Browsing all posts in: Publishing

Exciting News and a Great Giveaway!

April 3

Exciting News! Poles Apart is now available for Kindle on Amazon! You can now read Poles Apart on any e-book format.

To celebrate the Kindle release I’m offering a free digital copy of Frieda’s Favorites, the cookbook companion to Poles Apart, with any purchase of this award-winning novel during the month of April – that’s any purchase at all, in print or any e-format. All you have to do is make your purchase and email me the receipt at audrey@audreyrlwyatt.com. I will then send you the PDF with her yummy recipes.

To tempt your tastebuds, here’s a list of the recipes that Frieda included, in her own inimitable style:

Blintzes

Challah

Borscht

Chicken Soup

Knaiydleach (matzo balls)

Chopped Liver

Gefilte Fish

Kasha Varnishkes

Kreplach

Noodle Kugel

Brisket

Chicken Paprikash

Coconut Bars

Mandelbröt

Charoses

Potato Latkes

 

Here’s how to order print or Kindle from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Poles-Apart-Audrey-RL-Wyatt/dp/144999489X/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1364933111&sr=8-6&keywords=poles+apart

Here’s how to order an e-book in another format: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/27202

If you prefer purchase at your local indie bookstore just scan and email that receipt. No one will be left out of the celebration!

Please forward this email widely – the more the merrier!

And if you feel like writing a review, I thank you in advance.

Just Had to Share!

October 1

A while back a kind writer/reviewer named Barbara Snow reviewed Poles Apart on the Neworld Review book site. I’ve posted links to the review around the social media universe but just realized that I have been remiss in posting it here. So I’m doing my website one better, I’m posting the review itself as a blog post. I hope you enjoy Barbara’s review as much as I have.

Feel free to check out Neworld Review at www.neworldreview.com. Barbara is a regular reviewer there.

Poles Apart

LitSisters Publishing | Phoenix

Reviewed by Barbara Snow

A good story shows us people struggling to change, to make life better. It makes us care about them enough to forget that we’re reading a story and inspires us to changes of our own. The characters in Poles Apart are lovable in their humanness and forgivable in their fears and confusion, particularly since the patterns with which they struggle result from some of the most horrendous experiences possible.

Chaim Schlessel spent nearly half of his formative teen years in Auschwitz and lost his family there. He committed to living his life fully and joyfully as the only way to make sure the oppressors failed in their attempt to destroy him and his people. Unfortunately his refusal to speak of the past created a void for his son David, who when confronted with the atrocities that obliterated his family, had no way to comprehend or integrate such history.

This is a story about the damage to good people when truth is feared and fear deepens the darkness inside. It is a delightful snapshot into the dynamics of a modern Jewish family living in a typical mid-western city—Cleveland, OH. It is also a testament to the ability of loving family (whether it’s the one you were born into or one you chose) to heal the wounds of the past and support the freedom to be authentic.

While Poles Apart is a pleasurable read, it does not dodge the horrors that are part of our collective history. The memories of horrors that are meted out in tolerable measure still cause the stomach to clench and the body to shiver. Wyatt does an admirable job, particularly since she writes based on personal knowledge. It is appropriate and necessary to hold the human potential for destruction in consciousness. Americans are not exempt. The holocausts in this country began with the extermination of 19 million Native Americans and continued with blacks, and any others who become “demonized” by the perceived ruling class. Adolph Hitler actually stated that he used the model of the U.S. Government’s treatment of Native Americans in his design for the concentration camps.

This book does not try for the kind of distance that addresses the mass manipulation of citizens by their government. It is close to home and heart—close to the places where you and I, live with a relative sense of security. It reminds us of the ripple effect that violence and degradation have on people, families and communities. It is time that we acknowledge that like the adult children of alcoholics, the adult children of survivors of any violence also carry scars in their psyche. Ultimately, this story of the Schlessel family reminds us that we do not remain victims unless we choose to. Chaim Schlessel demonstrates profoundly that who we struggle to be and how we live is ultimately the place of victory.

Save the Date for Your Free eBook!

April 19

MAY 2nd

Poles Apart e-book has been released!

Poles Apart, my award-winning novel, has been released in all digital formats. To celebrate its release, and to commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day, I am offering free downloads in all formats on May 2nd, 2011. This free release is an important thank you to the holocaust survivors and organizations who gave generously of their time and resources during the research phase of my novel.

Please pass this notice on to everyone you know who would like a free e-book. If you like what you read, please recommend Poles Apart to others and feel free to review it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and GoodReads. If you prefer a hard copy you can also find it at those and other fine purveyors of books.

For your free copy of Poles Apart, click here.

Happy Reading!

