Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Solstice Publishing

Welcome David Bryant who is sharing his interview with the CEO of Solstice Publishing, Melissa Miller. 

Since 2008 when she secured her own first book contract, Melissa Miller has become the head of one of the fastest growing mid-market publishers in the USA. This year (2014) she capped her achievements by  being announced an International Best Selling author and two of her books were optioned for film.

Now Melissa, as chief executive officer of Solstice Publishing based in Farmington, Missouri, is paving the way for other budding authors to bring their creations to e-readers and print. I have a personal reason to thank her. Solstice accepted my first book, Tread Carefully on the Sea, after I'd spent nearly a year trying to place it with a publisher.

I asked Melissa a few questions
1. How do you conclude that books are likely to sell? Is it pure instinct or do you have a formula?
There isn't a formula to know what will sell and what won't. We look for well written manuscripts with interesting plots.
2. Based on your experience in publishing, what's one thing you would advise today's budding authors?
One of the most important things new authors need to know is the importance of branding their name. The use of social media is going to be very helpful in their journey. The marketing and branding of their book is going to be a full time job. Writing the book is the fun part. After that the work begins.
3. Why do you think fiction is so powerful that almost everyone wants to read it - if not write it?
I think fiction is so powerful because it's not real. After a long day at work, or taking care of the kids, or cleaning the house, readers like to escape into new worlds. It's nice to get away from reality for a while.

4. What were your favorite childhood books and how did that affect your career?
As a child my favorites were Winnie The Pooh then as a teen I grew into loving Stephen King. Now as an adult I like a variety. I enjoy Stephanie Meyers, Cassandra Clare, Jeannette Oak, Nicholas Sparks and then of course all the great authors of Solstice Publishing.
Melissa's company
With over 200 authors covering every category of fiction and rapidly expanding into non-fiction, Solstice is quickly gaining a reputation for fast paced suspense thrillers, sizzling romance, action adventure, science fiction, and a spooky collection of horror and paranormal reads. Critically acclaimed authors have achieved top spots on best seller lists, had their stories adapted to screenplays, and won movie deals with top Hollywood studios.

Melissa Miller is an Amazon International Best Selling Author under a pen name. She writes paranormal/ romance and woman's fiction. She's a wife and the mother of two boys.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Pretty Little Liars: Hanna's Secret - #1 in Kindle Store > Kindle Worlds > Contemporary

  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #189,039 Paid in Kindle Store 

The town of Rosewood hasn’t been the same since one of their own went missing. When Alison DiLaurentis disappeared, the lives of many changed. Her best friends Aria Montgomery, Hanna Marin, Emily Fields, and Spencer Hastings were left with huge holes in their hearts. 

One year after Alison went missing, strange texts started coming to the girls. They were always signed “A”. The person sending them always knew their deepest darkest secrets. The texts would be threatening them to do what “A” wanted or else. 
In “Hanna’s Secret”, Hanna Marin is the latest victim of “A”. 

Will Hanna be able to protect herself and her friends or will “A” do more damage to her life? 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Guest Blogger: Bernard Foong

Bernard Foong at a book launch

Author’s Bio
Young alias Bernard Foong is, first and foremost, a sensitivist. He finds nuance in everything. To experience the world he inhabits is an adventure which is mystical, childlike and refreshing. He has a rare ability to create beauty in a unique fashion. His palettes have been material, paint, words and human experiences.
By Christine Maynard (screenwriter and novelist).

