The Official Blog of Author Michael J. Sahno

And So The Tour Ends

Well, it’s finally over: the blog tour for the relaunch of Miles of Files ends today with a stop at Novelgossip, hosted by the fabulous Amy. I say fabulous because, man oh man, has she got a following! Not even four o’clock, and already 33 bloggers have liked the post. Plus a whole lotta Twitter followers have retweeted it, making Miles of Files about as viral as one could reasonably expect.

It’s funny how when you’re most busy, you get busier. I’ve been dealing with all the marketing and promo stuff for this relaunch, but also doing some freelance projects. Today, I don’t even really have time for a proper blog post. I have a major magazine project I just started this morning, and some bigger projects in the hopper. So this needs to be short.

I would like to thank the following blogs who participated in the tour: not only Amy at Novelgossip but also the amazing Marie Lavender, Nina Soden, Linda Hill, Ben East, Janice Spina, Fiona McVie, and of course, Anne R. Allen and Ruth Harris who hosted me on the weekend of the relaunch. Special thanks also to Joseph Bendoski for his Start Writing podcast this past weekend. Please stop by these folks’ sites and give them some love.

One piece of news as illustrated above: on April Fools’ Day, I’m appearing at the Local Authors Meet N’ Greet at the New Tampa Regional Library, 10001 Cross Creek Blvd.  I’ll have the new version of Miles of Files available for sale at the event, so feel free to come out and say hello. Have a great week, everyone, and thank you all again for reading.

Florida Drivers Beware

I’ve been on a blog tour for the past week, and it’s been fun and hectic and interesting. The big Miles of Files launch went well, and I’ve got lots to be happy about. And yet, when it came time for me to get going on a blog topic for today, the main thing I had in mind was Florida drivers.

Why, you ask, would you write about such a thing on your author blog? After all, isn’t this supposed to be all about your readers? Well, sure. And I want you all to get to know me better, and what I’m thinking about, and so, if you have pet peeves like I do, maybe we can share a few of those here. And one of my biggest pet peeves is – you guessed it – the way people drive here.

I spent a whole twenty minutes on the highways and byways this morning, and it was almost enough to make me, not my car, blow a gasket. See, Florida has so many people from all over the country, even all over the world, that there is no such thing as a typical Florida driver. Florida drivers come from everywhere, and then when they get here, they drive the way they drove back there. Did you ever think that a driver from a small town in Texas might take a slightly different approach than a driver from Miami?

You know what that means in real life terms? It means wildly inconsistent behavior on the roads. It means speeders and turtles, No-Signal Nellies and Tailgater Toms. It means you will find yourself stressed out here when you’re driving…a lot.

I’m especially nervous driving in my adopted state, and for good reason: I was rear-ended four – count ‘em, four – times over a period […]

A Journey with A Few Heiresses

Way back in 2016, I got a guest spot on a blog called Writing in the Modern Age by an author named Marie Lavender. Of all the writers I’ve contacted online, Marie has to be the most prolific – more than 20 books published over the course of 15 years.

Marie and I have stayed in touch, and now that we’re both in the middle of blog tours for novels, I thought it would be great if we could host each other. Marie was kind enough to agree to have me as a guest on one of her blogs tomorrow, and I’m pleased to have her as my guest today, talking about her latest release: Upon Your Love, the third novel in her Heiresses in Love series. Take it away, Marie!
A Journey with A Few Heiresses
Fifteen years is a long time for a writing project, but I truly believe it brought me here, where I’m supposed to be.

In 2002, I was in my sophomore year of college. One day, while waiting for a friend to finish with a doctor’s appointment, a scene popped into my head. I’d been writing stories since I was nine years old, so it wasn’t unheard of for me to have a notebook on hand for story ideas. While waiting in the car, I began to write a compelling scene detailing an argument between a couple. This quickly spiraled into a huge historical romance project. At the time, I was in an abusive romantic relationship, and you could say that writing Upon Your Return was my catharsis.

Still, I grew to love the characters, and I poured my heart and soul into writing the novel. Nine years later, it was completed, edited and ready to be sent off to literary agents and publishers. By 2010, I thought I’d try my hand at […]

Blatant Self-Promotion Post

This week is The Big One: the 2nd edition of Miles of Files launches on Mar. 10th, almost 15 months to the day of its initial release!

When I won a book cover design from 99designs, I immediately thought of Miles. I was never quite as enamored with the original cover design as those of my other two books. I think this new design captures the novel much better – the humor, the focus on money and business…even the Tampa skyline in the background.

I hope you’ll all get a copy for your Kindle on March 10th, specially priced at $1.99 for the launch. March is jam-packed with events to promote the new edition. The blog tour kicks off with Anne R. Allen’s blog on Mar. 12th. Here’s the entire schedule for the tour:
Mar. 12th
annerallen.com
Mar. 13th
lovebooksgroupblog.wordpress.com
Mar. 14th
marielavenderbooks.blogspot.com
Mar. 15th
beneastbooks.com
Mar. 16th
authorsinterviews.wordpress.com
Mar. 17th
jemsbooks.wordpress.com
Mar. 18th
lindasbookbag.com
Mar. 19th
ninasoden.wordpress.com
Mar. 20th
marielavender.blogspot.com
Mar. 27th
novelgossip.com

Feel free to drop by any of those blogs on the appropriate dates. A couple are in the U.K., so the timing may be a little off from the U.S. Some of the posts are interviews, while others are articles I wrote as a guest blogger. Comments are most welcome.

Just before the blog tour ends on the 27th, I’ll be the guest on Mar. 24th on the Start Writing podcast hosted by fellow writer Joseph Bendoski. Joseph’s podcasts are “dedicated to learning to improve the craft of writing,” and we had a nice conversation about craft, and about the books themselves. During the podcast, you’ll hear him tell me that my prose is some of the best he’s ever read! Good times.

Finally, if you’re in Florida, I’ll be signing copies of the new Miles of Files at the Local Authors Meet ‘N Greet on Saturday, April 1st from 2:00-3:30 pm at the New Tampa Regional Library, 10001 Cross Creek Blvd. in Tampa. Hope to see you there!

Blogging About…Blogging?

Last week I blogged a bit about my upcoming relaunch of Miles of Files and the accompanying blog tour. This week, I’m not delivering just more of the same. Other exciting events are afoot!

First off, I’m pleased to announce that I’m going to be hosting another guest here in two short weeks: the fabulous Marie Lavender, who has got to be one of the most prolific novelists I’ve ever encountered, at least in real life.

Marie was kind enough to feature me on her blog when I was just starting a year or so ago. When I began getting ready for this blog tour, hers was one of the first names that came to mind. Turned out she had a new book coming out (go figure), and it launched yesterday. You can find more details here.

We’re going to spread the wealth by featuring each other: I’m hosting Marie on March 13th, so mark your calendars. Then she’s hosting me the very next day, March 14th, on her award-winning book blog here. She hosts other authors there frequently, so it really provides a great service. Then, on March 20th, Marie will be hosting me on her other blog, Writing in the Modern Age. The first appearance will be the new cover reveal, and the second will be an interview about Miles of Files and writing in general. Should be fun, and Marie’s spot here will be about her new book.

The other big news takes place right here in Tampa. On April Fools’ Day – one of my favorite holidays – I’ll be appearing at the Local Authors Meet N’ Greet at the New Tampa Regional Library, 10001 Cross Creek Blvd. Of course, I’ll have the brand spanking new version of Miles of Files available for sale at the event. I can’t wait to see that new cover in print.

 

Looking […]

Coffee Is For Closers

When it comes to political correctness, I’m not convinced we should go back to the “good old days.” I mean, do we really want to go back to calling someone born to an unwed mother a bastard? Heck, people don’t even use the phrase unwed mother anymore, do they? Or the phrase out of wedlock? Come to think of it, what do we call them? I guess we don’t call them anything, and isn’t that the whole point?

I was considering these rather unpleasant questions because last night I started watching season one of House of Cards, mainly to make sure I get my money’s worth out of Netflix. And in the first scene, I got the immortal Kevin Spacey putting an injured dog out of its misery…a possibly unnecessary murder. I thought right away of Glengarry Glen Ross and what a great job Spacey does of playing “a right bastard,” as they say in the U.K. That was the thought I had, anyway, though I wonder if it’s the kind of thing one should say aloud in polite company.
The Awkward Segue into Self-Promotion
And now, the awkward segue into self-promotion. (I already warned you with the subhead, right?) So I’m launching a blog tour for the cover reveal of my third novel, Miles of Files, on March 12th. And one of the author interviews I just completed for the tour included the question, If this book was made into a film, who would you cast in it? Great question, right?

I had to stop and think. I also had to admit I hadn’t a clue, at least not off the top of my head. I’m not up on the newest 20-something actors, so I had no idea about Paul Panepinto, the protagonist. Upon Googling Latino movie stars, I came up with […]

How Authors Can Navigate Twitter

Way back in June 2016, I wrote a blog post about Facebook vs. Twitter. At the time, I had a whole six months of expertise as a guy running a business full-time, so no wonder I did such a great job!

Well, okay, maybe I overstated my case. But the bottom line of that article was that, as necessary as Facebook is for authors, Twitter is really a place to build an audience and engage with them.

I know, I know, engage is one of those buzzwords that makes you want to gouge your eyes out with a fork. I get it. But it’s a real thing, and it just means that you have some kind of interaction: you message each other, you like or retweet each other…maybe you even end up buying a book. Maybe that person ends up buying your book. Get the importance now?

So here’s a little recap, except that I’d like to point out that, way back in June last year, I was bragging that I had over 2,000 followers on Twitter. Since then, that number has climbed to 11.3K. Yes, Twitter really does work that way, if you work at it. And no, those aren’t fake accounts or ‘paid’ followers. Don’t follow those. No, really, don’t.

Okay, here’s the recap: 

Twitter is great because of the inherent brevity of your posts – I was resistant to even joining Twitter because I thought it was kind of stupid. I especially hated the cheesy word tweet. Having been on there a while, though, I see the value. Not everyone wants to read your 500-word blog post; have something you can convey to the short-attention-span crowd, too!
Twitter is a lot easier to build up than Facebook when it comes to a following – For me, the verdict on that […]

Blogging As Guest: To Post or Not to Post

 

So it’s Monday, and my calendar says “Blog post.” My mind, on the other hand, says “Add a quick blog post.” This is slightly different, because it’s already after 3:00pm, and my idea of a blog calendar is 4:00pm. Gulp. Can you say deadline?

Of course, it’s my blog, and I’m the boss of this company. So the employee who’s going to write the blog post (me) could tell the owner (also me) to go pound sand. And with no fear of consequences! I promised myself a long time ago that I would never, ever fire myself.

Still, knowing I have 45 minutes to write something useful and compelling and worthwhile is kind of a lot of pressure. So maybe Go pound sand would be the right response.

If this all sounds like one of those quaint conversations where the person says, I told myself, “Self…,” well, it probably should.

The topic I chose for today is hardly original, and it’s not likely that my take on it will break any records. But hey, self-deprecating is my middle name (in invisible ink, right next to Joseph). So what the heck.

Today being the sixth of the month, it also happens to be my day to send out the Sahno Publishing Monthly Newsletter. (If you’re subscribed, look for that later. If not, just send me your email and you’ll start getting it next month.) In the newsletter, I mention that I’ll be guest posting next month on Anne R. Allen’s great blog for authors and their followers.

The reason I’m adding a note here on my own blog is twofold. If you’re reading this but not subscribed to the newsletter, you might be interested in joining the list. Secondly, you might be interested in having me on your blog, too. Although Anne’s blog is my main […]

What’s the Worst Thing About Social Media?

I’ve been known to refer to social media as antisocial media, so you might wonder what I think is the worst thing about it. Online bullying? The relentless self-promotion? (Buy my book! Buy my service!) People tagging you or adding you to lists without asking permission?

Nah. It’s the exclamation points. For my British friends and followers, exclamation marks.

Okay, I’m not really serious, but you have to admit: as a writer, editor, or proofreader, you could spend your whole life hearing, “Avoid exclamation points,” and then to see them everywhere could drive you crazy.

Take Facebook. I looked at my notifications today and the first one said, “Art Freen and Janie Doe have birthdays today. Wish them well!” Do I really need Facebook yelling at me to wish my friends a happy birthday? (And no, those are not my real friends’ names. Heck, I think I stole “Art Freen” from a Don Martin cartoon circa 1971.)

Of course, you know what happens next. I click in the appropriate box and yell, “Happy birthday, Art!” What other choice do I have?
Even on Twitter?
Twitter is my favorite social platform, because I’ve been able to build up a large following and engage with many other writers and readers. But in some ways, it’s even worse there. Just a quick scroll through my feed this morning yields these exclamation gems: “Coming soon!” “Thanks for the follow!” And, my personal favorite for today, “[Book name redacted] quite emotionally charged!”

It’s enough to make a guy want to post that little smiley face who’s laughing so hard he’s crying.

Ultimately, it becomes a zero sum game, an if-you-can’t-beat-them-join-them deal, where you have to use the dreaded exclamation point just to appear friendly.

It’s fine on social media, I guess, but it starts to become worrisome when it migrates to business correspondence. Here’s where I […]

Miles of Files: Where Did It Come From?

I wrote my third novel between about 2007 and 2015. I can’t say it took a full eight years to write – I got stuck in the final third for a couple years – but it was an ambitious project. I’d gone from a third person novel to a first person novel, and now I was going back to third person again.

For Miles of Files, I wanted to paint with a broader palette than ever before, and I actually had a few things in mind. For one, I wanted to have tiers of characters like Charles Dickens did in Dombey and Son: primary, secondary, and tertiary. The tertiary characters are mainly commentators, who pass on information about primary and/or secondary characters. I wanted to make sure each character was unique and different enough from the others that the reader could easily identify them. So I went through the Myers-Briggs personality types and assigned them accordingly.

Miles started with the germ of an idea. Paul Panepinto works as a low-level employee in an insurance corporation. He finds out that his boss, the second-in-command, is stealing from the company retirement plan. Paul fears that he’ll lose his job if the owner doesn’t believe him, but he can’t just stick his head in the sand either. Talk about a highly uncomfortable dilemma.

Said boss, Graham Woodcock, is a Brit transplant who shows blatant contempt for Americans right from the first chapter. Now, I’ve been a diehard Anglophile for years, so you may wonder why I would create such a contemptible British character as Graham.

The roots of the Graham character probably go back to my twelve-year-old self discovering the magic of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Some of the ensemble – notably, Graham Chapman and John Cleese – had the pompous fool character down pat. The love-hate relationship between the U.S. and […]