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

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

I Need Your Help

I need your help. But a little background:

In my initial draft (and sometimes outline) I’ll use “placeholder” names which are exactly what you’d think they are. Half the time I forget them, and end up using whatever I chose to call my character (or place or thing) that first day. But ARPIP will be going through its final edits soon which means I need to be a *billion percent* sure on my names. And I’m not.

I need your help to change one.

Somehow, the really annoying, office brown-noser appeared as “Patricia,” which means I must’ve watched or read something with a similar character and she manifested herself in my world. Typical Patricia. BUT I had a lovely aunt with that name—though she went by Patty—and I’m not comfortable throwing some home-made art into the world with a negative connotation on Patricia’s. It’s just not sitting right with me, so now I call on all of you for suggestions on the PERFECT OFFICE BROWN-NOSER NAME. Maybe someone you know personally? Maybe someone you actually worked with? Well, I’m here to immortalize that poor soul forever as a Karen douche-canoe in my next novel, so I’m taking all suggestions.

What have you got? Let’s hear those names. I’ll also be posting something in my FB group—because I do that now (hair flip)—so you can comment here or there and then next week, I’ll put a poll up with the best nominees, and we’ll really settle this thing.

I’m so excited. Are you? Come on, guys. Need your help. Who did you hate, or seriously dislike, that I can forever immortalize as a Karen? Let’s find that douche-canoe and prop him or her up for the world (or my small group of readers) to see.

Let’s MF go.

~ Lady Caitlin

What’s Going On?

I had this whole other post for today, but I wrote it when I was annoyed.

Nah.

Probably not the best thing to share, so I’m keeping it in my “working-blog-document” which houses all the posts that just didn’t make the cut (and a bunch of political posts I’m too afraid to share). The post, which was extremely cathartic, and mostly a long vent about stupid, selfish people, is still something I had to write. Because I’m sorry, but even though the world is crazy-tough and terrifying (can we admit that now that China and Russia are teaming up?) it does not give anyone an excuse to be a completely self-absorbed butt-munch, and solely talk about themselves over and over (and over and over again) like they’re the center of the universe.

It’s exhausting.

I’m exhausted—and all I do is listen.

Anyone else feeling this? I realize I’m waving my author flag like “like at me! I write books! Please read them and support me!” but that’s different. It’s a hurdle I have to jump because I’m still suuuuper not comfortable with tooting my own horn, even though I’m not tooting it/I’m marketing myself. (Big difference, though still weird to me …) But this general sense of “look at me” that I’ve been feeling from everyone who isn’t a close personal friend or family member—what’s going on?

Is it social media? Is it the generation who grew up on it? Why are people so friggin obsessed with themselves and being right and bashing everyone who disagrees? I’m about to lose it. What happened to the we-all-can-get-along mentality, and two-sided conversations? Because ahem, one person talking only about themselves isn’t a conversation. It’s a monologue that I certainly did not sign up for.

Did they stop teaching these things in kindergarten? I think they’re right up there with the alphabet, learning to share, and keeping your hands to yourself. Give a shit about other people and—might I stress—the world does not revolve you. Sorry, but it doesn’t.

At all.

Whew…I feel better. Thanks for letting me vent. This is kind of like the other post, but not as nasty, and waaaay less emotional. Sometimes, you just need a day.

How about you? How is life? Have you noticed any of these trends? What do you do to deal with them so you don’t lose your shit? People want to know.

(Me. I want to know.)

~ Lady Caitlin

P.S. ALSO LOOK AT THE EMAIL I JUST GOT FROM RADISH:

Well this is a lovely end to the day. If you’re at all interested (and why wouldn’t you be?) you can check out Better Than This on Radish. (Or find it on Webnovel, Dreame, and iReader too?)

Better Than This Series:

An embarrassing middle-school incident keeps Alex Wolf and Autumn Sommers apart until they’re paired on a high school project in which they must pretend to be in a relationship for their Family Planning & Development class. Both just want to get through it until they begin working together, quickly discovering there might be some truth to the facade. But when Alex reveals a few secrets about his life, Autumn isn’t sure they’re able to get past them, leading to a decision that affects the next eight years, and a band fanbase of millions.

I Re-Joined Instagram

I joined Instagram. Or, I re-joined Instagram with an author account even though I already did that a few years ago, but I couldn’t access it, because you know, technology. So, when I went to “add” a new username, the one that I wanted authorcgcoppola (which makes the most sense) was already taken…by me…from a few years ago. Just can’t get to it on my phone. So, I created authorcgcoppolawrites as my NEW author Instagram, except, when I accessed it on my PC to change the profile picture, it logs me into authorcgcoppola.

