One of the features I really like about Facebook is what I’ll call the memory boomerang: Facebook sends out a reminder of a major event that occurred a year to five years ago. We were boomeranged this week with the release of our very first book: Twist of Fate.
I was shocked to see that it had only been five years ago I wrote an entry that indicated the book was about to be launched. So much has happened in such a short amount of time. The most significant is that we are now in midst of launching Architect of Fate, book five of our series. Including our book of short stories (Holiday Connections), that means we’ve managed to put out six books in five years. We’re also now in the third iteration of covers—having given in to our original publishers’ desire to create a consistent look, but never really liking that look—we’re redoing our covers so they make a splash and can attract some attention online.
The new look for Twist of Fate
For the Nora Roberts’s or James Pattersons of the world, such developments would be no accomplishment; they are well established authors who do this for a living and have staff and lots of money to back them up. To a woman in her sixties who works an everyday job, helps to take care of her elderly mom and tries to make her wonderful husband and daughter priorities; and to her co-author who is in her nineties (as of November 13) and who has macular degeneration and very limited physical capabilities, six books is no small miracle.
One trait that I have learned that mom and I have in common is stubbornness. But I don’t say that in a negative way. Writing a book, and even more importantly, getting a book into print and then selling it, is hard work. Even more significantly, it creates long periods of time when you just want to give up—nothing is happening or the plot is going nowhere or there are no book events to keep your blood boiling or you get a critical comment or no comment at all from friends or fans you’d hope were at least reading the book. Mom and I (and my sister, children’s book author Allyn M. Stotz) have leaned on each other when those times come. We’ve laughed through the tears and frustrations, put on our cheerleader panties and pushed on.
It’s what you do when you’ve found something that gives you passion.
So here’s to all the authors in the world who are out there pushing to get their words before an audience and here’s to all the would-be writers who sit down at the computer and take that first step: putting down their thoughts. And especially: here’s to all those readers who take a few minutes to write a review or send a word of encouragement.
It’s a tough life being an author, but with enough stubbornness and help from fans and supporters: dreams do come true.—Genilee Swope Parente
Tags: accomplishing the impossible, Allyn M. Stotz, Architect of Fate, authors in their nineties, authors with macular degeneration, Facebook boomerang, feeling of accomplishment, getting published, Grandma Moses cases, hardships of getting published, hardships of writing a book, Holiday Connections, macular degeneration, realizing a dream, relaunching a series, sticking to it, stubbornness of authors, stubbornness of writers, Twist of Fate, writing challenges, writing while working full-time
The loudest lament among authors today is: wouldn’t it be nice to write? Who has time when you spend hours trying to navigate the world of publishing and marketing. Yet unless you’ve been “discovered” by a large, traditional publishing house or clever agent, most of your effort goes into getting the word out about your book. And even those authors with traditional contracts spend huge chunks of time fulfilling the marketing requirements of their contracts.
The reality is you’re at the mercy of a new world of book publishing that’s so convoluted and complex these days that you spend a lot of time wearing a blind-fold and whacking at moles.
For those readers asking: what’s got your panties in a bunch this week, Genilee, the answer is: Amazon. The print version of our books under our own publishing name gradually started to show up on Amazon over the course of the last month, but I’ve been trying to ensure that the hundreds of people I know that use their Kindles could get our books, too.
I spent countless hours waiting, thinking it would work like it did for our first self-published book (Holiday Connections): just show up. Then I spent more hours trying to understand how Ingram Sparks (IS), my huge printing firm, works realizing that it gets distributed by them to Amazon and other retailers so I needed to start there. After several rounds of emails to IS (with absolutely no replies), I finally decided the best and only effective way to “contact us for help” was to pick up a phone. I waited 15 minutes to get through to a real live person. However, the very real, very live and helpful person I spoke with wrote one email to Amazon and our books reappeared in Kindle form on the Amazon site—within minutes of my initial phone call.
