Sunday, June 28, 2015

Kim Kash, Author of Ocean City Cover-Up

ocean city cover-up, kim kash, mystery novel, ocean city book, ocean city fiction

Kim Kash is the author of the mystery novel "Ocean City Cover-Up: A Jamie August Novel."

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in Maryland, and consider it home. However, several years ago my husband took a job in the Middle East. Since then I’ve been traveling like crazy, because we’re now so centrally located to much of the rest of the world. Since we moved here I have visited fifteen new countries. So, despite the twinges of homesickness, I’m incredibly grateful for this new life as an expat. Writing the Jamie August mystery series allows me to reminisce about my home state, and also make up fanciful stories about it.

Describe the plot of your new book in a few sentences.
Euro-trash collides with American gangsta in Maryland’s gleefully cheesy beach resort. Reporter Jamie August befriends a spoiled heiress who is being pursued by Russian mobsters—and a chart-topping rap star. Meanwhile, a raging crime spree is keeping Jamie busy—and so is a hot new boyfriend and a strict jogging and frozen custard fitness plan. Action careens from OC to Dubai, from the wild shores of Assateague to a wild-west campground. Will Jamie survive to debut her fringed leopard-print bikini?

Who do you think would most appreciate this book?
My knee-jerk answer to this question is that it’s a chick-lit title, and would appeal to fans of Janet Evanovich (especially the early entries in her Stephanie Plum series.) However, the first book in the Jamie August series was recently reviewed over at Underground Book Reviews, and their take on it was quite different. They said, “Anyone looking for the mild-mannered lady detective usually found in G-rated cozy-mysteries won't find her here - Jamie August is no wallflower and has no problem using her sexuality to get what she wants. She can hold her own in the hardboiled detective tradition.” So, chick-lit or not? Hmmm.

The series is definitely comedic. That said, my hope is to write Jamie as someone to laugh with, not laugh at (at least most of the time.) Jamie is far from perfect, but she’s smart and she’s self-aware. And she’s definitely not waiting around to be rescued. I hate that! The helpless girl strategy is so tiresome—in real life and in fiction. If you’re with me on that, then "Ocean City Cover-up" may be for you.

In this book, Jamie is up against Russian mobsters who are gunning for the daughter of an oil tycoon. Without giving too much away, tell us a bit more about the mobsters.
I got some advice from someone in a position to know, that the Russian mafia is not a laughing matter. Basically, my friend said it’s really annoying when authors write about the cute investigator slipping out of a mobster’s clutches by twirling her hair and saying something flirty. I tried to keep that in mind when writing "Ocean City Cover-up." I hope I made these Russians scary enough. Well, except for that one time when a mafia hit man busts in on a meditation session in a New Age bookstore. It’s a balancing act, to write a comedic mystery that still retains some tension.

Jamie goes on a frozen custard fitness plan. What does a frozen custard fitness plan entail?
Not so fast, my friend. I cannot divulge this valuable trade secret. I’m hoping to sell millions of copies of "Ocean City Cover-up" for this piece of information alone. I may even do a spin-off diet book: "Jamie’s Foolproof Frozen Custard Fitness Plan: Leopard-Print Bikini-Ready in 30 Days." I’ll get celebrity endorsements, put up a web site full of testimonials, maybe do an infomercial. I’m going to be rich!

What places can readers expect Jamie to visit in this book?

The action is centered around Ocean City, with a big side trip to Dubai for a stay at an oil tycoon’s penthouse apartment. There are also stops in Hampden and Dundalk, two iconic Baltimore neighborhoods on opposite ends of the hipster spectrum.

Are there any authors who have influenced your writing style?
The early entries in Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series were a big inspiration. I’m also a big fan of Elmore Leonard, especially his vivid evocations of place. When I’m in Ocean City I try to imagine how he would see it, the details he would think are funny or strange. Not surprisingly, I love Laura Lippmann’s Tess Monaghan novels. Her stories aren’t comic, but they sure are steeped in Maryland goodness (though almost always Baltimore rather than the Eastern Shore.) Lippmann clearly knows Baltimore like the back of her hand, and I can only hope to emulate her abundant and careful descriptions of place. As a kid I devoured the Nancy Drew and Dana Girls series, so I’m sure their influence is in there—at least the notion that girls don’t need to wait around to be rescued.

How do you think you've evolved as a writer since when you first started?
I am more organized about my writing than I used to be. Writing is a creative process, of course, but it’s also a job that must be seen to on a regular basis. I now use the same deadline-driven schedule for creative writing that works for my freelance writing business. Oddly, the structure created by treating my fiction writing like a job gives me a greater sense of freedom to “play” when I sit down to research or write a Jamie August book.

How do you feel about the increasing popularity of ebooks?
I love it! It gives me another platform as an author. As an American reader living abroad it gives me a tremendously better selection of books than I can get locally.

What are your goals as a writer for the next ten years?

Ten years? That’s hard to say! In the next five years I hope to continue growing the Jamie August series, and see some commercial success. Beyond that, our family will likely be moving out of the Middle East, my husband having met his professional goals. Will we move back to Maryland? To Europe? To a boat, and wander the Caribbean? I’m sure I’ll keep on writing, but who knows? Maybe I’ll miss this part of the world and have to start a new series about an American expat. Certainly I’ve got stories….  

If there were a newspaper article about you, what would the headline be?
Millionaire Indie Author Kim Kash Funds Massive Literacy Project in Maryland

(Hey, I write fiction!)

Is there any aspect of writing you don't like?
In my freelance business, I write business reports, web content, and marketing pieces. I crank these things out, they get edited, and I don’t care. I mean, I enjoy the work but I have no emotional investment in it. With my fiction writing, I can’t help but take it personally. I get butterflies in my stomach when my editor sends a marked-up version back to me. Did he like it? Did he think it was stupid? I pull my socks up and do the edits; it’s not the end of the world. Still, it would be great if I could look at my fiction as dispassionately as the other stuff. Then again, maybe that would be a sign that I wasn’t fully expressing my own creative voice, wasn’t putting enough of my heart into it.

What do you have in mind for your next project?
Book three in the Jamie August series is already in the works. I’m in the research phase right now, which I love! In this case research involves steeping myself in books and movies about … bank heists.

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?
Yes! "Ocean City Cover-up" comes out in paperback and as a Kindle Edition on June 29. The Kindle book is already available for pre-order. I’ll be doing a book tour in July; if you’re in the Maryland area please check my web site for the tour schedule and stop by to say hello!

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Friday, June 26, 2015

Caldric Blackwell, Author of The Enchanted River Race

early chapter book, enchanted river race, caldric

Caldric Blackwell is a children's book writer. Today we are interviewing him about his early chapter book, The Enchanted River Race.

Thanks for doing another interview with us. Today we're talking about one of your earlier works called The Enchanted River Race. Tell us a bit about the book.
It's an early chapter book aimed at ages 7 to 11. The book follows three children who compete in their village's enchanted river race. The main characters must work as a team to defeat magical obstacles.

Who do you think would most enjoy this book?
This book is geared toward children, especially those who like action, adventure, and fantasy, who have graduated from picture books yet aren't quite ready to read novels yet. It has chapters and is easy-to-read, yet also has some illustrations to help beginning readers with the text.

What inspired you to write this book? 
I wanted to write a story that stimulates the imagination - a story that lets you escape from reality while reading.

Do you have a favorite character in The Enchanted River Race? 
Probably the ship's captain, Amy. She is intelligent and quick-witted yet unsure of herself. In a sense, she's forced to become a leader and realize what she's capable of.

Can you tell us a bit about your creative process for this book?
The story started with the idea of a race down a magical river where anything can happen. After I established that, I began toying with different outlines for the plot.
 
Do you think your writing style has changed since when you first started?
I think my writing has become more organic.

How do you feel about the increasing popularity of ebooks?
I like ebooks and physical books. I hope both experience an increase in popularity!

What are your goals as an author for the next ten years?
I'd like to experiment with different genres. I'm actually working on a young adult manuscript, which will be coming down the pipeline in the future.
 
Anything you'd like to add?
Thanks for having me! For anyone interested in my books, please check out my website: www.caldricblackwell.com.

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Werner Stejskal, Author of Oliver and Jumpy

oliver and jumpy, werner stejskal, bedtime story series
Werner Stejskal is the author of Oliver and Jumpy, the children's picture book series. Today we'll be discussing stories 16-18.
 
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Born in Vienna, Austria, I am now living in Perth, Australia with my wife, two married children and three grandchildren. I worked in the printing industry over many years and later for the United Nations in Vienna. After an eventful life, now retired, I began to write children’s stories. I discovered some brilliant illustrators through Odesk, narrated the stories myself for YouTube and finally took the next step into publishing ebooks.

Describe your new book, “Oliver and Jumpy, Stories 16-18,” for readers.

“Oliver and Jumpy”, are best of friends and experience many adventures together. Oliver is a black-and-white tomcat, who is very self-assured. As a matter of fact he says: “I love myself!” quite often. But his best friend Jumpy is aware that he is only putting up a front! Oliver has a soft heart and will always want to help others. The great thing is Jumpy’s pouch, which Oliver loves to ride in! He calls her his kangaroo taxi! Stories 16-18 is the sixth book in the series. Story 16: Who am I? - Oliver loses his memory. Story 17: Up the Tree - Oliver explores a tall tree and meets many animals there. Story 18: Moon Crystal – Oliver and Jumpy are flying to the moon.

Who do you think would most appreciate these stories?
The elaborate illustrations would already interest very small children with their mom explaining the stories. Early readers would benefit from the unusual language for picture books, while many adults like the quality of this sometimes controversial series.

What inspired you to write an illustrated cat series?

Our daughter has a black cat. I like cats. This must have been an influence to the inspiration I was given one sleepless night after a West to East flight from Europe. I suddenly had the idea of Oliver and Jumpy laid out before me and began writing the next morning. I wrote 60 stories within two months. The illustrations of all the stories will finalize this year.

werner stejskal, oliver and jumpy
Author WernerStejskal
Your work is unique in that several illustrators were involved with the project. What was the process of getting the book illustrated like?
I was extremely lucky to find Marvin Alonso through Odesk (now Upwork). He immediately understood what I wanted and, very independently, developed the characters for me in Disney style (my idea). Unfortunately he found another calling after a while. I tried out three illustrators with lesser results until I found Maycee. She and her husband Allan have been the rock of this series. They are just working on Story 55 and turn out a new story every three weeks.

Tell us a bit about your creative process, from the initial idea to the finished manuscript.

As mentioned before, the initial idea was given to me in a sleepless night. Most of my story ideas came to me while swimming leisurely in the public pool. I simply let my thought wander and grabbed hold of interesting story concepts. It was helpful to go through all the common children's books scenarios as well.

How do you hope readers react to your series?

I hope children will react with delight looking at the sometimes complex pictures and learn the subtle lessons hidden in several of the stories.

