I have to be honest. I wasn’t always a book lover, in fact when I was young I had a reading disability and books and anything that had to do with them frightened me.
But my mother persisted and did everything in her power to get me to read and enjoy books. It wasn’t an overnight type of thing either, it wasn’t even something that happened in a couple of years. My reading and problems with books and everything that came with them lasted into my teenage years. But that was when I found Fantasy and Sci-Fi books. And everything changed. I couldn’t read fast enough, nor could I get my hands on enough books to feel the emptiness that I had built inside of me from lack of reading for the majority of my life.
Finding those first books that sparked my imagination changed the course of my life, books like Bridge to Terabithia, Where the Wild Things Are, books
Are you an avid reader? What books changed your life, share in the comments the books.
I have to admit, being a writer is pretty darn cool. I get to make things up for a living. If you upset me I put you in one of my books and kill you off. If I think that your cool you may very well end up in one of my books. Any dream I have is fodder for my muse, I people watch like its my job. And did I mention I get to make stuff up for a living?
Now don’t get me wrong, I never said being a writer was easy because it can be extremely difficult. But through all the difficulties: working with an editor, getting bad reviews 🙁 , trying to finish a book on time, writers block. I still love actually being a writer, I get a thrill everytime I sell a book, even if I’ve sold my fair share of books, however, I am grateful and feel blessed each and every time some buys one of my books because with out the readers out there I would be nowhere. So just know when you buy one of my books I an so vey thankful.
But through all of that being a writer is so cool. Here are my top 3 reasons for being a writer.
- I get to work in my pajamas. Some people might wonder why this is my number one reason but seriously, I get to work in my pajamas.
- Did I mention I get to make stuff up for a living? lol Cause that is just AWESOME.
- I can drink. Don’t get me wrong I’m not taking shots between each well crafted sentence, but I nice glass of wine while I compose the well crafted sentence doesn’t hurt.
Seriously, if you aren’t a writer, have I made you want to become one?
What are your favorite parts of your job? I would love to know.
When I was in my teens, and I wanted to be an author I imagined my life would be blessed and I would be able to buy a cabin in the woods to write my master pieces. I would spend my days drinking coffee, and hunched over a typewriter (yes I’m that old). I believed the words would flow from me like a gushing river in the spring. I would pop out several books a year, and my adoring fans would be breathlessly awaiting my next amazing piece of work.
The reality??? I spent years writing what was selling at the time, and I slogged through stories that were awful and poorly written. During this time I never finished a story. Never connected with my characters and fantasy I had about being a best selling author with droves a fans died a painful and gruesome death. So in reality I stopped writing for a long time, I thought if I couldn’t write what was out in the market then I would never be a success. If I couldn’t strike it big then I should just give up. (BTW, I was trying to write historical romance, and sci-fi/fantasy novels)
But there was always this niggling feeling deep in my soul that said write…write…write. You have a story to tell. But I didn’t know what that story was. Then like when I was a teen and was first bitten by the author bug. I read a book that was the exact genre I was trying to write, a fantasy love story. Halfway to the Grave by: Jeaniene Frost I devoured this book serious like my life depended on it. When I was done reading all the current books at the time I had this idea pop in my head. I sat down at my laptop and I started to write. And within six weeks I had finished my first book. Now this first book I finished was a vampire story. And if you have read anything from me you know I don’t write vampire novels. So not sure if this book will ever see the light of day. But being able to sit down and write a book, and ENTIRE book I learned where my passion was I realized I could write a novel.
I wish I could say that was the end, after that first book was finished I sat down and wrote Shadow Play, my first published book. And once I finished that book I started to shop it out to publishers. And I got a couple that were interested, but what I go the most of was a hole lot of rejection. I was devastated, I had finally found my voice but nobody wanted to publish my book.
So I self published, I would like to say it was the best decision of my life. But self publishing is hard, not saying it is harder than traditional, but I have no way to judge that. Anyway, I self published my book and just about put in my two notice at my day job. Because I had published a book, all the accolades and fans were going to fall at my feet. I was going to be the next J.K. Rowling and Stephanie Meyers, I was going to be the next Jeaniene Frost. I knew people were unknowing lining up just to read my book. The reality is so much worse, not only did people not line up in droves but I didn’t ever sell enough books to justify the amount I spent to publish it.
But I loved my story, and I continued to write. I continued to slog through the pages and pages in order to put out something someone would enjoy. That’s what writers do, they write, and write, and write in the hopes of touching someone with there story.
