing blog to a new site.

8. Links - A lot of authors include links to other web pages. Depending on the type of writing you do, you might want to link to pages about the middle ages, or paranormal events.

9. References - People stopping by the web site might appreciate knowing what's on an author's book shelf. What reference books do you use or links to sites like the Chicago Manual of Style or other grammar sites.

10. Book reviews - If you like some of the reference books you use, it might be good to include some reviews of these books.

Tabs to take a reader through the web site would obviously be useful. Are all of the above necessary? Probably not. I still need to check out some more sites to see what I like and what I don't. It also might be useful to see if there are classes available for building a web site.

Let me know if you have any ideas.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Free and Low Cost Websites

I've been writing seriously since 1993, yet I don't have an author's website. I often tell myself this is something I should do, yet I keep putting it off. While I do have one published book, it seems like a lot of work to create a website to market only one book. Most of my work has been short stories and non-fiction articles for magazines. Is this really something that needs to be on a web site?

Recently, on one of the forums I frequent, there was quite a bit of discussion about creating an author website. The consensus is that it is important. It also appears that most people believe it is better to go with a paid domain name rather than one of the freebies which are available. Godaddy (https://www.godaddy.com/)seems to be the one most people prefer. They have several plans, one of which is quite reasonable. Still, if I'm not bringing in consistently large sums of money, I'm not sure I want to pay for my website - at least not yet.

Some of the free domain and web sites which have been mentioned as being around for awhile and reliable are Yola, Weebly and Tripod. Of course, there is the sad state of Geocities which many people have used for a number of years. They recently informed their users that they will be going out of business. So how long will Yola, Weebly and Tripod be around?

Tripod apparently (http://www.tripod.lycos.com/)has ads as part of their free service. It has been said that the presence of ads makes your site look unprofessional, yet many writers do use it and like it. I'm looking into Yola (http://www.yola.com/) and Weebly (http://www.weebly.com/)both of which offer free subdomains, and I've been told they do not have a lot of ads. One problem with these two sites seems to be the lack of templates. Still, if someone is technologically challenged, as I am, maybe less is better.

Once I decide I have the time to devote to this exercise of creating a website, I still need to determine what should be put on it. Just as I would check out a magazine before submitting, I will need to look at some other writers' websites to see what they have done with their material. I've seen some sites which are interactive, lively, and packed with information. I've also seem some which are boring and lifeless.

What are you using? How do you feel about the importance of building a website? Let me know. I'd love to hear from you.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Blog Tour

Like many writers, I recently made the decision to promote my book through a blog tour. I have no idea yet how successful this will be, but I'm hoping to get exposure and possibly sell a few more copies of my middle grade novel, Ghost for Rent.

So far, I've been interviewed by Katie Hines at http://katiehines.blogspot.com/ and Joyce Adair at http://writingthedanger.com and Joyce Anthony at http://joyce-anthony.blogspot.com/ If you get a chance, stop by and read what they and I have to say.

Coming up soon will be reviews and interviews by Chris Speakman, Barbara Ehrentreu, Jan Verhoeff, Deb Hockeberry, Jo Linsdell, Beverly McClure, Nancy Sharpe, Lizette Brody and Carol Amato.

As you know, I've hosted a few writers here on One Writer's Journey. I know how difficult it can be to come up with unique questions to ask. There seem to be limited questions when so many people are reading and reviewing the same material. I am grateful to those people who have volunteered their time to support me in this project.

If you have a blog, do consider helping out your fellow writers by offering to review their works. In turn, they may do the same for you. We need to help each other as much as we can. Don't think of yourself as being in competition with others, think of them as your co-workers.

Here are a few places you can purchase Ghost for Rent:

As a trade paperback:
http://www.hardshell.com/ProductInfo.aspx?productid=0759910057
As an eBook:
http://store.fictionwise.com/servlet/mw?t=book&bi=8656&si=42
http://ebooks.ebookmall.com/ebook/114776-ebook.htm
http://ebookstore.sony.com/ebook/penny-lockwood/ghost-for-rent/_/R-400000000000000123759
http://www.ebooks.com/ebooks/book_display.asp?IID=225738
http://www.diesel-ebooks.com/cgi-bin/item/parent-9780759903371/Ghost-for-Rent-eBook.html
https://secure.ereader.com/servlet/mw?t=book&bi=8656&si=59
http://www.amazon.com/Ghost-for-Rent-ebook/dp/B000FCKHD8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1241740187&sr=1-1

Monday, May 11, 2009

Interview with Christine B







Interview with Christine B.


