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helliepie

Helen O'Reilly's Spunky Blog

Reading, for me, leads to writing, as day leads into night and night back into day; they are halves of a whole. I was one of those kids who cracked the code early; I've been reading since I was three, and the writing came later once I'd learned to hold a pencil, but when it came, it really burst forth. Everything a working writer does I have done-- I have written and published everything, from corporate annual reports, to radio ads, children's poetry, -fiction and -non-fiction, to memoir and now, my first novel for adults. Spunk, a Fable is a lot like me; "just dirty enough."

A Great Review from Publishers Weekly (PW Select)!

I am over the moon with happiness at this lovely brief review from PW Select!

 

 

"O'Reilly delivers a fascinating novel about a group of women and girls who, in postapocalyptic New York City, belong to an Amazonian society that believes men are no longer a necessity in the world. In an effort to survive, the women—who live in a forest that now covers Manhattan—capture men to perpetuate their community, only to exterminate them when they have served their purpose. O'Reilly's characters are well drawn, and her prose straightforward and startling: "At first, and at Buffy's suggestion, the women had tried a sort of rough-and-ready castration technique that involved twine and a sharp knife, but the results were predictable: death by exsanguination." Highly original and visceral, O'Reilly's book announces itself like a newborn baby straight from the womb: with a guttural cry that abounds with possibility."

Source: http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/reviews/pw-select/index.html?page=3

My First Web Interview by Lynette Creswell! Exciting!

I was fortunate enough to be interviewed today by Lynette Creswell, author of The Sinners of Magic trilogy. Thanks, Lynette for generously devoting your blog to me and my book Spunk, a Fable, today! It's wonderful when we authors help each other!

 

Your interview questions were thoughtful and insightful. Best of luck in all your future endeavors!

 

Here's a link to Lynette's blog!

 

 

 

 

Source: http://lynetteecreswell.wordpress.com/2013/08/22/this-weeks-special-guest-is-helen-oreilly-author-of-spunk-a-fable

Please, if you follow my booklikes blog, follow me on Twitter!

Area Woman, 60, “Not Dead Yet,” Pens Novel, Spunk, a Fable

Reblogged from Helen O'Reilly's Spunky Blog:

Any author who self-publishes may dream of being "plucked from obscurity" and elevated to fame and riches upon the mere publication of his or her book, but most of those who do will be sorely disappointed. (Fame and wealth may come to a few lucky writers, but I read somewhere that even a New York Times bestselling author only earns about $50,000 a year from his or her writing.) You have to write because you can't not write.

 

So when, at the age of 60, I self-published my first adult novel after a long career as a children's poet (among other things), I had to get resourceful. Fortunately, that's one thing Over-50s have in abundance; resourcefulness. Here's how I launched myself as a book marketer. This press release has resulted in several radio and print interviews already.

 

 

 

Area Woman, 60, “Not Dead Yet,” Pens Novel, Spunk, a Fable;

Book Rebuts Feminist's Claim Men Are Doomed

 

 

August 19, 2013

 

Las Vegas, NV— When it hit bookshelves in the fall of 2012, journalist Hanna Rosin’s The End of Men: And the Rise of Women (Riverhead, 2012) provoked debate about her premise that men are obsolete, and that women are becoming the dominant sex. “It certainly got me thinking,” says Las Vegas author Helen O’Reilly. Thinking and writing; O’Reilly’s resulting novel, Spunk, a Fable, just released (Createspace, 2013), and it’s available in paperback and kindle versions from Amazon.com.

 

“As a heterosexual woman who has married two of them, buried one of them, and given birth to three of them—men, that is—the idea of a world without men irked me. Of course that’s not literally what Rosin’s book is about. But after all, technology has now made it possible to start with a cell, replace its DNA, and cut papa out of the picture. I began to think about the kind of world that would create, and Spunk, a Fable was the result. Eventually.”

 

Having published myriad titles the traditional way, for Scholastic, Inc. and others, O’Reilly was well aware of the perilous health of the modern publishing industry. “I spent about twenty minutes feeling like a victim: ‘Oh, publishing dies just as I finish my first novel.’ Then I decided to take advantage of what was killing traditional publishing—self-publishing—and became my own publisher.

 

Living and writing in Las Vegas, NV, O’Reilly works as a book editor for a specialized small press. Her previous titles include The Secret of Willow Ridge, and The Soul Workout, for Central Recovery Press, and A Poem a Day, for Scholastic.

 

“I think I’m a typical Baby Boomer; we keep thinking of new things we want to try, and don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t. I’m also a classic Las Vegan. This is the land of re-invention. I’ve entered my third act now, as a novelist. I've become what I always wanted to be when I grew up.”

