Author Feature

Following Your Dreams

The following are the words of Christine Lourenco, Archway Publishing author of “For the Love of the Ocean” and “Commuter Bob.” For more about Christine, check out her website, Facebook, and TwitterDownload the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services. 

Realizing My Childhood Dream

Writing was something I did throughout my childhood. It started with a passion for reading when I was young. I read one book a day and often visited the library to take out more books. Fiction was my preferred genre, to escape to another world. I had always kept diaries and journals and enjoyed writing poetry. Different characters and stories would often pop up in my daydreams. I would think how great it would be to put those thoughts into a story or even a movie. It never crossed my mind though at the time that this was something I wanted to pursue. Later in life, I was reminded that storytelling was something in my heart. It was a dream of mine.

Writing Down My Daydreams

As I grew older and had a family, I realized more and more that the daydreaming that I had always done could possibly be written down. On a family vacation in Portugal, we spent some time at a beautiful, vibrant beach area called Algarve. As usual, I would daydream as I stared out into the ocean and was reminded once again of stories that would pop into my head. It was in that moment that I decided to finally put the pen to paper and start writing. I had a specific story in my head and once I started writing, I couldn’t stop. I had written over twenty thousand words in just a day or two and I realized that my whole life, this had been my true passion.

Self-publishing Through Archway

Once my story was complete, I wondered how I could bring it to life though to share with others. After mailing out query letters to hundreds of agents and publishers, I saw how difficult the journey could be without connections. Instead of letting it stop me, I started to research self-publishing options and came across Archway Publishing. I felt that Archway offered the benefits of self-publishing to get my work out there to the masses. They also had the resources of a professional publishing company for cover art, printing and editing expertise. Archway offered the best of both worlds and I anxiously submitted my work and took the step to making my dream become a reality.

Pursue Your Dreams

Now, through Archway Publishing, I have two books already and am working on a third book right now. Everyone’s journey to publishing or even just writing is different. I have learned that if you have a dream in your heart, you should pursue it with all you can. Life is short and you should never have regrets to not trying something. Even if my books don’t end up on a best-seller list, it’s an accomplishment that I can be proud of and will still passionately pursue. I hope that people will read these stories that have been in my dreams and in my heart, and enjoy them. My best advice to people who want to write or publish is to take a chance on yourself and follow your dreams. You never know where they will take you.

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share a guest blog post, please visit our Blog Guidelines Page.

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Author Feature

The Glastonbury Gift

The following are the words of Tom Tyner, Archway Publishing author of “The Glastonbury Gift.” Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services.

There is a Story inside Everyone

StoryAs a novice, I can only speak from the heart, not from experience. First and foremost if you feel within you dwells a story then write it. Don’t mimic me and put it off. For years my family and friends encouraged me to write. With a love of history, the gift of a great memory, and a vivid imagination, I finally took their advice. A person once said, “In every person, there lies a story waiting to be told,” this I strongly believe. Writing can be gratifying and aggravating but in the end, it is the most rewarding experience. I started writing not for the monetary factor but for self-satisfaction. Once I started I couldn’t stop, I’m currently working on two books.

For aspiring authors, I can only say there is no way to explain the feeling that comes over you when your readers tell you, “I read your book, when is the movie coming out?” My story deals with war, mysticism, and romance. It’s about a young man raised in the Florida Keys who works with his father on a fishing boat. However, World War II comes along and he ends up in England. There he meets a lovely English Miss and finds a relic that impacts him and all those around him.

Receiving Feedback

A dear friend approached me one evening and said words that truly Storyuplifted me. He said, “Tom I enjoyed your book, do you know how long it’s been since I smelled puppy breath?” Me too I replied. That one phase brought back an abundance of memories. The backstory behind the phrase is that it’s what our hero says he’s going to do after the war, can and sell puppy breath as a joke. Many of my readers connected with my story and said, “They could picture what they were reading,” which in my opinion is a very important aspect of writing a great story. I had an emeritus tell me once, “Tom in no way are you a great writer, but you are one hell of a storyteller. You can be a John Steinbeck with the Grapes of Wrath or a James Michener with Hawaii. Go for it and good luck Tom Tyner author of The Glastonbury Gift.”

