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Help for Indie Authors! Introducing “Indie Author Promotions”

Are you an Indie Author struggling to get your name out there? Are you lost in the whacky world of writing? Overwhelmed by Twitter, Facebook and CreateSpace?

If so, this new service for Indies is just for you!

Bestselling Author Lisa V. Proulx has created Indie Author Promotions with the desire to help struggling authors by “Giving Indie Authors Roots So Their Dreams Can Grow.”

A published author since 2004, Lisa wants to share her experience with authors who need help when it comes to promoting. With services such as: Book Promotion, Proofreading, Copy Editing, Featured Author Interviews, Tweets Only, and help with Facebook, Twitter, and Createspace, Lisa has created a “one stop shop” to benefit authors with her experience.

She will also be adding Book Cover Designs soon!

book-with-tree-copy

How it all got started

Two years ago, Lisa met an out of work Irishman, Chris Rush, who was visiting the United States. He wanted to be a screenwriter, and after talking to him and hearing his passion for writing, she decided to take him under her wing. She convinced him to go back to work and write a book instead of a screenplay.

She worked with him for two years, giving him names of editors, graphic artists, and even became a second set of eyes for his work by proofreading every word he wrote. Finally, his first book, a horror novel, “Folklore” was born and Lisa even set up his first book signing in his native Ireland in June 2016. He invited Lisa to be his special guest author at a signing in Dublin. This was his first book signing ever and Lisa’s first European one.

Since then, Chris’ career has taken off! His books are now sold all over Ireland and he has been interviewed multiple times by newspapers, on radio, and on television. He was even invited to join the Paranormal Research team of Ireland (PRI) where he gets to live out his dreams of being a ghost hunter.

I got to sit down with Lisa who was eager to talk about her new venture.

                                                                                                So Lisa, tell me a little bit about yourself.

Hi, I am the bestselling author of 10 books, I’ve been ranked in the Top 100 Authors on Amazon Memoirs for 2014, 2015, and 2016, and I have been a newspaper feature writer and columnist for 16 years.

What is Indie Author Promotions and how did it come about?

I wrote my first book in 2004, Puncture, and it went nowhere. I continued to write a few short books that did the same thing, they just sat there. It took me years of learning, reading, studying, and just plain hard work, to figure out what I was doing wrong and what I needed to get the ball rolling with my books. Indie Author Promotions came about when I decided that so many Indie Authors needed help and I wanted to show them the ropes to help get them started.

 

What were you doing wrong?

I didn’t know how to promote or how to engage with my audience. I was just trying to sell a book instead of what I should have been doing and that was to become a friendly face and become someone my readers could get to know and hopefully like.

 

Do you see a lot of authors making the same mistake?

Oh absolutely! I see it all the time. Some new authors get on Twitter and do nothing but say, “Buy my book!” No one wants to hear that or buy a book by someone they are not connected with. Sometimes you might see a book that looks interesting and you buy it but people want to engage and know there is a human behind their posts and their tweets.

 

How can Indie Author Promotions help a new author or one who is struggling?

I can help them because I was them. I offer affordable pre-packaged social media programs designed to engage their audience. To me, I would rather work with a fellow Indie Author instead of a large corporation who will charge you a lot of money and not take a personal interest. I am very hands on and don’t let you fly alone until you are ready.

For example, when Chris’ book came out in March of this year, I didn’t just forget about him. I promoted him all over social media. I helped him with flyers, letters, book signings, and even booked him for his first American signing which he had in October of this year. Although he is now flying on his own, he still comes to me for advice and I am so proud of him! I see his Facebook posts and his Twitter tweets, he listened to me and is doing a great job of promoting himself. He travels all over the place doing book signings, interviews, and he is living his dreams as a paranormal investigator.

Two years ago, he was a struggling out of work wanna be screenwriter who had no clue how to get started. Now, he is living his dream!

 

Hearing a story like the one with your Irish friend is very impressive. What made it work for Chris?

He listened to me. He did everything I told him to do and he didn’t do anything I told him not to do. He was passionate about being a writer and he listened, plain and simple.

 

So dreams really can come true?

Absolutely! I am a firm believer if you can see it, you can achieve it.

 

Tell me about the service to be a Featured Author on a bestselling author’s blog.

This is a really neat service! I interview you, gather photos, links, and feature you on my Author Blog.

One author interview on my Author Blog will include: Interview with you, photos of you and your book (s), and links to all outlets that sell your book. I then promote you for one week on the blog that will go out to thousands of followers on Facebook and Twitter plus be retweeted by my followers, and their followers, and so on.

I also promote you on the Indie Author Promotions Facebook page. On the day of the interview, I will send you the link so you can promote it too! It’s a pretty cool deal! I make you the star and feature you for one entire seven days!

All for $50 for one week!

You also offer proofreading and copy editing?

 

Yes, I am a certified Proofreader and Copy Editor and I do all the work myself at reasonable rates.

 

Did I hear correctly, you will soon be offering Book Cover Designs?

Yes! As an Indie Author I either pay for my book covers to be designed or I create them myself. Both ways have been great and both had caused me grief. I am not just an author, I am also an artist. It all comes down to being someone an author can trust to take care of their baby (their book) and you can trust me.

 

This all sounds so exciting and I can’t wait for Indie Author Promotions to take off! Where can an Indie Author contact you?

