Monthly Archives: June 2012

Things I Miss Since Becoming an Author

  1. Waking up with nothing to do 
  2. Daily therapy sessions with the dogs.
  3. Less computer time = less money on electricity
  4. Sanity! (that’s a big one there).
  5. Free time
  6. Not having to check Twitter, Facebook,  LinkedIn, and 3 different email account a day…all day
  7. Having more money in my bank account for me, not marketing
  8. My eyesight and not using reading glasses so much
  9. Not having an office in my room
  10. Not having 150 books stacked in the garage
  11. Not receiving spam from cold callers who can, “Make you famous overnight.”
  12. I miss not staring at statistics all day
  13. Traveling without my computer
What I Love About Life Since Becoming An author…stay tuned.
If you have something to add to the list, leave it in the comments section. And don’t forget to sign up for the Donate a Book Sweepstakes at Facebook.com/tanialramos.com

Donate a Book Sweepstakes: Lesson in a Facebook App

As part of a promotion from Vocus.com, I am using a 14 day trial app to promote a sweepstakes on my Facebook Fan page.  It is a relatively simple promotion which is two part: gain buyers for my book, “Be Still,” and donate a book to the high school library of the winner’s choice.

Simple enough, right?

All a person has to do is visit my Facebook Fan Page at Facebook.com/TaniaLRamosBooks, then click the button marked sweepstakes which looks like this:

Click the link and you will be prompted to “Like” my fan page then asked to fill out a simple contact form: name, email, U.S. high school library of choice, and have you read the rules.  The contact form is used strictly to notify a person that he/she has won and will not be used for any other reasons or sold, ever.

For each 100 of my books, “Be Still,” by Tania L Ramos (yes, there are books with this title by other authors so I have to be very specific) are purchased either in softcover or hardcover or a combination of both through Amazon.com only, one winner will be selected from those who have entered and a, “Be Still,” book will be donated to their U.S. high school of choice.  I will donate up to ten books or end on 08/31/12, whichever comes first.  At this time I can not track a Kindle purchase, so Kindle purchases will not qualify toward sales, unless a time comes that I can track sales in a timely and accurate  manner.  See the rules for official details.

This sweepstakes is part of a promotion to sell books and to see how effective a Facebook Sweepstakes app is. I will not judge this app based solely by direct sales, but also by how many shares were sent out and how many entries are received.  I do this in order to write an educated review on the use and purchase of this app technology which will either be posted in July or December for my readers to view. I have tried several applications and several websites to gain recognition for my book, but this is the first Facebook app I am testing.

Please feel free to share this page.  You may participate in the sweepstakes even if you live outside of the United States, by either stating a U.S. high school or having one chosen for you by proxy of a second name selected who has named a U.S. high school, at which point both parties will be named as donors.  Good luck. Spread the news. And donate a book to a high school.

Tania L Ramos

The Donate a Book Sweepstakes ends 08/31/12 or when 1,000 books are sold

4am nursing

It’s 4am in my part of the world and I have been called back to work.  Well, I was called at 0330, and just like a military revalry, I am up and going and on the freeway making the 30 minute drive into work. I tell you, it isn’t easy driving at 330am, sleep in your eyes, people on my freeway trying to get an early weekend start into Vegas–good ol’ Route 66–darkness and lights swirling together, while I glance off the freeway wondering if there is an all night Starbucks.  Or an all night anything.

Problem # 1 with a small town: I know where the expression small, sleepy town comes from.  The place shuts down at 8pm.  Seriously. It’s like living in a demilitarized zone where curfew and lights out take effect at 8pm.  Curtains drawn, save for that one creepy woman who peeks out her window and makes the stubble on your legs stand up.

Problem#2 with a small town: On-call shifts at the local hospital.  Unless you’ve been waken up from a sound sleep to go into work and be there in 30mins or less you couldn’t even begin to understand.  Maybe the Domino’s pizza delivey kid gets it…and firemen, but it is a cruel way to live. 

You know I’m spacey when I compare the pizza guy with a fireman, by the way.

Well, I am awake and probably won’t see my bed until tonight again.  So I am going to seize this opportunity to research some marketing so when I do get home I can concentrate on writing.

See you soon Sony laptop.  Miss you warm bed. Hello double time and differential.