Advice to Aspiring Authors

Well after I just spent most of the time bragging about my book, here are is some advice for those serious about writing. First, enlist the help of a firm, it will cost but it’s worth it. Archway Publishing was the perfect fit for me and my story. Second, never, ever go anywhere not even to bed without a pad and pen nearby. Don’t come up with a gem just to let it float away to obscurity and drive you crazy trying to remember it.

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share a guest blog post, please visit our Blog Guidelines Page.

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Author Feature

Back From the South: A Couples Transitions From Segregation to Integration

The following are the words of  Teressa V Staten Ph.D., Archway Publishing author of “Back From the South: A Couples Transitions From Segregation to Integration.” Learn more about Teressa from her website and Facebook page. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services.

Continuing the Legacy

For several years after my husband passed, I considered finishing a draft of a book that he had begun about the life of my son. Of course, I procrastinated for many years. However, one of my Back From the South: A Couples Transitions From Segregation to Integrationclose friends suggested an idea that began my self-publishing journey. She was the one friend who always planned our interesting trips. This time she suggested we come together and write. Each of us came up with a broad writing goal. I decided to write a memoir about my husband who had been one of the first African Americans to integrate the Marine Corps, and the Huntsville, Alabama Police Department.

Focusing on Writing

We started a writing club in the fall of 2014. My home was the meeting place. We would each write toward our individual goals over a day and then share what each had written gathering reactions and feedback from each other. Over the course of a year, we did this about three times. Between our meetings, we were to continue writing, but that did happen…most of the time. The book began to take shape and decided to focus on not only my late husband’s life but also about my growing up and that of our son who took his own life.

I decided to get serious after feedback from the group of friends was very positive so. I joined the Atlanta Book Club Association where I began to interact with a few members and received information about steps to take toward getting your book published. After registering, I attended the Atlanta Book Festival over the Memorial Weekend in 2015. I submitted my query letter to three publisher’s teams and I received positive feedback. These were face-to-face one on one meetings that lasted 15 minutes.

My Publishing Journey

One publishing company requested that I send them the first chapters as the issues proposed in my book related to areas of special interest to her company. I ended Back From the South: A Couples Transitions From Segregation to Integrationup sending them the chapters and an improved query letter. After about six weeks the agent emailed me to arrange a conference call with two others in her company.

The team went over a few minor changes and indicated that once I sent them a revised version, I would receive a contingency contract. I was on cloud nine. At the close of the phone conversation, one of the individuals added I should redraft the three chapters only in my voice. Mind you this was one of two teams who had complimented me on the way I had written in my husband’s voice. I listened and indicated that I would respond within two weeks as I had other obligations.

I did think about the request and discussed it with two of my writing team members. Both thought the style of the book was unique and that I should proceed as I had begun using my husband’s voice until after we got married. I informed the editor of my decision by email without room for further discussion. I also sent out query letters to three additional publishers and got some feedback. However, their requests did not fit with the direction my book was going.

Finding Archway

I knew I was going to finish the book regardless and learned about self-publishing through the Atlanta Book Club. I began to research self-publishers and went as far as having conversations and review of their options. After receiving a special offer from Archway Publishing and since it was associated with Simon and Schuster, I decided to work with them. I was assigned to a concierge who was probably young enough to be a grandchild. She was very patient and responded quickly to any concerns that I had. Others in the organization were most helpful and open to allow me to be satisfied with my book. The development team was excellent especially with my cover, which I changed several times.

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share a guest blog post, please visit our Blog Guidelines Page.

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Author Feature

Judy Barnes on Self-Publishing “Two Girls from Nazareth”

The following are the words of Judy Barnes, Archway Publishing author of “Two Girls From Nazareth.” Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services.

How My Story Became a Masterpiece

NazarethMy name is Judy Barnes and I’ve always been interested in writing. I have read the Bible many times, but there always seemed to be something missing. How did Mary (the mother of Jesus) become the woman who would give birth to Christ’s Child? While pondering the problem, I started writing about two girls who grew up in Nazareth. Consequently, Two Girls From Nazareth was born. Continue reading

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Author Feature

Story of a Ghostwriter

The following are the words of Archway Publishing’s Sandee Hart, co-author of “Nighthawk” with Bill Bowers. Learn more about the book or Bill on his author website and Facebook. To keep up to date with their book, follow Sandee on Twitter. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services.

