The Next Best Thing? SOLO VIETNAM

SOLO VIETNAM an A-4 Skyhawk cats off the deck of the USS Coral Sea

Ready, set, go . . into the Vietnam war zone.

Welcome to the blog hop.   This is an event where author’s showcase their next projects.   This bloghop The Next Best Thing  was created by Gail M Baugniet and what a success it is to behold.  My books were nominated by several colleagues from the Lexicon Writer’s Group, namely Evelyn M Byrne.  You can find out about them by clicking here.    The founder of this blog hop is an Indie Writer herself.  So here we go, hopping along with the Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:

1. What is the working title of your book?   SOLO VIETNAM  and it’s not the working title.  It is THE title.  Says it all about the story as the sequel to FLYING SOLO.

2. Where did the idea come from for the book? So many people have asked me what happens next to the characters in FLYING SOLO.  Do Nora and Steve ever see each again?   What happened to the baby?    The book ended in a cliff hanger of sorts.  Lots of unanswered questions.   SOLO VIETNAM takes the on a bizarre journey, to the war zone of the Tet Offensive of the Vietnam War.   Action, flying, intrigue, passion, and drama are all part of SOLO VIETNAM.    Find out what happens next to our aviators.

3. What genre does your book fall under? Definitely historical fiction.  It is set during the years of 1967 to 1968.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? In the movie rendition, a great lead for Nora would definitely be Natalie Portman or Selma Hayek.  But they have to be able to sing with a voice like spun sugar!    For the gorgeous male pilot, Steve could be Jude Law, Matt Damon or Leonardo DiCaprio.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Can lost love be found in a war zone?

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? I am definitely going Indie again with the small, quirky publishing company that published FLYING SOLO.   Their name is AgeView Press.   They are always looking to highlight fresh new writers with a voice.   I love Indie.   It is changing the world.   Forget the Big Six!  Indie rocks!!

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?  The first draft takes me about six months.  But it is the careful rewrites where the nuances and texture come alive.   Edit, edit, edit!!

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? This is definitely not a romance for sure, this is pure drama in a classic time period.   So I would have to say,  Rampant RaiderIn Love and War,  and Flying Through Midnight.

9. Who or What inspired you to write thisbook? Definitely the men and women who served side by side in Vietnam – they are the unsung heroes whose stories need to be told this the young generation.

Unsung heros of the air

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? In my books, I take the reader there.  Sights, sounds, feelings.  They will feel like they were transported back to 1967 amidst war protestors at Haight Ashbury, midtown New Orleans, and of course the jungles, beaches, and skies of the Vietnam War.   They’ll be right there trapping on the carrier deck of the USS Coral Sea,  dodging surface to air missiles with Steve in the cockpit of his A-4 Skyhawk.   It is a page turner for sure.

And as is the custom, here are  5 great readers that you will want to follow in the blog hop:

Amy Gallagher

  JE Pendleton

Ken Farmer and Buck Steinke

TC Miller

 Mitch Haynes

 

Enjoy the blog hop as it hops along to find great writers for readers just like you!

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Humility and the high road for Indie Authors

FLYING SOLO in the window at Barnes and NobleShock and disbelief are the two verbs that resonate related to the “angry mob mentality” that has characterized the recent LendInk debacle.   It illustrates how the exponential power on the internet placed into the hands of a crazed set can be turned spiteful.   Two bloggers,  one an Indie author herself,  recently blamed the dismanting of LendInk, a questionable book lending agency, on Indie Authors.   Soley, on Indie Authors.   Yet, many of the authors who complained about the fact that they were not informed of about their books being lent on this site were in fact published in the traditional fashion.

Myths and mayhem ensued;   including libelous comments and infantile name calling.    The community of authors, whether self published, Indie published (and there is a difference) or traditionally published should ignore this blatant, angry rant.   Unfortunately, when the livlihood of their sales is threatened, as is in the recent blog post by A.B.DADA that is hard to do.

Any author knows the painstaking work they applied to their material.   Their book is their baby.  Cherished and held in a hopeful regard that a reader will find it interesting.   How cruel, for a few bloggers to slam and threaten Indie authors as a whole by posting on their blogs how they intend to post bad reviews on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, put pictures of writers books on their blogs and recommend not to buy them.   There have already been such postings.

Here is my attempt to take the high road.    All the facts need to be on the table.   Authors were crying out to the owner and manager of LendInk and other such sites to come clean about their business practices, inform authors how they were able to obtain the books.   Some bloggers quoted the FAQ section of Amazon Kindle (KDP) Select and Amazon Prime.     These electronic sections give very little explanation to exactly what is considered a “lend.”    Is a “lend” from one KDP user to the next?  A one time thing?

It appears for many authors, me included, that was our understanding.   If misinformed, we quickly got the facts.    When royalties are so scant on ebook formats, sure the hair is raised on any author’s back when hearing about a site possibly lending books without permission.    Most were horrified.    Despite the valiant efforts of some bloggers to explain the “lend” phenomenon, it is still not clear.

What is clear, is that  higher road must be taken.   I sincerely apologize if I was misinformed.   What I sought was answers.  Concrete explanations from the owners of these sites.    If I was wrong, I am the first to admit it.    Do Indie authors as a group deserve to labeled an angry mob?   “Ax wielding, #ssholes?”   A resounding “NO!”    Just FYI, slander is of the spoken word in a public forum,  libel is degradation in a written domain.     Blogs that have slammed and childishly called Indie authors by name degrading adjectives are committing libel.

Stop.  Just stop.   Let’s work together as a cohesive and worthy force.   For none other reason than to bring together delight in a reader’s eyes at your written word.    Take a deep breath.   Pause.   Hug a fellow writer.    Let’s better understand copyright, and lending policies.   There are some good people and great writer’s out there.

What’s your movitation to write?

ImageOne of the things that some writers struggle with is writer’s block.   I guess, maybe I am one of the lucky ones; because for me, that just doesn’t seem to be an issue.   I believe that some instances of writer’s block is caused by pressure.    When you feel under pressure or under a dealine to produce something, anxiety is manifested.   Anxiety can make the brain hyperactive.  Synaptic connections, which are the electrical pathways and roadmaps for thoughts being processed in your brian, are definitely affected.  In fact, sometimes anxiety is so powerful, it blocks some connections completely.

Writing works best when it flows.   For me, blogging allows that creative expression to flow.   If I can’t talk to someone, at least I can write to someone.    That daily exercise keeps the words coming.   However, the expectation to produce, either a blog, or a newsletter, or other forms of social media can take over.   You can spend so much time on social media, that you ignore the whole reason you started writing; the creative expression of your literary works.

Balance and motivation are the key.  Balance the social media with short term goals for your writing.  If a project is overwhelming, chunk it up by splitting it into smaller parts.   Write the chapter you were dying to write first, then build the structure around it.   If you are going to write out of order, use a story board with sticky notes for the chapters to keep them straight.

Know what motivates you to write.  For me, it is purpose.   Each one of my stories has a purpose.  When I sit down to create them, I keep the purpose forefront.    My writing is a mission, a mission to change my life career.    I have short terms goals to get medical equipment for my son, as well as long term goals to be able to write full time and nurse part time.    My son has Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy.  His life is like sands in the hour glass.   Each day, we lose a little bit more.   So for me, living life to the fullest now is what motivates me to write.

Find your passion.   Balance demands on your time.  Free your mind and spirit and you wll be amazed at what begins to happen.   That was the process for my latest book, FLYING SOLO.   When I just let go, it happens.