Preparing Our Motorhome for Our First Trip and Our First Trip

We had much to do before we moved into the motorhome and took it on our first trip. Our plan was to take it to Florida for Thanksgiving. The first of many stops to see family members.

One thing I did before loading our belongings into the RV was to line many of the drawers and cabinets in the RV with shelf paper from the Dollar Tree store. The shelf paper has a bit of no skid to help prevent things from sliding around as we go down the road.

I was excited to find this pattern and color which matched the countertops very well. And I found them at the Dollar Tree so they were easy on the budget.

The first ride I took in the motorhome was to ride along with my husband Mike to fill her up. Our 2010 Tiffin Allegro bus has a very large tank and she takes diesel. This was our first time to fill her up. Not all gas stations sell diesel and not all stations have room for a 43 foot diesel bus. My husband uses an app called Gas Buddy to find prices and places to get gas.

Mike filling the motorhome’s gas tank with diesel.

One of the new treasures in our new home is this beautiful journal. My husband bought it in New Orleans when we went there for Heather Grahams Writers for New Orleans event in 2019. He went shopping while I was at author events during the day and surprised me with it later. I just love this journal, and I am enjoying keeping a “captains log” of our travels in the RV.

First travel journal for the RV, a surprise gift from my husband, one I treasure.
Day one …
The new chapter in our lives begins…

The trailer behind the RV pulls my convertible. The front wheels go on the trailer and the back wheels stay on the road. The RV is 43 feet long so towing the car adds to that making it even longer. We need to find sites that have a pull through for our size when we are looking for our next place to stay.

Our first trip was down to Florida for Thanksgiving. The first of many trips planned to see family.

Our route from Memphis, for our first trip, along with stops was:

From Memphis to Frog Hollow RV Park in Grenada, MS for one night. https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g43801-d258451-Reviews-Frog_Hollow_Campground_and_RV_Park-Grenada_Mississippi.html

Lunch in the Talladega Forest, AL at the rest stop, and then one night at the Triple C RV Park in Chattahoochie, FL http://cccscampground.com/

Then on to Highland Woods RV Park in Pompano Beach where we stayed for five nights Thanksgiving week.

https://www.rvonthego.com/florida/highland-woods-rv-resort/?utm_source=yext&utm_medium=directory&utm_campaign=Yext+Directory+Listing?utm_source=yext&utm_medium=directory&utm_campaign=Yext+Directory+Listing

Highland Woods RV Park in Pompano Beach, Florida

After visiting Mike’s mother in Deerfield Beach and having dinner with his cousins who live in Ft. Lauderdale, we went over to Tampa for the next trip. But that is a post for another day.

I’ll list sites we’ve stayed in for other RV travelers and for my readers and family when I post.

I’ll be back with more of our story and our travels soon, so stay tuned and remember that every day we are alive is a beautiful day!

With love,

Debra Parmley, your Beautiful Day Traveler

For Debra’s RV travels follow this blog! https://beautifuldaytraveler.wordpress.com/

For Debra’s RV videos follow https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC27hTWse4gLJxTETQw6i7xw/

For more about Debra and her books go to www.debraparmley.com

FB page https://www.facebook.com/debra.parmley.7

FB fan group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/debraparmley/

FB fan page: https://www.facebook.com/authordebraparmley/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/debraparmley/

Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/debra-parmley

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/debraparmley

Newsletter sign up: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/w9s9h0

Cover Model Corner blog: https://covermodelcorner.wordpress.com/

Medium where Debra posts articles: https://medium.com/@debraparmley1

Kof-fi page: Where Debra posts her poems: https://ko-fi.com/debraparmley

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Debra-Parmley/e/B002BM9H4A%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

The Big Downsize: Moving From Our House to a Motorhome

I’ll always remember this move as the big downsize, when we sold our 1,100 square foot house and 40 foot by 50 foot garage on 1.4 acres in Bartlett, TN and moved into our first RV, a 2010 Tiffin Allegro bus/motorhome.

I’d been downsizing for a long time and thought I would be ready, but I was still surprised by how many things we had squirreled away in the spaces we’d lived in for 23 years, and I was still trying to sort through things as we were moving out.

Our sons came to stay with us and they worked on the house before we listed it and then helped us move things into the store and lock, and I really do not know what we would have done without all their help. We would not have been ready.

The backyard always had deer in the evening.

