Tuesday, August 23, 2011

10 Random Facts: I've Been Tagged!

I was tagged by author pal, Samantha Warren, in a fun blogging game where we each have to list 10 random facts, and then tag four other bloggers :).

Who am I to deny some bloggy fun times?

So, here goes!  10 random things about me that you never wanted to know but are going to read anyway:

10)  I used to fell trees with my ex-lumberjack grandpa!  We live in the Pacific Northwest, and our house was overshadowed by some creaky, terrifyingly large trees that threatened to fall on us during every storm.  So, of course, like any normal family, grandpa decided to enlist my 12 year old self to help him take them down.  To this day I remember his shouts of "run for your life!" and "watch out for the power lines!" echoing through our neighborhood of track houses.  Good times, Grandpa.  Good times.

9)  I met my husband through Craigslist.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Some girlfriends of mine were posting ads during college so I posted a joke one that said "Two Headed Girl Seeks Friendship, Maybe More" to see if anyone would respond.  My husband's roommate forwarded him my ad, and the rest is history.  Random, no?  Obviously, 'twas destiny.

8)  I hate fruity, sugary booze, and love whiskey straight up.  Apparently, I am a 1890s cowboy.

7)  Once I discovered Ru Paul's Drag Race on Netflix, I couldn't stop watching it.  I seriously marathoned this show.  Ru Paul presents hilarious challenges to young drag queens, says "Don't fuck it up" as encouragement, and then ends it with "Shasay.... away.." when someone is eliminated.  Tell me this isn't the best reality show of ALL TIME.

6)  I named my kitty Fawkes after the phoenix in Harry Potter :3.  He's orange.

5)  I'm a pretty good shot with a bow and arrow.

4)  On a related note, I hit my mom in the eye once with a tiny arrow from my Lord of the Rings Aragorn action figure's wee plastic bow.  Luckily, she was wearing glasses, and it deflected the blow.  I was 20 at the time.

3)  I karaoke to "Bohemian Rhapsody" without feeling shame.

2)  As soon as I get home from work, even if it's early, I change into pajamas.  Pajamas are my natural state. Right now, because it's summer, I'm in a wifebeater and boxers.  Yes.  I am a classy lady ;).

1)  One of my favorite movies is Rambo, First Blood.  I'll tell people that I love oscar winners, but I seriously love terrible 80s action movies.  Favorite genre, hands down.

So, now it's time to pick some of you!  I want to know your 10 darkest secrets.... or at least 10 random facts :).

I'm tagging:

Tere Kirkland
Abby Annis
Christine Fonseca
Michelle McLean

Let's hope they spill some juicy facts! ;)

What about you?  What's a random fact about YOU, dear followers?  I'd love to know!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fairytale Assassin Contest: Name That E-Book!

I'm almost done with the next Fairytale Assassin adventures, but I need YOUR HELP!


Help me come up with a snappy, punny name for a Rumplestiltskin story!


The person who comes up with the best story name and leaves it in the comments here by 8/31/11 wins:

  • A free copy of the new short story
  • A dedication in the e-book from me
  • A $15 Amazon giftcard!
For inspiration, my current Veronica Grim: Fairytale Assassin story names ARE:

Blood Don't Lie (Bluebeard)

Carnivore (Little Red Riding Hood)

Heartless (Snow White)

Skin Deep (WIP, Beauty and the Beast)

Leave your ideas for Rumplestilskin in the comments, by 8/31, and on September 1st, I'll open up voting for you, my lovely readers, to pick the best one! 

So, what are you waiting for? 

Thinking caps on! 

May the best name, WIN!

Disclaimer that my husband made me add:

I pick the top three names to be voted on to weed out trolls and stuff because The Internet is not always a fun and friendly place. Also, I have no obligation to use any name you provide. This is for funsies and should work out great, but you know. Just in case. Carry on!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Get Your Head in the Game

Do you have a mind for business?

Well, if you're a writer, I hope your answer is either "yes," or "argh, I'm learning as fast as I can!"

Sometimes when we're neck-deep in story ideas, it's easy to forget there is a second, all-important skillset we need to honing:  our business savvy.  If you never reach your readers, how are you going to make it?  How can you reach them, entice them to pick up your book, and convince them to come back? 

Figuring that out is almost as important as the writing itself.

