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Author Blog Challenge – Day 14 Recap

SURPRISE: (n) An unexpected or astonishing event, fact, or thing. (v) Cause someone to feel mild astonishment or shock. The prompt for Day 14 was about the thing that most surprised you as an author. The answers were illuminating, to say the least. And, as always, we had some authors who posted on other themes. Here are excerpts from a few of the posts from Day 14. Enjoy!

Please click on the author’s name to read the full post.

MERLENE FAWDRY. There have been many surprises in publishing The Hidden Risks. On a non-commercial level, was the unexpected level of interest shown by distant relatives and those outside the family, and the borrowing rate from libraries that carried the publication. Although I knew my research had been thorough, with all references cross checked in multiples, I am aware of the need in some people to question facts and figures, so I have been happily surprised no one has come forward to challenge my findings. I am also surprised that it is still in demand so many years after first publication.

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SARAH BENSON. With everyone and their grandmother doing this, how can you successfully sell your own products online?  Whether it’s a hand-made craft, or a book, here are a few steps: (1) Have your product in hand. (2) Photograph that product. (3) List that product somewhere. (4)  Advertise that your product exists. (5) Sell the product. (6) Keep working at it. (7) Repeat.

There are 8 additional steps. Read those, and the full explanations, here.

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RACHEL EDGE. Letting go of perceived control in life can be really scary. I have a friend – no, really, this time – the clever one who lives on a barge, who decided in her wisdom to get rid of time. I realise that sentence is bit confusing; she didn’t buy a top underwater complex, complete with fluffy white cat and the blueprints to a dimension-deleting machine. She chucked away her watches and she doesn’t put her alarm clock on for the morning. Very Zen, isn’t she? Very free.

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PEGGY HARPER LEE. David McCullough, Jr., created a stir with his commencement speech to the Wellesley High School class of 2012 by telling the grads “you’re not special.” Hearing the headline out of context, I secretly applauded his courage to speak the truth, while cringing at the thought that he could be so heartless on a day that should be reserved for messages of hope and inspiration for those just stepping out into the adult world. After reading the entire speech, I am no longer cringing, but cheering for Mr. McCullough and the kids who have the good sense to embody his message.

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JO HARRISON interview with Douglas Wickard. The profession of writing is NOT over once the book is finished, edited and published. The task of building a brand and selling the book is an even greater task. I use interviews on blogs as a way of allowing the audience to get to know a bit about me and gain readership.

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ELISE FEE.
off in this direction
only to find
my way is blocked
no problem
here’s another path
to get me there

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HEATHER TOPHAM WOOD. [First Visions] was actually based off an old story I wrote as a teenager. Most of my stories were crap and had melodramatic plotlines like teen pregnancy scares or were cheesy horror stories about virgin blood drinking vampires. However, the one particular story involved a psychic who helped find a missing child and I just expanded from there. I had actually forgotten completely about the story and when I started re-reading my old writings, it really struck me how great it would be to turn it into a series. I haven’t read too many books about psychics and I thought it would be fun area to explore.

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LISA CHERRY. Today is a special day. A day to be remembered. A time to reflect and enjoy what I have ‘made happen’ so far this year. Today is publishing day. I want to remember 15th June 2012 forever as the day that I became a published author for the first time. Today I count my blessings and value and appreciate those I love.

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JODI ROSENBERG. I am a believer in the power of our state of mind, or mindset. When we have a mindset that is filled with kindness towards others we bring kindness to others and attract it to ourselves. When we have a mindset of competition and scarcity we limit our resources and experience strained interactions with others. So along those same thought lines, what happens when we have a mindset of forgiveness and healing for the world?

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CRYSTAL LEE. [The biggest surprise about writing/publishing my book has been] the way my characters take over and kick me out of the way. I never expected that. I don’t always use an outline, though I have been more and more. I use it as a guide more than something set in stone. It’s there in case I get stuck, and it lets me know where I want it to end up, but the middle, or the guts, as I call them, are most often unexpected.

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T.L. BODINE. I, like most writers, grumble a lot about revision. It’s hard work! You have to look at tons and tons of words that might have taken you years to get on paper in the first place, then decide which of those words deserve to live and which must be destroyed with a broad stroke of the delete key. If every aspect of writing a novel is like playing God to your characters, revising is sort of like the big flood – destroying everything, saving a couple parts, rebuilding the planet. Scary stuff.

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HELENE POULAKOU. I opened my inbox to find a notification that I was nominated for the

Illuminating Blogger Award

It was like a message coming at a most appropriate time – to remind me that I must:

  • allow myself to shine
  • take care to not get sucked up by darkness
  • never forget to be grateful for the spark of life I was given
  • keep going to where my guiding star shines

Thanks to all who posted!

Laura & Marcie

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The Author Blog Challenge is hosted by Laura Orsini and her alter ego, Marcie Brock, of the Marcie Brock – Book Marketing Maven blog. Please visit Marcie’s blog for loads of great info about low- to no-cost methods of marketing for self-publishing authors.

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