My Constant Companions – Patience & Hard Work

@lkkelley1
LK Kelley – Author of the White Wolf Prophecy Trilogy. #lkkelley #whitewolfprophecy @lkkelley1 on Twitter

“Patience is its own reward,” and “Work hard, and you will realize your dreams”.  These are two quotes that we hear over and over throughout our lives. This leads me to say that patience and hard work are my constant companions.

And, it’s true.  However, if you’re going to be an author, you’d better be totally prepared to be realistic, patient, and work hard without pause.  Why?  Because you are competing with hundreds of thousands of authors all over the world.  That’s even double, triple, or even quadruple the authors, because many have far more than one book out there.

Working hard is just a first step, and it does not guarantee a darned thing.  If you’ll notice, most books and authors that are recognized are on the “Best Seller Lists” – and they stay there.  It’s not often a new author is on it.  A handful of new authors make it big, but the majority don’t.

Is it a mistake for those who make Best Seller Lists to ignore new authors?  Absolutely. So many of my followers are authors – all, like me, trying to just get their work out to the public.  And, they are really great writers, too!

Before I ever began to write, I was (and still am) an avid reader for years.  Books were my getaway from reality.  Going to a bookstore was so overwhelming, because I like so many genres, just trying to choose was a headache!  But, today?  Well, it’s e-books.  Just go to one of the big book sellers online, and see how many books there are for you to choose.  It’s almost impossible to choose!  My problem was, and still is, how to choose a book in the first place!

Well, since I became an author, there are so many amazing authors that are following me on Twitter, that helped narrow choices down for the moment.  So, I have opted to choose my followers’ books.  I just hope I can live long enough to read them!  ROFL!  I am wholly impressed by these authors.

Of course, I think the difference between a good book and a great one is editing.  Now, I’m not talking about editing  to the point that the book bares no resemblance whatsoever to the book that the author wrote, but one that has had collaboration between both editor and author to keep the author’s vision of their book intact while making it read better with the correct grammar, punctuation, and other things.  That is not to say that rules cannot be broken.  They can. After all, it’s imagination that drives all of us as authors.  But, in general, grammar, spelling, and punctuation are the most common complaints among reviewers and readers.  Unfortunately, most authors do not have the money to buy an editor.  I think this is a sad thing.  Being not only an author, but an editor, I can attest to this.

But, back to the main point of my blog.  Patience.  If you’re one of the lucky ones, you’ll be picked up by a large publishing house whether or not you are self-publishing or with a small, independent publishing house such as the one I chose.  But, let’s face it. Most of us will never be picked up, but some of us may make it enough to make a decent living, or even as a supplemental living.

I honestly don’t know if all the work, and PR in the world will accomplish this for any of us, but if any of us quits?  Well, that’s where failure starts.

I am going to admit something to everyone.  I have failed at so many things in my life.  But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the 5 star reviews, which my books have been receiving – and they are REAL book reviews, I never buy them – I have decided, for the very first time in my entire life, that I won’t quit.  Not this time.  I believe in my story trilogy.  It was fun to write them for the adult women who dreamed of the same things to read that I did. And, even those who know me who have read them, never had a clue that I could write!

I kept my books a complete secret from everyone until I had the entire trilogy finished.  Once I did, an old friend of mine I’ve known since Junior High School, and is an educator, flat out told me that I had missed my calling. She could not  believe that I could write like this!  In fact, it stunned her so much, she told me she couldn’t wait for the rest of them, and I’d better not disappoint!  Well, that put me on the hook. I had a couple of others read the first book before I ever published them, and they were so thrilled, they, too, said the same thing.

Now, for me? That was the most flattering thing ANYONE has ever said to me!  With these, along with the reviews that are being posted on Amazon, I realized that I would fail THEM if I quit – especially, when so many people I knew, and did not know, believe in my ability to write?

So.  I won’t quit.  I have made so many friends on Twitter, and other social networks, that if I decided to stop, I would not only fail them, but I would fail myself.

