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A visit with #WildRosePress debut author D.K. Deters

 

Once again I have the sublime pleasure to introduce you to another one of my new WildRose Press sistahs, D.K. Deters. D.K. has a brand new book – her debut! – out on 11/12/18 just in time for the holiday season, titled CHRISTMAS ONCE AGAIN and she graciously agreed to sit down with me and tell  a little about herself, her writing, and her new book. Sit back and learn about this new sistah of mine!


Here’s D.K.

Hi Peggy. Thanks for having me on your blog. I’ve been looking forward to it! (Peggy here: as have I!!)

  1. What drives you to write?

It started as an escape from my squabbling children and a tired husband—just kidding. I love writing, and it gives me tremendous pleasure when a stranger tells me they are a fan.

  1. What genre(s) of Romance do you write, and why?

Christmas Once Again, a time travel fantasy, was a little out of my comfort zone, but the story fell into place. I’m more at home writing about western romance and hunky cowboys. My family always watched westerns on TV, and it seems natural to write about the Old West. But if I thought of another time travel plot, I’d go for it.

  1. What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why?

I’m open to most genres. However, a long time ago my daughter made me take her to the movie theater to watch Lord of the Rings because she had just read the series. Total respect for Tolkien, but it’s safe to say that after the umpteenth orc ran across the screen, this storyline wasn’t for me. (For Tolkien fans…I know…I know. My daughter has pointed out the error of my ways!)

  1. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write every day?

I try to write every day. Wake up. Coffee. Write. Repeat last two steps about a bazillion times.

  1. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen?

For many years, I wrote in the car. I was in a carpool, and it was a long commute. When my son moved out, his bedroom became my office. It also has a gigantic closet, which I jokingly refer to as the office annex.

  1. Are you the kind of writer who needs total quiet to compose, or are you able to filter out the typical sounds and your tunnel-vision?

Although I can work with most noises, I’m at my best when it’s quiet. The TV is the biggest offender.

  1. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not?

Sometimes, I’ll start my day with a little music. Blake Shelton’s song Home is one of my favorites.

  1. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP?

I was watching a news broadcast about a snow skiing accident. Ordinary people had pitched together to save a stranger’s life. It got me to thinking about how one selfless act could be life-changing. The rest…well…you’ll have to read the story.

  1. Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why?

That’s a tough question, but I usually decide on the plot first and build the story from there. In the back of my mind, I’m always thinking about the MC’s characteristics.

  1. What three words describe you, the writer? Perfectionist. Plotter. Worrier. And not necessarily in that order.

11. If you could relive one day, what would it be? Why?

I’d pick my daughter’s wedding day, which holds many of my fondest memories. Their romance had spanned from high school through college. Over two hundred friends and relatives came to celebrate the day with them. And when the couple exchanged their wedding vows, I knew they were perfect for each other.

I love the Actor’s Studio show on Bravo, so this is my version of it:

  1. Favorite sound –my grandchildren laughing
  2. Least favorite sound – dentist drill
  3. Best song ever written – Always and Forever
  4. Worst song ever written – Too many to pick just one
  5. Favorite actor and actress – Kris Pine and Gal Gadot
  6. What turns you on? Great stories
  7. What turns you off? Physics
  8. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date: Can we take your car?
  9. What is your version of a perfect day? The perfect day is knowing my family is safe and well.

Thanks again for inviting me. I’ve had a great time visiting with everyone!

CHRISTMAS ONCE AGAIN, by D.K. Deters

Blurb:

She’s dead broke. And eviction looms. On Christmas Eve antique consultant Madison Knight takes a phone call from local rancher Zach Murdock. Through a mix-up at an estate sale, Madison’s company purchased his grandmother’s beloved painting. He offers double the money for its return.

Madison risks her job to track down the artwork, but success falls short when she’s stuck in a blizzard. Stranded, she seeks help from a frontier family. Are they living off the grid, or did she somehow travel through time?

Zach’s the only person who knows her plan. He also knows a secret about his gran’s painting. It’s up to him to rescue Madison, but maybe he’s not cut out to be a hero.

Excerpt:

“My grandmother had an estate sale last week, and she didn’t want it sold, unfortu—”

“Oh?” She should’ve kept quiet. Run-ins with greedy family members happened in the antique business, and a judging attitude didn’t increase revenues.

“It wasn’t on purpose,” he said. “The day was chaotic, and someone had shuffled around the artwork. We didn’t realize it was missing until a couple of days ago, and it took this long to sort out the mix-up and discover your shop bought it.”

She felt guilty for jumping to the wrong conclusion. “I see how that could happen. It’s obvious the piece is treasured by your grandmother. If it becomes necessary, we have the resources to find a similar style. Is there a specific artist or significance?”

Held hostage by the slow computer response and trying not to rush him, she picked up one of the hand weights, intending to fit in a few curls.

“Keep in mind Gran’s ninety-two, and she thinks…”

“Uh-huh.” With her free hand, she grabbed the latte and took a sip.

“Gran thinks it holds a special power.”

Madison chose that moment to swallow, and the creamy espresso went down the wrong pipe. A dry, hacking cough followed, and she dropped her hand weight, which thudded on the carpet. For heaven’s sake, he didn’t hear her, did he?

Buy Links:

Amazon // Wild Rose Press // Nook

Author Bio:

D. K. Deters credits her parents, who grew up in southeastern Kansas, for inspiration to write about the Old West. From an early age, the likes of Jesse James and the Dalton Gang were often included in family lore. To this day, she’s not sure how much is true.

After earning a Bachelor of Science in Business, D. K. followed a profession in the telecommunications industry before turning to a writing career. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her adult children and their families.

Connect with D. K. Deters here:

Website // Amazon // Twitter // BookBub // Goodreads // Pinterest //

 

 

 

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#bookcoup of the century!!!!

I’ve been waxing on and on for the past few weeks about the PBS series THE GREAT AMERICAN READ, and today’s topic is linearly connected to that post.

The GAR list is comprised on 100 books, 24 of which I’ve actually read. My husband came in at 19. I wanted to read the ones we haven’t starting in 2019 as our yearly book challenge, but neither one of us wanted to pay for all the books, so we figured we get them from our local library.

This past Sunday I attended the bi-yearly book sale at our local library and was lucky enough to find all 16 of the books pictured – which also happen to all be on the 100 list! SCORE! BOOK COUP! Now here’s the best part. The Sunday of every book sale is a “bag” sale, which means, you bring a bag – any size of your choice, and you can fill it for just $5.00. I had this big-ass shopping bag I use when I go grocery shopping and fit all 16 of these books, plus 10 others into it. All for $5.00. DoubleCoup!

Is it pathetic I get so excited about books?

Tune in to PBS tonight for the final episode of The Great American Read, where the number one book voted upon will be revealed. My secret hunch is that it’s TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. Tune in to see if I’m correct!

When I’m not at book sales, getting all excited about my literary finds, you can usually find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

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Introducing #author Jeny Heckman

One of the best things about being an author is the people you meet along the way who are connected to the publishing business. That includes great authors that I didn’t know before my journey began. One of those authors is  Wild Rose Press sistah Jeny Heckman. Read her biography below and you’ll know why I now think of her as a sister from another mister! She’s got a new book out from TWRP, THE SEA ARCHER  and it’s hoping up the charts! Read a little sumthin’ sumthin’ about it here and then stick around because Jeny recently gave me a great deal of insight into her writing, persona, and thought processes. Like I said: I think we were separated at birth! ( even though I’m oodles older than she is, hee hee!)

Tagline:

When opposites meet, the attraction is undeniable, but Fate has other plans.

THE SEA ARCHER

Raven Hunter, a musical prodigy, flees to the Hawaiian Islands to pick up the pieces after her marriage to her manager collapses. Instead, she experiences extraordinary and unsettling events that are beyond her understanding.

Living in paradise, marine biologist, Finn Taylor has the unconscious but effortless ability to understand the needs of the animals he cares for. His playboy lifestyle is most men’s fantasy. That is, until the night he meets the shy and elusive new island resident. Suddenly his life no longer feels like his own. The attraction is undeniable. However, vastly contrasting lives, peculiar dreams, and an unbelievable proclamation that they could be the direct descendants of Poseidon and Apollo threaten to divide them forever. Will they accept their destiny and begin the quest of a lifetime or will they remain in their comfortable yet separate existence?

Excerpt

“Finn, I understand it sounds crazy, really. I knew nothing about Greek mythology or who any of these people were until she told them to me.”

“And now you think Poseidon… I’m assuming you think I’m some offshoot of Poseidon, right?”

“You have a trident on your back.”

