Monday, January 31, 2011

Blog vs. Website

Exactly one month ago, I decided to do away with my website and go with a blog only.  Thanks to all my wonderful readers who gave me their opinions and insight into their experiences.  They were split about half and half on having both or having a blog only. 

After a month, I thought I'd share my verdict of how it's going.  Let's start with numbers.  I have more than doubled the number of followers on my blog and have more comments than ever.  Page visits for my blog this past month have been triple the usual number of visits I averaged on my website. 

When I decided to do away with my website, I also set a goal for myself to keep my blog active with frequent posting and also to set aside time to visit other blogs.  It's also so easy to change the design on my blog compared to making changes on my website.  In a few weeks I'm going to add another page to my blog to promote an upcoming release.  What's not to love about blogging?

I know from the previous discussion some more of your were thinking of going blog only.  Did anyone else dump their website? 

Thanks to everyone who gave me advice and shared their experiences.  I'm learning more every day.  I'm grateful to all my new followers and especially those who stop by here often to comment. 

Now if only I could keep up with Facebook and Goodreads.  Twitter only receives my attention on rare occasions though I usually find lots of links to follow when I do go there.  So now that I settled my blog decision my next question, oh wise audience, is what other social networking tools so you deem worthy of your time?  Facebook?  Twitter?  Goodreads?  LinkedIn?  Others?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

One Sentence Pitch

I saw some advice on line earlier this week from an agent who said your query letter should be a pitch not a plot summary.  In my spare moments during this busy week, I've been rewriting (dozens of time) my one sentence pitch.  I'm going to bravely throw it out there for critiques.  I'm pretty sure no one who visits my blog has read this book, First Dragon, so this single sentence will give you the feel for the book or not. 

Men born with dragon-blood ignite a war that could end civilization and the only hope of the free people of Morbunda rests with a young man who must accept his role as a true dragon and a young woman who learns she can call the wind.

I've been on crutches for three weeks and through four snow storms.  I'm tough.  I can take it.  What do you think of my pitch?  What do you think about one-sentence pitches in general?  Now that I remembered to include it!!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Alex Cavanaugh: Finding Your Voice Online

Today I'm welcoming Alex J. Cavanaugh as a guest poster.  If you haven't heard of him, here's a little bit about Alex:

Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design and graphics. He’s experienced in technical editing and worked with an adult literacy program for several years. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Currently he lives in the Carolinas with his wife.

And here's a blurb and a short review about Alex's latest novel, CassaStar:
To pilot the fleet’s finest ship…

Few options remain for Byron, a talented young man with a troubled past and rebellious attitude. Slated to train as a Cosbolt pilot, Byron is determined to prove his worth and begin a new life. Much to his chagrin, Bassa, the toughest instructor in the fleet, takes notice of the young pilot. As war brews on the edge of space, Byron requires a navigator of exceptional quality to survive. Bassa must make a decision that could well decide the fate of both men. Will their skills be enough as they embark on a mission that may stretch their abilities to the limit?

“…calls to mind the youthful focus of Robert Heinlein’s early military sf, as well as the excitement of space opera epitomized by the many Star Wars novels. Fast-paced military action and a youthful protagonist make this a good choice for both young adult and adult fans of space wars.” - Library Journal

And here is Alex's lesson on finding your voice.
As writers, we’re told to find our voice. Our stories must have a unique voice that sets us apart from other authors. But what about online? As we blog and post on social sites, shouldn’t that voice be unique as well?
It can be a struggle at first. Online, we are just printed words. How can we convey with mere words all that cannot be seen in the physical or felt in the heart and mind?

Science fiction/adventure/space opera,
Dancing Lemur Press LLC

ISBN Print 9780981621067
 eBook 9780982713938

I think our voice develops when we start to focus on our passions. It’s similar to singing. If we’re forced to sing something dull (and forgive me, but church hymns come to mind) we’ll sound monotone and bored. However, give us a song we love, one that stirs our emotions, and we’ll sing loud and with feeling. If we’re excited and passionate, it also comes through in our writing. Who we are as a person starts to shine when we write about topics that move us.

We need to avoid the pitfalls, though. It must be our passions, or we sound monotone and lacking a soul. (Remember - just like singing a hymn!) We don’t want to sound like a used car salesman or a know-it-all, either. However, the greatest trap is to conform. We can take direction from others and let them guide us, but the voice must become our own. Otherwise, we’re just another person online.

Whether we have a book deal or not, we must remember, we’re establishing our voice right now. With every word, we are shaping how others view us. Scary thought, huh? Naturally, we want to put our best foot forward. No one wants to sound like a jerk!

We can’t pretend to be something we’re not, though. No one is perfect, so why worry about it? We just need to be personable and let people know we are real. That’s what draws others to us.

So, how do we find our voice online? By being ourselves and writing about our passions. If you think about it, that’s not difficult at all!

Thank you, Alex, for this very informative post. Please visit his blog where you'll learn even more about running a successful blog and using your distinct voice.
To purchase Alex's book, check out these fine retailers.
Amazon,    Barnes and Noble,    Kindle,    Amazon UK

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Voice by Alex

Tomorrow Alex Cavanaugh, author of CassaStar, will guest here and give us his view of finding your voice.  When I first set my mind to becoming a serious writer, I attended a terrific writing conference at Penn State University and joined a local chapter of RWA.  At both these places, people talked about finding your 'voice.'  I had not one clue what they were talking of and being the shy newbie I was, I didn't ask. 

I researched and even then didn't quite understand it until long after I finished my first manuscript.  There weren't anywhere near the online resources at the beginning of my career as there are today.  A writer like Alex Cavanaugh is one of those resources.  Stop by tomorrow and take advantage of what he can teach you, free of charge. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Wish I Was There But I'm Not. Yet.

Recently I skimmed through the most recent edition of Writer's Digest.  I have an on again, off again relationship with that resource.  Sometimes I'll look through it when I'm at my local Borders and decide to purchase a random copy because it has something in I know I'll want to read in more depth. 

In this issue, a letter to the editor caught my eye.  The writer complained about a well-known writer (without using a  name).  The best-selling author changes POV from paragraph to paragraph in her books, uses adverbs liberally and still sells lots of books.  The letter writer said she found herself being pulled out of the story as she backtracked constantly to figure out who's head she was inside.  The inquiring person wanted to know why some authors get away with these big faux pas.

As authors it is difficult not to notice mistakes in books we read.  A recent bestseller I read had dozens of typos and misspellings.  I wondered where the proof readers were.  I understand a few getting through but this was more than I would expect in a polished manuscript I had prepared to send out.  And like the letter writer, I notice all those adverbs it's okay for successful authors to use.  All those passive verbs.  POV changes abound.  Yet you'll find those books on the displays in the front of book stores.  They'll be on the best seller lists and the author will receive six figure advance money for them. 

If I tried the same thing in my book, no agent would read past the third or fourth adverb.  They'd throw it off the wall at the first head-hopping I did in the middle of a scene.  Let's not even talk about the words, 'was or be,' I'm likely to have sprinkled about the manuscript.  Why can they do that and I can't?

Because I'm not there yet.  I still must follow those rules.  I can't tell my editor to leave it alone. I can't guarantee my faithful readers will pick it up even if I use lots of adverbs.  My publisher doesn't have mega-dollars invested in so they'll promote my work even if it's not my best.  I'm not there and most of aren't.  So I'll keep on following those rules and maybe someday I'll be there.