So have the accolades poured in? No. Am I making millions? No. Have I hit the best seller lists? No. And I am currently writing my 5th book, so why do I continue to write? Because I can’t stop, because the there are still stories in my head and imagination that I need to complete. And in the process I have figured out a few things: writing isn’t easy but it’s totally worth it, success is measured in different ways (I don’t have to be a best seller), marketing sucks but its a necessary evil, staying true to myself and my stories mean more than anything, reviews of my books can be harsh but letting those reviews stop only makes me a failure, the torture is worth the delight in seeing my books published.
I don’t know what the future holds for me in my writing career, but I do know writing is in my blood and if no one every reads another of my books I will know I am following my dream.
So my advice to authors/writers wanna be published authors… never give up. If writing is what you love then never let the world and the torture of it all stop you from being an author. You can do it!
Promoting sucks, ask anyone it’s the bain of an authors existence. I don’t care if you’re a traditional or indie published author, marketing and promoting books just sucks the big one. And there are several reasons why, so let me break it down fo.
(1) Authors are by nature introverts, you may see us at promotional events where we are being out going and all smiles but inside we are introverts and wondering what we need to do to be put in
a time out.
(2) The promtional and marketing world is ever changing. And frankly it’s just hard to keep up with it. What works Tuesday doesn’t work on Thursday. Why? Why doesn’t it work on Thursday, and who can explain it to me? Which brings me to #3.
(3) There is a guru for everything. A guru for Facebook promotion, a guru for Twitter promotion, a guru for Instagram promotion, a guru for YouTube promotion, a guru for Amazon, a guru for blogging, a guru for selling your paperbacks, or ebooks or selling them to aliens for goodness sake, a guru for being a guru, and of course they say they are free until you click on their webinar and listen to their “free” 45 min. speach then you have to pay to actually get the information that will help you promote anything. Guru? No more Guru’s for me, is what I say.
(4) The dreaded online book tour, now for some these tours work. But I’ve done my fair share and to be honest for the amount of time and work they take my ROI (return on investment) doesn’t break even. They just aren’t worth it. They cost anywhere from $60 to $200 dollars and that’s just to do the tour, I’m not counting the time you have to put in or the giveaways you have to do. It’s just way to much work for the actual amount of sales I get. Now again please remember this is just me, I’ve known indie author who swear by virtual book tours so please if they work for you go with it.
(5) Keeping up on social media… everytime I turn around there seems to be a different social media platform that is the new and shiny thing I should be doing my promotion and marketing on. And frankly I just can’t keep up. And don’t forget the guru’s are telling me which platform I should be consentrating on. And each book tour has a special button I should set up and interview with and give a special book giveaway to for the new platform that I didn’t know about last week. And now I’m running in fifteen different directions trying to sell my book and giveaway the bank and trying to find my readers and because I’m chasing them they don’t know where to look for me and I don’t know where I am from day to day they can’t find me. And it’s just a vicious circle. Who knows where who is, and where who is going where, and when does any of the writing acutally get done?
Do you see where I am going with all of this?
I hope so because the point of all of it is this. Marketing and promotion is a pain in the arse. and makes even the most seasoned author have a panic attack. So yes I am the queen of non-promotion. I have a total of three books out, my fourth is due out next month. I do a couple of different promotions, nothing that breaks the bank. And only things that I can afford. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads, and Instagram and on Instragram very little. I blog but only a couple times a week (if that) and its not all about writing and my books. It’s mindless rambelings sometimes (like this rambaling post). As to my book promotions, I really want my books and my writing to stand for it’s self. Hopefully my books are excepted by the masses for what they are: well written and fun to read. And because of that I have built a great fan base. And that is my marketing and promotion. The majority of books are advertised via work of mouth regardless of whatever you do for marketing and promotion anway. and that just sucks. So stop chasing yourself and work on the promotion you can dedicate time to, not everything out there.
Good luck and if I’ve forgotten anything please leave a comment and let me know. Christie
From Award-Winning Author Pavarti K. Tyler and Speculative Fiction Author Jessica West, comes a Dark Urban Fantasy serial about evil, and the next step in its evolution.
**This is Episode ONE in a seven part urban fantasy/horror serial**
A Sin Eater who battles demons for souls
A Priest who must protect what he most desires, even from himself,
A rogue Romani mortician with an attitude, a secret, and a powerful weapon,
And a Secret Order of the Church who knows more than they’re saying…
Nikolai Grekh is the last Sin Eater.
Born into a world rampant with demon possession, Nik Grekh struggles to keep Hell’s hordes from consuming the world, but he grows weary of the constant battle against sin. Evil grows stronger as more souls are lost. With each new possession growing increasingly violent, Nik fears he may be losing the war.
When Nik confronts a demon he can barely defeat, he reaches out to the only man who can save him. The only man he trusts. The one man he can never have…
Evil has resided alongside humanity since the beginning of time, feeding on our weaknesses, our vices. Our sins. It hungers for our souls, its demonic offspring possessing humans, corrupting, manipulating, using us as unwitting pawns in a supernatural chess match for the ultimate price: life.
The Crucifixion of Christ saved humanity once. What will it take to save us this time?
*contains mature content, offensive themes, and general deviance*
Sin Eater 1.1 is approximately 10,000 words or 45 pages, and is the first of seven episodes in the first season of the Sin Eater serial. If you don’t enjoy serials, you can pre-order the full Box Set on Amazon.
McKenzie Williams needed an escape. The last thing she needed was a scary beautiful man beating down her door in the middle of the night. Now, if only their paths would stop crossing, she could convince herself she didn’t feel a connection to him. Life has shown her the dreams she once held dear will never come true for her. Mitch struggles to get past the walls he’s built around himself while McKenzie works to build hers brick by brick. When the outside world exposes the vulnerabilities in his façade she abandons her own fears to stand by him. Will she be the one to save him from the darkness within him, or will he forever be chasing daylight?
What is that noise? Lifting up from my pillow, I shake my head and listen for it again. I don’t have to wait long. A pounding strong enough to shake the entire building comes from downstairs. It takes me a moment to place where I am. The pile of boxes and trash bags in the corner are a quick reminder that North Carolina is a fresh start. The pounding comes again and I hurry out of bed, grabbing my robe as I make my way to the stairs. Since the place isn’t opening for another month, I’ve been leaving the door to my unit open at night. Clinching my robe tight around my waist, I take the stairs two at a time. It’s a back stair, colonial style, letting out at what was once a kitchen. When I turn at the bottom of the stairs, I have a straight line of sight to the front door. The view greeting me stuns me into to an unexpected standstill; so much, that my body rocks from the impact of it. The front door is steel with a window making up the top half of the door, steel trim surrounding it. There, lifting an arm that looks as thick as my leg is a mountain of a man. Three things hit me at that moment; first, if I can see him, he can see me; second, it’s the middle of the night, and third, I have no clue what to do. “Hey,” he booms. I’m shocked the window is still intact not only from his pounding but from the impact of his voice. At the sound of it, I jump, but don’t move any closer to him. “I need help,” he continues. At that moment, I realize he has only knocked with one hand and is cradling something in his other arm. The roots holding my feet in place retreat, and without thought, I dash to the door and begin unlocking it. There’s the regular door handle lock, a deadbolt, and a slide lock at the top of the door. Tugging the door open the stranger wastes no time in advancing into the room. I step out of his way and move toward the light switch. Once the room is flooded with light, my brain processes the sight before me. He has to be 6’4 maybe even taller, with dark brown hair at least a year past its last haircut, and a face that’s at least half a month overdue for a shave. His shoulder stops my perusal of him, or rather what’s over his shoulder. “Oh, my God. What happened?” I ask, rushing over to look at what appears to be a German shepherd he’s holding. “He’s wheezing and vomiting. I don’t know why.” I gulp at the tremble that was unmistakable in his words. My mouth drops as my eyes fully connect with his golden brown ones for the first time. “Where should I put him?” he asks, looking around. “I’m not a vet,” I stammer. His brows furrow and he half turns to glance out the still open door and to the clearly illuminated sign that says 24 hour Critter Haven and Spa. “We don’t open for another month,” I stammer in an attempt to explain. His head turns back to me, the gold in his eyes no longer panicked, now hard. “Save my fucking dog.” His words whip out like a physical blow and I lift my hands to protect myself. It’s now that I fear for my safety. Now, after letting in a stranger, a giant one who is clearly not in his right mind, I’m afraid.
I’m sitting in a nondescript coffee house in Salt Lake City, UT. (Beans & Brew). Because I’ve been told: “Just because you write the shit, doesn’t mean you are trustworthy to visit.” Which I find rather ironic. I mean I did write it didn’t I?
So with that in mind I am waiting for Ryder, and I assume Kyra to come to me because I am not allowed to go The Staten. And again the irony of the situation is not lost on me. I’m sipping my favorite coffee, a Caramel Cielo and wondering briefly if meeting in a coffee house for a Tracker’s sense of smell isn’t a bad idea maybe I should have picked a book store or a park. But then I hear it the deep rumble of a motorcycle, you know the kind that you feel deep in your chest before your ears register the sound. And part of me wants to jump up and run to the windows. But I force myself to stay in my chair, I notice several of the women in the coffee house look up to appreciate the view, and I know it’s him. And I wonder for a second if I should have scoped out the back exit. After all, I wrote him, and I know how freaking dangerous he is.
As the door opens and the air is displaced the first thing I realize about him is that he is so much bigger in real life. Like HOLY SHIT, he is larger than life! And I’m in awe, the next thing I notice is the way he scans the entire restaurant in one glance. I wonder if the other patrons realize that the larger than life guy that just walked in is capable of killing them with his bare hands.
And Kyra is following him, and she is just as beautiful as he is out of this world. Her nostrils flare as she takes in the different smells. I can almost see her cataloging all the different smells and lives. And I wonder what I have created here. I lock eyes with Kyra, and she winks as she pushes past Ryder on her way to the counter and places an order. Once that is done they both make their way over to the booth, I am sitting in and Kyra slides in first the Ryder.
Kyra gives me a large smile, “How are you today Christie?” she asks. I’m just speechless for a moment.
“Are you mute?” Ryder finally asks, and I turn to him.
“No.” I stumble. “I just can’t believe I’m sitting here. It’s a serial feeling.”
Kyra laughs softly, “Tell us about it.”
I nod, and motion to my notepad full of questions, “Um do you just want me to get started?”
Ryder glares at my notepad and reaches over and grabs it, “Hey!” I say, he can’t just take things away from me I should be in charge. But he raises one eyebrow at me like I’m going to stop him, right?
“My favorite color is black. I train in my spare time. My most important thing in the world is Kyra and my brothers. Favorite food is steak. Favorite drink is water. Shoe size? Seriously?” he rolled his eyes. Guess that means he wasn’t going to answer that one. “Music? I listen to whatever Kyra puts on my iPod. I don’t watch movies or TV. Scariest monster I have ever come across?” He sighed and rolled his eyes again. I think he might have gotten that trait from Kyra because she does that a lot. And I was getting sick to my stomach because this interview was not going the way I had planned. But luckily I was saved because the barrister called out their order, and he threw my notepad down on the table.
Kyra grabbed it and looked at it, “Can I give you some advice?”
“Please.” Because I needed all the help I could get at this point.
“Stop letting him control the interview,” Kyra said with a smile. “He thinks he can intimidate you.” I look over at Ryder and then it’s me that’s rolling my eyes, “Have you seen the man? He’s like…” and I want to rest my head against the coolness of the tabletop.
“Yes, I know,” Kyra says with a pat on my hand. “But take control, you can do it.” She pulls her hand away as Ryder returns with two coffee cups. One for himself and one for Kyra.
“Ryder?” I say taking a deep breath, I use my mother tone, the one that makes my kids listen to me. “What kind of coffee are you drinking?” I ask.
He blinked, which made me blink. “Eye Opener.” See I was expecting black. Surprise, surprise.
“What do you do when nobody is looking?”
Me: “What are you reading?”
Ryder: “None of your business.”
Kyra chuckled, and I knew I had to have this answer.
Me: “You promised you would answer all my questions.”
Kyra: “You did promise.”
Ryder: “Did you know women are very hard to understand?”
Me: “Matter of opinion.”
Ryder: “Fact. I don’t understand women. I don’t think I ever will.”
Me: “So you are doing something to rectify this?”
Ryder shrugged, “Trying to figure you out. I tried some self-help books, but that was all bullshit. So I’ve been reading some romance novels.”
My mouth fell open, actually fell open. Kyra reached over and closed it for me. “I think I might have heard you wrong. Can you please repeat that last part for me?”
He speaks very slowly for me, “I said I have been ready romance novels in the hope of understanding women.” Kyra nodded as he spoke, and I turn to her. “I don’t understand what he is trying to accomplish.”
Ryder looked at Kyra and then back to me, “See that’s because she is a woman. Women are complicated creatures. Ask Marcus he will agree, and he and Celeste are connected with a mind link.”
Me: “Um not about to ask Marcus to explain women to me with Celeste sitting next to him.”
Ryder grunts, “Yeah, pretty sure Celeste would kick your ass.” I can’t agree more.
“Okay, so who are you currently reading?” I can’t wait to hear this. “Do you read paranormal? Chick-lit? Erotica?”
Ryder looks at me like I’ve lost my mind, “I read all sorts of romance. I don’t pigeon hole myself to just one genre’. But I don’t read paranormal because it just pisses me off with how wrong they all get it.” I guess that makes sense.
“So who are you currently reading?” I ask again. And I swear if Ryder was ever going to blush this was the time, but I don’t think Ryder is capable of blushing I just don’t think it’s in his genes.
“His favorite at the moment is Nora Roberts,” Kyra explains, of course, everyone loves her I think. “Julie Garwood historical stuff” Another excellent author. “And Johanna Lindsay.”
I’m pretty speechless, “So is it helping?”
Kyra gives me a huge smile, and Ryder looks uncomfortable. “None of your business.”
Me: “So you won’t say if you understand women better?”
Ryder: “Women are still a mystery. Do you have any other questions?”
I think for a moment not daring to even look at my notepad for help. “What do you want the fans to know about the Trackers?”
Ryder: “Not a fucking thing.”
Me: “Ouch, guess I walked right into that one.”
Ryder gave me the first real smile since this interview started. And instead of reassuring me it sends chills down my spine.
Me: “What are you and Kyra working on right now?”
Ryder: “Secret mission, so if I told you I’d have to kill you.”
I look from Ryder to Kyra, and they are both unreadable. Again the irony of the situation isn’t lost on me.
Me: “You realize I’m the author here right?”
Ryder: “Yup, but even you don’t know everything all the time. Sometimes we characters are building arc’s in the background while shit is happening in other places.” He winks at me and the chills I have increased tenfold.
Me: “There sure are a lot of irons in the fire right now Ryder. The Tribunal is messing around right now. The Reapers are in a lot of trouble, and your brothers are getting more involved than ever.” I warn.
Ryder: “Shit never goes the way it’s supposed to, does it, Christie.” He slides out of the booth and holds out his hand for Kyra.
Kyra gives me a smile, but it doesn’t quite reach her eyes, “Keep yourself safe and keep writing your stories because the real history needs to be written. Something the Druids forgot to do a long time ago.” I slide out of the booth, and Kyra wraps her arms around me, and the fear from seconds before is washed away.
I extend my hand to Ryder, “Thank you for the interview, Ryder.”
He looks from my hand to my face and then finally takes my hand. His hand is warm and large enveloping mine as he shakes, and then release’s it. I following them to the door and watch as they climb onto the large Harley they never look back as they pull away and drive off.
Where you can find me
My Opinion Monday – Superstar Status or making the Bestsellers Lists
So I’ve been asked recently about making the bestseller’s lists. And like every writer out there I have some strong opinions about it. Now don’t get me wrong, like ever writer I want to make the bestsellers lists and if a writer or author tells you different they are lying to you. It’s human nature to want to be the best. We would never have climbed out of the swamps if we hadn’t wanted to better ourselves.
So yes I want to make the bestsellers list, I want to be able to put on the covers of my novels that I am a bestseller. But more than that when I sit down in front of my computer and it’s just me and my words, me and my imagination, me and the characters I write? I want to touch people, I want to know that in some way my writing is making a difference. Because authors have done that for me, books have touched me in a way that make me a better author. Books have opened my imagination, built a fire in my imaginary world to such extremes I can do nothing but write.
But back to the bestsellers list. There are several lists: The New York Times, USA Today, Amazon Top 100, Barnes and Noble Top 100, Publishers Weekly Bestseller, NPR, even the Wall Street Journal has a bestseller list. These are all nationally polled lists and the majority if not all the authors on these lists are published via large publishing companies. I am a humble indie-published writer, does that mean I will never be a bestseller? Hell no! I am working my butt off writing my stories. Publishing my books, not to become a bestseller specifically but to get my stories told. Being a bestseller would be a wonderful, spectacular, life affirming perk. But that’s all it would be a perk. It won’t change how I write or why I write.
Better than a bestseller? Fans telling me how much they love my books, fans telling me my books helped them, fans telling me that reading my books motivated them to write their own books. Now that would be awesome!