LRP Book Hound Radio Program Highlight Shows: Bobby Rydell, Kristen Lamb, and Matthew Bayan

For many of you who follow my author page on Facebook, this is not new information, but this year my life took a new, exciting direction in the public media eye when Janice Hermsen, of LeRue Press, asked me to co-host with her on the Book Hound radio show . Since the beginning of April when I joined, we’ve had fascinating guests on the air to discuss their books and their lives, some of whom are well-known and some of whom are slightly less known. The show has been a lot of fun, and Jan and I are hitting our stride, learning each other and how to make it interesting for the listeners (I hope!)

Over the last five months of co-hosting there have been many highlights. One of our recent and most exciting guests was Mr. Bobby Rydell. Yup, that’s right, of Grease Rydell High fame, of Bye Bye Birdie fame (he played Hugo Peabody and was super cute!) and of course he was known as a teen idol waaay before there was such a thing as Justin Bieber, and had many hits like Wild One and Volare.

 

Bobby Rydell has a new memoir out and he was sharing some of his journey and life experiences that make up the behind-the-curtain peek at his life. It’s called Bobby Rydell: Teen Idol Life on the Rocks. He was a gentleman to talk with, and he had some great stories to tell. One such was about how he would wait in the wings while George Burns did his comic routine. He said he learned a lot about comedy and timing from him. We have a podcast of the show if you would like to hear the interview. Go to America Matters Media, click on Podcasts, click on Book Hound. It goes by date and Bobby Rydell’s show aired on August 8, 2016.

Another highlight was this past Monday. We had Kristen Lamb on the air August 22, 2016. Kristen is the top resource for author branding in the digital age. She is the #1 Bestselling author of We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There Blog? It’s Me, Writer. Her latest book Rise of the Machines–Human Author’s in a Digital World is an outstanding resource for any writer, emerging or bestselling. The publishing world is changing, and in order for our books to be seen in the vast ocean of e-books, we need to adapt with it. How will we stand out? How do we connect with our readers? And how do we maintain a long-term fan base? Kristen’s book explains it all! I also recommend following Kristen Lamb’s Blog weekly for writing tips and social media advice.  You can pick up a copy of Rise of the Machines on Amazon, and I recommend you do so. Until I can figure out how to share the podcast on my blog, here is a YouTube Video just for fun:

Clearly, I’m a fan.

Mr. Matthew Bayan has joined us on the Book Hound numerous times and he is a hoot. Matt is the author of the #1 bestseller Eat Fat, Be Healthy–When a Low-fat Diet Can Kill You and an editor. Matt is president of High Sierra Writers, a writing group located in Reno, Nevada and meets every Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at the Reno Barnes and Noble located at 5555 South Virginia Street, inside the store at the Cafe. He has many years writing experience. We always learn something new when Matt is on the show! You can check out his blog here. And of course I would be remiss if I didn’t share one of his videos, this one is on character graphing. Hmmm…don’t know what that is? Watch the video:

This is what happens when I don’t blog for awhile–blog overload! So, this is a biggie, please bookmark and come back to it when you have the time. I get it, we are all busy, but I couldn’t hold back my enthusiasm for our great guests. Please tune-in to the Book Hound on Mondays.

Here are the specifics for the Book Hound: we air every Monday, 4-5 PST on 101.3 Renegade Radio, and 99.1 Talk Fox News Radio. If you can please join us and spread the word where to find us:

Streaming on http://amm.streamon.fm and KCKQ 1180 AM, a Lotus Station
Questions and comments: www.facebook.com/LRPBookHound
Tunein radio: Search America Matters Media
Text: 775.237.2266
Call in: 844.790.8255

If you’ve  missed the live show, you can pick up a podcast at americamatters.us. Go to podcasts and find Book Hound Show. If you are an author with a published book to share please let us know, maybe you will be our next guest! Contact Janice at janiceh at lrpnv dot com, or me, April, on my Facebook page.

