Author Spotlight – Welcome Back Allan Hudson

It is a very special pleasure for me to welcome you back on ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’. In your former visits we learned about your writing, your writing process and asked for some advice. But there are so many more questions to ask!

Allan Hudson

Let’s see what you can tell us today:

  • Would you please describe your writer’s spot?

My writing spot has changed since my last visit to your popular website Aurora. Previously I had converted my garage to office space to write in. Having sold our house and moved back to the city, I have a separate room where I write. I have all I need, my computer, favorite books, reference books, printer, scanner and I’m close to the coffee pot.

  • Is there a particular plan or schedule you follow with your writing?

I’m much like most folks, a creature of habit. I like writing in the morning. My day starts early and after answering emails and doing the social media thing, I write for several hours almost daily. I like quiet and I find mornings the most productive.

  • Do you think writers often are ‘introverted’ people, preferring to be alone rather than in company?

An interesting question, Aurora. Because writing is a solitary exercise, we are often cast as being introverted and there may be something to the idea. Myself, I enjoy my own company and am not worried about being alone. However, I do like meeting people and my previous career in sales and self-employment meant being extroverted and mingling with folks. I don’t think all writers are introverted.

  • Do you publicly speak or have readings, and if yes, do you have any advice for beginners?

I have participated in readings and I do enjoy such events. With Covid, readings now take place on Zoom or other similar avenues at which I am not comfortable with but I look forward to live events as soon as possible. I do enjoy public speaking. Beginners face the uncertainty of being accepted or their stories liked and it’s normal. My advice is to look for opportunities and it is never as bad as you imagine. Most crowds are warm and receptive.

  • There are so many scams out there for writers and upcoming authors. Did you ever have experience with any of it and do you have advice on how to not get trapped?

This makes me sad. There are so many unethical people wanting to take advantage of our hopes and dreams and a person has to be extremely careful of the idle promises. The best advice here is to befriend another author or writer or through an association of writers and get advice from someone experienced. Don’t make any moves until you do so.

  • Do you have a particular marketing strategy for your books?

It is my one weakness when wanting to sell books. I’m no marketing guru nor do I have a bottomless pile of money to promote my book. I stick with a website, FaceBook, Amazon, and Twitter. I try not to badger my followers with just “buy my book” but inform them of my writing journey and the stories I have to offer. Nothing glamourous, other than neat websites and fellow authors who make an effort to share others’ work. Like you, Aurora. Thank you for this.

  • Did you publish more of your work since your last visit here? If yes, please tell us about it.

Since then, I’ve published the second book in the Jo Naylor series – Shattered Lives. The third book in the Drake Alexander Adventure series – Vigilantes. I’ve been involved in an anthology – Autumn Paths – which was a lot of fun. I’m humbled to be part of the anthology alongside authors I admire and respect. I recently released my latest novella – Father. Based on true events, I changed names and settings. It has been the most fun to write. There has been a terrific response to date and I am anxiously awaiting paperbacks.

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!

Thank you, Aurora. So much fun being here.


Connect with Allan:

www.southbranchscribbler.ca

https://www.facebook.com/southbranchscribbler/

https://www.wattpad.com/user/allanhudson


Allan’s Books:

(Click on the cover to read more or buy)

THE BEST OF WRITER BEWARE: 2021 IN REVIEW – Written By Victoria Strauss

For quite a while now I kept re-blogging warnings of scams and fraud in the literary world, most of them written by Victoria Strauss in the ‘Writer Beware’ blog. I thought it a great idea that she posted a review of 2021, and I decided to share that post too. It might help some of us to escape a trap or two.

Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware®


Ah, 2021. The year that was supposed to deliver us from the pandemic, and instead delivered…well. You know.


At least one expectation didn’t change: scammers gonna scam. Writer Beware was ready. Below are highlights of a busy year of scam hunting, scheme exposing, contract analyzing, and just plain crazy stuff.
IT CAME FROM OVERSEASI know I’m kind of a broken record here, because I’ve written so many posts about them…but the tsunami of publishing/marketing/fake literary agency scams out of the Philippines really is one of the realest and most present dangers for self- and small press-published writers, who are almost exclusively these scammers’ target.