I'm constantly working on this, because being a small business owner is definitely new to me. When I first started on this journey, I had exactly zero clue, so I started reading about book marketing. I have a few books stacked up at home on the subject, but here's the kicker. They're almost entirely obsolete now because of the market shifting toward e-books!

So, I'm learning as I go.

One thing I recently picked up is that the Fall and Winter are huge for e-books (and books in general.)  People are home from summer vacation and they are giving their family and friends e-readers for back-to-school and Christmas. 

The savvy marketer at this point thinks, what can I do to make sure I'm positioned well for this great sales quarter? How can I make sure I benefit from this season?

A few things I'm doing to prepare:

  • I'm looking for new cover art for Legacy of the Empress to bring it more in line with professional TOR-esque covers so it will stand out in time for Christmas
  • I'm bringing Legacy of the Empress out in paperback to reach those who don't have e-readers yet.
  • I'm going to be a part of a local author event at a Beaverton library in October talking to teens about writing and selling paperbacks.
  • I'm writing more stuff! (The most important part.)  I hope to have two more Veronica Grim stories as well as (hopefully) a great start on the sequel to Legacy if not the whole thing, ready to go.
What are you doing in the coming months with your writing?  Even if you're not ready to be published yet, are you preparing a business plan for the next month, quarter, or year? 

It's something to think about :).

What do you think?  Do you have a mind for business?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Insane Ways of Staying Sane

So, newsflash.

This week is stressful. 

With the stock market playing ping pong with our money as well as rumblings of the End of Days (recession-wise), I'm more than a wee bit high strung.

Of course, this means I started to get crazy nervous about the new pieces I'm currently writing. Thoughts like, "I've lost the sweet mojo! No one will ever buy one of my books ever again!" and "Maybe all of my writing is terrible, horrid crap, and no one's told me!" have been flying through my mind at break neck speeds.

I realize, however, that this is The Crazy talking and shouldn't be taken seriously.

So how the heck do you stop The Crazy and get back to work?  How do you shake off the negative voices and start feeling good about what you're doing again?

I'll tell you what I did.

I gave myself a pep talk!

This sounds dorky, but it 100% worked, and I felt great afterwards.  I addressed myself in the 3rd person (in my head), and told myself all of the things I'm proud of about my own writing and the things I've accomplished so far.  I told myself that good things were on the horizon and that I can absolutely meet the goals I've set for myself.

I told myself that I've got this covered, and psyched myself up. 

Have you ever done this?  It really helped lift my mood instantly. 

Next time you hear The Crazy creeping in, give it a try :).  You might be pleasantly surprised!

Monday, August 8, 2011

July's Numbers, AKA, Why I Was Crapping My Pants in July

I promised I'd share my numbers with you as I went along this crazy-go-nuts road, and that's exactly what I'm going to do :).  Woo hoo!

Okay, so first, history:

In April I had a couple of short stories up and sold 19 e-books.

In May I had the two stories, and released LEGACY OF THE EMPRESS in the last couple days of the month. I sold 30 3-books, 7 of which were Legacies.

June, I sold 125 e-books across two names (this one and my pen name.)

So, July?  How'd it go???


I sold over 3500 e-books in JulyTwo short stories sold over 1000 copies each.

I flip flopped between feeling sweaty elation and then icy cold terror. Now, I'm much calmer :). 

What a great month, though.  Let me stress, too, that I only have one full length novel:  Legacy of the Empress.  The rest are all short stories, and a 15,000 word novella under my pen name. 

People who say short stories don't sell are wrong.  This is excellent news for all of us!  Have some shorts chillin' on the harddrive?  Well, if you publish them for kindle, nook, etc, you could make money and gain a following before you finish that first novel. 

What are you waiting for?  If you enjoy writing short stories, you have nothing to lose, except maybe $10 for a stock photo.  I edit my stories and make my own e-covers for these short tales.  Go for it! :)  You may be surprised.

August has slowed down already, and I've only sold about 550 so far. Summer is notoriously slow because folks are doing yardwork and chasing rambunctuous kiddos instead of reading, so I'm working on getting new stuff written for Fall :). 

I hope to have two new Veronica Grim, Fairytale Assassin stories ready by September 1st, and then it's time to write the sequel to Legacy of the Empress.  Woo hoo!

It's GO time.

How are your own projects going?  Do you have anything on the burner now?  Tell us about it!