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Swimming the Echo by Brian L. Tucker

Swimming the Echo

by Brian L. Tucker

Giveaway ends September 20, 2017.

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30th of August

How to Publish In 2017


So you’ve written a book and it feels daunting to send it out into the world? Maybe even just looking at all of the options for finding a home for it are causing stress? You don’t want it to end up in the wrong metaphorical hands with a publisher seeking to do it harm. So, what do you do?

Here are a few of the things I’ve learned, as a writer seeking publication over the past few years:

Self-publishing can work

There are several good resources available for making this happen –

1.) Amazon alone makes the submission, editing, and publishing process simple with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) & CreateSpace

Now Amazon even has its own line of publishing platforms you can get picked for and that’s largely how people are gaining recognition and getting 1000s of reviews (books which would’ve never been discovered just 7 years ago!)

Ex: Pines (Trilogy) from Blake Crouch released by Thomas and Mercer (Amazon imprint in 2011)

 

2.) Don’t feel you need to reinvent the wheel.

You might not even need an agent (oops! I said it), if you go a different route.

When in doubt, seek publishing databases supplied by places such as Poets & Writers at: PW.org

or, Newpages.com

 

Agents can really help get you noticed

 

1.) A great “agent” resource, especially if you write Christian Fiction is at: Michael Hyatt’s website

 

 

2.) If you’ve already found the agent you dreamed of, finding/securing an established publisher is the next step. Please always remember there’s nothing wrong with small, indie, or even hybrid presses. And often, they can supply larger %, offer personal feedback, and run promotions much the same way as larger presses.

 

One last word – If you have the time (and budget) to attend a conference in your neighborhood definitely block time on your schedule to go. It can be a real boost to morale and help in that ever-so-helpful department of networking. You never know who you’ll meet.

Ex: I plan to attend one in Chattanooga this fall and it previously helped me get introduced to Ron Rash, Roy Blount Jr., and a bunch of other writers who’ve helped me immensely!

 

Happy hunting!

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20th of February

In 3 Months: My New Novel, Swimming the Echo


Hey all!

In a little over 3 months (5.30.17), my newest novel, Swimming the Echo, will be hitting bookshelves, and I wanted to give you as much notice as possible.

This novel will delve into more backstory of the fictional town of Seton, Kentucky (first featured in my story collection, Baptisms & Dogs (2014)), and the adventures of one youth who takes it upon himself to explore the terrains of love and loyalty.

Here’s an early synopsis:

IT’S AN ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME.

When a summer job to explore Mammoth Cave lands in Cade Rainy’s lap, he doesn’t think twice.

THE TEEN FROM SOUTHERN KENTUCKY MAKES A BREAK FOR IT.

But when he finds his dad is connected to a man working at Mammoth, Cade discovers there’s more to this trip than meets the eye.

THE CAVE IS JUST THE START.

Cade sets out to map the real route of twisted lies through fissures and stalactites, battling claustrophobia and bats.

EXPLORE. ADVENTURE. DON’T DIE.

EXPLORE. Don’t die.

don’t die

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12th of January

If your resolution was to read more…


WHEELMAN & BAPTISMS & DOGS on sale NOW!

Get a copy for your e-reader or for someone else’s. Get both for just $5.

 

And stay tuned for more updates about my newest novel, SWIMMING THE ECHO, out 5.30.2017.

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20th of July

Tips on Finding A Publisher


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The hunt for a publisher is like seeking out a future spouse. The more you look, you realize it’s not about looking at all.

Painful reminders abound EVERYWHERE.

The chief form of rejection is via email (21st century medium that it is).

The messages usually take on the traditional form of:

“…thanks for considering [ … ]. We are not taking [ … ] at this time. I hope you find a publisher soon. Thanks again.”

No foul language. No harm done. Right?

But, other mediums are greatly preferred to the stale email: phone call, snail mail, or that coveted in-person meeting.

It’s the heart of the matter. A book takes a long time to craft, edit, and maybe, hopefully, possibly, one day publish. The rejection emails storm the gates, flood the inbox, screaming- No! No! No!

Variations of the thanks for considering phraseology hit us dead across the forehead.

We long for a congratulations! sentiment. Just once. The elusive snow owl coming out to hoot.

Twas not today. I hope you fare better.

