All The Things

All good things come to an end. At least, on one platform.

Those 8,900 views ended up reaching close to 12,500 (I think?) before the platform, Radish, removed my story for violating policy.

  1. HAHA still a rebel. Defying policies and fighting authority since birth (and emphasized during the Great Condom Heist in college).
  2. BOOOOO for removing content that wasn’t checked beforehand. Plus, they spotlighted my book for a promotion so it’s really on them.
  3. The violation was due to explicit scenes with minors. They were 17. Grow up.

I was making a few bucks daily on this site and thought…okay…there might be something here. And then today, I got the email about the audit and them plucking my story from their platform. Goodbye 59 subscribers and daily profits. This blows. Bright side? I gained a little traction, so those 59 subscribers at least heard of me and it boosted my sales on Amazon for a few days, so not all a loss.

Does suck though. But, as I’ve learned over and over (and over and over…) everything happens for a reason. Everything. Even if it’s a closed door/window/opportunity, it was closed for a reason. That’s not the direction to look or go anymore; now it’s been shifted to something else. So, I took a minute to be sad about Radish’s stupid BS, and now I’m over it. Maybe I was on there long enough to serve my purpose which was gaining a new Patreon subscriber! Woo-hoo! Now I need to remember to be working on that again as well!

All the things.

Also, I missed sending out my May newsletter. I know, I know. Normally, it covers the same information in my blog with a little treat, like a snippet from an upcoming release, and I failed in sending it out this month because:

  1. I mismanaged my time and the 15th has come and gone…
  2. Nothing big to report, except that I’m not releasing APIP next month as planned. But anybody who cares about that already knows.

I thought about sending out a newsletter later this month but think I’m just going to roll to June 15th. Any info you need to know will be in my blog, or, you can ask.

NO, I don’t know when I’m releasing APIP but I’m hoping for November/December. Not sure it’s a good time to release something because everyone is preoccupied with the holidsays. Right? Do you ignore treats for yourself (like reading) around the holidays BECAUSE you have so much going on – or – do you indulge yourself with treats (like reading) around the holidays BECAUSE you need that escape?

*taps fingers expectantly waiting for answers*

Actually curious because this may affect the release date…

~ Lady Caitlin

The Puzzle Solved

Earlier this year I signed up for a serialized fiction platform, Radish. Remember? I barely remember because it’s a platform that I rarely check. I’ve had the same 78 views since February with no comments, no subscribers, and no traction. I probably glance at the thing once or twice a month. Well, last week they emailed saying Better Than This would be featured as a free book on their Free-Book-Friday promotion. Okay, cool. Last time they highlighted BTT with a promotion…still sat at the same 78 views, no subscribers. No traction. No big deal.

Guess this one was different. I checked early Friday – still nothing. I checked Sunday morning and I had 8,900 views. WHAT. WWWWHHHHAAATTTT. Of all the combined platforms I’ve been on, this is the first one that’s pushed over 1,000 views. And in two days? WHAT. Also got me 60 new subscribers.

It’s weird because I didn’t actually do anything. Literally. I signed up for Radish at the beginning of the year, uploaded the series and kind of…waited. I applied for a previous promotion and it didn’t do crap. Now I know if people want to read my books, I should give them away. That, or apply for promos making them free. Aha, the puzzle solved.

It kinda jumpstarted me to get things going. I’ve already pushed back the release date of ARPIP until some point (when I can get my ducks in a row for a semi-successful launch / not have wandering ducks with the same lackluster launch) but it means updating my books with all new backmatter, revising prices, getting the newsletter going (…having more than 9 subscribers…) and working with other authors. Not to mention finish editing ARPIP and writing AROG.

I don’t know…something about seeing the 8,900 views was like having an angel pat me on the back saying. “See? You can do this. It’ll take some time and energy…but you can do this.”

Thanks, Angel.

How are you? Did you have a nice weekend? I had a lovely one with my mom, sister, nephew, and Batman. We explored the city, had many delicious meals, and even more drinks. It’s how I like celebrating a holiday. Other than that—and the increase of views/subscribers—everything is still the same. Still growing pretty new silver strands and Batman keeps reminding me I’m older. Because he’s evil. Because he thinks that makes me a cougar…even if he’s only six months behind me.