In the Shadows

When my childhood friend Bill Bowers contacted me about helping him write his memoir, I immediately said yes. After all, he was an incredible storyteller and I had spent my life writing in the shadows for others. There wasn’t a lot of glory, and it was hard work, but I was quite comfortable hiding. I guess you could say I was afraid if people knew it was my work they would think it wasn’t good enough. I learned very early on that when you’re not noticed, people don’t bother you. They can’t assassinate your character, your opinions, or your choices. Being hidden is safe because there is no risk, no missed chances and no record of your existence in the writing of others. Continue reading

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Author Feature

Why You Write – with Monya Williams

The following are the words of Monya Williams, Archway Publishing author of “I CAN-CER VIVE” Learn more about Monya on her author website and blog. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services.

I Can-Cer ViveBlog to Book

I have written in personal journals since I was eight years old.  I carry a pen and pad with me at all times in case I see something interesting. In 2009 I decided to put my thoughts and feelings in a blog platform.  Two months later, I was diagnosed with Stage 3C breast cancer. My silly blog soon had millions of followers, many asking me to write a book. My answer to this question was always, “I’m not a writer.” Now here I am, eight years later, an author. Continue reading

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Author Feature, Writing

Characters and Setting with Author Linda Maria Frank

The following are the words of Linda Maria Frank, Archway Publishing author of “Secrets in the Fairy Chimneys” Learn more about Linda on her author website, YouTube, or Facebook page. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services.

Where to Begin?

One of the most common questions when writing fiction is the question of creating characters.

My choice in writing was to create a mystery series for kids. My background teaching forensic science provided a whole world of possibilities for plots. I thought of just the thing to grab my young readers’ attention: the main character of my series, Annie Tillery.

Many of my readers ask if Annie is me. My answer is that Annie is the teen I would have loved to have been. I enjoyed creating a fantasy world and putting Annie into it to see what she would do. You know, sometimes the characters make the decisions. That being said, I manufactured my girl sleuth protagonist.

Building Your Character

The process of creating Annie was like dressing a paper doll. Let’s see what the basic body type is. This is important! Your readers want to visualize what she looks like. I decided to address this issue by adding a description somewhere early in each book. Next, I tried on – not different clothing – but different characteristics. Some of the choices for a junior sleuth were: brave vs. reckless, smart vs. nerdy, enthusiastic vs. low key, sneaky vs. inventive, and feisty vs. passive aggressive.

It’s also important to give the protagonist a personal life, family, relationships and such; not a perfect family, but one that presents them with challenges and brings out characteristics that will endear them to a reader.  Or, make them angry at her.

The books you’ve read that feature characters you’ve fallen in love with let you into that character’s head. Even better is if the author lets you into a character’s heart. That is what I have attempted in my teen mystery books.

Whatever the genre or plot, the reader wants to know what the main characters think and feel. What’s the best way to do that? THIS WAS THE GREATEST CHALLENGE TO ME WHEN I FIRST STARTED TO WRITE.

Placing the Character

The final element of a book is setting. The first two books of my series take place in settings I knew and loved. Because of this, the story could sometimes just flow on the back of descriptive passages and historical accounts. The development of characters became easier, because the setting helped me to capitalize on specific personality traits that were evoked by the surroundings.

Setting the third book of my series, Secrets in the Fairy Chimneys, in Turkey was not easy. Although I visited Turkey to research the book, the fabulous settings I found there were not a part of my soul. I had to really work hard to achieve a credible air of intimacy with the settings of Turkey.

In an archaeological journal I came upon a description of a dig in a real place: Catalhoyuk, in what is modern day Turkey. I was fascinated by the fact that Catalhoyuk was the oldest known town ever found (9,000 years old). The area where it exists is Cappadocia, rich with ancient history from the Hittites to the “cave people”of the present. “Fairy chimneys” is the name given to striking and weird geological formations that exist there.

My Inspiration

My tour of Turkey included much time in Cappadocia, allowing me to take many pictures and absorb the atmosphere of the place. I took notes and wrote passages of the book, adjusting the chapter outline to make it fit what I saw. My photos were invaluable. I had a super guide book that helped me with words and phrases. I took note of peoples’ names so that I could use authentic Turkish names in the book. Cappadocia almost became one of the characters in the book with its dry vegetation, dust, and of course, fairy chimneys.

Istanbul, once Constantinople, was captivating. The city setting can still be conjured up just by closing my eyes. The bazaar exceeded my expectations. It was a total assault on the senses

As a writer, the lesson I took from Turkey is to really research your setting. If you can’t go there, study maps, view travelogues, and learn the history of the place. Google maps and images are a great help too.

There needs to be a balance between setting, character, and plot. Setting for me can be one of your characters; one that provides your main characters with endless possibilities.

 

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share an idea for a guest blog post, please tweet the Archway Publishing Twitter account @ArchwayPub or send us a message at the Archway Publishing Facebook page.

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Author Feature

Concierge Service Explained with Author Yashalina Blair

The following are the words of Yashalina Blair, Archway Publishing author of “Dr. Romy’s Dance.” Learn more about Yashalina by visiting her author website, twitter, or Facebook page. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services

Publishing Dr. Romy

My name is Yashalina Blair. I have recently published my first book with Archway titled, Dr. Romy’s Dance. The novel is a romance about Jerome, a young man attending school for medicine. When Jerome’s father suddenly dies leaving the family in financial hardship his mother makes a life altering request: quit school, come home, and take a job with the degree he has. Determined to become a doctor, Jerome decides to stay in school and moonlight as a male exotic dancer.

Working with Archway has been a great pleasure. I chose to work with Archway because I loved the feeling of closeness I got when speaking with the crew. They made me feel as though I was a priority through the entire process and that was priceless. I secondarily chose Archway due to their variety of publishing packages. There were many packages to choose from, depending on your need and budget. I chose a package in the middle but in retrospect, I should have chosen one with marketing included. Marketing is part of two premium packages, which is much needed for a new author unknown to the world.

Concierge Services

The best part of my Archway experience was having a personal concierge. She was definitely worth her weight in gold! Her focus was on submitting forms and paperwork – being a liaison. Her role is far more concentrated, but this is my best summary. An Archway concierge sets up ISBN’s, submits forms, and deals with copyrighting. This allows authors to focus on their manuscripts and forgo the politics. My concierge always knew exactly what needed to be done next, and usually gave me a time frame to expect its completion. As a sidebar, I’d like to note, it was usually completed sooner than estimated.

I believe I will publish with Archway once again, and definitely with the wonderful assistance of a concierge!

 

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share an idea for a guest blog post, please tweet the Archway Publishing Twitter account @ArchwayPub or send us a message at the Archway Publishing Facebook page.

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Author Feature

My Archway Experience – with Angela Adley

The following are the words of Angela Adley, Archway Publishing author of “Growing Up without My Daddy” Learn more about Angela on her author website or Facebook page. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services.

Why I Write

In 2014, I set out to publish Growing Up without My Daddy. I wrote this book to share insights from own childhood experience in the hopes of helping those who are going through what I did. With my book, I wanted to teach young girls how to move beyond their hurt through trusting in God’s gift of love. Ultimately, Growing Up without My Daddy is a book which seeks to help parents begin a conversation with their children. My book is a reminder to fatherless girls that they are loved and lovable by their mere existence.

Selecting a Publisher

Upon beginning my self-publishing journey I had no previous experience in the field. However, I knew there were many publishing options. Personally, I wanted to select a self-publisher that was partnered with a traditional publishing company. I spent many weeks researching various self-publishing companies, reading tons of articles and even books to gain insight on how to select the perfect publisher for my book.

Choosing Archway

When researching Archway Publishing I noticed their affiliation with Simon & Schuster, which was impressive.  Reviewing Archway’s publishing packages was exciting because I realized they accommodated a variety of publishing needs from standard to elite services. I loved that Archway provided professional illustrators for authors requiring illustrations for their books. Finally, I looked at Archway’s pricing. Let’s be honest, there’s a financial cost to creating almost anything – this is even more so when creating a product with the help of experts, professionals, and leaders in an industry. So yes, self-publishing is pricey, but it’s affordable with a bit of financial planning. Honestly, I don’t regret any of the money I spent publishing Growing Up without My Daddy. The product Archway delivered was beyond my imagination!

VIP Experience

I really enjoyed the publishing package I selected through Archway because it provided me with access to premium concierge services. The entire system for creating my book was fairly straightforward. Archway guided me through the process and provided detailed information during each step. They estimated a time frame for every stage, which helped me stay updated. Throughout publishing, I corresponded with Archway by email. I loved that Archway used email because it made communication easy and efficient. My own personal representative assisted me through the entire publishing journey from start to finish.

Working Together

Another detail I would like to note is that Archway is not a company who charges surprise fees. Working with Archway, I was notified of any fees not included in the initial packaging. Additional fees would be charged specifically for revisions outside of the allotted number, or changes once I passed a particular phase in the publishing process. I felt like Archway was very transparent in additional fees and there were never any surprises.

The most challenging part of my experience would have to be the illustration phase/s. Archway matches you with an illustrator, and you only correspond with them through writing. Despite my worry, this step of the production ended up going very smoothly! My book is truly a masterpiece, and I am so glad that I chose Archway to help create and publish it. In fact, I get many compliments on my book; buyers especially love the illustrations.

 

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share an idea for a guest blog post, please tweet the Archway Publishing Twitter account @ArchwayPub or send us a message at the Archway Publishing Facebook page.

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Author Feature

Translating Complex Science for a General Audience

The following are the words of Neeti Sinha, Archway Publishing author of “Physical Laws of the Mathematical Universe: Who Are We?”  Learn more about about Neeti on her blog The Magnified Universe. To keep up with Neeti’s latest work, like and follow her on Twitter or Facebook. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services. 

Discovering a Passion

Neeti2I have always found science fascinating. My passion for the pursuit of knowledge started very early in life. During elementary school I began considering the complexities of our existence. I would wonder how we remained tethered to the earth while it zipped constantly in the sky. An insistence on communicating advancements to all audiences is a new aspect of scientific research and development that wasn’t part of the curriculum when I was in graduate school. Society is far more scientifically aware and curious than it was only a few decades ago. Thus, researchers can no longer huddle up in cozy alcoves sequestered from rest of the world. Rather, we scientists have a duty to spread our findings to the public in meaningful ways.

Writing for the General Audience

A scientist can unknowingly carry the same potential as a journalist. This was a revelation which dawned on me as I contemplated writing a book focusing on the intricacies of physics and mathematics. A couple years later, I had in my hands an initial manuscript of my book. Eagerly, I sent out copies for review. Given its general scientific content, I was curious about what readers from non-science backgrounds would feel.

This is where I found myself confounded. The theories and concepts I find utterly beautiful didn’t seem to strike a chord with general readers. This is in no way their own shortcoming. Though from different backgrounds, many readers are eager to understand the ways of the universe and find joy in doing so. I imagine this is somewhat the same as how I relish the fineness of music, yet know nothing of how it is constructed. Non-industry readers weren’t able to fully enjoy the message of my book because the science didn’t translate.

Translating Complex Science

To explain what I mean by “the science didn’t translate”, see the following statement:

All non-trivial zeros of the zeta function have real part one-half.

Researchers and educators within the field find this mathematical phrase alluring. Known as the Riemann hypothesis, the expression itself has become a cliché. As trendy as it is, the hypothesis is quite complex in how it arrives and what it implies. For a reader from a different field, the statement is nothing but jargon. Not only is the hypothesis confusing for a general reader, but it’s quite far from aesthetically pleasing.

The explanation of this hypothesis requires dissection and sub-dissection of all the elements, followed by a sewing of multiple ideas into one smooth story line. Only after careful treatment can any beauty emerge from the Riemann hypothesis in the general reader’s view, an entire book could easily be dedicated to the process.

Learning on the Go

Neeti3After receiving the first round of feedback, I became dedicated to reconstructing my book with a more understandable tone. Following the most helpful suggestions: I cut large sentences into smaller ones and trimmed down on ultra-technical wording. I scaled down the scientific concepts I was hurling, even though it was difficult. The book got better, but it still wan’t “there” yet.

Based on reader’s comments, the key struggle my book seems to face is intelligibility of the writing. The concepts read confusingly because they are complex and abstract, but I love it that way. Therefore, simplifying the content is easier said than done. Watering the science down beyond a point seems like dampening the beauty of it all. This is why I’m still working out exactly how I intend to depict more clearly the reflections of our universe.

It is a struggle, but I am trying.

 

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share an idea for a guest blog post, please tweet the Archway Publishing Twitter account @ArchwayPub or send us a message at the Archway Publishing Facebook page.

 

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