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Hey everyone!

So, the Whole Life Activation awards were this past Friday. While I was deeply honored to be on the short list, another author won. I have no doubt that she is talented and deserving of the honor.

And, despite all of you that voted for the cover for ‘Guarding Charon’, it didn’t even place in the final round in the AuthorsDB cover contest.

For a short time today, it hurt. I freely admit it. Authors are still human, after all. We want to be told we did good and win contests. Have that validation that all the months of crappy sales or writer’s block was worth it. So, when you come close to that brass ring, it hurts when you get told no. You weren’t good enough.

The thing is, I am good enough. I write good books that are entertaining. I’m not a total jerk to my publisher or readers (at least, I hope I’m not. If I’ve been a jerk to you, please let me know and we’ll hash it out). I’ve come too far to sink back into the mindset of I’m not going to be good enough.

I’ve survived rape.

I’ve survived a parent who was narcissistic.

I’ve survived being bullied.

I’ve survived crippling self-doubt.

I have gone through some really bad crap in my life. And come out on top. This isn’t the last award I’ll be up for. It’s not the end of my career. It’s the beginning. It marks another step forward because my work is being noticed now.

You can not let a single event dictate your future as an author. Ride the wave of hurt and disappointment, then find your resolve again. Because there’s no way to change the past. All we can do is look to the future.

BB

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It’s Monday!

It’s been an interesting week since I last posted. In some ways, I’m still processing everything. And it was all good things!

First off, I found out I’m now on the short list for Author of the Year from Whole Life Activation, a group in London, England that celebrates women making a difference. I’m beyond humbled and honored. With a fair amount of excited in there as well. LOL. The ceremony takes place on November 10th. As much as I’d like to go, it’s not feasible right now. When you have college bills to pay for, spending $2k to go to a gala in London isn’t being fiscally responsible. No matter the outcome, I’m thrilled. While I don’t know the other three finalists, I’m certain that I’m in amazing company.

Today, I found out the cover for ‘Guarding Charon’ is a semi-finalist for the Authordb.com cover of the year award!

If I can be so bold, I need votes! You can go here (https://authorsdb.com/2017-cover-contest-results/23632-cover-contest-2017-guarding-charon) and vote/leave a review! Even if you think one of the other semi-finalists is a better cover, the votes are crucial. You don’t have to vote for me…just do it!

Being an author is a lot of highs and lows. You spend days/weeks/months/years even trying to get your name out there. All but begging for reviews. And then you get weeks like this last one. Where you find out that maybe you really are making an impact in the pond. Where you get hope that those small ripples will continue to spiral out and widen your readership.

And that maybe, just maybe, all the struggles to get there will be worth it.

BB

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So, yeah, it’s crunch time for the P&E polling. Voting shuts down tomorrow night, and ‘Guarding Charon’ has plummeted to 5th place.

Much as I want to win (and, trust me, I DO), it’s not the end of the world. It won’t make or break me as an author. It doesn’t translate into great sales or having Hollywood calling me for a movie deal.

It would simply make it so I could add ‘award winning’ to international best selling author. That’s it.

Everyone can write. All that takes is to pick up a pen or pencil, or sit down at a computer. Writing an essay in 5th grade? You’re a writer. Drafting a department-wide email? You’re a writer. Spending countless hours at a computer, revising, rewriting, editing, polishing, submitting, and publishing? You’re a writer.

Then, there’s that moment where you go from being a writer to being an author. It creeps up on you, slowly. It’s when you stop letting your ego get in the way and promote your book because you know you’ve got years ahead of you before you’ll be able to quit the day job. It’s when you realize that titles like ‘international best selling’ or ‘award winning’ don’t matter if people don’t know your book exists. It’s not caring if you only get enough in royalties over 3 months to buy a single latte at your favorite espresso stand and you find the time to write another book.

It’s that moment when the sales and titles and image in your head of what being a published author means fades away and you embrace the reality of it. The need to find time to write between loads of laundry or parent/teacher conferences. It’s being present during a softball game when you’re mentally adding dialogue and hoping you can remember it when you get writing time. It’s no longer being afraid to tell people you’re an author. It’s hanging up cards for your books on community bulletin boards and leaving them for staff at a hotel room on vacation.

It’s giving away copies to an exchange student you’re hosting that loves to read your genre. It’s learning how to email organizations and let them know you’re available for panels and guest slots at their conventions.

It’s sitting down and doing the work involved to grow a reader base.

Every single writer that’s ever finished a book thinks they’re going to be on the NYT best seller list. Or get a movie deal. Be wined and dined and wooed by conventions. Make money hand over fist.

An author knows how many years it takes to get even close to that list.They know that they can’t simply scream ‘buy my book’ or ‘leave a review’ all day long. They work hard to get every single sale, review, reader, or comment on their blog. They spend hours on Twitter or FB when they’d rather do other things, hoping to connect with even one person who might buy their book.

Because if they do, they may like it.

If they like it, they may leave a review. Or tell a friend. Or both.

Until then, an author keeps trying new things. Keeps posting on a blog, staying positive. A writer’s going to get mad, unsure who ‘stole’ their dream.

It wasn’t stolen. They decided to give up instead of work for it.

They weren’t tough enough to become an author. Are you?

BB

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Hey, everyone! I know, it’s Friday, but this is important to me.

I need your help!

Preditors and Editors runs a ‘best of’ poll every year. ‘Guarding Charon’, among other books, has been nominated for Best Scifi/Fantasy novel!

