It’s Here! And it Needs to be Promoted…

I thought I would check in with y’all since I am so overloaded currently, that even pretending to write about my far-distant freak show past would be a useless exercise, so instead, I shall bring everyone up to date.

My alter-ego’s first book was released yesterday! Yee-ha! I have been a very well-behaved modern author, and have been booking and following through on a virtual blog tour promo schedule. There are giveaways, excerpts, thought-provoking (one can only hope) posts, interviews and such to deal with on a daily basis over the next few weeks. Once that concludes, than the stand alone comes out a little earlier than I originally thought: June 11th. This means another round of promo events. Then in August, the print version of the anthology comes out – more promos. September? Why that’s when the second book comes out. Hopefully, as suggested recently by the publisher, I will have turned in the first of my three-book series, so that an excerpt can be included in the back. Hmmmm…I sense a pattern here.

Many writers have lamented the fact that they have to be their own marketing gurus. It’s not that you don’t get support from your publisher, but that support can vary massively, depending on the publisher’s muscle. Translated: cash flow. I feel very fortunate with my marketing person and the publisher.  They take their business very seriously, and have been successful at it, when many others in the relatively new erotica genre have failed. My direct contact is communicative, creative and very involved. They have offered me multiple opportunities to get my name out there: writing articles, peer reviews, chat groups and so on. They’ve provided me with free review copies, in addition to the lists they already send out to. But they also have anywhere from 4 -8 new releases EVERY week, some are anthologies, so to think they are spending all of their energy on one book from an untried author is – as my boss at work would say – crack-smoking madness.

It’s here, and it needs to be promoted. It’s also my baby, my responsibility. Which means that every day I’m not taking advantage of the opportunity presented to me currently, is another day I’m slapping another writer trying to get their work out there in the face. In the interest of not slapping any of my wonderful writer compatriots in the face, I want to assure you that I have been staying on top of it. Of course, that means other things suffer. Like my writing.

The time and energy to keep up with writing my memoir pieces at this blog – which are for my soul, no less – has been greatly compromised. So has the writing time I need to put in to the first book in the series my new editor said she was very interested in, and would recommend to the publisher. That cannot be neglected. So now, even at this small level, all of this gives me a glimpse into a full-time writer’s future. It’s not unexpected. I figured it would be like this. Figuring and living are two very different things though.

Other little realizations: I still want to do this. I’m absolutely okay with climbing on to the writer hamster wheel. Also – writing guest blog posts and answering interview questions is helping me to think on my feet more. Writing under pressure and deadline is helping me to keep the writing flowing better. I am becoming –  I feel anyway – a well-oiled machine. Is this good? I think so. It beats sitting around wondering what to write about, and maybe getting a page or two down, or a couple random ideas, and then deciding I hate it later on. The other day I scheduled seven hours of writing on the new book, and gave myself a 5,000 word goal. I felt I was over-reaching a little, but I am feeling the pressure to get these guys out there – they are all going to be between 30-40,000 words each – so I need to quit screwing around. Once I set my mind to it – I hit 5,200 words in the allotted time. I even liked most of the words afterwards.

Speaking of which, I have another 5,000 word goal today. And of course, another promo blog post to do for the new baby…

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And So it Begins…

It’s possible I’m too goofy to be blogging right now – but when has that ever stopped me? Day one of the NaNoWriMo mania is nearing its end, and I am at 3679 words. Now – I know I won’t be keeping up this pace, and I even feel I slacked a little today. We had the inevitable heel-dragging of getting started, an annoying middle-of-vacation-meeting at work that couldn’t be avoided, the requisite coffee brewing, driving the kid to ballet class, thrift store trolling on the way home, dinner prep – the usual.

I also had to avoid the deathly lure of the internet, calling to me like some siren ready to pull me under to the cold icy depths of no-writing land. Also, I avoided the NaNo site itself  like the plague after hearing so many horror stories of busy servers and so on. And I have new website phobias. I hadn’t spent too much time there yet, felt like the new kid in class, and didn’t fully grasp what the hell I was expected to do once I got there.

