Saturday, October 21

Why Not Me?


I get a lot of emails, probably because I sign up for a lot of stuff. Some I delete right away (why did I sign up for this anyway?), others I skim through, and some I actually read. One of the few newsletter-type emails I actually read is from Joseph Michael. His “Cup of Joe” email is interesting and often has some information I can use. A recent Cup of Joe really resonated with me.

My post on Word Wranglers a few Saturdays ago was about finding motivation. I need inspiration to help me finish writing/editing my current project and do everything necessary to self-publish it. To be honest, I’ve been terrified. What if self-publishing this series is a huge waste of time and money? Really, can a small potatoes author like me even hope to break even? Maybe I should forget the whole idea.

Then I read Joseph Michael’s email in which he shared an article he’d been featured in with Forbes Magazine. He says “if an "average Joe" from Missouri can do this -- then so can YOU!” I loved his video about pushing through. So, I started thinking, ‘Why not me?’ Why can’t I be the one who’s novels do well? Best-selling, even?
It’s not easy for me to believe that exceptional things will happen to me. I wasn’t exactly raised to believe I could be or do anything I wanted. No knock against my parents; they doted on me. But they had a narrow view of the world that communicated itself to me. Other people did big things, not us. I’ve probably let opportunities pass me by because of thinking like that.

In the article in Forbes Magazine, Joseph Michael talks about wanting something better than his corporate job. There was nothing wrong with it, but he wanted to be an entrepreneur and he wanted something better for his family than living paycheck to paycheck. So he kept trying. And working hard. He talks about spending every lunch hour in his car working on his own projects, parking close to a coffee shop so he could use their Wi-Fi. Eventually, all his hard work paid off and he came up with a course to teach people how to effectively use Scrivener. Other ideas and courses followed and eventually he was able to give up his day job. He never stopped believing he could make a living as an entrepreneur. He wanted to break free.


The idea of self-publishing appealed to me because I want at least a few books that I fully control. Self-publishing means I control the price and the cover, and every aspect of publishing and marketing. It’s a huge responsibility and a scary one.

I have to get over my fear. I believe I have a good product and I’m working hard to make it even better. I need to believe in myself. When I get worried about the costs and whether these books will sell, I have to ask myself, why not me?

What do you do to inspire yourself? If you’ve got any inspirational quotes you’d like to share, I’d love to hear them!

Thursday, October 19

The Name Game

Image result for character names  memesby Margie Senechal

I've been thinking about character names a lot lately. Probably because I realized that I keep using variations of the same name or with the same letter.
I really seem to to like the letters A, J, and R.

In three manuscripts, I have variations of the name Ann--I have Analise, who goes by Ana, Annie, and Anastasia. I also have an Ashlynn.

I have three different Rileys. I've decided to change one of those to Ronald but he'll go by Reb. And in that same manuscript I have a transgender name Rory. 

Since Bix, I've been partial to names with an X. They're something so  definitive about that letter.  I have a Dex and Jax. And while looking for a meme for this blog, I came across Axton. A and X--a name made in Margie heaven.

But, then in Suitcases, I've changed the name of Danny's wife and Ana's mother like ten times. I still haven't committed to either character what their name should be. Danny's daughter's name is/was Sophie, but then I realized I had another WIP where the main character's name is Sophie. 

AGH!

I'm sure other writers have this same struggle. Please do share.

And have a great Thursday, may it propel you into a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, October 18

#NewRelease: Falling for You Anthology from #HarlequinSuperromance authors!

It's release week for Falling for You, and I couldn't be more excited about it! First, because it's a series expansion, and second, because it has been such a joy working with the other authors in the set. We had envisioned the anthology as a spotlight for our line, Harlequin Superromance, but when we heard the line was closing, it became our send-off for the line (but don't stop buying Superromances, there will be new books out through 2018...and our backlist books will be on sale, too!).

The other thing I love about this anthology? All the stories are fall-themed --- so you'll get a peek into some small town, fall festivals, some great fall food, and if the weather is still hot in your neck of the woods, we'll transport you to a place with crisp fall breezes and falling leaves!

Do you have a favorite season?          ~Kristina

Here's a bit about the anthology:

Foreword by Brenda Novak.

When the weather cools down, hearts heat up…

Bonfires aren't the only things warming up the night. Across the land, hearts are falling along with the leaves. Curl up with a pumpkin spice latte and warm your heart with ten tales of autumn love.

It Was You by Tara Taylor Quinn:
He has no problem respecting the fact that she is off limits…until the one night he does.

The Right Man by Heatherly Bell:
When one long planned dream day veers wildly off-course, she must decide between the perfect wedding or the right man.

Her Hometown Cowboy by Claire McEwen:
Falling for him wasn’t part of her plan.

Meet Me in the Middle by Jo McNally:
She’s used to playing it safe, but when her old crush comes cruising back into town, she might have to risk it all.

Outsider in a Small Town by Kristina Knight:
She may hold the keys to his heart…and his future.

If I Fall by Kris Fletcher:
What goes up must fall…in love.

Finding Harmony by Janet Lee Nye:
Jericho was the last place she wanted to be, but it was becoming the best place for her.

Perfect Fit by Angel Smits:
She never forgot her first love…and though he never measured up, neither did he.

Home to You by Dana Nussio:
Can a woman who ran from home and a man who never had it ever hope to discover that home really is a place for hearts?

Can’t Help Falling in Love by Lisa Dyson:
She’s career-oriented. and he’s the one who just broke her boss’s heart.

Buy Falling for You: Amazon   B&N   iBooks   KOBO   Google Play 

Tuesday, October 17

About Promotion and Helping Each Other

Most writers I know are not necessarily great at promotion. And it's not that we aren't proud of our work and excited to share it with anyone who seems interested, but it's simply not the nature of most writers to toot their own horns. We pretty much do this stuff all alone, spending long hours in our own little worlds. Being a storyteller means we like being someone else or at least being somewhere else, so saying "Look at me!" comes hard.

However the facts are we do have to work at promotion if we're going to see anyone else read our stories. One of the great things about being a part of a community of writers is that we are all willing to help each other with the arduous task of promotion. To that end, today, I'm sending you elsewhere. Please head on over to my personal website where I'm celebrating the release of Heartwarming Holiday Wishes. starring our own Liz Flaherty!  Her story Miracle on Joyful Street is more than worth the one-click. I'm reading the others right now. But over at nanreinhardt.com, one of Liz's co-authors Leigh Riker has shared some fun stuff about Christmases that didn't quite come off as planned.


Monday, October 16

When the frost is on the punkin...revisited

This is, you will notice, a repeat post. It was first here in September of 2015. I'm posting it again not because it was so memorable or so great but because at the end of launch week for Heartwarming Holiday Wishes, I am so tired that getting out of bed requires a real effort. Thinking up new things to say when I'm there is just beyond me. So, thanks for your patience.

Liz

"They’s something kindo’ harty-like about the atmusfere
When the heat of summer’s over and the coolin’ fall is here—
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossums on the trees,
And the mumble of the hummin’-birds and buzzin’ of the bees;
But the air’s so appetizin’; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur’ that no painter has the colorin’ to mock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock." - James Whitcomb Riley

Every season is my favorite when it first gets here, even winter, but there's something special about fall. My list of reasons for that specialness is mostly about the senses: colors, sounds, smells, tastes. Walking the Nickel Plate Trail near my house brings me to sharp attention to all of those. (You can, if you're receptive enough, even taste the crisp air--I swear!)

My fourth grade teacher read the excerpted poem above aloud in its entirety to the class. I was a farm kid who took all those sensory things for granted. I liked jumping in leaves, but I never noticed their crunch or how they smelled. I liked apples, but never heard the snap or gave thought to the cold burst of sweetness when I bit into one. 

It was one of those aha! moments, when life changes irrevocably whether you know it or not. Because after Mrs. Kotterman read the poem, I experienced fall instead of just being there. I still do. Some of the trees are topping out in gold and orange right now. The fields are being harvested and when you step outside, you are met with the sweet, sharp smell of grain.

My husband plays guitar, which I think I've mentioned, and he loves chords. Far from ever
leaving one out of a song, he's more likely to add some. I love to hear him play, not only because he's my husband, but because the music is always full and rich. Far from just playing a song, he feels every note--he experiences it. When I listen and watch his fingers on the keyboard and see how engaged his so-blue eyes are, I get to experience it, too.

Last night, we went to see a local theatre's production of Mary Poppins.
My daughter and I saw it on Broadway several years ago, and I love the play. But it was the movie, Saving Mr. Banks, that let me see it in a whole new way. In the scene where the Sherman brothers and Don DaGradi show P. L. Travers "Let's Go Fly A Kite" Emma Thompson ended up dancing with Bradley Whitford and I ended up sniffling and mopping my eyes on my sleeve. Now, I cry every time I experience the song, and I love it. (I've read that the scene was fictionalized. Maybe it was. I don't care. It was a great story.)

Back I go to writing--we can always connect that; have you noticed? When I write a story, I want to experience it, not just tap the keys and watch the word count at the bottom of the screen. I want to hear it and feel it and know it. When I read one, I want to be involved to the point that it's not a question of whether I'll laugh and cry, it's just a question of when.

Have a great week. I wish you great experiences, and if you'd like to share some, we'd love to hear them.