Friday, August 31, 2012

The last weekend of summer

I have to say that I'm ready for summer to be over. For one thing, our air conditioner broke and we don't plan on fixing it until next summer. Some fall-type weather would be nice about now. Another reason is that the kids will all be occupied with their sports and school and be on a "regular" schedule. This will hopefully make me get on a regular writing schedule. I'm having a hard time getting started with book #3. It's all outlined and ready to go. All I have to do is sit my butt down for longer than five minutes and "get after it" as my husband would say. It is so hard to write when the weather is perfect though. Maybe I have writer's block. That might be it. Or maybe it hasn't been that long since I finished writing Sincerely, sad dad. That can't be it because other authors like James Patterson somehow pump out like twelve books a year, or so it seems. Oh, well. This too shall pass. I only hope it passes quickly. Have a great Labor Day weekend!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

New Release: Sincerely, sad dad

I'm ready. It's ready. Sincerely, sad dad is yours for the taking! The book is available as a paperback or you can download a digital copy for your ereader. You can even download a sample of it at any of the sites listed on my website,, which includes Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Book Description:
With a growing compulsion to kill, one mourning father fights the urge to seek revenge on his daughter's killer by asking Kody Burkoff, a small-town ghostwriter, to help him create a memoir filled with wonderful memories from the years he spent with his daughter before her untimely death the summer after she graduated from high school. Kody, who feels impelled to help every lost soul who enters her life, agrees to help this sad dad knowing that she'll either come out of the ordeal a celebrated hero or an accomplice to a murder. Can Kody save the lives of the boy deemed a murderer and the father facing a lifetime of regret?

Check out the book and share the news with your friends and family. All of your support is greatly appreciated. And, as always, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Send me an email or find me on Facebook or Goodreads. Or better yet, write a review.

Happy reading!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Nervous energy

Once again I'm feeling that nervous energy that comes with sharing what I've written with the world. Part of me wants to run and hide in fear that no one will enjoy the story as much as I do. The other part of me wants to run screaming down the street telling everyone to get a copy. Releasing a book is scary. You're basically opening yourself up for criticism to anyone willing to give it. So far, I've received only a few bad ratings and reviews for Missing Maggie. It usually takes me a couple of days to get over them. I'll read the author's critique or stare at the single star and brainstorm every reason I can think of as to why they didn't enjoy the book. Eventually, I get over it. Eventually, I move on.

With the release of Sincerely, sad dad next Tuesday, I'm hoping for an even better reaction from readers. I've been told it's better than Missing Maggie. I can't say whether I like it better or not. I loved Daniel and his twisted love story. I loved building Kody into who she is today. I can't wait to hear your thoughts!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Character flaws

When thinking about character development, I pay special attention to the flaws. I mean, it's the flaws that make a person who he or she is. What is a perfect person anyway? Is it the person with the least amount of flaws? We all know "those people." They appear to have it together all the time. They're dressed in the latest fashion. Their hair and makeup are perfect. Their kids are star athletes and at the top of their class. I could go on and on. I can only believe (or hope) that at home they are a complete wreck. That's terrible to say, but come on, nobody is that perfect. They just try harder than the rest of us to hide their flaws. Anyway, flaws are what set us apart from the rest. Would my husband be more perfect without his one hairy arm, or would my daughter be even more adorable if she was less of a bear in the morning? I can't leave my boys out. Would my oldest be an even better son if he didn't have to be told to blow his nose instead of wipe the snot on his shirt? Would my youngest son be more lovable if he didn't make weird noises at all hours of the day? Ok, I feel better having covered the family. Since this is my blog, I won't be documenting any of my flaws. Actually, I write about my flaws in my books. I'm just not going to tell you which ones are mine!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Being annoying paid off

My instinct was right. I knew the cover image for Sincerely, sad dad could look better than when I had it printed the first time. As much as I beat myself up over making last minute changes, it totally paid off. I received the second printed copy yesterday and it looks amazing! I couldn't be happier. I don't know what the hell I did to it the first time, but I must have learned a few things while I was messing around with the software. The other change to the cover is using gray instead of black across the top and bottom. It looks a little softer and I think fits the mood of the story better. Now all I need to do is update my website and various other locations and I'll be all set. Hooray for being annoying!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I'm so annoying