I REALLY want to win this!

It’s easy to help me out. You don’t have to buy anything, sign up for an email list, or anything like that. It’s this easy.

  1. Go to the contest website: http://critters.org/predpoll/
  2. Scroll down to ‘Print/Electronic Novels’ section
  3. Click on ‘ Science Fiction & Fantasy Novels
  4. Check the box next to the top entry for ‘Guarding Charon’ (it got listed twice, but we don’t want to split the voting!)
  5. Add your name and email address
  6. Go to your inbox, click on the confirmation link to have your vote count.
  7. You’re done!

Solstice Publishing is listed under Print/Ebook publishers and could use votes, too. We won the category last year and want a repeat win! My editor with Solstice, Cynthia Ley, is in the running for best editor, too! She’s the one that helped make ‘Guarding Charon’ so good, so throwing a vote her way would be great.

There’s a lot of great books listed in all the categories – so spend a few moments of your day and help those authors out.

You can vote once per email address you have access to. But do it soon! Contest ends in like two weeks, so spread the word!

And thank you! Post a comment when you’ve voted. When the contest is over, I’ll select one commenter at random to receive a .pdf copy of 5 of my titles – winner’s choice which 5!

BB

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Morning, everyone!

It was a busy week last week! Over 4,000 new words down on paper for ‘Alaric’s Bow’, the follow up to ‘Fin’s Magic’! Most of that was yesterday. It felt really good to get back in the zone!

‘Arine’s Sanctuary’ will release on Friday, July 24th! The ebook is available for pre-orders now, so head on over to Amazon and reserve your copy!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B011LM9QF0?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

I started a contest of sorts over on my FaceBook page last week. It runs until 8 am PDT on Thursday the 23rd. Still time to get entered! Super easy to do. You simply like AND comment (you have to do both to enter) on this post:

Once I like your comment, you’re officially in the running for all the stuff listed!

It’s a short post today. I apologize for that. But there’s a story itching to get out of my head this morning!

BB

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Good morning, everyone!

I’ve got a confession to make. I haven’t written my 500 words for a good week. It’s been too hot. Yes, I know it’s a relative term. This area doesn’t see the blistering temperatures other parts of the U.S. do, but we’ve been warm. And, when you rarely see temps in the 90’s, air conditioning isn’t a high priority on your home comfort needs. Except for the days where you end up doing the laundry and dishes after the sun goes down. Cook things that don’t require the oven (the microwave and our grill are our friends). And stay off the computer because it’s just one more thing giving off heat.

I have, however, been working! ‘Arine’s Sanctuary’ is done with editing, and moving towards being able to give you guys a release date. Here’s the great cover!

Arine's Sanctuary

As a lead up to release date, I’m going to be holding a contest on my FB author page. It’s not quite ready to start yet (hoping it will be by next week), but be sure to start following my page to have a chance to win! https://www.facebook.com/pages/KateMarie-Collins/217255151699492

The contest is going to be super easy to enter. When I do the post, you simply have to like the post AND leave a comment. That’s it. The only restriction is there needs to be at least 10 entries by the end of the contest or there won’t be a grand prize winner. I’m putting up a lot of stuff for one lucky reader to win!

The grand prize will include:

Print copies of ‘Daughter of Hauk’, ‘Son of Corse’, ‘Mark of the Successor’, and ‘Challenges Met’ (signed to a person of the winner’s choosing)

A tote bag with the cover of ‘Fin’s Magic’

A t-shirt with the cover of ‘Daughter of Hauk’ on the front and ‘You’re tough, you can take it’ on the back.

Signed postcards and business cards.

SAM_1721

So, head on over to my FB page and hit the ‘like’ button! And I promise to work on another book once this heat goes away!

BB

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Morning.

At least, I think it is. The sun is up. It’s going to be warm for us (Don’t laugh. Seattle-ites think anything over 80 is too warm, 85 and up is a heat wave and we hide in caves.), and there doesn’t seem to be enough coffee in my bloodstream. And that’s after two cups (one is my normal). Yep, it’s going to be a long day.

Something I’ve struggled with, and I know other authors have, is accepting credit for what we’ve created. I’m not talking about authors whose ego is bigger than a 747. I’m talking about those of us who are either operating under the assumption that somehow we got lucky and someone bought our book. Read it, reviewed it, and loved it.

Accepting that we created something that others enjoy is daunting. In my case, I grew up thinking nothing I did would be ‘good enough’. That someone else would be better, and I’d only get a shot because of some miracle from above.

It’s taken me a few years to accept that I’m a published author because I wrote books. GOOD books. Ones worth reading. And that I got my contracts because of that work. That my Goddess, your God, etc., had nothing to do with it.

You heard me. God doesn’t work on your behalf in publishing. YOU work on your behalf. YOU get out there and promote. You smile and do interview after interview. You make the cold calls at local book stores, share your work at the library, and contact book clubs.

You wrote the book. It was your idea, your inspiration, your words. Your pain while you edited and revised it. Your courage when you hit that send button time and time again. Your determination to see your work up for sale that kept you going as you got rejection letters.

Am I blessed by my Goddess? Yes. She gave me a talent. That’s it. What I do with that gift, and where it leads is up to me. She put my feet on the path, but I’m the one walking it.

BB

P.S. – the Solstice Shadows contest is still open for submissions! Don’t forget to check out what they’re looking for here: http://solsticepublishing.com/solsticeshadows

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