Saturday, February 5, 2011

Doncha?

I just got done with my very first magazine interview with Nance. It was very pleasant. I was really excited to share about the book and its ideas, and isn't that just the way it should be? Nance and I were very in synch.

Thanks to my brother's fiance, Laurie, I did not look like a total shlep. I actually looked very nice. In fact, I will admit to rocking a little "Doncha Wish Your Girlfriend Was Hot Like Me" in my head. I haven't work make-up in a good... long... time. You'd have thought it was Christmas when I walked into Bare Essentials last weekend and said to the lovely attendant and make-up specialist: "I have two friends who really like your products. I haven't gotten new make-up in four years. Help!" I think I made her day. Unfortunately, when I got home, I was not so good at making the nifty purple crease design that she did. And then, as though a page had gone out on the psychic network, Laurie appeared at my door and fixed it.

I've decided the hardest part of writing is not the writing. It's not even finding the time to write or dealing with being blocked or burned out. It is publicity. If you're wondering where they real, roll up your sleeves, dig in, this is going to get messy part of writing comes in, it is in publicity. Calling bookstores. Getting nice clothes (if you, um, perhaps have become a bit too comfy with a jeans & cotton shirt wardrobe). Blogging. Being present in forums. Telling everyone you know your book is coming out. Planning. And scheduling. And deciding what events to go to and what not. Plugging the book E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E. This, this is the real work.

Tomorrow, I read Tarot cards on a podcast with Dax of the Tarot Guild. Nance and I will both be there. I'm excited, and will post a link here once it's done. I am just... so... completely... blown away... by how little I knew about what is turning out to be the second-most important thing of writing a book. This is a good, if grueling, experience for me.

-Mel

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Promotion Pooped!

I. Am. So Tired. Of Book Promotion. And it the book hasn't even been officially released yet!

Seriously, if anyone tells you writing is hard, ask them if they've ever published something they had to promote. Then ask them what the hardest part of being a writer is.

I am excited. But I am EXHAUSTED!

-Mel

Thursday, January 13, 2011

It's Here!

Two copies of Psychic Tarot arrived at my house today! YAYAYAYAYAY!!!!!!!

-Mel

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Signings & Marketing & More Stuff I Don't Have a Grasp Of

So, now I'm a writer. Okay, I've always been a writer and I've been published for some time now, but now I'm a writer with a book that actually requires more from me than - well - writing.

We will be doing a book signing at the Har Mar (February 8th) and hopefully at Eye of Horus (mad love to Eye of Horus!!! I love that store. February 20th, but not all worked out yet). There are also podcasts and classes and a party and my oh my oh my!

It's the moment I've prepared for, taken classes for, did 2 advanced graduate classes in college to make sure I was ready..........

....... in the world of fiction. Specifically in the world of Science Fiction and Fantasy. I am even reasonably prepared for a career in Romance. Nonfiction? *cricket chirp* And the more opportunities and situations and questions that keep popping up, the less I find out I know. Do I know any nonfiction reviewers, bloggers, podcasters, groups, websites? Not a one. Tarot? Some, but not nearly enough to be more helpful than Nancy, who has a strong footing in the Tarot world. I almost feel as though I've been caught with my pants down. Years, and years, and years of classes, beyond college, advanced college. And the first book I actually need to be involved in the promotion of turns out to be nonfiction.

Man plans. God laughs.

I honestly do find this funny. Inside, I am laughing my behind off at my own hubris. I was ready. I was totally ready. I was ready - for anything but this.

Oddly enough, when, and I do mean when, I publish my first novel, or even a handful of them, I can't say I will feel I have done something half as important as I feel I've done by being involved with Psychic Tarot. That's just God's honest truth. I enjoy writing novels. But a true fire of purpose, the idea that I could have helped change the face of something, perhaps even a small corner of the world? That's heavy.

Makes me wish I had put a little effort into researching the nonfiction market. But then, to every thing there is a purpose. Perhaps my first steps are meant to be uncertain. In any case, I am excited to learn.

-Mel

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Busy New Year!

Er, I mean, Happy New Year!

Actually, "busy" is more apt. I have been quite fortunate this year on the writing front. Psychic Tarot comes out from Llewellyn this February 8th (Nance & I are working on book signing engagements, etc). For Capstone, I am in various stages of progress on four books for their Edge Books "Snakes" series:

Black Mambas - Should be going to a reviewer any minute now, and then I will see it in layout.

Boa Constrictors - I am in round 3 of edits.

Copperheads - Just delivered the first draft last week.

Corn Snakes - First draft due in January 15th.

I am very excited about all the books and feel blessed to be given the opportunity to write them.

And that's how things stand at my New Year. Hope 2011 is a fantastic year for everyone!

-Mel

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Watch that Ball Roll!

As of Tuesday, I have two more projects for Capstone. Two more snake books! I'm excited, they are really neat animals to research.

I did a little count, and discovered that with the four snake books and the Tarot book, I am going to be published 5 times in 2011. Probably not a staggering number for someone like Stephen King, but I'm awed and grateful.

In other news, I've reluctantly decided to submit Once Bitten for the Golden Hearts award. I've decided I've gotten too much out of the habit of novel writing/submitting/looking for an agent, etc. I love the kids' books, and so far nonfiction has been very good to me, but I do like my big, long, epic stories. We'll see how Golden Hearts goes.

In other, other news, my wonderful teacher Lyda pointed me in the direction of her tax person. Apparently, I am now a small business, and need to start running this writing thing that way. That's almost more frightening than the Golden Hearts contest.

Still, I am excited to see what the future brings.

Here's hoping for more opportunities to come!

-Mel

Monday, September 27, 2010

Pre-Order, Anyone?

That's right, it's official. You can actually pre-order Psychic Tarot on Amazon.com (as well as Borders.com and Barnesandnoble.com and some websites I haven't even heard of .com and, of course, on www.llewellyn.com - right from the publisher), but there is just something so enchanting about seeing yourself on amazon.com. I dunno what it is. Oh wait, yes I do. It's that sometimes I have to go there just to remind myself hey-you're really a writer. That's your job.

Stock Cars is also out and looking fabulous! Capstone does such a nice job and I love doing the Hi-Lo books. I just think if one kid decides reading isn't so bad because there's a book out there that doesn't intimidate him/her or talk down to him/her, it could lead to so many other great big wonderful and imaginative worlds that they might just get up the courage to explore.

In other news, I am wrapping up Black Mambas and Boa Constrictors (which I am sure will also look so completely awesome!).

My Uncle Mick's book (that I was completely psyched he let me pre-read and help edit!) also just came out - Riding the White Line: Pedestrian Crossings. I think he ultimately envisions a three-book series, and I really can't wait. He met the neatest people on his charity rides, and I think it's such a lovely book. I just checked - and it's also available on Amazon.com!

The History of Hastings Family Service book will also be out soon (I'm helping with the editing a little). That one's also in its final stages, and is fascinating reading. I have mad deep respect to Chris Koop and Lew Linde for gathering all that information together and making it into a truly enjoyable read. I don't know how they plan to distribute it, but I really hope it does well. It's informative and uplifting and really reflects the giving spirit of our community.

In other, other news, I think some of you may recall that I used to be a novelist. I know, hard to remember back that far, huh? Well, I've finally decided to get off my duffer and work the contests/agents gamut again. As exciting and unexpected as the nonfiction market has been for me, I would like to try to get a novel published. Especially since I happen to have one or two done, taking up space on my laptop - like 35-year-old jobless children still living at home. That's really how it feels sometimes. You catch the file out of the corner of your eye while you're looking for something else, frown a little, and say, "Shouldn't you be working?"

To that end, the infamous Once Bitten is being submitted for the Golden Hearts award. I'm keeping an open mind. The vampire wave in adult fiction as crested, the tide has gone back out, that sea is dead, whatever you'd like to call it. But, I still have this novel loafing around, eating my Doritos and leaving the toilet seat up. Get a job, you lazy bum!

And, of course, I am still poking at the old projects and starting some new ones (which, I have discovered, I've been doing since I was, oh, ten. I have files and files of dot matrix printer paper filled with one- to five-page bits and pieces and odds and ends down in the basement. When I look at them, I either wonder what I was thinking or why I didn't continue).

I am just so excited about Psychic Tarot! I know it's going to be such a wonderful resource for so many people. It may be one of the most important projects I have ever or will ever be involved with and I am just still so happy Nancy asked me to do it with her.

I have to go look at Amazon.com again. :)

-Mel