10 Things I Wish I Knew About Being an Author

Owl

  1. Unless you’re already famous for something else; rock star, movie actor, professional athlete—you most likely will not sell a million copies of your book—your first book let’s say. For Joe Shmo and P.S. Bartlett and many other authors, being successful takes a good deal of time, good marketing and a great support base. If you’re hoping to get rich quick by being a writer, you may want to get that record deal or Lakers contract first.

  2. You have to have either a very good memory or be incredibly organized. Between scheduling writing time, writing your blog, tweeting, running contests, Facebook pages, email addresses, writing your book and not to mention holding down a full time job, keeping house, cooking, cleaning and keeping your significant other from leaving you due to you forgetting not only their birthday but their name, you may have time to pee and walk the cat—I mean dog.

  3. It can be a very lonely career. Writers need a lot of solitary time to write. I’ll admit, I’ve been writing and someone will come into the room and most often they will ask that all too important question, “Are you writing?” but occasionally the matter is important to them. Forgive them because they don’t realize you’re right in the middle of taking down an army of giant trolls and when you read back over what you wrote later, try not to get upset with them when your troll has forgotten to do their homework and needs an excuse note for their teacher or they’ve set the kitchen on fire.

  4. People want your swag. If you’re not an author and you’re reading this, no, they do not want your lovely new curtains, they want goodies that show off your books. There is a bit of an investment involved but it’s oh so worth when your fans want something special to go with their books. Bookmarks, buttons, charms and t-shirts make great swag but always remember your fans love your books and they are going to want some swag so you better have it ready.

  5. Getting published is as easy as 1, 2, 3 (and other fairy tales). There are literally millions of books on Amazon alone—go look if you don’t believe me. Looks pretty simple doesn’t it? (I’ll be right back I’m rolling on the floor laughing). Even if you become frustrated with the process of querying agents and publishers and decide to self-publish your book, there are plenty of really nice and friendly people waiting in line to take your money and help you do just that—choose wisely. Do background checks if you have to but please be careful.

  6. Depending on which genre you write in, you must do your research. Nero didn’t smoke cigars—neither did pirates. I’ll bet you didn’t know that did you? Okay well even if you claim you did, do you have to be 100% historically accurate? Well yes, you should. Of course you can use your imagination to create new scenarios, for instance Abraham Lincoln as a vampire hunter but if old Abe whips out his iPod or says, “Hey, pass the Grey Poupon,” I’m sorry but your more experienced reader is gonna close the book on you.

  7. I didn’t know authors were zombies. I’ve learned to accomplish more things while half asleep than some people do wide awake—I think. Well I try.Okay I thought I did those things!

  8. Social networking is very important but don’t beg. If you’re a new author, currently writing your first novel or even thinking about it, you better have a Facebook, a Twitter, a Google+ and a blog at the very least or you are already way behind. The irony of all of this is under point number 3. I compare this lifestyle to living like a gopher. In the hole, out of the hole. In the hole, out of the hole. We hide and write and in the next breath, we stick our head out, make a bunch of really cool new friends, say hello to our fans and then run back in our holes. Please, just don’t bombard people with “Over here! Look at me! PLEASE look at me! WILL YOU FREAKING LOOK OVER HERE!!!” Build relationships. Support your fellow writers and above all, don’t steal their golf balls.

  9. Not everyone likes you and once you’re published, they may like you even less. As we strive to write that perfect, wonderful book that of course everyone wants to read and it miraculously gets published and we’re deliriously happy and sharing our happiness with anyone who will listen on every social media site and at every cocktail party or barbeque we attend, there is someone or someones lurking and guess what—they don’t like you, never did and they’ll be mean to you. They’ll give you anonymous bad reviews or say not so nice things about your book—since it is of course the source of your happiness. The answer to this is very simple. Write them into your next novel and kill them. Done.

  10. People will like you and they’ll love your book. The most incredible feeling you get when your book is published and you start receiving feedback from complete strangers as to how good or even great it is will blow you away. Besides the birth of my children and grandchildren, giving birth to my first novel and holding it in my hands for the first time was nothing short of euphoria. Within its pages or gigabytes lies your blood, sweat and tears. It’s an asexual reproduction of your deepest thoughts and your wildest dreams, and you don’t need an epidural or puff puff blow to bring it into the world—however, a little shot of tequila or in my case RumChata to welcome its arrival never hurt anybody.

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Is the world ready for a deadly #Pirate – #Ninja Alliance?

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Is the world ready for a Deadly Pirate-Ninja Alliance?

Is Kindle Ninja having a case of Pirate-envy?

Did they really get along?

Read on…

EXT. PORT ROYAL. DAY.

The skeletal remains of two pirates clad in their filthy buccaneer garb still hang from the gallows. There’s room for two more.

Down below:
A snarling brute puts KINDLE NINJA on chokehold.

A GUNSHOT.

The brute hits the ground.

KINDLE NINJA turns around and sees IVORY SHEPARD.

