Ask the Author: Eleanor Konik

Hi Friends,

In this month’s ‘Ask the Author’ interview, I had the pleasure of talking to one of my fellow authors in Scribophile – Eleanor Konik.

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Eleanor Konik was born and raised in a close-knit neighborhood just outside of Baltimore, where she is putting the final touches on her teaching certification. She spends her free time gardening and playing cards with coworkers. She also enjoys fishing, hiking, and visiting attractions around the city. Her

Her blog showcases insights she’s gleaned while researching THE LAST COLLARED MAGE, a fantasy mashup of Rome’s greatest defeats.

Here are a few snippets of our conversation:

Krisna: Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?

Eleanor: Barely. I was very young when I started writing. I remember that it was a high fantasy adventure, and I spend a lot of time worried about the architecture of the little ranch that was going to be attacked during the course of the book. I still have a bunch of architecture books that I salvaged from my father’s library and refused to let my mother ever throw away.

I took it into work once, and a coworker almost purged it, because it was from 1947.

Krisna: What’s the hardest part of worldbuilding, for you?

Eleanor: Introducing flaws into my perfect system is definitely something I struggle with. Once I finish coming up with a viable economic, political or social system for my fictional world, I realize there’s no conflict in utopia. Countries with a high happiness index and few problems rarely make the news.

I often hear people complaining that the American system of government is broken. It’s certainly a flawed system — as is every system because people are human — but I believe it’s working mostly as intended. There are lots of systems that are perfect on paper — communism, for example — but broken governments all break for the same reasons. Once you add people to the mix, things get out of control.

For an invented world to feel real, it has to be a little broken, and that’s a hard thing to make up when you’re trying to make something that’s believable in the sense that it can function and make sense to a reader.

Krisna: That’s really good advice. Flaws and conflicts are the things that make the story world and characters real. How often do you write, and do you have a special time during the day to write? 

Eleanor: I try to write every day, or at least make some sort of forward progress on my novel. I do pretty well as long as I’m not super busy with social obligations. I don’t really have a special time of day, though. For awhile, I tried to set aside time in the mornings, but there was always something else more important to do — like eat, and shower. Now, I fit 25 minute focused blocks of time whenever I can, and scribble notes when I can’t.

Krisna: Do you read much? 

Eleanor: I read a lot, actually.  I used to get into trouble in school for reading too much. I’d get sucked into a book and not pay attention when the teacher transitioned from one assignment to another, because I usually finished things early. Back then I was averaging a book or two a day. It only takes me about three hours to read a full-length novel.

These days, I usually only manage to read once book a week. I’m busier, and there are fewer books I’m interested in — back in school, I had the whole of the library’s backlog to keep me entertained, and nowadays I rely on new books. So every Tuesday, I read whatever new thing was on my calendar. I’d read more if I could find more books that I really liked.

Krisna: Who are your favorite authors?

Eleanor: I have a couple of authors that I follow pretty religiously. Jim Butcher, L. E. Modesitt, Ilona Andrews, and Nalini Singh top my list — I don’t think any of them have ever written anything I didn’t like. Still, it’s a pretty long list. Kelley Armstrong has written a lot of books that I really like, and so have Seanan McGuire, Faith Hunter, Patricia Briggs and Anne Bishop. Michelle Sagara and Gail Carriger are both a lot of fun…. I could go on, but I’ll spare you.

Krisna: Where do you see publishing going in the future? 

Eleanor: Honestly, I don’t know. There are a lot of blogs out there where people way more qualified than I am have expounded at length on publishing trends and marketing trends and commercial changes and what Amazon means for authors, but I don’t always know which ones I believe. That said, I do have one observation to make: I think that the big publishers and the self-publishers are in the midst of changing their dynamic.

I think there’s this idea that big publishers are just in it for the money and that they’re very commercial, whereas writers with a very specific, innovative artistic vision tend to self-publish because the big publishers “just don’t understand them.” But what people sometimes forget is that successful self-published books have a lot in common with other very popular genres: many are very pulpy adventures or have a strong romantic element.

