Monthly Archives: April 2012

Sell your books on Facebook!

I came across an extremely useful app for Facebook Authors while on Goodreads today! I felt the need to share this awesome find! The app is by Freebooksy and is completely FREE! It allows you to put in your Amazon ISBN and have your book details automatically pull into your Facebook page. If you aren’t listed on Amazon, you can manually enter the details of your book and link it to Smashwords, Lulu, B&N, etc. You can also offer a free chapter, collect email addresses from your fans and list your book signings.

You can install it here: Author App

You can learn more about the features here: Freebooksy Website

I now have it on my FB page…and it rocks! My FB Page

Enjoy! :)

FREE Dragon Saga…One chapter at a time??

In my previous post, I made mention of my next project, “The Emerald Dragon”; a story about a warrior named Tanis who is called by an emerald dragon. What follows is the day to day struggle Tanis faces while learning to be a dragon rider and live among the people of Mount Drago. It soon becomes evident that there’s more to his calling than just becoming a part of the Dragomeir legend. A war is brewing and only the dragon riders stand in the way of total annihilation.

What if you could read a chapter per week from “The Emerald Dragon” as the book is being written?!

What if you could affect the outcome of this book?!

I’m asking you, the reader, to tell me what you think? Contact me…talk to me.

Yikes! There be DRAGONS here!

Many years ago I chanced to meet one of the most outlandish men I’ve ever known. He lived in Iceland, right outside of Reykjavik. During one of our many alcohol-induced conversations, he told me of a supposed mystical society that called themselves “The Dragos.” My reply was, “hick” (drunken slur)…”and where do they hypothetically live then?” The story was already formulating in my somewhat inebriated mind. Being just sober enough to ask the six deadly questions…who, what, why, when, where and how…he unleashed a torrential flood of information and virtually ALL things DRAGON! Now whether or not any of it was true didn’t matter; what I saw was everything that I could possibly want, to be able to write a story of dragons that blew past descriptive and caught up with HOLY COW! Or in this case…HOLY DRAGON!

This inevitably leads to my next project, “THE EMERALD DRAGON”; which is virtually writing itself right up to and including names, dates, places, species and entire dialogues that allegedly happened in the Dragos’ ancestral home of Mount Drago.

The story opens with Tanis, an ancient warrior called by an emerald dragon; the first to be born in over a thousand years. The saga goes from day to day in Tanis’s struggles to not only learn to be a dragon rider but to interact with and eventually gain the trust of the people of Mount Drago. The two of them must bond together and help create a fighting force for an approaching apocalyptic war.

I have some really cool ideas for this project…so STAY TUNED!!

Who is Oscar Zoroaster??

Well it’s eminent; “Tinker Smith & the Conspiracy of OZ” is finished…sort of. As usual when the author says it’s done, it’s not actually done. However, the editing and proofreading is going well and the principle parties tell me…SOON! I am also told by the artist who is doing the cover that it will be finished at roughly the same time as the editing. Go team go!! I haven’t actually seen the cover yet, although I have seen the artist’s first rendering of the lead character, Tinker Smith, and I thought it was awesome! The bank of proof readers all had the same question…Who the heck is Oscar Zoroaster?! I’m sure that some of you out there already know the answer to this. If you do, please just bare with me.

Oscar Zoroaster was a snake oil salesman from Omaha, Nebraska. Through a series of misadventures, that he claims was no fault of his own, somehow magically made his way to the land of “OZ”. After he had made his way to the Emerald City, he performed the single greatest con act of his career…as you’ve probably already guessed; he convinced them he was a wizard. Now the real question here is…is Oscar Zoroaster a good guy or a bad guy? In the movie “The Wizard of OZ,” you really kinda have to wonder about this guy. After a couple of failed attempts at getting Dorothy and her friends killed, he finally and begrudgingly gives all of them what they apparently already had. In the novel, “Tinker Smith & the Conspiracy of OZ,” I have painted Oscar Zoroaster as not only a bad person, but the ultimate, the oober-criminal. It seemed like the logical thing to do at the time. Now imagine Oscar as the world’s greatest geneticist with a real need to bring OZ to earth. Well there ya have it! As I mentioned in a previous blog, I once again designed all of the lead characters to mirror my family and friends. More on that later.

The first character I’m idealizing on, a genetically altered little boy fresh out of Oscar’s nightmares sets the stage for act one of this “OZ” odyssey. I’m hoping that other people out there in the hinter lands loved L. Frank Baum’s “OZ” books as much as I did. If nothing else, it’s one heck of a lot of fun! I have to go now; they’re expecting me in the Emerald City…an interview with the Scarecrow. You understand.

What’s that clicking sound??

I was asked recently about my writing process…hmmm. First of all, I use an outline…but I’m not married to it. I find that if the outline is loose enough it stimulates the writing flow. Even though I get up every morning with the idea of getting to work, being methodical; the fact of the matter is most of my ideas come to me in the middle of the night in the form of dreams. The characters in ALL of my books are modeled after people I know. That way it’s easier for me to hear conversations that would involve them. For instance, the character Stephen Anthony from my novel “Vengeance of the Wolf” was modeled, in part, after my father. He’s intelligent, brash, aggressive, impulsive and prone to say whatever is on his mind at the time. He is the perfect characterization of the private detective. So…if I wake up at 2am with an intense idea of a conversation between characters, I’ll make a bee-line for the computer before the idea simply fades away. It was during one of those nights that I kept hearing a clicking sound. I don’t know how long it took me to realize what I was doing, but eventually it dawned on me that my forehead was on the keyboard. I had typed one letter for several pages! As a result I have developed my own curriculum; the number of hours changes daily. I do however try to keep my face off the keyboard!

As much as I hate to admit it, I’ve also been known to take long sojourns around my back yard; pretending to be both characters in any given dialogue. I’m sure my neighbors think I’m nuts! It does however make them seem more realistic. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to stand at the end of a rainbow in Ireland? Or watching the earth light from the moon? Or at the very least, have you ever seen a martian sunset? The answers to these are probably no, because in most cases there is probably no way for you to know…But, it occurred to me to ask the characters that I’ve created; and I’ll be a son-of-a-gun, they DID!

In conclusion, let it be it known that I also work on more than one book at the same time. However I recognize that this is potentially a recipe for disaster. Take two stories, add fatigue and total darkness; paragraphs have actually made it from book one to book two! I’m glad it doesn’t happen very often because whatever it is that flows is where my computer goes.

Oh! One more thing…

Call me paranoid, but part of my routine everyday involves saving the document I am working on in two completely different folders on two completely different hard drives. This ensures that should one of my hard drives crash, I have a backup. This actually happened to me while writing my very first book. I come by my paranoia honestly.  :-)

Can’t see the forest through all the DARN trees!

Somewhere in the writing process I realized I wasn’t capable of doing it all. Shocker I know! I wrote the book…I’m finished right? I don’t need to edit; who needs it proofread, didn’t I just do that?! If I talk with perfect diction, doesn’t it stand to reason that I would type that way as well? REALITY CHECK!! With so many thoughts, character traits, and dialogue all floating through my head at the same time…not likely! In my case, that averages out to about one mistake every six words! Then one day the book is finished and I’m ready to sprint for the finish line! Time to upload and experience one million downloads every thirty minutes!! Yeah I know…I’m delusional! But it’s a nice thought, right? The reality is the actual writing of the book turns out to be the smallest part of the total process (for me the most fun).

I needed to take my hands out of the cookie jar, stop micro-managing and recruit some help. This was also the point where as a graphic artist I had to ask myself, should I go with my own thoughts where the book cover is concerned or is it time to go for new blood? I mean seriously?? How come I can’t see the forest? AHA! It’s because there are too many darn trees in the way!! So I relinquished control. I’m quite proud to say that my daughter just happens to be not only a premier graphic artist but also on my staff. (She will be implementing the first of her cover designs on my soon to be released action/sci-fi novel “Tinker Smith & the Conspiracy of OZ”.) The two editors that I now depend on daily rip and snort their way from page one to page last fixing me and making sure I don’t publicly humiliate myself. Now I know what you’re thinking…how does a new author afford all of this?! I call them family. When it’s time for the proofreading, I lean on my friends. This all accomplishes the same things that the big name writers enjoy every day. So far everyone humors me and I am indebted to them forever!

The point to my ramble is this; no author is an island, not even one with my first name. It takes oodles and oodles of SUPPORT and the invaluable information and advice given freely from other authors and experienced professionals. Many thanks to everyone!!

For tons of useful information, be sure to visit:

Joel Friedlander – The Book Designer and follow on Twitter @jfbookman

Joanna Penn – The Creative Penn and follow on Twitter @thecreativepenn

Molly Greene – Writer and follow on Twitter @mollygreene

Melissa Foster – Founder of World Literary Café and follow on Twitter @Melissa_Foster

World Literary Café – Where Readers & Authors Unite and follow on Twitter @WorldLitCafe

No, I’m not actually this macabre…

Vengeance of the Wolf by Solitaire Parke

I’ve been asked where the inspiration for “Vengeance of the Wolf” came from…so here goes.  When I was a kid my mother died on the operating table for four minutes. When they managed to bring her back, she spun a tale of the afterlife and out of body, that had it not come from my mother, I wouldn’t have believed.  Many years and a boatload of research spawned the books, “Beyond the Astral Planes” and “Threshold of Perception.” While writing “Threshold,” an idea struck me with the strength of an eighteen wheeler. What if you could learn these things – what if the person who learned it was evil, or just riddled with a need for vengeance? Tada! Dorian was born from the recesses of my mind.  (Remember its Dorian who’s macabre, not me)  I chose something that almost everyone, at the very least, has an opinion about. Yep, you guessed it!…politicians. Needless to say, after they killed Dorian’s wolf, Dorian goes about attempting to place justice where open evil and dishonesty seems to abound. Remember, he’s learned how to do things and affect people by using the out of body abilities and manipulating their dreams. Theoretically, a man like Dorian couldn’t be stopped, and it’s up to the protagonists to figure out how to do the impossible. Imagine Dexter from the television series merging with the Zodiac killer, and then add a touch of immortality and you have Dorian Messaurick; a serial killer to pale all of his predecessors. Now imagine him affecting his habits all over the world…oh, and in a very short amount of time.

Once I completed “Vengeance,” it occurred to me that the story need not stop there…Introducing book two – “A Distant Howling.” Coming soon to a home near you!  And as any other self-published author out there knows, it starts off as a great idea and ends up as a herculean effort, not only on the part of the author but all of those who support him/her, as the case may be.  Now that book two, “A Distant Howling” is closing down toward being completed, it has occurred to me that this damn story is still not finished! It will require a book three! (Title yet to be announced)  As you may have guessed, I’m like everyone else, and tend to believe that a good story needs total closure. You gotta dot the I’s and cross the T’s.  As twisted as Dorian is, he still deserves to have his story told.

On a more serious note, I really hope you enjoy the story; and any and all help or ideas are appreciated!  Be sure to read it late at night when you’re all alone.  All the world is but a stage, and we are just players…yada yada yada! Enjoy!

Happy Birthday to me!

Why yes, my birthday is tomorrow! Thank you for asking! I will be 160 years old, but people tell me I don’t look a day over 90.  Okay, seriously though, if you haven’t already guessed, I’m Solitaire Parke. Yes the Solitaire Parke, you know the one you’ve never heard of. We here at SolitaireParke.com are trying to fix that! Me and my self-proclaimed team of professionals are working extremely hard and who knew it took so many people to popularize one author! It’s a good thing this is fun! Last but not least, and if anything, the most important element of all…the READER…yeah, that’s you. Without the reader… we’re NOTHING!

My writing is very much like my reading…I try to absorb everything. I carry my Nook everywhere I go. I have been seriously considering having it surgically implanted onto the end of my arm. That having been said, “Vengeance of the Wolf,” the first of the Dorian Trilogy is a horror/thriller book. But in the past I have also written poetry (it has been compared to the style of Edgar Allan Poe;) and two metaphysical documentaries. In the near future I will finish not only the sequel to “Vengeance,” “A Distant Howling,” but a new action/sci-fi novel “Tinker Smith & the Conspiracy of OZ.”

With the advent of self publishing sites such as Lulu, Pubit and Amazon just to mention a few, we’ve been busy editing, formatting and uploading the books. When we started this endeavor, we had no idea of the many challenges. Here I thought that just writing the book would be the biggest hurtle. Not only were we dealing with multiple formats and different guidelines for the many self publishing sites, the complexity and depth of Microsoft Word was surprising. For the last month or so we’ve been pursuing all the various social media outlets, you know…Facebook, Nothing Binding, Good Reads, World Literary Café and of course, Twitter;  I’ve learned that birds of a feather “tweet” together.

I would love for you to follow me and give me your feedback and suggestions as I continue to give you information about me, my upcoming books and also share with you any helpful discoveries I have made along the way.

My goal ultimately, is to produce fun and engaging literature that with your help will become as common place in everyone’s home as salt and pepper.

~Solitaire Parke~

“Knowledge is power, wisdom is power with a purpose.”

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