Saturday, December 15, 2018

Are Books Better Than Films?

Written by Carol Michaels and Dr. Melissa Caudle

December 15, 2018


Dr. Melissa Caudle - Author
Carol Michaels, my publisher, and CEO of Absolute Author and I recently had a texted conversation I wanted to share with my readers. It governs our topic on whether books are better as a form of entertainment than films.  Carol is very much a book lover and book reader. To her, there isn't anything better than sitting and reading an enthralling book. For me, I love a good film. I know many actors and work in the film industry as a screenwriter and producer. It was only after the encouragement of a television executive did I turn into a novelist. So, my love of films stays with me. She's determined that watching a film is not equal to reading a book. I'm here to prove her wrong.


Dr. Carol: I love to cuddle up on a rainy day, get a cup of coffee or a glass of wine depending on the time of the day and read a good book. The journey inside takes me to wonderful places and I meet new characters and get involved. I can read in my pajamas if I want too.

Dr. Mel: You can do exactly the same thing with a film. You can watch any genre you want and visually see the places and meet the characters.

Dr. Carol: I understand that, but you are letting someone else's imagination dictate what you see and not your own as their characters are brought to life through words.

Dr. Mel: What is wrong with that? Sometimes even I need a break and I'm a novelist. I am also a filmmaker so I love to see what I wrote on the big screen.

Dr. Carol: Me too. Now you have a  point. Now that I think about it, I would love for The Keystroke Killer to become a film or television series. When I read it, it was so intriguing I remember saying this would make a powerful film.

Dr. Mel: Does this mean I won round one?

Dr. Carol: No, I say a tie, because in order for any film to be made it has to be written first.

Dr. Mel: I'll give that one to you.


Dr. Carol: I love to creep up on a good plot in a book. I can take my time and enjoy the story as it develops.

Dr. Mel: Seriously, that's all you got. That's exactly how a film unfolds. The only difference is you are watching and not reading.

Dr. Carol: You can't stop a film, walk away, then come back to it like you do a good book.

Dr. Mel: That's not entirely accurate. If you're at home, you control the remote control. Have you ever heard of a rewind button?

Dr. Carol: What do you do if you're in a movie theater?

Dr. Mel: You go there with the intention of watching the movie.

Dr. Carol: I really have to think about that one. Well, you can't lay back and get comfortable in a movie theater.

Dr. Mel: When was the last time you went to see a movie? Nowadays, they have recliners and you can get very comfy. I even bring a small lap blanket and cuddled up. It's awesome.

Dr. Carol: Really? They have reclining chairs in movie theaters?

Dr. Mel: I promise, how about let's go see one.

Dr. Carol: I think I'd like that.

Dr. Mel: Does this mean I won round two?

Dr. Carol: Not at all, I'm expanding my horizons.

Dr. Mel: Now that you think about it, a good book does expand a person's horizon.

Dr. Carol: Does this mean I won round two?

Dr. Mel: I'd call it a draw.

Dr. Carol: Agreed. Now let me tell you about this latest book I'm editing.

Dr. Mel: It can't be any better than the one I'm writing.

Dr. Carol: Silly, it's yours, Never Stop Running.

Dr. Mel: Okay, you won both battles. Books are better than films.


I recently came across Skylerr Darren, a young writer who like myself can get pretty gruesome in our writing. For those of you who have read my latest novel THE KEYSTROKE KILLER: TRANSCENDENCE you know it is dark, twisted and takes you on a psychological thrill ride. The author I am going to introduce to you writes in the horror genre if that tells you anything. Get to know him and check out his books.

Tell your readers a little about yourself. Where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.

I was born in Upland, California on August 18, 1998, and I grew up in Rancho Cucamonga, California. A quiet suburban area is what I can recall as my earliest memories living in my hometown, and I usually kept to myself as a small child and found entertainment in drawing and writing small stories for the amusement of both myself and my family.

I attended Bear Gulch elementary school and my mother home-schooled me during my middle school years. At the age of sixteen, I graduated from Mojave River Academy, a charter school located in Victorville, California.

A few months after graduation, I moved to Las Vegas Nevada at the age of seventeen in order to be closer to my uncle before his death.

You bring a psychological twist to your writing. How did your educational background help you with this?

Surprisingly enough, my education actually didn't have anything to do with my choice of book genre. I have always been fascinated with the extremely morbid incidents that have plagued the human race since the beginning of time. I like eccentricity, most likely because I used to be the kid that didn't have a lot of friends growing up, so I kind of developed my own interests and kept myself busy. I decided to take a psychology course in college, and I didn't enjoy it.