Anyway, all is well here. Better than well, actually – I got 8,900 views!!! This will probably be my highlight for the rest of the year, so apologizes if I refer to it often. But when good things happen, you got to celebrate, right?

Yeah, you do.

Cheers!

~ Lady Caitlin

The Inevitable Question

I missed last week.

I know. I know.

I told myself (and you, silently, in my head) that I wouldn’t miss another post unless there was a DIRE EMERGENCY kind of situation, because how long does it take to write a few-paragraphs-long post? The answer is not very long. At all. The thing—if you’re skilled at writing totally awesome posts like I am—only takes a little bit of time. Maybe an hour. Probably less. So, how can I not find one tiny (maybe less) hour in my day to write the weekly blog, right?

I know. I planned poorly and did not underestimate the amount of energy my day-job would suck out of me because missing last week’s post is inexcusable, especially since I had this great theme about how all the hair on my head is slowly starting to betray me, and turn unicorn-silver. It was more a cathartic post for me to come to terms with the fact that I’m getting a new hair color, but I realized something even more important, something about my newest book…

Brace yourself (or don’t)—

I’m pushing back the release date of A Royal Pairing in Perish.

*GASP*

I know. I know.

I didn’t want to do it either, but I need to. I’m just not ready or even close to releasing a book next month. Because yeah, I can literally go and ‘publish’ the thing, but I really want to do this differently. I want to really try this time, and I feel leaps and bounds behind where I should be for launch-day. I’m following my gut, and it’s saying I have good intentions, but my timing is off. Way off, which leads to the inevitable question:

When am I planning to release?

Great question! I’d love to answer that, but the jury is still out, and I’m not sure when those fools are returning. I’d like to say by the end of the year (and could still be the case) but I’m just not sure. I’m taking a big step back so I can do this smart and I know you guys will support me because 1) you normally do and 2) I only hear from like, three of you, and it’s all been supportive.

Thanks for taking it so well, guys. And thanks for the initial vent on all the unicorn-silvers coming through. They used to be buried in a sea of luscious brown, but now they’re sparkling like diamond, gossamer strands. Very much on the fence about dying them.

Thoughts?

On anything?

~ Lady Caitlin

Just…No News

Here we are—4/20

Sadly (and very disappointingly) this post does NOT have to do with the magical wonders of this most celebrated holiday. Like last week and possibly the week before (or is that when we visited the castle-fort?) nothing major has happened. Other than Gilbert Gottfried passing (RIP Iago) life has carried on like life should carry on, pretty much the same. No big news, no small news. Just…no news…which tends to be good news, apparently.

I’m still working on edits for APIP and am chugging right along with it. Why do I write such long books? Why? If this was a bit more normal, I could see the finish line. But, I’m about ten to fifteen thousand words over what the “ideal” word count is, so I’ve still got a ways to go. It’s probably what I’m doing now—going through the manuscript and cutting out unnecessary words. Taking the old axe to the baby. Slicing and dicing her up. Got to love the editing stage.

And I do, but I love the writing stage more. Now that I’ve allowed myself to write AROG only on the weekends, I’m more excited for them. (As if you can be more excited for weekends…) But I am! I love fine-tuning ARPIP, but with AROG, I’m seeing everything for the first time. And even new scenes pop up that weren’t on the outline. It’s exciting!

Non-writing related, everything is good. Batman’s good. Dogs are good. House is good. I’m afraid to knock on wood but I’d feel a bit anxious if I didn’t. So, there. Wood has officially been knocked on. Gonna keep this positive vibe going as long as possible.

Hope all is well with you, and that you’re able to knock on wood too.

Alright, off to edit ARPIP. Until Friday, that is.

Since Friday evening is *technically* part of the weekend, I can work on AROG to my heart’s content. Just following the rules.

~ Lady Caitlin

This Good Peaceful Feeling

I’ve got nothing exciting for you this week. We didn’t see a magical fort or travel to a cool city or celebrate anything for Batman (or me). I cleaned all weekend and worked all week. It’s been very adult and very boring and unfortunately, that’s how it goes sometimes.

