Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Authors To Watch: L.T. Lewis, author of 'S.H.I.N.E. and WIN: 5 Keys to Conquer the Fear of Failure'

Lisa (L.T.) Lewis is a Spiritual Strategist, Author, Speaker and Coach.  She is the Founder & CEO of Kick Boxing Believers, L.L.C. a transformational business dedicated to helping individuals identify and kick the limiting beliefs/boxes in their lives.  Facilitating ‘next level’, free- from-boxes-living for her clients is her life's joy!  She champions this in a creatively energizing way with life-changing impact via her writings, speeches, seminars, workshops, tele-classes, webinars and coaching sessions.

L.T. also has the following tools that she brings to the table in service to you:
·        20+ Years Management in the Public Sector
·        Certificate in Public Leadership
·        Certificate in Personal Development Coaching
·        Best Selling Author
·        Ordained Clergy



If you feel stuck in a mediocre life and you can’t seem to break free, be inspired by the guidance of L.T. Lewis in S.H.I.N.E. and WIN: 5 Keys to Conquer the Fear of Failure.  As a Spiritual Strategist,
Coach and Entrepreneur, L.T. utilizes time-tested truths and spiritual secrets to help women identify the fears and beliefs that are keeping them boxed into an ordinary life.  To live the life you desire, rise above your obstacles, SHINE and WIN.

Launched at #8 on Amazon in Success Self Help.

S.H.I.N.E. and WIN: 5 Keys to Conquer the Fear of Failure is available at Amazon

Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a Spiritual Strategist, Author, Speaker, and Personal and Executive Coach.  I am also the Founder & CEO of Kick Boxing Believers, L.L.C. a transformational business dedicated to helping individuals identify and kick the limiting beliefs/boxes in their lives.  Facilitating ‘next level’, free- from-boxes-living for her clients is her life's joy!  She champions this in a creatively energizing way with life-changing impact via her writings, speeches, seminars, workshops, tele-classes, webinars and coaching sessions.

Lisa also has the following experience and tools to effectively serve my readers:
20 Years of Management in the Public Sector
Certificate in Public Leadership
Certificate in Personal Development Coaching
Best Selling Author
Ordained Clergy

Nice to have you here, L.T. When did you begin writing?

I’ve been writing since second grade.  I love to write.  I write poetry, short stories, and self-help materials.

Describe your writing process. Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants? When and where do you write?

Oddly enough, I write whenever I can.  I carry a pen and notebook with me wherever I go.  I also started recording my thoughts or chapters on my phone and transcribe them later.  I’ve learned that I need to write when a flow of ideas is fresh.  I’ve been on the subway an idea comes from something I’ve just seen or overheard and I start to write.  At the end of the day I consolidate everything I’ve written. 

I also blog and write a weekly column for a few online magazines. 

Can you tell us about your most recent release?

I also blog.  I write a weekly column for a few online magazines. 

How did you get the idea for the book?

I decided to write and publish my book S.H.I.N.E. and WIN: 5 Keys to Conquer the Fear of Failure, an Amazon Bestseller, via my company Kick Boxing Believers, L.L.C. for two primary reasons:
1.      To help someone else struggling to move beyond their fear of failure and achieve their life's goals.
2.      To tell my story and share lessons learned; the five keys that have been critical to me continuing to move forward to achieve y life’s goals.
Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why?

Because I write self-help books my favorite characters are the individuals that will read my book.  I want to help as many people as I can achieve their goals and live the life they desire to live!

What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?

It was a challenge to write this book because I had to be vulnerable.  I shared my story, my failure, my struggle but it was not only therapeutic but also eye opening.  I learned some key lessons that helped me overcome and conquer my fear of failure.

Which authors have inspired your writing?

I enjoy a variety of writers from Guy Kawasaki to Amy Schumer. 

What projects are you currently working on?

