Articles tagged "author interview"

Authors using Helix Review: Teresa Meola Vincent

Screen Shot 2013-09-19 at 5.17.36 PMTeresa Meola Vincent, author of Running Blind, a gritty psychological novel about addiction, is latest addition to our Helix Review series.  Vincent used personal experiences growing up in New Jersey as the basis for the book and as a focused author, well versed in grammar and structure, she wanted to gain further insight into her own writing style.

Tell us a bit about your book:

Running Blind deals with issues surrounding long-term addiction and too much hard partying. The book follows a group of friends growing up in New Jersey’s bustling northeast corridor, from their wild teen years into their disillusioned and shattered adult lives.

How would you describe your writing style?

I write about my home state of New Jersey, which is so much a part of me. My characters are tough, troubled, addicted, sexually hardened, psychologically damaged. All of that being said, I am a seasoned editor and a very careful writer, making sure my work is structurally and grammatically sound. Everything must fit together perfectly, including complex timelines. Factual details must be researched, because I value my credibility. I use a great deal of regional slang in my dialogue, but as they say, you have to know the rules in order to break them.

Why did you decide to submit “Running Blind” for a Helix Review?

I was intrigued by the concept, and I wasn’t disappointed. The Helix Review is the first really good example of Artificial Intelligence that I have seen in my own life. When I was a young copy editor at a technology magazine, all the talk was about Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) that would be coming in the future. Well, the future is here. The Helix Review objectively analyzes the elements of a book, and it’s amazingly accurate.

What did you learn from the Helix Review?

The Helix found my book to be similar to such books as Go Ask Alice, Leaving Dirty Jersey, Candy: A Novel Of Love And Addiction, and Long Past Stopping. All these books deal with the subject of addiction, which sounds right. The Helix somehow knew what my book was about…Another interesting feature of the Helix Review was the “keywords” feature, which gave me a list of words unique to my particular writing style.

How are you going to use what you learned?

I will incorporate what I learned into my marketing strategy.

What would you tell someone considering trying Helix?

Any writer would benefit from the Helix Review, and they should definitely try it. The Helix Review is an impressive tool. If a machine can read my mind, I want an electronic therapist who can listen to my problems at four in the morning.

For more information about John Locke and “Stuff I’ve Written So Far,” please visit:

About the Helix Review:

Back in May we launched an experimental new offering called Helix, and dubbed it The Personality Test for Your Book. Helix is powered by The Book Genome Project, a massive database of over 100,000 of the world’s best-known books. And basically, it gives you a way to upload your manuscript and get back an incredibly rich and unbiased perspective on your book.

Lulu authors are currently using Helix to gain a better understanding of their book for marketing purposes, and in some cases to gain insight into their writing style. For the first time, we’ve caught up with some of the earliest Helix Review customers to hear more about their book and writing style and what they hoped to learn from Helix.

If you are an author that has used Helix and would like to be featured in the future, please tell us about your experience here.

Author Success Story, "Fallen Heroes"

by Barry Nugentpicture-7

Fallen Heroes is now on the shelves of several branches of Waterstones, including their flagship branch (where it was labeled a ‘cult hit’), which is regarded as the largest bookshop in Europe. I have, since then, done several book signings both in-store and at various conventions.

Thanks to the success of “Fallen Heroes” I now have an agent and an award winning TV and film production company has optioned the book itself. I am also working with a BBC journalist who will be adapting the story for a graphic novel to be published by Insomnia Publications.
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None of this would have been possible without the easy to use and excellent print on demand infrastructure set up by Lulu. One example is the ease by which I was able to release a new edition of the book with a back cover Waterstones review and a front cover quote/recommendation from fantasy author, James Barclay.

Through self-publishing I have pushed myself to do things, in terms of self-promotion and marketing, I would never have done otherwise (signings are not my strong point!). I have learnt a lot about what it takes to not only get your work out there but what to do once it is. It’s been a journey of hard work, disappointment, lesson learning and huge moments of sheer joy.

Author Interview: Poet Nikhil Parekh

I first learned of Nikhil Parekh in the Lulu Community forums. He posts multiple poems in the Poetry Corner forum every day, and I found myself very curious and wanted to know more about who this very talented writer was.

Poet Nikhil Parekh

Poet Nikhil Parekh


Hi, Nikhil. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview with me for the Lulu blog. Can you introduce yourself to our readers?

My name is Nikhil Parekh. I am a Love Poet & Five-Time World Record Holder with the Limca Book of Records India (Only 2nd in official world rankings to the Guinness Book of World Records) for my Poetry. I am located on planet earth as is everyone around me by God’s grace. But pragmatically speaking I live in Ahmedabad, a royally sweltering city of India. To know more about me, my poetry, poetry books, awards and works please visit me online at www.nikhilparekh.org or www.nikhilparekh.com

So, to begin with, I would love to know how it all started.

Wrote my first poem at age 12 yrs or so. That was about a ‘dog’ whom I perceived as a peaceful friend. Penned a few sprinkling of poems during this time. After that didn’t write till age 21 yrs. But after completing college and my Civil Engineering studies I have been writing in my mortal capacity since last 9.5 yrs or so. The ramification of which has rendered over 7000 pages of my Poetry on God, Love, World Peace, Womb,  Anti Terror, Environment, Life, Death, Lovers, Love, Unity, Brotherhood, Humanity.

Lulu Author Interview: Samata Angel

Samata AngelI am a huge advocate for social networking. My love of Twitter has kind of become a running joke around the office. Everything we do, I try to work in a way to utilize Twitter. In fact, our partner WeRead has implemented Twitter into the site and is allowing users to easily send out what they are reading. We are working on a few things at Lulu.com as well to help authors utilize all the social networking tools available (more on that later).

One issue with gaining converts to the power of social networking is showing the value. Many people who are unfamiliar with the medium only see the noise and not the benefits. I have found a number of my LuluBlog author interviews via social networking. In fact, Lulu author Bob McDonald conducted an interview with me via Twitter. Samata Angel found me via my LinkedIn profile and asked me some questions about Lulu.com and how she could effectively market her books. That simple message turned into this interview. The real trick to marketing your business, and yourself, via social networking is creating a conversation. None of the people who I have profiled or helped promote their content have sent impersonal messages. They all started a conversation with me. For now, here is my post on using Twitter to gain an audience and we’ll have more social networking how-to posts coming up on the blog and on Lulu.com.

Samata Angel has used Lulu to promote her fashion career. So far, she has created two books using Lulu.com and was kind enough to do an interview with me via email.

Tell us a bit about your background?

I grew up in Cambridge and moved to London to study my undergraduate degree in Economics, Finance and Management. Whist in London I just used the opportunity to get more involved in the fashion scene as I always loved being creative and wanted to see where it may take me, so I got involved in fashion shows backstage, assisted other designers and went to lots of networking parties. After university I worked in a range of fashion industry roles including Head of PR for a Chelsea 3 floor boutique and as Head of Marketing for a Japanese clothing label and it was after all of these experiences that I decided to register my company, Samata’s Muse. Since that I have just worked hard and been given the some great opportunities, with Samata’s Muse counting the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Dawn Richards as clients and having been featured in LOOK, PRIDE and Fashion Capital to name a few!

Lulu Author Interview: Dawson Vosburg

There is no real way to classify what is the typical Lulu author. We have such a wide range of people publishing books through Lulu that trying to classify who is a Lulu author is nearly impossible. It is this diversity that makes Lulu so special. We have college professors publishing their research, grandmothers publishing cookbooks, middle aged authors finally getting their “great American novel” into print and thousands more. It is truly amazing just to see what is published on a daily basis.

One author using Lulu is 14 year old Dawson Vosburg. He recently published the sci-fi adventure Double Life and was kind enough to answer some questions for me. I was really impressed that a 14 year old could write such a great story. I think my most impressive feat when I was 14 was finally rescuing Smurfette from Gargamel’s Castle in the Smurf videogame on my Coleco Adam computer.

Bob Marckini: Lulu Author Interview

Robert J. Marckin is the top-selling author of You Can Beat Prostate Cancer, a survival guide that he wishes had been available when he was diagnosed. Bob has generously shared his insight into what has helped his book become a best seller.

What was your inspiration for sharing your story?

When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer 8 years ago I was extremely frightened. The more research I did, the more books I read, and the more doctors I spoke with… the more frightened I became. Books on the market at that time were all written by physicians with their own biases. I vowed to write a book from the patient’s point of view, a book that puts prostate cancer in proper perspective.

What made you decide on using Lulu to self-publish your book?

A friend who had heard of Lulu and who knew that I planned to self-publish told me that Lulu was the best in the business.

You’ve been selling your book through Lulu for almost a year. What were your first sales like and how do they compare to your sales today?

Sales are increasing. Just last week we crossed the 23,000 mark. That’s about five times as many books as I thought I’d sell in that period of time.

Do you feel like there was one breakthrough moment when your success jumped? If so, what do you think caused that jump to happen? If not, what do you think has been the key to a sustained success?

I founded and now run a 4,000 member international prostate cancer support group. I promote my book through my website (protonbob.com) and my monthly newsletters. I have also been asked to do several interviews on radio, TV and the Internet. Some of these are archived and linked on my website home page.

Some other events caused my sales to spike. Both Loma Linda University Medical Center and University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute now send my book to patients who make inquiries into proton therapy for prostate cancer. Also, Senior NBC TV News Correspondent George Lewis ran a story on the Today Show and NBC Nightly News about his prostate cancer journey. I had helped him on that journey, and my book was part of his journey. George interviewed me and showed my book on both TV pieces. Sales spiked after that.

Do you advertise your book?

Just on my website and in my newsletters.

How did you arrive at your book’s visual design and layout?

My daughter and son-in-law are graphic designers. The entire cover design and layout was their idea. I had a professional photographer take the picture, but everything was “choreographed” by my daughter and son-in-law.