Monday, June 27, 2011

Silver Maples anyone?

We finally had a few days without rain and what does that mean?  Outside work!  I would say BOOO! But I actually like being outside.  And working outside is fine by me as long as it’s not strenuous and backbreaking work.  We live out in the “country” on a lovely lot of acreage consisting of yard and several acres of forest surrounding the yard.  Sounds lovely right?  It is…in general.  The trees of the forest are pine trees and silver maple trees, tons of silver maple trees.  Full grown and huge.  Oh, there are a few white and pink crab apples here and there, but otherwise its pine and maple. 

Silver maples are a nice shade-producing tree.  A little on the branchy and root side, but the leaves are pretty which is where they get their name. 

Spring comes every year at our house and the maples leaf out very beautifully.  Then…..they seed.  Little tan seed helicopters dance down from the trees……in waves.  So many of them that on a windy day it looks like it is snowing.  In fact once they reach the ground they blanket the grass in mounds that you literally have to wade through.  They come in storms and leave a mess like you wouldn’t believe.  We mow and we sweep and we rake up the little buggars and still I see them spinning happily on the wind. 

Although I admit that some days its fun to watch their topsy-turvy decent to the ground, I am still always amazed at what damage and work a tiny seed can cause when multiplied by thousands. 

Bring on the summer.  I am sick of the seeds….


Monday, June 20, 2011

Things I didn’t realize

I’m a writer (in case you didn’t know).  When I began this “life” I thought being a writer meant that you wrote.  Whether it was stories or articles or books or whatever, but in the end, you wrote.  I had no idea that you also needed to be an editor, a critiquer, and in the end a salesman.  Who knew? 

So, first I have to say, that I am not a salesman.  One of my part-time jobs when I was a teenager was to try to get people to RETAIN the services that the company I worked for provided, at the small price of $50 a year.  What I didn’t know when I took the job was that it was a sales job.  I hated that job.  I sucked at that job.  I didn’t hold it even a year before I resigned my post and ran screaming somewhere else.  It took a few years to figure out that the reason I was so bad at that job was because I thought the service I was trying to sell was a stupid waste of $50.  I couldn’t sell, aka retain, people to the service because I didn’t believe in it. 

The other problem is that I am not a social being.  I know most of you reading this would never realize it, but I’m not.  I’m a shy introvert.  Surprise!  My comfort zone is behind a computer where I don’t have to see facial expressions or try to interpret body language.  A “no” in writing is so much easier to take than a “no” to my face. 

What does this all have to do with writing?  Well if I was only trying to write for myself that it wouldn’t matter at all, but because I am trying to write for the public it does.  Yes, I have to write a good story, no a great story, one that I believe in.  If I don’t believe in it, who else will?  How can I sell it, if even I think it sucks?  Then I need to get out of my comfort zone and sell it.  Sometimes by computer, but sometimes over the phone or even face to face. 

I’m struggling very much with this part of it.  I know what I need to do.  I do.  Really.  I will walk into a bookstore in which I want to try to get my book shelved.   Then I get in front of the manager or whoever and I just smile and then………choke.  Its terrible as then I’m so upset at not getting the shelving and at myself for failing and then trying to work myself up to doing it again….horrible. 

However, this is not all bad news.  I’m getting better.  I am forcing myself out of my comfort zone.  I am forcing myself to move forward because I want something more than my fear can hold me back.  If they say no, to my face, then they say no.  There are other stops, other avenues, and other stores to try.  I focus on that, instead of the failure. 

So anyone struggling with sales in any way, shape, or form, my advice?  Get out of your comfort zone.  Force your fears back and do all that you can for yourself.  You are the only one that’s going to.


Monday, June 13, 2011

End of a Blog Tour

Now that my blog tour is officially complete, I wanted to thank everyone that hosted me on my tour, took the time to read and review Shadow Dancer, as well as all the people that followed and commented.  Thank you, truly, sincerely.

I was asked just this morning what I thought of the whole blog tour thing.  Did I think it was helpful?  Did it get me new readers?  New fans?  New Followers?  The answer to all these questions is, yes.  The blog tour did its job of getting Shadow Dancer’s title out there for more people to see.  The blogs were fun and different and silly and entertaining all at the same time.  Each one was different which was what I was hoping for.  I am also the happy recipient of several new followers on my blog and twitter.  Plus, I received several lovely emails from new fans (Yay!).  I wont know if my book really had any increase in sales, but even if it didn’t, I am certain I received several, due in large part to the blog tour.

It was definitely work, but it was the good kind of work.  I actually enjoy my book and the characters, so having to immerse myself in Shadow Dancer to create the blogs and answer the interview questions was no hardship for me.  It was fun.  Time consuming and thought provoking, but fun all the same. 

Will I do one again for future titles?  Oh yes. 

What did you all think of the tour?  Where there posts you liked more than others?  Were there posts that were just…eh?  What are your thoughts in general?