January 2nd, 2012
First and foremost, happy new year to everyone! I have high hopes for this year. Well, not really high, but I certainly do have hopes.
2011 sure ended well. Sales picked up for both the print and ebook copies of the books in the final weeks of December, I got a couple of really nice reviews in the final days of that month, and picked up a slew of likes on the Moonlit Wings Facebook fan page. It's all very encouraging to say the least. I have also figured out how to make this *%^$#@!!! Zeblow sitebuilder hook up a link as well as post my nice new reviews here on the review page.
So yes, I was able to link Angel in a Santa Claus Suit to the short story page here, but for some reason, the page with the story has website builder instructions on it that don't show up on my edited page, so I haven't been able to get rid of them through normal edits. They don't really distract from the story, so I'm just moving on at this point until I can figure that out later.
I'm still not brave enough to attempt making the fan page I want, but as I learn Zeblow better, I'll eventually feel confident enough to try it. Remember those high hopes I was speaking of???
And then, speaking of trying, I'm still trying to connect with the final proof readers of Whispers in the Wind so I can get all the necessary changes made and get another proof ordered. I went ahead and changed the cover to the artwork with the broader depiction just because I think it looks better as the book cover. The close up version of the art looks better online, but I'm thinking of the actual book and how it looks and to me, that's more important. I'm still thinking February is doable, but if I can't get another proof ordered soon, it may be later in February. I'm not concerned, at the moment.
I think I'm going to go ahead and finish the short story featuring Mazriel I had started a couple of months ago. I happened to read through what I had written previously recently and liked it enough to want to complete it. It will make a nice addition to my anthology.
I also got an idea for another short story recently. It will be strictly for the anthology since it contains a number of spoilers, but I think it will be fun to write. It will center around Jennifer's bachlorette party that Monica throws for her.
Okay, I'm going to wrap up this post and hope and pray and keep my fingers crossed that all my editing and posting and website add-ons actually work after I publish this. If not, I'll probably do some serious thinking about moving the site. We'll see what happens. Here goes.
December 9th, 2011
For all intents and purposes, I was going to update last night with a new blog entry and the posting of my new Christmas-themed short story, Angel in a Santa Claus Suit, but this new sitebuilder that Tripod decided to saddle me with is proving impossible to navigate. Not only did it error and delete last night's blog post just as I saved it, the link to the page where the short story is loaded won't work and it's not from lack of trying. I've tried everything I know to properly link it, but nothing is working. It doesn't load the way Webon loaded an interior page and I keep getting more errors. There's no "help" or instruction available, so I have no idea what quirky little thing I need to perform in order to make this work either. So, right now, my hands are more or less tied. I can't load any new content to the site until I hear back from support.
Never fear. I do have the new story loaded on other sites. It is presently on my Goodreads author page, my LiveJournal page (Fascination Street), and I just recently uploaded it on FictionPress.Net. If you should check it out, please don't forget to leave comments, reviews, or feedback.
Whispers in the Wind is still in its proof stage, but I'm confident it will be ready to go by early February. I still have a couple of readers to go through and I do realize we are approaching the proverbial eleventh hour, but I don't forsee any major problems cropping up with it at this point. Of course, now that I've said that....
Speaking of Zeeblow--my new derogatory reference to this sitebuilder, I've decided, I still haven't been able to get the new fan-based page up and running either until I learn more about how this builder works. I want to put up photos and other fan submitted tie-ins to the series. I will be able to eventually, but for now, I'm just sitting on the idea.
Zeeblow also screwed up my fonts on the homepage when I added information to the description so I had to go back and redo them all. The text looks a little different now, but at least I got it to look all the same again. At this point, just that is a triumph.
I think I'm definitely going ahead with the anthology. More because it is something I want to do than anything else. Again, I just need the time to figure out how to gather all the different files into one uniform interior and embed images. It's going to be a bit more of an undertaking than the straight novels, but I do believe it can be done.
Well, here's keepiing my fingers crossed that after writing all this, Zeeblow won't delete it into cyberspace oblivion again. If it works, we'll have an update. If not, I guess you'll never know.
November 26th, 2011
Looky on the homepage! I finally have a scan up of Whispers in the Wind's final cover! I'm very pleased with the end result, to say the least and am happy to be able to show it off.
Other than that, not much going on since the last update. I added a few character names on the character page, tweaked a few things on the website as a whole, but that's about it.
I'm thinking of writing a short story for Christmas, as a way of saying thanks to my friends and fans who have stuck with me this year. I've got a good idea for a beginning and have it pretty well plotted out. All I have to do now is sit down and write it.
Whispers is still on schedule for a February release. I'll be passing the current proof on to the next reader shortly. Just have to get through this weekend.
November 19th, 2011
(Lots of grumbling and growling) Just when I was getting truly proficient using Webon, Tripod switched website builders...AGAIN. Webon is gone and now it's Zeeblio. Which means, I have to learn Zeeblio now, which also means, the big updates I had planned in the near future will have to wait until I can figure out how this builder works. At least when Tripod switched from Trellix to Webon, they had the courtesy of providing video instructions. Zeeblio's little help boxes are just that--of little help. I'm sure I'll get the gist of it in time and hopefully before Tripod decides to switch builders again, but right now, I can't even figure out how to get the toolbox off the page once I open it without having to go back to the control panel. What a pain in the ass.
Anyhoo. The Scent of Rain's sales have been more or less limping along. I'm hoping it will pick up in the future as more readers make their way through the series. Amazon still hasn't put up the Look Inside feature on its page which makes me wonder if it is even going to. The other books got the feature added within a week of publishing, but then, they all logged sales too. I've only sold The Scent of Rain through direct sales. I encourage direct sales because in the end, my earnings are the same, but by cutting out the middleman (Amazon, in this case) I can offer the books to my readers for less money. Unfortunately, it does little to increase my sales stats as far as Amazon is concerned. I guess I'm not really concerned either, but a Look Inside feature is always nice.
The Scent of Rain has gotten its first five star rating and review, thanks to my star reviewer, Melinda. I'll try to figure out how to post it on the review page for this update. It it is there, then I figured it out. If not, it means I couldn't figure it out. I don't really have a whole lot of time to devote to it today, but I'll try again in the future.
I got another proof in for Whispers in the Wind and I'm sold on the present cover. I'm waiting to get it scanned so I can upload it. Hopefully within the next couple of weeks. The interior woes seem to have come to an end. I still don't know why the formatting went to hell the way it did, but I finally got it looking the way I want it to look. I still have quite a few proof-readers to go through before this book gets the go-ahead, but I'm looking at an early February release now. Seems entirely doable at this point.
Yeah, I went ahead and deleted the last October 22nd post/rant. I left it up until I got it out of my system, but it's time to pick myself up and dust myself off so to speak. Live and learn, right?
Sassy Book Lovers' Blog is doing a big giveaway to celebrate its 2000th "like" on Facebook. I donated a copy of Cemetery Moon along with my postcards and damn, there are actually requests on it to win it! Lord knows my last few attempts at blog giveaways flopped. I guess I just needed to pick the right blog. Here's the website, if anyone's interested in checking it out: Sassybooklovers.blogspot.com.
November 3, 2011
The Scent of Rain has a page up on Amazon.com now but it doesn't have the Look Inside feature yet. Or, at least it didn't the last time I checked. I'm sure it will be added any day now. Amazon is usually pretty good about getting a book's page put together quickly. I also put up a page for TSOR on Shelfari and added content. I shelved it on half a dozen groups as well. Which is probably how it picked up an add there. There's a page for it on Goodreads, too, but I haven't had the time to do much with it besides add it to lists on the site. I'd like to add a quiz and trivia and that sort of thing. Hopefully it will start getting reviews as more people read it.
I'm still trying out different covers with Whispers in the Wind and have ordered another proof with a different version of the cover. Just when I think I've got it the way I want it, I get it in and don't like it. Well, maybe that's a little harsh. I don't love it. I want to love it. I'm hoping this next cover will make me love it.
Not much else it going on.
October 22nd, 2011
The Scent of Rain is published. Early, but I really didn't think anyone would care. It was ready and has been ready and I thought, why not? I'm not sure about the ebook version's publication at this point unless I can figure out someway of preserving the italics. Italics are very necessary with all the mental communication going on and the chapters containing flashbacks. I was told by my format service that she could manually put the italics back in, but that would be a lot of extra work and money. So for now, readers will just have to be satisfied with the paperback version.
October 8th, 2011
It's my brother's birthday today. Happy birthday, David! Hope you got my card!
Anyway, here's the latest. I ended up rewriting parts of The Scent of Rain enough to warrant ordering another proof. Not to worry. I can still more than make my publishing goal of October 25th. I just wanted to double-check the interior formatting and make sure it didn't get changed with the rewriting. It's hard to tell from looking at the PDF on the computer. A blank page could be on the wrong side now or the chapter spacing might be off. You really can't tell until you have a hard copy of the book in your hands. Then such things are obvious. I'm very pleased with the rewrites I did and I'm glad I was feeling bold enough to go ahead with them. I do believe I finally worked out the kinks in those middle chapters that never sat right with me.
