Congrats to all the #SIBA winners!


I just want to take a moment to congratulate all of the Summer Indie Book Award winners. You all put up an amazing fight, and despite all of the drama that surrounded the Awards, it was a good time for most of us authors.

Thank you to everyone who rallied together to make the first ever Summer Indie Book Awards so amazing.It was extremely competitive and so many people showed us indie authors support.

Thank you to everyone who voted for Sapphire’s Destiny during the awards to. You guys showed me some serious love and I was pleasantly surprised by the sheer number of people who have already fallen in love with The Realms Series as much as I have.

For those of you patiently waiting for the next books to come out, don’t worry, I will be putting you out of your misery soon. I don’t have an exact date yet for Blood Stone or Chasing Fire. I was planning a Halloween release for Chasing Fire but my day job has been demanding more and more of my time lately so I’m trying to work writing into my 6 day work week. I can say it will be finished by Christmas though!

If you haven’t done so, head over to my book club, S.L. Perryman Book Club on Facebook, for an exclusive sneak peak into Chasing Fire. As Nubby and Jeremy search for the newly awakened Gifted they find themselves chasing a murderer! As well as exclusive sneak peaks at Blood Stone, the second book in Sapphires’ journey. There are so many big reveals in this book that I want to get it right before I release it. I think you guys will be shocked!

Anyway, back to my cave I go to submerge myself into the magical world of The Realms. Next time I resurface I will be announcing the official release dates! (I hope:/)

 

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Summer Indie Book Awards


Today I was contacted by Metamorph Publishing who informed me that my novel, Sapphire’s Destiny, had been nominated for the 2016 Indie Book Awards.

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For me, as a new author, this is a huge step in the right direction. Not many awards are handed out to self published authors, so even making it onto the list is a huge success.

This of course, doesn’t mean that I will place in my category but I have an equal chance as any other nominated author including the better known ones (like Alanea Adler’s Bewitched and Bewildered series which I happen to love).

According to Metamorph Publishing’s site, this is the first year of the awards and there are already over 1,800 nominees across 26 different categories- and there is still 3 weeks left of nominations before voting begins on September 1st.

They are shooting for 3 winners in each category. Each winner will recieve a certificate and some sort of prize as well as bragging rights. With the help of donors like me and you they will be able to achieve this goal. Right now they are accepting everything from money, gift cards, and book marks to signed copies of books and other swag. You can learn more about donating on their website and if you have any questions about what they will and won’t take just shoot them a message through their contact page or on facebook and they will get back to you asap.

They are also accepting nominations up until August 31st, so if you have any favorite indie authors you would like to see on the list, shoot on over to their website and nominate them.

Don’t forget to vote anytime between September 1st-11th for your favorite indie author/novels. (Hint, Hint)

 

Kindle Select: Is it worth it to be exclusive?


Publishing a book is hard. There are so many decisions to be made on a daily basis. But the most important decision you will ever make is whether you will go the traditional or self published route.

As you may have guessed, this post is for those who are considering self publishing.

For most self published authors, Amazon is a treasure trove of possibilities. They have an easy to use platform, it’s free topublish through them, and they get over 70% of the world’s books sales through Kindle. If that wasn’t enough to convince you to go with KDP then consider the fact that they have programs designed specifically for authors like ACX audio book production platform, Createspace for physical book copies, Kindle Scout, KDP Select, and they allow you to choose your royalties based on your books purchase price (either 35% for books price $0.99 and up or 70% for books price $2.99 – $9.99).

All of these features are completely free to use for authors which is why Amazon is leading the ebook revolution and other platforms are struggling to compete. 

KDP Select is probably the most popular Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) feature for authors. It allows authors to drop the price of their books for a limited time (5 days per 90 day commitment) to boost book sales and exposure.

Authors have a choice to either offer their book for free for up to 5 days (they don’t have to be consecutive) or drop their price to $0.99 and let it slowly rise over the next 5 days until it’s back to the normal price.

Sounds amazing huh? 

