Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Maybe I'm a masochist?

  1. the tendency to derive pleasure, especially sexual gratification, from one's own pain or humiliation.

     Okay, so I'm not really a masochist but sometimes I wonder why I (or anyone else for that matter) write considering the cold, cruel world that awaits me and my work. The stories I create are my fifth child and I am terrified one day someone will tell me my baby is ugly. I've considered writing only for myself, not trusting anyone else to sneak a peek ever, but... BUT. There's that pesky big BUT that I can't deny. But I can't keep it to myself. Even though I fear rejection, I crave approval. I desire acceptance. I thrive on success. Who doesn't?

     I love writing. while writing this post I tried to remember the very first time I dreamed of writing a book and realized I was so young that I'm not sure but I know it was prior to kindergarten. When I was six or seven I recall wondering if I could be the youngest ever published author but didn't know how to find out. During grade school my mom would often have to hunt her typewriter down. I would write about my emotions, sort of like writing a journal and a story all at the same time. If I got upset, I would write a letter expressing my feelings to whoever had upset me then shred it. I hid behind words. I loved my books and found them to be better friends than most of the people who were supposed to be my real friends. While the other girls I went to school with had aspirations of becoming nurses or ballerinas or mommies, I read voraciously and daydreamed that one day I would see my name on a dust jacket on bookstore shelves. And my dreams didn't stop there. I saw myself doing readings, being asked for my autograph, and flying to New York to sign huge six or seven figure contracts. Not too lofty right?

    So I kept reading and wrote here and there all through high school. After graduation I decided college wasn't for me, I was smart enough right? Yeah. So by the time I was twenty I had my first son and was a part-time bartender who'd forgotten about my writing aspirations. I did, however, decide I wasn't smart enough and went back to school. My mom convinced me nursing school was the best direction but my heart wasn't in it. I made it through one year of nursing school before I quit. I struggled to find a new major but continued on in college. Every quarter I took an English/Literature/Writing class for fun and enjoyed writing essays, reports, and term papers when others seemed to dread them. It didn't make sense to me why others had such a hard time. 

     One quarter my Business Communications Professor made a comment that changed everything. After meeting with him prior to turning in my final report he said eight little words that made my breath catch in my throat. What were those eight magic words? You write almost as well as I do. WHAT?!?!?! A professor gave me this ginormous compliment so casually I had to ask for clarification. No, my ears did not deceive me. I walked out of his office and called my husband, Jamie (who by the way had been telling me this and to get my degree in English for, like, ever) to share my exciting news. He wasn't surprised. he simply said I told you so. 

     Needless to say I finally did what I should have done all along. I graduated in 2006 with my Associate of Arts with a major in English and a minor in Business Communications. But I still wasn't writing. Then a strange thing happened one day in April of 2009 I was bored and was stressed out so I reverted to my old habit of writing about my feelings. So letter by letter, word by word I typed while I worked out my frustrations and heartaches. I had no idea that those first few paragraphs would turn into pages which became chapters and before I knew it, a novel. Why did I ramble on with all this? To get to my point of course. Now I had a novel on my hands and just in time for my first writers convention. I even managed to convince an agent and a publisher to accept submissions while at that convention. Too bad I had no idea the correct way to edit, revise, or format before submitting my novel to either so of course both rejected me, err, my book. 

     I knew rejection was going to happen, it still sucked. I didn't do anything with my book again for over a year. It just sat in my laptop. Waiting. Then in June 2012, I got fired from my horrible job and as each day passed, the more depressed I became. I decided my New Year's resolution for 2013 was to submit my book at least three times and started talking to other published authors and did a good, thorough revision (though it still needed a ton of work). In January I submitted to a publisher and the rest is history. Problem solved right? No more worries about rejection right? WRONG! Now that it's out there in the real world I get to troll every website I can find looking for reviews. I hold my breath every single time I look praying there isn't a bad review. I know it's coming. Eventually someone will not like my book, probably a lot of someones, and they will leave a one star rating or worse they will shred my book, picking apart every flaw I may have missed, saying not so nice things about my story, or just plain old mean comments because it wasn't their cup of tea. 

     No matter how long you've been writing and/or published getting a bad review sucks. Having someone tell you your baby is ugly hurts. Knowing something you've poured your heart and soul into for weeks or months or years may fall short of someone else's expectations doesn't get easier. I was told a long time ago if you are going to be in this business you need to grow thick skin, but I don't really think that it is possible to grow, maybe you just get more accustomed to dealing with the bad. So the point of my insanity this time is to see where I've been and what I'm facing. Maybe authors have to be a bit masochistic or just plain crazy to expose ourselves the way we do. Hell, I don't know. I really hope this gives you an insight to my weirdness and maybe the next time you write a review you remember everything we go through, even if you despised it, even if we are a little twisted, remember we have feelings, too.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Bob is in the house!

Tonight I'm hosting the infamous Bob (Robert Wacaster), be gentle, it's his first time here... This is the man who is responsible for swiftly kicking my ass towards his (and now my) publisher, SCP. 

     I'm guessing the title of this blog post caught your attention? Are you ready to hear the secret? Lean in close now! Aaaaaannnnnnd....

                      There is no secret.
     I'm sure that's probably not what you wanted to read. Everyone is looking for the incredible secret of how to sell a million books. Well, a good start would be hard work. Yes, you've already poured your heart and soul into writing a book taking months, maybe even years to get your story down on paper. (Actually, I know a few people who write what they call a book in about a week. I call someone like that a "puppy mill author". Quantity is not a substitute for quality. people!) Okay, where was I? ... ... Oh yes, you've already written your best seller, and maybe even found a publisher, so what comes next? How do you get copies of your masterpiece to fly off the shelves? I'll help you out and give you a few ways to get started:
     1. People won't buy your book if the don't know about it, so you've got to figure         out ways to let people know all about your wonderful book and where they can                 get it. If you're like me, you're broke and really need to find ways to get the                     word out for free. Luckily there are ways to do that!
      A. Start your own blog. And don't start whining with the excuse, "but I don't               know how to do that!". If you've written a book, then you know how to                           write. Find a nice website like and follow a few directions. If                       you're still confused, look up blogging on Trust me, you can                         find an explanation to just about anything there!
      B. Use and maybe create a fan page. This is a simple thing. If               you're confused about how to get going with this, find and talk to another                       author who has a fan page. Hell, email me at and ask me                       to walk you through it. I'm always happy to help! (And help out other                               authors if they ask you, because you never know when you might need                             help yourself!) Here's a big tip for when you do this: Create it as an                                 "Author" fan page and promote yourself as a writer. Then when you write                         more stuff you can promote it using the fan page. And don't just push the                         book, people don't want to look at a fan page that's constantly posting                             "YOU SHOULD BUY MY NEW BOOK, HERE'S THE LINK!". Post pictures of                             yourself at your computer, write something about your day, show off a                           picture of the stuff you dug out of a dumpster to eat because you have no                       money for food because no one buys your books! ... ... Okay yes, that last                       one was a joke.
      C. Get yourself on YouTube. Create your own YouTube channel, or find                     someone who already has one and ask them nicely if they will post a                               video of you, or maybe something about your books. I have my own                               channel and have posted a few videos about books recently, and I'm                               usually happy to help anyone who wants a promotional hand. I'm quickly                           learning to work with a green screen background and am actually getting                         pretty good at it! Example:

Bob's Books: Footworks, A Bus Driver's Journal

I happened to see a post on Twitter by this author and offered to make a 
video for him.He was thrilled! which brings me to the next tip.
    D. Get on Twitter. I don't post on as much as I should. Learn what             you can about hashtags (that would be one of these things #) and use them.                       And don't just tweet every month or so when you remember, get in the                           habit of tweeting all the time. If you get enough followers and tweet                               enough things, people will notice! (I'm one of the idiots who tweets every                       month or so... maybe. *chuckle*
    E. Become a review hunter. I've written a number of book and product                         reviews on and ever once in a while I get a friendly email                             from someone asking if I would mind reviewing their book. They're usually                       very nice and offer to send me a free digital copy of their book if I want                         one. (To be honest, don't ask me to review your book at the moment. I'm                         up to my ass with college classes trying to learn all about Microsoft Word,                         Excel, and Power Point and computer repair. I don't have the time to read                       and review right now. When I have time things may change, though.) Look                       up books on Amazon  that are int he same genre as your book and then                             email someone who did a review for the books you find and ask politely if                       they would mind reviewing your book. Sometimes this may backfire                                 because the person won't like your book and will slam you with a one star                         review. Be prepared for that. Hustle reviews from friends and family. Try                         because that always looks pretty crooked. *chuckle* The more reviews a                           book has, the more likely people are to buy it for some reason. Out of all                         the books I've written, the one that still sells the best (more than all of the                       other books I've written to date as a matter of fact!) has 13 one star                                 reviews. Of course it also has 9 five star reviews to go along with that. for                       whatever reason I still sell a total of about 40 copies a month without much                       promotion at all.
     So there you have it, ways to get your book selling. Use combinations of the things I just told you about. If there is a YouTube video about your book, or you as an author, post it on your Facebook page AND tweet the link to the video. Post the links to your Twitter account and Facebook page on your blog. Blog about how confused you were trying to use Twitter to promote your book. Make a video about how confused you are about blogging. *chuckle* Okay, I'm getting out of control now. Basically, use the digital world to get yourself noticed. That's the real secret to selling a million books, you get a million people to notice your work.

     And so my guest post ends here. I'll be a good boy and post my info and a few book buy links in case anyone is interested. I don't have an author page, I'm a lazy author. *chuckle* and if you have any questions feel free to email me and ask away. Many thanks to Gretchen for allowing me this time to type out a blog post while standing on a soapbox. (It was really tough to reach the keyboard!)

Books I've written:

Kiss The Darkness A story about an Air Force Sergeant who is blinded in Afghanistan and falls in love with a nurse at the rehab hospital. Extreme themes here.

     And finally, if you have any questions or think I can help you out with something, feel free to send me email at and yes I know I need to iron my "green screen" sheet. *chuckle*