Wednesday, August 31, 2011 | By: Lynny Prince

IN THE SPOTLIGHT - Carl David - guest author

My latest book, "Bader Field; How My Family Survived Suicide" took me almost 30 years to get published. It began as homage to my father, my hero who was felled by a major coronary at age 58. I knew that I was going to write this memoir for many reasons. The world needed to know the greatness of this extraordinary being but more so for my children, not yet born. It was a times very painful to dig deep and relive certain episodes and events in my life so it took decades to finish the book.

Along the way I pitched dozens of major publishers, knowing this would be of interest to the mass public. Nearly every one responded that the work was well written but too personal. After all, my father was not of celebrity status to them, so who was he....? I was deflated and at times discouraged, thinking perhaps the format was wrong. I wondered about re-organizing the entire work; starting from scratch. But I persisted and refused to give up. I would find the publisher who "got it" no matter how long it took.

In early 2008 I was directed by an agent friend to Nightengale Press, a small publishing house that I was told would very likely want to work with me on this project. I spoke with the owner/publisher herself (Valerie Connelly) and explained the book to her. She asked that I email it to her and she'd get back to me in a week; that it sounded wonderful. I was cautiously optimistic. The week went by and I didn't hear so I called her to see if I had made the cut.

"Absolutely, I love it." My heart pounded with newly found excitement. "With one condition" she continued. "Anything, I've got but one chance to get this right so what do I need to do?" I asked. "We want you to rewrite it, Movie Style." I had no clue as to what movie style meant but agreed, "Sure, no problem, what's movie style?" She proceeded to explain that she wanted dialog, that I needed to Show it, not Tell it. I nodded in acknowledgment and was given a crackerjack editor (Yvonne Perry) who showed me how to dialog, she didn't tell me.....

In six weeks with the help of my editor, mission accomplished. I loved it. It really came to life. The characters were now three dimensional and vibrantly real. The reader would be one with them and myself, sharing all of our experiences as if they had lived them.

Some time after it had been on the market through Amazon and all of the other online vendors, we felt it was missing something that would give the first glance incentive to look further. The title was too vague. Was "Bader Field" an airport, a baseball field, or what? No clue unless someone read the back cover. After very careful consideration and deliberation we decided to include the subtitle, "How My Family Survived Suicide." That would give a very powerful insight as to what was in those pages.

It has made a dramatic difference. I have been promoting on my website and on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter and on the many book sites where I am a member. I am trying to raise awareness to the devastating issue of suicide and the impact it has on the surviving family members and friends. I have done a lot of media work, television, radio and magazine interviews, hoping to save lives by letting those on that edge of desperation that there is help for them, that they are loved, and that there is always a better way. I will not relent or retreat from this quest as I take my darkest days and do something of benefit for others with them..

Carl David
Thursday, August 25, 2011 | By: Lynny Prince

In the Spotlight: Kenneth Weene, guest author

A Home After Retirement

I’d always wanted to be a writer. Little things had gotten in the way: an education, a career, marriage and family – just doing what life demands. After all, how many people earn their livelihoods and take care of their families writing novels and short fiction? I had the love but not the cojones.
Age has few advantages, but I did appreciate retirement. I was tired of helping people. It might seem an easy job, but being a shrink really exhausts – not so much the body as the psyche. It’s hard work to care. Retirement meant having time, the time to relax and especially the time to write. Not just the poetry and short stories I’d tossed off to unwind on weekends, but really write.
It was fun. It was easy. Most importantly, my writing was pretty good. I ran it by other people, and they said, “Ken, find a publisher.”

We had moved to Arizona, and I found a local vanity press. We brought out an anthology of my work. People liked it. Some asked if I’d ever considered writing a novel. Had I? Of course I had. In fact,  there were a couple already underway. More support. More suggestions from people with no idea of how difficult writing is. I hemmed and hawed and avoided until my wife asked me why I was bothering to write if I was afraid to do something real with my work. It was a fair question, especially from her. She had been a painter, and I had often gone with her to galleries to ask them about showing her work. It had been my job to stand in the doorway of each gallery so she couldn’t leave until she had made the painful advance to the gallery director.

