Thursday, December 25, 2014

Sue Parritt's Thoughts on Hope, Facing Edits, Rejection & Moving On #AmWriting #SelfPub #Fantasy

How to avoid the rejection blues

You open the white envelope (or email) with a mixture of hope and trepidation, skim through the obligatory ‘thank you for sending…etc.’ and focus on the vital sentence. ‘However’ and ‘But’ alert you to yet another rejection; two little words that instantly banish your buoyant mood. Bursting into tears, taking to the bottle or consoling yourself with chocolate might seem good ways to avoid the rejection blues, but in reality the only solution is to move on.

If the publisher or editor has provided any comment on your novel/poem/short story, and this is rare these days, take note and set to work on yet another rewrite/edit. Most of all it pays to remember creativity demands dedication, long hours tapping a keyboard, cutting, pasting, deleting. When sentences are sacrificed for brevity or clarity, there can be almost physical pain as narrative wrenched from murky depths vanishes at the touch of a key. But there is also pure delight when endless editing uncovers grains of gold, so allow yourself to hope this is the manuscript that will one day attract a publisher.

After the receipt of numerous rejections, it can be tempting to declare oneself a total failure, bury the manuscript in the depths of a filing cabinet or take the extreme measure of deleting the file from your computer. If you can’t face another edit, I would suggest putting the manuscript aside for a while and turning your attention to a new project. Research can be absorbing, focusing the mind on a new topic and evicting old clutter. Writing a short story or poem is one method I use to banish the rejection blues. Creating a complete piece in a relatively short space of time helps me revitalise my flagging confidence and proves (to me) that there’s life in the old writer yet!

It also helps to remember that few writers find a publisher at the first attempt. Think of the number of times J.K. Rowling submitted her Harry Potter books before she found a publisher willing to take a chance on a new writer. Whether we writers like it or not, the prospect of making money is what rules the publishing world. In a time of fiscal austerity, risk-taking is not encouraged, so there are no funds put aside for new writing. But despite all the doom and gloom about the current state of the publishing industry, I believe books, print or electronic, will always be around and a well-written inspiring tale will eventually find its place.

Sannah and the Pilgrim by Sure Parritt

General Information - Sannah and the Pilgrim by Sue Parritt
ISBN: 978-1-922200-14-3
Genre: Speculative Fiction / Sci-fi / Dystopian
Release Date: 26 April 2014 (Paperback and ebook)
Publisher: Odyssey Books (

The title is also available from NetGalley:

When Sannah the Storyteller, a descendant of environmental refugees from drowned Pacific islands, finds a White stranger on her domestep, she presumes hes a political prisoner on the run seeking safe passage to egalitarian Aotearoa. However, Kaires unusual appearance, bizarre behaviour, and insistence hes a pilgrim suggest otherwise.
Appalled by apartheid Australia, Kaire uses his White privileges to procure vital information for Sannah and her group of activists regarding new desert prisons that are to be built to house all political prisoners. The group plans sabotage but needs help, and Kaire is a willing accomplice. But when Sannah turns Truthteller and threatens to reveal the countrys true history, even Kaires White privilege and advanced technology cannot save Sannah and her daughter from retribution.

About Sannah and the Pilgrim:
Sannah and the Pilgrim is a tale of courage, defiance and deceit that asks the reader, Would you risk death by telling the truth about your country, or would you play it safe and spend your life as a storyteller?
Are you concerned about our governments (both past and present) failure to act on climate change and the detention and inhumane treatment of refugees? I am, so I have drawn on contemporary conservative attitudes to present a dystopian view of a future Australia in my speculative fiction novel Sannah and the Pilgrim. Read it and discover what could happen to ourlucky country.

