Blog – Eva’s Byte #156: The Reprieve

What are you priorities?

Leading up to the publication of my Contemporary, An Enlightening Quiche (Sept. 2016), and thereafter, my blogs have pertained to my life as an Indie. Life with all of its ups and downs impacts a writer’s best intention to set aside a chunk of time each day to extract ideas from thin air and compose a story, sentence after sentence.  Hence, it took me nearly 9 years to complete and publish the aforementioned second novel.  If you’ve followed my two previous blogs, you’d know I’d been derailed yet again.

That was then, and this is now—a reprieve, however brief, for my role as caregiver during a lull in transitioning to the next phase. A firm believer in blessings in disguise, the recent setback prompted me to rethink, reassess, readjust, and refuel.

As a result, I’ve redefined my priorities:

I’m engaging in social media again on a limited basis—posting a minimal amount of ads to keep my books visible, sharing, and schmoozing. I’ve curtailed proverbially standing on my head to gain more recognition. My merit badges can speak for themselves! Consequently, I’ll be scarce at upcoming author events, preferring the solitude to write or read.

During my reprieve, I’ve thanked my lucky stars I never started up a newsletter or haven’t tried to figure out Facebook or Amazon ads. Though I’d like to increase book sales, I refuse to become a marketeer, throwing time and money away during the trial-and-error period. Kudos to those diligent in cracking the code and raking in the dough.

Most importantly, I’ve taken advantage of my reprieve to write, advancing along chapter 6 in my WIP without imposing word sanctions or time constraints. Although I’m an Indie author and proud of it, my priority is living large by enjoying the simple pleasures of life and pursuing favorite pastimes away from a desk. The upcoming summer season is too precious to squander.

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

 

Blog – Eva’s Byte #155: The Breakdown Lane

An Indie author who takes writing seriously, I devote time each day feeding the beasts of social media for the purpose of marketing my published works. It’s no secret, Indies must work hard to showcase their work in the hope of attracting potential readers, with no guarantee of a single sale for days or weeks at a time! Yet, the six award badges my Contemporary Women’s Fiction novel merited since its publication in September 2016, provide incentive for me to keep up the momentum…

…Until my role of caregiver took many hairpin turns, prompting me to pull over in the breakdown lane while I get my bearings for dealing with the new norm. As of April 8th, I’d taken a temporary leave of absence from social media except for maintaining my weekly blog, reading, reviewing, and editing.  So I say!

If I’m too spent by the end of the day from physical exertion, the psychological hit, and mental anguish—all bets are off the table. Opening my novel document hasn’t even been a consideration due to the focus required. The remains of the day are usually devoted to anticipating and plotting the following day’s agenda before venturing into uncharted territory. And, crashing!

Meanwhile, I’m mindful of eating healthy and exercising to maintain my strength, stamina, and mental acumen. It’s become increasingly important for me to keep up with housework as a means of dispelling bouts of manic energy, and maintaining order in-house while losing my grip otherwise.

I long for the day when I’ll have just enough peace of mind to open my document and resume writing my next Contemporary from where I left off drafting chapter 6 a couple of weeks ago. That mentioned, I’ve got my eye on easing out of the breakdown lane to merge with traffic and continue the journey I’ve embarked on.

Best wishes to every Indie in triumphing over adversity.

 

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

 

 

Blog – Eva’s Byte #154: The Righter!

I’m a citer

I’m a fighter

I’m a midday righter

Tryin’ to find balance before the day is done…

*A parody of “The Joker,” a song by the Steve Miller Band from their 1973 album, The Joker.

An Indie author, I know I’m not alone in navigating life’s choppy waters while trying to further my writing endeavors. Due to unforeseen hairpin turns and detours, it had taken me approximately 8 years to finish and publish my second novel in the genre of Contemporary, An Enlightening Quiche (eBook – 370 pages).

In January 2018, I began my third Contemporary, Aida’s Fishing Ground, progressing at my own unhurried pace where I left off two weeks ago. That’s right! I haven’t advanced a single word in drafting chapter 6.  And, it’s not because I’ve gone fishing!

Indies who are primary caregivers or liaisons know the drill. You drop everything to meet up with your loved one at the ER.  You become a citer, fighter, and righter to assure that the patient’s best medical and psychological interests are met. Being an advocate is exhausting and stressful.  But, because our heart is in the right place, we prioritize, and everything else goes to hell in a hand basket—as it should.

