Columns

Recurring Columns

ASK AN AUTHOR: BUILDING AN AUDIENCE, NO. OF DRAFTS, & IDEAL WRITING ENVIRONMENT

 

Answering your questions about writing, publishing, and marketing books

By Sarka-Jonae Miller

 

July 13, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) --This week I'm happy to welcome #1 best-selling author, Caroline Fardig, to the Ask An Author column.

Caroline is the author of the Lizzie Hart Mystery series of hilarious cozy mysteries. She recently got a book deal with Penguin Random House for an upcoming mystery novel, Death Before Decaf, and she just self-published her third novel, Bad Medicine. Caroline also happens to be one of my favorite authors.

WHAT WORKS: BUSINESSES BASED ON EMPLOYEES

 

By R. J. Hernandez

July 11, 2015 (San Diego) -- This is the inaugural  “What Works” column. And in this column, there will be stories and editorials that talk about what is working or ideas about how things could work. How things could work when people find ways to come together, even if those ways are tied together by a shoe string. This is about progress to its greatest degree, the very existence of forward motion. It isn’t even momentum that I’m talking about here. It is motion that brings people together for their mutual benefit, that engages them and inspires them and case-by-case builds them up.

ASK THE RETIREMENT CONCIERGE: SIMPLE, BUT NOT EASY

 

By Sharon Ann Hamilton

Dear Sharon Ann:

July 8, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - I will be 66 years old and retired by year-end. I am single, in good health, my parents are still living and healthy, and my grandparents passed away in their late 90s so it is likely that I have at least 30 years ahead. I am concerned that my nest egg will not last as long as I do. I want to know for sure! Is there a way to prove the projections made by my financial advisor? I have about $1.5M in 401K investments, I own my own home outright, and Social Security will be $2350 per month.

Signed: I want to KNOW for SURE!

BAJA BLOG: FOURTH OF JULY BAJA STYLE AT ANGEL'S CAMP AND THE CANTINA

 

Story and photos by Susan A Mahalick

July 7, 2015 (Baja, Mexico)--The day dawned cloudy and cool as it often does this time of year; sometimes the marine layer stays all day, or for a month at a time along the Pacific coastline. At about three in the afternoon the layer was thin enough that the sun came out for a brief time. Time to go to Angel’s Camp for the annual 4th of July pig roast.

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF'S CORNER: STOP AND THINK!

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

July 6, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - Observing the calls being dispatched this weekend certainly proved a lack of common sense, civility and what a tender box we truly are in as fireworks and careless acts sparked additional wildfires, homes and even commercial business fires this Fourth of July weekend. Most from illegal fireworks. Stop and Think!

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP EVENTS JULY 11-26

 

July 6, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s Destination East County features lots of e community concerts, from jazz in a lavender field to blues in a park, plus the Descanso Days Parade, and more. Plus we’ll have a preview of coming attractions including Pine Valley Days, outdoor movies, off-road madness and Jimmie Johnson night in El Cajon. So stay tuned for all of these events and much, much more!

ASK THE RETIREMENT CONCIERGE: SIMPLE, BUT NOT EASY

 

 

By SharonAnn Hamilton

July 5, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - Dear SharonAnn:

I will be 66 years old and retired by year-end. I am single, in good health, my parents are still living and healthy, and my grandparents passed away in their late 90s so it is likely that I have at least 30 years ahead. I am concerned that my nest egg will not last as long as I do. I want to know for sure! Is there a way to prove the projections made by my financial advisor? I have about $1.5M in 401K investments, I own my own home outright, and Social Security will be $2350 per month.

Signed: I want to KNOW for SURE!

PRODUCE PICKS: SWEET WHITE CORN AND WATERMELON FOR 4TH OF JULY FEASTING

 

By Greg Dunne

June 27, 2015 (Alpine)--What goes together better than America, 4th of July, Barbeque, Sweet White Corn, and Watermelon? With 4th of July just around the corner, the second most important holiday of the summer next to Fathers day!? It is Barbeque time and peak of the season for White Corn and Watermelon. Not as traditional as some dishes but my wife’s (Dianne) arugula white corn salad, is one of my favorites. Her recipe is at the bottom of this article.

DESTINATATION EAST COUNTY: JUNE 27-JULY 11

 

June 26, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s Destination East County includes gold rush days in Julian, outdoor movies and a preview of coming attractions including 4th of July Festivities, Mary Poppins on Mt. Helix, and the annual Descanso Days Fair and Parade. So stay tuned for all of these events and much, much more!

BAJA BLOG: MY BIRTHDAY IN THE WINE VALLEY WITH SITARA MONICA PEREZ

 

by Susan A Mahalick. Photos and article by the author

June 23, 2015 (Baja, Mexico) - I met Sitara when she first got here from Costa Rica with not much more than the clothes on her back and a dog named Lily. We became fast friends, fast. She got enrolled in the wine school which has tough requirements, one of which is knowing Spanish well enough to understand the classes and become proficient in business afterwards. I was her very first investor and it is indeed the best investment I have ever made. In a few short years she is now sending her wines to Mexico City which is the ultimate market here and poised to export to the United States. It takes at least a year to become legal, getting a tax stamp for your bottles, becoming a legal resident and the like. Since her grandmother was Mexican this allows her to become a dual citizen with the US. Originally from Alaska, she is an adventurer like so many of us expats in Mexico. She prefers to create blends so I just got a case of her Dolcetto at the rock bottom price of five dollars a bottle. I am going to use some of these along with her new house wine, Ruffian, for a wine tasting BBQ tomorrow on my patio with two friends.

ASK AN AUTHOR: STEAMY ROMANCE GIVEAWAY AND TIPS - FEEDBACK, ANTI-HEROES, AND WRITING MYSTERIES

 

By Sarka-Jonae Miller

June 18, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - Author/actress/artist Vanessa A. Ryan joins us today as a guest columnist. Vanessa is the author of the cozy mystery A Palette for Murder (“Good fun” – Kirkus Reviews) as well as the Horror at the Lake series of vampire tales reminiscent of works like Dracula. Join Vanessa on Facebook and Twitter @Vanessa_A_Ryan if you have any more questions for her about her work, or if you just want to ask her what it was like being part of the cast of the original Magic Mike.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: JUNE 20-JULY 11

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 16, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s Destination East County includes some amazing events to delight dad this Father’s Day weekend, from an air show to a vintage train ride and a brunch with Cowboy Jack. Plus we’ll have a preview of coming attractions including 4th of July Festivities, a country music concert in Santee, and the annual Descanso Days fair and parade.  So stay tuned for all of these events and much, much more!

Now for a preview of coming attractions…

THE RETIREMENT CONCIERGE: VOLUME 116 SIMPLE, BUT NOT EASY

 

Dear SharonAnn:

June 14, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - I will be 66 years old and retired by year-end. I am single, in good health, my parents are still living and healthy, and my grandparents passed away in their late 90s so it is likely that I have at least 30 years ahead. I am concerned that my nest egg will not last as long as I do. I want to know for sure! Is there a way to prove the projections made by my financial advisor? I have about $1.5M in 401K investments, I own my own home outright, and Social Security will be $2350 per month.

ASK AN AUTHOR TIPS & FREEBIES: KDP SELECT GIVEAWAYS-- THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE WASTE OF MONEY

 

June 10, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) --How do you run a successful KDP Select giveaway? You seem to always rock them. – Jennifer Gilbert

Anyone who visits my SJ Publicity Facebook page regularly can see I'm an advocate of KDP Select giveaways. There are some authors who balk at the idea of giving away free books, but I look at a free ebook as a free sample. Don't you love free samples and the people who give them out?

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: JUNE 10-21

 

June 10, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s Destination East County includes an Olympic Day, dancing, live music, film showings,  fishing, classic cruising and more. Plus we’ll also have a preview of coming attractions including Boars and Brew, Blues & Jazz, a vintage train ride, a Father’s Day brunch with Cowboy Jack, and a desert sky photo shoot starring the Milky Way.  So stay tuned for all of these events and much, much more!

ASK AN AUTHOR: TIPS & FREEBIES, OVERCOMING WRITER'S BLOCK, SELF VS. TRADITIONAL PUBLISHING, & NOVEL-WRITING TIME

 

By Sarka-Jonae Miller

June 6, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) --This week's column welcomes a guest author, Sherrie Miranda. Sherrie is a resident of Chula Vista and the author of the historical fiction novel, Secrets and Lies in El Salvador: Shelly's Journey, which tells the story of an American visiting El Salvador during the time of the Salvadoran Civil War. The story is based in part on the author's experiences in El Salvador. If you'd like to learn more about Secrets and Lies in El Salvador, it is on sale for $0.99 on Amazon and on two best seller lists.

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF'S CORNER: SWIMMING POOL SAFETY - IT HAPPENED JUST LIKE THAT

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

June 8, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--Drowning incidents are dramatically on the rise locally and statewide. Parents whose children have drowned say the day of the tragedy started out just like any other day. No matter how the drowning happened or where it happened -- pool, spa, or any other body of water -- one thing was the same, the seconds that claimed their child's life slid by silently, without warning, it happens just like that and can never be brought back. Drowning is Preventable reminds Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY JUNE 6-20

 

June 4, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s Destination East County includes a craft beer and wine festival, Shakespeare, night fishing, poetry by the river, a firefighters’ breakfast, Taste of La Mesa and more. Plus we’ll also have a preview of coming attractions including Julian’s Backcountry Dance and Barbecue, Boars and Brews at Lakeside’s River Park, and much more.  So stay tuned for all of these events and much, much more!

