Conversations: 6/17/2016

JUNE IS BUSTING OUT ALL OVER

The Season for Short Stories (Part III)

Within most every month on our calendar there is some type of celebration honoring the men and women who serve our countries in the military. To support, encourage and thank them, children have sent handmade cards to those on active duty. Family and Friend groups have hired local artists to create one-of-a-kind Thank You cards and sent them with personalized messages to thousands of our armed forces around the world. The big-name producers of greeting cards (e.g. Hallmark etc.) have created animated eCards that deliver messages such as: “Spirit, promise, hope. Once a soldier, always a hero,” and “Thanks for being the kind of person our country can depend on.” I love the concept of eCards. Their short messages are like short stories from the heart—much like eBooks.

In a previous blog I mentioned that a collection of short stories can quickly build into a book. One excellent example of this development method combined the author’s love for canine companions with her knowledge of training police and military working dogs. Violetta Kovacs collected multiple short stories about various K9s who exemplify excellence in the daring and often deadly “jobs” they carry out. Then, she published her book: K9 COMMANDO, Police and Army Dogs from New York to Berlin.

YOU, TOO can collect short stories and publish!

  • Are there people in your writing group (s) who’ve written an excellent short story but never did anything with it?
  • Are you in contact with friends who love to tell a good story, but have never written them?
  • Have your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents told you a story that is so vivid in your memory you could write it yourself?

What is stopping you?

  • Are you an art collector of ODD pieces—maybe found in dumpsters or garage sales? Does each individual item TELL you a story?
  • Are you a photographer whose focus is on Mountain Peaks, or Tree Tops, or Valleys, or Meadows? What are the STORIES behind your specific photographic interests?
  • Are you a sculptor of clay or wood who allows the object to inspire the piece AS IF it TELLS you its story as you work?

ARE YOU LISTENING to all these stories?

IF (or when) you find yourself struggling with completing your novel, writing and/or collecting short stories will send you on a whole new adventure! It will give you fresh insights and fresh perspectives that can not only give you a publishable collection, but will loosen your writing flow and provide a boost to the completion of your novel!

Grab hold of one (or two or three) of the ideas listed here today, and run with it! You’ll be happily surprised how much FUN you’ll have while becoming a published author! ⚓︎

RoyaleneABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.  

Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.

To All Veterans, Thank You

I spent 13-years as a contractor with the Department of Defense working in a variety of locations: Germany, England, Hungary, Bosnia, Turkey, Spain, Italy, Hawaii and New Mexico. This work put me in day-to-day contact with military personnel and gave me personally a HUGE appreciation for veterans – for what they do and what they sacrifice, so today, I’d like to take the time to say thank you to all of the veterans who have served our country. I truly appreciate the sacrifices you have made and admire your courage, strength, and dedication.

In the past, I’ve encouraged writers to honor soldiers by self-publishing stories about them, but today I want to encourage all soldiers, whether they consider themselves writers or not, to share their stories. Each of you has a story to share. Whether it is a love story, a war story, or just general reflections on the time you served, people want to read it.

I think it is important that people get the opportunity to learn many versions of events, especially first-hand tales from those who were there. I also think writing and story telling is a great way to heal, remember, and honor. The American people don’t want to just hear stories from the media. They want to hear stories from the soldiers who were there!

Now, you may be thinking, but I don’t write, and that is okay. You can self-publish a book even if you don’t consider yourself a writer. There are professional ghostwriters out there who would love to help you turn your story into a great book. There are also amazing editors, illustrators, and marketing professionals who can help you be successful.

In honor of Veterans Day, I leave you with this message: share your story. People want to know it, and only you can tell it.

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Manager of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

Happy Memorial Day, Self-Publishing Authors

It’s Memorial Day; a day for remembering those who have died while serving in the US Armed Forces. I didn’t grow up in a military family, although my father was in Civil Service for 40 years.  When I was 22 I moved to a military base in Germany, where I acquired gainful employment and enrolled in college.  I remained tightly associated with the military for the next 21 years.  Wow, did this change my perspective about those who serve!  I am in awe and so very, very thankful for those who answer the calling to serve our country.

I lost friends to battles, and I make a point of reflecting on them each Memorial Day.  I’ve visited Arlington National Cemetery and had the eerie and yet peaceful heaviness descend upon me as I observed ceremonies for soldiers I didn’t know.  I’ve donned helmet and Kevlar and flown into Bosnia where I observed hundreds of soldiers living without modern conveniences and very little privacy because they were on a mission; a mission they may not return from.  They are all very special people.  I think about them too.

Prior to my close association with the US Armed Forces, when I choose a book to read purely for pleasure, I tended to navigate toward the Science Fiction and Fantasy genres, but during and after my association with the military, my tastes turned to historical and military fiction novels.  I love a well-written book I can read that has the entertainment value of fiction combined with the historical basis that I can learn from.  Many of the novels I read really drive home the statement that, “Freedom isn’t free.”

Maybe some of you have a story to share about a soldier you loved and lost.  Consider presenting the story as fiction based on a true-story. Self-publishing can help you honor that special person and share their story with the world.

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Manager of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

A Thank You to All Veterans

Today, I’d like to take the time to say thank you to all of the veterans who have served our country. I truly appreciate the sacrifices you have made and admire your courage, strength, and dedication.

In the past, I’ve encouraged writers to honor soldiers by self-publishing stories about them, but today I want to encourage all soldiers, whether they consider themselves writers or not, to share their stories. Each of you has a story to share. Whether it is a love story, a war story, or just general reflections on the time you served, people want to read it.

I think it is important that people get the opportunity to learn many versions of events, especially first-hand tales from those who were there. I also think writing and story telling is a great way to heal, remember, and honor. The American people don’t want to just hear stories from the media. They want to hear stories from the soldiers who were there.

Now, you may be thinking, but I don’t write, and that is okay. You can self-publish a book even if you don’t consider yourself a writer. There are professional ghostwriters out there who would love to help you turn your story into a great book. There are also amazing editors, illustrators, and marketing professionals who can help you be successful.

This Veterans Day, I leave you with this message: share your story. People want to know it, and only you can tell it.

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Manager of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

Friday Conversations With A Self-Publishing Writer 10/25/13

When talking with a neighbor today, I mentioned my appreciation for novels of “historical” fiction and how much I’ve learned from them.  She asked for an example, and I immediately thought of an exceptionally well-written book about how many Christians—living in Germany at the time Hitler was coming into power—“looked the other way” when facts were revealed about the treatment of their Jewish neighbors.  My neighbor then showed me a book she’d just read, a self-published novel titled Barbed Wire and Daisies by Carol Strazer.  “It is the story of a mother and her children trying to escape the hell of German occupation in WWII,” she said.  “And it’s so visually written that I could almost stumble over the rubble of destruction.”

She continued,  “The sadness I feel today when reading books like that goes beyond the horrific truth of those events because I become even more aware that we humans haven’t learned much from those experiences.”  Then she asked me if I’d read any of the “soldier blogs” that pepper the Internet.  I had to admit that I haven’t.  “These are the real life histories that need to be developed into books,” she stated.  “Only the truth, told from the perspective of these soldiers—these boots-on-the-ground—can make the world taste the dust storms and feel the pain of war.”  After that conversation, I have a lot more to think about.

Personally, as one of the millions of people who breathe in our FREEDOM every day because of the sacrifices of our military men and women—and their families—I can only agree with my friend.  I have no immediate knowledge of what it really feels like when bunk-mates don’t return from a mission.  I never stood to attention at a desert memorial service as my platoon saluted each of the lost soldiers whose kevlars had been placed on their weapons, their dog tags hanging below their helmets as they should have been hanging around their necks.

So, today, I have no specific writing advice to share with you; only the hope that someone who is reading this will begin writing the true stories of the real life histories they’ve lived.  Or, if you’re a writer and know one of our soldiers/warriors, maybe they could tell you their experiences and you could develop the book.  Our world is being forever changed by these events.  We need to know what has happened—from many perspectives—so that we have the real opportunity to make the future better and brighter.

Royalene ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene Doyle is a Ghostwriter with Outskirts Press, bringing more than 35 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their writing projects. She has worked with both experienced and fledgling writers helping complete projects in multiple genres. When a writer brings the passion they have for their work and combines it with Royalene’s passion to see the finished project in print, books are published and the writer’s legacy is passed forward.