Friday, April 27, 2012

Because "New York" Is Dragging Their Heels

My original title was "Because New York Will Never Want You" - harsh, I know.  But that's what I thought getting published by anything but a traditional publisher was not so long ago.  My goals were fairly specific, they still are - write the best story I can and make a career publishing.  But it's self-publishing that I'm speaking of and I cringe when I read that original title now, but it's what I thought - then.

Things have changed in the publishing world and by default that has all tumbled down to the lonely world of the writer - even to this writer currently propped on her couch at 6:50 a.m. doing what I do - type.  Yes, the publishing world has radically changed,  even though I've seen it changing around me it was like I woke up one morning to an all new world.  Kind of like that first snow, one minute you're having margaritas on the deck and the next you're foraging through your winter clothes and wading into a world of ear-nipping white.

So now that change is officially here I thought there must be some way it can work for me.  I've previously discounted any thoughts of self publishing except maybe for a dog food recipe book but that - really, is another story and one you may not want to hear.  I know Rourke, from his curled ball of red fur at my feet, is in no mood to hear that there's thought to sharing those delectable salmon crunch cookies with anyone but him - never mind his Breakfast Over Easy.

Seriously, I'm contemplating what self-publishing means - not as a career but as the path for one story.  I know it doesn't guarantee any level of success and marketing comes with its own set of challenges.  The self-publishing market is awash with books that should never have been published for one reason or another but its also populated by some excellent reads too.  The Saskatchewan Writers Guild seems to have a good number of authors who are creating careers as self published authors, or in some cases, a combination of traditional and self-published.  That opened my eyes to opportunities.  For me it's not a career route but it's definitely a possibility as part of the journey.

Besides, it's a new world and it might be nice to dive into that sea of change just - well, to test it out and because I have a story that's hit the reject button with every publisher it fit both medium and large.   I didn't go to small press - I considered it and then I rejected that idea.  I know what that entails - I've been there before. 

I'll always have a soft spot for the small press world and I can't say I won't visit again with another story suited more to that world than any other.  Small press is a great experience, totally hands on, that delivers a fantastic product - just take a look at those covers.  From acceptance to publication, I can't imagine a better experience.  And, of course, they were my first.  That OMG moment when you do the long awaited little jig and realize that someone has finally said yes, that moment when you realize you are going to be a published author, for me, that all belongs to the world of the small press.  I'd love to go there again - wait, I did.  But a third time, for all the joy of publication, of readers discovering you and continuing the journey with another book - there's downsides too.  And at this point in my career, maybe this is a chance to take matters into my own hands and take a different look at publication and marketing. 

But back to the story in question.  It's a tale of suspense and romance in the jungles of Borneo.  It's a good story, at least I think so - I sure fought to make it one of the best - one I want to share. Those that have read it enjoyed it, even called it a favourite - or at least they told me so.  One publisher hinted that it just wasn't marketable in this climate.  Okay, what does that mean?  Darn it - I want to give this story a chance.  Stories are meant to be read.  So while I still want the traditional route, maybe this time I'll consider an alternative. It's an experiment that is still under consideration. 

And BTW - should "New York" come calling, I have no qualms about dancing that jig once again.

Any thoughts of stepping out of your "norm" this week?


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

On Tour With - The Reason Is You - Sharla Lovelace

Today I'm excited to welcome Sharla Lovelace with her new release "The Reason Is You." In addition to meeting the author and discovering another fascinating read, there's a chance to win a prize.  Sharla will be giving away a $20 gift certificate from either Amazon or Barnes and Noble to one lucky commenter over the course of her book tour.  So comment away, have a great day and good luck!

So let's lead things off with the question who is Sharla besides the author of a book with what appears to be a very intriguing ghost?   Here's her bio:

Sharla once hunted for crab in a Honduran jungle, and explored an unknown cave on her belly through a rabbit hole.  Not in the same night.

Now, she lives in Southeast Texas by the Neches River with her family, an old lady dog, and 19 cockatiels.  If you wonder how she writes with all that noise--the birds actually have their own house outside.  THE REASON IS YOU is her debut novel.

When she's not writing, doing the day job, or doing the family thing, she's stalking her Twitter feed.

And now I'm turning it over to Sharla who starts it off by finishing this sentence:   Life hasn't been quite the same since....   The hitch is that the story must be about a trip.  But that trip can be anything from a journey around the world to a jaunt to the corner store. 

Welcome Sharla

Life Hasn't Been Quite The Same Since...

Thanks for having me!

I'm not a big traveler.  I mean, I'd like to be, I'd like to be toodling around in a giant Winnebago or flying off to exotic locales like ones I read about.  But my very blue collar world doesn't include scenarios like that.  I've only really been on a few big trips in my life.

A big vacation when I was in the fourth grade brought me to the Grand Canyon and all up the West Coast.  I've been scuba diving in Grand Cayman and Cozumel and Honduras.  I've been to London.  I've been skiing to Taos, NM.   All of those things were in my twenties.  And I went to Vegas for my honeymoon.  That about sums up my traveling portfolio.

But one trip wasn't a vacation, stands out in my head as life altering.

When my daughter was five, her dad and I called it quits.  We were living in Colorado at the time, a beautiful, majestic place.  Also rivaling California for expensive living.  I couldn't afford to live there on my own, and I didn't want to.  It was time to move back home.  To Texas.  To family.

The small town I was going back to would be very different from what I was leaving behind.  I knew that.  I knew I was making the conscious choice to raise my daughter in an entirely different lifestyle.  She would be a blue-collar Texas girl, like I was.  So my dad and my brother rented a uHaul truck and drove the 2-day stretch to come help to pack up everything I owned, and we left.

I remember looking in the rearview mirror with tears in my eyes as I watched the big rock formation in Castle Rock, Colorado disappear around a bend.  I knew I'd never be back.  I felt the loss as I drove through the mountain passes and little picturesque towns.  I looked at my daughter, coloring in a Barbie coloring book, who really wasn't old enough to register what she was leaving behind, and both celebrated that fact and regretted it.

I got to spend precious moments with my dad, that I didn't really realize was precious at the time.  We stopped and ate at little mom and pop diners along the way, and stayed at the tiniest roach motel I've ever  I remember pulling up finally, at the end of the day, into my mother's driveway.   Thinking:  "I'm finally home" and "Oh my God, what have I done?" at the very same time.  I had no house, no job, no security for my daughter other than a support system of family.  I got us there two weeks before Kindergarten started, so she'd start in one place and not have to move in the middle.

One month later, I found a rent house and a job in the very same day.  And five years later my dad died...with my mom to follow eight months after that.  My choice gave my daughter a chance to know them, hang out with them almost daily.  She has deep rooted memories that I wish could have lasted longer but at least they are there.  She's 17 now, and remembers certain activities with them vividly.

I still miss Colorado sometimes, but I've been here for twelve years now, have remarried into a wonderful family and have fully reinstated my Texas drawl and attitude.  It's home again.

Thanks for letting me come by!

Hope you all enjoy the book!




"The Reason is You" - Blurb:

In the small town of Bethany, Dani Shane never fit in.  Being different pushed her to the fringes of society, and even leaving town for two decades didn't stop the talk.  Now, with her sixteen-year-old daughter Riley in tow, Dani is back in Bethany looking for a fresh start.  Too bad her plans for staying under the radar are about to be thrown out the window.

Mischievous and sexy, Dani's old friend Alex still has the power to rock her world, but there's a big obstacle standing in their way--Alex has been dead for forty years.  With a ghost popping up at inopportune moments and sparking conversations with her teenage daughter, Dani scrambles to find solid ground and get a grip--both on her sanity and her heart. 

Excerpt from "The Reason Is You":

Preface:  Dani and her teenage daughter, Riley have arrived back in Dani's hometown, and one of the first things Dani has to deal with is catching her daughter talking to her old best friend Alex in the front yard.  Alex is a ghost...

My head said to walk forward, but my feet went numb.  Then he looked my direction, and suddenly I was head-to-toe buzz with blood rushing in my ears.  I took a deep breath and attempted normal as I made it down the steps without tripping.

Riley saw Alex.  Riley wasn't supposed to see people like Alex.   

She had her usual folded-arms-with-one-hip-jutted stance, looking annoyed as hell, while Bojangles circled the yard in a frenzy with his nose to the ground.  Alex slowly took off his glasses and locked his blue eyes in on mine with that arrogant little smile of his.  I felt heat radiate from every pore.

"Dani," he said, low and smooth, and all the breath left me.  "My God, look at you."

I opened my mouth to say the same thing, that after twenty-plus years he still looked exactly the same, hot enough to melt my shoes.  But then the mommy gene stood up and waved and I remembered Riley was there.

He laughed, a deep throaty sound, as he pointed at Riley.

"I knew it had to be."

A nervous noise squawked from my mouth.  Nothing profound like I always imagined it would be.

"The eyes were the first clue," he said with a wink.

Riley frowned, her expression a mix of disgust and wariness.

"God, you know this perv?  He was here on the car watching me and won't tell me who the hell he is."

He smirked.  "The sweet, gentle nature was the clincher."

Sharla can be found at her website:, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Goodreads.


Nothing Better Than A New Book!

 There's lots of great things in life and one of them is new books!

Tomorrow I'll be hosting author Sharla Lovelace with her recent release - The Reason Is You.  I read an excerpt from the book and it's caught my interest.  Stop by tomorrow, April 12, to meet Sharla - find out some more about her book and leave a comment or two for a chance to win a prize. 

It's all happening here - tomorrow! 


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Whack A Gopher

Whack a gopher?  No really, don't.  The little guys are kind of cute.  And I'm probably alone in that statement.  The farmers and  even the city dwellers would be quick to say that not only are they not cute, they're annoying.  But that aside, this post really isn't about gophers. 

Yes, and I know I'm talking about gophers and there's a picture of a rabbit on my blog, but I'll get to that.

Remember the game Whack A Gopher? 

Maybe because I played it so few times.   Maybe I'm just easily entertained.  But I loved that game.  Today the game came to mind.  The title really.  After too many days spending too many hours at one time at the computer, I felt like I was in a daze or maybe a better description would be that I was still living the story.  I'd dove into the land of make belief for just a little too long.  The daze - well that's a dangerous feeling to start off a walk.  One doesn't want to not be paying attention with Rourke at the end of the leash.  Rourke is a dog who I always say - it's all about him.  He doesn't pay attention to traffic, road hazards or run away skateboards.  That's my job and if I don't do it we're both in danger of getting whacked as we step off the curb.  Fortunately, I quickly shook off the dregs of fiction land and the latest story which is so few days from done and arrived in reality.

And that's when I discovered that not only was it Easter but someone had gotten pretty creative in the snow department.  With, hopefully the last dump of snow of the year, they created a rabbit complete with twigs for whiskers.

So that was today's walk.  No one got whacked.  Rourke didn't pay attention.  But I, emerged from fantasy land to discover that this month is poetry month.   It's time to revisit some of those great works, find some recent poetry, and yes, even try writing some poetry of your own.  In Regina, it's even been proclaimed.  Don't ask - I can only report the facts.  So head out and enjoy a good poem.  Not sure where to start - take a peek here.

So if you picked a poem to read this month what would it be?  Me - I'm thinking of picking a new poet or two from the many that the Saskatchewan Writers Guild has to offer.  I'll let you know how that turns  out.  

April 12 I'll be hosting author Sharla Lovelace with her new release - The Reason is You.  It's a chance to meet the author and find out more about her book.  And, there'll be a give away of a gift certificate for Amazon or Barnes and Noble for one lucky commenter through the course of her tour.  So mark your calendar and I'll see you here!