I am currently doing more public speaking and expanding my coaching practice.  As a matter of fact, your readers can receive my S.H.I.N.E. Blueprint and a complimentary 1-Hour Coaching session with me by signing up at

What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors?

Tell your authentic story both the trials and triumphs.  Exposing one’s warts is not easy but has a life changing impact for you and your readers. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Authors To Watch: Rani St. Pucchi, author of YOUR BODY, YOUR STYLE

Thirty years ago, Rani St. Pucchi took the bridal world by storm, despite having no formal training in fashion. She is an award winning couture fashion designer and founder of the world-renowned bridal house St. Pucchi. A passionate and dynamic entrepreneur who launched her global empire in the United States in 1985, Rani’s vision was to create an avant-garde bridal and evening couture line with modern styling and classic details. That vision has been realized today.

Renowned for infusing her creations with touches of magnificently colored jewels, exquisite hand embroidery, delicate beading and sparkling crystals on the finest silks and laces, these inspired designs with innovative draping evoke the timeless elegance every woman desires. As one of the foremost designers to introduce exotic silk fabrics and hand embroidery, Rani is applauded for being a pioneer in bringing color to the United States bridal scene, having learned that white does not flatter everyone.

Rani has been recognized and nominated on multiple occasions for her design talent and won numerous awards as a Style Innovator. In addition, she has been honored with the Best Bridal Designer Award at the prestigious Chicago Apparel Center’s DEBI Awards (Distinctive Excellence in Bridal Industry).

Rani is famous for designing the wedding dress worn by “Phoebe” as she captured the hearts of millions when she said “I Do” in a unique St. Pucchi Lilac corset bodice A-line gown on the finale of the hit television show Friends. 

Her range of avant-garde designs are worn by the world’s most discerning brides, including celebrities and style icons such as New York Giants’ player Aaron Ross’ wife, Olympic gold medalist Sanya Richards; Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo’s wife Candice Crawford; Actress Tara Reid; Jason Priestley’s wife Naomi Lowde; actress Candice Cameron and Grammy Award winning country music singer Alison Krauss, who donned a specially designed Chantilly lace and silk gown at the Country Music Awards.

Rani has enjoyed much media attention. Her signature designs have been recognized in high profile media such as Entertainment Tonight, Harper’s Bazaar, WWD, Town and Country, Bride’s, Cosmopolitan Brides, Inside Weddings, Martha Stewart Weddings and The Knot.

Rani’s real passion other than the world of design is to help women who have suffered abuse and those who are struggling to find themselves. On her quest to empower women to be their best selves, she is passionate about helping them find their voice through building their self-confidence. She believes that confidence must start with a woman’s love and acceptance of her body.

Renowned for her savvy knowledge of a woman’s form and fit, Rani is eager to share her knowledge of more than three decades with all women so they can make better styling choices. In addition to the book you are reading now, Rani is the author of four upcoming books: The SoulMate Checklist: Key Questions To help You Choose Your Perfect Partner; Seven Types of Men To Avoid: Recognizing Relationship Red Flags; Designing with Heart: A to Z Guide to Bridal Designing; and Unveiling: A Celebrity Fashion Designer’s Story, a Memoir of her Life Journey.

Born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand, Rani now happily lives in Los Angeles, California.



Rani St. Pucchi, a trend-setting designer whose designs have been recognized in Entertainment Tonight, Harper’s Bazaar, WWD, Town and Country, Bride’s, Cosmopolitan Bride, Martha Stewart Weddings and The Knot, can help define the style that flatters you most no matter what age or
stage of life you are in or what your body type is.

Women from all over the world have clamored to have a private consultation with Rani so they may benefit from her expertise and regain their self-confidence and shine.

In Your Body, Your Style, Rani shares with you her knowledge of the female form and guides you to find simple solutions to your most pressing body concerns. The focus is on you — and how you can make yourself more confident and appealing in almost every situation — simply by making a few changes and different choices in planning your wardrobe.  

Once you embrace your unique attributes and dissolve your bad relationship with your body, you’ll be amazed to find how irresistible you are to others!

This simple and friendly guide reveals:

* What clothes and silhouettes are best for your specific body type
* Simple techniques to determine which colors flatter you most
* Solutions to common lingerie issues and the importance of fit
* The one dress that is a chameleon, and how to transform it into different looks
* How to travel stress free by planning your wardrobe well
* 101 styling secrets, professional tricks and fashion tips

RANI ST. PUCCHI  is an award-winning fashion designer, an author and relationship expert. She is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post.


AMAZON   *   B&N

Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi, I’m Rani St. Pucchi, award-winning designer and founder of the world-renowned Bridal house St. Pucchi which was established in 1985
When did you begin writing?
Since 2015
Describe your writing process. Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants? When and where do you write?
I write on subjects that are based on my personal experiences. It’s a methodical process and similar to designing a wedding gown. I first plan the outline, chapters, content and in what order to present them so they flow perfectly. I write from my design studio that opens up to a beautiful landscape.  
Can you tell us about your most recent release?
Your Body, Your Style teaches you simple tricks on how to dress your body in a way that will enhance your best assets and camouflage areas you feel uncomfortable about or find lacking in any way, so that you may elevate your self-confidence and become clear on how you wish to be seen in the world.

How did you get the idea for the book?
It was a thought I had for a very long time, one that came from working with more than 15,000 women in my 30 plus years as a designer, and seeing the challenges they faced with accepting their bodies and always wanting to change it
What projects are you currently working on?
I have three more books that I am writing which will all be published next year. I am also an Inspirational Speaker, a Coach and a Jack Canfield Certified Trainer. And of course, I continue to design my St. Pucchi collections, and in the process, I have the privilege to dress amazing women!
What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors?
As any writer and author will tell you, the first book can be the most challenging one. Editing, and re-writing several times even, to make sure that your readers will understand is key. Most information exists in our heads and, as in fashion, much of the lingo is so second nature to us and those in the know in our field that we tend to forget that the general audience, for the most part, is clueless about what we may be referring to. So I suggest that when you write you think carefully about your reader and try to understand from their perspective to make sure that everything is clear and easy to follow. Your subject must be either entertaining to keep your reader engaged (in the case of fiction) or solve a problem your reader has (in the case of non-fiction).

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Authors To Watch: Mary Lawlor, author of 'Fighter Pilot's Daughter'

Mary Lawlor grew up in an Army family during the Cold War.  Her father was a decorated fighter pilot who fought in the Pacific during World War II, flew missions in Korea, and did two combat tours in Vietnam. His family followed him from base to base and country to country during his years of service. Every two or three years, Mary, her three sisters, and her mother packed up their household and moved. By the time she graduated from high school, she had attended fourteen different schools. These displacements, plus her father?s frequent absences and brief, dramatic returns, were part of the fabric of her childhood, as were the rituals of base life and the adventures of life abroad.

As Mary came of age, tensions between the patriotic, Catholic culture of her upbringing and the values of the sixties counterculture set family life on fire.  While attending the American College in Paris, she became involved in the famous student uprisings of May 1968.  Facing her father, then posted in Vietnam, across a deep political divide, she fought as he had taught her to for a way of life completely different from his and her mother’s.

Years of turbulence followed.  After working in Germany, Spain and Japan, Mary went on to graduate school at NYU, earned a Ph.D. and became a professor of literature and American Studies at Muhlenberg College.  She has published three books, Recalling the Wild (Rutgers UP, 2000), Public Native America (Rutgers UP, 2006), and most recently Fighter Pilot’s Daughter: Growing Up in the Sixties and the Cold War (Rowman and Littlefield, September 2013).

She and her husband spend part of each year on a small farm in the mountains of southern Spain.


