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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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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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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Cover reveal!

March flew by so fast, I don’t even know where to begin!

I did eventually get my edits for Growing Strong, and turned them around, better than before. I did a complete read-through, and I’d almost forgotten how sweet the story was. It’s super mellow and sweet and very much just a slice of life.

I also worked with the artist and have a cover now! It’s fairly simple, but I like that about it. Simple and clean, just like the story 😉

Growing Strong_cover_500

I hope you’re looking forward to this as much as I am! (Blurb and link and such to come.)


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Awaiting Edits and Writing

I was anxiously awaiting edits this weekend, and to distract myself I finished my taxes. So at least it was productive, even if my edits didn’t come in yet. I’m eager to get them, but I totally understand when life goes crazy and you just can’t hit that deadline.

In happier news, I have a new project started. There’s an open call for tattooed characters that I’m seriously tempted by…but who wouldn’t be?

I don’t know if my idea is quite along the lines of what they’re looking for–they seem to want a character who is a tattoo artist or covered in tattoos. My character LOVES tattoos, but doesn’t have any himself. However, the love interest is a tattooist, so I’m hoping that counts. The story opens at a tattoo convention too…oh hey, does this mean I have an excuse to go to one of those? Twist my arm…

This story also seems primed as a series, with it spreading out to include the customers of the tattoo shop–I have a few ideas–but I won’t be counting chickens. Finish the first one and then we’ll see how it goes.

Just a short update today, but I wanted to let you know the fires are burning!


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Surprise, it’s Sunday!

I was a bit thrown off when Sunday arrived this week. Things have been crazy around here–and I can’t even say with what. I just go to work, come home, and then the day is done! I’d blame winter, but with the days SLOWLY getting longer, I can’t really set it all on that.

I know part of it is that I’ve been watching a lot of TV. Last week was super bad for me, so I was using TV pretty much to decompress and not think about all the things I needed to do (or else the weather was keeping me from doing things).

Except once I was feeling better, I just…kept watching TV. It was so wonderfully mindless! But if I’m watching TV, I can’t write or edit, so…

I JUST finished edits on my 1880s Western werewolf story. Part of that was because it needed serious edits, and part of that was just being a slacker. So now the month is half over and I’ve not started as much as I planned.

I have cut out TV again–or at least limited it to AFTER I’ve gotten some things done. It’s a reward rather than a thing to do when bored.

And I got word that I should be expecting my edits soon, which also means I need to fill out all the fun stuff with covers and marketing and so forth! So “Growing Strong” is moving along (although I’m not wild about the title).

Okay, that’s all I’ve got for this update!