Yet, during my driving spurts, Keith Lawrence and Obie Smith—two of my characters, made their presence known by channeling dialogue. As I’m a pantser, I store this information for subsequent retrieval when it’s time to summon. I’m not there by a long shot, but it will keep without my writing it down prior to that point.  It’s how I roll.  If you’ve read my multi-award winning An Enlightening Quiche, I think you’ll concur that I did a damn good job differentiating my fully-fleshed characters, and plotting its twists and turns.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Meanwhile, the week ends on a positive note for health care management. I’ll soon transition to “the midnight writer” and plod/plot my way along Aida’s journey in my office—my fishing ground for reeling in the words to tell my story.

 

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

Blog – Eva’s Byte #153: “Literally” Sucker Punched!

It’s like “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall”!

 Take one down, throw it away. One less book review today.

The takeaway of Amazon reviews is disheartening for Indie authors who experience sluggish, sporadic, or stagnant book sales. The reward for our slow and tedious uphill climb along this precarious journey is a book review posted by a reader.  Therefore, it’s a shock to discover the removal of a review every now and then, especially when that review is based on a verified purchase. Mind you, nothing but the removal of a 5-Star review will do, while a mean-spirited 1-Star, vitriolic slander-fest holds its ground despite an appeal, and subsequent curt dismissal.

First and foremost, it’s an insult to the reader who takes a leap of faith in purchasing a book and graciously takes the time to write an honest review providing feedback.

Last week, my Contemporary, An Enlightening Quiche, had its reviews whittled down to 28—again! So close to 30, yet so far! My Nonfiction Memoir collection, 100 Wild Mushrooms: Memoirs of the ‘60s, is down to 10.  Each day, I walk the gangplank, on edge, over what I’ll discover that may obstruct my path to the Promised Land of Visibility, purportedly attained after your book gets 50 reviews.

However, the hide of an Indie author is thick to begin with, having pioneered self-publishing on our own terms. Taking away one or more reviews over time can never undermine my integrity as a writer, erode myself self-respect, or devalue the merit badges my books have earned. I also take consolation that many bestselling authors have had few reviews prior to hitting it big.

Sales drive success, not reviews.

Although I’ve yet to strike the mother lode of book sales, like an errant weed poking through concrete, I’m determined to succeed in my own way—one book sale at a time.

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

Blog – Eva’s Byte #152: There’s More than One Way to Bake a Quiche!

Besides the myriad number of varied ingredients, there’s the option of crust or crustless. My quiche recipe, or rather, my protagonist Augusta Bergeron’s heirloom recipe she named “Quiche Simone,” is crustless. (Multi-award winning Contemporary, An Enlightening Quiche: An heirloom quiche recipe and baking rivalry turn up the heat in a mill town rife with secrets and scandals).

There’s obviously more than one piece of well-meaning advice pertaining to effective writing. I thought I’d include my own, along with “rules” I happen to follow based on my own preferences:

1 – First and foremost: Don’t become a “best-sellout” by playing it safe or following advice from so-called writing experts. Heed your own instincts.

2 – When sitting down to write, always reread previous material in the chapter. I find it revs one’s creative engine, while keeping focused on the plot. Plus, it’s “one” more invaluable opportunity to proofread, edit, check for inconsistencies, and enrich. Time consuming—sure, but it’s the closest thing to subjective perfection. Oh, and before I begin writing a new chapter, I read my WIP from the beginning.

3 – Avoid using the word “that”.

That’s all I got. I’m adding a few pieces of advice I happen to agree with wholeheartedly proffered by established writers.   You may not agree.  Hence, I’ll refer you back to no.1.

*Write a book you’d like to read. Don’t write for a perceived audience market.  It may well have vanished by the time your book is ready. (Hilary Mantel)

*Writing isn’t about making money…In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. (Stephen King)

*Work on one thing at a time until finished. (Henry Miller)

*Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition. (Jack Kerouac)

Courtesy: http://www.litrejections.com/10-rules-of-writing/

What works for you?

 

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

 

Blog – Eva’s Byte #151: It’s a Sedentary Life!

