tagged with: indie author

As a writer, I always thought I was the only one that feels anxious about my work—you know, like whether it makes sense, how would it be received and sometimes I even feel anxious, or guilty, that I’m not writing enough. But recently I received an email from an author I subscribe to that helped me feel a little better about myself. She also felt anxious—not about the quality of her writing—but about hearing her writing read back to her. She had just completed her first audiobook, so I guess it was natural for her to feel a bit anxious.

Out of curiosity, I decided to google what makes writers anxious or what kinds of tigers are lurking near the keyboard. I found a lot— from writing quality, genre, sales and even algorithms. While it helped to know that other writers have their tigers, it didn’t get rid of mine.

Oh, I haven’t yet told you yet what I worry about. Can you guess? My book’s cover. As an indie author, I’m pretty much on my own. I come up with the story ideas, flesh them out, publish them and market them. While doing all of that does bring some tigers, coming up with the cover brings the biggest one of all. Bigger than a tiger; more like an elephant.

Every time I’ve written a book, I tremble when the time comes to choose a cover. And now the fifth time is no different. In fact, the elephant loomed even larger this time. I had to get it right. Perfect. Flawless. Grabworthy (another way of saying Irresistible). So I researched book designers and book covers ad infinitum, signed up with some Facebook groups and finally found a designer who designed books in my genre and who suited my budget.

I think part of the difficulty in finding the right cover is that most of the novels that are coming out are in every genre but women’s fiction, the genre I write in. Anyway, once I’d settled on a designer, I drew her into my habitat. Fortunately, she is a very patient soul and she stuck with me through the five revisions I requested.

Of course, my writer’s group deserves a great deal of the praise for the way my cover turned out. The first mock-up did not meet my expectations. I didn’t even share it with my group. Again I felt anxious. I immediately felt my description had failed to convey what I wanted. I tried again and again, until I finally got something I thought I could live with. Once my group had approved it, I breathed a sigh of relief.

Now that I’ve decided on my cover and I’ve read those posts about writers’ anxiety, I’ve come away with one truth—my cover will never be perfect. There will always be covers more appealing more than mine. I will suffer some angst when I come across a cover I think should be mine, but that’s life. I can only give myself and my readers the best I’m capable of.

So, drop me a line and tell me what you think of the cover of my latest book Love, Lies, and Grace shown above. Is it grabworthy? Will you buy the book because of its cover? I (anxiously) await your comment.

Young couple in love outdoors

I know you are busy putting the finish touches to your Thanksgiving turkey and making sure everything is just right. But once you’re done, the visitors have left and the family is in bed, you want to whine down with your favorite cup of tea and a good book. Right? Well, do I have some offers for you.

First, there is the Holiday 99c. Sale promotion now taking place. This promotion ends in 3 days, so you must hurry if you want to take advantage of this fine selection of books, all for 99c. Among them is In the Wilderness, the second book of my Egypt trilogy. This is a gripping tale of a young girl contemplating suicide in order to spare her sister the pain of seeing her go to prison.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I have kept the price of the other two books in the trilogy, Coming Out of Egypt, book 1, and In the Promised Land, book 3 at 99c. If you have not read these books yet, I encourage you to get hold of them while they are still at this low price.

The holidays are here and you may have already begun your holiday shopping. If you are looking for a gift that is sure to please someone on your list, get her/him a paperback copy of Coming Out of Egypt. It’s sure to bless them. If you would like to have an autographed copy, you can order through Paypal by clicking the link below.

Coming Out of Egypt

As I told you some time previously, In the Wilderness is now available in paperback and will soon be in stores and libraries, but meanwhile, ordering has to be done through my site. If you want to get an autographed copy in time for Christmas, just click the link below. Shipping for both books is included.

In the Wilderness

Happy Thanksgiving!

Promo

Can you believe summer is almost over? The heat lingers, but soon it will be fall and cooler days will take over. It’s now the best time to stock up on your end-of-summer reading. What better way to do that than by participating in this special promo featuring a wide selection of books by your favorite authors in a variety of genres. Just go to https://books.bookfunnel.com/endofsummerpromo/gvq2wb6jh5

If you enjoyed this preview, why not share it with your friends, then get your copy by clicking on the end-of-summer link. After you have read it, please leave an honest review on Amazon.


https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DF5VYKC

“Where did the time go?” That’s a common topic of conversation these days, and one I ask myself almost every day. Before you know it, the kindle-countdown-one-year celebration for In the Promised Land will be over. I hope you took advantage of the deep discounts over these 3 days to get your copy of this captivating novel.

In order to whet your appetite further while there are still a few hours left, I am posting an excerpt that captures one of the scenes written around the true event which forms the backdrop of this novel – the bombing of the police headquarters as a small Muslim group staged a bloody coup in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad.

Excerpt

As he checked his watch, something on the television screen caught his eye. A man resembling Dennis Kallipersad, the evening news anchor, sat at a table. Behind him, stood two men dressed in army uniforms, carrying rifles. Derek frowned. Not one of those bad plays at this time of day. It was just after four. He was about to switch to the other station when the man sitting said in a tremulous voice, “We have suspended regular programming to bring you this report. Trinidad and Tobago television was taken over by the Muslimeen forces of Yasin Aboud Bakr this afternoon around 2.30 p.m. It has been learned that our sister radio station, Radio 610, has been taken over. Muslimeen forces also stormed the Parliament building and bombed the Police Headquarters on St. Vincent Street earlier this afternoon. Motorists are urged to stay away from those areas.”

Derek dashed across the room and yanked the bathroom door open. June stood there drying herself, but for the first time her nakedness failed to excite him. He grabbed her by the hand and ran with her back to the bed. Snatching up her clothing, he thrust them at her. “Here, get dressed, quick.”

“Honey, my hair —”

“Never mind, you’ll fix it in the car.”

While she scrambled to get into her clothes, Derek shoved his feet into his socks and shoes, then felt his pocket for his keys. June, clad in underwear, paused, looking at the television. “What’s going on? Is that a play?”

“Here. Put on your skirt.” He held out the garment, she stepped into it, and he quickly pulled her zipper up.

She reached for her jacket.  “What’s that about the Parliament?”

Derek turned off the TV. “Here’s your jacket, let me help you.” He pushed the sleeve over one arm, and she shrugged the other arm through.

 “Ready? Let’s go.” He grabbed her arm while she was still buttoning her jacket.

She twisted free. “Wait. What’s the rush?”

“The Muslims have taken over. Come on.”

June barely had time to grab her purse before he dragged her by the hand and out through the door.

Everything seemed normal as they got into their car, and Derek wondered if it was some type of hoax. But when they eased into the mainstream of traffic, chaos confronted them. Drivers turned in the middle of the road, passed on the shoulder, cut in and out, showing off their skill in amazing ways.             

 Derek decided to turn around. Signaling, and not giving the car behind him time to pass, Derek spun the wheel, bringing his bumper right up to the paint of another car. The driver shook his fist and mouthed something, but Derek ignored him, backed up, then zoomed off in the opposite direction. After a half mile they encountered another traffic jam. This time they saw the reason. Police were stopping everyone and checking their identification.

“Oh, boy,” Derek muttered, leaning his head back against the head rest.

June switched on the radio. An announcer’s voice came through the static. “Motorists are asked to avoid St. Vincent Street where the Police Headquarters building is still smoldering after this afternoon’s bombing —”

Derek switched off the radio, cursing under his breath. June’s face had gone pale. She stretched out her hand to turn the radio back on, but he growled, “Leave it alone.”

“I heard something about Police Headquarters —”

“I said leave it alone.” He spoke through clenched teeth, his knuckles white as he gripped the steering. He dared not look at her. He hated speaking to her like that especially after the lovely time they had just had, but he was scared as he’d never been in his life. His father worked at Police Headquarters.

So, I won’t hold you up any longer. Get your copy of In the Promised Land while the price is still $2.99.

This third and last book of the Egypt trilogy is on tour with RABT tours from now until Apr. 13. You can follow the tour and enter to win one of three copies of this compelling book. But that’s not all. In the Promised Land is now discounted from $3.99 to $1.99 for the duration of the tour. So, if you have been waiting for the price to come down so you can pick up your copy, here’s your chance.

