Saturday, December 26, 2015

Veni, Vidi, Sticki

I don't understand why folks get so worked up about selfie sticks. 

For the most part, people use them to include the photographer so no one is left out of a photo. What's wrong with that? Some places have banned selfie sticks out of safety concerns and requests from visitors. I'd be more concerned about concealed weapons. Maybe there will be a movement to require people to have a license to carry a selfie stick?

Yes, I know they can be dangerous (I suppose one could poke out another person's eye), but for the most part, I find them rather harmless and useful. No, I don't want to be in a mass of selfie-stick users, but I avoid large crowds for the most part so that's not much of a problem for me. Here's a USA Today story about deaths resulting from using selfie-sticks. Seems like more folks die from selfie-stick accidents than from shark attacks!

I've seen a lot of photos of people using selfie sticks at family gatherings during the holidays. Shouldn't the holidays include everyone?

While in Europe earlier this year, I didn't see a single selfie stick in London and a few in Paris. To be honest, I had never heard of them and really didn't know what they were other than some device to take photos. But in Roma, they were all over the place, especially with street vendors hawking them at the various tourist sites.  

I think people like to use selfie sticks to show they were at famous landmarks, something they can use as proof that they were indeed at those places. A selfie stick comes in handy when you're by yourself for that once-in-a-lifetime image or when you want to be that image with another person.

I've heard arguments that it's part of our narcissistic society, with people wanting to focus on themselves rather than on the spectacle. I argue that folks simply want to be part of the scene, something they can view in future to bring back pleasant memories.

I love photography and own several cameras as well as a smart phone with a camera. I can tell you it's easier using a selfie stick for a good photo rather than trying to align your arm at the right angle and get what you want in focus. I also own two tripods and a remote for my cameras, which also have self-timers, but most of the time it's difficult to use them for spontaneous or unplanned photos.

I've read that some folks recommend just handing your camera to someone and let them take the photo of you. But isn't that kind of an intrusion? Maybe being a nuisance to others? I admit that I've done that, usually with me also taking a picture of them with their camera. A nice trade off.

But what if you don't know anyone at the landmark? Do you take the chance of handing your camera to a stranger, and then watch them off to the races? Or what if you ask someone and they promptly tell you where to stick your camera -- and it's not on a stick.

Yes, I own a selfie stick. I purchased it after I returned from Europe. I've only used it once, just to see how it works. I plan to take it with me on trips for those occasional shots of me and my wife. I'll try not to poke anyone's eye out or crack them on top the head. Just keep your distance and you should be safe.

Any opinion on selfie sticks?

Until the next time....

Friday, December 18, 2015

Story Songs: Rock in the Christmas Season

Christmas has been the air for quite some time (since August?) so here's some holiday music by rock artists to deck your halls and jingle your bells. 

The first ones I ever recall were back in the 1950s (yes, Virginia, I am that old),  Bobby Helms' "Jingle Bell Rock" in 1957 and Brenda Lee's "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" in 1958. Those songs seem to open the door for other rockers to sing Christmas cheer. They've also became holiday music staples.

The great Elvis Presley recorded a classic in 1957 with "Blue Christmas," which was released again in 1964 to even more acclaim. 

In the 1960s, The Beach Boys released a Christmas album which included the bouncy "Little Saint Nick." The Ronettes got into the holiday fun with the Phil Spector-produced "Frosty the Snowman." 

From across the big pond, The Beatles found time to record "Christmas Time Is Here Again" and The Kinks sang "Father Christmas."

The Boss recorded a rockin' version of "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" in the 1975 and again in 1985.

The Carpenters recorded memorable holiday song with "Merry Christmas, Darling" in 1970, an annual reminder of the beauty of Karen's voice.

Paul McCartney and Wings produced a delightful tune with "Wonderful Christmastime" in 1979 that is guaranteed to lift your spirits.

I'll close out this post with two Christmas songs that focus on peace on earth. The first is The Moody Blues' "Yes I Believe."

And my favorite Christmas-inspired rock tune is John Lennon and Yoko Ono's "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)." 

What are your favorite Christmas rockers?

Happy holidays everyone!

Until the next time...

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Another Promotion

After the novel is finished and in print, the next step is promote, promote, promote.

Some authors suggest that promotion should begin before a book is published. I find it difficult to write, edit, proof the galleys and promote although I suppose I do it passively through this blog and other places.

