Let’s get Snowbound on the bestseller list! :)

dfw-kg-sb-cover-2-3d-nologoSnowbound has been live now for around two weeks and, so far, I’ve had two reviews on Amazona four-star review (paperback) and a five-star review (Kindle edition). Thanks so much to Tamekia and Erni for posting your reviews! It really means a lot to me to hear from readers who enjoy the stories I write.

Now I’m trying to spread the word about my book. I made a flyer, which I posted on my Facebook author page, and I would love it if my readers here could share it and help others who like holiday-themed love stories or who want a fun book to pass the time discover Snowbound.

We managed to keep Choose Me on Amazon’s Top 50 bestseller list for Women’s Fiction and IR Romance for close to a month and that was a novella. Let’s see if we can get Snowbound to skyrocket up the charts as well! 🙂

In the meantime, I’m trying to get my book in local bookshops. I don’t write for the money–even though it would be wonderful to be able to write fulltime. I can’t imagine a life without writing. It’s what fulfills me and it gets me through the rough times in my life.

I have a dream that within the next two years, I will be able to support myself solely through my writing, and I hope you’ll join me for the journey.

And remember–if you’ve already read Snowbound and enjoyed it, please post a review on the site where you purchased it. Thank you so much for your support!

Happy reading (and writing)!

At the Women’s Fiction Festival 2013 — What happened today

Image, Matera, Women's Fiction Festival, Italy

The Sassi district in Matera, Italy

Well, it’s my second full day at the Women’s Fiction Festival in Matera, Italy, and it’s been very insightful. We’ve had some great panel discussions, including one on screenwriting tips for novelists, which was led by James Dalessandro, author of 1906 and who also happens to be a poet/screenwriter/director/producer. Jane Corry led a very in-depth and compelling workshop on how to better revise your novel. David Gaughran was also on hand for a very interesting presentation of self-publishing and what one needs to think about when embarking on a self-publishing project.

Lessons I’ve learned today?

  • novels don’t have to have a nice, tidy ending (unless it’s a romance)
  • don’t write your novel thinking it would make a great film–write it thinking this is a great story
  • always read your writing aloud to make sure you have the right pitch and rhythm
  • keep main characters to a minimum–readers get lost when there are too many people “on stage”
  • don’t spend all day on Twitter–start a mailing list and send out updates to your readers this way
  • good metadata increases discoverability
  • invest in a good editor and a good cover designer

As always,  there was good wine and great food to be had. 🙂

It’s 30°C here today and I feel sapped of all energy, so I need a nap. And then I will do a little more writing. 🙂

By the way, if you haven’t heard yet, Ernessa T. Carter has a new book out called The Awesome Girl’s Guide to Dating Extraordinary Men and it’s…awesome! You need to read it ASAP!

Giveaway update and–hey, a 1-star review!

Apparently not many of my readers have iPhone 5s, so there were no winners for the Choose Me iPhone 5 cases. Well, now I know for the next giveaway. 🙂

On to other minutiae–checked my reviews on Amazon as one does and, after receiving a few 5-star reviews and a 3-star review, I received a 1-star review. At first, I was a little stunned. But then I reminded myself that one can never be guaranteed fans. There will always be someone who doesn’t like what you write for whatever reason.

I wonder how many 1-star reviews I’ll get when Maybe Baby finally comes out. Laney isn’t always the easiest of characters to love. You’ll either love her or hate her. Well, more when it’s nearer to launch date. 🙂

Back soon with book reviews and a novel update!

Happy reading (and writing)!

Snowbound now has a Goodreads page

ImageIn Copenhagen and the weather is splendid. Just wanted to let you know that Snowbound now has a Goodreads page and a preliminary release date (31 October). Head over and put Snowbound on your Want to Read list. 🙂

It’s a fun holiday read about Mia and Jake, two people who thought they were going to have some alone time but end up thrown together by a snowstorm and…let’s face it, they’re attracted to one another.

Mia’s got her Rules of Cohabitation that she keeps breaking. And then there’s that pesky married ex who shows up just when things are looking up for her. Jake’s got his own issues–he’s a photojournalist who’s been in a few too many combat zones and seen too many people die. He’s trying to figure out where his life goes from here–back to another war zone or stay in Hunters Grove, where life feels normal enough, even if it drives him crazy that the whole town knows everyone’s business.

Want to know more? Well, you’ll just have to read Snowbound once it’s out. 🙂

Happy reading (and writing)!

Cover Reveal: Snowbound

ImageBack in 2011, I wrote a holiday-themed novel for Nanowrimo called Snowbound. It’s now with a freelance editor, so soon I will have her feedback and begin a speed session of tweaking to get it as close to perfect as possible. (I don’t believe in perfection. It doesn’t exist.)

While I wait for the edits, I thought I’d share with you the gorgeous cover Design for Writers has created Snowbound. I love it, and I think you will too. I’ve got a couple of releases lined up for the coming months–A Little Night Music and Maybe Baby are just two of them. My plan is to release Snowbound in mid-October. 🙂 It’s the story of two people who weren’t supposed to meet and what happens when a little snow conspires against them. 😉  I think you’ll like it. 🙂

That’s it for now. Before I sign off, I’ve got a question for you: if money were no object, where would you spend your Christmas vacation? (I know it’s August, but I’ll bet  you want it to cool off a bit.)

Happy reading (and writing)!

