Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Author Confessional: Feelings

Today we're going to be personal and touchy feely. That's right, we're going on a field trip into my mind! I hope your mom's packed you a sack lunch and your dad slipped you a mini bottle of whisky, because you'll probably need it. I feel, in this path of writer/authorhood, it's important to document the highs and lows on a blog. To show you're a real person. And to be a lesson to others that you're not alone in your feelings.

 Dear god, I hope I'm not alone in how I feel right now. 



Every day, from the moment I wake up to the moment I sleep, this has been my 'feelings routine' for 2 months: I wake up feeling determined to start the day off right, switch almost instantly into lazy mode, then I'm fed up with being lazy but too lazy to do anything about it. I feel intimidated by my writing, then several hours later feel perfectly fine with writing and wondering why I was so intimidated. From there to I go from being happy, optimistic, and confident to where I am now: fearful.

And the sad thing is, this has been my emotional schedule every single day for two months. Constant strong feelings in the same pattern that I can't seem to shake.

I feel like I'm both drowning and swimming at the same time. I feel like there's so much I've accomplished--and that it's actually very little. I'm a published author. With a publishing house. One of my other stories--a modern day sci fi--has gotten interest from another fairly larger online publishing house. I'm working (slower than I had hoped) on my novellas. I'm determined to write and finish a full novel before November. And if I can, start a second one.

On paper, these look like amazing achievements. I'm sure one year ago me is just over the moon at that paragraph I just wrote. But present day me looks at the yawning future of the rest of the year and says with horror: "You're no where near where you need to be. You're a sinking ship and you lost your ores. What are are you thinking?"

This is fine. Just fine.

What am I thinking? What am I doing? I sit here, my hands attached to the keyboard, writing sometimes, reading often, but not DOING anything. I watch as my other author and writer friends get invited to podcasts, radio shows, host writing classes, meet up with each other for writing sessions, do book signings, win awards for competitions, get picked up to speak at panels, or get picked up by traditional publishing houses.

And I sit here. Doing none of those things.

Am I not taking my career seriously enough? Am I not trying hard enough? How the hell do I even break into the world and the level they're in? I don't seem to know the right people or the right magical spell to get there. My brain keeps screaming at me, telling me I should be much further along. I should be trying so much harder, being better. Being more. But how does one be more when one doesn't know how to?

I'm at a loss. Right now, in this moment, I don't know what to do. Part of me says "well you did the best you could. Maybe this is all we get." and another part says "you're not doing good enough. You're not trying hard enough. You're not being extreme enough. You're not suffering enough." and still another part of me says "everything will be okay. Things'll work out."

But it's a very tiny, wavery voice compared to the other two. She doesn't seem to be very confident.

I try hard to stay positive. I try very hard. But it's hard when you want to achieve more and be more but don't know how---or know the people who can tell you how to do it--let alone help you do that.


Yes, last year's me would be impressed. This moment's me is very disappointed. I look at my future and can't seem to find my dreams there. At least not with what I'm doing right now. And I don't know how to change course. A lucky windfall? A helping hand? Selling all of my things and living on the streets so I can gain perspective and 10 different kinds of diseases while I blog about it? I don't know. But in 8 hours I'll wake up from sleeping and I'll begin my emotional process all over again. What will change it, I don't know.

I don't know a lot of things. And I used to think I did.

But I know I don't like this rut I'm in. I know I want to be more. I know that the future isn't set and stone and I still have time to achieve things. But in this moment, it feels like my dreams are further away than when I started, and the things I was sure would help me get there aren't working. I'm at a loss.

Does anyone have a compass?

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

LET'S TALK YA: Teens & Decision Making in YA

Okay y'all. I promised you another controversial topic in the YA series---and to those who chatted with me in the comments from last week's post: THANK YOU. I think it's the first time I've gotten to actually talk with you all! I....I may have teared up a little.

So to get you all up in arms again we're going to talk about a topic that's actually near and dear to my heart as both a writer and a reader.

Are you ready? Prepare yourselves because I'm about to give you a mic drop that's gonna hurt.

Ready?

No matter how smart or dumb your teen character is, they'll be hated by at least half of all readers.

That's you, with your mind blown right now. I know.

That's right friends. You, as a writer of teen novels are screwed. Because no matter how authentically you write your teen---hell, you could be a teenage writer---you're going to have an entire army of readers who will swear up and down their high school halls, that your teen isn't how a normal teen acts. Or isn't how smart/dumb a teen is.

SO LETS TALK ABOUT THAT WITH A SKIT:

Writer: *writes a teen MC who has nice parents but hates them and yells at them and go against them.*  *Gets drunk at a party at Cindy-lou's house and crashes her parents car*

Teen/Adult Reader: That's so unfair! I would/have never have done that! I'm not/wasn't stupid! Teens make good decisions you know, and we don't all go to parties to get drunk!

Writer: *Writes a teen who calmly thinks things though and comes to a logical decision about their love life or friend who wasn't good for them and cuts them out of their life*

Teen/Adult Reader: This so not how a teen acts! She/he is too mature! No one that age makes mature, rational decisions like that!
Writer: *gives up and goes off to write sci-fi*

So what did we learn from this boys and girls?

That's right!

No matter what you do, a group of teens/adult readers are going to say that you're misrepresenting the teenagers of the world.

This was me after reading a review of my book

But really, if you look closely at the skit, you'll see the real reason why you can't win as a writer writing teenagers:

Every reader compares their teen experience and IQ's to your Main Character.

No matter what you do writer, your teenager is going to be too smart, or too dumb for certain groups of your target audience.

I hate hate hate when I hear people complain about a character making a poor life decision in a book. Because they always start with "I was never like that as a teen" or "I would never make that decision!" before going on into why they think the teenager in the book isn't realistic. THEY'RE TEENAGERS, NOT 30 YEAR OLDS. And honestly, I know 30, 40, and 50 year olds who make horrible life choices.

How is a teen making poor (or good) decisions NOT NORMAL? I'm the first to admit to you, here and now, that growing up I was that kid that looked at other people (including adults) making bad choices in life and saying "yeah, that looks bad, I'm not gonna do that." When I hit high school I constantly found myself shaking my head at the people around me making really shitty life decisions. (Oh yes, there was a reason I never dated in High School and stayed safely tucked away in the art room)

But the thing is, I understand that just as there are teens like me who stared at those making bad life choices and didn't make them, so were there students who MADE those bad decisions. But people--especially readers--like to put things in boxes that they can understand and relate to, especially compared to themselves or their life experiences and those around them.

breeeeeaathhh

After getting angry at people getting angry at teen decision making skills, I calmed down, drank tea, and thought harder about it. And here's what I've come up with:

It isn't that teen and adult readers get mad at the teenagers simply for being too smart or too immature for their age (although some do). What they get mad/frustrated at are teenage MCs who go against their personality and beliefs as was first set up by the author.

EXAMPLE TIME:

MC 1: *grew up with very bookish  mother who says to never trust men because they'll only hurt you in the end. She's very bookish and smart and levelheaded* *meets a boy* *automatically jumps into his arms and helps covers up his drug selling business.*

MC 2: *grows up in a trailer park and is surrounded by people who constantly give him bad advice on how to live life.* *starts stealing cars* *meets a love interest and automatically changes everything they were taught and is suddenly making smart, educated, well thought out decisions despite dropping out of school after 6th grade*

You're going to get mad because the characters are set up to make bad decisions/ not be stupid and tumble so fast and hard that they change everything about their morals, values, and life experiences. it's out of character for what the writer has clearly said they were as a person. That's when you start getting the screams of 'I would never do that/I wasn't like that as a teen/this isn't believable'

Writing teens in YA is a delicate, frustrating experience as a writer, because no matter what you do, you're pretty much going to get people mad at you for how you portray a teenager. Even if you're a teen writer yourself. You're going to get flack. And it's frustrating because as a writer (which means you're also a reader) you're used to being able to relate to many a character in a book regardless of decision making skills (or genre) because you can IMAGINE being that character and making those poor/good choices.

But a lot of readers (who aren't writers) can't.

They see themselves in the characters, and that's that. If it isn't something they would personally decide themselves, your character is too mature/immature.

I know....I know.

AND ONE LAST THING I WANT TO POINT OUT

Teenagers are supposed to make mistakes. They aren't supposed to make the right decisions or stay levelheaded in dire circumstances. Human beings can't even do that most of the time, regardless of age, anyway. But teens in books are still figuring themselves and society out themselves. They have 50 million extra lbs of testosterone and estrogen coursing through their lil' bodies. Of course they're gonna make mistakes (no matter how small or big).

If every character everywhere always made the right choice there would be no books, guys. 


And if reading about young people making bad decisions, or even levelheaded decisions in stressful times, makes you angry then maybe don't read YA. Just saying.

So what about you fellow readers and writers!? What are your thoughts on teenagers making decisions in YA? Do you think teens are portrayed as immature, poor thinkers? Or do you think teenagers in YA react too maturely in dangerous situations?

When you write teens do you base their decision making skills/maturity on your own experiences growing up, or do you just let the character be as immature/mature as they need to be?

LETS DISCUSS BELOW! I can't wait to hear your thoughts! 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

LET'S TALK YA: Insta-Love & People Who Hate It

Okay, internet, I'm gonna lay it out straight for you, and you're probably going to hate me.

No wait.

If you're an avid YA book reading teenager reading this you're probably going to hate me.

It's okay, I understand. I still love you.

Welcome to PART ONE (of how many parts, who knows! I don't plan things. I'm not a planner okay!?) of YA Topics I want to talk about.

Today we're going to be tackling one of the biggest complaints that seems to be getting A LOT OF CRAP lately from readers. Grab some sun guys, there's gonna be a lot shade thrown here today. And now your topic for today:

INSTA-LOVE IN YA


(Me, as I see a wall of angry people running at me)

"Puh-leeeez." I hear you saying. "Of course we should complain about it! There's so many stupid freaking love triangles! And those MC's (main character) always meet the protagonist and then fall in love RIGHT AWAY. All. The. time. We're so sick of those things! WE DON'T WANT IT ANYMORE."

But here's the thing guys. Are you ready for me to ruin your dreams? Because here it comes.

YOU WANT IT. 


(ALL OF YOUR FACES RIGHT NOW)

That's right. Be angry. Then let it go so you can read my next words without a haze of murder obscuring your view.

I'm sure you think I'm insane for saying that. I'm not. I mean, I'm crazy-ish, but not about this.  The fact is, "insta-love" is a real life phenomenon.

The people who complain about the MC's falling in love right away get pissed because they themselves feel they would NEVER do something so stupid. They would never do anything as dumb as see someone and just...fall. But you know what?

You know someone who has.

Everyone knows someone (or is that someone) whose fallen in love--or at least lust--at first sight. It might exasperate you, it might make you say 'awwww' and try to get them together, but in the end a MC falling in love at first sight in a book is actually an everyday, real life fucking occurrence. 

"But it's not believable when they do it! No one just falls in love without knowing them! NO ONE."

To which I say:



You wanna know whose fallen in love--or crushed--on someone at first sight in books? Like, doesn't know anything about them and they just liked their face?

-Harry Potter
-Romeo/Juliet
-Anyone in a John Green novel, basically.
-So many more I don't have time. Or space.

People who fall in love (or lust) at first sight in real life:

-SO MANY PEOPLE, GUYS. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. 

AND YOU LOVED IT. because it was done well.

Now here's what's actually causing your anger and disbelief about insta-love in books: It isn't someone falling head over heels at first sight. It's when both parties look at each other and say--maybe even out loud--"oh yes, I've waited for you my whole life and we've been fated and destined to be together FOREVER" to the person they haven't even spoken to yet.

Is it annoying? Oh my god yes. But have I had friends in Jr. High and High School write those words in a text to their significant other that they've only just met and dated for a few hours?
Why yes, yes I have. 

(I've literally had a stranger do this & pour their romance woes to me on a train. I guess I seem like a talk show host who cares?)

There's also something readers (especially older readers between the ages of 19-23) seem to forget. You're reading about teenagers. TEENAGERS. And usually 'younger' main characters who are 14-16.

You're not reading about a 24 year old whose figured things out about love and themselves (and even that's debatable).

And if the romantic life choices of teens annoys you, maybe you shouldn't be reading about teens.

I'M JUST SAYIN'.

The thing is guys, believability and relatability to a character's love life is actually really important to teens. Because love is important to them. Because in real life, everyday, a teenager sees another teenager and falls in love without knowing the person. That really happens in real life. Every. Single. DAY.

And for those who don't want love of any sot in their YA books? I'm sorry to say, but love DOES often drive a book no matter the genre, whether you realize it or not. It's one of the strongest emotions we have that gets shit done, next to anger (and that anger can almost always be traced back to love. The lack of it, want of it, or the taking away of it).

So to say that 'falling in love at first sight' isn't believable or realistic or something that doesn't happen in real life, just isn't a correct statement--or true.




Even if that love in real life doesn't last, people can and do take one look at a person and feel their stomach flutter and their brain scream "this is the one". Even if  'the one' only lasts a few weeks. For that instant--without perhaps even speaking--that person has, in fact, fallen in love as they understand love to be.

Now, don't get me wrong. I chose plot over love in my YA, because I love plot. But I absolutely need a love interest. There needs to be some sort of love in the story for me. I need characters to fall in love with someone. Because I write fanfic, and I need characters I can ship and draw together!

Some people don't want any love at all in their YA. And that's fine. I understand that. But it's also pretty much impossible. Because more often than not, people fall in love at some point (NOT ALL people, but like...the vast majority). And a story without love, or even a hint of it left open ended that fans can latch onto and ship in fanfic, is hard to do. Almost impossible.

So now that I've got you all mad and annoyed at me, let me know what you think!

Do you like love in your YA? Do you think YA is putting love first and plot second? Do you think insta-love isn't realistic or something that happens irl?


PLEASE LET ME KNOW!

And while you're thinking about it, allow me shamelessly plug my own YA book, Brenna Morgan and the Iron Key which DOES NOT HAVE: 

-Love Triangles

Or

-Love as the main plot (but there's a love plot in it)

You can buy the kindle version here:

The physical copy here



AND ENJOY THE TRAILER YO! 



Wednesday, April 12, 2017

REAL TALK: Failing When You're Winning.

Hi everyone! How has your past....*checks calendar* five months been? A little up? A little down? A little like the whole world getting smacked in the face and then slammed onto the mat? Or like you woke up from a party you don't remember going to, in some one else's dorm room with a tie around your head?

Yeah.

I feel that.

But I'm not going to bemoan the political world right now--because that's not what my title implied, now is it? No. Today we're going to talk about that wonderfully awful thing all artists (well....most artists?) have:


SELF-DOUBT! 

Oh yes, you've found the right place my friends!

I hear you right now. But Katie, you're published with a real digital publishing house! You...you have blue hair and a booktube channel that you never update anymore! You have tons of self confidence and reasons to have the self-esteem of  J.K. ROWLING.

And logically, you're right.

But my brain and my emotions are two different creatures, and I honestly don't know how they're even living in the same body, guys! 

Me, every time logic and my emotions collide

I honestly don't know what to do with myself. Because technically, I'm winning. I'm published. I've got a plethora of talented artists (or is it a gaggle? What do you call a large amount of artists coming together, actually?) who gave their advice, talents, time, and vast amounts of patience to help make my debut novel *shameless plug* make as big a splash as it can without 5.3 million dollars to back it up.

I've got friends who put up with my 3 am panic attacks of "I don't think I'm doing this right! I think I'm failing!" and depressed mopes of "I'm never going to be an anybody. No one's even buying my novella. Look at all these authors getting book deals with the Big 5, and movie deals, and hobnobbing with other famous authors at company parties, and being invited as guests to ComicCon. I'M NEVER GOING TO BE THAT."

Seriously, how are my friends still friends with me after hearing that? How are you still reading this!?

But that's what I mean.

I've got horrible self-esteem issues. I doubt myself at least fifty times a day in between manic moments of "I'm doing great!". I'm winning, but I feel like I'm failing. Every time I feel like I've gotten back on my feet and regained a small portion of self-esteem, my eyes catch hold of news of an author signing a movie deal. Or that they're going to be signed with a contract that will enable them to never need to worry about whether they can feed their cat again, or look for *shudders* an office job to pay bills.

My self-confidence plummets. I look at myself and think "what are you doing with your life? You're not trying hard enough. You're not being enough. You're not going in the right direction."

And basically, every self-doubt in my head comes back full force and I end up like this for days.





A friend recently, and rationally, pointed out to me that I was "just starting out." and that this was only my "first book".

And she's right.

I'm just starting. My logical brain agrees, but my emotions don't. I feel like I'm doing nothing. I feel like the things I'm doing aren't, or won't be, enough.

And maybe, maybe, this feeling of ineptness I have--this feeling of not being or doing enough, will be like the time I sobbingly wrote a Facebook post about how I wasn't sure I was ever going to make it as a writer only to get an offer for my book less than two months later.

Maybe.

Maybe I'll look back in three months at this post with a pay check signed to me for a million dollars and laugh at my past self's doubts. Maybe!

I know you're not supposed to compare your beginning to other people's middle (or ending). But it's so hard to do that when everyone around you seems to be leaps and bounds ahead of you at younger age. It makes me feel like I haven't been trying hard enough regardless of the fact that I'm only just starting.

My last post was about how I felt like I wasn't an author.

I still kind of don't. It feels clunky and weird in my mouth when some one asks me what I do and I say "I'm an author". I feel like I'm not.

Hell, I haven't written in basically 3 weeks because I've felt so stressed out about it all. As an author trying to--you know--make a living as a writer, that's not exactly a great thing to not be doing right now.

And, on a personal note (because clearly, this post isn't personal enough), my day job ends in June. A job that I actually really, really loved doing, and that I haven't really put into action, a plan for finding a new job (because book sales will be fine, right!?). And at the same time my job ends, I'll be getting a pay check with all my earnings from my debut novel right as summer hits.

I have to pray to the writing gods above that whatever meager marketing ideas I know how to do, were enough that I don't have to worry about finding another job for a few months while I hammer out the second book in my series.





I'm a published author. But I still feel like I'm failing even when a lot of the signs say I'm winning. So why doesn't it feel like I'm winning?

I'm still trying to figure it out. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

How To Edit (as told by a newbie author who has no idea what they're doing)

     Hey! Hi! Welcome! If you've read any of my past installments or are fairly new you'll have discovered 3 things about me fairly rapidly:

1) I say I update every Monday and/or Wednesday but really it's whatever Monday or Wednesday I remember to post on. Oops?

2) I love gifs and lists too much and kind of don't care

3) I use more words than needed when writing like....anything.

     In other news you might have also correctly surmised that I've recently(ish) become a published author! Whaaaaat!? That's right! You're reading a blog post written by a newly minted author who has no idea how it actually works. I mean, I thought I did. But I was wrong.

SO. WRONG. 




      Basically my mental/emotional process went like this as the 'landmarks' went by that all seasoned author's tell you to enjoy and savor:

-Get book picked up: OMG YAAAY! It doesn't feel real!
-Sign contract: OMG YAY! It still doesn't feel real! Shouldn't I be feeling more excited?

-Get book trailer made thanks to amazing artistic friends: OMG OMG OMG THIS IS SO COOL! OMG I'M SO STRESSED. Book getting publish STILL doesn't feel real. Should I be worried?

-See book cover: OMG IT'S SO BEAUTIFUL! Are you sure this is my book? Are you sure? It doesn't feel real. I don't feel like an author yet. I know! When I get my edits back! THAT'S when it'll all feel real and I'll feel like I've really made it!

-Get edits back: OMG EDITS! I....still feel like my book isn't getting published. WHY? Why don't I feel all tingly and smart and smug!?! Aren't I supposed to feel like I have a place in the writing world now!? AREN'T I!?!?

THIS IS CURRENTLY WHERE I LIVE NOW. FOREVER.


     Bascially my entire process has been "I don't feel like an author yet". Is that weird? Has anyone whose gotten published felt this way? 'Cause it feels not real to me. Every time one of the big milestones happened I felt....anticlimactic. And getting my edits back really cemented that.

     What I was expecting with my edits was them finding everything I'd done wrong (and believe me, I know I have some weak plot points etc, but don't know how to fix them) and just run me into the ground and help/tell me how to fix it/make it stronger.
That isn't what happened.

    I got edits back and it was line editing. Which is great! Which is fine! It means that they're going through and fixing grammar, writing, and tightening up sentences and catching little inconsistencies etc. But all of my less than strong scenes or problems that I knew I would need help with?

Not a single comment or advice.



      Being very confused I asked my much more experienced writer friend Caitlin Jones what the heck was going on. Why wasn't it bleeding red? Why were my problems not addressed? HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO KNOW WHAT IS WRONG SO I CAN FIX IT!?!? I like criticsm if it's constructive. And this article gives a good overview of what different types of editing there is. Basically we skipped past the Structural Editing and made a mad crazy dash into Copy Editing.

     And that's great. Really. I mean, we all need copy editing! That stuff's important! But Yeah. No structural editing--which secretly in my author heart, I know I need. I even willingly admit it here on my blog! Because I'm honest like that!

    Caitlin, whose edited, and who has experience in the field told me that its often normal for small printing presses to mainly do Copy Editing. Which basically means I have to call myself on my own crap and fix it. Which is fine! I'm overly critical of myself anyway. Like, I'm worse than a mother-in-law visiting for a married couples first thanksgiving. But the problem is that I don't know HOW to fix my faults.
I was kinda counting on them to catch it tell me how fix it.


     So now I'm left with two choices:

1) Tell the editor where my problems are and ask them how to fix it

2) Not tell my editor and try to fix it myself. WITH WINE.

     It doesn't seem so bad right, informing the editor where you messed up. But like, I've never done this before. I don't what to expect. I had expected gashing wounds in my book. Instead I got a scraped knee that requires neosporin and a hug, not gauze and some stitches. Which I know just isn't true. I think that's why it feels so anticlimactic. I had assumed a blood bath and it wasn't. And I know I'm not so good that there isn't plot mistakes somewhere (see? Super harsh and judgmental on myself).

     So my editing goal is this:

     Fix what she wants me to fix in line edits, re-write stuff (because honestly my writings improved in the past year and I can make it better!) and then ask the editor if she can do Structural Editing. I don't even know if you need a degree in that specific kind of editing.

     Editors, do they teach you that in editing school? Is there an editing school? If not, I feel there should be!

     So that's how to edit. Sort of. Sorry I can't give you good advice in this post. If you're as confused as I am, well then ladies gents, welcome to my world right now.







Wednesday, October 26, 2016

I Can't Smell The Roses: And other sad tales of busy writers

     Last week I had the honor of revealing to you my book cover and  the podcast of my very first interview as an author! I'm sure you were as excited as I was right!? Right!?.......okay maybe not. But you were probably pretty close! But as I re-read and re-looked (is that grammatically correct? Do I care? I feel like I don't care.) at my previous post something became glaringly obvious to me.

I can't smell the roses. 

      I've been so busy getting the book trailer ready, talking to other authors, lining up blog tours and author interviews, writing, and trying to come up with a fun and funny booktube video, that I've been unable to appreciate and enjoy the things happening to me. To be fair, it's hard to enjoy things when you're stressed out, but still. I can't enjoy to the fullest all of these little milestones of author-dome. Why, you ask? Because I've got too much to do.

Please excuse me while I cry into my wine glass
      A friend recently told me to enjoy the things coming my way, and appreciate all of these 'firsts'. In fact, I also recall reading an author's blog article a couple of months ago saying the same thing. That when you get picked up to enjoy all the things like signing your first book, getting your first interview, seeing your first book cover, etc because you'll never have that feeling again. I recall the first few minutes (okay hours) of elation and then it was right back to stressing. Stressing over all the little things and my mind screaming at me to start really tackling everything.

      I don't have time to appreciate the small moments. But I also realize that some of the small moments passed me by because I was stressing about them--not enjoying them. I also found that what I thought would be a marker and indication of having 'made it' didn't feel like I had. Instead I've felt like I'm so very far behind and not doing anything right or well enough.

That goal that I thought was the finish line turned out not to be and some loser just moved the actual finish line a good 100 feet away.


       
       Every time I think "you know, I did it! I got picked up! My books getting published and I'm closer to bringing awesome Irish mythology back!" I then realize that it's never going to happen if I don't start doing promotion and million other things that I hadn't thought of or expected to do. Are they fun things? Mostly! But they're things that also slightly stress me out and make me realize that I don't know as much as I think I do. And that things I thought would mean "you made it" don't feel that way. And it has me wondering:

Is it always going to feel like this?

       Because if so, that sucks. I don't feel euphoric and smart and savvy. I feel inept and like I'm falling behind. I long for the day I get to sign a book and NOT be stressed about it. But I don't know if that'll ever happen, honestly. Is this normal? Is it normal for authors who get picked up to feel more stressed than excited? To feel more overwhelmed than confident? 

      I'm trying my best to enjoy things. I have moments. For instance I get a really stupid grin on my face whenever some one asks me what I do and I get to say "My books getting published" and "I'm an author". For a brief moment my adrenaline kicks in and I feel super super happy, but overall it doesn't feel quite real or as major and massive as I thought it would feel. Is that weird? I feel like it is. I can't smell the roses or have my cake and eat it too. And I really really want to.

      In the mean time I'll anxiously wait for October 31st, when my book trailer comes out. Supposedly. I'm really really excited and proud of it. It was a labor of love and dedication and just incredible amounts of talent. I don't even know how I pulled it off or got lucky enough to have such talented friends. But boy do I! Now excuse me, I have a glass of wine calling my name and Hawaiian music begging me to take a bath. And as they say in those wonderful black and white films:


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

MY BOOK COVER REVEAL & MORE!

Hello everyone! I hear you on the other side of the internet, screaming at me. I believe the general gist of the words are along the lines of "you were supposed to reveal the cover on Monday!"

Yes. Yes you're right. But if you know me--and lets face it, if you follow my blog you know my major downfall--then you're not surprised by my tardiness since updating and procrastinating preeeettty much mean the same thing to me. I blame my Publishing House?

What? I can't? Oh.

I blame the friends that plied with wine in celebration then.

And what are we celebrating? WHY MY BOOK COVER REVEAL OF COURSE!



That's right ladies and gentlemen, I wasn't lying when I said that my book got picked up by a wonderful digital publishing house that goes by the name of Fire & Ice YA! They're the YA (young adult) imprint of Melange LLC, and they are wonderful and beautiful and awesome! I wish I could come up with more eloquent words to adequately describe them, but I can't at this moment since I lack a thesaurus and I'm too lazy to open a new tab.

My life the past month has been an insane whirlwind of both good and bad. Stress and mad insane changes that I'm surprised I survived. Like losing a job, putting together a band of artists together to make a trailer while spending money I didn't have, and then gaining a new job at the end of the filming. And doing all of that with no sleep or showers. Yes. I'm surprised I managed to survive too!

And amidst all of this I had to beg my publishing house and sacrifice some books to the book gods to make a cover for me. One would think this wouldn't be a rude thing to ask, but you need to remember this: I haven't even gotten my edits back, I'm a newbie author, and my book isn't due out until next year (dates to come! I've been told January so far). But I wanted a cover for my book trailer.

What's it like to make a book cover? Well if you're me, then surprisingly simple! Well...'simple'. Mainly it was me saying "I want this! And this and this and this and this!" and my poor (but wonderful, talented, and exceeeeeedingly patient) cover artist Caroline Andrus gently pulling me away from my insanity and showing me a better cover design. She compromised and I compromised and together (but mainly it was all Caroline's work!) we created a beautiful beautiful cover that I personally would drool over. Okay, did drool over.

Seeing it still makes me grin this really stupid grin and then its quickly followed by a sinking heart. Because the cover is so pretty and encapsulates the book so well. And I kind of have this fear that my book won't live up to the gorgeousness that is this cover. Like.....is that normal? I don't know. But having this cover has truly cemented into my head that I've been picked. My book got accepted and in a few short months teens and adults are going to be buying and reading the world I made.

And it's really actually kind of terrifying.

I come from the generation of the first Fan Fiction writers online, and I'm used to trolls and people ripping my work apart. But that was Sailor Moon and I was 13. This book is my world. These are my characters and my blood, sweat, and tears all tumbled and tossed into Irish Mythology and Folklore.

Oh god.

What if my cover is prettier than my writing?

Well, its too late to turn back now as my friends cheerfully tell me. So now I present to you the thing you've all been waiting for. ARE YOU READY? ARE YOU!?!? *puts on audio clap track* Great!

I present to you the first book cover of my trilogy:

BRENNA MORGAN AND THE IRON KEY



ISN'T IT BEAUTIFUL!?!

 ISN'T IT!?!??!

I can't tell you how many times my poor cover artist heard this phrase: "Can you make the borders more....gold?" I'm sorry Caroline! AND THANK YOU FOR DOING IT EVEN THOUGH YOU DOUBTED MY NEED FOR SHINY SHINY GOLD. Blame the Good Folk? Actually wait, don't do that. Blame me.

And now the countdown begins because if all goes well and my freaking amazing and talented Director Philip Gadrow is right, my book trailer for this book will be out for Halloween day! THAT'S RIGHT! MY BOOK TRAILER WILL BE OUT OCTOBER 31ST!

......probably!

So for now, have a gander at this beautiful book cover and be jealous that you have to wait until January to obtain it!

There'll be a pre-order date for it as well, and I highly highly encourage you to pre-order it. Mainly because if you pre-order it and you order a physical copy of the book it will be delivered to you ON YOUR DOOR STEP the day that it's released online and you can gloat to all the people who order it on the day of and have to wait 3 to 5 days for the copy to reach their sad, empty hands!

Please let me know what you think of the cover in comments below, because I love hearing opinions!

ALSO I'VE BEEN BUSY! I was on a podcast as an author--MY FIRST AUTHOR INTERVIEW! I was interviewed by the wonderful Emma Hardcastle and her new podcast channel The White Room! If you want, or have time, you can view my awkwardness right here! YUP I'll keep myself here on this page for all of you to make fun of! I'll also be doing several blog tours and author interviews and share the links as they come up! In the mean time: ENJOY ALL THE AWESOMENESS!