12.29.2013

King of Selfies

I have been thinking long and hard about creating a regimen schedule to blog at least twice a week. Honestly, with everything that goes on in my life, blogging is the least of my worries. Until, I turn on my laptop and see that blogging is part of life. Wanting or not, "platform" is the it word for anyone who depends on lots people knowing about you and what you do to achieve success.

While the mystery about creating meaningful content and garnering followers (i.e. people who gives a s#@t) remains, I thought the article "The meanings of the selfie" by James Franco (yes, the actor) was interesting.

James Franco explains the power of the selfie,
I can see which posts don’t get attention or make me lose followers: those with photos of art projects; videos telling the haters to go away (in not so many words); and photos with poems. (Warning: Post your own, and you’ll see how fast people become poetry specialists and offer critiques like “I hate you, you should die.”)
But a well-stocked collection of selfies seems to get attention. And attention seems to be the name of the game when it comes to social networking.
And while I understand James Franco is a celebrity and people would be interested in looking at his face and don't give a second thought about mine, and I, deep down, like much more the Casey Neistat's approach for Instagram as he shows on this video.

I've decided to give selfies a try. I'm going to post selfies as often as I can, starting today for, let's say, six months. At the end of my experiment, I'll report back how many new followers I got on Instagram (as of today, I have 48) and which selfie got more likes.

Here's selfie number 1:

look me up on instagram @denysecohen for six months worth of selfies


Okay, it's not my best hair day.  But being no James Franco, and realizing people really don't care to look at my plain ol face, I think a little make up (i.e. photoshop) will help keep them interested. Don't you think?

I guess we'll find out in six months.

Cheers.




9.26.2013

Witch's Revenge is available now!


Click here and read the first chapter on Amazon!

9.16.2013

Release Day! Oops ... I'm four hours late.

My new book, Witch's Revenge, is out today. And since, I'm in Alaska, I'm four hours behind to acknowledge it. 

It feels weird to wake up (a tad late, I must confess) and find friends and fellow authors congratulating me on my release. It makes me think I should have written this post days ago and scheduled it to publish at 12 a.m. EST.

But as I said before, I'm in ALASKA! I had no time to sit down and write.

I was out, exploring!


  And finding content for the next books to come...


I just hope it won't be anything in the lines of "Into the Wild." Ha!

Okay, bad jokes aside...

Witch's Revenge is the second book of the Living Energy Trilogy.

Throughout history, the women who guard Earth’s living energy have been known as goddesses, fairies, mermaids, alchemists, but they prefer to call themselves witches.

Jade has found her soulmate. Peter is the human whose life-energy is identical to hers, the soulmate who is the missing key to unlock her witch’s power. And now Arrow, a powerful organization whose only intent is to kill the soulmates and keep the witches in check, wants their head above all others.

After a whirlwind of danger and passion, Jade and Peter managed to evade Arrow in Brazil only to find their assassins have followed them home and, this time, Karyn - the witch who murdered Jade’s parents - is personally after them with the lethal ability to drain a witch’s energy.

Jade and Peter must come to terms with the fact their survival is only secondary to ending Arrow’s legacy of murder and fear.

But revenge might come in an unexpected way . . .

If you want to read the first chapter of Witch's Revenge, click here.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a WR ebook.

Hope you'll enjoy it... And who knows, maybe book 3 will have a little bit of ALASKA in it.

Cheers,

8.14.2013

God has nothing to do with it

I saw this post on Facebook today and it really ticked me off. Firstly, it was just funny because of how idiotic it is. "Ignore and all will go Wrong". 
Let me break it to you, in case you don't already know: everything that is going to go wrong in your life, will go wrong anyway. Despite Facebook, despite God, sometimes, even despite yourself.
We often do things with the best of intentions. Er ... like ... giving up your entire life and moving to Brazil in search of brighter and better horizons? Yes.
But I think I was more pissed off about me wanting to comment, God has nothing to do with it, and stopping myself because I don't have the time or energy to start a shit storm. Really, enough shit already.
And then, I got to think: why is it that religious people are allowed to rub their fate on other people's faces but we don't get the same courtesy?
I'm not saying I don't believe in anything, as John Green's character put it in "The Fault In Our Stars", I believe in Something with capital S. It just so happens that my Something is here on Earth. Living among us. Deep inside human consciousness. Buried beneath all the bullshit we have to go through every day to find something that is as abstract as God himself: happiness.
I've seen it today though. My seven year old son was skipping on the way back from school. For me, that was divinity. It was the externalization of a feeling so pure I almost cried (in fact I'm tearing up a little just remembering) I felt amazingly happy to be able to see that. And felt exponentially more terrified to imagine a day when he wouldn't skip anymore. The day he'd be worrying about finding a job, then if he makes enough money, if he can pay rent ...
Then I was asking myself? How to break this cycle? How to stop my son from forgetting this feeling, this communion with divinity? Besides taking a vow of poverty and packing a backpack to go do volunteer work, I couldn't think of anything. Sure, we parents tell our kids what to do and how  to behave. But do we show them? How can he learn that the important things in life are already all inside of him, when he watches his mother (and father -- but really not qualified to speak for someone else) worrying about money (and the things that come with it) -- almost -- all of the time?
Is it now when God comes into play? Should I tell my son not to worry about a thing because God will provide? And if he "repost a miracle will happen tonight"? I'm sorry, but I think that is the easy way out.
I'm not a scholar on religion, but the common discourse is if something good happens to you is a blessing, if something bad happens it's God's will. Be a horrible person as much as you want, but if, in the end, you repent, everything will be O.K. Come on through the pearly gates and have fun!
I'm sorry, but that doesn't comfort me. Not at the least.
I think every person chooses to walk the path that seems less scary to them at the time, that's life. Some look up, some look down, and everyone MUST try to live the best way they can.
I don't want to be cynical, I'm just saying ... I've seen miracles and I've been to hell, but I'm yet to see God. 



5.18.2013

A postmortem kickstarter project


My project on Kickstarter ended 6 days ago without achieving its funding goal.

You still can read about the whole idea here. 

I'm not sure what I've done wrong to have such a small response. Clearly, crowd-funding is not as simple as one thinks. However, with all the million dollar movies being funded on Kickstarter recently I thought this would the place to have an indie socially oriented initiative get the support it deserved.
Perhaps, it wasn't "creative" enough.
Oh, well. It's okay. 
I think the site is still a good source to make meaningful projects become a reality.

Maybe with a little more thought and clearer goals I'll give it another try someday.

Cheers!




4.15.2013

Kickstarter Project

While I haven't had time to create a dedicated page for the Kickstarer Project http://kck.st/Zlffkj I've created with my brother in Brazil, I wanted to at least create a post that would say to the interested people who end up here: You're in the right place. Yes, this project is mine and I'm so happy you're here.
You know many people around the world face problems that aren't part of our reality in the USA. Little things that seem so simple, like buying locally grown veggies direct from farmers aren't so simple to the people of GoiĆ¢nia. It's even harder for farmers to live with dignity when they are paid pennies per pound for the fruits of their back-breaking labor.

This project is a small measure, but it's a start. And I'm thrilled you came here to learn more about it.

Cheers,
Denyse

4.03.2013

Johnnie Blue is free to download on Amazon.


3.24.2013

The wildcat memoir

 I'm writing this post thinking what strange things can happen in real life while you're working on a manuscript that never make it into to your book of fiction. I, for one, am writing a paranormal romance that involves witches, the spirit world, FBI, a lot of fighting and a lot more of kissing.

But this morning among all the other things we were talking about during breakfast on my family’s farm in Brazil, my father mentioned how a wildcat has been killing all his chickens. He’s already down ten chickens, as far as he can tell.
So, we all talk about traps, hunting and poisoning and all the things we ought to do to stop the slaughter. Every one of our suggestions presents its problems. For instance, the last trap my father put up wasn’t strong enough to hold the cat who, feeling cornered, broke the thing and escaped leaving behind a good chunk of its fur.

One of the things I love about spending time on the farm is how laid back the weekends are. After lunch, every one in the family goes their own way searching for a nook to lay down and spend the next two hours taking their “siesta” -- which by the way is not the term we use in Brazil.
Because I’m on a deadline, my snoozing hours have to be spent in front of my laptop working on my manuscript for the second book of The Living Energy trilogy. So, I'm sitting on the open patio area that also works as our dining room. The structure is open on two sides and if I look left I can see the grass, the fish pond, and farther down the main gate to the property. When I look right, I see more grass, the back of the chicken coop, and the cane sugar plantation down a slight hill.
So, I’m typing away until I hear a chicken freaking out and, when I look toward the chicken coop, I see the cat dragging the struggling chicken and trying to jump with it through a whole in a dismantled mesh my father had put up ages ago. Immediately I get up and move toward the scene dragging a kitchen rag on my way and throwing it at the cat in hopes to save the poor bird. The rag flows in the air dancing like an autumn leaf-- completely useless. I’m still grunting animals sounds at the miscreant trying to scare it, but all in vain.
I’m separated from the victim by a wire fence that goes around the property to keep -- err, chickens away. By now, the cat had succeeded at going through the mesh and I’m running toward the gate to go around and get him. So, I have to run around the barn, the chicken coop, and by the time I get around I only see the tall grass quivering. Then, brick size rocks are flying over my head (my husband, who had heard me screaming and came running after me, is trying to bomb the cat). I’m walking toward the overgrown grass concerned of stepping on a snake or something more dangerous--to me--than a wildcat.
Finally there, I stand still for a few seconds with the bitter taste of failure spreading over my mouth. The cat was nowhere to be seen -- the damn thing is so small it can hide under the rainy season’s overgrown vegetation or run away underneath it without leaving any tracks. The quivering grass was the chicken kicking its legs in its struggle to hang on to life. It also failed.

Needless to say, I was in a stupor of adrenaline for the next few hours and couldn't write anything.

The cat is still at large.




2.27.2013

Creating a book trailer

I've been toying with the idea of a book trailer for my Paranormal Romance, Witch's Soulmate, since its release November 5th of last year.

What really stopped this time around was I had ☆☆ Movie Trailer ☆☆ in mind. Yes, I want action! drama! and--as my awesome paranormal book deserves -- special effects!!!!

I've made a book trailer for my first novel, One Hit Wonder, with static images and I'm okay with the results. It was a spur of the moment thing and I didn't even had a cover for the book then. Instead of scripting I let the song do the talking. Despite the fact I've used a Third Eye Blind song (properly credited, of course), it's still on Youtube and as of now have had a whopping 88 views. Aargh! Depending on the artist you choose they take it down just like that! But using well known songs, is not what you should do anyway.

So, what to do then?

Here are some tips from Writer's Digest:

1- Forget about "movie trailer." - boo hoo!
Unless you're Steven Spielberg's niece (or have a wallet the size of his), it will look amateurish.
2- Simple is better than cheesy.
Remember how much fun you had editing your novel? -- not! Think editing ten fold when doing your book trailer. And this time, you must edit your images and every visual element you're thinking about cramming into your two-minute masterpiece. I love Chuck's quote "Your book may be a novel, but your trailer should be a poem."
3- You're the script bitch! -- pardon my french.
If you thought about copying the jacket copy, shame on you! We process text very differently than images, especially on a 29-frame-per-second rate (which you won't use it if you follow advice #1) At any rate (pun intended), your text must be ultra-slim and perfectly -- I mean, PERFECTLY, aligned with the images. By now, you should know that you don't need to summarize the plot, right? Good author!
4- Have the book information at the end of the trailer.
Don't ruin the emotional connection you're attempting to make by having your publisher's name scrolling through the screen. Leave all that info, including the blurb, for the end. After you snatched that viewer.
5- Using non/bad actors can cause more pain than gain.
Is there anything worse than bad acting? Er …bad writing? Whatever. Chuck said it best "you don't want the nuanced psychology of your protagonist rendered banal by poor acting or filming." Using actors can leave no room for the imagination. By the same token, don't use clearly defined images for your characters (at least of their faces). It's the same way you create an interesting novel: don't give it all away.
See what I mean in the video below:



Kudos for the author for hiring a production company and spending the money to promote her work, but this trailer doesn't intrigue me AT ALL! It's beyond cheesy. In fact, it didn't compel me to look up the book, it compelled me to write this post.

What do you think? Does it work for you? Have you made a book trailer? Share it in the comments.

Cheers.


You don’t want the nuanced psychology of your protagonist rendered banal by poor acting and filming. - See more at: http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/how-to-make-a-book-trailer-6-tips#sthash.tyO5QATH.dpuf


Your book may be a novel, but your trailer should be a poem. - See more at: http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/how-to-make-a-book-trailer-6-tips#sthash.tyO5QATH.dpuf
Your book may be a novel, but your trailer should be a poem. - See more at: http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/how-to-make-a-book-trailer-6-tips#sthash.tyO5QATH.dpuf"
Erase from your mind the ambition to make a movie trailer. - See more at: http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/how-to-make-a-book-trailer-6-tips#sthash.tyO5QATH.dpuf
Erase from your mind the ambition to make a movie trailer. - See more at: http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/how-to-make-a-book-trailer-6-tips#sthash.tyO5QATH.dpuf
1. Erase from your mind the ambition to make a movie trailer. - See more at: http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/how-to-make-a-book-trailer-6-tips#sthash.tyO5QATH.dpuf
1. Erase from your mind the ambition to make a movie trailer. - See more at: http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/how-to-make-a-book-trailer-6-tips#sthash.tyO5QATH.dpuf
1. Erase from your mind the ambition to make a movie trailer. - See more at: http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/how-to-make-a-book-trailer-6-tips#sthash.tyO5QATH.dpuf
1. Erase from your mind the ambition to make a movie trailer. - See more at: http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/how-to-make-a-book-trailer-6-tips#sthash.tyO5QATH.dpuf

1.09.2013

A fleeting day

I'm so excited that my contemporary novel, One Hit Wonder, is a kindle daily deal today for only $0.99.


A while ago I've decided to spend more time writing than marketing. Social media is so time consuming and the results are hard to measure, but I couldn't help blogging about the kindle daily deal. It's so exciting to have my book featured and accessible at a better price for potentially millions of kindle users.

And it's not about money. Believe me! Royalty from a .99 sale is brutal.

It's about new readers. People who otherwise would have no knowledge of this book. It's about opportunity, and future, and building (albeit slowly) a career that will make me proud, and happy.

I know this day will pass quickly (as all the good days do) but I might have a fleeting glimpse of what being a published author can be and that feeling will last me a long time.

Cheers!


Follow by Email