Category Archives: authors

Choose the Cover for a New Thriller

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Cover Concept Contest

for author Joseph Carpenter

Which concept you would choose for the cover of “Special Report”

When a mysterious faith healer suddenly appears in Texas, Satan and the Federal government join forces to discredit him and stop his followers from gaining too much power. But when Amy Frostberg, an up and coming reporter for the Texas News Television Network is tasked with getting to the bottom of the story, she finds herself in the middle of a battle between good and evil.

This is a book cover concept which will also be a poster for the future movie.

Joseph E. Miller, aka Joseph Carpenter,  directs, writes, and produces films for television, cable and movies. 

Joseph enlisted in the US Army and spent five years in Western Europe during the height of the Cold War as a Counter Intelligence Agent with the 66th and later served as a Recon Scout with the famed Echo Company, 2nd Battalion 506th Infantry (Currahee) 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam from December 1969 to November 1970. He was wounded in action in November 1970.

A graduate of the University of Maryland, Duke holds BS and MA degrees and has received numerous, national and international awards for his work including, the Honor Award of the Association of Military Surgeons International, a Certificate of Merit from the Entertainment Industry Council and the coveted CINE Golden Eagle.

Some of his work includes:

JUST PUBLISHED

Joseph, who has made over fifty non-fiction films, written more than one-hundred and fifty newspaper and magazine articles, numerous film and television scripts, produced several TV movies and is currently producing two feature films, “Jonni Dingo’s Eyeball,” and “Hot Rod Zombies,” also writes under the pseudonym of Duke Zimmer.

The Romanovsky Stain” by Duke Zimmer is the first of five novels in the “After Action Report” series featuring Jacob Steiner. The true art of spy thrillers, as they should be told. Duke Zimmer combines a unique and captivating plot and a memorable setting with flawless writing skill to bring to life a fascinating thriller. Recently awarded Reader’s Favorite.
Book Cover Illustration 11b copy
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Eye-Opening Writing Tips

4815205632_632ee48a71_bA lot of people think they can write or paint or draw or sing or make movies or what-have-you, but having an artistic temperament doth not make one an artist.

Even the great writers of our time have tried and failed and failed some more. Vladimir Nabokov received a harsh rejection letter from Knopf upon submitting Lolita, which would later go on to sell fifty million copies. Sylvia Plath’s first rejection letter for The Bell Jar read, “There certainly isn’t enough genuine talent for us to take notice.” Gertrude Stein received a cruel rejection letter that mocked her style. Marcel Proust’s Swann’s Way earned him a sprawling rejection letter regarding the reasons he should simply give up writing all together. Tim Burton’s first illustrated book, The Giant Zlig, got the thumbs down from Walt Disney Productions, and even Jack Kerouac’s perennial On the Road received a particularly blunt rejection letter that simply read, “I don’t dig this one at all.”

So even if you’re an utterly fantastic writer who will be remembered for decades forthcoming, you’ll still most likely receive a large dollop of criticism, rejection, and perhaps even mockery before you get there. Having been through it all these great writers offer some writing tips without pulling punches. After all, if a publishing house is going to tear into your manuscript you might as well be prepared.

Advice From the Best


The first draft of everything is shit. -Ernest Hemingway


Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious ass. -David Ogilvy


If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy. – Dorothy Parker


Notice how many of the Olympic athletes effusively thanked their mothers for their success? “She drove me to my practice at four in the morning,” etc. Writing is not figure skating or skiing. Your mother will not make you a writer. My advice to any young person who wants to write is: leave home. -Paul Theroux


I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide. — Harper Lee


You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. ― Jack London


Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout with some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand. — George Orwell


There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are. ― W. Somerset Maugham


If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time — or the tools — to write. Simple as that. – Stephen King


Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong. – Neil Gaiman


Imagine that you are dying. If you had a terminal disease would you finish this book? Why not? The thing that annoys this 10-weeks-to-live self is the thing that is wrong with the book. So change it. Stop arguing with yourself. Change it. See? Easy. And no one had to die. – Anne Enright


If writing seems hard, it’s because it is hard. It’s one of the hardest things people do. – William Zinsser


Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college. – Kurt Vonnegut


Prose is architecture, not interior decoration. – Ernest Hemingway


Write drunk, edit sober. – Ernest Hemingway


Get through a draft as quickly as possible. Hard to know the shape of the thing until you have a draft. Literally, when I wrote the last page of my first draft of Lincoln’s Melancholy I thought, Oh, shit, now I get the shape of this. But I had wasted years, literally years, writing and re-writing the first third to first half. The old writer’s rule applies: Have the courage to write badly. – Joshua Wolf Shenk


  1. Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. – Mark Twain

Start telling the stories that only you can tell, because there’ll always be better writers than you and there’ll always be smarter writers than you. There will always be people who are much better at doing this or doing that — but you are the only you. ― Neil Gaiman


Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative. – Oscar Wilde


You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you. ― Ray Bradbury


Don’t take anyone’s writing advice too seriously. – Lev Grossman


Book Cover Design

Source: http://thoughtcatalog.com/cody-delistraty/2013/09/21-harsh-but-eye-opening-writing-tips-from-great-authors/

The 7 Things Writers Need to Create Great Content

Love copy

This might seem squishy, but if you’re meant to be a writer, you know what I mean.

There is no substitute for the love of writing. For the passion of getting the words right, the head-scratching and the pacing around the house and the endless drafts that aren’t quite right yet.

If you don’t love language and your topic and the act of putting words together, none of the rest of this really means anything.

I could have just as easily used Compulsion, Obsession, or Bullheadedness for this section. Whichever word you choose, it’s about refusing to settle for weak writing, because the words matter.

AAOS copy

Writing for self-expression can be high art, pursued for the sake of your own experience of truth and beauty.

Professional writers work from an attitude of serving their audience. Serving them with truthful, beautiful words, yes. But also with language that meets their needs, language that clarifies rather than prettifies.

Novelists, copywriters, and content creators all live in service to our audiences. No matter how clever or perfectly poetic we may find a phrase, if it doesn’t serve the audience, it goes.

Confidence copy

It’s always struck me as odd that many of the most capable writers are also some of the most insecure.

But it doesn’t need to be that way. Confidence comes from putting the work in, to become a genuinely authoritative expert. It comes from research, craftsmanship, and seeing the difference you make to your audience.

Serious craftspeople are humble and proud at the same time.

The pride and confidence come from hours of deliberate practice – the kind of work that expands your abilities and challenges you to grow. The humility comes from the knowledge that a true pro is always improving, expanding, and refining.

Training copy

Many writers imagine that if you have a good writing voice and a strong opinion, you’re qualified to work as a professional copywriter.

Not so fast.

Great copywriters and content creators are fine wordsmiths, yes, but they’re also strategists. They understand what types of content work to attract attention, to stand out amid the sea of content clutter, to motivate buying behavior, and to help the audience make the journey from interested bystander to loyal customer.

Solid content and copywriting strategy come from training (and practice). You can get a lot of that training at Copyblogger.

Discipline copy

You may be a brilliant wordsmith and master strategist, but if you can’t get yourself the butt-in-chair time needed to produce a significant quantity of work, you won’t get where you want to go.

To a great degree, discipline is a set of habits that can be cultivated. As a writer, you can string together rituals, create the right work environment, and adopt the behaviors of productive writers.

As a working writer, you also need to throw in a set of habits that will ensure that you meet your deadlines, keep clients updated, and invoice your clients promptly.

If you care enough, you’ll do it. The habits can be difficult to put into place, but fortunately, once they’re in place, they tend to keep you on the right track. (That’s the difference between habits and will power.)

Marketer copy

Yes, there is some money in writing fiction. (For the lucky few, there’s a great deal of money. Emphasis on few.)

There’s also still a little bit of money in journalism and feature writing, especially if you have excellent contacts.

But for the most part, if you want to make a living as a writer, the fastest, most enjoyable way to do that is to write content to find more customers.

It’s interesting, it’s very much in demand, and it will get you researching and investigating as many different topics as you like.

You might think that this kind of writing is boring to do. Far from it. Creating really good content (as opposed to the mass of junk that makes up 95 percent of web copy) will call on your skills as a storyteller, investigator, wordsmith, travel writer, historian.

