Author Quotes

 BORN WITH WINGS – Book Extract

“If you watch closely,” he said, “you will notice that they are looking for seeds that have little fleshy parts attached to them, the elaiosomes. These they carry into their nests to feed their babies. This is how seeds are dispersed underground. At some point in the future, when they know their time has come, they will germinate and grow.”

There was an appraising look in his eyes when he added: “As with many things of value in life, first they have to go through fire.”

She absorbed his words for a while, then asked: “Do plants know that their time is limited? I mean . . . that they die?”

Bending down to her, he gave her an enigmatic glance: “You have to become the plant if you want to uncover its soul.”

“How on earth would I do that,” she thought to herself, her eyelids fluttering under his stare.

What you are the vibration of, appears. What you are not the vibration of remains invisible to you. That’s the secret,” he said.

Born With Wings - Visionary Fiction Novel by Bianca Gubalke (2017)

Photo by Bianca Gubalke in May 2018: ‘Green Praying mantis’

Quoted from “Born with Wings – The Immortal Life of Piu Piu”
Visionary fiction novel by Bianca Gubalke

BORN WITH WINGS by Visionary Fiction Author Bianca Gubalke

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The Divine Comedy

BORN WITH WINGS REVIEWED

‘Fascinating, intuitive and daring, ‘Born with Wings’ by Bianca Gubalke is a ‘Divine Comedy’ leading us into the mysteries and magic of true spirituality.

5 Stars for Born With Wings by Bianca Gubalke

A book filed with light!

I highly enjoyed reading and happily recommend.

Now eagerly waiting for the author’s next book in the ‘Dance Between Worlds’ series.’

~ By Zo Nicholas – 5 Star Review published on Amazon.co.uk

on 30 November 2017

 

Readers Favorite 5 Stars - Born With Wings - A novel

Book reviews count

Thoughtful book reviews by independent readers are critical for a book to succeed – hence helping the author. On the other hand, they assist potential buyers who are looking for a book to buy and to read.

While not all tastes are equal – and it does happen that despite a clear category and an explicit description a buyer may still choose the wrong book for his taste – normally, readers focus on the categories they generally prefer. Once they are attracted to one or the other book, positive reviews (4 to 5 stars) may influence their buying decision. If many readers enjoyed the book and hailed it as a great reading experience, chances are that the book is really good. Personally, I often buy books as gifts for friends, whose tastes I don’t necessarily share. Think Christmas! So a well written review will definitely be the difference for me. It doesn’t need to be a long story, but a few insightful lines will make all the difference.

On the other side, I might just be attracted to exactly what a reader who left a slightly negative review dislikes – so even a less favourable review can turn into a positive in the end.

“Born with Wings” can be found under Magical Realism and Metaphysical & Visionary (for the paperback version), and under Body, Mind & Spirit (Inspirational, Reincarnation, Afterlife) as well as under Metaphysical & Visionary for the ebook market. The category ‘Visionary Fiction’ does not yet exist . . . and a novel under Body, Mind & Spirit isn’t ideal, as that’s where many readers expect non-fiction books, but that’s where my audience is: people with a passion to expand their spiritual horizon and looking to change from within, rather than chasing after the many illusions out there!

Let me know if you agree!

Barnes & Noble Book Review

What if you are ‘Born With Wings’ yet unable to fly?

Birds, like Angels, have long been seen as messengers in human life and culture. In some societies, the Crow is seen as a harbinger of danger, while in others the Crow is the conveyor of Wisdom and warnings to pay greater attention to our surroundings instead of living in a state of constant distraction between past and future. Likewise, the Owl has long been associated with Wisdom – but also with Death. Like Angels, too, birds can be both friends and enemies to each other and to humans. But suppose you are “Born With Wings” yet unable to fly?

What Readers say about Born With Wings

Five Stars for out-of-this-world adventure

Suppose your destiny as a winged creature is very much in question given your obvious “disability”? How are you to fulfill your destiny and rise above the mundane dangers of existence, when you are confined to the vulnerable world of the earth-bound?

For one such winged creature, these questions were very much at the centre of her existence. Born in a beautiful and remote valley in South Africa, the Egyptian Goose we come to know as Piu Piu falls out of her nest and into the world of humans. Confined to earth with a broken wing could be a death sentence. Our little heroine, known here as Piu Piu, but in eternity as Anata, takes us on a delightful but perilous journey through earth-bound dangers, assisted by a young girl’s loving care, an ironic cat’s ambivalent companionship, an alert snake’s guidance and numerous encounters with unexpected allies amid Nature’s impersonal forces, on her way toward confrontation with her Fear, and potential Freedom, if her courage holds.

