Sticks and Stones
In Houses of the Broken, Lacey reflects “There’s nothing more pathetic than being dumped by a loser… ”
But, many of you won’t know if that’s true or not.
After nearly 18 months, my ‘indie publishing’ experience has come to an end. I can’t say I’m thrilled, but the thing about taking a leap of faith is; sometimes you fall. Does it hurt my pride? Sure. Do I feel stupid for trying? Absolutely. Did it send me in to a debilitating pit of despair over the past 6 months? Most definitely.
Will it stop me? No.
I’ve thought long and hard about what I wanted to say, but I won’t say most of it. I don’t want to break the internet. (I have a vivid imagination and the vocabulary of a well educated sailor.) But I feel it can best be summarized the classic parent trap: I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed.
I gambled and I lost. It happens, just spend an afternoon browsing Writer Beware. What will I do now? Rally. It might take longer than I like, the Valley of Darkness is long and wide, but eventually it will sink on the horizon behind me. And there it will remain, a wasteland of forgotten times.
I’ve come eye to eye with the worst than can happen. From now on, there is no fear, just some healthy motivation based on spite.
November 15, 2015 | Categories: Blog, Houses of the Broken, News | Tags: 2015, advice, amazon, analysis paralysis, announcement, author, baitandswitch, balance, bitch, blog, book, carnage, crisis, damage, dames, difficulty, disappointment, indieauthor, publishing, valleyofdarkness, writerbeware | Leave a comment
Pre-Sale is live for Houses of the Broken!
Pre-Sales are now available for Houses of the Broken! More venues will be added as we roll along but here are some links for your favorite online e-tailers.
Now also available on Amazon!
April 23, 2015 | Categories: Blog, Houses of the Broken, News, Works | Tags: 2015, amazon, April, author, book, ebook, itunes, kindle, kobo, murder, new release, news, nook, novel, pre-sale, psycological thriller, publishing, serial killer, siblings, thriller | Leave a comment
Houses of the Broken – The big reveal!
It’s almost time, are you ready! In a few short days, Houses of the Broken will be available via Cliffhanger Press for your eBooking pleasure! In the mean time, I’m going to give you guys a little teaser *drumroll please*
I’ll be updating the release info as it comes in, stay tuned!
April 21, 2015 | Categories: Blog, News | Tags: 2015, amazon, author, barnes and noble, blog, book, book cover, cover reveal, ebook, HoTB, itunes, kindle, new release, nook, novel, publishing, thriller | Leave a comment
Ready to Pounce
One minus T-10 days till Houses of the Broken takes the world by storm. I’ve been wishing my month away waiting for the big release (and a few warmer days.)
In the mean time I’m trying to prep myself for blog tours, interviews, private jets, paparazzi…. Well, a girl can dream at least…
But my muse has rolled back in to town, tapping on the outside of the window pane like the delinquent in every high school movie, trying to convince the good girl to play hooky and live it up. *tap tap* *tap tap* *tap* I see you, you naughty minx… I’ll be out, just you wait. And the bodies will drop with a vengeance!
April 16, 2015 | Categories: Blog | Tags: 2015, advice, amazon, announcement, author, blog, book, book release, book review, creative, publishing, short story | Leave a comment
Oh, Sweet Release…. Date.
Now that the ham and chocolate has settled, it is with great pleasure that I would like to announce that my
soul book will soon be available for purchase from your favorite neighborhood e-tailers.
Houses of the Broken will be available to the public April 25, 2015 in all* e-book formats! There are rumors of a pre-sale, but more details and sneak peeks will follow as the timeline tightens up.
Many thanks to Cliffhanger Press, LLC for getting me this far. Can’t wait to pimp this puppy to the world!
*all = all ebook formats known to me….
April 6, 2015 | Categories: Blog, Houses of the Broken, News | Tags: amazon, announcement, author, barnes and noble, blog, book, creative, debut, fiction, horror, mystery, novel, publishing, thriller, writer, writing | Leave a comment
Very excited to be starting off the new year with a little bit of cover design for Houses of the Broken. Preferences have been put on record, sinister visions have been transmitted via the interwebs, and now we wait for the magic to happen.
Always curious to see what a fellow artistic type comes up with as a vision. It’s not always easy working for/with creative types.
Designer, draw thyself.
Not sure if I’ll get some teasers to share or if we have to wait for the big reveal, but I look forward to sharing the process!
January 12, 2015 | Categories: Blog | Tags: amazon, author, blog, book, novel, publishing, writer, writing | Leave a comment
2014 in Review. AKA – Things I never thought I’d do.
2014 has been a strange year. On paper it doesn’t look so bad, but to many of us it has been a mind numbing, soul crushing sequence of days. For me, this year has seen a lot of unrealized potential. Small flashes in the pan that keep a person spurred on, perhaps. While not much came to fruition, there are a number of things I didn’t realize I even had on my bucket list, that I can now cross off.
The year started with a new job. In the middle of the polar vortex. In a very old building. Nothing like starting a new job and immediately having to notify someone that the plumbing was frozen.
In lighter events, here is a simple list of highlights, there are a million emotional roller coasters that happened as each item played out:
- Started a new, higher profile job.
- Pitched a reality TV show.
- Tried to start a business.
- Joined roller derby.
- Auditioned for a different reality TV show.
- Got a book contract for my first novel.
- Tried to start a business.
- Survived a season of roller derby and actually played a bout (at my age!)
- Covergirl for a photography business.
- Tried to start a business.
- Got unintentionally published in a magazine.
This was not a year of travel and adventure for us, it was a year of change and keeping things close to home due to such a shaky job market. Realignment of priorities, establishing some aggressive goals, and keeping ourselves sane. It didn’t always work, and it was never really easy, but we’ve made it so far. I’m still not sure where summer went.
Overall, I wish the word ‘perseverance’ didn’t come up so often, but there’s not much of a choice if you want to change your stars. 2014 started the trend of letting go, and I suspect 2015 will include some of the same. It’s a challenge not to give in and quit when things are hard. I’ve dealt with some new people I hope I don’t ever have to deal with again but I’ve also met some new people I’d like to get to know better.
Pipe dreams were chased and many glass ceilings were revealed. Now all I need is a brick.
All I can say to 2015 is – Bring it on.
December 31, 2014 | Categories: Blog | Tags: 2014, amazon, author, balance, blog, book, difficulty, evolution, motivation, novel, old house, perserverence, publishing, unemployment, writer, writing | Leave a comment
On Friday the 13th, under the Fullness of the Honey Moon… I’d like to announce that I got ‘the call.’
The call. THE call. The CALL.
I liked your manuscript! Tell me more!
An hour later, my head was spinning. Is this for real? Couldn’t be… my cautious nature waited for the other shoe to drop… and waited… and I reviewed the draft contract… and waited to hear that shoe go ‘thump’ and then… hard copy of the contract made out to me, notarized and in my hot little hands!
No thumps required.
Without fear and further ado, I’d like to announce my signing with Cliffhanger Press, for my debut novel manuscript Houses of the Broken.
I was thrilled to talk and work through everything with TJ Loveless, and can’t wait to see what kind of package we can put together. I just hope she doesn’t have to empty out too many red pens on my manuscript! *eep*
Buckle up for a new adventure! I still can’t believe it’s happening… But please, keep your shoes to yourself….
June 13, 2014 | Categories: Blog, News | Tags: amazon, author, blog, book, evolution, inspiration, manuscript, marketing, novel, perserverence, publishing, publishing contract, traditional publishing, writer, writing | 5 Comments
Waiting for the Door to Close.
The submission deadline is almost up for those of us throwing our hat in to the ring for ABNA 2014. I’ve been curiously watching to see if the submissions would fill up early, but much like last year, it appears they’re not going to… or at least it will come down so close to the wire, we won’t know if they truly hit 10k or not.
I have lots of questions about the process of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards… but there’s no true way to really quantify things. How many submissions do they really get? What’s the initial break down in categories? From what I’ve found there’s no true way to know, short of taking a survey of people willing to post in the forums. I think knowing the raw numbers alone would be helpful in figuring out market segments, and where to focus effort as you craft future work.
This is probably why they don’t tell us.
But maybe it’s better that way. A little vague competition keeps everyone wondering and makes it harder to work the system. For now, tonight marks the beginning of the real wait. I’m more patient than last year because I have a better idea of how things go, but I’m still insanely curious to see how far my submission goes this year.
