Introduce Yourself: Introducing Guest Author William Ablan

 

What is your name and where are you from?

Thanks a lot for the opportunity to introduce myself, and I hope I do your space proud.  So here goes.

When I was a child, I asked one thing of God. I asked that I never live a boring life.  I just know the minute I made that prayer that God leaned back, smiled, and said: “Okay, buckle up Mr. Adventure!”I guess you really need to be careful what you ask for. You just might get it. My name is William Ablan (not my real name, of course).  I write under a pen name for one reason.  About seventy-five percent of what I write about happened, and doing so under a pen name gives me the chance to put some distance between me and it.  More on that later.

Okay Mr. Adventure, what was your childhood dream?

I was raised a cowboy, and I can do all the cowboy stuff to include riding, roping, branding, and so on. I’m the son of a rancher but realized at an early age that wasn’t the life I wanted.  My eyes were fixed on the stars, and I wanted to ride a rocket into space (still might someday). I took my degree in the second most useless thing in the world and then couldn’t find a job.

Aww. That sucks. What then?

Two months later they called, and I spent the next twenty years being a police officer.  As I said, I wanted adventure, and I got it.  I worked not only the streets but undercover narcotics, plainclothes investigations, protected VIPs, been an Undersheriff and a Chief of Police.  I can’t say I regretted my time working in Law Enforcement.  During that time I’ve been assaulted several times, stabbed twice, and shot at a few times.  It opened my eyes to the dark side of the human race.

It also showed me that there’s good in everyone.  Sometimes, you have to dig to find it, but it’s there.  Sometimes the last person on Earth you’d think would be at your side are the ones trying desperately to save the life of a stranger, or going into a dangerous situation and doing something heroic.  Or something as simple as being vulnerable to try to talk to someone.  The good is there, and when people let it out, it’s dazzling.

With, you being a former law enforcement officer, I have to ask. What do you think of police brutality in the black community? How would you solve this problem?

Any brutality isn’t good. I think I’m ill-equipped to answer that question.  The towns and counties I was a police officer in had no black community.  That said, it still happened, maybe not to blacks, but certainly other races.  I knew Hispanic cops that got themselves in a bind being racist against whites, and the reverse is also true.  But I also knew Hispanic cops who brutalized their own and the same concerning whites. The first time I was around a lot of blacks was when I was in the military.  I never had any problems and count a huge number of blacks among my best friends.

What’s the answer?  I wish I knew.  Part of me says better training and better screening of potential police officers.  I suspect the truth is simply being a better human being.  I only know one way to get that, and that involves God.

William, what are your thoughts on race in general?

The genealogy stuff factors in with my views on race.  I don’t get it.  From what I’ve been able to learn, my ancestors got ran out of almost every decent country around, got here, and ran into more of my ancestors who did their best to scalp them.  Somehow they managed to get along long enough to produce me.  I’ve got blood connections to almost every people who have ever walked the Earth with the possible exceptions of China, Japan, and India (and it wouldn’t surprise me too much to find out it’s folded in there someplace).

Now an admission I wish I didn’t have to make.  My parents were rather racist, especially against whites (and here I am, half white)  I found their views disgusting.  They openly expressed hate, and I thought that’s not logical.  By their thinking, I’m having to hate part of me.  I guess I’ve extended that thinking to all people since I have a pretty good idea of what became me.

Available now on Amazon

Let’s talk about writing a bit. Why did you start writing?

I started writing because I’m into genealogy.  I always heard stories about some of my ancestors, and with very few exceptions, none of them left more than the barest records of what they’d done and who they were.  In some cases, the stories I heard weren’t true.

I can understand that for sure…

An example is my great, great grandfather.  The story I heard was he was in the Confederate army, had been captured, and spent the war in the Union POW camp in Allentown.  Now, granted, the POW system back then was a mess, but if you spent four years someplace, you would think your name would turn up.  I could never find anything from the Confederate Army reference him either.  Then one day, I got an unexpected break.  Turns out he was never in the Confederacy, but in the Union Army.  And he was an officer to boot.  Where did the other story come from?  Near as I can figure that since he was from North Carolina, they made it up so he wouldn’t get beat up!  Later, he and his family came out west with the Mormon’s, and he was a General in their militia.  I’d love to have known his stories and heard what he had to say.

