Thursday, February 25, 2010

I've got over 100 Followers!!! So Awesome!!!

Wow! I am beyond amazed!!!! And eternally grateful to each and every person who has been following my journey for months and also the new followers who have just joined!

When I started this blog, I planned on doing it to "build my platform" and make a name for myself on the internet. What I hadn't expected were the friendly faces and thoughtful posts I received! I made friends out here in Bloggerland! And you have all given me such wonderful support and advice and hopefully i have enriched your blogging experience too!!

I wish you all the best of luck in your endeavors! Most of you are fellow writers and we're all on this crazy, winding, twisting, uphill path together! It's so nice to have people to share the joys and sorrows with!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Been busy lately....sorry I've been MIA!

I know I don't have to remind anyone how fast time flies by. I look at the calender and I'm like "Holy Crap!" I have only a little over a month left till the writer's conference! I finished my POV change for Spellbound, but I have not touched it in a little over a week. I still have to go through it a couple times and edit!! Plus, my editor just sent me my galley for A Bitch Named Karma and I need to do that and get it back to her. YIKES! Holy workload!

And my daughter was on winter break last week, so that meant I got almost no time to work or play on the computer! We went away for a few of those days too. I did take the laptop and popped online a couple times, but no time for blog reading :(

So, huge apologies to all my bloggy buddies. So sorry I have not been participating int he blogging world lately :( But I will be honest in saying I'm not sure how much time over the next month I can dedicate to you. I absolutely need to get the galley done and then it's full steam ahead on Spellbound edits. I need to have it perfected for the conference!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Final stage of editing....I can't believe it!!!

Wow. Can't believe this day is here. Today I start the absolute last stage of editing. I received my galley yesterday and now all that's left to do is go through and note any typos or other minuscule changes. After this there's no going more changes. This is it!!!

I am in awe of how far I've come since starting this book. It had a different name back then and the original story idea was a bit different. It morphed as I wrote and I remember how fast I pumped out that first draft. Barely two months it took me...I was so inspired...I just could not stop. It was three years ago this month that I started it.

I remember how excited I was when it was finished and how fabulous I thought it was. I edited and perfected it and I queried. I received 9 of which was a full request from Red Dress Ink, one of the biggest chick lit publishers around. (this was when they still accepted unagented submissions). Devastation filled me when every single one ended in rejection.

But I loved this story so much.

It sat for a while, then it got an overhaul. I queried again and had no luck at all. Then I sent it off to a few digital publishers and that's when my story found it's home. My heart about burst when I found someone else who loved this story as much as I did.

And now here we are, after perfecting it even more...ready to publish and share it with the world!

Friday, February 19, 2010

My Cover Art: Here it is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am so unbelievably excited to share this with my blogger friends!!!!

As I said in my last post, it is a bit more racy than I would have liked, but option #2 was just not as striking. And honestly, the second model had WAY too much makeup on and she was kinda ugly! LOL! And her arms were positioned really weird. I think this cover will definitely grab someone's attention and hopefully once readers read the blurb, they will want to buy it! There is a warning that will post under my blurb, telling possible buyers that the story contains strong language. There is no mention of sex in my warning, so hopefully that will be enough to let readers know it is not an erotic novel. And it will be listed under Chick Lit not Erotica.

Sooooooooo......what do you guys think??????

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

COVER ART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am beyond excited!!!!!!

Wow....I have been waiting for this day...since...forever!!! I think all writers dream of the day they will see their name printed across the cover of a book! And let me tell you...just the jpeg attachment of my cover art took my breath away!!

I never really had any ideas for cover art for A Bitch Named Karma. My publisher, Lyrical Press, asked what my ideas were, which I thought was very cool of them, and I didn't really know what to say. I wanted something eye-catching, of course, and I like more simplistic covers. Lyrical has fantastic cover art, so I wanted to leave it up to the professionals!

And wow...did the professionals do an amazing job!!!

I am not going to post it yet...I breaks my heart not to share it!!! It may go through a change before it's set in stone.

But let me tell you, the font is really fantastic...and the background is a medium blue and it's ruched satin. I am not usually a fan of blue, but this is really stunning. There is a female model on the cover, as Lyrical uses real photos on their cover as apposed to drawings. She's gorgeous, of course, with dark hair that contrasts against the blue amazingly!

My one and only gripe is her clothing....or rather, lack there of. She's a little too naked for the type of novel. It's chick lit/contemporary romance and my fear is that potential readers will think it is an erotic novel. There are sex scenes, but they are, for lack of a better word, glossed over. My MC is a very sexual person but I chose not to write the details of the scenes. I'm afraid that someone may look at the cover and pass on it because they do not like detailed sex scenes. Or others may buy it thinking it's erotica and feel disappointed when it's not.

