Friday, February 10, 2017

Karl Beckstrand is the award-winning and bestselling author of 18 multicultural titles and more than 50 e-books (reviews by Kirkus, The Horn Book blog, School Library Journal, ForeWord Reviews). Beckstrand earned a B.A. in journalism from BYU, an M.A. in international relations from APU, and a certificate from Film A. Academy. He used to be a technical recruiter in Silicon Valley. Two publishers produced his early picture books (the first died the day they were to print his book!). Since 2004 he has guided Premio Publishing & Gozo Books. An engaging speaker and workshop facilitator, Beckstrand has experience in high tech, public policy, film, and broadcasting. He teaches media at a state college—including TV/radio scripts and Web content—and contrasts traditional publishing with digital book publishing. His Y.A. fiction, short stories, e-book mysteries, nonfiction/biographies, Spanish & bilingual books (with ESL/ELL pronunciation guides), and wordless books feature characters of color and usually end with a twist. He has lived abroad, been a Spanish/English interpreter, and he enjoys volleyball and kayaking (usually not at the same time). Beckstrand has presented for SUECON (education conference), Taiwan’s Global Leadership for Youth, California's Capital Book Festival, Utah Educational Library Media Association, Called to Learn conference, Salt Lake City Book Festival, PCI Webinars, Utah Humanities Council, Profnet, Murray City Writer’s Workshop, Utah Housing Coalition, LUW, Midvale City Reading Program, Utah Office of Education, professional groups, and schools. His racially diverse work has appeared in: Amazon, Baker & Taylor, Barnes & Noble, Border’s Books, Brodart, Costco, Deseret Book, The Children’s Miracle Network, The Congressional Record of the U.S. House of Representatives, Papercrafts Magazine, LDS Film Festival, EBSCO, Follett, iBooks, Kobo, SCRIBD, various broadcasts, and PremioBooks.com.


D.O: Thanks for joining us today on Authors' Curtilage Book Dialogue, and welcome.

KB: Happy to be here.

D.O: The audience would like to know which part of the world you’re joining us from.

KB: Midvale, Utah, USA.

D.O: When did you know you wanted to become a writer?

KB:  In college.

D.O: What are the various craft you've studied before you came into the entertainment industry or do you just possess some natural tendencies to write stories?

KB: Journalism.

D.O: What are the steps you took to develop your book from a rough draft into a published novel?

KB: Lots of sweat and research.

D.O: What did you do differently in your book to make readers feel fear, concern, sadness, love and laughter?

KB: I sought to inspire curiosity.

D.O: What sensitive materials does your book deal with?

KB: NA.

D.O: What's the subject matter of your book?

KB: How to earn a living.

D.O: What is the underlying theme that explored truth or moral in your book?

KB: Work and service is a win-win.

D.O: What town or city does your book story portray and what is the feeling we have in this dwelling places?

KB: Chinese countryside.

D.O: Having a unique point of view in telling a story provides your story with intention. From how many characters' viewpoint is your entire book seen from? 

KB: Four.

D.O: What do these points of views infuse into each of the chapter in your book? 

KB: More curiosity, I hope!

D.O: What does the lead character of your book want most in the world? 

KB: To find use for useless things.

D.O: What does he do to achieve this goal?

KB: Thought and worked.

D.O: What are the core truths for your lead character?

KB: Serving helps every party.

D.O: What are the two conflicting values you created for him?

KB: Self-service vs. helping others

D.O: Do these values make sense from his backstory?

KB: Yes.

D.O: What is the personal trait you gave your lead character to survive your book story?

KB: Ingenuity.

D.O: In the end of your book did the story goal satisfy your lead character's ambition or did he device another method to achieve his goal or failed at achieving it?

KB: Yes.

D.O: How do you think your book will influence reader’s growth positively?

KB: I hope it will inspire ingenuity and service

D.O: Any hint about your next book?

KB: Non-fiction on immigrant kids.

D.O: What better effort do you suggest writers, put into their writing to have great sales in the ever-changing economics of the entertainment industry?

KB: Get reviews!

D.O: Thank you once again for joining us on Authors Curtilage Book Dialogue. We wish you the publishing best and hope that all good things come your way with your book.

KB: Thank you!

The Bridge of the Golden Wood: A Parable on How to Earn Money is on sale here:  Amazon GozoBooks Goodreads

Karl Beckstrand joined Authors’ Curtilage Book Dailogue via email from Midvale, Utah, USA.

We’ve all been there, and it’s the worst.

You block off time, feel completely focused and motivated to get your next article or book page cranked out. Grab a fresh cup of coffee; sit down with your computer or pen and paper (if you’re old school like that) and nothing!

You've got NOTHING, and for the next few hours you stare at a blank page. You may even attempt to write out a few lines, which are quickly deleted and you become increasingly frustrated at your inability to complete the task.

Your brain is blocked, more commonly known as writers block.

What is a writer to do?

Sure, there are several writing exercises out there you can do to overcome this mental block. But let’s be honest, if you can’t write about whatever it is you’re working on, does attempting to write about something else truly help?

Writing exercises may be a fun distraction from the task at hand, and yes you are "writing" by doing them, but are you actually accomplishing the task at hand?

Likely not.

Besides, writing exercises don’t really do anything to overcome the biggest cause of writers block, lack of inspiration.

Think about it for a second…

You may be motivated and driven to write, but if you can’t come up with anything to write, then what’s the point?

By now I’m sure you’re thinking, “that’s all good and well, but how can I get the inspiration I need to overcome my mental block?”

That very thought means you're on the right path, and that’s exactly why I’m writing to you today.

Our friend, Dan Strauss has put together a solution that is unlike anything else on the market. A solution that utilizes scientific evidence to overcome lack of inspiration and mental road blocks which lead to the dreaded writers block

It’s a bit of a radical thought, so head in with an open mind.

Perhaps opening your mind is just what you need to get the inspiration flowing ;-)



To your writing success!
Trent Steele, Editor
Write Street Newsletter
http://www.writestreet.com/
Part of the Self Development Network

Thursday, January 26, 2017

James Patterson - what an author.

He holds a Guinness World Record for the most bestselling hardcover fiction titles by a single author -- a total of 76.

He's got 130 novels published and, at last count, has sold more than 275 million books, mostly in romance, young-adult fiction and thriller genres.

Notable best-sellers include the Alex Cross series, the Women's Murder Club series and Maximum Ride series.

Movie in a Month - write your screenplay in just 28 days!

But here's something you might not know…

- Collaboration

Patterson works with a variety of ghostwriters and co-authors and has often said that collaborating with others brings new and interesting ideas to his stories.

Of his process of collaboration, Patterson says he is “simply more proficient at dreaming up plots than crafting sentence after sentence.”

Movie in a Month - write your screenplay in just 28 days!

- Why Should You Be Alert?

Why should you be alert to the James Patterson collaborative process?

Have you thought about collaborating with other writers and authors to help move your writing to another level?

Maybe you should.

It's good food for thought and something worth exploring.

Find other writers in your current areas of interest. Reach out to them. Form friendships and a network of potential collaborators. Ask open questions. Seek opinions. Keep knocking on that door!

Test out the James Patterson process for rolling out best sellers at factory speed through collaboration with other authors.

In the meantime -- keep working on your manuscript, novel or movie script.

- Write that movie script faster!

By the way - an important reminder about the terrific resource to help with writing your screenplay faster… Movie in a Month.

Movie in a Month - write your screenplay in just 28 days!

Created by an expert to help accelerate your writing to warp speed.

It's a reliable and helpful resource created by my friend and screenwriter, James Lamberg.

Check out ALL the compelling benefits of writing your own screenplay with Movie in a Month at your fingertips.

Read all about it ... visit the special web page now.



'til next time,
Trent Steele, Editor
Write Street Newsletter
http://www.writestreet.com/
Part of the Self Development Network

You're invited to sign up for the
Unicorn Writers' Conference.
We're happy to announce Writer's Digest just featured the Unicorn Writers' Conference in their January issue. Each year, writers leave feeling empowered. Don't miss it this year.
Location: Reid Castle, Manhattanville College, Purchase, NY
Date: March 25, 2017
Time: 7:30 AM to 8:00 PM.
Attendees: More than 400 writers
Literary Agents: 43
Editors: 18
Speakers: 23 writing/publishing/marketing instructors.
Six workshops every hour. Four agent-panel and two editor-panel discussions. Three meals. Keynote speaker, J.L. Witterick, best-selling author, My Mothers Secret. Other speakers include best-selling authors Thomas Moore, Michael J. Sullivan, and Beatriz Williams.
Cost: $325
And for an additional $60, sit down for a 30-minute one-on-one discussion with an NYC editor or agent of your choice who will pre-read forty pages of your manuscript and a two-page summary. This is a unique opportunity. Click here for more information and/or to sign up: www.unicornwritersconference.com

ScreenCraft's largest monetary prize of 2017 is the Orb Media China-Hollywood Screenwriting Fellowship - open for entries until February 10!  Four (4) winners will each be offered an option fee of at least WGA minimum (up to $13,374) against a six-figure purchase price at WGA scale contingent on production (up to $133,739 each, depending on the final budget of each film).


Click here for more info and to apply: China-Hollywood

Friday, January 20, 2017

John Ukah is a seasoned banker and Associate of the Institute of Capital Market Registrars (ACMR). He is a graduate of Business Administration from the University of Benin, where he was listed as University Scholar. He also holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA). He has created an intriguing gallery of characters at the core of this whodunit thriller. 
 







D.O: Thanks for joining us today on Authors' Curtilage Book Dialogue, and welcome.

John Ukah: I am delighted to be here.
D.O: The audience would like to know which part of the world you’re joining us from.

John Ukah: From Lagos in Nigeria.

D.O: When did you know you wanted to become a writer?

John Ukah: I have always kept a personal journal. Writing is cathartic and exhilarating. It is therapeutic. There was no decision to become a writer. Writing has always been a part of me.

D.O: Whoa! That’s good to know. Tell us, what are the various craft you studied before you came into the entertainment industry or do you just possess some natural tendencies to write stories?

John Ukah: I have a natural tendency to write stories.

D.O: That’s talent there. What are the steps you took to develop your book from a rough draft into a published novel?

John Ukah: I did some research and made a lot of notes. I prepared broad outlines and chapter plans. I wrote a few chapters at a time and not necessarily in a sequential order. I edited them over and over again. It was useful to get feedback from readers.

D.O: What did you do differently in your book to make readers feel fear, concern, sadness, love and laughter?

John Ukah: The book has a gallery of engaging characters with struggles and conflicts that readers can identify with. Characters that keep the reader captivated till the very last page and live on afterwards in the mind. Readers can relate with their situation and come to care about them. The story also has unexpected surprises in the culmination. 

D.O: What sensitive materials does your book deal with?

John Ukah: It deals with the conflicts and relationship dynamics which play out where there are religious and cultural differences. It deals with drug abuse, self-esteem issues and murder.

D.O: What's the subject matter of your book?

John Ukah: The interactions of people from diverse backgrounds and value orientations. The story is about a young lady who discovered a dark secret and was murdered in a guest house at midnight.  Almost every other guest at the Lodge appeared to have had a motive to kill her.


D.O: Hmm. That’s touching. What is the underlying theme that explored truth or moral in your book?

John Ukah: People are like books. You only get to know a book by reading it. You get to know people by interacting or studying them. People are not always who they profess to be. Don’t judge a book by its cover or people by their social media profile picture. There’s often more to them than meets the eye.

D.O: Hmm. You don’t want to say. You author always plan me when it comes to this question. No problem. [SMILES] Well, what town or city does your book story portray and what is the feeling we have in this dwelling places?

John Ukah: The story portrays the serene and therapeutic Obudu environment in Cross River State, Nigeria. It captures the beautiful scenery and comfortable weather conditions - beaches, gardens, amusement parks and ranch resorts which have turned the Obudu Ranch Resort into a holiday-maker's delight.

D.O: Having a unique point of view in telling a story provides your story with intention. From how many characters' viewpoint is your entire book seen from?

John Ukah: The story is told from the viewpoint of three characters in the book which provides the reader a panoramic view. 

D.O: What do these points of views infuse into each of the chapter in your book?

John Ukah: The reader gets to see how same events are perceived differently by the characters owing to their diverse backgrounds. This leads to conflicts with far-reaching consequences, including murder.

D.O: What does the lead character of your book want most in the world?

John Ukah: He wants to unmask the person behind the chilling and brutal murder of a young lady he admired. The gallery of characters living at the guesthouse and thrown into the mix do not make the task of solving this case any easier.

D.O: Hmm. What does he do to achieve this goal?

John Ukah: He carries out a systematic investigation leveraging on his experience as a retired police officer.

D.O: What are the core truths for your lead character?

John Ukah: He discovers that things are not always what they seem. The only person he can trust is himself.

D.O: In reality, I’d say the only person we can trust is actually ourselves. It’s the only way we stay sane in the messed up world. What are the two conflicting values you created for the lead character?

John Ukah: He had romantic feelings for the murdered young lady. They shared an intense, but brief moment of passion. However, he needs a clear head to solve the case. He needs to be calm and methodical.

D.O: Do these values make sense from his backstory?

John Ukah: Yes, they made sense. He stayed true to character.

D.O: O.K. What is the personal trait you gave your lead character to survive your book story?

John Ukah: His power of observation. He pays attention to little details.

D.O: In the end of your book did the story goal satisfy your lead character's ambition or did he device another method to achieve his goal or failed at achieving it?

John Ukah: His goal was achieved with the assistance of other characters.

D.O: How do you think your book will influence reader’s growth positively?

John Ukah: The book covers a spectrum of societal issues. The individual struggles of the characters and conflicts in the book as well as their resolution will positively influence reader’s growth.

D.O: Any hint about your next book?

John Ukah: My next book is a detective thriller, a testimony on the bogey of love-life amidst confusion and value misjudgments. It affirms the point of duty on young men and women to make the right choices with their eyes open.  The story is a saga of love, pitiful criminalities, investigations, assumptions and deceits.

D.O: I’m sure my audience can’t wait to read that. It sounds intriguing. What better effort do you suggest writers, put into their writing to have great sales in the ever-changing economics of the entertainment industry?

John Ukah: Content is important. Write a book that resonates with the public. Get the services of trusted professionals to help you create the final published product. Promote the work. 

D.O: Thank you once again for joining us on Authors Curtilage Book Dialogue. We
wish you the publishing best and hope that all good things come your way with your book.

John Ukah: Thank you.

Direct link to purchase "Murder at Night" Amazon Amazon UK Smashwords Barnes & Noble

Connect to John Ukah Twitter Facebook

John Ukah joined the Authors’ Curtilage Book Dialogue via email from Lagos Nigeria. 




Saturday, January 14, 2017


D.O: Welcome Jo Barney, thanks for joining us today on Authors Curtilage Novel-Profile Raising.

JO: Hello!  Thanks for having me Darmie!

D.O: What type of books do you write?

JO: My books are novels, several are what I call “Women’s Contemporary” and this last one is a thriller.  All have feminine protagonists in the midst of change:  job, marriage, aging, loss.  Each in her own way discovers that she is capable of dealing with change and in fact, she herself is changing in the process.

D.O: Is Graffiti Grandma your first book?

JO: No, I have written three others and am finishing a fifth this month.  The last three books, The Solarium, Graffiti Grandma, and the untitled one are or will be self-published as ebooks and paperbacks. The first two are “practice” novels and may remain in a folder on my computer. But I do like them and may someday rescue them from my private slush pile.

D.O: What is this novel about, tell us shortly?

JO: Ellie, a cranky  old woman who cleans graffiti off her neighborhood’s mail boxes meets Sarah, a street kid in punk garb, on a street corner.  They have nothing in common except that they each have lost a family. Neither imagines that she will soon be making her way through the town’s forest, looking for the serial killer whose victims are homeless teenagers spending time in the park nearby.  Each nearly dies in the effort.  Seems strange but the theme of this novel centers on our universal need, no matter who we are, even serial killers, for family, either the one we have or the one we create.

D.O: What inspired you to write Graffiti Grandma?

JO: I disliked the tagging and graffiti on my neighborhood’s mailboxes so much that I went out with remover and scrapers every couple of weeks and removed it from the eight or so boxes in in the area.  Scrubbing away, I had time to imagine what would happen if one of the kids who probably did the tagging came up and tried to talk to me. Ellie fleshed out from that thought, as did Sarah, Jeffrey, a five-year-old who grows up to become a psychopath, and Matt, a policeman with a autistic child. I did quite a bit of research for the book:  the drugs, homelessness runaway youth, crime.  As a former school counselor, I knew a few kids like the ones I wrote about in Graffiti Grandma. I guess I can say that the inspiration came out of my own experiences with graffiti and with teenagers.  I have never experienced a serial killer, though.

D.O: How does it feel to be published author on the right foot?

JO: The “right foot” became evident when Graffiti Grandma received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus, two well-known review publications.  Then Kirkus named Graffiti Grandma to its 100 Best Books of 2013 and this recognition has been very gratifying. It is difficult for an author to know how others will respond to what she has created, and I am pleased with the positive response the book has received.

D.O: Are you a mainstream author, an independent author or a self-published author?

JO: I have had shorter pieces published in journals and magazines and when it became evident that finding an agent was going to be difficult, I decided to self-publish. The process is exciting and creative and I enjoyed it, especially opening that first box and holding Graffiti Grandma in my hand, For me, the most difficult part of self-publishing is the marketing and I work hard at it.

D.O: I wish you all the best you need to succeed in the Literary Markets.

JO:  Thank you for this opportunity to spread the word. I do appreciate it.



