Meet Aviva Gittle, Self-Pub Author with a Mission!

Lovely stories

Jessica Schaub Books

The world is full of writers, from devoted list-makers to poets and short stories to novels and beyond. For as many writers there are, it’s not too far fetched to claim that there are as many purposes behind the writing. Personally speaking, I write because it helps me organize my thoughts…I just happen to think in a story format.

Once the decision is made to take writing from sketching little stories and poems for our own enjoyment to the next level – that elusive publication. With Self publishing making waves in the industry, these stories are sometimes mistaken (sometimes not) as lesser in quality. As such, self-published authors have come together as a community in several different formats and in online forums. Aviva Gittle is one such author with a heart for helping other self-published authors.

Aviva is my next featured author. Along with amazing stories for children, Aviva has…

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Getting Here

Getting Here.

Getting Here

<Looks around!> Wow! <Fangirl squee!> <Thud!>

What am I doing here, on this blog, with people that I admire for their strong characters, their ability to give me a vacation from life, for making me think?

Got me. I’m not famous. Not as a writer, anyhow. Now, if you are into dogs or plants, but this blog has nothing to do with any of that.

So here I am, surrounded by those I admire. And stalk. I go to their signings, I follow their pages and blogs and tweets. I want to know more about them. How do they get their ideas? Where do they work? What famous person did they model their characters after?

I want to be the one that finds out what happens in the next book before anyone else.

Boy, that IS stalkerish.

I could stalk, though, if I didn’t know about all these great authors. Where does anyone find out about these amazing books? Publishers aren’t doing a lot of promo anymore. The internet is swamped with blogs about everything from making a good cup of tea to how to tie a fly. Which sounds kind of kinky, but isn’t. The library may carry the book, but where is it hidden? The brick and mortar stores are becoming coffee shops with a few books and a lot of games.

The Internet is filled with more eBooks than the Library at Alexandria, and coming from a stalker fan, most wouldn’t worth the paper they weren’t printed on.

So, how does anyone get known without being known in the first place? In the late 1990’s I became involved in a new scheme for marketing. They’d send me something interesting, and I’d try it and tell people about it. The company would have me write reviews for each encounter, and I’d get more points for better promotions. It was the beginning of formalized Word of Mouth advertising. I’ll tell you, I received some amazing things, as well as some that were awful. I was totally honest about each item, and ended up at the top of the Bzzagent hive.

In the interim, social media took off, and I was drawn into ‘street teams’ for writers I’d learned about from well-known authors. Those authors would actually write back to us, sharing bits of their new works, or offer small prizes for bringing new readers into the fold. I wrote reviews, I talked to my friends, and I mentioned them on my social media sites.

Suddenly, the authors were overnight sensations. The books may have been out for a while, but suddenly their names were out there. More street teams popped up, driven by street cults. I was suddenly a Grimlet, a Moxie, a Tart, and a Beast Claw. I did what I adore: share what I love with my friends, who are like-minded. Who knew that English Springer Spaniel breeders love Urban Fantasy?

The teams hand out bookmarks, vote with intense fervor for favorite boyfriends, most kickass hero, and most bitable cheeks. No, I didn’t make that up, I just didn’t vote. The teams looked for blogs with the contests and told the other members to vote, and publicize.

They wrote, they reviewed; they pushed their favorite writer’s into the spotlight.

That’s step one.

Second, blog tours. I hear you: how many times can you answer the same question, over and over and over again? How many books do you want people to read?

The blog questions might be the same, but it doesn’t mean you have to answer them the same way. Your characters are pretty popular—let them talk for you.

Prewrite blogs when you have the time. What did you do on vacation? What do you eat? More importantly, what do YOU READ? Keep them for when you’re under deadline and still have PR to do.