 

 

Live Every Week Like It’s Shark Week

 

IMG_0841

Ever since I was a little kid and saw Jaws for the first time,  I’ve been in awe and fear of sharks. They are so fascinating and full of mystery. After watching Shark Week this year I’ve come to realize that the people who spend their entire lives studying these magnificent and terrifying creatures still have so much to learn about them.

While I’m certainly no expert, I learned something about sharks that is so supremely weird. I thought all sharks gave birth to live pups, AKA baby sharks, but when my husband and I paid a visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium this year we were both taken by surprise when a volunteer pointed out a shark egg, with a little baby shark inside! Sharks lay eggs? That is so bizarre, but, it gets even better.

We learned that sharks can have their babies in three different ways:

  • Live Birth called viviparity, similar to how mammals give birth. This can be especially dangerous for the pup since its father may try to eat it!
  • Hatching from an egg called oviparity. The eggcase is tough and the shark sometimes lays them in crevices so predators like seals or other sharks can’t get at them. After the shark vacates the egg case, the empty shell is often referred to as a mermaid’s purse. I can’t help but love something so mythological.
  • A combination of egg and live birth called ovoviviparity. Here is where it gets weird and kind of brutal. In some ovoviviparous sharks, the siblings will eat each other! As they grow teeth they turn on the other sharks in the womb to make more room until only one is reigning as victor.
Photo credit Matt Brisher Flickr Creative Commons

Photo credit Matt Brisher Flickr Creative Commons

It doesn’t seem to matter whether the female shark has a live birth, lays eggs, or uses a combination of egg and live birth, the amazing thing about the female is that there can be one to five males who fathered the pups. Some shark species can give birth from four to twenty pups.

Clearly there is so much to learn from these outstanding sea creatures.

Creative Commons License Link https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

 

 

 

 

A Quick Peek of Catalina Island

IMG_1102

While many Los Angelenos have heard of Catalina Island, many of them tell me they have never visited the little island that lies about one hour ferry ride off the southern coast of California. This time marks my third visit. I’ve flown over to it and had a bison burger for lunch; I’ve been dropped there by cruise ship, and kayaked around the harbor; and now, probably my favorite time, I took a ferry over and spent the day in the sleepy little town of Avalon. What is remarkable about the island, from what I could see, is that there isn’t a Starbucks or a McDonald’s to be found. It appeared to me that most of the restaurant’s and shops were locally owned. It’s a bit like being thrown back in time to the 1930s. Tiles were made right on the island and their use is evident in the walls, benches, walkways and architecture, staying true to the Art Deco time period. Truly, everything had the ambiance of a 1920s film. I had the strangest sensation of being in the middle of an Agatha Christie mystery just before the body is discovered.

The Catalina Casino is probably the most recognizable structure. Built in 1928 it contains a movie theater, a ballroom, and the island art and history museum. Although it is called a casino, taken from the Italian language, it is merely a place of gathering, and gambling doesn’t go on here.

IMG_1101

 

How in the World Did the Bison Get to Catalina Island in the First Place?

It is somewhat of a puzzle about the Catalina Island bison herds, since animals could only get to the island by swimming across the ocean, flying on wing, or floating over on the breeze. A little research shows that back in 1924 a silent picture was being made on the island, one of the Westerns by Zane Grey called The Vanishing American. Someone thought it a grand idea to include bison, it’s a cowboys and Indians type story after all, so they shipped fourteen of the woolly beasts to the island. You may look all you like but all the scenes in the film featuring the bison have been left on the editing room floor. And since it was too much trouble to haul back the herd they left them right there where they now number 150 head.

This short film clip looks nothing like the  Catalina Island I’ve seen. And sadly the bison are missing. So typical of Hollywood, but now for over eighty-two years the mighty bison has roamed the rocky terrain of Catalina Island, becoming something of a mascot.

And Speaking of Zane Grey

The famous author of adventure Westerns built a home on the island of Catalina. After his death the home was turned into a hotel The Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel, now permanently closed. Perhaps it will be turned into a museum of sorts?

