Thursday, October 27, 2016

Serials and Scenarios ~ My Stars

The weirdest part of being published is being read by people who know me.

That may sound funky to say because the people who know me and love me are going to find my voice and picture me in the whole mix and somehow that's going to ensure that they love my story. Right?

Early on in the "shopping" process where we were given an offer from the publisher we decided to go with eventually a lady from church asked to be able to read the manuscript and edit it because she just loves to edit. I sent it to her over email. Granted, this was just a gesture because our book had already gone through the edited-to-death phase.

This lady, a few weeks later came to me in the church bathroom, of course. "Hey. I've gotten a start on your book. I told you I'd be honest. There are a lot of words. So many I finally have decided the whole plot was about one woman wanting to get flowers out of a dumpster. Is the whole book going to be like that? Because I just don't think it's my cup of tea. I read hard books, I've read Frank Peretti so I'm pretty sure it's not me, it's your book." This comment is paraphrased. 

Fortunately, my co-author is an extremely good editor and multi-published herself. And the critique group I worked with is no-nonsense, get-rid-of-that-paragraph, red-pen-slashing tell-it-like-it-is sucker punchers. So my skin had developed a tough enough exterior that I was able to tell her to please stop reading it and thank her for her time.

Honestly, there are people who aren't going to love this story. I'm okay with that. Because likely, they are folks who don't really "get" me any way. I get looks on occasion. I know when I'm just being tolerated and when I'm being dismissed and when someone truly enjoys my company.

I've also had bloggers who didn't know me from Adam tell me that my interview process caused them to instant click and order Out of the Frying Pan or suggest it for their next book club meeting. And so far they haven't been disappointed. One friend purchased two copies hoping to eventually get one back from her sister who loved it. The other copy went to a friend who's husband is going to be reading it out loud to her during her chemo treatments. This comment alone has made all the struggles worth it. To think that something we wrote could bring escape during a really rough period of time makes me feel so blessed. 

Several people have told me it's been a long time since they read a book that made them laugh out loud. People are loaning their copy to friends. Right now a copy is going around my office. The girls, one by one, are reading it over nights and weekends and during lunch. One plans to take it to Portland next week, another is taking it to Texas in November. We are still in a top 100 on Amazon, in the 60's. We are there with books in the Amish genre and with books written by big name authors. Our 17th review was just posted on Amazon. Three reviews from strangers have been three star reviews, seven gave us four stars, the rest are five star reviews. The most critical three star review made a few comments about errors she'd spotted, one being the airport being mentioned as five minutes away then it morphed into two hours of fast driving...the five minutes down the road referred to the nursing home not the airport so I'm not sure how she misunderstood that. She also questioned "white noise whooshed in his ears" and said "what is white noise?" So I'm thinking she was VERY generous giving us three stars because she did not get us at all. Romantic Times gave us four stars. They rarely, rarely give out five. 

The fact that I review novels has made the reviews very interesting. I won't write a review of a book that would be less than a three star read. Three stars means theres several reasons I liked it but others might like it a whole lot more so I keep those readers in mind. I only give five stars if I feel like the author nailed characters, plot, timing, dialogue and setting/scene. I don't often give five stars. So four is very good. 

I now have an author signing at my local library in November. Where I am likely to run into patients and who knows who else. This is a small town. So I'm using all of the above swirling feelings to help me get through that day. The one where I'm likely going to feel like I've forgotten to get dressed and am walking through crowds in my mismatched underwear! 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ I Shoulda Been a Writer...

The blog tour mania has left me a little bit worded out. How strange. That never happens. Right now I'm soaking in the fumes of varnish and so glad I wore gloves when staining so I don't have filthy fingernails. The dogs are wrestling on the newly carpeted stairs and I'm gearing up for a full 5 Day Grandma gig. Ha. Maybe that's why I'm speechless. 

A little funny which I will go into more of later at Modern Day Mishaps or elsewhere. My boss doesn't like to share his bathroom. But because he's only one lone discontented man and there are 13 others -- 12 of those women -- he pretty much has to. So he asked me to put up a sign in his bathroom spelling our the rules. 

I can not put up a sign that just states the facts. So I put up one that was snarky and sarcastic and pretty amusing to me. 

He came to me later. "That was hysterical he said. I was so impressed with your use of flotsam. You just don't see that word very often." I laughed and thought to myself. "He paid me to mess around at work and entertain myself. Jokes on him." Then he said. "You really are in the wrong career because you could be making 10 times what you are making now if you wrote for a show or something." 