BAJA BLOG: BLACK CROSS WINERY 1ST ANNIVERSARY PARTY

 

Story and photos by Susan A Mahalick

June 3, 2015 (Cantamar, Mexico)--Robin MacKenzie, proprietor of Black Cross winery in Cantamar up in the hills helps to support Pretty Horse Rescue owned by Krystal Redmon. Robin had her first anniversary party on a fine May afternoon overlooking the hills surrounding the property where both businesses coexist.

ASK AN AUTHOR WRITING TIPS - FREE MANUSCRIPT FORMATTING, SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING, PUBLISHING UNDER ONE'S INITIALS

 

By Sarka-Jonae Miller

How can I get free material on formatting my manuscript for eBook conversion, and where can I find a good free eBook conversion application? Do you know any eBook retailers who pay through PayPal, since I can't receive payments through a US bank and prefer PayPal to posted checks? Also, can I find quality material on how to use Social Media to promote my books? – James Badmos

June 1, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - I recommend Draft2Digital.com for quality ebook conversion. You can upload a Word document and they will provide you with a mobi and epub file for free. Their program can create a table of contents, dedication page, copyright page, etc. so you don't have to do much formatting. In your case, you might want to allow them to do your distribution since they pay via PayPal.

THE RETIREMENT CONCIERGE: OLD BUT NOT CRAZY

 

By SharonAnn Hamilton

May 31, 2015 (San Diego's East County) -- Dear SharonAnn,

My eighth decade is creeping up and I find that I am deeply disturbed by how people act today. It bugs the heck out of me when I see people do not pick up after their dog, when kids sit talking in their cars along the park and throw trash out the window to the ground and when people leave shopping carts where it could damage a car because they are too lazy to return them. When I couldn’t find my gold hoop earrings that I hadn’t worn in a year, I chalked it up to losing them on a trip. Then I couldn’t find my leaf rake or my extra package of toilet paper in the garage. Someone is stealing from me. I am getting increasingly angry because people just are not doing the right thing. I just feel so helpless. What am I supposed to do? Signed: Old but not Crazy!

ASK AN AUTHOR COLUMNIST SARKA-JONAE MILLER SPEAKS AT ALPINE LIBRARY JUNE 6

 

East County News Service

May 28, 2015 (Alpine) – Local award-winning author Sarka-Jonae Miller recently launched “Ask the Author,” a column for East County Magazine.   You’re invited to join us as she discusses her experiences as a publicist and journalist at the Alpine Library on Saturday, June 6th at 1 p.m.

ASK AN AUTHOR - PIRACY AND SCAMS

ANIMAL TALES: ROY TOFT, WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER AND TOUR GUIDE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tune in Friday to hear our exclusive radio interview with Roy Toft during our show on KNSJ 89.1 FM, airing 5 to 6 p.m.  Scroll down to view his fabulous photos and read more.  A podcast of the radio interview will also be posted here after it airs.

By Mimi Pollack

May 28, 2015 (Ramona)--Many of us lead mundane lives, but not Roy Toft. This amiable Ramona wildlife photographer has had enough adventures for many lifetimes. His pictures have appeared in National Geographic, Audubon Magazines and Zoonooz, gaining him international acclaim.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS & ATTRACTIONS MAY 26 - JUNE 13

Welcome!

http://k003.kiwi6.com/hotlink/j9slpyp6m5/Destination-NewBumper1-Rebecca_...

May 26, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s Destination East County includes a classical guitar concert, a living legends art and photo exhibit, a Flag Day Parade, a fiddle picking contest, women’s health fair and more. Plus we’ll also have a preview of coming attractions including the Taste of La Mesa, Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, and the Julian Dance and Back Country Barbecue.  So stay tuned for all of these events and much, much more!

READERS & WRITERS CALENDAR: FROM MAY 24, 2015

 

For complete Calendar including Authors Events, go to www.SDWriteWay.org

By Sam Warren

May 24, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - NOTICE: On May 27th, the staff of the SDWriteWay, me, will be moving to the southern Mexican resort beach town of Zipolite. The calendar may be a bit erratic for a while until I get set up.

ASK AN AUTHOR: PLANNING A SERIES, INDIE PUBLISHER PROS, INCREASING READERSHIP

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