Blog/Video Tour Under Construction: How & Why’s

The acceptance emails are coming in and I am renewing my excitement levels.  I didn’t think there wold come a point where my excitement about my book would drop, but after endless hours of marketing and research it felt like this book was more work than fun and my luster was quickly waning.  So I decided it was time to perk up and start that blog/video tour on my to-do list.  The dog is wagging his tail so I must be on the right course and sending out positive vibes.

The tour will run approximately  3-5 days, but I am hoping to get 7 days out of it.  The festivities will end July 24th on my birthday. This will be my way of celebrating my birthday–something I haven’t really done in about 18 years, since my son was born only 4 days before my birthday, hence loss of birthday celebrations and get to forever remain 20 yrs old.

One question I am often asked is: What is a blog tour?

Simple. A blog tour is a book tour except instead of traveling outside your physical home, you travel on other people’s blogs as a guest.  It works several different ways and there are no rules so you can be quite creative with it:

  • Guest blogger: I have seen some authors do a guest blog posting where the author writes about something to do with writing or the book and then leaves a, “where to buy the book,” link at the end.
  • Interview: the blogger hosts an interview with the author.
  • Question & Answer session: This is where the blogger will ask his/her audience in advance to post any questions they may have related to the book, author, or publishing. The questions are forwarded to the author and he/she answers.  The Q&A is then posted to the blog on a specified date.
  • Review: This is a basic book review from the blogger.
  • Video Blog (Vlog) : This can either be an interview live, through Skype, or a video book review which is then posted to YouTube, Metacafe, or Daily Motion.

Why do a blog/video tour? It is exposure to you, the author, and also to the people hosting your tour.  Each blog stop will link to your book, blog, or other page as requested.  This is good exposure to the author because he is reaching outside of the box and gaining exposure to the fans of the blog he is on that day.  But each blog will also list a date of events and the links to those other dates/sites, or, you have each blog link to the blog the day before and the day after them.  This is good for bloggers because it will send other readers to their site. Free exposure all the way around and who doesn’t like free?

So far I have three confirmations and I’m waiting on a few other confirmations or denials.  I have only had one denial so far.  Here is my current line up and will continue to grow.  If you are interested in hosting one of my stops please let me know. I will also give you more information on my giveaways offered to your readers.

Confirmed Sites:

David McGowan, author of, “The Hunter Inside.”   davidmcgowanauthor.com

Teresa Mccluskey, book reviewer at, “Freebies 4 My Family.”

Michelle Proulx, author  in editing phases right now http://michelleproulx.wordpress.com/

Just added a minute ago:

Katherine Nader, author of, “The Deadly Mark”  http://katherinenader.tumblr.com/post/24186778425

 

My name is Tania L Ramos. I am a registered nurse and an author.  My book, “Be Still,” is now available online at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.  For updates & milestones follow me at Facebook.com/tanialramosbooks and don’t forget to hit the like button

Lucky 7 Meme

The Lucky 7 Meme Award was given to me by David McGowan (DavidMcGowanAuthor.com), who wrote, “The Hunter Inside,” which is  a book I reviewed a few weeks ago.  You can read the review here: David McGowan Interview

The Lucky 7 Meme Award Rules are as such:

1. Go to the 7th or 77th page of your Work in progress.

2. Go to the 7th line of the page.

3. Copy the next 7 sentences or paragraphs. Remember, they must be as they are typed.

4. Tag 7 authors.

5. Let them know they’re it!

Since David went with his alien theme, I’m going with mine too.  Here is a snippet from my current work in progress, “Zombies versus Aliens.”

*****

By the time she lands on the ground the elephant has been penetrated a dozen times.  It’s a zombie, I say under my breath, stabbing it won’t work.

The elephant rears up on its hind legs while thrashing its bleeding head around.  The larger elephant is stumped as it catches the scent of fresh blood on the air.  She’s smart, I whisper as the larger elephant wraps its massive jaw around the bleeding neck of the smaller elephant.  In four quick snaps the neck of the smaller elephant is devoured and it is dead.

Rules of zombies: Any blood is fair blood.