I'm completely annoyed with myself. I can't leave well enough alone. I'm "fixing" something that doesn't necessarily need to be fixed, or does it? That's my problem. I received the paperback version of Sincerely, sad dad and am not completely happy with how it looks printed. I know it's all my fault. The software I used to create the cover is completely over my head so I resized and scaled the hell out of the photo. Sorry, Paul. Yesterday, I submitted another cover, which is only slightly different, to see if I could fix the clarity of the image. Now, I'm second guessing my actions. I mean, it is a bit late to be making this type of change. I'll hopefully receive the paperback in a couple of days and prove myself wrong, and then be happy with the original cover. I love it online, which is most important since 90% of my sales are for ereaders. Besides this drama I'm creating for myself, everything is looking good. I'm ready to click the buttons to publish. It's time to get started on book #3!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Making lists

Since choosing a release date for Sincerely, sad dad, I've been making lots of lists. There are so many things to do at this point in the process! Fortunately, I kept a journal of how the last book release worked so I've been paging through that to keep me on track. I'm doing pretty good so far. The manuscript file is almost ready for the Nook and Kindle. I haven't even started getting it ready for the other ereaders. That takes a bit more time and a lot of patience. It brings me back to my tech writing days of troubleshooting html and other types of files. As for marketing, I'm once again unsure of what to do. I'll print some business cards, inundate people on Facebook, and...and...I'm not sure what else. Well, I do plan on passing out more books this time so that's different. More thought will have to go into this area. If anyone out there has some low-cost marketing ideas, I'm all ears!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My photo shoot

Last night, our family went out to take mom's picture for her new book. Sounds like a good time, right? Actually, it was kind of weird. I put on the new shirt I bought for the occasion, along with a necklace from my daughter's collection of hand-me-down jewelry, and we hit the public bike trail near our house. It was me all dolled up surrounded by a bunch of sweaty runners and bikers. I can only imagine what they must have been thinking.

My husband, from only a few feet away, took several pictures while I moved this way and that just like I've seen on America's Top Model. It's way harder than it looks! In some photos, my eyes were half open. In others, my hair was already getting poofy. Plus, can we talk about the mosquitoes? Good grief! We all ran back to the van after the final location, with the final shots being of my two youngest kids. They had to have their time too.

We got back home and I uploaded the photos onto the computer. I was disturbed. Did I really look like that? Was my chin getting broader? My eyelids lower? UGH!!!! I stepped away for a moment and pouted. I eventually went back to the computer and saw that there were a few photos that might work if I cropped them and enhanced them a bit. Long story short, I now have an author photo that will last me until the next book release.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Sincerely, sad dad - available 8/28/12

Sincerely, sad dad will be available online where books are sold on August 28, 2012. Man, it feels good to finally share the news! I've been keeping the title and book description a secret for about a month now. It's hard keeping secrets! I can't wait for people to start reading it. My reviewers have all said it's better than Missing Maggie. They said it in a good way, that I've come a long way as a writer. I feel like the story is better too. I really tried to concentrate on the elements I was lacking in Missing Maggie. It's not perfect by any means, but it's a step in the right direction, and it was certainly easier to write for whatever reason. There are many reasons behind that actually. Number one being that I feel confident that I can tell a good story. Not everyone is going to like it, but I'm okay with that. Pleasing everyone was a big concern for me before self-publishing the first book. I must have been such a drag to be around at the time. I'm not a drag this time. This time I have pure excitement running through my veins. The excitement of the unknown, not knowing if the second book will draw even more readers. Anyway, check out my website for more details on Sincerely, sad dad.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

New goal: Book #2 by Labor Day

Why wait? I've had it in my head that I need to wait until October to self-publish book #2, but the manuscript is ready and the cover is about ready. Why wait? I see no reason any longer. My new goal is to get this thing out there before Labor Day weekend. Sales for Missing Maggie are the best they've ever been so I'm hoping those new readers will like one or the other, or both. The publishing process takes some time so I'll need to order my proof copy by the end of next week I figure. Also, it takes weeks to have it available in the iStore. Getting a copy for the Nook isn't real pressing since I might sell one a month through that channel. My head is spinning with everything that needs to get done, but sometimes it's better to work under pressure. Although, it isn't like I'll get fired if I miss my deadline. I'll keep you posted.