eboni indie conThe last time I wrote an entry, I was telling you all about my Rone Award finalist status. Since then, I’ve put together a costume to cosplay one of my characters, Desiri Lilias (who you’ll meet in The Third Gambit), bought my first Square and cash box to take to conventions so I can sell my book, had book bling made (I’ll have pictures of that soon), will be on some author panels, will have a signing table at a convention, and… won two more awards :D.

Yeah, you know I wanted to say that last part first. The Fourth Piece, my baby, won Most Promising Series in the Red City Review Book Awards and a bronze medal for Young Adult Science Fiction in the Reader’s Favorite 2017 Book Award Contest. I received a real bronze medal (bit it and everything. It is real!) I am attending the award ceremony for Reader’s Favorite in November (it’s in Miami) and am still going to the Ind’Scribe Reader Con to attend the award ceremony for the Rone Award in a week. I’m so excited! I can’t wait to meet the authors I’ve been in contact with as we prepare for the convention. Woohoo! I’ve also lost my mind and am driving to the convention. Yes, Burbank is only six hours away, but ugh! I’m one of those annoying “Are we there yet???” people. Three hours in the car is my limit.

But wait until you hear the reason I decided not to fly–or rather, the decision was made for me. You can’t bring swords on a plane as a carry-on, not even wooden ones. Yeah, my costume has bokkens, real ones, and they are heavy! I have a back-strap carrier for them that makes me feel like Leonardo (if you don’t get that reference, you are too young to talk to me, lol).  Of course, after I bought said bokkens and realized that now I have to drive, I think “Oh, I should ask the convention leaders if I can bring these.” I can :D. And since my bokkens pass inspection, I will assume my bow and arrows will too (these are fake, but the bow looks great.)

Now that I’ve gushed about awards and swords and wigs, I want to share something else I’ve been working on: National Indie Author Day 2017. The library I work at is participating in this event for the first time, and I was given the task to organize it. It’s probably the biggest event I’ve ever had to put together. Sixteen indie authors will be in- house presenting panels and workshops. Figuring out ways to communicate and get them to communicate with each other was interesting; promoting the event was fun. I’m expecting a small article in one of the local papers about our Indie Author Day event. I can’t wait to share it with the authors involved, though I’m afraid of one thing. A photographer came out and took my picture, but didn’t let me see the shots. I’m afraid there will be a blow-up of me with my mouth half-open, eyes half-closed. Bad pictures seem to live forever.

Jumping topics again, because it’s late and my mind’s bouncing around, I want to end this with a little writing rant at myself. So, I am very excited about upcoming award ceremonies, and wish-wish-wish that I’d had it together and had my second manuscript done, so that I could maybe go to these events and say: The sequel’s coming out soon. Instead, I can’t. I wasn’t that mad about it a month ago, because I’ve really been struggling to get the story out and right. Then, I made a discovery that made me want to smack myself in the face with a brick. (Well, not really, because that’d hurt, but you get the point.) I’m writing multiple perspectives and most of the people are in different places with different arcs. When I switch perspectives, it’s almost like moving to a new story. So, every other chapter, I was writing a new story, and when I’d go back to a particular character, I’d lost touch with their arc. So why did I choose to keep jumping around? Stupid. I should have written each character’s arc straight through to the end, then shuffled the chapters like cards, so that the POV’s still alternate but I’d lose nothing. I would SO be finished by now, if I’d done that before. I’m doing it now. I smell an ending.

And all this talk of endings makes me think I should end this. It just gets more random as I go, and let me tell you, I can keep going. If you’ve read anything on this blog before, you know that last sentence is true. Pictures, of everything, to come!  But for tonight, in the words of Yakko Warner, “Goodnight everybody!” (And if you don’t get that reference, you are WAY too young to talk to me ;D ).

Take care!

