Spellbinding stories of mystic love and soulful hope . . .

Posts tagged ‘amazon’

When literary writers go rogue (sex sells) . . . .

002I know this writer who has penned a few novels and short stories – all of them considered “literary works” with the exception of one that could pass for a bit of fantasy and romance. She sits in her space and tippity taps away — the words come easy to her, though plots do not. Her stories make people cry and think and wonder and wander. She has a pretty nice following of readers who love her work.

But anyone “in the business” knows that “Literary-type” writers have a harder time finding a huge audience. And while writers who pen these kinds of works love their readers and audience, there comes a time when the rubber has to meet the road and bills must be paid. Perhaps something changed in the writer’s life–perhaps two incomes become one, or something catastrophic happens, or the moon swallows the sun and all hell breaks loose–doesn’t matter; there comes a time where if the writer didn’t worry so much about how much money her work made, before, she or he may at some point certainly have to worry about it sooner or later.

084There are genres of writing out there that seem to entice readers to them: romance, erotica, erotic-romance. Hmmmm, thinks the writer–that erotic stuff sounds “easier” to write than romance–for romance requires Plot and Rules, whereas it seems erotica/erotic romance is all over the place–kind of experimental. How darist the literary writer do such a thing? Could she? Would she? Should she? What would her readers think? Her family? Her friends? Her MOM!

And one day, the writer sat down in her space and spewed out new kinds of words – words that normally she’d laugh at or cringe a little at or blush at: C words and P words and T words and A words. And the sexual explicitness of her words made her go “Well, damn . . . .” But on she wrote, inserting a little plot, a little narrative, in between all that sex: beasty men and girl on girl and slipping through the back door and bodily emissions flying. This writer just tipped the iceberg of what is out there in erotica writing, for in doing some research, she found some pretty disgusting and way more explicitly disturbing works, but, for the literary writer of beautiful books, this was completely new and completely explicit.

What goes on behind the eyes of a woman?

What goes on behind the eyes of a woman?

And it excited her, too. Even while making her want to hide her identity. And will I reveal her identity? That’s for you to find out and figure out, if you haven’t already. For keeping her identity in the shadows allows her to explore that darker deeper side of sexuality. It makes her feel she’s gone rogue. It feels scary and delicious all at the same time. The words she had a hard time saying, the explicit situations that made her laugh, or blush a little, suddenly come (so to speak) easier and easier.

One down, she says, and how many more to go?

1655921_1378209372428629_1822370916_n Meet Tasha Wolfe.  A literary writer’s Rogue Alter-Ego. She won’t reveal her identity straight out. For she likes to remain in the shadows, so she can write with explicit glee, or embarrassed glee, or something in between. And she’ll never tell her mother. And certain friends. And certain colleagues. And she’ll think, “This is for the bills. This is so I can keep writing the literary stuff. This is so I don’t lose my house.” But a darker baser side of her thinks, “This is exciting and exhilarating. This is unexpected . . . .”

SEDUCTION COVE CVR6-page-0 (1)She started small, with a little novella-ette – something to be read quickly. Something that can be written quickly. Something that is quick. Seduction CoveIn a hidden cove in a secret magic forest, a seductive sorceress weaves blood and fantasy into tantric orgasmic sex. Sorceress Serena seduces sex-starved women to her magical cove, where with a vial of their blood, and knowledge of their deepest fantasies, she creates for them their perfect lover – for a price. But when Serena’s darker thoughts take over, she chooses a client who asks for part man, part beast. Serena’s ancestors howl against it, but she seeks to punish a soul in her soul garden – for his arrogance, he will become her experiment for this lusty client. Things don’t go quite as Serena wants them to, and she then must face her own desires.

And this writer nods her head at Tasha, for really, everyone does just what they want and need to do and that’s how it should be. Right? Right. And sex sells. Sex really really sells. And it’s more than that, isn’t it? It’s more than the money . . . it’s something wilder and darker and exciting . . . .

Sometimes writers go rogue. Sometimes you never even know when they do this – the writers who pen lovely beautiful books, and in the dark of night pen something so very much different. Some do it proudly and some do it stealthy and some do it somewhere in between.