Scam Alert: Chapters Media & Advertising and Its Stable of Imaginary Literary AgentsThis was one of the more elaborate of the Philippines-based scam efforts: the creation of a large roster of fictitious literary agents, complete with fake resumes and/or websites. The “agents” are fronts for referrals to paid services.

CONTINUE READING HERE

A Special Day To Celebrate Me

It’s January 7, once again. And, as usual, I’m 29 years old today. It’s 2022, and I planned to start this year with a trip down a new road, and I’m pretty busy packing up and starting a new adventure. This wasn’t prepared for long, but I’m intensely working on getting everything done because I’ll be on the road next week.

I will take my time and enjoy the drive into the future, looking at it as a symbol for a new start. I’m convinced this is a time full of wonders, miracles, and, finally, happiness.

I’ll start my trip, together with my kitties, and I will enjoy every mile of it. I will look into that adventure with a smile, and I won’t care about the 29th birthday because this year will be my year, and I’ll experience interesting, thrilling, and exciting things! You will find out. But first, I’ll be on the road for a while.

Picture courtesy of Greenplanet.com

But for the moment, maybe you can help me celebrate my birthday by sharing my books? I’d really appreciate it if you could share them, whenever and wherever you can. As a birthday wish, this is huge for me!

SOUL TAKER

After long years in the line of duty as a ‘Soul Taker,’ Kate is worn out.

When she gets a new job offer from the ‘Powers Above,’ she accepts her new job as a Guardian gratefully without knowing that her teacher is one of the most powerful beings in existence, the Archangel Raphael.

Along with Raphael, she takes on her new task and the connection between them grows.

Raphael helps, protects and supports Kate, but suddenly, she becomes a target for the Demons of Hell.

Raphael realizes that Kate means more to him than he expected, which causes him to fight furiously against danger. If he fails, Kate’s future will contain eternal darkness, Evil, and torture.


SUNDANCE

Sundance is a promising young Warrior Angel, the first in centuries to join the Divine Army. With the help of one of the most powerful Archangels, her skill and talent develop, allowing her to master some of the most difficult tasks that face her kind.

Sundance, under the supervision of the ‘Council of Twelve’, seeks to prove that she deserves her unusual gifts in the eternal fight between good and Evil. Follow her adventures as she discovers love, fights the good fight, and finds herself in the heat of battle trying to keep her wings from being singed.


DEMON TRACKER

Zepheira is the best Demon Tracker working for the Good side. With her unusual looks, her phenomenal sense of smell, and her bravery, she quickly draws ‘The Big 7’s attention to her talent. They hire her to find one of them. Leaving her familiar surroundings and regular work environment unsettles Zepheira at first. But the challenge to prove herself and to increase the reputation of her infallibility tempts her. She is convinced she will be a great asset to ‘The Big 7’. Little does she know she will be a much greater asset in Heaven’s fight against Evil. Zepheira suddenly becomes more than a hired tracker. She finds herself an important pawn in the game of love, heat, and fire. Will her courage and sacrifice be sufficient to dance with the flames?


Bounty Hunter

When Centriel roams the Earth in a dark mood and atypical despair, in a mountain clearing, far from humankind, he unexpectedly discovers a runner, followed by a petite hunter. The way the woman treats the giant fugitive amuses the Archangel, but he quickly learns that neither of them are what they seem to be.

Simin Arnatt is an extraordinary woman. Her occupation as a Bounty Hunter takes her all over the world, as she follows her prey to the most unusual places. She would have never expected to meet the famous Centriel while on a hunt. When he offers to help her, she feels the enormous attraction, but she knows, with the secret she holds, she could never dare to hope for love.

Neither of them could guess that with her next assignment, Hell is breaking loose…


That’s one of my wishes… to bring my books to the reader’s heart.