 

 

bookplatesI know a lot of people say that brick and mortar bookstores are a dying breed, but those same people also say that about libraries. I think so long as people thirst for knowledge, stay book junkies, and seek a little socialization with others whose needs are the same, brick, mortar and libraries are safe. That being said, I’ve been invited to be on a YA and Children’s Literature Panel at a Barnes and Noble Bookstore in San Jose inside of Eastridge Mall. There will be a book fair in the store featuring books from all of the panelists.

My song and dance: (even though you can’t hear and see it, which actually might not be too bad for you 😉 ) The Fourth Piece is gonna be in Barnes and Noble! La, la, la!

Some authors might not care too much about this. When it comes to sales, some say they do better through Amazon and don’t make much from bookstore sales, but you know what? I’m one of those authors who want to see my books on a bookstore shelf, a library shelf, a personal bookshelf. Two down… the bookstore left to go, and it’s happening! 😀

What am I going to do on this panel? Well, I heard in the past, the authors all did a book talk about their books and genre. This year the panel is going to be more focused on individual authors talking up the books they’ve brought to sell. We’ll each get our own little table/booth to decorate and swag-up and we’ll be set up near the food 😀 (Stroke of genius!) In previous years, they’d set up near the children’s section, but because the YA section and Children’s section of this B&N are not close, it’s not advantageous to all. Also, they determined that areas closer to the food get more foot traffic. (I’m a believer in this. No matter what books I search out, I always drift over to Starbucks in the end.)

So, now, I’m focusing on my elevator pitches, and what I’m going to bring to swag-out my table. I ordered more bookmarks, I’ve got my fancy new bookplates, I’m bringing my big The Fourth Piece book cover poster, and several smaller posters of the awesome promo images my publisher made for me. I don’t know how big my table will be, so I might have to prop some posters on the floor, but I want my booth to be eye candy. Hmm…candy. Free candy is always good to put out too.

The event is going to be on Saturday, December 10, 2016 from 2-3:30 pm, at Barnes and Noble Eastridge in San Jose, California. If you live nearby, please come in and say “hey!” If you come up and tell me you’re there because of my blog, I might have a free treat for you! ;).

I’ll end this with a question. If you go to B&N or any bookstore and an author is there at a booth, selling books, and talking… what would entice you to come over and see what’s going on, aside from the book being your genre?

Thanks to everybody out there listening, reading, you know what I mean. Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate the holiday and, as I always, take care!

Until next time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had to blog today, because I feel that I must share this um…well, I don’t quite know how to describe my recent transactions with the post office. I’m just gonna take it from the top and let you all decide what you’d call it.

So, a friend of mine purchased a copy of The Fourth Piece for his friend. He wanted me to sign it and write a personalized letter, so he ended up purchasing the book from me personally. I autographed the book and shipped it media mail to Michigan on September 16th. By September 29th, the package still hadn’t been delivered. In fact, when I checked the tracking, it hadn’t even left the post office. So, I went in to talk to the post office manager. He says:”Oh no, I’ll have to contact consumer affairs. They’ll call you in a few days. We don’t know what’s going on!”

A week goes by. The package is still in limbo. No one knows where it is. On October 7th, I go back to the post office to inquire about it. Now the manager checks the tracking and says: “Oh, it made it to Michigan! They tried to deliver it, but couldn’t leave the package at the door. Looks like people forgot to scan the package as it was traveling, so that’s why we couldn’t track it.”

 

So, uh, what’s the point in a tracking number, man? Anyhoo, I contact the person I’d sent the package to, and she says: “Well, the package came, but the post office says I have to pay $5 to get it, because they’ve declared that what you sent didn’t qualify as media mail.”

Now I’m totally confused. Since when have books not been considered media mail? I even received a letter from the Michigan post office telling me that I owed them $4.76 worth of postage for my non-media mail package with a brochure inside that explained to me what does classify as media mail. And yes, books are on this list. So, again, why was my book not media mail?

In the meantime, I’ve sent the customer another book on October 11th (which still hasn’t been received.) That’s about $40 in the mail, and I’m starting to get a little mad. I’m about to march down to the post office again, when I get a message. The customer went to the post office in Michigan, paid the $5 to have the hostage package released, and opened it to find:

post-office-package-bumper-stickersUm… that’s not a book. What the heck is this stuff??? And to top it off, the envelope has obviously been ripped open and clumsily taped back together.

What is going on???

Did somebody remove my book because they thought it was the devil’s work and replace it with prayer and Pokemon?

Or did they just rip off the book and think stuffing the envelope with a bunch of junk and sending it on its way was funny?

Is this not bizarre??? I’m going to show this to my local post office and see what they have to say. But geez…. how does this happen? If I didn’t know the people who placed the order, they might have accused me of being a scamming author. This is craziness.

I get so worried when I mail things now. I jokingly told some co-workers I was going to buy a horse and revive the Pony Express.

All right, I do apologize for this blog post being a rant, but the story was just too strange not to tell. Who does this happen to? Certainly not me…until now.

On a more normal note, I’m actually going to truly commit to Nanowrimo next month. No, I still won’t be working on anything brand new, but I’m going to polish a novel :D. Are any of you doing Nano this year? Good luck to you if you are!

Until next time, take care!

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, yes, I’m no stranger to showing my age these days it seems. But you know what? Nineties kids had some of the best sayings, and a lot of our phrases are back… or never really left.

I promised that the next time you heard from me, I’d have party pictures. Well, you know what? I do! I had two great launch parties. The first launch party was at Monterey Public Library. At this party, there was face painting. Some people left the party with extra eyes and a lot of glitter.

face-painting

extra-eyes

 

henna-tattooWe also had a henna artist. You can’t really see it in this picture, but I’ve got the Mark of Order from The Fourth Piece on my arm. It took forever to dry, but it washed off after a few days. I’m thinking of getting a more permanent Mark of Order in the future ;).

There was plenty of food. A good thing too, because a man came in and made sure to come over and thank me for such a good time and to congratulate me for my accomplishments… then made a bee-line to the food and proceeded to stuff his face. He refilled his plate 4 times, eating as he was stacking snacks on top of each other. (And I know you’re wondering, so I’ll tell you. No, he didn’t buy a book. Shhh…. I think he was only there for the food.)

food-table

I had music playing as guests entered. I let them grab some treats and mingle, then I kicked off the event with an introduction of myself and The Fourth Piece. My baby has come a long way, and I thanked everyone for attending his first birthday party. I played the official book trailer on the big screen, and then did a reading. A toddler loved the reading so much he screamed for joy… well, he screamed for something at least, lol. After I finished reading, I took questions and then let my teaser trailer reel play. Every 30 minutes, I pulled a raffle ticket and called out the name of the winner of 1 of my 3 door prizes.

mugsMy henna artist, a high school senior, won the first mug, her younger sister won the second mug. Before I pulled the ticket for the third mug, I joked that their mother would probably win the last mug so that the family could have a matching set…. and um… then she did. I made sure to rub their shoulders and promised to purchase a couple of lottery tickets that night ;).

While guests got tattooed, painted, and fed, or sat and watch trailers, I sold mommy-and-ebbyand signed books and posed for some pics. All in all, it was a great event that was actually recorded. I will go through the reel and make clips of it eventually, lol. The lighting wasn’t the best for video, but it made for a cool otherworldly atmosphere for the party.

Two days later, in San Francisco, I had a second launch party at Book Passage book store. I had never been there before the event. It was small, book-passagebut fabulous. The networking that was done at that meeting was amazing and The Fourth Piece is now in a book store. I look forward to getting it into many others in the future, but we’ll do it one at a time for now.  I’m learning about many other literary events going on in the Bay Area that I may be very welcome to attend now that I know “people.” 😀

Next stop on my promo train is my first blog tour. I just sent in all of the information requested from the person overseeing the tour. The Fourth Piece will be the featured book on YA Bound Book Tours from September 19-23rd! I don’t really know what to expect, but I hope I get some interesting reviews and maybe some more readers.

