Happy 2016!

Happy 2016! I hope all of my readers had a fabulous end to 2015 and so far a great New Year. I finally got back into the writing groove late in 2015. I have an idea of what caused my general funk and hopefully that will never happen again. We shall see. So far things are moving along well and I’ve been inspired to write on multiple fronts.

2016 will bring in three releases for me. The sequel to Born of Stone: Born of Magic, will be out in the summer. Keep your eyes peeled for the cover reveal. My third Archangel book will be out this year as well, but no dated pinned down yet. Also, They Call Me Death is currently undergoing a major make-over. My initial thought was to give it a minor make-over with a basic re-edit. However, my new editor is AMAZING and has my creative wheels spinning like crazy with his initial feedback. So, there may be some major rewrites there after all.
More news: Ellora’s Cave will be putting my Love Beyond Barriers series in print this year. I’m currently trying to think up titles for the two paperbacks. Have an idea? Shoot me an email or comment below. Also, if you own the series and remember seeing a typo, PLEASE let me know. I plan to spend this coming weekend rereading them myself.
On the personal front: I decided not to bother making actual resolutions this year. I’m sick of feeling like a failure in mid-February. So instead I’m going to continue to try making smarter lifestyle choices. I actually started this a couple of months ago. There have been many hiccups so not a lot of visual progress yet, but I’m hopeful. I can say that writing again feels so good, it definitely has me in the right mindset. 
That’s it for now but stay tuned for more news. I’m hoping to set up some signings around my new release dates. Want me to come to your city? Please let me know.

And Now it Begins Again…

For anyone who has been paying attention to my Goodreads activity the past few days, you may have noticed an increase in books read. I decided to take a break from writing after the marathon I put myself through in August to finish the sequel to Trusting an Angel. That book will soon be in edits and I am hoping to have a sequel to Born of Stone complete by the end of this year as well. But I was feeling a bit burned out creatively, and definitely physically. I’ve been having problems with my right arm from elbow to palm, and it scares the hell out of me. I spend all day at the weekly job on the computer, so writing when I get home isn’t the ideal activity for me. But I’m working on solutions to take some stress off my hand. My husband has endured three hand surgeries (yes, three) and I really don’t want to have to go through what he’s been through. So, I’m taking it easy and giving my hands as much of a typing break as I can, when I can. The only problem is, the muse is bugging me again and I can hear the Gargoyle Masters clamoring for their mates. Time to give them what they want.

Where Did March Go?

I just realized I didn’t post a single thing to this blog in March. It’s April already?! My god, where did March go? I’ve been working and doing the mom/wife thing mostly for the past few weeks. I did begin the sequel to my Gargoyle book, which will be out from Samhain at the end of May.

I’m also preparing for a couple of appearances in May. One will be at the Romantic Times convention in NOLA from May 14th-17th. The other will be at Comicpalooza in Houston. I’m really excited about both and hope to have lots of new stuff to share with everyone even before those appearances. We’ll see.
For now, I’m just writing as I can fit it into the crazy mom/wife/work schedule I hold each day.

Want to keep up with my news? I’ll have a newsletter soon that will go out when I have new releases or other exciting things to share. The first one is in the works but you can sign up here:

NaNo Week Two Update

Today marks week two of NaNoWriMo. My word count should be sitting somwhere around 25,004 by the end of the day. I’m too embarrassed to admit exactly what it is, but will say it’s only a fraction of that count. Life, as usual, has gotten in the way of my writing. I’ll admit I could be doing better with my time management skills. Hopefully the second half of the month will run more smoothly. We shall see.

And you? Are you writing like crazy this month too? If so, I wish you the best of luck with your word count.

It’s NaNo Time Again!

What time is it? It’s NaNoWriMo time!!

What the hell am I talking about? Well, November is officially National Novel Writing Month. So, every year lots of crazies like me spend the entire month attempting to write a 50,000 word novel. There’s a lot of inspiration, caffeine, frustrated tears, and social media hysterics along the way, but many of us accomplish the feat. Last year I missed it by two days. This is my year. I can feel it!

Will you attempt NaNo this year? Don’t worry, anyone can do it. You don’t have to be published or even think of yourself as a writer. Just commit to a certain word count every single day. Mine is 2,000 but to hit the goal you really only need to do 1,667 (aprox.). Every day you can add your word count to the tracker on the website and it will show how far you are from the goal. You can even add buddies to see how they’re doing on their goals. Nothing like healthy competition to get the creative juices flowing. I’ve already written at least one novel during NaNo that eventually got published. There’s no reason you can’t too.

One thing to remember is November is just for WRITING. The editing happens in December, or whenever you can stand to look at your manuscript again. It’s okay if it sits in a file for a couple of months. Just GET IT WRITTEN in November and you’ve won NaNo! I’ll be posting updates to Twitter at least weekly, but hopefully more often than that. With my new work schedule this year’s going to be a little tricky, but I’m determined. So, will you join me? There’s really no good reason not to. Good luck!!

Here I Am!

My wonderful, faithful readers, I owe you an apolgy for being MIA the past few months. I’ve played a little on FB and Twitter, but not nearly the norm of the past couple of years. 

I’ve changed jobs twice since July and rearranging my schedule has been a bit hectic. My daughters and I just (this morning) finished the JDRF Walk for a Cure, which has taken up a lot of my time as well. To those of you who donated to our team, THANK YOU! We sincerely appreciate it. I’ll probably start planning for next year’s walk in late spring so keep it in mind if you’d like to join us.