What a story.

So, that’s why I started writing.  I’ve not only been in places where history was being made but in some cases, helped shape it.  I didn’t want my great, great grandchildren trying to figure out who I was.  I’d leave a record for them.

But writing it down involved taking a step away from myself.  Some of the events were still pretty raw and I had to report the best I could.  I invented a character and inflicted my adventures on him.  And a really funny thing began to happen.  I discovered writing was healing.

I take it you are religious William…

Yes.  I’m a Christian.  Now why I’m a Christian involves what I could know I’m capable of being.  In the Bible, we read the story of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector.  The Pharisee stood in the temple telling God how cool he was, and that he did this and that.  Basically, he was telling God that God was lucky to have him on his side.  The Tax Collector didn’t do that.  The Bible tells us he stood there, admitting again and again that he a sinner.  The Bible tells us it was the Tax collector who went away justified before God because he was being honest with God.

Well, I was the Pharisee.  As a Police Officer, I saw it my duty to protect the world, and while I never abused anyone, took bribes, or such, I was viewing myself as the perfect person.  It’s easy to do.  What I didn’t realize is there was a monster in me.

I see…

One day, I ran into it.  We were in Saudi Arabia, a few short days from invading Iraq.  We had a Platoon Sgt who was horrible at best, incompetent at worse.  He thought you pushed combat troops the same way you push recruits (you don’t, in case you’re wondering). He went down with us saying he wanted to get the purple heart.  By day two, we were all willing to help him.

So, we’re breaking down and getting ready to move up to the border when he comes up and starts screaming at me about something.  To this day I can’t tell you what he said.  All I know what something in me said, “Screw him!”  as he turned and started walking away, I suddenly felt a hand on top of mine.  A friend of mine was whispering in my ear, “Will, he’s not worth it.”  My pistol was halfway out of its holster.  My friend had stopped me from doing something incredibly stupid.  Had he not been there, you and I wouldn’t be having this conversation right now.

You got some stories in you William!

I got a glimpse of the monster in us, and it terrified me.  I realized I was no better than some of the people I’d sent to prison for murder.  It was a very humbling encounter.  That night, I prayed, maybe for the first time in ages.  I asked God that if he got me out of this intact, and my mind sane, I’d serve him.  And I thanked him for putting someone in my life for stopping me from killing that man.

It was six months before I started trying to keep that promise.  Today, I can’t imagine ever having been the guy who almost killed a man.

Enough heavy stuff.

Okay. Let’s switch it up a bit. Tell us more about you, what foods do you like? Music? That stuff.

I’m a huge fan of hamburgers.

Lol! Yes to hamburgers!

While I love County-Western music, and Rock, I spend most of my time listening to Classical music, especially when I’m writing. I’m into some of the newer stuff that has a classical sound to it (think the soundtrack to Tron by Daft Punk).

Umm.. no idea who that is but carry on.

And if there was a single artist I could shadow, it would be the country artist Charles Russell.  I’d enjoyed spending an afternoon with him riding across the open plains.  He wrote about and painted the land he loved.  I guess it’s his passion I’d want to tap into.

What genre do you write in?

I write what can best be called Police Adventure. I published my first book last year.  It’s called the Cross and the Badge, and to a large degree is about learning to live with the pains of the past. My next book is a direct sequel called “Dead Friends.” I’m aiming for a release date of 1 Sep.

Congratulations on the new release! I don’t think we discussed what you are doing now.

My wife and I live in a not so little town anymore called Greeley, Colorado. Some of my fondest memories is time spent with her. Like when we’d be coming back late at night from a gig she’d played (she played in a Country-Western band), stop under a star-filled sky, and talk until dawn.

I’ve children and grandchildren and could acquire great grandchildren here real soon.  I’ve threatened my grand kids with death if they do that to me anytime soon.  I’m too young to be a Great Grandfather.

And I like to introduce myself as a Writer who moonlights as a Systems Administrator.  I’ve been working in Information Technology for over twenty years now.  People consider me an expert (definition of an Expert – Someone who knows nothing about everything…)

Ha!

…in Virtualization, Information Security, and Disaster Recovery.  I must know something about it.  I also teach it.

If you had a superpower that could chance the world, what would it be?

