#WW The Emotions of Listing A Book For Free

19 Aug

Let me start off by saying I am not an expert in this. In fact, I’ve never put up my book for free before. This is all new to me! (How exciting.) But, yes, the first novel in The Timely Death Trilogy, Minutes Before Sunset, is now up for free. My publisher, Clean Teen Publishing, did this to celebrate the upcoming release of the sequel, Seconds Before Sunrise, which releases August 25.

Whew. What a summary of events.

At first, I’m not going to lie, I felt like I failed. Like I failed my publisher, my readers, and myself. I’m not even sure why I felt this way, but if I could think about you in relation to my books, I thought, “Well, that’s it. My book didn’t sell, so my publisher dropped it to the big ol’ ZERO. I failed.” Cue my tiny and sad violin.

emotions

Emotions. So many emotions.

This was my initial reaction anyway. And it was a silly reaction. In fact, my publisher didn’t make Minutes Before Sunset free because it wasn’t selling. It was selling. Still is. They simply made it free to celebrate. That is it. My own crazy thoughts were just my own crazy thoughts, and I think it’s important, as an artist, to keep those emotional thoughts at bay until you have time to see what actually happens. Easier said than done, of course, but I’m only two days into this free-promo, and I’m loving it!

Within twelve hours, Minutes Before Sunset hit the bestseller category for young adult science fiction, and within 24 hours, Minutes Before Sunset became #5 in Science Fiction. #5! We also hit #7 in Paranormal/Urban Fiction and the top 500 Kindle books overall. It even appeared in the article The Top 100 Best Free Kindle Books On Amazon, and the downloads kept coming in as more and more readers shared, liked, and commented on my one Facebook post about it.

5&7

I was dumbfounded.

Here I was, thinking I was devalued, when—in reality—it connected me with additional readers who may not have found me otherwise. Lesson learned? I was too concentrated on MY value and not on the READERS’ value. I can admit that, can’t I? I’m only human, after all. A silly writer human (who really loves cats), and now, this silly cat-loving writer-human definitely suggests running a free-promo. You’ll never know how it’ll make you feel unless you try.

On a fun side note, someone attempted to hack my Instagram this week. I regained access, so expect more cat and coffee adventure pics soon. I also had the utmost pleasure of participating in fight research for a novel. I might write a post about that soon, but the trainer gave me a wooden spoon for a weapon. It was awesome.

#DontMessWithTheSpoon

~SAT

Now for FIVE giveaway announcements for hitting #5 in science fiction! 

Book 1 of The Timely Death Trilogy, Minutes Before Sunset, is now free everywhere! Here are the links to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. I hope you check it out before the sequel, Seconds Before Sunrise, releases in less than a week. (Less than a week!) On that note, you can pre-order the sequel here: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. The last installment releases September 15. (So almost no wait time. Yay!)

memoryjar

Jessica’s memory jar! I’m giving two away.

If you love Goodreads Giveaways, here is the link for winning a paperback of Seconds Before Sunrise, but don’t let that make you forget that you can win another Seconds Before Sunrise paperback (as well as many other paperbacks and prizes) during the CTP Find Your Next Read FB Party on August 28. The little jar on the right is a sneak peek of what you can win. It’s called a “memory jar,” but you have to read Minutes Before Sunset to know why Jessica needs one!

I’m not done either. (Told you there was a lot of giveaways going on.) You can still sign up to support the release day of Seconds Before Sunrise on August 25 to win a signed bookmark and a swag pack from me! Simply join the campaign and shoot me an email at shannonathompson@aol.com, letting me know you’ve joined. By following my newsletter, you’ll receive monthly opportunities like this.  

Last but definitely not least, the Minutes Before Sunset blog tour is giving away a $15 Amazon gift card, a bookmark swag pack, and a CTP eBook of your choice. Here are the latest places you can enter: If You Could Be Any of Your Characters (guest post on Black Words-White Pages), spotlight on Girls With Books, and a spotlight on The Bookie Monster.

I hope you win some prizes during this celebration! 

Stay Dark and Lovely,

~SAT

#MondayBlogs: Learning SEO: 5 Reasons It’s Now a Must for Freelance Online Writers

17 Aug

Intro:

SEO Terms. That single two-word combination probably put knots in someone’s stomach. It’s a necessary evil, a vital tool to use for surviving the Internet game, and today’s guest blogger, Eve Haugen, is here to explain why. She also helps you improve your footing in the SEO-crazy world.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in guest articles are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect my own. To show authenticity of the featured writer, articles are posted as provided (a.k.a. I do not edit them). However, the format may have changed.

Learning SEO: 5 Reasons It’s Now a Must for Freelance Online Writers

In the web world where thousands of sites are coming up in a rush, the competition is also getting hotter each day. The role played by SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in beating the competing rivals is undeniable. Also, there are no shortages of quality article writers around the globe. So what differentiates a specialist from the ordinary? It’s a question that every online writer should ask himself. Now simply writing good articles will not bring in work, but the knowledge of SEO oriented writing is bound to bring in more work. The 5 reasons that will give the freelance online writers the edge over their competitors are:

  • Only those writers that have a good knowledge about keywords will get an added advantage over the others. Finding the right keywords and their proper utilization in the article will give a clear edge to the website. Right keywords can honestly give the required push to move the site clear of completion and playing with the wrong keyword is sure to get the site dumped. Hence, knowledge about search engine optimization is bound to help select the right keyword. This knowledge of Search Engine Optimization helps in beating the competitors.
  • Knowledge always helps in bringing new work and consequently more financial strength. So those writers that have good knowledge of Search Engine Optimization are likely to get better paid than the other writers. There is no shortage of work for good writers in the web world, but it is an undeniable fact that only those that can show the extra quality of search optimization knowledge will win the race hands down and the winners are always well paid.
  • As workflow never dries so a person can definitely work from home or any suitable place of his choice without having to deal with travel stress. This will give the person more time for work and as a result bring in more financial stability.
  • During the time of recession, this part time job can be a life saver for many. The knowledge of SEO can give an added edge to the writer during this recession time. In a way, it can be said that this knowledge helps a person to become recession proof.
  • As a freelance writer, a person has to bid for jobs in several websites and for this reason competition is also high. This added knowledge will give the thrust required to move the person ahead of the others.

 

sero

Nowadays Google Panda and Penguin have changed the concept of Search Engine Optimization. Old fashioned search engine optimization will not help in improving the sites ranking. So proper knowledge of search engine optimization will help the online writers prove their worth in gold and bring in more potential customers. There is no dearth of good writers, but only those with proper online marketing knowledge will win the race. The opportunity is there for the taking and only those that have mastered the specialized art of search engine optimization related writing will have no shortage of work.

Bio:

eveEve Haugen has been a freelance writer for a long while. Her passion in writing is her main drive in crafting articles that are engaging, informative, and meaningful. Her partnership with QuickSEOResult has given her a whole new opportunity to take writing to a whole new level.

Want to be a guest blogger? I would love to have you on! I am accepting original posts that focus on reading and writing. Pictures, links, and a bio are encouraged. You do not have to be published. If you qualify, please email me at shannonathompson@aol.com.

~SAT

#SATurday Emotionally Spamming Readers

15 Aug

Emotionally Spamming Readers

I want to talk about something unusual…at least for me as an author…and because I’ve never really seen an article discussing it (other than how to avoid it), I thought it would be fun to address it. Overwhelming your readers with spam. Rather than talk about literal spam, I want to talk about emotionally holding yourself back because you fear any announcement is spam. So, when I say “spam,” I’m not talking about an endless array of emails or tweets with no purpose. I’m talking about feeling guilty when you share news once or twice for various reasons. That’s the issue I want to address.

As many of you know, I started off this blog almost three years ago. I wrote every other day, and then, two years in, I took a one-month break where I changed my schedule to Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays (and Mondays are for guests only). During my Wednesday and Saturdays posts, I’ve recently been sharing news at the end of the article. “Here’s an upcoming release!” or “Check out this giveaway!”

To be honest, I haven’t had a lot happening up until last month, and now, it’s endless. Blog tours, giveaways, release days, appearances, interviews, etc. Which is all FANTASTIC. Don’t get me wrong. I’m so giddy my rolly chair barely stays still. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t worried. Sometimes, at the end of my recent posts, my announcements are longer than my post, and the spam worries roll in:

Am I posting too much information? Should I choose between one interview and a giveaway? Do I look like I’m bragging? Is anyone even reading that part?

And then, I came to a personal conclusion—a conclusion I’m not always sure about, but one that brings me comfort and happiness, and that conclusion is that I enjoy sharing that news at the end of my blog posts.

Some recent (and wonderful) moments I shared, include meeting a blogger, finishing a manuscript, my eight-year anniversary, a great review, and holding my book in my hands.

Some recent (and wonderful) moments I shared, include meeting a blogger, finishing a manuscript, my eight-year anniversary, a great review, and holding my book in my hands.

For a long time—and I know I’m not alone in this—I hid my author life and accomplishments and current news, and when people asked about my career (or “hobby” as many put it), I gave a mundane answer like, “It’s going well.” instead of saying, “I have a blog tour coming up, and I just got back from meeting a long-time blogger friend in Atlanta.” Why did I do this to myself? Why did I hold back my excitement toward my career? Probably because, as many writers know, society rather pokes fun at writers who aren’t Stephen King or George R.R. Martin, but they weren’t always “them” either. One story that always sticks out to me is from the infamous King, who said he finally felt like a writer when he paid a plumber’s bill with his royalties. It didn’t matter who defined him; he defined him, and that’s how he did it. So, I’m working at accepting my pride as a writer—and not hubris, but simple pride for all the work I’ve done, and all of the readers who’ve done work to help me, and all the bloggers I’ve met, and all the moments we’ve shared. How do we share more moments if I continue to hold myself back by not sharing my latest news below my weekly articles? I have to share them, and I have to be okay with sharing them, and even more, I have to accept that I ENJOY sharing them without feeling guilty or worrying about if I’m spamming. As long as I have a purpose, and I’m not posting it wherever and whenever I can, it’s not spam; it’s a simple announcement about what’s going on in my author life. And if someone wants to read it, GREAT! If someone wants to just read my articles, that’s GREAT too!

This is my life, and my life isn’t spam.

It’s crazy, and wonderful, and I stumble over it every day, and for that, I am grateful.

~SAT

And now for those announcements I just discussed. ;]

Seconds Before Sunrise releases in less than two weeks! To celebrate, Clean Teen Publishing is hosting SO many giveaways. Win a paperback of Seconds Before Sunrise via a Goodreads Giveaway, and win a $15 Amazon gift card, CTP ebook, and bookmark swag pack during the Minutes Before Sunset blog tour; here are the latest posts where you can enter: Deal Sharing Aunt Interview, Mythical Books SpotlightThe Cheshire Cat’s Looking Glass Spotlight, and The Wonderings of One Person Spotlight.

If you want to participate in the next tour—where you can interview me, have guest posts, and more—sign up for the Seconds Before Sunrise tour here. You can also join my newsletter for more prize-winning opportunities…which brings me to my next announcement. CTP is hosting another Facebook party, where you can win prizes and talk to authors on August 28. I will definitely be there, and I hope you come too!

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Don’t forget to check out Minutes Before Sunset before the sequel releases at Amazon and Barnes & NobleIf you’ve already done that, here are the links to pre-order Seconds Before Sunrise (AmazonBarnes & Noble) and Death Before Daylight (AmazonBarnes & Noble). If you write a review and you want me to share it, please send it to me at shannonathompson@aol.com. I would be more than happy to do so!

Thank you for your support.

Stay Dark,

~SAT

#WW Attending Book Cons

12 Aug

Attending Book Cons

Whew! I’m back from Atlanta. (Although, to be perfectly honest, I’m writing this right before I leave for Atlanta…I’m basically in a mind-blowing matrix of messed up time right now.) And as promised, I wanted to share how Penned Con in St. Louis went.

First off, I went as a reader. I didn’t have an author booth, and I most definitely wasn’t there to sell novels. In fact, I didn’t even have my hands on them yet. I went simply because I wanted to go meet some awesome Indie authors I love (and a few bloggers along the way).

