My Books

Buy one of my books... Available above at Amazon. Also available at SmashWords, Barnes & Noble and iTunes


Monday, July 30, 2012

FREE Author Interviews

I always try to do as much for other Indie Authors as I possibly can, but recently I have been thinking maybe I could do a little more. So, I have decided to offer you, the Indie Author, a chance to be interviewed on my blog.

What? Why would you want to do that? Just think about it for a few minutes:
  • You get a chance to reach a different audience than you currently reach
  • My blog receives an average of 1,000 hits a day (and growing)
  • Links back to you increase your Google presence 
  • You get some extra FREE publicity
Still not convinced? Click THIS LINK and read a few of my author interviews to date.

Sounds too good to be true doesn't it? Well all I am asking is that you follow these very simple guidelines:
  • You answer at least 12 of the questions I send you
  • You provide me with Author bio, photo, links to your books, etc.
I reserve the right to editorialize your submission and I will promote your interview for a week after the publication date.

So, how about it? Are you interested in a FREE interview? Just email me at john@pauldorset.com and I will send you my questionnaire. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday #8

On the theme of Six Sentence Sunday, here's a few sentences from my newly released novella, Ryann, which is available for FREE.


“Come on, little one,” cook said, pulling Ryann off of Megan. “Let her go in peace now.”
“No!” screamed Ryann, struggling to escape from cook’s hold. “Megan!”
Cook clutched Ryann tightly to her and rocked her to and fro. “It’s too late.”


Living during a time when children were sold as indentured servants, Ryann must find a way to buy her freedom before the bullying son of her lord and master exacts a deathly vengeance upon her. The castle at Walthern is inhabited by lords and soldiers, potion-makers and sclavas; all trying to eke out an existence in an unforgiving country laid waste by battle. With only a tattered yellow nightdress, two dark brown dresses, and a small assortment of odds and ends, what chance does Ryann have of beating the odds?

Get your copy for FREE by clicking the picture to the left.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Author Interview: Elizabeth Marshall

Today I am pleased to present to you all the eighth in a series of Author Interviews. Recently I sat down with the sex-scene averse Elizabeth Marshall and our conversation went something like this:


Paul: I like to start by asking if you have any writing rituals?
Elizabeth: Being a mother to five children I don’t have the time to allow rituals into my writing. Mostly I am a reactive person, writing when, where and on what I can; this does include the back of cash till slips, newsletters from school (apologies to my children’s schools), scraps of paper and bar mats.

Paul: If someone had the power to step into your creative mind what would they see?
Elizabeth: I don’t see an old building and admire it just for its architecture. I see a place where people lived, gathered, worshiped, laughed, cried or grieved. I cannot walk down an alley in an ancient city without seeing the ghosts of its people. I feel a certain nostalgia and empathy for these faceless folk, a need to recognize their existence and to immortalize them in the telling of a story. Not all the folk I imagine in those dark alleys become characters in my books but if you could step into my creative mind that is what you would see.

Paul: In all the years you’ve been publishing your work, what is the biggest mistake you made that you could share so others can avoid making it?
Elizabeth: Without a doubt not having a reliable editor for my first book. Editing is an essential part of a book’s production and requires a different set of skills to writing. I don’t believe that authors should edit their own work, nor should they be expected to. An author’s job is to write the story, but to make that story presentable, an editor’s skills are necessary. Finding a dedicated, professional and reliable editor is one of the most challenging aspects of producing a book and I implore anyone thinking of self publishing to carefully choose an editor for their books.

Paul: How do you find the time to write?
Elizabeth: I see an opportunity and grab it – if I am sitting outside the school gates waiting for my children and don’t have my laptop I use my phone to write. If we are shopping and I have a shopping list and pen in my hand I jot down anything that comes to mind. If we are in a pub and there is a bar mat lying around, I’ll write on that. I just write whenever and wherever I can snatch valuable minutes.

Paul: What is one thing you hope I do not tell the readers?
Elizabeth: That I can’t write sex scenes – they all end up sounding like a pornographic instruction manual. The ‘Highland Secret Series’ has reached a point where I can no longer avoid including a few such scenes. To this end I have resolved to conduct in-depth research and to perfect my writing skills in this area. Immortal Shadows, the 4th book in the series, will either end up providing great hilarity at my expense or a genius twist on instruction manuals.

Paul: Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
Elizabeth: Very rarely do I plot my stories. Mostly I get an idea and run with it. They are usually complex ideas and, as I have said before, rarely do they fit into a mainstream genre, but then whose life does? Certainly not mine.

Paul: Do you have to do much research for your stories?
Elizabeth: I certainly do and most of it is conducted in an ancient pub in York’s city centre, called ‘Ye Olde Starre Inne.’ It’s a tough job - but then someone’s got to do it.

Paul: What is your most recent book? Tell us a little about it
Elizabeth: I am about to release a compilation of three short stories called Beyond Time. It is the second book of the Highland Secret Series. I have now finished writing the third book Entwined and it too is due for release very soon. The whole series is based on myth, magic and history. It is a complex tale of entwined lives and twisted fate, alternative realities and dark risings all set in Scotland and York.

Paul: What inspired you to write this book?
Elizabeth: So many things come together to inspire a story but ultimately my imagination was sparked following a visit to the village of Glencoe and many exciting adventures in York.

Paul: Do you also write any poetry, non-fiction or short stories?
Elizabeth: I am working on a non-fiction mystery adventure guide to York, more for friends’ and family’s entertainment than anything else, and it is a lot of fun to write. I have written three short stories which I am currently compiling to form the second book of the Highland Secret Series.

Paul: What’s your favorite / least favorite aspect of your writing life? Has anything surprised you?
Elizabeth: My favorite part of writing is the creation of the story, bringing the characters and their lives in my head to life. I love the friends I have made through writing too and think they are probably the most valuable thing I have gained since I started writing. I don’t think there is anything I dislike about writing.

