Me and my book blurb


Picture courtesy of:
Picture courtesy of:

As a beginner, I tried to get to know more about book blurbs since I needed to write my own. To make sure it will be appropriate and professional, I did some research, asked some experienced writers and found an amazing article, written by Author Traci Sanders, “Taking the fear out of book blurbs,” which I had re-published on my blog End of June 2016.

Out of fear to give out too much information, I wrote it apparently too vague, and it wasn’t intriguing enough. I asked several more writers and got interesting information and an enormous help. One of them, Author Jim Spencer, asked me to send him a quick synopsis, and he then took the time and wrote an entire blurb on my novella, showing me how he would do it. I will be forever grateful for the time and efforts he sacrificed to my helpless self!

In the end, it was me who was not entirely happy with it. Until a fellow blogger and cover designer, Chris, The Story Reading Ape, supported me with his opinion as a reader.

Who would have thought to ask a reader, instead of a writer?

The way this all happened, of course, prompted me to consider the question, whether I, as a reader, am already “too much” thinking like a writer who has to sell the book? Instead of writing what would have intrigued me, as a reader, did I just try to imagine how “the general reader” would like it?

Is the future marketing of the book already clouding my vision?

It seems there are three different ways of thinking a writer has to adopt:

  1. Thinking as a writer
  2. Thinking as a reader
  3. Thinking as a marketing specialist

These three ways apparently can be combined but should at times be separated either, accustomed to the respective situation.

Apparently, I have not yet been able to do so and at this moment it worries me.

Wouldn’t the difficulty be to know when to switch thinking? There are many helpful resources online to cover this topic. But searching for them will need me some more efforts once again.

I would say, there’s so much to learn and so little time…


1st Halloween-Poem Contest

Picture courtesy of:
Picture courtesy of:

It is a great pleasure for me to announce the

1st Halloween-Poem Contest

on ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’.

Every author and poet are invited to participate and deliver a “Halloween-Poem” to my email address:, together with their picture.

There are a few rules to follow:

  1. Your poem needs a Halloween theme.
  2. Your poem needs a minimum of 99 words.
  3. Your poem has to be delivered to my email address until Halloween, October 31, 2015, 9 pm Eastern Time.
  4. Please avoid violence, bad language, and sexual content within the poems. It would be disqualified.

Every poem that meets the rules and is delivered within the deadline will be published here on “Writer’s Treasure Chest” together with the provided picture.

I am honored to announce that the following authors have agreed to participate as judges in the jury who will decide on the winners of the contest:

  1. Author Jim Spencer
  2. Author Pat Shannon/Yeager
  3. Author Juliette Kings
  4. Author F. E. Feeley Jr.
  5. Author A. J. Alexander

Thank you, authors, for your effort to be part of this contest!

There will be three winners in the 1st Halloween poem contest. Each of them is free to choose from the following prizes:

  1. E-Book of “Morning at the Vineyard” written by Juliette Kings
  2. E-book of  “Confessions of a Corporate Slut” by Jacqueline Gum
  3. 1 signed copy of  “Red White and Black Lies” by Jim P. Spencer
  4. E-book of either “The Hunting of Timber Manor” OR “Objects in the Rearview Mirror” OR “Still Waters” by F. E. Feeley Jr.

I’m very grateful for these excellent authors to offer one of their books as a prize in this contest. Thank you!

The contest starts now!! Please, deliver your poem and your picture to my email address:

We’re looking forward to your poems!

A. J. Alexander

Author Spotlight – Jim P. Spencer


Hi! Glad to be here and sharing who I am, not what I am with you.


Please introduce yourself. Jim Spencer1jpg

My real name is James Philip Spencer – I write under the name Jim P Spencer. I live in Western Massachusetts. I am seventy years young and married. I’ve been married to the same woman for almost fifty years. (This is an amazing statistic). I have two children and one granddaughter. I’m retired military (Air Force, Msgt). I’ve worked for numerous corporations- among them the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp and American Express. I have a few degrees (no ivy league names though). I am an avid angler and photographer. I travel whenever I can. There is a rumor going around that I am the real Santa and when I travel, I am checking my naughty and nice list. That is a misconception. The real Santa lives a bit farther north and I am just a simple minion.


1. When did you start writing? 

I had a triple by-pass in 2001 and started writing while recovering. It was so much better than daytime television. I wasn’t very good at video games either. I wrote a short story, which a friend submitted to a contest. I won the contest – even got some money. I had fun writing. Story showing came easy to me.


2. What motivates you to write? 

To fulfill my dreams. The desire to have fun. I love the writing. I love meeting my fans. Writing keeps me out of trouble – mostly anyways.


3. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre? 

I actually write in two. I write mysteries for the money and the joy of fabricating a plot complex enough fascinate but not overwhelm the reader. In addition, I write fantasy because it provides me with an opportunity to discuss social and emotional issues that face most people in a non-threatening way. My fantasy is also a memoir in disguise.


4. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you? 

I have dreams where my writing is going to take me every day. Those dreams provide the impetus to do the hard editing and marketing. In reality, nobody can predict where a dream can take you. I can say without exception that my writing journey is well on its way. It has sent me to places I only dreamed of visiting. It has introduced me to some marvelous people, such as you. My goal is to live another day as well, if not better than I lived today.


5. What motivates you to write? 

I thought I had already answered this one. Maybe I can answer the question differently. I guess in the end–I motivate me. I might even say success and my own achievements. I see this answer begs an explanation. I define success as making my little chunk of the universe a little bit better, a little bit nicer and those little bits could go on for chapters. Achievement? I like to define that as bringing out the best in others by giving my best in everything I do.


6. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it? 

Never had to deal with what some would call writer’s block. Now, I might be tied up for a time on how I want to show an action or to the exact word but never to a dead stop. When I bog down, I just tell the story then come back a fix my problem words. I have lots and many stories to tell.


7. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors? 

Just do it! Don’t listen to any negatives. Have faith in yourself. Put who you are out there! Don’t let your life be one where all you do is check the boxes others define.


8. Please, tell us about your work. 

I have to laugh because I believe my work it simply living. It starts when my feet hit the floor and ends when my head strikes the pillow. It is everything in between. It might be volunteering at the local senor center. It might be trying to capture a moment in my life with a great photograph. It may be just teaching my granddaughter how to tie a fly, catch a trout, and release it. Now, it you want to know about my writing, I’ll tell you. I write a succession of books that I have called “The Seven Knights Series.” It is about seven individual with very different experiences and backgrounds. There are four women and three men. Their mission in life is to make the dark alleys in the world a little better. In book one, they all meet and solve a murder. In book two, these same individuals solve a family mystery. I have seven of these books in various stages of completion. My fantasy with the working title of “Swords and Tomes” is about a Vietnam Vet searching for answers to questions about life. He is whisked away to another dimension where magic has evolved and technology has not. He battles his own demons and those of the dimension until he surmounts one final obstacle that will have repercussions and consequences on both dimensions.


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

You are truly welcome. I hope my interview inspires others to write–or at least try to find some creative way to live life better. I encourage anyone to e-mail me with comments on my books, my work, or just to say hi. My e-mail is I’d love to hear from them and I promise I will answer them at the first suitable time.

Jim Spencer2_red_white_and_black_lies