THE OFFICIAL BLOG OF INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR CHERYL KAYE TARDIF
Thursday, February 28, 2008
We also had a romantic candlelit dinner on the beach at Los Caletas. We traveled by boat again--a catamaran this time and went to the most beautiful place lit by thousands of candles and torches. It was like being thrown back into the past. It was amazing! Dinner was awesome. Afterward we headed back to Puerto Vallarta. Lots of music, rum punch and dancing. We sat up top this time. I have to tell you, it's not that easy to dance on an upper deck of a boat that is rocking from side to side. Yes, it was the boat and NOT the rum punch!
Well, I am on a timed internet session, so I'll log off for now.
Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
Friday, February 22, 2008
Today, I'm on a great adventure with my husband. We left the house this afternoon and headed to the airport. We're going to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico!! Ole!
First stop, Edmonton International Airport. Met a couple of nice gals in airport security who decided that I was very special. So I was selected out of all the tens of people going through security to get the special attention of a body pat down. :) Well, Louise, the gal who got closer to me than any gal ever has, was very nice and very polite.
And of course, me being the "serious" person that I am, had to have a bit of fun. I mean, there's nothing like being frisked in the airport. When Louise asked if I had any medical devices and I told her I left my wooden leg at home. When she got to my neck, I asked for a neck massage. :)
Somewhere in the middle of all this, I mentioned that I had been in the Chapters store right across from them recently for a book signing and watched a woman get patted down and metal detectored. :) The next thing I knew I was shaking the two gals' hands and giving out bookmarks. I really wanted to give Louise a signed copy of Whale Song. I have extra copies of all my books in my carry-on so I can give some away during the trip. But airport security are not allowed to accept gifts. DRAT!
Oh, and for anyone traveling across any borders, they've changed the rules--again. So don't think you know exactly what to put in those bins. Nothing major, but boy I thought we were so organized, only to discover that half the things we put in the bins were not quite right.
After I was done being frisked, I told Louise and her supervisor (sorry, I didn't get your name) that the Chapters bookstore had all of my books.
Louise? I checked. There's an autographed copy of Whale Song on the top shelf of the Canadian books. :) I hope you get it.
Now we're waiting for our flight...Regina first, then on to Puerto Vallarta.
I will have to brush up on my limited Spanish.
Dos margaritas, por favor. Dos mohitos, por favor. Gracias!!! ;-)
Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
reporting live from the Edmonton International Airport.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
The voting page for 2007 BOOK COVER OF THE YEAR at erinaislinn.com is now ready, and WHALE SONG is awaiting votes.
Every voter will be entered in a drawing for the winning title.
Voting is simple, and the instructions are on the voting page at:
Whale Song was May's Book Cover of the Month, so just scroll down to hit and click on Vote for Whale Song!
Voting will run through APRIL 15th!
Good luck and thank you!
~Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
author of Whale Song (2007 Kunati Books)
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
--Frank J. Konopka, Amazon Top 500 Reviewer
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Do you know a future writer – someone who dreams of writing fiction, poetry, or short stories? Maybe that future writer is…you! If you dream of writing, then why not write?
Why not Dare to Dream…and Dream BIG?
There once was a young girl who dreamed of becoming a writer. Her goal was to become the next Stephen King…or 'Stephanie', at least. When she was about 16, she started writing a novel. It took her over a year to complete it and at 17, she tried to find a publisher. She submitted query letters, partial manuscripts…and her dreams, for other people to judge. She received rejection letter after rejection letter.
The first strike against her was that she had very few published works – a few town articles in a small local paper were her only credit. The second strike against her was that she was Canadian, struggling to get into a predominantly American market. 95% of the major, big-league publishing companies were American. She hit a brick wall – hard.
For the next few years, she wrote mostly poetry until she submitted a health and beauty article and landed another column in a small newspaper. And then a year or so later she ended up in a New Brunswick newspaper, as the writer of a song dedicated to the Gulf War soldiers. This was the first indication that she had power – power to influence people's emotions, to make them feel something.
Years passed as she struggled to find a way to make her dream come true, to be that writer. She continued to write, took a course in journalism/short story writing and graduated with a 98% average. She wrote two children's books, complete with illustrations and tried desperately to get them published. They became her 'babies', her creations. Her children's books were well received in schools when she did readings, but no one seemed interested in publishing them. After two years of more brick walls, she gave up trying. Her dream dissipated…died a slow death.
More years went by, until one day she was talking to a friend about a story she had always wanted to write. It was a story about a young girl who experiences a tragedy and loses part of her memory – a tale about killer whales and native legends. It was a story about wolves and dreams, love and life, death and fear…but mostly it was a story about triumph and forgiveness. Her friend told her "You need to just WRITE it! Even if it never gets published, write it for YOU!"
My friend was right! And now I am a bestselling author!
~Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
bestselling author of Whale Song, The River and Divine Intervention
Whale Song was more than a story to me…it was my inspiration. It played itself out like a movie in my head. The story haunted me for two years until I finally began writing it. Once I sat down to write, the story flowed as if I wasn't even there. Some stories simply demand to be told, and this was one of them.
Friday, February 15, 2008
At about 14, I took my first writing job. I was a journalist for a small newspaper in BC. I made $5.00/week.
At 16, I wrote my first novel, took it to school to show my LA teacher and someone broke into my locker and stole the manuscript. This was before MS Word! I had typed it out on my mother's typewriter. The only copy. I was devastated.
When I graduated high school, I knew I needed a career that paid money...and I knew that a new writer--even published--doesn't make much. So off I went to hairdressing school. At the age of 23, I owned my own salon, becoming the youngest salon owner in BC at that time. And between cutting and perming, I wrote a Health & Beauty column for a military newspaper.
I got married and moved to the east coast. There, I took a Journalism & Short Story Writing course and graduated with Highest Honours and a 96% average. I went on to write another novel.
Shortly after my daughter was born, we moved to Vancouver, BC, and I became a motivational speaker for a well-known international company. Every week, I held 3-4 sessions where I spoke to hundreds of people. I was dedicated to helping them overcome certain obstacles in their lives. I loved this job--and it became a way of life for me and it also involved writing. I loved seeing people transform, seeing their lives so enriched, and it challenged me to be a better speaker every week.
After almost 2 years with this company, I had some health issues plus another opportunity, and I made one of the hardest decisions of my life. I decided to leave Vancouver, and my job, and my family moved to Edmonton, AB. Before I left, everyone from one of my weekly sessions gathered together and gave me a going away party. I was very torn between wanting to stay and continuing to help motivate these people or leaving.
The move to Edmonton turned out to be the best thing--for me and my husband. After homeschooling my daughter for a year, I decided to go into home childcare so I could stay at home with her. At the same time, I wrote 2 children's picture books and illustrated them. I had them printed and bound into prototypes, but was unable to find a publisher. I continued with childcare for over 15 years.
During the last 5 years of this career, I began a childcare consulting business and then wrote and published The Edmonton Childcare Directory. This lasted a year. Then I wrote a romance novel and newsletters about my dayhome. I sent the latter to all our neighbors. And in the back of my mind, I kept saying, 'When I grow up, I want to be an author.'
I quit childcare and went on to be a Pampered Chef consultant. I really enjoyed the parties and cooking in front of people. I loved it. I loved visiting with adults. I was still doing this when I wrote my first novel, but once it took off, I quit Pampered Chef.
I am now a full-time author with 3 bestsellers--Whale Song, The River and Divine Intervention. And I couldn't be happier. I am doing something that makes me feel so fulfilled, so...me. I am never short for ideas. I have a list of books I want to write.
I live in Edmonton now, where I am considered to be a bit of a "celebrity". It is fun seeing my name and photo on the front cover of a newspaper or watching myself on TV or listening to a radio interview. But even that little natural 'high' is nothing compared to the joy I feel when I complete a book. Or when I hear back from fans.
I always used to say, 'When I grow up, I want to be an author.' I guess you could say... I finally grew up. :)
I invite you to check out my novels. If you read and review any of them, please let me know and I'll write about it on my blogs and link to your site/blog.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
--Mary Menzel, AllTheseBooks.com
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Believe me--I would be quite happy (and possibly a bit manic) to see my novels in every bookstore. It is a partnership between so many divisions of the publishing industry that helps increase a book's availability. I know one thing for sure, there are thousands of authors whose books have less exposure than my novels.
My publisher has been writing articles for Foreword Magazine, an industry standard for the book world, and his latest article touched on something I have believed since day one. If I want my books to sell, I have to do whatever I can to 'move' them off the shelves. I owe it to myself. Every author does.
The following is my reply to my publisher's latest article on Foreword's website:
In the years (okay, decades) that I've been researching the book industry, I've heard these statistics many times. And they're so true. I've also heard how publishers in the US are publishing nearly 200,000 new titles a year. This sheds some light on why my 3 novels aren't on every bookstore shelf. Can you imagine the size the bookstore would have to be to accomplish shelving every title? But it is a common assumption with aspiring or newly published authors that their books will be everywhere, in every store automatically. That's just not the case.
