Pages

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Meet James Kelly, Author

James Kelly is the Young Adult author of a series of novels called The Guardian Wars. She resides in Houston, TX where she works at her family’s local business. She spends her free time corralling her two little girls and writing about any and all things that interest her. Part One of The Guardian Wars is currently available on Amazon Kindle, and Part Two is soon to be released. Learn more about James Kelly and stay up to date on future publications by visiting JameskKellyWrites.com.

1. How did you come up with the character of Olivia Tremaine?

Olivia and Rowan both came to me in a dream one night. It was a very strange sort of choppy moment between two people, but it really defined who they were to one another. The girl was maybe a bit younger and very determined, and the man was sort of a protector for her, but there was something more between them and they were struggling to come to terms with it. Olivia was the one in my dream who actually had the courage to say how she felt first, and I think that kind of stuck with me from then on as I began writing their story. Rowan might be the stronger and the tougher of the two, but Olivia is definitely the driving force in their relationship and the glue that keeps everything together.

2. What's the significance of the title, The Guardian Wars?

The series had a lot of different titles before I landed on "The Guardian Wars." In fact, I had written first drafts of all three books before I was able to pick a title. I wanted it to sort of foreshadow what the books were leading up to, even if you only get a glimpse of the bigger fight in Part One. I always felt like the thing that set Rowan and Olivia's story apart from other dystopian's is that instead of being together because they are trying to save their world, they're trying to save their world SO that they can be together. The war affects everyone, but it sort of stems from Rowan and Olivia's instincts to stick together and save one another.

3. What are the challenges--and what do you enjoy most--about writing books in a series rather than as stand-alone novels?

I think that writing a series is sort of like running a marathon. It's a very long and trying task, and there have been so many points where I had to convince myself to keep going. In the end, though, it's really rewarding, and as a writer it's sort of a dream. It's a lot more work than just a stand alone book, but at the end of each final draft, I didn't have to close the cover on their story. I'm able to keep building their relationships and create more obstacles for them to overcome. I also feel that some stories need more than just thirty or so chapters to tell. Rowan and Olivia just happened to need a bit more.

4. Do you have any advice for other authors who are interested in self-publishing but haven't taken the leap yet?

Self-publishing seemed like a very impossible thing when I first started researching it. I had submitted my book to so many agents, and I had gotten so many requests for more and even full manuscripts. They all seemed to like the story, but because the market had been so saturated with other dystopian type books, no one wanted to represent it. Don't take no for an answer. Believe in your work and even if you get told "No" a hundred times, don't let that make you feel that your work is inferior.

5. What would you like readers to know about book two in The Guardian Wars?

The Guardian Wars: Part Two has a lot more action that Part One. There's a bit more romance as well, but the important thing for readers to remember is that Rowan has essentially started a war that is much bigger than he is. Even though our main characters have found one another, their battle isn't over. It's just starting, and it's much scarier than they really ever imagined. Part Two will definitely have you on the edge of your seat a bit more than Part One, but in the end there's still that famous question, "What do you know?"

Thanks, James!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Meet Shoyei, Musician and Producer

Shoyei provides royalty-free music for personal and commercial use. Specializing in chill hip-hop and indie, he has had success working with marketing agencies, filmmakers, vloggers, and artists alike. He has been sending out free music on a monthly basis to his subscriber list.

To learn more, check out shoyei.net.

1. How did you first get involved in producing music?

I've played instruments my whole life, but when I got to college, space became an issue. I couldn't set up with a bunch of loud gear to practice, so I resorted to playing around with samples, synthesizers, and drumpads on my computer. Over the years I've had plenty of opportunities to use what I know about producing to help out with some cool projects.

2. What made you decide to create work to share on a royalty-free basis?

I've been in enough situations where quality stock music is required and it ends up being hard to come by. A lot of what you find on the web is very generic or has a "dated" sound. I've always been writing fun beats and hooks, so I saw this need and wanted to contribute.

3. What's your process like when it comes to working with a client on creating a custom track for them?

Good question. First I ask my clients what kind of mood they're looking for and what the big picture is. If they have an example of something that inspired them, I will absolutely work with that. I work mostly with filmmakers, so the vibe is very important. Once I feel like I'm onto something, I send a snippet back to see if it's what they had envisioned. If not, I start again. It normally takes two revisions to get to where both parties are really happy.

4. Could you tell us about some of your favorite projects that you've worked on over the years?

My most challenging request was a full-length documentary that had their original source for the score fall through. They asked me and a close colleague of mine to score the entire film before they were scheduled for their MPAA rating. That happened to be a month away. We wrote and recorded 17 individual pieces for the film. The entire experience stretched me as a musician, but I still feel proud of many of those pieces.

5. When it comes to your royalty-free tracks, what are some of your favorite ways you've seen your work used?

I've seen my tracks used at conferences and film festivals, which is a really great feeling for me. It's also really awesome to hear some of it behind a filmmaker's video reel. It means that they're putting their best foot forward with the best music they could find.

Thanks, Shoyei!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Meet Dhea Olesen of 1-Hour Proofreading

1-Hour Proofreading is a growing start-up offering fast proofreading and copyediting services to all writers on the go. They launched this year with a team of experienced editors of diverse backgrounds. Their team can handle different types of documents, from novels to journals and even personal statements. They exist to provide quick service to people who are caught in a tight deadline or need a quick review before an important speech or public presentation. They make their system easy to navigate so users will not have a hard time making an order. Since their launch, they have worked on over 10 million words for satisfied customers and partners. Their team happily accommodates questions, and they guarantee satisfaction by reviewing returned documents for free. They look forward to creating long-lasting partnerships with bloggers, students, media, authors, self- publishers, and publishers.

Our interview today is with Dhea Olesen, the Director for Business Development of 1-Hour Proofreading. To learn more about the company, check out https://www.1hourproofreading.com as well as their Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook pages.

1. What inspired you to launch 1-Hour Proofreading?

The need for a fast proofreader inspired us to launch 1-Hour Proofreading. In the years that we have been partnering with different writers, there were those with last-minute assignments and those who want a short write-up proofread quickly--and access to a professional proofreader who is immediately available is scarce. So after determining the fastest editing speed that would deliver high-quality work, we decided that we want to be there for those writers.

2. What are the differences between your proofreading and copyediting services, and for writers who want to save money with your your "no rush" option, what does the turnaround time tend to be?

The main difference between proofreading and copyediting lies in the extent of changes done to the document. In copyediting, written material is checked for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and style issues before proofreading. A rewrite or revision may also be done depending on how "unfit" the manuscript is for publishing. On the other hand, proofreading involves checking for minor formatting and typographical errors to ensure that the material is good for publication. It may assume that the manuscript has undergone copyediting and is almost ready for public consumption.

Our No Rush turnaround time is 24 hours for every 6,000 words.

3. Why should self-published authors utilize your services, rather than trusting their own judgement and/or relying on friends or beta readers?

Authors are predisposed to express their ideas in a certain way because of their experiences and training. Certain tendencies could limit a writer's perspective or his or her manner of conveying his or her thoughts. That is why having one's file reviewed by someone else is important. Friends and beta readers can help, but usually they do not have the competency and professional training to be able to identify language nuances and address style issues.

4. What are some of your favorite projects to work on?

Fiction manuscripts.

5. Do you have any suggestions for how authors can make the most of their money when purchasing your services for help on a long manuscript?

For long manuscripts, we recommend that you take advantage of the combo copyediting and proofreading (no rush) service for a more thorough work and at a discounted rate.

Thanks, Dhea!

M Model and Talent Agency in Canada

Since I last posted about M Model and Talent Agency, the models and actors who are represented by this well-respected Canadian talent firm have been busy appearing in a variety of print and film projects.

The firm's website is located at http://mmodels.ca, and whether you're looking for talent or want to become a model yourself, you can find useful information here. It gives a list of past clients, which include well-known media brands like MTV, Time, Discovery Channel, and Virgin Mobile. Other clients are the makers of popular products such as Mattel and Coca-Cola.

If you're looking for a model or are interested in working with M Models in any capacity, the best thing you can do is to contact them directly via email or phone. They also maintain a regularly updated blog at http://www.mmodels.typepad.com/ which shows their models and talent in action by sharing photos and clips from recent projects.

Over the summer, models from M Models have appeared in commercials for Sun Life Financial, programs on The Shopping Channel, advertising for TRESemme, and in an anti-racism campaign sponsored by the government of Ontario. I always enjoy visiting the M Models blog to see the variety of projects that they have helped people produce by connecting clients with quality talent. Their work also shows a commitment to diversity as they represent models of many ages and ethnicities.

Check out their site and blog to learn more about the good work they turn out month after month and year after year!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Meet Justin Davis of Traffic Source SEO

Justin Davis is a SEO (Search Engine Optimization) expert and internet marketer. He also has a website development company that builds websites for businesses and organizations. He is 31 years old. He travels as often as possible (which is quite a bit). In his spare time he watches documentaries, studies new business trends, hangs out with old friends, goes fishing and camping, visits with family, and studies his SEO (even when he has told himself he is supposed to be working).

Justin is a familiar face in the SEO world and on social media. He is a certified Google partner. His personal goal is perfecting the science of manipulating and removing bad Google search results in favor of his clients. He specializes in identity restoration services and other forms of search engine optimization tactics involved in fixing the search results page on the world's biggest search engine.

Learn more about Justin's business, Traffic Source SEO, by visiting www.trafficsourceSEO.com.

1. How did you first become interested in SEO?

I started getting into search engine optimization because I just believe in the power of it. It's marketing that happens in live time, as the person is using a search engine and transcribing their thoughts into keyword phrases. It's at this moment, possibly right before the buying moment, that I want to be in front of the prospect with my product or service. Hence, search engine optimization.

2. What are some of the advantages for a small business when it comes to hiring one company to handle both web design and internet marketing, rather than working with separate firms for each?

I believe that most people in the internet marketing or web design industry generally prefer sticking to one specialty. It's pretty rare that someone is good at both. I personally specialize in SEO, and I have a designer to do all of the design aspects of my websites and ads, and a developer to bring it all to life. That's why I say we are so good at both. But my attention is on marketing. I let the website guys deal everything else.

3. I sometimes see people working hard on creating new content for their websites and not seeing results. What do you see as the secret sauce in terms of content being effective in gaining return visitors to a site?

I think you have to create content that adds value to the user. If they are not coming back, it is probably your fault for not getting their attention again. Did you retain their contact information when they visited your site? Are they part of your e-mail list? When you noticed a surge in traffic what was the source? Did you follow up with more high quality content down that avenue? Question everything, and monitor the results. Duplicate what works, and throw punches in bunches.

4. What added benefits to you bring to your business in being a certified Google partner?

It just verifies that I'm authorized by Google to have a high level of competence in various forms of marketing and how it is seen by Google and other professionals innovating the web. I think it just shows a validated credential. People like to know who they are doing business with. That's why I'm in business.

5. What else would you like readers to know about you and your work?

You can check out my website or call any time with questions on what we do and how it can help your business or organization. Also, check out our blog for updates and interesting topics in the search engine optimization industry.

Thanks, Justin!