Monthly Archives: February 2015
The name of Alan Turing was mostly linked with the so called Turing machine, the predecessor of the computer. He was one of the best British mathematicians and cryptanalysts. His talent was in great use during World War II. According to historians the work done by the team around him helped The Allies to defeat Germany. Something more, the war was shortened by several years, because of the successful decoding of Enigma.
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A Diamond in My Pocket by Lorena Angell was a great start of The Unaltered series. The novel is valuated with average 4.6 Amazon stars from almost 400 reviews. Our next guest is living in Pacific Nortwest, USA. She loves to explore the coast and to hike with her family the Cascade Mountain Range.
– Your book A Diamond in My Pocket is very well received by the readers. Would you tell us more about the novel?
– Thank you for this opportunity to share my writing world with your blog readers. A Diamond in My Pocket is a modern-day, young adult fantasy which delves into the unknown world of supernatural people, and the girl, Calli Courtnae, who’s been chosen to defeat a power-hungry splinter group through the use of a mystical diamond. Calli is secretly given the diamond and placed on a delivery team to transport the stone. The team leader doesn’t know he holds a decoy diamond. When Calli begins to display multiple powers, due to her hidden diamond, she’s elevated in her peers’ minds and thought to be the most powerful person alive. Maintaining the secret of where her abilities come from is critical to the success of the mission and to the safety of their lives. Calli dreads the approaching end when she must hand over the diamond, exposing herself as a fraud. The question is: will she be able to follow through with her assignment and give up her new-found greatness, or will she be lured into keeping the precious stone?
Karen McQuestion’s last novel Hello Love is one of the most successful books for 2014. The story for a cute dog, named Anni, was accepted very well by the readers. In our next interview the author of famous Edgewood series is discussing her future projects. Enjoy!
– Karen, Did you expect Hello Love to become such a big hit with almost 1400 Amazon reviews averaging 4.4 stars?
– I had hoped Hello Love would do well, but I never could have anticipated how people would take the story to heart. An adorable missing dog and two people looking for a second chance at love turned out to be a winning combination. And the cute cover helped big time. I’ve been thrilled with the reader response.
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Laila Ibrahim’s debut novel Yellow Crocus rocketed to the sky. The novel was published in 2010, and still is one of the most wanted books. The readers praised the plot. They gave superb valuation of the story with av. 4.6 stars in Amazon from almost 4800 reviews.
Land of Books got an opportunity so chat with Laila Ibrahim about Yellow Crocus, her publishing experience around the book, and the future projects.
– Laila, Your book Yellow Crocus became huge hit. Did you expect the adventure of Lisbeth and Mattie to be accepted so well by the readers?
– I dreamed of it being this successful, but I didn’t expect it. I got so many rejections in the traditional publishing route that I didn’t know how I could get this story into the world. I’m grateful that Amazon and Createspace came into being just when I needed them. I find it extra satisfying that an Amazon imprint is the current publisher. They were so instrumental in getting Mattie and Lisbeth’s story into the world.
– You were inspired by Tiger Woods to write the story. Do you have a chance to meet him and if not, what would you like to ask him if you have a chance to chat with him?
– I haven’t met him and really never thought about that possibility. If I were ever to speak with him I’d like to know what tools he uses to handle the pressures of his life. And how the transition away from being a young prodigy to being middle aged is going for him.
– What was the biggest challenge during the write up process?
– Having the courage to know that I could do it at all. I wasn’t a writer before I wrote Yellow Crocus. I was a reader, but not a creative writer. I felt very foolish undertaking such a daunting task when I didn’t even know if I could get it out into the world. Yellow Crocus is also a very person story for me and I felt vulnerable putting my views out into the world.
– Tell us something more about your main characters Lisbeth and Mattie? Are they close to someone from your real life?
– I was a child care provider for many years, so I know what it is like to love children than aren’t my own. It is a very tender relationship. I never came close to living what Mattie experienced but my experiences shaped the story. I studied attachment theory in undergraduate and graduate school. Yellow Crocus is a fiction account of attachment theory in action.
– How much time did you need to finish the story and to self-publish it? You are one of the indie authors, who were rejected initially by publishers. Would you share your experience with it?
– I thought of the story in 1998 when I was 33 years old. For years the characters haunted me. I was very, very resistant to taking on the daunting task of writing a novel. But after so many years I decided to do it in honor of my 40th birthday. So in 2005 I started writing it. I had a solid draft to pass out by 2008. I got a few nibble from agents but no takers. I asked one of the agents to refer me to an editor. I sent the manuscript to that editor who told me there was a lot wrong with the novel and I would have to entirely restructure it via an email. I was reluctant to hire him, but realized I needed to face the truth. I was at a point where I was going to either give up or self publish.