Being her support had taught me something. The owners of those galleries had no more idea of what to show than you or I. One time she showed the director a book in which every painting had been sold – some to famous people. He looked through the photos and told her that her paintings weren’t commercial, that they wouldn’t sell. I figured publishers were no more likely to have good judgment than gallery owners, but what the heck?

I bought one of those books that list all the publishers and started looking at listings. I knew that without fame and starting so late I would be lucky to find a publisher. I said to myself that if it was meant to be it would happen. I checked off three small houses that seemed to have some idea that writing mattered. Only three because I thought I’d see if there was any useful feedback form those first sure failures.

I sent the the query letters. I went with Widow’s Walk because it was a good read, somewhat traditional in format, a love story, and set conventionally.

I got back one response. “Send us the book.”

That was from All Things That Matter Press. I don’t mind giving them a shout-out; they’ve been great. We just signed a contract for my third novel, and they are ever helpful and supportive. Surprise, finding a publisher had been easy.

I should have known there was something wrong with that picture. First came the editing. That took time, effort, and discipline. Next came checking the galleys – more time, effort, and discipline. Then the book came out. Wow!! Yay!! Hooray!!

That’s when the work really started. I didn’t realize how much work goes into marketing once those books are published. Now I spend half my time doing anything I can think of to get attention. For example, I write guest blogs like this one. If you’re enjoying my style, perhaps you’ll take a look at my website and check out those books. See what I mean?

If you are a new writer, I would say that finding a publisher is sort of like finding a new house. It’s difficult but in these times not so impossible, but once you move in be prepared for all the work; that never ends. Retired? Who’s retired? I’m an author.

Brief Bio
A New Englander by upbringing and inclination, Kenneth Weene is a teacher, psychologist, and pastoral counselor by education.
Ken’s short stories and poetry have appeared in numerous publications including Sol Spirits, Palo Verde Pages, Vox Poetica Clutching at Straws, The Word Place, Legendary, Sex and Murder Magazine, The New Flesh Magazine, The Santa Fe Literary Review, Daily Flashes of Erotica Quarterly, Bewildering Stories, A Word With You Press, Mirror Dance, and The Aurorean.
Ken’s novels, Widow’s Walk and Memoirs From the Asylum are published by All Things That Matter Press.

To learn more about Ken’s writing visit:
Tuesday, August 23, 2011 | By: Lynny Prince

In the Spotlight: A new way to blog

Hello blogger fans,

I trust that your summer is going well? I certainly hope so!

I have been on the road for most of the summer; sort of a working/scouting mission that just came to an end. (really just a pause!) I have met so many wonderful people and experienced so many things, it's been quite a summer so far and I can't wait to get back out there.

I am humbled beyond words at the kindness and willingness to help that I have been shown by people in the movie industry. Just awesome! I guess if you're a good person who goes in with a clear head, a concise plan and the right attitude (no over-inflated ego), they take you seriously. Apparently, it works because they are listening. To find out who "they" are, you'll just have to stay tuned!

At the moment, I am busy trying to get caught up email, blogging, and of course, writing. I am tying up loose ends and am preparing for the best :)

As far as the blog is concerned, I am much too busy to commit to a bi-weekly blog so, I am incorporating something I have seen on other author blogs-I thought it would be interesting to see how other authors have gotten published and what they are doing to get it done, and as it turns out, they really want to tell their stories. I recently put out an invitation for fellow authors to guest blog and the response has been overwhelming! They all agree that this is a great way to showcase themselves and also to give a behind-the-scenes look at what authors go through on their way to the book shelves.

I'm calling it, "In the Spotlight" and our first author will be highlighted this week. I hope you enjoy it.

Until then, take care, be blessed and be sure to tune in for updates on my website-there's a lot coming up!

Love and strength,
Lynny Prince