Free Book Friday, Book Review and my latest Interview: In Conversation With Author T.J. Christoff

But first, Inktober day 14: Helmet

October 14: Helmet

All previous drawings: https://linesbyleon.com/inktober/


In Conversation With Author/Poet T.J. Christoff

About the interviews:

When I published my first book, I looked for ways to reach new readers, and being a brand new author, participating in various book bloggers interviews was a good way to start. Some interviews were standard questions, while others had more individuality built into them.

I then did a twist on the author interview by interviewing myself (Leon Interviews Himself). I then thought it would be fun to get to know some of the authors I was cross-promoting with, and the Friday Conversations were born. Guess what? They are a lot of work. I look up the authors information, visit the website so I can craft a unique set of questions (OK, there are a few standard ones) to let my readership get to know these new authors. Worth the work? You bet. Here is today’s conversation:

Today I have the pleasure of sitting down with author TJ Christoff. Glad you could make it.

Hello Leon, it’s a pleasure to be here with you.

Your poetry goes back all the way to 1983. What took you so long to publish?

That is an excellent question—

Thanks.

Actually, I am a firm believer that nothing happens by accident. Everything happens exactly when and how it is supposed to. I didn’t publish sooner because it just wasn’t the right time for me to do so.

Why did you decide to put all your collections into one volume?

I really think I did that more for myself than for anything else. I wanted to have a published book with all of the poems that I had written and maintained to that point in my life.

Is there a poem that you have written that you think best encapsulates you?

There have been many, but that changes over time as I change over time.

I know what you mean. Any new projects on the go?

I’m currently working on my Master’s Degree, so my writing projects are pretty much on hold for now. However, I have always said that I am merely the conduit for a much great source to use as He (or She) sees fit. I can’t write to save my soul. So, if I am inspired, I will write, but I am not consciously thinking about new projects at the present moment.

Inspiration sneaks up on you, doesn’t it? It’s not something that can be turned on or forced.

That’s a fact! I can’t tell you how many times I have “tried” to write a poem, only to be disappointed by the results. But then again, there have been countless times when I would be trying to fall asleep at night, tossing and turning, only to have to sit upright, turn on a light, and grab a pen and paper to scrawl the words that seemed to be pouring out of me from seemingly nowhere. Once penned, I would find that I was then able to drift off to sleep very peacefully.

When you are not writing, because we can’t do that all the time, what do you enjoy?

LOL…School has me writing quite a bit. In fact, I just had to write a 1- page paper for this week’s assignment. But, on those occasions when I do have a bit of free time, I usually spend it with my three dogs and my kitten, or with a few friends just making memories.

Music is a part of my life, what about yours?

Ah yes! For me, music is like air, I can’t imagine my life without it!

Care to share any of your favorites?

I love pretty much all music, with the exception of heavy metal. However, my favorite is Contemporary Christian music. I really appreciate how positive and uplifting the songs are. The thing about music, is that it can very quickly affect one’s emotional state. It has the ability to transport a person through time and space almost without effort. The way I see it, there is already plenty of negative going on in the world, so I like to find ways to funnel in as much positive into my life as possible. I get that through listening to Christian music.

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like music or get some sort of emotional benefit from it. Are you ready for the lightning round?

Let’s do it!

Great! Here we go.

Favorite city?
Sedona
Pet Peeve?
Rudeness
Least favorite food?
Anything seafood
The Late Show or The Late Late Show?
Is there a difference??
If there is, it’s negligible…
Last binged show?
Grey’s Anatomy

Well, that all the time we have today, Thanks for participating. Anything you want to plug?

Feel free to check out my website at www.tjchristoff.com

I just did.


Book Review: Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Have you read The Martian? Then you’ve read Project: Hail Mary. Kinda

It’s not verbatim, that would be…well, not a good idea for an author. Authors have their own unique writing style and trope preferences, and Andy Weir is no exception.

Spoilers after this point. Just sayin’.

