Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Author Interview: Sheena Smith

Welcome to Sheena Smith. I am happy to have her on my blog.

1: What is the working title of your book?
“Life Simply Put: 18 Simple Words for an Abundant Life” by Sheena L. Smith

2: Where did the idea come from for the book?
It came from me thinking and wondering what would I tell my 6 children about life. What have I learned can help an individual have a great life. What’s important to know about life, about treating others, about being happy.

3: What genre does your book come under?
It is under non-fiction: self-help, personal transformation.

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
It would have to be someone funny and adventurous. Maybe Jennifer Aniston.

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
I hope that by reading it you will be inspired to dream big, laugh often and live a life full of adventure and truth.

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
My book is self-published. It is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Chapter/Indigo and other book venues all over the world.

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
It is a short book therefore, it didn’t take long to write. What took the time, was laying it out and deciding upon the perfect pictures and quotes to go with each specific word.

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
The Secret, Law of Attraction, Power of Intention are other books that my book my somewhat be compared to, although mine is more simply put.

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I was inspired to write this because of my 6 children that I treasure and would love for them to be happy with their choices and lives. I have also had a lifelong dream to write a book one day. I decided there’s no time like the present. I have a much longer book in mind –actually in rough but I knew that I needed to “learn the ropes” so to speak because I am teaching myself everything that needs to be done with my book due to limited finances. I’m happy to be learning that anyone can write a book if they are creative enough and persistent it can all come together.

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
 Many are using my book as a great gift for their family members and friends because it is heartfelt and unique. I am honored that it is an Amazon Best Seller and I have recently won a Gold Seal for Literary Excellence from my publisher.
Dr. Wayne W. Dyer has read it and said “Every page is a delight to contemplate”
I also, recently received a positive review from the US Review of Books.
Full US Review of Books Review can be found here-
It is available in soft cover and as and e-book. Available at many book venues…Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Chapters/Indigo
Amazon link:  http://www.amazon.com/LIFE-Simply-Put-Simple-Abundant/dp/1466923237
May happiness always be yours!
Sheena Smith

"Life Simply Put" is a mothers view on 18 Simple words for an Abundant Life.  It is the authors hope that through reading this book you will be inspired to dream big, laugh often and live a life full of adventure and truth. May you always give and get respect and know that you matter! Relieve Stress - Live your best life - Be good to yourself!

This is the kind of book you may read through all at once then during different times in your life you may reread various sections to reflect on decisions and life choices for the pursuit of your happiness and well being. You are responsible for your own happiness. Make choices that will honor your spirit and bring you joy. Are searching for words of inspiration and encouragement? Look no further than this book. It may lead you to an abundant life.

Purchase on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/LIFE-Simply-Put-Simple-Abundant/dp/1466923237

Sheena loves meeting others and enjoys helping adults and children, alike. Her paths in life have led her to a blended career life, which allows her to work with both children and adults.
Sheena writes online articles on health and a variety of other topics. She is also a licensed Brain Gym ® Instructor. She works as a Special Educational Assistant.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bestselling Themes

I accidentally saw the new Star Trek movie three times. First, my fiance won tickets to a showing and I got to see it with him for free. Then one of my friends who was visiting from out of town wanted to see it, so I went again. Then my Mom wanted to see it, so I went a third time.

I didn't really mind. I love the new Star Trek movie. I am a Trekkie at heart, although my favorite Star Trek is The Next Generation.

Anyway, I noticed certain themes in the movie that are also present in a lot of bestselling novels. They are themes that are very basic and important to most people. I think that touching on at least some of these themes can help a book sell better.


1.) The Need for Romance

When people think of romance they usually think of romantic comedies or paperback romance novels with sexy people on the covers.

The truth is that most stories have some kind of romance weaved into the storyline. It may not be the focus of the story, but it's still often there.

In the new Star Trek movie, it's the romance between Spock and Uhura. The way Uhura fought with Spock in the movie showed how much she cared and won my heart over.

Romantic relationships are a very important part of most people's lives which is why we love to read about them and see them in movies.

2.) The Need for Family

In the beginning of the movie, someone kills a bunch of people in order to save their dying daughter's life. Family is precious. Having characters who put family above all else makes them more endearing. It was horrible to see that person kill so many people just to save his daughter, but it's completely relateable.

And even though Khan is a villain, there's a certain part of him that I sympathize towards because he wants to save the other people who are like him. He views them as his family and puts them above all else.

3.) The Need for Friendship

Kirk and Spock have a deep bromance in the movies, which was what made the scene where Kirk dies that much more difficult for me to watch. Honestly, there were tears pouring down my eyes.

As human beings we need each other. So seeing characters need each other through friendship, family, or romantic relationships, makes them more relateable and can sometimes make their motivations for doing things make more sense.

4.) Self-preservation

It's in our instincts to preserve our own lives. There were several moments in the movie where the characters were fighting to save themselves like when they were attacked by the Klingons.

