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A Pretty Cool Day In Florida

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For almost two years now I’ve been associated with Pandamoon Publishing, first as an author and more recently as a publicist. At times the latter role requires more effort and schedule juggling than the former but it is one of the few times since receiving a degree in marketing from the University of Texas in the early ’80’s that I have actually done something related to my studies. That’s kind of cool.

Aside from working on my next book(s), there are eleven more under contract now, I have had occasion to work with a diverse group of fellow writers. Personally I think all of them are more gifted than I am. A few of them have been fooled into thinking I’m as talented as they are. I’m good a creating illusions. Until yesterday, though, I had never actually met any of the other authors, other than chatting with them online. That isn’t to say I don’t know these people and over the past couple of years we haven’t become friends.

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The Pandamoon stable of authors is approaching two dozen and continues to grow. The publisher is expanding its editorial and marketing staffs to handle the bandwidth of all those new books. For a relatively small and fairly new kid on the publishing block we are making some waves and gaining attention. And a lot of that has to do with the effort and coordination between the marketing team and the authors. One of the success stories is Steph Post, author of A Tree Born Crooked.

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Steph and I both live in Florida. When I lived in Pinellas County, we were even on the same side of Tampa Bay, just a few miles apart. Close, but we never had an occasion to ever meet in person…until yesterday. This time there was no excuse. She was appearing as a panelist at the 6th Annual University of Central Florida Book Festival in Orlando. Currently I live a little over five miles from the venue. So, yesterday morning I pedaled my bike northward on Alafaya Trail and parked it in a bike rack in the midst of the festivities. I attended the panel discussion on mystery and crime writing. Responding to questions from a standing room only crowd Steph shined. I was proud of her not only because we are colleagues at Pandamoon but also because over the past couple of years she has become a dear friend of mine.

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Afterwards she signed my copy of her debut novel and we took a picture together as proof that we had actually been in the same place at the same time. I met her husband, Ryan, and a couple of her high school friends who came out to the event in support of her. Really, what was important, though, was I got to hang out with one of my favorite authors. How cool is that? I’m such a fan boy.

Seriously, though, I loved Steph’s book from the first read through of the manuscript and since  it’s publication I have found it to be one of the easiest things I have ever promoted. Even if I wasn’t closely associated with the marketing support for the book, she would still be one of my favorite authors. I’m pretty sure that very soon her fame is going to blow-up in a huge way and everyone will be talking about her books. She has genuine talent that she has honed through the discipline of scheduling her time. She is a professional writer in every sense of the word. Personally I have no idea how she juggles everything she does, because is is also a writing coach and educator as well as a wife and ‘mother’ of several rescue pooches. But once you meet her and talk to her you really get the vibe that you’re in the presence of a remarkable individual.

As I pedaled home after spending a few hours at the festival I was thinking about how great it would be to get all the Pandamoon authors together in the same place at the same time. We have talked about it and even have a name for the event all picked out: “Pandamoonium”. I’m sure that sooner or later it will happen. Likely as not we’ll assemble in some central location, probably Austin, Texas, which is close to where the publisher is based. Only then will the sensation of being in the presence of greatness that I felt yesterday be eclipsed. Despite our geographic barriers I work with some amazing people.

It is a testament to the technological advancements over the past dozen of so years that people from every time zone in the western hemisphere have meetings regularly to share information and ideas about such topics as establishing and promoting author’s brand. Pandamoon Publishing is cutting edge in a lot of ways.

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As for Steph Post, what she has done – pretty much on her own, albeit with some support from the Pandamoon marketing team – is nothing short of phenomenal. In the months since she signed with Pandamoon she has worked diligently on her brand, posting attention getting pictures that supported the theme and mood of her book, which is about crime in small town Florida. She contacted other authors in her genre, got to know them personally, read and reviewed their books, interviewed them, and her attention was reciprocated with reviews for her book. She arranged interviews on radio shows, with bloggers and scheduled personal appearances. Even before its release to the public, A Tree Born Crooked was receiving critical acclaim. Since its release it is being considered for some prestigious awards.

The reward for all her hard work was evidenced not only in the number of people who purchased Steph’s book yesterday but also the number of new friends she made as a result of her participating int he panel discussion. She signed a lot of autographs. In this age of Internet distribution and sales, one thing has not changed and it is ironic that, really, it is the same as it has been for the past couple hundred years. How a book is marketed always comes down to pitching it one reader at a time.

#UCFBookFestival #Orlando #Florida #Authors #StephPost #ATreeBornCrooked #PandamoonPublishing #ElgonWilliams #Publicity #Marketing #BookSigning #MysteryWriter #CrimeWriter

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My Crazy, Busy Life – Lately

FINAL Final Fried Windows Front Cover Only

The sequel for Fried Windows is progressing slowly between my increased hours at my day job and doing some promotional things for others. I’m beginning the new story in the middle and working my way out to the beginning and the conclusion. That’s how I write sometimes, starting in the middle, usually with a conversation. In this one, Brent is talking to Strawb who is chiding him for having done something incredibly stupid – in her estimation, of course.

