Who is Carole P Roman?

cprI met Carole over on Goodreads, and asked her if she would share some of her author story with us, so here she is in her own words:
I started writing on a dare from my sons. One of them had written a self-help book that was flying up the Amazon rankings much to our surprise. We didn’t encourage him to write it, but he did, published it and it became linked with another best-seller. I have a life-long passion for reading, so they both attacked me as soon as I came in. “Look what Michael did- you could do that too!”- kind of thing. They didn’t stop all day, or at night, the calls kept coming in. I wrote Captain No Beard An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate’s Life, late at night, thinking it would appease them. When I arrived to work the next morning, they both got on Createspace, picked an artist, the wonderful and creative Bonnie Lemaire, and got the ball rolling. I still wasn’t all that excited. It wasn’t Gone with the Wind, it was a kid’s book. Big deal, I thought. Anybody could do that. About a month after it was published, my publishing consultant from Createspace contacted me. He was over the moon. Captain No Beard was given the Kirkus Star of Excellence and was named as one of Kirkus Best for 2012.  I accepted his congratulations not quite understanding how special this was, that I actually hit it out of the park on the first one. Nine more books in the series followed, each one decorated with awards from all different sources. This began my journey into the world of publishing and I am now fully planted and having the time of my life.

My husband was thrilled and told me to do more. I was a social studies teacher over forty years ago. I decided to do another series, an introduction to culture for small children to understand the world around them. I will admit my husband had more faith in the project than I did. Captain No Beard was full of fun and adventure. Only I got excited about history and culture, while most everyone else’s eyes glazed over. I thought about what a child would find interesting about how people live, what makes us different, what unites us. This series took off, outselling the fiction series by a landslide. I just completed the 21 book in the series and people are asking for more.  The newest book in the series has headed for the stars and explores life on Mars.

I expanded the series to include History for older children. With the same concept of seeing the facts through the eyes of someone their age, we explore pivotal times in the world. The books demystify history, making it easy for kids to understand the how and why things happen.

Lastly, I did a nursery series that I adore. It is a love letter to my kids and grandkids and very personal. Those who know me will understand. Those that don’t will still get a lot from these books as they were written from my heart.

I took on the publicity for both my son’s 17 books as well as my own. I explored various ways to keep them selling. This lead to me asking my media consultant and friend, Julie Gerber, from Away We Go Media to co-author a book about our experiences writing, marketing, and promoting indie books.  It’s an easy guide to spare the next guy from wasting his time on things that don’t work and concentrate on the resources that do.
I learned that I can pretty much do anything I want to do. Being female or older or anything else that iI can think of won’t stop someone who has the determination to accomplish something. I am in a place where most people are contemplating slowing down. All I can say is my foot is firmly on the gas pedal and pressing down!
You can find her on Goodreads, Amazon, Twitter, Facebook, or her Blog.
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Where Jennifer hangs out: Blog | The Mighty | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon

@JPeaSmith
“Here she comes, running, out of prison and off the pedestal: chains off, crown off, halo off, just a live woman.”  ― Charlotte Perkins Gilman

A Perfect Launch Team Member

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Does this sound like a perfect launch team member to you:

Someone who reads your book over and over again, each time helping with thoughts, corrections, and ideas, bringing out the best in you. They tell everyone they know about your book, they write reviews on every Amazon site, on Goodreads and they write an independent review. They buy your book with their own money, they share every Tweet Facebook post you make about it and they email every single person on their email list.

Well, if you do you then you may just be right. Except, that if you know someone like this then it is probably your granny. Which is lovely, but the reality is that not only are their few people like this available to you but believe it or not, this kind of person can also work against you. If they over do it, never shut up about your book or cover their entire social media in it, then people can so easily get sick of it, stop following her, and at the very least roll their eyes and move on, without even clicking on your book never mind buying it.

So what then makes a second best launch team member? Someone who at least buys, reads, and writes a review on Amazon and Goodreads right?

Well sort of. The reality is that we need ALL kinds of people on our teams! I learned the hard way that not everyone has a “certified” enough Amazon account to write a review. And not everyone has the time to proofread and not everyone has the social media links to spread it. If people love you they will do their bit, but it is most likely that their bit will be quite different to the next person. And you need them all. I had to learn that they all had something different to offer. Even the people who have no time, expertise or capacity to do much, they at least downloaded my book on “free” day and it counts as a sale.

And that is why you need numbers and you need them from far and wide. Only a quarter will leave a review, a small handful will finish a proofread, and tiny proportion will even tell their friends. Keep going, keep digging, and round up those friends … but don’t expect too much from them and don’t forget that they are doing you a FAVOUR!

