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Archive for February, 2012

I’m Soooo Sick :(

This is going to be short and sweet. For the past few days, I’ve been really sick, coughing until my throat and chest feel raw, sneezing, etc. I went home early from work yesterday. I’m here today, but I’ll probably go home early again. I probably should go to the doctor, but where I go is first come, first served, and I don’t feel like waiting. Nor do I want to pick up yet another bug from all the sick people there. So I’m hoping I can shake this thing without a prescription. I rarely get sick like this. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Anyway, that’s why I haven’t been around the blogs. I just don’t think my brain can think up any good comments right now. So, there’s been no writing either. Just going home and lying down.

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The two topics in the title kind of go together because Birthdaypalooza was a big help for ROW80.

I spent many hours with two fabulous authors on Friday and Saturday. Susan and Kait take their writing very seriously and are very professional in their approach. Not to mention they are two of the most fun people to hang out with. We stayed up until 2 Friday night and we didn’t even realize it was that late. That’s how much fun we had just talking. And almost all our conversations revolved around writing, even the zombie/hot Irish guys stuff. (See Kait’s post.) I think all three of us got new ideas and got fired up again about writing. I can’t tell you how much I LEARNED from this trip. And I’m thinking that just maybe Kait and Susan have converted me to a plotter. I’ve been a pantser all along, but I realized that if I wrote an outline, it didn’t have to be written in blood. I can still change stuff! I can CHANGE STUFF. Anyway, this was a fun and inspiring weekend. I already miss Susan and Kait. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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Today is a very exciting day. Why? Because Susan Bischoff is coming to my house, and then she and I are going to Birmingham to meet Kait Nolan. We’re staying there one night, and we’re going to have a great little writers retreat. We always have so much fun when we get together.

Have any of the rest of you gotten to meet your author friends? Tell me about it!

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I’m sitting here scratching my head and wondering why some books sell and some don’t. I don’t mean all books, I just mean mine. LOL Why do the same two books sell the best all the time?

Guardian Vampire took off in January and February of 2011 and made me a lot of money in those two months. I never figured out why that particular one sold like that. And now, over a year later, it’s still running neck and neck with Haunted Lake in sales. Haunted Lake is selling a little better right now, but GV is still doing well. If it weren’t for those two books, I wouldn’t be making much money. Haunted Lake actually took about 7 months from the publishing date to really start selling well. I don’t know why. It’s averaging 4 1/2 stars on Amazon, so that’s encouraging.

The reason I did the Libby Fox series in the first place is because my readers asked for a series. They really wanted a sequel to Guardian Vampire, but there just WASN’T a sequel in my heart and mind. So I did this other vampire series. There’s even a werewolf in the second and third book. And honestly…I think the Libby Fox books are better than Guardian Vampire. Much better, in my opinion. The covers are definitely better. Was it the title that sparked interest? (Thank you Susan.) Are the Libby Fox titles all wrong? The readers wanted a series. I gave them one. But they aren’t selling like I want them to. Is it going to be a delayed reaction like Haunted Lake was? I released the three novellas in June, August, and December of 2011. Should I be patient? I know the key to continue selling is to keep writing and publishing. But I’m still getting better sales on my older stuff.

So now I’m wondering about my garden gnome supernatural horror story. I haven’t a clue in the world how it will do. It’s out of my genre, but not too far out. There’s a romance in it, that’s just not the main focus of the story. Will readers think it really sucks? Or will they like this book that’s different from my others? My first beta reader likes it, even though she’s only seen the first draft. I’m anxious to see what my other betas think after I get the edits done. The thing is, even though I wonder about these things, I’m not AFRAID to publish this story. Because what will be will be. I’ll never know until I publish it.

So here’s an interesting question. Should I write a sequel to Haunted Lake or Guardian Vampire? Should I force myself to revisit those characters just to try to boost sales? Or should I follow my heart and mind and write what I feel? Actually, I’m not so sure I would mind revisiting Haunted Lake. Because the guy that DIDN’T get the girl might just have his own story to tell. The possibilities are endless, aren’t they?

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A little writing progress. I sat down last night and added some things to my story so the ending would make more sense. I explained something that was just mentioned in passing about one of the characters. I added the simple stuff right into my manuscript, but the more complicated stuff I wrote in a separate word document. I’m not sure exactly where I want to place in in the manuscript, so it was easier to do it this way until I figure it out. I also need to expand on the final “witch fight” scene. I rushed it a little just to get it done, but I know it needs more. Anya agrees. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m still trying to decide if I want to buy Scrivener. I guess I should download the free trial and see.

I’m really looking forward to this weekend with Susan Bischoff and Kait Nolan. Much fun will be had.

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My friend, Anya, tells me she never reads a book more than once. When she’s read it, she’s done. That got me thinking about what books I’ve felt like were so good that I’ve read them more than once. Here’s my short list:

IT by Stephen King
The Touch by F. Paul Wilson
The Doomsday Conspiracy by Sidney Sheldon
A Gift of Violets by Janette Radcliffe

I’ve read several books twice, but the list above is comprised of books I’ve read at least 4 or 5 times. The oddest thing about those four books is they are all different genres. IT is horror. The Touch is, I guess, a supernatural thriller. The Doomsday Conspiracy is SciFi/Adventure. A Gift of Violets is a historical romance. See, I’ve said many times that I’m an eclectic reader. ๐Ÿ™‚

What books have you read more than once? I would love to know!

