Monday, September 2, 2019

Reader Questions & Writing Updates

A happy reader recently asked questions about Awen Rising and I thought I'd share, along with the answers. If you haven't already liked my Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest Page, go ahead. Any of these are excellent places to ask your questions in real time, either in the comments, a separate post/tweet/pin, or direct message.

Or you can always leave your questions in the blog comments below.

Here are Kerry Zann's questions:

1) Why a pen name, and why Barré?

Courtesy LiberalDictionary.com

Well...it's like this...I wanted a separation between my professional (chiropractic) and writing life. And while I'm happy with my last name, Herrell, with its rolling R's and soft L's, it is not a strong, decisive name.

Barré, with it's hard B is.

It took several years to decide on a pen name, or nom de plume, if you prefer. Here are a couple of posts I wrote about different ones. If you're interested, take a look.

Pen Name = Presumptuous Fraud?
A Writer's Crisis of Faith

2)  How do you pronounce Lughnasadh/Lugh's name?

Depiction of the Celtic God Lugh

Loo-NAH-sa, Loo for short. Yeah, I shoulda put a glossary in there.

3) Was "Ebby Panera" Emily's original name?

When the book begins, our main character's name is Emily Mayhall. She has been fired under suspicious circumstances and a predator is stalking her, so she has changed identities to hide from them both. The name she had been using for years was Ebby Panera.

But that wasn't her real name either...

3) Is the druid kiss a real thing?

Not that I know. I made it up based on something my cousin Joe would do with his mom, my Aunt Aggy, when he was still a wee boy. His two-handed face kisses were so sweet and loving, that gesture stuck with me all these years.

4) Is Jocko's a real place or made-up?


Both. The name came from my first favorite pizza place, a tiny restaurant in the old Underground Atlanta in the early 1970's.

The location is loosely modeled after Everybody's Pizza, another favorite restaurant across the street from Emory University, that closed around 2013.

Now on to updates.

Some of this may be TMI. But here it is, anyway.

In the first two weeks post-release, ya'll bought thirteen ebooks and twenty-four paperbacks of Awen Rising. Yeehaa!

In the weeks since, sales dropped to a sad, sad five ebooks and two paperbacks. All totaled for the five(ish) weeks, forty-four copies went out Amazon's door. Short of my goal of fifty, and nowhere near best-seller status.

But hey. It's my first book.

I mean, who out there even knows who O.J. Barré is? Except you, and my friends on Facebook and Twitter. It takes time to get the word out. Unless you have loads of money to invest in ads and highfalutin PR firms. Which I don't. So I'm counting on you ladies and gents to help me share the news.

"But, how?" you ask.

Tell your friends about this hot new book on its way to bestseller. It needs your help to get there. Share my posts about Awen Rising when you can. If you don't normally share things publicly, you have my permission to cut and paste my posts to your own wall - just tag @authorojbarre or my personal page.


Since publication, I have been busy creating ads for Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. And I have revised the early chapters for our bad-girl Shalane, and added another 2000 new words to her arc in Awen Storm. I have more scenes to revise and write for her, a couple for Patty, and a few for Mitchell. Then Awen Storm will be ready for a round of edits, before sending it off to beta readers.

I am also working on manifesting the money for my trip to Atlanta. That includes the rental car, food and gas money, and the upfront purchase of fifty paperback copies of Awen Rising.

For the book signings, you know. I would love to bring a hundred. But that's a stretch money-wise. And quite heavy, to boot. Plus, I don't want to have to ship copies back to Idaho.


If you haven't already picked up a copy of Awen Rising, you can boogie on over to Amazon or Goodreads. I'll meet you there.

If you would like a preview first, here it is.

I hope you're all having a lovely long weekend. Here's to you and yours!

~ That Rebel, Olivia J. Herrell, writing as  O.J. Barré

GIVEAWAY CONTEST IS COMING! To stay abreast of O.J.'s latest and be eligible for upcoming giveaways of free books, gift certificates, etc, subscribe to Muse & News, a monthly (or so) "news"letter.

O.J. Barré is the author of the Awen trilogy, a druid science fantasy set in 2042. Steeped in current, ancient, and future history twists, Book One, Awen Rising (set in Atlanta, Georgia) debuted August 1, 2019, in both ebook and paperback. Book Two, Awen Storm, is slated for release May 1, 2020. Book Three, Awen Tide, arrives May 1, 2021.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Like arraying a 28 legged octopus to a flat line one forgets gravity. Are there secret Druid societys?

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