Sunday, June 13, 2010

Writer Interview #21, Gardening & more!

-- Quote of the Day --

"To freely bloom - that is my definition of success."
~ Gerry Spence

-- Chatter --

As many of you are already aware, I have two blogs... this one, and another that I maintain weekly over at MySpace - the later is where I post our schedule so that people can see who's coming on the show that week, guest articles or interviews coming up on this blog, places where Dave or I will be participating in events or appearing in the media and so on. There's a link to this MySpace blog of mine, but to make things easier I'll include one below as well:

 Yesterday, after slaving away mowing our lawn which had grown to momentous sizes after a week of wet weather, I spontaneously invited a neighbor over for a break. It was quite nice really - and is totally out of character for me to do. I usually stick to myself and our close circle of friends, and with neighbors one doesn't always want to have a "drop on by" policy. In my case, I work from home so it is essential that people don't drop by. Imagine being in a live interview and someone comes by (and this has happened) pounding on the back and front door because they could hear me inside! What could I do? So the dogs are barking like crazy and I'm trying to act cool because I'm live... Well, you see what I mean. It is not that I am antisocial, but more that I have an office here and cannot be disturbed.

Anyway, the lady is a gardener so we chatted away about the gardening differences from our city to the coast. She's had an interesting time of it learning to deal with the local challenges, with everything from deer to raccoon to pets roaming an unfenced yard. I promised to share one of our irises with her. ...John one of our other neighbors asked for another variety of irises... so it looks like we'll be doing some sharing this fall :) !

Actually, this brings me to the next topic of the day --

-- Conscious Discussions Radio --

Today on Conscious Discussions Radio we are featuring another Sunday Gardening segment. I'll be sharing a little of the things that are going on in our yard, and will also share some interesting advice for dealing with wet weather, pruning... and I'll cover some of the common chores done around this time of year. Questions are welcome - you can ask them in the chat room, call in with your question (# will be listed on the site) or email your gardening questions to me. Visit our site,, click on "Contact" for our email address. 

Today's Sunday Gardening segment airs live at 10 AM - 11 AM (pacific) & will be archived for those of you who cannot make the live show.

-- Changes to Site --

Ok, the final thing I want to share with you today is an invitation to check out our site for the new changes there. We have made upgrades to several pages there; check out the Conscious Discussions page for the archived show listing, which are now hyper-linked for your convenience. I hope you enjoy our efforts to make our site a more friendly place to be :)

-- Writer Interview #21  --

  Author Trish Silver,, joins us today to talk about self-publishing and some of the myths out there about this publishing alternative.

Q: Tell us something about yourself.

A: I’m an extrovert and friendly person who has been rewriting movies in my head, since I was a child. I have always had a vivid imagination and knew one day I would write a great love story.
What is the name of your current book? “Price Of Love.” It’s the sequel to my current book “When I Remember Love.”

Q: What are common mistakes authors make?

A: Author’s need to have a great hook in the beginning of the book. They need to lure their readers in and demand them wanting more.

Q: What are your greatest obstacles and motivators when it comes to writing?

A: I want to stay true to my characters and not sell them out ethically for a cheap thrill.

Q: What is your favorite memory in your career as a writer?
A: Having someone say, “Are you the real Trish Silver? I have admired your work for so long. Could you please sign my book for me?” Blows me away every time!

Q: What do you think about self-publishing?

A: When the characters in my book came to me in a dream, and I started to write my great American romance novel, I never thought that I would publish it. Well… with much perseverance and sweat, blood and tears, I actually did finish it. It took me four years because of many obstacles (that I will divulge in a later blog). I had twelve readers to start out with and they all gave me honest criticism as I finished each chapter. A writer needs input and they validated me and my talent. Most of my readers thought it was an exceptional work of art and a couple of readers thought that it needed more conflict between my two main characters. I pondered the thought, but as the story unfolded, I knew that I didn’t want to demean their love, and so I wrote it my way. I dared to write a “love story” between two married altruistic people with a hot sex life. Writing those sexual scenes and keeping them fresh was not easy, but extremely necessary and my characters guided me through it (thank you Jenna and Aidan).

