Friday, November 1, 2019

NaNoWriMo Kickoff

Today is the beginning of NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month is not a program suited for everyone but I owe them a mountain of gratitude for being the catalyst that pushed me to complete my first book. The idea swam around in my head for years but it was the combination of finding NaNoWriMo and my tomboy, sports induced, hyper-competitive neurosis that finally resulted in a finish first draft.

Since my first year I have attempted, and won, many times. I have had to back out one year as well due to personal obligations and health concerns. I have finished drafts of books while working two jobs, while dealing with family upheaval, and during normal uneventful months. This year I had planned not to participate. I am competing in 5K and 10K events, have two book signings, half a dozen friends and family members coming to visit, planning for my annual holiday party, oh yeah, and I work a full time job. After long and careful consideration, I knew it was best to sit it out this year.

Then a friend told me she was joining for the first time and looking for support. I am such a push over. It took less than five minutes to agree to jump in and help. Of course this is probably a reflection of my deep desire to be a part of the event regardless of the well thought out reasons not to do it this year. I think it is important to have a plan in place but sometimes we have to be willing to accept best laid plans aren't the way the universe rolls. I didn't even have to sit and brainstorm what project I would be writing. It was already there, front and center, waving its big annoying hands in my face.

I will be doing something different this year than in the past however. Several years ago I decided to take on the NaNoWriMo challenge but was already several days into November and had no projects in mind. I flipped through ideas I had jotted down and came up empty until I found a short story I had written and figured I could extend it into a full length novel. Much more difficult than I originally anticipated, by the way. I managed to get to about 38K words when I ran out of story and had to come up with another 12K to complete the challenge but, I admit, I was lost. I sat staring at my computer and the blank pages mocked me. Eventually I came up with ideas and was able to reach the 50K word mark but it was a struggle. I flailed and it showed.

When I sent the (very) rough draft to my editor and beta reader just to see what the feedback would be it was even worse than I expected. The point where I had to invent was so obvious I may as well have written it in a different color and font. I attempted a rewrite, then another, but it was clear every time I tried to fix the story there was still something missing. I would go through and just edit out or add things until I was temporarily satisfied. Every time I looked at it after though, I knew.

I went back to the original short story I had loved so much and finally saw what I had been missing the whole time. In the original story the main character is cynical and the story is a suspense. I have no idea how it became a fluffy romance story in the longer version but I truly believe that is why I felt disconnected from it. I don't write or read romance for the most part. The original version was so much better even though it was a mere 3400 words total. I knew I could fix it but I had to figure out how exactly to get back to the original. Then I finally found the catalyst I was missing, my playlist.

Every book I have successfully finished has had a dedicated playlist with songs that spoke to genre and character for that story. Breathe was missing that piece. I found the main song while out at a sporting event of all places and the rest of the list came together within a few days. Then, while sitting at work humming the songs, I was struck by the inspiration for how to fix the story. It is a complete rewrite and I am starting from scratch. It uses the same characters and the original short story but almost everything has changed and for the first time I am thrilled with its direction.

Breathe is becoming Escape and the revolution starts today. Time to kick off NaNoWriMo and get this next project in the books.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Living A Full Life

 Philosophical question for the masses... what is the definition of living a full life? This subject came up recently at work while discussing life expectancy. It was mentioned a family member of mine is over 100 years old and I mentioned I have no desire to reach that age. I, personally would like to leave this life before I get anywhere close to that milestone. The person I was talking to was shocked and depressed to hear me say that and told me I should aim to stay around as long as possible in order to live a full life.

The statement got me thinking about what that means. When someone passes away before the age of fifty, depending on there person perhaps even older, people usually remark they "were gone too soon" or "taken before their time". When someone reaches later 70s or older it can often be heard that the person lived a full life. But what makes this the case? Does simply existing on the planet for decades mean your life was full? Can you really be said to have lived if all you did was exist?

What about someone who leaves this world in their 40s but has travelled, loved, shared experiences beyond imagination, and enjoyed every day they were here? Were they taken too soon or did they simply experience what life had to offer? I like to believe what you do means far more than how long you are here.

My grandmother is 101 years old. People upon hearing that will tell me what a miracle that is and how grateful I should be to have had so much time with her. These people know nothing about her and don't realize she has daily care, is obsessed with watching / listening to a single television channel so she gets nothing but a biased view of the world, and though she has travelled some years ago she has done very little most of the time I have been alive. She also relies heavily on my mom along with her daily healthcare providers but she has next to no relationship with anyone else in the family. Yet even with this limited interaction and narrow world view people will still insist she "saw so much" and "lived a full life".

