Tag Archives: thinking vs. sleeping

Trilogy winner and a review that’s not a review

Yes, that blog post title sucks, but I just couldn’t bring myself to title it Winning! like I really wanted to.

Anyhoo…

I’m happy to announce the winner of the e-book of the Zellie Wells trilogy is Brenda Demko!  Yay, Brenda!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by during the blog hop and left a comment.  I love hearing from y’all. Also, big thanks to those of you that followed me on Twitter and Facebook and signed up for my newsletter and blog.

So, I went to see Young Adult yesterday. (Pardon the segway, I was up very late last night with my wheezing daughter…and I had a hard time putting down the book I’m reading .  Bad combo!) I wanted to see this movie the second I discovered it existed because it’s written by Diablo Cody and directed by Jason Reitman- the Juno team. I totally loved Juno and could care less if it’s not cool to like Juno anymore.

Besides that, I had a few other reasons for wanting to see it.  I really dig Patton Oswalt – he’s so funny and truthful – I just think he needs to be in all movies. He did not disappoint in Young Adult. I also, obviously, wanted to see it because it’s about a YA author.  Lastly, I’ll admit there was a bit of a nostalgia thing going for me – the characters are my age and I wanted to see if they knew what they were doing yet. Like going to a high school reunion at someone else’s school.

In a nutshell, Young Adult is about Mavis Gary, an author who ghost writes a Sweet Valley High-type series. Mavis’ life is in the crapper and she goes  home to Mercury, Minnesota after being gone for a long time to win back her high school sweetheart, Buddy – who happens to be married and has a new daughter.

We’re supposed to hate Mavis, she’s in Charlize Theron’s body after all. She’s also an alcoholic and her emotions are in arrested development. She’s that popular girl who said hi to you once in the girls bathroom and asked for a stick of gum.  You’ll always remember it and she forgot it while it was happening.  Mavis disses her hometown, disses her parents and generally doesn’t care how her actions affect anyone around her.

Like I said, we’re supposed to hate her.  We’re supposed to think, “Ha ha popular chick, welcome to the real world.”

But I didn’t. I actually had a lot of empathy for her. I got that juxtaposition between having high school be your glory days and having those glory days take place in a town you couldn’t wait to get out of. I understood why she would dwell on the past. For me, as a young adult writer, your head is in that space more than most people.  You can’t help but have a hard time adjusting to adulthood because you spend a lot of time “pretending” you’re still seventeen.

You’re also used to rewriting your history a little bit in your books, so I found it believable that Mavis thought she could go back home and rewrite the ending to her teenage love affair.

Anyway, I don’t have much more to say about it.  It’s a good movie and I recommend you all see it, but it’s not sunshine and rainbows.  It depressed me in a weird, self-reflective way that I’m sure is not a normal reaction. 🙂

The strangest thing, after I went to see Young Adult, I picked my kids up at my parents house and they’d gotten into a box of my stuff in their garage.  My son handed me a scrap of cloth, which turned out to be the front of this guy’s skateboarding t-shirt I’d had up on my bulletin board since the 8th grade.

I don’t know what to do with it.  I can’t throw it away.

 

For a real review of Young Adult go here.

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Reviews and the self-published author

