Sunday, April 24, 2011

Something New

Picked some new authors to read this past week. Of course, I stuck to my usual favorties and read Tommy Nightmare (the second book in the Jenny Pox series) by JL Bryan and Liquid Fear by Scott Nicholson.

But I also took a chance on some new writers and had a very entertaining week.


Act of Redemption by C.C. Cole

While I've always been a fan of urban fantasy, I've never really gotten into medival fantasy. This novella changed my view and I'll certainly be reading more fantasy in the future.


Children of Discord by C.C. Cole

Finished the second book in the Gastar series this morning. This one has vamps! But not the shimmery Twilight kind. I was plesantly surprised.



Tiempos de Lucifer (The Times of Lucifer) by Jose Miguel Diaz

Yes, this book is in Spanish, but I couldn't pass this up for $.99. I'll admit, it's taking me awhile to read this, but that's because I have to translate in my head. But this doesn't take away from the book. It has all the makings of a good thriller: the Vatican, satanists, a police detective and a global upheaval.


ROW80 Update

1. Wednesday - I sent out a few copies of The Fury to some book bloggers. And it got some great reader reviews this week, so I'm hopefull I can raise enough for Pandora's Project before May 15.

2. Thursday - Worked on Heir. Ever since the major rewrite, I have the begining and the end, but I am stuck on the conflict. Ugh. I announced my frustration to my husband and he's like, "What conflict?" Exactly.

3. Friday - More of the same.

4. Saturday - Didn't do much writing. Taught my Saturday class, went shopping and planted some plants.

Today I plan on finishing up this post, comment on some ROW80 posts, do some more planting (maybe while I'm doing that, I'll come up with my conflict). Then I'm off to my mother-in-laws for Easter dinner. Between all of that, I'm going to try to finish up a scene or two and if I'm lucky, I'll even get some much needed laundry done!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Scre4m Review

Last Sunday, it felt like my birthday. No, it had nothing to do with the weekend release of my book...I was going to see Scream 4!


IMDb Synopsis: Ten years have passed, and Sidney Prescott, who has put herself back together thanks in part to her writing, is visited by the Ghostface Killer.

I really didn't know what to expect. It's been ten years since the last installment in franchise and I really hoped it would live up to the hype. Honestly, I still don't know what to think. When the movie was over, I left knowing I enjoyed the movie, but I couldn't come up with anything more than that.

Not wanting to give up any spoilers, I will discuss characters: LOVED Anna Paquin and Kristen Bell as the obligatory celebrity cameo. Gail (Courtney Cox) and Dewey (David Arquette) have always been one of my favorite odd couples, but I was a bit disappointed in their lack of screen time. Emma Roberts did absolutely nothing for me. But the one actress/character that caught my attention was Hayden Panettiere. She did a fabulous job as the cool side-kick.  

Maybe it's because I saw it in the theatre, something I don't do often, that left me feeling wanting a bit more. I will no doubt watch it again when it becomes available On-Demand. I'll enjoy it much more without the added soundtrack of laughing teens.

ROW80 Update:

Sunday: Aside from watching Scream 4, I did manage to write most of the morning. I finished two scenes and I felt pretty good about it.

Monday: I edited one sentence.

Tuesday: Since Heir is set in alternate realities, I actually had to sit down and outline each universe and its respective characters. I also used the outline to draft some more scenes, so that I don't get confused!

Wednesday: Haven't had a chance to write, but I have a scene I need to tackle after Modern Family and Cougar Town tonight. :)


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday Update

It's check-in time! I finally put The Fury to bed and it's now available on Amazon and B&N. Yea! Got my author website up and running. Now that those two items are done, I can now focus all my attention on Heir.

Most of Heir is completed, but because I decided to change the central idea, I have some major rewriting ahead of me. I got a lot of done Saturday and I will spend most of my morning working on it before I go to the movies later this afternoon (going to see Scream 4!!). If I keep this pace up, I should be able to finish it by mid-summer.

I'd say it was a pretty good week for ROW80.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Thanks!

It's been a crazy week. Everyday I ended up working late, while trying to finish the final edits on The Fury, in between late night dinners and sleep.

In the end, everything seemed to fall into place and I was finally able to upload my book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble late Friday night! This is my very first foray into indie publishing, so of course I celebrated with some lambic beer (raspberry is my absolute favorite) and carrot cake!

Now that I've entered the realm of publishing, I decided that I'm glad I started with a novella and not a full-length book. I realized that while self-publishing sounds easy, it's quite a learning curve. Since I'm not a full-time writer, I had to rely on others for help and I figured out pretty fast that you can't always depend on people. Well, maybe that's too strong of a statement...I guess what I meant to say is, not everyone will have the same sense of urgency.

Under other any other circumstances, I wouldn't have been pressed for time, but because I want to donate sales to a wonderful non-profit, Pandora's Project, during Sexual Assault Awareness Month (April), I didn't want to release my book so late in the month. It would kind of defeat the purpose, no? Since we're already in the middle of April (how did that happen?) I will be donating sales from April 15 - May 15, to ensure they benefit from an entire month's worth of sales.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the folks that were such a huge help...Charisse Berree and Shari Emerson, you guys rock and thank you so much for your input!! And if there is anyone looking for an awesome ebook designer, you need to talk to Ted at Dellaster Designs. He always responded to my emails within a few hours and had my book formatted in less than a day!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

You Say Potato...

"I'd like a coke please."

"Sure, what kind?"

"A Dr. Pepper."

In Texas we say 'coke' in favor of soda or pop.

