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  • Douglas Daech


    Born near Detroit Michigan and transplanted to Tampa Florida in 1982, where he located the story called “Steeling Time”, the author now resides in Russellville, Kentucky.

    His past experience includes articles in the Tripolitan, (Journal of the Tripoli Rocket Association, June 1991) and TRASH (Tampa Regional Aero-Space Hobbyist). In 1993 and 1994 many articles were published in the Unauthorized Launch, the Tampa Tripoli High Power Rocket Club newsletter. A science fiction piece was also presented in the online magazine NTH Degree (May, 2004). Also, an award for creative nonfiction was granted in the 2007 Frank and Cellia Conley Writing Contest at Western Kentucky University

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Mike Hanlon, Tampa Artist

“What I do is what I am,” artist Mike Hanlon explains. The 75-year-old artist has done a lot, and as a result, he has been a lot. His whole life has been a series of job where it became the central element of his life. According to his brother John, whatever he does, he obsesses on until he gets it perfect.  For example in 1962, Mike’s interests led him to box.

His dedication resulted in an amateur featherweight championship. He becomes what he does.

Mikes dedication reaches to all jobs, and interests he takes on. After he learned to ride a unicycle, he took it one step further and taught himself to juggle. Before long he was juggling balls while riding the streets of Tampa on one wheel. After teaching his two brothers to juggle, the trio became known as the Hanlon Brothers and worked as street entertainers at festivals and grand openings. Juggling, rope walking, and clowning became his life.

It was in the early ’80 when I first met Mike. I was a friend of one of his brothers. I found Mike to be a quiet and thoughtful person. I took him to be a wise man of few words. I knew he was painting and had seen a few pieces hanging in his small apartment, but didn’t know the extent of his talent.

At the time, both my friend George and his brother Mike were living in studio apartments above Hugo’s Sandwich Shop in South Tampa, FL. Mike’s apartment had a tiny balcony that looked over Howard Street. Recently, I used his studio as a model for the home of the lead character in my book Sunset of Dreams, available at Amazon. I have fond memories of those days. Link to Sunset of Dreams at amazon.com/author/douglasdaech

Mike Hanlon could always draw pretty well, but it was not until the early ‘70’s that he put his talent to the task. Christopher Clark, a retired painter in Tampa, took him under his wing. Clark taught Mike to be more observant. Mike claims his life started during those lessons. When he started painting, he became a painter.

Obsession… Hanlon took Clark’s lessons in observation and painted 178 views of Tampa Bay from the same location over 178 days, rain or shine. Every day he saw and painted something different. The challenge opened his eyes and fine-tuned his skills. It helped him learn to look at things as an artist needs to see them.

Recently, Mike’s career has taken a giant leap forward. 2016 was a big year with a best of show title awarded at the Art and Frame competition. And, he received the 1st place judging in the Faces and Figures show by Tampa Regional Artists. Plus, his work was proudly hung in his local Fifth Third Bank.

      

 

 

 

 

 

Mike Hanlon’s current obsession is a one-man show of Larger than Life Literary Heroes, which kicked off last year with a series of exhibits at public libraries. His work hung in several Hillsborough County locations. Famous authors gracing the halls of libraries, is a perfect for his work. His Literary Heroes, Larger than Life exhibit will return to the Downtown Tampa location this Nov. and Dec. You need to be sure to see it!

His work is also available to see at Inkwood Books, in Tampa, where they feature one new author every month. The Reserve, a coffee shop in Sarasota, FL, also displays his work. In addition, this December, the Sarasota coffee shop, Khawa, will have work on display.  You can view Mike Hanlon’s website at http://mikehanlon.info. This website offers a complete reference of his work, including the Literary Hero collection. Be sure to check out his site and the facebook link, https://www.facebook.com/LiteraryHeroes for his latest shows and events.

Two Story Publishing is proud to feature Mike Hanlon and welcomes him to our family of authors and artist. If you have a talent and art that you would like to promote, please contact us at http://twostory.pub. We would love to see what you do!

 

 

 

 

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Music and the Creative Process

 

Writing and publishing is a process. The publishing part is a mechanical step by step process. Writing is less mechanical. The creative elements in writing make for an environment without rules. It’s a free-for-all between writers of whatever works for them. Some authors need a clean and tidy desk, others work better in clutter. One writer may like to follow a planned outline, while another will take on the project by the seat of their pants. Some think that silence is golden. Some writers play heavy metal music as they work. The creative spark is kindled by different things in different people.

