Pictured above are two of the three books to inspire me recently.
I'm not exaggerating.
The first book to impact my life was Stephen King’s book titled, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. I’m sure every writer or wannabe writer says this book inspires them. But I wager that few writing lives and habits changed so dramatically and irrevocably as mine did after reading it. The crux is, King's personal journey and his writing habits became habits I needed to emulate.
The second book is titled, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey. In it, Currey gives us 161 mini-biographies; snapshots, about the habits and rituals of writers, poets, painters, dancers, etc. Artists! I was spellbound by how fellow artists worked. All different, yet I found three common threads among most of them. 1) They wrote every day, mostly in the morning, 2) they took long walks for exercise and/or inspiration, and 3) they maintained their schedules unapologetically and without compromise.
The On Writing memoir and the mini-biographies in Daily Rituals put me on a solid path. I went from writing anywhere from zero to 179 words a day to cranking out 1700 to 2200 words a day. I told you! I got serious. I not only say I’m a writer these days, but I KNOW I’m a writer.
The third book is my own novel of course, Born of Sin. My debut novel. My launch baby. My first entry into the world of authorship. I’m proud of it.
I’ve just reached the 100-pages point in the sequel, titled Born by Fire. With my current writing pace, I intend to finish the first draft by mid-March. That gets me to publishing it in August or September, if all goes according to plan. I'll keep you posted.
My goal is to write at least one novel or non-fiction piece per year, for the rest of my life. I want to have a career like Stephen King’s. I'm doing my level best to write as close to 2,000 words per day as possible, and even walk four miles a day like he does.
My recommendation to you is to read all three of these books, for obvious reasons. I pray they inspire you and impact your life just as they’ve done for me.
Steady. Surely. Unapologetically and God willing, I intend to stay on the path, with my eyes on the prize. Thanks.
Get the updated Born of Sin ebook FREE on January 18th and 19th, 2016
I updated Born of Sin. Just a bit. Because I made small but necessary changes, I'm offering the ebook version to world for free today and tomorrow, January 18th and 19th. .
Even if you downloaded it earlier, I encourage you to download it again from Amazon to get the newest version.
Or download Born of Sin for the first time! What did I update? Subscribe to my newsletter and I'll give you the inside scoop.
In other news, the audiobook version of Born of Sin is currently in production. It's due for release in early March.
On the heels of a successful book signing event in mid-December and a television newscast appearance in Meridian, Mississippi just days before Christmas, my next event is in my hometown, Aliquippa, PA.
I'll be at the eQuip Bookstore on Tuesday, January 26th from 2-4 p.m. to sign books and chat with my wonderful family, friends and fans. I'm so very thankful to the owners and staff at eQuip Books for hosting me!
Regarding other pending events, I'll soon appear at the Pitt Bookstore (mine and Jacob's alma mater), the Post Exchange (PX) on Joint Bases Andrews (Maryland) and Bolling (Washington, DC), and be one of the featured authors at a Book Signing and Luncheon Event sponsored by an organization called ASALH, the founders of Black History Month.
But download book, again. Hurry! :)
I wasn’t physically active during the latter part of 2015. I spent most of my time writing, editing and promoting my debut novel. When I wasn’t sitting in my office chair, I was eating. I ate with wild abandon. Portion sizes meant nothing. If I wanted it, I ate it.
I didn’t resolve to start working out in the New Year. I just quietly told myself to do better.
One morning, I clicked on Mary In Manhattan’s blog. She recently posted about her Pure Barre fitness experience. She made it sound worthwhile. I commented and told Mary I was going to try it, too. Striving to be a woman of my word, I was suddenly committed to finding a Pure Barre studio near me.
Days later, I registered for my first class.
My Pure Barre instructor was encouraging and helpful. She was an adorable ultra-fit former gymnast named Betsey. Her ability to move as she did, fascinated me. From the sitting position, she could whisk her leg straight into the air, the sole of her foot facing the ceiling. I could barely point my knee toward the ceiling.
The students around me knew all the movements. They were fluid and synchronized, easily keeping up with Betsey. The Pure Barre moves and vocabulary were foreign to me. Unnatural. I felt so awkward. I was a hot mess. So very different from the other students in so many ways:
Thankfully, the 55-minute session went by quickly. As much as I suffered, I decided to go back. Betsey convinced me to try again with the studio’s new member special discount.
But I have to admit, the thing that got me though the tough parts was thinking about the pancakes and turkey bacon I was going to make as soon as I got home.
And right after breakfast and a shower, I knew I’d be sitting comfortably in my chair, writing!
I was on a live morning news segment last week. I sat with news anchor Andrea Williams to promote Born of Sin on Wednesday, December 23, 2015 at 6:30 a.m. on the WTOK-TV NBC affiliate station in Meridian, Mississippi.
How did I get to appear on a major television morning news program?
