Thursday, June 30, 2011

Behind The Words // Maria Savva

Maria Savva is one of those fine folks who is always a pleasure to speak with, work with and, in my case, even write with. Late last year, I had the distinct pleasure of co-authoring a suspense-farce novella called Cutting The Fat with Maria and, boy, did we have a blast. Among many benefits, that exercise allowed a writer like myself into the world of someone like Maria and probably allowed some readers of hers to find me -- and vice versa. 

Maria's been writing and publishing for years and has a strong network of other authors, readers and friends. When Maria pipes up or follows something she feels is important or worthwhile, the entire internet turns its head. Trust me on that.

She's been called the nicest woman in indie lit...and for good reason. Without further pause, let's go Behind The Words with the wonderful writer known as Maria Savva...

Maria talks Maria...

I’m Maria Savva, and I’ve written lots of book, but I doubt anyone has heard of them. My first novel, ‘Coincidences’, was born when I was out of work in 1997 and decided that I should write a bestseller to save me from homelessness. Little did I know that the best route to homelessness is by becoming a writer. ‘Coincidences’ is the story of Alice, a young student who has a dream that awakens her curiosity about finding her father who abandoned her when she was just 2 years old. It’s a drama. I’m currently writing a new edition of ‘Coincidences’ (fully re-edited) for publication sometime this year, hopefully. At the moment it’s only available as a limited edition hardback and is out of print, so I want to make it more widely available.

My second novel is ‘A Time to Tell’, a family saga, spanning 50 years and three generations of the same family. Much like ‘Coincidences’ it contains the themes of secrets and lies. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Farthest Reach Award // Announcing the Decision Committee

A short time ago, nominations opened on The Farthest Reach Award, with the goal of giving kudos and high-fives to indie and pro writers, publishers, book professionals and readers who are doing a bang-up job of marketing themselves or their industry. Learn more about the Award here and please consider making a nomination of support for someone you feel deserves recognition.

The time has come to make another announcement. I won't be doing the deciding on who gets these accolades alone. That falls to a prestigious group of my esteemed colleagues. This year, the group consists of indie and traditionally-published authors, men and women, fresh and seasoned. There are some interesting, talented and wonderful people here and I am honoured to call them not just my peers in this crazy writerly world.

So who are they? I invite you to learn more about them and follow any links back to the committee members' own websites or Twitter pages to connect with them. All hail the deciders!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Announcing the 2012 Farthest Reach Award

Nominations are open!

The Farthest Reaches is proud to announce that nominations are now open for the 2012 Farthest Reach Award, honouring brilliance and 'reach' in the world of book marketing, sales and readership.
  • Do you know someone who, this year, has displayed unprecedented successes in marketing or promoting their own work or the work of others in the field of books and publishing?
  • Have they helped develop the reach of others into the segment of book sales online or off?
  • Would this person stand as an example to others as how to achieve success in the ever-growing market of ebook and print book sales?
  • Is this person a testament to best practices for the purposes of the entire market or even their own catalogue?
If any of the above describe your nominee, then he or she could be one of the recipients of the 2011 Farthest Reach Award. Recipients will be the best and brightest stars in this field. Share your knowledge of this person's achievements and we will all celebrate them together!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Behind The Words // Casey Ryan

So far, Behind The Words has focused on authors sharing a little about how they work and where the magic happens. My hope is to expand the reach of this feature and talk to professionals in many other areas. This week, we're looking at a radio host, personality and interviewer to discover some of the motivations and strategies behind his words.

I connected with podcast host Casey Ryan via Twitter. He asked me to join him on his show, The Cutting Room Floor and you can listen to the resulting interview here. I was absolutely delighted to be on the receiving end of Casey's questions. Firstly, because Casey does a bang-up job of letting guests speak about their projects and guiding them to the crucial information and insights that listeners want to know more about. Secondly, because The Cutting Room Floor has been primarily focused on independent filmmakers and filmmaking in general. As an author, it's exciting for me to branch out and speak to a crowd I normally don't get to converse with. It forces me to look at how I speak about writing. I get to talk more about storytelling and that gets more to the heart of what I do.