Thanks so much! They can email me at IndieAuthorPromotions@peoplepc.com or check out my website and contact me through the site www.indieauthorpromotions.com

 

Testimonials

(There are many more on the site, however they were not clients of Lisa’s at the time)

“Lisa really could not do enough for me. She made the process seem so easy and pain free, something I will always be thankful for. Being a person who will always look for a second set of eyes to look over my work, I would have no issue recommending her. Lisa’s promoting and support has helped me gain so many new contacts and followers, she really knows how to get your name out there.” Bestselling Irish Author Chris Rush, author of “Folklore” and the soon to be released, “All Shall Suffer” coming Friday, January 13, 2017.

Thanks for stopping by! ♥

lisa-hippy-picmonkeyLisa V. Proulx

http://www.lisavproulx.com

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At My Age…Weeding Your Garden of Life

I am a really cool person.

I don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t do drugs and I am passionate about many things. I love animals, nature, summer days and baking.

I enjoy eating steamed shrimp and crablegs and I never drink soda but when I eat seafood, I want a Coke.

I don’t spread rumors or lies, I don’t fight or create drama and I don’t like to be around people who do.

I wear my seat belt, I do the speed limit (usually) and I have never done anything that broke the law.

I collect Wanted posters and anything to do with Witches.

I believe in ghosts, demons and aliens.

I also speak to everyone I meet on the street and say, Hey, how are you today? 🙂 I treat everyone as though they are my friend and I love them already.

I am loyal, faithful and kind. I can be your best friend or your worst enemy and I have no problem with walking away from a long standing friendship or relationship that no longer feeds my soul. I’ve done it many times and I will do it again.

I understand that life is not always rosy and there are days when life slams you and hits you right in the face. Believe me, I have lived through my share of pain and heartache and to be honest, it has made me a better person.

But at my age, I simply do not want to be around negative people. I try my darndest to bring them up, encourage them, inspire them and sometimes it works. Other times, it’s like beating my head against the wall and I get so drained from these emotional vampires.

I don’t want to log on to FaceBook and Twitter and read about someone’s drama, fights, constant problems, vulgarity, negative thoughts and actions…I just don’t.

I know people get sick, die and ask for prayer…I am not talking about these people.

I am talking about those who never have a kind word to say to anyone, never have a positive thought to spread out into the world, comment on my posts with negative or insulting comments or political crap that simply does not interest me or people who tag me without my permission. That is a big no no.

So, I have made the decision that starting on January 1st, I am weeding out my garden and clearing out any and all weeds from my FaceBook and Twitter.

I have already started by taking them out of my Newsfeed and next is total deletion.

At my age, I want to be surrounded by peace, harmony and positive vibes.

Who else is going to be weeding their garden in the new year? ❤

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Meet British Author MATTHEW ROWE~Author of BETTER OFF DEAD

Happy Sunday everyone!

Well, if you’ve been wondering where I have been, let me tell you. It’s all good but I had some computer issues and have been off line for the last week. That really sucked! I am so used to just hopping on the computer, typing away and BAM! I got shut down for a few days but I am here now, back and stronger than ever.

I had to miss the FREAKY FRIDAY topic last week but will write about it next time. The topic then will be LET’S TALK ABOUT DEMONS!

March is almost here and you know what that means! Starting next month, I will be hosting ROCKSTAR WEDNESDAY and offering you a backstage pass so to speak into some of the coolest bands I know.

If you are a band or a solo performer (any genre) and you would like some FREE publicity, drop me a line and let me know. I am scheduling now for March!

Today is AUTHOR OF THE WEEK and this segment will be moving to Monday’s next month so I can concentrate on my SIX SENTENCE SUNDAY.

I will also be letting you in on a new book that I am writing and it SO totally different than what you are used to from me. It’s not HORROR, not INSPIRATIONAL, but…well, you’ll just have to come back and see.

Since I have been off line for a week, I will be getting back on tomorrow (Monday) and filling you in on everything that is new.

For now…welcome to AUTHOR OF THE WEEK and my guest, British author MATTHEW ROWE!

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by to say hello! 🙂

~AUTHOR OF THE WEEK~

Meet author MATTHEW ROWE

Matthew is the British author of the urban fantasy

BETTER OFF DEAD

“A world where sorcerers are saucy, vampires are a pain in the neck and everyone is clawing to be on top.

The city of Londinium is in a period of civil unrest, but it’s not because the tube is always late, or because people are tired of zombies shedding limbs in public, nor is it because the humans are tired of trying to eke out a living only to meet a messy end in a dark alley.

An unknown vampire has proclaimed himself ruler, and if there is one thing the people, both living and dead, hate more than a tyrannical ruler, it’s a secretive one. One young vampire is charged with discovering the prince’s identity. The only problem: he doesn’t want to.

Ramses, the world’s first genuine cat burglar, is far more concerned with eliminating the threat posed by the feline race rather than that of some pesky vampire lord, a dragon and civil war.

Can this undead slacker learn to grow up at last, foil this mysterious plot and halt the biggest supernatural conflict in history or will he need help from his mummy?”

Matthew, who was born in Boston,Lincs Sheffield, UK and now lives in Sendai, Miyagi, Japan describes himself as: “A recently radioactive, paranoid earthquake survivor who is pretty sure he has found his place in the world, even if it’s a bit shaky.

BETTER OFF DEAD is his first novel, but far from being his last. He hopes it goes some way to showing his determination to be a writer, since the bigwigs are a little unsure about his mutterings, strange smells and capability. Not just as a writer, but also as a human being.

He’s only just hit his thirties though, so he has plenty of time to learn how to dance.

