IAM15 Guest Post…A Writing Journey

IAM 2015 - TopperToday author K P Smith joins us to share her writing journey for our feature of the day…

About the author: I love to read and it was my love for reading that ignited my passion to write. I am currently penning the Growing Pains Series. The First Book Kendra’s Diaries is available for purchase. The Second Book New Beginnings will be available soon. The Third Book Decisions is currently being penned. When I am not reading and writing I have lots of other hobbies to occupy my time. I love Sports football, basketball, tennis, golf yeah basically all of them.

I’m also a big TV watcher (maybe too big? Nah no such thing). I love my soaps; soaper for life love my night time dramas. These are enjoyable and a perk also helps with my creative thinking/writing process. The only thing better than watching my favorite shows is watching it with millions of others via twitter!! I’m a major tweeter!

I also love a good movie. I am a Social Media junkie but it can’t replace some good old fashion talking…love good conversation.

I work in the insurance company by day. I have a wonderful family life including two wonderful sons.


My Writing Journey

Go to school, get a “good” education, get a “good” job and live happily ever after. This is what I was taught growing up. It didn’t take long after my college graduation to figure out this wasn’t going to get me my happily ever after.

Don’t get me wrong I have some family members and good friends where this formula worked for them. And I’m happy for them but it wasn’t right for me. I’ve had what would be considered a successful career in the insurance industry. But it was never enough and I felt, I knew something was missing. There had to be something else for me to do.

In 2005 after experiencing Hurricane Katrina, I made some life changing decisions. During this time I also decided to actually begin to write the book I had been talking about for years.

The book turned into my YA Growing Pains Series. The first book Kendra’s Diaries is available. The second book New Beginnings is slated for release this summer. And I’m currently penning the third book tentatively titled Decisions.

I love writing. I love creating and developing characters, scenes and storylines. I’ve always been a daydreamer with an active imagination and a brain that never shuts down. Writing has opened up my mind and heart to limitless possibilities.

Will I ever be a bestselling author? Will I ever be able to quit my day job? I have absolutely no idea. Do I want both? Absolutely. I’m working every day to reach my goals. In the interim I’m committed to enjoying my journey daily.

There is no cookie cutter path to finding your happily ever after. It’s different for each person. The key is not to stop until we get there.

I’m so excited about where this journey will take me! I’m going for my happily ever after! You go for yours! Meet you there!

I AM KP Smith


Growing Pains - CoverMeet Kendra Foster. She’s right in the middle of the roller coaster ride of growing up. Her family seems to be in a permanent state of disarray. High school is right around the corner and there is only one school she wants to attend but it is going to take a miracle for her to go. She finally made the cheerleading team which is the best thing that has happened since forever. But much to her dismay this wreaks havoc in a completely unexpected way. Then she has one year left to capture Jamie’s attention yet she hasn’t been able to do that since the fourth grade. And with the new girl everyone is going crazy over she doesn’t have much of a chance does she? Life is coming at her from all sides and she is determined to keep it all together. Kendra’s Diaries is the first installment in the Growing Pains series. During all the twists, turns, ups and downs Kendra will develop courage, faith and perseverance. She will learn no matter what happens in life always remain positive and never give up. Life has a way of working itself out.


Want to know more? Check out the links!

Website   www.iamkpsmith.com

Facebook   https://www.facebook.com/kenyan.smith.5  

Twitter   https://twitter.com/IAMKPSmith

Buying Links   http://bit.ly/growpain   Barnes & Noble

IAM15 Guest Post…Michael Pang

IAM 2015 - TopperWelcome to day seven of our Indie Author Month, we hope you’ve enjoyed the mixture of features and authors so far. Stick with us, as there are plenty more to come in the next few weeks as even more ‘indies’ share their experiences and books with us… So, who’s here today?

Today’s featured author is Michael Pang…Project manager by profession but modern Renaissance man by nature, Michael Pang has dabbled in many different areas in his career. From working with steam turbines to eventually switching into the world of IT, his plethora of experience highlights his personality – he’s a person always searching for more knowledge.

