How long have you been writing?
I've always held a strong interest in writing and, as a child and teenager, I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity of composing essays and written work for school. At the age of 10, I won an essay competition that was offered to certain schools. We had to write about the home we would love to live in and, apparently, what I wrote was very descriptive and believable. At the age of 14, my aspirations of becoming a teacher turned to an interest in pursuing a career in journalism. However, my parents were against this change of direction and I was persuaded by them and the principal of my school to abandon the idea. Then, as a working adult and, eventually, a wife and mother, there was no time available for creative writing. The only outlet offered to me for documenting the written word was in writing theses and reports.
In 1998 I developed a neurological illness that forced me to take early retirement from work and I was suddenly presented with many hours of free time. After recovering, I turned my attention to my long-term desire to write, and my first manuscript was completed toward the end of 2000. Since then I have written four more books and am presently working on another one.
Why the different angle on angels?
Samael's Fall is placed in the Fantasy genre because for many the notion of angels is pure fantasy. To present them as fictional characters will, hopefully, give the non-believers the opportunity to become acquainted with them without the usual trappings of religion and New Age beliefs. My own experiences with the angelic realms have been quite startling and I wanted to share some of these insights with others.
What do you mean by "blending of fantasy with esoteric teachings"? Are these esoteric teachings you've read or are you attempting to teach something in your book?
Some of the incidents within the book can be seen as traditional teachings, e.g. the first archangel's fall from grace and banishment from the higher realms; the War of the Sons of Light against the Sons of Darkness. Other occurrences in the story are a retelling of information that I've received during my years of metaphysical work. My intention is not to teach others about these revelations; it is just a sharing within the book of a different point-of-view. However, if Samael's Fall is to be viewed as a teaching tool, I suppose it does emphasize how duality exists and is played out in the eternal battle of goodness versus evil.
What was your favorite thing about writing this book?
This was my first attempt at writing a novel and I was pleasantly surprised at how easily the words flowed, particularly as it was not a short story. With each of my non-fiction books I always spent time detailing an outline for the manuscript that pinpointed the number of chapters and what each would contain. This did not happen with this book. The words that tell the tale of how the Devil came to be seemed to almost write themselves, as though the characters were dictating the storyline. I didn't experience any 'writer's block' or uncertainty about what to tell the reader. By the time I had finished the manuscript I realized I love writing a story even more than documenting facts.
In addition, I was very fortunate to find a talented artist, Fanitsa Petrou, who created the illustration and cover design for the novel. Her artwork is very inspiring. She has just completed a striking illustration for the cover of my next book to be published.
What's next for you?
Samael's Fall is the first book of The Angelic Chronicles trilogy and I recently completed the second book of this series entitled Abbadon. While that one is moving through the publishing process, I am writing my fourth non-fiction book which looks at the use of the mineral kingdom within metaphysics. Its working title is Crystal Companions. Once that manuscript is finished, I shall begin writing the last book of the trilogy about the angelic realms. Then I hope to work on a book about The Bach Remedies which are amazing flower essences for promoting wellness. After that, who knows?
Friday, July 27, 2007
A stirring account of how and why the first and most radiant archangel fell from grace and became the Devil. This is a story of angels and demons, love and hate, goodness and evil. An angelic tale of long, long ago that predates Creation and even the beginning of time. Religion has taught us that the archangels and angels are extremely wise and have faultless purity. However, this is not the author's controversial portrayal of them. These heavenly beings possess a child-like quality; they make mistakes and use poor judgment. Several also display a whole range of emotions and motivations, from being supremely good to unrighteously evil. Could it be their initial frailty was the opening gambit for the duality of the human race? This book is the first of The Angelic Chronicles trilogy. It is a blending of fantasy with esoteric teachings.
This book can be purchased from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, www.xlibris.com and http://marionwebb-desito.com
Friday, July 20, 2007
What inspired you to write Self-Promotion for Authors?
I was a journalist and publicist for 35 years before becoming disabled by breathing problems. When I decided to pursue book writing as a new career direction, I joined several different forums. While working on my first mystery novel, INSIDE STORY: Murder in the Pinelands, I was bothered that so many newbie book authors had no real clue about how to market themselves. Many were and are devoting massive amounts of time in unproductive efforts--unproductive in that they are one-on-one efforts between themselves and prospective buyers. I've done the math and it's physically impossible for a new author to sell sufficient books to earn a living or even have a nominal bestseller with such promotional methods.
Having handled publicity for several authors and publishing houses, including nearly half a decade as PR agency counsel for Harlequin Books, as well as having been a journalist on the receiving end of promotion techniques by other professional book industry publicists, I felt I had some meaningful insights to share. However, it was another writer friend, Lea Schizas, founder of the annual Muse Online Conference who provided me with that final spark. After her first conference she suggested via e-mail that I do a brochure on how to self-promote a book. At that point I realized a brochure just couldn't properly cover the topic.
I also realized that I didn't want to set myself up as the sole authority on how to promote oneself. That's really what it's all about. Novels typically have a shelf life of only two or three months in most bookstores. An author must promote their name rather than a particular title.