Are there any authors who have influenced your writing style?
I just love Walt Disney cartoons and found that style of illustrations the most suitable for my stories. The writing style is uniquely me, I think. I am Oliver to a certain degree!

How do you feel about the increasing popularity of ebooks?

Ebooks are here to stay and increasingly so. Ebooks are convenient and will replace printed books to an large extend. They are just such an important tool for authors. But we are just at the beginning of this revolution.

What are your goals as a writer for the next ten years?
I will bring this series to its glorious end sometime this year. There is the possibility that I will publish it in other languages as well. Print-on-demand is next. I will look into conventional printed books if I should receive an offer. My main aim for the short term is massively promoting this series and creating a desirable product. A TV series will be the ultimate aim.

Is there any aspect of writing you don't like?
I treat my work as business. I have experience in running successful businesses and there is nothing to dislike. I put my full effort behind any of my projects. If one does this with a sensible approach then success us assured.

Have you ever had writer's block?
I have to admit that after 60 stories I did run out of ideas, but that was just as well. I had to concentrate on producing the series.

Do you write with a computer, typewriter, or pen and paper? Why do you use this tool?
I love my Ipad and do most things with it. I have to use my laptop to create the mobi files for Amazon.

What do you have in mind for your next project?

I will eventually do another series with an Emu and a Koala bear, who loves to ride the Emu. But that is years down the track.

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?
The value of a product is shown by how many people use it. The more kids get to know "Oliver and Jumpy" the happier I will become. The crucial factor to the success of a picture book series are the participation of moms/mums of this world. So, mothers unite in the quest for Oliver's fame! Thank you!

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

D. Jude Miller, Author of picture book Earclaw and Eddie

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Today we're happy to share an interview author/illustrator D.Jude Miller about his book "Earclaw and Eddie" as part of its blog tour.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
D.Jude Miller actually encompasses my first name (Dan) and my middle name (Jude) and I am from Queens NY. I have been drawing for longer than I have been doing anything that I can remember and I am lucky to have one of the greatest jobs in the world. I draw cartoons! I get to spend my days creating funny characters and crazy stories which is everything I could have ever wished for since I was a kid.

Describe the plot of your new book in a few sentences.
Eddie is just a regular guy who is right on the cusp of something big. Unfortunately, it's not the big thing he's hoping for. He wakes up one morning to find a giant purple monsters sitting right on the top of his head! This obviously is not a situation that anyone wants to be in so Eddie sets out on a lengthy journey to find a way to rid himself of the burden named Earclaw.

Who do you think would most appreciate this book?

I really hope that this book appeals to both children and adults. The story is simple but still clever while the art is colorful and fun for kids but still stark and striking enough to be interesting for their parents. I wanted to create an atypical children's book that looked very different than all the other books on the shelf.

What inspired you to write a book about a regular guy who must deal with an unwelcome visitor living on his head?
"Earclaw and Eddie" is a very personal story for me, almost a picture book autobiography. After spending many years with an undiagnosed illness it was finally revealed to me to be allergies. Thankfully I'm fine now. This book was a way for that unpleasant time in my life to come full circle into something great, as well as a chance to hopefully help children realize that life is many times littered with obstacles that can be overcome, resolved or at least accepted.
D. Jude Miller, d jude miller, author illustrator, new author
D.Jude Miller

Tell us a bit about the protagonist, Eddie.
Eddie is just an average guy who is trying to quietly get by in his life. He couldn't have expected and definitely does not appreciate the unwelcome visitor Earclaw. All he truly wants to do is get back to being average and free of his "problem."

When did you decide to combine your love of drawing and writing to create books?

Originally I planned on being an editorial animator, but that was really boring. Then in college I trained to be an editorial illustrator. It wasn't until after college that I even started writing. I had an odd style of drawing so I realized that if I wanted to make worlds for my characters to exist in, then i was going to have to create those worlds myself.

Can you tell us a bit about your creative process, from the initial idea to the finished book?

I usually write my stories backwards. That solves the tricky situation of not knowing how to end a story since I write the ending first. Once I have an idea, I have to design the characters. Sometimes I can find them on the first sketch, other times it can take quite a while. Once I have characters, then I can create thumbnail story boards, then refined story boards, finally clean drawings and then all the color gets done digitally. Overall a 30 page book takes probably 200 separate drawings.

Does the art or the story come first?
Almost always the story comes first. I have always felt like both the stories and the characters for everything that I will ever do already live in my head and come out when they're ready to be on the page. So, usually when it's ready to exist, it flows pretty easily.

Are there any authors or illustrators who have influenced your style?
I've never been an artist that was inspired by other illustrators since I try to make every project completely different than the last. But, I have always been greatly influenced by movies, news, conversations, anything that's odd and interesting and has a unique perspective.

What do you have in mind for your next project?

I am currently working on a very large, exciting project that actually launched my writing career. It's called "Monsters in Manhattan" and is the first in a series of three children's books. I will be releasing book one by Halloween followed by two and three in 2016. This story was my first ever attempt at writing and has taken so long to finish because of its' complexity and detail but it will definitely be worth it. Stay tuned!

Is there anything else you like potential readers to know about your book?

"Earclaw and Eddie" is definitely different than most of the children's books out there, but I really think that it has an important message of endurance and acceptance that is important for readers of all ages.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Hawk Mikada, Speaker, Author & CEO

Marketing Strategy, The 3 Killers of Business, Why Businesses Fail, How to get leads, business challenges, 3 challenges,

Hawk Mikado is a speaker, best-selling author, & the CEO of InVert.

Tell us a bit about your background in business.
Over the last 17 years, I’ve started and co-founded over 23 companies. 7 of those have been profitable. I mentored under several coaches who taught me about selling, language, relationships and speaking. I focused on my main business Project Hawk and created a brand underneath it for my coach programs called Get Results Coach. From there I partnered with Caitlin Mueller who is now my fiancee to create the Magnetic Media Marketing Company which brought together the strategy I used with my clients and the video from Caitlin’s business. After a year we rebranded to InVert which conveyed more clearly to our clients and prospects what our business does.

What first attracted you to the business field?

In 6th Grade, everyone in my class had the opportunity to start a company. By that point I had already had a few businesses, and I was helping with family companies. By the time I was 18 I had started 6 companies. To this day I’ve started over 21 companies and 7 of them have been profitable. Including my current company which started in that 6th grade class and had developed over the years.

It hasn’t always been easy, there have been many companies, projects, products, etc. that I’ve launched, and they completely failed, and given me the experiences that have helped me to get our company to where it is today.

How did you first learn about the 3 Major challenges and what inspired you to write a book about the 3 Major challenges in business? 

The first was thinking that I could grow off of referrals alone. I didn’t have enough qualified leads to grow my business and follow up on. So I went out and found leads, and things began improving.

Once I had leads, I assumed that everyone would want to buy my program, and I had people who could buy, but I didn’t understand how to sell to them. I had to learn how to sell to them. Which led to me selling small ticket programs for $100 - $200. Those caused me more problems than I could have ever imagined. I soon figured out that selling a $200 program was just as much effort as selling, the exact same program for $2,000, but the people buying it were much more satisfied.

The last was thinking that I could do it all on my own, because it was my baby and I was the only one who could do it right... Boy was I wrong! The moment I brought team members on it made things better. I had to fire my entire team because of performance issues; I learned the value of having the right team around me. Our company now has 3 partners, a core support team, and over 70 people who help us deliver, as we need them.

I felt that everyone should know how to resolve these core challenges and so we wrote the book.
 
hawk mikado, author and ceo, ceo hawk, author hawk, 3 challenges that kill business, business author
Author & CEO Hawk Mikado.
Who could benefit from reading your book?
Anyone that is experiencing a challenge with attracting quality leads, making high end sales, and building a super star team. In particular CEOs, VPs and other executives looking to take their business to the next level.

What are the 3 Major challenges?
The biggest change that I saw was when we were generating highly targeted & qualified leads, we started offering big ticket sales, and we got the right people on our team.

Helping businesses succeed and be excellent is a passion of mine. Over the years I’ve seen the same 3 major challenges arise in every project, business, product launch, etc.

These are 3 Major challenges that every business will face at some point. The challenge becomes how to overcome them if you're in the middle of them AND how to avoid them if you haven't experienced them yet.

In our eBook The 3 Major Challenges That Can Kill Your Business... And How to Avoid Them we discuss the simple yet important keys to developing a business that will grow with you through the million and multi million dollar marks in your growth.

The best part about this is that these 3 “laws” of business are seen by businesses that are making multiple Billion’s to those just starting out.

The first challenge is all about your relationships. Building relationships with the leads you have, with new leads, and most importantly with your centers of influence who will bring you more leads.

You’re not going to get the QUALIFIED leads your business needs to grow if you can’t get leads to come to your door in the first place. In our ebook we share very cool techniques on how to develop these relationships.

The second challenge is related to making sales. This means you have to convert the leads you get into PAYING customers. Yet not just any type of paying customer, you’re going to need some BIG-TICKET products & services that you can offer and sell.

The amount of energy you spend to land a $500 client is about the same as a $5,000 or event $50,000 client. So why are you focusing on the $500’s when you have $1,000’s laying at your door! We share with you some strategies and tactics to make the transition in the book.

The last is around your team. Most companies hire fast and fire slow... we believe that you should be hiring fast and fire faster.... ONLY if they’re not a good fit. The right team can make all of the difference, and having the tools that get you the results you want to begin with is even better.

Another part of your team are your center’s of influence. They are the JV’s, Affiliates, & promotional partners that give you the ability to leverage everything you’re doing.

If you’re interested in learning all of these things you can download our book and watch the free training video inside as well.

Text InVert to 96000 or visit http://NVRT.ME/3Killers.

hawk mikado, author and ceo, ceo hawk, author hawk, business author
Hawk at a speaking engagement.
One of the main points in your book is about building relationships. How has social media influenced building relationships in the business world?
It has done two things. One is that you can now build a relationship with anyone, there are no more gatekeepers. Two is that there is now a lot of saturation in social media and you must be intentional in the way you build relationships for business otherwise you come off as only self serving and that is a lot more obvious online then offline.

Another important topic in your book is the value of a good workforce. What steps can businesses take to connect the right potential employees with themselves?

Have a company culture that reflects the company’s values. It will attract the employees that would want to work there anyway. If you look at Google, Zappos or Disney you have great people chopping at the bit to join their community and support the business and values that they are accomplishing.

Outside of the 3 Major challenges businesses face, what are some mistakes business should avoid?
Relationship Arrogance. This is a term from the book City of Influence and it describes people looking to connect with someone with an expected outcome. You don’t know what people have to offer and automatically assuming they can’t help you will be detrimental to your business.

What do you think are the biggest misconceptions first-time business owners have about what it takes to succeed in business?
That when they set out to provide a service or product they have expertise in that they will know how to run that as a business.

