Wednesday, September 26, 2007


When I started my research I was sure that a publisher would want to publish my book. I asked for higher guidance and met Valerie Connelly of Nightengale Press one week later. I pitched my book idea to her and she accepted it right there on the spot. That was easy, I thought.

The next week I signed a contract with Nightengale Press and went to work in earnest to get my book finished by January 1, 2007. It was a deadline we both thought was realistic. What I had not expected to encounter was having the field of stem cell research change so rapidly. I kept finding new material and meeting new people in the field. It was hard to find a stopping place! My deadline came and went, and I was still digging through the material I had gathered. Still more was coming in.

I was almost ready to send the manuscript to Valerie at the end of January. That’s when I met Don C. Reed. Don has a son named Roman who was paralyzed in a college football accident ten years ago. He established the Roman Reed Spinal Cord Injury Research Act, “Roman’s law” and has gathered more than $40 million to research geared toward the cure of paralysis. He also worked on the passage of California’s Proposition 71 and knew everyone in the stem cell research field. I spent the next two months collecting more information that really needed to go into the book. In fact, the book wouldn’t have the punch it carries without the information I gathered from Don and his colleagues.

Finally, the book had to go to print if it was going to meet the printing date and go with Valerie to BEA in June. After the galley copy was printed full of errors but time was up! I continued to rewrite, edit and polish the book. I sent 24 pages of changes to the text for the final version. Since Lightning Source had to make so many changes after they have set up the print.

The final version will be printed at the end of this month.

Yvonne Perry
Author of

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Thursday, September 13, 2007


I had written my first book in the fifth grade as part of a class project and I knew then that I wanted to one day be a writer. Of course, my parents had different ideas and being the dutiful daughter, I took a slight detour, but even during that detour, I always made stops along the road to continue writing. During college and then law school, my pile of books to read and novel were always at my side until finally, after my daughter was born, I decided to commit to becoming published. I felt I had accomplished many things except one – following the dream in my heart.

With that dream firmly in my mind, I devoted more time to my writing and learning more about my craft. I ended up taking an adult education class taught by none other than Fern Michaels, a New York Times best-selling author. She also turned out to be a neighbor at time which was quite exciting. Fern was delightful as a teacher and very down to earth. She also surprised me by asking for my manuscript when the class was over – she wanted to send it to her editor because she thought I had potential.

I was floored and so happy. Fern did send it out, but it wasn’t quite right for her publisher who asked me to write something contemporary. I tackled that and a two years later, had a new book. I sent that one out repeatedly, but it didn’t sell. In the meantime, I had started work on yet another book when I attended a NJRW conference (a great conference by the way. This year it’s on Oct 5 and 6). I met Gwynne Forster there and we started talking about our projects. She told me to send my book back to Kensington and I did. A few weeks later I got a letter saying that while that book was too long, did I have another. Included in the letter were a set of guidelines. I knew my new novel would work and sent it out.

It sold and eventually I would sell another 7 to Kensington. A success story some might say, and yes, it was until the line I was writing for folded.

By then I was in the mood to write something darker and started a vampire story. I began to shop it around and all I heard was, “It’ll never sell. No one is buying vampires.”

That didn’t stop me. I had to write this book and I did over a Christmas break. I shopped it around some more and ran into a Harlequin editor who I knew. She asked me what I was working on and I explained, only I knew it wasn’t right for them. Imagine my surprise when she said, “Send it.” I did and after many months of negotiations and revisions, Harlequion acquired what would become the first book in the ongoing THE CALLING vampire novels (I am working on another 3 for 2008 and 2009 which will bring it 10 books in the series).

So, what was I to do next? I’d done contemporary romances and was starting to build a name in paranormals. I needed a change of pace and decided I wanted to do a story about female relationships. Four friends actually in sexy South Beach . I had an agent by then and was certain that editors would receive it well and so with the synopsis and three chapters done, we sent it off.

What happened? Editors knew I could write a romance and I could write vampires, but could I write something about relationships? I quickly found out I had to write the entire book. Not easy to do when you are already working a full-time job, but I went home and so as to not lose momentum, worked on that book every free hour I had.

A month later, the book was done and within a few weeks, I had accepted an offer from Simon & Schuster for that book – SEX AND THE SOUTH BEACH CHICAS – and three others. SOUTH BEACH CHICAS CATCH THEIR MAN is the follow-up to the first story. I knew when I had finished the first book that the stories of all the friends were not yet over. In particular, I wanted to explore the relationship between Sylvia and Carlos, but also, the relationship between Sylvia and her mother, Virginia, since it reminded me so much of the friendship and love that my mom and I had shared. Plus, I wanted to show that forty-something women could be sexy!

I guess the moral of this story is – never give up. The publishing road is one filled with detours, bumps and sometimes immense potholes, but if writing is your passion, you’ll find a way to navigate around those obstacles and keep to your journey.

Caridad Pineiro

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

DOMINIC by Hazel Statham

I have to admit that when I started writing at fifteen it was with no thought of publication and it remained so throughout the years. It was just a compulsion that wouldn't be ignored and I wrote for myself, thoroughly enjoying recreating my own historical world. I am fascinated by history, especially the Regency and Georgian eras and I devoured books by Georgette Heyer and other like authors. However, when I married at twenty-three I had less time for writing and for several years wrote very little. It wasn't until I had to finish working through ill health that the urge to write came upon me again and I wrote four books in quick succession. My compulsion to write had returned!

When I had produced my fifth novel, a friend suggested that I contact an agent and gave me an address in Sarasota. I contacted the agent and was immediately accepted. However, I soon found that it was not a good agency to be with and withdrew my work. This discouraged me from sending out my work to anyone else.

Wanting to improve my writing, I joined a writers' group at our local college. The lecturer who headed the group was very complimentary about my work and strongly suggested I tried approaching a publisher but I was still not convinced. However, when my husband also started badgering me to submit, I started looking for a suitable publisher to approach. As all my work is done on the computer, it was to the interned I turned in my search. I wanted a publishing house that would accept electronic submissions but, sadly, there appeared to be none in the UK, so I turned my attentions to the USA. To my delight, there were several publishers who would accept submissions by e-mail and I contacted All Romance Books who appeared to be seeking the type of novels I wrote. To my utter delight they immediately offered me contracts on both the books I had submitted. 'Dominic' was published in July, 2005 but sadly, before 'My Dearest Friend' reached the shelves, due to the owner's demise, the company closed.

At this time, I was awaiting a heart bypass and, believing I had had my five minutes of fame, I just didn't have the energy to start approaching new publishers. However, shortly after my surgery, purely as a morale booster and heartened by my previous success, I decided to seek publication once more. This time, I sent out three manuscripts and was amazed to receive contracts for all three within six weeks. I was to be a published author once again! Wings ePress took 'Dominic' and 'My Dearest Friend', whilst Triskelion took 'The Portrait'. I then submitted yet another to Wings, 'His Shadowed Heart' and they took that too.Everything appeared to be going exceedingly well until, just before 'The Portrait's' September release date, Triskelion went into liquidation.

So far, the review sites have been very generous about my books and it has encouraged me to continue with my quest for publication. I currently have two more manuscripts out with publishing houses but, for the moment, my rights to 'The Portrait' are still tied up in the bankruptcy hearing. However, once they are released, I will be looking for another home for that too.

In the main, I write solely for myself with no thoughts to markets or trends, I just listen to my characters telling their stories. Publication is a very exciting and rewarding bonus and I am constantly amazed and delighted that others enjoy my work.

I would say to anyone who has the desire to write - just do it - you will be surprised at what you can achieve.

Hazel Statham
Author of DOMINIC

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Monday, September 10, 2007

ONLY MOMENTS by Nick Oliva

“Only Moments” was originally written within the cyclical theme of Birth, Death, and Rebirth over ten years ago. I focused on the unforgiving world, the false hope of technology and religion, incorporating one’s own search and questioning of the spiritual aspects that provide some measure of meaning, and then tying it into the romance of total devotion of man and wife. Some might call it a fairy tale romance, but there are many “high school” relationships that have survived the test of time, however difficult. These two characters are both heavily flawed but those flaws are what binds and drives them with their deep passion for music.

The road, throughout the novel is representative of one’s life path and sense of curiosity and discovery. I spent years coming very close to the publication of this book through the Irene Rodgers Literary Association but as close as it was, it didn't get published. I eventually put it on hold for years until I was motivated to attempt it once more.

As time went by, I realized that I had to include the events of the World Trade Towers but needed to wait until it wouldn’t seem as if I was using those events just to capitalize on public sentiment. As it turns out, the waiting was for the better. The characters lived in New York City at this time and it gave me a chance to expand upon the themes echoed throughout the book as well as break a few rules and show a glimpse of the secondary character in her own words. I’m sure I will receive much criticism for the breach, but I don’t care, as rules are made to be broken occasionally. Considering those who do the criticizing most of the time, those critics usually have nothing to show and have taken no chances in the fields that they critique.

The first Saturday in October 2004, I woke up and couldn’t move my left leg at all. I had a fever over 102 and had my wife, Joan take me to the Emergency Room. It was there that I was diagnosed with a spinal infection, probably caused by cortisone injections. Dr. Derrick Duke -the man who saved Roy Horn’s life after Montecore, the tiger that had just about severed Mr. Horn’s head from his body accidentally at the Siegfried and Roy Show at the Mirage -was called in and he explained the severity of my situation. Far from routine, I would be fighting for my life. I underwent a 5-hour emergency operation that and afterwards had Vancomycin intravenously pumped into my arm directly to my heart for the next eight weeks to fight off the spinal infection.

On the second day after the operation, while in critical condition, about 2 AM in the morning, still hooked up to the heart monitors in ICU, my heart stopped for 12 seconds. I experienced an out-of-body phenomena that catapulted me into another world. This happened twice while I was there. My experience was very similar to the fiction I had written in this book many years ago. Much like the character Chris, I came back with a different understanding and as I fought to come back to the living, the transition left me with a totally changed perspective. It was my life imitating my own art. I spent the next five weeks wired-up in the hospital.

In January of 2005, Dr. Duke operated on my neck and screwed a titanium butterfly on my cervical spine and I got the use of my right arm back.

In short, I recovered, although my left leg is still disabled from nerve damage that is more than likely permanent, I moved on with a new determination to get this book published among other things. I went through incredible things with my near death experience. It showed me that the things I believed in, the core of my beliefs, were really right in line with what I went through. This reinforcement of my life’s search renewed the vigor of discovery within me and gave me the impetus to push forward and get this book published.

I chose a "print on demand" (not a vanity press) publishing house as the major publishers cannot be bothered with new authors. Almost all publishing houses are headed to POD as it is cost effective and it eliminates returns from bookstores. Remember, it's about money and unless you are a celebrity or a murderer or both, you have little chance of them signing you unless you are a proven commodity.

Once published, now comes the hard part, getting it read, getting it sold. There is no one way or miracle formula. It is persistence of effort, constantly keeping alert to opportunities to promote and market yourself. It will cost you money and time even if you are published with Random House or Doubleday. You have to promote yourself. If you can afford the cost get a public relations firm to assist you nationally with radio interviews and book reviews (fewer and fewer newspapers even do reviews of books now). Call your hometown newspaper, try sending copies to local periodicals for review.

The measure of your success depends on what level you want to achieve. Be careful that you do not set unrealistic goals and set yourself up for failure and despondence. Take a little chunk at a time. Start with a web presence, create a blog, get your family to buy the book (a major task believe me!), get your friends to buy the book even though they expect it for free because "you are their friend." Explain to them how they should support your cause as once your "make it" you will mention their name on Oprah's show. Tell them anything, just get sales going before your book goes into obscurity.

Stay positive. Many people will tear into your to make themselves look good.

Accept reality. Perhaps your book isn't up to snuff. Go back an rewrite and make it clear to your audience and target market.

Don't assume! Never assume that the world needs another book.

Why is yours so special?

What makes it stand out? Does it stand out? Remember this-your finished a novel. 99% of the people who start one don't and rarely does anyone even begin one. You are part of 3 billion people in this world. Do the percentages. One percent of 3 billion is 30 million, one tenth of that is 3 million and one tenth of that is 300,000 and that is roughly how many books get published each year. That means you have 1/100th of a chance to be a part of 300,000 books that are for sale. That's a sobering thought! So don't get your hopes up or your expectations too high. On the other hand, do it for you! That's who counts anyway. You did it, you accomplished an incredible thing. Don't downplay it because you aren't on Oprah, or the movie of the week isn't based on your book. Life is about the little things. Enjoy them and be proud! Smell the roses.

