Breaking Free Close to Release

It’s been a while since I updated you all on my writing. My novel Breaking Free is now in the final stages before being released. As a self-published author, I have the freedom to publish my books when I want and I am setting the release date for Breaking Free as July 1st.

Breaking Free will be released July 1, 2014

To hopefully get you excited about the release, here is the description from the back cover:

Johnny Cardinal grows up detesting white people. They condemn him because of his skin color. He succumbs to the circumstances he has no control over and becomes what they thought he was. His only regret – the disappointment in his mother’s eyes and missing his siblings’ lives.

Eric Thompson grows up affluent but desires the love his parents fail to give him. He makes mistakes trying to get it and entraps himself with his mistakes. His lackluster marriage is on the brink of death and it’s all his fault.

Their lives entwine when one man’s survival becomes another man’s charity case. But who is the one needing the charity?

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Which Book Description?

Readers, I need your help! I’ve been working on my book description and I have two so far. I want to know what you think of them. Which description would sooner make you want to read a book? Also if you have any other comments about them, please comment below. Any comments are welcomed.

Book Description #1

Johnny Cardinal grows up detesting white people. They condemn him because of his skin color. He succumbs to the circumstances he has no control over and becomes what they thought he was. His only regret – the disappointment in his mother’s eyes and missing his siblings’ lives.

Eric Thompson grows affluent but desires the love his parents fail to give him. He makes mistakes trying to get it and entraps himself with his mistakes. His lackluster marriage is on the brink of death and it’s all his fault.

Both men need to be set free from the bitterness and guilt that entangles them but are too stubborn to see it for themselves. They are both about to make grave mistakes. Can they get over their prejudices to help each other and finally be set free?

Book Description #2

Johnny Cardinal grows up with hard times but changes his life and starts on the path to success. His brother is shot in a drug deal gone wrong. He grows up without a father and is the man of the house. Living in the inner-city of Winnipeg doesn’t give him many options to succeed and he starts taking drugs while in junior high.

Eric Thompson grows up with everything but is on the path to destruction. His lackluster marriage is falling apart of his own doing. His son, born out-of-wedlock, is questioning his love for him just like he used to do for his own parents.

Their lives entwine when one man’s survival becomes another man’s charity case. But who is the one needing the charity?

Manuscript Complete! Any Critics?

I am happy to announce that I have finally finished my first draft of my manuscript! 🙂

These past few weeks I’ve been on break from college for the holidays and I took the time to work on my book which I started a little over a year ago. I would spend most of my mornings and a lot of my afternoons working on it. I made it my goal to finish the first draft before I had to go back to college for the second semester. I made that goal by a few days as I go back on Monday.

Yesterday was the first day of 2014 and I spent a good portion of it finishing up my first draft. Because I have problems sleeping, I still woke up at 8:30 a.m. despite going to bed at 3:00 a.m. I took that time in the morning to write and took a few breaks. I took a longer break for lunch and at that point, I think I was still 2,000 words short of my word count goal for the book. I’ve found mornings are my most productive so I figured it would probably end up being today when I would finish the book. After lunch I wrote and wrote and wrote. I spent all afternoon writing with a few breaks in between and I was able to finish the manuscript.

Now comes the hardest part. At least for me. Editing. I dislike editing and always have. I will push through it but doesn’t mean I have to like it.

I would love to have more sets of eyes look at my manuscript. If anyone is willing to critique my novel, contact me via email, Facebook, Twitter or commentating on this post. I would appreciate it, greatly.

November, I Wish I Hadn’t Known Thee

November

November (Photo credit: Joana Roja – work and migraines – coming back..)

It’s been a while since I’ve written on here. Truthfully, it had been a while since I’d written anything. Prior to this week, I hadn’t really written in my book since October 10. There were a couple of days where I wrote less than ten words. That’s a long time when writing a novel. No wonder it’s been over a year since I started writing the novel I’m working on. When I finally sat down to start working on it, I had to read over what I had already written before I could write anything new.

I’d like to blame my lack of writing on all the things I was dealing with the past month, but I know excuses will get me nowhere and it will not get my book written.

