Monday, December 28, 2015

Writing Can Help The Healing Process

One of the most difficult things to go through in life is an extended illness. However, it's been said that writing about sickness can actually help in the healing process. 

An article in the American Psychological Association entitled, "Writing to Heal," says new research indicates writing may offer physical benefits to people who have terminal or life-threatening diseases.  In addition, writing about emotions and stress can boost immune functioning in people with illnesses such as AIDS/HIV, arthritis, and asthma.

Why is that? For one, while you are documenting your journey through sickness or writing about how you overcame your illness, you are releasing your stress and emotions over the issue. While you may receive a personal benefit from it, you may be helping others who are going through the same traumatic events. 

This is the approach Robbie Dean Press Author Suzan Bryan Hoppe took in writing her book, One Split Second. Things were going well for Suzan, a retired insurance agent, until that fateful day when her son, Danny, was involved in a serious accident that left him with a closed-head injury. She described how she and her husband, Doug, experienced the stages  that families go through to help their child heal. 

If that wasn't enough, Doug underwent a back surgery and open heart surgery. After this episode, Suzan had a brain aneurysm which she said was brought on by stress. Once again, in "one split second," her life was changed. 

You may find it difficult to write about your illness, particularly when you are recalling certain  heartaches, pain, and emotions you experienced. However, keep in mind that your transparency may encourage others to face their challenges with confidence or make new discoveries about their situation. 

In 2009, writer Jeanne Marie Laskas' wrote an article for GQ magazine on a forensic neuropathologist who was the first to discover a football-related brain injury in professional football players. Dr. Bennet Omalu found that chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) was the same type of brain trauma experienced by boxers, who were called "punch drunk." 

After making this discovery, Dr. Omalu took on the National Football League about the brain disease. Former players were grateful to know that they could finally put a name to an unknown illness that was wrecking havoc on their lives. A movie based on the GQ article about Dr. Omalu's discovery was recently released. Concussion, starring Will Smith as Dr. Omalu, is furthering the discussion about brain injuries and football players. 

Writing about your journey through sickness or taking up someone else's cause may not result in a big-screen movie, but it may help in changing lives.  A note about One Split Second, author Suzan Hoppe has died after her story was published, but her book on weathering the storms of illness lives on, and your work can live on as well!

Click HERE to find out more about the book One Split Second.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

MANA's Latest Release: "The Medici Heirs" by Rita J.Scott

Many who study the Italian Renaissance know of Guiliano de Medici. However, do they know about the tales involving his heirs, especially Juliana? If not, they will after reading a new e-Book titled, The Medici Heirs by Rita J. Scott.

The interwoven tale spun in The Medici Heirs intrigues and captivates the imagination of those who relish this golden age of the arts and the mysterious legacy of the family of the Medici. In The Medici Heirs, readers meet the members of the Medici Family as well as Dr. Juliana Smith, a Medici heir, who lives in London but does not yet know her royal legacy. 
Juliana is plagued by what she calls a fiend, “in human shape.” Juliana finds the fiend an annoyance, yet this creature has been in her world for many years and it can take on other shapes. The fiend and Juliana are a major part of this narrative as the work interweaves the 16th century and 20th century.
Juliana accepts a job to translate the legal documents written in Latin into English and develop a summary of the work. She learns more about the Medici family through these documents. 
Juliana is very close to her grandmother, Dr. Catherine Schmidt, a retired pediatrician, who is living in Three Chesnuts, a private retirement, historical residence. Greed rears its ugly head when Juliana’s mother,  unsuccessfully attempts to have her mother, Dr. Schmidt declared mentally incompetent in order to take control of her money. 
Juliana also learns a secret about her mother. However, because of Juliana's dealings with the fiend and her "red dreams," her mother places her in a psychiatric facility. It is this part of the story that reveals the true strength of this protagonist. The author brilliantly shows, not tells, the struggles Juliana has with the invisible creatures: 
I was being pursued by faceless red creatures, led by my mother. "Don't run away. There is no need to be scared," they screamed. "We are acting in your best interests. It's not good for you to stay with old sick people. We are taking you home. Trust us! You'll be safe in our care."
The fiend was floating over them shouting at me, "I told you not to go to Firenze. Stick to your own business. It doesn't matter what you find; you'll never be ale to prove anything. Remember: You are in England, and privacy is sacred. Even the Holy Inquisition won't help you."

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Need Another Way To Promote Your Book? Why Not Try Word of Mouth?

If you're an author, what better time of the year than the holiday season to promote your book. Why? Because this is one of the busiest times – if not the busiest time – of the year. 

You've been promoting your book on your blog and social media pages all year, now try another type of marketing – Word of Mouth (WOM). Yes, WOM is just as legitimate a form of marketing than other methods.  Generally, WOM works when you tell someone something who tells someone else about something who tells someone else. It works the same way with advertising. Think about it, you are more likely to buy something after hearing a review about an item from someone you trust. 

The same is true with your book. Many authors are shy and would rather do anything else other than to personally promote their books. What authors don't realize is that if you tell your family members, friends and co-workers about your book, they will subsequently tell others. Those who know you well will buy your book, just to support you. Those who don't know you, but know others who know you, are more than likely to buy your book if their friends ask them to support you. 

WOM drives 13% of consumer sales, according to a landmark Consumer Word of Mouth study conducted by the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA), the official trade association dedicated to WOM and social media marketing. The study found that WOM is responsible for $6 trillion of annual consumer spending. Additionally, WOM amplifies the effect of paid media by 15%, the study said. Apparently, there is power in WOM.

Don't be afraid to let people know that you're an author. Chances are  many of your friends, co-workers and acquaintances do not know that you are a published author. When you meet new people and they ask you to tell them something about yourself, remember to include the word, "author," when describing yourself. 

So, when you go to holiday bazaars, teas, craft shows, winter festivals, parties, or other events, don't forget to take your book along with you. You'll never know who will want to buy one!