Monday, June 27, 2011

Pimp My Blog - Indie Author Spotlight

Hello Everyone!

I know it has been way too long since I've posted, but I've been crazy busy trying to finish up TWO novels before the holidays. With that said, if you've sent me your information and I haven't posted it, please send me a reminder (like our next featured author) and I'll get it up as my schedule allows.

Without further adieu, I present Douglas Carlyle!

1. Tell us about your book(s).

The book I released in December is titled, In Search of the Fuller Brush Man. It is mainstream fiction/family saga. In print, it is 446 pages in trade paperback. I self-published using Createspa
ce and the end result is outstanding. The e-book is also available for Kindle, but not Nook.

The back cover reads:

Sean Marcum is driven to find the meaning of his mother's swan song. The last words she wrote in her journal were, "Fuller Brush Man". She always communicated life's most important lessons via riddles, and he is convinced this is her finale. Sadly, Sean was never good at solving riddles, and his quest turns into an obsession, nearly costing him his marriage, and his life.

high school sweetheart, Kim, had a special bond with his mother. She was also a master at riddles. The one-time lovers have been married to others for more than 30 years. Kim's marriage has been picture perfect, Sean's not so much. Upon Kim's death from breast cancer, Sean receives a memoir she penned celebrating their failed relationship. Her book, The Road to Monticello, contains the secret to a long, happy relationship for which Sean so desperately searches. It is a lesson all of us should take to heart.

“My log line is: Two Women, Both Dead, Save Sean Marcum.” The book is very personal and somewhat biographical. To understand this, one must read my author’s note…

My mother died of pancreatic cancer on March 12, 1987. She kept a journal. In it, her last written words really were Fuller Brush Man. As far as I am concerned, I know what she was talking about.

I was fortunate to have had a relationship with a truly wonderful woman during high school and my first years of college. She died of breast cancer on June 30, 2010. Though we parted ways many years ago, I can’t help but think of how she, along with my mother, perhaps unknowingly, helped shape me to be the decent man, father, and husband that I am today. She married a better man than me, and raised a lovely family. Their life together will be a lesson of love in and of itself for all time.

I will never be able to thank these two women enough. And I can never again embrace them. But as a tribute to them, I hope all who read this book come to understand, as I have, the beauty of a long-term relationship.

My first novel, Boundaries, ended up being well over 200K words. I will rework it to make it smaller, or turn it into a trilogy in 2012.

This autumn, I will release my next novel, Vinegarone.

I will refer readers to my website for more information about these two upcoming novels.

2. How did you go about getting your book published?

Labor, sweat, tears, and more of the same. I was highly motivated to write the book. I had just finished my first novel. It remains to be published, but I learned a great deal about writing, and publishing. As for FBM, I knew the plot, theme, beginning, and end of the book. I completed the manuscript in about three months. Then, I spent about ten months editing, and trying to get an agent interested. I sent out query letter after query letter—all for naught. I attended workshops and conferences with agents. I had many tell me to send them material. Nothing.

Along the way, I entered the novel in the 2010 ABNA contest and was a quarterfinalist. I also entered the novel in contests with the Houston Writers Guild, and Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society. The novel did very well. Createspace sent me an email informing me of their product, and advising me I could get a free copy of the novel. When I held my completed novel in my hands, that was all it took. I have no regrets having self-pub’d.

3. Tell us about your marketing strategies.

I have a website,, and I participate in many, many indie author threads. I have contacted several newspapers that in turn published articles about me and the book. The book is presently sold in eight stores, and I am expanding my ‘local’ reach to include San Antonio, Houston, and Austin. The book also is for sale in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, which is one of the primary settings for the book. The other is the Chicago suburb of Lake Forest. I am trying hard to get into the greater Chicago market. That will be my focus after this March when I hope to complete my efforts in Texas (where I live).

The Kindle version of the book is selling, but not briskly. I have sold more paper copies than e-books. I look forward to when the e-book version picks up momentum.

I don’t use Facebook or Twitter. I am one of those grumpy, old hold-outs. I barely have enough time to market the book in my current manner. I don’t want to add more to my plate. I’m sure we could debate this subject vigorously, but you have to sit with me and have a drink to have such a debate.

I am also doing what I can to have my book reviewed, and to have people like you interview me. Here we are!

4. What's the best advice you could give to new writers who want to get published?

Never give up. Believe in yourself. And, be yourself. You do have to work hard to make your book look professional. You have to sweat the details. Commas, scene breaks, points-of-view, character development, consistency, spelling, punctuation. You have to get these correct if you want to compete. The first time you publish junk, that’s all you will be known for. Readers aren’t very forgiving, and the internet will transmit opinions—good and bad—around the world in a split second.

5. What are you reading? (I added this question to give every author the opportunity to lend to support to other authors coming up in the ranks like we are. :)

I don’t read a lot. In the past year, I have read books by Kit Frazier, Sandra Brown, and Paulette Jiles. Kit is from Austin, and a member of the Writers’ League of Texas. Her books are outstanding. I just happened to borrow a Sandra Brown book, and I found it very good. As for the narrative fiction by Paulette, she lives in my town, and has conducted some workshops. I like narrative fiction, though that’s not what I write.

I want to read good books by indie authors. I have spotted some on the indie threads. For me, being a NYT best seller is a kiss of death. I have been so disappointed by so many ‘great’ books. They are all hype, and no better than some of the indie novels that are available.

This past weekend, I bought Blind by Choice, by Suchada Kailey. My first novel takes place partly in Thailand. Her book will help me portray my setting more accurately.

Today, I chose Virtual Strangers by Suzanne O’Leary and Ola Zaltin to be my next read. Since I read so little, I choose very carefully.

For more information, please visit:

If you would like your work featured on the Pimp My Blog Indie Author Spotlight please send your responses to the following questions, as well as a jpeg of your book(s) and/or author photos to karla (at) klbradywrites (dot) com. Remember your responses should be geared toward both spotlighting your own work and helping others.

1. Tell us about your book(s).

2. How did you go about getting your book published?

3. Tell us about your marketing strategies.

4. What's the best advice you could give to new writers who want to get published?

5. What are you reading? (I added this question to give every author the opportunity to lend to support to other authors coming up in the ranks like we are. :)

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