IWSG: Do it. I did.

Today I’m releasing my fourth book.

Woo hoo!

And also *don’t look at me*

Well it’s up on. On Smashwords and Amazon and I’m very proud of myself for having gotten to this stage. It’s taken a lot of time, and a lot of effort, and I’m happy I stuck through it all.

I will say Crusade Across Worlds was more difficult to write than the first three, partly because of how the story went, but it had a lot to do a lot with what I was experiencing in my own life at the time. Thank you to everyone who’s read Escape, Plague and Discovery, or who’s offered a kind or supportive word. It means more than you know. Truly.

So, yep, here it is.

Fourth book in the series.

And guys—GUYS—shit just got real.

CRUSADE ACROSS WORLDS - 2500

Fallon has just returned from three months of training and is eager to fight against those who enslaved her. Joining up with Reid and the gang, they set out to prepare for the Vermix’s final attack—a highly prophesied invasion that could mean the possible end to a centuries-long war. But when unforeseen events arise, causing the plan of defense to crumble, it will take everything they have to survive what will certainly become a turning point in the Arizal War.

Find it on Smashwords here.

Find it on Amazaon here.

For all of you terrified weirdos out there like me, I clicked the publish button. And if I can do it, you can too. And if you can’t, read through a few more of these blogs. You’ll find the encouragement you need.

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.

Arizal Wars Kickstarter

I’ve decided to do a Kickstarter campaign.

Yes, the excitement here never ends.

I’ve been going back and forth on it for a while. Mostly because I wasn’t sure that I could, which, taking a step back, I realized was simply fear. It’s not that I couldn’t do it. It’s that I was afraid of doing it. And what’s there to be afraid of? Not being funded? Okay, well that leaves me with no money, just like now. So, failing at Kickstarter means being in the same place. But succeeding would bring a change. Possibility. And hopefully funds, which is what I need to get Escape in paperback and Crusade in ebook. I’m really excited guys. I’ve been meaning to advertise but then I get bogged down with the whole writing thing. Most nights when I open my laptop, I think, “I’m going to research marketing. I’m going to look at Goodreads advertising and study my self-publishing sites and figure out what to do next!” But then I reread what I wrote the night before and a better sentence forms or a new idea pops in my head. “I really should say it this way. And I didn’t do a great job at describing XYZ…” I think it’ll be a quick edit and then forty minutes later, I’m working on the manuscript when I should’ve been learning how to sell it. But what can I say? I have a compulsion.

So Batman asked me what my plan was. He wants to get to the Castle-Mansion already and spend his days golfing and fixing me gourmet meals that can ONLY be cooked in a gourmet kitchen, apparently. Uh-huh. And, an avid South Park viewer, he mentioned Kickstarter. If the four Colorado kids could raise some ridiculous amount of money by claiming the name “Red Skins,” why couldn’t I reach a plausible goal of $3,000.00?

BECAUSE BOOKS AREN’T FUNDED ON KICKSTARTER, BATMAN.

…Or so I thought.

Apparently they can be funded. And loads of them are. And I mean LOADS.

After some research on work breaks and lunches, and an occasional evening when I opted not to open that Microsoft word doc, I discovered you CAN fund a book. And I have three of them. So what am I waiting for?

NOTHING.

I’m planning a sixty day period from the beginning of February through the end of March (you know, when people get money back from overpaying the government) and I’m thinking my goal will be $3,000.00. Maybe $3,500.00.

As excited as I am about my real first stab at advertising and the campaign in general, I’m *really* excited about the Backer Rewards:

ANYONE who contributes will have their name listed in the final print version under a KickStarter Acknowledgements Page. I’ll be doing three designs of shirts, an Honorary Rogue Certificate (signed by Rox) to those who pledge $50.00 (Rogue Backer Reward), note cards, extra scenes, questions to the characters…. Lots of stuff!

I’m really excited. I’m excited for you, I’m excited for me, and I’m excited for the few fans out there because I can’t wait for you guys to see what’s to come.

(Hint—it’s going to be awesome!)

Stay tuned for more information or shoot me an email if you have a question.

And yes, you can come to the Castle-Mansion for a swim in the llama-shaped pool.

That went without saying.

Here’s To A Better October!

After my last post for IWSG, I felt rejuvenated and inspired and ready to tackle all the writing woes destined to come my way.

And then September happened.

Nothing writing-specific, but a lot of crap went down. September was tough. And apparently, it was tough for a lot of people. And I’m not sure why. I’m not sure why last month was so crazy or why it tested me (and a lot of people), but I think that’s what it was. A test. Something put in life to make us stronger. That’s what struggles are, right? Strength endorsers?

I’m still working on the first draft of my fourth book (almost finished!) but thanks to one of my writing mentors, Joleene Naylor, I’m working on the next part—the scary part—advertising. So I’ve been researching competitions, studying marketing strategies and oh yeah, writing, because an addict can’t give up her fix. For anyone who’s interested, I’ll be posting short stories under “Goodies” for competitions I’m entering. I’m not sure if this is what I need to be doing, but I figure it can’t hurt.

