Friday, May 31, 2013

Kathryn Meyer Griffith, Scraps of Paper






The Story of Scraps of Paper
A murder mystery by Kathryn Meyer Griffith


I’ve been writing for over forty-one years and have gone through a lot of frustrating or downright infuriating situations with publishers and editors. Since 1981 I’ve had nine publishers and, at least, all total – including rereleases – twenty-five or more editors.  I’ve suffered 4% royalties, dreadful covers, bad editing and shoddy proof-reading, confusing statements, late royalty payments (or nonexistent ones) and other near-criminal acts committed against me by publishers and editors I’d so naively put my trust in over the years. Now days I like to look back at those occasions, write about them; smile or even laugh over them, though they weren’t so funny when they were happening. This is one of those smiling times…because the conception, writing, publishing and, finally, self-publishing of my murder mystery Scraps of Paper has had such a long vexing journey but has finally ended, for me, happily.
On January 15, 2013 I self-published it, for the first time, as an eBook on Amazon Kindle Direct, after waiting ten long years as it languished beneath a terribly unfair hardcover contract with Avalon Books that had a sell-off limit of 3,500 hard copies. Ten years where they claimed it barely sold (no joke…their asking price was ridiculously high at $26.00) and that it didn’t sell one copy in the last two years of its contract–though the book was on sale everywhere on the Internet. I never received one royalty statement and had to beg in yearly emails to be told how many copies had sold that year. Of course, since the totals never got near the 3,500, they said, I would get no royalty statements. And I never did. Not one. Ever. Last month my book was finally mine again and I was free of that atrocious contract and now, after a revision and commissioning a new stunning cover from my cover artist Dawne Dominique, I’ve released it into the world without the publisher’s shackles to imprison it. Fly little bird, fly!
Originally I wrote it be the first of a series set in this quaint, quirky little town I tongue-in-cheek called Spookie. I mean, most of my books before were horror novels and I was basically considered a horror writer, so the town’s name was a tip-of-the-hat to my horror roots. It’d be my first venture into that genre, which I’d always loved. Sherlock Holmes. Murder She Wrote. Inspector Morse. Miss Marple. I wrote it and then, quickly after, a second in the series All Things Slip Away for Avalon Books. I got a small advance up front for each one.
It was 2002. I’d come out of a lengthy publishing dry spell. My seventh paperback novel, Zebra’s The Calling, a ghost story with an ancient Egyptian theme, had come out in 1994. Then they dumped a lot of us mid-list horror writers, me included, saying horror was dying; and for eight years I couldn’t sell another book. Well, living my life got in the way during some of that time. I’d lost my long-time good-paying graphic artist job in 1994 and had to find another one. The pay was a lot less. No good for my budget or my standard of living, which really fell. I went from one of five bad jobs to another over the next six years…each worse and lower paying than the one before.  Each more demanding. I needed to make money. No longer could I live with pie-in-the-sky literary dreams. I had to face reality. So I stopped writing for a while.



When I finally came up for breath and my head was back on straight again I decided to write something different…a mystery. I’d always loved mysteries.  I began writing Scraps of Paper. About a woman, an artist named Jenny, whose husband has been missing for two years, and who’s just learned he’s been dead all that time–a victim of a gone-wrong mugging. She begins a new life and moves to a small town full of fog, quirky townspeople and mysteries. And right away she’s drawn into one of her own when she buys, renovates, a fixer-upper house and uncovers hidden in it scraps of paper written by two young children who once lived there with their mother, and who supposedly drove away thirty years before and were never seen again. The town thought they simply went somewhere else; began a new life. But Jenny suspects they never left the house; suspects they’d been murdered. Then she finds three graves in the back.
Of course, with her history of a missing husband she develops the overpowering urge to find out what happened to them. The scraps of paper she continues to find makes the bond, the desire, stronger. She forms a friendship with an ex-homicide cop, Frank, and together they try to solve the mystery. Only thing is there’s someone still living in the town that just as desperately doesn’t want them to. Someone who’d kill to keep the murderer’s identity secret.
When done I was proud of it. Thought it was good. I sent it to Avalon Books in New York. They loved it and bought it. I signed the contract, though I didn’t like some of the things in it. But I was desperate. I hadn’t had a book published in so long and, as my mom always said, beggars can’t be choosers.  I sold them the second in the series, hoping it’d help sell the first. They got great reviews. But I came to regret signing both those contracts more as every year went by because I never received one penny more for either book for the next ten years. I know, it sounds impossible. But it happened to me. I’m sure it happened to a lot of their authors. Probably one of the reasons Avalon Books sold themselves lock-stock-and-barrel to Amazon Publishing in June of 2012 and, without their authors’ knowledge or permission, including mine, sold away their authors’ contracts from under them as well.  I guess you live and learn. I was just lucky Scraps of Paper’s contract had run out. I took the book back.
But, all that is in the past, and my rewritten Scraps of Paper-Revised Author’s Edition is now available, on sale for $3.99 (much better than $26.00), at Amazon Kindle here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B1W4A2K   And I hope people will have the chance to read it this time around and like it.

