Saturday, December 8, 2018

I Binged All the Shows Today

It started raining last night around midnight. Which in itself is not out of the ordinary. Mobile is, upon occasion, the rainiest city in the lower 48 states. Which means we get a shit ton of rainfall every year. 
But, when it rains in Mobile, it tends to be more often than not, a deluge. We have storms roll in daily during the summer. Thunder, lightning, heavy downpour, sometimes hail. The whole kit and caboodle of weather. Some days it rolls right on through and it's bright and sunny and steamy for the rest of the day. Other days we sit under a heavy overcast sky with intermittent deluges. 

Last night it started raining. Just raining. Like someone turned on a shower with weak water pressure and left it running for hours and hours and hours and HOURS. That constant mind numbing sound of medium/light rain which we so seldom ever get... drove me bat shit crazy.

And it was cold. So, constant pitter-patter of rain and cold and... I turned on the TV and pulled on cozy clothes and binge watched hours of supernatural television today. Supernatural- Midnight, Texas- Wynonna Earp. And then watched ghost hunting videos on Youtube with Aubrey before cooking dinner.

It was a day. We were going to watch Dumplin' on Netflix together, but Alaina hijacked her into an afternoon of Doctor Who.

We finished the new She-Ra yesterday. And started the old Charmed. I'm thinking she's not interested, even tho she says she is. Aubrey, not Alaina, Alaina is definitely not interested in Charmed. We've finished The Dragon Prince, and Next Gen and Hilda and... I need grown up shows... someone please save me.

I am seriously not happy with Joe in Texas... he knows who he is... and he knows what he did... oh poor Chuy. Don't make me come out there... but oh honey, that was kinda hot. I hate myself for even thinking that.

Okay... so the dog has napped on me for hours and the kid went to bed, so time to finish Epiphany.

I'm hoping to get it done this weekend. I don't write during the day. Just at night. Four hours after she goes to bed.

I sort of became to Aubrey what my husband was to the older three kids. Just a person who lived in the same house as her. So... I've made the time every day to spend with her after school and on weekends. Even if it's just watching TV while one of us complains loudly about being forced to sit through something. I fear this next year might not be great for her. She's happy in this school and has friends in this neighborhood... and that's all about to end. Doing my best to get new material out so that we might have a chance to ward off foreclosure and bankruptcy. She knows Christmas will be just a day with decorations and food this year. But she wants for nothing. So... she says she understands.

Anyway... Epiphany... and what it's about... and why I say I've never written anything like this before in my writing life... and what inspired the story... coming next weekend.

I had planned to do a cover reveal for the next book in the Adventures, INK series soon. I'm going to hold that until after Epiphany is released. I'm still several chapters from finishing that one as well.

But right now... today was a good day. Off to destroy some lives. Talk later.


Friday, November 30, 2018

Book Release Date News

I plan to publish Epiphany, my NaNo 2017 book that I've struggled to finish, on the 1st Day of Christmas. If everything goes to plan. I should have it finished and in second draft form by Tuesday night.

I will have a cover reveal for Gone Astray and Cloak and Athame in the next couple of weeks. I plan to release those two books in January and February.

I have two short stories, one is unfortunately a Christmas story, that I'm working on. I had hoped to publish The QB Connection in November but things have not gone as planned. I'm going to finish the Christmas story quickly with hopes of getting it out before Christmas... but most likely it will be next Christmas. 

I really should start writing books for seasonal release LONG before the season. I am in awe of and jealous of people who can write a story with a quick turn around... anyway....

On the First Day of Christmas Mercy gives to you!

Cover art by Jay Aheer at Simply Defined Art

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Thoughts on a career.

I have been in the writing biz for 20 years. TWENTY long years. Since way back in dinosaur times. Before ebooks were a thing. One of the very first things I learned when I first started to pursue publication is that every single solitary genre - including non-fiction - of writing has a completely different way in which they operate. Romance publishers are vastly different from Sci-Fi/Fantasy publishers, are vastly different from Mystery publishers, are VASTLY different from literature/oprahbook publishers, are vastly different from poetry publishers are vastly different from pick any type of publisher. All publishing houses are different from all other publishing houses. All agents are different from all other agents. All READERS are different from all other readers.

