Friday, December 30, 2011

What I hope for in the New Year

Closeness. Peace. A decent haircut.

I'm thinking about doing a "Julie & Julia" type blog where I date my way through three major dating search engines.  (should I? shouldn't I?)

I'm hoping I can keep my fingernails in better shape.

Oh and loose ten pounds. Guess we have to put that in there.

But there's something about a new year that is full of hope. A clean slate. Starting again.

I hope that things continue to go well with my book sales. I'd love to be able to quit the "day job" and help out more with my elderly parents (who are doing great right now, but I want to be sure I'm ready in case I need to take care of them.)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Year's Book Giveaway Blog Hop

Welcome to the year of writing dangerously!
I'm pleased to be participating in the giveaway blog hop, which is hosted by "I Am a Reader, Not a Writer" blog and Bab's Book Bistro (don't you just love that name? A lot of alliteration. I love it. Say it three times fast)

Here's the 4-1-1 and tips on how you can WIN free stuff.
First, everyone who leaves a comment on this blog will get a coupon code for a FREE electronic copy of my latest novel, "Ten Thousand New Year's Eves" (what better for the new year?) You can read a bit more about it--including a sample chapter--- here.

Second, all of those who leave a comment will be entered into a drawing to win a FREE hardcover copy of "Traveling Light" by Max Lucado OR "Love" by Toni Morrison. (winner's choice). I am giving the winner a choice because, in the interest of full disclosure, "Traveling Light" is a religious book. I love Max Lucado (particularly his "Applause of Heaven") and while I make no apologies for my beliefs, I do NOT want anyone to think they were being "back-door evangelized," so if you'd prefer (or if you've already read the Lucado book) you can have a hardcover copy of "Love" by Toni Morrison. I think both authors write with an intense sense of imagery and emotion---so please feel free to pick the one you wish. (Though please be aware that the Morrison book is PG-13).

Not trying to offend anyone, just keeping it real.

PLUS if you've happened to land here on or before the 30th, you've got a special treat....right now my first novel, "Saint Jude," (which is about a young adult with bipolar disorder) is FREE on Amazon throughout December 30. It's a part of some promo thing I'm working on, so if you want to get a free copy for your Kindle, just click here and (hopefully) enjoy!

So in short:
1. Leave a comment to get a FREE e-copy of "Ten Thousand New Year's Eves"
2. When you leave a comment, please leave your e-mail addy OR, if you prefer to send it privately, you can send it to me at
3. All those who comment will be placed in a drawing to win a hardcover book: either "Traveling Light" by Max Lucado OR "Love" by Toni Morrison (winner's choice).
4. I will post a video of me drawing the name of the winner from a hat (I know it's hokey, but I love the theatrical) .
5. I will contact that winner via e-mail to get his/her snail mail addy and send the book of his/her choice.

Also, I do NOT send your e-mails, addresses, etc. to some kind of spam list, because 1) that is just not cool 2) I wouldn't know how to do that anyway and 3) that is totally rude. the sample chapter of my "Ten Thousand New Year's Eves" right here if you want to see if it's your cup of tea (I've had a blast writing it and I really do think you'll enjoy it). Hang around a bit. I'll talk about some of my favorite characters I created for the book, and I'll talk to you about HOW I came up with the characters.  So have some coffee. Have fun. Chill out. Follow my blog because I'm insecure and need validation...
But last, and CERTAINLY not least, PLEASE visit the other blogs on this list to get other chances to win cool free stuff.
And on behalf of writers everywhere---thank you. Writing can be a solitary profession, and it's great to connect with readers.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cool Maya Angelou Quote

I love this quote:

"Life is pure adventure,
and the sooner we realize that,
the quicker we will be able to treat
life as art."

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Cool Christmas Video

Merry Christmas to my friends, readers and followers---no matter your faith---know that at this time when I celebrate the birth of my Savior that I am thankful for you and the many, many blessings I have.

I have so much more than I even remotely deserve. We are loved far beyond our capacity to imagine.

I wanted to leave you with this.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Kindle and e-Publishing 4-1-1--plus writing tools

I finally did it.
So many people have asked me about the indie e-publishing movement and how to get on board and self publish their book that I’ve actually made a link to a short guide on my website.
So in celebration of the 99-cent indie book blowout (click icon to the right), I’ve posted a link to this quick guide.
You can find it here:
But before you go there, I highly suggest you review some of the great tips (new for some, a refresher for others) from my creative writing classes at this link:
One important caveate about self publishing on Kindle—and author JA Konrath said it best in this article from USA Today:

But before you quit your day job to become a best-selling e-book writer, Konrath points out that the vast number of books released in any form, print or e-book, don't sell. To become a successful writer, talent, hard work and self-promotion are important. But publishing remains, at heart, a lottery. "I've always had that caveat. You have to get lucky," he says

Link to the full article is: here

Though that may sound discouraging, it does hit on one note:
We write because we love to write. It’s fun. It’s cheaper than therapy. The bottom line is we continue to write, whether we become writer millionaires or not. There’s got to be a love for the process.
And why does it seem that so many books / discussions about writing deal with the publishing or e-publishing process and not the craft of writing? That’s like wanting to be an Olympic figure skater and obsess over what network will carry the Olympics instead of perfecting your figure skating.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

What is it like finishing a book?

Exciting. Frustrating. A relief. A terror.
Maybe a bit gassy.
Maybe all of the above.

I'm very excited about the release of my next book-- "Ten Thousand New Year's Eves"--(no relation to the movie that is also coming out about New Year's Eve---though (expletive) I have been working on this novel  for the past three years)

But what's it like to finish a book? Some writers have routines. They do something. They treat themselves.
Some get emotional and cry.
What do you do?
...for me I have kind of a state of shock. I feel like I've just gotten off a really bad carnival ride--one of those that thrashes you around. It's like a wave of relief followed what?  In many ways, after the final edit, the work continues. You have to put it out in the world. You wonder if anyone will like it. You wonder if it will play well with others, eat its vegetables, and wear its boots in the rain.
You treat it like a child.
And there's the contradiction. It's not a child. It's a thing, but it's a living breathing thing.
For me, I get the shakes. Kind of like the adrenaline dump that you get after being in a minor fender bender. I have a moment of surreal...what just happened?
It's like the dog who chased the car for three years finally caught it.
What did I catch?
You can read the first chapter for free at
The book is 99 cents through...well, New Year's Eve as a part of the Indie Book Collective Promo.

SHOULD I have a routine when I finish a book? Any suggestions? What do you do? Should it be a major deal, like the writer in "Misery" who ceremoniously has a cigarette and a bottle of expensive wine? Should it be something crazy like putting on a pink wig and doing karaoke night?
I don't know.
Maybe the ceremony for me is that there is no ceremony. Maybe because I feel through promotions that I will still be dealing with these characters.
But I'm open for suggestions....