Once again, I submitted Houses of the Broken. Last year HoTB made it to the Quarter Finals, but no further. In truth, I was pretty pleased for it being my first attempt. With nearly the same material as I submitted last year, I am more curious about seeing if I get the same results, than I am hedging my bets on my chance at winning.
Will I get kicked out at the Pitch stage? Maybe never make it past the second cut? I have little illusion that I’ll go ‘all the way’ but… you never know. Good readers having bad days can send your submission into the circular file. And bad readers… well… we all seem to get at least one.
Last year the one that made me chuckle the most was the review complaining about my use of ‘language.’ Serial killers? No problem. Child abuse? Whatever. F-word? Oh my stars, you vile little girl…
We all have our triggers, I suppose.
So now… well, soon… we wait. In the mean time I need to try and keep busy with other things, because I officially have no control over my fate until the dust settles.
Patience is not my virtue.
March 2, 2014 | Categories: Blog | Tags: abna 2014, amazon, author, blog, book, CreateSpace, novel, publishing, self publishing, writer, writing | 1 Comment
And now on Kindle! … I hope.
With any luck my newly posted Kindle book will behave. I say luck because it took 2 of us working on multiple attempts to even get close to some consistent formatting. I don’t know where the ‘easy’ button was for this transition, but they sure hid it well.
Only when researching in the depths of the forums did the real truth come out… complications. Formatting issues. Shifting images and line spacing… Even now, while it looked good on the preview, I still can’t be truly… perfectly sure… that it will look right on the various devices and formats…
So I’ll cross my fingers and share the link… the content is there… if only it looked pretty…
Houses of the Broken on Kindle
July 6, 2013 | Categories: Blog | Tags: amazon, author, blog, book, kindle, novel, publishing, self publishing, writer, writing | Leave a comment
Createspace on your shelf for me!
See what I did there?
I’ve been sitting on pins and needles since the launch of Houses of the Broken last week. To put it mildly, I’ve learned a lot. It’s been interesting watching how Createspace and Amazon handle the publishing, and sales. And torturous as to how long it takes for sales to report from the various outlets.
Every day I check my ‘sales’ list, and my Amazon ranking. Some days I’m happy, some days I’m said, some days I’m just plain confused. I need to get a better media blitz together, but it’s difficult when no one returns your inquiries… I could argue back from a ‘no,’ flat out ignoring is a lot harder.
In many ways, it’s what I expected: It’s a lot of work. It’s a leap of faith. It’s not great for immediate gratification or questionable self esteem. And Kindle formatting… good grief. Don’t let the ‘it’s easy as pie!’ sales speech from CS or Amazon fool you. If you have a formatted file for a print book… be prepared to completely reformat it. This is still a work in progress and I even have people to help. I’m already wondering if the $69 fee to convert it in CS might have been worth it… but I’m the stubborn sort, and I like to know how things work for myself. So… Kindle version will be out… eventually… Besides, spreading out the action should be good… I think.
For now, I’m keeping an eye on the sales numbers vs. the number of copies that are showing up in people’s hands. If they don’t match, I’m not going to be a happy camper and that will lead to a whole other series of blog posts in the future. But for now… I must wait.
Take a chance on me!
July 3, 2013 | Categories: Blog | Tags: amazon, author, blog, book, CreateSpace, novel, perserverence, publishing, self publishing, writer, writing | Leave a comment
Houses of the Broken
Now available in print, and soon in Kindle format, Houses of the Broken.
Anna Shaw never intended to go home again. On the run from her demons since an early age, she never looked back to her sadistic father and the family she left behind to suffer at his hand. But with age comes the nostalgic longing for the familiar, and after years of distance from her estranged family, the only contact remaining to Anna — her sweet baby sister Lacey– uses their mother’s illness to lure her back into the fold one last time.
What starts as a bittersweet family reunion with her ailing mother and four of the younger siblings Anna so willingly abandoned as a teenager soon becomes a snare of animosity and deceit, proving once and for all that the perverse legacy of their father is more than just skin deep. And when the handsome stranger Anna met on the arduous journey back to her family shows up on Lacey’s doorstep with her vagabond sister, Silver, Anna discovers that her gruesome tendencies are not just hers alone.
