Category Archives: writing

Building a fan base

Building a fan base long before the book or screenplay are done is paramount.

How do you build a fan base?

Fan by fan.  The best place to start are social media. Start a page on Facebook, that you can later connect to your WordPress blog. Also do twitter.

Blogging for a writer is essential. It was the first recommendation I got from an agent.

“Start blogging,” agent Barbara Lowenstein said. “You should be writing reviews like crazy.”

I started blogging in January of 2013 to build my fan base.  I chose WordPress for its impeccable reputation. I started with two follows from friends. Typically, I post twice a week.

What to post?

Give fans a value in your writings; whether it’s inspiration, information, entertainment, insights or a reprieve.

The best posts are relevant to what you are working on. Write about how you came up with the idea for your book, screenplay or business. How does it impact other people?

Why do you feel your work is important, and not just to you?

I can answer this one based on my new collection of short stories “Shifting Sands.”

The reason I put the collection of stories that span more than two decades, was preservation. I knew they would just get lost with time. I wrote some of them on my Smith Corona word processor with only a small screen that showed at the max three to four lines. I bought it for $450 in 1990 at a Kmart store in Big Rapids.

Later, I continued to build my fan base with my journalism career. But, I always had the book in mind first. It was the goal of my life.

Now, that the book is out, I continue to build my fan base with book signings and public appearances. I give it away at raffles.

I accommodate my fans by reaching out to them with also a private book signing, when they already bought one book for themselves and now they want it for a relative as a gift.

I made brochures about me and  my book that I hand out wherever I can. I send out newsletters to my mailing list. If you don’t have one, create one. Use  MailChimp. It’s free up to 2,000 emails.

Don’t just rely on the Internet to market your work. Be personal and be in the public eye. People love meeting up live with authors.

“How many people can say, they had an author at their museum,” said vice-president Tina Siciliano Cadwallader.

Plus, I love meeting up with fellow authors like Glad Fletcher during Christmas through Lowell. At the age of 80, she took a class so she could pen her memoir “My Garden of Stones.”

Glad is 85 now, and does all her own book marketing including public speaking.

My other favorite local author is the Oakwood Cemetery sexton Don DeJong. I bought his book, he bought mine. He writes stories about the people buried at the cemetery using old newspaper records.

Does being an author carry a responsibility?

You bet it does. People have expectations from you.  You have to live up to them.

Whether people read your book or not is a factor you cannot control. The main thing is if they have it in their library. I read an interesting post from “Brain Pickings” on Facebook about the importance of having books at home, even if you’re not going to read all of them. It doesn’t mean you are ignorant or that you’re wastefully spending your money.

Why would you want a book that you’re not going to read?

It’s the energy behind the book that counts. You never know when you’re going to pick it up and just browse through it or use a Snippet for inspiration. I have tons of books that I use for inspiration including poetry and haiku. I also look for book cover ideas, formatting and quotations.

I compare my library to my garden and the books to my flowers. I don’t cut or pick all my flowers, but I enjoy all of them in their natural environment. They inspire and comfort me by their presence.

How do you stay motivated?

Solid motivation is a must to finish your work, whatever it may be. For me motivation is accomplishment. I need to have that feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day. The fans are also motivation when they ask you about your next book.

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

All around me in daily happenings, in old magazines and newspapers. I also find inspiration in arts and old pictures.

When I had my book signing at the Lowell Arts Gallery, I was inspired by other artists’ energy and expression.

How do you filter through ideas?

Sometimes, I have too many ideas and I don’t know how to connect them. Then, I have to discard some or jot them down in my diary. I prioritize. Now, that I am working on my second book of short stories, I made an index of them. I can shuffle the stories around, as inspiration comes. You can do the same with book chapters or scenes.

What matters the most?

The most important is every day writing. It doesn’t matter what you write, as long as you write. Later, it will make sense. Establish your own writing routine. Listen to your fans and followers. They are your valuable readers.

Now this all could just be a theory if not put to work.

For more info on “Brain Pickings” go to: https://www.brainpickings.org

Watch for my series “Year in Review.”

Copyright (c) 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Shakespeare by proxy

Shakespeare on a chocolate wrapper

I have Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” by Proxy on the wrapper of my salted almond butter dark chocolate.

The other day, I ate the entire chocolate bar in the morning for breakfast to get some energy. Now, that is exactly 480 calories. But, it did the trick of putting me back on my feet. Prior to eating the chocolate bar, I felt like a snake making his way through the tall grass by my pond.

