Yesterday was the big day. “Books and Bowls” made its debut at the Sunrise Arts & Crafts Festival. My husband had the bowls, vases, and snowmen that he makes on his lathe; I had my books. As you can see–it looked nice. The sign and posters were perfect (thanks to Chris Holme, the wonderful person that creates my book covers. (And oh00she designed a wonderful pamphlet!). So, Friday night we set up the canopy tent–with the help of two people who took pity on us as we were struggling. Early yesterday morning we unloaded the car, put up the banner–etc. Was it successful? Yes and no. Some of our family members came out and bought books and a few things. David sold a snowman and a book. So, the successful part was that family came out to support us (I don’t mean by buying things.) They visited, encouraged–you know what I mean. So, yes–that’s success. As promised, two dollars of each item sold for the month of December will be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital–and so far that’s twenty-eight dollars. Success isn’t measured in how many books a person sells–but it sure would be nice to sell some!!
Please sign up for my newsletters. If you haven’t–here is December’s issue.
Do you belong to goodreads? If not, check it out. It’s an online book club and a wealth of information. There are different reading groups, book recommendations, giveaways–it’s fun place. You can meet people who like the same books that you do. And oh yes, it’s free. Go to goodreads.com and sign up.
Have you read my short stories that were published in Edify Fiction, an online magazine? Here they are–I hope you enjoy them. Let me know what you think.
It’s been a frustrating week since my book event on Saturday. I’ve spent hours trying to deal with the “loss” of success that I had hoped for. Of course, it was a learning experience because I know what mistakes I made–not in the promotion but in the venue. But–it was a learning experience. And isn’t that what life is–a learning experience? My generation was brought up not to be quitters–we saw things through to the end and kept trying (unlike today’s children–“you don’t have to keep playing football if you don’t like it.” So, it was easy enough to think of giving up on my writing–not because of the disaster on Saturday, but because books aren’t selling and people don’t even take advantage of a free book. But right now my biggest frustration is a lack of reviews–from buyers, people who have won books, or just giveaways. Will I quit doing something that has become a passion of mine? Not yet, because I’m not a quitter.
Do you like historical fiction? I have free copies of the kindle format of my first historical fiction (a novelette) to gift. “My Name is Rebecca: A Novelette” started as a tribute to my mother’s family who came to America in the early 1900s. As I wrote it, I realized it’s a tribute to all who came here for a better life. To get a code, send me your email address through a private message or my email: firstname.lastname@example.org . (Please put “gift code” on the subject line) I also have gift codes for my newest novel, “The Primrose Garden.” https://www.amazon.com/Phyllis-Babrove/e/B072PYDLT6?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1570200557&sr=8-1
My next event–a big one I hope–is going to be on October 19th. I reserved a conference room at a Dunkin Donuts in Davie. I had the best book cover designer do posters and flyers for me. (Chris Holmes is wonderful–I have her information if anyone wants it. My new book covers were done by Chris.) Anyway, I have different things in mind for the event–and I’m going to tell you about it step-by-step as I put it together. To start with, here’s the poster that I’ll be picking up next week. What do you think?
I picked up my posters and flyers yesterday for my “Meet the Author” event. So let’s see–I have the conference room reserved, I have the materials I need, and I ordered copies of “The Primrose Garden.” Refreshments will be easy–donuts and coffee?? Next will be some bags, since I plan on selling out of everything I take. (THINK BIG PHYLLIS!) . Promotional products are also ready–personalized pens, business cards, and memo pads will go into a little organza bag. Around Oct. 1st, I’ll put out some flyers and posters near the event. Stay tuned–and don’t forget–mark the date. If you don’t live in the area, or can’t make it, contact me via email to receive a special gift. email@example.com
I did my second book event at a local Hadassah meeting–the first Hadassah event was in April. The women of the organization are caring, lovely people. The organization was founded in 1912 and is stronger than ever. They are dedicated to improving health in Israel and around the world. It was my pleasure to present them with a copy of “My Name is Rebecca: A Novelette” and to tell them about my writing. I hope they enjoyed listening to me as much as I enjoyed talking to them. I posted some photos on the gallery.