I’d celebrate this great victory, except for one reality: almost no one can find our books on the site, and the few that are clever or determined enough to try, find a huge conflict in what’s available.
By searching on Amazon’s site and using one of the book’s names and one of our last names (I used Swope), you get the following results:
For Twist of Fate: 1) A listing where it’s available for $9.99 new and $1.07 used; 2) A listing where it’s available for $30.67 “used & new”; 3) a listing where it is “unavailable.” No listing for the Kindle version. If you scroll down to the bottom of that page you see: Results for “Twist of Fate Swope.” Three things are listed: 1) Wretched Fate, the Kindle version only; 2) Twist of Fate, the printed version only (but wait, didn’t we just take out the first two words and get the same thing as our initial search??); 3) Violet Fate, the Kindle version only.
For a search for Wretched Fate and Swope you get: 1) A listing of an old, out-of-date version available new for $8.99 or for $.01 (really, a penny?); 2) a listing of the older version “used & new” for $83.26 (Would someone really pay that?). No listing for the Kindle version. Scrolling to the bottom to: results for “Wretched Fate Swope” you get: 1) Wretched Fate, the Kindle version only (yea, there it is!! But why does taking out the word “Wretched” get you to the right place?); 2) Twist of Fate, the printed version only; and 3) Violet Fate, the Kindle version only.
For Violet Fate: 1) A listing for the printed version for $8.99, 2) a listing that looks exactly the same except you can get it “used & new” for $28.11. No listing for the Kindle version. At the bottom of that page under: Results for “Violet Fate Swope” you see: Wretched Fate, the Kindle version only (there’s Wretched’s Kindle version again. All you have to do is search under a different name than Wretched Fate, the actual title!!); Twist of Fate, the printed version only; and Violet Fate, the Kindle version (REALLY: in other words, by taking out the word ‘Violet’, the Kindle version pops up. Hmmmmm).
My point in all this is not to paint Amazon or Ingram Sparks as the bad guys. They are just huge and with hugeness comes confusion. I couldn’t have afforded publishing my own books 20 years ago when these two players were emerging and the world of independent publishing was being born. My point is this: if you’re one of us out there trying to get down this great river of being an author through the wild jungle of learning how to get the system to work for you, make sure you have a spare paddle and lots of patience. You’re going to need it.
Genilee Swope Parente
Tags: author frustrations, author stresses, being an independent author, finding books on amazon, finding your book on amazon, frustrations of independent publishing, frustrations of self publishing, frustrations with amazon, frustrations with publishing, getting published, getting published on amazon, how to appear on amazon, independent authors, independent publishing, Ingram Sparks, the confusion of amazon, the new world of publishing, trouble with finding books on amazon
I woke up this morning and realized I hadn’t written in my blog since well before Christmas, and only once between Thanksgiving and the Holidays. I’m an introspective person with too many best friends (and now a daughter) studying psychology, so I immediately began to question why I would neglect this author duty.
Do I secretly hate this type of writing? That answer came quickly: I took on a new client recently writing columns for their web postings because I enjoy tackling blogs. It’s a refreshing way to use words, and it seems to be a natural fit for me.
So it must be that I’ve been so extremely busy and stressed out this holiday season? That thought emitted a belly laugh, which triggered startled looks from my two cats. They sprinted from their restful perches to hide beneath my still-lit and decorated Christmas tree. I have taken this season very slowly and savored each minute. I’m still enjoying it.
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Is it because I’ve been concentrating so heavily on learning how to republish our three original books? Our publishing firm hung up its hat at the end of 2015. Because of my success self publishing Holiday Connections, I’m trying to do the same with our original books—Twist of Fate, Wretched Fate and Violet Fate. I don’t know if I’ll get there; it’s horribly complex and I’m not good at detail work. But I’m stubborn and I’m tackling each little complication as it hits me in the face. Still, I can’t use this as an excuse because I tackle NO complexities first thing in the morning, which is my designated book time. I’m too sleepy and dreamy. I use that state to write creatively.
