Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Catching Up With You

I have no idea what to blog about today so I thought I could just pop in, say hi, and catch you up on anything I can think of. I know, exciting, right?

In the world of books, I am working on the cover for the sequel to Earth, which, if you don’t know, will be titled Air. I am also going over the final draft of the manuscript. There’s a bit of fact checking I have to get done. It’s amazing how much easier it is to remember insane details about other people’s work than it is for your own. I could tell you scads of info on Harry Potter, Cat and Bones, Rachel and Ivy. But my own work? I gotta go back and check. The hubs just finished reading Air and gave me the thumbs up on the fight scenes so now I don’t have to worry about that.

As far as Earth goes, sales are still plugging along. Amazon had a huge sale this week where they priced over 900 books on sale for $.99-$2.99, and it doesn’t end until tomorrow and that has hurt me a little. I mean, I love sales, and books sales rock, but it created a lot of new competition for me. But! It’ll be over tomorrow so there’s that at least. Last night I stayed up late working on bookmarks for Earth, I finally decided on the design and will have them in my hot little hand very soon! I’ll be excited to give them out to whoever may want one. I wanted a cool/funny/deep/interesting quote on the back but I just couldn’t decide on which on so instead I’m just pimping Air on the back.

My editor/proofreader/crit partner and friend, Cassie Robertson has been working for Hazard Editing for a couple of months now. I hate to share her and her amazing grammar skills and keen eye, but I like to give back to the community when I can. If you’re working on a project and need a new editor or haven’t found one yet, I swear by Cassie. She’s very aware of writerly egos so if you’re a delicate flower she can be kind. If you’re like me, though, I want your work to be stronger and better, you can tell her to rip it to shreds and she won’t hold back. You can find the lovely Miss Cassie here: Hotels and Novels.

In random news, we of course saw the last installment of Harry Potter. I cried my eyes out. I have been in celebrity love with Alan Rickman for a very, very long time, and he did not disappoint. I could’ve nit picked at the changes in the story from the book, but as the movies went, it was definitely the best. I am so glad JK Rowling finally agreed to act as a producer on the final film; because it was obvious she was an asset. We also saw Captain America since that was my hubs favorite Avenger when he was a kid. I knew little about Captain America, but the movie was enjoyable and had its funny moments. I hope, if you went to see it, you stayed until after the credits. I will never understand why people will walk out of a Marvel movie before the end of the credits.

As for books, my mother and I went to the book store last week and we each bought a book. I bought Fairy Bad Day by Amanda Ashby and my mom bought The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross. Once we’re done we’re gonna trade. I picked Fairy Bad Day because the blurb on the back made the voice sound so funny. I have to say it’s not nearly as funny as I thought it was going to be based on that, but I am enjoying it. I have about a hundred pages to go, so we’ll see how it ends. Also, I loved the cover and I seriously want the shoes the chick is wearing. Like I would mug her for them. I’m very excited to get my hands on the other book though.

Well, I suppose it back to the trenches. Them books ain’t gonna write themselves.

Oh and speaking of them books, Earth is now available in paper back on Amazon!

Monday, July 18, 2011

I Have a Secret: I Have a Penname

I feel like I’m deceiving people by keeping a secret from my readers. I don’t like that feeling because it implies that I’m embarrassed about this secret, and I am not. Last month I started writing a short story erotica series. I am writing it under a penname.

My Elemental Series is a Young Adult series that will move into New Adult in the last couple of books, so obviously I don’t want to risk having young teens search out other works by me and have them pick up an erotica book if they’re not ready for that or if their parents don’t want them to read it. It seemed prudent that I keep the two projects totally separate. I plan to write more stories under my real name, keeping with Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance, though they will most likely not be Young Adult, but there is no reason why teens can’t read them. The main character just won’t be a teen herself.

I’m not embarrassed that I am writing these erotic stories, but they are paranormal/supernatural and the main character is an elf so, like I said, I didn’t want there to be any confusion about the content. But I feel weird hiding this from people. I like the first story I published and I am enjoying writing the follow up story and hope to have it up for purchase before the end of the month. However, as much as I like these stories I felt it inappropriate to promote them for fear of reaching out to the wrong demographic. I have no way of knowing the age range of those that have purchased Earth thus far; as far as I know everyone has been an adult, but what if they weren’t?

