I managed to survive another promotion blitz this past Thursday. What a fun day Fall for Romance (FFR) was. Fun and engaging guests, fun and fabulous author buddies. It was one terrific concerted effort. All told we had approximately 100 guest, well over 1000 posts or in my case emails (yeah no kidding). At one point we were getting about twenty posts a minute. I was totally wiped out at the end. My wrists ached, my butt was numb, and I knew it was time for me to go to bed when I ran a contest without key information. As soon as I clicked send I thought, uh oh. I hurried to send off another.
We had contests, giveaways, excerpts, family recipes and even had a few guests share recipes with us. We shared how our stories evolved, and Missy Martine did a terrific Holidays Around the World presentation. We stuffed our Fall for Romance files with pictures of all sorts, many more recipes, 1st chapters, excerpts, free reads and short stories, our assorted links of where we and our works could be found, and more. The Summer Love-In was so popular we left the doors open so people could come back and download our offerings. We did the same thing this time but made sure there were extra goodies in the files too.
So, my blog visits jumped significantly, as did my friend requests for google+ and Twitter. (Not related to the Fall for Romance – but I even have a few low-profile celebrities following me. It’s mind blowing.)
Anyway, two hours in and yahoo crashed on me. I couldn’t get into the yahoo group page where the FFR was taking place. I was locked out of email. Screaming YAHOOOO like Captain Kirk screams KAHN, I quickly shut it all down, ran to walk the dogs, ran to microwave some soup, ran to the bathroom, ran to refill my water glass, running back in, I sat with my bowl of soup in front of my computer and powered up. No email. Sheesh. Am I doomed to do these promo blitzes with obstacles strewn before me every time?? For the Summer Love-In, we had a regional power failure to contend with. Who knows what or who’s to blame this time.
I frantically searched online for a way to get into Yahoo Classic (the email program yahoo should have left alone because it worked). I found an obscure post someone had written and jumped on the link. I got the mail to work in its ancient form but it would only let me see one email at a time. I switched back, then realized I only had partial working email. On a normal day, I can tweak fonts to bold, italic, size etc. My fonts were small. As far as I could tell some sentences were a size 8. I could barely read it. This text is 12 point. I shut everything off and tried again. I still had partial working email but at least the font appeared normal, on my end anyway. By the time I got back on, the soup was cold, and the inbox was stuffed with 80+ emails. I started at the top and speed read and deleted my way down the list. Caught up again, I jumped in. Mind you yahoo mail has been just fine for months. If you’re ever wondering about what the heck is going on with your yahoo email, look here: http://downrightnow.com/yahoomail Yes, it craps out so often that a site devoted to watching it happen sprang up. Why do I use it then? It’s all about the loops — those groups devoted to books, including my publisher all use yahoo.
Now under normal conditions (e.g. no act of god, Dr. Evil, or act of yahoo), I could go through the yahoo group’s page to do the FRR but it’s slow and as people rarely trim posts/emails, what you get is a thread…a very long thread. In other words I could open an email/post that started the day off, and people responding to it, and replying to each other on that same post create these massively huge posts that translate to massively long emails. I find those really easy to get lost in and I feel if readers are coming to an event, in part to see me, then the least I can do is try to not get lost. In email (on a good day) I can see at a glance what the topic is and catch who is talking to me directly. **Any authors reading this right now, I recommend email as the way to go rather than threads and posts in yahoo groups.
Sometime this week, I’ll send out my swag (I love that term for promotional items) 🙂 I even had requests for bumper stickers! My soon-to-be famous goodies need to be autographed and I need to head into town for mailers. The post office will be closed so I’ll use the time to pack everything up. I gave away a lot of stuff. Several readers participated in my contests and won t-shirts and tote-bags. Lots of ebooks too. I sent most of those out that night.
I’ve been here and there around the web and some exciting things are coming down the pike. I’ll mention these as they happen or as they near. Last week I was over at a fun site owned by sassy and talented authors Marie Sexton and Heidi Cullinan. Here’s the link — fun stuff there. 🙂
I held a contest there. How many pink hearts are in both of Rose Anderson’s book trailers?
Here’s what Marie said the next day:
For Rose Anderson’s book, we had quite a few entries, although only three of you had the right answer, which was 95! We put those three into a hat, and the winner is Sarah!
I love that there were “quite a few entries” 😀 Sarah got her ebook prize last night. The day before that contest, I wrote a post there for their regular feature Thursday’s Things ~
I love a man’s hands. Sure, everyone enjoys a handsome face, a tight physique, a beautiful pair of eyes. Who wouldn’t? We’re designed by nature to be drawn to healthy and strong characteristics. How else would the species continue optimally if not for this unconscious selection? A man’s hands, provided they’re not long-nailed or belonging to Ichabod Crane, always turn my head. Pair them with corded forearms and strong wrists and mmm mmm mmm, you had me at hellooooo.
I prefer them large and capable, the clean fingernails trimmed reasonably. I like them expressive, their occasional gesture emphasizing the statement or encouraging the conversation. I like them rough, not so hard that their skin is like boot leather, but rough like they know what it’s like to pick up a shovel or a hammer even if they spend all day typing on a keyboard or playing a piano. I love when they’re gentle. There’s nothing so sexy as when these masculine hands pat a child’s back, tuck a strand of hair behind an ear, or carefully tend an animal.
My father was of the opinion that a man had to have a firm handshake. I concur. I love watching men shake hands. A man doesn’t have to break the fingers of the hand he’s clasping, but his handshake should be strong enough to show his vitality. I just love that. In my mind it’s a throwback to the days when knights participated in tournaments, though I’m sure the handshake goes back far longer than that. It is a good way, after all, to judge if the man you’re meeting is a force to contend with should the meeting go badly. Enjoying this little show of prowess is another instance of a woman being drawn to the strongest male in the vicinity.
I love lacing my fingers in a strong, neat, expressive, lightly calloused, gentle, and capable hand. Especially if I can feel the love there in the warm, safe, confines. And lastly, I love when these hands roam. Oh yes I do.
Oh yeah. A flight of fancy took me. *grin*
My next novel is done but I’m not sure what to do with it. Do I send it to Siren-Bookstrand? Do I send it elsewhere? Do I give self-publishing a go? Questions questions. An author friend sent me a link today leading to a contest run by the publishers of such literary giants as JK Rowling, Stephan King, Terry Pratchett, and Dan Brown. It’s free to enter up to 7000 words of a work in progress or completed book, and Random House and Orion Publishing will give it a review if it’s chosen. I might just go that way with this next novel just to see what happens. So much to think about.
The guest blogging has been going well and I have spots all the way into April. I’ve simply had no time to work on my website though it is finished and waiting for a host service. I may go back to BlueHost. Their friendly tech support is notable. I want to be able to do more. I’d like my site to host all the fabulous authors out there who are looking for a little extra exposure. I have a healthy little readership here and would love to showcase these talented writers. Speaking of talented writers and hosting…I was a recent guest at Rebecca J Clark’s blog. http://rebeccajclark.blogspot.com
I’ve been to her Shy Writers blog before, but this time around I took part in Friday Firsts. Here’s my post:
First five sentences of…DREAMSCAPE
“I’m so excited, Ben, look!” Lanie held out her trembling hand. “I’m shaking all over. I’ve never been inside the gate before.”
Looking up at the massive house with its several boarded windows and shutters barely attached, Ben Danowski turned to her in surprise. “Lanie, are you sayin’ you bought this place without looking inside?”
(Becky here: Actually, this is six sentences, but who’s counting…)
FUN FIRST FACTS ABOUT ROSE
1. Tell me about the first novel you ever wrote? Whatever happened to it?
My very first novel was a labor of love written approximately fifteen years ago. My husband and I were involved in the restoration of a pre-Civil War house. It was a plain little structure. As far as the history in our area goes, this type of structure was what was built after log cabins. The humble little building was filled with curiosities, namely a trap door in the floor and a hidden room in the cellar. Needless to say it took my fancy.
I love history, so does my husband. We already had a lot to go on when we started working on the restoration project. We knew who the families were when the house was built, we even knew who the builder was. Together we researched and learned all we could about the various farm family neighbors living nearby when the house was newly built. Communities were tight back then. If you were to drive down the back country roads here, you’d find roads and cemeteries with blended names – the many families related to one another through marriages that took place in the 1800’s.
My story took the original family, a few of their children and several neighbors and coupled this information with known abolitionist happenings in the area. In my mind, the mysterious room and the trap door to get into it became a haven for a family of run-away slaves. And for all we know, my little work of fiction is based in fact. The oldest residents in the area remember hearing about a secret room and they called it a hidey hole. This term will get some notice in places of high abolitionist activity.
My story centers on the original family and the dangerous steps they took to see another family to freedom. In this tale, a modern brother and sister discover their family’s role on the Underground Railroad through a journal hidden in a secret room discovered by accident. The two stories entwine as greed battles with good.
I submitted it all over the place using an entire tree’s worth of paper because this was the time before electronic submissions. I never heard a peep. That was disheartening. I tried again this year with a single submission and the courteous publisher actually sent me an email saying it was a wonderful little story but unfortunately the market now was looking for the next Harry Potter. He said I might consider e-publishing or self publishing because it was unlikely to be picked up in this market at this time. It was nowhere near the scope or imagery of Harry Potter. My little story was a Youth story along the lines of Little House on the Prairie. He added another useful bit. He said with Kindles coming down in price, the industry would be seeing them in the hands of children soon. It might do well in that format. His comment was invaluable. I’ll be doing exactly that soon. Not as Rose Anderson though. 🙂 It wouldn’t do to mix my writing.
2. What was the first Rated R movie you ever saw?
The first movie I snuck into acting older than I really was, was the Exorcist. Scared the bejeezus out of me too. The first legitimate R-rated movie was Roman Polanski’s MacBeth. Marvelous movie that. I love Shakespeare. All these years later, I found MacBeth online and watched it again. It’s still a very cool, true to the story rendition of the Bard’s work.
3. What’s the first thing you do when you start writing a new story?
The very first thing, I build the world in my mind. For Dreamscape I’ve been in enough terrific old houses to be able to draw from it visually. I could see the gingerbread, those intricate over-embellished bits of molding and trim the Victorians were so fond of. Having rehabbed old houses, I can envision the jagged panes of glass on the broken windows, the smell in the musty old cellar, the view from the high cupola at the top of the house.
Once the world is set, characters will come walking into it. Before long they tell me their problems or conflicts. I soon discover their likes and dislikes and they’ll eventually tell me where they want to go and who they want to meet. I’ve been told this is writing by the seat of my pants. I’ve found that no matter how hard I try to use an outline, my characters will hijack my best attempt and have their way anyway! I surrender to them and hope they do well by me. 🙂
🙂 It’s funny, when I write I fall into this stream of consciousness mode.
Stream of consciousness is the continuous flow of sense‐perceptions, thoughts, feelings, and memories in the human mind or a literary method of representing a blending of mental processes in fictional characters, usually in an unpunctuated or disjointed form of interior monologue.
Hell yeah, that’s exactly what happens! I wrote Dreamscape without punctuation in my mind. When it came down to posting the first “six” sentences, I saw six. I actually gave her seven. Becky’s a good sport. 🙂
Not long ago I had a guest spot over at Jude Mason’s blog. I’d read other guest author posts there and loved her Q&A. Jude’s got a great sense of humor. Stop by today to see the hysterical video clip about the importance of proofreading. I loved it!
Here’s my interview over there:
Welcome Rose Anderson
I’m pleased to have Rose Anderson with us this week, a truly interesting and talented woman who I’m really glad to meet. Welcome Rose!
1. Most people envision an author’s life as being really glamorous. What’s your take on this? Can you tell us something unglamorous you did within the last week or so?
Before I begin Jude, I’d like to thank you for hosting this interview today. I very much appreciate your time and I’ve enjoyed your interesting and fun Q&A.
Something unglamorous eh? Just this morning, my husband asked me what my readers would think about me lounging around all day in baggy old clothes. LOL I hardly “lounge around all day” but I do dress in comfortable clothing when I write. Why wouldn’t I? I think my readers would see the sense in it.
I’m a natural redhead with gray eyes. With this genetic distinction comes fair skin that sunburns easily. Growing up in the days before sunscreen, as a little girl I’d get burn upon burn just playing outside. Add to that a rather stupid attempt to gain the highly touted Coppertone tan in my teens, and it’s a recipe for skin damage. Several days ago I went to the dermatologist because I found several suspicious spots over the summer. Sure enough, these pre-cancerous monsters had to be frozen with cryotherapy. I’m glad I went because this stuff can turn deadly. Unfortunately the timing is terrible. I have two social functions this weekend and I look like I’ve been brawling. Yes, it’s been a very unglamorous few days.
2. Plotter or pantzer?
I definitely write by the seat of my comfortable baggy pants. <grin> Even when I try to plot the story, it takes on a life of its own and I resume pantzing! An interesting idea will pop into my head and before I know it I have a character or two and they’ll start talking to themselves and each other. When they walk forward in their world, for one reason or another conflict comes in from the sides and they must react to it. The strange thing here is, I really don’t know how the story will end until they end it. They take over my brain until they’re done with me. I’ve heard other authors refer to this state of mind as a form of possession.
3. If you could invite any famous person, dead or alive, for dinner, who would it be and what would you eat?
Oh this is a tricky one. As I’m terribly shy, I’d rather have a dinner party, then I can pop in and out of the conversation but not have it depend upon me to keep it going. At the table I’d sit Thomas Jefferson, Leonardo Da Vinci, Lao Tzu, King Solomon, Jane Austen, Astronaut Jim Lovell, Oprah Winfrey, René Descartes, Thoth, John and Abigail Adams, and President and Mrs. Barack Obama. Can you imagine how fabulous that conversation would be? I think I’d have a Mongolian Hot Pot — hot stock and small bits of food to cook in it — or perhaps a fondue. Slow meals are great for keeping a dinner conversation going.
4. What do you hope to achieve in life and when will you know that you have been a success?
I’d like more than anything to become successful enough to buy a nice piece of land for my husband to retire on. That’s been my goal from the start. Second to that, I’d like to set up a foundation that gives grant monies to people and organizations that do good things for the environment, animals, and mankind. Think of it like picking up Ben and Jerry’s torch and running with it.
5. Are you in love? Have you ever been?
Yes I am. I’ve loved this man since I was nineteen years old. My soul mate and I have been together nearly 35 years and he’s my best friend too. You can’t get better than that.
6. What would you like to share with new writers? Any suggestions or advice?
I’d say they need to keep in mind that not all of their books will be a good fit with every reader out there and not to take it too hard when the inevitable poor or snarky review pops up. Books are no less works of art than masterpieces in oil or stone. And beauty is in the eye of the beholder. When I began this amazing journey back in March of this year, I learned I had a narrow window of opportunity to find reviews for my book. I did a little digging around the internet to learn all I could about reviews. I read a few dozen and found many thought-filled assessments by obvious booklovers. Some lower-rated reviews offered constructive criticism and I realized they’d be useful to the author, if the authors took them to heart. They were things like: The story dragged in chapter two, or The point of view shifts were confusing at times.
Then to my dismay I read some very nasty reviews. The one that stood out went something like this: This author should have their fingers broken so they can’t write another piece of sh*t. All I could say was really? Was it that bad to say that terrible thing? Especially in the Romance Genre! How could another person’s work of art evoke that kind of emotional response? It’s not like seeing something that turns your stomach with its shock value. It’s not like watching a tank ready to crush a student in Tiananmen Square, witnessing that hapless truck driver in Los Angeles getting his head koshed in with a brick, or viewing a monk setting himself on fire in protest. It’s a romance novel that on some level just didn’t do it for the reader. That’s all. And really, even doing it for the reader is a personal thing. One man’s ceiling is another man’s floor.
So new writers, please remember that reviews are simply opinions. How many people do you know with opinions different than your own? Revel in the good ones. They feel great! Consider the bad ones. If you’re lucky, they’ll come with constructive criticism and that’s not a bad thing because sometimes authors are just too close to the story to see gaffs and gaps. Once they’re out in the open and you know what they look like, these glitches can be avoided. And above all, ignore the nasty reviews. If they have nothing of value to impart and are simply mean-spirited, consider them to be the power plays they are, and then move on.
7. If you had one wish, would you give away? Why or why not and to whom would you give it?
If I had one wish, I wouldn’t take it for myself. As a helpless bystander, I watched two beloved sisters die to catastrophic diseases. I would use my one wish to remove suffering in all its forms from all of earth’s creatures – hunger, abuse, disease, etc… etc …etc. Of course the planet would spring back to life. In lieu of that, I’d wish for a genie in a lamp that gave me unlimited wishes and fix things that way. 🙂
8. If you found that, for one reason or another, you couldn’t write anymore, what would you like to do instead?
I love making things but after 38 years of rheumatoid arthritis, my hands don’t always cooperate with my creative spark. I really enjoy making things with my computer. I’d go into graphics.
9. What are you working on now? Can you tell us a little about it?
I have several books simmering away right now – a five-book non-erotic romance series I’ve been working on for four full years now, a magical story set in the Isle of Skye, and I’m getting ready to submit one to my publisher that tracks an urban legend in my area. There’ll be two books to that story. I’m half way through book two now. I’ve been busy!
10. What do you enjoy doing with your spare time, your non-writing time?
My husband and I go to flea markets on most Sundays. He’s searching for old correspondence. I collect little trinkets like Cracker Jack toys, political buttons, and pickle pins. Sometimes we get lucky. I like to sew and recently discovered repurposing. In other words, I’d buy a vintage table cloth or wool sweater and use them as fabric to make napkins or mittens etc. Were I to be summed up, I guess you’d call me a dabbler. I have many interests and am just as happy doing one as another.
TTFN — As Winnie the Pooh’s friend Tigger would say, Ta Ta For Now.