Category Archives: Uncategorized

Help is available…

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In Heavyweight, Ian and his friends deal with a lot of issues: eating disorders, bullying,prejudice and the stress that comes along with school life.  Sadly, these are issues that many teens are dealing with these days. They aren’t to be taken lightly as these kinds of issues  can lead to hospitalization, depression and even possibly suicide.

Having the internet at one’s fingertips can assist someone in finding the help or support to get through these situations.  The Web allows for an anonymity that can help a teen or young adult feel more comfortable opening up and seeking assistant for their problems.

Here are some some websites and phone numbers that offer support:

Eating Disorders

  • Eating Disorders Awareness and Prevention 1-800-931-2237
  • Eating Disorders Center 1-888-236-1188
  • National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders 1-847-831-3438
  • National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Eating Disorders  630-577-1330, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, Monday to Friday http://www.anad.org
  • Thursday’s Child National Youth Advocacy Hotline 800-USA-KIDS (800-872-5437) Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week http://www.thursdayschild.org

Bullying

Depression 

  • National Suicide Prevention Helpline 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK)
  • National Hopeline Network 1-800-784-2433 (1-800-SUICIDE) http://www.hopeline.com/
  • The Trevor Project , 866-488-7386 (24/7) Live Chat  with the Trevor Project (Fridays 4pm- 5pm EST)
  • Crisis Call Center 800-273-8255 or text ANSWER to 839863
    Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week http://crisiscallcenter.org/crisisservices.html

Stress and Anxiety

  • National Institute of Mental Health Information Center 866-615-6464
    8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, Monday to Friday http://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml
  • National Mental Health Association Hotline 800-273-TALK (8255)
    Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week http://www.nmha.org

LGBT Support

These are just a few of the many options out there.  Individual states also seem to have their own sites dedicated to school violence and bullying.

If you’re a parent, consider printing the list and hanging it somewhere your teen will see.  It could help them knowing the information is readily available and to know that you understand they may be going through difficult times.

If you’re a teen who is in over their heads, needs help but feel they have no where to turn, who is worried for a friend or wants to do something to help those suffering from any of these issues, do your research, join a forum, make a call or send an email.  You are not alone and there are others who understand what you’re going through and there is help out there.  Love yourself and know that you’re important and worthwhile.

And so it begins…

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Firstly, thanks to everyone who helped make Heavyweight‘s release so successful! Whether you shared a link, liked a post, re-tweeted a tweet or purchased the book, every little bit helps and I’m extremely grateful to you all!  If you did purchase a book (thank you!) please consider leaving a review when you’ve finished it.  I’d love to know what you thought of it, but also, it’s helpful for prospective buyers to see if other readers enjoyed it.

Secondly, I just want to put out there, that if you’re interested in reading my book but don’t have the money to spend on it (trust me, I know how that goes) go to your local library and speak with the librarian to see if they can get it.  My publisher, Harmony Ink Press, is very interested in getting their books into libraries so please, don’t hesitate to ask!

The reason I bring it up is because while Googling myself and the book title (like you guys don’t do it! Hah), I found a request for the book on a pirate site. The book hasn’t even been out for a week yet and already someone is trying  to get (and got!) a free copy.  The person asking was from Venezuela,so perhaps they couldn’t purchase it there, but it’s still hard to see, especially when the e-book version is so affordable.  I hope, at least, that person will review it somewhere.

On one hand, it’s a compliment that they were interested enough in reading it to try and hunt down a copy, but on the other hand unless an author is named Stephen King or JK Rowling, they are not typically making very much money.  Every sale counts and a lot of people put time and effort into the production of the book, not just the author, so please keep that in mind if you’re considering hunting for a freebie.

What are your thoughts on pirate sites and would you be forgiving if everyone who got a freebie gave you a review?

2014 Writing Goals

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It’s that time of year where people are thinking about the new year and making resolutions. For some reason, I don’t like the word resolution. I feel like resolutions are strict, that if you veer off the path once during the year, then you’ve failed. A resolution is an absolute. Goals, on the other hand, are something to strive for. You make a plan and work towards it. To me, that means there are a variety of paths you can take to reach your goals, so if something isn’t working, you can change it and still make it to the finish line. Because of this, I’m going to list my writing goals for the new year, rather than make a writing resolution, because life is crazy and gets in the way sometimes and I don’t want to feel like I’ve failed if I didn’t get to the end the way I “resolved” to.

So here goes, my goals for 2014:

1) Make more time to write. Between a new job and a new man, life has gotten busy, especially over the holidays. I feel like my time to write has dwindled and I still have projects to finish and ideas brewing!

2) Work on promo.  With Heavyweight coming out on January 23rd, I’ve got to get back to my Twitter-ing and other self promo things. I’ve started by looking into ideas like using Notegraphy and Instagram to hit a new audience.  It looks like it’s generating some interest, but who knows if it will translate into sales. Only time will tell!

3) Finish at least one outstanding project.  I have to admit, I have several unfinished projects that need finishing. Staying Alive, the sequel to Near Death is so close to being done. For some reason, I just couldn’t seem to wrap it up this year. Maybe in the coming year, or maybe the last story in the Errand Girl of the Undead series.  I’ve got options!

4) Read outside my comfort zone.  While I find it very important to read within your genre so you know what’s out there and what the trends are, I find I haven’t been expanding my horizons with new things, so I’m going to look to pick up and get through some books I wouldn’t normally gravitate to. I think I may be pleasantly surprised!

5) Get more involved.  This kind of goes hand in hand with working on promo, to get more involved with other authors, whether it’s in my writing group, participating in blog hops and contests,  doing more cover reveals and reviews for folks.  I feel like I had a bigger support system and because I got busy, some of those connections slipped through my fingers.

 

What are your writing goals for the New Year?

Happy Holidays!

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BookTree1-550x550I just wanted to take the time to wish all my readers, fellow authors, friends and supporters a very happy and healthy holiday season!  There’s no point in being an author if no one reads your stories, so I’m exceptionally grateful to everyone who has bought a book, shared a link, written a review, commented on the blog or given advice and encouragement.

May you get the lovely gift of literature and poetic verse, quality time with loved ones and some pile-of-books-001holiday cheer! 2014 is already looking to be a fantastic year for me and I hope it is for all of you as well!

Publication Update

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Things are moving along with the publication of Heavyweight. Edits have been done and sent back in.  The blurb is perfected and the bio written.  Info has been sent to get the cover art created.

While I’m not outwardly doing the Myposian dance of joy (who remembers that?! ^_^) I’m definitely squeeing inside.  I’m super impressed with Harmony Ink and how quick, yet thorough, their process is.

No one has officially given me a publication date yet, but from little clues I’ve seen, it’s looking to be January 23, 2014. That’s so soon! I can’t believe it’s a little over a month away. It seems like there’s still a lot to do, but they are on top of it!

One of the most exciting things for me so far was when I received twenty sheets of vellum in the mail with a little note asking me to sign them so they may be put into print copies and that those will be specially sold through Dreamspinner’s website.  Not only did I sign them, but I put a little message as well so those twenty folks to buy them get an extra little treat!

Things are going great and I’m excited to see what the next step is.  I’m hoping to do a bit of a cover reveal when it’s ready. If anyone would be willing to host my reveal on their blog or author/reader facebook pages, please comment!