Well, you know I’m a public relations professional. Ahh-hem. I know how these things are done. ;) But seriously, landing a television appearance can be quite a lengthy and deliberate process. You have to research the right reporters, form relationships with them in subtle ways so they don’t know you’re sucking-up, feed them information they can use over time, and then, when they least expect it, hit them with your news event, hoping they’ll bite. Beyond anything, you must have something newsworthy to say. I was there to promote my book signing event later that afternoon. In a smaller market, on a slow news day, thankfully a book signing event counted as news.
But here's the insider secret for how I really got on TV: My sister-in-law. Relationships are important. If you don't have your own relationship with an influential person, do your best to leverage someone else's.
Since we were traveling to my husband’s family home in Alabama for Christmas week, my sister-in-law called to say, “You should promote your book on TV while you’re down here.” I said, “Yes, I should.” I wasn’t 100% positive she could make it happen but I was touched by her enthusiasm. I then became impressed with her persuasive pitching powers. The next thing I knew, the newscaster was emailing me with preliminary questions about the book for the upcoming morning segment. #sistersinlawrock
Being on TV was a great experience. I wasn't terribly nervous because, you know I'm a public relations professional. :) My mother-in-law said I looked, “...so pretty on the TV.” I don’t remember if I hit all my talking points, and no one can tell me, but does it matter? I was on TV. I got to tell that whole viewing area about my book. What a Christmas blessing!
I requested a link to the three-minute segment. I promise to post it when it becomes available. In the meantime, here are pictures of me promoting the book in Alabama and Mississippi.
Buy Born of Sin on Amazon today!
There’s a prominent drink mentioned in Chapter 5 of my novel titled, Born of Sin. Jacob the main character, takes a hottie home from the club. The femme fatal's name is Lashawn Emerson. She gets Jacob drunk and takes advantage of him.
A few readers have asked about the drink. What was in her secret and potent elixir?
I call it the "Sin No More" drink and I've posted the recipe.
Note that this is an adult drink and I'd like to remind you to drink responsibly.
If you decide to try it, you'll find that it's refreshingly smooth.
1 ounce vodka (I really like to use the Peach Ciroc brand)
1 ounce gin
3 ounces cranberry juice
3 ounces pineapple juice
1 squeeze of lime
Combine the ingredients in a martini shaker, shake, pour, and enjoy!
Insider Information about Lashawn: Another reader asked if Lashawn slipped a drug into Jacob’s drink or if Jacob just slept deeply from the liquor because of his low toleranace with alcohol.
I had to think about that. Here are the factors that formed my answer:
Have other questions? Leave me a message or talk to me on email, Facebook, or Twitter!
My novel Born of Sin is available for download from Amazon on December 1-3, 2015.
Today is the official publication day for my debut fiction novel, Born of Sin.
It's actually been available on Amazon for nearly a week but my launch date had always been set for December 1st. The novel is currently on Amazon and on my website.
If you’d like an autographed copy of the book, please order directly from me.
Otherwise, here's the link to order on Amazon. You can order the eBook or the print versions from Amazon.
I'm running a special 3-day promotion, giving away the eBook version on Amazon from December 1stthrough December 3rd.
After the next week or so, you’ll be able to find it on other online bookseller platforms, too. Keep watching your favorite sites like Apple and Barnes and Noble for the novel. And keep an eye out for the special edition hardback version and audiobook version in the near future.
Please enjoy the free download and PLEASE spread the word about the book with your friends and families.
Thank you again for your support. It means a great deal to me.
Born of Sin -- Trailer
Hi there! My book is just about ready to launch. Tuesday, December 1st is my official publish date.
I'm so excited, I couldn't wait to put together the book trailer for it. Here 'tis!
Also because you've all been so supportive of my writing journey, the Born of Sin ebook will be available on Amazon for FREE for the first three (3) days so mark your calendars!
After the free period, you’ll still be able to download the ebook version or order the paperback from my website, Amazon or from your favorite bookseller. I don’t have a price yet.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE BORN OF SIN BOOK TRAILER
The setting is the mid-1970s and the early 1980s and alternates between the city of Pittsburgh, the University of Pittsburgh, and the fictional town of Edgeboro, NC.
For more updates like this, please subscribe to my site. Thanks for watching and consider sharing with friends!
Hey there! Here’s an update on my progress.
I continue to edit and revise my novel. Yes, still. BUT, I have some movement to report: I sent the first 15 chapters to the copy editor last week. I’ll send the remaining chapters to her before the end of the week.
Once I get back the edited/final copy, there won’t be anything standing between me and actually publishing the book. I’m aiming for a mid-November release date.
In the meantime, I hired a voice-over professional to narrate the prologue from Born of Sin. It’s a teaser to give you more insight to what the story's all about.
The narration is read directly from the book. The audio clip is just over 13 minutes long.
Click on the link to listen: BORN OF SIN (PROLOGUE)
I adore listening to audiobooks and I intend to publish an audio version of my book, too. That’ll come a bit later. First, I’m focusing on the print and electronic versions.
Please listen to my clip. I’d love to hear what you think. Thanks!