What about you guys? Are you still in the writing stage? Or have you moved onto the next part—the one that completely baffles (and somewhat terrifies) me.

If you’re a writer, be sure to check out Insecure Writers Support Group, or IWSG here. It’s exactly what it says—a support group for writers. I’ve only been a member for a few months but I really find it beneficial and inspirational and I look forward to the first of every month. A big thank you to Alex Cavanaugh for creating such an amazing resource.

Here’s to a better October!

OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD

So, okay. WHO has a review with a follow up author-interview?

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry… *wipes sweat from crazed happy dance*…but I had to. Can I just say OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD because that’s how I feel right now. Insanity mixed with a healthy dose of disbelief. This has been a good week. Like, an amazing week because 1.) I understood most everything I did at work and 2.) my books are currently free on Smashwords until the end of the month so I’ve averaged at least one sale (sometimes 2) a day which beats the last few months of epic nothingness and a choir of crickets. Oh and 3.) The Best Slice of Pie, a new book review blog reached out to ME. This happened about two weeks ago but Monday they sent me a questionare. Like, an author questionare. You know, the kind I’ve read a dozen times over and secretly envied the author who wrote them. And I finally got mine, an ‘interview’ applicable solely to the first book in my series, Escape from Harrizel.

*runs around doing happy dance again*

The sweat is definitely worth exercising my happiness over this tiny little step that projects me just that much closer to the dream of saying ‘fuck you’ to a cubicle and ‘hello lovely’ to my recliner forever.

Look at it. Waiting for me to sink and start writing.

Where the magic happens. Bam.

Where the magic happens. Bam.

It’s weeks like these that keep me going, reminding me that, okay, today is just today. But tomorrow can be something totally better if I work at it. And I am so glad I did. Because this feeling is AWESOME.

Want to read the review? Of course you do. You can find it here, along with the author interview (my author interview) here.

*happy dance ensues again*

Sorry about that. Sheesh. It must be a disorder.

I’ll have to look into that.

No More Wave Reading, Okay?

I’m trying to read more. It’s what a writer should do. But to be honest, I’m what’s known as a “wave-reader.” You probably haven’t heard of this and that’s because I just made it up. But it means what it sounds like it means. I read in waves. A few months on. A few months off. I’m sure that’s a poor example of what a writer should do. But this is a blog of honesty. And there it is. I’m a wave-reader so sometimes I go a while without a book.

Now you know.

I’m trying to change this. I’m on my third book after I decided to ride the tidal wave and start my plunge into the literary world again now that, you know, I’m trying to be legit and all. So reading is sort of required. (Yes, I know it’s not really required but I think I should be swimming in the pool rather than sitting on the edge with a toe in. I don’t know what’s with all the water analogies I post on here. Maybe it’s because I really want to be a mermaid.) So I started reading Taint by S.L. Jennings, and that decision mostly had to do with the fact that I giggled at the name every time I saw it on a reader’s book blog. (I’d post a link to it but APPARENTLY the link thingy isn’t working because I spent my ENTIRE break trying to make a link to the Goodreads page but the universe has scorned me.) I’d recommend it for anyone who likes quick, fast romances… er…erotica with a somewhat love story weaved in. Also for anyone who enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey as it has mucho sex topics/scenes. It was a quick read; I finished it in a day and moved onto the last book I was reading which was Femme, by Delia Strange.

Femme takes place on a planet where men are slaves to women and to the touring Earth heroine, Kaley Blackburn, it’s not what she expected. This was a good book. It questions the flaws of would-be utopias and the struggles of friendship and love. Mrs. Strange, like me, is a fellow indie author, except (and as I put in an email to her) she’s got her shit more together than me. (This is where I was going to put in a link to her book but… you know… life and all. Instead: http://www.deliastrange.com/).

And, although it pains me to say this, I selected my next book based on the MOVIE TRAILER I saw for it. I know. I’m that person. We all can’t be amazingly perfect enough to stumble upon the book first and then get excited about the movie. Sometimes we do things backwards.

So what am I reading you ask?

The Fault in Our Stars, because I’m a sappy girl and I love a good romance. And apparently, a good cry, because that’s all I hear happens when you read the book/watch the movie. I’m a little less than halfway through and no tears yet. But that’s probably because everyone is still alive. Yay. Actually, there’ve been a few laughs so I guess I’m really going to loose it when it ends because I like the character. *deep inhale* I’ll be strong.

I’m still struggling with the content of this blog. I was thinking maybe I’d throw in some hardcore book reviews but I’d have to do some research on them since I never review things. I start out with very clear, concise idea of what I liked and didn’t, and they blur into a conversation with myself about something entirely different and I know I’ve just pissed the reader off. I can *try* to be more level headed here and only do reviews on books that I simply *must* share with the world. Should we do that? Are we all in agreement that that is what we shall do?

You’re nodding your head, aren’t you?

Okay, then! Book reviews for either really, really, amazing, spectacularly AWESOME books or the worst kind ever. The ones that make me want to face plant to spare my eyes the pain. Oh this has happened. It has happened a lot. But I will try not to do that and focus on the good reviews. So, we can all enjoy the world of literature together.

