Meet the Author

net sizedToday we welcome Marianne Curtis, journalist, author and publisher to the table. For the past eighteen years, Ms. Curtis has been the head writer for the Dawson Trail Dispatch, a monthly newspaper in southern Manitoba. As a freelance journalist, she has published over 7,000 articles on a variety of subjects including politics, human interest and community events.

In 2012, Curtis published her first book Finding Gloria, in which she shares heartbreaking abuse as a child, then examines the effects on her life as an adult. This inspirational memoir was named a McNally Robinson Bookstore Bestseller; and Amazon Bestseller in Canada, the US and UK several times. Since then she has added five additional titles to her portfolio, plus a dozen titles published under another name. A firm believer that sharing experiences is important to personal growth and healing, she travels across Canada encouraging others with her story.

In 2014, she founded Oak Island Publications  and has designed, laid out and published nine books for other authors. She became the founder and President of Authors of Manitoba in 2015. In addition, she teaches writing, marketing and publishing to other authors.


What genres and authors do you enjoy reading?

I love a great mystery story; something that keeps you guessing right until the end. I grew up devouring Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. As an adult, I went through my historical romance phase where I collected Catherine Coulter, and Heather Graham. Then I discovered Anne Rice, Anne Rule, Stephan King, Michael Crichton, John Grisham and Sue Grafton. I also enjoy a good fact based novel or memoir.

What genres do you write in? What age groups are your books for?

As a reporter, I deal with facts on a daily basis, so as an author, most of what I write is true or based on true stories. I find it difficult to “make things up”. I recently challenged myself by writing fiction with A Discreet Betrayal; while it is fiction, there is a level of truth to it. When I first started as a journalist, I wrote to “sound smart”, but the greatest tip my editor ever told me was to assume that everyone reading my work had a grade 10 education. While my books are not written for young adult, they can be read and understood by everyone.

Tell us a little about your most recent release. Where did you get your inspiration?

My most recent release Rae of Hope: Stories from Survivors (Stop Bullying), came out during Anti-Bullying week in 2014. This book came as a result of sharing my story of being bullied and abused while in school, with decision makers from the Province of Manitoba in 2013. My testimony, along with those of many other victims, helped the province lay out the blueprint for Bill 18, an anti-bullying bill. As a result of sharing my story, other survivors confided their similar stories, and I took them, along with a healthy dose of resources and self-help aids and put them together in this volume.

What are you working on now?

Currently I am in the process of collecting stories for Rae of Hope: Stories from Survivors (Stop Sexual Violence), and Rae of Hope: Stories from Survivors (Stop Domestic Violence). Since Rae of Hope: Stories from Survivors (Stop Bullying) came out, people have been opening up and sharing their stories in hopes of help inspire others to take back their power. It seems that many people have similar stories, yet we all feel alone in them. I am also working on a follow up to A Discreet Betrayal; where I continue the challenge of turning real local news into a page turning fiction novel called A Political Deception.

Tell us about your creative process. Do you outline or just write wherever the story takes you? What does your workspace look like? Do you have any habits or quirks when you are writing?

I am what you classify a “weird” writer; I do not have a creative process so to speak. I sit down, open my mind, and see where my thoughts go. I have a habit of writing as if I am telling a story in person. Another thing I’ve noticed – I am ALWAYS writing, even when I am nowhere near a computer or a pen. Sometimes it makes me crazy, this inability to “turn it off” but it also helps me process. When I am confident with my idea (and the little quirks that pop into my head) I sit down and write. It is not uncommon for me to write an entire 80,000 word novel in two weeks.

Which leads me to my quirk – procrastination! As a reporter, I write 40 articles per month, usually in the last 48 hrs before we print. I used to be a heavy smoker – sometimes 3 packs a day during deadline. Smoking was heavily part of my routine – I’d get stuck, light a smoke. I quit smoking August 2014, despite my fear that I would not be able to write any more – thankfully I can still write!  Now, when I am done a book or project for myself or someone else, I celebrate with a glass of wine and a hot bath.

What do you find to be the hardest part of writing a novel?

