No, I really am. I realized I hadn’t posted anything in a month. A month. What kind of writer/blogger does that? Especially one who desperately wants people to read her book ? A shit one, that’s what kind.
I had a big announcement over on my Facebook on Friday. I’ve been working with the owner of Notoriously Morbid Cosmetics to release a collection of mineral eyeshadows based on Save Me. If you like me on Facebook, then you probably already knew this, but if you didn’t, here’s what’s what!
It’s so perfect. I can’t even. You can check it out by clicking here.
I even had a two day free listing for my book that ended today and FORGOT to share it here. What the hell? Sheesh. Apparently, I really am a shit.
On the bright side of being a shit, I’ve used the time I haven’t been using to post here to work a little more on Promise Me. And about a million other things, including the eyeshadow collection. Hey, I said I’m a shit blogger, but I didn’t cop to being a shitty anything else. And I even threw up another short story on Smashwords. You can get it (and all my other freebies) by clicking here. Don’t forget to turn off that pesky adult filter.
Anyway, I’m planning on marathoning during my evenings this week. No, not the running kind of marathon; the writing kind of marathon. I’m not gonna run because, you guessed it–I’m a shit runner. Ew, that sounds gross. Back to topic. I’m going AWOL from all social media (Facebook. I mean Facebook.) for the week to try and get more of Promise Me finished. I promise to keep you updated. I PROMISE.
So, I’ve been trolling the web for pics of men for inspiration. No, seriously.
I love to create a character out of my own imagination, whether I’m reading or writing, but sometimes it pays for me to have a look around. During this research, I discovered how many beautiful men there are out there who aren’t necessarily ”Romance Novel” material. Everyday men, some in shape and some not so in shape, who are simply beautiful. There are no bulging muscles, no sleek, bronze-skinned arms waiting to carry you off for what is sure to be a marathon romp in his 5,000 count Egyptian cotton sheets. I’m talking about regular, sexy, familiar men. I know we all read this genre for different reasons, but the common thread that runs through every reader is the feeling of escapism that comes from reading. We delve into another world and for a while, we live there in rapture.
One thing that I realized as I thought about my own characters is that I love an “every man”. There’s just something in me that responds to someone I think my character could actually meet. I sometimes struggle to form a real attraction to the perfect billionaire playboy in any way that’s more than superficial. I like more meat to my book boyfriend, I suppose. More substance and more of what makes a man real to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love and read all sorts of smutty smut about rockstars and billionaires and unbelievable characters. Olivia Cunning’s Sole Regret series is fucking fantastic.
Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m the odd woman out for liking book boyfriends who don’t freak out when the female lead doesn’t immediately respond to a text or treat her as though they’ve claimed her in the literal sense. I like a male lead who isn’t afraid of a strong and independent woman, yet loves to feel needed by her in those moments when she does need him. I crave the human element; the believably flawed, passionate character who just may walk your very street in the world outside the book. Even if I’m the minority in this preference, I’ll take a book boyfriend that you may one day bump into at the Post Office over someone you’d need a press pass to meet any day.
So, I’ve been working on Promise Me for a few weeks. It’s coming along nicely; shit’s happening and the feels are there. Then I get an idea. Actually, the ideas of two people popped into my head and they wouldn’t shut up. I used to think it was complete bullshit when writers would say their characters wouldn’t leave them alone. Playing up for the interviewer when asked why they write. Then, when I got serious about writing, it happened to me. It happened with Jack and Carly in Save Me and it’s happened with these two people. They bother me all the time with their story.
When I’m doing laundry, when I’m reading something else, when I’m working at my day job. All the damned time. Not that I’m complaining. Well, it does sound like complaining, but it’s not. I love feeling the urge to write someone, especially when they’re so there. Thing is, I have Promise Me to finish. I’m only a third of the way in, though I know the whole story, and I want to get to work on it without thoughts of this other story stealing my attention.
If you’d like a teaser from the as yet untitled work, like or comment on this post on Facebook (presuming you “like” me on Facebook or on this post. I’ll post a teaser HERE in the hopes that I can get these two characters to chill so I can hang out with Jack and Carly in peace. Lemme know.
I’ve joined in on a great giveaway with some other indie authors. There are some great things in this giveaway. You can read all about it here and sign up!
On another note, Promise Me is a third of the way finished.
Alright, peoples. Here’s the teaser I promised! If you haven’t read Save Me, you may want to skip this.
Oh, and please keep in mind, Promise Me is still a work in progress and this excerpt will likely be at least a little different in the finished book.
Joann and James have no clue that Jack and I are anything other than elated for them. I hug her, fighting to stay mad at her for what I can’t help but see as a betrayal.
The drive home is uncomfortable and I struggle to keep in all the things that threaten to burst forth from me like a tsunami. Jack looks at me almost constantly and I catch him out of the corner of my eye.
We pull in at the house at sunset and I know we’ll have to talk about this now. Jack puts the Escalade in park and shuts off the engine. Neither of us make any move to get out. The silence that fills the vehicle is heavy with so many things.
“Carly,” Jack says with a weakness that pulls at me.
I stare out the window into the trees, not able to talk to him just yet even though I want to.