I became a new unknown energized author and sent out a few query letters to agents. They always were kind and wrote me back that although the premise of my story was interesting, they had too many authors at the moment.

I went to The Romance Writer’s of America Conference in San Francisco with a finish manuscript and a lot of enthusiasm and confidence. The first and last agent I talked to loved my presentation, but wanted to cut my novel down from 127,000 words to 90,000 (the standard for the industry). I was horrified and said no thank you. She looked at me like I was insane, shaking her head from side to side in shock. She assured me that her editor would do a great job with the revisions. I, in turn, said that I wasn’t interested. I had a songwriting team to think about, and I suspected from speaking to this nice agent that my rights would be taken away forever.

I knew it was the beginning of the recession, but I was savvy and almost from the inception saw the writing on the wall. I would most likely self- publish and as agents told me politely I would be shooting myself in the foot. Ouch!! I knew that it would be expensive, but somehow I would find the money and promote the book myself.

I studied self-publishing and here is what I learned:

Remembrance of things Past, by Marcel Proust
Ulysses, by James Joyce
The Adventures of Peter Rabbit, by Beatrix Potter
A Time to Kill, by John Grisham
The Wealthy Barber, by David Chilton
The Bridges of Madison County
What Color is Your Parachute
In Search of Excellence by Tom Peters
The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield
The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. (and his student E. B. White)
The Joy of Cooking
When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple
Life’s Little Instruction Book
Robert’s Rules of Order

Deepak Chopra
Gertrude Stein
Zane Grey
Upton Sinclair
Carl Sandburg
Ezra Pound
Mark Twain
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Stephen Crane
Bernard Shaw
Anais Nin
Thomas Paine
Virginia Wolff
e.e. Cummings
Edgar Allen Poe
Rudyard Kipling
Henry David Thoreau
Benjamin Franklin
Walt Whitman
Alexandre Dumas
William E.B. DuBois
Beatrix Potter

(*Thanks to Dan Poynter's website for this info; see

Pearl S. Buck - The Good Earth - 14 times
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead - 12 times
Patrick Dennis- Auntie Mame - 15 times
George Orwell - Animal Farm
Richard Bach - Jonathan Livingston Seagull - 20 times
Joseph Heller -  Catch-22 - 22  times
Mary Higgins Clark - first short story - 40 times
Alex Haley - before Roots - 200 rejections
Robert Persig - Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - 121 times
John Grisham - A Time to Kill - 15 publishers and 30 agents
Chicken Soup for the Soul - 33 times
Dr. Seuss - 24 times
Louis L'Amour - 200 rejections
Jack London - 600 before his first story
John Creasy - 774 rejections before selling his first story.  He went on to write 564 books, using fourteen names.
Jerzy Kosinski - 13 agents and 14 publishers rejected his best-selling novel when he submitted it under a different name, including Random House, which had originally published it.
Stephen King’s first four novels were rejected.
During his entire lifetime, Herman Melville's timeless classic, Moby Dick, sold only 3,715 copies.

(*thanks to 
Barbara Florio Graham, and her website,

I then studied traditional publishing and learned that authors’ advances were being slashed radically pursuant to the slump. Together with the canceling of contracts because a delivered manuscript was ‘not good enough’ or was behind schedule, this is all part of publishers’ trying to do something to cut their expenses. The cutting of publishing lists to trim down savings in books had been the foremost feature of the recession to date, so far authors are worried, with an ensuing sadness over the mid list. Bright new writers are experiencing greater difficulty than ever before in getting their books taken on by a publisher. Now figures are emerging that even premier authors are having their advances disappear.

Self-publishing was the path I choose. It’s not an easy road. The romance genre, of which I write is doing very nicely, thank you, in spite of the recession. I hired a virtual assistant, and Web master. We are both learning to work together as a “team,” and I am confident that we will succeed. I have a passion and that passion is to have my voice be heard.

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, information about their radio shows and free resources and more at:

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