Baby, I’m A Star!

Well, no…not really.

I watched my 45-minute video interview. It came out pretty good. I mean, there were no “ahs”, “ums” or “uhhs.” But I did notice that I have a tendency to close my eyes when I talk. I didn’t know that. I asked a friend, who had not seen the interview, and he confirmed that it’s a tic of mine. So I need to practice keeping my eyes open when I talk. Of course, that’s assuming there will be other interviews and speaking gigs after this one. I sure hope so. I’ve made quite an investment in this venture, and I’d really like to see a return, at least of SOME sort.

So I’ve received some more nice reviews on The Moreva of Astoreth. Right now, the book is running at a solid 4-star. Not bad, I don’t think. Though I would like some more 5s, push the rating up a bit. But I can be happy with what I have. A few reviewers said the book could have benefited from more editing, and they’re probably right, since I edited it myself. Normally, I wouldn’t have done such a thing, but I’d just lost my job, and though I had the cash, I wasn’t sure I had the money. But then, other reviewers wrote that it was superbly edited. So whether its great or not is in the eye of the beholder, I suppose.

Off the subject of books and publicity, I’m driving my parents to Ohio next… Continue reading

Random Thoughts

There’s nothing quite like looking at a blank page and wondering where to go next.

Yes, I’m working on The Underground: Invasion. I know what has to happen, it’s really a question of how I’m going to get there. The between stuff. Part of the problem is that lately, I feel like I’m being pulled in ten directions at once. It seems that everything and everybody is clamoring for my attention, and it’s impossible to prioritize. It’s been really hard to get my head into the book. It’s been really hard to find the time to even try to get my head into the book. I should probably just put it aside until things calm down, but I don’t want to do that. I’d truly like to have the novel out by next summer. But current reality says putting it aside would be the best course. And I’m resisting.

Speaking of books…The Underground Second Edition is with the editor, who by contract will have it back to me just before christmas. And my cover artist sent the initial rendering of the cover. It’s going to look good. Might end up even looking like an illustration, rather than 3-D modeling. The Moreva of Astoreth continues to get five and four star reviews. It might have its flaws, but it really is a damned good book, if I say so myself. Let’s hope the marketing/publicity people can help make it into a bestseller. And interestingly enough, the people who’ve seen the book… Continue reading

This Level Sure Is Expensive…

Boy. The amount of money I’ve shelled out since starting this venture. My IRA is really taking beating. I’m going to owe taxes out the ying-yang for 2016. I’ll probably have to raid my IRA again just to pay them. And then I’ll have to pay in 2017…unless, as I’m repeatedly told, I get speaking gigs, which pay a handsome amount. And maybe The Moreva of Astoreth will become a bestseller. I sure hope so. I hate to think I’ve bought a pig in a poke. What’s really troublesome is that I’ve yet to see anything–press kit and all that. Now I’m told I need flash drive business cards. Another huge amount of money.

At least there’s one good thing. In order to do this, I’ve put most of the charges on my Discover card, and then immediately paid it off. So when all is said and done (and I hope it’s done) my balance on Discover will be zero. And I did say I wanted to pay them off this year…

On The Next Level

This will be short, because I’ve got to go to bed, soon. Early day, tomorrow.

So I had the video interview. As Jim Masters said it would be, it was so much fun! Only one thing, though. The camera really does put pounds on you. I looked like a damned whale. No wonder TV and movie folks are so little and skinny. In front of a camera, they look normal.

The interview went well. I wasn’t nervous, or anything, it was as if the camera wasn’t even there. Jim and I just talked about my writing life and my book. I was pleasantly surprised.

All right, that’s enough. Time for beddy-bye, or as a friend of mine says, “the bed-thingy.” Whatever you want to call it, I’m in it.

Holla!

Taking It To The Next Level

It’s going to be a wild ride.

Since my marketing skills are pretty much zero, I’ve broken down and hired people to do it for me. I show up where I’m told, send them what I’m told to send, and they do the rest. It is not cheap. Oh, no, no, no. But I’m tired of spending all this money on marketing, and getting almost zilch in return. I did a radio show. It obviously met with some success, because this marketing firm contacted me, saying they’d heard the show, and thought I’d be a good candidate for them. I’ll admit, my first thought was that it was some sort of scam. Then a little voice inside my head (I got lots of ’em) said “why not give it a go?” So I did. Next week I have a video interview with their host who works with authors. They’re putting together a press kit for me. Another book marketer helped me put together a branding statement. Mind you, this is not just for the Moreva of Astoreth. It’s for all my books. I’m not necessarily looking for a best seller, though that would be nice. I just want to get a return on my investments. Doesn’t have to be dollar for dollar. I’d be happy if I just made back half of what I’ve spent so far. I mean, this is not a hobby. Writing and running Blackrose Press is what I want to do with the rest of my… Continue reading

Work Continues Apace

Blog tour materials completed. Talking to my marketing guy tonight. The Underground 2nd Edition shipped off to editor. Now to continue work on Jahannan’s Children (really gotta change that title since the book is totally different now). But I have to say, rereading Edition 1 of The Underground has been really helpful. So many little details I’d forgotten. They will not be mentioned in the second edition per se, but it will help me remember that a character would not do such a thing.

Oh–by the way, here’s the link to my new website. Still not finished, but it will be pretty soon!

http://www.roxannebland.rocks

Cover Story

Contacted my designer for a new cover for The Underground. Actually, it’ll be a lot like the old cover, except better rendered. Jeez, that old cover is horrible! I just couldn’t make those people understand what I wanted. Hmm…kind of like the first cover for The Moreva of Astoreth.

So I sent the manuscript for the revised The Underground to the editor. We’ll see what she thinks of it. It shouldn’t require too much editing, but the key word here is shouldn’t. Everyone has their own style. Meanwhile, I’m going to leave it alone. I mean, really. I’ve some ideas for a couple more chapters, but I’ll write them separately, rather than dropping them into the existing MS. I think we really need some closure for Isadore Drummond, the morran elf. He’s got two chapters, so in the third, he either dies, or finds another child needing rescue from the riots. I don’t know–have to think about it. I mean, I hate killing off characters, especially since I consider them my friends. But if they have to go, then they have to go.

I also finished all my materials for the The Moreva of Astoreth blog tour. It’s running from September 7th through the 26th. Wow–six guest posts! Plus a top 10, plus interviews. I looked at the blog hosts, and found something rather funny. Deal Sharing Aunt is on the tour, and she’s going to do a review. She’s already done one, for the last blog tour. Gave me… Continue reading

An End And A Beginning

The Great Goodreads Giveaway is over–952 entrants. Not too shabby, eh? The books have gone out, and the winners should be receiving them soon (some may have already). I had the bright idea of letting CreateSpace handle the shipping. I really didn’t feel like hauling all those boxes to the Post Office. Anyway, it worked. Sending them to the US winners via CreateSpace was only about 30 cents more than sending them media mail through the Post Office. And international shipment–whoo! Now that was cheap! $4.99 to England? Dang! And there were a fair number of those. The most expensive one was to Australia, but that was to be expected. Besides, there was only one.

So I converted the .pdf of The Underground to Word. What a CHORE! It’s beyond belief that someone hasn’t come up with a program that’ll convert without totally messing up the formatting. But it’s done, and I’m working on it. I’ve written one new chapter so far, on the elves. There’ll be others, too.

Monday I’m talking with the marketing expert. It’ll be interesting to hear what he has to say. And then I’m going to spend  the $5-600 bucks for their 2-year marketing package. *sigh* Mo’ money, mo’ money, mo’ money! Oh, well. At least it’s tax deductible.

That’s all I have for today. Tune in in a couple of days for more news of my incredibly exciting life!

Goodreads Giveaway

Well, the giveaway is almost over. Only hours left. There are almost 900 folks requesting a copy, which makes me feel pretty good, that there’s interest out there. One young man asked that if he doesn’t win (which he probably won’t) that I send him a signed copy. My first thought was to say “you buy it, send it to me, and I’ll sign it.” Then I thought, what the hey? It won’t kill me to send one book. Besides, it’s not like I don’t have a half-ton of them here. And it’s one less I have to store.

In other news, I’ve almost decided to rewrite The Underground before I finish the sequel. It keeps knocking at my head. Maybe I can work on both at the same time. It’s not going to take much to revise The Underground. Well, I don’t think it’s going to take much. Anyway, I’ve put out feelers as to whether there’s a service that can turn the book into a Word document. It’s a big book–457 pages–so I’m going to have to put out some real bucks for that. Better do it while I have the money, you know?

As for the radio interview, The Authors show broadcasts on 5 channels, and I’ll be on number 5. It starts at 12:01 AM Eastern, and runs for 24 hours. So don’t be alarmed if you think you’ve missed it. As long as you tune in on August 10, you won’t. And I’m almost certain… Continue reading

Out of the Brains of Babes

I’m sitting in my office, sort of musing over my life. I remember being in my 20s, thinking about middle age (and wondering if I’d make it–at the rate I was going, it was questionable). I remember thinking to myself that if I did make it to middle age, I wanted to own and drive around in an antique sports car.

Well, guess what. I survived. What’s more, I’m now middle aged, and I own an antique sports car. I bought it while I was in my 30s. It never occurred to me that I might still have the car 21 years later.

What brought this on? I have to take it in for a vehicle emissions inspection. But this will be the last time. I will get historic tags (where I live, cars with historic tags no longer have to go through inspection). She’s historic. Sometimes I feel historic. We can be historic relics together.

Her name is Mrs. Peel.