You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘writing’ tag.

You know what they say, the best laid plans of indie writers oft go astray! Okay, that’s not exactly how it goes and I apologize to Robert Burns, but I’ve been living that old quote for the last 3 weeks.

Seriously, I have. I posted earlier this month about my plans for my books which are no longer available due to the closing of my publisher and well, all I can say is those plans certainly went astray. I started out strong, working on the edit and revision of Snow Shadows, the first book in my Eternal Shadows series which has to be completely edited because my publisher couldn’t find the final file and also because I want to change some things. Anyway, I made it about halfway through the book and then it was all “Book, Interrupted” or maybe I should make that “Writer, Interrupted.” No, I think “Book, Interrupted” works better in this case because the writer was still working but her attention was pulled away to another book…

the second book in the Appalachian Journey series. For those of you who don’t know, I also write under the name CC Tillery with my sister, Christy Tillery French. We write Southern Historical fiction and we have two books out in the Appalachian Journey series, fact based fiction about our great-aunt Bessie’s life in the mountains of North Carolina.

WW3-250The first book, Whistling Woman, has been on Amazon’s best seller list for Southern Historical fiction for the last year and a half and our readers have patiently–for the most part!–awaited the release of the next book in the series, Moonfixer. The Kindle version of Moonfixer was released a couple of days before Christmas and the next step was to release the paperback version…

and that’s where “Book, Interrupted” came into being thanks to CreateSpace. Don’t get me wrong, I love CreateSpace (usually!) and I love Amazon even more for making it possible for an indie writer to publish their work without going bankrupt in the process and most of all, that the author can actually make good money from doing what she loves.

Back to CreateSpace–like I said, I love it (usually!), but I have to say, putting your book on CreateSpaceIMG_5169-Mf1-500  can be a complete and total PITA at times. Frustration ruled the day for Christy and me while we were trying to get Moonfixer done, particularly the interior formatting and the cover. OMG, there were times I thought I was going to throw my laptop through my office window and then get in my car, drive to…wherever CreateSpace’s home office is (is it Charlotte? and…well, better not to give anybody else ideas so let’s just say, it wouldn’t have been pretty.

Anyway, we finally accomplished what seemed like the impossible and the proof copy is on its way to us as of yesterday afternoon.

Whew! So now I can get back to my “Book, Interrupted” and hopefully, I’ll have it out before the end of February.

Wish me luck–seriously!

 

Early last year, I kept thinking I wanted a do-over of my writing life but never had the nerve to actually put it in motion. And then in July I got what I thought I wanted–whether I truly wanted it or not.

Due to the unfortunate and heart-breaking death of one of the Ls in the L & L Dreamspell publishing team, the company ceased operations as of July 2013. Which meant my paranormal romance books, Snow Shadows, Storm Shadows, and Winds of Fate, along with my two short stories, The Secret Life of Alice Smitty and Third Time’s for Keeps no longer had a publisher.

And that meant I had the rights to all my books and could do whatever I wanted with them. It was, to say the least, a little scary. So, I merely thought about it, entertaining myself with thoughts of self-publishing and what I should do with this blog and my website and whether I should stick with my pseudonym or publish under my real name.

Have you met my bff, Procrastination?

WW3-400And then a marvelous thing happened, the sales of Whistling Woman, the one book I’ve self-published (with my wonderful writing partner and sister, Christy Tillery French) under the pen-name of CC Tillery sort of went crazy. We hit three top one hundred lists on Amazon and for several months were #1 on Amazon’s historical southern fiction list. We’ve sold enough copies on Kindle to make my eyes bug out. And that’s not counting the B&N, Apple, Kobo, and Sony sales from Smashwords. It also doesn’t include the sales of the paperback and hard cover copies.

I still find it hard to believe and then I look at those sales reports on KDP and there it is…every singleIMG_5169-Mf1-500 time! And (fingers crossed against the jinx!) it just keeps selling. Added to that, we recently released the second book in the Appalachian Journey series and while the sales haven’t been astronomical they’ve certainly been encouraging.

And here I’ve sat for the last seven months watching the reports on Whistling Woman and thinking I need to do something with all those books collecting cyber dust on my computer. It isn’t just the previously published ones. I’ve finished the third book in my Eternal Shadows series and have a tentative outline for the fourth and final book. And then there are the books I’ve finished but never submitted to a publisher (don’t ask me why! I don’t know!), the first book I ever wrote that is currently unavailable because that publisher closed, the one that won a contest and was subsequently published only to have the publisher go belly up and stiff all its authors, cover artists, and editors, and two follow-up books to that one (one finished, the other about halfway done). By my count, I have at least 10 books, 4 short stories, 2 YA books, and 2 children’s books which are doing nothing but taking up space on my computer.

But with the dawn of a new year I’m hoping to get my act together and take full advantage of this chance at a complete do-over of my writing life. And that includes redesigning this blog and (hopefully!) writing more than one post every few months.

Stay tuned…

(Please!)

And Happy 2014!

I can’t believe an entire baseball season, spring, and summer have come and gone since I posted anything on this blog. To quote Vizzini from The Princess Bride, inconceivable!

Thankfully, the time hasn’t been entirely wasted. I’ve been keeping busy promoting Whistling Woman (the historical southern fiction I co-wrote with my sister, Christy Tillery French under the pseudonym CC Tillery), gardening ( pretty much a lost cause this year), canning (there are so many wonderful farmer’s markets here where I live), and writing (finished Sun Shadows, the third book in my Eternal Shadows series).

Plus, I’ve spent a great deal of time reading (mostly how-to-self-publish and marketing books) and pondering what I’m going to do with Sun Shadows and the final book in the series, Moon Shadows (I’m about 12,000 words into that one). Not to mention, going back and forth with the titles. For some reason, Sun and Moon aren’t ringing any bells for me so I’ve been considering Shifting Shadows for Luke’s story and Eternal Shadows for Nathan’s. Still no decision but I’m leaning toward the latter.

Anyway, the really important decision is “to self-publish or not to self-publish?” I’m pretty sure it’s going to be self-publish if for no other reason than the success Christy and I are having with Whistling Woman on Kindle. We’ve been at number one (knock on wood and fingers crossed against the jinx!) on the Kindle>southern fiction>historical fiction list for a couple of weeks now and we’ve done pretty well with the print version, too. We sold out (well, sold is a relative term, we gave away quite a few of them) the first print run and we’re hoping sales of both the e-book and the paperback will continue to be good through (and hopefully after!) Christmas.

Only time will tell, but the thing is, I’ve found that I really like being in control when it comes to publishing my books and for me, that’s exactly what self-publishing is all about: the author is in control every step of the way and as a result, any profit (or God forbid, loss) is all yours, too.

As the song goes, the times they are a-changin’–or should I say shifting?–and so am I. I want that control and my next book, whether Sun or Shifting Shadows, will be self-published and sink or swim, it’s all on my shoulders. Wish me luck!

Got a Google alert last night that the ebook of Storm Shadows was up at Mobipocket which means it should be up at Amazon and Fictionwise soon.  Yippee!

Here’s the gorgeous cover L&L Dreamspell came up with:

 

 

Looks like next week’s writing challenge needs to be updating my website and this blog with the cover and the blurb.  Now that’s the kind of challenge I can get behind!

I know, I know, that’s not really a challenge since I’ve done it before but since WordPress seems to be going through some sort of midlife crisis right now, updating my sidebar and the Storm Shadows page is sure to be a challenge.  

And what’s up with WordPress anyway?  I’m kind of tired of seeing that message asking me if I’m sure I want to navigate away from the page I’m on every time I try to link to something or insert a picture or…can’t remember the other thing that gave me that message but the point is I’m tired of getting it when I’m not trying to navigate away from the page.  I sincerely hope all the techies are working on that problem and that they get it fixed before next week!

BTW, this is my fifth and final post for this week!  I met the first challenge!  Now I need to come up with 51 more–okay, make that 50 more since I know what I’ll be doing next week.

I’ve been working in the garden and during my breaks from that, updating the chapter outline for the book my sister and I are working on together, doing more research on milk fever in the late 19th century, and I also managed to fit in a few minutes of actual writing time.  So, I’ve been busy and yes, I almost forgot about my Writing Challenge.  This week’s challenge was to post at least five blog entries and since I’m going to be tied up this weekend, I really need to get them done before Saturday.