***

About Kathryn Meyer Griffith...
Since childhood I’ve always been an artist and worked as a graphic designer in the corporate world and for newspapers for twenty-three years before I quit to write full time. But I’d already begun writing novels at 21, over forty years ago now, and have had eighteen (ten romantic horror, two romantic SF horror, one romantic suspense, one romantic time travel, one historical romance and three murder mysteries) previous novels, two novellas and twelve short stories published from Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books/Eternal Press and Amazon Kindle Direct.
I’ve been married to Russell for almost thirty-five years; have a son, James, and two grandchildren, Joshua and Caitlyn, and I live in a small quaint town in Illinois called Columbia, which is right across the JB Bridge from St. Louis, Mo. We have three quirky cats, ghost cat Sasha, live cats Cleo and Sasha (Too), and the five of us live happily in an old house in the heart of town. Though I’ve been an artist, and a folk singer in my youth with my brother Jim, writing has always been my greatest passion, my butterfly stage, and I’ll probably write stories until the day I die…or until my memory goes.


Egyptian Heart (and soon Scraps of Paper-Revised Author’s Edition) Audio Book now available at ACX here: http://tinyurl.com/cgyhl66
       
Novels and short stories from Kathryn Meyer Griffith:
Her books (most out again from Damnation Books and Eternal Press): Evil Stalks the Night, The Heart of the Rose, Blood Forge, Vampire Blood, The Last Vampire, Witches, The Nameless One short story, The Calling, Scraps of Paper, All Things Slip Away, Egyptian Heart, Winter's Journey, The Ice Bridge, Don't Look Back, Agnes novella, In This House short story, BEFORE THE END: A Time of Demons, The Woman in Crimson, The Guide to Writing Paranormal Fiction: Volume 1 (I did the Introduction), Telling Tales of Terror (I did the chapter Putting the Occult in Your Fiction). Dinosaur Lake; Four Spooky Short Stories; Human No Longer; Scraps of Paper-Revised Author’s Edition  and All Things Slip Away are all for sale on Amazon Kindle Direct. ***

My Websites:
http://www.myspace.com/kathrynmeyergriffith (to see all my book trailers with original music by my singer/songwriter brother JS Meyer)

***






Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sheila N. Glazov, What Color Is Your Brain? and Princess Shayna's Invisible Visible Gift, plus #giveaway




Name: Sheila N. Glazov

Publisher: SLACK, Inc.

I would be happy to donate a copy of What Color Is Your Brain?®  and Princess Shayna’s Invisible Visible Gift as giveaway gifts. (Note: This giveaway is only available in the continental U.S. as these are print books.)  Please be sure to leave your contact information to be included in the drawing.
Please tell us about your book and why you wrote it.

I wrote What Color Is Your Brain?® (WCIYB® ) to offer readers a fun and fascinating approach to understanding themselves and others. I wanted to help people create a non-judgmental language to express their feelings and behavior, which would create a harmonious environment in their workplace, home, school and/or community that would eliminate criticism and enhance appreciation for each individual and their ideas.

People are curious about themselves and others. The WCIYB® ® approach offers individuals an opportunity look at themselves, their relationships, and how they can communicate, without the established boundaries they may be accustomed to or read about in other books. WCIYB® is a quick and direct approach that will help people:

1.     Recognize and respect the best in themselves and others,
2.     Appreciate people’s different perspectives,
3.     Laugh at their own idiosyncrasies,
4.     Communicate in “Brian Color” and,
5.     Provide balance in their personal and professional lives.


            Please tell us about Princess Shayna’s Invisible Visible Gift, which is the children’s version of What Color Is Your Brain?®




Princess Shayna’s Invisible Visible Gift is not a predictable fairy tale about a princess who is poisoned by a villain, abandoned by her parents or rescued by Prince Charming’s kiss. The heroine, of this a timely and timeless story, is a princess whose loving parents teacher her to be a strong, independent, and self-confident young woman, whom girls and boys alike, can emulate and respect.

Princess Shayna’s Invisible Visible Gift offers the reader or listener, adult or child, the opportunity to discover their “Praiseworthy Gifts” and understand more about their personality and others perspective, while learning to value their worthiness and capabilities. Princess Shayna helps children learn to appreciate and accept each individual’s differences and reduce and redirect bully behavior!

