Tell Her Goodbye is now available on Amazon.com. It can be read on any Kindle software product, so that means the Kindle eReader, Kindle Fire eReader, Kindle software on any computer or smartphone. If you have Amazon Prime, you may borrow the book and read it for free! Read an except by clicking here.
I always appreciate the help you have given me in the past to help me promote my books. If you visit Amazon, please click “like”. This simple task helps promote my books. Others have shared my books through Facebook and email. Again, thank you for all of your efforts. And most of all, thank you for buying my books!
Journey Out of the Darkness is now with the proofreader. I am working with the graphic artist on the new cover and writing the blurb for the back of the book and Amazon. It will be a Kindle Select book, so those of you who have Amazon Prime can get the book for free. The retail price of the book will be $2.99. I believe that the hardest part of writing is when the book is finished, and you have a zillion things to do before it can go online and get paperback version setup. Getting the word out is difficult and you have to rely on word of mouth most of the time. It is getting harder to get reviews because the number of books produced by independent writers like myself increases everyday. I appreciate those of you who take the time to like my books on Amazon and write a short review. It all helps.
Journey Out of the Darkness (the name may change after I get my manuscript back from my proofreader. She has a fine eye!) was very personal for me as was The Possessor. My next book will be more in line with Tanglewood Road. For the past year, some of my “advisors” have talked to me about developing a series with a continuing character. I have started my new book and we’ll see how that works out. I will have more on this series later.
Tanglewood Road is now available on the Nook, iPad, Kindle and all other eBook readers. You can buy at Barnes and Noble, but it is cheaper to buy it directly from the book distributor. This has been a year in the making, and it is finally here. Click on the link to take you to the distributor’s page.
My readers have completed reading Journey Out of the Darkness, and I am pleased with their comments. I should have the final version going to my proofreader in a week. I am shooting for a release on Amazon the first of November. Next week I’ll be working with my graphic artist on a new cover. I’ll probably have a teaser on my web site in a couple of weeks.
If you haven’t noticed, my articles for Examiner.com are now on my web site. Scroll down and you will find them on the bottom right of the web page.
You never know that your readers are going to like or dislike. One of the problems any writer has is being consistent with readers. I have found that is very difficult. I have had some readers write me how they loved Tanglewood Road and disliked The Possessor. Others write how much they like The Possessor. As an author, you write what you feel and that may not be consistent with what you’ve written in the past. On the other side of the coin, I may think people will love one book over another and be dead wrong! So, as I continue to refine my skills, do I want to be consistent? Yes…but I don’t want to end up hating what i write in the process. I am about to finish my next book and I have no idea where it will end up with my readers. I do know that another novel is forming in my mind… but more on that later.
It is not rare for someone to come up to me and ask if my novels are based on events in my life. Are they real? Let’s take a look at my latest novel, Out of the Darkness, and you decide. Let’s take three unrelated observations and then put them together to develop a character and an event for the novel.
1-I have always been amazed at people who sacrifice their lives to take care of others. My cousin John came home after World War II and took care of his parents. He never married. I’ve seen people of all ages give of themselves for their families and loved ones.
2-A friend of mine is extremely close to her young daughter. They express their love for one another very willingly and they have grown together as mother and daughter. I find their relationship very unique.
3-A friend told me that when her husband died, she took his ashes back to Nova Scotia and Alaska to scattered them where he had the fondest memories. Of course, I thought what a wonderful story idea.
Now, let’s put them all together.
After I finished The Possessor, I was looking for a new character to write about. As I was perusing Facebook one day, I came across my friend expressing her excitement about something her daughter had accomplished. The daughter responded in a short time to her mother. The daughter is an only child and I thought how devastated either one would be if something happened to the other.
A character started forming in my head.
I had to bring some of my own experiences with my wife into the picture. I had first hand knowledge how a person facing death feels because of her. Sarah Jane Senn is the mother who must tell her daughter she is dying. The daughter, Ruth Ann, has devoted her life to taking care of her mother. Sarah Jane tells her daughter not to mourn her passing. It is time for Ruth Ann to come out of the darkness and into the light so she can have a life of her own.
I now had a character and a compelling event. Now what?
