Thursday, May 12, 2016

Life Update: From Moving to "Nightmares"

It’s time for a good old life update on the blog! My apologies for taking forever to update, and I sincerely thank those of you who pay attention and support my work. I even had a few Facebook and Twitter messages from followers asking if I was okay. I wonder if that means I spend too much time on social media :)

So, here’s a 2016 life update.

I moved! As of 4/20, I reached a new high in life (bad pun intended). Check out some of the space below!

A view of part of the main floor from when you open the front door: This is where I write when I want to write, as Stephen King says, "with the door open." 

Organizing my horror collection

A view of my office

Putting together my other creative writing space: This is where I work when I want to write "with the door closed." I love being surrounded by all my favorite books and pop culture inspirations!

Moving is a HUGE process, as many of you know. I have months more of work to do on the house. So whenever I'm slow at posting or being active online, it's a safe bet that I'm either working on the house or writing. 

Rabbit in Red Volume Two (Burn the Rabbit) is DONE! It just needs to go through one final and formal round of editing with my favorite editor in the world, Kathy Teel, who helped me turn book one into what I had always hoped it could be. I hope to release it in September. My goal is one Rabbit in Red book every fall or Halloween season. It's the BEST THING I HAVE EVER WRITTEN. I LOVE all of you who loved Rabbit in Red. It makes my day. But looking back, Rabbit in Red was just my warm-up. Book two is a total game-changer. I can't wait to share it with you. Expect to see some promotions and whatnot this summer if you'd like to get involved and help with those!

I’ve got a special collection of horror shorts releasing soon! It’s called Nightmares Under The Moonlight!

First, a big thanks to Camron Johnson Illustrations for the awesome cover art! I've got several awesome horror short stories and a few extra surprises in this collection. Right now, I'm keeping the content as a surprise: If you want a chance to WIN A FREE COPY and be among the first to read it and know those surprises, please sign up for my author newsletter HERE. That link will take you to my wesbite. The newsletter is free, and I promise to send something out no more than once a month-- you won't get sick of me. I don't update too often :) But when I do, it's to give away free stuff and tell you about cool news! 

Special events! I’ll be at the Artist and Comic Expo in Peoria on June 11 and 12. I’m working on the specials for that weekend, but the coolest thing is that Nightmares Under The Moonlight will be available to convention-goers first! I’ll discount the book and offer special prices if you buy that and a copy of Rabbit in Red, too. So please mark your calendars for that convention, and come out and be the first to get a copy! For those outside of Peoria, I'll make the book available online later that weekend, too!

Go HERE to like ACE (Artist and Comic Expo) on Facebook!

My ACE promo

On a final note, authors are often asked to give advice to those aspiring to be published. Let me tell you one story that made me very proud, and how it happened.

The other day, a manager from a Barnes and Noble store called me. She asked if I would do an event—a solo signing and speaking event. That’s huge! Trust me, especially with the big stores, it’s usually us authors calling them and hoping they will hook us up. It completely made my day! 

She said, “our assistant manager is a huge fan of your book!” Then she checked to see how many copies they had in stock, and told me, “well, we’ll order a bunch more. I have no doubt they’ll sell.” 

These are words that sent me on another high—a compliment from a reader who is also a bookstore manager! Plus, the confidence of a business that your product will sell: these are the little examples that make me feel that all the hard work I put into writing and promotion have really started to pay off.

Now, how did I get there? Be GRATEFUL and appreciative for all the opportunities you get as a writer. A few months back, I did an event with a half dozen authors at the same store. To be brief: virtually every author complained about the set up or was rude to the people in charge. I couldn’t believe it. I made sure that day to be even extra appreciative for the opportunities given me. Not every event is going to be perfect. You make the most of it, and all parties learn from that experience.

And, of course, guess who got invited back? And guess who didn’t? Not a surprise to me.

Be kind to the booksellers, business owners, readers, fans, and everyone who is helping you out. There will be poorly coordinated, organized, and marketed events. That’s life. How you react to such events will determine your success (and invites) at future events. 

With that said, let me thank some Central Illinois stores who have been nothing but AWESOME. I'm going to link their Facebook pages. Give them a LIKE, please, and even more importantly, go buy stuff from them.

ZEEK'S COMICS AND GAMES: what a treasure cove of fun stuff in Washington, IL. A MUST SEE.

LIT. ON FIRE USED BOOKS: a hidden gem in Peoria, IL with monthly events for readers and performers-- so cool!

I KNOW YOU LIKE A BOOK: a gorgeous boutique store in Peoria Heights, IL that constantly supports independent authors

Thanks for reading and supporting me, too. Please follow me on Facebook or Twitter, and sign up for my author newsletter on my website.

Get your copy of Rabbit in Red today!

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