Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Getting paid

I got paid for selling copies of my book! If you'd have asked me a year ago if I thought I'd be getting paid for what I love to do, I'd have laughed...or cried. A year ago I'd given up hope that my writing was good enough to put on the market. Apparently a few people think it's good enough. I'm also really excited about getting paid since it's been almost four years since I recieved a paycheck. This direct deposit isn't much, maybe enough for a couple of Christmas presents. This is just the beginning though. I have big dreams, people. Great things are going happen! Man, I hope I didn't just jinx myself.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Back to work

I had a great Thanksgiving weekend filled with family, fun, food, and shopping. I think I'm still recovering actually. Now, though, it's time to get back to work. I'm about a third of the way done with the first draft of my second novel. The characters are coming to life nicely and the action is building. Kody's clients are proving to be a little challenging for her, but that's only because she feels the need to fix what is broken. One client might be beyond repair though.

As for marketing "Missing Maggie," the review from was printed in Sunday's Fargo Forum. I still have mixed feelings about the review. Either way, it's free publicity. Otherwise, over the weekend I slipped my business cards in random places. I'm not sure Denny's and Walmart appreciated that, but it seemed like a good idea at the time!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Printed fliers

This morning I finally went out and posted a few half-sheet, book fliers at the various coffee shops in town and at the public library. I was so nervous for some reason. My nerves were completely unnecessary though because each establishment was more than happy to post a flier during the holiday season. I figured I should get them out there now before Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Hopefully someone will be intrigued enough to check it out. You just never know!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Adding suspense

Adding suspense isn't all that easy to do. This weekend I spent time rereading what I'd already written to make sure that each chapter left the reader wanting more. I've done a fairly good job so far but some of the chapters needed work. It's important to drop hints along the way as to how the story might end. This also means that I need to know how the story ends, which I do. It's the middle part that is currently bogging me down. Some characters have a mind of their own and what I had in mind originally isn't always what gets typed into the computer. I like being spontaneous with my writing, but  it makes it harder to drop the hints. I'm confident though that it will all work out in the end.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fargo Forum ad is in print

The ad I created for the Fargo Forum is running in the printed paper all this week. Hopefully this will start a buzz in the community and old classmates and other friends will take time to download a copy of "Missing Maggie." I'm interested to see how this works in comparison to some Internet advertising I hope to do in the future. I know my husband and I peruse the local paper each morning, but does that mean others do it too or do they instead read the headlines on their phones or computers? Hard to say. Anyway, the ad looks great. It's much larger than I imagined and the colors I chose definitely stand out. If you're in the Fargo-Moorhead area, snag a copy and see for yourself.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Smashwords is complete

It's only been a month since I began formatting "Missing Maggie" to be accepted by Smashwords (another site that helps self-published authors gain a wider audience), and it was finally approved yesterday. Within the next two weeks, Smashwords will electronically distribute my book to Sony, Kobo, Apple, and Diesel. This means more exposure. Time will only tell if my sales increase. Either way, I'm learning so much now that when it comes time to publish my next book, it will take weeks instead of months.

On another note, I want to thank all of my family and friends for being so supportive. Your marketing tactics are much appreciated.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Not what I had hoped for...

I'm kind of bummed. I just read my first review of "Missing Maggie" and it wasn't what I had hoped for. It didn't say, "a must read," "don't miss Missing Maggie," or "I couldn't put the book down." It instead said that I was close, but with a bit more polishing it might be great. The reviewer's comments didn't hit on anything I hadn't been concerned about myself. I also wondered if there were more grammar mistakes that I hadn't caught and if the underground business Daniel was involved with was a bit too much to swallow. In the end, I decided to self-publish the novel "as is" so that I could move on with my life. I needed to move on to the next book with hopes that it would be better. I'm determined to make it better.

The Book Bag - Review of "Missing Maggie"

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


My writing is inspired by various events that have happened in my life. Some events are fun, happy, devasting, and some are just plain, old sad. After learning of a loved ones death a few days ago, the first thing I did was type some ideas of how I could integrate the relationship I had with this man into one of my characters. I was sad and I found it soothing to write about my sadness. It wasn't until then that I realized I'd done the same thing several times before. I'd written an aritcle about the unfairness I felt by being a contract employee at a big corporation. I'd written another article when my son basically told me he didn't know what made me happy. I'd also started writing a book where the main character was an awkward teen who didn't know where she fit it.

Essentially, I write from the heart. In doing so, my goal is to create "real" characters that a reader can relate to. I love books that when I'm finished reading them I'm upset because I don't know what the character does next. Does she live happily ever after? Does she commit another crime? The plot is important, don't get me wrong, but in my opinion, the characters are what really make a great story.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Creating advertisements

My mom called yesterday with news that she got a great deal on an ad for my hometown newspaper, The Fargo Forum. I was equally excited...until I sat down to create this 3" x 5" piece of mass media. I quickly discovered that I lacked that sort of creativity. My first draft was dull and boring. My husband, the artsy one, hated it. He said it needed more pizzazz and color. I still blame my years as a technical writer for my cut and dry approach, although I fully believe I was born without an artist's eye. Sadly, I passed this trait onto my oldest son. He's eleven and still draws stick figures. Poor kid!

I'll try to post the finished product when its published. The goal of this ad is to share my news with old classmates, friends and acquaintances. Spread the word, spread the love.

Random Thought: Do I always have to let my kids win? Shouldn't I be teaching them how to lose too, even if it sends them running and screaming to their room? Tough one!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I have it all figured out - the plot of the second book. What I haven't figured out are all the subplots. Each day I sit down to write, another idea pops into my head. Some good. Some bad. Friends and family even give me ideas. Some good. Some bad. I don't always immediately know if an idea is good or bad until I write it out. I might not even know until the first draft is done. To me, the important thing is to just keep typing. I can make the big decisions later. Wow. This was a rambling post!

Random Thought: I think our 7-month-old black lab is getting a little big for the cat bed. Silly puppy!