A WOMAN OF MANY TALENTS

Like many authors, Sandy Nachlinger has spent years honing her craft. She took numerous college classes, has attended writer’s conferences, and has spent many lonely hours with fingers flying over the keyboard trying to fashion the perfect story. sandy headshot10best3

Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Sandra has been writing  stories since childhood. She told me she wrote her first romantic tale in elementary school, in pencil on lined paper. And just like the novels she’d later write as an adult, the heroine got a kiss at the happy ending. Sandy still has diaries from her school days, one of which inspired I.O.U. SEX, her first book co-written with her childhood friend, Sandra Allen. Her second book is BLUEBONNETS FOR ELLY. Lately, Sandy has been creating shorter pieces while future novels still simmer in her imagination. Her focus is on contemporary romance, women’s fiction, and personal essays featuring mature women.

Sandy and I met when she first moved to the Pacific Northwest, almost fifteen years ago. We reconnected again at a creative writing class at Pierce County Community College. Once the course ended, several students formed a separate writing group for inspiration and feedback on our stories. That’s when we really got to know each other. The mix of five different women, each writing in a different genre, has been beneficial to us all—and it’s lots of fun.

Sandy is a gifted editor as well. She poo-poos the idea of hanging out a shingle and charging a fee. I’ve encouraged her to do just that though. I never send out any piece of significance without running it by Sandy first. She has an eye like an eagle and can spot a missing comma from miles high. Beyond that she has an uncommon intuitive sense that knows when a story line works and when it doesn’t. I trust her implicitly. I told her she’s going to have to live until she’s one hundred because I plan on writing that long.

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It simply isn’t true that writers are introverts who seldom see sunlight and spend most of their waking hours either reading other authors’ novels or penning another tome. When not writing, Sandy likes to hike, make quilts, garden, take photos, lunch with friends, travel, and spend as much time as possible with her granddaughter, Corinna. Here’s Sandy enjoying lunch in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. Sandy is also written a number of magazine articles about her various pursuits and adventures.  Rollin’ On The River: http://sasee.com/2018/07/01/rollin-on-the-river/

Happy When I’m Hiking: http://sasee.com/2018/04/01/happy-when-im-hiking/

Sandy’s novels are available on Amazon in ebook and Paperback.

 

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I.0.U. SEX: http://www.amazon.com/I-O-U-Sex-ebook/dp/B004CFAPA4/

BLUEBONNETS FOR ELLY: https://www.amazon.com/Bluebonnets-Elly-Sandra-Nachlinger-ebook/dp/B01C7KMBN

 

Dynamic Duo

I’ve never met the man, but he’s become a good friend and I would like to introduce my friends to him. He has a distinguished name, one you won’t easily forget. Caleb Pirtle III was once a newspaperman, winning both the Texas Associated Press and Headliner’s Awards.  Caleb also served as editorial director for Dockery House Publishing in Dallas, Texas for twenty-five years where he developed and produced magazines and books for the corporate and retail marketplace.

Caleb wrote three teleplays: Gambler V: Playing for Keeps, a mini-series for CBS, Wildcat: The Story of Sarah Delaney and the Doodlebug Man, a CBS made-for-television movie, and The Texas Rangers, a TV movie for TNT television. As if that weren’t enough, he has also penned over seventy-five books.  I stand in awe. I’ve poured sweat and tears into five novels. I can’t imagine seventy-five books! I’d like to share one of my favorite Caleb Pirtle novels with you.

Back Side of a Blue Moon

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A Plea for Publicists

I’ve been seriously writing for ten years and have published five books within that time frame. I still report to a full-time job everyday and am raising a teen-age grandson. Writing gets done in the wee hours before sunrise on the weekend. My journey has not always been a smooth ride. I partnered with an online publisher for three years who went bankrupt and folded owing me royalties. Unavailable for sale for almost a year, my books languished while I decided whether to self-publish or find a new publisher.

On the recommendation of a fellow author, Caleb Pirtle III, I chose White Bird Publications of Austin, TX. I like the no BS persona of it’s owner, Evelyn Byrne-Kusch. We are simpatico and I was glad I waited to find a good publisher that I could communicate with.

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A missing piece of the puzzle for me was effective marketing. I’m a writer, not a specialist in advertising or marketing. Book coach and an independent publishing expert Kristen Eckstein recommends spending 50% of your time on writing and 50% on marketing your published and pending books. Whoa! With so little time to write, where was I going to find that kind of time? What I needed, what I wanted was a savvy publicist who could plow the way through the machinations of publishing. I wanted someone who could lift the heavy load for me. Trying to do it all, I felt I was doing none of it well. In addition, I had maxed out more than one credit card buying marketing programs offered by “experts” who guaranteed me success.  Yeah, right.

 

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Once again, my writing buddy, Caleb Pirtle III, gave me a referral. This time to Y&R PR, also of Texas. The company and I had a misunderstanding early on when I bought into a program that Y&R PR decided to close. I was relieved and pleased when the marketing firm assured me they would honor their commitment. They offered a personal publicity program that I had been looking for. From the Y&R PR website: “Let us do the tedious and time-consuming job of getting your name and brand to the public. We work on your behalf, proudly representing your name and acting as an advocate for your talents and goals.”

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I’m not writing this blog as an advertisement for Y&R PR, but rather to point out that there is a huge black hole in publishing, a crying need for right-brained authors who need a publicist who can help writers get their toe in the door of success.

Marketing companies may not be for everyone, but for writers like me whose time is more precious than gold, they offer a chance to get noticed in a country where it’s estimated that up to 1,000,000 books are published every year. On average, writers sell less than 250 copies each. Pretty depressing, huh? 

To my fellow writers, I salute you and understand the difficult journey you’re on.  Whether you slog though the demands of self-publishing and go it alone or like me, you enlist the help of a publicist, it’s a tough path. I liken it to walking on hot coals hoping I’ll get to the other side without third-degree burns.  I’d like to set the world in fire, but not quite like that.  For those of you looking for a publicist, here’s a few links:

https://janefriedman.com/find-book-publicist/

https://reedsy.com/publicity/book-publicist

https://www.upwork.com/o/profiles/browse/?q=book-publicist

http://www.prbythebook.com/services/

http://yandrpr.com/

 

 

 

WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS

 Publishing is a carnivorous business. The competition is keen and it’s a struggle to get your material noticed among the hundreds of thousands of books published yearly. One thing has become crystal clear since I became an author-I’ve learned that I need help and lots of it. I rely on my friends to give me feedback and yes, to help promote my book when it’s done. The Beatles said it so well, “I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends.”

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One of my best friends is Sandra Nachlinger, a talented writer and terrific editor. She is the first person I turn to when my book is complete. She has an awesome editing eye and catches many mistakes in my raw manuscript.

It’s her other gift that I wanted to share with you today. Sandy has penned two romance novels and I asked her how her journey to successful author began. “I wrote my first love story in elementary school. It takes place on Halloween, and the heroine receives a kiss as the happy ending. I’ve written short stories and articles for magazines for many years. My first book (I.O.U. Sex) was co-written with my best friend Sandra Allen in 2010.”

I.O.U. Sex is such an intriguing title. I had to know how the two Sandras came up with that title. Sandy chuckled when she explained, “The idea for my first book came from my high school diary. I’ve known my I.O.U.Sex co-author since 8th grade, and we nearly died laughing when we read my high school diary. Reminiscing about our high school boyfriends and speculating about their current whereabouts led to the book’s premise.”

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I was curious and asked Sandy if she had ever considered contacting her high school boyfriend. I found mine in Fairbanks, Alaska. Her eyes sparkled and she gave me a big grin. “You wouldn’t believe how many people have asked if I.O.U. Sex is based in reality! No, my co-author and I did not track down our high school boyfriends, and we certainly didn’t hook up with them. But we had a lot of fun imagining what would happen if our characters did that.” Pour a glass of wine and settle in for a charming, funny, bittersweet saga.

https://www.amazon.com/I-O-U-Sex-Sandra-Nachlinger-ebook/dp/B004CFAPA4/

Sandy followed her initial novel with Bluebonnets for Elly. “My second book is a more traditional sweet romance with a younger hero and heroine. It was picked up and released by Sweet Cravings Publishing (an imprint of Secret Cravings Publishing). Unfortunately, like many smaller presses recently, they went out of business. I then re-releasefinal-bread-betterd it as a self-published novel. Although bits and pieces of people I’ve known appear in Bluebonnets for Elly, the plot and characters are purely imaginative. However, I spent many summers at Lake Texoma (the book’s setting) and the nearby small town of Pottsboro, Texas. They definitely inspired my depiction of the area where Elly and her grandmother live.”

https://www.amazon.com/Bluebonnets-Elly-Sandra-Nachlinger-ebook/dp/B01C7KMBN4

Sandy stays busy with a blog of her own called Writing With a Texas Twang and writes articles about a variety of subjects. She often introduces her followers to books that she has recently read and recommends. If you’d like to take a look, here’s the link: https://SandraNachlinger.blogspot.com