Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Rose's Ghost Updates

Rose is officially launched!

I've been overwhelmed with the support I've received, both pre and post-launch; THANK YOU to my dear readers! This has been a whirlwind of an experience!

What's up now:

- Sage's Blog Tours is hosting a Blog Tour all this week; check it out!
- The "Tea Tour" has two confirmed book signing dates: December 14 from 2 to 4 at the British Cafe in Aylmer, and December 15 from 2 to 4 at teastore in the Byward Market

And here's where you can get it:

Amazon Canada
Amazon US
All The Others!

Up Next:

I'm just getting started! Rose isn't finished yet; Heather's Grave (Book 2) is in final edit mode and is on track to launch in January!

And my dear friend Eleanor Eden published The Strength of Burden last month, and plans to launch the second in the series: The Depths of Sorrow, in time for Christmas. These are fun ones, guys.

Onward and Upward!

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Rose's Ghost Launch and Other New Stuff

Rose's Ghost is still on track for a November 29th launch!

In preparation, That Summer and Bird With a Broken Wing have each undergone a total overhaul and their new and improved versions are available almost everywhere!

Also check out the Paper Doll Publishing website, and watch for the Rose's Ghost blog tour details!

Finally, I've got two meet & greet/book signing events in the works; stay tuned for details via Facebook Events.

This is nuts, y'all. I'm so excited!

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Semi-Finalist? That's a win, in my book. Ha! My book. See what I did, there?

I enter my finished manuscripts into lots of contests while they await that beautiful day when they go out into the world. I've learned to carefully consider each opportunity (and its requirements) against each manuscript. Chrysalis is a frequent contestant, as it tends to fit the "literary" category, despite its cross-dressing male prostitute junkie protagonist. I gotta say, Trey is a solid favorite of mine...now. It took a while to get to know and love him. Funny; I wonder how he's doing, sometimes.
Anyway, Chrysalis ended up in the semi-finalist category for the Eludia Award with Hidden River Arts. 
OK, so, upon further inspection, I've found that there were like, sixty semi-finalists, but I'm still taking it as a more positive sort of rejection. Like, I sorta came in second. With lots of other semi-finalists who also deserved it. And after the finalists who didn't win.
And their email was nice. "Beautiful work," they said. Don't mind me; I'm just letting that sink in nice and deep.
It's a flotation device, thrown just as my arms were getting really tired of treading water. And dangit, I'll take what I can get.

Thank you for sending us "Chrysalis". It passed to the semi-finalist stage of our deliberations, but did not pass into the finalist stage. We include here a link to our announcement of the semi-finalists and finalists, so that you can see the naming of your work in the semi-finalist category.

Thanks again for your interest in our Eludia Award and for your kind patience . We sincerely wish you the best of luck with placing this beautiful work.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Keeping It Real

Let's get this straight from the beginning, folks: publishing your work is EFFING HARD, yo!

It's only been half a year since I've been in the game, and I feel like I've been through the wringer, scrubbed, wrung out, and hung up to dry. And then the laundry person forgot about me. For six months. 

And, for perspective: many authors never get picked up by an agent, let alone a publisher! Even the ones that do may have been working at it for years.

Yeah, yeah, I was warned. But it's like having kids: nothing and nobody can prepare you for the life-altering impact the change will bring. Transitioning from writer to published author has been a task of momentous highs and resolve-weakening lows...it's a roller coaster that never ends. I don't blame the droves of disenchanted for leaping off the ride as soon as it's back in the station; without stubborn determination and the ability to pick yourself off and dust yourself of A MILLION TIMES, this business is an epic challenge to stick with.

To be honest, I question my sanity at least once a day.

Would I have done it, if I'd known?


Because the highs outweighs the lows.

Simple, right?

Let's look at the lowest of the lows for a sec, shall we? 

Predictably, it's rejection. Oh, my God, the rejection. You think you know rejection? Submit eight different books and two short stories to every single agent and publisher accepting queries or submissions. Submit them with a hopefulness that buoys you and carries you forward and a confidence made of the concrete knowledge that your work is good! Put everything you've got into your query letters and hold your breath when you press 'send', simultaneously putting a wish out to the universe. 

Let this be it! 

...and be rejected, over and over and over again. Not just by agents and publishers, no, but by people you GIVE your work to for free. By uninterested family members. And, in a crushing blow delivered by what you thought was your final option, should nothing else work, by publicists you try to HIRE.

To say it's a knock to the self-esteem is a vast understatement.

Now, let me tell you about the highs. 

The writing. Basically, if writing doesn't fulfill you, don't get into it thinking of fame and fortune. If you don't absolutely love the process of getting your stories out - weaving them with words creatively set and narration both intriguing and enticing, don't do it. Bottom line. And if the drive to finish the book doesn't compel you to the point of possession, consider whether it's worth it to start. There. I think I've said that in three different ways. 

Now let me say it once more: THE WRITING HAS TO GET YOU HIGH. 

Yep. It has to be your drive, your drug, your cancer, your cure and your salvation all rolled into one. And typing "The End" has to be as good as sex. Good sex. Like, with multiple orgasms. OK, almost as good as that. 

Making connections. That's another high, at least for me. There's nothing like realizing, through feedback on your work, that you're not alone. Even fictional stories make the author vulnerable; after all, you're displaying the contents of your mind for others to study, assess...ultimately, to critique. Every reader has the answer to a fundamental question at the end of your book: do I want more? Personally, I can deal with the fact that I can't please everyone. But if I didn't achieve at least some sort of connection with my readers, I wouldn't write. 

Then there's the fact that, even after you've failed for a while, you realize you've amassed a wealth of information to work with as you continue your efforts. I know, now, about the different types of publishing companies and their methods. I've learned hard lessons about taking shortcuts, and subsequently the value in investing more than your time and creative energy into your work. Unless you have access to a list of experts that any author would envy, you're going to have to pay for essentials like editing, proofreading, design, publicity, distribution...the list goes on. And, if you're still without a masthead in the end (ie: without a publisher), it's still going to be harder to sell your books, even if you've put in your blood, sweat, tears AND money to do so. Sounds like it should be up there in the negative stuff, right? But it's just a fact of the business, and the sooner you learn it, the better you can prepare for it and mitigate it.

I'm still floundering out here; don't get me wrong. But at least my skin has thickened up a bit. I don't pander to publishers; I ask them questions before I even submit, now. I know what I want and I've said no to those who couldn't meet me halfway. Would you believe me if I said I'm treated much better as a result? And I'm learning to put myself out there - make connections with people who've been in the business a while and benefit from them, even if it's just to further educate myself. Or to feel understood by someone who's been through it already.

I'm not giving up. Not yet. I still feel that promise of something, you know? I see the light at the end of the tunnel for "Rose's Ghost", which has been a long time coming for my first finished manuscript! And I'm almost finished my eighth full-length novel, "Stumble". It's such a sweet feeling to be building up a collection of little gems, each glittering more than the last, and keeping them safe, anticipating a growing group of supporters to appreciate them. 

See? In the end, it's still the writing that saves me.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Stumble Teaser

Good afternoon, dear readers. Today, I have for you an excerpt from Chapter 9 of the current project, entitled, Stumble". This one's a bit darker, folks.

The living room felt weird. He stopped just inside the doorway. “Solace?” he called, certain he wasn’t alone. But she didn’t answer him. Nobody did.
The room reeked of olives. He grimaced against the smell. And if it was that bad for him, he knew it would make Solace sick. He observed the dark stain on the couch, but was quickly distracted by a movement in the corner behind it.
He peered into it, but it was darkened as the sun faded from the day. His heart sped up. He stood there for what felt like a full minute, hoping his eyes would adjust. Trying to believe it was just shadow. Fighting the memories.
And then it moved again. Not spreading slowly as the light faded, no, but like a figure changing position. He gasped, his hand shooting out for the light switch even as his eyes remained glued to the darker shape within the shadow. His hand fumbled around, then found purchase, flicking it on, and froze again as Jake became acquainted with a new depth of terror.
The light found the corner and the shadow changed, but the shape – the deeper darkness – lingered. And he recognized it. His bladder threatened release as the shape changed, but rather than simply vanishing like the other shadows had, it seemed to cave in on itself, growing darker still as it shrunk, and then, *thwip!*, simply disappeared with an odd sucking sound.
He yelled as his knees gave out, the crutches throwing him forward in a mindless attempt at support, and he landed on his hands first, then his knees as the useless things fell. He stayed like that, breathing hard, the imploding black hole of a figure shrinking into nothing over and over in his mind’s eye.
He pressed his face into his hands and felt sweat and tears together. 
It’s getting worse, he acknowledged inwardly. It’s getting closer.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Now Starring: Rose's Ghost! Still / Again!

Hello dear readers,

I've just slapped "The End" on Dark Mirror and am funneling it off to my editor tomorrow. And with that, I'm looking forward to what's next.

The next book is queued up and ready to be downloaded. Entitled "Stumble," it's a darker ghost story that'll veer off into some explorations of the other unearthly creatures that can sink their teeth into us - but it's not all dark and twisted! The main character is a man whose past finally catches up to him when a horrific car crash stops him cold. The subsequent death of his wife only opens the door to a world he's refused to acknowledge.

Until now.

Eeeee! I can't wait to get this one down!

Sunday, June 16, 2019

"Chrysalis" and What's Up Next...

"Finding Trey" changed into "Chrysalis" before it was done, which was June 13th, and it fits, because the book turned out to be all about change, anyway.

I'm proud of it. I think it's my best yet, despite my earlier misgivings.

I was really down the next morning when it was time to write, but Trey's story was already finished. I figured I just missed him and the other characters. So, I edited it and over the next couple days, then sent out some query letters and entered it into some contests. The whole manuscript is in my father's hands, now; poor guy volunteered to edit it and I took him up on it without hesitation.

Nothing made me feel better, though.

Until I started thinking about Jesse. And so, two days after I finished Chrysalis, I started to write Dark Mirror.

I feel much better now.

Here's a quick breakdown I posted on the Rose's Ghost Facebook page:

Based in Wakefield, Quebec, and featuring Jesse, a resident musician at a popular restaurant over the Autumn months, Charlotte, long-estranged from Jesse, with a restraining order to make sure it stays that way, and Suki, the ghost of a mail-order bride, murdered by a man like Jesse in so many ways. For Jesse's own sanity (and Charlotte's fate), he'll need to figure out what makes himself and the murderer different.
What makes him better. 
What makes him unable to commit such an act against the woman he's convinced belongs with him.
But what can he do when the only person who can help him is a ghost?

This one's about reflection, dear readers.