Then it has got to be because I’ve made so much progress on the fourth book of the Fate Series, right? It’s called Treasured Fate, and I’ve had a professional editor go through it and present me with her findings and suggestions. She gave them to me right before Thanksgiving.
Okay, that one is partially true. On the hours when I badly needed a creative outlet, I’ve been chipping away at the next stage of the writing process, which I expect to go on for many weeks. That’s never stopped me from my obligation to spend a day each week (or so) writing something for our blog, though.
I finally realized it’s for the same reason I had to hit my late 50s before I found a way to write a book: routine.
That’s a really yawn-inducing answer to this yawn-inducing blog entry, but it’s the truth. And most of my fellow writers and creative friends will understand what I mean. You can have genius-level ideas floating around in your head, but unless you find a practical way to get them out, they’ll stay in your head. For me, it was getting up that extra hour in morning and working on fiction. I had let “getting up” slip and was too often sleeping in. When I did get up, I allowed myself to work my paying job because I wanted or needed more time late in the day for seasonal activities.
But I’m back on track now, the holidays behind me and anxious to see where the track leads next. It must be working: It’s 7:15 and I’ve been up an hour, and lo and behold: a blog entry was born.
Come to think of it: I don’t walk the dog until 8 a.m. so I have 45 minutes to do what I love a whole lot more than blogs: working on my books!
Genilee Swope Parente
Tags: creative outlet, finding time for creative outlet, finding time to be an author, finding time to write, finetuning the writing process, frustrations with self publishing, getting published, getting up to write, passion for writing, procrastination, routine of writing, the writing process, Treasured Fate, Twist of Fate, Violet Fate, wretched fate
One of the thrills mom and I get when we talk to groups is the excitement audience members express for what we do. Written on the faces and weaved into their questions is this: “It must be so fulfilling and romantic to be an author.”
At the moment someone says this, it’s true. However, being an author in today’s hugely complicated world of publishing is not just being a writer. Authors today also have to be:
Bosses: I’ve learned to be a mean boss because someone has to get my sorry butt out of bed an hour early in the morning if I’m going to find time each day to write. That same mean boss has to wave the red flag after the hour is over, which is even harder than getting up. Once the writing begins, it’s heart-breaking to stop the flow of creativity so I can get on to my paying clients.
Traffic cops: I sometimes feel like Linda Blair in The Exorcist with my head spinning round and round as the whirl of advice to writers that’s out there goes by. I read, I attend conferences, I talk to other authors, I research my options constantly on the web; what I’ve discovered is there is no one-lane road headed to success. It’s a clover leaf of congestion out there, and the one person that can make the multiple decisions that will give it any sense is me.
Psychologists: The only way to survive the extreme ups and downs that comes with getting published is to band with other people going through this clover leaf. I have to lean heavily on other writers for the mental support that sorting through everything requires. Part of the reason is that I need to lament to someone besides my cat about the frustrations. But the other part if that I need the bond that listening to others creates.
Bean counters: To move forward in any business venture requires a way to measure what’s behind that forward movement. I have excel spreadsheets and multiple file storage locations on my computer so that I can at least stop once in a while to gather and count my beans—what events have worked; which books are selling well. I have to admit, however, that I often look at those beans and wish just one of them was a magic one.
Jugglers. Most authors can’t afford to write full time. We are trying to hold down a job, take care of families, find time for old and new friends, keep up with daily household tasks while adding a fifth ball to the mix: pursuing a passion for storytelling. It’s the same juggling act that anyone who finds a way to go after what they truly want must perfect—finding time for what we love. So I guess instead of hoping for that magic bean, what I should be doing is being grateful that life has allowed me to have that fifth ball in the mix.
