Tag Archives: Echelon Press

A Human Element cover is here and an excerpt!

This week I got to experience something thousands of people do every year. If they’re lucky. And I know I am. To see the cover of something I created from my own imagination, my paranormal suspense novel A Human Element. And my first book.

When I saw the tweet from my publisher, Echelon Press, “I just sent something very important to your email” my first reaction was one stemming back to high school. Oh no, what bad thing did I do and just get caught for? Then I zoomed back to my 40s and I knew. THE COVER!

It’s just a whole mess of dark coolness, don’t you think?

And here’s a teaser again of A Human Element:
26-year-old Laura Armstrong is adopted but that isn’t what makes her different. Her telekinetic, mind reading, healing powers do and the fact she can’t stop her parents and friends from being murdered. The murderer haunts her dreams and cryptic notes appear instructing her she must use her powers to save herself before she is next.With the killer closing in on her, Laura discovers her destiny is linked to his and realizes she has two choices – redeem him or kill him.

And I know you’re wondering…who’s the evil, yellow eyed dude in the sky? I won’t divulge his name just yet. But he would be glad to hear he’s called evil. Very glad.

Here is a little teaser to him..

EXCERPT FROM A HUMAN ELEMENT:

The creature-man sat on the concrete floor, his bulbous legs splayed out in front of him. His head sunk on his chest. He appeared to be sleeping.

Yet he did not sleep. He reached his brain outward into the night air probing for satisfaction. He had come so close many times. Then the vision always faded away, no longer in his grasp. He knew then what he sought either had traveled too far a distance for his mind to grab or his senses were too dull to attack.

The man knew his limitations. His mind probing skills worked within a few hundred miles. He had killed many times in the outside world while his body stayed imprisoned underground. He was not always successful because they kept him drugged and this weakened his powers. It was difficult for him to push through the drugs and use his abilities, but when he succeeded it delivered intense satisfaction. Sweetly orgasmic.

The man gloated over the deaths he had invoked, yet he had to be careful in his choosing. They knew when he killed as they knew his style of murder. He would then wait in fear to see if they discovered his kills. If they did, they would gas him and shoot him up with drugs. Sometimes the doctor would add something special to the cocktail injection to send spiraling waves of pain through his deformed body. Too many of them had been killed getting close to him. It was how they controlled him. The pain was intense and he was not immune to it.

And so he had been reduced to mostly sucking the blood of small animals he came across in the nearby plentiful woods through his mind powers. These creatures gave him a mere flash of pleasure, but their brief squealing ended too short from his death jaws.

The man placed his hands on his deformed head and soared outside of his prison walls, into the cool night air. Soon he spotted a stray mutt roaming the lamp lit streets. He sent his mind’s eye in for a closer look and swooped in to begin the ripping and tearing of canine flesh.

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What inspires us to write: inspiration from grief

As you know my book, A HUMAN ELEMENT, is being published in March 2012 by Echelon Press.

I wish my mom were still alive to be a part of that. But here’s the thing. If she were alive I would not have finished writing a book. I would not be getting published. I wouldn’t be here right now doing this if it weren’t for my mom.

She died from cancer 2 years ago. This strong and vibrant woman. I watched her become a shadow. And then I watched her go. I took care of her in the final moments. Then she slipped away. And I knew I had to make my dream come true. Write my first book. And then another. I had wanted to do it for years.

My mom loved to read to grandson, Joshua. Wish she could read my books now.

My mom’s life was gone. Mine half over. But mine was still here to conquer. She was always my #1 champion. I had to now my be champion.

She was my mom. My safety net. My battle of wills. She defined who I am and who I hope to be.  She was the world’s greatest character, the shining light to so many. And she’ll now be the model for a character in my newest novel.

So, I guess you could say I wrote from grief. It healed me. It comforted me. It made me feel like I was doing something for my mom.

The author, Michael Kimball, wrote his novel US from this sort place. How true his words are in this article and here.  “There is a lot of love in grief”. That is true and comforting, isn’t it?

Another author who wrote from grief is Ann Hood. She lost her will to read and write after her 5 year old daughter died suddenly from virulent strep. She eventually took up knitting to comfort her. From her healing grew the tale The Knitting Circle about a woman who loses her 5 year old daughter to meningitis and how knitting comforted her during a time of terrible anguish.

Maybe someday I’ll write about those last few days and moments with my mom. But it’s still too close for me just yet.

