Author: shawnee

I can’t sleep *again*

A flock of sheep that leisurely pass by
One after one; the sound of rain, and bees
Murmuring; the fall of rivers, winds and seas,
Smooth fields, white sheets of water, and pure sky -
I've thought of all by turns, and still I lie
Sleepless...
 ~William Wordsworth, "To Sleep"

 

 

I wanted to find something clever to say, but instead I relied on one of my all time favorites, William Wordsworth.

See, I can get down with what the man is saying. Insomnia. It’s one of those things I’ve never had a problem with until recently. As a child, teenager, hell even in college, I was a champion sleeper. I was a light sleeper, but I could still sleep. A whole eight hours worth pretty consistently.

So it’s come as a bit of a shock that for some reason at 12:30AM on a Wednesday night I am languishing on the couch with the lights out and the white screen burning out my retinas as I write this. I can’t sleep. I’ve tried. I crawled into bed with Jon, read until 11PM while he gently snored away beside me. I thought “Hey, I should be tired by now. What gives? Do I need to take the drugs or no?” (by drugs I mean that over-the-counter sleeping med that often times can make you groggy the next day – you know what one I mean)

Then I thought, “Screw this for a bag of tin soldiers, I’m getting up.” There’s not point just to lie there and stare at the atomic clock thing on the ceiling. It just causes me to get more anxious as I watch the minutes tick by while I should be sleeping. No, I decided to get up.

And do what? Well, bug you, of course.

What should I talk about? I don’t really have my thoughts together enough to ramble on about the new book and just what I need to do right about now is give away all the spoilers for Protector, right? That would be just one more thing that would keep me up at night so instead I thought I would give myself some mock interview questions and try to be as witty as possible in replying to them. Hopefully I won’t give too much of Book One away, but I thought it’d be nice to delve into some of the things I know people are going to ask such as

1) There’s no way that Poesy didn’t have sex with Shell on the couch. It’s highly unrealistic to back down once they got to there, right?

Actually, this did come up for discussion when the book was being edited as Poesy being a bit of a c@*k tease. I have to disagree however. Have you ever had sex with someone you wish you hadn’t? Oh yeah, we’ve all been there. Have you ever gotten close to having sex with someone you shouldn’t and then backed out last minute? Funny enough, you’d be surprised how many people answered yes to that question.

Is it apparent early on that Poesy doesn’t have the attachment to Shell that he has for her. It’s almost an unconscious twitch. She cares about him, but caring isn’t loving. I think deep down inside she knows this from the moment Adam walks into the bar even though she doesn’t voice it until later. The bigger question should be is it really about Adam or could it have been any other stranger who walked in that night? Good question, right?

2) Holy doo doo. Now she’s kissing Birdie after the mugging. Man, is she getting around or what?

On this point, I really do have to defend, Poe. It’s like Andie’s Duckie. We all have one – that great guy friend who’s always been a friend and been devoted like a puppy dog. Don’t cringe. Seriously, these days there are so many lines blurred in friendships like that whole friends with benefits thing. Modern kids doing modern things. I think for Poesy it’s inevitable that things with Birdie would come to a head and that a moment of truly terrifying stress would push him into acting. Cause let’s face it, Birdie would bumble around trying to vie for her affections and never get anywhere, right? The mugging made it all very real for him so I’m not surprised he picked that moment. I have to give him some credit. He picked a real doozey. And he’s not the type to give up either. I think we’ll see some of that tension again between Poe and Birdie before it’s all over.

3) Please tell me more about Daisy the Wonder dog. Is she real and can I adopt her?

Daisy is real and she is truly a wonder dog. I’ve changed her name to protect the innocent, but she is real and beautiful and devoted. Just like I knew she would be. I’m afraid that she’s already taken, and even if she wasn’t, there’s already an orderly queue going around the building. Sorry.

4) How uncomfortable did you feel using the “N” word?

Very is the short answer. The longer one is that it’s totally Haylee. A strong beautiful black woman who has no qualms about some of her more colorful phrases and swear words. I love Haylee Jane to bits. One day I’d like to meet her.

5) Adam doesn’t come across as your typical hero. I’m not even sure I like him yet.

Is that a question or a statement? Adam is a complex creature (no pun intended) and because of this he’s a bit more complicated. After all, he’s been alive for, well let’s just say a long time, and when you live that long you have to ask yourself what does it all mean? We get so caught up in the minutiae of daily life that we don’t think a whole lot about what our place is in the universe. We are a mere tiny little fleck in the universe yet we think we are so important. What if you watch civilizations grow and be destroyed or pour love into something that will only end up dying? I’m surprised that Adam isn’t more morose than he is. He’s the guy who always tries to do the right thing – the right thing is hardly ever the easy path.

Wait and see. You might grow to love him. XO.

shawnee-is-going-back-to-bed-now=fingers=crossed-for-sleep


Kindle version of Watcher has launched

Finally.

It’s taken several years of my life, several very dodgy moments (as Adam Walker would say), and a whole lot of sweat to get to this point, but it’s finally here. Kindle version of Watcher is ¬†now available here:

Amazon link to Watcher

I would like to take a moment to thank the following people who were integral in making it happen Jonathan Small, Cathy Campos, Shana Sullivan, Kara Carter, Kate Prickett, Joost Schuur, and Sean Baggeley.

I’d also like to thank all the rest of you who inspired and delighted me in equal measures – my family and friends both at home and abroad. You know who you are. I love you.

 

Createspace hell

I’m over the following:

MS Word, PDF, Adobe InDesign, Createspace, Adobe Acrobat . . . basically anything with the word Adobe in it.

Yes, I’m afraid it’s going to be one of those bitch sessions.

Seriously. What kind of degree do you have to have to upload your manuscript to createspace? A PhD? Do I need to be a rocket scientist?

Because rocket scientist I ain’t and createspace is beating the hell out of me.

You may ask what this createspace is of which I speak?

Createspace is meant to be a realitvely easy route to a POD service, ie. printing up your book on demand for those discerning individuals who don’t own a kindle or iPAD (read my grandmother). And I’m cool with that. I like the idea of seeing my book as a physical product and on my bookshelf. Hell. Given the amount of work I’ve already put in, how bad could it be really?

Well, I’m here to tell you it sucks big oranguatan balls.

I have spent the better part of two days in the rough and tumble of my MS styles sheets getting my layout just right with beautiful headers and subheaders, a perfect ToC, and even getting my page numbers to act like they should (notice there are no page numbers on my title page or dedication ho ho ho!)

Yeah, I’ve spent all this time only to get ball blocked by Createspace with the same bloomin’ error, which is effectively this –

Hey moron! Yeah, I’m talking to you! Over here. Guess what? Your PDF file size doesn’t match my trim size if you get my drift and well, you using that cheap free piece of crap primoPDF isn’t going to help you much either buddy. Oh wait! You don’t have Office 2010 either, well, you are screwed with a Capital S my friend. Good luck getting your fonts embedded, my chere. You’re going to be paying the big bucks now . . .

The upshot is that I have this beautiful layout in MSword (oxymoron I know, right?) gagging to be PDFed, but I can’t without either having 1) a new version of word (cha ching), 2) purchase Acrobat for a gazillion bucks (okay, not a gazillion, but try like $140) or 3) Install open office and hope that everything converts over nicely and I don’t lose all the work that I’ve busted my ass doing this week.

I kid you not, it will make your head explode.

Which brings me to my 3 profound thoughts for this week:

1) indie authoring ain’t cheap – whoever tells you otherwise is lying
2) I have no idea how on earth an indie author would even get through this stuff without some serious know how
3) layout people are worth their weight in nuts/gold/whatever flavor you’re into

I mean I have a pretty groovy and cheap team on my side mainly in the form of one very uber-brainiac software engineer for a husband and many, many frightening talented friends who work in IT, games, music, etc. I’m the lucky bastard with all the connections, I’m afraid.

And it still ain’t enough when you’re choosing the DIY path of indie authorship.

I know it will get better with each new book that I put out as I hone and refine the process, but it doesn’t mean the beating doesn’t hurt right here and right now. It does string rather alot.

So what words of wisdom can I pass onto you my fellow brethren?

1) If you use a word processor, try not to use MSWord. Yes, you know how to use it, but you’ll be unhappy that you used the crutch when you get to the formatting part. Try Open Office or Atlantis Word processor.

2) If you must dance with the devil, go with ADobe InDesign. I can’t believe I just said that, but I can’t help but feel I would’ve been done with this process (at least the print part) if I had sucked up and paid the money for this software (you’ll still need to write your book elsewhere, but use it for layout). It embeds fonts, I can get relatively decent .epub files out of it (I don’t know this for sure since I don’t have it, but I take her word for it)

3) Get a good book/cliff notes for epub/xml/html/oh hell, anything that has to do with self-publishing. You’ll be happy you did. If nothing else, you won’t be trolling around webpages for hours on end trying to find your answer.

4) Make friends with people who have either done it before or know people who’ve done it before. You’ll be calling on them lots. Even staying in touch with another indie author will make you feel better especially when it comes time to vent.

5) Be prepared for the battle. Honestly if you’ve gotten as far as writing and editing your book then you probably are already battle-scarred and that’s good cause you’re gonna need that perserverance.

6) If all else fails, call in the pros. It’ll cost you some bucks, but if you’re happy with what they can provide you then go for it.