When I met with him he listed problem and problem with the story. He flipped to the end and started reading the postlogue as an example. He choked up after the first paragraph. By the third paragraph there were tears trailing down his cheeks. I started crying too. He had to stop and clear his throat as he kept reading. After he finished he looked at me and said, “That’s the ending isn’t it? It’s as good as it gets for them.”
I nodded and knew in that moment I had the courage and the obligation to self publish it. I realized that the book wasn’t perfect, but it was good enough if it could move this man to tears.
I think one of the reasons Yellow Crocus didn’t attract an agent is that it focuses on an unusual relationship in fiction. Many of the agents or publishers said to me that it’s a story that has been told many times, but when I pressed them for titles they could only come up with Gone with the Wind. Now we have The Help, but this was before that book was released.
I knew by self-publishing that I would have to do marketing, which I was reluctant to take on. But I realized that if I cared enough about these characters to write their stories, I cared enough to take the time to market the novel.
– Who are you?
– I say that I live in Berkeley so I can maintain the delusion I’m a moderate. I have very strong opinions about how our world should be, but I don’t want to have ‘sides.’ We’re all on this planet for a brief time. We’re all divine creations. I think our job is to create as much joy, love and justice as we can for all beings.
I’m a mom, a wife, a compound mate, a Unitarian Universalist, a writer, an artist, a radical evolutionary and a world traveler.
– What are your writing habits?
– I like to go away for a few days to get started on fresh writing. I find I do best when I have no distractions for days on end. I can edit writing at home or in a coffee shop for an hour or two, but to write a new chapter I need lots of fermenting time with the opportunity to stare out the window or doodle.
– Are you satisfied by the sales of the book?
– I’m very satisfied by the sales. Since it was re-published by Lake Union on August 19th it has sold around 200,000. Those are numbers I could only dream of. At the same time I know there are many more people, probably millions, who would be grateful to read Yellow Crocus. There are a lot of people in the world. And most of them have not read it .
– What are you doing to promote your book by the best possible way?
– At this point I can still say yes to book clubs, interviews like this and podcasts. I just love taking the time to talk with people about it. Lake Union (Amazon) does an amazing job with promotions. They do specials, emails, advertisements on Kindles. I get a little thrill every time someone tells me it popped up on their Kindle.
– I read your interview from 2012 and you are saying that the next novel is on the way. When we will see it?
– I plan to send a draft of Living Right to my acquisitions editor at Lake Union next month. If she likes it and decides to publish it, she thinks it will be out in September. If she doesn’t’ want it I’ll have to decide if I prefer to self publish or if I want to look for an agent. I’ll cross that bridge in March. I’d prefer that it be a Lake Union book just like Yellow Crocus. And I have faith that the right path will unfold for Living Right.
– Unitarian Universalism is the religion that you are following. How did you find it and what were the major changes in your personal philosophy after you start to use its principles?
– I was raised adamantly nothing. My father had been Muslim (he’s from Egypt) and my mother had been raised Catholic (Irish-French in Indiana, USA). I always had spiritual longing, but was puzzled by religions dividing people into ‘saved or worthy’ and ‘unsaved or unworthy.’ I had relatives that were Evangelical, Catholic, Mainstream Protestant, Atheist and Muslim. I never understood believing that god/God picked and chosen ‘chosen people’ when all of us are god/God’s creation. So in some ways the only religion I could ever be is Unitarian Universalists which holds that god/God is a Unity and all people are saved (Universalism) though we don’t have a concrete understanding of what happens after we die.
Being a devout Unitarian Universalist is a bit like being a devout moderate. However, my faith calls me to be thoughtfully engaged in creating a more joyful, just and loving world. It sounds simple, but it’s not. Joseph Campbell says, “Live joyfully in the pain of the world.” As a Unitarian Universalist I’m called to do that and more. I also have to do what I can to undo the human made systems of oppression that keep us separate from one another.
– You are living with your wife. Do you think that same-sex marriage is becoming more and more accepted by the society?
– Absolutely. It really is exciting and surprising how fast there has been societal change on this issue. Rinda and I had a wedding in our church in 1991. I never thought I’d get a marriage license. When marriage equality became an issue about 20 years ago I sent in my $20 a month to the Human Rights campaign and attended a few rallies, but I thought it would be a much, much longer battle. I’m very compassionate towards people who are out of step with this issue. It is a huge sea shift. I think one reason for the fast change is that it’s an issue that cuts across all race and class lines. People with a lot of privilege are/were at the forefront of change.
– As a children educator your personal observation on how important is for the kids to read book to form their character?
– There is no doubt that reading books opens children’s horizons and stimulates their minds and spirits. Children develop empathy and reasoning through hearing stories.
– Is there a milestone with Yellow Crocus that you hope to get to?
