Wordy Wonderland


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Re-release: GROWING STRONG

growingstrong_coverNow that the rights have returned to me and I’ve had a bit of free time on my hands (haha), I took some time to re-release Growing Strong. There are no textual changes, just a second edition with a new cover and it’s available in ebook AND print.

Blurb:
A chance—and embarrassing—encounter bring Hunter and Chase together, but it’s patience and kindness that keep them there. Through a slow-blossoming friendship and a series of misunderstandings, Hunter finds himself fighting an attraction he thinks isn’t returned. But with the help of his roommate, Tony, he may just be able to take the leap and confess his feelings.

But love isn’t Hunter’s only concern. With his sister’s upcoming nuptials, he also must learn to face a family that hasn’t quite disowned him for his sexuality. With Chase by his side, it’s going to take strength for Hunter to stand up for himself and to hold on to what really matters.

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Into Uncharted Waters…

Not necessarily for everyone, but definitely for me. And by this, I mean the world of self-publishing!

At the beginning of January I finally received nullification of my contract with my previous publisher, which landed my two stories in my lap much earlier than expected. I have mixed feelings, since I would have preferred the books stay with a publisher, but I also would have preferred to get royalties from that publisher. Either my books did terrible or accounting was…lacking. Either way I imagine they didn’t make a ton, so I’m not heartbroken.

And now I have the opportunity to step into self-publishing. While I may go the more traditional route with new books, these titles have the advantage of having been edited, so all I need to do is make a cover and load them. I’ll be doing KDP select, which means I only have to deal with one vendor, and I’ve heard authors have relatively good experiences there. I doubt I’ll do as well as some of them, but it doesn’t really hurt me to have them there either. (Plus I can buy a few hardback versions of the novel that should have been in hardback (per length) but was never.)

I’ve already put together one cover, and the second is mostly done (just need to sit and see if it still looks good tomorrow. One file is loaded, and I’ll make an announcement then. No blog tours or anything for these, I don’t think, since they’re (rather recent) reprints. And then I’ll see the results of just joining the program, with minimal advertising.


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In between writing and publishing

I’ve been in an in between place recently, and I’m trying to make decisions, which I hate to do. My publishing experience hasn’t been bad, but it hadn’t really given me the feedback/reaction/interaction I was looking for. And part of that’s on me, since I’m not particularly active. Part of it’s on my publisher, who it seems sent out an email saying they’re closing (…I didn’t actually GET an email, I just saw it on Twitter, which is another bag of worms).

I like writing. My goal with writing was to write, get my stuff out there, maybe find some people who like to read my stuff, and write for them as well as myself. But my first two pieces didn’t get much attention (and I don’t know if it’s just because it’s my writing or lack of publisher push).

Part of me thinks I should just fade away and write just for myself. Part of me considers finding an editor, a cover artist, and publishing through Kindle Unlimited–which would get my work out there with limited overhead. Maybe that’s what I should do with the rights that are going to revert back to me

But a big part of me wonders if I should bother. The devil that says my stuff isn’t any good and no one buys it and no one cares. Right now that devil is really loud. So I guess we’ll see what the next year brings.


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Revisions and Feedback

Not dead, just busy.

I’ve been really occupied with a short holiday story that I saw a prompt for. Originally I saw it and said, “Hey, being part of an anthology might be good exposure (and a little money), plus it’ll keep me thinking.”

I came up with a story, wrote it up, and felt DAMN good about it. I submitted it to my writers’ group and prepared myself for feedback. But I wasn’t quite as prepared as I had thought I was. Especially since the opening feedback was, “I like your writing but…”

They had some serious issues with my plot and story, and many of them I agreed with. Some of them I feel are a product of the genre. Most of them I know are my weaknesses in writing, so I was happy to work on them. Back to the drafting table. Huge revisions. Round two.

Round two actually went a lot easier. The tweaks were more like tweaks/additions rather than “you have a hugely problematic story element.” I’ve now gone through and made the suggested edits. Now I’m faced with two options: resubmit it to them to review (the poor bastards), or find a beta reader (or two).

The problem here is that I’m having trouble finding beta readers. I’m not very active on social media, and I don’t have a huge following, so right now my writers’ group is my main source of feedback. Part of me knows I need to change that, but most of me knows I’m pretty terrible at it. I’m trying.

So, if you’re interested in reading a 6K Christmas short and giving feedback, let me know!