I’m in a strange mood today – we’ve just come back from a trip to the mountains and as we got lower in elevation and the more the snow melted away, the weirder I felt. Like our vacation didn’t happen. Also, I’ve been eating nothing but sweets for three days. 🙂
I felt like writing something about reviews and when I logged on to Twitter this morning, I saw this tweet from The Story Siren:
“sending me an email lecturing me for not reading/accepting self pubbed books, makes me want to read them even less.”
Let’s talk about etiquette.
Most of the book bloggers that write thoughtful reviews and don’t trash or over enthusiastically praise (in other words, the ones you want to read your book) have a review policy. Take the time to read it, folks. If they say they don’t read self-pubbed books and you are the author of a self-pubbed book, don’t query them for a review. If they say they don’t read e-books, don’t send them a PDF and complain that you’re too poor to send them a hard copy. Follow the rules.
Your book will not be the one to change their mind. People have to come to things in their own time and the best way to slow down that process is tell them that they’re wrong about something and need to change to suit you. Move on to the next book blogger, there are literally hundreds of them. The indie book collective has lists by genre of book bloggers that read self-pubbed and accept e-copies. That’s a great place to start.
I can’t state this next bit enough – if you receive a bad review, don’t engage the reviewer. This applies to both book bloggers and customer reviews on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, etc. If the review is inflammatory or doesn’t say anything critical about the actual book (I’ve just received a one-star review on Glimpse that only said, “how many pages are in this book?”) then you can ask Amazon or Barnes and Noble to remove it. Otherwise, just let it be.
Readers are smart enough to make their own decisions about whether or not they want to read a book. They will read the good and bad reviews and come to their own conclusions. Rest assured, some people will love your book and some people will think it’s awful.
The work you have to do on yourself as a writer is to get to the point where you don’t care about either. Not all good reviews are going to be, uh, good. Sometimes they’re three word, exclamation point-ridden silliness. Sometimes they say: OMG!! Luv it!! Not all bad reviews are going to be bad. Reviewers that give you low end stars, but write a thoughtful review outlining what they didn’t like about the book – these reviews are not a detriment. Also, I find that most of the time these reviewers will include a line or two about how your book was “not their cup of tea.” Fair enough.
I’m not going to pretend that I had a thick skin about reviews when I first started out, I definitely did not. I do now, because I’ve realized that while reviews are important for getting your name out there and attracting people to take a look at your book, they’re not that important otherwise. No need to stay up at night worrying about them. The people that like your book and review it positively will stick around to read your others, the people that don’t like your book and review it negatively will move on to someone else.
Our job is to entertain the people that want to read our books and to not waste time trying to win over the rest.
This blog is cross-posted on the Death by Chocolate blog and the Pacific Northwest YA Authors blog.

Happy Thanksgiving and #ROW80

This year my family decided to do something different for Thanksgiving and get out of town. I’m headed to Mt. Hood in a couple of hours to enjoy a few days of eating and sledding and snowball fights.

Here’s where we’re staying:

Yes, that’s the Timberline Lodge – the hotel from The Shining. I fully expect my sister to wake me at least once by wiggling her finger in my face and saying “redrumredrumredrum.”

Our plan for Thanksgiving is to eat ourselves silly and then take the kids out to play in the snow.  We don’t get much  in the valley, and when we do it’s usually covered in a sheet of ice, so my kids have never been sledding before!

Wish me luck, I’m going to be the one driving and I haven’t ever put chains on my tires.  Actually, I haven’t driven in much snow at all since I was a teenager…why did I volunteer for this job again? 🙂

Enjoy the holiday, American types, and do yourself a favor and sleep in on Friday.  The 500 pack of socks for 10 cents will still be there later in the day.

Row80 update: I barfed up a whopping 3,279 words on a new pen name short story on Monday. I’m using barf in the best sense of the word – I’d been thinking about the story for a while now and wasn’t in the mood to work on my DBC story, so I thought I’d just get the beginning written.  It took off from there!  I probably would’ve stayed up late and written more, but my husband wanted me to watch How I Met Your Mother with him and my eyes were burning something fierce. I added another 400 words yesterday and have left off in an awesome spot so that I’ll be rarin’ to go on it  when I get back from the mountain.

I also completely reorganized all of my files and finally got the epub version of most of my stories up on All Romance.  A fairly productive beginning to the week that I will now completely ruin by being a sloth for three days.  Yippee!!

Have a good one, y’all.

Midweek #ROW80 update

Surprise, surprise, I’m actually writing an update on the correct day! Wish I had something more exciting to post.

I had a few blessed hours to myself yesterday and I added 862 new words to my Death by Chocolate story. Uh, I think.  I also erased whole paragraphs because I decided my main character, Aurelia, needed to be more conflicted about coming home. It’s a time travel story and if she doesn’t miss anything about the other dimension, there’s no real tension in the choice she has to make at the end. So, I’m pleased with where it’s at now.