Today, I’m sharing the writing process that works for me. The first trick I use to get rolling is to edit the last page and keep moving beyond that. This refreshes my memory on where I was at in the story and gets the gears in my brain turning. This puts me technically in the mindset to write. It may not do it for every writer but does for me.

The second share I have is in regards to background music. Everyone has a favorites list, but my music list for writing is completely different. My regular list of favorites do nothing to ignite and propel my writing.  I have a particular list of songs that I play at a low volume whenever I write.

Some music smoothly falls into the background of what I write, as if it were an audio track to the movie playing in my mind. I discovered this first with the music of Victor Stellar. Luckily, free streaming downloads are available so you can listen as you write.

You can check them out at https://app.famemusic.com/victor-stellar. I have found a variety of moods and tempos to propel my writing. His songs seem to fit magically into whatever I am writing. I’m still confused at how they meld with whatever I’m penning, but I’m glad that happens.

Another artist that puts me into the writing zone is Gabriel’s Circus. You can find them at the musical my page site, https://myspace.com/gabrielscircus/music/albums. I first discovered the artist sitting next to me in my art class at community college. At the time he played guitar in a rock band around Detroit Michigan. As the worlds we lived in changed we drifted apart, we lost contact.  Thirty years later I stumbled back onto him. Ray Kurtz continues to play in southern Michigan with Nikki Holland. Between his hard rock years, and his current band, Mr. Kurtz released an album of easy listening jazz. I often play and write listening to his music.

The last musical lead I am going to offer is the Yuriy from Russia collection. The mystery in this music is how it blends into your head and becomes almost unnoticed as you write. Yet, the tempo and chaos of the abstract music still generates momentum. At least it does in my writing. Again this is available in streaming audio for your pleasure. You can stream the music at https://soundcloud.com/yuriyfromrussia

What works like magic for one person may not work at all for another. Who knows what will put your brain into the writing zone? What I offer you in this blog is what works for me. I’m giving you a glimpse of my creative process. I hope you listen to some of the music and write.

 

It’s worth saying again….

Why Authors Like Pre-order?

When you received the Two Story Publishing Newsletter last month, it included an exclusive excerpt from Sunset of Dreams. You also received an invitation to pre-order with special savings. (If you didn’t get your newsletter click HERE!) This mystery thriller book is due to release May 1st at Amazon.com. The launch countdown is underway. The books and street team is ready. A book launch is a multi-step process. Each step is aimed to raise awareness of the product before it releases. The excerpt was just one of the promotional stepping stones to that big launch day.

exclusive book excerpt

Newspaper press releases are another step that helps generate pre-orders.  The goal of the media blitz is to advertise the product. This surely is a great benefit to the independent author.  It’s important to get the orders in fast! Top selling books get special attention by retailers and buyers alike. On launch day, all the weeks of pre-orders will be attributed to that one day, making it a killer day for sales.  It is that buzz that turns a book into a best seller. The press release works!

The second advantage of early sales is in getting reviews. Buyers need to know what other readers think regarding new books. Pre-orders are the fastest way to get reader comments. Authors need those early reviews to generate more interest and keep up the momentum. If you have ever hesitated to give a review, please reconsider. When you like an author, take a moment and help them by leaving a comment. It is best for the author if you leave the review while the book launch is still hot.

Pre-ordering helps the author more than the customer. Of course, buyers are happy to get their products fast too. When the pre-orders come in on launch day, they function as a booster to move the book up the charts. A good book launch can keep sales coming in for a while.

Speaking of pre-orders, be one of the first to get Sunset of Dreams. This new novel is going to launch on May 1st. In the book, detective Max Jones discovers the cause of the rising murder rate in the city of Tampa. The problem is that he cannot find anyone who will believe him. Things heat up in the Florida sun as he struggles to expose the killer. You can pre-order Sunset of Dreams for Kindle at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06WV9LY72  The Special Launch Price of $2.99 will only last a short while. So, pre-order soon!

And now for something completely different…

Satire, it is a form of humor. You need to take it with a grain of salt, and not all people can develop a taste for it. Satire can infuriate one person and bring another person to laugh out loud. It is the use of humor to expose and criticize stupidity or faults in a person, organization or culture.

