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.

 

 

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.

 

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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.

Book Club Night with the Girls!

Valerie's Book Club

Valerie’s Book Club

If you are following my Facebook page or Twitter posts…er tweets, then you already know that Joe and I were invited to a local book club. They had graciously selected THE ALTERED I as one of their reads for this year and invited us to discuss it with them. First of all WOW! That was a huge gift in itself, what many an author dreams of, really. Of course I know the real star of the show is Joe. People love him. But, I got some nice praise as well.

Valerie was the perfect book club hostess. She introduced us to the group and expressed why she wanted The Altered I to be on the schedule for the year. She had met us last year when she called the publisher, LeRue Press directly to order more copies of the book as gifts for friends and family members. She had initially been given the book on loan, but wanted her own copy after reading it. The publisher (LeRue Press) mentioned that Joe and I could come in and meet with her and sign the books. We had a great time with her and she even brought a friend along.

Joe with April and Valerie at private book signing

Imagine my surprise when I got an email from LeRue Press saying that The Altered I was selected by Valerie’s book club and could we (me and Joe) be available to join the club to discuss parts of it? Of course!! My honor!

The ladies of this club are wonderful, intuitive, insightful, kind, and generous. We discussed the line-up for the year. Next month everyone is reading The Martian. This one is on my own TBR pile. Some of the ladies won’t see the movie until after they’ve read the book–I did see the movie, but didn’t give away any spoilers–I’m good that way. Everyone brings a dish, no one knows who is bringing what, but it is usually varied. I tasted a variety of healthy salads, my favorite little meatballs, which I don’t prepare anymore since my husband is now gluten-free, and some other main dish fare that was equally delicious. They joked that one time they all had brought salads, twelve of them, but all twelve were different, so it was fun. I learned a lot from this group–especially when planning my own book club–sharing, laughing and eating are all important factors.

The group of twelve members, was formed over eleven years ago, and has met continuously to discuss the next great read. Each submits a book they want to read for the year. My husband, Paul, asked them which was the first book they had read as a club and I was surprised (and delighted) to hear it was Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon. Since that first book they learned a lot, like not choosing a book over 800 pages long! I confided that as one of my favorite authors she had inspired me to want to write.

After some small talk everyone felt comfortable enough with each other to discuss Joe’s memoir The Altered I.

P1070334

My heart was warmed each time there was a section from the book mentioned and the group collectively would recite parts from the text. I felt  joy sitting there listening to them tell Joe’s story. I really can’t describe it accurately, but, they knew him and his experiences from what they had read and it felt dear to me.

I was really happy that Joe was comfortable enough to express himself and tell his own story. Sometimes it just isn’t possible. But, with the love and respect directed toward him, he felt he was able to open up and tell his side. There were some unexpected emotions having Joe present. It’s one thing to read about someone’s tragic life story, and then quite another to have this person sitting at your dining room table! One of my friends said that the book club was in for a treat, but in actuality it was the other way around. I felt that this was a fine gift and it was privilege to be among them. These ladies spent their valuable time and money and invested it in a book I wrote. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

If interested in The Altered I Sample Pages

The Altered I is available in print and Kindle format from Amazon. In Kindle format at Amazon UK, as an e-book from Google Play books, and as a print book at BookBind.net

In Reno, NV as a print book: Sundance Books and Music, Grassroots Books, Buy Local (4001 S Virginia St, Reno, NV 89502 775-224-2242), and LeRue Press (775-356-1004).

In Carson City, NV as a print book, A to Zen Thrift and Gift , and Dog-Eared Books

 

 

Joe and I Meet Winston Churchill’s Secret Agent Max Ciampoli

Joe sitting with Max and Linda Ciampoli. Photo courtesy of Linda Ciampoli

Joe sitting with Max and Linda Ciampoli. Photo courtesy of Linda Ciampoli

Joe and I had the unique experience of meeting Mr. Ciampoli and his author wife Linda at a recent book signing event celebrating the sixth printing of their fantastic book at a local Reno bookstore Sundance Books and Music.

April, Linda and Max Ciampoli Churchill's Secret Agent

But really my first encounter with the Ciampoli’s begins a couple years prior to this fun event. As a member of the Historic Reno Preservation Society I had a chance meeting with my co-tour guide Anne Simone at a local Trader Joe’s parking lot. As we were standing there a petite, attractive woman who also knew Anne joined our conversation. I really can’t remember how it all transpired, but regardless Anne introduced us and Linda handed me her business card featuring the book cover of CHURCHILL’S SECRET AGENT. I recognized it at once because I had recently purchased it! I was excited to meet a local author who actually had a publishing agent and a book contract with one of the Big Five Publisher’s. I pocketed the card and went on my way.

