Friday, June 27, 2014

The FIve Year Project in Review

It’s that time again, a time to reflect on how my goals for the Five Year Project are working out. Thanks goes out to Meisha Gericke for hosting this. If you’d like to have your own five year goals, you can sign up here, and I highly recommend you do; this is a great group of very supportive people.
My goal: To have the Newstead Books be the next great American novels.

For me the writing has always been great; I live and breathe it. If I’m not doing it at the moment, I’m thinking about when I get to do it again. That’s how it’s been for me for the last almost four years. I’m truly in-love with my characters and their stories, and I can’t wait to see what happens to them. It’s almost like reading a book you can’t put down, only the book hasn’t been written yet. That’s what the writing is for me.
The marketing, not so much.

I’m not shy, I actually like being around people, but the idea of “pitching” something so very dear to me, so personal, is the opposite of what I described with the writing. I loathe it. I didn’t and don’t write for that. I hope people read my books and love them, and in fact (almost) nothing makes me happier than to find out someone has done just that, but for me, the marketing part of it seems like begging, and I don’t feel like begging. I want people on their own to pick up my books, read them, and love them, and in a world of millions of books, guess how often that’s happened?

So that pretty much sums up how I’ve been doing. The writing is great; I’ve got four books out, am about ¾ of the way through the first draft of Erron, ½ of the way through Bloodbrothers, and am about to start Camp NaNo next month, so I hope that will give me the drive to get both of those done. But the sales—they could be better.

How about you? How are your goals going? Hate marketing as much as me?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Liebster Award

Chrys Fey nominated me for the Liebster award several weeks ago, and I’m sorry to say, it took me this long to accept it. Thank you Chrys for the nomination!   

For those of you who don’t know, the Liebster Award is given to bloggers with less than 200 followers. The goal is to help people find these blogs that are worthy of a bigger following. In German “Liebster” means kindest, beloved, valued, and welcome.

The current rules for accepting this award are:

1.      List 11 random facts about myself.

2.      Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated me.

3.      Nominate 11 more blogs who have less than 200 followers and let them know they’ve been nominated.

4.      4. Post 11 new questions for those bloggers to answer (If they wish to accept the award—it’s completely optional).

Chrys’s 11 questions for me:

1.      If you were allowed to read books by only one author, who would it be and why? Probably Ted Dekker. I love his style.

2.      What is your favorite dessert? It changes with the time of year, but right now I’d have to say fruit pie with maybe a smidge of ice cream.

3.      On a Friday night, what are you most likely to do? Again, that depends on the time of year. Right now, it would be to take the kids to the Drive-In. My husband goes to the races most Friday nights, so it’s a perfect time for me to hang out with the kiddos.

4.      If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be and why? It would be my desire to please people, because I’ve found out (several times) the hard way that you just can’t, so you shouldn’t even bother trying.  

5.      Who is your favorite literary character? (One hero, and one heroine.) I know people will think I’m being trite when I say this, but my favorite characters are my own. I’ve spent a lot of time with them and couldn’t imagine loving anyone else more, and I can’t pull favorites so here’s my list: For the guys: Joel, Marcus, Steven, and Erron. And for the girls: Rachel and Willow.

6.      What is your biggest dream? To become publisher, but not like how publishers are now, not a gatekeeper. I want to partner with authors to help make books that will change the world, and right now I’m starting with mine.

7.      What song could you listen to over and over again? Only Hope by Switchfoot

8.      If your house were burning down, what would you take and why? Assuming all the people made it out okay, I’d grab my computer (has all my writing on it), some original art work I’ve been fortunate enough to acquire (can’t replace an original), and some family pictures (can’t replace those, either).

9.      Who is your inspiration, your hero? God. But if you’re asking about a person, I’d have to say Katie Davis, a young woman who gave up an affluent life here in the States to move to Uganda to care for the orphans there. Seriously; this woman amazes me. You can find out more about her on her blog: or you can watch a youtube video about her here

10. What advice would you give your teenage self? You know that guy you think is so hot? Hang on to him. He’s one of the best things to ever happen to you.

