Saturday, December 10, 2011

Find a happy place

I think, it's time for a break. Going to take a little time off of blogging, and a few other online things. It's the holidays, and I'm just not in a happy place. I kind of feel like I'm editing, like I'm on that emotional roller coaster editing puts me on. One minute, happy and excited about something, the next minute a complete 180. It's sucking my energy, which in effect, hurts my writing. Had a whole post written, hoping that venting would help. Sometimes, you just need to write things down, even if you put it away in a drawer for no one to see. When that doesn't work, maybe that's a sign to step back. I did declare I hated my book the other day and was going to burn it. I also wanted to destroy a present I made my my writing partner. Along with deleting a few half baked story ideas and extra scenes from my hard drive.

Don't know when I'll be back, probably around Christmas. The pessimistic part of me is telling me this is completely pointless. No one is going to miss me. It makes me half tempted not to post this to see if anyone does notice. Of course, I won't be completely gone. Have to check my email after all. My giveaway for my book end in seven days too and I'll have to get winner addresses. =D I'll leave you with this. I got a small mention in my hometown newspaper. They spelled Lynne wrong, but it's still pretty cool.

Hope you all have a happy holiday, and I'll talk to you later.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

What if, what if, what if..? And why not?

Guest post by Hayden Thorne

The following is an old article on genre YA fiction, and while it focuses largely on Sci-Fi (the online publication specializes in Sci-Fi, after all), it still takes on the young adult market along more general lines. What I really dig is the fact that Cory Doctorow discusses the value of genre fiction as a means through which young readers can explore their identities.

Genre YA fiction has an army of promoters outside of the field: teachers, librarians, and specialist booksellers are keenly aware of the difference the right book can make to the right kid at the right time, and they spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to convince kids to try out a book. Kids are naturals for this, since they really use books as markers of their social identity, so that good books sweep through their social circles like chickenpox epidemics, infecting their language and outlook on life. That's one of the most wonderful things about writing for younger audiences รณ it matters. We all read for entertainment, no matter how old we are, but kids also read to find out how the world works. They pay keen attention, they argue back. There's a consequentiality to writing for young people that makes it immensely satisfying. Read more

My favorite passage goes over the marginalized status (how very high school!) of Young Adult fiction in the mainstream. I've experienced it, myself - the dismissive way with which YA is often treated. Too easy to write for kids, unlike adults. Too simplistic. Too whatever. At the other end of the spectrum, we've got the Morality Police eyeing our every move. Frankly, I find that rather fun.

The lack of regard for YA fiction in the mainstream isn't an altogether bad thing. There's something to be said for living in a disreputable, ghettoized bohemia (something that old-time SF and comics fans have a keen appreciation for). There's a lot of room for artistic, political and commercial expectation over here in low-stakes land, the same way that there was so much room for experimentation in other ghettos, from hip-hop to roleplaying games to dime-novels. Sure, we're vulnerable to moral panics about corrupting youth (a phenomenon as old as Socrates, and a charge that has been leveled at everything from the waltz to the jukebox), but if you're upsetting that kind of person, you're probably doing something right.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Insecure Writer's Support Group

First Wednesday of the month so it's time to get your insecurities out or give gems of encouragement. It's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. I'm not entirely sure what I want to talk about, so I think I'll just ramble a bit and see what I end up with. Last month, I talked about some insecurities I had. I can't say those insecurities have vanished, but I do have some good news. My free short story I published last month has had almost 400 downloads on Smashwords.

I'm a little conflicted about that though. I wrote the short story with the intention of putting it up for free to give readers a taste of my writing style. At the end is a sample of Being Human with links to where that can be bought. It's a piece of advice I have seen other writers say works. Now, it's been less than a month, so I know not to expect ay activity on Being Human, but I still wonder. Out of those almost 400 downloads, how many people will actually read my little story? Is having a short story for free really worth it? I only have the one book out and other stories are still a long way off from being ready to be published. Maybe I jumped the gun, let my impatience get the best of me. Then again, it's not like having the free story will hurt. Maybe months down the road, a bunch of people who downloaded it will read it, read the sample and decide to buy Being Human. I don't know.

That's the hardest part to deal with. Not knowing. As writers, we pour our hearts and souls into our stories, and then we put them into the world with the hope that people will discover it and enjoy it. We all want to be the next J.K. Rowling or Stephen King. We really do, and we try our best to do everything we can think of to make that happen. For some it works, and others it doesn't. We have no way of telling who will hit that lucky strike.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Write, scrap, write, scrap, write

I forget how long after I finished Being Human that I started to write it's sequel, Being Vampire. The sequel popped into my head while I was finishing the first draft of Being Human. I have a bad habit of jumping from story to story, leaving behind unfinished drafts. But I resisted with Being Vampire. Tommy's story was almost done, and then I'd get to Drew's. Finally, I was done and ready to listen. I started writing, struggling a bit with how the story went. Only to put it aside when another character shouted louder. When I got back to Being Vampire, I wasn't too thrilled with what I had so I scrapped it and started over. Then another story got in the way and I set Being Vampire aside again.

I did this a few more times, trying to get into Drew's story, but struggling. Sometimes, I scrapped what I wrote and other times I got distracted by another story. I was beginning to feel a bit hopeless. There were parts of Drew's story that were crystal clear and I wanted to get to them, but the beginning was being difficult. I'm not one to write scenes out of order, but I gave that a shot. Still, I struggled.

This story just didn't seem to want to come.

Finally, I decided to try something I don't do. I decided to plot and summarize. And I was going to do it long hand. I grabbed a notebook and started summarizing how I wanted the beginning to go. I didn't get very far, only one full page, front and back. It was late, and I was tired.

The next day, I opened the notebook back up and started writing. It wasn't until I was halfway down the page that I realized I wasn't summarizing. I was writing! The words were finally flowing, Drew was talking. I kept writing longhand, the story turning out quite different than my first few attempts. I think that was part of my problem, the way I was trying to take the story wasn't making sense. It wasn't realistic and that was holding me back.

I can't wait to finish this first draft and start typing. I'm dying to know my word count, to see how much longer or shorter it is than Being Human. If I wanted, I could start typing now, but I don't want to loose my flow. Drew seems to be afraid of the computer right now. Hopefully, he gets over that when the first draft is done.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Only friends and family could love it

A twitter friend got his first low review the other day. He tweeted about it, and then I think deleted the tweets because I couldn't find them later. I went over to his goodreads page curious as to what the person said, why they didn't care for his book. A few things they said made me wonder. They said the grammar was bad, but I don't remember any bad grammar when I was reading. Then the reviewer stated that they were shocked by all the 5 star review. Those must have been written by family and friends was the assumption. That didn't sit well with me. After all, one of those 5 star reviews is mine.

My twitter friend and I talk a little on twitter, but honestly, I wouldn't say we are close friends. Work buddies or acquainted are more like it. We both write and we retweet each others links and wish the other to do well with our respective books. When I wrote my review of his book, I was giving my honest opinion and that opinion just happened to be that I loved it. I can't wait until the next book is available to buy. So, yeah, it rubbed me the wrong way that this reviewer thought my review wasn't honest. I was only doing it to be nice, to help boost his book. It also got me thinking.

Now, I have no issue with this person not liking the book. They are entitled to that opinion, and I am aware not everyone will like the same books I like. Some people may love the books, others think they are okay, and others loath a book I loved. That's fine, and I'm dreading the day I get a one or two star review that talks about how someone didn't like my book. No, my issue is with claiming the positive reviews must only be because of family and friends. While not totally untrue, it's still a bit insulting to the people who gave honest reviews. The book bloggers that were sent a free copy to review, or people who stumbled upon the book and honestly enjoyed it. By saying only friends and family would be nice enough to give a book 5 stars, you are saying those people aren't honest, when in fact, they are very honest. So people liked a book you didn't. That doesn't automatically mean those people are just being nice because they know the author.

I think people need to remember that. Even I need to remember that sometimes. Reviews are opinions and to each his/her own. So please, next time you read a book you didn't like that others have, don't assume their opinions are any less truthful than yours. Say why you didn't care for the book and leave it at that.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

New Author Blog Hop Part 2

There's still a few days left to New Author Blog Hop co-hosted by Of Thoughts and Words and Oh! For the Love of Books. I figured I'd spread a little more new author love by talking about a couple more new authors I've discovered and loved. And of course, they both have vampires show up. Really, you shouldn't be surprised. Don't forget to check out my other post for the blog hop and enter to win my book and my writing partner's book.

First up is Exiled by M.R. Merrick. I grabbed this book the day it was released and it was not a regret. Since then, I have heard nothing but praise from other readers and writers. This book rocks and I am eagerly waiting for the next book. Hurry up, Matt! Check out his blog for links on where to buy and to read what others are saying. Or read my review where I rant and rave over it.

Chase Williams is a demon hunter in the Circle, or at least he was supposed to be. On his fifteenth birthday, Chase stepped up to the altar to claim his elemental power, but it never came. Elemental magic is passed down to a hunter through the bloodline, but on Chase's birthday, the bloodline stopped.

Exiled without the Circle's protection, Chase has spent two years trying to survive a world riddled with half-demons and magic. When he has a run in with a frightened, and seemingly innocent demon, he learns the Circle's agenda has changed: the Circle plans to unlock a portal and unleash pure-blood demons into the world. Vowing to stop them, and knowing he can't do it alone, Chase forms a reluctant alliance with Rayna - a sexy witch with an attitude and a secret. In their attempt to stop them, Chase and Rayna find themselves in the middle of the Circle's plan, leaving one of them to decide what their friendship is worth, and the other's life depending on it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

New Author Blog Hop

It's tough being a new author and getting our stories into hands of readers. Fortunately, there are others looking to lend a hand to us noobs. The New Author Blog Hop runs from November 23rd to the 30th. It's co-hosted by Of Thoughts and Words and Oh! For the Love of Books. Thanks to both and don't forget to check out the other blogs participating.

Naturally, I am going to pimp my own book a little. You can find Being Human at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords in ebook format for $2.99. It's also available in paperback at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Createspace. Even more sites that carries it can be found here. Want to buy later? Add Being Human to your TBR list on GoodReads. There, you can keep track of other books I plan to publish as I add them. (Shameless promo here. If you need a book trailer, I can make you one at a price that won't drain your wallet.)

For Tommy, there is only one thing he needs to do: survive.

Only surviving isn't that easy. The hunt for blood can be tricky when humans know to fear the night. Desire sits on the edge of his mind, urging him to become the monster humans think he is. Vampire Forces, a special branch of police, is determined to turn every vampire to ash. Tommy included.

The only human Tommy can trust is his twin brother. A bond connects them, and with Danny's help, Tommy starts to understand the human world he struggles to survive in. He'll learn what friendships means and feel the sting of betrayal, find that sometimes the worst monsters are very human, and come to understand that family means more than blood.

Tommy just wants to survive and he knows what he needs to do. But with the number of humans that mean more to him than a meal growing, he'll learn there's more to life than simple survival. He'll discover being human doesn't mean being a human.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Overcoming NaNoWriMo Obstacles

Guest post by Emily Matthews

You've had a novel brewing inside you for years, but every time you sat down to write you felt the weight of the world -- or, to be more accurate, the weight of your big, fat, inner critic -- on your shoulders. Then you discovered National Novel Writing Month and you were inspired. 10,000 words went by like nothing at all. But inspiration is flagging, and that inner critic has set up residence on your frontal lobe.

Even if reaching the 50,000 word finish line has lost its appeal, don't give up. This isn’t your masters degree thesis you’re writing. This is supposed to be a fun challenge. The first thing to keep in mind is that nearly everyone who participates experiences the exact same deflation at one point or another. Check their website's forums and you'll see you are not alone.

Purdue University Online Writing Lab offers tips for overcoming anxiety when you sit down to write. Deep breathing, physical exercise, comforting rituals, and stream-of-consciousness "free-writing" may help loosen you up and keep the fun of the competition alive.

The beauty of the contest, however, is that your novel doesn't have to be brilliant or even readable, despite what your inner critic keeps growling at you. If you've written a certain number of words and find yourself not caring about the story you've begun, start a new chapter with a completely different cast of characters, a new setting, and a plot that has nothing to do with the one you started writing. Surprise yourself.

Embrace the Rainbow

I'm a little indecisive about this post. Might be opening up a can of worms with the topic. People have opinions and some state those opinions loudly, and I'm not looking for debate or arguments on this blog. This blog will always be about writing, but sometimes I need to step away and talk about something else. Whether those topics are music, my nephews or something that not everyone may agree on. But I do feel a strong urge to say something, to show my support for friends. I guess I'll keep typing, and see if at the end, I still want to publish this post.

Today is Transgender Remembrance Day. The 13th one to be exact. As you can guess it's a day to remember people who were bullied, hurt, even killed for being different. They didn't neatly fit into the little gender slots and for that they suffered. What instantly comes to mind is a video of a transgender person being beat up in a McDonald and no one doing anything. I can't really ask how no one can step up because we all know now-a-days people are afraid to get involved. They hope someone else will take care of it. Quite sad, eh?

There are two people on my twitter list that I talk to - two men - that are transgender. I'm not going to name names or tell you who they are though. Why? Because, honestly, I don't see them as transgender men and telling you might make you only see that part of them. I know they are, but when I talk to them, I'm talking to a guy. What's in their pants doesn't change that fact. Hell, I even mistook one for a woman when I first met him. What he said seemed too sensitive for a guy to say. Now... well, let's just say he's perverted as every other guy I know. ^_~

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Blogversary and Birthday Give Away Winners

This is it. The big 3-0 as well as one year (approximately) with this blog. Did you know I have a website now? Yeah, I'm toying with the idea of moving the blog there. Would you all follow me? Anyways, enough chit chat. You want to know who won what. All winners were chosen by and given up to three chances to win each prize.

Winner of the bookmarks - Marni Mann. Fun fact, Marni was big, big help in making Being Human what it is.

Winner of the Marker's Song Prize Pack - Emily Casey

Winner of the Vlad Tod prize pack - Aura Roy

Winner of a signed copy of Being Human - Angel Lopez

Winner of Vampire Knight - Emily Casey

Winner of the Vampire Encyclopedia - Mrlin13 aka Lin Rice

Congrats to all the winners. I will be contacting you later today for your mailing addresses so I can mail you your prizes. Thanks everyone who commented and entered. Now, I'm off to enjoy the rest of my birthday which includes playing with my new kindle that my hubby got me. SQUEE!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Last Warm Fuzzie Moment

It's the last week of the Warm Fuzzies Blogfest. I'm kind of sad. It was fun hopping around and discovering new people and their writing. Makes this post bitterswee.

This week, post what makes writing worth it for you and most importantly, post one of your Warm Fuzzy moments. It can be a scene from a WIP, short story, poem, anything that strikes your fancy. Visit one another’s posts and enjoy the writing you find there.

I instantly had a scene come to mind. In my debut novel, Being Human there is a scene at the end between Tommy and Sunlight that is so crystal clear in my head every time I think about it. Each time it plays out like a movie scene and all I can think is how awesome it would be if Being Human was made into a movie and to see that scene come to life. It even has music to go with it. Having a scene come to me so crystal clear is one of the reason I love writing and getting those words to tell that scene is such an amazing experience. Then knowing that people will read it, see the scene I created puts me on cloud nine. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

There was something I needed to do.
Summoning my last bit of energy, I snapped the cuffs and shoved Vampire Forces away. The distance between us felt like millions of miles, Sunlight impossible to reach. I put everything I had into crossing the room, to reaching her. And when I did, I spared a moment for my family.
“I’m sorry.”
Dan locked eyes with me and the color drained from his face. “No.”
Then I turned to Sunlight and everything disappeared. The humans, the courtroom and trial, the scientists and experiments. All I saw was our time together. The details sped by, every moment of every night spent with her crystal clear before me. It made me smile and laugh and want to cry. All those moments combined into one second in time, one moment that was only me and her, and for the first time nothing else mattered. Hunger and need didn’t matter, my own survival was insignificant. As I gazed into her eyes, I finally understood what it meant to be human.
I kissed her.
She kissed me back.

This scene always makes me feel warm and fuzzy, even if what happens next really kills it. Anyways, don't forget to head over to Juliana's blog to check out everyone else's post. I guess we were supposed to keep track of points but I never did. Oh well, I found some cool new blogs, and a few stories I can't wait to learn more about. Thanks Juliana.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I Love the Noughties Blogfest

I've been pretty lucky lately. There's been a ton of good blogfest going on the past few months, and I love doing blogfests. When I saw this one hosted by Dave Wrote This, I couldn't pass it up. First, I thought it was pick one thing and talk about it. Which made it very simple. 2004 American Idiot by Green Day was released and I never miss a chance to talk about the wonder that is Green Day. I still am, but the blogfest is about something every year.

Let's get started. Okay, year 2000, that one is easy. I graduated from high school. Of course, much to my dismay, when voting for class song, I will Remember you got picked over Anthem for the Year 2000. I was a bit outraged. I mean, come on! We were graduating in the year 2000, it should have been a no brainer.

2001, let's see, oh yes, I GOT TO SEE GREEN DAY LIVE! OMG, I was in heaven. Lost my shoes in the mosh pit. Fortunately, I found them at the end of the concert. Then everyone was kicked out before I could call my ride to get me. I ended up taking a ride from a complete stranger who had also been at the concert. I gave him ten dollars for gas, and we had a nice conversation on the drive back to my dorm. Always kinda thought I was lucky. I mean, that dude so could have kidnapped and killed me. I also could have not found my shoes and had my coat stolen. Oh, and I'm pretty sure I saw my shoe go flying in the mosh pit and hit Billy Joe in the face. Not 100% sure, but the shoe looked quite familiar.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

#WhyIWrite: Jenna's two cents

Hello, everyone! Patricia has the lovely new guest series called “Why I Write” and was kind enough to let me add my two cents.

I can’t say that I have as much experience as last week’s poster, Kaje Harper, who’s already been published and is making money. Instead, I’ll speak from the point of view of an unpublished writer. There are lots of us out there!

Sure, when I was in 6th grade I wrote a poem about a pig in a typhoon that got published in two books (I can still recite all five stanzas to this day!). Since then, I haven’t won any writing contests (excluding a Christmas carol one about final exams that our principal held). I’ve received fourteen rejection letters from agents. Does this stop me from writing?

Is that a real question?

Words move people. They have the ability to change a decision or a person’s entire life. How can I not write when my prose might someday touch another person in a significant way?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Warm Fuzzies Week 3

This week, take a moment to look at the trouble you get your MC into. How do you kick them while they’re down? Without revealing too many secrets about your WIP- take us through your MC’s arch.
The challenge for this week is to visit as many blogs as you can and based on their exert/summary, come up with a title for their WIP. Your title can be funny or serious, whatever you’d like.

Okay, my MC's arch. Oh jeez, I have never thought about it. When I write, I don't plot at all, so most of the time, I don't know what the arch is until the story is done. Let me pop back over to Juliana's post and reread her post to kick start my brain.

My WIP begins with werewolves howling. In the book before this WIP, Eric thought he had left his life in the pack behind, and was ready to move forward with Ben. But it seems his pack has found him. What do they want? What will the do? According to his sister, Sarah, his dad wants him to come back. After a little angst over what to do, Eric and Ben decide to go. Coming home isn't easier either, and Eric starts to worry how Ben is dealing with life in the pack. But there's something else, or someone else more accurately, that isn't dealing well with Eric's return. Someone who is determined to tear Ben and Eric apart.

Hmm, that sounds a bit more dramatic than it really is. But it's a good start for a blurb. Which reminds me, where did I put the blurb for the story this is a sequel to? Anyways, that's my character's arch (I think.) What do you think a good title will be? Feel free to throw in a serious title suggestion because as of right now, these two books have no titles and it makes Ben and Eric very sad. Also, don't forget to check out the list of participants here.

PS: Shameless book plug. You can get Being Human for 99cents at Smashwords using code RG96L. Code expires on my birthday, November 18th.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Vampire Myths

It's almost been a year since I've started this blog, so by now, it should be obvious I like vampires. They are the one creature I write about the most. The thing is, no two story is really alike. I constantly get new ideas for a vampire story, but each one is a twist on the myth. It was something I never really thought much until a writing friend, MaryBeth, pointed out a story she was beta reading for me she found a bit hard to get into because the vampires in that story were so different from the vampires in Being Human.

I started wondering if other people would feel the same. If I published another vampire story would readers be turned off by the change in mythology? Maybe not, but some might find it harder to get into the story after spending time in Tommy's world.

And it's not just vampires either. I have werewolf stories that each have a different twist. Demon and angel stories that are in different worlds. Other stories I mix up my romances. Most authors I know stick with either Female/Male romances or Male/Male romances. I haven't read a series by anyone where they swapped, and I have a four part short stories series where I switch back and forth between M/M and M/F relationships.

Part of it is that is how the stories come to me and the other part is I like coming up with new twists. How can I recreate the myth? What hasn't been done before? The ideas get me excited to write. I need to be cautious though. If I have a story that takes more than one book, then I need to publish those before switching to a telling of the myth.

What this means is, JJ's story, Out of Secrets, has to be put on the back burner until I get Being Human's sequel written and published. I don't have to completely forget JJ. If I do everything right, then I can get Out of Secrets published shortly after Being Vampire. Of course, it would also help if I could get Drew talking to me. He was a little and then Eric, a character from my werewolf short story, decided his sequel needs to be told first. At least I have stories without vampires I can publish while we all wait for Drew to talk to me.

Also, check out Cassie's review of Being Human at Shadow Kisses and enter to win Being Human in book and a signed bookmark. Or, head over to Smashwords and enter XE76H at check out to get Being Human for 99 cents. Code expires November 18th.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Insecure Writer's Support Group - Silence

I kind of keep forgetting about this. After all, it's once a month, at the beginning of the month, and I had the button near the bottom on my blog. Hence, I didn't see it and forget until the day everyone is posting their story for the group. First time, I got lucky and had a post up that I could use. Second time, I had nothing. This time, I am on it! I have a topic, I have a post ahead of time. I WILL REMEMBER! (Click on the image to see the list of participants.)

Lately, I've been feeling insecure about what I'm doing. It's not for the lack of trying, because I am. No, it's the response I'm getting from trying. Which is silence. I use bitly to track my links to my books on Smashwords, Amazon, and B&N. Usually, the tracking shows something, but lately, there's been nothing. No one is clicking. The other day I got my bookmarks in and excitedly tweeted about it. Only a few friends said anything. Same with my request for guests. Only a few responses or comments.

It had me sitting back and wondering, Why am I bothering? What happened? Then I start to panic. Am I being too pushy? Am I bugging people so they're just ignoring me? We all know writers don't need to panic about stuff like that. It gets in the way of creativity and word count. I started feeling like the world was flying by and all my yelling and arm waving was being ignored. Which is also bad for word count. I'd stare at my work in progress and know how the story needed to go, but the words weren't there. They are missing from my head, replaced by panic and fear.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Dawn of Book Review

About a year ago I met Daniel on twitter. I forgot what had us following each other, but I remember a tweet that seemed to initiate contact. I was trying to be cute and start a hashtag #writersunite. Only I made a typo and had #writersunit. He pointed it out to me. After that, we were constantly chatting and soon we swapped manuscripts to critique. I read his story that afternoon, devoured it actually. All while stopping to make notes. Now, almost a year later, I was reading it again, searching for mistakes he might have missed and any last suggestions. I still loved it too, so when it came for him to have a blog tour for the release of his story, I told him I wanted a day and I was going to do a review.

Dawn of Darkness
Daeva One

Unburdened by the pain of loss and heartbreak, Mikhail is content with his life of solitude. But everything began to change the day he realised he has a psychic ability — the power to alter the emotions of those around him.
Ushered into the Military Academy with others like him — other Daevas — Mikhail does his part to help tip the scales of war against the vampires that destroyed the world and plague what remains of humanity. But after going up against his first vampire, Mikhail starts to question everything he thought to be true.
To discover the truth and expose the lies he once believed, Mikhail will set out on a journey of discovery, and learn some things about himself in the process.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

#WhyIWrite: Kaje on M/M Romance

Today I am starting a little guest series I am hoping to call #WhyIWrite. From the hashtag, you can tell it's something that's popped up on twitter. That's not where I got the idea, but I did borrow it for the guest series. Posts will happen every Friday. So, please welcome Kaje Harper as she tells you why she writes. And feel free to share your own why I write stories. (Or contact me to be a guest.)

Hi, my name is Kaje Harper and I write M/M Romance.

That sounds like the opening of an AA meeting, with one big exception. I'm not looking to quit. I love what I do, and I think more people should do it too.

My friend Patricia invited me to take a turn here on her blog to talk about why I love to write. Gotta say – it's not for the money. I have 4 novels and five shorter pieces floating around, and so far I've made...drum-roll please... about $650. Now I admit, that's partly because my first book came out just this April, my publisher pays quarterly, and the second-party vendors pay on the previous quarter. When my next check arrives, it will hopefully be bigger. Oh, and that also doesn't count the $120 from my Amazon short story, which I donated to charity. But it's pretty clear that writing in this genre isn't a get-rich quick scheme.

Which leaves just one answer. Probably the same one you've heard from other writers here. I love it. I would write even if no-one ever read my work. In fact I did that. When I started actually taking the stories out of my head and putting them on paper five years ago, it was just for my own entertainment. I had about seven novels on my hard drive by the time my husband got tired of the keyboard clicking and suggested my obsession would be a lot more understandable if I was actually getting paid for it. So I tried selling one, and lo and behold, people were willing to buy it. The hourly rate is still laughable, but it's now an official occupation.

But the joy is in the creation. People appear under my fingers who had no existence before I breathed life into them.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Internet Book Fair BlogFest

I only just heard about M.A. Leslie's Book Fair Blogfest mere hours before it happened. It came across my twitter stream and it brought back fond memories of my childhood and the excitement of Book Fairs at my schools. There were always so many books and I could only get one or two. It was torture! I knew I had to sign up for this and my TBR pile will grow because of it. Hopefully, you will add my book to your TBR pile as well.

Being Human is a story about a vampire named Tommy, who, when he was turned, no longer remembers his human life.

For Tommy, there is only one thing he needs to do: survive.

Only surviving isn't that easy. The hunt for blood can be tricky when humans know to fear the night. Desire sits on the edge of his mind, urging him to become the monster humans think he is. Vampire Forces, a special branch of police, is determined to turn every vampire to ash. Tommy included.

The only human Tommy can trust is his twin brother. A bond connects them, and with Danny's help, Tommy starts to understand the human world he struggles to survive in. He'll learn what friendships means and feel the sting of betrayal, find that sometimes the worst monsters are very human, and come to understand that family means more than blood.

Tommy just wants to survive and he knows what he needs to do. But with the number of humans that mean more to him than a meal growing, he'll learn there's more to life than simple survival. He'll discover being human doesn't mean being a human.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Be My Guest (Blogger)

Okay, so you didn't have to watch the whole video to get that I am looking for guest bloggers. It's not that I don't have things to say, because I do. I realized, I never really have a lot of guests. Here and there I've had someone guest for me, but it's really sporadic. So I'd like to invite my friends to be a guest on my blog, I want to hear your stories about why you like to write. Not a writer? What about why you love books and reading? Share your experiences on reading and writing, and why it's important.

To sign up pop me an email at patricialynne07(@)gmail(.)com - minus parenthesis.

Also, if you have a book to pimp, add it at the bottom of your email with a short bio about yourself and I will include it the post. I'll post each guest post on Fridays along with tweeting about it. If you really want, we can do a give away for your book as well. =D

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sexiest Book Review Alive

It's time for another book review for Marie's Spooktacular October Paranormal Reading Challenge. I'm cheating again, but in a different way. The book I had started to read, well, it's going kind of slow and the end of October is creeping up. So, I'm going to review a book I read a few weeks ago. It's not an indie book either.

I forget exactly how I discovered Kerrelyn Sparks' Love at Stake Series, but I was hooked. Like any woman, I enjoy romances, even more so when there's a paranormal element to it. Kerrelyn's books had the added element of humor. When I read the first one I laughed out loud a few times as I read. Her latest book, Sexiest Vampire Alive had some nice humor to it as well. In fact, I think she went above and beyond by making fun at romance novels and vampire stories.

In terms of story, I was very interested in this installment. If you read Vampire Mine then you'll know things are changing for the vampires in her books and it's up to Gregory to save the day. He has to go to the president of the United States and convince him that vampires are harmless. Which didn't go too well, since part of the secret service's job is to view everything as a threat. So, when Gregory teleported near the president, all hell broke lose.

It also allowed his love interest to discover he was a vampire early on. I found that refreshing. Most vampire romances have the woman ignorant to what her lover is until near the end. When she finds out, that causes problems. She gets scared, conflicted, blah, blah, blah. It's been done, so it was great to read a story that didn't hinge on that to cause conflict between the characters.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Some truth about being published

Let's gather in a nice little circle around the campfire and have a little truthful discussion. I am going to be brutally honest with you, no holding back or sugarcoating.

I am completely bummed out my books didn't instantly take off.

It's been almost two months since I released Being Human and sales have been... Well, they are happening, but not on a grand scale that has me rolling in money and laughing madly. (Is there any other way to laugh? ^_~) Hubby's paycheck hasn't become play money.

Sure, I knew it wouldn't happen. I wasn't expecting over night success or internet sensation. But it'd be a lie if I said a small part of me really hoped that's what would happen. What author - traditional or indie - wouldn't want that to happen? Just because I'm prepared for something less than spectacular doesn't mean I've given up all hope that maybe, just maybe, something big will happen. If there wasn't that little bit of hope, then there would probably be no motivation to publish. What's the point if I'm not quietly hoping for the impossible while loudly bracing for the inevitable? I could just write my book and share with family and friends.

That little spark of hope for the impossible is what keeps us going. To imagine thousands of people reading our books, loving them and demanding more. It's a dream that can happen. Maybe not to me, or not to you. Maybe only with a lot of persistence or a complete stroke of luck. Maybe by the fifth book I publish (please note, I have no idea how many books I will publish) I'll reach that level of stardom I secretly hoped I'd reach when I first hit publish. I have no idea if or when it will happen. But I'm still hoping.

I'm not going to let reality get me down. I'm not going to snuff out my hope on the pretense of that will never happen to me. That hope keeps me focused on improving. Maybe if I make the next book even better. Maybe if I climb this hill. Get over that bump. If I keep going, maybe someday, something big will happen.

Giving up would mean giving up hope of something - anything - happening.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

New Blood Book Trailer

As you all know, I decided to start a book trailer service. This weekend, I got my first paid order. Paul Dorset contacted me about his upcoming book, New Blood. Naturally, I was excited. And nervous. My guidelines I set on the site for my trailers were going to be put to the test and I would find out if I missed any important details. There were bumps, but Paul and I emailed back and forth and worked through the bumps. I even learned something new about iMovie. I am very grateful he was understanding and patient with me. Sometimes, I'd email him, and then notice something and feel like a complete airhead.

In the end, I tweaked my guidelines a bit and changed what the $50 fee included. Paul also suggested I give samples of music. Not a bad idea. I think what I'll do is pick two pieces of music and make two trailers for the person to choose from. Changing the music isn't hard. I duplicate the original project and drop new music in. I do wish I had been able to find music that Paul loved, but I really enjoy the music I picked for his. I thought it matched the blurb and the images very well. Hopefully, his potential readers think so as well and the trailer helps drive sales. New Blood sounds like a really interesting read. My TBR pile may be at risk of growing even faster thanks to this service.

I want to give Paul a big thank you for hiring me and I hope his book does well. I know I'm going to buy it. Now, without further ado, please enjoy the trailer for New Blood.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

She Was Allowed to Guest

Today I have a treat and by treat, I mean a guest blogger. Welcome LaviniaThompson, she is going to tell us about her recently release collection of poems, She Wasn't Allowed to Giggle, and why she decided to go the indie route.

1)What got you into writing? Tell us about your journey.
I have been writing since I could put pen to paper so it seems. I don’t remember when I started writing, but I was very young. It has always been my passion. Growing up, I couldn’t think of what else I wanted to do with my life. I went through the motions of trying to figure it out. I got told lots- “Don’t go into writing or journalism. There’s no money there. Go into nursing. Do something with yourself.” As if following my own dreams wasn’t doing anything for myself.

I don’t remember exactly when my mother’s abusive ex came into the picture, either, but I do remember all the dark days and nights that followed. I remember watching my mother get hit and thrown around, screamed at and accused of cheating or not caring for her kids or of being an alcoholic or a drug addict. I remember getting yelled at, for not doing well enough in school or not doing something right or being a bad sister or a lesbian. In a small town, these accusations and verbal abuses got around. I was bullied at school, abused at home and witnessed abuse. Writing back then was my sanctuary. My bedroom was the only place where I could shut the world out, hide away and write away everything only for a little while. My dark fantasy series, “Spellbound” was started around this time. This is also when many of the poems in “She Wasn’t Allowed to Giggle” were written.

Many of those pieces were lost when Mom’s ex burned down the house in 2004. Eight years of abuse and life went up in smoke that July. So did my original draft of “Spellbound by Fire” and so did numerous poems which I never got to salvage. Mom’s ex left town that summer. I guess the healing journey should have begun...or so they say it should. In reality, the healing journey never ends as much as it progresses. I kept writing. I graduated high school and was still trying to figure out what to do with my life. In 2009 I began working seriously on “Spellbound” for the first time since the house fire and was toying with the idea of a poem book about domestic violence. But I wasn’t ready to face those poems then. I went to college and majored in journalism. In my second college year, “Spellbound by Fire” got accepted for publication through Hellfire Publishing. It was just this past summer (2011) when I decided to embark on a self-publishing journey and I knew what my first project would be: I wanted to get that poetry collection about domestic violence done and published. And so here it is. All these years later after the abuse came and went, dominated and defeated; I have the voice and power today.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A warm bodied review

I was a little torn. When I signed up for Marie's Spooktacular October Paranormal Reading Challenge, I planned to do self published books, help get the word out on self published books that I found that I thought deserved a little bit of time in the spotlight. Then I got a package from Amazon that had three pararnormal books I wanted to read and I wasn't opposed to reading those for the challenge either. But fate has smiled upon me and I discovered one of the books, Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion, started out self published. Let the gushing begin!

I love this book. I haven't read a lot of zombie books but I'm glad this was one. It was an interested take on zombies. How a person became a zombie, what drove them to eat people and what happens when they eat the brains. The way the zombies interacted was interesting too. While they did tend to stare at walls for hours, they had some interesting interactions. Like the main character, R, and how he met his girlfriend. They were riding the conveyor in the airport the zombies live at and it stops with them facing each other. How they get married is even more interesting. When R and his wife have kids... well, that was just too damn cute. Can you imagine a little zombie family? Husband, wife and two kids? I kind of wish there were more scenes where R interacted with his kids.

The characters, well, I loved R. He was deep and I felt his frustration when he couldn't articulate what was going through his head. Julie was a fun spitfire. Loved how determined she was to survive in the hell her life had become, but at the same time was flawed enough to feel hopeless and in need of support. M, I wasn't too sure about him at first, but he was interesting. I had no idea a zombie could be such a playboy. Perry was the character that shocked me the most despite being killed by R in the first chapter. The way he was there for R, kind guiding him like a guardian angel.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Blog Anniversary and Birthday Extravaganza

I am reaching another milestone. This November it will be a year since I started this blog. A YEAR! Can you believe it? When I started, I had no idea if I'd ever get anyone to read, let along comment. Yet you do. I have to admit, each comment still blows me away. My stats blow me away. YOU blow me away. <3

But not only is November my blog anniversary, it's also my birthday. I will admit it. I'm turning 30. Eep moment....... Okay, now that that's over, let's get down to business. And by business I mean LET'S CELEBRATE! And by let's celebrate I mean I'm going to bug the crap out of you to enter to win stuff. Might as well be honest about it.

I have cool stuff though! Like bookmarks. I have eight bookmarks to give away. Two Vladimir Tod/Joss Mcmillian booksmarks by Heather Brewer, two Afterlife/Feast bookmarks by Merrie Destefano, two Maker's Song bookmarks by Adrian Phoenix, and two SIGNED WitchEyes bookmarks by Scott Tracy.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

My first book event.... sorta

This past weekend, I had a craft sale I was a vendor at. Last minute, I decided to bring along my books. I figured I could squeeze them into a small spot and maybe I'd sell a copy or two. Well, I am beyond excited to say I sold six. SIX! And everyone ask me to sign their books. I didn't offer, THEY asked me! The vendor across from me bought one to not only read it but to display the bookmarks she made. So all day my book was on display in two booths.

It was kind of funny. People would pick up the book, read the back and ask my little sister or I who wrote it. When I said me, they were kind of shocked. Then the shock turned into a bit of starstruck. They thought it was cool to be meeting the author.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Guest Post: Rebeka Harrington Revealed

“Leave behind your preconceived ideas, forget the horror stories and disregard everything you think you know about vampires.
For centuries the debate has raged; are vampires real?  There has been plenty of myth and superstition regarding vampires but not a lot of truth or answers.  In a unique piece of work, Bektamun a 3000 year old vampire, puts to rest all the myth and finally reveals the truth about the legendary creatures known across the globe as vampires.
Vampires Revealed is a journey of discovery. Never before have humans had and an opportunity such as this.  To know the unadulterated truth, for every question you may have ever had about vampires to be answered” ~Synaposis for Vampires Revealed.~

Self-Publishing: The Vampires Revealed Odyssey
By Rebeka Harrington

When Patricia and I discussed the idea of me doing a guest post for her, she suggested I write about why I had chosen to self-publish. Seemed easy enough… until I sat down and faced the computer screen.

You see, before I was confronted with which publishing route to take, first I had to decide whether I not even wanted to publish my work. To publish or not to publish? That was the question.

Vampires Revealed as a project, was unplanned. I liken it to a ‘happy accident’.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

2011 Spooktacular October Paranormal Reading Challenge

Okay, I admit, sometimes I can be lazy when it comes to challenges. The more it requires the less inclined I am to do it. I like the challenges where all I have to do is comment or something insanely easy. When I did the A to Z Challenge, I was nervous because it required a post every day. But I got through it and even had posts ready in advance for it. You'd think after that I'd be, "Challenges? Psssh, I eat challenges for breakfast." I'm not. I still wuss out if the challenge requires a lot.

Well, no more right? Umm, yeah, sure, whatever you want think.

I do have a challenge I'm going to. *Points to post title.* It's hosted by my friend, Marie over at Ramblings of a Daydreamer. It sounded like fun, and despite my worry that I won't find time to read enough books, I signed up. The challenge is this:

Read and review a minimum of three paranormal books for the month of October and sign up to participate on her site. Not too hard right? There's a little more. On October 1st there will be a post with a Mr. Linky. You add each review to that and in return get entered in a giveaway. Oh, and it's not just limited to paranormal. Any otherworldly creature will do. That means mermaids, fairies, gnomes, the loc ness monster. You get the idea.

And that's it. Sounds like fun, right? You know you want to do this with me. (Just like you wanted to do the character interview at The Undeveloped Story.) How can you say no to winning books? BOOKS people! As a writer I know I don't have enough. I should go buy more. (And hubby steals all my debit cards now.)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Another milestone author moment

I hate book trailers. They are the most boring things ever for me to watch. I've seen one that I liked and it was for First Kill by Heather Brewer. The rest... I can live without. That being said, I've often thought should I get one made for Being Human? Lots of people I know love book trailers. But how much would it cost? Can I afford it right now being unemployed? My only cash coming in is the small trickle of sales (and hubby.) I have a credit card I can put it on, but I hesitated.

Do I really need a book trailer?

Then my writing partner in crime fiddled with some video software and made his own. It's nothing fancy, just a bit of text on a background talking about the book. No, I didn't think, I can do that. I thought, He can make me one too! That idea didn't go over too well. *sniff* But the seeds were planted and I was really starting to want a book trailer of my own.

I grudgingly accepted that, yes, I could do it myself. My hubby is a computer nerd so he could help me out if needed. I asked what program was used and mentioned it to hubby. Hubby didn't much care for that program and pointed out on the MacBook I'm using, if I switch over to the Mac OS, there is iMovie I can use that should be much easier to use. We popped over to the Mac OS, got an updated version of iMovie and I went to work. When I opened the program and had a moment of panic. Now what??? I had no idea. I figured it out eventually, found a nice background, typed in the script I wrote up and got the music and an image of my book cover added. After that, it was fiddling with the music and time so when changes in the music happened, the text would change. I really enjoyed that part. It took me about five hours I think. I didn't really time myself. I know Thor started and finished while I was doing it, but then the TV went off and I didn't look at the time any.

Now, I must warn you, I have never done anything like this before. What you are seeing is a n00b's first attempt at making a video of any kind. It screams novice. But I'm glad I did it myself. I had a lot of fun and I am very pleased with how it turned out. Even if it's not fancy or completely perfect, I like the fact I did it myself, that it became part of my self publishing journey. So, I will shut up now and you can enjoy the premier of my first book trailer. (10/18/11 note. Changed the trailer because original music was copyrighted and had to find different music. Also added images.)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Little Things Review

I am excited. This is my first author asked me to read and review their book review! How cool is that? Maybe you don't think it's that cool, but I do. Phil got a hold of me on twitter, asking if I'd be interested in a non-paranormal book of short stories to review. He also said there would be British humor. (He must have read my review of Unnatural Selection where I fangirled over the British terms.) I loaded the PDF (making the font larger made it display funny, but I think that's one of the flaws of PDFs) onto my Sony eReader and packed it up for my trip down to my sister's. I wasn't sure I'd have time to read, but once my nephew was in bed and the house quiet, I was able to read a little.

Little Things synopsis: Have you ever wondered why ants all fly on the same day? What do elves really think about their image? How did they measure customer satisfaction on RMS Titanic? What are the rules of Flan Club? And what happens when a police detective starts to obsess over Sudoku?

The answers to all of these questions - and more - are here. The 16 tales here - the 'Little Things' of the title - are short stories designed to give you quick, easy laughs and an insight into the odd world hiding just beneath the surface.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Interview with the Character Blogfest

This little blog fest is thanks to Melissa at The Undeveloped Story. Don't forget to pop by there and see the list of participants and interviews.

It's always fun getting to know your characters more. A joy to put them in the spotlight and grill them on details of their life outside of the story. Today, my victim *ahem* character is Cage from my next release (hopefully) Out of Secrets.

Cage eyes me cautiously: What do you mean hopefully? You better do it. JJ would be crushed.

I'll just ignore that threat and get started. We’ll start out with the basic. Introduce yourself please.
Cage: My nickname is Cage and my real name is something I'd rather not give out.

Cage: Names hold power over a vampire. More so when it's a human speaking the name. Let's say another vampire knew my name and told me to stop. I would stop. If a human said my name and told me to stop every five feet, I would have no choice but to stop every time I walked five feet until the spell of my name wore off. Fortunately, it's not a permanent spell.

Spell? As in magic?
Cage shrugs: I'm not sure how else to describe it. How do you describe the unexplainable?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Reviewing MY book

There have been a lot of scary moments on my journey to publication. I swear I have freaked out over something at every turn. Asking friends to read a draft, finding beta readers, getting beta readers thoughts back, editing, hiring a cover artist. Yup, I have been a complete spaz about this process.

But the single most terrifying thing, the one thing I can't overcome my fear of is book reviewers. Just thinking about asking someone to review my book makes me want to hide. Sure it's a bit like beta reading but the thing is if they find flaws, I'm not going to change the story. The story is published and any changes would deal with punctuation or maybe I'll stick that missing THE in my hubby found. Minor stuff.

Sure, book reviewers will notice bad punctuation (not that I'm saying I have any. I did hire an editor to fix my lack of knowledge about comma rules,) but their focus will be on the story, the characters. Have my characters been fleshed out or do they fall flat? Am I bouncing around in POV? They are reading my book and forming an opinion on a finished product. I am so terrified of what they will say. Yes, I know not everyone will like it and I'm sure there will be one and two star reviews. Three stars isn't really a bad thing. Chances are the reviewer liked your story, but found flaws that weren't to their personal tastes. Book reviewing is subjective. What one reviewer loves, another hates. One might forget a small slip here while another laments it in their review.

Monday, September 12, 2011

#YesGayYA (and adult books too!)

So the writing world is all a twitter again. Something happened, something noteworthy in my opinion. It came across my stream as a harmless tweet, then a few tweets up another person posted about it. I clicked the article and started reading. (Article in question can be found here.) For those of you who don't wish to click, I'll give you a quick summary. Two authors were told/ask/requested by an agent of a major agency that if they wanted their story published they either had to take the gay character out or make him straight.

By now, you all should be saying, "What?"

And with good reason. I know a lot of people who frequent this blog are writers. We have writer minds and thus have little to no control over our characters. They pop in our head, fully formed with a life and events they can't wait to tell us about. Part of that includes their sexuality. I've said in other blog posts, that I don't pick my characters sexuality. They declare it. Although, the current work in progress, my main character was a little confused about his. He's got it figured out now (bisexual in case you're curious.) Me trying to change something about my characters would be like asking a friend to change their hair color. Permanently. Sure they can dye their hair, but that doesn't change the fact they were born with a certain hair color and it'd still be wrong of me to demand that of them.

I couldn't never ask that of my characters or my friends. Or books I read. I read a book a few nights ago. It was amazing, I devoured it and want to read more from that author. Guess what. The main character was gay! His love interest was gay. I never once thought, "Gee, this story would be SO much better if the main character was straight. He/She is totally unrelated to me because of that fact." You know why that never crossed my mind? Because it didn't matter. I still related to the character and his struggle, I empathized with him. OMG stop the press, a straight, white chick is empathizing with a gay police detective. The world will now end.

I don't think so.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Unnatural Review

Read a book, it was good so I guess I'll tell you about it. This book came across my twitter stream. The tweet really didn't give any details. Just said New Novella: Unnatural Selection. Naturally, the word unnatural made me think, "VAMPIRES! Please let there be vampires!" I figured I'd give it a click and see if the description perked my interest more.

And there was vampires. Sorta. Kinda. Yeah. Well, let me give you the synopsis and that will explain why there's kinda sorta vampires. (Oh yeah, author is Ann Somerville. I kept tweeting her while reading and am so tweeting this to her. Hi Ann! I'm a little jacked up on MT Dew right now. Not a good thing at 11:38PM. Back to the review!)

Four years ago, Nick Guthrie nearly died from a brain tumour  until he received an experimental treatment that saved his life, even though the treatment brought bizarre and permanent side effects. Now he drinks fake blood to live, and has had to have his new long canines capped, but it’s a small price to pay to keep doing the job he loves. He’s a cop, part of a London Met Police Murder Investigation team.

His current case involves trying to find the person ritualistically killing gay ‘vees’. With no witnesses and no clues, the police are stymied, but Nick won’t give up until their killer is found.

Complicating his life is Dr Anton Marber, an attractive, gay minor celebrity Nick saves from being kicked to death one night. Nick doesn’t expect to see Anton again, but Anton is amazingly stubborn when it comes to things that are important to him, like Nick’s case, Nick’s diet and Nick’s determination never to fall in love again.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Guest Post: Damyanti and Flash Fiction

I met Patricia Lynne During the A to Z challenge, at her first post, which was all about her Wedding Day. Being 1st April, All Fools day, I didn’t believe her at first. But then, eventually, I did.

When I heard she was coming out with her book, Being Human, I wanted to host her on my blog, and she did stop by during her blog tour.

Today, she has asked me what hooked me to flash fiction, and why I love it so much. I’m going to do my best to answer both questions. Thank you Patricia, for having me here, and I hope I do justice to your invite.

My Journey: Writing Flash Fiction

Roughly three years ago, I did a creative writing course with Sharon Bakar, in Kuala lumpur, Malaysia. She suggested the book  Fast Fiction: Creating Fiction in Five Minutes by Roberta Allen. I loved the exercises in the book, and since it neatly tied in with the concept of free-writing that Sharon had taught me, I began to write in five-minute bursts. I would take a prompt, a word, a picture, a sentence, anything at all, and start writing, pretty much without thinking. And hundreds of such exercises later, that is still the way I write, by dream-storming a word, or line or image.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Still dealing with cover woes

FYI, I wrote this last week and today got a little news which is at the bottom of the post.

If you've been reading this blog regularly, you'll know I'm dealing with print book cover issues. The other day, I discovered a pleasant surprise about a few of the books on my bookshelf. The traditionally printed books that I love don't always have perfect covers. It made me feel better about my own cover problems, but unfortunately, that feeling didn't last.

I received an email from CreateSpace about the issues Keary and I contacted them about. In the email, they declared they solved the bleeding onto the cover at the top and bottom. I have no idea what they are talking about. The problem was the spine was bleeding onto the front and a quarter inch of my cover image was being cut off and making the image look off-centered. Plus the spine was badly off-centered. I would at least like it if things were off-centered on my book that it be barely noticeable. These problems were glaringly obvious.

Createspace also requested an image of my book to determine the actual problem. I gave them two. One of a side by side of the proof and the ebook cover, and another of the cover Keary tweaked to have a black bar along one side in hopes of keeping the image from being chopped off. It worked to a degree, but anything she did to the spine did nothing to solve how badly off-centered it is. (The spine is very obvious as well. When you look at it, there is no mistaking it is not centered. The cover can sneak by if a person hasn't seen the ebook cover, but there is no hiding for the spine.)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

140 Characters or less

So I did it. I published Being Human and now it's time to sit back and let the sales roll in.

Uh, I wish. It would appear I am not an instant hit or overnight sensation. Although there is still a chance at the overnight sensation. You never know, it could happen. Until then, I'm not holding my breath. Nope, I am going to be working hard. I am going to be pimping my links, searching ways to get my name and book out there and blogging. (And working on the next story.)

One thing I plan on doing is pitching on Twitter. Why you might ask, I'm not looking to impress an agent or publisher. But I am looking to impress potential readers and that makes my pitching more important. My pitch needs to grab attention. And not just grab, but demand attention. I have to figure out how to get people to click and buy all with a 140 characters. Less actually, because I also need to add hashtags to get to people who aren't following me

How do I do it though? How do I describe Being Human in a way that grabs attention? I can't just tweet, Buy my book, it's amazing #kindle #ebook http://link. That won't get anyone's attention. No, I need to entice. I need to say things like: All Tommy wants to do is survive. Is that too much to ask? Or how about: Sometimes the worst monsters are VERY human. These lines are from my book descriptions, but I feel like I need more. Like I could do better than those. Maybe this: Not all vampires sparkle in the sunlight. Some die. Or what about: It's nothing personal, Tommy's just trying to survive and he needs YOUR blood to do it. Maybe this will work: Not afraid to get some blood on your fangs?

I don't need just one, I need a few. A handful of interesting tweets to spread throughout the day and over the week. Something that when luck strikes, the person reading won't be able to resist clicking the link provided. You understand my dilemma? Some of you probably even share it. Maybe a few have figured it out. If so, I'm all ears for any hints or tips.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Follow Friday... I'm on 2 in numbering, right? Nope, 5

Time for another Feature & Follow Friday, hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. This week's question is:

Q.If you could change the ending of any book (or series), which book would you choose? Why and to what?