I started encountering some other authors who had invaluable information to impart, but it was not reaching newbie authors in a cohesive fashion. There would be a forum comment here or there, a website posting of tips in another location. Essentially new authors were in a hit/miss situation. Additionally, there is a massive amount of misinformation being advanced as gospel by people who have never worked as publicists nor, in some cases, even had writing published.
The result was Self-Promotion for Authors, which is a compilation of my experiences and those of eleven other published authors, some quite well known, like Tim Bete; J.A. Konrath; Jonathan Maberry, 2007 winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel; Publisher Karen L. Syed; Robert J. Sawyer, Best Novel Hugo and Nebula Award Winner and Robert W. Walker. Their consenting to be included greatly enhanced the knowledge base contained in my book.
What’s your experience with promotions as a publicist?
I have 15 years experience as a senior public relations executive and wrote the first public relations program for Coleco's Cabbage Patch Kids. That publicity campaign subsequently won the Silver Anvil Award from the Public Relations Society of America. The Silver Anvil is recognized as the most prestigious award in public relations.
My public relations skills are augmented by being an experienced journalist and winner of 12-business writing awards (including seven first places) for articles in 2000 through 2003 competitions.
I also have 20-years experience as a skilled radio, daily and weekly newspaper publisher, editor and reporter for major media outlets in New Jersey, New England and Europe.
What’s your experience with promotions as an author?
An author who fails to promote sufficiently will fail to sell enough books to earn a living, and will short-circuit their opportunity to be picked up by a publisher for a second or third book. To be successful an author needs to spend 20 percent of their time writing and 80 percent promoting.
What will folks find in your book they won’t find in other marketing books?
Perspective and a professional viewpoint based on 35-years successful experience in the media.
What’s next for you?
Currently I'm reworking, enlarging and updating a manuscript I originally drafted in 1996 entitled ESCAPE INTO HISTORY: Declared Rebellion. It's about two former special operatives who travel back in time to foil a Tory plot to prevent the Declaration of Independence from being written. I'm also beginning work on the second INSIDE STORY book. The first will be available in November from Swimming Kangaroo Books. I also have about a half dozen other novel concepts just waiting to be penned.
Learn more about Larry and his books at www.LarryMoniz.org
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Self-Promotion for Authors is a step-by-step guide to promoting your next book in a professional manner. Written by Larry Moniz, an award-winning publicist whose clients included Coleco’s Cabbage Patch Kids (for which the agency won a Silver Anvil Award, the highest accolade in public relations) Harlequin Romances, Shorewood Fine Art Books and several authors.
The electronic book, now available in PDF format on CD, details the how-to steps for preparing and sending out press releases, arranging media tours, setting up collateral events and such traditional items as bookstore appearances and signings. After August 1, the retail price will be $45. Special introductory price: $35. Shipping is included.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Past mistakes can never be forgiven...
Mike Taylor is the epitome of stability. His family is proud of his academic and athletic achievements at Georgia Tech, and despite the temptations of college life, he has maintained his moral standards. Yet beneath the peaceful surface, Mike is consumed with guilt, fearing condemnation and rejection. A former girlfriend’s abortion and the intense love he feels for his roommate’s wife constantly remind Mike of his failures. Unable to forget and full of shame, he refuses to forgive himself. When Danielle enters his life, he realizes he can no longer hide the past. Will she be able to reach him or is Mike past the point of redemption?
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Sandy is finishing up a virtual book tour, which began in May! today, she tells VirtualBookTourdeNet about her tour as well as her book. Check out her website for all the details about her, he stops and her book!
Some folks along the Choices Meant for Gods online book tour have asked if any of the characters in the novel make it autobiographical in any way. One of your answers is that you've placed your main character Chariss in similar situations to your childhood. Could you explain that for visitors to my site?
I moved a lot as a child (18 times before I got to college), so I realized, once I got to the marketing stage for CMFG, that I'd put Chariss through that same sort of upheaval all of her life. She and her wizard guardian have been on the run from benefactor to benefactor for sixteen years while this insane sorcerer has been chasing them with the intent to kill her.
And then a friend of mine from college contacted me through Nigel's blog recently (Nigel manages the site "Nigel Presents Sandy Lender" at http://sandylender.blogspot.com), and told me that he guessed I was either divorced or going through a divorce because of some comments in the novel. So I figure Chariss's stellar attitude toward marriage and longterm commitments, which kinda takes her beau by surprise in chapter 22, gives away my cynical view on all that. But, for all the tidbits of frustration I let Nigel, and the reader, feel from Chariss there, I think I make up for it when she gets through her arc and...well...I'll let folks read the story.
You had a guest blog early on in your online book tour in which you described your pitch session for Choices Meant for Gods. Could you recap that for my visitors and tell us why you opted for that means of approaching the publishing industry?
