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)

 

3 of the Top Paying Online Platforms for Freelancers of all Types


So you have a talent, that’s awesome, but you feel like your not making as much money as you should be at your 9-5 and your boss is a jerk. But what can you do?

 

Here is a little known secret…you CAN work from home AND make good money!

 

I know, I sound crazy right?

 

It’s true! You can work from home and you can make money doing it. I know because I’ve been doing it for over a year now. All you need is a talent, Internet access, and a will to work. Yes, it’s really that simple.

Whether you are an awesome artists, an decent writer, great with photoshop, or have excellent organizational skills there is someone somewhere in the world looking for people like you and willing to pay for the services you can offer.

Here are 3 of the top paying sites I’ve found that cater to freelancers of all types.

 

Taskrabbit.com –

This site is specifically for people who work with their hands and dont mind to travel. You can become a Tasker by signing up on the site for free. Tasks range from handyman services like fixing broken pipes to cleaning services, there are even jobs posted looking for people to fold t-shirts. Simply input your zip code and Taskrabbit will match you with tasks in your area. You can set your own wage, choose when you work, and how far you travel; so how much you earn is in your hands.

Upwork.com

This site is for all forms of freelancers. If you have a skill like editing, graphic design, or maybe you can write an awesome resume, this is the site for you. Create a free account, take a few simple tests (not mandatory), fill out your profile and work experience, and start searching the job listings. When you find one that interests you simply send the employer a proposal stateting why you are interested in the job, your qualifications, and your bid. Each listing has a set budget and details stating what the employer is looking for so it’s easy to find a job that pays well and is within your scope of expertise.

Fiverr.com –

Fiverr is alot like Upwork only you are the one posting the jobs based on your expertise. Simply create a free account, fill out your profile, and start creating job listings or Tasks. Jobs start at $5, so keep it simple. Lets say you are an awesome artists, your first job listing might read “I will draw you an original character based off your ideas”; then fill out a few details, start your price at $5, offer extras like same day delivery or multiple revisions for X dollars, and post your task. Buyers find your listing and purchase your jobs, they can also send you special requests which you can accept or deny and set your own price for those as well.

There you have it, 3 of the top sites for freelancers of all types to get you started working from home.
Do you work from home? What sites do you recommend using? Leave your answers in the comments below!

 

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.

Writers Block: The 3 categories of Writer’s block and How to Overcome them!


Writers Block. We’ve all had it at one point in time or another.

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When you were given a 5,000 word essay in high school and tasked with researching some inconspicuous boring topic. You spend weeks researching the topic and feel prepared. You know everything you need to about The Life cycle of Meal-worms from what they eat to how they reproduce. Yet, you sit down at your desk, pencil in hand, and… you draw a blank!

How should you open the research paper? Should you start with some witty fact? How about a bit of humor or a not so funny jokes? Or maybe just lay out the facts?

Writing is difficult.

So you spend hours outlining the paper, go through 3 packages if sticky notes and note cards, and still nothing comes to you.

The blank page haunts you as the days tick by and the deadline gets closer. You write and rewrite but it still doesn’t feel right. You try everything you can think of, you look up the correct way to open a research paper, you even go as far as asking friends and family for help but nothing works. You draw a blank.

Congratulations, you have writers block!

If you do a little searching, you will come across hundreds of posts with ideas of how to fight writers block. You’ll find good advice like “read a book” and you will find bad advice like “stand on your head for an hour while humming twinkle twinkle little star”. -Okay, I might have made that one up but you get the idea.

Writers block falls under 3 categories: Lack of Ideas, Lack of Motivation, and Lack of Time.

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Once you identify which issue you are having its pretty easy to overcome writers block.

Lack of Ideas

Okay, so lets say you have this amazing idea for a book. You throw together an outline and you write down every detail of the idea as a short description (so that if you forget where you are going with the story you have a quick reminder to help get your brain back to the place it was when you began).