Paul: What do you do when you’re not writing? Do you have any hobbies or party tricks?
Elizabeth: No party tricks I am afraid but I do love adventures, mysteries and exploring. Walking through hills and mountains with my husband and I dream of buying a motor-home and writing my way around Britain.


Paul: Well thank you, Elizabeth. It has been a privilege talking with you and I wish you all the best for a successful future.

About Elizabeth Marshall: Elizabeth Marshall is the writing alter ego of a lady born in St Mary’s Hospital, at the Marianhill Monastery, in the province of Natal, South Africa and was brought up in a small, rural Natal village surrounded by a large Scottish farming family.

Her primary education was delivered by Nuns from the monastery in which she was born. Through secondary school into adulthood, Elizabeth’s life centered on a love of music, reading, writing and history. 

After Elizabeth married she settled in the UK with her husband. She has worked at the Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School in England, Nottingham Social Services in England and is currently a Director of an IT Project Management Consultancy.

Elizabeth lives in the city of York, England with her husband and children. She spends her spare time with her head in a book or her fingers on the keyboard writing one.


Elizabeth's Blog: ElizabethMarshallWrites

Elizabeth on Twitter: @em_writes
Elizabeth on Facebook: Elizabeth Marshall
Elizabeth's latest book: When Fate Dictates (Amazon)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Writing Experiment #37 - RYANN Launch


This is the final post in a series of posts where I have documented the complete process of writing a novella from concept to launch.

RECAP

I am documenting (via my blog) the complete start to finish experience of writing a novella that I will be releasing for FREE once it is written and edited.


Ryann is the story of a thirteen year-old girl who works as a servant for a tyrant of a master, and longs for the day when she can buy her freedom. The novella will serve as the introduction to a new fantasy series I will start writing in 2013.

I wrote approximately 900 words per day for four weeks to complete the draft manuscript. I then waited for the book to cook, before editing it and sending it out to beta readers. The final production process is now also complete!

The timeline for the experiment was as follows:
  • Plotting, Characters and Scene Outlines - April 1to April 20 - COMPLETE
  • First Draft Manuscript - April 21 to May 18 - COMPLETE
  • First Manuscript Edits - June 18 to June 21 - COMPLETE
  • Reader Proofs - June 22 to July 10 - COMPLETE
  • Final Manuscript Edits - July 11 to July 13 - COMPLETE
  • Ryann LAUNCH - July 27 - COMPLETE



Re-Imagined Teen Fantasy Novella, Ryann, Released For FREE

Author Paul Dorset has published an exciting new Young Adult Fantasy novella, Ryann, a 30,000 word book that serves as an introduction to an Epic Fantasy series due for release in 2013. The book is available for FREE at Smashwords.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ryann
Ryann
PRLog (Press Release) - Jul 26, 2012 - Anacortes, WA author and resident, Paul Dorset has published an exciting new Young Adult Fantasy novella, Ryann, a 30,000 word book that serves as an introduction to an Epic Fantasy series due for release in 2013. The book is available for FREE at Smashwords (http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/207980)

For fans of Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and The Narnia Chronicles, this book has something to offer for everyone.

Living during a time when children were sold as indentured servants, Ryann must find a way to buy her freedom before the bullying son of her lord and master exacts a deathly vengeance upon her. The castle at Walthern is inhabited by lords and soldiers, potion-makers and sclavas; all trying to eke out an existence in an unforgiving country laid waste by battle. With only a tattered yellow nightdress, two dark brown dresses, and a small assortment of odds and ends, what chance does Ryann have of beating the odds?

As an introduction to a series that will be released in 2013, this book is available as a FREE download from the author's website, PaulDorset.com

About Paul Dorset: Paul Dorset was born in Poole, Dorset in England in 1960 but has been living in America since 1995. He has been writing for many years and some of his early works were published in 'teen advice' columns. He has also had many technical articles published, mostly in the field of Computing.
Paul currently lives in the Pacific Northwest but has traveled extensively and worked many times with teens and youth groups. It is this background combined with a vivid imagination that has enabled him to weave a tapestry of magic into complete novels. His first epic fantasy series, aimed at young adults, is entitled 'The Southern Lands'. However, the storyline is more than exciting enough to keep adults turning pages as the story unfolds.
Paul is a father of five who has worked as a computer consultant for more than 30 years. His publications include fantasy novels for ages 12-plus, how-to books for adults, and dark paranormal thrillers for ages 16+. He incorporates his extensive experience in computers - and his insightful perspective on the possibilities therein - in novels that include layers of contemporary intrigue, romance and mystery. You can follow his blog at http://blog.pauldorset.com

Photo:
http://www.prlog.org/11933169/1


So, head on over to Smashwords and pick up your FREE copy! I can't say much fairer than that, can I?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thoughts On Developing A Character's Voice

Today I am pleased to publish my first guest blog post. You too can have a blog post published on my blog. Just read the guidelines HERE. In the meantime, enjoy...


Thoughts On Developing A Character’s Voice
by James Minter

I’m currently writing a spoof thriller. The main characters are a Londoner, who is a female café owner in her early 30’s; a couple from the Home Counties, who are both professionals and again in their 30’s; two American special Agents, members of the CIA; and two KGB officers working in London. Obviously, I’m looking to develop their own voices so my readers get a sense of who they are, their culture, ethnicity and background.

For the Londoner, Sheila, I’ve adopted a rather stereo-typical cockney slang written phonetically – so when she thinks she finks, and so on. Also I’ve resorted to using rhyming slang. For example when talking about money (she’s paid by the Russians to set up a honey trap), she refers to a thousand pounds as a grand, five hundred as a monkey, and so forth.

