Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Exception NOT The Rule

       "That's the exception, not the rule." I am completely fed up with this phrase! I hear this all the time at my job, and I can't tell you how mad it makes me. Frankly, I have gotten to the point where I feel that the people who use this phrase, use it, only when it accommodates them. You may be wondering why NOW I have chosen to vent my frustrations. And I am more than tickled to explain. 

I recently read an Article from The Pulse of the City, where an Author Spotlight was done on Sue Grafton, who is a Louisville native. During this article, I became enraged and offended, and to put it honestly, felt as though I had been given the finger. No, I apologize. I wasn't given the finger... but every hard working individual out there who can call him/herself an Indie Author was.

Sue was asked the following question:

Do you have any words of wisdom for young writers?

Her response was this:
Quit worrying about publication and master your craft. If you have a good story to tell and if you write it well, the Universe will come to your aid. Don’t self-publish. That’s as good as admitting you’re too lazy to do the hard work.
I was completely taken aback. LAZY?? Seriously. So someone who spends 18 of their 24hrs in a day, writing, promoting, networking, advertising, designing, editing - they're lazy? Excuse my language but are you F***ing crazy? I can think of so many Indie Authors who not only work full time jobs, but have full houses to take care of, and they are busting their humps to get their books out there.
I'm sorry, but to call them lazy, is not only rude and disrespectful, but its completely ignorant. We are in different times. The "keys to kingdom" (as one Indie Author I know puts it) have been handed over to Indie Authors and I feel that the traditionally published are not only jealous but they are scared and insecure. 
The interviewer goes on to ask the following:
In light of our Louisville neighbor John Locke’s blockbuster indie sales, and the growing percentage of each best-seller list being filled out by “indie” writers, do you still feel that advice is solid? I know it was the standard advice a few years ago, but is it still good advice?
If so, what hard work are indie success stories too lazy to complete?
Is it possible that indie publishing is more effective than querying agents & publishers, for the new writer? More and more agents and publishers seem to be treating indie books as the new slush pile.
And Ms. Grafton responds as such:
Good questions.  Obviously, I’m not talking about the rare few writers who manage to break out. The indie success stories aren’t the rule. They’re the exception. The self-published books I’ve read are often amateurish. I’ve got one sitting on my desk right now and I’ve received hundreds of them over the years. Sorry about that, but it’s the truth. The hard work is taking the rejection, learning the lessons, and mastering the craft over a period of time. I see way too many writers who complete one novel and start looking for the fame and fortune they’re sure they’re entitled to. To me, it seems disrespectful…that a ‘wannabe’ assumes it’s all so easy s/he can put out a ‘published novel’ without bothering to read, study, or do the research. Learning to construct a narrative and create character, learning to balance pace, description, exposition, and dialogue takes a long time. This is not an quick do-it-yourself home project. Self-publishing is a short cut and I don’t believe in short cuts when it comes to the arts. I compare self-publishing to a student managing to conquer Five Easy Pieces on the piano and then wondering if s/he’s ready to be booked into Carnegie Hall. Don’t get me started. already did.  
Well Sue, here's the problem. YOU got me started. I will agree with her on the point, that there are a lot of amateurish self published books out there. Trust me, I've read them, as I ran a book review blog. But there are more books out there by incredible Indie Authors, that are a hell of a lot better than some of the traditionally published books I've read. Including yours Sue. 
See in my opinion, it all comes down to this - the reader. 
The Reader is the person, who, well g-o-l-l-y, is reading your book! Sur-prise Sur-prise Sur-prise! They are the only ones, in the end, who actually matter. Yes Sue they matter. They give you reviews. They give you sales. They really don't care whether you are a "trad" or an "indie" all they care about is the story and whether they liked it or not. They are the ones who are truly signing your paycheck.
So to conclude my rant, I'd like to end quoting a traditionally published author who said, "I think we’d all be well-advised to ignore the opinions of others." Well thanks Sue! I'll be sure to remember that. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Spread ♥ Not Hate

Most of us, at least once in our lives, have been an unfortunate victim of a hateful bully. And I don't just mean your typical playground bully who pushes you down because you won't give them your Fruit Roll-Up. I'm talking about being completely and utterly humiliated and criticized, over the way you walk or talk, what you wear, who you hang out with, your faith, your gender, your weight, or even your sexual orientation. Bullying can happen just about anywhere : school, work, church, and even home. I, myself, was a victim of bullying for over ten years - from my own father.

Bullying by definition is : an act of repeated aggressive behavior in order to intentionally hurt another person, physically or mentally. Bullying is characterized by an individual behaving in a certain way to gain power over another person. 

In other words - A bully wants control. They want to be the one in charge.

*** the following story is true ***

~*~ The bullying was always there, as far back as I can remember. We weren't allowed to go outside without permission. Check the mail without permission. Take a shower or bath without  permission - and when we did the time was limited. Practically breathe without asking to do so. I've been called every vile name in the book that you could think of ranging from A - Z, with fat, whore, b****, slut, just being the ones used most frequently. And, mind you, this was a daily occurrence. It got worse when he drank, which, as the years passed, turned from weekend to weeknight, evening to afternoon, and eventually all day. I think one of the worst things a parent can do to their children is to tell them that they don't love them. But I was told that frequently. 

The verbal abuse, slowly changed into physical, as well as mental. I couldn't go to sleep, there were many occasions when I was forced to sit up with him all night long and just talk, or play music for him while he drank. A typical nights sleep for me was maybe 3 hours at best. And this was just middle school. I went through a serious bought, of what I thought was depression during my 8th grade year - where I actually contemplated killing myself on more than one occasion. I absorbed myself into books and quickly started to surround my miserable existence, with any fictional one. 

The physical abuse became worse when I entered high school. Too many times was I forced to hide bruises, just to get through the day. I was choked, beat, kicked and even told to go take a life insurance policy out and kill myself. I was living in total hell. School became my sanctuary and I never wanted to go home. No one knew what was going on at my house and I was really to afraid to let anyone know, for fear of what he might do. I finally had enough my senior year in high school, and did what someone should have done all those years ago. I called the cops the night he went too far and beat me with a metal flashlight. He was arrested and had to do anger management for the next 6 months. 

It slowly got better, he drank less and stopped being physically abusive. He continued the verbal, but I knew better, and just ignored him. It escalated the year after I graduated high school and he kicked me out, when I started going to church. Today my relationship with my father is a very minimal one. My father is someone who is not only strong physically, but strong mentally. He is not someone who you would want to challenge. Yet my entire life, that is all I did. I challenged his behavior because I knew it was wrong. As much as he refuses to believe that he was the cause of many of my problems while I was growing up, I still can't help but love him. I forgive him because I know deep down, he is the one who truly needs help and who has the issues. I can forgive but I can't forget, and I don't think I ever will. ~*~

For those of you out there, who are being bullied or who ever have been, I implore you, please don't ever think it is your fault. It isn't. I spent too many nights crying myself to sleep wondering what I did wrong for him to hate me and not love me. Only now, after being out of that situation for 5 years, have I realized, I never did anything wrong. It wasn't my fault, I was a victim. Don't ever let anyone tell lies about you. To your face, to anyone else. You have to know in your heart who you are, no matter what someone says. And please don't hesitate to talk to someone, I know it may be difficult, you may be scared, alone, afraid of what people might say if you tell them whats going on, but you have to say something.

Today I'm married to the most wonderful man in the entire world who is my best friend and who has been there during the night terrors and the horrible dreams. The crying fits and the anger. I would not be here had he not rescued me. 


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Author Thomas Amo: OFFICIAL UPDATE January 26, 2012

Author Thomas Amo: OFFICIAL UPDATE January 26, 2012: Just In Time For Spring Break! Here's an advance peek at the teaser poster for my upcoming YA Novel. HIGH SCHOOL IS HARD ENOUGH JUST BEI...

Saturday, January 14, 2012


So, I've essentially become non existent in the blogging world as of late. Not intentionally I assure you, but when you manage a bakery during the holidays, you really don't have time for anything else. With the recent passing of Turkey Day, Christmas and New Years,  I feel like time is moving so fast and I'm standing still. 

Being non existent in the blog world, doesn't mean I've been productively writing either. I'm only 12 pages into my novel, which at this point, seems to have a changing title every 30 minutes. And the cover???? Well that is a ridiculous story in itself.  Let's just say, that after careful thought and consideration, I now own Photoshop and will be doing my own artwork for book covers and posters in the future. 

I have started outlining for another project I'm working on, and I am quite excited about it! It wasn't a planned project, the idea was actually born out of frustration and anger, but it does seem to be shaping up.


So it's now 2012....another year gone and I guess it's time I figure out my resolutions for the year....

1. get my book finished! either of them, both of them...I'd just like to publish something this year.
2. move! this is a biggie as the husband and I detest where we live with a passion. mostly it's the neighbors, but its the city as well. I'd just like to move and have my own office... =) make me super happy.
3. blog more. i really need to keep up, i hate being off the radar just to pop in every once in a blue moon. 

i could add soooo many more to this list but i think it would take me all year just to write this post!

anywho.... have a good year all!