For decades, the success of the romance genre has basically subsidized the mid-lists of other genres. Marketing folks aside, most of the people involved in New York publishing do it because they love books, they love storytelling and they want authors to succeed. I think that as time goes on, we’ll find that a lot of self-publishing is crassly commercial, with cliffhangers and lots of unresolved sexual tension to keep us reading, whereas some of the more artistic literary works will come out of big publishing instead.

Not that big publishing never uses cliffhangers and UST, of course. Penguin Random House is responsible for the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning, which I think is a particularly egregious example of it. I know the series has a lot of fans, and I enjoyed a lot of elements of the first couple of books, but the lack of resolution started to grate on me and I felt like my emotions were being jerked around by cliffhangers so that I’d buy the next book. I don’t like feeling manipulated, so I stopped buying the books.

Krisna: Yes, I remember being very frustrated after reading Karen Moning’s Fever series too. I hate cliffhangers especially if I have to wait a year to read what happens next!

Thanks a lot Eleanor for your wonderful tips and for taking the time to answer my questions.

 

YA-NA Parley: Melion Traverse

Dear Friends,

Today, I have the pleasure of introducing a very special author that I’ve come to admire in the last few months.

Melion Traverse writes things 🙂 When not writing ‘things’, Melion still lives with one spouse, two dogs and an acceptable amount of chaos. She is occasionally found playing with swords, studying martial arts, and lifting weights. Other times, she hides with a book and an energy drink as she avoids the tumbleweeds of dog hair overwhelming her house.

Melion’s short stories have appeared, or are forthcoming in, Deep Magic, Fantasy Scroll Magazine, Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores, Cast of Wonders, Scarlet Leaf Review, Havok, and T. Gene Davis’s Speculative Blog.

Check out her haphazard blog: http://delusionsofsanityblog.wordpress.com/

Here are a few snippets of our conversation:

Krisna: What do your fans mean to you?

Melion: Wait . . . I have fans? In all seriousness, if I’m fortunate enough to earn the respect of fans, I’d find it humbling. To have people spend their resources on my work, be it in the form of time or money, would help validate my reasons for taking the writing off my computer and setting it loose in the world. I want to give people an opportunity to experience a new world, or to see their world in a new way. If I succeed at that, I’ll be happy.

Krisna: I totally agree! It’s one of the main reasons I write stories too. Speaking of stories, could you give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

Melion: I suppose the ready answer is that my character, Alessa, goes through a portal into another world, becomes a unicorn rider and finds herself fighting to save a barony. However, when I wrote Alessa, what I intended to make her special is something more personal and quiet than grand quests and rifts in the space-time continuum.

Alessa confronts her insecurities and her self-doubts. That doesn’t sound particularly special when I lay it out, but to me, that’s the point. She has to struggle against herself. In real life, many people—myself very much included—fail in that struggle. We look back on our lives and realize how often we let the insecurities and the demons rise up and control our destiny, sometimes without any resistance from ourselves.

Krisna: That’s really deep. I’m sure most readers would really connect to a character that struggles with an internal conflict that we all face in our lives. What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

Melion: Speaking as somebody new to the publishing world, I can really only answer based on what I’ve observed and read during the researching phase, as opposed to what I’ve experienced first hand.

I’m opting to self-publish because I like the challenge of taking a book from idea all the way to publication with my involvement at each step. Will that hurt the book in the long run? I’ll be honest and say that it might. After all, I have no marketing experience and I have no “in” with the industry. It also means that I’m relying on my own judgment to make edits and changes to the book, and I can tell you horror stories about where my own judgment has gotten me on occasion.

