Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Being an #indieauthor

Know your capabilities

As an indie writer I have discovered more obstacles than open roads. Each one has taught me what I need to know about being an indie author. Indie authors need to have their capabilities stretched far beyond other writers' knowledge. Learn what you can about the craft and from who ever you can. Other writers that are doing well can be the best teachers. Watch what they do and how they do it. Us indie writers need to have writing know how but we need to be creative on many different levels. When a writer learns how to move through Photoshop they are on the right track to creating covers, unique photographs, and formatting that not only looks great but will draw the reader in.

I appreciate being an indie author because I have no time table.

Editing is a different story, altogether. #amediting is something that takes time and patience. Editing does not come easy for the indie writer. It can be expensive to hire a professional editor and by learning the tricks of the trade an author can edit their own work. Grammerly offers writers an editing tool for writers to be included as an add-on for MS Word. It works wonders and catches most errors writers come into contact with. It does not catch everything but it works for the frugal indie author. If you have an editor at your disposal by all means utilize them and their knowledge. For most indie writers a paid editor is not an option. I had to find another way to ensure my books not only look great, but are readable and error free.

I love the creative resources available to me.

Formatting is not something one can learn overnight. To format properly you need to have a template, like I do, so your interior appears professional. It needs to stand out above other writers and this is no easy task to accomplish. Formatting is difficult, tedious work and can be very rewarding once you have a finished product. Everything publishers do you can do too. Just learn from everyone around you, read articles, and pay for small promotions in order to get your work out there. The indie author can proceed to add their written word to the interior template. When it is completed insert whatever your book requires. It is not simple and I have deleted my work many times due to frustration.
Have patience!
All things come in due time and time is all an indie author has.

Be open to new ideas as an indie author.

Make magic happen!

Cover creation is one of my favorite aspects of writing. It allows me to be digitally creative. All those creative juices flow in various directions. Working with pictures can be like an explorer delving into new realms. Deep deeper into Photoshop and begin with a book template. This offers a platform to begin making the best cover you know how to create. Learn by doing!
I have remade so many covers I can not even count. Re-dos have taught me how to properly design a cover that will peak the interest of readers. Once I discarded my own thoughts of how a cover should be, I inserted how is could be. Covers can be amazing and they can be unique. Use your imagination and go to YouTube to find the best places that will assist with that creativity.

This is one cover I created in Photoshop...

The bottom line is... enjoy being an indie author and do not expect miracles to happen, you need to make them happen for yourself. Work hard, promote on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and other social media outlets. Promotion takes time and building your brand takes time too. Keep pushing forward, offer giveaways with your book, keep writing, and build an informative blog. The best social platform for writers is Twitter. This is my opinion because all others seem to be geared toward other things, but Twitter is working for me and I've been able to gain followers like crazy. I'm up over 21,000 so far and counting!

Candy O'Donnell on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CandyODonnell

These are very important when building a brand for yourself on Twitter. Keep Tweeting and if you found this article informative, please comment below.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Hidden Wings: Overcoming Childhood Trauma by Candy O'Donnell


Internal Scars

Our time here on Earth can be very difficult at times, in my opinion. This place is filled with obstacles no human can see coming; even if they have knowledge beforehand, it is virtually impossible to know the outcome of life.
It can be surprising to discover that our path is littered with pain that eventually causes internal scarring. Earth seems to be the school of hard knocks when it comes to learning—and unlearning. The learning aspect falls upon us at every turn, and the unlearning is how we lose an aspect of ourselves growing up.
Not everyone dissolves into nothingness. Some rise up and conquer their fears, difficulties, and many overcome what life has dropped into their laps. Internally we all struggle—whether we wish to admit it or not—and these struggles are most likely never discussed with our closest family and friends; even though we could speak up about them, we don’t.
That struggle is what stops us from moving forward in this life, and can stifle future change. We all like to think change happens in the blink of an eye. It doesn’t quite jump out at us. Change takes time and patience, and for many it may never come. When looking at what we have endured during our lives, examine your reactions to every situation that made you cringe.
That wincing was your first flinch at whatever was told to you that you disliked. It might have been spoken in such a way that it left a permanent scar upon you and your soul. With some people it rolls off them like water off a duck’s back. I personally had a tendency to hold things in, and still do.
The one thing I have learned about holding back is how unhealthy it really is. It can cause reactions we really don’t mean. This overloading has transmuted into anger and frustration—all because I felt my voice was not heard. When we are children our voices are usually overlooked unless there is a problem concerning our health and welfare.

Friday, May 27, 2016

What's up with the #Twitter #Hashtag ?

Hashtag, hashtag, and hashtag again!

 #Twitter is all about the #hashtag. I #hashtag until my fingers fall off. #Hashtags enable others to find your posts and discover what you do, sell, or buy. Do the #hashtag each and every day to let others know who you are as a person or company. I'm an #author so #hashtags are in every post I present to my #followers. As I grow, so will my #hashtags and #posts. 

I will add things like: #indieauthor, #author,  #writingprompt, #ian1, #iartg, and other #hashtags are in my arsenal of tweets. The more the merrier so never forget to #hashtag throughout each and every tweet/post.

#indieauthor: This #hashtag let's others know you are a self-published #author ready to take on #Twitter.

#author: You're an author that #amwriting or #amediting. Keep up the good work and let your #followers know what you are doing at least 5-30 X's a day. I really do!

#writingprompt: Is a visual way of letting people know by posting pictures what #prompt they can add to your post. This post in unique and having your #followers #prompt your post is fun for you to get to know what they are saying and also fun for them to add their comments.

#ian1 & #iartg: Are pages on #Twitter you want to see your posts. Of course, you want everyone you come across to see your posts, so #hashtag away!

Hashtags reveal to your followers what you are attempting to covey to them. I have discovered that there is no way to overdo #hashtags so keep up the #hashtags. Always remember to post HD pictures of your books along with your post. This tells your #followers what they can expect out of you in the future. Post Only Crystal Clear Pictures. You will gain more #followers because of your attention to detail which will add up to a huge #following. I have noticed other #authors posting blurry or unclear pictures. That is a huge #NONO

Do the 80/20 Rule:

This rule is 80% other posts and 20% books (your books). When you post like this, you are more likely to keep your #followers and not lose them because you are not over posting about yourself and your books. You want to keep your #followers following and that is what makes happy #followers. Be ethical while #tweeting and use common sense. #Following want to see good stuff and not crap!

#WriterHashtags: #FridayReads, #FollowFriday, #WordCount, #WriterWednesday, #WritingTip, #BookGiveaway, #AskAgent. There are so many other #hashtags, but these are the commonly used #hashtags for #Twitter

(#socent = Social Enterprise) 

 If you found this post helpful, please leave a comment below.

"Psychic Chaos" book 2 by Candy O'Donnell


Chapter One

Things are not always as they seem!


It was impossible to believe what my eyes were observing. This was inconceivable… these torments upon a teenager. Darrin agreed with me from his position on the other side of the glass window pane. How can someone be so archaic? Mr. Jacobson sat beside me as I fell into a deep trance, trying to determine what occurred with his missing daughter—it was not so long ago when I first saw the picture of her in the cheerleading outfit.

The common details between Faith and Cherrie were still mysterious as they rolled around my brain. With Sanderson dead, who could have done this to Cherrie? My mind was unable to connect to the culprit. It was still buzzing over the house where I was held prisoner by three taunting suspects. At least Tonja was behind bars; for how long, was anyone’s guess. I calmed that inner aspect of myself and tried to connect again when a barrage of images flooded my mind.

Cherrie was at a football game with her hunky, dark-haired boyfriend, Ron. His friends teased him to no end because she refused to sleep with him. It was not in her nature to do that.  Besides she knew that pregnancy would not fit her well. 

Two boys came to her from the football team to entice her to join a party held at a home by the river. She agreed as long as Ron attended. They took her and two other girls with them in their blue convertible Mercedes and took off down the road after a big game. Ron followed in his black Corvette.

The party was hopping when they arrived at the small gathering of cheerleaders and players. One girl was already three sheets to the wind and leaping into the enormous swimming pool half naked.

I didn’t wish to venture any further when the girls hopped out of the vehicle and began drinking and dancing with the other teens. Ron took Cherrie into the back bedroom where she argued with him over their sleeping arrangements. Cherrie slapped his face and exited the home with anger billowing outward. She walked for hours along the darkened road with no streetlights to illuminate her passage.

A lone semi-truck driver pulled up alongside her as she stumbled across the gravel near the asphalt. With tears streaming down her cheeks, this stranger reached over and opened the passenger door to allow her entrance. His shadowy face revealed nothing but compassion for this lonely girl crying in her cheerleading outfit. This was when his face revealed an ominous stare. Soon this man’s silence penetrated her. She climbed in then maneuvered her body close to the door where she kept her thoughts to herself. The outer shell of this man appeared thick and full of hatred. They drove over the road for what seemed like an hour. Cherrie had told him to pull over and let her out when her street was near, but he continued onward. With fright, she turned to look over at this stranger who had given her a lift. In his eyes was something too horrifying for me to observe. I heard the word, Rape!

I came out of this reading feeling helpless and scared. She endured something that I could not deal with or wanted to look further into. Mr. Jacobson’s eyes pried into mine when I cracked one of my eyes open. He glared down at me as if I were on the courtroom bench being interrogated.


Friday, May 20, 2016

"Psychic Perception" book I by Candy O'Donnell

Chapter 1 Eastwood, California 

When you have a psychic gift, Don’t hoard it, share it with the world. 

As I stood over the bloodied, twisted corpse, my nerves tangled within over how to write the young woman’s tragedy, let alone tell her parents and the world about her. Horrendous images came to my mind of how to describe what happened to her; how it happened, the circumstances surrounding this case, and of course the perp’s name, whoever he might be. It was too daunting while thinking of my soon to be ex-husband.  My rigid body sat at the desk as I mulled over what to write. Mine was a sinister life, observing death through my psychic eye while seeing and feeling everything the victim was feeling. My reflections took me back to the haunting dreams that tormented me as I placed my hands on the keyboard and began to type. Inside my head, I knew where Faith would be found. It was not a pretty sight, but it was something that was a permanent part of my life. This need to know took place daily as my mind raced over what to think of next. How agonizing to believe that true evil was out there, waiting for any unsuspecting person to fall into its clutches.  I typed fast, and then slowed when an inaccuracy occurred. This assignment was not for the faint of heart, and those who might accomplish it needed to possess a hardened outer shell to protect them from the monstrosities that walked among us. Again, I relapsed into the past, and my musings directed my gaze to where I spotted the manila envelope from the lawyer’s office. I chose to ignore it, but could not. My hand lifted it up and I ran my fingertips over its smooth edge. It was something that I did with every piece of mail I received.  Shaking my head, I inhaled and tried not to allow my mind to wander. It needed to be focused on the task at hand, and my fingers began their dance along the keyboard once again. My hands typed what I had witnessed as my stomach did flops. So I continued on, because this job would never be finished if I did not believe that there was some good left in this world.  I began,  It was pitch black. She was walking just a few hundred feet from her home when a light green, beat up sedan pulled up alongside her. Her heart raced like a marathon runner inside her chest.  “Need a ride?” the husky voice of a man asked from the driver’s seat.  “Yeah, that would be nice,” the other man agreed.  Faith declined. The driver stumbled over his words as the passenger leaped out and pulled her into the vehicle with them. She screamed, and they laughed at her futile cries for help. Doom possessed her, and she realized that nothing in the world could save her from these men dressed in jeans and dark sweatshirts.  When Faith awoke, a small light illuminated the four-cornered bedroom where she was tied to a steel bed frame. With a dry throat she coughed, then gagged at the stench of the room. The two men entered and held her down while instilling horrific torments upon her. She closed her eyes as they beat her repeatedly. Faith pretended to be in another place and time where she felt safe and secure from what was happening to her.  When it was over, she could no longer breathe. With pleasure, she released her soul from her body and was finally free of the atrocities that they had thrust upon her. The house that she was in was a green two-story with red trim, and the name Sanderson came to me.  I sat breathing heavily.

"Running out of Time" by Candy O'Donnell


Time is all I have left!

My defaults were being spread across every newspaper in the country and here I sit behind bars waiting to be executed. They wanted to make me a fault for their exploitations, but that was not who I truly was. Trust. I needed to learn to trust someone, anyone to help me escape this entrapment I was held in.

Will Caitlin, the love of my life come through for me or will I rot until my death date arrives?


Time. It eludes us. There is never enough of it. We always think there will always be enough time. When it runs out we wish we had more time to spend with loved ones. No one wishes they could spend more time with insignificant things except those that believe time never ends. Time has an ending and when it runs out, that is it. We never get it back.
Sometimes we wish time would turn back so we can see where we went wrong. Time evades us for as long as we are on this planet. Time stalks our every move. What I did wrong took place not that long ago. I relied upon technology and forgot to communicate face to face with her. This is the predicament I am in now. Time passed me by and now I am reaping what I sowed. Some believe it was positive, but looking back, I took a step in the wrong direction. Life will never be the same again… it all came crashing down.
I glanced up from my artwork on the gray stone cell wall and sighed. The writing will be here for as long as I will be. As they say, the truth will set you free. I trust that it will. I glanced around and realized that I was paying the price for what I had done as I listened to the cat calls of the other cell mates. They had been in here far too long to let me pass them by without a hoot. They wanted me to bow down and do what they said. That was not my style as I fought alongside these rugged men trapped behind steel and concrete. Will it ever end?


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Hysterectomy at 29: How it changed my life: A Woman's Perspective by Candy O'Donnell


Dedication Page:

This title is for women that are contemplating, desiring, or have previously had a hysterectomy. Consider this point of view from an understanding woman. I know what it feels like from the beginning process, through the actual procedure, to the after care. Your fears, wishes, hopes, and dreams are not unknown to me. I’ve been to hell and back with hormones, so I sympathize with what you are going through.
Life is tough enough without issues pertaining to our female parts. As women we bear children, many of us work outside the home, and we run around running errands for our families, among other things. And we do not need anything else to quell our daily tasks like thinking about a hysterectomy. I never wanted to ponder over it for very long. Instead, going to the park and baking cookies was on my agenda of things to do.
As you read this think about the choice you are now faced with; or perhaps you have already gone through this procedure with little to no issues; or maybe you have had to endure numerous problems during or after your hysterectomy. This is my story, and I would like others to know what I went through personally.


Friday, May 13, 2016

Butterfly (Angels Reign Series Book III) by Candy O'Donnell


Death and Rebirth

Dim light streaked down over Lillian as she stood in the middle of the shadowy cavern. The brilliant light glided down her face. This was the same place where the angel had been held captive not all that long ago. Maybe the small sliver of radiance was a reminder of what had been there. Her presence was no longer felt and the fear was still streaming through every tunnel around Lillian.
Lillian found herself wandering as if lost over the chilly, stone ground. No cold seeped into her feet as they were encased in tennis shoes. She wanted to grin while she held a secret between her teeth. This hidden hush-hush was nothing short of a miracle when she glanced over her shoulder at the emptiness that still existed. She was so glad no malicious sounds hit her ears and no demons called to her in foreign languages. This was pleasant, for a change.
Within she wondered why she had come to the place of her nightmares, those hidden crevices that caused such unpleasant thoughts. Was this place supposed to tie up loose ends, or something more? Lillian lifted a hand and dragged it along the rough, rock wall. Each lump was uneven and dry to her palm. When her fingers felt something organic she stopped to investigate it.
Upon closer inspection she noticed a tiny, oval encasement surrounding a creature that wandered only during the day. What was it doing here in this dark, desolate place? This was not where it belonged. She leaned in and fumbled with it as her nail scraped the surface of the hard, tan shell.
You’re a pupa. Why are you here? Her light eyes took in the adorable encasement as it moved. You wish to break free! Keep at it. This will happen. And I am lucky enough to watch.
A horrid, menacing sound bounced off the rock walls around her. And she instantly knew something evil was approaching, and whatever made the noise sounded extremely unhappy. Lillian turned to see movement across the alley behind her. She leaned against the wall in order to protect this tiny creature. It was beginning to emerge and she did not want harm to come to it.
Try harder, please. She whispered to whatever was about to reveal itself.
நான் வாசனை.
Lillian attempted to hide her scent from this beast approaching. She knew it could smell her. Its demonic form was barely visible to her naked eye, and Lillian did not wish for it to harm the small creature behind her.
நீங்கள் ஒரு நியமிக்கப்பட்ட திரும்பினார்.
I am not an appointed one. She spat at the formless mist. It felt negative and overpowering. I have no crown or wings to assist me to a pedestal. I am not Archangel Michael. She only interpreted what it told her. Lillian wished the tiny being would come out and escape what atrocity was about to be dished out.
விதி ஒரு சேமிப்பு மிக காப்பாற்ற போவதில்லை.
I never thought about my own future, but my destiny is not to be killed here in this tepid place. It would be unfathomable. She reached out and plucked the pupa from the wall and she then raised her up. Lillian’s rose colored protective wall surrounded the insect and she attempted to keep the negative entity at bay. She now understood how to ascertain what demon required thicker walls and which did not.
This evil mist was not powerful enough to break her barrier down as the creature in her other hand jerked about within its hardened home. It was making valid attempts at freedom, and this brought a smile to Lillian’s face.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Seeing Through Their Eyes by Candy O'Donnell


One: Discovered

Frightening. Scary. Cool. That is how others described me. Those people were uneasy whenever around me. I suppose I was odd, but ignoring me did not make it better. That was how the entire four years of high school went. My entire existence was and still is scary to those I know, except my mother. She totally understands what I do, I think. She believes I’m cool because of what I do. I find them. I find the bodies of the dead. They are those humans that have been murdered. Murdered victims came to me with their stories of death.
At times, they described in great detail what happened to them. Those gruesome tales struck me to the bone and encouraged me to believe what I was doing was right. What I did helped those souls move on. There were always spirits that wished I would leave them be, but they always came back to me and told me in great detail what took place with them before death. I can still hear their pleas, they are always loud and clear. I can still see their tragedies still plastered to their faces. That had become commonplace for me. It was tiresome work, but I felt the push to help them whenever possible.
I find it simple to communicate with them. The dead know who they are and they assume nothing about me. I kind of liked that. Unlike the living the dead accept many things that seem unlikely. They are the ones that ask the questions about why I can see them, hear them. All I do is shrug my shoulders. I do not know why or how. It just is.
My pulse raced as I stepped into the slick mud beside the American River near Folsom, California. There she was lying in the wet sludge with her eyes still wide open. I knew she would be found by me. She led me here with her soft words and calm demeanor. Anxiety never hit me. Sarah, the deceased, was not your typical dead girl. She had a choice in life and she took this option. That is what she told me. This is her story.