Friday, October 20, 2017

Makeup Your Mind Cover Reveal

Ha! I fooled everyone (including myself) and actually managed to get a new post up before the “here’s my new book, go buy it now!!!” post.

Of course, this one is still about the book so take it for what it’s worth.

But who isn’t excited, right? It’s the cover reveal for Makeup Your Mind!

This will be basically short and sweet today, there’s still so much to do before November to get the book done -- final proofread, uploaded to Library of Congress, added for pre-order on Amazon, marketing…

Though, this is my favorite part of the process.

The story is solid. Manuscript finalized. Characters living in their own lane. Fully developed and ready to greet the world. But still reserved for very few sets of eyes. Very few readers.

These are the final minutes before the general public has the opportunity to tear my writing apart.

Funny, though, I’m usually more panicked at this stage than the day I get an email from Amazon that the book has gone live. It makes no sense but I worry that the book will never make it to published. Like I said, makes no sense because it isn’t like the publishing part is out of my hands.

Writesy Press, LLC is a one-woman operation, after all.

Me. I’m that woman, just in case that wasn’t clear.

So, why in the hell I worry about not publishing the book I just finished writing (the one I wrote so I could publish it), is ludicrous. But it happens every time.

At first I thought it was fear over those scathing comments from the public but now, on my tenth title,I don’t think that’s it at all. Truly, I think maybe I’m just a crazy person who puts too much pressure on myself to make things look and feel like a professionally produced book that I worry I’ll realize ten things I didn’t do the moment I hit that publish button.

Procrastinator. Perfectionist. Producer. Someday I’ll have to write a memoir how those three characteristics can live inside one writer.

But that day is not today.

Today is the day when I stop rambling and do what I said I’d do at the beginning of the post – reveal the cover art for Makeup Your Mind!


What do you think?

And, yes, I know asking that question leaves the cover open to public critique and mockery. But I’m in love with the cover so, frankly, bring it on if you’ve got something to say. I’m not a-scared.

I’m too excited.

• • • • • • • • • • •
In addition to this drivel I also write books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Learn more on my author page.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Updates from the Work and Life Front

It seems the more I write (books), the less I have time to write (blogs). But I guess that’s nothing new over in these parts. Ten years into this blogging life and the only constant has been that I never abandon this space entirely.

And that’s enough for me right now. Something has to fall by the wayside when other things require more time.

Not forever but for now.

With a couple hours to fill today (say what?), it seemed like the right time to reflect and get a new post going.

So, what are my updates, you may ask?

You did ask that, right?

Okay, well, where do I start? I guess the biggest news is the writing that has me not writing over here.

I’m getting really excited for my next release. With final feedback coming in from my Beta Babes on Makeup Your Mind, I should hit my November release date with ease. Next up, the final editing process.

These are the weeks where the story polish is applied and then I get to write stuff like jacket copy, ad blurbs, and other marketing material. But that’s not why I’m excited.

I truly can’t wait for everyone to read Cherry’s story. She’s one of my favorite characters I’ve ever written. And I’m not just saying that because she’s the star of the next book coming out. Nope. I honestly think she’s so much fun.

She’s the girl/woman I aspired to be in my early twenties: unapologetic for her choices. I love her.

In other book news, I released 30 Chapters in 30 Days: Write a 50,000 word first draft without feeling blocked earlier this month. You can click the title to learn more but this one is a helpful guide to whipping up big word count even when you don’t have words to write.

Specifically geared for fiction authors and aspiring authors, I’m happy to report this book has actually made it into the top 300 on Amazon for Self-help Creativity, the top 400 in Education & Reference, and the top 500 in Writing Skills!

WOO HOO!!!

For many years I dreamed of being published but never took the first step – writing the damn book. I mean, without a book you don’t have a book to publish. And yeah, I know that sounds all ‘Captain Obvious’ but it’s astounding how many would-be authors talk about wanting to be published without ever having finished a book.

I was one of them, until the day I decided to finish the thing I started. No matter how good or bad it was, I would type The End on a fully fleshed out story. It took me 28 years to get there from the days when I first started writing, but I haven’t stopped releasing work since.

So, now that I’m about to release my tenth title in November it seemed like the right time to take all that experience and help another writer. If even one aspiring author uses the book as a tool to push through until they type The End, then I will be the happiest gal around!

Last month I was interviewed by Pat for Speak Up Talk Radio and the interview was a complete blast. It was really cool to do my first radio interview and the experience inspired me to reach out for more networks and podcasts.

I definitely want to start spreading the word about my books in a major way. You know me. All about the shameless self-promotion. (Tell your friends!)

And in the spirit of promo, I’m going to be the featured artist in an upcoming week of The Foothills Focus. That will be a fun one. I’ve gone back and read a bunch of Shea Stanfield’s articles and look forward to how she helps me tell my writing story.

And thus ends work updates.

Two weeks ago, Matt and I went on a whirlwind road trip spanning from Phoenix to Carson City, NV, and just about everywhere in between. Within an hour of hitting the road I got inspired for Shaw McLeary’s next book.

Like I said on Facebook, leave it to a writer to continue working even when they are supposed to be on a relaxing vacation. Story of my life. And I wouldn’t change it for a second!

