Monday, February 28, 2011

Change is in the wind.....

I've been going back and forth as to whether I should write this post or not, then I decided...what the hell?! Someone may actually benefit from it!

For over a year I had pursued the road to traditional publishing; you know, find an agent, shop the editors, sign with a publishing house. Just like every other author before me, I had dreams of signing with a big NY house, and someday watching a movie based on my NYT best-selling book. But, something changed for me. I started researching the publishing world to the point of giving myself a headache, day in and day out. What I found was a little disheartening.

The chances of landing a publishing deal are very small, even for the best authors, which I don't proclaim to be. Then, if you land a deal, you wait for up to two years to see your book in print. After your book has been published and is sitting on the shelves of a bookstore, there's absolutely no guarantee it'll get picked up by anyone.

When you've been published, even if it's by Penguin, or Simon &Schuster, you are still responsible for marketing yourself. Of course, for some authors there is a chunk of money put aside for PR, but for the majority of us, it sits in our hands. Which, by the way, is fine with me. Besides, who loves and knows our work as much as we do?!

So, after thinking about all of this I started researching self-publishing. I've come across countless articles focusing on the pros and cons of this new trend. But I've found more in favor of this phenomenon than against.

I've never been one to seek fame and fortune, in fact, I have no desire to be famous. I like my privacy, thank you very much. However, I do want my work read. I don't find myself needing to make millions a year, just enough to keep food on the table, and a roof over our heads. I had endless conversations with some published friends of mine, all of whom went through the traditional route of publishing before switching the 'other side'. The moral of this story is I've decided to self-publish.

Now before you get excited, my paperback won't be available on shelves anytime in the near future, though it will be available in ebook as soon as this week. I'm going to post a few figures I found in an ebook I purchased last night. Hopefully, Mr. Konrath won't take any offense to my using an excerpt from his book Newbies Guide to Publishing.

I tried to copy and paste a specific chapter of Mr. JA Konrath's book, but it wouldn't let me, so let me break it down for you:

In 2009 Mr. Konrath $2008 in pocket from his ebooks sold through a publisher. That's in six months and four books worth.

While I'm not sure if these totals are in the same year, they are the same books and also a six month total. The money Mr. Konrath made after self-publishing was $6860. That's a huge jump!

But, CL, it's not all about the money! Okay, so why do you write? Are you writing just for the creative aspect? I personally don't sweat blood every day just to look at the pretty words sprawled across the monitor. I want to make a living doing something I love. And to make a I have to get paid!

So, as of today, February 28, 2011, my novel A Repeating Life can be found and purchased on Smashwords. Sometime this week, it'll be available through Kindle, Amazon, etc, etc, etc. And unlike publishing through a big house which would force to me to price my ebooks at $6+ I can price my book at whatever I want...and I've chosen $0.99. Yep, you read that right, you can read my novel for under one dollar.

I'm still learning about the world of self-publishing, but thanks to wonderful people like my good friend Norma Beishir, and Ruth Ann Nordin (both of whom have books through Amazon), I'm one step further than I was last week!

Through the next few weeks I will be adding blogs, posts, links, and such on the world of self-pubbing for those of you who wish to learn more. For now, head over to and learn more. There are some brilliant authors on that page who know WAY more than I do!

Until next time, happy writing!!!!

Sample and purchase my novel, A Repeating Life, here:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Obsessed with my characters lately!

I've already posted two prior blogs about characters, and character building, but I got to thinking...where do they come from?

I've heard so many authors discuss this topic. Several are like myself; they let the characters tell about themselves. Well, now that sounds pretty skitzophrenic when you think about it. After all, how does an imaginary being (I say being because they're not always human) tell about themselves?

This is how it works for me.

I sit down with an idea. As Florence Fois says, an idea that pops in my head from...wherever. Sometimes I see a person and think of a what if?. Other times it may be from a dream. Either way, as Fois says, it's an idea that must be loved and cultivated.

Great, now I've got this idea for purple people eater from the city of Christy. Now what? Well, obviously, the story needs characters, not just the problem and city.

So, I start writing. At this point, I've yet to plot. I do it backwards most of the time.

The first page will usually be trashed eventually, but it gets my brain moving as to what I want to happen, and who I want it to happen to. Okay, so a strong willed, kick ass, moon eyed female will be the heroine. Great. But what about the hero? Will there be one in this story? Of course...what can I say, I'm a sucker for romance. Or maybe it's just really great sex scenes.

So, my male character turns out to be a medium height man, lean but muscular, with a bicycle mustache. How do I know this? Because when I'm writing I can picture the people.

I will literally close my eyes and see the scene play out in my head as I begin typing. The people I see in my head become my major players. When I first started twenty something years ago with just short stories, all the females resembled me, and all the males resembled a boy from New Kids on the Block. What can I say? My world hadn't quite evolved at that point in my life.

My current book started a little differently. My heroine was inspired by one of my close friends, Sharon. She's a tall, beautiful woman with long, curly red hair, and blue eyes. Now, my character is actually tiny - she's barely five foot two - but you get the gist.

