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

P DAY IS HERE!

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:
Smashwords
Kindle

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.

VAMPIRES!

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.)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Leah’s Wake Social Media Whirlwind Tour—WooHoo!

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the In Leah’s Wake Kindle edition has dropped to just 99 cents this week.

What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes, including a Kindle, 5 autographed copies of the book, and multiple Amazon gift cards (1 for $100, 3 for $25, 5 for $10, and 10 for $5 – 19 in all)! Be sure to enter before the end of the day on Friday, August 26th, so you don’t miss out.

To win the prizes:

  1. Purchase your copy of In Leah’s Wake for just 99 cents
  2. Fill-out the form on the author’s site to enter for prizes
  3. Visit today’s featured event; you may win an autographed copy of the book!

Check out the featured events of the week here.


    Monday, August 22, 2011

    The Spark Blogfest

    There's a lot going on for me this week. Today I have two things: the Spark Blogfest and the first stop on my blog tour - The Undead Showdown at The Undeveloped Story. I hope you enjoy both, comment and cast your vote for your favorite undead monster. Now, onto the fun!

    The Spark Blogfest was created by Christine Tyler to celebrate those who inspire us. She posed three questions to get the creative juices flowing. I chose what book made you realize you were doomed to be a writer?

    This answer is easy peasy. Twelfth Grade Kills by Heather Brewer. It was released and nowhere in the town I lived had it on their shelves. So I downloaded it and read it that instant. As I read, I just had this thought. If Auntie Heather (she's not really my aunt. I'm one of her minions =P) can write a book and publish, why can't I? The question got me excited.I wanted to try, to attempt. I had this story I was working on, it didn't have a title yet and it had vampires in it and it just felt right. Like this story was asking me to show it to the world.

    So I started looking. I found the writing community on twitter, started a blog and announced my intentions. I started seriously looking into editing my story, failing at thinking up a title and finally getting lucky and having inspiration hit. Agents were bookmarked and followed, I even found Auntie Heather's agent. I started learning and honing my craft. Now that book is a week away from being published. It's going to be let into the world for good and bad. All because while reading a book I had a crazy thought that I couldn't ignore.

    Now that you've read my answer, don't forget to see what inspired everyone else!

    Saturday, August 20, 2011

    Going Indie? Then write that query

    I had a thought, one I thought was a rather good idea (apparently so did MB over at Keystrokes and Word Counts.) One thing every writer dreads is the query letter to agents. A writer can pump out a brilliant 90K novel and struggle to write a 200-400 word query on it. It's no surprise either. How do you summarize a story that has so much happening? How do you find the main theme? How do you write and make it so the agent can't say no? Of course, if you're going indie and self publishing you don't have to worry about that right?

    WRONG!

    Do you really think that just because you're not dealing with agents and publishers that queries are beyond you? Think about it. You need to fill in a description on Amazon, Good Reads, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords. You want to tell the reader what your story is about. And let's face it, if the description is boring, the reader isn't going to click buy, they are going to click the next, back or the X to close the window.

    In my humble opinion, what's on the back of a book and queries are almost the same thing. You are pitching your story, trying to get the person to do more than just look. You want a sale and that summary is the key to that. I have seen a few authors talk queries, they have posted their queries to their agents and you know what I noticed? Those queries are nearly identical to what's on the back of their book! Coincident? Maybe.

    But maybe not. Maybe if you are an indie author it's a wise idea to approach your summary like a query. Go to Query Shark and read through the queries, submit your summary as a query. Get it critiqued, edit it, critique it again and edit some more. Keep at it until you feel like that summary will make the reader salivate to read your book, make it so they can't say no, get that sale! Put as much thought into your summary/query as you do your story because it's just as important. If not more.

    Thursday, August 18, 2011

    Dream meanings

    Lately, I've been having nightmares... Well, you might not think they are nightmares but they are to me. In them, my hubby is losing interest in me or planning on breaking up with me or with another woman. I spend the whole dream crying and panicking that I've lost him forever. When I wake, I'm pretty distraught. (At this point hubby should console right? Well, he's still fast asleep and unresponsive.) I kept wondering what was up with these dreams? Hubby and I are pretty happy together, blissfully married since April 1st and together for eight years before that. When I do finally get to tell him about the dreams, he assures me there is nothing to fear. That will never happen, he says.

    Finally, I figured out where the dreams were coming from and what they meant. My writing! Or more accurately, my soon to be released book. (Shameless plug: Go to goodreads and add it to your to-read shelf and be entered in a chance to win a copy.) It appears that while I'm fast asleep, my mind is fretting over my book, wondering the same thing I'm wondering while I'm awake. Will people like it?