There are some other famous movie star connections on Catalina Island namely, Marilyn Monroe lived there as a teenager while married to her next-door neighbor who was in the Merchant Marines at the time. The harbor at Avalon is the center of the mystery surrounding the drowning death of Natalie Wood.

But What Else?

All this aside, Catalina is lovely place to find peace and solitude on the beach. There’s plenty of fun things to do like snorkeling, diving, and fishing. But, if you aren’t into any of that the shops are cute, the restaurants all get great reviews on Yelp, and the views from the beach are exquisite. You can find a nice place to sit and have a drink and relax. Which is really what I was in search of on my visit to Catalina Island. Many people come and stay over for a night or two. Hotels are in abundance, so yes, I will be back a fourth time, and will probably stay awhile.

IMG_1100

 

 

How Should An Author React to a Bad Review?

This blog post originally appeared on Pypeline Editing’s blog. Here’s the link. Jenny Perry and Krystal Pyatt are a terrific team of editors and I strongly recommend checking out their Web site for editing advice. This is a re-blog of sorts! Thanks for reading.

The Story of One Lost Sheep

A favorite story of mine is of a shepherd who had a hundred sheep, but one had strayed. Was he happy that he had ninety-nine happy sheep? Sure. But, he really obsessed over that one sheep he had lost. He wouldn’t stop looking for it until he found it. Then when he found it he greatly rejoiced over it.

This is a Bible story and it really has a different meaning than the one I’m using it for, but I’ve been kind of feeling like that shepherd lately. I happened to notice a one-star review on my book The Altered I, Memoir of Joseph Kempler Holocaust Survivor. I wasn’t too surprised. In fact I’d been wondering when that would actually happen. Not that I wanted it to, mind you, but you know, not everyone is going to like everything, even if others do rave about it. But, I have to wonder why. It was a rating, without a review. Was it something I did? Was the book not what they expected? Did they start it and realize without finishing it that it just wasn’t their cup of tea? I really do respect that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I guess this one-star haunts me. I want to go out there and bring it back into the fold, so to speak. I know that sounds crazy.

So what do you do if you get a bad review?

Nothing. Accept that this person felt free enough to express their feelings on the matter.

Act professional. Don’t contact them and ask WHY?!

Be grateful for all the wonderful five and four-star reviews.

That one-star makes you look legit. It’s true, a lot of friends and family will leave excellent reviews, but it will look better in the long-run to garner reviews from people you don’t even know.

Learn from your mistakes, and write better.

The strangest thing could happen. The reviewer might change their mind and re-review it. One of the biggest fans of The Altered I–and  no it wasn’t my mother–confided that she didn’t like the book the first time she read it, but it lingered with her and she had to read it again. She has gone on to buy multiple copies, given them out as gifts and even suggested the book for her book club, which they in turn agreed to and also purchased multiple copies. How’s that for a surprise ending?

So please don’t judge the reviewer too harshly. They don’t know that there is a flesh and blood person on the receiving end of that review. They just want to share their opinion in a forum that allows them freedom to do just that. As author and world-famous blogger Kristen Lamb says an author must develop rhino skin.

Some helpful links you might want to check out:

What do you do if you get a one-star review? Tweet That!

 

Guest Post: Storytelling, and Editing, is About Intent

Manuscript THE ALTERED I

Today I have the honor of sharing a guest post from Krystal Pyatt, one of the editors of Pypeline Editing. When people find out that I wrote and book and it was published the response I often hear is how they, too, would love to write something. That is terrific, I say in reply. But, often these starry eyed dreamers have little idea of what the writing process is all about and how crucial having a clear goal is to a finished, and polished work. Critical too, is the editing process. Few realize what effort goes into making that writing project sparkle and glow off the page. Here to give a glimpse into what objectives you, as the writer, should take into consideration when mapping our your story is Krystal.

 

Storytelling, and Editing, is About Intent

 

Writing is a magical thing. It is the activity where you place on paper ideas, stories and lessons. It is the ultimate way to share knowledge with others and even generations. To read it is to be entranced, immersed, captivated. If you do not believe in the magic of books, then you may not have found the right ones yet.

