Sunday, 27 November 2011

Something is wrong, were fixing it soon.

This past week I feel like my life has been one long error message. I hadn't been able to figure out what was wrong until I was trying to update my website and a message popped up on my screen. Something is wrong...we're fixing it soon. Just great! It was only then it occurred to me, maybe the problem is me. Well, metaphorically of course. It never ceases to amaze me that the universe can send you enlightening massages through the most benign circumstances. My decline started last Saturday on an escalator at Central Station in Sydney, around 10 a.m. in the morning. Contrary to what some of my friends think, I was NOT I managed to see the day through until around 3 p.m, then I had to call an end to my planned weekend of fun and frivolity. I retreated arriving home about two hours later, very sore and hardly able to walk. Poor me. The week just got worse from then on.

I had so much work to do, including finishing my second book. Up until I'd gone to the city I'd been flying through the pages, everything falling into place, sticking to my schedule of at least one chapter a day. After the incident, everything stopped, just like the bloody escalator.

Sunday I decided to rest, I took painkillers and slept most of the day and night. Monday I knew I had to get back to work. I had a schedule, daily tasks to complete, a To Do list a mile long. I tried to write a few didn't work. I didn't like them, the words wouldn't come out the way I thought they should. I opened my manuscript, then closed it. If I can't get a blog to make sense then how can I write a book. I decided I'd give myself another day off and went back to bed to read. Tuesday I managed to finish the guest blogs I'd been working on and emailed them away, I did a couple of tweets and updates on a couple of other sites. I opened the manuscript, then closed it. It all seemed overwhelming. I went back to reading the book I'd chosen the day before. The rest of the week continued the same way, turn on computer, check emails, tweet, post, open manuscript, close manuscript, go to bed and read. Outside the rain pelted down on the ground, the sky was grey, the clouds dark an ominous. It reflected my mood perfectly.

By Friday I was firmly entrenched in a dark lazy cocoon. I constantly ran through the tasks I knew I had to complete. Write two book reviews - at least I've finished reading the books, I'll do the reviews later. Do a final edit and submit the second novella in the Sydney Cougar series to my publisher- it's not good enough and I don't feel like being rejected in the mood I'm in. Work on completing Playing Jax, the second book in the Wylde Shore series - why bother, I don't even know if people will like the first one. I had no idea where the thoughts were coming from but I didn't resist them, I let them dwell. Big mistake. I swear if my name was Vincent van Gogh, I'd only have one ear by now. But I'm not Vincent and all I really had was a sore knee, a messed up bed, five completed novels scattering the floor, and a miserable attitude. I picked up the next book in the series I found myself reading and snuggled under the blankets. Who cares, not me.

On Saturday, after crying my way through the final chapters of Christine Feehan's Dark Melody, I realised the rain had stopped. So, with both ears still intact, I dragged myself out of bed, showered, dressed and took my lousy attitude to life out to do some grocery shopping. I will go back and apologise to the check out operator I growled at sometime within the next couple of days, after all it wasn't her fault she was in a good mood. Today I sat down at the computer determined to get back in touch with my old self. I sent the book review requests I had been putting off all week, did the social network stuff, returned emails and attempted to update the website. Error and inspiration message from the universe received. Thanks so much.

Something is wrong, we're fixing it soon.'m fixing it now actually. I'm fighting my way out of the fog and I'm on my way to turning my sappy, depressed attitude into a blessing. I've decided to channel my misery into my novels villain. She is a woman who likes to make people miserable because her own life is not turning out the way she wanted it too. Not that I'm like that, but I figure I can turn my current wallowing, oh poor me, life sucks week, into something worthwhile.

Monday, 21 November 2011

The Finding Angel Blatant Self Promotion Blog Tour

Finding Angel goes on sale November 30th. To coincide with the launch of the book I am going on tour - a blog tour. I'll be writing guest blogs and being interviewed across some excellent author and review sites throughout Nov & Dec. Find out interesting tidbits about the book, me, and even win a copy of the ebook at some of the appearance.

Dates and the blog addresses of the very generous authors and review sites hosting my appearances are listed below:
29th Nov:
Lynn Tyler Books

30th Nov:
Behind closed Doors

Not Enough Time in the Day

3rd Dec: Gale Stanley

7th Dec:
Zoey Marcel Books

9th Dec:
BDSM Book Reviews

26th Dec:
Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Trust Issues

We all have things that drive us nuts. That bring out those little quirks in our personality we wish weren't there. In my case I wish I had a greater ability to trust. I don't like my reaction at having to face the never ending repercussions of my minimal trust ability. They leave me feeling drained and confused. They are physical and emotional states and feelings that I loathe. me when I say, my latest experience in the drained, confused, state hasn't been pleasant. We use the term so easily. Trust me, even if it's not stated out loud it's an implied sentiment in many of our interactions. So what had me tossing and turning in bed last night, unable to sleep? I wish I could say it was a hot and horny man, but alas, no. It was implied trust.

I've just finished the final edit and approval for the upcoming release of Finding Angel. Being new to the publishing process I really had only a minimal idea of what to expect once I handed over my manuscript to an anonymous individual at the end of an email. When the first edits arrived I discovered a new and interesting hell, the edits were a nightmare. I fumbled my way through, changing point of view (POV) errors, and applying hooks to a couple of the chapter beginnings and endings, adding some transitional paragraphs. As I made the changes, I realized I had to trust my editor and the advice she gave me to make the book a better read. Luckily I had no major rewrites, the story is still intact, I didn't have major changes to make, so what was there to complain about...nothing really. Well nothing except taking my over active mind in hand and convincing myself that I was able to place my trust in the editor. She knew the process, she'd done this before, she gave me positive feedback about the work, and she obviously had an investment in making the book as good as it could be. After all, editing is her job, her livelihood. I can trust her...I willed myself to trust her.

I assumed the second and final edit would be a breeze. I was so misguided. Trust issues raised their head again. The edit was easy. I basically had to clarify the meaning of a few words. Most clarification stemmed from the language barrier, yes, even though we both speak English, Aussies and Americans phrase things differently. So three days later it was done, finished. I read the manuscript again, and it's ready to send back. I haven't sent the email. Why? Because this is it, no more second chances. I have to trust that it's as good as it can be, that there aren't any mistakes and my editor has polished the words until they sparkle. In my rational mind, I believe it sparkles like a diamond, but what if there's a smear neither of us has noticed?

Irrationally, here's the problem. I am a veracious reader. I have some authors that I must read, and I mark on the calendar when their next release is coming out so I can read it ASAP. Recently, one of those authors had books go to sale with huge editing errors. Missing pages, write at the end. Not just spelling errors, those can be ignored even though they are noticeable, but whole scenes were left out during the edit process. Continuity issues where names of characters changed from the beginning to the end of the book. I understand that the process of writing and editing isn't perfect. Nothing in life can carry that tag. I've read Finding Angel so many times I no longer see the words properly, I just see the story and the characters I've created. I'm part of the book, and I believe if you’re too close to a situation you often can't see what's wrong with it. You need an outsider to look into the situation and point out the errors, so you can change what's wrong. In the case of Finding Angel, if there were errors, I have to hope and believe my editor has caught them all. But, if a major, highly regarded author can be let down in the editing process and have books go to print with large errors, where does that leave me? It leaves me battling my trust issues.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Tweet, Tweet, Twiddle de Tweet.

I may not rock in the treetops all day long, hopping and bopping and singing my song... but I do tweet. Social networking, the modern day authors new nightmare. When I first decided to concentrate on being an full-time author, I had now idea what I was letting myself in for. Ignorance is bliss doesn't really cover what I've discovered, but it goes a long way to explaining it. Once my first manuscript was completed, I went on the biggest learning curve of my life. In olden days, or at least my idea of them, authors wrote a book, got published, did a few book signings & interviews, then went back to their cave to write something else. I realise it's probably an incorrect notion or simplistic view of the olden day, but movies are really all I have to go on. I should probably add that if you were a crime or suspense writer, in between the signing and writing, you probably solved a few crimes or mysteries along the way, rescued a damsel or two and saved at least one city from destruction.

But I digress...

Once my manuscript was complete, I started to contemplate getting published. I know, it probably wasn't the best way to do things. I should have actively sought a book deal when the story was in plot form, but why organise something when I didn't even know if my ADD brain would even finish the manuscript. After all, I have a pile of them. Incomplete and dusty pages of dribble from pre-computer days, along with the mess of neglected archived files on mass storage devises, collecting cobwebs in their own techie kind of way.

But again, I digress...

So, while trolling publishers and investigating the how-too's and where-for's of the modern day literary world, I discovered the unthinkable. There is a monster preying on the lives of the modern day writer. Whether your published or not, the shadow of the creature lurks, tracking your every move. It's tentacles slowly reach for you, attempting to invade your soul. The beast's mystical powers of deception lull your once alert sense of foreboding, allow him to caress you and draw you closer. Now your within striking distance, your jugular exposed. Fangs pierce your skin, injecting a venom that targets your mind, eroding your creativity and encouraging you to seek distraction within the monsters arms. Once taken into the monsters embrace it is hard to break free, sharp talons pierce your body, clawing toward your heart. If the creature obtains your heart, it's all over, you are lost. You become enslaved. Trying to break free causes pain, you must obey the beast, seek solace, submit to its ever controlling will. You have become ensnared in the social networking world and your life will never be the same again.

I hear you all scoffing... Yeah, right! Crazy woman! But deep inside you know I'm telling the truth.

I started my dance with the monster about six months ago. A lot of the publishers I approached insisted authors have an Internet presence. Whether you're published or not, you need an online profile. Personal marketing gone made, attract readers for a book that isn't yet accepted for publication. Realising the fight to avoid said Internet exploitation was a losing battle, I conceded defeat and opened my google home page. How do you build an Internet presence? I felt the dark shadow drift over me, a chill quivered along my spine, the caress of something near my ankle caught my attention and I looked down. The tentacle of the god of knowledge encircled my ankle and wound it's way around my shin. Of course, you allow the beast to approach.

I already had a facebook profile, it was amusing at times. I posted stupid things and made the odd comment on friend's walls. I didn't mind going on there every so often, seeing what my real and pretend facebook friends were doing. I did however, recognise it for the time waster it was. So now, in order to look more appealing to prospective publishers I had to revisit not only facebook, but other sites I previously chose to ignore. My first step was to create a facebook page to highlight my work. It took me a nearly a day to set up. By the time I had filled in all the information, chosen pictures, sent invites, and read all the disclosure statements, I had wasted more time than I anticipated. I slowly started getting people to like the page...sloowwwly. Deciding I must be doing something wrong, I mean, why didn't I have a million followers in a week, I looked at what else I could do. A tentacle,  the god of inspiration, wrapped around my left leg. Genius....I'll write a blog. Time rolled by, a few days in fact. I had to find the blog site that suited me, then design the blog page. Again, more pictures, more info about me, my work... blah blah blah. The first blog post finally went live. Hallelujah! Praise the tentacle god of inspiration.

Eight weeks later, after posting on facebook, writing blogs, and sharing the blog to my facebook wall I had the strange feeling I should be doing more. There was a caress on my back, another tickle of inspiration as the tentacle god of seduction encircled my waist. I needed more social networking hits, more traffic to the blog, more facebook friends liking my page. I need to do more, to get more. Twitter, everyone talks about twitter. Sign up, write the profile, follow people, encourage people to follow me... more, more, more. Tweet this and tweet that. Link twitter to facebook, facebook to twitter, send the blog post to both. Now I'm getting the hang of self promotion. Now I'm getting word out about me. Now I'm connecting. The first offer of a contract, made me cry with relief. The second contract had me dancing around the house. Dancing hand in tentacle with monster, allowing the mystical powers of deception to fill my senses. Must tweet, post, blog. announce to the world I'm going to be published. When the email arrived asking for my website address I panicked. Then I felt the beast's warm breath on my neck, deception whispered in my ear. Its' easy, design a website now. A week later my website went live. Must tweet, post, blog, tell the world I have a website. The monsters tentacles pulsed around me, deception lulled me into a quiet satisfaction that I was doing everything as I should, I relaxed.

When the intervention came I tried to deny it. The lady of the industrial city didn't hold back her concern.
      "If you can write the first book in four months, how is it you've only written two chapters of the second book in the last six months. You aren't going to make a living on one novel. When was the last time your worked on the book? You do need to write you know, isn't that what your supposed to be...a writer."
I write. I write every day! I tweet, I post, I comment, I chat, I blog... I WRITE! At the periphery of my vision I saw a man. He was pale, thin, the tone of his muscles less defined. He'd was dejected, alone, obviously was Steve, my hero from the second manuscript. What had I done?

Suddenly the hot breath on my throat annoyed me. The tentacles of seduction, inspiration and knowledge, tightened painfully. I turned to stare into the monster's eyes. Deception radiated toward me, he was eyeing the pulse at my throat, lips snarled back to expose fang dripping with venom. OMG, I write social networking waffle everyday. I flung my fists at the beast chest, I struggled. I screamed out to Steve, his gaze lifted, and he smiled. I held out my hand and he rushed toward me, prying the tentacles from my body with his bare hands. Work with me, his unspoken message invaded my mind, allowing me time to think clearly. I imagined a sword, fire licking at it's chiseled blade, chains empowered with magic to secure any mythical beast who threatened the weak. Steve took up the weaponry and stuck at the beast. Tentacles lacerated, I fell to the ground. He swung the chain. Fangs shattered, before it's mouth was bound, tightly shut. Steve encircled the beast's body with he remain chain, tentacles strapped to it's body, legs shackled...immobilised.

Steve and I embraced, he administered a healing salve to my wounds and we walked away, together. But what of the beast. Steve explained I needed to keep him, a bound reminder of distractions that lay in wait, taking my focus off the prize. The monster quickly shrank in size, he sits on my desk, approaching my keyboard twice a day at the times I designate. He whimpers and looks at me forlornly until I allow him to feed. We visit the social networking site together, no more than an hour or two a day. So far the existence is a happy one. Steve and I have resumed work, his strength regained, his presence within my mind now firm and, as always, protective. I am once again the master of my own destiny...and Mistress to a little shackled beast who wobbles around my desk complaining the chains are too tight.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Guess who found a home?

I know it's a bit late coming, but for those of you that haven't caught up on the news, Finding Angel is now under contract with Siren Publishing. The estimated e-book release date is January 2012.

Okay, now that you've stopped jumping around the room and controlled your excitement, I would like to make two proposals in relation to the release of my first novel.

1: Let's delay Christmas so every female in the world can be given a copy of the book (along with a lovely new e-book reader if you don't own one) as a Christmas gift. Of course, this is my preferred option, because with only 8 weeks to go, I am no where near ready to attend the annual Christian baby shower. An extra month would make things much easier on the financial situation in this household. Additionally, a slight name change wouldn't hurt. Instead of calling it Christmas we could entitle it the Finding Angel International Book Launch, worldwide celebrations could then ensue, fun would be had by all and sales would skyrocket...your thoughts?

No? A bit extreme, maybe? Oh well.

2: For those traditionalists amongst us, who greeted the first option was a resounding...NO! Perhaps you'll get on board with option two. Ask family and friends for cash to spend in the Christmas sales, save a little cash back from the initial rush of specials and purchase the book when it's released. Argh, yes, much better I hear you say, I'll go with option two. Let me just say, I understand the rationale behind your decision, it is far more practical and less disruptive to the general running of the world. Still it doesn't carry the creative flair and daring of option one. Are you sure you won't reconsider?

No? Still too extreme for your taste? Oh well.