Sue Parritt author pic

About the Author:
Sue Parritt is an Australian writer, originally from England. Her poetry and short stories have been published in magazines and anthologies in Australia, Britain and the USA. After graduating BA University of Queensland 1982 (majors: English Literature, Drama and French), Sue worked in university libraries until taking early retirement in 2008 to pursue her long-held dream of becoming a professional writer.  Since then she has written Sannah and the Pilgrim, numerous short stories and poems andFeed Thy Enemy, a feature film script set in Naples in 1944 and 1974 and based on a true story (Sue is currently seeking a producer). She recently completed a second novel Safety Zone and is now writing a sequel to Sannah and the Pilgrim  the working title is Pia and the Skyman.

#Excerpt from "Saga of the Nine : Area 38" by Mikey D. B. @mikeydbii #Dystopian #Thriller #AmReading

“Good morning everybody, I am Professor Lisa Rodgers and this is Governmental Theory 3410.”

“Have you ever had her before?”  Mica quietly asks Marian.

“Nope, but I heard she is really good.  She’s not very popular among the faculty, being more conservative than most.  It’s why I signed up for this class actually.  I like having a different perspective on stuff like this.  Plus she’s my aunt.”

“I’m assuming every one of you in here belong here.  If not, please leave quietly.”

No one budges.

“Good.  Let’s get started then.  Does anyone know when the law stating that a President of the United States could only serve two terms was discontinued?”  As she expects, nobody raises their hand.  “It was in 2020.  Okay.  Let’s see if you know this piece of historical information: Who here has heard of the electoral college?”

Very few know the answer but no one raises their hand.

“That was not a rhetorical question.”

Marian shoots her hand into the air.

“Yes.”  Still no expression, despite Marian’s enthusiasm.

“Wasn’t it how we elected the president in the late 20th century?”

“Yes it was and it even lasted a few years in this century.  Do you know how it worked by any chance?”

Marian, impressed with herself, nudges Mica and nods her head like a boss.


“Marian.”  Mica nudges her back and points to Professor Rodgers.

“Sorry,” Marian begins to blush.  “Can you repeat the question?”

Despite the scattered chuckles, Rodgers masks her embarrassment for her niece.  “How did the electoral college work?”

Stumped, Marian shrugs her shoulders.  “I don’t know, Professor.”

Mica is the only one who reluctantly raises his hand.

“One person.  That’s more than I expected.  Yes, go ahead Mister…”

“Rouge.  Mica Rouge.”

“Go on,” Professor Rodgers says.

“Well it’s kind of complicated,” he begins, “but I guess in a nutshell, every state had a certain number of votes that went towards electing a president.”

“How many votes did each state get?”  Professor Rodgers asks.

“It depended.”

“On what?  What determined the number of votes a state got?”  She asks again, trying to get to the root of it all.

“The number of Senators and members of The House of Representatives.”  He really wishes that somebody else knew this stuff.  He looks to Marian for some support but she just shrugs her shoulders again.  As soon as Mica turns back to Professor Rodgers, Marian smiles, charmed by the man sitting beside her.

“And how did a presidential nominee win the votes of a state?”  Just a few more questions and the Professor will get her point across.

Mica picks his brain for this rarely used information.  “Wasn’t it by a popular vote of the people in that state?  All the registered voters voted and whichever candidate got the most votes won all of the state votes?  It was a winner take all system.”
“Yes, that is exactly how it worked.  Well kind of.  It was a winner take all system in forty-eight of the fifty states.  Maine and Nebraska were the sole exceptions.  Why did we have a system like this and not the system we currently have?”  She asks Mica, but the question is opened to the class.  

“Doesn’t our system of Congress being the ones who elect a president work better?”

Mica doesn’t wait for someone to take the answer; he knows it and he knows exactly where the professor is going with this.  “It’s more efficient yes, but less democratic.”

Professor Rodgers is slightly impressed with this young man.  Maybe Carter was right about him.  

“How so?” she asks.  “We elect our Senators and Representatives.  The idea of a Republic is to elect officials who we think will put our ideas forward and into action.”

“Yes, but it comes down to checks and balances,” Mica argues, finally getting to the point Professor Rodgers was aiming for.  “If Congress is the one to elect the president, they can skew the results, creating a lot more room for corruption in the system.  They are held less accountable by us, the people.”  Mumbles and silent gasps fill the room.