“Because I thought it was cool when I was twenty-years-old.”

“And you’ve never felt anything strange that you can’t explain?”

“And Raven,” he continued, unwilling to entertain those thoughts. “Who I just met, is Apollo? You realize, Apollo was a dude, the boy half of the twins, right?”

“God of music.”

“Jesus!”

Buy Links:

The Wild Rose Press //Amazon //Barnes and Noble // BookStand // Kobo 

A little about Jeny

Jeny Heckman, loves romance. She especially loves romance with a paranormal and/or historical twist. Educated as an artist, banker, sales clerk, draftsman, charity fundraiser, jewelry maker, nursing student, hospice volunteer, photographer, mother, and wife, she felt her calling lay elsewhere. While taking care of an ailing loved one, she was inspired to write her first novel entitled, The Catch, about a female Alaskan crab fisherman, and self-publish it. Wanting to try something very different she pitched an idea to a New York agent who told her to run with it. This book is the first of that seven-part endeavor. When not ignoring her family and friends by writing you will find her time exclusively on them and photography. Jeny lives in Stanwood, Washington, with her husband of over twenty-five years.

Contact:

website //Facebook // Twitter //  Instagram // Goodreads 

A little more about Jeny Heckman:

Where did you get the idea for the title of your book?

The Sea Archer was an easy title to come to. I needed to incorporate Apollo and Poseidon together, so decided to choose from some of the symbols they’re known for. Although Apollo is primarily known for music, he was also an archer that would shoot his arrow across the sky to bring forth the sun. As well as Raven stepping into the natural light, instead of the spotlight, so I chose the archer. And Poseidon, of course, is the ultimate god of the sea and this book is heavily grounded there, taking place primarily on Kauai and the hero being a marine biologist.

Why did you choose this genre?

I love the paranormal romance genre. It’s fun and it’s interesting. I have never written in this genre though and that was a little different. I changed from being a pantser to a plotter but all in all I loved the process. It was really fun implying the “fantasy” world within the real one. Where you get that reasonable doubt that the fantasy may be possible.

What is the most difficult thing about writing a book?

By far, the most difficult thing about writing a book for me is having a head full of ideas and unable to write them down because I’m busy or the day is packed full of other events or people. It’s by far the hardest part. When I write, I don’t really like to stop. I definitely lose track of time. So, invariably I need a lot of undemanding time or I’ve been known to get a little grumpy when I get interrupted.

If writing is your first passion, what is your second?

Writing is absolutely my first passion and then a very close second is photography. Two very creative fields I know. I love capturing moments whether in life or in my mind and showing it to people. To stand in the Scottish Highlands alone but able to show it to people like they’re standing there too, is exciting. Primarily, I shoot portraits and weddings but recently I’ve really gotten into scenery and epic landscapes. I love capturing moments, expressions and small windows of time that reveal more than what you expect.

What’s one thing that your readers would be surprised to learn about you?

Well, I’m not sure they’d be surprised but I am an introvert, as many writers are. What I think is surprising is that many people don’t understand us. They think we’re hermits, and that we don’t like people or are somehow lonely and unhappy all the time. Which is unfortunate because it couldn’t be further from the truth. I gain energy and inspiration from quiet, where others might gain energy and inspiration from others or “busyness” around them. For me, I have to be in the mindset and prepare to be around a lot of people or it stresses me out.

What’s the main thing that you could get rid of in your life that would give you more writing time?

Um, my life…Friends and family are the only real things that can take me away from my writing but I don’t think I could nor want to give them up.

What’s your favorite books of all time and why? What’s your favorite childhood book?

I have favorite books from every genre so it’s easier to say my favorite authors. David Baldacci, Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown, Sophie Kinsella, Liane Moriarty, Darynda Jones, Gillian Flynn, Eckhart Tolle, Marianne Williamson, don Miguel Ruiz, Jane Austen, Veronica Roth, Suzanne Collins and Diana Gabaldon to name just a few.

What genre have you never written that you’d like to write?

Oh, definitely a mystery! However, I do feel like really good mysteries are hard to write! If you aren’t careful your audience is solving the puzzle before they’re supposed to which can be so frustrating for a reader. I love it when you never see it coming and it was the aunt’s, boyfriend’s, sisters, cousin.

What is your favorite quote?

Beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s what’s in the middle that counts. So, when you find yourself at the beginning, just give hope a chance to float up and it will.

