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Check out all my books on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

Friday, April 29, 2011

I Hate Writing I Love Having Written

Today I have a guest blogger - Barbra.  I found Barbra on Twitter when her bio phrase caught my attention.  "I hate writing, I love having written"  It struck me because it's exactly how I feel but have been to afraid to admit.  I immediately tweeted Barbra and asked her to please be a guest blogger on this subject.  Here is what she wrote:

Love and Hate: A Relationship with Writing
Barbra L. W.

The witty Dorothy Parker quipped, “I hate writing, I love having written.” She, like all writers understood that writing is hard work. Writers have to practice everyday, EVERYDAY, to perfect their talent. For me finding the time to practice my craft proves to be quite a challenge.

For one thing, I am a true procrastinator. I will put anything off till tomorrow. “After all tomorrow is another day,” so says Mitchell’s protagonist, Scarlet O’hara. To add to my “I’ll do it tomorrow” list, I hate the tedium of writing. I hate trying to get the words just right. I hate it when a story shifts and I feel like I have to start over. I hate trying to come up with ideas. I hate when none of the thirty-five ideas I’ve come up with are any good. I could go on for hours expounding on the things I hate about writing.

So, now, you may ask, “Why do you write?” The answer is simple. I love what I write.
The love/hate relationship a writer has with their creativity is conflicting. In order to feel the jubilation of a well-written chapter or a tantalizing tale, one must push through the laborious task of writing. Like most of us with the ambition to become successful writers, I have attached a dream to my efforts. For me, the dream is parties with fancy cocktails and witty people. The red carpet gala when my novel is made into a blockbuster movie or the Diablo Cody Oscar speech moment. The reality is that to get there, you have to WORK and work is a four-letter word that is hard to avoid.

Even now, I sit here fingertips at the ready. Eager to write something profound, I’m charged with electricity. But, then, the drier buzzes. The energy dissipates. While folding laundry, I start to daydream and procrastination hits. An hour later, I have to shut off the email, twitter, Facebook, or other medium keeping me distracted from my writing and responsibilities. And while I can push other responsibilities aside, my beautiful daughter will not wait until I finish my next paragraph for her afternoon snack. Which leads to the procrastinator’s favorite saying, “I’ll finish that short story later; I need to”, you fill in the blank. At the end of the day, sacrifices are made for writing.
Without the work, I don’t get to see how my story will end. I wait till the house is quiet and with six cups of coffee coursing through my veins I write. I write with purpose and conviction. When the last line has been written, it will be the most rewarding feeling. I will love having written. I will love every word that has been typed. I will love every character I have created, as I love my own child. The euphoria of its completion will wash away all the hate that once covered me from head to toe.

Still awash in the glow of my love for the completed work I will inevitably sit down in my writing space and go through the whole love/hate process again. So will you.  

Barbra L. W., originally, wanted to be an English teacher. After earning her B.A. in Literature she decided to pursue her passions for writing and photography. She lived in Okinawa, Japan as a child. The experience left a lasting impression on her and she returned to the island as an adult. After four years abroad she returned to the states. She spent a few more years as a nomad before settling in Virginia. She now lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and one year old daughter.

“When I take a picture I immediately make up a story for it. When I’m working on a story I look for scenes to photograph that represent it. My passions are so intertwined it is hard for me to do one without the other.“

You can see her photos and scribbling’s on her blog

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

You want how much for a paperback?!

I know there has been a lot of discussion of ebook vs hardback vs paperback pricing so I'm not going to get into that today. What I am going to vent about is the 'new' paperback. What is with the change in size of the paperback and then charging 9.99 for it? Or even worse, I noticed yesterday, yet another size and a 14.99 price tag.
Are you serious? Fifteen dollars for a paperback?!
I discussed a topic similar to this with several people last year when the price of gas went up. Yes companies are entitled to make a profit. That's the point of having a company – making money (except nonprofits of course who just help people). But there is a difference between profit and gouging. Gas companies get away with it because we need gas. But publishers? Be serious. Why would I pay 10-15 for a paperback book? I can find any even semi popular book for a few dollars used.

