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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

What Happened To George?

A funny thing happened to George Washington, Surveyor, Soldier, Leader on its way to publication.

For some undisclosed reason, I found it necessary to purchase my own proof copy after the book had already been released. Upon reviewing the print issue, I discovered some serious errors. Well, to me they were serious. Correctable errors in formatting like incorrect page numbering and incorrect placement of objects on the cover. Most disturbing was a Publisher's Note inserted at the front of the book. In it, my book was described as fiction and stated all people, places and incidents were the work of the author's imagination. This notice came at quite a shock since I'd spent months in research, even purchased a copy of George Washington's own diary to be certain what I wrote was historically accurate.

I contacted my publisher at Dancing With Bear Publishing, listing the needed corrections and even offering to send directions for making the corrections. Since the services of CreateSpace was used to produce the book and I was familiar with their procedures, I knew all it would take was correcting the manuscript and re-submitting it.

Her response? An offer to allow me to buy out my contract at a substantial sum. I turned down the offer, replying that I wished only to produce a book that reflected professionalism.

That was when I received a second offer of release from the contract stating a list of charges I would be responsible for. I won't go into the ludicrous details.

When I turned that down, her reply was an expansive email canceling of my contract and accusing me of being an "author diva."

So, unfortunately I've requested that Amazon remove the print copy of the book from their shelves. I have a couple copies to sell as long as they last and have already gotten a request for one. But there's just a few and they are going fast.

Meanwhile - to those customers who purchased a copy through Amazon - I'll be happy to sign what may turn out to be collector's items some day. George's story will have to go back on the shelf for a while more.



Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Special Project for Wounded Warriors

I'm yielding this space today to fellow author Diane Rinella who wants to share with you her special project for some very special folks.
 

Love, Honor, & Hope- A Benefit for the United States War Veteran’s PTSD Foundation
Eight authors are joining forces to support one fantastic cause. Beginning June 24, 2014, Love, Honor, & Hope,an anthology of eight full-length novels, will be available for 30 days at the low price of $0.99. That’s right, just 99 pennies. The best part is that 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the United States War Veteran’s PTSD Foundation.

PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, affects approximately 19% of the military men and women returning from Afghanistan and Iraq—and that’s just those who have been diagnosed. The percentage is expected to grow as more of our military members seek treatment. It’s a heartbreaking trend for the men and women who sacrifice so much for our freedoms, especially with benefits being cut and promotions being threatened.
The United States War Veteran’s PTSD Foundation is a non-profit charity that focuses on providing FREE care to combat military members, both active and veterans. They can’t do it alone, which is why we’ve made the decision to step up and do something. All eight of the authors have their personal reasons for supporting this cause.

Cherime MacFarlane, author of Heart of the Hunter said, “For me, it’s the way a very quiet man, my uncle, receded into the background whenever a family function took place. I did understand he came back from WWII that way. A young man, easy going and quick to laugh became a recluse. My father also served in WWI, as did a second uncle who returned far from the mischievous young man he was before the war claimed his youth. I was a young mother during the Vietnam era. I had friends who did not come back from Vietnam. I had other friends who did come home but were permanently damaged by the things they saw. For me, this is an opportunity to give back something to the men who served their country when the call came. My uncles and father are gone now, but I do hope, in some small way, to pay it forward for them. This is a tiny step, but as the man once said, every journey begins with that first step.”

It’s easy to sit back and talk about helping our veterans and active military members. To step up and help is something altogether different. We are answering the call for help.

Will you answer? All it takes is for you to log on to Amazon or Barnes & Noble and spend 99 cents, and then hopefully share the great news on our labor of love. Not only will you receive eight full-length novels for your enjoyment, you will also tell our men and women who suffer from this terrible and debilitating illness that we’ve got their backs.

Love, Honor, & Hope is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble from June 24 to July 23. It includes the following full-length novels:
Out of the Box Awakening- Jennifer Theriot
Early One Morning- Aubree Lane
Lost and Found- Jennifer Yarbrough
Scary Modsters- Diane Rinella
Tropical Dreams- Kelly Cozzone
Sisters of the Night- Linda Lee Williams
Heart of the Hunter- Cherime MacFarlane
Piece of Heaven- Sammie J

And here are the links to some great reading for a great cause:
http://amzn.to/1ljKDyl

http://bit.ly/1m5yN68


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Some Thought on Small Presses

I just happen to have two books being released within eight days. Didn’t plan it…just happened.  Both George Washington, Surveyor, Soldier, Leader and Troubled Times are being published by a small press. And that’s where the similarity ends.