Christine B. writes about subjects most people don't normally enjoy thinking about, yet ponder, just the same. Presenting a "what if" slant in her poetry, short stories and novels, her works suggest alternative answers to some of life's most intriguing questions, while guiding readers off the beaten path into paranormally "Dangerous Terrain." Christine owns El Dorado Paranormal Investigations. She creates a monthly newsletter, "Paranormal Musings," which delves into paranormal subjects and educates the public that "Paranormal is Normal.” Her novels include: “The Afterlife of Charlotte Browning” (won Best General Fiction and Best Media Package of 2008 from the Northern California Publishers and Authors); “From the Stones-A Colleen Broadhurst Adventure;” and “The Coming 12/21/2012”. She is also working on a non-fiction book about her own paranormal experiences and those of others. Christine can be reached via her web site: http://edparanormal.com, which has been named one of the most informative paranormal sites on the web. Email her at edparanormal@comcast.net.

1. Q: What was it that got you started in investigating the Paranormal?
A: Well, I have to contribute my fraternal grandmother for igniting my interest in the paranormal when I was still a young child. She told me my first ghost stories about how she saw the spirits of her family member who had passed. I started reading everything I could get my hands on about the paranormal from the time I could read.

I also lived in a haunted house in a suburb of Ohio for twelve years when I was first married in the early 70’s. I saw the spirits who shared the house with us every day. I was never frightened of them because I knew they just wanted to let us know they were there, and they were not in the least bit negative.

2. Q: What is the name of your paranormal investigation group?
A: El Dorado Paranormal Investigations out of Placerville, CA. I have a web site that I have created at http://edparanormal.com. My goal is to reach out to as many people I can to teach them that the paranormal is normal. The web site helps with that endeavor. I work with a youth group in an effort to teach them that there is nothing to be frightened of about the paranormal. The kids are great investigators and are generally dedicated to the work.

I also work with other paranormal groups in my area. I enjoy working with as many paranormal groups as I can because they all have their own techniques. We are all working toward the same goal—to find some answers to the unexplained.

3. Q: Tell us about the novels and short stories you’ve written about the paranormal.
A: I started my first novel, “The Afterlife of Charlotte Browning” while I was living in the haunted house. I realized after I had written several chapters that I needed to live a bit longer before I could finish it. So I kept reading about the paranormal—mostly books written by Dr. Hans Holzer, the famous paranormal investigator of the time period. Dr. Holzer was my inspiration to become a paranormal investigator.

In 1992 I took up the manuscript again and finished it within four months. I started my second book, “The Coming ~ 12/21/2012” right afterwards and finished that 500 page novel within six months. I started my third novel, “From the Stones” right after that and finished it within 3 months. I was working full time at the time, and wrote on weekends and in the evenings.

I’ve written my paranormally based short stories since then. I began writing poetry when I was still in high school. I have always written something… it’s what I do.

Paranormal Musings Newsletter is my monthly publication that I send out to hundreds of people all over the world who are interested in the paranormal. Through this venue I am able to write articles about various aspects of the paranormal and the unexplained and share my research with my readers. I also publish True Paranormal Experiences articles in the newsletter written by others who have sent me their stories. The newsletter is free to anyone who is interested in reading it. All anyone has to do is to send their email address to my email address: edparanormal@comcast.net and I add them to my email mailing list. I send out my newsletter via email at the end of every month.

I’m presently working on a non-fiction book about the paranormal, as well.

4. Q: Are any of your works published?
A: “The Afterlife of Charlotte Browning” and “From the Stones” are both available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.com. “The Coming ~ 12/21/2012” my short stories, paranormal articles and many of my poems are published on HubPages and are available free to anyone who visits the site. http://hubpages.com/profile/Christine+B.


5. Q: Have you won any awards for your work?
A: In 2008 the Northern California Publishers and Authors association in Sacramento awarded “The Afterlife of Charlotte Browning” with their “Best General Fiction” and “Best Media Package” awards. I was thrilled that they appreciated the book.