There are 3 pillars of a business structure. Marketing/Sales, R&D/Production, & Admin/Operations.

Most companies put 50%+ into Admin/Operations 30% into R&D/Production and only 20% into Marketing/Sales. This is a recipe for disaster. How can your business grow, let alone survive, if you only give it what it needs 20% of the time.

Put 67% into Marketing and Sales. This doesn’t mean that you have to spend $7 out of $10 on marketing & sales, it means that you are investing 70% of your resources overall to attracting the right qualified leads, and a lot of them. Developing relationships with those leads to close sales. And those relationships will lead to centers of influence. One key with this is when your team builds relationships first and sells second your sales will increase by 199%... 300%... or over 1500% in our case.

You put 23% into Admin and operations. This includes delivery of your services, products, programs, etc. YET Just because it's only 23% doesn’t mean that you’re going to want to slack on performance.

The last part is your R&D and Productions. This 10% is crucial to your growth, AND your best results will come when you do 2 things. First is only create something after you’ve sold it (pre-selling) and second is create something new at least every 6 months to keep your company relevant. Your customers/clients will also have something new to buy.

What is the single biggest thing to attain success in the business world?
Model excellence. Who is already doing what you want to do successfully?
Take a leaf from their notebook and learn from their mistakes and challenges.

I overcame the challenges I faced by seeking out mentors who could help me through the pains and “demons” I had. I learned about psychology, Neurolinguistic Programing, Tactical Influence, Leadership, Accountability, and Mindset Shifting Techniques. Eventually I developed my own process that I call Neuro Communication Systems. I use the processes to remove immediate doubt, pain, fear, sadness, and more. Overall I’ve spent around $100k in my personal development, and I continue to invest in myself to continue to learn.

Tell us a bit about the free training video you offer.
We are offering a free training that takes a deep dive into the 3 Pillars of a successful business. We are teaching best practices and giving examples of what works and what doesn’t. You get it as a gift when you claim your copy of the 3 killers of business... and how to avoid them

Want to contact Hawk?

Email: Concierge@InVertStrategies.com
Call: 855.350.4295
To download your copy of this free book Go to http://nvrt.me/3killers
or Text InVert to 96-000.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Matt Anton SEO Genesis Story and SafeRankBacklinks

Matt Anton, SEO agency, seo expert, saferankbacklinks, seo agency

Today we are interviewing Matt Anton from SafeRankBacklinks about SEO.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
Matt Anton first got involved with SEO back in 2006 when he and his brother Dan Anton launched a social network for gamers. Matt first began copy/pasting emails manually and connecting with others personally on internet forums before stumbling onto the idea of being found by clients through the search engines. He didn’t know it at the time but he was then learning about search engine optimization, or SEO for short.

What first got you interested in SEO?
In my early twenties I played a ton of video games, mmorpg ones to be precise. I loved the ability to take a game or system and find ways to gain an advantage. SEO to me is a big game that has extremely high stakes; it’s a combination of gambling (although you want to get it to a science), thinking outside the box, and systemizing results. SEO has since grown to encompass nearly every facet of online marketing but the initial appeal of getting “free” traffic from Google was extremely alluring.

What are some of the biggest misconceptions about SEO?
Now in my 30’s I realize that SEO is not “free”. It’s an investment, near and long term in your website and in yourself. SEO is not a quick fix and no amount of internet traffic can fix a broken business model. You need to convert traffic into leads and sales. If your website is not doing it, you need to address that first, not simply throw more traffic at it.

You’re an expert on SafeRankBacklinks. What can you tell us about them?
SafeRankBacklinks is the accumulation of 10 years of practicing SEO. After performing over 1000 SEO audits, consultations and services I realized business owners didn’t care about reports or excuses – they wanted results, and who can blame them? The system is a guaranteed ranking SEO service within 60 days or a 100% money back guarantee.

What are the advantages of using SafeRankBacklinks?
It’s a 3 headed approach that gives us an advantage over other SEO agencies.
  1. Human labor: both native English speakers and international to ensure not only high quality, but skilled labor at the right price.
  2. Software: Dan Anton manages a team of software developers which create proprietary SEO marketing software, giving us insights into opportunities others simply can’t see through the data.
  3. Partnerships and Infrastructure: Knowing what to do is half the battle. The real fun begins when you have to execute and that means having large networks for organic traffic, user metrics, relevant bloggers, social media influencers, press release deals, and others to keep costs down and results up.
How does one go about getting more SafeRankBacklinks for their site?
Well, SafeRankBacklinks is not Kleenex (it’s not a brand that means to get links) but what it is, is the safest approach to near and long term SEO that we’ve seen. Everything that matters in SEO is applied to this system.

Where can someone learn more information from you about SEO and SafeRankBacklinks?
Please go to http://saferankbacklinks.com and signup if you have a profitable business that would be more profitable if you rank better or for more terms.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
As long as Google, Yahoo, and Bing exist and data needs to be organized there will be some form of SEO, or future optimization to help you stand out from the crowd. Right now SafeRankBacklinks is the best cloud based, 100% automated solution on your end to rank yourself or client’s websites. Thank you for the interview, I love SEO both as a career and as a hobby/passion.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

T.B. - CEO, Rapper & Founder of Fire Proof 1 Records

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T.B. is a CEO, rapper, songwriter, and founder of Fire Proof 1 Records.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your various projects.
I'm a Christian, father, gospel rapper from North Memphis, Tennessee, and I go by the name T.B., which means Truly Blessed. I have come out with 2 projects, Sinner 2 A Saint 1, and currently promoting my second project, Sinner 2 A Saint 2, with over 20,000 units sold.