The house sold six days after we listed it and we had two buyers bidding. On Monday, Nov. 23rd we closed on the house and the buyers took immediate possession, so we had to have everything out and ready to go before then. That would have been a lot even if there were nothing else added on.

40 x 50 garage which housed my husband’s business.

But as the ads on television say, “But wait! There’s more!” My husband also housed his business, Whistle Clean Incorporated, in that big garage, so there was an office to dismantle and a business to move out of that garage, everything from office furniture and files to business equipment and chemicals.

Our new 2010 Tiffin Allegro Bus beside our old garage.

The guys worked on Friday the 20th, a regular work day to finish the work, then they collected their last paychecks, and the business closed for any more work. I listed office furniture and equipment for sale and my husband moved everything Whistle Clean into a store and lock. This would be our second store and lock as I already had one for our household things. I am keeping things that mean something to me, antiques and momentos. No, I will not be a person who “gets rid of everything” but in each case these are things I would want around me as I get older and want to be surrounded by my memory things. The question I asked myself was, “If there’d been a house fire, would I be upset at the loss of this?” Having lived through a house fire, I had a pretty good idea of what I’d be upset about and what I wouldn’t. So the decisions were easy for me, and my treasured things are in a temperature controlled storage unit.

Downsizing from this house and garage into this motorhome. “The big downsize.”

So, now we had two store and locks. Whistle Clean was officially done cleaning houses and my husband had retired. He had previously tried to sell the business with no luck (guys wanted to run it but didn’t want to work, or sweat and that is not the way a pressure cleaning service company works) and then he had planned to keep the business going, running it from the road while he retired from doing the heavy work, but that was not to be. One employee had a heart attack the week before we closed and the other announced he was going to Mexico for two months. There would be no one left in Memphis to do the work. The doors would have to close. It wasn’t the optimal way to end, but the signs were clear that it was time to move on. We had a new lifestyle to begin and we were both ready to get on with it.

Everything in the garage had to go, from office furniture and files, a van, a truck, pressure wash equipment, tools, etc..

I’m writing this on December 17th and just today Mike finished emptying the Whistle Clean store and lock. Part of the delay has been the first trip we took, down to Florida to see his mother for Thanksgiving as she was alone there and we hadn’t taken a trip in the motorhome anywhere yet! I’ll write about that in another post, as this one is just for the big downsize.

Are you ready? Let’s go!

Tomorrow we get on the road from Memphis to Kentucky. He will drive the motorhome, pulling my car while I drive his truck full of tools and equipment he is keeping to Kentucky, where he will store them along with woodworking equipment and wood for his projects. While we will be living in the motorhome full time, we do have things we are keeping, here and there.

Towing my convertible behind the motorhome.

Once we unload his things in KY, the downsizing will be officially done and then we can head for the warm sunshine and our next adventure. And that, I suspect, will feel awesome.

I’ll be back with more of our story and our travels soon, so stay tuned and remember that every day we are alive is a beautiful day!

With love,

Debra Parmley, your Beautiful Day Traveler

For Debra’s RV travels follow this blog!  Debra’s Beautiful Day Traveler travel & writing blog https://beautifuldaytraveler.wordpress.com/

RV travel pics will also go up on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/debraparmley/

For videos of Debra’s RV travels follow Debra’s Beautiful Day YouTube Channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC27hTWse4gLJxTETQw6i7xw/

For more about Debra and her books go to www.debraparmley.com

FB page https://www.facebook.com/debra.parmley.7

FB fan group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/debraparmley/

FB fan page: https://www.facebook.com/authordebraparmley/

To Catch an Elf: Debra Parmley’s Creepy Shelf Elf Group! 12 days of creepy elf party https://www.facebook.com/groups/793115644206381/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/debraparmley/

Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/debra-parmley

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/debraparmley

Newsletter sign up: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/w9s9h0

Cover Model Corner blog: https://covermodelcorner.wordpress.com/

Medium where Debra posts articles: https://medium.com/@debraparmley1

Kof-fi page: Where Debra posts her poems: https://ko-fi.com/debraparmley

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Debra-Parmley/e/B002BM9H4A%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

Holidays in the Motorhome – Decorating for Halloween 2020

I have always loved Halloween; from the time I was small and dad would take me out trick or treating. I loved very girly costumes, though one year I had a Batman mask and even a batman lunchbox. Dad loved Halloween too and I have great memories of him taking me and my best friend Ginny through haunted houses. In his later years he wore his skeleton costume and passed out candy to neighborhood children. For me, Halloween will always bring memories of my dad.