Title: Fighter Pilot’s Daughter: Growing Up in the Sixties and the Cold War
Author: Mary Lawlor
Publisher: Rowman and Littlefield
Pages: 336
Genre: Memoir
Format: Hardcover/Kindle

FIGHTER PILOT’S DAUGHTER: GROWING UP IN THE SIXTIES AND THE COLD WAR tells the story of the author as a young woman coming of age in an Irish Catholic, military family during the Cold War.  Her father, an aviator in the Marines and later the Army, was transferred more than a dozen times to posts from Miami to California and Germany as the government’s Cold War policies demanded.  For the pilot’s wife and daughters, each move meant a complete upheaval of ordinary life.  The car was sold, bank accounts closed, and of course one school after another was left behind.  Friends and later boyfriends lined up in memory as a series of temporary attachments.  The book describes the dramas of this traveling household during the middle years of the Cold War.  In the process, FIGHTER PILOT’S DAUGHTER shows how the larger turmoil of American foreign policy and the effects of Cold War politics permeated the domestic universe. The climactic moment of the story takes place in the spring of 1968, when the author’s father was stationed in Vietnam and she was attending college in Paris.  Having left the family’s quarters in Heidelberg, Germany the previous fall, she was still an ingénue; but her strict upbringing had not gone deep enough to keep her anchored to her parents’ world.  When the May riots broke out in the Latin quarter, she attached myself to the student leftists and American draft resisters who were throwing cobblestones at the French police. Getting word of her activities via a Red Cross telegram delivered on the airfield in Da Nang, Vietnam, her father came to Paris to find her. The book narrates their dramatically contentious meeting and return to the American military community of Heidelberg.  The book concludes many years later, as the Cold War came to a close.  After decades of tension that made communication all but impossible, the author and her father reunited.  As the chill subsided in the world at large, so it did in the relationship between the pilot and his daughter. When he died a few years later, the hard edge between them, like the Cold War stand-off, had become a distant memory.
For More Information:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a military brat and a child of the Cold War, of the Sixties, of the American Century. I grew up on military bases in America and Europe. My family moved twenty times, and I attended fourteen schools by the time I was eighteen. My father was a Marine Corps and later an Army pilot. He and my mother brought me up to be a good, dutiful, Catholic daughter. That lasted until 1968, when I left their household and started college. I was involved in the huge demonstrations in Paris during the spring of ’68. They were directed against the Vietnam War among other things. At the same moment, my Dad was in Vietnam fighting that very war. This caused huge strife in the family that marked me in many ways. Later we became very close, and that’s very important to how I understand myself now.  Fighter Pilot’s Daughter is an account of all these struggles.

Although I had a hard time with school, given all the moving, I made it through graduate school, earned a PhD in English, and became a professor at Muhlenberg College.

When did you begin writing?

I’ve been writing since I was very young, but I published my first book in 2000. That was Recalling the Wild: Naturalism and the Closing of the American West. Then in 2006, I published Public Native America: Tribal Self-Representation in Casinos, Museums, and Powwows. Both of those were published by Rutgers University Press. Since 2006, I’ve been concentrating my attention on fiction and memoir writing. Fighter Pilot’s Daughter is my first work of non-fiction creative writing.

Describe your writing process. Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants? When and where do you write?

Fighter Pilot’s Daughter is a very personal memoir that includes stories of my father’s life as a pilot and a soldier. His work followed the government’s dramatic moves during the Cold War, so I had to do a lot of research for the book and weave that clearly into the story about what happened to Dad himself, my mother, my sisters and me as a result of his job. The writing process involved deep explorations of memory on the one hand and extensive reading on the other. I wanted to be sure to foreground the family story, simply because it’s closer to me and most of what I care about is embedded there. But I needed to weave descriptions of key moments in the 20th century—like the launching of Sputnik, JFK’s inauguration and his assassination—into that story. This means I really did plot things out in advance. Memories often came up “by the seat of my pants,” so to speak, but once they did, it was clear to me where they had to be placed in the narrative so readers could see how the whole picture fit together.  

