Bob Morris Shares his Path to Publication Story

Let’s give Bob Morris a warm welcome to the blog! He’s a fellow Clean Reads author, and has generously agreed to share his Path to Publication story. Without further ado, here’s Bob…

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I’ve been writing for small-town newspapers for nearly 24 years, but always had a creative side in me. I guess I didn’t realize it until later in life, though. I had done other creative writing projects but thought of them as hobbies more than anything. After I self-published a non-fiction book about my days of newspaper writing in Raton, N.M., a thought crossed my mind about trying my hand at fiction writing.

Then I watched a TV show called Young Justice and loved its premise, how the characters were developed and how the storyline overall progressed. I read up more about one of the creators, Greg Weisman, and studied how he developed his characters. I had ideas bouncing around in my head about doing my own superhero team-up, but in book form. I jotted down notes but nothing ever came of it. Soon after, though, I lost my job in Raton and my enthusiasm for promoting my non-fiction book – I did find another job soon enough but the idea of fiction writing fell by the wayside.

Then I read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and loved it. I read the other books in the series and that’s when I revisited my superhero tale, putting it in a futuristic, dystopian environment and focusing it toward a young adult market. However, things weren’t working out with the new job as I had hoped, so I first focused on finding a new job.

I found that job in Kingman, Kan., in the summer of 2014. After a few months, once I had settled in, I wrote a rough draft of my tale early in 2015 and sent it to a friend of mine for feedback. From there, I read up on the world of publishing, researched agents, joined the Kansas Writers Association, got feedback from other people, advice and tips about fiction writing – all the while, I was rewriting drafts, going through six until I got the book where I wanted it to be. Took me the whole year to get it to the point that I could send it out.

I started sending out queries to agents early in 2016. I sent about 25 inquiries, rewrote my query letter along the way, trying to find the right pitch. Those who did respond to queries said they weren’t interested. I weathered the storm, knowing that rejection comes with the territory. Then I learned about the Twitter pitch party, Pit2Pub, and though that might be worth trying. I even got to practice pitches with the folks with the Kansas Writers Association – of course, these were spoken pitches, rather than written. But it helped me understand how to tweak a pitch, keep it brief and get people wanting to know more.

So I put out several pitches on Pit2Pub in June of 2016 and had five publishers who indicated interest. I sent manuscripts to four of them. After two rejections, that’s when I heard back from Clean Reads on Sept. 20, 2016 – Stephanie Taylor liked my manuscript and offered me a contract.

And so, the publication of Six Pack: Emergence, became reality. It’s the first in a planned trilogy, though I have a spinoff book in mind, too.

It’s been quite a journey – again, I’ve been writing for many years, but when I got into the newspaper world, the thought of publishing a book never crossed my mind, and certainly not in  fiction. It took me a while to embrace my inner geek and my creative self, put it to use in something that wasn’t strictly a hobby and see where it all took me.

The book is dedicated to Kurt Campbell, the former president of the Kansas Writers Association, who took a lot of interest in my book and was so helpful in giving me advice and feedback. Sadly, he passed away Sept. 30, 2016, just a couple days after I had signed my contract with Clean Reads. I never did get a chance to tell him the good news and I wish he was here today. The book is dedicated to him. I’m getting a little emotional just writing this now.

The biggest piece of advice I’d give to anybody is to not give up on your writing. The process to getting published takes time. You will be told by somebody “this doesn’t work for me.” You will have somebody point out an issue with your writing. And you will have to deal with rejection – never take it personally, because agents and publishers have so many aspiring writers to consider and can only take so many clients. With persistence, you’ll find the right path to take your creation and get it out to the world.

B.W. Morris

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Back cover: Just weeks before Tyler Ward is to graduate from secondary school, he learns the truth about Novusordo and how a drink controls the population. After sharing this information with his five friends, they visit a professor’s house, take another drink and gain strange powers. It leads to them learning more about how the government controls people and the discovery of a movement against the government. Calling themselves the Six Pack, Tyler and his friends must learn how their powers can change society. But they first must learn to trust this movement… and even each other.

 

Buy the book:

Six Pack Emergence is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and many other online retailers.

 

Author Bio:

Bio: B.W. Morris, a longtime writer for small-town newspapers, is a comic book geek who put his overactive imagination to work through novel writing. Born in Texas but grew up in Colorado, Morris has also lived in New Mexico and Oklahoma and currently resides in Kingman, Kan. He is a member of the Kansas Writers Association.
Connect with Bob:

 

Krysten Lindsay Hager Releases Another Book!!!

Krysten is celebrating another book release, so of course I told her I’d help share the news! You’ll remember Krysten from when she stopped by to share her Path to Publication story.

And now she’s got another book to celebrate!

