Sunday, July 13, 2014

Jalpa Williby: Guest Blog

Jalpa Williby immigrated to the United States at the age of eight. Faced with many obstacles in the “new country”, including learning English, Williby pushed herself to overcome all of the challenges. A voracious reader, Williby’s adolescence was marked by a promising academic career. After graduating with a Bachelors of Science from the University of Illinois, Williby went on to earn Masters in Physical Therapy from Northwestern University. Her passion for helping her patients led her to a specialty in neuroscience, focusing on children and adults with neurological impairments. Juggling her time as a wife, a mother, and working full-time, her love for books never subsided.

Never the one to shy away from any challenges, Williby’s most recent endeavor is to conquer the literary world. Williby’s debut novel, Chaysing Dreams, has been successful and has received multiple five star reviews from Readers’ Favorite, earning the five star seal. Williby recently released the highly anticipated sequel, Chaysing Memories, which also received multiple five star reviews from Readers’ Favorite. With both novels being Amazon best sellers, Williby is now feverishly working on the final installment of the Chaysing Trilogy.

Why I became an author:
      I’ve read my whole life, and I love escaping in a good book. As a young girl, I used to write just to express myself. Actually, on all my personality tests, I always fall in the “expressive” category, which doesn't surprise me one bit.

I have his crazy imagination, and I've been a storyteller for as long as I can remember. So, about three years ago, I told myself that I'm going to try to write a book. At first, I didn't think I was going to do anything with it. But when I had my sister and couple of my friends read the manuscript for Chaysing Dreams, they encouraged me to publish it. I completely fell in love with the characters and their story, so I decided that their story shouldn't just stop with a few friends and me. I felt that if I didn't introduce these characters to the world, I'd be doing them a disservice. I also realized that I love writing. Not only is it therapeutic for me, but it’s pretty empowering to know that you created something.

When I decided to publish Chaysing Dreams, I didn't want to do the traditional publishing route because I felt that it would just take too long. So, I researched a bit on how to self-publish, and it’s been an amazing ride so far. Chaysing Dreams was published in August of 2013 and Chaysing Memories was published in April of 2014. I'm fortunate that it’s been received so well by the readers. I love getting messages from them on how much they love my writing style, or they've completely fallen for Chayse and Tess. It’s positive messages like these that motivate me to continue writing.

So, as I pursue my journey as an author, I'm currently working on the final installment of the Chaysing Trilogy.  I've challenged myself to write the best story I can possibly write for Chaysing Destiny. I want the readers “there,” right by the characters. I want them to feel every emotion and to remember these characters even after they finish reading. From these series, I want them to find that escape that we all crave in this crazy world we live in. If I can accomplish that through my stories even for a few people, then that’s enough for now.

Jalpa Williby's Books:

Links for Jalpa Williby:

Sunday, July 6, 2014

C.B. Pratt: Guest Blog

C.B. Pratt has lived all over the United States, including California, New York and many stops in between. Having been a professional writer for over twenty years, she is ill-suited to any normal work and hopes to continue writing for the rest of her life. Independent publishing has allowed her to write the things she has always wanted to, including fantasy and steampunk. She is the author of numerous traditionally published books, as well as the Eno the Thracian fantasy-adventure series. RIVERS OF SAND will be released late summer, 2014.  

Why did I become an author:
What else could I be? I started reading when I was three. I ran out of books when I was five. The only recourse was to start writing them myself. But just coming up with stories wasn’t enough. I had to share them with others. That’s the difference between a writer and someone who daydreams. We all have more or less vivid internal lives, fueled by dreams, movies, books, or current events. When you write them down, you take a step into a whole different world, the world of the writer. When you try to sell them, you become an author. You don’t have to be successful to call yourself an author. All you have to do is put yourself out there. 

Going Indie
 You know just how much work it is going to be…or at least you think you do. Then it turns out to be much more work and much more rewarding than you believed.
Like a good few writers working independently, I had a 'traditional' career. But the market changed in a way that I wasn't comfortable with. I used to write romance novels, always with a twist of paranormal or humor, sometimes both. But the market decided that erotica was the way to go. I'm just not someone comfortable with that much 'show 'n' tell', not enough to spend countless hours working on it, anyway. Besides, I felt that I'd said just about all I had to say about love and romance, at least love and romance within the confines of a romance novel. I wanted to expand my voice and my style, just not in that direction.
But if you want to be published traditionally, you must be attentive to the desires of the marketplace. I tried several different pieces but the air went out of most of them before I passed chapter three. Then one day, a voice and a character came to me unlike anything I'd done before. HERO FOR HIRE, the first Eno the Thracian novel, kept me enthralled way past chapter three. I'm on my fourth book about this character and keep finding new depths to explore.
However, no agent could see potential in an epically funny story about an Ancient World where the gods and the monsters are real. Some wanted it not to be funny. Others wanted me to move everything into the modern era as urban fantasy is 'hot'. Ten years ago, I probably would have done that because traditional publishing was just about the only way to break through to an audience. Times have changed, thanks be to goodness. Now I can reach an audience without having to talk anyone into publishing my work.
The marketing end of things does not come naturally to me. But the best thing you discover about indie publishing is just how many people are happy to help you fill in the skills you lack and how many people you can help in return. Indie publishing is 'casting your bread upon the waters' with a vengeance. You may not make a mint, though some do, but you will gain readers who become friends and get to know more writers than you ever would believe possible. And that makes it all worthwhile.

C.B. Pratt’s Books
Eno the Thracian Series:                                                    
Hero for Hire
The Stone Gods                 
Dark Mountain
Rivers of Sand (2014)
Eno and the Dragon (2014)
Clockwork Universe: Steampunk Vs. Aliens Anthology
            The Red Queen and the White by C.B. Pratt

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