Perhaps I'm a bit cautious about actively promoting before the release date because I know there are variables which could affect the transition of a manuscript into a novel such as editorial issues, production problems, and personal setbacks. You never know what obstacles may arise in the process.  

For "Old Ways and New Days," I've had a promotion on Goodreads soon after it's release. I've also  used Apex Reviews and Author Shout in recent weeks to spread the word about the novel on various social media sites. And, of course, various posts on my blog and Twitter tweets have been used about the book. 

My most recent is a giveaway on The contest is limited to those residing in the United States. If I can find a way to offer a similar promotion for the e-version, I will do that internationally. Please share with me if you have any ideas on how to do that.  

So if you're interested in entering latest giveaway, which runs through Dec. 22, click here

I also learned that my publisher, Wings ePress, will be upgrading its website over the next few weeks, which should help me and their other authors. 

Promotion is an ongoing process, at least for six months after the release of a book. I try to keep it active while working on my next book (something I hope to do beginning the first of the year). 

Until the next time....

Monday, December 14, 2015

In Review of Books

I'm a reviewer. After I  go to restaurants, stay at hotels, purchase appliances, hire a contractor for home repairs, buy music, watch movies, I usually leave a review at a relevant website. 

I do it because I want to share my experiences with others. And because quite a few folks do the same, helping me make decisions on various and sundry activities. I hope I'm being helpful to others by sharing my opinions. 

I also leave book reviews at places such as Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and lesser known sites. As an author, I appreciate those who leave reviews of my books and those of others. While reviews are purely subjective, they do provide insights on books.

They also help books gain some traction with the reading public and give authors a bit more exposure. With the thousands of books and authors out there, every review helps. 

I've heard from some readers who tell me they find it difficult to write a review. I tell them to keep it short and simple -- basically why they liked or didn't like the book.  

If that proves difficult, at least leave a rating. And try to be honest. 

As a reader, I usually write a review soon after I finish a book, while it is still fresh in my mind. 

By being a reviewer, it helps me understand, as an author, that it takes a while for a review to appear after purchasing a book. In other words, a person generally doesn't buy a book and post a review the next day.  

I usually have several books that I'm reading, or about to read, and they usually take precedence over a new book, especially those I have from the library with due dates. So it may take up to a month before I begin reading a new book (I currently have four books on my list now). 

I hope you're a reader and reviewer. I know authors, booksellers, and readers appreciate the time you take express your thoughts.

Until the next time....

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Highs and Lows of Selling a Book

You've written the great (name your country) novel and it's out there for everyone to read. 

You hope to see it on bestseller lists. You wait for calls from network radio and television talk shows for prime-time interviews. You look forward to hearing from magazine and newspaper feature writers and reviewers wanting to discuss your opus.

Unless your name is Mary Higgins Clark, James Patterson, Nora Roberts, John Grisham, Stephen King, Sue Grafton, Danielle Steel, Lee Child, J.K. Rowling, Joyce Carol Oates....well, don't get your hopes up. 

It's tough and brutal in the publishing world where only the strong survive on all levels -- large publishing houses, small presses, and self-published. Check out Steve Piersanti's "10 Awful Truths About Book Publishing" for some scary numbers.

So who is going to buy your wonderful way with words?

I hope your Mom or Dad isn't on the buyer list because they should receive a freebie. We know that they'll be working behind the scenes, telling everyone about what you've accomplished. At least we hope so.  

Some of your friends and relatives may fork over the money for your book. Not all; only a few. Some folks prefer a specific genre that you may not write so don't get your feelings hurt over it. As mentioned in my previous post, some people simply don't read books. They spend their hard-earned money on other things. 

I was recently at a book signing and a fellow author mentioned to me that I needed to put some books aside because several folks told me they would be back to buy autographed copies. I couldn't help but smile, then told him they were just being nice and polite. And I was right. I never saw them again the remainder of the day. 

Book buyers need to know that authors don't expect you buy a book when you stop at their table, especially when there are lots of authors selling books. To be honest, I'm flattered to simply have someone pick up one of my books and glance at it for a few seconds, especially when they open it and read the blurbs or the first paragraph. At least they've been exposed to my work.

