The Critics Are Raving (Mad)!

The results are in and The Myth of Arden is this summer’s knockout hit! The critics told us in confidence but won’t mind us revealing:

“This is the greatest novel ever written! It truly blurs the line between awesome and really, really awesome!”

Me

“It wasn’t as bad as I was expecting!”

My mother

“Good job!”

My second grader

“It’s perfect for killing spiders! Aaaahhhhhhh! Never mind!”

My husband

“I’ll get to it eventually.”

My second cousin twice (???) removed

“It tastes good!”

My four year old

“Why are you giving this to me? No really I don’t want it.”

The bus driver

“This is perfect! Just the thing I need to keep that door wedged open!”

My uncle

“I can’t wait to regift this!”

Literally everyone

So there you have it folks! Be sure to get your copy today! The eBook version is free if you have Kindle Unlimited or just check your local Goodwill donation bin!

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Quotes from The Myth of Arden

With so many memorable moments, it can be hard to pick just one! Here is a small collection of some of the best quotes from “The Myth of Arden”. Have a favorite that didn’t make the list? Be sure to add it to the comments below!

Haven’t read the book yet? The Kindle eBook version is free for all Amazon Prime members! Check it out: The Myth of Arden

“I will not become what I hate. This all ends here.”

Anny, Chapter 5; The Myth of Arden by Susan Marie Strom


“Why not be brave in your final hour? Why not be true to your fate? Destiny is to be embraced, not run from.”

Speaker Unknown, Chapter 4; The Myth of Arden


“Hopeless, take your fated path. Love no more. Love your pain more and forget yourself.”

Anny, Chapter 4; The Myth of Arden

“Do you think you could ever love me or even like me? Even just tolerate me?”

Jax, Chapter 7

“Nothing can be all good or all bad.”

Jax, Chapter 7; The Myth of Arden

“Run! Run away as far as you can. Never return.”

Cailar, Chapter 7; The Myth of Arden

“Could there be a love so pure that it would overlook all those flaws?… One where it didn’t matter at all what the other did; so unconditional it bordered on unnatural.”

Anny, Chapter 9; The Myth of Arden

About the Author

I was raised in Upstate New York in the small town of Napanoch. When some people hear you are from New York they immediately have visions of sky scrapers or the Statue of Liberty, but Napanoch is a small town a few hours north of New York City with spectacular views of the Shawangunk Ridge. This landscape inspired most of the terrain found in my writing, where the forests are thick with winding trails.

We had a rather large family with me being somewhere in the middle of seven children, mostly daughters. Thus, when I was born my parents had unfortunately ran out of girl names. In what turned out to be a misunderstanding between my parents I was ultimately given the same name as my mother. For this reason, back home I am still often lovingly referred to as “Sue Jr” or “No, the other one”.

While attending Wawarsing Christian Academy and Ellenville Central Schools I would often lie that I was “from Ellenville” because Napanoch was virtually unknown. As it turns out Ellenville is equally obscure (a point lost on me in my youth), but it was here that I first became interested in writing as I had several remarkable and enthusiastic teachers.

The first great story teller in my life, however, was my father. He could command a room with humorous and disgusting tales of his life. I lament the fact that so many good memories were lost with his death as no one could retell the tales quite the same way he could. He showed me that the best stories are personal.

I considered writing my passion but took the advice that a degree in something else would afford me the luxury to write in my free time. So next I attended Ulster County Community College for my Associates Degree, followed by a bachelor’s in chemistry from the State University at New York at New Paltz, and a PhD in Organic Chemistry from Michigan State University. Along the way I met my husband and we started our family. The concept of not writing in order to be able to write more might sound counter intuitive, because it is! It turns out graduate school affords you little free time and motherhood, miraculously, even less.