*throws arms up in tantrum*

*drinks boxed wine*

Sooooooo now I have my personal account, which I rarely use, and TWO author accounts depending on which device I log into. I’m not even kidding, guys. I have no clue what I did or how to fix it, and when I tried to report a problem, it told me my “reporting a problem” button wasn’t working. So, I gave up, drank more boxed wine, and watched tiktock.

I mean…I guess two accounts is better than none? Right? Any Instagram wizards out there want to take me under their wing and help e’splain me, Lucy? Otherwise, this author is going to be the cool kid with two accounts and there’s nothing you (or I, apparently) can do about it.

How was your January? Did you get a lot accomplished? A little? Anything? Are you aware January is now over, and we’re doomed to live this day over and over again? (Thanks, Mr. Murray). Hopefully it’s doesn’t get to that because I don’t think I could repeat a Wednesday for the rest of my life without losing my mind. Plus, it would definitely slow the progress I’m making on redoing my home office.

Since we moved in, the “office” has been the junk room in the house, where all the “not sure where to put it” things end up living. It’s basically been a clutter box of randomness, with a little corner for my desk and chair to write. NO MORE. It’s nowhere near being finished but we’re getting closer:

Before, that corner held a table filled with wedding items, old cell phones and tablets, cords that went to something, mail, donation clothes (donation everything), coasters, recycled Christmas gifts, and so, so much more. It was literally a place to put the household misfits, and definitely not a space to encourage creativity. I’ve only been glaring at it for around five years but NO MORE. I’m still in the process of fully revamping the office, but we’re off to a good start. What do you think?

What about you? Any new projects? Any issues with technology and somehow (unknowingly) creating two accounts for one service because you’re that stellar with technology? No judgement here.

I’ve got some other stuff to share, but we’ll get to it next week. I have to have something for that post too, right?

Until our next date…

~ Lady Caitlin

I Was Going Cross-Eyed

SURPRISE post on Thursday! (since someone forgot to post on Wednesday…)

But doesn’t it feel nicer being closer to the weekend?

This has been a long week and extremely busy, which is why we’re chatting on Friday-eve and not hump-day. I had every intention of posting yesterday, but my half-thought-through post never made to the computer, and instead, I spent almost two hours after work uploading my entire Arizal Wars series onto a serialized platform distributor because around chapter 90 (of 294) I mis-numbered ONE chapter, and it threw the whole thing off. Lovely. And unfortunately, there was no easy auto update, so I had to go through each following chapter and manually renumber it, and that, my dear friends, nearly drove me insane, especially in hour # 2 when I was going cross-eyed. Hence, no post. Why wasn’t it written beforehand? Good question. You always have good questions.

Obviously, I’ve been busy. I’m still checking things off my never-ending to-do list, so I feel somewhat accomplished but mostly still peering off into the horizon, searching for the end of the list, but I don’t think there is one. That’s okay. Because guess who discovered boxed wine…

Like, I knew it existed. That it was a thing, and I’m sure I’ve even tried it. But (and this is where I’m confused) why didn’t anyone tell me about its most redeeming feature? The spout.

DUDE.

Duuuuuuuuuuude.  Where has this been all my life? Why hasn’t it BEEN in my life? Usually, I’d shy away from bottles because Batman doesn’t drink, and I feel silly popping open a bottle to have one, maybe two glasses of wine. And then I’d put it in the fridge, forget about it for a month, and then realize it’s likely gone bad. So, I started buying the mini 19 Crimes bottles because 1) they’re delicious and 2) they’re the perfect size, but apparently everyone caught on/inflation exists because whereas they were between $9.99-$11.99 for a four pack, they’re now 1$7.99. I’m sorry, but I haven’t inherited a dynasty, so I won’t be able to continue buying it. That’s when Batman recommended Black Box.

*MIND BLOWN*

I love it. It’s delicious and super, super convenient. I can have a glass or I can have five (though I don’t recommend that. I stop drinking when my lips turn purple…) but it’s sitting in my fridge like a Godsend, there to help my nerves, my skin and my heart. It’s probably my favorite thing I’ve discovered/tried in 2022 so far, so this year (despite there being a world of bs in the background) is looking good.

I could go on about Black Box or other writing updates, but I feel like this post is long enough and you want to get on with your Thursday activities. Noted.

Have a great weekend, try some Black Box wine, and I’ll try to remember to post correctly next week. But it’s me, so we’ll see.

~ Lady Caitlin