 

Contact: Helen O’Reilly

email: helenhavlin@hotmail.com

website:

(702) 465-5759

(702) 493-7781

(702) 476-1993

 

 

http://helenhavlin.wix.com/spunky

 

 

Tonight's the Night!

I will be a guest tonight on Real Talk with Cleverminds on Las Vegas Talk Radio http://klav1230am.com/Shows/Real-Talk-With-Cleverminds.html
It is an internet radio station, so if you can't listen while it's live, you can listen after it is archived. If you do listen live, you can call in at 702-731-1230 | TOLL FREE: 1-866-820-5528

I'll be talking about Spunk, a Fable!
  (What else)

 

 

More Book Marketing Info; Another Radio Interview!

Tomorrow evening at 6 pm I will be a guest on Real Talk with Cleverminds on Las Vegas Talk Radio http://klav1230am.com/Shows/Real-Talk-With-Cleverminds.html
It is an internet radio station, so if you can't listen while it's live, you can listen after it is archived. If you do listen live, you can call in at 702-731-1230 | TOLL FREE: 1-866-820-5528

I'll be talking about Spunk, a Fable!

For My Next Trick . . .

Someone you know has a drug problem — but not the kind you think. With more than 100 million Americans suffering chronic pain that prevents them from working, playing or resting, at least 8 million Americans fall asleep at night under the influence of an opioid such as Vicodin, Lortab or OxyContin. Every morning, 40 of those people don’t wake up. In 2009, more people in the U.S. died from prescription medication overdoses than from motor vehicle accidents. And those who don’t die face the risk of addiction and side effects ranging from cognitive impairment to erectile dysfunction.

 

Who knows — Dr. Mel Pohl could have been among those statistics. Ten years ago, he began experiencing chronic pain after simply trying to pick something up.

“I bent forward to pick up a very light computer case,” he recalls. “As I was straightening out, something snapped or caught in my back and I developed excruciating pain. I was traveling home from San Diego to Las Vegas and I thought I was going to die. On that day, my journey into chronic pain began and has continued until today.”

 

That journey took him through pain-management techniques both exotic and extreme. “I’ve tried all sorts of interventions including epidurals, radiofrequency ablation, prolotherapy and others.” That was until he began exploring alternatives — and launched a program to teach others how to use them.

 

 

Pohl, medical director of Las Vegas Recovery Center (lasvegasrecovery.com), founded the Pain Recovery Program, which includes such techniques as meditation, distraction, yoga, Pilates, reiki, acupuncture, physical therapy — “Acupuncture, hydrotherapy, music therapy, aromatherapy, oxygen therapy, hypnotherapy, yoga, meditation, exercise, nutrition, biofeedback, chiropractic, and also cognitive behavioral therapy,” Pohl adds, running out of fingers to count on. Better yet, most of these techniques are inexpensive or free.

 

 

Perhaps the most effective tool? Attitude adjustment. “My solution is to face the emotional aspects of my pain, exercise, meditate daily and not take myself too seriously,” says Pohl. He’s since written several books on the topic, including A Day without Pain.

 

 

Dan Mager, who has a chronic pain condition and used pain medications every day for over eight years, completed the program at the center in 2006, and hasn’t taken opioids since.

 

 

“I never would have thought it possible for me to experience significantly less pain while being opioid-free. ... Through my experience at LVRC, I’ve learned to accept and live with my chronic pain with as much grace as I can mobilize.” Three hundred clients have gone through the program since it started.

 

 

Notice Mager says “accept,” not “fix.” No miracle cures promised here — pain is real. But just as real is functionality, a core value of Pohl’s program. “We must be realistic about our pain,” he says. “It may always be with us, to greater or lesser degrees. The goal of pain recovery should be to reduce and manage pain, while focusing on restoring or recovering functionality. And the emphasis should be on the word ‘functionality.’”

 

 

He adds: “Pain is inevitable. Suffering, however, is optional.”

Read entire issue online: Aug 2013 Issue

Source: http://desertcompanion.com

When the Book Is Published, That's IT, Right? No. Authors Need to Get the Word out about Their Books

Since self-publishing Spunk, a Fable, I have been on an incredible learning journey. Actually, even before I self-published the book, I learned to apply the knowledge I've gained from a long career in publishing to the tasks of typesetting and layout, and coordinating with an artist/designer for the aspects I couldn't do myself.

 

I had a very limited budget, and so one of the first things I did was start an indiegogo fundraising campaign to raise money to create a book trailer, which is running on YouTube now. It has been seen thousands of times. I created a giveaway on Goodreads, which collected more than 800 entries to win five books! Those are being shipped now, also.

 

I had no funds to hire a publicist, so I researched everything on self-publishing I could find for free online. One common refrain: "Get the word out by any means you can!"

 

So following that advice, today at 2 pm Las Vegas time, I will appear on a local AM radio show, "Aspects of Writing," to discuss Spunk, a Fable. How did I get booked onto this show? I "googled" terms like "local" "talk" "radio" and "books," and, screwing up my courage, I contacted the shows I found via email and asked if I could be a guest. (Dial 12:30 am if you are in Vegas, or listen online at the link above.)

 

All these things are fun and exciting, if time-consuming, but they need to be done if the book is to stand a chance of selling. In my next post, I'll talk about some of the other marketing ideas I've tried, including organizing a Book Launch Party in downtown Las Vegas! It's tiring, as you can see from my photo, but at the same time, it's very enjoyable!

 

 

One tired author!

"When the world came to, it came, not to its senses, but to its madness."

Signs of the Apocalypse? Or Just Good Old American "Culture?"

 

 

I notice that many folks on this site have names with a lot of consonants in them, and that the site itself originates from Poland. So let me ask you: What do you think of Americans? When you look at our television programming, do you think we are all narcissistic capitalists, willing to sell our most private moments for a quick buck, like the Kardashians?

 

Do you think we are all gun-totin' vigilantes, like George Zimmerman?

 

Do you think we are all rap stars, like Jay Z?

 

When you meet one of us in person, are you amazed at how little we know about the world beyond our borders?

 

Do you think we all give our children bizarre names, like Apple?

 

What do you think of the fact that we now sell "gourmet" dog food meals in the "frozen food" section of the supermarket?

 

What on earth do you think when you see a spectacle like Honey Boo-Boo?

 

What goes through your mind when you see a news broadcast showing signs accusing President Obama of being both a FACIST and a COMMUNIST, which you must know are diametrically opposed philosophies?

 

And what do you make of Fox News?

 

There is so much more I wonder, but that will do for a start. What must you think of us?

Seventy Nine Followers and Not ONE Comment?

How is that even possible? Are you really there? Could you give me a sign? I notice that not many of the other bloggers here have many comments under their blog posts, either. I would love to know what you think of my posts. Truly!

 

 

 

 

What's in a Name? Spunk?

Spunk, just Spunk, was going to be the title of my novel since . . . forever. That's what the story is about, "spunk" in both senses of the word; the "vital fluid" that men contribute to human reproduction and the gritty, assertive quality that spunk brings to life.

 

My novel could never NOT have been called Spunk, but even though the respected Zora Neale Hurston also has a book by that name, the word itself, when used in a search, brings up some truly filthy and NSFW words and pictures.  So I added a deck: the words, a Fable. Spunk, a Fable doesn't seem to drag along with it so many discomfiting search terms and images, but if I was really worried about that, I'd have changed the name to something like Semen.

This is the first book in a series, and I find myself wondering what the sequel should be called. Spit? Sweat? Keep the body fluid idea going? Or just do what seems right once the next volume is written. I'll figure it out. Any suggestions? Don't be afraid to comment; I won't bite!

"Panic in Las Vegas as Carpenter Fire Drives Wild Cougars into Suburban Backyards"

 

 


Forced by fire to flee their native habitat, wild cougars have been turning up in suburban Las Vegas backyards, frightening householders with their antics, and even threatening small pets, say officials.

"They usually stay hidden during the day, as it takes, like, forever for them to get ready for a hunt, but with the fire and all, they are abandoning their beauty rituals and running for their lives," said BLM agent Evelyn Crabtree, who has studied the species since its emergence in the late 90s.

But they are wily, and they are fierce, especially when they're desperate. "And boy are they desperate now," said Crabtree, who maintains that the Las Vegas wild cougar is an invasive species, but only when she smells prey. "Cabana boys, Valet Parking Attendants, and Massage Therapists" are her usual diet, but "these days we've been getting reports of local soccer dads and even grocery baggers being dragged away by these vicious creatures."

"My Harry was under the car in the driveway, and one of these females just dragged him away by the legs!" says a local woman, who refused to give her name. "All we found later were his flip-flops and his Sansabelt slacks, up in a tree!"