    You may be wondering how I've come to that conclusion. It's pretty simple. Dream hubby is my book and the fear I have of him not loving me is my fear of people not liking my book. It's my subconscious using symbols to show my worries in the dream state. It just happens to pick a symbol that upsets me when I wake. *sigh* Between the voices and my subconscious, it's a wonder I'm sane... What? The voices assure me all the time it's okay to listen to them.

    Tuesday, August 16, 2011

    Daylight Reviewing

    Been a while since I've done a book review... Been a while since I've read. Too caught up trying to get Being Human published and being zapped from my job that I will no longer hold at the end of the week. Five am is evil and it was hurting my writing too much.

    Anyways, the book I read was tweeted to me. A friend had mentioned me for #FF saying I had a vamp book coming out and this person sent us a tweet, probably figuring if we are tweeting vampires, we might be interested in his book. And since anything with vampires does interest me, I went and checked out his book. The description definitely interested me more.

    As an endangered species Kris knows it’s never a good thing when people start murdering the monsters. All he wants to do is run his territory in South Florida with as few complications as possible. When he encounters three young siblings running for their lives, complicated takes on a whole new meaning. Kris knows he shouldn’t get involved. During the day he can be killed just as easy as any human and Kris learned a long time ago that not all monsters come out at night. Going against his instincts, he is forced to use every ally in his arsenal – supernatural and human alike – to protect the three runaways. This is the first book in a series surrounding the Vampire, Kris Grant, as he spends his immortal life trying to do what he does best, survive.

    Read DAYLIGHT HOURS and see Vampires in a whole new light.


    Sunday, August 14, 2011

    This is for real!

    There's no denying it. This is really happening. I am doing this! I am publishing a book. And not just an ebook but a paperback too. My proof for Being Human came in the mail the other day. I grinned when I saw the package, trembled as I opened it and went speechless when it was in my hand. I wrote a book!


    Sure, there's a few things to tweak. I wasn't quite patient enough to wait for Keary to send me a fixed spine so the cover is off by a few millimeters. Inside there is a blank page between the end of Part 3 and Part 4 thanks to a page break in the word file. Where the table of contents is looks funny so I'm just getting rid of it. I have to block up the text because every book on my shelf has blocked text and it looks so much better. And there are no page numbers. Nor will there be. I am not messing with that, trying to get page one to start where the story begins. Plus it messes up my page count.

    On the bright side, it looks format issue free. There's no spaces except for where I want them. I will admit, there's a few breaks (****) at the bottom of some pages and leaves a little more space than the next page, but again, I'm not messing with it too much. For my first attempt, I think I did pretty good. I saw it, noted what needs to be fixed and still think it's perfect. Of course, it's my book, why wouldn't I think it's perfect? Even with errors I love it.

    Friday, August 12, 2011

    Follow Friday - when I start numbering, it's a habit

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

    Q. How has your reading habits changed since you were a teen? or If you are still a teen what new genres are you in love with currently?

    I completely got out of reading when I was a teen. I think I read two books. Well, four if you count Lord of the Rings as separate books. One if you count the fact I did LotR for a book report. Wait maybe it was three books. There was the zombie book that was inspired by Jeffery Dahmer (I really want to find that book and read it again.) I think a Danielle Steele book and one of Anne Rice's books. I'm not sure of my age at the time. Maybe I was a tween. I don't remember. I just know I didn't read much. Too busy driving potheads around in my parents van. (Never smoked it myself, couldn't get past the smell. Ugh, did that stuff stink!)

    So, yeah, my reading habits changed big time since I was a teen. I also got back into knitting in my twenties too. Sometimes it amazes me the things I stopped doing during my teens. It almost feels like years wasted. I blame boys and the ones I dated.

    Hmm, should I shamelessly promote my book right here? *Thinks deeply on the matter.* Sure, but only because I'm still so excited that I got the proof yesterday and got to hold it. OMG that was so amazing. If you're a writer, I highly recommend getting a physical copy of your book. As for mine, check it out at GoodReads, facebook and of course here on this blog. 

    PS: Yes, CJ/Daniel, I did copy and paste from your blog again. =P

    Wednesday, August 10, 2011

    Think Positive

    Think positive. It's been something I've been saying a lot the past few days. It's kinda been keeping my nerves at bay, not really letting any jitters about that fact that August 30th Being Human is going to be published. The book will be out in the world and I can't take it back. Well, I suppose I can, but that's no fun.

    Honestly, I'm terrified of that day. I have no idea how my book will do, if people will like and buy it. I've wondered a few times, should I start at 99cents? I really don't want to do that. It's a full length novel, a lot of work put into it. But I know 99cents is easy. You're out a buck, no loss there so it's easy to click buy. $2.99 people might pause to consider more. Especially on an unknown author like me. I have to be positive though. People will like it and buy it. Tons of people will buy, hundreds, thousands. Maybe even 50,000 people!


