Read about Angie Russell

Overcoming Grief

Today is September 11th. It marks the three year death anniversary of a great man, Nick Were Odoyo. His death had a profound impact on me, Angie Russell, his woman. I thought that I wouldn’t make it through such a dark time. Have you ever heard of people who die from a broken heart? I thought that was going to be me. Nothing was physically wrong with me but the will to live was gone. I went through all kinds of feelings of depression, anger, and sadness. I literally felt like my life was over without Nick. It took every ounce of strength I had just to make it through another day.
Fast forward to the present and I’m a much better person now. I have decided that will not let sadness rob Nick of the honor that’s due his name. That’s why I wrote the book, “Love of My Life: Memoirs of a Love Lost.” Through this book, I knew people would get the chance to see who Nick was and why I loved him so much. But I didn’t stop there. Plans are in the works to make the book that I wrote into a movie. Of course this will take a lot of work and a lot of patience, but I’m willing to see it through.
Having these things to do (writing the book and pursuing a movie) along with a lot of prayer and the strength of God, has gotten me through this time. So, I want to ask all of you something: Tell me about a time where you lost someone close to you and what you did or are doing to help heal the wound. It can be your lover, husband, mother, child, it doesn’t matter. How did you keep from being swallowed in grief? What can you say to others who are going through the same thing? I want to hear your stories.
Don’t be shy.
–Angie Russell

The Love Day

Today is a day that people celebrate love and relationships. They’ll be dinners, gifts and sweet words shared. For many, this will be a day of joy. For some, this will be a day of sadness, thinking about the love they no longer have. Whether that loss is through death, a breakup, divorce or a strained relationship, the sadness is bound to be there.
Today I have a decision to make about how I choose to feel…
I had a wonderful man in my life; charming, handsome, kind, who’s no longer here. He died two and a half years ago in an accident at a soccer game. This man was the absolute love of my life. I had waited my whole life to fall in love and when I did, I fell hard and loved every moment of it. So when I learned Nick had passed away, quite naturally I was destroyed.
Fast forward to the Present:
So here we are on Valentines Day and I have to ask myself, “How are you going to feel?” This is a struggle for me. On one hand, I feel jealous of all those who have someone to love and share this day with. Yes, I know jealousy is wrong and I really am working on it, but this is a lingering emotion. I also feel cheated because I never got to spend a Valentines Day in the same room as Nick. We kept waiting and planning to see each other, until time ran out.
On the other hand, I get the sense that allowing these bad emotions to come out, will not bring out the best in me. Here’s what I mean: I could stay at home from work, lay on the couch and cry all day thinking about Nick. Would this honor him? I don’t think so. Self-loathing is not going to bring him back nor would it make me feel better. My second option would be to think about the good times that we had, be grateful that I had the chance to love a larger than life man, and then make the best of his memory.
So, here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to remain positive today and develop a plan for my future. I’m going to push myself as hard as I can every day from here on out, to tell Nick’s and my story. Yes it will be hard, but I’ll force myself to make some good out of this, otherwise what will Nick’s legacy be? I don’t want him to die in vain.
So this is me, reaching to the top with all my might. I want the world to know about this great man, my man, who was famous in his own right. I will honor him; I won’t give up and drown myself in grief.
To all those who may be sad on this day, look inside yourself and make a decision on how you are going to live your life. Will your remain stuck in sadness forever or will you pull yourself up by the bootstraps and demand that you become a better person because of, AND, in spite of your pain? You can do it. I believe in you. Just take one step at a time.

Kickstarter Success

Kickstarter Success

In August I launched a project on Kickstarter.com to raise money to get my book, “Love of My Life: Memoirs of a Love Lost,” written as a screenplay for film. Kickstarter.com is a wonderful website that helps entrepreneurs get their projects to the masses, and gives the masses opportunity to be a part of the projects. My project was a huge success. Friends, family and fans showed their support in making pledges, some as much as $1,000, overall helping me to meet my $3,000 goal. We only had 30 days to do this and we pulled it off. Thank you to everyone that participated; it means the world to me. Getting my book made as a movie is my number one goal right now and to have people rally behind me, gave me the inspiration to keep moving forward.
Specifically, thank you to: David, Catrina, Reese, Carmen, Sylvia, Theresa, Dorothy, Dan, Tenille, Terry, Yvette and Yvonne. I could not have done this without you!
More information about the movie project will be given in the new year.
Merry Christmas everyone!

I went to a screenwriter’s meeting a few weeks ago and I learned a lot about the filmmaking process. Hundreds of scripts are sent to movie houses each week. Only a very small percentage of those scripts ever make it to the big screen. The ones that do, are lucky if they break even in terms of money spent. A very small percentage of movies actually bring profit to the investors. However, producers are much more likely to back a movie if it already has an audience for it. We want to make the “Love of My Life” book into a movie. In order to do that we need people to spread the word about this book and generate lots of interest. Please pass on the links for the book to everyone you know, send stories about the book to your local newspaper, radio and tv shows, write reviews for it on Amazon.com and write blog posts about it. Let’s get as much publicity as possible. One of the main goals is to make it in the Amazon.com top 100 and to stay there till at least next July. We can do that with everyone’s support.
Don’t forget the book is available as an ebook or as a paperback. Thanks everyone! Let’s do this!
Love of My Life on Kindle

Entertainment Showcase

I am so very excited about the upcoming 2012 Entertainment Showcase! This Showcase will feature performances from up and coming Singers, Poets and Authors. Prior to performances there will be a networking reception where professionals can talk with others from the entertainment industry including graphic design artists, photographers, producers and recording studio managers. I will be speaking about my book
“Love of My Life: Memoirs of a Love Lost” and future movie plans.

The fun begins on:

Saturday August 11
Van Namen Recital Hall (On the grounds of Trinity College)
6601 West College Drive
Palos Heights 60463
7PM – Networking Reception
7:30PM – Performance
Tickets are $7.00 in advance, $10.00 at the door.

I hope to see everyone there!

Marketing is the Key

So I finally realize that book promotion is extremely important and harder than what I initially thought.  I was a lot like a few other first time authors in thinking that just because I had a really good book, the sales would be going through the roof.  I was wrong about that.  When you are trying to sell books, especially self-published books, marketing is everything.  You could have the next Best Seller available on Amazon.com or wherever you choose to publish, and nobody will ever know if you don’t put the necessary work into getting your work noticed.  While the quality of what you write is very important, how you market what you write, is even more important.  Thank God I’ve finally wisened up and am taking advantage of all of the resources available to me for book promotion.  To get your name out there as an accomplished author and your book’s name out there as a must-read, you have to put the work in.  It can almost turn into a full-time job, but it’s well worth it.

Here’s a few places that have been quite useful for me, as far as for book promotion and providing information for Indie authors:

Ebook: “How to Make, Market and Sell eBooks” by Jason Matthews

Facebook page: The Author’s Bookstore

Amazon.com  Meet the Authors page:

http://www.amazon.com/forum/meet%20our%20authors/ref=cm_cd__ef_tft_tp?_encoding=UTF8&cdForum=Fx2UYC1FC06SU8S&cdThread=Tx2DE9KCP67EHWD&displayType=tagsDetail

Tx2DE9KCP67EHWD&displayType=tagsDetail

Good Reads Author Program: www.goodreads.com (After you sign up for a free account, you’ll be able to apply for an Author’s account).

Facebook group: How to Make, Market and Sell eBooks.

It’s also a good idea to start a Facebook fan page for your book.  You can tell people about it using your regular Facebook account or by Twitter or your website etc.

If you have written a book or are considering writing a book, take advantage of the resources listed and get ahead of the game in getting your book sold.

 

Releasing My Book In Print

My last entry was about my trip to Africa in August and how much I needed that time there.  Since coming back from the trip I fulfilled one thing that I promised I would do: get my book in print.  The paperback version of “Love of My Life: Memoirs of a Love Lost” was released in early October and made available on Amazon.com. 

Editing for the print version was completely different than for the Kindle.  When I was writing for the Kindle all of my emotions regarding Nick and our relationship were still very fresh.  I remembered nearly everything he said to me and carried the impact of his love very close to my heart.  When I started editing for print, it had been a while since I had consistently read Nick and my emails to one another.     Re-reading all of that was like reopening a wound.  I started reliving all of the moments we shared together and remembering all of the love we had.  Sadness filled me all over again as I realized that I would never speak to Nick again and never fully experience our love the way I once had.  It hurt so bad seeing all of his beautiful words that I thought I couldn’t finish editing for print.  About halfway through it I remember breaking down in tears, not knowing if I could get it done; the pain of missing him was just too great.  I did get the book done though and I am so proud of myself for doing so. 

I do not know all that lies ahead for me and this book but I do know that I want to honor Nick for the good man that he was to me.  True love is hard to find and the gift that I had in him was truly a miracle…

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