Thursday, March 26th, 2015 | Author:

1342565622332_8577846The sheer amount of not blogging I’ve been doing is astounding, I know. Truth be told, I was working so much and for so long that I kind of burned myself out a little. Between my tiny humans (whose care and upbringing is my sole responsibility between the hours of 7 AM – 6 PM Monday through Friday) and my writing career (which has been unexpectedly fruitful lately), I was working myself to death trying to cram two separate day jobs into the same twenty-four hour day.

So I did what any sensible, responsible adult does when confronted with burn-out: I hid my head in the sand for a few weeks. I took Saturday afternoons off to spend time with friends instead of hunched over my laptop. I laid down on the couch while my kids napped and watched mindless TV. I painted my nails, and folded laundry in peace, and remembered what it felt like to relax.

It was awesome. I highly recommend it should you have the opportunity.

What I wasn’t doing, though, was blogging, so sorry about that. Even writers get the blues, I guess, except in my case it really wasn’t the blues and was more of a crazy-around-the-eyes.

But now my new book (Bai Tide) is coming out in less than two weeks, and I have a guest speaker gig at my alma mater next week, and suddenly all these commitments I’ve been avoiding are tapping their watch faces and wondering what I’m planning to say to a room full of students for seventy-five minutes.

If I suddenly look like a bird, it’s because I’m winging it at the moment (ha! See what I did there? I made a bad joke!). Balance is not the kind of thing you figure out once and then you’re set for the rest of your life. Especially when you’re a parent. Kids are constantly changing, there’s no point fighting that because that’s the whole point! Still, it makes for some dicey situations.

For now, I’m cautiously back, and if you’ll excuse me, I have a presentation to prepare so I don’t look like an (even bigger than normal) idiot next week.

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Friday, March 13th, 2015 | Author:

If you’ve got a hankering for some spy fiction ala Daniel Craig-era James Bond, skip on over to my website because the first two chapters of Bai Tide are up.

Bai Tide comes out April 7, but you can wet your whistle here until the whole thing is available to buy at an online retailer near you.

Thanks for reading! I can’t wait to share this book with you, it’s a ton of fun!

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Friday, March 06th, 2015 | Author:

Bai Tide cover - smallI know I’ve been playing it cool around here about the whole, “I have a book coming out next month” thing, but that’s because I’ve been busy, uh, getting the darn thing ready to come out so that when the release date rolls around I can actually, like, sell it to people.

One of the best parts about publishing a book is getting to see how people react to what you’ve worked on. Especially when you’re trying something new. If people don’t get it? Eh. That’s to be expected. If someone reacts exactly the way you hoped they would, and they love it? Well, sweet googly moogly and heavens to Betsy, that’s just the BEST.

Bai Tide received it’s first review today and…It’s a rave! A Bookaholic’s Fix reviewed the book early (such are the perks of being a book blogger) and had this to say:

“While I love the James Bond movies (especially the ones with Daniel Craig) and TV shows like Burn Notice and Chuck, I’ve never really read any books from this particular genre. After reading this one, I think that is going to change.”

To read the entire review (which is just music to my ears), click here.

The book doesn’t even come out for a month, and it’s already off to a great start!

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Monday, February 23rd, 2015 | Author:

I’ve been fortunate enough to have self-published one book and had two books traditionally published. I’m far from an expert, but I know generally what to expect. Where the potholes are, the bodies are buried, and ambushes are likely to come from, so to speak.

The one part of the process I simultaneously look forward to and dread the most is getting my cover. Even when I self-published PWNED, I knew better than to design my own cover. Just because I wrote a book didn’t mean I was automatically qualified to design its cover. Designing covers is a real art and takes experience with layout, marketing, and genre norms. The best covers are the product of collaboration between the author, editor, publisher, and designer. What looks so simple on the shelf is probably the hundredth iteration of an idea that probably started its life scrawled on a cocktail napkin after a late night strategy session.

I respect the crap out of a good cover. It’s no mean feat and, if you pull it off, the results are well worth the trouble.

That said, cover reveals are difficult for the author (or they are for me, at least). By the time you get your cover, you’ve spent hours upon hours upon eye-crossing HOURS editing, revising, promoting, writing, and revising some more and now, here it is. The cover you’ve waited so long for. The cover for this book that you’ve devoted significant chunks of your time and sanity to, and here’s the cover that will represent everything that this story is, and what it means, and what it will do.

Seriously, unless Michelangelo himself came down from Heaven and designed your cover with the help of Jesus and all His angels, what cover could possibly live up to those expectations?

On the rare occasion that you actually like what your publisher sends to you, high-five a stranger and hug a puppy, because blessed are you among writers. From what I’ve gleaned over my years of rubbing elbows with fellow authors, liking your cover is kind of like spotting a purple unicorn: You’re either high or very, very lucky.

I would count myself as one of the lucky ones. I thought the cover for Blood Money did the job and I actually happen to like the new cover for Bai Tide. Oh, what’s that? I haven’t shared it yet? Here you go!

Bai Tide is coming out April 7 and here's everything you need to know about it: Spies! Gun fights! North Korea!

Bai Tide is coming out April 7 and here’s everything you need to know about it: Spies! Gun fights! North Korea!

Not bad, right? It’s spy-o-riffic, it gets the point across, and it’s eye-catching. I like it.

What do you think?

Category: Writing  | Tags: ,  | Comments off
Wednesday, February 18th, 2015 | Author:
Just one of the many lovely California beaches wee baby Wesley never played on.

Just one of the many lovely California beaches wee baby Wesley never played on.

Wes and I have a longstanding disagreement between the two of us and it goes a little something like this: When asked, Wes will say he is from California but grew up in Washington. I disagree, and so like two mature adults we’re going to let the interwebs weigh in on this important, meaningful issue. Here’s the origin story of the wee Wesley Mitchell.

Wes was, in fact, born in California, but his family moved up to the Seattle area when he was three weeks old. At the time he was born, his father had already accepted a job up here and they were packing things up and figuring out moving logistics. California was just a way station for the wee baby Wesley.

My contention is that he lived in California for three weeks, as a newborn. Obviously, he remembers nothing of his time there and it was very brief. Therefore, it is misleading to say he’s, “From California” because being “From somewhere” means that is where you grew up and learned the ways of the world. Where you’re from influences your cultural identity, and Wes is definitely not from California.

(I know this because, unlike him, I actually am from California.)

Wes’s argument is that he was born in California, therefore he is from California. He is a California-issued product and, as such, is from there.

So I guess what we’re arguing over is the idiom of being “From somewhere.” Please weigh in on this won’t you? Tell us what you think.

Can Wes legitimately say he's "From California?"

  • I want pizza. (20%, 2 Votes)
  • Nope, spending the first three weeks of your life there doesn't make you "from" there. (60%, 6 Votes)
  • Of course he can. Mind your business, woman! (20%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 10

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