Festival Kick-Offs

I think one of the awesome things about being a local author and a co-owner of a small business is that you get the chance to be part of the kick-off for some awesome events. Last year we got invited to the 4th of July Family Fun Fest and that was one of the best events we attended last year. I not only got interviewed live on the local radio but I also sold copies to folks who would go on to be some of my biggest fans.

It’s like you get an preview into a place that you know is going to be filled to the brim in a couple of years. That’s how I felt at the First Annual Sewell Mill Storytelling Festival a few weeks back. They only had ten vendors for the event, and we were lucky enough to be part of it!

It was a small event, but since the center is attached to the library, you get to see all the excited kids who walked through. For the first year of it running, I was thrilled to see the turnout that we had!

Hope you enjoy my video (with a lovely cameo with Q)!

A Long Love of Hardback Books

There’s something incredible about seeing your name on a hardback book.

I didn’t think there would be. I thought it would be just as amazing as having my name on a paperback or on an ebook, but it really is completely different. I think it taps into some childish excitement to hold something so strong and sturdy in your hands and to know that the book is filled with your words, your characters, and your story. It’s surprisingly difficult for me to describe it as an author.

It makes me think of being a kid and dragging my fingertips over the hardback covers of my parents’ home library. They are book collectors just like I am, and for as far back as I can remember we had a study in the house which used to be only for bookshelves, books of all shapes and sizes, and encyclopedias (until we got our first computer). Some of the books in there were from when my parents were children, series they just couldn’t bear to part with. When I wasn’t sure what to read next, I liked to browse them and see what I could find. As a kid, I had no worries about how old a story was or how new, how well known the author was or how unknown, all I wanted was a good story. I wanted a book to catch my eye and my interests. I liked the feel of hardback books the most, I liked how the covers had different textures and even smells.

I think that’s why when I first held a hardback copy of my debut novel, Stolen, in my hands, I got a little speechless. I think that’s why I got a little choked up. I never expected it, but moments like that tend to creep up on you, don’t they?

I hope you’ll enjoy watching my unboxing of my hardback copies of Stolen below! They’re now available to purchase at Barnes and Noble.

Scrivener Tutorial #2: Manuscript Creation

So this video is later than I wanted it to be. I’m still new with being a Youtuber, and occasionally I run into hiccups.

I was struggling with my videos being blurry after uploading them and I couldn’t figure out what the problem was. I checked my rendering settings, I rendered again in “Highest Quality” settings which took an hour, and uploaded it again.

Same problem.

So I deleted and uploaded it a third time. By then I was scouring Youtube trying to figure out what was happening. I kept being told to change my Default Upload Settings on Youtube, but it didn’t have any video quality settings, just basic fields like title, description, etc. Then I found a post that explained what was happening.

When Youtube tells you that a video has finished getting processed, it isn’t really done. The first rendition of that video is finished, but all of the resolutions haven’t been uploaded yet. So when I saw that blurry 380p version with all my Scrivener text unable to be read, I freaked out thinking it was a problem on my end. Really I just had a wait a bit longer for Youtube to catch up rendering the rest of my resolutions.

Thankfully this was an easy fix, but I wanted to share it so others didn’t waste a four hours of their Friday night trying to solve it! haha

In Part 2 of my Scrivener Tutorial series, I talk about moving sections, moving books around in a single project, setting project wordcount targets, working with templates, and outlining with the corkboard.
If you want to dig into what makes Scrivener so cool, this is a good place to start!

If you like my videos, please like and subscribe! I post videos every Friday (Youtube willing). 😉

April is Going to be BIG

If you’ve been checking out my Appearances page for this year, then you know there’s a lot planned for next month! In addition to my writing deadlines that I’m working on, I’ve also got three events scheduled! Two of them will be in Georgia, and one will be in Alabama.

Check out the Appearances page for details on locations and times!

Sewell Mill Storytelling Festival – April 6

This is the first year this free event has happened up in Marietta, GA, and it’s going to be a celebration of artwork and books! I’ll be selling copies of Stolen and The She-Wolf of Kanta there with my sister over at Morbid Smile. This is my first event of the season, and I can’t wait!

Alabama Book Festival – April 13

By far one of the biggest events I’ll be attending this year, I was invited to be a guest YA speaker for this free event! I’ll be on a panel YA Science Fiction and Fantasy fiction at 1PM in Venue A, the North Tent. I hope I’ll get to see some of you swing by!