Me and my mom. She was the best (and afraid of water!)

So I wrote for my mom first. It was my way of talking to her then. To heal. To accomplish something I told her I always would. Now I have and I can write for me. My first book maybe the one that sits in a drawer. Don’t we all have one sitting in a drawer? Someday I’ll come back to it. Maybe. But that book led to another. And now another. And now a 4th one I am starting. All in 2 years. What a long way I have come.

So, thanks Mom. For bringing me to what I always wanted to do in my life. Write books.

I know I am not the only story like this.

What drove you to sit down and write that first book? Was it a special person or an event? What keeps driving you?

I found some answers here by other authors on what inspires them to write. Is one of these yours?

How did you finally write your first The End? Tell me here.

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I celebrate becoming a published novelist

I am excited to have author Donna Galanti on today. Oops! That’s me!

Doing the happy jump

Because today is the day I can announce that my paranormal suspense novel A HUMAN ELEMENT is being published by Echelon Press! Catch what it’s about  here on my writing page.

I’m pretty dizzy about it. Yep. Due to release March 15th, 2012 as an ebook and in paperback on Amazon. (Note to self: put Kindle on Christmas list). Echelon Press believes in my story and I am thrilled to be publishing with them.

Hungarian Hussar. Imagine fighting in that get up?

It’s just fun to mention that March 15th is a Hungarian Holiday commemorating the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 and their independence from the Hasburg Empire. I just love that my book will be associated with a revolution. Even a bloodless one. I have some Hungarian in me. I can feel it.
Back to excitement. EEK! Did I mention being dizzy?

What’s funny is this month I was a guest on Author Tony Eldridge’s blog Marketing Tips, a wonderful resource for authors. I highly recommend it. And my topic? Utilizing a career in marketing and business to get a book to market. Stop by here to read my article.

I didn’t get this book to market alone though (as I mention in my article above). Once I came out of my writing cave and quit speaking in grunted oohs and ahhs, I ventured out in the writer universe and met some wonderful people.

These are the kind of people that want other writers to succeed by sharing their experiences and techniques. People like authors Marie Lamba and Jonathan Maberry, teachers in my Write a Novel in 9 Months class. And my developmental editor, Kathryn Craft, who went above and beyond in her critiquing! The many workshops I took at the Philly Writer’s Conference led by the wonderful authors in the Philadelphia Liars Club.

Thanks to Karen Syed, President with Echelon Press who was the first publisher I ever met at my first writer’s conference, The Write Stuff. She spent time above the call of duty in reading, reviewing and recommending changes to my novel before I even signed with her. Stacy Green, who pointed out my head hopping, among other things! And my amazing pilot readers who took the time to read my book.

And then there are the countless number of new writer friends I have made along the way.

Supportive husband = happy writer

Too many to list here! You all know who you are 🙂

Oh, and let’s not forget one supportive husband who gave me time to write (happy 10th anniversary this week, Mike).

So, follow me on the path to publication. I’ll share it here. What’s your path to publication?

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Write-On Wednesdays! Here today with Author Reggie Ridgway

We’re sitting down to chat with Reggie Ridgway today from sunny California.

Reggie Ridgway

Find Reggie here:
Amazon Page
Smashwords
Facebook

Blog

His book IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR debuts soon with Echelon Press.

Congratulations on your new thriller coming out, In The Midnight Hour. Tell us about it!
In The Midnight Hour is a medical thriller about a once famous surgeon who not only falls from grace with his peers and is forced to resign, but is charged with murdering his wife, all on the same day.  By circumstances, which begin after his attempted escape from prison, he becomes injured during a high speed chase. He awakens brain injured in the very hospital he once had been the Chief of Surgery. Pretending to lie helplessly in a coma, he finds ways to roam around the hospital at night with impunity.  He ultimately seeks revenge on those people who caused his fall from grace and even some other people who wronged him and who had set him up for the alleged murder of his wife.  The killer’s identity is finally revealed in a spine tingling ending, even as the killer is caught while in the act.

When will it be released and how can we get it?
Echelon Press has been putting out a novel per month in ebook form, and several short stories a month. They put out paperback versions for those titles who become best sellers.  I have not been told yet when I can expect it’s release but  I do understand the process.  The timing also depends on when work was submitted.  Echelon is a great publisher with a bunch of popular authors who I am proud to be joining up with them.

