Making Tik Toks from an 80 Year old Cookbook

So, I’ve been doing TikTok videos for a few months now. Most of them have been focused on my novels I’ve created, trends, or maybe even my exercise endeavors. I accumulated about 2500 followers and get a few hundred views to my posts.

Well, about 2 weeks ago, my 94 year old neighbor was throwing out a box of old cookbooks. One of them was the Rumford Complete Cook Book, circa 1940’s printing and since then, I’ve been making some of the recipes and posting them. I’m terrible at this! LOL. I have a beater going at times while I’m talking and no one can hear a darn thing, or it’s shaky because I’m holding it with one hand, etc… that said, people seem to like it a lot! I just hit 23,000 followers and my videos are in the thousands and some have hit 10K, 74K and one over 458K!!! Crazy.

Anyway, if you like to see video step by step recipe tutorials, I’m going to be doing this for a bit more time. Come on over and follow me on TikTok under @elysesalpeter and you can see the direct link here: tiktok.com/elysesalpeter

I also have a listing for all my social media for you to follow. Check here: https://bit.ly/3au7CGv

Love to hear from you and see what you think of the recipes!

TITANIUM FLOW, my Collection of Science Fiction Short Stories

This has been a crazy year for all of us. I launched book #6 in my Kelsey Porter series with the release of THE JOURNEY BACK and now I’ve been playing around with a few other novels done in my computer that I haven’t published yet.

One of my novels that doesn’t get a lot of love, but really should, is my science fiction short story collection called TITANIUM FLOW. Gosh, I love these stories and I think they’re some of my best work. Some of these tales are sweet romance sci-fi, some speculative sci-fi and some hard science fiction. Some were featured in magazines and rights were returned to me as well, so these are some strong tales. And at 99 cents, I feel like it offers such a great read. Not to mention, I get a ton of compliments on this book, though there are only 6 reviews on Amazon, which is startling. It’s so very hard to get someone to write a review. They are so much more comfortable just to side IM me vs put it on the web for all to see. But, reviews are incredibly helpful.

Here’s the blurb on Amazon for just some of the short stories in the collection:

TITANIUM FLOW: It was supposed to be a simple mission. Mine the titanium on a deserted world and return it to earth. No one knew they wouldn’t be alone.

In A BAD DAY AT SCHOOL, find out what was in that jar that little Roger brought to school and why it terrified everyone.

In THE GARDEN, discover why a loving husband has walled up a section of his garden in the back of his property. And why he refuses to let anyone go near it.

And in THE FLIP, you learn how very important it is to drink all your tea… because if you don’t, you might simply disappear.

This collection will scratch all the sub-genre itches, from hard science, to speculative fiction, to romance. Discover a new favorite sci-fi genre today!

Happy reading!

When You’re Too Scared to Publish

So, I’ve written over 12 books and countless short stories, but I actually have two finished novels sitting in my computer that I don’t have the nerve to publish.

How weird is that, right? But it’s true. The reason is because these two novels have an angle to them that my other books don’t. #1 they are violent… and #2 they are “spicy.” So spicy and violent that I had an editor who worked with this genre read the one called A LIFE TAKEN and told me, “It’s good, but even I might have nightmares.” OMG. What exactly does that mean? Is that good? I have also had beta readers take a peek at the other novel, tentatively titled TAKEN, and they have nice things to say as well – that said, both books need some serious editing, but it’s the core of each of the novels that concerns me. What will readers think OF ME if they read them? So many times a reader thinks that the author truly believes in the things they write. Does that mean I love violence, love watching terrible things happen to people? I don’t, but we must always remember, this is a fictional story.

Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child get a lot of flack for the amount of dogs that seem to get killed in their books. I spoke to Douglas about it once at a book signing we attended together and he said it best. “No fictional dogs were actually killed in this fictional book.” We make things up. That’s what authors do.

It’s like an actor getting into a role. They can be the meekest person on earth, but then onscreen they are an extraverted vixen! It’s like that with writing. I had this idea in my head and said, “You know what? Write it, get out of my comfort zone, and see where it goes!”

So, they’re written and yet I don’t have the guts to publish them. But, here’s part of the beginning to A LIFE TAKEN. Its rough – REALLY ROUGH, Don’t bother editing for me. I just felt like if I started to tell the world about this novel, perhaps I’d get the guts to work on it and publish it.

A LIFE TAKEN is about a little girl kidnapped by an “evil entity/corporation” because her parents, who were spies working for them, were caught lying. This girl was sent to a location and schooled on becoming an assassin of the highest order. But, they had to break her down until she was nothing but a mindless killer. Until she had no more emotion left. Until she was nothing but a hollow shell.

Mommy!” That was all I could utter before a strange man me and picked me up hoisted me over his back. I felt my stomach thump hard onto his shoulder and I couldn’t breathe. He bolted out of my house and carried me like I was nothing but a sack of garbage while my father ran by his side and pleaded with him to let me go.

     My mother screamed and fell to her knees while the man hauled me into the car. The baby doll I carried dropped to the pavement and I heard the porcelain head crack and shatter.

     I kicked and shrieked, but a woman inside the car grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me. I tried to bite her and she smacked me hard in the face. Sobbing, I turned to the window, seeing my sister Elizabeth standing next to my brother and other sister, in shock.

     I shivered violently. It was cold that day and the man hadn’t bothered to get my jacket. The woman reached over and grabbed the harness and locked me in and I couldn’t move. I spit at her and she smacked me again, this time harder and I saw stars. The next few minutes were a whirlwind of horror. My mother racing to the car and throwing herself onto my kidnapper. Her raking her nails down his cheeks and him punching her. She fell to the pavement, got up and lunged again, swerving by him and slamming her hands into the glass window next to me. She beat against the glass, begging them to let me go. That she “was sorry.”

     I lifted my hands, calling for her through my tears. My father was behind her, fighting with someone and I saw one of them take a gun and hit him in his temple. Someone else grabbed my mother and threw her to the ground.

     Car doors opened and slammed as others filled the vehicle. One man shoved himself next to me and the other jumped into the front seat and took the wheel.  The man next to me took out his gun and trained it on my mother, who had yet again made it to the car door.  In English he spoke to my parents, in an accent I later learned was German. “It’s your own fault this happened. You have no one to blame but yourselves for this. Did you think they would simply allow you to go against them? Now she’s ours as punishment. If you don’t want to lose the rest of them, I suggest you start obeying orders. They won’t give any of you a second chance.”

     And with that, the car sped away and my life as I knew it was over. I had one last look at my family standing in the front yard of our house, my sisters and brothers stunned, my parents bleeding and crying. I remember the look in my mother’s eyes and it took me until I was older to understand what her haunted expression meant. Back then, I thought she was just sad, but I realized it was so much more than that. She was devastated, horrified and fearful for me. For she knew what the Dasien were capable of.     

And she would be right.

Well, folks, there is novel #1 put out to the universe. Now, let’s see what I do with it. Have any of you had this sort of quandary with your own work? Love to hear how you got the guts to release it to the world.

Conquering Your Fears

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

I’ve met so many people that absolutely refuse to do things. Things that would actually make them happy, but they don’t, because they are scared. I have someone older, close to me, that refuses to use a computer, or an IPAD. They love to shop, they love to play games, they love to watch old movies and see photos and connect with people, but the fear of learning, or even touching, that device is simply too terrifying for them.

I know someone else who struggles with their health and refuses to exercise (or do more than walking casually) over fear they “won’t feel well,” or that “they’ll do too much” and then won’t feel well. This real fear stops them from doing things they sometimes will casually say, “I wish I were able to do that.”

Fear is a real thing. It’s so easy for us to just say “Oh, suck it up and just do it,” but if the mind is not ready to commit, the body simply won’t follow. Fear can stall you and cause intense distress. I started a new job this year and they mailed me a Mac, and told me we were using Slack, Googlemeets, Googlemail, etc. I’m a big PC Microsoft Office girl. Microsoft Teams. I can do Excel and Powerpoint like a pro. Using Word is as simple as breathing for me. But suddenly at 53, while I’m sitting in my attic office, alone, I’m frozen in fear as I attempted to figure out how to even turn on my Mac. People kept telling me “It’s intuitive and so easy,” but honestly things are only easy if you know what you’re doing. Add on the stress of Covid and there was no one that could even come over and sit with me to help me navigate and learn. I had to google and watch videos over and over to simply learn tricks. The fear at the beginning was palpable and I begged my company to send me a regular PC. But, I have a good friend (and my daughter) who both told me to “stop being such a big baby, and just learn it.” They were right. I was doing exactly the opposite of what I preach. I took 1000 deep breaths, told myself it’s okay if don’t become an expert at this immediately (or over the next month), and just try and learn. I’m a few months into the job and things are better. At least I can navigate around and I won’t lie, I pat myself on the back and congratulate myself when I can actually find a specific email I haven’t touched in a few weeks. It’s NOT as intuitive as everyone under the age of 30 says, but I’m handling it.

Fear is about just “doing it.” Trying, attempting. It doesn’t mean you’re going to be an expert and it’s okay if the learning curve is slow.

I joined an open water swim group last summer. I’m not a great swimmer at all and I was amazed I put myself in a situation where I was going into an open bay, and swimming longer distances than I normally do. I’m not even sure why I did it, but the thrill was there for me and I thought, “why not?” I was trying to become a better swimmer and the idea of using a wetsuit and swimming in open water kind of made me feel a bit like a badass. So, I did it. Was I slow? Oh yeah. But I got stronger. Last night was the first night this year when I rejoined the group. Look at this photo and tell me that taking the chance, swallowing my fear, wasn’t the right choice? How beautiful is that scene? I was again in the slower group, which was FINE. There were four of us, with our own wonderful couch on a paddleboard watching and paddling nearby to make sure we were safe. And I know that even though every single time I step into that bay I have a tingle of fear, I also know that I’m doing something that will feed my soul and make me healthier. I also know how absolutely lucky and fortunate I am that I have the ability to even do this.

Do you do anything that you fear? Love to hear why you do it, how you conquer it, and what you get out of it.

Who Loves Horror?

When I was in 8th grade, my mom took me to see The Shining. That started my love for all things horror. But not slasher horror (though I did used to go to all those types of movies with one of my cousins growing up), but more pschological horror. The ones that make you think, the ones that make you go cold in fear when you realize what’s happening. The ones that linger with you long after the story is gone.

Stephen King wrote this one short story called The Jaunt that has stuck with me for YEARS and I found it absolutely terrifying. There is no blood, gore, nothing like that. But at its core, it’s terrifying. All I’ll say is that this short story is about teleportation and people being sedated as they go through it. The short story collection is called SKELETON CREW and I highly recommend it.

I love writing short horror stories and for years I entered flash fiction contests and did entries for magazines. I compiled all of them into a short story collection called RICKET ROW. 28 Great Reviews so far with a 4.5 star rating. If you like creepy horror then you will enjoy this collection. Zombies, kids, babies, clowns, and other esoteric horror themes. And, it’s just 99 cents. Love to hear what you think of it and which of the tales is your favorite. One of mine is Mr. & Mrs. Odd.

Stephen King SKELETON CREW: https://amzn.to/2SG0BvY

Elyse Salpeter RICKET ROW http://amzn.to/2iNIAI1

If you’d like some other books and authors to check out, look at this goodreads list of Short Story Horror Collections. Ricket Row is there along with top selections from King, Barker, Poe, Bradbury. https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/31956.Short_Horror_SciFi_Collections

Here’s a few other collections that I have not yet read, but look great!

RB Frank Bite Size Reads: bit.ly/BiteSizeReads Bite Size Reads is a collection of 23 short stories of murder, revenge, time travel and creepy things, all flavor enhanced with a dash of irony and a sprinkling of humor.

Jordan Grupe NO SLEEP TONIGHT: https://amzn.to/2RQg5NW No Sleep Tonight “collection of scary short stories – the latest offering of terror for those yearning for a bout of wild-eyed insomnia.”

A.J. Spencer HAUNTED AND HUNGRY: https://amzn.to/3vBr5Ny Haunted and Hungry “five short tales of vengeful spirits, hungry creatures, and bizarre entities.”

Happy Reading Everyone… and don’t shut off the lights…

How do you Measure Success… before you Give Up.

That’s a pretty ominous title, isn’t it? I won’t lie, I’ve been grappling with a lot of things since Covid started. I mean, we all have. Now that life is getting back to some semblance of normal, I’ve had some big realizations of “how much time and effort” I continue to put into certain efforts that while some might say have achieved success, my personal mentality has it sitting in a lukewarm bath where all the bubbles have basically fizzed out.

Let’s talk books. I have been trying for 14 years to be a successful novelist. Am I successful? To some, sure:

  • My Kelsey Porter series is six books deep
  • The Hunt for Xanadu has a review by the amazing novelist Douglas Preston
  • The Hunt for Xanadu was a $200 Jeopardy! question back in October 2016
  • My books get really great reviews for the most part, which makes me happy
  • My FLYING TO THE LIGHT series was on a ton of deaf websites and now in deaf schools around the country

BUT, I’m not selling anything. Well, not enough to sustain an actual wage. In fact, there are some months I can’t even get a latte at Starbucks with my earnings. This month is doing pretty good, for me, but would appall someone trying to pay their mortgage. To be honest, I’m just ecstatic someone is reading my novels and even happier when I get that coveted review.

But, it’s exhausting folks. Just exhausting.

When Covid hit, I published Book #6 in the Kelsey Porter series in May 2020. And then, for the first time in 14 years, I stopped writing. I mean, I literally ceased. I used to write every day. But it was as if my brain went on hold and had enough. Part of me wants to get back to it, but another part of me is sad at the same time. I do have one completely finished, and professionally edited, and beta read, genetic thriller sitting in my computer, but I’m leery to publish it. My beta readers and editor came back lukewarm to my bad guys, and the book has some racial undertones. Due to the current social climate of the world right now, I’m simply not strong enough to publish and withstand any backlash, because I’m 100% sure there will be as people are so sensitive right now, so this 75K romantic thriller is just sitting in my computer. I have thought about it a lot over the year. Do I revamp the bad guys? Do I change my characters? I just don’t know. I’m just too exhausted to start over. I mean, I love the book as it is, but… well… do I trust those who have reviewed it? Yep. But at the same time, I’m conflicted. So, it just sits…

I’ve decided to simply let life happen to me as it happens. If I want to write again one day, I will. Even doing this blog post is a big deal. I’ve been lax with that, too. But I think it will come back again. Once the world rights itself and once I get a chance to stop having to manage and navigate the emotional stresses all around me.

Be safe everyone. Try to find your joy. Love to hear from you.

New Mystery Release by Scott Bury

Dead Man Lying: Book #3 in the Hawaiian Mystery series

Hi, everyone! I thought it would be a nice idea to let everyone know about a fantastic new release coming our way. Author Scott Bury has written a compelling mystery series that you should definitely take a look at. DEAD MAN LYING is Book #3 in the Hawaiian Storm Mystery series and is launching March 15th.

TORN ROOTS is Book #1 in the series to get you started and is where we meet Vanessa Storm for the very first time. You should definitely check it out.

So, what is DEAD MAN LYING about? Let’s take a peek!

FBI Special Agent Vanessa Storm returns to Maui’s rain-soaked coast to investigate the death of a once-famous singer. Teaming up with local police, she uncovers drug trafficking, stolen music and a string of mysterious deaths. As a savage tropical storm traps every witness, and suspect, in the singer’s rambling home, Vanessa learns that they’re all lying. But the biggest liar of all may just be the victim—the dead man, lying.

And here is a brief excerpt for your reading pleasure:

He looked at her through narrowed eyes for a moment, then unzipped his jacket and pulled out a satchel. He reached inside and pulled out the biggest revolver Vanessa had ever seen. Her heart pounded. There was no time to reach her trusty Walther before he could turn that massive weapon toward her. But he put it carefully on the kitchen table. It was an antique weapon—that was clear from the curved shape of the wooden grip and the fancy engraving on the cylinder. Where other revolvers had an ejector rod, under the barrel was a tube, bigger around than the barrel itself. And there was a strange external rod on a clip alongside the barrel. The bottom of the grip had an eye, as if it were meant to be hung on a nail. “Where did you find this?” she asked. “In the toolshed under Kaholo Iolani’s apartment,” he answered.

You can purchase the novels here:

 

Enjoy!

Replying to Comments with a Video on TikTok

So someone writes a lovely comment on one of your TikTok posts. Or writes something that you feel the need to respond to with your own tiktok. There’s a very easy way to do this.

Step one, first, go to the tiktok in question and click on the comments. Then, find the comment that you want to respond to.

Step Two: Then press your finger ON the comment and hold it down. Up will pop a list of options and the top one is “Reply with Video.” You will see a fresh tiktok pop up now with the comment on the screen. Simply press the big fat red button to start recording and it will stay there!

Easy Peasy. What are some tiktok obstacles you’re facing? Let me know and I’ll do some research to the best of my ability. Happy Posting!

Authors doing TikTok – Use the Inverted Filter

I have joined a few author groups on TikTok that support each other by liking and commenting on posts, along with sharing tips and tricks to help each other gain exposure on this platform. After being on TikTok for a few months, I’ve learned a few things. Not that I have a huge following right now – I have all of 1795 followers, but I have learned some tricks authors should do. Tip for Today:

USE THE INVERTED FILTER. I can’t tell you how many authors are doing these really amazing videos but don’t take that extra step to allow us to see their covers properly. When you do a tiktok, it shows the mirror image, which means your book cover is backwards. I’ve gone on and mentioned it to some authors that their video is great, but they should invert their video. Some have told me it’s “no big deal.” I beg to differ and think it’s really a bit lazy, if I may be so bold to say so. If someone can’t read your title, or read your name, how have you helped gain exposure for your work? All you have to do is use the “inverted filter” on TikTok. You do that, and you’re golden. We have to do everything in our power to make our work shine.

@jera.bean has a great video that teaches us how to do this and I implore everyone to take a peek to make your videos better.

Click Here to view it: I’m going to be posting little tips and tricks that I think can help people. If you have any that you think would be helpful, please let me know! I love to learn!

Why in the World am I on TikTok?

It seems like every few months there is a new form of social media technology to conquer. I made a deal with myself that I would never shy away from technology and have made a promise to at least get on and try to use whatever platform was now trending.

My goal is not to go viral. I mean, I’m lucky I can figure out the user face of each platform. I never figured out Tumblr. I couldn’t even get myself past the home page!

But I’m on Facebook, with an author page, too. I have two Instagram accounts, one for my “life” and the other about paleo-ish recipes I make. Then there’s snapchat, which I hardly ever use, unless I want to play with funny filters. Pinterest was big with me for a long time. I have so many boards, but now I only go on occasionally. Twitter and I have a love/hate relationship. I have over 29,000 followers but get very little engagement on there. What’s the point of that many followers if no one is responding?

If you’d like to follow me on any of the above platforms, check out my http://www.Linktr.ee/elysesalpeter and you’ll be able to get to all of them.

So now there’s tiktok. My daughter is pretty big on TikTok, having gotten verified a few months ago, so I thought why not learn how to make videos? I’ve done a few that I thought were good. (though my kids roll their eyes at me). My issue, as is my issue on every social media platform I do, is that I’m not focused on one thing. I love to write, to cook, to do triathlons, to travel, to be with family and friends. It’s like my writing. I don’t write in one genre, but five!

That said, I’ve made a few tiktoks that have gotten a few hundred views and hit 1K followers, which allows me to “Go Live.” I have made a decision that on Thursday nights, at 8 EST, I am going to do a horror read. That’s where I’ll chat with anyone that comes on and after a few minutes I’ll read a short flash fiction story from my short story horror collection, Ricket Row. I did it last Thursday and read AWAKE. I have to say, the two people that were there were kind! LOL! Hopefully I’ll get a larger audience this week. I’ll report.

What kind of social media do you focus on? Have you tried TikTok yet? Love to hear.