—Genilee Swope Parente
Tags: balancing life, being a writer, being an author, complicated world of publishing, creative outlet, finding time to be an author, finding time to write, getting published, juggling act, juggling life, juggling writing, learning how to be an author, life balance, life's juggling act, publishing congestion, writing books
A new year is the perfect time to announce an exciting new development initiated by Spectacle Publishing Media Group for these two authors: we’re getting a new face for the entire Fate Series at the same time our latest book is launched.
As Violet Fate, the third in the Sam Osborne series comes out later this month, our publisher is re-launching Twist of Fate and Wretched Fate. The first two books received additional copy edits and have been redesigned so that the three books can be marketed together.
Mom and I love our new look for its vibrancy. Spectacle’s design team maintained the important elements of the stories: for Twist of Fate that was Casey’s wheelchair and the rose that hints at romance; for Wretched Fate it’s Jacob’s beloved Quan Yin (goddess of mercy and compassion) statue and the nail that brings our surprise character into the picture. However, the design team added a rich red that pulses with danger and passion. The look works wonderfully to tease readers into opening the new book―Violet Fate―where a set of eyes is a focal point of the plot and where our characters are drawn into the Amish country. Since that’s the goal of any book’s cover—to create a yearning to see what’s inside—we think The Fate Series redesign is a huge success.
The new books will be available online later this month along with Violet Fate, and we will be launching the new book locally in February.
Mom and I are in awe that we now have three books in print and are working hard on getting the next two into place. It’s only been four years since we began this process inspired by the success of my sibling, children’s book author Allyn Stotz (www.allynstotz.blogspot.com), who is also about to have a banner year. It hasn’t been an easy ride, but it’s been an exciting one, and none of us could have predicted things would go so well. Like I told a young woman who called me for advice on publishing her children’s book early this week: the key to becoming an author is to want it bad enough to pursue all angles, be patient, and not give up the quest.
We hope that 2015 will be the best year ever for all our readers and supporters.
—Genilee Swope Parente
Tags: Amish books, Applebee's, becoming an author, best mysteries, best romances, book covers, book launch, challenges of getting a book published, getting published, Kwan Yin, launching a book, mystery, new look, Quan Yin, reading, relaunching a book, romance, success in getting published, The Fate Series, Twist of Fate, Violet Fate, wretched fate, writing success
Mom and I at Applebee’s working out the details of one of our mysteries.
In our first book, Twist of Fate, mom and I acknowledged the wait staff of our local Applebee’s restaurant. We did so because of the many times we met for lunch there and worked out the details of the plot. We received more than a few odd looks as we talked about the best poison for not leaving a trace, the proper police procedures following a murder attempt, what expired drugs might be sought on the black market, how to let our villain escape discovery. But after we explained what we were doing, we also got enthusiasm and encouragement and have continued to collect praise for having received our dream of being published authors. Many of the people that work there recognize us now when we walk in. They know mom likes to get the closest booth possible because of her physical limitations; they know that she needs the blinds pulled half-way shut for her vision impairment; some even know to bring an extra plate because we love to split an entrée and a house salad.
So what more appropriate place to launch book three, Violet Fate, than our local neighborhood restaurant? I got in touch with the corporate offices of the restaurant and proceeded to get the same kind of enthusiastic response as the local restaurant. The young man I talked to congratulated us immediately on our success, then talked to his boss in communications as well as the local franchise owner, and they’ve all been supportive.
The event is still very much in the planning stages, but I have found this whole exercise invigorating and rewarding. Mom and I now know after three years that publishing a book is very hard work that pays pretty terrible wages in terms of monetary value, but a pretty fantastic salary if you like being paid by gratification. As my little sister Allyn Stotz, a children’s book in Baton Rouge, LA, (who is our No. 1 cheerleader) has said many times: it’s those voices that praise you for having the courage to pursue your dream that make this a worthwhile pursuit.