However, after having shelved my writing aspirations for a couple of decades I suffered a terrible loss in the form if a miscarriage. It was a pain unmatched by any other loss I had endured up to that point, and in all the sorrow I made a promise to the little one I would never know that I would finish the work I had started years earlier. I channeled my grief into creating something new, hoping that in some small way something good might come from the unfathomable despair. I hope to continue in this promise with many more stories to come!

My writing has also been influenced by my hobbies, which include crochet and endlessly picking up my children’s toys off the floor. When I am not busy with the kids or writing I enjoy watching mysteries like Columbo and studying up on Calvinistic Apologetics.

Step 8: Publishing Your Paperback Through Kindle Direct Publishing

If you have already created your eBook, then you will have noticed that the eBook and paperback versions of the book are going to be automatically linked. That means that the information you added when creating the eBook can be reused for the paperback so you can skip the next three paragraphs.

If you skipped creating the eBook, then the first thing you are going to want to do is make sure you have an account with Kindle Direct Publishing. They have a nice paperback creation tutorial which you will want to reference if you have any difficulties. After you create your account, you will be able to start to fill in the basic information about your book, including the title, author, and series information.

You will then want to include a brief description of your book. This will appear on the webpage for your book, so make sure to write something catchy that would give the reader an idea of what your book is about.

You will next have to pick a few keywords, which will help people when searching for your book. There are suggestions for these here, but the basic idea is to pick words not already in your description, that someone who was searching for them might be interested in your work. You can always change these later if you feel that they are not descriptive enough.

Formatting the paperback is a little harder as you are going to have to format your book with the appropriate margines. First you are going to have to decide what size book you want and then set the margins accordingly.

I chose the standard “6×9 inch” format, but the full list of formats available is found here. For the format I chose the margins have to be set as follows: first in Word go to “Layout” and click on “Page Set up”. Set the page setup to “mirror margins”. Next, set the Top, Bottom, Inside, and Outside margins to 0.25. Set the Gutter to 0.75 for now. When you upload the book KDP will suggest the correct gutter margin based on the number of pages to your book. You will then be able to go back and correct the gutter setting if it is not right.

Next go to the “Paper” tab in the same window and set the paper to the dimensions of your book (6 inches wide by 9 inches in this example). This will dramatically change the number of pages in your manuscript! Before going further scroll through the entire book and look for any formatting mistakes caused by the change in the page size. Such errors would include extra blank pages, or the starts of chapters being in the middle of pages.

If everything looks good, then you are only missing the Table of Contents, but first you are going to want to save a copy of your book in PDF format and upload it to KDP. Next, run KDP’s Online Previewer. It will flag any margin errors and formatting errors. Correct them before adding in the numbers to your Table of Contents.

To add numbers to your Table of Contents use the TAB option:

  1. At the end of each chapter name press TAB then enter the page number
  2. Highlight the Table of Contents and right click
  3. Open the “Paragraph” option and click on the TAB box
  4. Set the options as follows:
    1. Tab stop position: 5
    2. Align: Right
    3. Leader: 2
  5. Press “Set” then “Okay”

Now save your file as a PDF and upload it to KDP. Run the Online Previewer again. If no errors are found, then you are ready to move on to the next step which is pricing your book.

I know this step is going to be particularly hard depending on if you want to have your book available for distribution or not. If you do want to have your book available to distributors, then you are going to have to increase the price to cover the cost of printing from your reduced royalties. That is because once in distribution, the total percent royalties you receive decreases.

Luckily, the KDP website will let you know the cost of publishing your book, so you will be able to decide for yourself what price point works for you. If you change your mind later, it is very easy to go back and adjust the price. For me, I tried to go as low as I could hoping that the sales in eBooks would make up for the poorer returns on the paperbacks.

Once you have submitted everything, your book will be available in about 24-48 hours! If you decide to change anything, the same delay in the changes applies, but so far I’ve been impressed with how quickly updates are published.

Congratulations! It’s time to watch your favorite episode of Columbo (likely Try and Catch Me) and relax for a minute before going on to Step 9: Marketing Your Book (coming soon).