I’ve worked with White Bird Press a number of times in the past. They are doing a re-release of Troubled Times, a historical novel set in Civil War times that first saw print in 2005. It’s been out of print for a number of years and such a good story, I felt it needed to be re-introduced to the reading public. So, with three new chapters and a smashing new cover, Troubled Times is available today, June 17th, through Amazon, Kindle, and Nook.

Part of my promotion program is to present it in serial form on Venture Galleries.com, a site where I’ve been a weekly blogger for some time. So far, I’ve gotten some great response and even garnered a super review. (http://venturegalleries.com/author/gayingram/)

The George Washington book is a fictionalized biography about our first president. I went with a different small press after hearing a presentation by one of its acquiring editors. Through no fault of the publisher, my book’s release took a lot longer than I anticipated. Without naming names, I will say through the whole process I felt quite discouraged by the lack of response to my inquiries. The communication was dismal. 

Even though its release date was June 11th, I had to go looking for it on Amazon and a week later, it is still not available in e-book format.

So what’s my point? Just this…don’t be so eager to get your work into publication that you don’t take the time to do your homework beforehand. If you’re considering a certain publishing house, go to their website, read what others who have published through them have to say about their experience. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Our First President's Amazing Arm

Myths surrounds the memory of Washington that earlier generations of children were taught in the classroom...I know I learned it there. For instance, the untrue tale about how he once threw a silver dollar across the Potomac River. 

First we have to set aside the fact that silver dollars didn’t actually exist when Washington was young. The first U.S. Mint building didn't begin operations in Philadelphia until 1793, and the first silver dollar appeared the following year – the Flowing Hair dollar of 1794-95. According to the official mint report, just 1,758 dollars were struck the first year.

Next, the Potomac River is over a mile wide—it would be impossible to accomplish such a feat without the aid of some serious wind.

That being said, his step-grandson recorded a story that Washington once threw a piece of slate roughly the size of a silver dollar across the Rappahannock River, which was only about 250 feet wide near the Washington homestead; this is obviously significantly more doable.


If you want to get insight into our first president's life between the ages of eleven and twenty, I suggest you pick up a copy of my soon-to-be-released book, George Washington Surveyor, Soldier, Leader. 

Saturday, May 31, 2014

George Didn't Chop Down That Cherry Tree

We're all familiar with the story - "I cannot tell a lie" - George's response when his father confronts the boy about his destructive use of a brand-new hatchet. But repetition to the contrary, there's no evidence this incident ever took place.

The anecdote was first published by the biographer Parson Weems in 1809, ten years after Washington’s death. Parson Weems, wrote a book called "The Life of Washington" where he created this myth as a way to show Washington's honesty. His nineteenth-century bestseller depicted Washington's virtues and provided an entertaining and morally instructive tale for the youth of the young nation. 


The Weems text was widely reprinted throughout the 19th century, even included in McGuffey Readers.

Reportedly, the story came from an old neighbor who’d known Washington as a boy. Weems attributes the tale to "...an aged lady, who was a distant relative, and, when a girl, spent much of her time in the family..." who referred to young George as "cousin."

However, it is the only historical source of the story, and as a legitimate source, it isn’t very credible.


When doing research for the writing of my fictionalized biography for young readers, George Washington Surveyor, Soldier, Leader, I had access to a copy of George's diary which he kept while growing up. Within its pages, I found no mention of this incident ever having took place.



If you want to get insight into our first president's life between the ages of eleven and twenty, I suggest you pick up a copy of my soon-to-be-released book, George Washington Surveyor, Soldier, Leader. 



Monday, May 26, 2014

World-Wide-Writing-Process-Blog-Tour

  • Conversation started today
  • Don't do this often enough, but today I'm taking part in a blog tour with Charles Sutherland, a fellow author who writes Antediluvian Steampunk. Don't know what that is? Check out his blog at: http://cdsutherland.blogspot.com


  • What am I working on?
  • At the moment I am eagerly anticipating the release date for not one, but two new books. Well, actually only one is brand new. My Civil War novel, Troubled Times, about some free black families that migrate from Kentucky to Indiana is being readied for a re-release with brand-new material. 
  • My second soon-to-be-released is a fictionalized biography, George Washington, Surveyor, Soldier, Leader. It's written for Young Readers but I think adults will find it an interesting read. I focus my book on his life between the death of George's father and his first Army commissioning.
  • 2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
  • I've never considered myself a genre author. I've published both fiction and non-fiction; my novels are all over the map, genre-wise. In fiction, I've written romantic suspense, senior romance, and a couple historical fiction.
  • 3) Why do I write what I do?
  • Primarily, I say I write about ordinary people experiencing extraordinary circumstances. For instance, Twist of Fate is about a young girl in pioneer times who is captured and raised by American Indians, then rescued and returned to white civilization later when an adult. Second Time Around features a woman whose husband of twenty-five years recently died and she has a chance encounter with a man who could be her first love, a man who supposedly died in a train wreck on his way to ask her to marry him. Morgana's Revenge is about a young woman whose parents were killed in a house fire and because she doesn't get answers, agrees to help the law agency by going undercover as a private tutor.
  • 4) How does the writing process work?
  • It usually begins with a character making him/herself known to me. My most recent completed novel (still in editing format) came about when a young Chinese girl entered my thoughts. What made her extraordinary was she experienced and survived the San Francisco earthquake/fire of 1906. 
  • I'm presently working on a fictionalized biography of Harriet Tubman. She intrigued me when, in the researching of Troubled Times, I learned that besides being known as 'Moses' to the over 300 slaves she helped escape to freedom, she was also a spy for the Northern Army in the Civil War. And so it goes - that spark of interest leads to research, extensive research, because I'm adamant about my stories being historically correct.
  • I hope you found this peek into an author's mind interesting and that you'll take the time to check out all my books at http://amzn.to/QoFN2n and thank you to Charles Sutherland http://cdsutherland.blogspot.com for giving me this opportunity to meet his blog followers.
  • Now let me introduce some fellow writers who have interesting things to say on their blogs.
  • Cyndi Lord lives in NE Texas with her husband on a 150 acre ranch. Her Best-Selling novels are versatile, beginning with They Call Me Murdered, Book One of the Sandra Derringer Series, Nick The Owlet's Adventure,a young readers picture book, and A Plain Wish. This first of an Amish theme series is Amazon's Number One Best Seller in Religious Inspirational. 
  • You can learn more about her at http://cyndilord.wordpress.com/


  • Jean Lauzier is an award-winning author living in East Texas. She’s been making up stories as long as she can remember and has finally gotten around to writing them down. Jean has always been an avid reader and loves curling up with a good book. When not writing or reading, Jean enjoys taking care of her family, trying to train the cat, growing bonsai trees, and spending time with her Doberman Pinschers.
  • You can get to know more about Jean's penchant for dragons at www.jeanlauzier.com.
  • Thank you to all the followers of Charles Sutherland who took the time to check out my blog. I hope I've introduced you to new reading adventures and you'll visit me again in the future.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Plunge into America's Past

If you follow me on Facebook, you know I'm eagerly awaiting the publication of my latest work, George Washington Surveyor, Soldier, Leader. I got word this week it's been sent off to the publisher, so be
patient my heart, it's coming soon.

This book is a bit of a departure for me as I wrote it with Young Readers in mind, but find adults are interesting in learning more about those years in his life between the death of George's father and his first Army commissioning. In my writing, I found these to be critical years for the boy who would one day be our first president.

Another exciting development I haven't said too much about as yet is a novel that first was published in 2002. White Bird Publishing will be producing a new version of Troubled Times later this year with additional content not in the first version.

Now that both of these projects have moved beyond my control, I hope to find the time to devote to this blog.
Question? What would you be interested in reading about here. I'm open to any subject, especially if you're interested in American History or writing.

In the meantime, if you haven't caught my weekly blog on http://venturegalleries.com/author/gayingram/, take a look-see and learn some fascinating history about this great country we live on.

And stay tuned for more news coming soon.