Writing Contest

  2017 Write-off Contest

In conjunction with my award-winning publisher, The Wild Rose Press, I will be doing events promoting a writing contest for aspiring authors who have a work of novel length commercial fiction (thriller, mystery, romance, etc.). No poetry, no short stories (though anthologies would be considered) or non-fiction. We’ll end the contest before Independence Day. Entries should be no more than three pages, single spaced, 12 font, in Times New Roman or Arial. Three authors will judge the entries: myself and mystery successful writers Arlene Kay and Steve Marini. The top five entries will be sent to The Wild Rose Press. They will select the winner and that person will get an audience with the Publisher or one of their top editors. You can submit at an event or send your pages to ksymmonswriteoff@gmail.com. Good luck!

 June Update

Well! As always, I will begin this update with my usual weather report! Here in New England we’ve vacillated between the sublime and the ridiculous. The sublime—a  a spring heatwave that lasted for a week. Temperatures in the high 80’s and 90’s set records for Boston. Then the ridiculous: as we have come to expect, the weather took a nosedive. In less than a day we saw temps go from record highs to record lows. But thanks to the mild winter we still got to see things like the spectacular flowering tree below

An Amazing Flowering Apple Tree in “America’s Hometown”

All right! Now on to all the great things happening with my writing! After spending a long time recuperating from major back surgery I returned to the road in May. We planned and worked at variety of events.

I enjoyed being in Kingston, MA. Tiverton, Rhode Island on a Sister’s in Crime panel (they have a gorgeous brand new library!) and everyplace we went. And while couldn’t pick a favorite, certainly my return to the Oliver Ames Library in my family’s hometown of North Easton and the Northeastern University event at ‘Boston’s Best’ Trident Bookstore were very rewarding.

I enjoyed healthy book sales and had enjoyed some great networking experiences. I continue to notice that those who frequent library and bookstore events are fascinated by what I come call “The Author’s Journey”… what it takes to become a published author and the additional work’ once you achieve that goal.

Bookstore Crowd

Some of the Enthusiastic Crowd at the ‘Best of Boston’ Trident Bookstore

Sales online at Amazon and other sales locations continues to be excellent! My best-selling novel, Out of the Storm, on Amazon Kindle sold several thousand copies during the spring.

Rite of Passage has been featured as part of a Goodreads giveaway. I apologize if you were one of the five winners. Books will be shipped this week. Almost eight-hundred readers participated. The back surgery I alluded to earlier delayed sending out the books. All my novels have been featured on Net Galley over the spring. Results there have been encouraging as well.

We learned last night during our weekly online publisher chat that The Wild Rose Press will be making audio versions of all our books available. It does mean that their authors will have to extend their current contracts. How many of you use audio books on a regular basis? Please let me know before I decide whether to take part in the program.

During June, I’ll be visiting several more libraries to promote “Write-off,” the writing contest we’re conducting in conjunction with The Wild Rose Press. It’s been exciting to see the entries we’ve received so far. A brief look at some of the submissions shows the talent out there. We hope to finish the contest on June 26th at the Plymouth Public Library. I’ll be there participating in the Dr. Richard M Stroud Foundation Author S

eries. I’ll also be making an encore appearance at Quincy’s beautiful Thomas Crane Library in Quincy, MA. We have a commitment but my publicist hasn’t firmed up the date yet. Other appearances will be scheduled over the course of the month.        

Thomas Crane Library Displays Henry Hobson Richardson Architecture

For those who may not have seen the announcement or material on the Write-off Contest, see the box above for details.

And of course, I’ve spent a lot my of time working on the sequel to my Amazon best-seller Out of the Storm. The new novel carries a working title of End of the Storm. I’m hopeful it will be completed and out later in 2017. Meet “Axe,” the cruelest villain I’ve ever concocted as well as Shane and Samantha, perhaps my favorite hero and herione so far. And of course, for the many readers who have read and enjoyed OOTS Eric, Ashley, Kylie, and ‘The Admiral’ will be major players as the drama unfolds!

Rather than go on too long I’ll end here. But with all that we have going on please keep an eye on my Kevin Symmons—Author Facebook page for details on all our events and news!

April/May Update

Well hello again. As many of my followers know, I’ve been sidelined recovering from major back surgery. It has kept both me and my poor publicist, Jeanie Flynn, spinning. We’ve re-scheduled or sadly been forced to cancel several events but now I’m finally back on my feet again (at least for part of the time!)                             

A view of the Amazing plantings near our Plymouth home

And as such I get to see some of the spectacular landscaping that surrounds our home in America’s Home Town: Plymouth.

So… what’s on the horizon now that my world-class spine surgeon has given me the green light to operate again (oops… sorry, bad pun!). Well, re-scheduling of many of the earlier events are on tap at local venues: libraries and bookstores!

First and foremost an event in my old home town that was postponed from January… The introduction of Write-off, the contest that I’m running in conjunction with my award-winner publisher: New York’s Wild Rose Press. And we begin this week on Wednesday from 3 to 4 p.m. at the Queset House, the meeting facility for the spectacular Oliver Ames Library…             

One View of the newly Rebuilt Oliver Ames Library in North Easton

I’ve had some great events here and I cannot wait to tell local students about the exciting contest coming up  and talk about what it’s like to be a published author.

By the way, you do not have to attend any sessions to participate: simply send 2 to 3 pages, double spaced, Times New Roman, 12 font (that’s standard submission format) to ksymmonswriteoff@gmail.com. We already have some fine submissions!           

           

Trident Bookstore and Café—Best of Boston in 2016

I’ll be back at Oliver Ames later for an adult book discussion, at a special event at Boston’s Trident Bookstore and Café later in May: voted Boston’s Best Bookstore in 2016.

And I’m excited to be back in the city (Boston , of course) doing event(s) with my close friend, best-selling mystery and romantic suspense author Arlene Kay and a new talent, Gus Berger… a fine new author who is fast becoming a crowd favorite!

These are just some examples. Always best to check my Facebook Author Page for all the detail events since times, events, and agendas may change.

 Making great progress on my exciting new Cape Cod thriller, Eye of the Storm (follow-up to my #1 Amazon best seller, Out of the Storm!)… want a teaser and try this one without Google or Yahoo… how long can a human being survive in an air-tight space approximately 10 X 12X 8? And yes, it obviously relates to the plot-line?

Lots of other good things going on… especially book sales, reviews, and recognition, so despite the aches and pains it’s still fun.

On that note, a mega thanks to neighbors, old friends and former co-workers who helped make this weekend a hoot! And good luck to my very old friend of decades Umberto Chuilli!

Oh… you all know I adore Jordan Rich who is back again but I would be remiss this month if I didn’t thank Diane McNamara and her co-host who gave me a prime drive-time segment talking about the Write-off and my work. Diane… you’re the best!

Lots going on and the confusion of getting back into life is challenging! More later on and keep an eye on my Kevin Symmons-Author FB page!

Happy Springtime,

Kevin

February/March Update

Hello to all friends out there! Here in New England we had our ups (our beloved Patriots won their fifth Super Bowl and we had several days of record warm temperatures) and lows (a devastating blizzard kept us in the house for a couple of days!)

On a personal note, it’s also been a month of ups and downs. On the positive side, book sales have been extraordinary, especially for my 2013 contemporary romantic thriller, Out of the Storm. In great part, due to its selection and promotion as an Amazon Encore Novel it has spent much of the February in the top spot… yes, number one in several different categories, including some major ones like romantic suspense and mystery! Sales of my other books have also been excellent.                 

A Little Hint of one of our Recent Snow Falls!

However, on the negative side, a health situation that has gotten progressively worse and finally reached the point where I must take some action. Thanks to a very happy and active life my poor back had reached its proverbial breaking point!

So, in early March I will be heading to the one of our fine Boston Hospitals to have a laminectomy! I know, I had no idea what it was either till I sought the advice of several fine surgeons when my back pain became acute. Simply put they trim the outer part of one or more vertebrae to relieve the pressure that an aging and overworked spine can put on the nerves that cause you pain in your back and legs.

It should be a straightforward procedure that needs only a few week’s recuperation before I’m back operating at full speed! What it does mean is that many of the exciting things we (my publicist, Jeanie Flynn, and I) had planned have been put on hold.

Some things that got cancelled or put on hold—one of my favorite talks—the 2017 edition of “The Lost Art of Writing a Love Letter,” and several events where we would have introduced an exciting event for aspiring authors called “The Write-Off.” This is a writing contest run in conjunction with my publisher, The Wild Rose Press. Since we’ll be introducing the details when I return to the “road” I won’t give you the details now!

It’s my hope that I will be back in action again by early April, so I may send out a short update in March but please, as we always ask, check my Facebook Author Page for what’s happening.

 Working on my new Novel

At My Laptop in my Study Working on my new Novel

On the positive side, this respite and forced rest time will give me plenty of time to work on my exciting sequel to Out of the Storm!

Special thanks to the numerous well-wishers who have already posted good wishes and thoughts for a rapid recovery at Kevin Symmons—Author. So, a belated Happy Valentine’s Day and enjoy the next few weeks. I hope to be back in action very soon!

Be well as we all look forward to spring!

Kevin

     January Update

What would January in New England be without a Good Snow Storm?

Well, hello and Happy New Year! My apologies for the tardiness of this update. It’s been a busy six weeks since our last update. Some of the delay had a pleasurable cause—family, holidays, and a significant personal celebration. Unfortunately, some was the result of a long time back and spinal injury that has been my periodic nemesis for almost 15 years!

December was a busy month. I did several events, highlighted by a return to one of my favorite places to visit—the delightful Simpson Springs Marketplace in my old home town of North Easton. It was a stormy day filled feel of the holidays. A perfect December day in New England. I sold many books, saw old friends, and enjoyed being out and around on a snowy wintry day.

Santa Joins Me at The Simpson Springs Marketplace

I attended several other events including the holiday event with many of my old friends from the Cape Cod Writers Center. The event, which marked my second visit to the Osterville Village Library in six weeks was fun and well-attended. It featured Kelly Ahern, one of the area’s brightest stars in the area of Social Media.

December and early January also saw a variety of book events. We finished another successful Good Reads giveaway that attracted close to thousand entrants. This one was for my popular Cape Cod thriller, Out of the Storm. Our recent giveaways for Chrysalis, my recent (summer 2015) release had also been well attended. The winners for the former will be getting their books shortly. Sales and activity was very brisk on Amazon thanks to holiday traffic and another major promotion… again this one for Out of the Storm. Thanks to their promotion effort on Amazon Prime that novel has been in and out of Amazon’s top twenty in the mystery and suspense genre.

Out of the Storm

Out of the Storm—now Top Twenty in Mystery and Suspense on Amazon

Due to my recent physical limitations, I have asked my publicist Jeanie Flynn to suspend my appearances for a time in January. However, we have an exciting program that we hope to begin in February. In conjunction with my award-winning publisher, The Wild Rose Press, we will be conducting a writing competition. The program is titled, Write-off. A clever play on words coined by Jeanie! I’ll be doing presentations at libraries around the greater Boston area where I’ll talk about the process of achieving publication and accepting short submissions which we will evaluate. The top five will be submitted to my publisher who will select a winner. That writer will receive not only recognition but the opportunity to meet with a top editor or Rhonda Penders, the TWRP Publisher herself. To date the interest we’ve received has been thrilling. I’m hoping my physical limitations don’t inhibit bringing the program forward! More specifics on my FB author page as the time for the contest approaches.

And speaking of my FB Author Page I was gratified when I achieved a milestone last week when my fan likes passed the 2000 mark—a milestone that seemed impossible when I began my publishing career a few years ago.

We also have a varied schedule of other events coming up in the next couple of months. One example is the event we’ll have at the Plymouth Public Library for Valentine’s Day. The event will take place on Monday, February 13th at 7 p.m. It will reprise my signature event last year at Quincy’s spectacular Crane Library. The event is titled “The Lost Art of Writing a Love Letter.” Like other events and programs this one was also the brain child of my Publicist Jeanie Flynn. It was enjoyable to present and attracted a generous audience.

My Valentine’s Event on the Front Page in the Patriot Ledger Art’s Section!

As I said my back issues are problematic and difficult to predict in terms of severity so my schedule may be somewhat erratic until I have the necessary surgery to correct the disc problem. But the good thing is that the “cure” is straight forward and should not sideline me for too long…

As I said I have other tentative events currently on the schedule but will ask you to check this page and FB. One that I hope to fulfill is an invitation to join a friend at a class for aspiring writers in mid-February. A second that I’m looking forward to is speaking before students and alums from my undergraduate alma mater, Northeastern University, at the Trident Bookstore in Boston. The subject will be re-inventing yourself or successfully finding a second career.

Before I say good-bye I wanted to answer a question that I’m asked frequently: What do you read? It’s a great question! I have widely varied interests when it comes to my reading tastes. Over the last few months I have read some excellent fiction: Patriot Threat by Steve Berry, one of my favorite thriller authors, The Trespasser by Tana French, and Radiant Angel by the great Nelson DeMille. But in addition to reading great fiction I am also devoted to several non-fiction authors. I’m a big fan of science and history and just finished an amazing book titled, The Gene, by Siddartha Mukherjee who won the Pulitzer for his previous book, and Valiant Ambition by another of my favorites, Nantucket author Nathaniel Philbrick. And during the summer and fall I re-read The Discoverers and The Seekers by the brilliant Daniel Boorstin.  

Anyway, it’s always nice to talk with you all and again, please accept my apologies for the lateness of this update and my inability to be specific about my schedule for the remainder of the winter.

Be well, enjoy the winter, and always feel free to keep in touch here or on my FB pages!

Thanks, and we’ll talk soon!

Kevin

December Update

Well, hello and Happy Holidays! Difficult to believe that another month has passed. I’ve been traveling again. It’s been a busy fall but an enjoyable one. For those of us here in New England it’s time to put on the down vest, inhale the sweet smell of wood from the neighbor’s fireplace and enjoy the spectacle of the new moon and the evening star (aka Venus) as they hang in the Western sky. But enough attempts at sensory visualization…

My Attempt to Capture the Moon and the Evening Star (Venus)

My Attempt to Capture the Moon and the Evening Star (Venus)

November and the whole fall have been a very busy time both personally and professionally. A variety of events, lots of travel, and some exciting sales months helped to make it another memorable season. One of the many I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing during my years as a published author. And when I think of memorable times so many things come to mind. Perhaps this special season… a season of giving, sharing and recollections of precious moments brings so many to mind. Thanks to the magic of so many special times shared in photos with friends, fans, and readers. It’s difficult to choose signature events but a few special ones come to mind. Rather than talk about the last month—my usual format—I wanted to share four that came to mind.

The one below is a personal favorite from a charity event last holiday season with several local celebrities. If you’re from the Boston area you will recognize not only me but popular WBZ TV meteorologist Eric Fisher. A delightful person! We raised a lot of money for the Blue Hills Observatory

    Eric Fisher with me at a Charity Event

Eric Fisher with me at a Charity Event

Another of my favorites is this picture taken of me in my study by a photo team from Babson College when they did a feature on me in their Alumni magazine. The article focused on MBA graduates who had gone on to successful second careers.

 In my Study—from the Babson Alumni Magazine

In my Study—from the Babson Alumni Magazine

When it comes to special memories one individual I met years ago has a special place: Jordan Rich. Jordan hosted a top-rated weekend radio show on Boston’s premier radio station, WBZ. Jordan specialized in promoting authors. All types of authors… traditionally published best-selling scribes or local poets with only one chap book to their credit. He played no favorites. I had the pleasure of being a guest for all four of my novels. Additionally, I had other visits, including co-hosted his Memorial Day Special last year. I got calls from my readers and had an amazing number of hits on my website as a result. I also did several charity events with Jordan. He’s on sabbatical currently but was an amazing supporter.

Jordan with me at his Quincy office

Jordan with me at his Quincy office

But perhaps my fondest memory took place in Middleburg, Virginia, and it was thanks to my long-time writing friend and successful mystery author, Arlene Kay. I was fortunate enough to be one of three published authors to present at Molon Lave Winery. The event and the countryside were both spectacular. It was two days at a world-class resort in the heart of Virginia horse country. I would not have missed it!

Salamander Inn and Resort Front View

Salamander Inn and Resort Front View

Thanks for sharing allowing me to share a few of my favorite memories and meeting some of my writing friends.

And by the way, below is a photo of an article from the Cape Cod Times about a recent event I did at the Jacob Sears Library. Thanks to fellow TWRP author and presenter Katie O’Sullivan for the picture. The link is on my Face Book Author Page!                   

      A photo of a CC Times Article on a Recent Event

A photo of a CC Times Article on a Recent Event

Book sales continue to be excellent. I mailed out the five books to the winners of my latest Good Reads giveaway for my 2014 novel, Solo. Thanks to the hundreds who participated. This month we’re doing a giveaway for my best seller, Out of the Storm. Check Good Reads on December 10th. I have several events planned. I’ll be attending the Cape Cod Writers Center holiday event on December 7th. On the 10th I have a major soiree at Boston’s Millennium Place. And on the 17th I’ll return to a favorite location: Simpson Springs Market Place in North Easton. More to come!

I’ll take my leave and wish all of you the happiest of holiday seasons. Other events and activities are in th works so please visit my Author Face Book page for the specifics.

Until the New Year… enjoy December!

Kevin

 

 

Kevin

 

Kev

Chrysalis

Covers for Chrysalis—Now on Special at Amazon Kindle for $.99 through December 18th

 Covers for Solo and Chrysalis—Now on Special at Amazon Kindle for $.99 through December 18th  

Covers for Solo—Now on Special at Amazon Kindle for $.99 through December 18th

 

Kevin V. Symmons

Feel free at any time to talk to me on my website or at ksymmons@comcast.net.

http://youtu.be/Fpm8wjuVed0

Please stay in touch on this website or at my FB Author page: https://www.facebook.com/kevinsymmonswriter?ref=ts

Also, a recent article in the Patriot Ledger: http://bit.ly/1n8DMVb