book giveaway, Interviews

I Read N Write Books Interview & Book Giveaway: Blaise Ramsay

 

Contrary to widespread belief self-publishing a book is very hard. With the influx of new writers every year and writing courses that promise to whip you into bestseller shape for as little as $199. Writing fiction has transformed from a mere hobby to viable career option. Bestsellers often write books on the blueprint of being a successful independent publisher. The success rates from following any advice that leads to publishing success vary from individuals, what they all can agree on is you need a champion in your corner for you to be successful. Champions come in all forms; they come in the shape of beta readers investing time to help writers shape stories, friends, and family being writing accountability partners or editors. For indie authors hoping to secure the same audience as their traditionally published peers having a professional to scout for mistakes and leaky plot holes is an invaluable asset. The champion we are celebrating today is Author, Editor, and Marketing Coach Blaise Ramsay.

 

Meet Blaise Ramsay

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Blaise Ramsay is an author and an indie author champion. After years of working in conceptual art and design, Ms. Ramsay debuts with her paranormal romance “Blessing of Luna” a unique take on shifter romance starring werewolves, vampires, and gods.
She donates proceeds of her projects to charities, and she is available to consult authors from all stages in their careers. When Blaise is not writing she book blogs, works for touring companies providing reviews, guest posts and conducting author interviews.

 

LF: How long have you been an Editor and marketing coach?

B.R: This December will be the one year anniversary of the founding of FyreSyde Publishing. I got into marketing as a result of the company so it’ll be about a year since I delved deeper into the heart of the beautiful machine that is marketing. I am currently pursuing a BA in eCommerce for college. As far as being an editor, I’ve been doing that since college, so it’s been almost 8 years.

 

LF: When working with new authors what misconception do they have about Editors?

BR: From what I’ve observed, it seems that the greatest fear a new author might have is that an editor’s feedback is going to make or break the contract they’re trying to obtain from a publishing company. They may think the editor will deny their work based solely on mistakes easily rectified through reading. They might also worry that they have to do everything the editor says or risk losing a contract. This is not the case. Editors are there to help enhance an author’s work by providing an extra set of eyes for things like plot holes, spelling and grammar mistakes and possible inconsistencies. The author is always free to say yes or no to what we say in regards to their work. They know it better than we do but having an editor is always better than not having one because we do tend to spot things the author might not have seen. I, myself have three of my own editors to proofread my work and offer feedback.

 

LF: What should new writers look for when choosing an Editor?

B.R: Level of experience is always something to look for. Often an editor will provide their years of experience in their portfolio for an author to look at. Price is also something to look at. Even if getting an editor may at times get pricey, an editor charging a higher rate will oftentimes be of better quality. Looking at the works they’ve done or the authors they’ve worked for, availability and time for a turnaround are also all good things to look for when selecting an editor. So many times, we are just as overbooked as publishers are so the earlier you schedule.

 

L.F: What are some of the things seasoned writers take for granted?

B.R: Honestly, I’m not sure how to go about answering this one. The most obvious thing I have noticed is that seasoned writers sometimes forget that they too were once new authors who had no idea what they were doing. They were lost on how to market or how to go about getting their work noticed by the big publishers. I think remembering to be a mentor to those who are up and coming is more important than focusing solely on oneself. Authors are a community, not a competitive market. I think seasoned authors tend to forget about that. I have been very fortunate however to have the mentors I have. I wouldn’t be where I am without them.

 

L.F: How do you balance being an author, owner of a publishing imprint, marketing coach and giving back to the indie community?

B.R: FyreSyde is my full-time job aside from being a college student, full-time mom, and wife. Some of the most helpful tools I’ve found to keep a balanced schedule is to set a time when I am going to work and make that time sacred. Nothing else will happen. This can be when the kids are in school or your lunchtime at work, an hour after work, whatever you can find to devote to your craft. Having a day planner to write goals for the day and taking the weekends off have been vital parts of finding balance. Another thing I do is I see all of the above as one unified machine. Each part has to move in sync with the other. A small failure in one can lead to the downfall of the rest. For example, I became an author > I wanted to independently publish > I wanted to work at home  = FyreSyde’s founding > needed to be marketed for the brand to gain exposure > Wanted to give back to people = exposure. It is all one part of another. It helps to think like that and to see yourself as an owner of a business.

 

L.F: In regards to being a “Book Blogger” is there anything you wish you knew before you started?

B.R: I honestly only wish I knew about it earlier before I started. I had no idea just how in demand bloggers were until I became one. Being a blogger has been the most beneficial growth platform I’ve invested time in. It is an extremely large undertaking but it can grow a platform so beautifully and it gives one the opportunity to give back to the readers.

 

L.F: What services do you offer Authors?

B.R: Many different types. I offer editing, ghostwriting, book formatting, beta reading, interviews, guest blog posts, book reviews, and even an hour consultation for marketing assistance. All of it can be found here , here and here. Or anyone is always free to contact me at fyresydepublishing@gmail.com.

 

L.F: Do you accept submissions for your imprint? If so what are the submission guidelines?