Book covers, even digital ones, are sooooooooooo important. No matter what your blurb says, or what your excerpt is....readers see that cover first and they form an opinion immediately. Last thing I want to do is turn away potential buyers or disappoint someone who was looking for more that what my book contains.

Monday, February 15, 2010

POV change is DONE! Holy Cow was that a lot of work!

This POV change was for Spellbound, my 3rd completed novel. Basically it's about a simplistic woman who falls for a wealthy man and the differences they must deal with when they start a committed relationship. It tackles a lot of issues today's couples must deal with: financial, religious, familial.

I shouldn't have been surprised at the amount of work this took...I knew it would be very time-consuming. But in the beginning, it was just time consuming....easy....replacing I and we with she and they. But the more I went just got to be a huge pain in the butt. Worth it, hopefully, but a huge pain.

But today I finally finished it. Whew! Huge weight has been lifted! This change was necessary and it was worth it. I think the story is that I can add my hero's POV in. I think that helps the story a lot!

So next step...after I let this baby sit for a week, is to go back through and tighten it up. I need to add in some more spots with hero's POV and determine where I can cut some things. It's a tad too long. But I'm not overly concerned with that.

So now I have a little over a month to get this story ready for pitching at The Write Stuff Writer's Conference the end of March.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Finally back to lots to do!

My laptop had to be rushed to the Computer Hospital AKA hubby's uncle's. We have always gotten our computers from his uncle, who builds them for a living. He is also a fantastic computer surgeon. He had her back to me in only two days, which I appreciated to no end. She is mostly good as new...but I fear she will never be 100% :(

But anyway, I am now working on selecting the excerpt that will be listed on my page on Lyrical Press's website!! And wow is it hard!!! They want a scene toward the beginning of the book...something that makes a reader want to read more, obviously. But I don't want to give away something that is meant to be a surprise!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

An Award! Thanks so much!

A HUGE thanks to Catherine Denton at Winged Writer for honoring me with this award!! Check her out!!!

Happiness is essential in absolutely MUST fine somehting in life to make you happy...big things, little things, silly things, things that other people think are silly....something that puts a smile on your face. Without that....for me, life is worthless.

Here are 10 things that make me happy, some silly, some not:

1: My family
2: My writing and my book contract
3: Scrapbooking
4: NKOTB!!!!!
5: Disney World
6: Food...I just love to eat!
7: Dancing
8: Feeling/looking pretty
9: The ocean
10: Friends

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I feel like a celebrity!!!

I was interviewed yesterday on R.A.W. Random Acts of Writing!!! Please check it out!! Kristi is so amazing!!! I love reading her blog posts!!

This was my first ever blog interview and it was so much fun!!! I love sharing my journey with others. I hope that my experiences can help someone else and also give people insight to something they might not have though about before, like epublishing.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Holy Muti-tasking Batman!!

These days, multi-tasking isn't just a skill that is handy to have, it's essential! Unfortunately the world moves fast these days and we seem to have a zillion things on our plates.

I think I have always been good at it....but as every mother knows, you never really perfect it till you have kids. Before that time you really don't have a reason to put on makeup and play Chutes and Ladders at the same time. Or nurse a baby while checking email. I think moms, more than anyone else, are pulled in many directions at once.

For the most part, I think multi-tasking is a good thing, as long as you can still give a decent amount of attention to both things. There is bad multi-tasking driving and texting. That is a HUGE no no.

My husband and I joined a gym almost a month ago. We both take mp3 players to listen to or at least headphones/ear buds so we can watch TV while jogging or using the Elliptical. Works well and makes the time seem to go by faster. I've seen some people reading magazines or newspapers while exercising and I decided to grab a magazine one day to try it. I had trouble with was just too hard to focus on the words while moving around so much. Then the other day, a woman got on a stepper machine next to mine. I couldn't help but notice what she was doing. She got her machine going and set up the way she wanted, then she started up her ipod. THEN she turned on her Kindle. At first I was kinda impressed...exercise, music and a story all at once?? But then I thought some more and wondered how on earth she could possibly give proper attention to the story she was reading. Me personally, I cannot listen to music when I read or write...I know others can though. But tack on the exercise too....I don't know...seemed like a lot going on at once.

I think sometimes we do need to step back and slow down. Enjoy just one activity at a time. Life flashes by so fast...hate to look back and just remember a blur of things.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Blog tour...sounds like fun!

Before I started blogging, I had heard the term "blog tour" a few different times and wondered what the heck it was. I knew what a blog was...but a tour???

Now I am all over blogging and I get it. And it sounds pretty cool!! I found this fantastic blog post about blog tours....very informative!!!

I love to see writers helping writers...supporting each other....getting the word out there in the blogosphere. As we all know, promoter is just another hat we wear as authors. And if I can help some of my fellow blogger buddies, than I most certainly want to do that!!

