Tag: KS Jones

Smatterings – Peanuts and Jam

In this age of throwaway gadgets and modern technology, the art of good old elbow grease should not be dismissed so easily.

While growing up on our remote California farm, my father rarely, if ever, called a repairman for anything. First, we couldn’t afford one, and secondly, few existed in our small farming community. In fact, on top of everything else my father knew how to do, he became a self-taught television repairman. Back then, one didn’t just toss out the old TV and buy a new one—it just wasn’t practical. Everything from the toaster, to the television, to our washing machine was repaired until it couldn’t be, and then we usually went without for a long time. That’s where elbow grease paid off . . . we learned to fix things ourselves. And if the item was beyond repair, we found ourselves handwashing clothes, having bread for breakfast instead of toast, and reading books rather than watching television.

Although writers don’t usually need to print their manuscripts these days (most submissions are electronic), I still find myself printing pages, or editing notes, or other important things. So last week when my printer stopped dead in its tracks flashing “Paper Jam!” I didn’t panic. A paper jam is easy to fix. However, after a few hours of not finding a single scrap of paper while the printer kept insisting it had a jam, my frustration mounted. I just wanted to print my editing notes so that I could keep writing! I wrote less and less with my thoughts intensely focused on those missing notes.

A week passed with my intermittent bursts of hopeful repair work, all to no avail. So today, as I prepared to drive into town for the sole purpose of buying a new printer, I felt my father’s spiritual presence. I had to give it one more try. Now, two hours and several bits of smashed peanut later, my printer works like new–thanks Dad! With all the incredible technology today, it would have been very helpful if the printer had flashed “Peanut Jam!” instead. I’m just sayin’… Maybe the geniuses of the world are aiming too high.

I’ll admit, I will be rethinking eating peanuts at my desk from now on, or else I’ll keep the scavenging dogs out from under my desk where the printer works. Yes, I’m blaming it on the dogs for dropping that fugitive peanut into my printer.

All in all, I think it’s important to point out that elbow grease still works! Although I must admit, spending forty dollars on a new printer last week would have been much easier.

ORIGINALLY POSTED AT: http://romanceninjas.com/smatterings-3-peanuts-and-jam/ 

About Book Reviews

I’ve learned many things since becoming a published author, and some of them have been exceedingly simple. It seems I am always on a voyage of self-discovery, which brings me to today’s topic: I love to read book reviews, whether posted on Amazon, Goodreads, blogs, magazines, wherever. I find lots of good books that way. Recently, I heard it reported that Amazon has almost eight million titles available. How in the world do you find a great story in such a massive amount of books? Sure, you can narrow your search until you’re almost blind from staring at the computer screen, but more likely than not, you’re still going to miss a wonderful book simply because it is listed in a category you didn’t think to check!

Book signings, writer’s conferences, and other author promotions usually draw me like a magnet to them, not only to support the author, but also in hopes of gleaning a bit of wisdom, and maybe with some luck, I’ll learn a few new things. But to be perfectly honest, when I meet a writer—no matter how famous or prolific—who is rude, or insensitive, or bored by it all, or has an “I’m better than you” attitude, I don’t care how good their book is, I’m not buying it. But it’s hard to tell anything at all about a writer when their reviews or author interviews are online, so I often wonder . . . What kind of person are they?

Writing is hard work and anyone who does it, and does it well, interests me. Which brings me to my real question: Why don’t authors comment when a blog posts a review of their book? Why don’t they respond when their readers comment on their interview or review? Once in a while, I’ll see an author commenting, which immediately tells me they care about their readers and respect their interviewer and/or reviewer. I love those authors! That’s probably why my book budget regularly falls into the red—I happily spend my hard-earned money to buy their books. Rarely am I disappointed, but maybe that’s because I go headstrong into the story with a good attitude about the author.

Reviews are vital to an author’s success, and every author knows that to be true. So, if you’re an author, I urge you to stop ignoring your readers, bloggers, and reviewers! Say, “Thanks for taking the time to review my book!” or something more personalized. But say something. Your response tells readers you’re a nice guy/gal writer whose work might deserve a chance.

Two important points: #1 Should an author respond to an Amazon or Barnes and Noble Review? NO! Most likely not. So don’t look for author comments in those places. I’m talking about review sites and blogs only. #2 Many times, authors do not know a review or blog post has been written about them or their book—if they don’t know about it, they can’t be expected to respond.

Originally Posted at: http://romanceninjas.com/smatterings-2-about-book-reviews/

Who Are You?

Who are you?  An authentic answer only comes from one who knows who they were at the beginning . . .

Who were your childhood heroes? Which authors did you adore? Whose stories drew you in? What person did you most see yourself as when you envisioned your future? I believe pieces of each are who you truly are right now, today.

My parents were my heroes. In all honesty, I am a quinquagenarian who was raised on a farm in a tiny community, so there weren’t many people contributing to outside influence. But even if I had grown up in today’s modern world, I’m certain my mom and dad would still have been my heroes. They were hardworking, loving parents who had little more than values, hope, and a sense of wonder to give to their children: Anything can happen. There are magnificent things no one has discovered yet. What else is up there with the stars? My parents made the unknown and the unimaginable familiar.

I grew up with more than 5,000 books in our century old farmhouse. Bookshelves, floor-to-ceiling, were filled with an incredible variety! Me, nor my many brothers and sister, ever heard the words, “You’re too young to read that.” We had the freedom to pull any book off the shelf and start reading. No permission needed. For me, any book written by John Steinbeck, Jack London, Ernest Hemingway, J.R.R. Tolkien, H.G. Wells, or Jules Verne drew me to them like a magnet.

Today, I write in the genres of historical fiction and sci-fi/fantasy. I suppose I should have seen that coming, right? My favorite reading genres are historical fiction, science fiction, and fantasy, although I’ll read any genre as long as the story and the writing are good! It all goes back to the beginning.

Now, when questioned with, “Who are you?” the answer comes easily—I am a writer with a never-ending sense of wonder.

Who are you?

ORIGINALLY POSTED AT: http://romanceninjas.com/smatterings-1-who-are-you/

 

The 2016 WILLA Award!

Exciting News! SHADOW OF THE HAWK by K.S. Jones has won the Willa Award2016 WILLA Award in the Children’s/Young Adult Fiction and Non-Fiction category. This is truly a dream come true literary award! The competition has amazingly talented writers. I am grateful and humbled by the honor. This award is for outstanding literature featuring women’s stories and is given annually by Women Writing the West.

BLACK LIGHTNING is coming!

BLACK LIGHTNING is a middle-grade sci-fi/fantasy, especially good as an introduction to fantasy for readers ages 7-12! Pre-order from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or other retailers.

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