Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Book Blog Blitz

Just wanted to remind everyone that the Travelers Series is on tour this week! Don't forget to stop by all the fabulous bloggers that are hosting me this week! 

Each blog will give you a chance to enter one of two giveaways: five lucky readers will win all three book in the series and one winner will win signed print copies! 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I love book bloggers!

This morning, I received a very happy surprise! Heather over at Bewitched Bookworms reviewed PARADIGM and gave it a five out of five rating! 

It's just the confidence boost I needed to get crakin' on PARAMETER. I'm really hoping to get more written soon (my other WIP has taken up a lot of my writing time). I kinda hit a lull with book 4 for awhile, but it's getting there. 

And speaking of reviews and book blogs, next week I will be doing a blog book blitz for the TRAVELERS SERIES from February 25 - March 1st. I just loving working with the gals over at Kismet Book Touring! So don't forget to stop by and visit all of the fabulous book bloggers who signed up for the tour... you just might win a signed print copy of the entire series! 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Who's attending IndieReCon?

For all those indie writers/authors out there, don't forget to register for Indie ReCon! The Indie Revolution Conference starts TOMORROW and best of all, it's FREE! Personally, I love any conference that I don't have to book hotel/airfare for and can attend in my p.j.'s.

The presenters they have lined up for the conference is pretty impressive and I'll be lurking around throuout the three day online conference. Hope to "see" you there! 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Indie Life

It's officially the second Wednesday of the month, which means it's Indie Life time! This is a monthly feature hosted by the Indelibles to promote, encourage, and support indie authors. Don't forget to visit the site to read other indie author posts! 

The word 'indie' itself is kind of a misnomer when it comes to indie writers. I say this because we don't do it alone, despite the implication. Sure, I write my own books, just like any other author, but I publish them all on my own. Other than that, it takes a lot of other folks to help put my books into readers hands. 

It would be great if I could do it all by myself (I'd save a lot of money according to my taxes) instead of outsourcing things like cover art, formatting, editing, etc. Then again, it's a great deduction to have come tax time. Make no mistake, I usually earn back everything I put in to publishing a book the first week it's release, but still... 

So a few months ago I decided it was time to learn how to format my own ebooks and save a little bit of money. I've never had any issues formatting for print, but formatting ebooks is an entirely different beast. 

To be honest, I'd never really given it much thought until I saw a request from an author to review his book, How to Format Your Novel for Kindle, Nook, the iBookstore, Smashwords & Createspace in One Afternoon. Ed was offering up a free copy, so I asked if I could read it. Only, I also had to purchase Scrivener in order to make heads or tails of it (I downloaded the free trial first to see if I could actually do it before I actually bought the program)! And boy, am I ever glad I made the investment! As promised, within one afternoon, I learned how to format an ebook! Plus, purchasing Scrivener was cheaper ($45) than paying someone to format one of my books. 

Warning... this tutorial is for Scrivener Mac users (sorry PC people). 

I know. I'm totally behind, as I know everyone pretty much uses Scrivener as their writing software, and I could kick myself for not having purchased it sooner. 

And once I learned how easy it was to format, I realized there's more value to being able to do it myself than just saving a few bucks. I can now go back and edit/change my books at any time. I can now write short stories and publish them as often as I'd like. I can now be in control when it comes to release dates.

I owe a lot to my format guy Ted at Dellaster Design and will always keep his contact information handy in case I have a project that only he can work his magic on, and I'd recommend him to anyone not ready to tackle digital formatting, but it's a great feeling to be able to do it on your own... indie style! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Happy Fat Tuesday

...or Mardi Gras! I hope everyone is taking advantage of the one day of the year when it's totally acceptable to indulge to your hearts content.

I woke up this morning to Zydeco music playing in the kitchen, courtesy of Pandora (and a hubby who woke up hours before me). It was such a treat to sip my first cup coffee to such cheerful music. We even danced a little in the kitchen. 

It didn't take much convincing to persuade the hubby to go to Okra's, one of the local restaurants here in town. We had a great time and might go back later tonight for the live entertainment.

Our bartender, Antonio, was an absolute hoot during lunch! The hubby and I had fried oysters and 
alligator tails, with a couple of Abita's to wash it all down. 

Every year, I order a King Cake from Haydel's Bakery in New Orleans for my office. This year, being self-employed, I don't have an office to purchase one for, so I just about died and went to heaven when I found out the restaurant had King Cake! I ate one piece there at the restaurant and ordered an other one to-go. 

I don't really know where the urge to celebrate Mardi Gras comes from. Maybe it's because I grew up observing Lent and Mardi Gras marked the day where I could stuff my face before I had to give something up. Now that I'm older, I always "say" I'm going to give up something for Lent (chocolate, alcohol, carbs, etc.), but I never really follow through, although I still give up meat on Fridays.  

