Friday 30 July 2010

Objective Achieved!

July is nearly over...nearly.

But something else that's over for sure, is my final read-through for the sequel, The Master Key.  Yay, me!!  I feel as if I've accomplished something.  You know, that satisfied feeling that you know you've achieved something productive from the sheer sweat of your brow.  That you, and you alone, have done it.  What a good feeling that is!  It's like how I felt when I finished writing my first book, The Lancaster Rule: Objective Achieved!

I still can't say "first book" without grinning like an idiot...just thought I'd add that in (grins like an idiot).

Yesterday, I read the last line in the last chapter and let out a great big sigh of relief.  I'd finished at last.  A month and a half, struggling through self-edits, rearranging some chapters, deleting other bits, adding more bits...then a final read-through, just to make sure it was coherent enough.  All done now!

First thing this morning, I outlined an email to send to Champagne Books and attached all the relevant information, then, with gritted teeth and a definite pounding of the heart...clicked the SEND button and cringed as I watched the progress bar gradually move from left to right.

Woosh, and then it was sent.

And now to wait to hear the outcome.  A few have said that there was nothing to worry about, you know, those seasoned writers who've submitted time and time again with countless books under their belts.  You know, with a track record for selling and grabbing people attention with their new books.  I still feel like a one-hit wonder, and I'm still wondering what the wonder is all about.

But my publisher's still have to like it and think it's worth something to publish it, right?  It's no matter that it's a sequel, it's still a stand-alone book in it's own right.  And I can't be thinking it's a shoe-in because it's a sequel - in fact, that had never been in my head.  A lot of other things were racing through my head, none pleasant or repeatable.

All I can do now, is wait with fingers crossed.

Sigh, it feels like the very first time I sent out a query for submission letter to an agent and publisher.  At least I've got a really long weekend to obliterate any negative thoughts out of my head.  As it is every end of July, for years and years, Barbados gets ready to blow off some steam with it's Crop Over celebrations.  The final, end-all, is a massive jump-up session down Spring Garden Highway, where revellers get blitzed with booze and music in micro-costumes and have a blast.

I'll be home, with the hubby, enjoying peace and quiet like we usually do.  Maybe chill with some friends, family, get inebriated (like, yeah! what's the point of not in a 4-day weekend), eat junk and just relax.

And then Friday we leave for Toronto! Yay!!! And get inebriated, eat junk, chill with friends and family all over again.  Well, I will be inebriated since hubby is a tea-toter.

Tuesday 27 July 2010

Gearing Down

I keep saying this, but these months are simply flying by too quickly!

Ever drive a standard stick-shift car?  Well, that's all I like to drive.  Makes you feel like as if you're really driving, being interactive with your car.  Instead of just sitting there, parked into the seat holding a steering wheel.  And gearing down, don't you just love that sound?  I love it!

You can literally hear the engine shifting down.  Isn't that a lovely sound?  That cool, metallic whine - and how the car just reins back as you take your foot off the clutch, balance the engine...

Anyway...just the thought of gearing down made me think of cars.

July caught me unawares, more or less, with two very good reviews coming out before I could blink properly - one in the early part, the other in the latter part - and an opportunity to do a guest blog that was very well received.  My eternal thanks to Reading, Reading and Life and Senora G who played a very gracious hostess.  I even hosted a giveaway for the occasion!  Why not, right?  After all, the review and guest post appeared on the weekend of my birthday, so in the spirit of giving, I thought I should spread a little joy.

Speaking of birthdays, July is riddled with them.  From close friends, family members, colleagues and friends on Facebook (you know who you are), July appears intent on covering every single day of its 31 days with birthdays.  And let's not forget Harry Potter's birthday, too.  Oh, did I just say that out loud?

And now, July is nearly over.  I've crammed everything I can possibly cram into this month, and still, I've things left to do.  I completed self-edits for The Master Key (Book 2), now I'm in the process of doing a final read-through before I send it off for submission.  I still haven't written a satisfactory synopsis, nor a book blurb.  So that's next on my list of things to do before the end of the month comes pouncing on me.

I think I'll get there.  Thank the stars for laptops and wireless internet.  I'd be lost without them.  I'll be taking the trusty MacTop with me on my holidays so I won't be out of touch, out of commission, or out of the range of my internet access addiction.  Whilst on holidays, I still need to coordinate an exchange interview with another fellow Champagne Books author, Eve Langlais.  Not to mention keep track of the many places I've joined up to and became a member of.  Promoting a book really does take chunks out of you.

Hey, did I mention I even got bookmarks printed as well?  Want one?  Do ya?  Really?  I'll sign it too.

So, that's all for now.  Thought I should squeeze out a little something before I hit the edits again and try to cram another half-months work into four more days!

Maybe I need to stay in fifth gear for the time being...

