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How Not to Avoid the Rejection Blues, or embracing the inner Smurf… by Julian Rosado-Machain

44How Not to Avoid the Rejection Blues, or embracing the inner Smurf…

By Julian Rosado-Machain

Ah, the rejection blues! When all the hope built up during those long, interminable weeks that pass between sending a query letter or a manuscript and receiving a response is annihilated by the simple “Thank you, but….”

I blame the “but..” God, how I learned to hate the “but…”.

11“Thank you, ” at least, shows a modicum of sympathy, but “but…”? I am sure that everything after the “but…” is optional. The “but…” seals the deal, what you wrote isn’t good enough, at least to the “Thank you,” people. They are grateful that you thought about them, they might or might not have read what you sent, discussed it, placed it on the table as a probable project, fought for it to be accepted by the uber-bosses of the company, it may have moved their hearts, changed their lives and they keep a copy close to the pillows…


Its unavoidable… rejection always feels like a stab in the heart, or at least the spleen, depending on who rejects the manuscript and your hopes about that literary agent or publishing house taking up on your manuscript.

It’s going to happen, so don’t avoid it… Embrace it. I once went to the home of a friend who had been left at the altar, an envoy of his parents to see if he was okay because he didn’t answer his phone, my heart sank when I found the door to his apartment unlocked, and I went in and thankfully found him with a bottle of rum on one hand and watching Star Wars on a VHS. His words of wisdom that stuck with me I will now convey to you:

“Let me enjoy my depression in peace.” He said. “I’ll be over it tomorrow.”

He was so blue he looked like a Smurf and to be completely truthful the blue didn’t wash out overnight, but the rum wasn’t there the next day.

So yeah, embrace it, turn blue and Smurf it and turn it around, go back and edit, fix, twitch and fiddle with your manuscript, then do it again. Or, if you get tired of the “but..” like I did, self publish, BUT (and this one applies) please, do it only after editing, fixing, twitching and fiddling…thoroughly and preferably with the help of a professional… at least the editing bit.

Hopefully, and with a lot of work,(and let’s be honest, wishful thinking) you might hit it and then maybe the “Thank you,” people will come looking for you and you will be the one saying “Oh wow!…This is great!..but…”

Wouldn’t that be something?

So turn blue, embrace it, might as well try to enjoy it and use it in your writing, learn from it and then dream a little dream… and get over it.

BTW… my Smurfy friend found his Smurfette a couple of years later… and now they have little Smurflings of their own.

He got over it and so can we.

About the Author:

Julian Rosado-MachainJulian Rosado-Machain has enjoyed pizza in three continents, worked in graphic design, armored vehicles, built computers, handcrafted alebrijes and swears that he has seen at least one ghost.

He lives in San Diego, California. And enjoys the sun with his wife, three children and cat.

His latest book is the YA fantasy adventure, Guardians Inc.: The Cypher.

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About the Book:

Guardians Inc 7GUARDIANS INC.: THE CYPHER is two stories in one. A glimpse into a multinational company that is in reality the oldest of secret societies, one that spans close to seven thousand years of existence, weaving in and out of history, guiding and protecting humanity from creatures and forces that most of us believe are only mythology and fairy tales.

The other is the story of Thomas Byrne, a young man thrust into secrets he shouldn’t be aware of and dangers he shouldn’t face but, that he ultimately will, for he is a Cypher. The only one who can steer humanity’s future.

The ultimate conspiracy theory is that Magic is real. Kept in check by technology but, every five hundred years the balance can shift and, if it does, technology will fail and those creatures we’ve driven into myth will come back with a vengeance.

To protect the present, Guardians Incorporated needs to know the future, and to unlock the future they need a Cypher.

This is the first book of the Guardians Inc Series.

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Guest Blogger: What the World Needs Now – Authentic leadership by Andreas Dudas

Andreas Dudàs has more than 20 years leadership experience gained in top executive positions in over 25 countries. Visionary entrepreneur, mentor, motivational speaker & expert on authentic (life) leadership, he is the author of Do You Dare To Be Yourself? Learn more at www.andreasdudas.com.

What the World Needs Now – Authentic leadership by Andreas Dudas

On the one hand, never throughout the entire history were human beings offered such a bewildering array of opportunities to foster personal growth, accumulate wealth or build great nations. Each time I leave the new airport in New Delhi, for example, I am overwhelmed with the rapid change of the environment driven by a mind-boggling growth rate of the economy. On the other hand, never has humanity faced so much misery: A rising number of armed and violent conflicts, water and air pollution, congested highways, a rapid shift in weather conditions and the exploitation of natural resources without considering even the most basic environmental regulations.

Many scholars claim that the dramatic challenges we witness are mainly driven by two key factors: a sudden and startling surge in human population and a fast acceleration of the scientific and technological revolution, which has provided us with a sheer unimaginable power to affect the world around us. Some scholars tend to assert that new technologies, genetic engineering or other innovative products will be the keys for coping with our pressing problems. I completely disagree! Only a new leadership paradigm will remedy the current havoc.

For nearly 2000 years, the worldview has been driven by a leadership paradigm based on autonomy, separateness and control. These have also been the root metaphors influencing religion, business and science mainly in the Western world. This traditional archetype supports not only autonomy and freedom, but also control and manipulation. Nothing was wrong with such an approach, up to a point, for it was the basis for an enormous technical advancement on earth. But at the same time, this old paradigm has led us into a disaster and is now in big trouble not just that it relates to the environment, but across many fields such as politics, education and business. Already in the early 1990s, many renowned personalities emphasized that the shortcomings of command-and-control management were becoming apparent. The hierarchy of bosses organized in ranks with each superior exercising authority over subordinates who do exactly what their boss wants, has long been dominant. Many companies underwent a drastic paradigm shift in their leadership style over the last two decades. However, daily news on “poor management” suggests that not a lot of things have really changed.

What our planet needs now is a drastic shift towards a leadership paradigm embracing values such as interrelationship, cooperation, integration, balance, holism and especially love. These are exactly the values found in individuals living authentically. Such people have learned to act in accord with their core values, preferences, and needs as opposed to acting merely to please others or avoid punishments through playing a role. Such individuals have found the power of speaking up and lending a caring hand to our planet by reaching deep into their hearts. Only a huge investment of self-awareness and self-respect has nurtured their immense power to show respect for others and for the earth as a whole.

The sad news is that business, politics and education are not rewarding authenticity yet. We all are growing up in a command-and-control society, which nurtures our constant fear of not amounting to anything or loosing praise and recognition if we dare to live up to our innate principles and values. Furthermore, success in our society is still measured against the amount of money we accumulate or how fast we advance in our career, which spurs an ego-rooted rather than a heart-centered behavior. It often favors competition rather than cooperation. However, the greatest leaders of all times have set a stunning example of what one can achieve through leading from the heart. At the time of Mahatma Gandhi’s death, his personal possessions were valued at less than two dollars. His power and strength was derived from internal depths of his soul. Gandhi showed that the human heart is a source of tremendous power holding the capacity to change the course of history. We all have the birth right and even obligation to live up to our authentic self, which in turn feeds the power of living up to values so much in need, such as cooperation, appreciation and balance, and supporting a sustainable development of our planet. Since most of us stuck in the “comfort and fear zone” we need strong leaders empowering us to live authentically and promoting the strength to value respect for others. Reach deep in your heart, stand up for your true self and become one of the future leaders empowering others to reclaim their authentic presence!

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Guest Blogger: Dreams are Made of This by Kim Antieau

We have a great guest post today by Kim Aniteau, author of Her Frozen Wild!


Dreams Are Made of This

Kim Antieau

I have a very vivid dream life. I have since I was a child. From the ages of five until I was twenty-five, I dreamed several times a week that someone was trying to kill me. I spent many nights in my dreams running, running, running from some unknown assailant. Fortunately those nightmares have taken a backseat in my dream life for many years now and only pop up now and again. But I still have some amazing dreams.

Because I have such vivid dreams and I often talk about them, my friends have often asked if my dreams inspire my stories. I didn’t think so until I began to dream about bears.

Several years ago I started dreaming about bears several times a week. During one year, it seemed as though I was having bear dreams nightly. I dreamed of grizzly bears and black bears. In the dreams, the bears were often chasing my husband Mario. I was often trying to protect him from the bear.

In one dream I climbed a tree to escape a bear. Then I looked down at my own hands and saw they were claws: I had become a grizzly bear. In another dream, a bear was on a rampage in my neighborhood. Terrified, I confronted him. I told him I would become his bear-wife if he would stop his violence. He agreed to my bargain.

During this time of the bear dreams, I researched bears, bear mythology, and bear folk tales. I discovered that many indigenous people believed humans were related to bears. Bears were often totem or spirit animals for healers. If someone dreamed of a bear, then she was probably a healer. Many cultures believed bears could become human and humans could shape-shift into bears.

