Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Update: Where I've been, Book Announcements and Blurbs

Where I've been...

Sometimes in life you need to just hit pause on all the things you're working on so you can focus on what's really important. Just before the release of The Ilia Stone, I did just that. That's not to say that the release of The Ilia Stone wasn't important, just that my family is and will always be more important. So if you haven't seen me around much, it's because I've been helping my daughter through a tough time. This will continue to be my focus. However, things are starting to settle down and return to some kind of normal.

Even though I have put writing, marketing and promo on the back burner, I have continued to write a bit in the wee hours of the morning whenever I've had the chance. I was even able to answer some questions and make some announcements at a book discussion for The Ilia Stone recently. Which leads us too...

Book Announcements and Blurbs...

*The following are unofficial blurbs. They may change before publication. They can also be found under the "BOOKS" tab at the top.

The Ilia Redemption: Book 2 in The Ilia Stone Trilogy

Nia Williams once had an ordinary life with a promising future. All that changed with a discovery that led her on a journey through the past and down a dark road full of mythical powers and self sacrifices.

On the run from all she’s ever known and the consequences of her decisions, Nia is armed with her vow to start a new life. But she quickly learns some things you can’t escape.  

Faced with the choice to continue to run or try to make things right, Nia must decide if she is willing to swallow her pride and ask for help from the one man who she believes had already once betrayed her. But by revisiting her past, can Nia accept that people change, life moves on and she is not the only one hesitant to trust or to feel betrayed? 

The path to redemption may prove to be filled with the toughest challenges yet. 

The next blurb is for a New Adult Romance stand alone I've been working on that I may have finished before The Ilia Redemption. I will keep you updated. 

Fractured Palace

They say home is where the heart is.

It certainly wasn’t the rundown bungalow Ashton Roberts grew up in with her single addict mother and her parade of equally toxic boyfriends. It also wasn't in the half a million dollar estate she moved into when her mother sobered up for long enough to meet and marry her step-father.

All Ash wants is to get her degree, marry Mr. Right and start building the happy stable life she never had. But after breaking up with her cheating boyfriend, Ash begins to wonder if the Prince Charming and the Happily Ever After she’s always wanted is really just a pipe dream.

Until she runs into her former neighbor, Reed Collins.

When Ash was a child, Reed had always been her silent protector. As an adult, he is everything she’s ever dreamed of in a man. If only he didn't keep her at arms length. But as things heat up, guards drop and secrets are revealed tossing Ash back into the turmoil surrounding her mother’s death.

Will Ashton let her past fracture the perfect picture of her future? Or will the meaning of loyalty, family and love be redefined?

I've also been working on...

A short story to be included in an anthology through Dead Bound Publishing aimed to give hope to those who need it. I have already outlined and started writing the story which I hope to have finished by this weekend. And I gotta tell you, just writing the outline brought me to tears and I'm not a crier! This story deals with coping with the loss of a loved one. I have yet to pick a title for it but I'll have more updates on this and other works in progress in the near future. 

Aside from tinkering with the blog (I welcome any ideas anyone has) and catching up on a few other things, that's it for now! 

Happy Reading everyone!


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Introvert Problems - Marketing Your Book

I, like many writers, am an introvert.

This does not mean I'm shy. I'm not. Not really anyway. I'm just more of an observer. I usually only chime in on a conversation when I feel I have something to add. But since I'm an observer, I notice when the extroverts have already said what I am thinking. So I’ll nod silently in agreement or slip in a stealthy “Like” of a comment as a show of solidarity with a person who has stated my thoughts. This is not a slam against extroverts. In fact, many times I wish I were an extrovert. Particularly at a time like now when I've finished writing my first book, The Ilia Stone, and I need to put myself out there to market it. 

Now lets go back a bit, planning how you should market your book should come much earlier than when you are about to publish. And it has for me. It is one of many lessons I have learned while writing this book. The thing I still struggle with, even though I have improved in this area, is putting myself out there to engage readers. This is a HUGE problem when you want people to read your work. 

Introverts are perfectly content to be the wallflower or the one at the party you almost forget they are there until they chime in with a perfectly timed zinger that has all heads swinging their way. We are not big on attention, so working to put a spotlight on ourselves or our work goes against our very nature of staying in the background. 

I can sit at my computer all day long and type out conversations between my characters. But when it comes to me participating in conversations (at least with people I don't know), either I draw a complete blank, have the worst case of writer’s block ever or a million reasons flow through my mind of why I don’t really need to comment. Sometimes it’s almost automatic and instantaneous that I will talk myself out of saying what comes to mind because it is more comfortable for me to do so.

So how do we overcome it?

It’s a good question that I don’t really have the answer to. All I can offer is how view it from my perspective. The way I look it, staying in my comfort zone of watching as other’s effectively market their book is not going to make people aware that I wrote one. It is an obstacle I must overcome. I have worked long hours over the last year and a half on a story I love. But at the end of the day, I do the story a disservice if I don’t put as much effort into letting other’s know the book exists as I put into writing it. ßReread that last sentence. Are you putting in this effort? Are you willing to?

I do not want to be my own worst enemy. I do not want to be the obstacle that stands in the way of my book’s success. In order to overcome that, I need to step out of my comfort zone.

Over the past year, I started following more book review blogs and joined writer’s groups on social media.  I am an avid reader. I have also been writing pretty religiously for the past five years and I have assisted in marketing fellow author Jas T. Ward’s books, so there are some groups and blogs I have followed even before that. I took it slow at first, participating in conversations here or there until I felt more comfortable commenting. Baby steps, right? I’m not sure it’s enough though. I found that the key to engaging readers is to developed relationships with them. In order to do that, you have to actually participate and not stand on the sidelines to watch.

I am still a far way from cracking completely out of my shell. My hope by writing this post is that others may relate. If you are a fellow introvert trying to get word out about your book, I’d love to hear your thoughts. What has worked for you to ease the pains of having to put yourself out there?  

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Freebies and Giveaways: Do They Help or Hinder?

I still waver on this issue and would be curious to hear other's thoughts on the matter.

Happy New Year!

On New Year's Day, the characters who had taken up residency in my brain for about a year at that point, wanted to say Happy New Year their way. The result, was the following post.

Note: This was just a random post to show the personalities of the characters in The Ilia Stone. It is not an excerpt from the book.

Under Vegas Lights

Have you ever gone on a trip and all you see is inspiration for writing? Well, this was my experience on a trip to Las Vegas...

New Year's Resolutions: Your Holiday Hangover Cure

This was an interesting one to look back on eight months into the year...

Bringing Not-So-Sexy Back