I laughed even harder. Hello! I've blogged for years. I tweet an occasional show stopper, I have two cute dogs and two cute hedgehogs who have yet to have gone viral. Oh, and I just had a book published. I'm pretty sure my talent isn't going to be "moving me on up" any time soon. 

Oh, sweet mercy. I just said. "Thanks! Glad you liked your sign." 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Serials and Scenarios ~ My First Podcast!

Michelle and I were guests on Writers & Authors on Fire a few weeks ago. That conversation is now published. Here's the link. This was so fun. We laughed quite a bit and John Vonhof was VERY PATIENT!!! We actually manage to give some tips and helpful advice along the way. 

So much fun. It's an hour. So if you are cleaning or cooking or folding laundry (my favorite times to listen to podcasts) pop it on and enjoy! 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Serials and Scenarios ~ Zula's Glossy Mag

Zula is all atwitter. Once you are wide awake and able to handle her chirpy excitement head on over to Zu-fer to see how you can read her interview. I'm pretty sure she got all the details for downloading the free stuff correct. Trust me, don't read it until you have your caffeinated drink of choice in your system. 

It might be a three part process for you to download everything but 1) it's all free until Thursday. 2) next month promises that there will be more...I did an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink style interview that will post in the November issue. So once you have the two steps done downloading the free Amazon reader app and joining the book club you'll be able to one step order next month's during the free period. Win. Win! 

Friday, October 07, 2016

Serials and Scenarios ~ The Rest of the Story...Frying Pan

If you are hankering for more of Fern and Zula's back story, our behind the scenes story is here today. 

And there is still a giveaway going on here

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Serials and Scenarios ~ Meetings of the Minds.

A serious and animated discussion on the themes and hidden meaning/depth in the plotting and characterization in Out of the Frying Pan punctuated the book club agenda. 

The Connor, Owen and GMA book club is very serious about their books and only read a few a year due to the difficulty with print size and understanding the written word for some members.

Out of the Frying Pan was chosen because of the close relationship they have with one of the authors. Now this in and of itself is a problem. They will tread very carefully when formulating the review and the star rating. The authors know this and would expect nothing else from this finely tuned book club of three.

Of course, GMA is invaluable for the wisdom born of life experience. Plus the stories she has read, the woman knows books. Owen and Connor bring the element of newness and unbridled joy when something really clicks in the story line or mechanics of the novels they choose.

Usually this club meets more than once and discusses different elements of the book each time. The first discussion was over the dual genre. Unfortunately, this took over the full agenda but was finally resolved. Owen methodically counted the red herrings used to show the meeting of expectation for the cozy mystery elements. Connor, who enthusiastically wears his heart on his sleeve, is enamored with the equally solid romance aspect. 

GMA once again steered the book club to the common sense middle road where the book could be dually classified because it met the requirements of both. Of note, Out of the Frying Pan is called a romantic cozy mystery because the romance does not follow the formula of romance to the T. After all, the classic is boy meets girl, conflict, feelings, conflict, parting, reconciliation and happily ever after. Connor teared up a bit as he was forced to concede and agree with the decision they must make. Once decided all jumped on board, but bed time was approaching so further discussion was shelved.

Next month they with get together to discuss the hidden themes within the pages. Already suspicious that love and food will be closely connected they are also wondering about the murder and the motives and looking for the deep human condition that can tie the love and murder together. Hopefully the younger members will get good naps in because this could prove to be volatile.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Blonde Happens

I've never been a blonde. Ever. Okay. I did do the lemon juice combed through the hair highlights experiment one summer. And one time with the product in the late 70's that gave "perfect sun kissed highlights." But that's it. And the highlights were NOT blonde. 

But a blonde virus swept through my office a few weeks ago and I succumbed. Here's the story. 

Monday, October 03, 2016

Serials and Scenarios ~ Wait, There's More....

Our Out of the Frying Pan Goodreads contest is closed. If your name isn't David or Nancy, you didn't win one. Oh, your name is David or might not be THE David or Nancy. But good news! Real good news. There is another contest. Yes. You heard that correctly. And this is an autographed copy signed by both of us, a book you can fold the cover back on and dog ear the pages and give to your aunt's best friend to read when you are done with it. 

Go here to read about why I read, what I like and why. And sign up for that coveted copy.