Problem is, I don’t have anything specific to write about today.  Usually I can find some article on AOL or Yahoo but today…not a one struck my fancy.

I could, I suppose, write something about the Red Sox but after the weekend they had and the fact that they are, for the time being, winning again, I definitely don’t want to jinx them so…I’ll just say, I’m glad they’re back at Fenway!

Other than that, nothing else comes to mind.  I’m still working on the list of 52 writing challenges but I don’t want to post that until I get a little further along.  And I’ll probably make it a page instead of just a post so…like I said, zero, zilch, zip.

But wait, there is a new interview up on the Dames of Dialogue blog with author Sharyn McCrumb and there’s also a slightly older post about aging and extreme sports by guest author Ric Wasley.  Check them out and yep, you got it, don’t forget to leave a comment!

That’s about it from me today.  Sheesh, couldn’t even break 300 words with this one!  Hope everyone’s having a fabulous day!

I saw a post the other day on Lemondrop about a woman who’d committed to a year of living dangerously…well, not so much danger, more like exciting, thrilling, trying something new every week.  You get the picture.  Think of it as a Bucket List for the young and daring.  After all, baking cupcakes isn’t really dangerous unless you set the kitchen on fire by doing something incredibly stupid, but if you’ve never baked cupcakes before, I suppose that qualifies as an adventure.  And some of the other things she’s done, like jumping off a 20 feet stone embankment into a river, well, with my fear of heights, no, not even going to think about doing that.

Anyway, I was intrigued by what she’s doing and thought it might be fun but…the MS pretty much prohibits the physical adventures and since I’m old and set in my ways and for the most part, not into new adventures, I decided to put her challenge to the test in the one part of my life that really needs to be shaken up–my writing.  Ive gotten a little lackadaisical where my writing is concerned and with a new book coming out soon, I really need to step up my promotions and maybe while I’m at it, try a few new adventures in the actual writing part.

So…I’ve decided to try to do something new and different in my writing life for the next year.  Not so much a life challenge as a writing challenge.  Can I do it?  Who knows.  Where will it take me?  Again, who knows.  Hopefully, we’ll find out.  My biggest problem right now is coming up with 52 new things to try.  I have a few and hopefully as I get further into this challenge, more will rear their ugly heads occur to me and I’ll add them to the list.

Which reminds me, I need to actually work on the list.  Hmm…maybe that could be one of the challenges, coming up with the list.

Anyway, this week’s challenge:  put up a blog post every single day.  Okay, maybe I’ll take the weekends off, so let’s say every single weekday.  That means five blog entries for this week…

One down, four to go!

That was the subject of an email I received yesterday from my publisher and I have to tell you, I did a double-take when I saw it.  The first thing to pop into my head was thank goodness L&L Dreamspell is in Texas ’cause they can’t see me from there!

As it turns out, one of the owners, Linda Houle, she of the fabulous cover art, has a new non-fiction book out, The Naked Truth About Book Publishing and it sounds like something every author should read:

The Naked Truth about Book Publishing takes a quick and dirty peek at the realities of publishing. Whether you are an author, independent publisher, or just an avid reader, it’s critical to know what’s happening and how current changes affect you!”

It’s available now on Kindle–just click on the title above and it’ll take you to the listing on Amazon!–and will soon hit other on-line retailers.  I haven’t read it yet but I’ve talked to a couple of people who have and they’re raving about it.  Congratulations, Linda, can’t wait to read it!

In other news, Betty Dravis has a new interview up on the Dames of Dialogue blog.  This one is with Katherin Kovin Pacino–yes, she’s Al’s step-mom–and she’s also an actress.  As usual Betty asked intriguing questions and Ms. Pacino deftly answered them.  It’s a fascinating interview, one you really don’t want to miss so hop on over to the Dames’ Blog and check it out!  And don’t forget to leave a comment!