Until next time guys! Take care!

 

 

 

 

MIAIt has been a little while since I blogged last. But come on, even you have to admit I’m not as bad as I used to be :P.

So much is going on. Work has been so crazy busy. I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. I know why some people say you can’t be a professional writer and hold down a full-time job. Writing has to be your job–or rather, promoting is your job if you’re truly serious about not working, because you have to sell books to pay bills. I do not have any plans to quit my job and thus lose a steady pay check, so I’m gonna keep putting on my big girl pants and get it done.

I have been doing online promotions, author interviews, radio shows, TV shows (okay, yes, one radio show and one TV show, lol), doing readings, running a critique group, planning launch parties, doing author take-over events online, PLUS maintaining my fabulous front of being a teen librarian by day…and sometimes by night. I also dare to go out from time to time, lol.

I think things are going well. I’m pleased with the reviews I’ve been getting and the welcoming responses from the community I live in. (Monterey is awesome!) My co-workers are really putting themselves out getting things ready for my launch party at the Library. (September 10 from 2-4 for anyone in North Cali.) There will be henna. A high school senior will be doing interpretations of Order’s Mark on willing guests. There will be make-overs. My friend’s lovely daughter is an amazing artist who is practicing designs to make brave guests ready to blend in with the other Visitors. 😀 Also, I will have door prizes! I ordered mugs and a travel cup with character images and quotes on them. The food is going to look very sci-fi (but it will be safe I swear.) I’m going to read, show some books trailers and teasers, do some Q&A, sell and sign some books, and take a lot of pictures.

I’m excited. This is my first book launch party. My second will be a few days later in San Francisco. Check my event calendar for more details. That one I’m not so sure about what will go on. It is being thrown by a group called Left Coast Writers. They’re sweet! They are the ones who got me the radio spot. The party will be held at Book Passage, a large independent book store.

Okay, now I bet you want to know why I’m rambling, because I am rambling. I do have something I want to show you. I want to debut my new professional book trailer for The Fourth Piece and let you guys see a “do-over” trailer that I felt one of my characters deserved.

I’m going to end this with the trailers. I hope you all are doing well, I want you to take care, and next time you hear from me I’ll have PARTY PICTURES!

 

mugWhat is “nicety”? Nicety, pronounced nice-stee, is a mash-up of the words “nice” and “nasty”. To be nicety means to literally kill with kindness. When someone is awful to you, you respond in your kindest tone with the sweetest look on your face, using your most proper and polite diction… with a subtle undertone of either sarcasm or condescension that some people never catch. I exercise a lot of nicety while providing customer service to difficult patrons and lately, dealing with HOA (Home Owners Association) for the condo I’m currently renting.

My front door broke and the woman I had to deal was snotty and rude each time I spoke to her. At one point, she snapped at me. I remained pleasant but firm in what I needed her to do. Later, I texted her with something like this: I appreciate your taking the time to work with me in rescheduling my appointment (kind and flattering). From your tone the other day, I could tell you were quite upset (kind but, here’s the nice-ty, I’m actually scolding her for being rude). I apologize for being a difficult person to work with, and hope that you don’t think badly of me (my tone sounds genuine, but I’m being sarcastic as all get out). Have a wonderful day (I wish this on everyone). Five seconds later, she calls and apologizes profusely. This is a prime example of using your words. I could have easily fussed at her, but all that would have done was escalated an already tense situation. Instead, I defused it, and made her feel guilty. :D. Nicety works!