He would also like you to know that he has a shiny website that showcases his range of creative efforts at an address not entirely dissimilar to this one, www.mattcannotwrite.co.uk “

I had the pleasure of talking to Matthew recently and getting to know him a bit better. He is an awesome guy with a quirky sense of humor which I love and I enjoyed his anwers and his advice!

ENJOY!

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I think I always knew. Is that destiny?  I don’t remember a time when I didn’t. However, the first time I significantly thought about it was at Junior school. I was probably about 7 years old. We all took a fun personality-career on a clunky old BBC computer and the top suggested career for me was ‘author’. The only activities I really liked in Junior school was when we got to write something creative. I always wrote little bits in my free time. I even started my first novel when I was 16 years old, but the story ran out after 7 chapters.

It wasn’t until I was in my final year of university, studying a subject that I had lost interest in and couldn’t get anywhere with that I decided writing was the only thing that would make me happy and so I had to pursue it doggedly. I needed something to pursue doggedly because such a method wasn’t working with girls either.

What type of genre do you write in?

My only consistent genre is supernatural. I’d like to say that I write modern fairy tales but that isn’t always true. All of my stories have some kind of dark, other worldly element. Sometimes I use it for humour, sometimes I don’t. My anthology is a mixture of horror, comedy, science-fiction and straight sword and sorcery.

 

My novel is an urban fantasy comedy that spoofs horror stereotypes. I like to experiment and I like to play with peoples expectations, so my stories are usually a mix of genres that serve that purpose. I’d rather try and make someone laugh with a tap dancing werewolf than try and push things to make a normal werewolf more scary…. or would I? Y’know what I mean, Harry?
What inspires you to write outside of one genre?

I like to be original. I hate cliches. If I use them, it is to poke fun at them or set up a bigger premise. If I wrote for one genre, I’d probably write a story that’s been done before. If I mix it up, no one knows what to expect. Even me! I just let the story go where it wants to and then I reign it in to make a tight plot at the end of the process. Also, monkeys; they are my inspiration in anything. If you think about monkeys they can’t be serious, even when they try. They are funny and cute in everything they do. That’s me, but without the cuteness and maybe more of the bad smell.

Where do you get your ideas for your writing?

Other peoples’ ideas. I don’t steal them, but I ask myself “what if (such and such) happened here?” or “What if he did that instead?”. I read books and I watch movies and ideas come to me from those stories. Usually its a character trait, journey or a situation. I expand on it from there, searching out a purpose for the story and what genre I think would suit it best. Usually it is clear immediately if it’s going to be a comedy story or serious. In my anthology ‘Not All Of Them About Zombies’ I have an introduction for each story and I talk about what inspired me to write each of them. Dreams are another good source. It can be hard to find a coherent plot in dreams but some of my best stories come from them.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

Douglas Adams, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. They ARE my childhood. Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy was certainly one of the first ‘grown up’ books I ever read. I remember the second time I ever read it was when I was 8 or 9. It was just so bizarre. The comedy was most important and it was so strong that it didn’t matter that there wasn’t really a plot. That was part of its charm; the characters bounced around from one mad event to the next and it was oh so witty. Since then I have read most of his books several times.

 I then got into Terry Pratchett and devoured most of his books right through my teenage years. His humour was more subtle but I loved how he did something different with the fantasy genre and poked fun at both real and fictional worlds as he went, and still does!

Then in my late teens and onward I discovered Neil Gaiman, and I can honestly say that he writes the stories I want to write. Most of them are gritty but magical, realistic and fantastic, real modern fairy tales. He still is my favourite author. I even love the films of his books. His traits are so strong that they shine through even a secondhand production and sing. I could watch a movie I had no idea he had written and know it was him before the credits rolled. Mainly because it probably says in the opening titles but you know what I mean.

In your opinion, what key parts of a story make it great?

Characters. If you don’t have interesting characters then your reader isn’t going to stick around for a whole novel to see what happens to them. I think dramas, realistic tales, are far more difficult to write for because you have to make a believably flawed character that isn’t boring or annoying. I’m not sure I can do that. So I write comedy a lot of the time and to do that I merely need characters who are bizarre and over-the-top enough to amuse the reader and keep them going to see what madness they get into next. That’s easier for me, but the characters are still flawed. They just have hugely exaggerated flaws.

Take Ramses from my first novel ‘Better Off Dead’. He’s a vampire who really loves his unlife, and he has a problem with cats. He has a problem with cats in the same way that Hitler had a problem with Jews. He truly believes they are a malignant race hell bent on world domination. He’s constructed an intricate and bizarre fantasy world that comes into question during his adventures. A lot of the comedy comes from his reactions to that as he learns to grow up.

My next novel has a much deeper character arc, but it’s still a comedy. That’s going to be a SF comedy called No Technobabble Please, We’re Earthlings! and it’ll be released in e-book form, rather appropriately, this year. There’s some details on my site, but I don’t want to give away too much yet.

By the way, I love cats. Please don’t think that an author shares the views of his characters. That’s a pet peeve of mine and if you think so, I will come and eat your babies. Only joking…. Maybe.

What activities do you do for inspiration?

I live my life. I’m never short of inspiration; I love movies. I read whenever I can – though I find I have to make time for it nowadays; I play games. Anything that gets me involved in another world or gives me time to think about this one will give me inspiration. I often go on and on in my blog about the weirdest ideas that were triggered by a single mundane event in my day or a conversation I had. You wouldn’t believe it if I told you. So I recommend you read it, and comment! Every time my blog gets a comment an otherwise disabled baby gets to be born with all it’s limbs. I have a special understanding with God. True story.

Do you belong to any writing communities, or critique groups?