Can you briefly describe the four colors of the What Color Is Your Brain?® concept and
how they relate to your personality?

Yellow Brain Individuals are:
Dependable, responsible, disciplined decision-making individuals. They are natural leaders who like to give orders. They are prepared, committed, accurate and organized. They value loyalty, dependability and a strong moral sense of what's right and wrong.

Blue Brain Individuals are:
Enthusiastic, creative, friendly, and  nurturing individuals. They are natural care givers who like to be helpful and nurture others. In the workplace, they are motivational, inspiring, and interactive. They value integrity, empathy, and understanding.

Green Brain Individuals are:
Independent, technical, problem-solving, and visionary individuals. They are natural problem solvers who like gather and analyze data. In the workplace, they work well independently and see their work as play. They value innovation, knowledge, research, competency and fairness.

Orange Brain Individuals are:
Courageous, eager, enthusiastic, and  risk-taking individuals. They are natural team players who like to be resourceful trouble shooters. In the workplace, they are entrepreneurial and work best in unstructured environments. They value results, risks, resourcefulness and eagerness.


            What is your personal and book connection and commitment to JDRF, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation?

I allocate 10% of the royalties from my books sales to JDRF. Approximately, 366 million people worldwide now suffer from diabetes, and the global epidemic is getting worse! Our eldest son was diagnosed with Type1 diabetes (T1D) 27 years ago, when he was 15 years old.

My father was diagnosed with Type 2 (T2D) when he was 65 years old. I am committed to increasing community awareness and education, and raising money to find a cure for this insidious disease.

            What is significant about the distribution of your Brain Color Quiz score?

The numerical distribution of your Brain Color Quiz score represents the range of your complimentary or contrasting attributes and abilities. It also reveals the ease or difficulty you may have relating to and working with other people and their Brain Colors.

            Why does knowing WCIYB® decrease frustration and increase cooperation in your life?

If the WCIYB® approach is utilized in the workplace or at home, people quickly recognize which Brain Color is needed to create harmony. This knowledge eliminates power struggles between co-workers and family members. WCIYB® also provides ideal conditions in which each Brain Color will thrive and be more productive and content.

            Is it significant to understand how other people see your Brain Colors?

It is significant because how you see yourself may not be how others see you and your Brain Color attributes and abilities. It depends on your perspective and which “Brain Color Corner” you are standing on when you respond to other people’s Brain Colors.

            Why does your Brain Color influence your attitude about others?

Everyone looks through their own Brain Color pair of glasses when they view themselves and others. Their experiences and attitudes “shade” how they see the world.

            Why do children understand the Brain Color concept so quickly?

Children relate to and understand the Brain Color Concept quickly because it is easy and fun. Their Brain Colors knowledge becomes a game they immediately play at home and school. The WCIYB® method uses only four colors, does not label people, is easy to remember, and is a bridge to connect their home, school and community.

How does WCIYB® help children become risk takers verses children at risk?

Understanding their Brain Colors helps children feel loved, feel safe, and confident, within a trustworthy home, school, or community environment, so they can become healthy risk-takers

Can an individual change their Brain Color?

Yes, you can purposefully change your Brain Color to match a specific situation or environment. However, you must understand how to utilize each of your four Brain Colors and the distribution of your Comfort, Blending, Convertible and Clouded Brain Colors. That knowledge is the foundation for easily resolving internal and external conflicts and consistently making prudent decisions.
 
Do your Brain Colors change throughout life?

Yes, a variety of circumstances can consciously motivate you to change your Brain Color throughout your life. There also are physiological changes that affect the lobes of your brain and influence your behavior, especially during childhood and adolescence. 

Yellow Brainers must plan for change.
Blue Brainers must feel good about a change.
Green Brainers must think about change.
Orange Brainers must constantly create change.

If you listen to someone’s conversation, can you tell what color brain they have?

Yellow Brainers use “should”, “would”, and “have to” when talking about themselves or others.
Blue Brainers will tell you how they “love” or “take care” about something or someone.
Green Brainers will respond with, “I’ll have to think about that and see if it makes sense.”
Orange Brainers will say, “That sounds like fun! Let’s do it!”
Can anyone learn to speak fluent Brain Color?

Yes, Adults and children quickly learn BCSL (Brain Color as a Second Language) and speak Brain Color fluently. Color is a universal language. It stimulates the brain and resonates in our thoughts. Carl Jung said, “Colors are the mother tongue of the subconscious.”  Perceptive listen skills are essential for WCIYB® fluency.

      Are misunderstandings due to conflicting Brain Colors?

Yes, misunderstands are due to conflicting communication styles of each Brain Color.
A Yellow Brainer’s communication style is direct and authoritative
A Blue Brainer’s communication style is inspirational and congenial
A Green Brainer’s communication style is precise and academic
An Orange Brainers’ communication style is friendly and excited
Each of these communication styles can be interpreted differently by another Brain Color.

Does utilizing the Brain Colors resolve conflicts and reduce internal and external stress?

My little poem will help you understand each Brain Color to resolve conflicts and reduce stress:
Greens never want to be wrong and
Yellows always need be right.
Blues continue to talk and talk, while
Oranges need to take a hike.

Are some Brain Colors more compatible with others?

Yes, two of the Brain Colors are more compatible with each other than the other two. This compatibility relates to the right and left side of the brain and an individual’s attributes and abilities.
Yellow and Green Brainers are left brain critical and analytical thinkers and
Blue and Orange Brainers are right brain creative and intuitive thinkers

Are there clues to help you connect with others and build a rapport with them?

Yes, there are difference approaches one can use to build rapport with each Brain Color:

With Yellow Brainers, use a formal approach
With Blue Brainers, Use a friendly approach     
With Green Brainers, use a technical approach
With Orange Brainers, use a relaxed approach

Do the Brain Colors effect how you make decisions?

Yellow Brainers create a detailed plan
Blue Brainers use their heart, not their head
Green Brainers research and analyze data
Orange Brainers look at desired results

Are different Brain Colors attracted to specific careers?

Yellow Brainers tend to excel in the following fields/positions: banker, CEO, manager, administrator, and executive director.
Blue Brainers tend to excel in the following fields/positions: teacher, artist, health care provider, child daycare, pet care, musician, and social work.
Green Brainers tend to excel in the following fields/positions: doctor, accountant, computer technician, lawyer, researcher, and engineer.
Orange Brainers tend to excel in the following fields/positions: entrepreneur, fire fighter, athlete, EMT, construction worker, and sales person.  



Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Lisa Beth Darling, Child of War, Rising Son






Author name: Lisa Beth Darling
Book Title: Child of War-Rising Son
Publisher: Moon Mistress Publishing
Buy link: http://www.amazon.com/Lisa-Beth-Darling/e/B002BMDA9I/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Twitter:  @lb_darling

Please tell us about yourself with the following favorites:

Food? Shrimp cocktail, a fresh garden salad with creamy garlic dressing, a medium rare steak and Baked Potato

Drink (non-alcoholic)?  Soft drink—it's coffee or Coke. Alcohol—Barefoot Moscato, Blue Moon, and/or Southern Comfort that's always a favorite in the colder weather.

Flower?  Any. I love all flowers but I've started trying my hand at growing orchids. So far I've kept them alive but they haven't bloomed again. I'm hopeful they will in the warmer weather.

Day of the week? Sunday, it's the most laid back day of the week. I wish every day were Sunday.

Time of day to write? Whenever the mood strikes usually early to late afternoon when I get home from work before it's time to make dinner.  Then any time on the weekends.

Place to write? My office, I hardly ever write anywhere but at my desk, in my chair, at my keyboard with my computer.

Season? Fall. I love the colorful leaves on the trees and crunching below my feet. I love hot cocoa and warm apple pie, long nights with a glass of wine lazing around by the fire.

Holiday?   Halloween. The energy is fantastic and, on the more modern side, I love seeing the kids all dressed up in their costumes.

Color? Blue. Any shade. I also like purple and green.

Animal?   Wild horse

Hobby? Writing

Sport? Baseball—Go Red Sox!

Song? "Take it to the Limit" by The Eagles

TV show? The Mentalist, Bones, Person of Interest. Any type of psychological/crime drama.

Movie?  All Time Favorite is The Breakfast Club. But I have a lot of favorites my DVD collection is rather large. I love horror movies and action movies.

Book?  The Stand

Author? Stephen King

Word?  Wicked—what do you want? I'm from New England.


Now some easy one-word answers:

Coffee or tea? Coffee

Veggies or fruit? Fruit

Cat or dog?  Cat

Plot or not? Not

Desktop or laptop? Desktop

Pencil or pen?   Pen

Rain or sun? Rain

Mountains or ocean? Ocean

Plane or train? Train

Car or motorcycle? Motorcycle

Run or walk? Walk

Casual or dressy? Casual

Indoors or outdoors? Indoors

Reading: EBook or paperback? Paperback

Reading: Short story or novels? Novels

Theater or rental?  Purchase

Vampire or shifter? Shifter

Horror or romance? Both! Always both on that one with me.


Tell us about your new/latest release:

Title: Child of War-Rising Son
Genre: Adult/Erotic Romance/Immortals