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There’s not a whole lot going on with the writing. I’m 2/3 through proofing the novella collection for print. I’ve put my garden gnome horror story (still no title) aside for just a little while so I can look at it with fresh eyes before starting major edits. The Christian romance is going okay. Exercise isn’t going as well, but I’m trying to plod on with that. I’m way too sporadic with it.

Also, I want to thank all of you who responded so kindly to my silliness a few days ago. I should not have gotten my feelings hurt about that whole Valentine’s giveaway thing. However, that silly post actually got good results, although that really wasn’t my intention, LOL. Several people, some ROW80ers and some not, not only responded but also tweeted and blogged about my giveaway. Soon, I had a bunch of people requesting my free books. I want to say a special thanks to Ruth Ann Nordin, C. M. Hubbard, and Stephannie Beman for going that EXTRA mile to get the word out about my contest. I also want to thank my lovely cover artist Anya Kelleye for posting my giveaway on Jimmy Thomas’ wall on Facebook, since he’s the cover model on all the Libby Fox novellas. ๐Ÿ™‚ All of you that tweeted or blogged about my giveaway, I’m SO grateful to all of you! And there will be more giveaways in the future! ๐Ÿ™‚

I wanted to mention another benefit I got from all the blog love. I found some other books to read! Some of the commenters either wrote books I want to read or mentioned books they like on their blog. I’ll say more about that in a post sometime later.

I hope the rest of you had a great week!

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Most of us, when we’re writing a story, have at least a vague idea about what our characters look like. Some writers have a particular look in mind and make up someone completely from scratch. But many of us see certain actors in our minds when we think of our characters. It’s hard for me not to do that. So I thought I would let you see what I saw when I wrote some of my books.

I’ll start with Guardian Vampire since that one is still my best seller. I honestly didn’t see an actor in my mind for this one until I started watching The Vampire Diaries. When I saw Ian Sommerhalder, I knew this was my Logan. And I imagined Hilary Duff as Kendall.

Ian Sommerhalder

Ian Sommerhalder

Hilary Duff

Hilary Duff

One problem I’m having with Ian is that I also want him to be Ethan in Club Blood. LOL

There was never any doubt as to who I wanted to be Patrick in A Rocky Path. Hans Matheson was the one from the very beginning.

Hans

Hans Matheson

I think the hardest character to cast is John in Haunted Lake. I think he may be my favorite character. So much happened in his past and he’s scarred both physically and emotionally. I can’t make a connection between him and any actor yet. Those of you who might have read Haunted Lake, what do you think? I do have some ideas for Daniel, though. These two:

Archie Kao

Archie Kao

Tim Kang

Tim Kang

And Adam from my Libby Fox Series. It has to be Alex O’Loughlin!

Alex

Alex O'Loughlin

Who do your characters look like? Or do you make up everything about them? I would love to hear who you see when you write!

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Okay, I’ve been acting like a big baby over this. And it’s so totally out of my character, I can’t figure out what’s wrong with me. I’m a very easy going person who lets most things kind of roll off my back, and I rarely let things get me down. I’ve had some hard days at work, so that might have added to my angst, but it’s no excuse for feeling the way I have been.

You see, I didn’t check in yesterday for ROW80 because I was hurt and discouraged. Why? Because my last post was about a Valentine’s giveaway (it runs through Saturday) for three free books, my Libby Fox series…and NO ONE requested the books. NO ONE. I had two authors drop by and say hi, but they didn’t ask for the books either. I do appreciate their comments, though. And I do realize that a lot of the people who follow my blog already have my books. I found that out when I did my birthday giveaway. But I would have thought at least one or two people would ask for the books. I noticed that there were a couple of other people giving away books and weren’t having much luck either, so maybe I’m not alone. But when I see a free book giveaway, especially when all you have to do is comment, I usually jump on that. I’m actually SELLING the books, so I guess I shouldn’t be hurt over no one wanting them for free, but it just hit me the wrong way, I guess.

Anyway, it was silly for me to get so upset over this. Really silly. And I’m sorry for that. I don’t know why I felt like I needed to even post about this; I guess I just needed the outlet. And it’s MY blog, after all. LOL. So I hope to get back on track and do a ROW80 post on Sunday. I’ll surely be back to my old happy, optimistic self by then. I guess we all have bad times every once in awhile. I was due one. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

Today, and for the rest of the week, I’m giving away all three novellas in the Libby Fox series to everyone who comments. This will go through Saturday, Feb. 18, at midnight, Eastern Standard Time. All you have to do is comment and ask for the books, and I’ll send you a coupon code for all three on Smashwords. If you would like to tell me, I would also like to know your favorite Valentine candy, and I would love to hear any good Valentine’s Day stories you want to share. PLEASE be sure to leave your email address so I can send you your coupon codes!

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