Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Three days 'til Christmas! I'm very excited! And I'll be even more excited after Friday, because after Friday I'll be off work until the 3rd of January.

Sooo.... I'll be in Georgia at my mother-in-law's for the first half of Christmas day, then will be returning to Tallahassee to see my family, and will finish the night by seeing Sherlock Holmes. Monday and Tuesday I'll be helping my sister move, and the rest of the week I'll be doing research for Noir (I always do most of my research and fact-checking after the first draft). I may even mess around with the middle grade fantasy I'm planning, which I just plotted out the other day.

What are your plans for the holidays? Do you get extra time off? Any writing goals?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Help Me Give Away My Money

That's right! It's time to get in the holiday spirit and spend some cash. My cash, that is.

I'm doing my second annual Heifer International blog fundraiser!! I've been giving to Heifer, an international world hunger organization, for many years now. But last year I saw that the illustrious Nate Bransford was a Heifer fan too, and was hosting a fundraiser on his blog! It was very exciting to tie two of my passions together for the holiday season. I'm not sure when Nate is doing his this year, because there's some kind of script running on his blog that freezes up my computer. But, if you want to check out last year's post, click here. You can read more about Heifer, and see Nate's comment on my blog! My own celebrity visitor...

Anywho, this is the deal: I'll donate $2 for every comment, up to $100. I'd love to do more, but it ain't happening now that my massive student loans are being repaid. Of course, you can make your very own tax deductible contribution to Heifer by going here. And you can tweet and give a shout-out in the blogosphere to spread the word, whether people stop here and rack up my comment bill, or just head to Heifer and help needy families around the world.

I'll keep the comments open until December 30th!!

In other news, here is a picture of Mr. Fox when he's not demolishing the Christmas tree:

Isn't he so cute? I'll chip in the first $2 on behalf of Mr. Fox's cuteness. Comment away! Comment twice if you feel like it! And have an awesome weekend :)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

My Procrastination = Your Abundance of Awesome Linkage

So, I've had this Yahoo email account since I was 15 or so, and over the years it began to get completely inundated with spam because I'd sign up for various daily emails which over time became an overwhelming amount of mail. When I became serious about my writing a couple years ago, I created my Gmail account, which also is linked to my smart phone, and I've slowly begun using that for everything. My Yahoo account has since imploded due to my complete and utter neglect of it - just logged on and there are 5,019 emails. Not including the ones that get caught in the spam filter. Yeah.

Anyways, I am therefore very selective now with the daily emails I subscribe to. But two that I love to get are Writer Unboxed and GTLA (Guide to Lit Agents). However, over the past few months even those two got a bit out of hand, and my pristine Gmail account was creeping up to 300 emails. So today I went through and read almost all of them, and tweeted links to all my fave articles. I thought I would provide the linkage here, all in one neat and tidy place for your perusal. Yes, I love you and you're welcome.

My tweets, in historical order and pretty colors:

I may have shared this before, but it's prob worth resharing if I have. Some good marketing stats at Writer Unboxed:

Here's another one: awesome video about writers and persistence by @yuvizalkow Diagram of common editing symbols, plus some humorous ones. And lots of links to articles on revision.

I've always thought trying to get an agent is like dating. Apparently that metaphor is fitting even after finding one:

A great article on different outline methods: Even some choices for pantsers!
Query advice written as haiku! Gotta love it!
LOL! Drunken pitch practice
So this is about marketing e-books, but has good stuff for marketing in general:
Really thought-provoking stuff about character motivation and depth and climax (the book kind of course)
Some basics on the financials of book sales
A wildly successful traditional pub turned indie star author interview
Okay, tweets done. One more link though - there's a cool Christmas book bloghop/giveaway going on through the 22nd, called the 12 Days of Christmas Reading Gift List. Check it out here!

 Hope you enjoy the linkage, and have a great start to your week!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Urban Fantasy New Releases: December 2011

Hello, writer friends! I've been enjoying a fairly lazy week of no writing since I am taking a brief break after finishing the first draft of my WIP. So, here are some tantalizing new releases from my newsletter to entertain you! Click on the pics for Amazon links, and click here for my newsletter page. Any you're dying to read, in or out of the UF genre?













Sunday, December 4, 2011

Huzzah! First Draft of Noir Complete!