Okay, I had to get that tangent off my chest for the moment. Now, it’s time to tell you about some author stuff. So, I made my radio debut last Sunday. You can listen here if you’re interested, but here’s what I learned. I love radio and I want a radio show! I would have YA authors come on all the time to read snippets and leave listeners on cliff hangers. Audio books on demand. ( I know, I’m such a nerd and things like that went out a lo-o-ong time ago. But I think we could bring it back.)

And, tomorrow, I’m gong to be on a plane to LAX to do an author meet and greet and book signing at a comic store near Santa Clarita. My friend’s book group read The Fourth Piece, and I get to sit in on the discussion. Hope I’m not ripped to shreds, lol, but I’m really looking forward to it. After that, I’m going to Harry Potter Land LA!

I’m going to do another blog post after the comic book store signing to talk about how it went, and to make another exciting announcement. I think things are going well for me and The Fourth Piece. I’m learning so much and when it’s time for Book II (The Third Gambit) I’ll be better prepared.

Until tomorrow!

 

 

 

About a yeghostbustersar ago, my sister told me that they were doing a reboot of the Ghostbusters. I said “What? No! I’ll NEVER go see that!” Then, she said, “Chris Hemsworth will be playing Jeanine.” I said, “So, when is this reboot coming out? I’d love to see it in theaters.”

A year later, I see the trailers in the theaters and think, “Yuck. I don’t even think my hubby (Hemsworth) will make me want to see that movie.” But then coworkers went to see it and said it was hilarious. I think, oh great, it’s ridiculously silly and gross. I’m just not a fan of silly movies. I get that the slapstick stunts are supposed to be funny, but I don’t laugh. Some silly movies, for unknown reasons, I do like: Bowfinger, This is the End, the FIRST Hangover, but not things like Dumb and Dumber and Austin Powers. So, back to the story, I get bored and go see Ghostbusters anyway, and I liked it… a lot. It was silly, but so is the original, but it has meat, great action scenes, and um… my hubby gets a dance sequence and flies around with magic hands. I might have enjoyed the movie a bit more because of this ;). But seriously, I love the homage it pays to the original movies too. The cameos, the music, the fire house, the only thing I missed was the line: “Don’t cross the beams!”

Okay, so here’s my nerd showing. After I watch the movie, you know what end up doing? Digging out The Real Ghostbusters (the original cartoon, because of course I have it all on DVD along with a lot of other 80’s and 90’s crack) and watching a couple of epis. The weird thing is all that nostalgia inspired me to write (yes, I have been slacking on the writing, so I take what I can get :D). But when I really think about it, being inspired to write by watching 90’s shows or listening to 90’s music, shouldn’t be weird for me. I used to write non-stop as a kid. I mean, getting to write was a prize for me when I had free time. It was as fun as being told “we’re going to the movies” or to a friend’s house. And I’ve never been able to write or read when it’s quiet, so the TV is/was always on, that or music. So, listening and watching 90’s stuff takes me back to when I really and truly wrote for fun. And seeing that the characters I’m using were created in the 90’s so I was writing about them then, of course I’d be inspired to write about them now. 😀 I love psychoanalyzing myself!

Now, I know my writer’s block can be cured by popping in a few episodes of Doug or the Rugrats.  I only feel sorry for my neighbors, because I usually do this late at night and they let it be known that they hate my TV shows and music after 8 (8 pm… like really? Some people sleep at 8 pm? Geez. Granted, I hate when they wake me up at 8 am 😀 … But still, I need to pad my place with that acoustic, sound-blocking foam. Wonder if it comes in purple? 😀 ).

Hah, I just displayed my age and my nerd in one fell swoop, but that’s okay. Neither are things to be ashamed of. Nineties kids (not to be confused with 90’s babies, which is what you are if you were born in the 90’s :P) unite! And nerds rule the world.

Sorry for being random again–okay, no, I’m really not that sorry ;D–but I wanted to do this post. Take care anyone who finished reading my random ramble, and…

…until next time!

 

 

 

kitty

…little ball of claws.