As mom and I found at this past weekend’s art and craft’s fair, one person’s comment or action can make an entire day’s efforts worthwhile. We sold just enough books to deem the fair a success. But about half an hour before the fair’s end, mom turned to me and kiddingly said: we need to sell one more set of Twist of Fate/Wretched Fate to make it a true accomplishment. Fifteen minutes later, a quarter hour before the fair closed its doors, a young man wandered by, found out we were local authors, then proceeded to pump us for information on what we’d been through. He was fascinated. Then, even though he readily admitted he didn’t read many books these days, he bought a set. I patted myself on the back for having convinced him they make great Christmas gifts. But when we went to address the signed copies to a gift recipient, he grinned sheepishly and gave his own name.
Thanks to Applebee’s and to Daniel for this week’s needed “salary”.
Genilee Swope Parente
Tags: Applebee's, author, book launch, Genilee Swope Parente, getting published, local restaurants, mystery plot, plot details, publicity for book, Twist of Fate, upcoming Woodbridge events, Violet Fate, Woodbridge events, wretched fate
Some of the Swopes at the 125th town birthday
Despite the fact we haven’t lived in our hometown for years, Edgerton remains a deep part of who the Swope family is. For that reason, we’re going back there this summer carting boxes of books and hoping to meet up with some of the best supporters we’ve had.
Allyn’s current connection with the hometown runs deepest because she has family there from her marriage to Brad Stotz. For those of you who don’t know that name, Allyn Stotz is my sister, a children’s book author (www.allynstotz.blogspot.com) who will be carting boxes of The Pea in Peanut Butter and the recently released Kailee Finds Magic IN Words with her to Edgerton. Allyn has kept in contact with many of her friends from high school and made some new ones in the years since she and Brad moved to Louisiana. Allyn, Mom and I all feel strongly that Edgerton is part of who we are, and we often talk about what a wonderful environment Edgerton provided for our family. Mom was a substitute teacher there and wrote a local column for the newspaper that my dad ran (the Edgerton Earth). I developed a nucleus of high school friends so strong that when I celebrated my 60th this year, my husband invited a couple of them to travel great distances so that I can have a truly wonderful surprise. I have tried to reconnect with some of my friends from the awesome years of high school through facebook and to follow what’s happening with some of the other people of Edgerton.
Many of the good people of Edgerton have already bought our books and wrote to cheer us on. Allyn had a book signing and reading when The Pea was released. Still, we’re all packing up the cars and heading that way, dragging not only boxes, but our husbands and Mark, a major supporter for Allyn and for us and a researcher for Mom and I (not to mention our dearly beloved brother/son).
Verna and dad at the old Edgerton Earth
Mom is 86; dad is 88 and ailing from Alzheimers. Mark, Allyn and I are still young enough NOT to want to mention how very old we are. So why are we traveling 12 and 15 hours for book signings? Because it’s part of who we are. Mom and I acknowledged Edgerton and one of our great cheerleaders, Verna Wortkoetter in our last book. Mom and Verna developed a relationship early in the years when we first moved to Edgerton. Verna showed mom quickly what the town was like when she made sure mom felt comfortable in Edgerton and knew that if the Swopes needed help in any way, the Wortkoetters were there. I still feel thrilled when Verna’s daughter Jane Jacobs, who I became close to growing up, announces another grandchild. And I still go through the Edgerton Earth each week looking for the names of the families we knew.
And we all try to stay in touch. I’ve learned that Facebook’s greatest strength is that it allows people to maintain links with their past, and it has been a great tool for the Swopes. Several of my high school buddies pop up almost every day and when I read about their lives, it reconnects me with who I am.
It’s a long way back to Edgerton. Not only in miles, but in years. But I’m very much looking forward to the trip.
Tags: Allyn Stotz, becoming authors, book celebration, Edgerton Ohio, Festival of Flags, getting published, homecoming, hometown, hometown newspaper, Kailee Finds Magic IN Words, returning home, The Pean in Peanut Butter, Twist of Fate, wretched fate, writing books
One reality prospective authors need to face is that getting published is not winning a sweepstakes. No one is going to show up at your door with a giant check, flash you a brilliant smile, shake your hand and shout: Congratulations, you’re a winner!
