St. Louis Comic Con 2014

I had so much fun at Comic Con this past weekend! I will say I wish I’d gotten to spend a bit more time walking around and going to panels, but I’m glad I was able to get a table there. I sold a lot of books and met a lot of awesome people. I did my own panel which was really great. Thanks to everyone who was there and said it was helpful. It’s always nice to know that people find what I’m saying to be useful. This week I’m playing catchup…Monday was catch up on sleep, yesterday was more relaxing and sleeping, then tonight will be catching up on administrative tasks. I hope to get back to actual writing tomorrow.

I’ve already registered for next year’s St. Louis Comic Con, which will be May 15-17, 2015. Now I don’t have any cons on the schedule until Archon, October 3-5. If you know of any I could sell my books at, let me know…I have a feeling I’m going to have con withdrawal between now and then!

Distractions and Deceived

I’ve been getting really distracted all week and having trouble focusing on the writing. There are a lot of good things going on for me and some of my friends, and we’re busy brainstorming new ideas and talking about how awesome the year is going to be. Which is great, but if that’s all we do, the year won’t be so awesome. So Thursday evening I grabbed my notebook and went to Barnes and Noble. I switched my phone to airplane mode so I could still listen to music but not receive any texts or emails or anything else distracting. And I got down to business.

The night ended with me writing the first page of Deceived. It’s barely started, but one page is infinitely better than none. I could have spent countless amounts of time fleshing out the outline, but I realized with the way I work, it was better for me to stop where it was, and just start writing. I was trying different methods of outlining, and realized I was writing mostly the same stuff in different formats. Now that I have the first page down, I won’t be so tempted to go back to brainstorming and outlining. Next time I sit down with it I’ll be ready to continue writing the story.

I’m also going to start experimenting with Pinterest. I have some boards up there of home improvement ideas, cute animals and such, but I want to see how I can use it with my writing. I created boards for writing tips, writing quotes, business ideas, and one for my writing progress. There I plan to post brief updates and maybe blurry photos of my writing progress and process. In fact, if you head over there right now you can get a tiny sneak peak at chapter one of Deceived! Let me know what you think, but please be kind – it’s a work in progress.

ToyMan Toy Show

Today I attended ToyMan Toy Show in St. Louis selling my books. I wasn’t sure what to expect…I mean, it’s a toy show. Not a book show or a comic show or anything even remotely like any of the conventions I’ve been to so far. But they usually have a handful of authors, so I figured it was worth a shot. Boy was I right! I went in not sure if I’d sell any books, and I sold a lot more than none. Enough that when Chris, the promoter, asked me if I’d want to come back I immediately said, “Definitely!” without even thinking. So if you’re in St. Louis, come on out on May 11 to the ToyMan Toy Show and say hello!

I’m really excited about the things I have in the works this year. I’m going to be at every Toy Show for the rest of this year (except for the one in July, when I’ll be in Portland.) I have a few other cons already booked. Plus Chris is putting together a Geek Fest the last weekend of December where I’ll be selling my books. It sounds like it’s going to be truly amazing so keep an eye out for more info – I’ll post a link to the site once he has it up and running. I have a really good feeling about my writing business for this year and next. And I have to thank you, my readers, for giving me that feeling. Because without you all buying my books and talking to me at conventions, I’d just be hiding in my office writing for myself.

Follow My Writing Process

I’ve finished the current round of edits on Burning Darkness, and am waiting for feedback from my beta reader. I could, in theory, use this time to relax and be lazy, but that’s not how one makes loads of money, so it’s straight on to work on the next book! I’d worked up a loose outline for the third book in the Elena Ronen series a few weeks ago and was ready to start writing it, but then I realized that particular plot needs to be further back in the series. So it’s back to square one. And thus, I’m going to share my process every step of the way with you! This is the first novel I’ve written idea to publication with the plan to be organized about the whole process, so I’m doing this as much for myself so I’ll have a better idea of just how long it takes me to write an entire novel, and thus be better able to schedule my time.

A few years ago a colleague of mine wrote an outline guide to help people prepare for National Novel Writing Month. I beta read it, and in the process worked up the outline for Burning Darkness. I’ve used it again since then, and am using it to work up the outline for Deceived.

The first thing I did in planning Deceived was free-write a few pages in my notebook about what some plot points could be, and what the general idea of the story is. I spent about 45 minutes doing this Thursday night. Then Sunday night I reread what I’d written, and spent another 20 minutes or so doing a bit more free-writing.

After this hour of free-writing, I was ready to move on to a bit more structured planning. I answered the question, “What one thing most broke the world?” and came up with three ideas by which the world could be fixed. I admit I got a bit stumped at this part, but things can always be changed, added, deleted, and expanded upon during the writing process. This is just to give me a loose idea of where the story might go so I’m not fumbling in the dark.