The Siberians had elaborate rituals and ceremonies for hunting the bear, as did many Native American tribes. They believed the bear offered itself up to the hunters as a sacrifice. The hunters had to be respectful and follow the rituals carefully so that they didn’t dishonor the bear or its spirit when they killed the animal.

Around the time of my bear dreams, I went to a workshop at Breitenbush Hotsprings in Oregon. Breitenbush is deep in the forest near Mount Hood, away from any town or city. We were surrounded by the wild. While I was there, I read an article about the Scythian mummies unearthed in Siberia. One of the mummies, the so-called “Ice Maiden,” had tattoos on her body, and she’d been buried with a conical hat and other accoutrements that indicated to the archaeologists that she might have been some kind of priestess or shaman.

As I read the article, I got chills. I knew I had to write about her. I devoured any information I could find out about her, the Scythians, and the nomadic cultures of the Altai Plateau in Siberia.

The story for Her Frozen Wild began to unfold as I did research during the day and dreamed of bears during the night. It became a story about the ancient shapeshifting People, the ascendants of the Scythians of the Altai Plateau. Tattoos and cave art became an important part of the story, too, acting as a kind of pathway to enable time-travel and shapeshifting.

Although the “plot” of my bear dreams never became part of the story of Her Frozen Wild, the dream where I placated the rampaging bear by becoming his bear-wife was at the heart of the novel. In my dream, I essentially agreed to become part of the bear clan. In the novel, the main character, Ursula, comes to terms with her own family history: Her grandmother had become a bear-wife decades earlier. More importantly, Ursula embraces her own true wild self.

Dreams can be potent symbols for our lives and creativity. I often put my own dreams in my novels as a character’s dream. Dreams have their own logic, and I’m hesitant to make them up out of whole cloth, so when one of mine will work, I’ll use it.

In the case of Her Frozen Wild, I’m not sure the novel would exist today if I hadn’t had so many dreams of bears. I always understood the visceral fear of bears human have, but because of my dreams, I also came to understand their raw power, mystery, and sacredness.

After I finished writing Her Frozen Wild, my frequent intense bear dreams stopped. Every once in a while, I will dream of a bear. I’m always glad for the dream. I feel as though I’ve been visited by a relative. Nowadays I’m always on the lookout for some wild or strange creature who might start frequenting my dreams. Who knows? They might just inspire my next novel.

copyright © 2012 by Kim Antieau. All rights reserved.

Kim Antieau has written many novels, short stories, poems, and essays. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, both in print and online, including The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Asimov’s SF, The Clinton Street Quarterly, The Journal of Mythic Arts, EarthFirst!, Alternet, Sage Woman, and Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. She was the founder, editor, and publisher of Daughters of Nyx: A Magazine of Goddess Stories, Mythmaking, and Fairy Tales. Her work has twice been short-listed for the Tiptree Award, and has appeared in many Best of the Year anthologies. Critics have admired her “literary fearlessness” and her vivid language and imagination. She has had nine novels published. Her first novel, The Jigsaw Woman, is a modern classic of feminist literature. Kim lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, writer Mario Milosevic.

Her latest book is Her Frozen Wild.

Learn more about Kim and her writing at www.kimantieau.com.

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About Her Frozen Wild

Scientists in the Altai in Siberia uncover the 2,500 year old frozen mummy of a tattooed priestess or shaman. This mummy has the same mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA) as American archaeologist Ursula Smith whose mother disappeared in Siberia 30 years earlier. Ursula travels from the U.S. to Siberia to unravel the mystery of the “lady” and meets Sergei Ivanovich Polyakov, a Russian doctor who graciously invites her into his home. After they become lovers, she discovers he has the same tattoos on his body as the tattooed lady. He tells a disbelieving Ursula that they have met before and she is destined to save the ancient People, considered as devils by some and shape-changing gods by others. A shaman takes Ursula to one of the sacred timeless caves where Ursula’s mother supposedly disappeared. When Ursula allows the shaman to tattoo her, she is thrown back in time where she must unlock the mystery of the People and their link to her past in order to save them and Sergei—even if it costs her her life.

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Guest Blogger: Rie Sheridan Rose ‘The Story Behind The Luckless Prince’

The Story Behind The Luckless Prince

by Rie Sheridan Rose

I no longer remember the original inspiration for this book, but that is understandable when you look at its entire journey. I do remember working on this book when we lived on Applegate in Austin, Texas. (We moved to Georgetown, Texas from there in 1973.) In other words, it was started a very long time ago.


