If Not For Kim…

Back in 2005…I quit my job…sold my house…and…set out to be a…fulltime…author…

Of course…I made an effort to do the things…authors…were supposed to do…among them being…social networking…and…as much as I hate to admit it…online life was different then…Facebook was around…but I’d never heard of it…so…I joined a Ryze group for entrepreneurial women…

It was there that I met…none other than…Kim Emerson…the woman was everywhere…encouraging others…offering marketing tips…giving workshops…coaching clients to be their best…and…to be honest…she totally intimidated me…not that she tried to…I just felt so inadequate around someone so accomplished

In fact…I felt so inadequate…and all the other women seem so accomplished…that…I almost never posted…anything…period…but…even in my silence…I watched…I read…I knew that…Kim…was someone special…

Then…came the crash…AKA…I ran out of money and had to go back to work…I’m still not sure where Oprah was in all of this…I was convinced she was going to discover me…anyway…I admit it…I was jaded…I was angry…I locked…Bertha…in a box and shoved her in the closet…after covering her mouth with duct tape…and thought my writing career was over…

Wrong…

One day on Facebook…I ran across a group…MasterKoda.com…a group for writers…founded by…drumroll please…Kim Emerson…honestly…I hesitated…I wasn’t a writer anymore…well…I had started this blog…but…I wasn’t a real writer anymore…but…what the heck…I joined…

And…with Kim’s warm welcome and encouragement…I did come out of my shell bit by bit…but…I still wasn’t a writer…

Until…

November 30, 2011…Kim posted…last call for the author makeover contest…with a link for the rules…the deadline was midnight…it was seven o’clock…and I go to bed early…I had to write one page on why I deserved the Ultimate Author Makeover

I can’t tell you everything I wrote…but…I remember it ended with…I’m not sure I deserve a second chance…but…Bertha…does…

And…Kim and her judges agreed…Bertha…got her second chance…her prize was a professional litflix book trailer…but…Kim didn’t stop there…she also interviewed me on Readers Rocking Radio…and…continued to encourage me…as…I once again…became a writer…

If not for Kim…I’m not sure I would have ever written…Becoming Bertha…if not for Kim…I’m not sure I would have ever learned the balance between working fulltime…and being an author…oh who am I kidding…even Kim with her super powers…couldn’t teach me that…if not for Kim…I wouldn’t even be in the relationship that I cherish…

If not for Kim…the list is too long to write here…but…suffice it to say…if not for Kim…I don’t think I would be who and where I am today…

Interestingly…I started out writing a happy birthday post to Kim…and…it seems that it has been all about…me…which at first embarrassed me…but…Bertha…reminded me…Kim’s deepest joy comes from helping others…seeing them succeed…so…hopefully…knowing that she has changed my life on so many levels…brings her joy…

But…I do want to mention…a few things just about her…

Kim has lived one of the most interesting lives imaginable…from riding wild horses and unicycles…to living with wolves…literally…to teaching high school…to wearing a bowler hat when she writes…to owning Master Koda Select Publishing…to mentoring hundreds of writers…to being a mother and grandmother…to writing a bestselling young adult novel with a killer cliffhanger…you name it…Kim has probably done it…or will say…yeah…just give me a minute…I’m in

So…where did the cliffhanger come from…from Digitus 233released last year…right before the world didn’t end

A group of teens are caught in a web of deceit. Will they break free of the world’s controlling power or are they doomed to die trying?

It’s really a great book…in fact…I bought a copy for the school last year…and…had a couple of football players read it…to see what they thought…they immediately sent Kim an email…asking for the sequel…and…you know what a tough audience the football team can be…but…not as tough…as…ex-husbands…and…Kim’s…gave her a five star review for…Digitus 233…so it must be good…

So…please join me…in wishing Kim…AKA…KD Emerson…a very happy birthday…you can find her on…FacebookTwitterAmazonMKSP…her Author Blog…or…donning a cape…and leaping over high buildings…just look up…I’m sure you’ll see her…