Kawa Kon 2014

What a weekend! I had so much fun at Kawa Kon. Thanks so much to Katrina for inviting me to be there and host some panels. I can’t wait for next year! I’m uploading video from the panels I hosted right now, but it will take a while, so I’ll post links once they’re all available. Thanks to everyone who attended my panels – it was my first time doing them, and I think they went really well. Friday I hosted a panel about Creating Believable and Engaging Characters. Saturday was Life Happens: Finding the Time to Write. Sunday was National Novel Writing Month Basics. I didn’t get video of that one though.

I met lots of great new people. *waves* Thanks to everyone who stopped by my table and talked to me, asked me questions about writing (feel free to hop over to the contact form and ask me more), and of course thanks to everyone who bought my books. Thanks to everyone who started reading Divided the night they bought it, and told me how much they were already loving it. I truly appreciate your kind words. Thanks to those who said my books remind them of the Dresden Files. Wow! What a compliment! And to the gentleman who said my books reminded him of Kat Richardson’s Greywalker series, again! Such a huge compliment! Seriously, those comments made me feel like a million bucks!

This is the third convention I’ve sold my books at, and each time I learn a bit more about how to make it a great experience for everyone. I always have so much fun, though I have to admit it’s a bit exhausting. Being an introvert, spending 3 days straight talking to people wipes me out. But don’t get me wrong – I wouldn’t trade it for anything! I love love love meeting people, talking to people who have read or are reading my book, talking to other authors who want to talk about the writing and publishing process. I love it! It’s an experience unlike any other, and I’m so thankful to be able to attend conventions and meet everyone. I just need to take the Monday after off work so I can recover. Even so, I already can’t wait for the next convention.

So thank you again to everyone at the con for being so incredibly awesome and making the weekend amazing! YOU are the reason I do this!

Rough Draft Sent Out

I sent the rough rough draft of Burning Darkness to a trusted friend tonight. It’s kind of a checkpoint for how is the overall story before I put too much work into (potentially) the wrong things. You see, I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’m going through a period of self doubt with my writing. Deep down, I know this is a great story. I love the story. But when your life is turned upside down and so much changes, whatever those changes may be, doubt can set in. That, and I know this friend will have valuable input on this novel in particular. I’m sure I’ll be consulting her throughout the entire process. So while this step isn’t even on my timeline (this is even before alpha readers!) I am making progress. I finished the read through tonight, have changed some plot points that were just…bad, and have lots of ideas and notes on other things I need to change, add, and flesh out. I can’t wait to get her feedback, but I’ll be working from my own notes until then.

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a fun and safe new year. I brought in 2014 surrounded by new friends, and it’s so far been off to a wonderful start. I cleaned my house today and started working on Burning Darkness. I’m aiming to release it May 22, so it’s time to get my nose back to the grindstone. I wrote the rough draft for NaNoWriMo 2012, so I started reading it today and making minor tweaks, then I’ll really get down to business with editing. This one is a standalone, but don’t worry – Elena will be back late this year (tentative release date November 20.)

I have a crazy busy 2014 ahead of me. I still have my full time day job, and I’m also working to become a Mary Kay Sales Director by June 30, along with releasing 2 books this year and attending several conventions. Not to mention exercising and eating healthier, and attempting to have a social life (aka fun) in between all that! Phew!

Right now, the most important thing for you to know is that I’m a dark fantasy writing guest of honor at Kawa Kon 2014! The convention takes place February 7-9 at the St. Louis Airport Marriott. I’ll be selling my books all weekend and will be doing 3 panels. So stop on by, learn some stuff, buy some books and have some fun!

Friday Feb. 7, 6-7 pm – Creating Believable and Engaging Characters
Saturday Feb. 8, 1-2 pm – Life Happens: Finding Time to Write
Sunday Feb. 9, 12-1 pm – NaNoWriMo Basics

Coming Back to Life

(I’ve been on a bit of a Pink Floyd kick the past few days.)

I’ve been a ghost the past few months. LIFE EVENTS have caused me to take a step back from a lot of things. But I’m getting back on my feet now, fresh and better than ever. I’m starting to work on my goals for 2014, my plan for getting back on track for where I want to be. I probably don’t need to say I won’t be releasing the next book in March. I won’t say when it will be released yet, because I haven’t gotten that far in my planning. But I’m still aiming for 2 books in 2014.

So this is just my quick note to say I’m getting back to things, and will be back to posting regularly in the new year, here and on my Facebook page.

Crazy Life is Crazy

Life has been insane lately, some good, some bad, all of it leaving me little time to sleep or be on the internet. I realized I hadn’t even sent out an update when Ravaged was available, which was over two weeks ago. If you made it to the signing, thanks so much!

I had a friend staying with me for 2.5 weeks from Norway, so between that and spending last weekend at Archon, I’m playing catch up this weekend and trying to clean the house. So I’ll leave you with links to where you can buy Ravaged – this time it’s available for Nook as well!

Ravaged on Amazon
Ravaged for Nook