Fantasy Vs. Reality (or, Inside A Writer’s Head)

Sometimes the inside of a writer’s head is a scary place.  Well, mildly disturbing at least.  And that’s not just because there may be several characters living in her head at once which may result in repeating dialogue aloud or even laughing out of the blue at an idea for  scene–both of which can lead to very funny looks from people nearby.

There’s also a phenomenon that occurs with writers–at least it does with me–in which said writer pounds out a thousand words or so with great delight at the result only to go back and reread them the next day and wonder if perhaps she was under the influence of medication at the time she wrote them.  That happens with me a lot.  The doubts, I mean, not the medication…

Do you know what I mean?

It’s like creating a beautiful landscape in your backyard, and when you plan it out in your head it looks like this:

DSC00186

And yet somehow the reality turns out more like this:

DSC01424

Sigh.  Ah, well.  That’s what editing is for, right?  Here’s hoping the writing goes better than the gardening!  🙂

Yay! Another Review Of The Bargain!

Happy day!  Another reviewer reviewed my book!  And in case you couldn’t tell, she liked it!

TheBargainCover

Today I woke up to a lovely 4-star review of The Bargain.  Love to start my day that way!  Thank you, Harlequin Junkie, for the review!  If you’d like to read the whole review, check it out here.  And please feel free to leave your own review on Amazon if you’ve read the book.  Reviews are much appreciated!

Twitter For Dummies

It’s time…  [whimper]

Up until now, I’ve told myself I was doing great just getting a website going and learning how to use Facebook to post funny pictures of grumpy cats, but everybody keeps saying that writers MUST include Twitter as part of their social media platform, so…here I go.

I actually signed up for a Twitter account months ago, I’ve just never tweeted anything because, well, I don’t know how.  But not to worry!  I found several books that claim to be able to help someone as fearful of modern technology as I am.  So I’m diving into Twitter with Stacey Myers’ book How To Twitter at my side.  (I almost got the Dummies book, but this one had higher ratings.  And the title doesn’t hurt my self-esteem.)

You know what I like about this book?  It’s broken up into “Daily Do-ables” which are mini-lessons meant to soothe frightened Twitter newbies like myself with their level of simplicity. For example, lesson 1 is merely “Opening an Account.”  Nice and easy, taking it slow.  Truthfully, it’s still a little fast-paced for my tastes–I would have preferred something like “Lesson 1:  Uncurling From the Fetal Position” and “Lesson 2:  Approaching Your Computer–No Sudden Movements.”  But…I’ll do my best.

I don’t anticipate tweeting anything terribly witty anytime soon; probably it will just be things like “Have tweeted twice today without losing bladder control! #dry pants.”  To follow along for exciting updates, follow me at https://twitter.com/FeldmanCS!

Wish me luck!  With the tweeting, I mean, not the bladder control.

Do Reviews REALLY Matter? (Hint: The Answer Is NOT No…)

When you’re a relatively new and struggling author, reviews of your books are VERY important.  Well, maybe they’re important if you’re a wildly successful author, too, but I don’t have quite the same personal insight into that perspective as I do the former.  I’ll let you know if that changes anytime soon.

Bottom line is…reviews matter.  And I’m talking about reader reviews, too, not just reviews from professional book reviewers or organizations.

Reviews tell a writer that somebody was interested enough to pick up his or her book and actually read it, which feels incredibly wonderful!  Unless, of course, the reviews are unflattering, in which case I suppose it feels more like a kick to the gut–or maybe someplace a little lower if they’re especially harsh…

But the point is, somebody read the book!  Yay!  Writer’s existential crisis averted!

But there’s a lot more to reviews than I first realized, and maybe more than you realized, too.  Until recently, I had no idea that books on Amazon only became eligible to participate in the Kindle Daily Deals once they earned at least 10 reviews, and this is important to an author because Kindle Daily Deals are seen by tons of readers and represent an incredible opportunity to become known to the general public.  Eligible doesn’t mean a shoe-in, but it’s a start.

There’s more, though…

Rumor has it that there are other promotional opportunities on Amazon that an author can’t become eligible for until he or she earns a certain number of reviews, like the “If You Liked This Book You Might Like ______” or “Buy This Book With That Book” for a special discount price.  And once you reach 75 or 80 reviews, I think you win a car.  Or something.  The details are a little fuzzy right now…

But anyway, reviews definitely matter.  They don’t have to be lengthy reviews that analyze subtext and note similarities between the work in question and Anna Karenina or anything like that.  They just have to be honest.  And hopefully respectful, even if the reader didn’t particularly care for the book.

So please make a writer’s day and leave a review!  And if you want to compare his or her book to Anna Karenina, you go right ahead.

Cover Art Reveal

So for my first two books, I didn’t have to do a whole lot as far as the cover art was concerned because the publisher had its own resources to create that.  All I had to do was offer a little input and cross my fingers that the final result didn’t include a Fabio lookalike.  Mission accomplished, right?

ComingHomeCover                    TheBargainCover

Nary a hint of Fabio to be seen.  Whew!  [wipes forehead in relief]

But now that I’m also going to try self-publishing on Amazon, I need to tackle cover art myself.  Now I could hire someone to do it for me using fancy schmancy software, but that can get expensive.  Besides, I figure I’m creative enough to come up with something on my own, right?  And boy, did I!  I think I totally nailed it.  What do you think?

cover

I’d buy this book.  Wouldn’t you?

🙂

And One More…

I’ve got one more giveaway going on for a copy of The Bargain and a guest post on Book Lovers Inc. (you can tell it’s book release week, can’t you?)  Since my latest heroine, Shannon, is a tomboy, the guest post is sort of a tribute to tomboys with one of my personal favorites being Watts from the movie Some Kind of Wonderful.  If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s an eighties classic, and I particularly like the very last line of the film, too; if that’s not one of the sweetest things a guy has ever said to a girl in film, I don’t know what is.

Check out the guest post here, if you get a chance, and leave a comment to be eligible to win a copy of The Bargain.

TheBargainCover

I also wanted to share a review I got for Coming Home recently but only discovered last night.  It really gave me a boost.

ComingHomeCover

Eboni at The Serial Reader emailed me to let me know she had posted the review several days ago; I, like a big ol’ doofus, had somehow missed it.  She said some wonderful things about my writing and about the book.  You can read it here, if you’re interested.  (Thanks, Eboni!)

Happy Wednesday!  🙂

Ornithology & Romance

Actually about the only thing ornithology has to do with this particular post is a very loose reference to ducks and swans.  Specifically, ugly ducklings and the swans who love them. Sounds like an upcoming episode of Jerry Springer, doesn’t it?  Hoo boy.  Yeah, that’s romantic.

Today I’m a guest blogger on the Crimson Romance website, and since the post is about my book, The Bargain, I wrote about having a heroine who is a kind of ugly duckling character.  I had a lot of fun writing a story about an ugly duckling heroine who ends up winning the love of a heartthrob swan who has issues of his own.  Plain Janes are just a lot more appealing to me as a writer than personifications of perfection.  Besides, who doesn’t like to root for the underdog?

Check out the post here, and please feel free to leave a comment!  Bloggers and writers love it when people leave comments.  Otherwise it feels like we’re just talking to ourselves, and they say only crazy people do that…

I Scream, You Scream…

Despite the title of this blog post, the topic of it is NOT anything from the horror genre but instead is all about today being a very special day:  National Ice Cream Day!  Yipee!  Although if someone ever tries to take my ice cream away from me, I can guarantee there will be carnage and mayhem that would do any horror filmmaker proud.

Yep, it’s National Ice Cream Day!  Oh, and I have a book being released tomorrow…but mostly–It’s National Ice Cream Day!  That should give you some idea of the special place ice cream has in my heart.

I was appalled when I realized I didn’t actually have any ice cream on hand to honor this special day, so I immediately hurried to the store to get some.  See?

DSC01430

Because I believe in honoring tradition, dang it, and I honored the heck out of this one.  I also want you to know that I took great care to get the picture just right for this post.  I was forced to consume ice cream serving after ice cream serving because they kept melting during the photo shoot, but I care enough to get the job done right, so I pressed on.  I hope you appreciate my sacrifice and dedication.

Happy National Ice Cream Day!  Now go out and celebrate…

Because Zombies Need Love, Too

I’ll bet you were wondering when I was going to finally get around to doing a post about zombies, weren’t you?  Because if there are two things that ever went together, it’s zombies and romance.  Well, wait no more…

For a long time now it seems like vampires have reigned supreme on lots of bookshelves, with werewolves in a close second place, have you noticed?  Including in the romance section.  But more recently there seems to be another supernatural critter joining their ranks:  zombies.

Is the world ready for zombies in love?  Hmm…tough call.  AMC has certainly done its part to lend a certain respectability and critical acclaim to them with its popular show “The Walking Dead,” but even that doesn’t exactly portray zombies as romantic heroes.  (Although rumor has it that the show’s next season will feature a controversial yet touching love affair between Norman Reedus and a fetching legless member of the undead…Shh!  You didn’t hear it from me!  Okay, you did, but if pressed on the matter I will deny everything and claim my blog lied.)

Anyhoo…

The reason I’m bringing this up is because today, thanks to Facebook, I stumbled across a link to what I think is a very funny “dating site” for zombies called ZombieHarmony.  If you do check it out, be forewarned that there are some photos of the dating site’s “members” that include full-on zombie make-up, so make sure the little kiddies aren’t peeking over your shoulder when you look at it.  Generally speaking, I’m not a huge fan of the horror genre, but I am a big fan of humor, so I got quite a few giggles out of this particular web page.  Check it out here–if you dare…

Breaking The Rules (Somebody Else, Of Course, Not ME…)

Fellow Crimson author Melinda Dozier is celebrating her latest release, Breaking The Rules, and today she’s got a few other Crimson authors on her site sharing examples of how they have broken the rules and how their characters have done the same.  I’m in there, too, with The Bargain.  Yep, you know me, always the rebel…

Take a look here and see what some other authors are up to–and maybe get a lead on a new summer read.  And maybe leave a comment about how YOU might have broken the rules, too, you rebel you.  Like that time you did not rewind the video tape before taking it back to the rental place…

Wild and crazy stuff.  🙂