 


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Long Weekend Ahoy!

For those of you in the US and with gracious companies, this weekend may be extra long for you! So what are your plans?

Today I have the required picnic with my friends, which means sunshine (if the weather holds), eating too much, and playing corn hole (which will never not be funny). While it’ll be sad that I can’t spend the whole day writing (haha), it should be super relaxing. And all the food. Lots of vegetarian things, but also hot dogs and burgers and picnic salads and deviled eggs and *food coma*

Sunday will be relaxing, catching up on everything I was meant to do Saturday and grabbing a meal out with my mom.

Monday, while a good portion of the world is off, I’ll be working. At least part of the day. But also getting out (weather permitting) to enjoy some sunshine 🙂 and maybe sneak some writing in? I have some stories that need revised…and isn’t that what long weekends are all about?

In all honesty, I do want to take a moment to remember all of those who died serving our country. In my small town they hang small banners on the posts with faces of men who died in service to the country, all of young men who are from my area. It really brings home the impact and the sacrifice that was made. I hope we can all take the time while we gather with friends and family, to be thankful for those who have given their lives so that ours could be what they are today.


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How to Become a Famous Author

And Other Misleading Blog Titles

Warning: No mysteries will be revealed. This is mostly contemplation.

My ponderings don’t even dwell on the big-name authors like Steven King, JRR Martin, JK Rowling, etc. But within niche and smaller genres, how do authors become popular/famous/well-known? Whether they deserve it or not is another story, but authors are out there being well-known and purchased. How do they do it?

I’ll be honest, I think a chunk of it is luck. I’m not saying the famous author are hacks, but I also don’t believe that there aren’t other, possibly more worthy, authors out there who never make it big. (No, I do not think I’m one of them 😉 But I think there are definite steps to take to “make it big”:

  1. Write. I know, duh. But the trick is to write. Maybe not every day (that doesn’t work for everyone) but find a schedule or a goal and write. If you aren’t producing stuff, it’s really hard to get stuff published. Along those lines, keep to a set number of projects, and don’t start any others until those are finished. This may be aimed at me, most of all, because I get distracted easily. But that means a lot of stories end up half-finished and nothing becomes of them.
  2. Get out there. Talk to people on social media. Do blog posts. Make friends. Network. It’s an ugly, boring, (hated) word, but it’s important. Obviously you want to be genuine, but just being present (responding to people’s posts, making your own) creates an identity. Something for people to say “Hey, I like so-and-so, I think I’ll check out their next book.” Plus if you get a following, you can get the word out about new books. (Note to self…do this.)
  3. Have a watchful eye. This is sort of related to #2, but watch who is growing in ranks and see what they’ve done. Watch patterns in which titles/stories are popular and write there if you can. Note new publishers (if you’re not aiming for the big ones) and see what they offer you and if it’d be worth spreading your wings and possibly getting a new audience. (Not that you should just dump an old publisher if they’ve been good to you. But it doesn’t hurt to look.)
  4. Keep at it. Don’t lose heart. Yes, only five people bought a copy of your book, and you happen to know one of them was your mother, but if this is your passion, keep at it. You should be writing because you love it, not for the money. Yes, money would be a great end goal, but unless you’re earning your keep this way, remember that you started down this path because it’s your passion. Let the stories out and don’t be disheartened.

That’s all I’ve got. I know, nothing groundbreaking. Maybe I should have called this, “A Letter From the Author to Herself.”


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Release Day!

Growing Strong_cover_500Growing Strong is now available at major retailers!

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Growing-Strong-BL-Dayhoff-ebook/dp/B01ESLPLE6

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/growing-strong-bl-dayhoff/1123749813?ean=9781944449636

All Romance eBooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-growingstrong-2029284-149.html

Torquere Press: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=4660

A chance—and embarrassing—encounter brings Hunter and Chase together, but it’s patience and kindness that keep them there. Through a slow-blossoming friendship and a series of misunderstandings, Hunter finds himself fighting an attraction he thinks isn’t returned. But with the help of his roommate, Tony, he may just be able to make the leap and confess his feelings.

But love isn’t Hunter’s only concern. With his sister’s upcoming nuptials, he also must learn to face a family that hasn’t quite disowned him for his sexuality. With Chase by his side, it’s going to take strength for Hunter to stand up for himself and to hold on to what really matters.