Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Sir John Majito Espresso

Since I've had so many request for this recipe, I decided to post it here. Feel free to modify it according to your own taste and leave me a comment on how you modified it to make it better.

Start with fresh mint(six leaves) and crush it in an eight ounce glass with a muddle stick to release all of the flavor possible.
Take a lime and squeeze all of the juice possible into the glass.
add a shot or two of Rum (Spice Rum the best)
add a shot or two of espresso coffee, if not available try Kahulla
add syrup, or brown sugar to adjust sweetness to your taste preference
add ice
Stir, don't shake
top off with club soda.
add a lime as an ornament


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Staying on Track
One of the great things about being a published author is the deadline. The one incentive an unpublished writer doesn’t have. While many authors busting their behinds might not agree, the fact is, it makes you keep your butt in the chair and write. Also, I’m sure there is a different feeling when you hope you might sell a novel as compared to knowing you have it sold already.
So, how does an unpublished writer keep working and producing at a fast enough to compete with those that are published? Sometimes you just have to fake it until you make it. The advantages of not being published however mean that you don’t have revisions or publicity you have to worry about. Of course, some of that time is wasted on sending out query and other material attempting to find an agent or publisher.
Every agent is going to answer different. The best answer is to work as hard as you can everyday and have no regrets later. Progress, it is all about the progress forward.
Johnny Ray

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Developing alternate streams of writing revenues

I remember the days when I thought writing would be so easy and take so little time. Like many people I thought I would be the next overnight sensation. Well, six novels later, I’m still waiting on becoming discovered. However, I’ve learned a lot along the way.
Lately, I’ve discovered many other ways of making a living as a writer. Yes, not like being known as a famous novelist, but satisfying the needs to have your work read. I never knew the demand for article and content writers was so high. Maybe you don’t make as much per article as you would like to, but I’m sure over time, the efficiency in turning out articles will improve. It is a way to work on your own schedule which is great.
The various social media outlets like facebook, u-tube, tweeter, etc. can also add to your popularity and hopefully make your novels sell more when they do come out. A point that I think can never be underestimated. And then there is the affiliate marketing programs you can receive income from off of your web sites you develop.
If you plan on entering these additional arenas, be prepared to spend some time in learning web designing and marketing. The competition can be fierce, but friendly at the same time. You will find everyone wants your link and traffic. It can be a win-win situation.
To finalize my point, I think to attract a top agent and publisher; you may have to create your own name recognition and following. Let’s face it, the one way to make sure an agent stands up and wants to take you on, is to become famous.

Johnny Ray

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

It is amazing the amount of work that goes into a novel. It is also so amazing that an author never know if he has a salable product until he is finished. Now, it is interesting to see how some authors obtain sales before they ever start. If other authors have information on how to do this, it would be great to hear from them.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Writing contests are interesting in many ways. The feedback can be great or terrible, but in any case can give you a point of reference as long as you are true to yourself and not allow another person’s point of view ruin what you have good working for you. Again, at other times, if you hear the same criticism coming from several people, you might need to ask yourself if you are the one being bullheaded.

In deciding how to react to criticism I think it helps to really know your own style of writing. What makes it different from or similar to other writers? In order to stand out, I think we all agree it has to be original in several ways. How do you approach point of view? Is it different from others or a copy cat of many others in the marketplace? What is particularly different about your voice? Can you identify it? If you can, perhaps you can expand on it.

The one item I noticed from most people doing reviews in contest is that it appears to be coming straight out of a text book of how to judge. The problem is that most of the great authors that are best sellers never play by those rules. If you don’t think so, simple obtain a few of the top sellers and do your own review. Point of view jumps are very common. Writing in a passive voice is very common. I hope you understand what I’m saying. These authors are very aware of the rules, but don’t listen to them. Their object is to tell the story and make it interesting. They get away with breaking the rules because they can.

I’ve also heard that the main reason to enter a contest is to get in front of a certain editor. It is hard to believe that an editor is not looking for the next book that will make money for the publisher. There are other ways to get in front of them. While they say they are not taking submissions, they are still interested in looking. And when it comes to getting in front of an agent, they are almost always open for submissions without going through a contest.

And the last part in deciding if the contest route is good for you is the cost. With the money spent on entering many contest, the same money could possibly be spent with a professional coach that could help polish your novel and give you a wealth of knowledge to advance your career.

Still I know it is exciting to see your name on the list of finalist or as the actual winner. I have won before on a contest and walking up on stage is very exciting to accept your award. But when it comes to actually getting you published, I still have my doubts. And as many aspiring writers will still enter some contest hoping for the best.

With all of this said, the pathway of each author will be different. And in truth, it might take a little of all of the efforts to find the magic bullet. Still it is a business decision in how to spend your money and your time every author needs to address.

Johnny Ray