Tag Archives: Jan Sikes

Welcome to Day 6 of the 2021 RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour! @JanSikes3 @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #RRBC #RWISA

Welcome to Day 6 of the RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour!  We’d like to introduce you to an amazingly supportive RWISA member, Author, Jan Sikes, who is also RWISA Vice-President.  Take a peek at her writing below…

How Blogging Keeps Me Sane

As with each new year that rolls around, I view it as an opportunity to start with a fresh perspective and clean slate.

When I looked back on my goals for 2020, I found with some sense of satisfaction, I had accomplished almost all of them, despite the pandemic.

Some goals remain the same from year to year, such as clean eating, exercising, practicing meditation, being kind, and gentle with myself and others. I classify those as my permanent or ongoing goals. They never change.

Setting expanded goals for 2021 was quite different. COVID19 has affected us all. Not only in the way we socialize, but also in every other aspect of life, from how we shop to the way we promote our books.

The necessity for self-preservation has catapulted us into a virtual world. We order groceries online and have curbside pickup. We now visit with family via Zoom calls, and so much for getting out and attending book festivals to promote our books. That simply isn’t going to happen.

So, when I took an elemental look at how to market my books in 2021, I realized I needed to harness social media’s power. 

The most powerful tool I have for marketing my work is, hands-down, my blog. I am fortunate to have built a substantial following over the years, which works to my advantage now.

I want to share with you some of the nuts and bolts of this fabulous tool, as well as some of the things I’ve learned about the art of blogging. Hopefully, you will benefit from them as well.

One of the greatest joys in my life is promoting and uplifting others. Because of this, I am always happy to offer my blog platform to support others, whether they be authors or indie music artists. And each time I spotlight a new author or artist, I gain a handful of organic followers. It’s a beautiful equation that works every time. It is the classic win-win for everyone.

The first and perhaps most important aspect of a blog is the title you create. There are many reasons for this, but mainly it is because the title needs to be eye-catching. If it isn’t, many potential readers may scroll on by and never take a peek. I know this from experience. I subscribe to a lot of blogs, so my email inbox is flooded each day. The blog titles are how I decide which ones I will pass on or read.

Some of the best practices in naming your blog post are asking a question, offering a solution, a list of solutions, or just making it fun and quirky. One recent post I wrote for a blog tour was entitled “The 3 P’s of Writing.”

That title makes you wonder what the P’s could be. I had a lot of success with that post. Fun and quirky will get me every time. You can also offer a promise of something in your title, such as a “How To” or a giveaway.

Another super important thing to add to a title is your guest’s Twitter handle (when you feature a guest). Why? Because each time that blog is shared on Twitter, it will tag them. It serves as a timesaver, and keeps the guest in your loop. I have found adding that one simple piece to a blog title gets it shared at least fifty percent more than a title without a tag.

Hashtags are another great way to get more shares. For instance, when I post a blog advertising a new book release, I will add #NewRelease to the title, which increases exposure in the feed.  

Whatever your subject is, try adding a few hashtags to increase visibility.

Another super important detail, as a member of the Rave Reviews Book Club and The Rave Writers – Int’l Society of Authors, includes adding those handles and hashtags to the blog title when the content is relevant to the organizations. Again, it is proven to increase visibility and sharing.

Blog content can be about anything. I have found my niche, and although it is broad, it works for me. I blog about every aspect of the craft of writing, books I’ve read, feature guests, new music from indie artists, and all things spiritual, from meditations and Tarot cards to Runes. Those define me and my interests.

It’s good to brand yourself. Make a statement as to what you are about through your blog posts.

Once you publish a blog post, I cannot stress enough the importance of engaging. When someone takes the time to comment on your blog, please respond. Just as it is rude to ignore someone who is speaking to you in a physical setting, it is rude to ignore blog comments.

When I host a guest, I emphasize the importance of engaging and responding to comments. If my followers and I are taking the time and effort to promote you and your work, the least you can do is engage and respond. Most authors are outstanding in this area. Music artists, not so much. No matter how many times I say the words, “You need to engage,” they don’t seem to get it. I think the biggest reason is the fact that many music artists hate computers and don’t have a lot of tech savvy outside the recording studio. Nevertheless, they miss out on potential new music followers when they don’t bother to stop by.

These are a few of the basics; things I’ve learned through my experience of blogging.

Facing an ever-growing reliance on a virtual world in the days, weeks, and possibly years ahead, by fully utilizing my blog site, I will continue to grow and flourish despite COVID19.

My blog is the compass, my North Star, which helps me navigate the turbulent waters of the world in which we live.