I remember that the original tale was about two boys, a prince and his page, who got lost in the woods and were captured by tiny men who turned out to be elves. There was an ivory tower in the middle of a pond with a wicked sorceress involved somehow. And the prince discovered some truths that changed his world. The book was called Where Elves Are King at this point – and remained so titled until I realized the acronym…


Well, soon after that – before we moved still – I discovered The Lord of the Rings at the Austin Public Library. I was reading the books individually, handing on every word. (Unfortunately, someone else was reading them ahead of me and wasn’t as fast a reader, because I had to wait a couple of weeks at least to find out what happened after the end of The Two Towers when Frodo and Sam were in Shelob’s lair. I was not a patient waiter either!) After reading these books, my elves got taller…but no pointy ears.


I dabbled with the book off and on over the years, until I thought I had it in a fairly good place. I was in college by now, and I gave my copy – the only copy, you understand, still handwritten in the late ’70s – to one of my best friends to read and critique.


And I forgot to get it back.


I didn’t even realize this until we were out of school, she had moved away, gotten a divorce and changed her name. (Tosca, if by some miracle you read this and still have that envelope…I sure would like it back…)


So, I had to start completely over from my vague memories and even vaguer notes. This turned out to be a very good thing in the long run, as the fragments that I do have from that early draft look like they were written by a twelve-year-old.


I managed to reproduce a manuscript that was better than the original, had the epiphany about the name, and, after much brainstorming, had settled on the title The Blood that Binds (shortened from The Sun, The Moon, and the Blood that Binds which referred to the three articles of jewelry key to the plot.) I started shopping it around, and got mostly form rejections, but one editor asked for a full. I was ecstatic.


I sent her the full, and waited with baited breath for a response. Unfortunately, she didn’t accept it, but she gave me a very good piece of advice. She told me that the pacing needed work, and suggested that I look for a “Book Doctor” (professional freelance editor) to help me fix it.


I put the book aside for awhile, because I had no idea where to find one of these, and – by pure chance – hanging out in the “Student’s Lounge” at Writer’s Village University’s online site one day, I saw someone mention that they were a Book Doctor.


I contacted her, and she helped immensely in polishing the book. First major edit here.


A fellow student at WVU suggested that I send the book to her publisher, a small press which is no longer with us. I did, and it was accepted. I couldn’t believe it!


I received a marvelous edit from the company, and learned a great deal about writing along the way, some lessons that I still use today. Second major edit here.


The book was published as The Blood that Binds in 2001. I was now a published author, and it felt wonderful. But I kept learning. And when the company folded, I let the book lapse out-of-print rather than finding it a new home, because I just didn’t feel it was the best it could be.


At a convention in Dallas several years later, I got into a conversation over breakfast with Jim Reader, a fellow author who happened to live a few miles away from me. We decided to form a writing group to share work back and forth for critique. (It’s still a small group of two, but I don’t think anyone else would put up with our level of picky.)


This seemed like the perfect opportunity to rework The Blood that Binds into the book I had always wanted it to be. We went through it chapter by chapter, and Jim pointed out stupidities I had never thought of. I realized as we worked, that it was the first male input I’d had on the work. I highly recommend not falling into this trap. Make sure you have male and female beta readers/collaborators along the way.


I made the changes he suggested, and then we went through the whole thing again. By now, Jim was swearing he never wanted to see the thing again…and I was close behind him. But it was a much better book for the work. I added characters, built up other characters, and created entire plot threads. Third major edit.


I had always wanted to have something published by Zumaya Publications. They are one of the major small presses in my opinion, and at last I had something to pitch. I sent in the manuscript, now entitled The Luckless Prince after realizing that The Blood that Binds was overused, and it was accepted last August. In March, we edited the book through Google Docs. Best editing experience ever (not counting meeting Jim for dinner and page exchanges every week, because that was a different kind of working,) and the fourth major edit for this book.


It’s been a long, long journey to where we are now, but the book is the better for it. It is a polished gem that grew from a lump of rock. I am very proud of it, and will finally name it “done.”

Rie Sheridan Rose has been writing professionally for the last ten years or so — though she has just added the “Rose” on the end. After putting up with her for the last eight years, she figured her husband deserved the recognition. Prior to last year, her work appeared under “Rie Sheridan.”

