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Author Joe Laws Survives Death – A True Story of Thanksgiving

“It’s just not your time yet, Little Joe…”

Joe Laws is a man used to fixing things.  After all, he’s fixed robots, water pumps, conveyors, and just about everything else that needs fixing at the automotive facility where he works. But when on July 17, 2011 a fall from the roof left his body broken and bleeding, even Joe knew it was beyond repair.  He also knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that he had died.

It was a safe assumption, considering the extent of his injuries. The left side of his body was completely crushed; his back, neck, collarbone, and eleven of his ribs were broken.  His lungs had collapsed and his heart had stopped.  And, as the doctors of Vanderbilt University Medical Center would soon learn, he was in complete hemorrhagic shock, meaning that he had essentially bled to death from a ruptured spleen.  As they tried frantically to save Joe’s life, his family prayed fervently that God would spare him.

Joe, in the meantime, was on the ride of his life. As he floated away from earth and into the skies above, he saw and felt a large hand cradling him, as a parent would a most beloved child. He knew immediately that he was being held, literally, by the hand of God.  He was lifted toward a brilliant light, where he felt a love so powerful and all encompassing that it defied explanation. For what seemed an eternity, he played in “his Heaven”, visited with loved ones and learned about the true meaning of good, evil, and life itself.  He rejoiced at being “home”, until God delivered the devastating news that he was going back into his body. It was not his time.

As it turned out, Dr. Richard Miller, Chief of Vanderbilt’s Trauma Unit, agreed. During a dangerous, five-hour surgery, Dr. Miller would use a revolutionary method—and titanium strips– to secure Joe’s crushed ribcage and save his life. After struggling for two years to recover physically and emotionally from his ordeal, Joe realized he could help others by sharing his experience. Held By the Hand of God is Joe Laws’ incredible story of Heaven, Earth and walking between two worlds.

About the Author

Joe Laws is an Industrial Maintenance Technician in Smyrna, Tennessee. A self-described “regular Joe” and accidental author, he seeks to inspire and heal others with his story of God’s love and the very real promise of Heaven.  Joe lives just south of Nashville, Tennessee with his wife, Debra.  Held by the Hand of God is his first book.

Welcome Joe,

Author Joe Laws

Real Answer Real Authors: Why did you decide to publish?

Joe:  The decision for me to publish was really a suggestion from my wife that I should write my thoughts down on paper. She said it would be a means for me to help get over what happened to me; my falling off of my shed and killing myself. I am not an author by trade, far from it, I fix robots. However after a very eye opening experience at my local barber shop where I told a young lady my story of my death, my soul being lifted off the ground by the hand of God, and subsequently being shown heaven I told my wife that I will put my thoughts into the written word. I had to tell this story of what happened to me so that if I helped even one more soul as I did that day in the barber shop then my life, my death, and now my life again will not have been wasted.

On July 17, 2011 I fell off of the top of my shed. The fall broke my neck, back, shoulder, collar bone, eleven ribs, my spleen exploded, my lungs collapsed, and my heart was crushed. It quit beating instantly. I died! About ten to fifteen minutes later my heart started beating again and I immediately began bleeding to death through my spleen. After waking up on the ground broken all to pieces I began a slow crawl to my old truck. I wasn’t about to give up. And after spending thirteen days in the ICU at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN I began my road to recovery without a spleen and a brand new rib cage.

I returned to work on October 17, 2011 exactly three months to the day if not the second that I fell. I later found out that October 17 held a significance other than me. That was the day Noah’s Ark came to rest and he opened the doors to set the animals free.

RARA: What titles have you published to date?

Joe: This is my first book. I have started on a second book for children to be finished this winter. It is a true story and is in and of itself a miracle about my neighbor’s dog. 

Author Joe Laws Cover

RARA: How are you currently marketing your book and what has given you the best results?

Joe:  My book has not yet been released but the website is being built and is live now but there are more things to be added soon. It is www.heldbythehandofgod.com. I have not really started the marketing phase but realize that I do need to do that. This interview with Jill and reading her book was and still is a great help. The ideas from so many different authors are wonderful and priceless for such a small fee. I will use many of their tactics as I move blindly forward into the world of publishing. Hopefully it will help take some of the blinders off for me.

RARA: Are there any books or websites that you have found the most useful?

Joe:  There are several different websites and books that I like that I have found to be useful. The first book I bought was by  Allan Douglas, a fellow Tennessean and the title of his book is: “Writing for Profit or Pleasure”. It is a great little book that has many ideas that someone that is new to the business should read. Another is Jill’s book. Again, something that new authors should be required to read as they begin their journey. There are so many websites and books one can get overwhelmed by them all. However I do like Aaron Shepard’s publishing page. I don’t subscribe to him yet or have not bought his book yet but I intend to. He sounds like he knows what he is talking about.

RARA: What has been your greatest challenge in self publishing?

Joe:  My greatest challenge along this magical journey of publishing a book I would have to say is learning the ropes the hard way. My wife’s late father used to tell her, “Believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see”. That is great advice!  It seems there are multiple avenues for dishonest people in this industry to be unscrupulous at best is the nicest way I can think of to put it.

RARA: What is the best advice or tip you can give a new and aspiring author?

Joe:  The best advice I could give a new author is do not quit your day job! “Trust but verify” as Ronald Reagan so eloquently put it as he brought the old Soviet Union to its knees. If it is too good to be true, then it is not true. There are many con-artists in this industry, in fact there are companies whose sole source of income is derived from unsuspecting budding authors. Check the Better Business Bureau with any company that you deal with. If there are multiple complaints, RUN! And my final piece of advice would be, “Don’t ever give up”. If I had given up on July 17, 2011 my body would be six feet underground right now and you would not be reading this.

Thanks for taking a break and reading about one of our authors.  If you would like to be included in the series, please contact me at jill@mirabooksmart.com.

Some of my next blogs will be about getting your book into the library system and marketing your book through Amazon.  Click the follow button to be notified as soon as these are posted.

And in case I don’t see ya… good afternoon, good evening and good night.

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Word on the Street: Author Stephanie Helms Pickett

Stephanie Helms Pickett’s life has been reflected by Ephesians 3:20, “Now to him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all that we can ask or think, according to the power that worketh within us.”  Reared in Chicago by her mom, her biggest inspiration, Stephanie fell in love with writing at an early age.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Radio & Television Broadcasting from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale; and a Master’s and Doctorate degree in Higher Education Administration from North Carolina State University.  She is the Director of Assessment & Professional Development Programs in the Division of Student Affairs at Duke University and Visiting Professor in the Program in Education.   Stephanie serves as the Coordinator of the Anointed Soles Dance Ministry at Wake Chapel Church, in Raleigh, North Carolina, under the leadership of Pastor J. Jasper Wilkins Jr.  She is a member of the Chapel Hill/Carrboro Graduate Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.  In August 2009 the Lord blessed her union to Charles Pickett, Sr,.  Their blended family includes two teenagers, Charles Pickett Jr. (19), Niani, (18) and two dogs, Diamond Star and Gypsy.  They reside in Raleigh, North Carolina.

For more information about Stephanie and to purchase her book, please visit: drhelmspickett.com

Welcome Stephanie,

Author Stephanie Helms Pickett

Real Answer Real Authors: Why did you decide to publish?

Stephanie:  I have been in love with writing for as far back as I can remember.  More specifically, over the course of the last 10 years, I have flirted with writing a book.  In January 2012, I declared that I would commit myself with action to my dream to share divine insight on challenges and triumphs I experienced, particularly those in academic environments as a means to encourage, assist and affirm others.  I thought publishing would be a primary and significant method to share my message.

RARA: What titles have you published to date?

Stephanie:   I have published, “Later Never Came Until Now.”  “Later Never Came Until Now” is a 47,000 word faith-based reflective narrative designed to empower from both a scholarly and scriptural perspective exploring elements that came “nigh my dwelling.” As a child, I was told “you may not understand it now, but you will later.”  As an adult, I realize that I missed so many opportunities to apply what I was being exposed to and learning in the moment. 