 

 

Shoveling it (writing it)

snow storm 2014 cove walk and shovel 004

*UPDATE! : Can anyone tell me “what’s wrong with this picture” here to the left? *laughing* — Let’s make that around 10 inches on my driveway. *dumbass me* Yeah, the stick is upside down and the big numbers are not inches. Teeheehee.* There has to be a metaphor/analogy for the writing in this :D

Gawd. What a winter it has been. Ice, snow, sub-zero temps — my cove once dove to minus 8.5 degrees. This latest dumped fourteen inches on top of the driveway I’d just cleared 3 inches from. Welp, good, cause at least I didn’t have to shovel 17 inches. Huhn. Right? Riiight. And, as I wrote on Facebook (where I’ve been uploading photos of the snow and the beauty of Western North Carolina), how does a 111 pound 5’2″ woman clear 14 inches of snow from her longish driveway in less than 2 hours? One GD shovel at a time. I put my head down and did the job. I didn’t whine. I didn’t complain–no really, I did not. For what good would that have done? Just made me irritated and negative about it. I shoveled and I didn’t think about how much was left before me. I shoveled and I didn’t stop except to drink some water and stretch out the kinks. I shoveled and I didn’t think about my worries or my troubles or what lay ahead or what I would do next or if it were boring or if I’d rather be doing something else–nope, I kept my mind to he task. I shoveled and shoveled and shoveled some more. Until, at last, I had a pathway for my Boopmobile to clear out of so I can get out snow storm 2014 cove walk and shovel 028this weekend, and then, just to be sure, I shoveled a bit more–a sort of SO THERE! kind of thing.

snow storm 2014 cove walk and shovel 026I thought, at the end: Okay, Mother/Father/Grandm/f Nature, you bitch – I’m a bigger bitch. I’m a badass bitch. I’m a toughass kickass mountain woman, stubborn, too much pride at times, determined. I had a goal. I completed it. My arms were shaking afterward. My back and shoulders protested. But those things actually felt good because they felt like work; they felt like progress; they felt like I was in the real world doing real things; they felt like, actually, that Mother;/Father/Grandm/f Nature and I were at a truce. Oh, I know Nature can dish out some more if it wants to, and it could take me to my knees. It has done that to many of us–storms, and floods, and snows, and ices, and tornadoes, and hurricanes–and what do we do? We “shovel” out from under it one “shovel” at a time until we are done with the job.

Just Do It

Just Do It

Often people ask me: how did you write so much in so little time? What is your writing day like? How do you keep writing? I am pretty prolific. I have had published five novels and a novella, and published myself through Amazon some short stories, and I’m writing under two different pen names — one is C.W. Pomp, and the other is a secret. And you may be guessing already what I’m going to say after reading the above: I write one word at a time. I put my head down and get the job done. When I am working, snow storm 2014 cove walk and shovel 028I don’t think ahead or how much I have done or how much more I have left to do. I don’t worry about the future when I am working. I am a badass toughass stubborn determined novelist/writer bitch. When I am done, I may be shaking a little; I may let those worries creep in; I may falter because I don’t know how it’s all going to work out or if people will love my work; I could be taken to my knees by disappointment (and I have been!). But, then . . . I sit down and do it all over again, just as if it snows again, I will pick up that shovel and dig myself out from under what is dished out to me.

1461250_496657083765127_1387255473_nNow, I do not want to hit you good people over the head with this – my pride and my sense of “not bugging people” often have gotten in the way of me talking about my books, but, if I want to keep doing what I love, then I have to promote my books at least sometimes, and the sometimes is usually when I have news or deals. I thought The Lightning Charmer would be off its $1.99 sale, but it’s still hanging on – shhh! maybe they forgot to take it off! ha! So, if you haven’t tried my work, now is the time, or if you have and liked my other books, then give T.L.C. a try. I will love you for it – well, hell, I already love you all :D .

three set_edited-best_edited-1As well, my little short stories are on Amazon. I don’t talk about them much because they’re just little story snacks – things you can read quickly. Simple little things. I adore the artwork on the cover.

Okay, that’s enough of the car salesman pitch *haw!*

MUWAH! y’all. Pick up that shovel (sit down and write) . . . get busy.

Over at the Bell Bridge/BelleBooks blog . . . .

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Living the Dreamy Dreamland of a (cray-cray) Writer

Oh, the joys of being a writer! Why, we see the world in ways unlike mere mortals. Yeah. We do. Of course we do. We walk about with our heads in the clouds, or huddle inside our little spaces with far away dreamy dreamland eyes that rarely blink. I think I once didn’t blink for a week—no! Really! When one of my eyeballs fell out, I thought, “Dang, woman! For gawd’s sake blink!” So I did, and believe you me, I make sure I blink every once and a while. It’s much better that way; take it from me, the voice of experience.

