Showing posts from March, 2017

Around the web

Merry Farmer has an amazing post about success and how it defines an author.  It got me thinking, although I think about this a lot anyway as it is, but I wonder what an author's criteria is for defining success.  And does it change or evolve?  I believe it does.
When self publishing didn't exist (or pre 2010 when it was considered mostly taboo) I defined success as being traditionally published.  But prior to that I defined it as obtaining an agent.
After being small press published for awhile, I defined success as that publisher allowing me to continue writing the series I was currently involved in.  And to do that I needed to keep my sales numbers up or my series would get dropped. 
Now I mostly exclusively self publish and I define success in a different way:  by readers.  How many readers can I reach? Connect with? Connecting equals a following and that to me, in my own personal writing journey, is my definition of success.  The money comes from that.  See, I can't do…

Judging a book by its cover

Readers judge books by their covers.  We all want to think we don't, but look at this example above.  In 2003 I first was published by a small press.  Blackbird was the book, and the original cover is on the left.

On the right is today's self published cover.

Which do you think sells better?

Exactly.  Not to argue that bare man chest wouldn't draw attention, but it's not just that. It's the colors, the banner at the bottom, even the blurb on the back of the book.

Self publishing forces you to examine human nature, to experiment on what is more appealing to the eye.  (Um...yeah, man candy with tattoos definitely.)

Oh, and in case you wondered about hero Adahya's tattoos, those are original tribal Iroquois tattoo designs.  They often tattooed themselves in Colonial times.  Hard to believe, right?

So tell me what you think of the new cover.

Try something new

So I went to my first massage recently.It was a Reiki massage.I thought that it would help with the back pain I’d been suffering from. I had back surgery in 2015 and have had constant pain ever since blowing out my disc prior to the surgery.
I wanted to believe in the power of healing energy, and I had no idea what to expect.I think I went into the appointment with the wrong attitude.I was skeptical plus I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was being selfish.I was paying a lot of money to try this out.I felt guilty.Hugely guilty.The money I was spending on this could have gone to paying a bill.I had no right to spend this solely on myself.
So I went in feeling guilty about spending the time and the money on myself.And I felt nervous.I didn’t want someone touching me.I’d have to meet a stranger.I was nervous about what she would think of me.I don’t know why, but that’s me.I’m always terrified meeting new people.
They first greeted me upon arriving and gave me a glass of water.They d…

Chapter One - Second Beginning

Chapter One
Abigail Cooper knew it was rude to stare. Sitting at the corner table in Jean’s Diner, a tiny little hole in the wall in the even tinier hole-in-the-wall town of Cold Springs, New York, she waited for her breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon to arrive. She couldn’t help but gawk at the man sitting across the room from her. Biker boots, tight jeans, blue tee shirt, leather jacket draped over the back of his chair. His jet black hair was trimmed short but his bangs curled over one eye, giving him an edgy appearance. Straight out of a biker bar. Not that she frequented biker bars or listened to conversations between perfect strangers. This man was dangerous. Despite the fact that he had the Sunday comics laid out on the table in front of him. “What do you mean it was rigged? That was a perfect pitch.” Biker Guy waved his fork around in wild, exaggerated gestures as he spoke. He had long fingers. They were clean, not grease stained like she might expect a biker’s hands to…

Promotion time!

So Second Beginning, Book II in my Cold Spring Series released yesterday.  That was a day I worked all day at the day job, had some weird bout with stomach problems.  Which I'm blaming on the multigrain bagel with cream cheese that I got at lunchtime from Dunkin Donuts. Right after I finished it I had a killer stomach ache for hours.

But I got home and had a major headache and didn't remember to even promote the book's release on social media until midnight and by then I was zonked out to the world.  So I got up at 5 am this morning and social media-ed the crap out of it. 

I sent out my newsletter this morning.  I wasn't at all happy with the formatting and I hope you guys don't find it too annoying.  Just couldn't figure out the darn thing.  I think I need more coffee.  I'm still on my first cup.

On the swag bandwagon, I got some really cool bag samples from yesterday.  I got a computer bag and a sling bag.  I'm going to have …

Second Beginning - Some facts

Book II in my Cold Springs contemporary series, titled Second Beginning, comes out March 17th. Yay! I’m so excited! This book was fun to write. It came easier than the first book, Second Chance. I think it’s because I already had fleshed out the world and everyone in it, and I had the luxury to just go with the story.
Book II introduces Abby Cooper and Ethan Carver. They aren’t in book I but all the characters from book I are in book II. Does that make sense?
Anyway…to answer some reader questions, yes Cold Springs is an actual town in New York state, but the series doesn’t take place in that town.The town of Cold Springs in my series is fictional. I toyed around with names, Cold River, Cold Lake, Cold Outlet, but I eventually came up with Cold Springs and it stuck.I thought it had a fun and quirky ring, and that’s the heart of this series: fun and quirky.
I did take some key locations from where I grew up and incorporated them into this made-up town. The scene where Abby picks up …

Giving up or resurrecting the blog

I've thought a lot about giving up this blog in the last few months.  Frankly, it's becoming a pain and a burden. Yet I missed blogging.  Blogging is dead, they said. But to me it didn't feel dead. I loved reading other authors blogs, still do.  I love online writing communities.

What if I make this blog an online community?

Will I have time? Will it take time away from my books?

I'm a quirky person. I can't be like the normal authors. (Do "normal" authors even exist??) I like to goof around in real life. I can't take life seriously much less myself. 

So why not start just being myself here? Why do I have to portray, to me, a stuffy pompous romance writer???  That's what blogging has seemed to become for me, trying to be something I clearly am not.

I'm old enough. I've reached an age where I'm comfortable in my own skin.  So I'm no longer going to act like someone I'm not.  I'm going to write the works I want to write, wr…