ASYLUM has now been available for several days. You can find it at Westbow Press, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. I've done a little toward spreading the word on Facebook and Twitter...but nowhere near what I feel like I should be doing. Here's the funny part - I still have to sign off on the final physical copy before the books can ship!
I feel like I'm standing on the edge of a cliff about to take the leap of my life. I've got a parachute pack, but I'm not one hundred percent sure that it will open for me. I'm either going to be riding the winds of success, or taking a dive in the fashion of Wile E. Coyote - whistle, poof, and all. It's a staggering thought.
I've had so many wonderful friends tell me that they've already ordered their copy. I am humbled. Thank you for supporting me, my family, my work. How very grateful I am to those who are holding me up. My Aarons and Hurs. I couldn't do this without you.
I've said it before, and I will say it until I have no breath left - it is my prayer that this book (and hopefully the others to follow) will glorify God. That it will reach people who wouldn't normally pick up a Christian book. That seeds will be planted. This book - the time and effort it took to write it - belongs to Him.
With that goal in mind, I have confidence in that parachute.
The Day Has Come!
Can you believe it?! My book is now available for purchase!
That's probably the best place to get it. It will be available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble, too.
This moment is wonderful and crazy all at the same time. It took a lot of work to write and revise the book itself, but now the real work sets in. Now, I have to sell the book. I am grateful for friends who have already bought a copy! After you read it (and hopefully like it), spread the word! Write a review! I would surely appreciate your help!
I will be doing book signings, starting locally. I'll try to set up a few in Colorado Springs and Denver, too. From there, we'll see where it goes! It's in God's hands, as I have handed this whole venture over to Him. Yes, I keep trying to pick it up and take control again, but I have to remind myself that He's got me this far. And I cling to Philippians 1:6 - "being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
Wow! My head is spinning from all that is going on with my book! It's in production. The release date has not yet been established, but I hear that WBP wants to reveal it at the Christian Product Expo in Murfreesboro, TN mid-September. I'm pretty jazzed about that!
I also get to do a video shoot next week. I've never had my own video shoot. I've been part of them - behind the scenes. But to be the one on camera...well, that will be different for me. I'm nervous, but also excited. Bring it on!
It's kind of a let-down - not to have edits to work on or things to worry about. I almost don't know what to do with myself. So I'm going to start dusting off the other Circeae Tales stories and see what I can do with them. I've added a survey, in case you'd like to chime in. Check out the descriptions for each story, then tell me which book you'd like to see after ASYLUM comes out. No guarantees on when the next book will start into publication, but I do hope to see the whole series out there someday.
I've also added links to the various social networks I frequent. I hope you'll consider adding me! It will be great to connect with readers and/or fellow writers!
Light at the End of the Tunnel
I completed Round 2 of edits early this morning. This past week, I've had some pretty late nights working on the final draft of my manuscript that will go to print. It's very exciting and quite nerve-wracking. I've loved every moment! I know...I'm a glutton for punishment, as they say.
I've learned quite a bit along the way. The editor who reviewed my manuscript taught me so much! In going through a second time, I caught many things that I wouldn't have before. I'm most grateful to that person.
It's a huge responsibility - putting a book out there. I know I've touched on this in a previous blog, but I feel like it should be said again. Most people in the publishing industry look down on self-publishing. I must admit, when I worked for a national chain bookstore, I did too. Of course, it's becoming more and more popular, but there's still a bit of a stigma. It's the "easy road" to publishing.
While that may be true, it's really hard to put out quality work. Whenever I would receive a rejection from an agent, I'd think, "Well, I'll just use CreateSpace and get this baby into the hands of readers." I imagined myself as the next Amanda Hocking or something. I am so thankful I held out! If my manuscript went to press the way it was, I would have been humiliated. It needed editing - desperately! And even now, it's probably nowhere close to perfect. I still have a lot to learn about writing. But I'm proud of its transformation, and I hope that my readers will appreciate all the work (not just my own!) that has gone into this book.
This experience will also help me in the preparation of future manuscripts. Part of me wants to take a break from reading and writing for a couple of weeks. But the wiser part of me says to hang onto this momentum. I'd also like to be able to release another book pretty quickly on the heels of this one. With having several of them written, it will just be a matter of whipping them into shape - my original intention in having several written before pursuing publishing.