Shifting into the RV/motorhome lifestyle, one of the things I must do is make sure the decorations fit into our new 2010 Tiffin Allegro bus as we are going on the road fulltime.

Everything in the RV must earn its place, holidays are no exception. We will celebrate holidays on the road, whether visiting family or seeing beautiful spots in the U.S. The challenge while downsizing is to keep decorations that will fit into our newly downsized lifestyle. I have decorated the motorhome for Halloween and here is how she looks all trick-or-treated out.

Captain Jack, my favorite Jack-O-Lantern, thinks he is the captain of this earth-based ship, and we will just let him think that until captain Michael takes over. Then he can duke it out with co-captain Debra for the passenger seat. (I think I can take him. He is more a lover than a fighter, likes hugs and his little sword is not sharp.)

Snoopy, who I love, does the Snoopy dance it you press his foot and sitting with him is his little buddy, named Batty. They are listening to the talking candle flame that lights up.

If you hang around with me you will learn that I love polka dotted things, so I had to have this witch hat with pink polka dots. (Next to Snoopy and Batty.) Yes, there are other polka dotted things in my must keep these things basket. lol

 What is Halloween without a black cat? Since I’m trying to lose weight, I have a tiny trick or treat basket, a miniature Frankenstein’s head. Not sure where the rest of him has wandered off to. Maybe in search of the candy I shouldn’t be eating?

This little spider is stowing away on the motorhome but I am keeping all the other spiders out.

These are the little things that brighten up our new motorhome and make it feel homier to me.  It’s fun sharing them with you. What little things brighten up your Halloween? Are they new things things this year or traditional? If you are in an RV, how do you decorate?

Below are all my links. Soon you will see other posts on my pages as we get on the road. Closing on our house is Nov. 20th so, just 24 days to go! It’s going to be a busy week here but I will still celebrate Halloween. Wishing you a Happy Halloween!

With love,

Debra Parmley, your Beautiful Day Traveler

For Debra’s RV travels follow this blog!  Debra’s Beautiful Day Traveler travel & writing blog https://beautifuldaytraveler.wordpress.com/

RV travel pics will also go up on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/debraparmley/

For videos of Debra’s RV travels follow Debra’s Beautiful Day YouTube Channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC27hTWse4gLJxTETQw6i7xw/

For more about Debra and her books go to www.debraparmley.com

FB page https://www.facebook.com/debra.parmley.7

FB fan group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/debraparmley/

FB fan page: https://www.facebook.com/authordebraparmley/

To Catch an Elf: Debra Parmley’s Creepy Shelf Elf Group! 12 days of creepy elf party https://www.facebook.com/groups/793115644206381/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/debraparmley/

Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/debra-parmley

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/debraparmley

Newsletter sign up: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/w9s9h0

Cover Model Corner blog: https://covermodelcorner.wordpress.com/

Medium where Debra posts articles: https://medium.com/@debraparmley1

Kof-fi page: Where Debra posts her poems: https://ko-fi.com/debraparmley

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Debra-Parmley/e/B002BM9H4A%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

Imposter Syndrome, A Snarly Dog

Imposter Syndrome is a Snarly Dog. I decided it was time to write about this, after mentoring one of my author friends on Imposter Syndrome and self-doubt. I realized this is something we don’t talk about enough. If we did, writers would not view it as unique or unexpected when it happens to them.

Mention Imposter Syndrome in a room full of authors and ask them to raise their hands if they have ever encountered it and you will see almost every hand go up. It is as common as typing THE END. Think about that for a minute. Let this sink in – Imposter Syndrome is so common to writers, that almost everyone has experienced it at one time or another. I don’t know any authors who haven’t experienced it and it’s been ten years since my first novel was published and I’ve been in author circles for over twenty years. Imposter Syndrome is universal and seems to be part of the author’s journey.

I like to picture these doubts as snarling dogs, because that’s what they do. They ask the question who do you think you are? And it’s always with that snarl.

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I like to say Imposter Syndrome is a big snarly dog and you have to go all out alpha on it to show it who the alpha is.

Imposter Syndrome is a form of self-doubt and is fear based. Fear of being judged as an author, fear of having your book judged, fear of being found wanting, fear of someone saying – who do you think you are to write that book? You may experience one of these or another from the same snarling dog family.