Jane

PS…Thank you Kim for helping me to be the person I am today…

PSS…Kim has been so busy helping others…that she hasn’t quite finished the sequel…but…I have it on good authority…that it’s gonna be worth the wait…

After the Barn…

I’ve known G. Mitchell Baker…through Master Koda writing group for a while now…but…only recently got to know him as a friend…when he…took me behind his…barn

Yeah…I know…no one was more surprised than me…anyway…we had a lovely chat on his…Anything But a Tired Barn Blog…and we’ve been fast friends ever since…

When…Mitch…mentioned that his latest book…Lethal Believers: DVM…would be released today…Bertha…insisted that we have him over so we could get the scoop…so…here goes…

Mitch…I’ve always heard that everyone has a book inside them…but…you seem to have more than most…why don’t you tell us about what you’ve written and what’s to come…

Hi Jane … and Hello Bertha…thank you for hosting me today and I’d be more than happy to share some of my projects, and their status with you… 

LETHAL BELIEVERS: DVM has Lamia, a corrupted Greek myth seeking to collaborate with Malachi Danta-Mercadel and again to protect more of The Innocents, while rehabilitating her myth, distorted by an English literary figure who does not hesitate to distort the course of history. ‘LETHAL BELIEVERS: DVM’ by G Mitchell Baker (Master Koda Select Publishing, 2013) 

LETHAL BELIEVERS: THE INNOCENTS is a tale where Malachi Danta-Mercadel, retired INTERPOL rails against the Mantid Tranquil organization bent on vesting a form of revenge, given Danta’s handiwork for exposing Mantid’s illicit maneuvers to exploit The Innocents. ‘LETHAL BELIEVERS: THE INNOCENTS’ (Master Koda Select Publishing, 2013). 

THE INVOLVEMENT OF EMERSON is an edgy novel in contemporary fiction, focusing on the choice of an estranged father, who, and despite the most challenging circumstances, chooses positive relationships, and to remain involved in his children’s lives. (Brent House Books, 2013)  

The Paperback and eBook were released throughout the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Brazil, Japan and India. Look for the second novel in series “THE CONSISTENCY OF EMERSON” is the subject of negotiation with Master Koda Select Publishing for release and re-release in 2014. 

ANNT: AXIOM is an eBook in Science Fiction that has published in 2011 and is now Out-of-Print. Two geniuses partner to invent/create Adaptable Neo-Nature Technology (‘ANNT’) that competes with Ald Mother Nature to determine what nature will be the default nature going into our near futures.   

At present, ANNT: AXIOM and its sequel, “ANNT: TERRACA” are the subject of negotiation with Master Koda Select Publishing for release and re-release in 2014. 

“SOCCER TOMMIES BASEBALL MOMMIES” The Town of Abbottsville, Louisiana, endures a mighty hurricane and there remains one playing field for its champion soccer and baseball teams to use for practice. The Soccer Mommies battle the Baseball Tommies for the home field advantage with the town leaders doing their best to think both in and outside the box.  

I am privileged to announce here that Master Koda Select Publishing and I recently agreed to publish this humorous, community values oriented story in contemporary fiction for young adults. “SOCCER TOMMIES BASEBALL MOMMIES” by G Mitchell Baker (Forthcoming, Master Koda Select Publishing, Fall, 2013). 

My…my…has anyone ever told you that you were…well…how do I say this delicately…um…full of books

Why yes, as a matter of fact they have. They also mention something about…bull. But we won’t go there today.

Hmmm…good…I mean…I know you have a barn and all…but…I didn’t wear my boots today…so…moving right along…Bertha…did a little snooping…well…okay…a lot of snooping…and found out that you are a…recovering…attorney…does that profession show itself in your writing…

Not as much as one would think, coming from a practicing attorney for about twenty years… Although I have interviewed, interrogated and deposed some pretty interesting characters through the years …  You know … Come to think of it … the characters with the real power … those behind the scenes were always as interesting as well … What is fun about the way I write is there are many notions drawn from many characters that make up any one character in my work… I’d say there is no less than three sources of inspiration for any single character. Then I of course tend to make some of the character the exact opposite of what I’d originally written … I call this my ‘180’ approach to character development… I have all kinds of approaches to developing original and interesting characters and story lines … I leave the legal scenarios to Grisham, who has mined those legal storylines pretty well. I like to believe I am taking my stories out of the firms and courtrooms and into broader contexts and dimensions to allow my characters to deal with a lot more difficult and gritty subject matter and social issues.  

