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Marlan Warren is a free-lance publicist who promotes entertainers and book authors (Roadmap Communications and Book Publicity by Marlan, respectively). She is also a film maker (Roadmap Productions), Reiki Master/Teacher (Light Hands Reiki Studio and Institute), Screenwriter, Novelist, PhotoJournalist, Tai Chi practitioner. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Sat. 1/28/17 L.A. Workshop! How to Get Great Book Reviews (Carolyn Howard-Johnson, Presenter)

Hi Everyone!

So I'll be assisting at this amazing event on Saturday. Hope you can make it! 

Event: 2017 Genre-LA™ Speculative Fiction Writers Conference (Jan. 27-29)

Location: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Los Angeles - Westside
6161 West Centinela Avenue,
Culver City, California, 90230-6306

Workshop: How to Get Great Reviews Frugally and Ethically
Presenter: Carolyn Howard-Johnson, 
                    Author of "How to Get Great Reviews Frugally and Ethically"

Date: Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017 at 11:15 a.m.

On Saturday, Jan. 28 at 11:15 a.m., Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi-award winning "HowtoDoItFrugally" series, will present a one-time only workshop entitled "How to Get Great Reviews Frugally and Ethically" at the 2017 Genre-LA™ Speculative Fiction Writers Conference, which runs Friday through Sunday, Jan. 27-29 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Culver City.

This workshop coincides with the release of Howard-Johnson's 334-page book, "How to Get Great Reviews Frugally and Ethically: The ins and outs of using free reviews to build and sustain a writing career."

"This book is so comprehensive that I'll only have time to cover two of its topics," said Howard-Johnson who is also an award-winning novelist and poet. "They are my two favorites--how writers can make credible no-cost reviews the center of a marketing program and how to manage negative Amazon reviews."
Howard-Johnson's previous Do-It-Yourself books include The Frugal Book Promoter, The Frugal Editor, Great Little Last-Minute Editing Tips for Writers, and The Great First Impression Book Proposal.

This is the 16th annual conference sponsored by the West Coast Writers Conference. "We invite presenters whom we consider 'Masters' who can help writers raise the level of their writing and marketing skills," said organizer Tony Todaro. "If a writer is looking for a unique educational opportunity, this is the one."

Howard-Johnson's comprehensive how-to books give readers the benefit of her years as a prolific author and instructor for UCLA Extension's renowned Writers' Program. 

"This is the first time since the early days of printing that authors have as much control over their own success as they are ever likely to have," said Howard-Johnson. "If there is one truth it is that marketing is marketing is marketing."

For more details:

Genre-LA™ Speculative Fiction Writers Conference [Events Schedule & Registration Info]
Website: http://www.wcwriters.com/genrela/

HowToDoItFrugally Series
Website: http://www.howtodoitfrugally.com

Saturday, November 5, 2016

How to Love a Writer

I do not often write #poetry. But this one is for all you writers and the people & animals who love you.

Advice to the Lovelorn

If you value your privacy
 Do not date a writer.
If you have secrets
 Do not date a writer.
If you want to sneak around
 Do not date a writer.
If you want to lie your head off
 Do not date a writer.
If you want to see & not be seen
 Do not date a writer.
If you want calm and peace of mind
 Do not date a writer.
If you do not want to see yourself in Public
 Do not date a writer.
If you want to be cherished beyond all else
 Date a writer.
If you want to find new depths in intimacy
 Date a writer.
If you like the unexpected
 Date a writer.
If you accept your warts and all
 Date a writer.
If you do not care what she does as long as she’s with you
 Date a writer.

Advice to the Lovelorn, Warren, Marlan. November 5, 2016 

When Life gives you Lemons, make #poetry!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Huzzah! My review of the brilliant Imperfect Echoes is in Nov. issue of Midwest Book Review!

My review of Imperfect Echoes is published in November 2016 Issue of Midwest Book Review: Reviewer’s Bookwatch!

Reviewer's Bookwatch

Volume 16, Number 11
November 2016

Imperfect Echoes: Writing Truth and Justice with Capital Letters, lie and oppression with Small
Carolyn Howard-Johnson
HowToDoItFrugally Publishing
9781515232490, $9.95 Paperback, $2.99 Kindle, 148 pages
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Imperfect-Echoes-Writing-Justice-oppression/dp/1515232492

Marlan Warren, Reviewer

Genres: Poetry Anthology/Social Justice

Narcissus knows her reflection
well. She forgets to peer
under burkas, in our jails,
in the beds of the abused,
deeper, deeper into the pond...

―Howard-Johnson, Carolyn. Narcissus Revisited.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson's "Imperfect Echoes: Writing Truth and Justice with Capital Letters, lie and oppression with Small" is just perfect.

This Los Angeles award-winning poet lays out the landscape of her contemplative thoughts, feelings and reactions with such honesty and deceptive simplicity that they have the effect of offering a peek into her private journals. What puts this poetry on par with leaping tall buildings is the fact that each poem manages the feat of conveying personal and universal relevance at once.

Do not be scared off by the prospect of political rhetoric masquerading as literature; this is not one of those books. Although the book's subtitle may strike some as rather lofty, it is a quote from Czeslaw Milosz's poem, "Incantation," in his anthology, "The Captive Mind," which reflects Howard-Johnson's poetic themes. She has divided her prolific poems into a Prologue plus four sections: "Remembering What We Must"; "Nations: Tranquil Self-Destruction"; "Acceptance: Waiting for the Gift"; and "Future Stones of Distrust."

Howard-Johnson deftly blends the "Truth and Justice" observations with the "Small" moments of "lie(s)" and "oppression" as they intersperse through her poet's journey. The poems in "Remembering What We Must" address the stark realities of war and global misery, which Howard-Johnson treats with her practiced light touch that floats like the proverbial butterfly and stings like an outraged bee.

In "Belgium's War Fields," she compares the reasons for bygone wars to our present day confusion: "And now a war that takes from the mouths /and hearts of the stranded, the homeless. / How different from those who / marched with snares or flew flags / in a war when we knew / why we were there."

In the "Nations: Tranquil Self-Destruction" section, "The Story of My Missed Connection in Minneola" brings to life a brief rest stop during a road trip, which seems rather amusing at first as the wife relieves her bladder and the husband declines the coffee with "Let's skip it. Coffee's / probably been stewing for days..." but hits an unexpected bump of overt bigotry when the roadside store owner confides in them (in between the screeches of his pet parrot) that he left Los Angeles to get away from the "ragheads."

In the "Acceptance: Waiting for the Gift" section, "Relatives" takes on the ways in which "Small" minds can make a family dinner feel like a stint in Purgatory: "Perhaps you won't invite me back / if I mention that infamous / uncle. You know, the one who killed / three of his wives / but is candid / about who he is, / how many he's killed, / the methods he used / and never gets invited to dinner.

In the "Future Stones of Distrust" section, "Rosa Parks Memorialized" opens with "On the day our September losses / reached 2,000, a tribute / to Rosa..." and asks "If she were alive now.../ would her solo / be enough or do we need now a choir singing, / thousands screaming...?"

Imperfect Echoes allows readers to witness a poet's lifetime revisited in memory and with fresh wisdom. If the topics of oppression, prejudice and war seem to some "overdone," Howard-Johnson responds in her Prologue poem, "Apologies from a Magpie":

Magpies are born to sing others' songs -
stained notes, imperfect echoes -
until the world begins to know
them by heart.

Note: All proceeds from the sales will be donated to the non-profit human rights watchdog, Amnesty International.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Book Review: Christina Hoag's YA Novel, "Girl on the Brink," Teaches How Not to Be a Victim.

"I hope...he never calls me again, but he still owes me a big apology."
 --Girl on the Brink
Reviewer, Marlan Warren
This review is also published on  my “L.A. Now & Then” Blog.

Summary: Aspiring reporter Chloe (age 17) lands a dream job as a summer intern with the local paper in her New Jersey suburb, and meets the somewhat annoying-but-cute Kieran while she is on assignment. Kieran (age 19) pounces on Chloe, who is pleased to find a creative person like herself (he's an aspiring actor), and enjoys his lavish attention as a welcome alternative to her unhappy home life due to her parents' impending divorce. Gradually, it becomes more and more apparent that Kieran is emotionally disturbed, and unable (or unwilling) to control his need to micromanage her life or his extreme jealousy. At first, she thinks "There's no point in resisting," but by the time he's repeatedly hurt her physically and mentally, Chloe knows in her head that he's abusing her, but her heart makes excuses for him. Which will win? Head or heart?

Los Angeles author Christina Hoag has crafted Girl on the Brink as a "howdunit." While it is no mystery why the vulnerable and intelligent 17-year old Chloe falls for the initial charm of a potentially lethal 19-year old young man whose avid attention leads her into a summer romance, the real mystery lies in how the heck this otherwise sharp, but troubled, teen will extricate herself from what increasingly becomes an abusive relationship.

Hoag has grounded the story in the psychological reality of how abusive relationships can occur at any age. The episodic story is told in first person from Chloe's point of view, which gives it a kind of one-sided diary quality, but its use of present tense gives it a you-are-there immediacy. It unfolds the way life--and relationships--unfold.

This is not a "sleeping with the enemy" tale. There are no real villains here. Neither the sex nor the violence is sensationalized. In fact, the tragedy and victory play out with greater impact because "domestic abuse" is sadly commonplace--even though it is almost taboo in American culture to discuss it openly, especially with young daughters and sons.

Many readers may see themselves or someone they know in these pages. And to her credit, Hoag supplies a "Resources" list in the Appendix where teens can seek help if they are in Chloe's situation.

It is a well-documented fact that a significant number of abusive relationships are inhabited by two people who say they love each other. Girl on the Brink gently explores this paradox (nothing is preachy). And when it is finally over, a wiser Chloe states:

"I know it was okay to leave Kieran, and it was okay to miss him, too."

Abusive relationships can happen throughout women's lives in repetitive patterns. Girl on the Brink serves as a beacon that shines light on how to nip potential abuse cycles in the bud, and place high priority on mutual respect in relationships.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Thanks for the Kudos!

Kudos are always welcome here. Six degrees of separation makes the Internet vibrate.
These are for Maxine Nunes' amazing L.A. crime novel, Dazzled, and my Review:

Carolyn Howard-Johnson

2 days ago  -  Shared publicly
Aha! Marlan, I see you found one of my favorite authors and fun reads! And, as usual--your pages always look wonderful. You are the book world's treasure!

Marlan Warren
5 minutes ago
Thanks, Carolyn, for the compliments to Maxine Nunes and myself! She is a stunning writer. I hope her books will be read by everyone who loves to wallow in fine storytelling. As for me, after I won First Place at a library competition for the best book report, at age 9 I was hooked! 

Adrienne Goldstone

21 hours ago  -  Shared publicly
"Dazzled" is a top-notch mystery, thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying As the reviewer says, the juxtaposition of the intoxicating perfume of jasmine and the stench of the morgue create a compelling vision of the mobius strip of life in Los Angeles. Highly recommended!
Thank you, Adrienne Goldstone, for your thumbs-up on "Dazzled." Yesterday I came across a book about authors who wrote about L.A. Not one woman mentioned in that huge tome. Maxine Nunes evokes an L.A. so real you can smell it. Literally.