Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Goodreads Giveaway: 2 Copies of "Walk the Red Road"



It's time for another giveaway on Goodreads! The giveaway for Beyond the Western Sun was a great success, so now I'm offering 2 free, signed copies of Walk the Red Road. The contest ends June 25th, so sign up today for your chance to win Book Two of The Whisper Legacy, and tell your friends to do the same!

Enter Here (Clicky)


Monday, May 21, 2012

Cover Reveal: "The Sour Orange Derby"

It's done! Many thanks to my friends, artist Kelly Hall (whose work you'll also see on the cover of Walk the Red Road), and designer Nicole VanNienwenhove (who also provided the text for the cover of Walk the Red Road) for making this possible.

I'll be submitting the art soon, and after that the Derby will be ready for print!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Half-Off Books Signing


Saturday, May 19th, was my first signing at Half Off Books in Orange City. I met them at last year's  Volusia County Literacy Fair and signed up for this year's event. We had about 12 or so authors total, some I met last week and one that I met at last year's Port Orange Family Days.

It was pretty slow but I still managed to sell enough books to make it worth my while. But even if I hadn't, the event would have been worth it. I spoke with fellow authors Tiffany King and C.A. Kunz and have officially been invited to join their authors' group, The Paranormal Plumes Society. Not only is this a great chance to finally be part of a group with writers, but it will also allow me the opportunity to speak at schools throughout Florida. As we all know, I love to talk about books and writing, so I am very excited about what the future holds in joining this group.

Currently, I'm reading The Childe by C.A. Kunz (a mother and son team) and will be reading Wishing for Someday Soon by Tiffany King and Shadows of Past Memories by Alexandra Lanc next. I highly recommend them all, so get to reading!

Coming up next, I hope to have The Sour Orange Derby released. We're currently finalizing the cover, and I assure you, it will be awesome. Think oranges and baseball. As far as events, I'm hoping to join in on future talks with the Plumes, get a booth at the Decatur indie author event in September (or August? Can't remember), and run my second booth at Port Orange Family Days.

Stay tuned for reviews of the above-mentioned books. And now, a few pics.

Half Off Books. It's much bigger than I thought it would be and they have fantastic prices on books and movies.

My table/display.

Authors getting set up and waiting for event to begin.

All  set up.

Talented young author Alexandra Lanc.





Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Volusia County Literacy Fair


Last Saturday (May 12th) marked the day of this year's annual Volusia County Literacy Fair, held at Mainland High School. This was my second time there, and like last year, I had a great time.

The fair has grown a bit, as last year there were only 3 authors and this year we had as many as 7-8. It made for a more interesting day, as it's always better to share such experiences with more authors. My only complaint is that they put us in a classroom in the very back of the event, whereas last year we were in the front, and as a result I don't think as many people even knew we were there.

But, no matter! I met up with authors Nathan and Stephanie Szerdy from last year and met a group of other indie authors. I always feel like such a newb going to events when I meet other authors. I mean, I've been doing this since I was 15, but I still have so much more to learn and these events remind me of that fact. Book selling is a constant learning and growing process, one that just when you think you have a handle on it, someone tells you something that totally throws you for a loop.

In my case, I was introduced to two potentially career-changing things (career-changing for me in that they will take me beyond my current marketing exposures). I don't have all the details yet (will know more after this weekend), but I foresee great things.

The biggest of these two is an event in Decatur, Georgia, over Labor Day weekend. I haven't looked into it too much but so far, it looks promising. It's the biggest indie author event there is, and is a great opportunity to sell some books. By that time I should have The Sour Orange Derby out, so I'll have 3 titles to sell, possibly through their emerging authors section.

Before I show some pics, I'd like to take a moment to give a shout-out to some of the authors at the fair. They have offered some invaluable advice and are the authors of YA books you should all definitely check out:

Tiffany King (http://authortiffanyjking.blogspot.com/)
Raine Thomas (http://rainethomas.com/)
Adam & Carol Kunz (http://cakunz.blogspot.com/)

And now, a few pictures:




The monkeys kept us company.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Let's Talk

There's no other way to start this post than to say, I'm tired of people telling me that my writing is just a hobby. I'm tired of people asking how my "book stuff" is going, only to be cut off at the third word. But mostly, I'm tired of not being taken seriously (this is not to say people don't, as I have many friends and family members who support me 100%).

Over the past couple weeks, I've heard more words of scorn  than I care to admit, which is either strange timing or I've just been around more people lately. While it does sting, I also feel that perhaps this is because people just don't understand it. So, let's talk about what writing means to me.

It's not a hobby - it's an all-day job. If I'm not physically writing, then I'm thinking about what I want to write, or researching book material, or handling the endless marketing demands. It's a lot of work, but I absolutely love it. It keeps me entertained, focused, and happy. Unfortunately, I'm not as organized as I'd like to be, but I'm working on it.

For example, my extremely efficient note-keeping process often looks like this:



I know, you're blown away by my awesome organization. But hey, it got me this far, right?

The randomness has a lot to do with my writing process in general. Because books and characters and storylines are always on my mind, those thoughts get transferred to paper or email at odd times. I read an interview with Stephen King once (I think it was him) where he said that he gets images, flashes of pictures and quotes, but he doesn't write them down. If he doesn't remember them down the line, then they weren't good enough to write about. I've tried to adopt that philosophy as well, but some stuff you just have to get out of your head before it's too late.

I've definitely improved with the clutter, and throughout the years I've become a better writer (I think, anyway), which has cut down a lot on the random pieces of paper. With everything going on with  the Helping Hands series, I figured I'd go through my writing cabinet for the fun of it. Let's just say I was pretty surprised at what I found. I didn't realize I was so non-environmentally concerned when I was younger and I'm shocked my parents let me waste that much paper printing out the first two Helping Hand books for editing. See?

The stack on the left is The Helping Hands. On the right is The Iron Fist: Legacy of the Helping Hands.



Just for fun, this is the very first draft of The Helping Hands.


Also, when going through this ginormous stack of papers, I found my collection of rejection letters. Ah, the rejection letter. It's bad enough being laughed at by people right in front of you, but it's downright discouraging to get letter after letter that basically says, "We're sure you're awesome, but no thanks." These days, you mostly get an agent/publisher by being incredibly lucky, knowing someone, or being famous. Even knowing this, it doesn't stop me from trying to be one of the lucky ones while doing it all myself. I'm not sure why I've kept these letters, other than to one day be able to look back and say, "In your face!" to everyone who rejected me. Yes, just like a child.

Here is my stack of letters (imagine this stack tripled, as I have even more in email form and some letters were likely thrown away throughout the years):


It's not always easy to keep writing knowing how many forces are constantly working against you, but I figure, if you love it enough, then no one or thing can hold you back. Not rejections, not people laughing at you, not random strangers acting like what you do is no big deal.

Because, you see, writing to me isn't a hobby or a job or a favorite pasttime. It's who I am, part of me. So when you ask how my "book stuff" is going, let me tell you. Maybe you think it's boring, maybe you think it's insignificant. And that's okay. But it's important to me, and it's the one thing I love to talk about (except Sir Whisky, of course). I don't talk much, but I'll happily tell you about my writing. If you're willing to listen.

Goodreads Winners

April 29th concluded my first Goodreads giveaway, where I gave away 5 signed copies of Beyond the Western Sun. I was nervous in the beginning, worried no one would be interested and that I'd be the one person who only has 50 or so people sign up.

Turns out, 808 people were interested in reading Beyond the Western Sun! It was a major confidence booster. Congrats to my winners, and your books are now being mailed across the country (Califoria, New York, and Washington), and even to Canada. You may have received them already.

Soon, I'll be doing another giveaway for Walk the Red Road, and for The Sour Orange Derby once it's been released (shooting for June 2012). Stay tuned!