Friends and enemies, uneasy alliances and family dynamics all contribute to the temporal experience of Piu Piu’s life, but it is her recognition of who she really is, and her choice to face her destiny with courage, that turns her life into a truly magical tale. Opening a window between our physical world and the greater reality in which we all must learn to “fly” is an entrancing epic, in which all sentient creatures are tested, and our capacity to deal with different levels of reality determines whether we go on to the next step in our spiritual development or must repeat the still unlearned lessons.

Beautifully written, divinely inspired, “Born With Wings” is a new and revised edition of  The Immortal Life of Piu Piu, a wise and wonderful story in the magical tradition of “The Little Prince” and “Jonathan Livingston Seagull“.

Treat yourself to a unique and unexpected pleasure with an out-of-this-world adventure! FIVE STARS!

This Book review was posted by Donegal on Barnes & Noble – August 2017

As the author of this visionary fiction novel, I’m deeply grateful for a book review like this – I feel understood and will stretch my wings even more to fly – after all, I was born with wings! As YOU are… and anyone else, of course!

 

Author Micheal Maxwell

Book Review 2017 by Bianca Gubalke

“All is right with the world.” ~ Robert Browning

Nothing is right in the world of Dupree when he wakes up one morning, wishing to be dead. Nothing had worked out in his life the way he had planned, and, suddenly, willfully, after leaving home with a demanding wife and a maddening bunch of hyped teens in the morning, the successful lawyer turns ‘the opposite direction of work’ and, bit by bit, liberates himself of the chains that he had pulled behind him ‘like Marley’s Ghost’.

As he embarks on an inner journey of changing himself, the world around him changes. Resonates. Leaves people in tears: “I don’t know what to say.”

But Dupree takes it further. So strong is his desire to leave the past behind and see the world with new eyes, that he throws caution to the wind and, abandoning his luxury car, patiently, expectantly, waits at the side of the road for whoever stops and invites him to share a part of their journey towards the North.

This is where the real music of this soul-baring story begins. Where the floodgates to thoughts, emotions and laughter are opened with characters from all walks of life, reminiscent of those in Robert B. Parker’s popular Spenser series. And as Dupree moves further and further away from where he started out, the reader is becoming part of the journey, looking back while moving forward, gaining new insights and truths, and wondering how it could possibly end . . .

A fast and fascinating read that puts many things into perspective. Don’t miss it!

Dara & Dupreee by Author Micheal Maxwell

 

About Mystery Fiction

It may be easy enough to spot an element of ‘mystery’ within a story or piece of literature, many more genres – call it categories – are often involved.

Defining an exact genre is, in most cases, pretty self-explanatory when it comes to Non-fiction, however, it can be rather tricky and frustratingly limiting in Fiction.  While “DARA & DUPREE”  has been classified as ‘mystery fiction’, it contains a number of elements that point towards other genres, eg. romance.

The same is true for “BORN WITH WINGS”, my magical realism fiction novel,  which is highly spiritual, visionary, mystical . . . and a mystery is being solved, too. And what a mystery!

Micheal Maxwell Author

For those of you who are interested in ‘clean’ mystery fiction, here is how the author introduces himself: “Micheal Maxwell was taught the beauty and majesty of the English language by Bob Dylan, Robertson Davies, Charles Dickens and Leonard Cohen. He has traveled the globe, dined with politicians, rock stars and beggars. He has rubbed shoulders with priests and murderers, surgeons and drug dealers, each one giving him a part of themselves that will live again in the pages of his books. Micheal Maxwell has found a niche in the mystery, suspense, genre with The Cole Sage Series that gives readers an everyman hero, short on vices, long on compassion, and a sense of fair play, and the willingness to risk everything to right wrongs. Maxwell is committed to writing a clean, character driven, mysteries series with lots of twist, turns, and heart.”

