Nabokov (Part Two)

Then came Lolita. At the end of the story, Lolita is older, has a child of her own and is not lovable.  She is used up, ugly and hard.  Yet it is at this point that Humbert Humbert, the older man, falls truly in love with her, and comes to appreciate love for the wonderful […]

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Interview with an Aphorist

Christopher Spranger aphorizes.  And he does it quite well.  In fact, he is the world’s greatest ‘living’ aphorist.  He lives and thinks and aphorizes[1] in Santa Barbara, California, a place where the weather is always perfect. A few of the more famous dead aphorists are E.M. Cioran, Joseph Joubert and Karl Krauss.  Christopher is their […]

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Stephen King on E-Books

By Christopher Zoukis Stephen King and others talk about e-books, their potential and the changes taking place in the publishing industry.  According to King, e-books are simply the “delivery system.”  The important part is “the content.”  Good content is the focal point of books, blogs and websites.  If the content is good, the readers will […]

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Creed of Violence: A Novel

The Creed of Violence, a novel by Boston Teran, has supposedly been made into a movie.  What’s interesting is not the movie or the novel or the fact that the novel was optioned prior to publication.  What’s interesting is Boston Teran, an author that no one knows anything about.  Very mysterious stuff.  Some people think […]

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Interview: Barbara Carole, Author of ‘Twelve Stones’

By Christopher Zoukis / February 4, 2014


         Today, I’m pleased to interview Barbara Carole about her memoir Twelve Stones which tells the story of an intensely personal, unorthodox journey to faith.  Gritty, plain-spoken and fast paced, this book reads like a novel – with vibrant characters, dialogue and action on three continents – but it is all true.

          Barbara, a Fulbright scholar and graduate of the University of Wisconsin with B.A. and M.A. degrees in literature, lived in Paris for several years as a translator and assistant editor at the Paris Review before returning to the USA to teach French and French literature at UCLA.

            Subsequently, she was a writer and researcher for undersea explorer Jacques Cousteau, working in Los Angeles and Monaco, France. 

Barbara worked for 20+ years as a marketing executive before leaving the corporate world to focus on her writing.  For more on her background and on the book, visit


Christopher Zoukis: Barbara, Twelve Stones is a very intimate story.  How does it feel to have such personal details of your life in print for everyone to see? 

Barbara Carole: Ha!  A lot of people ask me that.  Telling it all honestly wasn’t easy, but I wanted the reader to know me exactly as I was, with no sugar coating.  Because the whole point of the story is that imperfect people can find perfect love.   Even ordinary people who make poor decisions, can experience extraordinary miracles.

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Barr’s Tips for Success

By Christopher Zoukis

Not long ago, I came across Nine Tips for Success.  The tips were written by Amelia E. Barr, and were included in an essay entitled “Words of Counsel.”  Ms. Barr’s tips are direct and pertinent.  I share them with you in the hope that they may stimulate you to success. 

“Men and women succeed because they take pains to succeed. Industry and patience are almost genius; and successful people are often more distinguished for resolution and perseverance than for unusual gifts. They make determination and unity of purpose supply the place of ability.

Success is the reward of those who “spurn delights and live laborious days.” We learn to do things by doing them. One of the great secrets of success is “pegging away.” No disappointment must discourage, and a run back must often be allowed, in order to take a longer leap forward.

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Effective Email Marketing for Authors

By Christopher Zoukis

One of the best ways for authors to alert their readers as to new works is to stay in contact with them from the start.  While it is recommended that authors frequently update their author websites (via articles and/or blogs), it is not reasonable to expect the majority of their readers to continue returning to the site for more information month after month and year after year.  Life simply gets in the way.  While RSS feeds can assist in keeping the author in front of their audience, email marketing really is the best option since it affords more control of the marketing campaign and allows for an increased level of personal involvement.

While there are a number of companies out there which will gladly take an author’s money in lieu of email marketing services, most remove the author from the equation and many are essentially spammers.  The few who put in the required amount of time are very good, but expensive.  As such, the independent author would be advised to take their own email marketing into their own hands.  Without much effort or capital, any author can do just that.

Effective email marketing for authors can be fulfilled through simple tasks such as employing an email address collection mechanism, planning an email marketing campaign, designing and implementing an email marketing campaign, and revising  email marketing campaigns according to the results.  Any author, no matter how technologically astute or not they happen to be, can be an effective email marketer.  They can connect with their readers, provide valuable content to them, and maximize profits by doing so.

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