Man stranded: Check
Man uses science to survive: Check
Man makes mistakes using science: Check
Man almost dies: Check
Man doesn’t die: Check
Man makes life or death decision: Check
Man becomes a teacher: Check

That last one was disappointing. In The Martian the main character ends up teaching at NASA (in the movie for sure, I don’t remember if the book ended that way). In Project: Hail Mary the final paragraph is him teaching a class of alien children. This would have been a great ending if I hadn’t read the previous book. It only made sense that Dr. Grace would go back to his chosen career.

Did I like it? The concept was well thought out and believable. Some of the science was confusing at times, but I find that with most sci-fi books. So yeah, I liked it. Kinda.


New Promos (StoryOrigin / BookFunnel)

New Authors: Poetry

Eight poets offer free samples of their work

The story behind Free Book Friday:

I’ve met many authors and readers during my time marketing, cross-promoting, and blogging. I think writers have a responsibility to inform readers about all the indie authors out there in the very crowded world of book publishing. You can’t do it alone, and why would you when you have a supportive group available?

Readers don’t just read one author – they stick with their favorite genres. There lies the power in cross-promotion. If one of my readers buys a book from an author I promote, then chances are there will be a reciprocal effect, or so is the hope. Do I want to boost sales? Of course I do. Do I want to boost other’s sales? Why not. It’s called karma.

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Free Book Friday / Inktober Day 8 (Watch): Looking out for #1? Right here.

Yeah, the book cover is a bit blurry in the thumbnail. I’ve updated the picture with the highest res and still…(thanks, Amazon). Looks OK on the book page.

Free books. Who doesn’t love ’em?

[murmuring]
“I do. Do you?”
“Yeah. Maybe that guy over there?”
“Maybe…”

So, if you have been following the ongoing saga of the not-so-free-perma-free poetry book, you’ll know I have had a great time chatting with the wonderful CSRs over there at Amazon. But as they say, “Fifth times the charm.”

I sent out the link on my blog and newsletter subscribers on Wednesday, and today, BINGO. #1.

Well, #1 in the free category, but #1 nevertheless. There is some correlation between the rank of the free vs. full collection, but the full collection hasn’t cracked the Top 100 yet.

Yet.

https://amazon.com/dp/B083Y6DPLY – Free Kindle version

https://amazon.com/dp/B083QPV6TQ – Not so free full collection

Well, onto Inktober and Free Book Friday:

October 8: Watch

All previous drawings: https://linesbyleon.com/inktober/


Free samples: Poetry, Memoirs, and Fiction


Sci-fi available on Amazon

The story behind Free Book Friday:

I’ve met many authors and readers during my time marketing, cross-promoting, and blogging. I think writers have a responsibility to inform readers about all the indie authors out there in the very crowded world of book publishing. You can’t do it alone, and why would you when you have a supportive group available?

Readers don’t just read one author – they stick with their favorite genres. There lies the power in cross-promotion. If one of my readers buys a book from an author I promote, then chances are there will be a reciprocal effect, or so is the hope. Do I want to boost sales? Of course I do. Do I want to boost other’s sales? Why not. It’s called karma.


Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Free Book Friday: Oct 1

October.

You know what that means. You missed all the Halloween stuff at the store and all the Christmas accoutrements have been placed on the shelves. Wait. What?! I know. You also missed the Thanksgiving decorations. Thankfully you have kept the centerpiece from last year…and the year before that.

It also means that Inktober has arrived, and I now have to actually pick up my pen and draw something…

Indiana Jones Is the Crystal Skull (cuz he’s old.)*

Now onto the free books and whatnot.

-Leon

*What. You thought I was going to draw something serious?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

New Promos (StoryOrigin / BookFunnel)

Emotion. Plain and simple. Emotions can be beautiful, but ugly as well. They make us laugh, and they can make us cry.

Stay tuned this month for a conversation with T.J.!

Sci-fi on Amazon

Free Poetry Books

Four new authors share samples

Sci-fi Available on Kindle

See all currently running promos here: Discover New Authors and Free Books

That’s it for this week!

-Leon

The story behind Free Book Friday:

I’ve met many authors and readers during my time marketing, cross-promoting, and blogging. I think writers have a responsibility to inform readers about all the indie authors out there in the very crowded world of book publishing. You can’t do it alone, and why would you when you have a supportive group available?