However, the positive of self-publishing means my book will be published and will have its chance to reach an audience. If I went with the traditional publishing route, I’m well aware that my book could never see the world outside my hard drive. After all, agents and publishers are looking for a book they can maximize profits on. Whether that is a good book or a weak book, the name of the game is profit margins. I have the leisure to take a chance on a book; agents and publishers do not have that option.

Krisna: A very practical answer. As a supporter of self-publication, I agree that it might be a lot of work and risky for those of us who’re new to the game, but it does give us a lot of freedom and satisfaction to be involved in every aspect of the publication. With self-publishing or trad publishing, PR agencies are a good way of marketing. Would you or do you use a PR agency?

Melion: At the moment, I do not. However, depending on the price and the services being offered, I cannot say that I would rule out the option.

Krisna: Now for one last question. Hm, let’s see …. something not about writing… 

What do you want your tombstone to say?

Melion: In fancy, stylized script, I would like it to read, “Semper ubi sub ubi.” Alternatively, I will accept: “In event of zombie apocalypse, do not stand here.” Really, however, I think by the time I need a headstone, the wording will be the least of my concerns.

Krisna: LOL! 🙂 Thanks for the warning, Melion, and for all your tips and ideas on the writing process. 

I wish you all the very best in your writing career!

 

Author of the Month – Elise Edmonds

Dear Friends,

I’d promised you a special interview with Ms. Elise Edmonds, author of the exciting new novel Where Carpets FlyAnd here it is at last 🙂

For those of you who missed my previous post, here’s a gist of Where Carpets Fly:

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Mystery and adventure meet in a magical land of flying carpets, vibrant cities, and seafaring folk. Follow Elina Faramar’s journey from the village flying carpet shop to magic school in town. What’s her new magic teacher hiding? Why won’t anyone discuss the nearby, volatile country of Pallexon?

The situation turns to a nightmare when friend Kara is mistaken for a spy.

Can Elina’s wits and magic save Kara and unravel Pallexon’s secrets?

I had the pleasure of reading this amazing novel and was really impressed with the way the story was written, the characters and the fantastic story world which was a unique blend of the magical and the practical. So, naturally, I rushed to interview Elise for tips and suggestions 🙂

Without further ado, here are some snippets of our conversation:

Krisna: Welcome, Elise! It’s great to have you with us today.

Elise: It’s my pleasure, Krisna.

Krisna: As I’d mentioned before, I really loved Where Carpets Fly. What inspired you to write this story?

Elise: I’ve always been a fan of both children’s fantasy books and school stories – long before Harry Potter came into the world. I grew up on Enid Blyton and Narnia. So writing a fun, immersive fantasy story full of adventure but also including school and coming of age themes is basically me writing the book I wanted to read as a kid! It’s got a bit of everything I enjoy reading about.

Flying carpets have always held a fascination for me. There’s something exciting and exotic about them, and I wanted to capture that feeling in my world. I read a Diana Wynne Jones book about flying carpets (Castle in the Air – the sequel to Howl’s Moving Castle), and I can say she’s also influenced my writing.

Krisna: Flying carpets are one of my favorite things too! Magic and flying – a wonderful combination 🙂

One of the things I love the most about your novel is your story world. It’s a perfect blend of whimsical, magical and practical at the same time. Could you share some tips about creating a believable and gripping story world?

Elise: Thanks! I think it’s important to spend some time worldbuilding before you start to write a fantasy novel. It doesn’t have to be formal or even on paper, but traveling there in your imagination can help you picture the everyday life of your character. What do they eat? What do they wear? What occupation do they (or the adults around them) do every day?

Magic systems are often a key aspect of a fantasy story, and I like to define magic, and give it limits and practical applications so it feels like a tool your characters are using. In the same way that I use a smartphone in my everyday life, my characters use the magic at their disposal to help them through life.

I also find drawing a map very useful: it can focus you on practical things like climate and the positioning of types of terrain and where populations are situated. This can come in useful when your characters travel, to make journey times and methods of transport feel believable. It can be helpful to base fantasy countries on real life countries, and use elements of cultures that already exist to give the reader a feeling of familiarity.

Krisna: Thanks for the awesome tips on world building. I’d recently read an article about magic systems in your blog. It was really insightful and helped me a lot in my story world.

Another thing I really liked in your novel is your characters.  All of them have their own personalities and speech patterns. What is the inspiration behind these characters?

Elise: I’m afraid I’m one of these writers who just lets her characters develop as they choose. I plan the plots, but sometimes character motivation forces me to change the plot, because it doesn’t feel right for the character. It feels kind of silly to say the characters tell me how they feel, but that’s the closest I can get to it.

I knew I wanted a girl who longed to get away from her dull home life, and I wanted to give her a BFF. And that was my starting point!

Aunt Clauda has a little real-life inspiration. I have a single aunt myself, and as a child, I always enjoyed spending time with her. She’s not crazy like Aunt Clauda, but she did represent someone outside the family unit who was interested in me and happy to help out.

Krisna: LOL! That’s really interesting. Speaking of characters, who’s your favorite character in Carpets and what makes him/ her so special?

Elise: Elina is always my favourite. I know that’s kind of boring, but I chose my main character because she was someone I was interested in reading about. I wouldn’t say she’s meant to be me, but she has characteristics in common with me: being keen to leave home (although I was a little older than Elina when I finally did!), a longing to travel and see some excitement, but quite naive about the big wide world. She has goals which teen me would have identified with strongly.

Krisna: It’s not boring at all. I think the main character is the one that most readers are going to relate and connect to as the story is told from her POV. So it’s a great tip to have a main character that the author loves. It definitely shows in the writing.

Thank you so much Elise, for taking the time to answer my questions. I wish you all the very best in your writing career. I’m looking forward to the sequel to Carpets.

Elise: Thank you, Krisna 🙂

CONNECT WITH ELISE:

elise-author-picBorn in Staffordshire in England, Elise Edmonds has always been an avid reader, especially of fantasy and young adult books. Elise moved to Bristol in her teens, to attend university, and undertook a career in the finance world.

Now living in a quiet South Gloucestershire village, she spends her free time with her husband and two cats, and enjoys attending local fitness classes, watching movies, and playing the piano. Pursuing writing in her spare time as a creative outlet is a way to bring the magic back into her everyday life.

You can connect with her via her Amazon Author PageWebsite, Facebook, Twitter,  GoodreadsInstagram and Wattpad.

Check out this amazing novel by Elise Edmonds. It’s available both in paperback and kindle formats.

Where Carpets Fly – Elise Edmonds

Do you love magic and magic carpets? Then you’re in for a fantastic treat this week! Where Carpets Fly by Elise Edmonds is now available on Amazon.

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Where Carpets Fly is a YA Fantasy Adventure novel with a gripping story, loads of magic, magic lessons, and an underlying theme of enduring friendship. I fell in love with the characters, the amazing story world and the way the story is revealed to the readers.

And the cover is simply divine 🙂

Want to know more?

Here’s the story blurb:

Elina Faramar finally leaves her family’s flying carpet shop when her father reluctantly agrees she can take magic lessons in nearby Kamikan. Urban life promises adventure, and new friend Kara shows her the sights.

However, Elina soon sees a darker side of life: a foreigner arrested at the circus, forbidden schoolhouse rooms with odd comings and goings, and unsociable pupil Simeon’s shady deals at the docks. Everything seems connected to the volatile neighbouring country of Pallexon, but no one will tell her why.

When Elina and Simeon develop a magical mind link, he seems close to confiding in her. But an unexpected voyage takes Elina and Kara away from answers and towards unknown danger in Pallexon.

Alone in a strange country, with no identity papers, the situation rapidly turns into a nightmare when Kara is mistaken for a spy. With her own freedom at stake, Elina must rely on her wits and magic to save her friend and unravel the secrets of Pallexon.

