In Paper! Isn’t it beautiful?

April 7, 2015

It’s here or it’s coming – I have no clue! I just searched on Amazon for it and didn’t find it listed in paper yet. Oh, I promise I will scream its arrival from the rooftops as soon as I know for certain. Then it will take about a six weeks (I think) for it to come to local bookstores. You might have to ask your bookstore to order it. Or jump over to my contact page and drop me a line about your local bookstore. (That way my book manager can make certain that your bookstore is on the distributor’s list.) And it will also be a available in large print for the over 40 crowd who can’t stand to read that tiny print!

Isn’t that cover pretty?

 

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Paper and Distribution

March 31, 2015

I’m going to paper!

I’m not just going to paper, I’m going to bookstores. I’ve got a distributor. I hired a manager.

It’s a long story. I know the person, and I’ve known her for a million years. Not quite but most of her life she’s been part of mine. One of those people who have been in this industry for 20 years.

Maybe it was kismet. I was at the point that I knew I needed to make some changes. Being a minnow in the big ocean is very precarious and this year I said I was going to change some things. Last year’s hectic pace of writing and publishing was not something I wanted to repeat. There had to be a better way.

But what? I didn’t come into indie publishing with a name behind me, yet I’ve done extremely well. Still, I’m not where I want to be. So keep writing? Einstein said that doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is insanity. I fit those words to a T and I knew it. I also didn’t want to give up my indie status and control.

I’m a novelist, not a web guru, or a marketing genius. Say SEO to me and I cringe. Key words scare me. Tagging? I’m computer challenged and totally techno challenged. I needed help!

Happenstance put me and this other person emailing abck and forth one evening. I admitted I was lost in the deep blue sea. She was on the verge of contacting me to ask to be my manager. She’s got the connections and the know-how! She wanted my books!

PLEASE!!! Take them! Actually, they are still mine, but she’s going to manage them!

Does it sound easy? I’ve busted my butt for days getting things to her and collaborating on things like covers. Original stock from the cover? Oh, I found it! That computer crash last year did some weird things, but it’s amazing what I had backed up on flash drives and salvaged.

So A Rancher’s Woman will go to print. My newest historical A Rancher’s Dream will also go to print. They will be available in e-form on Amazon and at your local bookstores. And my wedding vow books will be combined into one fat paperback and will also be available. My contemporary westerns will follow and eventually my River City books will go to print and into distribution.

So here I am in this whirlwind and I know almost nothing – that’s why I hired her! And she told me to write the diary of Clare Coleman! I will! I am!

Oh, to not worry about all the small stuff and concentrate on my writing will be heaven. But right now, I’m in edits and I’m thrilled that A Rancher’s Dream will soon be available.

 

 

 


Parent, Human, or Author?

March 16, 2015

I’m in that limbo state. I have one book done and ready to be published and the other is with an editor. That means it’s time to clean my house. UGH!  I’d almost rather do anything to avoid the cleaning process. But alas I’m a female in charge of my own house. I don’t have a staff which means I get to clean it.

I’ll admit I bought a big bottle of that deodorizer spray stuff the other day. I guess I’ll  start on the living room. I don’t have a den. I live in my living room. It’s used constantly!

Those three little cute kittens have turned into three cats and they all have claws! I’m not happy. The world is over populated with cats and no one wants them. I can’t seem to give them away and I’ve spent a fortune on them. They are neutered /spayed with all their first shots. I can’t afford to de-claw them and I’m not happy about them climbing my furniture. It’s one thing if whoever adopts them keeps them as indoor cats and another if they ever let them go outside. De-clawed cats cannot go outside.

My other problem I have a housemate who loves cats. My old male was on a strict diet and he was still too fat. Now he’s super fat!  Please stop feeding him! With excess cats in the house, he’s over eating, and he has access to the other cat food.

Being in limbo gives time to think. I got to thinking about the fact that some of my parenting skills were probably lacking. Well, babies don’t come with printed instructions on their butts. I did the best that I could at the time. I know I was a better parent than my parents and I also know that no one is perfect. If I could turn back the hands of time… I wish I was less serious. Really!

I always took time to be with my children. I spent hours playing with them on the floor, reading to them, helping them with homework, and showing them how to do things. But did I continue to spend that time playing and laughing? I think as they grew, I backed away in an attempt to teach them to be self-sufficient.

What made me decide all this? My writing. The last thing we want to do as writers is be negative. As I’ve written about Cody Montgomery, the father in my wedding vow stories, I realized he was a much better parent than I ever was. Or did he have better children?