Tish and me

Tish and me

Excitedly enough, I met Tish Thawer—one of my favorites—and she was kind enough to take a photo with me. I love her Women of Purgatory series about female Grim Reapers, and I cannot wait to get my hands on The Witches of BlackBrook. I also had the pleasure of meeting Stacy Marie Brown (Darkness Series), Amy A. Bartol (The Kricket Series), and B. Kristin McMichael (The Blue Eyes Trilogy). I also had the utmost pleasure of meeting Ethan Gregory from One Guy’s Guide to Good Reads (basically one of the best book blogs of all-time.) I highly recommend checking all of these awesome people out. (And if you do, tell them I sent you ::wink wink::)

I am making a REAL effort to come out to these events and meet you guys! So, if there is any upcoming event you want me to come to in 2015 or 2016, please let me know about it, and I’ll start researching right away! I love to travel. I feel most at home when I’m on the road (blame my parents who forcibly moved me every two years), and being able to hug and laugh and talk about books with you all is some of my happiness memories. I cannot wait to meet more of you! (Maybe I’ll even have an author booth one day.)

On a side note, since I was in St. Louis, I thought I’d share some of my fun photos (if you haven’t already seen them splattered all across the wonderful web). My favorite place—possibly one of my favorite places in the world now—we went to was the Missouri Botanical Garden. It’s 14 acres of Japanese beauty. (Not to mention the fact that there’s also a Victorian district with the original home of Henry Shaw, the creator of the gardens. 85% of the furniture was original too. It was unbelievable.) Personally, I liked it A LOT more during the day than at night during the lantern festival. Definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area!

botanical

Until next time,

~SAT

Now for the upcoming events. ;]

Seconds Before Sunrise, book 2 of The Timely Death Trilogy, releases in 13 days! (13!) You can pre-order via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and pretty much everywhere, so get out there and find the Dark.

And, SURPRISE, you can win a copy via this Goodreads GiveawayClean Teen Publishing is also accepting bloggers for the upcoming blog tour, so please check it out or share it with someone you know. That being said, the Minutes Before Sunset blog tour is underway, and you can win a $15 Amazon gift card, CTP ebook, and bookmark swag pack during the Minutes Before Sunset blog tour; here’s where you can currently enter: Juniper Grove interview, How to Make Your Paranormal Novel Stand Out (A guest post on One Guy’s Guide to Good Reads).

So here's a teaser.

So here’s a teaser.

If you haven’t caught up on the first book yet, Minutes Before Sunset, book 1, is also available everywhere, but here is Amazon, Barnes & NobleI know some of you are feisty, so Death Before Daylight, the LAST novel, is available here: Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Can you believe it?

I’m also giving away more prizes myself! (You thought I was done, didn’t you? Silly. I love you.) So be sure to sign up for my newsletter for a chance to win. (Your information will never be given away, and you’ll only receive one letter a month maximum.)

Stay Dark and lovely,

~SAT

#MondayBlogs: Criticizing Wrongly

10 Aug

Intro:

We’ve all seen it happen. Someone reviewing a novel by stating, “There’s romance in this, and I don’t like romance. One star.”…on a romance novel. Or someone attacks a book because they don’t agree with the content…and when you read it, you can’t find that content. Book reviewing is a tricky (and sometimes) confusing place, and today, Desirable Purity is discussing when criticizers criticize wrongly.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in guest articles are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect my own. To show authenticity of the featured writer, articles are posted as provided (a.k.a. I do not edit them). However, the format may have changed.

Criticizing Wrongly by Desirable Purity

There are some scenes, meetings and happenings in fiction that seem a bit far from reality and some criticizers are very specific about it. Now, let me divide this post into three parts.

Difference between Unrealistic Sequences and Unique Moments.

Genres.

Suspension of Disbelief

In this post, I’ll criticize the criticizing of new criticizers. Fine! You’ve never seen it happening. It’s illegal. It’s nasty. It’s immoral. Guys don’t talk like that. Girls don’t wear that stuff. Mothers don’t do that. People! That’s why it’s a story. What do you want to read all the time? Cliches? If these kinds of plot twists aren’t there that make you go, “What the hell?”, what good is the book doing to you? It’s fiction. Things ought to turn out that way. And let me tell you, these things do happen in real life. It’s just that you haven’t seen it yet.