I’m more the reclusive kind of writer. There’s only rumor that I really actually do exist at all. No! Really! There’s no one actually to prove it—okay, there are some who have seen me, waiflike and ethereal, meandering in an otherworldly way with clouds hovering over my wittle head. I’m so incredibly cute!—um, in very very weirdly dangerous to myself way—but I promise I am absolutely not dangerous to others. No sirree. I don’t even see others most of the time to be of any danger to them. Yeah. I just think of really strange things because my characters are doing all this cool stuff and I want to do it along with them. I do! I want to have all that excitement, and mysterious happenings, and!, all that good hot sex. Woooowheee. FOR THE REST OF THE POST, CLICK HERE.

later y’all! ‘preciate your support! and the support of the BB blog!

The Lightning Charmer – so it begins . . . Aw Lawd! *Jittery Jittery Jittery* LAWD!

The Lightning Charmer coverY’all know how much I detest the “author spamming” stuff, so it’s difficult for me to go on my FB page or to come here and talk about my novels, and if you scroll down my blog posts and FB updates, you will see I rarely do that. However, it’s difficult, no it’s impossible, not to say “It’s here!” when a new book is released, or if I have other good news — like promotions or whatever.

And so, now I can say, at least for Amazon, The Lightning Charmer is here! Amazon always jumps out of the gate first, it seems. The “official” release date is November 1, but Amazon already has The Lightning Charmer up in print and e-book.

I’ve always been excited about a new release, but I find this time it hasn’t fully hit me yet. Perhaps when I receive my author copies I’ll hold one in my hands and do my usual writing a personal note to myself in it and feel it – FEEL IT – F.E.E.L. I.T.. But for now? I’m caught in a surreal weird-land of Not Yet Feeling It. I went to the Amazon page and stared at it – yup, it’s there; it’s real; it’s happening, but still – LAWD!

What is my hope for my book out with Amazon first? Well, that it will climb in the charts of course, and that it will receive good reviews of course, and that it will do well on Goodreads, as well, of course, since Amazon and Goodreads are combined (from what I understand). But will I be looking at my ranking and checking reviews? Nope! Not I, says the Kat! *haw* – Because I don’t keep up with reviews and rankings, and I believe that reviews are for the readers, not for authors to go poking her head in and looking around and commenting.

 

As well, I learned from my wise editor Deborah Smith (who is a best-selling author herself and please google her and check out her books!) never to go hunting up reviews, and stop looking at rankings. The only time that it may be advised to celebrate rankings is if someone contacts me and says, “Your book is climbing the charts and is in the top 100 and writer's blodkaclimbing!” Then I can go “Whoohooooooo!” *laughing* yeah. That happened with Tender Graces — made it to Number 1 and caused The Help to be Number 2 -sure did, but at the time I didn’t understand what was happening, so I didn’t talk about it – Duh, Kat!

So, y’all, if you want use Amazon as your book source, and you think you would like to read my latest, then I invite you to it. If you only want to say “Congrats, Kat!” and not to read my book, that’s fine, too! I never expect everyone to be interested in what I write–even friends and family! If you want to send me chocolate and vodka to help me to control my jittery, well, that’s awesome! *laughing*

Now, I’m going to try to control the jitters in my stomach–this book is different from my others and I admit so much nervousness in the hopes my “Regular Readers” who have been such wonderful “fans” of my work, will love TLC and be happy with the new direction I took.

A little more about The Lightning Charmer Here on my website.

Y’all are awesome. All of you.

Audio books at Audible on sale for one week, including a couple of mine

Morning all y’allses wunnerfuls! Peeking in here as I do from time to time to post off-schedule about book deals and such, really the only time I will yappity do dah day about my books on social networking is when I have some news!

Audible.com, an Amazon division, is having a promotion on some of its audio books. Two of my novels, and the anthology with Petey in it are in that promo.

They’ve lowered the audio prices to $5.95. Dang!

So, if you’ve never tried an audio book (I haven’t and with this sale I am going to try some books!), or if you like audio books, now’d be a good time to go for it.

What I love about this is that it also supports the Voice Artists, who work so very hard -harder than I ever imagined or knew! They are wonderful!

