Why I Write

Why do I write? Why does a painter paint and a sculptor sculpt? For the same reason I write.
I am passionate about my writing projects. I am driven to tell a story with the hope that it might touch someone’s heart or life in a positive way.

The stories I write (so far) are true stories about the journey of two people moving through adversity in order to grow and learn to become better humans. I believe with all my heart there is something that is worthy of sharing in these stories. Bits and pieces of wisdom, hard-learned lessons and above and beyond it all, love…True love that you only read about in stories and yet this is truth. The old saying that truth is stranger than fiction fits the stories that I share through my writing.

I started writing when I was a young girl, around the age of eight. The first real piece I wrote was a gospel song. I had an uncle whom I loved dearly, but he was an alcoholic and his drinking caused such family discord that at times, resulted in him being banished from our home. So, I wrote a song about Uncle Luke finding Jesus. That is my first memory of feeling the passion deep down to my toes for writing.

Reading has been a true love of mine from the time I learned recognition of words. I loved fairy tales and checked out the Grimm’s book of fairy tales from the school library so many times, they had to create a new card for it.

Books transport us to places and events that we would never be able to physically attend. We can be in Paris, France or the Appalachian mountains or on top of the North Pole by turning pages in books. That is true freedom!

Through reading, I learned about making love (Harold Robbins) and how to be part of a motorcycle club (a book penned by the legendary Sonny Barger). I learned how to dress elegantly and be the ultimate hostess. I learned about life during the depression era (Grapes of Wrath) and life in the roaring twenties (The Great Gatsby) and on and on. By reading, we have the opportunity to explore many of the teachings of the masters who have lived on earth (Ram, Buddah, Krishna, Jesus, Black Elk, Chief Joseph Nez Perce) just to name a few.

What an incredible gift the written word is. I am hard pressed to name a favorite author because my life has been touched by so many. I love all genres and formats of writing.
I get a thrill from reading Hunter S. Thompson and Tom Robbins because they dare to defy most every rule ever made about writing and it works for them.

My sister, Linda Broday, is a published author. Imagine that…it runs in the family. She has been my mentor as well as my sounding board and my inspiration to try harder and reach farther in refining my craft of writing.

My late husband was a lifetime singer/songwriter and at fifty, he taught me to play guitar. My love for music along with the written word gave me the tools I needed to write songs and I absolutely love it. As a result, I’ve written a rather large catalog of songs over the years with many of them being recorded.

Since our lives revolved and evolved around music, along with my books, I also create and release a music cd of original music to accompany each story. The music matches the time period of the story. Perhaps this is a bit unusual, but it works and adds to the entertainment..

My first book, Flowers and Stone, is set in the West Texas honky-tonks in 1970. It portrays a veteran Texas musician and the lifestyle that foes with it during that time period. It is a love story with lots of music history and events woven throughout it. Then comes the twist when Luke Stone is arrested and convicted of bank robbery (a crime he did not commit).
The cd released along with this book is titled Rick Sikes and the Rhythm Rebels – Early recordings and is music taken off 45 rpm records that were made in the late 60s.

The second book, The Convict and the Rose, is due for release in the next week and is the sequel to Flowers and Stone. It opens with Luke Stone’s arrival at Leavenworth Penitentiary in Kansas and shows an angry, bitter and rebellious man. It take him a while to figure out prison wasn’t going to change him and he certainly wasn’t going to change prison. Determined to find a way to be positive and worthwhile in an extremely negative situation, he manages to crawl forward one tiny step at a time. The woman he left behind, holding his heart, tries to find her way in life without him. She tries many different avenues…From drugs to gurus to different relationships…none are successful. I won’t give away the ending of the story here so will leave it at that.

The cd released along with this book is as dear to my heart as the book itself. There are twelve tracks on the cd and all but one were actually recorded inside prison in a crude makeshift studio. The title track was written by Rick Sikes but never recorded. Jamie Richards, a talented singer/songwriter in his own right, agreed to put music to and record the lyrics and the end result is the amazing rendition of Forty Foot High, which is also the title of the cd.

So, now you know the story of why I write. I sincerely hope you’ll check out both of these books and while you do that, I’ll be working feverishly on the third and last book of the trilogy.

http://www.jansikes.com

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BIRTHING A PROJECT

Today, my focus is on the release of my new book and music cd project. I am reminded of how it is much like a mother giving birth to an amazing new life.
I see each project I do as having a life of its own and each one is as individual as children. They say you can have a dozen children and they’ll all be unique and different. I see my books and music the same way.
For those who read the first book in this trilogy, Flowers and Stone, I am sure they are thinking they know what is coming in The Convict and the Rose. But, that is not exactly true.
The Convict and the Rose is as different from Flowers and Stone as two children born to the same parents.
I love the creative process of expressing this true story through the books. But, in addition to the books, I also create a music cd that goes hand in hand with them. Why?
Because the basis of the entire story is a love and passion for writing and creating music. That is the one constant that carries through from book to book.
The main male character in these books, Luke Stone, was a music man. He not only performed music, but wrote. His passion was writing. So, to me, adding the music cd to the book simply completes the story.
The Convict and the Rose begins at Leavenworth Penitentiary in Kansas. Luke Stone, convicted of a crime he didn’t commit, arrives angry, bitter and rebellious. As the story unfolds, through incidents that occur, he begins to grow within himself and starts a journey of self-discovery. He makes the choice to learn how to be positive in a negative setting.
Darlina Flowers, left with a gaping hole in her heart due to Luke’s departure, attempts to go on living as he’d encouraged her to do. She tried many different paths from drugs to gurus and relationships. Nothing filled the emptiness left by Luke.
The Convict and the Rose is a story of the journey of these two souls joined together by a love that transcends the earthly plane.
The music on Forty Foot High is as unique as the story. Eleven of the twelve tracks were recorded in a makeshift recording studio inside Leavenworth Prison. This in itself is historic as the studio, put together by Luke Stone (aka Rick Sikes) in prison, is the only one known to have existed inside an American prison.
The title song on the cd, Forty Foot High, is song lyrics written by Luke Stone (aka Rick Sikes) and recorded by recording artist, Jamie Richards.
So, as any mother is with her brand new baby, I am excited to share this project with the world.
You can find more information at my website. http://www.jansikes.com
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What is Assisted Publishing?

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In this ever-changing world of literary and music publishing, we see new terminologies pop up all the time. One of the latest is “Assisted Publishing.”
Exactly what does Assisted Publishing mean?
Perhaps to different companies, it means different things, but to RiJan Publishing, it simply means what it says. It is assisting authors and music artists in publishing their work, whether it is a book or a song they’ve just written.
Rian Publishing is dedicated to connecting authors and artists with the right professional for their specific job so that the end result is a book you can be proud to announce to the world, or a song that you can rest assured is protected and registered where it should be.
As your publisher, the goal is to make sure you don’t get ripped off for the services you need as well as guaranteeing the level of service you receive is nothing less than complete professional

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I can help you avoid the pitfalls of self-publishing.
Marketing your book and/or song is different project by project, but you will have the opportunity to choose marketing materials depending on the package you choose. The other part of marketing that RiJan Publishing can assist you with is setting up your Author page on Amazon, Goodreads, LinkedIn and other social media sites. Ultimately the type of marketing you do is up to you and if you desire a higher level of marketing, RiJan Publishing partners with two different marketing gurus and you would be referred to them at no cost to you.
You retain control of your work at all times. You decide what goes or stays. You receive all of the returns for your work. RiJan Publishing receives nothing but the payment you make for the services you require and retains NO rights to any of your work.
So welcome to RiJan Publishing. Look around the site and please email me any questions you may have.
We take the hassle, worry and expense out of self-publishing. That’s our promise.

http://www.rijanpublishing.com

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