I am seriously considering debating exploring this and looking at the different perspectives in an upcoming book. There have been books that cover death at different ages but I already have a working idea about people of various ages and the different perspectives of how to truly live.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Learning Opportunities

Tomorrow brings the next of my traveling signings. So far this year I have been a part of several new events. Back in February I joined authors from the Las Vegas Coffee House Tours in sharing a booth at the Tucson Book Festival and then headed east to Michigan and Ohio to take part in the Authors and Dancers Against Cancer signing and dance recital. Both of these events, and the ones that followed, brought learning experiences and a chance to grow personally and professionally.

In Tucson I was with authors with different backgrounds and genres not to mention varying approaches to customer / reader interactions. There was a bit of a learning curve for everyone to try and get along, support each other, and make sure all voices were heard when there was a problem that needed to be addressed. There was also the driving there and back plus figuring out the logistics that added stress to the weekend. Even with the issues we faced it was a great time and a successful signing for many of us who attended.

Authors and Dancers gave me a chance to do something I rarely am able to enjoy, dance in front of an audience. I trained in modern, ballet, jazz, and hiphop for years growing up and while I am fortunate enough to join a local group once a year I don't perform nearly as much as I would like. I loved being in front of the audience but was exited to share the signing part of the trip with my mom acting as my assistant. She had never been to that type of event with me and it was a pleasure having her by my side. I learned, however, that I misjudged the books for that event. Being from Las Vegas and having a humor book based on casino life I assumed it wold be the big seller like it is closer to home. What I didn't do is take into consideration one of the themes of the event (dancing) and the book I have with a dancer on the cover. Never Give Up was in danger of selling out for a bit.

Using my knowledge I have gained serving as the Marketing Director of the Coffee House Tours group I set up additional signings while visiting Michigan and seeing family and friends. Most of the signings were quiet and slow but just the fact the shop owners were welcoming and happy to have me was a success as far as I was concerned.

I had another couple events that involved travel as well. I went to Salt Lake City for the Live Literately Literacy Summit. That signing is organized by friend and fellow author David Michael and I wanted to support the evolution of his charity signings. In the past he has organized a signing to bring funds and awareness to a charity in Mesquite, NV but this past year he began his own literacy program. He is from the SLC area and so those of us who wanted to keep being a part of his generous journey travelled to join him there. That signing I drove alone the six hours north and learned how much I enjoy audio books giving me the idea to look into turning my books into possible audio files eventually.

A month after Salt Lake City I again drove north and found myself in Boise, ID. While I made the trip to Utah alone, in Boise I was joined by another author and her daughter acting as our assistant. We drove through the night and stopped to take pictures at some beautiful spots. The event was unfortunately very slow and somewhat disorganized but no experience is wasted if you learn from it and we were able to take away the lessons of how well we work together as well as the fact it takes a lot of planning to make sure we could get ourselves and our equipment safely there and back and keep our spirits up when the event was much slower than what we hoped for.

When my alarm goes off in a couple hours to leave for Kingman, AZ for the Kingman Area Books Are Magic festival I will not only be putting into practice all I've learned so far but looking for new information I can add as well.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Breathing New Life

In 2010 I took part in Nanowrimo, or for those unfamiliar, National Novel Writing Month. I completed my first book, Never Give Up, because of that competition and have taken part many times since. I am hyper competitive and even though I know it is more of a self imposed thing it would have been mortifying to me to announce I was going to do it, update often, then fail to meet the word count by the end of the month. Fifty thousand words was a daunting task at the time but now it is more of a jumping off point. Even so, I love the pressure and impending deadline it brings.

Because of the success of finishing a story I had thought about for nearly a decade I wanted to do it all over again in 2011. I talked about it with friends, posted on social media about my intentions, got snacks and looked up the winner merchandise I would be purchasing when I finished the next book. There was just one problem; I had zero new ideas. During all the time I had been telling people about how excited I was to get to work I had never come up with a topic to write about. Life happened and I found myself aching to write but it was already November 8th when I dragged myself to the library and hid away in one of their quiet rooms, desperately searching through everything on my computer hoping for inspiration. I was about to give up when I came across a short story (3400 words) I had written several months previously.

