Monday, July 10, 2017

A Space Opera

If you are here, let me explain that besides entertainment or thought provoking ideas, I also consider my blog as a sort of press center at times. To be honest, I am new to press releases, and sometimes I struggle at book signings and other social situations, but its also good idea to help promote myself, and another reason I wrote this blog and copied my release was it took me a year to get into the Barnes & Noble store which was part of my release information. I was put on a waiting list with other authors and wasn't sure I'd get in because competition is tough for this type of exposure. Eventually, I was invited along with a handful of other authors and it turned out to be a great experience. 

I used to work near this book store and I would go there often during my lunch breaks a long time ago when I worked for Dillards as an art director. My cubicle was located inside a hidden third floor corporate office right above a store. We used to call it the "Rat's Maze" because the entrance to the Southeast Division was a side store entrance with an antiquated elevator. Little did anyone realize if they pushed the 3rd floor button, they'd wind up in the Dillards Southeast Division with a front office manager staring at them. Lucky enough for us the elevator was so slow customers jumped off at the first chance they could get on the second floor.  But moving forward in time, it seemed surreal to me to be an author there a few years later, to greet friends and family, and sci-fi fans. It was even stranger to see my books on the shelf. I felt like I needed to rub my eyes to make sure I hadn't dreamt it all up. I felt this way too, when I first opened a contract offer in the mail. I knew it might be good because it felt a little thicker than a rejection letter. I actually hesitated and placed it on my table and just stared at it for a while. My son kept saying, "Well open it up!" And there it was, a tentative contract offer. (Thank you Silver Leaf Books)

It's also hard to describe how I felt when I saw my book for sale on Amazon. Its felt good but it also felt a little dreamlike. I dreamt up the stories, and used dreams for inspiration, and then all these dreams begat a dream. (Beget me ye dream, a dream that I know not, is it a life or true I dream? T. Petrov Pavlova) 

It wasn't all dreams and rainbows though to reach that point - it was hard work and you need a thick skin to understand the business as well as be an artist. There's always room for first time writers but its actually a very specific percent that publishers will allow. According to research online, theres over two-hundred million American writers that want to be published, but THERE ARE thousands of first time writers that do in fact get published. The statisitics don't look promising, but I accepted the challenge as a glass half-empty or a glass half- full situation. My point of view is always the glass half-full. Half-empty is just giving up, and will only give me an empty glass. I get asked about this often by other writers, but I simply placed aside my feelings quickly, and neatly tucked the rejection envelops inside an office folder. I kept trying and told myself the stories had been carefully written with passion, research and the fact was I had enjoyed doing it. I also had a small group of test readers before I published, and asked them to be honest. I had to know, if they put the book down and if they did — why.

So posted below - the news release posted online for the second book and signing event for my series:

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Science fiction author K. Van Kramer invited to a Barnes & Noble Spring Author Signing, May 27, 2017

Van Kramer joins local authors in St. Petersburg, Florida, to help promote the second book of her series "From Phobos To Mars",  as part of Silver Leaf Books Publishing's science fiction line.

Book Two "From Phobos To Mars" follows the story a quiet agricultural scientist who winds up center stage in a mission to help a small Martian colony sustain crops for survival. Aided by her boyfriend Xanders, and her prodigy son, it's not easy to survive on Mars or explain the stolen genetic mutant crop seeds that she brought with her - much less handle the politics. Complete with a bar fight on Mars, there's a bit more than punches flying around in this low gravity brawl.

Van Kramer says: 'This is a classic space opera, the good old stuff that includes space warfare, melodramatic adventure, chivalric romance and risk-taking. Set in a technologically advanced underground city on Mars, emotional conflicts and personal interests arise amid state-of-the-art technology, and the small beginnings of this fledgling colony become a classic stage for space piracy, military laws and planetary romance. I have a fondness for courageous, misunderstood risk takers like my main protagonist — Dr. Lirren Lamaar, who finds a way to contribute to the colony through her work, amid the chaos and rigorous uncertainties that surround her.'