Monthly Archives: May 2017

Mixed Bag

Since In the Blood is at the printers, and a large part of what I have to do involves waiting, I thought I’d do a sort of cornucopia of things I’m doing or that I find interesting.

Editing

I’ve got some editing work lined up for a book by another author which I’m planning to publish later this year. It’s a sci fi novel, which is nothing like anything I would write myself, but it’s FANTASTIC, and I’m very excited to help this writer bring his story to readers.

Once we’ve done a contract and things are finalized between us, you’ll hear about that since I’ll be working with him very closely throughout the process. All I can say right now is that I’m thrilled, and I can’t wait to make it happen.

Family

My mom had knee replacement surgery three and a half weeks ago, so I’ve been caught up with helping her with her recovery from that. Things were difficult at first, but before the end of the week, home health will be discharging her, and she can begin outpatient physical therapy. By this time next year, I expect her to be much more active, and you will probably hear about some of our adventures together camping and traveling in our tent. She’s really looking forward to getting back to that level of independence, and it’s not far away now.

wordcloud

Word Cloud

I thought it would be fun to do a word cloud to show the most common words I use on this blog. Turns out, the biggest word is “writing,” which shouldn’t be surprising at all. “Work,” “book,” “write,” “story,” and “books” seem to feature prominently as well, along with “time”  and “can.” These all seem both appropriate and positive and exactly what I would expect from a writer.

Bullet Journaling

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I don’t know if you’ve heard about bullet journaling. I hadn’t until this past April, but man, now that I’ve started, I am obsessed with it.

18268357_1344017369015444_6365018956346299644_nIt’s revived my love of doodling and calligraphy, which I love, and I really do feel like it’s made me more productive and organized. Plus, it’s just plain fun. So much more so than keeping a regular planner would be. It’s like planner meets scrapbook meets coloring book meets journal, all in one. I bought myself a bunch of supplies for decorating it, and it’s really made it a much more entertaining and interesting hobby. Best of all, the bullet journal is literally whatever you decide to make it. You have total creative freedom to organize and create it in whatever way works best for you.

If it looks like something you’re interested in, googling “bullet journal” or looking it up on Instagram or Pinterest will give you a ton of cool ideas to try. I also bought some books on cool lettering techniques, and I’m still experimenting with them.

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Gardening

18519716_1356602831090231_572987840373548907_nI’ve become an avid hobbist gardener, and this year we decided to dedicate our garden specifically to food that we could use in a salad. We planted two kinds of lettuce, curly kale, spinach, radishes, carrots, peppers, and cherry tomatoes. In addition, we’re also growing peas and yellow squash.

The raised bed made of concrete blocks sits up high enough we can sit on the edge to weed or harvest without having to strain to reach things.

In the past, I’ve used upcycled wooden pallets, but now that we have the raised bed garden, it’s unnecessary. We are fast approaching a time when it’ll be too hot for the lettuce, so we’ll have to find something else to plant in its place.

This week, I’ll be picking all of the spinach and kale that remains so it can be blanched and then frozen for use in eggs later on.

Other Writing

Here’s a roundup of my writing plans for the near future:

  • In the Blood comes out July 1st.
  • Book Two, Out for Blood, is currently being edited, and I plan to have it ready to be published this winter.
  • Book Three, Trial by Blood, is well begun with about a third of the novel already written. It will be released in 2018.

But The Blood Royal Saga books are not the only thing I have plans to write.

  • I’m working on a hard cover coffee table book with my mother about our trip to Newfoundland. It’ll have photographs as well as our retelling of events. I’m hoping to have that book published this winter as well.
  • I have a YA novel I want to write that is Viking related. I don’t want to say too much and spoil things, but I’m very excited about the story.
  • A friend of mine and I are planning a collaboration that’s got to do with pirates and werewolves.
  • She and I are also discussing a collaborative vampire novel, and I’m extremely excited about this possibility.
  • I’ve got several urban fantasy/supernatural/horror short stories in the works. Some will be sent off to journals and anthology publishers, but others will be published by me.

Various and Sundry

For a summary of everything I’ve talked/posted about over the last week, here’s my Paper.li page with all the stuff in it.


Would you like to be interviewed on this blog? Have a book you’d like me to review? Let me know!

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Time for a Different Hat

inthebloodmarketingAll last winter and this spring, I’ve been finishing my manuscript, and then setting up my business in order to get the ball rolling with publishing In the Blood: Book One of The Blood Royal Saga, the first novel in my vampire series. Now that the manuscript is out of my hands and July 1st is set as the publication date, it’s time for me to shift gears from doing behind the scenes work to doing things out in public.

Being an author is a very private undertaking. Most of the time, I write in my office alone (other than my dogs, of course). But gearing up to sell the book means putting on my publicist hat, and that’s a whole different mindset.

Stepping out of my hermit-like surroundings, I will be going out into the world and meeting with people face-to-face. I’ll be sending out emails and posting on social media.  I’ll be contacting reviewers and scheduling some events. I’ll be setting up book signings and attending any conventions or book events that I think will help me connect with readers who like the sort of book I have written. I’ll pay for some advertising. I will likely do a few podcasts related to the book. I’ll go to meet with bookstore owners and managers to ask them to stock copies of the book on their shelves, particularly those in my home state where I would be listed as a local author.

I’m also planning a big party to celebrate my hard work. Though I’ll have books on hand for those who want a signed copy, that isn’t the purpose of the party. I think it’s important to stop for a moment and recognize my accomplishment. Not because I want to be patted on the back by others, but because I think it’s important to acknowledge all that hard work for myself and to celebrate its completion.

I joked with my cousin today that I feel like I’ve just given birth, and it has been the longest labor ever. That deserves a party.

When the book is finally printed and in my hands, I hope that it’s a beautiful baby. But if it has flaws, I’m going to remember that it’s my first, not the only, book I’ll ever write. It may not be the best book I will ever write either, but it’s the best book I am capable of producing right now. There will be lessons I will learn from the process, and I’ll take that knowledge with me when I work on the ones that follow. I have done the very best I know how to do, and while it may not be perfect, that’s okay. It’s perfectly mine, and that’s enough for me. If I waited for perfection, I’d never finish a thing.

I hope that readers enjoy the story as much as I have enjoyed writing it. It’s been a joy and a struggle, and I hope that as a result of this book, people will be willing to go on future adventures with me as well.

In light of all that, here is the trailer for the novel.

That said, I’m also going to try to make sure that I’m not beating the drum too much. Nothing turns me off more than constant advertisement, so I won’t be doing that myself either. I plan to go on being myself and posting about things I care about. Sometimes that will be my books, but most of the time, it’ll be a lot of other stuff too.

Ways you can help me, if you’re so inclined:

There are a few things people can do to help me get the word out. I’m not going to beg for it. But if you are willing, these are things that can assist me in getting my feet off the ground.

  • Go to your local bookstore and request my book. If enough people do that, their computer system will see a demand and start stocking it on their shelves.
  • Tell a friend about the book if you think he or she would like to read it.
  • Write an Amazon review.

That’s it. It may not sound like much, but it’ll make a huge difference to me.

Vampire Novel, In the Blood, Available July 1st – Preorder Now!

I am very excited to announce that July 1 is the release date of my upcoming novel, In the Blood: Book One of The Blood Royal Saga!

The ebook is now available for presale at:

As soon as the paperback presale is available, I’ll provide links to that too!