Tender Graces audio book. Narrated by Mia Bankston

Sweetie audio book. Narrated by Ann M. Richardson

The Firefly Dance (with novella Petey) audio book. Narrated by Frances Fuller

All right, that’s it! See y’all next Friday with: Photos: No Words.

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for all your support and all you do. *muwah!*

 

 

 

 

I am your Personal Trainer: fitness products to try – don’t have to leave home with or without them

I am a member of a gym, but I take along with me my own mat, my own ball (on ball workout days), my own stretch-rubber-band tubing for tubing days–I vary my strengthening workouts and you should, too!  If I could, I’d take my own free-weights with me, but that’s going a little far, isn’t it, y’allses? Too heavy for my gym-bag, ungh. Dang.

So, here are some of the items/products I use:

And, once again, I am not advertising these items, and do not receive anything from the company(ies), these are just things I use and have worked for me.

To clean my exercise mat and exercise ball, and whatever else I want to clean, I use Gaiam Yoga Mat Wash that I bought from Amazon.com. It has a fresh spicy slightly medicinal aroma.

What they sayKeep your yoga mat clean and fully hygienic with the Gaiam yoga mat wash. Made of tea-tree extract and natural essential oil blends, the USDA-certified organic mat cleaner is 100-percent all natural and nontoxic. More significantly, it lets you easily remove sweat, dirt, and other impurities after an energizing yoga routine, so you needn’t practice the next day on a soiled mat.

What I like: It’s portable and easy to use in between a good washing of the  mat, and as well, I use it on other items and sometimes even spray it inside my shoes.

What I don’t like: It’s a little strong-smelling, so be careful when you spray! I’ve had a few coughing moments when I’ve over-sprayed or been too close.

The gym bag I use is the Gaiam Tree of Life Yoga Mat Tote Bag–also purchased from Amazon.com (at the same time as the mat wash).

What they sayOur tree of life yoga tote bag is made from 100% cotton and embroidered in rich detail with the tree of life. This tote will fit any standard or premium yoga or Pilates mat up to 28-Inch wide. The roomy mat bag with magnetic snaps (for easy access when you’re running a little late to yoga class) features a zippered outside pocket and a zippered inside pocket. Fully lined in nylon fabric.

What I love: This bag is cute as can be, and it fits a lot more than I thought it would: my mat, tubing, shoes, socks, water. I like the zippered pockets that I can fit more things, like my iPod nano/earbuds, my heart-rate monitor, the mat wash, etc.  I haven’t yet washed it to see if it will shrink and become all wrinklety, but I’ll find out when I do wash it–I haven’t had it that long. I love this bag.

What I don’t like: It can be a bit long and bang up against things and people if I’m not paying attention, but it has to be to fit the mat so that’s not really an issue for me. It’s not made in the US, but I have trouble finding made in the USA items. I sometimes wish it were in darker colors so that when I have to set it on the floor, it won’t show dirt so much, but I do like the “natural fiber” color all the same.

I also use another Gaiam product–my Gaiam Yoga Mat – Purple– for yoga/pilates/and any other mat
work–that I bought from Target. I’ve had this mat for years now and it’s still as good as new. I also have a Wai Lana yoga/pilates mat that I love, but since it’s thicker and heavier, I leave it at home and take the thinner Gaiam one to the gym. The mat I am using in the photos is the Wai Lana and I found it on sale at TJ Maxx--it’s been years and still going strong.

What they say: Not a lot on the sites, but you can do your research.  I recommend the Gaiam or Wai Lana only because it is what I have always used, in my personal training days, too, and they work well and last.

What I love: These mats have lasted me, as I said, for years without showing any wear and tear. I’ve even washed them in the washing machine and hung them to dry. They are comfy and have remained “sticky” as long as I keep them cleaned regularly.

What I don’t like: Can’t think of a thing!

I use a heart-rate monitor not only because my heart rate can tend to go high quickly–I have the heart of an 18-year-old man the tech said when I had a stress test *laugh*– but I also want to keep track of my progress. I bought, on sale at Best Buy, a Polar RS300X SD Heart Rate Monitor Watch with S1 Foot Pod (Black). I’m major put off with Best Buy right now, so I have provided the link to Amazon, huhn–but of course you all can shop wherever you like! This comes with a band that goes around my chest. The watch also keeps track of my work-outs, and other things I haven’t yet tried, like the foot pad.

What they say: A smart, intuitive training computer for runners and cross-training athletes, the Polar RS300X SD wrist heart rate monitor helps you to train at the right intensity with personal training zones. The RS300X SD comes with Polar’s S1 foot pod, which accurately measures your running speed/pace and distance. Committed runners will find the most value in the real-time pace and distance measurement of the S1 foot pod. And even though it attaches to your shoe laces, it’s so light that you’ll forget it’s even there, which means it won’t affect your running performance.

What I love: My brother, who had a heart attack and has to keep track of his heart rate during exercise, loves the Polar and recommended it to me–if he uses it and trusts it, then so do I. And I’ve loved it. It’s easy to use and I feel confident in the product.

What I don’t like: Maybe a little pricey, though I did find mine on sale. However, I think it is worth every penny! The foot-pad looks a little big to be bouncing around on my foot when I do high-energy treadmill dance-aerobics, so I have yet to use it (plus I keep forgetting)–the size of it puts me off but as soon as I can remember, I’ll try it on a Lake J walk.

GENERAL:

Balance Balls and Yoga/Pilates instructional videos:

When I first started out on the balance/exercise ball, I bought Yodney Yee’s and Suzanne Deason’s ball instructional videos. Since then, I’ve bought another ball (the one in the photos) and gave away the original ball to a former client, along with at least one of the instructional videos.

Rodney Yee and Suzanne Deason–both working with Gaiam, had (and I am sure still do) some of the best instructional videos out there. And not just for balance balls, but instructional videos for yoga and pilates, as well. I highly recommend them–they are strict on form, and gently take you through the workouts in a calm and soothing manner/voice. Love them both. I purchased these items at Target but they are on Amazon, and I am sure on sale at Wal-mart and other places, as well.

I have some old Theraband exercise tubing that I use, but need to do more research on a stronger one. I’ll think about sticking with Theraband, but will see what’s out there since it’s been years since I’ve replaced my tubing. The newer Theraband tubing I saw on Amazon look stronger–and believe me, you only want a tube to snap and smackervate you once; after that, nope, don’t want that to happen again – lawd! About 9 years ago, I had an old cheaper exercise tubing that tore and KASNAPPED against my chest–that red-welp stayed there almost a week-OUCH! Believe me, paying more for quality is oft-times worth it.

All right, all y’allses wonderfuls! There you go. Some products you can use and you can take them to the gym or use them at home! So whatchoo waiting for? Let’s become KICK-ASS WOMEN — and yeah, you MEN TOO! :-D

Namaste

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Friday Photos (and a free Kindle book for mother’s day) . . .

A bit of news first – I passed this news on at my facebook page (come ‘friend’ me if you like!- I’m rather shy so I mostly stand on the corner waiting for people to come to me *laugh*), and will do so here – either Amazon, or Bellebooks, has put my first novel – the first in the trilogy – Tender Graces – on a free promo for two days only (far as I know)  – yesterday and today. It’s for a Mother’s Day promo (there are strong mother-daughter themes in the trilogy), and as a “launch celebration” for Family Graces release. I always love passing on promos, and you all know it’s difficult for me to post/talk about my books–lawdy be in  a bucket!

Tender Graces, back when it was first released, became a Kindle best-seller – hitting number 1 over The Help on the Kindle Paid list of top 100 for  a while there – it was most exciting! It then hovered there in the top 5 for a while, and that was quite exciting, too.

Now, on the Free list, it is hovering at No 1 on contemporary fiction and No 4 on over-all kindle books–this does help with people seeing an author, I do believe, but whether it does or does not, it’s a great promo for readers to try out an author. So, thank you to all you who have downloaded my Virginia Kate — I hope you enjoy it and if so, you will perhaps read the rest of the trilogy! *smiling warmly* And if you want to try out my books without risk, here’s your chance.

There is much debate about “free books” and I won’t go into what I think or don’t think or in between–but, those promos are here to stay, I do believe, and at best they give readers a chance to check out an author and as a Thank You for reading our work. At worst – well, I’m not going there because that’s not what this is about!

If you have  B&N Nook, then it is not free but it’s there as well. I want to give a shout out to Barnes & Noble, and the indie bookstores — I support them, as well, and all they do for authors.

Now . . . Photos of the day: Spider Webs

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Monday Classroom: What if writing/publishing your book were like any other job?

If we were to think about our writing life, and publishing life, as a Job, we may consider things quite differently. You interview and you then sit by the phone and wait for it to ring, sweating, hoping. Phone rings—you didn’t get the job—DANG IT ALL TO HELLVITICA! That happens again, and again, until finally that phone rings and the answer is Yes! The job is yours! WHOOOP-WHOOOOP! You put on your work clothes and—

My advance will be six figures—I’m in the money!

The company offers you “upfront” money. That money will take care of expenses and such until you show them how successful you will be and how much money you will make them, or how much output you provide to make yourself a worthwhile risk. They’ll hold back your salary until you work enough to make up that upfront money. If you work for a huge company and they have reason to believe you’ll make them lots of moola, your advance could be Big. But, if like most of us pea-headed littlers you are more of a risk, advances aren’t going to be big, and some “companies” do not pay advances at all.

I receive small advances on my books and they are manageable enough to “earn back” quickly. You have to “pay back” that advance—meaning, you have to sell enough books to cover the advance before you begin making royalties. Dream big, but know the realities, y’allses.

I thought you said I could relax on the porch? Whaaaaa?

I’m going to buy a car and a house and ten gallons of gelato from my trip to Italy. Zippity do dah! Zippity Ay!

Better check your salary again, y’aaaawwwwl! Whether big business or small, the money the company takes in and doles out—including your salary—has to go many different places. Imagine Good Ole Bubba’s Tools & Supplies. Bubba the owner hires you to make tools, and when you make those tools, he sells them. From that money he has to pay rent or mortgage on his building, utilities and other expenses; he has to pay taxes, insurance; he has to buy inventory; he has to pay all of his employees; he has to pay himself. If you provide Bubba with a service, you are only a part of the entire operation of who has to be paid. The money has to be spread around to keep the business afloat.
So, your book is published—print, e-book, ethereal transcription on a moonbeam. Everyone involved receives their cut. Industry standard royalty rate ranges are from around 6 to 15 percent for paperback/hardback and 25 to 50 percent on ebook. So, let’s suppose you get 10% royalty on each print book you sell, and your book sells for $15.00: 10% of $15.00 = $1.50 per book is your cut—well, not exactly, as you must pay taxes, and “pay back” any expenses you incurred (if any), and if you have an agent, take 15% more off the top of that $1.50. Lawdy be in a bucket!

Takes a whole lotta books to make a living off that, doesn’t it, my beauties? Now, e-books earn a better royalty, and you can plug in the numbers yourself—still, tain’t a goldmine lessen you become a Kindle Millionaire or sumpin’—be realistic about your salary. Royalties can be really good one month and not so good another month, and expenses, taxes, agents if you have one, etc etc etc eat through some of that moo-la-la. Dream big, but temper it with the realities of just how difficult it is to make a good living as an author.

My book will be reviewed by: Magazines, Oprah’s Book Club, New York Times Books, et cetera.

You’ve been working hard. You’ve put in your time and then some. You walk by The Big Boss’s office every so often, showing him/her your determined face, your sincere attitude, the nights you’ve stayed late, the weekends you’ve worked, the family time you’ve sacrified. You’ve gone to meetings and didn’t even fall asleep-haw!—okay, once, but no one was the wiser.

You’ve done everything you can think of to be noticed by The Big Boss. And, well, he/she just doesn’t notice you. He/She has so many other employees who are doing the same thing, and some of them are backed by People who are able to slip into Big Boss’s office and put in a good word, or, some other employee just happens to be in the elevator with The Big Boss when she/he’s in a good mood, or, when he/she just happens to be looking for that particular person’s smile or nod or look or good morning. Or somehow, an employee has some buzz going on a project he/she did.

There’s a lot of competition  out there. And lotso times, the Big 6 published authors garner the most attention, or the authors who’ve already had best sellers or are gaining attention for some other reason, et cetera-oony. It’s a saturated business, folkses. It’s a tough business. The Big Boss is busy, and soooo important, and frankly, doesn’t have time to get to know every little employee out there—no matter how sincere or hardworking, and even, no matter how lovely your work is. Yup. Dang.

My book will be in many bookstores across the land.

Your proposal is done. You’ve worked hard on the Slim Slam Piddly Lam account. It’s all done up in a nice folder, and

Where's that mail carrier with my Big Ass Check?

you are proud of it. Now time to get it to the right hands. There’s two-hundred offices in the building; heck, if even one-hundred or so Boss Peoples to look at your proposal, why, even that would be great; better to have all two-hundred, but you’ll settle for half. You take your shiny proposal for the Slim Slam Piddly Lam account and make a hundred-fifty copies. You put them on your desk and wait. One person comes by—it’s Ms. Office Fifteen. She’s been a casual acquaintance and you bought her coffee one day. She takes a proposal, then because she likes you, she takes three more.  HOT DAMN! You are on your way! Whooooop Whooooop! Four proposals! The other hundred-forty-six sit. La la la tee dah. *check watch* *tap fingers* *tap toes* *sob a little*

You make the rounds of a few offices: “Will you take my Slim Slamp Piddly Lam account proposal?” And a couple take one, but it ends up under a big stack of other proposals.

Some shake their heads no. They have enough proposals, no more space. You realize you just don’t have time or funds or energy to go to all hundred-forty-six offices, so you place your Slim Slam Piddly Lam account proposals on your desk, again, and hope word will get around—ungh ungh. Your supervisor who works with you on accounts is helping, too, taking half of those proposals and sending out word, newsletters, samples, et cetera. A few more proposals are placed, but, nowhere near what you thought.

The truth is: sometimes you and your publishers (agent/editors/publicists, whomever) have to practically beg a bookstore to stock your book—until they tire of begging and stop—even if you are traditionally published by a viable press. Bookstores have limited space and they’re going to stock the “bigger names” –that means bigger in publishers and in authors.

notice me! notice me! notice me! notice me! notice me! dang . . .

Sad but true, you can be a champion of brick and mortar bookstores, but when you approach them, they may or may not care. They may or may not stock your book. They may stock one just to be nice. Since you can’t conceivably contact every bookstore there is, there’s no way to have your book noticed by many bookstores—for them, it’s about their budget and sentimentality usually goes one way: the author may be sentimental about having their books in brick and mortar bookstores but the sentimentality is often not returned—it’s a hard cold world out there in this book business. Make friends with your local bookstore owners and you probably will have success there, at least.

This is why Amazon and Nook and other e-readers have become important to authors—authors feel “heard” and authors are able to see their books on “shelves.”

work work work work work work work work work *lawd* work work work

Once I have one book published, I am assured to have more published.

You landed the Shots a Lot account! Oh Happy Days are Near Again! Surely now the next couple of accounts will be Yours! You can kick back and relax now. Or . . . not. Well, dang it all to Dang Town!

With each book, you (or if you have an agent, the agent) still need to convince your publisher/publishing editor to take on your book. Even if the last book was successful. Now, granted, if you’ve had success with your first book or books, the chances are higher; however, you still need to present the book and have it approved.

This means: just as with the first time, you’ll write your novel without knowing whether you will have it published and without knowing whether all your work will be realized in print/e-book. You write regardless of the outcome. You write never knowing where it will take you, or if you will be published, if you will ever make a dime, or if you will only make a dime.

How many jobs would you take knowing these kinds of odds? How many jobs would you take making an unknown salary? How many jobs would you take where you could work your arse off for weeks, months, a year, or more, and Maybe MAYBE be paid, and maybe not? Would you take that job?

You have to love this business and have a crazy amount of faith and hope and daring.

 I want this crazy-arse roller coaster job—do you?

Friday Photos–Places: Oregon Downtown & Coast (& stories made real by the telling)

There's nothing like this feeling . . .

oh sony cybershot, how I'll miss you

I have  blog post up at Bellebooks/Bell Bridge Books blog -called: “The Stories are Made Real by the Telling” – I hope you’ll stop by to read and while there check out the other wonderful posts by BB authors! And thank you all for your supportive emails, comments, updates, messages on the release of the final in the trilogy Family Graces. I so appreciate you all — more than you may ever know!

Today is the day I go with my photographer/chef friend to buy my “Good Camera” – like a kid before Christmas, I could barely sleep thinking about it -teeheehee.

I love visiting Oregon. And not just because my precious granddaughter lives there, and my son and daughter in law. But  because it is beautiful and interesting with mountains, water features, nature, beer (laugh – Asheville, NC beat out Portland, OR in beer city contest!), just as does my Western North Carolina.

Photos have their stories, too, don’t they?

