Welcome to the “FINDING BILLY BATTLES TRILOGY” Blog Tour! @JHawker69 @4WillsPub #RRBC #RWISA

I am thrilled to introduce you to an award-winning author and his trilogy, The Billy Battles books!

Dealing With the Dreaded Rejection Letter

If there is one thing most authors have in common, besides the sheer agony that sometimes accompanies the writing process, it is the dreaded Rejection Letter from an agent or publisher.

I don’t know who got this one from Harlequin, but it had to be devastating to the person receiving it.

I have received a few rejection letters–though none like the one from Harlequin.

Most authors–even wildly successful authors–have also received their share of rejection missives.

Don’t believe me?

Just take a look at this list of rejection letters that were sent by publishers and agents to world-renowned, Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning authors. It is simply part of the creative process, and you need to keep moving ahead–just as these authors did.

—“The American public is not interested in China,” a publisher wrote Pearl S. Buck. Her book The Good Earth becomes the best-selling US novel two years running in 1931/32, and wins The Pulitzer Prize in the process.

Alex Haley writes for eight years and receives 200 consecutive rejections from publishers and agents. His novel Roots becomes a publishing sensation, selling 1.5 million copies in its first seven months of release, and going on to sell 8 million.

—“He hasn’t got a future as a writer,”a publisher opines. Publication of The Spy Who Came in From the Cold leads to its author, John le Carré, having one of the most distinguished careers in literary history.

—“Hopelessly bogged down and unreadable,” a publisher tells Ursula K. Le Guin in a 1968 rejection letter. She was not deterred, and her book The Left Hand of Darkness goes on to become just the first of her many best-sellers and is now regularly voted as the second best fantasy novel of all time, next to The Lord of the Rings.

The Christopher Little Literary Agency receives 12 publishing rejections in a row for their new client, until the eight-year-old daughter of a Bloomsbury editor demands to read the rest of the book. The editor agrees to publish but advises the writer to get a day job since she has little chance of making money in children’s books. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone byJ.K. Rowlingspawns a series where the last four novels consecutively set records as the fastest-selling books in history, on both sides of the Atlantic, with combined sales of 450 million.

—“It is so badly written,” a publisher tells this author. Dan Brown is not discouraged, however, and tries Doubleday where his book makes an impression. The Da Vinci Code eventually sells 80 million copies.

—“Too different from other juvenile (books) on the market to warrant its selling,” says a rejection letter sent to Dr. Seuss. His books have racked up $300 million in sales, and he is now the 9th best-selling fiction author of all time.

See what I mean?

Editors, agents, first readers who dig through the publisher’s slush pile–all are quite capable of making bone-headed decisions about other people’s work. And they do it all the time.

So if you have a stack of rejection letters sitting on your desk or stuffed into a file cabinet, don’t despair. You are not alone.

What you should do, instead of becoming despondent and inconsolable, is read those rejection letters carefully and look for the constructive criticism in them.

In most cases, you will find some–though as one publisher told an author many years ago: “This manuscript should be buried under a pile of rocks and forgotten for the next thousand years.”  (That book went to become a bestseller and was even made into a movie. Its name: Lolita.)

Phrases like that can be a bit disheartening–even to the most thick-skinned scribbler.  So far I have not received anything quite so venomous…though I have had my go-rounds with a few agents and editors who couldn’t see the value of what I was working on.

Now that I am writing fiction rather than nonfiction, I am finding that I no longer care what an agent or publisher may think of my work. I find that especially satisfying when I can see that customers on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Goodreads like my book and are giving it mostly 5-stars with a handful of 4-star ratings.

That tells me that I must be doing something right.

The key is believing in yourself and the story you are telling. You will NEVER please everybody. There will always be those who don’t understand or just don’t like your book or books. That’s life.

But it is critical that you DO NOT stop believing in what you are writing. Does that mean you should ignore valid and constructive criticism?

No, it does not. If somebody has taken the time to tell you what is wrong with your book or why he or she didn’t like it, you should also take the time to consider that criticism and learn from it.

It doesn’t mean you should give up, stop writing and walk away from your computer. Writing is a skill that cannot be taught–at least not in the same way one learns calculus or biology.