“Please, tell me what you’re thinking,” he says. “I don’t care if you cuss me out, or scream, or slap the shit outta me. Just talk to me.”
I finally face him and it’s like ripping the Band-Aid off a cut before it’s had time to stop bleeding.
“What do you want me to say, Jack?” I ask.
“Something. Anything,” he answers.
“Fine. I’ll say something. I’m going to Claire’s,” I say, only deciding it in the second before I said it.
“You’re leaving me?” Jack asks. I have to focus my eyes on his temple or his ear or that little overhang of dark hair because if I look straight into his eyes, I’ll crumble.
“I’m not leaving you, but I can’t be here tonight. I have to think.”
“Carly, I can’t do this without you,” he says, shaking his head. “You promised me you’d be with me through anything.”
“That was before you lied to me,” I say.
“Fuck,” he mutters. “I wasn’t aware your love had stipulations.”
“I’m not saying I don’t love you. Forgiving you would be a lot easier if I didn’t. I’m just saying I need some space,” I say, not letting myself look at him for more than a second.
“I can’t believe you’re acting like this,” he says. “I need you with me on this, Carly.”
“If you needed me like you say, you would’ve told me about this three months ago,” I say. “I’m not mad at you because of the situation; I’m mad because you lied to me. Every time I asked you what was wrong was an opportunity to let me in, but you kept on lying, kept on pretending that everything was fine.”
Jack nods, pulls the keys from the ignition and opens his door. He climbs out and slams the door so hard that the vehicle rocks back and forth. I break down completely as he disappears inside the house.
Wonder what that’s all about. Seems like something major has happened to Jack and Carly. Do you think they’ll make it? I hope so.
So today I was thinking about the subject matter most of my writing contains. And then I realized something: Some women are still ashamed of their sexuality. I have friends who’ve read my book, enjoyed it immensely even, but they’d never tell anyone about it. Not really. I’m still surprised after the success of Fifty Shades and the box office stats for Magic Mike last summer, that women aren’t embracing their sexuality more than they are. Don’t be ashamed of your smut. You own that vagina, now act like it. Sex is something that without which, the human race would disappear. Women are the life bearers, the vessel. You don’t have to be blatant with your reading tastes, but it’s okay to admit that you’re not embarrassed to read about sexy bits smooshing together; that you actually enjoy reading things that turn you on. It’s okay. You can and should read whatever the fuck you want.
So today I decided I’d make a board for Save Me on my Pinterest. It’s sometimes hard to convey just what a writer sees when they think of a character or a setting. Hopefully, the board and pins on it give people an idea of where my head was at while writing Save Me. I figure it’s a chance to give a visual, so why not take it?
You can view my Pinterest board for Save Me here.
I’ve been an officially official author for a couple of weeks now. And nothing’s really happened. I’m writing everyday, some days more than others, but still no real movement on Save Me. I’ve listed it for free on Goodreads and have almost finished the formatting to upload it to Smashwords.
The thing I think most people (at least myself) don’t realize, is that writing what you feel is a good story is the least difficult part of indie publishing. The formatting is a bitch, figuring out where to list and how much to list for is a complete mind fuck, but then there’s the marketing. How do you get the word out? How do you get people to come into your world? Get to know the people you’ve made up?
I’m still working on it. Still figuring all this out. And most importantly, I’m still writing. And hoping. And dreaming up people who will fall in love, out of love, hurt one another, walk away, come back begging and people who will hopefully come to matter to someone other than me. ♥
And boy, was I mistaken. I’d originally planned on hiring a professional formatting person to format Save Me. Then I got to playing around and gained some false confidence. I decided I could do this; I could format it on my own. Big. Fucking. Mistake.
I managed to get Kindle down (at least as far as I can tell), but then I attempted a few other formats. Not so successful. Nook Press has turned out to be a bitch of mother-in-law proportions. I’m waiting, editing, uploading, waiting, editing again and then uploading again. All while gritting my teeth so hard, I’m gonna need dental work. I think I’ll send out a few emails and inquiries to the pros. There’s gotta be an easier way to do this shit.
Wish me luck.
The book is finished. Finished and published. I spent all of Saturday working on the final edit and then most of Sunday making those changes. Then it was done. And I panicked. I almost didn’t publish. I was trying to understand why I’d shut down after being on a perpetual high for three weeks at the thought that I was getting close to finishing it. Then I realized something-I’m afraid.
I’m afraid that the book won’t do well. Or that it will. I never really understood what a big deal it is to offer something of yourself up for what is bound to be occasionally harsh criticism. I don’t know a single author who works and works on something only to be indifferent to its success. We all want to get out there and exceed expectations; or at least I know I do.
So, the book is live on Amazon (after that horrid 12 hour waiting period). It’s there and I’ve checked it in my dashboard, done a search for it, and clicked the link through my confirmation email. It’s more than a little surreal to see it there after it lived so long inside my computer.
Now we wait and see where the tide of reader interest washes my book. Will it stay on the shore, buried in the sand? Will it be set adrift in a sea of other novels that don’t quite find their way? Or will it float along, like that old blue bottle in the ocean, carrying words inside that need to be read, need to be thought about, until it finds someone to mean something to?
Only time will tell.