It’s a difficult balancing act. So I feel like I should tell my readers about my new work, but again I worry. I was mature enough as a teen to read this kind of content, and I imagine most of my readers would be too, but that is not for me to decide.

But in the end I don’t like feeling like I’m keeping a secret from you all. So, if you’re so inclined, my penname is Leila Bryce Sin.

Whew! That’s a weight off of my chest.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Second Milestone Achieved

So I have a milestone to celebrate: yesterday I succeeded in selling my 100th copy of Earth! It was an awesome feeling. I am still in awe of the idea that 100 people spent money to buy and read my book. I couldn’t be more grateful to each and every one of you. It’s also pretty cool to know that only a small handful of those 100 people are people I know in real life, haha! For those of you dreaming about becoming a published writer, or are working towards that goal right now, you will be amazed how hard it is to get friends and family members to read your work. But, maybe that’s a blessing for some of you? Who knows? I will say selling that 100th copy felt just as awesome as my very first copy sold (especially when I found out it wasn’t my mom). But every copy sold feels like a milestone and something to celebrate. I don’t think that will ever change for me. How will I celebrate, you ask? Well we already have our tickets to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 on Friday, so I may just look at that as an awesome coincidence and call it a celebration.

I also have to give credit to the reading machine, Savannah Valdez of Books With Bite (chick has already read nearly 200 books in 2011 alone!), for those last two sales that put me at the 100 mark. She gave me a wonderful review yesterday and was cool enough to post that review on her blog, Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

I am so enamored with the book bloggers out there, especially those who will read self/indie-published books. I know most of them are slammed now that so many of us are reaching out to them for help, but it’s been my experience that they are gracious and want to help us. Yeah, they get free books out of it, but it is so much work that can’t be the only incentive. So my thanks goes out to all of them.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

How I'm Getting Through the Rough Times

Times are tough for the Granger Household right now, just as they are for so many right now. We almost made it through the recession unscathed, but just as I decided to self-publish and the Hubs decided to go back into the Fitness Industry, we were hit hard by the economic strain that’s been plaguing the country. We’re trying to stay positive, with a few temper tantrums thrown in to release the stress, but we’re pushing forward. I believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel and I know that if it’s worth it – whatever your “it” may be – it’s going to take hard work to achieve.

So, what’s helping me get through these times? I’ll tell you. I’m allowing, and budgeting, for small pleasures. I think that’s key to get through any hard time. You can’t just live with the strain and accept that you’re not allowed to do anything fun because you can’t afford the money it may cost, even if it’s just the cost of gas getting somewhere.

I bought our tickets for Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2 last week. Oh, there was just no way I was going to miss this. Yes, I really wanted to see the Midnight showing, but the Hubs just isn’t down for that so we didn’t. But we are seeing it on July 15; I wasn’t going to wait one day more to see it. And I budgeted for us to see it in what I like to call, “The Good Theater”. We have a theater that’s about a half an hour drive away (yes, we have closer theaters) that allows you to reserve your seats when you buy your tickets. So, we no longer have to line up in the theater hours before the show actually begins. We can even show up after the previews start and our seats will still be there, waiting for us. What else is amazing about this theater? There are three screens reserved strictly for 21 and older and they serve a full bar at the concession stand and real food from the restaurant attached to the theater. So yes, that’s where we will be enjoying the final installment of one of the most influential books of all time. If we weren’t, this rough patch would be all the harder on me.

Another way we’re getting through this time is allowing ourselves to buy small treats at the grocery store when we go for staples. I’ve allowed myself a bottle of wine here and there (nothing over $7 right now) and the Hubs bought beer and we’ve bought ice cream. Little things like this make you feel more normal when you’re spending every night at home rather than going out.

Our little beach town had finally recognized that it is in fact summer and heated up sufficiently so we’ve started lying out again. Over the weekend we turned on the radio, grabbed our Nooks, poured some spiked ice-tea and soaked in the sun rays for the first time in almost a year.

It’s these small things that keep us feeling sane and normal while I work on writing and promoting and while the Hubs works on his certifications and building a client base. It’s slow going, no doubt about that, but I think it’s worth it. So if you’re at home, wondering how you’re going to make it through these rough times, remember you have a goal you’re reaching for and working towards, but that if you don’t allow yourselves some small pleasures you’ll crack under the pressure. We’re all human; you need to feel that way.