Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Blog Party and Runaway Bride Giveaway!

My good friend Shelly is having a blogparty and a Runaway Bride giveaway that started yesterday and runs until tomorrow. For some reason my post yesterday did not update and go to feed so here is a link to that post,  or you can just go visit Shelly's blog HERE  Read all about the Secondhand Shoes Blogparty  and get your free copy of the book today!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Runaway Shoes

My good friend Shelly Arkon is having a blog party to celebrate the release of her new novel, Secondhand shoes!
Secondhand  Shoes 

The shoes didn’t fit. It was an omen.
Eighteen year old psychic-medium-germ-a-phobe Lila should have listened to her ghostly Gram’s advice the morning of her wedding, “Take off that dress and those shoes. And run.”
En route to the honeymoon, she decides to listen after too many disagreements with her groom. It doesn’t pay to go along to make everyone happy.
Still in her wedding dress and shoes, she escapes out a diner’s bathroom window into the Florida woods despite her fear of snakes and germs with her dead Gram’s direction.
So she begins a journey of finding her inner strength, putting her on a deadly run from her psychotic groom and his deranged friends.
Will she ever get past her fear of germs and snakes? Will she survive her honeymoon?

Who Is Shelly Arkon?

When she was nine, Shelly Arkon's mother advised her not to write a novel because no one would publish it...but she wrote it anyway.

Shelly Arkon has never stopped writing since she wrote that first novel as a child. In spite of more family drama than most of us could handle—as the mother of five daughters, drama is unavoidable--she's been writing most of her life. She says most of these stories, written in longhand in spiral notebooks, have been about vampires.

She now lives in New Port Richey with her husband and two dogs. She’s also a member of Florida Writer’s Association and Writer’s of Mass Distraction.

Currently, she’s working on a book series. It’s’about two grandmothers, one a New Age hippie, and the other, a Southern Baptist, their grandbaby, their grown children who are pill heads, their extended dysfunctional family, and a dangerous drug dealer.

The two grandmothers find themselves in a dangerous pursuit to save their grandbaby while finding an unlikely friendship between them.


Why do you write?
There is a constant chatter going on in my head all day. Ideas and dialogue come quickly where I have to write them down. If I don’t, I may miss an opportunity to get it down the way I heard it the first time. Even characters get perturbed when you don’t relay their information correctly. They want their stories told in the right way. Not to mention, all of my characters bug me until I do-I have a tendency to work on multiple projects at a time.

Can you explain the trials and tribulations of writing your first novel or writing in general?
There’s a ga-zillion of those. My first set of trials and tribulations began in the first grade when teachers stuck me in a slow class because I couldn’t grasp reading and writing like the other kids in my class did.

One afternoon, one of my teachers handed me a stool, an eraser, and a piece of chalk. I was to write, say each letter to my name, and then sound it out and repeat. This tiny feat took up an entire afternoon.

First grade through the third were the most tedious years of my life. But I’m thankful to all my teachers for their patience and persistence. By the fourth grade, I was further ahead than most my classmates in reading and writing along with my big love for both.

Once I took off in reading and writing, I read everything I could get my hands on. And I had an affinity for diaries, spiral notebooks, pens, pencils, and daydreaming. My imagination ran wild with stories and poems. I wrote non-stop as a child and teen.

Unfortunately, there were people and even myself who discouraged me from writing. Many times I heard ‘no one would publish you’ or ‘there’s nothing special about what you write’ or ‘so-n-so writes way better stuff than you do.’ Negative self-voices are the worst. So you have to find your positive self-voice to talk you out of the bad conditioning. This is something I’m always working on.

Not only do people and yourself get in the way of writing, but so does life. Marriages. Children. Divorce. College. Work. Mundane chores. Traumatic life events. These can really put a damper on one’s ability to sit in a chair and write out your characters’ problems when you have your own.

In 1998, I sat down one evening and wrote the first chapter to Secondhand Shoes. My thoughts were I would be able to finish it within a year, but I found myself suddenly a single mother of five. So I tucked it in a folder and stuck it in my closet. For years, I made notes and wrote dialogue for it and tucked it away.

Several years later, and down to two children in the household, I plunked myself back into a chair and wrote. I wrote it four times over. The first version, I hated and couldn’t relate to it at all. It was like reading a Monday night movie on Lifetime for Women. The second version, the protagonist was a real whiner. When I finally finished the third version, I could finally see the forest through the trees, and the fourth version of Secondhand Shoes was born.

Somewhere between the first and second version, in 2008, I became a member of the Florida Writer’s Association. Every second and fourth Monday evening, we meet at the Barnes and Nobles in Carrollwood. There, we edit and critique each other. The girls and one guy in the group are my checks and balances as I am theirs.

Once I got the okay from my group members that it was ready, it was onto the next stage in the writing experience. Finding an editor. Well, I had the gem of all editors. Kaye Coppersmith. She was a longtime member of Florida Writer’s Association and halfway through my manuscript when she passed. That was this past April. At the time, I felt like God and the Universe had stolen her from me. And the negative voices ate at me again.

But I rose above it, wiped my tears, and went forward. It wasn’t easy finding an editor who could keep my writing voice. So many editors out there try to change everything so much so they lose the characteristics of your characters and their voice. I also found a lot of people labeling themselves as editors, only to find out they didn’t know much about the profession.

And how did you publish?
I ended up going Indie (self-published). Yes. I did try the traditional route but after sending the requested manuscript to agents and publishers, most times I didn’t even get a rejection. Not getting a response bothered me more than not receiving one. It would have been nice to at least hear they didn’t think my novel was marketable. To this day, I haven’t heard back from one agent who requested my manuscript ‘as is’ in 2010. Getting published isn’t as easy as one thinks. No one writes a novel and becomes instantly published.

 Let me tell you, self-publishing isn’t easy, either. Since I’m not a computer geek by any means, I thought many times I would throw my computer into the street over formatting. My eyes thought they were going to fail me over the many times I proofread. Right now, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with the marketing part. Indies are a one man or woman show wearing many hats while maintaining their day jobs.

Also, being self-published takes the cost of making a book out of your pocket. Nothing is free. One has to hire a cover artist, an editor, and someone who can format for an ebook. It all takes time and a lot of dedication.

My novel, Secondhand Shoes is now available on Amazon either in paperback or as an ebook. Paper back is $13.50. Ebook is $4.99. But from February 19th through the 21st the ebook is FREE to everyone. Here is the link!


Go ahead friends and tweet away!

Free books and prizes @ Feb.19 to 21st #FReeBooks#KindleAmazon Please Retweet

For Facebook:

Feb. 19th, 20th, and 21st join us to Spread the News and Cheer on the Run Away Bride Give Away and Blog Party. You could win a 15 dollar Amazon card or an autographed copy of Secondhand Shoes. Visit

Spread the News and Cheer on the Run-Away-Bride Give-Away

Friday, February 15, 2013


No, I am not talking about a gun. The bang… bang is accompanied by other sounds outside my “work space,” such as buzzzzzzzz and eeeeeeeeeeeuuuuuu. Yes my friends, once again my world is overrun by hammers, drills and the saw. You might wonder where I have been lately, now you know. I am stuck under a pile of sawdust and uncompleted writing projects.

View of an unfinished garage
Home renovations and additions have been going on here for several years now. Of course the end result will be worth the wait but in the meantime it is costing me the concentration I need to get work done. You are probably thinking I should move to another room and I would if there was another one unoccupied by a member of the family. As you might recall, my son has moved in again and what was to be my atelier-office has turned into his room. No, I am not complaining.  I am just a bit frustrated because my headphones are broken, and the blinds we ordered for the room I spend most of my days in are missing. 

Amongst all the toil and trouble there is a ray of sunshine. Finally I have found a wonderful and talented writer through this community, and a post through Alex Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writers Support Group, to critique and help me get the first draft of my book finished. I couldn’t be more pleased! 

So you see now what I have been up to, what about you? Do you have any major distractions that get in the way of your writing? I bet you do, tell me about it and where ever in the world you find yourself I hope distractions will not get in the way of you having a fantastic Week-end!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


There are many things that can make a writer insecure. Losing words in translation is one of them. As an American living in a foreign country I am faced with that problem every day, not only in my writing but in daily life. Language can be easily misinterpreted so learning how to deal with the confusion words can create on a daily basis can be frustrating and it affects my writing habits. My inspiration is fading and my support is nonexistant. Here I am writing and thinking English everyday while all around me another language is constantly intruding. My family and friends have no time for my words, nor do they understand them the way they should. Maybe I should just stick to making food, at least my cooking does not need to be translated and at least that is appreciated.

Do you ever feel misplaced and misunderstood? Do your words get lost in translation? This year marks my 25th anniversary of moving to Norway and I have realized that even though I will never be completely at home here, I have learned to love and even hate at times this place and the words that leave me lost in translation.  

Check out The Insecure Writers Support Group and visit some very talented and inspiring writers. Your words DO make a difference.