What inspired you to write this book?

At the time, I was fifteen in a half, and I got into watching a lot of gruesome body horror movies on Netflix. Those types of films bring out a lot of creativity in me as I think about how the movie could've ended or what plot twist should've been used. I bottled all of these ideas and decided to write something of my own.

You’re very young for a novelist? When did you begin writing?

At about seven years old. I published two books in my elementary school library about a rabbit with super-powers which originated from a comic strip that I would draw during recess.


Are there any authors who inspired you growing up or who inspires you now?

I can name two actually. Dav Pilkey, for his “The adventures of Captain Underpants” books, and Alvin Schwartz for his retelling of historic folklore and scary stories. I loved the illustrations in his books.


What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?

Maintaining the willpower to write, come up with new outlandish material, and keep my ideas fresh and amusing.


Tell your readers about your book.

Interview with The Devil Part 1 is about a young man named Victor Florence who recounts his troubled childhood full of disturbed family members, mental abuse, and overall dysfunction and misery on his part. Determined to leave this life behind him and understand the mentally ill, now as a young adult, he attempts to become a psychologist before being referred to an asylum by his professor to interview a patient that has been there before Victor was even born. Part 2 focuses on Victor interviewing the patient Lanza, which Victor calls the Devil, hence the title. Both books come together as one, and reading them will even help you learn something about yourself.

Who is your target audience and why?

My target audience I would say are people in their mid-thirties to early sixties. I've come to this conclusion because these are the age groups that I usually sell my books to in person. As well as people who have an interest in body horror, psychological thrillers, and or have a degree or education in the field of psychology.

What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?

Although many may interpret this to be a negative trait, but I have no boundary as to what it is that I will cover. Some subjects even creep me out once I'm done writing it and I read over it. But in my mind, the weirder, the better. Not a lot of writers will do that.

How did you come up with the idea for your book?

I thought it would be interesting to see a stable minded young man interview a psychopath in an attempt to fix him. I thought that I would have a lot of fun coming up with disturbing things that the mental patient did leading to his being admitted.

What is your next book? Tell us a little about it.

I enjoy comedy as much as I do horror, and I think the combination is good.

Interview with The Devil Part was originally going to have a few jokes in it.

My next book is going to be a dark comedy called “The Life and Times of Clementine Nevada.”

It will focus on a washed-up author attempting to regain a fan base and produce new material.

Tell your readers anything else you want to share.

Interview with The Devil Parts 1 & 2 are both available for purchase on I believe that they would be great gifts for book readers, as well as if you enjoy dark suspenseful thrillers that would relate to something that you would read about on the dark web for example.




Wednesday, December 12, 2018

How to Market Your Novel or E-Book


One of the most difficult things for an author, once his or her book is completed, is to market it. We were born to be writers, not marketers. However, writers must become marketers if they stand a chance to compete with the millions of other books published. My former publisher, Dr. Carol Michaels, recently retired from working for a huge publishing company and started her own company. Absolute Author is her new company and can help you with your marketing strategies. As an author, would you sit down to write your novel without the appropriate tools? I think not. Then why market your book without them? You shouldn’t as your marketing strategy will not be effective.

Here is what you need to effectively market your book.

  1. A One Sheet – A one sheet is a single document which highlights your book that you should have available to give to book reviewers, newspapers, magazines, bookstores etc. Your business card isn’t effective as it does not have the information needed. Your cost from Absolute Author to create your one sheet is $25.
  2. A Flip Book Trailer – A flip book trailer is a twenty to thirty-second video that highlights the elements in your book. They are important as they give readers a chance to look inside your book for the format and style and it is the perfect opportunity to showcase what other readers think about your book. Your cost from Absolute Author to create your flip book trailer is $30.
  3. A Book Trailer – long are the days where someone is going to pick up your book because of the front cover. Yes, that is important. However, readers want to be drawn into your book visually and a book trailer is the perfect means to accomplish this. Think of your book trailer as if it were a film. Your cost for Absolute Author to create your book trailer varies according to the length beginning at $35.

Here is a different kind of book trailer for One Step at a Time by Liz Ashe Havrilla. It is longer in length and made especially for her book by our production team.