You recently were honored by receiving the President’s Volunteer Service Award from President Obama. Can you tell us a bit about this award and what you were honored for?
This awarded is given  to those who have made an positive impact in there communities by making a better tomorrow. I feel it is my duty to give back to the community and I was very elated to get honored for my call to service.

How did becoming an MTV artist impact your career?
It has given me more exposure with the various media outlets.

You’ve shared the stage with a lot of talented artists, from Canton Jones to Mr. Del to K-drama, just to name a few. Is there a dream artist you’d like to share the stage with?
I  would love to share the stage with a secular artist to be able to spread the gospel with their fan base.

You recently landed on the front cover of the Time Magazine Promo Run. Can you tell us a bit about this?
This was one of the perks of becoming an MTV artist. This was such an awesome experience for me. It was a blast working on this project and I look forward to being on the cover of Time in the future.
rapper t.b., rapper tb, gospel rapper, christian rapper, christian hiphip, gospel hiphop

How has the Internet and social media influenced how listeners experience music? Is radio play as important as it used to be?
The internet and social media helps artist expand their fan base and makes music more accessible for the fans to support. Radio play will always be important in getting music to its audience, but it is not as important in this day and time because of all the other technologies that are available to help an artist get her/his music heard.

What are your goals for the next 10 years?
In the next  10 years I see myself still doing ministry to impact the Kingdom of God by influencing the youth.

What’s the next project you’re working on?
I'm currently working on my third mix tape: Sinner 2 A Saint 3, which is expected to come out summer 2016.

Anything else you’d like to add?
I'm very grateful and thankful for the opportunity God has given me to help people through my music.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Alex Guglielmo, Homemaking & Savings Blogger

homemaking blog, marriage and relationship blog, money blog, savings blog, christian blog

Alex Guglielmo is the founder of the homemaking/savings blog the Good Steward Club.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I'm a modern-day housewife who loves saving money and experimenting with ways to make our home run more efficiently.  When I'm not writing or homemaking, I'm reading the Bible and periodicals and books or traveling with my awesome husband.  

Describe your blog, Good Steward Club.

Good Steward Club is a hub particularly for women taking care of their homes and families.  The blog provides lots of money-saving tips, such as how we cut our grocery bill by 40% and some easy ways to cut costs that most people have never heard of.  I write about marriage/relationships and all things home, as well.  

How did you decide upon the name Good Steward Club?
The Bible introduced me to the principle of stewardship, which is managing something that isn’t your own.  Since God owns everything, we’re just borrowing His money and His time, and I need to treat them with extra care in a way that is honoring to Him.  As I'm striving to be a good steward, I want to teach others along the way.
christian blogger, homemaking blogger, savings blogger, marriage and relationship blogger
Homemaking blogger Alex Guglielmo

What inspired you to start a blog on homemaking, budgeting, and relationships, among other topics?

I had given couponing tutorials to a number of people from church, and I thought I could reach more people with the topic of saving money through a blog.  And I'm learning so much through day to day home management and marriage, so I figured my lessons learned might be helpful to others, as well.  If my openness helps people avoid a mistake, then my errors were not made in vain.

Have you always been interested in blogging and writing, or is this an interest that developed recently?
Writing has been one of my favorite activities for as long as I can remember, but I always had the romantic idea of contributing to print journalism (you know, the thing where you turn the page to read more...).  It took a while, but I've come to accept that people read and consume information in a different way now. And having a blog has been more of a blessing than I could have thought because I've discovered online communities and built friendships in a way that I couldn't have by publishing a newspaper article, so I'm really grateful to be a blogger now.

You’ve written on a number of topics, from saving money to marriage to the gospel. How do you decide which topic to write about?

Is it unprofessional to say I just write what I want when I wake up in the morning?  I've been able to keep a balance between my topics without thinking about it too much.  Some days, I’m really inspired to talk about marriage.  And other days, when I've discovered a new way to save money or I've gotten a great deal and my passion for saving money is invigorated, I just have to share with my readers.  The flexibility to write about what I want is a great part of blogging.  

You wrote an excellent article about a secret use of peanut butter. Do you have any other handy ways to use peanut butter?
Why, thank you!  I hope you'll use that trick.  I don't have any more tips for the non-edible use of peanut butter, but I recommend everyone buy a bag of Hershey's Kisses and follow the peanut butter blossom recipe on the bag.  That is one of the tastiest uses of peanut butter.

What is your vision of Good Steward Club five years from now?
With the fast-paced changes being made to technology and communication, I'm not even sure if blogs will be around in five year.   Will people still read, or will information be sent directly to our brains?  I don’t know…

A lot of blogs have guest blog posts. Is that something you could see yourself doing with Good Steward Club?
Kelly from Kelly Cox at Home is preparing a post as we speak.  I found her blog through a link-up and discovered that we are like-minded in our pursuit of saving money, caring for our homes and living within our means (no debt for these families!).  I hope to feature other bloggers in the future, as well.

How do you hope reading your blog will impact readers?
I hope readers will come away with the knowledge that they can take care of their families on one income with no debt if they are willing work at it.  There are some easy ways to save money, but there may also be a call to sacrifice (which, if you sacrifice long enough, just feels like normal life).  Since we live off of my husband's income in the 4th most expensive city in the country (according to Kiplinger), I hope to be a beacon for women who want to come home to take care of their kids or just take care of their husbands and homes.  If you really want to, chances are, you can make it happen if you get creative.

