Thursday, March 31, 2011

I've named my condition...

...and it's called AADD- author's attention deficit disorder.  It plagues me!  Plagues me, I say!

New Covers!

I've decided to do some new covers, starting with Caterpillar.  What do you think? 

I'm thinking about re-doing The Reaping next, in preparation for the sequel, which I'm starting on next.  I'll keep you posted on the progress.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Oh, Sweet Lord, there are hills!

Ok, so yesterday, in an effort to be a little more healthful, I decided to begin the only sunny day this week with a walk.  Last Thursday, my husband and I discovered a new walking trail downtown that follows the river.  It's beautiful as well as useful, the perfect place for a little exercise.  We'd originally gone to check it out to see if our polka-dot of a dog could handle it, so we didn't walk very far; just enough to see what the deal was.  Looked like the deal was pretty sweet so we left, promising to go back another day.

So here I go, at 9 am, in 35 degree weather, heading out to trek through the woods.  I was a bit ambitious, telling my hubby that I was going to walk all 5 miles.  He laughed, which I found a little insulting, but that only served to give me a belly full of steel resolve.  I had every intention of making him eat his words.  Crow makes for a filling breakfast.

At this point, I feel I must point out that being a paranormal / murder mystery writer can be hazardous to one's life in several ways, not the least of which is the ability to imagine horror around every corner or, in this case, around every tree.  It only took me about 2 minutes of the 6 minute drive to imagine all the horrible things that could happen to a woman, walking through the woods on a winding, deserted trail all by herself.  So, in an effort to cover all my bases, I called my husband from the parking lot at the river walk and gave him the make, model and license plate of every other car in the lot.  I also reminded him that if I went missing not to forget he could track me via my cell phone's GPS.  Again, he laughed.  After such a rocky start, it's a wonder I even got out of the car, but I did.  I don't quit that easily.  Besides, I only quit on Mondays and Thursdays.  Lucky for me, yesterday was a Tuesday. 

After the first half mile, when I realized that I might not get hit over the head and dragged into the woods, I relaxed into the walk a bit more.  It was beautiful, energizing and I felt skinnier within five minutes.  But then I came upon this hill.  Not a big hill, but enough to intimidate my thighs and make me winded.  Still, I didn't turn back.  I'm not a total wuss.  I mean, it's not like it was a mountain or anything.  I just kept walking, albeit a bit more skeptically than when I'd begun.

A few short minutes later, I came upon another hill, this one a little steeper.  Now, after walking briskly for about 3/4 of a mile, anything more than a 30 degree incline had become a challenge.  I marched on, though.  A little less vigorously, I'll admit, but I still kept going.  What I didn't know is that apparently the 3/4 mile mark is when the landscapers had begun feeding the hills steroids.

By the time I made it to the 1.5 mile marker sign, I nearly cried.  If I'd had the energy, I'd have turned tail and run, but as walking was becoming a chore, I knew that running was not an option.  So, with my husband's laughter ringing in my ears, I headed back the way I'd come, dreading each hill that loomed between me and the salvation of my car.

By the time I got back to the lot, some 50 minutes after I'd left, I was pretty sure I was limping, though I can't be sure since I couldn't feel my legs.  When I sat down behind the steering wheel of my car, I hesitated before starting the engine, wondering exactly how much control one had to have over one's muscles in order to be able to hit the brakes.

Throwing caution to the wind, I started the car and backed out.  I knew of only one cure for such torturous athleticism, something sure to put a spring back in my step:  fast food.  I could only hope that a shocking amount of buttery biscuit and deep fried pork flesh could undo to my heart and blood vessels what that traipse through nature had managed to accomplish.

On the way out, I called my husband to let him know I was alive (though not entirely sure I was in one piece).  His laughter at my measly 3 miles was all it took to convince me that I didn't need to stop for a bag full of greasy goodies.  Somehow, his amusement triggered a moment of bizarrely unreasonable rationale, during which I thought I'd show him . . . by not eating fast food.  I don't know what kind of sickness had invaded my brain at that moment --probably that nasty fresh air-- but I ended up going home to nurse my wounds in private, fast food-less.

Later, I was concerned that my body, deprived of the one thing it had always found comfort in (fast food), would not be able to adequately rebound the next day, so it is with great pride that I report that I got out of bed this morning, under my own steam.  I didn't require any outside intervention to move my legs. 

So, folks, that's how I started my Hump Day, screaming, "Hallelujah!  I can walk!"  And then I had waffles:)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Fame and Fortune -- why not you?

Why not me?  Why not any of us? 

I recently read the blog post of a very popular author, one where she was postulating about her success, her uncommon and shockingly meteoric rise to fame and fortune.  She states that, although it could happen to someone else, she doesn't think it's going to be a very common occurrence.  While she's probably right on both counts, it occurs to me that you can interpret that in two ways.  1)  It's rare and it probably won't happen to me; or 2) It's rare, but it might happen to me.  Why can't it happen to me? 