But wait..there’s a catch! When you enroll in KDP Select you sign a 90 day agreement as mentioned above. For those 90 days KDP has exclusive publishing rights to your ebook. This means that while enrolled in KDP Select you can’t offer your eBook for sale on any other online platform until your 90 days are up.

This agreement only applies to eBooks. You can still sell physical and audio book copies anywhere where you want.

So what if you only have one book and you are trying to grow your email list by offering a free copy of your book? The good news is that this is perfectly fine.

According to Amazon, you are allowed to give away free ebook copies or ARC’s via your website or email so there is no need to worry if you already have this offer set up and are considering going with KDP.

KDP Select is a great feature for new authors. In addition to Kindle free days and Countdown days, being in KDP Select also puts your book in Kindle Unlimited which allows thousands of new readers to read your book for free.

I know alot of new authors who’s majority of royalties come from pages read through Kindle Unlimited (mine included).

So what’s the downside?

There isn’t really a huge downside. If your a new author and have no following or fans I highly suggest enrolling in KDP Select and utilizing all of the other features as well until you have a big enough fan base that you can stand on your own two feet. You definitely aren’t going to be hitting the USA Today Bestsellers List with your first book anyway.

Another downside is that if you do end up putting listing your ebook on another site you loose access to KDP Select for 1 year. This also means that if your book happened to be pirated and posted onto a torrent site and amazon finds it you may have your account closed and your books pulled from the online store until the situation is resolved. I suggest setting up a Mention.com account and monitoring you book title/S. It’s free for the first keyword but you have to pay for others. You should also set up Google alerts for as many keywords as you want. The service is far slower than mention.com and it doesn’t monitor many of the social media sites for those keywords like mention does, but at least it’s free.

If your a veteran author who wants to shoot for the USA Today Bestseller List I suggest going wide. Since your book has to be on at least 2 separate platforms to be considered for the list, being KDP exclusive won’t help you achieve that goal.

There are some authors who bash KDP Select and say Amazon is monopolizing the industry, others say that the Kindle Unlimited is destroying the market and a waste of time, but ultimately it comes down to you and what’s best for your career.

Each author must weigh the pros and cons of each service. Only you can decide if KDP Select is the best choice for where you want to go with your career. Do your research. There is tons of information about the program online. Ask other authors about their experience with KDP Select, visit the Kboards and read all of the comments and questions, and make the decision that’s right for you.

Want to learn more about becoming an author? Visit my Aspiring Authors page.

 

 

The Dirt On Free Book Requests and How To Respond To Them


One of the most common questions I come across is how to respond to a readers query for a free book.

Why do authors get them and how are we supposed to respond?

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There are usually two main reasons for these requests; they want to read the book and review it or they are down on their luck and can’t afford to buy a copy themselves.

The Read And Review Request

As an author the first reason is extremely enticing. We all want reviews. That’s how we get our names and our books out their to new readers. New readers look for those reviews to confirm that our books are worth purchasing. But is it worth giving away your livelihood in exchange for a review that may never be posted?

Some authors say yes, it absolutely is and I somewhat agree. If the reader requesting a copy is from a popular review blog, website, or company then send away. Send them a signed copy by all means. But if the reader who requests a copy doesn’t even have a goodreads profile don’t expect a thank you much less a review.

The Hardship (.a.k.a. sob story) Request

Let’s face it, everybody goes through difficult times in their life and we, as humans, are programed to empathise with others in tough times. It’s engraved into our very Souls from the moment we are born. You see someone crying in the corner and your heart breaks for them because you know they’re in pain. You cry when your favorite character gets their heart broken. Someone tells you their family member died and you say “I’m sorry for your loss” and try to finally a way to ease their pain.

It’s only natural to want to help someone out when they are in need and if a copy of your book can help them through this difficult time then you’ll have done your part. But you can’t help everyone, especially if your struggling to get by yourself.

