Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My Life is a Zoo (or at least, once a week it is)

Shocking, I know, but I actually have a life outside of writing. Sometimes it feels like I don't between writing, promoting, publishing and everything that goes along with those responsibilities. But I do try... try to do other things.

I love to watch UFC, I love my cats, I enjoy cycling, as well as playing video games. But one thing that I enjoy and get to do each week is volunteer at our local zoo. For a long time, I did work with the animals. This involved preparing diet for the rainforest animals and then... I got to feed out:

It has been a wonderful experience from top to bottom and I loved every moment. Now I don't do as much with the animals, but I do data entry about the daily animal reports from the zoo keepers. It's really interesting to follow the developments around the zoo with the animals and programs.

Each week it's a nice break from my routine, it gets me out of the house... and how many people can say they got to feed golden handed tamarins?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Writing Book

Recently I published a book for writers, The Romance Writing Industry: From Top to Bottom. This book is based on the day-long industry retreat I presented all over the country in 2009-2010. The chapters who had me come out charged their members between $50-150 per person to attend the retreat.

Since I'm not traveling at present, I decided the best option was to put the same info out in book format. I'm charging $9.99 for the book in Kindle and Nook format, mostly because of the time and effort it took to compile the info. But in this, you get all the information that was presented for much more.

If you get the book, you'll get information on Markets, Query Letters, Synopses, Literary Agents, Publishing Houses, The Journey of a Book and Promotion of a Book and get
resource guides and samples for writers. Here is the cover and a link to buy from Amazon (it's also available on Nook).

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The No-Travel Blues

A lot of people have been asking me if I'm going to RWA (Romance Writers of America) National conference this year and then the questions always move to various local conferences and reader events. Here's my answer for everything: No.

Why? Well there are several reasons that I'm not traveling at all this year:

1. Last year I traveled too much. I was gone at least one weekend a month almost all year. When you add up the time for travel, the prep time and everything else, by the time the year ended, I was exhausted and burned out. I was sick of airports, sick of packing, and sick of losing three days before each trip and a week after to catch up, laundry and jetlag.

2. We're moving. By the end of the summer, we will be packing up and traveling across country to our new home in Arizona. All my time, energy and finances really have to go into making that move happen. What a lot of people don't realize is that 99% of the time, I have to pay for all of or at least part of my own travel expenses. Neither of my publishers pay for it, so if the organizers of an event don't cover my costs, I have to do it myself. That's airfare, hotel and most of the food I eat. A weekend could cost $1000 for me and a longer event like RWA usually puts me out of pocket for at last a couple grand. That's just not an expenditure I can make right now.

3. I'm no longer traditionally published. I have one final book coming out from Avon in August and one last book from Orbit in July and then I am no longer traditionally published. I love being self-published (independently published) but again, I have to weigh the benefits against the costs for traveling. With my independent books, which are my main focus at present, I can't "sign" them. And readers can't buy them at a conference the way they can buy a paperback. So in terms of promotion, which is a big reason why I travel, it just doesn't make sense. My time would probably better be spent here at home tweeting, posting and writing (and moving and freaking out about moving).

Does this mean I'll never travel again? Absolutely not. If an event makes sense in the future, or if an organization invites me and covers my costs for travel, then I'd absolutely go somewhere in the future. Also, if an event is close enough by me for it to be less of a chore to get there, I'll be participating. But for 2011, at least, you can find me here, online. Hopefully putting out stories you love instead of making packing lists and flying all around the country.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the awesome Moms out there!

Moms, you rock! Hope you all got Mom something awesome for Mother's Day this year (like a Kindle loaded with Jenna Petersen books). :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Back to the Blog Again

Hi everyone! Well, it's been a long time since I blogged. I have several other things going, so I can't promise I'll hit it here every day. I'm going to aim for once a week. I'll blog about romance, wrtiting and life in general and maybe even give away some prizes.

A lot is changing in my life at present, both personally and professionally and I want to take everyone along for the ride.

Hope you enjoy!