Category Archives: Updates

Indiegogo Is A Go For Launch

TSOTS COVER ADIn May of 2013 I published my debut novel The Secret of the Storm. As a new author, I am excited at the response from my readers and that it has been so positive. I will admit that I was very surprised when I kept hearing the same feedback from readers; when is the sequel coming out?

Truth is, I hadn’t planned to make a return trip to Slauson Cove. When I finished The Secret of the Storm, I didn’t exactly think that people would want to hear more about Elora and the Walsingham family. I even moved on to new projects including a major series. How wrong I was though. Nearly everyone who has read the book has been calling me out for another book about Elora and the Walsingham family. The more I think about it, the more I realize that I wouldn’t mind going back to the sleepy little seaside town and telling more about what happens after the prophecy seems to be fulfilled.

People want to hear more about Elora and her family and friends. This is great for me. It means that I did something right in crafting that story. Producing another book is definitely on the to do list but, as I said previously, I did move on to other large scale projects that are eating a great deal of my time. One of those is nearly ready to hit the press. Taking the time to write another impromptu book is going to take resources that I don’t have.

old file case Family Secrets#2I’ve started an Indiegogo project to fund what I need to get another Slauson Cove book in the works. There are so many things that go into producing a book. I want to do this right and I want to be able to pay other indie-artists and freelancers to help me make it the best it can be. That means I need funds to work with. Not only will I need those to pay the people helping but, I’ll need money to help me promote it once it does come out.

I’m trying to raise $4,000.00 through Indiegogo. The campaign will last 60 days starting August 1st. I’ve chosen to go with the flexible funding option so that if we don’t reach the total goal I can still keep working on a more limited budget for those who do want to see the book come out.

Donating is simple and can be done via the campaign site using your Paypal account or a major credit card. Simply choose your level of support. Many of the levels include a tangible copy of the book sent to you when it is completed. The details of each level are there for you to see. Donors will be featured in a post here on the blog and will also have a special place on the main header as soon as the campaign ends and I receive the list of donors. This will likely be in early to mid October.

Work will be starting on the book in September. But books won’t be mailed until all is finished sometime in April or May of 2014. Writing a book takes time and I’m wearing a lot of hats. I’m a mom, a teacher, a writer, a publicist, a homemaker, and I am trying to market with social media and promotion tours here in East Texas.

For the next few weeks, you’ll see posts here about the upcoming release and the perks that I’m offering and why I’ve chosen them at various levels. If you can support the cause, please know that you’re not just helping me take some luxury vacation or buy some sort of trinket. You’re helping me get my career and life on track. You’re helping put a little girl in dance classes, paying for education costs, and helping enable me to stay home so I can focus on the two things I love most my family and my stories.

So please, at least read the campaign here. I know that times are tough and everyone else is struggling just as we are here. But there are other ways that you can help. Boost the signal and send it out to your social media. Tell people why you’d support it if you could. You never know, it may inspire someone else to contribute where you couldn’t. I will also be posting a flyer for you print off. You can post it wherever businesses will allow you to do so. Public bulletin boards are great places for this. You can also ask your local librarian, post it in your dorm, pass it around your reading and writing circles. There are any number of ways to get people to notice the project. The more people do, the more likely I am to reach my goal. And I can’t do that without all your support.

Thanks in advance for all the support you’re showing me. As a special celebration to get things kicked off, I’ve been able to lower the price on my Kindle Edition of The Secret of the Storm to $2.99. That will last through August 10th. So, it is a chance to get the original story at nearly half price. If you haven’t already read it. I suggest picking it up and getting to know Elora Castain and the Walsinghams.

On The Horizon

I’ve been absent much more than I wanted to. We’re still researching internet providers for the new apartment right now. Though we’re planning on having everything set up at the first of the month, we’re on a budget and looking for the best deal we can find. So, access to my blog, email, and other online things is very limited at the moment.

In fact, I know I was spoiled now. I got very accustomed to having high speed internet. My ex insisted on keeping it when we were living together because of his “hobbies”. Of course I took advantage of the connection. Since he was never without it, I’ve pretty much had continual access to high speed for about six and a half years. That is, until now. Now, I’m literally using a sort of dial up to post things and check my email. Sometimes I think it would be faster to do this by snail mail.