 

BORN WITH WINGS 2017

The Immortal Life of Piu Piu Second Edition

Finally, the Second Edition of my magical realism novel is now available on KDP (ebook) and, published by Gatekeeper Press, USA, also in printed format, at all major retailers, including Amazon.com and Amazon Europe; Baker & Taylor (a leading distributor of books to libraries, institutions and retailers); Barnes & Noble, the Internet’s largest bookstore; Ingram Spark, the world’s largest distributor of physical and digital content, delivering worldwide to retailers, bookstores, libraries and school.  And more. YAY!

Born with Wings Novel by Bianca Gubalke

 

Why a Second Edition for ‘The Immortal Life of Piu Piu’?

Good question! Was there some major change with the content? No! Actually, looking back across the tedious process, it was a major side effect – and lesson – for working my way through the publishing jungle as an independent author, made even more difficult as I am not living in the US. Many things that may seem obvious when living in the country, are not obvious at all if you don’t. There’s no access to get answers quickly when you need them, hardly any ‘expert’ available beyond the programs you bought (it is assumed there are no further questions …), and so even though we try to circumnavigate the traps and try to get it all right, the journey is – by definition – a steep and, sometimes, painful, costly, and vastly time-consuming learning curve!

I was very happy with the book I had created, and the feedback and reviews I got from readers – many of which I didn’t know – reflected the same. In view of what happened and triggered a second edition – and I give you some pointers below – I’d recommend to every real true ‘indie author by passion’ with a profound message to share, to create exactly the book they love. Make sure it’s the best you can do: well edited – absolutely! Great cover – that’s a must! I’m talking quality A to Z. But then . . .  just get it out! It’s your baby! Readers who resonate with you will sense just that: your truth! Let it shine and be happy! And be grateful that – as an independent author – you have that exquisite chance! As a traditionally published author you don’t have that chance – it’s no longer your baby.

And know that that happiness may not last as there’s always room for improvement. We grow. We expand. We change . . . there’s never perfection. So just get over that in your mind, relax, and open yourself to new possibilities of improvement when the moment comes, that moment every author has to face inevitably: when the happy author’s hat has to go down and the publisher’s hat takes over. After all, you want that message so dear to your heart, to spread. You want to see your book in many readers’ hands. So now it’s no longer about you and your sense of pride and fulfillment, now it’s about your readers: What do they want? Listen closely – as despite the fact that you may have listened before, it was as the author, not the publisher.

Of course, in this particular case I’m talking about fiction. If you write non-fiction, you need to think of your target market first: What do they want? Where could you deliver the answer or the solution to a burning question? A pain? So one has to differentiate. Here, we’re talking about fiction. Visionary fiction. Magical Realism . . . to be exact.

So despite trying to really get it right, there was one big issue that came up rather quickly and painfully. My previous work has been published traditionally – whether I wrote, illustrated or designed the book. I never had to do with pricing and marketing issues so to speak. No wonder this happened to me – although later I discovered I wasn’t alone with this at all! So let me mention it here as it may help someone else avoid the mistake:

  • Watch your page count
    It sounds pretty logical, doesn’t it? In pre-digital times I designed books for authors, artists and architects, where ‘the white space’ was always an important element. Pages had to ‘breathe’. Ah yes, l’art pour l’art . . . Having a background in Fine Art, I admit, I love it! And that’s how the book was designed – all 358 pages! As any other artist-author would, I put my heart in creating a beautiful book and was very happy with the printed edition, front flaps, back flaps – that was my baby! But then I walked out into the new and glamorous, fast and easy digital publishing world . . .No, it was no problem as an ebook . . . perfect! Next: it was no problem in Create Space (Print on Demand). They are great! Delivered the book even under 24 hours to a client in Berlin! Incredible – right? And very encouraging! Piu Piu started to fly . . .
    But once I was set up with Ingram, using the same price as on Create Space (quite logical, no? as the price was also for POD there . . . ) but, suddenly, it no longer covered the production and distribution costs of the book! I lost some $ when the book was bought! And with our exchange rate x16 plus that was nothing that made me laugh at all! And as Create Space adjusted the price due to price-matching – that priced me out of the market pronto! Once I realized what was happening – which wasn’t immediately – it was such a shocker that it completely stopped the flow. Literally! It would with everyone – garanteed! I mean GARANTEED!The solution: either split the book or redesign and reformat it with a different font. This was not a quick decision . . . weighing the pros and the cons. And what followed wasn’t done in a day neither. However, the idea for a Second Edition was born. And as I had to go that painful extra mile anyway – a ‘brave decision, but the right one’ a dear fellow author commented – I decided to go through everything once again, checking on what could possibly still be improved. And that’s when I got to the title!
  • The title sells your book
    Yes, the title “The Immortal Life of Piu Piu” was tested and seemed perfect for me and most of my readers, but I soon noticed with sheer amazement that, during presentations and webinars when the book was discussed by a host or expert in the book marketing field, that they had a problem pronouncing ‘Piu Piu’ (from pew-pew)! I cannot expect that everyone knows that the name ‘Piu Piu’ is a cherished figure in French literature, and that I explain the source of this name clearly in the book, but the fact is that too many people in the US have problems with it, never mind retain it. What you do want is a title people can remember. Especially if you target the biggest market there is, the US. Yes, I tested it again . . . now with many people and authors who do not know the book. Most even don’t know me! So. . . after coming up with a new title I could live with, and feeling quite happy about as ” . . . born with wings yet unable to fly . . .”  is quoted in the story, the same cover illustration with the new title was designed and then offered to be compared to the ‘old’ title.
    The result? Well guess what . . . it was 100% for ‘BORN WITH WINGS’! 100% is just too much to be ignored . . . and for publishers the numbers count. BOLD is what the market dictates. . . and that’s when an author has to have the guts to forget self and see with the readers’ eyes.  It’s also when I suddenly remembered that when designing books for a large German publishing house, they actually always had a separate company to do the covers – ‘to sell the book’, they said. The author was NEVER happy! But as indie authors we have a message to share and want our book in many peoples’ hands. This only happens if the title stands out boldly and can easily be retained. But wait . . . I looked also at something else:
  • Was the description strong enough?
    Potential readers are attracted by the cover first, then read the title, then turn the book to look at the description: was it something that they’d want to read? You see it on Amazon with every book. As authors we are often too close to the material, we lack distance and a different perspective. And writing good copy that sells is actually a whole different art and profession. It’s a difficult one for most authors who are too close to the material. And it really takes work! But with some distance you’re less close to the material and if you take the time and patiently write at least 20 versions, and test them,  you may well end up with a fantastic description from an angle you had never thought of before. And that’s when you know it’s good. And it’s FUN! And it works!
    Looking back over this long and somewhat unnecessary journey, I believe that it was worth it as everything has improved and the reformatted book – now 236 pages – looks stunning! Amazing what a different page setup and font can do – and the impact this has on the price.
  • “BORN WITH WINGS – The Immortal Life of Piu Piu!”
  •  Resume:
    Again, I’m glad that a limited edition was printed exactly the way I wanted it. I love the illustration on the cover, the fine elegant font, and the title. No one can take it away. Do this for yourself if you can! The day you have to put on the publisher’s hat and listen to what people want and will buy, it’s easier to let go and make the changes. And accomplish them the best you can . . . even excel! . . . Something astonishing will happen: you suddenly see the merits from a different perspective! And, suddenly, you love your somewhat new version, too! It’s not an orphan . . . it’s your baby as well.

In my case and ‘The Immortal Life of Piu Piu’, and while both editions are available on Amazon and KDP, my recommendation is to get BORN WITH WINGS! The Immortal Life of Piu Piu” is still there, in the sub-title, it will always be – and there’s an amazing gift waiting for you . . .

Praise for Piu Piu

What Readers Said . . .

after reading my visionary fiction novel, “The Immortal Life of Piu Piu”:

YES!

 I love the way this woman writes! Very descriptive and one of the most unique stories I have ever read.

~ By Karen Moore – 5 Star Review published on Amazon.com on 27 April 2017

What Readers say about Bianca Gubalke Author
Short and sweet and it made my day! I love receiving positive feedback from readers I don’t know!

Spirituality and Inspiration

Sometimes it’s not easy for an author to decide on a category when publishing his or her fiction novel. It’s much easier for those who are writing non-fiction books. Normally, they know right from the start what their specific genre is. The genre is the category under which a title appears say on Amazon – or any other online platform that sells books. And these are growing rapidly . . . no wonder, with so many books being published day after day! In the offline scenario, say in a physical store, it’s the shelf where one would be looking for a book to read. Also think of libraries: where are books catalogued? So, in case you’ve written a recipe book, it’s easy to find it. If your 12-year old kid wants an educational textbook on geography, you know where to look.

