Sunday, June 14, 2015

Before leaving on another trip

This summer is a bit crazy. Two trips in May, one in June, one in July, maybe one in August. Oh, well. Make hay while the sun shines and travel when there is no snow, that's my motto.

I hit my deadlines: finished 2 mysteries this year (Whole and Pried), and have started working on Book 5 of the Endless American Dream Series. I hope to scope out Book 6 also this year. And maybe even start writing it.

Ambitious talk for someone who is 2 chapters into writing a 24-chapter book.

Fingers, don't fail me now.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Traveling traveling, a-traveling we will go

I just got back from a 2100 mile, 7 day odyssey of a road trip, and I'm leaving in a couple of days for another road trip and plane trip combined. So I'm not here, as it were.

But: I did hit my deadline and finished my 2nd mystery this year. And I am slated to get started on my Sci Fi series again in June.

So cheers to me and here's to summer! I'll be in touch once I touch ground again.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Giveaway deadline approaches!

I haven't gotten a lot of takers for my giveaway, so I may do a bit of advertising for the next one. This is all a grand experiment to see what works, what doesn't -- if I can even determine that! It's so hard to tell what might be working when it can take months for royalties to be reported. So it's hard to see a cause and effect.

But this is the Year of Promo so I'll try some more experiments and see if I can get a sense about what's reaching readers.

It's always interesting around here ...

Saturday, March 21, 2015

GoodReads and giveaways -- a Good Thing?

As I've mentioned before, this is the The Year of Promo (or Marketing R Us), and I'm focusing on GoodReads quite a bit.

To that end, I set up a giveaway of the first book in the Deadly Landscaping trilogy, Lilacs. Here's the scoop on the giveaway, right here.

I'm absurdly pleased with myself about this. I've done very little in the way of promotion for my books, and this was such a no-brainer and so easy. I am intensely curious to see if (1) I get reviews out of this and (2) if any of my other books see a jump in sales and (3) if I get any reader interaction out of this.

So stay tuned, faithful readership. I'll keep you posted!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Beware the Ides of March ... not

Today is Friday the 13th. I'm not superstitious so it almost passed me by without notice. I have a black cat, I'm sure I've walked under more than my share of ladders in my day, and Lord knows I've broken a few mirrors in one of my 27 or so moves in my life.

I am superstitious about some things, though. When I start a new book, I have to get The Book ready. This is a small notebook that I use for miscellaneous Stuff for the work-in-progress. I paste in photographs of people who might be my main characters, I have floor plans for houses, maps of towns, snippets of conversations I overhear that might be useful. I carry The Book with me wherever I go, and by the time I finish writing the novel, the Book is jammed with odds and ends.

I don't feel I can really start a new WIP until I have the right Book chosen, the right stickers on it to indicate the theme for the book, and have picked out a few floor plans and maps of towns. Once I have that in place, I can really start writing.

I have a bin full of old Books and they've come in handy when I had to revisit a novel I wrote years ago. They remind me of who that character is, what their house looked like, and so on. I have vague plans to write one novel that contains all of my characters from my mystery stories, and it'll come in handy then. If I get to it.

So much writing, so little time!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

What is the weekend to you?

To most of us, it's a chance to catch up. Get the laundry done, get the groceries, do all the chores we don't have time to do during the week.

My situation is a bit different than the normal Worker Bee. I work from home, so I can slip out during the weekday to get groceries, pick up the laundry, mail a letter. I can get the laundry done while I'm on a conference call and I can have the repair people over to fix something without much interruption in my life.

But the weekend is still catch-up for me and it's catch-up on the Writing Stuff. I'm on the day job from 5 a.m. to about 5 p.m. most days. I'm not chained to my desk the entire time but I am on duty, as it were, and try to answer all email and phone calls during that time. Oh, who am I kidding? I'm on call at night, too. I check my email until about 9 p.m. most days.

I try to have a firm cut-off time because once I'm off the Day Job, I can do the Writing Job. I don't like to post on Facebook, Twitter, etc. during my Day Job because, well, I'm on the job, you know?  "Hmm. She's posting during office hours. I wonder why?" We don't have set hours, we don't have lunch hour, we don't have breaks. I'm always on the clock when the Day Job computer is turned on. Yes, I can walk away from the computer to run those errands, but I carry my phone with me and I'm available, if needed.

Let me hasten to say my boss does not insist on this. No one is looking over my shoulder. But it's still the principle of the thing, I guess. I like my Day Job (99% of the time. The other 1% is not so fun), and I plan to continue as long as my writing doesn't pay the bills. The minute my writing kicks in and earns me what my Day Job does, well, that's the day I can reconsider my priorities. But for now, I have to use Day Time for Day Job.

Weekends, though, are for the Writing Life. I only get 2 or 3 hours a night to work on writing, so the weekend is when I try to do some promoting, some research, some catching up on correspondence. Promotion is essential for an author like me, someone with small publishers who have little distribution (i.e., you don't see my books in a bookstore so there's no impulse purchasing). I have to target my audience, and I hope my audience will spread the word, so that, little by little, I build my own distribution.

That's where you folks come in. You're my network of people who will, I hope, spread the word about my books. ALL of them are still in print, and all of them are still available. There are new people all the time looking for books. If you've read one of my books, please share a review on Good Reads or Amazon or Barnes & Noble. The more reviews, the easier for my books to be found.

Anyway: here we are. It's the Weekend. A time of infinite possibilities, as far as I'm concerned. I have my list of Things To Get Done (post an excerpt here; upload some content there; set up a giveaway on Good Reads for then -- all repeating tasks). If I can get throught that To Do list, then maybe -- JUST MAYBE -- I can finish that book I've been working on since January 1. I have one more book I want to write before June 1, so... fingers, don't fail me now!