Thursday, March 12, 2015

Support Your Indie Author Day!

“You’re the lady who wrote the books, right?” a man asked while I was deciding between over-ripe or under-ripe bananas at the grocery store.
I recognized him as a man who attends my daughter’s church and had purchased two of my books. He has an American Indian ancestry and asked Katy to bring, Hiawassee – Child of the Meadow and Smoke from Distant Fires to him.
“I loved them,” he said. “My daughter (a Divinity Doctoral Student) cried when she read Hiawassee,” he told me. “I mentor several people,” he added, “and I've asked them to read all of this lady's books.” He asked for all of my titles, so I told him to enter Doris Gaines Rapp on Amazon. My list of books will be there.
What’s the point of all of this? Positive Recognition of their work is a wonderful gift to give an Indie Author. We have no publisher holding our hand through the process or publicist lining up appearances on talk shows. In fact, publishing is currently an “everyone for themselves” industry for authors who do not make millions for them. Mid-list authors have to do their own editing, publicity and marketing even if they have signed with a publishing company. Some really successful authors, once under contract with a publishing house, have decided to self-publish so their work continues to be available for future generations of readers, and not retired after so-many-month on the market.
It is a long and exciting process to get out a book. Let today be the day when you tell an Indie Author, “Thanks. I really enjoyed your book.” Perhaps today could be, “Support Your Indie Author Day!”
Copyright 2015 Doris Gaines Rapp

Monday, March 9, 2015

Hannah's Assignment

Doris Jean Gaines Rapp, PhD (Grandma Rapp)

What is my most significant life event and why did I chose it?

There are so many to choose from, before and after this event, but it is a key. God has been very good to me. For this assignment, I’ll chose the time, when I was about twelve years old and I walked home from the movies.

My cousin Claudia had come to visit for the weekend and my usual Saturday activity was to take the public bus from the suburbs to nearly downtown Dayton. The National Cash Register Company had their huge cluster of factory buildings and the world headquarters just past Oakwood, almost to the city. The Montgomery Country Fair Grounds was on the northern boundary of the NCR on the west side of the street.

Every Saturday, the NCR offered a free movie and a candy bar to any kids in the greater Dayton area who could get to the 2000 seat auditorium. Claudia and I went. We walked to the corner and took the bus.

After the movie, we walked the two blocks up to the bus stop and got there just as our bus pulled away. We no such thing as a cell phone; I couldn’t call my mom to tell her we’d be on the next bus. So, I suggested that we walk home. I knew the way. I had ridden the bus every Saturday for several years. We’d simply follow the bus route. Now, this is not like a New York City bus where the driver drives up and down Fifth Avenue all day. Dayton city buses wound round and round through neighborhood streets, providing transportation for the whole area.

Claudia and I walked for many miles, maybe fifteen and we were tired and thirsty. Daddy drove up beside us just as we were walking past WHIO-TV. Now, as an adult, I know he must have been frantic. But, he rolled down the window and asked in his soft southern accent, “Where’re ya goin’?” I said, “We missed the bus and decided to walk.”

“Oh,” he said casually, “you both must be tired by now. Why don’t I take you the rest of the way home?”
Claudia and I eagerly agreed and hopped in the car.

Why did I choose this memory? Both Mother and Daddy taught my sister and me to be independent, and getting around all over Dayton was part of that. He didn’t reveal his fear when we hadn’t come home on the bus—that would have made us fearful of trusting ourselves to make decisions and fearful of the world around us—both necessary in independence building.  This is just one trait they taught me that was preparation for being an independent person.

I met Grandpa when I was 18; we married when I was 19; had our first three birth-children; moved to New Mexico to finish our undergrad degrees; taught school for six years; went to graduate school where I earned my Master’s Degree and Doctorate. I directed the Counseling Centers at two universities and now write full time. I have five novels in print and will be finished with a sixth in another month. I could not have done any of that if I had not been independent. Life lessons are just that: learned when you are young and continue to support you throughout your live. I am a wife, mother, grandmother, former teacher, psychologist, former college professor, and author. All of these are possible because one day, Claudia and I walked home from the movies.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Let Me Call You Sweetheart

For Indie and Small Press authors, the hard part is not the writing. There is a love-affair between the creator and his/her characters that an author would embrace, even if they have to write in a closet. Oh, wait, a pantry off the kitchen was once my office. The “real” people in their novels are their sweethearts and authors must tell their stories. Before you try to apply an amateur diagnosis to these words, I remind you I am also Dr. Rapp, a psychologist. It is just that we know our characters and their motives very well. The hard part is marketing and distribution.

Family Christian Stores’ recent filing of Chapter 11 bankruptcy saddens many writers. I don’t pretend to know the details or the impact it will have on their brick-and-mortar stores. I do know, when a writing outlet has trouble, we all grieve for them and the authors they support. Thank goodness for the Internet.

If you are like me, I still don’t know how to utilize the net to the advantage of the books I write. With Publishers who navigate the cyber-world and offer books through their online presence, we all say, “Thank you!” We may not make the money of a Richard Paul Evans or Dan Brown—did I say, “May not?”—we won’t make big money, we write for the love of writing, to introduce the world to our “sweethearts.”

I just released, Length of Days – Beyond the Valley of the Keepers, the second in the Length of Days trilogy, behind the first, Length of Days – The Age of Silence. I send my friends, Christy and Jason, out into the unknown to overturn the Length of Days law, thus ending the extermination of people for no other reason than they have reached their Length of Days. Read about the two books at . Will Christy and Jason succeed? They already have, because I have given them a voice.

To all of you Small Press and Indie Authors, I say, “Tell us about your sweethearts.” Readers now wait with paper- and-print books, eReaders, cell phone screens and their own computers for an invitation into your world, to learn about the people who live there. Type on! Happy writing! Happy reading!


Copyright 2015 Doris Gaines Rapp