Book Brief: Stumbling Through the Dark

Stumbling Through the Dark
by Thelma Zirkelbach
Genre: Memoir
Word Count: 62,000

In October 2004 Thelma Zirkelbach’s husband was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia and began a journey from which he would not return. As he fought cancer, she battled her own demons: fears of loss and loneliness and the absolute certainty she could not survive without him. But she did survive to record their final year together with all its anger, beauty and pain. An interfaith couple, their different ways of dealing with death added more tension to an already dark year; yet they stumbled along together and after his death she trudged along on her own. Early in her widowhood she discovered a Yiddish proverb that translates to, “When one must, one can.” She resolved to make that her mantra and to strive to fulfill the prediction her husband made shortly before he died: “You’ll be all right. You’ll do something good.”

This book is available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Continue reading “Book Brief: Stumbling Through the Dark”

Are You Publishing to Connect with Readers or Just to Publish?

These are two different things. I was reminded of this when I stepped into a lively discussion recently in a Facebook group. There was an author recommending to other authors that they should bypass the editing process and simply have a family member proofread their soon to be self-published book. This doesn’t work for me.

When I published my first book I had one primary purpose—I wanted readers to read my book. And yes, there were other parts of the dream too. I wanted my friends and family to hold my book in their hands and see what I’d done, and I wanted to hit the bestseller lists and have the royalty payments arrive so quickly that I couldn’t spend the money fast enough. That part of the dream is contingent on my main objective being realized first though. Before anything else happened, I had to connect with readers, and to do that I needed to produce a professional product. If I’d just wanted to hold a book in my hands, and show off my writing to those around me, it would have been much simpler. I didn’t, though. I believe that I’m a pretty good writer and I want to earn my living writing and to do that I need to find readers. So, I got some help. Continue reading “Are You Publishing to Connect with Readers or Just to Publish?”

Author Tips: Book Release Checklist

Chick-lit, romantic comedy by K.S. Brooks and Stephen HiseThis past weekend, the Evil Mastermind and I released our latest collaboration: Triple Dog Dare. Man, am I exhausted.

While this is my nineteenth release, things are always inevitably forgotten. But, you’re a spreadsheet geek, Brooks. Don’t you have a list somewhere, you ask? Yeah, I probably do.

I thought it might be helpful to authors beginning a project or approaching release time to have a breakdown of what to do with a general idea of when. This list isn’t for everyone, or perhaps anyone, but at least I’ll know where to find it next time I do a release. That’s right; it’s all about me.

A few things, before I dive into the list. I believe in editing before Beta readers. I know many people prefer it the other way around, so do what works for you. Also, I’m a paranoid hermit, so I don’t believe in doing book cover reveals, teasers, title leaks, or anything of that regard. Continue reading “Author Tips: Book Release Checklist”

Celebrate Banned Book Week

Have you ever read a banned or challenged* book? Chances are that if you had a public school education, you’ve already read plenty of them. The Grapes of Wrath? Banned for its religious and labor union references. Brave New World? Banned for references to drug use and sex without benefit of marriage. The Catcher in the Rye? You name it. One of my favorite novels, Lolita, has been on a banned or challenged list pretty much every year since its publication. Continue reading “Celebrate Banned Book Week”