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Friday, March 23, 2018

 
This is such a cool coffee shop with a Harry Potter theme! We hope you'll stop by and say hello, #LasVegas & #Henderson. Next Sat. March 31st from 10 am - 1 pm is when we'll be there, hope you can join in on the fun and have some great coffee and perhaps a new read!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Local Events

Please join me and my fellow authors. Susie Johnson & Linda Stiles Fox, at these upcoming February 2018 events. 

In addition, Stephen Murray 
and myself will be presenting a Valentine's Day signing at Barnes and Noble, 567 N. Stephanie in Henderson, on Sunday February 11th from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. 


 There is a tentative signing at Starbucks for Feb. 24th at 3410 E. Sunset & Pecos. Please follow my Facebook page for updates. 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Traditional Publishing vs. Self publishing

Now that the holidays are over, many of my friends and myself are gearing up for our new books. What needs to be finished, what needs to be started and most importantly, how is this going to be published? As an author, this is our end game.

I am traditionally published, which means that I have a contract with a publisher, who after reviewing my work opted to publish it. I don't pay them any money to do this, and when sales occur, I receive royalties from them. Royalties are a percentage of the sales amount that I agreed to accept in my contract.

I finish a book or a short story, I submit it to my publisher. Which in this case is, Solstice Publishing. If they like it, it's published. If not, I hear that big Wha, wha, and either move on to the next book or decide if I want to submit to another publisher. It's in my nature to stick to what I know and this process is comfortable for me. But many of my fellow authors and friends choose another a route, they self publish their books.

Since my experience in the author world is not self publishing, I'll do my best to give you my take on the process. After their book is written and edited, they choose the means by which to publish. Just about everyone I know has gone through Amazon/CreateSpace. There are other companies that charge an exuberant amount with the promises of total saturation, they are referred to as vanity presses. Now I'm not saying they are all bad, but I am saying I have heard some first account horror stories by authors who were duped. So be careful when you're choosing your publishing method. Do your research and check reviews, the companies financial stability if you're able, and contact authors that have used them. Referral is one of the best ways to make an educated decision.
So now your book is published and similar to a contract, Amazon get's a percentage of your sales. You have a bit more control than with traditional publishing, and can enact your own contents changes if you deem it necessary. I bet you're thinking it sounds fairly similar in the end, and it is. But there are differences that I feel are important to point out.

On several occasions, me included, authors have found their books on sites that were not sanctioned by the author or the publisher. When this has happened, Solstice has been right there to help. If you're self published, this is left primarily up to you.
You get professional editing at no cost, you get a beautiful cover at no cost and you get one of the most important things every author needs ... marketing assistance. Now in all fairness, you can opt to have Amazon assist you with marketing, at a price. Now of course I partner with my publisher and market the hell out of my work too. Every author needs to be active with promo, but at least there's someone helping you. And while we're on the subject of help, there are a plethora of authors contracted with Solstice who assist each other with marketing. Another benefit. I should add that Amazon does offer editing and cover design packages for a fee.

It may seem like I'm carrying a banner for traditional publishing, I'm not. I'm merely giving you my vision on how it works for me. I have spoken to many self published authors who feel that what they gain in control, far outweighs the pluses of traditional publishing.

What it boils down to is this ... ultimately it is what works best for you. There is no true comparison because one could argue all day long on the level of comfort they feel choosing traditional or self publishing. You can't validate based on emotions. It results in an endless loop of frustration.

The lesson I've learned. There is room for everyone. If you want to go the traditional route than submit. Be patient, rejection is part of the process. But if that's not time you're willing to spend or comfortable waiting for, than choose self publishing. Get your work out there. We're authors and this is what we do. Even if our means of travel are different, we all have the same destination.




Monday, November 27, 2017


I'd like to introduce to the lovely author, Debbie De Louise. Debbie is running a holiday special you don't want to miss. Purchase all three books in the Cobble Cove Cozy Mystery for only 99¢ each! That's less than $3.00 for the entire series! Wow ... a great holiday gift and while you're at it, the price is phenomenal so how about getting them for you too! A lovely way to relax at the end of the day after the this extra busy time of year. <3

The Cobble Cove mystery series is on sale for 99 cents per book. Don’t miss this holiday special running December 1, 2, and 3. Purchase them all for less than $3. Great to give as gifts, too.

