Saturday, November 29, 2008

"Proud Souls" eBook---FREE Download!!!

Here it is people...the FREE download to my first novel, Proud Souls. You can read it, print it, share it, link to it, do whatever you want with it.. (just don't try to play it off as your own)...

I only ask ONE thing.... If you read it for FREE...then review it for free on Amazon.com. And if you don't have an amazon account...get one... or buy the book...

~Bobby Ozuna | November 2008
OzunaPub Proud Souls 9780615145273 eBook

Friday, November 28, 2008

"The Other Side of Glory"--November 28th, 2008

There's a gopher in the clouds...

 
As I venture forward to create this second novel I am bombarded with a vast array of memories and emotions. THIS is the reason I have struggled so much with creating the story behind the story of "The Other Side of Glory." So much of myself--the way I was once in a former lifetime--and so much of those men who stood beside me like true friends will be enveloped within the pages of that novel. Some of it will be exaggerated, as that is my perogative as a fictional author, and some of it will be true. Although, I will NEVER confess between the two...that will be left for the reader to determine...them and the handful of shit-asses from the NIS (Naval Investigative Service) and the CID (Criminal Investigative Department) of the US Marines. Honestly, I don't give a shit either way how people feel about this story...because I can list--almost verbatim--the names of the men and women who will appreciate this story. I will write it for them...and I will write it for my own conscience's sake....no one else...

But in doing so I feel the power of the universe tugging at my soul and offering the signs of encouragement for me to write this story. Just this weekend I have been found by two more of my brothers, a Mr. Jeff Emmel and Mr. Dan Borero. I have looked for them online for the past 10 years, trying every social networking site I am a member of and those I am not. And like my friend Manny Loya I came across a year ago, a man I had not seen since 1998/99, and ironically he moved into the same apartment complex as my brother Joe. They spent several weeks together having drinks before the topic of "books" came up and in that conversation, Manny realized Joe was my big brother. After 9 years we were reunited in the same town... How about that? It was at Manny's old apartment off Loop 820 in Fort Worth where I wrote the introductory pages of "The Other Side of Glory", just after his wife fell to sleep and I sipped my last glass of 40-Creek canadian whiskey.

When I received the invite via MySpace for Dan Borero, I couldn't help but think of moments within the dingy warehouse listed (and named) 903 in North Carolina and the stunts we pulled while working there. I witnessed everything from a fanatical Master Gunnery Sergeant threating to "pop a cap" in a loony neo-Nazi for trying to kill him with "Freon Coffee" and I can't help but laugh at the times we skated out of work for the sake of the gopher in the clouds. No, we never saw an actual gopher in our shop...but you wouldn't know that by how desperatley we tried to convince our (3 time) DUI stricken Staff Sergeant Smith who knew only two things: Auburn University was the greatest in the country...and he couldn't leave the shop until "Mama" came and got him...since he couldn't drive on his own anymore.

Boys...it will be good...I promise you that...and it will be as full of shit as Marines are in their misguided worlds of heroism and insanity.

Stay posted for more details.

Oh and by the way...if anyone knows of a Joe W. Navarro...probably a traveling welder somewhere between Montana and Gainesville, TX...let me know. We desperatley need to talk.

~Bobby Ozuna

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

...and THIS is why we help one another....

I met a friend through one of my various social networking sites (I am on about 5 or 6) by the name of Teresa Butler, author of a magnificent children's series called "Simon Says" books focusing on mannerisms, courtesies and sharing. She posted a blurb asking if anyone knew an illustrator for her second book. I had just recently met Marcello Milteer on the same social networking site and recommended him--not sure if he was interested in getting work, but knowing we ALL want exposure. Marcello is the author of the children's book (with amazing illustration) entitled: The Karate Cat. (I bought it for Dominic and he loves it!!!) Anyhow, in the end, it seems Marcello and Teresa were a perfect literary match for one another and it seems he will be illustrating her second book! Kudos to you both!

Remember, you never know how 'what you do' and 'who you meet' and 'what you share with others' will do to help or change another person(s) life... We are artist after all, free-thinkers and the ones who add color to the soul of humanity...who are we NOT to share our gifts???

Read the story below...

Simon Says: The Pain of finding an illustrator

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"Corrido"--a tale of pursuing personal dreams...and the fate of ignoring the whisper of your soul...

I wrote a story once about a young man who was yet to find his place within the creative world. I have come to believe that all people--whether you believe it or not--have a talent and gift unique to ONLY them... and I further believe that if you choose to ignore the inner voice of your creativity, you are hindering your soul's ability to find complacency and peace within the harmony of your life. To draw a contrast between those who are still "seeking answers" and those who have chosen to ignore the inner voice of their soul, I created a story called "Corrido." I hope you enjoy it... and please, share your comments here...
persuing

NOTE: On the Sribd menu above the document, and on the far right hand side, there is a small icon (dark shaded square with a small white square inside)...that icon will allow you to view the story in full screen mode. You can print it or save it and read it later if you wish. This story was used by Ms. Priscilla Lancarte and her graduating English class at Tech High School in Fort Worth, in 2007.

BobbyOzuna_Corrido

Sunday, November 23, 2008

In continuance....with J.K. Coi's blog post...

There are presently 57 comments posted on J.K. Coi's "Living With Immortals" blog where she featured me on Friday morning... since then I have disclosed a lot more than I (think) have before, with relation to The Other Side of Glory (second book to come) and Proud Souls. I think I have also done a great job of letting people see the real me...the Bobby Ozuna that wants to help any and everyone who calls on my service and the side of Bobby Ozuna who doesn't give a shit what others think about my stories...my writing abilities...and how I do both....

