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It’s here! The List is now available as a Paperback and eBook! - National Release in November 2013!
Download the Excerpt, Watch the Trailer & Read Reviews HERE!

Are you a member of LibraryThing? There’s an Early Reviewer ebook giveaway going on right now for The List! Free to join and all we ask is a review. Have a great weekend everyone.

http://www.librarything.com/er/giveaway/list#14405597

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  • Martha Carr and Tym Moss smallerI’m on Artists Exposed with Tym Moss this Saturday talking about The List, thrillers and how to be happy without needing to be right. Fun times! Join us:
  • www.BearRadio.net, www.TalkRadioX.com
  • MARTHA CARR… Author of The List: 1st in the Wallis Jones Series…

    Martha Carr is my wonderful guest this week. This nationally syndicated writer, cancer survivor and author talks about life, spiritual understanding, her books and so much more…

    I adore this woman…

    ARTISTS EXPOSED WITH TYM MOSS SCHEDULE

    SATURDAY
    10pm www.BearRadio.net (Click on icon under Player in ‘Bear Radio Network Tuner’)

    SUNDAY
    6pm www.TalkRadioX.com (Click on HD Radio.com)

    MONDAY
    2pm www.BearRadio.net (Click on icon under Player in ‘Bear Radio Network Tuner’)

    All times are Eastern Time (New York City time!)

    Thanks for all your support…..

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Potluck Celebration

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can hear the popular author Martha Carr! Great interview with Dr. Alvin Jones http://www.dralvinjones.com/content/01%20Martha%20Carr.mp.3 about what inspired The List: the first book in the Wallis Jones series. Enjoy!

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There’s a reason I keep writing no matter what speed my life may be running at on any given day. Words strung together in books have always given me the ability to dream of bigger things and even the courage to go out and try.
I’ve been blessed to have four books published, www.WallisJones.com and each time there have been plenty of readers who have said that I helped them let go of what no longer worked for them and dream, too.

We talk a lot about our purpose for being here in this life and yes, you can even do that with a thriller. Maybe even have a little fun. I’ve come to believe mine is to be of service in whatever ways I can figure out. So far, translating the common man’s dream into something worthwhile, something doable and something that’s even full of a little God-magic wrapped up in a page-turner has been mine. Not the big, change a country, build a corporation dreams. The smaller moments that stay in your heart.

It’s a message that I took in from the very start.

My first experiences with books and stories are three of the strongest memories I have as a child. The very first one was the first time I walked into a library, the Philadelphia library and found out they let you check out as many as you could carry, a parent’s rule, read them all and bring them back for more. My world opened up that day and I found out there were a thousand possibilities when it came to living a life.

The second has to be explained a little bit. We were so poor when I was growing up that my father talked a friend of his who worked at a local bank to lend him a hundred dollars so he could buy us a used black and white television. We screamed with delight when Dad brought the set home. So, when a Reading is Fundamental bookmobile came through our neighborhood and the driver told us we could pick out any new book and keep it, I felt like a little big of magic had settled over us that day. I took my time and tried to choose a book that I could read over and over again. I still have it and read it to my son when he was little.

The third memory is my brother, Jeff and myself when we taught ourselves to read, Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss. We had the book read to us so many times we knew what part of the story went with what pictures and on our own figured out which words went with the sounds. That’s when I understood a secret about books. They have their own power to transform. They don’t know if you’re rich or poor, beautiful or an ugly duckling, a wealthy doctor or a poor cabdriver, and they don’t care. A book will take you on an adventure whenever you’re ready, regardless of how you see yourself and as a bonus may even change the definitions.

Books made it possible for me to envision a way to become someone I couldn’t even define yet. They gave me the faith to set out when I couldn’t find it anywhere else and the hope that somehow things would all work out.

I’ve seen it happen just often enough. A lost human being feels like they’re the only one who has ever felt this much pain. They don’t know how to reach out for help but then, inside of a story some writer concocted out of whole cloth they see every emotion or secret or hope-for happy ending that they’ve kept bottled up inside, acted out, and they start to believe – maybe there’s more to this world.
That’s why I keep writing and that’s why I’m so grateful for every writer out there who struggles to tell a good tale. It’s why I’ve started a series, The Wallis Jones Series so that I can get to know the characters better right along with the readers and keep on writing.

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The advent of the internet has changed the way the world operates with the same powerful ripple that the printing press caused in 1450 and for the same reason. The average citizen can once again more easily find out that a lot of other people were thinking the same thing.

Finding out you’re not unique can fuel courage to get up and do something.

Librarians have known for a long time that books, even works of fiction, can transform lives no matter where the reader lives. They can teach us not only that we’re not alone but that there’s more than one way to look at any given situation.

The world opens up to a million possibilities and that business idea that your entire family hates suddenly has a receptive audience.

However, for the average author the advent of the internet at first looked like it might be the end of a viable career-choice and not a new beginning. Publishing houses were slashing their mid-list authors, the writers whose books sell reasonable numbers but never break out into the territory of bestseller. During the height of the Great Recession many houses closed altogether.

But something else was happening at the same time that was going to change everything. In 2007 the first e-reader, the Kindle from Amazon was introduced on the Oprah show by Jeff Bezos and writers got a new, economical way to deliver a book.

The book market was about to become a democracy with all of the loud voices, terrible covers, great new writers and unedited manuscripts that usually go with an open door to a lot of wannabe writers.

Fortunately, reviewers have stepped into the fray and become the new gatekeepers to help the estimated 12% of all U.S. adults, according to Pew Research who now own an e-reader, figure out what’s worthy of downloading. There were 14.7 million sold worldwide just last year and the numbers are rising.

That’s opened up an opportunity for bloggers who love to read and want to tell all of their friends about the new author they just found. Bloggers like Cathy at Kittling Books, www.kittlingbooks.com whose motto is “Fire burns. Birds fly. Dogs bark. I read.” Or Ana and Thea at The Book Smugglers, www.thebooksmugglers.com who explain right out front that they needed a healthy outlet for their obsession with reading and thought they’d share. All the rest of us are better off because they do.

There was a time when book reviewers were confined to newspapers or magazines and it was difficult for a new, unknown author to get noticed. A self-published author would not even get considered and it was assumed they were self-published because the book was turned down by mainstream publishing.

But e-readers eliminated a lot of the upfront costs and made it possible for some authors, particularly those mid-list ones, like myself to break out of the old system and try our hand at self-publishing where the profit margins are more decidedly in the author’s favor. There still needed to be a way to distinguish what was worth reading and how to find them.

Bloggers who review books are the other part of that equation. They make it possible for book clubs and other avid readers to notice a good book, regardless of how they arrived on the scene. Suzi, who bills herself as SuziQOregon from Portland, www.whimpulsive.net and Wendy, who’s also an author, www.caribousmom.com, and posts on her site that she receives 50 or more requests for reviews every week, have built large followings online reviewing books.

There are now hundreds of reviewers, most of them focusing on a specific genre such as romance or western, sharing what they loved as if we were all sitting in a giant, virtual coffee shop. None of them had to wait for permission from someone else to start their blog and many of them have watched their following grow into thousands of other readers. All of this is turning out to be a renaissance of reading and that has to be good news. More adventures to follow. Tweet me @MarthaRandolph about your favorite blog.

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batgirls2My big summer project has turned out to be redecorating my Chicago apartment. It all started because I told my landlord I was moving in order to gain a dishwasher and a vent above the stove. He countered with an offer to put both of them in and then some. That has created an interesting discussion among my friends about women and comic books that has been more disturbing than you might have thought possible.

By the time the renovations were done the kitchen was taken back to its foundation and that made my old furniture suddenly seem a little shabby. Before I knew it, I was updating everything else. What emerged was a more accurate picture of me that as it turns out is a cross between a little science, a lot of DC comics and some sci-fi for good measure. I already knew that but apparently most of my friends were caught off guard.

bat ironThere’s a few classic DC comic posters, an amazing bat signal an artist cousin of mine cut out of iron and a few insects suspended in glass that are hanging in the kitchen. There’s more but you get the idea.

Any nerd girl would feel right at home.

Several friends have commented that I had created every ten-year-old boy’s dream home but they missed the point. This place was a celebration of the nerd girl.

The nerd world at large is just starting to catch up with the women’s movement from forty years ago. All of a sudden, women who are into gaming, science, sci-fi and graphic novels are speaking up about being ignored or even put down by their male counterparts.

I’m one of those nerd women and it’s about time we defined ourselves instead of always standing in the background. It’s about time because frankly we’ve been here all along. I not only watched the original Star Trek series in its first run, I dreamed of being Captain Kirk, not Lieutenant Uhura. Gene Rodenberry felt he was being ground-breaking by having a multi-cultural cast and including women in bigger roles, and he was but that doesn’t mean that his female audience in the 1960’s wasn’t dreaming about leading the charge.

We aren’t a new creation just catching up with all of the guys. Think Marie Curie, the pioneer in physics and radiology or even Sally Ride, the youngest and first woman astronaut in space. We’ve been around for awhile and we’ve been making contributions in environmental science, biology and even comic books, although that’s been an even harder glass ceiling for us to break.

Gail Simone, former lead writer for DC Comics’ Batgirl was fired last December and many believe it was because of her outspoken comments about the disproportionate number of women who are maimed, raped, beaten and murdered in comic books and movies. She called it ‘women in refrigerators’ and was even roundly chastised in social media, which is a disheartening comment about how male readers may see women in general. Largely disposable accessories.

A population that was most likely bullied during their formative years ought to have a little more compassion for a similar group. Nerd-boys ought to stick up for us more but if they continue not to, we can become our own super heroes more and keep speaking up for ourselves, and use our purses to get our point across in a way that has proven to be effective.

Comic Con was this past weekend in Chicago and my entire family was there, as usual. There was artwork I would have liked to buy but the ridiculous portrayal of the women isn’t something I want to display in my home. It’s been reported that Simone will soon be the lead writer for a new Tomb Raider series, which is good news for not only my older generation but little girls who can grow up with a better idea of what’s possible that goes beyond the label survivor. Maybe we can start to look for the super heroes we admire and support them by buying their stories and artwork and just rescue ourselves. More adventures to follow. Tweet me @MarthaRandolph and tell me your own super heroine story.

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smaller coyoteI am over my worry allotment for this month. It’s not without some very good justifications. My mother, Tina died suddenly at the age of 86 in April and just like that all of the older generation that I knew is gone. There are still relatives out there but we haven’t traded even a Christmas card in too many years to count. I have a feeling that to my son’s generation of twenty-something’s I am now firmly in that older generation anyway.

Feeling out of kilter from the loss of a parent, no matter the age is normal. The grief comes in mostly small bits and pieces and creeps up on me. Things that I can usually roll with, like a snarky comment from a coworker get under my skin more easily these days.

It’s odd what has left a hole in the routine of my day.

In the last months of my mother’s life we were mostly talking about television and weather, which was fine with me. It was about the connection, no matter how momentary. My son, Louie who’s 25 does the same thing with me when he calls to tell me about the overturned car on Clarke Street or the coyote he just rode by on his bike. I call it the news of the day and having someone who will take those calls every time reminds us we’re tethered to the world. No matter what happens there’s someone who cares.

However, there comes a point when something reminds us that it’s all very temporary and for a moment I’ve lost my footing. When that happens there are ripe opportunities for change in some very different directions.

I could have done some serial dialing and lamented to everyone who would listen that I had lost my connection to something important. There would have been some sense of kinship for a moment but in the end I would have felt worse.

The other obvious choice to me was to make changes based on what I really wanted to be doing in the first place. The phrase that keeps running through my mind is to run my own race. It doesn’t hurt that I’m a terminal cancer survivor of just four years and three years over my expiration date and counting. No doctor can explain it, which is fine.

Surviving a terminal diagnosis should have been enough for me to really be bold and make some daring changes and it did to a point. I started eating right and exercising more and lost 86 pounds. That’s noteworthy but for the most part I was grateful to have my old routine back.

But then my mother died, quietly in her sleep and there was no one in my life who I could call and comment on the rain without an awkward pause.

One of my mother’s last comments to me though was odd because we had ventured into newer territory. She asked me how the crowd-sourcing was going for the new thriller. I was raising funds from family and friends to venture out into self-publishing for the first time in 20 years with the fourth book. She said, “You’ll be fine. That’ll be easy for you, no problem.”

I’ve been coasting ever since on that off-handed confidence my mother gave to me about my ability to not only write but market a book. Every decision I’ve made since that moment and in particular, since April has come with this other idea. In the end, what will be left are the people I love and the things I’ve created.

Traditionally, I’ve wanted to gather a lot of professional opinions and sift through all of them to discern what would be the next move. There have been very mixed results.

The new thriller, The List, the first in the Wallis Jones series is coming out in November and it’s been easier to make decisions about what to do next without all of the normal hand-wringing. There’s a speaking tour in the works to benefit some readers’ local charities and we’ve been busy contacting book clubs with offers. There’s more clarity and even more fun this time. After all, as my son said, “let’s get clear about two things, it’s just a book and you’re still alive.” The news of the day. More adventures to follow. Tweet me @MarthaRandolph and let me know what changes you’ve been making in your life. Sign up for special offers for The List and announcements for upcoming events!

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Thank you so much to everyone that was able to come out for The List Potluck Release Party. I had so much fun seeing you all and sharing with you excerpts from my latest book. I hope all who came had as great a time as I did. And a special thank you to my son Louie and his girlfriend Katie for putting it all together.

 

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