If someone can make sense of this, please, help me.

Monday, April 25, 2011

It made me laugh so I stole it

I was perusing the internet yesterday and I found this post:
and thought it was so funny I had to share.
I especially like number 1.  Who doesn't have book like this?  Luckily, I don't think anyone is working on making this technology a reality.  Well, maybe there's an app for that:)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Sample Sunday April 24

First, you should know some things about me.
I hate people. I hate small talk. Trying to find something to talk about with a bunch of strangers I’ll never see again. No thanks.
I like being alone. I’m happy alone. I don’t want to be married and pop out a couple of whiny, germ filled kids. I don’t want anyone around telling me what to do or making me feel bad about what I am doing; i.e. a husband or boyfriend.
If I want to stay up till three in the morning eating double stuff Oreos while watching St. Elmo’s Fire then that’s what I goddamn well am going to do. If I want to lay in bed till noon or not shower for a couple of days, well, you get the idea.
If I feel the need for some companionship i.e. sex, I go pick up a guy at a bar. It’s pretty easy because, in all modesty, I’m hot. Not just attractive. An actual stone cold fox, at least to enough of the population to matter. I can say that because I had nothing to do with it. All genetics. All big blue eyes, full lips, blond, tall, and lean. So sex, no problem. And since I don’t really like people or small talk, I pretty much scope out the bar for an attractive unattached guy and ask if he wants to go to my place. I’ve never been turned down.
No one spends the night. Last thing I need in the morning is some smelly guy with bad breath bothering me for something I had plenty of the night before.
Also, I’m filthy rich. I hadn’t planned on ever working for a living, but who knew I’d find something I enjoy so much. What do I do? I kill people. For money. I know what you’re thinking, but who gives a shit. Not me, that’s for sure. If it makes you feel any better I don’t kill kids, no spouses just because a divorce will cost too much (selfish bastards), but other people.
It’s not hard, partly because of because of my looks. I can get into a lot of places with no questions asked. And partly because I’m ahead of the curve on intelligence. Not a genius, but pretty damn smart.
Maybe it goes without saying that I don’t have any friends, but I’ll say it anyway. I don’t have any friends. And I don’t mean I don’t have any close friends. I don’t have any. I think it’s because I’m rich and beautiful and that intimidates people.
Or, it’s because I’m a bitch. I don’t care about people’s petty problems, I don’t take shit from anyone, and I don’t tell people what they want to hear.
So, why am I telling you all of this and why do you care? Because, I just killed the President of the United States.  

Watching the Numbers

So my sales are going alright.  I average 2.5 book sales a day between the US and UK.  That's great, right?  I've only been published for about two months.  A month ago, when I was waiting and waiting for one sale, I would have been thrilled at 2.5 a day.  So why now do I want so much more (besides the obvious money answer)?  Why are we always wanting more?  I know it can be a good thing.  Wanting more has led to countless inventions, progress, etc.  But does that mean we never take time to say 'look what I've done'?  Never sit back and just enjoy an accomplishment?
What if I sold ten books a day?  Twenty a day?  Would I sit back then and say, 'Wow, I wrote something people like'?  Probably not.  Because I would be thinking about how to get more people to notice.  Or thinking about that next book.

But I will tell you, it's a question I would like to be able to answer from experience:)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

How Long is Long Enough?

I am a skimmer.  When I read, I skim all the descriptive stuff.  I am impatient and I just love the action and I need to get to the end and find out what was going on.  When I wrote my first book (Secrets) I left a lot of the stuff I tend to skim out.  My book ended up around 41k words, as opposed to the 50+ thousand for a typical book.

Is this wrong?