Sarah Jane is a very wise woman and she realizes that her death is going to be very hard on her husband, Rooney, and Ruth Ann, so she devises a plan to help them with the closure with her death. She doesn’t want a funeral, but wants her family to scatter her ashes in three places. Two are places she’s always wanted to visit but couldn’t because of her illness. The last place is in her front yard between the two towering oak trees so she can feel the morning sun.
Three unrelated observations in my life were combined to begin my novel. I have my character, a compelling event in the death of Sarah Jane, and scattering her ashes will be the catalyst of the novel. From these simple beginnings, I developed other characters. Are they real? What’s really important is that they are real to you.
Out of the Darkness is a thriller.
The check from Amazon from the sale of my books brought a smile to my face. After all, I have two major goals in writing: make money and entertain my readers. I am slowly on the way to achieving both goals. Seeing my bank account grow was very gratifying, but it doesn’t compare to listening to someone tell me how much they enjoyed reading my books. My first thought is I touched someone. I made them feel good. Writing and publishing your own books is time-consuming, tiring, and the marketing of your books is never-ending. I made mistakes along the way (I published the wrong draft of Tanglewood Road and didn’t discover the mistake until three weeks had passed!), but I don’t give up because this is my passion. This past weekend, a friend was telling me how much she was enjoying Tanglewood Road. She wanted to know if it was okay to pass the book on to her friends to read. I had no problem with that, but I did ask her to do one thing for me. Tell her friends about the book if she liked it. Tell her friends on Facebook, Google Plus, email, and any other social media. Word of mouth, social media, and the internet are becoming even more important to new and established authors with the popularity of eBooks growing and starting to surpass print books. I have a web site: http://www.davidmhooper.com and an author’s page on Amazon.com. So, if you feel inclined, tell your friends. Share me!
There were three of us sitting around the table talking about writing and, as our conversation progressed, I was asked why I wrote about a small town in southern Missouri. Most people had never heard of Bolivar in my novel The Possessor; their point being why not a location near Kansas City where the novel begins. That was easy. I was familiar with the area I wrote about. I had walked those same cow paths, waded in Mile Branch, and looked out the East windows of the one-room schoolhouse. Many happy moments in my life have taken place on my Cousin John’s farm just north of Bolivar, Missouri.
I took a correspondence writing course and my instructor was Arlene Chase. Once she scribbled a little note on a piece of paper when she returned a lesson to me. She wrote that she could tell the difference in my writing when I had a personal knowledge about my subject. That is a no-brainer, but many people who attempt to write do not have a personal knowledge of their subject. My new novel, the Peruvian Urn, is about an antique cremation urn. Believe me when I tell you that I have a limited knowledge of Peruvian cremation urns. I went to the internet and started reading all I could about cremation urns and especially those from Peru. I am gaining a personal knowledge of my subject. Will I use all the material? Probably not, but it still will enhance my writing.
Often, what we think is mundane is just the opposite for our readers. We attempt to write a novel such as To Kill A Mockingbird and forget the main reason we are writing: to entertain the reader. Harper Lee wasn’t attempting to write a great American masterpiece. She wrote what she knew and looked what happened! My great niece is a wonderful writer who at the age of seventeen left the United States for school in London for three years. What she sees as ordinary is unique to the rest of us. When a writer attempts to write about those things that they have little or no knowledge of, chances are they will fail. Write what you know and entertain us.
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I am constantly asked by aspiring authors how to self-publish. My answer is always the same: it isn’t easy. It takes time, money, and a lot of persistence. It also takes a thick skin because not everyone will like what you have written. There is a common misconception that once you have finished your manuscript, you’re almost there. I wish that were true. Next, you have to find readers, good readers that will be honest and are not enamored with the fact you have written a book. I give my readers full permission to make any kind of correction or mark on the manuscript except dialogue. Once you make any corrections, you need to find a proofreader. They are indispensable to make sure that your grammar and punctuation are correct. Some will also critique your manuscript.
Let’s assume you publish on Amazon, the first question you have to ask yourself is how are you going to get your book in front of the public. You have to use social media, a blog, web site, and friends. If your friends liked your book, have them post it on their Facebook page or in an email to friends. By the way, this is no different from working with a publisher. Unless you have the great American novel, promotion is left up to the author. While you are doing all the promoting, you are diligently working on your next manuscript. If you want to ask me any questions about self-publishing or my work, click on the Facebook button on this page.