We all know the cold hard truth about what we do. Being an author isn’t exactly living a life of luxury. Granted, their are a select few  who have gotten lucky and struck gold with their stories. Unfortunately, the vast majority of us have to keep our day jobs because our royalties don’t exactly pay the bills.

If you can afford to do so, giving away a few copies of your book a year is fine. It actually helps your reputation as an author because people talk. But it could also invite others to see you as an easy target and the requests for free books will start pouring in.

So what should you do if you get a request for a free copy of your book?

Ignore Them-

This is one of the most common answers I hear. It’s a viable option but not one I agree with and here’s why.

These people are your readers. They look up to you, idolize you because you are a published author. If you see your favorite actor or singer in public what do you do? You want to take your picture with them, shake their hand, get their autograph, or just plain old interaction! That’s what you want and that’s what your readers want. The more you interact with them the happier they are.

If they are your true fans they will be thrilled that you answered them at all, even if you send them a polite rejection letter.

If you ignore them they may loose faith in you and look elsewhere for that interaction!

Offer to send a copy to their local liabrary-

This is actually a very good idea…if you have a paperback verson. Donating copies of your books is an excellent way to reach alot of readers and help the liabrary out in a small way.

The only problem that you might encounter is that the liabrary won’t add your book to its shelf. Libraries have limited space and if your book isn’t in demand by the locals then the liabrary will remove it from the shelves to make room for books that the community does want.

I suggest donating to your local libraries anyway. Sometimes they will make a special exception for local authors and keep your book on display to show support.

Offering a book for free in exchange for an email sign up-

This is by far one of the best options and alot of authors are utilizing this method without realizing how significant it is.

A mailing list is a lifeline for most authors. It’s the best way for us to contact our true fans when we release a new book which leads to sales. It’s also a great way to weed out requesters who are just looking for a free book with no strings attached.

It takes 2.2 seconds to sign up for your email list. If they aren’t willing spend 2 seconds agreeing to receive occasional emails from you then they most likely aren’t willing to take the time to leave a review. They probably won’t be willing to actually spend money on any of your other books either.

Setting up an email list with Mailchimp is free up to 2000 subscribers and super simple as long as you have a landing page which you can also get for free with wordpress.com. Having one might keep some of the less devoted readers from requesting free books.

Adding a notice to your site and social media-

If you have a website or a social media account it’s easy to add a notice that you don’t offer free books in exchange for reviews unless they sign up for your email list or get them from amazon when you offer them for free. You can post it in the header, footer, on your FAQ page, or Contact page. You could add it to your Bio on facebook, pin it in a post, or a pinned tweet.

The polite rejection letter-

I use a simple and polite rejection letter asking them to sign up to my email list where I already offer a free book for signing up. I also explain that they will receive an email when I offer my other books for free or at a discounted price through Amazon. Here is what the letter looks like.

 

Dear [reader],

Thank you for taking the time to contact me. I always love hearing from fans and avid readers. (If aplicable add “I’m sorry to hear that your [insert reason for hardship here])

I regret to inform you that I do not give copies of [name of book] out for free via email. I do however offer [name of free book] to subscribers of my email list which you can sign up for here [insert link to your subscription form] and receive a notice when [name of Book requested] is on sale or offered free on Amazon. 

Wishing you well,

[IInsert your signature]

 

Please share this with other authors who could benefit from it.

How do you deal with free book requests? Leave your answer in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe and follow my blog for more great tips.

What’s New on SLPerryman.com and What’s to Come


Over the last week I have been working on this site adding new content.

If you look in the menu section you will see a few new additions to the site. My goal is to continue adding new content to the site over the next month or so.

So what’s New?

Aspiring Authors– I was an aspiring author not too long ago. I understand the confusion and unbelievable amount of information you have to learn when first starting out. I created this page to compile all of the information and resources I have found useful into one easily accessible place for anybody who aspires to someday become a published author.

