Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The End

This has been a year of incredible highs and even lower lows.  My sixth novel did gangbusters--at least on the scale that I use--and my seventh novel found a publishing home.  Since then, however, things have not been so great.  I wrote four more novels over that time period, which have received varying levels of interest.  The latest one has yet to sell a single copy.  With the end of the year, however, and the beginning of a new one, I am always looking for means of self-improvement.  Lately I have been going through the process of updating and re-pricing my paperback novels, to provide a more professional, uniform appearance.  So far, so good.  I also started growing a beard, which anyone who knows me well will find completely bizarre and out of character.  But it's a new year, and possibly a new me, so we'll see how it works out.  I don't make resolutions, nor do I set impossible goals for myself.  However, I hope to improve this blog as the months pass.  I'm trying, anyway. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Dark Horse

Way back in July-August of this year, I tried my hand at writing a romance novel with elements of mystery and suspense thrown in.  The book was written in a little under thirty days, but in spite that short timeline, the story was the result of a great deal of thought, effort, and writing.  Thus far no publisher has been interested, however, and therefore I have put together the book for sale on my own.  I recently learned how to “style” a document—a debt of gratitude is owed to the Smashwords Style Guide—and it was much easier to put together the book after going through this process.  For the first time, one of my print novels looks like the genuine article.  I wish I had known earlier how easy the process truly was.  I have already reworked the interior of one novel, and am considering doing the rest.  It is a simple cut-and-paste job; the most difficult part is redoing the interiors on CreateSpace.  Anyway, for readers who might be interested, I am including links to the e-book and paperback versions of Dark Horse at the close of this blog.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Round About Way

In the past I have complained about being rejected from both jobs and publishers and receiving either a form letter response, or none at all.  I will never do that again.

As an author, I have to say that the previous month has been by turns rewarding and draining.  I wrote an entire novel for NaNoWriMo that I am extremely proud of, but I have also received too many publishing rejections to count.  Most of them were innocuous enough, and I quickly moved on.  However, I am prone to pinning my hopes on a certain thing:  a job that I really want, a vacation that I want to be amazing, or a book that I really feel needs to reach a wider audience.  As such, I had entirely too much emotion invested in a novel that received a crushing rejection.  This rejection did not come in the form of a brief missive, however.  It was a lengthy, detailed email of several paragraphs, spelling out in comprehensive terms why this book was not only unacceptable for their line but also focusing on flaws in my story and its execution.  I will be honest and tell you that I did not read the entire email.  The breadth and scale of the rejection was more than I could take, and I decided to move onto the very next thing:  an email from a friend, letting me know that she was enjoying another of my novels, and that I was a very good writer.  It’s funny and interesting in hindsight that these two messages were received in the same batch.  It was almost as though some power greater than me knew that I needed encouragement and positive feedback in the wake of something negative and discouraging.  At any rate, I am editing two novels and readying another for publication, so hopefully my audience will stick by me—and hopefully I will be able to stand by my writing.

Monday, December 2, 2013

In Too Deep

I have embarked upon every author’s favorite task—editing.  Insert sarcasm here, please.  So far I have uncovered one continuity error that I knew was there during the entire writing process but didn’t bother to fix.  It has now been altered.  I found the usual amount of typos, but also a first for myself:  places where the word is so far off the mark that I have no clue what I originally intended to write.  Anyway, in those cases I had to look at the context of either the sentence or the passage and hope for the best.  I’ve never written anything—yet—that turned my stomach afterward and required a complete deletion, but I have to say that I really like the chemistry between the characters in this novel.  It’s fun to watch their story unfold yet again.