Children are children. Mine are as different as night is from day. What worked for one didn’t for the other. I could look at one and she’d stop. Her little lip would curl out and she’d dissolve into tears. The other… OMG!  I could rant and threaten and she didn’t care. She’d blow me off and keep on going.

Fortunately my girls have grown into wonderful adults and I couldn’t be any prouder of them. I only wish they were more supportive of my writing. They both seem to think I need a real job. It’s been an ongoing battle for several years.

Authors have a weird income that varies in amounts all the time. I’m still not selling millions of books but really those who do are a small minority. You can count them on your digits! The rest of us struggle to eek a living but I’m still in the minority who actually survives on my income. Very few authors can quit their day jobs and sometimes I wonder if I should have a day job, but that would take away from my writing.

I recently heard that the average author is lucky to sell 200 books. Really? I heard that five years ago. Is it still true? If that is true, I’ve never fit that mold! I have my many readers to thank for supporting me and buying my books. Statistics show that if they buy one, they tend to buy the rest in the series. Thank you! You are the reason I write.

A reader recently sent me a note asking about my next River City. “I do love the River City’s because they are like going home.  It’s like you know everyone there before you open the next book.  You know the city, the streets, the stores, the parks, you know everything!  I love it.” As I told her, I should have another coming out by fall of 2015.

I have a couple of stories in my head that I want to write and then I’m going on concentrate on my historical westerns. I never dreamed I’d write historical novels but I’m enjoying them. I like the research and exploring all the changes that took place in the second half of the 1800’s.

I have a strong background in horticulture and all those changes.  I would frequently lecture on Victorian, Colonial, or Medieval gardens. Maybe I’ll blog about that someday. Sometimes little tidbits on gardening appear in my writing. But I’ll leave you all with the knowledge that I was just a gardener. Very organic, because I couldn’t afford chemicals, and I really didn’t want them around. But I read everything I could get my hands on when it came to gardens and eventually became a master gardener with my local extension service.

If someone ever reaches the bottom of my barrel, they will discover I’m just a human with hopes, dreams, and an odd assortment of experiences. I’ve been a wife, a mother, a sister, a friend, and like most people I’m still chasing that elusive butterfly. Like 99% of the population of the world, I’m still striving for something better, surviving what life tosses my way, and holding onto my dreams. But unlike most people, I’m writing the stories that are stuck in my head.


Bark!

February 27, 2015

I heard a noise. I have to bark.

I heard a noise. I have to bark.

Did you hear it? Bark! Bark!

 

Hush, you don’t need to bark.

 

I heard a noise. I have to bark.

I heard a noise. I have to bark.

It’s my job! Bark! Bark!

 

Shh, you don’t need to bark.

 

I heard a noise. I have to bark.

I heard a noise. I have to bark.

Something went bump. Bark! Bark!

 

Come back to bed. Don’t bark.

 

I heard a noise. I have to bark.

I heard a noise. I have to bark.

Do you hear it? Bark! Bark!

 

I can’t hear a thing if you’re going to bark.

 

I heard a noise. I have to bark.

I heard a noise. I have to bark.

I can’t help it. Bark! Bark!

 

Shh, you don’t need to bark.

 

I heard a noise. I have to bark.

I heard a noise. I have to bark.

I must protect my human. Bark! Bark!

 

Come back to bed. Don’t bark.

 

I heard a noise. I have to bark.

I heard a noise. I have to bark.

There was a noise! Bark! Bark!

 

How can I hear anything if you are barking?

 

I heard a noise. I have to bark.

I heard a noise. I have to bark.

I must alert. Bark! Bark!

 

I know it’s your job to alert me of any sound.

I made that sound. I don’t need an alert.

 

You don’t have to answer the dog that lives a half block away.

Do you know what he’s saying? Do you even speak Labrador?

 

It’s the mailman. He comes every day.

He’s not stealing my porch or my mailbox.

 

The cat is allowed to play with his toy in the other room.

It’s his toy. There is no need to tell me about it.

 

You’re a chicken, a noisy chicken.

A super coward to the nth degree.

 

You’re not a watchdog. I never asked you to be.

A real threat and you are under the sofa.

 

You’re such a good girl. You scared them away.

Please let me sleep. You don’t need to bark.

 

I heard a noise. I have to bark.

I heard a noise. I have to bark.

I can’t help it! Bark! Bark!