    Monday, August 8, 2011

    Blog Tour and P Day info

    P day is fast approaching and so is the blog tour. August 22nd through 30th I will be blogging at a different blog each day.

    August 22nd: The Undeveloped Story: Vampires VS Zombies - The Undead Showdown
    August 23rd -Austin James Here: Creating something new out of something old
    August 24th - Damsel in a Dirty Dress: Interview with Me
     August 27th -Daily (w)rite: Vampire Flash Fiction - Stars in her eyes
    August 26th - A New Kind of Ordinary: Interview with Tommy and Danny
    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
    August 30th - P Day and Give away here!

    Also don't forget to add Being Human to your to-read shelf on GoodReads for another chance to win. Info here.

    Friday, August 5, 2011

    Follow Friday again.

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


    Q. Talk about the book that most changed or influenced your life (was it a book that turned you from an average to avid reader, did it help you deal with a particularly difficult situation, does it bring you comfort every time you read it?). 

     

    Okay, so I wasn't going to do this at first but then I thought about. That really made me consider not doing it, but I think I need to suck it up and do this one. Mind you, what has me worried is my writing partner in crime giving me hell for my answer. Might have to write something extra smutty for his gutter mind to appease him. On to my answer!

     

     A book that influenced me was Twilight. Yup, that's right, Twilight. When I was younger, I read a lot of books. I remember reading the Fear Street series and tons of other YA horror. I devoured them all. Then for some reason, I stopped reading. I didn't pick up a book for years. While at the theater, I saw a movie poster for Twilight and thought the guy was really pale and it reminded me of a vampire. It made me think of how I loved the vampire horror books I read when I was younger. So I went home and looked it up and read the sample. Well, after that, I had to order it and read the whole story. Then I had to read the rest of the series. I was a Twi-tard (as my hubby would say.) After that, I started reading more and more and haven't really stopped since. Now I have a book shelf full of books, online wishlists and am a member of paperback swap. I am back into reading and if it hadn't been for Twilight, I have no idea if I'd be reading. Or writing for that matter.

    Wednesday, August 3, 2011

    A break from Publishing

    Taking a little break from worrying about publishing for something fun. A fellow twitterer brought The Spark Blogfest to my attention and after reading it over, I decided it looked very fun and had to get in on this. I also decided, I should get everyone else in on this too. You know you want to! It will be fun, I promise. And if not you can have my first born child. (If you know me, you will know that will actually never happen, so no one panic. I'm not serious!)


    So what is this blog fest about? How about I just copy and paste from the blog hosting the fest?


    What book made you realize you were doomed to be a writer? 
    What author set off that spark of inspiration for your current Work in Progress?
    Or, Is there a book or author that changed your world view?

    As writers, we're always striving to get out a message of inspiration to others. This blogfest is a celebration for those who have done this for us. Join the Spark Blogfest, aka Sparkfest, by posting your answer to any of the three prompts above (or make one up as long as it fits the theme).


    But that's not all. There are prizes and points to accumulate as well. Details here! So come on. Join this blogfest with me and celebrate inspiration. After all, we can't spend all our time doing serious things.

    Monday, August 1, 2011

    The Book is the word

    As predicted, I'm a little stumped on promoting my book. I have my facebook author page, my goodreads page and twitter. I have been  tweeting lines from my story with the hashtag #beinghumanteaser. My blog tour is all lined up and I've been getting the posts written ahead of time (details to come soon!) I've created an P Day event on my Author page on Goodreads, been joining a few blog hops in hopes of finding people who might be interested in reading my writing. I even found a site I think would be a good blog for me to have an ad on.

    So what's my problem?

    The exact problem I knew would happen. How much promotion is too much? Maybe I'm being a little paranoid. Will people really get mad if I tweet a few times a day teasers from Being Human? Or ask for friends to RT my pages? After all, I tend to tweet my blog posts about four times a day (at 8am, noon, 6pm and midnight. I've noticed those times get quite a few hits when I tweet my blog.) As far as I know, no one has complained I hawk my blog too much. *waits for someone to speak up.*


    But it's more than just that. I'm wondering what else I can do. Promotion is hit and miss. What may work for someone, might not work for me. I won't know until I try. And I won't be able to try until I get ideas.


    So throw me your promotion ideas. (Maybe a blog link swap? Guest posts? Interviews?) I'd love to get the word out to people. I'm releasing a book and would love people to read it! I'm not picky about what I do either and am very willing to try something new. (Although, I might cry to a few friends about how scared I am. Pity them, I do. lol) Can a writer get a hand?