Have I said how much I love fall? I love the sound of leaves crunching underfoot. I love the cool air, the flying geese, the smell of burning leaves, and especially the color everywhere. With the right conditions the trees in my neck of the woods don their autumn finery. The other morning when I actually had to scrape my windshield free of ice, I knew the colors would pop within days. And they did.
I have butter yellow cherry trees and an amazingly bright golden-leafed hickory tree in my yard. The ashes and hazel bushes look like they’ve been set ablaze. Even the oaks are turning. Mostly the bur oaks are going brown, but another round of frosty nights might turn their leaves a dark reddish purple. I love that. I’ve only seen it a handful of times in all the years we’ve lived here. But the real feast for the eyes dot the streets in the nearby small town neighborhoods. The sugar maples have turned vibrant red, blinding yellow, and glowing orange. Some of these trees are so amazing, they’ll take your breath away.
Inexplicably driven to rake leaves the moment they fall, the residents pile and burn them. For me, this ritual sends spectral memories puffing into the air. As a kid growing up in Chicago, these smoldering piles were such fun. We’d jump into the billowing clouds and pretend to be angels or ghosts. A fan of old Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes movies, I’d pretend I was on the moors with the hound. Yes, I was an odd child with an active imagination. 🙂
I’ve been busy. Boy I say that a lot. What a double-edged sword this business is! I need to write and I need to promote my works, but I need to write, so I don’t promote as well as I should. I promote, the creative spark is used up so I write less. Gaaaa… How well-known authors manage this I haven’t quite got my finger on just yet. An author friend mentioned today how a New York Times bestselling friend of hers pays someone several thousand dollars to market for her. I wish! There are weeks where the whole process taps me dry. Funny, the other night I almost found it impossible to make conversation when I had a house full of company! It’s not that the company was poor, I think it was I’d used up all my words for the month. LOL
I thought signing up for the BIAM — the Book in a Month, would help me crank out book two of the paranormal novel I finished recently. Ha! I made great progress in the first few days. Here it is day eight and I’ve already stopped adding my word count to the daily tally. When the words don’t flow, you tend to do a lot of rewriting trying to get that spark to ignite again. I wrote and rewrote my last two chapters in the completed novel searching for that story thread. I found it, cranked out three new chapters in book two, then promptly lost it again. *sigh*
In between these schizophrenic bursts of creativity, I sent review requests out to another two dozen review sites and managed to snag four for Dreamscape and one of these readers said she’d read both of my books.
Speaking of Dreamscape, it’s now in paperback. 🙂 The transition of ebook to paperback took longer for this book than for Hermes Online. That happened so fast, I missed the day it happened. Right now Dreamscape is on Amazon. Friends went to Barnes & Noble the other night to order it and it wasn’t yet there. I’m sure it’ll be soon. I have a bottle of champagne ready to go and need to buy another cheesecake. Then I’ll celebrate my second book in paper with friends soon. Any reason to have champagne and cheesecake is a good one. 😀
I’ve been delving into social networking. The online Twitter class I took through my marketing group was obviously for people further along in its operation than I. That marketing group is a really nice resource with several real go-getter members and wonderfully generous moderators. The last class wasn’t an open chat room, it was all done in email. Unfortunately most of the emails I was seeing were comments from people coming in late and questions that I never saw answers to. I gave up after 30 minutes when they switched the class over to Twitter. I couldn’t even find it there. Oh well. I saved every email from my 30 minutes with the class instructor but found very few answers all told. I’m glad they’re putting something together for the newer users like me, and I’m hoping it’s a handout and not another class to follow. I have a lot of followers there, 703 just a moment ago. Unfortunately I’ve been so occupied with other things, I haven’t had much to say. I tweet from time to time but not like I should. This little bit came from my Twitter class instructor:
My “BASIC” recipe for Twitter Success is:
FOLLOW 100 PEOPLE A DAY
TWEET 5 TIMES A DAY
Ok, I’ll say this up front. I’m sure I can find five tweets worth of things to say in a day. But how the heck can anyone follow 100 people a day?? Following this recipe for success I look for and follow people every time someone follows me and I get an email from Twitter saying so. I don’t think I’ve ever managed to follow more than a dozen or so people a day. There’s just no time for that. I’d be on that all day long looking for 100. Because this is so time consuming, I’m wondering if I am misunderstanding him here. I don’t have much to go by unfortunately. Of all the emails I kept to go through after I gave up on the class, not one of his answers appear to be very long. The irony is not lost on me. lol
I did find some Twitter how-tos online and well as a pile of very nice free hot buttons for my website when it finally comes into being. Ah the website that isn’t finished yet. I’m so busy…
In the past few months I racked up quite a few guest spots on various blogs and websites around the internet. I’m way behind posting notice of them here. The other day someone mentioned to me that some review sites do not like you posting your reviews with them on your blog. I don’t know why that would be. I’ve linked each review I’ve received back to the site that gave it. I’ve even commented that these sites are great places to go to add to your TBR (to be read) pile. It would seem to me they’d like the advertisement and link to their site. Because this is a service to them as much as it is to me, I’ll continue to post my old reviews here with the reviewer’s link until someone says no.
