Friday, December 30, 2011

What if you woke up and found you didn't exist (online)?

Being a self-published author most definitely has its ups and downs. When you check your numbers and find out you made a sale - an actual sale, maybe even a few! - that's a fun day. Those are the days you do a little happy dance in your chair.

And when you launch a new book with a beautiful cover, that's a great day, too. My latest book, Magic, Miracles & Mistletoe, has a wonderful cover created by Dreamscape Covers. My first book, Death on Deadline, has a striking cover designed by my uber-talented friend Claire Innes-Wilbur.

(I'm always amazed at what artists can do with my stilted descriptions).

But days aren't always fabulous - take the day I released Magic, Miracles & Mistletoe. I bounded over to - which I think is an absolutely essential web site for authors (and readers, too)- and found I didn't exist.

Nope, no sign of me. My books were gone, my blog was gone, my profile was gone - even my NAME was gone. What the ..?!! When I tried to look it up I got a unfriendly "Page Unavailable" notice.

I'd been ... erased. Ouch.

My author friends said not to worry - it was likely a temporary glitch. The support staff said they'd work on it. And still, weeks later ... nothing. Finally, one book showed up - with Author Unknown. I fixed it, and added the other myself. I redid my bio. Added another photo.

I still don't have my author page, so I'm applying for a new one. My blog is still gone, so I'm just importing this one - and I hope if you followed it, you'll follow it again. : )

I'm not exactly doing a happy dance ...but I'm fixing it, piece by piece.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Writing in the third person is so addicting (she exclaimed)

I've never written stories in the third person before. Well, that's not true - exactly. I wrote news stories in the third person for years. But they didn't count, because they were true.

So let me start over. I've never written fiction in the third person before. But about a month ago, long after most sane authors were putting the finishing touches on their Christmas stories, I got a little bug in my ear to start a few holiday tales of my own. Nothing fancy, mind you. Just a few fun stories that would quite literally feature a Christmas spirit or two.

I bounced a few story ideas off my long-suffering husband, then laid in bed plotting out character names, cities and even cars. Then I tentatively started writing. And I started, determinedly, in the third person.

 I expected long moments with my hands on the keyboard, simply waiting for inspiration. I expected clunky dialogue and strange interactions. I expected ... problems. But they didn't happen. On the contrary. I had fun. A lot of  fun. So much fun I found myself thinking in the third person even when I wasn't writing - always dangerous territory.

I just wrapped up my stories, and I'll be publishing them soon in a little novella titled "Magic, Miracles & Mistletoe."

"I hope you'll give it a read," she said, wandering toward the kitchen for yet another cup of coffee.

Dang! See what I mean? Really. So much fun . . . .

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sharing a commute with the undead makes the drive go faster

I've been spending my commute with the undead, and it's sure improving the drive. Well, they're not right there, of course - unless other grim-faced commuters count. I actually ride into work alone. It's boring - a 45-minute straight shot on the highway, past storefronts, apartments, strip malls and even a few strip clubs.

I usually listen to news radio. I think. I plot my books. Plan dinner. Wonder why I work so far from home.

But not anymore. Now I'm listening to Home Improvement: Undead Edition, and I have to tell you - my commute isn't long enough. Last night, I even sat in the driveway for a few minutes, hoping to hear the end of a riveting tale by Heather Graham. (I didn't - but I clicked it on first thing this morning).

I never thought I'd like audio books. I thought I wouldn't be able to keep track of the plot ... after all, I had traffic to watch, right? But it's not that hard, really, no more difficult than focusing on a radio news report. And I can always click back if I need anything repeated.

And listening to an anthology of scary stories by great authors makes the time go soooo much faster.

I've toyed with the idea of making my own book, Death on Deadline, an audio book. I have no idea where to begin, of course. But now that I know how fun they are to listen to, the inspiration to create one just got that much stronger.