It’s not always that easy when we think about literature and fiction. If you are an author and you have written a science fiction story or a thriller – you don’t need to think much. You may want to define it a little more, say as a space opera or a mystery thriller, but these attributes only classify within the main genres, and it is very clear what these are: science fiction and thriller. Bearing that in mind, you’d have no problem to find your favourite Harry Potter or Alice in Wonderland. However, especially in the beginning as I hear from many fellow authors – the lines between genres are not that easy to spot and even shifting. Everything moves and changes and new genres and categories pop up all the time. The libraries follow so-called BISAC codes and while Amazon follows that a bit… it’s not a real discipline for them as the follow more what the market dictates.

All this doesn’t make things easier!

If you’ve written a fiction novel that entertains, informs and teaches without being a typical ‘how-to’ book that would belong into the non-fiction category, you may have difficulties in finding your perfect ‘niche’ – not to speak of the overwhelming weight of competing writers, which can be a scary thing! Even if you know your target market, your audience and readers, you still have to choose wisely in order to be ‘searchable’ or rather ‘findable’ for everyone searching for your book or books in your genre. My choice wasn’t easy in that sense, either . . . and while my magical realism  novel, “The Immortal Life of Piu Piu” dives into the mystery of life and death and everything inbetween, with its main female protagonist, Anata, moving along a path of spiritual awakening, personal development and transformation, the writing itself contains many elements of ‘magical realism’ – and that’s the genre it went in. In the beginning . . . but it won’t stay there. writing a book and getting it out there in the world is a steep learning curve and when I realized that all my work – be it in the Fine Arts or Screenplay Writing and now including my fiction novel – has these exact elements, I knew I had to change. It happens to many; we change until everything just gels. For me there’s always a magical side to our real life, and I don’t really bother where to draw the lines, bearing in mind that everything is an illusion anyway. It’s the way I see – and have always seen – our temporary existence here on Earth, as a spiritual being in physical form. I wrote about this in my article during the Magical Realism Bloghop less than a year ago:

“I cannot imagine a reality without magic.” ~ Bianca Gubalke

In the meantime, there’s a surprise for you on the way! I had to reformat my book to get the page count down – which inflated the price of the book as soon as it was sold beyond the Amazon platform – and I will soon publish the second edition. This gave me the opportunity to target more precise . . . So watch this space and I’m looking forward to your valued feedback!

 

#spirituality #biancagubalkeauthor #mysteryfiction

Book Reviews 2017

Robin Gregory

Every now and then, a special book comes along that just brightens our day; this is the case of “The Improbable Wonders of Moojie Littleman”, a magical realism novel for young adults by Californian author Robin Gregory.

It is a tale born from real life experience that took many years to mature and complete into the multiple award-winning piece of literature it is now.

The Improbable Wonders of Moojie Littleman by Robin Gregory

Book Review by Bianca Gubalke

Even an earthquake responds to love and brings forth a hero

‘The Improbable Wonders of Moojie Littleman’ is a book that stands out.

It’s not a simple quick read, the one you zoom through alongside a gazillion of other things. And it certainly appeals to many readers, young in years or young at heart, who can identify with a battered underdog on his wondrous path to becoming a hero.

Just as the disabled Moojie in his fierce longing to belong, we all are on a journey together – all of us individuals with different virtues and traits, all of us from different environments, and all of us connected as family, community, one species. The difference lies in what drives us! This may be a passion, an inner knowing, our imagination, a dream, an openness to always expect the magical within the real – that sacred space where victims turn into heroes.

If you lean into the meaning, magic, humor and the rhythm of this exquisite tale you’ll find a gem your heart will treasure. And happily recommend.

How to find the Light

It took me a while to read this precious book as I wanted to give the book the space it deserves, and allow myself the time to dive into the author’s world, see the characters come alive and create a story I could resonate with . . . and discover astonishing parallels with  “The Immortal Life of Piu Piu”.

Abandoned. Alone. Lost. Handicapped. Hurt. Looking for family. For connection. LOVE. And finding it DESPITE ALL IMPROBABILITIES . . . because YES! We can! 

The theme seems to be floating in the air. Answers are needed – more than ever before – in a world collapsing in chaos and fear where it’s easy to lose touch with our own inner knowing and magic, within the so-called ‘real’. And yet, that’s what change is all about . . . and if phoenix could and can rise from the ashes, so can we . . . and so did Piu Piu!

Thank you for your interest and do have a look at Robin Gregory’s work.