Monday, April 24, 2017

Pina Colada & Jane Austen Anyone?


You're not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy! 

Welcome to Whidbey Island Washington!!!



Whidbey Island is also the place my book series is set :-)

 


Here is what I'm giving away...


 - My soul - 

(no that's wrong! That was just for my offspring :-) 


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2 FREE copies of my ebook -  The Rejected Writers' Book Club (no purchase or medical history required just a happy comment!)


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1 - $15 Amazon Gift Card (to be spent frivolously by yourself) 


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All you have to do to enter the giveaway is leave me a comment under this post.


Welcome to the block party!!!


Have a seat, grab a drink!



Also, I have snacks!


Go on grab a snack - this picture of food is dairy-soy-nut-colerstrol-fat-gluten EVEN calorie free! 


I know, I know, we creative types sometimes find it hard to party when we would rather be delving into a new world or better still writing one. So as well as a snack grab yourself a miniature Jane Austin novel! Or did you bring your own book to read?






WELCOME to my little corner of the bloggerspeare!!!

Today will be the biggest gathering of people that my little blog home has ever hosted. I know this because I have a tracker on my site, a "You've Got People!"alarm, and that tells me most days that I'm the only person who visits. Well, that's not strictly true, I thought I had a stalker from California once until I realized that it is some sort of tracking bot from blogger to make sure my info goes out into the world. 

I have nicknamed her Calbot and enjoy her reassuring presence telling me she will always be here! And I guess Calbot and I have been here over 8'000 times in the last six years! 


Here's a picture of Calbot, she's cute don't you think!



Everyday I'd pour her and a cup of tea, and ask her how things were going  in her life, I noticed she was kind of quiet on the subject, until I realized she didn't have one! And I thought I didn't get out much. 





If you are visiting me for the first time, (cough, cough, of course you are), let me introduce myself, my name is Suzanne Kelman and I write, what I loving refer to as, "a lot of old nonsense" that people buy.  I have been writing humor (or 'trying to' if you believe my one-star reviews) for about 7 years now, and I have had my ups and downs, as writing humor can be a very serious business!

Here is a picture of me looking very fancy-smancy, right after this picture was taken my scarf blew off! 





PS I don't look anything like this most days I'm usually a lot less shiny, shuffling around in PJ's, muttering about a deadline.

My first book the Rejected Writers Book Club, went out into the world by accident, ( I really must stop pressing "send" when I'm on Createspace) I wrote it for fun, about celebrating being rejected as a writer instead of feeling bad about it. 



HERE IS THE LINK TO THIS BOOK: 

http://amzn.to/2oWJ5QO 

Synopsis

Librarian Janet Johnson is puzzled when she is invited—and practically dragged—to her first meeting of the Rejected Writers’ Book Club. This quirky group of women would much rather celebrate one another’s rejected manuscripts over cups of tea and slices of lemon cake than actually publish a book. 


But good friends are exactly what Janet needs after moving to the small town of Southlea Bay, Washington. 


Just as the ladies are about to raise a teacup to their five hundredth rejection letter, they receive bad news that could destroy one member’s reputation—and disband the group forever. 


To save the club, Janet joins her fellow writers on a wild road trip to San Francisco in search of the local publisher who holds the key to a long-buried secret. As they race to the finish line, they’ll face their fears—landslides, haunted houses, handsome strangers, ungrateful children—and have the time of their lives.






The Story behind the Story behind the... You know what I mean... 


The Rejected Writers Book Club was inspired by an experience I had ten years ago. 

I was at a book signing at the library and the author started his presentation by opening a plastic store bag and emptying all his rejection letters from publishers onto the table. He explained he wanted to illustrate his writers journey.  

As we watched in horror the cavalcade of official letters pouring forth there was a collective in-breath of shock, all about the library bookshelves (all the way back to handicrafts.) As this is the writers equivalent of emptying your dirty underwear out in a public building. 




But interesting enough, once the cat, or as in this case the rejections, were out of the bag, there was the collective out-breath of relief - yes everyone has experienced rejection and everyone has underwear. 

Some of us choose not to wear it of course, especially our bra's, after 6pm. A time in our house known as 'Dinner and a Show"when I dazzle my son each night by producing a bra from up my sleeve! 


But rejection is also a part of a writers life as much as anything else. Whether it's a publisher or even a bad review. So, this idea intrigued me and I realized we should be celebrating our rejections like scars they are all stepping stones on our writers journey, and what doesn't kill you will make you stronger, right! 

And that's how my book was born.   

The Rejected Writers Book Club is about a quirky group of gals that get together once a month to celebrate their rejection from publishers in style. With tea and cake and collecting them in a large book. Things are going dandy until an expected event puts the group in peril and they have to go off on a crazy, madcap cross-country adventure to save the club. 


My book went out into the world in 2015 and got uncovered from under a rock by a publisher that offered me money.  I know who knew books could make money? And now there it sits, or parties, like a rebellious step-child next to much more important books at my Lake Union Publishers. 



So, all this is to say, I'm a Pindy, a published Indie, who will always be a full Indie at heart, and LOVES to support the Indie community. 


I also have a podcast for Indie/traditional  authors called 'Writing Publishing and Beyond" hosted by Blondie and the Brit (I'm the Brit)



We have interviewed over 80 amazing authors, many Indies, about writing, publishing and marketing, feel free to shuffle over there, too, for some great interview and quite a few laughs!





Anyway, my second book is due out in June, the same crazy gals are taking to the stage, because being rejected by publishers just wasn't publicly humiliating enough, and it will be out June 6th. Yes, for all you history buffs that was D-day and I'm planning on "storming" the bookshelves. 

Here is a link if you're interested in my next lot of old nonsense! 

http://amzn.to/2piKG2F




Synopsis:

After months of playing the lottery and hoping for an uptick in her dog-boarding business, Janet’s friend Annie must face the inevitable: the bank is foreclosing on her family farm. But thanks to the Rejected Writers’ Book Club, Annie doesn’t have to face it alone because Doris has another crazy plan!

In a moment of inspiration, their fearless leader declares a solution: a musical extravaganza. Flora, who has never sung a note in her life, will play the lead, supported by a group of baby boomers with two left feet.  Janet will be their reluctant director along with a hypochondriac costume designer, a pyrotechnics enthusiast, and Janet’s very pregnant daughter pitching in—what could possibly go wrong?




PS if you are a book reviewer and like reviewing lots of old nonsense, I have Free, yes, I said Free, ARC's of this book all shiny and ready for you to read! Just let me know in the comments below! 




The first page of Rejected Writers Take the Stage




Thank you for popping by Kelman and Calbot are SO glad you did!  







Friday, April 21, 2017

The Road Less Traveled - Third on the Left with the Dark Winding Pathways - Sinkholes & Unexpected Twists...


The Road Less Traveled - Third on the Left with the Dark Winding Pathways - Sinkholes & Unexpected Twists...

When I first got married, I bought a guinea pig.
I just couldn’t resist his sweet face with his eyes too close together and his rosettes of ginger and white fur. I was already half way home with him in his little brown box before it occurred to me he would need a cage. Enter the handsome, strapping new bridegroom we shall call “Hun.” I told “Hun” about the problem and, wanting to prove his worth, he spent the entire weekend making lots of sawing and banging noises, while Ging (the very deep meaningful name I had given to the furry pom-pom) and I watched. Ta da! Ging (short for Ginger) had a new home.


A couple of days later as I sat watching Ging chew on a dandelion leaf, it occurred to me that this little fella was probably lonely all on his own. After further thought I made a decision. Off I went again to the pet shop and bought a beautiful soft grey rabbit I called Sophie to keep him company. Pleased with myself, I popped Sophie into the cage to meet her new friend; Sophie went in and Ging came flying out on the back end of her paw. She was having none of him. Guess what Hun spent that weekend doing?