But things are good. Even with the extended hours at work, I’m still able to come home and have enough mental energy to work on edits. I don’t get more than a few pages done, but it all adds up. And if I do it every day during the week, I’ll knock out these edits in no time. A huge part of me wants to work on AROG, but I’m saving that for the weekend. Working on the ARPIP edits during the week earns me a couple free writing hours on Saturday and Sunday for AROG. Plus, it lets me work on both simultaneously, so win-win there.

Batman is good. Dogs are good. Laundry is done and both bathrooms are cleaned. Actually, I feel pretty ahead for the moment, so I’m going to soak it in. Also, I have heaps of advertising to do and a mountain of anxiety behind it, so I’m going to pretend that doesn’t exist for a bit. Just going to enjoy this good, peaceful feeling for a little bit longer.

But soon…

I have a newsletter coming out on Friday, edits to do on book 1 and writing to do on book 2, so I’m off to work on the next project—whatever it is. But it’s got to be one of them, huh? Man, I really need to work on getting a clone. We’d get so much done together.

Maybe next week will be more exciting. Or the same. I’m honestly fine with either.

~ Lady Caitlin

Pretty Fricking Dope

Batman turned thirty-six. High-five to the best husband for keeping himself alive over three decades and still being able to keep up with the housework. Well, sometimes.

To celebrate, we took a weekend trip to Amelia Island. It’s only a little over an hour away, but we stayed Friday and Saturday night to give ourselves plenty of time to explore all the nifty thrifty places, the main downtown scene, and my personal favorite, Fort Clinch.

Have you ever been to a fort? It’s like going back in time without having to give up deodorant. We have one in St. Augustine which is around forty-five minutes away, and that one is pretty impressive too, but Fort Clinch was straight up magical. Not only does it overlook the Atlantic Ocean, but the outer ring (?) had so many little stone archways and twists and turns, I was for sure Lancelot was about to pop out of one of them. And then, the most magical thing happened. I found this:

I’m a sucker for stone stairways. I don’t know if it’s because I was obsessed with Prince of Thieves as a kid (remember when Kevin Costner was trying to race up those stone steps?) and I’ve even incorporated the environment into different stories like Rozmarie & Josiah. I LOVE twisty stone stairways. So, naturally, I ran right up, completely expecting to find a Go-No-Further sign, but there was none. None! I kept ascending until I reached the very top:

Magic. How else to describe finding a twisty-turny stone stairwell? It might not be a big deal, but it was like walking into one of my stories, like watching it come to life around me. Pretty fricking dope.

Batman had a good time, and after a long-awaited couples massage, we explored the city until the weather had other plans for us. All in all, it was a great weekend.

Writing-wise, I feel severely behind schedule and even contemplated about pushing back the release date. I should be advertising like, now, and I’m still working on the edits. At least I’ve revealed my cover, but it doesn’t do me much if I have no idea how to market the thing. Yes, I should’ve been figuring it out this whole time, but I’m also writing book two, have a full time job that’s recently demanded longer shifts, and, to be honest, the whole thing is terrifyingly overwhelming. I was hoping the newsletter might help, but I really just need to learn advertising. And how to successfully launch this book, which, unless I figure it out quickly, will be launched the same as all the rest. But, who knows? Maybe I’ll get my act together with the AROG, because I really want to release ARPIP in June.

You guys want that too…right?

Feeling anxious…

Just need to breathe and concentrate on the spiral stone stairway. I’ve got this.

~Lady Caitlin

More pictures of the magic because…why not?

Cover Reveal Time

Here we are, folks. Cover reveal time.

I thought about putting it in the newsletter, but then I’d have to wait until at least 4/15, and I’m pretty sure I said last week I’d do it this week and I don’t want to make a liar of past-Caitlin. Besides, there’s no reason to wait anymore. I got to get this thing going, and it all starts with peeling back the curtain so you can see it first.

Here we are, the cover for APIP, the first book in The Coyote & The Claw series, an urban romantic fantasy featuring superheroes:

Ay? Ay?

You like it? Hope so, because I’m not changing it. Haha—but seriously. This is it. I went back and forth with the original purple, but I think this version captures the D.C. mood I’m attempting to replicate (Detective Comics. Not the capital…) I wanted it to have a darker, noir-feel, and between the two options, I really think this one is it.