I sent off my guest blog post to All Things Books. I haven't heard back from Miss Tanya about it so I'm assuming it's okay. My appearance on her blog will be October 21st. Here's the url, in case I don't get to update again before then: http://speedyreader-allthingsbooks.blogspot.com
I started new edits on Whispers in the Wind. It's been awhile since I've looked at this book so it's pretty fresh. So far, just minor changes. I'm anxious to get another proof of this book ordered just so I can see how the new cover turned out. Hopefully it's a go. If it is, I can go ahead and upload the image here. I don't want to have to fuss with the cover too much because I really liked the first one. I just had to do a bit of tweaking with the art, but the design is the same.
My Facebook contest to win a copy of The Scent of Rain finally got it's first entry. Here I thought this would be a quick, easy contest, but I think it is intimidating people. I didn't know my readers were that shy!
Speaking of social networking, I set myself up on Google+ now. I would LOVE to be able to add more people into my circles so if you're on G+, please consider adding me. If you're not on G+, please join and consider adding me. I already like it way better than Facebook, but since I don't have near as many friends there, I still hang around FB more. Hoping to change that. Facebook should change its name to Soapbox. I swear, that's all it is anymore.
Will update again with the release of The Scent of Rain! Unless something else exciting comes my way first but I'm not holding my breath.
September 22, 2011
Just want to announce the ebook publication of Sanctuary! I got the file back from Letitia Hise Marketing Design yesterday afternoon and since I didn't find anything wrong with it, I went ahead and submitted it to Smashwords--expecting to have to wait the rest of the night to have it converted, but as it turned out, once I got the page set up, it only took five minutes to publish. Better yet, I've already had readers download it, link it, and buy it. Life is good!
September 20, 2011
Well, I've been able to accomplish a few things on my to-do list these past few days.
The most significant accomplishment being Sanctuary. I prepared a file to send off for ebook formatting Saturday and got it to Letitia Hise Marketing Design on Sunday. She told me the finished ebook file should be ready by tomorrow, so I'm thinking the ebook should be published no later than Thursday if the files are accepted by Smashwords. I'm very excited to have Sanctuary available as an ebook. My ebook sales are way better than my print book sales, so having my books in this format is important to me. Once I get it published, I'll update here again announcing it.
I also managed to get my guest blog post written for All Things Books' Indie Author Bash. I'll be posting on that blog October 21st I'm excited about that too because that blog has a lot of followers and I'm giving away copies of Cemetery Moon. I hope I get a good response. I'm going to try to do guest posts more often if I can find takers. I think it's a good way to promote the books. Lord knows I need all the help promoting I can get. Sales have all but tanked these past few months and while purchases seem to come in spurts for some reason, I haven't had any in awhile now even though I thought I was promoting more. Hopefully things will pick up with the publication of The Scent of Rain.
Something else I wanted to do was update the corrected, edited files of my short stories. I finished Summer Snow and have uploaded the newer version here as well as on FictionPress.com. I fixed the glitch in The Angel of Death's First Kiss on that site too. I want to update those stories on the other sites they are featured on, but haven't gotten that far yet.
September 17, 2011
It's almost October and I've got to stop dinking around and get some work done. I've got The Scent of Rain to publish next month and I've got to start promoting it. I've got to order postcards and come up with short synops and descriptions. I've got to set up pages for it on websites such as Shelfari and Goodreads. I've got to read through the final proof one more time too. There's really no time to waste and I've been wasting a lot of time lately.
At least I came up with a contest to giveaway a copy once it is published. Assuming the people who would want it would have already read the first three books and know the characters well, I decided to have people tell me which character they would take out on a date and where. Simple, really. And then whoever comes up with the most creative response will win. I'm not sure if I'll have people vote on it or not. I still have a little time to perfect it.
I've also got another guest blog post to write that's due by October 21st for the Indie Author Bash at the All Things Books Blogsite, and while I've started it, I'm not happy with it and I keep changing it. I have to just sit down and get it done.
I've also been given the go ahead to get Sanctuary reformatted into an ebook and I have to get a file prepared to send it off to Letitia Hise who does my ebook formatting now. She's fast though and once I get it to her, it will only be a couple of weeks before the ebook becomes available. So, I need to get going on its Smashwords page, its short synopsis, etc. etc. And let's not forget promotions!
Speaking of ebooks, since I've got Guardians and Graves available on Smashwords now, I'd like to make it available through Operation Ebook Drop like I did with Cemetery Moon. I'm hoping the same deployed soldiers who got the free download of CM will want to get Guardians. Again, I just have to sit down, create the coupon for it through Smashwords, and then get the emails out.
Something else I need to do is go and clean up my short stories here and there so they are all one consistent file on all the websites they are posted on. Some sites have first drafts that I used to test the waters with so to speak. I'd really like to have the final story up at this point. This isn't a pressing matter, but it is a matter of pride.
Maybe one of these days I'll get around to doing my video. I have an idea for a trailer too, but right now, that's way off in the future. I just don't have the means or the funding really.
Not much else is going on. No new reviews or content to add. Once I get the finished cover from Whispers in the Wind back, I'll get it scanned and add it to the homepage. That may be down the road a bit too.
I spent the past week reading through the print version of Cemetery Moon. I hadn't read it in two years and didn't really want to read it again, but I wanted to reassure myself about it. I did.
Now it's time to get to work.
September 2, 2011
Huge website update, if not anything else. Somehow the site deteriorated and needed some major tweaking, if tweaking can be a major thing. It prompted me to post a lot of content I wouldn't have otherwise, but at this point, the content is pretty much complete now, as far as the novels themselves go.
Where to start. Well, I posted the first chapter of Whispers in the Wind on the sample chapter page. I also posted my latest short story featuring the angel of death, Aksariel. He's one of my most popular characters and has his very own fan following. Being an angel of death, he's somewhat feared and misunderstood, and his acerbic, tactless personality doesn't exactly help contradict that perception of him, but he also melts over things like flowers, smiles, and a lingering touch. It's a cute piece in spite of the fact it focuses around a woman's death, and I'm happy with it. I've been getting good comments on it so far. I've posted it on different short story fiction sites that I frequent first, but now you can check it out here on the short stories page.
I've also included on the character page, descriptions of the three new characters I introduce in Whispers in the Wind. It's hard to adequately describe them without divulging all kinds of secrets meant for the book to reveal, so their descriptions may change in time as the novel becomes more known.
I received the second proof of Whispers with the new artwork and new cover design. I really liked the way it looked, but the art was a little dark, so I got another image of it, showing a little more of the actual drawing that is lighter and clearer. I'm sure that will look even better. I'll be posting the cover here on the home page just as soon as I can get a scan of it. I took the font size down a point and managed to knock off almost twenty pages. Now the novel is the same size as Cemetery Moon. I like the smaller size because I can keep the publishing costs down. It also makes it a more comfortable book to read overall.
The Scent of Rain is still on schedule to be published at the end of October. I have one more proof reader to send it to, and then one more read through for me, and hopefully, that will do it. I am not going to jinx myself again by saying anything definite. I've learned that lesson at least.
August 15, 2011
Big news! (Again) The last book of the series Whispers in the Wind's first proof is on its way! I wanted to get it in proof form right away, so I went ahead and just used a title for the cover. I still have plenty of time to work on the cover, so I'm not concerned. I really have to be in a certain mood to draw and I'm just so not in that mood at the moment, but it will come. And I know from experience this may be the first proof, but it won't be the last.
As it turned out, Whispers is my longest book at 91000 words and in its 6x9 trim size, it has 290 pages. What is really surprising to me, is that this book took only two months to write! I started handwriting it in a composition book back in June and am now ordering a proof of it today. But then, like Cemetery Moon, I had this storyline pretty much mapped out in my head even while I was writing The Scent of Rain, so once I started it, all I had to do was basically write it down. I didn't even change it very much as I was typing it. It all seemed to work well as it was.
With the completion of Whispers, I've already turned my attention more towards marketing and am trying to get my name and the books and the name of the series "out there" so people can see they are available. I'm guest posting on a book reviewer's blog within the month, doing another blog posting on another site in October, and just this morning I was invited to be a part of the 2011 edition of the Authors' Show (remember them?) 50 Outstanding Authors You Should Be Reading book. I guess it gets published every year. I have a feeling they invite all their authors to be a part of it, because as it stands, there's no guarantee I will, but I did accept my invitation. They invited me to do a T.V. interview with them too, but I'm a little too shy and self-conscious for something like that. The radio interview was harrying enough. I also have some articles on marketing I've saved over the year as well as Smashwords marketing guide. It is possible to sell books apparently if you market them correctly. I just have to figure out where to start.
In other news, I've acquired a few new reviews for Sanctuary and a couple for Guardians and Graves on sites such as Shelfari, Goodreads, and Amazon. I'm going to try to gather snippets of them all and post them here. They can be found on the "reviews" page.
