Thursday 30 December 2010

What A Year!

So, like every end of the year, I've a routine where I transfer all the important dates that I need to remember from my daily dairy into the following year's dairy.  Each time I do this, I marvel at how quickly the year has zinged by, not to mention the many things I've done or had to do to fill up those super-short days.

This year, I did my usual and transferred all the birthday's and anniversaries, etc, only to realize that this year, I really did do lots.  Not to mention accomplish a lot!  And it seemed like the year was even longer than most year's.  Never has my day planner diary looked so crammed full with notes, and reminders, and things to do.  It even looks fatter and heavier from the weight of the ink!  And the majority weren't even work related.  It was all to do with my first book and having it published.


That in itself is rather huge.  A definite: big deal.

Starting from January, I hit the ground running as I began my first round of edits which I worked on between juggling my work, and soon after my computer crashed.  It didn't bode well, and after I recovered from my hissy-fit, things started sailing smoothly.  Thankfully, I transferred everything book-related to my laptop.  Throughout February, it was all about edits, going back and forth with my editor.  It wasn't too bad, if I do say so myself.  And I learned such a great deal from that whole the point where I even wanted to rewrite the entire book!  My first novel was starting to look pitifully naive.  Sigh.  But I refrained from melting down and stuck with it.  I decided that my sequel would not make the same mistakes I made in the first one.

Amid the arrival of our first houseguest (and we had quite a bit of them) for the year, I began self-editing the sequel - with a determination that I would unlearn my bad writing habits.  Before long, it was March, and already I felt as if the year had dragged on, even though I knew it only began.  WTF, right?  I launched my Facebook page, then made attempts to launch a website.  Then I got back my ARC and Errata Form and had to re-read The Lancaster Rule...again!  Then on April 1st, my book was released!

After that, it was days, weeks, months of interviews, promotions, marketing, seeking out reviews, blabbing, annoying people, chattering non-stop about The Book.  I'm sure people were getting tired of hearing me mentioning it.  I also managed to finish my edits to the sequel, then completed the final story in the trilogy.  I felt really pleased with myself.  Yes!  The trilogy is complete.

It was pretty hard juggling the promotion and marketing of the first book and finalizing the submission of the sequel and finishing and polishing up the third and doing my work at the same time.  Oh, and I forgot, squeezing in many breaks for holidays, staycations, and cruises.  Phew!  What a year, right?

Towards the end of the summer, the sequel was accepted, again by Champagne Books, my first book was also available in trade paperback, and oh! and, I was able to get four books into a small bookstore in Guelph, Ontario!  How sweet is that?

So, looking back, it's been a pretty great year for me.  I feel quite thankful that I'm one of those lucky ones with a moderate amount of talent to back up the stroke of luck.  I've published my first book, I've received quite good reviews, I've got a second book accepted, I've finished my third, I've started writing two more stories, I've got super-cool bookmarks and postcards (designed by yours truly), I've got books in a bookstore, I've got a great publisher, I've got great writer-friends, and I've got to shut up now before I carry on like this into the new year.

So, as year's go, I can strike off a few important things off my list and firmly say: Mission Accomplished!

Now to write up a new list.  For 2011, I'll keep it short.  I've narrowed it down to five things.

1. Finish self-edits to third book and submit.
2. Finish the other two stories.
3. Market and promote the sequel, The Master Key, until people tell me to shut up already!
4. Spend Christmas in Toronto
5. Eat, Drink, and be Merry!

Have a wonderful New Year everyone!!  And thanks for sticking with me this year.  It is much appreciated.

Tuesday 21 December 2010

A Christmas Giveaway!

A quick blabber to let you all know that my book The Lancaster Rule is up for a giveaway over at Love Romance Passion

All you have to do is leave a comment at the end and make sure you include your email address so I can send you the copy (yes, it's going to be in e-format - PDF).  So dust off those ereaders!

Deadline ends December 26.  Winner will be announced the following day.

Good luck to all

Thursday 9 December 2010

Deck The Site

So, December trundles along to the tune of the drummer boy - just like my fingers as they tap restlessly on the desk.  Well, more like on my head as I ponder...

Everyone's re-doing and re-decorating for Christmas and shining things up to a brilliant gleam.  I'm thinking I should do the same, after all, tis the season to be jolly fah la la la lahhhhh and all that blah.
Well, I'm talking website, not the house...that's within my realm of expertise.

The other day, during a brief lull in the daily grind, I reviewed and puttered around my blog site.  While the site is dedicated to my first book and it's subsequent sequels, it basically is about me.  So, upon some hard ponderings, I've decided to rename this site and call it tktoppin instead.  It just makes better sense, don't you think?

I won't do it right away, thinking maybe I should 'launch it' at the first of the new year.  Maybe not, might do it sooner.  I've got a lot of pre-blabbing to do, letting people know of the change.  In the meantime, I shall get back to the daily grind and all the fah la la la lahhh's that come with it.


Thursday 2 December 2010

Oh, Holy Crap...

Yep, the stars are brightly shining, this is the time when there's no time to write...

That, in a nutshell is how it goes for a graphic artist just before Christmas.  You'd think after nearly two decades, I'd be used to it,  It doesn't matter if my work load has decreased over the years, since people heed no warning about my advance notice that they should contact me at least a week before hand.  Everyone wants things at the last minute and printers really don't give a crap if you're late.


Aside from work-stuff, there's personal stuffs those pesky Christmas cards that you remember - at the last minute of course - and you scramble to get them sorted.  It doesn't help that you design them every year, so you have no one to blame, but yourself.

And then, during the quieter moments, I try to steal a few hours to write since this new story is itching inside my brains and I need to scratch.  But, idiot that I am, I decided to read this truly engrossing book (Pillars Of The Earth), so all my attention is sucked away.  Damn you, book!  But you gotta love books like that, right?


Well, at least I've managed to punch out of few lines here and I've got the writing-itch out of my system for a while...well, sort of.

Back to work...Bah, humbug!