Downloads– This page is a sub-page for aspiring authors. Here you will find handy printables to help you on your journey to publication. You will find everything from fill-in-the-blank Outline Sheets for your next project to help make your ideas flow smoothly, to checklists, and even printable Book Promotion Site Lists. I will continue adding new printables to the page as time goes on so check back regularly or sign up to my email list to be notified when there are updates made.

Winners Circle– This page is dedicated to my giveaways and the winners of the giveaways. Each time I host a giveaway I will post an announcement on the welcome page, blog, as well as in the Winners Circle. If I have multiple giveaways going at the same time they will all be listed in the Winners Circle together.

Store- You will notice that the store tab has moved but is still live so if you want to make purchases you still can.*

*More things to come.

What’s to come?

Realms Merchandise-Very soon you will be able to purchase The Realms Series apparel. I am working on getting some Realms Creature Plushies made as well as some surprises. More on that at a later date.

Free Book when you sign up to my mailing list offer– Very soon I will be offering a Free eBook when you subscribe to my mailing list. If you are already subscribed you will automatically receive the free book when it goes live.

Print and Audio book availability– In the next few months Sapphire’s Destiny will be available to purchase in audio book and paperback formats through the Store. Keep your eye out for the announcement.

Book Promotion Newsletter– Soon you will be able to sign up to receive special emails with Free or Discounted Book Deals. These emails will be sent out once DAILY with new deals every day. Current Newsletter Subscribers keep and eye on your mailbox for the Launch Announcement.

If you have any questions please leave them in the comments below.

Bad Reviews Suck! How to deal with Negative Nancy’s.


Dear Aspiring Authors, This post is for you.

You see, when you are first starting out writing you are struck with this idea which you think is amazeballs!

You spend hundreds of hours thinking about this idea and hundreds more creating this imaginary world and it’s characters. Then, after slaving away for months or even years, you release this beast unto the world expecting it to be nothing  less than a New York Times Best Seller.

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You’ve edited your manuscript to perfection and you’ve enlisted dozens of beta readers and reviewers who have all raved about your story.  You spent hundreds or thousands of dollars on a beautiful cover, amazing blurb, and done a ton of research before you set your masterpiece free. 

The book goes live and you ride the waves of ecstasy as the sales and Amazon Ranking climb. You may throw a release party or you may invest in promotions; either way you’re looking at a decent first paycheck. You’re thinking “Wow, if this continues I’ll be able to quit my day job and take up writing full time within the month!”

And then your first review comes in.

You’re shocked because it’s not a raving 5 star review like all of those beta readers and reviewers said your book was. You become angry as you read this person’s scathing words about your baby. You gasp in shock as this person you don’t know tears your baby to shreds and throws away the pieces. They point out every flaw that was missed, every plot hole that slipped through the cracks, and then go on to insult your writing ability.

“How dare they!”

Then you become angry for a whole different reason. You send a nasty emails to your editor, betas, and reviewers berating them for missing things. You consider removing your book from sale, throwing the hard copy in the grill, and lighting it on fire. Finally, you consider giving up writing all together.

Right now your probably thinking “Wow, talk about melodramatic!”

The sad thing is, this has actually happened before. There have been author who completely gave up on their dream because of a couple bad reviews.

I’m here to tell you that you need bad reviews!

That’s right, I said it! You need bad reviews. Lift your jaw off the floor and listen up.

Bad reviews are essential to your career. A good, bad review will point out all of the flaws in your writing and tell you what the readers want more of. These types of reviews are critical to making your stories everything that the readers want.

You may have written the story for yourself but let’s be honest, the readers are the ones that are going to pay your bills. You need to give them what they want or you will be writing your next novel from a cardboard box under a bridge somewhere.

Every great book has at least one bad review!

Don’t believe me? Go onto amazon and look up the Harry Potter books. Rowling sold millions of copies or the book and millions more copies of the movies. Yet each one of the books in the series has multiple bad reviews.

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Harry potter and the Sorcerers Stone: 12, 061 reviews, 176 of them 1 star!
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Harry Potter and  the Order of the Phoenix: 7,783 reviews, 180 of them 1 star!

Fifty Shades Series? Same! Yet those were turned into movies too.

 

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50 Shades of Grey: 66,325 reviews, 10,158 of them 1 star!

Just because you get a bad review doesn’t mean that the book is bad, it just means that it wasn’t right for that reader.

My very first review was a 3 star and said the book was boring! (see image below) I took it in stride though and decided to use the criticism constructively and write a post for my writers group  on Facebook Authors Alley : Where Authors Come to Network.

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Sapphire’s Destiny Actual review. Though it got a 3 star review right away, my book went on to get multiple 5 star reviews after!

“So I got my first official amazon review today and I’m really happy with it 🙂 It was a 3 star review (before you ask why I would be happy with a 3 star review let me explain).

First, it’s a legitimate unbiased review of my book from someone I don’t know. Second 3 stars tells me that 1) the book was good enough to finish but 2) could use improvements. For my very first book, to me that is an excellent sign. It means that I’m doing well but have room to grow.

Next, they said the book didn’t have enough action and when there was action, it was short lived. This tells me that readers want more action and that they want the action scenes to be longer (totally doable I might add).

Then they said that a lot of things were left unexplained and that they will be reading the next book to see if they get explained. This tells me that the hook worked, that I need to answer some questions in book 2 (already planned to), and that I’ve pretty much already sold a book before it’s out.

I love these types of reviews, they tell you so much in so little words that help you become a better writer and make your writing more enticing.”

See what I did there?

I read the review, picked out the critical feedback, and turned it into information I can use for future books!

 

You can avoid getting bad reviews by targeting the specific audience your book would do well with. This is called Niche Targeting. Of course investing in a great editor, proofreader, and getting strangers to beta read your manuscript helps a lot but sometimes that’s not enough.

My advice to you?

Read each review but ignore the ones that are just trolling. If the review doesn’t contain anything useful then ignore it. The reviewer may have just been having a bad day or is just a negative person. If you are getting lots of 1 star reviews then step back and really take a good look at your book.

Use the bad reviews as a writers guide.

Take note of each of the issues that are pointed out and fix your manuscript. You can republish it with the new changes, unfortunately you won’t be able to remove those bad reviews unless you take the original down and republish the book as a second edition.

All in all, just enjoy the process! You can’t please everyone! If you are happy with the book then ignore the haters and write the next book. Maybe your first book wasn’t for everyone but maybe your next one will be!

What is the worst review you’ve gotten? Do you have any advice for new authors about dealing with bad reviews?

Post your responses in the comments below!

 

Samantha Warren-Author Interview


Today’s Featured Author Interview is  Samantha Warren; author of  the Jane Series, the Alaesha Legacy series, and the TRK series.Samantha Warren
Names and dates of published novels?

I have over 20 books available which is entirely too many to list here! You can find all of them on my website www.samantha-warren.com. Here are three as an example.

Vampire Assassin (Jane #1)

The Third Key (The Alaesha Legacy, #1)

The Iron Locket (TRK #1)

What genre and subgenres do you write in?

I write Speculative fiction. So far I have horror, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, fantasy, sci-fi steampunk, and now YA dystopian
How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing since 2010.
What made you want to be a writer and have you always wanted to write?

I found National Novel Writing Month and decided to give it a try. I was hooked.
Who are your favorite authors?

JK Rowling and Jonathan Maberry
What was the first piece of fiction that you fell in love with?

I’ve been reading since I was a kid. Some of the books I loved then were Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Ronia the Robber’s Daughter, Riddle at Pencroft Farm, and The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle.
What do you enjoy most about writing?

That varies depending on my mood, which is why I write such a wide range of things.
How long did it take to write your first/last novel?

I wrote my first novel in 3 months. My most recent one I wrote in about 3 weeks.
What are three words that you would choose to describe your writing style?

Fun, weird, easygoing
Are your characters inspired by real life people or do you make them up 100%?

I think all characters have a little piece of the author in them somewhere. They’re either who we want to be, or what we fear.
What sort of mood or feelings did you hope to convey to your readers with your latest work?