After flipping through it a few times I was sure I could expand it into the needed fifty thousand words and what was better was I already had a basic outline for the story. I began typing and was able to reach just over seven thousand words that first day. By all accounts hitting that high in one day is great, however I was over a week behind. I spent every day I had off from work over the next two weeks diving into the story and doing my best to take those precious few words and make them into a novel. I was doing great until I hit about thirty-eight thousand words, and the end of the short story. I needed twelve thousand more and had just under four days to get there. I flailed. I admit it, I flailed.

When I finished, and I managed to do so with less than an hour left, I had the words verified on the Nanowrimo site then let it sit for a few weeks. I went back through it later on to do some editing and after I was satisfied I found all the typos I sent it to my editor to read through. Her response stays with me to this very day. She said, "They're good, I liked both of them." I explained it was one story, she laughed and said try again.

She was right. When I flailed for words everything changed. It went from a suspenseful story to a fluffy romance and other than the character names there was nothing about the two parts that suggested they were in the same book. I did my best to rewrite it but it still remained disjointed. I waited two years before attempting another rewrite. This time the book had one fluid storyline but it was dull and missing something. I stuffed it away, disgusted. It wasn't until just last year when I was going through some old pieces that I came across the original short story. The suspense story that first inspired me and I realized I changed the characters so much they were unrecognizable. I had no idea at the time how to fix it but with the amount of reading and listening to audiobooks I have done recently I have found myself driven to new ways of writing and am now ready to bring this story back to life with a completely new rewrite that recaptures the original theme and genre. Bring on Breathe!

Thursday, September 5, 2019

The Darker Side

Most readers I know have a favorite genre. They may read in various sub-categories and may even add additional genres as supplements but when there is a book that they just can't wait to come out, must grab on release day, would wait in line to get it if needed, it is usually in that one man genre. In that respect I'm the same. I love thrillers.

I reader murder mystery, horror, suspense, and others but I prefer the ones with a thriller element. I have collected a decent amount of books over the years though due to limited space I have switched over to getting more of my books from the libraries or passing them on to other book fans I know once I read them. I know I could simply do the ebook thing and amass a huge collection on my Kindle but so far that hasn't appealed to me in the least. Audio books are becoming an addiction of mine but ebooks are still almost non-existent.

It seemed strange to many when I began publishing that my first book wasn't a horror. I read them. I have read almost every Stephen King book ever put into the world. He is one of my idols and that is after I graduated from the kids / YA horror of R.L. Stine. When I first read the Fear Street books I was amazed by how I felt a physical need to turn the pages. I HAD to know what was going to happen next. I read every single Goosebumps and Fear Street book I could get my hands on and when I ran out of books I moved to Stephen King and began an entirely new collection. Since then I have added authors and genres as my enjoyment and tastes have grown and changed but I still have half a dozen King books on my shelf waiting to be read as I write this.

I understand where the confusion came that I didn't choose that genre when I became an author myself but it wasn't the type of story I needed to tell. Never Give Up is a suspense so I didn't stray too far but it was still a surprise to many. When my second book came out, Survivor, and it was a based on true story drama there were more shocks from my readers. Survivor made people stop for two reasons; not only was it once again a different than expected genre but the story was my own and being that honest and raw about a situation few knew about took some time to digest. Fish was less unexpected because it is in the same series and vein as Survivor. My one remaining book wasn't a surprise though it is a huge departure to the Humor category. Just Deal With It is an inside look at  the hilarity that is my casino day job.

I have been working on several other books for awhile such as Crash and Combat which are the 3rd and 4th books to join Survivor and Fish. Those will have the same dramatic genre and will follow the same style. My Voices series is 4 books long and are Thriller through and through. There is a potential Romance in there but it is further down on the list. I find I am drawn to the darker stories in writing just as I am in reading.

Never has that been more true than in the book I have struggled with for over 7 years now. The book formerly known as Breathe (and currently called That Pain In My Ass) went from a 3400 word short story to a flailing romantic novel, to a slightly more comprehensive romance but it never felt right. The short story is a suspense thriller. The longer version should be too. I have started a complete rewrite for the first time now and I think I have finally found what was missing. The darker side of the story is what feels natural to me. I never thought of myself as an author who would kill off their characters and in one instance I mourned that character's death for nearly a week. Yet I find that when I am watching my true crime television shows or reading my darker books I relate to and am inspired by those more evil characters. They make me want to write and capture that more taboo side.