In my everyday life, I’ve been planting my garden–yippee for spring!–and keeping an eye on my guys who are on a roadtrip right now.  They’re not doing very well but hey, it’s early yet.  We still have scads of baseball to play this year–did I mention it’s spring?  Yippee!  I’m also working on Whistling Woman–about 45,000 words!–and doing some research on the third book in my Shadows series–Cherokee wolf legends!–while slowly but surely doing some spring cleaning–the only part of spring I don’t like!

And that’s about it from me.  Time to go back to work…

I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since I posted anything here.  So much for that class on being a good blogger.  I guess my mind was otherwise occupied when the teacher talked about the importance of blogging at least once a week.  Oops and yikes!

Anyway, I have been busy.  Between weekend trips to Knoxville to help my mother-in-law move and see my father-in-law–who’s now walking again.  Yay!–I’ve been working on a short story for a free read promotion on Cata in April.  Based on the Cherokee legend of Atagahi, it’s about a female shape-shifter who gets shot and the hero takes her to the Enchanted Lake to heal her.  I finished it yesterday but it stilll needs some serious editing before I send it in.

I’ve also been getting my garden going–in between the rain and snow showers.  Yep, I said snow, it snowed here yesterday.  Again, yikes!  Thank goodness the plants in my garden seem to have survived but I’m fervently praying that’s the last snow I see for a while–like until December 24th!  So far, I’ve planted broccoli, lettuce, onions and a few herbs, all plants that can withstand cooler weather.  I’m hoping to get the carrot seeds out tomorrow before it starts to rain again.

Writing and gardening, two things I love to do so I figured I needed to balance that with something I don’t like at all…spring cleaning.  All I’ve got to say about that is…yuck!  I’d much rather be writing or gardening!

Okay, now on to the real reason I’m here–the Dames of Dialogue have a new interview up with author Dorothy Francis.  It’s a fascinating insight into the mind of a mystery writer so check it out and don’t forget to leave Dorothy a comment!

with an interesting article on Popeater that showcases Old Spice commercials through the years.  My dad used to wear Old Spice and I remember almost all of the commercials they dug up for the article–well, except for the one from 1957.  I’m not quite that old!  I haven’t seen it on TV yet but the newest Old Spice ad is a winner, one of those that you actually don’t mind seeing over and over again.  Hmm…maybe if we had more commercials like this one, I’d watch more TV.  Then again, maybe not, I’d still rather read a book  or even write one.

Speaking of which, I hit 41,000 words on my latest WIP yesterday.  Woo-hoo!  Halfway to the finish line.  Crossing my fingers that the dreaded mid-novel slump stays away!

It’s snowing here again and though I’ll admit it’s pretty, I just want it to stop.  Don’t get me wrong, I love snow but I’ve had enough.  It is not supposed to snow this much in the South!  I wouldn’t mind if I still lived in Maine–at least I think I wouldn’t!–but down here in the South I don’t like seeing all this white stuff fall from the sky.  Not only does it create problems driving, but it seriously creates problems at home.  Hardwood floors, dogs, and snow are not a pretty mix!

So please, someone make it stop!

And while we’re talking about stopping, I saw an article on-line this morning about a remake–gah!  I hate that word!–of The Big Valley.  Sheesh.  To make matters worse, the article also mentioned they’re working on a remake–there’s that awful word again!–of Gunsmoke.  What?  Are all the writers/directors/producers in Hollywood against making movies with original ideas?  Have they all embraced some new religion that practices redundancy while it spurns originality?

Is it any wonder I don’t go to the movies anymore?  Apparently, there’s nothing new under the sun in Hollywood.  It’s all been done before, and done better, I might add, and I have no interest in seeing the movie stars of today butcher the roles of the great actors of the past.

Okay, now that I got that out of my system, here’s something I don’t want to stop–today is Spring Training Truck Day at Fenway!  Yay!  You know what that means, don’t you?  Yep, the trucks are on their way to Ft. Myers, Florida and baseball season is just around the corner.

Now there’s something to look forward to!

Another thing I don’t want to stop is the progress I’m making on my latest WIP.  I just hit 35,000 words which means I should be at 40,000 when I finish the first half of the book.  Just where I hoped.  Yippee! 

Okay, back to work…