Four months, twenty days and 74,904 words later, I've finished the first draft of Noir! I finished my first book, Countless, before I began blogging, so I've never really had a writing group to share such fun news with. Yay for writing friends!

I was aiming for 80k words, so I know I'll be adding in subsequent drafts. But I've already realized where I need to flesh it out, so that won't be a problem. For now though, I'm going to let it rest for at least a month so I can get some distance before I start editing.

So, since Monday I usually post my meme, I'll say this: when I'm a famous author, I'll have a fabulous dinner party every time I finish a first draft. And everyone will be invited!

Happy beginning of the week! I hope it's an awesome one for you!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Guesting Over at J.R. Pearse Nelson's Blog!

Hi, writer friends! J.R. Pearse Nelson kindly invited me to do a guest post over at her blog! Pop over and check it out!

Hope your Thursday is going great!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Obsession, Owls and Ouch

I may have to rename my Monday Meme 'Random Mondays'... hehe. Did everyone have a great Thanksgiving? I hope so!

So, let's talk about obsession first. I hit my writing goal this weekend. Well, actually I think I said I wanted to write 10,000 words, but I really was firm on writing 3,000 words a day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, which I did. About 36 pages. I'm not disappointed. I'm sitting right under 70,000 words, so only 10,000 to my first draft goal. I don't think the first draft is going to hit the 80k, but I already know places I need to go back and flesh out, and I don't think I'm going to be cutting a lot, just tightening.

Anyways, so I entered the final climax of my book yesterday, which I hadn't fully plotted out yet, and I finally figured out exactly what's going to happen at the end. Yay! So, I have it all in my head, and I finished my writing for the day, and then I got in this weird obsessive house cleaning mood. It's weird because I hate cleaning. But I really cleaned. Like, on top of the refrigerator, moving all the kitchen appliances and cleaning under them. Yeah. I also threw away the toaster oven and trashcan. It was very strange.

I'll talk about ouch next so we can end on owls (a happy note). So, just a couple hours ago I got back a rejection on a request for the full manuscript of Countless, my first book. The agent said she was really intrigued by my idea and wanted to love the book, but just wasn't pulled in by my narrative and didn't feel it was ready for mainstream pub. Us writers are such sadistic little puppies I was actually glad to get honest, real feedback and not just a form rejection. Anyways, I've kind of had the same feeling about Countless. I think it's a good book. I just don't know that it's good enough to get an agent's attention. Of course, it's great that I'm just about done with my second book to distract me from the disappointment.

Getting to the Monday Meme, which is kind of random (like this whole post). So, I have this strange love of owls, which is fed by the many awesome owl things being sold everywhere these days. When I'm a famous author, I'll feed my owl merchandise fever by buying things like these:

**Photos removed since peeps have been getting sued for posting photos on blogs**

Of course, I may feed this owl fever before I'm a famous author :) But I'll feed it more when I have moula to spend on silly owl decor.

So, what about you, writer friends? Writing ups and downs? Any fave forest creatures? I hope everyone has a great week!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Happy Tofurkey Day!

Hello, writer friends! I am skipping Monday Meme today because when I'm a famous author, sometimes I'm going to be tired and be on a tight writing deadline and not have the brainpower to think of something clever. Don't you love how I tied that in?

Anyways, I'm signing off for the week so I can try to get another 10k words in by Sunday (since I have four days off work, yay!). And then I'll only have 10k left in the first draft of Noir!

I hope everyone has a lovely and delicious Thanksgiving, enjoying your real turkey or a veggie turkey like me. Please know that I am so thankful for each and every one of you, and it brightens my day every time you stop by to say hello!

Have a gorgeous week. Here is a magical little TG pic for you to enjoy, courtesy of Photobucket:

Friday, November 18, 2011

Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy Author Interview

Hi, lovely writer friends! Another installment from this month's issue of Raven Moon. I met J.R. here in the blogosphere, and she has a PNR novella out that's a really fun read (linkage below). Enjoy!

Author Interview
J.R. Pearse Nelson

What inspired you to become a writer?

I’ve always been a plotter. I have notebooks from childhood full of characters and plots, starting with a setting similar to Little House on the Prairie and developing into alien dystopias with sociological overtones. I fell in love with fantasy and romance over a lifetime of reading. The stories rattling around my brain range from space cowgirls to mythological fantasy, and I really want to try something post-apocalyptic. My writing tastes are as varied as my reading tastes.