When I’m in Spain I write in a small cottage on our farm. The room has a view of the mountains to the south and Gibraltar. There’s a cork oak tree right outside my window that shades the room in summer and reflects the light in winter beautifully. I keep my eyes on my laptop screen but every once in a while I look up. The view is inspiring.

When I’m in Pennsylvania I write on a stationary bicycle in my office. It has a shelf that holds my laptop. I peddle so slowly while I write that I barely get any exercise from it, but it energizes my brain nevertheless.

I almost always write in the morning In both places. I often listen to music through ear phones. The sounds of Mozart, Erik Sati, and Paco de Lucia, for example, are great fuel for writing.
Can you tell us about your most recent release?

Fighter Pilot’s Daughter is a story about my life as the daughter of a military pilot who was often away from home and dramatizes the ways the Cold War sifted down into our household. The climax of the story comes with me getting caught up in the heat of the student uprisings in Paris when my father was in Vietnam. The story concludes with our reconciliation: we found our way back to each other as the Cold War ended.

How did you get the idea for the book?

With the Marine Corps and later the Army, my family moved so many times that I grew up without any sense of place.  Both of my parents grew up in New Jersey, but my own attachment to that state was slim and tenuous.  We visited our cousins now and then—not even once each year.  Shifting from the northeast to the deep south to California and then Germany—and many places in between—made it difficult for my sisters and me to find models for how to talk, how to look, how to walk, what to think.  How to see ourselves.

I wanted to go back through the memories of places like Dothan, Alabama and Opa-locka, Florida, try to see them again—what they smelled and looked like—and feel again what it was like to be there.  And I wanted to feel again what it was like to leave after, say, two years.  We would just start getting used to the ways other kids talked, to peculiar words they used; and we’d just start getting close enough to other girls to be almost friends with them when it would be time to leave.  So any familiarity with people or ways of living that my sisters and I started to develop, any developing sense of who we were or who we might become, would go out the window.  We’d have to start over again in a new place.

In writing Fighter Pilot’s Daughter, I wanted to map all of this and try to understand what I couldn’t when I was growing up: how the moving stalled my ability to shape myself as a person and “grow up.”

I also wanted to make sense of what the moving meant for my mother, as she tried to create a healthy, stable household.  What were her feelings about her own life when she herself was constantly being treated like a stranger, never belonging to any community?  And I wanted to understand the causes and consequences of the explosions—my mother’s and later my own—that nearly ripped our family apart.  Memoir seemed the best and really the only choice for me.  I suppose I could’ve made the story into a novel, but I needed to have more direct contact with the powerful feelings that were still unsettled in me, even after the years of being a military daughter were long over. 

Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why?

It’s hard to say which of the people in Fighter Pilot’s Daughter is my favorite. It’s a memoir about my family, and they’re all my favorites! My father and mother are the central characters. They were vivid, strong characters in life, and I tried to capture some of their energy on the page. My sisters are very dear to me, and they have big parts in the book too. They have their own ways of seeing our past, so I tried not to tell my story as if it were theirs too. But they have important roles in the narrative of my own development, so they’re very present in the book. 

What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?

The greatest technical challenge was also a personal challenge: I had to shed the academic, professor’s voice in writing Fighter Pilot’s Daughter and replace it with a more personal voice, one that would show who I was as teller and who I was as actor at different stages in the book.  It needed to be the voice of a good story teller who could invite a reader to follow her back in time, through the dramas, and feel them along with her.  Although it felt very good to write in that voice, I often caught myself slipping back into the academic style, explaining too much, and sounding like a teacher.  I really had to work hard to train myself to stop doing that. 

