Looking Ahead: Woolent Turning 25

20yearcollage
Collage from W.E.’s 20th Birthday

 

December 2017 marks Woolaston Entertainment’s 23rd birthday. While I am excited to celebrate the anniversary of the wonderful thing I created back when I was twelve, I’m even more excited at the prospect of Woolent turning 25, in 2019. In fact, I’m already working on the birthday present.

Before I was a published author, I hand-wrote several (okay, 125 or more) books for myself. I have been publishing them one by one, over the past few years, beginning with Fortune’s Wing.  Every other year or so, I would write a Compendium, which would summarize and explain all of the books, comics and artwork I had produced for the year (or years, depending). This is what I would like to do for Woolent’s 25th birthday: release a compendium, which will cover all of my books, comics and artwork, from the handwritten materials to the published works. In order to accomplish this, I literally need to get started now. Fortunately, I have my previous compendiums from 1998 through 2007 to fall back on, along with the one I started gathering materials and making notes for just a few years ago. This book will contain illustrations, and background info about Woolent, and everything I will have created up until that year. It’s going to be very interesting. 

If you’ve published a number of books or artwork, etc, a writing a compendium may be something you’ll want to consider. You really don’t know how much you’ve created, or how special it is to you, until you begin to archive it.

http://www.woolastonentertainment.com

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The Witch of Fulton Lane

WOFL_whole_cover

 

One good thing has come out of this year’s NaNoWriMo for me. I actually managed to finish a book!  I had the idea for The Witch of Fulton Lane floating around in my head for several months before I sat down to commit it to paper. Yesterday, I completed the first draft. Now I’m editing and adding a few more details. While I continue to work on the manuscript itself, I decided to go ahead and work on the cover. The image featured above, is what the cover currently looks like. I may or may not change it. We’ll see. 

punc·tu·a·tion and gram·mar

Let me begin by saying, I don’t have a Masters in English Literature or Creative Writing. I have never labeled myself an “expert” when it comes to writing, however, I know the difference between good grammar, and poor grammar. I’m also capable of identifying the misuse of punctuation. I’ve been reading the work of other writers lately–mostly self-published authors like myself—and I’ve come across a few things I feel I need to point out. I’m not going to name any names or books, but if you catch yourself doing any of the things I mention here, you may want to go back and do a bit of editing. 

Dialogue

Dialogue should be enclosed with quotation marks, like this: “It’s not a problem,” she said. You shouldn’t use an apostrophe, ex: ‘It’s not a problem’ she said. Also, you shouldn’t use parentheses , ex: (It’s not a problem) she said.  And please, don’t use double parentheses, either! Ex: ((It’s not a problem)) she said. 

I’m mentioning these, because I actually came across all of these problems in books I have recently read. 

There, Their, They’re…

Using the wrong word, or using a word in the wrong tense can be a problem. As a writer, I always keep certain tools handy: a dictionary, a thesaurus, and Google. I have come to appreciate all three, especially the speech function for Google. If I’m not entirely sure how to spell a word, or which tense to use it in, I can always read the sentence out loud, and let Google help me. Plus, I’m still a fan of the old fashioned method of flipping through the pages of a dictionary or thesaurus. 

 

I’m not trying to pick on anyone, but as a writer, the misuse of punctuation and grammar, are two things I take very seriously. I’m a self-published author, so I have to be very mindful of the writing I publish. I don’t have an editor to help me catch my mistakes; I have to do it all on my own. Whenever I read a piece of writing that was self-published, and contains several errors such as the ones mentioned above, it adds to the belief that “self published books are not real books”. There are many people who are against self-publishing, because pretty much ANYONE can publish a book now. The quality of these books can be incredible, but there are books which are seriously lacking the attention to editing every book needs. If you see any of the things I mentioned in your writing, please go back and fix it. If you have allowed someone else to help you edit your work and it still contains these kinds of mistakes, it may be time to look for another editor. edit

Expand Your Readership With The Public Library!

SELF-e_Logo_Web

 

I wanted to share some info with my fellow indie authors. Self-e, is a terrific program, which helps authors connect with new readers, by making their books available through the public library. I have had success with this system, and two of my titles are currently available as ebooks through the Queens Public Library, in New York. So, if you’re an indie author, and you have published an ebook, you may want to consider using this program. Here is a direct link to their website: https://selfe.librariescreate.com/self-e/

FYI: you will need to fill out a short form, which includes agreeing to their terms and conditions, entering your name, email, state and name of your local library, and uploading a copy of your ebook (ex, PDF), and info about the book (ISBN, etc). Best of luck to everyone!

Monday Blog: Back-to-School!

Bethel

 

 

Hello everyone! Happy Labor Day! September is here! Today is Labor Day, and tomorrow, students across the country will be headed back to school. So, this month’s theme will be school-related. I have some exciting news for you, so let’s get to it.

 

Donations

This month, I will donate copies of W.E. books to libraries both in the US and abroad. I was delighted to learn of a community library in Bream, in the UK. I discovered it while searching for libraries in Woolaston, UK (since it is my last name, the name of my company…). I’m also donating to Open Books, an organization which works to support literacy. If you would like to learn more about them, here is a link to their website: http://www.open-books.org/give/donate-books/

If you belong to or know of a library in need of fiction books, please contact me, via the Contact Page on woolastonentertainment.com, and let me know. I still have copies of the first editions of Fortune’s Wing and Valentine available.

 

Bethel High School

I’m happy to announce, I’m currently working on a project for my old high school, Bethel High, in Hampton Virginia! I’m drawing a set of four comics, which will appear in their newspaper, “The Bear Facts”, and a W.E. ad will be placed in their literary art magazine, “Polaris”. When I was a student at Bethel (thousands of years ago) I worked on the “Polaris” staff, and had my work published in the magazine during my Sophomore, Junior and Senior years. I really loved working on it, and I enjoyed my time at Bethel. I’m looking forward to having one of my creations published with Bethel once again.

 

Polaris

Speaking of Polaris… I mentioned in the paragraph above, I’m having an ad for W.E. placed in Polaris magazine. If you’re an author, or if you own a business and would like to place an ad in Polaris, please reach out to me via the Contact Page on woolastonentertainment.com. I can put you in touch with the teacher who is overseeing the publication. Keep in mind, this magazine is available in Hampton, Virginia. However, this is a great opportunity for writers to gain some exposure for their books; especially if you write for young adults. To give you an idea of the pricing for the ads, a quarter page is $60—that is the ad I’m using.  So, if you’re interested, please reach out to me. Remember, the internet is national.

 

Until next week…

Finding Inspiration Through Nostalgia

The covers of some of my hand-written books, anime inspired…

 

 

I’m currently reading Jen Sincero’s “You Are A Badass”, and I read a passage that suggested going back to your childhood, and thinking about the things you were passionate about. It sounded like pretty solid advice, so I took a moment to think.

I’m a writer, and its something I’ve always been passionate about. I’ve been writing books for myself since second grade, and I’d like to think, my skills as a story teller have improved over the years. Every now and then, I develop a case of Writer’s Block, and I find myself feeling a bit uninspired. But, I have found a way to pull myself together, and start writing again. I went back to my childhood, to when I started writing more detailed books, with chapters and developed characters. This happened when I was about eleven or twelve. I would wake up early on Saturday morning, around 4:30 or 5:00, and start writing.  Back then, I worked on two or three books at a time. I was always excited to finish a book, and draw the cover, make a spine label and place my Woolaston Entertainment logo on the back cover. I even kept a hand-written spread sheet of stats for my books: how may chapters, pages, dates for starting and completing each book, etc. I was my own publisher, and I LOVED it.

Whenever I find myself at a loss for anything, I think about those days. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was building something very special and very important back then: I was building me.

The Indie Author Who Could

Being an indie author can be challenging sometimes. For anyone out there who is a self-published author, you know what I’m talking about. Choosing the right company to print your books for you. Finding a reliable (and affordable editor) or editing yourself. Cover designs and page layouts. And lets not forget marketing. It’s tough! And even after you have your finished product in your hands, there’s the really fun part: getting your book into a bookstore. Bookstores look at self-published books as if they contain the plague! But, you have to try anyway.  After one thousand no’s, you’re bound to hit a yes. I certainly did.

 

Barnes and Noble is having a Teen Book Festival known as BFest this weekend, and I am fortunate enough to participate. I will be appearing at the location in Bay Plaza in Bronx, NY on Saturday, June 11 at 3pm. I will be reading from “Our Lady of Righteous Rage”, and signing copies afterward. I will also sign copies of “Valentine”.  So, why is this event such a big deal? Simple: I’m an indie author, and BN doesn’t sell books by indie authors in their stores. To get in, you have to work very hard. So, this event is special to me. Will it go well? I certainly hope so. Whether I sell 3 copies or 30 copies, I’m happy I was accepted into a major bookstore.

To anyone out there struggling to get their work noticed by the public, I’m proof that you can’t give up. Giving up is simply not an option. Keep trying. Eventually, you will succeed. Good luck to all of my fellow writers and artists out there.