Literally, can hardly contain myself to start writing that one but I will wait. I have to. Sorta. But don’t think that doesn’t mean I won’t engage in a little note taking over the next couple months to get that book started in the back of my mind. But, there are others to finish before I start a new one.

Okay, now, I’m done with work updates.

Life and work do tend to bleed into one living thing as a writer. Sometimes it’s hard to separate the two.

But anyway…

Vacation.

I posted some pictures on Facebook but for those of you who I’m not friends with over there, here’s a random sampling of photos on each stop of our journey. It rocked.

Kingman


Hoover Dam


Lake Mead


Las Vegas


Lake Tahoe


Yosemite


Bodie, CA


Road home


Over 2,000 miles spent driving to celebrate fifteen years of married bliss. Great times!

And now that I’m done with the life/work update from last month…

Who thinks I’ll get more than one post up before the next book release” post?

I’m not betting on it.

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In addition to this drivel I also write books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Learn more on my author page.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Strong Women are my Spirit Animal

Since I was a kid, I’ve been a fan of ladies who operate from a ‘kick ass and have no fear’ mentality. Women who aren’t afraid to take risks to get what they want, need. Sometimes that meant the woman was an activist, sometimes it meant she risked her reputation, other times her life.

Those were the women I looked up to. Those women didn’t take no for an answer, didn’t let anything stop them from going after their true calling. They were, and are, about as bad-ass as I could imagine and take a lot of shit because of their spirit. But who says bad-ass is a bad thing?

Because, how does that quote go again? Oh yeah…

“Well-behaved women seldom make history.” 
– Laurel Thatcher Ulrich.

And really, who wants to be ‘well-behaved’ anyway?

Some of my earliest interest in how much a woman can do came from women who threw caution to the wind. Dove head first into their feisty soul and made zero apologies.

Joan of Arc, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, Madonna, Emily Dickinson.

And, me? I’m here living a simple life, far outside the realm of extremes that my heroines faced in their lives and careers. I’m just a girl publishing some books in a time when girls are allowed to publish books, work for themselves. Because that’s my soul. My calling.

Every time I take on a new challenge and complete it, face a fear and conquer it, I hope to inch one step closer to bad-ass. In my own way.

I feel like I’ve come a long way from the girl who scribbled, incessantly, in a journal, never releasing a single word to the world. The girl who feared and let it stop her from taking work-life by the balls.

As of a few years ago I would shake at the thought of standing up in front of the women’s writers group I belong to and giving just a 30 second introduction. I was so afraid of public speaking, in fact, that it took me well over six months before I forced myself to stand up and talk at all.

Now I take the mic every time I'm there and have some interesting tid-bit of my writing life to share.

Am I still nervous? Hell yes. I always feel like a socially and professionally awkward mess because even when I prepare the words seem to vanish as soon as I rise. But I do it anyway because fear is just an emotion.

Then there was last week. My career took a new and exciting turn as I was interviewed for a podcast for the first time.

Radio. My voice. Many, many people potentially listening to what I had to say.

And I didn’t get advance copies of the questions.

Gulp.

But I sent her some items I definitely wanted to talk about and she worked off my author bio and books as a basis for her questions. Not only that but Pat was a master interviewer. Smooth, no awkward pausing, follow up comments, excellent questions.

It was like the half hour ended in a minute. At the end of it, I tried to remember everything I’d said. Because, you know I over-analyze. But as my mind went over my responses I had something happen that rarely happens to me.

I felt good about the interview.

Maybe it was running on pure adrenaline, perhaps it was my desire to lead my work into the consciousness of a larger market (finally), or a combination of both but I felt like I got all the points across and not in my usual Boston speed-speak.

It just felt, right.

When Pat sent me the link, not gonna lie, I waited a few days before I had the courage to listen. Matt said he wanted to check it out. Family had encouraged me beforehand. I knew they wanted to hear it too.

Still, I considered not sharing it at all.

But then I thought back to five years ago. Five years ago I was in the midst of putting finishing touches on Reckless Abandon. Five years ago I’d already self-published my first title and was getting ready to release my second.

I didn’t let my inner critic stop me that time.

So I wouldn’t let it stop me this time either.

I clicked on that link and, as I listened to myself, the same feeling I had after recording washed over me. It wasn’t rambling. It wasn’t incoherent. I actually sounded okay.

Again, though, questions arise. Did doing this podcast cure me of the fear of my recorded voice? No. Did it cure me of nerves? Hell no. But will I do something like this again?

Hells to the yes.

Just like those first two books I wrote so many years ago, this interview isn’t perfect but that doesn’t matter. It was fun, challenging, and super cool I got to talk about my work so a bunch of total strangers might discover a book they just have to read.

Liberating and scary all rolled into one 33:07 segment.

So, it’s true I’m not helping to free slaves, taking a stand against discrimination, setting new standards for females embracing their own sexuality, but to me, advancing my career in this way still feels pretty bad-ass.

If you’d like to listen, turn on your speakers and click:


• • • • • • • • • • •
In addition to this drivel I also write books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Learn more on my author page.