That being said, I can think of a few books that have failed to become anything magical. Perhaps it was the writer, the concept or even the editing—or maybe it was a combination of all of the above. Anyone reading this blog may have a few stories in mind as well that did not meet expectations.

The good news, intent can impact everything. Tweet That!

Writing is the process to dump all of your ideas and place the contents in your head to that of your story. However, having intent, having a purpose, can greatly impact the success of any book.

Free writing is important; some of the most creative ideas can come from free writing. However, having a clear intent, a clear message, a clear purpose when writing, can make sure the story moves in a particular direction. This can make it so the story is cohesive to the point of excellence. The reader will lack nothing in terms of the story and, in fact, the reader will be treated like an ally rather than an opponent. They will be in on the secrets of your world, they will be privy to foreshadowing even the characters do not know and the readers will then stay along for the ride, even if it is a torturous one for the beloved characters.

Intent extends to editing as well. In fact, this is when intent shines. It is valuable for each and every author to then ask themselves important questions while editing.

  • From the writing stage, what is the overall purpose of the story?
  • Does the chapter apply to that larger goal?
  • Does the character apply to that larger goal?
  • Does the event apply to that larger goal?
  • Is there anything missing the reader would not know?
  • Are you going in chronological order or is the timeline intentional at least?
  • Does the ending serve its purpose?
  • Is there too much going on?
  • Is everything clear and concise?
  • Are the words strong enough to convey the necessary emotions?

At the end of the day, the story should be a pleasure to read, not painful. The way to accomplish this it ensure, through the editing process, that every word, every punctuation mark and every page contribute to that purpose. Editing helps you cut out the excess content, albeit painful at times.

So, decide your intent and set sail. Create the masterpiece readers will find magical.

 

Author: Krystal Pyatt from Pypeline Editing

Pypeline Editing is a local editing firm in Reno, Nevada. Two editors work on every book. That’s two sets of eyes to ensure grammar problems and typos are completely eradicated. With copyediting, Pypeline Editing also offers professional insights in order to make each book ready for publishing using developmental suggestions.

 

Follow Pypeline Editing on:
Facebook
Twitter
Google+

LinkedIn

Pypeline Editing

 

April Voytko Kempler is the author of The Altered I, a  memoir about Joseph Kempler’s Holocaust experiences. Joseph was sent to six different concentration camps throughout Poland and Austria between the ages of 14-17. His story can be found on Amazon and Google Play books. 

Altered I Sample-April Kempler

The Risk of the Single Holocaust Story

reading - 5

Misunderstandings and preconceived ideas have been smacking me in the face lately. One such misunderstanding I feel I have to address is that of the notion that because we have such a plethora of Holocaust memoirs and stories to choose from, that we understand the Holocaust survivor, or who we think a Holocaust survivor is. These preconceived ideas might block our thinking and shut out any other stories about the Holocaust because perhaps it is controversial in nature.

Take for example The Altered I . This is the memoir of my father-in-law, Joseph Kempler. He survived, miraculously, six different concentration camps from the ages of fourteen to seventeen. There is a lot in his memoir about growing up Jewish, and many details about the brutal camp life, including after Liberation when people were put into Displaced Persons camps. But his memoir is also controversial from the front cover that has a bold swastika above a focused blue eye, to the last several chapters of the book. His isn’t the typical Holocaust story that we might be familiar with. And for this reason a reader might be shocked, taken aback, offended, and perhaps disenchanted with the story on the whole. (I’ve written another blog on the subject of one-star ratings and how an author copes with the inevitability of receiving one,  published on Pypeline Editing Blog Page. That’s not what this post is about, but I think it is related).