Readers don’t just read one author – they stick with their favorite genres. There lies the power in cross-promotion. If one of my readers buys a book from an author I promote, then chances are there will be a reciprocal effect, or so is the hope. Do I want to boost sales? Of course I do. Do I want to boost other’s sales? Why not. It’s called karma.


Contact me:

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

Free Book Friday: In Conversation With Author C. Streetlights

This will be my third author conversation that I have done. I have enjoyed getting to know some of the authors that I have been participating in promotions with, and I hope you have enjoyed reading them (because I have a few more in the works). Today I meet with poet C. Streetlights.

Today I have the pleasure of sitting down with author/poet C. Streetlights. Thanks for dropping by. Can I offer you anything? Coffee, tea, or other?

I’d love a Diet Coke, thank you!

[Pshhht!]

 I’m going to jump right into the most pressing question on reader’s minds: What the heck does C. stand for?

Ha! It is a mystery I will not divulge.

Fair enough, we all need an air of mystery around us, don’t we?

We do. When I first started writing, I had to stay anonymous due to some possible retaliation from the school district I once worked for. Now that that threat has all but disappeared, the mystery has stuck.

What was the first book you remember reading on your own?

I loved the Golden Books. My older brother and sister made the mistake of teaching me to read when I was quite young, I was about 3 years old. I say mistake because they thought it was great fun to teach me to read by decoding the words but not anything about comprehension. This caused me some strife in kindergarten because all I wanted to do was read but not tell what the story was about. But to your question, we had a lot of Golden Books when I was little, and I just loved those. I also loved anything by Richard Scarry. I would spend hours looking at the pictures and finding the Lowly Worm.

The idea that those little marks represent something we can say is quite fascinating for kids. But you are right; comprehension is the key. The answer to “Why am I reading this?”

Exactly, and I struggled with comprehension for a minute, but then I caught up to my classmates. My brother and sister were still pleased with themselves, though.

Do you have a favorite book?

I have always loved To Kill a Mockingbird.  Taught it to ninth grade honors students for years, and it has always resonated with me. Perhaps I identify with Scout in her precociousness and desire to understand the world around her.

I’ve read that book before, quite a while back, though.

To me, it is timeless though I know that there has been some debate over it and the role white people have in combating racism.

What was the first book you published?

I first published with Tea and Madness. I was very nervous to publish because these were my private thoughts in dealing with depression, losing a baby, and being a rape survivor. I wasn’t sure how the audience would respond to that. But I went ahead and publish and held my breath. Thankfully, I found many people who were touched by the memoir, and I have received many messages and emails from readers who appreciated the work.

As writers, we are able to put into words what some others cannot, and this allows our creations to help our readers.

This is very true. I think that as writers we bridge the gap between what is intellectually known and what is emotionally known. We should be mindful of that because it is a responsibility.

Your newest book, Black Sheep Rising, is a memoir written in prose and poetry. Why did you choose that format?

I love both poetry and prose because I feel these formats are more reflective of me and how I think. I have a very free-verse, free thought, way of thinking and I make connections by drawing comparisons or examples. I have found poetry to be especially freeing when I write about hard topics because I don’t bind myself to the usual rules of writing. Poetry and prose have really been therapeutic for me in my recovery because it is very intimate in how I approach writing it. When you read my work, it really is reading what is in my heart and my experience.

I write the same way, not setting out to write any specific form, letting the words and phrases dictate the stanzas and rhymes. I also started writing poetry as a therapy. Words on the page have a way of making thoughts more tangible and then more pliable, don’t they?

I’ve always felt that the written word is so empowering. Once we set the words on paper, they come alive, and we are set free from their burden.

I read in your bio that you live in California. How has this year affected your writing?

Well, I grew up in California and lived there until I was 19 years old. I then moved to Utah for school. My memories of growing up there has definitely shaped how I write, however. I draw on my memories of being a child there and having the never-ending sunshine. I think the California lifestyle of being laid back and casual has helped form my laid back, free verse, writing style a great deal.

What’s the best thing about living in the mountains?