                                            myBook.to/Stonesthr                                                                                                                                                           


The first book of the series featuring librarian Alicia Fairmont who travels to the small town of Cobble Cove, New York in search of answers about her dead husband’s family and the mysterious hit and run accident that killed him . . . or was it actually murder?














It's holiday time in the small town of Cobble Cove, New York, but the mood is anything but merry because three crimes have hit the town including the kidnapping of baby twins.










A dead body in the library’s mystery section . . . . A missing cat . . . . A strange, beautiful woman who has returned from Alicia’s husband’s past. How are these all connected? Find out in Book 3 of the Cobble Cove mystery series.










Monday, September 18, 2017

Today I have the good fortune of sharing with you the undeniable talent of my friend and fellow author, Cyn Ley.

Cyn and I were introduced through our mutual publisher, Solstice Publishing and had the opportunity to meet this past July at one of our many signings. I have since been graced from the universe with a lovely friend and on occasion, mentor. I hope after reading this interview you not only get to know her better but understand why I love her bunches.

Okay, you've waited long enough. Meet, Cyn Ley!

Author: Cyn Ley
Your latest/current work: THE OSSUARY PLAYGROUND AND OTHER UNEXPECTED TALES
Date: June 2017
Publisher: Solstice Publishing

Hi Vicki! Thank you for this opportunity!

1. Tell us about your Latest Book/Book about to be released? Release Date? And can you give us a teaser?
My latest book is The Ossuary Playground and Other Unexpected Tales. It is a collection of four stories, three paranormal in nature, and one quite off the wall. It was released in June 2017. Some teasers for you:

Remains” – The Civil War has long since come and gone on a lonely and forgotten battlefield. What of those who linger there?

Calling You Out” – Many a historic house has its ghosts, and the Miller mansion is no exception. For one of them, all he yearns to hear is his own name.

Stilts” – A house up in Portland’s West Hills bears a terrible stain and a terrifying manifestation to those who live therein. What will bring peace and solace to them all?

The Ossuary Playground” – It remains to children to recall the past, as only children can.

An excerpt from “Remains”: There comes a time that Millicent finds a tattered boy, torn by ball and cannon. For him, each day begins whole and shining, glory on the horizon.
By mid-day, he is scrap, his limbs and blood mingling with those around him. His eyes have borne witness to his own dissolution.

2. What other books/short stories have you written?
I published several collections of short stories in 2014 through Solstice Publishing. In 2016, the best of those tales were combined, revamped, and in some cases left totally unchanged for Encounters Tales Recounted and Reborn. I have had numerous stories published in Solstice’s seasonal anthologies. These stories also appear in Encounters. The collection ranges from humor to paranormal to social satire to friendship, and things in between.

My latest story, “Plot Twist,” will be appearing in Solstice’s annual horror fest, a deliciously scary anthology by various authors entitled Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. It will be released in October.

3. Are they available in e-book, print, or both?
Both

4. Where can readers find your books?
On amazon.com (both print and Kindle editions) Just look under “Cyn Ley.” If I may say so, I have been blessed with excellent reviews by people who have no reason to be nice to me. LOL

6. What do you think are the biggest challenges for the type of writing that you do?
Conveying the ephemeral in such a way that readers will recognize and connect with it, yet retain its exquisite mystery. Language is a carefully nuanced thing.

7. How did you get started in writing?
A longtime friend, herself a Solstice author, nudged me into it. She started me on flash fiction and the floodgates were open! Before that, I did extensive research writing, and was a nationally certified college writing and research tutor for years. Nowadays, I’m a bestselling author and a top-ranked editor.

But really, it all started long ago, when unicorns roamed the earth. I have always loved good writing, even as a small child.

8. Where and How can readers get in touch with you? www.facebook.com/groups/Cleyfiction4

And on my blog, where I not only share my own ramblings but offer interviews with great Solstice authors! https:authorcjl.wordpress.com

9. So with your latest work released/or being released, what comes next? What can we expect from you in the future?
I have several stories in the works right now, but have no idea which one’s going to be done first. Let’s just say I’m playing with history a bit.

10. How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
A fair bit. But of course they’re wrapped differently in a story.

11. Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?
Go with the flow. Writing for me doesn’t mean sitting down and going non-stop for hours. It may be as basic as sketching out a concept, and returning to it later once it’s had time to ferment.

12. What is your routine once you start writing a book?
I don’t really have one. I’m an intuitive writer, so words like “schedule” and “outline” are sort of anathema to me. I may sit down and write pages, or I may scribble down a concept to ponder the what-if’s.

