Ninie Hammon’s Blog for Readers


Posted: November 24, 2014, 8:56AM
I love the black water washing away the house. And check out the reflection of a face. Way cool cover.


If you have a drum handy, right now would be a good time to start beating it. (Doesn’t everybody have a drum lying around for just such occasions as this?) What’s happened is a big deal in every novelist’s life but it’s particularly large in mine.

So start that drum roll….louder…louder…big cymbal clash!

And in the silence that follows, a small voice says: I just published my new book, When Butterflies Cry.

I'm reeeally excited about this book. That sound you hear is not a water buffalo with a hernia--it's me, cheering! Yippppeeeee.

This is the back cover copy, or it would be if the book had a back cover:

When Butterflies Cry is the story of a U.S. Army chaplain returning from Vietnam to his home in West Virginia, to a family riddled with secrets, devastated by loss and divided by clan loyalties--a family about to face devastation on a scale they can't even imagine. And it's about a strange power and a little red-haired girl. Something more than chance brought the child called Maggie to the wounded family in a secluded hollow in the Appalachian Mountains, and nothing less than destiny will be fulfilled by her sacrifice.

I say “if the book had a cover” because it doesn’t. It doesn’t exist as a print book—and that’s one of the three reasons why it’s such a big deal for me. This is my first novel—out of eight books total—that is only an eBook. I published it, not a publishing house. It’s all MINE.

Why is that such a big deal? Because I got to make all the decisions about this book from the moment I typed “It was a dark and stormy night.” Ok, that’s not the first sentence in the book, but from the moment the story began to germinate in my head until…forever…I will get to decide everything about it.

I selected and hired a designer to design the cover and told him what I wanted. I decided if I liked what he came up with and if I hadn’t (I did!) I’d have had it re-designed until I got one I was crazy about. I hired a structural and line editor to edit it, who read the book checking for mistakes—things like “peak over her shoulder” when I meant “peek.” (Spell check is as much a curse as a blessing.) She also made suggestions about the structure of the book, the pace, whether the plot elements hung together. And they were “suggestions” because if I hadn’t agreed with her (mostly, I did) I would have chosen to ignore what she said.

I hired a formatter to change the Microsoft Word manuscript into .mobi and EPub files for upload to the various eBook publishing websites—Amazon, Barnes and Noble, ITunes, etc. I instructed him to put links in the back of the book to my website, my email list, to the other books I’ve written and to videos of me talking about each of those books.

I decided when I would publish it and how I would promote it and what I would charge for it and where I would sell it. I did it all.

It’s a little like the difference between adopting a child and having a biological child. The adopted child is just as much yours as the biological one and you absolutely love them both the same. The only difference is that somebody else went through labor and delivery to bring the adopted child into the world. Penguin Putnam and Bay Forest Books did all those publishing tasks for me with my other seven books. I birthed this baby.

The second reason this is such a big deal is that it’s my first book release in almost 18 months! Waaaay too long for readers to wait for a new book. (Promise I won’t take that long with the next one!) As most of you know, last fall I bought back the rights to all my books from my publisher and I took the first half of this year trying to learn how to publish and market them. That put me way behind in my writing schedule.

And the third reason, maybe the most important, is that When Butterflies Cry is my favorite book. Seriously, it is. I like it better than Five Days in May or Black Sunshine or Sudan or any of the others. I am certain that When Butterflies Cry is the best book I have ever written!

Uh…you need to know that I say that about all my books—until I write a new one.


Terry Mengle November 24, 2014, 1:57PM

Well, I said I'd read anything you wrote, even your grocery list, but this is much more exciting. Can't wait to read it. May God bless your efforts.   Reply

Replies (1)

Richard Bowdel December 6, 2014, 10:58AM

The best book I've read in years, though I have said that about every Ninie Hammon book I've read. And that is almost all of them. You have surpassed Ted Dekker as my favorite author, which was an almost complete genre change. Keep up the great work.   Reply

Replies (1)

Honor W. February 11, 2015, 10:02AM

Ninie, you've written another excellent novel. With your distinctive style, I am again impressed by the originality of your story-line. I'm yet to read Black Sunshine but it's at the top of my list. I'm looking forward to your next new book. You made my list of "Best 5 Authors for 2014". I'm glad I've found you.   Reply

Replies (2)

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"Oh, and about the 9 and the e beside my name. Say it fast, emphasis on the 9. That’s how you pronounce my first name -9e. (Think “rhymes with tiny and shiny, NOT with skinny and penny.”)

Suspense Author

I have soooo many stories I want to tell you, so many worlds I want you to see, so many people I want you to meet. People in trouble, most of them. Big trouble they didn't ask for but there it is. Ordinary folks like you and me who are forced by circumstances to fight for their lives. And then, smack in the middle of their everyday worlds they encounter the unexplainable. It's always the game-changer.

Welcome to my world. If you'd like to know more about me, I'm easy. Click on Meet Ninie and you'll see. My life isn't really an open book; it's more of a pamphlet, and you are cordially invited to read it. I'd love to interact with you on Twitter, Facebook Fan page, and Goodreads. Or come visit with me at 9e's Kitchen Table, a Facebook group where readers and I hang out. I think you'd like it.