I also think it's why I love zombie movies and books so much. It takes that need for self-preservation to an even higher degree. What some people will do to save their own lives and how horrible it is to be fighting for your own life on a daily basis. It's compelling.

5.) Heroics

Putting other people before yourself and your own fears-it's something we all admire. There's that need to preserve ourselves, so to see someone ignore that instinct and worry about others more than themselves, is endearing.

I loved watching Kirk through out this whole movie and seeing all the things he risked in order to save the day regularly. It made the scene where he died that much more heart wrenching. He sacrificed himself to save his crew.


So what did you guys think of the movie? Are you a trekkie as well? And do you include any of these themes in any of your stories or like to read about any of these themes in particular?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Why I Love My Father

Since last year, I didn't write a post on Father's Day about my father, I thought it would be a good to write about him this year.

My Father has always been someone I look up to. When I was born, he had just started his career as a lawyer. And when I got older that transitioned to him becoming a judge. There is not another person in the world that I think deserves to be a judge more than him. He's a very moral and fair person. He stays calm in crises and is wonderful at calming people down and getting them to make compromises with one another.

When I'm upset, I often go to him because he's so good at calming me. Because he taught me that all adversities that I face in the world are there to make me a better person. Instead, of being depressed about things like that I was bullied growing up, I should rejoice in the strength it gave me to face enemies as an adult and also sympathize with people that I would have otherwise not understood.

Sometimes my emotions wage strongly inside me and sometimes I hate unfairness in the world, but his guidance has stopped me from dwelling on it. He's taught me that revenge isn't usually the right answer. And has shown me on occasion how to make peace with people who are angry at me at times. It can hurt to do it, especially when you feel you're in the right, but overall be beneficial in the end.

When I went to church growing up, my Dad was always sacrificing himself and most people didn't even know it. He did slideshows for the music in the church. He organized the offering. Fixed up the church when it was breaking. Cleaned the inside on many occasions and even shoveled snow. He was a deacon who regularly tithed.

He wasn't thanked every week for what he did and he rarely was in the spotlight. He did the right thing for the sake of doing the right thing, which made him a good role model for me.

Even when I'd get angry at people at my church sometimes for not behaving the way I wanted them to, he'd talk to me about how much more wonderful it would be for me not to expect so much from them, but to give more of myself and see what happens.

My Dad and I sometimes fight. We've had our problems, but in the end he has always been there for me. I am very lucky to have him.

Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful fathers out there!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Perception Versus Truth

As writers, we study real life and ask people questions about experiences they've had because we want to be able to write in a way that's accurate to reality. We don't want to break the suspension of disbelief. But the truth is, suspension of disbelief is more about what your audience is willing to believe rather than what the truth actually is.

You may know that certain things are true. For instance, even though I've never fired a gun, I know a few things about guns. Like that it's a bad idea to wield two guns at the same time. You aim with your eyes and human eyes weren't made to look in two directions at the same time. So using two guns to try to shoot with means you are going to miss your target every time and the guy with one gun is going to hit you instead. But there's a lot of movies where characters have two guns and use them to shoot a bunch of people. It's cool and most of the audience believes it, so even though it's not factual, it keeps making it into movies and books.

On the other hand, something that is true, if you try to write about it, an audience might not believe it. For instance, one of my favorite books is an autobiography written by Jaycee Dugard. She was kidnapped as a child and raped repeatedly growing up. She gave birth to her rapist's children and lived with him for years. Towards the end of her kidnapping, she was free to come and go from where she lived as she pleased, but she never ran away. In fact, she ran a business with her kidnappers and the only reason they were ever caught was because they turned themselves in.

I can see audiences groaning now. They'd say things like,"That's not realistic. Why wouldn't she just run away? Why didn't she turn them in?" Because they've never been in that situation before, they don't understand how a woman in that situation would be scared to run away because she wouldn't know where to go or where her family was. She had been brainwashed for years that she was trapped here and it's next to impossible on your own to break that mentality. She might even be afraid that the police wouldn't believe her. So even though it's a real thing, an audience wouldn't believe it.

And then there's the realities that are boring to write about, so sometimes authors fudge it. Like, I've always thought it was weird that in movies, they make book writing sound like authors sit around all day waiting for a dream or idea to come into their head and then once it does, they write out the whole novel in a couple of days. In reality, it's usually the opposite. We have so many ideas in our head and not enough time to write about them all. We spend most of our time sitting at a computer trying to keep up with our brains as our novels take more time than we'd like for us to finish them.

Writers have to write these scripts and it always made me wonder....Why are writers writing about being an author in an unrealistic way? Because it's boring. It's more interesting to write about an author experiencing things and dealing with their frustrations as they try to fight with their muse, then to write about them holed up in an office typing away at their computer for hours.

When what the audience would believe and what the truth actually is contradict, it can be hard as an author to know what to write.

So writing realistically is sometimes a bit too simplistic. Romances have very little in common with real life romance. Science fiction doesn't always show us what our future technology will be like. Sex isn't always as good as it is in erotica.

But the audience has to believe that it's real and that's what suspending disbelief is all about.