I thought of a title for my planned anthology. The Beat of His Wings and Other Heartsounds: A Moonlit Wings Short Story Anthology. This book becoming a reality will depend solely on whether or not I can figure out how to embed images into my text. Where there's a will, there's a way, right?
I still plan to do a "fans" page here, but I think I'd like to get some more content for it first. If anyone would like to send me things such as (I know this is going to sound pretentious!) fan mail, feedback not in review form, poetry, photos of their books, themselves, etc. I could use them for this page. We'll see how it goes.
July 22, 2011
Big news! Guardians and Graves is now an ebook! Published just this morning at Smashwords.com. I'm very happy to be able to offer it to my readers who prefer this version and I know a lot of you have been waiting ever so patiently for it. It took awhile, but I didn't let you down now, did I? I am in the process of spreading the news far and wide as we speak.
Sanctuary is next in line to become an ebook, but that will probably take a few months as well. Finances. You know how that is these days. It will get done eventually.
For the most part, I've been working on typing Whispers in the Wind. I'm up to chapter nine and have typed 22,000 words. I was thinking this book was going to be shorter than the others, but now I think it will be just as long if not longer. It's going well. I'm trying to do a chapter a day. Some of them are very long though. I want to have the first proof of this book by fall and as of right now, that seems totally doable.
I abandoned my latest short story project. For one, it wasn't going in the direction I wanted it to, and then it was turning into a novel. I didn't want to spend precious time fighting with it when I had to work on Whispers in the Wind and get that off the ground. Maybe I'll go back to it later. I do need more stories for my anthology.
A friend of mine has been writing and sending me these great little limericks about my characters recently. I'm going to try to create a new page for such "fan" efforts and post them all there in the near future. I'd love to be able to post more things related to the books that fans care to send to me, such as articles, blog postings, photos of themselves reading the books, artwork, poetry, whatever. So, please feel free to contribute. Hopefully by next update, I'll have lots to share.
July 12th, 2011
The only reason I haven't updated sooner was simply because I was away on vacation and didn't have access to a computer for a week. No, I don't have a laptop, iPad, iphone, or whatever. Everything is done on my home PC. But I'm back home now and all is well.
First order of business is to announce the winner of the signed copy of Sanctuary, and that would be Ms. Beth Hamilton! (Hearty applause!) Congratulations to her! The winning song was by the band, Carolina Liar, called When You Are Near. Very fitting for the whole series too which was why I liked it as much as I did. Carolina Liar actually did another song called, Show Me What I'm Looking For, which is a perfect theme for the first book, Cemetery Moon. I have decided therefore, if my series ever gets made into movies, Carolina Liar will have to do the music. LOL.
Other songs deserving honorable mention include: Tongue, by the band Seether; Carrying Your Love With Me, by George Strait; Heaven is a Place On Earth, by Belinda Carlisle; Stand By You, by Carrie Underwood; Angel of Mine, by Monica; You've Got the Love, by Florence and the Machine; Uninvited by Alanis Morrisette; and of course, that other Carolina Liar song. I won't be able to hear any of those songs now without thinking of my books. Good job everybody and thanks for your participation, it was very encouraging.
In other news, Sanctuary has received its first five star rating and review on Amazon.com! Thanks to pal, Melinda, who has also become my biggest fan and is always eager to get reviews up and share her enthusiasm for my books with others. I can't thank her enough. I've posted her review on the review page here.
Another of Melinda's reviews on Amazon.com--for Guardians and Graves--was commented on. I've posted that comment (like a review) on the review page too. Thank you Miss Dawn!
Still no release date for the ebooks. Sorry folks. I am working on it. Promise. Soon. I hope.
I started a short story, featuring Mazriel while on vacation and am going to try to finish that up this week. Next week, I want to begin typing up Whispers In The Wind. I was able to read through it just before leaving on vacation and really don't see any major rewrites. It's a short book and it shouldn't take more than a month or two to type up.
Also while on vacation, I was able to review a proof of The Scent of Rain. I did some rewriting on that just because a couple of scenes weren't coming across the way I wanted. I've since ordered another proof, probably the last one, and am confident this book will be ready for publication by fall.
June 28, 2011
Wow, what a month and it ain't over yet! Published one book and finished writing another!
Sanctuary is listed on Amazon.com now, and its page there continues to blossom with more detail all the time. They have the synopsis up and I'm sure the next time I check it, there will be the author bio and maybe the "Look Inside" feature--which is always nice. It only took a few days for Amazon to list Sanctuary, so I'm very pleased. Let the sales begin! (And they have too!)
Unfortunately, like with Guardians and Graves, Sanctuary's ebook version is on hold. I fully intend to eventually publish an ebook version, but right now, I have no idea when that will be.
I ordered my customary postcards to announce its release from good ole Walgreens online and got them in the other day. They look really nice. Probably the best of all of them. I'm anxious now to send them out. If anyone would like one sent to them, just let me know. I always keep extras on hand.
The contest to win the signed copy of Sanctuary is coming to a close and will end June 30th. I'm going to set up a poll on Facebook of the six songs I've chosen out of the ones submitted, but I will happily accept votes via email or pm as well. I will post the winner who received the most votes no later than July 12th. I was really happy with the response this contest generated. I think people had fun with it. I know I did. I loved hearing songs that reminded people of the series and it amazed me how many out there fit.
Good news on the Whispers In The Wind front. That book was finished as of 8:50 Monday morning! And here I hadn't even intended to start writing it until next month. Needless to say, I'm way ahead of schedule with this one and am looking to have it published by spring of next year. It is thirty chapters long, but it seems shorter than the other books. It only took up two composition notebooks, whereas the previous ones filled, or nearly filled, three. I'm not concerned about the length really. I told the story I wanted and I'm happy with the end result. I still have to type it up and I always do a good deal of rewriting as I type, so it may wind up longer.
I'm a little disappointed Guardians and Graves hasn't generated the kind of..."hype" that Cemetery Moon did. People who have talked to me about all said they liked it even better, but it hasn't motivated readers to review it or rate it or even mention it much anywhere. Unfortunately too, there's no sign of the ebook version on the horizon for this book either and that's what I've been getting the most requests for. I'm just plain stuck at the moment until my finances even out. I'm still planning on doing it, I just don't know when that will be.
On a good note, I got my second remittance payment from Amazon.com the other day. I feel so professional. LOL.
June 23rd, 2011
SANCTUARY IS PUBLISHED!!! And I'm extra excited about having this book in print because this book in particular really takes the series into a new dimension, with new character insight and development, as well as the introduction of three major characters in the series. This book was also the last one written on the heels of "Cemetery Moon". To have this third installment finally published gives me an incredible sense of accomplishment because there were quite a few times, publishing it looked doubtful. It wasn't just money issues either. Just about everything to do with getting this book published vexed me, from the cover art to the interior file that liked to implode with every alteration, and right up until reviewing the final proof, major issues were presenting themselves. Thankfully, I have managed to overcome those obstacles to make this book available. With the three books, I now officially have a series under my belt. Everything else is gravy. Of course, having one more book in print also reduces the novels I'm actively working on down to two. I'm living for the day I'll be working on just one. Realistically, that may not happen for another year, but I can live with that.
At the moment, Sanctuary is only available in paperback form from CreateSpace. It will take another week or two before it is listed on Amazon.com and one to six months before other online book retailers pick it up. I have provided the link to Sanctuary's CreateSpace page in the links section of this site.
Speaking of the other books, Whispers In The Wind is written up to chapter twenty-seven. It looks as though it will be twenty-nine or thirty chapters in length. I know when it comes down to typing it all up I will do some major rewrites and lots and lots of fleshing out. I've written this novel at the speed of sound it seems as the ideas would just come flying at me so fast it was all I could do to get them down before I forgot them. I've left entire chapters with the idea I will have to go back and add dialog and descriptions and what not. I even started abbreviating names of characters, I was writing so fast. All that came screeching to a halt when I began chapter twenty-five and ran into a proverbial logistical brick wall. I had to rewrite that chapter three times before I got it to work. I finally left it alone and moved on. I can always flesh it out later.
Other good news as far as book five goes, I've come up with an idea for the cover art and even better, I'm pretty sure I can pull it off. I haven't had the chance to actually sit down and draw it out, because I know it is going to be a big involved process that will take no less than all day to accomplish and I'd really rather wait until I get a day to spare to work on it in its entirety. I draw a lot like I write and if I know I won't have time to draw to my heart's content, I won't even start.
The contest to win a signed copy of Sanctuary is still on and running through the 30th of June. I'm going to narrow the choices down to six songs or so and then ask people to vote via Facebook or in emails to me on which song they best feels represents the series until July 10th. I changed the final decision-making process when I initially received a deluge of entries that I personally, feel are all worthy. I know I won't be able to choose just one, so I'm letting others decide. I would love to figure out a way to put the winning song on the homepage. At the very least, I'll put up links to the videos. At the very least, I'm uploading them all onto my iPod!