(note: downloads only free on May 2nd – all other times downloads are regular price of $4.95)

Publishing 2.0

December 28

(originally posted November 20, 2009)

It has been thus since Gutenburg invented the printing press. Once they printed their fill of bibles, publishers began printing books based on their love of literature. They weren’t in it for the money, which was just as well because they weren’t going to get rich in publishing. In fact, they knew that the top ten percent of their list would support the other ninety percent, thus assuring, hopefully, that they wouldn’t lose money. These publishers believed in the work they did. And they believed that bringing new voices to an eager audience raised the level of all human discourse. And so it was.

In the second half of the twentieth century two things happened. The first was that multi-national conglomerates took over every company they could leverage, including publishing houses. These corporate titans didn’t read great literature, they read spreadsheets. And they weren’t interested in new voices. They were interested in dollars. Suddenly, the ninety/ten rule was out the window and profit was the new king of New York. It became harder and harder to enable new voices to be heard and literature began to suffer for it.

Now the second thing that happened began, slowly, to negate the first. In the second half of the twentieth century technology began to take off at lightening speed. From the B movie sci-fi scenarios of the fifties we wound up in the nineties, where everyone had a computer in their house, to the new century where many people carry one in their purses or bags. And the playing field began to level.

These days, with traditional publishing only willing to take a chance on a known quantity, writers are looking to technology to give them voice. And technology has responded in full force. Welcome to the era of the Indie Author. Writers are now taking their destiny into their own hands, eschewing traditional publishing for methods they can control. The Indie Author movement is spreading like a wildfire through the west and traditional publishing has no hope of putting this fire out. Newer writers as well as established authors are exploring the opportunities that technology and pragmatism have joined together to create. Publishing 2.0.

A librarian friend recently expressed concern on this issue, citing Barbara Bush is an Alien as an example of why the Indie Author will always be viewed skeptically. But I don’t think so. The market will shake out the silly, the irrelevant, and most importantly, the badly written. But for those who are looking for the next frontier, this may be it. And to them I say, “bon chance.”

Cassandra Jade
November 20, 2009 at 9:22 pm

Technology has certainly made it easier for people to take a chance by themselves. It is no longer a massive expense to self-publish and promotion has been made easier by social networks. Thanks for sharing this interesting post.

81,187 Words Later

December 28

(originally posted July 28, 2009)

The process of trying to shepard a novel through the sale/publication process is fascinating. But that’s an academic assessment made by someone who has never done it before. It’s also frustrating, agonizing, daunting, likely foolhardy and, hopefully, rewarding.

Christopher Moore once said, “Being an Author is a complete cycle of ‘I’m a piece of crap/I’m the king of the universe’ that oscillates on a minute-by-minute basis.” Nowhere is that sentiment more true then in this part of the process. The highs and lows come so quickly that your head becomes a spinning top, most closely resembling Linda Blair in The Exorcist. 81,187 words later, I find myself having no choice but to move past the manuscript and on to phase two: The Query.

In this stage I write a one page letter to an agent (they can occasionally be two but brevity is rewarded). An agent/author relationship is a funny thing; the agent works for you but you’d dance with the devil to get a good agent to let you hire them. But back to the letter. I have somewhere between a nano-second and five words to wow the agent, totally mesmerizing her or him into begging to read my entire novel before the sun sets that very day. Now, to put this in perspective, Kurt Vonegut was rejected more than 800 times before he was published. And he was Kurt Vonegut the entire time. How different would our cultural discourse be without him? I can’t even think about it. Hopefully, inspired by Kurt’s determination, I whip out a brilliant query letter. On to phase three: The Synopsis.

In the synopsis I get a full five pages (sometimes more, sometimes less) to tell the agent the entire plot of my novel — including the ending. That’s right, it’s like Cliff’s Notes for the time-challenged. Not only do I have to condence 448 pages down to five, but I have to be riveting, show the agent my writing style and the tone of the book and, oh yeah, it better be damn good. Every time I’ve ever accomplished this I’ve celebrated with a simulated wrist-slitting. Once that’s done it’s on to phase four: The Approach.

This is the part I’m looking most forward to. Here’s where I send my obviously pithy query (with or without my brilliantly riveting synopsis, as they command) to agent after agent after agent. These days many agents take e-queries, so that, at least, cuts down on the expense. But it certainly doesn’t save me from having minute pieces of my soul dug out of me with a dull spoon. I’ve been published so I’ve had rejection. Lots. Some have been complimentary. The worst told me to study craft and then compared me to Faulkner, Kipling and London. Go figure. I can’t wait to see what new forms of rejection I’ll receive. I’m thick-skinned so I can handle this process. Especially because at the end I know, I just know, beyond all doubt, that I’m going to get a letter offering representation. And then the craziness begins anew.

Aiding & Abeting

December 28

(originally posted July 12, 2009)

I recently spoke with a woman I know.  She’s older, in her seventies, and likely as right-brained as I.  For the time I’ve know her she’s been writing a book. It’s a thriller but it’s loosely based on her experiences during the war. She tells me she’s nearly done.

