Thursday, March 28, 2013

There is Light at The End of The Tunnel

There is so much we have to do to get the book ready for publishing that my head is swimming. We have to finish the edits, the blurb, edit the acknowledgements, finish the cover, set it all up for formatting, decide which direction we are going in for publishing, and write something about us, the writers. I think that's everything, oh and figure out who will be doing the printing for the paperback version. I do have to call Amazon today and find out how all this works. 

Yes, lots to do to self-pub, but I do believe, all worth it in the end. I have recently read several stories of people that made very little traditional publishing, I'm glad I chose this route. 

True, you have to do it all yourself, but this way, you make sure it's done the way you want it. I consider that worth it. At least after the first time, it will be easier the next, kinda like writing it, too!

The novella is moving much faster than the first book did. I know, it's a shorter read, but even the revisions and critiques are moving faster. It's nice to have the knowledge a head of time, instead of learning creative writing as you are writing a novel. Now we will have more time to get to the second book in the series. I'm very excited to see what's going to happen in Djenrye!

There is one exciting reprieve though, The Game of Thrones new series starts this weekend! I can't wait! I am very excited to see the newest adaption of my favorite book series come to life. Although they are dark books, they are written wonderfully. I love how he brings you into the world and the characters are so lifelike. I am really looking forward to the sixth book in the series. 

Actually, his books really helped me in writing Fable. The character building and scenes. The sword fighting and spurring my imagination. Of course, there are other series that has helped also, Harry Potter, and Lord of The Rings, and the Eyes of Crow series. But something about the way George R R Martin wrote that captured me the most. 

Anyway, back to reality. Fable is moving right along. We are at chapter 27 in the edits, only 12 more to go. We meet with Mikey this weekend on the cover design, and now it is all slowly flowing together. The light at the end of the tunnel is so close now I can almost touch it!

As we move along in out writing endeavor, I will keep you up to date. I appreciate all of you, you are so supportive. It won't be long now and I can announce the book is launched. I can't wait to see what all of you think of the novel and if you liked it. ( I think you will!)

Until Monday, I hope your weekend is great and don't forget to leave me a comment, the contest for the Starbucks card is still on! The more comments you write, the more times your name goes in the hat! Plus, I love interacting with you and reading your thoughts!

Have a good one, Lisa

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Blurb

It really is amazing all the steps there is to getting a book ready for publishing. Take for instance, the blurb on the back of the book. We worked on this Saturday and I thought I would post it on here to get your take on it.

I am hoping that you like it and it will make you want to read about Stevie's journey. I would love to get your feedback. Any and all comments are welcome since this is my first blurb and I want to do it right.

Growing up in Golden, Colorado, Stevie Barrett lived an ordinary life. Nothing remarkable happened in Golden, or to her, other than having been adopted and the odd birthmark on her right shoulder blade. That is, until just before her high school graduation. That’s when things began to get weird.

She notices a strange being watching her, hidden in shadow. Her mom is attacked by men with glowing gold eyes. Stevie starts having waking visions of a world and a people unknown to her. If that isn’t enough to freak out the average eighteen-year-old, Stevie accidently heals a stranger with a touch. As new abilities surface, she learns that a group known as the Rebellion want to take her life. Most startling yet, is the discovery that she is something other than human and her destiny is to save two worlds from total destruction.

In order to save herself and everyone she loves, Stevie must embrace her birthright, learn to use and control her powers, and ultimately accept exile.

Let me know what you think. If it needs more punch, or has enough. Whatever it is, I want to know.

Thanks for your support all! See you on Thursday!

Love, Lisa

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Keeping It Real

Well, it's almost the weekend again. We've been working so hard on the edits that the time has flown by. We are actually through to chapter 17 and moving right along. I'm ecstatic that most of the edits have been minor fixes. There has been a few rewriting places, but nothing big.

We should be through the book within a week and a half, and then onto figuring out the best way to publish. I have always thought that Bookbaby would be the way for me to launch, but I am hearing other alternatives to look into.

I know that there are ways to do this 'free' but I'm unsure as to my computer ability to actually format and download properly to ebooks. I do feel safer and that it would be more professional to go through a site that does it for me. What do you think? Should I try to do it another way? I also need availability of printed books since I have the cover and I need to order paperbacks for launch parties and family and friends. I know that Bookbaby does all of this for a reasonable price, including the ISBN number. I don't know...what do you guys suggest?

Well, soon enough the book will be launched and we can celebrate this long awaited endeavor.  I am nervous and excited at the same time! Nervous, because I hope that all of you enjoy the book, and excited that my dream is finally coming to fruition! 

My editor feels the book is great and not to mention, marketable. That makes me feel elated! I do hope that all of you read it and, if you like it, write me a review and tell other's to buy it. It really is an awesome read, if I do say so myself, and I think you'll agree. 

In the mean time, thanks for being so supportive and sticking with me through this long process. It has been a journey, but there now is light at the end of the tunnel. Keep your comments coming and I love to know your thoughts and ideas. I appreciate all of you and look forward to the not so distant future of announcing the launch date!

Have a great weekend everyone and see you back here on Monday!