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Emme is a sophomore in high school who starts dating, Brendon Agretti, the popular senior who happens to be a senator’s son and well-known for his good looks. Emme feels out of her comfort zone in Brendon’s world and it doesn’t help that his picture perfect ex, Lauren seems determined to get back into his life along with every other girl who wants to be the future Mrs. Agretti.

Emme is already conflicted due to the fact her last boyfriend cheated on her and her whole world is off kilter with her family issues. Life suddenly seems easier keeping Brendon away and relying on her crystals and horoscopes to guide her. Emme soon starts to realize she needs to focus less on the stars and more on her senses.

Can Emme get over her insecurities and make her relationship work? Life sure is complicated when you’re dating the it guy.

Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HdfnUqZPKU

Short Excerpt:

“By the way, did you hear Lauren got into Senator Agretti’s old school?”

“Seriously? I wonder if she applied there because Brendon did,” I said.

Margaux snorted. “Duh, of course. Seriously, she might as well just pee on him to mark her territory.”

“Margaux, shut up,” Kylie said.

“Whatever. Anyway, the important thing is if Brendon knew she was applying there,” Margaux said. “Em, do you think he knew?”

I hoped Lauren was just trying to follow Brendon, but what if they had planned this whole thing while they were dating? What if he convinced her to apply there so they could go to college together, wear matching American flag sweaters with big scarves while drinking hot chocolate, and jump into leaf piles just like a preppy clothing catalog. At least now I didn’t have to worry about them reciting poetry to one another in South Bend, but still, what if they had made plans to go to school together?

“Don’t worry about it,” Kylie said. “She was probably trying to follow him—like she always does. She’s so pathetic.”

Kylie was trying to make me feel better, but Lauren was far from pathetic. After all, she was pretty much the “Most Likely to Succeed” poster girl. While she was out overachieving and saving the world without messing up her perfect, bouncy hair, I was trying to get through each day. I tried to push away the image of Lauren and Brendon holding hands and drinking hot chocolate under a stadium blanket.

Purchase:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XBFRX47

Amazon paperback: http://a.co/hBydoYm

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/2m5y9OC

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/2n8vULZ

itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/dating-the-it-guy/id1208876011?mt=11

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/dating-the-it-guy

Smashwords:  www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=Dating+the+It+Guy

 

Follow Krysten

Website: http://www.krystenlindsay.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/krystenlindsay/

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

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/krystenlindsay/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KrystenLindsay

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClIQCsRcKc97-25oXvabZ8A

Bio: Besides mining her teen years and humiliating moments for her novels, Krysten is also a book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. Krysten writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values. She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends…Forever?, Next Door to a Star,  Landry in Like, and Competing with the Star (The Star Series: Book 2). Her debut novel, True Colors, won the Readers Favorite award for best preteen book. Krysten’s work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Beavercreek Current, the Bellbrook Times and on Living Dayton.

Praise for Dating the It Guy:

“A sweet, endearing story—you’ll fall in love with Emme just like I did!” –Kimber Leigh Wheaton, YA/NA author

“Hager’s authentic characters will resonate with readers of all ages as they are immersed in the story  – complete with teen drama and angst, but also the relationships which make it all worthwhile.” —  Leslie L. McKee, book reviewer, Edits and Reviews by Leslie

What people are saying about Krysten’s work:

From Teenage Book Recommendations in the UK: “This is a fantastically relatable and real book which I feel captures all of the insecurities and troubles which haunt the modern teenage girl. It is about a young model who has to go through tough times when she is torn between a life as a model and managing her friendships. You learn which friends she can most trust and which -will create the drama typical of teenage life. Follow the life of Landry and try to see if you can find out which are her true friends before their true colours are revealed. This book is all about relationships, hopes and truth. I loved this book!”

From Books & Authors Spot: “This book is such an inspiration for those who just care about their looks and are tensed about them. This thing is looks aren’t everything. This book is related to every teen’s problem. Hager has written a very inspiring novel.”

“Krysten captures the teenage girl today. The struggles are real, the issues are something children have been dealing with since before I was a teen, and oddly-Krysten captures the readers! I was prepared for another “Mean Girls” story. This is NOT that. This is the real story of teenage girls! You watch Landry flower into a young woman who finds out trust is an invaluable item to find, and friendships are hard to seek genuine realism in. You will learn about relationships with not just friends, but peers, boys, and others. The details put into the book will draw you, and make the story so much more realistic. Krysten expresses emotions beautifully through her writing, and the story flows flawlessly…” By Candice J. Conway Simpson

“True Colors, is just a dazzling story of how middle school kids show their true colors of jealousy, drama, loss and gains of friendship. However, the way Krysten wrote her story; she wrote it with passion, creativity and honesty that this story line could be placed in anyone’s life at any age.” Review by Double Decker Books

