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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The-Fourth-Piece-Promo-1

Is it almot the 7th? I’m about to jump out of my skin I’m so antsy. I’ve also been looking into more promotions. I joined this group AAYA that has great promotional suggestions. The new resources I looked into are: Book Barbarian, Book Discovery, The Fussy Librarian, K-Boards and another blog tour company called Chapter by Chapter. just confirmed dates for a Chapter by Chapter Blog Tour to happen a month after the YA Bound Book Tour. YA Bound likes for authors to wait 30 days before going on a tour with another company. They say it’s to avoid chaos. I’ll take their word for it, because I’ve never done this before, lol.

I also looked at Xpresso Tours and HEA Tours (I actually looked at HEA a few weeks ago), but I did want to share the feedback. Both of these places have excellent customer service, and I was informed that they do not really have a blogger market for YA Science Fiction or Fantasy, especially ones that aren’t romantic. Both places offered up other resources; HEA actually recommending YA Bound Books.

I also came across a directory of YA Bloggers. I haven’t started going through the list yet. I wonder how many people on it are still taking requests from new authors. This is fun and I love trying to figure out what else I can do to push my book. I even discussed the possibility of an audio book and listened to other authors tell me about their experiences with ACX.

Oh, and I planned my own little get together celebration for July 8, 2016. (Yaaaas!) Some co-workers and I are getting together after work. I will probably have some more small parties and then the real launch parties. I sent out an e-vite for the get together on Friday, telling my co-workers to meet me at a restaurant. They’d know me because I’d be the one wearing my book, lol. That kind of makes me kick myself, though.  I should have had a shirt made. Dang it.

Anyways, enough rambling. One more day! Tick…tick…tick…

Save the date! July 8, 2016

The Fourth Piece will be available through:

 

 

 

 

The-Fourth-Piece-Promo-2

July 8, 2016 is almost here. One of my friends just let me know that she pre-ordered a print copy of The Fourth Piece and it will be delivered to her on the 8th. I just sent the message out on Facebook: Hey everybody! Order the print book now and you’ll get it on the 8th, same as the eBook!

I just know that when that book is in my hand I’m going to kiss it like a newborn baby. Tears will flow. I will blubber. And then I’ll dance around like a crazy person (so… I guess that means I’ll dance around like myself then, hah!)

My eyes keep going to Goodreads, checking my stats. Every time a review gets posted or my rating changes, I’m on it like a hawk. The reviews have been great to read. One of them got me so excited to write more of the sequel, The Third Gambit, because the reader felt so strongly about something that I’m going to address in Book II. I guess what I’m saying is, this is nerve-wracking but crazy exciting at the same time! I wonder if I’ll ever stop being intrigued by reviews? Nah! Whether they be good or bad, I love feedback.

I’m still booking blog tours and e-mailing bloggers and reviewers. I have a reading booked for the end of July, but hopefully there will be a launch party this month too. If not, I’ve got one scheduled in August as well. I don’t know, it kind of feels like I’m not doing all that much for the actual day of release, or month of release. So… I changed that. I’m going on a twitter rampage starting the 8th, and I’m also running an ad on YA Book Central starting on the 8th. Got some prime real estate on there ;). Check it out on the 8th.

Sorry, I guess I don’t have all that much new to say right now, but I’m too excited not to post anything. Plus, I want to show off my new promotional images :D. Expect daily posts up until release date… and then a few after that too, maybe.

Take care guys, and don’t forget to save the date! On July 8, 2016 The Fourth Piece will be available on:

 

 

toot my horn

I turned in all my edits on Sunday, and on Monday and today (Tuesday), I updated all of my social media accounts, submitted a head-shot and an author bio, established my pen name and sent in a summary to go on the back of the book. Here’s what I have to say about all of that: EEEEEEEEEEE!!!

Profound, I know. Soon, I’ll be up on the publisher’s website, and hey, I can post the link so all of you can see it too! I can’t wait to start discussing marketing and… COVER ART! Who doesn’t get excited about cover art? Do I get cover models, do I get a symbol, I don’t know. I think I do have some say in it all, though. And here’s my say on all of this right now: AAAAAAAAAA!!!

So, yeah, I’m tooting my horn. But you know, people put such a negative spin on tooting your own horn. There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging that you’re doing cool things. Sometimes, if you don’t, no one will ever know what you’re doing and how strongly you feel about it. Feel good about yourself people. If no one else pats you on the back and tells you “good job”, you should. Only you truly know what you went through to accomplish certain tasks.

Okay, so I really didn’t have all that much to say in this post aside from sending off all those materials. It just makes it all feel more real. In the words of Jessie Spano from Saved By the Bell (there I go dating myself again!) “I’m so excited…I’m so excited… I’m so excited.”

Now, I need to get back to sequel-writing. I’m SO very glad of my decision to bring the second story to a good stopping place before going on with the edits for Book I. It has been more than two weeks since I touched the sequel and now I’m starting cold. I’ll get back into the swing of it, but I’m going to need to reread and do a little editing.

That said, I’m going to sign off, so I can do some rereading. Take care and thanks for keeping up with me!

 

 

 

 

So, I know I’ve posted before about writing sequels and how much it kind of sucks. The sequel I’m working on now, which is the sequel for the book I signed the publishing contract for 🙂 D :), has had four lives. One of these lives made it to page 220 before I decided the story was going in the wrong direction. The second lived to page 20, before a genius read it and said, “You need to flip-flop the events.” The third had a promising life. It was going smoothly, people in my critique circles loved it….

Then, the publisher accepted my first book and said: “The ending is a little lackluster. Can you spice it up?” So, needless to say, the first book got a new ending which ended the third life of the sequel. Now there were some people who were upset about the third’s brief life and quick death–and hey, I really liked that version of the story too.  But you know what, the fourth life was born about a month ago, and it’s been pouring out of me at rapid speed. It has almost reached 80 pages and, in those 80 pages, the plot has advanced further than 220 pages of the first version of the story. I’m actually in Act II. I’ve never gotten past Act I in the lives of the other sequels. Having to kill that last book is probably the best thing to happen to this story.

So, yeah, I’m having fun writing a sequel. I never thought this would happen, but then I’ve never felt this connected to a sequel either. Maybe it’s because I’m actually pretty comfortable about the events of the first story now, so moving on is something I feel better about doing. That being said, I might get the edits back from the publishing house’s editor that will nicely say: “Write it again!”

We’ll see. I’m so new to this. I’m actually excited to see red marks and wondering how much control I’ll have over the edits if I don’t agree to something. It’ll be interesting and fun.

So… here’s something I promised, some head-shots from my photo shoot a few weeks back. If you noticed, my profile picture has changed. That is head-shot one. Here’s another!

headshot 7

Thanks for reading guys! Happy New Year and take care!

 

 

now we wait

First off I want to start off by saying: “BWHAHAHAHA!! I blogged again this month.” Okay, I’m done. Next off I want to share that I’ve submitted 8 times in the past week and half to agents and publishers (one by snail mail). I am no longer lazy or procrastinating… or chicken. I’ve been hitting “send” on e-mails like I hit “purchase” on Amazon. No problem, NEXT!

Now what has been time consuming is getting stuff ready for different publishers and agents. I had a query letter all prepared for agent submissions, and suddenly, they all want cover letters. I had a one page synopsis ready, and they want a one paragraph synopsis… or one that is three to ten pages. They want pasted manuscripts with 1.5 spacing, they want attachments in Courier. They want my query letter to answer their particular questions. Why it’s almost like they want met to tailor my submissions to meet their requirements!–hah, I’m kidding. I just never thought it would take days to get each submission of the same material ready for send-off.

I’ve learned to take my time and to read all directions at least three times. Some agents are vaguer than others and leave a lot to creative interpretation, while some tell you to the letter what they want and what they don’t. It would really stink to get rejected due to improper format. I’d kick myself.

Oh, and tell me why, 200 reads later, I’m still finding typos in the manuscript. Even after other people have read and edited, new typos just pop up. I think a little troll comes in the night and deletes single words like “to” from every 14th sentence on every 15th page. Well, maybe not quite that often, but still. Every time I see where a word is missing from a sentence, I think: When did this happen? Has it never been there? Did I accidentally delete it while editing something else? It’s irritating, but then you think, if me and like fifteen other people missed this, then it’s very likely to be missed by fifteen more people. Hopefully whoever reads my manuscript won’t notice them.

So… now I’m playing the “Waiting Game”. The one where you want to check your e-mail every five seconds, though the agents and publishers say: Give me 6-8 weeks or longer. One says: six months. But it still doesn’t stop you from looking. You get all giddy thinking what if someone got my e-mail, opened it right away because your name sounds cool, read your stuff immediately because you’re awesome, loved it, and can’t wait to contact you. Whoo hoo! (And yeah, right.) If anything, when an agent responds within a day it’s usually an auto-reject. I know; I’ve gotten them before, lol.

Here’s the process I’ve decided on to keep me from going nuts. Since submissions take so long and I get so antsy waiting, instead of doing submissions every week, I’ll do them every other. I’ll submit 2-5 times a week, then take a week off to write new material and hopefully distract myself with what I love to do: write. I’ll still check my e-mail a lot, but I’ll have other deadlines to meet as well. We’ll see how it goes. 🙂

Okay, random change of subject. I want to talk about this creepy book I’m reading. I run a teen book club for the library I work at. The kids voted to read The Diviners by Libba Bray. I’m listening to the audio book of it, because I had a free audible credit. So, I’m chilling, listening, enjoying it… then things in the book get weird and I flashback to being a little kid looking at Freddy Krueger. The narrator, January LaVoy, is awesome. This is officially one book I don’t want to listen to before trying to go to sleep at night because I’ll end up lying in bed seeing shadows and hearing noises. (It doesn’t help that my water heater makes noises like someone trying to knock the house down with a sledgehammer in the middle of the night for no reason.)  Anyways, I haven’t finished the book yet, but so far so good.