"How to Spot the Las Vegas Wild Cougar"

These normally nocturnal creatures have been successful largely because they are able to blend into the environment, abandoning the muu-muus of an older generation, donning tight-fitting animal print clothing, and teasing their hair into elaborate structures normally associated with lions' manes. But there are ways you can tell you're in cougar territory. "They have their little tells," said Crabtree. Often, these are the items associated with the "cougar lifestyle." Finding them discarded on or near your property could indicate you or your loved ones have been marked as "cougar-prey." They include:

Empty Wine Boxes
Botox vials
Bumpits
Discarded Wonderbras
Frederick's of Hollywood paraphernalia, including tote bags, receipts, and catalogs

"How to Protect Yourself from the Las Vegas Wild Cougar"

"Once one of these gals gets her claws into you, she hangs on like grim death," says Edna Flemm, who calls herself a "recovering cougar."

But, she adds, "there are things you can do to make yourself less attractive to the Las Vegas Wild Cougar." These include combovers, T-shirts worn tucked into trousers, and, for surefire cougar-proofing, adopting a "hobo" look. "My advice to any guy out there who wants to avoid being cougar prey is to start shuffling along East Fremont holding your pants up with one hand and a cardboard sign in the other." Says Flemm. "That's about the only kinda man that is 100% invulnerable to the cougar. The East Fremont Hobo."

Selling Spunk (No, I'm Not Talking about Opening a Sperm Bank)

Reblogged from Helen O'Reilly's Spunky Blog:

Any author who self-publishes may dream of being "plucked from obscurity" and elevated to fame and riches upon the mere publication of his or her book, but most of those who do will be sorely disappointed. (Fame and wealth may come to a few lucky writers, but I read somewhere that even a New York Times bestselling author only earns about $50,000 a year from his or her writing.)

 

For books to sell at all, never mind in the quantities that would make a bestseller, today it is necessary for authors, even those who are traditionally published, to learn to market their books.

 

I will be sharing some of the strategies that seem to be working for me, or that have at least produced some positive results. They are in no particular order, because that's the way I did them. (Thanks to Lone Morch over at She Writes Press for getting me thinking about this.)

 

Getting Media Coverage

 

Reporters are busy, with many competing demands for their attention. That's why your pitch (which is basically what a Press Release is) has to grab and hold their attention long enough for them to feel that your good idea is worth pitching on their own, to their editor. 

 

Learn something about the criteria for newsworthiness, which, like everything else these days, you can find on Google. Basically, they are:

 

Six Criteria for Newsworthiness

 

  • Prominencea person,organization or institution in the story is important or well-known.

 

  • Proximitynearby; newspapers print stories about people and events in the community or region where their readers live.

 

  • Timelinesssomething happening orimportant right now; most news stories reflect events in the immediate past or involving an issue that affects readers now.

 

  • Oddity/uniquenessout of the ordinary, unusual; some stories are about people or events that are unexpected or special in some way.

 

  • Consequenceeffects of a decision or event; newspapers publishstories aboutissues that affect readers directly or indirectly.

 

  • Human interestsomething that touches lives, imagination or emotions of readers; stories may be about an inspiring teacher or a courageous pet, for instance.

 

Read on for an example of how I hooked a reporter with humor, then try to see how many examples of newsworthiness I squeezed into the following press release:

 

Make 'Em Laugh

 

 

Area Woman, 60, “Not Dead Yet,” Pens Novel, Spunk, a Fable;

Book Rebuts Feminist's Claim Men Are Doomed

 

 

June 26, 2013

 

Las Vegas, NV— When it hit bookshelves in the fall of 2012, journalist Hanna Rosin’s The End of Men: And the Rise of Women (Riverhead, 2012) provoked debate about her premise that men are obsolete, and that women are becoming the dominant sex. “It certainly got me thinking,” says Las Vegas author Helen O’Reilly. Thinking and writing; O’Reilly’s resulting novel, Spunk, a Fable, just released (Createspace, 2013), and it’s available in paperback and kindle versions from Amazon.com.

 

“As a heterosexual woman who has married two of them, buried one of them, and given birth to three of them—men, that is—the idea of a world without men irked me. Of course that’s not literally what Rosin’s book is about. But after all, technology has now made it possible to start with a cell, replace its DNA, and cut papa out of the picture. I began to think about the kind of world that would create, and Spunk, a Fable was the result. Eventually.”

 

Having published myriad titles the traditional way, for Scholastic, Inc. and others, O’Reilly was well aware of the perilous health of the modern publishing industry. “I spent about twenty minutes feeling like a victim: ‘Oh, publishing dies just as I finish my first novel.’ Then I decided to take advantage of what was killing traditional publishing—self-publishing—and became my own publisher.

 

Living and writing in Las Vegas, NV, O’Reilly works as a book editor for a specialized small press. Her previous titles include The Secret of Willow Ridge, and The Soul Workout, for Central Recovery Press, and A Poem a Day, for Scholastic.