It’s been around for a long time. I believe the best example of satire is Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal. It was published way back in 1729. In this example, he was criticizing the government. That was a dangerous thing to do! In using satire, he got the message across with a lesser risk of upsetting authorities. As I understand it, at that time the government was not helping the poor Irish common man. In fact, they seemed to be working against any possibility of prosperity for the lower class.

In this piece, Swift proposes that the poor children of Ireland be sold as food stock. He claims that this would free the poor parents of burden and it would supply food to those who could afford it. He supported his proposal with portioning guidelines and recipes. He offered sound logic and historical references. Swift conveyed his proposal so well, and with such seriousness, it almost seemed as if he believed it a sound option.

With satire in mind and a cell phone full of games in hand, this came to mind. My goal was to poke fun at the amount of time spent playing game apps and stereotype the rural mountain folk in the area of Kentucky I call home.

NEWSFLASH!

The Russellville Journal of Neuroscience announced yesterday the findings of Professor Wendy Anus regarding brain development in test subjects addicted to handheld electronic devices.

To ensure a broad spectrum pool of research participants, subjects ranged from infants to the elderly in a wide variety of incomes, education levels, and sexual orientations. The end results of Professor Anus’s findings stirred the review board.

Anus put forth her conclusion that addiction to hand-held devices is more than a habit. Physical and chemical changes occur with prolonged exposure and use of such electronic tools. Her findings showed abnormal brain development, shrinkage and in extreme cases complete loss.

“Games such as Roller, Blink, Candy Munch and Worms are fun when taken in small doses,” Anus claims, “but long term exposure will do harm.” MRI scanning of subjects using devices has shown a decrease of middle brain activity and a saturation of Serotonin. Both findings are characteristics of alcohol and drug addiction. Also Professor Anus claims subjects often experienced an increase in thumb cramps.

“In cases of prolonged use,” the professor states, “shrinkage of the brain has been observed.” Three test subjects actually had no brain. Test subjects who have lost their mind are rare, but not new. “The Scientific Process sees all kinds,” Anus says. “It is unclear how much of a brain participants started with, considering the location of the research in southern Kentucky.”

Wendy Anus has been studying side effects on humans caused by technology in culture for almost three weeks. Prior research projects include comparing characteristics of fast food consumers and the study of inbreeding in rural areas with her husband/uncle. “Research projects are limited in my area,” she explained. Her report will be published in the Russellville Journal of Neuroscience when she corrects the spelling of the longer words.

Why Authors Like Pre-orders?

Why Pre-order?

When you received the Two Story Publishing Newsletter this month, it included an exclusive excerpt from Sunset of Dreams. You received an invitation to pre-order with special savings. This mystery thriller book is due to release May 1st at Amazon.com. The final changes for launch are underway. The first stage is a great launch. A book launch is a multi-step process. Each step is aimed to raise awareness of the product before it releases. The excerpt was just one of the promotional stepping stones to that big launch day.

The pre-order window looks like this!

preorder-art

Newspaper press releases and social media posts are other steps taken to generate pre-orders. All the chatter creates a buzz around the product. The goal of the media blitz is to gain pre-orders. This is a great benefit to the independent author. Top selling books get special attention by retailers and buyers alike. On launch day, all the weeks of pre-orders will be attributed to that one day, making it a killer day for sales. The existing orders drive the book to the top seller list and give it more exposure. It is that buzz that turns a book into a best seller.

The second advantage of pre-order sales is in getting reviews. Buyers need to know what other readers think regarding new books. Pre-orders are the fastest way to get reader comments. Authors need those early reviews to generate more interest and keep up the momentum. If you have ever hesitated to give a review, please reconsider. When you like an author, take a moment and help them by leaving a comment. It is best for the author if you leave the review while the book launch is still hot.

Pre-ordering helps the author more than the customer. Of course, buyers are happy to get their products fast too. When the pre-orders come in on launch day, they function as a booster to move the book up the charts. A good book launch can keep sales coming in for a while.

sunset_of_dreams-kindle-ebook-paranormal-thriller-mystery-douglas-daech-tampa-florida-detective-paperback-book

Speaking of pre-orders, be one of the first to get Sunset of Dreams. This new novel is going to launch on May 1st. In the book, detective Max Jones discovers the cause of the rising murder rate in the city of Tampa. The problem is that he cannot find anyone who will believe him. Things heat up in the Florida sun as he struggles to expose the killer. You can pre-order Sunset of Dreams for Kindle at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06WV9LY72  The Special Launch Price of $2.99 will only last a short while. So, pre-order soon!