So, once again, I leave you with a few photos casually taken, as I say goodbye to my Sony Cybershot – oh, my camera and I were best buddies! If it weren’t for the  malfunctioning blobs and streaks, I’d keep it and use it every so often–perhaps I will anyway.

I’ll be returning to Oregon this summer to see “Lil Boop.” If you’ve never been, then you must . . .

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Wednesday F4A: I am your guinea pig: Agadir Argan Oil Line (and a note about Family Graces)

(I apologize if those of you who subscribe by email receive this twice! I accidentally hit “publish” last night instead of “draft” – lawd!)

I am in love with Agadir Argan Oil line of products. On two earlier “product review” posts, I happily talked up Agadir shampoo and conditioner, and the Agadir Argan oil.

While strolling about CVS in Waynesville–okay, I don’t get out much y’allses — huhn, so CVS is close by and it has stuff in it and I can gawk and meander and look and sometimes buy something. Even though GMR has accused me of going all “girly-fied” lately. Huhn. What-EVER.

Annnyyyywaaaaay, I happened upon this lovely wonderful sight: Agadir styling mousse . . . be still my beating hair follicles! I grabbed it and with no shame whatsoever paid the full price for it instead of going through Amazon (where I see it is cheaper – if you receive free shipping) as I did with the shampoo and conditioner. But I wanted it Then. I felt completely spoiled–though may I just say and of course I may, that I have come to adore Agadir products and they are worth every penny (Dear Agadir, please do not raise your prices–do not toy with me!). Not only do they make my hair feel wonderful, but the scent is exotic and clean and soothing to my pea-headed brain.

What they sayMoisturizes, conditions, smoothes, humidity resistant. No build up and gives super shine to dry, damaged, stressed hair. Protects hair against chemicals and hot tools. Great aroma that will waken your senses! Paraben free. 24 hour, lasting shine. Enriched with antioxidants and Vitamin E. With protective sunscreen. Sulfate free. Anti color fade for long, lasting hair color. Great body, volume & shine. Hydrates, smoothes, detangles, controls frizz.

What I love about it: Every.Little.Thang!

What I do not like about it: There’s nothing so far that I can say negative. If I had one teeny thing, even though I said it’s worth every penny and it is; well, folkses, it is a bit more than some of the other “over the counter” brands and more in line with “Beauty salon” items. But again, worth the money in how it makes my hair look, feel, smell. Whoopeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

You will only need a bit of the mousse – so be careful. I splorked a big-arse glob of it onto my hand, accidentally. It’s thick and creamy-rich–feels like a cream instead of a mousse. I put it all in my  hair because I didn’t want to waste it, but it was a bit much, so I’ll be careful next time. The scent is the same as with the other products, and I had a whiff of it all day as I went about my business.

I have baby fine hair, but this product, even though it has the word “oil” in it, does not weigh down my hair.

I can’t say enough good things about this product.

Now, while I am here, might as well tell you that FAMILY GRACES is on Amazon Kindle; it’s there in trade paperback, too, but since the release date isn’t quite “official” yet, there’re still doing their thang and all (the trade paperback is at BelleBooks/Bell Bridge books now and they always enjoy readers contacting them, of course!) It should be out in all the usual places soon. I guess they are trying something different by slipping in the kindle book first–I do not know!

I’m excited and terrified that it’s finally out *pant pant pant!* – My goal (and I have no control over it, so I guess it’s more of a hope than a goal *laugh*) is for it to reach the top 100 of Kindle – or as Tender Graces did, the No 1 spot on the Kindle paid bestseller’s list—yes, TG was No 1 over The Help for a little bit–lawdy! Ohhhhh doggies, wouldn’t that be excitervating? :-D

So, at last–  my Virginia Kate Sagas, the Grace’s Trilogy, is at last complete. What a journey. It feel so bittersweet. I spoke of this hope and love for the characters and writing here when this blog was MSN spaces, so some of you may remember those days *smiling*

I’ve loved this character dearly. I’ve loved writing about her and all the others. She has been such a part of my life — I think I just may cry. And here they are–the three books that I have spent so much time with. The entire trilogy. Lawd. *sniffle* I’ll miss you Virginia Kate . . . Micah, Andy, Bobby, Rebekha, Katie Ivene, Frederick, Mee Maw, Miss Darla, Amy and “Mr. Husband” Campinelle, Jade, Soot and Marco–and all the rest.

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