That it doesn’t matter where you came from. You can be who you want to be.
Can you tell us a little bit about the main character of your most recent novel.

Kinley is a 15-year-old who has lived most of her live in the zombie apocalypse. She has a twin brother Kincaid and isn’t quite sure what she wants to do with her life.
How do you go about building an antagonist?

My antagonists tend to grow organically, as the story forms. I don’t always have one in mind when I’m starting.
Can you describe for us your writing process?

As much as I try to make a schedule, I’m definitely a binge writer. I’ll do nothing for a month, then bust out a novel in 3 weeks.
What kinds of activities do you enjoy besides writing?

I like to read, of course. And I’m a big fan of coloring books. I also volunteer for the local 4-H.
Do you ever need to escape from writing? What do you do to get away?

Not usually. Usually I need to escape TO writing.
What is the hardest part for you as an author and what would you say is the easiest?

The hardest parts for me are the first draft and the marketing. The easiest is the formatting. Formatting is a piece of cake.
Do you have any author pet peeves?

When someone thinks they know the ‘right’ way to do it. There is no right way. There is only your way.
Any authors that you feel directly inspired you, your works, or your style?

JK Rowling, Jonathan Maberry, Chuck Wendig. I’m sure there are many others that I can’t think of off the top of my head.
Would you say that you were good at english in highshcool?

If not, what were you good at? I was good, but I found it boring.
Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, what are some ways that you overcome it?

I don’t believe in writer’s block. To me, it’s just a lack of motivation. Sometimes I have a REALLY hard time working through it, but the only true solution is to just write.
Are there any current projects that we can look forward to?

Zombie Juice is heading to Kindle Scout very soon. I’ll let you know when it’s there.
What are your long-term goals as a writer?

I eventually want to be able to attend conferences and whatnot and speak and teach others.
Are you planning any spin-off novels?

I have some already, for the Jane series.
What advice would you give to your younger self?

Just do it and who cares what anyone thinks.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Also, just do it and who cares what anyone thinks.
Are there any other interesting things that you would like your readers to know?

I love you all! You’re the reason I write!
How can your readers find out more about you and your books?
FB: http://www.facebook.com/authorsamanthawarren
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/_samanthawarren
Website: http://www.samantha-warren.com

Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/Samantha-Warren

Martine Lewis-Author Interview


Today’s featured author interview :Martine Lewis; Author of Crossing the Barrier- a contemporary young adult romance.martine lewis

 

 

 

 

What are the names and dates of  your published novels?

Crossing the Barrier – The Gray Eyes Series – Book One was published on March crossing the barrier by martine lewis22, 2016

What genre/subgenres do you write in?

I write upper Young Adult Contemporary Coming-of-Age Romance with a touch of Paranormal.

How long have you been writing?

I began to write when I was 11 years old. I use to write ban-fiction and fan-fiction. I wrote one original story in high school, but it was my only original work before this series.

What made you want to be a writer and have you always wanted to write?

I have always considered myself a writer, but, I never thought I would publish anything. If anything, when my sister asked, I always told her that I did it for fun and was too lazy to create my own world. Well, not anymore… I think she’s the major reason why I finally ventured to create my own universe.

Who is your favorite author?

I have many but, I want to say Cambria Hebert is my favorite. I love her #hashtag series.

What was the first piece of fiction that you fell in love with?

It’s been too long… Maybe Mercedes Lackey, her first Valdemar trilogy… It’s been way too long…

What do you enjoy most about writing?

I enjoy talking about people who fascinate me, taking the time to get to know them, and telling their stories.

How long did it take to write your first and how long to write the last novel?

Usually, I can write a 95,000 words in a month. I use challenge months such as the National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo), Camp Nano, and Junowrimo to complete my first drafts, and off months to plan and edit. It works for me to have the pressure of a challenge in order to obtain a good word count by a certain date. I think my first draft is by far the easiest part to write. I once wrote a 100,000 words fan-fiction beginning to end in 10 days… But I was never able to repeat that feat!

