a writer who believes in writing what you know ... a woman who's proud to be called "mom" ... a wife who has met her match ... a friend who can listen over a cup of coffee and shop for the best deal ... a television enthusiast who secretly watches reality shows (like everyone else)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I've talked about being self-published and the reasons behind it...I've also chatted about how there are ups and downs with this process I've ventured on...but today made all of that worth it.  This morning I did my usual rounds and checked Amazon to see if by any chance, with just one click was there...every day for the last nine weeks, the same thing would happen...nothing.  BUT today was different...I knew when I saw the number of books in the literature & fiction section under the title...there were two additions(yes, I made a mental note of how many books were in that category...hate to admit it, but it's true!) And yes, low and behold, in front of my eyes, the title, with just one click, stared back at me...I was finally out in the "public" for everyone to see. I immediately checked Barnes and Noble...and was happy to see, this wasn't a fluke.

My feelings were all over the place...excited, nervous, and even a little overwhelmed...this day is a BIG deal for me.  Starting a year and a half ago, I placed a pen in my hand and began my journey...and I've never looked back.  Today represents a start of the next leg of my journey as a new author. Most people don't know who I am or that the book is available yet...BUT this day is so much more than that.  This day represents one part of a puzzle piece that was missing in my life...the sense of my own accomplishment...the feeling that I did this...I put faith in me and my work and didn't allow myself to sabotage or get in my own way.

I'm sure everyone has done this before...you start second guessing yourself, doubt creeps into your head, and you begin to sidestep, ultimately bowing out of something. I know I've done that myself and the only thing that brings is disappointment and more excuses.  Today, I stand on my own two feet knowing that taking a chance on yourself is the ultimate gift. Of course, there could be failures and disappointments ahead, but without those, a person can't grow and learn from their mistakes.  Will I make a mistakes...probably? Will I succeed...maybe? That's the beauty of today... if I didn't take that leap of faith and go forward with this novel, no one would ever know about it.  If I decided to allow the negative thoughts to cloud my judgement, with just one click might've been trapped in my computer as a Word document for MY EYES ONLY forever!

Funny, I was watching The Biggest Loser tonight(I warned you already about my habits on watching reality shows) and one of the contestants had this epiphany about being able to stand on her own and accepting accountability for her own actions.

Today, I stand owning every decision I've made up until this point.  Do I feel the weight and pressure on my shoulders? Of course...but that isn't going to stop me from moving ahead to my ultimate goal...being recognized as a respectable author in contemporary fiction.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Self-Publishing and the RISK...

Self publishing is a whole new world to me...I'm flying solo, learning as I go...you might ask why I chose this form of publishing instead of the traditional way...well, I surprised myself when I took on this uphill battle.   When I was writing, with just one click, I had every intention of submitting the manuscript to literary agents...during that process, someone had mentioned Lulu.com. I stored the information in the back of my head with no real intentions of looking into the self publishing world.

Now, what happened next is sort of  one of those moments where you rethink EVERYTHING and wonder if somehow this isn't a mistake. Before submitting the book to agents, I decided to use Lulu's services, mainly paying for an editorial analysis for a professional opinion.  I researched on how much the service would cost, and when I finally went to purchase the analysis...my computer wouldn't let me.  Literally, the button where I could choose to add the service to my cart was NOT there.  I emailed Lulu and they started looking into it...a day went by, I'd check and still nothing.  Two or three days went by and then it happened...I started rethinking my options.

 I took this delay as a sign....at that moment, I CHOSE to self publish.  Now, I didn't choose this lightly, but once I made the decision, I was at peace and only looked forward.  Being serious about the book, I chose to purchase a pre-publishing package with Lulu that included an editorial analysis, a full edit, and professional help with the front & back covers.  And from then on, I forged ahead with reviewing over hundreds and hundreds of photos on Fotolia.com (a royalty free photo website) for the cover. (I even used some photos from this site when I created my book trailer!)  The process went extremely well, and I felt like I was dealing with real professionals when I received the analysis, edit, and layout of the covers. I took this entire process seriously...so much so, I opted for a publicity package offered through Lulu-I will be working with Smith publicity on a three month campaign once the book hits Amazon(any day now!)

I know some people hear self-publishing and think, "Oh, you couldn't get a publisher so you resorted to publishing your book anyways...even though it probably got rejected by the REAL professionals. If your book was worthy of publishing than a literary agent would've wanted to take you on as a client."


Are those authors not to be taken seriously too?  Stereotyping and grouping a whole community with a "not-worthy" title just because they didn't follow a traditional path doesn't seem right to me. That's like saying, all authors who are tied to traditional publishing are legitimate and automatically worthy of a readers time. What about judging the actual contents instead of how the novel was published?

My reasons for self publishing was about TIME...with just one click is a current novel that surrounds Facebook and social networking...if I began to submit the novel to literary agents the process could've taken six to eight months...and that's just to get an agent.  I felt very strongly this novel needed to be available sooner than later... this doesn't mean I don't see myself one day in a traditional publishing situation...just not at this very moment.

I am taking a HUGE risk...but in an ideal world, I self publish the book, and do everything possible to give this book a chance (and with a bit of luck, my efforts may payoff.) What's life without taking risks? I feel like I'm up for the challenge!

I have to be, "ALL IN," to even have a chance for the publishing world and readers out there to take me seriously, especially coming out of the gate for the first time. As the author, if I'm not excited and passionate about the book, why would anyone else be?? That's why for me, I NEED to know at the end of the day, regardless of what happens, I did everything I could possibly do for the book and for myself as an author.

Self publishing is definitely an uphill battle, a risk that can only be described as a roller coaster, everything falls to me, the author. Are there times I say, "what am I doing?" Of course, especially when I'm doing things now that were foreign to me up until a few months ago. BUT I don't second guess my decision to self publish. How could I when I'm just in the beginning of a long journey? I liken this process to running a small business ... there are long hours, the commitment has to be there, it may take awhile for your effort to be recognized, there will be criticism, and you have to hope for the BEST!

Share your thoughts about self publishing and traditional publishing with me... How do you select the books you read?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Why did I write, with just one click?

MY BACKGROUND: Whoa...my first blog entry...here we go!  First of all, writing has always felt natural to me...I even went to college for scriptwriting and minored in writing, but never fully developed any of my projects after graduating.  I got married, had two children, and kind've placed my passion for writing on hold...shoved into a closet for "another" day.  Well, THAT day finally came.  I guess I could say the very life I lived and still live in typical suburbia actually inspired me like nothing I'd ever experienced before.

THE STORY: A couple of years ago, I started to hear things about Facebook.  I found the sorted details fascinating, because one day I would hear one thing, then the next week I'd hear something else.  REAL stories, happening to REAL people...all coming from the world of social networking. After awhile, I'd kiddingly say to my husband, "I should write a book about this." Months went on, I heard more stories, and I started to say, "That's going in the book." Finally, after repeatedly "joking" about writing a book, I said, " I'm going to write a book."

BRAINSTORMING:  When I realized I was actually going to do this, I sat down and wrote out an outline for the book.  This was the most important part of writing the novel for me...I knew I wanted to have multiple themes that were relatable but unique in some way.  The most intriguing part of Facebook for me are the relationships...there are so many layers of social networking. I wanted to try to peel back just a few of them to reveal the good, the bad, and the ugly.

with just one click: The title represents the meaning behind the book...there are three women with three very different stories-there's Chloe, friended by an ex who left her standing at seventeen with a note in her hand, there's Morgan, a loyal wife and mother who finds out her husband is friends with a flirtatious and single ex, and there's Brynn, a married, but lonely forty year-old who begins to have an emotional relationship with a friend. Each character has a moment where, with just one click, their life has changed. I'm not saying for the better or worse, that's up to the reader to debate and conclude on their own.
Here's the rundown-Chloe's life will change whether she clicks the button to confirm or ignore her ex-boyfriend...if she accepts, she allows a person back into her life who she hasn't forgotten or fully forgiven.  If she denies the request, the lingering thoughts of,  "what did he really want" or the, "what if's" will always be with her.  Morgan's life is a little bit different, because she doesn't have the control...she didn't click the button.  If her husband didn't choose to confirm his ex, she would've never known anything and their solid marriage would've continued...but by choosing to accept this friend and not tell his wife, his actions cause her to become jealous and paranoid.  Brynn's life is all about her choices...she chooses to accept an old boyfriend back into her life and risks losing her family and marriage.  If she didn't confirm this man as a friend, would she still face the same issues...or did Facebook contribute to her problems?

THE RESULT: After I decided on the central themes in the book, the characters just came to me.  I spent most nights between 9pm to 2am writing this book.  It took me a  year to write the novel...with 180,000 words, I think I could've had three novels, but I did knock that down to roughly 128,000 words.  I felt I needed to give justice to the three main characters and tell their complete story, but there's a reason why they aren't separate--the reader finds out when the time is right!

***This book gave me back something that had long been missing...the one thing that I could call my own...writing is what I love to do, and this novel has made me believe in myself and my dreams again...people always say you should do what you love. I do not know what the future holds, but I know I'm going to give everything I have and try my best.

Tomorrow, I'm going to talk about self-publishing, the risk I'm taking, and why I feel like I have to be "all in"to be taken seriously.

But before I go, let me know if you or anyone you know has faced some of these same situations on Facebook? (without naming names, of course!)