Whew.

Cover reveal DONE! Checkmark and thank you. Wow. Okay, well that feels good. Now I can move forward with the next phase of this thing since any sort of marketing seemed quite impossible without a cover. But no more worries on that front. They can all shift to the marketing and the advertisements I need to work on now. That, and still editing the book…

Yep. I’m cheating on myself…with myself. I’m supposed to be editing ARPIP. I need to, and I know this. This should be my primary focus and goal, and it is…but so is writing AROG. Every time I block off time to edit, I sneak a peek at the other WIP and figure writing one to two more paragraphs won’t hurt. That turns into five or six, and then half a page, and then I’m reviewing previous chapters to check something, and then Appa is nudging me to come to bed and all my time is gone. It’s not great since I’m literally the only one who can edit this thing. And with each passing day, my window is getting smaller and smaller if I still want to make my June release date. And I do. I’m just saying it’d be great if I had a clone, because I’d use her strictly to edit. That way, I could just write. We’d get so much done.

First part: write the book – check

Second part: edit the book—meh, still working on it

Third part: create a cover—check

Two out of three ain’t bad. I’m working on the last one, and I PROMISE I will get it done. I’ll hit a road-bump in my WIP, and will switch back to editing. But whatever works, right?

~ Lady Caitlin

A Festival and Wedding

My excuse this time is that I went to a festival and wedding.

Excuse me—an amazing festival and an amazing wedding. I barely have pictures of the former and none of the latter, but just know in your hearts that I was away this weekend celebrating life (like we all should) which is why this is going to be a short, to-the-point post.

So, which festival did I go to? Reggae Rise Up, and it was hands-down awesome, from the chill but lively music to the relaxing atmosphere to the delicious fried Oreos. My sister has been a few times and always raves about it, and she thought Batman and I might enjoy going. Spot on, sis. Other than the slight sunburn (due to not properly thinking through the OUTDOOR festival) and the port-o-potty-bathroom situation, the whole thing was so great. We attended Friday and Saturday and got to see Rebelution and Slightly Stoopid among other terrific bands. And yep—probably going again next year, so there’s that.

The wedding was equally great because it was a high-school friend, making the whole thing a mini-reunion since I saw some faces I hadn’t seen in a while. It’s crazy that I still feel mentally sixteen (ten at times…) and here I am, this gorgeously amazing thirty-six-year-old goddess. Crazy how that works.

In regards to writing, I’ve got my first round of edits back, and I’m working through making APIP slightly better. I was on such a roll with AROG, but I think I’m going to do half and half. Half editing ARPIP and half writing AROG because I can fly through the edits pretty quickly, and—more importantly—I’ll go mad if I’m not writing. And no offense to blogs or newsletters or witty emails to my coworkers throughout the day, but those don’t count quite the same. They’re fun, but I’m still in this reality. I like to be in other realities with my popcorn watching my characters do their thing. It’s so a passport I wish I had (and existed!) but until then, writing is the only commute.

Also: I’ve made a final decision on the cover and it feels sooooo good. I’ll probably share it in next week’s post because, you know, reasons, but just rest assured knowing it’s chosen. You don’t have to lose anymore sleep over it, so, you’re welcome. That hill is behind us. Only a few hundred more to go.

Since I actually do have evidence of Reggae Rise Up and that I exist as a person (and not an adorable figment of your imagination), here you go:

Until next week’s cover reveal…and whatever happens between now.

~ Lady Caitlin

The Final Countdown

Here we are again, folks. I’m writing this at the last minute, so please forgive any missing words or typos or any stranger than usual content because I haven’t gone through it like, 1,000,000 times before posting like usual. Probably only two look-throughs and that’s it. Let’s see what we get.

For those lucky newsletter subscribers, and even the more select out of that narrow group that actually reads them…what did you think?? Did you choose a cover you like more? Which was it? TELL ME.