I used to. I don’t right now. I’m between writing groups, you might say. When I first started writing seriously I joined a little e-mail group and that was nice for a start. It was very private and we could all build each other’s confidence and protect our egos. Then I stepped out into the big wide world and I joined a site called Fanstory.com– I don’t know if it’s still going… *checks* … yes it is, but everyone I know there left long ago. It sounds like it’s for fan fiction only, but it’s not.

For a tiny yearly fee you can post work and you are encouraged to read others by a cool coins system. You can then use the coins to buy adverts and promote your work on the site. I made some really good friends there (Marzipan!) and learned a lot from them. That’s where I picked 82.334% of my writing skills, I think. It’s hard to tell without a calculator handy.  People I know started leaving and I left too because I couldn’t get critiques anymore. After that I started trying to sell my work.

 

I also do a writers circle by mail when I am in the UK. There’s a small group of us and we post a chapter at a time. The method is very personal and the work is very good. It’s so nice to sit down with the submissions and have a read through. I got wrapped up in the stories… I miss them. I’m still in touch with most of it’s members so I hope they can be successful too!

Has your work won any awards?
I haven’t won anything outstanding. I’ve won the Dark Fiction UK Story of the Month award for my short story called Don’t Fear the Reaper. That’s a story that has different meaning depending on who reads it. I like to make the reader think and I don’t give any solid answers for the events that transpire in that tale. It’s part of my anthology so anyone can easily read it.
 
I coud probably win more awards if I entered competitions but I’ve never been organised enough or had enough free time to seek them out. I’m terrible at the research and marketing side of the writing career.
Do you have a day job?
I certainly do, and I moved to Japan to get it. I’m from England but it was impossible for me to get a job there. I had been in university too long and I had no experience at anything. So I couldn’t get a menial job to pay the bills and I wasn’t good enough for anything I was really interested in.
 
Now, though, I’m happily working in Japanese High Schools teaching English to the cutest, most well-bahaved and respectful students in the world. Seriously, it’s mad how different they are to children back home. It’s a great job though. I’m practically a celebrity for just existing and any actual work I do is pretty rewarding. It can be shallow at times but I enjoy it. It pays well enough to keep me alive while I’m writing. That’s all that matters to me.
What advice would you give to others who are interested in pursuing a career in writing?
If you are anything like me, before you even try to publish or get noticed, you have to open yourself up to criticism. It’s seems to be a writer’s nature to be overly defensive of work and arrogant of ability, but you have to listen to people who read your work. The more you do it, the more you will be able to see what is good advice and what is just negative opinion. After a few months of it, on Fanstory, I could even tell what was jealous opinion from someone of a lower ability. Then you can really focus on improving your writing and make leaps and bounds in your skill.
 
Second, write what you love and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
 
Third, build a network and stay in touch. I wasted far too much time trying to get published the traditional way and missed the start of this e-book revolution. This was because i was slogging along on my own and had no one to inform me of other ways of publishing. You also need to build a name for yourself to get your work read and you’ll need a network for that. Unless you are already famous for something else…. just don’t go driving around town putting small animals on spikes or anything.

What is the title of your upcoming/newly released novel, and where can we find it?

My recent and first novel is ‘Better Off Dead’ a Young Adult Urban Fantasy set in a world where sorcerers are saucy, vampires are a pain in the neck and everyone is clawing to be on top.

 It’s available from Lulu.com now (http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/better-off-dead/18790219) and is set to appear on Amazon by the time you read this! Check my web site for links or search for Better Off Dead by Matthew Rowe on Amazon! Of course, readers can always contact me for a signed copy. I accept paypal.

What is the best way for your fans to contact you?

My website (http://www.MattCannotWrite.co.uk) has direct e-mail links and I watch comments on my blog like I’m a hawk and they are juicy little rabbits. My blog is pretty new so I’m at that impatient and boring time of building an audience. I literally can’t wait for regular readers and when they come I shall shower them with love, sweets, monkeys and disease free prostitutes…. prostitutes aren’t available to minors. Sorry. But serious, I love interacting with people and I intend to entertain. I also do regular writing activities so it’s a good place for writers too.

What is your ultimate goal/dream concerning your writing?

The usual; movies, fame, gold statues, being more read than the bible. Can you imagine a world where the major belief system is based upon my work? With all the vampires, demons, murderers, apocalypses, monkeys, zombies, school bullies and deadly diseases there will be marginally less violence than under Christianity, or Islam.

Any final thoughts?

I probably should have a bath….

What a hoot it was talking to Matthew! I grew up watching the BBC and I LOVE British humor.
Thank you so much Matt for stopping by and taking the time from your busy day to spend time with us.
I wish you much success and happy days in your writing and I look forward to hearing back from you about your career! 🙂

BETTER OFF DEAD can be found on Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Better-Off-Dead-Matthew-Rowe/dp/1447873270/ref=sr_1_9?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1330275233&sr=1-9

LuLu.com http://www.lulu.com/

Other works by MATTHEW ROWE

“NOT ALL OF THEM ABOUT ZOMBIES”

How to contact Matthew:

His site: http://www.mattcannotwrite.co.uk/

FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/aliasbillpardy

Goodreads:
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13365849-better-off-dead

 

~CONTACT ME~

I love to hear from my readers, whether good, bad or anything in between!

If you are interested in reviewing my books, interviewing me or being a guest on my blog, please contact me at Magicforest@peoplepc.com

Let me know if you want to be added to my distro list for upcoming book info!
I’ll also let you know about new releases, contests and other fun stuff and you’ll find out all the juicy stuff before anyone else does!

Twitter: @LisaVProulx

Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&search-alias=books&field-author=Lisa%20V.%20Proulx

Barnes&Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s?store=NOOKSTORE&keyword=lisa+v.+proulx

Smashwords Author Profile http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/lisavproulx

My blog, The Main Artery:  https://lisavproulx.wordpress.com/

FaceBook Author Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lisa-V-Proulx-Author-Fan-Page/223212131077410

And as always, thank you for your continued love and support! 🙂

 (¸.·’*Lisa¸.·*´¨) (¸.·’*

 “No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Meet Author JOYCE T. STRAND of the JILLIAN HILLCREST MYSTERY SERIES!

Hi everyone!

Welcome to Sunday and you know what that means, AUTHOR OF THE WEEK! Starting in March, I am moving this segment to Mondays so I can work on my SIX SENTENCE SUNDAY and some other goodies that I am working on.

I am also going to be hosting ROCK STAR WEDNESDAY and I will be letting you in on a backstage pass into the lives of some awesome musicians!

They are calling for snow here today in Maryland but it isn’t supposed to amount to very much, thank goodness.

Today I am hosting mystery writer Joyce T. Strand and I hope you enjoy meeting her! She is a very intelligent and talented author who will take you into the world of Jillian Hillcrest.

I hope you have a great day and thanks so much for stopping by to say hello! 🙂

~AUTHOR OF THE WEEK~

Today I would like to introduce you to the lovely and talented mystery writer, JOYCE T. STRAND!

Much like her fictional character, Jillian Hillcrest, served as head of corporate communications at several biotech and high-tech companies in Silicon Valley for more than 25 years. Unlike Jillian, however, she did not encounter murder. Rather, she focused on publicizing her companies and their products. Joyce received her Ph.D. from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. and her B.A. from Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA.

Joyce is the author ON MESSAGE which is the first book in the  JILLIAN HILLCREST MYSTERY SERIES

“Murder intrudes on Jillian Hillcrest’s routine as head communications executive at a small Silicon Valley biotechnology company. She is eagerly staying “on message” to inform investors, the media, and the community about her company, Harmonia Therapeutics, and its latest drug candidate in Phase 2 clinical trials for the difficult-to-diagnose and treat autoimmune disease, lupus. When someone near to her is murdered, a determined San Francisco police inspector involves her in the investigation, convinced she is key to solving the crime. She co-operates fully only to find that solving a murder is more hazardous than writing press releases. On Message is the first of a series of Jillian Hillcrest mysteries. “

I had the pleasure recently of interviewing Joyce and getting to know her a lot better! She offers some very good advice for writers and like her, I enjoy listening to people. It really helps me with my character’s dialogue. I am excited for her and look forward to more of her books in the series!

1.) When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I have always enjoyed writing – in junior high I realized that I prefer essay questions to multiple choice, and I always chose writing papers over taking exams. When I searched for my first job, “writing skills” were at the top of the list of my selling points. I spent more than 25 years in a career that required writing, such as, 100s of press releases, by-lined articles, white papers, SEC filing documents, speeches, etc. I discovered that writing could be therapeutic.

However, I decided to become a writer of my own fictional novels with my own plots – as opposed to corporate promotion — approximately a year and a half ago. I was unsuccessful at finding a job, and was not happy about it. My husband suggested that I write mysteries – since I like them so much. Seemed like a good idea. So I started to write the first Jillian Hillcrest mystery. Then I attended the La Jolla Writers Conference where I listened to authors, publishers, agents and others involved in the publishing world. That’s when I really decided that I wanted to be a writer.

2.) What type of genre do you write in? 


The Jillian Hillcrest series is current day mystery/suspense. Next I plan to write historical mystery/suspense.

3.) What inspires you to write in this genre? 



Bottom line: I really enjoy reading mysteries. It is usually clear who the good guys are, and usually they win.  I like solving the puzzles to help them win, being kept in suspense, and meeting the hard-nosed private detectives, lawyers and cops in the Connelly, Patterson, Grisham, Baldacci books; or the amateur sleuths like Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, Miss Marple and the more modern, less innocent Lisbeth Salander. I find these books entertaining and usually I even learn something from them. But mostly I really like solving the puzzle so that the bad guys get caught.

4.) Where do you get your ideas for your writing? 


I get my ideas for the Jillian Hillcrest mystery series from two sources: (1) real cases in the news, particularly cases that could impact a PR executive in California and (2) my experiences as a PR executive for 25 years at several high tech and biotech firms.

5.) Who are your favorite authors and why? 


My all-time favorite author is James Clavell.  Reading Shogun was a unique experience because I actually shared the perspective of historical Japan and what it meant to be a Shogun. 

John Grisham – his legal thrillers keep me engrossed, and I appreciate learning about significant issues. I like his characters, particularly in A Time to Kill, The Client and The Pelican Brief.  Although not perfect, his protagonists exhibit courage and resourcefulness.
 
Stieg Larsson’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – couldn’t put his books down; I really appreciated sharing the characters’ perspective of Sweden.

For character, context and well-written literature – Harper Lee’s To Kill Mockingbird is a favorite, and Atticus Finch is a true hero; and John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday have a lot to say about friendship.

6.) In your opinion, what key parts of a story make it great?

(1) Making the reader care about the characters so that we want to engage in their joy, successes, and pain. (2) Providing a predicament that clearly exhibits their character traits as they work to overcome it. (3) Enabling the reader to be part of the story and its characters.

7.) What activities do you do for inspiration? 



