QueryTracker Community
January 19, 2018, 06:59:26 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News:
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Note: This forum uses different usernames and passwords than those of the main QueryTracker site. 
Please register if you want to post messages.

This forum is also accessible by the public (including search engines).
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Are Press Releases Passé?  (Read 3594 times)
longknife
Hero Member
*****

Karma: 186
Offline Offline

Posts: 1126



« on: November 08, 2015, 01:49:49 PM »

One of my Writer's Digest feeds included an article about author's should not send out press releases. The crux was that editors receive hundreds of them and generally toss all of them into the circular file. Instead, the suggestion was to send an essay that is basically a sales pitch for your work. What caused you to write it and what it most interesting and unique about it.

Well, I'm going to try it. It's somewhat like a query but more of an article. Wondering what your reactions are.

I Wrote About a Catholic Saint and I'm Not Catholic

Why?

The recent controversy over the sainthood of Junipero Serra is nothing new. I heard it back in the 50s and 60s when I was in school. I was told the Spaniards who invaded California were cruel taskmasters who enslaved and whipped the poor, innocent Indian natives.

That never made sense to me. I could understand the soldiers doing so but not the friars who dedicated their lives to building the missions to improve the native's lives.

And I knew who Junipero Serra was. Not a lot back then, but enough to understand that he dedicated his life to his calling as a Catholic Missionary.

On those days when school bored me, I'd ride my bicycle either to the Los Angeles county museum, Olvera Street near the train station, or Mission San Gabriel Archangel. The mission showed me the beauty created by those men who long ago came to the area. Could such elegance be the result of cruel slavery? I gazed upon strong pottery and baskets unbelievably tight and eye-pleasing. What kind of people made them?

In the following years, I was fortunate enough to visit every one of the twenty-one missions from San Diego to Sonoma. When I was assigned to Fort Ord, I always found time to visit the mission in Carmel. And then, when I attended the Defense Language Institute, the presidio intrigued me. Other tours at the Presidio of San Francisco gave me the opportunity to visit the mission in San Francisco and my favorite, San Rafael.

When I was no longer able to work due to medical disabilities, I found myself at a typewriter doing my favorite thing – writing. And then I bought a personal computer. It opened a whole new world to me. All the dictionaries and encyclopedia I could ever ask for. I have no idea where it came from, but I began to think about the Spanish priests who had discovered The Meadows, or Las Vegas as it was identified on maps of the time. I even wrote a novel about The Meadows and did research on the priests, leading me to the entire range of Spanish domination of the area.

That led me once again to the Blessed Father Junipero Serra, a member of the Order Minor of Saint Francis. The “Blessed” taught me that he was being considered for sainthood, meaning he led a pretty good life if the people in Rome were considering him for such a thing.

Not the slave driver I was taught about.

So, I checked out books from the library but actually spent far more time at the computer surfing the web for everything I could find on Father Serra and the missions. It opened a whole new view of where I'd grown up and been assigned during my military career.

And then, the big question – how to tell the story.

Come on. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of books about the California missions and the Spanish conquest and occupation of the New World. Books written by renowned and diploma-laden experts. How could someone with just a few college courses compete with those people?

Wait a minute. How about taking a different approach? Telling the story as historical fiction? No dusty tomes or scholarly pages. Just an entertaining story that people of all ages could read and enjoy. The kind of things I've read all my life.

Maybe I could even include something that enthralled me in my youth, how those brave sailors set out into the unknown in boats often too frail to survive some of the horrid tempests Mother Earth had in store for them.

Wikipedia and Google Maps to the rescue. Captain Hornblower made it to the Pacific in those marvelous stories. And he sailed from Plymouth. Why not create a young man who finds himself aboard ship due to set sail for the New World? Make him a cabin boy, sold to the captain in order to save his family's dairy farm. Creating Timothy Beadle and getting him to the ship was fun.

I've always known an important part of storytelling are the characters. But, creating them turned out to be as much fun as telling their story. Timothy's cold-hearted father sold him to save the legacy of his oldest brother. And his mother did not fight it. Make the captain mean and cruel or a leader who drove his crew to reach magnificent heights and see them through voyages to unknown and dangerous places?

And then hours of researching sailing ships of the 18th century. Barks. Brigs. Frigates? Schooners? Which would fit the time and purpose? So, along comes Captain Stanhope Carlyle, master of His Majesty's Merchant Brig Willoughby of Plymouth England. A good, God-fearing man of his time, place, and station. A man who ensured the youth of his ship learned to read, write and do sums needed to navigate a ship. Timothy would learn far more on the voyage than in all his previous years.

Hold on a minute!

What does an English cabin boy have to do with Father Serra and the California missions?

Well, you see, there is yet another character of note in this story. A young Indian boy from the foothills of the western mountains of New Spain who is one of but three survivors of smallpox that wiped out his entire village. He is found by Franciscan friars on their way to the mission in Culuiacan in Sonora. When the friars are called upon to go to California to take over fr the Jesuits, Jaime el Carpintero, as the boy has been named, goes with them. He has a special skill carving wood and is taught to be a carpenter. In the aftermath of an unusually strong cyclone, he is sent to Misión Todos Santos on the west coast of California Sur.

Voila! We now have the two main characters for The Sailor and The Carpenter, Book One of Father Serra's Legacy. And they lead me into the heart of the story, how a little man in a gray robe with a terrible limp walks his way through inspecting the missions founded by the Jesuits in California Sur before setting off on the epic journey to discover the fabulous harbor of Monte Rey which King Carlos wants to be secured as part of his realm.

Thus is told the true story of Junipero Serra who carried out his missionary goals with zeal, amazing dedication, and extreme love for the Gentiles who willingly came to him and the friars who sought to share his lofty aims. Timothy and Jaime, now close as brothers in a strange land among strange peoples, are caught up in the holy aura of Father President Serra and join the expedition of he and Governor Gaspar Portolá.

They follow the trail through rugged hills and mountains filled with spiny, stinging plants blazed by Captain Fernando Moncada y Rivera, one of the most underrated heroes of Mexican history. They are there when the Franciscans found Misión San Fernando de Velicatá and show us the amazing brilliance of men who create beauty out of sun-dried bricks and reeds. All with the willing assistance of peoples who have lived beyond memory in a Stone Age existence.

Book One ends in a poignant moment when, upon reaching the River Ti Wan just short of Bahia San Miguel, the site of current-day San Diego, they come upon an English merchant brig's shore party. The same ship from which Timothy was washed overboard. When the captain asks if he can take Timothy home, his reply is that he is now with his true family. As Timothy follows Father Serra continuing the trek, Captain Carlyle turns to one of the midshipmen and remarks that they are watching a true explorer.

Each of the three novels is a little over 100,000 words in length. I did so that readers will not get bogged down in a lengthy tome. Book Two, The King's Highway, takes us through the founding of Misión San Diego de Alcalá, the 1769 Portolá expedition of California, and the founding of the first nine missions until Saint Junipero Serra passes at Misión San Carlos Borromeo in 1784. Book Three has Timothy and Jaime there through the founding of twenty of the twenty-one mission.

Sainthood? Even as a non-Catholic, I believe there are men and women on the face of this wondrous earth of ours who have lived exemplary and dedicated lives. I watched the so-called controversy of the good father's sainthood and smiled. Did the friars “spank” the Indians at their missions? Of course, they did. It was a time when the world believed in Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child. They loved the natives who willingly came to their missions by the thousands and wanted nothing but the best in life for them. Did they chase down those who left the missions without permission? Yes, they did. But, at the same time, they allowed those natives to return to their home areas to celebrate days and times important in their previous cultures.

And, one final thought. What would Father Serra think of his sainthood? Having studied his life and that of his fellow friars, I sincerely believe he is somewhere in the Afterlife shaking his head and claiming he does not deserve such an honor. He spent endless hours on his knees praying for forgiveness for what he saw as his sins. The scars upon his thin back attested to this belief. He also begged forgiveness for not completing the full nineteen missions outlined in the 1769 expedition, claiming remiss in properly performing his duties as president of the missions for that failure.

I am and will always be enthralled by Saint Junipero Serra's life and earnestly agree with Pope Francis that he deserved sainthood. But, as does anyone who studied the history of the time, I now have another mission of my own; to write the epic story of Captain Rivera, a man who always lived by the oaths of fealty he swore and set an exemplary guide for all of us who have or will wear the uniform of the nation we swear allegiance to.

Thank you for your time. Sincerely,

Why?

The recent controversy over the sainthood of Junipero Serra is nothing new. I heard it back in the 50s and 60s when I was in school. I was told the Spaniards who invaded California were cruel taskmasters who enslaved and whipped the poor, innocent Indian natives.

That never made sense to me. I could understand the soldiers doing so but not the friars who dedicated their lives to building the missions to improve the native's lives.

And I knew who Junipero Serra was. Not a lot back then, but enough to understand that he dedicated his life to his calling as a Catholic Missionary.

On those days when school bored me, I'd ride my bicycle either to the Los Angeles county museum, Olvera Street near the train station, or Mission San Gabriel Archangel. The mission showed me the beauty created by those men who long ago came to the area. Could such elegance be the result of cruel slavery? I gazed upon strong pottery and baskets unbelievably tight and eye-pleasing. What kind of people made them?

In the following years, I was fortunate enough to visit every one of the twenty-one missions from San Diego to Sonoma. When I was assigned to Fort Ord, I always found time to visit the mission in Carmel. And then, when I attended the Defense Language Institute, the presidio intrigued me. Other tours at the Presidio of San Francisco gave me the opportunity to visit the mission in San Francisco and my favorite, San Rafael.

When I was no longer able to work due to medical disabilities, I found myself at a typewriter doing my favorite thing – writing. And then I bought a personal computer. It opened a whole new world to me. All the dictionaries and encyclopedia I could ever ask for. I have no idea where it came from, but I began to think about the Spanish priests who had discovered The Meadows, or Las Vegas as it was identified on maps of the time. I even wrote a novel about The Meadows and did research on the priests, leading me to the entire range of Spanish domination of the area.

That led me once again to the Blessed Father Junipero Serra, a member of the Order Minor of Saint Francis. The “Blessed” taught me that he was being considered for sainthood, meaning he led a pretty good life if the people in Rome were considering him for such a thing.

Not the slave driver I was taught about.

So, I checked out books from the library but actually spent far more time at the computer surfing the web for everything I could find on Father Serra and the missions. It opened a whole new view of where I'd grown up and been assigned during my military career.

And then, the big question – how to tell the story.

Come on. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of books about the California missions and the Spanish conquest and occupation of the New World. Books written by renowned and diploma-laden experts. How could someone with just a few college courses compete with those people?

Wait a minute. How about taking a different approach? Telling the story as historical fiction? No dusty tomes or scholarly pages. Just an entertaining story that people of all ages could read and enjoy. The kind of things I've read all my life.

Maybe I could even include something that enthralled me in my youth, how those brave sailors set out into the unknown in boats often too frail to survive some of the horrid tempests Mother Earth had in store for them.

Wikipedia and Google Maps to the rescue. Captain Hornblower made it to the Pacific in those marvelous stories. And he sailed from Plymouth. Why not create a young man who finds himself aboard ship due to set sail for the New World? Make him a cabin boy, sold to the captain in order to save his family's dairy farm. Creating Timothy Beadle and getting him to the ship was fun.

I've always known an important part of storytelling are the characters. But, creating them turned out to be as much fun as telling their story. Timothy's cold-hearted father sold him to save the legacy of his oldest brother. And his mother did not fight it. Make the captain mean and cruel or a leader who drove his crew to reach magnificent heights and see them through voyages to unknown and dangerous places?

And then hours of researching sailing ships of the 18th century. Barks. Brigs. Frigates? Schooners? Which would fit the time and purpose? So, along comes Captain Stanhope Carlyle, master of His Majesty's Merchant Brig Willoughby of Plymouth England. A good, God-fearing man of his time, place, and station. A man who ensured the youth of his ship learned to read, write and do sums needed to navigate a ship. Timothy would learn far more on the voyage than in all his previous years.

Hold on a minute!

What does an English cabin boy have to do with Father Serra and the California missions?

Well, you see, there is yet another character of note in this story. A young Indian boy from the foothills of the western mountains of New Spain who is one of but three survivors of smallpox that wiped out his entire village. He is found by Franciscan friars on their way to the mission in Culuiacan in Sonora. When the friars are called upon to go to California to take over fr the Jesuits, Jaime el Carpintero, as the boy has been named, goes with them. He has a special skill carving wood and is taught to be a carpenter. In the aftermath of an unusually strong cyclone, he is sent to Misión Todos Santos on the west coast of California Sur.

Voila! We now have the two main characters for The Sailor and The Carpenter, Book One of Father Serra's Legacy. And they lead me into the heart of the story, how a little man in a gray robe with a terrible limp walks his way through inspecting the missions founded by the Jesuits in California Sur before setting off on the epic journey to discover the fabulous harbor of Monte Rey which King Carlos wants to be secured as part of his realm.