4. Author Website – this is a must. Luckily for you, Absolute Author, will publish your free author interview, and for a minimal charge will host a subpage for you for only $15 for a year. It’s like having your own webpage and is a lot less expensive than hosting your own which can be up to hundreds of dollars. With that said, if you have your own website, be sure to backlink your interview to your website. It will increase views. Although the author interview is free, there is a minimal charge to host your book’s trailer or flip book trailer. Absolute Author will host your book trailer or flip book you supply in your author interview for $5 each or both for $8.
5. Book Reviews – Book reviews are a must, and I don’t mean the ones your friends and family write for you on Amazon. Although they are important, having a professional reviewer is key. Why? When you have a professional reviewer read and review your book it carries weight with your readers. fortunately, at Absolute Author, they have one of the best in Dr. Carol Michaels who worked for more than two decades as a publisher and/or journalist and has written hundreds of reviews. She offers her review service at a valuable cost-effective rate.
6. Press Release – Don’t underestimate the power of a press release. Not only will a press release give your book coverage it will also get your name and your book into listings for web searches. The more press, the better your book sells. One thing we at Absolute Author they discovered most authors have a difficult time writing press releases. They offer this service at a fraction of a cost. They can also submit your press release to hundreds of journalists for a low cost. How? Dr. Carol Michaels has a solid network of reporters and journalists from her two decades of working in the industry. Your homework is already completed. So, this service from Absolute Author is two-fold; e.g., a well-written press release and distribution to at least 300 news sites which includes NBC, ABC, FOX, CNN and more. Other distribution sites charge from $250 up to $1,000 dollars for this service. Here at Absolute Author can do it for a lot less because of our network. Absolute Author's press release service is $150.
7. Author Blogging – Yes, blogging is important. Many authors don’t use this resource to promote their own writing because they don’t have the time to maintain a blog. Guess what? You can guest blog on Absolute Author and on  This is a  perfect answer to your blogging problem. You can be a guest blogger as much or as little as you want. This is a wonderful way to share with your readers and it gives you backlinks as well. So, what are you waiting on? Become a guest blogger and social media influencer today. Contact or
8. Marketing Print Ads – When you publish on Facebook, Twitter or just about anywhere you need print ads that you can post. If you hired a graphic design artist, you could spend thousands of dollars. Absolute Author understands your need and offers you fifty print ready prints in which you can use for the low-cost of $32. Here are a couple of samples below.

Sunday, December 2, 2018


December 2, 2016

Hello everybody and Happy Holidays! This time of year is probably one of my favorites because I get to put up the Christmas tree, watch the lights and be with family and friends. It is all joyous.
Now I want to catch you up on some things. I am happy to announce that since launching THE KEYSTROKE KILLER: TRANSCENDENCE, the novel has received five-star ratings and everyone is loving it. Thank you, everybody. If you haven’t purchased your copy, I have some great news just in time for Christmas. For the entire month of December, I have lowered the price on both the paperback (now $14.99) and the Ebook (now $6.99). It’s my way of saying thank you for your support. So, if you haven’t purchased your copy, do it without delay. There is no time like the present. The book is available on and on my website
My next book NEVER STOP RUNNING is in the hands of the copy editor and will be available soon. I am really excited to share this one with you. Based on a true story, this novel will simply amaze as it takes you on a mental time travel journey into the past lives of one woman who after seriously injured was diagnosed with retrograde amnesia.
When her husband convinced her to see a hypnotherapist to regain her memories, her past lives surfaced. So, yes this is about reincarnation, but not like anything you'd expect.
In fact, I spoke with my editor today and she said she had to go back to re-edit because she got so caught up in the story. I say that's a good thing. I look forward to sharing that novel with you. Below is a sneak peek at the book's trailer.

Enough about me, I want to introduce you to a fellow author of mine, Dr. L.A. Davis. She is an amazing woman who I can identify with in her struggles. Like me, she earned her doctorate. Let's suffice it to say, she didn't have the easiest time of it. The good news, she shares her struggles and offers readers an insight unlike any other. I took the time to ask her a couple of questions. Take a look at her answers.



So, You Want To Be A Doctoral Learner Huh? Are You Nuts?

Tell your readers a little about yourself. Where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.  Hi everyone! Thank you for reading my interview. I hope it brings some warmth to your soul as you read about me. I was born on the tiny beautiful island of St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands. I currently reside in Texas with a desire to move to Florida. I earned my Doctor of Education in organizational leadership with an emphasis in development from a university located in the southwest region of the United States. My dissertation was written on the blind or visually impaired to understand how this population perceives employment, and how these perceptions motivated them to seek employment. They are falling into poverty and their degree level doesn’t matter.

What made you want to author this book? I must admit my temporary weakness as a human being motivated me to write my book. I wanted to warn learners about the negative experience I had with a chairperson. The university refused to help me, and I was angry. As time went by, I refused to allow this experience to have me cast negativity into the atmosphere. I decided to use it to help others get through their program.
What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written? First thing was putting my anger and bitterness aside and writing as a rationale and as a mature adult. The second obstacle was getting over the sadness I felt while I started remembering things I had forgotten and being reminded of the deepest lows I felt for three years. The third struggle was personal; once it was written, I did not want to publish it. I didn’t think people would believe me and was not sure it was written well enough. I am very private and had to share some of the darkest times of my life and I did not know what niche to market it in and I thought it would flop. Once it was finished, I had another struggle with accepting that I had to self-publish because a national book publisher would probably not touch me. Somehow it got out that I was trying to publish a book and people started contacting me. They wanted me to put money up front for publication. I asked an author how she got a national publisher for her books. She told me that a reputable publisher would look for me and would never ask for money up front. I believed her; she has published many books. One of her books was turned into a movie. I declined any offer to pay upfront for publication. After that information, I got over the issue of trying to self-publish. The most important thing was to get my book published, and self-publishing is so much fun
Tell your readers about your book. My book is about my personal experience as an online doctoral learner. I start from when I decided to start my program to the end of my journey. I only focused on the things that made me decide to quit my journey. I provide some tips I believe that will help any learner if they choose to use them. The book is short with 131 pages. I kept this in mind so that the learner can read it quickly in between those down times of their document being dissected to the Nano. Learners do not have time to read because they are too busy researching and writing.  I consider my work to be a guidebook wrapped around my story. A learner read my book and said she went through the tips carefully and highlighted things she wanted to use. Not everyone will agree with everything I wrote, but it worked for me and I stand by it. The proof is in the pudding, and there will always be a critic. Below is a flip book trailer for you to take a sneak peek inside of my book.

What will your readers learn from this book? I discussed several things in this book. I wanted to cram as much information as I could within those short pages. I talked about how I chose my program, the difference between an Ed.D. and Ph.D. I did this so if someone is unsure of which program to choose, they can research which is best for them. I started out as a Ph.D learner and if you read the book, you will understand why I chose the Ed.D. program. I wrote about how to take care of your mind, body, and spirit simultaneously. My experience I had during two residencies, my experience with my chairperson and the university, my very emotional data collection experience, two health crisis’s that could have taken my life, the death of my closest cohort member, how the powerful words of “THANK YOU” changed my journey when I finally decided to quit, and when I climbed the short steps to being hooded as Dr. Davis. There is a lot of information that I did not mention here. If you go to and hit the look inside feature, you should see my table of contents. Though much of the book is heavy, there is some humor. The entire experience was not unfortunate.

Who is your target audience and why? I think my book can help anyone who chooses any level of higher education as an option, but I authored the book to help individuals before they decide to apply for a program or someone who is already going through a PhD or an EdD program. I want them to understand that whatever they are feeling, someone else is feeling it too. They must find a support system if they are going to succeed. They are not failures even if they quit, and that the most important lesson to walk away with is, that this difficult journey is not about them. It is about their participants.
If you were going to give one reason for anyone looking at your book to read why should they buy it? Because I lived their story. I have been there, I know what they are about to go through. I know what they are going through right now as they are reading this message with tears streaming down their faces. I quit my journey, yet here I am with a doctorate degree that no one can ever take away from me.
What do you consider your greatest success in life? My children are by far my biggest success in my life. They are the only people who have ever heard my heartbeat from the inside. They are little devils to raise but if you stick it out, they make your life worth living.
When you look at yourself in the mirror, what would you tell your younger self about obtaining a higher education? I started laughing when I read this question. I was a horrible, horrible student. My undergraduate transcript is so bad that I was glad to earn my master’s so that I could throw that transcript into the abyss of forgetfulness. Between my master’s and Doctoral program, I was invited to join four honor societies, and Ionly accepted two. I never imagined that would happen. My grandmother instilled the power of education in me because of her circumstances. I never forgot it and never imagined that I would have a doctoral degree. I would be very honest with that little girl and tell her that there is a negative side of obtaining higher education. The higher a degree you earn, the harder it is to find employment. You always have to be willing to go back to school depending on where you move too or start working for yourself. Your degree might be something you can use in one part of the country, but if you move to another, your skill set might not be marketable there. You may not find a job in the field for which you went to school and should learn a skill. I used to be an aviation mechanic. It put food on my table for many years without the use of a degree. Last, you do not have to prove yourself to anyone, but you will always have to compete with someone.
What advice can you give anyone who is considering entering a doctoral program? You
Everyone has life lessons to learn, tell your readers one or two of yours and how they make you the strong woman you are today. When I was younger, I passed up so many opportunities due to low self-esteem. Never pass up an opportunity. Regret is one of the most horrible emotion to live with. If you want to do something and you are afraid or scared, do it afraid or scared. If you fail, so what? Failure is where you learn the most of life’s lessons. Once you learn those lessons, it is to be used to help others. In my mature self, these lessons have made me the strong woman that am today.

What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre? Here I am again laughing while I read this question. I have no idea what genre my book belongs in -- I am thinking self-improvement, education, higher education. What does make it stand out is that it is not just a book about my experience? I put information in the back of the book to help you to start thinking of terms you must become familiar with to achieve your goals. I provide graphics for you to stick wherever you would like to so that it can give you the determination to continue when you want to quit. The sad truth is, no matter what you do many of you will not finish and that is ok.
How did you come up with the idea for your book? Anger and bitterness gave me the idea to write this book. I started writing it in 2016, but I had to wait until I graduated so that I could tell the entire story. It ended up being a beautiful book of triumph. 
Tell your readers anything else you want to share. I am a daredevil! I try to do something every year that scares the heck out of me! One year I went flying in a noisy four-seater. Another year I went skydiving in tandem. I have never been so scared in my life. Another year I took a motorcycle class and ended up having to take the walk of shame because I got kicked out halfway through. I was trying to think of something for next year.


Dr. L.A. Davis
P.O. Box 690923
Killeen, Texas 76549 

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Dr. Mel's Message : Get on Board the KSK Series Train

Dr. Mel's Message : Get on Board the KSK Series Train: NOVEMBER 8, 2018 WELCOME WWW.DRMELCAUDLE.COM You Can Help Your Own Dream Come True New psychological thriller, The Key...

Get on Board the KSK Series Train

NOVEMBER 8, 2018


You Can Help Your Own Dream Come True

New psychological thriller, The Keystroke Killer: Transcendence by author Dr. Melissa Caudle is a riveting read that keeps you turning the pages. A novel not to be missed if you love to read about serial killers with a science fiction twist in this web of deception full of twists and turns and the unexpected up to the very last word. Available on in paperback and on Kindle.

Autographed copies available at Only if you dare to enter the world of The Keystroke Killer. Not for the faint of heart.

Please be advised, the more copies which are sold, the higher the rankings on Amazon. The higher the rankings on Amazon, the more likely this will be picked up as a series and put actors and film production crew to work. If not, it won't be picked up.
This is your chance to help KSK become a television series. If you have believed in the dream, help your own dream come true by purchasing either the E-book on Kindle or the paperback version. Don't rely on somebody else, take matters into your own hands. The television series won’t be picked up unless this really sells and the fans of KSK can have a direct impact on that.

There are several things you can do that will help this dream come true for all of us:

1. Help spread the word and get your friends to buy the book. Share, share and share. And, I don't mean my link. I mean your own post. The more widespread on social media, the better. This includes you tweeting about it, Instagram, etc. I can't spread the word by myself.
2. If you have bought the book already, please review it honestly on Amazon and on Goodreads. The more reviews the better. But I want an honest review good or bad. So far, I have a five-star rating!
3. If you are a member of a book club, recommend it to your members. If it is a local New Orleans Club or within a 100 mile radius I will gladly come for a book signing event.
4. Ask your local library or college librarian to purchase the book for their collection.
5. If you are friends of a radio show host or television talk show, ask them to have me onto their show.
6. You could consider boosting your post about "The Keystroke Killer" for as little as $5, $10, $20 to help get the word out. I have purchased many ads on Google, Goodreads, Facebook, Amazon, and will continue, so rest assured I'm doing my part, but the more people investing to spread the word on an individual basis increases the awareness of the book and the potential series.
7. If you are local and want to throw a party for your friends and family to meet me and have me sign autographs, I’ll do that too.
8. If you have a website, consider backlinking my site to yours. I will do the same. We both win.
9. If you are an author, I have a page on my website where I will put your book, in exchange if you will add me to yours. The more exchange of links increases both of our efforts on Google.

A Little Can Go a Long Way in Making Dreams Come True

Think of it this way, for as little as $9.99 for the E-book, you could be investing in yourself or simply helping the KSK family. Since when does that happen by buying a book? While you are at it, buy two or three and give them away as Christmas presents, just don’t give it to someone under eighteen. 
Please don't consider this as me only promoting my book and wanting it to sell my book for selfish reasons. I didn't intend for it to come across this way. I have held onto this dream and fought hard for all of us. Together we can make this happen.