I like number 2.  And the answer?  Well, in my opinion, there's no good reason that it can't happen to you.  Or to me.  Or to anyone else willing to try.  Granted, you have to have some semblance of talent in whatever it is that you're pursuing.  That's a given.  And most likely, if you didn't have some aptitude, you wouldn't be pursuing it to start with.  At least it seems that way to me.  But does it have to be world-class talent?  I think probably not. 

Evidence shows that different things strike a cord within the masses, and those things aren't always what you'd expect.  They aren't always the traditional, widely expected and accepted things.  We like what we like and sometimes there's no explaining it.  It is what it is.  But what does that tell us?  That success is like lightning.  It usually arises from a storm, whether coming or going, it's often heralded by thunder and it can strike anybody, anywhere, anytime.  Ok, so it's not extremely common to be struck by lightning.  So what?  The main thing is that it's possible. 

What I take from this is encouragement.  We all have a chance to do something great.  All we have to do is keep trying.  The only time you can really count yourself out, declare yourself a failure, is when you stop trying.  Until then, we are all viable, could-be success stories.  Our lightning just hasn't struck yet.  But that doesn't mean it won't.  Sometimes you just have to be still and listen closely.  That rumble in the distance might very well your thunder, telling you lightning is on its way.

I say, thank God for a good storm!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Measure of Success

Success.  I hope it's not measured by how cool and highly functional one's blog is.  If that's the case, I'm screwed:)  I can't even get my video bar up and running properly.  Grrr! 

But that's not what I want to talk about (I've done enough growling around the house about it already- I need to just let it go, let it go, let it go *exhale* ahhh).

So, I was checking my numbers this morning, as I do obsessively (and I do mean OBSESSIVELY), and I realized that I've been selling books in the UK and I had no idea.  Yay UK!!  I also finally posted my books to Barnes and Noble the day before yesterday and they're selling well there, too.  Yay Nook users!!

Sybil moment:  I think this is as good a place as any to interrupt myself and give a huge THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to each and every person out there who has bought one of my books.  I hope and pray that your days are richly blessed for supporting my work!

Now, back to the paragraph before my Sybil moment.  When I say "selling well", that is a very subjective term.  To me, a brand spankin' new author, I'm tickled to death with any sales.  My version of success is probably far different than that of, oh say, Amanda Hocking, who is probably well into the millions by now.  And I say good for her!

But it occurs to me that, after years and years of working at various jobs that I hated for one reason or another, I am now doing something that I love and I'm actually getting paid for it.  How awesome is that?  How much of a success is that in and of itself?  Huge, I tell you.  HUGE!  Now granted, my very first day of sales brought me a whopping $4.18, but that will no doubt be the sweetest $4.18 I'll ever make.  To me, knowing that someone out there is willing to pay their hard-earned money for something that I poured my heart and soul into is worth far more than just money (please see Sybil moment above).

So, I've decided that success is no longer something to be measured, it's something to be savored.  For me, I've already succeeded at what I set out to do.  Everything else--every sale, every compliment, every good review, every encouraging comment, every happy reader, every awesome person I meet-- is just the best gravy in the entire world, gravy that I've never been more thankful for (please see Sybil moment above...again).

No one else can measure your success, unless you define success by what other people say it is.  It's not, by the way.  Success is what you alone can see when you put the goals you set out to accomplish in one side of the balance, the result of your efforts in the other and the scale tips in favor of your results.  When what you've accomplished is equal to or more than your original goal, you've succeeded.  That, ladies and gentlemen, is success.  That's what you celebrate!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Interview and Giveaway

Misha at My Love Affair with Books was gracious enough to post an author interview and giveaway of The Reaping today.  Click HERE to check it out and enter to win.

Also, I feel remiss in not mentioning Japan in my most recent blog.  It's not that I'm not interested or concerned; it's more that I just don't blog all that much.  They are in my thoughts and prayers, however, as I hope they are in yours.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sing

Does anybody else ever wake up with a "stick it" attitude?  I do.  Occasionally.  I did today.  Usually this happens the day following some kind of emotional turmoil.  I think days like these are God's way of giving me a break from my neurotic, thin-skinned self.  AND I LOVE THEM! 

It's so unusual for me to NOT care what other people think, how they feel, what they say, how they treat me.  But every now and then, I guess I just get fed up with caring and I get a day off.  A vacation from me.  And it's wonderful.

In light of this beautiful, sunny day and my (literally) carefree attitude, I'm posting "Sing" by My Chemical Romance.  Sometimes we all just need to say what we mean, to scream it out loud and let the chips fall where they may. 

So, world, I raise my glass to you.  Today, I'm singing!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Fire Sale

I guess you can't really call it a "fire sale", but that's what came to mind so I went with it.

I've dropped the prices of all my books to .99!  Seriously, how many great things can you get for less than a buck nowadays?  A cheeseburger?  Nuggets?  Chili?  A movie at RedBox?  Those are all awesome things for .99 and now my books are, too:)

Did that sound totally egotistical?  I hope not.  But I really do believe that I've written quality books, certainly for the price of .99. And I hope that you all see it that way, too. 