I never expect a sale until the reader picks up the book and hands it to me to be autographed. Other than that, it's kind of like a flea market where folks examine many items (books) before they make a final decision.

Actually, some folks who don't say anything may return to buy your book after making the rounds. And there is always the possibility that potential buyers my go back home and order an e-version from one of the online retailers.

The same goes when online friends say they're going to order one of your books from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords or some other retailer. Again, I believe they're being nice and polite.  If they do, great. If they don't, life goes on. 

The author can only do so much. You can promote, promote, promote, and hope that it connects with readers. And the odds aren't really that good. 

A key is not to get discouraged by the process. You have to be strong. I know several authors who beat the odds. Just keeping plugging away, especially at the keyboard. Sometimes it takes several years to become an overnight success.

Until the next time.... 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Less Than Great Expectations

You've labored over your manuscript for countless hours, fine tuning, polishing, revising, and everything else to make it the best possible novel.

Yes, it's a creative effort, and you should feel proud of your accomplishment. A lot of folks talk about writing a novel, but once they embark on that solitary journey, they find out it's a more arduous than imagined. 

You wait to see your manuscript evolve into a print or e-book, probably both with the new technology. You're happy and proud with your creation. You can't wait to share those thousands of words with the world.

But then reality begins to set in.  While you may receive some adulation and some sincere praise from some family members, some friends, some acquaintances, and some people you don't know, that doesn't equate into thousands of copies of your book flying off the bookshelves into the hands of readers or across cyberspace into e-tablets. 

At least for the vast majority of authors.

I'm not going to get into all the figures, but if you find the time, read "The 10 Awful Truths About Publishing" to get an idea about the odds of becoming a successful (by that, I mean bestselling) author.

Now don't get me wrong, there are some successful authors out there. I have several author friends who are doing quite well. But I know many more who aren't doing that well. 

Now there are some things you need to understand. While you have a love of books, many others don't, for various and sundry reasons. The Pew Research Center reported in October that fewer American adults are reading a book, dropping to 72 percent from 79 percent. 

And a report by the National Endowment for the Arts last year revealed that only 55 percent of adults read a book for pleasure.

Books are part of a vast information and entertainment commerce. Rather than purchase books, many people would rather spend their hard-earned money on sporting events, music concerts, theatrical shows, music downloads, movies -- you get the idea. Books are simply part of the mix.

I'm not trying to dissuade writers from writing. I'm certainly not making a living from my writing. I belong to that proud group of starving artists.

So why do I write?

It's creative expression for me. I love telling stories (and reading them as well). I think it's fulfilling on many levels: thinking, composing, working with others (editors, graphic artists, etc.), and simply keeping my brain active. That's where I find my joy in writing -- and why I'll continue to be a writer.

And maybe one day the timing will be right and I'll become a bestselling author. 

Until the next time....

Friday, November 20, 2015

But What Happened to....

While I was out and about today, a nice woman who read my novel, "Old Ways and New Days," told me that she really liked the story. 


...what happened to Brody, the son of the protagonists, John and Sally Ross? The young man has some issues, as do others in the novel. They're virtual humans, and we know humans aren't perfect. 

I've mentioned in the past that "Old Ways and New Days" is the first book in a series. The second book will feature Brody as a prominent character. And there will be a few others who will take center stage.

In the novel, I laid down the groundwork for other stories in the "saga" of John and Sally Ross. I introduced quite a few characters, some supporting and some very minor, who will return.

The main reason I decided to make this a series is because I really got into the characters. Or perhaps, the characters got into me (novelists will understand what I mean). I found them interesting on many levels. 

And I like reading a series with compelling and quirky characters. My friend, Bill Noel, has a popular Folly Beach Mystery Series that I look forward to reading each book (his latest, "Boneyard Beach" is being released in December). 

Another reason is that when writing "Old Ways and New Days," it was turning into the never-ending story that was going in distinct, different directions, especially the exploits of Brody. So during the rewrites, I removed Brody's story and saved it for the sequel. 

I certainly didn't want "Old Ways and New Days" to turn into a "War and Peace" or "Ulysses," in terms of word count (critical acclaim, I wish). Leo Tolstoy, James Joyce, and authors such as Stephen King,  Victor Hugo, and David Foster Wallace can write mega-length novels and be read. Michael Embry, not! I'm a realist. 