–Hope Floats

(Peggy, injecting herself here: I lovelovelove that movie!!!!!)

If you were stranded on a deserted island and you could have 3 (inanimate) objects, what would they be?

It would have to be a laptop with a huge hard drive, then uninterrupted electricity and Wi-Fi. Spoken like a true writer, right?

Have you written any other books that are not published?

I have! I wrote my first novel which was self-published, entitled, “The Catch.”

 

Then I wrote another book, entitled, “Civility.” It was a book about a kind of second civil war in America. This was well before the last election but funny enough that was the catalyst in the book for trouble too. I was still trying to decide what to do with it when things started getting really heated in our country and decided I didn’t want to be part of the vitriol tearing everything apart, so shelved it.

 

How do you think your life experiences have prepared you for writing?

I really like this question. My life has been a very fascinating one. Most people in my life don’t know half of what has happened to me and one day I may write about it. I feel my life has appropriately set me up to write about the topics I write. Empowerment has not come easily, it’s been a very long process but as I get older I do feel stronger, and more empowered than I felt possible. That’s why I wouldn’t trade my life now for my twenties or thirties for anything. It’s also why I like that evolution to happen to my heroes and heroines.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Absolutely. I believe women are pretty powerful beings and yet can sometimes lose their way or get caught up in an inner made up story. I would love for a woman that struggles with some of the same insecurities that Raven does, to find a voice and role model in her. You must be brave in the world, and that you are entirely capable of most things. The same would be said for men. I feel like they don’t always get a fair shake. They are expected to be these strong individuals, the driving force in most things. I would hope a man might read this book and let go of some of those beliefs and feel safe to be just a little bit vulnerable, especially to a woman.

What do you like best about your hero?

Oh Finn, what is there not to like about Finn! He is perfectly flawed, as most men are. I love men, so I love writing about them and Finn is the epitome of male beauty but doesn’t always get that isn’t enough. I like his turmoil in how he handles this tsunami that’s entered his life. Just a side note. When I write, I have to have a visual on my desktop of the character and when I wrote Finn’s scenes, his visual counterpart is Ben Dahlhaus (with the short beard). So, if you are wondering my vision of him, Ben was it. Go look him up now and you’re welcome!

What do you like best about your heroine?

I love…LOVE Raven! She was such a loud voice and presence in my head. I love that we have an idea about what a celebrity might be like. We think we understand their lives, their intellect, their beliefs, when we don’t know them at all and many times they are nothing like the people you fall in love with on the stage or screen. Raven is two separate people and everyone thinks the one on the stage is the real one. However, she is just as insecure as everyone else. She doesn’t know any more or less than anyone else. Her life is primarily the same just with extra wrapping paper. Second side note, Jennifer Anistan was the visual que for Raven. The best thing is Jennifer has played many roles and I was able to get the performer and every day woman characters of Raven from Jennifer too.

How do you choose the names and physical characteristics of your characters? Do you base them on real people?

As I explained already about the visual cues I do need that when I am writing and I look at the characters often when writing movement or dialogue. Other visual cues for characters in this book were Pierce Brosnan for Donovan Fortner and Gerard Butler for Wyatt Hunter. The others were models. As for names, I stopped doing that for the most part. In The Catch almost every character was named for someone in my life but it was very hard to tell the person that the name assigned to the character in the book had nothing to do with them personally. If you’ve assigned a loved ones name to a particular asshole in a book, you don’t want that person thinking that’s how you see them. So, I had a lot of explaining to do and decided I wouldn’t be doing that again.

How did your interest in writing originate?

Wow! Well I’ll try and make this concise! I’ve always thought in stories and pictures. My imagination was always very vibrant and I loved to read and enter those “other” worlds. I never thought about writing until I was older and walking one day. My father-in-law was very ill and I was taking a break from caring for him. I had an idea for a story and the character wouldn’t stop talking in my head. When I got home, the kids were in school and I didn’t have anything going on so decided to write it down. At one point, I looked up and four hours had passed! I decided to play it out and in three days had a somewhat fleshed out story. I sat on it for a long time, just being busy with my active family and job. People read it and encouraged me to, “do something with it.” However, it wasn’t until my son (who isn’t a big reader), read it and said he wanted me to publish it. I decided to try and, “The Catch,” was created. I fell in love with the craft and started writing another book which was picked up by The Wild Rose Press and the result is or hopefully will soon be in your hands, The Sea Archer.