I’ve read…Lethal Believers: The Innocents…and…I’m reading…Lethal Believers: DVM…and they are very intriguing indeed…you combine several elements together…including…the paranormal…and…pedophiles…how did the story first come to you…and…where will it take you from here…

After being in a profession of research, rationalization, and argument for more than two decades, I found that when I started writing seriously there were stories emerging about people struggling with difficult subjects that attracted, and held my attention. The Lethal Believers series is about complex characters struggling to deal with complex, and sometimes controversial topics within an entertaining story.  What can I say … I’ve come to know of medical professionals who abuse themselves and others, and I’ve been involved in cases where pedophiles insert themselves into the most incredible of circumstances… I like the fact this Lethal Believers series deals with difficult subject matter, while the treatment is original and interesting enough to be good literature … its edgy … gutsy and deserves to be read if entertainment is to be more than be easy in easy out.  I want to bring the notions of living lots, learning lots and loving that which deserves to be loved to the page and decided long ago not to back off any of it because the subject matter may not be conducive to an easy escape from the realities that affect us all, one way or another…

Edgy is definitely a word that I’ve used to describe your books…but…I’ve noticed that your writing is often described as…’intelligent’…as opposed to mine…which is described as…well…um…I’m not sure how mine is described…but…certainly not… intelligent… anyway… What does that mean to you…

I am going to suggest your writing is very ‘intelligent’ Jane. There are so many types of ‘intelligence’.  I have read your first novel, ‘BERTHA-SIZE YOUR LIFE’ and was immediately a fan of the down-to-earth, common sense exchange and approach for living life… Your main characters maintain a strong relationship based on common sense … Does anyone (who may be ‘intelligent’) realize how we as a society appear to be losing so much of what you have chosen to write about …?

I commend your effort … You are keeping strong relationships and common sense … as well as positive thinking, in the realm of and at the forefront of mainstream thinking by publishing your book. I cannot think of anything more ‘intelligent’ than that…

Now, if we are talking about the ‘intelligence’ of my writing, what I chose to write about, it is that I am attracted to complex characters and how they chose to deal with difficult, sometimes multifaceted and multifarious subjects, special issues … unpopular topics …  But you know what …?  It is still all about strong relationships based on common sense …

In my writing I seem to take on more difficult subjects and allow complex characters to rise up and deal with it all…  It may appear ‘intelligent’ in what the characters do … and, I cannot disagree if there is opinion recognizing that a positive contribution, through story telling is always ‘intelligent’… If my readers develop a trust in that is where the characters, my stories go I would be very comfortable with these kinds of developments.

I cannot see myself writing formula for the sake of titillation … to generate Book sales … My goal is to write original and interesting stories … I hope that is some of what is meant when the description ‘intelligent’ is used to describe my work. I think it ‘intelligent’ to at least try and contribute something meaningful on a whole lot of different and varying levels … If that is recognized as ‘intelligent’ then count me in to continue writing, developing and producing more… J

Well…thanks for the compliment…you might notice that…Bertha…had her fishing pole out for that one…anyway…moving right along…again…I’ve always been told…that an author should totally know their characters…do a detailed character sketch…even though all the details may not come out in the story…your character Danta…is quite complex…and…Bertha…wants to know…a little more about him…so I told her I’d ask…boxers…or…briefs…and…how do you know that…

Jane, Jane … Oh my dear Jane … Is it Bertha really asking this question? Hmmmm 😉  I bet Ian Fleming never had to answer questions about James Bond’s undies… Eeeesh!  But then again, … *winking*  Bertha is like a good lawyer … always knowing the answer to the question, before asking … 😀

For starters, I am not an author who has ever worked from “…a detailed character sketch…”  I have always thought, “Why create boundaries, limitations … risk over defining a character right from the start?”  I prefer an open process to that of defining and constantly re-defining.  I ask myself this question about this particular process, because I truly believe that at some time in a story the character takes over … And, when as much happens it is such a rewarding experience… The Characters start writing the story with you … Moving the plot forward… Making themes perhaps stronger, maybe weaker … The creation of a story becomes a welcome collaboration of sorts and rather than me telling the character what I think about the way things should be.