CHAPTER ONE

SARAH



October  2009




           We both were shivering a little in the gray morning air as we headed towards the first mailbox, me, in my black skirt and boots, Ellie in her old lady sweatshirt and red sneakers. I carried her supplies and towels stuffed in an old garbage bag like usual, and I could tell she was still mad at me, at my knowing how the graffiti got on the mailboxes. I was thinking about that, too, but she didn’t know the whole story, not then.



           “Spray!” Ellie ordered and I stopped remembering and pointed the bottle at the box in front of me. We scrubbed, Ellie not talking to me yet. After a couple of minutes, the black polish on my nails began to melt like the paint scrawls we were working on. Ellie muttered “Good,” when she saw me rubbing at them.



           As soon as the blue metal was as clean as Graffiti-X could get it, we headed towards the next mailbox. By the time we got to the street with the big trees, I was getting hot and glad for what little shade was left, the limbs above me almost bare. Orange and brown leaves crunched under my feet.



            Rich people lived in these apartments. I could tell by the doors, polished brass knobs, and the pots of flowers beside them. They probably sat on their upstairs terraces and felt like they were living  in the arms of the trees. I was imagining eating breakfast four stories up and feeding a squirrel a piece of pancake when I stumbled and heard the heel of my boot snap. Shit, my only shoes was my first thought. I picked up the broken piece and had to walk like a cripple, one leg short, one long.



           “Take ‘em off!” Ellie said, shaking her gray head at me. “Stupid to wear boots like that; you look like a baby hooker.” She took the bag of supplies from me and I leaned against a tree and bent down and yanked. The cold from the sidewalk seeped through the leaves and into my toes. Ellie’s disgusted frown told me not to complain, so I shoved the boots into the bag. Maybe I could get the heel fixed somewhere.



           She marched ahead, not waiting up for me, calling over her shoulder, “We’ll finish up with the next box. When we get back you can borrow a pair of my old sneakers.”



           I watched where I was going, hoping I wouldn’t step on dog poop or something yucky hidden under the leaves. That’s when I saw the white basketball shoe sticking up from a pile of leaves at the curb. Someone must have lost it. Except that the shoe also had a sock in it. And in the sock, a leg.



           I grabbed Ellie’s arm and pointed. She looked back, made a sound like she was choking, whispered ”Oh no,” and shut her eyes.



           Without thinking, I made my way to the gutter and pushed sticks and leaves away from the rest of the leg. Familiar, worn denim jeans appeared. Then I recognized a plaid patch on a thigh and a hand with a small ink tattoo of a smiley face at the wrist. I was bawling by the time I uncovered his head, brushed bits of dirt from his eyes, understood that he was dead. Peter.



           Ellie came close and leaned over me, her words sharp as broken glass. “Leave him! Not our business.” She pulled me upright and, sobbing, I shoved at her against the trunk of a tree. “It’s trouble!” She reached for me again. “Nothing good ever comes from a dead body.”



           She dragged me away from Peter through a tear-blurred trail of leaves. “I’ll call 911,” she said. “When we get home. Anonymous.”



           And she did and now I’m lying here half alive in this hospital bed, wires and tubes beeping and bubbling, hoping she’s not dead somewhere....


REVIEWS

Kirkus Reviews:  Ostensibly about a serial killer, Barney’s (The Solarium, 2011, etc.) novel is about much more than that. It’s also the story of people who are down but not out and a rumination on family, courage and responsibility—a book that reverberates long after the last page.    (3/11/2013)

Publishers Weekly review:  Barney weaves a multifaceted narrative with quick shifts in time and focus to show how flawed individuals overcome, or are destroyed by, failed relationships. The destructive impact of alcohol, drugs, and sexual abuse on children is abundantly displayed—and made stronger by the absence of graphic or exploitative portrayals. . .The grim, understated scenes of young people coping with the seamy side of life ensure that this is no lighthearted read, and Barney's convincing portrayal of ambivalent teen psychology. . .  provides a powerful glimpse of an underground world unknown to many, whose inhabitants are capable of transformation through love and acceptance. (3/1/2013)

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Damilola Ogunremi is a trained, talented and creative writer. Her passion to help authors in all aspects of online marketing flows through in the expert interviews and reviews she provides. She also blog about other scintillating contents, from health, to books, writing, film, fashion, to creative tutorials to writing ideas, and contents creative minds and fans will love. In addition she is a certified etiquette and image consultant, founder DRS Etiquette and Image Consulting, helping children, pre-teens and teens develop as individuals who standout in a good way in the world where good manners are crucial. As well as helping, big and small business rig out today’s workplace challenges, impart their employees with improved confidence that increase ROI. If your blog/business is something that fits with her blogs, She would be happy to have you advertise with her!

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