You write out all of the important scenes and start on what I like to call “filler content” (the tedious work in between action scenes that seems to be the hardest thing to write).

But you start to struggle with the story. You don’t know how to make your character get from point A to point B. Who do they talk to? What do they talk about? What important information does the supporting character give to your main character that helps them on their journey?

And then the even more tedious content. What are they wearing? How are they supposed to react to this situation? Facial expressions? Hand gestures? The list goes on and on. All of these simple things that we overlook in our everyday lives are super important when it comes to our stories. Without it, the story is 1 dimensional and is unbelievable to the reader. So you can see, it’s really easy to get stumped during the writing process.

Which as much as your brain has to work just to write a simple scene, it’s easy to wear yourself out. When you spend every waking minute thinking about your story, your characters, and then writing, your brain just sometimes needs a break.

So it will shut itself down which leads to writers block. To overcome this form of writer’s block you need to give your brain the break it needs.

Take a few days off– Letting your brain have a few days off is the best way to beat any block.

Read a good book– I tend to reread some of my favorite books since they were my inspiration for writing in the first place. Don’t worry about whether or not the books you are reading are in the same genre as the ones you are trying to write. A lot of so called experts will tell you to avoid reading books in the same genre since you may accidentally plagiarize the other authors work in an attempt to make yours better. The chances of that are slim. Plagiarism takes a certain amount of thought before it happens, you can’t really plagiarize someone’s work unknowingly.

Try writing something else– this is why I have a blog. It gives me my creative outlet for when I get stumped on my projects. Write about anything you love from makeup to writing. Use this time to build your following of social media, promote your other works, maybe even start on that story you have on the back burner.

Research– Try researching how to better your writing, where you can promote your work, or just look up some recipies. You would be surprised at where inspiration hides.

Edit– use this down time to go back through what you’ve already written and fix problems in the plot, punctuation, and sentence structure. Sometimes you have to go back to the beginning to fix the issues before you can go on.

Enlist a friend– sometimes you just need someone to bounce ideas off of or to give you inspiration. You would be surprised how many people are willing to help if you just say “Hey, do you mind looking over this chapter and giving me your thoughts on how to continue?”

Try some writing prompts– Writing prompts can be a good way to get the juices flowing.

Lack of Motivation

Motivation is a hard one to overcome. Like I said, sometimes you just need a break. If a break doesn’t help try a whole different approach.

Give yourself deadlines– Sometimes knowing that you have to have something done by a certain date is enough to motivate you. I preset my release dates though I keep them a secret until I know I will have the book done on time. You could set weekly, daily, monthly, or project specific goals to help push you along.

Read a book– I know this was already listed but I believe to write you must read. Every time I read a great book I always feel like writing. So choose your absolute favorite book, the one that you’ve read a million times and still cry everything the character confesses his love for the girl, and read a few pages or chapters. Just enough to get you into the mood. Not only can this help overcome your lack of motivation but it will also make your writing better. I read 2 chapters everyday before I start writing.

Set down and type– Sometimes you just have to force yourself to do something. You don’t feel like doing the dishes but if you don’t you will be eating your cereal out of the dog bowl.

Visit a Writers Group– Reading some of the discussions in writers groups is a great way to not only learn more about the craft but also to motivate yourself to write. There is nothing better to motivate you than to read a rags to riches post from an unknown self published indie who is making bank on their novels. Facebook has tons of Writers Groups, just be sure you are taking away the good information and not the bad or letting the bad seeds in the groups bring you down. you can find a list of amazing Writers Groups in the Aspiring Authors Section.

Lack of Time

We are all super busy all of the time so this shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Sometimes not having enough time to write will make you not want to even try. Scheduling your writing so that it fits into your busy schedule is one of the hardest things you will ever do and is probably one of the main reasons your manuscript isn’t finished yet.

Between kids, a job, and daily chores it’s hard to find time to squeeze in a few minutes of writing everyday but it’s essential that you try. If you have time to schedule in your daily dose of The Walking Dead than you can find the time to write.

Make a schedule and stick to it– even if you can only devote 30 minutes a day late at night after the kids are asleep do it and make sure you do it daily, weekly, or whenever you pencil it in.

Make the time– set your DVR to record your favorite shows, send your kids to an after school program or friends for an hour or two, or order takeout and rent a movie one night a week to keep everyone busy while you seek off to your cave to write.

 

Some other tips to combat writers block.

Take a walk or excersise– the quiet time and the extra fresh air will help clear your mind and get the gears turning. The new scenery can spark an idea for the setting of your next chapter and the people you see on your journey may inspire characters.

Clean the house– I know, why would you want to do that? You hate cleaning. Believe it or not, the physical activity helps as does the quiet time. Some of my best ideas for The Realms Series, like Squirt the Showshaw and the Grogus that Sapphire runs into in the book,  came to me while I was washing dishes.

Go shopping or run errands– new faces, products like stuffed animals, or even signs in store windows help spark ideas and get you out of the house.

Change where you write– sit outside in a hammock, by a pool, or in front of a window in a different room of the house. Sometimes you just need a change of scenery.

Take a writer’s course– This will help hone your skills as a writer and give you ideas to write about. There are a lot of online courses that you can take for free as well as some paid ones. You can also call your local college to see if they offer any.

Listen to some good music– Music is a great way to alleviate writers block.

Pinterest– Pinterest has tons of pinned posts specifically for authors. Go create a board for writing and pin away. Don’t worry if you get off topic; browsing Pinterest can be a fun way to get ideas. You could start by pinning this post.

 

Do you have any creative ways to combat writer’s block? What works best for you? Leave your answers 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!

 

Author Interview: S.L. Perryman


Today’s Author Interview is S.L. Perryman; Author of The Realms Series: Sapphire’s Destiny.me 1

Names and dates of published novels?

Sapphire’s Destiny was published April 24th, 2016 though i do have another series which i ghostwrote for another author in 2015.

What genre/subgenres do you write in?

I write Fantasy novels focusing heavily on magical realism in an urban setting but I tend to mix mythology into my novels.

How long have you been writing?

I started writing in middle school, finishing my very first book called Blast To The Past which will never be seen by anyone…ever, but I didn’t really get into writing until three years ago when I became a stay at home mom.

What made you want to be a writer/ Have you always wanted to write?

Boredom, honestly. when you go from working a full time job to nothing what-so-ever you will find ways to fill the time. In my case I had a daydream that i couldn’t shake and finally decided to grab a pen and paper to write it out hoping that I would find a little releif but instead I found my new obsession.

Who is your favorite author?

I have so many; J.k. Rowling, Scott Westerfeld, C.M. Owens, Chamilla Chafer, Hailey Edwards, and so many more. There is no telling how many other authors I will end up adding to this list. I read a lot, so if an authors writing catches my attention and draws me in, then they will most likely end up becoming one of my favorites.

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

The first book I can remember reading over and over again was the Uglies Trilogy by Scott Westerfeld. It’s a dystopian series and it really got my imagination working overtime. I instantly fell in love with Tally-the main character, her friends, and all of the unusual technology in the book.

What do you enjoy most about writing?

I love creating worlds that don’t exist, getting to know my characters, and seeing where the story ends up because it never ends like you imagined when you first start writing. I love being surprised by my own imagination and the things it comes up with.

How long did it take to write your first/last novel?sapphire--HD-Book-Cover

The very first novel I wrote was for another author and it was a short story, it took me about a month to finish from start to finish and 3 months to finish the whole series.

As for my books, Sapphire’s Destiny took me 3 years to write; but I was also working on the other novels in the series at the same time, though only the first one is fully finished now.

What are three words that you would choose to describe your writing style?

Descriptive, magical, and adventurous.