As I write this, hurricane Dorian is hitting North and South Carolina. After seeing pictures of the Bahamas, it makes me wonder why a storm would cause such devastation in one place and pass others. Obviously I’m grateful that nothing happened in Florida–but it makes you wonder. I often say that it’s a reminder to all of us that, while we want to have control over our lives, there are certain things that we have no control over–such as the weather. The lesson that should always be learned is to be prepared for the worst possible scenario.
I’ve never been a patient person, so why at my age would I start now? And I’ve never liked living in Florida (48 years!!) so why would I start now? Well, the answer to both is–I’m not going to start now. I always have to explain why I’ve lived here for so long, so I may as well tell you now–my husband’s job kept us here. As far as patience goes–it’s gone for now as we wait for hurricane updates. It’s true–Dorian is wreaking havoc on our lives and we don’t even know where it’s going to hit. So, we buy water to have on hand; and enough food to get buy; and make sure there’s gas in the cars. And then there’s the decision of whether or not to put up shutters. And will we lose electricity and if we do for how long? And if shutters are up and we lose electricity, well then how on earth are we supposed to open a window after the storm leaves to get some air? Bottom line is–I HATE IT! So, yes, I would rather have this than live where there are earthquakes or tornadoes. But I would take a blizzard any day of the week–I really would. This all explains why my stories are set in New England and the fall and winter are perfectly described. See, that’s how I “live”where I want to live. If you haven’t read “When Shadows Linger,” check it out and you’ll think that you are there, too. (Available on Amazon, by the way.) . Good luck to anyone who is in the state of Florida. Stay safe and dry.
The big question is–how do indie authors promote their books? Facebook, websites, book clubs, instagram, join organizations, do giveaways. But what else works? Book signings, meet the author events–sure. But how do we do that ourselves? It takes creativity–which we have or we wouldn’t write, right? (That was intentional!) With the little experience I’ve had in the past year, including a luncheon and signing at Hallmark, I’ve decided to put on my own “Meet the Author” event. Of course the first step was to find an affordable venue. That took a great deal of thought and then I remembered that I’ve been in some Dunkin Donuts that have small conference rooms. Perfect!! After making a couple of calls, I was excited–even I can afford to use one at $9.00 an hour. Then which one? Well, of course, one with a lot of traffic. Found the perfect one. Next step–email the wonderful lady who did my book covers– Chris Holmes (and she’s great–contact me if you want her information) and she’ll do my poster and flyers. And next contact–someone who is going to allow me to put up a poster and flyers in the area of the event. Yesterday I booked the room for October 19th. And now the fun starts–planning the event to make it a success. As I work on it, I’ll keep you updated. And if you have suggestions, please share them with me–just as I’m sharing with you. I guess when we were little and taught to share–it was a lifelong lesson. Sharing ideas is another step in being successful throughout life.
I want to thank everyone who takes the time to leave a review of my books. I know how busy we all are but getting your opinion means a lot to me. My goal in writing is not only to provide a story that is interesting and meaningful, but one that also gives hope and inspiration. I hope that I am achieving that.
In 2017 I wrote a short story, “My Name is Joe: A Reflection.” It is a story about an elderly woman who reflects on her long marriage to her late husband. The story is about love that survives family issues, cultural changes, wars, and illness. My second story, “Willow Falls,” is about the strength of love and how it endures in spite of changes that can occur. Both stories have been published in Edify Fiction, an online magazine. The magazine is free and accepts submissions of short stories, photography, and poetry. I hope you will read my stories at: edifyfiction.com . Just click on issues and the ones below. And they are free. Also follow us (I do the social media for the magazine) on facebook for all kinds of information about submissions, writing news, and contests.