Nick Oliva

Friday, September 7, 2007


Meet Scott Zema, highly educated and very experienced art, antiques, and collectibles dealer and appraiser--inexperienced at publishing!

Getting my book Three Steps to Investment Success: Buying the Right Art, Antiques, and Collectibles into print has been a bigger struggle than I thought it would be. But in contrast to many authors who apparently spend years and their health trying to interest the publishing powers-that-be in trying to publish their works, I thought, after a a very short struggle--what the hell am I doing?

Let me explain.

I tried mainstream agents and one publisher, was told I had writing talent, but found that a combination of bias against the topic and a lack of interest in this specialized area--even sans any submittal on my part--seemed to doom the effort. Keep in mind that except for one feeble effort published in the early 1980's, I believe that my book is truly the only book on the topic of art, antiques, and collectibles investment in the whole corpus of published literature.

After a fairly short period of dealing with rejection, I thought--what the hey--all the tools for self publishing and promotion already exist in the computer. Not only that, but assuming as an unpublished author the IF I managed to land a contract through an agent for a book, my compensation for that initial contract would probably be in the low thousands of dollars (I make that in a few days as an appraiser), I would be in bed with several partners and have to jump through their hoops, and would receive fractional compensation on any copies sold!

So I had a website design team design my book and put it into adobe format. Then I featured my book for sale on my own website, downloadable (with a security key to prevent unauthorized internet distribution) and payable with a credit card. It certainly seems cheaper and easier than going the traditional route, and perhaps more lucrative if done correctly...
I feel that going through the internet has to open doors for authors, and that correctly done, it must prove some kind of threat eventually to traditional publishers. Anybody can publish now.

Scott Zema

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Monday, September 3, 2007

PARTIALLY HUMAN by Dwayne G. Anderson

My name is Dwayne Gerald Anderson and I am a young Canadian author who hopes to succeed in the publishing world and make it big. Through my written works, I have found a way to express my deepest thoughs, concerns, and emotions.

Ironically, as a child, I wasn't much of a creative person. When I was in an early grade, I was given an assignment by the teacher that no one else got. While the other students were to write a creative story of their own, I was already given a story to work with. My job was to fill in the missing details as to how the main character solved his problems. This was my first experience in creative writing. I later wrote and illustrated a storybook about a spider and a tortoise that was pretty silly, but I did enjoy the experience, and the teacher loved it.

In my teens, I wrote fiction for the Rugrats, All Grown Up, and later, Futurama. Last year before the Christmas season, I wrote a christmas-themed fiction story for the animated movie "Cats Don't Dance," which was posted on Christmas day.

My writing career as a novelist began in September 2001, not long after the events of 9/11. I even dedicated "Alien Conflict" to those who lost their lives in the tragedy as well as those who struggled for world peace which was a very serious issue in the book. This however was my weakest book in terms of story telling as I never bothered having it proofread. It didn't sell many copies as well, almost all of them were bought by my dad to sell in his store, and he still hasn't sold them all.

My second written book was "Hellfire Apocalypse", published in 2004, one and a half years after Alien Conflict was published. It too was a weak work, and hardly sold any copies at all before the publisher went out of business.

My third recently published book is also my most ambitious. "Partially Human", based on my own experiences of being different and living with Asperger Syndrome, is the story about a teenager who suddenly finds his life turned upside down when a shocking personal secret about him is revealed that he is carrying the genes of a dying alien species. Now, all he has left are his family, friends, girlfriend, and a select few others who come to sympathize with his plight.

Partially Human deals with many issues that are very real to teens and young adults in society. Each of the major characters faces at least one of these issues that happens to people in real life, such as being alienated, a teen unwed mother, drug usage, loss of family, domestic violence, abuse, and finding where you belong.

I spent three months on the rough draft of Partially Human, then spent the next three years in my spare time doing some serious editting, proof-reading, and reading it over. When I was finally satisfied, I searched for a publisher. Everyone I submitted it to rejected it. It was finally accepted by one publisher, but it went out of business before publication was completed. Finally, I found Infinity Publishing, and in late April, I held the proof-copy in my hand. The finalized product was published in May, and I am very proud of how it turned out.

I hope to get my message out to the readers that we can live in a world without prejudice and ignorance, and instead, live in a world where people are accepted for who they are and not rejected for being different.

Dwayne G. Anderson