In that decade, she has published 4 novels, 1 short story collection, 2 chapbooks of collected stories, and five poetry collections as well as contributing to several anthologies.

Her stories have also been published in The Eternal Night, ShadowKeep and Verge ezines, as well as the EOTU and Planet Relish websites.

Her poetry appeared in the print magazines Mythic Circle, Dreams of Decadence, and Abandoned Towers as well as the Electric Wine and Tapestry ezines.

The Half-Price Books 1999 “Say Good-Night to Illiteracy” Anthology contained her children’s story “Bedtime for Benny”.

Both her short story anthology RieVisions and poetry collection Dancing on the Edge were finalists in the 2003 EPPIE awards. Poetry collection Straying from the Path and Young Adult novel The Right Hand of Velachaz were finalists in the 2004 EPPIE awards.

Her most popular stories to date are the Adventures of Bruce and Roxanne, humorous horror shorts several of which have been collected into two print chapbooks by Yard Dog Press.

She has also written the lyrics to several songs for Marc Gunn. Their “Don’t Go Drinking With Hobbits” CD is due out in August.

Her latest book is The Luckless Prince, published by Zumaya Otherworlds.

Rie lives in Texas with her husband Newell and several cats, all spoiled rotten.

You can visit her website at www.riewriter.com.

Connect with Rie at Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/riesheridanrose.







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Promoting Your Book Via Your Website and Social Media

Hayley Rose grew up in the beach side town of Pacific Palisades , California, to a family of visual artists.  In the early 1990’s she traveled the U.S. with her band Crush Violet.  In 1994, after a family reunion, she was inspired to write a children’s book.  Looking for a cute and catchy name for a main character, she kept hearing “first in, first out”.  Hence, the name Fifo was born.  Hayley’s mother would often ask her what she wanted to be when she grew up, so Hayley decided to start her series of “Fifo” books with that very question.  Her first book, Fifo “When I Grow Up” was published in 2002.  Her love of travel inspired her second book in the Fifo series, Fifo “50 States”, published in 2010.

Along with writing children’s books, Hayley has been working in entertainment business management for the past 15 years, specializing in concert touring.  She has worked with many “A list” musicians including Michael Jackson, Rod Stewart and Candlebox just to name a few.  Hayley hopes to one day soon release an album of children’s songs.  She is a currently member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and resides in Los Angeles, CA.

You can visit her website at www.fifothebear.com.

Promoting Your Book Via Your Website and Social Media

by Hayley Rose

When I wrote my first Fifo the Bear book, Fifo,” When I Grow Up”, I figured the first step I needed to take to market my book online was to build a website. I had plenty of ideas as to what I wanted it to look like, but I never imagined the true significance of a website as a marketing medium.

Back in 2002 when my first book was released, social media was far from what it is today. Having a website meant you were on the cutting edge of technology and an added piece to your main focus – offline marketing campaigns. Today, things are different and having an online component to marketing your book is vital.

The Value of Your Website

For some authors a website is simply an ancillary tool used to direct people to, just in case they don’t buy your book offline and are still in the decision-making phase. It’s akin to handing someone your business card and hoping they don’t put it in the big heap of other business cards. For other authors, their website is the prime focus of their online efforts and is something used to drive customers to and increase sales. It’s their brick and mortar, just without the physical bricks and mortar. What you do with your website and how you market it is up to you, but don’t underestimate the power it brings.

Make Your Website Engaging

If you use your website to promote your book, it’s important that you design it so that it’s engaging. You want people to stay on your site long enough to read all of the enticing information you provide so that they are compelled to buy your book. Offer your visitors polls, encourage discussions about your book, write engaging blog posts or create a contest. Provide your visitors with an option to subscribe to your website or newsletter so that they can read about any updates and be sure to remain consistent with your communications.

Using Social Media to Drive Traffic to Your Website

Fortunately, the rise in new technology has changed user communication and information-gathering habits allowing people to easily adopt and adapt to it. Published authors, especially those new to the industry, are given cost effective and efficient avenues by which to reach readers in ways they couldn’t have done before. A local author no longer has to remain local; he or she can branch out to markets all across the globe. Social media is simply a way to connect with customers. They are avenues by which you drive traffic to your website where customers are encouraged and able to buy your book.

When you understand the value of your website as a marketing tool and the use of social media as an avenue to drive those customers to your website, you will be able to creatively attract more potential customers. And don’t be afraid to take risks and test out new ideas. You never know which one will be the golden ticket.