Having said as much, I now ask … Has anyone ever asked James Bond whether he’s a brief or boxer guy? … I mean really *A little British miff now* “I think not.” Okay … now that I have demonstrated sufficient indignation, I will provide an example given my viewpoint for writing character …

Now Bertha’s perception of the Danta character is that there are either “boxers or briefs” … Now then, what if the character Danta was the kind of ‘character’ who wears neither? (Moreover, he tells me there are at least two other options to choose from). So then, what is left is for the character to lead me to further discover who this character is, how he will continue to influence the story, plot, themes, and perhaps impact other characters… Ultimately, I hope the character is going to work with me to create an original and interesting, perhaps unpredictable read … That is original and interesting.

Now Bertha … Can you think of what the other two undies options can be? I am sure, when you do start to think of all the possibilities there are, and how Danta may eventually, answer to the question of how he manages his … Well hold on now … Isn’t this really a question about how Danta conducts his Man-Management…?  Any way … as a writer, I am most interested in what choices Danta the character will make and how the decisions will make the story more original and interesting… Now, Danta assures me that not only will Bertha be satisfied … But his/my readers will also be very pleased. Now what do you make of all that …?  From underwear, to writing viewpoint and then back to the undies mystery… I think there is a story to be written somewhere in all this… What do you think Bertha? Bond … Danta? Same undies? Who knows…? Hey Bertha … What’s your best guess? ;-D

Wow…you’re a good sport…thanks for answering that…but…wait…I’m not quite certain you did answer it…must be some of that legalese you used to speak…anyway…I’ve really got to get her under control…seriously…how do you get to know your characters…

I think Danta was the good sport … He only had me running interference until he had a chance to call up James, find out that under no circumstances was there to be an undies reveal… (Classified Umbro) But hey … seriously, as I suggested above… I love the process of allowing my characters to develop as I write, as the story progresses… and vice versa. I think it becomes, and stays fun when you allow things to just happen and with the character at times taking the lead…

Good point…Bertha…always takes the lead in my writing…keeps me on my toes…which makes me think of dancing…which…reminds me…that we’ll be hosting a mutual book release party…for Lethal Believers: DVM and Becoming BerthaSaturday July 13, 2013…and…everyone’s invited…from what I hear…it’s the party of the summer…

Absolutely … It has been real fun to be a part of all this sudden, great energy coming together for our wonderful projects…  I have to tell you, when I read your Face Book posting about me calling the Book Launch ‘LETHAL FLAMINGOS’  (because of the Lethal Theme in my book and the Flamingo character in your novel) and with you calling the party ‘BERTHA BELIEVERS…’ I was laughing and laughing … When fun themes and strong characters get together you never know what fun can be had by all…

Well…Mitch…it has been a pleasure to have you visit us in Alabama… Do you have any last words you’d like to share…

And Thank you Jane, Bertha so very much for welcoming me to Alabama … It’s nice to get out of the Anything But Tired Barn once in a while…  

I have to say I am meeting such wonderful authors, fans and making so many wonderful friends through writing … And Jane, you can count yourself as one of the most ‘wonderful’.

I am truly blessed. 

I also have to say it is never easy, obvious, or for blind expectation that all in the world of writing and publishing will always go as well. In fact, there is nothing about writing and publishing that is not life … I am humbled and try to work hard to continue writing good stories and to enjoy the kind of living Bertha shares so much about in your story-telling.

I am privileged to be friends with, and to work with many people who work hard both at very positive relationships, and who also work very hard at whatever it takes to make successful book projects become even more successful. 

I am so thankful and grateful … I do Thank You Jane for hosting me here today.  Cheers!

Mitch…working with you is always…my pleasure…

Jane