– I want to see someone reading Yellow Crocus in public and take a picture with them and the book. Whenever I’m riding on a subway I look around. Since most of the sales are on Kindle, it may that someone around me is reading it, but I just don’t know it. I’d also LOVE to have Yellow Crocus be on sale at Costco! Thank you for the opportunity to answer these interesting questions and for all that you do to promote reading. I’m so grateful.
Take a look at her book:
The literary agents are one of the most wanted professionals on our planet. Their job is to secure the best possible contracts for authors. They are working hard to secure exposure for the next bestsellers on the book market.
David Fugate is the founder of LaunchBook Literary Agency. He sold to publishers more than 1000 books and earned for his clients over $20 millions in sold rights.
David is representing authors like Chris Guillebeau, Mark McClusky, Chris Steiner, Jonathan Watts, Kevin Poulsen, Alexis Madrigal, Kevin Mitnick, Brian Chen, Parmy Olson, Jon Jeter, Peter Clines, Mark Russinovich, D.J. Molles.
Land of Books made a contact with him, because of Andy Weir’s amazing story of publishing The Martian. Let’s welcome our next guest – Mr. David Fugate.
C. Robert Cales released his second book The Bookseller in January. The reception of the novel was decent with average 4.9 stars from 7 Amazon reviews. His previous book Devil Glass was also loved by readers (av. 4.6 stars from 17 Amazon reviews).
Our next guest’s strongest weapon is his “triple dose of imagination”, as he likes to say. It’s time for another interview with very interesting author.
– Robert, what will readers find inside The Bookseller?
– Across from Boston Common, nestled into the corner of a cobblestone mall, sits The Bookseller, a bookstore owned by a lovable rare book dealer and his wife, who runs a coffee parlor inside the store. The parlor is the morning greeting place for business people from around the mall where the complementary coffee is hot and delicious, the croissants are a quarter and the lively banter is free. George and Elizabeth lead a happy life surrounded by many friends. Their happiness is about to be shattered by a violent South American drug cartel with a new, high tech process for smuggling cocaine.
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Jeffrey Archer’s last book Be Careful What You Wish For was released year ago. It was the fourth part of his Clifton Chronicles. The next chapter of the series, Mightier than the Sword, will be on the market in few days time – on February 24. The well known British author will turn 75 in April. His books were sold in over 270 million copies around the world. It’s a great honor for Land of Books to welcome Mr. Archer, well known member of British Parliament, cancer survivor, former prisoner and one of the best writers on the planet.
– Mr. Archer, Be Careful What You Wish For is one of the best books worldwide for 2014. What kind of surprises and turns the readers may find in the fourth part of Clifton Chronicles?
– Part of the fun of writing a novel with many different twists and turns is that the readers can expect the same ingredients next time, but I’m not telling you what they are in my new book, MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD.
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DC Johnston debuted in the literary world with Celtic Treasure. The novel was released in May last year. Our next guest graduated from Purdue University with degrees in PR and Radio and TV. He wants to make a cool series around his main character Mick Scott.
– Dave, what the readers will find in your last book Celtic Treasure?
– Readers will find a fast-paced action/adventure story that includes lots of suspense, a murder, a bit of romance, intrigue and greed. Mick and Joelle Scott, amateur treasure hunters, should come across as likable characters and hopefully will engage the reader. There are many twists and turns in the story that are written to lead the reader in multiple directions. Some of the outcomes will be surprising.
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If the main character of your book has more friends and fans than enemies, you must be aware of what you are writing. Jane Wilde Hawking experienced the hard way. She wrote a memoir about her life with well known cosmologist Stephen Hawking, called Music to Move the Stars: A Life with Stephen. The book was published in 1999. Soon the critics and fans of the scientist ripped apart the author. Poor Jane was described as selfish for pointing to the world how despotic the handicapped Stephen Hawking, who is suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease, was.
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Emily Bleeker’s debut book Wreckage jumped to the top of Amazon ranks. The novel is standing on #1 spot for the last few days. The readers loved the plot and are giving very positive feedback (av. 4.6 stars from 128 reviews).
Emily has very nice story about her transition between education and professional writing. She was kind enough to share it during our interview.
– Emily, what the readers will find inside Wreckage?
– A story about survivors of a plane crash in the South Pacific. After living on an island for nearly two years, the castaways are thrust into the spotlight after their rescue. Every morning show and news program is hounding them for interviews. But they can’t tell the truth about what happened while they were on that island, so they lie. Eight months later, exhausted by the constant media attention, Lillian Linden decides to do one last interview with hard-hitting reporter, Genevieve Randall. She pressures fellow survivor, reluctant Dave Hall, to join her so they can hide behind the exclusivity clause in their contract. But what the survivors don’t know is–Genevieve thinks she knows they are hiding something and she’s willing to tear their lives apart to get the truth.
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