Currently, I’m on the precipice of the “meet cute” scene and although I want the love interest to be awesome and suave and funny, I think I have to make him a douche.  Maybe a douche that’s still really hot? lol Again, there needs to be more conflict.

On the home front, my husband is sick and my kids are still trying to adjust to the time change. This leads to everyone at my house sleeping at weird hours in several places besides their beds. The hubs is favoring the couch, my daughter the floor, and my son and I spend a lot of time in the recliner with our heads hanging over the side. Super comfy.

I’m excited to go on a mom date with Sarah tonight to see In Time.  For once we’re going to see a movie because it looks good instead of because of all the hot boys that are in it.  Although, there are plenty to ogle in In Time – just not our faves.

I know you’re shocked that I’m seeing a movie tonight and not waiting until tomorrow to check out Breaking Dawn Part 1.  I kind of am too, but we’ve decided to check that mutha out next Sunday.  I seriously can’t wait to see the honeymoon scene.  I powered through the books to get to that part because I’d been promised some sex and then, well, we all know how underwhelming that was. I’m sure I’ll do something dorky like clap and embarrass the hell out of Sarah.  I like to think it’s payback for having to see Valentine’s Day just because Abs McLautner was in it. 🙂

Okay, time to go douchify a character.  Have a super swell Wednesday.

Spazmatron 5000 and #ROW80

Good morning! Okay, it’s 11, but I got to sleep in until 9, thus my morning is still new. I slept for ten hours last night and have maybe never needed it more. While I was jealous of all the Halloween parties my friends and family were attending, I woke up this morning refreshed and not hung over, so there is a plus to being a boring grown-up once in a while.

Have I mentioned that Glimpse is Free on Amazon?  (Like, EVERYWHERE.) Sorry for being so annoying, but I just can’t help it!  I’ve had over 5K downloads since Friday evening and it’s making me a spazmatron 5000. Right now it’s holding steady at #16 overall in Free and is #1 in both Contemporary Fantasy and Science Fiction, Fantasy, Magic.  Can you all frickity-frackin’ believe that?

Thank you SO much to everyone for tweeting about it and posting on Facebook and other places – www.woot.com – who knew?  I have no doubt that all of you made those 5K downloads happen.

If you’re over me and my spazziness, take heart, I’m sure someone will write a review on Goodreads soon calling me a no-talent fuck-up and then I’ll go back to being my normal, sedate self. 🙂

*snort* That is so not true.  Is this your first time reading this blog?

ROW80 Act-shun!:

Wrote the pants off of my pen name short story this week and got that puppy edited, beta read and published on Friday and Saturday. My alter ego is pleased that she’s already sold a handful of copies.

Added another 253 words to my Death by Chocolate story last night – mostly pumping up the description and adding more back story to the first scene.  Nothing on Dissent or the Glimpse pilot this week.

Worked on the pen name website, PacNWYA website and wrote a blog post for the DBC blog.

I’m taking the day off from writing today, because at this point I wouldn’t even let a hoarder into my house I’m so embarrassed by the state of it.  The kids laundry is done, but I haven’t done my own laundry since the beginning of October!

Thanks, Sarah, for the 8 new pairs of hand-me-down jeans. I couldn’t have survived or clothed my lower half without them.

I’ll talk at you all again on Wednesday, but will be missing next Sunday’s check-in as I’ll be at the beach with my ladies doing 8-counts, drinking cheap beer and eating Combos.

Happy Halloween and thank God October is almost over!

 

Quick like bunny #ROW80

Quick update today: I’ve been working on my pen name story feverishly since Sunday and have added almost 4K to it. I’m in the middle of writing the last scene and  I have to go back and make another scene longer.  Then, that puppy is done! I haven’t worked on anything else, but as soon as this one is finished, I’m going to attack my Death By Chocolate story and Dissent.  The TV pilot is on hold for now and that’s fine.  I’ve been getting in writing every day and that’s what’s most important.

 

Check ya later, taters.

