Dare to Read

October 8, 2012

Plot Twists and Inspiration

Filed under: On Writing,Photograph,Pictures — carmenferreiroesteban @ 4:26 pm
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Welcome to my mind.

First the muse strikes . . .

. . . then the plot twists as it unfolds.

And the muse watches.

October 4, 2012

My Road to Publication: Laurel Garver

Filed under: Author's Interview,YA — carmenferreiroesteban @ 5:48 am
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Interview by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

 

 

Today my fellow writer Laurel Garver answers my questions about her Road to Publication for her YA novel, Never Gone.

Hello Laurel and welcome to Dare to Read, please tell us first, about your book:

Why did you write this book?

I wanted to explore how loss and grief are handled well–and poorly–in Christianity. People of faith can at times have an unhealthy stoicism about death. By emphasizing heavenly rewards for the departed, they can make the bereaved feel as if they’re spiritually deficient for having emotions like sadness, anger and loneliness. But when someone isn’t given space to fully grieve, the emotions will come out sideways and be far more damaging. Yet the story also has positive counter-examples of folks who comfort and support well because they understand the church as a body: “when one part suffers, every part suffers with it” (I Cor. 12:26). I wanted to encourage teens not to settle for platitudes when it comes to hard questions like “where is God when we suffer?” but to really engage deeply.

Writing this story was also a way to indirectly work through my grief after I lost my dad in 2003, but under very different circumstances.

What genre is it?

Young adult edgy inspirational (in other words, Christian in outlook, but with mature, challenging situations)

Who is the expected audience?

The book is intended for teens ages 14 and up. I’ve described it as The Truth About Forever (Sarah Dessen) meets Once Was Lost (Sara Zarr) with some of the style of The Sky is Everywhere (Jandy Nelson). But the story would resonate with anyone who has grieved a loss, experienced some faith-shaking tragedy, struggled to understand someone who keeps secrets, or wrestled with the question of where is God when we suffer.

I agree that grief has no age and, as I always say just because a book is labeled YA does not mean adults wouldn’t like it too.

Now,  let’s start our next block of questions. Tell us about the cover of your book:

Who designed your cover?

The design concept was mine. My good friend Ruth Hoover, a former book designer for Lipincott helped me turn the idea into reality. She suggested I use custom art rather than stock photos. My husband did the pencil drawing. I hired a photographer to shoot the drawing with a leaf, and purchased all rights to the final photo from the 40+ images she shot. Ruth took that high-resolution digital negative and did some sophisticated photo editing on it. The leaf in the original was green, since the shoot was done in August. She also did some great work on the typography and sizing and formatting for both an e-book and a paperback.

How does the cover reflect your story?

The two things my protagonist loves most are her dad and art (especially pencil drawing). The autumn leaf is a subtle nod toward the subject of grief and loss. I went for lighter and organic colors because I wanted readers to connect with the emotional heart of the story — a teen’s struggle to hang onto her faith and hope in the midst of a devastating loss.

Tell us now about the book as a product, starting by telling us in which formats is it available?

Never Gone is available an an e-book for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, plus some other platforms that Smashwords supports. It’s also available as a paperback.

How did your book get published?

I worked with five different vendors who will handle sales and distribution, and in the case of the paperback, printing as well. I did have to learn e-book formatting for the big guys–Amazon, B&N and Kobo. I did it “the hard way,” using HTML and CSS, then running it through conversion software. I’m glad I did, because the final product looks as good as anything traditional publishers do.

What is your marketing plan?

I sent review copies to a select group, who agreed to do early reviews. I also sought out some published authors to write endorsement blurbs.

I’m doing a three month long “blog ramble,” with 1-2 posts per week on various blogs and some giveaways. I’ve also begun contacting grief-oriented blogs, asking to be added to recommended reading lists.

I created a trailer for the book, which is on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JY0gSZ3-nU4&feature=plcp), and I include it with most guest posts I do for the blog ramble.

I’ll also be doing Goodreads giveaways, and some additional fun things on that site including quizzes and chats.

I have a Twitter contest planned for October. Follow me at the link below for updates.

I’ve been invited to speak at a few book clubs, and hope to do more, likely using Skype. I’m also looking into podcasts.

Finally is there any advice you want to share with our readers who have a manuscript ready?

Take you time. Getting published is not a race. There are advantages and disadvantages of any publishing route you take. Be sure you know what they are before you make a decision. Know how much support and how much control you personally need to feel professionally satisfied with your work. Self-publishing is not “the easy way” by any stretch. You need a dozen other skills besides writing to succeed. But it is an appealing option for stories that aren’t a neat fit in a particular genre or market trend.

 

Great advice.

Thank you so much Laurel for a thoughtful interview and best of luck with your book.

 

Bio: Laurel Garver holds degrees in English and journalism and earns a living as a magazine editor. She enjoys quirky independent films, word games, British television, Celtic music, and mentoring teens at her church. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter.

Blog: http://laurelgarver.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLaurelGarver

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LaurelGarver

Buy links:

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Never-Gone-ebook/dp/B0096DWVSG

Also available from Amazon’s EU sites in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/never-gone-laurel-garver/1112775142

Kobo: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Never-Gone/book-IBAo3rxFwkyRKKs0EXPzdw/page1.html?s=wAAubaT6VkyWdmKFA2Ob6A&r=1

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/229715

 

 

October 3, 2012

October 2, 2012

My Visit to the Maryland Book Festival

Filed under: Event,On News,On Writing,Paranormal,Pictures — carmenferreiroesteban @ 5:44 am
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 Harry Heckel, Josh (J. R.) Wagner and Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

I was at the Maryland Book Festival this week-end invited by the SF and Fantasy Writers of America.

Apart from a reading, I participated in two panels: Crossing Genres Big Time and YA Dreams: What’s Hot and What’s Not.

It was an amazing and humbling experience to be with such dedicated, passionate and hard-working group of writers. They came from all kinds of backgrounds, ages and experiences, but they all shared an undying love for storytelling and a stubborn determination not to give up.

Here are ten things I learned at the Festival.

  1. The SF and Fantasy writers are quiet a fantastic bunch.
  2. Paranormal is still hot. Lucky me.
  3. Romance is here to stay. No surprise there.
  4. Fairy Tales will never die. They are, after all, a part of our collective subconscious.
  5. Be afraid, werewolves, vampires and Greek Gods are real and walk among us. Actually, don’t be surprised if you find out you are one of them.
  6. If your first book don’t sell, keep writing.
  7. If you hit a wall while writing, keep writing.
  8. If you ever want to succeed as a writer, keep writing.
  9. Writing is an addiction. You are not a writer because you write, you write because you are a writer and hard as you try you can’t help yourself: You have to write.

October 1, 2012

September 29, 2012

Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer: Memoir

My aunt’s house, like most houses in Sevilla at the time, was built around a patio, its walls washed white, an orange tree on a corner and in the middle a running fountain to help fight the unbearable heat that came with summer. And it was sitting on the low ridge of the stone basin I saw Lucrezia for the first time.

Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer in Immortal Love

DSCN5033

La casa, como la mayoría de las casas de Sevilla en aquel año de mil ochocientos cuarenta y siete, estaba construida alrededor de un patio de muros blancos. Recuerdo todavía el naranjo que crecía al fondo y la fuente que ocupaba su centro, cuyas aguas siempre frescas ayudaban a combatir el calor agobiante del verano andaluz.

Y fue allí, sentada al borde de la taza de piedra que rodeaba la fuente, donde vi a Lucrecia por primera vez.

Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer en Bécquer eterno.

September 27, 2012

My Road to Publication: Kristina Knight

Filed under: Author's Interview — carmenferreiroesteban @ 6:09 am
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Today I’m very pleased to introduce my fellow author at Crimson Romance, Kristina Knight.

Hi, Carmen, thanks for having me over to your blog home today! I’m getting ready for the release of my second book from Crimson Romance, The Saint’s Devilish Deal, and I’m thrilled to tell you all a little bit about the book. Here it goes!

I wanted to tell a true reunion story, because reunions are some of my favorite romances to read. As I was working on another book – a yet to be finished book, Saint & Esme got a little mouthy! – the characters of Santiago & Esmerelda came to me, arguing. They argue a lot. They’re passionate people, devoted and loyal people…both have been badly betrayed by family members – the people you think could never betray you. And so they have some serious issues to overcome. This is a contemporary romance and it’s set in Puerto Vallarta – one of my most favorite places in the world. I love the sun, sea, the relaxed atmosphere of the city.

I think the setting is represented well on the cover – I just love it! It was designed by the cover goddesses at Crimson Romance and I think it reflects the story very well – both Saint & Esme are very attached to a villa they must work together to save, so I love that the villa plays a part in the cover.

I mentioned above that this is my second romance from Crimson, and I’ve had a ball with them over the past six months. My road to publication has been filled with fits and starts. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, but my fiction career was interrupted by 1) a career in journalism and 2) a couple of cross-country moves with my amazing husband and 3) the adoption of our amazing, wonderful and creative daughter. Among all the drama I continued to write, but a lot of what I wrote was for me – to quiet the voices in my head, to learn story structure. In 2008 I got serious about my writing and then came another interruption (our daughter’s adoption) and I stalled. By 2009, the adoption was finalized, my life had come to a place where I knew it was time to either 1) take this writing thing seriously or 2) give it up entirely. I took it seriously. I took some online workshops, joined a local RWA chapter and started sending my work out.

The best advice I have is to send the book out. Seriously, the only way anyone is going to ‘find’ you is if you first put yourself out there. So write and polish until the book is as perfect as you can make it, and then send it out. Contests are great and can get you some valuable information, but definitely send the book to publishers and see what happens!

The Saint’s Devilish Deal is available in e-formats, wherever e-books are sold, on October 1; a paperback version is planned but that release is still a few weeks away.

BIO: Once upon a time, Kristina Knight spent her days running from car crash to fire to meetings with local police – no, she wasn’t a trouble-maker she was a journalist. When the opportunity to write what she wanted – business and family/parenting articles – and to focus more energy on the stories in her head, she jumped at it. And she’s never looked back. Now she writes articles for magazines and such by day and writes romance novels with spice by night. And any toddler-free, five minute break she has. She lives on Lake Erie with her husband and 4 year old daughter. Happily ever after.

Links:

My website: http://www.kristinaknightauthor.com
FB – http://www.facebook.com/kristinaknightromanceauthor
TW – http://www.twitter.com/authorkristina

Buy links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Saints-Devilish-Deal-ebook/dp/B0096D6WFE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1348683048&sr=8-1&keywords=the+saint%27s+devilish+deal
B&N: (link isn’t ready yet)
iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-saints-devilish-deal/id559862469?mt=11

 

Check Saint’s Paradise Deals and other titles at: www.crimsonromance.com

September 21, 2012

Bécquer’s Sevilla

Filed under: Becquer,Immortal Love,Photograph — carmenferreiroesteban @ 10:12 am
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Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, the Spanish poet that lives on in my paranormal novel Immortal Love, was born in Sevilla, Spain in 1836.

Although the Sevilla he knew is most certainly gone, some of the monuments and houses he saw growing up still remain.

That would be the case of these Roman statues that dominate the neighborhood where his godmother lived. According to one of his friends, the young Gustavo spent many lazy afternoons reading in his godmother’s library.

Outside, as they do now, the two ancient emperors kept watch over the city.

September 17, 2012

Meet Bécquer

Filed under: Becquer,Immortal Love,Pictures — carmenferreiroesteban @ 6:00 am
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Today my paranormal romance Immortal Love is finally available at Amazon

Please stop by my fellow writer Donna Galanti’s blog and The Ladies in Red to celebrate with me.

But before you leave, I’d like you to meet Immortal Love’s protagonist, the romantic Spanish poet Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer and his modern counterpart Ben Barnes.

In a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate their resemblance?

September 12, 2012

Spain: La Giralda: Poetry Weaved in Stone

Filed under: Photograph,Pictures — carmenferreiroesteban @ 5:48 am
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La Giralda desde el patio de los naranjos

La Giralda, poesía en piedra.

Poetry Weaved in Stone

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