I’m Alive and Doing Things

I messed up, guys. I didn’t post on Wednesday. I’m sure many of you cried; several, probably, took to the streets in mourning. I’m so sorry. But I’m here now and everything’s going to be alright. 🙂

The reason I didn’t adhere to my “post every Wednesday (so you can still be relevant and gain an audience) rule” is because I was busy finalizing BTN, which I still need to do since I promised a beta she could read it next week. INWARD SCREAM. With that said (and with much more to finalize) I shouldn’t be here writing this post. I should be working on BTN, so that’s what I’m going to do.

Just wanted to pop in and say I’m alive and doing things and everything is good at work where I have to sit in the murder chair**. But they haven’t fired me and I get free donuts on Thursdays, so it’s not too bad. Oh! If you’re curious or a stalker, I’ll be on Debra’s Book Cafe for an interview. Because I do that. Professional-like interview things because I’m an author. Eat it, Janelle, from third grade who told me I could never be an author.

*drops mic*

*runs back on stage*

Oh, and there’s this thing on Facebook called The Indie Readers Party Room (Public group/place/still unsure how everything works/ but authors get to take over and “host” for the day where they can talk about themselves, their books and interact with their fans by doing games and having questions and giveaways. It’s actually pretty fun) and in a courageous moment of why the hell not? I threw my name in and requested August 16th (day before Better Than Now releases) So. On August 16th, I will be hanging in The Indie Readers Party Room, so, if you’ve been wanting to hang with me–and who wouldn’t? *tosses hair*–come hang with me.

**I sit at the murder desk at work. It’s the first seat you see when you walk in (door is at my back) so if some crazy madman shows up, I’m being tagged first. Murder desk is real.

Have a great Friday 🙂

Tired and Tag (But Not Tired OF Tag)

Raise your hand if maybe giving yourself three months between book releases wasn’t the smartest idea.

**looks around**

**raises hand inconspicuously**

No—it’s cool, guys. It’s cool. I got this. It’s just a LOT. A lot of writing and reading and thinking and planning and I’m not even doing half of what I should be. I feel like I should pop Adderall and stay up all night so I can go to work all day and still get everything done. I’m not going to do that, because I’m not stupid, and I grew up in the 90s when there were *way* too many afterschool specials and public service announcements and even that one episode of Safe By the Bell when Jesse almost ODs on pills. So, yeah, I get it. Besides, pills aren’t really my thing. My thing is stress-eating my way through the Ben & Jerrys section at my local Walmart, so, the next picture I post, I might be the super-fat version of me from another universe. NO JUDGING. God willing I’m not, but we are talking about from here all the way to November, when the final book comes out.

After that, it’ll be a little better. I’ll still have to advertise but I won’t have to worry about completing the books, editing them, marketing them, (possibly paying for the marketing), DEFINITELY paying for the editor and formatting and cover design fees (and wondering where that money’s coming from) in addition to completing author interviews, setting up takeover posts and more. It was tiring just typing all that out (but I did it because I’ve got this. I’ve *yawn* got this.)

A little derail from writing:

Batman and I saw Tag. We also saw Solo last weekend, but I’d rather talk about Tag because IT WAS AWESOME! Just like Deadpool, but I was kind of obligated to focus on my book release at that time so now that we’re on a book release-free week/weekend, I have to tell you guys Tag was good. Maybe I’m biased because I watched it in a reclining chair in one of those theatres where you have to buy your actual “seat” (so very European of us) or because I was elbow deep in double-buttered popcorn. I don’t care. It was an awesome time and I’m pretty sure a lot of it had to do with the hysterical movie I was watching. Please go see it 😊

Not much going on right now besides all of the above and the movie I was able to escape to. Oh! Next weekend I’ll be going back to the shooting range to practice being a baddass some more. I meant to post about the first time I went, but that was like, four weeks ago, and the pictures weren’t terribly cute so I wasn’t wholeheartedly convinced to write about it. Plus, I forgot. I’ll do my best NOT to forget this time and to actually tell you how it went. I’ll even (try to) pose cute too. We’ll see.