For me, writing the novel is easy; publishing it is easy; the hard part is waiting for feedback. Patience is NOT my virtue. I have sent out hundreds of copies of books and I get very frustrated when people do not write reviews or tell me what they think. For example, A Discreet Betrayal ended in a way two more books could be written, but I am afraid to proceed to book two because not many people got back to me on how they felt about Discreet. Even if it sucks, ESPECIALLY if it sucks, I need to know!

 What about the easiest? What parts of the writing process just feel natural for you?

I hate to admit it, but the entire process is natural for me. Not because I am brilliant, but because as a child, writing was the only way I could speak (you would have to read Finding Gloria to fully understand). In my opinion, I express myself much better in writing than I do verbally.

Thank you Marianne, for visiting with us today!     


To find out more about Marianne Curtis, or purchase her books, visit her website  or blog 

Marianne Curtis - books

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Local authors band together – Authors of Manitoba in the News

authors of manitobaMarianne Curtis, author and founder of Authors of Manitoba proudly displays some of the work done by local authors.

February was I love to Read month, and as part of the celebrations a new author’s group was launched within the region. Called the Authors of Manitoba, the group currently consists of over twenty published authors from throughout the region.

Ile des Chenes author and publisher Marianne Curtis established the group hoping to bring visibility to the large number of authors who live, and write within southern Manitoba.

“Since I published my first book in 2012, I have been surprised to discover that we have a wealth of talented authors living in various communities but the general public is oblivious,” stated Curtis. “We have an author in almost every single community; the problem is most people do not know this.”

Curtis says she would like to see the group operate similar to an Arts Council.

“There is a wealth of information and representation for artists, dancers and musicians in the region, but there is nothing for writers,” continued Curtis. “Literacy is an important facet; without it one cannot succeed, so why would we not want to promote reading and writing as being important.”

The first order of business was to appoint a board of directors. Joining Curtis at the table are marketing expert Heather Murray, along with authors Carla Funk, Les Kletke, Casia Schreyer and Celesta Thiessen.

“I hope the group will bring authors together for information sharing, marketing help and I think it would be great if we could have some fun together too,” stated Thiessen, who has penned more than twenty books in several genres. “Being an author feels like a lonely job sometimes. It’s great to be able to connect!”

Veteran Christian author Barbara Ann Derksen recently relocated to the area, and was thrilled to join the group. “Since joining, I have learned a little of what is available in Canada already and hope to learn and discover even more as I encourage others in their writing,” she added.

Authors of Manitoba are currently working on establishing partnerships with local libraries and schools to ensure that students and the local communities have access to local talent and materials. The group is working together to host a book tour, which would see several authors at a time doing readings and signings this summer at community festivals, farmers markets and trade shows. A one day authors fair is also in the works for the fall, at Jake Epp Library.

“Similar to a trade show, we invite all authors to bring their books, set up a table, meet with readers, and have fun,” continued Curtis. “This would be a one day event open to the public, featuring all genres and age groups.”

So far the group consists of authors from Otterburne, Steinbach, Hadashville, East Braintree, Ste. Anne, St. Pierre, Buffalo Point, Gardenton, La Broquerie, Vita, Ste. Genevieve, Dugald, Winnipeg and The Pas. Their catalogue contains works in all genres including memoir, young adult, children, Christian, fiction, romance and local history.

All published authors are welcome to join. You can find Authors of Manitoba of Facebook, and a website containing a complete catalogue of local books will be launched in the near future. For more information or to join call 204-794-1207 or email emeraldpublication@gmail.com.


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Currently Authors of Manitoba is hosting a give-away!

Throughout March, enter to win >>> Click on the image to enter

 

 

 


Or visit us on FB https://www.facebook.com/authorsofmanitoba

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Local Author Meets Biggest Fan

Fan - 4Part of the fun of being an author is that people actually want to meet you. A week ago,  I met my biggest fan!

Two years ago, when Finding Gloria came out, the office received a call from a young lady in Steinbach. She really wanted my book. I promised to drop off a copy where she worked but never actually saw her. She called once or twice about payment but I let it go. It was a gift.