“It’s about 400 pages,” she says.

“Good length,” I reply.

“Yes,” says she, “it’s 190,000 words.”

Imagine my horror! 190,000 words is more than double what the publishing industry wants to see.  But as I’m trying to decide what to say next it dawns on me that the math isn’t right.  And then I ask the question I regret as soon as the words escape my lips, “that isn’t single-spaced, is it?”

The next twenty minutes are a debate.  On my end we’re discussing what the industry is looking for – font, spacing, word count – and how she can get her manuscript where it needs to be.  From her perspective the only topic is her desire to add her name to a laundry list of writers who have put out very long books,  J.K. Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, and of course, Stephen King.  She is oblivious to the notion that these cash-cows could write a phone book and their publishers wouldn’t bat an eye.

I have mentored a number of novice writers over the years.  It can be pain or pleasure, depending on their attitude going in.  But with this particular writer, who I adore, I wound up telling her that the rules are only true until they aren’t, i.e. that if she’s determined to try she could, possibly, succeed.

Now, the reality is that I know she probably won’t.  But she didn’t want to hear how to fix things.  She wanted me to tell her that she’s the exception, which I won’t do.  I don’t think there’s nobility in telling someone what they want to hear if you believe it to be untrue.  But I also don’t find grace in forcing my advice on to someone who clearly doesn’t want it.  The situation leaves me stuck between the proverbial rock and it’s cousin, the hard place.

What is my point, you may ask?  Well, airing frustration comes to mind.  But more importantly I suppose, is a caution to the novice writer:  you are not Stephen King.  You may well have great talent coupled with high hopes and aspirations but in 2009, publishing is all about big business.  You need to follow the rules, at least most of them, to achieve success.  We all do it.  We decide where we won’t compromise and then we compromise everywhere else.

As for Stephen King, I met him once — at Harvard.  Nice guy.  I’m sure he doesn’t remember me.  But once upon a time he paid his dues, just as we’re paying ours.  Just as those we mentor will pay theirs.  And you know, I kind of like it that way.

Audrey Wyatt, right-brained to a fault, has worked in various arts – most notably acting, teaching and creating children’s theater curricula. Now a fiction writer, she bases her novels, short stories and even a television sitcom on her experiences and culture. Her stories often feature strong-willed, quirky women. Audrey’s novel, Poles Apart, has been honored with five awards and her essays and short fiction have been published in various forums, both print and online.  For a full list of Audrey’s credits as well as links to her work, check out her Bibliography.

Always one to foster aspiring artists, Audrey founded Southeast Valley Fiction Writers near Phoenix, Arizona, and Bay State Writers in Southeast Massachusetts. She is a founding partner in LitSisters and LitSisters Publishing. She also created and teaches workshops on Creative Writing and Memoir Writing.

Audrey has enjoyed living all over the country, from the Pacific to the Atlantic.  She currently makes her home in Los Angeles with her incredible husband, their two terrific daughters, and their beagle-basset mix, the Artful Dodger.

To contact Audrey RL Wyatt, please email audrey@audreyrlwyatt.com

Awards, Accomplishments & Publications

Novel, Poles Apart, Third Place in Alabama Writer’s Conclave Annual Competition, 2009

Novel, Poles Apart, Honorable Mention in Frontiers in Writing Annual Contest, 2009

Humor, My Big Fat Hillbilly Wedding, published on You Tube by Folded Word Press in Shape of a Heart, 2009

Founder, Southeast Valley Fiction Writers, 2008

Essay, Inevitability of Time, published in Motherwords, Issue 3, 2008

Essay, Ticket to Ride, published by Survivor’s Review Volume XI, 2008

Fiction, The Box, published in Conceit Magazine, 2008

Novel, Poles Apart, Honorable Mention in the Ft. Bend Writer’s Guild 25th Annual Novel Contest, 2008

Essay, The Inevitability of Time, published in Conceit Magazine, 2008

Essay, Ticket to Ride, Honorable Mention in Write Helper, 2008

Essay, Inevitability of Time, can be seen in the anthology, Silver Boomers, published by Silver Boomer Books, 2008

Novel, Poles ApartSecond Place in The Sandy, Crested Butte Writers Conference Annual Contest, 2007

Essay, Dear Mothers, can be seen in the anthology, Letters To My Mother published by Adams Media, 2007

Fiction, The Box, published by Long Story Short, 2007

Humor, My Big Fat Hillbilly Wedding, published by Long Story Short, 2007

Novel, Poles Apart, Semi-Finalist in the international Summer Literary Seminars annual fiction contest, 2006

Founder, Bay State Writers, 2005

Cami Butler Memorial Writing Scholarship, Pikes Peak Writers Conference, 2004

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