Oh, the mountains! The mountains have so much personality to them. One moment they are bright and green, the next they are a fire-red and orange, and then they’re covered in snow. The fall is my favorite time for the mountains as it looks like an enormous quilt has been laid on top of them. The colors are so vibrant and rich.

Mountains are stunning to see for the first time. And the second. Well, yeah, all the time.

I always have some music-related content on my blog, so let’s segue into that, shall we? Any favorite genres or bands?

I don’t have any particular favorite as far as band or singer or genre. Right now, I’m listening to the Derry Girls soundtrack—is it still called a soundtrack these days?

I think so…I don’t know a better title.

 —and that music is all from the 90s. I also enjoy 21 Pilots and Lizzo. Kind of a contradiction, I know, but I’m really all over the place with music!

There’s good music in almost every genre.

Do you have a favorite meal or snack to eat that other people just think is weird?

I really enjoy rice cakes with peanut butter. People don’t get it and complain about how tasteless and dry rice cakes are, but honestly, with peanut butter it is *chef’s kiss*.

I do like peanut butter. I discovered Jiff Dark Roasted recently. Now that’s…as you put it…*chef’s kiss*.

I am putting that on my shopping list to give it a try. I’m usually a Skippy girl, but the dark roasted sounds delicious.

It is! Are you ready for the lightning round?

Oh dear, let’s have it.

Great! Here we go.

Forests or lakes?
Forests
Highways or byways?
Highways
Diners, Drive-ins, or Dives?
Diners
Favorite city?
Washington, D.C.
Without looking at a keyboard, what number has the ampersand?
7
I saw you peek.
Ha-ha, I did not, actually.

This has been a pleasure. Thanks for chatting. Any links you want to share?

Yes! I’d love for people to chat with me on Twitter: www.twitter.com/cstreetlights or they can find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CStreetlightsAuthor. And of course, you can find all my books here: https://www.amazon.com/C-Streetlights/e/B0109132XG.


New Promos (StoryOrigin / BookFunnel)

Featured Author: Teresa James

Teresa James is known for her poetry and art shared throughout social media as Love of a Poet. Where you can actually interact with her. She is passionate about the creativity and beauty of poetry. She mostly writes short poems about love and relationships. She is a mother of seven children, a horticulturist, and philanthropist. While going through heartbreaks, struggles, and grief throughout life. She learned to write her emotions down on paper to vent and release pain. She now bleeds ink by writing and sharing through her poetry.

Free Poetry Books

Four new authors share samples

Kindle Unlimited

Sci-fi Available on Kindle

See all currently running promos here: Discover New Authors and Free Books

That’s it for this week!

-Leon

The story behind Free Book Friday:

I’ve met many authors and readers during my time marketing, cross-promoting, and blogging. I think writers have a responsibility to inform readers about all the indie authors out there in the very crowded world of book publishing. You can’t do it alone, and why would you when you have a supportive group available?

Readers don’t just read one author – they stick with their favorite genres. There lies the power in cross-promotion. If one of my readers buys a book from an author I promote, then chances are there will be a reciprocal effect, or so is the hope. Do I want to boost sales? Of course I do. Do I want to boost other’s sales? Why not. It’s called karma.


Contact me:

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Free Book Friday: On Friday this week!*

Writing news:

I started to put together my next poetry collection. Some of the poems have never been seen before (oh, the suspense), others are scattered throughout my blog (so now you will not have to search for them), and I am including my 30 Poems/30 Days as a bonus.

Have I learned anything from publishing 2 books already? Yeah. It’s hard. Want to be on the list to beta read the first draft? Let me know.

Featured Author:

Meet poet Annalyn J. Rasul, a writer, poet, and professional registered nurse. She has a strong passion for helping people with physical, emotional, and mental health problems. It gives her a sense of satisfaction and joy, knowing that she has made a difference in someone’s life. Her philosophy has always been to learn as much as she can from every experience life has to offer. She is currently pursuing her advanced degree as a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP).

