What Do Fictional Characters Eat?

Hello, lovely readers!

I wanted to share a quick post with you all. Last week, I had the privilege of being a guest blogger over at “But What Are They Eating?” by Shelley Workinger. In the post, I talk about food in literature, and then address the food I made up in my own book, The Wrong Fairy Tale. This was a very different post for me—one that I’d never even thought about doing before—which made it all the more fun.

Take a look at my post by clicking HERE, and be sure to give Shelley’s blog some love. Hope you enjoy the post. 🙂

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Until next time, happy reading and happy eating!

xoxo

Never Say Never & Other Updates

Hey, lovely readers.

I took quite a hiatus from blogging, and rather than feeling bad about it, I allowed myself to enjoy the break and get my act together with all that’s going on in my life. But I’m back now and thought I’d start with some updates.

Since we last connected, my most recent post was about planning a book launch party. The full, detailed post is actually at JamiGold.com, which was such a privilege and pleasure for me to be on. Jami’s blog is amazing and well-read, so talk about great exposure!

Next, this summer, I did many things I never thought I’d do:

  • I taught craft classes to both children and adults at Jo~Ann Fabric & Crafts (tie-dye was the most popular class, but cross stitch was my favorite to teach)

  • I read so many books, I surpassed 160 (since January) last week

    Does NOT include books I've edited this year that are yet to be released. :)

    Does NOT include books I’ve edited this year that are yet to be released. 🙂

     

  • I took a sewing class and made a blouse

  • I took a crochet class and made a blanket

  • I “attended” more informational webinars than ever before and can’t wait to share my new knowledge with my clients

  • I started a college internship program for the Print Division at Cosby Media Productions

  • One of my Pinterest boards became a recommended board in its category in the mass emails sent to Pinterest users (blog post on this later) Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 23.10.12

  • I finished editing book #30 of my editing career in July (!!!) (blog post on this later as well)

  • I began turning down new projects and decided that I’d take a break from new clients until 2016 because I’m THAT busy and loaded up with manuscripts AND teaching for the next several months. A difficult but good decision.

  • I decided to stop wearing myself down and scale back on my freelancing business. It’s not something that’s viable for this particular season of my life. I didn’t know what I was going to do…until I accepted a full-time teaching job over the summer. I am now teaching full-time again, after a three-year break. And it’s a good thing. 🙂

I believe I had said something like, “I’ll never go back to teaching,” but I’m learning to never say never. Truly. Because every time I say that, it happens! Ha! This will be my twelfth year education, and I’m already enjoying it and loving my students.

So, yes. Many things going on, to say the least. I’m beginning to catch up with everything and am so grateful that I’m (usually) a very organized person. My itch to bring order to chaos in most things is paying off big time right now as I juggle a more-than-full schedule. If you saw my calendar, you’d probably cringe. But I’m happy, I’m busy (in a good way), I’m doing what I love, and I’m managing to problem solve pretty quickly.

This month, I turn 31, so that’s something to look forward to as well. I’ll actually be IN my 30’s, though I’m still trying to figure out this whole “adult” thing. Why weren’t we given manuals for this stuff when we were born?

adult

Next up, once I get a handle on everything, I’ll be bringing you some awesome blog posts. I also can’t wait to get back into a regular writing routine and finish up some projects I’ve been working on over the summer. Before we blink twice, NaNoWriMo will be here, and I’d like to work on something totally new in November. We’ll see if I can finish three manuscripts before then.

I hope you all have a wonderful week and holiday weekend (for my U.S. peeps). Until next time, read a good book!

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Current reading stack…

 

How to Plan a Book Launch Party

Today, I’m privileged to be featured on JamiGold.com, talking about book launch parties: online and offline. I just hosted an online book launch party this week, so talk about good timing! I’ve also had an offline book launch, so I was able to share tips and tricks from personal experience. Hope you guys will give it a read by clicking HERE.

There are FREE, downloadable checklists in the post. I also have a link to my 2012 book launch party gallery, but you can check it out by clicking HERE.

Huge THANK YOU to Jami Gold for hosting me; she is amazing and runs a pretty popular blog, so I feel like I’ve won the lottery just by being on her blog. Check out her other posts and peruse her website. There’s so much good stuff on there, you’ll feel like a kid in a candy store.

Again, you can check out my post by clicking HERE.

Have a great rest of your week, all! ❤

HUGE Online Book Launch Party!

FB 6-30 Party Graphic

Hey, readers!

Just wanted to let you all know about a really cool Facebook event I’m MCing next week: The Ultimate Cosby Media Productions Book Launch Party.

Basically, we’ve launched a lot of books (see above) from CMP in the past few weeks (mine included), and we want to have a virtual party to celebrate and host some giveaways. I’ll be hosting, along with fellow authors Keshawn Dodds and Braxton Cosby. We’ll also be sharing the spotlight with some of our other author friends, who will be running some fun activities and hosting giveaways of their books/swag.

If you’re a YA book lover, you definitely should join the party. The link is public, so you can RSVP and join by clicking HERE. I’d love to “see” you there, hanging out with all of us and talking about books. 

The event will run from 9am PST/12pm EST to 5pm PST/8pm EST on Tuesday, June 30th. Again, you can click HERE to check it out and join.

Hope to see you there!

Don’t Wait for Opportunity to Come Knocking

If you’re last to dinner, you’re going to be hungry. If you’re the last to the party, you might miss out on something really fun. And if you’re last to class, especially after the second bell has rung, you’re going to be that guy who disrupts class and gets a glare from the teacher.

The same goes with business. If you are late with innovation, if you wait for opportunity to come knocking rather than seeking it out, you’re going to miss out. I think the following quote sums up these ideas rather well:

“No one is ready for a thing until he believes he can acquire it.” -Napoleon Hill

Where am I going with all this? Glad you asked! 😉

Say what you will about 50 Shades of Grey*; E.L. James has made her trilogy a cash cow: right place, right time. A.K.A. she took an opportunity rather than wait for one. (*Disclaimer: This post does not reflect or express my personal views of 50 Shades, so, as we say in Spanish, cálmate.) 50 Shades is not a money-maker because E.L. James is the literary genius of our generation or a Pulitzer Prize winner; no, she is an opportunist. She saw a market for what she wanted to write, packaged it in an attractive way for readers of her genre, and then got pretty lucky when the books soared to #1 on Amazon.

Flash forward from then to present day. 50 Shades the movie brought in some serious ka-ching at the box office this year, and recently, James announced her latest project: Grey. In case you don’t know, Grey—which will be released next week—is already an Amazon best seller. It’s the character Christian Grey’s POV from the 50 Shades storyline.

So…if it has yet to be released, how is it already at #1 on Amazon? Opportunity, my friends. Opportunity. James has been smart with creating opportunities for herself and the Grey franchise, keeping fans happy by digging deeper and deeper into the world of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. She nearly pulled a “Beyoncéby not sharing a whole lot of teasers, surprising fans and delighting them with the announcement of the new book. [Read about it on GalleyCat by clicking HERE.]

Of course, Grey is making waves in other capacities, bringing out the “those who march against Christian Grey brigade” and expressing how much they loathe everything having to do with said character and the trilogy in general.

 

Grey

Image via Amazon.com

But let’s pause for a moment and ask an important question: Do you think E.L. James cares about the cold feelings of her newest book? Mmm…probably not. She’s most likely too busy trying to count all the money she’s pulling in from the project, plus the other books she has out on the market, in addition to whatever deal she made with Hollywood for the 50 Shades of Grey movie. Again, she created an opportunity and made the best use of it, striking another gold mine.

Sometimes, life just isn’t fair. We can be the prettiest, smartest, most talented people in the room, and yet still be at the bottom of the totem pole. If we are constantly waiting for opportunities to just cruise on by us, we might be waiting forever. If you want something, you have to go after it. This especially applies to writing. If you want to write a book, the obvious thing that must be done is actually writing the book in the first place. Duh.

But the work doesn’t stop at creation, either. You must create more opportunities in the next phase of your project. How will you market the book? How will you secure some reviews? How will you find readers who actually want to give your words the time of day? You guessed it: creating opportunities.

Now, I leave you with a challenge: What sorts of opportunities do you see right in front of you? Do you see any at all? If not, how can you create some opportunities? How will you begin to reach your goals as an artist and writer? Feel free to sound off by leaving a comment. 🙂

Until next time, happy writing and carpe diem. xx