Monthly Archives: December 2011

Kindlegraph

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I can’t say I’ve ever been to a book signing, but I’ve always wanted to go. Authors are like my rockstars so to have them sign one of their book for me is the equivalent of some rocker throwing their sweaty bandanna at me from the stage. Cool yet much less damp and gross.

So when e-books started gaining popularity I did have the thought “oh…now there will never be a point for me to go to a book signing because most of the stuff I buy is in e-book form so what will they sign, my kindle cover?”.Yeah, that wasn’t happening. Then I stumbled up on a little program called Kindlegraph.

It’s a fun little application where you can go and request a personalized digital inscription from an author for a specific book.  The request gets sent and the author will type up a little message and then they can literally sign it (although let me tell you, it takes a lot to make that signature look neat!) or they can “adopt” a signature which just turns your name into a script font.  I prefer the real thing, even if it is sloppy, you know someone really took the time to do it rather than a bot or whatever.

I haven’t had enough time to browse through all the authors signed up to participate, but from what I did see, it seems to be a lot of indie authors, which is pretty cool in my opinion. I feel like it’s one more thing the indie author can use and offer their fans that perhaps some of the traditionally published authors cannot. Also, many indie authors don’t have the opportunity nor the funds for book tours, so this gives fans a chance at a sort of meet and greet with the author without having to travel to a major city or whatnot where the author is speaking.  I could see this being used in conjunction with a live webcast. A book tour where no one has to leave their computers! It’s the future baby, yeah!

Now, just so you know, you do NOT need to own a Kindle, or any e-reader for that matter, in order to request a Kindlegraph or receive one. The Kindlegraph is really a PDF file with the book over image, the message and the signature. You can have it sent directly to your Kindle (although I don’t recommend this and I’ll tell you why in a minute) or to your email address. So it really is open to everyone.

Kindlegraphs are free BUT there is the possibility that you could get a charge. The charge comes in on the delivery directly to your Kindle. Whispernet, which is the network that does Kindle delivering, charges a fee to have “personal” documents delivered to your Kindle. I want to say it’s 99 cents per document. While it’s not a hefty fee, why should you pay when you can get it for free?  The way around the charge is to set up your Kindle address as your personal email address. Then you have the option to either keep a file on your computer with all the documents or attach your Kindle via USB and drop and drag the document to your Kindle.  I’m not sure how other e-readers work, but I would guess you could do something similar.

I think indie authors should definitely take advantage of Kindlegraph as it can be another great marketing tool and can add to the uniqueness of the indie experience. Readers, you can use it to get to know some great up and coming authors and have something from them before they blow up and may seem untouchable (as popular/famous people can often seem).

So authors, go ahead and sign your books up. Readers, go check it out.  If you search, you may just find this mild mannered blogger/indie author there as well!

What’s going on…

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Now that Near Death is out, I’m sure many of you have seen me promoting it (Please tell me if you feel like I’m spamming that stuff. That is totally not what I want). Maybe you’re one of those awesome folks who have bought and read it and decided “Hey! She’s not half bad! I’d like to read something else of hers!”  Perhaps your thoughts exists with less exclamation points, but hey, a girl can dream, no?

I hope those are your thoughts because there are several other projects in the works. Two of them I hope to have published in 2012, one being the sequel to Near Death called Staying Alive.  The rough draft is not yet done, but I’m hoping to finish up in the next few months.

My top priority at the moment is a funny little (okay, at 70k+ words it’s not so little) spoof of a story about a girl stuck in a love triangle called Tears of a Clown.  Love triangle sounds pretty typical of young adult novels, no? Welp, the story started as a complete joke. I had been talking with friends about that “Dusk” series where the boring plain Jane whiny  main character attracts the attention of two very hot guys, one undead the other an animal. Being the plain Jane girl all my life, I know how very unlikely something like that is. I get it, it’s a story meant to appeal to us “plain” folk and give us fantasies that this might really happen to us some day *sparkle*!  As I was talking to these friends I joked “I should write a story about the most unlikely girl coming to a new school and having the hot guys fall all over her and I bet people would love it.”  They agreed and I got to thinking. What should this girl be like?  Just being plain or fat or super tall or rail thin wouldn’t do it. She needed something above and beyond. She needed to be a clown. A literal clown. The idea had merit, but even though I expected it to be a spoof, I knew I couldn’t write a whole story as a joke. There had to be more than that. I decided to make it a “little” more realistic by making the main character into a Juggalo.  For those not in the know, a Juggalo is a fan of the musical group, The Insane Clown Posse.  The fans will actually wear clown like make up to the concerts and gatherings. I just decided my chick would wear it almost all the time. Thus, my clown character was born.