Busy Bee and #ROW80

Such a busy week!  We had three RBR tour stops, our last at A Children’s Place Bookstore yesterday, I saw Footloose, took my kids to the pumpkin patch and ended the week last night at Billy’s bar with pizza and vodka tonics and my Cards kicking some World Series butt.

The YA author tour went so well that we’re planning another one in the spring – with even more local authors!  Cheri Lasota, Cidney Swanson, Craig Hansen and McKenzie McCann will hopefully be joining us next time around. (That’s a lot of C’s, people!! Just noticed that.)

If you’re a YA author and live in the Pacific Northwest, drop me a line at: Pacific Northwest YA Authors and we’ll talk. Going on tour as a group makes the experience a little less daunting.  Plus, we have all kinds of fun – where else are you going to meet people IRL that geek out on e-book formatting and platform building? 🙂

Now that the tour is over and all I have to worry about are birthdays and holidays and cleaning my hole of a house, I’m going to try to write every day.  I’ve got three long short stories to write by the end of the year – one I hope to publish by the end of this month.  So, if you don’t see me around on the interwebs quite as often, you’ll know what I’m doing!

Word Count: I wrote 788 words on Thursday on my story for the Death By Chocolate anthology.  Right now, the story is called Do Over.  I totally hate that title and am sure it will eventually be called something awesome. 🙂

I’m off to write!  Have a splendiferous ( or glorgious as Kait Nolan would say) week!

Doughnut overload and #ROW80

It’s only been since Wednesday that I last blogged, but it feels like it’s been weeks!  Since Wednesday, I’ve made a Rain Boots Required stop at West Linn Public library and spent two long days at the Wordstock festival in Portland.

Dudes and dudettes, so much has happened!

The tour stop in West Linn was fabulous.  We had another great turn out and this time our audience was filled with actual young adults.  They asked great questions – about writing and publishing and technique.  Watch out, y’all, the next crop of writers are gonna be some savvy upstarts!!

Thanks so much to Elaine, the Teen librarian at WLPL. She made us feel so welcome and she is such a dedicated and awesome librarian.  The kids of West Linn are lucky to have her and her bosses on their side.  The teen section of their library is a place that I know I would’ve loved to spend time in as a YA because I’m now having fantasies about escaping to there as an adult.

My apologies to Lisa Nowak and Laura Elliott for my less than stellar AV skillz.  I think we can all agree I shouldn’t be in charge of taping the talks anymore!! 🙂

Saturday and Sunday were spent at Wordstock from 10-6.  We had VooDoo Doughnuts at our table and let me tell y’all, doughnuts are the great equalizer.  We talked (and talked and talked and talked) to so many people who might not have stopped by our booth if it wasn’t for those crazy doughnuts.

I shared a booth with authors Angela Carlie and Laura Elliott. Lisa Nowak was at another booth, but she popped over frequently to hang out.  We had such a blast!

Since I had to register the booth name before we had even named our author tour and I wasn’t sure who exactly was going to share it with me, I named it Pacific Northwest YA Authors.  Good name, right?

Plenty of folks thought so.  In fact, a lot of people thought we were an organization and wanted to join.  At first, we laughed about it and told them we just needed a name for our booth, then, well it occurred to us that maybe we were an organization of sorts.  More of a group, but we had authors wanting to join and librarians and teachers wanting us to come give talks at their schools.

Never one to turn down an opportunity…

I give you Pacific Northwest YA Authors.

The website and e-mail address were created on Saturday night when I couldn’t sleep but for thinkin’.  Today, we signed up four schools/libraries to give talks at and collected over 20 e-mail addresses from people who want to receive our newsletter.

There’s just a welcome post up there right now, but by the end of this week I should have all of our Abouts, videos, reference links, contact info., guidelines for joining, etc. up.

Another awesome thing that happened at Wordstock besides networking our asses off, was that Lisa Nowak noticed the Trends in Publishing panel was the most well attended one of the whole event.  And you know what?  The panelists talked about self-publishing, but didn’t have a ton of experience with it.  So, Lisa and I tracked down the incoming director of Wordstock and pitched her a self-publishing panel for next year.  She seemed into it and said we were the first people to pitch her a panel for the following year.  Who knows what will come of it, but I can’t stress enough that it never hurts to ask for what you want!

