History and Highlights from the Military Writer’s Conference 2017

Recently, the Military Writer’s Society had their annual Book Conference and Awards Banquet in San Antonio, Texas. What is it about a conference that brings you back motivated, energized and ready to write?  Networking!IMG_2475

The MWSA is chocker-block full of fantastic talent.  A group made up of active and retired military, military buffs, historians, writers, poets, and educators. The group spans several generations.  The youngest author?  A lovely, young, military dependent all of age 12, Grace Remey! There were representatives from World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq.  Navy, Army, and Air Force.  What a collection of talent in one room.

The program’s theme was World War I this time, but there were presentations not only relating to history, but panel discussions and “how-to”s.  I was lucky enough to serve on a panel discussing Social Media and its impact on book marketing and networking.  Members included MWSA Awards Director, John Cathcart; award winning author Jack Woodville London; historian Dana Tibbetts and was moderated by MWSA board member Valerie Ormond.  Valerie, a retired naval officer is one of AgeView Press’s Valerie Ormond Belle of Steel.IMG_2483

Set at a historic and supposedly haunted hotel, The Menger, the locale was a perfect backdrop for a conference group that loves history.  The Menger sits directly across from the Alamo.  Many famous authors have written at The Menger such as Robert Frost and Oscar Wilde.  One couldn’t help but be inspired, not only by the architecture but the hotel’s grandeur and reputation.

The three day event provided a service program to veterans at San Antonio Medical Center.  “Telling your Story” focused on writing as therapy for PTSD.  Just gives you chills doesn’t it?  While there, a load of books from writers of the MWSA were donated.   One of the most popular talks was given on anthologies, which are collections of stories, either by one author, one subject or multiple authors.  Examples and standards of how to run a writer’s group were also a part of that presentation by Navy pilot Jim Tritten and Pat Walkow from the Corrales Writing Group of New Mexico. IMG_2486

On Saturday, the premier event was the 2017 MWSA Book Awards.  There were approximately 79 books submitted for scrutinization and review.  Many didn’t make the cut. A select few made the lists as finalists.  Awards of gold, silver or bronze medals were awarded based on strict criterion.  One of my books, Eternally at War was awarded the bronze medal in the category of memoir.  Admist this room of excellence, I was humbled. IMG_2502

If you have an interest in the military and writing, this is definitely a group you should check out.  Warm, welcoming, and advisory – they uphold a superior standard of literature.

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Ghost writers in the sky – do they exist?

Have you ever wondered why someone might need a ghost writer? It makes sense for the celebs that can’t put two words together. But why would someone else need one? Enjoy this guest post written by one to find out. Who knows, it could enhance your skills.  Enjoy!!

THE BUSINESS OF BEING A GHOST WRITER

by Karen Cole

It can be hard to write repeatedly about being a ghost writer, as I have already written something like a hundred pieces on this topic alone. But I find my job as a professional ghost writer to be fresh and new every time. Being a ghost writer is a lot like being a car mechanic – you’re on hire to work on someone else’s “baby,” and you do the best you can to get it in good running and working order. You fix whatever you find to be wrong with it, and you send it back to the owner in great shape.

I have been ghost writing and editing on the Internet since 2003, and was freelance writing before then, since 1980 at least. I have published a magazine of my own called “The Crusader” and have been published in several newspapers and magazines, including online ones. It is my business to be published occasionally under my own name, but normally my best work is published under someone else’s name. I specialize in editing nowadays, being semi-retired as a ghost writer.

Part of the business of being a ghost writer is receiving payments properly. As a ghost writer, what with the book field being nearly glutted with books nowadays, receiving payment during the course of completing a book writing project is paramount. Of course, with proper book marketing a book can pull ahead of its competition and sell well nowadays, if its author goes to the trouble to properly market and promote it. So it’s still worthwhile to be a book author and to hire a ghost writer or editor and proper, affordable book marketing services.

I run a team of some 100 book, screenplay and music ghost writers, editors, marketers and promoters, as well as accompanying illustrators, photographers etc. These people get most of the incoming job leads, and I take a job occasionally that suits my fancy, in a manner to how Sherlock Holmes took jobs in those famous stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Holmes never worked a job unless it “fascinated” him, and I only take what is lucrative, fresh and interesting to me personally.

But I can locate a great, affordable ghost writer or editor for nearly anyone who writes into our ghost writing services agency, and I can help take a book from the inception of its ideas to its completion as a published work, editing, formatting and doing all that it takes to come up with the finished salable product. Whether you hire my affordable professional services as a ghost writer or as the overseer of an entire ghost writing job, you are indeed hiring the best, every time.

AUTHOR’S RESOURCE BOX:

Ghost writer revealed!

Ghost writer revealed!

Hi, I’m Karen Cole, Executive Director and appointed Head of Ghost Writer, Inc. GWI is an affordable ghost writing services agency that seeks to find and hire a ghost writer, editor, marketer and/or promoter for your book, screenplay or music needs. We will find you an expert, published, recorded or optioned freelance writer for all your possible service needs, and we always charge only affordable rates.

Link up to Karen Cole here:     Facebook    Twitter  LinkedIn

“More Self Published Authors Making Waves” will your book make it?

BABBLING ABOUT BOOKS, AND MORE!: 20 Weeks Running and More Self Published Authors Making Waves.

Yet again, Indie publsihers are making waves.    A long time book blogger named Katie Grant, who writes under KT Grant blogs about the phenomenon that is taking over the industry.   Indie publishing.    Hard to believe that he pendulum is shifting.   But one only has to look at the success that many Indie pub authors are achieving.

They are posting sales.  Generating great blogs.   Literally turning the industry on its head.

This weekend, it has been a priviledge to network with some of these powerful forces in the industry at the innaugural Lexicon Writer’s Conference in Denton, TX.   Honestly?   Wasn’t sure what to expect, but it has been a smashing success.   Over 120 writer’s, publishers, book bloggers,  screenwriters, writing coaches and agents convened for a weekend of powerful networking led by Indie author Mitch Haynes.    Just ask the successful writing team of Buck Stienke and Ken Farmer, writers of military fiction.

Mitch’s message was simple and powerful.  “Take your ego to the door.  No one wants to stand around and hear you babble about your book.”  But if you meet 10 other people and help them sell theirs while here.  Pave the way for what you can do for them, then just imagine how many more books you will sell if 1o people do that for you!”   Brilliant.   And guess what!  It works.

Black Force Eagle novel

Don't Cry daddy's Here novel

Flying Solo

More Great Indie Published Books

Just goes to show you, paying it foward pays off sweetly in the end.  Even if you have to wait to see it.   So don’t hide in the shadows of your work, get out there and make waves for your book.   Pay it foward for another author and they just might pay it foward for you!

As an Author, are You a Peacock, a Mockingbird, or a Hawk?

showy peacock

All show and no substance?

As an author, think about this question.   Are you a peacock, a mockingbird, or a hawk?  You might be asking yourself what birds could possibly have to do with being a writer?   But let’s take a closer look at all three.  See if you can identify with some of these characteristics, because their are more similarities than you might imagine.   Bet you will be surprised.

Peacocks are pretty, to be sure.   Colorful, flamboyant, and decorative.   But even though they are showy, if you look closely at the feathers of their brilliantly, vibrant tail; there is not much substance there.    Peacocks fan out their tales to be noticed.   At first, it is impressive.  Then you realize that underneath all that show,  is nothing but air.    Is your writing all showy?   Are you writing darkness and gloom because of the popularity and success of Twilight or Amanda Hocking?   Are you running raggard to attend every literary event?  Facebooking and twittering all over social media without anything real to say?  Or are you writing what you are good at writing?  Great stories with substance.   Tales that have a beginning, middle, and end.   Characters that have depth.  Locations and plots that have been researched and carefully plotted out.    Good covers are great, but it is the quality of the pages inside that count and will make people come back for more.

Mockingbirds, on the other hand, never stop squawking.  They twitter, and tweet a variety of chirpy tunes.   Short, loud, bursts in every possible call song.  Never sticking to one, just repeating what ever else they have heard around them.   If you listen to them, it becomes apparent  they are trying to attract attention from every angle.    From anyone who will listen.  First this tune, and then that.   Frustrated and fragmented that no one is paying them heed.    So, they change tunes, mimicking some other melody.  Some new authors know they want to write, but can’t find their own voice.   They chirp from this to that, trying to find their niche.   Slow down.   Find your true voice.   Then, sing it to the rooftops joyfully as your own brand.   Your unique author platform.    And stick to it.

Hawk sizing up a mockingbird

Sizing up meaningful tweets and twitters.

Now, consider the hawk.   Eyes on the prize.    Quiet and still as he calculates just the right moment to seize and capture.    The hawk sizes up the situation, calculates the risks, and strikes to take action.    At first glance, he may appear to just blend in, but on careful inspection, you will notice this intricate, exsquisite patterns woven within his feathers.   All aligned and symmetrical in attractive patterns.   Breast full of sustance with dynamic, sharp looking wings.  Proud, confident, and sure of who he is,  no need for overt showy-ness.   The hawk takes his time, hons his skills, and strikes with near 100 percent accuracy when ready.    Isn’t this the writer we all want to be?    Savvy about the business, sharp in our craft,  eyes on the prize, confident and patient, but fearlessly ready to strike when the moment is just right.     On some days, you may feel as an author that you vasilate between all three.    But try to stay focused.   Educate and train yourself on the literary world.    When you are ready,  be a hawk!

A Rollar Coaster for Sure

The trip to Six Flags was a rollar coaster of highs and lows indeed.   My sweet boy was elated to go.  When you have Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy, you degenerate a little every day.   I try to make the most out of the saying carpe diem.  We seize the day to make it a good one.   We made a pact to try the rides he felt comfortable with doing.  Ones that would not load his spine to worsen compression fractures from the osteopenia and osteoporosis.   We thought we had a plan.   Lot’s of big “football” type boys and ride workers helped me load him into some rides.

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Sombrero, check.   Log ride, check.   Tobogan, check.   Bubba tubs, check, check and check.   He loved those.  He was doing okay.  We were into about the seventh ride when disaster struck.   When we were lifting him into the Scrambler, the seat was higher than we thought.  His leg bent at an angle higher than his hip.   SMACK, CRACK, a shriek of pain he cried out.   Harrison never complains!  I knew something was instantly wrong.   He was in agony and tears.

I felt like the worst mother in the world, trying to show him a good time and now this.   He was hurt!    We tried to get through the rest of the day.   I so wanted to deny that anything was wrong.  He did too.  But to no avail.  He was just miserable.   The nurse in me knew.   Something was broken.   Surely.

We got through the night, but in the morning, when he was still hurting, it was time for the ER.   We sat, fully of anxiety and fear of the unknown.   I advocated for an IV and some IV Morphine for pain relief prior to the x-rays.  The ER doc agreed.    His pain was at the top of the scale, as he bravely mucked through the testing.    Some wonderfully, gentle ER techs carefully lifted my boy to the stretcher.

The first x-rays were negative.  Pelvis and hips intact.  But the doc just didn’t believe it.  She knew something was amiss.   And, it was.   Further x-rays revealed a buckle fracture to the neck of the femur.   My spirit was crushed for him.   I was terrified about what kind of long term healing that meant.   It was not surgically repairable!    They were talking about six weeks in a spica-sitting hard cast.  How could I possibly lift that?   What about work?   I would be broke!   The housepayment.  I surely didn’t have six weeks of paid time off.

I felt the bottom drop out of my courage stronghold.  I felt broken, helpless, and hopeless for him.   I began to pray.    Would God pick up the yolk?  Surely this was too much.

As his father arrived and I shared the news, Dr. Wong phoned.  She was visiting with the orthopedic surgeons about options.    With the osteopenia these boys endure, bone healing would be a challenge.

What to do. . . . and then a disposition was given.   No surgery.  No casting.   It would have to heal on its own.   Just gentle care and lifting.   No stretches or adduction inward of the leg.  Just TLC and pain meds.

TLC.  Meds.  I could do that.   I had a week of vacation to just be a Mom to my son.   I could do that.   By some miracle, some interventions from above, we were going to get through it.   My mother always told me that God would never send me anything that I could not handle.   Sometimes, I am pushed to the brink fighting this disease.  It nearly breaks me.   This event nearly did.   But that is what motivates me to keep going.   To keep blogging.  To keep writing.  To keep peddling as fast as I can.   My boy and his indomitable spirit.

The Grapevine for FLYING SOLO

What an experience Indie publishing has been.   Grassroots marketing, beating the pavements, talking, selling, marketing. . . it can all be exhausting.  But it seems to win the day.    That and of course a good story, which clearly FLYING SOLO is indeed!   All of the reviews from customers have not only been good, but stellar.  It still has not changed the minds of those staid individuals who believe that Indie publshing does not work.  To those people, I would say…GAHHHH!!!  have you met Amanda Hocking?

A good book is a good book.   Word of mouth is everything in this industry.   Great stories are great stories and if written well will indeed sell.    To those who have snubbed, I will just politely invite them to the next book signing event.   Word of mouth is everything!   Talk about it.  Blog about it.  Shout it from the rooftops.  If it is a good story.  . . . and you did your homework with editing and writing.  It will sell!!!

For now, I am happy to help other writers who are outstanding and need a voice!  Please contact the Indie publisher willing to listen and read your works!    That is AgeView Press.  www.ageviewpress.com   Without that opportunity. . . I would still be papering my walls with rejection letters instead of celebrating at book signings like this!   Stop thinking about it and just do it!   NIKE had it right!

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