Who knows where this will go? Well, I know Who knows. I love that I don't have to walk this journey alone. I've been praying every day for God to be glorified through this book/series. It's funny - when I started writing, I didn't know which way the series would go, whether it would be mainstream or Christian. There were many reasons that it could go either way. God directed it toward Him. And I am most grateful.
Ha! I love the title of this post because it rhymes with the title of the last blog entry. And of course, it's appropriate to what I'm writing. I really shouldn't be writing this right now. I am thick in the midst of editing my manuscript, but I needed a break.
WestBow connected me with one of their editors. I have no idea how my book won. I feel like I need to take remedial English courses. I am SO grateful for that editor. I wish I could thank him/her personally.
I've had deadlines before. Papers, scripts. Things that were due at a certain time. But none of them were ever as important as this deadline. Tomorrow, my manuscript goes to the printer. It will then be put into book form and distributed to interested readers around the world. I could just be imagining its reach, but it has the potential to be big.
I have to say, I'm quite freaked out. I want this book to be perfect! I know it won't be, though...so I'm hoping that it will be the best I can do. And I hope God will pick up the slack. I can't do this alone.
Once I get these edits finished, I have to give it over to Him. I have to trust. I can tell you that when I hit the "send" button on the email, I will be holding my breath, crossing my fingers, toes, and eyes, and praying like crazy.
A couple of weeks ago, I received a phone call from our local paper. They wanted to do an interview with me regarding the WestBow Press/Munce Group Writing Contest. I felt like a celebrity! Goodness, I've never been asked to do an interview! What an exciting thing!
Well, today - the article came out. I am so proud! Not in a bragging, look-at-me kind of way. But in a I-can't-believe-this-is-really-happening kind of way. There are still times that I just burst with happiness. My kids look at me a little strangely, but that's okay.
I have more coming, and I'm going to have to learn how to compose myself in an interview setting. I keep telling myself, "It'll be easy. You can do this. You've been on stage. An interview won't be much different."
But it is!
My words are on those pages. My characters. My plots. My life. (Okay, that might be a little overkill, but you get the point.) I have to represent my intellectual property the best way I can. I want people to buy my books! I want them to fall in love with my characters as much as I have. I want them to want to know the whole story and stick with the series until it's complete. So, as you can see, these interviews are really important. It's not at all like walking onstage with memorized lines to ratlle off. It's quick thinking, a mix of wit and wisdom, and nailing it with a sales pitch.
I may not be up for it, but "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." I'm glad that He knows how important this is - not just for me, but for those great folks at WestBow and Munce who are backing me. And for my family. And I'm glad that I can rely on Him. He won't let me down.
So, bring on the interviews! I'll be happy to talk with you about my book(s). Just as long as you know Someone is holding my hand through the whole thing.
Kiss Today Goodbye...
I came home from the gym today to hear that Marvin Hamlisch had passed away. Such sad news. He was an amazing composer and musician. Being a Broadway fan, he impacted my life.
I know that he did a lot more than A Chorus Line, but that's what I am most familiar with. I remember the first time I experienced that musical. My mom had told me about it, and the movie was about to come out. Okay, so the movie's not the best representation of such an awesome show, but I enjoyed it. Terrence Mann, Michael Douglas... Yeah. I liked it.
I then got to see a production at a local high school. I imagine it probably wasn't the very best, but at the time, I was completely enamored. A friend played one of the dancers, and his monologue was quite powerful.
"I'm watchin' Sis go pitter-pat....said 'I can do that!'"
"Everything is beautiful at the ballet..."
"Hello, twelve, hello, thirteen, hello, love..."
And who can forget the finale? Deck in gold suits and top hats. Beautifully synchronized. Multiplied with mirrors. Beginning with a couple of simple keys on the piano - much like "New York, New York" - then building into a memorable showstopper...
"ONE singular sensation! Every little breath she takes..."
Another beautiful song for which he is responsible is "Through The Eyes Of Love," from Ice Castles. Look him up. You'll find a whole list of movies and musicals that are familiar.
Thank you, Mr. Hamlisch, for the music. Thank you for the wonderful things you did. I know you probably didn't know how much you affected my life, but I hope that you do now.
A Trip Back to Childhood
I am starting to feel giddy. On Friday, we are planning to take our children to
a place that I went to as a child. Hidden in the foothills of Pike's Peak is a
Christmas-themed amusement park called the North Pole (of course...). We took
our oldest two before the third one came along, but they were so little, they
barely remember. But first, we'll head to the town I grew up in - Woodland Park.
A visit to the best donut shop in the world is in order! This is sure to be a
great memory-building experience!
Woodland Park is a quiet little town. When we lived there, it was much smaller. We didn't have any fast-food places. One grocery store. Dirt roads, mostly. We could walk or ride our bikes everywhere. It was the perfect place to grow up.And the view of Pikes Peak is stunning. I miss it terribly.
My dad knew the man who owned the Donut Mill. As kids, we'd often go by there, and the man would allow us to help in the kitchen. We'd get free donut holes! Such fun! And the donuts were out of this world! It's not easy making good donuts at such a high elevation. We actually have been back there a couple of times since. When I asked about the owner, the people said they'd never heard of him, and that they no longer use the kitchen. The donuts are made in Colorado Springs. Heartbreaking! But still the very best donuts!!
From there, we'll head down the Ute Pass to Cascade. There's something about driving up the side of the hill and seeing all the signs of welcome to the North Pole. And once you crest the hill into the parking lot, a big gateway tells you are you have arrived at Santa's
Workshop. You can either turn off into the parking lot, or continue on up the Pike's Peak Highway that goes all the way to the summit. That's an awesome, breathtaking trip in itself!
From the parking lot, you can see a giant slide painted like a candy cane. The entryway is always painted in cheerful colors. And the smell...there is no smell like the one at the door. It's a mixture of excitement, fun, mountains, animals, and grease. It's wonderful, really!
After you pay your admission, you're allowed to enter the wonderland. To the right is a giant sled - photo opportunity. You can climb a huge staircase to go up to the Sky Ride (my personal childhood favorite - but with three little ones, there's no chance we're riding until they are WAY older!), you can go straight to Santa's Village, or you can head off to the left to ride some neat little cars and slide down the Candy Cane.
In the midst of Santa's Village is the North Pole itself. It's been icy since I was a child! Just one touch is enough to cool you off. You can also shop in some really fun gift shops, or visit Santa himself!
The North Pole is home to the world's tallest ferris wheel! It's not really that tall, but because of the elevation, it can claim that title. There are a few other thrill-type rides, but most of them are for little kids. Another favorite is one shaped like a Christmas tree. It has ornaments you can sit in and move up and down as it spins.
And you can't visit the North Pole without having some ice cream. They give the biggest scoops! The ice cream shoppe is right next to the carousel - a perfect combination, don't you think? For those of you who might not have child experience...that was meant sarcastically.
We have history with this neat place. My older brother worked there when he was in high school, and like I said, we went there often as kids. It was our Disneyland. Maybe that's one reason I love Christmas so much!
I think I am more excited about going than my kids are!
A Month of Transitions
The end of July brought us our county fair, which ushered in the month of August. This is glorious news, as August heralds in fall - at least in my opinion. School supplies are in the stores, and I even saw a magazine at the grocery store about Halloween treats! And I think this year, August is going to move quickly.
Our performances of the melodrama, Sew What?!, have finished. I will be editing my manuscript, once I get it back from my publisher. (Believe it or not, I am quite excited about that - even though, I am sure to be overwhelmed!) We'll have a weekend away, some company who will visit, and then school starts. September will be here before we know it!
I plan to fully enjoy every moment of fall this year. It's such a wonderful season! And I can't think of a better way to spend August. It's always been my least favorite month, simply because it seems to drag. Not much is going on (usually) and it makes for a long month. But not this year!
August will see my son transition into first grade, my daughter into her second year of preschool, and me into a published author! It's a really exciting time for our family. I just pray that God will continue to be at the center of all we do - and it's He who remains true; we are the ones who move away. Hopefully, we'll remember that we experience these changes for His glory.
Last night, we had our first performance of a melodrama I wrote back in June. We've been rehearsing it over the last few weeks. It's silly and pure fun. And the audience really seemed to enjoy it. This is the second melodrama I've written, third if you include one I adapted last summer.
I wish I could make you understand how absolutely wonderful it is to see characters you've created come to life. Every time the cast gathers and reads their parts, I get so excited! And even better - the audience's laughter last night. They got the jokes. The cast delivered them in the best way. It was just awesome!
It's something I often think about in relation to my books. I dream of the cast for the movie version. I'm sure that will probably never happen - although I was fairly certain I would never be published...and look what's happened!
We have two more performances of the melodrama. I'm looking forward to them, as you can imagine. I've really enjoyed the opportunity to write something different. And when it's all over, I'll get back to focusing solely on my books. I have edits to work on for the big release! Goodness, it's like
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