The main character is me, the product of a single parent household from the south side of Chicago, who was perpetually interested in everything but school, yet surpassed obstacles to eventually attain a doctorate degree while holding ever connected to faith in God. Through narratives from age 9 to 40, this book will take the reader on a journey through laughter and tears to fully appreciate turning tough trials into triumphs and struggles into successes.

Author Cover

RARA: How are you currently marketing your book and what has given you the best results?

Stephanie:  I’ve been working with The Jaxton Creative Group to develop the branding and marketing strategy for my book. I premiered Later Never Came Until Now at Wake Chapel’s Church’s Women’s Retreat in Virginia Beach in December 2012. A Facebook site under the name of Dr. Helms Pickett is operational by which I share daily insight and communicate with followers.  The book was featured on an episode of Brand Newz, an online program hosted by Christopher Martin in March 2013, followed by a book launch at LabourLove Art Gallery in Durham, NC. In July 2013, I was featured on Literary Nation Live, a radio talk show highlighting artists and authors hosted by Patrick Oliver where I shared insight about the book and advocacy for parents in navigating the educational arena. My website is presently under construction and will go live in September 2013.  Finally, I have several speaking engagements scheduled in the upcoming months.  Each of these efforts has afforded the opportunity for connection and with other venues and people.  I have a way to go, but small, intentional steps have continued to open doors and provide access.

RARA: Are there any books or websites that you have found the most useful?

Stephanie:  I found Oprah’s Life Lessons website to be incredibly useful and inspirational.  Although it does not specifically address publishing or authoring, it is formatted from a curriculum and instructional foundation, as well as constructivist format that appeals to me as an educator and assisted me in processing how I could reflect in a manner which assisted me to conceptualize my thoughts into action.  When I decided to self-publish, I found Mira’s site to be easy to navigate and answered many of the questions I had as a first time author.

RARA: What has been your greatest challenge in self publishing?

Stephanie:  The greatest challenge for me in self-publishing has been the funding.  As the parent of two college students the practice of setting resources aside to print my publication has been challenging.  I did not want to go into debt, so printing the book has often moved slower than I desired.  I am hopeful and I am a believer in the messaging of the book so I continue to remain motivated and determined to continue.  I don’t believe I have exhausted all of the tenets of self-publishing to date.

RARA: What is the best advice or tip you can give a new and aspiring author?

Stephanie:  Interestingly enough, with only one book under my belt (and another in progress), I get this question more than I imagined and I am appreciative to share what I’ve learned thus far.  As a new and aspiring author, it is critically important to remain focused on the prompting for writing.  You cannot get discouraged and compare yourself to someone who’s been in the game longer than you.  As authors, we strive to have a tangible, final product.  The effort, pitfalls and loopholes one narrowly escapes or overcame to reach the end are not visible to the naked eye.  Be persistent, be authentic and be purposeful and you will attain your expected end.

Thanks for taking a break and reading about one of our authors.  If you would like to be included in the series, please contact me at jill@mirabooksmart.com.

Some of my next blogs will be about getting your book into the library system and marketing your book through Amazon.  Click the follow button to be notified as soon as these are posted.

And in case I don’t see ya… good afternoon, good evening and good night.

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Fashionista Writes to Motivate Women

My name is Latonya Thompson, born and raised in Florida. I am a fashionista girly, girl who likes to help embrace other women; whether it’s by providing good advice, give a listening ear, up lift someone’s spirit (being motivational).  I started writing as a hobby but never looked into publishing or becoming an author. I would always keep a journal and write down thoughts and short stories/poems. I enjoyed writing letters which turned into a mini quick read (2 full pages easy).  One day I got this haunch to write and produce books for the public, along the side of my 14 year career and mother of four. I decided I want to do something for me and reach out to the public.  My books are dedicated to women and are based on inspiring and helping to motivate others. I have also created my own website (4evertruebooks.vpweb.com) that also speaks to the selling of my books, advertising, inspirational quotes and information about giving back to the community. My books are also featured and sold on amazon.com. Thus far I have created my own Journal for women titled Beautiful Me, autobiography which includes the topics of relationships, forgiveness, faith etc.  This next book is titled “All about Me”. I am currently working on my third book and it is titled “Converting to the other Side.”