A Tough November

Considering Dropping Out

My November was tough. It started before November actually started, with me being frustrated with the college program I’m in. I kept hearing stories of people who had graduated from the program years before still not having jobs in the field and I felt like the program wasn’t challenging me enough. I felt like I either knew all the stuff they were teaching or I could learn it all while on the job. There were times where I felt like I could be teaching some of the classes because people would often ask me questions instead of asking the professor. I was considering dropping out of the program. I even applied for a job in the field I am planning to go into.

Health Issues

Then there was my aunt’s health. She was diagnosed with her metastasized breast cancer last fall, which was her fourth bout with cancer since 1996. In October, she regressed quite quickly and passed away on November 2, which also happened to be the exact day my uncle had passed away eleven years ago. That side of my family is a lot closer than my other side so it was tough. I often didn’t know how to feel either, because I was sad that she was gone but I was also happy that she didn’t have to suffer anymore and she could finally be whole again, living with Jesus, her savior.

A blood test and examination - NARA - 513715

A blood test and examination – NARA – 513715 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All the while, I was dealing with my own health issues. In November, I hadn’t menstruated since August and I knew there was no way I was pregnant. So I knew there was something wrong with me. With the fear of possibly not being able to have children, I finally forced myself to go to the doctor about midway through November. Once I went, it seemed like everything was moving along quickly. At the end of the week, I had a blood test to check my hormones and I thought I was finally going to get my hormones balanced because I’ve believed they’ve been out of whack for a while because of multiple reasons. A week later, I hadn’t heard anything from the clinic, so I phoned there to see if my results had come in. They told me they had but my doctor hadn’t looked at them yet and I should hear from her sometime that evening if there was some concern with my results. It’s been about a month since I had my blood test and I never heard from them.

After not hearing from them, I was very frustrated and down, and even possibly depressed. My dream since I was little was to be a mother and even more so since I spent time in Mexico around children a lot of the time. This would occupy my mind a lot of the time during most of November and I would even tell myself I would never be able to have children. It is very difficult for me to accept that and still is, although I guess I don’t know if that’s completely accurate. One thing I do know, is that it will be even more difficult to get myself to go to the doctor now because of them not finding anything when I know there is something wrong.

Jobless

I mentioned earlier in this post that I had applied for a job in the field I plan to go in to. The application deadline was mid-November and after the deadline came and went, I was wondering if I would get a call from them for an interview. I had people in my family telling me that I was a shoo-in to get an interview. There was no doubt in their minds but there was in mine.

After a while, I questioned whether they even got my email because that was how they wanted applications and there are times when my emails don’t go through but it shows that they did on my email. For two weeks, I had my family asking me if I had heard from the job and I had to consistently tell them no. I got really annoyed with the questions and it added to my frustration during the month of November.

Last week, I found out that they had hired someone already but I still don’t know if they even got my email. But that doesn’t matter at this point.


November was a tough month for me for all the reasons stated above plus a few other ones, such as buses being 20+ minutes late, not showing up, or even driving past me causing me to be late for class, and various body parts causing me pain. Sometimes I wondered if I was being punished for something because it sure felt like it. Since November has ended, some things have alleviated but I’m still trying to put others behind me or deal with another issue that has brought itself closer to the forefront, which is money.

With Christmas holidays upon me, I’m going to try to work a lot on my book because I may not be motivated once the next semester starts. There’s an update in my life and I hope all of your lives aren’t as frustrating as mine has been the past month or so.

 

Local Attention for Writing

GE DIGITAL CAMERAIn my last post, I talked about my last couple of weeks and how many things I’ve had going on. These past few weeks have also been a little crazy as far as my writing goes.

I have been getting a lot of attention (at least from my standpoint) about my book and the fact I wrote a book. Someone I know had come into the library about a month ago and talked about the book I wrote. Prior to this, I hadn’t told the people I work with about my book. Since the head librarian found out about my book, I finally got the courage to “donate” my book to the local library.

The library bought a second copy of my book this past week to set up a “display”.

This past week, the reeve (similar to a mayor) of our Rural Municipality (similar to a county in the States) came to the library and my boss mentioned to him about me writing a book. He was very excited about it and talked about it to one of his staff. Later in the week, he came in again and took some photos of me with my book. The next day, the staff he talked to about the book, phoned me at work and I participated in my first interview.

That was yesterday. Today, they posted the article. Read the Article Here.