It’s odd that one of your questions would be about having a superpower and using it to change the world.  I think I discovered I had a superpower while I was a police officer.  It was the ability to change lives, often times for the good.  Granted, there are people I sent to prison.  I thank God we have prisons to put some of those people in (some of them were a lot dangerous or crazy or whatever.  Suffice it to say, they killed people and enjoyed it).  But often times I was able to intervene in things and get people the help they needed to get them off the path that led to those places.  I guess if the superpower had a name it would be called “caring.”  I found myself being a mentor, a counselor, and an encourager.  As I see it, I’d been placed in a unique position, and I’d be a fool not to try to help people out.

While I hung up my guns over twenty years ago, I still find myself helping people.  As part of my church, I find myself working closely with veterans, gang members, and people life has beat up.  And I suppose in some crazy way, that answers one of your questions about what love is.  I know there’s the love I have for my wife, children, and grandchildren, but this is the kind of love Jesus has I suppose.  The kind of love that tells someone that they’re important and not something to be feared or cast aside.  I always remember that one of the miracles he performed was with a leper.  A leper was someone who should never be touched.  Before Jesus healed him, he touched him.  He acknowledged that person as important.  To me, that was a true miracle.

So, you don’t need to be able to fly, or have knives come out of your wrist to change the world.  Sometimes you just need to stand up and try.

Thank you William for spending this time with us. We enjoyed you!


Copyright©2019 William Ablan

Bio.

William R. Ablan is a graduate of Adams State University in Alamosa, Colorado where he majored in Astronomy and Physics.  Because of the tough job market, he spent the next twenty years in Law Enforcement where he’s worked as a Police Officer and Deputy Sheriff.  He’s also held several important positions to include Undersheriff, Chief of Police, and Regional Emergency Manager for the San Luis Valley.  He’s also an eight-year U.S. Army combat veteran where he served as a Military Policeman where he worked undercover narcotics and investigations.  He’s been decorated several times for heroism and performance in both Law Enforcement and the Military.

He’s currently the author of “The Cross and the Badge.” His second book, “Dead Friends” will be released September 1, 2019.  It’s what he calls, Autobiographical fiction in that the majority of the cases happened, but he’s taken some literary license with the facts to turn them into a work of fiction.

Will hung up his guns in the 90s, and has work in the Information Technology field since.  He’s considered an expert in Network Security, Cloud Technologies, and Virtualization.

He resides in Greeley, Colorado with his wife Julie and works with veterans through his local church.  He has children and grandchildren, and currently lives in dread of possibly becoming a great grandfather.

Be Sure to Follow this Author Online!

https://williamablan.wordpress.com/


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Introduce Yourself: Introducing Guest Author Katherine Joe

What is your name and where are you from?

My name is Leila, though I sign my stories as Katherine Joe (long story). Currently, I live in London but originally I’m from Iran.

Iran in the house ya’ll. What are some major differences between living in London and Iran?

A lot of differences, not only in how I live, but mostly how my personality changes. In Iran I mostly depend on my parents, I would stay most of my time at home and with the people who are our close family/relatives. Here though I change to a different person and I have to decide about everything myself. From the basic things such as my home decoration to how to manage my money. It’s harder but worth it. I love my personality more in London than in Iran.

Sounds like you enjoy the independence of living in London. Cool beans. Are you employed outside of writing?

I have never been a one-dimensional person. I study PhD in computer science and systems biology and work as a tutor and a teaching assistant.

That’s awesome. What job do you think you’d be really good at?

I think I am good at teaching and research. I hope to be good in writing too.

How many siblings do you have?

I have an older brother who is married and has a child.

What was your childhood dream?

I had many; I have forgotten most. The ones I remember are: I wanted to be a famous mysterious author who no one knew about her. I wanted to be a teacher and an astronaut. I had a lion pet and was living in a village.

Sounds like your dreams have come true somewhat. You’re a teacher and you write under a different name which is kinda like the mysterious author lol. What is the most annoying habit that you have?

I lose confidence in a blink. Just something comes to my head, a small thought, I think it over and over and then conclude that I’m no good.

Happens to the best of us. We all have our moments of doubt. I commend you for being courageous enough to put that out there. We just gotta stop those thoughts immediately and replace them with good ones!

What’s your favorite color?

My favorite color is White.

Beautiful. Let’s talk about writing. Who is your favorite writer?