There are actually multiple beginnings for the story just because of the nature of the tale and what happened to Brent Woods at the conclusion of Fried Windows. That’s the hard part, connecting the stories together. I’ve done the easy part, writing the rest of the story – pretty much.

Yesterday my youngest daughter asked me about Becoming Thuperman’s release date. I told her it had been pushed back a bit in the queue to allow for the first two installments of The Wolfcat Chronicles. Throwing a Fried Windows sequel into that mix right now would only further confuse things and create a bigger bottleneck in my publisher’s editing and production bandwidth. There are other projects from other authors, after all. As publicist, I’m reading those books now so I know what we will be promoting. There are some very good books coming from Pandamoon, folks.

Anyway, my daughter has a draft of the the BT manuscript now and hopefully she’ll give me some feedback on it after she reads it. I know it needs a haircut in editing. So, in an effort to fix some things I’ve started a new revision and will be working on that in the background as I’m doing the FW sequel…and everything else. I need to do a revision anyway before BT goes into substantive editing, which is the first stage of the process of transforming a raw manuscript into a novel.

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I’ve been thinking about drafting the sequel to Becoming Thuperman, titled Being Thuperman. I figure I’ll be in the mood and fully up to date with the plot issues and such at the conclusion of a new revision session. I haven’t worked on the manuscript since submitting it back in October 2014. The contract for it was signed in December. And I have revised all ten books of The Wolfcat Chronicles since the last time I worked on Becoming Thuperman.

In other news about my crazy life, it’s been raining a good bit lately. I’ve been fortunate not needing to navigate the 4.5 miles to and from work on my bike in a downpour. I have a 20 to 25 minute window of riding time (including wait times at traffic lights). So far I’ve been very lucky. Sooner or later I will be soaked though. Getting drenched on my way home isn’t as bad as having it happen not he way to work, though. Walking around for a whole shift in wet underwear is a drag.

I have a rain poncho but it is mainly a thin excuse for a garbage bag. I’ll have to get something better, I guess. When the wind catches the plastic of what I have it flaps in the breeze and exposes my backside, It was sprinkling a good bit on my ride home last night. The only thing good about it was that it wasn’t raining harder.

In Florida we have periods of rain when it is coming down so hard that people can’t see to drive – regardless how fast their windshield wipers are running. Imagine that on a bike at 20 miles per hour – which means at least 20 miles per hour wind in the face constantly.

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Tomorrow morning (4/18/15) I’ll be heading up to the University of Central Florida Book Festival on campus (about 5 miles north of where I live). Hopefully it won’t be raining as I’ll be riding my bike there My friend and fellow Pandamoon Publishing author, Steph Post, will be appearing there as a panelist. She needs to autograph my copy of her book. After all, I am one of her publicists. I think I should have a signed copy, right?

In the wacky world of Internet based operations, I have never personally met Steph. I have conversed with her a few times over the Internet both in text and via a program that allows sharing audio. We have spoken over the phone a time or two as well. She is an interesting young lady with a remarkable writing talent. Her debut novel, A Tree Born Crooked is one of the best novels I’ve read in the past year.

The Book Festival is from 10 AM to 3:30AM and it is being held in the School of Education portion of the UCF campus that is just so North Alafaya Trail in eastern Orlando.

#StephPost #ATreeBornCrooked #FriedWindows #UCFBookFestival #BecomingThuperman #Writing #Sequels #PandamoonPublishing

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This Week’s Agenda

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I have a couple of projects this week. First there is a book launch, the second edition of Eightysixed by Emily Belden. It’s underway, kind of, so I’m finalizing a press release for that. For those who don’t realize it, launching a book in both paperback and ebook formats on Amazon is nearly impossible to synch up so both formats appear at the same time on the same day. Usually they are a few days apart because of the time delays involved between uploading and the posting of the books on each platform. Even then, it takes as much as a week for Amazon to connect the two postings together so that a prospective reader can choose between the two formats. Often the publisher needs to contact Amazon to have them manually connect the books. For that reason, release dates with Amazon are carved in hot butter.

At any rate, book realize dates with publishers are moving targets at best. Spring, Summer or Fall of whatever year tends to be about as exact as can be mentioned until content editing has begun. Even then, it is impossible to get the release date any closer than a week until the cover design and editing is completed and For Review copies are sent out – usually 60 to 90 days prior to release. Having said that, an exact date depends not he format and the distributor. There are a number of reasons a book’s release could be delayed at the last minute.

The second thing I’ve committed to doing this week is reading a book and writing a review for a friend. That’s in progress. I may finish the book tomorrow, depending on how long it takes to finish the press release and whether or not my new bike comes in at the shop and is assembled and tweeted properly. Yes, I have upgraded my ride. It now takes less time for me to get to and from work and my backside is a lot more comfortable in the process. Also, my have brakes that actually work! Anyway, I’m hanging onto the old bike for a while as a backup in case I get a flat tire or something.  I’ll list it on Craig’s List and see if I can get anything for it. It has good tires.