With the two professionals – Jimmy and Barbara – I’ve stuck very much to BBC perceived good English.

However, my difficulties arose when portraying the Americans and Russians. My American voices swing from deep southern drawls – howdy all - to east coast received pronunciation. These will be ironed out in the editing stages – I believe I need to stick to using terms like buddy and over-easy (they have breakfast at Sheila’s café or Limey’s and they don’t think much of the British). A useful looking website is http://www.manythings.org/slang/ which lists 280 American slang expressions. Provided I don’t use them for the sake of it, I believe this will give sufficient authenticity.

With the Russians I know they don’t have the letter “W”, and “H” becomes “X” but simply writing vhat do ve do now? makes them sound like Germans. It’s possible to pronounce what the Russians say for the letter “H”, but I can’t write it phonetically in English.

Also Russians seem to use lots of progressive tenses. Instead of We'll get together at five, they might say At five we are getting together. There also are no definite or indefinite articles (the, a, and an) in Russian, and they tend to leave out the verb to be. So I teacher, We not happy and It big problem are typical. They also tend to lengthen short vowels and put a “Y” sound in front of the letter “E”; So Eet beeg prablyem is also typical. In Russian, nouns do not take indefinite articles. So if I were to say Ya dala tebye kniga, it would directly translate to I gave you book. Therefore, forgetting to insert an indefinite article would be a more logical mistake for someone whose first language is Russian.

Given these difficulties I’ve decided to write the Russians’ dialogue in standard English first. Then I’ve enlisted the help of a Russian national living and teaching locally in the UK who will convert my text. My problem is not to get carried away here. If the text is too difficult to read then people won’t. So it’s a sense of Russian I want, not accuracy.

Is using a Russian national a cheat or a good use of resources? A useful website on this issue is www.absolutewrite.com. Of course, I welcome any advice or suggestions as to how to approach the problem.



About James Minter:
Twitter: @james_minter
The Hole Opportunity: http://tinyurl.com/7tkrck7

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The 10 Hour Project Manager: Excerpt (Chapter 6)


Today I thought I'd publish a small excerpt from The 10 Hour Project Manager, my best-selling project management reference book. Take a read and then head on over to my website (or Amazon) to check it out and buy a copy.

The 10 Hour Project Manager
Strategies for managing successful projects

Amazon Top 100 seller in two categories
 during 1st week of release in April 2011!
(Please click picture)

"Clear, concise and valuable Project Management advice for the price of a beer (Two if you want the paperback)!"

6. Communications & Reporting - Too little or too much?

“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” (Anthony Robbins)
...

Keeping people excited

Another major reason for communications is ‘keeping people excited!’ What has this to do with running a project you ask? Well, quite simply, excited people get things done quicker and with fewer problems. If you have an excited project team, your project will have a much greater chance of being successful.

How do we keep people excited? It’s not actually that difficult. Focus on the things that are going well with the project, not the day to day issues you have. Hopefully if you are running your project well, the issues are getting resolved (by the right people) in the background. So don’t dwell on them, this will only highlight the challenges you are facing in certain areas. If you are holding a regular status meeting involving stakeholders and other key project members, concentrate on the project successes. You want to keep everyone positive about the progress of the project to date and also discuss the upcoming milestones the project will be meeting. Of course, reserve some time to go over major issues if you need to, but try not to let this part of the meeting bring down the rest of the discussion. Discussing issues in detail during a project status meeting can lead to team fractures, disinterest by some, and even open up personal conflicts between certain team members as they try to play the CYA game (Please refer to the earlier chapter on Risks and Issues).

Wow! I am probably advocating a completely different kind of status meeting than you are currently having. But stop and think about it for a moment. Think back to a recent project and its status (or weekly team) meetings. Was there always someone who was negative and wanted to discuss the problems? Was there always a group of people who were worried about getting to the next milestone? You know what I mean, and I’m sure your answer was yes. But what if you could change your meetings such that you were primarily talking about achievements and upcoming milestones you were going to hit? And what if you could dilute those naysayers and move their conversations outside of the status meeting to a more one on one setting? This is what I mean by keeping people excited. There is a time and a place to discuss issues. That time and place is not always during the regularly scheduled status meeting, especially if that’s the only regular meeting that certain people attend. Their lasting impression of the project will be one of problems and despair, when in reality you were successful as a project manager and delivered to the key stakeholders and sponsors as requested...

Monday, July 23, 2012

Writing Experiment #36 - Ryann Launch Nears


This is number thirty-six in a series of posts where I document the complete process of writing a novella - Day By Day!

INTRODUCTION

I am documenting (via my blog) the complete start to finish experience of writing a novella that I will be releasing for FREE once it is written and edited.

Ryann is the story of a thirteen year-old girl who works as a servant for a tyrant of a master, and longs for the day when she can buy her freedom. The novella will serve as the introduction to a new fantasy series I will start writing in 2013.

I have already written approximately 900 words per day and completed the draft manuscript. I am pleased to report that the editing phase is also complete!

The timeline for the experiment is as follows:
  • Plotting, Characters and Scene Outlines - April 1to April 20 - COMPLETE
  • First Draft Manuscript - April 21 to May 18 - COMPLETE
  • First Manuscript Edits - June 18 to June 21 - COMPLETE
  • Reader Proofs - June 22 to July 10 - COMPLETE
  • Final Manuscript Edits - July 11 to July 13 - COMPLETE
  • Ryann LAUNCH - July 26


STATUS

Today's Date: July 23rd
Progress: I am now 3 days from launch and everything is set. I have copies of the paperback; I have prepped Amazon, Smashwords, et al; and now all I can do is wait for the 26th July. This has been a wonderful experiment and I am really pleased with the wonderful feedback I have received from you all.