You may experience this snarly dog with your first book or your twentieth. When writing, you may experience it halfway through, in those moments when you think the good pages you wrote yesterday which you thought were such good pages now totally suck and the whole book totally sucks so much you’d like to shred it, burn it or delete it. That one is a very nasty snarly dog. You can’t let it win. You may experience a snarly dog after hitting the bestseller lists multiple times; with readers saying they love your books. Some writers experience it on book release day and don’t feel like celebrating, because that snarly dog is winning. You may experience it when being asked to read from your work or when asked to speak or to be in an interview or on a panel. So, what can you do about a snarly dog?

First, know they can pop up at any time and be ready to face one. Acknowledge it and face it. No hiding in your house, or cancelling or destroying pages. No posting all over social media, wallowing in it and being a victim of it. Tell an author friend or mentor privately if you need to talk about it, but then face that snarly dog.

Imposter Syndrome is a big snarly dog and you have to go all alpha on it to show it who the alpha is. Your words and your voice and your stories have value. When it snarls, say out loud, “I am (your full name) and my words have value. My book has value and people want to read it.”

There is power in “I am” statements. Great power.

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Now go write your awesome books, never let the snarly dogs win, and boost and encourage your fellow creative friends. I’m fine with you quoting me and hope this article helps.

To learn more about Debra Parmley and her books, or for her writing classes check out:

Website www.debraparmley.com

Facebook personal https://www.facebook.com/debra.parmley.7

Facebook fan page https://www.facebook.com/authordebraparmley/

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/debraparmley/

Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/debraparmley/

Bookbub https://www.bookbub.com/profile/debra-parmley

Writing Blog https://beautifuldaytraveler.wordpress.com/

Debra’s poems on https://ko-fi.com/debraparmley

 

Celebrating Ten Years as a Published Author and a New Box Set

I am celebrating! This year marks the tenth anniversary of the publication of my first novel in print, A Desperate Journey.

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This is me, holding the first copy of my first book, A Desperate Journey, which came out in March 2009. – Photo by Monica Parks. This was the original book cover.

My western historical romances have been described as “gritty.” The west could be a rough place for a woman, or a man, and I started out writing my first novel, A Desperate Journey, as a western. It started with a challenge. I was attending the Ozark Creative Writers weekend and Dusty Richards, a well-known western author, issued this challenge. “Write your first novel, make it a western and if it wins my contest, my agent will read the full manuscript.” I’d been writing short stories and poetry up to that point, never a full novel and that challenge was too good to pass up.

I sometimes will take a challenge or a bet and when I do, it can be life changing. For instance, I asked my husband out on a date, on a five-dollar bet, back in high school, but that is a story for another day.

Well I wrote that western, set it along the old Chisholm Trail in 1867, and along the way, as I wrote, the story turned into a romance. A Desperate Journey is a blend of romance and western. If you pulled the romance out, there would still be a lot of story. It’s interesting to me that men enjoy reading the story and I think that is one reason.

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This is the new book cover.

Now you might wonder what happened with Dusty’s challenge and the contest. I finished the book by the following year and entered it in the contest. By then Dusty no longer had an agent, but he sat with me and went over the first chapters, giving me advice. I will always be thankful for his advice and his challenge. I revised the book and entered it the next year in a contest that western romance author Bobbi Smith held at the Romantic Times Book Lovers convention in St. Louis, where it won third place. Bobbi sat with me afterward and said, “Debra start your story in chapter three.” (I was giving too much back story and not getting to the action soon enough.) I rewrote the story and the next year entered it in the American Title II contest, where it was a finalist. During that contest I signed with an agent and a year later he sold my first book to Samhain Publishing. A Desperate Journey would be in e-book in 2018 and 6 months later be in print in March 2019.

After Samhain published A Desperate Journey, my editor invited me to write a novella. Another western historical romance for a new anthology to follow the first book was a good idea and to meet that call, I wrote Dangerous Ties. This one starts out with the heroine strung up over a mineshaft and the rope is breaking. I’d paid attention to my mentors and started my next story with action. Jumping right in. I thought this would be the first of many westerns with my publisher. But then my new editor turned it down and wanted me to write erotic romance instead. A third book, a contemporary romance I’d written right after I finished A Desperate Journey was turned down next. In the seven years I was with Samhain, I had five editors, but later editors were not as enthusiastic abut my work as my first two, who I’d enjoyed working with.

