Archive for September, 2011

Susan Bischoff wrote a very inspiring blog post today about a control journal. This concept is on this website FlyLady. Susan really made me think about what a slacker I’ve been in my eating habits, exercise, and house cleaning. And it has to stop. So I really have to thank Susan for her post. But I really don’t think I should thank her for causing me to spend $71 on the FlyLady website! LOL I went to the site after reading Susan’s blog and found some cool cleaning tools that I just had to have! I got the Rubba Package, plus a feather duster and a set of microfiber cleaning clothes. I had to check out in a hurry before I bought anything else!


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I published my first print book, A Rocky Path, with a vanity press. I paid about $450 for the privilege of publishing with them. At the time, ebooks weren’t an option, and I don’t think affordable places like CreateSpace were available. My biggest beef with this vanity press is that they charge $19.99 for my fairly short paperback novel. The only people who have ever bought one have been family and friends. Since the time I published with them, they bug me constantly, wanting me to pay for this or that, mostly marketing. But how do you market a $19.99 book by a fairly unknown author?

The advantage of using the vanity press was all I had to do was send them a word document and a picture that I wanted on the front cover, and they did the rest. The inside looks fine, but the cover wasn’t that great. I had my cover artist redo the cover for the ebook. When I published a book recently with CreateSpace, I had a great cover done by my cover artist and I did all the formatting myself. And it only cost me $39! And it wouldn’t have cost anything, but I wanted the expanded distribution.

Anyway, what got me really going on this today was that I got an email from them saying they would do a book trailer for me for ONLY $999. Yeah, right. And not long ago, they offered to pay half for shopping my book for a movie deal. My half was only $1500. How can I make these people leave me alone? I don’t answer my phone when they call, but they keep trying.

When I published with this vanity press, they assured me that I could remove the book at any time since I had all rights to it. But I wonder if that will be as easy as it sounds. I’m filled with a sense of dread every time I think of dealing with these people. I want to republish it eventually with CreateSpace after I have all of my other ones done. Has anyone else had any experience with taking down books from vanity presses, or are all of you so young that other options were available when you first published? 🙂

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My Round Three goals were:

1. Start and finish the second Libby Fox novella by writing at least 500 words per day.
2. Finish a short story to offer on Smashwords for free.
3. Proofread (again), format, and publish Haunted Lake in print.


1. I finished Secrets of the Wolf early by writing much more than 500 words per day. And published it.
2. Massive fail. I LOOKED at the story. But I realized I can’t write two stories at the same time.
3. I published Haunted Lake with CreateSpace in August.

I was mostly pleased with what I accomplished this round. The only thing I regret is how lazy I’ve been since finishing these projects. I know that there was no reason I HAD to do anything else until Round 4. but I should have been doing SOMETHING. Anyway, I can’t wait until Round 4 where I’ll be working on the third and final novella in the Libby Fox series. After that, I think I’m done with series! LOL

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Okay, I’ve been really, really lazy since I finished Round Three early. I should have been writing down notes for my next Libby Fox novella. I should have been proofing Starfane for the print version. I should have been…. You get the picture. I’ve been LAZY! But this weekend has inspired me to get to work.

I spent Saturday with some wonderful people. I arrived at the home of Susan Bischoff in time to eat some wonderful taco soup with her and Kait Nolan. We had tons of fun, talking a little shop, laughing at Twilight spoofs on YouTube, and just enjoying each other’s company. Later in the afternoon, Andrew Mocete and his lovely wife arrived. We all went out to dinner and had a really good time. The only bad thing about the restaurant is that it was too loud to talk to everyone at the table, since the football game was on and there were a lot of fans there. We got to watch Tennessee lose to Florida. 😦 My biggest regret was that I had other obligations on Sunday and couldn’t join everyone then. But I felt really lucky to be able to at least spend my Saturday with such awesome people. It has definitely kicked my butt a little and made me want to get back to writing!

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I just finished a book by Douglas Preston called “Impact”. I love both Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, and I especially love them when they write together. Their Agent Pendergast books are great. Another author friend, Andrew Mocete, shares my love for these authors. I thought “Impact” was an awesome book, and I especially enjoyed it as an audiobook because the reader was so awesome.

I don’t know what made me pop over to Amazon to look at the reviews. To my shock, there were more one star reviews on this book than anything else. Really? People were giving DOUGLAS PRESTON one star reviews? I think the book ended up with an average of three stars because there were almost as many five stars, and some other stars in between. My books range from an AVERAGE of 3 stars to 5 stars. As much as I feel like my writing is getting better, I am NOT as good as Douglas Preston. It’s true that he writes in a completely different genre, but still…. At this point, I think I’m just going to disregard bad reviews. I’ve been pretty good at doing that this year, anyway, but now those bad reviews seem even more ridiculous (some of them were pretty weird, LOL). Does that mean I’m going to disregard the good reviews? Absolutely not. Because if someone likes my book and goes to the trouble to write a good review, I’m going to respect them enough to appreciate that.