Some places that really help me are: Writer’s Market, Writer’s Digest (see, literary agents portion), Poets & Writers (pw.org), newpages.com (for contests) & Literary Marketplace. Check them out when you can. Also, submitting to competitions can help you gain traction in a saturated market.

The pros say to attend writing conferences (for your intended market) and seek out literary agents and publishers that way. It helps to remove submission barriers. I’ve not tried this more than once and my results were slim. I might try this again in the next go-around of conferences in my neighborhood.

If you have questions, feel free to write on here. I’ll respond accordingly. I’m always happy to discuss successes, possibilities, and general Q&As. Thanks!

 

 

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Categories:  brianltucker writing tips
9th of May

The Truth Hurts


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Tough news hit me right before a wonderful family vacation last week. It came in the form of an email.

Have you ever received unsettling news that way? No voice. No eye contact. It didn’t help that there wasn’t a thing I could do about it at the time…except focus on packing my bags and loading the car for the beach.

We went to St. George Island. It was great weather, warm water. Still the news lingered in the back of my brain. Stinging at times, when I wasn’t enjoying the sun. It was that email. Rereading it over and over again in my head. It came from the CEO of Booktrope, Ken Shear. He regretted to inform writers of the company’s upcoming immediate closure. He wrote:

We are deeply saddened to share the news that Booktrope will be ceasing business effective May 31, 2016. This decision was not reached lightly and we will share as much as we can with the community over the next few weeks…. What you need to know now: Booktrope will remove all published books from sale as of May 31, 2016

May 31st.

Thoughts of What the heck? and How will my book survive this? hit me again and again.

Then, I remembered that WHEELMAN and other titles at Booktrope existed before publication, and they would survive this as well. God is doing great things through the books in the Booktrope imprint, Vox Dei. These stories will continue being told – just in different mediums.

I appreciated the response from Shear and the timely update. It gave me enough foresight to mull this topic over, and I know I need to pray about WHEELMAN (and other books’ futures) as well.

The company’s closing date will mean the removal of WHEELMAN from their roster and printing will cease, as well as the Vox Dei logo going away. However, I am in the process of learning how to get the story back out there in a different way.

As always, I appreciate your faith and prayers in this current situation. Thank you for reading, and if you haven’t picked up a copy yet, this will be the last chance to order for a while. (I believe if WHEELMAN is ordered before 5/31, it will be printed via Vox Dei. Let me know if you have any problems with this.)

May God continue to bless the stories being told. Fellow writer, Niki Krauss does a much better job of describing the process for her thus far and getting her story re-printed.

All told: the beach is still there, the sun is still there, and God still holds it all together. Amen.

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7th of April

NEW: WHEELMAN Book Signing.


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I’ll be signing copies of WHEELMAN on Saturday, 4/9 from 2-4pm at McKay’s Books  of Chattanooga (off I-75).

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Be sure to stop by!

Brian

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28th of September

New Story in a New Book


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For those interested in a magnificent, new story and poetry ensemble, look no further than 4ink7’s inaugural work, An Unction from the Holy One – (hardbound). It’s available on Amazon, and it leads off with Ambrose Bierce’s masterpiece – “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.” I can attest to the power of writers such as Hank Lazer, Julie Hensley, and Jesse Lee Wooton, featured in this collection. I’m honored to have my story “Climbing Above Ground” included here by 4ink7 as well.

Grab a copy today!

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Categories:  brianltucker thankfulness
27th of May

Flannery O’ Connor – God’s story through her fiction.


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Last night’s, “My Dear God:” A Conversation on the Faith of Flannery O’ Connor event at The Camp House went swimmingly.

There were so many great topics addressed and quotes given that I couldn’t possibly get them all down.

But, I’ll try to re-cap some of the highlights.

For starters:

  1. It’s nice to know Flannery O’ Connor was human after all. She worried like anyone else. When admitted to the University of Iowa, she worried about being smart enough to attend a mid-western graduate school.
  2. She also had a thick Southern accent. For anyone who has one of those, apparently O’ Connor’s was so thick, the writing program director couldn’t understand her when she asked to be admitted into the Iowa Writer’s Workshop program (she didn’t like journalism and wanted to switch gears). So, he eventually wanted her to write it down to make it easier for both of them. She simply wrote on paper, “Want in,” and it helped her leave a career in reporting behind and fiction straight ahead.
  3. O’ Connor created a prayer journal around her early 20s and only wrote in it for about 1.5 years. The journal is reflective of her closeness to God and changes (as she does in her relationship) in that time frame. From the way she addresses the Creator to the subject matter of the prayers themselves, there is a nice lens in which to see her grapple with her Catholic faith and her daily trips to Mass.
  4. O’ Connor wrestled with authenticity (like most of us do). She didn’t want to be a phony. She didn’t want to be a fraud. But, she also didn’t want to leave God out of her life’s work. Her prayers are representative of this. (The journal was released in 2013 by her peer, William Sessions.)
  5. And what I find the neatest portion of her short 39-year legacy on this earth is her progress from writing down her prayers to God inside this journal to her writing itself becoming her prayer to God.

 

Here are some amazing quotes she offered while alive about the topic of prayer (and writing for God). Notice her approach:

  • “I do not mean to deny the traditional prayers I have said all my life, but I have been saying them and not feeling them.”
  • “My attention is always very fugitive. This way I have it every instant. I can feel a warmth of love heating me when I think & write this to You.”
  • “My dear God, how stupid we people are until You give us something. Even in praying it is You who have to pray in us.”
  • “There is a whole sensible world around me that I should be able to turn to Your Praise; but I cannot do it. Yet at some insipid moment when I may possibly be thinking of floor wax or pigeon eggs, the opening of a beautiful prayer may come up from my subconscious and lead me to write something exalted.”
  • “Don’t let me ever think, dear God, that I was anything but the instrument for Your story–just like the typewriter was mine.”
  • I want so to love God all the way. At the same time I want all the things that seem opposed to it–I want to be a fine writer.”
  • “Please let Christian principles permeate my writing, and please let there be enough of my writing (published) for Christian principles to permeate.”
  • “Please help me dear God to be a good writer and to get something else accepted.”
  • If I ever do get to be a fine writer, it will not be because I am a fine writer but because God has given me credit for a few of the things He kindly wrote for me.”
  • Give me the grace, dear God, to adore You, for even this I cannot do for myself.”

O’ Connor developed lupus and only lived to age 39, but, her words still resonate with writers and readers alike today.

One article by Casep Cep in The New Yorker states how she personally utilizes a prayer journal like O’ Connor. She says, “For years, when I was starting to write, I prayed, “God let my words lead them to yours; let me lead them to you.” I wrote that prayer in the margins of pages and on the inside covers of my notebooks, hoping that I would produce something that might serve the Lord.” And goes on to add, “Her (O’ Connor’s) journal ended when her prayers became fully integrated in her writing; the literature itself was a prayer, an offering to God.”

I love that message. So whatever your gift is…Maybe you’re still finding it. Maybe you have more than one. Try to fine tune it and use it for Him. Writing. Cooking. Basketball. Parenting. All of the above. Start broad and narrow your scope over time.

O’ Connor’s cry to God started as a prayer journal that functioned alongside the fiction she created. And when she had listened (and prayed) to God intently to understand her direction in life, she was able to grow and fulfill her purpose strictly through that one medium: her writing to God–His story through her fiction.

What’s your offering?

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28th of February

This week: “Baptisms & Dogs” goes to Washington, D.C.


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A dear friend, U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Matt Smith, has had quite a run from military service to playing music at the White House with Willie Nelson, John Fogerty, Common, and other cast recently with his Smith Auer Band. I wanted to include a message he shared with me regarding Baptisms & Dogs: Stories and its placement somewhere very cool this week.

Here’s his message below:

At my current duty station (Marine Barracks, Washington) we have this historic officers club. Each member leaves a book for the club’s large library when they leave. They have thousands of books ranging from military focus to novels and the Bible! Well I am proud to say that I presented the club (famously referred to as ‘Center House’) with a copy of Baptism and Dogs! I told the story behind how I know you and already many officers are wanting to read it!

A guy took it home to read literally ten minutes after I presented it.

“Center House” is the officers club at Marine Barracks Washington DC. Each officer leaves a book when they depart the duty station. We also write a short note on the flap to all the Officers of the Center House Mess.

The room has a fireplace as well. Here are the pictures.

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I can’t say ‘Thank you’ enough to him sharing my book inside this cool, covert location. It gave me that James Bond, Ian Fleming feeling going into March. I wonder how many people have hung out in there over the course of our nation’s history. Cool stuff!

-Brian

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