My favorite authors are Agatha Christie and J. R. R. Tolkien.

Why is writing important to you?

I love writing my thoughts and creating my worlds and running away to them from reality. With writing them I can share them. Inviting people to my world seems exciting. Knowing I am showing them something they have never seen, as amazing.
Available on Amazon. A virus has spread in the world. An army has promised to save everyone by taking them to the Shelter. Everyone sees the story from their eyes. But one thing is certain, something is not right. With the soldiers who do not remember their past and the people who have no identity in a completely controlled world, something is off.

What genre do you write in, why?

Sci-fi and fantasy, because I enjoy running away from real world. Drama and fiction to teach myself and others about the real world.

What’s the most difficult thing about being a writer? The most exciting thing?

The most difficult is that a writer has a huge responsibility. It is important what we write and teach the reader. How we influence their way of thinking and their beliefs. At the same time, it is the most exciting thing. A writer is teaching something to someone which can change their lives.

I agree. Does blogging help you to write?

It does, yes. What a writer always wants is to be read and internet has made it easy. With the blog, your art is out there and people can enjoy it. It is so fun especially when someone puts a comment on your post to criticize or compliment.

Gotta love that feedback right? Are you religious Katherine?

I believe in God and I consider myself a Muslim. But I think about my religion a lot. Sometimes I’m lost. But I want to believe in something for my own heart warming.

Can you elaborate a bit on what you mean when you say that sometimes you are lost and want to believe in something for your own heart?

Well, I was born in a Muslim society but I was never like others to accept what they hear immediately or to deny all the thoughts simply because they judge the religion on the society and not itself. I always enjoy a friendly talk about religion and comparing them to each other as long as we both respect the other party’s beliefs (which sometimes it cannot happen). I look for the best way of living and I believe someone introduced religions to guide us in living a better life. Sometimes I get so confused yet I keep my faith in the things I believe. So I assume I am doing my best, to the best of my knowledge.

We definitely have to do some sidebar chatting. What do you love about yourself?

I think the thing I love about myself the most is that I am different and I can easily be a teacher to myself and comment on my own behavior, analyze them and see if I was doing the right thing. I also love the fact that I am honest, no matter the circumstances to everyone and most importantly to myself.

Beautiful. I love that you can self-examine yourself! It’s of crucial importance that we understand that. What don’t you like about yourself?

I underestimate myself and I am happy with “good enough.” Though I want to learn to be perfect at something.

The ability to understand both what you’re good at and what you think needs improvement is an important leadership skill!

Would you say that you’re political?

I’ve never liked politics. I find it boring and complicated.

Lol. I hear you. What do you wish you knew more about?

I would love to know more about Astronomy, God and humans.

What’s your favorite TV Show? Movie?

TV show: Friends. Movie: don’t have one.

Whaat? You gotta have a favorite movie! What songs have you completely memorized?

Fire on fire Sam Smith, Reflexion from Mulan.

In your own words, define racism.

Not being able to love another person, or judging them at first glance simply because of their appearance. Not only skin color, anything.

I like that. If you had one superpower that could change the world, what would it be?

Justice, which I could give everyone what they really deserve. With that I could give discipline to this world.

What TV channel doesn’t exist but really should?

Comedy channel where they only shows comedies.

Does Comedy Central count?

I have never heard of that channel, not sure if it in on channel list in TV in UK. But if it plays comedy all day long, then absolutely it does count.

What would your perfect writing / reading room look like?

I can write almost everywhere, and for some reason when I am surrounded by people and noise my brain has a better function. So my writing room is a small room full of books and a desk under the window and the view of the alley where people may pass every thirty minutes or so.

If you had unlimited funds to build a house that you would live in for the rest of your life, what would the finished house be like?

The house has 10 bedrooms. A big master bedroom for myself, with an enormous bathroom and a huge changing room/closet. The other 9 rooms are suited for children I have adopted….

Wait, you want nine children??? Don’t answer that, go on. This getting good…

Each have specific color yet no animation characters on the wall; for I want my children to create their favorite characters in their heads. My dining room’s walls are decorated with green-blue bookshelves and while there is a 12 seater wooden dining table, there are two yellow armchairs under the window, with a round coffee table in front of them and a tall standing lamp beside each which is the reading spot. This stops anyone in the house from skipping a meal for reading.