Difference between Unrealistic Sequences and Unique Moments

There is a fine line between Unrealistic and Unique. Why do the new, young criticizers think that by saying that the scene didn’t look realistic, make them “professional”? I swear, some people think that.

Remember the fine line.

You’re allowed to say that the scene was far from reality when a guy is walking down the path, steps on a snake, snake hisses, the guy apologizes and presents it chocolates, the snake accepts them and says, “Thank you! But be careful before stepping on us or you’d have to spare some more chocolates.” Okay, now that was unrealistic. It doesn’t happen in real life.

I’ve come across people who call certain scenes unrealistic just because they haven’t seen them happening, or heard of it. A mother loved her child, but because she didn’t have money to keep it, she threw it in the river. And left to cry till her eyes bled. This is not unrealistic. It happens. People are like that. Maybe, you’re not like that, but some people are. (This behavior is called, “projection”: The person is convinced that his thoughts and feelings are the others—Psychology.)

A fine line between unrealistic sequences, and unique moments. Remember!

Desirable Purity

Desirable Purity

Genres

Let’s talk about Genres now. If the scene about the snake that I described above happens in Fantasy, it is acceptable. (Maybe not, because the scene is pretty stupid.) But the scene of a mother and her child can be in Romance, as well as Tragedy. You’re allowed to say that the scene was far from reality when the snake hisses and asks for Chocolate in the Genre of Romanticism.

In Fantasy, anything can happen. Looking out is necessary for genres other than Fantasy.

So, people! Before criticizing someone, think twice, because no matter how novice he is, the person has worked on it and asks for an honest review. If a moment in a genre other than Fantasy shocks you, it’s unique, not unrealistic!

Suspension of Disbelief

Wikipedia says,  Suspension of disbelief or willing suspension of disbelief is a term coined in 1817 by the poet and aesthetic philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who suggested that if a writer could infuse a “human interest and a semblance of truth” into a fantastic tale, the reader would suspend judgement concerning the implausibility of the narrative. Suspension of disbelief often applies to fictional works of the action, comedy, fantasy, and horror genres. Cognitive estrangement in fiction involves using a person’s ignorance or lack of knowledge to promote suspension of disbelief.

It’s the reader that has to belief what the author is making him belief. The writer has created something. He thinks that it’s different and so he made it into a story. Now, it’s the reader’s job to belief what is, not the writer’s job to keep giving him reasons. That one person, who’s criticizing, should be of objective thinking, and not support projection. That’s one of the rules. Subjectivity and Projection can cloud one’s judgement.

There can be scenes where something doesn’t look right, but that can be a part of “Show don’t tell”. Just because the criticizer doesn’t think that a person exists doesn’t mean he’s an unbelievable character. In fact, his deeds might be a part of building his character as something not shown just yet.

Then again, the reader has to be willing to suspend disbelief.

Bio:

Munazza Bangash is a short story writer, but currently in the middle of writing a full-length novel in the genre of Romance/Psychology. Her first novel, which was a fan fiction written only for practice, gained her more than 100,000 readers.

When she isn’t glued to the computer screen, she’s usually painting her face with makeup, searching for it or buying it, or probably studying Psychology. Playing badminton or having a laugh with little kids. Being the worst cook and fashion designer, or maybe trying very hard not to gain more weight!

Easily reached at Wattpad: MunazzaBangash

Email: Munazzabangash@hotmail.com

Facebook Page: DesirablePurity

Blog: Desirablepurity.wordpress.com

Twitter: DesirablePurity

Want to be a guest blogger? I would love to have you on! I am accepting original posts that focus on reading and writing. Pictures, links, and a bio are encouraged. You do not have to be published. If you qualify, please email me at shannonathompson@aol.com.

~SAT

#WW I’m Leaving Again (But wait. There’s more.)

5 Aug

I’m leaving again. I know. I know. WHAT?! Didn’t you just get back from Penned Con in St. Louis?

Yes. Yes, I did. And—by the way—Penned Con was wonderful, and I plan on writing all about it as soon as I return. That being said, I’m off to Atlanta today. In fact, right as you’re reading this, I might be on a plane. (Who knows where I am in the world?)