Check out this amazing novel by Elise Edmonds. It’s available both in paperback and kindle formats.

Elise has also graciously accepted my invitation for an author interview where she shares tips and tricks on the writing process.

Look out for a special author interview with Elise on 18th February 2017.

CONNECT WITH ELISE:

elise-author-picElise Edmonds is a new writer from the South-West UK. Reading and writing have always been her doorways into another world—a way to escape and spend time walking with wizards, flying with fairies and dealing with dragons.

By day she is a finance professional, and in her spare time she pursues writing as a creative outlet, to put the magic back into everyday life. In addition to reading, Elise enjoys watching movies, playing the piano, and going to Zumba classes. Her greatest loves are God, her husband, her family and friends, and her two beautiful cats.

You can connect with her through her website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Wattpad.

 

YA-NA Parley: Shannon Leigh Rivera

Dear Friends,

For this month’s YA-NA Parley, we have with us author Shannon Leigh Rivera.

Shannon is a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University’s Creative Writing program and a YA/NA fantasy author. She graduated Summa Cumme Laude in June of 2016, and plans on returning to finish her MFA in Creative Writing in the near future. For now, she is working on her own publications.

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Her work can be found in YA Seven Deadly Sins AnthologyEnvy and Gluttony editions available on Amazon and at shannonleighrivera.com.

Without further ado, here are a few snippets of our conversation.

Krisna: What would be your hero’s favorite real-world book? Your villain’s?

Shannon: If Talshae lived on Earth, she would probably be a huge fan of Joseph Campbell because he was a scholar of myths and legends, which is something she considers herself in her own world. The villain, not to give away too much about my antagonist, he would probably love anything that had to do with weapons- Jane’s Military Digest or anything that had to do with tactics or war.

Krisna: Are there themes you’re trying to bring out in your YA/NA that you feel are underrepresented?

Shannon: I believe that my writing really focuses on the importance of learning to love oneself. I want my characters to learn how to rely on themselves, rather than feel that they need to have another person love them in order to see their own worth.

However, I also focus on purpose over things, finding purpose over chasing things, which also plays into that. And the theme of duty, honor, and sacrifice, which isn’t something people really like to write about these days. Most YA/NA is about rebellion and breaking from traditions, while I explore the importance of traditions and the reasons for rebelling against the right things, or standing up for the right things, even if they are unpopular.

Krisna: Loving oneself, duty, honor and sacrifice – wonderful themes that are much needed in this world. It’ll resonate with a lot of readers. Speaking of readers, what can you tell us about your imaginary reader? Do you write with a specific reader in mind?

Shannon: I suppose this would be more like my imagined fan base. I suppose when I write, I am hoping that male and female readers will be able to relate to my characters and the world they live in. I tend to write more for a female audience, probably on the mature end of YA/NA, but I certainly don’t feel like the younger end would be turned off by the themes or mood of the story. Guys might not like the lead, Talshae, but they will certainly be able to get behind the male characters, especially Kaji and Lord Yu.

Krisna: If you could live in any fictional world, which would you choose? Why?

Shannon: I would live in the world of Earthsea (Ursula Le Guin’s brainchild). Why? Two reasons- first- lots of water and islands. I am a sailor at heart. I love the ocean and I love being near the ocean. The water culture in her book appeals to me. Second- dragons.

Krisna: LOL! I’m a great fan of dragons too. *glances at clock regretfully*

We have time for one last question. Who was your favorite author as a child? Do they influence your storytelling now?

Shannon: The one author that has really stuck with me since my youth has been Anne McCaffrey. I remember the first time I read Dragonriders of Pern, I was just blown away. She was the reason I started writing fantasy, but also the reason I started reading more fantasy. I still branch out and read from every genre, but she is the one that introduced magic to me in such a way that I knew “this is it, this is what I want to do.”

Krisna: Thank you so much, Shannon, for taking the time to be with us and sharing insights into your writing.

