Wine, Martinis, Men and Me…

The title of this post makes it sound so much more exciting than it is! (Titles are great like that…)

I know that I’ve fallen a bit into the over-promotion pit lately here on the blog. I just get really excited about cover reveals for some reason, and a lot of the other authors I know all seem to have books planned this fall! I love the supportive network that we share, and its impossible to say no when someone asks if you’ll help promote their next book. I’m always so ridiculously grateful when other authors are willing to talk to people about my work, so I really want to return the favor when I can. And so…all the cover reveals. I also have a thing for covers.

wine-bottle-bracelet

You probably know that I re-covered the first book in the Wine Country Romance series recently… and I’m planning a cover reveal of my own right now, for the second book in the series, Redemption Red. In FACT, if you’re a blogger and you might like to help with the cover reveal, you can sign up to do that here. Keep your eyes peeled for news of that cover reveal… because there’s a giveaway involved! Of course you can win a copy of the ebook, but you can also win

pinotsmallthis amazing bracelet made from recycled wine bottles and this 10 oz jar of Oregon Pinot Noir chocolate sauce (yum!!) just for entering!

REDEMPTION RED is slated to publish on October 15th! I’m getting jazzed about sharing it!

In other news, MEN & MARTINIS is coming out in time for Christmas from Swoon Romance, and I cannot wait for that one. It’s been a busy year!

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Always Waiting

So, as usual, I find myself waiting for some things to happen. And this is the clear difference between self publishing and working with a publisher — even an indie publisher. A lot of things are out of my control. That could actually be a good thing. I benefit from the wisdom of those who produce books for a living (rather than from my own experience of having read a hell of a lot about it and actually done it once). But as a person who has, on occasion, been described as a control freak, this is hard. I wait for edits to be requested, I wait for feedback on revisions. I wait for the day the cover is revealed to the world, I wait for the book to hit Goodreads so I can start actually promoting it (no, not yet.) And in the midst of feeling like something so important to me is so far out of my control, I realized something: It doesn’t help to worry about this.

Instead, it’s time to focus on the things that I CAN control. (Yeah, I’m forty, and I have learned this lesson HOW Many times??? Shut up.) And those things include: trying to be a nice person so my whole family doesn’t hate me. (when I’m stressed about things that are out of my control, I have a habit of being just the teensiest bit tough to live with. Ahem.); WRITING — it’s easy to get wrapped up in focusing on the thing that is almost done, instead of on the thing that I’m meant to do. And I’ve got lots of half-done and in-progress things to keep me busy.

I’ll be honest here, too… the contract aspect of publishing is stressful. There’s been a lot of back and forth on that, and we’re still agreeing and disagreeing on things, though it will work out fine. But until the thing is signed, I don’t know exactly what limits may or may not be placed on the other things I’m working on and where they might be able to go. But again – out of my control to some degree. I have to trust the agent to listen to my concerns and work with the publisher for the best deal.

And in the meantime, I feel like Through a Dusty Window is just kind of hanging out there… there’s a blog tour for that book coming up in a couple weeks, so it’s time to focus on that again for a while. So that’s what I’ll be up to this week. What are you doing?

“It’s all Happening”…

Name the movie!

One of my very favorites…

So things have been busy. I got the manuscript for Men and Martinis back from its developmental edit, and realized many things.

  1. When you really think something’s done…it’s probably not done.
  2. There are many schools of thought on narrative in fiction. This is another post, but I just finished un-narratizing my manuscript and then read “Something Blue” by Emily Giffins this weekend, and was flabbergasted. There are whole chapters that are narrative. Like no dialogue. And its a good book. I’m gonna guess that the amount of narrative “allowed” depends on the editor, the publisher, the genre and lots of other things like moon phase and what I had for dinner. Like all “rules” of writing and publishing, it’s a fuzzy one.
  3. Having someone else invest in your work is more rewarding than I could have imagined. Having several people from the publisher actually read the whole MS and insert comments throughout — not just “this is wrong” but things like, “this isn’t working but what if you did X Y and Z or had him say something like “yaddayadda” and then tied this to that scene back on page 40?” It is an amazing thing to feel like someone else read¬† your words and that they cared as much about them as you do. (If you’re working on a YA novel or romance, DEFINITELY consider pitching Month9Books or Swoon Romance. So impressive so far, and the author board they’ve set up for us rings with similar endorsements.)
  4. I have a lot of work to do.

And that last one is why I haven’t been “around” as much. I need to turn the MS around this weekend if possible to get things ready to begin promotion in April… eek!

So, with that in mind, go check out: http://www.girlfriendsofgotham.com — it’s not much yet (and that is not the official cover art). But the site will be SO fun when it’s done!

 

Momentum…

There are lots of things going on at the moment… I’ve been organizing a local chapter of the Maryland Writers’ Association, which will launch this month; I’m working on a series of novellas in the new adult genre for Swoon, which I’m very excited to announce shortly (this is not an announcement… this is a mention. You don’t know anything. Right? Right?); my YA romance novella, Samantha’s Solace, should be heading into revision before too long, and that will be exciting because there’ll be opinions to juggle, changes to be made, and COVER ART to reveal! (I can’t wait for that part!)

And with the idea of covers in mind, I wanted to share THIS… I think I’ve mentioned that I am moonlighting as an editor with Month9Books in my vast free time. (Sarcasm. Fits like an old pair of sweatpants. Ahhh.) Anyway, they’ve just released an awesome video announcing some of the great YA books coming out in 2013. Check it out!

Progress Captured

amaryllisI’ve mentioned before that I think waiting might be the hardest thing about writing — or more specifically publishing. As writers, we control a lot – we control the actual writing, of course. But once that’s done? It depends on your craft… But there is bound to be waiting involved.

You’ve polished a short story? Great! Check out duotrope, find a place to submit, and then… wait. Oh wow, look at that – an acceptance! For four months from now! Cool, more waiting!

Oh, what’s that? You’ve got an awesome novel manuscript? Fantastic. Why don’t you go ahead and query a few agents? And then, guess what? Yes, grab a cup of coffee. Start a new hobby. Because you’re going to be doing some waiting. How long, you ask? It depends. (That, it turns out, is always the answer to that question when we’re talking about the publishing industry as a whole.) I’ve had agents respond within hours. I’ve had agents never respond at all. I’ve had agents excitedly call to ask for a full manuscript and then never call again. You may notice that I do not, currently, have an agent. So yeah, I’m waiting.

Hey, a novella? That’s great! Why don’t you query a few of the digital publishers around these days that are focusing on shorter work? (There are a few — including imprints of the big 6. This is a growing area for writers… that’s another post). And then you can, oh yeah, you can wait. However, like all things in the internet realm, these guys tend to move a teensy bit faster. So you don’t wait as long, perhaps.

So anyway, since the acceptance of my novella by Swoon, I’ve been waiting on the blurb to hit the site, my author bio and photo to go up, and of course, the editing process to begin. It is supposed to pub in June, so that may not even roll until March. I’m just… yeah… waiting.

And since then, I’ve pitched a series to Swoon… and so until recently, I was – ding, ding, ding! You got it! – Waiting. And now my wait is over. They made an offer… and I have work to do!

I thought a publishing contract was the end all be all of my journey as a writer. But that isn’t the case at all. There’s serious thinking to be done, people to get in your corner to champion your work before and after it comes out… and there’s always more writing. And in today’s world, unless you’re John Grisham I’d guess, a publishing contract doesn’t mean that you can quit your day job. At least not right away. But maybe down the road… it’s a step in the right direction.

Anyway, with all this waiting I’ve been doing, I’ve needed something to feed my need for instant gratification. I recently posted a couple photos of my Christmas Amaryllis bulb and it’s startling progress here¬† and here … I’m now calling it a Valentine’s Amaryllis. And LOOK at it now!!

Taking the Leap

Today I published my short story collection: Through a Dusty Window: New York City Stories 1910-2001. The experience is terrifying. I should say that the experience was quite gratifying, but I am having all these feelings of potential regret, like — now that it’s out there, I’ll never be able to take it back. eek! Terrifying was sending the carefully phrased email to my friends and family and finally coming out of the closet on this whole writing thing. Not that those close to me were in the dark about it — that wasn’t the case. But putting yourself in front of everyone whose opinion you respect, stripping off all your figurative clothing and saying, “do you like me?” is not the easiest thing to do. I am, however, wise enough to know that if I don’t mention the book to anyone I know, the odds of anyone at all dropping by Amazon to buy it are pretty flippin’ slim.

So it’s out there. My first child, sitting up there all alone on the cold white reviewless page at Amazon under my adopted name. Currently it’s just a Kindle version, but I did create a paperback in Createspace, so that should pop up in the next day or two. Thanks in advance to anyone who heads on over there to buy a copy, and double thanks to anyone who takes the time to write a review. I’m kind of dumbfounded at the moment, but I’m sure I’ll have more nonsense to post on this over the coming days…