Your favorites…( Peggy, interjecting here: This reminds me of my favorite Bravo show, the Actor’s Studio!)

Movie: Pride & Prejudice

Music: I like all genres for different things. I play classical when I write

Place you’ve visited: Scotland

Place you’d like to visit: Greece

TV show from childhood: Fame

TV show from adulthood: The Good Doctor, ER, or Grey’s Anatomy

Food: Italian

Dessert: Lemon meringue pie

Drink: Malbec

Sports team: Seattle Seahawks

What would you most like to say to your readers?

I’d like to thank the readers for taking their time to invest in my stories. It requires time to do so and no one appreciates that time more than me so thank you!

 

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#SundaySnippet 10.14.18

Here’s a little more insight to the developing relationship between Hope and Tyler.

“Enough about me,” she said, shaking her head. She speared an asparagus stalk and pointed it at him. “Tell me about you. Aside from the fact where you’re from, I know nothing about you. Out with the details, New York.”

“What would you like to know?” Tyler immediately wished he’d phrased the question differently. He couldn’t take the chance of her recognizing the name of his firm if she asked where he worked. Not yet.

Despite his plan to tell her tonight who he was and why he was in Willow Springs, he continued to keep his identity a secret, craving a few more precious hours of her company instead. Sitting across from Hope, enchanted with the way the tea light on the table bounced little flickers of light off her face and beautiful hair, listening to the sad story of her parents’ accident, and watching an entire series of emotions play across her guileless face and eyes, Tyler wanted to pretend they were simply a couple, out enjoying one another’s company.

The more Hope opened up to him, the happier he felt. From her mother’s behavior, he got the impression Hope didn’t date much and he liked knowing that, liked the thought she was doing something special with him, giving up some of her precious free time to spend it with him.

As she’d related the details of her father’s dismissal from his family, Tyler could feel the anguish and frustration oozing from her on behalf of the man she loved and adored. He hadn’t been told of the attempted payoff to Casey Kildaire. Sloan had to have known since he’d been the family solicitor for decades, yet he hadn’t mentioned it when he’d given Tyler a brief history of the family before he sent him to Vermont. Nor had he related the extent of Casey’s injuries following the crash and the severe financial problems they were still undergoing. He’d simply ordered Tyler to obtain Hope’s signature, nothing more.

He’d pushed her at dinner to answer his question and from the baffled look on her face knew she thought it an odd one. In her mind there was no way she could go back to school and take care of her mother at the same time. He should have told her right then the reason he was in Willow Springs, the subterfuge he’d used to meet her, and handed her the documents he’d brought with him. Tyler fully believed if she knew how easy her life could be with a simple swipe of her name across a legal document, she’d jump at the chance to make their lives better, pay off all their medical bills once and for all, and allow her to get back to fulfilling her dream instead of sublimating it.

“Well, for starters, what do you do?” she asked.

Best to go with the truth at this point. “I’m a lawyer.”

“Surprise, surprise.” She rolled her eyes and gave him the most delightful smirk. “I’d have bet on that without even a thought.”

“What gave me away?”

“The fact you don’t let a question go is one thing.” Her grin turned lopsided, and he got the distinct impression she was flirting with him. “Your penetrating death stare, like you’re grilling a witness on the stand, is another.”

Okay, maybe she wasn’t flirting because that was in no way a compliment.

“Anything else?”

She bent her elbow on the table and cupped her chin into it as she regarded him. “You already told me you’re not a writer, but your word skills are exceptional, so it makes me think you do write stuff. Like briefs, and whatever else they’re called.” She waved her free hand carelessly. “Plus…”

“Plus?” His breath caught when her cheeks colored.

“Well…” She squinched up her nose, her lips pursed at an angle. “Don’t take this the wrong way, but I was imagining what you looked like in a suit and the first thing that popped into my head was like a lawyer.”

This definitely sounded like flirting, but…

“What do you mean, don’t take it the wrong way?”

“I meant about the imagining part.” The red color in her cheeks blossomed and grew to cover her neck. She shook her head and dropped her gaze. “I shouldn’t have told you that.”

What would she have done if he’d told her he’d had a fantasy-filled night thinking about her in nothing at all?