Thursday 22 July 2010

My Latest Review

Just a quick few lines to mention that my latest review is out.  You can check it out at Reading, Reading and Life.

Feel free to leave a comment.  Hey, you might get lucky and win a free PDF of The Lancaster Rule.

Here's a short excerpt:
"This book has it all.  A love story, a love triangle, adventures, mayhem, humor, wonderful characters that you truly want to get to know better, cheer for, sneer at, laugh at and enjoy.  I honestly never thought I could enjoy a sci-fi/fantasy book so much and I look forward to the next in the series."

Monday 12 July 2010

Coming Up Soon

A short reminder to my ardent followers (don't laugh) of another upcoming review, this time at
Reading, Reading and Life on July 22.  Click on over to catch a quick preview of what will be happening.

In brief, I'll also be posting a guest blog explaining a bit about how I came up with the whole story and all that exciting stuff that you'll just love to hear.  And, I'll be giving away a free PDF copy of my book to one lucky reader who visits the site and leaves a comment or asks a question that's on their mind.  So good luck in advance.

But before that, I'll be interviewed over at Science Fiction Romance's blog, where I talk a little about myself...again.  It's a cool site, so click on over, July 17 and check it out.

Friday 9 July 2010

We're in the 2nd week of July, already?

This past week has blown by at the speed of light.  I thought for sure I'd have some time to write a new blog, but that was since Monday.  It's Friday already.  And didn't July just start?

I never used to complain about not having enough time to do things.  Generally speaking, for the last ten years, working from home accorded me the luxury to manage my own time to suit, well, me.  But ever since getting that first book published, I've realized that having two jobs will kill you.  I empathize with those that have more than two.

Plus, I'm generally a very lazy person when the mood strikes me.  And it's very easy for me to slip into that mood - considering I'm usually in it.

No kids (big Phew!!), just dogs, a mutant cat, and the hubby.  Aside from looking after them (easy-peasy), my mornings are now filled with literary mountains to climb.  Boy those crags and loose rocks are a bitch.  Keeping up-to-date on most things literary, literally, takes time.  I've never spent so much time online, clicking from one site to the next.

Then there's keeping up-to-date on all the various sites you manage.  Facebook pages, Twitter posts and threads, blogpage, review sites...  All in an effort to keep people interested in your very first book, keep sales constant, keep the word circulating.

And then, you have to sit and do your real work, the day job and act like you've got everything under control so your clients think you've spent 100% of your time and attention on their job, and theirs alone.

Then, when that's complete, you have to sit and read through your other book, you know the one you finished last year, but only now have the chance to self-edit.  And book three, which has been completed since April has been shoved one side when it's in desperate need of edits...

Okay, I'm digressing, and wasting time.  Hey, it's Friday - I'm allowed.

This month is a relatively short month.  It's the month before our annual holiday, so heaps need doing before we depart this Rock.  Bills to double-pay, work to complete to pay those bills, getting the house in order, grilling the housesitter about the daily routine, oh crap - don't forget about watering the plants.  Endless things that by the end of it, you look forward to that holiday with ever-growing desperation!

And then you look up and see how the weather is looking grim and you think: Bleep-bleep hell!  It's the hurricane season.  Gotta get the house moderately hurricane-ready.  Stock up on some tinned and dry goods, start going into pack-rat mode.  Just in case.

So while the winds kick up outside, on this grim-looking day of dark clouds and intermittent rains, I sit and ponder the week that's past.

Check, completed all my work so all my clients are happy.
Check, edited three chapters, re-worked two with minimal deletes.
Check, designed bookmarks and postcards for myself to promote book (helps when I'm my own artist).
Check, sourced printers.
Check, got that new review coming out next week.
Check, weekend mode from, well, today so do nothing strenuous.

Told ya I manage my time to suit me.

Friday 2 July 2010

Excerpt From A Review

Click on over to Laura Hogg's blogpage and check out my latest review for The Lancaster Rule.

This was a very good review with some good, honest opinions.  Much appreciated Laura!

Here's an excerpt:

I loved it and would highly recommend it, even with the things of which I took issue. The Lancaster Rule was a story well worth reading, one of the most enjoyable I’ve read in a while. The ending had me smiling. I loved the sense of humor woven throughout the story, even among the very serious parts of the book that kept me riveted. This story entertains and takes a reader on an emotional ride. Check it out!

For the full review, click to her blogpage:  Travel The Ages

Thursday 1 July 2010

One Accomplishment!

Well, as luck would have it, I goofed off thoroughly today and decided to work on my new look.  I did, however, start the day off with all the good intentions of doing some real work.

But then, all these exciting new features to play with on Blogger, that I lost track of time - completely!

Two hours later...I've got a new look, new links to click to...sweet!!

Okay, now that that's all sorted out, I suppose I should get back to my real work to keep the clients happy.

Not a bad way to start the month, eh?