Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Our Beloved Red is here!!!

Hello everyone, 

I am so happy to announce that my book, "OUR BELOVED Red: A Son's Memoir On The Loss Of His Mother" came out on May 9th last Thursday on Amazon Kindle. I can't believe the timing either. It happened to come out on the 10-year anniversary of the car accident. I know my mom was looking down on all of us, making sure it would come out on time. The paperback version came out Saturday via both createspace and amazon. 

Now it's time to report some of the big time numbers that my book achieved in the last few days. Honestly, I didn't even think I would see my book on a best seller list this soon. I knew it would happen, but I didn't think it would happen for a couple months at least. I woke up Friday morning (the morning after the release) to an email from one of my best friends. In the email, he wrote that my book was already on the Best Seller List at #12 for Death and Grief. I was shocked. It was one of the best feelings ever. Making a Best Seller List in my appropriate categories had been a goal for me from day 1. The kindle version reached as high as #5 and #6 in Death and Grief and Grief and Bereavement respectively. I woke up Sunday morning on Mother's Day and the paperback was #1 for Grief and Bereavement! Like the rest of the lists, this was out of the Top 100! I was so ecstatic with these results. Now the real work begins to maintain it. 

I wanted to give a shout out to the three ladies who really helped me make this book happen. My editor, Lisa Dawn Martinez, my cover artist Kim Vanmeter, and my formatter/designer, Judi Fennell. 

I found Lisa on the World Lit Cafe's list of possible editors to choose from. Something in my gut told me to contact Lisa and ultimately choose to her edit my MS. I couldn't have picked a better editor. She was very friendly and genuine during the process. She was able to maintain my author voice throughout the story. She a phenomenal job and she truly does have a gift. She worked tirelessly to make this dream a reality and I am thoroughly pleased with the finished product. 

I contacted Kim and proceeded to give her a photo and a vision. She was very detailed and prompt with her email response and asked for a couple more photos of my mom. The cover art on my book is absolutely amazing! Not only that, but the back cover is amazing as well! I couldn't have asked for a better cover. It was even better than I ever envisioned. 

Judi did a tremendous job working tirelessly with me to meet my deadline as well. She knew that I had a specific date in mind, and she worked hard to make it happen. She emailed me all the time with various questions and updates and it was obvious she sincerely cared about me meeting my deadlines. She was very patient with me and did an excellent job creating my estore for createspace and also doing the formatting for both createspace and the kindle. 

I plan on using all 3 for my next memoir coming out in a few months!!  Thanks to everybody who believed in me. I love you Mom. We did it! PDLK FOREVER!!!

Here are the links to my books.

        Kindle version                                       http://www.amazon.com/Our-Beloved-Red-Memoir-ebook/dp/B00821UT9Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1336937977&sr=1-1   

 Createspace version


“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it”  Charles R. Swindoll

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

How writing this book changed me

Hello everyone,

While my editor finishes her professional edit, I want to share with everyone how writing this book changed me. My wife and I went to the dog beach yesterday and I was able to just lay on the beach and think for a little bit. 

I grew up in the best possible situation I could have. I grew up in a small town by the best parents a kid could ask for. They loved me unconditionally and took care of us to no end. Taryn, Damon, and I received the best attention and care a kid could dream of. We were supported wholeheartedly throughout our childhood and high school days. 

I always kept a positive attitude growing up. I was always very nice and cordial to people no matter what situation presented itself. 

Ten years ago to this month, everything in our lives changed forever. My mom was T-boned by a semi-truck shattering her life and many lives around her. Her death affected our community and obviously my family as well. When she passed away in that hospital, a lot of aspects of my life were affected. Some of the changes were positive and some of them were negative. 

The positive things included a whole variety of things. First and foremost, I realized just how fragile life can be. I set out to live life to the fullest no matter what. I changed my major to Psychology and proceeded to graduate college a couple years later in 2004. After I graduated, I got bored and was unhappy so I decided to take a chance and move to Florida. After all, you only live once. I wasn't going to live another day not doing what I wanted to do. Also, because of the tragic events that I went through, I had the power to affect other peoples' lives as well. It took me a while to realize this. Other people who have been in similar situations looked to me for guidance and support. 

Needless to say, the biggest negative was I wouldn't be able to see the number one person in my life again. Shortly after my mom passed away, I developed a chip on my shoulder. At times, I let my temper get the best of me. Over the years, there have been instances when I didn't treat people the way that I should have. I didn't act all crazy and get arrested or anything, but the nice guy that I had been my whole life was lost and had to be found again. I wasn't always the friendliest person in the world. 

Over the course of writing this book, I was able to re-live a lot of my upbringing. I thought about the good times and the bad. Re-hashing the ways that I was raised to be brought up reminded me of how I was supposed to treat people again. My mom and dad instilled great morals and values in us from day one. I just had to remember some of them. Writing this book simply made me realize that I have done some very important things in my life; especially since I moved down to Florida. While there were many ups and downs that transpired over the years, I was forced to remember what originally made me a caring person in the first place. As always, thanks for listening. 

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it”  Charles R. Swindoll