Welcome Latonya,

Latonya Howard Image

Real Answer Real Authors: Why did you decide to publish?

Latonya:  I decided to publish to be of an inspiration and to help motivate other readers through my books. 

RARA: What titles have you published to date?

Latonya:  I have published my own inspirational journal titled “Beautiful Me” and I am currently working on releasing my next book, which is an autobiography titled “All About Me” (You can find peace in starting over) published by Mirabooksmart.

RARA: How are you currently marketing your book and what has given you the best results?

Latonya:  I am currently marketing my book/s through my website 4evertruebooks.vpweb.com and amazon. I had a book release party to also help market my first book. I have written a Play to my second book to be released in December 2013.  The Play will have excerpts from my book “All About Me”.  I will be having a launch party with select vendors on site that will help me promote my book. I am teaming up with a local boutique that will sell a couple of my books in their store with a special promotion. (First 10 customers to purchase my book will also receive a free gift card valued at $10 to use at the boutique)

RARA: Are there any books or websites that you have found the most useful?

Latonya:  Jill I have been on your website and I do find it to be very useful. I like the information you have given on how to get a press release on new and upcoming book releases. 

RARA: What has been your greatest challenge in self publishing?

Latonya:  My greatest challenge with self publishing has been publicizing/exposure.

RARA: What is the best advice or tip you can give a new and aspiring author?

Latonya:  The best advise that I can give to an aspiring author… Writing and publishing your book is a great accomplishment.  You see all of your hard work flourish right before your eyes and others can appreciate your talent as well. Even if you do not receive much exposure or have high sales; Author will still be your title. Take pleasure in your works!

Thanks for taking a break and reading about one of our authors.  If you would like to be included in the series, please contact me at jill@mirabooksmart.com.

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Kristi L. Stout: Writer, Author and Illustrator

Kristi L. Stout was born a Californian in 1980 and has moved around more times than she can count. After a three-year stay in the beautiful, Pacific Northwest she found herself back in sunny, southern California where she continues to write, create art and raise her daughter. A loving spiritualist and inquisitive adventurer, Kristi has been drawing and writing stories since she could hold a pencil. Graduating from college in 2005, majoring in Media Arts and Animation, Kristi’s professional career has involved everything from graphic design, to industrial design, fine arts and illustration.

Welcome Kristi to the table,

Kristi L Stout Image

Real Answer Real Authors: Why did you decide to publish?

Kristi:  I have a message that I want to share with the world and stories inside me that just have no other choice but to come out.

RARA: What titles have you published to date?

Kristi:  The Quest of Heart is my first officially published book. However I am a contributing author to an online European-based forum called www.RebelleSociety.com. Where I write articles about creative rebellion and conscious thinking.

Kristi L Stout Cover

Short Book Description:

Follow a girl as she searches for the other half of her heart. Along her journey she meets friends and almost loses her imagination along with all the color in her life. Her encounters remind us of the hope that can be found inside our hearts. 

Purchase:

The Quest of Heart is available for purchase through www.thequestofheart.com and Amazon.  eBook is available through Kindle and Google Play Books.

RARA: How are you currently marketing your book and what has given you the best results?

Kristi:  So far my Rebelle Society platform has been a wonderful tool to spread the word as they are a world-wide forum. My book sort of ties into self-help and spirituality so I am also approaching Unitarian Congregations in San Diego County via a close connection with one particular congregation in the Philippines.

RARA: Are there any books or websites that you have found the most useful?

Kristi:  There is a great authors blog through Infinity Publishing that has some excellent ideas for marketing yourself. I have taken lots of their tips and advice as well as just some creative ideas of my own with the fantastic help of my business manager. Thinking OUT-OF-THE-BOX in this case can be excellent and fun.

RARA: What has been your greatest challenge in self publishing?

Kristi:  Just getting it out there. Getting it seen and marketing in general. When you are the creative mind behind the stories and illustrations, marketing proves to be a time-consuming challenge for the creative. But a necessary step in getting the message to the world, one I am charging head on like some kind of warrior.

