Friday, November 14, 2014

Blog Hop!

To win an e-copy of all of the books in the Beyond series, please follow my blog. Be sure and leave your contact information in the comments below so I can contact you!

A 2014 I Heart Indies Finalist

Beyond the Fortuneteller’s Tent: When Petra Baron goes into the fortuneteller’s tent at a Renaissance fair, she expects to leave with a date to prom. Instead, she walks out into Elizabethan England, where she meets gypsies, a demon dog and a kindred spirit in Emory Ravenswood. Can Petra and Emory have a future while trapped in the past? Or is anything possible Beyond the Fortuneteller’s Tent? (Beyond, book 1)

Beyond the Sleepy Hollow: With a collection of the writings of Washington Irving in her hand and a prayer that the nine-pin playing ghosts that gave carried away Rip Van Winkle will give her drink of their ale, Petra Baron heads into another time defying adventure Beyond the Hollow. This is the second book in the Beyond series, where Petra is reminded that love is always timeless.

Beyond the Pale: After their encounter with the Headless Horseman in the Sleepy Hollow cemetery, Petra Baron and her immortal boyfriend, Emory Ravenswood, find themselves thrust into the bustle of modern-day New York City, where the dangers are both living and dead. (Book 3 of the Beyond series)

Also, soon I'll be publishing my novel, The Highwayman Incident, the first in my Witching Well series. I'm looking for reviewers. If you would like the book in exchange for an honest review, please let me know in the comments. You can read the first three chapters here.
First three chapters, Witching Well

AND if you're in the Orange County or L.A. area, you might enjoy this:
chixLIT is proud to be a community partner of the Chance Theater for its holiday production of SHE LOVES ME, running Nov. 28-Dec. 28 at the theater in Anaheim.

As a gift to our supporters, you can save $15 per ticket to any show (subject to availability) by using the code CHIXLIT116 when you call (714-777-3033) or order online (

The show, a Tony-winning musical version of "The Shop Around the Corner" (and "You've Got Mail")is family-friendly and suitable for all ages. There are matinee and evening performances. Tickets also make nice gifts!

If you have a blog or social media account, please feel free to share this code with anyone and everyone! It will show support for chixLIT and for the theater's plans for a young playwrights' festival.

When you're done reading, please go and see what all my blogger friends have to offer.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

5 Things I’ve Learned About Self Publishing

Three years ago, I published my novel, Stealing Mercy. Since then, I’ve learned a few things.
1.       To be a writer, you need to be okay with long stretches of solitude. You need to not only be okay with it—you have to need it.
2.       To be a book seller, you have to be okay with interacting with people. Lots of people. Sound contradictory? It is. If you want to write books and sell them, you have to wear two types of hats—a black, fade into obscurity sort of thing that no one will pay attention to so you can take notes on everyone around you and a flamboyant, look at me and buy my book sort of thing that will most likely embarrass your mom.

3.       But as a book seller and book writer you need people to not only buy your books, you need people to help you sell your books. You need a tribe, or two, or three. I personally belong to a writers’ group, and a critique group (they’re different). I’m part of a group blog called the Authors of Main Street and these women are my friends, even though I wouldn’t recognize them if I saw them on the street. I’ve glommed together with other authors for anthologies—this has been invaluable. I would guess that most of my readers have found me through anthologies. I regularly haunt the Kindleboards, Writer Café, and I’ve learned a ton from them. The writers on the boards have often buoyed my flagging spirits.13 PARANORMAL CHRISTMAS ON MAIN STREET AUTUMN'S KISS
4.       It’s easy—too easy-- to find anything on the internet. To prove my point I typed in goats in snow and this is what I found. But because it’s so easy to find free and nearly free books, finding an author you love out of the millions out there, is hard. That’s why authors need to hang together—we’re easier to find that way!goats in snow
5.       You also need a support team. You need beta readers, an editor, book cover designer, and maybe most importantly, someone to hold your hand when you get a nasty review.
Although it’s been three years now, I feel as if I’m still learning. The game keeps changing. I used to think that to sell books I needed to have a book make an Amazon bestseller list. Once that happened, the book would continually sell itself. I don’t think that’s true anymore. The lists help, but they aren’t the ultimate answer. I think it’s possible that too many people have learned how to skew the system and algorithms. Do I think this unethical? I wouldn’t do it, even though it’s probably not any more right or wrong than publishers purchasing a spot in a Barnes and Noble window. So why wouldn’t I do it? Because scamming the system won’t have a long term effect. It’s like taking a diet pill. Drugs might help you shed some weight, but unless you create a healthy lifestyle you can maintain—day by day, spoonful by spoonful—the weight will haunt you. Same thing with selling books. You can scam the system and put out a shoddy book, but readers won’t flock to your next release. They may buy from you once, but not twice.
But if you consistently put out great books, readers will find you and haunt you.

A few nights ago, I asked my husband what’s my number? He didn’t know what I meant. When will I think I’ve made it? When can I feel like I can hire someone to do all the things I don’t want to do so I can just write? He reminded me that a number or a bank statement shouldn’t be my goal. A great book should be my goal. 
Numbers are tangible and attainable, but everyone defines a great book differently. And that’s okay. In fact, that’s the way it should be. And if one of my books touches someone, makes them think, or even provides a few hours of escape from a pressing problem, then as a writer I’ve made my goal. It’s not about numbers. It’s about people. Even when I’m wearing the black, fade into obscurity sort of thing that no one will pay attention to.