Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday News

I'm a little late on my update today, but I've been busy writing and researching. My word count isn't as great at last week's, but I've managed another 2k since Wednesday, which is actually pretty good considering how busy I was the last couple of days. I hope all my ROW80 writer pals had a great week!

In other news, I'm sure you've noticed the very cut pink badge on my blog, announcing Indie Author Month, hosted by book blogger LovelyLit, which runs the entire month of February. I'll keep you posted on what day my guest post will be featured. There'll be some great giveaways, so don't forget to check in all month! If you're an author and want to participate, just click on the badge.

On February 3rd, I'll be participating in Spread <3, Not Hate, hosted by authors K.M Parr and K.C. Neal, to speak out against bullying. So don't forget to check out my blog on February 3rd for my post. If you are an author, book reviewer, or have a blog, you can sign up to be part of the solution. Simply, click on the badge on my site for more info.

In fun news, our pug Guapo is going to be featured in an article for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel! My hubby's cousin, Alicia Rheal, is a professional artist in Wisconsin and she's actually the one being featured. She'll be doing a work in progress of Guapo, as part of the piece. You can check our her website and awesome artwork here at Rheal Imagination (the pug portrait is of our other son, Gus). I'm not sure when it will come out, but hopefully the article will be online, so I can link it when it does!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

ROW80 Update

Not much of an update today, since I posted yesterday, but I do want to report my progress since last check-in. I finished up another 2,700k since Sunday night. I'm shooting for a total of 10k by next check-in...but we'll just have to see how the rest of the week plays out! This is my last official week of juggling two full-time jobs, so I will definitely be in a better position to devote more time to book 2. I just gotta wrap-up lose ends and that, is what they say, is that. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Cover Design Redux

Readers and book bloggers have spoken and I most defintely paid attention! As many of you already noticed, I have done a new cover redisign for Parallel. This was a tough decision, as I really liked the last design (yes, I'm on cover #3 now...the first cover, well, it's a long story...), however, there were a few folks out there that weren't impressed. This is in no way a reflection of fab cover designer, Robin Ludwig, as the design ideas for the (old) cover was strickly my own. So when I recieved a few reviews that mentioned a dislike for the cover, I went back to Robin and we came up with a whole new look:

Now this is a cover that truly reflects Etta's story. For those that haven't read Parallel yet, let's just say, there's a diary involved, pictures that are uncovered, and a pretty kick a@# scene with butterflies. I am so honored to work with such a great designer who not only agreed to the redesign, but was able to take my new ideas and put them together to create this cover. The design elements will go well with the other covers I have planned for the Travelers Series, so that's always a plus!

I hope that readers will enjoy the new design and those that were put off by the old one will take a second look and discover something new to add to their Kindles and Nooks!

Which reminds me...don't forget to enter for the Kindle/Nook Touch Giveaway! If you already own a copy, all you have to do is email me the first sentence of Chapter 20 for a chance to enter. If you haven't, now's your chance to read Parallel and enter to win!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Cheers to Writing and New Friends

It's happened amigos! I've finally gotten to the point in writing book 2 where the words just seem to flow. Since I'm a pantser and don't outline, I usually don't gain momentum until I've finished various key scenes. Yesterday, I was able to get in 4,889 words! Now that I have the important chapters out of the way, I think I'll be able to get more words in by the end of the month.

I could have squeezed in another 2k last night, but I spend the evening chatting with my new author friend, Martha Bourke, who's new YA book, Jaguar Sun, I can't wait to get my hands on! She has a whole new take on shapeshifters and the December 12, 2012 Mayan prophecy.

After meeting Martha, I came to the realization that I love what I do! Being a writer, you meet the most wonderful people and everyone goes out of their way to help each other out. Maybe it's just an indie thing, but it's refreshing to be in a profession where authors help out other authors. I guess that's why I love being a part of ROW80, it's not only a challenge, but a way for writers to support each other.

I hope everyone has a great writing week!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Not Much of An Update

I've been a busy bee lately and none of it involved word counts. Notice my new banner? I thought it was about time for a change... There's some other changes I'm working on that I'll announce later on in the next week or two.

And for those who missed it, don't forget to check out my 'Thank-You-Kindle/Nook-Giveaway' (see post below).

On the writing front, I've gotten another 1k words this week since Sunday. I feel like I could do more, but with juggling two full-time jobs (February can't get here soon enough 'till I scale back down to one) needless to say, it's been a bit taxing.

I hope everyone has a great ROW80 week!

Monday, January 16, 2012

1,000 Books Sold Giveaway!!

When I clicked the 'publish' button on Amazon (and Barnes & Noble) four months ago, I didn't know what to expect. I hoped to sell a couple hundred, but I never imagined I'd sell over 1,000 ebook copies of Parallel! I can't tell you how much this motivates me to get the second book in the series out. I hope those that enjoyed the first book will come back for seconds. And for those that haven't picked up a copy, now's your chance!

I couldn't have gotten this far without you guys, so I hope y'all know how much your support means to me. So as a thank you, I'm hosting a giveaway!


For those that have read Parallel, please email me (claudia.lefeve [at] the first sentence in Chapter 20. If you haven't read the book, you can still pick up an ebook copy ($0.99) for a chance to win!! 

One lucky winner will win a Kindle or Nook Touch (winner's choice) and a signed paperback copy of Parallel. One second prize winner will receive a signed paperback copy of Parallel. Contest runs from 1/16/2012 - 2/15/2012. Winners will be chosen at random through and will be announced Friday, February 17, 2012. (Sorry, international readers, US only)

Good Luck and more importantly, Thank You!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Reviews...It's All Relative

Reviews. This is a subject I've been meaning to cover for awhile. When we love or hate something, we're quick to give a review. As writers (at least for me), we patently wait for reviews to be written, so we can gauge how our books are received. Sometimes we squeal when it's a good one, other times we frown because we feel the reader just didn't 'get it'.

But at the end of the day, they're just that: reviews. We have to remember that reviews and personal taste is all relative. Not so different from movie or music reviews. For example, I love horror movies and am quick to give any slasher flick a rave husband not so much. Today, the hubby and I made reservations 6 months in advance to attend a country music festival (Merle Haggard is the tentative headliner) and I'm sure there are folks reading this thinking, ugh, country. Then, there are NYT bestselling books that I couldn't even get past the first chapter, while others found it scintillating and satisfying.

That being said, I do pay attention to reviews about my books. For those that leave (thoughtful) less-than-positive feedback, I put aside my own feelings and generally take what they have to say into consideration. Others, I take with a grain of salt. I just have to remember that some folks expect a lot when they pick up a book and not every story will live up to their standards. I don't think there is an author out there than can make every reader happy.

Personally, I rarely read reviews on Amazon or Goodreads. I usually purchase books based on the blurb. If it sounds interesting, I'll buy it. I don't want reviews to sway my purchasing options. Perhaps I'm easily entertained and unless there are some major issues with a book, I generally enjoy them. I mean seriously, I'm not expecting Tolstoy when I'm reading a book about teenagers with superpowers. If it's fun, I like!

Now, I don't want this post to sound like I don't think there's any value to reviews, because I do. And I wish more readers would leave them (hint, hint). But as writers, we can't take reviews too seriously (unless you're receiving bad reviews all around...that might be a sign your book needs some work)...just breathe and if you believe in your work, others will too.

For some great posts on the subject, you should check out Kate Copeseeley's posts: Author Etiquette Rule Two and Doing That Indie Thing You Do...

ROW80 Update

I'm moving along in my word count this week. I hoped to get quite a bit of writing done, but I only managed to get over 1,500 words. Nonetheless, I'm happy, considering I've had a lot on my plate this week. I hope to get a full day in on Monday (I love holidays)!

Also, please check back on Monday. A super great giveaway is planned!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wednesday Update

It's Wednesday, time for another ROW80 check-in. I hope everyone had a great writing week thus far!

I've been a little sidetracked this week (per usual), but this I've managed to get in another 850 words on Paradox. I'm really shooting for 3k by weeks end.

On another note, I'll be doing an author interview sometime next week. Fellow Washingtonian and author, Ashley Barron, has graciously offered to do a little Q&A with me on writing. She has a great blog where she discusses her new series, The Priyas (which I'm looking forward to reading), and interviews authors from all genres. For those interested in writers and what makes them tick, you should really check out her site! And I'll keep you posted when my interview pops up.

Have a great ROW80 week and for those of you who are as superstitious as I am, it's Friday the 13th this week, so beware!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

ROW80 Check-In & BIG News

It's the first round of ROW80 in the New Year and I've already missed a check-in (last Wed)! What a way to kick off 2012...

My goals for this round haven't strayed from previous rounds, so here we go:

1. Write everyday
2. Finish the first draft of Paradox
3. Work (finish??) the first draft of my adult paranormal romance that's been hiding in a folder that only comes out occasionally to breathe...

This week, I've gotten in roughly 2,500 words to Paradox. I was kinda in a slump over the holidays, so I decided to just break it down and kept away from my WIP and just wrote scenes. I found that helped a lot in getting the juices flowing. I'm also a little stuck on the whole Traveler universe (no pun intended), so I need to take some time an sort all the realities.

On the home front, another reason why I've stalled a bit over the holidays is that I've struggled with a BIG decision.... (drumroll please) I have resigned from my job and have taken on a new one teaching full-time at the college! Yay!! Now, even though I'll be teaching a full load, I will have 3 days during the week that I can write from home! No more full-time job, being on-call, and working part-time as an adjunct. I now have a pretty sweet schedule and can devote more time to my writing. It means so much that I can do this and continue to hone my craft, write, and publish more books. But in the meantime, I have to juggle both full-time gigs until the end of January...

Now I've got to get back to finishing up my powerpoints for class and work on my WIP. For all those new and old to ROW80, GOOD LUCK this round!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Debutante Ball WINNER!

I hope everyone had an great holiday and rang in the new year with a bang!

I know I'm a couple days behind (I blame it on the fact that I forgot what day it was while on vacation), but I am happy to announce the winner of The Debutant Ball contest!! The winner will recieve a signed copy of Parallel.

And the winner (chosen by is.... Fiauna!!

Congrats!! I will be sending an email to the winner shortly. Thanks to eveyone who posted, tweeted and spread the word on Facebook!!