It has taken years to say, and I know I will venture from time to time, but I believe I found my home in the darker realm. Making myself comfortable in the shadows and carrying out the deeds of the undesirables sparks a life in my creative mind. I cannot wait to rename and rewrite Breathe and let the world truly see who I am becoming as a writer.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Modifying The Plan

At the beginning of the year I had a very ambitious plan. I was going to complete and publish my book Fish (book 2 in my Sharing Strength series) then move on to rewrite and publish both Breathe and Last Piece while also finishing writing Chocolate Covered Cherries and publishing that one as well, all before new years. I had high hopes since two of the books are already written and I just needed to do the rewrites. In theory, those son't take nearly as long.

I have discovered it is much more difficult than I first expected. For one thing I am trying to rewrite a book that has been redone twice before and still bugs me. I now know what has been wrong the entire time and I have a plan to fix it but I have never been strong when it comes to completely changing a manuscript. I could keep it the way it is and just edit it but I know the revisions would make it one of my best books yet. It is just a matter of taking the time to give the story the complete overhaul it so desperately needs to make it realize its full potential. I am one of the worst procrastinators I know when it comes to edits and rewrites.

In fact sometime the best procrastinating I do is jumping into an entirely new project and letting the finished projects sit in a binder collecting dust. I have six current novels sitting in just such a position while a brand new idea is screaming for attention and later books in two different series beg for me to finish the books before them so I can work on their stories. None of those voices in my head are particularly helpful when it comes to finishing off the books I already wrote. I want to finish them though, I swear.

I want to hold the copies of my new beauties and have the ability to share them with the world. I love every single one of these stories and some of them have taken more work than I have put into anything else in my entire life. The problem is, not only do I have the other stories that want attention but I also have other projects and obligations outside of writing that require and steal my attention. I have the full time job which many authors I know must contend with. I also have a fitness schedule I do not only because I participate in events such as 5Ks and 10Ks but also because I need to stay active for health reasons. I am easily distracted by reading, not a bad thing as a writer but still a time issue). Then there are those other obligations.

One of the big ones is the actual business side of writing. Making sure to post and interact on social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and any others a person may have. it keeps you visible and makes sure your readers can get to know you. Then there are things like this blog, although I know I have been unbelievably absent this year, and my newsletter which I am still learning. I take webinars and follow other newsletters / blogs / podcasts in order to learn and grow. And my favorite but also one of the biggest time constraints is doing signings. It is wonderful to meet other authors and new and returning readers but there is the travel time, set up and tear down and of course the time you are at the table that must be taken into account because you aren't writing during any of that.

All of the planned books will still be released but it will take a little longer than I hoped. With any luck I will be on here more often to share my experiences and those my fellow authors share with you and take your suggestions about the things you enjoy reading. Thanks for sticking with me!

Friday, July 12, 2019

Absence Makes The Heart Go Fonder is everyone doing? Things been ok with you? Yeah, I'm fine. I know I haven't been around for quite awhile but I was hoping we could still be friends. If you're just joining us, welcome. I always love to meet new people. In fact, for the past five months or so it seems like that is almost all I have been doing, meeting people.

Being a writer is great. You get to sip coffee and hold intelligent conversations with amazing people, or enjoy a glass of wine while discussing the arts with like minded groups right? Of course people hear you have a new book releasing and they line up around the block when your publisher arranges a signing then you sit back and count your money while dreaming of your next masterpiece. Isn't that the way it works? Maybe if you're Stephen King, George RR Martin, or J.K. Rowling but for the masses, this doesn't come close to our reality.

Late last year I joined a group of authors in Las Vegas called the Coffee House Tours. We do exactly what the name implies, sign at different coffee houses around town as a literary tour. This spring I became the Marketing Director for the group and took on even more responsibilities than simply showing up and signing copies of my books. I am now the liaison for our coffee houses and the rest of the group, set up signings, speak with members, reach out to new venues and help organize events. On top of that I still do sign as well as attend events outside of the group.

Part of being in charge of marketing means I am always looking for new ways to reach out and inform. I take webinars, classes, speak with others in the business (both writing and marketing) and grow my base as much as possible. In order to then parlay that same expertise into my personal side I use the information to attempt to expand my own reader base and must keep my website updated and make sure I am getting my newsletter out. I am getting better but still have a lot to learn in that respect.

Don't get me wrong, I do drink both coffee and wine but not in the relaxing way I wrote about above. Coffee is more of a gift from the universe, provided to keep me going while I make the still far too long to do list. My wine is a treat I allow myself if somehow I even got close to finishing the list that day. There is rarely a casual conversation or the chance to sit down and just relax. The line is never wrapped around the building and if I attend a signing and sell even one book I call it a success and have one more cup of coffee on the way home for the next task to get started. There is so much happening all the time it can be difficult to fit it all in.

Now, I am trying to get back into the blogging part as well. I have missed it but when you think about the things I just mentioned taking up my time and add the full time day job on top of it I think I got a little burnt out. I took the break but I'm hoping you can all forgive me and welcome me back into your lives. I will be doing my best to be here far more often and share what I learn and experience in hopes it may help others with their journeys as well.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Choices Choices

Have you ever had that special project you couldn't wait to get to work on? You know the one. It sits there calling to you, telling you how much fun it's going to be, how much of a difference it will make. It could be building a birdhouse with the kids, redesigning a room in your house, even just trying a new recipe. Something you thought about, prepared for, and now all you want is to jump in feet first. We all that the special thing that gets our hearts racing and can't wait for when we can get going on it. For me,  that special thing is writing.

Like most authors I have more books in my head than I will ever have time to write. Just sitting here right now I can think of six novels that are drafted and need to be edited / rewritten, three more that are in some stage of the first draft, three novellas that need to be completed before one of those novels can be released, and a total of four series I am somewhere between outlining and publishing. At the moment I am working to complete a series that is extremely emotional, serious, and personal. I don't expect them to become big sellers but the characters deserve their voices to be heard. Even if I knew only a handful of people would read them, I would still complete the series. At the same time, being such emotional subjects makes them difficult to write and puts me in a sort of funk. All of this combined with intriguing characters, plot lines, and a recent breakthrough for the series, I have a different project that I am just dying to sink my teeth into.

Right now, as mentioned above, I have four series I am working on. I have the Sharing Strength series which is the emotionally charged, PTSD based series I started years ago but am still slowly working to complete. My Voices series is half written and once the fourth book is done I will be doing a full series rewrite and edit in order to make sure everything flows correctly from beginning to end. This series is fun, has a killer playlist (no pun intended for those that know the premise of the series) and has been revealing at every stage of the process. My newest series has an unknown number of books and is in the murder / mystery category. It is the first fictional series I have tackled based here in my current home of Las Vegas and I am very excited to put my newly minted detective on the case.

None of those series compare, however, to my Syn series in terms of personal thrill. This is the first one I ever conceptualized as being a series. I had spoken to more authors than I can count about the benefits of writing a series to keep readers engaged and to develop a story and the characters into on ongoing adventure. I needed something with multiple parts to base a series on, and due to my own personal fascination, I decided on the seven deadly sins. I meditated (yes I meditate) and allowed the characters and the story to come to me. At first nothing happened. I thought I made a bad choice but then one day while driving back from a camping trip while my boyfriend slept in the passenger seat next to me, a voice spoke up inside my head.

Her name was Persyphone Syntel and she had a story for me. She spelled out the entire thing, beginning to end. That year I wanted to participate in Nanowrimo but I was working two jobs and fighting terrible health issues. Because of Persephone's insistence and clear storytelling I still managed to complete Nano and the first book in a seven book series. I put it on the shelf for later editing and there it has sat for far too long. Less than a week ago I had another shove from Persyphone, telling me something I desperately needed to know for the series and now I am so distracted by it I can barely focus on what my original writing plan was supposed to be.

In my mind I decided I would finish the Sharing Strength series, then the Voices series, then work back and forth on the Syn and Casino Murders series. Of course the characters have other plans and want me to work on the second half right now and just forget about the first two series. There are also some stand alone books sprinkled in there as well currently getting pushed aside. How to focus and actually complete things when the shiny new toy is always calling instead?

Saturday, January 5, 2019

To Team Or To Independent, That Is The Question

There are many things we like to think we can on our own and in many cases we are right. However, what if there is something you want to achieve but have no experience? Then the best idea can be to partner with someone that can help you learn the ropes. In my case, that was when I began publishing my debut novel almost 5 years ago.

I mentioned in the post yesterday that I had an instinct to not go through the Indie company because I didn't know anything about them. I expressed my concerns to them but they assured me they had ample experience in publishing and I would be working with a top notch team. Again as I mentioned before, the team was not exactly what I had hoped for. The editor missed typos and never mentioned the stiff dialogue. There was a minor plot hole no one mentioned and being my first novel I didn't catch it either. The cover was amateur at best and needed the most work. When I discovered the "publisher" was actually just a girl who went on the self publishing site Createspace and published my book instead of me I was furious.

It took quite awhile for me to create a plan of action but one of the first things I did, after addressing my issue with the two girls who formed the supposed company and had by this time plot up over what at the time speed like petty teenage differences of opinion, was to call Amazon and have the book unpublished. I have now taken the things I learned over the last few years and used them to revise the story, fixing the formatting and typing errors along with having someone I can trust fix the cover to make it something I am much more proud of.

Last night I updated everything and submitted it through KDP, Kindle Direct Publishing for my non author friends, and waited eagerly for the review process to be complete. This morning I got an email asking me to resubmit to prove I have the rights to the story. I immediately resubmitted the book and just a few minutes ago I got another email telling me I now need documentation proving I have the rights to my own book.

I am the author. I have always had the rights. However because I allowed another person to hit publish in the past I am now fighting with Amazon to prove I can publish my own book. I always recommend finding people you can learn from but like I mentioned previously, I had apprehensions about working with this group. I should have followed my instincts. Never ignore your gut feeling in situations involving things that are your work or reputation. This is now the third time I have discovered being involved with her was a problem and hopefully the last one I will have to spend hours fixing. Believe in yourself, your heart and mind will lead you in the right direction.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Revised Edition

I have seen posts from other authors on social media talking about when to stop editing. It's true, we could rewrite and edit to our heart's content and somehow with all that work we could still be unsatisfied with the finished product. There are always things we can find to change, tweak, or redo completely. As a whole, writers tend to be an insecure group. We are always trying to make everything perfect but the fact that we can't please everyone all the time is a difficult concept for us. Our work is a part of us and we are putting our heart and soul out there to be judged.

Sometimes, however, it is important to realize there are major changes needed. In my case it was my debut novel Never Give Up. I had started out submitting for a traditional publisher but after I received my umpteenth rejection letter I decided to look for another route. I joined a number of Facebook groups and started looking for suggestions when I saw a start up Indie company who was accepting submissions. I was so excited someone wanted to publish me I ignored my instincts and jumped at the chance to work with them. I allowed their editor to go through and suggest changes. They then created a cover and formatted the book for me.

Having never published anything before I was unaware of just how many problems the book possessed. The formatting contained double spacing and the wrong margins. There were typos and major issues with the dialogue. Even the cover wasn't done correctly. It was pixelated, the color was blurry and blended with the wording, and the font was wrong for the genre. It was something I had to take almost a year to handle both physically and emotionally.

I have now redone the cover and rewritten the story. It will be released once more in a few days and I am glad I had the opportunity to fix a number of the problems. I know given the chance I would just keep working to fix the problems I find but I think at some point we invent problems instead of face the possibility someone may not like our work. Fingers crossed when it releases it finds the same story acceptance it enjoyed before while also being something I can be proud of in style and quality.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

New Years Goals - Writing

As an author this seems like the most obvious set of goals. However most people would think my writing goals is simply a list of the books I want to write this year. While this is, in fact, a major part of the goals list, there is so much more to writing. While I have my list of books to write including Voices 3 and 4, Fish, and Crash, I also have to think about the editing, beta reading process, publishing, marketing, and signings.

While I am working on Fish I have to be thinking about the cover image. I already know what I want the cover of both Fish and Crash to look like to but there is still the issue of finding the images, having the covers made, fitting them to the books once the stories are formatted, and coming up with the synopsis for each. Voices is a 4 book series that is half drafted but I am intending to submit those books to a traditional publisher I met with at a writer's conference.

The traditionally published books need to be written and edited then submitted through the query process. The editing will need to be just as rigorous as what I put my Indie books through but I will also have to adhere to specific styles and word counts while going through the writing and final editing. I have another book I am planning to submit for a traditional publisher but it will be a different publisher and therefore I will be going through a different publisher and will be working with a literary agent. This book, The Last Piece, has been written but there is still going to be a rewrite as well as several edits before I begin sending out the queries.

Fish and Crash will both be written, edited, published, and promoted by me this year. They are additional books in the Sharing Strength series which will be complete once I get Combat completed I will begin the final rewrite on Sharing Strength and have my first series completed and available.

Along with these books I will be doing a full rewrite on my book Breathe and releasing it in the second half of the year. It should be available at the last major signing of 2019. I have five major signings along with a number of local events this year. I am a committee member for a group of local authors and will be handling some of the social media responsibilities along with booking more signings for us as the year progresses and will be looking forward to seeing the response to the new offerings I have to share. Writing does include writing the actual book, but there is so much more that makes this career choice so crazy. I love every minute of it.