Now fast forward to December 13, 2015 and Joe and I are invited to the book signing event! I found a couple of interviews on YouTube of the Ciampoli’s. You might want to check them out. Running time approximately 12 minutes each.

Linda Ciampoli sent me a couple of photos marking the event.

 

Part One

 

Part Two

The Web site: Churchill’s Secret Agent

CHURCHILL’S SECRET AGENT is available:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

IndieBound

Thanks for checking out this blog and sharing with me a highlight of our year.

 

If interested in Joseph Kempler’s memoir…

Joe’s memoir THE ALTERED I MEMOIR OF JOSEPH KEMPLER HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR is available from: 

Sundance Bookstore

Grassroots Books

Amazon paperback and Kindle

Amazon UK

Google Play books

You Are Telling an Important Story

Joseph Kempler and his older sister Dziunka (Judy) Laub

Joseph Kempler and his older sister Dziunka (Judy) Laub

Last night I received the sweetest email from a reader of THE ALTERED I: MEMOIR OF JOSEPH KEMPLER, HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR, and I wanted to share it. I might add that Deb, the writer of the email, is also compiling her father’s memoirs into a book. Reading Deb’s words touched me to the heart. I feel sad that her father had to walk a similar path and endure all the horrible things Joseph did in order to survive, but I feel connected in some way by the shared memories of a father who went through the Holocaust.

To ensure the information Joseph gave me was reliable and accurate I researched diligently, giving all I could to the task. I had to dig deep, so it is always reassuring, and validating when I get feedback saying exactly that! It isn’t that I wrote such an important story, it’s important information that must be related accurately. To speak the truth  is a heavy responsibility for any writer of history, but to track down the facts is equally important for such a topic as the Holocaust. I never want room for doubt that the Holocaust didn’t happen.

I hear often, and honestly it’s too often, how some young people today are being taught by their parents that the Holocaust is a myth, a legend, a fabrication. I struggle to understand this belief. So each time a young person has an opportunity to learn the truth, that is a victory. I encourage young people to read more memoirs of survivors. Not only of Holocaust survivors but read the memoirs of people who saved others who weren’t Jewish and could have been killed. Read the memoirs of soldiers who were there and witnessed it all. There are countless books written by people who were in the concentration camps, not only as prisoners-of-war, but as people who worked for the Nazis and who saw, and sometimes took part, in the atrocities taking place. Also, there were many others imprisoned in the concentration camps who weren’t Jewish but suffered alongside for their crimes against the state. Reading from various viewpoints and backgrounds will give a fuller understanding of that time and hopefully will substantiate that the Holocaust was real.

I realize this is getting more rare, but when a Holocaust survivor visits a  school a student should view this as an opportunity to ask their questions and get answers from the source.

Joseph and I have some upcoming Holocaust presentation events where people, old and young alike, can meet him personally, (shake his hand!) speak to him and feel connected to that particular time in history. Yes, it’s a hard history, which none of us likes, and would rather didn’t happen, but it’s important to keep it fresh in our minds because it truly wasn’t that long ago.

As time progresses and these survivors and soldiers who fought for their liberation die, so does the intensity of that event.

My words seem inadequate so I will let the letter explain everything.

 

(edited)

Dear April

I am reading the book you wrote about your father in law. This is unbelievable, the dates and journey your father in law took was the same as my dad.  My dad was in ghetto in Boryslaw then forced labor then Plashow to Mathausen (dates match up with my father’s transport) to Melk, eventually to Ebensee where he was liberated. My dad met a soldier years later who liberated Ebensee.

In 2007 to the date of his liberation I found his brother’s children. My dad believed his brother was killed in war. When his area was annexed to Russia his brother was drafted. The last my dad heard before he went to Plashow that his brother was severely wounded. After the war he contacted Russian military and there was no record of his brother. Can you believe the Russians changed the spelling of his first name by one letter and because of that he could not be found.

My dad is going to be 90. He still plays tennis goes to gym a few times per week.

You are telling a very important story.  I am humbled by your dad’s experiences. Your book is unique in so far as your father in law acknowledged what he had to do to survive. People don’t talk about that. Very painful.

How is he doing?

I will finish his book probably tomorrow.

Excellent job

Warm Regards,
Deb

 

As always you can find your copy of THE ALTERED I: MEMOIR OF JOSEPH KEMPLER, HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle, Google Play Books, LeRue Press 775-356-1004, and announcing The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum store.