I think it was after I reached the 50th comment...that J.K. sent me a personal invite to return to her blog and this time discuss (in depth) the story behind the story for my follow-up novel: The Other Side of Glory.

Click here to read the thread if you missed it on Friday and please, stop by and review the comments...they are deep...borderline threatening...and (allowably) invasive...and I LOVE IT!

~Bobby Ozuna

Friday, November 21, 2008

"PS: We Wanna Know"--November 21st, 2008

I finally made it north of the border....

Today I am pleased to announce my feature interview on J.K.Coi's blog site: Living With Immortals. She host her blog out of Ontario Canada, my first interview outside the US. Please, stop by and read the blog post. I have to say, this is my most insightful and thought-provoking post regarding Proud Souls yet to date. I don't know why it took me so long to share something so deep before now...but hell...it's better late than never right?

(J.K. Coi is the author of My Immortal and Immortal Kiss, both avaialble (now) from Amazon.com.)
Click here to read the blog post on J.K.Coi's Living With Immortals blog site.

Monday, November 17, 2008

"PS: We Wanna Know"--November 17th, 2008

I was recently interviewed on the "Interviewing Authors" blog hosted by Crystal Adkins. She is an independent book reviewer for Kendall Publication.

It took me a while to get the answers just right...you know I am always brutally honest and yet sometimes, I struggle with the rebellious side wanting to say more than the (um...) professional side...

In the end I think the interview went well. I was very pleased with Crystal's interview questions and being long-winded, I couldn't help but elaborate and share more and more of myself. It seems at times there  is so much more left to say when I am done...

Being an artist of any type means having to expose yourself to the masses. No one likes a reclusive author. Maybe that worked in years past but it doesn't work anymore. Part of being in the spotlight means having the courage to become emotionally naked...and it is something I have become very good at....(no pun intended).

Be sure to stop by her site (here) and read the interview post. Feel free to comment too!


Monday, November 10, 2008

New FREE service for my fellow bloggers...

Calling all newbie bloggers...!!!! (And bloggers too busy to design your own work or those who don't care to be "typical" or default in appearance). If you dont' want to use a default banner provided by your blog provider, then please, keep reading...!!!

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One of the great aspects of being "independent" at anything--books, music, art, photography, etc.--is the freedom to learn--and the dire necessity to learn--every aspect of your trade. For me, being an independent author, this means learning how to market and promote my work effectively (which takes time....lots and lots of time...). I can say marketing comes pretty easily for me. Coming up with creative ways to tell people about my work is easy as is posting a new blog every three days. When I started this publishing journey, I was green, very green. I had the ideas but didn't have the know-how much less the resources for getting started. I viewed other blogs, generated ideas from others and what they said worked and didn't work and went to my friend Jeff Sneed (Onsite Computer Repair) for help with the design and implementation of my website: BobbyOzunaOnline.

We worked together diligently (as I am a very impatient man) and often to come up with a look that was unique to my character. I didn't want to have the general author appearance, which is commonly drab and plain. I felt I brought more to the table. When we finished I told Jeff I wanted to know what we did and I didn't want to bother him anymore with the technical aspects. I wanted to learn how to do it myself...and for the most part...I did.


With Jeff's help and direction I began updating and changing the look and feel for my website. From there I wanted to start customizing images and doing some of the graphical work myself. And like everything else I have ever done in my life...I picked up a book, spent some time on Google and slowly, very slowly, I started to become more comfortable with creative digital design. That takes me to the point of this blog.

I recently offered a service to my fellow authors to have their books online profile changed from the standard dimension look to a 3D image (see, 3D book cover design here). I am offering this service at a very low rate in comparison to other professional design guru's because I need the practice and I want the business. My next service I am going to offer--FREE for now--is my banner design for websites & blogs.

Below is a sample of my latest work I created for poet Jessie Kamp of South Carolina. I created this blog completely free to her, asking only that she post it on her blog and tell others about my work. Like any grass-roots campaign I am starting at the bottom but offering the BEST of my abilities to anyone who is looking for a custom banner for their blog.


If you are interested, please use this blog to contact me. Send me a link to your blog site and I will collect some pictures--of yourself, book cover, etc--and implement a blog banner you can post and share for absolutely FREE. If you have images you wish to incorporate (please be considerate of copyright laws when submitting images) into a blog banner, I will follow-up with an email address where you can send them and start work on your banner.

I look forward to hearing from you...and please...by all means...spread the word!!!

~Bobby Ozuna




Wednesday, November 5, 2008

"Project PS"--November 7th, 2008

This is your chance to have YOUR review featured in the hardcover edition of Proud Souls!!!

If you have already shared a review of PROUD SOULS on Amazon.com, you are automatically in the running. For those of you who have considered writing a review, please, give me a chance to sway your minds...

In the hardcover edition of my book PROUD SOULS I am going to feature READER REVIEWS in the opening pages. Just as you open a best-selling novel with feature reviews written by major presses and magazines, I am going to feature YOU....my fans...in the same manner. So, if you want to see your name and your thoughts of my novel in the opening pages of this new edition, please, navigate to Amazon.com and post your review.

You don't have to be a professional reviewer to share your thoughts and you are NOT obligated to write a good review for my benefit. Trust me, I was a reader LONG before I became an author and it's only right and fair to your fellow book lovers out there [that] you are honest with your feedback. Write down a few lines on how you felt when you read the book or share a favorite passage, it's that easy.

If you ordered the book on Amazon then you already have an Amazon.com account--which is required in order to post a review for any product sold on the Amazon storefront. Simply navigate to the URL below and click the button that says "Create Your Own Review" It's THAT EASY!!!