Don’t forget: Creature Feature Anthology releases tomorrow. These ladies are fantastic, so if you’re shy and unwilling to commit to a full-length novel, an anthology of shorter pieces from three different authors might do the trick. Try it out. Try them out. You get THREE authors for the price of one and SEVERAL stories for the price of…one. Again, the answer is one. I don’t see how you guys aren’t jumping on this deal. It sells itself.

P.S. And a happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, HAPPY birthday to my dear friend, Stephanie!

So…What’s Next?

(The short answer is: I have no idea. Making this up one day at a time.)

The LONG answer is that I didn’t really think about what came next until last Saturday when my silly brain was like, ‘you don’t have to think about the next book until late July. It’s not set to release until mid-August.’ Then the wine was gone and the rational, smart part of my brain came back. In addition to, you know, FINISHING the book, I have to get it edited, get a book cover done and do some possible advertising (maybe even a blog tour? Or some ARCs this time??) Yeah, I don’t know how I thought I’d be taking it easy for the next month and a half when I set this schedule for myself—unbeknownst to myself (by myself 😉)

When I say I have to ‘finish’ the book, I mean it’s pretty much done but I’m combing through it until there’s nothing left that I want to change. Then I’ll contact my BETAs and once I get the green light from them, it’s off to the editor. The thing about this series is: they’re shorter books, each clocking in at around 65K words, so they’re quick reads…and quick writes. I thought I was being stupid when I decided to release them three months apart, but I think it works for this series. It’s pretty much one giant story broken into three segments and I don’t want to make (potential) readers wait too long. Hell, I didn’t wait. I jumped into book three because I NEEDED to know what happened once I was done with a solid draft of book two. Why should I hoard the story if it’s ready to be shared (after proper editing, of course)? That’s why I have the last two installments coming out later this year—there seemed no point holding onto them if they’re ready to go.

Oh!

I’m going to try really, really, REALLY hard to understand Google Docs and make a signup sheet, but in the off-chance reality sets in and my stupidity gets a hold of me, you can always shoot me an email or leave a comment if you’re interested in getting an ARC (advanced reader copy) of Better Than Now. One of these days, I’m going to get me some advanced readers and it’s going to be GLORIOUS. Absolutely glorious. 🙂

Until then, I’m off to create some shit and do some work. And clean out my wine rack.

It’s going to be a good summer 🙂

Focus On the Highlights

I’m going to do my best NOT to make this a downer post but I’ve been feeling kind of down lately, so, I’ve decided to focus on the highlights. Yes? Here we go:

1) I figured out how to make a second Instagram. You’ve might’ve seen it since I linked it up with my personal account and not my author account (whatever). I didn’t realize I needed a second Instagram (#bookstagram), but every article I’ve read says it’s a MUST HAVE even though the only MUST HAVE of a writer is to write. I barely use my first Instagram so we’ll see how this goes.

2) I made an account on Book and Main Bites. I briefly mentioned this last post, but I’m actually kind of digging it. I like reading little bits of different stories and knowing I can go buy the book because of exciting little samples I’m able to read throughout it. Plus, networking is a thing and I’ve met some awesome authors.

3) I had an Eureka moment with Book 3. Whenever I don’t feel great editing/working on something, it’s usually because I’m missing a scene or an event didn’t pan out properly. I thought I had everything I wanted and then it hit me—I needed to take one scene and stretch that motherfucker out because it was such a climactic moment that I wasn’t giving the characters—or story—enough time to do what needed to be done. So, I fixed it. Erm—am fixing it.

4) Lastly, I’ll be sending BTT to be formatted and then after that (probably at the tail end of next week or the second week of May) it should be ready for pre-order. Which makes this whole thing real. REAL, GUYS. FREAKING REAL.

But I’m excited. I really love this story and I’m getting good feedback. Plus, it’s nice to know that I’m like, going for my dream and all.

How have you been? What’s something exciting/fun on your highlight list?

P.S. Oh! And a lot of people shared my teaser yesterday, so that was nice 🙂

Repeat After Me: I Got This

Well, I did it.