So, does anyone out there have a book coming out soon or anything else they'd like to promote???? I'd love to do some cross promoting!!!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Finally doing an Acknowledgement Page!!!

And it is not even remotely easy to do!!

I knew this day was coming. It's been over 6 months since I signed my contract for A Bitch Named Karma. And I knew I would soon need to write up my words of thanks to all the people in my life who have made this dream a reality. I worked it out in my head several times as to what I would say, who I would say it to, and try very hard not to sound like a babbling sap. Well, the time is now and for as much as I tried to prepare myself for this, it still was very hard.

Dedication was easy...I kept that short and sweet.

But the Acknowledgment Page...that was tough. Some of the people were easy to thank- my husband, my kids, my editor. My son won't be able to read his for a few years yet, but when he can, I hope he'll get a kick out of it. My daughter will probably love it! So those few were easy...but then there were more I felt I needed to thank. I wouldn't be anywhere if the owners of Lyrical Press hasn't taken a chance on me. And my writers group....they've been my cheerleaders for the past 3 years. And my faithful fans!! Had to thank them too!

So hopefully I did an okay job at this Acknowledgment Page thing.

Next up is my Bio Page for the book. They want soemthing different than what my bio says on the Lyrical website. I've got it started but I just don't know what else to say!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Finally!! The winner is announced!!

Sorry it took so long for me to announce the winner of my first ever blog contest! My weekend was quite hectic, so I just didn't have time :(

But I did today! So I wrote down all the entrant's names, folded them up and put them in the first vessel I son's new rubber rain boot:

I didn't take into account the size of the boot when I selected it but I made sure no entrees got stuck in the toe and managed to get my hand in and thoroughly mixed the papers up!

So, without further ado...the winner is:

NIKI @ Wool 'n' Nuts!!

Please email me asap: haefner919 @ yahoo (dot) com so I can email you your $10 Amazon giftcard!

A HUGE thanks to everyone that entered and promoted the contest!! This is just the beginning!!! In March/April I'll be giving away at least a couple signed copies of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thank Mom Edition that I will be featured in. And of course, once my book is released, I will be giving away a download or two and some other fun stuff!!!!

Stay tuned! The next couple months will be really exciting!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Switching careers....pretty scary.....

I'm sure we all remember back to high school when we had to fill out college applications and choose a major. If you think about it, it's pretty ridiculous to ask a 17-year old what they want to do with the rest of their lives. We mature so much after high school and our tastes change.

I had lots of interests back then. But I was lucky. I attended a vocational high school and already had more than 3 years of vocational education under my belt when I filled out college applications. I had already known one thing I definitely liked to do- floral design.

My high school was not one you just went to. Growing up in a large city- Buffalo, NY- there were many high schools to choose from. You had to apply, just like college. Of course, every neighborhood had their district school, where you went if you didn't get into your 1st, 2nd or 3rd choice schools. But you didn't want to go there unless you had to. There were so many other schools to pick from: a couple vocational schools, a technological school, a performing arts school, more... I chose McKinley High School and its Horticulture program. I can't even begin to tell you why...I was 13 and it sounded fun. But I've always been an artsy craftsy kind of person and came to find a real love for floral design.

But by the beginning of my senior year, there were other things I liked too.

I was the reporter for the FFA chapter at my school. I loved writing about club happenings and seeing my name in lights (or rather black print) in small local publications and also a state-wide paper. I won the NY State FFA Reporter's Award that year. I applied to two different colleges- Alfred Sate College for Floriculture Merchandising (to learn to run a flower shop), and Buffalo State College for Journalism.

I chose Floriculture and to this day have no real reason as to why.

I graduated with honors from Alfred State College and went on to work at a couple different flower shops, settling at one and became one their top employees- trusted with most of the shop's displays and about 95% of wedding work (my favorite!) I left there to start my own home-based business when my daughter was born and thoroughly enjoyed that. I wanted to be one of the top wedding florists in Buffalo! And I wanted to add Bridal Consultant to my title as well.

But reality set in and the insane amount of hours I put in was not matched by dollar signs.

And I started writing again.

I finished my first novel and felt so incredibly accomplished. All I wanted to do was write! My love for my floral business started to fade even though I forced myself to go on. My heart was not in it anymore.

Then I had to make a that was much easier than I thought it would be. I thought my husband would fight me on giving up my income, as little as it was. But he didn't. I officially gave up the business and made plans to pursue a writing career full time. I was due with our second child and we decided I had a 5-year time limit to make it as a writer. And when I say "make it", that meant I had to be bringing in some kind of money. If I didn't make that happen before my son went off to full day kindergarten, I would have to go out and get a part time job. And I did not want that at all.

So here I son just turned two. My debut novel, A Bitch Named Karma, will be out this year from Lyrical Press. I am determined to be successful. People often comment on my terrifying as it was to go from a sure-thing career to one that "might" happen one day, I just cannot let myself be a failure.