Thus is told the true story of Junipero Serra who carried out his missionary goals with zeal, amazing dedication, and extreme love for the Gentiles who willingly came to him and the friars who sought to share his lofty aims. Timothy and Jaime, now close as brothers in a strange land among strange peoples, are caught up in the holy aura of Father President Serra and join the expedition of he and Governor Gaspar Portolá.

They follow the trail through rugged hills and mountains filled with spiny, stinging plants blazed by Captain Fernando Moncada y Rivera, one of the most underrated heroes of Mexican history. They are there when the Franciscans found Misión San Fernando de Velicatá and show us the amazing brilliance of men who create beauty out of sun-dried bricks and reeds. All with the willing assistance of peoples who have lived beyond memory in a Stone Age existence.

Book One ends in a poignant moment when, upon reaching the River Ti Wan just short of Bahia San Miguel, the site of current-day San Diego, they come upon an English merchant brig's shore party. The same ship from which Timothy was washed overboard. When the captain asks if he can take Timothy home, his reply is that he is now with his true family. As Timothy follows Father Serra continuing the trek, Captain Carlyle turns to one of the midshipmen and remarks that they are watching a true explorer.

Each of the three novels is a little over 100,000 words in length. I did so that readers will not get bogged down in a lengthy tome. Book Two, The King's Highway, takes us through the founding of Misión San Diego de Alcalá, the 1769 Portolá expedition of California, and the founding of the first nine missions until Saint Junipero Serra passes at Misión San Carlos Borromeo in 1784. Book Three has Timothy and Jaime there through the founding of twenty of the twenty-one mission.

Sainthood? Even as a non-Catholic, I believe there are men and women on the face of this wondrous earth of ours who have lived exemplary and dedicated lives. I watched the so-called controversy of the good father's sainthood and smiled. Did the friars “spank” the Indians at their missions? Of course, they did. It was a time when the world believed in Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child. They loved the natives who willingly came to their missions by the thousands and wanted nothing but the best in life for them. Did they chase down those who left the missions without permission? Yes, they did. But, at the same time, they allowed those natives to return to their home areas to celebrate days and times important in their previous cultures.

And, one final thought. What would Father Serra think of his sainthood? Having studied his life and that of his fellow friars, I sincerely believe he is somewhere in the Afterlife shaking his head and claiming he does not deserve such an honor. He spent endless hours on his knees praying for forgiveness for what he saw as his sins. The scars upon his thin back attested to this belief. He also begged forgiveness for not completing the full nineteen missions outlined in the 1769 expedition, claiming remiss in properly performing his duties as president of the missions for that failure.

I am and will always be enthralled by Saint Junipero Serra's life and earnestly agree with Pope Francis that he deserved sainthood. But, as does anyone who studied the history of the time, I now have another mission of my own; to write the epic story of Captain Rivera, a man who always lived by the oaths of fealty he swore and set an exemplary guide for all of us who have or will wear the uniform of the nation we swear allegiance to.

Thank you for your time. Sincerely,
Logged

A Soldier's Stories @ http://lvcabbie.blogspot.com
Father Serra's Legacy @ http://msgdaleday.blogspot.com
24_Stars
Hero Member
*****

Karma: 14
Offline Offline

Posts: 336


Patience and perserverance is key to success.


« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2016, 07:13:56 PM »

I think this was supposed to go to the queries.

Anyway, I enjoyed what you've written. I was baptized Catholic but I converted out of the religion. However, I am interested in learning about the saints as my current religion likes to talk about them. Not a nonfiction person here, but you have my attention.

The essay is lengthy but clearly detailed. Your point of view is fascinating and I hope you land a deal. Smiley
Logged
longknife
Hero Member
*****

Karma: 186
Offline Offline

Posts: 1126



« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2016, 11:52:18 AM »

Thanks for the kind words.

I've learned since that post that press releases are indeed passé unless they come from established press agents. It is generally agreed that, for indie authors, social media is far more effective.

It's a long struggle but, I know that sooner or later what I write will sell. There will come that breakthrough moment that we all dream of. Probably due to something I will never think about.
Logged

A Soldier's Stories @ http://lvcabbie.blogspot.com
Father Serra's Legacy @ http://msgdaleday.blogspot.com
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.2 | SMF © 2006-2007, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!