Dangerous Ties went on to be published by a different publisher, Desert Breeze Publishing. But now, writing a third book to connect the two books was going to be impossible. Because different publishing houses held the rights to the two books. So you can imagine how thrilled I am to have those rights back, and to have republished both books through Belo Dia Publishing Inc. It has also enabled me to be able to publish a third book to tie them all together. My readers deserve that and it’s exciting to be able to do it the same year I am celebrating of ten years of publishing.

I am celebrating the tenth anniversary with the release of a box set of the three westerns. A new book, Deadly Adversaries brings together the daughter from A Desperate Journey and a son of the couple from Dangerous Ties. The box set, Desperate, Dangerous and Deadly: A Western Collection is available now on Amazon.

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Dangerous Ties is also on sale for 99 cents for the e-book up through June 15th. That’s the breaking rope after the mineshaft one, if you just want a nibble of one of my westerns to see if you like them. It’s a quick novella. It is also available in audiobook and in print.

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Deadly Adversaries, the newest of the three westerns is up for pre-order and releases Tuesday May 7th.

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I hope you will join me in celebrating my tenth year. To my readers, thank you for your support and for your love. It has been a wonderful ten years and I look forward to many more and can’t wait to share new books with you.

Over on my Debra’s Beautiful Day YouTube channel you will find my First Chapter Reads playlist where I read from the first chapters of my books, and I have many other things there as well. I am always adding new content there. You’ll find the link to that site and many more below.

Check out my books on these book sales pages and read a sample:

Debra’s books on Amazon

Debra’s books on Barnes and Noble

Debra’s Audiobooks on Audible

Debra’s ebooks and audiobooks on itunes

Debra’s books on Kobo

Debra on the web:  www.debraparmley.com

And on social media:

Facebook fan page

Facebook group

Facebook personal page

Goodreads page

Debra on Instagram

Debra on Pinterest

Debra’s Cover Model Corner blog – interviews

Debra Parmley’s Beautiful Day YouTube Channel

Debra Parmley on Book Bub

Audiobooks are an Expensive Gamble for the Indie Author

Audiobooks are an expensive gamble for the Indie Author.

Here is what goes into the making of an audiobook if you go through ACX.

First you’ll need to set up your account. You’ll need to decide if you are going to pay a flat fee for the narrator, or if you are going to do a 50/50 royalty split. If hiring a SAG narrator, the minimum is $100 per finished hour with a 50/50 split. This was the option I chose for my first two audiobooks, Check Out, and Trapping the Butterfly. I hired professional SAG narrators to do my first two audiobooks.

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You also have to decide whether to go exclusive through ACX or non-exclusive. With exclusive your audiobooks are available through Audible, Amazon and iBooks. A non-exclusive contract allows you to distribute your audiobooks through any vendor you choose.

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I chose to go non-exclusive for my second two audiobooks, Dangerous Ties, and Aboard the Wishing Star, and I hired a narrator who is also a musician who could  add music to the audiobooks, which I felt was a nice touch. He charged a flat fee with no royalty split and he can advise me on putting the books onto CD’s or other media so I can sell them at book signings. The options are wide open.

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The process of listening carefully to each tape which is sent, chapter by chapter and making sure the audio matches the words on the page is a slow and time consuming one. It is also a slow process for your narrator to narrate the book. Then when everything is done for the narration, you will need an audiobook cover, so that can be an additional expense if your cover artist charges extra for that form which is a square and changes your cover some.

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So you have your audiobook done and now it’s time to promote it. ACX will give you 25 free download codes to send to reviewers. But be careful how you use them as those codes can be used for any audiobook in the store, not just yours. In the wrong hands and you won’t even see any reviews. Vet your reviewers.

Things were going well, I had the new audiobooks finished and out there, sales were coming in slowly, reviews were coming in, and then Audible came out with their romance package. Similar to Kindle Unlimited, this allows readers/listeners to listen to audiobooks if they pay for the romance package. Instead of royalties on a sale, authors would get paid when the books were listened to.

