Tea and Talk!

Jun. 25, 2017

I am prepping for summer camp for a totally different writing experience. Virtual camp, CampNaNo, runs during the month of July. I already have my cabin assignment, housed with nineteen other writers from all over the world. We are all writing in the thriller/suspense genre. Actually, of the twenty of us campers, nineteen of us are. The twentieth writer is in the fantasy genre, but it appears the project to be worked, may also be thriller/suspense.

Campers set their own goals and I decided to aim high for my first virtual camp experience. Why not? I have entered fiction writing late in life and feel the need to get these stories told. I am fortunate to have a supportive partner and researcher, Chuck. His encouragement makes what might appear to be a daunting task, doable. His comment whenever I am looking longingly over to the keyboard, "Get writing!"

I am plotting and massaging three manuscripts for two of my series, hopefully, into something far beyond a first draft stage. Time will tell in accomplishing this ambition. I did say I am aiming high, didn't I?

Theo of Teach Island:

      All The Money Or The Man? (tentative title)

      Best of Intentions (Prequel to the series)

Zoey Wolfe books:

      Just and the Unjust

Last week I completed a short read clearing the way to work this July project. The yet unpublished story is in the Theo series. It is a bridge to the prequel included in the bundle I am working at camp:

      Theo's Lucky Day

I hope to publish it sometime in August or September along with the other short read I am currently writing. The other short read crosses over both series:

       Billy the Kid & Reno & Hole-In-The-Wall

As you may know from previous posts and comments, I am a plotter. I have the need to control not only the story but the characters and settings. I have written a few books panster-style (no planning, allowing the story to simply unfold) but I, not the books, have suffered from my lack of control of the situation. Yes, I am a micro-manager. I admit it. Some of my characters hate me for it. I have been known to delete whole passages of their thoughts and relegate them to a lesser part OR no part at all in the book being written.

I have decided these three must-writes, will be in my Pre-Pub folder this summer along with the two short reads, in time to get back to Bloody Hearts: War of the Queens. That is another story clamoring for my attention -- so loudly, I am having a difficult time ignoring it. Some things simply cannot be ignored nor should they.

Wish me luck! First-word-to-paper-day is July 1! Do you find it odd, although I now extensively use a computer to write, I still think in terms of typewriter and paper? Somewhere, I have a copy of a manuscript I wrote in the 1980s, typed on newsprint cut roughly to 8 1/2x 11 inch size.

 

Jun. 14, 2017
Click here to go to our Amazon Books and Bio info


It's strange how things often work out, isn't it? When we retired finally from active defensive training, Chuck asked me what I wanted to do. Without hesitation, I told him I wanted to write full-time. No problem, he was onboard, both as a writer, too, and head researcher.

Last year, our first full-year of officially not hopping into traffic and commuting to a job was busy. We made up for lost time and published a lot of books on Amazon and Blurb. It helped of course, that we had a file cabinet of material to draw from, drafts, outlines, and even books nearing completion. It was a heady experience seeing those books pile up on our Amazon Bookshelf. (See them for yourself on our author's page, link above, just click on it.)

We have continued to work on the four series we have generated:

Non-fiction:
Situational Awareness Series

Fiction:
Theo of Teach Island
Zoey Wolfe Books
The Heart Series

Presently we are both working on additions to those series but we discovered it is not enough.

What?

Right! As independent publishers (the term for us independent writers publishing our own works) we discovered if we don't become booksellers those books just sit on the shelf getting dusty. So this year, we have become not only book writers but booksellers. It's not easy or simple. I have participated in a number of bookseller marketing webinars and everyone has the "secret sauce" to making their recipe for selling books the winning program -- usually involving more classes and/or a piece of software.

With all our accumulated new knowledge we are embarking on the second portion of our journey into being independent publishers, now we are not just writers, we are booksellers, too.

You may be paging through our first stage, the revamped website. We value the input of our readers and hope you will offer constructive advice about what you like or dislike about our books. If you purchase our books, please leave reviews and/or stars on Amazon. If you were loaned or gifted a book, you can still leave your opinion, just state the book wasn't purchased from Amazon and was given or gifted to you, Amazon accepts that explanation and still publishes your review. All opinions are valued. All opinions count. To us and to Amazon. A win-win situation.

Regards and good reading,
Charlotte G.
Guttenberg.and.Helmke@aol.com

Jun. 14, 2017

"There's a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in..."

Leonard Cohen, Anthem
Sep. 26, 2016

It was with mixed emotions that I posted my latest novel, All Things Bright And Beautiful, to Amazon this afternoon. It is bittersweet to part with people you have laughed and cried with, held their "fictional" hands, to get them through their dilemmas -- then you let them go to make their own way into the world. I hope they will meet new, loving friends, all of you readers, who will be as moved by them as I was while creating them.

I hope you can all help me. It is very difficult to get reviews and star rankings on Amazon.* Amazon best likes reviews and rankings from people who purchase the book. To that end, I am selling the book for the next sixty days for $0.99 -- the category you are ranked in is different if the book is free rather than for sale.

If you would be so kind as to purchase my book, review and/or rank it (those stars, you know), I would be extremely grateful. To get the word out, would you please share this blog with all your Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram friends and all the church, knitting, fishing or shooting groups that you are involved in -- any groups, please. Like Joseph Heller's Catch 22, there really is a Catch 22. If you can't get reviews and rankings, you can't get ranked by Amazon. It's like needing a loan. If you need money, the bank doesn't want to talk to you. If you don't need money, the bank will come knocking at your door, begging you to take their money. (No, this has never happened to me. This is a fictional account.)

Just so you aren't blind-sided, you likely want to know what this book is about. Right? It is categorized on Amazon under Fiction, Noir and Thriller/Suspense. It's a little dark, but I think by the end, you may forgive me. Here is the book description as it appears on Amazon:

A mystery from a Guinness World Record title holder!


-- What if everything you valued in life was suddenly taken away from you? What if you found yourself isolated from family? Friends? Associates? What if everyone you met, except for one old fisherman, disappeared? What if there was no trace of them left -- as if they never existed, except in your mind? What would you do?


-- Famous Celtic singer and musician, Juliette Marsh Boyle, lives moment to moment. She survives only for the beauty of the day that surrounds her and occasionally, being able to escape from her captors. She knows, that one day, they will finally acquire all her assets, tire of her -- and that one bright, beautiful moment, will be her last.


-- Until then, she vows to herself to continue to escape down to the beach she loves. She will wait, savoring each moment of freedom, waiting for the morning sun to rise over the Atlantic and to visit with her friend Charlie -- until all things bright and beautiful end.


--Includes an excerpt from the novella, The Taste Of Salt.


Only $0.99 for the next 60 days!

 

If you have any special reading interests, the keywords for it are: Vengeance, Prisoner - captive, Romance, Florida, Murder, Celtic, Musician

 

The setting is Florida>Brevard County>Floridana Beach>Sebastian Inlet>Melbourne. You may recognize some places -- but of course, they are used fictionally. I do have permission from some friends to use a generalized depiction of their business, you may recognize it.

 

It is dedicated to a longtime friend, Sharon Ennis Norgren, a woman who loved books.

 

*I once wrote a book that was so reviled, reviews and star rankings piled in, even from people who did not purchase the book. It was disastrous. They not only reviewed the book but gave their personal opinions of me. I think it fortunate they didn't know the names of my dogs, or they too would have been mentioned and their pedigrees read. Whoever said any reviews are better than none, probably never found themselves in this situation. I vowed to never write that type book again. Lesson learned: If you are in any manner exposing yourself to the public, you better be ready to accept whatever comes along, or at least have a thick skin and high-waders or learn to swim.