Tag Archive | flying to the light

My Fascination with Sign Language

When I was a little kid, I was fascinated with sign language. I remember finding a pamphlet with all the letters in ASL (American Sign Language) on it and practicing until I learned the alphabet. I would have loved to have practiced with someone, but I never interacted with a deaf person before. Except for seeing it in the movie with Marlee Matlin aslin “Children of a Lesser God,” I had so little experience with the culture and it wasn’t until I was in college in a sign language class, that I actually met my first deaf person. He was my professor, Larry Forrestal, and he was just awesome.

Professor Forrestal was deaf and didn’t speak. The entire class was conducted in sign language and whatever he felt like writing on the black board. I remember only hearing him speak once. It was later in the year and he called out someone’s name when they were walking away from him and he couldn’t get their attention. Dumbfounded, we all stared at him and signed, “You Can Speak?” He shook his head no, but gave a sly grin. I bet he could speak, but he chose not too.

Another funny story: One day, we met in the evening for a study group and we were walking with our professor through the Student Union to our meeting area. There was a huge party going on and the music was so loud, “I couldn’t hear myself think.” I saw Professor Forrestal “dancing and moving” along to the music and I signed to him “How are you dancing? You hear it?” He rolled his eyes, grabbed my hand and another girl’s hand and pushed us both to the floor. Here were the three of us, our professor and two of his students, sitting on the floor in the middle of this very active building and he’d pressed our hands to the floor so we could feel the pulsations from the bass from the music “loud and clear.” He also pointed to his chest and told us to just “feel it” and of course we could. We sat there for a while, just “listening” with him along to the music. It was a very big wake up call for me.

flying montageSign Language and the deaf culture has fascinated me ever since and when I was writing a YA series, I decided to make my main character deaf. FLYING TO THE LIGHT is about a young deaf boy who knows about the afterlife and now people are after him for the answer. FLYING TO THE FIRE continues the tale seven years later and my main character’s life is suddenly turned upside down yet again. What I think has really appealed to people is that my character’s family primarily uses sign language to communicate with him and at no time is his deafness a disability. It is simply a part of who he is.

I just love that my interest as a little girl morphed into something so amazing and brought me to this spot. Have you had experiences with the culture? I’d love to hear. Please drop me a note on my website and join my e-newsletter. Just click for newsletter updates here and then click “Contact Me.”

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Launching a Sequel

Book #1 & #2 in my Deaf Thriller Series

Book #1 & #2 in my Deaf Thriller Series

I’ve heard in the industry that it is very difficult launching a sequel. For starters, unless it’s a standalone, readers need to read the first book in the series to develop a relationship with the story and the characters. So, the question is, how do you launch a sequel successfully?

Answer? Promotion and creativity. I’m launching Book #2 in my YA thriller series on August 30th. The novel is called FLYING TO THE FIRE and is the sequel to FLYING TO THE LIGHT. The books are about a deaf boy who knows about the afterlife and now people are after him for the answer.

Until August 14th, I’m offering the kindle version of Book #1 for only 99 cents (and £0.77 in the UK). That’s right, today, tomorrow and Thursday, FLYING TO THE LIGHT is just 99 cents for your kindle. I figure this way new readers can grab a copy and have the opportunity to read it before book #2 comes out (and possibly even get a few more reviews in as well).

In addition, I’m advertising on ENT, The Fussy Librarian, hopefully Pixel of Ink if they pick it up, and will promote on all the FB 99 cent sites, Google+ and Twitter. FLYING TO THE LIGHT has been out for a bit and has sold pretty well. I’m hoping with a series in place that it will continue to develop a nice audience. I’m about to start on Book #3 soon and it’s tentatively titled FLYING HOME.

On August 30th, I’ve got 9 – 10 bloggers promoting the book and doing a special book launch event on FB where I’ll be giving away prizes. I’ll have signed copies of FLYING TO THE FIRE and FLYING TO THE LIGHT, a voucher from a deaf retailer, Itunes cards, etc… This will be the first time I’m doing one of these all by myself, so we’ll see how it goes. I have over 100 people coming so far, so I’m very excited. Please feel free to join the online event here to win some fun prizes. No pressure to buy, just joining and participating would be great, too. https://www.facebook.com/#!/events/669594469785008/

If you’d like to purchase FLYING TO THE LIGHT for just 99 cents, please do so here:

US: http://www.amzn.com/B00J8ZPKWG
UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Flying-Light-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00J8ZPKWG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407850545&sr=8-1&keywords=flying+to+the+light

It’s at this price until August 14th and then will go back up to $2.99.

If anyone would care to do a write-up, interview or promotion on their own blogs because they’re looking for content on August 30th or anytime the week after, please feel free to let me know and I’ll provide anything you need.

Thanks so much and happy reading!

When You Have Too Many Things on Your Plate….

Fill with coffee please

Fill with coffee please

Everyone’s life is hectic. I know very few people who are not stressed in some capacity. But, I think there are other people that put way too many things on their plates. Apparently, I’m one of them.

I didn’t think I was one of those people. I thought everyone out there does 5,000 things before breakfast, works full-time, raises kids, has a garden, does hours of social media a day to promote their books, and tries to write novels – all at the same time. I thought no one sleeps and spends their evening hours stressing about all the little things that have to get done the next day. I know I’m not alone because at any given time I can find friends tweeting and facebooking at all hours of the night. We kind of giggle at the “Oh, you’re still up?” comments.

The thing is, I do have a lot on my plate. Besides all that above, I’m hosting a party next weekend for 22 people (which I’ve not done a THING for yet as I have to get through a two day business trip first mid-week), in July I’m putting a huge family party together for my kids for 65 people (complete with photographers, entertainment and goodies) and I’m prepping for a HUGE family vacation this summer (which I’m kind of working on), among a host of other things. Add to that a workout regime where I squeeze in yoga at a 6 am class during the week and a Pilates class early morning on the weekends. (and yes, I have a husband, and yes he helps)

All while trying to edit one book, THE QUEST FOR THE EMPTY TOMB, book #2 in my Kelsey Porter series, and put out and publish my finished Book #2 in my YA Deaf thriller series, FLYING TO THE FIRE. I just have to get through the final proofs on that, get it formatted and it can be submitted to the universe.

Flying to the Fire - coming July 2014

Flying to the Fire – coming July 2014

Maybe I just don’t want to slow down. Maybe I need this insanity for some reason. There’s this crazy saying I like “You’ll sleep when you’re dead.” That’s sort of true… though every now and then I would love to be able to string more than two words together that doesn’t require me having two cups of coffee to do it! A publicist would be great too… but until I can get my own – I present you some of my books:

Want to read Book #1 in my adult thriller series? THE HUNT FOR XANADU here on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1m1jUli
Want to read Book #1 in my YA Deaf thriller series? FLYING TO THE LIGHT here on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1lJHFCS

Anyone else have too much on their plate? Love to hear… and commiserate…

Should You Ever Change Your Book’s Cover?

This is a very difficult question for authors, and for me specifically. I have no design eye. It’s why every wall in my house is painted “cream” or “off white” and our style of decoration is a touch above IKEA. To put some color in the house, I simply chose to add artwork, knick knacks and area rugs from the “fall hue family.” Meaning, if it’s an autumn gold, a deep green, a navy, a rustic red, or a mustard I’ve used it and hoped it all sort of meshed together.

So, when I am posed with creating a cover for my books, I’m clueless. My first published novel, FLYING TO THE LIGHT, was published by Cool Well Press. This was the cover they made for my novel about a young deaf boy who knows about the afterlife and now people are after him for the answer. It was dark, really just a few muted colors, but we loved the image of the little boy looking towards the light and the wonderful birds in the background. flyingwebresize

When that publishing company closed, I was given the book back. It was agented, but he couldn’t sell it. He suggested I change the cover and self publish it to get it back out to market. I sought out LLPix Photography and here’s what we came up with. We wanted something brighter… and to scream thriller, to show the relationship in the book between the two brothers and not just have it be about the little boy. And, to show that this book is still dark. I think the mood she created was really nice and spoke to that.
Flying to the light FINAL

I had polled a lot of readers on Facebook as to which cover they liked better. It was a very mixed review. Some folks who have already read book #1 liked that first cover, though they did feel it may have been too “religious looking.” Many new readers felt Cover #2 had a much better vibe.

My problem is that I always want too much in a cover – the entire kitchen sink, so it’s important, for me, to seek out a professional who can scale me back. But, the going consensus in the industry is that your cover is EXTREMELY important. It is the first thing a potential reader sees and if you can’t grab them immediately, you’ve already lost them. If the book isn’t selling, and you are certain it’s a good book, it doesn’t hurt to try a new cover.

So, which cover do you like? Would you pick up the blue cover or the dark cover if you saw both sitting on the shelf?

And for those interested in purchasing the novel, here is the link: http://amzn.to/1h3u6ZB
Book #2 in the series is going to be called FLYING TO THE FIRE and it’s with beta readers right now. Then back to an editor, a proofer and it will be in your hands. If you would like to get on my mailing list for announcements about new releases, please do so here (fyi – I will never give out my list to anyone or sell your name to anyone). http://www.elysesalpeter.com/contact.html

Of course, before I do anything for book #2, I first have to make the cover! Don’t get me started on what I want in THIS one!

Building an Email List – SWEEPSTAKES TO WIN A BOOK – 10 AVAILABLE!

First edition cover - only 20 left in existence!

First edition cover – only 20 left in existence!

Hi everyone, I’m getting my email newsletter up and running. My plan is to make announcements only monthly and/or if I have a new book release… which I will have by March.

Many of my readers have read my YA thriller, FLYING TO THE LIGHT. It’s a book about a young deaf boy who knows about the afterlife and now people are after him for the answer. The publishing company who represented this book folded and I was fortunate to have an agent pick it up. But, nearly a year later he still can’t sell it, or the sequel that is ready to go. Why? Because the book was “already out in the field” and publishing houses don’t want to take on another publishing house’s book unless I can confirm oodles of sales. While I was told FLYING TO THE LIGHT was the biggest seller at the old publishing house, my sales weren’t high enough to warrent a look. (think Harry Potter or Fifty Shades sales)

So, that said, he’s released them back to me. I’m working on a new cover and going to get it back out into the world. Which brings me back to newsletters. I’ve been told this will be the best and most efficient way to reach my readers. So, if you’d like to join my e-mail list for announcements, trivia and games, please do so here: http://elysesalpeter.com/contact.html I promise NEVER to sell or distribute your email to anyone else.

SWEEPSTAKES: The 10th person to join my newsletter is going to win a signed copy of FLYING TO THE LIGHT – with the original first cover. The 20th person will win a signed copy and so will the 30th. I will do this up until the 100th new newsletter fan! The contest will go until the new book cover is released in early March. How’s THAT for a sweepstakes?

Come on over folks and enter.

FLYING TO THE FIRE… it’s coming March 2013!

Well, I’m starting to get excited. FLYING TO THE LIGHT, my first YA novel with Cool Well Press, has been out for over a year and I’ve had such a great response to it. I’ve been able to visit a bunch of schools, did some library chats and was hosted on a bunch of different websites and blogs. It’s been a lot of fun.

the world of karov AaThen, I decided to self publish my dark fantasy tale, THE WORLD OF KAROV. Hey, it’s been sitting in my computer for years, the sequel is also written, so why not? I figured it would force me to really immerse myself in social media and the experience has been great. I did a free promo of the book and over 450 people downloaded it! It was very exciting.

But, the newest news is the March 2013 release of my upcoming thriller, FLYING TO THE FIRE. It is the sequel to FLYING TO THE LIGHT and takes our main character, Danny Anderson, who was only 6 in the first book, and now he’s 13. Here’s the teaser and blurb:

One looks up… and the other looks down…
An evil black mass is attacking Danny Anderson in his dreams and in his waking life. Attacks so vicious that if it weren’t for his birds, he would have died. Danny soon realizes that this monster is not coming for him, but for his little sister-because while he can see up to the place of light and peace, Katie can see down into the realm of darkness and cruelty. Danny must fight to save Katie before the creature steals her away… and she is lost to him forever.

Yep, there’s now a little sister. But don’t worry, Michael, Gary and Maddy are there too… along with a few surprises! FLYING TO THE LIGHT
If you’d like to read FLYING TO THE LIGHT, please feel free to get it here: http://www.amazon.com/Flying-to-the-Light-ebook/dp/B00666JMOM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1360790495&sr=8-2&keywords=flying+to+the+light

Thanks everyone! Happy Reading!