You are so detailed I love it

Then the kitchen is just beside the dining room. It has all white wood cabinets and an island in the middle where the sink is built. I can see my children in the living room and the dining room while I’m there. The living room has a huge TV and half-circle grey sofas so everyone can sit. Big windows on each wall are the best light source and I decorate them with blue curtains. There is a wooden coffee table in the middle with a glass top and a round rug with the combination color of blue, grey, yellow and green on the ground.

On the other side there is a chimney and in front of it four armchairs, two green and two yellow, are located. A square coffee table with another rug is there as well. It is the “important discussions” spot.

Okkaay

On the rug, there are many cushions in different colours so it can seat everyone on the ground, if not on the armchairs. There is the hidden attic too. It is “I-need-space” spot. It is decorated with just a bed and a desk just like Anne Shirley’s room.

If you could live in a movie, which would it be?

Chronicles of Narnia. Because of Aslan.

What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?

In real life? Having a backpack and going around the world, not fearing a thing. In my head? Quite the same thing, with dragons, swords and monsters.

What do you hate most about writing advice? What do you love?

Mostly, it help you get better. Even if it’s an advice which you don’t agree with, it makes you look at your work from another aspect and think twice. Though, I don’t like the ones which come from the people who think they know everything, but they know nothing.

These are facts. What skill would you like to master?

I would love to master in writing what comes to my brain, also I love to learn how to draw. My brain knows how to, step by step but my hands cannot do what I think I want to do. I love singing though I don’t have a good voice and I love playing music as well.

When did you publish your first book? What was that like?

I published my first book on Amazon, in February 2019. I did it mostly for myself confidence and I got great advice from the people who read it. They helped me through it a lot with reading my work and commenting on it. I also started believing in myself and I’m working even harder for my new work now.

Thank you Katherine for spending this time with us. We enjoyed you!


Copyright©2019. Katherine Joe

Bio.

Katherine was born in Iran in 1993 and has been writing since she was ten-years-old. She always has lots of ideas and sometimes she dreams about them. She believes if she does not write, her brain will implode (:D). Other than writing, Joe does photography as a hobby, plays the piano and is a student and researcher.

Be Sure to Follow this Author Online!

Instagram is brain__implosion

Blog is: brainimplosion.wordpress.com

Twitter: @katherinejoe1


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Introduce Yourself Author Interview Slots Available: Join Over 40 other Authors!

Good Day Everyone!

Just a quick message to let you know that there are slots open for interviews. If you are new to this blog and are not familiar with my author interviews or how to schedule yours, click the original post HERE or the page HERE to learn what you need to do to be featured. Below is a brief description of this series. Please be sure to visit those pages for in-depth detail.

Introduce Yourself is a promotional opportunity for new authors I started back in 2016, hosted on this blog. It is an interview conducted by Yecheilyah (that’s me) with questions specifically tailored to helping us to get to know you better. Inspired by a song introduced in a children’s bible study class I helped coordinate, the song is meant to “break the ice.” With this feature, I hope to introduce new authors to my audience for an opportunity to learn more about them and their work. They say teamwork makes the dream work and I hope to do my part to introduce to the world little known authors and to assist in making these authors dreams come true. These interviews are free. All you have to do is follow the instructions and email me.

We have featured over 40 authors so far. New authors, established authors, Best Sellers and authors just getting started.

Join them!

 

Prepare for your Success Part 3

Location: Barnes and Noble Bookstore, Marietta, GA. Copyright©2019. Yecheilyah Ysrayl

Read part one HERE.

Read part two HERE.


If you follow my social media (my personal accounts) then you know why I was excited yesterday. I am Soul got approved for stocking at Barnes and Noble at its Marietta, Georgia location, making this the fourth store to carry one or more of my books. This may not mean much to you but, briefly, here’s why these things excite me:

  • Poetry is not like other books, it’s hard to sell and yet I am Soul has been selling since its release in 2017. I don’t mean selling a lot. I mean consistent sales over time. (Much like consistent book reviews. They may not all come in on the day of release but if they trickle in every now and again for months or even years, that’s still good!)

 

  • I am Soul has remained relevant for two years even though I’ve published other books, something I have not been as successful with before. (No matter how long it’s been since publishing your book, it is always relevant. It can never be unwritten or go out of style. Make sure it doesn’t. Keep promoting it. Keep it fresh.)