To give you a little insight into the story, here’s the blurb:

Based on a true event, In the Promised Land wraps up the lives of the characters in a neat and satisfying way, according to some readers. Like the rest of the series, the story is set in the beautiful twin – island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. The two main characters, Marva and June, have come out of an abusive childhood (Egypt) and are now adults. Marva is a nun at a home for delinquent girls. Marva is known for being strict and well disciplined, but when her adoptive father is killed in a Muslim coup, the family relies on her levelheaded calm to help them get through their crisis. But little do they know that Marva has a crisis of her own, one that her discipline and her faith seem inadequate to handle.

You can follow the tour here.

In time for Sexual Awareness month, Coming Out of Egypt, the first book in the series will be featured in a Book Cave promotion all month long, beginning tomorrow April 1. at the low price of .99c. You can follow the tour here.

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During a phone conversation with a friend yesterday, I asked as casually as I could, “Did I ever tell you I’m a writer?”

Now, this is a friend, mind you. Someone I’ve known for decades and I’m now telling her that I’m a writer. Better late than never, I guess. Anyway, just as I expected, my friend told me she’s not a reader, but she did ask a few questions, which I was hoping for.

After asking me what my book was about–I told her it was actually a series of three books–and gave her a brief synopsis of the books. Then she wanted to know how I was able to sit down and write three books.

I explained it was not difficult because the first book was based on a true situation I knew of when I was a teacher back in Trinidad. For those of you who never heard the background to Coming Out of Egypt, here it is in brief:

It was rumored that two sisters attending the elementary school where I taught were being abused by their father. Their mother had died, and the girls lived in a secluded home with their father. They appeared very shabby, were isolative and did not do well in school. We, the teachers, had no legal authority to do anything in that society during that time period, and I transferred from that school without knowing what became of those girls.

So much for the background. How did I write the book?

1. The idea. It was easy for me to get started because I had the basic idea – the above synopsis – but the ending would be different. Instead of transferring from that school to another, the teacher would stay there and try to help those girls out.

2. The characters. I already had the protagonist – the older sister. Her younger sister June would be the second most important character. Then I added another character– the teacher–and I gave her a name. If there’s a protagonist there would be an antagonist. Guess what? The teacher’s boyfriend, a detective,  became the antagonist.

3. The setting. I already had that too. A rural village in Trinidad.

4. The plot. That is what happens in the story. How do these characters act on this idea in this setting? The pieces began to fall into place. The girls would go to school, the teacher would teach, and the detective would … He would have to find something to detect. Right? More ideas.

In order to make the book interesting, I had to throw in a few more elements. So I threw in some romance–the teacher and the detective, Marva and her boyfriend and even June has a boyfriend or rather, boyfriends. Then I included some police work –our detective is a hard-working guy–so we give him a crime to solve.

By this time I had an idea what I wanted the title to be. The real village where the girls lived is called Egypt Village. Egypt in the Bible represents a place of bondage. Since the book was being written from a Christian perspective, I used the story of the exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt as a metaphor for the story of these girls’ journey out of their bondage, and thus came the title Coming Out of Egypt.

This whole process may sound easy or complicated depending on how you look at it. However, if you are going to write a book, I would suggest you become familiar with the craft by doing the foll.:
1)Begin reading, if you are like my friend –not a reader.
2)Take a few courses–online or at a community college or some such place
3) Join a writer’s group and
4) Start writing

If you enjoyed this blog post, I will suggest two things:
1. Buy the Book
2. Sign up to join my mailing list. You will be the first to know about my giveaways, special offers from time to time and updates from other authors.

How is the new year treating you so far? Are you taking things in stride? Or are you still wondering where 2018 went? As for me, I’m trying to cope with the chaos 2019 has brought into my life. My fridge is in the living-room, my microwave is on the TV stand and plugged in next to the fridge. My stove and dishwasher are squeezed somewhere near my dining-table, and boxes are piled almost to the ceiling.

No, it’s not a scene from my current work-in-progress, neither am I moving. It’s just a matter of taking care of some water damage in my kitchen, which has left me feeling sick and disoriented, to say the least. But in spite of eating out of paper plates, and eating things I don’t normally eat, life goes on. Right? Right. So, I just finished typing The End to my latest book and uploaded the final chapter to my critique group. Yay!!!

I began working on this manuscript twelve years ago and had to set it aside time and again for various reasons and was only able to work on it consistently this past year. Shows what you can do if you just stick with it. I feel great about myself because I accomplished this under very trying circumstances. So, want to know what my latest masterpiece is about? Remember the Golden Girls sitcom? The four middle-aged women who sat around eating ice-cream and sharing secrets? Well, my new novel is something like that, except that there are three of them and they are too figure-conscious to eat ice-cream very often. And that’s all I’ll say about them for now.

Remember to grab a copy of each book in my Egypt series or whichever one you haven’t read yet and tell your friends about them. And when you have read them, please leave a review on Amazon. You can find them on my my Amazon author page here.

Thank you and happy reading!

I don’t know if it’s my imagination, or if it’s because Christmas ads and decorations began showing up way before Thanksgiving, but whatever it is, people seem to be making a bigger fuss about Christmas this year. For me, that’s a good thing. As a Christian, I love Christmas and all it signifies. As an author, I’m also noticing a lot of Christmas-themed books, and while my Egypt series is not based on Christmas, books 1 and 2 carry some Christmas scenes that will give you a glimpse of how my characters, and people in Trinidad where the story is set, spend Christmas.

Here is an excerpt from In The Wilderness: Book 2 of the Egypt series:

At last it’s Christmas Eve. Miss Lucy and her daughter have gone home, and we sit in the living-room admiring the Christmas tree and the decorations and sipping egg nog. Below the tree is an assortment of boxes wrapped in shiny gift paper and tied with pretty bows. The television shows women in beautiful frilly skirts and blouses with flowers in their hair, singing and dancing. The songs are in Spanish and they call them parang.
I’m holding Junior on my lap. June sits on the rug at my feet, her head resting against my legs. Junior tugs at her hair.
“Ouch!” She holds her head, and he squeals.
Across from us, Chrissy, seated on her father, also squeals and drops her rattle.
“Did we do this in Egypt Village?” I ask.
June turns her head. “Do what?”
“Sit around the tree and drink egg nog and watch TV.”
“I don’t think we ever had a tree. And we didn’t have a TV.”
No tree? It’s such a beautiful thing. I can’t understand why everyone wouldn’t have one. And no TV either? “We couldn’t afford it?”
June shrugs. “I don’t know.”
That’s another thing I don’t understand. She never wants to talk about our childhood and Egypt Village.
Junior takes another tug at her hair and she sidles away. “Come here, you.” She lifts him off my lap.
I turn to Miss Stewart. “Did you always do this?”
She smiles. “Yes, we did.”
I look at Mr. Bowen.
He nods. “We did, too. And you know what else we did?”
Everyone looks at him. “We sang Christmas carols and told the story of the Savior’s birth.”
“I didn’t know that,” his wife says.
He gazes at her. “Remember I came from a Christian home. When we lived in New York, we went to church on Christmas Eve night.”
“Was it snowing?” June asks.
“Sometimes, but we kids loved it. We would all bundle up in our coats, hats and gloves and sing carols while Dad drove us to church. When we came here, it took us a while before we found a church, so Mom made egg nog and we sat around and did the Christmas thing.”
“The Christmas thing?” June asks.
“Yeah. We sat around the crèche and told the Christmas story.”
That touches me. We don’t have a crèche, but maybe we can do the Christmas thing too.
Feeling shy, I ask, “Can we do that now?”
“Why not?” Miss Stewart gets up and turns off the TV. “Where do we start?”
June bounces Junior on her leg. “Let’s start with ‘Once upon a time.’”
Mr. Bowen picks up Chrissy’s rattle. “Okay, here’s how we did it. One person says a few lines of the Christmas story, then we sing a verse of a carol. Then the next person picks up the story from where the last person left off, we sing another verse and so on.”
“Sounds great,” Miss Stewart says. “I’ll go first. Once upon a time there was a man named Joseph, and he had a wife named Mary who was pregnant.”
June puts her hand up. “Joseph and Mary journeyed to Bethlehem in order to be taxed, in keeping with a decree from the emperor Cesar Augustus.”
“You forgot the song,” I say.
June slaps her forehead. “I’m sorry.” She clears her throat. “Silent night …”
We all join in the singing. When we finish the first verse, she repeats the lines she’d said, then everyone looks at me. I smile as I continue the story. “While they were there, Mary realized that it was time for the baby to be born.”
We sing another verse then Mr. Bowen continues, “Joseph tries to find a room in an inn so Mary could give birth, but he found none.”
We continue like this until Mr. Bowen ends with the angels telling the shepherds, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace and goodwill toward men.”
I look down at Junior now asleep on June’s lap. I think of the Baby Jesus who came into this world as small and innocent as this baby even though He was God Himself. What a beautiful story!
June interrupts my thoughts. “Sister, I’m impressed that you remember the Christmas story so well.”
I turn to her. “Some things I’ll always remember, but the things I want to remember, I don’t.”

