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Book Signing Fun

  

Last Saturday, I drove down to Kingston, NY for an author event at Barnes & Noble. It was my FIRST bookstore signing, and I had a blast! 

Thanks to Amie Borst and co-author Bethanie Borst (who penned the Scarily Ever Laughter series, Cinderskella, Litke Dead Riding Hood, and upcoming Snow Fright), myself and MG contemporary author Andrea Pyros got to host a successful event!

Lots of people showed up, kids and grown ups alike. It ended up being standing room only!

I did my FIRST READING EVER and it went really well. (Boy, was I nervous!) 

It was a total blast answering the kids’ questions and seeing how excited they were about reading. 

YAY! 

 Here’s our table, pre-swag:

  
Our books!:

  

The authors! (Left to right) Me, Amie Borst, Bethanie Borst, and Andrea Pyros: PS: I feel like a giant, lol! ;p

  

Holding our books:

The signing:   

I got signed copies too! 

   
 
Lots of organizations helped spread the word for the signing too, from WAMC (a local radio station), to Woodstock Radio, to AMC (where I used to work & still have privileges at), and to local papers from Poughkeepsie. Thank you!

   
 
My next signing will be Saturday, September 19 at Colonie Center Barnes & Noble for a local author event. There probably won’t be time for a reading, but it would be great to chat with you if you’re near by! ;)
Here’s a couple extra photos…

The Zodiac Collector with swag, including a knight to represent the Renaissance Faire, which is a prominent setting in the book: 
Zodiac charms and stardust from Zeena, The Zodiac Collector (the kids really liked this):  

 

If you’re anywhere near Kingston, NY on Saturday, June 27, please stop by the Barnes & Noble (1177 Ulster Ave, Kingston, NY 12401) to see me and two other semi-local, middle grade authors. 

I’ll be signing copies of my YA, The Zodiac Collector (it can cross over to middle grade), Amie & Bethanie Borst will be signing copies of Little Dead Riding Hood (Book Two in their Scarily Ever Laughter series), & Andrea Pyros will be signing copies of My Year of Epic Rock.

The signing goes from 1-3pm. There will be time for Q&A, signings, and chats. And there will definitely be some swag (including bookmarks, stickers, and magic star dust!!!!) and yummy goodies (can you say chocolate?)! 

We would love to see you! 

Here’s some more info about our books:

*** The event on Facebook ***

The Zodiac Collector

  

Little Dead Riding Hood

  

My Year of Epic Rock 

  

Hope to see you there! :)

There’s been a lot of news lately about gender issues (brava to Caitlyn Jenner, right?), and I’ve also seen (thanks to an FB friend posting an article) some discussion on genre bending. 

Specifically, the article was an interview between Neil Gaiman and Kazuo Ishiguro where they discuss genres, what it means to have a book categorized in a particular genre, and what it’s like to have your book’s genre “class” debated.

What struck me as interesting was that Ishiguro did not see his latest book, The Buried Giant, as fantasy. In his mind, the book was literary fiction, despite having magic, fable, and ogres. He was (it seems) genuinely surprised at his book being labeled fantasy.

Writers are always asked what genre their book is. It’s important to know, not only for following “the rules,” for marketing, and for sales. Anyone who follows Amazon categories knows the genre classification is a big deal when it comes to rankings. 

But it can be confusing!

Sometimes books fit in multiple genres.

For example, the book I just finished reading yesterday, The Book of Laney by Myfanwy Collins, is, accurately, labeled as young adult. The protagonist is (almost) sixteen. The book is contemporary, meaning it deals with real life issues. No magic, fantastical creatures, or paranormalness allowed. And then the protagonist starts having visions. It sort of made me do a double take. Was this paranormal after all? Was this foreshadowing of a mental breakdown? Was this an example of magic realism? 

Even after finishing the book I am not sure.

Perhaps, genres, like genders, should be seen as more fluid creatures. They both can certainly be complicated, and what one person sees as a certain genre or gender, can be seen differently by another. Maybe genres and genders can’t always be classified by such concrete, rigid terms.

Hmmm, perhaps I’m blending too much together here, but I dunno, it’s just how my mind works.

How about you? How do you see genres?

Make Mistakes

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.” ~ Neil Gaiman

I tend to be an anxious person and as a result, trying new things can be terrifying. Why? I can’t predict the outcome and it makes me feel out of control. (Lack of control is like jet fuel for anxiety.)

At the same time, both my professions (psychiatry and writing) DEMAND I try new things. 

All. The. Time.

What’s a girl to do?

At some point along the way (I don’t remember when, but it must’ve been in med school), I realized I had to learn how to go with the flow. Perhaps being constantly thrown into new situations had something to do with it…the whole sink or swim thing is pretty dang powerful.  Plus, worrying about something doesn’t change the outcome, but it sure makes the journey a lot more stressful. With that in mind, I try to embrace new things and roll with change. 

I’m not always successful. Hence the making mistakes. And sometimes anxiety gets the better of me (usually in the form of avoidance). So when I come across quotes like the one above, I pay special attention to it. It’s a reminder. A form of cheerleading, if you will. An excuse to put myself out there.

Because really, mistakes aren’t necessarily bad. I’ve survived all my mistakes. And while it’s not fun to make them, I’ve learned something from them. 

How about you? Do you make mistakes? Do you embrace them? Are they valuable to you?

The Big Deal

Guys. GUYS. This is so exciting. A bunch of Spencer Hill Press Teen and Young Adult ebooks are discounted via Amazon’s The Big Deal NOW through May 24 AND The Zodiac Collector is one of them!

Please check it out if you haven’t already purchased The Zodiac Collector, and please share the news!

If you’ve read The Zodiac Collector, please consider writing a review–it’s SO important for authors to get reviews because it helps improve visibility and outreach.

Thanks so much!

THE BIG DEAL

The Zodiac Collector ebook for $2.99 

Zodiac-collector (2)

I came across a writer tip the other day that bears repeating.

  

As I face edits for three books, I’m going to keep this in mind and apply it when I can.

How about you? What tip(s) have you come across lately that you want to incorporate in your writing?

Give Yourself A Break

Publishing is a competitive sport of sorts. Think about it. How many authors are out there? How many books? (If you’ve seen my growing book wish list, you’ll see it’s quickly getting out of control.)

And only the best get to enjoy some visibility in bookstores and online retailers.

Yet the amount of rejection every author faces is daunting. It can be soul crushing.

I know I look at my work with such a critical eye that I pretty much convince myself no one would ever waste even five minutes reading it. 

(Other authors have felt this way, I’ve heard ’em mention it.)

So what’s a writer to do? Quit, right?

Wrong!

Anyone who’s caught the writing bug knows that while quitting seems appealing from time to time, the urge to write is still inside, perhaps buried or latent or beaten down, but it’s there. And it refuses to be snuffed out. 

Sometimes it takes hearing a reader gush about a character they liked, or receiving positive feedback from a beta reader, or even returning to an abandoned project and realizing its waaaay better than you first thought to get you back in the proverbial saddle. 

Last summer, I’d started a new YA contemporary and got about 20,000 words in before falling out of love with it. I’d taken a few writerly ego hits (a press shut down and I got rights for four novels returned to me–a good thing, but it effectively annihilated my backlist–and I was toiling with the querying of a different YA contemporary written the previous winter), and contemplated quitting. My joie de writing had dried up. 

A few months later, I got new contracts for two of my returned projects (Yay!), and received some good news for the YA contemporary. Riding the good news high, I pulled out the partially drafted novel and reviewed it. I realized it was way better than I’d given it credit for. Who knew?! 

The upshot?

I need to GIVE MYSELF A BREAK. Sure, whatever I write needs editing–that’s par for the course–but I shouldn’t see that as a reason to quit…or to bash myself. I need to recognize I can tell a damn good story. I need to acknowledge my ability to create complex characters. 

I need to keep writing.

How about you? Do you need to give yourself a break? If so, what kind?

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