My best friend and I are still involved in an on-going debate on whether those wonderful insulated beverage holders are pronounced 'koozie' or 'cozie'. (It's koozie).

The nice man at the grocery store was confused when I asked for the 'pee-can' crusted tilapia. "Oh, you mean 'puh-cahn'".

When refering to my parent's female siblings, I say 'ant', while my husband prefers the more stuffy sounding 'aunt.'

Is it a lanai or patio? Sofa or couch? Supper or dinner?

As writers, we not only have to come up with creative synonyms (how many ways can you say 'looked'?), but be cautious of the words we chose. Especially if we use a setting/location that's foreign to us. Perhaps that's why authors stick to familiar places (i.e. our home states, places we've visited, etc.). Sometimes it even goes beyond the words we chose, it's how our characters pronounce them.

That's all I have to say on that subject.


ROW80 Update

Well, this is one of those check-in's where I have nothing exciting to report. I wrote a bit on Sunday and yesterday, but Monday (as always) was a wash. I don't have any specific word counts, as long as I write, so I guess I'm not that much of a slacker. I DID manage to work on my cover for my novella (release date this weekend??), read, and finished creating my website.

I don't plan on getting much writing done today, as I have a late night event for work. Speaking of which, I have to get ready for...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Updates

I had planned on sleeping in today, with Sunday being my "official" day off, but my internal clock had other ideas and my dogs still needed to be fed at 7am.

I've spent the last few days reworking my WIP and it's coming along. Sticking to my ROW80 goals have certainly helped, especially when I feel like slacking off. So far, I've written (and rewritten) every day.

Waiting to get my novella back from editing, so I am crossing my fingers for a release date of next weekend!

That's it folks. Today, I plan on having a few mimosas, write a bit, then off to my mother-in-laws to celebrate her birthday.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Yeah, Don't Have a Title for This One

It's exciting when I get feedback from beta readers that all say they loved my story (thanks Shari and Charisse!). Of course once it's published, there is always the risk that not all readers will agree.

Ever since I decided to go indie, I've done research and have poured over blogs, websites, and forums on how how to price your eBooks, how to market your book, and how to drive sales. Ugh, if it's one job I hate, it's sales. I was never any good at it. It's always been my belief that if a product is good, it will sell itself. Is that na├»ve of me? The abundance of information on this topic has my mind spinning in circles, almost to the point where I feel like Alice in Wonderland with Money by Pink Floyd as the main title track.

As I scramble towards the finish line (i.e. release date), I have to take a second and ponder what I hope to gain from this. Is is about money? I'd be lying if I said it wasn't about the money. Granted, I don't expect to make a living off being an writer, but being able to help pay off my student loans every month doesn't hurt! I'd also be less than truthful if I said I didn't have daydreams about being a full-time writer and being self-employed. That's the dream, isn't it? But I know that the odds are pretty stacked against me. So why am I doing this?

Because I like telling stories and in the end, it's about telling a good story. Something I can be proud of. If people like it, well perhaps they'll spread the word.

That's what I want.

**I wrote this post awhile back and banked it for a rainy day. Then a couple days ago, Kristine Kathryn Rusch wrote a post on promotion and let me tell you, it was like a load being lifted off my shoulders! She pretty much confirmed how I feel on the subject.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

On Being Psychic

Last night, after spending several hours writing in my office, I decided to join my neglected husband downstairs to watch some television. Now, you have to understand something about my hubby. He loves to watch anything that deals with the paranormal, never misses Shark Week, and will DVR anything Bigfoot related (even if he's home to watch it).

So you'd think my idea of writing a story about a group of investigators in search of the elusive chupacabra (who end up getting killed in the process, of course) would have sparked some interest. Nope. His response was, "No one wants to read about the chupacabra. What about Bigfoot? But you can't make him bad."

Not two seconds later, he tunes me out in order to watch Destination Truth on Syfy. And wouldn't you know...in this episode, the investigative group goes in search of the African Night Stalker, aka the Chupacabra. Apparently the team over at Destination Truth thinks goatsuckers are interesting. That or I'm just psychic.

4/7/11 UPDATE: Just watched scenes for next week's Bones...the Chupacabra makes an appearance! Chupacabra - 2 / Hubby - 0


ROW80 UPDATE

We are well into Day 3 of ROW80 and I'm happy to say I've pretty much stuck to my goals. I've written everyday and even spent some time editing. Okay, I'm lying. I didn't do any writing on Monday. I usually don't, due to Monday night class and typing up lecture notes don't count! But for the rest of the week, I plan on staying on target. I still have some writing time slotted for tonight and got a few precious minutes of writing time in this morning.

Friday, April 1, 2011

What is SAAM?

Today marks the beginning of a new month, April Fool's Day, and the official kick-off of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. For the entire month of April, SAAM is designated to bring awareness and educate the public on sexual violence and how to prevent it.

This month I will be publishing my first novella, The Fury, which covers the subject sexual violence. Of course, it also contains courtroom drama and supernatural mythical forces :)

So because it's SAAM, I decided to donate 100% of April sales to Pandora's Project, a non-profit organization based in Minneapolis, MN, "dedicated to providing information, support, and resources to survivors of rape and sexual abuse." This donation will go directly towards their Lending Library.

I've been in contact with Shannon, president and founder of Pandora's Project, and she is as excited as I am about this project. Every April I work overtime giving presentations and trainings to promote SAAM. This year, I'd like raise awarness because I chose to, not because it's in my job description.

The Fury is in the final editing stages and will be out in the next couple of weeks. So check back!


(working cover)

A victim of a horrible crime.

Two star athletes that share a secret.

And the small town that must repent.