What was your road to publishing your first book?
I am luckier then most authors in that my book was chosen by a small press very quickly.  I had placed well in Amazon’s yearly contest for new writers, but didn’t win in spite of good reviews from the judges.  I felt good that my novel had made it to the finals out of thousands of entries.  Embolden with that positive energy, I set out querying without an agent.  I started with small presses as I felt my chances were better.  Echelon was looking for novels to fill their 2011 catalogue and they picked me. While waiting for my turn to be released, I have been working on my second novel which is going well and is a third of the way towards being written.

What are your top 3 challenges in writing?
1. Relevancy.  I think readers of fiction want the story to be something they can relate to.  Be current with what is popular and follow current events and trends. Pay attention to detail.

2. Editing.  This is the hardest part of writing for most, but nothing turns a reader or publisher off faster then a typo or incorrect sentence structure.  Get an editor, even if you self publish. And don’t rely just on spell check.  It will bite you in the end.

3. Time.  Unless you are a full time writer, you have to juggle your day job, your quality family time, and your “me” time against hours sitting at your desk.  Set aside some time, like it was your job, as you hope some day it will be.

Can you give us your top 5 tips for being a successful writer?
1. Write something every day.  Blog, or review someone else’s book or comment on their blog posts.  This is a win win deal as you hone your writing skills as well as build a following.

2. Be courteous to fans and other writers.  Even if you hate someone else’s work it does no one any good to write disparaging remarks which can spark a feud.

3. Get out there and promote your work.  Either via social networking, or to local newspaper and give television and radio interviews.  Don’t forget to promote your local book stores with signings and such. YouTube has helped many authors get free advertising with MTV like promo videos and video interviews.

4. Attend at least two writers conferences a year.  You will network with other authors who can really help you in many ways.  You will also meet readers who will become your fans after meeting with you or listening to your speeches.

5. Write on your WIP at least a few hours each day.  Editing or polishing it with the same effort you would give a lover. Give a lot of time to picking a good cover.

You also write short stories.  Has that helped you get your book published?
The juries still out since my novel hasn’t been released, but hopefully the fans, or would be fans can sample my writing from the shorts and want more. Same with my blog.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I am fortunate to live in Southern California where I can be surfing at the beach in Ventura in 2 hours or skiing in Big Bear or Mammoth in less than 4 hours.  I am only a hop-skip-and-jump to places like Tahoe or San Francisco or Las Vegas. I have time shares all over and travel extensively.  I like to golf, play tennis, sail, fish, water ski, and anything that is not too taxing on me now that I am getting long in the tooth.  I am an avid reader and love social networking on twitter and face book.

What is the one thing you wish you knew before you published your first book?
Tough question.  I guess that I wish I had started writing when I was younger.  Perhaps the timing is better now because of many more life experiences to draw from.

Working on any new projects?
My next novel is called Moon Shadow.  See a trend of song titles being used? I am about a third of the way through and with the first novel behind me am finding the going much easier. It will also be a medical thriller but takes place in Alaska’s remote backcountry.  It will combine medical intrigue with survival in one of the harshest places on earth.

Where do you hope to take your writing in the future?
My goal is to make novel writing my life’s work.  I will be writing full time soon and have a goal of writing a novel a year.  I also love to write short stories now and those have so far been in the young adult genre.  I like to write about young people who are thrust into circumstances where their inherent abilities are tested.  Courage for instance and survival in nature are my favorite topics. Those are consistent themes while my plots revolve around  family values and respect for those in authority.  It seems people in authority have been made fun of for so long in popular fiction and on television and in movies that young  people don’t have use for them anymore.

 What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I write in my head for the most part. I will be thinking about my story all day long and every day for months until at some point I decide it is good enough and plot it out on paper in outline form.  I also have a proclivity for writing dialogue like it was a script.  It suits me structurally although of course I rewrite it later in proper prose style.  The other thing I do is try to make the chapters stand alone. They are almost short stories with a begging, middle and an end.

Where can we find you on the web?
I have a blog where someone can get a diary type idea about me and my interests. I write what’s happening now as well as anecdotes from my past. I try to offer humorous ones to entertain but also rich family stories which I hope my future generations will appreciate.  I regret not writing down all the stories my grand pa told or my Mom or Dad.  They are fuzzy memories now and without the retelling from the person who was there, it leaves a lot of holes since I was very young when I heard the stories. They lived through World Wars and the depression and even knew people in their lives who fought or at least observed the Civil War and such.

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