Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Running Down a Dream

An ancient proverb tells us that patience is a virtue—and if this is true, then I am pretty darned virtuous.  My whole life is a waiting game, and I never advance any closer to an end goal.  And yes, I know that life is a destination, not a journey, but mine is neither.  I have increasingly realized over the past year that I have no concept of fun, or relaxation, or hobbies, and part of this is because I am just too poor for them.  Hobbies require some kind of income, unless you’re hiking (and even that requires the money to buy proper shoes).  I have also realized that if I ever find a real job, I won’t have time for fun.  I’ll be too busy working.  At this point, though, I don’t guess it matters.  I am single and hardly surrounded by a plethora of friends—nearly everyone I am close to lives miles and miles from here—but it would just be nice to make money.  It would also be nice to be married and have children before I grow old and die—but that requires money, too.  I guess writing is the cheapest hobby I could imagine, but the stress of my life has pushed me into a period of writer’s block.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Broken Connections

I live in an area with so-so internet service, and merely decent phone service.  Recently, however, my phone signal dropped out for weeks and would only work maybe every six hours.  It can be a little frustrating trying to promote yourself and your publishing ambitions when social networking is closed off to you.  The good news is that I’ve been promoting myself when I do have a stronger signal, blasting very blogs, tweets, and Facebook posts about myself.  I’m still in the formative stages even though I’ve been putting books and blogs out for over a year now.  I find myself wondering if there’s a right or wrong way to do blogging.  How much do you need to inspire your followers?  How much of it is simply catharsis, hoping that another person out there will read your words and find some meaning in them?  I ask too many questions, don’t I?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Heart Trouble

I wrote, edited, and self-publishing my first six novels without much consideration to submitting them to a publisher.  And I may never know if this was a sound idea, but it did allow me to create in a vacuum—deadlines were my own, additions and deletions were at my whim, and word count generally fell where it wanted. I would set goals and exceed them.  I always vow to take sabbaticals upon a book’s completion, but I rarely follow through.  Upon finishing my longest novel yet, I set out to create something a little more, well, manageable.  I strived to write something standard and commercial.  There was no switching of perspectives, and the supporting characters became just that—support.  In no more than four weeks I had completed Heart Trouble, edited it, and then set about offering it to a publisher.  Crimson Romance liked my query and asked for both a synopsis and manuscript, neither of which was hard to submit.  Thankfully they liked the novel, and I am now on the verge of my first release through a real-life publisher.  It’s been an adjustment, of course, but I am grateful to have had both an editor and a cover designer that wasn’t me. 

So here I am, putting the novel out there for the rest of the world to see.  I’ll be available for the first time in a place that isn’t Amazon, although I will be there as well.  This deal includes much more promotion than I could have ever accomplished alone, and will be distributed through Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and the Crimson Romance webpage as well.  If I’m lucky, maybe I’ll find myself on a library shelf here and there.  I will include the relevant links as they become available.  I am already excited to share the high-resolution cover image.

And now for some background on the novel itself, Heart Trouble.  My hero and heroine are only children, much like myself.  The hero, Brandt, lives at home with his parents; the heroine, Marissa, has never met her father and had to move away from her mother in order to find work.  I stuck with the time-tested and familiar cowboy theme in this novel, although I moved it closer to home—I invented a fictional region of Kentucky in order to play fast and loose with the settings.  The town wound up not being as large a character—we mainly stick to the ranch, a typical-enough rural setting.  Like I’ve said before, I’m far more comfortable with rural backdrops.  The novel is a shade under 62,000 words, shorter than all of my previous novels save for Windswept.  I think of it as an efficient story—I tried to focus on the two main characters and allow the story to take place strictly through their eyes.

I’ll keep you up-to-date as things progress—and thanks, once again, to everyone for their support.

Friday, June 14, 2013


There are thousands upon thousands of books out there, and just as many authors, but one thing that’s always made me paranoid is chapter length.  Early on, based simply on what I’d seen in other books, I resolved that every chapter should be a minimum of ten pages.  I’ve done pretty well at sticking to that; in book format, some wind up being much longer.  Clearly every author has their own view on things; sometimes I run across books where the chapters are no longer than a page.  It doesn’t detract from the story, but I do find it confusing.  I suppose the point I am trying to make—if there is one—is that different things work for different authors.  If you can get your point across in a shorter chapter, then good on you.  I know for a fact that some of my chapters are way too long, but I’ve also been my own editor for much of the process.  I try to get a complete thought in, or at least lead into the next chapter before I end the current one.  Any thoughts on this?  I’ve also gotten to the point where I’m okay with writing an epilogue; those are usually short by definition. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Cowboys and Angels

Oddly enough, I never bothered to watch this video/listen to this song in its entirety until I’d nearly completed my first novel, “Windswept”.  I’m no songwriter (obviously) but the storyline felt not unlike what I was writing—a man lost, and the woman who saved him.  It’s a simple message but a beautiful one.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Social Networking

Brutal honesty time:  I am lousy at networking.  In a large gathering of people I am more than likely to be found in a corner by myself, with my nose stuck in a book.  That isn’t necessarily a bad thing—books are great.   However, this is an entrĂ©e into the topic of my blog—I may not be any better at social networking.  I have been on Facebook for over eight years, back when the only thing you could do was look at someone’s profile.  There was none of this status update witchcraft you see now.  I’ve been posting this blog for over a year, and been on Pinterest nearly as long.  I was a slower convert to Twitter, and now I’m on Google+ as well.  I honestly don’t know what any of this means.  I’m not an outgoing, extraverted person, though I was born that way; I simply became more introverted over the years as I found that I had little in common with my peers.  Oh well.  It’s still not very easy for me to forge personal connections, which is likely another reason I enjoy writing; it’s a fantasy where people get over their shyness and loneliness to find lasting happiness.  Back to networking, though—I am making  an honest effort to branch out and promote myself in better ways, because I know that it’s the squeaky wheel that gets the grease.