19 Oct Calling all Pacific Writers. Even ones who haven’t written anything yet.

Let’s Join Forces.

Who am I? I’m confused. I’m a…

Commissioned Author. A year ago, my first book was published. “Pacific Tsunami Galu Afi” was written on commission – which means that I was paid a weekly salary plus all expenses to research and write a book that would then belong to my employer. The Australian Govt Aid Program then paid $120,000 ST (approx $45,000USD)  to publish the book.

Self-Published Author. A few weeks ago, I self-published my first fiction novel “Telesa:The Covenant-Keeper” as an e-book and a print book. I have spent the last eight months writing, editing, proofing and formatting my own manuscript. At the same time, I also put five short fiction pieces on Amazon and Smashwords. I wrote in and around moving to NZ, settling into a new life, being a full-time mother to the Fab5 and managing a home. I worked with copy editors, proof readers, photographers, super-awesome cover models like Ezra Taylor and more, cover artists and graphic designers, to prepare the book for print. Me and the Hot Man invested a sizeable chunk of money (that we didnt have) into getting books printed. In 2 weeks I will go to Samoa for a book launch. AUT University will host an Auckland launch at the end of November. I am now racing to finish the second book in the series and get it published  while keeping up with ongoing promotion of the Telesa series. It’s exhausting but exhilarating work. I’m loving it.

Contracted Published Author. Last month, a collection of my short fiction (submitted back in January) won the USP Press Fiction Award. The prize money also came with an offer to publish the collection. Once the news was announced, I was contacted by an award winning (Super Rockstar) NZ publishing company about the collection. They have since offered me a publishing contract as well. I’ve sold children’s stories in the past to  Learning Media Publ, but this will be my first time working with editors on an entire fiction book. I’m sure that I will learn a great deal. I’m excited but nervous.

It occurred to me that I can now reflect with some small measure of (sweat and curse-laden) experience on three completely different paths to being a published writer. And that maybe, there’s some other writers busily writing away in a corner that might like to know a bit more about this stuff – so they don’t make the same STEWPID mistakes I did. And maybe, in particular, there’s some Pacific writers out there who have a hankering for getting their work published the non-traditional way and might want to chat some more about this. SO….every Wednesday I will do a Writer post about something writer-ish. Hopefully we can get enough Pacific writing chat going that I can put together a regular  newsletter (with writing stuff from all of us) that gets emailed out to anyone and everyone who’s interested in subscribing. The name of this splendiferous newsletter is: TUSITALA   FIAPOTO. (Yaaay!)

(Oh, and in spite of its name, this writer group thing is serious, I’m not kidding.) To get it started, I would love to hear from you. Pacific writers of all kinds ( even if all you write right now are shopping lists…but you’ve got stories dying to get out, yes, even you)  – What writing topics do you want to discuss? What are your questions about getting your writing published? Even if I cant answer your question, I bet somebody else on here can share their writing experience and shed some light on it. If you’re an anonymous blog stalker and you would like to get the Tusitala Fiapoko newsletter, be brave and speak up now. Or stay in the shadows and email me directly at LaniWendtYoung@hotmail.com. Looking forward to your thoughts on this people…

Thank you for helping my blog host a record 18,000 visits last month. My YA urban fantasy romance Telesa:The Covenant Keeper is now avail. from Amazon for US and intl readers. Check out the reviews and see if this is a fire you would like to read more of…

                                               EBook – $2.99      Print Book – $14.95 USD
NZ and Aust readers can order from these links: $24.95 NZD  and $22.95 AUD
  • Wow Lani! Firstly… what a bootiful name TUSITALA FIAPOTO! Love it! Thank you so much for offering your experience and expertise. This endeavor will no doubt require commitment and dedication and more of your time (with the fab5 and the book writing to tend to). It's a fabulous idea and so exciting. Thank you for sacrificing your wednesday to the Fiapotos..;)

    October 19, 2011 at 7:21 am
  • Wonderful idea – I'm definitely in as a fiapotz tusitala. Looking forward to Wednesdays and to the newsletter.