“He has a point.”  The Professor patiently waits for the class to calm down.  There are more and finer details to this law, she thinks, but he’s brought the discussion to where she was directing it.  “Senators are now in office until they die, which wasn’t always the case.  The amendment that changed the way we elect a president also changed the way we elect Congress.  Before we turned to the election system that we have, there were people trying to create a constitutional amendment where when we the people voted, the person with the most votes won, period, in what is called a ‘popular election.’  They wanted the voice of the people to be heard from the people themselves, not Congress and not from electoral votes.

“In 1824, 1876, 1888, and 2000 all those who lost the election won the popular vote and had the most citizens voting for them.  Seems pretty unjust, huh?  The Electoral College was like a popular vote mixed with a congressional vote, but instead of being a democratic process it became more of a game, some might say, to win the states and not the people.  But that’s politics for you.

“Back to what Mr. Rouge was saying about checks and balances and how a lack of that can create corruption.  There are some that argue that the idea behind checks and balances is inefficient.  It slows down progression.  Too many people’s opinions in the political ring,” Rodgers folds her hands, “can cause the system to lock up.”

“And that’s a problem because?” a student asks.

“Because the government can shutdown like it has, time and time again.  So,” Professor Rodgers continues, “people tried to simplify the election process in hopes of simplifying the checks and balances, but they went about it in the opposite way than most were hoping.  Instead of having a popular vote from the people, the voting changed to Congress, giving more power to the Government and less to the people.”

“Why?”  Marian asks herself.

“Exactly.”  Professor Rodgers says, overhearing Marian’s whispered question.  “So why do I bring this all up?”

Saga of the Nine

Change affects everyone and it is no different for Jackson. Living in Area 38 for as long as he can remember, he knows of no better way to exist than under the tyrannical rule of Christopher Stone, son of Stewart Stone from The Nine of The United Governmental Areas, aka The UGA. This all takes a dramatic turn when Jackson finds a red, metal box buried in his yard, filled with illegal artifacts—journals, a Bible, CDs, etc.—that are from a man of whom he has no recollection of: Mica Rouge.

 The year is 2036 and Mica, unlike Jackson, does know of a better way of life but is torn apart as he sees his country, The United States of America, crumbling from within by group known as The Political Mafia. The Mafia has infiltrated levels upon levels of governmental resources and it is up to Mica and a vigilante group known as The USA Division to stop them and their dark Utopian vision. To their demise, and at the country's expense, The Division fails and has no choice but to watch The Constitution dissolve and transform into The UGA.

In a final stand, having not given up hope, Mica and what is left of The Division, give one final fight in Colorado, or better known as Area 38. However, all is lost as The Division is betrayed by one of their own, Stewart Stone. Mica is left with no choice but to hide in exile, leaving what little history he can of himself and the great United States of America, with his wife, long time friends, and newly born son in hopes that they will one day finish what he could not.

Jackson, having found this legacy twenty-seven years later, decides to start the war that will end The Nine, and he with an outcast group known as The Raiders, begins his fight with Christopher Stone in Area 38. Filled with betrayal, unity, despair, hope, hate and love Area 38 follows both Mica and Jackson in their attempts to restore what they believe to be true freedom, and where one fails, the other rises to the seemingly impossible challenge.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Dystopian Thriller
Rating – PG13
More details about the author
Connect with Mikey D. B. on Facebook & Twitter

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Erin Sands Shares an #Excerpt from THE DUNES @TheDunesBook #AmReading #NonFiction #SelfHelp

The Dunes

In the heart of the universe, in a land not so far away, exists a place of imminent transformation. It is a place undiscovered by most, and sought out by a daring few, a place where the best and the worst are revealed without filter, and the quest, though formidable, begets a masterpiece of the soul. In this place, a war is waged against the stagnant heart that seeks to cling to what was and cripple new life with old fears. And so it has been that only the brave in spirit venture upon it, content to reap its end result as their reward. Thus believing in change, they call this place “The Dunes”.