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Hollywood Book Publicist Charlie Bennett Remembers the Day Elvis Died

Before I became a book, TV and movie publicist, Tuesday, August 16, 1977 started out like any other day for me while serving as a staff editor of the renowned Hollywood-based entertainment industry newspaper, The Hollywood Reporter (www.thehollywoodreporter.com).  I had driven into Hollywood that morning the 16 miles or so from my home in the West LA suburb of Brentwood, and was scheduled that afternoon for an interview lunch with singer Gladys Knight at the venerable Hollywood restaurant, Musso & Frank Grill (www.mussoandfrankgrill.com).  Of course, the lunch had to be unexpectedly cancelled due to the day’s historical event – – which turned out to generate many books.

August 16, 1977 turned out to be a day I will never ever forget in my media career, right up there with later events when I was a publicist backstage watching my client Johnny Carson do his last “Tonight” Show and even more recently sharing the excitement of the numerous consecutive Emmy Award wins at the Emmys with client producer/director Bertram van Munster for his hit CBS reality series, “The Amazing Race.”

As the morning of August 16, 1977 unfolded, I was planning our news coverage for the Wednesday edition of THR when a frantic, emotional telephone call came into me from our Memphis reporter, Mark Tan, saying he had police and medical emergency news sources that had “tipped” him that Elvis Presley lay dead on the bathroom floor of his Memphis mansion.  Mark was well connected in Memphis and I took this news very

seriously knowing he was not one to make such a call unless he thought it legitimate information.

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Now, remember this was an era before even fax machines.  There was no Internet, email, Skype, cell phones and all the electronic communication pathways that exist in today’s news gathering operations.  News stories were dictated over the phone by a reporter to the news desk, which was exactly what was happening with Mark’s call to me.  I jotted down the info from Mark on my yellow reporter’s note pad, realizing that my newspaper may be the first to know about this news on the West Coast, which I still believe is the case today.  But, Elvis’ reported death was unconfirmed information at this point and we had to tread very carefully to confirm it had happened.

I felt my blood begin to pump…like any good reporter at the start of reporting a major news event.  My next move was to call Elvis’ record label, RCA Records, just 4 blocks from us down Sunset Boulevard to see if their PR head, Mr. Grelun Landon could shed more “official” light on this horrific news.  I was not surprised to see that not even Grelun, a top music industry PR person, who had guided Elvis career knew nothing about what I was hearing.  Obviously shaken, Grelun said he would check this info out and get back to me immediately.  At least an hour passed when Grelun called.  He was actually sobbing and was in shock since he knew and worked with Elvis for years and was readying news coverage for Elvis new tour which was set to begin that very evening.  He gave me RCA’s official statement on Elvis’ death.  Just a few minutes later official word came from a Memphis hospital that in fact Elvis had died.  We knew we had a major story on our hands and the news of Elvis death would dominate page one of the Wednesday, August 18th edition of THR.

Without the Internet or help from Wikipedia back in 1977…we started pulling together all of the information in the newsroom we had on Elvis, actually rifling through past stacks of print editions, having Grelun send us all his Elvis press releases via messenger, etc.  Very quickly I saw we had very  limited info for his obituary and decided to go up to Hollywood Boulevard – – accompanied by a young lady THR intern (who later became a famous Hollywood TV news anchor) – – to literally scour the numerous book stores there for books on Elvis.  We bought maybe 10 books in all on Elvis, including a few biographies, before hurrying back on foot to THR, a few blocks away.  It was an unusually hot day in Hollywood and smoggy too.  At that time the newspaper was located at 6715 Sunset Boulevard, formerly serving as a fancy men’s clothing store where gangster Mickey Cohen would shop.

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Editor Jay Arnold, Mark Tan and I quickly pulled together a plan for our coverage of Elvis’ death.  I did the front page news story, including reactions from RCA Records and Barron Hilton on the singer’s ties to the famous Las Vegas Hilton Hotel.  Oddly, we did not get any return phone calls from Elvis’ long time manager, Colonel Tom Parker, who was known in media circles as elusive.  Producer-actor Bill Burrud (“Animal World”) was scheduled to have his star placed that afternoon on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but it was canceled due to Elvis’ demise.  Today, both of their stars are alongside one another on Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame.