Love, Lisa

Monday, March 18, 2013

Reading Some Interesting Books

Here it is again...Monday. I hope that everyone had a great weekend. Me, well working on the edits for Fable, of course. But I have been reading quite a few interesting books from people I have met on line. I decided to try some of the new, or even, never heard of, authors' out there. I have to say, I am pleasantly surprised at a few of the books. Some were self-published and some traditional, but the one's that were from European authors stood out as the best, whether SP or TP. 

What was great about them is the editing. No head-hopping, no info dumps, just a few punctuation or grammar mistakes. Nice clean and tight works that made them a joy to read. All of the books were great stories, but the editing made them even better. The one that sticks out for me the most is Fargoer, by Peter Hannila, with help from his brother Miika. They are from Finland and they wrote the book together. Sound familiar?! Excellent story, but I tend to enjoy books with a type of 'tribal' feel. It was akin to The Crow series, by Jeri Smith Ready, or a few others I have read with the setting like a Native American way of life and the obstacles that change their way of life by 'white man' intrusion. 

This one in particular did not take place in the America's but in Europe a few centuries ago, and the antagonist was the Vikings. It follow's Verra, a young woman who has grown up in a tribe that is matriarchal, and she is stolen by the Vikings who come to the area for trade. She becomes a slave and overcomes beatings, being raped, and eventually escapes through the help of another Viking. I don't like to give away too much, so if you get a chance, try the novel. It is a great book. 

I have also read a few fantasy fiction works too. The Witch series, by Amber Argyle, great story that follow's a young witch who has to learn about her powers on her own so that she can save the other witches from imprisonment. The Argetallam Saga, by Elisabeth Wheatley,  which also follows a young girl who needs to save herself from an abusive and evil father, and also save her world. The interesting thing about this author is she is very young, 17 yrs old. She has already written and published several books. The reason I decided to read hers is because she was always re-tweeting my tweets on twitter, so I went to her website and became intrigued.  

Also, the Sorcerer's Ring series, by Morgan Rice, and the Runaway King series by Jennifer Nielsen. Both of these follow a young man who has to save their world from evil. Both were great stories, but both need some serious editing and they would become excellent books. I did like the stories though, so I still read them.

And last but not least, I am in the middle of reading At The Walls of Galbrieth, by Alon Shalev. This is another author who again, has a wonderful story and, on top of it, has excellent editing. I give kudos to the author's who take the time to do it right.

I have quite a few more that I have ordered and not read yet on the list, but I am slowly reading them all, and enjoying them very much!

Although, it is true that even though the book might not be well edited doesn't mean it's not good, it is more enjoyable to the reader. I hope that those of you out there that are writing and read my blog take into account how important it is to get your work edited. I recently, as you know, got our book back from the editor and some of her marks took me by surprise. I even googled some and found she was correct. So, even if you think you know all the proper grammar and punctuation, you might find out differently. Not to mention, we can't edit ourselves. Fresh eyes always help.

I hope that some of you check out these books and give them a read. Until Thursday, have a great week and don't forget to drop me a line. The contest goes until the middle of April, so get your name in the hat!

Love, Lisa

Thursday, March 14, 2013

I'm Very Excited!

I received the email I've been waiting for, the book is coming back from the editor! YAY!

Four years of waiting for this, and it's finally happening! Only months away from publishing, I can't express how wonderful this news is to me, and I'm sure, to my sister. 

She and I talked out our plan for getting the edits fixed and moving on to publishing last night. Yes, Fable will come first, which means we will put the novella to the side until we are downloaded to Amazon, but I'm sure most of you don't mind since this is what we've been waiting for. There is only so much free time in a day to get things done.

But, the novella will be out some time this fall or winter, so we have plenty of time to get it finished. I hope that all of you enjoy Fable and I look forward to your feedback, and hopefully reviews of our novel. 

In celebration I have decided to give away a Starbucks card for 20.00 to a randomly selected person on April 18th. All you have to do is join in and leave comments to my blog posts. The more comments you leave the more times your name will be entered. I will draw the name and announce that day!

So keep your comments coming, I look forward to them. There are some of you that have been very supportive and I appreciate you! And don't worry, there will be other contests along the way, so your chances are great that you will win one day!

Thanks to all of you that have joined this blog, or my fanpage or both! You are great! It means the world to me to know there are those out there that are cheering us on and will read our book!

Until Thursday, have a great week, and don't forget to post, I'm putting your names in a hat each time you do! Gotta love Starbucks!

Love, Lisa

Monday, March 11, 2013

Would You Rather Be Writing?

Recently I watched a discussion on MSNBC about the service industry in this country, and in particular, the restaurant industry. I found it interesting that the arguments that were made were the same ones I had in all the years I worked either as a server, or in management. I want to say, for the most part, it is an awful business to work in. 

Yes, I'm sure there are a 'few' restaurants out there that are nice to work for, I did like some of them, but for the most part, it is one of the most thankless jobs there is. 

Between the horrible hours, the crappy pay, or the lack of pay if your sick, the average tips, and simply allowing the public to be responsible for paying most of your wages, is in my opinion, unacceptable. 

