Thursday, October 18, 2018

Time for a Little Break

I've sent the first draft of A Changed World book 5 to my first reader. The working title right now is Desperate Measures. I think it's in pretty good shape, so there shouldn't be too much of a rewrite on it. Which means it is still on schedule for a December 13th release. I actually started planning out the promotions for a discount on Lethal Seasons (book 1) in the run up to the release. I might just be getting the hang of it all. (Fingers crossed!)

As mentioned in my last blog, I was creeping up on having sold 10,000 books this year. I passed that milestone this week. Woo hoo!

My new office is finished and I'm in the process of moving in. Another big Woo Hoo there! It's great to get all of my stuff in one place...but there is a lot of it. There will be sorting and purging for some time to come.

Next week I will have a house full of relatives and a busy schedule of visiting and playtime. Can't wait. But a week off always comes with it's own repercussions. I'm sure I will need a whole 'nother week to catch up with myself. So I might not be back to the blog for a couple weeks.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

A Whole Lotta Books!

I was trying to work out the read-thru rate on one of my series when something occurred to me. Thanks to the Bookbub, I was going to break 10,000 sales very soon. For the year! Wow.

Let me put this in perspective. I started publishing in 2012 and I sold a whopping 33 books that year. It wasn't until 2016, when I finally had a few books under my belt, that I even broke 1,000. Last year I sold 1241 books. That includes ebooks, paperbacks and the occasional audiobook. A step up the ladder, but not by much.

Year to date for 2018, I am at 9866 books sold. That means I need 134 sales to hit 10,000. Last month I sold over 300 books so that is very doable. I am in shock. It totally snuck up on me. I was so immersed in sorting the numbers and resetting goals, that I didn't realize how much I had actually achieved.

This definitely calls for a dinner out.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Naming Characters

Names are so important. The difference between naming a hero Timmy or Lance changes how the reader perceives him. Which one do you see with a broadsword?

I've got some very important characters coming up in my latest book and their names are giving me fits. How symbolic should they be? And should the symbolism be obvious or subtle?

Sometimes when I'm reading a book and I come across an unusual name, I wonder if I'm missing the significance. Is that a Greek god or Scandinavian? Is it a reference to a Native American origin story? And then I'm totally thrown out of the flow of the story because I'm thinking too hard about the name.

I've been spending an inordinate amount of time in the thesaurus. I'll pull up a word and click through to various synonyms looking for exactly the right feeling. I spent half a day looking things up. That really cuts down on the word count.

I spent another afternoon lost in baby name sites. There are a lot of derivations of names. Changing the spelling on something simple isn't going to work in this instance.

And I've been warned not to use too many names that start with the same letter. In one rough draft, I once had five people talking together and all of their names started with the letter L. They were all very distinct in my head, but my beta reader was very confused. I try to be more careful now.

Changing the name of an already established character can be very hard. So I've got to get these right or my readers will definitely call me on it.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Readers Block Again

I haven't been able to read lately. I could blame it on stress and insomnia, but I'm not sure if they are the actual culprits.

Nothing appeals. All my favorites are no longer enticing. I've been loading the Kindle up but not reading anything. I've started a couple but lost interest. I can't decide if the books need work or it's just my brain right now.

I have always been a voracious reader. We hit the library on a regular basis in my childhood. I would take out the max - 6 books, I think - every visit. Getting a library card was one of the first things I did whenever I moved. Now with cheap and free ebooks, I download a lot on to my Kindle. But I just haven't been reading.

My tastes have changed, but there are plenty of books out there in every genre and subgenre imaginable. And I have been happily sampling a handful of them, but nothing is really sucking me in right now.

Too many distractions lately I think. The work on the office has finally begun. I am so excited about that! My own work space! Woo hoo. I am finally going to get all of my junk into one place. I will be so organized. I hope. But the extra people in the house and power tools are not helping my ability to focus.

And the yard needs a ton of work. And I've had a bunch of small chores on my to-do list for months. And then there's that hurricane headed my way. Maybe while being stuck inside the for 4 days of torrential rain I'll pick up a book and find my way back.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Blood Relations in Print


Sheesh. I have been tinkering back and forth with this for too long. The print version of Blood Relations should be hitting the retailers soon. I just approved the final proof on CreateSpace which is a bit tricky.

Apparently Amazon is closing down CreateSpace. They are doing a rolling migration of the authors over to KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing). I haven't gotten the magic migration button yet. And that was a big relief because I still had a book under review and was worried what-all might happen.

So there is a possibility that some books might disappear. Since I don't sell a lot of paperbacks, I wasn't too concerned, but it wouldn't be fun. I have heard stories of people losing books, covers, jumbled insides and a gamut of other problems. There's always issues when you change over to a new system. Fingers crossed that I get to be one of the lucky ones without any problems.

It will be interesting to do the next book on a new site. It will be book 5 for A Changed World. I hope it is as easy as CreateSpace was.

But first I need to get that book written. Tillie's raising a ruckus and Wisp has left town with Nick to go find...well, I'm not ready to share that yet. Partly because I'm not sure how it's going to come out. Lots more complication will ensue!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Time for Kitties

I needed a little break so I thought I'd let the kitties take over. They helped me choose their favorite pictures.

Here's Bertie with her favorite toy. Sometimes she wants me to throw the mouse and she'll run after it and bring it back, until she gets distracted and forgets about me.

Here's Mallory lying in wait for an unsuspecting victim. Or maybe it's a kitty time-out.

And Rascal needed to get up close and personal for an unknown reason. (Probably involved cheese.)

And now they're back to work at a busy day of napping, eating, sniffing doorjambs and lying in the middle of the hallway.

And if you missed my Facebook post - my interview with Thrills and Mystery Podcast is up. Click HERE to check it out.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Blood Relations Now Available

Book 3 in the Asher Blaine Mystery series is now available at all retailers. You can buy yours HERE for just $2.99. Reviews would be greatly appreciated.

Book 1, White Lies, is still discounted to 99c through Tuesday. Click HERE to grab a copy. It is available in ebook, print and audio.

The print version of Blood Relations is still giving me some grief, but I hope to have it ready by next week. I will post here when that version is available.

Happy Reading!