IVORY
We should stop meeting like this, black-clad warrior.

KINDLE NINJA
It’s Kindle Ninja, but Kindle won’t be invented until 2007… BEHIND YOU!!!
IVORY ducks.
A shuriken hits the would-be assailant right between the eyes.

KINDLE NINJA (CONT.)
You’re welcome!

IVORY
Let’s cut to the chase. Why are you following me?

Read the rest HERE!

Demons & Pearls #BlogTour Has Begun!

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Tomorrow is the BIG DAY!

DEMONS & PEARLS will officially set sail!

Please check out the fabulous Bloggers below who have signed on to help me christen this ship!

Break out the champagne…uhhhh…I mean RUM and let’s get this party rockin’!

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https://vashtiqvega.wordpress.com/ 4/13/2015
http://tometender.blogspot.com/?zx=3f47bc15730bf020 4/14/2015
http://scvincent.com/ 4/14/2015
https://jaxjill.wordpress.com/author/jaxjill/ 4/15/2015
http://www.chkarasilverwolf.com/ 4/16/2015
http://www.mcsimonwrites.com/ 4/17/2015
https://olganm.wordpress.com/ 4/17/2015
https://mbarkersimpson.wordpress.com/ 4/18/2015
https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/ 4/20/2015
http://silverthreading.com/ 4/21/2015
http://kindleninjareviews.blogspot.com/ 4/27/2015

I also have several bloggers interested in reviewing the book and will update with that information later as well.

There are still a couple more I need to add but I want to shout out a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who has signed up to participate!

Less than 24 Hours to go!

 

When Mother Was Bored aka Mother Loved to Redecorate

Here is 100% TRUE story #2.

Mom and Dad

Mother was always decor conscious and frequently enjoyed redecorating. Even if she was only changing up the pictures on the walls or hanging new curtains, she loved to spruce and paint. Painting was her favorite way of changing things up and she loved bright colors. This particular day’s project was a makeover for the first floor bathroom.

Mother’s revelation came because Daddy’s birthday was soon approaching–not that she needed an excuse but she decided to surprise him and paint it his favorite color.

Mother painted everything. She painted walls, ceiling, molding, frames, cabinets and even the toilet seat. Everything had to match.

During her afternoon of painting, curtain hanging and rug laying, she wore herself out and decided to take a break and lay down for a little nap on the sofa. About an hour later, she awoke to her name being called. She stirred from her rest and followed the calls.

Sure enough, it was her big fuzzy bear–my daddy, calling out to her from the bathroom. Daddy was one of the hairiest men I’ve ever seen…from neck to toes.

“Honey, what are you doing home so early?” she called to him through the door.

“Obviously, I had to use the bathroom,” he said through his teeth.

In her still slightly sleepy state, she had forgotten about her project, until she heard my Dad say, “Peggy, get the turpentine.”

Daddy’s favorite color was red…

Momanddaddy

They were so awesome!

Momanddad

Blaze Starr, #Baltimore #Burlesque and White Go Go Boots!

This story is 100% TRUE.

Mixed in with the pictures I dug out of the closet tonight were some handwritten stories. There was no date on them but I’m guessing the 80’s and I think I wrote them for a book of crazy family stories I was working on or as submissions to the local newspaper.

Here is story #1

Being born in the mid-sixties and spending the earliest part of my childhood surrounded by hippies and miniskirts, my mother attempted to instill in me some form of old world culture. So, at the age of four, I began taking classical ballet classes at the Estelle Dennis Ballet School in Baltimore.

Mom didn’t drive so we usually took a taxi and at the conclusion of class, we’d hop in a cab and go visit my sister Barbara, who worked in a burlesque club near the notorious Baltimore Block as a bar tender. It was around three thirty in the afternoon so way before actual business hours.

I was in awe of the big stage and mesmerized by the scantily clad women in their elaborately bedazzled costumes and platform boots and would sit on the side of the stage and watch them as they rehearsed for the evening shows. I remember begging my mother for a pair of those boots. She reluctantly agreed but I ended up with more the Brady Bunch white marshmallow style or something similar to what the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders wore back in the day.

This was burlesque folks. Not naked chicks swinging upside on a pole so no, CPS didn’t need to get involved–not that they would have back then anyway. These were the days of the red haired bombshell Blaze Starr. If you don’t know who she was, look up at the feature image or hit up Google.

Fiery Blaze

My sister insisted my mother allow me to go up on the stage. I could be remembering this from hearing about it but I’m telling you, I remember standing on that stage and shaking my hips with the dancers.

After our visit, back into a taxi we went and off to the shoe store to find those white marshmallow boots.

Gogo boots While we were in the store, a very sweet lady chatted up my Mom. I insisted on wearing the boots home and got my way (as usual).

So there I was strutting around the store in my awesome boots when the nice lady turned to me in all of my four year old ballet dancer adorableness and said, “Well aren’t you just the cutest little girl in your ballet tutu. I’ll bet you’re going to be a famous ballerina when you grow up!”