See you there!

http://www.jansikesblog.com

RWISA Profile

What Jan has to say about RWISA…

Check out Jan’s book…

“GHOSTLY INTERFERENCE”

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Now, we’d like to give you a chance at some of this awesome promotion for yourself!

Have you written that book or short story you want the whole world to know about? Are you looking for a great way to promote your creative endeavors? Perhaps you’re seeking to add some prestige to your body of work! If this sounds like you, we invite you to come on over to RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS, otherwise known as RWISA.

At RWISA, we invite and accept into membership only the very best writers the Indie community has to offer.

If your work is exemplary and speaks for itself, stop by the RWISA website today at RaveWriters.wordpress.com and find out how you can submit your sample of writing for consideration.

We’re an exclusive bunch but we’d love to have you join us!

NOTE:  If you’re looking to improve your writing while taking another route to membership into RWISA, while you’re at the site, visit RWISA UNIVERSITY!

Thanks for dropping by and don’t forget to leave the author a comment below!  To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the tour’s home page!

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New Release – Ghostly Interference by Jan Sikes

Hello! My friends and visitors! Welcome to my blog!

I’m excited to have Jan Sikes here today. It’s my pleasure to share with you the great news of her new release. The holiday is upon us and her book is the best holiday gift ever! Please join me to welcome Jan.

Hi Jan! What an honor to have you as my guest today. Please tell us about your new book.

Hi, Miriam! Thank you for sharing your blog space with me today so that I can talk about my new book. I deeply appreciate it!

One of the scenes in Ghostly Interference included Jag Peters purchasing a book of poetry for Rena Jett. He wanted something that would help comfort, and start the healing process after losing her brother, Sam Jett, in the war in Afghanistan.

As I am sure you know, you cannot quote someone else’s work within your own body of work. So, I had to create a poem to include in a specific scene.

I had to do the same thing with song lyrics as you also cannot quote someone else’s song lyrics within your work without their written permission. With the song lyrics, I only had to create lines, not the whole song.

Excerpt 1: Poetry

She filled her coffee cup and sat down at the table. The poetry book Jag had bought her lay at one end and she reached for it, lightly running her fingers over the cover.

The book fell open to a poem entitled “Next to You.”

          You cannot see me or touch me

          But I’m standing next to you

          Your tears can only hurt me

          Your sadness makes me blue

          Be brave and show a smiling face

          Let not your grief show through

          I love you from a different place

          Yes, I’m standing next to you.

As she read the words, tears flowed. “Oh Sam,” she whispered. “You’re here. I just know it. But I can’t help but wish your body was here too. You’d get along great with Jag, even though he’s very different from us. He said he loves me and I think I’m falling for him too.”

Excerpt 2 – Song Lyrics:

The years of working at Granite Technology seemed like an eternity ago. Quitting that job was perhaps the best thing he’d ever done.

Almost colliding with Rena had been totally out of his control and yet a life changing event so big he could never have imagined it.

How could he not have known he needed something more than just the job security and safe circle of family and friends? And yet someone somewhere in the Universe knew.

Knew that he and Rena Jett needed each other. He was grateful that their two worlds had collided. Grateful for divine intervention.

Inspired, he reached for pen and paper. With one hand on the keys and the other holding the pen, he composed the beginning of a tender love song.

“I didn’t know I needed you. I didn’t have a clue. I imagined I was happy, but my window had no view…”

Hours passed before he stopped and stretched. He flipped the switch and covered the instrument.

Excerpt 3:

“Let me hear you sing something. I’ve got a feeling you have a good voice.”

“Okay. I’m more than a little nervous, but I’ll give it a shot. I’ll sing something I wrote just the other day.”

Damien raised his eyebrows. “You write too? That’s fantastic. Let me hear it.”

Jag avoided looking at Damien while he played and sang the song he’d written for Rena. He tagged the ending. “And you can’t see tomorrow through yesterday’s eyes.”

Damien clapped. “Oh hell! That was great! Do you have more? I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging, but I can get them heard by some heavy-hitters if you’re interested.”

“I’ve written quite a few over the years. I hadn’t thought of trying to do anything with them. I just write to express my feelings.”

“That’s all any of us do. With every song I write, every guitar lick I play and every performance, I give a little of myself away. That’s what music is. And the key to the whole deal is making people feel it. Then they become a part of the song and a part of you.”

“That’s beautiful, Damien.” He stared at the man who’d walked into his life.

Damien laughed. “Don’t get too serious on me. But it’s true. Hey, let’s play some more.”

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Have you ever had to create poems or song lyrics to weave into your stories? I’d love for you to share it in the comment if you have.

You’re so talented, Jan. You not only write books, but poems, and song lyrics also. I loved the excerpts you included here.

Here is the book information.

Book Blurb 

Jag Peters has one goal in his quiet comfortable life—to keep his karma slate wiped clean. A near-miss crash with a candy apple red Harley threatens to upend his safe world. He tracks down the rider to apologize properly. Slipping into a seedy biker bar, he discovers the rider isn’t a “he”, it’s a “she”, a dark-haired beauty.

Rena Jett is a troubled soul, who lives in a rough world. She wants no part of Jag’s apology, but even while she pushes him away, she is attracted to him. When he claims to see a ghost—her brother—can she trust him? And could her brother’s final gift, a magical rune stone with the symbol for “happily ever after” have the power to heal her wounds and allow opposites to find common ground—perhaps even love?

Book Trailer

Book Purchase Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Ghostly-Interference-White-Rune-Sikes-ebook/dp/B08KW1KFMW/

Barns & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ghostly-interference-jan-sikes/1137871003?

About the Author

Jan has an impressive writing history. Here is a nippit of her accomplishment.

Social Media Links

http://www.jansikes.com

https://jansikesblog.com/

https://www.twitter.com/jansikes3

http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJanSikesBooks

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00CS9K8DK  (Author Page)

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Book Review – Jonah by Jan Sikes

My Book Review of Jonah by Jan Sikes.

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It’s a great pleasure to share with you the inspirational short story I read over the weekend.

Jonah

JONAH by [JAN SIKES]

My Review

The short story Jonah by Jan Sikes reads like a spiritual journey. Jonah was in prison for his crimes committed but had a choice to be locked up in an underground box or banished in a deserted island. He chose the island. The harsh environment of the island with creatures, stinging nettles, and prickly thorns didn’t make it any easier for him. In his hut, he discovered a package with edible items and toiletry. There were two books and a pencil with a message that the only way he could get off the island was to examine himself, face the truths, and make peace with his demons.

He used to rule the city with his might, but there was no specific mention of the crimes in Jonah’s past. It’s up to the reader’s imagination. Then an unusual young boy with eyes glowed with luminescent green light and webbed fingers showed up. He wrestled with this boy, Titus, the same way he would with an enemy. Realized this boy wouldn’t do him any harm, he let him go back to the other side of the island. Overtime, he developed the friendship with Titus. Titus brought him food and kept him company. He also brought him books on the requirements of him to be set free. His response was to comply with the rules with his behaviors. Titus indicated that it was not the fake behaviors but the heart that count. His empathy and care toward Titus grew and wanted to help him get out of the environment where the people didn’t treat him right. Every time his innate passion and selflessness grew, his hut became bigger.

The story came to a surprised ending when it was least expected of Jonah. I like this story when the author skillfully depicted the inner struggle of Jonah and his capability of changing his heart. His sincerity and genuine compassion toward Titus set him free. This short story is an enjoyable read. Highly recommended.

Amazon and Goodreads Ratings

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Jan Sikes

About the Author

Multi-Award winning author, Jan Sikes, began her writing career as a young girl. Her first work was a gospel song. She had an uncle whom she loved dearly, but he was an alcoholic and his drinking caused such family discord that at times, resulted in him being banished from their home. So, she wrote a song about Uncle Luke finding Jesus. That is her first memory of feeling the passion deep down to her toes for writing and for music.

When her husband passed away in 2009, she thought someone would come along and write the story of his unique and inspiring life. She awoke one morning to realize she was the only one who could write it, since she was the only one there with him through it all. So, she took several Creative Writing courses at local community colleges and went to work.

Her books are true stories about the journey of two people moving through adversity in order to grow and learn to become better humans. She believes with all her heart there is something worthy of sharing in these stories. Bits and pieces of wisdom, hard-learned lessons and above and beyond all, love…True love that you read about in fiction stories and yet this is truth. The old saying that truth is stranger than fiction fits these stories.

She also releases a music CD of original songs along with each book that fits the time period of the story. Why? Because the stories revolve and evolve around a passion for music.

Jan has also developed several writing workshops that you can get more information about on her website.

She is widowed, lives in North Texas, volunteers at music festivals, has five incredible grandchildren and serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas Authors Institute of History, The North Texas Book Festival and the Texas Musicians Museum.

Contact the Author

Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK?ref=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7095856.Jan_Sikes

Website: http://www.jansikes.com

Blog: http://www.rijanjks.wordpress.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJanSikes

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rijanjks