Tag Archives: Tricia Drammeh

A-R International: Tricia Drammeh

Tricia Drammeh
Authors-Readers International


Hello, I’m Tricia Drammeh, author of multicultural fantasy, young adult paranormal, and contemporary fiction. I live in beautiful New Hampshire with my husband, children, and adorable animals. When I’m not writing, I can usually be found with a book in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other.

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love reading. Books have always been my life. I read a wide variety of genres, which probably explains why the books I write vary so greatly. My favorites include J.K. Rowling, Anne Rice, Maeve Binchy, Joleene Naylor, Maegan Provan, Amy Metz, Jodi Picoult, and many, many more!

In lieu of more personal information, I decided instead to include this recent post from Tricia Drammeh’s blog:

My husband and I took a walk along a local wooded trail on Saturday. A windstorm earlier in the week had stripped most of the fading autumn leaves from the branches, giving us an almost unencumbered view of the river.

I love walking alongside the river, particularly the portions where the water seems to rush toward clusters of smooth boulders. In various spots along the riverbank, cement benches face areas where the water is smooth and peaceful. Here, couples hold hands
and enjoy and placid scenery.

I prefer the rushing water. There’s something invigorating and exciting about the noise and the motion. How just a few rocks thrown in the path of peaceful waters can create such temporary chaos, before the water inevitably settles down so easily, so calmly once
those obstacles are removed.

So much has been written about rivers and streams, how meandering and rushing waters compare to our moods and our trials and tribulations in life. There’s probably not much more that I could say about the topic that hasn’t been said. Still, I can’t help but contemplate how, in my own life, I long for stillness and peace, yet when it comes to the river, I’m drawn to the motion, the activity – the part when everything that has settled to the bottom of the riverbed is churned about and forced into the flow. Nothing stays at peace for long.

It’s a great metaphor for life, isn’t it? Nothing stays at peace for long. That’s what life is. A series of events and changes. It’s motion, activity, noise, and that isn’t always a bad thing. At some point during my particular journey, I began to associate any type of change with negativity. I wanted everything to stay the same. Anything that wasn’t
static or peaceful was terrifying.

I think I’m ready to start enjoying life a little more. Maybe start making a few small changes, or at least recognizing that change doesn’t have to be bad. Already I’m starting to
put things into perspective.

~

I have only ever met Tricia Drammeh online, but since we’ve known each other there’s been a mutual respect for our work and an equal effort to promote that work! Tricia is one of those indie authors I’ve been able to count on for advice, information, and help with getting the word out about my own books and blogs, as well as author promotions. And she’s also a very accomplished writer herself. I have enjoyed reading several of her novels, and I own paperback copies of her two most-recent publications. The Novelist definitely spoke to me, as I know it will do for many other writers.

No one ever said being married to a writer was easy…

Jacque has always struggled to get his business ideas off the ground. From photography to catering to publishing, his poorly-planned endeavors have put a serious strain on his finances—and his marriage. Despite his difficulties in turning his passions into a paycheck, Jacque has always considered himself to be an intellectual, an artist, and above all, a writer.

Ever-reliable Cindy is always there to pick up the pieces when Jacque’s ventures go awry, but it’s getting harder and harder to keep things afloat. She wants nothing more than for her husband to find his way in the world, and she believes writing is his true path in life—until she reads his novel.

Every marriage has its problems, but when a shocking betrayal leads to vengeance, will their marriage survive?

A very good book! And, also for writers who are considering self-publishing, Tricia Drammeh wrote and published this non-fiction collection of essays – in which she cites ME, and specifically this blog of mine, in her list of resources! Thanks for the shout-out, Tricia!

~

The Essential Self-Publishing Guide

Are you an aspiring writer who has always dreamt of publishing a book? Or have you already written your book and are confused about your next step? The Essential Self-Publishing Guide will help you explore your publishing options, walk you through the steps of publishing your book, and help you realize your dream of becoming an independent author. If you are a writer on a tight budget, this guide will not only help you determine where to cut costs, but will teach you how to perform many self-publishing tasks on your own. With creativity, determination, and a little bit of patience, you can become a published author!

Here’s what Tricia Drammeh is doing now: “Nowadays, I do more editing than writing, but most of my time is spent being a grandmother. I work part-time in the morning and then babysit my grandson in the afternoons. It is wonderful and I love it! My days are long and between work, editing projects, and my grandson, I don’t have much time for writing; however, I do belong to a local writing group that encourages me to regularly stretch my writing muscles. I’ve written some short stories lately, so who knows where those might end up?”

For more information about Tricia Drammeh, her books and writing, and her editing services, please see her website.

And you may follow Tricia Drammeh’s blog here.

Previously, Tricia Drammeh has been promoted on my blog, Reading Recommendations: Oct. 2014, April 2015, Feb. 2016.

Resources for Authors …

I’ve gathered together the Best of the Best! Here’s a list of bloggers – friends of this site, every one! – who offer services to authors, mainly in the area of promotion (guest blogs, reviews, interviews), but also design covers design, create trailers, and edit. Most of these services are free, but for some there is a charge. With the exception of Chris The Story Reading Ape, all are authors themselves, and they have been promoted on my own blog, Reading Recommendations. I’ve included links back to their promotions on my blog. I encourage you to check out their blog links to see what they have to offer, and also buy and read their books, while you’re at it!

tsra-sketch-02-1024x684 Chris Graham (Friend to all Indie Authors!) – Chris The Story Reading Ape

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11942321_415085482024566_2343643988952741064_o Sally CroninSmorgasboard – Variety is the Spice of Life

Tricia DrammehAuthors to Watch me

logo Janice SpinaJemsBooks

Allan HudsonSouth Branch Scribbler 12821608_1743938849173975_3479675423719876312_n

me Don MassenzioAuthor Talk

Kevin BrennanScribable: Indie Editing Service sonoma-county Kevin also posts a lot of great information on his blog about writing, publishing and the direction we’re moving in with regards to creating books and finding readers for them.

If you’d like to be listed on a future blog post and outline services you offer to authors (and I’d particularly like to list book reviewers here) please let me know your link (email me at susanmtoy (at) gmail.com) and tell me what it is you can do for us. If you’ve already been promoted on Reading Recommendations … Bonus!

Best Books Read in 2015

By July 3rd of this year I had read so many good books that I wrote about the best of those in this blog post. (See the original post for details of these titles.)

As with the first half of the year, the following books are listed in the order I read them and, with one exception (that I have marked), I rate them all at 4 out of 5 stars … because, you know, you have to have written a VERY good book, or be Richard Ford, to receive all 5 stars from me. I am a discerning reader.

So here’s my list of Best Books Read for the second half of the year … I’ve linked to their promotions all Authors who have been featured on Reading Recommendations.

12095120_626933277448055_9033175093362345310_o Killer City by Seumas Gallacher – I read this new novel in advance of publication and thought it a fine addition to Gallacher’s Jack Calder series.

10994976_796292483760006_2976227424109873861_nThe Gift: Awakening by J.P. McLean – I have a complete set of JP’s books in The Gift Legacy series and began at the beginning. An excellent premise to this series and very well-written!

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf – 5-star – Sadly, Kent Haruf passed away in 2014 shortly after completing the proofs of this book. I’ve been a fan of his writing for many years and have read everything he has published. This book was a high note in a stellar writing career, as far as I’m concerned. A bitter-sweet story, it’s simply told but nonetheless powerful, about love and growing old. Others to whom I’ve recommended this book have come back to tell me how much they enjoyed it. If you love great writing, and you have a heart, this will make you weep to read for its sheer beauty – in the storyline, in the characters, in the way Haruf tells us about this episode in lives of plain people, lives that are so utterly full of grace.

Villa America by Liza Klaussmann – I received an ARC of this novel about the Hemingways and Fitzgeralds and their set of friends vacationing at a real-life house in France during the 1920s and I enjoyed reading it very much. Great descriptions of the times, the place and the people.

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald – I read the ARC of this novel about a Swedish reader who travels to the US to visit the woman who has been recommending, by letters, books to read. A delightful read that anyone who enjoys reading books will also love!

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd – This is a book that had been sitting on my shelf for a number of years. I finally picked it up and was pleasantly surprised at how well-told it is, this story of South Carolinian women.

12283279_10200858274536262_516233112_n Full Circle by Tim Baker – Tim Baker has been promoted on my blog, Reading Recommendations, since the beginning – and for good reason! I’ve read everything Tim has written, and now read his manuscripts before they are published, as was the case with this latest novel. Interestingly, this was the first novel Tim wrote a couple of decades ago, but it didn’t see the light of day until just recently. What can I say? Tim sure knows how to write! I own copies of all Tim’s print books, I have the T-shirts, and I’m a big promoter of all his work. Read this book!

town-father-3d-copy Parts Unknown and Town Father by Kevin Brennan – Kevin Brennan’s writing has impressed me since he first promoted Yesterday Road on Reading Recommendations. I have read everything he has written and own all the print copies available, except this most recent title – a problem I will rectify when I return to Canada in the spring. Kevin is an intelligent writer, well-steeped in literature and history, and he’s not afraid to experiment with genre and style. I liken him to a cross between two of my favourite authors, Ivan Doig and Kent Haruf (see above), with a sprinkling of Margaret Atwood’s exploration of craft and genre. Town Father, his most recent novel, is a foray into historical fiction and I say Kevin has done a brilliant job of presenting a story that’s new and fresh, considering it’s set in the 1880s US Sierra Nevadas. If you’re looking for versatility in a writer, look no further! Kevin is your guy!

AtlantisFNLweb The Road to Atlantis by Leo Brent Robillard – I was approached by the publisher of this book to promote it on my blog and was sent a PDF of the book to read in advance. I had never heard of this Canadian author previously and was very taken by the quality of his writing and the story he tells. I am also happy to see that, since I promoted Robilliard in Sept. 2015, this book has now also been released in eBook format, so it’s available for the entire world to read.

That Old Ace in the Hole by Annie Proulx – I discovered a hardcover edition of this book in the campground library and decided to read it, because I had enjoyed Proulx’s Shipping News when it was first published. I enjoyed this novel just as much. Great writing!

The Zig Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths – I won an ARC of this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. I had never heard of the author or the book previously and so was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be a very good read.

18634588 My Temporary Life by Martin Crosbie – Martin Crosbie promoted a how-to book on my blog, but he also writes great fiction, like this novel I read and enjoyed. And it’s the first in a series, too, so more great books to come!

The Back of the Turtle by Thomas King – I was a sales rep for one of Thomas King’s earlier books and had the great pleasure of meeting the man for lunch when he was in Calgary. He is one of the most interesting, intelligent, funny and genuine “gentleman” I’ve ever met. And I don’t use the term gentleman lightly here. He is a Gentle Man in all respects. This latest novel (I had an ARC) was published last year and won the GG Award for Best English-Language Fiction. Very well done!

coverThe Piano Teacher by Eugene Stickland – I know Eugene from my days in Calgary, so when he announced a new book’s release I asked him to promote it on Reading Recommendations. Then when I went back to Calgary for a visit this autumn I bought a copy of the book from the man himself in his natural habitat, Cafe Beano, over a couple of cups of coffee. Eugene is well-known as a playwright and this was his first foray into novel-writing. A terrific job, I thought! And the good news is … he’s writing a second novel!

2161163 Better Than Perfect by Tricia Drammeh – Tricia has long been an internet pal and fellow blogger/promoter who I turn to regularly for help, advice, and just general comradery. I’ve read several of her novels so far and enjoyed all of them, but Better than Perfect was exactly as the title says, I thought. True life and genuine characters brought perfectly to the page (or screen, in my case) by a very accomplished author.

Sweetland by Michael Crummey – I had the pleasure of attending an event held in London, ON, this autumn at which Crummey read from his new novel. A well-told story of a little known (outside of the province) episode in Newfoundland’s history. Funny in places, but sad throughout. Definitely worth reading, especially if you’re open to learning a new dialect and turns of phrase. (I’m fortunate in knowing a native Newfoundlander so a lot of the speech in this novel was very familiar to me.)

The Quiet American by Graham Greene – I’m not sure I actually read this novel previously, although Greene is a favourite author, but I did see the film starring Michael Caine. I have to say, they did a fine job of casting Caine for the part of Fowler. The novel is an excellent introduction to the French occupation of Vietnam during the years leading up to US involvement in the region.

Sundown, Yellow Moon and Orchard by Larry Watson – I’m catching up on the books by this favourite US author that I missed reading at the time they were released.

What about you? Was there one outstanding book you read in 2015? Or have you posted to your blog a similar list as I have here? Please leave your comments below and tell us what you enjoyed reading. And leave a link to your Best Books post.

Thanks for reading!

I should mention that I tried reading some of the many books that were long-listed, short-listed, and won prizes in the various big book awards that were handed out this year, but in a number of cases I just could not read the books at all and was disappointed in their having been selected. I’m still waiting for holds to come in at the library for a number of other prize-winners I anticipate reading and enjoying in the near future. But I must say that, overall, I was generally disappointed in most of the titles that made those prize lists. I don’t believe it has as much to do with my changing taste in reading as I grow older (and become a more experienced reader all the time) as it does with the judges’ different taste from mine in choosing the lists and winners. That’s a topic for a whole different blog post, however.

Why I may not follow you on Twitter …

… or friend you on Facebook, or like your page, or connect with you on LinkedIn, or add you to my circles on Google+, or subscribe to your blog, or invite you to promote yourself and your book on my blog, Reading Recommendations:

I recently added the following comments to an excellent blog post written by Tricia Drammeh, Author Etiquette for Contacting Book Bloggers. (This is just an excerpt of what I had to say. Please go to the link to read the rest of my comments as well as Tricia’s very informative list of DOs and DON’Ts when approaching book bloggers.)

(In a profile) If I read, “Author of the breathtaking new novel XXX”, I will not follow. But if someone describes themselves as, “Writer, reader, promoter of fellow authors”, I’ll not only follow, but will probably offer them promotion on my blog.

By the way, for me “reader” is the key word in that description, because the other way authors can get my attention is by asking me about my books or the other books I publish. If anyone asks to read and review either of my books, invites me to be a guest blogger or be interviewed, I automatically reciprocate and offer to promote them on Reading Recommendations. It’s only fair. After all, just like them I have a couple of books I’ve written and published that need promotion!

I do not follow for a follow.

I do not “like” a page for a “like” of my page.

I do not “connect” on LinkedIn with someone I don’t already know in person.

Unless … you can prove that my following you is just as beneficial to me as it is to you.

As I said in the post I reblogged again yesterday, There are no Write-By-Number kits … I’m not in this game for the numbers I can accumulate – and your numbers certainly don’t impress me. I’m looking for a corps of Readers both for my writing and that of the Authors I promote.

(And it should go without saying I will follow and friend those Authors I do promote on my site – and I trust they will reciprocate.)

So, if you want to get my attention please tell me what’s in it for me, if I follow you, or promote you, or friend you. Once you do gain my attention, and reciprocate my follow with genuine engagement on social media, you’ll discover that I can be a very loyal advocate. And, if you have also written a great book … well, then, I could just become your champion for life! You never know how these connections on social media will turn out, but all you need do is ask a few of the Authors I’ve met there and worked with over the past couple of years in order to realize I am a very effective Author Impressario indeed!

Oh, and one more thing … When I do follow you, if you auto-respond with a message to buy-your-book-like-your-Facebook-page, I will auto-matically unfollow you. And if you try to sell me Tweets, I will block you.

Just so you know …

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How NOT to get promotion for yourself and your book …

So, you’ve written and published a book. Congratulations! Good for you!

And welcome to the club … I have some sobering news, though. You are not the first, nor will you be the last, to write and publish a book – TODAY! So far this year, 2,396,061 books have been published, worldwide. How do you expect it’s possible for any one book to compete with numbers like that when searching for interested readers, not to mention buyers with money to spend? And how can any one author ever suppose their newly published book is better or more important than those other 2 million+ books, so much better that one author can expect readers, bloggers and reviewers to fall all over themselves in an attempt to help promote and publicize said book?

Many of these delusional, self-centred authors do exist, unfortunately … so many, in fact, that I feel the need, once again, to point out to them that their “activities” on social media and in seeking promotion are definitely not gaining them any champions – certainly not me nor a few other bloggers/reviewers I know. A couple of blogging friends have written about this same topic previously, and I’ve asked them to return now with a few more wise words to add to this blog of mine in the hope that – collectively – we may have some effect at getting through to these authors who continue to behave badly.

Tricia Drammeh, a published author who writes a couple of blogs promoting writing and authors, discusses in a post, The Death of a Book Blog, the problems she’s had to face dealing with difficult authors. (It was through this blog post that I came to “meet” Tricia online when I threw my support behind what she had to say.) Tricia also wished to add to my current post: Bloggers are overwhelmed by the number of requests and demands for reviews and promotional features. It’s impossible for them to feature every author who queries, so many have begun to delete emails from rude authors, or to ignore requests that do not follow their submission guidelines. Your best chance at earning a spot on a blog is to be courteous. Be respectful of the blogger’s time by following their submission guidelines. And, if you are featured, do your part to promote – not just yourself, but other authors featured on the blog. Authors really do need some guidelines, and those who are misbehaving are hurting not only themselves, but the community as a whole.

As well, The Story Reading Ape has recently found it necessary to thump his chest and rant about the problem of authors approaching him for promotion on his blog. Here’s what he has to say: As someone who makes online contact with authors on a daily basis, with the aim of seeing if I can help promote them (and their books) on my Author Promotions Enterprise Blog, there are a few issues that constantly IRK me. To read about these Irks in more detail, go to, Authors, Don’t Be Twits When Tweeting. Basically, it boils down to AUTOMATIC SELF-CENTRED REPLIES! These abominations exist in almost all media like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Goodreads, Shelfari, Librarything, et al. I rarely find an author who thinks about a follower/friend request for a few moments and asks themselves WHY did this person start Following/Liking/Send me a Friend/Connection Request? A simple matter of looking at the person’s profile (in whatever media they contacted you) BEFORE you return their approach, will enable you to PERSONALISE your response and make them GLAD to have contacted you. Did I just hear you say something like “Bah Humbug – I don’t have time/I’ve got BETTER things to do/What do I care, they’re only a means to boost MY Follower numbers/Book Sales stats/etc.”? NEWSFLASH: You have just LOST yourself a Potential Book Sale/Reader/Fan/Follower/Friend! In my case, you’ve just lost a Ready Made (and FREE) Authors’ Platform with possibly more reach than your own! DON’T EVER FORGET – A Stranger is just a Friend you haven’t met or got to know yet! So GET RID of those ‘easy to set up once’ Automatic Replies and GREET WISELY and PERSONALLY. (Phew! The last thing we want is an irate Ape, so better do as he says, authors!!)

Since so many authors continue to do the same annoying (to us) things in an attempt to promote themselves, I decided they might actually see themselves in this following list, identify, and STOP DOING WHAT THEY’RE DOING!!! Let’s hope they’re all still reading …

How NOT to get promotion for yourself and your book:

1. Believe you’re the only person to have written and published a book. (See explanation above)

2. Publish without professional assistance in editing, cover design and formatting (whether eBook or print).

3. Spam social media about your book. Spam-a-lot, in fact, if you really want to irritate potential readers.

4. Don’t develop a fan base.

5. Don’t take part in any writing/reading communities – other than to exhort them to buy your book.

6. Don’t offer anything of value when engaging in social media. Don’t become engaged in social media at all.

7. Don’t read blogs and don’t comment on blogs.

8. Don’t write your own blog or offer value to the blogging community at large.

9. When seeking promotion and reviews for your book from bloggers, DON’T read their blog first, or engage with the blogger, or show any interest in their work if they themselves have published, or ask how you may help promote their blog, or read their submission instructions, or think that perhaps there are many more-worthy books ahead of yours already being considered for promotion or review. (Because, like, we’re all so impressed with you and your one book that we’ll immediately drop everything in order to help you get the word out about it … Yeah, In your dreams, maybe.)

10. DON’T think the rules pertain to you. (They’re meant for the other 2,396,060 books that have been published this year.)

And, to finish off, if you don’t believe me and the other bloggers, perhaps you’ll listen to Anne Enright …

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Some promotion for ME – Susan M. Toy

I’m so busy promoting other authors all the time that I don’t get around to tooting my own horn about my books or myself as often as I possibly might do. So it always comes as a great surprise and delight to me whenever any of these authors I’ve been promoting in turn offers me some means of getting my name out there or posts a review of one of my books!

Michell Plested, who was previously featured on Reading Recommendations, interviewed me for his own series, Get Published, and that has been posted here on Irreverent Muse. Hope you enjoy listening!

And I recently received a second 5-star review from Tricia Drammeh, this time after she read my novel, Island in the Clouds! Here’s the link to that review on Goodreads. The first 5-star review Tricia wrote was for my novella, That Last Summer, and you may read that review by clicking here. Tricia Drammeh will be featured on Reading Recommendations later this week.

And, still available until Nov. 1st, you may enter the Goodreads Giveaway I’m running to win one of 5 print copies of Island in the Clouds or – if you prefer an eBook edition, comment on this blog post to win either the novel or the novella. It’s as simple as that!

To see a complete list of reviews of my books and interviews I’ve done, please click here.