I’ll let you know how The Fault in Our Stars goes and then, of course, what the outcome of the movie is, since I’m OBVIOUSLY seeing it. After that, any book suggestions? I still have a while to wait for the next (and last *tear*) book in the Lux series to come out. What are you guys reading? Any suggestions? A book of your own perhaps?

Uh, Directions Please?

I’m conflicted.

I’m trying to be professional (somewhat) and smart and use this blog as a platform to help build my reader audience, but apparently, I’m only supposed to talk about writing. People will only read if there’s a theme. But can’t my theme just be my life which concerns all aspects with a centralized focus on writing? Don’t get me wrong—I love talking about writing and being a writer and this hair-pulling, wine-gulping journey into self publishing. But it’s not everything. It’s not my entire life. It’s like… 89.7%. But hell, even Hemingway left the desk to enjoy a Mojito from time to time.

Other shit happens.

The question is- do I write about it? THAT, monsieur Hamlet, is the real question. To write about washed wallets and the existence of Scissorhand penises (which is one of the top searches for this site you weirdos!)and quirky friends getting married—does that hurt my mission into being a successful indie author? I’d like to think no, it doesn’t, but everything I’m reading tells me I’m doing this wrong. This needs to be a site dedicated solely to this process. AND THAT’S IT. Otherwise I’m lying to my fans. Heh. I think the part I like most about that is they assume I have fans. Awesome.

Although, there is that one person who gave me five star reviews on both my books and turned a somewhat crappy day into THE BEST ONE EVER. I wish I could find her (him?) and send a gift basket or something. Just to say thanks. They even titled their review post on POM that I need to hurry up and write faster. Aw! *tear* My heart—and confidence—quadrupled in size. Suck on that, Grinch.

I don’t even know if she knows this blog exists. Maybe. If she’s like me and stalks the authors she likes. If that’s the case, she only had luck if she checked POM’s bio page because I listed my blog address wrong on my first copy of EFH. Of course. I also listed my email wrong in 2009 when I was trying to submit my then novel to print publishers. But hiccups happen. People fall. And hopefully, if it didn’t leave them a paraplegic, they’ll get back up again. It’s all a learning process, right? But without solid instruction how do you know which direction to go? Unless it’s a fact, it’s just someone’s opinion.

I checked out Twitter and had a mild panic attack. I got through adding ten celebrity contacts before closing out the window and leaving my desk. Too much. It’s too much. But the book I’m reading said I have to be a on there. There and google plus and have a facebook author page (which I’ve already started. High five on being productive). But holy shit social media has taken over. And I mostly use my computer for word and minesweeper. Eeek! How am I going to navigate this tsunami with only a bitch-sized oar? For real. I’m about to capsize. But at least I can still write about it on this blog, if, of course, it pertains to writing. Because according to “experts,” I should only write about writing. Otherwise I’m a liar. A misleading, no-themed, poorly written plat formed liar.

*sigh*

What do you think?

One Foot After the Next

I’m overwhelmed.

I’ve been looking at book review blogs and I had NO idea what I was getting into. It’s not a kiddy pool. It’s a motherfucking ocean and my orange floaties are only half inflated. This indie publishing stuff is hard. And apparently, an entirely different world that I didn’t know even existed. Don’t get me wrong—I’m psyched that I have the ability to put my stuff out there. But so does everyone else and MY GOD I’m standing in a flood zone. The water’s above my head and I’m trying my best to keep breathing.

Keep breathing.

But fuck.

Holy mother of everything sacred—there are MILLIONS of review sights with requests backlogged until December and here I come like a lost nomad, tapping on someone’s shoulder, hoping for a measly handout. Wow. Have I been not paying attention all this time? I mean, I only ventured into self publishing last year so*obviously* I’m learning as I go. I get that. But it’s like… a thing. A really competitive, really adult-professional thing that makes me want to pull the covers over my head and drown myself in a book. This is an Odysseus-length race and I’m still at the start line, scratching my head and wondering why I’m surrounded by a cloud of dust. I’ve got my water bottle and my sandals straps are tied and all, but I know I’m going to fall. A lot. I’ve probably already fallen and not realized it. The good thing is I can still get up, dust off my knees, retie the laces and try again.

It’s all about one foot after the next.

I’m glad no one told me it was going to be this hard. Actually, I’m ECSTATIC. Because even though I’d like to give myself credit, I’m not sure I would’ve ventured forward knowing what I do now. Okay… maybe I would. Just because this dream is that potent. But I would’ve needed a lot more wine and a few dozen bags of Oreos. Fuel for the journey to Troy.

Because that’s what this is.

A journey. Most times it seems impossible. Ridiculously, mind-numbingly impossible. I keep thinking how am I going to do this? How will I reach the finish line? There’s no way I can get there—not in this lifetime. But at least I’ve started, right? That’s good. That’s something. Every journey starts with a single step they say. And I’ve taken one or two of those. A stumble, maybe, but there’s been progress. I just need to keep breathing, have faith and continue putting one foot after the next.

And I’ll get there.

I know I will.