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Archive for March, 2012

A little background is needed, I think. 

Several months ago, my hubby and I decided our daughters were finally getting old enough that we could leave them home and start doing things WE liked to do.  Like seeing what it was like at a convention.  Today, we went up to Emerald City Comicon for the first time.

I also recently did a blog interview that will be going live in a week or so.  One of the questions he asked was about a dream cast should ‘Daughter of Hauk’ ever be made into a movie.  For the character of Barek, I chose Jason Momoa.

Mr. Momoa has been in several sci-fi/fantasy movies (Game of Thrones, Conan, and one of the Stargate series).  He’s also very gorgeous.

We hadn’t planned on getting autographs, as we figured the lines would be long.  And they were, for most of the guests there.  We walked by and Jason Momoa’s line was short.  We’re talking one person in front of me short.

Guess who I met today?

And, yes, I did tell him I had gotten a book published and been asked about a dream cast and that I’d put him in it.  He actually seemed genuinely surprised and touched that I would do so.  My hubby thinks I made his day.

I have an autographed picture to put on my wall.  And I got to shake the hand of my dream Barek.  Life is good today.

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Ok, pet peeve time.  Whiners need not read any further!

I stay positive because I’m working on a public persona.  Whether it’s on Twitter, my FB author page, or on a group, I’m rarely going to vent publicly because I don’t see a reason for it.  The rest of the world doesn’t need to see me melt down.  It’s a public face, and it’s necessary in the writing business.

That being said….

I really dislike whiners.  The people who want to be writers but refuse to do the work, complain that they have to change ANYTHING about their work, or make such a noise on a public forum that everyone runs over to hold their hand and boost their ego.

Everyone has problems at home/life.  We all have bad days.  But, anyone trying to develop a public persona needs to learn fast to hold onto the smile even if you’re ready to throw your books at the next idiot who asks the same question you’ve heard sixty times already today.

You really need to have a tough skin in this business.  I’ve learned that already.  You need to be ready to smile and be polite to someone who tells you that your work made them want to throw up.  If you expect your ego to be stroked every time you’re in a bad mood, you’re in for a rude awakening.  The bestselling authors will get that, yes.  Am I a bestselling author?  Nope.  Not even close.  Haven’t even cracked the top 100 for fantasy on Amazon.  So I’m not expecting a public forum of any kind to hold my hand and tell me I’m great and wonderful just because I woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

I think I’ll go make dinner now.  Or crawl into a steaming hot bath.  Not sure which.

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I’m posting about this because of a comment exchange between one of my friends earlier today.  It’ll explain a LOT.

About 2-3 weeks after I signed my contract, I was going on a small shopping trip with a friend of mine.  Now, her name is Kate as well.  Years ago, when we played in the same D&D group, this became a problem.  Since I was in the group first, she was dubbed ‘K2’ (as in Kate #2).  It stuck.

We got our shopping done, and she wanted to treat me to lunch.  Off to our local Red Robin we went.

Lunch was good, and much conversation was had.  There was some talk about my book and so forth, but not to the point of dominating the conversation.  As we were wrapping things up and the waiter came to collect the bill, things got interesting.

He took a look at me and said, “I have to ask.  Are you really a novelist or is that just a witty tee?”

That morning, I’d just randomly grabbed a shirt from my closet.  It happened to be a t-shirt that reads, “Be Careful or I’ll put you in my Novel”.  I’d completely spaced that I had it on.

I stammered out something about yes, I was a novelist and that I’d signed my first book contract a few weeks earlier.

He freaked out.  Started asking about what it was called, when would it be out, what my pen name was, did I have anything else out he could read, the whole nine yards.

It was my very first encounter with a person who saw me as some sort of celebrity because I’d written a book.  And, K2 was sitting across from me with a big grin enjoying every single second of it.

He left and all I could do was turn to her in shock and ask, “What the f(%&*(&( just happened!?!?!?”.  I have no memory of what I said to him, but she said she thought I handled it very well.

I didn’t start writing to get recognized in restaurants.  I started writing because there was a story in me that could no longer remain silent.  I started submitting it to publishers to show my daughters that you can achieve things if you try hard enough.

Since that day, I’ve been very conscious of when I’m wearing that t-shirt.  And that, to some extent, I’m now a public person.  It’s likely I’ll have another run-in like the one at the restaurant at some point.  Though it’s not something I ever considered when I first sent off my book.

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And away we go!

So, I finally gave up and started a blog.  For the most part, this is going to revolve around my writing.  Not just promoting my books (my first novel, Daughter of Hauk, is available in ebook form from Solstice Publishing, Amazon, and B&N), but some of the other things that happen when you go from wanting to be published to published author.

My book released just over two weeks ago.  I signed my contract just over two months ago.  I’m discovering that things can move either very quickly (in my case) or very slowly.  There are some who signed contracts about the same time as I did who still haven’t gotten an editor assigned to them.  Though I’m not bringing it up as to how fast mine moved along to brag.  If anything, it’s humbling.

The real work, beyond writing the book to begin with, isn’t in getting a publisher.  It’s what happens afterwards.  Don’t fool yourself by thinking your publisher will do all your publicity.  They won’t.  They’ll do a LOT, yes, but you need to do your own share.

The good thing about being an author is you retain a level of anonymity that many movie stars would kill for.  Your face isn’t instantly recognized.  You can hide behind a pen name.  But you still need to develop a public persona.

I’m still working on that part.

 

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