I've been asked after each of my novels if there would be a sequel. I wrote all of them with the idea that I could go back and continue the stories. And maybe I will. 

But for right now, I'll be focusing on completing Brody's story. 

Until the next time...

Sunday, November 15, 2015

2015 Kentucky Book Fair (Part Two)

I survived the 34th annual Kentucky Book Fair. 

I sold some books, made some new friends, saw some old friends, learned a few things, and made a several connections during the course of the day.

My table mates were William Heath, a retired professor of American Literature from Frederick, Md., and Ron Gambrell, a public school teacher and contractor from Louisville. 

Heath, a novelist and historian, had a very good day as he sold out of his "William Wells and the Struggle for the Old Northwest." Gambrell also sold quite a few copies of his young adult novel, "Grayson Springs." My latest novel, "Old Ways and New Days," was my best seller.

Frankfort Convention Center
There were more than 200 authors and illustrators participating in this year's fair. And more than 2,600 people showed up to buy books ($116,000 worth) and attend panel discussions and symposiums.

The top non-fiction seller was "Postcards from Historic Frankfort" by Russ Hatter and Gene Burch. Sharyn McCrumb headed the fiction list with "Nora Bonesteel's Christmas Past." The overall sales leader was photographer James Archambeault with his 2016 Kentucky Calendar.

Besides chatting with Heath and Gambrell during the day, it was nice talking to Cheryl Della Pietra ("Gonzo Girl") and Jason Mott ("The Wonder of All Things"), during a drive to and from Blue Grass Airport in Lexington. Among the friends I hadn't seen in a while were Lowell H. Press ("The Kingdom of the Sun and Moon"), Ed Ford ("The Plot") and Sharon Reynolds ("Walking Air").

Robyn Peterman and Tonya Kappes
I attended a lively Kentucky Book Fair Kick-Off event at the Paul Sawyier Public Library on Thursday evening featuring Robyn Peterman and Tonya Kappes. Besides talking about their bestselling novels, they stressed to aspiring authors they would be where they're at now without the help of folks along the way and that they try to pay it forward. 

I also had some folks come to my table and ask if I would be available to talk to their book clubs. Of course! And that goes to others out there. With today's technology, practically anything is possible. So keep that in mind if you want to work out something with authors in your reading groups. 

Bill Goodman, one of this year's KBF authors and a newsman at Kentucky Educational Television, conducted Skype interviews with Della Pietra and John Temple in the days leading up to the book fair.  That's also something authors should consider in promoting their books.

Now to take a few days off and get some needed rest.

Until the next time...

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

2015 Kentucky Book Fair (Part One)

One of my favorite events of the year will be on Saturday -- the Kentucky Book Fair.

Frankfort Convention Center sign
This year marks the 34th edition of the book fair, founded by former Frankfort State Journal editor Carl West back in the days before the Internet and e-books. He's still the inspirational force and guiding light behind the event that will be held Nov. 14, from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., at the Frankfort Convention Center.

I've been fortunate to participate as an author, patron and volunteer through the years. And I've participated at the three venues -- Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (1981-1993), Exum Center at Kentucky State University (1994-2001), and the Frankfort Convention Center (2002-present). 

I believe my first KBF as an author was in 1984 with "Basketball in the Bluegrass State: The Championship Teams." I'll be at this year's fair with my 11th book and seventh novel, "Old Ways and New Days."

I've attended as a customer because I like the wide variety of books that can be purchased as well as activities held during the day such as panel discussions and readings. And it's nice to chat with the authors and get signed books (and vice versa from the other side of the table in my author role). 

As I've mentioned numerous times, it's also a great time, with Christmas just around the corner, to buy gifts for friends and family. 

For the past six years I've been a volunteer, serving as marketing chair on the executive board. It's a lot of work but satisfying to be part of a dedicated team focused on putting all the pieces together in making it the state's foremost literary event for readers of all ages.

Proceeds from the event are used to benefit public and school libraries across the state. To date, more than $375,000 has been awarded.

This year's book fair will have nearly 225 authors and illustrators to discuss and sign their books as well as participate in other activities. By the way, the fifth annual Kids and Teens Day will be on Friday, from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., at the convention center.

More importantly, organizers hope that several thousand patrons (it generally averages 3,000 to 4,000) will be there to show their support in this annual celebration of reading, writing and everything literary.

There will be a record number of authors, so why not a record number of patrons! 

Check out the KBF's website as well as Facebook page (and "like") for more information. 

Until the next time....


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Book Promotion and More

It's been a busy past few days for me as I've been involved with various and sundry book-related activities. As I've mentioned in previous posts, writing a book is just one part of the process. There is also the rewriting and editing phase, and then, promotion.

My Goodreads promotion for "Old Ways and New Days" is over. There were 443 entries for the five books, with winners from South Dakota, Pennsylvania, Florida, Mississippi and Alabama. I hope they enjoy the novel and take time to leave a review in Amazon or some other review site. Or, better yet, tell their friends about it. Nothing helps promote a book better than word of mouth.

And I might add that authors appreciate reviews and or ratings and word-of-mouth recommendations. Those online ratings are visible so please do me and other writers a favor with a rating, and if you have the time, a short review. 

I've also produced a trailer for the novel. It's pretty basic stuff as I only wanted to include the essentials. I've been guilty in the past of having trailers that ran a bit long. Lots of viewers don't want to spend that much time on something like that so this one clocks in at about one minute, 30 seconds. 

Next on my agenda is the Kentucky Book Fair on Nov. 14 at the Frankfort Convention Center. About 225 authors and illustrators will be taking part, signing and talking about their books with patrons, taking part in symposiums and panel discussions. You can download the catalog at the website.

This marks the 34th year of the state's premier literary event, and proceeds benefit public and school libraries. If you're in Frankfort, drop by my table for a visit. A lot of effort has been put forth by some dedicated small army of  volunteers. 

I also hosted a "Meet Kentucky Book Fair Authors" program on the local FPB-TV cable station. I've included them here as well for your viewing pleasure.

Well, I need to go address some postcards and mail a few more books. 

Until the next time....

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Timely Music As We Turn Back the Hands of Time

Those of us in the U.S. will be turning back our clocks one hour on Nov. 1, officially at 2 a.m., as we switch from Daylight Savings Time to standard time. 

Since time is on our minds, here are a few tunes from that I like from years past that deal with passage of seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks....

One of my favorites is "Time Has Come Today" by the Chambers Brothers. The song was written by Joe and Willie Chambers and released in 1968, reaching No. 11 on the charts. 

I love the lines:

"I've been loved, pushed (put) aside I've been crushed
By tumbling tide and my soul has been psychedelicized"

The "cuckoo" is kinda cool, too.

Another "timely" song from the '60s is "Time of the Season" by The Zombies, from the great "Odyssey & Oracle" album in 1968. The Rod Argent-penned tune topped out at No. 3 on the Billboard chart.

Another great '60s song of time is The Rolling Stones' "Time Is On My Side," a No. 6 charter for the super group in 1964. It was written by Jerry Ragovoy.

The Outsiders, a band from Cleveland, reached No. 5 on the charts with the horn-driven,  "Time Won't Let Me," written by Tom King and Chet Kelley. 

One of the great time songs was written by Pete Seeger (and the Book of Ecclesiastes) and made famous by The Byrds -- "Turn! Turn! Turn!" It was a No. 1 song in 1965.

A few others that come to mind are "No Time" by The Guess Who, "Crying Time" by the legendary Ray Charles, and "Time Is" by It's a Beautiful Day. (Videos below)

And finally, when we get up on Nov. 1, "Does Anyone Really Know What Time It Is?" That's what supergroup Chicago asked in 1969, a No. 7 song written by vocalist Robert Lamm.

Until the next TIME.....

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Fall Into the Music

For me, autumn is the loveliest time of the year in Kentucky with the bold palette of green, gold, yellow, red and brown leaves on too-soon-to-be bare trees dominating the landscape before the cold winds sweep in from the North.

The fall season also brings to mind some music I've listened to through the years. Most of the songs are rather melancholy, perhaps because the season represents to many as a time to let go, as in the falling leaves. 

Here are some of my favorite songs for the season:

Justin Hayward, the lead singer of the legendary Moody Blues, recorded my fall favorite, "Forever Autumn." Some believe it's a Moodies' song, but actually it was from Jeff Wayne's musical, "War of the Worlds," from the late '70s. 

The first verse sets the tone for the song:

"The summer sun is fading as the year grows old
And darker days are drawing near
The winter winds will be much colder
Now that you're not here."

