Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Ever Wanted to Appear in a Fictional Novel?

Good morning! How was everyone's weekend!

Happy Belated Mother's Day for those who celebrated it this past weekend, and to those who celebrate it at other times, Happy Mother's Day to you too! Mothers are amazing! 👶

I spent the day getting mannies and petties 💅 with my mom, two of my sisters, and my niece. My brother came to breakfast with us, and he asked if he wanted to join us at the salon, but apparently he has ridiculously ticklish feet. 👣 You gotta understand, my bro is 6'2" and built like a linebacker. I had this hysterical image of him kicking the poor, 90-pound Asian salon lady in the fact while she tried to give him a pedicure. Or better yet, her hanging on to his foot while he kicked, flying through the air like an attached streamer.

Yeah, my imagination went a little wild. I had a super busy week, but not a bad one. Here's a ridiculously adorable picture of my toddlers falling asleep on one another. The baby is in her car seat next to them, but she's facing the other way, so you can't see that she, too, fell asleep. Gotta love that hot, Utah sun! ;D

So, question for you: have you ever wanted to appear in a fictional novel? Lots of writers base personalities or certain traits of characters on people in their lives or acquaintances they've met.

Pretty much all my characters have parts of me in them, especially the female ones. I don't think I've ever based a character's personality completely on someone I've known, but I have drawn specific aspects from various real life sources.

So have you ever thought about this next question: would you ever want to appear in a fictional novel, specifically as a villain? 😈 I'm gonna take a wild guess and say, probably not. That's why you must always mind your manners around an author. 
Otherwise, you might end up immortalized for something that's less than flattering. ;D

For example, this is song rather than fiction, but did you know that Carly Simon wrote the song "You're so Vain" about an ex-boyfriend. It's about Warren Beatty, whom she dated and, apparently, wasn't too impressed with. Ouch. 😉

So tell me, who are your favorite villains?

I don't know that I could choose just one. There are those villains, like serial killers, who are usually the creepiest and most fascinating. But then you gotta love those hilarious villains that are just so happy to be evil. They always make me smile (while rooting for the hero to take them out, of course. 💪👊)

Crime Fic:

Starting today, check out this promotion for mysteries and thrillers through Instafreebie. Lots of fun books up for grabs. It will run through the 24th. Check it out HERE. 

As you can see from this Scrivner screenshot, Book 3 of Street Games is coming along.

Stay tuned over the next few weeks. As I get closer to completing it, I'll ask for help from all of you in choosing a title.


Remember that Bastions of Blood comes out in exactly one week! I'm so excited for you guys to finally get book 2. You can still pre-order the book for $1.99. That's a dollar cheaper than what it will be when it comes out. Just saying. Pre-order HERE

Remember that I'll be having a Facebook launch party where I'll be giving away prizes including free books and Amazon gift cards. It will run from 7-8:30 MST on May 23rd. Go to THIS LINK to join the event.

Based on what you've read so far in book 1, what do you predict will happen?


Specifically, who is your favorite Dystopian villain? I'm just curious. Jeanine Matthews of Divergent? Big Brother of 1984? What do you think of B so far in Interchron?

Remember to check out the Epic Worlds Giveaway, if you haven't. It only runs until the 19th, so be sure to fill up on free books set in epic worlds. The clock is ticking! Check it out HERE.

Well, have a wonderful week. Whatever you're doing this week, be awesome at it. There's really no other way to go through life! ;D

"Writing is a struggle against silence." --Carlos Fuentes
"Literacy is vital to democracy. For if the governed can neither understand their leaders nor distinguish truth from lies, then a democracy descends into oligarchy, a government by and for the elite few." --John Stauffer 
"Oh that my words were now written! Oh that they were printed in a book! That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock forever!" --Job 19:23-24

Monday, May 15, 2017

Best Way I've Ever Found to Grow my Email List

Good morning! Yes, I know. I've been neglecting my blog again. Cest la vie. But here's the thing:

I've been super busy these past months, overhauling books, busy getting rights reversions, re-editing old works, and building my email list. All of this is in preparation for my "next phase" which will start when I release my next book in about a week. So... *rubs hands together*

1. Instafreebie.

In February, I attended the LTUE conference in Provo, Utah. There, I was approached by a young woman who worked for a site called INSTAFREEBIE.

Anyone heard of it? I hadn't. So please listen. All you authors out there, if you're not on Instafreebie, YOU NEED TO BE ON INSTAFREEBIE.

It's by far the best way I've ever found to build my email. List. Basically, before Instafreebie (IF) I'd had about 30 people on my email list for the 3 years. I just had a really difficult time building it, as many authors do. I joined IF and started doing their promotions. (It is a paid service, but it's not expensive and the promos are free once you join.) In the past 6 weeks I've gained roughly 1800 subscribers. No lie. Here's proof: (Btw, I have different lists for the different genres I write, since not all people who read one genre will want emails about the others. That number represents my total current subscribers across all lists.)

It's by far the best site I've ever found for connecting authors and readers. Seriously, go join IF. Now.

2. I left one of my publishers. They nearly went out of business, but then were bought at the last minute by another company. The problem was, that company only published YA books. Mine are adult. So they didn't kick me to the curb, but they were very frank about the fact that they wouldn't be promoting my books. They said if I wanted to do a promo, they'd put it on their Facebook page, but that was all. So I had them revert the rights to me so I could self publish. I knew I would do better on my own.

I actually feel quite blessed with how well it went. It took some time, of course, but went very smoothly overall. I was able to obtain full rights on both novels I had with that publisher as well as usage of my covers. (Score!)

But here's the kicker: I decided to re-edit Citadels of Fire, since it was one of the first novels I ever wrote. I have a new (relatively) method of editing my work that includes a specific way of editing for crutch words. I wanted to re-edit that manuscript just to see how bad my crutch word usage was back then. And guess what?

It was TERRIBLE! Obviously I've grown a lot as a writer since then, but the thing that was very eye-opening to me is that it was edited for publication by a professional editor. And they didn't catch any of the crutch words/passive voice. When I re-edited it myself a few weeks ago, I cut almost 5,000 words out of my manuscript without changing a single thing in the plot. It was just tightening things up. That's staggering.

So that inspired me to write a little pamphlet for authors about how to edit your own work and never have to pay a professional editor again. I'm working on that now. It won't be a very long book, and I hope to have it finished in the next few weeks.

Finally, Book 2 of Kremlins, Bastions of Blood, will be out next Tuesday, May 23rd. I'm going to have a Facebook Launch Party. (I'll put details in my post tomorrow.) This book really should have come out a year ago, but there was delay after delay at the publisher, before they finally went under/sold to another company. So I'm very excited to finally be able to publish book 2 of my trilogy.

Like I said, more details tomorrow.

Also, for the time being, I'll be publishing about once per week, just updating with news of all my genres. Normally it will probably be on Mondays, but this week I'll be posting it tomorrow. Wanted to do this post today by way of introduction to my new format.

Okay, I think that's all. See you tomorrow, and have a fantabulous Monday! ;D