Reading Life’s Signals

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Hear with your heart, see with your soul, be guided by a hand that you can not hold, and trust even if you can not see. That’s how faith must be.” ~ Unknown

Last week when I was interviewing Mara Purl, author of What the Heart Knows and  Where the Heart Lives we spoke about her recent keynote address for Go for the Red event, sponsored by the American Heart Association.

I asked her whether there was a connection between the message in her books and the subject of her keynote address. She said “she  took  the principles of Life Simple 7 http://bit.ly/RsCok9  that  are outlined in the American Heart Association’s brochures and literature. Then she made a correlation between a  literal interpretation of unclogging our lives by saying “we need to stop ignoring our intuition when it is telling us something.”  When our intuition tells us to change something, such as to stop smoking or get that cholesterol checked, Mara said “we need to listen.”

In Mara’s story “Where the Heart Lives,” the protagonist makes a geographical move, based on a “heart” decision. This decision has implications that changes her life and the focus of it. For more information on Mara Purl’s books, <a target=”_blank” href=”http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&field-keywords=mara%20purl&linkCode=ur2&rh=n%3A283155%2Ck%3Amara%20purl&tag=allthinfulf-20&url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&linkId=JAPOA45PHI7EE76U”>Click here</a><img src=”https://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=allthinfulf-20&l=ur2&o=1&#8243; width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />.

The events of Hurricane Sandy, reminds us of how life can turn on us at a moments notice, dealing  nasty,long lasting blows. Unfortunately, individuals sometimes forget to take the time to interpret signs and signals that tell us it is time to slow down and heed the warnings along the path of life.

What a gift life is!  It is up to us as individuals to honor the life we have been given by taking good care of ourselves through healthy diets, regular exercise and by avoiding addictive behaviors – such as overindulging in food, alcohol, and other risky behaviors. Maintaining healthy personal relationships helps us to be mentally and spiritually fit.

Intuition research has been a growing field among nurses and other medical professionals.  It has been said that listening to our hearts and intuition, can help us to create better lifestyles for ourselves. Sometimes we learn the hard way, through devastating life events. We are all  guilty of not listening to our hearts at various points in our lives, I suppose. Here is an article that addresses some of the most recent findings concerning intuition research. http://lifesciencefoundation.org/inmain.html

What kind of listener you are? Head or heart?  Do you listen to what your heart is telling you?

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

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Preparing for Blog Tour Storm

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“Life…it consists mainly of the storm of thoughts that is forever flowing through one’s head.” ~ Mark Twain 

Good Morning! I am preparing for tomorrow’s blog – a special interview with best selling author Mara Purl. Many of you may remember our blogs about What the Heart Knows, book one of the Milford-Haven series . We are so excited that Mara’s promotions company contacted us a few weeks ago to request that All Things Fulfilling be part of her blog tour again for her 2nd book Where the Heart Lives. An astounding 17 million readers followed All Things Fulfilling and the other blogs that participated in the blog tour for book one. 

If you missed out, here are links to our previous blogs about Mara Purl as a published author of her Milford Haven series.

 Portrait of a Consummate Artist
https://allthingsfulfilling.wordpress.com/2011/08/17/portrait-of-a-consummate-artist/

Part I
Speaking the Language of Books
https://allthingsfulfilling.wordpress.com/2011/08/18/speaking-the-language-of-books/ 

Part II
Speaking the Language of Head and Heart
https://allthingsfulfilling.wordpress.com/2011/08/23/speaking-the-language-of-heart-and-art/
Extra Bonus
Getting Drawn In – Reading “ Hummer” on Kindle for PC
https://allthingsfulfilling.wordpress.com/2011/08/22/getting-drawn-in/ 

Mara’s book one What the Heart Knows  is an Amazon best-seller (ranked #5) and a finalist for the Book of the Year Award. Her prequel short story When Hummers Dream (also a best seller) was nominated for the Global e-book award. 

Please return tomorrow. Mara is guaranteed to have some interesting things to say about book two Where the Heart Lives. As a former soap opera actress who played the part of Darla Cook, R.N. on Days of Our Lives, Mara is well versed in telling and writing award-winning stories that reach hearts of her readers.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Take a Fulfilling Trip

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We are the facilitators of our own creative evolution.” ~ Bill Hicks

Last month I had the pleasure of interviewing author, screenwriter, performing artist, journalist and songwriter Mara Purl about her book “What the Heart Knows.”  Her hardcover is slated for release on September 27, 2011, about a week from now. 

For each blogger who was a part of Mara’s month-long virtual book tour, she reciprocated by blogging back about each blogger’s site and it’s focus. As a blog writer, I know the intense work that that takes! “Bringing my customers to the world. Bringing the world to my customers” is the blog site theme that Mara Purl has associated with our company blog site, All Things Fulfilling. She hit the mark – that is the aim of our company, Cornerstone Fulfillment Service, LLC! To read the entire text, please visit http://bit.ly/okpGOL

I would be presumptuous if I thought that Mara’s quote applies only to a company that specializes in e-commerce and e-marketing for independent publishers. From my perspective, the goal of every author and blog writer in the literary world is to bring your customers (your readers) to the cosmos that you, the writer, created. By effectively communicating a valuable or entertaining message through the medium of a book, film or music, you might bring your customer to a universe of women’s fiction or into a puzzling story of mystery; to the work of a non-profit through an independently published film; or perhaps to the lyrics of powerful and emotive music.

Secondarily, the objective when publishing a book or producing a film or music is to reach customers all over the world. That is now entirely possible and probable all through the power of  internet  selling and e-marketing! 

After years of evolution and revolution, the independent publishing universe is now a force to be reckoned with. Take a quick trip to the new world of publishing through this link http://bit.ly/oIkV2g. You will begin to understand what an historical time it is in the publishing world. The world of books no longer revolves around five or six giant publishing houses. It is an exciting and dynamic era in media.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

The Inside Story

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“In all things, preserve integrity.” ~ Barbara Paley 

A few days ago, I talked with author Marl Purl regarding the changes that were made to the cover of her book “What the Heart Knows” to better match what was inside. This morning, I gained a whole new perspective to this conversation while I was out taking my early morning walk. 

I walked by three beautiful little girls standing on the street corner waiting for the bus. I stopped just for a moment to chit-chat with the girls. They told me it was the first day of school. I asked the girls how old they were and what grades they were “rising to.” They were ages 8, 9 and lO – stair step sisters. 

Call me old fashioned! But, does anyone think that a 10 year old little girl standing on the street corner waiting for the bus on the first day of school really needs to be made up with lipstick, eyeliner, mascara and rouge?  

As I began to walk toward home, I began to think about the analogy between the publishing process and a 10 year old wearing make-up. In my opinion, she was wearing a cover far too soon. At 10, she doesn’t even know what her own inside story is all about. The tale of her life had hardly begun to unfold, and she already had decided that she needed to cover up her natural beauty with something that may or may not match her final  internal constitution.  And shame on me, I have drawn my own conclusions based on the girl’s surface appearance before her full biography has even evolved. That’s not right – she is only 10 years old! http://bit.ly/22ZvMo.

This correlation does however, support the importance of having a cover that preserves and accurately portrays the integrity of the book. As an independent publisher, you have the final say in making sure the cover reflects the inside works. As a ” non-traditional publisher”,  you will be fulfilling the role of boss of your own book!

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Speaking the Language of Books

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This morning I had the honor and privilege of interviewing the award-winning writer-producer-performer Mara Purl. For the back story of Mara’s professional career, please visit yesterday’s blog Portrait of a Consummate Artist. Mara is on a month long virtual book tour to promote What the Heart Knows” which will be released in hardcover next month.

The Interview: 

Sue: Mara, we met when my company, Cornerstone Fulfillment Service, LLC  joined the Colorado Independent Publishers Association as a vendor member. You were President at the time. Can you tell us what you learned as an independent publisher that led you to a new publisher, Bellekeep Books?

Mara: Primarily, I have always been an author.  I had gotten an offer from the  London office of Random House books many years ago and because of very complex situations between an agreement with the BBC relating to my radio drama series and some changes that were going on with Random House I felt it was not a good time to engage in a contract with them.

So, I and five other authors and our teams independently published our books through Haven Books. It really began as a test marketing phase of the books and to get to know who our readers were. What I didn’t know was NY publisher Eric Kampmann was watching me. He was a very wise man.  He recognized the trend that began the implosion of the larger publishing companies and saw that good books were getting lost because they weren’t getting into the system. He founded Mid Point Trade Books , and has now roughly 400 imprints under his umbrella. He became a distribution arm for the independents, including my new publisher Bellekeep Books.

Sue: What did you learn from first independently publishing your books?

Mara: I learned after rejection that there were some publishing elements that were important and missing. Every field has some language and that was rapidly evolving. I always thought I was a fiction writer but really I was writing women’s fiction. Then I began studying displays at book shows and in bookstores. I learned that my book covers did not speak the language of the women’s fiction code. I learned about developing a vision for my brand and each decision I made for my books were art projects designed to make sure they fit the genre and they would catch the eye of the buyer of women’s fiction.

Although my new publisher Bellekeep Books did not require that I rewrite my book, I did go through “What the Heart Knows” with my editor and brought some story elements foreword which added 100 pages to the hardcover book. I also learned that the cover of my book, which was a line drawing, did not fit with the character of my protagonist, Miranda Jones, who was a painter. So the hardcover has a new cover design. Mary Helsaple, who has been my art research expert and is a nationally known artist, painted a watercolor cover for my book. I loved it! Now the cover design matches the integrity of the inside of the book.

Sue:  As you well know, independent publishing is continuing to grow and now represents over 50% of all publishing revenue. Where do you see the publishing industry going and how do e-books fit into your assessment of this new generation of publishing?

Mara: I notice that people are reading incessantly. As I travel, I see people reading hardcovers, on laptops, trade paper books, hard cover books and using e-readers. E-books are just another platform. People still love the tactile experience of holding a book. They are tracking book sale trends and surprisingly, those that like an e-book are treating them as a morsel for a real book. If they really liked it, they want to purchase not the paper back but the hardback version to keep on their bookshelves as part of their permanent collections.

Mara: People value time they can carve out for themselves and they use that valued time to read on all different kinds of platforms.

Sue:  Mara, many lives are changed through reading non-fiction, but many say that women’s fiction has the same ability to change lives. How do you go about getting messages across to women through a fictional narrative?

Mara:  Well…non-fiction is about facts and fiction is about truth. Through non-fiction you can’t access every nuance.  You can only record the facts. For example: If you are telling a story of violence –  facts are sometimes distasteful and you can use fiction as a lens to magnify theoretical cases and go inside the mind of the victim and perpetrator.

In the case of a positive issue of relationships – through fiction you can follow the development of a romantic attraction and the personalities involved. Through fiction writing you can present a picture for people to understand what is going on inside the story.

Read the rest of our in-depth interview with on Tuesday, August 23rd when Mara will be back on All Things Fulfilling to discuss her career and how she has incorporated her love for the Arts into her books. 

That is it till Monday, folks!