Sunday, September 30, 2012

Book conventions and authors

Context 25 was a blast. I had a spectacular time in the Dealer's Room with some of the friendliest, most helpful people I have met in a long bit.  I received some stellar advice and while it was a slow day on the book sales front, it was more beneficial than I ever imagined. 

I have been quite fortunate to find some amazing author groups online (shout out to my Froggies!) and some incredibly talented artists who critique/support/advise me on all aspects of my writing.  I don't think everybody is quite as lucky.  To them I say - keep looking and hit up some book conventions!  Had I known book conventions could be so helpful I absolutely would have worked my way into one much sooner!  I met some fantabulous people who are just as eager about books and writing as I am, just as involved in spreading the written word - dare I say - kindred spirits?  Yes, I believe I dare. 

A special shout out to the the lovely ladies from Ohioana who sat beside me the entire day and to the fabulously talented people from Hydra who took me under their wing and helped me through my very first convention! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Why do I do it?

Bad reviews, self promotions, bad sales weeks (months?), editing - aw, shucks, the list goes on and on.  The bad and the ugly of indie publishing smacks me in the face daily to the point where I am emotionally and mentally bruised to various degrees.  I have quit my fair paying, full time, stable job to devote more time to writing and consequently have picked up far less demanding part time work to bolster the household income.  It is thankless work that brings me face to face with a public that doesn't care what else I contribute to this world outside my four to five hour shifts, doesn't respect that I am a human being with a whole other life outside the walls of that job, doesn't understand that the world does not revolve around them anymore than it revolves around me or anybody else for that matter.  I don't have money to put into advertising, I spend weeks editing only to go back a few weeks later and re-do it. 

So why on earth do I keep on?

Because I can't help it.  I spent thirty or so years writing and doodling and being creative, I just wasn't getting paid to do it.  I tried very hard to mold myself into the perfect little office employee, tried in several capacities actually, and succeeded to a large degree.  Or so it seemed.  I was pretty miserable in fact.  Just because I could do the work and perform the tasks at a high level didn't mean I found any measure of joy or satisfaction in what I did.  My mind drifted - a lot - to the point where I wondered about ADD/ADHD.  I found it increasingly difficult to sit in an office, no matter how brightly adorned it was, no matter what awesome and childish toys I filled it with, no matter what feng shui, new age devices I tried.  It was not just the office.  It was not just the job.  It was everything about the life I was trying to lead.  It wasn't me.  So, I had a lengthy discussion with my family and since we already determined the need to move back to Ohio it became feasible for me to make a sizable change.  It hasn't been exactly easy on the financial front and we are struggling more than we would like, but I am better.  Our relationships are all better.  I have had days where I have put out more than 8,000 words and others where I have edited a few chapters without interruptions.  I am exercising regularly and starting next week I get to volunteer in my kids' classrooms.  There are book conventions coming up in the area that I actually get to attend. Instead of scrunching prose onto scraps of paper, inservice packets, and post-it notes I can actually develop my ideas on my laptop or netbook, continue story lines as they strike me and actually devote real blocks of time to interviews and promotions. 

Many of my friends think I am a bit off for taking such a risk.  I have seen more than my share of raised eyebrows and fielded dozens of questions about how I plan to make this work but in the end, the only people whose opinions matter are happy to see me smiling more often than not. 

Why do I do it?  Because life is short and I want to love the one I live. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Back from the Emerald Isle

Amazing.  Wonderful.  Glorious.  Inspiring.  My list of adjectives continues to grow as I describe my experiences in Ireland.  They were the most gracious people, lovely and welcoming and helpful in every way.  I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and return to the States quite refreshed and ready to roll.  I was able to do some research for the final installment of the Emerald Seer Series - not as much as I would have liked - but I did some.  There was so much to see and do and so many amazing people to talk to!  I am going to take a small break from writing and work on editing the paperbacks for Whiskey, Mystics, and Men as well as Love Her Madly so they are both ready to go for the last weekend of the month for Context 25 in Columbus, Ohio and my Meet the Author at Beehive Books in Delaware, Ohio at the end of October. 

Busy, busy, busy!  But loving it!

Happy travels, all!