What three words would you choose to describe your writing style? Energetic, fun, but also angsty.

Are your characters inspired by real life people, or do you make them up 100%?

Lily was made up. The idea of Malakai came from my looking at a particular player from the high school football games I attend. But Malakai’s character is completely different and he doesn’t play the same position so that’s where the similarity stops.

What sort of mood or feelings did you hope to convey to your readers with your latest work?

Things may be dark, but they won’t stay dark forever.

Can you tell us a little bit about the main character of your most recent novel?

Lily is a band member with a secret. Malakai is a football player who is rather lonely. Both have issues at home but very different ones. They fall in love and have to face their issues in order to grow and come into their own.

How do you go about building an antagonist?

I don’t really “build” them. They actually come to me and tell me I need to write their stories. It’s unsettling sometimes. That’s how my second series was born. A minor character of my book (who didn’t make the cut!), jumped out of the page and screamed at me to write her story. She came fully developed and all… She hasn’t told me all of her story yet, just some of the background. I think she’s mad that I told her she would have to wait a few years before I can get to her.

What is your writing process?

Usually, a first draft is one month. Then I let the draft sit for at least one month before coming back to it for a first revision. If it’s good enough (which it rarely is), I send it to my legal reviewer and my betas. If it’s not good enough, it sits for another month then receives a second round of revision before going to legal review and betas. When I get it back, I take one month to review it then I send it to development editing. After development editing (usually 2 months – one for my editor, one for me), I send it to copyediting. Copyediting is two rounds of comments from my editor and takes about 2 months of back and forth. Then it’s proofreading with a second editor, and that is also two rounds and take about 45 days. During that time, my cover artist works on the cover. Once it’s all done, I create the the paper copy layout and then the eBooks.

What do you do when you aren’t writing?

Rollerskate. Yeah, even at my age, I still do.

Do you ever need to escape from writing, if so, what do you do to get away?

I drive… well, it’s not really an escape. It’s when I can figure out my plot issues. Real escape…. Mmmmhhh, rollerskating is one.

What is the hardest part for you as an author? What do you consider the easiest?

Grammar and finding the right word is the hardest part. English is my second language after all. I also struggle with show/tell. Characterization is probably the easiest part.

What is your biggest pet peeve as an author?

Pen color! Even on my white board… Everything needs to follow a certain order of color.

Are there any authors that you feel directly inspired you, your works, or your style?

Cambria Hebert is definitely one of them.

Would you say that you were good at English in high school? If not, what were you good at?

I was okay at everything; even English. I wasn’t the best student ever (I had stuff to write after all), but I was doing all right.

Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, what are some ways that you overcome it?

Yes, I do. They last for years. Before, I would just wait for it to go away. After all, I was writing fan-fiction so keeping a schedule wasn’t important. Now, I just hope I don’t get one! I don’t know how I would manage it.

Any current projects that we can look forward to?

The Gray Eyes Series is a series of six books; the first in the series is now available. I plan on releasing one book  every six months. After that series, there are two others planned.

What are your long-term goals as a writer?

After The Gray Eyes Series is over, I am planning on starting on my second six book series, The Blue Eyes Series, then move on to my third series, The Green Eyes Series. I currently have a five-year schedule that covers the first two series.

Are you planning any spin-off novels?

Not so much a spin-off novel as spin-off content which will be available for free on the website, to my newsletter subscribers.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Don’t give up. Don’t listen to mom. Keep on writing.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Don’t give up. And when you’re ready, seek help and advice. There are so many good writers groups on Facebook. Join a few and ask for help. Writers are generous people, they will help you if you ask.

Are there any other interesting things that you would like your readers to know?

I have all sorts of things coming up the pipeline. Please join my newsletter to keep informed.

How can your readers find out more about you and your books? 