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I’ve been working more hours lately which is a good things for as long as it lasts. I’ve been saving the money for things I need. The first priority was a new bike, because i use it everyday. I also need to buy some paperback version of Fried Windows in bulk so I can do some personal appearances and book signings around Orlando. Also, I need a new laptop at some point, though presently I am using a computer that has an issue with the screen but works fine when plugged into a monitor. Another thing on my wish list is getting an actual Kindle because using the Kindle Reader on my old iPad is not as pleasant an experience due to its relative weight, etc. Everything has a priority, though. Having a supply of books to sell is at the top for now.

News about The Wolfcat Chronicles: nothing major yet. I’m expecting sub-editing to begin shortly on the first book of the series. I’m not sure about the timeline for release dates. My publisher has a lot of other projects in the queue. So, I’ll be busy doing promotional stuff for other authors until it’s my turn at bat. I have read some of the new manuscripts from other authors and there are some great books coming out this year from Pandamoon Publishing!

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There is Jeff Messick’s novel Knights of the Shield which should be out any day now. Emily Belden’s memoir, Eightysixed second edition will be out by the end of the week in both digital and print. Alisse Lee-Goldeberg has a sequel of Sitnalta due out this spring and Christine Gabriel has a sequel to Crimson Forest coming out later this year. Add to those books like Ramadan Drummer by Randolph Splitter, 122 Rules by Deek Rhew and Love’s Misadventure by Cheri Champagne – new books from new authors – and you have the makings of a great reading list.

#Publishing #Publicity #NewBooks #JeffMessick #EmilyBelden #RandolphSplitter #DeekRhew #CheriChampagne #ChristineGabriel #AlisseLeeGoldenberg #PandamoonPublishing

 

 

 

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Humpday Special – Excerpt: Fried Windows Chapter One

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The following is an excerpt from Fried Windows (In A Light White Sauce), published May 2014 by Pandamoon Publishing. It is offered here as a sample of the story.

The book is currently available at Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats – http://www.amazon.com/Fried-Windows-Light-White-Sauce-ebook/dp/B00KM6MXI4/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Copyright 2014 Elgon Williams All Rights Reserved

1 The Problem Delivery

Mrs. Fields’s twisted directions were just that— twisted. I couldn’t figure them out. There was a computer system to deliver, and the schedule was tight . There was nothing new about that. My frustration and sense of urgency rose as none of the directions on the paper made sense. The street names were real but how could reality be bent to fit these convoluted directions?

Three days before, Mrs. Fields popped in to the computer store where I worked looking for a computer system. There was no salesperson available to help her, so she went to the tech shop where I worked in the store and asked me. Fine. She said she needed delivery and set up, and since that would likely be me anyway, I figured I could take a little break from what I was doing.

She was a chunky, elderly lady about five-foot nothing with short cropped hair that sort of looked silver and sort of looked white depending on how the light hit it. At six-foot two, I towered over her.

After spending an hour showing her systems and asking her questions I determined she wasn’t at all savvy and mostly incapable of talking coherently. That became very clear when giving me directions to her house. She didn’t know her exact address.

“You can’t possibly miss it, dearie,” she assured me as she jotted down the directions. “It’s the only place out that way.”

So, I let it go. I thought I’d find the road she lived on and it would be the only house, just like she said.

After scrabbling with those directions for nearly an hour and still being lost, my options narrowed to one. Driving to an area that I thought was at least close, I looked for a letter carrier. One was parked at the side of the street, just before the edge of downtown, enjoying his lunch. I wished I had time to enjoy lunch. I had lost ten pounds in the two weeks of non-stop deliveries during a special promotion. Being built mostly like a scarecrow, it wasn’t like I had the weight to spare. Anyway, I apologized for interrupting the man’s lunch. Then, I asked for help deciphering the cryptic directions.

“Oh— oh, yes, Mrs. Fields,” he said. This was good; I was making headway. Apparently, he recognized not only the name, but also seemed to know the lady as well. I was sure I’d be receiving precise directions any moment now.

“Am I getting close at least?”

“No closer than you were to begin with. You see if you’re here, you’re still lost. I used to deliver mail to her,” he explained.

I listened patiently even though panic was starting to seep in. At least he knew where she lived, so I kept listening. The letter carrier fancied himself a storyteller, though, and finally, I had to interrupt him.

“I’m sorry, but I have a lot of things to do today. All I need is for you to point me in the right direction. What’s confusing is that she told me to drive to the edge of downtown and then up the hill. This is the only hill I know of. I mean, I’ve only lived here for a few years but I haven’t seen any other hills around, not in this part of Florida, anyway.”

“This is the only hill in town,” he confirmed.