 

“I think I’m a typical Baby Boomer; we keep thinking of new things we want to try, and don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t. I’m also a classic Las Vegan. This is the land of re-invention. I’ve entered my third act now, as a novelist. I've become what I always wanted to be when I grew up.”

 

Contact: Helen O’Reilly

email: helenhavlin@hotmail.com

website:

(702) 465-5759

(702) 493-7781

(702) 476-1993

 

 

http://helenhavlin.wix.com/spunky

 

 

Selling Spunk (No, I'm Not Talking about Opening a Sperm Bank)

Any author who self-publishes may dream of being "plucked from obscurity" and elevated to fame and riches upon the mere publication of his or her book, but most of those who do will be sorely disappointed. (Fame and wealth may come to a few lucky writers, but I read somewhere that even a New York Times bestselling author only earns about $50,000 a year from his or her writing.)

 

For books to sell at all, never mind in the quantities that would make a bestseller, today it is necessary for authors, even those who are traditionally published, to learn to market their books.

 

I will be sharing some of the strategies that seem to be working for me, or that have at least produced some positive results. They are in no particular order, because that's the way I did them. (Thanks to Lone Morch over at She Writes Press for getting me thinking about this.)

 

Getting Media Coverage

 

Reporters are busy, with many competing demands for their attention. That's why your pitch (which is basically what a Press Release is) has to grab and hold their attention long enough for them to feel that your good idea is worth pitching on their own, to their editor. 

 

Learn something about the criteria for newsworthiness, which, like everything else these days, you can find on Google. Basically, they are:

 

Six Criteria for Newsworthiness

 

  • Prominencea person,organization or institution in the story is important or well-known.

 

  • Proximitynearby; newspapers print stories about people and events in the community or region where their readers live.

 

  • Timelinesssomething happening orimportant right now; most news stories reflect events in the immediate past or involving an issue that affects readers now.

 

  • Oddity/uniquenessout of the ordinary, unusual; some stories are about people or events that are unexpected or special in some way.

 

  • Consequenceeffects of a decision or event; newspapers publishstories aboutissues that affect readers directly or indirectly.

 

  • Human interestsomething that touches lives, imagination or emotions of readers; stories may be about an inspiring teacher or a courageous pet, for instance.

 

Read on for an example of how I hooked a reporter with humor, then try to see how many examples of newsworthiness I squeezed into the following press release:

 

Make 'Em Laugh

 

 

Area Woman, 60, “Not Dead Yet,” Pens Novel, Spunk, a Fable;

Book Rebuts Feminist's Claim Men Are Doomed

 

 

June 26, 2013

 

Las Vegas, NV— When it hit bookshelves in the fall of 2012, journalist Hanna Rosin’s The End of Men: And the Rise of Women (Riverhead, 2012) provoked debate about her premise that men are obsolete, and that women are becoming the dominant sex. “It certainly got me thinking,” says Las Vegas author Helen O’Reilly. Thinking and writing; O’Reilly’s resulting novel, Spunk, a Fable, just released (Createspace, 2013), and it’s available in paperback and kindle versions from Amazon.com.

 

“As a heterosexual woman who has married two of them, buried one of them, and given birth to three of them—men, that is—the idea of a world without men irked me. Of course that’s not literally what Rosin’s book is about. But after all, technology has now made it possible to start with a cell, replace its DNA, and cut papa out of the picture. I began to think about the kind of world that would create, and Spunk, a Fable was the result. Eventually.”

 

Having published myriad titles the traditional way, for Scholastic, Inc. and others, O’Reilly was well aware of the perilous health of the modern publishing industry. “I spent about twenty minutes feeling like a victim: ‘Oh, publishing dies just as I finish my first novel.’ Then I decided to take advantage of what was killing traditional publishing—self-publishing—and became my own publisher.

 

Living and writing in Las Vegas, NV, O’Reilly works as a book editor for a specialized small press. Her previous titles include The Secret of Willow Ridge, and The Soul Workout, for Central Recovery Press, and A Poem a Day, for Scholastic.

 

“I think I’m a typical Baby Boomer; we keep thinking of new things we want to try, and don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t. I’m also a classic Las Vegan. This is the land of re-invention. I’ve entered my third act now, as a novelist. I've become what I always wanted to be when I grew up.”

 

Contact: Helen O’Reilly

email: helenhavlin@hotmail.com

website:

(702) 465-5759

(702) 493-7781

(702) 476-1993

 

 

http://helenhavlin.wix.com/spunky

 

 

Reblogged from TheREDBooks:

And if reading makes you thirsty...