Interview with Mercedes Fox-Author

Good day to all!

I’m so excited to have the opportunity to have an interview with the published author and blogger, Mercedes Fox. A big shout out to her for her time and talent in getting this interview online. Want to take a look at her books about werewolves? Click here!

Curious about me? Here’s a good time to learn a little more. Here’s a Link to the Interview.

Marketing books is the hardest part of this whole book publishing business. Writing is the running river, self-publishing to print and eBook is the waterfall, but marketing, well, that’s the white water, for sure.

Hope you enjoy the interview.

Grand day to all,

Roda, the writer!

Everelle’s Quest – The Beginning

Have you ever wanted to know where the ideas come from as you read a book? How in the world did they ever think of that? you might think to yourself. We writers wonder exactly the same thing. So, I thought I’d let you know how Everelle’s Quest began.

It’s a little bit of this and a little bit of that, actually. First there was this dream I had about  seven years ago. I dreamed I was running with a group of people to escape a fire and we went into a cave and came out on the top of a mountain in a very cute village.

I wrote the dream down and thought what a great story it would make. Over the next years that dream would come to mind often, but I could never figure out what to do with it. That’s number one in the equation.

Meanwhile, other fantasies came out and I LOVED them except for one thing. The violence was too much for me. I began talking to God about how great it would be to write stories that people could read and wouldn’t have to be scared out of their wits but still would be an adventurous, fun-filled story. That’s number two in the equation.

In 2010 when the circus came to town, I wrote a story for the Valley Town Crier about it and the General Manager of the version coming to our city. We went to the circus-Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey-when they came to the Valley. When they did a give-away of a painting by one of their elephant’s-its foot-I won it.

Hanging it in my office I often stared at that elephant foot, amazed at the patterns that it made. After a few months I began seeing forests, mountains, rivers, lakes and a desert on this “island” of Foote. Then I began wondering what it would be like to visit it. That was number three in the equation.

In 2014 after I finished writing for the Winter Texan Times for the season, I settled into writing what I thought would be my second book, my husband’s fascinating bio. However, one night in March about 10:00 p.m., I sat down at the computer and began writing this story that combined all three parts of the equation. By midnight, the first five chapters were done. Isle of Foote, with a final name of Everelle’s Quest, an Isle of Foote novel, was born.

I handed it to my hubby to read, definitely NOT his genre, and much to his surprise he liked it and wanted more. Before long, his bio got put to the side and Everelle’s Quest took up my life. The characters came alive, along with their stories. First it was during the night I would write. Then it became a full time day job.

By September the first draft was done and I doled it out to friends and family to tell me whether I should continue on the publishing path. Everyone gave me a resounding, YES!, and now, over a year later, the eBook is online at these stores. Just click on the retailer you want. Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Inktera, Scribd, Tolin0-a network of 15 European distributors, and Amazon.

My print version is on its last tweaking with the printer and should be out in a few weeks-just in time for Christmas.

And it begins…

Only eight of us were left. I didn’t know where the rest of the world had gone. I didn’t remember anything except the overwhelming fear which consumed my soul. I ran through the red, smoke-filled air, following those ahead of me like a shadow. There didn’t seem to be much of me left, whoever I was. My body seemed healthy but my memory was gone!

 

Moving Along – Publishing Everelle’s Quest

I wish writing a book could be as simple as putting the words on paper and sending it off to let someone else worry about everything else. What I have learned in these last few years of publishing is that I have got to learn EVERYTHING about this business I can if I wish to be a successful, published author.

I sure do thank Booklogix for their first conference this year – Publish15. I learned so much there and I’m still trying to sort it all out. From paper to printers to publishers to writer’s software, there was a workshop on it. I loved it.

It was a good place to begin networking and getting to know and be known. So, have I really used anything from Publish15? I have a notebook full of notes from it. I learned about Bibliocrunch and signed up for their Pro Membership. That’s been working pretty good so far, it’s like having a coach. Yes, I go back over the notes and do many of the things they suggest and that keeps me moving along.

I am in the process of getting my latest fantasy, Isle of Foote, in print. Since I purchased 10 ISBN’s last year for Rocksann Finds God and future books, I decided to use my own ISBN this time.

If you have your own ISBN, might just as well buy your own barcode. Easy to do and only $25.00. Everything can be purchased at www.myidentifiers.com. My professional editor, Barbara Ertl, and I have combed through the book three and a third times and I’ve gone through it perhaps another five. Much more editing and there won’t be an Isle of Foote left! Just kidding.

What font do you want to use? How do you want it laid out? What about your cover? There are articles galore out on the net about anything to do with self-publishing a book, almost.

Fonts – after trial and error, I have chosen Georgia, a nice little friendly font, easily read, settles nicely on the page. For my title font, I chose something different – a font I think looks pretty Foote-ish.

Setting up my copyright page was a proud moment for me. I pretty well simply copied it from other books and made it my own. I chose, for Isle of Foote, to put my cover designers name and contact information there. I also will use, I think, my publishing company, Journey Publishing.