“And the directions say, just before I reached the hilltop, make a U-turn and look for a street on the right. When I find it, turn left, not the first left but the second left, and take the more crooked road of the two.”

“Yes, and you drive straight down that road,” he said with a laugh. “She’s telling you exactly how she gets there, obviously. That’s how she drives.”

“Straight down a crooked road?”

“Yes, precisely,” he confirmed. “She gave you the right directions. The second road is crooked, but it is the most direct way to get to her house. I think that’s what she meant by ‘straight’.”

“Okay.” Glancing down at the directions, I tried for a little more clarity. “She says to look for a farmhouse where there is no barn. It has a large front door and a small front porch but no windows.”

“Yep, that’s her place. That’s it to a ‘T’.”

“She lives in a house with no windows?”

“Well, as I understand it, there was a tough season a while back. The crops were not up to expectations and money was hard to come by.”

“What does that have to do with why there are no windows in the house? Did she have to sell them?”

“No. According to her, she actually ate‘em.”

Did I misunderstand? “She ate the windows?”

“Fried‘em up and served them in a light white sauce,” he said and then laughed. “That’s what she told me, anyway.”

“That’s crazy!”

“Before you pass judgment, get to know Mrs. Fields. She’s a gem. She has a story to tell everyone and anyone, but the story she tells is always intended just for you.”

“I really don’t have the time to . . .”

“You should make the time, Brent,” he said, stealing my name with a brief glance at my name badge. “It’d be well worth the effort. Just have an open mind— a wide-open mind. She has a rare gift, but you really gotta wanna receive it.”

“And she eats windows?”

“Well, I don’t know that for a fact. It’s what she told me, though. Maybe she wanted to make me laugh. Her sense of humor is a little bizarre. Still, the fact remains that her house has no windows. Once you get to know her, none of that will bother you as much as it does now. Trust me on that. You’ll never look at the world in the same way.”

“If that’s intended as a sales pitch, it’s not working.”

“Hey, you make your own decisions, guy,” he said. “Do you think you can find it now?”

“I’ll give it a shot, I guess.” My confidence was at an all time low.

“When you feel like you’re lost you’re probably getting close. Drive until the glare of the afternoon sun is so bad that it blinds you. Pull over to the side of the road and look through the haze, and you’ll be there.”

“You’re as crazy as she is.” He laughed.

“Like you’re not?”

“Well, I have my doubts some times. Everyone does.”

“You think everyone’s crazy. In fact, mostly we are. We differ by degrees, I suppose. But this is truth, my friend. If you want to learn something different, you can’t keep looking in the same place and expect to find anything but what you already know. If you think about it, being crazy isn’t such a bad place to start when you need some novelty in your life.”

“I have enough trouble dealing with the things the way they are. I’m certain I don’t want to learn anything from a lady who eats windows and gives strange directions to her house.”

“Look, others don’t measure up to your expectations and they probably never will. But that’s okay because you don’t measure up to their standards either. So why judge anybody? Once you get past judging others, amazing things can happen,” he said with a wink.

“It doesn’t make sense.”

“Of course it doesn’t. Look, people like to think they’re being logical. And logic can be useful in understanding some things. But it can also restrict you from going places and finding what you’re looking for. That’s what I learned from Mrs. Fields.”

“You speak as if she was your teacher.”

“Mentor is a better word. Here’s the fact. I used to be frustrated. My job is important and I get that. People depend on the prompt delivery of their mail. But I was upset because I always wanted to be something else. Never in my wildest, youthful dreams did I think that when I grew-up, I’d fight in a strange foreign war that we couldn’t win, and afterwards, I’d end up delivering the mail in some sleepy little coastal town in Florida. I was going to be a police officer, a fire fighter, a cowboy, or one of the astronauts they shoot into space from the Cape— you know, a real hero, somebody others look up to. Then, after I connected with Mrs. Fields, I understood that everything I ever desired was still inside of me from when I was a kid. The little things I do everyday make me a hero to someone and that’s probably as good as it gets most of the time— at least on this side of reality. She told me that as I grew older, I misplaced some dreams. That’s all. They were still there. It’s just— other things got put in front of them. Priorities, you know? If your mind is open to all possibilities, you can find the dreams you lost. When you do, you’ll be forever young where it counts.” He tapped his index finger to his temple for emphasis.

Staring at him as much as he stared back at me, one of us was waiting for some sort of sign, I guess. But if he was waiting for me to get his point, that wasn’t about to happen. He saw me shrug, so he nodded, and turned the key to start his jeep. There was nothing else he needed to say to me. What did he really care if I understood or believed? If I found the house— fine. Otherwise, I’d just continue being as lost as I ever was.

After he pulled away, I watched him continuing on up the street to the base of the hill. I didn’t know exactly what to do. I got back in my delivery truck , pulled out onto the street, and took my best shot at following Mrs. Fields’s peculiar directions. I drove up the hill, and close to the top, I made a U-turn and came back downhill, looking for the street on the right. Then, I turned left on the second of two streets. At first, it appeared to be the straighter of the two, but when my choice proved to be a crooked road, I felt better about it. Maybe this was the right way. I imagined arriving soon, setting up the computer, and going on to my next delivery. My kids might see their father for once and receive some help with their homework.

The road meandered without any logic. The ground was tabletop flat, mostly free of obstruction, or contour. There was no apparent reason for the original planners to create such a crooked course. At one point, the road split into two lanes to avoid a stand of several towering palm trees around a large stone monument. Obviously, the monument had some significance to force the road builders to surround it.

Driving for a fairly long time without result, my confidence dwindled again. Could Mrs. Fields have forgotten to mention some key landmark or turn in her directions? She didn’t seem like she was all there after all. Had I driven past the house? Then, I wondered how anybody could not notice a house with no windows.

Maybe I should turn back. Exasperated, I pulled over to the side of the road and looked down at the paper with the warped directions. When I looked up from my clipboard, the glare from the afternoon sun struck my eyes. Shading them with my hand so I could see, inexplicably, there it was. Through the afternoon haze, directly ahead of where I pulled over to the side of the road, was a house surrounded by fields of tall grass gently swaying in the breeze. It had a massive front door and tiny porch but absolutely no windows.

My heart jumped. Tentatively, I opened the truck door, telling myself this didn’t make any sense. Why hadn’t I seen the house while driving? Seeing it now conjured up all sorts of intimidating and frightening possibilities and explanations. Most of those worried me.

Back to the matter at hand, I had to deliver a computer system and set it up in a house with no windows. That was all that mattered. I stepped out onto the pavement, crossed the road, and marched up to the front door. Already running way behind schedule, I intended to ring the bell, knock, yell, or use any other means available to communicate my presence. Having spent too much time finding the place, I was determined to wrap up this delivery as quickly as possible and be on my way to the next customer.

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As I reached for the large brass doorknocker that adorned the front door, there was rustling in the bushes to my right. Distracted, I turned without bothering to knock. There before me on the ground below the lip of the porch a petite young lady was picking flowers. I walked to the edge of the porch where I got a better look at her. When she looked up at me with eyes that seemed to sparkle and change colors, her smile made me feel at ease.

For whatever reason, when I first noticed her, I thought she might be a child. But as she appeared to be in her late teens or early twenties with shoulder-length, auburn hair, fair skin with a few freckles scattered across the bridge of her nose, I decided she had a natural sort of cuteness the defied showing her age. She was pretty, not needing any cosmetic amendment. She wore loose fitting work clothes, a tee shirt that came down to mid thigh, and jeans that were rolled up to her knees. The overall effect made her look even thinner.

“Hello there,” I said. “I’m here to . . .”

“I know. And it’s wonderful to see you again,” she replied with her bright, perfect smile that dazzled me as much as her eyes.

“Again?” I asked.

“There should never be a first time for anything, so that there’ll never need to be a last, especially when saying hello . This time, you’re from that computer place, right?”

“Uh, yes, Digital World HQ.”

“That’s the one. Strawb asked me to wait here for your arrival. And so, while I was waiting here, I thought I’d tend to the flowerbeds and pick some fresh flowers to take inside the house. Aren’t they pretty?” She held up the bouquet she’d assembled. “Strawb’s waiting for you in the backyard.”

“Who is Strawb?”

“Mrs. Fields,” the young lady said with some impatience.

“You really have forgotten much,” she said as she hopped up onto the
porch, proving that my estimation of her height was actually generous, as she came up to about my chest.

She looked up into my eyes. “You know, of course, Mrs. Fields is not her real name. If you recall, that was what Johnny and Paul started calling her. She rather liked it, as well as the fine story behind the name, so it stuck,” she explained as if she really expected me to recall. “I hope you remember me, at least.”

Somehow, I didn’t want to disappoint her, but I had to confess as I shook my head, “I— don’t recall us having ever met.”

“It’s such a pity. We were always such famous friends. I’m Lucy,” she offered with her biggest smile yet, as her eyes reflected the blue of the sky and reminded me of gemstones twinkling in the light.

“Brent,” I gave her my name, as I pointed to my nametag. I accepted her delicate hand and we shook.

“Brent, among other names.” Lucy laughed. “Strawb said you were very nice to her at the store, but she warned me that you didn’t recognize her. That happens sometimes when we pretend too hard to be who we’re not.”

“I’m nice to everyone, I guess. I mean I try to be,” I said. “I try not to pretend.”

“It’s good you’re nice, but it’s a shame you don’t pretend. Why, pretending is the best way to play, I think.”

“I’m really sorry but I have no recollection of ever having met either of you, other than talking to Mrs. Fields in the store, of course.”

“Well, I’m sure you’ll remember everything, eventually. It’s rare to my experience that anyone doesn’t remember once they are here and the confusion settles. The best times are always within reach, if you allow them to return. The way to see things most clearly is to close your eyes. But everyone is in such a hurry, and afraid to look away for even a moment because they think they might miss something, when all they might miss is more distractions.”

“Maybe you have a point, there.”

“Oh. I know I’m right about that.” Her eyes continued to invite me to explore their depths, probing me in the process as if she was waiting for a sudden flash of remembrance. Then she sighed. “Strawb said you took the time and patiently asked all the right questions. She felt comfortably confident that you recommended the right solution, even if you forgot about her— about us and all this,” she made a sweeping gesture with her arm. “That’s why she requested that you make the delivery personally. She was hoping to return your kindness with the gift of reconnection so that maybe we could help you, and you could help us in the process.”

“I’d be glad to help. But what is this reconnection?”

“With your past and your imagination, of course.”

“My past is forgettable and my imagination is just fine.”

“Maybe that’s the case. But I’ll bet you try too hard to ignore both. The past is as unavoidable as the future, and imagination is something that if you don’t use it you lose it.”

“Like a foreign language.”

“It’s nothing like a foreign language at all. If it seems to be, then that’s part of your problem.” She shook her head. “Try not to be difficult, please.”

“Look, it was a fluke that I was selling computers last Sunday. I usually don’t sell them. I just make deliveries and repair them when they break.”

“Well, we are all the more grateful for your efforts, then.”

“The store depends on repeat business, and referrals, of course. I try to satisfy every customer.”

“Then, you must be very successful.”

“We do okay.”

“What about you, personally?”

“I do okay, too.”

“If it’s just okay, then you aren’t properly rewarded for your efforts.”

“Do you know where Mrs. Fields wants the computer set up?” I was growing impatient and it was getting later by the moment.

“Where else would she want it? In the backyard.”

“The backyard?”

“It’s where everyone comes to play, now isn’t it? The computer is intended for the children, all of them, but especially Haim. So it needs to be there.”

“I strongly recommend against setting up a computer outdoors. It’s a highly complicated electronic device that will not appreciate getting wet when it rains.”

“Okay,” Lucy said. “Hmmm, well then, I suppose we’ll just have to make do without rain, at least where the computer is.”

“What?”

“Come, I’ll show you the way,” Lucy said.

“Let me get the hand-truck and bring the computer with me. I’m on a tight schedule.”

“I’ll put these flowers in a vase and I’ll meet you back here.”

By the time I loaded up all the boxes containing the computer components, Lucy was waiting for me at the front corner of the house. As I walked toward her, she came to the edge of the road to meet me. She pointed the way to a tall shadow-box wood fence and an open gate at the side of the house that she’d left open for us.

Once inside, the fenced-in yard seemed an immense parcel of real estate. And yet, everything there appeared designed for amusement. A huge playground with two sandboxes, multiple swing sets with spiral slides, places to climb, benches to sit for resting, and tables for children to sit and eat snacks, or have lunch. Around the perimeter and outside the fence were several tall trees with their branches extended over the playground, though they didn’t appear to be giving much shade for the time of day. It reminded me more of a public park than the backyard of a residence.

“Are you in the daycare business?” I asked, making small talk as I carefully carted the boxes over the grass, holding one hand on the stack to keep them from sliding or falling off.

“Daycare? What is that?” Lucy asked.

“The amusements, they’re for children aren’t they?”

“Oh, those. Yes, this is a place for the young, but not necessarily just kids. Youth is an attitude as much as a perspective. Everyone who comes is youthful but not necessarily a child.”

“But it’s a playground, right?”

“We all play here, yes. Deep inside, everyone is a five-year-old or six tops. That’s the age we’re intended to be. Everything is marvelous and amusing to us then. Nothing about the world is boring. We discover and invent. We imagine and create. When we are five or six, we are connected to everything around us but also innocent and willing to discover everything about anything, aren’t we?”

“I guess so. I mean, sometimes I think about when I was a kid,” I admitted.

“Good, then you haven’t lost your way, you just need directions to get back on course.”

“About that, I almost didn’t find this place.”

“Until you did, and that’s all that matters. Now we’re here, together again. So, relax, be yourself, and be happy you made it back.” She twirled around as if inspired to dance.

“As attractive as that thought might be, we still live in the real world.”

“Well, if you like the real world, you can have it. It’s a choice you make. Here we choose not to be miserable.”

“I’m not miserable.” I leaned against the handle of the hand truck as I temporarily parked it at the back corner of the house, waiting for further directions.

“If you’re in the real world and say you’re not miserable, then you’re deceiving yourself,” Lucy said. “Anyone who is not here is lost.”

“Well, I’m not lost.”

“Because you’re here. You get bored with the outside world and want to escape its pressures, don’t you?”

“Well, yeah, but that’s true of everyone.”

“Doesn’t that make you miserable?”

“Sometimes, I guess it does.”

“So, you see, you lie to yourself, saying you’re not miserable when really you are. You never lied to yourself before when you were here. You couldn’t because no one taught you how.”

“What’s the difference?”

“Why, the difference is everything, isn’t it?” Then she cleared her throat. “It’s everything and nothing, same as anything else. All you need to do is decide to be young and everything else follows from that. To be young is what it was like before you started acting old.”

Copyright 2014 Elgon Williams All Rights Reserved

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#FriedWindows #Published #PandamoonPublishing #Writing #Excerpt #Sample

 

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The Wolfcat Chronicles Book Seven Revisions Complete

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For those of you following the saga of the entire series revision for The Wolfcat Chronicles, Book 7 was submitted to my publisher this morning. Now I move on to Book 8 – after a brief break.

As I have said before, I’ve not worked on Books 8 through 10 for several years. Over that time my writing style has changed a bit. Also I completed and self published The Attributes and signed with Pandamoon Publishing to see Fried Windows released this past May. In other words, a lot has happened.

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I’ve always planned a substantial revision for the final three books that comprise The Last Wolfcat section of the series. As I have written several of the other tangential pieces that tie into The Last Wolfcat, I have some new ideas for the conclusion. I have never been happy with the way the original draft ended.Now that I know how everything connects to Fried Windows, The Attributes, One over X and The Power of X – along with some as yet untitled pieces – I will tackle the task of rewriting the last third of so of Book 10. I am also considering an 11th book that falls outside of the storyline of The Wolfcat Chronicles but would provide some backstory support. I’m thinking of calling the supplement, The Offspring – not to be confused with the musical group.

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So, although I’m happy to have completed the Spectre of Dammerwald and One Pack sections of The Wolfcat Chronicles, and would love to take the day off and celebrate, I have a lot left to do. I really need to have the entire series wrapped up before April to fit into my plans for other books that remain on the back burner – including sequels to Fried Windows and Becoming Thuperman.

As for Becoming Thurman’s release date, expect it sometime around summer. Since it has a baseball theme that is a better time of year for it to appear, I think.

I’ll be promoting Fried Windows locally in some bookstores with signing and personal appearances over the next few months as well as building interest in the first book of The Wolfcat Chronicles and having some launch parties. So if you live in Central Florida be looking for the announcements. My publicist and I are considering some other promotional events, perhaps in other states. Nothing has been officially scheduled yet but it’s in the works. Also, I’ll be offering personally autographed copies of Fried Windows online. I’m working out the logistics of that as well.

#FriedWindows #TheWolfcatChronicles #BecomingThuperman #ThePowerOfX #OneOverX #TheAttributes #Revisions #Publishing #PandamoonPublishing

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Pandamoon Publishing Acquires The Kingdom Thief by Alisse Lee Goldenberg

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Pandamoon Publishing is proud to announce the acquisition of The Kingdom Thief by Alisse Lee Goldenberg, the eagerly awaited sequel to the winner of Mom’s Choice Award Gold and the Cybils Award Nominated fantasy novel Sitnalta, October 2013 Pandamoon Publishing – ISBN 978-0-9912131-3-9 (eBook) ISBN 978-0-9912131-0-8 (paperback).

Princess Sitnalta has been living happily ever after with Queen Aud and King Gerald as her adoptive parents, enjoying the peace in her world. Her growing friendship with the mysterious Prince Navor leads her on a journey to visit his island kingdom. While there she receives the horrible news that her kingdom has been stolen and cruel King Wilhelm is responsible. Far from home and unsure of whom to trust, Sitnalta must find a way to save her kingdom, and return her beloved Aud and Gerald to their rightful thrones.

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Alisse Lee Goldenberg is an author of Horror and Young Adult fantasy fiction. She is the writer of such novels as Bath Salts, and The Strings of the Violin. She has her Bachelors of Education and a Fine Arts degree (neither of which she uses), and has studied fantasy and folklore since she was a child. Alisse lives in a very full house in Toronto with her husband Brian, their young triplets Joseph, Phillip, and Hailey, and their rambunctious Goldendoodle Sebastian.

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When Alisse is not writing, she is a property manager, musical theatre performer with Steppin’ Out Theatrical Productions, and go-to props manager for Angelwalk Theatre. You can find her doing anything from singing and dancing to building a life-size key to the city out of toilet paper rolls. She firmly believes that coffee is the nectar of all life.

You can follow Alisse on her website.

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#PandamoonPublishing #AlisseLeeGoldenberg #TheKingdomThief #Sitnalta #ComingSoon #NewBooks2015

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Projects for 2015

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Yesterday I completed a list of uncommonly spelled words and names for my editor’s use in preparing a stylesheet for the publication of The Wolfcat Chronicles. The list is complete through Book Six, which is as far as I have gotten with he current round of revisions. I figure as I go forward l’ll add anything that appears to the list, though I believe most things are on the list already. There are some new characters for Books Eight through Ten, though. Already the list is eight pages long. It will exceed ten pages before I reach the end of the series.

The first order of business for 2015 is completing the revision on Book Seven, a process I’ve already begun. Sunday is a day off from my nn-wiritng job, so I’ll knock out several chapters. I’m hoping to complete the effort before January 15. I don’t foresee a problem in doing that.

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Beyond Book Seven I expect books Eight and Nine will take until the end of February. I’m allocating March and April for the rewrite I envision for Book Ten. Factoring in the time I’ll need to devote to substantive and content edits on both Books One and Two of the series, if I finish the revisions sooner, all the better. At some point I’ll be going through sub-edits and content edits for Becoming Thuperman as well, as I expect to release three books this year, two of them are part of The Wolfcat Chronicles. Because the entire series will be completely revised by April, I suppose it is possible that more book of the series might appear in print before the end of 2015, provided my publisher has the bandwidth to process them. Depending on how many of The Wolfcat Chronicles books are slated for 2015 release, I might spend most of my time with edits.

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Six new authors were added recently to Pandamoon Publishing’s family. So their books will be in production concurrently as well as follow-up novels from authors who had books released in late 2013 and throughout 2014. Christine Gabriel, Chrissy Lessey and Steph Post have new manuscripts. Jason Beem plans another novel. Emily Belden is working on a new project as well. Alisse Lee-Goldenberg is rumored to have a sequel for her fantasy Sitnalta that is ready to enter the editing process – nothing officially announced on that one yet, but you can expect something soon. So, there could be as many as 24 books released in 2015 from my publisher.

Then there are other projects I need to work on as well, including the sequel to Fried Windows. I need to finish writing that one. There is also a sequel to Becoming Thuperman envisioned, though I haven’t begun writing it. And there are a couple of other novels in progress that I have yet to complete.

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Once I complete the revisions on The Wolfcat Chronicles I plan to begin revising some other manuscripts I haven’t yet published. I’m not sure whether my publisher will produce any of those, but at least I’ll submit them. For 2016 and beyond I may decide to pull my self-published work, revise those for new editions and submit them as well. At some point I want to complete the One Over X thread that covers Andy Hunter, Terry Harper and Lee Anders Johnston who appear in The Wolfcat Chronicles as minor characters. Then there are the Power of X books, which fill in the background for Ela’na and clarifies her connection to Earth and Brent Woods. Additionally I have a number of books about Brent Woods, pretty much from childhood through college and his military service upto entering The Program. I may also revise a new edition of The Attributes, which is sort of a capstone for all the science fiction threads from One Over X, The Wolfcat Chronicles and The Power of X. All told there are forty manuscripts in various stages of completion, with twenty written in draft (at least) and about half of those have been revised and submitted. So, even if I were able to push out five books a year, which is highly optimistic, I am looking at eight years’ work.

Publicity and building a fan based continue to be major background efforts. 2013 and 2014 were years of building from obscurity. There’s still a lot I need to do. Foremost is establishing a worldwide street team prior to the launch of The Wolfcat Chronicles Book 1. My social media presence has increased significantly in the past year, but I’ll need to leverage those contacts in some way. A major problem is that the majority of my friends and followers are fellow authors. Understandably they are working on their own books and promotions. So networking and dovetailing fan bases is the only strategy that will engage them for supporting my work.

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My urgent goal it to find more readers and get the word out about my writing. Fried Windows has not received the attention I think it deserves. Yes, I know I’m biased because I wrote it. But I truly believe int he book. People who have read it believe it is one of the best fantasy novels out there. It has remained relatively obscure with all the noise out there from competing titles. There is no lack of good books in the marketplace, but the problem for readers is finding them from amongst the utter crap, some of which has come from major publishing houses. Quality control is not exclusively a self-publishing issue, though, admittedly, the bulk of published work comes from independents. A lot of work being published every day that is not ready for prime time – if it will ever be.

It is far too easy to self-publish a book in the hubris and euphoria following the moment of relief typing The End on the final page. Many a writer has put work out there that needs considerable amounts of professional editing. In the past I’ve been guilty of that as well. But I have learned.

Despite overtures to the contrary, quality control in self-publishing remains virtually nonexistent. The measures some, like Amazon, have in place are too easily abused. A book troll can complain about a novel’s quality over some bogus issue and the book will be pulled and the author notified that a revision of the issues must be completed before the book can be resubmitted for further review. The problem with all that is that the validity of the reader’s complaint doesn’t seem to enter into the discussion. There have been several instances that best selling self-published books have been yanked due to a reader’s complaint about an alleged grammar problem that is not based in fact. Many indie authors pay a lot of money to have books professional edited using established industry standards by major publishing houses. I wonder if a reader complains about a book from a major house if it would be yanked from the site?

#revisions #writing #TheWolfcatChronicles #FriedWindows #Publishing #StreetTeams #FanBase #Publicity #PandamoonPublishing