I also pray that people will come for the practical advice and stick around for the "why."  The reason I put so much effort into our home and finances is because I know it is honoring to God.  I pray everyone who comes across my blog will read the Gospel page, because it completely explains why I am who I am today.  And if readers stick around long enough, I’ll likely let them in on a few secrets of who I was before I became a Christian. 

Is there anything you’d like to add?
I’m building up a community on Good Steward Club, so if you leave a comment, you’ll hear back from me.  I really appreciate my readers, and I want them to know it.  I’m also open to feedback.  If there’s anything you’d like me to talk about, let me know!  I want to provide relevant, useful information for those striving to be good stewards. 

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Brandy Nacole, Author of Darkest Reaches

darkest reaches, spiritual discord, urban fantasy book, paranormal book, brandy nacole
We're proud to interview Brandy Nacole, author of "Darkest Reaches – Spiritual Discord Series Book 3", as part of the "Darkest Reaches" blog tour.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a mother of three kids who I hope inherits the love of reading like I do, and considering my daughters book shelf, I’d say it is looking good. Besides writing and reading, I spend most of my time outdoors hiking, trail riding, and canoeing. Many call me crazy due to my tendency to change my mind about plans, plots, etc., every five minutes, but hey, makes like interesting!

Describe the plot of “Darkest Reaches,” book 3 in the Spiritual Discord series, in a few sentences.


After Sabrina saved him from the hounds, Kayson now has to find a way into Hell to save her. His only option is to ask Iraja, a fallen angel who doesn’t do favors without a price. Meanwhile Sabrina struggles against temptations she was made for, ones she’s fought against for over a hundred years, while facing her biggest fears.

Who do you think would most appreciate “Darkest Reaches”?
Readers who enjoy paranormal and paranormal romance stories. There are all kinds of beasties in the Spiritual Discord series: vampires, werewolves, fallen angels, hellhounds, witches, demons, and more.

Iraja, a fallen angel, stands in the way of Kayson in this book, yet also has the potential to be a help. What can you tell us about Iraja?
When Lucifer created the hounds to destroy his blood children – full blooded witches, vampires, etc. – everyone believed they all had perished. But they haven’t. Iraja has kept his massive estate safe because of the full blood he has kept hidden and chained for decades. And while Iraja will help other fallen angels who need shelter, when it comes to the halfs, they die on site. For Kayson, his biggest struggle is going to be convincing Iraja to allow Katarina to help him save Sabrina, who is a half.

More than ever, Sabrina’s faced with the downsides of being a vampire in this book. Without giving too much away, could you describe her situation for readers?
Sabrina was turned against her will, making her a half, not a full blood. Shortly after being changed, the hounds were unleashed on earth to kill all blood children. She has been on the run since then, fighting against her vampire instincts and needs to stay off the radar. But after saving Kayson, she is now in Hell and being forced to embrace those needs and fearing her final fate – eternity in Hell.

How does this book compare to the first two books in the Spiritual Discord series?
While facing new threats and problems in "Darkest Reaches," Kayson still has yet to prove his intent that started in Broken Faith. He fell from Heaven because he believed what no one else does, that the halfs that remain on earth can once again obtain their souls if they so choose. As the story has built over the last two books, more and more are coming to terms with what Kayson believes.

Can you tell us a bit about your creative process for this book, from the initial idea to the finished manuscript?
When I first started plotting for Broken Faith, I was driving home to Arkansas from New York. By the time I got home, I had the plot for the whole series worked out. Some of those initial thoughts have changed but most have stayed intact. Once the plot is built, I do the necessary research needed for the book, build the characters, and then write the first draft. Proofreading, editing, and proofreading again seem to be a never ending process until finally one has to say “stop, you’re going to drive yourself crazy.”

Are there any authors who have influenced your writing style?
I look to many authors for support and guidance, but my biggest influencer is Richelle Mead. I fell in love with the VA series and her fun-loving spirit. She is quite the role model.

Are there any aspects of your life, outside reading and writing, that influence your writing style?
It seems that I can find ideas from most things around me. For instance, "Broken Faith" started churning in my head after passing two road signs. When my muses are refusing to talk to me, a good walk can usually get the motor running again.

Is there any aspect of writing you don't like?
Titles! Set me in front of a computer, I can write all day. And unlike most, I enjoy proofreading and editing, which is why I offer to proofread manuscripts for others. But titles are my kryptonite, no joke. I don’t know why, but sometimes it will take me months for the fireworks to light and go boom.

What do you have in mind for your next project?
I am currently working on a standalone, "Deep in the Hollow," based on a local legend in my area, which I’m hoping to have released later this summer.

A short blurb from "Darkest Reaches":
A year ago Jo's life changed forever, and everyone thinks what happened is her fault. But the mystery that lurks behind this small town will reveal not only Jo's innocence, but centuries of blood and despair.

Relevant Links
Follow the rest of the blog tour 
http://www.facebook.com/authorbrandynacole
http://www.twitter.com/authorbnacole
http://www.goodreads.com/BrandyNacole
http://www.pinterest.com/bnacolebooks
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Monday, June 8, 2015

Diana Blackstone, Author of When Sparrows Fall

diana blackstone, when sparrows fall, middlegrade book, young adult book, pennyslvania dutch book

Diana Blackstone is the author of the middle grade/YA book "When Sparrows Fall."