By the time the final cover is finalized, I will edit the original PROUD SOULS manuscript and add the reviews shared by my fans (YOU) within the opening pages of my novel. Then, as long as PROUD SOULS sales under my publishing company, your name and your thoughts will be viewed by the reading world. It's my special way of saying thank you...and proving just how much each individual reader means to me. I am fond of saying, I will make PROUD SOULS a best-seller...one reader at a time...and this is my chance to prove it...

I hope this gesture will be enough to sway you to consider sharing your thoughts on my novel, PROUD SOULS.


Thanks for the support everyone! OH! And don't forget....you can still share your thoughts and feedback on the new hardcover image, by visiting my previous posting and sharing your input.
~Bobby Ozuna

"Project PS"--November 5th, 2008

I have added the new picture...the one with the clouds breaking through over the cabin... Please tell me what you think...this may (or may not be) the one... Keep the comments coming!!!




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Okay, so my mini-vacation lasted a bit longer than usual....sorry!!!


I can promise this much, I have been busy since returning from my fishing trip with my family, but I haven't been operating at full-speed ahead..yet. I am happy to announce the new ISBN's have been ordered for my new editions to Proud Souls. What this means is I will FINALLY release the electronic (eBook) version of Proud Souls, which will probably retail for just under $9~10 bucks and within weeks following (maybe just after or just before Thanksgiving) I will release the hardcover edition.

I am still fumbling between cover ideas for the hardcover edition. I could offer the same image cover as the trade paperback but I wanted some variety, like the major book publishers offer with their books. Below are some potential cover images for the hardcover edition. I'd love to know what you think!!!

This photo above is an actual picture of Justin's cabin sitting on Lake Kemp in Seymour, Texas. It almost gives you an identical view of what Justin is looking at each night while he drinks himself to sleep. You can see the small hill across the lake and see (at least) one small Mesquite tree by the water's edge.

Although Justin drove a 1952 Chevrolet pickup truck, this truck is very similar. Not being the truck expert, I believe this is a 1954 model. I took this photo behind an old garage that reminded me a lot of what The Hawk's Nest would have looked like prior to becoming the small town watering hole. Something about the rustic look of this old truck seemed to epitomize the attitude of Justin Bower.


Here is another angle of the same pickup truck. You can see the Texas license plate which identifies the setting of my novel.

This is a shot of the old tire shop I found in Seymour back in March of this year. Behind this tire shop is the old rusted Chevy pickup truck. Again, this garage reminded me a lot of what The Hawk's Nest may have looked like prior to becoming the town's bar.


Let me know what you think of the images...and if you feel I am way off...I can get back to the drawing board...


I will be sure to notify everyone of the eBook release and also of the upcoming hardcover edition.

Be sure to catch my upcoming interviews....I will have two written interviews posted on various blogs online and one LIVE interview on a national broadcast radio station!! Stay tuned for more details!





Thursday, October 23, 2008

I am out of the office!!!



It has been a very busy and stressful few weeks for me. I have worked diligently to bring as much helpful and insightful information as I could to my fellow author. I hope my posts have helped many of you find your way closer towards obtaining your publishing and marketing goals. And I am happy to say, it's time for a break!!! I am going to be "out of the office" until Tuesday, October 28th. I am heading to the coast--Port Isabell/S.Padre Island--for a deep sea fishin' adventure with my family.

This will be the first time my father Robert...my two brothers, Joe & Ralph...my nephew Chris...cousins Johnny Creek, Cruz and "Little" Paul...will fish together, especially a deep sea fishin' trip. Also coming with us are some very special friends...the kind of friends that are good enough to call family.... My long time friend Jeff Sneed... my fellow brother from the Marine Corps, Manny Loya...my brother Ralph's best friend Phillip...and a friend of the family who has been around as long as I have lived...Kevin Queppet.

I can't wait to get on the road tonight...and watch the sun come up to our East as we pass the Corpus Cristi area...heading southbound towards the Rio Grande Valley...

I will be sure to share some pics...and videos of this adventure when I return...

Until then...happy writing...happy reading...

~Bobby






Wednesday, October 22, 2008

GREAT post and feedback for (effectively) promoting your book online...

If you are serious about promoting your work online...take a look at (social media and technology guru) Chris Brogan's latest string (which is still going by the way...): "Promoting Your Book Online."

If you ever wondered...how do some writer's market more effectively than others? And why, if I am trying everything I can to gain exposure, does it seem like some writer's move more quickly up the ladder of success than me??? Well, fear not! You are not alone. Everyone feels that way...including me...and even those who are, well, up the ladder...

Check out Chris Brogan's post on book promotion (title URL above) and read the comments...and learn from those who have been there...and those who are still trying... Be sure to offer your feedback...because that (in the end) is how we learn...grow...and progress...towards success!!!



~Bobby Ozuna

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

"Marketing 101"--Turn your book cover into a 3-Dimensional image

Add a 3-dimension look to your book's cover art...

Another way to add more flare to your book's online appearance is to create a 3-dimensional "box" cover. There are various vendors who offer products to produce such a look and they retail anywhere from $24.99 to $99.99 (and up depending upon your desire to create 3-dimensional videos that accompany your books image).  You can also hire a graphic artist to produce your book's 3-dimension look for a nominal fee. Do a Google Search for graphic artists...that's a good starting point... 


*Disclaimer*

It's a great way to promote your book's cover image, but can be cost (in-effective) when considering you may only have one book cover and the cost of such applications do not justify the return for making one image for your single title. Something to think about...

The idea is to create a virtual image of your book that gives your novel a living impression online. Anyone can create a book cover in standard dimensional rates--as they are all over the Internet. But the idea of presentation--and the fact [that] you care enough about your product to go the extra mile--speaks a lot about how much you believe in your finished product.




I have compiled a quick list of vendors and applications below; some I have found along the way.  Again, they are not cheap. I have learned a lot about Adobe Creative Suite these past few years so I was able to compile the images on this blog using what I have learned at home. I think it's a great way to promote your book's cover (front and back) in a manner that sets your work apart from others...

Each of the box shot (application) vendors will require a front, back and spine image to complete. If you created your own book cover, you should have those files on hand and ready to use. You will want to use the highest resolution (quality) you can.  


Read the note below about my new graphic design SERVICE I am offering other independent authors. If you want to see your book cover turned into a 3-Dimensional image, please, continue reading...


*TruBoxShot Cover Editor 
*Insofta Cover Commander
*3D Box Shot Maker
*533 Soft Box Shot Maker

***********************************************************************
If you are interested in hiring my services...I can create replica images as the ones I posted for Proud Souls (above)--one front and one back cover image--for as little as $20USD (total). 
Feel free to contact me here: bobby@bobbyozunaonline.com. Be sure to put "3D Box Cover" in the subject line; I will get back to you as quickly as possible to discuss payment arrangements via PayPal if you wish to hire my services.
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Best of luck to you!!!


~Bobby Ozuna
"Drawing Stories...With Words"




Monday, October 20, 2008

"Project PS"--NEW Amazon Review! October 20th, 2008

Reviews are very tough to come by these days....I started out strong...then...things just dwindled away...but that's just part of the game...

I want to thank Jessie O., of Goose Creek, South Carolina for her latest review of "Proud Souls" on Amazon.com. I truly appreciate you taking the time to support my efforts as an independent author!!!

I appreciate it so much when people take it upon themselves to share their thoughts, criticisms and feedback of my work with the Amazon community. I can't stress this enough--if you did NOT like the book--that's just something I have to accept. Not every book or style is good for every style of reader. So, if you did or did not like it, I want to hear about it. I think the readers out there searching for a new book deserve to hear honest feedback, whether it's good for me or not. I have nothing to hide...

So, if you've read the book...take a moment to share your thoughts with others...naturally...it would help me because it gives my work credibility.... Click here to post a review on Amazon now...

If you haven't read it and you are interested in reading the thoughts of others...click here to read more...





Saturday, October 18, 2008

"Project PS"--NEW book formats coming soon!!!--October 20th, 2008

I am pleased to announce two new book formats for Proud Souls which I will release before the end of the year!!!

The first format which will be released in November of this year is the eBook version of Proud Souls. This download will be available for under $10USD. I should have released this format long ago, but there were many "particulars" I was not comfortable with in relation to how eBooks are released. I could have chosen from many vendors, such as the (ever-coming) popular Lulu.com, but being I have maintained my independent publishing company "in line" with the corporate giants, I felt it was imperative I released my electronic version with the same options, availability and security offered by the more established book publishers.



















Proud Souls on Amazon

The second format to be released this year will be the hardcover. I am going to offer a new cover with this format. I am working on the cover changes now and once I find the right look, feel and image, this book format will be available for the standard retail (hardcover) cost of $24.99USD.

I am also busy working on the initial production stages of creating Proud Souls as an audio book/CD. Knowing how much I hate the sound of my own voice, I am debating whether to allow a guest to read the book in its entirety. Still fumbling around with ideas...

Please stay tuned for more details...

~Bobby Ozuna

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"Under the spotlight at Melly's Spot"

Recently I was interviewed by the witty, incredible and super talented Melanie Anderson, author of "Racing for the Shore" (Linden Bay Romance, LLC), among several other titles. I have to say it was a very unconventional interview I believe you will find very entertaining. I mean seriously, just imagine an interview with me and the words My Little Pony???


Click the URL above (or click here) to navigate to my latest interview. Don't forget to leave a comment!!!

Click here to subscribe to my blog, "Drawing Stories...With Words" if you haven't done so already to stay current with my latest updates on "The Other Side of Glory", blogging and marketing tips and reader interviews.


~Bobby Ozuna
"Drawing Stories...With Words"

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"Drawing the Story"--October 14th, 2008

You must create a past...to understand the future...

If you have ever struggled with starting a new story and somehow get caught up in the "rules" of writing...here is some information to help push you along. You are NOT alone. Every writer--I don't care who they are or what they say--struggles to create new stories. The struggle is part of the journey that makes "The End" worth it. If you don't believe me...pass a sheet of paper along to someone and give them a pen and ask them to start writing...and see what happens. Pay close attention to the blank stares on their faces and the struggle to find any word--the first word to put on paper! It's time to step over the excuses and write...

*Disclaimer*
I do not...have not...will not...care about any writing rules at this point in a story. The beginning stages to anything you write are simply free flowing creative thought...nothing set in stone...nothing that can't be altered or changed at any time... So don't ask about an outline (what's that?) or grammatical rules or rules of structure, plot or storyline. They do NOT matter when you are writing a draft. You need to learn to free yourself from all the silly nonsense teachers, writing instructors, writing books and experts have put into your little head...and simply write. Write...write...write..

Create a past and build some history for your characters...

If you want your characters to start "talking" to you and opening themselves up within the imagiation of your mind, to help you formulate a better fictional story...well, first you have to build them a past--a history of who or what they were--in order to better understand their future.

