Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Read, Read, Read......

My teaching job pays the bills and I would love to write full time. But I do love those teenagers. What I hate, as do many of my peers, is the endless paperwork and dare I say it, INSERVICE. So today was our first inservice day and our district scheduled a speaker for the entire day. Now we've had these before and let me say everyone was a waste of money. I've been dreading it since I received the schedule. I took some magazines to the auditorium and a few other little pieces of work to occupy myself. We all did. I never looked at it.
This speaker dazzled us. Finally a person talking about education and using common sense at the same time. A speaker with data compiled by Bill Gates Educational Programs and not any teachers' union or political animal. What did we learn? America is falling behind countries like China and India. Their students spend nearly twice the hours in school than ours. Our students are some of the best readers in the world in fourth grade and fall to around 50th by the time they're in high school. Why?
It's a complex problem but a lot of it is related to our schools inability to change. I've been teaching for over twenty years and it is really the same. New names are given the same old methods.
I'm also a parent and want my children to be getting all the education they can. How can I see that happen? Something I learned to day; push technology use in your school and encourage it in your home. And make sure they read. Read. Read. Read.
As a writer, the more readers the better. As a parent, the more readers at my house, the better.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My Book is Featured

I'm so happy with my publisher, New Concepts today. My very first book with them, The Greater Good, is being featured on their front page this month. Even though it was released a while ago, this exposure will hopefully boost its sales and that of the other books in the series. You've heard me rant about ebook pirates and what they've cost me. I admit to being depressed and discouraged by seeing my books being stolen but this has really cheered me up.

If you've never read one of the books in my Solonian Series let me give you a short over view. The series takes places in a furturistic Earth after an asteroid strike has sent the humans survivors back to a state of pre-technology when every day is a struggle to live. Humans have settled in small isolated colonies one of which is Solonia. Solonia is a dying settlement. Dying because all their men have succumbed to a wasting disease and only the women remain. In desperation they reach out to a newly settled colony. The Realm is composed of adventurers and warriors determined to explore and civilize their new settlement. In each novel in this series, one couple is followed on their uneven, rocky road to love.

Please visit my website to learn more or my publisher to read the first chapter. I have great hopes for ramping up the interest in this series especially since the fourth book will be out early next year.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fall Approaches

Every August since I've tried make my way as writer becomes a time of stress and pressure. My bill-paying job is teaching. That means in a few days I'll be back on the job from 6:45 am until around 3:15 Monday through Friday. It will cut into a huge chunk of my writing time. Not that I write much during those hours during the summer months. During those times I do all the other things that chew up time. Laundry, yard work, cooking, cleaning, shopping and blogging to name a few. Starting soon I'll be doing all those things in the evening and those hours are my writing hours.

You can't hear me, but I'm screaming, "I don't want to go back to school." Now I love my students but I want to stay home and write. I want to finish this WIP and sent it out. I want to work on book#3 of The Futhark Chronicles. I want to find a home for First Dragon. But like so many writers I don't have this choice. Not only does the mortgage need my income but so does the college tuition of two children. Let's not even talk about food. Yes I have to work so we have that stuff.

I set a goal to finish Tiger's Mate before returning to school and I'm getting to it a little early today and planning on working late. Maybe this will be the one to allow me early retirement.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Piracy Stabs Me in the Pocketbook

You may remember my blog earlier this summer about ebook pirates. This week, the proverbial crapola hit the fan. I received my royalty statement for the second quarter of 2009. My third book, the one appearing on all those pirate sites, had many fewer sales than the first two books in the series.

The first two books, The Greater Good and The Lesser Evil, held steady with downloads and had a minor upswing in print sales. But that third book, A Ruthless Good, had not near the download sales as the first two books did in the same time period.

I'll blame a little bit of the drop in sales on my cover. The cover misleads one into thinking A Ruthless Good is an erotic romance when it's actually only a sensual level of heat like the first two books and the forthcoming fourth book, One Good Woman. But I truly believe it was the durn pirates that blasted my sales to the bottom of the financial sea.

What should I do? I'm going to ramp up my promotion and try to find those honest readers who believe in paying for merchandize instead of stealing it. I'm working on a plan right now so stay tuned.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Where and When of Blogging

I go through fits and starts with my blogging. On rare occasions I've had periods when I believe I have something to say everyday. I have a friend who does say something entertaining almost every day and I find that pretty inspirational. Then there are times when I'm deep into a project and can't seem to think of one little tidbit worth sharing. I know readers of my blog don't expect to learn the secret to publishing success and how to win the lottery against all odds, but I try to say something of some value or at least an interesting read.
So when should one post something? I tend to avoid controversy on this blog so you won't see any great last word on ebook vs traditional, taxing the rich vs the middle class, or even paper or plastic.(I use cloth reusable bags)
I do blog when I have a new work to promote or some other writing milestone, but many days I search the echoing emptiness of my creative cortex and find a blinking cursor on a blank white page. And I've fallen into a habit of blogging about once per week on either Monday or Tuesday whether I have anything wonderfully original to say or not.
During the summer months, I blog from my home computer but soon I'll be back at school. I'd like to blog on my lunch hour from work. But should I? Use of my computer at school is strictly monitored. So I might not.
I'm sure most people who read my blog have their own blog going. How often do you write a new post and when do you do it?