The super stars in one genre can be complete nobodies to people who don't read that genre. And writers are invisible to people who don't read anything at all. All of them. Non readers don't know who you are and don't care.

Writing and publishing is a world unto itself and we are split into niches and nooks in which we work and strive to be published in and acknowledged in and hopefully one day a super star in our own little private Idaho, writer's edition.

This is not to say that we don't know who other people from other little writer countries are. We do. Like we know people in other states or other countries. We might even go visit with them... but this is our world and we know our world and our people and our rules and our way of doing it. So that we can compete inside our own niche and get to the publishers who read romance... or mystery... or sci-fi... or dog walking manuals. It's how we know our own tropes and what sells and who is buying what and what is the up and coming thing.

Each and every single solitary niche is completely different. And when you set out to get published the absolute first thing you do is learn your own market. You identify what you write. You seek out the publishers who publishes the medium in which you write. You seek out the agents who are in your medium and know the publishers in your medium and what they want and who might love you.... this is the absolute first step to getting published.... KNOW YOUR SHIT.

The second thing you will learn on this path to knowledge... you come from nothing and you can go back to nothing at the drop of a hat.

You learn to play the game. You level up with experience. First book, second book, twentieth book. Or you don't.

If you hit the jackpot with your first roll of the dice... AWESOME! congratulations, that does not happen often.

Be grateful. Be humble. Don't shit on people. Don't drag people. And for fuckssake have the sense to know that lightning might only strike once and don't fuck up something because you think you know everything... realize you don't. Write your next book. Be your absolute best. And never stop learning... because this petty little world we live in and work in and dream in revolves at the speed of light and there are literally hundreds of thousands of hopefuls just waiting for that spark of lightning to strike them.
Then when you finish learning all of that... you learn the basics of publishing. 
Every single publisher who is not a self publisher, takes time, lots of time, to go from contract to release. Large NY publishing houses can take years, literally, YEARS, to get from contract to release date. Two or three years are not unheard of. 
You learn all of the fun stuff, like advances... most people stop at advances... that you will get a portion of your advance at contract (if you're lucky) and another portion when you turn in the final finished product (if you're lucky) and depending on how your advance is set up, you could get other portions upon acceptance of your final draft (galley). And then when the final final is approved and the release date is set in stone. Depending on how the publisher does it. And then you forget for a year while the book is produced and you start working on your marketing and hoping your publisher actually markets your book (some don't). And you write another book. And hope it is accepted. And rinse and repeat.
You learn about marketing. You learn about all the fun things like taxes... no one ever talks about taxes. They should really talk about taxes and self employment and how to protect yourself.
And you keep learning. And you keep writing and you hope your first book sells well. And that you will be allowed to publish another book with that publisher. Because if it doesn't... you might not get another chance. And you start all over.
And you learn that one book is not a guarantee of life long writing success. And you learn that if you don't write, people don't read you. So you write. And you learn. And you go to workshops. And take classes. And you grow your craft. And you learn how your professional world operates... and you keep doing that year after year after year... and maybe... you'll be lucky and make a name for yourself. Or maybe you'll keep on writing brilliant novels, that never find a home. Or maybe... you never write another book as long as you live.
I will guarantee you two things... two things... if you don't try you will never succeed. And if you quit... then you will never succeed.
Chances are great that you will never be a super star in the writing world. One in billion chance of it really.
But if you don't start at the beginning... how will you ever know.
I will say one more thing... if you somehow manage to beat those billion to one odds and become something in this world... just remember this... that ladder you climbed goes two ways. It's slow and steady going up... and one misstep and that first step is a doozy. 
Ask me how I know this. Then ask me who I am. Or who I might have been...

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing everyone who celebrates a wonderful feast day. And everyone who doesn't... 
have a happy Thursday.