    October 19, 2011 at 7:54 am
  • firstly, COngratulations on all your achievement Ms Wendt. Fabulous work from a fabulous writer. and I love the name of this newsletter, TUSITALA FIAPOTO..;)

    October 19, 2011 at 8:33 am
  • Is there a chance to share on this forum if you are a writer at home but not from the pacific? Lots of us out there who would love to join 🙂

    October 19, 2011 at 12:07 pm
  • Congrats Lani,Am so in with fiapotz!! #leggo

    October 19, 2011 at 12:37 pm
  • Wow, great forum! Love the idea. It really shows how humble you are Lani, to share and help other's who endeavor to walk in your footsteps. Thank you for encouraging and sharing the process. I'm sure a few more closet-writers will come out of the woodwork :)Will share this on my fb wall as I have many "fiapoto" friends who would love this lol

    October 19, 2011 at 2:04 pm
  • Talofa Lani,I am so interested as I am a published poet myself and could share more of my bilingual, Samoan-themed poems that I write in my spare time. I hope you don't mind but these poems of mine can be found and be reviewed by yourself and others (if they'd like) at: http://www.polycafe.ning.com/profile/jamztomaI go by my pen name of Jamztoma as there are so many people now with my name I want my own individuality, lol. Enjoy "Magical" and "Penina" and "Siva Siva Maia" as well as "Happy Ending" and "Galaxy" plus "Number 1." I think those poems us Samoans and other Pacific islanders can relate to.Will be emailing you soon…soifua ma ia manuia,Jamztoma

    October 19, 2011 at 2:55 pm
  • P.S. I forgot to mention my poem, "Aiga Bus." Hehhehehe, I hope it reminds you of the joyride bus we take in the two Samoas to get to and from places. Okay, tele alofas, Jamztoma

    October 19, 2011 at 2:57 pm
  • Love the idea Lani!

    October 19, 2011 at 4:31 pm
  • Great to get feedback everyone – and yes, defn this is not just for Pacific writers. Its for anyone and everyone that would like to share their writing journey and hopefully be enriched by others. Thank you JamezToma for the poetry links – I've enjoyed reading them and have just featured them on my FB page, I hope that's alright! I've never been able to write poetry and have great admiration ( and envy) for those who do. Im looking forward to lots of Tusitala Fiapoto chats with all of you.

    October 19, 2011 at 6:41 pm
  • Brilliant. I like.Lupeuluiva. S.

    October 20, 2011 at 3:59 am
  • Awesome news Lani. Looking forward to your newsletter. I have a folder of short stories and half a novel which is gathering dust. I am my own worst critic and everything I write, I read and say to myself, "What a bunch of crap! Nobody in their right mind would be interested in reading that!". I then put it in the folder of 'things that will never see the light of day' and forget about it. How do you focus on your writing with the Fab Five and the Hot Man? I have always wondered how people can write at home (only because I live in a shoe box with three kids and their father). Congrats on all your writing and publishing success!! Very exciting stuff which I find very inspiring and encouraging.

    October 20, 2011 at 5:23 am
  • Glad you like it Lupe! and Anon, i had a folder like that too…gathering dust, mocking me every time i looked at it…First step to getting that folder turned into published super material is to shut that voice up that says "what a bunch of crap!" I know how hard that is because that voice still hangs out in my head too. I think its time for the sstuff in that folder to see the sunlight! LOL Looking fwd to chatting more with you on the Tusitala Fiapoto forum coming up soon.

    October 21, 2011 at 3:50 am
  • Hi Lani,Where can I find the Tusitala Fiapoto blog? I started a group on Linked In for Pacific Island Writers but only have a few people on it.

    October 22, 2012 at 10:34 am
  • Hello VincentIs there an address for your group on Linked In? I'd like to check it out please

    December 3, 2012 at 11:26 pm

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