13. What about you in general? What is it that makes you tick? Makes you you? Things you like to do and what prompted you into writing?
I’m hyper-observant by nature, and have a sneaky sense of humor. There’s not much that doesn’t interest me. I’ve had many experiences that some might classify as straight out of cuckoo land, but that’s ok. More story material for me!

14. Among your own books, have you a favorite book? Favorite Hero or Heroine?
I love Gerald in “Calling You Out” (The Ossuary Playground). He is the consummate working man, with a caring and noble heart. My beloved husband inspired Gerald just by living his life the way he lived it.

15. What kind of research do you do when writing one of your works?
Whatever is necessary at the time. It may be a matter of subject, or a matter of language usage. For instance, in American lingo your character might say “lawyer,” but your British character would refer to the same individual as a “solicitor.” It’s important to get words right, regardless of their infinite contexts and variety. The tiniest detail can really throw a reader off.

Researching the subject matter around which your story revolves is really important too. You can always tell whether a writer has done their homework, or just scribbled something down because they thought it sounded good when it was really just being lazy. Trust me – it really does show. And I firmly believe that fiction writers have something to teach us through their stories.

16. Do you ever ask friends/family for advice or ideas to go into your works?
I ask for feedback from time to time, mostly to see if something makes sense. But I also trust my instincts.

17. Have you ever experienced Writer's Block? If so, how did you work through it? Yes. And then my writing Muse kicked me in the head. “But Muse, it’s 3 in the morning….” “Write NOW!!!” tappity tap tap tappity….. She has very interesting ideas, my patron Muse does! And she kicks hard.

18. Who are some of your favorite authors to read?
As an editor, I read many an excellent story by diverse authors. Beyond that, I read all kinds of things on all kinds of subjects, so it’s really hard to pin down.

19. Anything else you'd like to tell our readers?
Don’t let writing PTSD hold you back. Remember those horrible times in creative writing class when you were a kid and the teacher assigned you a project, so you could read it aloud in class the next day? Awful. Write freely and share as you wish. No one’s going to take away your birthday. Just remember that both writing and reading are extremely subjective exercises. If someone likes your writing, halloo, hallay, o frubjous day! But if they don’t, at least they read it, and that’s a good thing too. Everyone has a right to their own opinion. Thank all of your critics, including the negative ones, and invite them to stick with you. They might like your next work.

20. Lastly, do you have any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?
Check out the indies (independent publishing houses). If they like your stuff, you’re far less likely to be sitting around for the better part of a year waiting for your manuscript to hit the editing department. You may have to wait months just to hear a yes or no from the big houses!
One advantage gained by going through a publishing house is you are provided with an editor, proofreader, formatter, cover art, and a market that carries your work. In these days of self-publishing, people often don’t stop to think about how costly and trap-ridden that path can get. You need to hire people to provide the services mentioned above, and that runs up a tab real fast.
It’s extremely important to read and follow the Rules For Submission that any given publisher provides. Long story short: they have a system that works for them. Don’t quibble with it or try to change it. Don’t set yourself apart as that special little snowflake who won’t melt in the sun. When you submit a work, you are doing two very important things: 1) asking someone to take a chance on your work, and 2) showing a publisher that you can follow directions in a manner becoming a professional.
Once your work is accepted, be prepared to be your own publicist unless you decide to hire one. The internet has changed everything about how publicity works, and there’s always something new to learn. Publishers, both big and small, don’t shell out for publicity like they used to. Start a blog, use facebook and twitter, join writing groups. Pick up tips and share your own. You have a huge advantage here in that you control your publicity to a large degree, and that means you can choose how you wish to represent yourself honestly and engagingly.
Your publisher will provide some venues (for instance, Solstice uses GoodReads and Amazon, among others), but the rest is up to you. It’s the new norm, but it is not a difficult norm to navigate.
So, here you are, ready to take the leap. You wrote a book and you think it’s pretty good. There are some important steps to take before you submit it for consideration. First, have some folks read it with a critical eye, people you can trust to give you honest and helpful feedback. You are not looking for yes-men here. You want them to tell you where you went astray and where things are good and bad. Next, bring their critiques into your reviewing of your book. Adjust what you need to. Make sure everything works in the story like it’s supposed to. And lastly, proofread it. Put another pair of eyes on it for this step. Our brains have a habit of “seeing” what’s supposed to be on the page when in fact you might have an accidently omitted word.
And now, you’ve followed the Rules For Submission. You press “send.”
We wish you well.

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