A well-qualified content marketer needs all the skills of a great feature or fiction writer — combined with solid marketing strategy.

You also, of course, need to get comfortable marketing yourself. This can be surprisingly tough even for writers who create superb marketing for their clients.

“Create a bunch of content and hope someone wants to do business with you” won’t work for your writing business any more than it will for your clients’. You need to apply the same strategies and frameworks to your own business that you do to theirs.

If this doesn’t come naturally to you, don’t let that worry you. It doesn’t come naturally to a lot of good writers. But it’s something that’s well within your ability to learn.

support copy

One of the tough things about living as a professional writer is that the path you walk is one you make yourself.

There’s no one to tell you which direction to go, no one to give you sign posts along the way, no one to outline your day for you and tell you where you need to be and when.

That’s also one of the fantastic things about living as a professional writer. But sometimes Fantastic is also Difficult.

Writing is a lonely business. And it can be just a little lonelier when you don’t have colleagues to bounce questions off of, or to share your gripes and triumphs with.

When you do find a community of writers, though, it’s a lovely thing. They’re some of the funniest, smartest, quirkiest people you’ll ever meet. And it just feels good to hang out with people who get you.


Source: http://www.copyblogger.com/writer-success-2014/

 

Celebrating A Must Read Book

This inspirational book “Facelifts, Money & Prince Charming: Break Baby Boomer Myths & Live Your Best Life”,  is the key to unlock the hidden treasure for how to live your best life by Hollywood Actress, Baby Boomer Advocate and #1 Amazon Bestselling Author, Joanie Marx.

AARPThe AARP 2016 Movies for Grownups Gala

has selected Joanie Marx book as a celebrity gift for An Awards Night to Remember which celebrates celebrities such as Costner, Simmons, Russo, Jane Fonda, Bette Midler, Dustin Hoffman, Gina Davis, Lily Tomlin, Mark Ruffalo, and Michael Douglas who is being honored for his Career Achievements.

In her book, Marx reveals the secret for undoing the fears of being discarded, unseen and abandoned as we age. Whether you’re a Baby Boomer or part of a generation that came after them, this is a must-read book.

The Gala will be held February 8, 2016 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Beverly Hills, California.


Bio - Joanie 1.jpgIs aging a disease?
Is self-love a myth?

Can youth be reclaimed after 55?
Does happiness have an expiration date?

These are just a few of the questions Baby Boomer advocate and Hollywood actress, Joanie “McGranny” Marx, boldly addresses in her new, eye-opening book, “Facelifts, Money and Prince Charming: Break Baby Boomer Myths & Live Your Best Life”.


Whether you’re a Baby Boomer or part of a generation that came after them, this is a must-read book.

ORDER YOUR BOOK TODAY!


“FACELIFTS, MONEY AND PRINCE CHARMING: BREAK BABY BOOMER MYTHS & LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE” IS AVAILABLE AS A KINDLE EDITION, HARD COVER, AND TRADE PAPERBACK RELEASE AT AMAZON.COM.

Indie Authors: Should You Hire a Professional Editor to Polish Your Book Before Publishing

5 Reasons to Hire a Professional Editor and What that Editor Can Provide

by Michelle Rene Goodhew

Even if you think you are aware of the basic reasons why it is a good idea to hire a professional editor, this article is worth reviewing. If you want to be a professional author than it is imperative that you treat your manuscript professionally as well.

You may think it costs too much money, or that you are equipped enough to handle the editing. This is nonsense. How much time have you invested in your manuscript and how do you want it to be received by the public? If you respect your own writing then you will afford the cost of a professional editor and listen to all they have to offer.

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What a Professional Editor Provides

Editing your manuscript is a job for a professional editor. Whether you’ve written beat poetry or the next blockbuster screenplay, a lavish period romance or a hard science fiction adventure, the right editor will know your form and genre. They will know about important things like leaving the dialects alone, preserving your voice and vision, and making sure you retain complete creative control. If you’ve written nonfiction, your editor will be focused on helping you communicate your ideas clearly and concisely, giving you a better, stronger, and perfectly crafted manuscript.