At Publish15, Revel Pix LLC , 585-472-2054, RevelPix.com, made headshots for us. Voila! Perfect for the back cover and inside About the Author.

So many little things it is necessary to think about. Right now I have a word file with a finished book. I need to make the next major decision – who will put it in print? I’m talking to a few different self-publishers and will make that decision.

I am also beginning to write my Marketing Plan, a must have! Didn’t do that with Rocksann Finds God and only sold 160 copies. A shame for it’s a great little book. But, I learned my lesson. Put a Marketing Plan on paper!

Well, this post is the start of something big. That’s my dream. To write so that others-lots of others-loads of others-millions of others-might read my books, my stories, my posts and feel glad they did.

Now it’s time to go make more decisions. Have a grand and glorious Labor Day!

Roda

My First Interview

I was thrilled to see my first interview up at Writer’s League of Texas. You can see it here. It’s unusual to talk about myself, I’m so used to getting others to talk and then writing about them. I’m grateful to Writer’s League of Texas for giving me this opportunity.

A+ Moment: Hour of Code

The McAllen ISD has hired me to do some freelance work for them. Here’s my first story with them: A+ Moment: Hour Of Code. It’s about an event which teaches kids how to program–from elementary school on up using games and more. It was fascinating to learn about. Hope you enjoy the read. You can find it here.

Thanks to the Valley Town Crier for publishing it! Will always be grateful for Brad Nibert and the Valley Town Crier for giving me my professional start in writing.
Have a grand and glorious day!

Roda

Moving Forward, Thanks to Frogs

Ahhhhhhh. I am finally beginning to understand a little how this works. Yes, I know we are supposed to know what we are doing, but, alas, it simply does not work that way.

When our church’s website was WIPED CLEAN, and I mean, NOTHING was left! I gave up. But we can’t give up in this crazy world of ours, can we?

One beautiful lady I once interviewed collected frogs. Now she didn’t appear to be a “frog” type of person so I inquired about this unusual collection scattered around her elegant office.

“Frogs never go backwards,” said the lady. “They remind me to always look forward.”

I went right out and started my own frog collection. I have a few now. I’m rather picky about my frogs, but when I see them around my office and home, they remind me . . . keep moving ahead, none of this slipping behind.

Soooooo, rebuilding the website, I keep learning new things, one of which is how to do posts. As a matter of fact I stumbled upon it today. Since not many people are reading me yet, I knew it could be a great way for me to learn about this thing called blogging.

Moving forward, thanks to my frogs, I shall take this opportunity to chat at the world – one day at a time.

What A Review! Yippee!!

REVIEW FOR ROCKSANN FINDS GOD

22nd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards
“Judge, 22nd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards.”

Entry Title: Rocksann Finds God
Author: Roda Hilenski Grubb
Judge Number: 39
Entry Category: Inspirational

Books are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “needs improvement” and 5 meaning “outstanding.” This scale is strictly to provide a point of reference, it is not a cumulative score and does not reflect ranking.
Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 5
Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 5
Production Quality and Cover Design: 4
Plot and Story Appeal: 5
Character Appeal and Development: 5
Voice and Writing Style: 5

Judge’s Commentary*: The cover illustration is drawn well, conveying a sense of comfort as she’s lifted up to what may be higher understanding. We get the “on wings of eagles” sense along with the expanse of the clouds. It does look a bit bright to have stars out, so perhaps redesign to have just clouds, or dial down the blue tint to give a later sense of day to make those stars more realistic.

Having the Kickstarter information in the front gives the book a sense of modernity, that it has a community of supporters and an audience that gives the reader a sense of connection to it. Good job placing this here and not in back.

Beautiful opening page with the forest illustration. Artist has enriched the drawings with a lot of detail, and the colors pop, which is pleasing to young readers. Design is smartly-done with the many softly-shaded pages, but there are a few places where there seem to be a bit many shaded pages. The illustrations are so good, perhaps think about adding a few line drawings on those shaded pages to keep a consistent layout and appearance to enhance the story.

The narrator is a child, but there are a few times when it seems she has an adult voice. Be sure voice is consistent throughout. It’s just a time or two, but they stand out in contrast to the very well-done youthful voice of Rocksann. [NOTE FROM AUTHOR: That was intentional.]

We see Rocksann as a curious and observant child, traveling her world and creating a fresh perspective on what she sees. When she calls out for God and doesn’t find an answer in the visual and auditory ways she expects, her mother provides the perfect insights about God being everywhere at once, which answers one of the biggest faith questions children (and adults) have. Excellently done, and a great gift of this book.

The anthropomorphic characters in the book further the lessons and the character’s evolution, and are well-drawn, with distinct personalities. When Rocksann gets into the big questions of why bad things happen, author does a wonderful job after some exploration of letting her character converse directly with God, in a level that children can understand and appreciate, and the answers are satisfying. Well done.

The story seems simple, but it has that great depth that makes for an inspirational children’s book. Very nuanced, with excellent settings and movement throughout. Nice illustrations throughout, particularly the feather, which is the standout here.