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Archive for December, 2012

A New Year Comes

Happy new year, everyone!

I’ll say this much, I’m far more optimistic today than I was at this time last year. 2012 was an amazing year for me. Even now, almost a year after signing with Solstice Publishing, I find myself replaying moments about that in my mind. Telling my friends and family and basking in their excitement for me. Even if I never get another contract, I’ll have had the memories from this release to keep me writing.

The seasonal retail job is almost over. I have four more shifts over the next week, the last one being January 7th. None of them are super long (all are under 5 hours), which my feet will appreciate. 

Of all the good that came to me last year, I’m most thankful for those of you who either bought and read my book or follow my blog. Knowing there are people out there who took a chance on a new author or simply like the words I put here each week is humbling. May I live up to your expectations in 2013!

My OEC (Obsessive Email Checking) has come to me again. I know it may be weeks yet before I hear anything about “Lily”, yet I keep my writing email account open all day long. “Daughter of Hauk” is being read by one of my favorite reviewers, Gary Henry, currently. I’m both excited and nervous to hear what he has to say about it! 

Why nervous? Because every author would go back and tweak at least one section of their book, even after it’s in print. The urge to fiddle with it, add or delete words, play with scenes…it never goes away.

So, thank you for following me. Thank you again if ‘Daughter of Hauk’ is on your Kindle, Nook, computer, or bookshelf. And may 2013 be good to us all.

BB

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Happy Holidays!

First off, I’d like to wish all my followers a joyous season and I hope whatever holiday you celebrate, you are able to do so with much happiness!

Last week, well, let’s just say I got a couple of gifts before the Solstice!

The first was being named to the Top 100 Authors on Facebook! The list is compiled by Ron Knight and UP Authors. I came in at #66! Considering Mr. Knight interacts with approximately 8,000 authors a day on FB, making the list the same year my book debut is an amazing honor. I’m still alternating between grinning and being in complete awe. I don’t recall what was going on the time I wrote his selected quote for me (“Time for some mindless entertainment!”), but I remember writing it. Check out the entire list, his criteria, etc, here:  http://www.upauthors.com/?p=3980

Solstice has set up a monthly newsletter for my readers, too! Click on this link, http://store.solsticepublishing.com/katemarie-collins/ , then follow the link on the page to sign up. It’s only going out once a month (I blog more than that! LOL), so you won’t be getting an email barrage about me.

And my OEC (Obsessive Email Checking) is back into full swing. Last week, my stand alone fantasy novel, “Lily”, went off to submissions. I know I won’t hear anything until the end of January, but hope springs eternal and all that. 

Sending “Lily” off gave me chills. If it’s accepted, I won’t be just a flash in the pan, one hit wonder, or fluke author. Two books out with my name on them, well, that gives me some sense that I’m better than I think. Maybe I can keep the momentum going. 

Maybe people actually enjoy reading my words.

Just under three weeks left on the holiday retail job. I know my marketing/promotional work has suffered for being on the clock for the last five weeks or so. While I probably spent two, maybe three, hours a week on FB, Twitter, etc trying to promote ‘Daughter of Hauk’, get interviews, etc, finding that time has been difficult. 

Oh! And if you need that perfect, last minute gift for someone today…Amazon does allow you to give ebooks as gifts! Take a look at the right side of the screen and click on the ‘Give as a gift’ button to see how easy it is.

http://www.amazon.com/Daughter-Hauk-Raven-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B007KDWYP4/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1356368416&sr=1-1&keywords=daughter+of+hauk

BB 

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Which are you?

Like many other professions, there’s a variety of words you can use to describe what my job title is. Author, writer, novelist…they’re almost all interchangeable. Sometimes. For me, there’s some slight differences between the three.

A writer is, simply put, someone who puts words to paper (virtual or physical). Anyone who keeps a journal, writes a blog, finishes a term paper for class, is a writer. They have little interest in being edited, and don’t think they need to learn anything more. As such, their work will never reach the level of some of the masters of literature.

An author is someone who has taken the next step and tried hard to move from merely putting words to paper to editing their stories. Perhaps you’ve got a set of poems languishing within the depths of a file drawer that have great meaning to you, that you spent hours reworking until they glistened. Regardless on if you ever published them, or even submitted them, you took time to do more than just slap some words down on a page and call it done.

A novelist is an author who crafted a fictional novel, worked it over with a fine tooth comb, had other rake it over the coals, improved it some more, submitted it, and had a publisher take a chance on them. They embrace learning, and strive to improve their craft. The biggest difference between an author and a novelist is subject matter.