Picture this innocent girl right here…well okay yes, I’m wearing one of my sister’s falls but anyway…

Barb and me
There I stood, all three feet or so of me with my pixie cut blond hair, shoulders straight, head back, hands on my hips as my mother took a deep breath and I replied…

“No way lady! I’m gonna be Go Go dancer!”

Throwback Thursday…Hair Through the Years

I have a love / hate relationship with my hair and I always have.

There have been years when I really didn’t care much about it and just let it grow wild like weeds and years when I fought back against the unruly mess of curls that pours out of my scalp relentlessly at a rate of speed that defies any sense of possible hair follicle production. Since I like themes, this throwback is about the mop on my head that is…my hair.

babyWhen I was born I had black hair but by the time I was three, it was long, smooth and very blond. Awww…right?

Ponytails

I’d say about four or five years old here and I was rocking the pony tails. Until my mother decided I didn’t need them anymore.

Carol BradyBy elementary school, my mother decided I needed to look like Carol Brady. I’m on the left covering my nose. I didn’t like my nose for some reason. The adorable Taylor Swift look-alike is my best friend throughout my childhood, Margie. She had long, shiny Jan Brady hair.

1981I couldn’t find any middle school pictures (perhaps since I may have burned them all) so here as the photo states, is one from high school; 1981 to be exact. The curls have by now invaded my head and show no signs of turning back. As illustrated here…do not brush them.

FarrahSoon after high school I discovered the wonders of round brushes and hair dryers….and Nice ‘N Easy golden blond lol

hulkOh the 80’s. I never did go in for the big 80’s hair but I certainly could have with all of that fluff I had. However, here we have the blown out on top and curly underneath.

80sOkay…I lied a little.

90sJust a few short years later and I was in the let it grow and forget it phase. I did however have the shorter on top style and was still using that round brush and blow dryer to smooth my bangs.

Short and sassyOnward into the 2000’s I decided I was getting too mature for so much hair so I tried this sassy little style for a while. However, it proved to be far too much work and upkeep due to the rate at which my hair grows.

Short and curlySame hair cut as above but like I said…too much work. It’s easier to just let it go natural.

fun to careHere’s a good one I’ll call “Having too much fun to care hair.”

onetoomanyMore having too much fun to care hair…damn paparazzi!

Long and flowyI think there may have been some hot rollers involved in this sleek and sexy coif. No, those aren’t real mustaches…geeze we do wax.

11-2013This is how short my hair was less than a year ago. This was November of 2013. Kinda cute and not too terribly difficult to maintain and keep straight but…

curly versionIt ended up like this after a week or so. It just takes too much time too blow it out every morning.

long curlyFinally…this is pretty much daily, although on this particular day, the mop was behaving itself. This was a few weeks ago.

Everyday2014 and if you were looking at me right now in the real world, THIS is pretty much what you’d see. Don’t get me wrong, for years I’ve heard from people with straight hair how at least I can straighten mine when I want to but they can’t get their hair to hold a curl. I agree and yes, I can flat iron my hair but only on days with near zero humidity and absolutely no chance of precipitation.

I live in Maryland which means there are maybe 30 days a year that I can safely flat iron my hair. 🙂 It really isn’t good for your hair though.

Thanks for taking the trip down hair memory lane. Sometimes it’s kinda fun to make fun ourselves. 🙂

No Matter How Good Your Summer Was, It Could Never Top Baby Houseman’s

As summers go, this one was pretty nice.

I did manage an excellent vacation the first week of June in New Orleans, which kicked one item off my bucket list. I finished my third novel and it’s mere weeks away from your hot little hands. I spent lots of quality time with my granddaughters and even used the pool a few times.

However, since the year 1987, I’ve seen the movie “Dirty Dancing” about 100 hundred times. Every time I watch it, I imagine I’m Baby Houseman having the most amazing, awakening summer of my life and realize that no matter what I do, I won’t ever be able to top that movie.

Windows down, good book, not having to drive–talk about the start of great vacation. Even the annoying sister isn’t an issue.
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Wait, what’s this? A cool kids party?
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Wait what? Who me?
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Ummm…I don’t know this dance. Uh, okay what the heck, I’ll give it a try being that you’re like, the hottest guy in the room and I just spent three hours in a car and I’m like, wait–what was I saying again?
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Dance lessons for me? Whatever gave you that idea? Oh yeah…I guess you’re right. Hey, dance lessons are awesome. Rawr.
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I think I’m having the time of my life. I think there’s more going on here than dance lessons. Best. Summer. Ever.
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Yep. Definitely more than just dance lessons.
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Not that I’m complaining…
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I really did learn to dance…too.
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And I hit that lift!
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Yep. I’d say I’ve had a pretty great summer.
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Way better than this poor guy.
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Thank you Baby Houseman for giving me a summer I’ll never forget, even if I had to live it through you.
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