What works in Book Promotion?

I have found that as being a writer the hardest part of the job is book promotion.  Most people think the job of a writer is writing, but truthfully it is getting people to read your words. From what I have read, even if a major publisher buys your work, promotion is still largely on the author’s shoulders. There are a million blogs, books, videos and programs that teach this. I have been trying to absorb all of it. Book promotion is time-consuming, and it can be expensive, both of which are elements I have very little to expend.

I guess I am not alone in that respect. Programs and classes training how to promote a book can be expensive. I cannot afford that so I’m going to learn the hard way, I will spend what time I can and do what works best. I am not flying blind. Hours of research has brought me to a few conclusions I will gladly share here, for free. No paid training classes are here. I believe that promotion boils down to two things. The two biggest jobs for an author are getting friends and contacts.

Friends and community are people you know personally, as well as those who have liked your facebook page, or twitter account. You are reading my blog and considered a friend too. Anyone you can talk with in the virtual world that has a connection to you as a favorite, or a like, or a follow I consider a friend. You can punch them up on messenger or tweet them your thoughts. What you need to do with your friends is to keep them engaged. Keep up the chat and get them to like you. It is kind of like the real world. Eventually, you ask them for their number or email address.

Your contacts are something different. Commercial networking is not the same as a social gathering. Compare a business luncheon to a football party. Contacts are people who are looking for something for themselves, and they may help you to get that. In respect to the author, contacts are looking for a book. They have seen who you are, and like what you have said. Now they may be willing to pay you for your product. It is your job as an author to collect contacts. You need to keep an email list and tell them about your products.

People will read only a fraction of what you do on social media. The majority of your messages are disappearing among the millions of others. Emails, on the other hand, are aimed at a specific person. If that person has engaged with you and remembered you, it has a higher probability to be read. That is your best promotion technique.

I hope you have enjoyed my blog. Please join my email list at http://eepurl.com/cvuWQH

Some Family Reading….

Over the last year or two, I have enjoyed doing my family tree on Ancestry.com.  I really didn’t know anything about half of my family history before starting that tree. My parent passed away when I was five years old and one side of the family was a complete mystery. It is good to see there is a blood line from my father’s family that is thriving. As I look at the tree, I see many characters that would be great fodder for a story or even a book!

My grand Uncle Otto lived in Collinsville IL. Many of the family came from that area. According to the Alton Telegraph, a local newspaper, he ran a small bar. Apparently, it was the local gambling house. In 1943 he was arrested and I guess it was closed down. My writer’s imagination can see the place in gritty black and white details like an old movie. Good old uncle Otto.

Aunt Minni, the sister of my grandfather, William A. Daech II, married a man named John Preston Brown.  This guy was in the race car business.  He either drove or rented race cars for others to have fun. His business was Brown’s Drive-yourself. The old photos of him and his car conjure up roaring adventures around the mud tracks of yesteryear. That’s good material for a chapter or two.

prestons-car

My middle namesake, William F Daech, was an overseer of a sugarcane plantation in the Caribbean. I imagine he was overseeing slaves, working the cane, chopping and burning fields for harvest. The cane was used to make island rums. He married an English woman and had a child in the islands, but the roots of the family ended up in the States and settled in Edwardsville where he ran a distillery. I can almost imagine their hot romance on the tropic plantation as a book by itself.

history-madison-county-page

Great Great Grandpa William also served as the treasurer and sheriff. He was very active in the miners union and was major part of the union bargaining conventions. He was quoted in the Marxist magazine, The Worker on his labor beliefs. He was very political. The historic documents mention that he was a druid.

Investigating my ancestry opened my eyes to living uncles and aunts that I didn’t know I had. It gave me insights into past roots that I never knew about, and it sparked my imagination of the adventures they may have lived. Who knows, a new book may be developing from the characters in my families past. Will it be fiction or non-fiction, maybe a little of both? Only the future will tell!

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