You know, honestly, there isn't a book I would change the ending too. Sure, there are a few things I'd tweak. Like in Breaking Dawn, I read a review that suggested Leigh and Jacob could have hooked up and I was like, "OMG! They are so right! Why didn't they hook up? That's sooooo much better than the imprinting." (Yes, really, that was my train of thought.) But what about Nessie? (Sorry, I am not attempting her name or googling it.) Yeah, what about her? The story line would still have worked. Mostly. Maybe tweak it so Sam's pack didn't want to kill Bella and Nessie and just have the Volturi want them dead. Is that how you spell Volturi? I'm not googling that either. I'm feeling a bit lazy tonight and am on a bit of a roll typing and can't be bothered to reach for the mouse. Although, hubby would assure me I could get to the search function without the mouse, but he's playing a video game so I won't bother him.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Release Party Shenanigans

I think shenanigans is a very apt description for the release party my two best friends, Sara and Danielle, threw me. Granted not a lot of people showed up (their loss, we had booze!) but the three of us together usually entertain ourselves. Warning, there are a lot of images in this post. Images of AWESOMSAUCE! Sorry, inside voice, inside voice.

It wasn't just us either, my hubby was there, along with one bestie's boyfriend and her mom, plus my parents and little sister. It was a small party but we all had a great time, chatting and eating good food.

Monday, August 29, 2011


In case you missed the bazillion tweets or posts on facebook I sent about the various sites I stopped at for my blog tour, here's a recap.

August 22nd: The Undeveloped Story: Vampires VS Zombies - The Undead Showdown (At last tally, vampires were winning, but if you want, feel free to go cast your vote and maybe tip the scales.)
August 23rd -Austin James Here: Creating something new out of something old and an interview
August 24th - Damsel in a Dirty Dress: Interview with Me
 August 25th - Oops, had a little mix up and ended up with no post that day.
August 26th - A New Kind of Ordinary: Interview with Tommy and Danny
August 27th - Daily (w)rite: Vampire Flash Fiction - Stars in her eyes
August 27th - Keystrokes & Word Counts: Vampire Forces PSA
August 28th - Thea Atkinson: Character Horoscopes
August 29th - On the Subject of Being Speshul: Being Human Trivia

I had so much fun writing posts for all those sites and I hope you continue to visit them because they are awesome blogs and amazing writers themselves. Right now, I am beyond excited. Being Human is released into the digital world and my fingers are crossed that people love it just as much as I do. Hopefully the paperback follows shortly.

I am officially a published author! Sorry, must remember to use my inside voice.

The fun isn't over yet. Tonight, my two besties are throwing me a release party and I finally get to see what they've been plotting. I will be sure to take lots of pictures and fill you all in how the festivities tomorrow.

As promised I have books to give away. Naturally, my book is up for grabs. All you have to do is comment what format you'd like. Paperback or ebook. (There will be a delay with the paperback since I am still working out cover issues.) Include your email address so I can pop you an email with the details on how to get your book.

Also, I'd like to give away a second book. Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer. If you've kept up with this blog, you'll know Auntie Heather is most of the reason I decided to pursue publishing. And since I have a spare copy sitting on my shelf, I thought now would be the perfect time to spread some Vlad love and inspiration. I'm also including a bookmark and some Vlad tattoos. (I have a bunch. Joined the Master Minions and got a bunch of swag.)

I'll randomly pick two people and notify you via email.

Thank you all my readers and friends, to everyone who helped making Being Human better and made me confident enough to hit publish. This journey is just getting started. I have new stories to focus on, my next WIP I'm going to focus on getting published is Out of Secrets. So stay tuned because I have a lot more to say.

Where you can buy Being Human:

Sunday, August 28, 2011

End of the ride

P Day is tomorrow. Just ONE more days and Being Human will be available to the world. Just thinking about it has me feeling excited, nervous, terrified, overjoyed.

And lost.

I am feeling utterly lost. Tommy's story is done, waiting for me to hit publish, to accept my proof on CreateSpace, to let it free. Those facts just make me feel lost. While I may not have spent years on one story like others, I have put a good chunk of time into it. I've stayed up late, writing on it, put off doing house chores to edit, doused some anxiety over critiques in alcoho (FYI, I'm a lightweight. lol) l and now it's over. Finished. The end. It makes me kind of sad.

Like a roller coaster ride, it felt like it was over too soon. I don't want to get off, I want to go another round. But I know I can't. I have to move on to the next story, finish a first draft, start looking through critiques and suggestions. I have plans for other stories, ones I want to publish as well.

Maybe what scares me most is going through it again. I know I have to get back into the red ink trenches, ride the waves of emotions as I read a trusted friend's opinion. I have to get another cover made, format again, proof the paperback. All that with the same end results as Being Human: publication and that lost feeling of now what?

Can I go through all that again? Do I want to? Oh hell yes. I've already sent a story out to betas and am in the process of rewriting a short before sending that out. I have some first drafts to finish, my thoughts constantly drift to cover art and what Keary could do for the next story. I know formatting won't be such a pain anymore since I know what to do now. I want to do it all, but maybe I need to pause a moment. Take a small moment to let it sink in that one story's journey is done and the next must start.

And it's really not the end for Being Human. Now I get to see how well it sells, if people like it, read reviews. There will still be stuff to do, but the main bulk of work is done. Tommy can rest for a while (or at least until Drew starts talking to me again.) Hopefully, now that I've gotten all this out, faced that feeling of loss, figured it out, I'll find the energy to get back to work.

That is if the allergy medicine I'm taking right now doesn't put me to sleep. *headdesk*

Friday, August 26, 2011

Follow Friday Number 4

Yup, I've numbered, it's a habit. But this week's question is a must answer for me! This week Parajunkie and Alison Can Read asked:

Q. In books like the Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood) series the paranormal creature in question "comes out of the closet" and makes itself known to the world. Which mythical creature do you wish would come out of the closet, for real?

Yeah, now you see why I have to answer this. After all, in Being Human, the vampires are out of the closet. (<< Shameless plug.) Of course, do I really need to answer it or can you all just guess what paranormal creature I'd like to come out.


Yeah, I know, you saw that coming a mile away. I just lurve my wittle wampires, all cute and cuddly with their widdle fwangs... Uh, okay, maybe not cute and cuddly. Maybe Badass would be better. Of course, I'm not sure I'd want Tommy's type of vampire roaming around. They are a survival of the fittest type vampire and look at everyone as fair game. I'm not sure I'd want sparkly vampires either. They can't really control themselves and it would be a disaster. A paper cut and a feeding frenzy would happen. Maybe the vampires from the Midnight Breed Series, they seem like most of them have a good beat on their craving for blood.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Illusion of Perfection

I was getting frustrated with my book cover. Please note the term was. Being I was, not am. I received my third proof in the mail, anxiously opened it, holding my breath in hopes that this would be it, I could approve the cover. But alas, no, the cover was still WRONG. One of the problems that I was having was the front was off centered, it looked like part of the shadow side's face was being chopped off and making it look horribly uncentered. With a little ingenuity, Keary figured out a solution. It worked... sorta. Some of the shadowed side still is cut off, but it's not as bad. The spine, on the other hand, it doesn't seem to want to center. And it's noticeably off-centered.

Can you see what I mean? It's off by about an eighth of an inch. Not much but it stands out like a sore thumb! (Also look at my pretty flip flop tan lines and in dire need of repainting toenails! Aren't my feet cute?)

So I fired off an email to Keary, detailing how it looks, along with some suspicion that CreateSpace isn't resizing as much as it should and instead, cutting off part of the image. Which is what is making the front look off centered. While lamenting, I informed her of how the spine is wrapping onto the front. I sent off the email and sat back to resist checking my email every minute to see if she replied back. (She hasn't yet.)