(1) Read books, blogs, newspapers.
(2) Listen closely to conversations.
(3) Watch and listen to people – at the supermarket, in an emergency, at a performance

8.) Do you belong to any writing communities, or critique groups?

The La Jolla Writer’s Conference
Sisters in Crime
Goodreads.
WoMen’s Literary Cafe

9.) Has your work won any awards?

Not yet!


10.) Do you have a day job? 



I do some part-time consulting. It would be difficult to write and have a full-time job – especially to self-publish.  Marketing a book is time-consuming. I have a lot of respect for authors who have a full time job and write at the same time.

11.) What advice would you give to others who are interested in pursuing a career in writing?

Just do it. Start to write. Then just keep at it.  If you have difficulty getting started, create a list of your characters and think about details to describe them.  If you start to produce a book or short story, but begin to lose heart, check out a writer’s conference in your area to “feel out” the writer’s world and get a sense of direction – they are typically not expensive, and you can meet lots of people and learn a lot about a writer’s world in just a couple days.

It’s all about perseverance. 

12.) What is the title of your upcoming/newly released novel, and where can we find it?

The title of my first Jillian Hillcrest mystery is ON MESSAGE. You can find it anywhere e-books are published, including the Kindle (Amazon.com), the Nook, or I-book.  If you want a paperback, go to my web site at http://joycestrand.com  Eventually I hope to distribute it more widely as a paperback. 


 
13.) What is the best way for your fans to contact you?

My web site is the hub of all my activities, so the best place to start is there.  http://joycestrand.com  My e-mail address is joyce@joycestrand.com
You can also keep up to date with what’s happening to Jillian Hillcrest by going to her website and blog:  http://jillianhillcrest.com; and http://jillianhillcrest.com/blog
Also, Jillian has her own Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jillian-Hillcrest/134951169919477  Twitter: Joyce Strand@joycetstrand
 
14.) What is your ultimate goal/dream concerning your writing?

To sell enough books to make house payments!

15.) Any final thoughts?

In today’s world, self-publishing is becoming more common place.  It is a viable alternative for new authors. At a minimum, authors need to consider it, and decide which way to publish.  When new authors decide to write a book, they also need to learn the business of publishing– the traditional publisher’s route or the self-publishing route.  The business of publishing and marketing a book is as critical as writing a book.

 

~REVIEWS FOR ON MESSAGE~

“There are many wonderful story lines in this book that are beautifully orchestrated to produce a masterpiece. I’m waiting for the next book to see where this author takes Jillian in her corporate and personal life.”

“I could not put this down!
Character development was great, Jillian is fun and awesome, and the knowledge of her profession provides some nice ‘education’ in a new and interesting field, her historic insight provides a nice base.
And the adventure! Pulls the reader in from the start and just does not drop pace!
Love the start, “damn, damn”, and my favorite line has to be the exclamation decrying the lack of vines in California!
Hercule and Ms. Christie, and Philip, I think you’ve all met a wonderful companion in the twenty-first century!”

“I could not put down Joyce Strand’s first book “On Message”! For a new author it kept me hooked just like the Myron Bolitar series by Harlan Coben or the Reacher series by Lee Child. It was easy to picture the locations in San Francisco since Ms. Strand did an excellent job of description without too many mundane details. I lived in the Silicon Valley area; SF was not as familiar to me but I could visualize where Jillian lived and the surrounding areas with all the local eateries. The threads of mystery with the biotech firm and internal company intrigue between executives and potential investors was fantastic. I can’t wait to see how Jillian handles the next situation she steps into… the teaser chapter makes me hope that I won’t have to wait too long to find out.”

ON MESSAGE can be found on Amazon.com Amazon.com

http://www.amazon.com/Message-Jillian-Hillcrest-Mystery-ebook/dp/B006GF1V3I/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1329669452&sr=1-1

It is also available on  iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/on-message/id485047383?mt=11

Thank you so much Joyce for visiting us today. Thank you too for hosting me on your site. It was a blast and I wish you many blessings in life and in your writing career! 🙂

~CONTACT ME~

I love to hear from my readers, whether good, bad or anything in between!

If you are interested in reviewing my books, interviewing me or being a guest on my blog, please contact me at Magicforest@peoplepc.com

Let me know if you want to be added to my distro list for upcoming book info!

I’ll also let you know about new releases, contests and other fun stuff and you’ll find
out all the juicy stuff before anyone else does!

Twitter: @LisaVProulx

Amazon.com
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&search-alias=books&field-author=Lisa%20V.%20Proulx

Barnes&Noble
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s?store=NOOKSTORE&keyword=lisa+v.+proulx

Smashwords Author Profile
http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/lisavproulx

My blog, The Main Artery:  https://lisavproulx.wordpress.com/

FaceBook Author Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lisa-V-Proulx-Author-Fan-Page/223212131077410

And as always, thank you for your continued love and support! 🙂

*´¨)
¸.·*´¸.·*´¨)
(¸.·´ (¸.·’*Lisa¸.·*´¨)
(¸.·’*

“When a man is sufficiently motivated, discipline will take care of itself.”
– Sir Alexander Paterson

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Let’s talk about WITCHES! Wicca/Salem Witch Trails/Bewitched

Happy Friday everyone!

Two glorious words aren’t they, Happy and Friday! 🙂

I hope everyone is looking forward to the weekend. They are calling for snow here in Maryland on Sunday and the word S*N*O*W chills me to the bone! I hate the cold and anything to do with it. If I think of Hell, I don’t see fiery pits of flame and ash, I see cold, desolate and snow!

