Archive for May, 2012

My First Blog Interview!

FirstInterviewSo, I was asked by a fellow author to do a blog interview last week, and I think it went pretty good. I’ve never done one before, and I really, really liked the ease and especially the indepth questions I was asked. It didn’t take me much time to answer Alicia McCalla’s questions, however it did take a bit of thinking. I was in a pretty good mood because I was asked to be a guest, and it shows in my responses.

I also really liked that Alicia McCalla read my novel and wanted to discuss it specifically. Her questions were all targetted towards that novel–The 9th Symbol.

The 9th Symbol is the last book in the totem pole to get noticed of my four published and available books at this time, and to have it finally in the light brings quite a smile. This particular novel focuses on a much negative view of the “horizontal dance,” which subject matter is similar to Death’s First Rose, though Death’s First Rose pushes that limit to its max. I shouldn’t even mention that novel because it will be some time before I bring that out and finish it. I’m thinking I could finish it by next year…but who knows.

Go ahead and take a looksie at the discussion of sexual slavery in a Cinderella Tale, and feel free to let me know what you think.

Until Next Time!





MSWord Can Do What?

MSWordCompareIf you’ve been writing a lot over the many years and seeing the technology times change, you probably have some files from “back in the day” with those v2, v3, v4 file names on them. You know the ones—those different types of versions of stories that we keep.

And if you’re anything like me, they were probably written years ago and you just don’t know what the differences of them might be.

Well, thank goodness for the age of technolgoy! MSWord 2007 and later, I found out, has this Compare feature. Now, it might have been in other version too, but I just found out about it with this one. Right under the Review tab, there’s these two options you can have to compare documents: 1) Compare and 2) Combine.

Compare allows you to look at both documents side-by-side, but it’s the Combine feature that I’m in love with. It will combine two files, place in into a brand new document and highlight the differences and you can go through and Accept or Reject the changes.

OOoo Weeeee!!! I love technology!!

You just don’t know how this helps with all those different versions on my drive that I’ve transferred and kept over the years. I didn’t know if they were exact or there was some slight variation for most of those files. And forget the timestamp, because after so many years of transferring files from one PC to another, that time/date stamp becomes insignificant.

So, yeah, I’m in love with MSWord right now. I know it’s expensive and most people have gone to other alternatives (i.e. Open Office), but MSWord has gone up 10 points for me…. Well, er, at least for now since it can definitely do something for me that I don’t know of any others can do. Heh. Heh.

And if you know about any other software that can do the same thing, just let me know, and I just might have a change of heart…again. 🙂

Until Next Time!






What Do I Need To Do Next Again?

I love written down instructions. When there’s A LOT of steps to do, then “words that stay” (as mentioned in The Dark Crystal on defining what “writing” is), written instructions, are there to help when you need them.

I’m back to doing my self-publishing steps for two more books which I have finally finished writing and self-editing. Now, the 2nd and 3rd books of The Calling Series (Jetta and Creations) are ready to go for my editor. She has Jetta right now and we’ll start on Creations in a little over a month from now, after Jetta is done. I’ve also contacted my Book Cover Designer, and she’s off to creating the cover for Jetta as well.

I kept forgetting, “What do I need to do next again?” and I’m so glad that I have this blog to go back to figure out what I missed. My Step to Self Publishing has those necessary layers that I just forget how to do:

  • BookTrailers – Got to get my pictures at Dreamstime and music at AudioJungle
  • Copyright – Will go to website after getting Book Cover and Editing done
  • ISBN – Check! Already have a block of them, BUT, I got to update the title with the associate book for Bowker
  • Format for Paperback – Will do Steps here. And Uploade to CreateSpace
  • Marketing – I wanna do the PRLOG again, just because I want to DO EVERYTHING!
  • Update Social Media Sites – Goodreads, Shelfari, LibraryThing, Facebook Page – once everything is uploaded and submitted to Amazon Kindle and Smashwords

Hmmm. Is that it? I th-think so…. Oh well, if I missed something, I’ll just go back to the blog page and retrace my steps.

Until Next Time!



Sorry, Wrong Number…

I got a wrong number text message one day at 1:00AM. I didn’t mind in the least. It was a Saturday night and I was up anyway, and, obviously, so was this person, because they texted,

“I’m still awake…dang!”

They then sent another text at 8:24AM. It was at 9:18AM when I finally answered. By the time I answered back, they, of course, figured out that they had the wrong number.

“Sorry, wrong number,” I texted, “but I hope you had a fun night anyway :)”

The person replied, “I know, sorry. Thanks.”

I then told them how I appreciated the text, because I really did. They sent a picture of a nice attractive woman posing for the camera wearing a zebra-striped, calf-length jumpsuit. On her feet she wore six-inch, black, high-heel sandals. She stood sideways with a cool stance, one hand stuffed inside a pocket, with a red, brick wall filling the background.

“Hey,” I texted, “It’s always fun hearing someone enjoying life. It made my day. LOL”

The person replied back with a smilie. 🙂

In a day of technology, where people change numbers like they do hairstyles, I can see how that can happen. And this person was definitely having some fun that night to a point where they switched some digits to send a message to a friend that they thought they knew would love to hear about their 1:00AM excitement.

So, you might be asking yourself…what’s this gots to do with Self-Publishing??? Well, I’ll tell ya.

After thinking about it for a moment, I then sent a text along with a picture. Since I was sent a picture, it was just fair that I send one back. I sent a picture of the cover of my novel IRID.

“I’ll use this as an opportunity for a shameless plug.” I texted. “If you know anyone interested in science fiction or fantasy, have them take a looksie at my site www.zhollis.com. Keep Enjoying life! 🙂

The person then replied back, “Thanks, I read too. Have a blessed day.”

Heh. Heh. So, that’s why I’m adding this post today.

I don’t have that many opportunities to talk to strangers and promote my book. Actually, it’s been awhile, like the post I had when someone asked about my car magnets, and that was back in 2010. That was the last time. But this time, was a little bit More FuN!!!

I’m not a sales person, and I can not really see myself as one, but given that I had that painful experience back in 2010, I’m now in the mindset to look for an opening to talk about my novel… only when there’s an opening for it.

This was quite a fun experience for me, and I wasn’t sure what kind of response I would receive back, if I got any. I was thinking more like I would not get a reply, or that the person would just give me a plain, “Ok. Thanks.” reply. But, I’m glad I got the response back that I did. It was awesome!

“I read, too.”

So, keep enjoying life, “Fight Night Nikka,” and I hope you spread the word about my book, or at least share the experience with a friend.

Until Next Time!






Need an Editor? Need a Book Cover Designer?

Pst! Pst! Hey. Over here? Need something? I got you covered.

The place to go to help you on your book designing and self-publishing path are sites where other self-publishers hang out. They’re the “been there, done that” crowd who has paved the way to make it a bit more easier for yourself.

I go to KindleBoards.com.

You can ask any question and you’ll get a slew of opinions and different point-of-views and different tastes in tea and coffee. And getting various types of ideas and opinions always helps me on making a decision on what to do.

All types of opinions help you formulate your own way and your own path.

You can take a piece of idea here, and take a piece over there, and a piece right around the corner, and a teensie, weenie piece from that person you just don’t like (but that part of the idea was pretty good). Just post and ask your question and you’ll get answers.

It’s like looking into a crystal ball.

Until Next Time!






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