Thursday, December 31, 2015

1 Year Later

It was about this time last year that I started this blog, released Onyx Moon, and started establishing myself as a legit author. Since starting this journey, the connections I've made and lessons I've learned have proven to be priceless. I was blown away by the overwhelming support of my family and friends. I couldn't have kept up the lifestyle of a writer without the understanding friends I blew off to spend my free nights hunched over my computer, the readers badgering me to know when the next book is coming out, all the people who showed up to my events, and the pep talks from my fellow authors.

Book Reviews

Through book reviews and volunteering for ARCs, I've gotten to know some very talented authors. I've been blessed to read their stories and learn from their strengths. I never thought I'd grow up and actually enjoy doing a book report but I absolutely live for it! I love sharing my opinion and helping to promote my new favorite books. I know just how important it is that books, especially independently published, get reviews on blogs and sites like Amazon and Goodreads. These days, people not only judge books by their covers, but also by how many people have read them. Regardless if a book has all 5 star reviews or all 2 star reviews, as long as it has at least 100 posted ratings, the book is going to get attention. That's why leaving a review for a book you've read, even a not so great review, is SO important to the author. It's like leaving us a tip. Except it doesn't cost you any extra money. ;)

All the reviews I've done are based on my personal preferences and opinions It's hard sometimes when a book doesn't really thrill me. Being an author myself, I hate writing bad reviews. I know how much work goes into a book whether or not one specific reader enjoyed it. But I've come to believe that all books have their reader. So I always try to find some aspect of the book I appreciated, whether it be a relate-able character, good narration, or just a fun concept. Just because I didn't like it, doesn't mean it won't be someone else's cup of cocoa.

Highlights of the Year

* Holding a lifelong dream in my hands for the first time, instead of reading it on the computer.

* My first book signing. So many emotions (mostly anxiety) and the perfect day to launch my career.

* Selling out of my first, second, and third print run!

* Getting my new computer! I don't have to plug this one into the wall and strap duct tape to it.

* Being featured in my local paper.

* Reading all of Onyx Moon's great reviews online.

* My niece talking to me about my book.

* Interviewing all of the authors that agreed to be on my little blog. :)

* Drinking "gourmet" cocoa while I work on a secret project. 

* Actually having more than one publisher interested in that new project and having to choose which publisher I wanted. That seriously did not feel like real life.

* Announcing my secret project...Sigil in Shadow!

* Doing my first radio interview.

* Seeing Sigil's finalized cover. I'll share it with you as soon as I get the green light. I promise!

 Coming in 2016

I'll definitely keep up with indie reviews as much as I can, but man, I've got a lot on my plate for this next year. One thing I'm really excited about is that this website is going to get a makeover. Yep! That's right! I really want to streamline things and find a theme that best represents my books. I'll be working with a designer soon and hopefully have an updated website by February. Also, I'll be available on Twitter soon so be sure to follow me. :)

A lot of people have been curious about the second book in the Onyx Moon Trilogy, Bloodstones. Things are definitely progressing, but I'll admit, it's slow going. If you've read Onyx Moon, you know that it's really like two books in one. While Bloodstones will be shorter, bringing the two story lines together has taken a lot of work. It took 8 years of stop and go to write the first one, but I promise, you won't have to wait nearly that long. The sequel is my main writing focus as of right now, but sometimes I have to push that manuscript to the back burner in order to work on promotions or finalizing things for Sigil in Shadow's release. For this reason, I'm not quite ready to give an official release date for the second book. But I will as soon as I finish the first draft.

Meanwhile, Sigil in Shadow will be in stores July 12th and will soon be available for pre-order wherever you buy books online. I'm setting plans in place for the release party and book signings, giveaways, as well as a book trailer. I can't wait to share everything with you!

One last thing....Remember when I said Sigil was a standalone novel?? Well, turns out I can't even follow my own advice. As I was finishing up the last pre-edited draft, I realized that there is another character or two that needs their story told as well. So, nothing is official, but don't be surprised to find a sequel in The Shadow Saga around the corner!

Happy New Year!!!!     


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