Dare to Write and Share

I recently wrote and published, Compelled, by Ann Simpson, an intense story in a jail setting about a young couple’s encounter with a dangerous criminal subculture. It’s a crime novel, a romance, a drama, and is available at Amazon, CreateSpace, and Smashwords. Many published indie authors understand the work that goes into each of these, the writing, editing, book cover, formating, and marketing! While marketing I was drawn to the many first pages or chapters offered for view at Amazon, believe me one could spend hours just reading these excerpts from our fellow indie author’s works.

I asked a reader, a friend of a friend, what exactly grabs her attention when choosing a book to read. She said the cover first, then the first sentence or couple of sentences of the first chapter. If that grabs her she said she closes the book and looks on the back cover for a synopsis. If she gets that, I want to read this, feeling, she purchases the book. First impressions seem critical! And so I have decided to share an excerpt of my upcomming novel The Genealogist’s Guests, albeit minor changes with editing could happen,  I thought it would fun to share.

Coldness throughout the house couldn’t stop her.  The fire she set hours before was a mere hint of smolder that barely lit the large room outside of her small home office. Stacks of papers and books lay all around. A small lamp was placed on the floor to her right.  The sixty watt bulb faced a wall illuminating the family tree painted onto the canvas from floor to ceiling.

The wind outside howled as the storm approached, and mother nature’s threat to cut power to Liz’s computer rushed her as she searched almost desperately for clues about Isabella Hay Taber, her third generation great grandmother.  The lights dimmed as the computer prepared to shut down, “No!” Liz held the monitor with both hands, “I haven’t saved it.” The sound of the computer tower’s hum went silent right after the click Liz heard shattering her pleas for just a little more time. She was close to finding out how Isabella came to Rhode Island from Saint Nicolas, Aberdeen, Scotland.

She looked over to her wall at the tree she painted, nearly three thousand ancestors smothered by darkness as the storm outside beat the wood siding of Rhode Island Colonial, a sturdy structure built in 1920. She stood in the darkness facing her family tree visualizing the names she had painstakingly wrote with the tip of a paint brush, Isabella’s name called to her, a feeling she couldn’t escape. Something about the young girl from Scotland who married her third generation great grandfather Edward Luther Taber sparked her curiosity but with the power out she would have to wait to continue searching for answers.

Liz purchased the twenty four hundred square foot home several years back with hopes of entertaining family who all remained in Virginia when she moved north. They said she was crazy for leaving but Liz had a passion for ancestry and she wanted to be near her ancestor’s graves, their old homesteads, and the towns they lived in, she needed to connect.  She especially liked the Town of Norwich, Connecticut.  A Dunkin Donut shop on Main Street served up a hot cup of coffee on cold New England days. Liz walked many a day down the walkways and roads surrounded by buildings built long ago. She laid her eyes on the Carroll Building built in 1887, and the Norwich Town Hall built in 1870, in fact the very ancestors she’d come looking for walked the same path as she and saw the same landmarks.

She closed the office door and tended to the fire incased in a brick mantle and mused at the size of it. It took up the entire wall leaving no room for cozy corners. She made the best of it and circled her sofa and chairs facing the fire. She’d sleep right there on the sofa to keep warm until the power resumed. She wouldn’t have minded a cup of hot tea but she was feeling tired and the idea of heating the water by fire seemed too much for her to do at the time so she settled for brandy. She never really felt lonely with all her dead ancestors occupying her time but situations like this when the power was out she’d allow herself to hope that soon someone from Virginia would come visit. She sipped her brandy and eventually fell off to sleep.

The storm continued through the night and the house fell silent except for the howling wind and rain outside. Liz lay fast asleep in the large room lit by the fierce fire she built. Adjacent to the room, the home office door was closed to keep the warmth in the main room she occupied. A hum of soft musical tones lingered in the background of the office.  The tree of many names was shadowed by darkness. Close to the base of the tree Isabella’s name was bright. The humming continued as the office door slowly opened and as Liz laid on the sofa covered with her favorite throw a woman wearing a black dress that hung to her ankles sat in the chair next to her. Her hair was pulled back in a neat bun, her face was aged but revealed a beauty that once was, and her adoring eyes rested on Liz.

Liz turned to her side and opened her eyes. She felt the unease and looked to the empty chair, she had an overwhelming sense she wasn’t alone. She closed her eyes and mumbled, Go back to sleep. She hummed a tune she hadn’t heard before and assumed she’d made it up in her brandy induced fog, then fell fast asleep. Isabella rose from the chair and hummed the same tune until her spirit reached her name on the handpainted family tree in the tiny home office where Liz called for truth about her ancestors.

Dare to share yours!

It wasn’t easy

But I have published my book, Compelled,  at Smashwords, Createspace, and Amazon. I am excited about the new book cover designed by Donna Casey at DigitalDonna.com. Editorial service was done by Diane Reynolds.  I send a special thanks for your contribution to this book. I am equally excited about my next title The Genealogists Guest, but I have a lot of work to do with Compelled. Mainly get the news out that it is available. I’ve been reading about marketing, my true weakness, and much of what I gather is that social networking is key, along with word of mouth, and a few reviews. And so I have advertised, should I say, on Facebook, Twitter, and other social websites.

Compelled

And so, after much thought and hard work on my book, I’ve finally come to a decision…the first and second books belong together, and so, part one The Tug and part two The Thrust will be under one cover.

Yep, I posted the message above on Facebook Saturday, June 16, 2012. It’s possibly the craziest decision I’ve ever made. But fact is as the author of the two titles I couldn’t see them as separate books. The second continued from the first and though I was told, “If people like the first one they’ll buy the second, you’ll sell two instead of one.” The better advice was that I, the author, am the one who knows best. And my gut tells me to do the crazy, to take a chance, and give my passion, my story under one cover. Well actually sell it under one cover.

Maybe it’s the first time published author thing. You know where the rush to get the first part The Tug out to readers was so exciting and, forgive me; irresistible, it had blinded me to the full potential of Compelled. And so, after much thought The Tug and The Thrust will be part one and two in my soon to be released new and not so new novel. The story, you may ask, is love at its strongest triumph, the will to stand against all obstacles, and in Macon’s case, criminals, to save his sweet Anna. A story of a good boy gone bad ass, forced, err, compelled to become whatever he had to, to assure his freedom and he won’t leave without Anna.

The cover is completed! I am happy to give great credit to my new book cover artist Donna Casey. Take a look at her portfolio at http://www.digitaldonna.com. If you’re in the market for a cover I recommend Donna!  I’m crazy about the new cover. It will soon be seen at Amazon, CreateSpace, and Smashwords. The editing process is complete with special thanks to Diane Reynolds my editor. All that’s left to do is join the two parts, and yikes, format, and send them on their way to readers. It feels like sending my baby off to, yep, jail!

Interested? Maybe crazy sparks a little curiosity?  I am an indie author! My taking a chance shouldn’t surprise anyone, right, you got me on that one. I don’t know whether my book will be a success, but I hope, pray, wish, want people to read and enjoy my work. So what’s this turmoil of mine all about? It’s about losing one’s self in fiction, mad writing and living, yes breathing each word to create an escape for readers. But not an escape from feeling the emotions because:

Macon will do anything for her. Anna soon finds out how far he will go. They are joined by love and separated by housing units. Set up by cunning criminals and forced to do the unthinkable. Macon finds the strength to free himself but Anna is left behind. He is driven by his love for her and revenge for those who did this to them. His predicament is worse than torture, but he’s relentless and dangerous. They pulled him into their world and now he must push his way back out. He’s not leaving without Anna.

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