I was never so glad than to leave that business for good. I pray I never have to wait tables again!

Not so much the actual job, but the companies, or even solely owned ones, are the problem. They take complete advantage of the workers, whether you're a cook, or server, you are in for a hard job, for slave wages. 

I have often wanted to write a book of the truth behind the business, but it has left me with such a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach that I don't think I could get it down on paper without a lot of anger spewing out. Truly, a horrible way to make a career. 

Since I left the business 4 years ago, I sympathize for the people still running their ass off, scrubbing for inspections, and having their hard earned money being stripped away from them in either unfair taxes, or having to tip the bussers, bartenders, or expediters when those people are at least making minimum wage.

My back, shoulders, feet, and neck, will never be the same. I live with chronic pain every day. 

But, there is some good news, I learned to work with the public. I learned about the business from the bottom up, and I've learned that you need to fight for what you believe in. I have also learned, I don't do well with idiot bosses, so it's best I work for myself.

The best decision I have ever made is to stay home and write. With the blessing of my husband who has to go out and make the money, I have had the privilege of staying home and doing what I love for a change. 

I'm sure there are many of you out there that are in a job you hate. I'm also sure that some of you love your job and I'm curious about what those jobs are. Yes, some of you have educations behind you and chose wisely, where other's, like me, never knew what they wanted to do. Although, I did always know I wanted to write.

Leave me a comment and let me know what type of work you do besides writing, or if you are finally fortunate to stay home and do what you love. 

Please forgive the rantings of working in the restaurant business, but sometimes you have to get things off your chest. Just be glad I didn't say everything I feel about it, it would have been a 3 page blog post!

Until Thursday, I hope all of you have a great week, and don't forget to add your thoughts below, I love reading them and getting to know you and your thoughts!

Love, Lisa 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Early Stages

Yesterday we finally had the first of the long list of starting a business in our hands-the business cards. Yes, writing a book(s) is a business. I'm sure there are those who never thought that their writing novels would turn into a business, but that is one of the end results. 

Next, setting up the LLC and opening up a business account for those checks from Amazon. I'm thinking positive here! And, of course, this time next year, or maybe quarterly I'm not sure, we will be doing business taxes, as well as personal. See, this is what happens when you sell a product to the public. And, It doesn't matter if you self-publish or traditional, you are now an entrepreneur. An exciting prospect, but also a responsible one.

Now we begin to think like a business. Saving all necessary receipts, passing out business cards whenever possible, staying on top of everything that involves owning a business. You even have to draw up your own contracts if you have an artist designing your covers or your website, or a regular editor.

There is a lot to this. I'm grateful that I have owned a business in the past, it helps in getting organized for this one. Not to mention, my sister is a wiz at a lot of this stuff. 

Although I know that most would be excited about this prospect, there are those who can be intimidated by it. No need, one step at a time. And, before you know it you will become a pro and you can say with pride that you are an entrepreneur! 

But, there are certain responsibilities involved, such as making sure you do the above mentioned, and little things, like making sure the software you are working on can be legally downloaded into an ebook...things like that. You don't want to get sued by Microsoft. 

Yeah, I know it's a lot, but it will come together. I'm sure that some of you are saying, all I want to do is write, but I'm sure you have figured out that's not going to be the case. So, for those of you that dream of seeing your books for sale on Amazon, or the book store, this is a 'package' deal. 

Until next week, I hope all of you have a wonderful weekend! I look forward to any comments. Let me know if this is a realization for those of you that write, or even those who haven't realized how much work goes into publishing books!

Love, Lisa

Monday, March 4, 2013

Getting Back to Writing Again

I've been finding it tough to get back into the swing of writing again. I don't mean revisions, I mean actually sitting down and writing new chapters, or scenes.

I have finally had some new ideas come to me and sat down and wrote out a chapter one day, and a few scenes another day. It is coming back to me, slowly, but surely. I think once you have been immersed in the revision part of your book for as long as I was, you tend to forget what it's like to just sit and write. To come up with new and fun ideas for the rest of the series. I do enjoy this part of writing.

Recently, I read a new comment thread on LinkedIn asking if you have to be a little crazy to be creative, and I have to say, Yes. In fact, that's a big YES! I remember on my last birthday, I received a birthday wish from one of my comedienne,(that's how you spell it if the comic is a woman) friends who said I was crazy, but good crazy.

I guess I never thought of my self as a little on the tipped side of eccentric, or weird, or even moody. When I used to book comics and bands, I found they were all a little crazy, but wonderful people. The one thing that stood out the most for me, is they are actually very smart people, with an acute sense of their surroundings. I guess to do this for a living, you would have to be a little touched.

But, it feels good to be back among the crazy's and writing again. It is still a work in progress for me, but I will come back with a vengeance. I am grateful that I had already written most of the novella and the second book in the series. At least I know I am not starting from scratch. 

Do you think you might be a little touched in your creativity? I am curious as to your thoughts or maybe comments that you've been told about yourself to make you wonder how people see you. And, are you writing everyday, or finding it difficult to get back into it like me?

I hope that all of you have a wonderful week. Don't forget to drop me a line. I love to hear from you and your muse.

Love, Lisa