Thursday, August 27, 2009

Jimmy Buffett and Margaritaville

Photo by Eric Stephens

Jimmy Buffet sings, talks about his creativity: writing, music. His books have been at the top of the New York Times bestseller list in both fiction and non-fiction. We all know his can one forget Margaritaville? His business ventures have been very successful with his restaurants.

He sounds good, looks good. I like his humor....


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Nicholas Sparks, Novelist

Nicholas Sparks happens to be my favorite author of recent time, at least since his first novel The Notebook was published.

One Sunday in 1996 I was watching C-Span 2 on books and Larry Kirshbaum, Chairman and CEO of Time-Warner Books was speaking about a novel he had paid one million dollars for. I had met Larry previously so he did have my attention but it was the million dollar advance against royalties that really caught my attention! The novel was The Notebook written by Nicholas Sparks. Larry said he knew the book would be successful and it was already on the best seller list.

As soon as the television program was over I drove to my local small bookstore in downtown Sedona and bought the book because I had to see what it was about Nicholas Spark’s book that deserved such a big advance.

I spent the evening reading The Notebook, loving every word of it, and by the time I reached the last two chapters I had a box of tissues beside me. For me, that has become a standard procedure anytime I read a Nicholas Sparks’ novel. I suggest to have a box of tissues ready at least three chapters before the end of his books.

What I like about Sparks’ novels is the simple yet dramatic flow of his writing, and always a mixture of the ups and downs, the love and sadness of loss, and all the reality of life.

Of course, as it turned out, Kirshbaum was correct in believing in the book. It spent over a year on the hardcover best seller list. And the movie followed. Nicholas has now written fourteen novels and four have been made into movies and apparently another one coming before long.

Here is a short interview with Nicholas Sparks about his writing process. Even though I write myself, I am always curious about the process of other writers.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Publishing with Kindle

Recently I have been reading blogs of several authors who have taken the leap into publishing for the Kindle Reader at

For some authors, it has been books never before published and for others it is their unpublished works.

So with enough on my plate as always, I decided I needed an added challenge! So I have published three books with Kindle this past week.

The first one I decided to do was my novella, The Masquerading Cowboy, a short I wrote some time back and won a writing contest with it. I decided I would try formatting it myself for the Kindle and I was having problems with the formatting such as putting in a cover graphic within the text, and feeling uneasy. So I contacted Joshua at Kindle Formatting and in a few days he had my book formatted and ready for me to upload at Kindle.

But one book did not satisfy me so I did a second one, a nonfiction, A Meeting of the Minds: 19th Century Poet-Philosophers Explore Spirituality, and formatted it myself with some trial and error. I know a little about html coding and actually was able to read the html and correct a few little flaws. It took a few uploads and going through the preview of it a few times, but I finally got it!

So my success with formatting led me to publish a third one, Exclusive Interview With Richard S. Prather, Author of the Best-Selling Shell Scott Mystery Series.

I also began to thinking about my other books and putting them into Kindle editions. So I decided to do two of my published novels and The Dawning and Roulette will be Kindle editions in the coming weeks. I decided not to tackle the formatting on those myself but left it up to my publisher to do so.

I work with my web designer, Judy on my book covers. I give her the idea of what I want and she comes up with it. So if anyone needs a cover for a Kindle book, an ebook, or a POD, visit her website.

One day I may have to break down and buy a Kindle Reader. I only know one person with a Kindle and she really likes it.

I don’t know where publishing is going as the economy has definitely affected the business and in turn all of us authors. Many authors are looking at alternative choices such as self publishing, PODs, ebooks, and Kindle editions. There are pros and cons in moving away from traditional publishing, the main thing being distribution and ending up with only online bookstores and not in brick and mortar stores. Some people will always want the physical book in their hands, not a reading device. But it appears over these last years or so people are very willing to read downloaded books on their reading devices or computer screens. And this young generation is exposed to computer technology at such a early age, sometimes pre-school, they may always prefer to use a computer or reader instead of a paper book. After all, many of them do text or tweet all the time from their handheld devices.