Well, today is Friday which means  I am writing about a topic that you might find interesting.

LET’S TALK ABOUT WITCHES is the theme today. I love witches and love to read and learn the history of them. I always dressed up as a witch as a little girl for Halloween and probably kept the sterotype of a big hat and a boomstick alive but hey, I was only a kid! Give me a break! 🙂

This Sunday will be my AUTHOR OF THE WEEK segment where I am hosting author Joyce Strand, author of the Jillian Hilcrest Mystery Series. Stop by to meet her and hear about what it’s like to be a mystery writer.

Starting in March, I will be changing the day for my author segment and just moving them to Monday. I want to start my SIX SENTENCE SUNDAY and don’t want to distract from my guest authors. I like to devote the whole section to them on their special day!

Also starting in March, I will be hosting ROCK STAR WEDNESDAY where I will host a band or a solo artist once a week. I love rock stars but you don’t have to be a rock band to join in on the fun. I enjoy all genres of music so contact me and let me know if you are interested in some FREE PROMOTION!

So, I hope you enjoy this edition of Friday’s topic.

Thanks for stopping by to say hello and have a great day! 🙂

~LET’S TALK ABOUT WITCHES~

I love witches! I always have and always will. The very first story that I ever wrote was called LILY WAS A WITCH, I was about 8 years old. It was about a little girl living in a family of witches and she knew she was different from the other children and her family was not accepted in the “real” world.

As a kid, I grew up watching Bewitched and wanted to be Samantha and just wrinkle my nose and make things appear.

As I grew older, I came to realize that the show was not real but was based on the actual faith of witchcraft.

My mother was a psychic/medium so I grew up in the world of the occult. My father was a staunch but loving Frenchman who thought the whole idea of ghosts and goblins was pure and utter nonsense!

My mother was also a Cherokee Indian who felt that her native beliefs were very closely related to what many people call witchcraft today.

Mixing herbs and saying prayers and chants are not that much different than casting a spell. Isn’t a spell just a prayer?

I have seen her do many strange things to get the results she wanted without riding a broom and flying through the Halloween night. But she would ask the tree for permission to remove its branch.

She was a kindred spirit with our animal brothers and sisters and was a kind, loving and forgiving soul. Witch or Native American? Both?

Was she a witch or just an elder in her Cherokee tribe? Was she praying or casting a spell? Did she ever harm others? No, that was not her way.

What I believe and know from the Wicca faith is that it is a gentle and very misunderstood religion.

The people I have known to be Wiccan are kind, loving and very spiritual people who are healers in some form or the other. They want to make the world a better place and through their love and harmony for Mother Earth, they spread that love throughout their lifetime, hoping to make a difference in every one they meet.

It took me a long time to be able to come out of the broom closet! Remember what they did to us back in old Salem? No wonder people are afraid to admit that they prefer to follow the old religion or otherwise known as “the Craft.”

Questions for me about Wicca:

Do you believe in God?

Absolutely! Just as I believe that it takes a male and a female to create a life, so it takes a male God and female Goddess (Mother Nature) to create the Earth.

Do you worship the devil?

Of course not! Wiccans are not devil worshippers! I do believe that there is evil in the world. If you believe in God and his angels, why would you not believe in his adversary and his demons?

Do you cast spells?

I have in my lifetime but not for bad. Like my mother, I simply believe that a spell is just a prayer.

Do you harm animals?

Are you kidding me? I love animals and they are my passion. I feel an empathy with them and that love creates a bond between us like no other. I have raised Rottweilers for over 13 years and could not live my life with animals around me.

Do you harm other people?

No, I do not. I believe in the Wiccan belief that if you wish harm on another or try to harm someone, it will come back to you three fold. Who needs that kind of aggravation! J

Wiccan morality is ruled according to the

Wiccan Rede, which (in part) states “An it harm none, do what ye wilt.” (“An” is an archaic word meaning “if”.) Others follow the slightly adapted Rede of “An it harm none do what ye will; if harm it does, do what ye must”. Either way, the Rede is central to the understanding that personal responsibility, rather than a religious authority, is where moral structure resides

Do you belong to a coven?

No, I prefer to be a solitary and work on my own but I am open to trying new things and meeting like~minded people.

Do you celebrate Christmas?

Yes, I love Christmas!

 

The article below from http://www.mdpagans.com/wiccaisnot.html describes how Wicca draws from the Old Traditions of Witchcraft. While this is true, we would simply like to clarify that Witchcraft and Wicca, while simular in many respects, are not the same. One can be a Witch, without being a Wiccan, just as a person can be a Christian, without being a Baptist. Wicca is a recognized religion, while Witchcraft itself is not considered a religion. Thus, Wicca might best be described as a modern religion, based on ancient Witchcraft traditions.

What Is Wicca

“Contrary to what those who choose to persecute or lie about us wish to believe, Wicca is a very peaceful, harmonious and balanced way of life which promotes oneness with the divine and all which exists.