June 12th, 2011
I'm feeling generous and have decided to hold a contest to give away a signed paperback copy of the soon-to-be published third book in the Moonlit Wings series, Sanctuary!
Now here's how the contest will work: Since I'm very into music and pay homage to various bands and songs I like within the books, I'm asking for submissions to be sent to me via Facebook message or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) of "theme" songs y'all feel best represent the series as a whole, certain books, particular characters, settings, etc. I will accept entries starting now until June 30th and announce my decision no later than July 10th. I will post the titles to six entries that I've narrowed the field down to and then ask readers to vote on which of the six songs they feel best represents the series as a "theme". The final six titles will be posted here, on the Moonlit Wings Facebook page, my Goodreads author page, and the Moonlit Wings Shelfari page. I encourage everyone who votes to email me their choice or go on the Facebook page to participate in the poll.
All I need is the title of the song and the artist so I can look it up, but I'd really love a YouTube video link, along with your name and email address or some other reliable way I can reach you should I choose your submission. Then and only then will I ask for your mailing address. No other personal information will be required.
Comments or questions???
Sanctuary underwent a very minor rewrite along with the minor adjustments necessary to maintain the formatting after such alterations so I did order another proof just to be on the safe side. I am still confident I will meet my goal of a June 30th publication however.
Considering one of the rewrites had to do with changing a particular minor character's description, I have also changed that description here on the character page. Nothing major or probably even noticeable to anyone but me, but I still felt it was necessary.
I have written up to chapter twenty-two on Whispers In the Wind. This book is coming along very well and I'm very pleased with it so far.
June 1st, 2011
I'm still waiting to hear back from Marguerite about the proof she has of Sanctuary. Even if she finds something I need to change, I'm confident enough to make the necessary changes and forgo ordering another proof. Of course, for my own peace of mind, I will read through it one last time before hitting that publish button, but it's so close now, I can smell it! And yes, I'm getting anxious.
Oddly enough, I haven't gotten the amount of feedback from Guardians and Graves I expected and I expected quite a bit considering the copies I gave away. It did receive another review on Amazon.com as well as another five star rating, so I'm pleased about that. I've posted an excerpt from it on the reviews page.
Whispers In The Wind is coming along nicely! I have written twelve chapters and can hardly bear to put down my pen anymore. I'm trying to purposefully take the afternoon off from writing today to try to stay fresh, but I'm itching to get back to it. So far, this book has been a blast to write. So much is going on at once for Mya I almost feel sorry for her. Almost.
In the meantime, I've been playing around with my Goodreads author page and the Moonlit Wings Facebook page. I've added little blog updates on Goodreads as well as posted two of my short stories, Birthday Cake, and Summer Snow, there. I've also acquired four fans. One I don't personally know even. Go me. On the MWFB page, I started discussion topics--even though I had a feeling no one would really pitch in and conduct a bonafide discussion--and have been steadily adding to it. At least my pal, Melinda has replied here and there. Thank God for her! It's actually been kind of fun though, and I keep hoping people are at least reading them, if not responding to them. I think they'll help generate some interest in the books. I put up some pics of the actual handwritten manuscript pages for visual reference pertaining to one of my discussion topics too. Mostly because I didn't think anyone would get what I was talking about.
Everything else is kind of same old, same old. Hopefully next update, I'll have a publishing to announce!!
May 27th, 2011
A few things have been going on since my last update. One such noteworthy event being CreateSpace is now giving me the option of buying proofs when files are approved. Before, you had to purchase a proof after every approval, but if I am not required to anymore, I'll be saving all kinds of time and money. As it is, I'm still finding things I need to change in Sanctuary, but now, instead of making the necessary changes and having to buy a proof and wait for it to be delivered and reviewed, I can just get one or two proofs, use that until it is deemed 'clean' and then go right into publication. Yes, I think I like this idea.
I have also acquired an author page on the website, Goodreads, now. I have posted a couple of short blog entries there as well as two of my short stories. People can leave book reviews, comments, start discussions, and 'fan' me there. I created little fun quizzes for both Cemetery Moon and Guardians and Graves. It reminds me of Shelfari a little, but it seems bigger in some way. People are more familiar with it than Shelfari so I'm happy to have discovered it. I'm hoping it will help me promote the books since activity there shows up on different search engines. We'll see. I am adding a link to the site on the Links page here.
Speaking of reviews and Goodreads, both Cemetery Moon and Guardians and Graves have gotten new reviews and ratings there. I know I said I wasn't going to post any more reviews of Cemetery Moon, but this one's "hallmark card" remark was just too funny. Guardians and Graves review has also been posted here. Thanks to both Danielle and Michael!
And speaking of links, I've added another ebook formatter I hope to utilize in the future. I'm still keeping my fingers crossed about getting Guardians and Graves made into an ebook. I know I have people holding out for it and all I can say is, hang in there. It will come. I just don't know when.
I've gotten five chapters written for Whispers in the Wind so far. I have this weekend off and plan to spend the majority of it writing, so I can see another two or three chapters materializing by next week. It always amazes me how once I get started writing, things just seem to come to me and fall into place, and more ideas develop from that, and boom! Before I know it, I've finished another book. God, I love to write. I could so do this for a living.
May 19th, 2011
Not much news really except that I have started writing the fifth book, Whispers In The Wind, and am up to chapter three at the moment. The first and second chapters came to me in vivid detail and I'm very pleased with the end result. The third chapter, not so much. It's already taken a turn in a direction I'm not sure I want to go, but I seem to be heading that way regardless. I know there will be plenty of opportunity to change it later and I don't think what happens in this chapter will really affect the rest of the plot, so I'm indulging in it for the time being. Maz would be pleased with me.
The Moonlit Wings Novels Facebook page saw some minor updates recently. I changed the title to hopefully let people know what exactly the page is for and changed the profile pic to the portrait of Mya. Considering she's the main protagonist, she really hasn't gotten much exposure compared to the angels. I also added both ISBN numbers of Cemetery Moon and Guardians and Graves in the off chance someone needs them to look up the books on a website. I have 81 "likes" on the page, but unfortunately, only a handful of people ever comment or respond to what I post. I wish I could think of someway to generate a little enthusiasm. Any ideas?
Sales have been really lagging lately, and again, I'm kind of at a lost as to how I can further promote the books. There are ways to promote such products, but too many require big bucks which I just don't have access to right now. Cemetery Moon has yet to pay for its publishing process and the way things are going, it doesn't look like it will anytime soon. I don't even want to mention Guardians and Graves right now. Sad. Sad. Sad. Again--any ideas? Anyone?
May 14th, 2011
I am seriously considering publishing Sanctuary this summer now, as opposed to this fall as I had originally planned. The main reason being it should be ready by then and why not? I'm leaning more towards marketing the series as a whole rather than individual books. It may make things easier on me financially and otherwise. So far, the idea hasn't met any objections from my readers. I now have in my possession what I believe to be the eighth and final proof of Sanctuary. It goes to two more proof readers before it gets the go ahead, but after that, publishing should be just around the corner.
I got in the fourth proof of The Scent of Rain last week and am going to go over that one myself first since it has been awhile since I read it. There are still a couple of scenes that I need to work the kinks out of, but the feedback I've gotten about it so far is good. My proof readers are telling me it is their favorite one of the books to date, which is very encouraging.
I haven't started writing the fifth book yet, but more and more scenes are getting worked out and reworked in my head. I know how I want to start it and I'm pretty sure how I am going to end it now although these books, once I begin writing them, have a habit of taking my intentions over and writing themselves. Another reason why I'm getting anxious to publish the others is so I can focus my time and attention on writing this one.
May 5th, 2011
My Authors Show interview played this past Tuesday and even though I made every effort I could to spread the word about it far and wide, I only had a handful of people comment on it to me afterward, and it clearly hasn't helped my lagging sales any--not even the ebook has sold since its broadcast. So, while it was a fun experience, and it came out sounding pretty good in my opinion, it turned out to be a big waste of time.
While convalescing from my leg injury, I broke down and read through the latest proof of Sanctuary. I was sure it would be clean, but I ended up finding two fairly obvious errors and while that's not bad, at this point, it's not good either. I'm up to eight proofs with this book now. Eight proofs I can sorely afford. I decided the cover was too bland as well and ended up changing the font color to red. I think it looks brighter, a little more colorful, and since I had to order another proof anyway, I didn't see the harm.
Also while convalescing, I managed to knock off two short stories. One is about Isabel and Harlan meeting in Idlewild for the first time and the other is Percy getting found by an ornithologist while napping on a mountainside. I'm not sure if I will publish either. I may just keep them for the anthology of shorts I have planned. If I publish any, it will be the one with Percy.
Operation Ebook Drop has actually generated the most interest I've gotten in Cemetery Moon in quite awhile. There are close to one thousand authors participating in this 'cause' and considering I honestly did not think more than one or two of the deployed soldiers on the receiving end would consider my book, the fact I've 'sold' seven is very encouraging. These are people who have chosen my book simply because it sounds good to them and not because they know me and feel obligated to buy it. Unfortunately, I don't make any money whatsoever from OED because the book is donated to the cause, but it still makes me happy.