I just need to play my marketing tricks and get the book listed on Amazon for FREE. This will probably take about a month. In the meantime it will, of course, be available as a FREE download from Smashwords AND MY WEBSITE! (Yes, something I haven't tried before).

So, until the 26th, here's the promotional blurb that will accompany the book:


Title: Ryann
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Word Count: 30,000

Living during a time when children were sold as indentured servants, Ryann must find a way to buy her freedom before the bullying son of her lord and master exacts a deathly vengeance upon her. The castle at Walthern is inhabited by lords and soldiers, potion-makers and sclavas; all trying to eke out an existence in an unforgiving country laid waste by battle. With only a tattered yellow nightdress, two dark brown dresses, and a small assortment of odds and ends, what chance does Ryann have of beating the odds?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday #7

On the theme of Six Sentence Sunday, here are a few sentences from my New Blood novel. New Blood is a 16+ Urban Paranormal Thriller and is available from all the usual places for $2.99 as an ebook, and $12.95 as a paperback.


Lucy put a finger to Ben’s lips. “Stop talking.” She reached an arm around his back and pulled him close to her. Then she kissed him on the lips.
Ben pulled back from the kiss and looked at Lucy. “Are you sure you want to do this?”




A single kiss can get a girl killed. But what if he's the most irresistible man you've ever met? What would you do?

Watch the New Blood trailer:


If you don't have a flash enabled browser, click HERE to watch trailer

"New Blood reads like season one of an addictive paranormal TV series. The premise takes the power of relationships beyond even the vampire thrill. The characters are fleshed out (except the victims, who are left convincingly dry) and we care enough about our heroine Lucy, to dread her migraines almost as much as she does. Add in a paranoia about the people who are really in power and... well, the temptation is to call it a formula for a long and satisfying series. However, Paul Dorset rises above formulaic prose with writing so compelling that only after you catch your breath do you realize the craftsmanship. He tells stories. And as with the best paranormal fiction, the fantasy serves to illustrate some basic truths of the human condition." - G. Tuttle (reviewer)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Author Interview: Donna Galanti

Today I am pleased to present to you all the seventh in a series of Author Interviews. Recently I sat down with the brain-spewing Donna Galanti and our conversation went something like this:

Paul: So let me start by asking you what types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?
Donna: Dean Koontz. Stephen King. John Grisham. Robert James Waller. Laura Ingalls Wilder. That last one may not fit, I know! But Wilder’s Little House series is a series I re-read every year. Why? Because the characters are endearing. They suffer and love and adapt and have love of family at the core of their strength. I want them to overcome their struggles. These are the basics to a good book, I believe.

Paul: If someone had the power to step into your creative mind what would they see?
Donna: Never ending dialogue. Scenes of evil doers and people in peril. Tormented villains getting revenge, and then their comeuppance. Steamy lovers in a survival showdown. Wait! Then a girl bursts in. She wants to show me her life in a campground one coming-of-age summer alongside a young boy who is kidnapped down a lightning road to another world. Yep. Adult, middle grade, and young adult lives side by side in twisted harmony.

Paul: How do you find the time to write?
Donna: Whenever and wherever I can. The alarm clock is set for 4:30am many days. The Scouts is a friend of the writer. They provide many weekends away for son and dad to go camping and leave mom-writer alone, alone, alone. I meet friends at Wegmans Café and we write together. Great way to be accountable and get the words down.

Paul: What is one thing you hope I do not tell the readers?
Donna: That I really enjoy writing the dark, twisted, sick scenes the most! My pulse quickens, my fingers fly. I love piling torment on my characters and dishing it out in great detail. Heh Heh. I can do things I would get arrested for in real life–and enjoy being a repeat offender.

Paul: Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
Donna: I do plot my novels and write an 8-10 page preliminary synopsis, characters worksheets, and a bulleted chapter outline. However, I find myself writing more organically in my new novel. Each scene comes to me as I write. All leading to the same conclusion but not plotted. I’m just running with it as it’s so fun! I’ll get to the end and see what the pieces are that fit together and what don’t. I’m also finding that one secondary character is taking over the book, leading me to believe he is a bigger part of the story.

Paul: Do you do a lot of editing or do you find that as time goes on your writing is more fully-formed?
Donna: My writing definitely gets more formed as I write more books. I carry more knowledge to fast-draft now with new techniques and processes added to my writing belt. My first novel was a mess. I learned how to write a novel after I finished it so had to go back and correct a lot. However, there is no such thing as a great first draft. It’s all brain spew. The beauty comes in the revision. And I love revising! Tightening, cutting, moving around. It’s like fiddling with a piece of art to get it just right.

Paul: What is your most recent book? Tell us a little about it
Donna: I am writing the sequel to my debut paranormal suspense novel, A Human Element. It’s called A Hidden Element. When one family’s son is taken they learn it’s by the same unearthly evil that brutalized them fifteen years ago. In a race to find their son's kidnapper, they discover his horrifying mission that binds them all together. They must sacrifice all again to defeat a new terrifying enemy – an enemy that wants to rule the world, with their son as his heir.

Paul: What inspired you to write this book?
Donna: The novel that I was stumped on...and a dream. My readers asked for a sequel and I said, never! Then one day I woke up with a vision of that second book. I dropped the psychological suspense novel I had over plotted and was stuck on, and got to work right away on the sequel I am writing now, A Hidden Element. There’s a third and final one planned out.

Paul: Do you have any pieces of work that will never see the light of day?
Donna: Ummm… yes. My son still asks me when I’m getting it published. It was the first novel I wrote that came from a tale I made up one night for him sitting on the front stoop. It claims dust bunnies in a dark closet. Poor wordy thing. But, it taught me that I could write to The End. I did. And that I could do it again. And again.