I will not stop, because of all these wonderful people who have so much faith in me.  So much so, that I have begun my second series, and am almost finished with my first book in this new series.  Once it is edited, I’ll have it ready for you.

And, still, I have learned a great deal of patience over the past year and a half.  I have built my Twitter followers from only  18 followers to almost 10K – every single one of them real, and I never bought any!  I won’t buy them simply because I believe in my own books.  I also love tweeting about others books, because I think it’s fun!  I expect to reach the 10K mark within then next month.  Watch for the 1 follower, 3 books coming up!

The Official Photo of the White Wolf Prophecy Trilogy
The Official Photo of the White Wolf Prophecy Trilogy
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My Book Interview on Deadgar’s Dark Coffin Classics

It is fitting that my first #book #interview call-in should be a great TV show like Deadgar’s Dark Coffin Classics with hosts Deadgar Winter, Victoria Bathory, and Celeste.

I had never done anything like this before. Oh, I’ve been on TV, but not like this. Not for anything personal. I had the best time ever with these group of people! It was fun, and they had me laughing at every turn from the moment of the “mic” check to the call after the show. They cracked me up during that as well, and yet were so professional, I was amazed!

The show is hilarious, and they host old television horror flicks – something I absolutely love! Deadgar asked me a while back what my favorite horror movie was. I couldn’t believe that the very first thing out of my mouth was “The Raven” in 1963 with none other than horror greats Vincent Price, Boris Karlov, Peter Lorre, and our own, contemporary Jack Nicholson.

When you have that many greats, you know there’s bound to be some hilarious exploits, and the movie delivered! So, he put “The Raven” on for me a few months ago. He had already invited me to come on the show, but my work schedule was the pits, and I had to find a time when I’d be off so I could devote my time without rush. I mean, I didn’t want to embarrass him, or myself. I do so much better with the written word!

But, Thursday, March 12, 2015 was the perfect day! I sort of knew how things worked due to my own daughter who had been in TV for several years as a producer, but the statistics eluded me. After the mic test, I waited for about 20 minutes until I was on the show.

It was so strange for me to talk to them knowing someone was taping it! But, they put me at ease, and had me laughing. I had to think on my feet. I was prepared for the questions about my book, but not for the off-the-cuff things. However, it was hard not to be able to work with them on the spur of the moment answers.

I highly recommend this show! Wisconsin is so darned lucky to have these amazing vampire characters who have all kinds of comical friends join them on occasion. Quite frankly, I wish I could have been on the set, because they are so much fun! He has been on Channel 14 for the last 2 years, and the show has received numerous rewards. In addition, these wonderful people are extremely active within their community, and have all kinds of fun with their fans!

So, I had the best time, and it went so fast, it was over before I knew it! It was awesome, and I loved every second of it! Thank you, guys, for having me on your show. I can’t thank you all enough!