Wicca is a deep appreciation and awe in watching the sunrise or sunset, the forest in the light of a glowing moon, a meadow enchanted by the first light of day. It is the morning dew on the petals of a beautiful flower, the gentle caress of a warm summer breeze upon your skin, or the warmth of the summer sun on your face. Wicca is the fall of colorful autumn leaves, and the softness of winter snow. It is light, and shadow and all that lies in between. It is the song of the birds and other creatures of the wild. It is being in the presence of Mother Earths nature and being humbled in reverence. When we are in the temple of the Lord and Lady, we are not prone to the arrogance of human technology as they touch our souls. To be a Witch is to be a healer, a teacher, a seeker, a giver, and a protector of all things. If this path is yours, may you walk it with honor, light and integrity”

~COOL SITES TO CHECK OUT ABOUT WICCA~

The Celtic Connection

http://www.wicca.com/celtic/wicca/wicca.htm

Suggested reading for Wiccan knowledge and understanding

http://www.wicca.com/celtic/catalog/books/suggested.htm

Pagan Pride

http://www.paganpride.org/resources/whatiswicca.html

Sugar Bane

http://blessedbe.sugarbane.com/wicca.htm

 ~SALEM WITCH TRIALS 1692~

“Lest terror be forgotten…”

“From June through September of 1692, nineteen men and women, all having been convicted of witchcraft, were carted to Gallows Hill, a barren slope near Salem Village, Massachusetts for hanging. Another man of over eighty years of age was pressed to death under heavy stones for refusing to submit to a trial on witchcraft charges. Hundreds of others faced accusations of witchcraft. Dozens languished in jail for months without trials. Then, almost as soon as it had begun, the hysteria that swept through Puritan Massachusetts ended.”

~THE INNOCENT~

Bridget Bishop

Hanged June 10, 1692

“I am no witch.
I am innocent.
I know nothing of it.”

Elizabeth Howe

Hanged June 19, 1692

“If it was the last moment I was to live,
God knows I am innocent…”

Susannah Martin

Hanged June 19, 1692

”I have no hand in witchcraft.”

Rebecca Nurse

Hanged June 19, 1692

“Oh Lord, help me! It is false. I am clear. For my life now lies in your hands….”

~PERSONS HANGED AND EXECUTED FOR WITCHCRAFT IN 1692~

~Bridget Bishop, June 10th
~Sarah Good, June 19th
~Elizabeth Howe, June 19th
~Susannah Martin, June 19th
~Sarah Wildes, June 19th

-Rebecca Nurse, June 19th
~George Burroughs, August 19th
~Martha Carrier, August 19th
~George Jacobs, August 19th
~John Proctor, August 19th
~John Willard, August 19th
~Giles Cory(pressed to death) September 19th
~Martha Cory, September 22nd
~Mary Easty, September 22nd
~Alice Parker, September 22nd
~Mary Parker, September 22nd
~Ann Pudeator, September 22nd
~Margaret Scott, September 22nd
~Wilmont Redd, September 22nd
~Samuel Wardwell, September 22nd

*One dog was also hanged, as he was believed to be a transformed witch.

Persons Who Were Accused of Witchcraft and Died in Prison While Awaiting Trial:

~Sarah Obsorne, 5/10/1692
~Roger Toothaker, 6/16/1692
~Ann Foster, 12/3/1692
~Lydia Dustin, 3/10/1693

*Giles Corey was “pressed” to death. He refused to stand trial after initially pleading guilty. Because he refused to be tried, he could not legally be convicted. The procedure of “pressing” was used to elicit a plea, one way or the other. He was placed on the ground, laying on his back and large rocks were placed on top of him. Giles, however, still refused to make a plea and was eventually crushed and killed by the weight of the rocks on top of him. The pressing lasted for 2 days, before Giles Corey finally succumbed. So, instead of making a plea, Giles Corey ended up making a statement!

~COOL SITES ABOUT SALEM~

From The Witchcraft Trials of Salem

http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/salem/SAL_ACCT.HTM

The Salem Witch Museum

http://www.salemwitchmuseum.com/

Salem Massachusetts Web Site

http://www.salemweb.com/memorial/

~COOL QUOTES ABOUT WITCHES~

“I was born on the night of Samhain, when the barrier between the worlds is whisper-thin and when magic, old magic, sings its heady and sweet song to anyone who cares to hear it.”
Carolyn MacCullough, Once a Witch
 
“Where shall we three meet again in thunder, lightning, or in rain? When the hurlyburly ‘s done, when the battle ‘s lost and won”
William Shakespeare, Macbeth
 
“Never put your faith in a Prince. When you require a miracle, trust in a Witch.”
Catherynne M. Valente, In The Night Garden
 
“Most books on witchcraft will tell you that witches work naked. This is because most books on witchcraft were written by men.”
Neil Gaiman
 
 
~THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK~ 
 
 
Alexandra Medford: Who are you?
Daryl Van Horne: Just your average, horny little devil.
 
 
~CONTACT ME~

I love to hear from my readers, whether good, bad or anything in between!

If you are interested in reviewing my books, interviewing me or being a guest on my blog, please contact me at Magicforest@peoplepc.com

Let me know if you want to be added to my distro list for upcoming book info!

I’ll also let you know about new releases, contests and other fun stuff and you’ll find
out all the juicy stuff before anyone else does!

Twitter: @LisaVProulx

Amazon.com
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&search-alias=books&field-author=Lisa%20V.%20Proulx

Barnes&Noble
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s?store=NOOKSTORE&keyword=lisa+v.+proulx

Smashwords Author Profile
http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/lisavproulx

My blog, The Main Artery:  https://lisavproulx.wordpress.com/

FaceBook Author Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lisa-V-Proulx-Author-Fan-Page/223212131077410

And as always, thank you for your continued love and support! 🙂

*´¨)
¸.·*´¸.·*´¨)
(¸.·´ (¸.·’*Lisa¸.·*´¨)
(¸.·’*

“Witchcraft … is a spiritual path. You walk it for nourishment of the soul, to commune with the life force of the universe, and to thereby better know your own life.”

Christopher Penczak, The Inner Temple of Witchcraft

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