One warning; be careful who you recommend. I don’t own a specific writing blog, but I do recommend books on my Facebook pages and people do read them. A lot of people read my page. I suggested someone’s book I hadn’t read because she asked. Boy, I wish I hadn’t. Two of my friends wrote to me saying they didn’t understand how I could have enjoyed her book, it was poorly written and the editing was awful. I had to come clean, say it wasn’t a friend, I did it as a favor and will never post again if I didn’t truly enjoy the book. I won’t review a book unless it’s five stars. I won’t finish a book unless it’s worth five stars. And now my secret is out, all sorts of friends of mine are going to know why I never wrote a review.

Okay, so you don’t have time for blogging and setting up street teams. More WOM (word of mouth). Ask. Faith Hunter pushed me into doing something I was already doing for her. I forced her to start a street team, and when I didn’t like the scheduling of her blogs, I found someone on her team that knew how to do it. Thank goodness. She’s another Beast Claw, who coincidently happens to live nearby. She’s meticulous. I’m insane. A marriage made over paper. Let’s Talk Promotions started.

georgeknows333x500-1 I guess that’s why I’m here, surrounded by people that I truly admire. Well, that, and to mention ‘George Knows’ is coming out in paperback at the end of May from MuseItUp. My publisher is tiny, my name non-existent, and George is an egotistical basset hound familiar. Not exactly best-seller material.

Yet he came out number 5 under children’s books dogs, and number 33 for all children’s books on Amazon. The people who bought him also bought Darynda Jones, Faith Hunter, and Ilona Andrews. Guess who helped pimp my book?

I’m intrigued by where this is going. I want to know if George will do better or worse in paperback. I want to know how far I can get the word out. I want to know how many more coffee-dogwashes I can do signings at. After all, Tillie’s Tale is coming out next.

I did mention I’m the crazy half of Let’s Talk?

Mindy Pic Biography
I’ve worked in a hazardous waste lab, where under the sign for the Right To Know law, was added: if you can figure it out. I’ve been a metals tech, a bakery clerk, a professional gardener, and taught human anatomy and ran two university greenhouses. Along the way I picked up my Master’s Degree in Biology, specializing in the population genetics of a phallic flowered endangered plant. I am also a top breeder, handler, trainer of English springer spaniels, with three generations in the equivalent of the National Club’s (ESSFTA) hall of fame. Every time I think I know dogs, another dog comes along and proves my beliefs are totally wrong. The Muddy Paws Pack lets me think I’m the alpha while walking right over me. If it wasn’t for my Tall Dude, I don’t know where I’d be. Someone needs to be kennel help.

Now I’m a partner with Let’s Talk Promotions ( I’m also bullied by an egotistical magical basset who thinks my springers are dumb. He insists that since I sort of understand dogs, he’d make do and use my fingers to tell his stories. The first was George Knows, the second will be Tillie’s Tale, both are paranormal midgrade mysteries, likened to Nancy Drools. My first short story, Zombies, A Love Story, was published by Pill Hill as part of their anthology, Rotting Tales. The peer reviewed American Journal of Botany published my article Morphological and Genetic Variability In Plantago cordata, a Threatened Aquatic Plant, as well as contributing to other articles in other botanical references, textbooks and Dog Fancy.



Last updated by admin at March 31, 2014.

This is a ‘My Writing Process Blog Thingy’

I am doing this under duress. Lynda Cox’s Dog suggested I do this;

You’d think it’s easy to write. You need a pen, a pencil, and paper. Or maybe one of those computer thingies. Except, I’m a dog. I don’t have fingers and thumb to hold things or use a keyboard. I also can’t talk. So the first thing I had to do was find a Peep that was receptive to my creativity. The Lady With The Fingers wasn’t my first choice. In fact, I think she was about 732 or so down the list.

See, she raises English Springers, a breed that are dumb as rocks. I mean, they’ll do anything for food. Seriously, right? What sort of creature will do something foolish like carry a dumbbell for no reason. But, there you go, I made due.

I was asked a few foolish questions for this blog, but if it helps Peeps to find my book, I’ll do it.

1. What am I working on: Currently, Tillie’s Tale. The silly pup didn’t follow her instincts and ended up haunted by a poultry ghost. Not good.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre: Get real. How many basset hounds, particularly brilliant familiars, do you know that write middle grade urban fantasy. Actually, how many dogs write anything for that matter. I’m unique.

3) Why do I write what I do: It’s said to write what you know. I know about me. My adventures are interesting. How many dogs find human bones that lead to discovering a dragon, save a park, and his BoyPup?

4) How does my writing process work: That’s the hard part. The Lady With The Fingers is pretty good at reading dog language. I think, she picks it up through our link, and watches the story. Sometimes she’s wrong, then I pee on her leg.

Is that enough?

I’m passing this foolishness on to

Jim Landwehr lives and works in Waukesha, WI. He enjoys writing creative non-fiction, poetry and fiction. His book, Dirty Shirt: A Boundary Waters Memoir, will Jimbe released on June 17th, 2014. The book is a humorous account of his travels to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in northern Minnesota with friends, brothers and his children over the last 25 years.

This is another silly Peep

Bryan Fields

By day, I’m a mild-mannered IT tech; by night, a writer who spends too much time in online games. I grew up reading classical authors such as Verne, Burroughs, Wells, Haggard, and Lovecraft, often in conjunction with large doses of Monty Python, Wild Wild West, andHee-Haw.  My current influences include 946211_10201362574055472_1796615661_sDr. WhoGirl Genius, andAn Idiot Abroad.

I live in Denver with my wife Noelle and daughter Alissa. The three of us can often be found prowling around Istaria, Wizard City, and the wilds of Azeroth.  I also makes occasional side jaunts to scavenge bits of ancient technology in the radioactive ruins of the Grand Canyon Province.



Becoming a published author is a lifetime dream come true. As a child, I subjected friends and family to my “KellyMark” greeting cards (“When you care enough to make the very best.”), poetry, homemade magazines, and short stories. In high school, my short story, “If Only to Escape” was published in the local paper, and I won a writing contest for my children’s story, “Televisella.” In college, my creative writing tapered off, but I still managed to write the occasional review for The Marquette UniversityTribune. Once I graduated, I mixed creative writing with business writing, and I’ve held positions in Advertising, Marketing, and Instructional Design/eLearning Development.

Today, I am busy writing the next book in Meara’s story. When I’m not writing, I’m reading, hanging out with my husband and two kids, or playing with our Whoodle puppy.

Drop me a line. I’d love to hear from you!


The Peeps will be doing their thing March 13

Where Do I write?


 That’s sort of an odd question. I would think most writers write in their heads, or on the computer. Maybe even on paper.
Untitled1I guess I do all of the above. As to location, mine changes with the season. In the summer, I like to write in my garden. My education and vocation was in horticulture, so mine is pretty big. We have a two-acre lot in the city. That doesn’t always work very well. I start getting into the plot, and a dog runs through. Or I spot a weed. Or maybe something needs to be moved. Or. I admit it—I have ADD.

Plus, Wisconsin isn’t always the best when it comes to weather. So that means going inside.

That doesn’t always work so well, either. It seems my desk collects a lot junk that wasn’t there when I started.


If I could find the keyboard, I’d certainly be able to spend some time writing. But I can’t. So, I end up at a coffee shop, with a spiral-bound notebook (like the one on the top, that’s a picture of a puppy I bred), and write with a cup of chai in my hand.

Eventually, though, I have to transcribe what my character has told me onto the computer. George is funny that way. My husband gave up with my dancing around the house, filling desktops, (I actually have three computers, if I could find them), so he got me a MacBook Air. I can go anywhere.


8ee17-georgeknows333x500Sorta. I guess I write where I can.

Also at Kobo, BN, Smashwords, and MIU bookstore.

Why does the Lady With the Hands always butt into my interviews?

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

George Knows by Mindy Mymudes – Book Tour with GIVEAWAY

 Author Interview:

Hi Mindy, thank you for taking the time to speak to me about your book.

Sorry George, of course, thank you for coming along as well!

So, when did you really know you wanted to be an author?

Mindy: I didn’t. I prefer to read. Some of my favorite people are authors, but I had no aspirations to be one myself. I do write, but at the time, technical articles, laboratory manuals, and dog stuff. All non-fiction.
George: I always knew that I had a story to tell. I just needed a Peep to listen to me. Instead, I got the lady With The Hands, but she’s trainable.
What motivates you to write?
Mindy: Having my leg bitten by an egotistical basset hound muse.
George: It’s winter, there isn’t much to do. The plants I’m supposed to teach my Girlpup, witch-in-training, Karly, are under at least three of me tall snow.
What inspired you to write ‘George Knows’?
Mindy: About 20 years ago, I had an odd field-bred springer spaniel that I rescued. He had some very strange adventures, including finding human bones, sneaking a peek under a nun’s habit, and climbing a ladder to steal the roofers lunch. He adopted a 7-year-old boy, Joey, because all dogs need a boy. Never name a dog Strange Quark. He was.
George: Don’t be ridiculous. I hired you.
Which character did you love developing the most?
Mindy: I think Karly is really interesting. She’s run over by her familiar, but she’s growing up and I don’t think George fully understands what that means. Yet.
George: The book is about ME. ‘Nuff said.
Can you describe your book in three words?
Mindy: It’s Nancy Drewl.
George: Don’t be ridiculous.
What is your preferred genre?
Mindy: I love urban fantasy/science fiction. As a kid, my favorite authors were Robert Heinlein, Asimov, Bradbury, Anne McCaffrey. I actually met Robert Heinlein when I was 4 or 5. He taught me to play chess. Sort of.
George: Is that something to eat? I like tuna fudge.

What is you favourite book, and who is your favourite author, and why?

Mindy: Way too many to pick, and far too many friends that are authors. I love Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock series (she’s also my mentor). Darynda Jones Charley Davidson series, and RK Rowlings Harry Potter.
George: The ones with dogs and treats for me.
Do you have a particular writing process or routine?
Mindy: I have a MacBook Air armed with Self-Control to keep me off the Internet. I like to go to the library where my own dogs don’t bother me.
George: My job is to make sure she writes my story, so I try to nudge her to write in the morning before she takes a nap.
What are the easiest and most difficult aspects of writing for you?
Mindy: Motivation. I have no trouble to come up with ideas, but I have ADD. So, there’s always something…look! Shiny! Oh, that needs water! Freaky Beak, you need a haircut.
George: She has no trouble with ideas since I feed them to her.
Any handy writing tips or essential writing tools you would recommend?
Mindy: A dictionary. A window with a great view. And following Magical Words ( I’ve learned a lot from the different authors that make blog appearances.
George: Lots of cold water from the big bowl that flushes, and a box of good biscuits. Writing is hard work.
Are you working on anything else at the moment?
Mindy and George: Tillie’s Tale. It’s a ghosty story. George has to prevent a poultry-ghost.

Thank you so much Mindy and George for taking the time to chat to me. I wish you both the best of luck with your future ventures!


I Won Best Children’s Book!


The Predators and Editors reader’s poll for best books of 2013 is finished, and I am the best CHILDREN’S BOOK. The Lady with the hands was surprised. I knew we would win. The book is about me, after all!

Still, I should be higher at the book sellers. I am the ONLY basset hound familiar with magical drool! I’m the one that figured out the truth and saved everything. Greenwitches need proper guidance from their familiars, and I’m without a doubt the best.

*Puffs out chest!*

Do I get Tuna Fudge? I was a VERY GOOD Boy!



I’m a very sharing basset hound. I’ll share my balls, or my bed, or my pack. If you make them, I’ll share my tuna fudge. As long as I don’t know. Or smell them on you.

Anyhow, the Lady With The Hands told me there’s a special giveaway going on, and there are going to be three lucky winners! Go! Check it out! Stay! Leave a little present. Um, no, a comment!