Tag Archives: writer

Coming Up — Me Tarzan–You Jane — Virtual Book Tour+Giveaway

6 Feb

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It’s been a long time since I went on a virtual book tour for any of my books, mostly because I haven’t had a new release in two years. That doesn’t mean I haven’t written, quite the opposite. I finished 4 new stories since then, but I just can’t seem to find it in me to go again through the publishing and marketing phases which take time, effort, and energy, and I’d rather focus all of that toward the writing process rather than publishing (after all I’m a writer not a salesperson).

I love the flux of books published on a daily basis. Books in all genres, for old or young, everything for everyone’s taste, with the touch of a button. Wikipedia claims there were over 300,000 books published in 2013. That means there are over 800 books published daily. Add to that Amazon changing the  best-sellers list hourly, promotional adds, you can only imagine how easily books like mine get lost beneath the swelling tide of all other books.

Luckily for me there are people who organize book tours regardless of the publishing date. So I decided to re-invigorate my latest novel titled Me Tarzan–You Jane, by employing Giselle’s help at Xpresso Book Tours for a week long book tour.

https://www.amazon.com/Tarzan--You-Jane-Camelia-Miron-Skiba-ebook/dp/B00OPFMTDW/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

The tour starts next week on Monday Feb. 13 and runs until Friday Feb. 17. There will be reviews, excerpts, interviews and guest posts every day. The schedule is as following:

February 13th
Book Junkie Reviews >> Excerpt
Paradise of Pages >> Review
Dreamland Teenage Fantasy >> Top 10 List
The Book Sirens >> Review

February 14th
Mello & June, It’s a Book Thang >> Excerpt
Musings From An Addicted Reader  >> Review
Mythical Books >> Interview
Between Books  >> Review
Haddie’s Haven >> Review

February 15th
Rockin’ Book Reviews >> Guest post
Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books! >> Review
The Bookworm Chronicles >> Excerpt
underneath the covers >> Excerpt
Thoughts in Progress >> Top 10 List

February 16th
Writers and Authors >> Guest post
Book Addict>> Review
Les Chroniques Aléatoires >> Review
Loves Great Reads >> Excerpt
Fire And Ice Book Reviews >> Review

February 17th
Happy Ever After Romance Book Reviews  >> Review
A British Bookworm’s Blog >> Review
blogs and coffee >> Guest post
Words of Wisdom from The Scarf Princess >> Review

This is a great opportunity for all of you to find new blogs (maybe fall in love with them?), find out what others think about my novel, read an excerpt and maybe who knows, you’ll decide to get it for yourself. I’m also going to have a giveaway at the end of the tour consisting of 1 (one)  7″ Fire Tablet (U.S only)  or a $50.00 Amazon gift card (international entry) for a participant who:

  1. Leaves a comment here or on any other blog hosting my tour letting me know where they’ve done it 
  2. Signs up to follow this blog (see the “Sign up” button on the upper right-hand corner)
  3. Follows me on Twitter @CamiSkiba
  4. Likes my Facebook Fan Page 

 See you all next week!

Rejection= what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger (or so we are told…)

8 Oct

At one point or another in one’s life, we all have been rejected and there is no other way to look at them other than: rejections suck. Whether by a boy/girl, by a parent, by a friend,  you name it–rejection hurts. One can’t ever sugarcoat a rejection, no matter the delivery method: sandwiched, wrapped, bluntly. Bottom line, it’s still a rejection, a door closed, end of the road.

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Today’s post focuses on rejections I, as a writer, am familiar with and how I deal with them. It’s no right or wrong way to do it, it’s just my personal take on them.

I started writing summer of 2009. I chose the self publishing path for several reasons, one of them being my insecurity about how many stories would I be able to write. Was there more than one book in me? Would I be able to deliver quality work, handle deadlines?

Since then I published several novels (5 to be exact) and have several other stories in different stages of being finished. Beginning of 2016 I decided to look for an agent, confident writing is as part of my DNA as the color of my eyes. And so the query stage begun . . .

It’s still vivid in my mind the first query I sent and how fast my heart pounded in my chest, my clammy hand pressing the “send” button, as if I was releasing a nuclear bomb, no less. The empowering surge (me, the little immigrant now a proud American who turned writing from a dream into reality) combined with OMG-what-did-I-do feeling and topped with an incredible overpowering vulnerability. Let me tell you, such a powerful cocktail of emotions brought me on the verge of . . . throwing up.

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That one query letter was followed by several others. I even made myself a beautiful spreadsheet with agent’s names and email addresses, agency’s websites, date I queried them and an empty column at the very end titled “YES/NO.” I wasn’t expecting that column to fill out too soon. All agents warn you about how long it takes to receive an answer (if any). And so the waiting begun . . .

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I remember the first rejection and the hurt it brought. The second, and the third… the deep and dark hole I was spiraling down into… the self-doubt and the acute need to be invisible so people won’t see my bleeding heart. The one rejection I received within exact 15 minutes after sending it, not as one of those automated response but written by the agent from his Iphone, as the end of the email stated. And the list can go on. Every single rejection delivered one blow after another and my hope diminished accordingly.  Somehow, by the 4th rejection something snapped in my brain and the blow, while still disappointing, it’s not hurting as bad.

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To date I’ve accumulated ten rejections. Some of my author friends burn them. Some frame them. Some use them as background for dartboard.

I’m by nature a control freak and shy so putting myself out there was never an easy thing for me, afraid people will judge me and I’d never rise to their expectations. This whole querying process is one of the hardest journeys I’ve embarked on that has taught me a lot of things about myself. My mind is my own enemy so I have to constantly talk myself out of (or in) something but one day, I’ll learn to stop self-doubting myself or so help me whichever power reigns over this universe!!!

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Hello, World, Cami’s back!

1 Feb

Let me just start by saying it was not easy. As I mentioned in my last post, for the entire month of January I went off the social media radar. Part of me wanted to see how much I really spent on it and why. Was I wasting time watching too many puppies playing the piano? Was I letting all that hype about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest get to me? Was I letting the pressure of being visible as a writer taking priority over what I was really supposed to do, which is writing?

I had to find out.

For the first few days it was really hard, so hard that I deleted all the social media apps off my phone. I was at a point were I reached for my phone during commercials, when carpooling, when brushing teeth, when petting the dog, when cooking, you name it. I always struggled to understand how addiction works, but now it was my time to admit I was OD’d on likes and the pressure that came with that thumb up button.

So, what did I accomplish away from the media? First of all I had to retrain my brain to shift focus. No more liking what others did, but rather liking what I did. I sat in front of the computer and begun writing all those stories that I had started or wanted to write but was too busy socializing. I took a short story that I had enough material to make it into a novella and finished it. I had a second story that I begun after my trip to Europe last summer and finished it as well. I begun edits for two of my critique partners. I began working out again. I’m spending more time with my family.

Bottom line, I’m doing what I was supposed to do. The pressure of being visible is still pretty heavy, but as this experiment proved, if I put my mind to something, I will eventually achieve it.

What is the one thing you wish you could do but are afraid you might fail at it?

A tree atop a hill…

3 Mar

Here we are officially into the 3rd month of the year and once again I’m amazed how fast time just blows by. 

I remember as a kid back in communist Romania and going to school including Saturday, and how slow time crawled. Sometime after I turned 30 I experienced this rush and time did begin to move at a faster pace.

Anyway, this post is not about the lack of or how fast time moves but about how I chose to spend it. 

Last year I began March with a post that–in reading it now–brought back lots of memories. From having Mom here in the US, to my nephew’s health issues, to book appearances that post made me re-evaluate where I am a year later.

Right of the bat I can say I’m by far healthier. I began working out regularly and falling back in love with my own body. Anyone who struggles with her body image knows exactly what I’m talking about, right? I mean, we women have a tendency to be our worst critiques, aren’t we?

I’m also happier. I find that just looking at a cloudless sky  can make me really happy. Years ago, I was either too busy to observe the beauty surrounding me or that alone wasn’t enough; I needed something else or someone to make me happy. Now I can make myself happy with little things from a cup of coffee to a book to a manicure or as simple as holding my husband’s hand. 

I’m busier than a year ago. My day job is so crazy fast-paced that I find myself arriving at the office, blinking then 4pm hits the clock an voila: time to leave. I’m doing so much more that my job title no longer encompasses what I do: personal assistant, manager, travel agent, event planner, academic personnel coordinator and occasional shopper. A dear friend of mine who opened a spa asked me to help her getting it going in terms of front desk coverage. Between August  ’14 and January ’15 I worked 7 days a week. You read it right: seven days a week. The only time I took off was when I travelled or for book appearances. I’m now only on Saturdays at the spa, keeping my Sundays for all things household, hanging out with friends or (if the Muse strikes) writing all day.

In the evening I become mom and wife. Dates about two times a week, sometimes more. Patty Cakes (don’t tell my kid I posted this here, he’d be mortified) doesn’t need my help so much with homework since Tippy Toes really cracks the whip and pushes him to study more. I know the two nicknames totally grabbed your attention, but I promise to write another time how we came to nickname my son and his girlfriend. 

After dinner I once again become something else: writer. The places I go, the people I meet, the people I get to know inside and out, even their deepest secrets–there’s no way to really capture in words how writing makes me feel. With renewed energy, my fingers run over the keyboard, transforming the voices in my head in words on the paper, one story after another.

At times I envision myself a tree atop a hill, with deep roots, always loving, always feeding, always nurturing, always creating, always protecting, always growing…. I know Camelia is a flower but hey, if I wanna be a tree I sure can, right?

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Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015!

31 Dec

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Dear All,

Here we are about to say goodbye to 2014, hello 2015. I don’t know about you but for me 2014 was the fastest year ever. Here was January 1st, I blinked and end of December knocked on my door. I’d like to believe it has nothing to do with my growing old…

As I sit here and ponder on what my family and I went through this year, I am hopeful that the New Year will be if not better than this one, at least as good as 2014. 

I’m a true believer that we and we alone make our own decisions, taking one step at the time and living through the aftermath of those decisions. Sometimes those decisions prove right, sometimes wrong; sometimes fear keeps us from making a decision, but life goes on and one way or another we all move forward

As a writer I could never do it without your help! I thank all of you, for your time, effort and willingness to give my books a place on your shelves and in your hearts. Over the years you became dear friends, all over the world and I’m humbled by your friendship and candor. I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Wishing you and your loved ones endless joy, blessings and an amazing 2015!

Yours truly,

Camelia Miron Skiba

 

Addicted. Taking a rain check on curing myself, thank you very much.

14 Dec

Existential questions have always been on my mind: why am I here? What’s the purpose of life, my life? What am I supposed to do?

Most of these questions remain so far unanswered while I grow … wiser one day at the time. But I do try to live my life in a way that it has purpose. I take each day as a brand new chance at something to create, something to leave behind so when I’m long gone people will remember me.

Several years ago, while on yet another quest to figure out who I was, I began writing. Doubting every word I wrote and myself a story took form. The more I wrote the more this fountain of creative juices rose inside me and before I knew what’s happening, I became addicted. My debut novel titled Hidden Heart was published in March of 2011. Since then three other novels spread their wings for the world to read them: A World Apart, Born In Vengeance and Born In Sin. Me Tarzan—You Jane is my latest novel out on December, 6th 2014. Several other stories are in process of being developed / edited / finished.

From an early age we learn that addictions are bad: drugs, alcohol, tobacco, gambling—you name it. I’ve long acknowledged that writing is my addiction. But I’ll be damn if I ever try to rid myself of it. No rehab, no treatment, no therapist or counselor would ever convince me this addiction is bad. You know why? Because unlike all other addictions writing nourishes my heart and soul. Writing gives me purpose, part of me as my very heart and, “until my moment comes / I’ll say… I, I did it all…”~ I lived by One Republic.

VBT–A Reign Supreme by Richard Crystal. Guest Post

18 Feb


Reign Tour

Tour Schedule

Reign SupremeA Reign Supreme by Richard Crystal

When a copper deposit is discovered on the land of the Makenda tribe in eastern Kenya, a young king, Ule Samanga, is told to relocate his people to a refugee camp in Nairobi or risk imprisonment. When all appears lost, the young king discovers the existence of Curtis Jackson, a mysterious half-brother presently living in New York. Believing this unexpected news is an omen from the spirit of his ancestors, he eagerly seeks his help to save their sacred tribal homeland. A struggling mortgage broker and former jazz prodigy, Curtis initially has no interest in developing a relationship with his newly found African family. But when he’s presented with an intriguing business offer, he embarks on a journey to Africa that becomes a spiritual odyssey, changing him in ways he never imagined.

In this assured debut, Richard Crystal weaves a complex story of contemporary moral imperatives conceived during Obama’s victorious election as America’s first black President. Themes of corporate malfeasance and exploitation will resonate with readers of The Constant Gardener and Blood Diamond. But beyond the various political machinations, readers will find a heartwarming story infused with the strains of Coltrane, the history of jazz and the enduring power of family.

Richard

Richard Crystal

Mr. Crystal has produced and written countless television shows and penned numerous screenplays for theatrical feature films in Hollywood. He has sung and produced four pop/jazz albums performing the classic standards he first heard as a young boy growing up in a house filled with music. A Reign Supreme is his first novel, inspired by a trip to South Africa and Botswana on his twenty-fifth wedding anniversary with his wife Fran.

Website * Twitter * Facebook * Pinterest

Praise for A Reign Supreme:

“Mr. Crystal has fashioned a tale of virtue and vice in the modern world. It deals with corporate greed, the politics of today’s African economic scene and how they test the people who have to make their living in that environment. And it’s all backed by the mellow sounds of modern jazz. I’m sure it will intrigue all.”
– Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, legendary basketball star, author and jazz aficionado

“From the streets of New York to a remote tribal village in Kenya, A Reign Supreme is a moody, intriguing and emotional story. Our hero’s journey from teenage jazz prodigy, to a man haunted by his past, to accepting his surprising fate of heritage, is a terrific read.
I’m not just Richard Crystal’s brother, I’m his fan.”
– Billy Crystal, actor, comedian and writer

“As you read ‘A Reign Supreme’ you will wonder if the author is a jazz musician from the streets of New York or was raised in a village in Kenya. The language of the characters is perfect and real. The descriptions of locations are both factual and extremely visual. Richard Crystal takes you on an adventure involving family loyalty, greed, life changing decisions and much, much more. Something for everyone.”
– Lou Adler, award winning music and film producer, recently inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame

“John Coltrane constructed his four-part magnum opus A Love Supreme as a harmonic journey meant to convey an ascendancy to spiritual enlightenment—the musical statement of one man meant to inspire and uplift all. With deep appreciation for that inspirational source, Richard Crystal has been inspired to create a story in four sections that follows that same path to a personal awakening, a return to one’s roots, and realization of one’s purpose. A Reign Supreme is a rare example of a powerful literary work drawing its spirit from a timeless musical classic, with a deft, reverential touch that avoids cliche or overstatement.”
– Ashley Kahn, jazz historian and author of A Love Supreme: The Story of John Coltrane’s Signature Album and Kind of Blue – The Making of the Miles Davis Masterpiece.

“In “A Reign Supreme”, Richard Crystal creates a multi-dimensional experience for the reader such as I’ve rarely experienced. Besides creating a fascinating and suspenseful plot that keeps the reader turning pages and transports him or her to Kenya with details you can taste, hear and feel so well you would swear you were there, he has, through his own musical experience, created descriptions of jazz that enables the reader to actually hear the music. It’s extraordinary.”
– Andrew Neiderman, Author of The Devil’s Advocate and the worldwide V.C. Andrews literary franchise

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Kobo * The Book Depository

Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 3/14/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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GUEST POST

Spirit of Our Ancestors

As part of the spiritual culture of the Makenda tribe in “A Reign Supreme”, the villagers believe in the spirits of their ancestors as otherworldly protectors who look out for their best interests. I was drawn to that magical idea because I had experienced it myself.

I began my life long career in the entertainment business as a singer – primarily musical theatre in New York. After I moved to Los Angeles to pursue work in television and movies, singing work was scarce and I began writing and developing ideas to create work for myself. I sold my first screenplay and instantly knew this was the way I could support myself and my family. My mother, who was a major influence in my life (my father died suddenly when I was seventeen), always loved to hear me sing and regretted the fact that I had stopped using “my gift.” When my mom passed away in New York right after 9/11 in 2001, I summoned up the courage to sing at her funeral. Indeed, it was painfully torturous but something I desperately needed to do. A short time later, I recorded an album of her favorite standards as a loving tribute and began performing in different venues in Los Angeles and New York. Every time I sang, I imagined her sitting in the audience with a big smile on her face. Eventually I sang at Feinstein’s at the Regency Hotel in New York and many of my high school classmates came to cheer me on. It was awesome.

Not long after that engagement, I received an email from Ellen Stauber, a former high school classmate who was now living in Scottsdale, Arizona. She heard about the show and wanted me to know she would come to Los Angeles to hear me sing if I was performing there. I told her I’d be doing a gig in January and she replied she was coming with her son, Lee who was living in L.A. and working as a producer for the E Cable Network. Because she didn’t know anyone, she asked if she could sit with my wife, Fran and our daughter, Jackie. Fran was fine with the idea but Jackie resented it. She thought it was a set up and didn’t want to be manipulated. Lee didn’t like the idea for two reasons. He was invited to attend the Golden Globes and didn’t want to sit with the fat daughter of an old classmate of his mother’s.

Ellen can be very persuasive and somehow managed to drag her resentful son to my show. Jackie didn’t want to disappoint me and reluctantly agreed to sit at Fran’s table. Sparks were flying from the moment Jackie and Lee met. I don’t think they heard me sing a single note.

Two years later, I sang at their wedding.

My mom adored my daughter Jackie. She was her youngest grandchild, an only child named for my father, Jack, the love of her life. Mom was the reason I wanted to sing again and because I did, her granddaughter met the young man she would later marry.

By the way, that was five years ago. They are now the proud parents of Coco, a delicious little girl and our first grandchild. So mom, thanks for keeping an eye out for your youngest grandchild. I wonder what she plans to do next.