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!

 

 

Rone-Badge-Finalist-2017I’ve been waiting for pretty graphics to use before I made this announcement! A little before The Fourth Piece came out, I was shipping the ARC around for reviews. I joined a site called Where Writers Win to find lists of bloggers and magazines accepting ARCs for review and found an indie magazine called InD’tale. I didn’t think they’d pick my book up for review, but hey, couldn’t hurt to ask. I didn’t hear from them for months. In fact, it took so long, I’d forgotten I’d submitted there. Anyways, months later a glowing 5-star review appears on my Goodreads page and in their magazine. I even got two steaming kettles for certain scenes being kinda hot. I was surprised and please. Read the review here. (It’s on page 85 :D.)

Anywhoo, a few months ago, this year, I get an e-mail announcing that my baby is a 2017 RONE finalist. What is the RONE award, you ask? Well…

Each year InD’tale Magazine honors the very best books in the Indie and Small publishing industry by awarding the prestigious RONE award.  To achieve this award, a book  must go through the most comprehensive process in the industry today, with three distinct areas of focus. (http://www.indtale.com/rone-press-packet)

This process involves a public vote for books that have gotten at least four star reviews from the magazine’s professional reviewers. But… books that are rated with five stars get to skip the public voting round and go straight to the judging round. The Fourth Piece got to skip a grade! :D.

The judging round goes like this: The finalists will then be read by a group of industry professionals consisting of editors, writers, professors etc. and be judged on a one to five scale from a specific list of requirements such as characterization, overall arc, editing etc.   Those scores will then be tallied by a professional company unrelated to InD’tale or its employees to determine the winner of the coveted RONE award, along with the honorable mentions.

gala-graphic-webAnd this is my favorite part here: All awards are announced at the annual RONE award gala event and ceremony and given the beautiful Crystal RONE award. This is a formal but extremely fun and entertaining night for all, one that truly honors all Indie and Small published authors, readers and professionals!

So, because I live four and a half hours from where the gala will be held, guess who’s going? Oh yes! And there is a book convention going on around it where there will be cosplay day, and I will be cosplaying one of my characters. Plus, I’ll have half an author signing table and will be signing and selling books there. Also, because it’s close to Universal Studios, guess who might be popping over to Harry Potter World for a butter beer and a peppermint cupcake? You guessed it! Evening gowns, costuming, and Harry Potter? Hecka yeah!

So, here’s hoping The Fourth Piece wins it’s category (YA Paranormal) and I get one of those sweet awards 😀 😀 :D, but even if it doesn’t, I’m happy just to participate! Now, I just need to lose half a person, so I can squeeze into an evening gown. I can do it… (eyes exercise machine in front of the TV while eating half a pint of ice cream–hey it’s light ice cream!)

Well, that’s what’s going on with me! I hope everyone else is doing well. Take care!