Recently I interviewed Sienna Tristen and Avi Silver on the Artsy Raven podcast. They are authors, editors and worldbuilders of The Shale Project, a complex fantasy world on the web. In the podcast they talk about how The Shale started off with a group of people contributing ideas to building this world, but some eventually left. It’s impressive in the vast amount of details written for every territory and reminds me of Tolkien’s worldbuilding!
This is the first in person event I will be doing post pandemic! If you happen to be downtown Toronto on Thursday, April 20, I will be at The New Common (around Wellesley/Bloor) speaking to the Toronto Writers Community.
We are going to talk about “Which publishing path is right for you?” which will detail options about publishing in today’s mad world. We’ll cover traditional (literary agents, publishing companies, online), self-publishing and vanity presses. After the talk, lots of time to chat about your projects and what you want to pursue!
Before I started the Artsy Raven podcast, I spoke with a friend who gave me the advice of just being dumb. “Don’t try so hard! Just make videos of yourself falling flat on your face and thousands will watch!” was their sage advice.
I thought about it and considered it for a long time, but I just couldn’t do it. It’s the same situation when I see romance or erotica writers amass huge mailing lists and sell lots of books. The ladies that sell dino erotic made a million in their first year! There was a call for an erotica anthology and I wrote a piece which was rejected perhaps because you can tell my heart wasn’t in it.
Everything has their ups and downs in life, it is foolish to expect one will have good fortune indefinitely. The only thing you can do is build up support so you don’t fall too far too fast.
Some writers warned me not to do other things other than write. So the things I’m doing now, hosting a podcast or design work is frowned upon by the “pure writers.” Since my mother died I haven’t been writing much because it takes up a lot of energy to world build.
Over time I’ve been taking small steps around writing with my podcast and design work because I find them easier to do. All these other non-writing activities are my support because they involve other people and that gives me energy to go on. April NaNoWriMo camp just started and I have written a few thousand words so far, so I’m warming up to return to writing again.
In university I was told by some male students that I was too smart and had to dumb myself down to attract a boyfriend. I didn’t listen to their advice and found someone who appreciated me for who I was.
As much as falling flat on your face or acting dumb is the easier route to some problems, it’s just not worth it sometimes and you may never reach your goal! After a long struggle, you will appreciate your rewards more!
Many months ago I was booked for an interview on the Lurking for Legends podcast and totally forgot about it until the host Richard H. Stephens sent an email with the live podcast link! Since my last blog post, my 106 year old grandma passed, so I had been busy planning another funeral and dealing with over zealous relatives who all have opinions but at the end of the day only me and my siblings were paying for this funeral.
Having done a few interviews in the past, the biggest difference in live streaming is the lack of opportunity to correct mistakes. It’s similar to giving a talk in public. It’s a good exercise in practicing improvisation because there will be questions asked which are not scripted and you have to pull yourself together to speak clearly. There were also questions from the audience via the Facebook live feed and I had to answer these on the fly too. I always think afterwards about how I could have sold things better (my husband says I am the worst salesperson!) but every experience makes the next one better.
I haven’t written anything in a while, so I wrote a long personal essay called How COVID Affected the Care and Death of the Elderly In My Family. It’s a recap of what has happened over the last few months with my mother and grandmother before they died. Death is final and even conspiracy theorists can agree that such a thing will happen to all of us! Or maybe not…
Have a look at the essay here if you have time and please follow me on Medium if you can. To qualify for their partner program I need 100 followers but I only have 2. Yes, pretty sad, I know. In the near future I will be posting more on Medium and then mentioning them on my WordPress blog as larger pieces fit there better I think.
Nastasha Alli was born and raised in the Philippines and came to Canada in 2007. For her writing at the intersection of food and diaspora communities, she won a Food Sustainability Media Award from the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Her work has been featured on CBC Radio and her recipe published in a “top cookbook of 2018” by the San Francisco Chronicle.
She answers the question “Why is research important in your “Exploring Filipino Kitchens” podcast?” on the Artsy Raven podcast, Episode 12. This clip is an excerpt from the episode.
Chris Houston, the Marketing Guru of The Idea Shop has over 20 years of experience in book marketing. The Idea Shop is a one-stop shop for fresh new ideas on how to promote creative endeavors of all kinds, from books to podcasts. The Idea Shop can be heard each month on Sauga 960 AM radio.
He answers the question “Why should an author hire a marketer?” on the Artsy Raven podcast, Episode 5. This clip is an excerpt from the episode.
In the latest podcast episode of the Artsy Raven, I interviewed fifteen year old Rutendo Alyssa-Joy Mushonga. She wrote a book about the bullying she experienced throughout her life, in Zimbabwe and in Alberta, where she currently resides. It was a difficult conversation to have and we did speak longer than planned, because I was so astonished by the trauma and situations she had to go through. Technology is great, but it also leads to cyber bullying which she experienced first hand. With the help of her awesome mother, she published A Farewell to the War Within: A battle with reality this year to share with others what she had experienced and what she has learned.
We are giving away a copy of her ebook and a $10USD Amazon giftcard via a King Sumo raffle Aug 1-14, 2021. Click here to enter.
May is Asian Heritage month and this year on the Artsy Raven I interviewed a few of the authors from the Belief anthology, a book which has been getting some PR on Canadian radio stations. This is the first book I’ve ever done marketing and interviews via radio stations so I’m not sure what the ROI is on doing this, we will see! Visit the book page to see the radio interviews and other media links, including The Richard Crouse Show on Newstalk 1010 and THE RAW MIKE RICHARDS SHOW on SAUGA 960 AM: http://www.darkhelixpress.com/acww/belief/
Every week in May I’m dropping an interview with a Belief author and they read their piece from the anthology as well. It’s really great to hear the authors read from pieces which we have been editing for a few months and they give life to their words! Check out the Artsy Raven podcast page for dates of when the episodes will be released: https://jfgarrard.com/arpodcast/
The podcast pace hasn’t been too bad, I am not an exhausted pigeon yet! Until next time!
Today I released one of my favorite podcast episodes (I love all my guests of course) featuring Corey Rosen, an improv artist and “master storyteller.” He is the San Francisco host of “The Moth” a story telling competition and he wrote a book on how to tell stories recently. In the Moth events you have 5 minutes to tell a story and then get judged: https://themoth.org/storytellers/corey-rosen. One day I’ll work up the courage to participate! Meanwhile listen to Corey on the podcast episode and scribble down his tips because he was very generous in sharing different techniques about storytelling!
For the entire month of May, LiterASIAN 2021 festival is happening! Lots of free events for writers and readers alike, everyone welcomed! Event schedule and signup links here: https://literasian.com/2021-event-schedule/
On May 8, 3pm EST, I’m participating in a panel to talk about self-publishing with Jackie Lau, Diana Morita Cole, Diana Ng, and Cynda Yeasting. We will be doing a short reading and then discussing our techniques on how we self-published our works and how it’s different from traditional publishing. Register here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_WVpNDY3kRgWR_ZICIFx3vg
Ed Seaward’s interview and reading with the Artsy Raven is now live. He is the happiest person I know and yet his latest book Fair, is about the violent life on the LA streets. He was a screenwriter, worked in the energy field and now retired from “real work” but is writing novels. He has a lot of good advice to give writers and I consider him a great mentor. Check out our episode below to gain some of his wisdom.
In addition, he is giving copies of Fair along with a $10 USD Amazon gift card. Two winners will each receive one e-book and one Amazon gift card. Enter between April 4-9, 2021, winners will be contacted via e-mail!
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