The greatest personal challenge was facing the memories that I wanted to get back to.  It’s a contradiction, but the desire to go back into memory meant I had to stay with a lot of painful recollections.  The writing process ended up being a kind of auto-therapy.  I came to understand a lot about myself and my parents, but it was a tough struggle at many points.

Which authors have inspired your writing?

Among contemporary writers, I like Colm Tóibín, Don DeLillo, Leslie Marmon Silko, Louise Erdrich, Thomas Pynchon, Bathsheba Monk, and David Mitchell.  I also love Henry James, Edith Wharton, Willa Cather, Frank Norris, and Virginia Woolf.

What projects are you currently working on?

I recently finished a novel about an American woman who’s trying to make a life for herself in a small Spanish village. She’s quite a loner but doesn’t want to be.  Her story is paralleled by that of a younger Spanish real estate developer.  Both feel like outsiders in the village, but while she wants to heal old wounds by enclosing herself in the mountain landscape, he wants to transform the place. It’s a story at once of expatriate life and of the huge waves of development, corruption, and then economic catastrophe that have washed over Spain in the last decade, leaving lives and landscapes transformed forever. I don’t want to give away the plot, but they both end up subtly changed for the better.

At the moment I’m working on a new novel, this one also set in Spain.  (My husband and I have a small house there where we spend a lot of time, thus the interest in that setting.) It’s about a young Spanish woman, just setting off for university, who discovers her family’s roots in medieval Al-Andalus during the time when Spain was Arabic speaking and Islamic.  She goes back in time—in her imagination or perhaps through actual time travel—to visit a medieval astronomer who works with an astrolabe.  He keeps track of the hours so people know when to pray.  There’s a parallel in the girl’s own life, as she recovers her family’s lost history and her own daily struggles with time’s power to carry things away.

What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors?

I’d say don’t worry too much about trying to get at the minute, details of the non-fictional matters you’re writing about.  Let your feelings about them and your impressions—you don’t have to be obsessed with having only the facts all the time—come forth and land on the page.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


Hot off the presses! SUPER SIMPLE QUICK START GUIDE TO SELF-PUBLISHING by award-winning bestselling author E.J. Stevens is available now!

Author: E.J. Stevens
Publisher: Sacred Oaks Press
Pages: 105
Genre: Nonfiction

This simple introductory guide will give you the basic information you need to begin self-publishing.

Whether you are writing your first novel or looking to breathe new life into your backlist, this guide will give you the tools you need to successfully self-publish. Useful information, direct links to resources, checklists, and step-by-step tutorials will help you create a professional quality book.

Simple tips will save you time that you can spend on writing, publishing, and promoting your next bestseller.

This book provides an introduction to:
  • Building a Writing Template
  • Copyright
  • Beta Readers and Editors
  • ISBN and Barcode
  • Font Licensing
  • Book Covers
  • ARCs
  • Ebook Formatting
  • Print Book Formatting
  • SEO, Keywords, and BISAC Categories
  • Retail Product Pages
  • Pricing
  • Audiobooks and Narrators
  • Translations and Translators

Each chapter will take you one step, leap, or bound closer to successfully publishing your book. Grab your cape. It's time to be an indie publishing hero!

Looking to improve book sales? Check out the Super Simple Quick Start Guide to Book Marketing by E.J. Stevens.


Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble |  Kobo |  iTunes

Book Excerpt:

