Monday, September 26, 2016

Monday Musings: 9/26/16

Affective Needs in some fine "Also Bought" company I see

  • Despite having only one review on Amazon, my Affective Needs is still selling consistently every day. I'm thinking it must be because of how it's popping up on the "Also Bought" pages of some very popular YA contemporary books. That's really great news for me and my little book. Keep going book, I believe in you.
  • The past week, actually the past month, has been fairly crazy with bookish events. Which is great, I mean, let's sell some books. But it's also tough on the writer system when it comes to getting NEW writing accomplished. While I'm a firm believer that when an opportunity presents itself that allows a writer to connect with readers, especially indie writers who often need all the marketing help and exposure they can get, it's of paramount importance to always get BACK TO THE ACTUAL WRITING. We can't forever rest on the laurels of what we have already written and pushed out into the world.
  • So this week, I'm looking at my pretty quiet calendar for the next few weeks and getting really excited about making real progress toward finishing my short story for the 2017 Wicked Ink anthology. That anthology was open to submissions from other writers outside the WI clan and I have to say, there were some really exciting submissions! I can't wait to let the writers know that their stories are going to be published with us! Sadly...I must still wait or all the other WI authors will kill me.
  • And speaking of WI, the emails are beginning to fly as we prepare the creation and launch of next year's anthology. So many moving parts! The submission window for 2017 is closed, but if you're interested in writing a spec-fic short story, keep an eye out next spring/summer when we open the sub gates for the 2018 anthology.
  • And my final Monday Musing: as soon as my short story for the anthology is complete (by Wednesday of this week) I will return my efforts to completing the final book in my Ascendant Trilogy, DESCENDANT. I'm excited but also nervous to finish out the series. It's awesome to actually see that story round out and imagine typing The End for Charlotte, Caleb, Hayden, and Sophie. But it also leads the mind into the land of What Next? I have several concepts percolating, but they also have me asking myself even larger questions such as: More YA? Possibly a middle grade? And what about adult? Being an indie writer is wonderful because you have the freedom to explore any idea you like--and publish it. But is it more important to stick with an age demographic and continue to try and build upon your existing audience? I don't have an answer to any of this and will continue to mull it over. If any of you have thoughts/opinions on the matter, please feel free to share.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Wednesday is for Writers: 9/21/16

My kids and my niece looking pretty joyous.

Welcome to my first Wednesday is for Writers post where I plan to write about anything that may relate to writing, being a writer, becoming a writer, not writing...you get the idea.

Today, coming straight off a morning meditation about judgement, I'm thinking about all the ways we as writers judge other writers and ourselves.

Spending too much time on the internet will quickly reveal that there are any number of opinions out there about what makes a "real" writer.

From one extreme:
  • Are you an international, best selling, lifting the literary conscious of the entire reading world to grander heights of actually contributing something new and worthwhile to the canon?
To the complete opposite end:
  • Did you happened to wake up this morning and entertain the thought of possibly penning a memoir (maybe, you're not sure yet)?
There are PLENTY of opinions (many kinder than others) about "real" writers.
Between these outlier extremes, most of us writers fall somewhere in-between and often make (probably silent) judgements about ourselves and other writers regarding where everyone falls on the Writer Success Continuum.

It is a silly mind game with no purpose or outcome other than personal misery.

This morning, during that meditation, I was reminded that it is unnecessary and easy to stop this particular cycle of internal conflict. You simply stop engaging with it. Which requires nothing more than noticing when an especially toxic thought, about yourself or another, arises. Recognizing that thought for what it truly is, its complete lack of positive purpose in your creative life or the life of others, and then, let it go.


Repeat as often as necessary until real joy for yourself and others returns to your soul. Then, go write.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Monday Musings: 9/19/16

This summer in front of Stonehenge

Now that I've left the day job, I've been wanting to pick up a more regular blogging schedule. I've poked around a bit and found that the writers/blogger who do this successfully seem to follow a formatted schedule and I think this would probably be the best place for me to start. So starting today and with all the best intentions to continue, I bring you my first ever Monday Musings. You may also sometimes see this as my Mondays Motivations, or Monday Meddling, pick an M word.


1. I have had a crazy reading filled week. Some of you may know that, in addition to my own writing, I collaborate with six other authors over at Wicked Ink Books. Our first anthology, Tick Tock: Seven Tales of Time, was our own stories, but it was such a success, we decided to open the second anthology up to other speculative fiction writers. Well, the submissions came pouring in and I've been frantically reading for the last week. There are some truly fantastic stories in the bunch!

2. Today I had a scheduled phone conference with my MFA student at Regis. What a great conversation we had about their WIP and many things writing in general. It's a low residency program so it's always nice when we get to connect outside of email.

3. I signed up to participate in this season's YA Scavenger Hunt. I hope I filled the form out correctly because I'm excited to participate.

4. Nook just announced this morning that they are allowing publishers to price ebooks for Free. This is awesome since I give away the first book in my Ascendant series on every platform I can (previously only Kindle and iBooks) so now, if your a Nooky, you can get it for free too.

5 This Thursday I am co-hosting an author event with Shannon Baker here in Denver. We will both be giving a (very) brief reading and answering questions about our new titles, writing, and books in general. It's open to the public so if you're in the Denver area, please come by.

682 S Colorado Blvd, Glendale, CO 80246

6. My regular monthly blog post for Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers went live today on their site. Check it out. 

Have a great week and see you for my Wednesday post where I think I'll focus on some aspect of writing or writers in particular. Because....W. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

And the Winners are....

It's over...thank you everyone who entered and added Affective Needs to your TBR lists!

The Goodreads giveaway for my latest book has ended. At final count 4472 readers entered from countries all over the world and helped to push Affecitve Needs near the top of the Goodreads "Most Requested" list. Amazing! Thank you readers. 
Affective Needs sitting with some pretty great company!


Iris Hileli of Mercaz, Israel
Alejandra Flores of California, United States
Anna Jacobs of Utrecht, Netherlands
Hannah Malatzky of Massachusetts, United States
Maryam Infiyaz of Western Provence, Sri Lanka

The signed paperbacks of Affective Needs will go out in the post tomorrow.

For anyone who has had the opportunity to already read Affective Needs, I'm hopeful that you will consider writing a review on Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, Kobo, iBooks...wherever you shop. These reviews don't have to be long and make a huge difference in the marketing efforts for authors.

Thank you!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Conference 2016

Teaching: Inciting Incident, Don't Wait Until Page 50
Last weekend I had the honor of teaching two workshops and sitting on one panel at the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Conference in Denver, Colorado.
Teaching: Goal, Motivation, and Conflict in the Young Adult Novel
The event was packed with excellent programming and wonderful writers, both traditionally published and independent, who graciously and generously shared their experiences and knowledge about writing the publishing world.
Cocktails with: Shawn McGuire, Sue Duff, Kristi Helvig, and A.G. Henley
There was also plenty of opportunity to catch up with my writer friends, have a drink, and plan all the next moves. If you're not already familiar with Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, here is the link to their website. They offer lots of fantastic programming throughout the year for writers looking to improve their craft and make connections to other writers in their local community.