*****

Here are seven authors I follow, there are more, but these ones are the ones that show up on my feed the most so I am exposed to them the most:

Dean J Baker at http://deanjbaker.wordpress.com/

Belle DiMonte at http://belleofmountains.wordpress.com

Louise  http://myotherbookisatolstoy.wordpress.com

Julia http://juliathewritergirl.wordpress.com

Andrew K Kuhavervicz http://adventuresinamericanwriting.wordpress.com

And my two new Iuniverse friends:

Michelle Proulx http://michelleproulx.wordpress.com

Katherine Nader http://katherinenader.tumblr.com

Why Jack Silver Had ALS (Lou Gehrig’s)

I was asked why my main character in, “Be Still,” has Lou Gehrig’s? This is not a spoiler alert, it is in the first chapter.  At first it took me some time to decide what kind of disease my character would have and I didn’t want to go with the same disease I used in my first book, “When I Thought I Was Tough,” (and I can’t give that disease because it would be a spoiler).

As a nurse who works in a very busy and very small hospital, I get the opportunity only once in a while to actually talk to a patient.  This is rare, if you have ever been a patient or worked in a hospital setting then you know this to be true.  One day I was assisting in turning a patient, a very young woman with a bright, sunny smile and a handsome man sitting by her side with the exact same disposition.  Her legs were weak and appeared at first sight to be slightly small for her body size.  She wasn’t a big woman, in fact she was quite petite, which is why I noticed the smallness of her legs.

The woman was able to use her hips to help in rolling her over and she constantly apologized for being such an inconvenience, but she continued to smile the entire time.  At such a young age, and with her wonderful attitude, I assumed she had merely been injured skiing at one of our local mountains.  So I asked why she was in the hospital and she quickly justified my rational.  It was a snowboarding accident.

But there was more–

This woman had been diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s as many people know it by.  She had been diagnosed nearly two years prior and told she only had months–maybe a year at most–to live.  She laughed and took her husband’s hand and squeezed it tight and said, “I had a choice to make: give in and die, or fight, fight, fight.” She chose not to give in and put up one hell of a fight.  Every time the docs gave her a “deadline” she proved them wrong by taking on some adventure on her given “expiration” date.  Her first adventure was skydiving at her six month mark when she should not have been walking.  Her second adventure was jetskiing in Hawaii on her one year mark and expected time of demise.  She began taking these excursions every three months and sending her doctor pictures and postcards showing her desire to live life to the fullest.

I was in amazement and a bit teary eyed, but she never faltered.  She held her husband’s hand and gave him a smile.  Her latest trip was learning to snowboard but she fell and summarily broke a bone.  This would be, as she put it, time not so well wasted.  Without use of her legs during recovery, she knew it would allow the disease to start moving at a faster pace.  She looked at me and said, “Guess I fought off the inevitable too long.  Sometimes God has to push you down a hill, strapped to some board on your feet, and send a squirrel to cross you path, and cause you to lose balance.” She paused, and I finally detected a redness in her eyes.  “I’m okay with it.  I lived and loved and now I get to meet Jesus.”

She made it three years beyond her “expiration” date before she died.  Her husband was at the hospital visiting a friend and recognized me as the girl who turned his wife every two hours.  He told me she did go on to walk with a cane after the leg injury and she continued to fight until her very last day, but in the end, she was called home.  Those were his words. He thanked me for my kindness then disappeared down the hall and I never saw him again.

When I started writing the character of Dr. Jack Silver for my book, I initially gave him Grave’s Disease and created this story line around that.  But at one point the story of the woman with ALS came back to me and stayed with me for days.  I knew I had to change Jack’s disease to ALS and to let my readers know that this disease is out there and that, to date, there is still no cure.

My character chose to give up hope.  He chose to give in to a diagnosis for his own personal reasons.  But I still remember that petite woman, the one with the bright smile, the woman who held her husband’s hand, who skydived, jet skied, and snowboarded despite her diagnosis and the timeline she was given. For the life of me I do not remember her name, but I remember her story.  And through my book others will know about ALS and be a little more aware.  It was because of a woman who wouldn’t quit that my character came to be who he is.  He doesn’t have her strength by any means, but he shares her illness, as do so many others.

to learn more about ALS please visit ALSA or search ALS on WordPress to read about other stories.

My name is Tania L Ramos and I am a registered nurse, author, and loved by my family.  To learn more about my book  please visit www.BeStillNovel.com

Real Life Drama Turned Fiction

Today I want to get back to a bit of a lighter side despite the fact that I have a million publishing topics to blog about.  I realize I have moved away from some of the fun in my blogs and delved straight into the world of the self-published author…not always fun and very gray in the field.

I was thumbing through one of my hardback books and noticed at the very front was the disclaimer stating the events in this book are fiction and not based on people living or dead…blah blah blah.  I’m sure you are all very familiar with this disclaimer in books and movies.  But as I was plotting out a scene in my next book, “Don’t Take the Girl,” I took a real scene from life and plopped it into print.  I try–and hope I succeed–at having drama as well as a splash of comedy in my books, because lets face it, even in real life everyday tragedy there is usually at least one smile.  If this is not true of you then please, please, please find something to smile about.

So in this book, I am dealing with a young college woman who is pregnant and not all too thrilled about it, and there really is nothing funny about an unwanted pregnancy.  This book is very dim and sentimental in many parts so I wanted to ensure that I found a few happy and fun moments to break up the darkness, much like I did in, “Be Still,” and, “When I Thought I Was Tough.” If you haven’t read them, you should.  In one scene where the woman, Gina, feels nauseated, she runs to the bathroom and begins to vomit, “thinking that baby was sure to come up with everything else coming out.” And after a violent and gut retching bout of the heaves, she throws her head back and opens her eyes to complete darkness.  Her heart races even faster at the thought that she has some kind of pregnancy induced blindness.  “Had she read about that somewhere?   Oh well, no mind.  She closed her eyes tight and rubbed.  Why she did this she was unsure; would she rub the darkness out her eyes?”

So she sits there rubbing until it hurts then opening her eyes to darkness each time.  At one point she sticks her finger in her eye just to make sure they are actually open, because it was possible with such blackness that her eyes were still shut.  “With the sting of a finger in her eye she plops backward against the cold wall and suddenly feels a pool of liquid around her legs.  Are you kidding me? She cried from deep within.  Yes, it was exactly what she thought it was: urine.  With such a violent force of puking she had also managed to push on her bladder and pee herself and the ground around.  There she sat, tears in her eyes, the eyes that had gone into some strange pregnancy blindness, her butt soaked in the warm urine underneath her, her mouth rancid and burning of acid, and she wondered if this was punishment for having unprotected sex with a hot beach bum she barely knew.”

“Then, as she continued to poke at her eyes and stretch the lid of her right eye as high as it would go, she noticed something: there was a small red light.  But if she was blind there couldn’t be a light, could there? She wondered.  Did she read about blind people seeing lights? It didn’t matter now.  She stood up and rubbed again at the eyes she had been assaulting with her finger, which were now burning and in pain.  The light grew closer with each step until she could place her hand over it then touch it.  It was some kind of switch? She pushed and suddenly the lights went bright, blinding her painfully poked eyes and at the same time she heard her mom yell from the other side of the door, ‘Are you okay in there? Just so you know you have to reset the timer I put on the light switch last night or the lights will shut off on you.’ Gina hit her head against the wall then slid down in angst.  This is one to tell my kid about.”

How does that relate to real life drama? I was the person in that scene, over five years ago, pregnant with my little girl who turns 5-years-old today.  I was at work at the hospital and the smell of poop made me sick so I ran to the bathroom and puked so violently I pee’d my scrubs, and yes, when I opened my eyes it was dark and I really did think I went into some pregnancy induced blindness.  And yes, it was the timer on the wall that had gone out.  However, I did not think I was being punished for having unprotected sex with a hot beach bum.  I simply assumed I had went blind.  Trivial and funny today, life altering and not so funny in the moment of thinking you have pregnancy induced blindness or had literally puked your eyes out!

True life can sometimes make for the best scenes in a book.  It is much easier for me to write about things I know than things I don’t.  And when life gives you drama that is stranger than fiction, then I say turn it into fiction.  I keep a running log/journal of strange things I have heard of or had happen to me, so when I need a little craziness in a scene I look at my log and pick something that fits in.  Of course I change names and skew the events so people don’t come throwing poop at my front door, but real life drama turned fiction sometimes makes for one amazing retelling of strange events.  So don’t be afraid to add a little real life drama into your book, and if you can look back and laugh about it or muster the courage to talk about it then take the next big step and blog about.  The scenes in my books that most people really talk about are the ones that really happened.  I truly think it is because it is personal and I can tell you exactly how I felt, not guess at it.

Happy Birthday Jorja-Rayne! I’m sure I’ll be writing about the mad adventures of assembling your two-wheeler, big girl bike someday.

I am the author of two books, my latest book, “Be Still,” received the Editor’s Choice and Rising Star awards.  Follow me at my home page, TaniaLRamos.com to see what I am up to and to see the book trailer.