Tell us about your path to publication.

I wrote my recently published novella, Tribute, in 2008. My first foray into paranormal romance resulted in a fun, full story…of fewer than 35,000 words. It wasn’t a good length for submission the traditional route. So I shelved it. I kept working, but nothing came out as clean and fun as that romance. In 2010, I learned about Smashwords and started considering the indie route. The publishing world is so dynamic right now; by early 2011 it was obvious the indie star was on the rise. I wanted in! I polished up my novella (length no longer being a consideration, yeah!), worked up all those publishing bits and pieces, got up my nerve…and clicked ‘publish’!

What led you to choose indie publishing?

Indie is so friendly. Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes and Noble – they all make it really simple to publish in an ebook format. The growth of ereaders and changing marketplace makes indie an attractive option. I also like the creative control aspect; I choose everything from where to make my books available to the cover. The flexibility to cross genres and provide different lengths is also great for a writer like me, since my stories tend to emerge at novella length and I can’t stick with a genre to save my life.

What marketing advice do you have as an indie author? Is there anything you think an indie author should do differently as opposed to a traditional pub author when it comes to marketing?

The marketing aspect is a constantly moving target. In fact, mixing it up is a strategy in itself. Try everything. Find places to talk to people who might like your work. Blogs, Goodreads, social networks. Marketing is going to be similar whether you’re traditionally published or self-published. For a writer like me, having just published my first book, the best advice is to write, write, write. I’m completing edits on my second book, writing my third book, outlining the fourth…and so on. This isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon.

What have you learned from your experience that other writers should know when considering indie publishing?

Publishing takes work. Once the words are on the page, you have a whole process to get it out there. Many writers won’t like that part as much as they like writing. That’s true of the traditional route, too. Publishing, no matter how you do it, changes your relationship with writing. New demands on your time mean it’s easy to get bogged down by the to-do list. But being indie doesn’t mean going it alone – build a community and it’s much easier.

Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us! Here's a bit more about J.R. and how you can get ahold of her:

J.R. Pearse Nelson is an indie author of fantasy and paranormal romance. Her work is fast-paced, adventurous, and sometimes dark. Her novella, Tribute, is the first book in the Children of the Sidhe series. The sequel will be released in December 2011. While the genre of these novellas is paranormal romance, J.R. doesn't limit her reading or writing to one type of fantasy. She loves it all, from the epics to the dark beasties to the mythological, sociological side. An urban fantasy novel is in the works for 2012.

J.R. is a native Oregonian, living in the beautiful Portland area. She lives with her husband, two small daughters and the family dog. Self-publishing is the realization of J.R.'s life-long dream to write fiction for an audience. You can connect with J.R. online at her blog, twitter, and Goodreads. Visit

Want to check out J.R.'s paranormal romance novella Tribute? Click here to get it at Smashwords!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Meme: When I'm a Famous Author

I'm posting late today because I was trying to crunch and meet my writing goal for the week. I fell a bit short, but considering that Saturday and Sunday my husband and I were heading up a 5k run, poker run and car show for a memorial fundraiser, I still felt pretty good.

So, speaking of philanthropy, when I'm a famous author, I really want to make a difference around the world. I know I talk a lot about fun materialistic things on this meme, but really I'm all about giving back. After all, I do make my living at an educational non-profit.

My fave non-profit org, which my 'vintage' followers will remember, is Heifer International. Heifer is a world hunger group that takes a unique approach. Instead of just distributing food to people, they give people animals that can be used in sustainable farming practices, thus not only feeding the family but creating a business that will produce income for the family. For instance, goats can be used for milk, cheese and soap, geese for their eggs, sheep for their wool. Further, the families that receive the animal and education on how to start their business are required to pass on their knowledge and offspring from their animal to other families. It's really pretty frickin' amazing.

I give to Heifer every year, and last year I was stoked to discover that Nate Bransford also gives to them annually. He ran a pledge challenge on his blog that I joined in on. So, hint-hint, that's coming up soon. I'd like to find a really great environmental group and women and children's group as well.

So, what are your favorite non-profit orgs? Have a great week!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Urban Fantasy New Releases for November 2011

Happy weekend, writer friends! The other day I asked you guys whether I should post portions of my urban fantasy newsletter on the blog. The consensus was yes. So, here you go! UF new releases for November.










Any of these got you excited? Or new releases in another genre? Have a great weekend!