While writing is a major challenge–and very rewarding, I might add–promoting one’s work is even more of a challenge. Social media, ads, giveaways, word-of-mouth, book clubs–I’ve been trying them all. So, what works? I guess I just have to keep pushing. Don’t get me wrong–I’m not complaining. When I check my stats and see that books have been claimed on a giveaway I’m thrilled. No, I really am thrilled that someone wants to read my book. I just keep telling myself that patience is an important trait to have!!
“When Shadows Linger,” my first novel, is my pride and joy. It is set in Vermont and I’ll tell you why. We had just visited the state for the first time and I fell in love with its beauty. Having been born and raised in Wisconsin and living in Florida for over forty-seven years–I remember telling my husband that God must have put all of the beauty in Vermont. Anyway, it’s the story of a young woman who becomes widowed when her husband dies in a car accident in Wisconsin and she relocates to Vermont. Anyone who reads the story can picture themselves walking down Main Street in a small New England town. And I captured winter and holidays–I do pretty well with descriptions. Then I wrote the sequel, “The Primrose Garden.” With that book, I decided to try my hand at writing a mystery. Formulating the plan for the book, I decided that I wanted to divide it into “Book One and Book Two.” And I wanted to make it more diverse than Shadows was. So, I did–in several ways. As in any of my writing, I addressed issues that are prevalent in our society today–that’t my social work background kicking in. I hope you’ll read the books and let me know what you think.
Since I finished my new novel, “The Primrose Garden,” I have found myself not being able to focus on writing. Instead, I work on my website, Face Book, Instagram—and promoting the book. Oh—and reading, too. But while I’m doing all of it, I keep telling myself to work on my new book. To me, that’s the exciting part of writing—everything that I’m doing with the social media, this website, and reading—is part of what makes me a “writer.” But I have to admit to myself, that it’s time to get back on track if I ever want this new novel to take shape. It’s historical fiction, which requires research, being organized (not my best trait) and patience with putting it together. But I’ll do it—I’m ready to get back to my book. I’ll keep you informed!!
As a child, my mother encouraged us to read–she said that it would take us on adventures. And she was right. I’ve always been an avid reader, which led to me wanting to write. What girls didn’t like to read about the Bobbsey Twins and Nancy Drew? Of course, my reading tastes have changed over the years. I love mysteries, legal thrillers, women’s fiction, and novels about social issues. Like everyone else, I have my favorite authors–Jodi Piccoult, John Grisham, Nora Roberts, Lisa Gardner, Harlan Coben, Barbara Delinsky, Lisa Scottoline,–and others. Sometimes someone recommends something new and I wander out of my usual choices and am so happy that I did. The most recent recommendation ended up being a great book–“The Silent Patient,” by Alex Michaelides. It was fantastic–for those who enjoy psychological thrillers. If someone hadn’t told me about Jodi Piccoult a few years ago, I would have missed her wonderful books. So, how about you?– would you like to share your favorites? After all, how else can we learn about new reading experiences if not from each other?
When I published my first novelette, “Envelopes of Hope,” I did the cover myself (actually, my daughter-in-law did the illustration). And she did the same for “When Shadows Linger.” I thought that it would be expensive to have it done professionally. But I recently found someone who is professional and not expensive. And she does a fabulous job . Chris created the cover for my new book, “The Primrose Garden,” and a new cover for “When Shadows Linger.” I am so excited about the differences of the covers that I keep looking at them. I want to share my good fortune with anyone who needs a cover done–or the other products she has. This is her information: Chris Holmes. Her email is: firstname.lastname@example.org and her website is: http://whiterabbitgraphix.com/ . Chris answers emails quickly and does a beautiful job.