B.R: Unfortunately, we do not have submissions open but I am always willing to read the first chapter of an author’s novel for free and offer feedback. There are plans to eventually try and host some compilations but those are not in the very near future.

 

L.F: What does a productive day look like for you?

B.R: Well, I will admit, I have been taking the summer off to be with family. However, my usual day starts at 9am CST. From 9am to 5 or 6pm, I’m working on the administrative side of FyreSyde. This can include replying to emails, seeking out freelancing opportunities, booking signings and events, scheduling blog and social media posts or seeking out open submissions for literary magazines. If it is a busy season, I might be looking to host a new fundraiser, reaching out to authors in regards to upcoming fundraisers, scheduling sponsored runs, etc. Once the children get home, I’m all mom. Homework, chores, dinner – the works. When the kids go to sleep, I settle in at around 8 to start writing until around 1am CST.

 

L.F: What is one piece of advice you received that helped you through your career?

B.R: Never give up. There are going to be failures. Things that you hoped would work but didn’t. Books you spent time writing that may not necessarily be published or rejections you waited 4-6 weeks to hear. Learning from the bad is just as good as learning from the good. The only difference between someone who is successful and someone who fails is the successful person fell numerous times but got back up and kept walking.

 

L.F: Where can readers or writers connect with you and subscribe for updates? 

Fyresydepublishing.com is the most efficient way to learn more about me. I’m also on facebook, twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. And if you like free eBooks, check this out! 

 

A special thank you to Blaise Ramsay for taking a chance on a new blogger. As a thank you to my new found readers the first five readers will get a kindle version of “Blessing of Luna” by Blaise Ramsay. Click on the link below enter the giveaway.

Blessing of Luna Book Giveaway

 

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Interviews

I Read N Write Books Interview: Author Sarah Bailey

Writing a book is hard. It takes a lot of research, years of practice and the ability to bear yourself naked (figuratively) to complete strangers. Being a published author used to be a pipe dream for most people but in 2018 anyone with a story to tell can upload their precious manuscript to CreateSpace or Draft2Digital and make their publishing debut. So long gone are the gatekeepers of creativity deciding whose voice would be immortalized or who goes into the infamous rejection pile. Shereen El Feki, a British Journalist, and Author says “If you really want to know yourself, start by writing a book.” On I Read N Write Books I want to celebrate the people who were brave enough to get to know themselves and share it with the world.

Meet Sarah Bailey

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Sarah Bailey is Paranormal Romance Author and owner of Twisted Tree Publications hailing from Sussex, UK. She recently published Demon’s Destiny a paranormal romance starring Ella, a young woman who was rescued by Lukas, a demon bounty hunter from Hell. Ella joins Lukas on the ride of her life to hunt down a stolen artifact from hell, and no good paranormal romance is without its adventures. Vampires, shifter, and demons make things exciting. Ella tries to keep her heart guarded while fighting to survive a world she didn’t know existed.

LF: How did you discover that you were a writer?
SB: I’ve wanted to write since I was a teenager because my aunt is an author and I looked up to her. I only really decided to make a real go of it last year after several failed attempts at writing a novel. I wrote my first 10,000 words and sent it off to my aunt to see what she thought. She came back to me and said I was on to something. That’s when I really knew for sure this was the right career for me.

LF: Do you only write genre fiction? If not what other kinds of writing have you done and how has it shaped you to become the author you are now?
SB: I now only write genre fiction, but I do write across different genres. I’ve written paranormal romance, sci-fi, and fantasy. I do mainly enjoy writing romances.
I used to write poetry when I was a teenager, and I’ve written a few since. Writing poetry helped me learn how to write about emotions because it was an outlet for what I was feeling.

LF: What books/ magazines do you like to read?
SB: I read romances mainly. I got into Regency romances when I was a teenager, but now I tend to read YA, fantasy, and paranormal romances. I’m all about the happy endings.

LF: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
SB: I try to read a lot. I’m also into gaming, in fact, a lot my inspiration has come from playing RPGs. I’m waiting with baited breath for Red Dead Redemption 2 to come out. I watch a lot of Netflix – Korean dramas, films, definitely love Jessica Jones and all the other Marvel TV shows. I’m also hugely into music. I have it on all the time, and I’m always looking for new stuff.

LF: If you could be any character in the story universe who would you be an why?
SB: It’d have to be Aragon from Lord of the Rings. Who doesn’t love a broody man? It’s one of my favourite stories and one of the reasons I got into fantasy. He was always my favourite character. He never wanted to be a hero or a king, but he saves the day and ends up with the girl. That’s the sappy romantic in me coming out!

LF: What are five things you need to have a productive day?
SB: Music, a cup of tea (you can tell I’m British), a good night’s sleep, self-motivation and a good story idea.

LF: What is Twisted Tree Publications?
SB: It’s my own small publishing house I set up earlier this year to publish my own works.

LF: Do you accept submissions? If no will you in the future, if yes what are your submission guidelines?
SB: I’m hoping to be in a position to accept submissions in the future. I’d like to give opportunities to other indie authors. I will mainly be looking at publishing romance novels as opposed to other genres.