Breaking into writing space

However, I didn’t realize until today what was going on. I was entering the subconscious working space of my new book “Riddleyville Secrets.” It took all that energy to break the outside barriers of consciousness.

And following are William Shakespeare’s lines from “Romeo and Juliet”:

Juliet:

          A thousand times good-night!

Romeo:

          A thousand times the worse, to want thy light.

          Love goes toward love, as schoolboys from their books;

          But love from love, toward school with heavy looks.

Juliet:

          Hist! Romeo, hist! O! for a falconer’s voice,

          To lure this tassel-gentle back again.

          Bondage is hoarse, and may not speak aloud,

          Else would I tear the cave where Echo lies,

          And make her airy tongue more hoarse than mine,

          With repetition of my Romeo’s name.

Romeo:

          It is my soul that calls upon my name:

  How silver-sweet sound lovers’ tongues by night,

          Like softest music to attending ears!

 

Copyright (c) 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

How to finish a book or a screenplay

Don’t leave unfinished projects behind to haunt you. Don’t be afraid to pick them back up with new energy behind them even if they have been collecting dust or taking up space in the computer.

A woman surprised me at one of my recent book signings of Shifting Sands Short Stories by the following question:

“I am on chapter six, how do I finish my book,” she asked me.

It was a definitely out-of-the-box question, because not everyone wants to admit they can’t finish something.

Here is what I have gathered over the years about  finishing​ any major writing project like a book or a screenplay:

Set a target finish goal, something that’s important to you like your birthday or any other milestone.

Write every day a quota of pages, such as 5 pages.

Always have an end in mind for the  book or script, but also for each chapter or scene.

Ask yourself: What do I want to carry out in this chapter or scene?

A loose flexible outline always helps.

Establish a reward program for yourself after each chapter. It can be anything from having a coffee with a friend or a token that will remind you that a particular chapter or scene is done.

Create a cover or poster early on even as a draft. It will help you visualize the book, play or film and the entire process.

Have a color theme in mind for the characters and the book overall.

Be cohesive. Don’t let it fall apart into pieces just because you stumble on a block in your way.

Explore, see, discover. I especially like these three verbs that I found on a sign by the Wittenbach nature center. They will continue to feed your inspiration. And in turn, the reader will keep turning pages.

Use character compass to balance out your stories. That means the right amount of thoughts, appearance, action and dialogue.

Don’t forget about the place and tension.

Don’t let unfinished Ghoulish projects haunt you.

The feature photo is from the Lowell Arts show “Between Turbulence and Tranquility” by artist Kim Ensch.

 

 

Copyright (c) 2017. Emma Blogs LLC. All rights reserved.

Express life in PR

My life condensed in an Express  PR

Shifting Sands Short Stories book press release

Emma’s book signings of Shifting Sands Short Stories come to downtown Lowell

For immediate release

Oct. 19, 2017

Contact

Emma Palova

 

emmapalova@yahoo.com

EW Emma’s Writings blog

http://emmapalova.com

Lowell, MI- Local author Emma Palova of Lowell has published the book Shifting Sands Short Stories, formats kindle and paperback, now available on Amazon for $7.99 and $11.99, and locally at Schuler Books in Grand Rapids and Lansing.

She will have a series of book signing events in historic downtown Lowell.  Following today’s event during Girls Night Out at Sweet Seasons Bakery & Café, her next book signing will be at Lowell Arts on Oct. 28 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. located at 223 W. Main Street.

“This is an active day for Lowell Arts with Dixie Swim Club dinner theatre and LA house concert,” said Lowell Arts director Lorain Smalligan.

It is also the last day for the current gallery exhibit “Between Turbulence and Tranquility,” before the Holiday Artists Market goes up on Nov. 7.

The book is a collection of 13 short stories that Palova wrote and collected over the span of more than two decades. The fiction’s genre is magic realism, a combination of fantasy with reality.

“In magic realism you combine the fictitious with fantasy and sometimes you use real characters to model the fictitious characters,” Palova said. “It can be a hybrid. I don’t write about Martians. I write about real people.”

Palova started writing for the Czechoslovak Newsweek based in New York City in 1990 upon arrival in the USA. She initially wrote a column, “Place for Commentary” in Czech.

Many of the stories are based on experiences Palova has had during her time living and working in the greater Lowell area in Michigan. The stories are thematically divided into three circles: Immigration, journalism and retail.