My pitch session was a riot! I actually had it a week earlier than I thought I was supposed to so I was totally unprepared and went into it with about three hours of sleep (this was before I was conditioned to function normally on three-hours-of-sleep-a-night, by the way) because I'd been up most of the night before typing the proposal, complete with treatment and synopsis. Color me nervous. Then the session itself, which was with the publisher himself (I'd given up on agents by that point because a year of rejection letters is a ridiculous thing to put yourself through - don't do it), took place in a large, busy room, about 8 to 10 feet from an elevator as people were returning from a lunch break. Read: crazy high traffic. I don't remember right now how many times we got interrupted, but people knew Bob was a publisher, so they wanted to walk up and talk to him...and they did. One lovely gal, whom I still adore, walked up to talk to me. So it was bizarre, but it went well, and Bob accepted my book. A couple weeks after that "fateful day" (typed with all the airy breathiness you can imagine into it), I got my contract attached to an e-mail. I was ecstatic.
Now, the reason I went that particular route to get my foot in the book publishing industry door is because no agents were interested in representing a magazine editor in the fantasy realm. How could a journalist possibly write something creative?
How long did it take for Choices Meant for Gods to get released once it was under contract?
About 13 months. I got the contract in February of 2006 and Choices Meant for Gods was released - my lifelong dream came true - in March of 2007. This is nothing compared to some of the waits I've heard of authors enduring. I consider myself fortunate to have been on the short-end of the "interminable wait" timeframe.
Tell us about your tour.
I've been doing this for almost two months now. I've been appearing at peoples' blog sites, websites, chat rooms, in their online newsletters, and in their online yahoo groups promoting Choices Meant for Gods...and that two-month segment of my life is about to come to a close. It's been absolutely exhausting to keep track of all the details and keep everything in order, but it's been thrilling, too. I've met some amazing and energizing people along the way. On Saturday, July 21, I end the tour with a bang. I'll be announcing the winner of my contest from http://choicesmeantforgods.wordpress.com and I'll be guest blogging at a variety of sites. It'll be a bit of a party-online, if you will. I'm just really looking forward to having a good time with some of these new friends I've made. And that's a cool thing for me as a new author.
Monday, July 09, 2007
Not even the gods noticed when Chariss was born with the mark of The Protector. Now she and her wizard guardian seek shelter from a mad sorcerer in a household not just full of secrets and false hope, but watched by the god who will unwittingly reveal her role in an impending war.
When an orphan sets aside a lifetime of running and fear to accept the responsibilities of guarding an arrogant deity, can she face the trials in the prophecies she uncovers? And will Nigel Taiman of her latest refuge dare to use his dragon heritage to bind her to his estate or to help her in her duty?
Choices Meant for Gods is the story of a young lady who's been on the run from a madman all her life. When she finally chooses to stand and fight, she discovers she's wrapped in centuries of prophecy that demand she protect the very gods themselves. The epic fantasy novel is now available from ArcheBooks Publishing. You can get information about the novel as well as grammar and writing tips from author Sandy Lender at her main blog at www.todaythedragonwins.blogspot.com.
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Author: Robina Williams
Retail Price: U.S. $16.95
Publisher: Twilight Times Books
Distributor: Midpoint Trade Books
Publication Date: May 15, 2006
Available on Amazon.com
Author's Website: www.robinawilliams.com
Summary of Angelos:
Quant, the cat, is back!
The Minotaur is a quiet home-loving creature. So he's not too happy when a falling rock in the lower reaches of his labyrinth bounces off his head, giving him a splitting headache and flinging him through time and space. He's relieved to find his horns haven't been broken, but where in Zeus's name has he landed up?
Brother Jerome, pottering around in the friary shed, is suddenly hurled through red-hot air into a maze of corridors, all of which seem to lead him to a room containing human bones. Where is he now? Terrified, and desperate to be rescued before he's eaten by a monster, he yells for Quant.
When the quantum cat turns up, he's short-tempered with Jerome, telling him there's no monster, and anyway what does he mean by 'now'? Time, as he shows the friar, is a somewhat fluid concept.
Meantime, the friary's new Guardian, Fr. Aidan, is also journeying—through his dark night of the soul, and wondering if he will ever see the light again.
Two storylines united at the end of the book by Quant, the Lord’s seraphic envoy—the angelos of the title.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
The darkness deepens in a world without power. But, daring to defend a young outcast, one family strikes a light.
In the face of a crisis that sweeps an entire high-tech planet back to the age before electricity, the Brannings face a choice. Will they hoard their possessions to survive—or trust God to provide as they offer their resources to others?
Number one bestselling suspense author Terri Blackstock weaves a masterful what-if series in which global catastrophe reveals the darkness in human hearts—and lights the way to restoration for a self-centered world.
Now eight months into a global blackout, the residents of Oak Hollow are coping with the deep winter nights. But the struggle to survive can bring out the worst in a person—or a community.
A teenager has been shot and the suspect sits in jail. As the son of a convicted murderer, Mark Green already has one strike against him. Now he faces the wrath of all Oak Hollow—except for one person. Deni Branning has known Mark since high school and is convinced he is no killer.
When Mark finds himself at large with a host of other prisoners released upon the unsuspecting community, Deni and her family attempt to help him find the person who really pulled the trigger. But clearing Mark’s reputation is only part of his battle. Protecting the neighbors who ostracized him is just as difficult.
And forgiving them may be the hardest part of all.
Learn more at www.cfrblog.blogspot.com.