Buy Links for Hope’s Dream

 

Amazon // Wild Rose Press // Nook // iTunes

And if  you’re looking for me, I’m here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

 

 

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I’m a scaredy cat, for sure….

I’m not quite sure my fear is irrational, because there’s a valid reason I have it.

A little backstory first…

I was a latchkey kid during the school year. My mother didn’t want me left all alone every day for more than 13 hours during the summer though, so from the time I was 5 until I was 14 ( and got my first job!) I was sent away with my grandmother every summer so she could “watch me.” It was more me watching her, but that’s for another blog.

Any hoo.

I was used as free labor from the time I could lift laundry bags and learned how to make beds. One day I was hanging laundry on the clothesline – yes, we still did it back then even though it was the 1970’s and dryers had been around for eons! I was just clipping a blouse on the line when I felt this horrible pinch on the palm of my hand. I screamed, dropped the clothespin and the blouse to the ground, and looked at my hand to find the biggest wasp I’d ever seen sticking out of my flesh, still moving.

I screamed again. This time louder, shriller, and more hysterical and then ran inside seeking help.

My grandmother was at the kitchen table, shelling peas. She threw me an annoyed glance, barked, “Why are you hollering like a banshee?” and never stopped shelling.

Through sobs and hiccoughs, I showed her my hand and explained myself.

She glanced at my hand, tsked, and said, “Go to the sink then and pull the stinger out. Then wash your hand in hot water and soap.”

No “here, let me help you.”

No, “oh you poor thing.”

No “Oh my goodness, let’s get you tended to.”

I was given orders and expected to carry them out by myself.

I was eight years old.

Eight.

Think about yourself at that age. Would you have been able to deal with this alone?
Unfortunately, I had to.

Sobbing, and with the damn wasp still flapping its wings, I ran to the sink and did what I was told to.

I was terrified to pull the wasp and stinger out, esp. since the bug was still alive. I took the dish cloth used to wash the dishes in my right hand and squeezed the bug until it was dead.

A strange feeling that, for sure.

Then I tugged on the stinger. I can assure you it hurt as much coming out as it had going in.

Blood shot everywhere in the sink, more so when I ran it under the flaming hot water.

“Make sure you clean the sink when you’re done,” My grandmother said, still at her shelling station. “And get a bandaid from the first aid kit.”

Never a hug, never a kiss, never a word of “Oh, poor you.”

I’ll repeat: I was 8.

When I was bandaged she made me retrieve the blouse from where it had fallen to the dirt below and hand wash it since it had gotten dirty again when I dropped it.

8.

To this day I run when I see wasps, bees, mosquitos, simple houseflies, anywhere in my vicinity.

Irrational fear or well-deserved one? You choose.

Let’s see what the other authors in this blog challenge are afraid of  – rational or irrational though they be!

MFRWauthorblogchallenge

 

 

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Do I have a backlist?

At RWA 2018 I attended a workshop about making the most of your backlist, and by making the most the presenter meant sales. So, this is good question for a writer to be asking him or herself.

So, what is a backlist? Well, it’s a publisher’s list of older books still in print. The definitive word in that sentence is older. But what constitutes older? How many years or even decades is considered enough for a book to be truly defined as backlisted? 

I’m asking this because I had my very first book published in 2015. That’s only 3 years ago. (Sometimes, it seems like 300, but that’s just me!) Now, in no one’s mind would 3 years past be considered old. But, believe it or not, in the publishing industry, it is. The reasons vary, but if you’ve ever heard this phrase: You’re only as good as your last book – you’ll know it’s true, because each time a writer releases a new book, that becomes the yardstick readers measure you by because it’s the most current, and available in the here and now.

I realize what I just wrote may be a little convoluted, so let me ‘esplain.

Most well-known writers put out a book a year, maybe 2, or if you’re Jill Shalvis or Nora Roberts, 4 or more! I’m not either, but since 2015 I’ve averaged 3 a year. This year it’ll be four, which is giving me agita even as I write this.

But I digress…

Since most authors have a lag period of about 6-12 months between releases, they don’t have much to promote while they are writing/editing/editing some more/ their coming soon book. Here’s where the back list comes in. I’m going  use myself here s an example because it’s easier. My first book, Skater’s Waltz, released in March 2015.

It was promoted heavily for a few months until my second book came out. Same scenario until my third book released. By the time the 4th and 5th books went out into the world, no one was  hearing about Book 1 which started the entire 5 book series.