I would love to hear how you like the stories around ‘The Council Of Twelve.’

Thank you for making this day special for me.

Picture courtesy of Google.com

Promote on ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ – in 2022

It’s 2022 and ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ is seven years old.

I am very proud to have this blog up and its success and progress grew significantly. I thank all followers and readers for making this such a pleasurable experience and a great adventure for me.

There is, however, one thing that I’d like to extend even more: The chance for many other writers to use “Writer’s Treasure Chest” as a promotional platform.

  • Do you feel like trying how it is to publish blog posts?
  • Do you have anything important to say?
  • Would you like to show up on this blog?
  • Do you have a book to promote?

Use “Writer’s Treasure Chest” and contact me for

  • a Blog Tour
  • a “Featured Author Interview”
  • a “Guest Post”

So many things are possible, and I’d like to give you a chance to introduce yourself and your work here!

For once I used the contact form within a blog post and hope you will use it!

Generally, ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ does have a contact form on the right side, as a widget.

It is always there! Check it out and contact me, I’ll be delighted to work with you on your plans, your guest post, your blog tour, or send you the sheet with the interview questions!

I will be proud to have you as a guest on ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’.

Books As Christmas Presents – The Council Of Twelve Series – By A. J. Alexander

It’s Christmas Time!

Books make the best presents!

Picture courtesy of Google.com

A. J. Alexander’s Books

SOUL TAKER

After long years in the line of duty as a ‘Soul Taker’, Kate is worn out.

When she gets a new job offer from the ‘Powers Above’, she accepts her new job as a Guardian gratefully without knowing that her teacher is one of the most powerful beings in existence, the Archangel Raphael.

Along with Raphael, she takes on her new task and the connection between them grows.

Raphael helps, protects and supports Kate, but suddenly, she becomes a target for the Demons of Hell.

Raphael realizes that Kate means more to him than he expected, which causes him to fight furiously against danger. If he fails, Kate’s future will contain eternal darkness, evil, and torture.


SUNDANCE

Sundance is a promising young Warrior Angel, the first in centuries to join the Divine Army. With the help of one of the most powerful Archangels, her skill and talent develop, allowing her to master some of the most difficult tasks that face her kind.

Sundance, under the supervision of the ‘Council of Twelve’ seeks to prove that she deserves her unusual gifts in the eternal fight between good and evil. Follow her adventures as she discovers love, fights the good fight, and finds herself in the heat of battle trying to keep her wings from being singed.


DEMON TRACKER

Zepheira is the best Demon Tracker working for the Good side. With her unusual looks, her phenomenal sense of smell, and her bravery, she quickly draws ‘The Big 7’s attention to her talent. They hire her to find one of them. Leaving her familiar surroundings and regular work environment unsettles Zepheira at first. But the challenge to prove herself and to increase the reputation of her infallibility tempts her. She is convinced she will be a great asset to ‘The Big 7’. Little does she know she will be a much greater asset in Heaven’s fight against Evil. Zepheira suddenly becomes more than a hired tracker. She finds herself an important pawn in the game of love, heat, and fire. Will her courage and sacrifice be sufficient to dance with the flames?


Bounty Hunter

When Centriel roams the Earth in a dark mood and atypical despair, in a mountain clearing, far from humankind, he unexpectedly discovers a runner, followed by a petite hunter. The way the woman treats the giant fugitive amuses the Archangel, but he quickly learns that neither of them are what they seem to be.

Simin Arnatt is an extraordinary woman. Her occupation as a Bounty Hunter takes her all over the world, as she follows her prey to the most unusual places. She would have never expected to meet the famous Centriel while on a hunt. When he offers to help her, she feels the enormous attraction, but she knows, with the secret she holds, she could never dare to hope for love.

Neither of them could guess that with her next assignment, Hell is breaking loose…

Silent Night – A Christmas Song

Picture courtesy of Amazon.com

A few years ago, the globally best-known Christmas song was determined. Of course, there was a long list of excellent, famous songs, like ‘Feliz Navidad,’ or ‘White Christmas’ to choose from.