Next up: NaNo! November 1st marks the beginning of National Novel Writing Month. Me, along with thousands of other masochists, attempt to write a 50,000 word novel within thirty days. It’s funny, exhausting, eye-opening, and frustrating all at the same time. You should join in!

Along with NaNo, November marks my return to Allen, TX for Readers n’Ritas. This year one of my all-time favorite authors will be there, Sherrilyn Kenyon! I’ve had the honor of meeting her twice before but still look forward to seeing her again.

So, as you can see there’s never a dull moment in my house. NaNo will also be my return to a regular writing schedule. After all, who needs sleep, right?

It’s September!

September has arrived and with it almost nothing on my writing calendar. I don’t have any signings, releases, guest posts, etc, scheduled so far this month. But that’s probably a good thing since I’m still trying to get used to my new work schedule. I do plan to attend Kerrelyn Sparks’ signing at Murder by the Book at the end of the month. I also will be preparing for the JDRF Walk for  Cure. So don’t worry, I’m not going to be completely silent this month.

If you’d like to meet me, make plans to attend Readers n’ Ritas in Allen, TX in November. I’m hoping to have a new book out by then but I don’t have a release date for what’s in edits right now yet. I’m working on some hot stuff for Ellora’s Cave and just finished edits for my part of an anthology from Just Ink Press. The first release in my gargoyle trilogy is also in edits with Entangled. 

What do you have cooking in September?

And Yet Another Direction

From time to time I might talk about my personal schedule. The fact is I’m a mother of four, I work part-time, and I write as often as I’m able. Back when I first started writing seriously I was working full-time. I would write only on my one hour lunch breaks, and I was able to complete a few novellas that way. Now my schedule is about to change again. I got a new job.

It’s nothing glamorous but will take up a good chunk of my day. I’ll be working in the morning until early afternoon Monday through Friday. I’m still keeping my part-time job too since that one is only every other weekend. So, what does this mean for my writing? Well, it doesn’t mean I’m going to stop. That’s for certain. However, I’m going to have to get creative on when I get to write. I’ll have the weekends I don’t work and I should have late afternoons and evenings. The good thing is my husband works nights. The bad thing is I still have to make dinner for the kids every night.

Overall there shouldn’t be a serious decline in how much novel writing I get done. I just have to rearrange my schedule. However, it might affect my online presence a bit. Evenings are when I’m usually playing on Twitter and Facebook. Though I probably still will while writing, I’ll have to keep it to a minimum to get any real writing done. We shall see. I just wanted to warn y’all that I might seem to disappear for a few days at a time. Especially when I first start next week.

Getting Lost in the Shuffle

When I first started writing to get published there was still a stigma against self-publishing. Any “vanity press” caused warning signs to flash in my head. Skip ahead just a few short years and now publishing your own work is the new black. I have absolutely nothing against it and know many authors who have been very successful at it. However, I’ve decided it’s not for me at this time. 

So, what does that mean for me as a small press author? I’m not published through the big six but I do have contracts with three different publishers. All three are well known in the Romance industry and have NY Times Best Selling author’s in their lists. I’m very happy being a part of all three but what does that mean for me? Not much lately it seems. Even though I’ve been more successful on having new releases this year than any previous year, my sales are down. Is it because of my writing? I’ve no idea.

To be honest I feel I’m getting lost in the shuffle. There are so many authors and books to choose from. I know I’m just one of millions. I don’t get many reviews so don’t know if my writing just sucks. The few reviews I’ve had and some reader feedback leads me to believe it doesn’t. What I do feel is there is such a push to support “Indie” authors, and so many readers stuck on buying paperbacks from the big six that authors like me are falling through the cracks. The biggest problem is I don’t know how to fix this.

Like most authors I do a lot of online promotion for my books. I’ve got a site and blog (duh) and I’m on Facebook nearly all day every day. I know I’m often preaching to the choir though, as a lot of my interaction is with other authors. I don’t really mind. Authors are readers too, right? I know I am. But there comes a point where I have to draw the line on self-promotion. I have to spend time writing too, plus I don’t want to spam anyone. So, I’m just going to keep doing my thing and hope my writing speaks for itself.

Writer vs Author

Whenever I mention to someone that I’m an author I don’t always call myself that. Sometimes I say writer instead without really thinking about it. The two words are pretty interchangeable in my mind. However, I’ve noticed quite a difference in the reactions of those I tell based on which term I choose.

When I say I’m a writer or that I write it’s usually met with a smile and nod of understanding, but no real interest. The listener usually moves on to the next topic of discussion without really acknowledging what I’ve just said. That’s okay by me. To be honest, when I’m meeting or talking to someone as myself (Melissa rather than Missy) I’m perfectly okay with not discussing my writing. I don’t push it on other people or even say much about it unless they show a genuine interest. I realize not many people are willing to admit they read the genres I write, so I give them an out by not making it a big part of our conversation.

On the flip side, when I say I’m an author the reaction is vastly different. Many times the person shows surprise and they ask about my books. How many have I written? What genre are they? Are they self-published? I answer the questions honestly and as succinctly as possible. What can I say, I’m not the best at self-promotion. I do offer a bookmark with my info if they seem to be genuinely interested rather than just being polite. 

I’m not bothered by either reaction. I just find it interesting that the two words, which mean essentially the same thing, garner such different reactions from people. I rarely say I’m a published author, and almost never that I’m multi-published, even though both are true. There’s really no reason. Again, I’m not so great at self-promotion. 

Do the two terms have different meanings for you? If so, why and how?