Friday, February 22, 2008

A week of Up's...and [a] Down

This has been an interesting week, with good and bad news. On a positive note, I received a new review from the organization: Authors on the Rise. They posted their review just this morning! In an email to me their representative said: "Congratulations--normally for your genre [fiction] it takes a lot to impress Michael [Timlin] this much."

With this latest review, Proud Souls is now posting 16 reviews on the Amazon.com storefront with an overall rating of 5 Stars!!! Click here to read the "Authors on the Rise" book review.
I received a follow-up letter from a new friend in San Antonio telling me she finished the book and also asking that I contact the moderator for the Society of Latino and Hispanic Writers for a potential guest speaker invitation. That group meets on the first Monday night of each month. I am hoping we can set an appointment as I am always interested in meeting aspiring writers and of course, readers!!! Thanks L.E.!!!

I met a new friend and fan from Haltom City, Texas a couple of weeks ago and word on the street is she has become something of an advocate for my novel. I hear she has donated a copy to the Haltom City Public Library and they are interested in booking me for a potential event this Fall. I hope this works out because I love more than anything--talking to and meeting new people to discuss not only my novel, but the process for how I created this story.

My Down for this week has been troubling for me to deal with, not so much because I expect others to like or say nice things about my writing, but more so because for as much as I try to maintain a professional attitude in my approach to meeting people, networking and collaborating with others to help advance our writing careers--I at [the very least] try to remain utterly professional in all I do. As many of you know I have been anxiously waiting on a review from a gentleman in England. This was a completely unsolicited request on my part to have my book reviewed. I received the request for review, packaged the book, topped it with a thank-you letter and then replied to his requests to locate the book as he seemed anxious to read it. In the end however, I received a letter stating he was having a difficult time coming to the determination that he would not review the book. That was the extent of my explanation, not that he owed me anything more than that, but in the end I felt as though I was cheated. I didn't lose anything more than the cost of one book and postage overseas and a few sleepless nights anticipating his response. I told myself not to be bitter as this is the nature of the literary beast...sometimes things work in your favor and others, you simply get a door shut in your face. But I felt (after having reviewed items myself) I was due more than a "not going to do it" response. In my opinion, if you stamp the word "reviewer" next to your name, then you do just that--review books leaving your own personal bias out of the review. If you choose to simply review those things you like and you enjoy, then you aren't a true reviewer but instead an advocate for what you like. I had to get it off my chest because like I said, I felt as though I was owed something more--I could be wrong--but in the end I don't care; that's the way it goes. Sorry it didn't work out Mr. French. Thanks anyways...

PS: We Wanna Know:
In this week's audio segment of "PS: We Wanna Know" I answer Cathy's questions; she had two questions for me this week. In summary, she wanted to know what authors have inspired my writing and what individuals have influenced my choice to write. Click the link below to listen to this week's audio segment where I answer Cathy Kimberly's questions in an unscripted format. http://inotauthor.blogspot.com/2008/02/ps-we-wanna-know-pt-2.html

Bobby on CultureFeast: "The 8-Step Pre-Publication Plan for Self-Published Authors"
For all you self-published authors out there, don't forget to catch my latest article (Pre-Publication Plan) on CultureFeast.com. Click here to read the article. Don't forget to leave a comment!!!

Bobby's Useless Information: Mistletoe
And to close out this week's blog, I am leaving you with some useless information; maybe you can plug it into your own story somewhere. I learned that if you add useless info to your writing it helps keeps the audiences attention. Maybe a particular character throws out the stuff from time to time to help break up the tension in a story. Or...maybe not.

Mistletoe: The practice of kissing beneath the mistletoe goes back to a Norse myth in which Balder, god of the summer son, was killed by Loki, god of evil, and restored to life by his mother Frigga, goddess of love. Her tears became the white berries on mistletoe and in her joy she kissed all who passed beneath. Traditionally, a berry should be plucked for each kiss beneath the mistletoe; when the berries run out, no more kisses may be claimed.
*From The Encyclopedia of Useless Information, by William Hartston: ISBN: 978-1-4022-0828-7*

Thursday, February 21, 2008

PS: We Wanna Know, Pt. 2

In this segment of my audio blog, I answer the question of Cathy Kimberly of Haltom City, Texas where she ask two questions:
First, what authors have inspired my writing and what person(s) have influenced my decision to write.

