THE OFFICIAL BLOG OF INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR CHERYL KAYE TARDIF

Mystery, suspense, thrillers, paranormal, horror & YA by "Cheryl Kaye Tardif" & romance by "Cherish D'Angelo". Cheryl is represented by Trident Media Group in NY.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Self-Publishing success stories

Big Houses Benefit from Savvy Self-Publishers by Rachel Deahl -- Publishers Weekly

Every so often a self-publishing Cinderella story makes headlines. In 2003 it was a home-schooled 20-year-old, Christopher Paolini, who sold his first novel about a dragon to Knopf, and in 2006 Kathleen McGowan got a seven-figure deal from S&S for her Da Vinci Code–esque Mary Magdalene series. And in the coming months, look for more self-publishing success stories, as the big houses get behind several writers who took the DIY route. So, are publishers becoming more open to self-published authors, or are self-published authors becoming savvier publishers?

This month, two originally self-published titles are making headlines. The Shack—William P. Young's feel-good Christian novel that sold more than a million copies before Hachette signed on to copublish it—debuted in its trade edition at No. 1 on the New York Times list on June 8. And, at the end of the month, Morrow will look for similar numbers for The Lace Reader; the imprint paid author Brunonia Barry more than $2 million in a two-book deal and printed 200,000 copies of her debut.

Ben Sevier, a senior editor at Dutton, has noticed that more self-published books are gaining traction. Sevier, who said he's “always looked skeptically on [self-published] submissions,” is singing a different tune these days. Right before BEA, he preempted a self-published techno-thriller called Daemon by a software consultant using the pen name Leinad Zeraus. Sevier signed Zeraus, aka Daniel Suarez, to a two-book deal for what's rumored to be a hefty sum. Sevier, who was immediately taken with the manuscript—he said it “took me two chapters to think I was reading the best high-tech thriller writer since Michael Crichton”—said the experience has been eye-opening: “It proves that great books are slipping through the cracks.”

Great manuscripts aside, Suarez and Barry had more going for them than strong prose. Both had managed to sell more than 1,000 copies on their own; Suarez also got press in Wired and blurbs from Sillicon Alley heavies like Craig Newmark (founder of Craigslist) and Stewart Brand (creator of The Whole Earth Catalog).

Clare Ferraro at Viking signed neuroscientist and stroke survivor Jill Bolte Taylor, who became an Internet sensation after a snippet of a talk she gave at the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference went viral. Taylor had sold nearly 8,000 copies of her clinical survival memoir, which she self-published through Lulu. My Stroke of Insight—which Viking crashed for a May release to coincide with Taylor's Oprah spot—was, Ferraro said, driven by the author's platform more than anything else. “If Jill hadn't had a book, I would have been no less interested in her.”

Agent David Fugate, of LaunchBooks in San Diego, inked a deal for retired professor Dennis Fried largely on the author's impressive self-publishing record. Although Fugate said he found Fried's Memoirs of a Papillon immediately touching and amusing—the book is purportedly the memoir of the author's pooch, Genevieve—he thinks it was the fact that the book had sold 20,000 copies that spurred Simon Spotlight Entertainment to acquire it. The book, due out in hardcover in 2009 as When I Want Your Opinion I'll Bark, benefited from what Fugate calls the “more democratic process” of publishing that exists today. Fugate explained that, with promotion being easier because of the Internet and printing more manageable because of online vanity presses and POD houses, an author can now “prove [his] worth.”

Nonetheless, Fugate warns it isn't easy. He estimates that most editors don't want to hear about a self-published title unless its sales are significant. “Three thousand to 4,000 seems to be the point at which they start to think, okay, this is something valuable.”

Reprinted with permission from Jerry D. Simmons' newsletter TIPS for WRITERS. See: www.WritersReaders.com.

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of Whale Song

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Are you a fan of Cheryl Kaye Tardif novels?

Have you read and enjoyed any of the following novels?

If you have and you've enjoyed them, please consider joining my Cheryl Kaye Tardif novels fan page on Facebook.

I plan to use this site to send news to my fans on upcoming releases and events, and will hold contests randomly. You can also leave me notes, tell me what you think, what you want more of.

My first 'fan' contest:
The first 25 fans to join and leave a comment on my page will be entered into a draw to win a surprise package valued at over $50.00. The winner will be selected at the end of the month.