Have you read any books by famous authors who blatantly ignore the rules we're taught to follow? (No names, please) Do the breaking of the rules distract you when reading?  Which one would you like to break?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Plan Your Work, Work Your Plan

My husband is a painter, the kind who paints walls not landscapes.  My sons have benefited from this as they always had a job growing up.  They learned a trade and will never have to hire a painter for their own homes.  There's more to painting than going to the store and picking a color.  My husband could probably write a book about it but something that has come about from the boys working with their father is a family collection of his sayings.  It's kind of a joke but that doesn't mean they're not relevant.

When painting, you have to do things in a certain order.  You don't paint the walls before you paint the ceiling.  You plan the order of the work and then work from that plan.  I'm going to be applying my husband's wisdom for the next week.

Starting today, I'm teaching an online course for CPRW, the local chapter of RWA.  I'll be talking about world building all week.  I'll spend today polishing the posts for that obligation, enough to last the week.  Every evening when I return from work, I'll answer questions and interact with the students.  Good times.

I'm also preparing two blogs for this week, one of them to introduce my highly anticipated guest, Alex Cavanaugh, author of Cassastar.  He's running a Music Top Ten Blogfest starting tomorrow.  Check it out  and join if you can.

Also this week I'm submitting the first book in my newest fantasy series to a publisher.  I received a kind rejection from PYR about two weeks ago.  Is rejection ever kind?

While all that is going on I'll be working on my WIP, the third book in a fantasy romance series.  More about that later.

So do you plan your work and then work your plan?  Do you go with the flow? 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Link to Some Inspirations and Fun

I'm going to cheat at writing this blog by linking to some of my friends' blogs.  I've been a little lazy writing and visiting blogs this week.  Truthfully, walking on crutches at work all week wears me out.  I'm hoping to be released from the crutch thing next week and all my excuses will be gone.

NR Williams won the free book I was giving away over at Cate Master's blog.  I'll be sending that out to her next week when I can walk into the post office. 

In the mean time, read here about why you really don't want to be a writer.  I want to thank Les Edgerton for the link.  Some bad language but beneath all the hilarious sarcasm is a lot of truth.

 And visit Natalie Whipple's blog where Adam Heine talks about studying to be a writer.  Very cool way to look at the journey from beginner to published.

Do you ever feel guilty of the time you spend writing compared to the monetary rewards resulting from your efforts? 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tour De Gourley

I'm rounding out my mini blog tour right here where I started.  At home.  It was fun, informative and I made many new friends. 

I more than doubled my number of followers and have discovered many, many great blogs I'll be visiting as often as I can.  I've made arrangements to have some of my fellow bloggers who hosted me on my tour guest on my blog later and some of them have already made a stop here.

Now that I've finished the tour I'll probably go back to posting 3 or 4 times per week.  I have some catching up to do on my WIP but I'll continue to promote Beyond the Gate and grow my blog.  Thanks to all of you who have been such a great part of my experience, giving me advice and encouragement.

What are some of your plans for the next few weeks?  Are you in the middle of a project or starting a new one?  Or are you going to tackle a big TBR pile?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

About Me

Today I hope you'll visit me at Natalie Damschroder's blog for a last interview about me and my new release.  I like learning things about my favorite authors because I often pick up clues about what makes them successful.  Sometimes I learn things about their process or how they sold their first book or what they do for promotion.

Today I'll tell you a little more about my newest release, Beyond the Gate, Book #2 of The Futhark Chronicles and a little more about me.  Please hop over to Natalie's and leave a comment.  You might want to check out her books also.  She guested on my blog in December and will back in the spring when her next book is released.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Meet Me at the Masters

Today I'm thrilled to continue my blog tour with an interview on Cate Masters's blog.  If you're new to my tour, I should tell you I'm celebrating the release of Book #2 of The Futhark Chronicles, Beyond the Gate.  This second novel takes up the epic fantasy tale started in Book #1, The Keepers of Sulbreth.

 Cate is such a successful author I'm thrilled to have a chance to appear at her site.  Not only does she write excellent romance, she's taught me many things about promotion and blogging.  I can go to her with questions and I know she'll listen when I feel the need to whine a little about the difficulties of promotion in this quickly changing world of publishing.

Down to business.  As I near the end of my tour, I'm going to reward one of the faithful followers of my tour.  Every person commenting on Cate's blog today will be entered for a chance to win Book #1 of The Futhark Chronicles, The Keepers of Sulbreth.  Please click over there and comment. 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Week That Will Be

I'm continuing my blog tour celebrating the release of the second book in The Futhark Chronicles, Beyond the Gate. 

Tomorrow is a special day in that I'll be giving away a print copy of book #1 in The Futhark Chronicles, The Keepers of Sulbreth over on Cate Master's blog.  Every person commenting will be entered into a drawing for an autographed copy. 

On Tuesday, I'll be doing an interview on Natalie Damschroder's blog.  Natalie is one of my oldest(as in I've known her a long time, not her age) friends in this writing business. 

On Wednesday I'll be wrapping things up on my own blog.  Since this is my first ever blog tour I made it a short one.  I wasn't sure how I would do getting everything ready while working and recovering from my ankle surgery.  It went surprisingly well.  Keeping up with the blogging that is.

I have more things going on in the next few weeks and I'll talk about them on Wednesday. 

Hope lots of you have tomorrow off but for me and lots of other teachers it's an inservice day.  I can suffer through inservice but it violates our internet use policy to visit blogs so I'll be checking in on Cate's blog after I get home in the late afternoon.

I only did about 3K on my WIP this past week.  I spent a lot of time following my own blog tours and visiting others and being on crutches all day left me exhausted at night. That's my excuse for lack of production this week.

What is your best excuse or rationale for procrastinating? 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Week That Was

The first week of my blog tour celebrating the release of book #2 in The Futhark Chronicles, Beyond the Gate has been a blast. I hope you had a chance to join me on some of my stops around the blogosphere.

On Monday I visited Alex Cavanaugh with a short post about world building. You can still check it out here.

Tuesday I visited The Susquehanna Writers group blog and shared a brief opinion on creating interesting characters. Add your take here.

Wednesday found me guesting at Jon Sprunk's blog, Fear of the Dark, where I shared some secrets on how I name those unique characters I create. You can find some great ideas visitors shared with their comments right here.

Thursday Megan Hart interviewed me on her blog. She's a very funny, creative writer and you can tell by the questions she asked. Read her quirky interview here.

I finished Friday on my blog with some advice on getting past a rough spot. You can still comment.

Blog tours are meant to promote a book but on my tour I'm trying to share some of what I've learned and start discussions on said subjects. There have been so many clever comments I think I've learned more than the visitors to my posts. Thank you to everyone.

My tour will continue into the beginning of next week. More on that tomorrow. I've made this my first ever blog tour a short one of only nine stops. I wasn't sure if I could handle the time demands of a longer one. I only had a few days of stress but for the most part I handled it with ease. If I do another one it will be during the summer months when I'm not teaching.

How much time do you spend on social networking? How many blogs do you visit each day? Do you consider the time well-spent?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Do You Want Pickles With That?

I did a blog before on what you do when you get bogged down on your WIP.  Since then I've whittled down the suggestions and made some more specific and others more general.  So what should you do when the words won't go on the page?

#One: Step away for a littlet bit and work on another project.  Or even read a book by an author you would like to emulate.  See what they're doing right that you want to do also.

#Two Go back to the beginning and find why you were excited to start the project in the first place.  How did you let your interesting characters become dull?