We worked throughout that warm afternoon and into early evening as our air conditioning began to choke and gasp and finally close down for nearly an hour before they got it going again.  At about 7 pm or so, the three of us turned in our first “takes” on the Elvis death story to THR editor-publisher, Ms. Tichi Wilkerson.  After a few rewrites and further fact checking, as well as looking for any updated info from Los Angeles television and radio stations, we finally got the layout of THR’s stories in place for a final review before turning our stories and photos over to Leo, our press room foreman.  I stayed late that evening to listen to the purr of THR presses as they began to churn out the news of Elvis death to the Hollywood creative community.  Jay and I, along with some editorial staffers went to Musso & Frank Grill for dinner and drinks (beer and martinis first).  I got to dine that day at Musso’s without Gladys Knight as it turned out.  At the bar, famed Hollywood columnist Hank Grant joined us after just finishing his radio show for CBS’ KNX Radio in Los Angeles that had featured the sad news of Elvis’ passing.

On the drive home out Sunset Boulevard, I passed the world famous Beverly Hills Hotel and flashed back on a moment there years earlier when I had seen Elvis having lunch in the hotel’s Polo Lounge and how gracious he was thanking me for a review I did of his performance at the Hilton in Las Vegas.  I had only seen Elvis perform that once in Las Vegas, having years earlier missed him as a teenager when the State Theatre in Hartford was sold out for his one night show.  For me, Elvis’ earlier records on Sun were the best he ever did, especially “Mystery Train.”  He continues to sell his treasured recordings today in numbers no one could ever have imagined back then.  He was known back then as “The King of Rock and Roll”, “Elvis the Pelvis” and “Swivel Hips.”…Elvis lives.

Professional national book publicist Charlie Barrett formed The Barrett Company in 1992 as a full service media relations and media marketing / communications agency.  The Los Angeles headquartered firm offers 21st century integrated media outreach and media marketing expertise with an emphasis on the publishing and entertainment industries serving authors/publishers, Hollywood celebrities, motion pictures and television.

Since the firm’s creation TBC has served authors with such companies as Simon & Schuster, Globe Pequot Press, Norton and studios and TV outlets from Warner Brothers and Paramount, to cable TV network American Movie Classics (Mad Men) to ABC, CBS, Fox Television, as well as self-published author publishers such as Xlibris, Author House, i-Universe and numerous celebrities from Johnny Carson to Ed McMahon to Kevin Costner to Oprah Winfrey (Oprah’s Big Give television series on ABC).

The Barrett Company serves major publisher, small press and self-published authors with Harper Collins, Little Brown, Penguin Press, Oxford University Press, CreateSpace, Viking Press, Random House, Holm Press, Ben Bella Books, SMU Press and NYU Press – – creating and performing a range of publicity services and media outreach for both fiction and non-fiction book releases areas, generating media attention/coverage in print, broadcast and the growing on line digital medias. TBC is developing new book marketing strategies for e-books and author activity with Kindle, Nook You Tube, Twitter and Facebook

Mr. Barrett formed The Barrett Company after serving in top PR and media relations positions with the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) for more than ten years, where he was in charge of media relations for The Tonight Show and Johnny Carson and also, Today, among other well-known NBC shows such as Unsolved Mysteries, Fame and numerous highly-rated NBC specials, including The American Film Institute Awards and The American Movie Awards. As a film publicist in Hollywood, Charlie has worked with Dennis Hopper, Robert Stack, Tatum O’Neal, Steve McQueen, and Candice Bergen.

Charlie began his media career as a reporter with The Associated Press in New Haven, CT and later served on the editorial staffs of both The Hollywood Reporter in Los Angeles and Billboard in New York.  He has also authored numerous articles for magazines and newspapers on the performing arts and travel as well as appearing as a regular contributor on major US radio talk shows discussing celebrities, films, television and books. Charlie was voted the Book Publicist of the Year award by the Southern California Book Publicists Society.  TBC is a member of The Publishers Association of Los Angeles, The Academy of TV Arts and Sciences (ATAS gives the Emmy Award) and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (the Oscar).

The Barrett Company is well known and regarded among the world’s media outlets for its credibility and creativity.  Through years of client assignments TBC has developed remarkable and successful PR campaigns for a wide range of authors/publishers, Hollywood creatives, companies and celebrities, which have paved the way for the firm to produce media, consumer and trade events of all descriptions both in the US and overseas, from Book Expo to NATPE (the renowned annual television program executive conference) to  the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, The Frankfurt Book Fair  and The Cannes International Film Festival. The TBC web site is at www.thebarrettco.com.

We’re having a Facebook party!!!!