Regardless of whether the net access is up and running by the first of the month, there are still big things on the horizon. One in particular, I want to give you some details on.

Yes, I am planning to do a sequel to my debut novel, The Secret of the Storm. The readers are speaking loud and clear on this particular issue. And I have been putting pen to page to jot down ideas for the plot and a couple of new characters to add to the mix. I won’t give details away yet except to say that there are even more family secrets for Elora Castain to uncover in the next book. There is a certain small issue from the end of the first book to resolve as well.

As much as I am planning to do this, I have to admit that I’m concerned about the time that this “side project” will take away from the coming series Armageddon Rising. It will definitely make a lot more work for me in the coming months if I am going to meet a deadline as I have in mind. So, in a way, I’m going to leave it to the readers to decide if there will be another.

On August 1st, 2013 I will be launching an Indiegogo campaign to fund the sequel. There will be incentives for those who donate or pre-order the book. I hope to raise enough to pay off a couple of bills, market the books more, and allow me to get out there to meet the readers in a more one on one way, and give us a bit of breathing room here at home so that we can continue to move toward our goals for our family.

Yes, it will be up to the readers to help get this one done. I’m going to need funds to pay editors, artists, etc for things to make this happen quickly. If those funds aren’t raised to a certain level, I don’t think that I can sink as much time into it to get it done on a tight schedule as planned. Other works will take a front seat to this one unless I can reach at least half of my goal on this crowdfunding. I’m aiming for $3,000.00. If it funds completely or goes over the sequel will take a center stage for me for the next few months (aside from homeschooling the munchkin, of course) and will come out sometime in the spring. If I only get half of the amount it won’t happen until summer or later because I’ll have to put other projects into that mix and hopefully release two back to back. We’ll just see what you all say.

It may be the case that you’re all just being nice to the newbie on the market and saying you want a sequel too. In that case, I won’t bother with it. I’ll just move on to the new series all together.

In any event, there are a lot of things happening for me. I’ll be posting more about everything soon. I’m planning on starting my regular posts back up next week. So that gives me through Monday to get my thoughts sorted and things planned out. So, I’ll see you all on the other side of the weekend. Have a fabulous one!

Kids & The State of the Fluff

I am in a very different place than I was a year ago. The changes have been remarkable really. My level of happiness is through the roof. My energy level has its ups and downs but, overall I am going along just swimmingly. The move has been a big boost in motivation for me. There are just so many things going on at once that I have moments where I’m a bit overwhelmed. Adjusting to what is essentially a brand new life isn’t easy but, I have to say that this change has been pretty seamless.

I’ve gone from living with my parents to living in my own home with my fiance and our little girl. So, I’m not just part time momma anymore. In fact, we’ve had to seriously adjust to being mom full-time. There are things about being a full-time mom that are very different from having a kid a weekend here or there like I did with my ex. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade those weekends with her for the world. I always tried to treat her like she were my own kid – despite my ex’s constant reminders that she wasn’t mine or my responsibility. But having a little one in the house full-time is a very different experience.

Back on the 4th of June, I attended her Kindergarten graduation ceremony and her classroom party with her Dad. I was asked to be there and I gave up a trip to Florida with my mom to see family I haven’t seen in a long time in order to be there. Not to mention, the trip to Disney World. What was striking about this to me was that the teachers had asked the kids what they wanted to be when they grew up. Every kid gave an answer that the teachers told the parents and families as they walked across the stage to shake the principal’s hand. For Kat, her answer was that she wanted to be a really good momma.

I am learning that I have to be an example to her. She mimics everything I do. For example; over the weekend we had the opportunity to have my parents over for dinner. My mom had just come back from her trip. She brought a pretty sentimental piece of furniture for my new home and we wanted to unload it from the truck so it wouldn’t be in the weather. I had borrowed her steam mop to get the floors done when we moved in. So, I took the opportunity to use it one more time before she took it back home with her.

I had asked Kat to stay in the other room as I did the kitchen and dining room. And she was being good and doing as she was asked. What was funny was when I looked over at her, she had our broom. As I was mopping the floors, she was pretending to mop with the broom. Every stroke I made, she matched. I thought it was just her playing around at first and laughed it off. But then, there were other things I started noticing; like her copying my mannerisms at the dinner table. 