I finished the first draft of my third book. It took me a month. Mind you, I’ve been unemployed for nearly two weeks of it, but it’s done. It needs, like, *ridiculous* amounts of revisions but I know what’s going to happen now, which is better than only having the snippets of scenes in my head before. There’s an actual story line with conflicts and events and there’s an ending, guys. I have A LAST BOOK ENDING. It’s not very good, but it’s there. Ready to be tweaked and worked on all that stuff.

So… what to do now? This is the part that sucks—the in between part. The part where I have nothing specific to work on because the next sentence, scene and chapter has already been written. I don’t know if any other writers out there have this WTF do I do now? moment but it’s here for me and it sucks.

I’m still not sure when I’m going to release this first book, Better Than This. I’m thinking maybe… mid-May? June? I still need to have it professionally edited, along with getting a cover completed and some sort of advertisement/marketing plan needs to be in place.  THINGS. There are so many things needing to be done and that next step is all blurry and weird and not specific.

Anyone heard of Patreon? It’s this cool (kind of old) idea where people will become a patron of your work either on a monthly or creation basis. It’s a tiered structure where someone can pay a certain amount ($1/$5/$10/whatever) to support your work in exchange for different things like early access to new content, deleted or behind the scenes and such. It’s kind of an awesome idea. I keep peeking at it and wondering if/when/how I should join and what I would do. I also keep wondering how to work this angle while also marketing BTT in time for this questionable release. Again, THINGS. SO MANY THINGS.

Authors (and really anyone who has an opinion/suggestion) what is my next step here? Am I jumping off in the marketing quicksand or do I have to get the book edited first? And what about the cover? And what about blog tours and hard copies? And what about—

NOPE. Not going crazy like usual. I got this. I have to keep telling myself I got this or I won’t have this. I’ll have a headache and a drinking problem and neither of those are sexy. To me. (But, you know, to each their own.) I’m also job-hunting, so throw that on the pile along with whoever grabbed a hold of my email address and started applying for credit cards under my name. And the car is in the shop. And the IRS sent me a letter. SO MANY THINGS.

But it’s cool 😊 Life’s good. Just have to repeat my mantra:

I got this.

I got this.

I MOTHERFUCKING GOT THIS BITCH.

😉

P.S. This week’s theme is “Last Line” for Friday’s #Fridaykiss. I have no idea what I’ll be posting but I’ll figure it out. Know why? See above.

ALMOST There, IWSG

I’ve started spot-reading the last version of BTT. Big deal, guys. BIG deal.

So, I finished reviewing my latest draft in record time (Yay!) which means it’s onto the next phase: spot-reading. Picking an arbitrary passage and just reading it from there. Not worrying about what came before or what comes after, but paying attention to how the section reads. How it sounds. If it sounds polished or if it sounds like it’s writing. And guys, *so* many times I find that my writing sounds like writing during these spot checks. It’s embarrassing. To be this far and still hear my ‘writing’ voice and not my ‘reading’ voice. But that’s why we go mad reviewing our work—we always find ways to improve it.

Since I’m planning to show this thing to people sometime soon, I have to make it as polished as possible. Even if that means starting to hate the thing because I’ve read it so many times that I know the damn thing by heart. That’s when you know you need to push it away and work on something else for a while (like when I took a break to write the second book) because you go cross-eyed reading the same passage for the forty seventh time and then wonder if, maybe on second thought, the thirty fourth version might have been better.

I’m hoping to get this out of my hands—and into others—by the new year. I started a tradition of doing my resolutions in October (and apparently it works because I haven’t missed a single post since then) but I know everyone will be more focused once the holidays are behind us. It’ll give them less of a stress on time and me a bit more opportunity to hunt down all the ‘writing-sounding’ passages and rework them.

December’s Optional IWSG question!

As you look back on 2017, with all its successes/failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?

I don’t think anything. I worked my butt off on this (and other) projects and yeah, if I had limitless hours, I would’ve submitted to a few contests. But I made the most of the time I had working on a project I love. Why would I change that? 🙂

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.