Today, I received a message from someone who knows her, asking if I would meet with her face-to-face. Apparently, this young lady has been running around with cash in her pocket since Xmas 2012 so she could pay me, just in case we ever ran into each other. She wants to meet me and have me sign her book. Apparently she “loves me” and is just tickled pink that this woman (who contacted me) actually knows me…

This evening, we met for the first time, and I surprised her with two signed copies of my books. She was so thrilled and was actually gushing. I was glad my daughter was there to see it. It was really sweet! I can’t wait to see her again.

A Discreet Betrayal

A Discreet Betrayal front cover nA DISCREET BETRAYAL 

A Discreet Betrayal is a cautionary modern day love story.

Single magazine journalist, Emma joins an on-line dating community after failing to find a suitable partner in the “real world”. There she meets Stephan and the pair hit it off immediately. As the couple make plans for the future, an anonymous email changes the entire relationship. Putting her stellar investigative skills to work, Emma discovers the man of her dreams is living a double life and nothing was as it seems.

With the help of her fellow dating site companions, Emma deals with her lovers shocking betrayal and realizes love was right beside her, she was just looking in the wrong direction.

ORDER YOUR SIGNED COPY NOW!

Pre-order your copy before the release date, and receive a signed copy directly from the author.

 AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

MARCH 11, 2014

Marianne Curtis

For eighteen years, Marianne Curtis has been the head writer for the Dawson Trail Dispatch.  During that time, she has published more than 7,000 articles in the monthly paper.   Her début memoir Finding Gloria was her way of healing from the past she details, and finding peace with her life.  It has crawled to the #1 spot on several Amazon best sellers lists since it came out in 2012. Originally intended to be an outlet for her own healing, Curtis has been surprised and touched at the stories she hears from readers and the way that her story has helped them to share theirs. As a result, she was nominated as a YWCA Woman of Distinction in 2013.

“Like” Marianne Curtis on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/FindingGloria

For media inquiries or to request a review copy, please contact:

Marianne Curtis

mariannecurtis.author@gmail.com

Author Interview – Marianne Curtis on A Discreet Betrayal

Q: What is this book about? 

A: Well, it started out as a book about online dating, turned into a nasty betrayal. Then it takes you on a wild ride through the subplot. It will take you on an a crazy adventure. The ending, will come completely out of left field, and leave you gasping.

 Q: Is this story inspired by the realities of the online dating world?

A: Yes, I was once a member of several online chat rooms, joined a few dating sites and met many interesting people. It was very much a part of my life for a decade! I took some of my personal experiences, and put them together. My characters carry a piece of each memorable chatter I’ve met; and the main men, men I’ve dated or wanted to date.  Some of the activities I wrote about being actual events I attended. It’s hard for people to understand how real, online life can become. People meet, they get married, they have children. They date, they break up, they get cheated on. And it all starts on a computer! This was the good old days – when chat was still fun! Now, it’s not the same. I would never join some of the things groups I did before.

Q: Are any of the experiences in this novel based on parts of your life?

A: The short answer is yes – most of them. The hardest part about writing this book was fictionalizing actual events and protecting the innocent.

Q: If so, is there a message in your novel that you would like readers to grasp?

A: That everyone makes mistakes; some are forgivable, others are not. That it doesn’t matter where you meet in life, if there is a connection, go with it. I’ve had more real online relationships, than most people have in real life. My best friend (who Debbie is based on) and I met in a chatroom. When Debbie speaks, I hear my best friends voice in my head.

Q: Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it?

A: That sometimes we do insane things when we love someone, things that even we don’t understand. Hopefully in the end, we learn from them.

Q: After reading Finding Gloria, and the range of emotions that I felt as a reader. I can only imagine all the emotions you went through experiencing it, then writing it. My question is what drives you to write a second book that could put you through the same range of emotions a second time, without having read A Discreet Betrayal?

A: Good question. When I wrote Finding Gloria, I got rid of a lot of pain and found tons of understanding. I tend to find healing through my fingertips. Discreet wrote itself for many reasons and in the end, I feel the same relief, I feel like I’ve exorcised my demons, and I am ready to move on. I had hoped that by sharing this story (or the parts that are based on reality) would help me learn and grow; and it did.  Closing the cover at the end of this book, closes the chapter on a few things for me too.

Q: I love the characters. Do you plan on expanding their stories?

A: YES! I see at least two more books coming out of this series ~ I already have an idea for the next one. I am thinking Hannah and Chief Alexander need to get together.

Q: What was the hardest part about writing this book?

A: It challenged my skills, but someone once told me I was a great story teller, so I ran with it. As a journalist, I write facts. In Discreet, I took facts and blew them up into these crazy scenarios. I let my imagination go, but kept it believable and interesting. The ending, sort of blew itself up and I just let my fingers do the talking. Based on the feedback, I hit paydirt.

Welcome to Self Publishing 101

Canada #1

Self-publishing my life story literally changed my life!

For the past 15 years, I’ve been a freelance reporter for a monthly newspaper. As a journalist, I cover heartbreaking stories all time and get many exclusives. People often voice surprise at how empathetic and easy I am to talk to.  Interviewees even share their deepest secrets; all reporters know this is rare and something you do not minimize. It was obvious I was making a difference in people’s lives. I should have been proud and confident. But I wasn’t!

The problem? I found no joy in anything because my personal life was a mess. For years, I played with the idea of writing my life story; I was adopted, then abused until I became a teenage runaway. To move forward with life, I needed to put the horrors of my past on paper; it was the only way I could get the memories out of my head. But it was not until I went back to high school in 2005 (I was 37) that the seeds for my memoir were sown. Our English class was assigned the task of writing our story. I submitted a piece called “Behind Whispering Pines”. My teacher strongly encouraged me to expand on it and publish it. But I was not ready yet.

Three years later, my entire life changed. My abusive parent passed away; two weeks later I found my birth family through a total fluke. Soon I met my birth family for the first time in 40 years. In the course of 2 months I went from being an abused orphan to the much loved oldest daughter and grandchild of a family I never knew. The journalist in me recognized the value of the story. As the pieces fit together, I was left with an amazing exclusive. My story hit a few of the local papers and people were soon asking me to share the rest of the story.

It was not until I hit a deep depression about a year after my adoptive mother passed away, that I really recognized that I needed to get rid of all the hurt and distrust that still burdened my soul. So I started to write. It took me about a week to type out my first 80,000 word draft of [Finding Gloria].

My newspaper editor got the first printed copy; I knew he’d be truthful and unbiased. He owned two other papers so he also knew the business. I trusted him as an editor, writer and publisher. I was shocked when he encouraged me to publish; he even offered to help. The first thing he did was sending my untouched manuscript to our proofreaders. While we waited, he forced me to look at the business aspect. I was more than prepared to hand over that responsibility to someone else; I knew nothing about marketing. But he would not let me. To be successful, you have to know what you want, and how to get there, he told me. Since I didn’t know what I wanted yet, I relied on research.

The hardest decision was to self publish or submit my manuscript to a traditional publisher. I spoke to several other local authors I’d met over the years and they offered a list pros and cons to both types of publishing. Ultimately, I made the decision to self-publish because my story was so personal; I did not have the guts to approach a publisher. A rejection letter would have hurt on a deeper level than I could cope with at the time.

At one point, my editor offered to foot the bill for the first order if we self-published. As a publisher himself, he knew several publishing houses, but they would only print a minimum of a 1,000 books. I did not have the cash to invest in this purchase, and I didn’t believe I had a market for 1,000 books, so I took to the Internet and searched online publishing houses.

Eventually I found CreateSpace and fell in love instantly! Still waiting for my book to come back from the proofreaders, I began the process of finding out what I wanted and how I wanted it. I spent time on the forums, gathering insight and tips from other authors. This research was invaluable for learning what works and what doesn’t. CreateSpace made the entire process very easy; from setting up my book and getting an ISBN to helping with changes and designing my cover. Using Google, I found book templates and e-book templates which became invaluable tools. It took some practice to get things right, but I did my own layout in both paperback and e-book versions.

For me, the editing process was the hardest. My editor calls me a proofreader’s dream – after 15 years of writing, I don’t make a lot of mistakes. But I still make them. I took advantage of newspaper staff along with beta readers, other authors, fans from the paper and friends. When the final draft came back from the proof-reader, my editor and I sat down and read the entire book, sentence by sentence, re-wrote, made changes, and expanded. It was a tedious process.

My editor designed my cover as a gift to me. We wanted my oldest daughter to draw the cover picture, but we could not get the broken wings right. It is supposed to symbolize my true self’s emergence into life, just like a butterfly from the cocoon.

One would think writing is hard, but the real work while I waited the three weeks for my first shipment. I created a website and used social media to spread the word that readers could order signed books directly from me. Using Paypal, I took online orders and shipped them the same day. A word of advice, get your postage correct first! I took a major ding on my first shipment because I underestimated the cost of postage.

I created a book trailer, which was something I’d never heard of until I started my research. I downloaded royalty free pictures and music; then created the trailer using the basic movie maker found in Windows. Then I uploaded it to YouTube. This also did very well and was fun to do.

Once I received my first shipment (400 books) I hosted a book launch in my home town. It was my “coming out party” and a sell-out. Encouraged, I took advantage of having to cover community events by volunteering to speak, or setting up a tent and doing book signings. It was my own, self-designed book tour. It was a success based on the many people who came just to speak to me and share their stories.

We have a dedicated readership at the paper and several hundred locations for product so I took advantage of this relationship. Within a month Finding Gloria was available in over a dozen stores throughout southern Manitoba and McNally Robinson, the biggest bookstore in Manitoba. In exchange, our newspaper ran a free ad in every issue for a year, with a complete listing of these businesses. The free advertising and a 60/40 consignment agreement made it worth their while.

I learned the value of a well-written press-release. I emailed press releases to all media (print, radio and TV) in my province. With a little re-write I submitted releases to major media in the provinces where my story took place. This led to several newspaper articles in three different provinces. I did several radio interviews in Manitoba where I could speak about my book and the issues it addresses. I then paid a press-release service to write me a professional release and submit it to over 30,000 media from throughout the world. I did get some book requests, but I do not think it was worth the cost.

I became a “joiner”. I signed up for Goodreads, Smashwords, Lulu, BookHitch, Authors Den, Red Room, Google Books; the list goes on. Each has its own advantage – if you Google Finding Gloria it shows up exclusively the first 20 pages. I also started reviewing other authors’ books; it’s all about networking.

I use freebees frequently. I’ve donated copies to local libraries; I send them out for reviews; I will give them to people on the street who I feel may benefit from reading my story.  I also published a poetry book to sell to raise funds for a local women’s shelter and partnered with the local hospital and did fundraising for their group. I also published two smaller free e-books; Behind Whispering Pines and Brian’s Last Ride. I give these away for free to introduce myself to new readers; plus readers LOVE free books. By putting reviews in the back of them, they have helped boost sales. As freebees, they also get listed on sites that normally do not advertise books.

I have learned to take advantage of opportunities when they arise. Recent media stories have brought forward issues relating to my book; rape, bullying, child abuse, spousal abuse. Subsequently, I have been invited to share my experiences, with students in schools, especially with the social media aspect and bullying. I also speak to foster parents. Where I once had no voice, I’ve become a voice for others.

Has this all worked? Yes and no. Over 50,000 copies of Finding Gloria have been downloaded from Amazon. It’s been listed as #1 several times (Under Dysfunctional Relationships). My bank account is still lean; but I have something of more value. I found ME!

When I first sat down and started writing Finding Gloria, I expected to have a finishing product in the end. I did not expect to find out the truth about myself, nor did I imagine that I would inspire others to find their own healing journeys. I highly encourage everyone to write their stories. Even if no one ever lays eyes on the material, what we can discover about ourselves through the process makes it worth more than all the money in the world.

Bestselling Author takes on bullying

Ile Des Chenes journalist and author Marianne Curtis recently relayed her personal bullying survival story before a Legislative Committee with the Manitoba government.

On September 10, Curtis bravely recalled how she was tormented while attending school in Steinbach, Manitoba. After six years of physical assaults, sexual assault and emotional abuse, she was forced out of the public school system. For the next thirty years, she has successfully battled her way through recovery. Her memoir “Finding Gloria” is her personal survival and recovery story.

Click here to read her presentation along with the response she received from Manitoba Education Minister Nancy Allan and Conservative MLA Kelvin Goertzen afterward.

Curtis also recorded this Youtube video before her official presentation.

Federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau talks bullying

2013-09-25 20.25.20

“I am hoping that if you have a moment to read it, you will do so knowing that there are millions of kids out there just like me that and we really need people like you to stand up for us and I hope that when you are in Ottawa, you will do that for us,” Author Marianne Curtis told Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau when he accepted a signed copy of Finding Gloria.

September 25, 2013 – Lorette, Manitoba –  Federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau took a few minutes out of a busy campaign tour through the Riding of Provencher to talk about bullying with survivor and author Marianne Curtis. A survivor of bullying and child abuse, Curtis has become a vocal advocate by speaking on behalf of thousands of fellow survivors.

“When one is bullied to submission it is difficult to speak out for oneself, I have finally gotten to the point in my recovery that I am no longer feeling sorry for myself, but trying to change laws, and bring awareness that bullying is a real problem and we are not powerless to stop it,” stated Curtis. “I was thrilled to have the opportunity to ask Justin Trudeau how his government intends to guide provinces into protecting children from all types of bullying.”

Curtis quizzed Trudeau on if his government plans on providing leadership or guidance to Canada’s provinces when it comes to drawing up legislation to regulate bullying. Just recently, the Province of Manitoba passed Bill 18, an amendment to the province’s The Public Schools Amendment Act (Safe and Inclusive Schools) Act. Over 300 people opposed the Bill on the grounds that it infringed on their religious freedoms, forced them to accept Gay/Straight Alliances but did little to actually address bullying.

“I just got back from campaigning Steven McNeil from Nova Scotia where he actually put in his platform for the first time in any major political platform a component addressing sexualized violence and actually taking it on seriously and the way he is doing it is by building partnerships with the extraordinary organizations that are already doing a lot of the work,” Trudeau stated. “I am a former teacher, I know how difficult it is to address something like bullying but the way to do it is to create a culture that makes it unacceptable; from the very top to the very bottom; starting at the federal level in our initiatives.”

“We need to be looking at criminal laws to make sure there are consequences, but also looking at working leadership with provinces to see that the framework within our elementary and secondary schools allows for gay straight alliances, or peer support groups or the kinds of supports needed to tackle this problem from every different angles. It’s something that doesn’t lend itself to an easy solution but I know that it is something that is suffering from a dearth of leadership at the federal level,” Trudeau concluded.

In the past year, there has been a number of bullying related suicides across Canada including Amanda Todd and Rehtaeh Parsons. Both girls took their lives after being bullied by their peers. Since then public outrage has escalated over the lack of appropriate laws to both protect the victim and prosecute the perpetrators. Individual provinces have begun creating their own bullying laws similar to Manitoba’s Bill 18, but they are all floundering through the process.

Marianne Curtis is a journalist with the Dawson Trail Dispatch, a monthly newspaper from southern Manitoba. She is also the bestselling author of Finding Gloria, a personal account of her journey of survival and healing after a childhood full of bullying and abuse.

Listen to the entire interview here! 

Memoir “Finding Gloria”: From abuse to hope

Last summer this article appeared on CBC Manitoba’s Scene. I am not sure if I shared it at the time, but I realized today, how really cool it actually is that I appeared in this publication. They interview many amazing Canadian artists – writers, musicians, artists, performers, the list goes on and I guess, this makes me one of them.

Memoir “Finding Gloria”: From abuse to hope

Women of Distinction 2013

I was stunned to discover that I have been nominated for a Women of Distinction Award; these annual awards are given out to women each year that are determined to be inspiring to other women. Imagine my shock when I received the email stating that my nomination has been accepted in the category of Media and Communications.

Invitation for nominees copy

When one of our Dawson Trail-Dispatch readers asked if I would allow her to nominate me for the Women of Distinction Awards I hesitated. When I look at what I have done with my life, I don’t think I really did that great. Sure, I’ve come very far – i am no longer suffered from post traumatic stress syndrome, , but look how low I once was! It is embarrassing and shameful.

I’ve been a journalist for 15 years, for a monthly paper, that most people have never heard of (Outside of southern MB). Yet, I have met so many amazing people, written some amazing stories. I take being media very seriously and while our paper is small, it matters, and the region matters. That is what keeps me writing.

The people in the southeast are my inspiration. I went back to school, instead of just covering local graduations, I gradated from high school in the process. At one point, I saw a need in health care, so I went to school, became an aide and medic, and spent several enjoyable years working partime for South Eastman Health. If it has been in my ability to help, I have. And when my hands have been tied, I’ve at least tried to get the right resources in place to help people.

When I had cancer, I didn’t miss a deadline. I even attended council meetings with two broken arms and a busted tailbone (complete with hermeroid ring); I’ve stuck my foot in my mouth, I’ve humbly apologized for making a mistake; I’ve had to apologize publicly, even though I knew I was right (along with all our readers) but he had $ for a good lawyer; I have cried with parents of sick children and laughed when those babies got healthy; I went from hiding in the back of the room, to sticking my camera in Steven Harper’s face. Even suggested that an MLA drop his pants to an NHL’er could sign his butt because he didnt have a paper for an autograph (talk about a brain-fart LOL but funny as hell if you know the MLA was Jack Penner).

Maybe that is the blessing of working freelance. Having over 7,000 FREELANCE articles published, printed and read is a HUGE achievement when you really think about it. Most media work on salary, have expense accounts, and millions of resources. I do my own research, take my own photos, do my own writing. I do make mistakes but I try to fix them.

I get to touch base with residents in 52 uniquely amazing communities.Worked with some great municipalities, MLA’s, MP’s, met a few premiers, famous hockey players, and movie stars. I do it because I love it. I do it because I love this region.

Then there is the book – that is a whole new ballgame that has brought its share of joy and sorrow. My biggest thing is knowing people are changed for reading it. It was my voice and has become the voice for many. Yesterday, I had a social worker tell me that she read my book twice and believes that it should be adopted in the schools as part of the studies, when the students read April Raintree. This is quite an honour. To go from a nobody to someone that people credit for encouraging them to change their lives, who gives them hope; that is humbling. Once upon a time, I thought I was better off dead. Now, I see my life has a purpose and that is to spread my story and encourage others to share theirs.

To be nominated for this work, for the Women of Distinction Awards really is an honor. I am grateful to everyone!

Marianne

Indie Author TV

I have been lucky enough to score myself a free lifetime membership to Ìndie Author TV . The website is designed to promote book trailers for authors of self published titles. I first heard about it on Twitter. I saw an ad saying `free posting` for the first 100 authors. I submitted my application. I was fully prepared to pay for a month or two if I missed the 100 first people, so either way I was a winner.

I waited and waited…three weeks later, I noticed the ad being placed on twitter again. I was confused, i had received a confirmation email when i signed up but nothing since. I didn’t know if I was in, or out. Yet I saw the same ad, this time saying there were only 43 slots left. I contacted the sender. If I was in, I wanted to know and if I wasn`t, than I needed to move on.

At first the person on the other end was a little confused; but once she understood my question, she thanked me for bringing it to her attention. She had not messaged anyone yet – but I was the first to point that out. She realized that other authors were probably wondering too. Because I brought it to her attention, my book trailer for Finding Gloria will be listed indefinitely at no charge.

I was very surprised and grateful for this response; sites like this are the bread and butter for self published authors.

Please check out my listing: Finding Gloria on Indie Authors TV

I was so impressed, I paid for additional services. On November  19, Finding Gloria will be featured on Indie Author News.

Anyone self publishing – i highly recommend you contact these people – great service.