In 2002 I wrote an article about ebooks versus print books and quoted N.Y. agent, Richard Curtis, a well known New York Literary Agent and president of E-reads, an electronic publishing company. He had this to say, January 7, 2002, in a "Publishers Weekly Magazine" article: "How long are we going to endure skeptics telling us that nobody wants to read on screen, when thousands are paying do so every day?" He also stated in response to critics, "Those of us making money in e-books, delivering thousands of downloads every month, paying royalties to authors and publishers, have to wonder what planet these pundits are on." I agreed with Curtis then, and still do.

Will it replace library bookshelves? Probably not, but it may in time drastically change the book market. After all, the world is changing. And probably most of us are using technology now that we never dreamed of a few years ago. Isn’t that right?

Linda Pendleton at Kindle Store


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Change Through Thinking Minds

The world we have created is a product of our thinking;
it cannot be changed without changing our thinking.
~ Albert Einstein

In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true.
~ Buddha

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. ~ Albert Einstein

Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be. ~ Abraham Lincoln

Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. ~ George Bernard Shaw

People's minds are changed through observation and not through argument. ~ Will Rogers

Let us train our minds to desire what the situation demands. ~ Seneca

...And from the mind of a young boy, Mattie Stepanek, a poet, philosopher, and author who, in his nearly fourteen years of living, always had the unique ability to see life and death and our world with the wisdom of an old soul.

Unity is strength... when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved. ~ Mattie J.T. Stepanek


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Inspiration and Peace Through Music

“Until the colour of a man's skin
Is of no more significance than the colour of his eyes.” ~Bob Marley

Peace Through Music, Playing for Change. A coming together through music created by Mark Johnson and developed by Mark and Jonathan Wells over the last four years with incredible talents from all over the world.

During the month of August the new DVD movie of Playing for Change is featured on the PBS channels. Check your listings for it. And visit the website Playing for Change.

This was recorded live at the Starbucks Leadership Conference in New Orleans featuring Grandpa Elliot of New Orleans and Clarence Bakker of Amsterdam, Netherlands and currently Spain, singing the late Sam Cooke’s incredible song, A Change is Gonna Come.

Some time ago I blogged about their song One Love. And on my other blog I posted today their song, Stand by Me.


Monday, August 3, 2009

Barry Eisler, Author of Thriller Novels

Barry Eisler, Author
Photo from his website

I’m intrigued by this Northern California best selling and award winning author, Barry Eisler. He writes fiction, thrillers, based around his imagination and research, and possibly influenced by his career choices: his time in a covert position with the CIA’s Directorate of Operations; graduate of Cornell Law School; technology attorney in an international law firm; counsel in Japan at Matusushita Electric; and a Silicon Valley technology start-up executive. He has a black belt in Judo.

He’s written a series of six books featuring his character, Japanese American assassin John Rain. His latest book, Fault Line features new characters: brothers Ben and Alex Treven, estranged and embittered by a family tragedy, find themselves forced to rely on each other, and their very different talents, to escape a deadly conspiracy.

Barry has written an interesting article, Dead Trees is a Dead Model, about his views on ebooks and the effects on the publishing industry now and in the future as a guest blogger on MJ Roses’ Buzz, Balls & Hype.

I read his blog also. It is not about writing (you can find that at this website) but is about his insightful look at politics and news items.

This interview of Barry Eisler is informative and inspirational for any writer or aspiring writer, or just a fan of his books and/or the art of writing.


Sunday, August 2, 2009

It Should Have Been Jeffrey Saad as Food Network Star

I was disappointed tonight that Jeffrey Saad did not win the Next Food Network Star. I would have watched his show and I’m afraid I have no interest in watching Melissa’s show. I find her draining, and not interesting. Maybe it’s because I’m not a young housewife.

I have enjoyed Jeffrey and he would have brought a freshness to the shows, some of which I am bored with. Hopefully he can find another place to have a TV cooking show, because he’s good at it.