#Three Check out your outline of the plot.  Was it thorough enough or are you stumbling because you left a hole in it.
#Four Read over what you wrote and take notes where the manuscript is weak and doesn't work.
#5 Just pound the keys and push through sometimes works.
#6  What I do when I get really stuck is add pickle.  Cause trouble for your characters, complicate the solution or make their current situation worse.
In my latest release, Beyond the Gate, I wanted my characters to discover this peaceful wonderful part of their world but peace can be boring in a fantasy book.  So I sent some demons to force the characters to not only defend themselves but come to some hard decisions in the aftermath.  A big pickle.
So what kind of pickle do you add to your story to keep the plot moving forward? What do you do when you get stuck or lose enthusiasm for a project?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hart Me

Thank you for visiting me at Jon Sprunk's blog yesterday.  I'm traveling still today and you can find me at Megan Hart's very active blog.
I've know Megan since before either of us were published.  Since then she's sold nearly a library's worth of books.  She also has a new release this January, Precious and Fragile Things, available in all fine book stores.
If you haven't met Megan before you'll learn something about her from the interview questions she asks me about my new release, Beyond the Gate.  The characters in her books reflect her interesting personality.  I'd love to hear from you today and I know you'll enjoy meeting Megan.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Fantasy Names

Thank you for visiting me at The Susquehanna Writers blog where I wrote about creating compelling characters.  Today I have the privilege of appearing on Jon Sprunk's Fear of the Dark blog.  Jon is a successful fantasy author who I met through Pennwriters.  Later in 2011 he will have his second fantasy novel released and hopefully will guest here.
My fantasy series, The Futhark Chronicles, has a medieval setting so when I named my characters I tried for interesting names while keeping in mind popular contemporary names might seem out of place.  In the second book, Beyond the Gate, I believe the reader will see the connection between the names and the personalities of my characters.   I'll be interested to hear your thoughts on how I selected the names.  Please join me at Jon's place today.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Characters At Susquehanna Writers

Thanks for visiting me at Alex Cavanaugh's blog yesterday.  Today I'll be appearing on The Susquehanna Writers blog where I'll be discussing character. 
The first book in my fantasy series, The Keepers of Sulbreth, received much praise from reviewers for the depth and complexity of the characters.  Beyond the Gate, book #2 in The Futhark Chronicles, will expose even greater insights in the lead characters and those who surround them.  I would love your comments on characters and what you do to make them compelling for readers. Stop over at Susquehanna Writers today.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Follow Me to Alex's Place

Today I'm appearing at Alex Cavanaugh's blog today.  I'm discussing world-building.  The topic could actually make a book and I've only brushed the surface with a few points.  There is so much to creating a fantasy world different from good old Earth.  I'll appreciate your comments on how you build a world for your writing.
Of course I'll use details from my newest release, Beyond the Gate, as examples in my post.  After all, the purpose of a blog tour is to call attention to my work.  Hopefully you check it out further right here.
Tomorrow I'll be talking about character development and giving them depth over on The Susquehanna Writers' blog. 
So please hop on over to Alex's place.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Beyond the Gate: Blog Tour

I was warned when I started my career as a writing, it can be a very lonely business.  But it's not so bad when you make so many friends through blogging, writers' groups and other social networks.  Using advice from them and many others I'm going on my first every blog to tour to celebrate and promote the release of Beyond the Gate, Book #2 in The Futhark Chronicles.
Tomorrow, January 10th, I'll appear on Alex Cavanaugh's blog and share some thoughts on world-building.  If you don't already know Alex, he runs a very successful blog with lots of interesting material.
Tuesday, January 11th, I'll be talking about giving your characters depth over at The Susquehanna Writers.
Wednesday, January 12th, I'm happy to guest on Jon Sprunk's blog and talk about how I select names for my characters.  Hopefully you give me examples of how you picked the names in your manuscripts.
Thursday, January 13th, I'm visiting Megan Hart's blog for an interview.  Megan also has a new release this month, Precious and Fragile Things.
Friday, January 14th,  I'm back here with more ideas on working though the bog downs in your WIP.
On Monday, January 17th, I'm appearing in an interview on Cate Master's blog and giving away a copy of The Keepers of Sulbreth, Book #1 in The Futhark Chronicles.  I hope to see lots of you there.
Natalie Damschroder welcomes me to her blog with an interview on January 18th.  She also has a new release coming out later in the spring.
I'm excited about the tour but what to warn everyone I work all day and can't respond to comments until the early evening. I promise to read everything you write.
Have you ever done a blog tour?  Do you prefer to read interviews or posts about craft or promotion?  Do you think blog tours are effective promotion tools or just fun?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Drugged and Dragging

The heroes and heroines in my books are tough and brave.  It is fantasy after all.  Some of you know I had ankle surgery yesterday.  Today I'm dragging and still trying to shake off the anesthesia.  I don't do well with any kind of meds.  I'm actually taking only ibuprofen but not because I'm tough or brave or stupid about pain. I just get really sick taking any kind of narcotics.  I'd rather be in pain than sick in my stomach.
The good news is that without the mind-fogging narcotics, I'll hopefully be clear-headed enough to keep working on my WIP.  And I'll have a new perspective on my characters' physical discomforts.
For more on dealing pain to your characters please visit the group blog I share a few other members of Pennwriters.  The Susquehanna Writers can be found here.  I'd like to hear your opinions on how TV, Movies and Books handle pain and injury.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What Makes a Successful Blog?

I'm trying hard to make my blog a successful tool in my writing career.  Over the past few months as I slowly came to the decision to drop my website and go blog only, I did a lot of reading about what makes a blog successful and I thought I'd share what I've compliled.  I'm not claiming all this is factual and not even if I agree with it all. 
One thing everyone seems to agree upon is posting frequently.  It doesn't have to be everyday as that would cut into one's vital writing hours.  But three or more times a week is strongely advised.  I've been trying to do that. 
When should you post? Many experienced bloggers have statistics to prove there is less traffic to their blogs on weekends.  Some can name a specific day they have the most visits and comments.  I'm not sure if this means people do a lot of blog reading at work or not.  I can't read blogs at work but I'm sure many can or they can follow them on their mobile devices. 
Don't make your blogs too long.  Most advise something between 250-1000 words.  Remember your blog isn't about writing a novel.  Have short paragraphs.
Make sure people can comment on your blog and follow their blogs and comment on them.  Don't always be snarky or sarcastic in your posts or comments.  Sometimes is okay but if you do it all the time you'll eventually offend some people.  And learn how to put some of those blogs you follow in your sidebar.  I do this and I'm always adding more and switching them in and out.
People will visit your blog more often if it isn't always about you.  You don't have to be an expert on everything to be able to share your experiences and opinions (like I'm doing here).  But consider who your target is as you decide on the subjects of your posts.  People don't come to my blog expecting to read political rants. 
Keeping a notebook with you always will help you collect ideas for blogs.  I pick up little journals for a dollar a piece at the craft store and jot down anything I might be able to use.  Some pages have only a title with no outline under it, other pages are filled with full outlines where I've collected information from many sources.  This post is right off one of those outlines.
One blogger advised the use of photos where they could be fit in as they add interest and catch a quick-clicker's eye.  Make sure they're qualitiy photos and permitted to be used.
And finally, take the long view.  Be patient and let your following grow.  I started concentrating on building my blog about two months ago.  Before that I was posting less than once per week.  Since the beginning of November, I've doubled my number of followers and make some great connections to other bloggers and readers.  I hope to double that number again over the next few months. 
What advice above don't you agree with?  What would you add? 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Beware the Googley Eyes

Is there anyone who doesn't know how to 'google' things?  It's even a popular comic line in movies and on TV.  Google can be used as a noun or a verb but either way be careful how you use it.
Like most authors, I set up Google Alerts to catch any new reviews or other news about my books circulating the web.  I have them set up for all my books, those already released and those yet to come.   Lately I've been rejoicing in the alerts telling me someone is searching out news about my latest release, Beyond the Gate.
It's very easy to waste precious writing minutes 'googling' yourself and then clicking around the Internet to read every little tidbit or stare at every online picture of your book cover.  And what you find isn't always inspiring.  You might find a poor review or a simple unfavorable comment when you follow one of those links.  It can not only waste time but deplete your emotional energy.
But what I'm most wary of is the knowledge that, yes, everybody does google.  It's only human to wonder what other people say about you.  So be careful whom you offend online.  If I write a blog flaming a particular agent, editor, or even another author, chances are good they will learn of it.  Take care with personal attacks on organizations or groups.   If I post on facebook a unflattering depiction of someone in the publishing world, I must remember that person might see it.  How might it affect my career?
A number of years ago at the very first writer's conference I'd ever attended, I attended a panel discussion of where the business was going.  The panel consisted of editors, agents and a few very successful authors.  A question was asked and one of the authors answered in a way one could only construe as racist.  I was shocked but I didn't run home and share it on my yahoo groups or my young blog.  I did stop buying her books though I expect her remarks resulted from ignorance more than true bigotry. 
So be careful what you say.  It may affect your career in unintended ways even it only loses you a few fans.  It could cost you friendships, connections and even trust with others in the industry.  Have you ever been shocked by what someone posted on a social network?  Do you know someone who has suffered those unintended consequences by speaking their mind? 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Blog or Website

The lines have blurred between websites and blogs.  After much contemplation and seeking advice from friends and colleagues, today I did away with my website.   My blog will now serve the same purpose as my website but it will be more interactive and certainly updated more often.  I've already designed numerous pages offering all the information as my website did and I'll be adding more as I go.  I visited many blogs of authors who have already gone the blog only route.  Their success convinced me.
A big factor in my decision was the ease I find in updating my blog compared to my website.  The website updates always seemed like work.  Posting new articles and interviews on my blog is fun.  Meeting readers and authors through their visits to me and my stops at their blogs is great.  It's so easy to create links to other sites, to other pages in my blog, as well as inserting pictures and video.  So good bye website.
On a different note, today is the second day since Beyond the Gate was released in ebook.  My publisher put up a cool trailer at the top of their website for my book. 
How many of you keep both website and blogs?  How often do you update either of them?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

HELLO and Good Bye

Happy New Year! Hopefully you all have some wonderful events to look forward to in 2011.  The first day of the new year brings my first highly anticipated event.  Today is the official release date for Beyond the Gate!

Ebook Cover

Book #2 in The Futhark Chronicles picks up the story only moments after the end of book #1, The Keepers of Sulbreth.  It has two terrific covers, one for the ebook and one for the print.  You can purchase the ebook here and probably other places also.  It's not up on Amazon yet and my publisher is blaming them for being behind. 
You can buy the print book here if you'd rather have that.  Being my book, I prefer to have it both ways.  LOL.

Print Cover

I have other good news I'll share later this week but I do want to take this chance to say good bye to some dear friends.  My local chapter or RWA, called Central Pennsylvania Romance Writers, are a talented, supportive and friendly bunch.   Our monthly meetings are filled with laughter and generosity as members share knowledge and support.  I've learned so much from then and am certain I would never have been published without them.  But the economy (well, two kids in college) forced me to some tough choices this past year and one of those was to end the high yearly dues I must pay the national organization, RWA, to belong to my local group.  Their rules disallow membership in a local group if one doesn't pay the hostage fee, I mean dues, to the national organization.  So I say farewell to those lovely people and wish them the best.  Perhaps I'll rejoin later but in the meantime I'll keep in touch with many of them through my blog, their blogs, facebook and a few are fellow members of Pennwriters, a statewide and much less expensive group to belong to. 

 I'm thrilled about some of the things going on over the next few weeks, most of them related to the release of Beyond the Gate.  I have a blog tour later this month, ankle surgery later this week (ouch) and another book being released later this winter.  Busy and busier and wonderful.  So hello to 2011.