Frank Sinatra sang about autumn in Ervin Drake's unforgettable "It Was a Very Good Year," a No. 1 song on Billboard's Easy Listening charts for Ol' Blue Eyes  in 1965

"But now the days are short, I'm in the autumn of my years
And I think of my life as vintage wine
From fine old kegs
From the brim to the dregs
It poured sweet and clear
It was a very good year."

Another memorable tune is Bobby Goldsboro's "Blue Autumn," written by Andrea, Caroline, Sharon and James Corr, from the '60s.

Again, the opening verse sets the tone for this song of lost love:

"Blue autumn
Falling leaves of red and gold
Pretty colors, I am told
But I see only shades of blue
Because I'm losing you."

Goldsboro also recorded, "Autumn of My Life," another break-up song, a hit from 1968:

"But in the autumn of my years I noticed the tears
And I knew that our life was in the past
Though I tried to pretend, I knew it was the end
For the autumn of my life had come at last."

But not all autumn songs are sad. 

Singer-songwriter Neil Young sang about being in love with a special lady in his "Harvest Moon."

"Because I'm still in love with you
I want to see you dance again
Because I'm still in love with you
On this harvest moon."

And the great Van Morrison with his timeless, "fantabulous" song  "Moondance" that speaks of love and romance:

"Well, it's a marvelous night for a moondance
With the stars up above in your eyes
A fantabulous night to make romance
'Neath the cover of October skies
And the leaves on the trees are falling
To the sound of the breezes that blow
And I'm trying to please to the calling
Of your heart-strings that play soft and low."

Do you have any favorite songs of autumn?

Until the next time...

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Coming-of-Old-Age Novel

Some folks have asked me what my latest novel, "Old Ways and New Days," is all about. The quick and easy answer is that it's a coming-of-old-age novel. 

That's the gist of it. The novel deals with older folks although there are youngsters of all ages who populate the chapters. 

I crossed the threshold to old age a couple years ago. Being in that demographic doesn't bother me. It's all part of the life cycle -- birth, childhood, young adult, middle age, old age, and then, well, let's not go there now.

While the story focuses on John Ross, a recent retiree, it encompasses other issues that older folks face in their twilight years -- from intangibles such as respect (or the lack thereof), mental and physical problems, and trying to find meaning and purpose in their lives.

And the novel touches on other aspects of growing older, such as being parents to adult children, old and new friendships, faded careers, personal security, tolerance and intolerance, and even connecting with a pet. 

Basically, the joys and perils and everything in between, of reaching old age and trying to accept things as they happen.

"Old Ways and New Days" is the first in a series of coming-of-old-age novels. It should be an adventure, in many ways, as the characters navigate the twilight years.

Until the next time.... 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Back to the Manuscript -- Part 20 (Promote, Promote, Promote)

My novel, "Old Ways and New Days," has been out in the marketplace for about three weeks. But that doesn't mean the publishing process is over for the novel.

While I wish it was over, to some extent, it's not exactly on cruise control at this point. Now the focus has turned to marketing and promotion.

Simply trying to get the word out about my most amazing, inspirational, nail-biting, grand, sparkling and awesome coming-of-old-age novel (how's that for hyperbole!) is occupying a lot of my time. 

Since publication, I've mailed (yes, snail mailed) postcards to various libraries, book stores, friends and others), set up a promotion on (see widget at bottom of page), used Facebook and Twitter to tell the world about the book, provided the novel to reviewers, and did some old-fashioned, word-of-mouth promotion. 

I'll also be attending the 34th annual Kentucky Book Fair on Nov. 14, in Frankfort. I've also be going to the Authors Fair in Madison, Ind., on April 2-3, 2016. Between November and April, I hope to line up a few more events and speaking engagements. 

I've also provided my publisher with some keywords for my novels that are offered on Amazon, hoping to boost sales on all seven titles. 

Have I started on a new novel? Well, yes and no.

My next novel is a sequel to "Old Ways and New Days," and I've already written about 30k words. I'll get back to that task after the book fair, if not sooner. I'm on the book fair's executive committee so that takes up a lot of my time with compiling the catalog, TV interviews, news releases, and more. 

So, as you can tell, I've been a busy writer the past three weeks. I think I'll need a vacation very soon. 

Until the next time...