But even though Bing Crosby’s song was the most successful, it wasn’t the best-known song.

Also, ‘Last Christmas’ by Wham was very successful and often streamed. But despite it being played almost too often around the world by uncountable radio stations, the song isn’t the best-known Christmas song in the world. However, some people are convinced it’s the most annoying Christmas song.

The best-known Christmas song, translated into 320 languages and dialects, is ‘Silent Night, Holy Night.’

In 1818, in Salzburg, Austria, curate Joseph Mohr wrote the words as a poem first and then searched for a composer who could vitalize his rhymes. Franz Xaver Gruber found the correct intonations and wrote the melody down on paper. (That particular paper was found in Salzburg in 1995).

The song was declared an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2011.

‘Silent Night’ was recorded and sold by numerous singers globally. And here we are, meeting Bing Crosby again. His version of Silent Night was sold over 30 million times.

Even though the original text contained six stanzas, the Silent Night is often sung with three stanzas: the first, the second, and the last.


SILENT NIGHT

English lyrics

Silent night, holy night!
All is calm, all is bright.
Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child.
Holy infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight.
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia,
Christ the Saviour is born!
Christ the Saviour is born

Silent night, holy night!
Son of God love’s pure light.
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth

Kelly Clarkson, Trisha Yearwood & Reba McEntire (2013)

German lyrics

Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht
Alles schläft; einsam wacht
Nur das traute hochheilige Paar.
Holder Knabe im lockigen Haar,
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh!
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh!

Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht,
Hirten erst kundgemacht
Durch der Engel Halleluja,
Tönt es laut von fern und nah:
Christ, der Retter ist da!
Christ, der Retter ist da!

Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht,
Gottes Sohn, o wie lacht
Lieb’ aus deinem göttlichen Mund,
Da uns schlägt die rettende Stund’.
Christ, in deiner Geburt!
Christ, in deiner Geburt!

Stille Nacht, by Peter Alexander, a famous Austrian singer, 1926 – 2011

Silent Night has always been mine and my Father’s favorite Christmas song. I remember very clearly with how much passion he sang this Christmas carol and how much he loved it. Even though he passed away 24 years ago, until this day, I cannot sing Silent Night anymore without being forced to give up, choked by tears.

I still love to hear it, year, by year, by year, that beautiful song, filling my heart with hope and peace.


Picture courtesy of 8tracksradio.com

A PAY TO PLAY BOOKSTORE SCHEME: THE READING GLASS BOOKS – Written By Victoria Strauss

Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware®


I’ve recently gotten several reports of phone solicitations from a New Jersey-based bookstore called The Reading Glass Books.


Why would a bookstore be calling authors out of the blue? Well in this case, to sell shelf space: $350 for six months. Authors can direct the store to sell the books at whatever price they like, and will get “100% of the royalties” (which of course makes no sense, since direct sales proceeds are not royalties). And if you’re thinking that the store will order the books…no, no, no, don’t be silly. Authors must provide their own copies.


Paid shelf space for self-published authors isn’t a new idea. Here’s one entrepreneur who set up a bookstore entirely on that model (the store closed in 2019). And a few years ago there was some media coverage of independent bookstores that were renting shelf space to self-pubbed and small press writers–in some cases for a good deal more than $350.


Whatever you may think of paying for shelf space, these were all real brick-and-mortar stores in the business of selling books to the public–not exploitative schemes aimed primarily at extracting money from writers. Based on its solicitation phone calls, sketchy website, and array of other paid services, my guess was that The Reading Glass Books fell into the latter category. I wanted to be sure, though, so I did some research. 


