So much is going on right now, I barely have time to breathe let alone think about a blog topic! And to follow our new additions, Lori, Laura and Sophie? Wowza! Aren’t they terrific?
When I sat down tonight to write my blog, I knew in the far depths of my brain that I had a topic . . . somewhere . . . but it disappeared. I’m not surprised. My oldest daughter turned 16 yesterday. I’m very happy–she’s a great person, strong, resourceful, grounded, and a leader. But I don’t feel old enough to have a 16 year old. But then I look in the mirror and see all the gray hair. There is a LOT. I need an appointment at my hairdresser . . . but I don’t have two hours to spare! (But honestly? I’d better find time before my book signing at Borders on January 30 because by then my hair will be more gray than brown!)
This month, daughter #1 started club volleyball. This, on top of Varsity Basketball. Yesterday was a minimum day–picked up all kids, went to birthday lunch with family and #1’s best friend, then mom took them for birthday massage while I took #2 to her basketball game (away!) and Dan watched three little kids; then we rushed home at 630 so Dan and I could go to Katie’s home game. Home at 9 . . .
Today I picked all five kids up at three, came home, signed books that my mother is shipping out for me, Dan took #1 to basketball practice at 5; I fed kids and played Spongebob Operation. Then I took daughter #2 to basketball practice, picked #1 up and drove to volleyball practice, came home, put little kids to bed. Three books and three conversations later, Dan picks up daughters while I try to work on the revisions to CARNAL SIN. But I am so stuck on a pivotal scene–and yes, these are revisions. But the scene needs to be changed and I’ve rewritten it three times and it’s not working.
Tomorrow I decided that after the gym I’m heading to Starbucks, hoping that a change of environment will kick my muse into gear. Kids are staying in day care until 430 so I can have some extra time. I need it! Oh, and on top of it, I’m teaching a Kiss of Death class this month on Rule Breaking. I am having way too much fun–I should have made a schedule and stuck to it . . . ha ha ha ha.
And then there’s the release of ORIGINAL SIN on January 26th. I’m alternately excited and nervous. I neglected the release dates of my last three books–I was so rushed with writing the NEXT book. That’s why the revisions for CARNAL SIN are so important to finish by Sunday. (I wanted them done by Friday, but I don’t think I’ll make it.) I’m doing more for ORIGINAL SIN than I’ve done for any of my books, largely because it’s a new genre for me. While it still sounds like me, it’s still dark suspense, it’s also paranormal. I hope most of my readers will trust me to try the book, and I also need to find new readers. So I reluctantly opened my pocketbook to do a little promotion . . .
I’ve had many people come up to me, usually at conferences, and think that I’ve done a bunch of promotion for my books. The thing is, I don’t. Usually. I’ll print bookmarks, I’ll usually run a few contests and give away books, I’ll guest blog in a few places. For some of my books, I did book trailers. Those are always fun, but I didn’t have the time or the $$ for a trailer this go around. Instead, I spent $$ on a new website. I love my website–the images can be easily changed to reflect whatever book I’m promoting. It fits me and my books. I have excerpts and a news Q&A up. We’re still making some changes to content, but it’s 99% there.
Shortly, I’ll be posting new content on the Seven Deadly Sins website. But I’m not quite there yet . . .
My publisher did a widget which is kind of cool (and if you post the widget on your website/blog/facebook/wherever–let me know by Friday and you’ll be in a drawing for my novella, WHAT YOU CAN’T SEE!)
They’re also doing some other cool things with internet ads, which I haven’t had before so we’ll see if they have an impact. And an exclusive excerpt at Scribd.com. And probably the coolest thing so far is that ORIGINAL SIN is the Walmart Read of the Month and has an exclusive short story (a ghost story–I loved writing it) plus a deleted scene and reader letter. I’ll be able to post the story to my web page at some point, but probably not until March.
I’ll admit, I’m getting a bit overwhelmed by everything that’s happening this month, with the release, revisions, family and minor disasters . . . like my washing machine going out on Sunday night. Seven people — no washing machine. My mom took the kids uniforms home last night and washed them and returned them today (Love You Mom!) and the repairman comes tomorrow. And finishing the Thriller books to judge. And editing a short story I wrote for BLOOD LITE II, the anthology of the Horror Writers Association. Then there is the little problem with the back cover copy . . . but I’m trying to be zen about it all. (Stop laughing, Rocki! I mean it! . . . I saw that smirk Karin. Watch it.)
For my friends and fans in Australian–Random House Australia moved up publication to February 10. Here’s the Australian cover, which is darker and creepier than the US cover. (I love them both.)
But, with all of it and knowing my publisher will do a great job with distribution and placement, I still felt I might have a hard time finding my readers. RT reviewed ORIGINAL SIN under “Urban Fantasy” which is probably closer to accurate than “paranormal romance.” (I still like supernatural thriller best.) I wanted to make sure that readers who like darker paranormal stories, urban fantasy, and even horror. So in addition to bookmarks (which look fabulous–a friend of mine designed them. If you want some, email me with your address), the RWR ad I often buy (it looks great–I asked Ballantine to do it for me, I just paid for it,) and AuthorBuzz (which I generally do for the first book in a trilogy, and since this is a new series–I really thought it would be wise), I did something I never do.
I spent money on a media consultant.
Ok, it’s very limited. I hired Meryl Moss Media Relations for a very specific purpose–reaching out to blogs and websites and reviewers outside of the standard romance world, who will already be getting my book for review from my publisher. Yes, I could have done all the research in my spare time–like between 3 and 4 am–and probably get my publisher to send out books, but I wanted someone who knew details–who would be most interested in my book; someone who would be able to talk to the bloggers (or who would get their email read!) and pitch my book. And most importantly, do the mailing and leg work.
Time is precious. All my time is devoted to my writing and my kids. That’s really all I have now, and I felt if I didn’t do SOMETHING proactive I would regret it, especially if ORIGINAL SIN didn’t do well. At least now, I know I did everything I could do AND I only went about 15% over my budget.
I’m sorry this post is my rants and ramblings about my schedule. I’m not complaining–honestly, I’m thrilled to have the book of my heart coming out in less than two weeks. (Or, as I wrote in my Author Buzz note–the book of my fears.) I love being an author, warts and all. But sometimes, when everything comes to a head the same week, I can’t help but think what have I gotten myself into?
We’ve all had days . . . weeks . . . months like this. Right? So what was the one week from hell in your life where everything had to happen THEN and how did you manage it all? What did you learn from it–or about yourself?