Click for Amazon page

New Promos (StoryOrigin / BookFunnel)

Free Books

Four new authors share samples

Kindle Unlimited

Sci-fi Available on Kindle

There are a few more new ones, but you can see them here: Discover New Authors and Free Books as I have decluttered the page of all expired links (there were a few…)

Need another? Yesterday I posted some self-promo options. Another blogger does an author spotlight on Fridays as well:

Friday Spotlight – 17th September – Visit Stevie’s Page

That’s it for this week!

Leon

*I tried to schedule my Friday post last week because I was away. It would have posted on Saturday morning.

The story behind Free Book Friday:

I’ve met many authors and readers during my time marketing, cross-promoting, and blogging. I think writers have a responsibility to inform readers about all the indie authors out there in the very crowded world of book publishing. You can’t do it alone, and why would you when you have a supportive group available?

Readers don’t just read one author – they stick with their favorite genres. There lies the power in cross-promotion. If one of my readers buys a book from an author I promote, then chances are there will be a reciprocal effect, or so is the hope. Do I want to boost sales? Of course I do. Do I want to boost other’s sales? Why not. It’s called karma.


Contact me:

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Free Book Friday/Weekend Wrap-up: Whaaaahappen!?

Thanks to the late Fred Willard for the title of the post today.

So, What did happen? Well, it was my first attempt at scheduling a post since I was going to be away on Friday. Long story short, it didn’t work. But left to it’s own volition, it would have posted today at 6:30 PM GMT…

From my blog this week:

Thursday Thoughts: Animal Thoughts – Woof woof.

Weird Wednesday: Hiatus – Need to give the cartooning brain a rest.

Tuesday Tirade: Kinda… – Fire in the hole.

Open Book Blog Hop: Sept 6 – I wrote something for this, but I can’t remember what. (You can look it up. I know….but I don’t wanna.)

Music Monday: Song Titles – Music quiz?

From the blogs of other’s:

#BookBloggerHop | Synopsis or Cover – which do you choose?


Thankful Thursday – Five Things To Be Grateful For Every Day

Smorgasbord Afternoon Video Rewind – Favourites revisited – Getting out of bed is so hard to do… – Dogs are smarter that we think.

Here is Free Book Friday!

I hope you enjoyed last week’s interview. If you missed it: Free Book Friday: In Conversation With Nicole Pierman (and new promos!)

I hope to do more in conjunction with the different promotions I am involved with.

New Promos

There are a few more new ones, but you can see them here: Discover New Authors and Free Books as I have decluttered the page of all expired links (there were a few…)

That’s it for this week!

Leon

The story behind Free Book Friday:

I’ve met many authors and readers during my time marketing, cross-promoting, and blogging. I think writers have a responsibility to inform readers about all the indie authors out there in the very crowded world of book publishing. You can’t do it alone, and why would you when you have a supportive group available?

Readers don’t just read one author – they stick with their favorite genres. There lies the power in cross-promotion. If one of my readers buys a book from an author I promote, then chances are there will be a reciprocal effect, or so is the hope. Do I want to boost sales? Of course I do. Do I want to boost other’s sales? Why not. It’s called karma.


Contact me:

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Free Book Friday: In Conversation With Nicole Pierman (and new promos!)

Before I post this week’s book promos, here is a short conversation with an author/poet who* I met through BookFunnel.

Today I have the pleasure of sitting down with author and baker extraordinaire Nicole Pierman. Thanks for stopping by.

Thank you so much for having me, Leon! Especially after that Bookfunnel promo disaster. I’m still not sure what happened, but I felt horrible when my name disappeared from your promo list. But I guess it’s a good thing in an odd sort of way because now we’re talking!

[faces the audience]

I see there are some puzzled looks out there. I am running a BookFunnel promo called New Poets but as Nicole said, her book mysteriously disappeared. So this is the next best thing. 

I read that you are a coffee aficionado. I hope that my French press coffee will be satisfactory. Do you have a favorite bean/roast?

I think your French press coffee is more than satisfactory! I like dark roast coffee, but I stopped making my own coffee because I simply don’t have time since the beginning of 2020 (I wonder what happened in 2020). But my French press is somewhere in my kitchen, patiently waiting for me to bring it out and into the light.

I think you should. So, you have a couple of books out there—do you have a personal favorite?

