Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Circle of Friends Blog Award

I've strived to be more vigilant on not only posting on my own blog but also in visiting my friends' blogs. So far I've succeeded in being more active and I've also discovered more blogs and made some new friends to go along with the old ones. (old in years of friendship only, not actual age)

Helen Ginger is such a friend. She blogs everyday and always includes interesting links and has many interesting guests. Yesterday she graciously gave me a Circle of Friends Blog Award and I'm proud to pass it along. Please visit these friends and maybe you'll meet some more interesting characters and learn something new.

Please stop by and meet some of my friends and perhaps we can all make our circles bigger.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Does It Get Any Better Than This?

If you read my blog before you've probably seen the great cover my publisher designed for The Keepers of Sulbreth. I could barely hope for another one half so cool for the second book, Beyond the Gate. Earlier this week, James Tampa sent me a preview of the cover. I nearly screamed with excitement. How am I supposed to wait until next January to see this in stores? And now I wonder, how will they top this for books #3 and #4?

It brings me back to the age old question. Have you ever picked up or bought a book because you loved the cover?

Monday, February 15, 2010

More Than Expected

As most of my loyal readers know, I had my first book signing for The Keepers of Sulbreth this past Saturday. I was extremely nervous and changed my outfit selection many times. When I arrived at the shopping center I couldn't find a parking spot. On any other day I would consider that bad luck. But on this day I wanted the huge crowd. Surely in a crowd of a couple of hundred shoppers passing in and out of the store a few might want to buy my book.

The welcoming and efficient staff of Barnes and Noble set a table up for me right inside the front door. They had a large poster in a stand beside my table and another smaller one in a plastic frame they set on the edge of my table. The manager even offered me coffee.

I had barely spread out my free book markers when a couple walked in the door and right up to my table. After reading the back cover blurb they bought one of my books. Then a number of my friends showed up, writers and none writers. Thank you my fellow romance writers from CPRW and my fellow bloggers from The Susquehanna Writers' Blog.

My two nieces drove nearly two hours to surprise me with their support. How great was that and so was the pizza we celebrated with afterwards.

After two full hours of smiling and selling, all but two of books stocked by the store had been sold. I signed the last ones for them and they were going to put them on the front counter with special stickers on as 'autographed copies.'

I didn't keep track but the store had told me they were going to order twenty books in addition to the ones they had already on the shelves. It was lovely and fun. Thanks to everyone who showed up and those who offered their best wishes.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Don't Let Me Be Alone

Every author nightmare has to be sitting for hours at a book signing and selling no books. I did that once at a coffee shop with two of my friends. Our bad luck was a monsoon like down

pour keeping shoppers to a minimum. But at least I had two friends there to share the pain.

This Saturday, Febuary 13th, I'll be having my very first book signing in a major bookstore. I'll be hawking my first fantasy novel, The Keepers of Sulbreth, at the Barnes and Noble in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. Camp Hill is a lovely little town set tight up against Harrisburg, PA. It's the only Barnes and Noble in the Harrisburg area.

I hope a few of my friends make the signing and perhaps a few relatives from near and far. Some of my students are going to be there if they haven't forgotten. Three snow days from school cut into my reminders not that teenagers don't have excellent memories if there's something they really want to do.

What I'm really hoping for is to sell every copy B&N have and then some. Then I'm sure they'll have me back when the second, third and fourth Futhark Chronicles are published.

What is the longest distance you have ever traveled to meet an author or attend a book signing? If you're an author, what was the best signing you've ever had?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Name in the Game

I had an amusing moment recently when I was speaking with an employee of Medallion Press as we prepared for an interview. She told me how they'd joked in the office about one of the words I use in my books. The Futhark Chronicles is the series I've written for Medallion with the first book, The Keepers of Sulbreth released January 1st, 2010.

Kristina told me the office jokingly substituted Futhark for a less kind word as in, "What the Futhark is going on?, What the Futhark does that mean?"

We both laughed but in actuality, Futhark is not a made-up word as they believed. I wasn't trying to be sly and clever when I used the word, Futhark. Futhark, more fully referred to as the Elder Futhark, is the most ancient form of a runic alphabet used by Germanic tribes in the 2nd to 8th century. Most knowledge of this ancient rune language is forgotten though a Younger Futhark is still in use today. The Elder Futhark likely derived from an even more ancient Phoenician alphabet. There are many books and websites describing modern runic languages and often speaking of the history of Futhark.

What does all this have to do with my book? Why did I select this word for the title of my fantasy series? Two reasons. i wanted a word with meaning but that would be different than those seen on the bookstores shelves. Many books have the word 'rune' in their titles. Many have the word, 'elf' in their title. There are many more common words to the fantasy genre but I wanted something more unique but still within the boundaries of genre knowledge.

The second reason is kind of the opposite of the first but it also made sense to me at the time of my choosing. If you google 'Futhark' you are led to all kind of sites dealing with the rune languages of yesterday and today. And you know what else is often on those sites. Buy links to my books. Right beside all those publications about Futhark the language is my fantasy novel. A few more connections can never hurt.

So everytime The Chronicles of Futhark appears anywhere on the Internet, all those invisible little veins and capillaries will lead to my books. The Keepers of Sulbreth is available now and soon so will the second book, Beyond the Gate, and then the third book, Beneath the Mountain and finally that fourth unnamed series ender. And all of them will have Futhark on the front cover.

Names can be important. Often a title leads one to pick up a book. Often the names of characters inside keep the story in one's thoughts for a long time.

So are there runes involved in this novel? Will the Elder Futhark play a part in this epic fantasy series? Well, you'll have to read it to find out.

Have you ever read a book with names that stuck with you forever more. And no fair saying 'Mr. Darcy.' Have you ever written a book where you researched the names before you started tapping away on the manuscript?