Shannon: It was my pleasure…

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CONNECT WITH SHANNON:

When Shannon isn’t teaching writing classes or homeschooling her four children, she is writing serialized short stories for her fantasy blog. In addition, she is working on her first full-length novel, Of Rebels and Ruin, due out later 2017.

You can connect with Shannon through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Goodreads and her website.

Ask the Author: Heather Hayden

Dear Friends,

Today I have the pleasure of having with us the fantastic Heather Hayden, author of Augment.

As most of you know, I’m a fairy tale happily-forever-after person. But recently, I read a short story written by Ms. Hayden in the JL Anthology “From the Stories of Old”. It hooked me and left me reeling at the tragic yet sweet end. It’s one of the few tragedies that I actually liked.

So, naturally, I had to meet her and ask her a few questions about her writing process 🙂

Here are a few snippets of our conversation:

Krisna: Thank you so much for joining us today, Heather. Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you? 

Heather: Oh dear, that’s taking me way, way back… Honestly, I’m not sure I do. I have vivid memories of many children’s books, but I was able to read by the time I was five, and I don’t really have any memories from before then. I know one of my favorites was about a magic pebble—Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. Since fantasy is one of my favorite genres to read and write today, I’m guessing that may have had an impact on me!

Krisna: Ooh, a story about a magic pebble! Interesting. Any tips on what to do and what not to do when writing? 

Heather: From my own experience, forcing yourself to write doesn’t often result in anything you want to see again, much less edit or publish. If you’re banging your head against a story, set it aside and do something else—go for a walk, do chores, hang out with friends or family—for a few hours, or days, or weeks. If you enjoy working on multiple projects, pick up a different one or start a new one. Don’t punish yourself for not writing. That negativity will become linked to writing for you and you’ll start to dread sitting down in front of the computer.

I find that music can help inspire my writing—I often have specific soundtracks for different stories. I also work on multiple projects at a time so if I’m not making progress in one, I can work on another. It can also be good to set a goal—pages, word count, time limit—for a writing session, whatever works best.

Don’t stop to check your social media sites, or email, or do the dishes, while you’re working toward that goal. Your mind might try to convince you that a minute or two of procrastination is fine, but don’t listen. Tie your muse down and just write.

Krisna: Those are some fantastic tips, Heather. Thanks a lot! LOL! I’m one of those who gets distracted by “1 minute” in twitter or FB or Scribophile 🙂

Where is your favorite place to write? 

Heather: Any place quiet, where I can listen to my music, away from distractions, and just write. I’d love to be able to write on the beach in the summer (and late spring and early fall, before it gets too chilly…actually, any time of year!), but unfortunately I can’t sustain writing by hand for long. I have issues with my wrists at times, and handwriting aggravates it, which is why I use my computer. Maybe someday they’ll invent a computer that’s safe for beach use.

Krisna: How do you relax? 

Heather: My favorite way to relax is to curl up with a good book, and maybe a mug of tea (or a glass of iced tea in the summer.) I also love going for walks on the beach, and listening to music. All of these are great ways for me to recharge my writing battery.

Krisna: Now for some questions on the JL Anthology… Your writers’ group, the Just-Us League, recently released “From the Stories of Old: A Collection of Fairy Tale Retellings.” What was it like collaborating with other authors to produce the anthology?

Heather: Overall, it was a lot of fun! Coordinating everything and making sure we all met our set deadlines was sometimes stressful, and it took a lot of hard work on everyone’s part to ensure our anthology was perfect when we released it, but I learned a lot from the process and I’m looking forward to working with everyone on future anthologies.

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Krisna: Could you tell me a bit about your story in this anthology? What inspired you to choose this story?

Heather: My story, “Beneath His Skin”, is a retelling of a selkie myth. I’ve always been fascinated by mythical creatures, especially those related to the sea, so when it came time to choose a fairy tale to retell, I found myself drawn to that of the selkie myth.