Let's pretend you have an idea for a story. Let's also pretend the story begins with a particular character--someone you like or don't like or do or do not understand. And let's go another step further and pretend you have an "idea" (no matter how vague) for what their story will be about. (You can exclude any consideration for genre by this point, because you don't know where the story is going and to limit the storyline to a particular genre, then you are limiting your ability to create an amazing story for another rule--story genre!!! Don't do it!)
Back to what I was saying. Let's take a character...make him male..or female...whatever you choose and let's say she or he is sitting in a coffee shop or sitting in their car, parked outside a movie theater or sitting in their cubicle at work. Picture the very first image you draw(write) on paper as the opening scene to a movie. The audience (your readers) see them, sitting wherever they are sitting. Now, what from their surroundings can we the audience learn by watching their movie or reading your story???
You have to ask yourself some important questions...questions you would ask if you were watching a movie--having NEVER seen a movie trailer or heard what the movie is about. What would you ask yourself? Because what you would ask yourself...is what your readers will ask of you!
*Who are they?
*Where are they from?
*What do they look like?
*Why are they there...in your opening to the story?
*What are they waiting on?
*How did they get there?
*What is they struggling with?
*What is their name?
*Do they have a family?
*Where is there family?

This is a basic approach to how I create characters that later reveal themselves to me and introduce me to their story. Here is a test...to see if anyone is listening...
...There is a man standing on the seashore...barefoot...overlooking the waves of the ocean crashing against the surf....

Who is he?

Tell me about him here on my blog....

~Bobby Ozuna
"Drawing Stories...With Words"

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

"PS: We Wanna Know"-- October 8th, 2008

"PS: We Wanna Know" is my dedication to responding to as many readers and fans as possible. I believe as a writer I owe it to the fans to make myself available, whenever they want to learn more about how I came to write the stories they love. And from an independent/self-publishing standpoint, I owe it to the countless other writers out there trying to "make it" to offer insight into my success as a self-published author, whether that be in guidance, inspiration, approach or simple tips & tricks to help them succeed.

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Renee V. of Euless, Texas asked the following questions:

Q:) What inspired you to write this story?
A.) The true inspiration for this story came from the quiet of the cabin--Justin's cabin and the need to share the pattern of life in which most of us--many of us--go from a place where we give up hope and travel long and hard to return to a place in time where we believe again.

My visit to Seymour and Lake Kemp in 2003 is what triggered the emotions the audience feels so heavily in the opening chapters. The solitude of the night--off the lake, on the porch swing--are the images that forced my hand to begin writing this story. My weekend in Seymour at that cabin with my friend Ralph Ponce and his family was just what I needed to bring a balance back to my soul in relation to my writing. When I returned home with my family that Sunday night I began drafting the opening pages that once upon a time were entitled "The Cabin" and later became "Proud Souls."

Being I write all my stories free-hand first, I still own the original composition book where I wrote the entire draft for this novel. It's tattered and worn out now but soon I am going to scan some pages and post them online for my audience to view. It's amazing looking back today some five(+) years later when reading my initial thoughts on this story; the opening paragraphs are almost identical to the words in the finished (opening) chapter. I think it's cool to stare at the worn out pages--the place where a character and a story began...back in the summer of 2003...


Q:) Who or what was the inspiration for your characters?
A.) That's a very good question and I honestly don't have a direct answer. Most of my characters are symbolic of the emotions we all share as individual beings. Each of them know love, hate, lust, anger, rage, happiness, joy, loss and the feeling of accomplishment--the same as each of us reading these words on my blog--and more importantly, the same as the author. But that does not mean my characters are autobiographical in any way. In relation to Proud Souls, Justin Bower is nothing like Bobby Ozuna, although; Bobby Ozuna loves a dark corner of a bar and solitary moments with a good stout drink just the same. But I am not the only person who has moments where they feel that way. I focus a tremendous amount of energy on studying people--how they move, react to verbal and physical communication and especially the power of the unspoken word. What people do when they don't speak is more powerful than any actions they take when they do. I find the human struggle fascinating and I believe we are here to suffer...living souls entrapped within decaying bodies...and that concept contradicts the very nature of our spirits. Our spirit is what gives us the youthfulness to live, by the full meaning of the word.

In relation to my heroine, Tessa Jameson, I naturally couldn't be any part of her being she is female. But that doesn't mean as a living being I haven't felt the urge to love someone greater than myself and wish for the touch of a special someone who buckles under my fingertips. Tessa James symbolizes the ideals of unrequited love--loving someone who doesn't love us in return. She holds no prejudices to the notion she may not want the person after she obtains their heart or mind. For her, the idea of someone holding her at night is enough to wipe away the years of loss and agony and loneliness. What we see on the physical realm however is her sexual prowess. And unfortunately for her, like many of us, our earnest desire to love someone is often translated in physical form--i.e. sexually--and in small places (small business, small offices, small towns) it is interpreted as being promiscuous and ultimately misunderstood. And worse, we're often judged.

The final two characters--Reverend Hillard Ray Polk and Ralph Winslow Parison--each represent the two mental mindsets by which much of the world makes its decisions--and the author (me). Reverend Polk represents man's desire to believe in something greater--a higher spiritual power--in whichever form you choose. Ralph Winslow Parison represents the secular approach, being the physical laborer. Each one may represent an aspect of me as the author, but like most of my characters I create, they ultimately represent us all. They are not me and I am not them...but then again, I am fond of saying...I confess my sins with my characters...


Q:) How hard was it to get in touch with your feminine side in order to create such detailed descriptions for Tessa?
A.) Haha, I wasn't aware [that] I had a feminine side. But I hope I am safe in assuming I did a magnificent job with her character or you (as a female reader) wouldn't have asked about her???

Oh boy, I have to be careful with this response, because this is where, if I am not careful, my name could become synonymous with the word [Romance] as opposed to simple [literary] fiction. But here's goes nothing ladies...

My official answer: It was easy to create Tessa Jameson and hard to put her on paper. If I missed the mark in relation to creating either of my male figures within the story--Justin, Polk, Parison--it would have been perfectly acceptable. If I said something that was rude or derogatory towards any of the male characters, I would have been excused by a greater percentage of readers because the assumption would have been, it's okay, he's a man...he can say those things. But as a male author, should I misinterpret the emotional and physical embodiment of the wonderful female species, it would have been like committing literary suicide. It's the type of mistake [that] if made, could be career ending for someone like me just breaking into this business.