Palova has been writing for the area publications since 1997 when she launched her professional journalistic career with Kaechele Publications in Allegan. In 1998, she joined the staff of the Ionia-Sentinel Standard where she received awards for community reporting from the Ionia Chamber of Commerce in 2000 and the Ionia County Community Mental Health, 2003. Palova joined the staff of the Lowell Ledger in 2006. In 2011, she received an award from the American Legion for reporting on veterans’ affairs. Palova also had a community blog in the Ionia Sentinel-Standard.

Palova worked as a correspondent for the Grand Rapids Press, the Advance Newspapers, Gemini Publications and the Lowell Ledger.

Palova is currently working on the second volume of stories, as well as on the memoir “Greenwich Meridian, where East meets West” about the Konecny family immigration saga from Czechoslovakia to the USA.

She is preparing her first novel “Fire on Water” for publication in 2018.

Palova has a lifetime passion for history and politics. She does social media marketing for the Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS).

Palova became an American citizen in 1999.

“I am deeply humbled by the opportunities this country has given me,” Palova said.

Other author’s events will be held during Christmas through Lowell, and on Jan. 6, 2018 at the Lowell Arts.

Locally the book is available at Schuler’s Books

2660 28th Street

Grand Rapids, MI 49512

1-616-942-2561

Schuler’s Books, Okemos

1982 Grand River Ave

Okemos, MI 48864

1-517-349-8840

Shifting Sands Short Stories on Amazon

Paperback

https://www.amazon.com/Emma-Palova/e/B0711XJ6GY

Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/Shifting-Sands-Short-Stories/dp/152130226X

The book is also available throughout the libraries of Kent District Library (KDL), Hastings & Big Rapids.

Copyright (c) 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Master of his trade

Mastering the moldmaking for automotive industry

By Emma Palova

Grand Rapids, MI – It is no Coincidence that he gets called into work when others go to bed after a full day shift.

In a plant that runs three shifts, seven days a week, every minute that something doesn’t work like a well-oiled machine, means lost money. And a lot of it. The ABC Group global automotive supplier with vertically integrated plastic processing also has lots of pride being the GM supplier of the year several times.

And this mold maker knows how to fix what’s broken. Ludek must have mastered that elusive something that no one else knows. Call it the magic touch, and years of experience in the plastic injection molding industry. He is his own man in the tool room cage that is like an enclave between the plastic injection molding part of the company and the blow molding section.

Last night, as he walked into the gargantuan plant in his sandals sporting a black t-shirt from the Paranormal Society, he immediately commanded respect.

“Don’t touch anything,” Ludek yelled over the deafening sound of the machines to be heard.

The men standing around a 20-tun slab of steel hanging from a hoist turned around relieved, as if they had seen an angel in black.

Or better yet, the Raptor like the Raptor truck model that they were making the parts for.

Later, I learned that the slab of steel with holes and pins is called the tool. The tool is placed in a plastic injection machine, and it is expected to roll out plastic car parts.

The taller guy in blue shirt wanted to shake my hand, but grabbed a rag first to wipe the oil stains.

“Sorry to take him away from you,” said the manager.

It was 11 p.m., and the third shift had just started to find out that machine XOX was spitting out bad plastic car parts. It had to stop, and every hour the machine doesn’t work, the plant loses $60,000 according to the manager.

The question at hand remained what was wrong with what? Was it in the machine or in that 20-ton slab of carefully designed steel?

What first hit me, was the heat from the machines. Coming inside from a hot autumn night, it was like in a cauldron inside.

I had worked in the Svit factory in former Czechoslovakia several times during the summer breaks, but this was a different cup of coffee.

Ludek changed his sandals for boots. To my huge shock, he stooped underneath the steel slab to check the bottom of the tool. If it had fallen off the hoist, there would only remain an oil human stain.

“People get worried when they see me go under that,” he said.

Workers did come into the cage to see what was going on.

To be continued

Copyright © 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

A Crescendo for Taurus

Interesting horoscope for Taurus today

You revel in the certainty that today’s good intentions will reap tomorrow’s just rewards. Although your practicality may be tested now, your consistent actions add up in your favor. Stay strong and keep the faith, even if the attainment of your goals seems closer to a distant horizon than to your doorstep. Continue moving forward one step at a time.

I liken this time to a  Crescendo in music.

Author Josh Shipp wrote, “Perseverance is stubbornness with a purpose.”