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

Some of my characters have traits of people i know though they aren’t completely the same. They might have the same hair or attitude but that’s about as far as their similarities go. Others are completely made up.

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

I want them to embrace the mystery and get lost in the adventure.

Tell us about the main character of your most recent novel.

Sapphire Archer is a single mom with a shadowed past who just wants to take care of her son and is willing to do anything to keep him safe. When a mysterious package shows up on her doorstep, she it thrust into a mysterious magical world and entrusted with a dangerous task.

Along her journey she encounters mythical creatures, visits magical places, and finds out where she really belongs.

 How do you go about building an antagonist?

I don’t build any of the characters really, they tend to build themselves. But I do believe that a good antagonist is one who can hide in plain sight without being suspected of anything.

Can you describe for us your writing process?

I write late at night. I find that it’s the only time that I can concentrate without interruption and my imagination works the best during the night hours. That my be because I’m so tired that I start dreaming with my eyes open but the scenes seem to flow better.

What kinds of activities do you enjoy besides writing?

I love puzzles, fishing, hunting mushrooms, growing plants, and learning.

Do you ever need to escape from writing? What do you do to get away?

Yes, if I ever need to escape I binge watch Netflix, read a good book, or do anything that is relaxing.

What is the hardest part for you as an author? Easiest?

The hardest part for me is getting the words from my head onto the paper and trying to make it understandable to everyone else. The easiest part is imagining the story line. I can clearly see the characters, where they are, the conversations they have, and the creatures they interact with; it’s just getting all that stuff onto paper that proves to be a problem.

Any author pet peeves?

Judging a book based off of bad reviews. J.K. Rowling and J.R.R. Tolkien have some pretty bad reviews but the stories were some of the most successful fantasy novels ever. Also someone leaving a horrible review on someone’s book and saying that they haven’t read the book yet, to me that’s just pointless.

Any authors that you feel directly inspired you, your works, or your style?

I love the worlds that J.R.R. Tolkien created and hope to some day be as good as he. But I also love C.M. Owens writing style and how relatable and loving her characters are.

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

I loved high school English and graduated on the A Honor Role. It wasn’t until college that I started to dislike the subject.

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

I think everyone comes down with a case of writer’s block at least once in their life. Believe it or not, I wash dishes or clean the house when it happens to me.  It gives me time to think the story through and find ways to correct whatever is killing the flow of thoughts.

Any current projects that we can look forward to?

I’m currently working on book 2 in The Realms Series: Blood stone as well as book 1 in the prequel series The Realms Before the Fall: Reign of the Archer, which is Sapphire’s grandmother Alice Archer’s story.

What are your long-term goals as a writer?

I want to finish The Realms Series and The Realms Before the Fall series. Then i want to start working on my dystopian series W. Vs. Z’s as well as a couple of stand alone novels.

Are you planning any spin-off novels?

Yes, The Realms Before the Fall will be a 6 book series. Each book will highlight different characters form The Realms Series, where they came from, and what they were doing up to the point the Sapphire’s Destiny starts.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Don’t worry so much about where you a headed just enjoy the ride.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Join writing groups (there are tons of Facebook), get as much advice as you can from experienced authors, do your research, and never give up. It will all come together eventually, just don’t rush the story or you will regret it.

Don’t dwell on bad reviews. Use the negative reviews to strengthen your writing and make it better.

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

You can join my Book Club on Facebook where I hang out with everybody, host giveaways, parties with guest authors, sneak peeks at upcoming books, and so much more: www.facebook.com/groups/s.l.perrymanfantasyauthor

Like my author page: www.facebook.com/AuthorSLPerryman

Follow me on Twitter: @sl_perryman

follow my Amazon Author Page for my latest book releases: http://www.amazon.com/S.-L.-Perryman/e/B01DTZHWTO

Check out my website where I blog book reviews, author interviews, and talk about my life and thing I’m doing :www.slperryman.com

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.

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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