Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Indie Process

I suppose while I'm in the midst of going indie I could keep you abreast of the process. So, I've already put the covers out there, which you've seen and weighed in on, and I've done some research on young adult covers and chosen one. I know many of you like the glass heart, but after the research, the cover needs to convey what the story is about, and young adult readers like to see a person on the cover, so this is the one I went with.
I've already done the formatting for the most part. Now I'm waiting to hear back from my beta readers. I've heard back from three of them, and here is a couple of things they had to say.

"Dissected is amazing, but it's a hard, painful read. I believe it's important because it reminds me so much of Go Ask Alice, which changed my life." ~ fellow writer

"I started reading it and well I couldn't stop until I finished it. I love the detail that you put into and it makes it seem like you are right there with Syd." ~ reader

"I liked it. I am disturbed by it. I was sucked in by it...... Your writing allows you to speak to the reader's heart, and that is a gift." ~ school librarian

Once I hear back from the others (I think there are two more), I will press on from there. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. There is definitely a learning curve to this process.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


You know, no one wants you here. Get lost. You're going to force me to use captcha and up to this point I've avoided it and Bloggers captcha doesn't always work for everyone.

No one cares about you. No one in their right minds are going to follow your links. Most people that come to my blog don't read Chinese although I used to find that amusing, I don't anymore. Seriously. Go away.

You have caught me on the wrong week, seriously, if I could reach out and bitch slap you through this monitor, I'd totally do it.

I mean, really, I've had this blog for years.  YEARS!!! Why all of a sudden am I being bombarded with spam now? UGH!

Many I've had a shitty few days.


Monday, February 25, 2013

Dissected Trailer & Fundraising Campaign

First of all, let me give you the cute Monday Monkey.

Now, I'm very excited to announce that I finished the book trailer for Dissected. So, without further ado, here it is. Let me know what you think.


Okay, I think I've already mentioned this, but I've started an Indiegogo page to raise some funds to publish Dissected. I'm really not asking for much, just enough to get me started. Find the campaign here. You'll get "perks" for donating, such as SWAG packs and signed books. So you don't get a double dose if info, I'll let you go to the page to see the why's of going indie and the summary of Dissected.

If you can't contribute, it would be awesome if you'd just share the link.

Have a happy Monday. Mine's been pretty shitty so far, but it's looking up.

Friday, February 22, 2013

F³A: Heavy Heart

Do you ever have those days where you know everything is not right with your world, but you can't put your finger on it? I mean, I suppose I have plenty of reasons to have a heavy heart today:

  • the gray
  • the rain
  • losing weight
  • my nose hurts
  • I have a big zit on my cheek that doesn't want to go away
  • going indie on my next novel
  • asking for money to go indie on my next novel
  • being away from my boyfriend for 5 days
  • coming to the realization that both my kids are driving which means I'm getting older
  • disenchantment with the publishing world
  • not enough time to do everything I want or need to
  • slowly seeing my dream of being a full time writer  slipping away...

But today shouldn't be any worse than yesterday or the day before. Nothing has changed. Why all of a sudden do I feel gloom and doom today.

I think I'll just blame it on the rain *do NOT, I repeat NOT cue Milli Vanilli* Today the rain is loud, and though that may have helped me in my sleeping endeavors, it certainly isn't helping in my waking life. I think today I need some rainbows and sunshine and for this rain to go away.

Here are the Friday Scribbles:

Pandora Playlist Song:  St. Walker by Young the Giant.

Book of the Week: Um, I've been so busy, I kind of forget what a book is. Maybe next week.

Netflix of the Week: Desperate Housewives season two. Just started it last night.

Quote of the Week: "The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of. ~ Blaise Pascal  

Happy Friday all. Have a good weekend.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Covers again and a little fundraising

So, after polling and much research and whatnot, I've chosen a cover. I'm not going to reveal it yet, because I'm still tweaking it. I've also decided, even though I really don't like asking for money, to try to raise the funds for costs of getting the book published. If you're interested in just checking out the campaign, or donating, you can find it here. Even if you don't want to donate, the site is kind of interesting.

Now, you're not giving and getting nothing in return. Oh no. With Indiegogo you get perks. So depending on the level of contribution, you'll get something. My undying gratitude, some SWAG, a signed book, and if you're a local, you could get more.

I'm getting pretty excited about this project. It's taking a lot of research about formatting, publicity (which I know pretty well already, but you can always learn more), book covers, ISBN numbers, distributing, and crap like that. I was thinking about an April release date, but foolish me forgot that I started marketing Never Eighteen long before three months ahead of time.

So now, I'm going for June/July.

That's all the begging I'll do for the day. I'm hoping to have a cover done in the next week. Maybe I can get one of my awesome blogger pals to do a reveal for me. *hint hint*

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Time to get back to vlogging

I know I know, I've promised this a million times before, but this time I mean it. *cough* I'm going to try to mean it.

I've missed it and believe it or don't, people have missed me *cue head swelling*. Life has just been so crazy these past few months...

So, I'm heading to the coast for some R&R this weekend and I'm going to make out my weekly schedule. One I'm hoping to stick to. And I'm going to stick vlogging on there at least once a week (if not two because hey, I'm a narcissist).

But how do you juggle it all, grocery shopping, dinner cooking, writing, editing, formatting, designing book covers,*takes deep breath* kickboxing, chillin', cleaning, networking, marketing, blogging, vlogging, going to kids soccer games, music gigs, Netflixing, hanging out with BF, hanging out with girlfriends, hanging out with kids?

Huh? How?

Yeah, schedule.

We'll see if that works.

For now, writing is being set aside in order to get my novel Dissected out into the world. I'm very excited. I was going for an early April release, but realistically, I think late April would be better. For my sanity.

How the hell do you squeeze in everything you do? I don't even work full time and I still don't seem to find the time to do it all.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Formatting and other tragedies

First I'll give you a monkey, because there was no monkey in my blog yesterday.

There's a lot to do when you decide to become an indie publisher. Formatting is one of them. It's really not THAT difficult. Createspace has pretty clear instructions on how to do it. But unfortunately, I apparently was not indenting my manuscript correctly and that made it a little bit of a bitch. Luckily I have some Facebook friends that are Word masters and they helped me through my idiotic mistake and now I'm cruising along, in fact, I'm pretty much done with the formatting part.

Next step is more editing. I have some betas reading it as we speak. One is already finished with it. He read it in a day. Good sign. I'm hoping the others will have it done in two weeks time. I'm hoping for an April release.

After that, I have a friend who is a great editor who is going to go through a all in one editing process for me. She's going to go through my formatting, do line editing and copy editing.

Then I had an offer from someone to help me with formatting, so I hope she'll also take a look at my formatting, just to have one more set of eyes look at it.

Then the hopefully last round of edits, formatting fixes and voila, finishing up the other details and I have a book out.

If you're thinking about self publishing, my friend Karla Brady has a great blog that lays out the process for you step by step. Check it out here.

That is all. Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Help me choose my book cover

I posted this on my author page on Facebook, but I know some of you aren't on there, so I wanted to post it here too and get your input. Here are the top three covers from facebook, will you please vote on your favorite for my new book Dissected. To help you out, here is a short summary:

Sydney Warner, a teenage girl, whom after being abandoned by her mother at a young age, becomes a thrill seeker with a penchant for extreme sports and a fascination with death. She’s brash, she’s spunky, and she doesn’t take crap from anyone. 
Withdrawn and broody David, from English class, is the boy of Syd's dreams, but love soon becomes just another extreme sport when Syd finds out that David has cheated on her with her best friend. Betrayal, loneliness, and a mishap with a picture frame set Syd on a course of self-destruction that includes alcohol, drugs, and self-mutilation in the form of cutting.

 After nearly bleeding to death during an arm carving mishap, Syd is tossed unwillingly
into a teen psyche ward where she comes to realize she’s not alone. Through new friendships, unwelcomed therapy, and her love of the stars, she finds alternate ways to cope with her emotions on her path to forgiveness and redemption. 

I'm putting numbers in the captions, so you can just give me the cover #. Thanks in advance! You can also let me know if there is a particular font you like as well.




Thursday, February 14, 2013

Changed My Mind

I'm gung ho. I've decided not to send Dissected to the agent again. (notice how I changed the name again?) I'm just going to throw my hat into the self publishing ring.

And I'm excited...really excited.

I'm doing a lot of research. I've had many friends who've gone before me who are willing to help out. I'm designing the cover. If this one goes well, I may just do them all this way and forgo traditional publishing all together. Who knows?

Any of you out there self pubbed? If so, how's it going?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


They posted the results of the pitch round for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest today. I did not make it. This is the first time of the five times I've entered that I've not made this first round. Am I shocked? I have to admit, a little. I've used pretty much the same pitch the last four times. It was bound to eventually fail me.

Maybe I was a bit over confident.

This round of course tells nothing of what kind of writer I am. It only tells that my pitch was worse than 400 other YA entrants. Oh well. Moving forward. Here are my plans:

  • Wait for editor to finish reading An Unbalanced Line. If she rejects, that is the novel I'm planning to self pub. If she wants it, revise Lockdown and self pub.
  • Revise Dissection and send back to agent that wants to read it. If she doesn't want it, self pub.
  • Continue working on other books, Rumpelstiltskin retelling, post apocalyptic YA and other things I've started. I need to buckle down and get some of these written.
  • Continue with side projects.
No matter what book it be, I am going to self pub this year. I cannot fathom the idea of not having a book out for another two to three years.

I congratulate and wish all the contestants still in ABNA the best of luck.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Monkey Madness Tuesday: Dear, Spammer

You get the monkeys today because I didn't feel like blogging yesterday, I felt like I had nothing to say. Today I do. I'm feeling some angst. So here I am. 

First of all, to the spammers who keep commenting here on my blog anonymously, go away. Get a life. Don't come back. No one is going to read your comment and follow your link. Are you stupid or something?

Secondly, I'm frustrated about my writing career. I have no idea which direction to go. I have about five projects going. I can't seem to focus. Meanwhile, I've got things tied up with editor and contest. I feel like a chicken with my head cut off.

Thirdly, I have another frustrating ongoing thing I can't really talk about but I'm so tired of dealing with I want to rip my hair out and I really don't understand it, it seems so stupid.

I have to say this. Thank god for kickboxing and xanax.

Image courtesy of samurai/

Friday, February 8, 2013

F³A: I wish I'd written that

Man, I have run across some amazing books, TV shows, and movies, that have resonated with me and make me say, I wish I'd written that or I wish I could write like that.

The most recent is the series Lost. I just finished watching it on Netflix and I was blown away. J.J. Abrams of course is a genius, but to be able to film a first episode and the final scene, then keep the show going in the right direction for all six years, is fucking amazing. Plus, the storyline, the characters, everything about that show just rocked my world.

I don't know how many times I cried during the last few episodes. Too many to count.

Is there a book, tv show, or movie you wish you'd written? If so, what?

Okay, here's the Friday Scribbles:

Next Pandora Song: So Long by Ingrid Michaelson (Fun Channel)

Book of the Week: Considering I've not read anything lately, um..I guess I don't have one? Oh wait, I'll go with my friend Gae Polisner's The Pull of Gravity, which just came out in paperback this week. Go buy it.

Netflix of the Week: Duh, Lost Season Six. Did you know there was a 12 minute epilogue video too? You can find it here.

Quote of the Week: There were a lot of good ones from the show Lost, but this is my favorite, and I find myself saying it, just like Desmond, quite often. "See you in another life, Brotha." ~ Desmond Hume to Jack Shepard.

Happy Friday all. Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Dreams to Fiction

Do you ever have dreams that you've turned into fiction? There have been nights I've had dreams, thought, wow, that would make a good book or written part of it down, only to wake up the next morning and say to myself, WTF was I thinking?

Last night was different. I pulled a Stephenie Meyer. Last night I slept like shit. Had nightmares all night that had me screaming myself awake. Dreams so real I could feel them.

But then I had another dream. A very vivid dream based on racial tension, taboo relationships, and injustice.

It was so good, I even wrote down the dream in my dream?!?! Seriously. When I woke up I was like, damn! I didn't really write that down. And I quickly grabbed a pen and notebook because the idea was already fleeting.

I think I got it all down. This idea is so good, I'm considering putting everything else aside to start it.

You ever have fictional revelations like that? When do you usually get them?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

When did I get this old?

I'm a bad ass. I know this. I'm a rock star and a super mom. Yes, this is obvious.

But I'm getting old.

I've been going to kickboxing. Yes, I'm that awesome.I'm even Uber Awesome as my trainer told me last night because I stayed for two classes. That's right, two hours of nonstop kickboxing and strength training.

Today I can't feel my right arm. Okay, that's a lie. I can feel it and it hurts. I can barely move it. Everything from my shoulder to my elbow.

This sucks.

My mortality is catching up to me. I can already see that light at the end of the tunnel. Or the flame, you know, whichever.

My youngest daughter just turned 15. I will be mid-fortyish this year. WTF happened?

When did time become so fleeting?

When did my body start breaking down and how come nobody has come up with a cure for that yet?

I need a body mechanic.

Do you know where I can find one?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Monkey Madness Monday: Writing in Scenes

 Do you ever write in scenes? I've only done it once before, of course, I never finished that book.

I find that with this fantasy book I'm writing, I'm going to have to. Because it spans centuries, I'm having a difficult time transitioning from one section to another.

I'd love to know your thoughts on this and how it has worked for you.

Happy Monday ya'll.

RAVENS!!! Yeah baby!

Photo credit: deVos / / CC BY-NC-SA

Friday, February 1, 2013

F³A: ABNA contest

So, the contest closed a couple days ago. I've entered my cutter book. I entered it under the title Slice. I've changed the name about a million times. Maybe I should just let my readers name by book. Ugh.

I was reminiscing about the contest. This will be my fifth time entering. I've entered a different book every time. First year made it to top 100. Since then, I've made it through the pitch phase and no further. 

The last time I entered I got a HORRIBLE review. And I don't mean a constructive review, but just a mean spirited review. I laugh about it now because, hey, I'm a published writer, but at the time I was really pissed at first. 

Here are some of my favorite excerpts from that review:

Before I post this one, I will say the reviewer thought I was a teenager, which I took as a compliment (though it wasn't supposed to be) as it meant the voice of my character was right on. lol.

"Unfortunately, you have failed to pay attention in the one class required to be able to write well - English." 

"It's a shame that you didn't write anything that hasn't been written hundreds of times already this year."

Before that year I have never seen any books about a 17 year-old girl who wants to play high school football.

"If this was a school paper, I'd have to give it an "F".

He's talking about my grammar, word usage, and sentence structure and "much, much more".  I honestly don't know what he meant. I know he didn't like some of it because I'm not sure he realized my character was southern, IDK.

"It is way to easy today for people to get published," O.o really? "and I sincerely hope that you do not see that as an option. Frankly, this is no where good enough to be called a "book" and you to be called an "author". Pretty harsh thing to tell someone you think is a teenager.

"To not have learned the basics of writing and yet expect people to read what you have written shows no respect at all for your readers."

lol. I just have no idea what to say about that one. I'll add that the other three years I entered the contest, they all commented on what a talented writer I was, I mostly got ousted for violence (content). But I took those reviews gracefully, because they were constructive.

I'm honestly not bitter about this review at all. Like I said, at first I was pissed, and yeah if I would have won the contest, I would have received a publishing contract, but I had 1/5,000 chance. Reviewing is subjective, it's really a crap shoot.

That said, I do think the contest is a great opportunity for unpublished and mid-list authors and that most of the reviewers are very good at what they do. I was just thinking back on the years I'd entered before, remembering all the people I connected with, many of them good friends. It was great fun on the contest forum to chat and share with other writers. 

If you've not entered before, it's too late this year, but you should consider it in the future.


My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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