 

  • I am not backed by a publisher. I am my own Publisher.

 

  • I don’t have a lot of money. Everything I make goes right back into the work. (In the beginning, you will have to invest in yourself. Although I’ve been publishing awhile, this is still the beginning for me).

 

  • I don’t have a lot of social media followers (if that’s important).

I gave a short testimony on my socials on being prepared but I will go in more detail here since we have the space (no worries, I’ll keep this short).

When I walked into Barnes and Noble yesterday and spoke with the manager, a few things she said stuck out.

“Oh, you have books.”

She seemed surprised.

When I shop my books around I carry the container you see here. It’s just something I got from Walmart many years ago. It only looks new because I cleaned it off. Don’t wanna embarrass my mama by going outside with something that looks like who did it and why did they do it. In this plastic container box are books, bookmarks, business cards, a PayPal Here card reader (because you never know if you meet someone on the street who might wanna buy a book. No cash? No problem! I can scan you right here lol), my author seal stickers, and a writing pen.

Eventually, after some convo, the woman asked to see one of my books so she could look me up.

“Most Self-Publishers come in here and they’re not in the system,” she said.

We’ll go into detail about what this means and how to get in the system later (I am putting something together to help Indies with that). For now, just picture walking into a B&N and picking up a book. You carry it over to the counter. Well, when the ISBN is scanned, what happens? If the book is in the B&N computer the information about pricing and everything comes up. This makes things easier on the store. How so? Because they can easily scan the book when someone picks it up, just as they would with any other book. (You can Self-Publish books with no ISBN but then you can’t sell it at stores.)

After going over the details and her agreeing to stock my book, I signed the copies we would leave there.

Me: “I’m gonna go ahead and sign these.”

“Yes, please do. We sell a lot of poetry. It’s making a comeback.”

Me: “Excellent.”

“You have stickers?”

(she meant something that lets the reader know the book is signed….Queue my author seal!)

Me: “I do.”

“Got a pen?”

Me: “I do.”

Everything she asked me for, I had on my person. I am not saying I am always this prepared. I am not perfect or special. And it’s not like she wouldn’t have given me a pen if I didn’t have one. But by already having one I presented myself as an organized professional serious about her work because…

Proper Preparation Prevents Pissed Poor Performance.

…and I am not just talking about physical preparation. I am also talking about mental preparation, spiritual preparation (faith), and time.

Time is part of the preparation. Time to research. Time to learn and understand. Time to ask questions. Time to write, publish, revise, improve, write and publish again. Time to make mistakes and learn from them. Time to put things in position so that when the time comes, you are ready.

At the recent signing, I had to recite a poem on the spot. I prepared for this. I knew one day it would come so when it happened I was ready. I was nervous, but I had a couple of poems in my head I knew by memory just in case. I was only prepared this time because I’ve dealt with not being prepared. Years ago, at a conference, I was asked to recite a poem. It was one of my audience favorite poems. I stood up there, said a few lines and forgot the rest! It was an old poem. A poem I should have never forgotten the words to. I was so embarrassed. I wanted to run out of the room. Instead, I quietly returned to my seat, ashamed. Prepare!

I’ve been publishing my books since 2008 but it took six years before I really got my books seen by people outside of my immediate circle. Six years to realize how much I didn’t know. Many of you are already way passed where I was when I started. You are much further along than you think. I’m just catching up.

Prepare for where you want to be. Get in position because if you are not ready when it comes it will make no difference. If the universe wants to pour into your cup but you are not even holding a cup, it will make no difference how long you’ve been standing there. You weren’t ready when what you said you wanted, arrived.

 


Get I am Soul for 99cents on Amazon through the end of April.

Click Here.

http://www.yecheilyahysrayl.com/

Lessons from a Book Signing

It’s time for another post on lessons from a book signing. I try to learn something new from every event I do. I also enjoy seeing if what we learn online applies when in direct, real life, person-to-person contact. Here’s what I learned from Friday‘s Book Signing.