Selkies have always had two very distinct mythos–one involving female selkies, and one involving male selkies. In my story, I twisted the myths a bit, while staying true to the core of what it means to be selkie.

Krisna: It’s a powerful and heart-breaking story, wonderfully written.

Thank you so much, Heather, for taking the time to be with us today and sharing tips and tricks on the writing process. I wish you all the best in your writing career.

ABOUT HEATHER:

KODAK Digital Still CameraThough a part-time editor by day, Heather Hayden’s not-so-secret identity is that of a writer—at night she pours heart and soul into science fiction and fantasy novels. In March 2015 she published her first novella, Augment, a YA science fiction story filled with excitement, danger, and the strength of friendship. She immediately began work on its sequel, Upgrade, which continues the adventures of Viki, a girl who loves to run, and her friend Halle, an AI.

Her latest release is a short story “Beneath His Skin,” which is part of an anthology her writer’s group put together called From the Stories of Old: A Collection of Fairy Tale Retellings. You can learn more about Heather and her stories through her blog and her Twitter, both of which consist of equal amounts of writerly things and random stuff she’s interested in.

 

YA/NA Parley: Sue Seabury

I’m a big fan of YA stories. And if they have lots of magic and dragons, they go right to the top of my “Must-Read” lists 🙂

So this year, I’ve planned to interview some writers from the YA/NA genre, in addition to Fantasy. This month we have with us author, Sue Seabury.

Sue likes exotic travel, good food, and great conversation. Since she doesn’t often get to enjoy any of these things, she makes up stories about them 🙂

You can find her fabulous stories here.

So without further ado, let’s dive right in…

Krisna: Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?

Sue: I’m no expert, but marketing is marketing. Give away something people want cheap or free.

Krisna: LOL! That’s a great way of putting it. Marketing is a field that most authors are wary about. But I guess, it’s all about building relationships. And when we give more than what we take (which is what giveaways are all about), we give our readers a good-feel and build trust. 

Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future?

Sue: I suppose I made them in not doing more research into how to market. I plan to correct that.

Krisna: That’s a good tip. Writing is one aspect, but to get our novel the exposure it deserves is critical too. Would you or do you use a PR agency?

Sue: I do not, but I would consider. As an introvert, marketing is automatically not my forte.

Krisna: There’s a lot of discussion among authors about book covers. Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?

Sue: Yes. I believe everyone judges a book by its cover, no matter what they say.

Krisna: What advice would you give to your younger self?

Sue: Ignore negativity. It reflects on that person, not you.

Thank you, Sue, for stopping by. I wish you all the best in your writing career!

Fire Your Inspiration: Extra-Ordinary Things

Happy New Year, my dear friends!!

This year, I’m starting a new series of posts that is all about kindling our inspiration and keeping the fires of creativity and determination blazing in our hearts.

Any creative work including writing is all about inspiration. Our stories, our characters, our magical worlds touch our hearts and inspire us so much that we find no rest until we pen them down.

But there are times when inspiration is solely lacking from our lives, when the daily struggles of the “real” world bog us down and keep us tied for days and weeks together. One of the things that really helped me get out of this and get inspired again was watching inspirational videos. So in the “Get inspired” Posts, I’m going to share all the video clips and techniques that really touched my heart and pulled me up from the quagmires of banality.

Here’s one such video about Ordinary People Doing Extra-ordinary things.

Think your goals and dreams are almost impossible because of life-situations? Take a look at this video and think again…

At the start this year, I swear to myself I’ll not rest till I achieve my dreams just like these “ordinary” people did…

What about you?

Relax, Meditate, Rejuvenate

WHY MEDITATE?

Life today is full of stress and tension in all aspects – professional, personal and social. Be it work in the software industry, a medical hospital or university, there’s more and more competition and demands for perfection in stressful situations. And life at home is no less demanding.

How can one face all of this with confidence and, more importantly, a calm disposition that would get results?