MichaelAndMaiaMichael was born in Hong Kong in 1983. His family immigrated to San Francisco when he was three and eventually landed in Florida. After graduating from high school, Michael gained his degree in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech. Despite his currently demanding work schedule, Michael is very involved in activities at his local Project Management Institute Chapter where he fulfills his passion for teaching as the Vice President of Education. But, his desire to serve and help others doesn’t end there, he’s an avid Christian and very active in his local church. He loves kids, with two daughters of his own with his lovely wife, and volunteers at children’s church in his ministry.

He speaks fluent Cantonese and Mandarin and in his free time enjoys reading, writing, eating, cooking, playing music, dancing, singing, and watching musicals. One of his mottos is “Everyday that he hasn’t learned something new is a day wasted.”

So, without further ado, let’s hand you over to the man himself to learn more about how he came to be a writer.


My Writing Journey…so far…

I have always enjoyed reading and writing. However, I never really had a chance to simply sit down and write for fun until I was in my late twenties. About four years ago, my wife and I had our first baby. Months of sleepless nights went by and we both looked like zombies. Then, one night a very strange dream (more like a nightmare) came to me about a teenager working in a mental asylum. The patients there were all gaunt and ghastly with very abrupt demeanor changes. Some of the things the patients were doing were fairly odd and supernatural (like levitating, retrieving objects via telekinesis, and speaking with multi-vocal projections). And I remember wandering to myself, are these people all just insane or demon possessed. Okay, you might wonder, “wow, how did he jump to demon possessed so quickly?” If you saw what I saw in that dream, you would jump to that conclusion too. Then the teenager went into a room and called the patient residing in the room, “mom.” She turned around abruptly, and the expression on her face was terrifying as she pounced on him. I woke up immediately. As shaken from the dream as I was, I couldn’t help wanting to find out what happened to the teenager. I tried to go back to sleep in hopes of getting the dream to continue. But it didn’t work. The next morning, I told my wife about the strange dream and how I had hoped that it had continued when I went back to sleep. So my wife told me that it sounded like it would make an excellent novel and that I should write my own ending.

I guess I would have to say that, it was then that my real writing journey began. Over the past four years, I wrote (and re-wrote continuously) whenever I got a chance. The dream came at a very opportune time when my role in the energy company I worked for changed and I ended up traveling almost every other week. I was constantly on 3-7 hour flights and due to company policy almost had a layover every time. There are only so many movies you can watch on a plane before you are just bored out of your mind, so I took the advantage of the travel times to write. Also, since I worked for the energy industry, I would always be traveling to some sort of power plant or manufacturing plant. There really was not much to do in those areas after work, so I sat in my hotel room and wrote.

Being that my novel borderlines on horror, I kind of spooked myself out a couple of times writing alone in a hotel room. When you are alone, your mind can really go to some strange and dark places. As terrified as I am of the original Exorcist movie, I am mystified as to how I had written two exorcism scenes in my book. I remember re-reading parts of my novel last year and I was like, “Whoa, where did that come from?” Due to some these darker themes of my novel, I really struggled with what the appropriate age group my novel was written for, but I really like the YA genre. I feel that it is the age where everyone gets a chance to venture out and discover who they really are. It gives me so much freedom to infuse that sense of excitement and drama to my book.

As much as I initially thought I loved reading and writing before I started on this project, over the past four years that passion has grown exponentially. Just thinking about having free time to write, gets me so excited. So, with book 1 of the Declan Peters Chronicles released, I am now in the process of writing book 2. I hope that I have as much fun writing it as I did the first one. I just need to work on finding free time to write. Did I just say “free time?” What is that? I vaguely remember what that means….


Eye Of Madness   A near tragic incident at the hands of his psychotic mother left Declan Peters alone and with so many questions.

Years later, Declan is determined to find a way to be closer to his mother and takes a job at the institution where she’s being held. That fateful decision will be the impetus for a chain of events so terrifying that Declan will question his own grasp on reality.

What he finds will be more horrifying than anything he’s ever experienced and more dangerous than anything he’s yet known. In a place, rife with demonic possession and sadistic beings, will Declan finally be able to find the answers he’s longed for before its too late or will he succumb to the evil forces that inhabit the institution and all who live there?


Want to know more? Check out the links!