Christine, thanks for stopping by and sharing your ideas and information about your books and writing.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Interview with Kristie Lee Maguire, author No Lady and Her Tramp




Interview with Kristie Lee Maguire, author No Lady and Her Tramp



I'd like to welcome Kristie Leigh Mcguire today. She's agreed to answer some questions about her book, No Lady and Her Tramp, and her writing. She has also kindly offered a free autographed print copy of No Lady and her Tramp to one of my readers. Just leave a comment and your email address, and Kristie will randomly choose someone. She will contact that person by email and arrange to send the book.

1. Kristie, why and when did you start writing?

While living in Japan in 1997, I found it very difficult to find books to read that were written in English. This situation was intolerable to me. I am an avid reader and have been known to resort to reading cereal boxes if nothing else was available. Have you ever tried to read a cereal box written in Japanese? It was not a pretty picture. I began writing my own books just to have something to read. Since the romance genre was what I loved to read, that is what I decided to write.

2. Tell us about your writing process - especially as it pertains to
working with a co-author.

Writing with a co-author was a very unique experience for me, totally different than writing on my own. It was a very enjoyable process for both Mark and me. We did not outline the story. We played it by ear the whole way through the manuscript. I would write a chapter and send it to him as an email attachment. He would “feed off” what I had written and write his own chapter, then send it back to me. We repeated this process for the entire manuscript. No Lady and Her Tramp went in directions that neither of us would have ever ventured on our own as a writer. We sparked each other’s imagination.


3. Where did you and Mark meet and how did you decide to write this
book together?

Mark and I have never met in reality. We only know each other in the virtual world. We both belong to the same writers’ group, NUW (Not the Usual Way), which I founded in 2001 for independent authors. The members at NUW were discussing the possibilities of writing with a co-author and who of the group would they like to write with if they could do so. Mark and I decided that we would be a good author team. I write romance. He writes action/adventure. No Lady and Her Tramp is the results of the combination of our individual talents and genres as writers. As they say, “The rest is history.”

3. How did you come up with the idea of writing about life in a trailer
park?

One of the members of NUW, author Janet Elaine Smith, said she lived in a trailer park and started telling the rest of us about some of the happenings of her neighbors in the park. Mark and I picked up on her remarks and decided to pattern our story about the wild antics of people who lived in President Park Trailer Court in Grapevine, Kentucky. We even named our trailer park President Park after the trailer park where Janet lived. Janet is actually the person who gave the title of No Lady and Her Tramp to our book.

4. Tell us about any message in the book or why you felt you needed to
write this particular story.

No Lady and Her Tramp is an adult romantic comedy. There is no deep underlying message in this book unless it would be, “Don’t get mad! Get even.” No Lady was written for fun, as fun. It was written to make people laugh.

5. You have written in your bio that you are "from the south." How did
you research the setting for your book?

I am from the South; born in Mississippi, raised in Louisiana, and called Alabama home for many years. Can’t get more Southern that that! Hasn’t everyone heard the cliché about the South being one big trailer park? Not so but I didn’t have to go very far to do research on trailer parks.

6. What motivates you?

Deadlines. I work better under pressure.

7. How can people purchase your book?

No Lady and Her Tramp is no longer available in paperback edition but it is available as an e-book at Fictionwise (http://www.fictionwise.com/ebooks/eBook82207.htm) where it is currently listed at a 50% discount and as a Kindle version at Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/No-Lady-and-Her-Tramp/dp/B001R4CPFG/ref=sr_oe_4_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1241311709&sr=1-4) where it is currently listed at a 20% discount.
The purchase link for my other books, Affairs of the Heart, Desert Heat, Cabin Fever, and Emails from the Edge (The Life of an Expatriate Wife) can be found at http://www.kristieleighmaguire.com/Books.html.


8. Do you have any web sites where people can learn more about you?

My website is http://kristieleighmaguire.com.

My Public Profile Page at Facebook is http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kristie-Leigh-Maguire/62709471714?ref=s.


9. What are your plans for the future?

I am currently working on Ring of Fire under my pen name of Kristie Leigh Maguire and The Daughter of a Preacher Man, and What’s Love Got to Do With It? under my real name of Margie K. Tovrea.

Other than that, and promoting my current works, I plan on liming on the beach near my home in St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands after I go back down in September.