And let me say THANKS to all the readers who've given an unknown girl a chance and please, please, please spread the word. And BTW, I think I've decided to go with the vampire books next.  I'm going to pull a Peter Jackson and do all three at once, you know while I'm in the groove and all.  Stay tuned.  I think they're gonna be very different, very appealing and very, very cool!

Happy Monday all!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Do all authors have ADD or is it just me?

A week ago, I had my next three books lined up and ready to go.  And then, as it seems so often to do, inspiration struck.  I had a great idea for a vampire book, a TRUE vampire book, and I can't seem to get it out of my head.  The problem is that I'm almost a quarter of the way through the dystopian novel I planned and had every intention of starting on the sequel to The Reaping after that followed by a whimsical book for the younger kids.  Is it just me or do things like this happen to other writers, too?  All I can think about is this new vampire book idea.

So, then comes the question:  should I put the dystopian on hold and write the vampire novel first?  Should I finish the dystopian and put The Reaping sequel on hold and write the vampire book? Or should I try to push the vampire book to the back of my mind and do as I'd planned? 

I've never put inspiration on hold to stick to a "plan" and I feel a bit traitorous even considering it.  I mean, where would a writer be without inspiration?  And, if you've ever written a book, you know what a beautiful thing it is when you get so wrapped up in an idea, in a concept or in a character.  I almost hate to put that on the back burner, ya know?

It seems there are no answers today.  Therefore, I'm not doing any writing today. I'm only jotting down ideas and letting my thoughts run where they will.  Maybe tomorrow I'll know.  I just have the sneaking suspicion that I'll be writing a vampire novel sooner rather than later:)

But that's ok.  I'm excited to meet my newest friends and get to know them a little better, to join them in their world and help them solve their problems.  In a way, it's like a vacation.  Only it's not. 

Recently, I read a quote from Eugene Ionesco that says, "A writer never has a vacation.  For a writer, life consists of either writing or thinking about writing."  I'm convinced truer words were never spoken!  But I love it nonetheless.

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Reaping at .99, a Wiccan Freeby and Trailers up and running

Okay, so obviously I've discounted The Reaping to .99.  YAY!  I've started doing plot outlines for the sequel so I decided to drop The Reaping in preparation for the next one.  It won't be ready for a while yet, probably late April, but I've started the groundwork, so...

Secondly, Smashwords is doing a Read An EBook Week and I'm putting Wiccan in the pot for FREE!  If you want to try something that's like a paranormal romance/murder mystery blend, then check out Wiccan while it's FREE!

And lastly, I finally got both trailers up and running.  It took me forever to hear back from the songwriters, but I finally did.  I had to redo The Reaping trailer and use a song from YouTube (great song, though- I love, love, love Evanescence).  I just really liked it with the song that I picked out for it.  But, the songwriter didn't want it used for anything like that, so I had to set it to different music.  That's ok, though.  The song is great and it still sorta fits.  On the other hand, the people with A Life Divided were awesome about me using their music for the Wiccan trailer and I hope it gets them a ton of sales and attention.  It's a really, really good song.  I'm surprised I've not heard it elsewhere before.  Maybe I'll just be the trendsetter this time.  Yikes!  Watch out world:)

Anyway, having some company for the weekend.  I'm looking forward to it.  I'm gonna eat good food, watch good movies, buy good stuff and laugh A LOT!!  I'm very excited.  I need a nap already:)

Hope everyone has an awesome weekend and that the weather is beautiful.  #sunshine

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wiccan, the book I haven't mentioned yet

It's the strangest thing, but I just realized that in all the excitement over The Reaping, I forgot to mention the book that I just published last week.  It's called Wiccan.  Obviously, it's got a "witchy" element in it.  And while it's definitely a paranormal romance, it's heavier on the romantic aspect than The Reaping was.  Wiccan is totally different than The Reaping, but I really like it.  It flowed so smoothly and so quickly, I finished it in just over 2 weeks.  My husband liked this one, too, if it's any consolation to any male readers out there.

In fact, just the other day, I had to confess to my better half that I thought I'd developed a bit of a crush on Grayson, the main male character of Wiccan.  I don't know why, but he just took shape to me in a way that none of my other male leads have.  It was really bizarre.  As readers, I'd be curious to know if any of you who've read both were able to pick up on my overall fondness of Grayson.  Am I really that transparent?  Probably:)

Anyway, I just posted the book trailer for it.  I finished it the day I published the book, but I just now heard back from A Life Divided about using the music.  I know there's music on YouTube you can use, but I like to find a song that speaks to the book, not just some funky elevator music that's provided, ya know?  I pulled the trailer until I heard back, just like I did with The Reaping book trailer.  Still haven't heard back from them.  I may end up having to use another song for it, which I would hate because "Alive" totally suits the book.  *sigh*  But, we do what we must.  Because we're adults and do to anything less would be...well...not very adult.  *another sigh* I miss being a kid.

Here's the trailer.  Enjoy!!