So, I am really starting to think about how I’m living my life. What do I want for her when she grows up? How can I show her what those things are and why they are better? And I came to a realization that the biggest thing I can do for her is set the example of living a healthy lifestyle.

I am already much more active than I have been in the past. Let’s face it though, writing requires me to be fairly sedentary for a great deal of time. I want to be even more active when I can. So when a family member suggested me coming two nights a week to do Zumba with her, I agreed. And I took Kat with me the first time.

Talk about a challenge! Oy Vey! We managed to get through half of the beginner set before we were all gasping for air and wanting water. I think it was a shocker for us all to see just how out of shape we really are. Yet, we were having fun while getting that mini-workout. I know it will take time to learn the moves. Frankly I want to get the DVD and do it at home. It was a blast and I can’t wait until I can actually dance like these people can who do it. I know it will help my coordination and I also know that if I cycle it out with yoga, I’ll likely get my flexibility back as well.

I’m excited though. I think I have found something that may prove to be my niche for exercise. More importantly I think I’ve found something that I can do that will allow me to help make physical activities fun for Kat as well. She had a ball trying to do the dance. So much so, that Charles and I are talking about how to get her into dance classes thinking that it may help with her coordination and balance. We’ll just see how things shape up over the summer. We have a lot to accomplish but we’re getting there.

Just continuing to plug along. And once I get unpacked and find my files again, I plan to get back to tracking everything like I was and posting the health sheets for you all to use as well. Just keep being patient with me. I just have a lot going on and I am still trying to stay on schedule to publish The Fallen One late this summer so I’m stretched a little thin.

An Update On The Bad Situation

My post about the Kickstarter fiasco last night. You know, the one where the douchebag was trying to produce a how-to guide on “getting women” that was more a guide on how to on sexual assault. The petition was met with some resistance initially. In fact, it seemed that Kickstarter was just ignoring the 60,000+ people who were against the funding of this project. However, as a signer of the petition I got an email from dosomething.org last night stating that “We Won”.

Kickstarter issued a formal statement of apology. You can view it here: Kickstater Apology . They donated $25,000.00 to RAINN, which is commendable considering that they gave Mr. Hoinsky the $16,000.00 + that was donated to his project. Apparently Mr. Hoinsky has agreed to meet with petition organizers though, what good that will do, I’m not entirely sure. I find it difficult to think that such a person can turn this into a positive project if he continues to produce what his examples exhibited.

I did a great deal of thinking and talking about this issue. My fiance and I actually discussed the whole situation at length and I realized a few things.

Yes, I was angry with Kickstarter for even allowing such a project to go onto the site and be presented to the public. I mean this, for me, is not considered a creative project. The project was not presented as satirical. Frankly, even if it had been presented as a comedic piece, I still would have found it offensive and in bad taste. However, if it had been presented as such, I could have justified it’s inclusion as a creative work.  But the bottom line is that the examples submitted were nothing short of promoting sexual violence. I understand the reasons that Kickstarter hesitated and then funded the project. As a creator, if my project had funded, I would have expected to receive the funds as well. They wanted to fulfill their end of the bargain. Fact is, the process is so automated that by the time they acted, it was too late to stop the transfer of funds.

I get it. Really, I do. It still seems like too little too late.

There was no reason, given the severity of the allegations against this project, that it could not be suspended pending an investigation into the project and its compliance with the terms of service. As a creator, yes, it would have been an inconvenience to not receive the funds immediately. The fact is, if my project was on the level I know I would have received my funds once their inquiries were concluded. The fact that Kickstarter failed to act at all is my complaint.

After all the discussion – especially with Charles – I realized that while I was upset with Kickstarter, I was more upset with the fact that there were people out there willing to promote and support such an endeavor at all.

We’re living in the year 2013. I had hoped that, by and large, we had evolved beyond thinking that one sex or the other is there to be objectified. That we would somehow find a way to get past the nonsense that says women are there simply to fulfill some sort of physical need. That we can find a way to respect one another and live with a certain amount of respect for our fellow human beings.

Then, I remembered that every time you turn on the television, watch the news, or read online or in print you see story after story about people being abducted, raped, beaten, murdered, and tortured. If it isn’t here in the USA, its somewhere else. That, is what is really disheartening for me. That we can’t just live and let live. We can’t seem to get past our propensity to hurt one another. That there are handbooks on how to do these things and then, there are people out there, like Mr. Hoinsky, who are more than happy to put the ideas in people’s heads to do nothing more than harm others.