I would like to take this time to thank you, Penny, for the great review for No Lady and Her Tramp and for doing this interview with me. You’re the best!

Thanks for stopping by and giving my readers a chance to know you and your work.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Review No Lady and Her Tramp



Review Of No Lady and Her Tramp
Kristie Leigh Maguire and Mark Haeuser
Published by Blue Leaf Publications, 2009



Kristie Leigh Maguire and Mark Haeuser have teamed together to write an unusual sensual romantic comedy. Due to language and sex scenes, this book is intended for a mature audience.

No Lady and Her Tramp takes the reader on a dark comedy romp through the lives of trailer park residents Beth Ann Dixon and her husband Billy Ray. Beth Ann is a hair stylist with grand schemes. She knows she can write a best selling novel and by winning the money necessary to buy a computer, she gets to work. Since her marriage has become less than romantic, she turns to the Internet for inspiration. There she finds the great Stefan whose exploits and words inspire her to rekindle her own love for her husband and fuels her creativity. But wait, is Stefan real or just as imaginary as the character Beth Ann creates for herself in the chat room where she meets Stefan?

Billy Ray has gone from the high school athlete to a beer belly loser who spends most of his free time in the Amtrack bar. As Beth Ann dazzles him with her new love making skills, he decides to buff up himself. This results in misadventures with some of the more forward women in town and more than one misunderstanding with Beth Ann.

Meanwhile, gossip columnist, Shirley Snodgrass, seems to always know what's going on in President Park Estates - home to Billy Ray, Beth Ann, and a hilarious cast of characters. How does she know? Does she have someone on the inside feeding her information?

What about Troy Finkmyer? What is he doing in that shed behind his trailer with the lights out? Is there some dark secret hidden in that little building? Beth Ann and arch enemy Shirley team up to find out what Troy is into after he nearly kills his wife, Mary Jo.

Follow the adventures of these quirky characters as the gossip, fights, and sex draw the reader into life in this small southern town. There's always a surprise on the next page to keep the reader interested. If you enjoy steamy romance, be sure to check out No Lady and Her Tramp.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Review of Italian for Tourists by Jo Linsdell-Feliciani



Review of Italian for Tourists
By Jo Linsdell


Are you interested in international travel? Has Italy been a place you've always dreamed of going? Were you afraid you would be lost without knowing the language?

Jo Linsdell has solved the problem for you with a fabulous little book, Italian for Tourists, which is now available in an 88 page format. Easy to carry. Easy to use. The book is conveniently divided into appropriate sections. First you'll find a pronunciation guide. Here Ms. Linsdell gives you three basic rules, followed by an alphabetical list with sounds for each.

A fairly complete listing of emergency phrases follows next. Whether you need a doctor, help with your passport, or your wallet has been stolen, you'll be able to make yourself understood. There are lists for numbers, months, days and seasons. This is followed by common expressions and questions. Ways to introduce yourself and to let your listener know you are learning Italian are included.


Are you planning to go out to a restaurant? Try the section on Food and Drink. What about getting from one place to another? There is a useful section entitled Transportation. This includes words you would need for using a taxi, around an airport, or on board a ship as well as other transportation needs. Phrases and expressions are included for use at your hotel, sightseeing, and getting around the city.

One of the worst parts of travel is getting sick. If you can't communicate your basic needs, you're lost. In this little book, Ms. Linsdell gives you the correct phrases to ask for a doctor, how to tell someone you're in pain, or you have a toothache. There are phrases the doctor may use to tell you how many pills you need or to ask you where you hurt. This section alone is worth the price of this little book.

Are you a shopper? Here you'll find the words necessary to ask for almost anything you may need from a bank to a shoe store. You'll learn how to ask for your size or a specific color. Most importantly, you'll be able to ask if the store accepts your credit card.

Are you confused about signs? Not sure where the exit is? Check your Italian for Tourists, and you won't be lost. You won't be embarrassed. You'll know which is the Ladies' and which is the Gentlemen's room.

Also included with the book is a map of Italy and useful web sites. This is one book travelers to Italy will appreciate. In one compact volume, you'll find useful phrases, important words, and the confidence to travel in a country where you don't speak the language. I know I'll have my copy when I travel to Italy again.