Now two cages later I still hadn’t solved the problem of Ging’s loneliness, so being extra smart this time I decided to buy a nice little boy guinea pig for him to play with. Surely that would solve the problem. It did; they seemed to get on great. Ging purred and shook all over when he met him and I was finally satisfied.
It was about a month later that we found out Ging’s new favorite friend wasn’t a boy after all…you know the end of this story, right? Let’s just say there was a lot of banging and sawing weekends that followed.



I think life can sometimes feel like that—and the creative life can for sure. Often as artists we are responding to the next need, the loudest voice, the one that calls to us hysterically that day. The need to make money, the need to serve the market, the need to further our career. Sometimes even our muse gets a look in. I often wonder if the great artists of the past ever got an inkling of what they would become to the world, of what their legacy would be. Or if they, like me, got up each day and started building the most urgent cage because that was what needed to be done.


Five years ago I wrote my first screenplay and fell in love. Many screenplays followed, and screenwriting became my passion. And even though my work has been optioned three times, and I have lots of awards to show for work well done, the film industry is a slow track. A couple of years into being a full-time screenwriter I realized that in order to keep going I needed to make money another way. It was then that I had a brainwave to write a book to subsidize my screenwriting habit.


Just over a year ago I actually got to hold that newborn book: “The Rejected Writers Book Club.” It was all sexy in its brand new glossy cover, and I couldn’t believe how proud I was of it. I had done it, finished something I hoped would help fund my screenwriting career. Off it went into the world with its knapsack on its back to earn its living.


Over the last year the most extraordinary thing has happened. People writing to me to tell me they really liked it, people telling me they couldn’t put it down, people who even loved it. It now has 5-star reviews on Amazon. I am totally bemused. The work I thought was just another guinea pig cage—a means to an end—has started to take off and fly with a life of its own. I know this sounds odd, but I never expected people to actually like it. This isn’t some sort of vague modesty; I just wanted people in China to buy it so I could make a little money to continue my real career which is screenwriting…or is it?
As I find myself pondering this new interesting twist of circumstances—people loving and buying my work—I am thoughtful and excited. And it’s the truth that we really don’t know as we travel the road less traveled where that next bend or twist will lead, or if this guinea-pig cage is actually the one.
Suzanne Kelman is an awarding-winning screenwriter and published author, her new book “The Rejected Writers Book Club” is available on Amazon.







Wednesday, April 19, 2017

FREE!!! - Read or listen on Kindle Unlimited, & 1/2 price on Audible for 3 DAYS Only! http://amzn.to/2oWJ5QO

FREE!!! - Read or listen on Kindle Unlimited, and ALSO Half Price on audible for THREE DAYS Only!  http://amzn.to/2oWJ5QO



Synopsis: 
A group of quirky writers go on a wild road trip to San Francisco to a publisher who holds the key to a long-buried secret.They'll face their fears landslides, haunted houses, handsome strangers- and have the time of their lives." 



"I really enjoyed this novel. The ladies of The Rejected Writer's Bookclub are quirky and hilarious."

"Very funny and engaging right from the start."
"Love, love, LOVE this book! I can't say enough great things about it."

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Martin Lastrapes -- Episode 81 -- Confessions of an Author

Martin Lastrapes -- Episode 81 -- Confessions of an Author


This week we are excited to bring you award-winning author Martin Lastrapes, a great friend to Blondie and the Brit and one of our Podcast Heroes. Martin brings to the show all the weight of his comedy and interviewing expertise from his own podcast, "The Martin Lastrapes Podcast Hour" (check it out here).This is a fun upbeat interview that also has very poignant moments where Martin opens up about the struggles we all face on the writer's journey. Don't miss this open, funny, 'telling it like it is' interview with one of our favorite guests.










Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Curious Business of Writing.


Being a writer is a curious business. I have just completed a 67’000-word novel. Yes, I said 67’000 words. I had to write it twice, because I felt every one of those words—and I’m in shock. I’m in shock because I’m not a writer.


I started writing by accident, or necessity or some other twist of fate, but definitely not on purpose—a bit like in the movie “Forest Gump,” where one day Forest just starts running and becomes a runner. And even though I have been “writing” full-time for five years and have received numerous awards for my writing, I have yet to claim the title. Maybe you can relate. I struggle to accept this fact because I feel a fraud; you see, I don’t really fit the writer mold as I see it. 


Here is my checklist:


1) A writer is a deep thinker that sucks the marrow out of every piece of life and then commits it to words in a cavalcade of poignant and wonderful observations. 


My first draft of anything is somewhere between Dr. Seuss and e.e. cumming (in a bad way.)


2) A writer is good at spelling and understands all the grammar rules. 


I can’t even finish a sentence without three dives into a dictionary, four battles with the squiggly red lines and a ‘cut and paste job’ into “Grammarly” (the online equivalent of a stern grammar ma’am).


3) Even a writer’s emails sound poetic. 


Mine: once again—a jumble of thoughts and run-on sentences with at least half the words missed out.


4) Writers are often tortured and inwardly focused. 


I’m a “Hello-Dolly-happy-go-lucky” kind of character, normally waking up chirpy, in love with the world. I couldn’t feel tortured if I tried. I like my life, my home, my family and my friends.


5) A writer has a desk, dictionary and endless hours of peace and quiet. 


I do most my writing on my coffee table, or in bed, normally juggling a cat and dog on my lap, writing at the speed of light before the rest of my world crashes in to steal my time.


But even though I haven’t claimed the title of any of the above, this is what I get up and do everyday: I write. So how did this happen? Well, honestly, I don’t know and even if I did, I’m not tortured, smart or deep enough to put it into words. But I do know this:



Firstly, I’m curious. I’m curious about life, about people, about things and places and times. I have to explore the world around me and writing is my medium of choice, my weapon of translation. I pass a man hunched over in a bookshop in London and even if it’s the briefest of glances, just a quick glimpse between total strangers, there is something about him I need to investigate. My mind whirls with a hundred different scenarios; I have to create a world for him to live in so I can understand him. His name is Joe; he has a dog, a black Labrador. He met his lost true love in this bookshop on a Saturday, so every week he comes back to remember a time gone by.

Secondly, I write to get the characters I see and hear out of my head. I recognize there is a fine line between this and a trip to the special place with a padded cell but, nevertheless, it’s true. Imaginary people—my characters—talk to me. They follow me around while I’m cooking dinner, and it’s just easy to get them onto paper where they can cause less trouble, like wrangling a toddler into a playpen.

Thirdly, I write to entertain myself. I grew up in a home where people said funny stuff all day, so I guess it is my own way of recreating my childhood. Some people build sand castles or model airplanes; I create funny people, saying funny stuff and doing funny things.
What you may notice about all of these practices is none of them are for other people. However, once you have completed a piece of work, the writer is supposed to send it out to the world.
So now I stand at a brand new threshold to release my book—“The Rejected Writer’s Book Club,” a quirky comedy about love, loss and friendship—out into the world and I wonder: how will other people respond? As I throw open the door and shake out the nest, I stand in awe and wonder what this next step will bring…a bit like sending a child out into the world.


Will my book the cross between “The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood” and “The Jane Austin Book Club” sit up straight in other people’s company? Say the right thing and remember not to slurp its soup? Will people love all those crazy characters as I have? And will they get them?
Good or bad, it’s time for the world to receive it now. And maybe, just maybe, I will think again about calling myself a writer.

Yes, being a writer is a curious business, all right.
Suzanne Kelman is an awarding-winning screenwriter of a screenplay that has recently been optioned.