Paul: How much marketing do you do for your published works or for your ‘brand’?
Donna: Not enough… and too much! That’s what it feels like. I am active via social media outlets and have met a lot of great readers and writers this way. It takes time to build a network. I do GoodReads giveaways and do guest posts / interviews on blogs. I advertise on genre-specific book review blogs, EBook Swag, and BookBuzzr. I try to keep my blog fresh with articles and guest authors. Giving away my book for book reviews has paid off as well.

Paul: What’s your favorite / least favorite aspect of your writing life? Has anything surprised you?
Donna: Favorite: falling in love with characters so much I create theme songs for them, creep away from real people to be with them, and drag out writing The End as I don’t want them to say goodbye. Writing a sequel afterwards feeds this addiction. Least Favorite: all the business stuff that takes away from writing time.

Paul: What do you do when you’re not writing? Do you have any hobbies or party tricks?
Donna: Bicycling, hiking, and kayaking…and taking historical daytrips. Oh, and being alone. I love being alone (and have a very supportive husband!). I grew up an only child on a mountain top and roamed the woods for fun with my two dogs, so guess it was drummed into me at an early age.


Paul: Well thank you, Donna. It has been a privilege talking with you and I wish you all the best for a successful future.

About Donna Galanti: Donna Galanti is the author of the paranormal suspense novel A Human Element (Echelon Press). Donna has a B.A. in English and a background in marketing. She is a member of International Thriller Writers, SCBWI, Horror Writers Association, The Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group, and Pennwriters. She lives with her family in an old farmhouse in PA with lots of nooks, fireplaces, and stinkbugs but sadly, no ghosts.


Donna's Blog: blog.DonnaGalanti.com
Donna on Twitter: @DonnaGalanti
Donna on Facebook: DonnaGalanti
Donna's latest book: A Human Element (Amazon)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Infographic: Driving While Intexticated - An Update

This week I received an email response to my previous post about driving while texting:
Hi guys, I'm writing to you because I saw that you published this driving and texting infographic on Utterances of an Overcrowded Mind. I thought you may be interested the (more comprehensive) data we uncovered about using your smartphone while driving. Here are some highlights I picked out: 
  • You are 23 times more likely to get into an accident while texting.
  • 18% of distraction-related crashes
  •  are from cell phone usage.
  • Distracted driving is the number one killer of American teens. 
Anyway, please check out our infographic and let me know if you'd be interested in republishing it or have any questions or feedback. 
Mu. 

So, here we go: another Infographic on this dangerous topic of texting while driving.

The Dangers of Texting and Driving
Brought To You By: CarInsurance.org

Thursday, July 19, 2012

FREE Publicity For Indie Authors

I always try to do as much for other Indie Authors as I possibly can, but the other day I was thinking maybe I could do a little more. So, I have decided to offer you, the Indie Author, a chance to write a guest post on my blog.

What? Why would you want to do that? Just think about it for a few minutes:

  • You get a chance to reach a different audience than you currently reach
  • My blog receives an average of 1,000 hits a day (and growing)
  • Links back to you increase your Google presence 
  • You get some extra FREE publicity
Sounds too good to be true doesn't it? Well all I am asking is that you follow these very simple guidelines:
  • Your content must be original and has not appeared on another blog (including your own)
  • Your content must be in some way related to writing and writers
  • Your content cannot be a publicity article about you or your book
I reserve the right to editorialize your submission and I will credit you with the work (along with a photo and a link to your blog / book, etc.).

So, how about it? Are you interested in FREE publicity? Just email me at john@pauldorset.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Writing Experiment #35 - Ryann Beta Readers


This is number thirty-five in a series of posts where I document the complete process of writing a novella - Day By Day!

INTRODUCTION

I am documenting (via my blog) the complete start to finish experience of writing a novella that I will be releasing for FREE once it is written and edited.

Ryann is the story of a thirteen year-old girl who works as a servant for a tyrant of a master, and longs for the day when she can buy her freedom. The novella will serve as the introduction to a new fantasy series I will start writing in 2013.

I have already written approximately 900 words per day and completed the draft manuscript. I am pleased to report that the editing phase is also complete!

The timeline for the experiment is as follows:
  • Plotting, Characters and Scene Outlines - April 1to April 20 - COMPLETE
  • First Draft Manuscript - April 21 to May 18 - COMPLETE
  • First Manuscript Edits - June 18 to June 21 - COMPLETE
  • Reader Proofs - June 22 to July 10 - COMPLETE
  • Final Manuscript Edits - July 11 to July 13 - COMPLETE
  • Ryann LAUNCH - July 26


STATUS

Today's Date: July 18th
Progress: The book is done! A proof is on its way to me and I am excited! Just over a week now until the launch, so watch for one more post before the actual launch.

I want to call out BIG THANKS to my beta readers who gave me helpful feedback. They will be getting their own signed paperback copy in the fullness of time.

Until then, here's the promotional blurb that will accompany the book:


Title: Ryann
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Word Count: 30,000

Living during a time when children were sold as indentured servants, Ryann must find a way to buy her freedom before the bullying son of her lord and master exacts a deathly vengeance upon her. The castle at Walthern is inhabited by lords and soldiers, potion-makers and sclavas; all trying to eke out an existence in an unforgiving country laid waste by battle. With only a tattered yellow nightdress, two dark brown dresses, and a small assortment of odds and ends, what chance does Ryann have of beating the odds?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Supporting Authors One Read At A Time - July 2012

Please Click graphic below to open magazine!

Click here to enable full browser view of magazine.



