Hello, readers and fans! Remember, you don’t have to purchase my books from Amazon to leave a rating or review. If you were gifted any one of my books, downloaded them for free, bought them, found them in a Little Library, found them at a rest area, at a mall, some other random place, etc… You can still leave a rating. I encourage and ask that you do so, regardless of how you received any copies. If you really enjoyed my books, let me know. My main concern is how well you liked my stories, not how much I can make.
Ratings and reviews really help. It helps other readers know that they are getting a good read, and it also helps me, the Author. When I see how much someone enjoyed one of my books, it reminds me why I’m doing this in the first place. I want you to have a new literary universe that you can lose yourself in after you had a long, frustrating, or busy day.
So, go ahead and leave a rating or review at Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, etc. You don’t have to post much more than two or three words if you don’t want to. Even just a star rating will do. After that, you can follow me on my many social media platforms. Thanks, and I appreciate the time you spent reading my books and reading this post.
In some ways, it was the beginning of the end, in other ways it was simply a beginning. In 2010, I began to get ill. Not the kind you pick up an antibiotic for, it was a dark and frightening illness that was once again rearing its ugly head.
While I was lost in my own world and listening to music on my headset I found a post about NanoWriMo and I was interested in this odd sounding event. I read more about the prospect of writing a book in 30 days. I signed up, I felt something for the first time in months, a bit of excitement, a little fire. It felt good. I wanted to feel more so I continued reading all the guidelines and the supporting articles.
On November 1, 2010, I sat down at the computer right about 4 am and began to write. The words flowed and suddenly I could see a story building. I saw the child, Melanie as she grew. I saw her in school caught in a web of neglect and loneliness that produced an intense shyness. I saw my girl. I told her story as she whispered to me well into the night. Melanie whispered day after day and her story unfolded beneath my fingertips. I was feeling alive and worthwhile. Her story had substance, her story needed to be told. It gave me a mission through that dark November.
As the days progressed another stronger voice began to share her side of Melanie’s story. Rachel came in like a hurricane. She put order and substance in place and took the story from sad to hopeful and gave wings to the future of Melanie.
Rob also came to life, he brought a gentlemanly order to the story. He was insightful and he handled Melanie in a way that comforted her and made her brave. With his gentle strength, she gained her own strength. He saw her stilted way of speaking as charming, he found her book references invigorating as he struggled to know from which book she was quoting.
The last few days of November, I spent polishing my ideas. Wondering how anyone other than me would feel about reading this skewed story about a girl and her mother. Would readers find the story as positive as I did? Would they get trapped in the sadness of the first chapter? I let my son-in-law read the book and tell me his honest opinion. He encouraged me to continue polishing it, edit it, and share it. It took a while, but I did it. I shared it in 2012. I was still sick, in fact, I was sicker than I had been in 2010.
Funny how not treating an illness makes it linger. I reached out for help in 2013 and I began my climb back to the light. It felt as if I had climbed into a bucket and was being drawn from a well. I could finally see the light coming closer and closer. This process of being lifted out of the deep well has taken almost four years. I reread the book in 2015 and made some changes. I added to the bones and finally, I was happy. I sent it to edit again and republished it in 2016.
The Path of the Child was a labor of love. It was cathartic and it probably kept me going through a dark period where I had no desire to survive. I am a little connected to the book. No one knew this complete story. No one knows my history other than my family. But to see the story in its full disclosed history, was suddenly important to me today. Here in the Month of May during Mental Health Awareness Month.
Why do I see it as a beginning? It was when I realized there was really something terribly wrong going on inside my head. It was when I uprooted an entire family because I wanted to move. It was the beginning of me being in an area where I could find the help I had needed all my life. It was the beginning of the new me; the improved me.
When you read of Melanie, and her struggles, I hope you realize that if she can move past her problems, then so can you. That is what I gained from it. If you feel that, then Melanie and my efforts and disclosure are worthwhile.
The Path of the Child is listed as Young Adult because it is written with teenage characters and it has a message I believe teenagers will appreciate. The teens and adults that have read the book, for the most part, found it. They found the message inside, you can move past your own past. That is why I believe that The Path of the Child is a story that is appropriate for all ages.
So what do you do after you write an emotional book that has a message for everyone? You write another one, this time geared for children. Enter 2017 and Who’s That in the Cat Pajamas?
Has anyone set up their own book signing, let’s say at a coffee house, a library, or another place that doesn’t immediately come to my mind? I would love as an indie author to promote my book in person at least once to see if I can get over my timidness.