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I grew up in a small family with just one younger sister, but my mom was born into an Amish-turned-Mennonite family and had 13 brothers and sisters. That’s a lot of aunts and uncles for me! I also have over 50 first cousins on that side. We spent a lot of time together when I was growing up, and I still consider my cousins some of my closest friends. I have always lived in the Pacific Northwest and miss the rain by the end of the summer. I am married with two sons, one just graduating from college and one in middle school. For over 20 years, I’ve taught at the same middle and high school from which I graduated. I’ve taught all grades sixth through twelfth, mostly English. Currently I teach sophomore English and serve as the school’s Academic Support Coordinator. My mom, sister, an uncle, a few cousins, and my oldest son also graduated from this school. My youngest son attends now.

For fun I like to read, write, do word games, hike, cook new recipes, watch movies on Netflix, and see friends. A perfect winter day is stormy outside, but I’m inside on the couch with a blanket, an intriguing book, a hot beverage, and a cat curled up next to me. A perfect summer day is low ‘80’s on a lake or hiking with friends and family. I don’t like spiders but find them fascinating—just so they don’t get too close. I also don’t like crowds, getting up at 5:30 on school days, or grading essays. I’m a bit of a neat-freak and germaphobe. I know it’s kind of weird, but I like to wash dishes and organize. If I wasn’t a teacher or writer, I could be a professional organizer.

Describe the plot of your new book in a few sentences.
Susanna, a young Mennonite teenager, struggles with new blended family dynamics under the shadow of an angry stepfather. After she discovers her neighbor’s dangerous secret, she is faced with a risky choice, one that could lead to devastating consequences.

Who do you think would most appreciate this book?
Since the protagonist is a 13-year-old girl, girls ages 10-15 would connect most easily to the main character. I think boys who are open to reading books with girl main characters would like it, too. Anyone who likes historical fiction and reading about challenging family relationships would also enjoy it.

What inspired you to write a story about a teen who faces a crisis of faith?
Questioning the faith we’ve grown up with is not only normal but even a healthy step toward owning our beliefs. It can be a scary process, especially when others tell us we’re wrong to have doubts and questions. I wanted to give voice to both the questions as well as the reassurance of God’s constant love for us, despite our circumstances, our mistakes, and our sometimes faltering faith.  

Susana discovers a strange nighttime visitor at her mysterious neighbor’s home, which leads to the unveiling of secrets. Without giving too much away, what can you tell us about this discovery?  It’s a dangerous discovery reflecting a dark time in our nation’s history. To make matters worse, she’s faced with a terrible set of choices. One decision could lead to misery and even the deaths of others. The opposite decision could lead to harsh punishment from her stepfather, rejection by her community, even legal consequences.

Tell us a bit about the protagonist, Susanna Stutzman.
Susanna is a grieving girl who loves her family and does her best to support them despite facing backlash from others in her home. She is brave, curious, compassionate, and willing to take risks not only to protect others but to get answers.

Are there any authors who have influenced your writing style?

Many authors have influenced my writing style because I learn the craft as I read. The one author who inspired me to try writing my own children’s novel was Christopher Paul Curtis, author of Bud, Not Buddy. I thoroughly enjoyed that novel because of its simple, straightforward storytelling in the authentic voice of its young protagonist, brought to life with rich historic detail.

How do you think you've evolved as a writer since when you first started?

I am far more aware of the words, phrases, and sentence construction that bog down fiction writing. Instructors in writing workshops repeatedly advise us to “show, don’t tell.” I get that now, and it’s coming much more automatically with practice.

Are there any aspects of your writing that you've been practicing?
I’m trying to set the scene better. When I write, I see it in my head like a movie. I see the room, the placement of the furniture, how the light falls. I hear the clatter of dishes and the scraping of chairs. I forget that my audience is not in my head and might need help getting into the scene the way I am if I don’t share some of those details.

How do you feel about the increasing popularity of ebooks?
I’m reluctantly embracing them. I think nothing will replace the feel of a regular book in my hands, but I am getting used to e-books. I have a collection now on my Kindle app. It’s nice to always have a book handy on my iPhone. My youngest son prefers to read e-books, and I’m just thrilled that he’s reading. I know I personally find it easier to swallow the cost of an e-book that I otherwise might not purchase in print because I’m not sure how much I’ll love it. As an author, if I make more sales that way, then I’m glad this option exists!

What are your goals as a writer for the next ten years?

In the next five years I hope to finish and pitch two more novels I’m in the process of writing. I also hope to have more time to develop my blog. At the end of those five years, I plan to retire from teaching or at least go to part-time to have more time for writing. I currently have more ideas for novels than I have time to write them. It will be a relief to get the stories told so that their characters will settle down and quit bugging me all the time.  

What do you have in mind for your next project?

I am almost finished with a contemporary YA novel with the working title Lucy’s Place (likely to change as I’m not satisfied with that). It’s about a Guatemalan-born girl named Lucy, adopted by a single white mother when she was little. Not long ago, her mother married, and Lucy had to change schools. She also learns her mother is pregnant. As Lucy struggles to find where she fits in both at school and at home, she meets Jack. Is he a dream-come-true or is he a nightmare? Will she find her place and get her happy ending?

I’ve begun a third YA novel titled Testimony of Crows, a paranormal story with two teenage protagonists who live 100 years apart but in the same setting in the Oregon coastal mountains. In addition to living in the same place, they both harbor dark secrets of terrible guilt. How are the girls connected? Can they help each other find redemption?

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?
Be sure to check out the glossary at the end. Pennsylvania Dutch words appear in the book, and I want kids to know that resource is there if they need help figuring out what the words mean.

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