Wonderful as it may be, this thing of ours—writing, has potential to wreak havoc on our health from sitting for long periods of time. Whether hunched over to finger dance on a keyboard, or tell a story using Dragon voice recognition software—we writers put our health at risk by “de-composing.” I pity those Indie authors raking in the dough from book sales, enabling them to afford a personal assistant who further aids and abets a sedentary lifestyle.

Chances are, we tend to nosh on junk food so as not to divert our rapt attention from the computer screen. This tends to pack on the pounds, predisposing one to become overweight which increases the likelihood for developing heart disease, diabetes, cancer, anxiety, depression, and dementia—worse than any writer’s block!

The buck doesn’t stop here, but this should be enough of a wakeup call for Indies to safeguard our health by making better snack choices and engaging in some form of regular exercise.

As the late, great Stephen Hawking is credited with saying, “Remember to look up at the stars.”

It behooves us to do so.

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

Eva’s Byte #150: Book Badge Bling

Got bling?

No one ever said Indie authors “don’t need no stinkin’ badges” in furthering our cause of recognition in a polysaturated book market. (Misquoted line from the film, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, whereby the bandit leader, Gold Hat, actually replies, “I don’t have to show you any stinking badges!”)

I’m honored, proud, and thrilled to display every “stinkin’” merit badge on my book covers for my multi-award winning Contemporary, An Enlightening Quiche, and my recently published nonfiction memoir collection, 100 Wild Mushrooms: Memoirs of the ‘60s.

The purpose of this blog is to share news about the latest badge both of my aforementioned books received this week when the prestigious badge made its debut—IHIBRP (Indies Helping Indies Book Review Project) Recommended Read Award.

*In the words of author, historian JB Richards, the award’s originator:

“Are you an Indie Author with less than 15 Amazon reviews? If so, you may be eligible for my IHI Book Review Project! You’ll receive an IHIBRP Book Review that will be featured on my blogs at The Writers Block, Goodreads, and Twitter. Amazon “verified purchase” review, and a promotion of your IHIBRP review on Facebook and Twitter. But wait… there’s more—Should your book qualify as an IHIBRP 5 Star Recommended Read, you’ll earn an Award Badge which can then be affixed to the cover of your work to tell the world this is an exceptional read! The best part is, there’s absolutely no catch and no hoops to jump through—All I ask is that you pay-it-forward to our Indie community! Interested? Check out my award-winning IHI Book Review Project here!

Should your book qualify as an IHIBRP 5-Star Recommended Read, you’ll earn an Award Badge which can then be affixed to the cover of your work to tell the world this is an exceptional read! The best part is, there’s absolutely no catch and no hoops to jump through—All I ask is that you pay-it-forward to our Indie community! Interested? Check out my award-winning IHI Book Review Project here!”

https://www.yeshuaandmirinovelseries.com/single-post/2017/08/29/IHI-Book-Review-Project-IHIBRP-Submissions-Guidelines

*The Badge is created by author R.M. Gauthier, courtesy of RM Designs, in affiliation with the IHI Book Project. It may not be reproduced or shared without the written consent of JB Richards for any purpose other than which it is intended in conjunction with her IHI Book Review Project.

https://www.facebook.com/RMCustomDesigns/

For Indies, book badge bling enables our books to stand out in a crowded market.

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

Blog – Eva’s Byte #149: Singin’ My Song

What’s your fight song?

From what I’ve gathered hanging around social media’s water coolers, most Indie authors have a playlist conducive to advancing their story writing—whether motivational fight songs, or songs complementing plot, theme, and characters.

It should go without saying:

Don’t quote song lyrics in your book. You can reference the song but not the actual lyrics. You can print a song’s title, there’s no law against that – though you might not want to use a song title as your book’s title as you can run afoul of trademark law. http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/10/lyrics-in-books/

Although I’d referenced several songs in my multi-award winning Contemporary, An Enlightening Quiche, one song predominated for its commentary on isolation, sexuality, and personal relationships, while capturing the irony and cynicism of my protagonist—“Closing Time” (2009) written and performed by Leonard Cohen.

Augusta: A vision of myself as a ghoul from Christmases Yet to Come appeared in the guise of a long-in-the-tooth trollop flicking fried dyed hair and wearing age-inappropriate, skintight attire tautly stretched over my butt of a joke. A comparable image satirized every night by Cohen at closing time inside the chamber of Chuggers put the fear of God in me.  