I'm thinking I'll try a new approach this year. Instead of giving something up, I might make an effort to DO something everyday during Lent. So starting tomorrow (or maybe today), I'll make a determined effort to write everyday. Now, I've always been a proponent of writing on a daily basis, but lately I've come up with excuses to slack off. But not now. I've got two books I'd like to get out before summer, so maybe this is the push that I need to see this goal through. 

But in the meantime, laissez les bons temps rouler... Let the good times roll! 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Day in the Life

I'm sure there are friends, family, and even fellow writers who wonder what the heck writers do all day. So I decided to give you a brief glimpse into the life of a writer. This was my day yesterday...

8:30am: I finally stumble out of bed. After waking up at 4am to take Gertie out to do her business and get her settled again, I was too tired to wake up to my 7:30am alarm. 

Miss Gertie decided she needed some extra beauty sleep as well. 

I normally teach at the college Wednesday afternoons, so it's not a full writing day for me, but the night before, I had begun to feel a bit sick and it hadn't cleared up by this morning, so I emailed my students to let them know class was canceled for today (I'm sure they were pleased). 

Most mornings I start my day be going over emails and other social media sites before I get down to "real" work. 

9:53am: Emailed Ina, a fabulous book blogger in Serbia, to let her know to expect some print books soon to follow up on my interview! She interviewed me last week on her blog (don't worry, it's in English). You can check it out here

10:05am: Sent a congratulatory email to fellow Spellbound Scribes writer (I'm not going to say which author, as it's still 'hush, hush') who just signed with an agent! Yay!!

10:40am: I emailed the lovely Danny at Kismet Book Touring to give her some quotes and excerpts of the Travelers Series for my upcoming blitz tour at the end of the month. 

10:45am: Did some non-writerly related stuff and emailed a t-shirt vendor about a design proof I approved for my sorority where I volunteer as an college/chapter advisor and serve as an officer for our alumnae association. 

Isn't this a cute t-shirt design? I guess I'm still stuck in my 20's, which is probably why I write YA. 

Sometime after I look over my emails I decide to work with Miss Gertie in the backyard with some lead training. 

11:30am - 12:30pm: I decide have to do what normal people do and take a shower and get ready for the rest of the day. 

12:30pm: Get some print books ready to sign to take over to my old office! 

1:00pm: I begin writing this post while I wait for my laptop to fully charge (going to SBUX to write later) and eat some lunch.

The hubby made his famous gumbo last night (he used to be a chef in Louisiana, so he knows his gumbo)! I had mine without rice, as I'm trying to cut down on carbs... I'm hoping the spices will clear my sinuses up! 

1:45pm: Made my way over to my old office (where I worked last summer when I wasn't teaching) and dropped off a few signed books. It's great to have such great support from friends! 

2:50pm: I'm now at Starbucks... and so glad I stopped by to write here today! The manager gave me a HUGE bag of "expired" espresso pods! When you work primarily from home, it's cheaper to make espresso drinks at home, and when she asked if I'd be interested in their expired/retired (they'll no longer be carrying them in stores), I jumped at the chance! Thank you Beth!!

I didn't count how many boxes of espresso pods until I got home. Turned out to be 15! Now I have to figure out where to store them all! 

4:40pm: Finally left SBUX with a word count of 801 for my new series. Not my best, considering I was there for almost 2 hours, but I'm happy with what I accomplished.

4:45pm: Decided I wasn't ready to go home just yet, so I went next door to visit my favorite independent used bookstore, McKay Used Books! Their YA section is seriously lacking, but I walked away with 4 books for under $5!

5:25pm: Made my way back home and decided to go back and finish working on my taxes. Just a few more forms and I can file! So far, I don't owe anything, but my refund looks pretty pathetic compared to previous years. Damn book sales! Just kidding... please keep me self-employed!

6:00pm: Finishing up this post so I can go back to get some more writing done before our friend Jason comes over at 8pm.

8:30pm: Managed to get another 400 words written for my WIP. Then hubby's co-worker, pastry chef Jason Reaves, came over for some leftover gumbo.

Our friend Jason (blonde guy) with his Food Network LEGO Cakes Challenge winning cake! 
Stacey Wallace Benefiel, if you're reading this, I'm sure you'll appreciate this photo! 
(Photo image: Food Network)

10:15pm: Checked emails one last time and watched all the shows we DVR'd while our friend was over.

I know, I know... it sounds like I have a fabulous life, but I don't. Most days, I'm stuck in my chair, still wearing p.j.'s until the hubby comes home (where I manage to get dressed right before he walks through the door so it looks like I actually care about my appearance), which I think is going to be one of those days today.