Where Jennifer hangs out: Blog | The Mighty | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon

@JPeaSmith
“Here she comes, running, out of prison and off the pedestal: chains off, crown off, halo off, just a live woman.”  ― Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Guest Writer, Tam May:

I am thrilled to share with you this guest post from author Tam May. I don’t know her personally, but I have followed her for a while and in my eyes, she is the perfect example of authors who collaborate, which as you know is a big deal for me. I love people who share their time, knowledge and expertise with each other and believe strongly that this is the only way to have meaningful success. So here is what she has to say and I wish her all the best with her book 🙂

Concessions

“Don’t you ever dare to make concessions. Then one walks down, down, down, down.” – Gertrude Stein

While Gertrude Stein was never one of my favorite writers (she believed intelligence and talent naturally belonged to men and not women), I read the above quote when I was doing undergraduate work in English. Stein gave this advice to many young writers (among them, Ernest Hemmingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald) and painters (like Pablo Picasso and Pavel Tchelitchew http://gaypariscea.blogspot.com/2008/09/gertrude-stein-writer-and-her-muse.html) she supported and mentored. As a writer still experimenting with my writing and with no real sense of creating a writing career, I didn’t understand at the time the idea of “concessions”. Only recently, I came to appreciate Stein’s words.

A dictionary definition of the word concession defined it as giving in. The idea of making concessions in writing is different for different writers. It can mean writing articles when you really want to be writing fiction, writing in a genre that doesn’t stir your passion but pays the bills, or not writing at all because fear gets in the way. Of course, most writers have to make concessions just as much as most people in order to live and prepare for the future. But each writer judges where their personal limit stands so that, as Stein implies, he or she doesn’t walk down, down, down, down, if not financially, then psychologically.

For me, the limit came with my style and voice. I’ve battled with who I am as a writer, knowing that my natural writing voice and style are a little unusual and quirky. I was drawn to poetic prose and to psychological fiction that scrutinized character motivation, behavior, and make-up so they didn’t always come out complete and attractive. But I was also very much aware that such fiction wasn’t going to bring me many accolades or success as the trends define it.

So I experimented with genre fiction. In 2013, I wrote the first book of a historical mystery series for National Novel Writing Month and then outlined scene-by-scene the second and third books for the series. The book was fun to write and I loved doing all the historical research. But ultimately, I went back to psychological fiction because I felt the series was burying my real passion for character exploration and lyrical prose. For me, writing the series was where I drew the line for my concessions.

I’ve recently been asked what advice I have for new writers. My best advice is to find your natural writing voice and style and pursue it, even if it isn’t part of the trends or it doesn’t take you to the bestseller list. Don’t make concessions.

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Gnarled Bones and Other Stories explores five tales of loss, fear, and guilt where strange and spooky events impact people’s lives in ways that are profound and unchangeable.

In “Mother of Mischief”, a newly divorced woman goes back to school to begin a new chapter of her life only to find herself circling back to where she started. In “Bracelets”, childhood nostalgia mingles with brutal fear during a circus outing for a mailroom secretary and her friends. In “A First Saturday Outing”, a lonely woman ventures out of her isolated apartment one quiet Saturday afternoon to an art exhibit that leaves an eerie impression on her psyche*. In “Broken Bows”, a middle-aged violinist reveals the mystery behind his declining artistic powers to a lonely woman on a train. And the title story, “Gnarled Bones”, paints a portrait of the complex bond between an orphaned sister and brother through journal entries and first-person narrative. For these characters, the past leaves its shadow on the present and future.

Gnarled Bones and Other Stories is available now in paperback and ebook on Amazon https://www.amzn.com/dp/B01MS7P9EM/

* This story was featured on Whimsy Gardener’s Storytime With Whimsey and can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PW9mgw4qhuA.

 

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About The Author

Tam May was born in Israel but grew up in America. She earned her college degree in English before returning to the States. She also has a Master’s degree in English and worked as an English college instructor and EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teacher before she became a full-time writer. She started writing when she was 14 and writing became her voice. She writes psychological fiction that explores emotional realities informed by past experiences, dreams, feelings, fantasies, nightmares, imagination, and self-analysis.

She is currently working on a novella series called the Waxwood Series, set in a Northern California resort town. The series explores the crumbling relationships among the wealthy San Francisco Alderdice family. In Book 1, The Order of Actaeon, the Alderdice son and heir falls into the hands of a charismatic older man obsessed with power and leadership during a summer vacation in the resort town of Waxwood. The second book, The Claustrophobic Heart, brings in Gena Flax, a young woman who must cope with the mental deterioration of her aunt during their summer stay at Waxwood. In the last book of the series, Dandelion Children, Daisy, the daughter of the Alderdice family is drawn into the disturbed life of the man who ruined her brother during one rainy summer in Waxwood.

She is also working on another book titled House of Masks about a woman who, mourning the death of her father, breaks free of isolation and loneliness when she is drawn into the lives of her two neighbors, one eccentric and one embittered. For more information, feel free to check out her website at www.tammayauthor.com.

She currently lives in Texas but calls San Francisco and the Bay Area home. When she’s not writing, she’s reading classic literature and watching classic films.

Author Links

Website: www.tammayauthor.com

Blog: https://thedreambook.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tammayauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tammayauthor

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/tammayauthor/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16111197.Tam_May