ROW80 update:  If you’ve stuck around, I have good thangs to share about this too! (Seriously, I had three doughnuts today and am soooo high on the sugar!!)  I talked about my decent word count for Tuesday on Wednesday.  Yay!  On Thursday, I fired up my new Final Draft software.

Guys, I’m in love.  Yes, I actually heart software.

Although my ultimate dream would’ve been to pick a TV format and then copy and paste what I’d already written directly into it, what I got was pretty close.  I selected the script format that they use on Grey’s Anatomy and copy and pasted line by line what I’d written so far.  Voila!  Formatted script.  So easy to use.  I spent the last hour of my writing time creating new stuff for the script.  It’s such a fun project because I get to rewrite my book without having to actually rewrite my book.  Writing new dialogue for the Rosedell gang made me absolutely ecstatic.  There’s a new conversation between Avery and his best friend Jason that had me laughing my butt off.  It’s fun to be back in Zellie’s world in a new way.

Okay, I’m off to work on the PacNWYA website before my sugar crash commences.  Peace out.

#Row80 round four goals

I’m setting simple goals for myself this round. I already have a ton of things planned for the next three months – I’m doing a book tour this month, will be out-of-town twice in November, with my son’s birthday and Thanksgiving happening in between, and December is holiday madness and then my daughter’s birthday.  These are all things I know about.

Since I had so many unplanned things occur during the last two rounds – two car accidents, lots of doctor visits, flea infestation of epic proportions, my hard drive crashed – I ‘m expecting some sort of obstacle to pop up during this one.

My goal is to make Tuesdays Day of Sacrifice Day and Thursday Glimpse TV pilot day.  There are two more DoS stories left to write and I’d love to have one more out in time for the holidays, but I’m not going to bank on it.  The Glimpse pilot will be finished before the end of this round, simply because it’s half done already.  Then Thursdays will switch to editing or more DoS.

I want to write two novels, a short story, the last DoS novelette and a novella in 2012 and get the TV pilot sent to SOMEONE.  So, this round I’m going easy on myself.

Best of luck to all the ROW80 participants !  I’ll “see” you all at the Twitter party on Wednesday!

Confessions of a, uh, confessioner

I was reading a funny thread on Kindleboards the other day where they were talking about the most overused words and phrases in titles.  Confessions of a…was one of them.

But wait, I really do have a confession.

Since the Day of Sacrifice stories are serialized, I always reread them before I start writing another one.  It helps me get back into the world and I make notes for continuity.  Every once in a while, though, something sneaks past me.

After I finished Dormant and was putting together the DoS Vol. 1-3, I realized that Edgar Grant wasn’t called Edgar in Day of Sacrifice.  I believe I called him George.

I’ve also had to go back and change the ages of some of the characters.  When you’re dealing with angels and vamps and they can be hundreds of year old, well, sometimes I get carried away and make them, like, 500 or something.  Realistically (? !) the oldest of them are in their 200’s.

So, when I sat down to make the list of characters and terms for DoS today I found that I’d written there were six Gods in Day of Sacrifice and then only written four God characters in Takeover. I immediately fixed this problem and uploaded Takeover everywhere again, but just so ya know, some of you ended up with the *special* 4 Gods edition.

What can I say?  I don’t get enough sleep and I’m constantly interrupted by apple juice swilling toddlers.  I decide to cater parties and publish books at the same time.

Not your problem.

If you’ve got a 4 Gods version and aren’t notified when the correct one uploads to whichever site you purchased it from, let me know and I’ll see what I can do to get you a new copy.

I realize this is one of those things that if I hadn’t said anything 99 percent of you wouldn’t have noticed, but it’s embarrassing for me and makes me feel lame when I make dumb mistakes.

End of confession. 🙂

Check out the new DoS Characters and Terms page.  I had a lot of fun making it.  I think I’m also going to add a Couples and a Who Killed Who list.  With a great big ol’ spoiler warning before it, of course.