Sunday, December 22, 2013

Author Interview With Barb Tarn

Barb Tarn was kind enough to post an interview with me on her blog today. Barb is a fellow indie author herself, and boasts multiple published works. Check out her books or read her own author interview on Smashwords. Happy holidays everyone!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

GYPSY: Paranormal by Cynthia Harrison

I recently had the pleasure of editing Gypsy, a paranormal novel written by Cynthia Harrison. She's currently offering the novel for free on her blog until after the holidays, when she'll likely post it to Amazon. Anyone interested should check out her blog.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Read Tuesday

So I recently heard about this event called Read Tuesday, which takes place December 10, 2013. It is designed to be like Black Friday, only for books. From my perspective, the most appealing feature about Read Tuesday is that one can participate without worrying about humankind trampling over them in order to secure the last game console, television, or [insert item of your choice] before it returns to regular price. I'm not sure who first had the brilliant idea of following Thanksgiving with Black Friday, but the two balance each other nicely. The same people giving thanks today will be the ones bulldozing over their fellow man tomorrow in order to save a few bucks.

So what am I giving thanks for this Thanksgiving? Online shopping, ebooks, and the general civilized nature of the reading community. Happy Thanksgiving everyone, non-Americans included, and I hope you all find some great deals at the Read Tuesday event.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

DIVORCE Revisited

I recently finished preparing my next release, The Amicable Divorce, for publication. The Amicable Divorce is the first novel I wrote, back in 2004, and rereading it was like visiting with old friends. Although I remembered the basics, I had forgotten some of the scenes. I had great fun reading it again for the first time in seven years.

I spent two years writing The Amicable Divorce. I had a traditional job back then, but at times I devoted over forty hours per week to working on this novel too. Books are kind of like children to the people who create them. Like any new parent, sometimes you can't get enough of your own child, and this story was my baby . . . only one that I could leave in the closet for several years without Child Protective Services hunting me down. Now, with self-publishing, my firstborn has finally found a home.

The Amicable Divorce is more chick-lit than mystery, although there is a significant mystery aspect. I know that won't appeal to some people. As always, you can read the opening chapters on Smashwords before deciding whether to purchase the entire book. But whether I sell any copies or not, I've already realized the greatest joy of its publication: a professionally bound copy of my baby sitting on my bookshelf.

Sunday, October 27, 2013


NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, kicks off November first. For those of you thinking about writing a novel, this may be the push you need. To quote Thomas Edison, "writing is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration."

Okay, so Edison was talking about genius, not writing, but writing fits just as nicely. When I'm editing my early drafts, I can't distinguish between scenes I wrote while truly inspired and those I wrote while glancing at the clock every ten seconds, wishing these darn characters would hurry up and do whatever they need to do so I could go read/watch TV/be lazy. You would think the inspired passages would stand out but they don't. Or maybe I wasn't quite as inspired as I thought at the time.

So, if writing a novel is on your bucket list, there's no time like the present. Sign up, and start sweating!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Games and Whatnot

I finally decided to connect my laptop to the Internet after months of leaving it in isolation. My impetus for this brave decision? I wanted to play games online and needed to download the necessary software.

Since I figured I should be somewhat productive, I also updated a bunch of programs already installed. Happily, my word processor had a new version out and after I upgraded my spell-check worked again. It has been broken since earlier this year, probably the result of some self-preservation mechanism kicking in given how atrocious my spelling can be when writing a first draft.

I'm sure you're wondering whether there's a moral to this story and, yes, surprisingly there are two. First, never underestimate the value of playing games when you could be accomplishing something inherently useful. Second, when something breaks on your computer, don't waste your time trying to fix it by combing through the millions of incoherent articles available online, futilely importing language libraries, and pounding on your keyboard in a last-ditch effort to jar something back in place. If you procrastinate long enough, the problem will eventually fix itself.

Unfortunately, procrastinating until someone else codes a fix doesn't work so well with plot holes, weak character development, and grammar nightmares, but that's okay. Never underestimate the healing power of games.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Book Reviews & More by Kathy

I'm the guest post today on Book Reviews & More by Kathy. I talk about book titles and offer a chance to win a free ebook copy of my recent release, Lost Witness, which is now available for purchase. While you're visiting her site, check out Kathy's book recommendations and contests. Her page is jam-packed with helpful information. Happy reading!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

My First "Lost Witness" Review

As an author, there's nothing more satisfying than knowing a complete stranger enjoyed my book. This week, a volunteer reader was kind enough to give my upcoming humorous mystery novel, Lost Witness, its first review on Goodreads. I really can't describe how happy I am reading it so you'll just have to picture me with a smile I can't erase.

Sometimes I just want to reach through the Internet and hug my reviewers. But in lieu of this option, I find myself itching to contact them instead in order to let them know the time they spent to write a thoughtful review is really appreciated. Is that considered bad author etiquette? From the articles I've read, "yes" seems to be the popular answer. Apparently, readers don't like to be badgered by pushy authors. Who knew?

Of course, that guideline only applies when the reader doesn't initiate contact. As soon as a reader writes to me directly, I can self-promote, spam, and pester to my heart's content. Oh, wait, that's not advised either?

I guess I'll just have to satisfy myself with posting a public thank-you. So, to my current and future reviewers, know that your efforts are not wasted. If your review is good, you'll make my day. If it's bad, hopefully I can learn something from your feedback. Either way, I am reading what you have to say.

Monday, August 26, 2013

My Editor

As I work on the finishing touches to my upcoming novel, Lost Witness, I feel it's only fitting to publicly acknowledge my editor. I rarely accept her suggestions, but my rejection fails to dampen her helpful spirit as she tirelessly continues to propose manuscript changes. She also remains the only individual who has ever figured out how to access the usability options on my laptop. Thankfully, she didn't alter any of them (to my knowledge).

Anna Belle, although you're not formally acknowledged in my next release, I truly do appreciate your dedication to editing my works. Absent your contributions, my novel would in large part be exactly the same (unless you've snuck in some changes that I've regretfully failed to notice), but the writing process would almost certainly be less enjoyable without you.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

"Lost Witness" Giveaways

Welcome to my blog! To celebrate the upcoming release of my new humorous mystery novel, Lost Witness, I'm running two giveaways through September 28, 2013. Goodreads is hosting the paperback giveaway, and if you're a fan of free books (because, really, who isn't?) you may want to check out their other giveaways as well. They host hundreds of them. While you're there, feel free to friend me since, unfortunately, Goodreads discourages me from contacting giveaway participants directly.

The purpose of the giveaways is to drum up interest in my new novel and hopefully generate some reader reviews. As an indie author, I rely heavily on reader reviews and word-of-mouth to increase awareness of my work. If you've read my previous novel, Lethal Injection, or plan to read Lost Witness, please consider posting an honest review of the work on Goodreads, Amazon, and/or wherever you prefer. I really am most grateful for any reviews readers are willing to share and in exchange you will hold a special place in my heart. There may even be some thankful weeping involved. Even simple reviews ("I loved/liked/didn't like/hated this book.") are appreciated.

Okay, that's enough groveling for my inaugural post. I really do hope you'll check out my giveaways and best of luck to everyone who enters!