A Sidenote:  I don’t wear garlic around my neck, because this Werewolf LOVES Vampires!

~~~ LK Kelley, author of the White Wolf Prophecy Trilogy ~~~

From Deadar Winter’s #Website:

http://deadgarwinter65.wix.com/deadgar-winter#!

You can see our TV show in the Kenosha area on Ch. 14 Thursday nights at 9:30pm and Sunday nights at Midnight.

 In the Milwaukee are we on Ch 14 on Friday nights at Midnight, Saturday nights at 10:30pm and Sunday nights at midnight. 

You can also see the show on AT&T U verse ch 99. go to your local links.

You can also see the show out in Jefferson county on ch. 987  check your listings.

If you don’t get those channels you can go on the internet and watch us on  Milwaukeecommunitymedia.com 

We are also on YouTube and the Livestream/Vortex… 

 For our favorite clips you can now watch them on Youtube.com  Deadgar’s Dark Coffin Classics.

The link will be up in about 2 weeks so you can hear it!  I can’t wait!

http://firebird4554.wix.com/white-wolf-prophecy

http://whitewolfprophecymating.blogspot.com/2015/03/my-book-interview-on-deadgars-dark.html

LA CATHÉDRALE DE NOTRE DAME EN HAUSSE!

Le lundi 15 avril 2019, le monde entier a assisté au choc et à l’horreur de l’incendie de l’une des églises les plus historiques et les plus emblématiques.

J’avais 17 ans et, lors d’un voyage avec mes parents en Europe en 1971. Ils ont acheté une voiture et, au lieu d’un voyage comme la plupart d’entre eux, nous n’étions que trois à voyager en Europe et en Angleterre. Je me souviens de ma première vue de la cathédrale Notre-Dame depuis un bateau sur la Seine avec de nombreux autres touristes. L’architecture était si belle que je ne pouvais pas la quitter des yeux alors même que nous nous en éloignions. En fait, c’était tellement inspirant que j’ai vraiment fait ma thèse sur les types d’architecture, étant tombé amoureux du gothique le plus souvent, à cause de Notre Dame. Bien que je ne sois pas catholique, vous n’êtes pas obligé de voir sa beauté.

Les prouesses incroyables qu’il a fallu au fil des décennies pour le construire ne sont que des idées étonnantes, encore moins de pouvoir les voir. L’histoire qu’elle a traversée et vue bouleverse nos esprits aujourd’hui. Mais, maintenant, une partie de cette histoire a pris feu, et nous avons vu la flèche basculer, horrifiés par le fait que cela pourrait se produire.

C’était lundi. Aujourd’hui, mercredi 17 avril 2019, l’incendie est littéralement une autre partie de son incroyable histoire. Nous ne pouvons pas revenir en arrière et annuler ce qui a été fait. La seule chose que nous pouvons faire est d’aller de l’avant. Mais, je le regarde avec une idée différente.

Au lieu de pleurer la perte, j’ai choisi de me souvenir de son histoire et, chose encore plus incroyable, j’embrasse une autre partie de cette histoire – mais cette fois-ci, NOUS en sommes les destinataires! Nous nous en souvenons avant et nous arrivons à faire partie de son histoire de presque 1000 ans! NOUS, et plus de gens que jamais, seront en mesure de regarder la cathédrale Notre-Dame renaître de ses cendres de l’histoire à mesure de sa reconstruction, quelle que soit sa forme. Comment est-ce incroyable? Vivre à une époque où notre génération a la chance de voir une autre partie de l’histoire prendre forme et faire face à une autre partie de son incroyable histoire!

Ne nous attardons pas sur ce qui était, mais souvenons-nous du passé, remercions-nous qu’il n’ait pas complètement brûlé, et regardons-le tous maintenant pendant qu’il AJOUTE son histoire, pendant que nous arrivons à faire partie de cette histoire que nous pouvons raconter à les enfants et les enfants que nous avons à faire partie de l’histoire que nous regardons …

                                               LA CATHÉDRALE DE NOTRE DAME EN HAUSSE!

Notre Dame Rising

On Monday, April 15, 2019, the world watched in shock and horror as one of the most historical and iconic churches burned.

I was 17, and on a journey with my parents in Europe in 1971. They bought a car, and instead of a tour like most do, it was just the 3 of us traveling Europe & England. I remember my first view of Notre Dame Cathedral from a boat on the Seine River along with many other tourists. The architecture was so beautiful, I couldn’t take my eyes off it even as we cruised away from it. In fact, it was so inspiring, I actually did my thesis on types of architecture, having fallen in love with Gothic the most, because of Notre Dame. While I am not Catholic, you don’t have to be to see its beauty.

The incredible feats it must have taken over decades to build it, is just an amazing thought, let alone getting to see it. The history it has been through and seen boggles our minds today. But, now, part of that history went up in flames, and we watched as the spire toppled, horrified that this could happen.

That was on Monday. Today, Wednesday, April 17, 2019, the fire is literally another part of its amazing history. We cannot go back and undo what has been done. The only thing we can do is go forward. But, I look at it with a different idea.