I find that writing is comprised of numerous steps–which is not a new discovery, I’m sure. Of course, first there has to be an idea for the story. And a genre–fiction, non-fiction, historical fiction. What will the length be–short story, novel, novella, flash. And the title–I, for one, find that I need a title right in the beginning. I may end up changing it, but probably not. For me, it’s almost like having an outline. Thoughts come easier when I have my title. Strange? Maybe–but it works for me. I’ve been fortunate (knock on wood) that my ideas flow; meaning that they just come to me as I write. Do I get stuck? Of course, but then I seem to get past it quickly. How about the setting? My novels are set in Vermont because that’s where I picture myself to be. Hey–it works for me. If you have read “When Shadows Linger,” and I hope you do if you haven’t, you’ll be able to picture yourself walking down Main Street in any New England town. I’ve been told that my descriptions are vivid. I can see as I continue writing that the depth of my characters has improved. The hardest part? Promoting my work–getting sales and reviews. But, I have no doubt that as time goes on, it will get better and better.
“Envelopes of Hope” is the first book that I wrote. It was inspired by a family member who had an addiction problem for many years. When she decided to change her life. she sent me a letter and thanked me for not giving up on her. The story is about a young girl who becomes lost in the dark world of drugs. With the love and support of her family, she finds her way out. The story was written with the hope of providing inspiration to those who have family members or other loved ones who may be involved with drugs or other issues. With our support, they can find their way to a successful life. The book is available on Amazon in both paperback and kindle formats.
I not only finished, “The Primrose Garden,” but I spent many frustrating hours getting the ebook and paperback published–only to find that I somehow neglected to put page numbers in the paperback!! So, that has to be fixed. Aww–the world of the indie author is not an easy one. I’m really happy with the book, though. It’s longer than I thought it would be-almost 500 pages. But I think it is a good read–if you don’t mind me bragging a little. It’s available on Amazon–and will be on a goodreads giveaway. So, stay tuned for more news and please share with your friends.
I’m excited! My first book club meeting is on Tuesday at a Hadassah luncheon. “My Name is Rebecca: A Novelette” will be the star of the day. Busy getting all of this ready and I’ll keep you posted. Wish me good luck!
If you have read “About Me,” you know a little bit of my background. Sometimes, as we all know, pictures tell a story without words. That’s why, in my new Gallery posts, I’ve decided to post photos from years gone by. I hope you will visit that page–it’s a work in progress. I hope you enjoy my new Gallery–and would love to have comments.
I have recently joined two groups. One is the Florida Writer’s Association. I am looking forward to meeting people in my state who share the love of writing. The second group is Hadassah, the chapter in Weston, Florida. I am extremely proud to be a part of both groups and will keep you updated on activities.
Many articles that I have read state that a person cannot be a good author if they don’t read a lot. That makes sense to me, so I have been increasing my reading (even though I have always been an avid reader) and the genres that I read. I tend to stay with one genre at a time–some years back it became mysteries. I love legal mysteries–I think it has something to do with my childhood goal of wanting to be a lawyer. (I chose social work instead.) Anyway, I also read novels that address social issues, some romance, women’s fiction. I don’t have “one” favorite author–I have many. There are some books that I absolutely HAVE to preorder as soon as they are listed. Some of those are: Harlan Coben, Jodi Piccoult, Lisa Gardner, Lisa Scottoline, Barbara Delinsky, John Grisham. These are just a few. Would you like to share your favorites with me?
Happy First Day of Spring!! I am happy to say that it has been “chilly” here in South Florida–and I love it!! The more cool days we get before the relentless heat and humidity set in, the better. I’m at the final stage of perfecting “The Primrose Garden” before I publish it next month. I can’t wait to do the formatting and cover–just put it together. Self-publishing is a challenge all in itself. I’ll definitely keep you updated!!
Well, I may have met my deadline for finishing my book but, as any writer knows, it’s far from finished. I’ve proofread, edited, proofread, etc. and that’s all before I even give it to the editor. It’s a process–and a fascinating one. As I go through the book over and over, my mind is on the project that I started months ago. “My Name is Rebecca: A Novelette” was a challenge and I took great pride in it. I decided at that time to write more historical fiction, but a full length novel. Now I can dedicate more time to it–since I had started writing it months ago. The new book, “The Primrose Garden,” is a sequel to my first novel, “When Shadows Linger.” If you like to read mysteries, romance, and stories that deal with social issues and mental health concerns, you will love this book. Watch for a release date.