Yes, it is just sad to me that we can’t seem to get beyond it all.

69 Questions- A Meme

hese question and answer memes were all the rage back when I started blogging in a personal journal. I can remember doing them with my online friends often. We’ll file this under “fun stuff” or “getting to know you”. Here are 69 random questions about yours truly. And if you come up with more like these, I’ll compile them into another random post and answer them.

1: Could you go the rest of your life without smoking a cigarette?

Absolutely. That is never a habit I wanted to pick up.

 

2: Are you single/taken/heartbroken/confused?

Happy to say taken. Well, at least, I will be soon. Engaged.

 

3: What if I told you that you were pretty?

I’d likely blush and say thank you.

 

4: Ever been told “it’s not you, it’s me”?

Oh yeah. Many times.

 

5: Are you interested in anyone right now? Romantically?

My fiance. We made the engagement official on Mother’s Day.

 

6: What are you looking forward to in the next week?

Lots of things. Most notably the possibility of moving.

 

7: Do you want to be single?

I’ve found that I do not do well when I am single. So that would be a negative.

 

8: Did you go out or stay in last night?

Went out but not as late as I usually do. I’m sort of stretched between two households at the moment.

 

9: How late did you stay up last night?

About 1:00am

 

10: Can you recall the last time you realized you liked someone a lot?

Yes. As a matter of fact it was back in early December.

 

11: Last three things you had to drink?

Iced Tea, Green Tea, and half tea/lemonade mix.

 

12: Have you pretended to like someone?

When I was much younger. Though, I have to ask myself what I was thinking about certain “relationships”.

 

13: Have you ever told somebody you loved them and not actually meant it?

No. I can honestly say that despite the confusion over those words from time to time, I truly meant it as I understood it when I did say it.

 

14: Honestly, has anyone seen you in your underwear in the past 3 months?

Other than Mom? Nope.

15: Is it hard for you to get over someone?

In the past it was difficult for me to get over one other person. Ironically, it wasn’t all that hard this past time. Maybe that says more about the depth of the relationship though.

16: Think back five months ago, were you single?

Yes. Technically I was single. My fiance and I were really just starting to date.

 

17: What were you doing at 12:30 this afternoon?

Watching a movie with my fiance and talking about moving into our own place.

 

18: Hold hands with anyone this week?

Oh yes, many times. *Smiles*

19: Could you go for the rest of your life without drinking alcohol?

I could, yes. If I had to. I’m not that big on alcohol actually. I enjoy a cocktail once in a while though.

 

20: What would you name your future daughter?

I don’t know. I like the name Abigail. I also like Calliope and a whole slew of other names.

 

21: Do you miss anyone?

Of course I do. Don’t we all?

 

22: Have you kissed three or more people in one night?

Romantically, No. But yes, family. Nana, Pa, Mom, Dad etc. We always made the “goodnite” rounds in our house.

 

23: Did your last kiss take place in/on a bed?

Nope.

 

24: Are you good at hiding your feelings?

Sometimes. Though, I find it more difficult now than ever before.

 

25: Have you ever cried from being so mad?

Oh yeah. That’s a sure indicator that you’ve screwed up if you’ve gotten me to that point.

 

26: Who did you last see in person?

My fiance. Unless you count my stepdad in the next room who wanders in every now and again.

 

27: Are you listening to music right now?

Nope.

 

28: What is something you currently want right now?

I hate to say it but, money. I need to raise a little over a grand so I can pay off the legal fees and get on with my life with my future hubby.

 

29: What is the last thing you said out loud?

“Just fair warning to be careful with the dogs. There is another oppossum out there Dad.”

 

30: How is your heart lately?

Very full and quite content.

 

31: Do you wear the hood on your hoodie?

If it is raining or windy, sure.

 

32: Are you wearing socks?

Surprisingly, yes. I used to hate them. Now, I’ve come to really like to wear them.

 

33: What do people call you?

Anne, Sam, Momma, Sugar, Babe, Sammy Jo, Mommy, Aunt Sam… I answer to “hey you” anymore honestly.

 

34: Will you talk to the person you like tonight?