Monday, November 25, 2013

NaNoWriMo, Week Four

At Day 21 of this month, after a writing marathon that spanned the better part of twenty-four hours, I completed my novel at 72, 406 words—far past the NaNoWriMo challenge of 50,000 words.  This amount of writing marks a personal best for me.  I had previously written a 70,000 word novel in thirty days—the book which provided the seed for this most recent one—but I blew through all of my expectations for NaNoWriMo.  I hadn’t written in close to three months prior to beginning this novel, and I had an irrational fear that I wouldn’t even remember how to form a sentence, much less an entire book.  Throughout the course of the project, I pushed myself to write past my limits, to think critically about my characters and further explore what went on inside their heads, what made them tick, and what they were afraid of.  In the course of this, I think I discovered something about myself:  for as long as I enjoy writing, I will do it, regardless of the number of readers I reach.  Writing is a task that fosters creativity, personal growth, and introspection, three things I need in my life.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

NaNoWriMo, Week Three

Last night I blasted past 62,000 words, but I couldn’t tell you whether or not this is a good thing.  We tend to have a jaundiced eye toward lack of quality when it comes to our own work.  As my friend and fellow Nano participant, Amanda told me, we are so involved in the process that it is difficult to actually see anything but the novel.  In my case I blasted through the 50,000 word challenge so quickly that I literally wasn’t seeing anything else.  As I have emphasized before, finishing a novel becomes a challenge, because you want every single thread, every drop of paint, to form a tapestry, a masterpiece of words and emotions.  And as with everything else in life, this is much easier said than done.  You may have to complete the work and remove yourself from it, stepping back out of the pond and letting the ripples fade to nothing, before you can truly see your work for what it is.  When I next post this blog, I hope to have completed the novel’s rough draft.  We’ll see how it goes.

Friday, November 15, 2013

NaNoWriMo, Week Two

As of this writing, I have completed more than 45,000 words of this novel.  My standard operating practice involves no going back and editing until the work is done, and I plan to do the same here.  My goal, again, is to blow past the 50,000 words that are required and get at least 70,000 before I put this one to bed.  Writing this novel with such speed, at such a torrid pace, was completely unexpected for me.  As I try to rake leaves and dodge snow, and do laundry and clean house and get myself ready for Christmas, I leave ample time every day to work on my novel. I continue to learn that writing is about pushing yourself and cranking out story even when you’re not feeling one-hundred percent.  When you push yourself past your limits, to the edge of your expectations and over the cliff, you find out how bad you want to cross the finish line and what you’ll do to get there.  As far as the novel is concerned, I have altered some plot points since I wrote my summary, but the basic story is unchanged.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

NaNoWriMo, Week One

If writing is like exercise and a skill that must be practiced, then I allowed myself to atrophy and weaken in the two months while I took a sabbatical from the whole business of conceiving novels.  The good news is that I was able to slip back into a familiar routine and push myself to craft and create and image.  In the first week of this project, I have written upwards of 14,000 words, and while I am not sure if this is a personal best, it does prove that I remember something about how to lay out my thoughts.  I’m sure it also helps that this is a sequel to the last novel I completed as well as a story idea that I rendered in my head, figuring and refiguring and wondering about constantly.  This novel feels like it’s headed somewhere, and I have plans to write another, unrelated one next month if everything pans out the way I hope.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Baby Blue

Yesterday morning, I contemplated not getting out of bed.  Oh, I would have had to eventually—I require food like everyone else—but it was rainy, and cold, and the sun was nowhere near ready to come out.  Finally, though, I had to do it.  Sometimes in life we delay the inevitable, and no one is better at procrastination than I am.  Laundry won’t do itself.  Someone had to vacuum.  Someone had to answer my emails, none of which are ever important.  At any rate, procrastination will never help me get another book written, though it does feel odd to be waiting for NaNoWriMo to start rather than writing on my own schedule.  That’s the biggest change.

Friday, October 11, 2013


In my humble opinion, the best show on network television is Castle.  I can’t speak for cable or premium channels, but for me, Castle is it.  Oddly enough, in spite of my past viewings of Nathan Fillion on both Pasadena and Desperate Housewives, I might not have tuned into the show were it not for Susan Sullivan, who I love in, well, anything.  The soap star guest spots helped, too.  One problem I had was the time conflict with Hawaii Five-0 on CBS, and for a while I tried to watch both, which was hilarious.  I don’t have DVR or any of that voodoo TV stuff, and I don’t have the spare cash to buy DVD releases.  Thankfully I was given a reprieve—TNT put both shows into syndication and CBS moved H50 to Friday nights where it airs before another favorite, Blue Bloods.  But I’m getting off-track.  Thanks to the marathons I was able to catch up on Castle in a hurry.  It’s an interesting mix of crime, romance, drama, and humor.  I mean, I can’t think of many shows where you can genuinely laugh not five seconds after seeing a gruesome murder scene.  Either the show is funny, or I’m twisted.  Maybe both.  I’m also a sucker for the Castle-Beckett romance.  You can tell people have become impatient—four seasons of waiting for an admission of love, plus one more season before the next step toward commitment, nearly did a lot of fans in.  I think the romance has been nicely developed, and seeing them together is fun because the actors have a palpable chemistry when the show takes a romantic slant.  Television is more expensive than it used to be and shows have a shorter shelf-life.  I have ideas about how I would like Castle to progress, but I’m also eager to see how it all plays out.  It’s easily the best part of Monday.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Just Look at Me