My trick for creating such a realistic female character (both emotionally and physically)? I used the same technique I apply with EVERY character I create...find common traits that apply to the vast "majority" and focus on them. I can't get into much more detail than that without giving away too much information or sound like a pervert...but let me say this one last thing about her Renee: I spent more time drawing her character than any other in the book--and she's not the hero of the story--but it didn't bother me. I loved every minute of it... (yes, I am smiling).


Q:) Is your next book going to be like the first? And will your next book have a romance story in it or will you go in a different direction?
A.) "Proud Souls" will be nothing like "The Other Side of Glory." I believe a writer shouldn't be limited to the [type] of work they produce. Take Stephen King for example. If you read his early works you might think he was evil and his later works might lead you to believe he is a spiritual man. I think he is neither and both. He is a writer, the same as me. "The Other Side of Glory" will follow two men, Joey Allario and Mikey Alaniz as they "come of age" within a Marine Corps setting, based in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. This will NOT be a war/military story in the sense it is about bullets and storming hills but rather about life and the concept of Good and Evil.


There will be two "love" stories within this next novel (I am a sucker for a good romance story anyhow) but those stories will be seem from two different perspectives. You will have a Good character who falls in love with the idea of having a nurturing woman around and opposite that story, you will have an Evil character who does more nurturing to a battered woman. This [romantic] theme is not the basis of the entire novel--just as it wasn't for "Proud Souls"--but I believe every good story should focus on the connections between man and woman and how they affect our lives, for good or for bad.

Q:) Was this meant to be a romance story?
A.) Haha...there you go again Renee. I wasn't aware "Proud Souls" was a romance story??? But if that is what you took away from the pages, then I am content to accept that because there is a subtle romanticism to my novel. It was important as an author for me to find a different way of bringing about the "lost hero." I could have used the challange of a fight from another male, the call to arms by hoards of men around him or any other cliche means to make Justin snap out of his loss and make a decision to live or die. I felt the most important physical and emotional power in this world--the type that can alter a man's way of life, for good or bad--would be the power of a woman. But in this case, not just any woman. The woman who was going to help Justin recover such a tragic loss and come to terms with his past would HAVE to be the right woman...and for me...luckily, it came in the form of the lovely woman dubbed "town whore"...Tessa Jameson.

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If you have questions you would like to present as part of this blog, send them to: bobby@bobbyozunaonline.com with the subject line of: PS: We Wanna Know.
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I want to thank Renne V. of Euless, Texas for her very thought provoking questions. In my next blog segment of "PS: We Wanna Know" I will answer the questions of another reader. So send them in!!! Don't be bashful ...

Stay tuned for more insight into how I have successfully published my own novel, "Proud Souls" along with marketing tips and tricks, and last but not least, my mental journal of writing my second novel: "The Other Side of Glory."

Oh! Don't forget to subscribe to this blog to stay current with all my content updates!!!

Thanks,

~Bobby Ozuna
"Drawing Stories...With Words"

www.BobbyOzunaOnline.com


Monday, October 6, 2008

NO SOUP FOR YOU!!! I mean, no more newsletter blasts...

NO SOUP FOR YOU!!! I mean, no more newsletter blasts!!!

Okay, so I stole the Soup Nazi's line...it's okay though...I'm a HUGE FAN!!!

In order to stay current with pressing technological advances for this blog, I have opted to throw out the news list/newsletter (blast) in lieu of my new blog feed. For those who don't care or understand the difference, well, here is a brief breakdown.

A newsletter blast is the traditional means for keeping readers (of blog or website content) current with "what's happening" within that particular domain. It's a manual procedure--that for me--takes too much time...time I can be spending writing new material!!!

A feed (reader/manager program) is a tool that allows content to be submitted to a group of readers automatically, each time the content for the (blog or website) is updated. So for me, each time I post a new blog, each of the people previously listed in my Newsletter database will now get the content submitted via email, directly to their inbox!

I am using FeedBurner as my host for maintaining the content and I have transferred my news list contacts to my Feedburner database. So, now you can stay current with each of my blog postings instead of waiting for me to get around to compiling a Newsletter to send once a month or every other month.

For those of you who have NOT subscribed to my blog, click the image below and you will be taken to FeedBurner's syndication page for my blog--"Drawing Stories...With Words." Once there, you can choose (if you already use a feed reader to read blog content) your own feed reader option or simply choose the option to "Get Drawing Stories With Words delivered by email..." Enter in your email address and you are done...


IF this doesn't work for whatever reason...try this link to subscribe via email...


Thank you for the support everyone!!!

~Bobby Ozuna
author of PROUD SOULS

Friday, October 3, 2008

"Project PS"--30 Minutes and we are LIVE...!!!

It's Friday night, October 3rd and I am minutes (literarlly) from my LIVE podcast interview with the host of Blog Talk Radio's--"The Odd Mind."
I have notified everyone I know...via email...via text...via MySpace post...Facebook...Book Marketing Network...Twitter...Gather...my blog and especially the good ole' word of mouth...
This will be my biggest platform for reaching the largest audience in one sitting I have had since starting my career as a writer... I have had book signings...I have been on the radio...I have been interviewd on paper...in person...I have spoken at schools...libraries...and to everyone I meet about my novel, Proud Souls. I have told myself this tonight...if I only reach one listener...and that one listener becomes a fan...and in doing so buys and reads Proud Souls...then it was enough...because I have said, if I have to win the world over...one fan at a time...I will...
I look forward to your comments...
~Bobby
PS: There is now 25 minutes to go...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Win a FREE autographed copy of "Proud Souls" this Friday!!!

