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Today, I’m ambivalent about being an author

five book pix

With the new year approaching, I decided I should get all negative feelings out of my mind and heart. I love new beginnings, whether it is starting a new project or a new school year when I was younger, it always motivated me and made me passionate. I guess I like change, but only sometimes, like, when changes are being sought after and beginnings being looked forward to as another chance at getting it right.
Some days, I think writing is a colossal waste of time. The way we tell that or come to that conclusion is that we are not selling any books. I guess I have not reached even a little bit of success when you count the few books I have sold since I became an author.
My first book was written in response to a need. We were training foster parents and I needed something in written form to help answer the thousands of questions we received. I wrote a non- fiction called It Begins and Ends with Family. It did not sell well, but I did give hundreds of books away. People said it was a limited market book, so I advertised it as parenting and sold a couple more. Still not setting the world on fire.
I decided to write about my passion, what really mattered to me, so Ultimate Betrayal was created. It focused on the problem of child sexual abuse and was told as a dystopia tale in the beginning of end times. I truly believed a fiction book would get a more emotional response from people and would sell much better than a non-fiction. Wrong again-since I was told many could not read such a heart- breaking tale. It disgusted many and even though I strived to make it less sensational and vulgar, people shied away from it.

However, the six people or so who read it wanted a sequel which I obliged. It was called Ultimate Obliteration and that was even less popular. Understand, the people who read my stuff usually give it 5 stars. But, there have been so few.
All this time, I was still writing short articles for many places and decided to put a collection of them into a book. A Collection of Jo Ann’s Thoughts was born and has also had little success.
I tried taking a good look at my writing, I never thought it was wonderful or grand or should be number one on anyone’s list, I thought it just may be interesting to many readers. After all, writing to me is not about making money or I would have left long ago. It is not even about the writing if I’m truthful, it is only about being read.

I thought okay, I must write something that will be happy, enjoyable and less objectional. I decided on a children’s book. This book is for little ones being read to or beginning readers just learning. I found a great illustrator and we whipped out Spitzel and the Spider. People read it and raved. Said it should fly off the shelves, but did it? You guessed it. No!!!
I realize writers and authors are much like gamblers. We put everything we have in it and place our bet that we will win. You would think my casino visits would have forewarned me, but being a dreamer carries over to all phases of your life. So, I placed the bet. As I said up front, I must get rid of these negative feelings before starting the new year or I may not feel encouraged enough to start again.

Seriously, where else can you do so much work to get so little return. We cultivate people ‘s friendship with the hope they may be readers. We post and post on book clubs to garner a few likes and feel eternally grateful when anyone shares our links. We hunt for reviews like half- starved wolves or even closer to Zombies. We do all that and then after viewing stats that would make most people suicidal, try to gather enough energy and interest to write something again. We really are a special kind of breed. I know many famous authors were rejected numerous times, but that knowledge is not enough.

So, I will plan a few more days of post- holiday season laziness and then with all the passion I can muster, I will write again. And yes, call me an author too. If you feel as I do, remember it is a new year. It is another chance to be discovered. Another possibility that we will gain readers. So, limber up your body. Meditate to a calm point and clear your mind. With a pot of hot tea and low-cal snacks (it is after Christmas after all) begin that novel or finish that project. Shake hands with some great characters you created and dive right in. It is said insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results. So, what does that say about us? The only thing I can see is we must think quite differently about marketing and try something new. After all, “What do we have to lose?”

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Personal- For Valentine’s Day-an Excerpt from the Articles Book

article-book-covetrMarriage

By  Jo Ann Wentzel

If you try to figure out why some people have successful marriages and others do not, you may come up with a lot of possibilities, but few sure -fired answers. The reason, however, is usually less complicated then most people suspect.

Good marriages have many things in common. Most are made up of two people who are not afraid to be individuals, but realize their strength lies in being a couple. Everyone is a better person when they can put other’s needs before their own. If they look at the thing that is best for the couple or family first, they will become much better partners.

Lots of people already know that mutual respect is an important element of a good relationship. Knowing is not enough if you cannot put that practice into reality. Respect is giving deference to another. Consideration for your partner’s feelings, ideas, beliefs, preferences, schedule etc. make for a much more sharing arrangement. It is vital to avoid making any important decisions by yourself when it effects the home, the family, or both members of the relationship.

An important trait of a good relationship is to keep a sense of humor surrounding most things. Do not take yourself too seriously. Make light of all matters that are not a life and death matter. See the funny side of all events and life in general.

Recognizing that we are all human, subject to error, and have personality frailties makes each person seem acceptable. When your husband snores, or you constantly burn supper, there needs to be an element of forgiving by the spouse. It is easy to be happy with those people who do nothing to annoy you. It is much harder to overlook the imperfections in your beloved. Most couples could name at least half a dozen traits in their mates that they wish they could change. If you have an irritating co-worker it is fairly easy to ignore their bad habits, why can we not do that with spouses? We often treat our marriage partners with less consideration than those people we barely know.

