I #Failed | Good – Now Go Fail Again – A #Writer’s Tale

Yeah so…I think I’m ready

Ready for what you may ask if you care…

Ready to get back down to the business of writing something worthy of your read.

Something worthy of myself and my abilities. You see, as a writer…especially a writer with a day job, family, other obligations etc. etc. and a husband who likes to talk…A LOT, (yeah I know what you’re thinking, most women would be ecstatic) I get distracted beyond measure.

To be honest…no, to be truthful, I’ve allowed myself to become distracted…repeatedly for over two years. I craved it. I went on a quest for distraction.

I’ve sworn to myself almost daily that I would write. I do in fact write quite a bit for my day job in sales and marketing but that’s content and copywriting. It’s creative in a different way. Yes, I’m telling stories about a product or products to sell them but I’ve neglected the most important product I have…myself.

For three years, I was immersed in writing books, editing books, choosing covers, designing covers, publishing and marketing my books. Once I went independent there was no going back…or so I thought. Today, I realized I’ve failed myself. I’ve failed my readers. Looking back, my doubts that I’d ever succeed as a writer crept slowly in like the sunset and it stayed dark. Not North pole dark or Alaska or something where you know in a month or two the sun will rise again. I’m talking eternal night.

If you read anything on my blog, especially this week, you’ll see I went on an adventure. A real life adventure and was out there in the real world doing real world stuff with real people. What I’ve discovered is I have been in a terrible rut and although I enjoyed my adventure tremendously for the most part, I was terribly uncomfortable in my own skin. I felt restrained, stressed and even weary at times because I created this monster. The monster being me. The monster who has so much crammed into her brain all the time now with no outlet that I find it nearly impossible to relate to anyone outside of my closest circle. I can’t even open up my feelings anymore unless I’m about to explode. I feel backed into a corner and yet I crave the corner and press further and further into it until that’s all there is.

It all started when I finished my last book. It was collaboration that was beyond wonderful yet beyond excruciatingly painful at the same time. The whole process of rewriting a book in my own voice caused changes in my creativity that I could not have foreseen for it was immediately after the book was closed on that endeavor that I became stagnant. This was worse than writer’s block, this was flat lining.

I couldn’t see it. I couldn’t feel it anymore. My insatiable hunger to pour out my very heart and soul into words became a tangible need to avoid it at all costs. I tried…I really tried. I’d sit for hours in front of a blank screen. One of my dearest writer friends / a real friend, encouraged me and did her level best to lift me up and turn the lights back on in my brain but all I could do was write a few chapters, tear them apart, write them again and them slam my laptop closed.

It hurt. I cried. I ate…way too much. I felt alone and lost and worst of all, a complete and utter failure.

Seven books. I wrote and published seven books in the span of three years. Obviously I had stories to tell. They have pretty great reviews and some have won awards so I must have been doing something right. I spent more money than I made, on marketing, and even gave away thousands of kindle copies just to get my name out there. I’m no different than any other independent author in that respect and I know that. I’m just an example of that quote, “The moment you’re ready to quit is usually the moment right before the miracle happens…don’t give up.”

After three years of nonstop writing and publishing…no miracle. I let go.

I felt like no matter what I did, I was never going to reach the level of success I wanted. Not fame or fortune, although money wouldn’t hurt but I wanted that best seller status. I wanted to see my books out there…everywhere…

That’s where I fucked up.

Then this quote hit me hard…

But first, I had to admit to myself that I didn’t quit…

I GAVE UP.

I started because of the voice in my head that evolved into a story about a little boy with special gifts who kept nagging me to tell his tale.

I started because for 48 years of my life, or at least as far back as I could recall, I always wanted to be a writer. I knew there were stories I needed to tell. I knew I could make it happen and all I had to do was sit down and write.

Of course there was a whole lot more to it than that but I didn’t know and I didn’t care and I knew failure at that time wasn’t an option. All I could think about from the time I woke up in the morning until the time I went to bed at night was writing. I chomped at the bit all day until I could get on this old keyboard and tell you all about my imaginary friends. I was excited and alive inside…

Alive inside.