Even though I’ve been slacking in the writing department lately, I decided to take the plunge and start my own Facebook fan page.  The link is at the top of the blog, but I’ll also include it here for anyone reading this individual post or perhaps viewing it in mobile.


I find myself wondering about the importance of social networking, and whether or not it truly works when it comes to selling yourself as an artist, author, or performer.  I also understand, however, that I sold several books via my personal Facebook page that I might never have otherwise, and maybe I have done the same via this blog.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Bigger Man than Me

October’s arrival symbolizes different things for different people—and for the record, I’ve already put the pumpkins on display in my yard.  However, the symbolism is different for me—October marks the two-year anniversary of my last job interview.  It was October of 2011 when I last sat in an office and answered questions about myself, my skills, abilities, and viewpoints regarding librarianship.  It would be another long five months before I began to write my first novel, “Windswept”.  Approximately ten novels later find me at my present state.  I apply for jobs, and have consistently done over the years, but with no results.  Writing has been my salvation, though I will freely admit to doing nothing more strenuous than editing previous works over the past two months.  Perhaps I am doing things halfheartedly, but no one who knows me well can accuse me of doing nothing.  I can apply all of the career labels I want to myself, but I have neither the means nor the ability to make them stick.  That, faithful readers, will be left up to someone far more generous and considerate than I.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sittin’ on the Fence

Lately I haven’t been writing, for a variety of reasons.  In the interim I have been pitching some of my work to agents and publishers and hoping for anything to stick.  In the beginning writing was a way to challenge myself, to see if I could actually do it.  Then it turned into crafting stories that I enjoyed reading.  Just because I like something doesn’t mean anyone else will, but I always hope it will speak to someone else.  You usually don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression so you’re always paranoid about your appearance—you don’t want your query to be rife with errors, and you want your opening chapter or writing excerpt to grab an editor’s attention immediately.  Any time you put yourself out there, you set yourself up for rejection.  I’m not a fan of rejection in any way, shape, or form, but I guess it’s just part of life.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Four Down and Twelve Across

When I completed graduate school, I was allowed to, along with the other students working in the university library system, to have my name placed inside a book.  I didn’t even have to think—I chose “The Boxcar Children” out of the Education Library, because it was one of my favorites when I was a kid and remains so to this very day.  My choice was not high-minded or pretentious or even academic; it was simply a work that was meaningful to my life, particularly my passion for reading.  Oddly enough I was not a shy child, but I was painfully self-conscious.  Over the years as I found out that being outgoing was a mistake more often than not, I retreated back into my shell and allowed books to be my friends.  I read all of the original Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner, as well as the ghostwritten later books, which were good but kind of amusing when you consider the arrested development of the characters.  They definitely lived a lot of life over the course of their never-aging selves.

Another of my favorites was a picture book, “Winston’s Red Boots”.  I’m not really sure why aside from the art and the fact that I didn’t have a lot of books or toys at that point, and thus made do with what I had.  I enjoyed it so much that I took it to school and recreated the cover for an assignment about my favorite book.  I still have the work, hardcover book on my shelf—the price tag tells me it was purchased at LA Joe for .99.  Hey, maybe that’s where my love for boots and nautical stuff originated.  Then again, Winston’s boots contained a treasure map and I always loved the ideas of maps and treasure and adventure.

Two more books I loved when I was older were “Gone-Away Lake” and “Return to Gone-Away” by Elizabeth Enright.  Again, I loved adventures and mysteries and these stories tied in a historical perspective and were so vivid that I could see everything in my mind as it happened, even without the aid of the books’ illustrations.

What were some of your favorite children's books?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Right or Wrong

I’ve joked in this blog in the past about writer’s block, but now I well and truly have it.  After writing ten novels in just over a year, with little in the way of a break, I find that for now I have no desire to muster the amount of empathy that would be required to tell someone else’s story.  I have reached this conclusion via several sources, a culmination of events that I don’t wish to share.  Needless to say, I am suffering the usual self-doubts.  I don’t possess an ounce of self-esteem so that’s nothing out of the ordinary.  For a period of time I enjoyed losing myself on the page and creating other worlds, venturing into places and relationships that I can only imagine in the depths of my mind.  Perhaps someday I will again, but I am not in the right mindset to create, craft, or enjoy the creative process.  I also understand that a lot of writing is finding your inspiration and pushing through adversity—but sometimes, I just can’t.

Friday, September 13, 2013

When the Credits Roll

When I was in graduate school, people were always picking up hobbies—cooking, gardening, even knitting.  Me?  I picked up…soap operas.  I didn’t just stumble upon soap operas like Darwin found the Galapagos Islands; I have a long history with them.  When I was a kid, I don’t remember ever hearing of daycare, and preschool didn’t arrive in these parts until I entered first grade.  During the daytime, non-school hours, you napped, played, and watched soaps with your babysitter.  I watched nearly all of them at one point or another, and was lucky enough to see them before budget cutting, interfering networks, and myopic producers gutted and ruined and murdered them.  In fact, I’m pretty sure the opening credits of Guiding Light inspired my lifelong fascination with lighthouses.

But as a kid, my favorites were “The Young and the Restless”—it was so interesting and well-paced that you could miss an entire year and pick right back up where you’d left off; “The Bold and the Beautiful”, with its larger-than-life characters and bizarrely named brothers, Ridge and Thorne (!?); and “Days of our Lives”, for its rich history, family ties, and byzantine, arresting drama.  It’s sad that you can no longer channel surf and see what’s happening in the other networks; you have four options on your daytime dial that you can either take or leave.

And I loved these credits—Edward and Lila! Luke and Laura!  Bobbie and Tony! Felicia! Mac! Lucy’s eyebrow!  Fantastic.

I was partially drawn back into daytime when those idiots savagely murdered “Guiding Light”, which by that time had become a sad shell of its former grand, opulent self.  But I also had a coworker and friend who became my soap sounding board and reminded me of the greatness of Steve and Kayla.  Seriously, Steve wore an eye patch—is there anything cooler than that?

This was great, too.

I spent quite a few months reliving Steve and Kayla’s two-year or so heyday, from their first kiss to Steve’s two previously-unknown siblings showing up and all of the resulting obstacles, to Kayla’s marriage to Steve’s brother and finally her poisoning and deafness.  Anyone who knows my taste in television knows of my love for “Dallas” and the characters of Ray and Donna who had their own storyline featuring sign language.  Suffice it to say that things went downhill soon after Steve and Kayla wed, but their yacht wedding was one of my favorites in daytime history.

Over the past few years of unemployment, loneliness, empty days, and more unemployment, the soaps have been my steady companions.  Sometimes it is painful to watch them, and I have recently had to dump two of the remaining four from my viewing schedule.  If “The Young and the Restless” doesn’t clean up its act, it may be next.  “General Hospital” provides me with the most consistent enjoyment these days, even if it is, at times, uneven.  But the hour invariably features a decent mix of veteran characters, romance, intrigue, and children who are actually connected to the canvas in a real way.  I only hope it will continue to be as good for as long as I’m a viewer, or at least as long as networks still believe in this uniquely-American form of storytelling.  There aren’t many multi-generational, family-centered programs left these days—nor are there many you can remember from childhood.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Cowboys Like Us

My love for the series “Castle” is well-known, and I’m not shy about promoting the show to other prospective viewers.  Over the years I have also seen Nathan Fillion in “Desperate Housewives,” “Pasadena,” and “Waitress”, so wasn’t it inevitable I’d eventually get around to watching “Firefly”?  Thanks to a friend who sent me the DVD set for my birthday, I was able to view it.  The foremost question, of course, was would I enjoy it?  I love “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” and “Lost in Space” and “The Twilight Zone”, and the fifteen or so episodes I was able to see of “The X-Files” were great, but I don’t, as a rule, seek out science fiction.  Call me a lazy viewer: sometimes I just can’t commit to something with that much mythology.  My impression after viewing “Firefly” is that you either get it or you don’t—thankfully, I got it.  I was fascinated by the idea of a space western:  cows and horses and taverns and spaceships and futuristic weapons.  Fillion’s Captain Malcolm Reynolds was a layered character who didn’t take crap from anyone, and the show was imbued with a lot of heart, humor, and even pathos.  There were plenty of unexpected twists and turns, and I find myself wondering, with every short-lived show, how a second season might have looked. I still need to see the follow-up movie, “Serenity.”

Back to my point about “getting it”.  It reminds me of a show that I loved as a kid, “Eerie, Indiana”, in which the lead character and his best friend seemed to exist in an alternate universe in which they were the only keen observers.  So much of life is subjective, including television shows, because we reflect our own set of feelings onto the characters and their plights.  If I didn’t already have a fascination with westerns and the cowboy lifestyle, or an appreciation of Nathan Fillion, my enjoyment of “Firefly” may have been much less.  Thanks for the laughs, Serenity gang—I needed them.
Yes, I know this capture is from "Desperate Housewives".  It's what was in my DVD player at the time.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Home Improvement

In the process of self-improvement and blog improvement, I have also been trying to accomplish some things around the house.  Easier said than done.  It’s much simpler to buy something than it is, years down the road, to figure why exactly you bought it. The purpose of this task that resembles digging a trench with a spoon and fork is to provide myself with much-needed workspace.  My laptop allows me to travel from place to place, but I really need a work area that will be free from distractions.  There are a lot of “why’s” that come from this endeavor, too.  Why do I need a dedicated workspace?  I don’t exactly have hobbies.  I have no clue what writing is considered in the grand scheme of things; it’s something I’m serious about, but that doesn’t mean anyone else takes it seriously as a career.  And since I am now falling back into familiar habits, it is time to stop blogging for today.

Monday, August 26, 2013

When You’re a Man on Your Own

I’m halfway through my selection of books on the subject of animal husbandry.  The good news is I’m pretty sure I haven’t made any egregious mistakes in my writing when it comes to cows and horses. The bad news?  I’m still me—published author but otherwise unemployed, single, and really, really dull.  How does a person go about becoming “interesting” without the aid of money or a passel of friends?  You need to “do” something, right?  Of course, jet-setting is no guarantee of being interesting, unique, or even likeable.  Money doesn’t make you less vapid—you need to have something between your ears.

Coincidentally, I watched an episode of Firefly last night that explored several different ideas about what it means to be a man.  Yes, Universe, I am listening.

Friday, August 23, 2013

What Am I Waiting For

I feel a bit lazy these days.  Scratch that—very lazy.  I have been sending out more and more book queries, but aside from reading I haven’t been performing much in the way of important tasks.  Of course, reading is designed to keep the mind sharp, and some of this comes under the heading of research—in this case, animal husbandry.  It’s kind of interesting that it took me writing ten novels—some of them remain unpublished—to throw myself headlong into this kind of research. Yes, I’ve fact-checked my novels before, prior to writing certain passages, but there’s also a great deal of leeway that comes with fiction.  You need to know what you’re talking about, but you don’t have to be an expert.  Then again, being an expert in a subject is never a bad thing, nor is expanding your knowledge base.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Real Thing

I started writing this blog as I went through the editing process of my first novel—and while I worked on the second one—but it has always been easier for me to inhabit that fictional world than this very real one, where I project feelings and emotions onto the computer screen for all to see.  If I can write a 70,000 word novel in four weeks, surely I can craft a decent blog every few days?  Right?!  Easier said than done—this poor blog gets abused and even neglected as I pursue other creative endeavors.  Pinterest is somehow easier to deal with most days.  Even when this blog drifts far away from its original goals and purposes, please know that I am still fumbling my way through this thing.  If life is a constant struggle for self-improvement, then we should always strive to better our work, no matter what it is.

I have submitted my latest manuscript for publishing, but I am not currently working on another novel.  Time will tell whether or not this is a good strategy.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Lead On

This has been a tough week.  I haven’t necessarily had one, overarching crises, but sometimes the little things add up and become one big thing.  Even as I write this, I feel a headache coming on.  I wonder if I will ever stop being plagued by self-doubt?  Having one novel published (aside from the other six I self-published) helps, but I still have flaws and failings, be they real or imagined.  And sometimes the people with whom you need to communicate the most are the most dismissive.  I am also very tired as I write this.  I haven’t slept well in a very long time.  If you are able to sleep for eight interrupted hours, enjoy it.  Some of us would like to feel rested and therefore better able to tackle the problems that plague us while we are awake.  I hate that I feel this way—draggy, lethargic, as though the wind has been taken from my sails and all of the air let out of my tires.  I’m too young to always feel so  weary and exhausted.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Applying for jobs has to be one of the stranger processes we encounter in life.  Applications, résumés, and cover letters head out into cyberspace, or the mail, and we have little knowledge of how they are received, or if they are ever given anything more than a cursory glance before being tossed into the slush pile.  Regular followers of this blog will recall that finding a job in the years since I completed my master’s degree has been impossible.  The longer it takes, the more I grow to accept that I am simply never going to be employed in a library.  There are too many new graduates being turned out every semester, people with better connections or a deeper base of knowledge or a fresher understanding of the latest technologies.  From the beginning I was diverse in my applications, submitting my information to a variety of institutions, including but not limited to factories, hospitals, schools, and colleges.  It is interesting to note that my abilities to compute have never been put into use; I was even passed-over for data entry jobs.  It was in this jobless environment that I first put pen to paper and decided to write a novel.  I enjoy writing—creating alternate universes and in essence creating friends and family for myself provides a lot of happiness.  However, unless I sell a book to a screenwriter, I am not sure that it will be a quick ticket to riches.  I still have bills to pay, which is something that employers overlook during the interview process—a person may need the job more than they want it.  Life isn’t always about having fun; I was raised with the belief that adults had to work hard to earn a living.  I remain in arrested development—I cannot financially support myself, though I will admit to understanding the value of a dollar.  Frequent solitude has turned me from an introvert into a super-introvert.  I am less than forthcoming when people ask me questions, if for no reason other than I have been forced into an even deeper level of social awkwardness.  I recall an incident in graduate school in which I was supposed to be recognized at a ceremony, only to be forgotten and ignored.  This led me to further paranoia when it comes to sending emails—if I don’t receive a confirming correspondence, I figure my message was lost in cyberspace.  I ultimately received the recognition I had been promised albeit not at that ceremony.  I also have difficulty with long-term friendships.  As time passes, most friends fall away and forget about me.   The few strong ones I have cultivated live no closer to me than one hundred miles.  And if you do live closer, please let me know.  I’d like to see you.  I know I shouldn’t throw people under the bus, but I find myself in the company of people who are supposed to be friends but use me as an object of derision, the “point and laugh” person.  I’m not fond of that.  I crave genuine friendship and human connection.  Sharing jokes is one thing, but I don’t want to be the joke.  Once again, I have gotten off course.  I recently applied for a job that two years ago I never would have considered.  Not too many years ago I sat in on interviews, then later on performed the interviews and did the hiring myself.  I’m not sure how many people actually know that about me.  It was an interesting process, but I am unknowledgeable about how other companies and organizations do it.  I think, however, that it is time to start over and forget about my dream of working in a library, just the same as I tossed aside my dreams of being an architect, psychologist, and schoolteacher.  Some dreams are attainable. Some are not.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Ace in the Hole

In the course of editing, revising, and prepping Heart Trouble for publication, I completed two additional novels.  I’m either an overachiever or a masochist, but any regular follower of mine knows that I have a lot of spare time on my hands.  My latest novel, at 70,000 words, is the longest thing I’ve written since I completed TheArt of Love.  Now the fun begins, sarcasm included at no additional cost.  Editing is always a fascinating process—some passages you read over and think, “That’s pretty good—I wrote that!” while other times you review a paragraph and scornfully question, “Was I lucid when I typed that?”  Typos are a fact of life, but I always find myself worried about the inevitable continuity errors.  I’ve been lucky in that regard, considering I write on-the-fly with the outline existing only in my head.  Little wonder I don’t sleep well, huh?  It’s hard to turn that neon sign of thought and creativity off.  This recent novel also branched into a genre I’d never touched on before, adding an element of danger and suspense to the proceedings.  I’d actually envisioned Kentucky Summer as a suspense thriller before the characters led me in a completely opposite direction.  I’m still not sure I did the genre justice, but it was nice to have my characters thrown together against their better judgment and working toward a common goal.  And now I work toward my next goal—getting published again.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Release Me

This blog is more or less a compilation of places to have featured PR and the like about my novel, Heart Trouble, thus far.  I'd like to thank everyone who has taken the time to share and peruse the varying press, not to mention reading the book! :)


A guest blog I wrote for the Crimson Romance website:  http://www.crimsonromance.com/featured/happy-endings/

A listing in the USA Today HEA blog: http://www.usatoday.com/story/happyeverafter/2013/07/29/contemporary-romance-romantic-suspense-new-releases/2594811/

A nice review from Satin Sheets Romance:  http://satinsheetsromance.blogspot.com/2013/07/review-of-heart-trouble-by-tommie-conrad.html

Monday, July 29, 2013

Heart Trouble AKA Get Lucky

As I write this blog, my friend Josie is celebrating the fact that she received a tweet from one of her favorite actresses after quite a bit of trying.  Today my first-ever professionally-published novel is made available for the masses—or at least anyone with an e-reader—to see.  I had only been writing novels for a year when I received that offer from Crimson Romance to publish my novel.  Indeed, many others have tried for years and failed to receive a publishing offer.  By that same token, I have also been trying to find a real, honest-to-goodness job for more than two-and-a-half years.  Writing has become my only income even if it was initially a foolhardy hobby.  Why do good things happen to us?  Are they a reward for our suffering or simply the byproduct of days, months, and even years of hard work?  Do we simply just get lucky?

Food for thought:  you increase your chances of being lucky by simply trying.  You may endure countless rejections, and be ignored or otherwise snubbed, but if you never take that first step, you will remain in exactly the same place.  You can self-publish, or you can solicit the help of an agent, or simply go straight through the publishing house.  If you hide your talents away and never allow anyone to see them, you won’t get rejected—you won’t get anything.

Why do good things happen to us?  Because we’ve tried?  Because we’ve earned it?  Or maybe, just maybe, for no reason at all, but because we needed a little magic in our lives.  Take your pick, choose your own adventure, but, first and foremost, do.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Heart Trouble Pre-Order Links

This blog is primarily concerned with the links to purchase my latest novel, meaning its more in line with commerce than deep thoughts.  I’ve done this before, though, so if you follow me you should be used to it.  Heart Trouble will be available for Nook, Kindle, and iTunes, as well as any devices that support the software utilized by the latter two. Links are below.  I hope that if you enjoy the novel you’ll leave me a good review on Amazon, Goodreads, or the Barnes and Noble website.  Thanks for reading, thanks for caring, and most of all thanks for your support in my career as an author.

Crimson Romance page: http://www.crimsonromance.com/upcoming-releases-romance-ebook/heart-trouble/

Friday, July 19, 2013

All I Can Do

I think as a writer that you develop certain characteristics, traits, and a comfort zone—but at the same time, you strive to avoid repeating yourself.  I know I have repeated myself—as the first person who edits my novels, I have a pretty good handle on what the content is.  At the same time, you hope that you’re saying something different and unique, that each book is forging its own path and means something to a reader.

Additionally, the pre-order links for my novel have finally come in! :)
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Trouble-ebook/dp/B00DV0XJ7M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1373634941&sr=8-1&keywords=heart+trouble+tommie
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/heart-trouble-tommie-conrad/1116059074?ean=9781440571466
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/heart-trouble/id672327811?mt=11