Today's authors have to take on the role of marketing even more than ever if they want to succeed. You can't wait for the sales to happen; you have to go out and get them. Book signings are a plus. I love doing them, meeting people and talking to fans. But most authors, including me, can't afford to tour all across the country 2-3 times a year. And publishers certainly can't pay for all of their authors to do so either.
I was the first author from Kunati Books to hold a virtual book tour (VBT). For one month, I blogged, wrote articles, answered intervews, spoke on radio shows--I loved it. VBT's are becoming more popular every year, and I believe that's where author tours are heading. Even bestselling author Margaret Atwood knows the trials of traveling; she invented the LongPen, a device that signs books with the author in one city and readers in another. I've signed up for that too.
I embrace the marketing of my novels and I am excited to do so. With three novels published, I am constantly searching for new ways, new ideas, and the majority of them involve online marketing. From my own experience, I can say that being computer savvy is a huge advantage as more and more authors are turning to internet marketing. Authors experienced in web design, HTML code, navigating the internet, and those who blog regularly and update their websites routinely have a headstart. I believe in working smarter, not necessarily harder.
Selling books is a partnership between everyone involved--author, agent, publisher, distributor, booksellers...they each have their role, and the common one is to sell books. Today's authors have to be bold, daring, open to learning, open to selling, persistent, and driven. That's how you become one of the 2.1% of authors who sell more than 5000 copies.
If you'd like a better understanding of the book industry, please read my publisher's article:
Staggering Statistics in Book Publishing can Read Like a Stephen King Horror Novel. Is There Any Hope for Authors and Publishers?
I invite you to leave a comment here and on the Foreword page.
What do you think about these statistics and the book industry's future?
~Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
bestselling author of Whale Song, The River and Divine Intervention
Friday, February 08, 2008
Today's Blast From My Past takes me back a few years. Okay, a couple of decades (now I really feel old!) So here's the setup...
What do Bermuda and George M. Dawson High School in BC have in common? Well, I was hypnotized in both places.
[Disclaimer: I may have gotten the hypnotists' names mixed up. I mean, they're darned close--Reveen and Romane. Also, remember...I was hypnotized. I was not responsible for my actions. Really!]
It started in Bermuda, about 1979. My best friend Annmarie and I sneaked in to see a performance of the amazing Reveen, a world renowned hypnotist. I say "sneaked" because we were underage. You had to be 18; we were 16. I had always been very curious about anything remotely paranormal--things like palm reading, tarot cards, tea leaf reading, psychics of all kinds--and hypnotists.
So there I was, trying to be incognito so we wouldn't get tossed out, and then Reveen goes into his audience routines. He had everyone clasp their hands and rest them on their heads (or something to this affect). Then he does his little hypnotizing spiel and--voila! Many people in the audience found they couldn't remove their hands from their heads.
Including me--the underaged teen who was trying not to be noticed.
Well, Reveen could have said something to make us unlock, but no, it wasn't going to be that easy. Instead, he asked everyone with locked hands to come up on stage. And there lay my dilemma. Do I go up, get unlocked and risk being kicked out? Or do I stay where I was and walk around with my hands stuck to my head for the rest of my life?
So up I go...Miss Incognito. I recall feeling petrified. Not about being hypnotized--that was kind of cool. I looked at Annmarie and thought, 'Great, now we'll get booted out and she'll hate me.'
One by one, each person's hands were unlocked by the mystical Reveen. Then it's my turn. He unlocks my hands, then says, "How old are you?"
"Uh...eight--eighteen," I lied in a quivering voice.
He smiled. "Good. Would you like to stay up on stage and be part of my show?"
What? That was not what I expected.
So Miss Incognito politely excused herself and went skulking back to her seat.
Well, the show continued, I relaxed and we had a great time. I couldn't believe all the crazy things he'd gotten people to do. It was a night I've never forgotten.
Flash forward...1981 - Masset, QCI, BC - George M. Dawson gymnasium. Our special guest? Romane, another well-known hypnotist.
The show starts with the same idea--audience participation. Of course, he wants to see whose mind is susceptible to being put under. And there goes Cheryl, up to the stage to have her hands unlocked. This time I decided to be part of the show. What the hell was I thinking?!
The skeptical part of my brain thought, 'There's no way he'll put me that far under.'
Well, all I can say is that by the end of the show, I "woke" up. It seemed like 5 minutes had passed. When I tried to remember, it was like I had my eyes closed and was having a very blurry, weird dream. I believe I was in a "fashion show" and did the catwalk or something. Good grief!
I vaguely recall being a concert pianist. Of course there was no piano on stage...but I know I played my heart out. (Maybe I should audition for the New York Symphony.) I think I ended up sitting on some poor guy's lap. Remember my disclaimer? NOT RESPONSIBLE!
Then after the show, every time someone said, "You were hypnotized, Cheryl", I had this Tourette's syndome-like compulsion to reply with, "Oh, go eat fish!" I couldn't understand why people kept coming up to me and telling me I'd been hypnotized. Wasn't it obvious? I mean, they saw the damned show, for crying out loud. And why the heck was I telling them to eat fish, when I really wanted to say snidely, "Wow, you're observant."
But instead, out pops, "Oh, go eat fish!"
There's nothing stranger than hearing something come out of your mouth that you had no idea you were going to say. Well, wait. There's one thing stranger...hearing your mother's words come out of your mouth. "Just wait until you have kids!"
Have you every been hypnotized? What did you do? Would you do it again? If not, would you like to be?
Please leave me a comment. :)
bestselling author of Whale Song
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
For one Canadian author it's a dream come true. Vancouver-based author and spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle must feel like he's riding a wave. His book A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose, is Oprah's 61st choice for her book club read. Oprah is responsible for Tolle's earlier rise in fame as she launched his 2005 book The Power of Now, skyrocketing it to a million-copy bestseller. The divine Ms. Winfrey is going to be co-hosting an online workshop with Tolle.
Canadian authors have been in the news lately. Andrew Davidson, a writer from Pinawa, Manitoba, created a stir in the book industry recently for obtaining a US $1.5 million deal with Doubleday, as a first-time novelist. The only other recorded case of an unpublished author receiving this kind of advance is Anthony Hyde from Ottawa; his novel The Red Fox went for a reported US $1 million. Davidson has gone on to secure international rights and more advances. His novel The Gargoyle is set to be released on August 5th, 2008. Who knows? Maybe Oprah will take that one too.
Meanwhile, I will continue writing, promoting and praying that one day Oprah gets a chance to read Whale Song. And I hope that her book club members will take a chance on another Canadian author and read it too. I even provide a comprehensive reading guide for book clubs and schools.
"Oprah picks Canadian novel Whale Song for book club."
Now doesn't that have a nice ring to it? How would you feel if she picked your book?
~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, bestselling author of Whale Song
"Another one bites the dust." For the last two years, I've watched Canadian independent bookstores fight to compete with the 'big boys'--major big-box outlets and Internet retailers, but it seems like a fight to the death. As a Canadian, I cheer them on, hoping they'll succeed. As an avid reader, I mourn their loss. As an author, I feel their disappearance is sadly inevitable. Business, after all, means survival of the biggest and most powerful. It's like watching a giant game of Pac-Man. Something is gobbling up our independent bookstores one at a time, and now we're about to lose "Canada's oldest bookstore"--The Book Room in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The Book Room is expected to clear out inventory and close its doors for the final time at the end of March 2008, about eight weeks from now. Eight weeks...and then we'll have to say goodbye to a Nova Scotian icon. Founded in 1839, The Book Room has survived two World Wars, the Halifax Explosion and the Great Depression, and it will be a great loss to Canadian booklovers and to its local community. Charles Burchell, president of The Book Room, is justifiably disappointed. "The Book Room has been an institution in Nova Scotia."
The explanation given for its imminent closure? Increased competition, deep discounting from big-box and Internet retailers, as well as dual pricing issues. In Canada, books have traditionally been printed with two prices--Canadian and American. Canadian prices have always been quite a bit higher, but the recent strength of the Canadian dollar has put much pressure on the entire book industry. Canadian customers want US pricing, with that price on the back cover of books; publishers can't afford to discount their books to US pricing when they've based everything on a higher Canadian price, and booksellers are forced to either lower prices and take a loss or lose their customers and their business.
Farewell to The Book Room. Booklovers across Canada will miss you.
~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, bestselling author of Whale Song
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Well, today Marc came across a video of people in Grand Central Station, New York, and these people were definitely far more frozen than Marc has been.
Check out this incredible video. I've never seen anything like it.
Wish I'd been there!
My writer's mind is going crazy with this. Were they a group of acting students? Mimes without costumes? I've watched this 3 times. Check out their expressions...and poses.
What do you think about this video? Please leave a comment.
After you've watched the video, go HERE to read about how it was done.
~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, bestselling author