“Krysten Lindsay Hager understands what it means to be a teen today, and she writes with an authentic voice. Landry, the main character, is funny, lively, and very real. Readers will relate to her struggles with friends and family, self-esteem and self-discovery, boys and school and life in general. It’s fun to read about Landry’s blossoming modeling career and the changes it brings.” Review by Author Diana Jenkins

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Path to Publication: Jessica Rachel Kreger

Today I’m welcoming fellow Clean Reads author, Jessica Rachel Kreger, to share her Path to Publication story. And, I had the pleasure of working with Jessica on this as her content editor. I really liked this one! Without further ado, here’s Jessica…

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headshot_P7_amazonWhen I worked as the director of research communications at the University of Miami medical school, on evenings I would I work out at the UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center. There, I saw good-looking personal trainers coaching plus-sized clients. Many of the clients struggled through the fitness routines, but with lots of encouragement, they returned again and again. They needed to have both external motivation, as well as the inner strength to complete their killer circuits.

During my job, I attended a symposium on obesity research, and was moved by the statistics. Beyond the numbers and case studies, each mother, father, sister, and brother has a story, and often their stories are intertwined with complications. Being overweight can put your health at risk, and obesity is even more serious. Obesity has been linked to diabetes and other illnesses. In addition, many researchers believe it has a genetic component.

In between riding the elliptical at the gym and listening to research showing obesity rates skyrocketing, the seeds for my heroine were planted in my mind. I wondered what would happen if a woman who was motivated to get fit after her mother’s tragic death from diabetes ended up in the studio of a handsome personal trainer?

Of course, the hunk would already have a girlfriend. I named him Eric. And his girlfriend would be a model at that. I named her Star. But maybe Star wasn’t exactly right for Eric. Perhaps inner beauty was what he was truly looking for, and a plus-sized woman could also be beautiful to him. Cue in my heroine, Daisy, and poof! The idea for Fit to Love sprouted into my first novel.

It took about five years to write, research, edit, and find the perfect publisher to bring my debut novel to you. After finishing my book, I searched for a publisher that would connect with my inspirational message of faith, family, healing, and hope. When I finally signed with Clean Reads, it was a dream come true!

Christi Corbett, who is so graciously hosting me on her blog, was one of my amazing editors. The book launched in February and is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Smashwords, and Kobo. If you’re looking for a little inspiration to achieve your own dreams, you just might find it in Fit to Love.

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For any woman who has ever battled with their weight, debut author Jessica Rachel Kreger tells a heartwarming tale of a woman whose struggle for fitness leads her into the studio of an irresistible trainer who needs her more than she knows…

After her mother’s tragic death from diabetes, mousy Daisy Day embarks on her own life-saving mission to lose a hundred and fifty pounds. Handsome personal trainer and Army veteran, Eric Anderson, seems like the answer to her prayers, but he’s way out of her league…not to mention taken by a picture-perfect model almost half her age.

When Daisy lends her marketing acumen to launch Eric’s personal training business and helps him overcome his grief from losing his brother in Afghanistan, he realizes he has more in common with her than his own girlfriend. Yet when the hours of training pay off, and Daisy is transformed into a head-turning beauty, he’s not the only man to notice.

Daisy Day is fit to love and she’s already fallen for Eric… but with his now ex-girlfriend chasing after him, and another man in Daisy’s arms, is it too late for him to catch her?

 

Author Bio: 

Jessica Rachel Kreger’s love of fitness, Florida, and respect for military veterans like her father spawned the idea for her first novel. While working as the research communications director at the University of Miami’s medical school, Jessica learned about our country’s obesity epidemic, and came up with the plot for Fit to Love.

At an early age, Jessica developed a passion for reading from her mother, and continues to find inspiration in her family, friends, and faith. When not writing, Jessica enjoys hitting the gym, snorkeling the South Florida waters, and predicting what is going to happen on her favorite TV shows.

A member of the Romance Writers of America and the South Florida Romance Writers, she has over seventeen years of experience as a professional writer, and earned a B.A. in English from Penn State University and an M.A. in Professional Writing from Carnegie Mellon University.

Buy Links: 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Fit-Love-Jessica-Rachel-Kreger-ebook/dp/B01N9VMOHK

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fit-to-love-jessica-rachel-kreger/1125556723?ean=2940157621452

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/fit-to-love/id1198888606?mt=11

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/702438

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/fit-to-love

 

Online Links for Jessica:

Website: http://www.jessicarachelkreger.com

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/jessicarachelkreger/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaRKreger

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/jessicarachelkreger

Medium: https://medium.com/@JessicaRKreger

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16410360.Jessica_Rachel_Kreger

Managing Distractions

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How do you manage distractions when you have a huge task that you need to complete over the span of a few months?

Yes, I’m talking about me and my need to balance writing a book with everyday life and all the distractions that come up daily.

How do you move past distractions and keep focused on your goal?