Note: The audio clip is copyrighted by Pamela Hart Vines and recorded and produced by Mr. Michael Fordham. If you’d like to hire Mr. Fordham for your projects (voice or photography), contact him at:
I got my first rejection email today. The note was in response to the queries I sent to four agents back in August. The first literary agent wrote:
“Dear Pamela, Thank you for sharing your work with me. Unfortunately, I feel that in today's market, I cannot take on projects unless I feel strongly about them. I'm sorry to say that it didn't happen with this one. This, of course, is just my opinion and others may feel differently. I wish you the best of luck with all your publishing endeavors.
When I read the above. I was hit with three rapid-fire emotions: Relief, Consolation, and Resolve.
1) I’m glad you don’t want me. Surprisingly, my immediate reaction to the rejection note was relief. Sure, it would have been great to walk around town finding ways to interject the phrase, “my agent this and my agent that,” into unrelated conversation. But I'm sure friends would have quickly disowned me.
To accompany the relief, my subconscious soundtrack revved up to play the 1973 tune by Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross: “Don’t Knock My Love.” It’s an upbeat empowering song. In my head I heard, “Don’t Knock my Book.” The lyrics are: “…If you don't like it, don’t knock it, somebody else might want to rock it.
If you don’t need it, don’t waste it. Somebody else might want to taste it. Hey hey hey!...”
Regardless, I’m proud of my forthcoming novel. It’s a good story and I’m positive there’s an audience who will relate to it. Obviously, Kate is not among the Pamela Hart Vines fans, but there are billions of other people out there will potentially “feel strongly” about my book.
2) I don’t need you anyway. The next thought I had after reading the note was, “How many rejections did Stephen King get?” I don’t remember, but it was a high number. Remembering he was rejected gives me comfort. If agents rejected Stephen King—well, hey. We all know how his career turned out.
3) I’ll show you! The last emotions that hit me were determination and resolve. I’m proud of my novel. It’s a good story and I know it will appeal to people worldwide. Granted, it didn’t appeal to Kate, but Lord willing, other people will like it.
The bottom line is, I’m excited to self-publish. Self-publishing gives a writer control of his or her work. As I embark on this publishing journey, I’ll be able to decide my story line, choose my cover design, set my own prices, and avoid agents and publishers’ fees. Win or lose, my name is on the line. This is an exciting time and I’m embracing it.
One down, three to go. Bring on the next letter!
Pamela Hart Vines
Physically spent, I'm back from the Writers Digest Writers’ Conference. It was held in NYC over the weekend. I'm still a bit tired, but mentally and emotionally, I'm on fire! The conference experience was ahh-maze-ing for me. From its professionalism and smart organization, to the wealth of information the presenters provided, it was an overall top-notch event. Writers’ Digest focused on the craft and the business of writing with a strong emphasis on the benefits of traditional publishing. If you missed #WDC15, consider attending in 2016.
Here are my top 5 reasons I recommend this writers conference:
FIVE. It's held in New York! I can’t say for sure if the writers’ conference will be at the same venue next year, but it’ll likely take place in NYC. The city is exciting and adventurous, especially if you’re not accustomed to such a high impact environment. The conference schedule lasts well into the evening. The day’s events concluded, on average, around 6:30 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday evenings. If you want to catch a Broadway show, you can essentially be dressed and on your way by 7 p.m. This year’s venue was just a 10-minute walk down 45th St. to Broadway.
FOUR. Awesome networking opportunities! The conference afforded attendees the opportunity to meet hundreds of other authors (and soon-to-be authors) who are at the same stage you are in your writing career, or where you aspire to be as a writer. I enjoyed sharing information and making connections. I took a purse full of business cards to hand out to my new contacts.
THREE. The proximity to internationally known authors! The opening, central, and closing keynote addresses were some of my favorite aspects of the conference. Each of the keynote speakers was well-established and had published numerous works achieving great acclaim. I was enthralled to hear how different yet the same each of their stories was. We writers all travel similar paths, regardless of our race or ethnicity. We writers are a tenacious people and we all endure the challenges, the rejection, and eventually the sweet success of publishing; as long as we do the work and dedicate ourselves to our craft.
TWO. The annual Pitch Slam event! Attendees were offered an opportunity to sit in front of influential agents and editors to present their work. The agents gave immediate feedback, too. And even if an agent declined the option to hear more about a project, he or she would often give pointed guidance and constructive critique about how to make it better. The ability to pitch at this conference was truly a beneficial and invaluable experience. Participants had three minuets to pitch book concepts to as many agents as possible within the one-hour time slot. As it was my first experience, I only pitched to six agents. But now I’m familiar with the format so next year, it’s game on.
ONE. The information! The overwhelming amount of content about writing and publishing was informative and insightful. There is always something wise and thoughtful-provoking to learn from all of the great writers, new and experienced. Most everyone was open and honest about sharing what he or she knew.
Want to know more!? Let's continue the conversation. I’ll dish.
Pamela Hart Vines
I write literary fiction and I recently published my debut novel titled Born of Sin. I invite you to join me in this writing, publishing, and promoting journey!