Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Spotlight on Chicago

Sometimes I wonder if the folks who vote for nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame really know what time it is?

For the legendary band Chicago, the time is way past due for induction. The group that began in 1967 as the Chicago Transit Authority was first eligible for the Rock Hall in 1994 -- 25 years after the release of their first album. 

So their induction, in my opinion, is 19 years over due. Chicago has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, produced 21 Top 10 singles including 11 that reached the top of the chart. 

This versatile "rock and roll band with horns" -- progressive rock, jazz fusion, soft rock ballads -- scored five straight No. 1 albums in the 1970s. Billboard magazine, in 2008, ranked Chicago No. 13 of the top 100 artists of all-time. They can do it all.

Chicago's hits span five decades, and they're second only to The Beach Boys (and R&R Famers) in sales. I think that equates to longevity and popularity.

With Robert Lamm, Peter Cetera, Terry Kath, Danny Seraphine, Bill Champlin, Walter Parazaider, and James Pankow among the band members through the years (Lamm, Parazaider and Pankow have been in the group from the beginning), the group has recorded timeless classics like "If You Leave Me Now," "Make Me Smile," "Colour My World," "25 or 6 to 4" "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" and "Saturday in the Park." 

I always preferred their jazzy and edgy sounds, especially with Kath's guitar before his untimely death in 1978. And Chicago is one of  the first rock group to feature horns. An additional bonus with their early albums were posters -- including one that covered a (dorm) wall.

It's not about time -- it is time -- for Chicago to be inducted into the Rock Hall. 

Now enjoy some of Chicago's great music:

Monday, September 23, 2013

Homestretch for Book Release

The galley proof for "The Bully List" has been returned to the publisher and now the waiting game until the Oct. 1 release.

I'm glad I had fresh eyes (my wife's) proofread the manuscript because she found "missing" words that registered in my brain when I went over the passages. Ever had a "peanut (butter) and jelly sandwich and glass of milk?"
She also picked up on a few other items that improved the novel.

I also received some biased feedback from her about the story -- she liked it! I may have to take her out to dinner next week to celebrate, and it won't be for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. 

As noted in a previous post, my attention now is marketing and promotion. Several review copies will be going out in the mail. I may even set up a Facebook page devoted to my writing life. 

I've been on Twitter for about a year. If you want to follow or connect, I'm @MichaelEmbry. You can also find me at Google+ (as Michael Embry).

And I'm still working on my revamped website that I hope to launch on Oct. 1.

When all of this is over, or at least simmers down a few degrees, I plan to get back to writing short stories to be included in a second volume of "Laments."

But for now, I'm focusing my attention on "The Bully List" and taking a few deep breaths and enjoying what has already been accomplished.

Until the next time...

P.S. I have set up a Facebook page -- Kentucky author Michael Embry. Please drop by and "Like" it.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Show Me the (Galley) Proof

It's getting down to the final days before "The Bully List" becomes a book on Oct. 1.

I received the galley proof several days ago. I hope to complete the process of finding typos and other parts that make an author cringe in the next few days. Needless to say, I hope I don't find many if any. 

Because I have read the manuscript so many times (at least eight), I'm going to have my wife read the galleys as well. She'll bring fresh eyes to the work.  

I received the postcards in the mail today so I'll be addressing them and getting them to the post office next week as well. 

For me, this is an exciting part of writing and publishing because all the hard work finally comes to fruition. Everything continues with promotion and marketing but at least you have a finished product. 

Until the next time...

Monday, September 16, 2013

More Book Promotion

I've received the bookmarks for my latest young-adult novel, "The Bully List," and the postcards should arrive soon. 

The bookmarks will be given to those who purchase the book from my website, book signings, and other events. 

The postcards will go in the mail once I have completed going over the galley proof of the novel. I want the postcards to reach the targeted destinations of libraries and bookstores by Oct. 1, the release date of my book.

I'm also in the process of redesigning my website -- -- and hope to unveil it Oct. 1. My current homepage has been around for almost 10 years, and I admit, it's outdated and a bit (okay, a lot) ragged. It's become a hodge-podge site that I don't even find that interesting.

It would have been updated sooner but sometimes life gets in the way, along with writing and other creative interests. I also had to find decent and simple software to use. I'm about halfway finished with the new site. My blog followers will be the first to know when it's online.

I also plan a book giveaway at Goodreads, probably the first week in October. If you're not a member, I'd advise you to join, not only for a chance to get my book as a free read but also to connect with other authors and readers. It's a great site. Be sure to "friend" me.

Until the next time....

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Unveiling the Cover

My latest novel will be released Oct. 1. While I can't reveal all the contents, I can show you the cover.

Drum roll please!

The cover was designed by Pat Evans, the art director at Wings ePress. She's designed all the covers to my novels. I'm very pleased because it provides a visual idea about the young-adult novel.

There's still more work to be done before the release date. I'll be receiving the galley proof for final edits, corrections, and fixes. And there is the promotional side in getting the word out to as many folks as possible.

If you can judge a book by its cover, then I feel like I have another winner.

Until the next time...

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Final Countdown

It's down to three weeks and four days before the release of my young-adult novel.

I received the book cover, which I plan to post in the next few days. I also will be using it to order bookmarks and postcards as part of promoting the novel.

I should be receiving the galley proof soon. That will occupy most of my time as I go over it word-for-word to make sure there are no misspellings, grammatical errors, or problems with the story. 

For an author, this is an exciting time. You've been in a lot of work in constructing a story, working with an editor and graphic artist, and then the final read before the everything goes public.

Until the next time...

Sunday, September 1, 2013

American Veterans Traveling Tribute

I recently visited the American Veterans Traveling Tribute during its stop at Anderson-Dean Park in Harrodsburg, Ky. The tribute honors all who gave their lives serving in the U.S. military, beginning with the Revolutionary War.

The centerpiece is "The Wall," a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. There are 58,272 names inscribed -- listed in chronological order and time of the casualty within each day.

I had two classmates die in Vietnam -- James Huckleberry in 1967 and Marshall Jones in 1970. Both would have turned 65 this year.

The memorial is a somber place. Some families in the Harrodsburg area planted small flags, a few with photographs, of the loved ones who died on that foreign soil. They served as a reminders that there were faces behind the names and that many lives were adversely and tragically touched by the unpopular war.  

There were exhibits from Vietnam -- artillery, helicopters, jeeps, photographs, weapons, cots, c-rations, and more. 

If you ever get the opportunity to see the AVTT, I would encourage you to do so. It might give you a deeper appreciation for the ultimate sacrifices many made for our nation. 

And it may even bring you to tears.

For more information, click AVTT.