I did finally manage to get a copy of Cemetery Moon donated to the local branch library here and left a handful of bookmarks with them. I am attributing the increased traffic to this site to that. That's a good sign at least.
Nothing else really going on. It's as quiet as a tomb around here lately.
April 19th, 2011
The Authors Show interview podcast is set to broadcast Tuesday May 3rd. I have sent out emails and have created an event on Facebook for it. Hopefully I'll get a lot of listeners and hopefully I'll convince a lot of people who hear the interview to buy the book. It's definitely an insightful interview. I'm very excited about it.
I finally got around to putting up the first chapter from The Scent of Rain here. You can read it on the sample chapter page. Just click on the link on the left column for it.
It's looking doubtful there will be an ebook version of Guardians and Graves anytime soon. The quotes I've gotten back are just beyond my price range, especially now with me not working, trying to recover from this leg injury. With no income and oodles of doctor bills, I simply cannot justify spending the kind of money it would take to reformat Guardians right now. Hopefully in the future.
Not much else going on at the moment. I'm kind of taking the summer off from publishing since I'm so ahead of schedule at this point. I'm going to concentrate on marketing Cemetery Moon and Guardians and Graves.
April 17th, 2011
The Authors Show interview went well. I only got into trouble once when, in the middle of answering a question, I kept having to clear my throat. I was assured it could all be edited out however and I did hear back from the show's host telling me they were going to use the interview on the site. I'm anxious to hear it now. No set air date yet. I'll be singing it from the mountaintops when the date is set. (No, not really, but you get the idea.)
Speaking of 'getting the idea', I've posted one last snippet of a review for Cemetery Moon on the review page. I think people can get the idea how it is being received from what I have up here. I don't have room to post reviews in their entirety or all the reviews I've gotten. I do have to leave room for the other three (possibly four) books' reviews to follow.
I got the proof in of Sanctuary this past week and although I haven't really had a chance to read it, I'm pretty sure this is the last proof of that book. The cover art is definitely a go, and the interior of the proof before yielded only two typographical mistakes. Since I'm not really planning to publish Sanctuary until later this year, there's no rush really. I'm more than ahead of my publishing schedule.
I've been thinking more about publishing a short story anthology lately. I've written two more shorts and thought I could write a few more, add the cover art and do some more character portraits and include them in the anthology. I would probably make this book either a little bigger trim size or a little smaller trim size to set it apart in a way from the actual series. I'm not sure how well something like that would sell, but then, I'm not really doing any of this to make money. If these books can just pay for themselves and spread a little joy along the way, I'll be happy.
I'm still trying to get Guardians and Graves reformatted into an ebook. I finally heard back from Mediaworx this past week, but I've yet to receive an estimate. I'm thinking it should be their standard fee. I'm anxious to get the ball rolling on this project too. I know for a fact people are waiting for the ebook version and I can't blame them. If I didn't have the books super-formatted now for the print version, I would have definitely done the ebook formatting first. Things would have been a lot easier. Ha, you live and learn and if anything, this whole process has been one lesson after another.
April 8th, 2011
I've been preparing for my interview with The Authors Show for the past three days. Some of the questions are pretty straightforward, but others I've really had to stop and think about what I want to say. I'm hoping it goes off without a hitch--that sounds like something Percy would say--and that they do broadcast it after all this. I'm trying not to be nervous since this is just a taping, but I want it to be good and I can't help it. Well, after tomorrow it will be all over. If they do use my interview, it will most likely be broadcast in May.
Amazon.com has added a Look Inside the book feature for Guardians and Graves! I didn't even have to request it. They just did it. I'm happy too. Now people can peruse the first few pages and such and get a small sample.
Speaking of samples: my short story tie-in, Summer Snow actually garnered another comment from Booksie. I've posted it here on the review page.
I've past on the second proof of The Scent of Rain recently and am waiting for feedback. I haven't gotten the last proof of Sanctuary back yet, so at the moment, I'm at a standstill in my publishing process. No news on that front.
The Moonlit Wings series now has a MySpace page. Actually it is under my name since there wasn't a category for books and I'm not sure how much of a marketing value it will be, but it was free and easy and it's done.
April 4th, 2011
Guardians and Graves is not only available on Amazon now, it also has its first review! Thanks again to Melinda Pfeifer who was the first to leave a review for Cemetery Moon as well. I had sent her an inscribed copy of Guardians and Graves as a gift when it was first published and she had let me know previously how much she had enjoyed it, but still wanted to review it to encourage other readers. She had actually read it in the span of two days and said she had a hard time putting it down. Writers love to hear that kind of stuff! So, apparently you don't have to have purchased it through Amazon to leave a review of it there. Good news since I gave away so many copies of it. I would still appreciate the reviews.
I've posted a snippet from Ms. Pfeifer's comments on the review page on this site.
I sent off the revised format of Guardians and Graves to Mediaworx for an estimate to provide all the finishing touches I need to turn Guardians and Graves into a primo ebook, but I have not heard back from them yet. I'm hoping to have the ebook version up by next month.
I got my interview questions in last week and have been studying them, trying to come up with meaningful answers to these very in-depth questions. Some I'm really having to think about but others are pretty straightforward. The taping is set for this coming Saturday. I don't have a broadcast date yet, but I will definitely get the word out when I do.
Sanctuary is kind of at a standstill at the moment. I was hoping to have another proof ordered by now, but maybe this delay is a good thing. I'm way ahead of my schedule for this book anyway and would probably publish it next month if I could. I need to concentrate a little more on marketing the books that are out for the time being.
March 28th, 2011
Guardians and Graves is published! The final proof came in this past week and the altered back cover was so much better. Although I'm not crazy in love with the cover as a whole--probably because in no way shape or form does it compare to the professional and stunning artwork created for me by Tony Velarde for Cemetery Moon, but I'm pleased with the drawing itself and the printing of it. I just wish it were a little more colorful, somehow, to make it stand out a little more online. I simply could not keep fussing with that cover any longer. So, besides all that, I read through it one more time for my peace of mind and gave the go-ahead to CreateSpace to publish. It is only available for purchase through CreateSpace at the moment until Amazon puts a page up for it. Cemetery Moon's page was up in three days, but as of today, still no sign of Guardians and Graves. I'm expecting it up sometime this week however. The link for Guardians and Graves' page on CreateSpace is provided on the links page on this website.
The ebook version of Guardians and Graves is still a ways off however. I do plan to release it as an ebook on Smashwords, but the reformatting might take me awhile. I can't afford to have it professionally done so I need to learn how to do it myself. I want it to look as good as Cemetery Moon does, so until I can get it up to those standards, it will only be available in print form.
I was contacted by the host for The Authors Show website back on Monday, but didn't find his email until last night in my spam folder. A word to the wise to always check your spam folders when expecting an important email because they always seem to end up there. My interview is scheduled for April 9th. For a brief while it appeared as if I would not be able to do it as they required a "land line" connection, which I no longer have. Luckily my most generous friend, Claudia, agreed to let me use her phone for the interview and I have since sent the host, Don McCauley, the new phone number.
March 20, 2011
Apparently a lot can happen in two days. So here I am, back again with another update.
I received the proof of Guardians and Graves, as anticipated, and was pleased with the overall look of the new cover, but was unhappy with the size of the text on the back cover, of all things. It didn't look that big in my preview, but the font size had to be close to 16 point or larger on the actual cover. So, needless to say, that back cover was scratched and I reworked it some to hopefully, shrink the font. I have since ordered another proof and am 98.9% sure I'll be able to publish it as it is now.
On the marketing front, I have been passing out my bookmarks to local bookstores and have even garnered an interview from the radio website The Authors Show in the upcoming weeks. I found out my application was accepted and this morning I sent off all the required information and images. I'm excited. It should be fun and will hopefully boost sales.
I am still trying to decide on a scene from Cemetery Moon to read in my video. Anyone have any suggestions? I am hoping to be able to get that in the can sometime in April.
After publishing Guardians and Graves, I am going to take a small break from my own series to help my brother (acknowledged in each of my books for his encouragement and advice) with his recently finished novel. It will do me some good to step away from this for awhile. I seem to be eating, sleeping, breathing these books lately. Time for a fresh approach. Next update will be news of publishing, I promise!!
March 18, 2011
I am hoping the proof of Guardians and Graves comes in today. I'm very anxious to see if the new cover works. If the new cover works, I could publish within the week. If not, well, it's back to the drawing board and then we're looking at an April release. I have high hopes in this one. It looks really nice on my computer screen. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I've since taken off the old version of the cover and will replace it with the finished version once I get it.
I've loaded the cover for The Scent of Rain and while I still may tweak that one a bit, it is, for the most part, finished. I'm not changing much about it although I might rescan the artwork to try to get more of the actual drawing in the picture.