Please, only join if you've read and enjoyed my novels.

Become a Cheryl Kaye Tardif novels fan now!

http://www.new.facebook.com/pages/Cheryl-Kaye-Tardif-novels/29769736630

~Cheryl

P.S. Hurry up! The suspense is killing me! :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Whale Song receives a Gold Star for Excellence


TeensReadToo.com awarded Cheryl Kaye Tardif's acclaimed novel Whale Song with a Gold Star for Excellence.

According to the Hall of Fame page on their website:

"These titles have earned the coveted Gold Star Award for Excellence! These aren't just books you just read. These are books you read over and over again--because they're that great!"
Breanna F., a reviewer for TeensReadToo.com, has this to say about Whale Song:

"Just go read the book and you'll find out how wonderful it is! It's completely heart wrenching...the whole book is just amazing...My heartstrings were being pulled the entire time and I absolutely loved it."
Visit the Hall of Fame on TeensReadToo.com.

Read Breanna's review (spoiler alert!).


Friday, August 22, 2008

Whale Song by Cheryl Kaye Tardif - "I absolutely loved it."


"5 plus stars, amazing read...Just go read the book and you'll find out how amazing it is! It's completely heart wrenching...the whole book is just amazing. I seriously never wanted to put it down. Cheryl's use of words is amazing, like when she's talking about the killer whales or describing scenery. They just flow so easily across every page. My heart strings were being pulled the entire time and I absolutely loved it...I seriously recommend getting yourself a copy. You seriously won't be disappointed."

--Breanna, a reviewer for teensreadtoo. com

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My puppy neckwarmer thinks she's helping me write


A few months ago, I wrote about the sad passing of our miniature American Eskimo dog, Royale. We had her for 13 years; she was a great dog and not too demanding. R.I.P. Royale. We miss you.

We have a new puppy now. Chai-Chan is a Pomeranian, almost 6 months old. Almost from day one, she has found her special spot--right under my chin--to lay. The first few weeks I'd get up with her early in the morning and lie down on the couch. She'd lay across my neck, just like a scarf or neckwarmer.

In the evenings we have our "cuddle time" on my bed. Chai usually curls up next to my face or against my back. She loves contact, that's for sure.

Shortly after we got her and after we started allowing her on the bed, she'd come into our room and bark. Once. I'd say, "Up?" and she'd bark once more.

Within a few days I noticed her bark's tone started to change. It now actually sounds like she's saying "up!" She barks "Up!" and waits for me to pick her up and put her on the bed. She has other barks for other things, but this one is consistent and distinct.

Lately, Chai's gotten into the habit of wanting cuddle time while I'm writing. She'll jump at my legs while I'm sitting at my desk. Most times I give her a chewie. Occasionally I'll pick her up.

Today, after her first bath and after she was dry, she came into my office and barked "up!" She was obviously feeling a bit out of sorts after her bath (which she was very good for). So up she went. And now she's draped across my neck.

She thinks she's helping me write, but I won't tell her about all the typos I've had to fix or how awkward it is trying to type while balancing a dog across your neck.

She's now climbed up to my shoulder for a more secure spot. Apparently my typing is annoying her. And my face needs washing...and I smell like wet dog. Gotta love her though! :)

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Friday, August 15, 2008

Take a solitary journey by looking back


Photo credit: Jessy Marie; used with permission

This is one of my daughter's first attempts a few years back at the art of photgraphy, and it happens to be one of my all-time favorites. This photo says something to me. It tells a story--one about a solitary journey.

Looking down these old wooden stairs makes me realize that some journeys follow a fairly straight path, but although the path is without detours, we must still use effort to climb each step to reach the top. We might skip up these stairs, or climb them slowly, carefully. We may or may not use the hand rail for support, but we know it's there. And many have gone before us and many will travel these worn stairs long after we're gone.

Life's journey is much like this. Sometimes we're given an obvious path to follow. We must reach up--higher!--to obtain our goals. To reach the top we must want to. So we push on. But many of us climb our stairs and never take a moment to pause, turn and reflect on just how far we've come. When we do this, we acknowledge our solitary journey.

I invite you to take a solitary journey and look back down these steps. What steps did you climb to get where you are today? Acknowledge each of them. These are your footprints, ones you left while climbing. Have you reached your destination? Are you at "the top"? Or are there more steps to climb? Focus only on the positive. Look how far you've come!