So what makes me absolutely love this book, full of adventure and suspense, and yet makes others dislike it so much? Who knows? Reading likes and dislikes are so subjective. So, in your journey as a writer, be prepared to get all kinds of reviews from all kinds of readers. Some will like your work; some will not. Just keep writing what you love. And for those of you who are readers…keep those good reviews coming! LOL

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My Son, the Writer?

This is a writing update of a very different kind. I’m such a proud mom right now. My son is a security officer at a plant that is under construction right now, so he has a lot of free time when he isn’t checking in visitors and workers. So he called me a few minutes ago and said, “I got really bored at work so I started writing. I’ve handwritten three pages so far, and my hand is really tired.” I said, “What genre?” He said, “Kind of horror and adventure. There are zombies.” I’m doing the happy dance in my mind right now.

How many of you have children who are writing?

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Just Ramblings….

I thought I would do a post so you guys wouldn’t forget about me since I didn’t check in on Sunday. I think that’s the first check in I’ve missed in Round Three.

1. My son, who is a guard at a large plant, just passed his permit to carry class with 100% in both the written test and the shooting test. Now he can be an ARMED guard. I’m so proud of my two boys…er…men. LOL

2. Because of a blog post written by Tiffany White, I got a strong urge to watch Twin Peaks. I bought the box set, which was on sale at Amazon, and I’m having a great time watching it!

3. I’m heading out on Saturday to see Susan, Kait, and Andrew. I always get so excited when I get to meet with fellow authors. This will be a great trip! There are so many of you I would love to meet, and I’m hoping someday I’ll be able to travel enough to do that.

4. My exercising and healthy eating plans are not going well. But I’m not giving up!

Okay, that’s enough for now. I don’t want to bore you. 🙂

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After finishing my writing project early and getting it published, I’m finding myself being very lazy during the break before round four. I should at least be taking some notes for the third novella in the trilogy. There are things going on in my head about it, but nothing on computer or paper. And I need to at least work on my eggshell ornaments or my jewelry for my Etsy shop. Oh, and the Apple Festival is coming up! I need more eggshell ornaments for that! I just reminded myself! LOL

On another note which has absolutely nothing to do with writing…. Has anyone seen the SciFi comedy, “Paul”? I shouldn’t have liked the movie. It was all corny and cheesy. I groaned when my husband brought it home. But I liked it! It didn’t matter to me if the “characters weren’t fleshed out” or the “plot was unbelievable”. I’m not even sure that was the case in this movie, but I’m sure someone will say it was. I was ENTERTAINED. And that’s how I’m different from a lot of writers. I don’t pick a movie apart. I don’t look at every little thing with criticism. If I enjoy a movie and it’s entertaining, I don’t care if it’s not perfect. Watching movies for me is about fun, whether it’s a comedy or an action movie. Or it’s about being scared if it’s a thriller or horror. I just want to get away from real life for awhile.

Has anyone else ever liked a movie that they really shouldn’t have liked? LOL

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I waited so long for this book. And now that I’ve read it, I’ve had a really hard time trying to figure out what to say in a review. When I first started reading it, I thought “Hmm, this is going to be as good as Hush Money”. Then I kept reading. As good as Hush Money was, Heroes ‘Til Curfew was so much better. Susan made me feel like I was right there with the characters, through all the action, the emotional scenes, and the suspense. This book was absolutely fantastic! I’m honestly having trouble expressing just how much I loved it without gushing. Gushing isn’t cool, is it? LOL. Anyway, if you haven’t gotten this book yet, you’re doing yourself a great disservice. Why would you deprive yourself of one of the best books of the year? Buy it! I promise, you will NOT be disappointed. This book totally rocks!

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I accomplished my goal of getting Secrets of the Wolf out by Labor Day weekend. Yay! Sales are slow, but I’ve found that the sales of all my releases start really slow and then slowly gain momentum. Haunted Lake was released in January, and sales were terrible for awhile. Then, in July and August, sales suddenly jumped. In August, it outsold my best seller, Guardian Vampire. (This pertains only to the U.S. In the UK, they still want mostly my vampire books.)

I paid a small fee to be included in the Indie Book Blowout. I’m very disappointed in my sales of Dark Relic: Vampires’ Curse, which was the book I put on the site. Sales jumped just a tad, but not enough to make up for my fee. However, I find that sometimes the sales don’t come right away, so I haven’t given up on it. This sale on the Blowout site might have helped sales for later. Sometimes it just has to build up momentum.

I’m still enjoying my anniversary weekend here in Helen, GA. For those who don’t know anything about this little town, it’s kind of a tourist attraction. The whole town is build in a Bavarian theme. I noticed even the local Wendy’s had a little alpine village type building. There are little shops where you can buy just about anything. I love the little clocks. I think we’ll get one for my mother-in-law for Christmas. If we buy one, I’ll post a pic. Most of the local restaurants feature German food. Yesterday, for lunch, I had a German sub on pretzel bread and a side of German potato salad. Yum!

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