Instead of mourning the loss, I choose to remember its history, and what’s more amazing, I embrace just another part of that history – only this time, WE are the recipients of that history! We remember before and we get to be a part of its almost 1000 year history! WE, and more people than when it was ever built, will be able to watch as Notre Dame Cathedral rises from the ashes of history as it is rebuilt – no matter what form that might be. How amazing is that? To live in a time where our generation gets to watch another part of history rising to meet that which is just another part of its incredible history!

Let’s not dwell on what was, but remember the past, be thankful that it did not burn fully, and now, let us all watch as it ADDS to its history, while we get to be a part of that history that we can tell our children and children’s that we got to be a part of the the history as we watch it rise from the ashes!

NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL RISING!

An Editor as a Reviewer?

I’ve been thinking about this for a while. As not only a professional book editor and author, I decided to ask myself this very question, but I wanted to give an honest answer.

The problem with an editor reviewing books is multifold. As I read, I cannot ignore errors in not only spelling or punctuation, but in sentence structure and the proper use of the words I and me. Every word I read, I am totally conscious of each of these things. While I can forgive some punctuation errors, I just can’t ignore the other types of errors that so many authors make today.

Unfortunately, these errors are not unique and exclusive to new authors, but they extend even into best selling authors. The errors in both are inexcusable, and I have to ask who is editing some of these books? One of the biggest complaints from readers are the improper use of words, duplication of the same things within not only one book, but through to all the others in a series.

Another problem and complaint is spelling. For instance, the use of “passed” and “past” are horribly used incorrectly and interchangeably. However, the most egregious of all errors are the improper use of I and me. I read a sentence today that made my teeth grit. While I will not quote that particular line, it was similar to this…

“Janie decided to go with Tara, Mark, Lonnie, and I.”

I do not understand what our schools are teaching these days, but this is absolutely WRONG! There is a simple test for this. Taking the same sentence, but eliminating all but “I”, read the sentence aloud.

“Janie decided to go with I.”

Now, this doesn’t make a bit of sense at all, so “I” is not the right word. Taking the same sentence, and replacing it with me, yields:

“Janie decided to go with me.”

NOW, change I to me in the sentence.

“Janie decided to go with Tara, Mark, Lonnie, and me.”

This is the CORRECT way to write this sentence. But, for some reason, these errors are not only cropping up in books, articles, short stories, essays, newspapers (online and paper), magazines, and more, but now it is creeping into TV shows and movies! The other night, I heard this same thing on TV, and I just felt my teeth grit, again!

I don’t know what’s going on, but as I said before…the biggest complaints from readers are about spelling in improperly used language. And, I can’t blame them. The only thing I can deduce is that it is our school system who is not teaching English properly.

How to correct this is like going upstream with no paddle on rapids. No matter how much you try to steer the boat a different way, the boat continues to go in the wrong direction, before going over some steep falls.

Concluding my thought and as an editor, I have to say it’s much harder to give a review to a book, or other publication. Does an Editor make a good reviewer? In my own person opinion, the answer is no. I once read a book that was so full of errors and duplications, I had to stop. Yet the book had the potential to be really great!

Good editing can make the difference between a mediocre book and a best seller, but in today’s writings, there are still those books on the best seller list that are horribly edited, yet they are still popular. I can’t figure this one out, but when I do, I’ll let you know!

Stand-a-lone Books vs Series Books

Stand-alone

Or

https://firebird4554.wixsite.com/lkkelley1

In speaking to readers, I found that there are two, distinct differences in their preferences of books.

    Series Books can range anywhere from two books to what seems to be unlimited. They can also include spin-offs for characters that are liked, but are not front and center in the main series. Then, there are the series that aren’t really series, but they are really series. These include stand-a-lone books within a series, and center around two characters with no particular order in some cases, while in others, it may center around sisters, brothers, or cousins, and even in some cases, parents of these. These can continue on and on without end if a writer wants, and is usually based on their fans’ wants. These types of books go into great detail – far more than any stand-a-lone book, and most contain around the same amount of pages. Unless they have a novela, which are usually very short.