So. With each new addition to the series, I tweeted/facebooked/instagrammed – you get the picture: I used my social media sites – to REMIND people about the first book, the one that started the series ( and my new life!) and put all the buy links up with each promo. I was lucky enough that each time I had a new book come out, I also had people buying the previous books because of that promo. I’ve written my series as stand alone books, which means you don’t need to read the one before the newest one to know what’s going on, but readers still went ahead and purchased those previous books.

In essence, this was me promoting my backlist.

Another way to get readers to read the books that came before your soon to be released one and utilize your back list effectively is to have a sale. Each time my newest book was a month or so from release date, I asked my publisher(s) to put the previous book I released on sale and then promoted the sale to try and garner new readers. It worked.

This holiday season I have a new San Valentino Christmas story coming out called CHRISTMAS and CANOLLIS. I don’t have the exact release date yet, but when I do I’ll be having a sale of my previous San Valentino Christmas Story A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS to try and get people interested in the new book.

The theory if you like this one, you’re sure to like that one, is the prompt for this. BTW – just a little side note: I’m having a cover reveal of Christmas and Canollis soon, so stay tuned!!!

Get the idea now of why a backlist is important to promote if you’re an author? And it doesn’t matter if your backlist is from 1 year ago and has 2 books on it, or 10 years ago with 30. ALL your books should be promoted as frequently as you’re comfortable doing.

Backlists. They’re a good thing for a writer.

When I’m not pushing, er promoting my backlist, you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe

 

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Saying goodbye…

So.

I’m not going to go into too many specifics here because I want to protect someone’s privacy as much as I can.

But…

My husband and I had a conversation the other night at the dinner table – where all the great conversations in the world should occur, I believe – about dying. Specifically, the things that get said to the person dying and the things the dying person needs to say to the survivors.

My husband is the smartest person I have ever had the privilege to meet and know. Truly. He is bat-shit brilliant when it comes to most things. If I didn’t love him to the moon and back I’d be wicked jealous of all those brains.

Any hoo.

He told me that he was at a lecture once on death and dying ( for those of you not in the know – hubman is a physician//surgeon) and something the lecturer said has stuck with him since then. It was about what a dying person needs and wants to say to the people he/she is leaving behind but doesn’t know how to articulate exactly what needs to be said.

The lecturer said there are only 11 words that need to be said  – by either party – before someone’s death. These are:

I am sorry; You are forgiven; Thank you, and I love you.

That’s all.

Those 11 words cover everything – every single thing – that ever occurred in a life or during a relationship. Think about it. Think about someone you love who is dying. Wouldn’t saying those words do justice to every thing that has ever happened in your relationship?

You don’t need to state what you are sorry for – the person already knows. Saying you are sorry  is enough.

You do need to tell them they are forgiven because they need to hear it, but they already know why you’re forgiving them without stating the reason you are.

You thank the person for being in your life, for being there during the good and bad times and everything in between, and again – you don’t need to state specifics about why you are thanking them.

Saying I love you is the most important thing you can ever say to another human being. 3 simple words, without any further exposition, is enough.

I love you.

‘Nuff said, no?

So. From me:  “I am sorry. You are forgiven. Thank you. I love you.”

 

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So, I took a little break….

I’m back.

Did you hear Arnold’s voice when you read that last line? Hee hee

My self imposed break from all social media that I told you about a bit ago (A different track) has officially ended. I was so stressed with everything that had been going on in my life of late – personally, professionally, medically, and spiritually – that I needed a little time to decompress and re-evaluate. Some sleep wouldn’t have hurt, either, but alas, I never sleep.

So. How did my little social media exile go?
Well, the first few days were hard. And by hard, I mean EXCRUCIATING! I had a real issue with FOMO ( Fear of Missing out!)


I seriously was concerned I was missing out on EVERYTHING and that I’d miss something crucial to my career or LIFE that I’d need to know. That lasted about four days. Seriously. I had hives.

Day five something happened. I woke up and the first thing I did wasn’t reach for my phone like I typically do. The first thing I did was kiss my husband good morning. The fact that it was three o’clock in the morning didn’t faze him a whit. He’s used to my insomnia.

And, no. My hubby isn’t Ryan Gossling. Just clarifyin’

Any hoo.

