A Lot of Content

I’m keeping this one short because 1) I lost track of time again (yes with a three-day weekend, but I was busy and working on other stuff. Shut up) and 2) not a lot of updates with writing or life (also hence my absence last week).

Writing-wise, this is what I’m thinking:

Finish AT LEAST the first draft of book 2 before I start advertising/choose a release date for book 1.

Eh?

Good plan? Bad plan?

I hear a lot of arguments for both sides, but I feel like the more I write before I release book 1—the better. I wrote and published all three of the Better Than This series in 2018 and it was AWFUL. My job at the time didn’t help, but it was just too much going on at once (not to mention financially) and I don’t want to go through that again, which is why I’m considering having the second book written while I market and release the first. Maybe even have the third one written? I don’t know. But, just know I’m working on a lot of content coming your way!

Non-writing-wise, everything is pretty much the same. I haven’t won the lottery, I haven’t bumped into Chris Pratt (boo!) and I haven’t become the best-selling author you and I both know I will one day be. But it takes time with these things, you know? Until then, I’m being patient. Growing out my silver-unicorn hair and taking it one day at a time, like we’re supposed to.

Hopefully, I’ll spring back to life for next week’s post, but, that’s like seven days away, so who knows.

Guess we’ll see.

Let the suspense commence…

~

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

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 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

Hustling Status

See my newsletter? Meh? Not too shabby…I mean, for someone completely (sort of) starting out. You can say it: you liked that badass logo, that specifically selected color palette, and that link that led to a FREEBIE (because I know how to do that now). All me, baby. Oh, yeah. Amateur at its finest.

I’d like to say I winged it, but that is quite laughably far from the truth. Mailerlite (the newsletter service I’m using) offers these amazing tutorials that help technology-challenged people like me learn with idiot-proof videos. Huzzah! There IS hope for the dim-witted! I haven’t gotten through all of the tutorials yet, but it’s on my to-do list. Actually, there are about a thousand million-things on my to-do list right now, and I feel like as long as I check off one little thing each day, I’m not doing terrible. And that’s my goal at this point: don’t be terrible. I’ve been (mostly) terrible with all this for the past few years, so the goal is to change that. By doing a little everyday, I’m doing more than I did, elevating my “terrible” status to a “hustling” status, and I got to say: it feels good.

Other writing news:

I’m currently working with my cover designer, the fabulous Joleene Naylor, to bring A Royal Pairing in Perish to life visually. I can sort of see it, although some of it’s a bit blurry too, so I’ll have to figure it out here soon. I wonder if most traditionally published authors like having the burden of cover design taken off them, or if they feel they’re losing a huge creative opportunity. I’d feel like it’d be losing an opportunity, but man, a little creative direction would be nice! Of course, that’s what I’ve got Joleene for, but at the end of the day, it’s my choice. My book. My career. My business. It’s kinda important…should probably get it right…

I wish there was more to report, but that would mean more happened in my life and really, that’s not the case. Car is fine (praise the lord!), hubby’s still obsessed with Batman, and the doggos are still the best doggos in the world. Can’t complain.

What about you? What have you been up to this week? Do you have a thousand-million things on your to-do list like me? How do you handle it/get everything done and not lose your mind?

Share your secrets with me…I am royalty.

~Lady Caitlin

A Big Year

To think I almost missed this post because I put it off to do other important writerly things. Guys – it’s the first blog of the year. OF THE YEAR. Can’t miss this one.

I’ve got big plans for this year, and the plan is to stick to them. Releasing book one, writing book two, being a somebody on the indie-author scene instead of the creepy lurker I’ve grown accustomed to. All the things. I’m even breathing life into my newsletter WHICH I WILL BE CONSISTENT WITH. I have to yell at myself because no one else will and I need disciple.

TCATC is out to a handful of beta readers, and I’m only slightly nauseated in getting the feedback. I’m also throwing around the idea of how I want to title the book. The *series* is The Coyote and The Claw, but book one is A Royal Pairing in Perish. But do I want to highlight the series title, or use the individual book’s name? And how should I put them on the cover? Which one should be larger? Series title or book title? These are the CEO decisions I get to make. Just wish I would’ve paid more attention in art class.

Other big, huge, impossibly AWESOME news: my books are available in paperback! WHAT? RIGHT? YESSS. *Santa waved his magic wand/blew his fairy dust (whatever he does) and now I have physical copies of all those insane words. Proof:

Ignore the weird expression/background/adorable dogs (actually you can look at them. How could you not?)

I can literally hold my art. This is just…beyond awesome.

See? Things are changing. They’re improving. Just like my website…which will be worked on since I glanced at it yesterday and…no. BWHAHAHA no. It’s not terrible, but a bit of a revamp is needed, which has been added to my 2022 Kick Ass Writer list of things to do. But when to get to all these things? Your guess is as good as mine seeing as I have a fulltime job, a hubby who craves attention, and two dogs that think I’m only here to play fetch and give the ear-rubbies and neck-scratchies (which, let’s be honest, *probably* is my true calling). There’s so very little time in the day, and I guess I’ll have to start foregoing my sleep to get everything done. Who cares if I have huge, ugly bags under my eyes? Not me. I barely glance at myself in the mirror. Hubs has to look at me, and that fool already married me, so joke is on him.

There will always be new things to report/advertise/celebrate, but for right now, I think the paperbacks and the fact that I will be foregoing sleep to get all this done is newsworthy enough for this post—the FIRST post of 2022.

This is going to be a big year, guys. Can you feel it? You should. Feel the shift because it is COMING.

Dude—it’s already here.

Happy 2022!

~ Lady Caitlin

*Thanks for being the most awesome Santa, Mamabear

Aaaannnnddd for further proof of the awesomeness: