Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Southern as a Nationality.

While writing the discussion on my recommendation this week, I was brought back to the time I first moved to the Northeast. I never in my wildest imagination thought I would be living in Massachusetts (heaven forbid!). Yet, here I am almost twenty-six years later, but never let it be said that I'm anything but Southern. When I first moved up here, one question I got time and time again was what nationality was I? Flabbergasted at first as to what to say. Everyone seemed to know exactly where they were from. The two most popular answers were either Italian or Irish (my husband's family migrated from Ireland). This shouldn't have surprised me since the city was divided up into classified sections of one's origins. Why my husband's family had an issue with the girl my husband dated before me because she was Italian. Then look what happened- they got me!

But I hadn't a clue how to answer the question. I would hesitiate only slightly before going into my rendition- "Well, let's see. On my daddy's side, I think, there's Irish, Scottish, English, French...I think. My momma, well, her side came from English, German, Native American...no wait, I think there's some..." Wouldn't it just be easier to say Southern? I think so. We do considered ourselves a nation, don't we? We use to. When I left, I think some of my relatives were still fighting the Civil War.

When my son was six, he visited my parent's home for a week by himself before my husband and I met up with him. He was smothered by my family with all his cousins, aunts, uncles and don't forget Mamaw, but when I showed up, I was surprised because I could tell me something was bothering him. Taking time out, I got him alone and asked what was wrong. Didn't he have fun? He started listing off a million activities- swimming, four wheeling, riding horses, fishing, staying up late watching movies, playing with his cousins.

"Then what is bothering you?" I asked.

He leaned over and whispered, "They keep calling me a little Yankee."

"Yeah, honey. So?" I answered.

A look of disgust covered his little face. "Mom, I'm not a Yankee! I'm a Red Sox!"

Perspective, I suppose, but an important distinction none the less.

I don't even think some of the Yankees realize they're Yankees, but Southerners know they're Southern. Really, I've never needed justification, even with my children explaining to me how technically one can't consider Southern an ethinic background. When someone ask me now, there is no hesitation, only my children easing away from my side. I answer simply, "Southern."

Sunday, April 18, 2010

April Progress

I've had a busy April so far, but its been good. I haven't got as much writing done as I would like, but I'm having fun with Novel Works. I'm working hard trying to make this work and so far the reaction has been good. I love meeting authors. I have to say and maybe you can tell me I'm bias but they are the nicest people.

I'm cheating here because I'm going to paste my last discussion for the week here.
My first week on Novel Works! Have to give a big thanks to Jessica Andersen for agreeing to let me run her new release first on my recommendation list. I met her at this year's NECRWA conference. She gave a workshop on pitching to agents. Choosing her workshop solely on the knowledge that I have always considered agents to be an elusive beings, I found not only is she a talented writer, she gives insightful workshops. Afterwards, she ate dinner with the small group I was in. She offered advice when asked, but more importantly, she was a genuinely nice person. If I hadn't known she held the workshop, I would have assumed she was like most of the rest of us, aspiring writers. I say this because as you go through life sometimes its important to know an act of kindness is appreciated. I have to admit that my pitch to an agent at the conference didn't go as planned, but the fault had nothing to do with the workshop. Prepared as I was, there comes a time in everyone's life that they have to admit their limitations. Speaking is mine, especially when the only part of the pitch I got right was my name or at least my first name...I think. Writing, like life, is a learning experience and I learned I don't need to get out from behind my computer. But I had a wonderful time at my first conference. I met so many warm and gracious people, including Jessica Andersen. Pondering the thought of why I enjoyed the conference so much I have come to the conclusion that as a group, writers, aspiring and established, love what they do. Writing is a choice. Oh, don't get me wrong. Writing is confounding and frustrating at times, but writing is also challenging and fulfilling. One of the important aspects of the conference I took away with me was the importance of promoting. The idea for Novel Works sprung from that revelation. When my first book came out I didn't get it. I thought that the book would magically sell itself. Now with my second book coming out this year, I know I have to promote. With Novel Works, I hope to accomplish that goal, but also give back. I want to help other authors promote their books with my recommendations and new release announcements. And on the flip side, I want to help readers choose a book they will enjoy and hopefully introduce them to someone new and exciting.I want to thank Jessica once more for her kind deed. And to her credit, I understand that Demonkeepers is doing extremely well. In the the coming weeks I have lined up some more recommendations I believe everyone will enjoy. I want to say thank you to everyone that has become a fan. I would love to hear feedback on what you would like to see also.

There's not much left to say about last week. I have a new recommendation going out tomorrow. I get so excited about these recommendations. I have some other ideas to pull in readers. I'm having fun.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Writing an Obession

Fan Page post
Writing is my obsession. Growing up I always wanted to write. I loved to read so naturally I thought I could write. So many stories, ideas, rambled in my head. So a little over ten years ago I decided enough of the excuses, I was going to write. I did have a few obstacles to overcome. Writing wasn’t my profession. My degree is in science, not English. I have three kids who over the course of time required a little attention. I have worked in a hospital setting most of my adult life, not behind a computer. But let me tell you… it was much harder than it looked. Never let it be said, though, that I turned away from a challenge.

I took every piece of criticism, every word of encouragement, every piece of advice to heart. Craving to improve-craving to create a story that others enjoy-craving to put down in words what is in my head. Learning so much about the intricacies of writing, the importance of conflict, conflict, conflict along with revise, revise, revise… Oh and I can’t forget the rejections, countless rejections that at the beginning I thought I would have to change my name to dear author. No one seemed to know my real name. And then finally an acceptance! I cried.

But in this world of writing, publishing, I guess I should say, I still have much to learn-promoting. I would much prefer to sit back behind the computer and write. I’m not much of a public speaker. When I was in high school and running for student council secretary, I had to make a speech to the whole school. I practiced my speech for hours in front of a mirror. When it came to giving it, I muttered it horribly. My mother said I sounded like a scared four-year old. She couldn’t understand a word I said…I haven’t changed much. Funny- because I love to talk. At times no one can get me to shut up, but put the spot light on me and I clam up like someone superglued my mouth.

This I’m doing now- no problem. I don’t have to utter a word, just type. I’m having a great time with this page. I want to help promote other writers and offer some interesting, tantalizing books to the readers. You can also follow me on my blog, twitter, and I also have a web page. Dream Walker, a paranormal suspense, was my first book published. Later on this year, I have another, a historical romance, Patriot Secrets, coming out. I love writing! I can’t stop. Did I tell you it’s my obsession?

Reading an Escape

Posted this discussion on my fan page. Trying to find time to blog, twitter, fan page and oh, yeah- write (although I'm really getting into Winds of Betrayal). This is one of my discussions on my fan page. I have the other following- first recommendation tomorrow. Can't wait!

I love to read. Reading takes me places I’ve never been, teaches me things I wouldn’t have known, and allows me freedom to…dream. Growing up in the rural South, I have no better memories than those long hot summer days with a book in hand. Authors I would read over and over again- Victoria Holt, Phyllis Whitney, Georgette Heyer, and Iris Bromige. The classics I couldn’t get enough of- Jane Eyre, Gone With the Wind, Pride and Prejudice, A Tale of Two Cities. The books that have haunted me long after I read them- To Kill a Mockingbird, Crime and Punishment, anything by Edgar Allen Poe. Books I’ll admit I didn’t read until I was older- Lord of the Rings trilogy, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. As time passes, my love of books continue with other favorite authors- Tom Clancy, John Jakes, Stephen King (his early books- The Shining), Mary Higgins Clark, Charlaine Harris, John Grisham…it doesn’t end. My goal and intent with Novel Works is to give suggestions on books I myself would read, enjoy, and for a few hours escape to a different world. These are my recommendations. I don’t give reviews. If I recommend a book or a series, it is the highest I go.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Novel Works

Had a wonderful Easter, except my mother isn't feeling good. Fixin' to get on a plane and go see her. Had planned to go for a time during the summer. Hopefully still will be able to, but both my brothers have told me she's just not feeling good. It's hard to be so far away from home at times.

My son's girlfriend set up a Facebook fan page (Novel Works) for me. I really like it. I have to work on my web page now. I have this idea about giving recommendations about books I like on the fan page. It's just an idea. Hopefully it will work out. Trying to make it more interesting. I like figuring everything out about promoting, but to be honest it takes time away from my writing. I'm beginning to really get into Winds of Betrayal. When I do, I don't communicate as much on the internet. Have to make time though.