As mentioned previously, I haven’t revealed my cover yet because I’m down to two options, one with the original purple I’d requested, and another with a tint or something cool done to it. I don’t know. But, I don’t want to show you either until I’m a BILLION percent sure that’s the one I’m going with, so I’m only including a small section of each. A snippet. And here these mofos are:

Option 1
Option 2

It’s just a peek, but I’m sure you get the picture. So…which one do you like? Which one catches your eye more and would maybe make you want to buy based off that little bit of an image? I have one I’m slightly leaning toward, but apparently, I can’t make decisions on my own. So, I need your help again. The goal is to have this picked by next week. NEXT WEEK. I’ve got to commit because the longer I stall, the less time I have to advertise. Or pay other people to advertise. Something. I’ll figure out something about advertising later but I need a book cover to do that. So…

Other than this, I got my edits back! Woot! Now I’m putting a hold on writing book two and switching back to the first. With a great cover needs to come a great book, and editing probably helps with that.

Alright, can’t wait to hear which tiny piece of a possible book cover image you like more. Let’s call this the final countdown, shall we? By next week, it’ll be one of these two, so do your part:

Let’s do this.

~ Lady Caitlin

I’m Super Stumped

Well, it’s done.

The teeth are out. All four of them. YES. I had four teeth plucked from my jaw on Friday and somehow, I’m cruising like normal. It’s probably all the drugs they gave me because other than a little discomfort day-of, it’s been pretty painless. I’m actually kind of shocked. I thought I’d be a loopy, dopey drugged-up mess for a few days, but I wrote on Friday. Somehow, I had enough brain cells working at full capacity and I got two pages done. I’m literally shocked.

I don’t remember much. I remember panicking in the chair and staring at the water stain on the ceiling and wondering if I should mention it. But they probably know, right? Then I wondered if the ceiling repair-people had their teeth done at that dentist, and if so, did they get a discount? At some point, the oral surgeon and all his minions came in and I thought, okay, it’s going to happen. Brace yourself. And then the ceiling came back and I was being told (by the oral surgeon—not the ceiling) to stop shaking, but I didn’t remember shaking. Someone wiped a tear from my eye and said they were getting my husband, and then, there was Batman.

I paid extra money for the good stuff, but dude, I don’t even remember it. That’s the kind of service I’m talking about. But…why was I crying?

Whatever—the teeth are pulled. It’s done.

Onto writing news!

I do have some, but mostly that I’m all over the place. I have titles for the second and third book—woohoo!—but I’m also getting the second and third covers done in addition to the first because I want to make sure they all look good together…but I’m stuck. The current cover for ARPIP (which I’d hoped to be sharing today, but alas…) is back on the shelf because of its color. My *amazing* cover artist Joleene Naylor has given me two awesome routes the covers could go, and I like some things about the first set, and some things about the second set, and I just can’t make up my mind.

I don’t know what to do. I’m super stumped.

Still trying to figure that out while I’m writing AROG (ß abbreviated title for second book, but you don’t know it bwhahaha!) AND also writing my reader magnet which I was working on steadily during all my free time at work, but now I’ve been promoted, and am basically doing two jobs until we hire someone to replace the little I did, so I haven’t finished that story just yet. But I will. I just wish I didn’t need between seven and eight hours of sleep, because I could get so much more done. Alas. I’m a crazy, buggy-eyed bitch if I don’t.

Speaking of bitches, I got the poll results.

*shakes head*

Four-way tie between Debbie, Trish, Kerry, and Stacey.

Guess I’ll make the determining factor. Well, I did work with a Debbie that I loathed, but more recently, I worked with one whom I absolutely adored, so Debbie is out. Stacey is a sister-in-law (plus I like that song Stacy’s Mom. Know it?) and Batman has an Aunt Trish…which means I do too, so Stacey and Trish are out.

Kerry is the winner!

Whomever submitted the name “Kerry,” feel pride knowing not only have you named a minor character of a future best-seller, but you immortalized a personal bitch as a bitch. When you think about it, that’s pretty friggin awesome.

Okay, I’m off to stare at both sets of covers and try and wrap my mind around which one works best for the series. I’m also going to write AROG and work on my reader magnet story. And oh, yeah, my newsletter. Can’t forget that bad-boy either.

Sheesh…

Glad I have my boxed wine.

~Lady Caitlin