It feels a little weird to be getting so much attention. I’m not sure if I like it yet but I know I might get used to it. I’ve never been one to like being in the spotlight so when I don’t know what to do with the attention. Maybe I’ll get used to it, although I don’t think I will ever get completely used to it.

Author Travis Thrasher

Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not?
Daniel and Casey were an unlikely couple back in high school when they came together to write music for a school event. Struggling against their differences, they dated during college, but their relationship never seemed quite right. Yet despite their personal conflict, as songwriters they had undeniable chemistry—and several hit songs. Eventually they went their own ways, both trying to make it in the music world and find true love.
Years later, both Daniel and Casey are at rock bottom, still trying to find success. But when they connect again as old friends, they realize that what they needed was right in front of them all along: each other.
From Thompson Square, a married twosome who knows a little something about what it’s like to overcome years of struggle in the music business and find love, ARE YOU GONNA KISS ME OR NOT? is a charming and humorous love story about coming of age, knowing where you belong, and finding the perfect person to share life with.


I haven’t actually read this book by Travis Thrasher but it intrigues me. I’ve heard this song by Thompson Square on the radio many times and I’m intrigued by a book based on this song. I’ve read other books by Travis Thrasher and I’ve enjoyed them.

I had the privilege of asking him some questions about writing and he graciously answered them even with his busy schedule.

If you want to check out his books or read more about him, head over to his website TravisThrasher.com.


Would you recommend an aspiring author to get some kind of formal training?

Travis Thrasher: No. An author simply needs to read a lot and write a lot. Formal training is great, but there’s a very long list of talented and amazing writers who didn’t have much of an education. Writing is a craft you can become better at. Sometimes you can’t become a better singer or basketball player, but for writing you can become a better writer.

How often and how long would you recommend a starting author to write?

Travis Thrasher:Develop habits and routines. Know what works for you. You don’t try to run a marathon the first time out. You have to train and build up your stamina. Write and love writing.

What do you do when you have writer’s block?

Travis Thrasher:When you’re a fulltime writer who has three young children and your wife is a stay-at-home mom, you don’t ever get writer’s block.

Here’s another way I look at writer’s block. Do you ever have worker’s block? Do you ever just wake up and go “Nah, I can’t go in to work today.” That never happens because you’d be fired. View writing like this. There are days when everything I write is crap, but I still write. I don’t believe in writer’s block because I think it can be one of the many things that writers use to prevent themselves from writing.

How long does it take you to write a book?

Travis Thrasher:The longest time it’s taken to write a novel was over six years. The shortest time was three weeks. Both of those are a bit extreme. Typically I’d love to spend about six months working on a project.

How often do you publish a book?

Travis Thrasher:These days, as often as possible.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Travis Thrasher:From songs. From the smiles of my daughters. From the sun streaking in my office windows. From memories that suddenly show up out of nowhere like shells on a beach. From amazing stories I might hear about. From awful books or movies I want to redo. From my own failures and my many questions. From the mysteries of life and from the breathless hours that fill it. The world is an open book and each day I try to fill up some more pages in some way.

How do/did you build your voice/brand as an author?

Travis Thrasher:I’ve built my voice from simply writing over and over again. I think I really am finding my voice as a writer. As far as brand goes – my brand is having no brand. I’m a chameleon and I love it.

How often do you edit/rewrite before you believe your manuscript is read for publishing?

Travis Thrasher:I live in a world of deadlines so usually I’m all about meeting them. Sometimes a manuscript could use another go through, but it always depends on the schedule. I think my stories are getting tighter and stronger, but thankfully I’ve had wonderful editors who make me look better than I am.

Do you do any of your own marketing for your books and if yes, what do what do?

Travis Thrasher:All the time. From Facebook to Twitter to my website to doing stuff like this, I’m always talking about my writing and promoting my stories. I’m a bit tired of myself. But until you become a brand name, you have to do it. I love getting out and meeting readers and signing books. I try to still do that all the time. I also love book clubs. I have a couple this month. I’ll go and visit the book club, we’ll talk about my book, and then I’ll sell some more copies of my books. I enjoy things like this.

How did you know you wanted to be an author?

Travis Thrasher:I was in third grade, heard my teacher read the Narnia Chronicles by CS Lewis, then was encouraged by the teacher in my writing. That did it. I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since.