Charlie Barrett - Facebook  Party 2

Pump Up Your Book will be hosting Hollywood book publicist Charlie Barrett Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 9 – 11 p.m. (eastern time – adust to your time zone) at Pump Up Your Book’s Facebook page.  Tell your book friends that not only will this give them an opportunity to chat with Charlie about book publicity BUT…




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Why I Love (and Write) Historical Fiction

Why I Love (and Write) Historical Fiction

By M.M. Bennetts

Truth to tell, I always wanted to write a novel about spies.  Spy thrillers have such drive, such pace.  They pack such a wallop.

But when I first conceived of Of Honest Fame, I think I must have been envisioning the spy-version of Sharpe.  Or Hornblower.  And I wrote a bit of an opening.

At the time, however, I was wholly immersed in the research for my other novel, May 1812, and was reading everything to do with the domestic trials and tribulations that occurred within British politics as they were fighting the French–the assassination of the Prime Minister, the bills for the abolition of the pillory for women and the reformation of the Apprenticeship Acts, plus the Luddite rebellion, as well as the ongoing war effort.  So that the whole spy business was put to one side.

But then, that work done, and the first novel finished, I widened my scope and turned my attention to what else was happening in Europe in 1812.

And this coincided with the publication of Adam Zamoyski’s landmark study of the French Invasion of Russia which he titled simply 1812.

Because of Zamoyski’s own background, plus the opening up of the archives which had been closed to the West, roughly since the Russian Revolution, an entirely new picture of the Napoleonic invasion of Russia emerged.  One which set aside the Napoleonic PR machine’s carefully constructed fabrication of everything being hunky-dunky until that nasty winter set in early.

Zamoyski blew the whole field open, proving once and for all that Napoleon exposed his troops to every avoidable misery and disaster.  And this not just on the way out of Russia, but on the way in as well.  According to Zamoyski, at least half of the invasion force was dead before they ever crossed into Russia.

Another forgotten or overlooked casualty of the Napoleonic Invasion was Poland, stripped bare, beggared and abused, not by the Russians–who generally get the blame for most Polish ills of the period–but by their allies, the French.

Not only did Napoleon empty their already depleted treasury, he beggared, quite literally, their entire government; his troops stole everything they could lay their hands on, abused the populace, starved them, and the Polish Lancers who were pledged to help him were turned against their own countrymen when sent out to ‘requisition’ for the army.

This book changed forever the nature of Of Honest Fame.

It was this book which forced me to leave my espionage comfort zone of Britain and France and the Peninsula (which is where I had envisioned some of the novel taking place) to refocus my attention on the war in Europe, on these lands and these peoples whose lives and countries were ravaged by the Grande Armee.

Because frankly, I couldn’t get the pictures out of my head.

Then came David A. Bell’s riveting The First Total War.  Another book which knocked my socks off, detailing as it does the atrocities which the French committed throughout the Napoleonic wars, using the Terror tactics they developed during the Revolution to subdue every opposing European power.

The atrocities committed against the Spanish population were exposed by Goya in the etchings, which I had seen.  But no one previously had ever revealed that Spain wasn’t the only place these were committed.  Italy and Germany had also suffered so.

All of which coincided with the publication of histories of British spies and intelligence work during the war which showed that, at the very least, the Foreign Secretary and the Secretary for War were well aware of the war as it was progressing in Central Europe.

They were not, as we have come to be in the last hundred years, only aware of their own efforts against Napoleon in the Peninsula.  On the contrary, they were actively supporting the Russian effort as well as exchanging information with their ally.

So it was through the work of all these splendid historians that Of Honest Fame took shape and became the book it is today.

I owe them an immense debt of gratitude for their painstaking work to dismantle the hoary monolith of Napoleonic propaganda.  And I hope that my work can help to disseminate the truth of their findings still farther–and still deliver a ripping good read.

London, Paris, Prussia, Poland, Bohemia…these are the settings against which the gambler, gaoler, soldier, sailor, etc. conduct their business as intelligence men.

It’s not quite what I envisioned all those years ago.  I think it may just be better.

Educated at Boston University and St Andrews, M.M. Bennetts is a specialist in the economic, social and military history of Napoleonic Europe. The author is a keen cross-country and dressage rider, as well as an accomplished pianist, regularly performing music of the era as both a soloist and accompanist. Bennetts is a long-standing book critic for The Christian Science Monitor.

The author is married and lives in England.

Bennetts’ latest book is Of Honest Fame.

You can visit the author’s website at www.mmbennetts.com.


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