Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category
I have so many things to be thankful for in 2013, including discovering this cornucopia photo on Wikimedia Commons. I find old advertisements like this, described as a “propaganda poster to get immigrants to move to California” (circa 1876), fascinating. Did you note how California is “a climate for health and wealth, without CYCLONES or BLIZZARDS”?
Fun, eh? I love to pore through historic ads selling miracle cures or, more recently, claiming smoking is good for you.
Anyway, this is Thanksgiving Day, so I’m here to list the things for which I’m giving thanks. This is a special year for me, being newly published and all.
In no particular order:
— Thanks to the folks at Turquoise Morning Press for taking a chance on DIVA IN THE DUGOUT. It’s been amazing working with such a talented group, and I look forward to getting Books 2 (BEAUTY AND THE BALLPLAYER) and 3 (still untitled) out next March and April, respectively.
— Thanks also to those who’ve helped me ready my first foray into indie publishing, HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS. (It’s not a terribly original title, by the way. There are about 100 pages of them on Amazon … I blame the Christmas carol, which is where I took inspiration for the title.) I couldn’t have done it without my talented cover designer, Rogenna Brewer; former coworker and editor Dani Crabtree; and Marie Force’s Formatting Fairies.
— Thanks to the Boyfriend for always believing in me, even when I have a tough time believing in myself. He’s more excited about my first royalty check than I am … I think he thinks I’ll suddenly be flush with cash, while I know better. I’m not going to disabuse him of the notion, though, because he gives me plenty of time to write.
— Thanks to the people who are buying DIVA and HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, reading them and leaving reviews. HFTH just got its first 5-star review on Amazon. Among the highlights:
Short, sweet and punctuated with Ms. Hittle’s trademark wit, it’s the perfect length for a quick getaway when you can’t handle another minute of the holiday rush.
Grab a latte or a hot toddy and relax with Home for the Holidays. You won’t be disappointed.
I’ll take that high praise any day of the week (and twice on Sundays!).
— Thanks, too, to my fellow authors for their support and commiseration. I don’t know where I’d be without the gals from NARWA; my Golden Heart sisters, the Starcatchers; and the LaLaLas. They’re always around to bounce ideas off of, cheer me on and listen to me worry. They say writing is a solitary pursuit, and you need a strong support system. Thanks to these folks, I have one. They’re all a phone call, text or email away.
— Thanks to my coworkers, who listen to me squeal with excitement (or groan in disappointment) whenever I check DIVA’s Amazon sales ranking. Even if they don’t really care, they do a good job of faking interest.
— Thanks to my web designer, Larissa, who put together this beautiful website. It’s exactly what I wanted, but had no clue how to build for myself.
— Last, but certainly not least, thanks to Starbucks. Their drinks and pastries keep me going. Oh, the pastries … have you tried the new pecan tart yet? Mmmm …
… No, not “Catching Up with Depeche Mode,” although that disc had most of the essentials from DM’s early years.
I’m talking about catching up with my busy, busy author self.
The days—has it really already been a month?—since DIVA IN THE DUGOUT‘s release have been a whirlwind. That’s probably no surprise to anyone who’s been there, done that with their debut novel … or any new book, really.
Since I’m not making enough to quit the day job (yet), I’ve been juggling a 40-hour work week with:
- Finishing the first draft of still untitled Book 3 in my All Is Fair in Love & Baseball series. (Finished Oct. 30 and am about to start self-editing.)
- Prepping BEAUTY AND THE BALLPLAYER for its March release. (Got edits from my TMP editor in late October and am about to shoot an updated MS back to her.)
- Getting my holiday novella, HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, ready for its indie debut on Nov. 25. Edits courtesy of my former Daily Sun coworker, now a freelance editor, Heather Danielle Crabtree, and formatting by Marie Force’s Formatting Fairies.
- Being NARWA’s president, with all the fun and worries that entails.
- Promoting DIVA in as many ways as I can.
I bought a Facebook Flash ad on TheCheapEBook.com, stuffed DIVA bookmarks into books from some of my favorite authors at Barnes & Noble and Bookmans stores in Phoenix and have been making the rounds with guest blog posts.
In case you missed it:
- I chatted with fellow TMP author J.M. Kelley about my debut—before it had actually debuted—and answered questions about my high school days and my favorite season.
- I visited with the Rubies to talk about my trouble with the (learning) curve. I asked what everyone wished they’d known before they published their first novel and discovered, much to my disappointment (but not surprise), that the writing biz doesn’t get any easier once you’re published.
- I stopped by Lynn Cahoon’s blog to share my favorite writing advice. I wish I’d been at RWA Nationals to see Kristan Higgins’ keynote speech live, but I’ve watched the YouTube video twice, and my advice is from it.
- At Just Contemporary Romance, I revealed my dirty little secret. (Hint: It involves balls … or a lack thereof.)
- At Chicklets in the Kitchen, I whipped up one of the meals that makes an appearance in DIVA. Nothing fancy here. Think something a busy single mom would feed her 4-year-old.
- This Wednesday, I’m set to visit with Barbara Bettis for her Writers Wednesday feature. Among other things, I’ll be sharing an excerpt from DIVA. (You’ll be able to see for yourself why the hashtag #BadDadIncident, coined by one of my healthy living blogger friends who’s reading the book, fits …)
I’ve been watching DIVA’s Amazon bestsellers ranking closely. Not like a hawk, though I admit to checking it more often than I probably should, for my sanity’s sake. It’s been up and down, though it seems to be hanging tough right around 10K. You might have seen some of the posts on my Facebook author page.
For a brief, shining moment Wednesday night, it was at 6,800-something. (Yes, I took a screen shot … I’m nerdy that way.) Whatever magic bullet propelled it to that height on the Amazon Best Sellers list has since worn off, and it’s back in the 10K-15K range.
Because I’ll only have one stab at Best First Book (and because habits die hard), I decided just this week to enter DIVA in the RITAs. It’s up against some stiff competition (like my friend Abigail Sharpe’s WHO WANTS TO MARRY A COWBOY), but I figured what the heck. I’ll only have one first book, so why not try?
You can’t win if you don’t play!
Disclosure: Book links in this post are Amazon Affiliate links. I’ll make a few extra pennies if you use them to buy.
My debut novel, DIVA IN THE DUGOUT, which comes out in less than a week, has its cover.
Isn’t it a beauty? No, wait. That’s book two, BEAUTY AND THE BALLPLAYER, which is coming out next March. (Sorry. Couldn’t resist.)
I love it! The stadium and baseball glove in the background … the models … MY name on the cover …
Of course, now that my boss pointed out Dave’s resemblance to Van Wilder, I have a hard time NOT seeing it. And that’s a shame because Greg, the hero of Untitled Book 3, is actually the one I visualized as Ryan Reynolds’ kid brother.
DIVA’s on TMP’s Coming Soon page now.
It was a Q-and-A, and one question in particular caught my eye:
Do you believe in “writer’s block”? If so, how do you avoid it?
“Other people say it happens, and I don’t feel that I have the right to disbelieve them. It doesn’t happen to me. What I get is the urge to procrastinate or do something other than writing. Or I feel disgusted with my current output and want to just stop.
“The key is to write through that and know you’ll delete the bad bits later.”
I think he nailed it. When I get writer’s block, it’s less inability to write anything at all and more desire to do anything but write. That’s when baking cookies or cleaning out the pantry (or pinning a slew of recipes I’ll probably never have time to make) starts to sound mighty appealing.
So next time that urge hits, I’ll have to try writing through it.
I can always delete anything unsalvageable.