Welcome to the Super Simple Quick Start Guide to Self-Publishing.  Whether novice or experienced writer, I hope you find this book helpful as you embark on your publishing journey.  My goal is to provide you with an easy-to-follow guide that will save you time and money through tips and tricks I’ve developed during my writing career.
This guide is arranged in the order in which I publish my own books.  Each chapter will take you one step, leap, or bound closer to successfully publishing your book.  Early chapters introduce concepts vital to getting your book published, and give a simple tutorial on how to complete that step, saving you valuable time.  Pro tips and publishing life hacks will highlight ways to avoid common pitfalls.  Later chapters provide information on what to do after your book launch, including how to make your book available in additional languages and in the increasingly popular audiobook format.  At the end of this guide, you’ll also find a publishing checklist and a list of useful resources.
I have successfully published 15 fiction books, including the award-winning Spirit Guide young adult series, the bestselling Hunters’ Guild urban fantasy series, and the award-winning, bestselling Ivy Granger, Psychic Detective urban fantasy series.  In 2017, I will release my first works of nonfiction, the Super Simple Quick Start Guide to Book Marketing and this Super Simple Quick Start Guide to Self-Publishing.  In addition to my 2017 nonfiction releases, I will be publishing two more books in the Ivy Granger series and two books in the much anticipated Whitechapel Paranormal Society Victorian Gothic horror series.
In recent years, my books have won numerous awards.  I am a BTS Magazine Red Carpet Award winner for Best Novel and Best Book Cover, SYAE finalist for Best Paranormal Series, Best Novella, and Best Horror, winner of the PRG Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Paranormal Fantasy Novel, Best Young Adult Paranormal Series, Best Urban Fantasy Novel, and finalist for Best Young Adult Paranormal Novel and Best Urban Fantasy Series.
My novels and novellas have been translated into multiple languages, including German, Italian, Spanish, and Dutch.  I have also had the pleasure of working with world famous voice artists in the production of over a half dozen audiobooks.
My books have flown to the top of the Amazon bestsellers lists in numerous categories.  I have repeatedly hit the Amazon top 100, and have hit #1 in a variety of categories such as the Mythology & Folktales > Fairy Tales category and the Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Psychics category in Amazon stores worldwide.
I am a guest at conventions and book signings around the world.  Recent conventions include Dragon Con, Boskone, Imaginarium, Readercon, and World Fantasy.  I frequently speak on panels and teach workshops on a wide range of publishing, writing craft, and literary topics.  I have been a guest speaker alongside such notable figures as Charles Stross, Catherynne M. Valente, Orson Scott Card, Rachel Vincent, Paul Tremblay, Maria Snyder, Leanna Renee Hieber, David Coe, Kit Reed, Peter V. Brett, Jacqueline Carey, and Max Gladstone.
It’s important to remember that I did not start out as a publishing hero.  I’ve made mistakes, ones that you don’t have to make if you follow the steps in this guide.
When I started publishing my books in 2009, there were limited resources in libraries and online.  I was frustrated by conflicting information, outdated books and websites, dead links leading to 404 errors, and false information posted by people with no industry experience.
Today there are hundreds of books, videos, and websites on how to publish and market your book.  This wealth of resources is great in theory, but it means that it has become more difficult to find useful information than ever before.  With my years of publishing experience, I can shine a light on the most important tasks, help you set clear goals, and provide tips to ensure you achieve those goals.
The Super Simple Quick Start Guide to Self-Publishing will give you the basic information needed to independently publish your book, while providing terminology and resources that will help if you wish to learn more advanced publishing skills.
Grab your cape.  It’s time to be a publishing hero!

About the Author

E.J. Stevens is the bestselling, award-winning author of the IVY GRANGER, PSYCHIC DETECTIVE urban fantasy series, the SPIRIT GUIDE young adult series, the HUNTERS' GUILD urban fantasy series, and the WHITECHAPEL PARANORMAL SOCIETY Victorian Gothic horror series. She is known for filling pages with quirky characters, bloodsucking vampires, psychotic faeries, and snarky, kick-butt heroines. Her novels are available worldwide in multiple languages.

BTS Red Carpet Award winner for Best Novel, SYAE finalist for Best Paranormal Series, Best Novella, and Best Horror, winner of the PRG Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Paranormal Fantasy Novel, Best Young Adult Paranormal Series, Best Urban Fantasy Novel, and finalist for Best Young Adult Paranormal Novel and Best Urban Fantasy Series.