I tend to tell people I’m either a novelist or author. I look at editing as a chance to improve, expand, learn. I’m rarely satisfied with the first draft. When I get a manuscript back and see that I’ve got the same word used three times in a single paragraph, I’m open to looking for new words. I get more nervous when there’s sections without any commentary!

I’ve read a few novels that were so riddled with errors it made me want to throw my Kindle out the window, or they made my eyeballs hurt. I think we all have. These were poorly edited, for one. Another problem is you have a writer who thinks they’re an author. Word and/or subject repetition, poor spelling/sentence structure, little to no dialogue, plot holes big enough to drive a semi through…these are all things that will mark someone as a writer over an author or novelist.

If you want to be an author, get your manuscript looked at before you submit it! By someone who is willing to tell you, honestly, that there are problems with it. Who aren’t going to simply say ‘it’s terrific’ because they don’t want to hurt your feelings. In publishing, you need a seriously thick skin. People are going to send you rejection letters. And they’re not saying you’re bad…just your writing needs improvement.

So, which one are you? Writer, author, or novelist?

BB

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Chasing the Rainbow

I’m sitting here this morning, listening to a new Susan Boyle cd. I love her voice, and take a great deal of inspiration from her. She’s really not that much older than I am, and achieved her dream in a rather spectacular way. I’ve certainly not become the overnight sensation she has! But, by knowing her story and her courage to continue trying for her dream, I find the courage to continue chasing mine.

The song on right now is ‘Over the Rainbow’. It struck a cord this morning. And this is why.

We all have dreams, aspirations, goals. Some are loftier than others, more a fervent wish than anything rooted in reality. I learned a long time ago that money doesn’t buy happiness, no matter how many times I lie awake at night dreaming about how we’d spend lottery winnings. Most of my dreams of that end up with money put aside for our daughters, our retirement, and paying off our house. Not moving, mind you. We love our house, and have sunk quiet a chunk of change into it over the last ten years we’ve lived here. It’s home, and I wouldn’t leave it solely because we had the money for something bigger.

I’ve always been creative. On some level, I knew my entire life that any career that I would find satisfactory would be in the arts. The idea of creating something, a character on film or in books, a voice on the radio, anything that stuck in people’s minds has a great appeal for me. I’m sure any number of psychologists would say I’m searching for approval I didn’t get as a child, validation that I’m worthy of praise. My thought is I just love chasing rainbows.

I caught one earlier this year, when my book came out. And I’m ready to catch the next one. The chance for that pot of gold at the end keeps me going. The next one might be more successful than the one out now. It might draw readers to my first book. If nothing else, it’ll prove to me that I’m not just a flash in the pan. 

Lightning can strike twice, never let anyone tell you differently. Anyone who says you need to give up because you ‘got lucky’ is the one who is more afraid of failure than you are.

Go find your dream, go chase your rainbow. I dare you 🙂

BB

http://store.solsticepublishing.com/daughter-of-hauk/

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Guest blogging today!

My guest appearance on the Solstice Publishing website is now up! Go peek!

 

http://www.solsticepublishing.com/readers/where-ideas-come-from/

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Good morning!

It’s been a slog this weekend. Today will be day 5 of 6 days in a row at the holiday job. It’s a shorter shift, only 4 hours, but right during my ‘prime’ writing time.

Which means, of course, I woke up wanting to write. 

While I’m a writer, I think that creative people of ANY kind are among the most self-critical, self-loathing, and have (actually) some of the most fragile/small egos of any other career path I’ve met. We’re constantly fighting the battle against ourselves for perfection. My readers may love each and every word and wait for the next book with baited breath, but I’m still not sure if what I’m doing is worth such praise.

Yet I strive for that validation that a rave review brings. The knowledge that someone bought my book and enjoyed it. That I put this part of me out into the world for all to see and I’m not being ridiculed as I was as a child.

A co-worker asked how sales were. To be blunt, they suck. I’d love it if I’d reached 100 books sold by now. I’m at maybe half that number. Near as I can tell, November was a bust for sales and December (I know, the month is still young) isn’t indicating that people are snatching up copies to give as gifts.

Yet I keep writing, and I do whatever I can to keep the negative voices in my head muffled. I have the memory of knowing I’ve made my daughters proud of me, had them brag about me. And I often replay telling my friends I had received a contract offer in my head. Regardless of if I ever get another book published, or any of them garner enough in royalties to help with the groceries one month, I have done something many from my childhood felt was beyond me.

That’ll shut up the voices I shouldn’t listen to for a while.

Oh! Almost forgot! I’m guest blogging on a couple of sites TOMORROW! I’ll swing by here and provide links once things are up. 

BB

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