LF: Do you have any other books published and are there any upcoming books that you are willing to share with us?
SB: Book Two of my After Dark series – Vampire’s Kiss – is coming out at the end of the month and there will be a further three in this series. They’re currently scheduled to release one a month.

LF: Will you or your publication provide ARC(Advance Reader Copies) to Book Bloggers for future projects? If so what are your requirements for book bloggers that are interested?
SB: I would like to do so for future projects. They’d just need to get in touch with me, and we can work something out. I do write my books well in advance of them coming out, so I am able to do ARCs.

LF: Where do you see yourself as an author and publisher in five years?
A full-time author and publisher. I hope to be as prolific a writer as I am now. I’d like to have a few authors under my publishing house.

LF: Where can readers connect with you and subscribe for updates?
Website – www.sarahbaileywriter.com
Twitter – https://twitter.com/sbaileyauthor
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/sbaileyauthor/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/sbaileyauthor/
Newsletter sign up – https://www.subscribepage.com/sarahbaileywriter

LF: Where can readers purchase a copy of Demon’s Destiny?
You can get it on Amazon. It’s out in ebook and paperback and also in Kindle Unlimited.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DQXV6DS

I want to personally thank Sarah Bailey for taking the time to answer my questions. It’s been a pleasure. Demon’s Destiny is available for purchase on the link provided above. Sarah was kind enough to provide me with a teaser for her new novel Demon’s Destiny and a never before released teaser of her new book Vampire’s Kiss book 2 in her After Dark series. Connect with Sarah on the links provided above. Support an Indie Author by leaving a review after reading a book.

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Demon’s Destiny
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Vampire’s Kiss

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed my interview.

Book Reviews

Review: Blood Oath by Raye Wagner & Kelly St. Clare

Blood Oath
The book cover for a book written by Raye Wagner and Kelly St. Clare

Book: Blood Oath

Authors: Raye Wagner

Price: $2.99 (Ebook) $14.95(Paperback), Free for subscribers of Kindle Unlimited

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This book is a part of the Kindle Unlimited program, so it is only available for purchase from Amazon. Only users of the kindle or kindle app will be able to read this book.

Disclaimer: This review is my personal and honest opinion, I was not compensated by the authors or the publisher to provide a favorable review. The synopsis I offer is a summary of the book in my own words. This book contains gory details and themes that might make some people uncomfortable. If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, you will find this book enjoyable.

Synopsis: Working at a Tavern by day and rushing home before the curfew by sun fall is the only adventure in Ryn’s life. She longs for adventure in the land called Verald which is terrorized by a vicious King and a Dragon shifter Lord Irrik bonded to him. The King sends his Dragon shifter to scour the territory of any rebels that threaten his reign. After one accidental encounter with the king’s Drae Lord Irrik, Ryn embarks on the adventure of her life. Where nothing in her world makes sense and she does not know who to trust. Ryn must figure out how to play the game of deception with an evil King and his Dragon shifter. Ryn is a simple, poor girl who struggles to find her purpose; she battles to guard her heart and to stay alive in this suspense-filled young adult dark fantasy.

Review:

Blood Oath is an action-packed, suspense-filled young adult dark fantasy following the story of Ryn a poor young woman caught in the middle of a war brewing between an evil king and the rebels who are trying to give the people of Verald hope of a better day. A day where did can live in peace and not in fear. The reader is deposited in the soil of Verald and not retrieved until the very end of the story. I usually read books that have romantic elements driving the plot, and I was surprised to see that through this story I have fallen in love with fantasy.

The authors crafted well-developed characters that you will root for in times of despair and mourn the loss when that character is no longer in the fictional world of Verald.

The imagery of the fields and the people’s way of life brought this story bursting off the page. Through the story, you saw what they loved, what they valued and the things they were willing to lay their lives down. This book is the most unpredictable fantasy I ever read. When you think you figured out the mystery, you are submerged deep in a labyrinth of deception. I love books that the reader uncover truths through the story instead of being told. The plot was well crafted and supported by the main character and the others. This book has the innocent love element appropriate for the character who is seventeen years old. Even though the events she experiences are way beyond her years I appreciate that the romance matched her age. This story was believable, and I enjoyed every page.

In my opinion, the only growth area for this book is I think the Main character Ryn was a little too trusting. Her experiences made her compliant and submissive, and I did not enjoy that. The young woman I read about was brave and stronger than she ever gave herself credit. On the other hand, if I was a seventeen-year-old girl who was ripped from everything I knew and thrust into a foreign situation with people I know I shouldn’t trust I may have been resigned to accept my fate as Ryn partially did. I must admit even though I know that it was reasonable for her to act this way I wanted her to be a little more rebellious.

In conclusion, I enjoyed this book immensely. I am already reading Book 2 Shadow Wings. I am excited to go on this journey of self-discovery with Ryn and I look forward to new adventures.

Thank you for reading and I hoped you enjoyed my review of Blood Oath. If you enjoyed this review and would like for me to do a guest post on your blog visit the contact section of this blog.

Scheduled for tomorrow is an interview with Paranormal Romance Author and Founder of Twisted Trees Publications Sarah Bailey. Join me as she discusses her new book Demon’s Destiny Sarah is an Independent author and publisher from England.

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