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Roland D Yeomans Blog Tour and Giveaways!

Today I am honoured to host an interview with Roland D Yeomans, who hails from Lafayette, New Orleans way. The fabulous Roland is doing a blog tour to promote his new e-book, The Bear With Two Shadows,  a Native American Lord of the Rings tale.

First I wanted to know, why self-published?



All of us are writers and so we are drawn to topics that might help us grow as writers, becoming published.  Yes, I am self-published, but that is a lot like kissing your image in the mirror -- it doesn't mean very much.

     Unless you are noticed by an agent when she downloads your first or three sample chapters from Amazon.

     I wrote THE BEAR WITH TWO SHADOWS with that thought in mind.  We as authors have to deal with weary-eyed agents.  And if you are self-published by Kindle, you have to impress readers sampling for free your first chapter.

     The ugly truth is most agents and prospective buying readers are only reading the first paragraph or, at most, the first page.  Those words must be magic to sway the agent to ask to see for more or to persuade a total stranger to part with $4 to read your work.

     Most writers are doing the exact same thing wrong : they fail to connect with the reader on a gut, primal level.

     Look at your first sentence dispassionately.  Does it sing?  Does it grab a reader by the lapel?

     My first sentence in THE BEAR WITH TWO SHADOWS :
The face of shadows looked down upon the standing bear from a bright full moon. 

     Can you hear the magic in your mind?  If not, I have failed in my task as a writer who would be bought.

     You have at the most 30 seconds to win over the agent or new reader.  That usually means the first paragraph.  What was mine?

    
     The face of shadows looked down upon the standing bear from a bright full moon.  Hers was a face that few had seen and fewer still had lived to describe.  Her features were terrible and beautiful beyond any singing of them.  There was a haunted melancholy to them.  Like a windmill, her memory was slowly turning through the fleeting lives that had been born upon her shores to walk soft across her green fields like prayers only to fade away into the blood-rimmed edge of the sunset. 
 
     Does that paragraph make you want to read more?  Look at your novel.  Would your first paragraph make a total stranger, agent of would-be reader, want to read more?  Oh, but it gets better in the second chapter.  What good is that if the person reading puts aside your manuscript after reading the first paragraph?
 
     And eBook publishing is growing.  People with an iPad or a Kindle soon learn to like it better than paper.  No bookmarks needed.  No nightlights to fiddle with.  And the convenience of having access to hundreds of your books in a devise the size of one of your paperbacks is enormously freeing.
 
     The internet and Twitter is all a'flutter with Amanda Hocking, a millionaire from her Kindle-only books.  Money has a way of grabbing the attention of agents, calculating what 15% of all that money would mean to them.
 
     And Kindle only self-publishers have little or no overhead.  Not bad, right?  The giant authors will stay with print.  But the beginners and the mid-liners in authordom may well see that their path belongs to eBooks.

Then, I asked him how he chose the title, so he replied:





Being that THE BEAR WITH TWO SHADOWS is an odd title for a book on merging all the worlds myths into one mosaic, I thought it would be enlightening to explain the title and its connection with the Australian concept, The Dreaming, in which Hibbs finds himself throughout the novel. 

     Why two shadows?  Why is The Dreaming, an Australian Aboriginal construct so important to first, the title itself, and to a fable whose hero is a Lakota legend?

     The myths of the Australian aborigines tell of the lives of the great ancestors of humankind in the creation time, The Dreaming.  This time is not seen as the remote past  ...
          ... but as the actual present.

     The Warlpiri people of central Australia call the Dreaming, the Jukurrpa.  What has this to do with Hibbs, the exiled Lakota bear in ancient Ireland?

     Jukurrpa myths are closely tied to the ancestral land in which they live.  These tales, describing their wanderings across The Dreaming, create a map of this realm.

     In like manner, the adventures of Hibbs create a map of the world's myths that slowly merge to make a whole.  Before the arrival of the Europeans, the Warlpiri lived entirely in The Dreaming.  Afterwards, they have to maintain a careful balance of two opposing world views.

     In THE BEAR WITH TWO SHADOWS, the reverse is true.  Without the Europeans and their influence, the world and the living creatures of myth have become out of balance.  It is up to Hibbs, a creature of two natures, two shadows, to restore the balance and bring back the Europeans from oblivion.

Myth in its living, primitive form is not merely a story told but a reality lived.

Myths told the Lakota about life, his purpose in it, and his path through it.  It is not that the Lakota does not care about physical comfort or material possessions, it is that we do not measure ourselves or others by these things. We believe we are measured by how well , or how little, we manifest the qualities of our mythic heroes in our own lives.

And so as Hibbs wanders up and down the world and back into the distant past, he holds up to the reader what the myths of different lands say those people felt to be important.  And in doing so, Hibbs asks us to determine what is important to us and to make our own personal mythic journey one worth taking.


Friends, Roland is offering some AMAZING signed editions to all of you! So don't forget to leave your email in the comments section. JUST LOOK AT THESE BOOKS! DID YOU GET THAT THEY'RE SIGNED!! BY THE AUTHORS!!


A comment offers one entry per host. Another two entries for linking the book to twitter or Facebook. Make sure to email Roland @ rxena77@yahoo.com And any blogger who posts a legitimate review on Amazon by March 31st will get three entries into the drawing. Believe me you don't want to miss out on any of these amazing signed books. Drawing will be on April 1st.

Thank you Roland for giving us an insight on self-publishing and at your reason behind the title of your book! If you'd like to read the whole of Rolands journey you could go here and here! He also stopped and gave more insights and at L'Aussie's you can find out the whole schedule!
Now look at these books, which could be yours!


43 comments:

  1. Hi, Nas, Hi, Roland,


    What a interesting topic. I had no idea the origin of the title was Australian and taken from the Aborigine society.

    Roland, with each interview we learn more and more.

    Nas, I'm glad you choose the topic of the titles origins as well as touching on ebook publishing.

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  2. Nas, I'm so glad you hosted Roland! This was a great interview, and it's so fun to learn more about the author and how his book came to be. Good luck, Roland!

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  3. Always good to learn more about Roland's work. We love Hibbs! And I'm so interested in the eBook world and indie pubbing. Thanks for sharing, Roland.

    And gee whiz I'd sure love to win a book. ;)

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  4. The book sounds fascinating and original. It's good to see it around the blogsphere.

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  5. Great interview, and interesting insight into self-publishing and hooking your reader with the first line/paragraph. Wow, combining Native American and Australian Aboriginal legends, with touches of Celtic? How do you do it, Roland? :)

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  6. So much courage to self publish. And the opening paragraph rocks!

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  7. I love the frst paragraph, it's absolutely beautiful. And this is a great post. Very timely and thought provoking.

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  8. Great post! I'm so jazzed to learn more about Roland's book. The story sounds absolutely beautiful and the first paragraph sings.

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  9. Wow, it's great to hear all the background behind your book Roland. Love that line about myth being a lived reality.

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  10. Hi Everyone, *waving*

    Thanks for coming by and checking out our Mr Hibbs, for he was not too keen to visit me and stood me up! But I was adamant to bring him to my country.

    I'll leave Roland to answer your questions but I warn you he'll be a bit late due to time differences and the timeline!

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  11. Hi Roland. Hi Nas. I'm glad we got to hear the story of why you chose this method of publishing Roland. I just hope an editor/agent picks you up. It is always fascinating, but i've been even more fascinated to know you've been influenced by our Australian legends Roland.

    Denise<3

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  12. Nas and Roland- Thanks for a great interview. Great tips on grabbing your reader from the start.

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  13. I had no idea about the amazing history behind the title and the dreaming. Enjoying your book so far, Roland!

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  14. Hello Roland and Nas.

    Roland, you're first sentence and chapter are unique and well written. It does make me want to buy the book and live in its cyber pages for awhile. I wish you great success.
    Nancy
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

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  15. Another wonderful interview, Nas. I'm pleased to see you branching out into the ranks of the self-published.

    Roland, your blending of the Aborigine and Lakota legends is fascinating. Do you have plans for more stories along the same lines?

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  16. This is so amazing I like the idea behind this story. Its fresh!

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  17. I am totally grabbed by the first paragraph. Amazing! I definitely want to read more!

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  18. Michael : Always good to see you on my journeys. It is a title with roots both in Lakota and Aboriginal legends and myths. Nas is a great interviewer, isn't she?

    Julie : Thanks for the good wishes and enjoying the interview. The credit all goes to Nas.

    PK : I'm still learning about the epublishing world. Unless you can get enough people buying and tagging (checking those topics at the bottom of the reviews) at the same time to shoot to the top ten list, you will remain unknown. So with 13 sales this month, you can imagine I am so low on the charts, poor Hibbs is getting the bends!

    Also it is important to get at least 10 favorable reviews up on Amazon. Most Amazon readers will not buy a book with less. I have 5 -- so poor Hibbs is blowing cobwebs off his spot in the eShelves!

    I hope you win a book as well. Only The Great Mystery knows.

    Lynda : I pleased at your well wishes. I could use them.

    J.C. : I guess having a wild imagination helps. I put so much imagination and research into each book. That's why having the ABNA critic accuse me of stealing the plot of THE LEGEND OF VICTOR STANDISH from the Disney cartoon, THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG hurt!

    Angela : It was important for personal reasons, stemming from my childhood, that THE BEAR WITH 2 SHADOWS see print --

    although at 12 sales this month, it could more realistically be said poor Hibbs is peeking out of the crack of the cellar door!

    But this book is so different from what is currently hot that no purchasing agent for any publisher would OK an editor buying this novel from me. They insist that the book be so obviously hot that they will be guaranteed their advance plus much more paid back to them.

    Amy : I worked hard on that first paragraph so your praise of it means a lot. Especially after that ABNA judge.

    E.C. : Mythology has always been a fascination with me, so I'm glad you enjoyed my book's premise and start.

    Deniz : Yes, I do believe myth is but a lived reality -- so in a sense, each of us is living our own myth from day to day!

    Nas : Poor Hibbs was just looking at the distance to the Fiji islands. But luckily he got Little Brother to transform into the Thunderbird. But how will the little guy get back to the states to see Jo Schaffer?

    Denise : How I've been influenced by Australian myths? Wow. That is an entire post by itself! Your country is rich in myth and legend. And Hibbs, the ever curious cub, couldn't resist sniffing out the fun in them!

    Kari : I'm glad I was able to help you in your writing in some small way.

    Raquel : Hibbs and I are glad that you're enjoying the book so far. Yes, there was a lot of research done for THE BEAR WITH 2 SHADOWS -- as there was for THE LEGEND OF VICTOR STANDISH, so to be accused of stealing and passing off others' work as my own hurt. Still hurts actually.

    Nancy : Thank you for your kind words about my opening. Hope both our sales sky-rocket!

    LP : I have already started the sequel to THE BEAR WITH TWO SHADOWS -- ONE BEAR AGAINST AVALON. (And bet on the bear!)

    Joanna : Thanks so much for thinking it is fresh. It being so different from what is out there was what was keeping those purchasing agents from giving the OK to the editors who wanted to buy it.

    Su : You can download "Kindle for PC" for free. With that application, you can download for free the first 3 chapters of THE BEAR WITH TWO SHADOWS. But I am hoping you will want to spend the $1.99 to buy the entire book. Hibbs just enthusiastically nodded yes! LOL.

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  19. Hi Roland,

    So you managed to cross the International dateline to visit us early after all!

    Welcome and have a seat, what's Mr Hibb's and your favourite beverage? I'll pass some then we can start chatting about tagging at Amazon. I think you better explain that so all our friends can go by and tag Mr Hibb's THE BEAR WITH TWO SHHADOWS!

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  20. LOL! Even my shadows have two H!

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  21. I'm sorry, Nas, I thought I had been following you for a long time now.

    Blogger hates me. I had written a long explanation of tagging and sipping the ice tea you gave me and Hibbs (he's partial to anything sweet that doesn't have stinging bees hovering over it!)

    Tagging if done by several at once shoots me and other eAuthors up the rankings. What rankings?

    Product Details
    Format: Kindle Edition
    File Size: 462 KB
    Publisher: Amazon.com; 1 edition (February 5, 2011)
    Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
    Language: English
    ASIN: B004MDLWD0
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
    5 Reviews
    5 star: (4)
    4 star: (1)
    3 star: (0)
    2 star: (0)
    1 star: (0)

    › See all 5 customer reviews...

    Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #103,965 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
    {SEE HOW FAR I AM FROM #100? THE TOP 100 IS SEEN ON THE AMAZON WEB SITE AND GARNERS CURIOUS WOULD-BE BUYERS.

    I HAVE BEEN AS HIGH AS 20,000 SLOTS AWAY FROM #100 WITH ONLY ONE TAGGING AND ONE SALE DONE CLOSE TOGETHER. SEVERAL WOULD HAVE ME SHOOT MUCH, MUCH CLOSER.}

    Where are the tags?
    At the bottom of my book page, past the reviews :
    Tags Customers Associate with This Product (What's this?)
    Click on a tag to find related items, discussions, and people.
    Check the boxes next to the tags you consider relevant or enter your own tags in the field below.
    animal stories(40)
    folklore and mythology(40)
    mythology(40)
    folklore(38) new classic(38)
    roland(38)
    epic fantasy(37)
    celtic myth(34) lord of the rings(7)
    fantasy(2)

    Do this for Talli Roland, Nancy Williams, and Alex, and I am sure they would appreciate it, too.

    And it is free -- you don't have to buy my book or theirs. So if you could get a few friends to do my book all at the same time, my ranking would go up higher than if you all did it at different times. Something to do with how Amazon programs its ranking meter.

    Say you and a friend both decide to buy my book, if you arrange to do it both at approximately the same time : whoosh! Up goes my rankings higher than if you both did it at separate times. Odd, huh?

    Or at least that is what a cyber-guru friend of mine has assured me. Wow. I hope this answers doesn't get lost as the first one did. I don't think I have a third attempt in me.

    At the very mention of that, Hibbs had to take a sip of my ice tea!! Roland

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  22. Oh, and reviews shoot up the rankings for my book as well. And if two reviews are post closely together, whoosh as well. Odd, isn't it?

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  23. Roland, thanks for the advice. I wish you the best of luck with the book.

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  24. I've enjoyed learning more about Roland's book on his blog tour. Thank you!

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  25. Great post....I want to wish you all the best with your work..I think sometimes going the self publishing way is better for a book...It takes a lot of work and effort to do that...

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  26. I like how every one of Roland's guest posts are different. We learn something new each time. Great first para, Roland!

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  27. Wow, what a super cool giveaway!

    Nice post, Roland. Nice to meet you, Nas! Best of luck to both of you!!!!

    :D

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  28. Great interview Nas and Roland. I’m glad I got to read about this self-published book. It seems like self publishing is gaining a lot of attention. It’s nice to hear some success stories. Also, I’m glad you explained the “first line rule”. It’s so important. I usually rewrite the first line of my stories multiple times before I stumbled across one that just instantly pulls me in.

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  29. Thanks for the good wishes, Theresa.

    Liz : Thanks for visiting and commenting. Glad you liked my answers to Nas' great questions.

    Savannah : Your good wishes are gratefully accepted. Have a great week.

    Lydia : I try to make each interview different, new, and fun. I'm happy you liked my first paragraph.

    Ibdiamond : I tried to make the giveaway something special. Thanks.

    Angelina : As my 12 sales this month shows, self-publishing is not the great answer that most have hoped for. But the first line rule is still valid. It is the only thing that will get the prospective reader and agent to read the second sentence. Thanks for commenting, Roland

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  30. Hello to Nas and Roland! Nas - thanks for supporting Roland's blog tour, so nice! And Roland - thanks for your awesome perspective on first chapters and self-publishing. I hope this venture is a great success for you!

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  31. Great paragraph--I love the description. Thanks for the advice and information on self-publishing.

    Good luck with your book, Roland!

    Thanks for hosting, Nas!

    (I'd prefer you didn't count my comment toward the drawing.)

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  32. Hi Everybody,

    It's been great fun with Hibbs and Roland! I'n enjoying myself, are you all?

    Thanks for coming in and joining in the fun!

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  33. Donea : Thanks for the good wishes. I need them. Have a great weekend, Roland

    Thanks, Golden Eagle, for commenting just because you like Nas and my writing.

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  34. Great interview. I loved learning how your book was born, Roland. AWESOME! Lots of info on self-publishing here.

    Nas, great job, girlfriend. As always. I'll link on fb. (^_^)

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  35. Another interesting post by Roland! Gosh, I don't know how he keeps writing such great ones. Thank you!

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  36. I learn something new from you every day Roland. I didn't know that about the two shadows. It was interesting.

    .......dhole

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  37. Hi friends,

    Welcome! Roland gives interesting insights on THE BEAR WITH TWO SHADOWS in all the posts.

    And please do drop in on the Amazon site and tag THE BEAR WITH TWO SHADOWS to help boost Roland's book to the top ranks, it's quite easy though you need to be signed in at Amazon.

    One day, one of us would be in this position and fellow strugglers might help tag our books then!

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  38. Fascinating interview! I love that THE BEAR WITH 2 SHADOWS is self published. I really enjoyed your first paragraph Roland!

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  39. Hi Nas. Hi Roland. Informative article. And this just goes to show it pays to scale through comments as well. How else would I have known the ranking system of Amazon? Thanks for that Roland.

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  40. What a wonderful first paragraph! And how true, who cares how good it gets later if the reader never makes it there?

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  41. What a great interview, and far more in-depth than one often sees. Great to see a book that deals with Australian myths and legends. I think they're under-represented, but awesome!

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  42. Hello Friends!

    Great that you all came by to check out Hibb's story and Roland's journey to self-publication!

    All the best in the giveaway!

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  43. Coming extremely late to the party... Thought I'd commented but it didn't come out. Anyway, loved the interview Nas and Roland. As you'll see from my interview above, I'm a huge fan of epublishing. I have an iPad and haven't bought a 'real' book in ages. And now I'm e-published, I think there's no going back :) Good luck with your books and your writing, Roland. You are obviously very talented and deserve your success :)

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