I've seen a small, but encouraging surge in sales this month. People are starting to get the word out for me and it is paying off. I've also gotten my bookmarks in from the printers finally and will be sending them out and getting them distributed soon. I'm sure that will help.
I've finished correcting the interior (and cover) for The Scent of Rain and have just submitted the new reformatted files to CreateSpace. I hope I will hear back from them today, but if not, I'm sure by tomorrow and then I will be able to order the second proof.
March 1, 2011
Yes, I do have my sights set on getting Guardians and Graves published this month, but I've redone that cover art so many times now, I have a feeling it may not get published until April. I'm just not happy with the colors and the scans and well, everything about it. I've been going over the latest proof I've gotten and the interior at least looks clean. I've only run across a few minor things I want to change in it. If anything delays G&G's publishing, it will be the cover. The one cover I thought I pretty much had in the bag.
Speaking of covers, I was able to come up with new art and a cover design for The Scent of Rain. Which, at the moment, I don't even have an interior for. But with the cover done (and I mean done!) once I get the formatted interior back from Michele, I'll be able to submit it for its first proof. I posted the preliminary design on Facebook and a scan of the drawing of Pershabael I used, and it seems to have been well-received. I'm excited to see the actual cover in print.
February 27, 2011
I haven't had much time to update the site or my blog here since I've been concentrating on getting Guardians and Graves ready for publishing next month. Of all things, the cover has been giving me fits. Needless to say, the image of the cover on the homepage is not the final version. I've been tweaking it and I've gotten it to the point where what I see on my computer looks great, but I'm not sure what it will look like actually printed out. A few things I've learned about CreateSpace's covers is they tend to be dark and the colors run on the muted side.
If it comes out as good as Sanctuary's cover finally did, I'll be more than pleased. I've uploaded that cover on the homepage. As far as I'm concerned, that one is DONE. The interior of Sanctuary still needs tending and I've been trying to read those proofs in between Guardians and Graves' proofs, as well as finish typing The Scent of Rain. I've gotten that manuscript to the point where I can start passing it around and I've given the file to Michele for the 6x9 formatting. I'm hoping to have the first proof of that book ordered sometime in April. I still have to come up with a cover for it. I have some ideas. I just need to take the time to draw them out.
I'm still looking at the end of March for Guardians and Graves printed version to be published. I know I will have at least one more proof to order, but that should only take a couple of weeks to process. The ebook version may take a little longer if I can't get the print version reformatted to Smashwords specifications. I might have to send it to Mediaworx and that may delay that publishing another month.
I've gotten some really glowing reviews this past month for Cemetery Moon. I'm posting excerpts of each of them on the reviews page here. My friends have come through for me and have really been helping promote it. My list of people in my acknowledgments that I'm indebted to keeps growing and growing. But that's a good thing. I've been trying to kick up the promotions part a notch. I have bookmarks on order to distribute and will be posting a video reading soon. It helps that Cemetery Moon is now available through booksellers Barnes&Noble, Booksamillion, and HalfPrice Books. Still waiting for the Vero Beach Book Center to jump on board. Then I know I've really arrived.
I've added some new character descriptions from The Scent of Rain to the characters' page here. Everyone else featured in that story has been in previous books: Mya, Percy, Maz, Monica, and Aksariel. The jail and the courthouse is the only new places mentioned and I didn't think they warranted a description on the places page. After all, you've seen one jail cell, you've seen them all, right?
January 26th, 2011
I received another review for Cemetery Moon on Amazon.com and have put up a snippet of it here. It's encouraging to know people are looking forward to the next book as much as they are.
And speaking of, I just finished reviewing the third proof of Guardians and Graves and have resubmitted the interior files to CreateSpace. I am waiting now to hear if and when I will be able to order proof number four. I'm anxious to see this one as I altered the cover a bit by changing the fonts to make them more prominent and rescanning the art I used for the cover to bring out more detail. I liked the last version of this cover a lot and I really, really like this version.
One of the things that prompted me to change G&G's cover was I had to change Sanctuary's cover AGAIN. But--I should type that all in caps too--BUT, I really like this new cover. I used a different version of the illustration I did of Mazriel, changed the design to match G&G's cover more and after having already announced the fact that I did to a select few, have received very enthusiastic feedback. Seems Maz has fans.
January 21st, 2011
Seems there was some sort of mix-up with the proofs for Sanctuary. One was ordered on the 7th and another one ordered three days later. Instead of getting the actual second proof ordered on the 7th, I received the third proof ordered on the 10th. Now why I would even order a proof three days after ordering another one escapes me. I have a feeling CreateSpace might have messed up the January 7th order somehow. I'll have to get in touch with them. Regardless, I ordered another proof on the 18th for Sanctuary and another proof for Guardians and Graves on the 17th. These both should be the third proofs. I'm actually thinking too, this may be the last proof for Guardians and Graves, but then, every time I say stuff like that, I tend to jinx myself. So I take it back.
I'm still having difficulties with Sanctuary's cover. The photo image I had decided on didn't print well at all. It's way too dark and out of focus. Cemetery Moon's cover artist, Tony Velarde, came to my rescue and lightened the image as well as rescanned it into 300 DPIs so it would be clearer. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it worked, but I won't know for sure until I get in the "third" proof. I just may have to go with the cover Mazriel graces if it doesn't work.
I finally got a review on Amazon.com for Cemetery Moon. I have posted the first line of it on the review page here. It's from my friend, Melinda who bought the book from there recently and enjoyed it so much she just can't seem to say enough about it. She also mentioned it on her Facebook status, as well as left a comment here. A testament to the fact that I have such wonderful, loyal friends. I'm still waiting for the day when people buy the book just because it sounds good to them and not because they know me. Then I'll feel as if I truly have arrived, lol.
January 11th, 2011
I haven't updated in awhile because after publishing Cemetery Moon, talk of reviewing proofs seems a little anti-climatic. I have gotten a lot of good feedback on Cemetery Moon, but no posted reviews to put up. My short story Birthday Cake just didn't get read much. I have gotten little feedback on that and nothing new to put up. Updating this blog is pointless with nothing to update it with, but I will persevere and try to keep my chin up until something new and exciting does happen.
In the meantime, I've posted the cover for Guardians and Graves on the homepage and will post the cover of Sanctuary as soon as it gets closer to publishing. The proofs for G&G are still being reviewed but I am confident I will be able to meet my publishing deadline of March 30th for this book. The ebook may show up even sooner, it depends on how quickly I can get it reformatted.
I have already received proofs of Sanctuary and am currently waiting on the second corrected proof to come in. I had quite a time deciding on a cover but I do believe I found one I like and am going to use. I am just waiting to see what it looks like in print before posting it here however. Just in case.
Through all this I have been typing away at The Scent of Rain and currently am up to chapter 12. I really like this book. It's very different from the first three as the love triangle between Maz and Percy becomes more prevalent and parts of this book are told in third person from Pershabael's perspective and flashbacks from Mya's childhood. Harlan Cotton is alive and well!
Something noteworthy to report may be the fact Cemetery Moon is showing up on the website Shelfari on members' shelves as "To be read". I'll be happy when it gets moved to the "Read" sections and gets some reviews under its belt. I need reviews!
I believe I've come up with a title for the fifth book: Whispers in the Wind. I am starting to get ideas for it but nothing definitive yet.
I contacted CreateSpace recently and found out Cemetery Moon has yet to go into expanded distribution. It most likely won't be available through bookstores until February. I'm sure the people who have wanted to buy it have and have gotten it through Amazon already, so it's no big deal really. I guess it's wherever people have an account established. Whatever is easier for my readers.
I still can't believe no one has left comments on this site! What's up with that? Please leave feedback here if you visit the site. I've put a lot of time and effort into it and would dearly love to know what people think!
December 8th, 2010
Buy "Cemetery Moon" now! By chance discovery, I found out that Amazon.com has already listed "Cemetery Moon" and has made it available for sale! It only took two days and then they weren't even business days, so I don't know what that was all about. I even have an author page where people can discuss me and my books I guess. I have actually sold some copies even and can now sit back and relax--NOT! I've already submitted files for the second proof of "Guardians and Graves" and sent off my interior file for "Sanctuary" to Michele to look over and work her magic. I finally managed to get the first chapter of the fourth book, "The Scent of Rain" typed. It's only taken me a month.
"Birthday Cake" has received its first comment/review and I've posted it here. Unfortunately it looks like this short is slipping under everyone's radar. The sites I've posted it on are yielding little response. Maybe this time of year is not good for online reading. The ebook sales have screeched to a halt too. Not sure what's going on there. Maybe after everyone gets Nooks and Kindles for Christmas there will be a resurgence. It would be nice if Smashwords would ship my revision too.
December 4th, 2010
Cemetery Moon has been published!!!!!!!! After reviewing the sixth proof and deeming it print-worthy, I gave the okay to Amazon to list it. Unfortunately, it takes up to 15 business days to list so it won't be available to the public until, roughly, Christmas Eve. I do believe it is currently available at my CreateSpace Estore if I understood the description correctly. I've posted the link to it on the link page here. It's time to really concentrate on promotion now. I've created an event on Facebook along with personal mailings and postcard distributions, but word of mouth is my best bet for advertising. If you have read this book and enjoyed it, please review it, recommend it to people, and help me spread the word. It is available in both forms now. And yes, I'm very, very happy.
In the meantime, I've finished my third short story, "Birthday Cake" and have posted it here on the short story page. Hopefully it will give everyone waiting for the novel an enjoyable pacifier as well as further insight into the main characters.
And now with Cemetery Moon "in the can" so to speak, I'm turning more of my attention to "Guardians and Graves" and whipping that proof into ship shape. I've set my sights on spring as it's release date. Possibly earlier for the ebook version. I'll keep y'all posted.
November 27, 2010
Cemetery Moon is on its sixth proof at the moment. It has been ordered and will most likely ship today. Arrival is estimated in ten days, but the last two proofs showed up in four. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for this one to arrive that quickly as well.
I'm looking at December 12th as a publishing date now and I'm being liberal. It might get published earlier depending on the shipping speed, of course. Although the fifth proof was my green light to publish, I decided at the last minute to make a few minor changes to the interior file. The changes were very minor, so the only thing that could force another proof would be format errors at this point. I did review the document file before resubmitting it and it looked clean, but unfortunately, these format errors seem to occur in the conversion process. We'll see. Like I said, I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I decided to forgo any more alterations to the cover file since it would only delay publishing at this point. The changes I wanted Tony to make were insignificant anyway.
Speaking of covers, I did the cover for "Guardians and Graves" myself using the templates provided by CreateSpace and the character portrait of Percy from this website. It actually doesn't look half bad and at least now, if I need to alter the cover in any way, I can do it myself. The cover file is automatically converted too and was accepted the first time I submitted it. I uploaded the interior files and submitted them and they were also accepted--big thanks to Michele Calvo for her generous assistance there. The first proof came in a couple of weeks ago and I was very happy with it. I did elect to change the font size and add a 1.5 line spacing to the interior file and add more information to the back cover and will upload those corrected files for the next proof. I am letting people read through it for me before I upload the new files and order the second proof. So far, I have been getting very good feedback on this book as well. I'm thinking this one will be ready for publishing most likely in March or April. It's certainly off to a good start.
I finished "The Scent of Rain"! I have to type it up; those of you who know me, know I write by hand first in notebooks and then type it into Word, but the book is done, and I am very pleased with it. I've set it aside for the time being to focus my efforts on getting CM published however. I will most likely work on it in earnest after the first of the year as well as adding character descriptions, places, excerpts, etc. to this website.
I have also started writing a short story I'm titling "Birthday Cake" that I'm hoping to have done when CM gets published or shortly thereafter. Uploading my short stories on various writing sites gives me a good opportunity to whet the appetite of my readers for the novels.
One last thing. Cemetery Moon's Smashword ebook edition got another good review and a five out of five star rating on the Barnes & Nobles website. I can only hope the print version will produce equally good reviews on Amazon.com.
November 3, 2010
Wow, it's been awhile since my last update. Here's what's going on: We ended up lightening the front cover and changed the font size and added the price on the back cover for the third proof and it actually came out a lot better. Only problem now was the white flowery squiggles on the back are getting hacked at the ends and the font is right up to the edge. Tony is going to have a look at it and see what he can do to fix it for future printings.
I really went over this proof carefully and also had two more people read it besides me checking for errors. They also finished it in a matter of days and gave me very favorable comments. So now I'm waiting for the revised cover and then I'll upload the new files and order a fourth proof. I already have someone lined up to read that one. I'm seriously thinking this next one may be it.
CM got its first review on Smashwords and a four out of four star rating. You can view it here on the reviews page. I also went back and cleaned up that edition so it more closely reflects the printed version. I'm up to 32 downloads and five sales. Not bad. Hopefully the good review it was given will help.
I've been working a little more on formatting "Guardians and Graves" and am waiting on some more feedback on that one before I go ahead and upload it. I also figured out a cover for it if Mr. Velarde can do it. Actually it should be simpler than CM's cover so I'm hopeful. And anxious. I want to have GG published by spring.
I have been writing on "The Scent of Rain" and am up to chapter twenty-three. I probably would have been done with it now, but I went back and rewrote a lot of the scenes that were bugging me and ended up cutting out an entire chapter. I just have a few more chapters to go to finish it up, so I'm hoping at least by the end of the month, it will be finished and ready to type up. I will be adding characters from it to my character page soon.
I also thought of an idea for a new short story. I wrote out the outline for it. It's another fluffy little romance piece featuring Percy and Mya. Short but sweet. No title yet. I'm working on it.
October 16, 2010
This was the day I was supposed to receive my second proof, but as it turned out, it arrived last Saturday, putting me way ahead of schedule. I was happy to get it and was even happier to see the cover printing, the quality of the paper, and the spine were so much better than the first. Tony was able to lighten the cover so the next proof should be even better. I found lots of strange typos going over the second proof however, namely backwards apostrophes. You wouldn't think an apostrophe could even be backwards, but they're sticking out like a sore thumb throughout the text. Easy fix. Husband and I are almost finished with the second proof so the new files will be ready for uploading shortly.
I ordered photo postcards from Walgreen's and received them this past week as well. I was very happy with the result although they did switch fonts on me on the back of the postcard. No biggie, they still look great and I will be sending them out as announcements once the book has been published on Amazon.com.
I was able to load all the preliminary information on "Guardians and Graves" onto CreateSpace and got it assigned an ISBN number. I still haven't thought of what I want on the cover of this book yet, but I also still have time. Got to get CM published first.
I did figure out what I wanted to do with "The Scent of Rain" and although that involved rewriting a lot of scenes, the end result is a lot better. I'm up to chapter sixteen now. I also figured out how I wanted it to end. What a difference a week makes.
October 7, 2010
Not much going on at Smashwords recently. CM did turn up on Kobo, but no sign of it on any of the other sites it was distributed to. Some sites take up to eight weeks for it to be listed though. I guess I'm expecting too much too soon.
The first proof from Amazon.com came in and to say I was disappointed in it is an understatement. I realize it was just a proof, and I already knew I was going to have to order another--which I have, but as it turned out, the interior formatting wasn't the problem, the cover was. The printing made it so dark, the image on the cover is barely distinguishable. I hated, hated, hated having to tell Tony, and as it was, he wasn't very optimistic about being able to correct it. All I can do now is wait on another unexpected delay. Maybe I won't be meeting that November goal after all. I see at least, two more proofs in my future.
I changed the synopsis for "The Scent of Rain." The one before made it sound way more serious than it was. I'm up to chapter thirteen, but I'm kind of stuck at a crossroads too. I'm not really sure which way I want to go at this point.
Gee, hopefully by this time next week, I'll have something more positive to report.
September 26, 2010
Smashwords.com has not only approved "Cemetery Moon" for their premium ebook catalog, they have assigned an ISBN number to it at my request and have now made it marketable to Apple. It will also be sold through the Diesel Ebook Store, Barnes & Nobles, Kobe, and others as well as to Amazon.com as an ebook pending their partnership with Smashwords. I've been marketing it everywhere I can think of and I'm sure some people must be sick of me talking about it, but the one thing about self-publishing is SELF marketing. I need to promote it if I want it to be successful.
I'm expecting the back cover illustration sometime this weekend and if that shows up and meets my approval then I should be able to send the formatted version of CM to CreateSpace this week. I'm certainly keeping my fingers crossed.
"Summer Snow" was featured this past week in one of Writing.Com's Romance/Love newsletters as an editor's pick. I'm very flattered to even have been noticed by their editors considering the number of writers on that site. An interesting aspect of the newsletter was elements of Gothic romance and after reading it, the Moonlit Wings series could easily be described as a type of Gothic romance. I've also decided to start labeling the series as a type of Gothic romance as well since I know that kind of romance genre has its own following. The description (taken from the newsletter) explains:
----Lovers parted - more "Gothic" reasons for being parted include an obstacle such as being locked in a dungeon, one of the lovers is given a false reason to flee or one of the lovers is banished.
----Illicit love - a young woman catches the "eye" of an evil man.
----Rival lovers - one or both of the lovers have more than one person vying for their attention.
----The setting: Gothic tales are usually set in a castle or a manor, or if set in America, an old family estate. These places usually have secret passages, trap doors, and mysterious rooms.
----Mystery & Suspense: There is usually an atmosphere of mystery and suspense, usually around the parentage of one of the leads.
----Prophecy: There's usually a prophecy involved, omens or visions.
----Gothic stories also may include a woman in distress, high emotion, a powerful male figure and metaphors like rain which are used to represent something else, like sorrow.
----The supernatural - There are usually supernatural events that occur in a Gothic story, but these events usually have a natural explanation.
September 17, 2010
"Cemetery Moon" is now an ebook! It was published on Smashwords today and is available for reading on a number of ebook readers including Kindle and Sony. Purchase price is $3.99. This is the first time this book has been made available in its entirety online.
September 13, 2010
I have begun writing "The Scent of Rain" and am well into the first chapter. I posted the synopsis on the homepage with the others. I have another developing storyline I might add to it, so it may change in the future, but for now, that's what's going on.
I decided to go with the justified text for the books. It doesn't look as "forced" as I thought it would and in fact, you can hardly tell it's justified at all except that the margins are nice and straight.
September 10, 2010
I do believe the interior format for the CreateSpace version is finished. Big thanks to Michele Calvo there. Unless another typo is found. It's unreal how you can read through a document close to one hundred times and still find mistakes previously missed. Husband has promised to read through the proof when we get it, but hopefully by then, there won't be a lot left to fix. This is the time when I wish I could have afforded a professional editor. I'm confident though. Now all I need is the finished art.
The Scent of Rain is beginning to take shape in my mind. I can see myself starting it this weekend. I've been trying to hold off and work exclusively on Cemetery Moon, but now that all the editing and formatting for it are done--for the most part, I've been sitting around, twiddling my thumbs. Figuratively speaking. I could at least get a few chapters written. What harm could there be in that?
I'm still trying to work out some of the kinks on this website. Please bear with me. I'm still learning Webon, still learning Word 2007, still learning a lot of things. Lots to learn.
September 6, 2010
CreateSpace has assigned Cemetery Moon its ISBN number and EAN-13 number. I got all the tax information filled out and registered the title, the book size, paper color, etc. Incredible all the things you have to think of about putting something like this together.
Good news! I just got word from one of the moderators at Writing.Com that she had selected Summer Snow to be featured in the site's romance/love newsletter due out the 22nd. She also gave it a pretty glowing review. That will be a good promotion for the story, the series, and the website. And speaking of promotions, Cemetery Moon has its own Facebook page now. People can post comments on its wall and "liking" it will help spread the word as well.
I've also gotten really good feedback on the cover art. All kudos to artist Tony Velarde. He knows his stuff.
September 5, 2010
Not only have I heard back from Mediaworx, but I also have my cover! Mediaworx estimated September 20th for the formatting to be completed. As soon as I get the reformatted file back, I can upload it onto Smashwords. It usually takes two to three weeks for it to go "live", but then it will be available to the public. As I mentioned earlier, I have the finished cover now--proudly displayed on the home page--so, to me, the hard parts are done. I've also decided to publish a printed version through CreateSpace, a division of Amazon which will allow me complete creative freedom. That may still be a few months away, but the ball is rolling. And picking up speed. Finally.
September 3, 2010
I'm waiting to hear back from Mediaworx about the formatting. I sent them the manuscript Wednesday, feeling confident enough in my final edit to go ahead and start the formatting process. I hope it's not going to take too terribly long. My goal is to have CM up by November, but if I can get it done before that, even better.
I'm still waiting for the cover art. The last version I was sent was the best so far, but still not quite right. It's getting there.
I'm going to have to start writing The Scent of Rain soon. I'm getting a barrage of ideas for scenes and dialog in my mind lately. I have written some down in a notebook, but that only seems to free up space in my head for more ideas. Besides, I feel like I don't know what to do with myself when I'm not writing. All this waiting is driving me insane.
August 28, 2010
The website is finished. All I need is the cover art to put up on the home page and then I can publish it. My artist is supposed to have the cover ready by Monday. If it's a go, then I'll most likely get the site online by the end of the week.
The Scent of Rain is slowly, but surely taking form in my mind. So much in fact, I'm itching to begin writing it. I told myself I must devote my time and attention to getting Cemetery Moon online first. It's hard though. I don't know how much longer I can hold out.
August 24, 2010
I had a nice long conversation this afternoon with David Brumbaugh from AuthorHouse publishing and am now leaning in that publishers direction. He was even willing to throw in 10 free copies of the books. AuthorHouse is running a sale on their publishing packages now and I could get a really nice deal for only $400. I made sure I could use my own cover too. Pretty much everything is done from the comfort of my living room, so to speak. I need to really think about this offer. If I go with this, I could have printed copies of Cemetery Moon out by Christmas.
Aug 22, 2010
I started working on the website for the series. I'm trying out the new Webon builder Tripod offers and after a few video tutorials, I think I kind of have the hang of it. Unfortunately, and as far as I can tell, through no fault of my own, only one out of every five tries to execute an action works. I'm not sure if it has anything to do with the server being incompatible or not, but I tried it on IE and things are worse there.
Aug 20, 2010
The cover art I was shown wasn't exactly what I had in mind so I suggested a few changes. I mentioned a November publishing date so I'd like to have the final edit, the formatting, and the cover all finished and ready to go by October. Actually, I hope I won't have to wait that long, but right now, it's slow going.
Aug 17, 2010
The artist doing the cover for Cemetery Moon, Tony Velarde, called today to let me know that he should be finished with it this week. He told me he actually did a few versions and once he sends them to me, I can choose the one I want. If there's anything I want changed I can just let him know. I'm excited to see it now.
Aug 14, 2010
"Painting Temptation" is finished. It was a long story and I had to split it in three parts to get it to load right on Booksie and Writing.com. I'll be starting the fourth book soon, but am in the final editing stages for "Cemetery Moon." I'm hoping to have it ready for Smashwords publishing by November. I'm thinking of calling the fourth book after one of my old fanfictions titled "The Scent Of Rain."
Jul 31, 2010
Well, I figured something was up about the Booksie page when it was obvious everyone else was able to load it just fine so experimenting with different options and troubleshooting it came down to my internet server. Apparently that site was updated or altered in some way which made it incompatible with my server. I tried another server and now everything loads just fine. So, needless to say, I'm posting on it again.
Jun 28, 2010
I've gotten some good feedback on Summer Snow from other sites and have gone back and edited it a bit and changed a few things. I re-posted the corrected, updated version here as well.
Jun 23, 2010
Egads! Editors are expensive! I'm going to have to get another job to pay for editing alone. For a 93,000 word novel, we're talking close to $2000! I simply cannot do that at this point. Especially not when I've got two other novels that need editing as well.
Jun 21, 2010
Haven't gotten my quote back from the editor I contacted but I was offered a free sample edit, so I guess that's what they are working on. I finished the short story tie-in to the series called "Summer Snow" and got it posted on a variety of sites. I set up another account at FictionPress.net and will be posting it there as well. I still get quite a lot of reads at that site so I'm keeping my fingers crossed, hoping to generate some feedback. The short has already logged 14 reads on Booksie its first day up, but no one here has commented on it. My first chapter of Guardians and Graves has logged close to one hundred reads on the Booksie site, but no feedback. I'm not really sure why. Who is reading my stuff? Why are they being so shy? I'd really like to know.
Jun 19, 2010
I now have an artist lined up to do the cover image art for the Smashwords upload and for the self-published edition if that comes about. I'm very excited by the prospect because he's incredibly talented and seems to think what I have in mind for my cover is easy. Best of all, he's willing to do it for free for me as a kind of advertising for him. I just hope I can give his artwork the exposure it deserves.
Jun 18, 2010
My husband came up with the idea of making the books into ebooks for the time being so they aren't just languishing about waiting to get published. After this last disappointing episode with an agency, I am starting to think self-publishing may be the way to go after all. By putting the books up on Smashwords, they will create some revenue (hopefully!) towards their publishing in the future if I'm forced to go that route. I'm also looking into hiring an editor and have contacted one for a quote. I've also contacted an artist for a cover image. (I'll stick to illustrating the insides!) I've started a short story tie-in that I'll be posting online when it's done.
Jun 14, 2010
The first three completed books in the Moonlit Wings series, Cemetery Moon, Sanctuary, and Guardians and Graves, are now all officially copyrighted by the U.S. Copyright Office as of yesterday morning. I didn't want to wait for them to be published to be protected. I feel better about posting them now.
Jun 10, 2010
Got a request from an agency to see the entire manuscript. I sent it off to them yesterday. Although I realize this doesn't mean they're going to accept it and assign me an agent, just the fact they wanted to read it is very encouraging.
Jun 7, 2010
I sent off six more query letters to agents this past week. I'm still not sure about the letter itself--if I'm getting it right or not. Each agent seems to have a very particular preference for what they want in the letter and I find I'm having to basically re-write it every time I send one out. It's a tedious and time-consuming process and I can only manage sending out a few at a time. Hopefully it will all pay off in the end.
May 29, 2010
Okay, I'm calling it the "Moonlit Wings" series. Hopefully it conveys a little romance, a little darkness, a little mysticism, something uplifting, and (although this might be a stretch) something sexy too.
May 25, 2010
I really, really need a name for this series. Everything I think of either comes out too dark sounding, too romantic, too Christian, or too vague.
May 9, 2010
Nothing! That's what happening. Though the last agent I heard from was "intrigued" by my idea but not enough to represent me. I found that oddly encouraging however. Am currently doing the first draft re-writes, edit, and typing for "Sanctuary" the third installment of the series. I guess I need to come up with a series name. Something that would refer to the books collectively.