Sunday, February 19, 2017

Music: Interview with World5, international music sensation

It's time for music! I'm so thrilled to introduce a wonderful band on the blog today. World5 started with five close friends who were professional musicians. Although life and personal projects put them in different locations around the globe, they kept alive the desires of making music together. Realizing that very long distances separate them physically but not musically, they used the power of the World Wide Web to shorten the physical distance.



Check out their music and read more about them in the interview below.


Tell us a little about the story behind the band's name.

The band name popped up right away, it took only a couple of minutes to come up with it: 5 members literally spread around the world: WORLD5!

That's the idea! When did you decide to get together and make music? How do you manage to keep the band going when you're not living in the same city?

At the end of the 90's, beginning of 2000, the internet connections were as much advanced as it was needed to handle the sending of such big files, as they are created by recording music. We were all friends and working as professional musicians for more than 30 years, but were not able to work together as we are spread over 3 continents. The fast internet connection and skype opened the doors.


Technology helping to create great sounds! Who writes the lyrics and composes the sounds?


Every one of us contributes with music. We have extra lyricists, which are not members of the band. Michael Moore, Toni Becker and Kerryl Ann Frank.

Terrific voices. What genre do you consider yourself and what's your greatest influence?

We play and record Pop-Rock / Adult Contemporary music. We were influenced by hundreds of musicians during the years. From The Beatles to Sting, Genesis, Billy Joel and of course the "musician´s" band Toto to name just a few.

I love Toto! When was the first time you performed live?

We all started playing live in high school and never stopped playing.

That's what I'd call true calling. What do you enjoy the most between your interaction with the fans?

It is awesome to meet, chat and write to people from all over the globe. This confirms that music definitely does not have any borders.






Music brings people together, right? Do you believe music can influence change in a positive way? How?

Definitely, it unites people from different countries and different cultures, gives them a positive vibe which affects all their actions.


Agreed. What was the inspiration for your latest album?

Both the first album "Global Experience" and the latest album "Heartbeat Of The World" are based on a message of positive change.

We are very thankful for all support by our listeners. Without your support, music, (at least recorded music) could not exist!


We need positive change. Thank you so much for stopping by for this interview, and we wish you much success with the new album!


To find out more about their music and to connect with World5, click on the links below:

http://www.world5music.com
https://www.facebook.com/World5band
http://twitter.com/world5music
http://www.reverbnation.com/world5
http://www.youtube.com/user/World5music
http://www.amazon.com/World5/e/B0067LTAZ2
https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/world5/id478881688
https://play.spotify.com/artist/5Hz0rLiTcULzVzyBu3ExLK




 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Learning: How to sell a ton of books in 5 simple steps

SkipJack Publishing is an award-winning, best-selling independent publishing company, sharing their secrets and guiding you step-by-step to propel yourself—and your books—to publishing success.

No matter where you are in the writing process – struggling to breathe life into a treasured plot bunny or a seasoned author with the scars to prove it – the SkipJack School has the class for you.  Our bundles contain classes on the topics of writing, publishing and marketing.

Check out our all-inclusive bundle with every class in the SkipJack School. Or start with our FREE class, How to sell a ton of books in 5 simple steps.

Pamela Fagan Hutchins writes overly long e-mails, award-winning and best-selling romantic mysteries, and hilarious nonfiction from deep in the heart of Nowheresville, Texas and way up in the frozen north of Snowheresville, Wyoming. She is passionate about great writing and smart authorpreneurship as well as long hikes with her hunky husband and pack of rescue dogs, riding her gigantic horses, experimenting with her Keurig, and traveling in the Bookmobile.

You can connect with Pamela via her website http://pamelafaganhutchins.com or e-mail pamela@pamelafaganhutchins.com.



How to Sell a Ton of Books in 5 Simple Steps:

So you’ve written a book. It’s for sale on Amazon, your own little Field of Dreams. You’ve strong-armed everyone you know, and they’ve all promised to buy it. To read it. To review it. Only they haven’t, and it’s not selling.
Meanwhile, your mother’s told everyone and their three-legged dog about her son the author. Her daughter the next Steven King. Her little pookie who’s going to be rich and famous any day now. People ask you when you’re quitting your day job (and to borrow money).
Your life has become a secret hell that you cover up with a swagger and a smile. You tell yourself that it’s about the achievement. About getting it out there. About the art. The truth is, though, you want readers. You want fan letters and a movie deal. You want to make MONEY at this, but you have no idea how.

Pamela does. She went from attorney/investigator to full-time author in three years, with 1.5 million downloads and six-figure royalties. And she wants to help you. 

FOR FREE.

So what are you waiting for? Jump on in with Pamela, and get to work on learning how to sell more books.

Click on the links below to access the courses:


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Books: Interview with Science Fiction and Fantasy writer Mjke Wood


Today on the blog we have the pleasure to introduce writer Mjke Wood. Read on to find out more about his fascinating books.

Where are you from and what's your background?

I was born on the Isle of Man but I’ve lived most of my life on the Wirral, in the UK. I worked as a Finance Manager for a large public transport company, but last year I took an early retirement deal to concentrate on writing full time. I’m also a musician, playing alto sax and clarinet in bands around the North West. I love playing in pit orchestras for amateur shows, too. It’s a great way to see lots of hit musicals without having to pay to get in.

What a great way to attend shows! When did you realize you wanted to write and when did you start writing?

I’ve always loved reading, and about thirty years ago, after a bad commuting experience, I wrote to the local newspaper. It was a full on rant, but I injected humor into it, and when it was published as the star letter, and I began to receive feedback, it got me thinking. I decided to try writing humor pieces and sending them to magazines. They were rejected of course. They were bad. But it didn’t stop me because I’d fallen in love with the whole process of writing.

That’s great that you didn’t give up after being rejected. What genre do you write and what's your target audience?

It’s strange that while I was sending these random humor pieces out to magazines, I’d never thought to try writing science fiction. I read a lot of science fiction, and have done since I was eight or nine years old. My dad used to bring home stacks of short story anthologies from the library, and I read these because they were way better than the stuff I could get from the children’s library. So I took a break from the humor stuff and started writing science fiction short stories. I sent them to magazines, and when these rejections came back, they were different. They were rejections from America, from magazines like Analog and Asimov’s, and the editors were names that I knew, and they were writing letters to me, and sometimes they even included comments that made me realize they’d actually read some them. I’d found the thing I wanted to write. There was still humor in a lot of the stories, but also some serious stuff was coming through. So for the most part, my target audience was these editors. I wrote for them. If ever I were to sell a story it would be because I’d written something that appealed to a particular editor.

It’s quite an interesting take on your audience. And how many books have you published so
far? Were you ever accepted to be published in any other publications or journals?

My focus stayed on short fiction for many years. I wrote occasional novels and sent them out to agents and publishers, but always my passion was for writing short fiction, and I’d begun to sell some of it. In 2007 I won the Jim Baen Memorial contest with a short story, and then a year later I won Writers of the Future, and that was cool because part of the prize was a week-long paid-for trip to Los Angeles for a workshop and for the award ceremony. I’d never been to America. I’d never even flown, and that’s a whole other story in itself. Okay, I’ve strayed from the question, so I’ll try and get back on track. Before writing any novels I had maybe two dozen short stories published in sci-fi magazines and anthologies. I put together a collection of my own short stories, called ‘Power for Two Minutes and Other Unrealities’, and indy published it on Amazon, and I have now, at last, published a novel-length science fiction story, ‘Deep Space Accountant’, which is the first of a series. Book two will be out later this year. In the meantime I followed a parallel thread, writing a humorous travel memoir called ‘Travelling in a Box’. It’s very niche, very UK focused, so I’ve been surprised at how well it’s done.

You have a lot of interesting adventures to tell, that’s for sure. And congrats on your winnings. What is your favorite quote and who wrote it?

I don’t have a quote, so much as a set of rules, coined in 1947 by the sci-fi writer, Robert Heinlein. They’re designed for short fiction writing but you can make them work for long form, too.
1                    You must write
2                    You must finish what you start
3                    You must refrain from rewriting except to editorial order.
4                    You must put it on the market.
5                    You must keep it on the market until sold.

Rule three seems a little strange but what it means is don’t keep going back over something you’ve finished, polished and edited. Concentrate on the next thing. So I also like to include a sixth rule that was added much later, by Robert J Sawyer:
6          Start working on something else.

This is important. It’s too easy to sit back after one story or book and decide that your work is done. It isn’t done, you have the next book to do, and then the next.

Indeed, the job of a writer is never done… Do you have a favorite author? Who? Has this author or his book(s) influenced your writing in any way?

As a sci-fi writer Arthur C Clarke is perhaps my biggest early influence. I think I’ve read every novel he wrote, and most of his short fiction, too. Clarke’s ‘A Fall of Moondust’ was the first Sci-Fi novel I ever read. The memory of reading that book, waiting for the rain to stop while on a camping holiday near Minehead in Somerset, is still vivid in my mind. I was eleven or twelve years old. ‘A Fall of Moondust’ just blew me away. If Arthur C Clarke was my gateway drug to sci-fi, then Stephen King hooked me with the full-on addiction for writing. Around about the time when I was sending off those daft little pieces to newspapers and magazines, I read Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’, and then ‘It’. I felt rocked back on my heels. I’d encountered real magic. How could a few squiggles on a page transport me, mind body and soul, into another world? I wanted more and I wanted to be able to perform that magic.

I can see why they can influence any writer! If you could be a character from any book who would you like to be, and why?

This is hard because most of the characters from my favorite books are put through hell and back. It’s something writers do, they create characters you love and then they do horrible things to them. But if I may return to Arthur C Clarke, and his 1974 Hugo-winning ‘Rendezvous with Rama’, then Jimmy Pak is my choice. He’s a crew member of the exploratory mission to Rama, a massive rotating cylindrical starship that enters our solar system en route to an unknown destination. Jimmy Pak gets to skybike along the axis of Rama, and he sees the whole of this artificial world rotating around him. Ever since reading that book I’ve been fascinated by the whole concept of generation starships built as giant cylinders with artificial gravity. What a fabulous thing to explore one and see it from such a vantage point. And Jimmy Pak gets through the whole book without getting maimed or mutilated or anything else of a discouraging nature.

Wow, that’s true. Hard to find a character that doesn’t go through a horrible experience, but the adventures are worth it! What are you working on now?

I have a first draft for the second Sphere of Influence novel all ready to start knocking into shape. It’s called ‘The Lollipop of Influence’. I envy those writers who can get a first draft that’s more or less good to go. My first drafts need a lot of work to iron out all the bugs and plot holes and clunky writing, and I have to make sure it’s consistent with the first book. I’ll only send a ‘final’ draft to my editor when I’m sure it’s clean. And then, for sure, it will come back marked up with another month’s work for me fix all the things I missed. I’ve also written a follow-up to my travel book, called ‘Two in a Box’, which is sitting in the queue waiting its turn to go through the second-draft factory. Beyond that I there’s a third travel book to come, provisionally titled ‘Flying in a Box’, and at least one more book in the Sphere of Influence series. And I’m still doing short stories at the rate of about one per month, just for the fun of it.

You’re keeping very busy, and that’s great. Where can we find out more about you and your writing?

My website is www.mjkewood.com and I have a separate website for my travel books, www.travellinginabox.com.

You can find me on Twitter as @MjkeW and my Facebook page is www.facebook.com/mjkewood/

Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?


Well, just to mention that one of my short stories has been optioned for a movie. The story is ‘The Last Days of Dogger City’ which first appeared in the April 2015 edition of Analog. Right now it’s being turned into a script by the producers, First Enterprise Productions. This is a turn of events that I most definitely wouldn’t have predicted a few years ago. As I say, it was only a short story so the movie will need more plot material than in the original, so I’m dying to see what comes out of it.

That’s about it, only to say, thanks, Andrea, for the interview. I’ve very much enjoyed doing it, and I wish you every success with your own writing endeavors.

Congratulations, Mjke! That’s absolutely fantastic and I hope to be watching the movie based on your story soon. Good luck and thank you so much for your time telling us about you and your books! 

To puchase Mjke's books, visit his page on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Mjke-Wood/e/B00IA4HJCA


Friday, February 3, 2017

Books: Interview with author Michael Fattorosi



Today, we're introducing Michael Fattorosi, an accidental writer. To find out how he started writing and his interesting background, read on!

Hello, Michael, please tell us a little about you.

I grew up in New Jersey in a little town called Port Reading and have lived in Washington, DC, Virginia, Los Angeles and now I reside in Las Vegas. I am an attorney and have been for the past nineteen years. I specialize in adult entertainment law, in other words, I represent porn stars and studios that make movies for adults. I have also represented more familiar names such as Fox Studios, the Dodgers, Universal Studios and Warner Brothers but for the past thirteen years I have specialized in more risque clients.

What an interesting specialization. I’m sure you have a lot of interesting tales to tell. When did you realize you wanted to write and when did you start writing?

I would not call myself a writer. I think a writer is someone who does it professionally and can earn a living from it. I am a mere storyteller. If you include legal writing, I started writing twenty-two years ago, if not, then just in the last year. I self-published my first novel in November 2016. I actually never wanted to be a writer. My entry into writing was accidental. I have spent twelve years researching a very interesting and lengthy family history, which is the basis for my series. My family has a one-thousand year history in Southern Italy. I would often tell people what I discovered and it usually ended with them telling me that it would make for a fascinating book.
I was in the process of negotiating a literary agent contract for one of my adult clients when I summoned the nerve to give my elevator pitch to the agent. Surprisingly, he liked it so I decided to write it.

A happy accident, you should say. So what genre do you write and what’s your target audience?

My genre is historical fiction, with a bit of romance thrown in for good measure. I don’t know if I have a target audience. I was fortunate to have eighteen beta-readers assist me with my writing and they ranged in age from 16 to 70, male and female and from wide economic backgrounds - professionals, homemakers, students and even two librarians. I try to appeal to the broadest base possible. I suppose, if you were a fan of Dan Brown’s “The DaVinci Code” you would really enjoy my novel.

How many books have you published so far? Have you been published in any other publications or journals?


Just one book published so far, though it is part of a six book series. The second novel is planned for a late May 2017 release date. I plan on releasing a new title every six months. 

It’s a robust plan to release a novel every six months, go for it! Congratulations on the upcoming release. What is your favorite quote and who wrote it?

I prefer an Italian proverb - “In vino veritas” which means “In wine there is truth.” 

Ha, that’s a good one! Do you have a favorite author? Who? Has this author or his book(s) influenced your writing in any way?

I don’t know if I can choose just one favorite author. As a lawyer, Grisham has always been easy to read. Dan Brown is another. Michael Crichton is a third. I like books that are easy to read. Having to constantly perform legal research makes you want something easy when you aren’t working. Ken Follet is a bit more complex but also enjoyable. And for historical non-fiction, I really like Doris Kearns Goodwin’s work.
I cannot say that I have been influenced by anyone’s writing. I am more influenced by my beta-readers and their feedback. I write for others, not myself, so if my beta-readers don’t like something in my manuscript it gets tossed. I try to keep my stories fast paced, moving forward with short chapters. I don’t want my readers getting caught up in unnecessary minutia. I’m not trying to write literature, just something enjoyable. 

If you could be a character from any book, who would you like to be, and why?

I don’t know if there is a character from a book I would choose to be. I think if I could choose to be anyone other than myself, it would someone that has devoted their life to helping animals. All of the proceeds of the pre-sales of all my novels have been and will be donated to various charities that assist in making animal’s lives better. I have a 150lb Rottweiler that is more my son than dog. My wife and I got him when I first started my cancer treatments so he has been there for me through some very tough times. The unconditional love you receive from a dog is inspiring.

That’s very sweet. What are you working on now?

I am currently working on my second novel of the “Scrolls” series, yet to be named. I am still outlining it. I should have the outline finished in a few weeks and then the writing begins. I want to release it Memorial Day Weekend before the start of the summer reading season.

And where can we find out more about you and your writing?

You can find me on Twitter at http://www.Twitter.com/pornlaw and of course at my website http://www.ResurrectionoftheScrolls.com or you can email me directly at Michael@fattlegal.com

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

If you read it, leave a review. If you liked it, tell a friend. If you loved it, tell two friends!
Indie authors need readers’ support to keep doing what they are doing. Writing is the easy part, marketing is the tough part. As an author, any exposure a reader can give me is so very appreciated. There is nothing better than a personal recommendation.
I understand that every time someone buys my novel they are giving me 6-8 hours of their life. I am honored by that and I feel truly blessed for each and every sale.
Thank you for this opportunity as well. 

Thank you for stopping by, and we're wishing you success with your upcoming release and your writing career! 

To buy Michael's book, click here: