Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Friendship, Peeling Away the Layers

Let me introduce my friend, Diana L. Driver, author of NINTH LORD OF THE NIGHT.

We met in 2004 through a connection for writers. Diana was a Geophysicist. I thought, "what on earth am I going to be able to talk about with this woman? Sheesh!" Turns out she's one of the most rounded, educated, fun-loving people I've ever been in the company of, and we've never run out of conversation to this day. 

Diana opened a window into another diminsion for me. Going all the way back to 300BCE. Her love for history and the world we live in is infectious. When at times my eyes would glaze over (not from boredom, but whoosh, over my head), she'd bring it down to a level for the commoner (me LOL). I've learned so much from her that my professors never relayed from my college days. 

Diana's passion for writing is mind-boggling. I remember one day at her home when we were chatting about ideas and such for stories. She pulled out one of those accordian-sized folders that hold about a 100 slots in it. Packed full in every slot was paperclipped outlines she has for stories for future writings.  Well, shut my mouth! I thought I was onto something with my simple, but-thought-I-was-prolific, THREE ideas. I still crack up laughing over that one. 

In 2005, Diana self-published her novel, Ninth Lord of the Night. At that time, she worked every avenue and succeeded with getting her foot in the doors at bookstores. Our local Barnes and Noble named her as one of their "Best in Self-Publishing." She had connections with several of the bookstores, signed at many, and was written up consistently in the Houston Chronicle. No small feat for a self-published author. But, Diana set her mind to accomplish her goal and proceded to do it.

Then she was approached in 2007 by a small publishing house. She accepted with them and her book, Ninth Lord of the Night was released through traditional publishing. Estactic, we both were because my novel was released the same year through the same small press. Then everything changed! 

Bookstores no longer wanted small press, or self-published books. They turned their back on money makers in a business that should have flourished, not deminish. And publishers took on the attitude that the entire load of promoting and marketing fell on the author's shoulders. All I can say to that is this: "Epic failure," because when the "house" doesn't back up its writers, then no one wins. 

Fast-forward to the end of 2009. I bugged Diana endlessly about the changes in the publishing industry, till her eyes glazed over. I shoved every single article I read, under her nose. Then in the summer of 2010, we both had done our research throughly and knew that becoming an Indie Writer was the only way to excel in this writing world. By September 2010, I took the leap and left my traditional publishing days behind. For me, having CONTROL from start to finish is incredible. 

Diana Driver dove into the Indie World head first in January 2011. I'm so proud of her! What I haven't said through all of this is: Diana is the epitome of poise, grace, and level-headedness. She doesn't just "do things" without extensive research. (this woman went to Guatemala for her research on Ninth Lord!) 

Speaking of NINTH LORD OF THE NIGHT, this is one of the best novels I've ever read in my life. Am I just saying that because we are friends...uh, no. Within our friendship, I am honest. Always. Right now, she has her novel, NINTH LORD OF THE NIGHT on Kindle for .99cents. Folks, this is a bargain for a full length novel about the Maya, a teen-ager with attitude, and a world of smugglers, murderers, and a myth come true. For .99c you'll be caught up in the jungles of a world that'll bring sweat to your brow. If you prefer PRINT, she also has NINTH LORD OF THE NIGHT available on Amazon for $9.99. 

For a blast into a cozy mystery, Agatha style, you might want to try her cute short story, THE END OF THE TOUR!

Diana and I have made it full circle...a circle that was never really broken. 

Let me introduce to you my friend, Diana L. Driver---

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Changes for the Better

Lately, I've been asked about my choice of "going Indie." But the best question was, "are you happy?"

Simply put, I'm always happy. Can't help it. To answer the question though, "Yes, I'm very happy with the choices I've made with becoming and Independent Writer." Who wouldn't be? I set my own writing schedule, don't have to compete with anyone else, and certainly don't have to put up a "publisher's list of favorites" which ticks me off. For Pete's sake, this is a business, not a competition at being the teacher's pet. Too much drama.

Like I've said in the past, I'm a writer, always wanted to be since I was a child--now my career choices are settled and I'm doing exactly what I should be doing. It isn't a mystical dream that materialized. This is what was supposed to happen. It took work. A goal was set into motion at an early age and I'm fulfilling it. It's not magic people, it's sweat, tears, and research. 

Am I successful? Success can be measured in many ways. Not just monetary. Yeah, I consider myself extremely successful. I wake up every day doing what I love to do--Making up stories in my head! LOL! 

As time goes on and life extends itself to an older age, I'll look back and can honestly say, "I've lived my dream." 

Smilin' and keeping it simple, and sippin' on my coffee with Cheyenne at my side----

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It's Live and Up!

The right file is up and live and available. (yay!!!) 

Had tons of crazy happenings during the "Supermoon" weekend. Waitresses that I had known for over a year all of a sudden didn't have a clue who I was. (no, I didn't change my hair --same ol' me) Then the computer stuff. Everything I touched either disappeared right before my eyes, or did a switch-a-roo on me after I closed the page and went back to it. Strange things all weekend long. 

The good parts of the weekend though, was that my husband and I worked in the flowerbeds all week and the yard is taking shape. Spring is in bloom. And so are our flowerbeds. Honey did an outstanding job laying out landscape and putting his muscles to hard work. (he's a good husband ;p ) 
Now TRACKING PERCEPTION is finally up and in working order-- I hope you enjoy. :-) 

Enjoying our wonderful weather with sunny days, cool breezes, and tall glasses of iced tea,

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Upload, upload, and re-upload

The day has come to announce that I've finally uploaded, Tracking Perception. But who knows when it'll come "live". For the simple fact that in all my discombobulated hurry, I uploaded the wrong version, the re-uploaded yet again the wrong version, and now am waiting to get back in and upload the CORRECT version. 

However, it doesn't spoil my good mood. I went through this file with a fine tooth comb going over everything I thought possible...from formatting to tweaking, to grammar, to style. Then I uploaded the wrong dang version. Sheesh!  Oh well, the right one will be up soon.

Here's the excerpt: 
A Becky McAllen Mystery Novel

A bloody murder at the Piper Mansion. The only witness, Tasha— a German shepherd dog…

There’s been a murder in Spike, a small Texas town. The bank president and his wife were found in their home with slashed throats. The discovery occurred when four church ladies came to visit for the monthly financials. After stumbling onto the gruesome scene they decided to clean things up before calling the police, to spare the town from seeing the atrocity.

When Becky McAllen, who happens to be married to the chief of police, becomes Tasha’s caretaker, she becomes the killer’s next target…a murderer who’s after much more than blood.

Author’s note: This is the author’s preferred edition of the 2007 release, previously titled, The Scent of Money. 

Wishing all an exciting weekend. Keep on reading!


Monday, March 14, 2011

Topics of our Writers' Night Out

Tonight, Nate and I found ourselves engrossed in topics such as where we are in our current projects, which are for both of us producing good work. 

But what occurred to me as soon as I returned home tonight, wasn't so much the topics we discussed as it was the "way" we referred to publishing our work. A year ago, we would've asked each other, "Who are you going to submit to?" Now, it goes something like this, "How close are you to uploading to Kindle?" or "Great cover, who is your cover artist?" (for the record, my cover artist is Digital Donna Casey--she's super!  ;-)  )  We also pushed around the idea of .99 vs. 2.99, 4.99, or even 5.99. Goodness, it's like throwing spaghetti on the wall and hoping it sticks...because in today's times, we're all still experimenting with pricing a single short story, an anthology, a novella, and the novel. So as we move ahead in the "express-lane" of publishing, I just hope we all can agree to give the reader, who is the most important party, an outstanding adventure. 

I want to give a special shout-out and a very special THANK YOU to Vicki Tyley, who helped with making my blog site look so impressive. She is the author of :


For those who haven't read her murder mysteries--well they are definitely worth dying for. (pun intended) lol.

Wishing all a productive week ahead--

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Facing Facts and Changes

These last three months have been a bit tough. I spoke about Brie and losing her. Well, on March 1st, we lost our Yadar. I'm not able to share my grief with the world at what we're going through without my beautiful, handsome boy dog, but one day I will tell the world how incredible a life he lived. My sweet Yades was 15, and we knew the time was drawing near for him...but still. He was my protector, my friend, my pal, my happy-face, and my baby. I love him more than life and I can't believe he's no longer by my side. 

I'll get back on track once my heart heals and I'll start posting on a regular basis again. Until then, please understand. See, our dogs ARE our children, and even though I know I would most likely outlive them, it doesn't make it any easier.

Yadar Von Kleinen Zwinger; August 1996-March 2011. 

Soon, very soon, I'll be uploading "TRACKING PERCEPTION" which has a gorgeous cover, and some spiffy new updates throughout the novel. 

This is this author's preferred edition of "The Scent of Money" published in 2007. Without further ado, let me share the new cover, soon to be available on Kindle!

Wishing everyone an exceptional weekend,