Truth

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Brae's Open Vision

Yes, the title of this blog post is exactly what it is. I had a vision within my mind that was so vivid that I couldn't write fast enough to get it all down. It happened during a worship service at Beach Chapel Church in Encinitas, CA on 7-2-14. My wife was painting which you can see in the picture.
Here is what I saw in my vision:


Brae’s Vision 7-2-14 at Beach Chapel Church in Encinitas during Worship
I am running in a race and along the way I see other runners. It is not a competitive race, but instead a race of endurance, a race toward a common goal, and runners are encouraging each other to press on.

I suddenly saw what looked to be dead people on the side and as I went further I realized they were once runners. They were each marked with words such as

FEAR, HOPELESSNESS, DEPRESSION, IMMORALITY, ADDICTION, SELFISH, HATE, HEARTLESS, UNFORGIVENESS, PRIDE

I noticed angels by each body, kneeling and pleading for their soul, calling out to what appeared to be a lifeless person, but there was hope in their voices.

I continued to run and even among the tragedy I felt encouraged and soon realized an angel was running behind me with his hand on my back.

“What about the others,” I called back.

There was no response. My inner being wanted to stop and help. Maybe they weren’t dead.

Suddenly, a runner in front of me began to slow down.

“What’s wrong? Keep going,” I said.

“I’m tired, so tired,” he said weakly.

I locked into his arm with mine and said, “Let’s do this together.”

There was a surge of energy that propelled the runner. I was filled with encouragement and I took a chance and stopped by a fallen man with FEAR on top of him.

“Do not fear,” I whispered, but there was no movement. I knelt down and laid my hands upon his chest and said with more conviction, “Do not fear.”

There was sudden movement and I repeated the phrase. The man’s eyes opened and he sat upright and looked around. He gazed at his surroundings to get his bearings and FEAR began to creep back in.

I helped him up, but he was visibly shaken and uncertain.

“Come on. Let’s go,” I said.

“I can’t. I can’t. You don’t understand.”

“Why can’t you?”

“I just can’t. I’m afraid of failing.”

“Me too, but moving forward in our fear will turn to courage but we must move forward.”

“But how?”

“I will show you. You can do it.”

We both walked together and then our pace quickened and soon we were jogging and then running. A smile was on his face as we went further and further. FEAR lifted away altogether.

“Keep going,” I said as I slowed.

“What are you doing?” he asked while running forward.

“I helped you and want to help others.”

I stopped and watched him press further on. I looked down at someone incapacitated by DEPRESSION. I knelt down and said while looking at the praying angel, “It is time. Don’t lose faith.”

There was no movement, but my confidence did not waiver as I had seen this before.

I said with authority, “I believe in you.”

The man’s eyes opened and he looked at me. I smiled, but he instantly looked away. I turned his face back toward me with love in my eyes and said, “I believe in you. You matter. You have a purpose in life.”

“Who are you?” he responded.

“I’m someone that is on a journey just like you, but if I travel alone on this path then I should just lie down and give up to. I can’t do this without you.”

“Why me?”

“Why not you? Now get up and dust yourself off. I can show you the way.”

A new voice said behind them, “And so can I.”

I turned and there was the runner I had helped before. He was healthy and whole. He came back to help. We surrounded the fallen man, lifted him up, and locked arms with him together.

Our walk soon turned to a jog and then we were running. The three of us banded together and stopped to help others and soon we had a union of people beyond measure. We could not count the massive amount of runners. It was a sea of people and these waters, to continue the analogy, could not be stopped. These waters seeped into the darkest of areas, bringing life, bringing love, and raising those fallen back to life, back to their destiny.



Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Importance of a GOOD Book Trailer

I have watched some good book trailers and I have watched some very bad ones...I mean really bad and I'm sure you have to.

According to Dennis Loy Johnson, “The book trailer is a commercial which is not really a new art form . . . they need to be short and sweet.”

My suggestion is to have a trailer no longer than 2 minutes and if it is that long then it needs to be stellar...good visuals and awesome music.

Music is key for drawing people in as it correlates to the visual effects that you have in it.

I personally called in a favor to a "techy-friend" and this is what was produced...an epic book trailer.
 As it stands now over 1,000 views and growing...not bad for an up and coming author.

Notice that my genre is epic fantasy, so pulling off a good trailer is difficult, especially when most try to bring in pictures or live action, which comes out extremely "cheesey".

I met an author recently at the Great American Author Expo in Reno, Nevada. I was invited to attend and had my own booth. Vincent M. Wales was across from me and we were able to share ideas and eventually he showed me his book trailer. I was impressed. It is live action and although it runs over 3 minutes it is well worth the view. It is called Reckoning and is a speculative fiction book about superheroes. Enjoy.
RECKONING Trailer

Not bad, right?

Okay, authors especially like to ask, "Do book trailers work? Do they help you sell books?"
The answer is, "YES!" (if they are done right- meaning, they need to be professional and not a picture slide show that someone does at home that you normally reserve for your family to watch on the big screen)

Just like producing your book, you need it done PROFESSIONALLY...now, don't go out and spend thousands of dollars on a book trailer, that is absurd. Search around, ask questions in facebook forums or other social media sites, and ultimately do your research.

Here is my 2nd book trailer done for my sequel. It is called The Dragon God and is only 30 seconds.
video

I use my book trailers at events and especially for speaking engagements. It is a great intro to show right before I go on stage. Why? Because it shows professionalism which in turns means that people will trust me and if they trust me then they will invest in my work.

My advice to up and coming authors...be professional and bring excellence into all that you do. Our readers deserve it but more importantly you deserve it so don't undersell yourself by being crude and crass.

Be blessed and happy writing!

The Wisdom of Stephen King for Writers




1. First write for yourself, and then worry about the audience. “When you write a story, you’re telling yourself the story. When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story.”

2. Don’t use passive voice. “Timid writers like passive verbs for the same reason that timid lovers like passive partners. The passive voice is safe.”

3. Avoid adverbs. “The adverb is not your friend.”

4. Avoid adverbs, especially after “he said” and “she said.”

5. But don’t obsess over perfect grammar. “The object of fiction isn’t grammatical correctness but to make the reader welcome and then tell a story.”

6. The magic is in you. “I’m convinced that fear is at the root of most bad writing.”

7. Read, read, read. ”If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.”

8. Don’t worry about making other people happy. “If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered, anyway.”

9. Turn off the TV. “TV—while working out or anywhere else—really is about the last thing an aspiring writer needs.”

10. You have three months. “The first draft of a book—even a long one—should take no more than three months, the length of a season.”

11. There are two secrets to success. “I stayed physical healthy, and I stayed married.”

12. Write one word at a time. “Whether it’s a vignette of a single page or an epic trilogy like ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ the work is always accomplished one word at a time.”

13. Eliminate distraction. “There’s should be no telephone in your writing room, certainly no TV or videogames for you to fool around with.”

14. Stick to your own style. “One cannot imitate a writer’s approach to a particular genre, no matter how simple what that writer is doing may seem.”

15. Dig. “Stories are relics, part of an undiscovered pre-existing world. The writer’s job is to use the tools in his or her toolbox to get as much of each one out of the ground intact as possible.”

16. Take a break. “You’ll find reading your book over after a six-week layoff to be a strange, often exhilarating experience.”

17. Leave out the boring parts and kill your darlings. “(kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.)”

18. The research shouldn’t overshadow the story. “Remember that word back. That’s where the research belongs: as far in the background and the back story as you can get it.”

19. You become a writer simply by reading and writing. “You learn best by reading a lot and writing a lot, and the most valuable lessons of all are the ones you teach yourself.”

20. Writing is about getting happy. “Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid or making friends. Writing is magic, as much as the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink.”

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The WORLD of AUDIOBOOKS - IT IS TIME!

I threw my hat onto the mat in the lovely world of audiobooks. I thought how hard can it possibly be to read a book while recording it and then share it with the world?

I have listened to a few audiobooks in my life and some of them were just down right awful. Why? Because of the narrator and their story telling ability or lack of. They spoke in a dull monotone and when dialogue took place it sounded like the professor on Ferris Buellor.

I am character at heart so I thought, hey, I can do this. Well, I had no idea how difficult it truly was going to be. It took several weekends at the studio at Highland Pictures to start off and each time I could feel my voice and attention diminishing as the hours of the day progressed. All I can say is drink lots of water for those traveling into this new realm for their book.

The hardest part of the entire process was getting the character voices down. I literally had to come up with a dozen different voices and I really wanted to bring the essence of The Orb of Truth out through the voices. I worked with Adrian Collins, the producer at Highland Pictures, to get several of the voices with enhancements to the vocals which truly brings the book to life. When you listen to it you will know what I'm talking about...WOW!

I brought in a special guest for the female voices (as I clearly would not be able to pull that one off) and this just brought a new element to storytelling. Manna Ko blew me away. She flew in special just for this and surprised me when I picked her up at the hotel and she greeted me in full costume of the beloved character named Raina...the Sheldeen Mystic Elf. (see pics below) Manna is Raina!


I also had another guest come along for a small but important part. Tom Modifica, Jr is my step-son and he plays the voice of a special character that I wanted to introduce everyone to in the sequel, The Dragon God. The character is a gnome named Trillius and should be a fan favorite so we added in a special introduction to this character at the very end for the coming soon segment. Tom also played a character in The Orb as I was having difficulty with a voice and having him on the set was great so we recorded that section while he was there and it turned out beautiful.



I truly believe The Orb of Truth is something special in the way of audiobooks and Adrian Collins, Producer at Highland Pictures, did an incredible job. Thank you Adrian!


Special thanks to Manna Ko for her insight, her love, and her amazing support on this crazy adventure of mine. Thank you!

The Orb of Truth audiobook at Audible.com

The Orb of Truth audiobook at AMAZON 

The Orb of Truth audiobook disc set at my website 

 


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Buying Book Reviews

Authors are buying book reviews these days and unfortunately it is doing much more damage to them than they thought. Why? Because eventually the truth comes out about your book.

The goal for authors is to get readers to review their work and give an honest review with hopes of it being a positive one. It is a funny business, cause so many of us like to read reviews and base our purchases off of what others say but at the same time we don't leave reviews ourselves. So, with that said, we find Indie Authors struggling to get people to read their work.

There are tons of reviewers and bloggers out there that will do it, but there are thousands of books being launched almost daily and the demand is way too high for them all. What does this mean for the author then? It means they have to cross their fingers and throw out a lot of books to catch a few reviews.

Let me break it down for you. I sent out 100 books to reviewers who said they would review my book. Only 10 actually gave a review. That is only a 10% return. OUCH! Books cost money so if my book cost $5 per book then I just forked out $500 for 10 reviews. Wait, it also cost money to mail these books out. On average books can be mailed out media mail for approximately $3.50, so that is another $350 in mailing costs for a grand total of $850 for ten reviews. WAIT! It took me many, many, many hours to find and track all of these potential reviewers, send out emails, correspondence back and forth, getting permission to mail them a book, and so on. Our time is valuable as an author, all of us can attest to that.

Authors don't have time to navigate the intricacies of the internet and blogging/reviewing world. We want to write books. Authors are not all marketers or people who want to deal with social media. We want to write books.



Check out LRP Book Reviews
http://www.lrpbookreviews.com/

If you are an author then contact us to help you get those much needed reviews.
If you are a reader then contact us to become part of our reviewing team.

blessings,
Brae Wyckoff
LRP Book Reviews Website Link

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Power of Editing

I find it interesting on how many books Indie authors are publishing without having it properly edited. It is the one single thing necessary besides actually writing the book that needs to be done before releasing it to the world.

I thought it would be cool to give you an example of my writing before it was edited so you can see what a difference an editor truly makes. Now, it is also imperative you find the right editor...interview them, look at their work, request to see something they can do for you. I would highly suggest not having your family edit your work even if they are an English major. I guess the only exception would be that this was their profession.

Here is the opening scene for my first book, The Orb of Truth, before it was edited:

          A cool breeze weaved through the patrons of Gathford, bringing with it a mixture of smells from horse manure, cooked meat, foreign spices, and dirt.   The sun was at mid-day with sparse clouds surrounding.  It was a small trading town nestled within a grove of pine trees.  Three dirt roads connected the community where weary travelers could find rest and supplies to continue their journey.  Every day the main street would fill with vendors showing their wares while customers searched for what they needed.  

Here is the same scene, but NOW edited:

           A cool breeze weaved through the dirt street, bringing with it a mixture of smells from manure, spices, cooked meats, and dust to the many patrons of the Gathford market. Sparse clouds and the mid-day sun warmed the small trading town. Nestled at the edge of a pine forest, three dirt roads connected the community where weary travelers could find rest and supplies to continue on their journey.  







It is tighter, cleaner, and flows stronger than the original version I had. It might seem minor but when you are presenting your work you want to put the best out there. Even the greats hire editors. No one is above the editing law and if you think you are then be prepared to hear from the fans...they are our true testers when it comes to our writing, but don't be discouraged with negative reviews even when you have your work professionally edited because even the greats have bad reviews. You can't please everyone.

Good luck and happy editor finding! (Editors, please leave your contact information in the comments)