Getting published is a series of steps. If you can keep your momentum, the steps go upward—working towards bigger and better goals and often getting easier as you climb. Some of those steps are major ones: my sister, children’s book author Allyn Stotz (http://allynstotz.blogspot.com/), took a giant hop up this week: she saw her second book, Kailee Finds Magic IN Words, in final form—ready for press. I know that seeing the heroin of her first book, The Pea in Peanut Butter, come to life again on the pages and knowing people will soon hold her creation in their admiring hands has to be a wonderful feeling: in this case, it’s enough of a leap up to carry her past some challenges to come.
I took a big step this week, too, though it wasn’t that golden glow event of seeing my name on a printed page. My step was that I submitted our first draft of Fate of the Violet Eyes, book three of the Sam Osborne series, to our publisher. That means for just a moment, I can sit back, take a deep breath, and realize I’ve done all I could to make this book better than the last two. Having been through this twice already, it also means that I can finally let the experts at Spectacle Publishing Media Group, tell me how to make it even greater.
While it’s vital to our sanity as authors for us to acknowledge and feel our accomplishments—pat ourselves on the back for the steps we overcome, Allyn, as well as Mom and I, will not rest long in this heaven. That’s because as authors of more than one book, we know there are many steps ahead, even after the book is in print. The hardest part about becoming an author is the reality that getting to the point where your book populates the crowded lists on Amazon and Barnes & Noble is much easier than what comes next: getting someone to notice it. And having tracked the blogs of several major writers, I know that, unless you’re James Patterson, you have to direct and participate in how well your book goes over. You have to force yourself to become what you may not be: a marketer. And I bet even Mr. Patterson sometimes dreads putting on a suit or combing his hair to give a speech, an interview or to make a video to post on his official website. We are writers―our art is creation of stories and the alignment of words in such a way that we lead readers down a path we want them to travel. The reality is that, even if you’re shy, you have to believe in your own work enough to want others to feel what you felt when you were creating it.
My intention in saying this is not to throw water in prospective author’s face. While Allyn, Mom and I have been learning how tough it is, we’ve also seen the rewards. Every time you lift a foot and climb up another step, you gain a little strength; you make the next stage of the climb a little easier because you have one thing going for you that you didn’t have before. Whenever you need it, you can turn and gaze back down the staircase and see yourself on that first little stair. You can remember that you are climbing towards your dream—which is a brave step not many people do in their lives. You can feel what it’s like to have recognized what you want enough to have built the staircase in the first place.
Genilee Swope Parente
Tags: accomplishing goals, Allyn Stotz, authors, becoming a writer, becoming an author, book signing, books, creative writing, Fate of the Violet Eyes, freedom to write, getting published, James patterson, Kailee Finds Magic, mystery, new authors, Pea in Peanut Butter, reaching dreams, romance, stairway to heaven, taking steps, Twist of Fate, wretched fate, writing books, writing late in life, writing process
As Genilee reported in her last blog, we installed a new program, Dragonspeak, on my computer to help me dictate. This is my first attempt at writing the blog on it. I began last night at 11 p.m. when I wrote the first draft of this column, and thought I had saved it. To my dismay this morning I couldn’t find it anywhere. Oh well … on to draft two!
Last week Genilee and I had a book signing at Potomac Woods homes in Woodbridge. We deemed it a success because we sold eight books. My daughter and fellow author, Allyn Stotz, told us that it’s generally accepted that if you sell three books at a book signing, you are doing well. She urged us to be patient, but I’m glad for her encouragement because by those standards, every one of our signings has been a success! And selling eight books was a tremendous success!