When I look at this photo, I envision that I'm standing a few steps from the top. There are still more steps for me to climb, and I'm so excited about where they'll take me. I wonder where I'll be next year...another step higher? Two? The suspense is killing me!

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Look who's blogging about Whale Song


An author friend emailed me yesterday and mentioned that as a birthday gift to me she was blogging about Whale Song. That made my day! :) (Plus the roses from my husband, flowers from my daughter's friends, an ankle bracelet and photo from my daughter, the 3 day holiday from my best friend...and more.)

My author friend is Karen Harrington, the author of Janeology, which I read and truly enjoyed. From now until August 14th, she is giving away a copy of Whale Song.

To enter just go to her blog, read the post and leave a comment.(Be sure to add the word "whale" to your comment.)

Go here to Karen's blog to enter her Whale Song contest.

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif
http://www.cherylktardif.com

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Update #7: Remote Control, a novelette work-in-progress


“Be careful what you wish for,” they say, but for forty-four-year-old Harold Fielding, who unfortunately isn’t one to listen to such good advice, those words will come back to haunt him...

Read Remote Control so far.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Light a candle for Tim McLean


Today, as I was checking my email, I received an invite to join a Facebook group--Canada lights a candle for Tim McLean.

I had already joined R.I.P Tim McLean on Facebook, which is now up to over 74,000 members.

Most people have already heard of the horrific bus slaying, but what many may not have heard of are all the stories people are sharing about what a wonderful young man Tim McLean was.

Yes, there are questions--so many of them--about why him, why that way, what instigated it, did he know his killer. Those questions may, sadly, never be answered fully, or at all. Everyone will be looking for answers for a long time to come. That is the harsh reality of murder.

And I know this firsthand. I am also a survivor. My brother Jason Kaye was brutally murdered in Edmonton on January 23, 2006. His case is still open; his killer never found.

What makes deaths like Tim's and Jason's so hard is the knowledge that they had their whole lives ahead of them. They were too young to go. And they never should have left this earth in such a violent manner.

Tim's family and friends are now traveling the path that my family and my brother's friends traveled in 2006. It is a bumpy road that lies ahead, and one way that we got through it was to remember Jason for who he was and meant to each of us. To remember all the good things about him.

I pray that Tim's family and friends will keep focused on that. Remember Tim's smiling face and all the things about him that made him unique and special. Remember Tim.

When my brother died, we were amazed at the support of friends, old and new, and that support helped keep us afloat at times. Tim's brutal death has sparked shock, outrage and disbelief in so many people worldwide, and the support is showing through groups on Facebook and through pages on MySpace. I pray that Tim's family finds comfort in this show of support.

Today, I lit a candle for Tim. I thought about him, this young man I've never met, but feel connected to. I thought about his family, his sister. I can feel her pain especially. I know what they're going through in many ways. I know they will need strength to walk this path together.

After I posted a message to Tim's family on the 'Light a candle...' site, I received a phone call from Kevin Crush, a reporter for the Edmonton Journal. He'd read my Facebook post and my reference to being a survivor. He asked me a few questions about my own journey and how I feel regarding Tim and his family.

The one thing I never said, but should have is this:

No matter how hard this journey may feel, no matter how impossible it may seem, Tim's family can survive this. I think there will always be questions, always the 'what-ifs', but the key is to focus only on Tim's life, on everything he accomplished, everything he did that was good, funny, helpful etc. The regrets are the hardest things to deal with, but it may help to remember that we all have regrets--always. It's part of life. We cannot focus on what we did not do (that's in the past, which we cannot change); we can only focus on what we will do now.

Today I will think of Tim McLean. I am sure I would have been blessed to have known him. I know his family and friends are.

The most important thing I've learned after dealing with the murder of my brother Jason is this:

There is always light at the end of even the darkest tunnel.

I am sure that Tim is in that light.
So today please take a few minutes out of your day and light a candle for Tim. And pray for his family.

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Tips for Plotting Your Novel – Part 2: Ferment the Plot

In Part 1 I talked about percolating a novel plot, coming up with the ‘bubbles’, the ideas that form the skeleton of your plot. To write an engaging novel, you have to dig far deeper. That’s what fermenting helps you do.