As I round the bend of chapter 4 in my Contemporary WIP, Aida’s Fishing Ground, a song illustrative of a bygone era alluding to what transpires in the present, and has far-reaching effects moving forward is “Fire and Rain” (1970), a folk rock song written and performed by James Taylor.

Since there are no guarantees in life for seeing that special someone one more time again—act accordingly.

In Real Time:

LIVE – 03/03 @ 8 – 9 PM EST: my author interview hosted by Yvonne Mason on “Off the Chain”: https://www.reddit.com/user/offthechainradio/

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

 

Blog – Eva’s Byte #148: Something’s Fishy!

Indie Authors require the patience and persistence of fly-fishing!

In Reel/Real Time—literally and metaphorically—I’ve been hauling bass since January along my WIP, Aida’s Fishing Ground, in the genre of Contemporary Women’s Fiction, set in Foster, Rhode Island.  Consequently, my novel trademark for integrating the locale’s historic landmarks, geographic entities, and regional culture is front and center.

I recently completed drafting chapter 3 (1807 words) which is devoted to one of the characters angling for bass in the Ponaganset River. At least two rules of thumb can be applied to an Indie author’s approach to marketing:

  1. While fishing, an angler must cross that fine line between spending too much time in one unproductive spot and moving on to another.

Comparably, an Indie author must evaluate strategies for their effectiveness in procuring book sales, staying the course with what works, and/or moving on to another strategy.

2.  Prior to fishing in a designated area, it behooves the angler to check the “fatty factor”—the detailed seven-day fishing forecast based on a 1 to 5 rating calculated per hour for every stream, whereby a factor of 5 indicates the fattest prospects for hauling bass or any other stock fish.

No such luck for an Indie author who must work all the angles to find his/her elusive readership with no guarantees for lucrative prospects whatsoever.

Best wishes to all Indie authors as we wade through social media on a daily basis in the hope of catching a sale through patience and persistence.

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

Blog – Eva’s Byte # 147: Getting My Sass in Gear!

My no-nonsense, minimal approach for shining at a book signing:

I’m ready to rock n’ roll, packin’ pulp fiction and nonfiction for a massive book signing event with 49 other local authors. Having received a gracious invitation to participate in the 3rd annual “Book Lovers Author Expo” hosted by the Cumberland Public Library on Saturday, February 17th, 1-4 PM EST, preparations are underway.

https://www.facebook.com/events/670098373160931/

My “sass” is in gear for keeping things manageable—and real! Although you’re apt to find me greeting patrons of the literary arts wearing my signature-signing leopard attire, I don’t cart in bling—high-rise book posters, decorative lights, lamps, giveaway gadgetry, etc.—all of which strike me as pathetic ploys to get noticed.

Books should speak for themselves! What a novel idea, eh?

Getting my sass in gear is all about adhering to the KISS method: keep it simple, stupid! That said, this is the stuff I roll with, self-contained inside my cart, to an author event:

Boxes containing just enough books cuz you’ll be lucky to sell one, if any at all—10 – 100 Wild Mushrooms: Memoirs of the ‘60s because they’re lightweight at 230 pgs.; 5 each – An Enlightening Quiche and Once Upon a Fabulous Time because each book is a heavyweight, over 500 pgs.  Inside each book, I’ve enclosed a book card.  I’m carting three different kinds of signing pens corresponding with titles and totals.  From past experience, I’ve learned to keep these undercover, as some folks think nothing of helping themselves to a pen without feigning the slightest interest in my books.

Acrylic easels to display each book title: Sticking out of each title, a black oak tag bookmark with a typewritten price tag adhered; a larger easel for displaying my author photo and tagline: Eva Pasco – Rhode Island Author – Incorporating historic landmarks, geographic entities, cherished institutions, and regional culture.

Takeaway Flyers with pertinent information about my books, buying links, and websites.

A plastic container with individually wrapped candies. This has potential to give pause for engaging with someone standing in front of me.

Seeing I have no interest in getting a Square Credit Card Reader, and deal strictly in cash, I am prepared to make change.

Even though refreshments will be provided, I won’t leave home without snacks and bottled water. In for the long haul, I’ll have a few sharpened pencils and crossword puzzle books to keep myself occupied.

Getting one’s sass in gear is by no means a precursor to book sales. However, it does enable me to move through crowds and set up shop with the greatest of ease.

 Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco