Interview: Alison Lyke

Interview: Alison Lyke

by Judy Spring Alison Summerhayes Lyke is a 31-year-old novelist, poet, and freelance writer from Rochester, New York. She recently released Honey through Spectacle Publishing Media Group, and we’d like to take some time to get to know this unique artist and ask her some direct questions about her craft, as well as learn a little more about who Alison is. Alison lives with her nine-year-old son Jonah, and her two cats Milo and Zoonz. Milo is deaf which brings a few challenges. Zoonz is named from the African word for “home.” Sushi is Alison’s favorite food, and when asked, she replied that white is her favorite color. Interestingly, she says the color represents purity to her—a blank slate and the beginning of something new. Her single pet peeve is when others are judgmental, and her suggestion is to just calm down and realize that no one has any idea what another is going through. Passing judgment is useless. Music is a big influence in her life, and rock of all kinds is her preferred genre, although she likes some “hippy music” as well. Alison enjoys writing film, music, and art reviews, and also life musings and anecdotes. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Marketing and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. She contributes poetry and short stories to literary magazines. Alison enjoyed being a freelance writer for five years, and now works with a local agricultural technology company, writing for their various needs. The following questions are from a personal interview with the author.   When did you know that you wanted to be an author? “I’ve always been writer. There was never any wanting or deciding. It was an eventuality.”   In your writing process, do you use an outline to write your story? “My stories come together like puzzles. I often have a vague outline with very specific portions written in. Certain scenes, chapters, or conversations are vital and I tend to write them randomly, and then fill in the story around them. My first drafts are seas of gibberish with islands of clarity.”   What sparked your interest in the story subject of Honey? “I wanted to write a mythology with a rich, full pantheon of gods, functioning like ancient Greece, but in modern day. I also wanted to touch on the power of meditation and contemplation. Then Honey came to me, this mess of a woman under a rat’s nest of hair, so stoned that she didn’t even have enough ambition to work up an attitude problem. I had to explore her character, test her limits and make life better for her.”    What does the story matter of Honey...

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Why SPMG?

Why SPMG?

by Joy Anne Shearer   Looking for a publisher? Spectacle could be the answer. The following are advantages to working with this dynamic and personalized publishing group. At SPMG, the author and their work come first. One of the biggest indicators of this is that no agent is necessary. You can request assistance in putting together your query and you will be apprised of every move along the way. From access to staff by phone or email any time you might have a question, to workshops for your piece when it needs a few improvements to be the best it can be, Spectacle will walk you through the publishing process. We’re writers too, so not only do we understand where you’re coming from, we’ll help you take advantage of each step so that your work will be given the attention it deserves. SPMG is experienced in and prepared to assist you with what’s new, including eBooks and audio books. The number of readers on digital devices increases all the time—readers who the people at SPMG want to help you reach. Traditional book printing is also available. Before your book ever hits the stands, our Public Relations and Marketing Department will work with you to develop your brand and get your name out there. All in all, at SPMG we truly support what writers are doing and want to promote your art. You can find more information at http://spectaclepmg.com. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...

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The Advantages of Traditional Publishing

by Joy A. Shearer When considering whether to self-publish or to use a publishing company, think of time, money, and credibility. A self-published author must provide all three, while when using a company, the efforts are shared by a team which spends their time to polish the work, invests their money to get the work off the ground, and delivers the credibility necessary for a product to hit the shelves.   A self-publishing author cannot simply be an author publishing their own work. They must be an editor and attempt to look over their own work with an objective eye. They must be trained in layout and act as graphic designer to ensure their book looks its best. After the book is printed, they must find bookstores willing to carry a self-published book. They must market the book widely and publicize themselves. The self-publishing author must fill several roles at once, while an author publishing with a company has a team of editors, designers, printers, marketers, and publicists who all have the goal of getting the author’s work out and appreciated. An author published by a company can afford to simply focus on their writing.   In addition to playing all the parts, an author without a publishing team behind them financially has several hurdles ahead.  If they decide to hire an editor, they must pay from their own pocket. Also there are the costs of production and marketing. Additionally, self-publishing authors must spend time and energy on printing their books, taking orders, shipping, and any returns.  An author working with a publisher can allow the company to invest in these activities.   Another hurdle to overcome as a self-publisher is the reputation of self-publishing.  Right or wrong, self-published work will be deemed of less quality than that which has been approved and polished by a publishing team. There is more credibility lent to an author publishing through a company—their work has been vetted, edited, and approved, and is therefore attractive to stores who need quality-verified work to sell. A self-published author will struggle to find stores to accept their work while an author with a publishing team has marketers who will use their established networks and know-how to get a book to readers.   If you’re an author considering whether to self-publish or submit your work to publishing companies until you find a good fit, trust that the wait is worth it. Self-published authors don’t have the luxury of being an author focused on writing. Instead they must sink their own time and money into the publishing process, then try and market and publicize their work when the vast majority of sellers will reject their work solely based upon the fact that it’s self-published. ...

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From the Publisher’s Desk

From the Publisher’s Desk

Scene and Setting: Writing in A Void Sometimes when I’m writing, I get so excited about the plot events, that I forget the rest. By that, I mean sometimes the action happens in a void. I think it’s very easy to forget that, as writers, we are responsible for every nuance of the reality of the story, every aspect of the world in which we write. The burden then becomes two-fold – detailed enough to keep the reader’s attention, but not laboriously so, as not to slow down the pacing of the story. The second challenge is consistency with internal cosmology (you know, things like gravity). In many stories this can be taken for granted. A romance tale will not necessarily have to deal with aspects of time dilation because no matter how in love the characters are, they aren’t going to be travelling faster than light. That said, the supporting characters and the world they live in must be internally consistent. If Old Jim is a toothless storeowner, he must always be a toothless storeowner, unless there’s a reason – preferably on page – for him not to be. But you know all this, and I digress. Back to the void. When writing a critical scene, a plot point as it were, it’s important to draw the moment out, to slow down time. Think about the air quality and light quality the characters exist in. Is it raining? Is it night or day? Are they standing or sitting? On what? Is there background noise? What is making it? Do they know? Have they been there before? Answering just to of these questions will change your scene from a plot point to a pivotal moment of story. What are your techniques for avoiding the void? Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...

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2013 Catalog – SPMG

2013 Catalog – SPMG

This summer is going to be huge for SPMG. Upcoming titles include The Darkest Age, a YA epic by talented newcomer Ashleigh Galvin, a surreal fantasy by Alison Lyke called Honey and so much more! Click to download our catalog in PDF format! Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...

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Happy Hauntings

Happy Hauntings

Twas the fright before daymare and all through the house not a dead man was stirring not Johann nor Strauss. The bones were piled high all alongside my lair in hopes that the next victim soon would appear… The haunted houses are gearing up for a spooky season of gore and mayhem. Halloween shops are sprouting up everywhere with masks, magic and goblins aplenty. Perhaps best of all are the mountains of candy! Yet eating isn’t always a sugary affair. With zombies and cannibals, you’d best beware. The horrors and chills you’ll find in our book are available in print, Kindle and Nook. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...

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