Days 6-10, no social media checks at all. Nada. In fact, I was cut off completely from news of the world on all counts: cyberspace, social media, and world, because I was in  the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on a cruise and no wifi. Oh, I could have had it if I wanted to pay $20.00 a day to hook it up, but seriously! Have you met me? Calling me cheap is the best compliment you can give me!

Day 11 was a travel home day. When we pulled in NYC port, I turned my phone on for the first time in 5 days. It didn’t stop pinging for almost an hour. When all was quiet again I had 1596 emails, 620 spam mails, 42 texts, 122 facebook updates, 501 twitter notifications, over 200 updates on Instagram and those were just the ones I checked. The good Lord above knows how many Pinterest, Book Bub, Goodreads and TRiberr notifications I had!

It took me almost 2 entire days to go through all the emails because a great deal of them required responses.  I found out – via FB and Twitter that  two people I knew had babies, one was admitted to the hospital, had emergency surgery and was now, once again,  home.  The world was still spinning, the day was still breaking every 24 hours, and my life as I’d known it before my imposed exile was still the same.

Was I, though?
Was I any less stressed after unplugging for 14 days?

It’s a conundrum. I was happy while I wasn’t checking my phone every two minutes and living in the moment of the exile, but all the work I had to catch up on when I got back home was a little overwhelming. But, I’ll admit, since I was so relaxed, it didn’t feel insurmountable like it had before I decided to go social media-less.

So. What’s the takeaway with all this? What did I learn about myself from unplugging and stepping away from all my technology and social media platforms?

First, that’s it’s possible and I can do it again if I need to.

Second, the world still spins without you knowing what’s going on 24/7.

Third, immediate knowledge and hearing about realtime events, while a good thing, can make you blind, deaf and dumb to your own life and the events and people surrounding you.

Fourth, while unplugging totally can be a good thing, you still need to be locked in to certain things – like emails from editors who request FULL MANUSCRIPTS of your latest work! Yeah. Happened to me while I was unplugged. Le sigh. That was the first email I answered when I was on-line again, with an apology for the time delay in responding because I was out at sea.

Fingers crossed, peeps!
And last, while social media may rule the world, you can rule your own little part of it by limiting what you allow into you life everyday. I don’t need to check on all my SM accounts daily ( or even hourly, like I was doing!). I don’t need to respond to every single tweet or FB comment I receive. And I don’t need to check my phone the moment I wake up and the last thing I do before going to bed.

So, overall, I have to say, unplugging and going in a different track for a few weeks proved to be a good thing. For me, anyway.

These are the places you can find me if you’re looking. I may or may not be checking them hourly anymore, though! hee hee

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe

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The voices in my head!

I’ve been away from my computer for a week and forgot to write this post before I left, so it’s gonna be a short one!

As far as writing goes, I basically wait until I “hear” a voice in my head to determine if I’m going to pen the book in first person ( my main character talking) or third ( multiple viewpoints). I’ve done it both ways.

When I write in third person POV my books tend to be longer because there are more heads to get into. The major pitfall, though, I find with 3rd POV is that I sometimes forget whose head I’m in!!! I’ve been known to start a scene in one character’s head and without a page break, creep into someone else’s. This is problematic to be sure! Editing is key here.

In first POV I tend to write my funnier books. I never used to like first POV until I realized how much better the snarkiness, the comedy, and the plain funny sounded coming directly from a character’s mouth.

I have two new books coming out in a few months and both are in first person AND both have humorous elements, so…

Let’s see what some other writers in this hop use for viewpoint and why! MFRWauthorblogchallenge

and please follow me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe

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The End…for now

The logo/motto for the 2018 RWA conference was RETHINK REVITALIZE RENEW. I think I did all 3.

It’s been a week since I’ve been home and I’ve been super busy trying to finish edits on an upcoming title, due today. Yesterday I completed them and sent them on their way, so now I can start to listen to the RWA flash drive of the classes and workshops I missed, plus put into effect some of the marketing strategies I learned.

Here are a few random pictures I still haven’t posted from the event. Next year, NYC. Can’t wait…truly!

When I had to choose which shoes to wear to which event: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the menu had yet another thing I was allergic to: (PS I  never ate the food at any of the  luncheons or dinners because I was allergic to almost everything they served!

My favorite event: The ProLiteracy book Singing!

Next year I’m going to be more diligent in how I take pictures. This year I didn’t take enough!

If you’re looking for me before RWA2019 in NYC, you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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