Neither KU or this romance package are in favor of authors, if you look closely at them. This is akin to …let’s say, you are a peach seller, selling cans of peaches. But you only get paid when someone opens the can and eats them. Cans of peaches can sit on someone’s shelf a long time. So can an ebook or an audiobook. The one who benefits the most is the seller of the KU program or the seller of the romance package. Authors, not so much. Like that can of peaches, the book may be a good purchase, a yummy purchase. But until someone opens it and takes that first bite, we don’t get paid one dime. And they have to eat all the peaches or read all the pages for you to be paid in full for your book. I doubt we could get any sellers of canned peaches talked into this kind of a deal. But authors went for it.

Initially I’d said yes to the romance package and tried it for a year. My audiobook sales plummeted. People are busy. They might “buy” your audiobook but that doesn’t mean they have time to read/listen to it. People are busy. This is not a good situation for the author.

After trying the ACX romance package, I sent ACX a letter and pulled my books out of the program. You’d think sales would then have picked up. Enter the next problem.

Pirates. Yes, audiobooks are pirated too and some pirates are so bold they’ll even post Youtube Videos telling readers where to get those books for free. So now we’re not even getting paid for page reads or page listens. Now we are getting zip. Zero. Nada.

Readers keep asking me when I am going to put out a new audiobook. I’m giving a straight answer to this. I’m not. Not until these four audiobooks earn out the costs of producing them. Until that day, I can’t afford to put another one out there. Publishers need to be profitable to stay in business. This is true of Indie authors and Indie publishers. When my audiobook sales pick up, then you will see more of my audiobooks.

Here’s some straight talk, JA Konrath style: I have $1,810.00 invested in the production of these four audiobooks. The shortest one was $310.00 to narrate. I’ve sold a total of 128 audiobooks since 2016 when I put the first one out and brought in $236.57 so far. Not even enough to cover the cost of producing the smallest audiobook.

This morning I spent time sending take down notices on pirated copies of all four audiobooks. Pirates suck. They just do. And if you are a reader/listener who downloads from pirated sites, then you are in receipt of stolen merchandise. You might as well be holding up banks and liquor stores, or fencing stolen property, all of that is theft and helping people steal and you suck. I don’t want to hear your excuses, because no excuse changes the fact that you are a thief. I hope the karma bus comes fast and hits you hard with what you deserve.

Newer authors often ask me about putting their books into audio. Well, here are the facts as I have experienced them so far with my audiobooks. Two of those books were RONE award nominated ebooks and that’s a reader vote. In case anyone was thinking my books might suck. It’s not my books that are the problem and I have those reader votes to back me up. What sucks are the pirates and the systems of paying authors and narrators for their work. Remember on a 50/50 royalty split, the narrator is getting screwed by these pirates too.

I’d like to end on a positive note, so I will take this time now to say I am truly, eternally grateful for my readers and reviewers who have purchased my books and left reviews. You are why I continue to write and put my books out there. You are the treasures in this pirate filled world and I thank God for you.

Legitimate places to get Debra’s audiobooks:

Itunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/author/debra-parmley/id411082477?mt=11

Audible:

http://www.audible.com/search/ref=a_pd_Romanc_c2_1_auth?searchAuthor=Debra+Parmley

Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Debra-Parmley/e/B002BM9H4A/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1509300092&sr=8-1

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For more about Debra visit: debraparmley.com

My new radio show Book Lights – Shining a Light on Good Books!

I have a new job working for Circle of Seven: Readers Entertainment and a new radio show!

Book Lights – Shining a Light on Good Books!

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Every Tuesday night at 8:30 eastern, 7:30 central, 5:30 Pacific I am live on the air interviewing authors and chatting about their books. The interviews are taped and turned into a podcast later that evening after the live show winds down.

Here are the interviews I have done so far! Enjoy!

Interview with Sheila English:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/circle-of-seven/2016/05/04/book-lights-with-debra-parmley-presents-sheila-english

Interview with Lydia Michaels:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/circle-of-seven/2016/04/27/book-lights-with-debra-parmley-presents-lydia-michaels

Interview with Sharon Sayla:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/circle-of-seven/2016/04/13/book-lights-with-debra-parmley-presents-sharon-sala

Interview with Ariel Burns:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/circle-of-seven/2016/04/06/book-lights-with-debra-parmley-presents-arial-burnz

 

On Drive, Writing and Achieving Goals

I have drive. When it come to my books, my writing career, I have drive.

My husband calls it tunnel vision and perhaps it could be called that too, because when I am that focused on the goal, it is an extreme focus which fades things in the periphery of my vision. But whatever one chooses to call it,  it have it and when I am that focused I will not be redirected elsewhere, by anyone, even in the most extreme circumstances. I call it drive.

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I have drive. This has allowed me to achieve what I have achieved in my writing career so far to this date. No matter what has happened to me and to my books I keep pushing forward. Set backs happen. I have to get up, dust myself off and start again. I have to adapt and adjust. This is not to say I have not had those nights when it seemed impossible to get up and do it again and to start over. This is not to say I have not had nights when I cried bitter tears of frustration and sadness and loss and felt like giving up. I have had such dark nights and gotten through them, sometimes alone, sometimes with the help of a friend. But I have gotten through them. I get up, dust myself off and I begin again. Because I have drive.

When students who are serious about their writing ask me what it takes to get published (usually they mean with a publisher not self publishing which nearly anyone can do these days if they apply themselves) I tell them the things they must know to get published and I teach them the skills and pass along the information they will need to achieve that. But that drive, that is the one thing I cannot give them or teach them. Drive comes from within. I can motivate. I can ask them how bad do they want it. I can ask them any number of questions which will motivate them, but it still has to come from within. They need that inner fire. That drive.

Drive accepts no excuses. It does not care what is going in in your life. It does not care if you are tired. It does not care about anything other than achieving that goal. Drive is unstoppable, unrelenting, ruthless. If you have ever once tasted drive within yourself you will know this will be true. You will understand what I am speaking of.

I have drive. Sometimes this means I drive myself too hard, too fast and for too long. I am often too hard on myself. Often this means I will crash and crash hard. Just last night I had such a crash. I had been driving myself too hard, living on fours hours of sleep, pushing hard to get books out with rights reversions back from three publishers and many books to get out under my new publishing company/private label and an all day book event yesterday where I needed to have books ready to sign. I had been pushing myself hard for about a month, and pushing the month before, not as hard but pushing. So when I came home from the book event last night I crashed and crashed hard. I slept for twelve hours straight. Then I got up and four hours later napped for an hour. I had reached a point of exhaustion and my body said, enough.

This is what drive can do. So when you have it to the degree that I have, it is important to learn to manage it, to control it. To find some sort of balance between allowing that drive to fill you to the point where you push on through to your goals and between reigning it in so you can rest and recharge and be ready to push on through the next day. Often when I have a set back in my writing career, after the dark night of drying those tears, I get back up with a fierce sort of drive which pushes me hard. It is my way of fighting back against the twists of fate the publishing life throws at me. It is that fierce determination which doesn’t listen. It is the dark side of drive or tunnel vision because it does not listen.

What follows a crash and burn with me is a quiet, a silence. A time of evaluation. Of assessment and of looking all around and listening. The drive is sated then, quiet. Not gone, just quiet and still enough that it waits until I need it again.

Drive is something that allows us to achieve our goals and sometimes achieve things we had never dreamed of. I believe it is a necessary part of achieving a successful writing career and of achieving any sort of dream. I am thankful to have it and would not want to be any other way than I am. Writing is not a hobby for me. Never has been and never will be. I have the drive which will take me there. The part I must learn is to balance that drive and to live a more healthy lifestyle. That is the challenge that I see. Typing these words my next thought is, challenge, now you have set the challenge. And this… this is the beginning of setting any sort of goal for which you will need drive.

Oh yes. I have this drive. It just needs some direction, a goal to point it to.

I have drive.

The Five-minute Book Review and Why You Should Write One

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The five-minute book review and why you should write one.

Why should you write a five-minute review? Why am I asking you to write one?

Because you liked the story. Because it helps the author. Because it might lead to the author having another story out which you might like as well or better. Because if you don’t you may not find another book by this author. Or a book similar to this one, in the same genre or writing style. Authors sometimes switch to other types of stories and low reviews and low sales are one reason why.

Reviews are getting harder and harder to get. I am hearing this from traditionally published authors as well as Indies and hybrid authors like myself.

Have you ever had a favorite food, brand, or store? Maybe it was one of your favorite things but suddenly the store no longer carries the food or brand or the store is no longer in business. I’ve had this happen to me. It left me wondering what happened when I liked it so much.

This can happen to books and their authors as well. Books need reviews. Fewer reviews mean fewer sales. That hurts authors. It hurts their books. And it hurts you, the reader, because that author you like, that book you like, and they may not stay around long if you don’t support them.

Can you speak up for the things you like? And I do not mean clicking like on your face book feed. I mean taking five minutes out of your day to write a short review, which basically says hey I liked this book. A few sentences. One paragraph.

So you’re not a “book reviewer”. Well neither am I. But each of us can say in simple language hey, I liked this book. Or hey I liked it but I wish it had more of this thing. Or I am not sure what to think of this book. Or even this was not my cup of tea but it was well written. Or even I didn’t care for this book and this is why. Just the honest truth of what you think of the book. That’s all. One simple review. A few sentences. Five minutes.

One sentence. I liked this book.

Two sentences. I enjoyed this book. I hope to read more by this author.

See how easy that is? Simple. Might take you less than five minutes.

Five minutes. You can do it. I bet you can even write a better review than one of my examples.

And if you do write a short review, I thank you for it. On behalf of every author and every book you review I thank you for it. We need you. We love you. We appreciate you.

——-

If you would honor me with a review here are two sites for where it’s easy to do that.

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2279340.Debra_Parmley

Writing During Difficult Times

Writing during difficult times can be a blessing but it can also create stress. I experienced this during 2014 when my father was on hospice for eight months and then in June when he passed. This was a time when I put into practice much of what I teach my writing students.

To write is to release words we carry inside of us. Thoughts and emotions but also the words themselves. Words that we do not speak or write will lodge in the body. So it can be cathartic to write about the difficult times. This is why it can feel so good to write in a journal.

It can also be cathartic to block everything about your current reality and escape to your fictional world for a while. The tricky part is that stress can make it hard to focus on that fictional world.

So how do we move through difficult times when we want to be writing? How do we navigate a writing life when the river currents have shifted and nothing is as it was?

First, you must always take care of yourself. You come first and the writing second.
If you need to take time off then do so. If you need help, then ask for it. You might not want to write. You might not want to get up in the morning. You might feel you are the only one in the world with this problem. You might feel that no one understands. But the fact is, this is a common problem. It’s just that not many writers talk about it. We tend to go into our writing caves and remain silent. This I believe is a mistake.

Take time off from the pressure to write and don’t be hard on yourself about it. Do what you must do. You are allowed a long lunch break during these times. You are allowed a vacation. Taking a break does not mean you have failed any more than taking a vacation from a day job means you are not doing a good job. Be kinder toward yourself, not hard on yourself. Remember that you are more important than the writing. The writing will be there when you return. Your life matters and your health and happiness matter. Without you, your writings would never exist.

This is not the time to disappear into your writers cave like some mysterious author who never communicates what is going on with anyone. If you have an editor, an agent, a publicist, or anyone else that you work with to produce or promote your writing, let them know what is going on. You might be surprised how supportive they can be.

Come to the page and write something, anything. Getting the words out will help you to move through whatever you are dealing with. The something you write may not be the story you’ve been working on. It may be the thing which is bothering you today. Sometimes we need to get those words out first, before we can move on to working on that story. But write something. Five minutes a day. Set the egg timer. It may seem like an insurmountable task making yourself sit there for five minutes to write, but once you manage it, you might be surprised at the feelings of relief you will have. Give yourself small manageable goals so you can succeed instead of tackling a long project which could leave you with a feeling of failure.

It is okay to write something you never intend anyone to read. You are doing this first for yourself. Whether anyone will read it is a secondary issue. Your task is to get those words out. It is okay to write something and then delete it later. It is okay to put it into a drawer and not look at it for a year.

It is okay to only write for that five minutes a day when you are used to writing pages and pages. It is okay if you cannot produce as many pages as you are used to. You may be tired, you may be distracted, you may have interruptions you would not normally allow. Avoid putting pressure on yourself about your writing.

Are you full of emotion? If so, good. Let that flow out onto the page. If you are working on fiction or poetry let it flow into your work. Emotions are one of the ways we connect with our readers.

Allow your writing to bring you joy. Everyone goes through difficult times at some point in their lives. But you have been blessed with the urge to write and it’s there for a reason. Your writing is something that will always be yours. You take it with you wherever you go and you can write through anything if you teach yourself how. Let your writing give back to you as you give to it.

Writing through difficult times has taught me so much. I am thankful for those lessons, just as I am thankful to be nearing the end of these current difficulties. I am thankful to know that just as I have moved through this trying period of my life, I could move through the next if need be and emerge stronger and wiser on the other side. I will emerge stronger, wiser and ready to write.