As everyone should know by now, tomorrow--Friday, October 3rd--is my Podcast interview with Angel Lesa, LIVE and UNSCRIPTED via BlogTalkRadio's, "The Odd Mind."


This will be--by far--my biggest platform. This is my greatest opportunity thus far to reach a new set of fans....a new audience...a greater reader-base...and I am as terrified as I am ready.

One thing I will be doing to help encourage listener support is offering one complimentary autographed copy of my book, Proud Souls to one commenter to my blog. Anyone who posts a comment to my blog--on Friday night--will automatically be included in the drawing and I will announce the winner next week. Be sure to post a comment that links to your email or web address so I can contact you!!!


All preparations have been made, with the exception of one slight change. Angel Lesa will not be able to interview me, as we have a schedule conflict, but her associate--Yvonne Mason--will be hosting the interview at the originally scheduled time, 8~9PM, CST.

Here is the web URL for the podcast interview: BlogTalkRadio--"The Odd Mind"

Be sure to set your reminder and listen in! If anyone knows me, an hour is a long time, but when dealing with Bobby Ozuna, it's just a moment...because I can talk!!!

~Bobby Ozuna
"Drawing Stories...With Words"







Monday, September 29, 2008

"PS: We Wanna Know"--September 29th, 2008

"PS: We Wanna Know" is my dedication to responding to as many readers and fans as possible. I believe as a writer I owe it to the fans to make myself available, whenever they want to learn more about how I came to write the stories they love. And from an independent/self-publishing standpoint, I owe it to the countless other writers out there trying to "make it" to offer insight into my success as a self-published author, whether that be in guidance, inspiration, approach or simple tips & tricks to help them succeed.
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Jessie O. of Goose Creek, South Carolina asked the following questions:


Q:) I really enjoyed you blog post on MySpace. I was wondering if you could provide me with some info on what kind of writing advice you give?

A.) Jessie, I give tons of advice on an everyday basis. I pride myself in my willingness to help other artists--especially writers--get where they want to be with relation to their work--in print and available for purchase! I have tried to make myself available the past year to anyone and everyone who has questions related to the (indy) publishing business. I wouldn't call myself an "expert" but I have learned alot in the past two years and I have given away the information freely, in hopes that my experiences might help ease the burden and the pains of self-publication for other writers.
Now, in relation to writing advice...well...there is truly only one bit of advice that counts: Write and write often. I try to write at least 5 days per week for at least one hour. Normally, I write for 2 hours a day, seven days a week. With practice, you will improve. And to answer the question (I had when someone told me that a long time ago)...how do I know my writing is improving if I have no means to judge it? Well...read quality writing in the genre you wish to market and in time, you will (1.) pick up your own voice and (2.) gain a better understanding for quality work and clear and concise language use.

Q:)
Are there any scams for new writers you would warn about?

A.) Like any business, there are always scams people should be wary of. I have been fortunate enough to say I haven't fallen victim to any of them out there--and yes, they are out there. The best advice I can give is this: Before you sign-up, sign or partake on any business venture with relation to YOUR writing or YOUR stories, efforts, name or money--do your research first!!! And, if you find something is not on the level, share it, immediately with everyone you can. Accoutability is the best way to lessen the scams out there facing artists.

Q.) Is there ever a charge for your services?

A.) No, I don't offer any services to anyone that would cost them any money. As of now, I provide as much helpful information as I can related to all things publishing, marketing and writing...free of charge here on my blog. One day I plan on releasing a brief how-to self-publish eBook with generalized information and topics to consider for anyone interested in releasing their own title. I am projecting a potential online release date of January/February 2009. And even that particular eBook will cost $10.00 or less.

Q.)
I have been writing for a long time and have begun work on a book that I am very excited about. I have never been so engulfed with a story. I would love to get the inside scoop on "finding your own voice" that you mentioned in one blog entry. What exactly do you mean by this?

A.) That is a very good question and an important topic to address. A writer's own voice is the very essence of a writer's gift and soul and the place where natural born talent, hard work and many hours of practice come together. I noticed early on in my writing [that] if I was busy reading a particular author's work and trying to work on my own story, parts of my story seemed "similar" to the author I was reading. If they were methodical and slow in detail, so was I. If they were brief and short, my writing was also.

To find your own particular style and pattern for drawing stories with words you will need to spend countless hours developing that voice by practicing the craft on a daily basis. And I did say daily. Writing is not a hobby and if it is, then I wouldn't recommend tackling the novel. Stick to short-stories or poems. If you are serious about developing your writing skills--then find time everyday to write something--anything, as long as it's new material. In time, you will develop a pattern of style, voice and approach with relation to your creative ideas...and that my dear friend Jessie is a writer's voice. It's the beautiful balance of what you were born to do with what you learned to do--over time.



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If you have questions you would like to present as part of this blog, send them to: bobby@bobbyozunaonline.com with the subject line of: PS: We Wanna Know.
******************************************************************************

I want to thank Jessie O of Goose Creek, South Carolina for her questions. In my next blog segment of "PS: We Wanna Know" I will answer the questions of another reader. So send them in!!!

Stay tuned for more insight into how I have successfully published my own novel, "Proud Souls" along with marketing tips and tricks, and last but not least, my mental journal of writing my second novel: "The Other Side of Glory."

Thanks,

~Bobby Ozuna
"Drawing Stories...With Words"
www.BobbyOzunaOnline.com

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Countdown to "The Odd Mind" with Angel Lesa

Just a reminder...mark your calendars!!!

In exactly 5 more days I will go LIVE with Blog Talk Radio host Angel Lesa's podcast show--"The Odd Mind!"