Since I live in the outer regions of Siberia – or at least that’s how my “region” is treated at the site – there aren’t really any local people for me to connect with through the site. I happen to work with one member, so that was something I didn’t need the internet for.  Then there’s the fact that I’m a complete idiot. I could not figure out for the life of me how you updated your word count! I thought if I clicked on the “word count” button at the top, it would open to a screen where I was supposed to upload my current state of affairs. But it just kept showing zero words. Then it hit me. You just type in the flipping amount of words you’ve done so far. You keep track of you. It isn’t until the end of the month when you can start uploading your manuscript that they do the actual count verification.

So since you have to just take my word for it, I just remembered that I did 200,000 words today. Boy are my fingers exhausted!

Other than my little profile and synopsis – I’m not feeling frisky enough to post a novel excerpt of something I just barfed up today – I searched for some writing buddies. I could only find a couple – so if you’re out there and want to be buds – let me know!

First day complete. the only NaNo glitch was a brief site maintenance lockout I had, which went away within a few minutes. Everything seems to be running smooth currently. The family is honoring my writer’s space – Kashmere is being good with the occasional threat of bodily harm to her neo pets thrown in – and I think I can actually do this.

If anyone participating out there is feeling stressed or frozen, here are three questions I stole from Jane Friedman of Writer’s Digest to help you when you’re stuck:

“What’s going to happen in the story?”

“What does the character want?”

“What will the turning point be?”

I answered those questions for my idea, and it did help me feel a little less like I was steering blind. So carry on everyone, and if you have any spare chocolate – send it this way. The reserves are already getting low.

Writing Ain’t Easy (I Said Wryly)

If that title doesn’t scare you, I don’t know what will. At this stage of the game, I cringe at the idea of blogging about anything too authoritatively in the way of writing criticism – especially as it deals with successful authors – but heck, I’m also an avid reader. I even occasionally paid attention in my English and writing classes. So when I run across a best-selling author with tons of books out and an avid following, writing in a genre I’m interested in, I wanna give it a try.

Obviously, not every best-selling author is a brilliant writer, especially when we’re talking about commercial fiction. And writers, like the rest of humanity, are individuals with their own style – or voice – and that is what makes them so addictive when we find what we can jive with.  It is also what makes them so loathsome when we find one whose “voice” makes you want to skin live puppies. (No puppies were harmed in the creation of this blog).

One of the biggest things that will send me into fits  is when authors use an excessive amount of adverbs, sometimes referred to as “wrylies”. For example:  “Bite me,” he said meanly. Or: “I’m a terrible writer,” she said sadly. This falls under writer 101 of things not to do. Even at my unbest-selling status as a writer, I’ve known that forever. So how do  major writers publishing books out of major publishing houses end up with book after book on the shelves filled with this type of lazy writing? Did the editors ever even read the thing?

Recently, I was reading one such book, and was immediately infuriated by it. The fact that the story was lame and went nowhere didn’t help it either. I kept reading, because this author had such a great reputation in this particular genre, and I was stunned; there must be something I was missing. Pretty soon, I was considering inventing a drinking game to how many times she used “he said/she said dryly”. Ironic that it rhymes with wryly. In one short chapter I counted dryly eight times. It was at the point where it was beginning to make me thirsty.

I mentioned this to some co-workers who are avid readers themselves, and both also happen to dabble in writing. After much laughter at the idiocy of this author, one of them later that day spotted the offending book on my desk. Her immediate reaction to seeing it was, “Oh my gosh! I love that book series, I’ve read the whole thing. If you want to borrow the rest, let me know, I’ve bought them in print AND downloaded them on my kindle!”

My reaction to this vacillated between extreme rage and crushing depression. Although I didn’t share that information with her, as I plan on still remaining employed. I did share it with my other co-worker though, and he said what I needed to hear:  “Then go do it better.” Exactly. 

I can whine and complain all I want about what other people are doing, and blablabla, but that’s not relevant. All that matters is that I do what I need to do. If I don’t like what people are writing in a particular genre, than I can just go do it myself, or I can shut up about it. Of course, me shutting up is unlikely to ever happen, but we all have our dreams.

In the meantime, if you would like details on my wryly drinking game tournament, please contact me. I said smugly.