Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The End

Taking a cue from a fellow author, I'm sharing my thoughts about a big change in my publishing life. As you may know, I owe my entire career to Turquoise Morning Press. Back in 2011, they took a chance on me and offered me a contract for Ice Princess. A novella based in Honey Creek, Ohio. That little book lead me to add 3 more to that same line creating my Honey Creek Royalty YA series. All because a few women believed in me and my story.

Last week, I learned that Turquoise Morning Press is closing their doors and returning all rights to my books to me. Shocked. Sad. Angry. Confused. These are just a few of the emotions rolling through me since I heard the news.

Shortly after my first contract, I was offered part-time employment as the Marketing Coordinator, followed shortly by Senior YA Acquisitions Editor. Both jobs I loved and took very seriously. I've read some amazing submissions and made lasting connections.

What do I do now? Well, I asked myself that same question and fortunately, I asked fellow authors. I have an opportunity to test my hand at self publishing and I even have a fully edited story I can either publish or try to sell to other places. Tweeks are needed on my Honey Creek stories, since the publisher owns the name of the town, but otherwise, I'm starting to see a very small light winking at me at the far, far end of a tunnel.

Not only was TMP my publisher, but I met some of the best authors, who are now my closest friends. I learned more than my fair share of information about publishing and I grew to love that company. Tears were shed, expletives were yelled, but I think, in the end, we'll all come out strong and confident.

Good luck to my fellow TMPers. I will always wish for your success and pray when you are in pain. Keep in touch.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Review: The Wedding Rescue by Megan Kelly

The Wedding Rescue was a delightfully sweet and funny read. As soon as we learn about the slightly irritated attraction Jack Walker has for his soon-to-be sister-in-law, Lexi, I was curious to find out how the entire story was going to play out, especially with Jack in-lust for her sister, Grace. Did I mention Grace and Lexi are twins!

Megan Kelly did a wonderful job of making a kind of unreal situation work out and be completely manageable leaving me utterly satisfied with my HEA. I also greatly appreciated that she didn’t make it where everybody was fooled by the rouse, especially the father. And the crazy uncle was great. I can’t get enough of a story that adds a little humor with a crabby relative because we all have them. I love snark in my books! A+!

The Wedding Rescue isn’t just a sweet romance. No! There is an element of mystery/suspense mixed in. Nicely done amping up the creep factor. From the first chapters, you can see the love Lexi has for Jack’s daughter and I think that element added a realness to the book. Often kids are involved and keeping it true to human nature is always a plus in my book. I am curious to find out if Ms. Kelly will have a spin-off book involving the cousin and brother. I’d be the first in line to read that as well.

The Wedding Rescue is nice mix of a yummy rancher, sweet intentions and funny circumstances.


Barnes and Noble
Create Space (print copy)


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Conference Confessions

For the past couple of months, you may have seen tons of talk about writing conferences for just professionals and readers. In fact, I just came back from a multi-media event in Kentucky. While the names change, the concepts are the same. Bringing like-minded individuals together for the love of writing or reading, or in the case of the one this weekend, music, gaming and short films.

If you are planning to attend a conference this year or next, there are a few steps I recommend taking before you pull into the parking lot where you'll call home for a few days.

1. Know the address.
This may seem like a no-brainer but you'd be surprised how easy this little bit of information can get away from you. Plug that address into MapQuest and make sure you have print copies as well as electronic. I had two GPS going and I still got turned around, heading in the wrong direction. My print copies? In the back of my van! 

2. Schedule your schedule.
A few weeks prior to your departure, sit down and figure out what panels you're on, what panels you want to watch and when you can sell your books. And then schedule in down time. You need to eat, rest and recoup so you're at your best because these events are long hours with little breaks. 

And one thing I've learned while attending these things is to try and bring a friend or find someone that will work with you. For example, if an expo hall will be open for 10 hours to sell books, you can't sit there all day alone, especially if you need to speak on panels. Join forces with another author or bring an assistant, or heck, a spouse. This will allow you to take those breaks and fully enjoy the event.

3. Make connections.
I'm an introvert so stepping into a room full of unfamiliar faces throws me into a mini stroke. But, about five years ago, I pushed past my fears, bought an event ticket, reserved a room and drove 5+ hours to a reader/writer event. Did this increase my chances of getting a contract? No because the publisher there had already decided to offer me my first contract but I made lasting connections with bloggers, authors and other industry people. Folks I still work with today.

4. Smile.
Again, this might seem simple, but you'd be surprised how differently a little teeth showing can make things. Sure, you may be scared out of your mind, but they  might be, too. I met a really nice author at this last one and I think we shared a common personality trait. We were both shy but we connected, traded books and agreed to share reviews. 

Conferences can be fun and relaxing as long as you take care to be prepared. If you've attended an event, please share your experience.