By regulating the mind, increasing our capacity to focus and bringing a balance to our emotions and thoughts.

meditation

The Buddha was asked, “What have you gained from Meditation?”

“Nothing,” he replied. “However, let me tell you what I lost: anger, anxiety, stress, depression, insecurity, fear of old age and death.”

WHAT IS MEDITATION?

Meditation is continually thinking about one object at a time. All other thoughts and ideas that divert us are ignored, while the mind is trained to bring the focus gently back to the object of meditation.

Now what happens when this is practiced every day?

mag-glassLike the magnifying glass that can focus the rays of the sun at one point and even drill a hole in wood, the  mind becomes much stronger, able to focus better and finish any task faster, more effectively and accurately.

Heartfulness Meditation also teaches its practitioners another very effective technique of mental cleaning. Through this cleaning process, one is able to remove all negative and weaker tendencies, stress, anxiety and anger. Combined with a simple and very effective meditation that reinforces the positive aspects of a person, and the cleaning that removes all the negative aspects, it becomes very easy to remain peaceful, balanced and stress-free in all situations.

And a balanced/ calm person  has better clarity of thought in stressful situations, makes the right decisions and hence is more effective.

Here’s how Heartfulness Meditation has helped thousands of people around the world:

Learn to Meditate this New Year by joining the free Meditation Masterclasses  from the 2nd to 4th January 2017 conducted by Shri. Kamlesh Patel (experienced trainer of Heartfulness meditation).

The masterclasses will be available online each day, starting at midnight, and accessible throughout the day. Each class runs about 1 hour.

Click here to register for the free meditation masterclasses.

Relax, meditate and experience the Infinite potential of the heart.

Wishing you all a fantastic and prosperous New Year!!

Learn to Meditate: Free Meditation Masterclasses

As many of you know, I practice Heartfulness Meditation and have found this to be incredibly helpful in my life. This meditation has brought so many positive changes and has helped me deal with tough life-situations that would have pulled me down otherwise.

meditationThe Buddha was asked, “What have you gained from Meditation?”

“Nothing,” he replied. “However, let me tell you what I lost: anger, anxiety, depression, insecurity, fear of old age and death.”

This is absolutely true for me. Meditation has helped me become more balanced, reduced my anger and stress, helped me face anything life throws my way with a heart filled with courage and belief that I can come through it successfully and, more importantly, stronger than before.

But why am I sharing all of this now?

Because today, I heard some really fantastic news 🙂

Kamlesh D. Patel (very experienced trainer of Heartfulness Meditation Institute) is personally conducting Meditation Masterclasses from the 2nd to 4th of January 2017.

All of these meditation classes are conducted absolutely free of charge as usual with the aim to help as many people of the world as possible to have a balanced and peaceful life. 

Check out how Heartfulness Meditation has helped people all around the world:

The New Year is a time for evaluating our lives, for making resolutions to improve and transform. And this is possible when we make use of effective techniques that achieve results in the midst of our rushed lifestyles.

Join Kamlesh D. Patel as he walks you through very effective ways to relax & meditate in 3 online video masterclasses.  You can practice these everyday in the comfort of your own home at any convenient time.

Learn how to:

  • Relax for physical well-being
  • Meditate on the heart and experience transmission to deepen your meditation
  • Simplify thoughts
  • Unwind the mind. Let go of stress and rejuvenate
  • Connect to your inner self and observe your deepest feelings
  • Make wise life choices
  • Find inner strength, develop confidence and balance
  • Nurture relationships
  • Find joy within

Each masterclass, for 40-60 minutes, will be available on consecutive days, starting at midnight throughout the day, on 2, 3, 4 January 2017.

This is an awesome opportunity for all people who are interested to learn meditation. 

Register once for all three days to receive an email with link to the videos.

Relax, Meditate and Experience the infinite potential of the heart!

I wish you all a very lovely Christmas and a fantastic New Year!!

Lots of love,

Krisna