Saturday, November 17, 2018

Thanksgiving BOOK SALE


Every officially published book, all 26 of them, are on sale through Monday November 26th. All books are either $1.99 or $2.99. 

Click any book cover in the right side margin for details and where to buy.


Friday, November 16, 2018

End of the Year Update

Well, I don't know what to say. I just don't.

The news is not all that great so I don't share much anymore.

I only released one official book this year. Two if you take into consideration how the tax year works for writers. Unofficially, Long Way was my first book of this year, I'll pay taxes on it in April. Unofficially any book I put out in November and December will be have royalties paid next year. So... yeah, this year kinda sucked.

I offered two books, they weren't well received, or read. Maybe you didn't know they came out. I tried to get the word out. I did.

Anyway... financially, I'm not able to write full time anymore. Financially, I really can't afford to write at all. The last seven books I released barely earned back what I spent on them. Six of those seven books sold less than three thousand copies over the past two going on three years. I'm writing to earn back what it costs to write. And I can't sustain that. Not anymore. I carried on the past eighteen months as if I mean to carry on.

I'm, unfortunately, bankrupt, and my house is in foreclosure. The trouble is, my husband earns enough to pay half of our bills. I carried the rest. I made seven hundred dollars last month. There will be no Christmas for the kids. Well, kid. Only one is an actual child. She gets plenty during the year. And she understands this year has been tight. She still got most everything she's wanted within reason.

I don't know what else to say. Not looking for pity or attention. I tend to keep all of this close to the vest, though, I had some moments this past year when my anxiety over my failing career has come out.

Right now my lender is working with me to avoid taking the house, but with the next three months pretty much set I see no way to afford to carry on as if we're going to live here. Bankruptcy might buy me a couple more months, but honestly I'm not making enough each month to pay rent on the house we lived in before buying this one.

We will be homeless in a few months. I do fear that. 

I will have new books out soon. They will not be professionally edited. I can't afford to pay an editor or a proofreader this time. The prices will be lower because of this. And my apologies in advance for not having commas in the right places or compound words not compounding correctly. I'll do my best to make the books as error free as possible.

And before you ask what you can do... I am not looking for a hand out. If you bought my books, you did your part. And thank you. 

If I have a book that you haven't bought, well, it would be awesome if you would consider buying one. 

I honestly just need the last seven books to miraculously start selling. That would be the awesomest.

Tell your friends about a book you loved. That would work. Maybe buy it from any of the links I provide and not from a pirate site, that would be even better.

I trying y'all. Doing all I can with what I have, to get you new material, and still make sure my family has what they need.

Well, after that, the best I can say, if we can survive through February and get back on track, then everything will be fine. If not... The January books will be my last books.

I've updated the Coming Soon page with the books I have planned.

If you're looking for some gift ideas I have new items in my Etsy store. And my official merchandise store is still open, it's called Zazzle. Both of those links are in the My Stores tab in the menu above. 

I'm going to do a cover reveal for three of the four upcoming books in a few days. Hope you come back for that.

A note about the final books in the two series that are not finished... well, I don't know what to say, all three of the last Scrimmage sequels and the second Cold haven't reached the three thousand copies paid mark, each. I can only assume there is not enough interest in them to carry on. The original three books in the Scrimmage series are all over or right at the twenty thousand copies paid mark... that's a massive loss of interest in that series. And the second Cold book should never have been published. I knew it. For years. I knew the reaction readers would have would not be positive. It was rejected. And frankly, the final tentative book title is Stone Cold... I'm thinking that should be all the answer needed as to the ending of that series. I will leave that series unfinished. You may disregard the second book as if it never happened.

Ah... tone... 

This is not a happy update. I can't maintain a happy tone anymore. I've tried. Desperately tried. I'm at the end. Last ditch effort to figure out where it all went wrong...

So yes, the tone is depressive. I had six lovely years as Mercy. I guess that is more than anyone else gets.

Wishing you a happy holiday season. See you in December with happier news. I hope.