Part of the reason is the people that help us out, as Genilee has pointed out in this blog. The same can be true at Potomac Woods. Mary, a resident there and a manager for Dress Barn, Genilee’s favorite shop, told her friends about this book signing, then went into work late just so she could pick up another few books! Anyway, her friends and quite a few residents showed up thanks to the publicity the community provided, and we are very grateful to them not only for buying our book, but also for answering our questions. We took advantage of the time we had to brainstorm about ideas on other places to hold book signings. All of those in attendance were extremely helpful, and we want to thank them as well as Mary.
Book signings are really fun for us because the people who come are full of encouragement. This week, we are really excited because for the first time, we’re guest authors at a book club—the Scarlett Hatter Book Club. We probably won’t sell many books, but we get to talk about Twist of Fate and hopefully get their comments and suggestions. Part of the reason it was possible to do this is that our book is now in the Potomac Community Library and the Prince William County library system. That’s also an exciting development for authors, and we’re pursuing getting another nearby library to carry the book.
Our second book, Wretched Fate, is now at the publishers. We are hoping for publication soon (doesn’t everyone?), though we don’t know yet what corrections and changes we’ll need to make. We’ll keep you informed via this blog and our facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/genileesharon.swopeparente. We also just found out that Allyn has her own facebook page at www.facebook.com/AllynStotz.author. Show your support for our fellow writer by visiting and liking her page, as well as her blog at http://allynstotz.blogspot.com/.
Meanwhile, we are also working on our holiday short stories. This will contain 12 stories for 12 different holidays, and I think our readers will find them both unique and heartwarming. We hope to get this published before next Christmas.
By the way, “Hi” to Verna, my very special friend.
F. Sharon Swope
Tags: authors, book signing, dragons, dragonspeak, getting published, Potomac Woods, selling books, success, Twist of Fate, writing
Lately I’ve realized that writing a book is actually the easiest part of producing one. Making additions, improvements and corrections goes fairly quickly also. Even finding a publisher was not the most difficult part for us … though I think we were lucky.
The hard part is waiting. I know I’ve complained about this waiting to family and friends and in this blog spot. And I attribute a bit of the impatience to age. When you get to be 85, you are inclined to think differently about time passing. It hits you that your time on earth is getting short, and you may not live long enough to accomplish what you want. My children hate for me to talk this way, but it’s a reality most people my age live with daily.
But if you’re lucky enough to get published, the wait is over suddenly. This can be a glorious feeling, especially as you hit milestones such as seeing your book’s print version posted on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Here is it before you – your dreams turning into reality. Soon, you’ll be able to hold your own book in your hands, and you know that makes everything and all the waiting worthwhile. You have become an “author,” and your book is no longer a secret place within you where your stories reside, but rather a place for those stories to live and grow. The book is published, and you find yourself in a whirlwind of things to do to promote your endeavor. Your thoughts go round and round, trying to come up with creative new ways to get the word out, and suddenly it seems there isn’t enough time to get everything done.
I welcome this round and round whirlwind feeling, so I thought I’d celebrate it by giving out one of my favorite holiday recipes: Rye Rounds. I said I wouldn’t be using this blog as a place to post recipes, but readers, you’ve responded that you like them! And recipes like this one become part of your life when your family so adores them. On Christmas Eve, my family spends the holiday by having hors d’euvres for our meal. I love this recipe because you can make it two or three weeks in advance and keep it in the freezer until you are ready to pop it in the oven. Men are especially fond of these tidbits.
1 loaf rye rounds
1 lb. hamburger
1 lb. sage-seasoned sausage
1 lb. Velvetta cheese, cut into small squares
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
l/2 teaspoon oregano
Brown meats in skillet until no longer pink; drain excess fat, add cheese and cover. Lower heat on burner. Stir often until cheese is completely melted; add spices and stir again.
Put rye rounds on two cookie sheets lined with wax paper. Spoon meat mixture onto the rounds. Put in freezer. When frozen, take out and put in a bag until ready to use.
Tags: age, becoming an author, christmas recipes, creative writing, getting published, rye rounds, Twist of Fate, waiting, writing