I talked to him earlier. Will see him first thing in the morning for church as well.

 

35: Are there any stressful situations in your life?

I have never known life to be stress free. However, I’ll take the stresses I currently have over the stress involved in the last 7 years any day of the week.

 

36: Who did you last share a bed with?

Odie or Cinnamon (mom’s dogs… aka. My little brother and sister)

 

37: Did you do something bad today?

I don’t think so. LOL I could be wrong though.

 

38: When was the last time a member of the opposite sex hugged you?

About four hours ago. Just before I headed home.

 

39: Do you get stressed out easily?

Depends. Sometimes yes. Sometimes no.

 

40: Will you sing today?

Yes. I’m always singing in the car, while doing housework, even while I’m writing.

 

41: Have you ever wanted to tell someone something but didn’t?

There are many things that I would like to say to a few people. I won’t though. Easier to let go than to allow myself to get all upset again over their B.S.

 

42: Who do you go to when you need to talk to someone?

Usually my fiance, my mom, or my best buddy. Of course, my stepdad is always there to lend an ear in confidence as well.

 

43: Have you ever been taken to the emergency room in an ambulance?

Can’t say that I have.

 

44: What are you listening to right now?

The hum of the air conditioner.

 

45: What is wrong with you right now?

Nothing really. Just trying to figure out a way to raise funds for two major life events.

 

46: What is on your wrists right now?

Nada

 

47: Where did you get the shirt/sweatshirt you’re wearing?

Torrid baby, yeah!

 

48: What do you like better: hot chocolate or hot apple cider?

Chocolate for the win!

 

49: Do you make wishes at 11:11?

I usually do and say a little prayer. 🙂

 

50: Are you a good artist?

I try. But, honestly I’m mediocre at best and only with plants. I can’t draw people to save my life.

 

51: Love really is a beautiful thing huh?

When it is with the right person, yes, it really is.

 

52: Do you miss the way things were six months ago?

Nope. Things are pretty much the same for me.

 

53: Ever been on a golf cart?

Yes.

 

54: Do you have trust issues?

To a degree yes.

55: Ever stayed up all night on the phone, with who?

Yes. Many time with old boyfriends and best friends.

 

56: Do you own something from Hot Topic?

Likely somewhere in there. My ex was fond of that shop. I do have some make up from there come to think about it, oh and my favorite cologne came from there.

 

57: Do you use chap stick?

Sometimes

 

58: Have you ever slapped someone in the face?

Yep. They deserved it too.

 

59: Do you have a little sister?

Nope. My brother’s wife is likely the closest thing to one I have.

 

60: Have you ever been to New York?

Yes, don’t really care to go back either. Nor do I ever want to have to go back to L.A. but, I figure I’ll eventually need to go to both again.

 

61: Think of the last person who said I love you, do you think they meant it?

Yes, I do. In fact, I don’t even have to question whether they meant it or not. The way they treat me tells me that they do.

 

62: Have you hugged someone within the last week?

More than one and many times.

 

63: What were you doing at midnight last night?

Trying to wind down. Working on writing.

 

64: Have you ever regretted kissing someone?

Oh yes. I’ve paired off with some lousy kissers. Sheesh.

 

65: Is there one person in your life that can always make you smile?

Yep. 🙂

 

66: Were your last three kisses from the same person?

Yes actually. 🙂

 

67: Have you kissed anyone in the last five days?

Yep.

 

68: Would you rather sleep with someone else or alone?

Depends. There are just times that you want the bed all to yourself. But right now, wishing I could snuggle up with my fiance instead of Odie.

 

69: Will next Friday be a good one?

If all goes well, then yes. Either way it will be good. It could just be great!

Life Gets In The Way…

My life has been a little crazier than usual lately. I have been on the go all week and I didn’t take my laptop with me for many of the errands I was running. Among the list of things to happen this week was my six year old graduating from Kindergarten, fiance got a new job, helping out family with errands, and trying to make plans for summer vacation and homeschooling. Yes, this writer feels like she’s run a race this week already. So, is it any wonder that I decided to take a nap this afternoon while it was storming and overslept? Not to me. I’m still fighting a nasty cold and trying to hold things together and keep working on writing.

My nap is over though. And I’m trying to make up for some lost time in the word count and editing departments. So, I’ve turned on my “feel-good music” and I’m trying to find my rhythm for a night of escapism into my manuscript. Yes, Michael Buble is crooning at me through my headphones, I’m surrounded by notes, dogs, and cats watching my type away and yes, I love it.

But let me get to the heart of why I am blogging today. Big events have happened this week. Not only did my little girl become a first grader but her Momma became a published author with a debut novel out on the market.

BookCoverPreview1Yes, The Secret of the Storm is out in print now. I announced it the other day briefly. I do, however, want to take the time to encourage you all to take time to review it and pick up either the ebook or the print version.

I did a lot of work on that novel. Elora and I went through so many changes as I wrote and edited that manuscript. Her story is one that will always stick with me because it was so similar to my own life. Now it is a work of fiction, mind you. However, Elora and I both found ourselves in situations that we didn’t expect and we both had to make the best of them. Elora’s life changed dramatically. So did mine. And the truth is, just as Elora’s will continue to change if I go on with a sequel, my life had changed in leaps and bounds as well.

When I was writing The Secret of the Storm, I spent a lot of time listening to music and writing. This is a habit that I continue to have today when I work. Yet, back when I was initially drafting an online friend actually turned me on to a band called The Tea Party. I’ve since fallen in love with their deep lyrics and their overall sound. We won’t mention just how incredibly sexy Jeff Martin’s voice is… okay, yes we will. They’ve stuck with me as a favorite over the years. You’ll find them on nearly every playlist that I use to compose. So, I thought I would simply share one of the songs that I heard more than a few times while writing.

State of the Fluff….

First off, apologies to all of you dear followers and readers. If you’ve been following for the last couple weeks, you’ll know that I’ve been trying to keep something of a schedule here on The Writer’s Studio while finishing continuity edits and trying to juggle everything else going on. I have been slacking a bit the last few days though. For that, I do apologize.

You see, I am incredibly blessed. I have an amazing family that includes my fiance and our six year old. A whole group of extended family and well, because I enjoy it, I spend a good amount of time over there with them. The weekends are the typical time for me to spend all day but, Charles has had a few days off from his job and it is our little girl’s last week of Kindergarten.

We are all excited to be attending her graduation tomorrow morning. So, why am I sitting here at nearly midnight, when I have to get up at six in the A.M.? It would be an excellent question to ask.

BookCoverPreview1The answer is really quite simple though. There was more big news for me today. After more than two and a half weeks of waiting Amazon finally sent me the news that the technical glitch was fixed. That means, The Secret of the Storm is now available for purchase as a paperback edition as well as in ebook for the Kindle. It also means that I can finally start planning a book-launch event and booking signing events here in East Texas.

It is all very exciting for me. I’m sure that it will be something that I talk about often in the weeks ahead. Not to worry though, the blog isn’t going to become one big promotion for the book. There are plenty of other things I have to talk about and give my two bits on.

That being said, the state of the fluff lately is up in the air. I’ve been on the go, lost my voice intermittently thanks to some sort of allergy attack or cold, and haven’t been paying much attention to what I’m eating. So, we’re going to have to jump back on the band wagon at some point. I think I’m going go back to doing my “health sheets” to track and maybe that will give me some motivation. You’d think that a pending wedding would be enough, right?

Keeping it simple so that I can still get some rest. If you have ideas for book-launch events, how to get the word out about the book, or just words of encouragement (this is my first “major event” with our daughter as someone she calls Mom) I will gladly take them in comments or by email. If you haven’t liked my facebook page, feel free to. There is a box on the right for easy access. I look forward to meeting all the readers as time goes on. And yes, I do try to answer all my messages.

Wish me luck! And thanks for sticking with me. Share a link. My philosophy around here is; the more the merrier.

Of Series & Sequels

TSOTS COVER ADThe official release of The Secret of the Storm is quickly approaching. You can already purchase the Kindle ebook through Amazon.com and you can purchase the print version in pre-release through the Createspace store here. I’m excited about the release, of course. I am even more psyched that the early reviews have been so positive and encouraging. It certainly makes all the work that went into producing it worth the effort and makes me want to keep going with the next book I am working on.

I keep getting the same question from early readers though.

Will there be a sequel to The Secret of the Storm?

In answering that, I can’t really give a definitive yes or no. I haven’t ruled out another trip to Slauson Cove and another chapter to the Walsingham legacy. In fact, I’ve toyed with ideas on how to continue that story. New characters would be introduced if I did go ahead with it. But, I’m not going to lie. It hasn’t been a high point on my priority list.

Even before the work on The Secret of the Storm was complete another story grabbed my attention and simply wouldn’t let go of me. So, I put my focus into that instead of a sequel. That story went from one book to a series of at least five.

AR PROMO1Armageddon Rising is a series that will be full of danger, intrigue, and even biblical prophecy. I don’t know why it was stuck in my head to tackle such heavy concepts. I suppose it is a calling of sorts because the story, research, and character development consistently cost me hours of sleep. And now that I’m in the middle of the editing phase of the project, it is costing me even more.

As with all my work, this is fiction. I don’t claim to be a biblical scholar or an expert on end times prophecy. My purpose in writing this is to tell a story that people will make people think and that they can enjoy. I’m not even going to claim that this is Christian fiction. I don’t feel that it meets the criteria to fit into that genre. But I can tell you that it is a page-turner.

I am notorious for working on multiple projects simultaneously. So, I wouldn’t quite rule out another Slauson Cove book if I continue to be asked about it by readers. There are things that I would like to explore with Elora that were, for me, unfinished in the first one. Don’t ask me when it will be out. The ideas are still merely a stack of notes in a folder with my character sketches.

If you haven’t gotten your ebook of The Secret of the Storm yes, it is available for the Kindle. The print release has been delayed but, I will keep all of you informed as to when the print version is available and events that will be coming up. I am planning to do a good number of book signings, readings, and even virtual touring with the help of Google+ and YouTube. So, if you want a chance to meet the woman behind the blog and the books, you’ll certainly get your chance.

If you have questions for me, I’d love to answer them here on the blog or in videos. (Yes, I’m thinking of branching out a bit.) So you can comment on any post or you can always email me your questions to annebellewrites@gmail.com. I always look forward to hearing from readers and other authors. I do try to respond to all my correspondence. Just have patience. Sometimes it takes a while for me to get through it all.

Happy Friday everyone. I hope that you enjoy your weekend.

Om : The Current State of the Writer

So, in honor of Memorial Day, I kept my post to the day and what it was about. Now that we’re all through the barbecues and swimming and ushering in the summer, it is time to get back to the regular posts.

Last week was full of stress factors for me. I work for a temp agency at the moment doing clerical work for a clinic. All in all, it isn’t a bad gig. Fact is, I enjoy what I am doing and the people I am working with. I wouldn’t be opposed to the job going full time however, that isn’t likely to happen because the position that I’m in is supposed to be bilingual. Such is the story of my life, it is always something it seems.

Anyway, I opted to work a day in an outlying clinic over an hour away last week. The normal receptionist was taking a day off and they needed someone to cover. I didn’t mind going. In fact, my day was nice and quiet at the office.

The fact is, my fiance has been working on getting my truck tuned up to try and save on fuel costs. On the way to the clinic, my truck lost acceleration on the hills and my gas tank was draining unbelievably fast. Then when I was coming home in the middle of a major thunderstorm with tornado warnings (something I’m a little phobic about) the truck decided to stop working all together. It just died.

Thank God my Dad was just coming through there on his way to work when it happened. He turned around and came to me and got me home. But here I was car-less for three days until Dad got a fuel filter and changed it out. I had to go to Walmart when it was done and I stopped at the fiance’s house. He immediately went to tweaking things and ended up tweaking more over the holiday weekend to where, now, its running like a champ.

So thankful that the men in my life now are good with cars. I know nothing about them really. I can check the fluids, tell when something isn’t quite right, or explain the noises and make a guess on what is happening but, to get under the hood and know what I am looking at, yeah… no.

I didn’t do terrible over the holiday weekend. We kept things fairly light. Though Saturday, we ate way too much pizza when we took the munchkin on her first trip to Chuck E Cheese. We all had fun though. Her dad and I played as many games as she did. And I loved every minute of it. I love the fact that we can cut loose and just have fun even if we do look like a couple of dorks in the process.

As for the currents of the day. Here’s my list:

Currently Drinking : Dr. Pepper & Coffee today Writing fuel since I get one more day with the manuscript.

Currently Eating: I have no idea yet. Likely just sandwiches or something like that.

Currently Reading: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman I picked it up this weekend after doing bridal registry at Bed Bath & Beyond. Had to go to Books-A-Million because my fiance decided he didn’t want to “girl shop” as he called it. So, I found him in the bookstore browsing in science fiction. Yes, I laugh at this because I love this man. He’s the type of man I should have married in the first place. He’s a reader. I should be married to someone who has a healthy respect for what I do.

Currently Watching: Nothing really. We didn’t watch Season 2 like planned this weekend. Maybe tomorrow night. Writing this the night before it posts I’m about to turn on some Tom & Jerry cartoons and crash though.

Currently wearing: Jogging shorts and a sleeveless ribbed shirt. Kept it simple. All black. Needed something cool today.

Currently Looking Forward To: Getting word about the print edition of my book so that I can get on with marketing.

Currently Working On: The series that I will be releasing this summer. Book One is nearing completion at this point. Will be giving some sneak peeks in the weeks to come and will likely post about it at length in this week’s writing post.

Currently Listening To: Some vacation tunes. I’ve always had a soft spot for Jimmy Buffett and that island sound. So I’ll leave you with one of my favorites.

My Indie Publishing Decision

The decision to go into independent publishing is not one to be taken lightly. There are many reasons that any writer might choose to take on the role of their own publisher. There are also many reasons to go with traditional publishing. Each route has their own set of perks and pitfalls to overcome. So, regardless of my own decision or what arguments for going it alone I may make in this blog, I wholly advocate doing your own research on both methods before making that decision for yourself. My purpose with this post is not to advocate for or against indie-publishing. Instead I want to explain why I came to the conclusion that this was the best option for my personal plans.Indie Publishing

I think every writer starts out with dreams of the big publishing deal at a traditional house. I know that I did. I spent years prepping query letters and submission packages, sending them off, and waiting what seemed like months for rejection letters to come. At first they were just form letters stating that my work wasn’t accepted. Then I started to get letters that wanted to see more of the work for review. When I sent it some would say that it wasn’t a good fit for them, others would tell me that their client roster was too full to accept another work of this sort or that. For me, it all seemed futile after a while. I knew that I had a story that people would respond to. I also knew that a big house putting money into someone with no track record for marketing purposes was going to be little more than a drop in the bucket if anything. So, ultimately, I was going to have to look at other options. I had to prove myself before a major house was going to accept me and put anything into building my career.

Make things happenSo, I started looking into the independent publishing movement. There was more to it than I originally thought. There were things like editing, formatting, and cover design to consider. Then there was the cost of getting the books to readers and ultimately how to market the book so that people would know about it. So, yes there was a lot of work involved and a lot of cost.

Then I started looking at what cut of the book I would actually make. With publishers it was pennies per book sold. Doing it myself, I retained a much bigger portion of the profits. Add to that the fact that I kept creative control over the cover, the title, and the rights to the work and I had my facts.

Yes, lots of work. Yes, there is some cost involved. But ultimately, the whole experience would give me a much better one on one with my readership as it grew and I would be able to give the readers more of what they wanted if I had that sort of control. And ultimately that’s what I wanted to do.

So after months of consideration and a few further failed attempts to submit, I decided that I would be an independent author and work on actually reaching my audience more than I would worry about reaching a publisher.

Honestly, the digital age has been a friend to writers and artists in general. Unlike in the past, the internet allows us to reach a variety of people and in ways that are far easier than mediums in the past. With email and blogs it has become easier to reach readers and make connections. While it is not an instant process, it can be done with a bit of effort and research. Since I was willing to put forth the effort, I really feel that independent authorship was for me.

I am going to start compiling the resources that I’ve used over the years. My aim is to make some posts, once a week, about writing and publishing and then compile the links and resources under a section of the blog so that other aspiring authors can have access to them.

The one thing that people ask all writers, it seems, is if they have advice for other aspiring authors. My advice is very simple. Write. Don’t get caught up in the whole publishing game until you’re ready to actually publish something. Otherwise, you’ll make yourself crazy trying to sort of what you should write and should avoid based on a company’s guidelines that may never accept your work to begin with. So, write the stories you know you have to tell. Write for yourself and for the people who may read your work instead of some corporate CEO. You’ll be happier for doing so in the long-run.