It must be learned. And we learn to recognize good writing by reading.

Then we learn how to write by writing, writing, writing–even if the writing we do is terrible, with way too many adjectives in place of strong action verbs or way too many compound-complex sentences that give readers migraines as they slog through page-long paragraphs.

Reading should be fun–not a chore. And only you, the writer, can dictate that.

So if a rejection letter says your prose is ponderous and pretentious, or your story is tedious and byzantine, you might want to take a hard, critical look at what you have written.

And after doing that if you still disagree with the author of that rejection letter, then by all means, plow ahead. You may be right and that agent or editor may be wide of the mark.

Time and book sales will tell.D

Ronald E. Yates is an award winning author of historical fiction and action/adventure novels, including the popular and highly-acclaimed Finding Billy Battles trilogy. His extraordinarily accurate books have captivated fans around the world who applaud his ability to blend fact and fiction.

Ron is a former foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and Professor Emeritus of Journalism at the University of Illinois where he was also the Dean of the College of Media. His award-winning book, “The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles,” is the second in his Finding Billy Battles trilogy of novels and was published in June 2016. The first book in the trilogy, “Finding Billy Battles,” was published in 2014. Book #3 of the trilogy (The Lost Years of Billy Battles) was published in June 2018.

As a professional journalist, Ron lived and worked in Japan, Southeast Asia, and both Central and South America where he covered several history-making events including the fall of South Vietnam and Cambodia; the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing; and wars and revolutions in Afghanistan, the Philippines, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala, among other places. His work resulted in multiple journalism awards, including three Pulitzer nominations and awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Inter-American Press Association, to name a few.

BOOK PURCHASE LINKS:

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KHDVZI/-/e/B00KQAYMA8/

TRILOGY LINK: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DNDWHH6/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

BARNES & NOBLE: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/finding%20billy%20battles/_/N-8q8

MY WEBSITE & BLOG:  https://ronaldyatesbooks.com/

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/ronaldyatesbooks/

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/jhawker69

PINTEREST: https://www.pinterest.com/bookmarketingglobalnetwork/author-ronald-e-yates-books/

LINKEDIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ronyates/

To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site.  If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.  


Lastly, Ron is a member of the best book club ever – RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB {#RRBC}! If you’re looking for amazing support as an author, or if you simply love books, 
JOIN US! We’d love to have you!

J
Thanks for supporting this author and his work!  

January #RRBC Spotlight Author – Mary Adler

It is my privilege and pleasure to help shine the spotlight on an incredibly supportive RRBC and RWISA author, Mary Adler. Today, she shares her thoughts on telling stories about real characters who lived and died. I’ll let her explain.

TELLING THEIR STORIES

When I am bogged down writing, when I can’t think of any words, let alone the right words—whatever they may be—I persist no matter how much I would like to quit. The driving force that propels me to sit in the chair day after day, to hit the keys even when I know I will scrap the hard-won scenes, is my need to bring to life the reality of forgotten people.

Don’t get me wrong. My first purpose when writing a mystery is to entertain, to surprise, to take the reader on a trip to another time and place and community. But the reason I write the Oliver Wright series is because I want my readers to know what it was really like to live in America during World War II, to hear the stories of the people who lived then.   

When I was full of doubt while writing my first Oliver Wright and Harley mystery, my friend Steve, who is psychic, encouraged me.  For more than one good and sufficient reason I believe he truly does communicate with the other side.  (But that is a story for another time.) He told me that they wanted me to tell their story. 

I assumed my relatives, Italians who had been discriminated during World War II, were clamoring to have their story told, but I was wrong.

Steve told me he saw a group of soldiers holding rifles, some standing, some kneeling.  It was the soldiers who wanted me to tell their story, to try to make people understand what it was like to surrounded by death, to watch their friends die day after day after day, and not have time to mourn.

Steve’s vision prompted me to write this passage in In the Shadow of Lies.

Oliver, a homicide detective on medical leave from the Marines, is back home and remembering what happened on Guam.

I was back in Pt. Richmond, but Guam was only as far away as the next night’s sleep. It wasn’t the memory of fighting, of being wounded, that tortured me. It was the memory of walking away from the endless graves, from the rifles stuck bayonet-down in freshly turned dirt. My men had buried too many friends, friends who had died beside them, sometimes quickly, sometimes so slowly they had begged their buddies to finish them off.

