Let me toot my horn. My ebook Free To Bloom is finally published on Amazon and Barnes & Noble for an initial price of only $2.99. Thought I’d give you some background to get you interested in buying it and reading it. The print edition will be published in days. Here’s a description:
Through eleven partially linked chronological stories we follow Danielle as she splits from a long-term marriage to find her way as a single woman living alone in a foreign country. Her search for both physical and emotional contentment and independence leads her to take risks in life and love from jumping off waterfalls, to discovering a gorgeous young caveman, and learning the art of marijuana growing and harvesting. Follow her journey as she intertwines intimate personal insights with wild adventures.
The first story Of Time and the Mountain reveals that beginning a new life and building a house in an isolated part of a foreign country, Costa Rica, is rampant with challenges: physical, emotional and personal. The frayed threads of a long term marriage begin to unravel one by one.
Learning a new language, meeting new people, living in a strange culture, subsisting in a primitive environment without basic necessities bring a need for a little respite wherever it can be found. And find it Danielle does, whether it’s going to local festivals in the mountain villages, finding archeological artifacts, or getting to know both locals and expats.
Danielle travels back and forth between the U.S. and Costa Rica finding adventure wherever she is. New relationships blossom, grow strong, wilt, revive or die, but all are worthwhile experiences. With Danielle’s newborn independence, taking risks in both love and life becomes necessity. A U.S. doctor is shocked by her little parasite in My Friend George. A scary alligator plies Florida waters in Alligator Dreams.
A Costa Rican cave dweller falls in love with her in God’s Caveman.She is horrified by the ‘dog-eat-dog’ world in Puppy Love. At turns she is terrified and exhilarated by conquering the waterfall in Fear of Falling.
Getting to know Adrian in California includes experiencing his illegal lifestyle and feeling his paranoia when the cops appear at the pot growing fields in Getting To Know You – Humboldt County.
Join Danielle as she deals with both the highs and lows of her adventurous life; how she deals with conflict, has fun, learns patience and gains contentment as her life blooms into full flower.
Though born in California, and living in France as a child, Jill Green’s formative years were spent on Florida’s Gulf Coast. After college at the Univ of Florida, marriage, two children – one deaf, she started teaching, helped run two businesses and after 30 years, got divorced.
What a turn life took! Now living in two countries, Sarasota, FL and Costa Rica. she forgot her French, but learned Spanish. Living alone took many adjustments, eventually she has become a self-sufficient, adventuresome individual, traveling the world, volunteering with many organizations, climbing mountains, surfing the seas and teaching ESL in Costa Rica and Florida.
After many years working and bringing up a family she has finally become a published writer with her book of short stories Free to Bloom about life in Costa Rica and the United States, hopefully the first of many. Although she has written stories and essays for small magazines, her next big project is auto-biographical: the trials, tribulations, joys and sorrows of living with and educating a deaf child who after the fact designed and now runs a successful website www.gatorcountry.com, one of the top U. of Florida Gator football websites.
I desperately need to burst outside; leave the home cave, after too many hours inside from taking on the worries of the world, including publishing my book Free to Bloom. I walk out into my yard and start picking fruit. Under an umbrella of mulberries pricked through with sunlight, I pick buckets of sweet luscious berries each facet reflecting a thousand purple insect eyes, the last of the meyer lemons, as big as oranges, one lone papaya from my former tree recently fenced in by the evil neighbors.
I begin to see a different world as my edges smooth allowing the colors, scents, music, smiles and perspective in with the fresh air. Frustration is tempered with fulfillment:
Verizon has disconnected my phone and internet, but can’t turn it back on. On April Fool’s Day my luck reverses and they work.
I’m unable to upload my bookcover on Amazon, but successfully upload the book.
My computer guru son isn’t able to complete my website, but fixes and delivers his RV to us in time for the Wanee Festival, an old hippie extravaganza of musicians running the gamut from headliner the Allman Brothers to Taj Mahal.
