Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Forgiving Trinity and Rough Sales Numbers!

I'm very happy to let everyone know that Forgiving Trinity debuted! I'm especially happy about this one, because it all started one gray November on Blogger...

I don't want to be one of those parents who's always talking about her own kid and bragging about how many dance recitals and bassoon solos and French tests said kid aced, but c'mon, look at that little beauty! That's gorgeous, right? Props to my guy, Steve Peterson! I found him on elance...if you need a cover guy, I cannot recommend him highly enough. His rates are amazing, his work ethic is intense, and, well, just look at the magic he works!

What happened, that long ago November, is that I had finished Double Clutch (and Junk Miles and Slow Twitch...) and sent out a bunch of letters to agents, and was primed to be instantly on my way to a major publication deal!


Except I got a lot of really sweet 'no thank yous.' And I was starting to get bummed. But, more importantly, I was losing hours, days, weeks, pressing my email's 'refresh' button over and over again, on the off chance that in the three minutes it took me to get up, to pee, and come back to my laptop, some important agent had emailed me!

Then I read about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I was also, simultaneously, trying to build a platform, so I was floundering on Blogger. I decided to combine my desire to start a blog with my desire to participate in NaNoWriMo, thus resulting in my blogel/blovel Forgiving Trinity

I wrote a chapter a day. I badgered a few friends into reading the chapter and voting on what would happen the next day. I was psyched by the legions of fans who began demanding I write more (or the four friends and awesome blog lovers who put up with my obsession). Every single day I had people who loved books and words writing to tell me what they liked and didn't, what they wanted to see more of and what they thought dragged on. It was an incredible writing experience. 

By the end of the month, I had a book. Done. 

Well, not done. I had to edit it. Get it critiqued. Comb through suggestions. Make changes. Take things out. Add things in. 

And I loved it! I really, really loved it. And when I had tweaked it and done all I could to make it perfect, I got an amazing cover, and put it out there! So, if you have an ereader, it's available on Amazon and B&N. And if you love paper, I promise that will be coming out soon! (I promise.)

Oh! And I'm SUPER behind in sales figures, but I'd like to let you know how I made out the last few months!

October - I sold about 58 copies of Double Clutch. Woot!!

November - I released Junk Miles just before Thanksgiving. I sold a combined total of 381 copies! That made me especially giddy, because it was exactly 300 more than I sold in September! (Though, of course, I had one more book out this month!)

Currently, I'm on the cusp of 400, with the three books out. So that's very, very cool for me and makes me extremely excited and happy! 

I really wanted to break it all down more specifically, and I will. But I can tell you that the bulk of my sales come from Amazon Kindle US purchases, and that there has been an almost neck and neck tie between Double Clutch and Junk Miles, so releasing a second book definitely helped sales in a huge way.

And thank you. I love being part of the blog community. I love having people to share this exciting stuff with. I love that I can share a book that literally took root right on this blog. Amazing!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Guest Post: High School Dances With YA Urban Fantasy Writer, Jo Ramsey!

The very cool, talented author Jo Ramsey agreed to be on my insane blog! I'm so happy to have her here and encourage you all to check out her website: www.joramsey.com. This woman is amazing!

Hey everyone! I'm just off my blog tour, and I'm very lucky to have the lovely Jo Ramsey gracing my blog with a story that my YA-loving soul absolutely loves. Remember prom? Was yours magic? Did you go? Did you dance? Ditch? Celebrate another way? Jo is sharing her story here, and I'd love to ask you guys to share your favorite prom memories in the comments. Also make sure you check the links to Jo's awesome book, From the Ashes, which is book 5 in her fabulous Reality Shifts Series, and the cover of her upcoming short story  The Harvest Dance (where we get to see Shanna enjoy her school's version of Homecoming)!

 High School Dances

If you’ve attended school, chances are you’ve been to a school dance. And if you’ve attended a school dance, chances are that at least once, you ended up upset or embarrassed.

Dances can be fun. My sixteen-year-old daughter went to a semi-formal dance at her school last year. Her unofficial date was her best friend, who’s male and who wasn’t interested in actually having a date to the dance. They went together because it was that kind of dance. Both of them said they had a great time, and my usually shy daughter told me she danced with people she didn’t know.

On the other hand, dances, especially semi-formal or formal ones, can be pretty stressful. I remember agonizing over what I was going to wear to my senior prom. My mother ended up finding her old prom dress and having it remade for me. The problem was, I didn’t have a date. The guy I wanted to go with was two grades behind me, even though he was only a couple months younger, so I wasn’t sure I could ask him. Or who would have to pay for everything if I did ask him. I ended up not asking.

The night of the dance, I got all dressed up, planning to drive myself to the dance and go alone. Then my mother announced that she was driving me because she didn’t trust me to drive her car in high heels. (Huh?) She drove me to the place where the dance was being held, and I saw all the couples walking in and froze. It was bad enough that my mother was my freaking chauffeur, but EVERYONE ELSE had dates and I didn’t. I ended up having an anxiety attack and not being able to go in.

I’ve always kind of wished I had gone alone. The next school day, a few people asked me why I hadn’t, and said they would have danced with me and that they had admired me for saying I would go alone. I’ve also kind of wished I had asked the boy I wanted to go with. But you know what they say about wishes…

I did go to some dances in high school, but most of them weren’t very much fun for me. I was almost never asked to dance, and to this day I cringe when I hear “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” because that was the most commonly-played slow song at the dances I went to. (Though Glee did a pretty good version of that song.) I kept going to dances because I kept hoping that “this” would be the time it would be different. It never was, but I kept trying anyway.

If you like YA urban fantasy, this series is a MUST read!

In book five of my YA urban fantasy series Reality Shift, From the Ashes, Shanna Bailey agonizes over being asked to her school’s “Harvest Dance” (their version of Homecoming) by her former next-door neighbor Ken, who seems a lot more interested in Shanna than he used to. I didn’t manage to write about the dance in the book, since somehow it seemed more important to have Shanna and Jonah preventing the Universe from being vaporized, so I wrote a separate short story about the dance, which will be available this month. Shanna has plenty of reasons to be afraid of going to the dance, and of going on a date, but she pushes through and does it anyway.

I am extremely glad that Shanna gets up the courage to go...I LOVE to relive the fun of high school dances through characters who get to enjoy all the fun I was too busy being nervous about!

You can find out more about Jo and her books on her website, http://www.joramsey.com. The Reality Shift series so far is available from Jupiter Gardens Press, http://www.jupitergardens.com