Reading Glass claims a physical address–7 Wrightstown Cookstown Road (aka County Road 616) in Cookstown, New Jersey. To my surprise, there actually is a storefront. It’s located in a small strip mall on a relatively empty stretch of road. Here’s an image,, courtesy of Google (note the prime location, between Air Transport International and Domino’s Pizza): 

CONTINUE READING HERE

Advent Wreath – A Christmas Preparation

History

The first Advent wreath was created in 1839 by Johann Hinrich Wichern, a theologist and teacher. He made that advent wreath with four big and twenty small candles to bring joy to the street children. During their time of these poor children in the Rauhen House Hamburg, they all together could count the days until the evening before Christmas.

This first Advent wreath became a tradition during the advent time, which means the four weeks before the Holy Night. (December 24). Later, people made their Advent wreaths, smaller versions with four candles, which they placed on their tables. The idea for an advent wreath reminds us of much older paintings and images of light garlands of the Vikings and the Huns. But with the traditional Advent colors red, green, and purple, the form mainly refers to the Christian beliefs.

Later on, the tradition spread out from the North of Germany to the South, Bavaria, Austria, and Switzerland in the late 19th century.

Tradition and use

As mentioned before, the tradition says, the first Advent Sunday, four weeks before the Holy Night, the first candle will be lit. From this day on, that first candle is generally lit every evening, where, in Christian households, family members usually pray. On the second Sunday, the first and second candles are lit, the third Sunday, the third candle is added, and so on.

The candles are the tools to hold the raising light that announces the birth of Jesus Christ, who is called ‘The Light of the world,’ born December 24, in a stable in Bethlehem.

According to the Tradition, the first Advent Sunday in 2021 was November 28.

Picture courtesy of T-Online

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom the power,
and the glory are yours now and forever.

Amen.

Goodbye Little Writing Assistant – Charlet & The Rainbow Bridge

With a heavy heart, I had to take one of my Writing Assistants to the vet. I introduced my “Writing Assistant #2” in a blog post last June.

In November last year, Charlet was diagnosed with cancer. Together with her vet and medication Charlet lived another year, played, purred, and played pranks. Today I had to say goodbye to my little black tabby Maine Coon girl.

Two and a half years ago we moved across the ocean together. Today she traveled on without me.

Charlet crossed the Rainbow Bridge at around 2:30 pm on December 1, 2021.


A Tribute To Charlet

You were my kitty for full nine years

You brought me joy, annoyance & some fears.

You made me laugh and sometimes yell

But you got me stories that I now can tell.

You showed me love, and heart, and also trust

You left toys in the sink and vomit in the dust.

But never you bored me, my wonderful cat

No matter how much you annoyed me, I give you that.

And now, after illness, I can see the big part

You left me your paw prints right across my heart.

Fly free, little Charlet, go straight where’s no rain

Where you’re free of any burdens, fear or pain.

And one day, when I’m ready to walk the same street

That’s where I’ll find you, that’s where we’ll meet.

(Copyright, Aurora Jean Alexander, December 2021)


How To Build Your Author Platform When You Have No Clue What That Means – Written By Rachel Thompson

on Bad Redhead Media:

When I first started in the publishing industry over ten years and seven books ago, the nebulous concept of an author platform sounded like a vague box of ‘things’ a writer would buy at the Invisible Writer Internet Store.

“Want the deluxe package?” an oily salesman with an extreme side part would ask. “I don’t know,” I would shrug. “How much does it cost?” I’d ask this snake-oil dude. He would smile, wryly, “That depends.”

Sound familiar? Still confusing. I know.

This is how a seasoned writer explained an author platform to me at the time that helped me make sense of it all:

Think of your author platform as a deck. Each tactic is a plank. Without a full deck, your platform isn’t solid. It’s flimsy. Building each plank will give you a solid foundation to work from when selling your book so nothing falls through.

This helped. A lot. And make no mistake: while you may tell yourself you’re allergic to marketing, don’t know what it is, or that it’s all ‘shameless self-promotion’ (it’s not if you’re doing it correctly), you DO want people to read your work, right?

You have a choice here: be the oily salesperson or be strategic about it. Time to stop covering up your eyes and ears and do the work.

Let’s talk about all the planks. Well, at least the most important ones and why they matter, as well as how they impact your platform.

Continue reading HERE