There you have it. Christmas with Marva, June and the Bowen’s. To read more about the Christmas celebrations with the Bowen’s, why not pick up a copy of the book on sale for only 99c. this weekend. And drop me a line and let me know how you spend Christmas at your house.

Here is an interview I did with Ndeye Labadens, author of How to Crush Social Media in Only 2 Minutes a Day and moderator of the Ndeye Labadens Book Club.

In this interview, I talk about how I came up with the title for the first book in the Egypt series, Coming Out of Egypt and other behind-the-scenes information of my debut novel. Some of it you may already know if you read my blog regularly, but regardless, I invite you to grab a cup of your favorite beverage, (tea, anyone?) pull up your chair and enjoy.

My name is Angela Joseph. I am the author of one non-fiction book Women For All Seasons and the Egypt series, three fiction books. I am also a blogger and freelance writer for health and wellness sites.

What’s the story behind the title?

The story behind the title goes back to the time when I was a teacher in Trinidad. Two sisters attended the school where I taught, although neither of them were my pupils, and it was rumored they were being abused by their father. They lived in a secluded home in a place called Egypt Village. Coming Out of Egypt deals with the journey of two sisters who lived in the same locale and were abused by their father. I have also used the Biblical story of the exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt as a metaphor for the turbulent journey of these two sisters out of an abusive childhood.

Why did you write this book?

Stories of sexual abuse are in the news every day. It is neither obsolete nor pertinent only to third world countries, yet victims of sexual abuse do not receive the help or attention they deserve. I wrote this book to inspire and encourage women, as well as men, who have been sexually abused and let them know that they have self worth. That they too can “come out of Egypt” and find love, understanding and forgiveness.

How do you keep the reader attention?

I keep the reader’s attention by pacing the plot points in such a way that the reader wants to know what happens next, but at the same time doesn’t skip over any part of the narrative. For example, a high-tension scene where Cicely’s father tells her fiancé that Cicely was a nightclub dancer in an attempt to break them up, is preceded by a tropical rainstorm in which she is almost marooned on the beach. The reader can feel the tension building. I also sprinkle cultural titbits throughout the novel that give them a glimpse of Trinidad culture and add depth to the story.

How did you come up with this book idea?

The idea came to me when I saw TV personalities like Oprah Winfrey and popular televangelist Joyce Meyer and others talking openly about their experience with sexual abuse. I thought if these women could “come out of Egypt” to become who God created them to be, then anyone, with God’s help, could do the same. So, I decided to rewrite the story of those two pupils I knew in Egypt Village.

What publishing elements do you most enjoy and most like to avoid, and why? (e.g., design, marketing, formatting, etc.)

Once the ink has dried, I wish I could wave a magic wand and make all the rest involved with publishing disappear, but unfortunately that is not case. So, while I don’t enjoy any of them, I get some satisfaction when I see even my limp marketing efforts bear some fruit. I strictly avoid design and formatting. I tackle editing with a vengeance because I know how important that is.

What’s next on your writing journey?

I am currently working on another women’s fiction set in Georgia. It deals with three friends and their secrets. I also have a fun, romantic novella that I started some time ago that I would like to complete. In addition, I will continue blogging and freelancing for health and wellness sites. I will also continue to promote Coming Out of Egypt and the other books in the series, In the Wilderness and In the Promised Land.

Where would my audience find your book?

Just click the image below.