RARA: What is the best advice or tip you can give a new and aspiring author?

Kristi:  Well, I am a new author and it’s been blood, sweat and tears to get to the point I am now and I’m still going strong still without any huge breaks. It is quite helpful in this case to have a strong faith when pushing your book because it is the driving force behind what you do. For instance, the thought: If I just keep going, something will break. The hope that something is just around the corner. Hang onto that with ferocity and I think something good will come. 

Thanks for taking a break and reading about one of our authors.  If you would like to be included in the series, please contact me at jill@mirabooksmart.com.

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Famed Author and Freelance Writer: Sibylla Nash

A New Jersey native, Sibylla has written hundreds of articles that have appeared in a variety of newspapers, magazines and websites including Vibe, Essence, The Chicago Tribune and on Launch.com.  She is the author of Baby Modeling & Beyond: From The Stroller To The Red Carpet – a how to guide for parents, a novel, DreamCity, and she co-authored The Fan Survival Guide: 50 Ways To Meet Your Favorite Celebrity.

As a freelance writer, she has written about subjects ranging from entertainment to parenting issues to topical matters.  As an entertainment writer, she has interviewed celebrities such as Academy Award winning actors Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Academy Award nominee Will Smith; comedians/actors Dave Chappelle, Jamie Foxx and Kim Coles; CEO/film director Chris Stokes; and actress Constance Marie. (…see more about the author below)

Take advantage of the current promotions on Sibylla’s books:  Bumped is $.99 and  Baby Modeling & Beyond: From the Stroller to the Red Carpet is $4.99.

Thank you for joining us, Sibylla,

Sibylla Nash image

Real Answer Real Authors: Why did you decide to publish?

Sibylla:  I started self-publishing back in the 90s. My first book was a guide book for independent filmmakers. I chose to self-publish that particular book because I had access to that market (and used direct mail to reach them) and the information I had was timely in terms of deadlines for contests and grants.

RARA: What titles have you published to date?

Sibylla:  To date I have published four titles, one was co-written under a pen name – DreamCity, Little Black Book of Filmmaking (out of print), Fan Survival Guide: 50 Ways to Meet Your Favorite Celebrity, and Bumped.

Sibylla Nash cover

RARA: How are you currently marketing your book and what has given you the best results?

Sibylla:  I read somewhere that marketing your book is like a marathon and that is certainly the case! I haven’t found a magic bullet. It takes a consistent effort across all platforms, your blog, social media, other blogs, advertising. You can’t create a buzz through just one channel. I’ll tweet about my books daily because your tweet has such a short shelf life. I did the Amazon free promotion and it was ok but didn’t give me the great bump in sales I was hoping for but I heard that if you have a series, you are more likely to see an increase in sales with the free promotion than stand alone books.

RARA: Are there any books or websites that you have found the most useful?

Sibylla: I love reading Galley Cat on Mediabistro.com, PW Daily (Publisher’s Weekly), Where Writer’s Win (writerswin.com), doing giveaways on Goodreads has been great, there are also a bunch of promo sites (free and low cost) that promote ebooks to their lists (Galley Cat has a list of them).  Also, in terms of finding editors and graphic artists, I’ve had pretty good luck on sites like guru.com.

RARA: What has been your greatest challenge in self publishing?

Sibylla:  Continuing to write! It’s so easy to get caught up in the marketing end of things and not continue to produce new work. I’m so far behind on my sequel to Bumped, it’s not even funny. Oh and the second hardest thing, self-promotion in the real world (vs. online). Some people are great at it, me? Not so much. If you self-publish though, it’s part and parcel of the game, you have to let people know about your book(s).

RARA: What is the best advice or tip you can give a new and aspiring author?

Sibylla:  Keep writing, keep reading and keep learning. The marketing aspect is always evolving thanks to technology, you’ll want to stay on top of things as well as see what works for others. Most importantly though (after you’ve written that fabulous best-seller of course!) make sure you do research about the best vehicle for YOU in order to get your book out into the world. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, everything you need to know about being traditionally published or independently published, there’s a blog, conference, Yahoo or Facebook group about it somewhere. So do your due diligence before you put your work out there [steps down from soapbox]. 

MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A graduate from the University of Southern California with a degree in print journalism, Sibylla has also worked in the entertainment industry at film production companies as well as for major talent agencies.  She lends this experience to give authenticity to the pages of her debut novel DreamCity.

DreamCity entices readers to delve into the intimate musings of Adrianna Whittaker’s personal diary. It pulls you into the Hollywood drama of drugs, betrayal, relationship dilemmas and growing pains that Adrianna experiences as she comes of age.

“I’ve been keeping a journal most of my life,” says Sibylla. “So I guess it’s only natural that my first novel would be written in a diary format.” A big believer in journaling, she facilitates a workshop, “Journaling Your Way to Success.”

Sibylla balances her writing life with the varied demands of parenthood.  Many of her experiences as a single mother raising her daughter Kortney weaves its way into her work. She was recognized by the WB11 News as an Unsung Hero for her parenting newsletter, In The Corner.

Sibylla currently lives in Los Angeles and is currently working on several other fiction and non-fiction projects.  Sibylla and Kortney have appeared on TLC’s Ballroom Bootcamp and recently filmed a Rice Krispies commercial.

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Author Rick Brambrink: a Victorian Lover and Publisher

Rick Brambrink started his self-publishing career in 2010 and already has seven books with more on the way.  He has a passion for touring Victorian style homes and meeting with the owners.  Rick is currently the president of the James J. Hill Society and will be holding a presentation at the Princeton Depot on November 13.

Another event coming up is ‘The Titanic’s of the Great Lakes’.  It is about the two passenger ships that James J. Hill had on the great lakes. There will be one model ship on display along with all of the photos and blue prints of the ships.  James built two passenger ships that sailed only on the great lakes, North West and North Land. They were sister ships and they were the largest and fastest ships on the great lakes at the time they were built and many years later.  Please comment if interested in more info on event.

Let’s welcome Rick Brambrink,

Rick Brambrink image

Real Answer Real Authors: Why did you decide to publish?

Rick:  I decided to publish because I think that it is important to record history. The first book that we published was in architectural style. We wanted to record historic fences and gates of historic mansions. Then we went into coloring books but also kept that on the historic side. Recording history is very important no matter what form it is in.

RARA: What titles have you published to date?

Rick:  Grand Fences and Gates of the James J. Hill House, Summit Avenue Coloring Book, Cathedral of Saint Paul Coloring Book, Glensheen  the Historic Congdon Estate Coloring Book, Minnesota North Shore Coloring Book, Twin Cities Coloring Book and Summit Avenue Mansions. 

Rick Brambrink cover 2Rick Brambrink cover 4Rick Brambrink cover 5

RARA: How are you currently marketing your book and what has given you the best results?

Rick:  We do books on locations that have a good customer base. We make sure that before we do a book that they are willing to sell it. I have a good relationship with all of my customers so that they are willing to keep selling them.

RARA: Are there any books or websites that you have found the most useful?

Rick: I know that having a good website is very useful. But I have did not research publishing books before I got into the business. My business partner already had some background experience with publishing a book, I just had to be the front guy and make things happen. I have not read any books on publishing.

RARA: What has been your greatest challenge in self publishing?

Rick:  Getting the word out on a new book.

RARA: What is the best advice or tip you can give a new and aspiring author?

Rick:  Don’t think that all you have to do is publish a book and watch the money roll in, you have to work long and hard at it to get your book to sell. You have to stay in contact with the book stores at all times and make sure they don’t run out of your book. It’s not easy.

 

Check out my previous author interviews and blogs on prelaunch marketing, cover/manuscript setup and working with a printer.  If you are not following, just click the follow button on the right hand side to be emailed when new blogs are posted.   If you would like to be included in the author interview series and get some (free) book exposure – just email me at jill@mirabooksmart.com

As always, I appreciate any comments, suggestions or feedback. If you have a blog topic you want me to cover – send it over.

…and in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night.