This is the first out of state author event I’ve attended, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. However I’ll be around some absolutely incredible authors like Sarah Lampkin and Laynie Bynum so at least I won’t be going solo!

Copies of Stolen and The She-Wolf of Kanta will be sold at The Snail on the Wall, the official bookseller of the event. I’ll be bringing copies down with me that Friday, so if you’re looking for my books early, they won’t be there until the event.

Book Warehouse – April 27

Finally, I’ll be doing a book signing at the Book Warehouse in Tanger Outlets in Locust Grove, GA. I really loved the eclectic collection of books this bookstore had and they were super nice to help me setup a local signing event! I’m looking forward to seeing my local readers again!

Hardback Edition Copies

I knew a few have reached out regarding hardback edition copies of Stolen. I know my publisher is working on making them available for several recent releases, but I don’t have a date for when they’ll be available. Once they are ready for purchase, I’ll be getting a few copies to bring with me to the events above, but I have no idea when they’ll show up or how long they’ll last! Stolen will be my first book to ever be available in hardback copy and I’m stoked to see it in person!

I’ll also mention that since Amazon has taken over printing copies from CreateSpace, the copies I get can take some time to show up. The 50 paperback copies I ordered took about a month to get to me, and from what I’ve read online, that’s a pretty common phenomenon. So once hardback copies show up, I’ll be sure to let you all know! Make sure you’re following me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, cause I’ll likely post there about it first. The earlier you get your order in, the more likely it’ll reach you in time for an event so I can sign & stamp it for you!

Stolen Reviews

Finally, if you’ve read Stolen and enjoyed it, I would be forever grateful if you would leave a review over on Amazon or Goodreads! These are the best places to leave your love for my work, and even a few words saying that you enjoyed it is all that I need.

Thank you once again for the love and support of my readers! Without you, none of this would be possible!

Draft 1 of Broken Finished

Wow, you guys! I can’t believe I finished up the first draft of Broken! This was a tough book to write, both emotionally and logistically since it’s book 2 of a trilogy. On top of that there have been some very emotional events going on in real life which have only made concentrating on this book more difficult. A week or so ago I had to request an extension from my (amazing!) publisher and they were happy to grant it. I hate having to do that. I’m one of those students that always liked to have their work in early if possible.

Now I have a month and a half to get the edits done, which I think is no problem. I know the beginning especially needs some serious work, but I’m very pleased with the ending. One of the troubles of writing book 2 is that it’s tough to know where to end the book. That’s certainly been the problem here. I can’t wait to share this rollercoaster ride with you all! Now I just need to fix some places, fix some characters, and get this beauty delivered to my publisher!

Project: Broken

A land has fallen. An escape was made. It’s a victory of sorts, but at what price?

Shaleigh has made a terrible mistake, one she may not ever be able to fix. Lost and in a strange land with anger and death all around her, she must navigate her way through treacherous lands on her quest for redemption. Along the way she’ll have to negotiate with the mercurial Queen of the Fae, survive the dangers of the Masked King’s realm, and seek out a terrifying fire dragon.

With two powerful beings hot on her trail, Shaleigh has no choice but to keep moving, or else face the dangerous magic of the Madness that has already caused so much pain and heartache. With her sights on helping her friends and her heart longing for home, Shaleigh is determined, but will it be enough?

BROKEN is Book 2 of the Stolen series

Words Written:
2/12 – 1,711
2/13 – 2,163
3/2 – 4,692 (!!!)
3/3 – 2,846 on Broken, 560 on Chosen

FINAL Word Count for Draft 1 of BROKEN: 67,485

Progress:
My goodness, this has been an emotional roller coaster for these poor characters. Then they end up facing one of the most ruthless and terrifying creature in the land, so you know it won’t get easier.

Next Up:
Starting Chosen with a very surreal encounter and some long-lasting decisions.

Commentary:
My gosh, you guys, I can’t believe the first draft of Broken is finished! I’ve been plugging away at this book since August 10, 2018, which means it took me 7 months to finish it. Considering that it’s the middle book of the 3-part sandwich of Stolen, I knew it would be a difficult project, but I didn’t realize how tough it would be. I’ve had a great time writing it, and I’m stoked to continue on in book 3, Chosen.

I can’t wait to share this book with you all! It’s definitely different from book 1, but it shares a lot of the same themes and ideas of course. That’s what you want in a trilogy, right? I’m so dang excited to finish up with fixing the structure so I can get it into your hands sooner!