Sounds silly, right? It is. It’s ridiculously stupid and chock full of pie gags, prat falls and circus jokes, along with tons of internet and other geeky references about Monty Python, the musician Peaches, Rule 34, etc.  While some of the jokes will go over some heads, enough people have read it and laughed their way through for me to know I’m not playing to a totally oblivious crowd.

I feel like there are not enough books out there to make us laugh, and I think Tears of a Clown will have people laughing and groaning and shaking their heads. In a good way.  As I said before, I couldn’t make the whole story a joke so there are redeeming qualities such as reminding people not to judge a book by its cover, beauty is only skin deep, learn to love yourself, etc. It’s got good lessons people! I promise.

As I get closer to publication, I will post a couple of chapters for people to check out and set it up on Goodreads. Hopefully people will be interested, even if it’s not completely in the same vein as my other work. It’s still got romance, hot guys, some steamy sexy time scenes and best of all, it’s got the jokes, because let’s face it, we can all use a good laugh these days.

Writing through your emotions

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For me, the holidays are never quite as cheery as they used to be. I’m not quite sure why that is (although I have a few ideas…) but it makes me moody and unhappy and just down in general.

So rather than just curl in a ball and try to sleep through it, I use it. I write through it. Use my emotions to write those difficult scenes. It can be therapeutic to have your characters act out the emotions you’re struggling through.  Have them get in an argument with someone. They can yell loud and not have the neighbors complain.  Have them sit in a dark closet and cry their eyes out. If you need a hug, have someone come across them in their time of need and envelope them in a warm crushing embrace. If you’re frustrated, have your character kick tires or punch a hole in the wall. At least you won’t break your own toe or have a to Spackle a wall.

It doesn’t always have to be the down side of emotions either. Your happiness, feelings of love and joy can make a scene especially poignant as well. Even your sarcasm can lend to the realness of a character and their actions. Don’t be afraid to make your characters act like you.

They say to write what you know.  That doesn’t mean just the knowledge you’ve learned in school or gained in life experiences. It means use your surroundings, use your emotions and put pen to paper and make those characters come to life. You want them to be realistic and believable and by using your emotional state, you can make those characters really come to life.

Wanted: Book bloggers & reviewers

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Attention all book bloggers and reviewers! I am looking for some people to participate in a blog tour for my young adult paranormal novel Near Death .  The tour will run towards the end of January, giving everyone about a month to read the book. I will provide the digital versions of the book  for you to read.

So what kind of reviews am I looking for? I’m looking for the typical, this is what it was about and this is what I liked/disliked about it but I’m also looking for quirky different reviews. You want to make a poster? Go for it! You want to act out your favorite scene? I’d pimp you all over youtube!  You want to interview me or some of the characters? Just understand I won’t be able to control what those people say!  You want to write a song? I’ll sing the chorus!  Surprise me.

The only requirements I’m going to ask from you guys in order to be included in this is to note your interest in the comments along with a link to your blog/reviews and your email address. You also have to be willing to post a review on Amazon, Smashwords and/or Goodreads. I won’t ask you to do all three (although I’d love you forever if you did).

Just to sweeten the deal,  I will award a prize to the blogger who gets the most traffic the day they post their review. I’ll make a list of recent releases and you’ll be able to choose two. Who doesn’t love free books?!

If you’re not a book blogger or reviewer yourself  but have favorites of your own, please feel to recommend them as well!

It’s here!

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After many years of labor and delivery, Near Death has been born into the digital world!

I am excited, nervous, sick to my stomach and relieved that  it’s done with. Well, there’s still promoting, but for the most part, it’s done!  I will do a big launch in January when the print version will be ready to go as well, so keep an eye out for it. There may be contests and prizes involved!

This book has been so many years in the making. The idea bounced around in my head for several years before it ever made it’s way to my hard drive. The majority of it was written during a time in my life when a lot of turmoil and unhappiness swirled around me. It was my place to escape to, where I could control the lives of others when I felt that I couldn’t control my own.  After the draft was complete, it was put away, as I was unsure what to do with it next and those life issues ended up overwhelming all aspects of my days. It sat, for several years, before I picked it back up and worked on it again.

It really has been a labor of love and I hope that people will enjoy it, but if for some reason they don’t, at least I can take pride in finally completing something I’ve started, even if it took years.

Should you decide you’re interested, digital versions can be found on Smashwords for Nook, Kobo, Sony, Kindle and other e-readers as well as PC reading.

If you own a Kindle and would prefer, it’s also available on Amazon.

I ask that if you are kind enough to purchase and read it, please consider leaving an honest review at Smashwords, Amazon or Goodreads. I know not everyone will love it, so don’t be afraid to say so if that’s the case. Of course, if you do love it, feel free to gush as well! Regardless of whether you love or hate it, thank you for giving it a chance and sharing your opinions with other potential readers.