Yes, I have three poetry books out and my fourth and final poetry book will be released on September 21st, 2021. I can’t honestly choose a favorite because they’re all personal to me (as all poems are if you’re spilling your guts out). Though, the poetry book that is deeply personal is my fourth poetry book, Teal Nostalgia. So, if you’re looking for poetry that’s extremely personal and often disturbing, I’d suggest that one.

 But honestly, I wanted to release my poetry before my novels because I want to learn about Amazon ads, online marketing, and setting up promotions. Poetry is extremely niche, so my rationale was, if I can sell my poetry books, I can sell novels. So far, I’m doing fairly well!

That’s good to hear. Even as a niche market, there is still a lot of competition. Your book, Paradise Found, reads like a mental inventory of thoughts that you need to get out before they consume you. Does that capture the intent? 

That’s a great way of putting it! I was struggling with a lot of personal issues when I was in college and was then introduced to one-line/brevity poetry randomly online, so I thought I’d give it a go because I needed an outlet. Hundreds of poems and six years later, Paradise Found was finally published.

What makes you want to write?

A burning sensation in the back of my head telling me I have to write, edit, and read constantly.

I’m self-published as well. Do you have any advice for indie authors?

I highly suggest following David Gaughran for any self-published writer, whether you write nonfiction or fiction. He’s helped me immensely with his free marketing course on his website. I wouldn’t be where I am today without David and his course.

That’s good to know. I’ve heard of him, so I’ll definitely check him out. Is there a book that you have read more than once?

Other than children’s books I read as a child, no. There’s too many books to read and so little time to read them that I’ll read a book once and then move on.

You mention music on your website, so why don’t you share some of your favs? 

I enjoy any type of music that involves actual music and little to no autotune. My favorite music genres are Metal, Rock, Celtic, Country, and all the subgenres of Alternative. Well, minus anything regarding Goth and Emo. I passed that music phase in my life after 10th grade.

That’s a diverse selection.  Care to list a band for each? I’m alway on the lookout for something new.

I love Flogging Molly, Nick 13, Tiger Army, Mike Ness, Social Distortion, Slipknot, Stone Sour, ACDC, The Rumjacks, Big bad Voodoo Daddy, Misfits, Dead Kennedys, Queen, Stevie Nicks, Old Crow Medicine Show, Midland, and Seamus Kennedy.

And those bands are just the start! I love music and could go on, but we’d be here for days.

A good mix! Is there a song or genre you are embarrassed to like?

I don’t believe in song or genre embarrassment, honestly. Life is too short to not enjoy something you love because other people are (possibly) judging you.

That’s very true! Let’s talk about baking. What is your signature dish…no, that doesn’t sound right…signature loaf? Whatever, you know what I mean…

I definitely know what you mean! I try to stay away from eating a lot of bread because of all the carbs. I enjoy baking brownies and cupcakes of all kinds. I’m open to all baked goodies! 

Mmmm…brownies. 

Here comes a series of quick-draw questions. Ready? 

Yes, I’m ready! 

Drive, bike, or walk?

I’m terrified of driving, though I need to get my license, so I’ll have to say walk for now. But once I get over my fear of driving, that’d be my preferred method.

Breakfast, lunch, or dinner?

I prefer dinner, sometimes lunch. I’m almost always too full from dinner the previous day to eat breakfast. But I must add that breakfast foods are delicious.

I concur! Can you open your eyes underwater?

Yes, I can! I haven’t done it in a while, so it’ll probably burn.

What number am I thinking of?

Number 3 because that’s my favorite number and yours too (from now on). 

You’ll have to break the news to number 8…Rain or shine?

I prefer the lovely sunshine over rain.

Cat nap or full-on snooze?

I can’t take naps, so I prefer a full-on snooze.

Well, that was fun. Any links you would like to share?

Thank you for having me, Leon! It definitely was fun. My important links are down below:

1. Amazon Author Profile: https://cutt.ly/rktZ1JY 

2. My Website: https://www.nicolepierman.com 

3. Goodreads Profile: https://cutt.ly/GktXqF0 

4. YouTube Channel https://cutt.ly/0ktZ3dO5 

5. Facebook Author Page: https://bit.ly/3pybACZ

Now onto this week’s books!

New Book Promos: R.D. Kardon

Something different this week. Normally I feature Poetry and Sci-fi, but did you know there are a lot of other fiction out there?(I know!) This one is worth checking out:

There are a few more new ones, but you can see them here: Discover New Authors and Free Books as I have decluttered the page of all expired links (there were a few…)

That’s it for this week!

Leon

*It’s whom, right? Because the author is an indirect object of the verb “met”, and I am the one doing the meeting, correct? Let me know. Please.

The story behind Free Book Friday:

I’ve met many authors and readers during my time marketing, cross-promoting, and blogging. I think writers have a responsibility to inform readers about all the indie authors out there in the very crowded world of book publishing. You can’t do it alone, and why would you when you have a supportive group available?

Readers don’t just read one author – they stick with their favorite genres. There lies the power in cross-promotion. If one of my readers buys a book from an author I promote, then chances are there will be a reciprocal effect, or so is the hope. Do I want to boost sales? Of course I do. Do I want to boost other’s sales? Why not. It’s called karma.

Hey! Do you want to do an interview?


Contact me:

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Free Book Friday: Oops, I did it again!

What did I do? It’s another week with no new promos. Boo, me.

I’ll give you a writing update instead.

In November, I participated in National Novel Writing Month. I’m not a novel writer. I like the quirkiness of short stories, the challenge of creating an interesting plot and conclusion in a limited number of words. So, when I took on the challenge, I was skeptical that I would complete it.

Guess what? I was right! I didn’t finish my novel in the 30 days allotted. But I kept at it, chapter by chapter, paragraph by paragraph, line by line, word by word, letter by letter. I hit 30 000 words a few months ago. There was only one problem: The story had concluded.

No spoilers here.

The characters had gone through everything I threw at them and may (or may not) have come out unscathed. I described each scene and event to the best of my ability and wrote the dialogue that I thought was authentic.

I write how I read. When I read a story, I tend to skim over details that seem to go on too long and don’t add to the story. I’m not a great conversationalist either, so when I read dialogue that is overly complex and lengthy, it doesn’t seem believable. I’m not expecting the interjections of ums and ahhs because there has to be some elements that we ignore for the story to progress smoothly.

I went back to see if there were any places that needed more clarification, detailed descriptions, and better dialogue. Of course, I took this opportunity to edit and look for any discrepancies or continuity issues.

I put out a request on my blog and to my newsletter subscribers for any readers to do a beta-read. I didn’t get any takers, so I decided to look at paying for developmental/content editing. I put out a request on Reedsy—where I found my first editor, Doreen. I knew it wasn’t going to be cheap. I was right on that one too. Doreen actually suggested that upon review of the sample that I sent her, a copy edit seems to be all that is required.

I still wanted feedback on the quality of the story because, after self-publishing two books, it was time to up the game. I’m still writing for myself. I write what I want to read. That will never change, but if I want to make it as a writer, I can’t rely solely on my opinion.

Both of my books have received positive reviews. That tells me that my writing has worth, that My decision to publish was the correct one. I want to entertain. I try to write something every day that others will enjoy as much as I do.

I have contacted a beta reader to start that process, but the offer still stands if you want to read the longest story I have ever written.

So, I guess it is Free Book Friday after all.

Current promos are here: Discover New Authors and Free Books

That’s it for this week!

Leon

The story behind Free Book Friday:

I’ve met many authors and readers during my time marketing, cross-promoting, and blogging. I think writers have a responsibility to inform readers about all the indie authors out there in the very crowded world of book publishing. You can’t do it alone, and why would you when you have a supportive group available?

Readers don’t just read one author – they stick with their favorite genres. There lies the power in cross-promotion. If one of my readers buys a book from an author I promote, then chances are there will be a reciprocal effect, or so is the hope. Do I want to boost sales? Of course I do. Do I want to boost other’s sales? Why not. It’s called karma.


Contact me:

Free Book Friday: Author’s Newsletters- Worth the free book?