Each and every single writer comes up with their characters in both a similar, yet different manor. I usually know starting the book approximately what kind of personality I want my key players to have. But, sometimes they surprise me and do something I'd never think them capable. My current heroine actually had a little meltdown recently. Being as she's hardcore and deadly with knives and swords, it kind shocked me. Guess even my characters are as flawed as myself.

Wow, that seemed a little rambling, but you get the point. Anyone want to tell us how you start with your characters? Or maybe you can explain better how the characters "tell" us about themselves.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

For the love of my characters....

Going to bed last night I was bombarded with images of my various characters. Which, of course, got me thinking about the whole character building aspect of writing.

I've heard of writers basing their stories around characters, while others base them on the plot. Others will base their stories on a specific 'what-if', while others will base them on a very specific scene. I tend to combine it all.

I usually know approximately what I want to happen, whether in the middle, beginning or end. Then, I close my eyes and picture the scene, and whoever plays it out becomes my characters. Sometimes, they 'tell' me their names, while other times I have to conjure up a name, even if temporarily, to fit the need at the time.

In Repeated Life I couldn't come up with suitable names, so I just inserted generic names for the time being. By the end of the story, though, I knew exactly what their names would be. Well, great, but what about the characters themselves...not just their names? Good question.

When I'm writing a book, just like with the scenery, I close my eyes and see who pops in there. With Repeated Life, the heroine is a petite, but not short, dark haired woman, with brown eyes and lots of flaws. She's insecure, neurotic (in a good way), indecisive, emotional, and can't seem to make up her mind. The male, well, let's just say Kevin Durand. When I picture the hero in Repeated Life I picture a tall, muscular, masculine, grey eyed man. Kevin Duran continuously pops in my head when reading the scenes. In my newest book, yet to be named, a tiny, thin woman with long curly hair and blue eyes popped in my head. She's flawed, yet gifted beyond belief. Hey, how many people can feel and see people's energies and auras?! The hero, Jason, is a six foot tall Choctaw Indian man who has a secret...he's a Skinwalker.

So, there's my little blurb on my characters. How do you build yours? Do you have a pattern or a formula? Or do you, like myself, let them tell you about themselves?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ah, the month for lovers...

Or at least for the merchandisers and sellers of all things Valentine's Day. We don't celebrate V-Day in our house. When I say 'we' I mean my husband and myself. I still buy hearts and such for the kids, but our wedding anniversary is six days later, and I find that much more romantic.

'Well, if you don't want to celebrate Valentine's Day, then why did you get married so close to it?' You ask. It wasn't exactly planned like that. We were in love, he took a day off, and we ran off to the Courthouse. Some may find that not-so-romantic, but I loved it. There was no stress leading up to the day, no huge budget set aside, no fights amongst the in-laws, and no overly drunk guests. Just me, Mike, my mom, siblings, and his best friend. Perfect! The only people missing were my kids, and they were in school.

This year there are so many options for lovers to celebrate. There's the usual dinner and a movie, of course, but today I heard a twist. Dinner and a movie at the same time! This weekend through Monday you can go to The Galaxy, dish out $70 and you and your honey get dinner, movie, and endless popcorn and soda. Another of my favorites is the White Castle Valentine Dinner. Yep, you read that right. You can actually make reservations at White Castle and they will come to your table to take your order while you gaze across the table at your loved one lit up by candlelight. This has become quite a trendy thing through the years. Now, I've yet to go for the dinner, but, hey, when your husband is in a band, you tend to eat a lot Whities at 3am.

So, this year, I does the rest of America celebrate the love holiday? Are you traditional with roses and chocolates? Do you go a little risque and put on a strip tease for your honey? Or, like us, do you just skip the holiday all together?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

It's Been a While...

Sorry for the absence, y'all. Don't worry, I was thinking about you...well, kind of. I knew my absence wouldn't exactly interrupt anyone's day or cause anyone to lose any sleep, but I did miss the comments and replies from my lovely friends and fans.

Now for the updates and news...You can now go to my website at to pre-order your copy of Repeated Life or send an email to and leave your contact information. Remember, the more people pre-order, the faster the book will be published. So, the book's fate lies in your hands....dun dun dun. Yes, that was the ominous suspense music playing after that last comment.

Okay, so the fate doesn't totally lie in your hands, but it's cool to think your pre-order could make a difference in the swiftness of publisher approval. That part isn't a load of manure.

Next topic...I've been researching lately on marketing ideas. My agent suggested a book to me today by John Kremer called 1001 Ways to Market Your Books. He's also published a book (which I think I own) called Publicize Your Book. I haven't finished the latter, so I'll let you know what I think when I'm finished with it. I posted a previous blog about the typical avenues of marketing such as the social networks Facebook, MySpace, LinkdIn, and Twitter. I'm on all of these sites, so if you haven't befriended me yet, head over and do it now!

So, that's all I have for today. I've got to get back to writing and researching...two of my favorite AND least favorite things to do. Hey, writing and researching are the most enjoyable things in the world to do (next to certain intimate things, of course) until you run into the proverbial concrete wall.