Monday, July 16, 2012

PRESS RELEASE: New YA Epic Fantasy Book Release: Xannu - The Portal


New YA Epic Fantasy Book Release: Xannu - The Portal

Paul Dorset LogoAuthor Paul Dorset has published the 3rd book in The Southern Lands series, Xannu – The Portal, a 420 page book that is part of a YA Epic Fantasy series. The book is available for $3.99 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes and Smashwords.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 
Xannu - The Portal
Xannu - The Portal
PRLog (Press Release) - Jul 15, 2012 - Anacortes, WA author and resident, Paul Dorset has published “Xannu – The Portal", a 420 page book that is the third in a thrilling epic fantasy series written especially for teens. The book, published at an introductory low price of $3.99, is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes and Smashwords.

For fans of Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and The Narnia Chronicles, the third installment in a thrilling epic fantasy series…

English schoolboy Terry West’s life continues to be a wreck. Ever since his best friend Joe was lost in another land, Terry has continued to pray he would be healed and returned safely. Everything that has happened to date has been his fault. If only he hadn’t given Joe one of his rune coins. Those damn rune coins that transport him to his other world where Terry is the soldier, Teern Truthbringer, tasked with protecting the Xannu. Wars are brewing in the Southern Lands and people from many countries and religions want the Xannu for themselves.

Both Terry’s school-life and private life are a mess and Terry’s girlfriend, Susan, continues to be everywhere that Terry is. All he wants is a little solitude in order to keep himself together, but everything is conspiring against him.

Back in the Southern Lands, Maria is determined to bring Joe home using whatever kind of magic is available to her. But others are plotting to ensure she fails. In a world inhabited by warlocks, seductresses, priests and prophecy, everyone has their own personal agenda.

How will Terry balance the two lives he leads, solve two sets of problems, and understand the lessons he receives from both? Only time will tell. But time is something Terry doesn't have too much of, as everything is unfolding in ways he could never have imagined!

Book 3 of 'The Southern Lands' saga
“To him who is given that destiny, is also given power. Not just a mortal power, but a power over all mankind. A power that will last forever. A power that surpasses all others. Once it is unlocked it will never be tamed. Once it is released it will never be quashed. Once it has struck it will never be quenched.” (The Holy Scriptures of Luux - Tablet II)

Website: http://pauldorset.com

About Paul Dorset: Paul Dorset was born in Poole, Dorset in England in 1960 but has been living in America since 1995. He has been writing for many years and some of his early works were published in 'teen advice' columns. He has also had many technical articles published, mostly in the field of Computing.

Paul currently lives in the Pacific Northwest but has traveled extensively and worked many times with teens and youth groups. It is this background combined with a vivid imagination that has enabled him to weave a tapestry of magic into complete novels. His first epic fantasy series, aimed at young adults, is entitled 'The Southern Lands'. However, the storyline is more than exciting enough to keep adults turning pages as the story unfolds.

Paul is a father of five who has worked as a computer consultant for more than 30 years. His publications include fantasy novels for ages 12-plus, how-to books for adults, and dark paranormal thrillers for ages 16+. He incorporates his extensive experience in computers - and his insightful perspective on the possibilities therein - in novels that include layers of contemporary intrigue, romance and mystery.

Photo:
http://www.prlog.org/11924565/1

--- end ---

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday #6

On the theme of Six Sentence Sunday, here are the opening sentences from the third novel in my YA Epic Fantasy series, Xannu - The Portal. The book is the third in a series of five and is due for release tomorrow! The Southern Lands series is available from all the usual places for only $3.99 as an ebook and $12.99 as a paperback.

A dazzling cobalt-colored bolt of pure energy cut through the evening sky, lighting up the three that were gathered on the hillside and gazing into the still smoldering fire. No one raised their head to look; instead each was content to stay still in their own thoughts. Again the evening sky lit up, but still not one of them stirred. Finally the eldest of them spoke. “We have failed in the task that was given us.”


For fans of Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and The Narnia Chronicles, the third installment in a thrilling epic fantasy series…

English schoolboy Terry West’s life continues to be a wreck. Ever since his best friend Joe was lost in another land, Terry has continued to pray he would be healed and returned safely. Everything that has happened to date has been his fault. If only he hadn’t given Joe one of his rune coins. Those damn rune coins that transport him to his other world where Terry is the soldier, Teern Truthbringer, tasked with protecting the Xannu. Wars are brewing in the Southern Lands and people from many countries and religions want the Xannu for themselves.

Both Terry’s school-life and private-life are a mess and Terry’s girlfriend, Susan, continues to be everywhere that Terry is. All he wants is a little solitude in order to keep himself together, but everything is conspiring against him.

Back in the Southern Lands, Maria is determined to bring Joe home using whatever kind of magic is available to her. But others are plotting to ensure she fails. In a world inhabited by warlocks, seductresses, priests and prophecy, everyone has their own personal agenda.

How will Terry balance the two lives he leads, solve two sets of problems, and understand the lessons he receives from both? Only time will tell. But time is something Terry doesn't have too much of, as everything is unfolding in ways he could never have imagined!

Book 3 of 'The Southern Lands' saga
“To him who is given that destiny, is also given power. Not just a mortal power, but a power over all mankind. A power that will last forever. A power that surpasses all others. Once it is unlocked it will never be tamed. Once it is released it will never be quashed. Once it has struck it will never be quenched.” (The Holy Scriptures of Luux - Tablet II)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Author Interview: Jo VonBargen

Today I am pleased to present to you all the sixth in a series of Author Interviews. Recently I sat down with the ephemeral Jo VonBargen and our conversation went something like this:


Paul: I like to start my interviews by asking if you have any writing rituals?
Jo: I pour a fresh mug of coffee, switch off the TV, kick off my shoes, stick a finger up into the spirit stream and write what flows down.