Not for the delicate, The Dunes is a glorious 300-foot-high, 75-degree incline of soft sand that has been bleached by the blazing sun. At first glance, it is awe-inspiring. Its beauty is evident, yet uncompromising, in its call. It is a majestic uphill sand climb resolutely postured as the menacing hurdle to divine destiny. Yet, still they come to answer its call. Still they arrive consumed by the desire to be more than they were when they began, hoping that what lies inside of them is the fullness of life available beyond The Dunes.

Our story begins on a very beautiful and very hot day at The Dunes. It is 105 degrees outside and we find a man and a woman baking in the afternoon sun. One stands at the top of the 300-foot mound, the other, at the bottom.

The One: I love you.

The Other: And I love you.

The One: I want you with me. Take this journey, meet me at the top and trust that everything will be all right.

The Other slowly considered the request and believing that their love was heaven sent elected to rise to the challenge. But wait…

Born in Cincinnati, Ohio and raised in the Bay Area of Northern California, Erin grew up with an innate love for dance, theatre and the written word. A graduate of Loyola Marymount University, Erin began her career in the arts as an actress and choreographer. After booking several notable roles in television and film, Erin began to use her gift of writing in blogs featuring political and social commentary, as well as developing content for theatrical use.

Although The Dunes, is a divine departure from Erin’s previous writings it is by far her most cherished work to date. “I wrote The Dunes initially as self therapy because I needed to release some painful experiences and disappointments from my past. I had this thirst to walk in the complete fullness of life with joy as my constant companion. I had no idea what effect it would have on other people. But when I saw people read it and be released from fears that had held them back for years…when I saw people forgive and be able to walk in the freedom forgiveness brings…when I saw people commit and serve and how those things opened up new opportunities in their life, I was just humbled. Humbled by the awesome power of God and humbled that I had been allowed to go along for the ride”.

When asked why she writes, Erin pauses and reflects on the truth of her heart. “I write because although I am only now beginning to truly love the process, I have always loved the outcome. Like a composer, words become my notes. I string them together in song eliciting the response of my reader, grafting a picture of my soul. Where besides the written word can you effect change so utterly and so succinctly? What besides the written word can pierce the universal collective mind? Everything begins with a thought, but it isn’t until that thought is articulated in written word and those words passed down can life changing movement happen. It must be written, it must be expressed on tablet, and when it is, we all become greater, whether the writing be genius or fatuity, it has evoked thought and debate. Why wouldn’t I want to be apart of that phenomenon? Why wouldn’t I want to share my story, give my testimony…add my paradigm to the mix? Whether it is a novel, a poem, an essay or an article, it is humanity visited. An insight into a new or sometimes shared truth. In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God. And with that I live my life”.


If there was a journey that could masterfully change your life in seven revelations...would you take it? 

In life, sometimes the kernels of wisdom and the richness of revelation can be found in the most innocent of stories; and so it is with The Dunes. Join one man and one woman in an exquisitely simple yet remarkably profound journey as you discover with them that the mountain you must climb in order to live the abundant life of your dreams is located squarely within your heart. 

Illuminated in seven revelations; The Dunes carries the reader on a journey to not only examine the obstacles that are holding them back in life but to conquer and over come them as well. With each revelation The Dunes intimately calls on the reader as the journey companion to face a challenge…a dare if you will that requires an uncompromising commitment to change. In the family of faith-based self help books, The Dunes stands alone, simultaneously taking the reader from fiction to life and back again, equipped with a tailor made journal for the readers inner most secrets and reflections. The Dunes is part allegory, part testimony and part journal, but the best part is the healing it offers your heart. When you’re ready to step out of your comfort zone and step into the miracle of your life…The Dunes awaits. 

CAUTION: Readers of this book are subject to significant changes for the better. Side effects may include frequent smiling and enjoying life in every season.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Non-fiction
Rating – G
More details about the author
Connect with Erin Sands on Facebook & Twitter