Being good friends is an immediate key to success in marriage. Before you love someone, it helps to like him or her. Marriage partners that are also friends give stability to the relationship. When you are also friends, it adds another level to your relationship. You will spend countless hours together so you should have some similar interests and enjoy each other’s company.

A spiritual base is helpful for strengthening marriages. It gives people the faith they need to work hard on such an important relationship. The answers as to how to make their married life better can be found in scripture.

It is never too early or late to put a bit of life in a marriage. Planning things together can bring a new- found excitement to your relationship whether it is the first baby’s nursery or where you will spend your retirement. Talking about upcoming trips or events adds a fun element to a sometimes, otherwise boring existence. What? You have no upcoming events or trips? First thing you need is to create some. A stagnant existence is not healthy for anyone. It breeds displeasure and bitterness. Even older folks need to have a life. Add excitement to any marriage by making an opportunity to celebrate something. You can even invent a holiday just for you two. Take advantage of all the holidays and events out there to participate in, decorate the house for them, and generally celebrate.

Don’t forget friends. At any stage of life, friends can be an added bonus. Forget the idea that they are his friends or your friends; attempt to make any friend one of both of yours. Friends can be a vital barometer of how well the rest of your life is going. If you navigate towards the wrong type of friends when things are bad, it may be an indication that you cannot talk to your mate like you wish. When your life is filled with supportive friends and you are active, usually the happy state you feel signifies a healthy point in your marriage.

Learn something new together; a hobby, a sport, or join ranks to fight for a cause. These moments of combined efforts will remind you why you loved each other to begin with.

Forget past harms that have been done to you. The idea of forgiveness is probably most important in families and with couples. If you cannot see anything but revenge upon your mate, you need to get counseling.

Don’t forget romance and sex in your marriage. This should be part of married life at any age. You may lose interest in some aspects, but when it is goes altogether so will the relationship. ‘Brides’ appreciate candlelight dinners at any age. Moonlight can still quicken the heart and roses or candy brought for special occasions, or even better for no reason at all. are among the best ways to say I love you.

Good marriages are made up of couples who have the ability to stick together, iron out differences, and negotiate. The couple can be empathic and see things from “their mate’s’ viewpoint.” Before any couple should ever consider ending their marriage, they should look at all the reasons to STAY TOGETHER. Only relationships where violence, degradation, lack of love, or serious addictions is present should be dissolved. Only after several sessions of counseling can any determination be made as to the nature of all the problems surrounding this union. Marriage and divorce are very serious propositions and should be considered with the utmost severity.

It is simple to have a good marriage if you just treat the person you swore to love with the respect and care you wish to receive yourself. Marriage must be between two people who love each other so much they cannot bear to be apart. Good marriages follow the Golden Rule. If you are ready to give unselfishly, love unconditionally, and put another’s need before your own; you are ready to succeed at marriage.

 

Just Released Ultimate Obliteration

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Ultimate Obliteration is the sequel to Ultimate Betrayal by Jo Ann Wentzel.

My first ever novel is Ultimate Betrayal. It is a “What if book” set in the time just before End Times when the Bible signs appear. The book’s genre is a sci-fi and dystopian combination. It examines an explosion of one criminal element and a technological advance happening at the same time that offers an unacceptable solution. Those making the choice to use this unholy answer as the best possible solution think they are doing something so right that they feel justified. It is their last resort to save the children.

Andrew Zenith, a local TV reporter became aware of the situation when an unbelievable story comes his way through a usually reliable source of his. The story seems like it could never be true, but another infallible source confirms it.

After a short time, Zenith decides he must join the fight against such behavior and takes on the warrior position of fighting good versus evil. The book explains the widespread nature of the problem and the mission to save the children. The good in people of faith give the story the hope needed.

The second book, the sequel, is Ultimate Obliteration and takes place in a time still just before End Times when a faction of society take matters into their own hands. It goes on to describe the violence that is the result of the continuing spread of this problem with no solutions in sight. The books name describes the mission to rid us all of all the criminals hurting and killing children. The answers this time are final as this group considers themselves to be doing God’s work and have no guilty conscience as they complete their mission.

I value all my readers and hope to connect with them to learn their opinions about these books. Please feel free to comment at joann@authorjoannwentzel.com and visit our website authorjoannwentzel.com

You can read these books on Amazon in print and e-book formats.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01BA441Q8

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N39S6HN

 

Note: This is a topic close to our hearts. Dan and I have decided to try to get opportunities where we can help spread awareness to others about the problem of Child Sexual Abuse.