Paul: If someone had the power to step into your creative mind what would they see?
Jo: One word: ILLUMINATE. Poetry is as necessary as breath, giving us a glimpse of the sublime as well as the ridiculous. Poetry looks into the ephemeral realm of the human mind; it's like blowing on a windowpane. Your breath leaves the imprint of your existence for only a split moment before it evaporates without a trace… like our lives. Poetry worms its way into that elusive space between shadow and soul, and enlightens. I actually think in metaphors, analogies and PFA’s (plucked-from-air). When picturing something to write about, I envision words that imply the scene, but are not the dry facts of it.

Paul: What is a typical day for you?
Jo: Chaos. And not the controlled kind. Unless I’m in the Dallas area with my kids, which I am part of the week. Bless ’em, they let me be me, free to do my own thing.

Paul: In all the years you’ve been publishing your work, what is the biggest mistake you made that you could share so others can avoid making it?
Jo: My own philosophy is I am what I am and I ain’t what I ain’t. Don’t try to be safe. Don’t listen to your Mom, other writers, Aunt Cracky or your pastor. Tell your story the way it needs to be told. Put your heart and guts on the line. Scream, bleed, sizzle your words onto a page & snip out the parts people skip. Hone it down to REAL!

Paul: How do you find the time to write?
Jo: Forced into early retirement a couple of years ago when I got caught in a layoff, I no longer have the General Manager position to terrorize my days. We have a farm and now that it is summer, I have to mow a lot. By the time I finish the last section I have to begin again at the first! Then I usually have to fight with Rick over every hour I hope to spend on the computer.

Paul: What is one thing you hope I do not tell the readers?
Jo: Ha! I’ve probably already told it myself somewhere in my writings! I guess I hope you won’t say that you find me boring!

Paul: If you are self-published, what led to you going your own way?
Jo: I got really tired of editors wanting to change my work to fit some cockamamie rule or another handed down from the halls of academe. They had no earthly idea of what my vision was, nor did they care. I do all my own editing, formatting, book covers and marketing. Full control.

Paul: Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
Jo: I almost never plot, plan, organize, outline, etc. Organizational behavior gives me hives. I get struck with an idea and just take it where it goes organically.

Paul: What is your most recent book? Tell us a little about it
Jo: It Ain’t Shakespeare, But Oh, How It Glows! is a collection of poetry and prose, writings on human spirit.  The importance of these is to illuminate love’s power when it is love spent without return or love bestowed beyond all prudence. That power manifests as strength, resilience, wisdom and a strong determination to overcome in a world where, sadly, millions of women are used and abused because of their naïveté, or perhaps because cultural, religious or familial ties require that they endure it. Some pieces exist to shine a hard light on dreadful circumstances, if only to discover where truth often hides. The hope is that there is enough beauty, contemplation and in-your-face rant in addition to that so the reader's experience isn't rife with gloom, depression and scattered entrails!


Paul: What inspired you to write this book?
Jo: My fans requested a collection. I’ve been posting single works online for some time, and my lovely readers wanted to have it all in one place. My heartfelt thanks to them for their faithful support! I love them all dearly.

Paul: Do you also write any poetry, non-fiction or short stories?
Jo: I have four other books on Amazon; three are poetry, one is a James Joyce parody. In addition to poetry, I write short stories, non-fiction prose, parodies and satires. I may try writing a novel soon if I can carve out some time.

Paul: Do you have any pieces of work that will never see the light of day?
Jo: Of course! Doesn’t everyone? Boxes and drawers full. However lame, they are part of my history so I keep them.

Paul: How much marketing do you do for your published works or for your ‘brand’?
Jo: All day, every day, using Gremln.com (no “i” in Gremln) to schedule automatic tweets, and also I write occasional blogs. I promote fellow indie authors I like on a regular basis as well.

Paul: What do you do when you’re not writing? Do you have any hobbies or party tricks?
Jo: Pretty busy with the farm and my family, actually. I adore reading. I work the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle every week.

Paul: Well thank you Jo, it's been a pleasure talking with you.


About Jo VonBargen: Jo VonBargen is a Texas author and poet who realizes that there is a vast, awake and alive universe of which we are indeed a very small part, thus her effort to elevate the discourse and take a look at the larger picture. Some would even point out metaphysical leanings in a lot of her work. Her influences include Native American traditions and lore absorbed during her childhood in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Early poems were published under "J.J. King" and appeared in the New York Quarterly and other litmags. Her husband has Asperger syndrome, an autism-related neurological disorder, and some of her works reflect this experience. She currently has five books available on Amazon.


Jo's Blog: Two-Bit Bard
Jo on Twitter: @jvonbargen
Jo on Facebook: JoVonBargen
Jo's latest book: It Ain't Shakespeare But Oh, How It Glows! (Amazon)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Paul Dorset Press Release: Growing Sci Fi Market a Perfect Fit for Jobless Techies


Growing Sci Fi Market a Perfect Fit
for Jobless Techies, Author Says

Computer engineers and computer scientists have been one of the hardest hit professions in this economic slump. For all their technical prowess, their jobless rates climbed quickly early in the recession compared to other professionals, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But interestingly, while the computer geeks were losing jobs, science fiction novels were gaining fans.
“It’s one of the fastest growing e-book categories,” says Jim Milliot, co-editorial director at Publishers Weekly.

A 2010 Harris Poll found more people (79 percent) are reading books. The bigger surprise? More than a quarter of fiction readers opt for science fiction. That’s a big number for a genre once considered the realm of a lonely minority.

“If the economy boils down to supply and demand, that’s good news for all those jobless computer pros,’’ says Paul Dorset, author of “New Blood:  Melrose, Part 1” (PaulDorset.com).  A longtime computing professional, he incorporates a lot of the edgy tech elements so popular in science fiction into his work.

 “Who can drive a plausible sci fi tale better than someone who knows their bytes from their zygotes?” he says.

For techies still looking for work, or working outside their field, writing science fiction is a novel creative outlet – and “just possibly a money-maker,” Dorset says.

“Take an imaginative mind, apply boundaries around what could be technically possible, and you’ve got the framework for a story with all kinds of possibilities.”   

“New Blood” is about a para-psychic corporate climber, Beau Tempest, at cutting-edge Zygote Technologies in the heart of the Washington-Oregon Silicon Forest. Relationships are at the heart of the story (although they tend to be short-lived when Beau gets excited), but the work at Zygote, which develops new technologies, is a strong – and dark – undercurrent.

“I’ve worked in technology for 30-plus years and I still work in it, currently as a consultant for T-Mobile, so it’s not hard for me to come up with very sinister, but believable, scenarios of what could be developed,” Dorset says.

His continuing work in the field helps him stay up-to-date. Lucy, a central character in the book, works at Nyble Storage, a company that writes cloud backup services.

“That’s something that’s been evolving the last three or four years – storing files on the Internet so they’re instantly accessible from anywhere in the world,” Dorset says.

Likewise, having worked with many large corporations, he can create believable scenes involving layoffs, power jockeying and grousing among workers.

“The dialogue is natural because it comes from conversations and exchanges I’ve been absorbing for decades,” Dorset says. “I may not be able to write great dialogue for workers in a restaurant, but I know what people are talking about in big tech companies!”

While Dorset began writing to satisfy a personal passion several years ago – “New Blood” is his eighth published novel – he says any laid-off worker can bring a special knowledge to his or her own novel.

“All of us, if we’ve worked in businesses for years, have elements we can use to make a story more believable,” he says. “We can use that experience to round off and enhance any rough edges.”

For restless computer engineers eager for a new creative challenge, the boom in science fiction could be just the ticket.

“Everyone is looking to escape for a bit,” Dorset says. “And who better than a seasoned technology worker to create a virtual world to escape into?”

About Paul Dorset

Paul Dorset is a father of five who lives in the Silicon Forest – Seattle, Wash. He has worked as a computer consultant for more than 30 years. His previous publications include fantasy novels for ages 12-plus and how-to books for adults. The second book in his Melrose trilogy is due to publish in 2012. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Xannu - The Portal (Southern Lands Book 3)

There are just a few more days until the long-awaited release of Xannu - The Portal. I have my latest proof copy in my hands, I've re-checked the copy, and I think we're just about ready. It's an exciting time for me as I know this is my best book yet. It's a non-stop roller-coaster ride for all the characters, and there are lots of surprise plot twists to be revealed.

So, look out for the official release of Xannu - The Portal on Monday July 16th. It will be $3.99 as an ebook from all the usual places. In the meantime, here's a brief introduction:


For fans of Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and The Narnia Chronicles, the third installment in a thrilling epic fantasy series…

English schoolboy Terry West’s life continues to be a wreck. Ever since his best friend Joe was lost in another land, Terry has continued to pray he would be healed and returned safely. Everything that has happened to date has been his fault. If only he hadn’t given Joe one of his rune coins. Those damn rune coins that transport him to his other world where Terry is the soldier, Teern Truthbringer, tasked with protecting the Xannu. Wars are brewing in the Southern Lands and people from many countries and religions want the Xannu for themselves.

Both Terry’s school-life and private-life are a mess and Terry’s girlfriend, Susan, continues to be everywhere that Terry is. All he wants is a little solitude in order to keep himself together, but everything is conspiring against him.

Back in the Southern Lands, Maria is determined to bring Joe home using whatever kind of magic is available to her. But others are plotting to ensure she fails. In a world inhabited by warlocks, seductresses, priests and prophecy, everyone has their own personal agenda.

How will Terry balance the two lives he leads, solve two sets of problems, and understand the lessons he receives from both? Only time will tell. But time is something Terry doesn't have too much of, as everything is unfolding in ways he could never have imagined!

Book 3 of 'The Southern Lands' saga
“To him who is given that destiny, is also given power. Not just a mortal power, but a power over all mankind. A power that will last forever. A power that surpasses all others. Once it is unlocked it will never be tamed. Once it is released it will never be quashed. Once it has struck it will never be quenched.” (The Holy Scriptures of Luux - Tablet II)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Scrivener #8 - Outputting A Manuscript To Word


This is the eighth in a series of blog posts based on my experience with Scrivener - A Swiss Army Knife of a tool for writers. The complete series can be found HERE.

It's been a little while since I last posted about my experiences using Scrivener; nearly six weeks to be exact. During that time I've continued to use it and my love for it has in no way diminished. But today I thought I'd write a little about getting the information out of Scrivener and back into Word in order to publish your novel / ebook.

Scrivener comes with a powerful tool for 'compiling' manuscripts into a different format. I like to do my basic reformatting using Scrivener and then final formatting using Word. I have set up a compile preset that I use for all of my formats. This format controls page breaks, separators, headers and footers, page numbering, output font, etc. All this is available under the compile feature. Play around with it for a while until you become familiar with it, and then save your settings so you can re-use them again. As a note, this is a part of Scrivener that is one of the most powerful and also most difficult parts to use. Time invested here will pay off later. There is a video on the Scrivener site that helps explain the basics. Go watch it!



Once you have your format as you want it, you then need to select a manuscript to compile and finally tweak any other settings. Then choose how you want to export (RTF, PDF, ebook) and let it happen! I usually select RTF format and then open the document up in Word and add any final formatting (margins, paper size, other select text, picture reformatting) before I upload the final document to Amazon, Createspace, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, etc. Even though Scrivener has output formats for ebooks, to date I have only used these for my own internal use, and not for uploading to Amazon, etc. I would rather let Amazon convert a well-formatted Word file (or PDF) than risk the format that Scrivener produces. Just my preferences.

So that's it in a nutshell. Scrivener takes the hassle out of writing a novel and then lets you export it back into Word for some final tweaking. The best of both worlds and an Indie Author's delight!