My author’s journey continues

Grab a book at Schuler Books in Grand Rapids or Lansing, or on Amazon, and come to my book signing of Shifting Sands Short Stories at the Fallasburg one-room schoolhouse on Sept. 16 & Sept. 17 from 1 pm to 4 p.m.

For book excerpts go to Edition Emma Publishing at http://editionemma.wordpress.com

Visit with unique vendors during the 3rd annual Fallasburg village bazaar.

 

For more info on Fallasburg go to:

http://fallasburgtoday.org or http://www.fallasburg.org

Schuler Books at schulerbooks.com

https://www.tarot.com/daily-horoscope/taurus/2017-09-12?

Copyright (c) 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Symphony of words

With our thoughts we make the world.

Buddha

A well-written story is a Symphony of words that click well with the reader. If the reader cannot relate to the content, the writer is not at fault. The reader shouldn’t be at that show. Not everybody likes classical music or country music. But everybody likes music, everybody likes books. They are like pizza. There is no such thing as a bad pizza.

“What inspires you?” people ask me the most.

That is probably the most popular question for any author. There is no single answer, but a multitude of answers depending on the day.

Early in the day, I was inspired by someone else’s selfishness. That person feared that I wouldn’t make the birthday party, if I got into an accident on my upcoming vacation.

I was speechless and flabbergasted. Not a care about the fact, if I was going to make it alive out of the accident. The only thing that mattered was the party.

I always say: “Real people inspire me the most with their actions and emotions, or the lack of both.”

“What powers people’s thinking?”

“With our thoughts we make the world,” Buddha said.

I try to think before I say something and definitely before I write anything.

My best advise to any writer is clear thinking that comes out of meditating, out of that space inside us that we explore, free of distractions and turmoil.

And maybe even more important is the detachment from the outcome, as I found out today while meditating.

After a month of my new book Shifting Sands Short Stories hitting the market, I started feeling resentment for not writing books for all those 20 years that I was working as a journalist for different newspapers.

“Really, Emma?”

That thinking honestly surprised me, and that’s why I went back into meditating.

“Emma, without the journalism jobs, there would be no Delivery of the book, that’s how you built your name recognition and following.”

“That’s how you gained experience, mom,” my daughter Doc Emma said.

I meditated with Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey in their newest Desire & Destiny meditation. I highly recommend it, and not just to writers and authors.

It’s better than any “How to…….” manual.

It starts with the paramount question that we should ask ourselves every day.

“Who am I?”

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

Mark Twain

My next book signing of Shifting Sands Short Stories will be during the Fallasburg Fall Festival & village bazaar on September 16 & 17 from 1pm to 4 pm at the one-room schoolhouse museum.

Everyone is welcome.

Copyright (c) 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Exhausted

I am exhausted and ready for a vacation. Follow me on my author’s journey deeper into the Midwest as the sands shift some more into a new book.

I need some reprieve after all the commotion with the recent book Shifting Sands Short Stories that came out in July, both in kindle and paperback on Amazon.

I still have quite a way to go before the vacation next week, so at least I can write about it. It feels good to finally be able to think about some time off.

Watch for exclusive excerpts from the book, and more author events coming to the area.

What keeps me going are my morning therapeutic walks on the gravel road into the peaceful untrodden meadows, and meditations with Deepak & Oprah.

I especially love the Desire & Destiny meditation about fulfilling your purpose in life. It seems so relevant now with the new book.

Today, I did Day 12: “Inspired Me” with the centering thought, “I am inspired. I am unstoppable.”

I found out that I’ve been pushing too hard. I need to be effortless.

 

Copyright (c) 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Shifting Sands Short Stories book press release

Local author pens Shifting Sands book of short stories

A press release is a Traditional  Gate way to media coverage at large, don’t be a
Dormant writer,or author. You’ve finished your book now what?

For immediate release

July 25, 2017

Contact info

Emma Palova

phone

email

website

 

Lowell, MI- Local author Emma Palova of Lowell has published the book Shifting Sands Short Stories, formats kindle and paperback, now available on Amazon for $7.99 and $11.99.

Palova’s book will also be available at the Kent District (KDL) libraries, the Hastings Public Library and in Big Rapids.

She will have a book signing event at the Fallasburg one-room schoolhouse museum on September 16 & 17 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. during the Fallasburg Fall Fest and the Fallasburg village bazaar, with more local author events to be announced. The public is welcome.

The Shifting Sands Short Stories book is a collection of 13 short stories that Palova wrote and collected over the span of more than two decades. The fiction’s genre is magic realism, a combination of fantasy with reality.

“In magic realism you combine the fictitious with fantasy and sometimes you use real characters to model the fictitious characters,” Palova said. “It can be a hybrid. I don’t write about Martians. I write about real people.”

Palova started writing for the Czechoslovak Newsweek based in New York City in 1990 upon arrival in the USA. She initially wrote a column, “A Place for Commentary” in Czech.

Many of the stories are based on experiences Palova has had during her time living and working in the greater Lowell area,  West Michigan.

“I am passionate about the hometowns in Midwest America their characters and personalities,” she said. “They are a hardy bunch.”

Palova has been writing for the area publications since 1997 when she launched her journalistic career with Kaechele Publications in Allegan. In 1998, she joined the staff of the Ionia-Sentinel Standard where she received awards for community reporting from the Ionia Chamber of Commerce in 2000 and the Ionia County Community Mental Health, 2003. In 2011, she received an award from American Legion for covering veterans’ events. In 2015, Palova also had a community blog in the Ionia Sentinel-Standard.

Palova worked as a correspondent for the Grand Rapids Press, the Advance Newspapers, Gemini Publications and the Lowell Ledger.

Palova is currently working on the second volume of stories, as well as on the memoir “Greenwich Meridian, where East meets West” about the Konecny family immigration saga from Czechoslovakia to the USA.

She is preparing her first novel, “Fire on Water” based on her communist experience for publication.

Palova has a lifetime passion for history and politics. She does social media marketing for the Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS), and she is working with the Tri-River Historical Museum Network.

“I am deeply humbled by the opportunities this country has given me,” Palova said.

Shifting Sands Short Stories on Amazon, author’s page

https://www.amazon.com/Emma-Palova/e/B0711XJ6GY

For Fallasburg info go to: Fallasburg Today at http://fallasburgtoday.org

 

Copyright (c) 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

On the other side

Ask the author, Storyteller 2017

In this series following the release of the Shifting Sands Short Stories collection, I answer questions about the stories, characters, me and my writing career.

By Emma Palova

I’ve been on the other side of an interview only twice in my life. That is if I don’t count job interviews. As a reporter, I’ve interviewed thousands of people for newspaper and magazine stories over the years. I’ve always been very comfortable at asking questions, in person or over the phone.

The subject didn’t really matter, unless it was a personal issue of officials resigning under duress.

Recently, Tim McAllister  interviewed me for the local paper the Lowell Ledger about the Shifting Sands Short Stories book release. I wrote for the paper for many years as the lead reporter. The article “Ledger reporter pens book of short stories” came out on July 5.

It was a great interview that resulted in a great story. And I am grateful for that. Thank you.

An interview is like a Bridge  to a destination. A good interview is a firm bridge to a good story with a firm foundation. It is a lot like the physical structure that connects two places.

Here is a picture of one of my favorite bridges, and that is the Fallasburg Covered Bridge built in 1871. It has been connecting people with the Fallasburg pioneer village  for the last 146 years.

And because everything is connected, my book signing on July 16 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. will be held at the Fallasburg one-room schoolhouse museum. Everyone is invited into the historic setting, that well fits the premise of the short stories set in hometown Midwest America.

The only other time I was interviewed was when I became an USA citizen in 1999 in a naturalization ceremony at the Gerald Ford Museum, along with my daughter Doc Emma.

And now I have found out that I am equally comfortable on the other side of the interview. That is answering questions about my new book Shifting Sands Short Stories, me and my writing career.

I love the interaction with my followers, friends and family.

Just yesterday, I got this question:

“What is your favorite story in the book?” asked my daughter-in-law Maranda.

I love this question. I used to ask artists the same thing.

“What is your favorite painting?”

I use the analogy of releasing the book to releasing your child into the world, after he or she graduates. You nurture them or the book idea for years. Then you work it into a book, and release it to the world.

“You’re kind of sad, and it’s also a highly emotional situation that you did everything you could possibly do,” I said.

The entire world around the publication of the book is different from anything else. I had to write it down on a piece of paper:

“Don’t treat this like everything else you’ve done in life, because it’s different.”

The difference is mainly in the novelty and the complexity of the entire publication process from the inception of the idea to holding the actual book in your hands.

“I got shivers for you when we got your book in the mail,” said Maranda.

I couldn’t have said it better.

Thank you all for making this possible.

Ask the Author, Storyteller 2017 to be continued

The book is available at https://www.amazon.com/Emma-Palova/e/B0711XJ6GY

 

Copyright (c) 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.