Check out Xio Axelrod–another writer from Philly–and Starstruck

Image

Xio Axelrod, the author of Starstruck

I found out a week or two ago that one of my friends from Philly (we’ve known each other since elementary school) has written a serialized novel. She’s been posting chapter-by-chapter on her blog. The story is called Starstruck and I started reading it mid-last week. I love a good love story, so it’s right up my alley.

Xio’s amazing–she has a beautiful voice, she’s super-talented and she’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.

Go and check it out and show Xio some writerly love! 🙂 You can find Starstruck here.

Happy reading (and writing)!

Cover reveal: A Little Night Music

The lovely cover for A Little Night Music, designed by Andrew Brown from Design for Writers.

The lovely cover for A Little Night Music, designed by Andrew Brown from Design for Writers.

I was going to wait awhile before revealing the cover for A Little Night Music–I’m still tweaking the manuscript–but I love it so much I just had to share it.

I started A Little Night Music three years ago and then set it aside.  There were a lot of reasons I stopped working on it but then I decided to ignore them. I loved the story. I wanted it to see the light of day and people who’d read parts of it urged me to keep working on it. They cared about Naomi and Liam and wanted to find out the rest of their story.

So I resurrected the story, worked on it here and there. It’s nearly done and my plan is to launch it either late July or early August. I’ll keep you posted on the actual launch date. 🙂

Many thanks to Andrew Brown from Design for Writers for helping me with the cover design!

Happy reading (and writing)!

Need help with cover design? Check out these peeps…

Indie writers, we all know how insane it can be trying to find good covers for a book. We’ve done our research and scoped out benchmarks, figured out what we like and what we hate. Now we need to find people who can help us make our cover dreams realities. In my search good cover designs, I’ve found (on my own and with the help of fellow authors) great designers and now I’m sharing that info with you.

Custom or Pre-made?

Cover designed by Cover It! Designs

Cover designed by Cover It! Designs

If you’re not sure which option is best, you should check out designers who offer both. Cover It! Designs and Go On Write give you this flexibility. They have great pre-made covers to choose from. If none of them strike your fancy, then both offer affordable custom cover packages for ebooks, print books and promotional material.

I’ve already worked with Go On Write and been very pleased with the quick turnaround and flexibility. The gorgeous cover of Choose Me, the collection of short stories I’m finishing up and which I shared with you last week, is a Go On Write creation and I love it!

Author Ada Slowe has worked with Cover It! Designs and recommends them highly. The cover of her upcoming novel, The Power of Love, is atmospheric and hauntingly beautiful in my opinion.

 

Only Interested in Custom? 

Then you can try Design for Writers. You can check out their portfolio on their Facebook page. I am currently working with Andrew from Design for Writers and look forward to a cover reveal soon.

Gorgeous cover created by Sue Traynor

Gorgeous cover created by Sue Traynor

Or…you could work with an illustrator, which is what I’ve done for Playing House, a novel I plan on releasing in a few months. I worked with Sue Traynor, an illustrator whose work I’d first come across through istockphoto. I liked her whimsical style and I thought it would translate well for the story I was telling. I couldn’t find any stock images that worked for my story so I contacted her about creating custom images. I provided her with reference images, a short summary of the book’s plot and the feel I wanted to capture. And she created the cover for Playing House, which I think looks great. Can’t wait to finally be able to say the book is ready. For now, we’ll have to settle for a sneak peek at the cover.

Working with Sue was great. If you write women’s fiction or chick lit and you want an illustrated cover with custom images, then you should definitely get in touch with Sue.

That’s it for now. I’ll post links to more designers and illustrators as I continue compiling my reference list.

Happy reading (and writing)!

 

David Gaughran’s Let’s Get Visible is now available!

ImageFellow writer and indie writing guru David Gaughran has a new book out with tips on writing, selling more books and getting noticed. The book is called Let’s Get Visible and it’s a companion volume to his previous book, Let’s Get Digital. I think both of these books are must-reads for indie writers.

David’s no-nonsense approach is spot-on. I think he’s got another winner here. 🙂

He shares with readers tips on positioning your books for discoverability, cost-effective ways to promote your work and how to minimize the amount of promotion you do and for more writing time–and still sell books. So if you are as curious as I am about how to build your platform without having to spend all hours of the day on Twitter or Facebook (especially when you know you should be writing), then check out Let’s Get Visible. For more information, head over to David’s blog.

Getting closer to publishing Choose Me

Choose Me's lovely cover

Choose Me’s lovely cover

A few months ago, I shared with you a cover for a project called Choose Me. I originally thought I would have published it by April 15. That was my deadline, but then life got in the way. Well, now I am getting closer to feeling like it will be ready soon. I’ve got the first part of it under control. I’m just making some minor tweaks to it. Part One of Choose Me is a novella set in Edinburgh. Part Two will be four short stories set in Philadelphia, Richmond, Rome and London. The stories still need a tiny bit of tweaking but tweaking short stories isn’t nearly as daunting a task as tweaking a novel.

The common thread for the novella and the stories is people making choices. Choices about staying, choices about who they love and what they want. My new deadline is June 1. I think I’ll have it ready by then.

Choose Me will be available as an ebook and a POD paperback. I’ll keep you posted about the official launch date. It might be around Midsummer (June 21) since I will be in Italy the first two weeks of June.

That’s it for now! It’s bedtime for me.

Happy reading (and writing)!

P.S.

Thanks to James at goonwrite.com for making such a beautiful cover for me!