Website: www.martinelewisauthor.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/martinelewisauthor

Twitter: www.twitter.com/authorMartine

Instagram: www.instagram.com/martinelewisauthor

Goodreads author page: www.goodreads.com/martinelewisauthor

Amazon author page: www.amazon.com/author/martinelewis

Homemade Cough Drops- How to Treat a Cough Naturally


My son was sick a few weeks ago and my 20160424_223551husband has been sick for the last 2 weeks, I was feeling overly confident and celebrating the fact that I have been dealing with sick boys for almost a month and hadn’t even gotten a sniffle yet. I was feeling pretty good about myself.

I woke up super early yesterday; we had to drive 2 hours to visit my in-laws in Missouri. The whole way down there I felt fine. We get down there and since it was such a nice day we decided to go mushroom hunting. 2 hours into the forest my sinuses started hurting. I brushed the feeling off as allergies, though I don’t know why because I’ve never suffered from allergies in my entire life.

We trudged through thick forest for well over 5 20160424_223559hours and my only concern was that I would catch a bad case of poison ivy (no symptoms of that yet but I’m super allergic so I will update later) and need to be thoroughly checked for ticks.

Fast forward to today… have you ever gone swimming in a public pool? You know the kind where you can smell the chlorine from 8 blocks away and it never fails, as soon as you get in, someone splashes you in the face and chlorine water rockets up your nose. You spend the rest of the swim trying to get your nose to stop burning but its persistant and won’t stop. Well I woke up and it feels like Satan set up shop in my sinuses and is roasting marshmellows.

Halfway through the day he migrated to my voice box and decided to torture me some more by using a brillow pad to clean my vocal cords and it just so happens that I am completely broke and out of cough drops.

So I decided to get creative. Have you ever been so broke that you turn into a inventor/scientist/researcher? Ya, I’m there.

After a little over an hour on pintrest (my new favorite app) and googling stuff I have on hand, I finally created my own version of Cough Drops.

1 cup white sugar

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons honey (any kind will do)

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground clove

3 drops spearmint oil

1/4 cup powdered sugar (if you don’t have any powdered sugar put 1/4 cup of white granulated sugar into a blender until powdered)

Mix sugar, water, lemon, honey, ginger, clove, and spearmint in a saucepan and boil on high for 20-30 minutes, stirring constantly, until it thickens to the consistency of syrup or just a bit thicker. It should be thick enough that when you use a spoon to drip some on a paper towel, it beads up and starts to harden. Be careful not to burn the sugar or you will have to start over.

When it reaches the correct consistancy, spoon small dollops onto parchment paper and let cool until it hardens into candies (you can purchase a mold here). If the mixture starts to harden in the pan before you get it poured out, just turn the heat back on and get the mixture soft again.

Once hard, lightly sprinkle powdered sugar over the candies until coated so they don’t stick together and place in a zip lock bag.

Cleanup is a breeze! When you are done boiling the mix and spooning it out, fill the pan with hot water and boil until all of the sugar mix that is left disolves, rinse out with warm water, and wipe down the counters.

This recipe makes about 3 dozen lozenges or more depending on how big you make the dollops. Mine turned out a little funky because I didn’t have a mold but they work all the same.

This summer I’m going to make a huge batch of these and pass them out to all of my family and friends just before flu season hits. They will make excellent pre flu season gifts!

Have you ever made your own cough drops? What are your favorite ingredients to add to homemade cough drops?

Share them down below in the comments:)

Release Day Giveaway: Popular Fantasy


I’m hosting a release party in my book club. There will be guest authors, interviews, games, and giveaways.

20160414_153641

 

You can enter the main rafflecopter giveaway anytime between April 27th and May 7th. Winners will be announced for those prizes shown to the right on May 8th by email and in the club.

Some of the prizes include:

Dumbledore’s Elder Wand

Arwens EvenstarNecknlace

Hermione’s Time Turner Necklace 

Groot plushie

Rocket plushie

 

There may be more prizes added at a later date.

The release party officially starts May 1 st at 8 am. Stop by and visit with all of the guest authors.

S.L. Perryman Book Club