And Wanee Fest becomes my perfect tension tamer. 30,000 people mill about under 80 acres of trees on the Suwanee River. In our first RV experience, Terry, Vilma, Cindi and I eventually find our way to the campground and set up. We sit under pines and oaks, music on all sides, skin cool after a morning dip in the river. We’re in an isolated world of friendly smiles, great music, perfect weather, cool breezes with nothing to do but dance, eat, sing, play, laugh, and forget the cares of the outside world.
I relax, open up and another gift appears – my ebook Free to Bloom is published on Amazon. Thank you everyone, especially my son Ray, for helping me in so many ways to accomplish this feat.
Writing is really hard for me. I’m undisciplined, lazy, easily distracted, have a bad memory and too many other interests. Now that my novella (it’s not long enough to be a novel) is finished. I’ve already got a publisher, A Cappela Publishing, a beautiful cover and my book is ready to print, but I find that the PR, mostly on the internet, is much harder than writing.
I’ve lost control. The online world is too much with me. All I want to do is go outside, smell the flowers, walk the woods. But no – I must sit down at the dread computer to the point of backache and hone in on the world of technology. If it wasn’t for my son Ray, his vast knowledge of the internet and his constant help, I’d quit. Check out his 15 year and running, No. 1 U of Florida college sports website gatorcountry.com. So here’s what’s looming:
Website – Got my domain freetobloombook.com, but don’t go there yet. My son has just started working on it. It should be up in February.
Facebook Page – Okay, I can do this. Step 1 – I name it – FreeToBloom. Wow, it shows up. Step 2 – I try adding the photo of my bloom the way I learned on FB exporter. Doesn’t work. I look up the jpg number, which takes a lot longer, and there it is. Magic. Step 3 – I try to invite all my friends to the site. I click all friends. Nothing. I click send invitations. Nothing. I do this several times. Shit. In frustration I chat help! to my son, and make him administrator on the site. Before he gets back to me I go to FB and a bunch of people like my new page. Huh? How did they get there? Step 4-6 later.
Twitter – Can’t even go there yet. Been dragging a Twitter how to book (comforting) back and forth from Florida to Costa Rica and haven’t yet read a page.
Amazon – OMG a universe of new information. Beware what categories you place your book in. One could make it a best seller, another relegate it to oblivion.
Print books – POD (print on demand) or regular.
Ebooks – as print books become obsolete ebooks with all their frills move in. First you need a good formatter, one that knows Kindle, Smashwords, Nook, etc.. formats. I found one, Rob Siders at 52novels.com, through Joe Konrath’s A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing and his website jakonrath.com.
Radio interviews – My first was on EZ Rock Radio with Sue on Love and Lipstick
Reviews – You need reviews. To get them you must write reviews, TV spots, youtube.
If you print – book signings, readings, women’s club meetings.
After a long hiatus finishing my first book,Free To Bloom, a series of inter-connected short stories, I return to announce its imminent publishing. (The website is named, but not finished.) It’s a work of fiction, but it all started with real people, places and events that have been molded by memory, changed by time and altered by necessity, like tearing a memoir into confetti then throwing it into the air to let it settle into a totally new pattern. It’s a story of taking risks in life, finding independence, seeking adventure, experiencing sorrow and joy, all mixed up with intimate personal observations. In short, it’s me.
Nope, it’s still not out, but after the writing comes all the nuts and bolts of publishing: public relations, internet exposure, ebook, placement on Amazon, getting reviews, etc… So many books and blogs concern the actual process of creating and writing a book, which one does mostly alone. I thought it might be helpful for others to describe and explain the next steps, especially when there’s no big publishing house doing everything for you, and no advance to help you through quickly accumulating costs.
I do have an editor, Patricka Vaughn and her small publishing house, A Cappela Publishing, Inc. directing me through the process and without her prodding and inspiration Free to Bloom, the book I’ve been thinking about writing through years and years of dabbling with short stories, newsletters, magazine articles, would never have been ‘free to bloom’, or even more appropriately, free to be born. The birthing of a child is hard enough, but then the real work begins, raising that child to maturity. So keep in touch and I’ll fill you in on all the agony and ecstasy in getting my book to print and ultimately to the readers – hopefully thousands of them.