With no one left to lead the family, Silver and Anna fiercely struggle for control of a twisted birthright. Anna must face a difficult reality that gives her only one choice to stop the fraternal darkness from spreading, setting off a chain of events that will leave her an unsure fate and no place left to call home.
Houses of the Broken is currently available at the following outlets:
Houses of the Broken on CreateSpace
Houses of the Broken on Amazon
June 24, 2013 | Categories: Blog, Houses of the Broken, News, Works | Tags: amazon, author, book, CreateSpace, NaNoWriMo, novel, photographs, publishing, self publishing, writer, writing | Leave a comment
Self-publishing, it is!
I’ve taken the better part of the day to mull over my thoughts on this morning’s list.
I didn’t make the cut.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized I was a complex mixture of disappointed, unsurprised, and relieved. In my mind, I made it about as far as I expected/hoped to go. The feedback was fairly positive overall, even my final review. Sure, I’ll wonder why I didn’t make it and why others did. That’s human nature, but really… it doesn’t matter. It was a lesson that gave me nothing to lose.
There is no negative outcome for this, which is the great part. I made it far enough to get some decent feedback, and I didn’t have to pay a cent. Complete strangers told me what my close friends had been trying to get me to believe all along. And I won’t lie, it felt good.
Maybe I was a lucky one, even in losing. I saw some of the reviews that came in… there was some tough loved dished out here and there. I had my critiques, but they weren’t unfounded.
Well… except for the one that said I had a foul mouth. *mwah*
Within 10 minutes of getting the news, I was letting my dear photographer Shane know to put the new book cover on the top of his to-do list. Problem is, I’m too much of a designer and I have a vision for this production. Sure it would have been great to be published, but I have ideas… bigger than just pages and pages of text. I’m not sure I would have taken well to middle management telling me ‘Oh yeah, that’s sweet that you have cover art all worked out, but this is what you’re getting.’ Not for this one, the next one maybe, but not this one.
This one is mine.
April 16, 2013 | Categories: Blog | Tags: abna 2013, amazon, author, blog, book, book competition, novel, paper, perserverence, publishing, writer, writing | 2 Comments
The waiting is the hardest part.
Patience is not one of my virtues. Well, not many things are, but patience is right up the top of the ‘not’ list. I’d even say it’s my #1 non-virtue.
Tomorrow marks the next cut in Amazon’s ABNA 2013. This time it’s the semi-finals. I’m not going to lie, it’s a big cut and it’s a scary one. My odds at this point are 1 in 100. Though technically I think they’re 1 in 95. The unexpected twist (as opposed to the expected twist?) was that today I happened to find that… the Publishers Weekly reviews were posted. Ahead of schedule… BUT… and this is a Sir Mix-a-Lot big kind of but… the cut list doesn’t come out until tomorrow.
So here I am, with a fresh review that I can fixate on, and no clear direction as to my fate. The review was pleasantly pleasant. No outright raving, but no cursing me to a fate of never touching a pen again either. After a month of eager anticipation, I get to wait a little more.
This is how tomorrow likely plays out… I go to work, get my coffee, sit down to check my emails and take a deep breath, nonchalantly going to the ABNA page. I breathe a sigh of expectant semi-relief as I see they’re not there yet.
And then I proceed to refresh the page for 4 more hours… while trying to maintain the illusion of working. Eventually, the page will change, and I will freeze in my tracks, body flushing with anxious anticipation. More than likely, my boss or coworkers will pick this exact moment to ask me a question, or buzz me for a phone call. It will likely be a complicated question involving lots of nitpicky details. I will nod blankly, pretending to acknowledge them, as I click the link for the list, all the time in my head repeating *no whammies no whammies no whammies,* peering through the corner of my eye while I try my best to get them to go away in a speedy manner.
The list won’t be long. I’ll probably have to look a few times, just to be sure. If I’m not there, I’ll check again. If I am there, I’ll check twice, convincing myself that I actually remember how to spell my own name and book title. I will have to print the page out either way, just to be sure.
And then I’ll space out for about 30 minutes. I hope my boss is more virtuous than I am.
April 15, 2013 | Categories: Blog | Tags: abna 2013, amazon, author, book competition, publishing, writer, writing | Leave a comment