Bernard Foong (designer) – A brief history

Born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. At the age of 8, he was assisting his aunt and cousin, learning the art of sewing and fabrics/colors matching. He attended an exclusive private boarding school in the United Kingdom before obtaining his Diploma in Fashion Design at the Harrow College of Art & Technology in London, England. He went on to complete his Master of Design at the Royal College of Art & Design, London, England. During his college years he won several international fashion awards and was already retailing bridal and evening dresses to several well known department stores in England. Liberty of London, Selfridges, Harrods and Harvey Nichols to name a few that carried his designs. His Royal College of Art graduation wedding/evening wear collection was sold to Liberty of London and displayed in their store windows for the entire month of June that year.
For four years, he worked for Liberty’s bridal department as their in-house designer until a trip to Hong Kong, while working on a freelance project for ‘Bird’s’(casual wear) company, he was recruited by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University as their Fashion professor for the next 6 years. During his stay in Hong Kong, he freelanced for numerous fashion companies. From designing casual wear, swimwear, lingerie, and fur garments, men’s wear, bridal and evening fashions to accessories (bags, shoes, and head-wear). He also participated and organized numerous fashion shows, events, functions, and presentations in the Asia Pacific region.
Working for Keys Far East Hong Kong as chief lingerie designer - travelling extensively to the United States, he was soon recruited as an Associate Fashion Design/Illustration Professor to the University of Wisconsin, Madison and also lectured at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design for a couple of years.
Foong was then appointed as the Fashion Development Manager by an established department store – Parkson Grand (22 stores in Malaysia and one in Shanghai, China). Producing under the label, Natural Life by Bernard Foong, he designed casual-wear collections for the Parkson Grand’s flagship store in Kuala Lumpur. After a couple of years later, he was invited by the Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore to join their design school to establish a Fashion Design department. For two years, he assisted several founding members of the design school - working on the fashion department’s teaching curriculum.
The Fitzgerald Theatre Department, University of Hawaii, Manoa, Oahu, Hawaii awarded a full scholarship for Foong to complete his second Master of Art in Theatre Costuming. Now a resident on the Island of Maui, he has assisted many charity organizations in their fund raising events with his extravagant fashion and performance shows/presentations. In 2005, he and his partner, Mr. Walter Jay Bissett opened Fire Dragon Bistro Orient & Design Shop. He also designs costumes/fashions for numerous theatrical productions in Hawaii and abroad.
Appointed as chief lingerie designer for Cerie International Limited – Hong Kong, his lingerie designs can be found in major department stores in Canada and the United Kingdom.
He showcased the BERNARD FOONG R-T-W collections and BERNARD FOONG @ Modern Classic Ltd. (an established – Hong Kong bridal & evening wear company) collections in Hong Kong. His 2008 & 2009 bridal/evening/bridal lingerie fashion show, “Grace” & “Coming Up Roses” were premiered at Hong Kong Fashion Week in July 2007 and January 2008 respectively at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Center, garnering positive interest in many Asian press reviews, including a China nationwide television broadcast of his latest collection. Aika (International Opera Singer) wore several Bernard Foong special occasion dresses at her Japan & European tour in September & October 2009.
Foong was the chief Creative Director for Official (Special Occasion fashion manufacturing company)Guangzhou, China producing –BERNARD FOONG Couture (specialty one-of-a-kind creations),White (RTW - Wedding/Special Occasion wear), Foxy Cute (Smart Casual/Cocktail wear), SexZ (decorative bustier) & Diva Bitch (sexual lingerie inner/outer-wear) collections.
Besides working on his regular haute couture, R-T-W and lingerie collections he is a visiting consultant/advisor for:
  • Pivot Point fashion college, Chengdu, China.
  • Hong Kong Design Institute (fashion department), Hong Kong, SAR.
  • Hong Kong Poly/U, Hong Kong (School of Apparel Design & Merchandising), SAR.
  • Hong Kong Fashion Designers Association, Hong Kong.
  • Singapore Temasek Polytechnic – School of Apparel Design & Merchandising (ADM), Singapore.
Bernard is also writing his autobiography, a seven book series of Mr. Foong’s young life:
A Harem Boy’s Saga: A Memoir by Young.
This provocative story spanning 4 decades and 3 continents is about a boy who was sent to a very exclusive English boarding school in the 1960s where he was initiated into a clandestine sexual society and then spirited away to serve in wealthy and elite Middle Eastern harems ."
A Harem Boy’s Saga series is published by Solstice Publishing and is available in print and E-books internationally.
Out of his busy schedule, Bernard is also working on a mini series of three contemporary paintings for the Rathe Galleries in Dallas, Houston and soon to open gallery in Austin, Texas.