What do you think of when you see the word FERMENT? Picture a vat filled with young wine; it needs time to soak in all the subtle flavors that will make it distinct and delicious. A novel needs time―and more importantly, deep thought―to gather in all the richness that will make it a novel worth reading.

One thing I’ve learned as a writer is this: thinking is underrated. We’re so programmed to be active and busy, that we forget that pausing every now and then actually allows us to process more information. To the human brain, writing a novel is a huge ‘information dump’; we need that pause to acknowledge our ideas, then sift through all of them to find the precious gems that will become our plot, characters, setting, and ultimately a bestselling novel (we hope).

During the fermentation stage, I’ll think more about the characters, one character and one question at a time until I have a solid answer for each. Who is she? What are her strengths and weaknesses? What is her goal? What suspenseful challenges will she face? What relationships are found or lost? Who is she up against and why? How does she proceed in the investigation or journey or quest? How does she finally reach her goal? What scene most comes to mind when it’s time for the final chapter or epilogue?

Often at the fermentation stage I’ve already started writing the actual novel. At different times throughout, I’ll pause and have what appears to be a break. But really I’m fermenting my novel plot. Someone watching me might think I’ve fallen asleep with my eyes open and head upright. You may even see the occasional wisp of smoke from my ears, or I might talk out loud or nod. I’m sure I must look weird when I do this at my favorite Starbucks, but each time I ferment my plot, the dialogue, action and characters grow stronger and deeper.

The next time you decide to write a novel, think about percolating and fermenting your plot. When I clicked on the word “percolate” and went to the synonym check in MS Word, the following words came up: seep into, infiltrate, permeate, penetrate, get into, infect, drip, filter. I think they perfectly describe what we need to do to create an engaging plot.

So percolate an idea. Let it seep into your mind and infiltrate your thoughts. As these ideas permeate your daily routine, they’ll penetrate further into your mind so you won’t forget them. They’ll get into your blood, infect you, until you can’t wait to sit down at the computer. The key then is to allow the thoughts to drip, one at a time, from your mind to the keyboard, so that in the end you become a filter and the perfect novel plot will finally emerge.

©2008 Cheryl Kaye Tardif

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif is the author of 3 Canadian suspense novels (Whale Song (published by award-winning Kunati Books), The River and Divine Intervention).

Visit her website: http://www.cherylktardif.com./

Friday, August 01, 2008

Tips for Plotting Your Novel - Part 1: Percolate Your Ideas


Fiction authors are often asked, “How do you come up with your novel plots? Where do you find those ideas?” As a Canadian suspense author, I am often asked these questions, and my answers will usually include something about letting ideas percolate and ferment.

I know―it sounds like I’m brewing coffee and making homemade wine, but in reality I’m creating what I hope will be a fast-paced suspense novel that will be enjoyed by readers worldwide. I think that percolating a novel plot is the perfect way to describe how my mind processes information that will eventually end up in a novel.

What do you think of when you see the word PERCOLATE? Do you picture a stove-top percolator brewing some strong coffee? That’s how I think of writing a novel. Basically the percolation method, in relation to writing, means that I will think on an idea until it begins to take hold. Then I’ll think about other ideas and just allow the ideas to bubble to the surface, until I have the skeleton of my novel plot.

Most often I’m thinking of everything from the perpetrator’s mind. How does he commit his crimes? Who are his victims? Why does he choose them? What’s his motive? Who else might be a suspect? How can I mislead my audience? How does he finally get caught?

After I have the percolating part, I’ll make just a few notes. Sometimes, I’ll open a file on my computer and write a prologue or first chapter. Once I start thinking of the basis for the novel, I’ll almost always have a scene come to mind that usually throws the reader into some kind of action. I like doing that; throwing you into something unexpected in the first few pages.

Not every writer will plot a novel like I do. Many will use an outline; they’ll often write it out first, thinking of ideas as they go. Some authors won’t start writing until they have a completed outline. I’ve tried working this way, but it doesn’t work for me. So I use the percolation method.

As you think about the novel you want to write, ask yourself: who is the story is really about and what is the story about (in 30 words or less)? Don’t worry if you don’t have all the details yet. That’s what fermenting is for. You can read about that in Part 2.

©2008 Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Visit my website: http://www.cherylktardif.com/.