Sunday, October 20, 2013

Five Clues to Letting Everyone Know You've Started a First Draft

            I no longer have to announce to my family that I’m starting a new draft for a novel. They recognize the signs before I even have time to boot up the computer. So if any of you are planning to start a writing project, you may want to check this out and avoid the pitfalls that I make.

1)      Feeding the Pets – I simply forget. It’s a good thing our cats meow ceaselessly and our dog stands in front of the refrigerator whining and pawing at it. My husband knows immediately that I am sequestered in the small office/guest room immersed in some sort of saga and that I won’t remember to feed them until late at night or the next morning. (OK, so maybe the next morning thing only happened once, but believe me, our pets have plenty of extra cushioning to withstand 12 food-less hours. Luckily, my husband is never too far from the kitchen so that won’t happen again. 

2)      Doing the wash – When the sock drawers are completely empty and one of us has to drive to Walmart because there’s no time to do the wash, it means I’ve been developing a plot line and can’t think of anything else. 

3)      Return of the “Lean Cuisine” Meals – When the refrigerator is fully stocked with “Lean Cuisine” meals, it means I’ve completely blocked out anything but my book. For a while it was just weeks of microwaved eggs but even the dog refused to eat them. Now, whenever my husband sees anything that remotely resembles a TV dinner, he has a full blown panic attack.

4)      The mail stack – When our stack of mail needs three paperweights to hold it down, it means I’m too busy creating believable characters. But don’t worry. My husband made sure most of our essentials are on automatic bill pay so we won’t be forced out of our house or left in the dark because of a neglected bill. Utility companies have no sense of humor. 

5)     DVR Overload – I originally thought it was a brilliant idea to get a DVR and record programs that I couldn’t watch because I was too busy writing. Guess what? They get deleted anyway. I’ve come to the realization that I will never have enough time to catch up on back episodes of “Revenge” and “Betrayal.”  Someone will have to commit screen time adultery and murder without my immediate knowledge.

Remember, the first draft will take your breath away. The revisions will give you migraines but the end result will be worth everything, even if your cats ignore you and the dog decides to pee on your desk!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Keep Me Out of the Discounted Book Bin!

Finally! After five years of sweat, diligence, and persistence, I finally got to see one of my YA novels make it to the shelves of Barnes & Noble! It was as if I had won the Academy Awards, the Noble Peace Prize and the Lottery all at once! And my publisher is working like crazy to get my other books there as well. For two solid days I walked around with a grin plastered on my face. Yep, two days of sheer ecstasy. And then, the reality kicked in. What if they don’t sell, then what?

I fell from the top of Mt. Olympus into a heap on the ground when it dawned on me that if my books don’t succeed in that coveted realm, I’d be doomed. OK, maybe not doomed, but challenged. I had nightmares that my titles were thrown into the bargain book bins along with last year’s calendars and some cookbooks left over from whatever craze went out of style.

I panicked. Something I can do quite well – panic first and work backwards from there! I posted a boosted ad on Facebook. I called relatives that I hadn’t spoken to since the Carter administration. I even pleaded with my husband to put on a disguise and buy a few books from our local Barnes and Noble. (That did not go over well). 

“Have you totally lost your mind? You want me to put on a disguise to go buy your book? The last guy who wore a disguise in one of those stores got arrested. They thought he was about to rob the place!”

The good news is that I have a terrific publisher and a solid marketing plan. Still…I need everyone’s help. So if you’re in the market to be devoured by suspense and you happen to be in a Barnes & Noble store, please look for Light Riders and the Missouri Mud Murder while it’s still on a shelf. And please spread the word! I really don't want to beg my husband to put on last year's Halloween costume...

Feel free to post and tweet about this! I might be able to get some sleep after all!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Photo Blog for Sedona Book Festival October 2013

Fabulous fall day in Sedona at the 2013 Book Festival. Left the warm Phoenix valley in the pre-dawn hours with author/artist Beth Cornell ( Arizona Energy Wellness ) and arrived to 47 degrees in Sedona! Even with jeans, socks, and a heavy sweater, I was freezing! Thought it might actually snow. The truth is, I've become a regular desert rat, so now it's the triple digits that feel comfortable for me.

The Arizona Authors Association provided us with booth space for the morning show. Great breakfast munchies, too! ( And all organic, I might add ). Terrific authors, an amazing venue and lots of energy at this show. Enjoy the pics! I'm too tired to write a real blog. Back next week, I promise!