Two facets about my books challenge me when marketing my books and my personal “brand.” Over my writing career, I have used numerous pen names. Fun at the time but how do readers find you when your name changes like the weather? Secondly, there is no “niche” for my writings. My adult books are a plethora of genres: family history, historical fiction, romance, inspirational, murder mystery, and memoir. There are fewer genres for the children’s books. Two genres: capture the subjects which are fantasy and a pet story which is reality. However, that agitating pen name rears its ugly head. We have Sandy Farkle, Oma Russell, and E. C. Clare. Word of caution to you aspiring authors who are at the starting gate: Rethink using so many pen names. Writers want their reader to find them, right? So many pen names throw readers off the scent of finding your book. Same may be said for different publishers. However, that may work as an advantage. Publishers may only be accepting a certain genre and your diversity scores an acceptance. Available on my website are all the books in print, six adult books and six children books. Genres for adult books are Family history, historical fiction/romance, inspirational, murder mystery, and memoir. The genres for the children’s books are fantasy and pet stories. For my writing style, each book reflects what stage of life I am passing through at the time of writing. Sure, the story lines vary and weave readers through series of emotional roller coasters: intriguing historical facts, a bit of the paranormal, sadness and realistic reactions, personal and raw emotions for death and dying, inspirational insights for how one carries on after the death of a mother, happiness and joy with grands, plain fun in creating a murder plot that is light-hearted and humorous, nostalgia and bitter sweet relationships for brides separated from their soldiers during the Vietnam war, and the life of a senior who is becoming invisible to society. These are reactions and highlights of the books you can review and purchase. As a writer, it is my objective to have conversations with my readers. Fortunately feedback has proven that I’ve met that goal in most of my books. After browsing through the books and deciding to purchase one, I suggest you consider what it is about that book that draws you to it.
Have you experience a death of a loved one and have the need to recall every little detail about that loss loved one, try 58 Gardens, a tribute to my mom, an Appalachian spiritual saint who had wisdom higher than the highest mountain and faith deeper than the deepest ocean.
Have you bundled up and carried around old love letters for years? Are you wondering whether to destroy them or hang on to them? The book for you is Free Mail. The actual letters exchanged between the war bride and her Vietnam War veteran are scanned into the book and the story is woven around the letters. It’s a poignant look at the stressors on the relationship and the spoils of war. Wanton desire and raw descriptions of passion can only be communicated through their letters.
What struggles have you had in Carrying on after the death of a mother? How do you keep her alive and communicating with you after her she has passed? Carrying On is a short thought provoking inspirational book on how one grief stricken daughter carried on after her mother’s death.
Keepers of the Light
Do any of you share a passion for light houses, adventures at sea, coast guardsmen and coast guards women, and the inexplicable gift to foresee danger? Keepers of the Light is my first historical fiction. It was such a challenge while keeping me on my toes in blending the fiction with the facts. My passion for lighthouses never waned throughout all the research and visits to many lighthouses.
Ah, ever wonder how a writer can make a murder mystery light hearted? Check out Arriba. Readers learn about blizzard conditions on the Eastern plains of Colorado and how marooned motorists cope with being stranded for forty-eight hours in one local service area. Someone had to die. The light hearted murder mystery will have readers asking, “who done it?” Many readers are asking for the sequel that will answer that question. Perhaps the second part is in my future.
Do You See Me?
How important is it to know something about the author of a book you select? My suggestion for readers who search out the writer’s credentials, reason for writing, kinds of books, home town and use this information for buying a book, make Do You See Me? your first purchase. Why? It is my life and will take you through ten of the twelve cycles of life we humans journey through before departing this world as we know it. It is my memoir. There will be little you do not know about the author, Sandra L. Russell aka E. C. Clare, Sandy Farkle, S. L. Russell, Oma Russell after having a conversation with me about how we journey through the stages of life.
What wonderment to allow the mind to go out of the boundaries of reality. The Day the Gummies Wrecked is a delightful yummy story about the wee Hairbo Gummie Bears. It’s a fantasy with cultural history of Germany and designed as a young reader’s first chapter.
Mickey goes Away
Mickey goes Away – One
Mickey goes Away is a three part series. Have your children ever had an imaginary friend? What happens to that friend? When does the imaginary friend go away? These are delightful stories for the young readers and unlike most books that are not for writing in, these books encourage the readers to do the written fun exercises.
Mickey goes Away – Two
Mickey goes Away – Three
Bundle of: Mickey goes Away – One, Two plus Three
How The Big Green Pickle Rolled Away
Perhaps readers have discovered I am an Oma, nine grandchildren! They are super stars for planting story seeds. Then the adult just follows them and adds the fertilizer while teasing them into giving you more and more details so that the book is truly “their story.” The young reader whose picture you will see wearing her Oma’s glasses and signing her first ever classroom story written as a seven-year-old is Olivia. She and her sister, Ava, love pickles in all forms: cucumbers, pickles, fried pickles. When I asked her for story starters she was slow to capture her idea. I prodded her with a question. “What do you really like?” She pondered for a bit, then squealed with delight as she shouted out, “I love pickles! Maybe we can write a book about pickles.” So it was that we created a big green pickle with an attitude to become her star character. Her book, How the Big Green Pickle Rolled Away is entertaining and gives you a couple recipes for making 3-day pickles and fried green pickles. Yum-Yum. It’s a fantastic read for young and old, but best suited for a parent, grandparent, big brother or sister, or adult friend to cuddle up and read the pickle book together, then share a crisp pickle together. I throw down a challenge and caution to you parents and grandparents. Be on the alert. Listen carefully when the young learner tells you their ideas. You never know when you and the young reader may co-author a book laying out the child’s story as Oma Russell and Olivia Calese did with their book, How the Big Green Pickle Rolled Away with Opa Russell doing the amazing illustrations.
What’s to say about the marketing phase of a book? For me, meeting and chatting with folks who purchase my books is an honor. For those special connections where I get that call, a text, an email discussing my book, joy floods down to my weary fingers that tapped out more than 150, 000 words for that last memoir. Some of the venues I have used to promote a book are through niche marketing where events are held at local coffee shops, Inns, book clubs, cafes. All the while, this amazing electronic world is networking and promoting the book sales. An upcoming book tour is taking me back to my roots, Kentucky. After all, it is my memoir, Do You See Me? The young adult stage of my life was spent in Kentucky. Likewise, two institutions of post graduate level work bestowed under graduate and graduate degrees on me in education and counseling.