  • Practice Makes Perfect

 

While I am not perfect by any means, consistency and practice really do help us to get better. Cliche as it is now, the saying is true. The more book signings and events I do, the better I get at pitching my books. I am a naturally shy person but author events help me to be more open. It is the chance for me to learn how to communicate what my book is about without being scripted (which is easy to do when you’re behind a computer), but that you only have seconds to do in person. For example, I had the chance to sit and think about what I wanted to say here, how to say it and the words that would best sum up this experience. In person, the time is much, much faster. There is no time to sit and think about what to say. There is nothing but your knowledge of your product and why you think it‘s worth the time and money investment. They even asked me to recite a poem on the spot! I am thankful to Yah I was ready.

 

It’s also not just about selling books but genuine interaction with the people. There were many people who bought books but did not take pictures because they didn’t want to and I did not force them. Some people didn’t buy books at all, but they sat and talked with me and laughed and we shared some interesting conversation. I met a new poet who told me about some open mic spots to hit up and a young man who referred me to a Barnes and Noble in the area that accepts Self-Published Authors. The best way to get started making change is to begin where you are.

 

  • Competing Against Cell Phone Attention Spans

 

In person, you get to see the distractions we compete with up close and personal. People‘s attention spans are short already but add to it the mobile device and it’s easy to get discouraged. Many of the people who walked past my table were glued to their mobile device or already talking on it. This makes me much more conscious of this when doing business online. Knowing that the interest in the smartphone is a big deal is one thing but seeing it empowers me with so many new ideas and thoughts on how I, as an author can keep this in mind when interacting with readers.

 

  • Don’t Try to Sell to Everyone (Don’t Sell At All, Connect)

 

The same thing about finding your target audience online applies to offline as well. While the time is faster and you do have to pull people away from their phones, discernment is important as well. I am starting to pick up on who to reach out to (literally) and who to let walk by. This may sound funny but it’s not just about getting a sale. Some people purposely crossed the street to avoid my table (lol), some people purposely focused on the ground and avoided eye contact, and some people were not on the phone. They just pretended to be to avoid me. These are examples that “I don‘t want to be bothered.” Just like not everyone will want to buy your book online, not everyone wants to buy your book in person. Some things I picked up on from people who wanted to buy my book or was interested in learning more:

 

  • They hesitated and stared at the book cover while walking by
  • They stopped by
  • They spoke to me
  • They asked questions
  • They stopped when hearing what the book was about

There are ways of knowing if you should reach out to people and if you should not. I hope to use the experience from Friday to help me at the Atlanta book signing in July.

  • Some Writing Advice Does Not Apply Offline

 

Every time I meet with people face to face it‘s a different experience than being online. What may surprise you is that I find writing advice (not all, but some) we use online does not apply to offline. There’s no screen, no script, no hashtag, nothing but good ole fashioned communication between two people who may share a genuine interest. In real life people do want your business card to learn more about you, they do ask about your website, and they want to know if they can follow you online. This means that while some advise against business cards, author websites and social media, this is not true when you are face to face with the people. In my experience, no one asks to follow your blog or if they can sign up to your email list (unless there’s already a sign-up form present and you ask them). While I think both are important and are necessary for Indie Authors to have (and both have helped me tremendously), in my experience when talking to the people in person who don‘t already know me, the basics they want to know is:

 

  • Do you have a card?
  • Do you have a website?
  • Can I follow you online?
  • Can I pay with my card?

 

Applying this means:

 

  • Having business cards with me
  • Having a website for people to go to
  • Being present on social media
  • Having a card reader on hand

 


If you did not get to stop by or you are not in the area, remember that I am Soul, my latest collection of poetry is 99cents in ebook through the month of April in honor of National Poetry Month. Also, if you are in the Atlanta area this summer, I’ll be at the Atlanta African American Book Festival in July. I’ll be premiering my first Non-Fiction release, Keep Yourself Full (of course I’ll still have my other books present as well) and other author swag. Don’t miss the chance to connect. See you soon ✒📚📸

View more pictures from this signing here
Connect with me on IG here, Facebook here, and Twitter here
Visit me on the web Here

Introduce Yourself: Introducing Guest Author Karina Bartow

What is your name and where are you from?

I’m Karina Bartow from Ohio, USA.

What would your perfect writing / reading room look like?

It’d be overlooking the Eiffel Tower and would have an inspirational quote on the wall, a chic, white leather couch, and a Frappuccino maker!

What do you hate most about writing advice? What do you love?

I hate when people give me ideas for stories because they’re usually pretty offbeat and aren’t suited to my style. I appreciate it, though, when others encourage me not to quit and when my mentors offer suggestions about plot twists.

In your own words, what is love?

I expressed that in my newest novel, Forgetting My Way Back to You. It’s living through and reflecting on the bad moments but wanting to be together, regardless. There are always problems, and relationships end because of them. It’s easy to give up on a fleeting feeling, but that isn’t the case with real love.

Does blogging help you to write?

It does keep my creative processes flowing and keeps me in shape, I suppose, but it takes away a lot of time from my usual writing. I guess it’s a love/hate relationship.

Blogging does take a lot of time. I get it. What kind of music do you like?

I enjoy almost everything from oldies to pop to (some) country.

In your own words, what is humility?

Humility is accepting that you’re flawed. You can still be proud of your abilities, but you have to recognize that others can and will be better. I think it’s also realizing that your ways and opinions aren’t law.

I dig it. Would you like to have children?

Yes, because they’re fun, genuine, and change your outlook on life.

Awwue. Right? Why is writing important to you?

Writing gives me freedom. Having Cerebral Palsy, there aren’t many things I can do on my own, but writing is one exception. Every idea and keystroke is mine alone—unless I’m on a deadline and need help typing. Plus, I’m free to create plot lines without being barred by reality.

Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, and Google Play Store.

That cover is so fun looking! What genre do you write in, why?

Though I’ve written love stories, I mainly write mysteries. I enjoy sculpting different twists and turns to make readers keep guessing. That said, almost all my mysteries have a romantic element to them because I “love love!” ♥

Outside of writing, what are some of your passions?

I’m a big baseball fan, and I also love shoes.

Thank you Karina for spending this time with us. We enjoyed you!


Copyright ©2019 Karina Bartow.

 

Bio.

Karina Bartow grew up and still lives in Northern Ohio.  Though born with Cerebral Palsy, she’s never allowed her disability to define her.  Rather, she’s used her experiences to breathe life into characters who have physical limitations, but like her, are determined not to let them stand in the way of the life they want.  Her debut novel, Husband in Hiding came out in 2015 and was well-received by readers.  Her second, Forgetting My Way Back to You, was released in October 2018 by Vinspire Publishing and has been praised by reviewers.  She may only be able to type with one hand, but she writes with her whole heart!

To learn more, visit www.KarinaBartow.com

Be sure to follow Karina online!

Facebook-https://www.facebook.com/karina.bartow.58

Twitter-@KarinaBartow

Instagram-@karina.bartow

Blog-karinabartow.wordpress.com


Are you an author? Looking for more exposure? Learn more about my Introduce Yourself Feature HERE. *Looking to promote poets all April!*

Start a business that is not only dependent on the people you know to be Successful

Tbt. Greenbriar Mall. ATL. Book Signing, 12/22/18.

If you are a new entrepreneur, if you are just publishing your books or starting your own business, I want to congratulate you! I want to tell you; you will do well and go far. I want to tell you; you are brave and beautiful.

But I also want to warn you:

start a business that is not dependent only on the people you know personally to be successful.

One of the best decisions I made in the past 2yrs was to go out and network with people face to face without worrying whether they believed exactly as I did or worrying about what people would think of me.

Only depending on the people who know you personally to support your business can leave you doubtful and broke because there are people who will project their fears and limitations onto you. This means that once you’ve moved beyond those limitations, once you’ve elevated, these people abandon you because you no longer fit within the box they mentally created for you.

‍There’s a meme circulating that says:

This is all the truth. Most of the people who will continuously support you will eventually become like family. They will be all the wonderful people you meet along the way who will root for you harder than anyone you’ve known personally. Social media is cool, but there’s an entire world outside of the internet.

When you are running a business, the people you know, including relatives, are the icing on the cake. They are the ones in your corner cheering you on and going “Yaass, sis yaass,” or “yams bro!” They are the people there to support you no matter what and we all need some of that encouragement! But we also need longevity in our business which can only come from consistent financial support and there are so many people in the world willing to pay you for your knowledge not just like your posts.

Author Tip: Take the time to discover who your book or business is for specifically and target your content to those people. This is called a target audience, and it helps you to focus on the group of people most interested in your content so that your book, product, or service doesn’t stop selling after your family and friends have bought it.