Saturday, November 29, 2014

New Website! + Nine Lives Foundation

Lots of really great things are happening that I'm excited to update everyone on. First, is my new website. My blog exists on blogger as "If You Wish to be A Writer" - (as it has for the last five or so years). I had used Blogger as my primary author website for some time until I could gather the time and resources to build a proper website. Now if you click on you'll find yourself in my new author website! Yay! I am so very excited to launch this and I believe it does a better job providing information on me and my books.

The next awesome news is that I have decided to spread the gift of giving this season by donating a portion of the sales of Violet Storm to a worthy cause: Nine Lives Foundation, an amazing community-based non-profit in my neighborhood. Why Nine Lives Foundation? Well, it's no secret that I love animals. Back before finding Fitz (my suspected demon-possessed kitty), I knew I wanted to adopt a kitten from a shelter. Nine Lives Foundation was recommended to me by a friend because it was a no-kill shelter (they even care for older, unwanted cats with illnesses). They are determined to care for cats and kittens, and protect them from high-kill shelters and at-risk situations. Nine Lives Foundation does not receive any funding from any local, city, or state government agency or major corporation, and relies solely on private donations, adoption fees and funds generated through the clinic. All donations go directly to the cats and kittens in their facility.

Because I am so passionate about their mission, I am determined to support them. All the books sold between now and the end of December will qualify, and I will personally match the donation (thereby doubling the amount). Please help me in this endeavor and give the gift of reading this holiday season by getting Violet Storm for that special book-lover in your life.

Purchase options: 

Updates on the next book(s):
  • Snow Dolls Working super hard to get the first draft polished for my beta readers. I've had to extend the timeline of completion to early next year. The world of Illumera and the practice of  Purification is very complex and I want to make sure I've done the story and the characters justice! 
  • Crimson Earth - With the delay of Snow Dolls, I'm pushing out out the next Modi novel's completion to end of next year. I've begun plotting and mapping out scenes so there's definitely progress and work being done to get this lined up for next year. 

Feel free to share this banner to help spread the word!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Nook Press Print! Nook in the Print-on-Demand Space

I just got an email from Nook Press informing me about their new print-on-demand service called Nook Press Print. I was previously selling Violet Storm on their platform (Nook Press) before I decided to make it Amazon exclusive so I could partake is some of the cool KDP Select's features. 

Photo from GeekWire

According to Nook Press Print: "Users can pick from a variety of materials and formats, including hardcover and softcover books, in a number of different sizes. Authors can get their texts published in full color or black and white, and select different paper materials." 

Back when I was researching the best self-publishing platform to go with, I had seriously considered Lightning Source. Unfortunately, there was a setup fee, something around $300. Ouch! CreateSpace just seemed so much simpler. No setup fee. Easy upload. And it looked to be an all around user-friendly platform. 

If I could do it all over again, I would probably go with Lightning Source because their platform is more appealing to bookstores (mostly due to their return policy). And self-publishing more than one novel (which I intended to), the one-time setup fee would have become nominal in the long-run. 

Back to Nook Press Print: it appears that they won't be a division of B&N for much longer as they have plans for branching off into their own company. 

This announcement of Nook Press Print comes at an interesting time with it being NaNoWriMo!
Read more on GeekWire

What do you, my fellow authors, think about this?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

It's NaNoWriMo! Plus Updates on the Next Book!

It's November and that means many writers are competing in NaNoWriMo (short for National Novel Writing Month). I'm using this time as an opportunity to finish the first draft of Snow Dolls. I'll be honest here, there hasn't been many days with the kind of progress I' was hoping for. I'm at 78,000 words and the minimum goal I had in mind was closer to 85,000. I'm about two chapters away from writing The End. But it's grueling work. These are the chapters that matter...really, really matter, and I have to get them right. But that's where the problem lies. I keep thinking they're the most important chapters and I can't screw them up because the whole story will fall apart like ice turned to water, and as I sit there and try to finish the damn thing, all I end up doing is psyching myself out. Fingers frozen over the keyboard realizing that my heart is fluttering in my chest, and that eating ice cream would make me feel better, so I should go and do that, or better yet, just stop and catch up on all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls...

Snow Dolls has been two to three years in the making. Most of those years were spent building the world and the characters, and figuring out the plot. It meant a lot to me to finish Violet Storm, despite the fact that I did not believe in it as much as I did in Snow Dolls. Even so, it was important for me to finish. The hardest part about being a novelist is getting from one tough hurdle to the next, beginning with the idea, finishing the first draft, and then revising over and over again as you poke at every part, finding and fixing plot holes, character flaws, and of course sharpening the writing. There's structure and pacing to consider, character appeal and development, and good lord, does the story make sense? Is the ending right or will people want to scream and throw things at me? And how do I know everything works?

I try not to cry often. But seriously. They're more tears of joy.

Writing a full-length novel is a lot like trying to get to the end of a rainbow by wading through a river of tar. People do triathlons, compete in Iron Man's and Tough Mudder. Me, I write novels. Try that competition on for size.

But I couldn't do it alone. And I just want to say Thank You. Thank you SO MUCH for all the support with Violet Storm. From the amazing family and friends who are the book's biggest cheerleaders, to my fellow bloggers and friends, to the awesome Book Blog Tour, and editorial reviews, to the artists who helped me bring the story to life, it's been a tremendous journey.

And I can't wait to do it all over again. I hope to spend this month getting Snow Dolls ready to query to agents and then it's on to Crimson Earth, book two of the Modi Series!

Writer's Digest held their annual Self-Published Book Awards and the following is their rating for Violet Storm: (1-5 rating, 5 being great): 
- Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 4
- Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 5
- Production Quality and Cover Design: 5
- Plot and Story Appeal: 4
- Character Appeal and Development: 5
- Voice and Writing Style: 5

Not bad! I wish I'd placed, but I'm just happy they gave it such high marks. :)

If you've been waiting to get the book, you can get a copy on Kindle for $3.99. There's a few paperbacks left that I can personalize and ship. :) Just click here to check out that option

And Fitz says "Hi." Sort of.