 

Aargh!!


When Not to Write!

February 25, 2015

I picked up a bug and not the garden kind. I wound up at the doctors’ offices. I passed the chest X-ray, and failed the breathing test. Over and over they asked if I had asthma. No! Gasping for breath is no fun!

But I’m no wimp so I kept writing! I should have stopped and curled up on file0001122800560the sofa. To Have & To Hold went to my editor. She came back and said she could tell how sick I’ve been. Oh no! Oh yeah! Not my usual mistakes.

When the one went to the editor, the other went to a writer friend for a content read. I think she managed to get to page 25 and found a dozen things. I went back through it. Omigod! I should have climbed on the sofa and never attempted to write. What was I thinking?

To Have & To Hold is awaiting release. Why? I still don’t trust anything I’ve written.

My other manuscript is waiting for me to push send so it can go on its merry way to my editor. I’m even less trusting of the words on those virtual pages.

I really should have pretended I wasn’t facing deadlines on two books. I should have just slept through the worst of my viral infection. Maybe I’d feel better by now and my ears wouldn’t feel as though I was living under water. I’m sure I would have saved days of reworking my manuscript so that the words made sense. I cut whole paragraphs because I couldn’t figure out what I was thinking or trying to say.

I’ve written through times of great stress and loss without such problems, but the next time I grab a viral bug… I’m going to bed and staying there! There’s no point in make more work for myself!


Valentine’s Day is Almost Here

February 11, 2015

With the pressure of two books coming out in March, I’ve been buried in my writing cave AKA my computer room. And being I’ve barely stuck my nose out for the last few months… I want to know!

Valentine’s Day is this wonderful romantic celebration. That one night that you do something special. So I, as romance writer, am naturally interested in these very important romantic moments. In real life, I’ve seen marriage proposals, super restaurant meals with wine and roses, a new car, lots of chocolate, and pizza dinners.

So what was the most romantic Valentine’s day you’ve ever had? What happened and where did you go or not go, or… Tell me please because I  love hearing about real romance! (Keep it PG, there’s not over 18 warning on this blog! LOL)

Stop over to my contact page if you’d like to win an advanced copy of my new books! :-)


Moving Along

February 2, 2015

Wedding Vow 3, To Have & To Hold is done! Well, it’s written. It’s going to my editor. A beta reader said she laughed and thoroughly enjoyed it. Great! It’s not fluffy, or a comedy, but there are funny moments in it.

My historical western, set in Creed’s Crossing, Wyoming, is almost completed. I’m near the end, and so far, I’m quite happy with it.

That doesn’t mean I get to slack off. No way! I’ll be teaching a series of workshops for the City of Portsmouth, Virginia library system in March. I’ll give you more on that later. So far I only have dates March 7, 14, 21, and 28, and that it will cover writing a novel from start to finish. Lots of info to cram into four weeks.

I’ll be posting the covers and blurbs for both books here as soon as I have them. February will be busy but not as bad as December and January – I hope.

Yes, I know all about what happened in the Superbowl game. A friend sent me a detailed explanation – um…if you understand the game then I guess it makes sense. But I’ve never been a football fan. I have no idea what a down means so I’m hopeless!  Don’t tell me they are wearing blue – they both were wearing blue! Oh, the shirt.

And a guy by the name of Brady was playing and he has a brother who also plays. Apparently they are good guys. I’m just happy to hear there are good guys playing the game, because it seems like so many of them aren’t.

To play the game, the guys start out in the center and try to get the ball to the other side by kicking it or throwing it through the goal posts, or carrying it over a line.  It’s the other team’s job to prevent it by tackling them and send them to the ground by creating a massive pile of humans. And that is my knowledge of football.

I’m slightly better with baseball. I understand that game. The pitcher tries to throw a ball that no one can hit with a baseball bat. If the ball is hit and it doesn’t go in the proper direction, it’s called a foul. If it goes where it should and someone catches it, that person with the bat is out. If they grab it eventually, they have to throw it to someone who tries to tag the runner with the ball, or sends it to the base where the guy is running. At least they don’t tackle him or try to “hit” him with the ball. It’s a more civilized sport.

They tried to teach me to play team sports in school. Funny thing, I could run like the wind and I can throw a baseball, but I was lousy at everything except pitching. You want me to put the ball where? Fast or slow? Okay. It’s a skill that comes in handy when trying to get rid of dust webs on the ceiling with a tennis ball draped in an old sock.

:-)


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