Author Archives: mbm8377

How Do You Find New Books to Devour?

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I’m always curious on what prompts a reader to pick up a certain book.  My own process is typically a combination of things ranginggeeky books 4 from recommendations, blurbs and reviews to startling covers and general curiosity.

These days, I’d have to say reviews are what prompts me the most on whether or not to pick up a book, but it wasn’t always that way. Before the birth of digital books, I would spend hours in the library or the bookstore skimming the stacks, looking for the cover, jacket or title that would catch my eye and have me plucking the book off the shelf to read the back cover blurb.  While I love being able to carry  300+ books in my purse and not throw my back out, I do have to admit that I miss those days.  I still buy the occasional book in print and I love, love, love to get the books my author friends write in print. I have them all gathered together on my bookshelf so I can tell people, Hey! I know those authors!

Browsing the digital way is not as easy. I do enjoy Amazon’s feature that shows what customers who bought this book also bought.  That often leads me to finding similar stories to read, but if I’m looking for something completely different, it’s much harder to browse unless I am looking for a specific author.

The lack of browsing definitely hurts the indie/small press author as well because it makes it all that much more difficult for readers to find your book.  That’s why reviews, whether it’s from people you friend on Goodreads or from book bloggers you follow, is my current go-to process for finding new books to read.

How do you find something new to read? Are you old school, hitting up the library and few remaining bookstores? Do you search for new books by authors you already know? Or are you scouring the web for reviews and recommendations?

Tears of a Clown – Award Winning!

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I’m excited to announce that my new and improved cover for Tears of a Clown, created by the fabulous Mallory Rock, won a Gold Star award this month from the Book Designer.

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The judge commented on it as well: JF: Love the playfulness and clear communication of this ebook cover, and the many little touches that make it work. ★

Mallory deserves an award just for putting up with my constant changes! Haha but she did a great job and I’m very happy with the result. Glad to see her getting recognition for her hard work.

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Don’t Beat Yourself Up

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keep-calm-and-don-t-beat-yourself-upAs last stated, life has gotten very crazy lately: a move, family issues, being sick, etc.  The writing has come to a complete standstill.  I haven’t attended my writing group in the past couple of weeks for several reasons, not all of them good. Sales have slowed a little and all these things together were starting to weigh me down.

I had to take a step back and look at all that’s been going on.  It really has been a lot and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not worth it to beat myself up over it.  I may have consciously chosen to not write at times, but unpacking boxes or unwinding with the boy and watching TV has its place too, to keep me sane and get me to a healthier place.

Just because you take a break doesn’t mean you’re never going to get back to it.  Because writing isn’t what pays my bills, I don’t have to feel guilty about not putting more time into it at the moment.  I’ve got tons of stories to finish and more ideas brewing, so it’s not like I’m going to abandon writing, but I’ve sternly told myself that a break is okay and there’s no need to compare myself to others who are churning out several books a year and constantly writing, writing, writing.  I am myself and no one else. I have other needs that have to be taken care of in order to be able to focus on writing again.

Don’t feel like taking a break is giving up.  It’s just recharging your batteries and clearing your mind.  It’s letting the ideas churn and grow before those voices in your head are so loud you have no choice but to get back to it. It’s taking care of yourself.  It’s not a bad thing and it’s not failure.

What’s Going On?

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As some of you may have noticed, blog posts have not been as consistent as they should be lately. I apologize for that and will work on getting back to normal, but life has been and is going to continue to be crazy and stressful and emotional for the next couple of months. I’d rather not go into detail at this time about all that’s going on, but I hope you guys can stick with me through it until things settle down and I can get back to more regular posting.

I appreciate your patience and feel free to use the blog or other social media means to contact me. It might take me a little longer to respond but I will get back to you!

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Heavyweight

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  1. I have a not so secret love of gingers, hence Ian’s hair and freckles. I imagine him to be just adorable!
  2. The story originally started in a different spot. During a writing workshop, author Toni De Palma convinced me to change the starting point and I believe that has a lot to do with why the book got picked up by my publisher.
  3. Going into it, I knew next to nothing about wrestling. I did a lot of research (unusual for me) and spoke to a lot of guys who were involved in high school wrestling.
  4. Julian and Mei-Li come from a long time of twins, in the sense that I always seem to have a pair in my stories. They are almost always boy/girl twins. I’m not sure why. I just like the dynamic I suppose.
  5. Ian is not the first male character I’ve written, but he’s the first done in first person. It was hard for me to get into character but I think he came out as authentic and believable.
  6. In the original draft, Ian was going to be trying to get into Penn State.  While it’s certainly a good educational institution, I decided to change it up to a different Pennsylvania school after the scandal that went down at Penn.
  7. My mom was my original editor. While there was still plenty for the Harmony Ink editors to call into question, it was never about typos and missing words. Mom is good like that!
  8. Heavyweight‘s cover is almost exactly how I imagined when I first started writing the story.  I’m so glad my cover artist was able to incorporate so much of what I wanted.
  9. Maggie was originally a cheerleader, but I realized, for no fair reason, I had evil cheerleaders in a couple of my other books. I switched her up to a colorguard member instead.
  10. Although it seems surprising to some, Heavyweight is the first male/male romance I’ve ever written.