Are there people out there who also skim?  Who just want to stay with the action and don't care about what the house looks like or what the character is wearing?  I really tried to add to the story, but it just felt forced and slowed the story way down.
Which then begs the question, how long is long enough?  If a book description interests you, then you see the word count is small (not short story small which is a different category to me) does that make you want the book a little less?  Let's assume the price is low, say 0.99-2.99.

I'd really love to know how people feel about this, especially because my second book will be coming out this  summer and I'm doing the same thing. I think the story is killer and the pace is great and that's all I want from the books I read but...

You tell me...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

No Really, Why The Pseudonym?

I write under a pseudonym.  Why you ask?  Because I want to remain anonymous to my neighbors and protect my kids in case I'm ever famous.
No?  Okay, you got me.

Because I'm really a best selling author who wants to see if she can do it all again on her own.
What?  That's even less believable?

Alright, the truth is because I have a very large fear of failure.  My whole life I've been afraid of trying anything I might fail at, so I never did.  High school and college, I never tried out for anything if there was a chance I wouldn't be the best.  Don't get me wrong, I did things, just not challenging things.  So you'd think I would have learned to be a little braver, looking back on all the fun I probably missed out on.

Well, believe it or not, even though I don't use my real name, just doing this writing thing at all is a big step.  Because typically I have a dream, then talk myself out of it because of fear.  But this time I went forward.  I wrote the book, published it, am doing publicity, and my fear is abating.  I started telling my family that I'm writing a book (they think it's my first) and it will come out this summer.  It's a big step for me.  And even if it fails, I feel really good about doing it at all.

So, anyone else out there using a pseudonym?  What's your reason?  You can even leave a comment under anonymous and I'll understand:)

Monday, April 18, 2011

I just need an hour!

I am co-writing a book with another woman and we are about 2/3 done.  We plan to finish this draft in four weeks but some days (like today) I'm wondering how that is going to be possible.  I really just need one quiet hour to add 800-1000 words (first draft quality).  It should be easy, right?  But today I am trying to get back on track.  I've been neglecting laundry and dinner and exercising for about 4 weeks now doing publicity for The Hate and Secrets.  Today I did laundry, took some of the kids to a camp, made dinner, cleaned the kitchen, made lunch, and went to the gym.  It is now almost 2 pm and I am outside because my other two kids begged me to let them ride their bikes.  In less than two hours I have to go get my first two kids from camp.  Then all four will be home and there is no way I'll get anything done after that.  I should mention my kids are 7, 6, 4, and 3.  I can pretty much only work when they are not home or sleeping.
Now I'm not blaming this on the kids.  When I think back to my life before kids, I'm trying to remember how much free time I had back then.  It didn't feel like much but I'm sure there was plenty.
So, how does everyone do it?  How do you manage to find time to write?  I'd love to hear your tips.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

What makes us love a character?

I read the first chapter of the new Charlaine Harris book today (from her website).  I'm really excited about her new book coming out.  My excitement about this whole series surprises me, though, because I never read supernatural books.  My genre is thriller/mystery.  That's what I read, that's what I write.  But I just love Sookie Stackhouse and I have to know what is happening in her life.  Right now I am also reading The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly.  I read the Lincoln Lawyer, mostly because I saw adds for the movie.  But I got the second book because I really like the main character.  So what is it about a character that makes us come back for more.  I can't really put my finger on it exactly.  Is it because we want to imagine they are our friend?  Because we see ourself in them?  Maybe they are what we wanted to be?
Who are your favorite book characters and why?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It's my alter book reading ego

Has anyone watched this youtube video?

It's  funny because it's true!  It's who I become when I'm reading a book.  Anyone else get that way?  I was never able to describe the feeling exactly until I read Nora Ephron's I Feel Bad About My Neck.  I'll have to dig through and find the line but it's the perfect description of how I feel when I'm reading a good book.  Basically, everything else in my life becomes a huge bother to me.   

Anyone else get this way?

By the way, I'm not affiliated with this person at all.  I just came across it on youtube.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Math Can Be Fun

Today I discovered Analytics.  Yes, tracking of who and when my sites and twitters are followed!  What could be more fun (and no that is not sarcasm).  For those who don't know, I do have a PhD in Engineering so I am in 7th Heaven today.  I have been finding and analyzing my analytics for about two hours now and my how time flies.  Is anyone else out there having as much fun with this as me?  It's even more addicting that the Amazon KDP site (and if you are self published, you know what this is).  Sorry for those of you who will be overexposed to my tweets and facebook today, but I must experiment.  I have my own spreadsheet set up to keep track of the results myself. I better be careful, though, or I'll never finish that next book.  I suppose I'll have to treat it like chocolate - just a little a day.  Except the weekend, of course, or a really bad day, then all bets are off.  So, leave me a comment if you are monitoring your analytics or if you think I'm crazy.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Too Busy or Fear of Failure?

I have so many great ideas for books.  I think about them all day, getting more and more excited about how great the story will be.  But when evening comes, and I finally have time to start typing out that great story, I don't.  I tell myself I'm just to tired to really concentrate.  Tomorrow will be better because I won't have (fill in whatever thing I did today that I don't have to do tomorrow).  But I think the truth is I'm afraid.  Afraid to even get started.  Because while the idea is really great in my head, what if it's not so great on paper?  What would I do then?  If my dream of being a writer always stays in my head, then I can never fail, right?  Ridiculous, I know.  But getting over that hump of the first few sentences is so hard.  Am I the only one?


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Experiment Part 2

So I started my promotion experiment two day ago (see April 5 post) and so far 79 copies of my short story have been downloaded.  The results?  One great review, which I wasn't expecting because it is a very short story.  Otherwise, no increase in sales.  Now I do believe it is really too early to see an increase yet.  People probably snap up free copies, but don't get around to reading them right away.  I know I do.  So I will wait and see and, of course, keep you posted.
Anyone who wants to can download the story free at Smashwords.  Feel free to comment!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Free Short

So the short I posted about earlier (see below) is live on Smashwords.  Check it out.

The Warning

I'll keep you posted on how this turns out:)

Experiment Time

As a scientist by trade (I have a PhD in engineering) I love experiments.  So I've decided to try an experiment in advertising I read about a few days ago.  I have written a super short story to introduce the main character in my book Secrets.  I'm going to give the story away on Smashwords and my website later today.  The idea is, the reader will love the short, go download a sample of the book, love that (of course) and buy the book.
Anyone tried this or have a thought?

I will post when the story is live.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sample Sunday

Sample from Manhunt, the second short story in The Hate:

Right now there is a massive manhunt for me. There’s almost no chance I will be found, but just in case, I need to set the record straight. I know you think you know what happened. I mean, it has been all over the news for days. The country in mourning, shocking act of violence, and on and on. But you only know what they told you. But once I tell you everything, tell you the truth, you’ll be thanking me. I’ll be a goddamn hero. Not that anyone will admit it. Doesn’t matter though. I’ll be long gone.
So like any good story, I have to start at the beginning. I know you’d prefer me to just cut to the chase. But there are some things you need to know first.
Bear with me, you’ll be glad you did.  

Friday, April 1, 2011

Nook vs Kindle

Nook or Kindle?
Why don't you just ask me which of my children I love the most?
Just like kids, they bring different things to the table.  One goes all day doing all kinds of things, bright and full of life and energy. Then just collapses in the evening. The other is slow and steady, concentrating on the task at hand, seemingly able to continue forever.  In case it's not clear which is which, the nook is the go all day then collapse at night.  I can read, search the internet, check my email, etc.  But the battery drains.  The kindle is an e-reader, and just an e-reader, but it will last a month on a charge, so it's always there, doing it's job, completely reliable.
Unlike my kids though, I never need a break from my e-readers.

Please check out my interview and book giveaway at

Enter to win a copy of my new book, Secrets.