Amazon (Print) http://www.amazon.com/dp/0692437339/
Barnes&Nobles http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/in-the-eyes-of-madness-michael-pang/1121840881?ean=9780692437339




Website http://www.InTheEyesOfMadness.com
Facebook Fanpage https://www.facebook.com/pages/In-The-Eyes-Of-Madness/772675372847165
YouTube Book Trailer https://www.youtube.com/attribution_link?a=eXHSq06oxb8&u=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DPRAaXcCUZdU%26feature%3Dshare
Twitter https://twitter.com/michaelkcpang



IAM15 Guest Post…My Writing Journey

IAM 2015 - Topper    My second post of the day as ‘guest author’ – I can’t talk about myself in the third person too much on this blog as it leads me to feeling slightly unhinged 🙂 Anyway, as a guest of myself, I thought I’d use my post this year to talk about my writing journey, like some of our other guests are doing. These are always some of my favourite posts to read because everyone has a different tale and experience to share. It has been quite a while since I last did a ‘writing journey’ post – around this time of year in 2012 to be exact – and so there was a lot for me to take in when I came to writing one this time.

(The two previous posts can be found on my author website [here] and on Ramblings of a Daydreamer blog [here], if you are interested in how my journey started).

The main difference between then and now is time (obviously!) and practice. Back in 2012, I was new to the whole promotion, Goodreads, blogging, social media cycle, side of things with writing and releasing a book. Before then, it had been me and a laptop, my scraps of paper and notebooks and my story – I was writing what I wanted, when and how I could manage it and more than anything, I was just writing stories for myself very occasionally sending them off to an agent or publisher, but not really thinking about publishing what I was doing.

When I got the time to finish the book in late 2011, was when self-publishing was starting to become a ‘thing’. I had my precious Kindle and had picked up some Indie books and when I saw what was being done, I just figured ‘why can’t I do that’? I was never organised enough for repeatedly ploughing through the Writers and Artists Yearbook, marking all the agents and publishers that might accept an approach for my book and then seeing it through to sending the required synopsis, excerpt manuscript, cover letter… I did it a few times for some children’s books I’d written and each time changed my approached or went away and did months of re-writes and adjustments when I got a response back. To say that the traditional process was slow, was an understatement: up to 12 weeks to wait for a reply each time you submitted, only submitting to one at a time (which is professional courtesy) and then whatever I did after that.

So, for Hope’s Daughter, I researched some companies and looked at how Amazon were doing things at the time. The formatting for submissions wasn’t as easy as it is today – now that they are well on top of their game – and so I went via BookBaby, who was also just getting started and did all the conversion to various formats, collected your royalties with removing commission and made it very easy to put the book out there. It was only after I’d released the book and I’d promoted to friends and family, I realised that I wasn’t about to set the Top Ten book charts on fire with such a small readership.

So, as with any new project, I went off to learn about how I could market my book. Early days I shared excerpts on sites like Scribd and then discovered Goodreads and reader blogs… Two things I had never even heard of before, but which have become central to how I look at the writing – reading – publishing triangle these days.

From here, I went into the promotion side of things wholeheartedly setting up the various accounts, starting my blogs, including this one, as I found myself enjoying engaging with other authors as much as readers. I also spent that much time on Goodreads I became a Mod for quite a large group, as well as trying to get reviews for Hope’s Daughter and some promotion via blogs. I also took up reading again, cramming a  huge 52 books into the year, alongside trying to write more and promote as well (did I mention I have a full time job?) all in the interest of networking with readers and bloggers.

2012 was a crazy merry-go-round if you like, one focused on all the new stuff I was learning about being an author. By the end of the year, I realised I’d done very little writing, just promotion of one book and ALOT of blogging about books. So, for 2o13 I set myself the target of completing book 2 and cut back on blogging and reviewing for others. I did the same in 2014 and have been trying to do the same this year, to get more writing time in, because if I don’t write any books, it doesn’t matter if I  can find people to read them 😉

It is hard to find the balance, although three and a bit years in to the indie publishing scene I think I am getting there. At the moment, I’m getting up earlier each day to squeeze in an hour of writing, editing or blogging, with the idea of little and often keeping things moving on. The drafting and editing side of things also gets easier as you become more practiced at it, so overall, I’m hoping to get more productive as I go along…well, that’s the plan anyway 🙂