11. If you were not in your current line of work, what would you be doing instead? I’m a psychiatric nurse by profession, but I’ve been laid off since January, so I guess the answer to that is what I’m doing right now: Enjoying my kids, making a home for our family, and writing books that I love.

Picking just eleven was a bit of a challenge; there are hundreds of blogs out there worthy of this award. The ones listed below are what I consider to be the best of the best of the blogs I follow with under 200 followers.  

1.      Elle from Erratic Project Junkie

3.      Michelle at Buttered Toast Rocks

4.      Chase from Chase's Log Notes

5.      Rebecca at The Ninja Librarian

6.      Tania at Creative Preschool Times  

8.      Jennifer at Creative Exercise

9.      Getting Trippy

And the questions they need to answer, should they choose to accept this award:

1.      What projects are you working on right now?

2.      What plans do you have for this summer?

3.      If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

4.      What do you want to be when you grow up?

5.      What is your favorite childhood memory?

6.      Your favorite childhood book?

7.      What experience in your life changed you the most?

8.      Who is your best friend?

9.      What has been your favorite pet?

10. Who is your favorite literary villain?

11. Cheese or chocolate?


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Indie Life

Second Wednesday Each Month

The second Wednesday of each month is Indie Life day, where we talk about this Indie publishing thing. If you want to join in you can sign up here .

Today, I'm focusing on IndieReCon, an amazing avenue for the Indie author to learn, network, and grow. And now, they have even more to offer. Read below to find out how to enter for the soon to famous Howey

*The following is from IndieReCon concerning their upcoming conference and awards. Yes, I copy and pasted. Theirs looked so pretty, I didn't want to change it.

Join us for
IndieReCon LIVE!
October 10th-11th, 2014!
Sandy, Utah


Enter to win a keepsake award and stake your claim to a (soon to be) prestigious Howey!

*Visit the IRC Live website for the rules and to enter*

The Total Package entries must be received by June 30th, 11:59 EDT.
Deadlines for all other contest submissions is July 31st at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

Enter to win:

The Total Package
Grand Prize Contest $15
*Entrants will be judged by professional editors*
Best Back Cover Copy $5
*Popular vote*
Best Cover $5
*Popular vote*

Nominate yourself or your favorite author/book for the following awards:


Monday, June 9, 2014

Maleficent Review


I took my kids to the Drive-In this weekend (along with just about every other family in Niagara County, it appeared) to see Maleficent. I’ve got mixed feelings on this one. I liked that it took the familiar story and showed it from another character’s perspective, and while that’s what I liked about it, it’s also what I didn’t. After the third or fourth instance the initial aah was lost and it started to feel stale. At first I thought it was the acting, or maybe the script itself, but after much thought I think I’ve figured out the problem, and that’s only because I’ve just dealt with a similar problem myself with Blackbird. For those of you who don’t know, Blackbird is Newstead from another character’s perspective. My first plan was to follow Newstead exactly, but that was extremely limiting. So I didn’t. Instead, I had the stories intersect only on a few points, a very few. That’s what saved it. The opposite was true of Maleficent. The stories intersected too often. It felt forced. In their case I don’t know if they had a choice. The story of Sleeping Beauty is too well known, too dear to too many people. If they had strayed too far that might have been even worse. I guess that’s one of the benefits of doing a companion novel with a lesser known work: the freedom to make it what it will be.  


Tuesday, June 3, 2014


This is the first Wednesday of the month, so that means IWSG time. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh and friends for hosting this each month. If you want to take part, you can. Here is the link. This month is extra-special because for the first time I’m co-hosting, which means I’ll be around to visit.
What makes me insecure? In general, not too much, but in relation to my writing—just about everything. It’s hard to put yourself out there, to make yourself vulnerable, which is just what you’re doing every time you write something you intend to have someone else read. Will they love it? Hate it? Does it matter?
That’s the question to ask: Does it matter? I’d like to say it doesn’t for me, but that would be mostly a lie. I squeal with delight when I read a good review, and pout equally loudly when I see a bad one. But that's me. After four years in this writing thing, I've decided I'll probably always be like this. How about you? Do reviews still matter to you?