 

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Author Mark Tierno: Turning Tragedy into Triumph

Mark lives in his home town of Monrovia California, the recipient of degrees in Physics and Math, and a lifelong reader of fantasy and SciFi.  The son of loving middle class parents, he spent 25 years of his life caring for them and watching his Dad’s health deteriorate from Parkinson’s Disease.  It was during this time that he discovered his talent for, and love of, writing stories.   The result was joy brought to the Tierno household as well as an epic that spans 13 novels.

“A world beyond time… an adventure beyond imagining.”

Let’s welcome Mark Tierno,

MarkTierno image

Real Answer Real Authors: Why did you decide to publish?

Mark:  Well, my old publisher who shall remain nameless (cough_PublishAmerica-cough) simply did not look out, or care for, its authors.  Their idea of marketing was to nickel and dime their own authors instead of trying to sell to the general public.  Since 100% of the work of marketing, selling, and distribution was left up to the authors, then why not publish it myself and get 100% of the profits.  After all it IS my hard work and creativity.

RARA: What titles have you published to date?

Mark:  “Maldene” is my big fantasy epic, with the first novel out as a two-volume set due to sheer size and my lack of notoriety.  It is a story of epic fantasy that also blends in some Sci-Fi in future novels in the series.  Seeing as how it’s a 13-novel series, I really need to get this first book selling first before I bring out the others.

Mark Tierno cover

RARA: How are you currently marketing your book and what has given you the best results?

Mark:  Right now I’ve been looking into Social Media Marketing through Facebook.  It’s the cheapest alternative that I can currently find, doesn’t require a really big marketing firm, and is something I can do while still at home working on my next story.  As far as results, it’s still too early to tell yet.

RARA: Are there any books or websites that you have found the most useful?

Mark:  Definitely!  LinkedIn is a great treasure trove of contacts just waiting to help you out.  I have seen people on there where I’m thinking, “Hey, I’ve seen the movie this guy wrote!” It’s where I got into contact with a couple of helpful people as well as a group of other authors that I am currently working on a set of stories with.

RARA: What has been your greatest challenge in self publishing?

Mark:  Letting the world know that you exist, finding out what to do after putting your own label on your book, and interacting more with the real world.  A lot of us writers aren’t really on great terms with the real world.

RARA: What is the best advice or tip you can give a new and aspiring author?

Mark:  Don’t give up!  Some people may tell you that you only have a one in a million chance of making it as an author, but you have a ZERO chance if you give up.  If writing is your passion, if you start to go through withdrawals if you’ve been away from the keyboard for too long, and if you have some stories that you REALLY need to get out, then just keep on trying.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark lives in his home town of Monrovia California, the recipient of degrees in Physics and Math, and a lifelong reader of fantasy and SciFi.  The son of loving middle class parents, while Mark had a good enough childhood that allowed him to develop both intellectually and creatively, in the middle of High School his father developed Parkinson’s Disease. What followed was 25 years of watching his Dad and the family finances get worse and worse, helping out his mother with his Dad while finishing up his MS in Physics. A lifelong reader of Fantasy and Sci-Fi, when added tragedy, in the form of his grandpa’s old house burning to the ground, struck, the resulting insurance money eased off the collective burden enough to allow Mark to start writing a series of books that he had been developing in his head for the previous 15 years.

The result was some joy brought into the Tierno household to offset the bleak circumstances that an ailing father can bring. Caring for his father up through his death became a full-time job, but even so he was able to pen an amazing series of books that have few- if any- equals. This creative effort became the light in the darkness, bringing back some hope and joy and turning the house back into a home.

His father never lived to see it published, but his mother lived long enough to see it first published and a chapter or two read in a library before a small audience. Now his goal is to see his life’s work bring pleasure to the world outside his own.

In total, Maldene spans 13 novels, 5.2 million words, 250 characters, many worlds and dimensions, thousands of years, and is a unique blend of both Fantasy and Science fiction, coupled with skillful prose and realistic characterizations that put it head and shoulders above everything else out today. You will get lost in a story that will have you wondering if- somewhere out there- the world of Maldene just might exist.  Maldene is the first book in a series that will redefine the word Epic.

 

 

 

 

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