            Then the living had moved on­­­­—on to more killing. The war allowed no time to mourn, to grieve, to honor the death of a man they might have loved as deeply as they would ever love anyone. They moved on, they fought, they buried more men, they moved on — and no one could see they were drowning in unshed tears. 

            I had hidden my face when the hospital plane taxied down the runway on Guam. The medics expected me to be grateful that I was leaving the fighting, but grief filled my heart. I was leaving behind friends willing to sacrifice their own lives for each other and for their dogs. It was why they fought. Forget the pretty speeches about preserving democracy and freedom—they died for each other, killing and being killed to end the endless killing.

I can’t know if I have honored the soldiers in my friend’s vision in the way they wanted, but I believe they sent Oliver’s thoughts to me to share with my readers. I did my best.

Follow Mary online:

Twitter – @MAAdlerwrites

Facebook – https://maryadlerwrites.com/

Author Bio:

Mary Adler was an attorney and dean at CWRU School of Medicine. She escaped the ivory tower for the much gentler world of World War II and the adventures of homicide detective Oliver Wright and his German shepherd, Harley. She lives with her family in Sebastopol, California, where she creates garden habitats for birds and bees and butterflies. She is active in dog rescue and does canine scent work with her brilliant dogs — the brains of the team — and loves all things Italian.

The Billy Battles Saga – Ron Yates #RRBC #RWISA

RRBC and RWISA author, Ron Yates has just released the third and final book of his Billy Battles series and I am honored to host him here today!

9781545632819_cov2.indd

Where in the world is Billy Battles?

As Book Three of the Finding Billy Battles trilogy begins we know where Billy is. He is in Chicago with his wife, the former Baroness Katharina von Schreiber living a sedate and comfortable life after years of adventure and tragedy. That changes with a single telephone call that yanks Billy and Katharina back into a life of turmoil and peril.

Persuaded by a powerful old friend to go undercover for the U.S. government the two find themselves in Mexico during the height of the violent 1910-1920 revolution. There they encounter assorted German spies, Mexican revolutionaries, devious political operatives, and other malefactors. Caught in the middle of the 1914 American invasion of Veracruz, they must find a way out while keeping their real identities secret.

After managing to extract themselves from danger, disaster strikes. It is a tragedy Billy is all too familiar with and one that will send him plummeting into a painful abyss of despair and agony. Consequently, Billy vanishes leaving family and friends to wonder what happened to him. Where is he? Is he dead or alive? What provoked his disappearance? In Book 3 of the Finding Billy Battles Trilogy, those questions are answered, and the mystery behind Billy’s disappearance is finally revealed.

PURCHASE LINK: THE LOST YEARS OF BILLY BATTLES

And now a little about the rest of the series

BB Trilogy 3-21-18

About the Finding Billy Battles Series

The Finding Billy Battles series tells the story of a man who is born in 1860 and who dies in 1960. In between William Fitzroy Raglan Battles lives an improbable and staggering life of adventure, peril, transgression, and redemption. Then, Billy (that’s what his friends call him) mysteriously disappears. For several years his family has no idea where he is or what he is doing.

Finally, with his life coming to an end, Billy resurfaces in an old soldiers’ home in Leavenworth, Kansas. It is there when he is 98 that he meets his 12-year-old great-grandson and bequeaths his journals and his other property to him — though he is not to receive them until he is much older.

Years later, the great-grandson reads the journals and fashions a three-volume trilogy that tells of his great-grandfather’s audacious life in the old west, as well as his journeys to the Far East of the 1890s—including French Indochina and The Philippines—and finally, in the early 20th century, to Europe and Latin America where his adventures and predicaments continue. Trouble and tragedy dog Billy his entire life. In each book of the trilogy, we witness Billy’s ability to handle setbacks and misfortune as well as his successes and relationships.

Each chapter in the trilogy blends historical fact with fiction. The chapters are meticulously researched down to the last detail so readers not only find themselves immersed in a compelling story, but are exposed to historical events and real people that make the worlds of the late 19th and early 20th centuries come alive.

Before writing the Finding Billy Battles series, I spent some 27 years as a foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune. During that time I lived and worked in Asia and Latin America, including most of the places in which my books are set. Therefore, descriptions of cities such as Saigon, Singapore, Manila, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, Veracruz, etc. are based on my personal experiences and observations.

During that time, I covered several wars, revolutions, and popular uprisings which greatly aided in the descriptions of conflict that arise occasionally in the trilogy.

My purpose in writing the series was to tell a compelling story that, while fiction, is grounded in accurate historical fact. As such, I was careful to use the vernacular of the time and to describe places and events as they were in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

There is no great literary message in the books, other than to demonstrate that many people in the past lived remarkable lives filled with adventure, sadness, struggle, joy, and love just as today. They were not, as so often portrayed in the pallid black and white photographs of the time, stiff, lifeless figures without vivacity and depth.

The Finding Billy Battles series is targeted at readers who enjoy historical fiction topped off with a generous helping of action and adventure. It takes readers to an earlier time devoid of the relentless intrusion of today’s prevailing technology.

People who lived during Billy’s prime were not dominated by and yoked to technology the way so many of us are today. It was a time when the notions of “honor,” “fidelity,” and “duty” were guiding principles in most people’s lives. People were less harried and stressed and more disposed to stop and smell the flowers than their 21st-century counterparts.

If there is one message my books have it is this: Reading a book is a lot like life; you live it one page at a time.

PURCHASE LINK FOR $$ SAVING BUNDLE: BILLY BATTLES TRILOGY BUNDLE

ABOUT RON YATES:

B&N 4-22-17 (10)

RONALD E. YATES

Ronald E. Yates is an award-winning author of historical fiction and action/adventure novels, including the popular and award-winning Finding Billy Battles trilogy. His extraordinarily accurate books have captivated fans the world over who applaud his ability to blend fact and fiction.

Ron is a former award-winning foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and Professor Emeritus of Journalism at the University of Illinois where he was also the Dean of the College of Media.

His book, The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles,” is the second in his Finding Billy Battles trilogy of novels and was published in June 2016. It has won multiple awards, including the 2017 KCT International Literary Award, the 2017 John E. Weaver Excellent Reads Award for Historical Fiction, the 2016 New Apple Literary Award in the Action/Adventure category and First Place in the 2016 Chanticleer International Book Awards in the Literary Category. It was also a finalist for the United Kingdom’s Diamond Book Award. The first book in the trilogy, “Finding Billy Battles,was published in 2014 and was a Kansas Book Festival Selection and a finalist for a Chanticleer Laramie Award. Book 3 of the trilogy (The Lost Years of Billy Battles) was published June 6, 2018.

Ron has been a presenting author at the Kansas Book Festival and the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, among other venues. He is also the author of The Kikkoman Chronicles: A Global Company with A Japanese Soul, published by McGraw-Hill. Other books include Aboard the Tokyo Express: A Foreign Correspondent’s Journey through Japan, a collection of columns translated into Japanese, as well as three journalism textbooks: The Journalist’s Handbook, International Reporting and Foreign Correspondents, and Business and Financial Reporting in a Global Economy.

Before leaving the world of professional journalism where he toiled 25 years, Ron lived and worked in Japan, Southeast Asia, and both Central and South America where he covered several history-making events including the fall of South Vietnam and Cambodia; the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing; and wars and revolutions in Afghanistan, the Philippines, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala, among other places.

Ron’s work as a war correspondent resulted in several awards, including the Inter-American Press Association’s Tom Wallace Award for coverage of Central and South America; the Peter Lisagor Award from the Society of Professional Journalists; three Edward Scott Beck Awards for International Reporting, and three Pulitzer nominations.

He lives in Murrieta, California and is a proud graduate of the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas.

grand-ron-y

 

Ron Yates’ Amazon Author’s page:

https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B001KHDVZI/-/e/B00KQAYMA8/?redirectedFromKindleDbs=true

Website: https://ronaldyatesbooks.com/

Blog: https://ronaldyatesbooks.com/category/foreign-correspondent/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jhawker69

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ronaldyatesbooks/

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+RonYates

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/?trk=tab_h