Sorry for the random entry title. I promise I’m going to talk about some book stuff, but first I must share this. My lovely co-worker has foster kittens, and I’ve been invited over to meet the fuzzy little bundles. They are adorable in their pictures, but uh… so here it is. I will admit it. Cats are scary. But I am braving the kitties tonight. My co-workers think they will convert me into being a cat-lover. But you know what my response is when they talk about those kittens? WHY COULDN’T THEY BE PUPPIES???

All right. Enough of that, lol. So, here’s my author update. I was so excited about checking my sales stats on Friday. I can’t tell anything by those line graphs Amazon provides. Amazon even says the graphs don’t really depict your sales, just a comparison of your book against others in rankings. But every Friday, you’re supposed to be able to get an actual book count. So, I log into Amazon Author Central on Friday morning and it tells me that I’ve sold a grand total of… 0 books.

Lies! Lies Amazon tells me! Heck, I bought one. What’s going on? So, I ask someone else who’s been published a lot longer than me (who hasn’t been? 😀 ) and they say: Oh Amazon’s dashboard has been having issues this week. Try back in a few days. My outward response: Oh, okay, thanks. My inner response: WHAT? HOW DARE AMAZON BREAK DURING MY FIRST WEEK OF SALES???

Siiigh. I really want to know how many sold. I’m not expecting huge numbers, any numbers at all will please me. But I do want to know.

I’m also waiting for a couple more reviews to come, though I find I’m not constantly checking anymore. You really do get over it. I didn’t think I would. However, this doesn’t mean I don’t care about reviews anymore. On the contrary, I just don’t feel the overwhelming urge to check every 5 minutes. I finally really feel like it’s time to get back to writing–for real this time.

This is my update for the week. I have a reading coming up next Thursday, so I’ll pop up again with more randomness before then ;).  Thanks to all of you guys out there reading this, and until next time…

 

Take care!

microphones

I hear about other authors doing interviews and I think: that’s cool. I read them and get to know the author’s demeanor a bit and decide, hey I like her/him. We could be friends, therefore, maybe I’ll go see if I can find their book. So, if an interview can do that for other authors, could an interview I give potentially do that for me.

I don’t know. It’s just like when you start a new job or join a new meet-up group. You never know if people are going to get your humor or be off-put by you. So, when I did my interview, I was as “me” as possible, and we’ll see what happens.

Thank you to Magda from the Magic of Books blog for wanting to ask me questions, an if you all would like to check out my first author interview, here you go: https://maginibooks.wordpress.com/2016/07/10/interview-with-e-ardell/.

Until next time! Take care :).

 

The-Fourth-Piece-Promo-5

It arrived at noon today. Well, maybe before noon. The package was waiting for me in my chair when I came back from working the reference desk (yes, I am an honest to G librarian). The stork finally delivered. First, I walked around the office area, holding the package like a baby. (And it kind of felt like one, the peanut wrap inside felt like a Huggies.) I got a little misty eyed. Then after some urging from my coworkers, I cut open the package and held my baby!

baby born kissing book I wanted to kiss him, but I didn’t want to get lip gloss on him. Then I paraded him around the library and had my coworker take pictures, lol. Then, I flipped through the pages and admired. Then I went in search of my coworkers who hadn’t seen it yet. Some of my library people have already started reading the book and they are telling me good things. We’ll see how they like the entire thing. I hope they do :).

So, now I’m constantly looking at ratings and Amazon stats. I don’t know how to read Amazon stats, so I hope the stuff I see is good :D. I checked Twitter and YA Book Central to make sure my ads were going as planned, and YES they are! So, I’m going out tonight to celebrate.

Thank you to anyone who rated or bought my darling. I hope you enjoy him. Feel free to leave a review and tell me what you think!

whats up book!Until next time. I’ll probably have some stats or something to talk about then. Take care!The Fourth Piece‘s birthday is today! RSVP for the party at: