The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

JasperPic

 Jenny, http://jennysblogspot.com, thankyou for tagging me in The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. For those of you who don’t know, the goal is for me to answer a list of questions about my book, and then at the bottom of the post, I’ll tag five more authors, who will answer the same questions next week. Here we go. Sounds like fun right?

What is the title of your book? Jasper, Amazon Parrot: A Rainforest Adventure

Where did the idea for the book come from? It came from my Amazon parrot Jasper who has been a member of our household since 1999. He is 18 years old.

What genre does your book fall under? A children’s fiction chapter book.

Will your book be self-published or represented under an agency?I am in the process of submitting to traditional publishers in hope someone will love it as much as I do.

 How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?It took me three months.

 Give a one sentence synopsis of your novel:

Jasper the Amazon parrot spends his day exploring the secrets of the rainforest with his partner in crime Charlie, a spider monkey.

What other works would you compare your story to? To be honest I can not think of any. When I was researching books to nail down my age group nothing came within my view.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?  My bird Jasper was my inspiration. To the outside world he is well just a bird. But he is more than that. In this book I got to share with everyone the true personality of my buddy in a way that people might not possibly imagine.  His Jasperness shines through in the pages written.

What else might pique the reader’s interest?

Here is a short piece from the book:

The next day, movement broke the silence within the nest just enough to wake up Jasper. He heard his mama coaching the other egg to crack. She nudged and nudged, but the egg remained uncracked. Jasper saw his mom continue to stare at the egg and then he heard her sigh.

What’s wrong with it?” he asked his mother.

I don’t know, son. There could be a few reasons. Maybe I did not sit on it enough to keep it warm. Maybe it does not have a baby inside. I am not sure,” she said.

Jasper did not know what to say to his mother. While he did not know what it would be like to have a brother or sister, it would have given him company for the times his mother was out gathering food and supplies. What he did know was that she was sad. Maybe that was what he was feeling on the inside of his tiny body.

Sally came to where Jasper sat and gave him a big hug. “ It was not meant

to be. A lesson we all learn as we grow older, Jasper.”

It is time to tag five authors so they can take a turn at answering the same questions. For those I tag, you all need to answer the same questions and then put your answers a week from today which would be December 17th. Tag five more authors at the bottom of your post and let the hopping continue. I wanted to again thank the authors who helped me during NaNoWriMo 2012 who posted on my blog while I did that frenzy.

Jo Ann Mason

http://cerridewnspeaks.blogspot.com

Michael D. Fowler

http://themikebehere.wordpress.com

Lynn Thompson

http://lynnthompsonbooks.blogspot.com

Merry Farmer

http://merryfarmer.net/

Victoria Treder

http://tredalong.com/

Advertisements

Dream Big

 

This is a chorus from the song “ Dream Big”

And when you dream, dream big
As big as the ocean blue
‘Cause when you dream it might come true
When you dream, dream big

This is a phrase we hear a lot. When I first heard the song by Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband I immediately fell in love with it. So seeing this plaque while I was shopping with my mom I knew it was coming home with me.

My mom on seeing the plaque said to me, “Sharon, do you dream big?”  Looking at her I nodded and replied I did.

As we continued our way around the store what she had asked me still was in my head. Do I dream big? I have been a dreamer for most of my life. My imagination has always been without borders as I wondered, plotted and tried to figure out how to accomplish what was going on between my two ears.

My first dream big was to go to a four year school of higher learning. I would be the first in my family and I was determined to not fail. Even when I changed my major in my Junior year I still graduated on time at the top of my department, Chemistry and Physics.

But when that day came what was left? Finding work and getting married seemed to be what we did at least in the time frame I was at. When my future mother law had said ,” Sharon don’t make me a grandmother before a mother in law,” I told her my only goal at that moment was to graduate.

Getting married and having a child was another dream, one that came and went pretty quickly.  My life started to have a routine about it. There is nothing wrong with routine. It keeps me stable and focused. Yet when my mom asked me that questioned I wondered when was the last time I dreamt big and the first answer that came to my mind was my writing.

I started writing Jasper:Amazon Parrot in the Fall of 2009. I completed it in a few months and have done so many revisions and edits if one saw the first draft to where it is at now you would recognize the name Jasper and that is about it.  Prior to that time I had never thought of myself as a writer in any form. A good friend Debbie told me that my husband had told her he felt I wrote well. When she told me that the wheels started to turn in my head. That summer is when the thoughts and words came of how to start this book. I am not sure what was the umph that made me get started but I did and have not turned back.

This is my dream big project and it has been with me for a few years now. I don’t think of the business as being hard, which we know it is. I don’t think of the many people who have told me this can’t be done. I don’t think of all the negatives that can come in one’s way when one tries to get a book published.

My sole thought is why the hell not? Seriously what do I have to lose? My back up thought had always been if worse come to worse I can make it into a book and read it to my grandchildren the series that I have in mind of writing. So with that I am pushing forward with this book and others that have been written since the late months of 2009. This is my dream big. It has been a rocky ride but I am up to the task. I don’t have a back up dream big plan at the moment, I am too busy trying to make this one a reality. ‘Cause when you dream it might just come true.

My Online Platform

Writer’s Digest is a magazine I inhale. About a year and a half ago I was reading this article where the writer in her following credits listed her twitter name. The article was on online platform and how one can use it to further one’s works. That one little name got me started on establishing my presence.

A lot of people have told me well I don’t have a book out we should wait. That is the opposite of what you should do. No matter what magazine you read that is on writing or webinar you have seen the topic of online platform is bound to be talked about.

This is a tool that indie writers use to promote their works. But it is not just for indie writers, traditional houses are now following suit.

When you are a new author you need all the help you can get in promoting your works. This is done in a variety of ways from Twitter, FB, Goodreads and other forms of publicity.

In March of 2011 I made the move to getting my name out there. What I had to my credit was a number of complete books, short stories and my soon to be 2011 NaNo book but nothing in print. But that was okay. You want to start ahead before you release a book. You want people to know who you are and what you are about.

Doing it when you have a book out and then shouting, “ Hey hey look at me! I wrote a book come check it out” will get you some looks but not as much if you had planned ahead and started working on your platform.

By doing this in advance I have gotten a lot of positive feed back. One major woohoo was a small indie publishing company wanting to include two of my short stories in their anthology e-book. Something I am still pretty proud of for now I can say I been published. From that I met my current editor who is a dream and worth her weight in gold. It continues to meeting a publisher who helped me with my query letter that got my MS to being read by a few publishing houses. This all done before I had one single book out in print or in e-book format.

Pretty cool right? By doing all this people are starting to know me and what kind of stuff I write about. When I have up and down days they are there to help me with encouragement, suggestions and tips to help me along the way. I have a circle of publishers, editors, authors and bloggers to turn to in time of need. To say they are incredible is a gross understatement. These are people who are well established but take the time to help me out. Why? Because they know me from the various mediums we belong too. People who are making it in the business that I am attempting to break into. They are there for me because they have come to known me. I am no longer the new kid on the block. That is something that I can not put a price on.

Because of the people I have met my book is getting a second look at by a publisher. Something I can not say would have happened if I had done this alone. It would be a lonely walk if I had waited until my first book came out whether it was self publish or in print.  If the publisher decides to publish my book it would partly due to the people I have met through my online platform. And that would be freaken amazing.  Over the next few weeks I will dedicate one post a week to the various social medias I use in hopes of passing along to others what I have learned over the last year and a half.