I talked tonight with another indie author and he suggested that I set up a book signing complete with 4 or 5 author friends. I just happen to have 3 other local writers that I might coax into joining me.
Are you able to help me come up with more ideas for such an event? Any ideas would be so appreciated. Believe me, I have already been to Pinterest and my mind is buzzing with ideas, but share your own with me!
In fact, if you are local to the Lexington Kentucky area, there would be a spot for you to join us.
Please let me know. I look forward to meeting more indie authors and learning how you promote in person and off of the Internet.
For a nice change of pace let’s log out of Facebook and Twitter and hit the streets of Lexington Kentucky.
I have a set of questions that perhaps someone could assist me with:
How many books should you bring with you?
Should you also bring bookmarks, business cards, pens, and other swag?
Does swag help in brand retention?
How far ahead should you plan an event?
If you have a book almost ready to publish should you promote it while selling your last book?
Would you suggest a mailing list sign up sheet?
Thank you in advance, don’t be shy. This is what leads me to this blog post. I want to be able to face new readers with confidence. Won’t you help me figure this out, or even better join me?
I am not sure if you are familiar with Smashwords, but there are so many books there in ebook format. Tomorrow, March 5. 2017, begins a week of discounted books in all genres. A sales catalog will be made available at midnight pacific time and for a solid week, books will be discounted 25%, 50% and 75% off original price. Many will be free for this week.
My own book, The Path of the Child, is located on page 70 of the group titled over 50,000 words and about half way down. You can click the link and find it. There is a discount code provided as it is discounted by 50% to the price of $ .99.
The Path of the Child is the story of one lonely girls’ transition as she sets out to find her own backstory. A story that has been hidden away from her by her neglectful mother. Melanie is a strong young woman that will have to make many hard decisions but always with the hope of having a life complete with happiness and joy. The path she travels is uplifting and trying and may be more than one person can handle. Meet Melanie and share her journey today. I write under the pseudonym of Sojourner McConnell.
This is a great opportunity to pick up books and find new authors. Many authors have several books available all at these deep discounts. This event only runs until the 11th of March, then the prices revert back. The above links will not show the participating books until midnight PST, that is 3 am Est and 8 am GMT.
Take your nest egg and pick up a few new deep discounted book and have a nice read along. With the prices as they are, it is the perfect opportunity to bulk up that “to be read pile”.
Remember that the best gift you can give an author is an honest review. It doesn’t take a wordy post, just a few words sharing your opinion of the book. Authors love it and it helps a new book get a second glance.
I can’t wait to go shopping. See you at Smashwords.
Today a new review was submitted to Amazon and Goodreads for The Path of the Child, and it meant so much for me to read it. Thank you for the wonderful uplifting review. It touches my heart to hear that Melanie’s life and actions were recognized in the spirit in which they were meant.
This review is from: The Path of the Child (Kindle Edition)
I am so glad a friend encouraged me to read this. It’s not my normal genre, but this book appealed to me from the moment I was introduced to Melanie. The author does a great job in generating genuine compassion for her main character, something that is easier said than done.
Throughout the book, we see the things that make Melanie who she is, but more importantly – what she does about them. No spoilers here, but I hope others will enjoy this story of friendship, hope, and the power of the human spirit.
I am boistered by people that say kind and rewarding things about the words I use and the people I create. That makes the journey worthwhile. I can truly say I have learned something about myself with each review, and I appreciate every one of them.
September 10th another review was posted. I missed sharing this review. What a rewarding review this was. Thank you both for your reviews, you have my gratitude.
This review is from: The Path of the Child (Paperback)
The path of a child was the first book I’ve read by Sojourner McConnel and I enjoyed this sweet story.
We read about the life of seventeen year old melanie and are pulled into her life and the struggles and fears of a hard childhood from a troubled home.
Not only do we see this story through Melanie’s eyes but we also get a look at all the people on her life. The unique writing brings a story from all perspectives giving us an emotional tale with a hopeful ending.
This is a wonderful uplifting YA story but certainly an adult read as well. Melanie and rob were sweet and adorable. A good friendship developing Into more.
Checking on my book tonight I found there were four reviews that I had not mentioned before. I appreciate these reviews so much. I get discouraged like everyone else, then I see a review on a book that was written with so much love and it lifts me through the ceiling. While I am floating I decided to thank them in public through the blog post. Thank you all for reading and reviewing The Path of the Child.