I don't want to speak for Casey, but I definitely get the impression he's enjoying branching out to interview more authors on his podcast. We're probably in agreement on this: storytelling is an exciting art form -- whether one does it on paper or on video or film. It's fascinating to talk with people who love the craft of storytelling. And, quite frankly it's a joy to talk with folks who are enamored with interviewing such storytellers. Casey Ryan is one who has such a passion, both for the art and for the people who take it to new I turn the floor over to him!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Behind The Words // Darcia Helle

Hello to all and a huge thank you to Jason for inviting me to hang out here today.

You're probably wondering who I am and why you should care. Honestly, I often wonder that myself. Don't you hate it when someone says, "Tell me about yourself,"? What does that mean? My height, weight, age, hair color and eye color doesn't tell you much, aside from whether I take up two seat cushions on the couch and get a senior citizen discount. Things like how many times I brush my teeth each day and what my favorite color is might tell you something about me but none of it is particularly interesting. So, who am I?

I'm a word addict. Big words, small words, words that rhyme, words that sound pompous and words that sound eloquent. I love the power within all words. I'm passionate about some things, indifferent about others. Music has the ability to change my mood in a flash. I'm a vegetarian, a wife, a mother and a grandmother. I love water but I'm a terrible swimmer.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Writing is like...

This is a blog meme, instigated by my friend and fellow writer, S.B. Poscente. You can hang out with her at her place and I highly recommend that you do.

Now, on to my little attempt at keeping this meme alive...

Writing is like...being cast away on an exotic island. You have beautiful things to eat but no cutlery. The fish, lobster and crab are the best you've ever seen and you just know they would be delicious...but there is no fire to cook them. The sunshine is intense and lasting but you have no sunglasses or UV protection. The ocean is warm but you have no towel after a swim.

You have matches but they're wet; you have a canteen but it's dry.

The rain is cool and refreshing, but you have no shelter and your skin wrinkles to that of a geriatric octogenarian. The nights are black and deep but you get cold with no blankets and so you begin to shiver after an hour or two. There's nothing on; the satellite dish you've crafted from palm fronds and bamboo stalks doesn't get the new OWN network.

You finally see another survivor drift towards your shore on a makeshift raft of plane parts and table trays but, alas, he is mute. And burly. And he takes your food when you sleep. You spend your days with him merely shuffling feet in the sand and looking at each other.

In a desperate search for something other than raw seafood, you find a can of fruit cocktail -- with extra cherries, even. You have no can opener but would risk great injury to yourself just for one lick of the artificial syrup. But the date tells you this fruit is expired. You ask yourself, "Should I go there?"

You see perfect waves in the distance but your surfboard wax wasn't in your carry-on; neither was your surfboard. You remember all your friends' numbers but all the coconut phones you've carved have no dial tone.

Finally, after months in virtual isolation, with nearly nothing to show for your time away, a wooden flat of bottled water floats in on the spring tide. You and your surly silent compadre force yourselves to become teammates for twenty minutes as you haul it in.

Your great mood subsides, though, and your shoulders shrug with a deflating realization:

The safety seal is broken on every one. And you're just not that sure.

So who am I asking to carry on this blog meme? Three great women, three impeccable writers, three superlative friends.

Eden Baylee. Darcia Helle. Maria Savva.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Night Walk Men // unBound and Determined

To everyone the last week who helped spread the word about my novelette, The Night Walk Men, I want to extend my hand to you. Thanks to all of you --you know who you are-- for helping to push this story as high as [EDIT] #3 on the Amazon Kindle Top 100.

It also topped out as #1 for Suspense fiction and #1 in Occult fiction before it began its retreat from the top ten.

In about a week's time, this short book of mine has been downloaded over 34,000 times by readers on Amazon. Together with downloads from Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Sony and a few other online stores, the short tale of Obsidion, Monserrat and the other Night Walkers, has been snagged in digital form a total of over 44,000 times.

That blows my mind.

I want to thank everyone who had a hand in getting those copies out to readers and everyone who has shared a tweet, a Facebook mention, or a kind word about the story itself. Not everyone digs it, but most people seem to think it's some of the best writing I've done.

And I'm not done. Not by a long shot with this world.

Have I mentioned this story is merely the prologue to a multi-layered, ongoing saga? The first book is coming along nicely and I hope to have some of it to preview shortly. In the meantime, I offer my thanks and appreciation for this milestone and hope you'll have a look at some of my other stories.

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