Many people were targets of the Nazi regime and were imprisoned for being considered enemies of the state, or in the case of some six million Jews who lost their lives, considered sub-human. Who were targets of the Nazi regime?There were the Roma, the Intelligencia, homosexuals, people with disabilities, Poles, Slavs, and other groups the Nazis hated. But Joe’s story touches on another group who were victims of the Nazis, these were Jehovah’s Witnesses. Joseph Kempler was raised Jewish, then as a result of his experiences in the camps he became a self-proclaimed God-hater, but later, in the 1950s, he became dedicated as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. This was shocking to fellow Jews because this was was viewed as a traitorous act. Others who read Joseph’s memoir are surprised and made unhappy because of their preconceived ideas about who Jehovah’s Witnesses are. This isn’t about liking Jehovah’s Witnesses or becoming a Jehovah’s Witness, or any kind of recruitment for that particular religion. This is simply one man’s story of survival and why he made the decisions he did in order to survive. Joseph Kempler’s story is one of faith lost and faith regained, an account that might not fit into the stereotypical Holocaust story.

There is not just one type of Holocaust story, just as there is not one type of story about another person’s culture, background, or lifestyle. Tweet this!

I was inspired to write this post by the wise words of author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, whose early writing reflected the British and American children’s books and stories she had read and loved, which predominantly centered around Western culture and that world view. The settings and characters were alien to her, a Nigerian girl raised in Africa. She ultimately found her writing voice and realized she needed to put to rest preconceived ideas and misconceptions about Africa and its people. And after listening to her Ted Talk I felt that she expressed it so beautifully, and more elegantly than I could do that I’m sharing it in this post. I hope that some readers will take eighteen minutes and listen to it and be inspired as I was.

“If we hear only a single story about another person, or country we risk a critical misunderstanding.” -Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

https://embed-ssl.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_story.html

Originally I saw Ms. Adichies Ted Talk on Books Outside the Box Blog Post

The Altered I: Memoir of Joseph Kempler, Holocaust Survivor is available from Amazon  in paperback and Kindle format and digital download on Google Play books.

My review of “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas”

Lately a lot of people have been mentioning to me the movie The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, whenever I discuss Joe’s memoir, The Altered I: Memoir of Joseph Kempler, Holocaust Survivor. I have seen this movie, several times, and felt completely absorbed by the plot. I haven’t read the book…yet. Joe has seen this movie as well and he remains silent on the subject. I’m not sure why this fictionalized account is being taken as some kind of truth, but I would like to set the record straight. I certainly don’t mean any disrespect toward this movie or book (which as I mentioned I do want to read), but people need to understand that the book, written by John Boyne, and adapted as a movie (2008, directed by Mark Herman) is generally accepted as a fable–a story conveying a moral–and shouldn’t be taken as the truth. What I’m about to say is very difficult, but most children taken to the concentration camps were gassed immediately. So, using this story as some basis of fact would be a disservice to the history of the Holocaust and would minimize the horrors of a camp, trivializing what truly took place in these despicable facilities of death and torture. I’ve even read that this movie is compared to Schindler’s List. I personally do not see a comparison. Schindler’s List is based on fact, and accurately portrayed. My father-in-law’s story parallels what is described in Schindler’s List, and is in fact one of his favorite movies on the subject of the Holocaust. I give the highest praise for Schindler’s List. Joseph almost made Schindler’s famous list, but you would have to read his memoir to find out what happens (wink, wink). He did know many people on that list and therefore it is a story dear to his heart. But, I digress. This blog post is a very good review of the movie The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. Much better than I could do! Please read.

Scrapbookpages Blog

This morning I read a review of the book entitled The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, written by Irish author John Boyne in 2006. You can read the review here.  In 2008, the book was made into a movie.

The film was advertised as a “family movie,” rated PG13, which parents were encouraged to take their older children to see. The author of the book classified The Boy in the Striped Pajamas as a fable. Libraries classify the book as Teen Fiction, and the movie producer called the story a fantasy.

A fable is a fictional story that has a moral. For example, the German fairy tale, “Hansel and Gretel,” is a fable: the story couldn’t possible be true because it includes a wicked witch who lives in an edible gingerbread house and cooks and eats little children. Likewise, the story of “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas”…

View original post 2,177 more words