When E.J. isn't at her writing desk, she enjoys dancing along seaside cliffs, singing in graveyards, and sleeping in faerie circles. E.J. currently resides in a magical forest on the coast of Maine where she finds daily inspiration for her writing.

Join the E.J. Stevens newsletter and learn about news, events, and ghosts. Monthly news updates, tour photos, and exclusive reader perks (FREE reads & giveaways!). Great resources for authors on E.J.'s "Author Resources" page on her official website.



Monday, January 9, 2017

Authors To Watch: Abby Bardi, author of 'Double Take'

Abby Bardi is the author of the novels The Book of Fred, The Secret Letters, and Double Take. Her short fiction has appeared in Quarterly West, Rosebud, Monkeybicycle, and in the anthologies High Infidelity, Grace and Gravity, and Reader, I Murdered Him, and her short story “Abu the Water Carrier” was the winner of The Bellingham Review’s 2016 Tobias Wolff award for fiction. She has an MFA in Creative Writing and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Maryland and teaches writing and literature in the Washington, DC, area. She lives in Ellicott City, Maryland, the oldest railroad depot in America.

Website & Social Links:


About the Book:

Title: Double Take
Author: Abby Bardi
Publisher: Harper Collins Impulse
Pages: 186
Genre: Mystery/Women’s Fiction

Set in Chicago, 1975, Double Take is the story of artsy Rachel Cochrane, who returns from college with no job and confronts the recent death of Bando, one of her best friends. When she runs into Joey, a mutual friend, their conversations take them back into their shared past and to the revelation that Bando may have been murdered. To find out who murdered him, Rachel is forced to revisit her stormy 1960s adolescence, a journey that brings her into contact with her old friends, her old self, and danger.

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When did you begin writing?

I’ve been writing obsessively since third grade. I wrote all through high school and college—mostly really terrible poetry—then stopped writing after college because I thought it was time to be an adult and get serious about life. Then I realized that would never happen, so I started writing obsessively again.

Describe your writing process. Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants? When and where do you write?

Mostly I’m a plotter, but then things happen. Characters have revolted and refused to go through with my plans. So now I swing back and forth between plotting and letting the characters surprise me.

Can you tell us about your most recent release?

I first got the idea for Double Take during the year the novel begins, 1975. Then I forgot all about it during the years I was trying to be a serious-adult-who-didn’t-write. I started it again a few times over the years, then put it away, then picked it up again. Then last year, I finally got it into a form that felt finished.

How did you get the idea for the book?

Well, I hate to admit it, but there is a kernel of truth to most of the things that happen in the book. For example, like my character Rachel, I really was a waitress at a restaurant that was home to a drug and burglary ring. Nothing else in the book taken from real life quite that literally, but emotionally, it’s all true for me—many of the things that happen to Rachel happened to me in other forms. For example, I really did see someone get shot outside the restaurant, though he didn’t actually die. And a guy I didn’t know did once try to hand me a hash pipe out his apartment window while I was walking past. Hey, it was the Sixties! Rachel’s story is all fiction, but I’ve always thought of it as a collage where I picked up little bits and pieces of things and kept them for future reference.

Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why?

I love Rachel, but she’s kind of a mess, like I was at her age. My favorite character is her friend Bando, who is based on a friend of mine who died very young. As I wrote about Bando, I was trying to bring my friend back to life, and I think to an extent I succeeded.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?

The most challenging thing for me was letting go of the story and deciding it was finally done. It had been a work in progress since I first scrawled notes about it forty years ago. No, that can’t be right, I’m not really that old.

Which authors have inspired your writing?

I have loved so many writers I can’t even list them, but in Double Take, the author who inspired me most was Raymond Chandler, who was able to convey the hardboiled beauty of his imaginary Los Angeles. That’s what I was going for.

What projects are you currently working on?

I’m almost finished with a historical novel involving time travel.

What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors?

Just keep writing, and don’t ever give up.