Date: Friday, October 3rd
Time: 8~9PM, CST (LIVE)

This is the number you can use to call in, should you wish to participate with questions for the author:: 347-945-7025.

There is also a chat-room feature you can use to post questions while I am being interviewed.

URL: BlogTalkRadio--"The Odd Mind"



Click here to view the original blog post for this announcement.


~Bobby Ozuna
author of PROUD SOULS
www.BobbyOzunaOnline.com
"Drawing Stories...With Words"

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"Marketing 101"-- September 24th, 2008

Make it easy for readers to locate your book on Amazon.com with the "Buy from Amazon.com" widget in your Blogger blog.

If you have a book for sale, then you are surely doing all you can to make your book not only available to the public but visible to everyone who stumbles upon your blog. It is imperative that although you work to promote your work and the work of others who helped you get where you are, that you make buying your book as easy as possible for the casual passer-by. And one handy tool available to all authors who have a book to sale, is the "Buy from Amazon.com" widget available via your Amazon Associates program. (See image example below)

*Everyone who has something for sale on Amazon can easily join the Associates program and thereby advertise for Amazon and with Amazon.com.*




BUILD AMAZON WIDGET AND COPY HTML CODE:

To add this widget you simply navigate to Amazon.com and login to your account or simply click the [Join Associates] link at the bottom of the Amazon.com homepage. There you will find a quick and easy one page synopsis and summary of the program and also the link to complete your [online application]. Here you will be promoted to logon using your Amazon.com credentials and once through their secure server logon process you will begin setting up your payment options. These options are intended to help Amazon.com determine where and whom to make checks payable to. See with the Associates program, when you allow Amazon.com to post their widgets (although you can physically post them wherever you choose on your homepage or blog site), Amazon.com will reward you with a % of earnings based on sales generated by links from your websites.

Once you have completed the application process (takes less than the amount of time it takes for you to enter your name, address, & telephone) you will be on your way.  Once in your Associates account generalization page you can then select from a wide range of available Amazon widgets to post on your site (such as the one above which is a direct reference to my book) by selecting the "Build Links/Widgets" link on the left hand sidebar.
The whole process can take less than one hour (depending on how much time you want to spend perfecting the color, size, etc.) and then it's on to the next step: Posting the widget within your Blogger blog. The final step before posting the widget to your blog will be collecting the HTML source code. Amazon.com is so gracious, the developers even put a nice easy [copy] button on the last step. Take that HTML code and paste it into a Wordpad or Notepad document for the next step.

ADD AMAZON.COM WIDGET TO YOUR BLOGGER BLOG TEMPLATE:

Login to your Blogger account and @ the dashboard, select the [layout] option. Once in the layout editing screen, select (where on your blog layout you want the widget) and select (either) ADD PAGE ELEMENT or ADD A GADGET.

*You may need to be upgraded to the latest version of Blogger for these instructions to fit exactly. But keep in mind, you essentially are trying nothing more than to add some HTML/JAVA code as a page element or gadget.*

Navigate to the option that allows for a new HTML/Java SCRIPT option. The window that pops up (blank) is now ready to paste your code from previously--that you should have saved in either Wordpad or Notepad. Paste the code within that window and select Save and you are done.


~Bobby Ozuna
Drawing Stories...With Words

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To subscribe to this blog, click the URL below (little dude reading the paper) and either choose your favorite feed reader or simply subscribe via email.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"Marketing 101"-- September 23rd, 2008

Need a spot on the WWW for a relaxed, unscripted, and casual interview to promote your writing style and stories? Or better yet, are you looking for a place to showcase the BEST aspect of you as the person, as opposed to you as the (busy body professional) writer? Stop by "Melly's Spot" and unwind...

I have made a new friend in Contemporary Romance author--Melanie Anderson. She is the author of such works as "On The Run" and "Born to Run" with her latest release "Racing for the Shore." You can view all her works at her homepage: Author Melanie Anderson


Melanie's blog--Melly's Spot--is the place where she showcases her writing, her creative side, her humor and also her interviews of other writers. So, if you are interested in an interview, stop by her blog and contact her. Tell her Bobby sent you!!!

You can also find her on MySpace here.... and yes, I do believe that is "My Little Pony" in the background...

Remember, we artist survive, NOT by stepping over one another...but by pushing and pulling one another up the ladder of success...after all...we are not corporate sharks in a suit!

~Bobby Ozuna
Drawing Stories...With Words

Friday, September 19, 2008

"Project PS:"-- September 19th, 2008

Preparing to enter..."The Odd Mind"...


I am pleased to announce [that] I will be a guest author on Angel Lesa's author podcast show: "The Odd Mind" featured on her Blog Talk Radio show. This interview will be conducted LIVE and completely UNSCRIPTED on Friday, October 3rd from 8~9PM CST.
I am prepared (as Angel Lesa so eloquently warned me...) to answer all things related to my writing style and my writing approach... apart from the size of my underwear!!!

You can navigate to her Blog Talk Radio site or directly to her homepage for "The Odd Mind" above using the reference URL's. Be sure to bookmark the URL's and save the date: Friday, October 3rd, 8~9PM, CST. There is a number you can call to ask me questions as well as a chat feature if you wish to remain a bit anonymous.

You can review the list of upcoming author interviews--especially the listing for yours truly--by clicking the microphone image below.

I expect GREAT things to come from this interview, as "The Odd Mind" has over 16,000 listeners!!! This is a wonderful opportunity for me to shine and (more importantly) tell the world about your favorite novel: Proud Souls.


Stay tuned for more details!!!

~Bobby Ozuna
"Drawing Stories...With Words"

FUND a School Project today!!!

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