This is my "since I was 18" travel map. I update it every time I leave.

This is my “since I was 18” travel map. I update it every time I leave.

I will be back next Wednesday, but there will be a guest post on Monday still. (Which basically means there won’t be a Saturday post this week.)

In the meantime, I thought I’d share my book tour schedule with you since it starts while I’m gone. (See? I didn’t leave you hanging.) I prepped a bunch of interviews and spotlights and all kinds of goodie fun for you all. (Because I love you as much as I love parenthesis right now.)

So, check it out below. Sign up for the Seconds Before Sunrise blog tour if you want! Keep up the wonderful love. (I love you too.)

And PREPARE FOR THE BOOK RELEASE OF DOOOOOOOM.

Just kidding.

Seconds Before Sunrise, book 2 of The Timely Death Trilogy, releases on August 25, so if you want to win prizes, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter, because I’ll be sending out the next opportunity when I get back to good ol’ Kansas City.

Until then: Hello, Atlanta. Thanks for looking after me.

Stay Dark…and you know, catch up on Minutes Before Sunset, and pre-order Seconds Before Sunrise and even Death Before Daylight if you’re feeling feisty. (Rawr.)

~SAT

Minutes Before Sunset Tour Banner

Minutes Before Sunset Book Tour Schedule: (Well, really, this is August’s schedule. For a complete list of future events, visit my Events page….Guys, my life is crazy.)

August 10, 2015: Interview with Juniper Grove Book Solutions.

August 11, 2015: Guest post on One Guy’s Guide to Good Reads

August 11, 2015: Spotlight on Lady Amber’s Reviews

August 12, 2015: Spotlight on The Wonderings of One Person

August 13, 2015: Spotlight on The Cheshire Cat’s Looking Glass

August 14, 2015: Interview by Deal Sharing Aunt

August 14, 2015 Spotlight on Mythical Books

August 17, 2015: Spotlight on Girls With Books

August 17, 2015: Spotlight on The Bookie Monster 

August 18, 2015: Guest post on Black Words-White Pages

August 19, 2015: Interview by Melissa Book Buzz

August 25, 2015: Seconds Before Sunrise releases!

Seriously. Do it. You'll feel better.

Seriously. Do it. You’ll feel better.

Wait. It’s not over yet.

11791955_10207432863086714_4179449091941489450_oYou like FREE books, right? Right. My publisher is accepting more book reviewers, book bloggers, and overall book lovers to their Elite Reading Team. This means you’ll receive free books in exchange for honest reviews, and you’ll also be entered to win monthly prizes (like signed books, gift cards, and more). Sign up by clicking the link above. They’re also giving away a mystery prize of 2-3 paperbacks this month! So sign up for that here.

#MondayBlogs Writing About Heroes, Protagonists, and Other Characters with Disabilities

3 Aug

Intro:

Diversity in fiction is a popular topic, and with good reason. Aside from a lack of ethnicities in mainstream media, there is also a lack of diversity in sexuality and disabilities. That’s why I was more than ecstatic when author Frederick Crook approached me with an idea for these Monday guest blog slots. He expressed a true passion for writing stories with heroes and other characters with disabilities, and I commend him for addressing this literature issue head-on…but I’ll let him explain it. Welcome, Frederick!

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in guest articles are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect my own. To show authenticity of the featured writer, articles are posted as provided (a.k.a. I do not edit them). However, the format may have changed.

Writing About Heroes, Protagonists, and Other Characters with Disabilities by Frederick Crook

A couple of years ago, I wrote a short story entitled, Runt Pulse. It’s a dystopian adventure that features a protagonist that suffered a stroke brought about by a malfunctioning military grade, bio-electronic implant. The result is partial paralysis of his right side, affecting everything from his foot to his facial muscles. Now, I had seen the effects of such a tragedy on a neighbor of mine several years ago, and, fortunately for him, he slowly recovered. Many people aren’t nearly as lucky.

So, I encountered a person on Facebook that belonged to the same writers’ group as I did. I have no idea why he was in the group, as he had no publications that I could find, but I digress. He bought Runt Pulse, which I truly appreciated, but went on to complain that I had made a disabled individual the hero of the story. This took me by surprise because I had made that aspect of the story paramount. To me, it was like saying that I liked Doctor Who, but the time travel bit is a real turn-off.

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Exactly. It would be bonkers. Furthermore, why not have a protagonist with a disability? It’s not like I’m the first one to come up with the idea, either. Ever hear of Ironside, starring Raymond Burr? He played a police detective that was shot and left paralyzed. The show ran eight seasons from 1967 to 1975. For the younger audiences, we have Daredevil, a blind superhero from comic books. There was a movie starring Ben Affleck and now there’s a brand new series on Netflix. Clearly, there’s an audience.

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I have an author friend by the name of Jerrod Begora. His daughter has Down’s Syndrome. He’s written two books featuring a strong female protagonist with the condition. In, The Blood Between Us, the character Lorelei has Downs and, as the story progresses, she is obliged to become a vampire hunter. In the next book, Lorelei is denied a job with the police department and, not one to stand for it, she becomes a private detective in, The Case of the Missing Cat.

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I’m sure many of us author-types know someone who has written such books. They’re uplifting, empowering and inspiring stories that need to be told.

In fact, if one devotes some thought to this, it should become evident that most heroes in novels and comic books have a disability of some kind. It’s what makes a lot of them endearing to readers. What would the Punisher be like if he had not lost his wife and two children to mob violence? He’d be pretty damned boring had he not suffered such a horrible tragedy. Now, I understand that he’s not the most endearing comic book character ever, but how about Batman? Young Bruce Wayne was forever changed and emotionally damaged when his parents were killed right in front of him. The tragedy molded and inspired the character.

Certainly, such emotional trauma must be as disabling in some circumstances as a physical condition. The trick is for authors to turn the disadvantage into an interesting advantage. Case in point, my character, Detective Frank Campanelli from Campanelli: The Ping Tom Affair and Campanelli: Sentinel.

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Frank is a homicide detective originally from New York, but a fire in his apartment building took his wife and son from him, as well as his vision. The man relocated to Chicago, where he continued in his profession due to some very helpful bio-electronic implants that allow him to see well enough to live and do his job in an almost normal fashion.

What inspired me to create this character? That’s easy. When I was four years old, I had an accident in our Cicero home where I lost my right eye. Fast forward through three decades and I found myself writing two novels and three short stories centered around an event I called the “Great Exodus”, a massive migration of the human race to another, much larger planet. Quite naturally, I began to wonder what it would be like in a future world to have the technology to restore sight. That, paired with the wish to write about Chicago, the place where I was born, brought about the Campanelli stories.

If there’s one thing I want my fellow authors out there to take away from this, it’s that you can’t be afraid to feature a character with a physical or mental disability. Just do so with tact and respect, and don’t give any detractors a second thought, for they’re clearly suffering from debilitating cases of extreme negativity.

Bio:

Frederick was born in Chicago in 1970 and now lives in Villa Park with his wife, Rae and their three miniature dachshunds. He began by writing fictional works all through high school, earned an Associate Degree of Applied Science in Electronics in 1994 and the Bachelor of Science in Technical Management from DeVry University in 2005.

In 2009, Frederick began writing his first novel, The Dregs of Exodus, which was self-published in late 2010. This was followed up with another novel, The Pirates of Exodus in 2012.

Throughout that year and early 2013, he continued writing and published four short stories in eBook form for Kindle and Nook. All of these stories share the same premise, but all are independent from one another, though the short eBook, Campanelli: The Ping Tom Affair and his third novel, published by Solstice Publishing, Campanelli: Sentinel, share the same main characters.

Minuteman Merlin was released for the Kindle by Solstice Publishing, March 1st of 2015.

He loves writing and enjoys meeting and talking to readers at book signing events.

WebsiteFacebook Page, Twitter @FrederickHCrook, Pinterest,

Amazon Author PageYouTube Channel

Want to be a guest blogger? I would love to have you on! I am accepting original posts that focus on reading and writing. Pictures, links, and a bio are encouraged. You do not have to be published. If you qualify, please email me at shannonathompson@aol.com.

~SAT

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