What is your experience with free books from authors? Many of the offerings from the promotional campaigns that I are involved with through BookFunnel and StoryOrigin are “reader magnets”, short sample books of an author’s work. Sometimes they are like the “Look Inside” feature on Amazon book pages (the first 10% of a book), often they are the first chapter or selected excerpts from a book. Some authors will give away the first book in a series, in hopes that you will buy the next/rest.

All a reader has to do is give the author an email address. What do I do with these? I send out a weekly newsletter with my weekly blog highlights, an entertaining blurb, all the links to the BookFunnel/StoryOrigin promos, updates on my new writing projects, and any book sale dates.

Many readers have downloaded my free book and unsubscribed immediately, others stick around for a few months, but many keep opening my weekly offerings. Is a weekly email too much? I’ve debated going bi-monthly, but I haven’t decided yet.

Let me know what you think about free books and newsletters.

Here is an earlier post you may like:

Free Book Friday: July 7 – Is free a good thing?

New Promos

Featured Author

My Patchwork Heart is just that! It is a heart that has known love, anger, pain, loss, hope, faith and survival. It is a heart that has known many sleepless nights. The result of attempts at picking up its broken pieces, while working desperately to mend itself back together again…all the while, learning and growing. The poems that make up this collection of original poetry, have been written and collected for more than thirty years by the author. As much as possible, they are displayed throughout the pages in the same order in which they were written. A word-map, of sorts, of the author’s journey throughout life, and no doubt a reflection of some of life’s obstacles that many readers of My Patchwork Heart can deeply relate to. 

Current promos are here: Discover New Authors and Free Books

That’s it for this week!

Leon

The story behind Free Book Friday:

I’ve met many authors and readers during my time marketing, cross-promoting, and blogging. I think writers have a responsibility to inform readers about all the indie authors out there in the very crowded world of book publishing. You can’t do it alone, and why would you when you have a supportive group available?

Readers don’t just read one author – they stick with their favorite genres. There lies the power in cross-promotion. If one of my readers buys a book from an author I promote, then chances are there will be a reciprocal effect, or so is the hope. Do I want to boost sales? Of course I do. Do I want to boost other’s sales? Why not. It’s called karma.


Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Bad Luck Free Book Friday the 13th?

Are you superstitious? Did anything bad ever happen to you on Friday the thirteenth? I’m not superstitious, but I won’t walk under a ladder – that’s just dangerous. Here are a few common ones:

  • The Number 13: With the exception of the horror movie(s), nothing bad happens in Friday the 13th, does it? Some hotels don’t have a 13th floor, but will have the pool there instead. Isn’t that inviting disaster?
  • Itchy Palm: Shouldn’t have picked that poison ivy, right?
  • Walking Under a Ladder: Like I said, just not safe.
  • Breaking a Mirror: Bad luck? Well you do have to buy a new one…
  • Finding a Horseshoe: Bad luck for the horse.
  • Opening an Umbrella Inside: Not wise because how are you going to get out the door?
  • Knock Twice on Wood: Always funny when you knock on your buddy’s head.
  • Tossing Spilled Salt Over Your Shoulder: Just a waste of good salt.
  • Black Cats: Cats are just jerks anyway.

Onto the books:

I gained 50+ newsletter subscribers through my BookFunnel promotions. So far, so good. Most downloaded the free sample of my sci-fi book, and one downloaded my poetry book.

I decided to put my sci-fi book on sale for the week:

Featured Author

Current promos are here: Discover New Authors and Free Books

That’s it for this week!

Leon

The story behind Free Book Friday:

I’ve met many authors and readers during my time marketing, cross-promoting, and blogging. I think writers have a responsibility to inform readers about all the indie authors out there in the very crowded world of book publishing. You can’t do it alone, and why would you when you have a supportive group available?

Readers don’t just read one author – they stick with their favorite genres. There lies the power in cross-promotion. If one of my readers buys a book from an author I promote, then chances are there will be a reciprocal effect, or so is the hope. Do I want to boost sales? Of course I do. Do I want to boost other’s sales? Why not. It’s called karma.

Speaking of free, do you want to review either of my books? Drop me a message telling me why (and the format).


Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!