Month: February 2016

Dear Reviewers . . .

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Dear Reviewers,

I must admit that I’m a bit of an idiot. Call it mush brain, lack of sleep, hormones, or just going plain out crazy getting ready for TNEE 2016, but in my frenzy in updating this blog, I inadvertently changed my “Bio” page to an “About” page. That means all those emails I sent to you asking you to review my lovely tomes, yep, in that email is a broken link to my “about me” page.

You may ask why I don’t just change it back? Well, the problem is that the link is correct in about half of those emails so I’m damned if I do, and unfortunately, damned if I don’t. I am literally a horrible cliche right now.

Please don’t hold it against me. It is Monday after all.

Your humble and embarrassed Author Friend

Cue the Pandemonium

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There are not many times that I feel completely out of my depth. I can play it cool, schmooze, be witty, even talk total nerdom when the occasion arises. Part of this is my time spent in the videogames industry being around artists and programmers, part of it is my normal, obnoxious personality.

Anyone who knows me knows I’m no wallflower, and shy is not a word in my vocabulary, but right now, I’m freaking out.

I mean FREAKING OUT.

It’s because of this – The Novel Experience Event.

Somehow I’ve allowed my friend and fellow writer, Christine Ashworth, to coerce me into going to the 2016 TNEE show in Atlanta in April. For those who don’t know Christine, she’s a romance author who could charm the panties off your granny, so I stood no chance in saying no. Plus, with the release of Protector, I felt like it was time to suck it up, and start doing some public personal appearances and book signings. I can’t stay holed up in my office forever, right?

Yeaaaaah. About that. I’ve never been one of those girls. Never really interested in the spot light, more comfortable with freaks and geeks, happy to blend in, people watch, be on the sidelines, lurk inconspicuously, but by no means draw attention to myself unless I’m in the middle of a gaggle of goths, and frankly with so much black, you still can’t pick me out.

As you can imagine, this show is out of my comfort zone, and possibly even out of my genre. I hear that the romance girls have the most fun, and know how to chug a margarita, but will my cynical, awkward self fit in with flowers, love, and hot, steamy sex? Cause let’s face it, in romance there’s as much boom chicka wah wah as there are Lee Press On Nails in a porn video . I can’t even write a sex scene that doesn’t sound like it ran screaming out of a 1970’s naughty nurse book.

But if I was honest with myself, I need this – to be part of something bigger than me, to experience life outside my macro world, but more than anything else, I need to find my writing family – those girls, fans and authors alike, who you can count on to be there when no one else gets it. Because nothing is as comforting as being understood and accepted no matter what the rest of the world thinks of you.

So wish me luck friends and colleagues. Six weeks and counting.

Hurrah. Amazon makes good.

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So just a quick update…

Amazon.com has finally made the brand-new revised version of Watcher (kindle version) available for previous customers. You’re going to want to read this version as the ending has changed. Trust me.

Everything is go, go, go in Watcherland today. More announcements to follow.

Must. Not. Kill. Amazon.

 

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No one ever said this indie author gig was going to be easy. But I want to take just a quick moment to whinge loudly about Amazon.

Now, I’m normally a proud supporter of Amazon and the Kindle platform. Frankly, I’d be out of a job if Amazon hadn’t launched a service that allowed indie authors like me to connect directly to readers. They pretty much single-handedly changed the book publishing industry, and arguably, in a good way. So gold star to Amazon.

The thing that boggles my mind is this, well actually, a little back story first . . .

Watcher is my first novel. Ever. So there’s a bit of a steep learning curve * in trying to figure out what the hell you’re doing, and how to do it well. I overestimated my abilities to pull the whole thing together by myself ** and ta da – I sent my dysfunctional spawn out into the universe.

No content editor. No copy editor. No professional formatter. Big mistake.

Shortly after giving birth to this thing, I decided that for everyone’s sake and my professional sanity, I’d yank it from the shelves and give it to a content editor, Bev Rosenbaum. Of course, this was after I’d already written 2/3rds of Protector, but hey, I don’t like to take the easy way! <sarcasm>

Bev had many good points and a lot of hard, home truths, so Watcher got a massive overhaul, something like cutting out 20,000 words. That’s a lot of blood, sweat, and tears right there. But I didn’t stop at Bev. Oh no. Bev recommended that I go to a copy editor, someone who was going to help me “pretty up” my actual words, not just the concepts. Already burnt out and not relishing the impact it was going to have on Protector, I was worn down enough that I was like, “What the hell. It’s only my sanity, right?” In came Amanda Sumner and POOF! Another 10,000 words disappeared. Yep, what started out as 128K words dropped to 103K then a final trim to just under 80K. Ouch.

But hey for the greater good, right? And so what if I had to re-write all of Protector again and push it back by two years?

So anyhow, back to Amazon.

I’ve busted my ass to get everything ready for Protector‘s release this week. I mean I’ve been on fire and I’ve had some very talented people behind me to make this happen (thank you, Amanda and Guido). Everything should’ve been perfect – final files uploaded, covers tweaked, paperback proofs ordered, blog and author pages updated everywhere. I was riding the high of my life.

Except for one tiny issue. Amazon doesn’t automatically update a book file for a previous purchaser.

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Yep.

What that means is that everyone who was an early adopter of Watcher the first time around currently cannot download the new, revised edition of Watcher, which is actually a big deal because . . . THE ENTIRE ENDING HAS CHANGED. THERE ARE CHARACTERS THAT DON’T EVEN EXIST ANYMORE. KILL ME NOW.

All of my perfect planning and ramping up to Protector‘s release on Sunday goes crashing to the floor. If people try to read Protector without reading the new version of Watcher first they’re going to be like, “What the hell was that?” And frankly, I don’t blame them.

Because it makes no sense that Amazon, with all its capabilities, doesn’t automatically do the update or worse case scenario, let’s the author do it.

So my apologies in advance for those who are daze and confused by this entire post. The upshot is I’m waiting on Amazon to decide whether or not my changes warrant an update. Once they’ve made a decision, I’ll let you know if and when Watcher version 2.0 can be downloaded.

Now I need a drink.

 

* understatement of the year

** plus 3 beta readers