Proofreading and copy editing are different services. 

  • Proofreading is the reading of a galley proof or an electronic copy of a publication to detect and correct production errors of text or art. Proofreaders are expected to be consistently accurate by default because they occupy the last stage of typographic production before publication.
  • Copy editing is the work that an editor does to improve the formatting, style, and accuracy of text. Unlike general editing, copy editing might not involve changing the content of the text.

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5 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Professional Editor

1.  You Need an Expert, Honest, Fresh Pair of Eyes

No matter how many times you have proofread your manuscript, you have missed something. With the services of line editing and developmental editing, you have the opportunity to have your story structure analyzed. These services could take your already great writing and make it exceptional.

2.  Your Book Can Be Improved

There are several areas in which your book can be improved. Sentence structure, confusing scenes, too much dialogue, or an abundance of information that actually detracts from your story. These are things an author will overlook because the story reads well in their head simply because they created it. The author is unable to see from the perspective of the reader.

3.  Your Book is Not Their Baby

An editor takes the viewpoint of a reader. They don’t care if you are in love with a certain paragraph or chapter that you have written, if it needs rewriting, or needs to be scrapped, they will boldly tell you.

“Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.” — Mark Twain

4.  Editors Have a Unique Perspective

The editor has a unique perspective. Not only are they a fresh set of eyes to fine tooth comb your work, but they have the background that labels them as an expert in their field. They know grammar, sentence structure, story outline, pitch, premise, tone, and theme, and they understand how all of these things work together to create a great story.

5.  Even Famous Authors Have Editors

Do you think the great authors like Dean Koontz, Tom Clancy, or Stephen King, do not have to scrap sections of their work or do rewrites? Do you think they think they can or would choose to only self-edit their work? No, they wouldn’t, they rely on professional editors for guidance. They understand the benefits of editing and polishing their manuscript.

“Writing without revising is the literary equivalent of waltzing gaily out of the house in your underwear.”
Patricia Fuller

Hiring an Editor

Before you hire an editor, you need to know what kind of help you’re looking for. Do you want developmental editing—“big-picture” feedback about structure, style, pacing and voice? A developmental edit for a work of nonfiction may include feedback about the book’s organizational structure, as well as both stylistic and informational strengths and weaknesses. (For example: “The strongest parts of the book are where you use humorous anecdotes to illustrate your points about how bad managers don’t even know they are bad managers. Why don’t you try opening each chapter with one of those anecdotes, to make it easier for the reader to identify with the problems you’re about to discuss?”)

If you’re writing fiction, developmental editing also includes notes on plot, point of view and characterization. (For instance, “I think the real story starts in Chapter 3, at the moment when she wins the lottery,” or, “While I love the way you show the character growing throughout the story and her sarcasm is often funny, she comes off as unlikable. Here are some things she might do/say to get the reader on her ‘side’ from the beginning.”) Often, a developmental edit is given in the form of a detailed report or letter rather than as notes made directly on the manuscript.

If you want the latter, you’re looking for someone to line edit your manuscript. In a line edit, your editor will point out specific things such as certain lines of dialogue that don’t sound convincing, or pacing problems in a given section. (“Why not skip the backstory here and move right to the kiss? It’s what readers have been waiting for!”)

I suggest both. Often, an editor provides both developmental feedback and line edits. Because developmental feedback assumes the writer will return to the manuscript and rewrite parts, line editing is sometimes held off until that rewrite has been completed. Alternatively, the editor may be contracted to work on a second line edit of the book to address anything that has been added or changed in the revision.

See: How to hire a freelance editor by Arlene Prunkl

Take All You Can Get From Editing Services

Many authors are reluctant to accept developmental feedback and line edits. Not taking these editing marks into serious account is a mistake. It is important to remember that your editor is an expert in their field and will only make suggestions where, as a reader of your work, they deam a change is necessary. You don’t have to accept everything your editor suggests, but it may help to do the rewrites and get new feedback from proofreaders or friends. It is quite possible that the magic of your story will be enhanced by your revisions and attention to detail. Hiring an editor to fine-tune your manuscript can take your story to the next level, possibly making you an award winning author.proof7Facebook Banner copy small add