MP3 File

Thursday, February 14, 2008

PS: We Wanna Know #1

In this segment of "PS: We Wanna Know" I answer a common question dealing with how I came to identify with the emotions of my hero's loss--of Justin's loss--and how those emotions related to me on a personal level.
I had a chance to sit down with a new fan, Courtney Pearce of Bentonville, Arkansas and her family recently and this seemed to be the most important question for her. So to honor her and thank her for reading my novel, I answered her inquiry this week.
Thanks so much for the support.

MP3 File

The Quiet Before the Storm???

Since embarking on my mini-vacation (Stepping Back...To Move Forward) with my family in Arkansas I have sort of taken a breather from working to promote Proud Souls. For those of you who know me, you KNOW how hard it is for me to relax much less do "nothing." But it seems to be a necessary evil as on multiple occasions this week and last I tried to push some projects forward and things never fell into place. Being a man of faith I have come to the determination that I am pushing to make things happen that aren't meant to be--just yet. So, being the stubborn bull that I am...I am going to try and relax more until this tranquility passes and things get rockin' again with my book.

Things are still in the works however. My friends at the city of North Richland Hills Parks & Recreation department have agreed to allow me to offer my “I-Not-Author” creative writing courses which will kick-off this summer with (Saturday) June 7th being my first class. If you are local to the area and you are interested in finding an unfamiliar means to inspiration when dealing with your more creative side, please, by all means sign up for my course. It will be different to say the least and fun. I will share some of my practices for how I draw my stories with words. I will use prompts, moments of silence and role-playing to help stir the creative essence of your souls as you discover your inner literary voice! I can't wait!My new article has posted this week on CultureFeast.com. For those of you who aren't aware, I post a weekly column dealing with all things pertaining to the wonderful world of self-publishing. This week's column (I've Made up My Mind to Self-Publish. Now What?) will be part of a series in which I highlight some necessary steps critical to successful self-publication. I broke the concepts into a Pre-Publication and Post-Publication plan, again, identifying the more critical steps you don't want to overlook. I’ve love to hear your feedback!

After all I did to prepare for a busy 2008, I knew it was only a matter of time before things started “happening” with my novel: Proud Souls. If you put enough time and energy into any project it is only a matter of time before you begin reaping the rewards of your labor. And I have told everyone I know that as the week of Valentine’s Day—that is exactly what would happen. The representatives of Authors On The Rise have agreed to review Proud Souls, the first of many more potential organizations and individuals who will begin posting their professional feedback and criticisms of my heart’s blood on the World Wide Web for everyone to see. Not only them but a representative of the Fort Worth Texas Magazine requested a copy of my book for a potential review that I am hoping will captivate and inspire the reviewer enough to post it within this feature magazine. Mr. Mike French of The View From Here is presently reading Proud Souls and this review is critical for my success in that Mr. French is from England! This is my first (possible) overseas review that could lead to my first International sales!!!

Also this week I have opted to begin implementing a new feature within my blog: the “PS: We Wanna Know” segment where I will answer YOUR questions related to my story and the story-behind-the-story of how I came to draft, design and birth my debut literary novel: Proud Souls.

This week I answered a common question from many readers and specifically, Ms. Courtney Pearce of Bentonville, Arkansas. She asked the following:
“How did you come to create a character that lost his wife and son with such emotional accuracy without actually having suffered that identical loss?”

I have answered your question Courtney (and the question of countless others) in this first Audio Blog Segment of “PS: We Wanna Know.” Please, if I sound a bit corny—I apologize—I think it has to do with the fact that I am talking to myself!!!

Send your questions to my attention here: Bobby@BobbyOzunaOnline.com and maybe I will reference you in my next Audio Blog segment!!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Stepping Back...to Move Forward