    Stand-a-lone books are simple with a beginning, middle, and end. Once it ends, that’s it. There is nothing else that follows. Depending on the detail the writer places into the book, it can be short, medium, or long, and can contain unlimited pages.

Readers have a specific love for their favorite genres, but even more so for series or stand-alone. One group prefers series. They are hooked on a specific character or story, and can’t wait for the next installment. These people are the most likely to stay within one or two genres of books.

Other readers are adamant in that only stand-a-lone books are the best, simply because they don’t want to read continuing books. This could be because they want to read an entire story so they can proceed to the next one. These people are the most likely to enjoy more genres than those who love series books.

So, which is the better choice? There isn’t one. Everything really is relative, and not all of it has to do with Einstein. Relativity can be applied to everything, and that includes books. It is all relative to the enjoyment of the reader, and that’s the truly important thing.

So, pick your type of book, and read to your heart’s content!

Authors – Nothing is Free in Publishing a Book

Yoda said it best. “Do or do not. There is no try.”

I hear many who think they should get services free without paying, thinking that once their book starts to sell, then they can pay the publisher. There are hundreds of thousands of authors a day competing. Whether you go with a publisher or self, you are going to need to spend money. You can’t buy ISBN’s without it or copyright or printing or editors or marketing. If you don’t have money, then learn to market & promote yourself. I spend hours a day doing this. I happen to love it but most don’t.

Would you not pay your doctor or lawyer to help you? These are services. How about a lawn service? Tree service? Automotive service? Hearing aid service? PR Service? Or a LITERARY AGENT? None of these are free! So what is the common thread in this? The word – SERVICE. Just because one cannot see & hold something in their hands does not mean a service isn’t working for you. Would YOU WORK FOR FREE? No.

If you can’t afford it, work hard till you can! But know it may never happen, even if you hire someone. You gain nothing when you don’t pay something. You are gambling your entire writing on making it big. It is a gamble. Think lottery. That’s what all authors are up against. It costs money to do these things.

Stop trying and just do it. I built my Twitter following for my books from 18 followers over 4 years to 34.2K. It wasn’t easy at all. I spent hours a day promoting my own books. I have the best followers on Twitter, and we all share each other’s works. In the last 6 months, I have had several small publishers follow me. Until that time, I had 1 or 2.

Is it hard work? Absolutely it is! But I do it, because I have faith in my writing skills. I also am a professional book editor, but again, it is a service, and I do not work for free. Get out there. Work your butt off. Use whoever else if you can afford them. But don’t complain if you can’t afford a service. No one works for free.

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  • @lkkelley1
  • Appointments – Whose Time is More Valuable

    Friday, I lumbered into my Doctor’s office, well before my appointment time @ 10:30 was scheduled, I might add, because I believe in being before an appointment. After checking in, having to fill out yet another dumb form required by BCBS, and paying my $35 co-pay, I was summoned into the depths of the Doctor’s office by the nurse calling my name. (I mean…who wants to hear their name yelled to one and all? Everyone’s eyes dart to you, glaring as if you are the most evil person on Earth for daring to be seen before them!)

    The room wasn’t ready, but in fact, a patient was still in it! I was weighed, and waited for 5 minutes. Rarely do we spend more than 45 minutes, total, between the waiting room and the exam room. I might also mention that there are only 5 exam rooms, and the clinic is in a school. The nurse lead me into the room, and seemed extremely flustered. The bed had no paper on it, so after she told me to sit in the chair, she rushed out to find some, only to come back a few minutes later, her arms laden down with 4 rolls of exam paper. She threw 3 of them under the counter, and quickly put one onto the bed. She ran right back out of the room, again. She didn’t return for about 10 minutes, then proceeded to ask me the same questions that I had been asked last time I was there. I kinda took exception to the mental health questions, which are subtly buried in your regular health questions, but…I answered them all truthfully. Then, she said,

    “The Doctor will be here in a minute!” yelling cheerfully, as she ran out the door.

    All of this took, maybe 15-20 minutes – still abnormally long. I pulled out my iPhone, and began to read the book I’d started the day before. I was so engrossed, I didn’t really pay attention to the time, until about 30 minutes later, I happened to look at the clock, and no one had come in to see me. About that time,the nurse stuck her head into the room to see if it was empty, so she could get it ready for the after lunch rush. She started to leave, when she saw me in the corner. Surprise was on her face.

    “Are you still waiting???” Her voice kept rising into the treble clef.

    “Yes. I’m still waiting,” I answered.

    “I have no idea what happened! I’ll get someone in here!” And, she left.

    I heard one of the Drs. Speaking to a patient in the next room. I realized that it was the woman who had come into the office 10 minutes after I had. Now, it is possible that her appointment was earlier than mine, but if so, she was horribly late. Finally, I heard the Dr. leave, and I thought for sure, he’d be in my room next. So, I began to read again. After another 15 minutes, I really needed to go. Her face was even MORE shocked that I was still in the room.

    “I am so, so sorry! I have no idea what happened! He’ll be with you in a minute!”

    So, I used the facilities, and shuffled back to the room – only to wait another 10 minutes, before he finally showed his face. Just before he did show up, I had decided I had to leave to get to work. I was losing my time and money attached to that time! So, I was going to go to the receptionist, tell her that I needed to reschedule, but that I had already paid my $35, and had been sitting in the room for 1 1/2 hours, and they could just use that co-pay for the reschedule. (Yeah. Right. We ALL know that would happen!)

    While he didn’t apologize, he was the most subdued I have ever seen. My Doctor talks up a storm! Loves to shoot the bull! I needed to get back to work.

    So, how valuable was my time? About less than 9 minutes worth, because that’s all the time the At Dr. was with me. I had sat for 1 1/2 hours – mostly in the exam room, in a Dr’s. Office with only 5 exam rooms, forgotten, and then, no apology? I guess he thought the nurse apologized, so that was enough.

    After I grabbed a quickie lunch, I drove to the office, luckily not speeding. Oh, but I wanted to speed! I was stewing over the fact I had not only sat and waited and been forgotten at the office, but no apology by the Dr.

    So, over the weekend, I began wondering…Just WHOSE time was more valuable? Is it the person who keeps their appointment on time? Or is the doctor’s more important, because he has a title after his name? What about the person who keeps their appointments on time in any venue, but because the person they may be seeing has a title after their name, they feel it entitles them to keep you waiting as long as they want just because of that title?

    What is the answer? The correct answer is: It depends on who is the person and who is the professional. Which one is the late one? If the person is late, then it is the professional’s time. If the Professional makes so many appointments, they cannot get to the person’s appointment on time, it is the person’s time. Being a professional with some kind of title behind, or in front, of your name, does not mean you are entitled to do whatever you want to whoever is your appointment. It does not entitle you to make the person “wait” just because of “who I am”. Likewise, the person is not entitled to be late to an appointment, only to demand to be seen on time.

    The old argument that “well, the professional went to school for years to learn his business” does not fly in the face of R U D E. If the person cannot get there on time, then either leave early, or reschedule.

    If the professional cannot get to the appointment on time, then do not keep the person waiting forever! That person may be an hourly employee, and is losing THEIR money and THEIR time!

    And, for goodness sakes! If an employee of yours goofs up, just admit it and apologize!

    So, on Friday, I figured up my loss against the Doctor’s gain.

    1. Doctor made $35 = 9 minutes of work after forgetting I was there
    2. LK LOST $55 = 3 1/2 hours of work I missed because I was forgotten

    Apology is all that is needed, but if you are so high up on your own self-pedastal that you cannot show simple common courtesy and respect just because someone doesn’t make as much money as you do, then you shouldn’t be in business at all.

    So, back to the time…my time is no less valuable than my Doctor’s time. When I am at work, my patient’s times is no less valuable than my own time. Lesson over.