I’ve mentioned before I have guest spots booked all the way to February. When the soon-to-be Calliopes Writing Tablet website is finally linked to this blog, I’ll offer guest spots too. Especially to those who let me park at their blogs and websites. I read something recently in the USA Today. The romance genre is the most supportive group of writers out there. I have found this to be true. Every single day my inbox is filled with comments flying back and forth — well wishes, advice, requests for help and quick helpful answers. Talented author Joyce Lamb recently gained a column entitled Happy Ever After at that newspaper. Her debut article was great. Everyone loves romance!
So as I was saying, I’ve been behind in posting my whereabouts. The questions for interviews tend to be similar to one another and I need to keep this in mind and mix up my answers somehow or I’ll soon be boring. Aside from Q&A’s at host blogs, I’ve also done a few guest blogs where I talk about a topic, either my own or my host’s pick. Most of them also plug Dreamscape in one way or another. Here’s one such post over at Gale Stanley’s blog. She’s had some interesting guests over the past several weeks. I’m fortunate to be among good company. 🙂
Rose Anderson talks about Ghosts and Impossible Love
I’m happy to start the week off with a visit from Siren sister, Rose Anderson. Rose is the author of the smoking hot romance Hermes Online. Today she’s talking about ghosts, impossible love and her newest release. Dreamscape is a page-turner that has it all: romance, mystery, and sensuality. Rose is sharing an excerpt below. Enjoy!
Can a ghost find love among the living?
One of my favorite old black and white movies is The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. In it, a nearly destitute widow, Lucy Muir, comes to live seaside in a house that once belonged to a cantankerous old sea dog named Captain Daniel Gregg. He tries to scare her off, but as a woman with few options at the turn of the last century, she holds her ground. As the story unfolds, the two form an unlikely friendship that culminates at the end of her life when he returns, takes her by the hand, and walks with her into the mist.
To this day I harbor (no pun intended) a crush on the craggy captain portrayed so perfectly by Rex Harrison. I’ve always thought it unfortunate that Gene Tierney played the leading lady. No offense to the actors in the Golden Age of Hollywood, but she was too one dimensional of an actress for that part, in my opinion. Beyond the poor acting by the actress, the character of Mrs. Muir was wishy-washy. As a girl, I knew had I been Mrs. Muir, I could love Daniel Gregg without thinking twice. I also knew there really was no future in it. When I wrote Dreamscape, I held that unfortunate fact in mind.
My impossible love story involves Dr. Jason Bowen, deceased, and Dr. Elaine O’Keefe, who’s very much alive — two people with similar professions, separated by time and death. Here’s the blurb:
Unable to deny his own translucence, Dr. Jason Bowen determines his lack of physical substance could only mean one thing—he’s a ghost. Murdered more than a century before, Jason haunts his house and ponders the treachery that took his life. When Lanie O’Keefe arrives with plans to renovate her newly purchased Victorian mansion, Jason discovers, ghost or not, he’s still very much a man. Despite its derelict condition and haunted reputation, Lanie couldn’t be happier with her new home, but then she has no idea a spirit follows her every move throughout the day and shares her captivating warmth at night. Jason soon discovers he can travel through Lanie’s dreams and finds himself reliving the days before his murder with Lanie by his side. It took one hundred and twenty years for love to find them, but there’s that insurmountable little matter of Jason being dead.
What a huge hurdle to jump, eh? 🙂 I love the challenge of working with the impossible. I won’t tell you how the story goes, but readers will get more than an impossible love story with Dreamscape. Written in homage to Agatha Christie, Dreamscape is a reader’s Easter egg hunt in the truest sense. Peppered throughout are hints suggesting a story behind the scenes.
Seeing the ghost of Jason Bowen for the first time, Lanie faints and falls to the floor. Coming to, she doesn’t believe what she’s seen and writes it off as simply a fearful reaction to a severe thunderstorm. Laughing away her overactive imagination, she playfully calls the ghost to her bath. Little does she realize he’d actually come to this innocent invitation.
And here I had an excerpt.
Here are a few other places I’ve been:
And I recently did a Q&A with Rebecca Clarke over at her shy writer’s blog Once Written Twice Shy http://www.shywriters.blogspot.com I’m not the only shy writer out there. Very cool.
Q&A with author Rose Anderson
Thanks for being here today, Rose. Would you please share a short bio about yourself?
First off, thanks for having me, Becky. I’m a new author with two books published through Siren-Bookstrand and several more in the works. Driven to create, I write across genres –everything from children and youth literature, to historicals and erotic romance. In between, I freelance. Yep, driven. 🙂
Q Do you consider yourself a shy and/or introverted person?
A Oh definitely. A painfully shy girl forced by life to grow into a marginally shy woman. I don’t think we ever really leave shyness behind. I think the truly shy person simply learns how to cope.
Q In what ways has being shy or introverted hindered your writing career?
A I don’t yet know if my natural shyness has gotten in the way or not because my career as an author is so new. It gets in the way in my day to day life so it will undoubtedly meddle in one way or another. I do know doing interviews in my quest to become a known author is a bit uncomfortable. 🙂 Every inch of self-promoting is an inch outside my personal sphere of comfort. But self promoting is important so I deal with it and carry on.
Q In what ways has being shy or introverted helped your writing career?
A Being a shy child, I always stayed in the background trying to blend in with the wallpaper so no one would notice me. I became a keen observer from the sidelines. I’m usually aware of the smallest emotional details of people when they interact with one another. When I write, I use this detail. My characters are real in their settings. They think. They empathize. They feel. My characters are the sum of my own experiences and these shy observations of others.
Q What’s the hardest part of this business for you?
A I’d hate to admit this, but since this is the shy writer’s blog I’m sure every shy person reading will understand. It’s putting my face out there and looking people in the eye to introduce myself. I have a stack of lovely, perfectly worded, business cards and my shyness keeps me from passing them out! I went out with friends recently and five other women took my cards and passed them out to people without any inhibition. It was like that old TV game show from a zillion years ago — What’s My Line? — where each of the three contestants pretended to be the real person from the opening intro. These terrific women were happy to pretend to be me and pass out my cards, while I was busy being uncomfortable being me! It’s crazy.
Q Tell me about a time that you had to step outside your comfort zone either in your writing career or in your personal life?
A I’m very aware of my self-imposed personal limits. To break free of the shackles of fears and discomfort, I regularly throw myself into uncomfortable situations. For example: I’m a tad claustrophobic, so I took up spelunking (cave exploration). Sounds intense, eh? It is, but it’s like getting an inoculation. By living through a situation, I’m protected from full-blown discomfort the next time around. I’ve been forcing things on myself since my late teens.
When I was in college, I carried my shyness with me every day. A DJ radio slot came up at school so I took it to be able to speak. I mean I could speak, but I was all shy mumbles in social situations. Two things at that school helped me so much. The first was my radio show. There I made casual conversation to my microphone and played music. And all of it was done behind a closed door. No one could see me. The second was a speech class. Boy, that was brutal. I had to stand up in front of people and say things like himmel hummel himmel hummel and lalalalalala. We also had to do “spontaneous extemporanea” — speeches off the cuff. And I’d do it all with a racing heartbeat and sweat. As uncomfortable as that sounds, I recommend it. The organization Toastmasters will help too.
Q What’s one tip you could share with shy and introverted people that’s helped you?
A I do have a tip from that class. Eye contact is hard on shy people. Instead of direct eye contact in a social situation, focus on the eyelids or eyebrows of the person you’re talking to. You appear to be making eye contact but you’re really avoiding the source of pupil-to-pupil discomfort.
Q Would you please share a short blurb of your book and where my readers can buy it?
A My recent release is Dreamscape. Written in homage to Agatha Christie, this tale is peppered with clues that hint at the ending long before the last page is turned. From start to end, the story is far more than it appears. It has romance, history, time travel (of sorts), murder and lots of sizzle.
Here’s where I had my blurb and buy link
A I’m all over the place it seems. I love to hear from readers. Drop me a line! Join my Google+ Circle, Follow me on Twitter, or just Subscribe to my Blog for updates, releases and reviews. Any good search will turn me up somewhere! Here are a few of my links: (yadda yadda yadda)
And so I will stop here and post more later.