I recently returned from a very well deserved break with my family. Michele and I took the kiddos and joined her family--my mother-in-law and her brothers, Ricky & Andy--and we visited her family in Arkansas. Her uncle Rick and aunt Connie live in Bentonville and we stayed with them a few days in a lovely home and then ventured to Lake Beaver in the Ozark mountains to visit her uncle Ray and aunt Vivian Pearce. It snowed and it was very cold, but a different cold than Texas. Michele and I left early Thursday morning/Wednesday night, trying to beat the approaching winter blast. By the time we snuck onto the mountains of the upper northwest (Fayetteville) region the snow had already arrived. We had an experience upon arrival and thankfully the kiddos rode with her mother and not us. We were probably less than one mile from her uncle Rick's house when my Trailblazer lost its traction in the snow/ice and we started sliding backwards! On my right was a wall of solid rock and on my left was a straight drop more than twenty feet below. I turned to Michele and told her to take off her seatbelt. When she asked why (they always ask why don't they???) I told her it was because we were going over the cliff. I pumped the brakes and pulled the emergency break while trying to get her out of the seatbelt. Bythe time it was off the truck collected enough ice on the back left tire to stop my truck before going over. We stopped four feet from the ledge that would have hurt the truck as much as it would have hurt me. I got Michele out of the truck and walked her up the hill to her uncle Rick who was waiting in his Suburban (with four-wheel drive). He was able to tow me up the hill and again a second time when moments later my truck lost traction again. Needless to say by the time we arrived at their home I was done driving--at least until the streets thawed out.










We enjoyed the stay and rode their ATV in the snow and the kids made some snowmen and more importantly played in more snow than they have ever been in at one sitting. Unlike Texas, Arkansas has real snow. We got some good pictures and spent some time checking out the hot-rods her Uncle Rick builds for R&R Street Rods. Her Uncle Ray owns the company and her uncle Rick and cousin Josh do the body/prep/customization work. They had some amazing vehicles and amazing stories to tell about how they design and build their custom street rods!







Once we got to her uncle Ray's cabin, we got a taste of true bliss and relaxation. He owns a substantial amount of acreage off Beaver Lake and has designed and built a 3-story, 7 bedroom (and 5 bathroom) lake front masterpiece with accompanying guest and kids cabins. We spent our last night in Arkansas having some drinks and talking and laughing in a true relaxed state. As cold as it was it was still truly amazing, knowing that at any time we could step out on the wrap-around patio/balcony and stare into total darkness knowing below us was a wonderfully clear lake, surrounding us was solid rock and above us were million upon millions of stars lighting up the night's sky. We had limited cell phone coverage, no appointments, no colums to write, no research on the web and no computers and deadlines...just smiles and the peace that comes with living and being alive with those you love.





As hard as it was I am honored to say I did nothing spectacular or work-related for my novel Proud Souls. It was hard...very hard! Since the book's release on Amazon.com I haven't done anything else apart from work related to promoting the book. I felt like a kid who wasn't allowed to go outside, but I got passed it. I made some contacts the week prior to our mini-vacation and I am honored to say my new friends in the city of Seymour Texas have responded! I am honored that you (and you know who you are) would take a chance on my novel. I can't wait to meet all of you!!! I can't wait to hear your review!


Great things are in theworks for my novel and my writing career this year. 2008 has already proven itself to become a potentially prosperous year. There is so much more to tell you and so much left to do...being gone for only 4 nights and 5 days was enough to set me back but it was well worth it. Sometimes we have to learn to unwind and relax and if you are like me, that can be work in itself. I have been going non-stop for two solid months to promote and publicize Proud Souls in the best manner I know how--with my big mouth. There are 8+ reviews pending release on the Internet between February 15th~May1st, including two contest notificatioins, 1 radio interview, a book signing and a potential meeting with the Seymour Book Club. And that is just the beginning. I plan on going full fledge again and I am hoping to hear from each of you who have invested your time with my debut literary novel.

Stay tuned for more details and thanks so much for the support! Remember, I believe...because you believe...

...And a very special thank-you to Michele's family in Arkansas! Thanks for taking us in and giving us a place to unwind.


Rick: Thanks for not letting me go over that cliff!!!

Connie: I appreciate your warm words of encouragement and let those friends of yours know that I can't wait to hear from them!!! Try not to rub it in that I signed your book....

Courtney: I appreciate the questions and without spoiling too much, I will use one of them in my next blog segment! Can't wait to see you in May!

Josh: I'm sorry about the dog...remember, she's 13 years old!

Ray and Vivian: I mean, tio Ray, thanks for letting us stay at the cabin! If you said "come anytime" one more time, I might still be there chopping wood to earn my keep! Be careful what you ask for...

Andy: I let you win...

Ricky: Disoranni on the rocks anyone??? By the way, I stole your shoes...

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"Proud Souls" on Amazon.com

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