Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Recap, Thanks, and Resolutions

It’s the end of another year.  So much has happened I can hardly believe that only twelve months have passed. 
The beginning of the year was slow but busy.  I was in school, working on my first novel, and working full time. In May I completed my first novel Immortal. I spent the next several months editing it and trying to find and agent. I honestly didn’t spend as much time and energy as most do on this process.
In September I decided to try my hand at self publishing. I mean what is one more thing to do when you already have a full plate. Modest sells greeted me in September and October as I figured out how to navigate through the cyber book world. Figuring out which forums were best to post in and how to post. Where authors hung out and traded information like cyber gold.
Then something crazy happened in November. I got off work and I sold about ten books in one day.  The next day I sold twenty. By the end of the month I sold a little over a thousand books between Amazon and Amazon UK. Kimberly Whalen and agent at Trident Media Group also contacted me about representation for my novel.  After the initial shock and disbelief I accepted her offer.

I cannot say thank you enough to both the readers and authors who have helped me along the way. The advice from the authors I have contacted online is invaluable. The fact that readers are purchasing and enjoying my novel is a dream come true. I again say thank you to all of you for your support.

As for my resolutions for the New Year they are pretty simple. My first is to complete at least two (I am shooting for three) novels this year.  Don’t worry my first book to complete is Forever and I am about halfway through it now.  It will be the second book of the trilogy. I am also working on a as yet untitled second series.
I am hopeful that the New Year will be as wonderful and unbelievable as this one. So thanks again to everyone who has made this year what it was and next year what it will be.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Overcoming Discouragement

I try not to end up in this funk, but about once a week it creeps up behind me and sinks its teeth into me. I’m talking about self doubt. I know logically I shouldn’t feel this way. I’ve hit many milestones I thought completely unattainable in a matter of months. That doesn’t make it any easier or make it go away faster and logic doesn't mean anything to that tiny voice whipsering 'you suck.'

As writers and artist in general it can be hard to overcome the self doubt. The voice in the back of your head saying you’re not good enough. It can be even harder at times. Because as writers we put ourselves out there and by doing that we open ourselves up to criticism that few others can understand.
So to combat the depression and self doubt here are some suggestions from some other writers who suffer the same ailment.
So write. Even when you don't feel like it.
When I think something like I can't do this...I generally force myself to think something like "I can do this."
I would suggest trying to pinpoint the triggers and then neutralize them if possible.
And if that doesn't work, I find that glomming cookies often shuts that b*tch up.
Dare to defy that inner critic.
That's the cool thing about indie publishing - you can have the time of your life with it.  So do that.  You are the boss.  You get to write to please YOU.
To get the voice in the back of your head to shut up:  Realize it's your voice (unless your niece is standing behind you).  Now, tell yourself to stop it or there's going to be trouble.  I'm talking about BIG trouble.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Killing Off a Main Character

I’ve made the choice. I’ve written the scene. It fits. It feels right. I feel awful.
We all feel something for our main characters as we write them love, hate, annoyance. They grow in our heads from a mere idea until they take shape and have desires and wills of their own. Sometimes I feel like an overbearing mother telling them they are going to do what I say. They simply look at me, cross their arms, stamp their feet, and tell me no.
The problem comes when they start telling you that it is time to let them go. Sometimes you can talk them off the ledge and figure a way around it, but not this time at least not for me. I feel horrible about doing it and even worse given the circumstances surrounding the death.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Conflicting Information

“The characters are flat and lack personality.” “I loved the characters and can’t wait to see how they grow.” “The story is not original and goes nowhere.” “This book is a great read with a plot twist sent me for a spin.” “Way too many descriptions.” “I wish the author would have given more details.” Okay, I’m paraphrasing a little, but I hope you get the point.
I love getting reviews and emails about my novel (even the one and two star reviews). I’ll admit the lower reviews sting a little, but I realize everyone has different tastes and expectations that bring them to their conclusion. It is just funny how two people reading the same book can feel so differently about it. Even immensely popular novels have warring viewpoints.
As an author it can be a little confusing, or at least for me it can. It is impossible to please everyone when you write. I know that. When you sit down to write your next book though you can hear the warring voices in the back of your head, and at times it can be hard to turn them off. In the end though I guess we just need to write what we feel is best, and take the opinions from those we feel matter the most.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Life Gets in the Way

I love writing. Guess that is pretty obvious considering I have completed one novel, and I am hard at work on the second. Getting to write is much easier said than done. Writing creates a unique set of problems.
One, it is a singular and isolating event. It takes you out of your environment and off to some distant place or another life in your head.  In this way it is very similar to reading, though when reading you don’t have to worry about how that last word was spelled or if you used the right word (peaked and piqued both sound the same which one is the correct word again).
Second, trying to find the time to sit down and write is much harder than everyone thinks. Usually you start heading for your computer and then remember just as your fanny hits the chair that the laundry needs to be switched over, or you will have to leave in ten minutes on that errand you forgot about. So you stare at the screen wanting to write, but unable to do so.
Third, people don’t realize what it is you are doing. Kids, spouses, and friends don’t realize when you sit down at the computer you are not getting on to surf the web and play games. You are working. The fact that the device you are working on is used for relaxation for them and not for you is lost on them. They also see no problem with the constant interruptions that are flung at you. After all you’re in the middle of the living room.
There are many suggestions about how to combat these issues, but at least for me they don’t seem to work. I can’t lock my door and ignore the world outside of it. As far as the interruptions, I have a better chance of becoming an astronaut and flying to the moon than being able to write undisturbed for longer than five minutes. Still, I write and though life may get in the way I find it an enjoyable and wonderful way to spend those five minutes I get for myself.