To sum up this post: I’m all over the place, but doing what I’m supposed to do. I’m submitting, I’m going to be writing new stuff soon, and I’m keeping organized (somewhat). I’m anxious to hear some feedback, always ready to hear positive things, but hey if I don’t, there are many other agents and publishers out there that I’ve yet to try!

I will blog again soon, I hope. And maybe I’ll have some news :).

So… April 10th has come and gone…

I celebrated a happy ___ birthday (Whoo hoo!) I got a shiny, new car as a gift to myself, but today I’m going to have to part with my old one. I’m really kinda sad about it. My old, green car is the first car I bought myself. He’s seen me through ALL of college (hoo boy), ALL my first jobs (ha!), and through multiple states (Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Lousiana, Alabama, Georgia, Florida). He’s even been to Disney World (well, close enough to it, we went to Universal Studios 😛 ).

So, today I say, “Goodbye J’son II.” (J’son I was my R-13 clarinet I sold my senior year of high school). I’m taking him to Carmax where he will be appraised and maybe even put on the market. May he find a terrific second owner. But is it wrong of me to hope he breaks down and can’t be driven anymore? I hate to think about a stranger driving MY baby. If I was still in Texas, I would have given him to a family member. If I had a house, he would have been the car that chills in the garage.

Siiiigh… Okay, after all that car talk, let’s get on to the writing business and why this post is called Epic Fail, lol.

Back to my opening statement, April 10th has come and past and I didn’t complete the Stephen King Challenge. I have come to the decision that while I do think Stephen King is wonderful and a novel can be finished in a month… that plan usually works best for people who don’t work full time at jobs that require overtime. If I was still doing a part-time gig, or teaching and had my summer off, I think I could have done it :).

BUT… and this is why the Fail is not Epic, I do have a good start to the novel. I’ve got 70 pages, and over 16,000 words. I’m still excited about the material and moving forward. I still want to challenge myself and set a time period for completion, but a more realistic one. I have a good writing buddy who suggested a book to me called: The 90 Day Novel. Well, I have done the first 30 days, right? So, I’m giving myself 60 more, starting today!

THE NEW CHALLENGE: FINISH FIRST DRAFT BY JUNE 12, 2013.

What is great about that is June 12, 2013 is also the kick-off of the library’s summer reading program, and I’m going to be extremely busy after that date. So, it’s on! I’m ready, and hey, this time, I think I can do it!

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for, I said if I failed the Stephen King Challenge you all would get to throw bananas at me. So… let ’em fly. (Oh, but not at face… or the hair… let’s just avoid the head, okay?… um… okay? …crap.)

watch out for flying bananas

Ok, so this happened in April, but like I said in one of my million posts for today, I have a back log of events, and if I don’t post them all today, who knows when I’ll do it. 😀

Collin County Community College Central Park Campus (yikes, and yes, that is the name of the school) had its first Open Mic alla Eboni hosted by Miss Quiet, an old Southern lady librarian who enforces library policy with an iron cane…er fist.   The library was turned into a coffee house, complete with a staging area and curtains for writers and readers to come up and perform poetry, fiction excerpts, spoken word and the phone book for increments of three minutes.  Violators who went over their allotted time got whooped with Miss Quiet’s cane. (Did she ever have fun whooping violators. :D)

There was free food and drinks (non alcoholic of course 😉 ) and lots of Southern Charm as Miss Quiet explained that though the library was having an Open Mic, it was still a library, and she could only tolerate jigga-boo racket for so long (3 minutes at a time).  She owns the record for most hits in a softball game from 1922, and still has her perfect batter form.

See Miss Quiet whoop a student below:

Y’all know that’s me, right? LOL!

Haha, so I got my first rejection e-mail.  Wow, you know a few years ago I think I might have been choked up about it.  My baby was rejected, and with a form letter no less, but hey, the form letter had my name on it!  And they were so quick about it, too.  I sent it off yesterday, no joke, and got the reply today.  I was expecting to wait weeks for that first “No.”  Either the lady really hated it, or I did a major formatting “no-no.” 

Haha, anyway I think that was less nerve wracking than waiting for someone to call you back after a job interview.  Those guys can take forever to tell you “No way!”  This lady took 24 hours… that is, if she even read it.  I kinda think she didn’t because it just came back too fast.

So, now I feel accomplished.  I actually submitted my work to a complete stranger for scrutiny and I’m ready for more.  To rejection, I say: NEXT!