Alive on the page.

Alive in my heart and in my mind and filled with dreams and goals and stories.

Somehow they all became clouded and the voices stopped. There was no cataclysmic event. There was no physical or emotional turmoil. There were changes of course in the real world but nothing outside myself caused this. This was an internal failure. A break down of the spirit and joy writing had given me because it became so much about business and promotion and selling and numbers and fear and doubt…and failure.

Well, today, I started hearing the voices again. I started feeling deep inside a spark of desire and hunger.

I started shaking off the pressure of finishing both my book series’ and perhaps finishing one of the other novels I was writing that are stand alone’s and pitching them to agents. I got ideas for a few other books as well and hurriedly jotted them down, as we do so I didn’t lose them.

Failure is a fact of life.

We go where we have to go, inside of ourselves and sometimes, a fishing trip or just shutting out the noise of day to day life can open a window in your mind and allow you to see yourself even in the dark.

I withdrew not only from the world but from myself because I was disappointed in my failure to achieve the goals I thought I wanted. Now I see what I wanted wasn’t the truth of it. I had to fail. I had to go through this darkness to understand I had lost that part of myself in the process that gave me the gift and the desire to write in the first place.

Did I say I’ve read A Song of Ice and Fire THREE times in the past year? Yes, all of the books in the series. I’m obsessed with George R.R. Martin’s writing and even listen to the audiobooks on my commute. I’ve been studying that master for a year. Inside and out I’ve studied him and I still don’t know half of his genius but nothing will stop me from trying to achieve it. So at least the last year hasn’t been a total literary loss. I’ve been studying and absorbing the craft as much as I can.

Now, I need to go forward.

This will be a process. This will be a rebirth of sorts for me but I’m no longer in the dark. The sky is lighter and the sun is just below the horizon.

Fuck money. Fuck best seller status. Fuck all of it. I just need to write and write often and well.

If the miracle happens so be it.

The real miracle is just knowing I have an outlet for this ballooning information and imagination inside of me that has reached critical mass. Inspiration is everywhere now. Pictures. Sounds. Music. Nature. Sleep. It’s everywhere.

I’ll not force it ever again. I won’t guilt or pressure myself to write. That’s a poison I won’t swallow. There is something that keeps playing in my mind now though. It’s a quote from the Game of Thrones television show. It’s an exchange between two of my favorite characters: Jon Snow and Ser Davos Seaworth.

 

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#Video Book Review of Demons & Pearls by Katherine Hemmer

Several months ago, I saw Katherine was starting a channel for video book reviews. Being the daring soul that I am, risk taker to the max, I decided to send her Demons & Pearls and ask if she wanted to review it. She messaged me back and said she was interested. I sent her a copy via mail and the deal was set.

I didn’t hear from her for a while so of course as we authors often do, I worried she didn’t like it and decided against doing the video. Then I thought, hey, it happens and even if she didn’t like it and did the review, it was at least worth a shot. Any publicity is good publicity as they say.

Suddenly, a couple weeks ago she messaged me and told me she had read it and that the video review would be up soon. Tonight, she posted it and here is the video. If you enjoy her review, please like the video and subscribe for more reviews.

Check out this great pirate adventure book from P. S. Bartlett! Spoiler alert: I gave it 4.5 stars!

P. S. Bartlett’s Instagram
@author_p.s.bartlett

Link to her Amazon Page:
https://www.amazon.com/P.S.-Bartlett/…

My Instagram (PS: You might see photos of my adorable pets!):
@itshemmertime2016

My Facebook Page:
@itshemmertime2016

Hope you like this video and subscribe to my channel.

Check out the first book review I did:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WlnP…

Happy Valentine’s Day! Can You #Help Me Out?

As you know,  I’ve been bombarding you with the news that ALL of my #Kindle books are free this week.

Today, I ran a Freebooksy promotion for Fireflies and it’s going like hot cakes!

As of this writing, the book is sitting at #100 on the Kindle top 100 Free list!

Did I mention today is also my birthday? 🙂

If Fireflies could make it to the #1 free Kindle book on Amazon, that would be the best birthday present I could get!

Please share with your friends and let me know you shared it, so I can enter you to win a free audiobook of either Fireflies, Hope From the Ocean or Ivory Dawn.

Here’s the link to go and download Fireflies right now!FREE BOOKSDon’t forget! ALL of my books are free this week!

Thank you so much for reading and sharing!

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

You Don’t Want to Miss This #Deal!

FREE BOOKS

Please take a look at some reviews and information on all of my books.

FIVE STARS: Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite

Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling, The Razor’s Adventures Pirate Tales is an historical adventure novel written by P.S. Bartlett and Ronovan Hester. Captain Gabriel Wallace had no idea that his presence in a tavern filled with Royal Navy men and sailors relaxing with their companions would lead to his court martial and expulsion from the Royal Navy. When his lieutenant and good friend, Miles Jacobs, mentioned that there was a problem in the upper level of the tavern involving Admiral Hawthorne’s wife, Wallace had no choice but to intervene. The outraged Admiral was ready to shoot the miscreant who had been with his wife right then and there, and he was oblivious to any attempts made to reason with him. In the fray, the Admiral was stabbed and later died, and Wallace was charged with interfering with the Admiral’s attempts to defend himself. While Wallace escaped imprisonment or the noose, his enemies, particularly the corrupt Admiral Chambers were not through with their vendetta. However, Wallace did not sit idle during the month he spent awaiting trial. He had been busy following the trail of evidence against those who had long wished his family harm, and he had made a few plans of his own.
P.S. Bartlett and Ronovan Hester’s historical adventure novel, Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling, The Razor’s Adventures Pirate Tales, is an exciting and fast-paced story set in the early eighteenth century. As I read of Captain Wallace’s trial and expulsion from the Royal Navy and his decision to turn to piracy, I was reminded of Sabatini’s classic pirate adventure tale, Captain Blood. The action scenes in this novel are vivid and filled with sounds and images, and the plot is compelling and complex. The authors’ characters are marvelously portrayed, especially that of Miles Jacobs, whose loyalty and concern for his friend prompts him to put everything at risk. Amber Wake is well-written and the plot is a delight. Anyone who’s ever enjoyed a good pirate movie (and who hasn’t?) or found themselves wrapped up in a classic adventure novel will have a grand time reading this authentic and suspenseful tale. It’s highly recommended.

Ivory Shepard didn’t want to be a pirate when she grew up but she didn’t plan on being orphaned and alone at thirteen with her three cousins either.
After a Spanish raid in Charles Towne left them with nothing, Ivory held her cousins together, trained them to fight for their lives and led them to a life of quiet refuge on the banks of the Ashley River. Believing they were out of reach of the hands of unscrupulous men, they found life on the farm a tolerable substitute for the traditional alternatives life would force onto them—until the night the pirates showed up.
Unfortunately for the pirates, these handy young women were ready, and they weren’t going anywhere without a fight.

This novella is a prequel to DEMONS & PEARLS.

FIVE STARS: Reviewed by Sarah Stuart for Readers’ Favorite

Ivory Shepard, known as The Razor, narrates her own story in P.S. Bartlett’s Demons & Pearls (The Razor’s Adventures Book 1). It opens when the pirate ship, Demon Sea, attacks a merchant vessel. Not satisfied with taking her cargo, Captain Barclay commands that her crew be slaughtered. The Razor, who has travelled thus far accompanying her three female cousins with the promise of Barclay’s protection on the voyage to a new life in Jamaica, sees him for the unprincipled man he is and kills him. She is determined to settle her three young female cousins in Jamaica, and claim her own freedom to live as she pleases.
Chapter one opens with a battle at sea. With the captain dead by Ivory’s hand, another is elected. After much argument, the four girls arrive safely in Port Royal where the new captain, McCormack, offers them refuge in his own home, but is the offer as generous as it appears? His wife, Millie, an ex-whore, is not the lady she pretends to be and Ivory discovers that the fortress the captain calls home is a trap; a holding house for girls destined for sale.
Demons & Pearls is the story of Ivory Shepard, The Razor, who recounts the adventure. Demons and Pearls is an action-packed thriller where The Razor’s problems are compounded by sexual discrimination. To be a sailor, she must adopt the appearance of a man. When Captain Berman, Big Red, sees through her disguise, the sexual tension is stretched taut as a circus high wire. P.S. Bartlett has written a book that is impossible to put down. I recommend Demons & Pearls to anyone who enjoys a gripping, fast-paced story full of cliffhangers and surprises.

After finding love in the most unlikely of places, Ivory’s life appears to at last be falling into place. Having proven herself a force to be reckoned with, she has at last set sail for the first time as a pirate. The only problem is she’s a woman and must disguise herself in order to set foot on a ship. Being in love with her captain isn’t helping matters either and whole new set of obstacles are presenting themselves at every turn. Her brash style and tenacity, however, could prove to make her, her own worst enemy.
With a sword in her hand and her new found love at her side, Ivory Shepard is about to embark on a mission to rescue and return every young woman she can who has fallen prey to the jaded tides of the Caribbean sex trade. Armed with a secret log book she acquired from a pirate captain—who also happened to be an evil smuggler, she believes herself well prepared for the task. As she’s already learned the hard way, pirates always prove to be unpredictable and ruthless. Unfortunately for them, so is she.

FIVE STARS: Reviewed by Michelle Stanley for Readers’ Favorite:

The Blue Diamond (The Razor’s Edge Book One) is a historical romance by P.S. Bartlett. Captain Ivory Shepard’s luck as a pirate nearly runs out when her ship is attacked, and she’s rescued by the handsome, ruthless Captain Carbonale. There’s a reward on Ivory’s head and Captain Carbonale plans to collect it. Ivory doesn’t intend to get hanged, so she plans her escape. She flees to her female cousins who are pirates too. If there is honour among thieves, then Ivory and her cousins are dealing with the most dishonest ones who are willing to double cross them for the loot they have hidden. Ivory is attracted to Captain Carbonale but her distrust for him runs deep, especially when people she’s associated with disappear. She also realises that her cousins have other plans for their future that do not include piracy, and wonders about her own destiny as she constantly tries to battle her way out of being captured.
It’s not often I read stories about female pirates and I am impressed with The Blue Diamond (The Razor’s Edge Book One). P.S. Bartlett writes an entertaining novel that offers great action, adventure and witty dialogue. The personalities of Ivory and her cousins are complex, but I easily connected with them. These are independent, free spirited women with lusty appetites, especially Miranda. Their sense of humour shines through any situation they are placed in. I liked this romantic story which includes some historical data to make it appropriate for that era.

FIVE STARS: Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers’ Favorite

Fireflies, by P.S. Bartlett, is the story of an Irish doctor Owen Whelan and his wife Sarah. They are Irish immigrants. The Whelans had seven children. As we know all children are special. However, the youngest, Ennis, was unique from the beginning. He was born frail and barely survived his birth. He was six years old when his sister Teagan first suspected he was gifted. A tiny bird lay limp on the ground until Ennis held it in his hands; life sprang back into the tiny creature and it flew away. One day when Teagan was washing dishes, she cut her hand on a knife. The cut was deep and bleeding badly but Ennis’ gentle touch soothed her and she felt a warm sensation. When she looked, her hand was healed. At first she insisted she and Ennis should keep his gift of healing a secret. Eventually, however, she had no choice but to tell the family that Ennis could not only heal with his touch but could sense feelings. When the family discovered Ennis’ gifts, they were frightened for him and tried to protect him but Ennis wanted to help people. He could feel their needs pulling him.

Fireflies is a difficult book to review. I don’t want to give away too much and yet I want to share enough to entice readers. P.S. Bartlett has created a paranormal drama/romance/suspense, with a bit of Christianity thrown in. The plot quickly drew me in. One of the many things I liked about this book was the development of not only the main characters but of the secondary ones as well. While certain characters had smaller parts, I felt as if I knew them. This is not a good versus evil paranormal story; it is a story filled with the goodness of the Whelan family. Fireflies is an excellent read and appropriate for middle school, young adults, and adults.

FIVE STARS: Tom Riddell: Story telling at its ultimate best

As a prequel to the authors first book, Fireflies, this book will give you more than a glimpse into Owen’s past and it will explain a lot about the boy behind the man- as he grew up in Ireland. It gives us insight into the relationships that he had with his brother Dillion and also describes in-depth his relationships with his Uncle Dan and his family.
In order to capture the full story I would suggest reading Fireflies first but it’s not necessary as the story line will flow smoothly in whatever order you read them.
PS Bartlett shines in this book, just as she did when she wrote Fireflies. There are times when we will read books and we’ll look forward to finishing them to see how the story ends. As I read Hope From The Ocean, I found myself so enchanted with the story and its characters that I wanted the story to go on forever. The characters are so well developed it’s hard for me to imagine that they are not real. They literally come off the page and live right there beside you as you read. This is story telling at its ultimate best and this one, along with Fireflies, should not be passed over. Everything from the descriptions and dialect of the historical time period, to the wonderful love story that develops will have you craving more from this author.

I hope we have not heard the end of this story. It should continue…

 

Everyone Loves #FREE Stuff…Right?

Extra Extra! P.S. Bartlett announces your chance to get all of these Kindle books, absolutely FREE!

“I am so excited to finally have all of my novels available on audio book this year! Let’s run a free Kindle promotion to celebrate!”

How about a Valentine’s Day treat?

From February 12th – 16th, 2018, you can get every single one of my books #FREE on #KINDLE!

Celebrate Valentines day with some wonderful Historical Fiction and Romance! There’s also plenty of Action, Adventure, and Pirates too!
Free Books on kindle

Free Books on Kindle

Go get your free books! This deal only lasts until Friday February 16, 2018!

Now, to sweeten the pot just a little bit more, I’m also giving away some free copies of my audio books! See below for how you can get a free audio book!

Yep! It’s true! I love Valentine’s Day!

As an indie author, what good is writing all of these books if I can’t get them into the hands (and ears) of readers? What better way to encourage readers to take a chance on my work? If I’m not willing to do whatever is necessary to find wonderful readers, then why have spent thousands of hours writing my stories?

“Stories are just strings of words unless someone reads them.” P.S. Bartlett

Here it is!

There are two ways to enter to win a free audiobook:

  1. Share this blog post! You have to tag me whether you share this on Twitter or Facebook or reblog my post so I know who you are.
  2. Download your free Kindle copy and email me the receipt at authorpsbartlett@aol.com.

At the end of the FREE promotion, I’ll do a random drawing and notify the winners on Sunday February 18, 2018.

Happy Reading!

Giving Away #FREE #Kindle #Books…Oh the Anxiety!

Monday July 10, 2017, I began giving six of my novels away on Amazon Kindle.

I try to run some sort of promotion every six months. Last year, I ran the promotion over the 4th of July holiday with just okay results. I spent a good deal of time planning this promotion over a month in advance and began scheduling ads on various book advertising sites that also send out email blasts and have a great many subscribers.

I applied as well for a BookBub feature but yet again (for about the 10th time) my book was not chosen. Believe me, I know there are authors who’ve submitted ten times that so the rejection isn’t anything new and certainly not personal. That isn’t what makes me anxious.

It’s the personal amount of advertising I do here on my web site as well as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Believe me, I’m working it with all I’ve got! Then periodically throughout the day, I check my stats on KDP to see how it’s going and then my ranking on Amazon. Can you say STRESS?!

Meanwhile, I’m trying to work my day job, be normal and not think too much about it. Ha! As if that’s going to happen. I’m a writer. My brain doesn’t ever shut off, even when I’m asleep.

I’m trying to stay optimistic but to be honest, I’m just not seeing the results I’d hoped for. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. The best you can do is stay optimistic and be grateful that at least your books are getting out there. At least with what little budget you have, you’re doing something to try and reach your goals.

Two and half more days to go! I’d love to hit 10,000 downloads by Midnight Friday. Would you like to help me?

All you need to do is share this post and magic could happen!

Come and get your free books! Click the photo to go to my author page on Amazon and join me on my fantastic voyage!

THANK YOU!
Free Kindle Books